Monday, February 27, 2017

How To Start A Car With Jumper Cables

How to Start a Car With Jumper Cables. If your car won't start because the battery is low or dead, a jump-start will get you back on the road in a matter of minutes. This is an easy procedure that anyone with a pair of jumper cables can accomplish.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Safely Driving In The Rain

Driving in the rain can be very dangerous. Any insurance company or police officer could tell you that accidents increase during rainy periods. This article will give you some tips on driving your car or truck in the rain.

The first thing you need to do is slow down. You cannot go the same speed on a wet road as you can on a dry one. Speed also increases your chance of hydroplaning. Since you are moving faster your tires are not able to displace enough water and your car will begin riding on the surface of the water. This can cause you to lose control. So slow down.

The next thing you can do is keep your tires in good condition. Make sure they are completely inflated and that the tread is in good shape. A tire with improper inflation or poor tread will not be able to grip a wet road and properly displace water.

It is also important to concentrate when driving in wet weather. Do not let yourself become distracted by cell phones, changing radio stations or eating and drinking. Concentrate on driving and driving only.

Lastly, leave yourself extra distance between vehicles. By giving yourself a larger buffer zone you give yourself time to react if the vehicle in front of you loses control. Also always have an escape route. Think to yourself what would you do if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly. Can you change lanes without hitting someone? Always know where you will go if you need to make an emergency maneuver.

Driving in the rain does not have to be a dangerous activity. Simply take your time and pay attention to what you are doing and you will arrive at your destination safely.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Blow-By - Caterpillar Issues

Some blow-by is normal on any diesel engine. This is because the combustion pressure is just too great for the piston rings to hold completely.

Excessive blow-by can caused by piston rings that are sticking in the bore. One of the ways to check if blow-by is too great is to put your oil filler cap upside down on the filler hole. If the cap gets blown off, there is too much pressure in the crank case.

Blow-by can be caused from piston rings that are worn out. A cylinder with worn out rings will have low compression and will likely cause a misfire. These piston rings need to be replaced.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How To Tell When Your Car Needs A Tune-Up

Normal daily driving subjects cars to a lot of wear and tear. Even a small malfunction of one part makes a huge difference in performance and safety. Recommended tune up intervals vary depending on the age and model of the vehicle. Check the owner's manual for specific recommendations.

Most newer vehicles need a tune-up every 30,000 miles. Check older vehicles every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Tune-up the car more often if it pulls heavy load or if it is used for a lot of stop-and-go driving.

A typical tune up involves flushing and filling vehicle fluids, checking all belts and hoses, checking the battery, installing a new air filter, adjusting or replacing spark plugs, and checking fuel injectors and other components. Mechanics also use modern automobile diagnostics that reveal other maintenance issues.

• The "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" lights come on and stay on after starting the vehicle.

• The car stalls frequently, indicating a spark plug or electronic sensor issue.

• The engine idles roughly, or it runs unevenly during acceleration. Sputtering while accelerating or going uphill indicates the car needs a tune up. Often a dirty emissions system causes cars to sputter or stall.

• The car becomes harder to start. This may indicate problems with the starting system, battery, fuel system, ignition system, or electronic equipment.

• The vehicle suddenly gets lower gas mileage than usual. Dirty fuel filters, bad fuel injectors, and spark plug problems commonly cause unexpectedly low gas mileage.

• The car makes a loud squealing noise when the steering wheel is turned, or the steering feels very stiff. Low fluids affect how the steering mechanism operates.

• The vehicle makes a sudden jerk when shifted from park to drive gears. This indicates the car needs the transmission fluid and filter changed immediately. Failure to fix these minor items leads to very costly repairs in the future, including transmission replacement.

• The brakes feel soft or spongy, or squeaking or squelching noises occur when pushing down the brake pedal. This indicates low brake fluid. Consistently low brake fluid indicates worn out brake pads.

• A "rotten egg" exhaust odor indicates a dirty or clogged catalytic converter. A tune up checks and cleans the catalytic converter. A clogged catalytic converter also affects gas mileage and overall vehicle performance.

• Chugging or "dieseling" after the car is shut off indicates the vehicle needs a tune up. Other causes of dieseling include buildup of carbon in the combustion chambers. Poor quality gas cause chugging and dieseling in some engines.

• Knocks and pings from the engine compartment result from carbon build-up in the combustion chambers. These noises may indicate a need to replace the fuel injectors.

• The car emits black smoke or a burnt fuel smell from the tail pipes. This may be the result of a clogged O2 sensor.

Tune-ups let the car's ignition system, fuel system, emission system, and computer systems work together properly. This leads to optimum combustion chamber efficiency, better performance, and better gas mileage. The car runs its best and emits the minimum amount of pollutants when it has regular maintenance, including tune-ups.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Basics About Shocks And Struts On Your Car

It is important that you understand the basics about the shocks and struts on your car. There is a good chance that you have been told a time or 2 by an auto technician that the shocks and the struts are blown on your vehicle and will need to be replaced. The price will often be a lot more than you expected and you will find yourself wondering if it is really that necessary to get them replaced. Like all parts on your vehicle, it is a good idea to try to have a basic understanding on what everything does and its importance to your vehicle and its ability to run.

Shocks and Struts in Vehicles

It is important to know that not all vehicles will have shocks and struts. Some vehicles will just have shocks while others will only have struts. Shocks will be the part of the vehicle that has to do with the suspension. The strut will have to do with the suspension assembly. The struts and the shocks in your vehicle will have 2 functions. The spring oscillation will be dampened thanks to them and the help with overall ride control. The springs that are in your vehicle are there to absorb the road shocks. Many people assume that the shock absorbers do this. However, the shock absorber is there to help the bouncing spring. Without the shock absorbers there the ride would suddenly become very bumpy and difficult to handle. Imagine when you hit a very large and deep pothole at a high speed; every small bump would be like this.

Symptoms of Trouble

The symptoms of trouble with your vehicle will include your vehicle swaying or rolling when you turn it. The rear end of your vehicle will squat whenever you accelerate. The front end will dive whenever you attempt to slow down or stop. Also, the vehicle will slide or bounce sideways whenever you are on a rough or winding road. You can also expect your vehicle to completely bottom out on any bump. Bottoming out is when the undercarriage of your vehicle hits the ground.

Additional Problems

If your shocks or struts begin to have problems, then they can cause other problems with your vehicle. The wear and tear of your tires will be done so at an accelerated pace if the shocks and struts are not where they're supposed to be. You can also expect for there to be issues with the CV joints, steering linkage, springs and the ball joints. The longer the struts and shocks go without upkeep the more damage will be done overall to your vehicle. It can end up costing you a lot more money than the original bill.


The best way to prevent against any damage to our shocks or struts is to have your ASE certified auto technician check them out regularly. Every time you get your oil changed you should have them looked at. The sooner you get them fixed and working properly the less damage will be done.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Choosing New Wiper Blades For Your Car

To operate effectively, wiper blades need to be replaced at least once per year - and more frequently if they show signs of wear. Frost, sunlight and road spray combined to damage and harden rubber blades and corrode metal wiper parts.

When replacing your wipers, you need to ensure you obtain the correct size. However, are you aware that there are quite a few options available to you when choosing your new wiper blades?

Replacement Rubber Blades

If the metal parts of the wiper assembly are not damaged, it is often possible to replace just the rubber blade, if a suitable replacement can be located. Remove the existing blade, normally by bending a small retaining flap and pulling the blade out. The replacement rubber can be cut to size and then slid in to place.

This is a cheaper option if your blades are compatible, but worn wiper arm components, or damage to the metal wiper holder means you will have to replace the whole blade assembly fairly regularly as well.

Standard or OEM Wiper Blades

Standard wiper blades on most cars have a metal body that is designed to allow for curved screens. These are readily available from a variety of manufacturers, although most car handbooks specify Bosch or Valeo brands. The new blades are often supplied with a range of fittings, and replacing the blade is generally a case of removing the old blade assembly from the wiper arm, selecting the correct fitting, and connecting the new wiper blade assembly to the arm.

Wiper Blades With Spoilers

Specified for the drivers side for quite a few vehicles, a spoiler holds the blade more firmly against the screen at high speeds, giving improved wiping performance. If you find your current blades do not clear the windscreen effectively at high speeds, consider opting for the same size with an added spoiler.

Some blades come with detachable spoilers, but for most makes, the spoiler is integrated with the blade assembly.

Flat Beam Blades

Now being fitted as original equipment of some cars, flat beam blades, such as the Bosch Aerotwin, are the next generation of windscreen wipers. With no metal frame, a spine inside the blade body is designed to hold them firmly against the screen, but still allowing some flex.

Now available as an upgrade option to fit most vehicles, flat beam wiper blades will fit most wiper arms. Fitting is very similar to standard blades, but they often need to be net into shape by hand to ensure they contact the screen at all points.

As they are very flat, and have an aerodynamic shape, flat beam blades don't need add-on spoilers to provide effective cleaning at all speeds.

Specialist and Rear Wiper Blades

Quite a few models of car now use specialist blades, especially curved blades for use in rear windows. Unfortunately, you often have no choice but to opt for the original manufacturers make, which can be expensive, but shop around rather than buying them from a local main dealer, as you can generally find much lower prices online or at a specialist retailer.

Headlight Wipers

Some cars, such as Volvo, have had wiper blades on their headlights for decades. If these get worn, the metal wiper arms can come into contact with the headlight lens. In extreme cases this could fail an MOT as it would disrupt the headlight beam pattern.

While headlight wipers are not part of the MOT, they should be checked as part of your normal servicing, and replaced when they show signs of wear.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Brake Repair - Your Car Tells You When It Needs It!

When you're driving a car in need of brake repair, it's usually obvious to you and everyone around you. You're not just playing Russian roulette with your safety -- you're playing it with the safety of everyone on the road around you.

The most obvious sign of bad brakes is the high-pitched squeal your car makes every time you attempt to apply failing brakes. When everything is working fine, you shouldn't hear your brakes at all. That loud squeal you hear when they are shot is a device that is making contact with the rotor when at least three-fourths of your brake pads are worn down. This is meant to be a warning that you need to get them replaced before the final fourth of padding is completely gone.

Long before you hear the brakes in distress, you can usually feel them warn you. A silent indicator that your brakes are not operating properly can be felt when your pedal goes all the way down to the ground with very little power, or they are slow to kick in when pressure is applied. That spongy feeling when you apply them is an indicator that your brakes are functioning at a decreased level of safety.

Other indicators include brakes that grab when you apply them, even lightly. And although you may feel grabby brakes are at least working, they are not working correctly. You may also feel your car vibrate when you apply your brakes, a sensation compared to driving your car over a washboard too fast.

These silent indicators that something is wrong with your brakes should not be ignored because they are often the prelude to the more severe auditory warning signs. The longer you wait and the longer you drive a car with bad brakes, the more damage you are likely to do to your system.

When you need a brake repair job it usually needs to be performed sooner rather than later, after you start receiving any of these indicators. You may debate whether the repair job is one you can afford or not. Remember that automobile accidents are generally caused by three factors -- human error, mechanical error or road conditions. Driving with faulty brakes will eventually lead to an automobile accident caused by mechanical error and will definitely be something you can be cited for by the police for operating an unsafe vehicle. The charges can become even more compounded if the accident results in a death or permanent injury. So if you are not prepared to fix your brakes, you need to park your car until you afford to drive your car safely.

Your brakes are, after all, one of the most important features on your car; now hopefully you know some of the warning signs and can get on the road safely.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Excessive Crankcase Pressure Or Excessive White Smoke When Removing Oil Fill Cap

Some blow-by is normal on any diesel engine. This is because the combustion pressure is just too great for the piston rings to hold completely.

Excessive blow-by can caused by piston rings that are sticking in the bore. One of the ways to check if blow-by is too great is to put your oil filler cap upside down on the filler hole. If the cap gets blown off, there is too much pressure in the crank case.

Blow-by can be caused from piston rings that are worn out. A cylinder with worn out rings will have low compression and will likely cause a misfire. These piston rings need to be replaced.