What You Need for Roadside Repairs

Three Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Headlights

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Headlights

Your headlights are an important safety component, especially at night or during inclement weather. In some states, you can be ticketed if your headlights are out of order. Sometimes, they can stop working without you even noticing, especially if you don’t drive at night very often. It’s important that you or your mechanic check your lights regularly even if you rarely use them. Here are a few common headlight problems to look out for. The bulbs are burned out: Bulbs aren’t meant to last forever and they will burn out eventually. If you have multiple bulbs and only one burns out, then your headlights will be dim. Turning on your brights to compensate for a burned-out bulb in one lens may not work as well as it sounds in theory. In some cases, you can change only the one bulb and be on your way. However, most modern headlights are sealed and cannot be opened, so you will likely need to replace the entire assembly. You have a bad fuse or wire: If both your headlights stop working at once, then check your headlight fuse. The headlight fuse is most likely to be located under the dashboard. A blown fuse will have what looks like a broken wire in the middle of the fuse, similar to a broken filament in a light bulb. Have the fuse replaced with a fuse of the same amperage. If you find that you’re blowing headlight fuses often, then check for other issues such as shorts in the wiring. These shorts may be difficult to trace, but an experienced mechanic can quickly check common problem areas. Your headlights are dirty: Though keeping your headlights looking good is mostly a cosmetic problem, serious fogging or yellowing can actually dim your lights. If you have modern plastic lenses, that plastic can accumulate a crust that thickens over time. It is caused by a combination of age, heat, road debris, and moisture. To prevent this issue, make a regular habit of specifically cleaning your headlight lenses from the beginning. If you have just discovered this issue after they’ve been crusted for a while, then there are several techniques to remove the build-up yourself, or you can call a professional. To remain safe on the road, you’ll need to make sure your headlights are working and bright. You and your mechanic should be checking them regularly. If you’re having any kind of lighting problem, whether it’s your taillights or your headlights, see a mechanic like White Pass Garage to make sure you don’t have a deeper electrical...

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Understanding Your Diesel Particulate Filter: When Your System Becomes Blocked

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding Your Diesel Particulate Filter: When Your System Becomes Blocked

Diesel particulate filters, or DPFs, reduce the soot produced by diesel engines to help eliminate air pollution caused by these engines. While early DPFs needed to be cleaned regularly, newer models are self regenerating and the filter does not get clogged as often with deposits. The regeneration process occurs while you are driving, and if conditions aren’t right for the DPF to clean itself you may get a warning light that tells you that your filter is partially clogged and not working correctly.  Passive vs. Active DPF Regeneration The DPF on your diesel car or truck will either regenerate passively or actively, depending on how you have been driving the vehicle. The filter requires hot temperatures to burn off the soot caught by the filter and turn it into ash. Passive regeneration happens when you are spending time driving on the highway and your exhaust system reaches high temperatures because of the extended use. While this works for many commercial trucks that travel long distances, cars fitted with DPFs needed a system that would activate this cleaning process if this type of driving didn’t occur. The system will clean itself actively if the cleaning doesn’t occur from driving habits alone. Signs That Your DPF Is Regenerating Actively When your DPF needs to regenerate and your driving hasn’t caused this to occur, there are signs that will indicate that your DPF is regenerating itself actively. If your cooling fans begin running and you notice a smell coming from your exhaust system, the DPF is regenerating. During this process you may also notice a small increase in the fuel being used, as your engine will rev up and the idle speed will increase in an effort to raise the temperature within the exhaust system. Driving Habits That Don’t Allow Your DPF to Work Effectively Even with the active system in place, you still need to be driving your car for the DPF regeneration process to work. If you take short trips all of the time, your engine won’t be able to reach the temperatures it needs to for the filter to regenerate. If the fuel in your car is low, the active regeneration process won’t kick in so that your fuel is saved. Even the wrong kind of motor oil can cause a problem with the regeneration process. If you have warning lights go on because of your DPF, you need to get your system cleaned immediately to avoid expensive repairs in your near future. For assistance, talk to a professional like Regeneration Services...

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Learn How To Check Your Oil For The First Time

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn How To Check Your Oil For The First Time

In order for a car to perform properly, it needs to proper amount of fluids to ensure that all moving parts can continuously move with ease. There are many types of fluids in your car’s engine and knowing how to properly check them is important. Use the guide below to learn how to properly check the oil in your car for the first time. Prepare to Check the Oil Level The first thing you want to do is make sure that you park your vehicle on level ground. If you park on a hill, you will not be able to accurately gauge how much oil is in the reservoir. You also want to be sure that the engine is off and cool before checking the oil to ensure that it is not hot when you go to check it. Check the Oil Level Look for a cap that has a picture of an oil bottle with a drop of oil dripping out of it. It is often black or grey in color. There should be a small metal stick sticking up out of the engine located near this cap that you can pull completely out of the engine. It will only be a few millimeters in width. Pull the dipstick out and clean it off. Put it back into the hole and pull it out again. When you look at the bottom of the stick, you should see a line where the oil stops. On the stick is a gauge that lets you know if you need to add oil or if it is at the proper level. Add Oil If Needed If you have to add oil, you first need to look at the owner’s manual of your vehicle to find out what type of oil your vehicle requires. You do not want to put in the wrong oil, as it could cause damage to your engine. When you go to an automotive supply store, you can give an associate the year, make, and model of your car and they can determine the type of oil it takes, as well. Once you have the proper oil, unscrew the cap that has the picture of the oil in it and put it to the side. Place a funnel in the opening of the hole and pour as many quarts of oil into the funnel as indicated by the dipstick. Remove the funnel and replace the cap. If you notice that there are often oil spots under your car after you have parked your vehicle, there is a chance that you may have an oil leak. It is a good idea to have a mechanic look over any car that has a leak as soon as possible so that the problem does not become...

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3 Reasons Your Car’s AC Might Not Be Working

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Your Car’s AC Might Not Be Working

Driving in the summer months is miserable if your car’s AC isn’t functioning properly. If your car’s AC hasn’t been working for a long time or you are just noticing that your AC is no longer working properly, you should know a few reasons why your car’s AC is no longer functioning, which will help you seek out the proper treatment for your problem.  Compressor Failure Your car’s AC compressor pumps the refrigerant throughout the system, and if the compressor fails, your car will no longer be able to produce cold air. Your air conditioning compressor might fail for a couple of reasons. If there isn’t proper lubrication, it will eventually seize up and stop working. If the clutch that operates the compressor fails to engage or is damaged, then the compressor can’t work properly. If the belts associated with the compressor are damaged or broken, this can also cause your compressor to stop working. In some cases the compressor can be fixed, but it might have to be replaced.  Freon Leaking Just like your home’s AC unit needs refrigerant to operate properly, so does your car’s AC system. If there isn’t enough freon, then the air can’t be properly cooled. Since freon doesn’t get used up, if your system is low on freon this is indicative of a freon leak somewhere in your vehicle. Check your freon levels to determine if they are where they are supposed to be. If not, there is a leak. The leak will need to be fixed and then the freon recharged and topped off to the appropriate levels.  Stuck Blend Air Door The blend air door in your car pivots from the heating system to the cooling system, allowing either hot or cold air to flow through your vents. If the mechanisms that operate your blend air door is stuck, then your system will continually draw in warm air regardless of what setting you have on your AC. Your blend air door might be stuck due to the motor that operates it failing or due to broken gears. If your blend air door is stuck, you most likely need to have one of the mechanical components replaced. If you can’t identify yourself why your AC has stopped working, take your car into an auto repair shop. Be sure to describe any issues, besides lack of cooling, that you’ve had with your car’s AC so the mechanic can better service your vehicle. To learn more, contact an auto repair company like Budget Automotive...

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3 Car Repair Tools You Need To Finish Off Your Tool Box

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Car Repair Tools You Need To Finish Off Your Tool Box

If you have been working on your own vehicles for years, here are the last few tools you need to finish off and complete your ultimate tool kit. Here are three tools that will finish off your tool kit and give you the tools to improve as a mechanic.  #1 An OBD Code Reader Most newer vehicles send error codes to the on-board computer when something is wrong. You are typically alerted to the presence of these codes when a symbol lights up on your dashboard. You can find out exactly what that symbol is trying to tell you by attaching an OBD code reader to your vehicle. It will give you the exact code that your on-board computer has received from your vehicle. Generally, this information will help guide your repair decisions. Although you can take your car to a mechanic and have them read the codes on your computer, purchasing your own OBD code reader will allow you to get immediate feedback from your vehicle’s computer without having to go through your mechanic.  #2 Ground Cart The ground cart that you see mechanics lay on and slide under the vehicle with is actually called a creeper. For basic car repair, you don’t need a ground cart because you will be working under the hood of your car; not underneath your car. However, as you start taking on more advanced repairs, you are going to do more work under your vehicle. Although you can just lay down some cardboard and lay on your back, a ground cart will provide you with easier access to the underside of your car for larger repair jobs. This job will help upgrade your toolkit to professional mechanic status.  #2 Impact Wrench If you are going to be doing serious repair jobs on your vehicle, you need to invest in an impact wrench. Although you can use a breaker bar for stubborn bolts and screws, when something is really stuck, you need the strength that an impact wrench provides you with. When you purchase an impact wrench, you are going to need to purchase an air compressor and hoses as well. Purchasing an air compressor will allow you to invest in more advanced mechanic tools such as air gauge, drill, orbital sander and die grinder.  If you want to build an automotive tool kit that rivals one a professional mechanic has, such as at Felix Auto Repair & Towing, you need to invest in an OBC code reader, ground cart and impact wrench. These tools will help complete your automotive...

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2 Birthday Gift Ideas Your New Teen Driver Should Appreciate

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Birthday Gift Ideas Your New Teen Driver Should Appreciate

With a license to drive and a set of wheels to enjoy, your teen will likely appreciate gifts for their birthday that relate to driving in some way. If you’re like most parents, you are probably interested in gifting them with something that will enhance their experience as a driver without interfering with their concentration while behind the wheel. By focusing on your teen’s needs, you can provide them with a gift that they’ll appreciate yet at the same time improves their ability to be a responsible driver. Consider one or both of the following birthday gift ideas:  Certificates for Services, Inspections, and Parts Whether your teen’s vehicle is brand new or used, they are going to need to consider maintenance on a continual basis. Things like changing the oil on an average of once every 1,000 miles, replacing the brake pads when signs of wear and tear become apparent, and getting yearly tune ups are just a few things your teen will need to keep in mind as a responsible driver. But these services and replacements can add up as time goes on, so consider gifting your teen with a series of gift certificates that can be used toward their vehicle maintenance needs. In addition to gift certificates for a brake pad replacement and a tuneup, you can provide them with certificates for services such as: Wheel alignments and tire repairs. Suspension repairs and maintenance. Replacements for accessories like windshield wipers and headlights. In addition to a few gift certificates, consider enrolling your teen in a roadside assistance program to ensure their safety while on the road for the first year as a new driver. A Prepaid Fuel Card Another useful gift option to consider is a prepaid fuel card that can be funded in a variety of different ways. You can fund the card with enough money to fuel your teen’s vehicle for a couple of weeks, and then they can use it as a savings account and regularly fund the card when possible to create their own source of continual gas money. By ensuring that the prepaid fuel card can be funded using various payment options, such as credit cards, bank accounts, and even Paypal, your teen can use it to earn money for any services like babysitting that they provide to the community. Their customers can simply take the funding information your teen provides them and send a payment to their fuel card. This will also make it easy for you to fund the card when your teen completes a task that isn’t part of their regular chore list as time goes on. These basic gift ideas should be a hit with your teen, especially when they have a need to repair a flat tire or have the brakes replaced. Contact local professionals, such as those from Alignment...

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4 Common Signs Of Air Conditioning Problems In A Semi Truck

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Common Signs Of Air Conditioning Problems In A Semi Truck

When you’re a long haul trucker, having air conditioning in your rig during the summer months is essential. There is nothing worse than driving through an area where the temperature is in the triple digits and finding out that your semi truck’s air conditioner isn’t working as it should. As summer approaches, it is important to pay attention to how your truck’s air conditioner is running– if there is a problem, there will usually be signs. Some of the most common signs of a problem with a semi truck’s air conditioner include:    Air Isn’t as Cold as it Used To Be It can be very frustrating to set your truck’s a/c to the coldest setting, only to have lukewarm or barely cool air blow out. This is a common problem, and it can be caused by several things. You may need to repair or replace the condenser, radiator, or the cooling fan. It may also be possible that the hoses in your cooling system have become clogged with dirt or debris. Don’t wait until the air conditioner in your semi truck completely fails– visit a commercial truck repair shop as soon as possible to have the issue diagnosed and repaired. Leaking Coolant Coolant runs through hoses and helps with the temperature of the air your truck’s air conditioner puts out as well as the pressure. If you suddenly notice that the air pressure coming from the air conditioning vents is very low despite setting your a/c to blow on high, you may have a coolant leak. Truck coolant is very toxic, and it is not a good idea to breathe in the fumes from leaking coolant, so it is a good idea to take care of this type of problem as quickly as possible. Strange Smells If you turn on the air conditioner in your semi truck and immediately notice a musty or foul odor, there is a possibility that you have mold growing inside your truck’s cooling system. Inhaling tiny mold spores on a regular basis may cause health problems, so don’t ignore strange smells coming from your truck’s a/c vents. Unusaual Sounds A truck air conditioner in good repair should make little noise while it is running. If you notice unusual sounds only when the air conditioner is on there may be a problem with the air conditioner’s compressor, or you may have parts inside your trucks cooling system that need to be lubricated. Contact local professionals, such as those from Color Country Diesel Inc, for further...

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Get In The Habit Of Caring For Your Car Properly

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get In The Habit Of Caring For Your Car Properly

It’s easy to get in the habit of jumping right in your car and taking off without checking things out. However, this can lead to you experiencing unforeseen problems while you are on the road or when you get back in your car. It’s best if you can get in a habit of checking the car over once a week or so. This way, you have a much better chance of finding problems right away. The information here can be used as a quick guide for going over your car in the manner of a few minutes so you can save yourself from suffering side-of-the-road breakdowns and other problems. Checking the brakes You should be checking the brakes every time you get in the car, before you drive off. When you are backing out of the driveway, you want to come to a complete stop. Make sure you don’t hear any odd sounds or feel a strange sensation under the brake pedal. If you do, this means the brakes are worn and you want to get the car in to have the brakes replaced right away. Checking the battery It’s very easy to check the battery. You just need to open the hood of the car and look at the posts. They should be free of corrosion. If there is corrosion on them then you can clean it off by pouring a mixture of baking soda and water directly on the posts. If it’s very hot where you live, you may also need to put water in the battery cells during the middle of the season so you can prevent your battery from dying. Checking the transmission Take the car around the block while making sure you take it through the different gears the best you can. Pay attention to the way it reacts when switching gears. It should glide smoothly through them. If you feel it slipping or feeling off when going into the next gear, then you should get the car in to have the transmission professionally looked at. Don’t forget to check the transmission fluid every so often as well. Regular maintenance You also want to make sure you keep up with your cars regular maintenance. This means taking it in for its regular oil change. When you get each oil change, they will put a sticker in the corner of your window letting you know when the next one should be done. Also, have your tires rotated regularly to prevent uneven wear. Contact a business, such as Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service, for more information....

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Employ These Three Driving Habits To Help Extend Your Brake Life

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Employ These Three Driving Habits To Help Extend Your Brake Life

As a driver, you can’t expect your vehicle’s brakes to last forever. Each time you step onto the brake pedal, you’re wearing down your pads and rotors and getting closer to the need to replace them. However, this isn’t to say that a careful driving approach can’t drastically extend the life of your vehicle’s brakes. Adopting a series of smart-driving tactics is advantageous because it will not only save you money in preventable brake replacement but also keep you safer every time you’re behind the wheel. Here are three driving habits that can help to lengthen the life of your brakes. Coast To Reduce Your Speed It’s a good habit to watch far down the road while you’re driving. This approach can often give you an early warning about issues that you’ll soon be facing, whether it’s a stopped vehicle or a yellow light that’s about to change to red. By being aware of changing situations ahead of you, you can gradually reduce your speed by coasting – instead of noticing the change at the last minute and having to brake hard. Coasting limits the length of time you spend pressing your brake pedal, which can help to lengthen the life of your brakes. Lighten Your Driving Weight The more weight that you’re carrying in your vehicle, the more you’ll have to use your brakes to slow your speed to a desired level. Over time, this means that consistently traveling with a heavy load in your trunk can wear out your brake components sooner rather than later. Keep apprised about what you’re carrying, especially if it’s heavy – for example, instead of carrying a toolbox around in your trunk, gather the essential tools into a small kit and leave those that you won’t be using at home in your garage. Skip Rush Hour Driving Although you can’t always get around driving during morning and afternoon rush hour, it’s ideal to avoid these conditions when you can. Driving in rush hour often requires you to press your brake pedal countless times, which means that you’re wearing your brakes excessively as a result of heavy traffic. It can be beneficial to think of some ways to avoid rush hour driving. One method is to carpool to work; this way, you’ll only be driving half the time as you split the driving duties with a neighbor. You might also consider adjusting your driving route to avoid the streets that have the most...

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Signs Your Transmission May Be Failing

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs Your Transmission May Be Failing

The transmission of your car keeps it moving. This particular component is responsible for the forward and backwards movement of your vehicle. Thus, if a transmission is in need of repair, it is best to have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. Still, you may be unaware of signs that indicate that your transmission is failing. Here are a few: Stalling Between Gear Shifts Even if the transmission in your car is automatic, you may notice the transitions between the gears as your car increases speed. However, if your car seems to stall at various points as you press your accelerator, your transmission may be experiencing problems. This may be especially evident if you are going up a hill. Instead of being able to maintain your speed, you may notice that your car seems to struggle and hum loudly instead of progressing easily up the incline. Failure to Go in a Specific Direction Sometimes, if your transmission is failing, your car will not respond to a gear shift into the reverse position. When this occurs, your car may be unable to move backwards. Likewise, your car may not move forward when placed in a drive gear. Leaking Transmission Fluid If your car is leaking red fluid, it is likely transmission fluid. Still, it can be difficult to discern what type of fluid is leaking from your car if the vehicle is parked on dark asphalt. If you are noticing a leak and would like to determine whether or not it is transmission fluid, place a piece of newspaper underneath your car at night and check the color of the fluid on the newspaper the following morning. The white background of the newspaper can make it easier to determine the color of the fluid. In addition, you can manually check the transmission fluid level by checking the transmission reservoir under the hood of your car. If the level is below the acceptable range noted on the container, your car needs to be serviced. Transmission fluid levels usually remain constant unless there is a leak in the line or a problem with the transmission of the car. If you are noticing that the gears of your car appear to be slipping, the teeth of the gears may be broken or worn, and your transmission may need to be repaired. Schedule an appointment with a transmission repair specialist in your area to determine whether or not your transmission needs to be repaired or replaced. Contact a business, such as Interstate Transmission & Automotive, for more...

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