Give your car a pre-trip inspection before your next long distance drive
Ready to hit the road? Before you head over the river and through the woods, be sure your car can get you all the way to Grandmother’s house safely.
Perform this pre-trip car inspection to identify potential road trip spoilers.
Battery: Check your battery to be certain it is strong and has clean terminals. Car batteries typically last three to five years.
Tires: Be sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure and look for any tears in the sidewall. Then check the wear by holding a quarter upside down in the tread. If you can see George Washington’s head, the tire will not provide you with appropriate traction in varying weather conditions and you need to replace it.
Brakes: Have your mechanic inspect your car’s brake pads [...]
Your transmission is what changes the gear of your engine and transfers the engine’s power to the wheels to move your car forward. While the description of its function is simple, your transmission actually contains hundreds of components that work together to move your car. This complexity means it can be costly to fix. Avoid unnecessary expenses by looking for these symptoms of a failing automatic transmission.
A Warning Light. In modern cars, there are sensors that recognize vibrations and early problems that you may not otherwise notice. The chief problem among these is the transmission temperature. If this light turns on it means that your transmission fluid is hotter than usual and your transmission is operating at a higher [...]
A light on your dashboard comes on – should you drive immediately to your local mechanic? With advancements in technology, dashboard symbols have gotten more complex than in the past. This leaves many of us scratching our heads as to how serious the warning is and what exactly we’re being warned about.
There’s no need to be in the dark any longer. Here’s what you need to know about the warning signs lighting up today’s dashboards.
The ABS Light
What it means: Your ABS system does a power-on self-test every time you cycle the ignition. The ABS warning light illuminates if it’s lacking data, a hydraulic pump or valve [...]
How do you know when you may need new brakes on your car?
When it comes to your car’s brakes, the last thing you want to do is wait until they completely fail you. Learn 7 signs your brakes are bad in order to avoid a potentially disastrous situation.
Sign #1: Strange brake noises
If your brakes are squealing or making a grinding noise when you are using them, they may need replacement or adjustment. Squealing noises result from wear indicators that come into contact with the brake rotor when your brake pads are worn. Take your car in for service as soon as you start hearing squealing. Otherwise, the squealing will progress into grinding, which means the brakes have ground through the wear indicators and into the rotors. [...]
You notice a puddle of fluid in your parking spot or driveway and suspect something is wrong with your car. Much like with any illness, knowing how to analyze the symptoms can provide great insight into what is wrong and help determine the appropriate treatment.
Luckily, when it comes to leaking car fluids, the color of the fluid can give you clues as to the root of the problem.
If the fluid is:
Thin and reddish or thick and brown, it is likely transmission fluid.
A failing transmission seal or gasket can result in a transmission fluid leak with these color attributes and consistencies which are typically found near the center of the car.
When you hear your car making strange sounds, it is often a red flag that something is wrong. But if you want to truly be in sync with the wellness of your vehicle, it’s best to rely on all of your senses for diagnosis – including smell. Unusual smells such as burning plastic or rubber or other odors can be symptoms of very particular problems that requires attention. Here’s what you need to know about the smell of car trouble.
Your car is giving off a strange odor and it’s not the lingering scent of fast food you picked up yesterday. The first thing to do is identify what type of smell it is and where it seems to be coming from.
Sure window tinting is a way to up your car’s coolness quotient, but does it provide value beyond aesthetics? As it turns out, there are numerous advantages associated with tinting your windows. Read on to find out why this process can be viewed as a form of protective car maintenance.
Benefits of window tinting include:
UV Ray Protection. According to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 53 percent of skin cancers occur on the left, or drivers’, side of the body. While factory standard windows may not block them, window tinting has the potential to block up to 99 percent of harmful ultraviolet rays- protecting against skin cancer and the acceleration of skin aging.
Solar Heat Reduction. Depending on the grade [...]
Improving your diesel vehicle uptime is a direct result of effective fleet maintenance. Look for these warning signs of diesel engine problems that indicate it’s time to bring your vehicle in for repair.
Warning sign: Lack of power and hard starting.
This is likely a sign that not enough fuel is getting through to the engine for combustion and there is a partial blockage of the fuel system. The most common place for blockage is at the main fuel filter. This can be checked by taking a fuel sample before the filter. If the fuel is clear and bright, changing the fuel filter will typically fix the problem. If it is hazy or has particles floating in it, it should be replaced before changing the filter.
Just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge the health of your car only by what’s going on outside. Good advice, but many car owners are more than a bit perplexed by the electronic inner working of their automobile.
No need to sign-up for auto shop, here’s what you need to know about the tech inside your car and its health.
How it works:
First things first- it’s no longer called the electric system. Thanks to the advances in technology expanding its responsibilities, today we call it the Controller Area Network, or CAN.
The CAN is a complex system that enables thousands of data points to travel throughout your car to various computers called electronic control units, or ECUs. Each of these ECUs [...]
Keep reading to learn how to avoid skidding and regain control if you find yourself in a skidding or hydroplaning situation.
Why do cars skid in rainy conditions?
When it isn’t raining, oil and grease build up on the road and are kept in a liquid state thanks to the sun beating down. When it begins to rain, the oil and grease float to the top of the water and create a slick surface- meaning the roads are the most slippery within the first half hour after the rain starts. As the rain continues, the oil and grease are washed away down the drains. It is at this point, when standing water has accumulated, that the chance of hydroplaning increases.
When your car hydroplanes, it means your tires have risen up on [...]