Maintaining Your Car Between Services

Be Wary Of the Signs of Impending Clutch Repairs

As a motorist, automotive repairs are unavoidable. With the various components that keep your car up and running, one of them is bound to fail at one time or another simply from heavy usage. This is why it’s crucial to take your vehicle for regular, scheduled servicing. This way, the mechanic can catch any potential problem before they escalate. However, other than ensuring your car is serviced, you are also responsible to spot any signs of damage that your vehicle may be relaying to you. One of the components that will show symptoms of disrepair before it malfunctions is the clutch. Here are some of the signs of impending clutch repairs that you should be wary of. Your clutch pedal begins to feel spongy One of the sure fire signs that your clutch is headed toward disrepair is if the pedal starts to be loose and feel spongy underfoot. Typically, when you step on your pedal, you are supposed to feel some resistance that allows you to push it all the way down. This loose, spongy sensation from the clutch pedal may be more pronounced when you are trying to step off the clutch just before your gear engages. In these instances, it would be prudent to seek automotive repairs so that the clutch can be replaced with a newer one. You catch a whiff of burning in your vehicle Another sign of automotive repairs that you should be wary of is any whiffs of burning in your vehicle. This burning smell may be particularly pronounced when you are trying to switch gears. The main cause of this is... read more

What Car Safety Features Are Checked During Vehicle Inspections?

Many new immigrants may be apprehensive about car safety inspections because they have limited information about what such inspections are about. This article discusses some of the accident avoidance and safety features that an inspector may pay attention to during a vehicle safety inspection. Car Lights Car lights play an important role in ensuring that road users are safe when driving their cars. Faulty lights, such as defective brake lights, may cause an accident. This is because motorists who are following your car may not realize when you are braking. Consequently, the car behind yours may bump into your car when you brake suddenly and the driver behind you does not see your brake lights coming on. It is for this reason that car safety inspectors may check all the lights on your car to confirm that they are in a good working condition before clearing your car to receive an inspection sticker. The Windshield and Its Wipers Some accidents may be caused when a driver is unable to see what is in front of him or her clearly. This limited visibility may be due to cracks on the windshield caused by worn wiper blades. It is therefore important to check the windshield and the wipers to confirm that they will not hinder how clearly you can see ahead of you as you drive. The State of Car Mirrors Car mirrors, such as the driving mirror above the dashboard and the rear-view mirror, play an important role in keeping a driver aware of their surroundings as he or she is driving. The rear-view mirrors should also be easy to adjust so... read more

Three Temporary Solutions for Gearbox Oil Leak for First Time Car Owners

When it comes to car engines, oil leakage from the gearbox can be a nightmare to motorists and new car owners. Oil leakage from your car can land you in trouble with local authorities. Synthetic oils are often costly; thus, leakage is akin to throwing your hard-earned dollars down the drain. The only real way of troubleshooting the leakage is to have professionals take down the engine for repair. However, before doing so, you can temporarily stop the spill before seeing a mechanic. Here are some temporary measures new car owners can adopt to stop oil leaks. Tightening Oil Pan and Filters – Use tools like a ratchet or spanner to tighten all the bolts and nuts reinforcing the oil pan. When a car breaks down, first time car owners end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a mechanic to arrive. If you have basic knowledge of how the engine works, simply try to tighten oil filters that may be loose or damaged. The car filters may be loose because of driving on bumpy and rough terrain over extended periods of time without regular checkups. This effortless approach may be your first measure when troubleshooting an oil leak. Also, remember to tighten these components every time you check your engine oil level to prevent oil leakage in the first place.     Additives and Seal Enhancers – If the leakage is small, you can use an oil additive to slow down and eventually stop the leak. Most additives can last for years based on the level of wear and age of your car. Seal enhancers are synthetic... read more

Car Service | 4 Cautionary Signs That Your Car Exhaust May Be Damaged

Although your car’s exhaust system contains no rotating parts, it is one of the hardest working components because its pipes join the silencer to the engine for controlling noise and directing fumes away from the passenger cabin. If your car exhaust gets damaged or compromised, then it will emit some cautionary signs, which you will need to get fixed at a professional car service. Vibrations Or Power Loss While Driving If you notice your car vibrating or losing power when you drive, then it could be a sign of damage to your car exhaust system. You may notice these vibrations when you turn the steering wheel or step on the accelerator pedal. This could be because of a hole or disconnected component within the system causing an exhaust leak. A professional car service should diagnose and fix the issue immediately because this could cause irreparable damage to your engine over time. Consumption Of More Fuel Than Usual If you’ve been driving your car for a long time, chances are you have a good idea about your car’s regular mileage. If you have to fill up your fuel tank more often than usual, then you should get your exhaust system checked by a car service specialising in exhaust repair. This could indicate a hole or leak somewhere in the system, which causes your engine to work harder and consume more fuel. Rattling Or Hissing Sounds If your exhaust starts making rattling or hissing sounds while driving, it could be because of a corroded silencer. Silencers typically get corroded over time because of acidic moisture residue from exhaust gases. These types... read more

Follow these tips for cleaning your car’s engine

When you clean your car, you probably spend a lot of time cleaining the body of the vehicle, the windows, and the interior. However, you also need to clean underneath the hood, particularly with the engine. Here are some helpful tips for getting that car engine clean. Choose a Degreasing Product The first thing you need to do is decide what type of degreasing product you want to use. If you are sensitive to strong smells, you will be better of using one that is water-based. This works for mild to moderate grease on the engine, but it won’t cut through grease quite as good as a solvent-based product. If you haven’t cleaned your engine for a while and can handle the stronger smell, consider using one that is solvent-based. You also want to look at the form of the degreaser. For example, some are simply liquid degreasers, which are again better for a small amount of grease and oil on the engine. For tougher jobs, the gel and foam degreasing products are better to use. Loosen the Grease First Now that you have your degreasing product, you need to loosen up the grease on your engine. While this is optional, it is highly recommended because built-up grease and oil can be difficult to remove. If you have just returned from the store after picking up your degreaser, it is the perfect time to get started, since operating your vehicle allows that grease to warm up and loosen a bit. If your car is cold, turn it on and let it run idle for a few minutes first. Use... read more

Signals That Your Vehicle’s Head Gasket Is Blown

The head gasket is a very important component of your car’s engine. It seals your vehicle’s cylinder head to the engine block. The cylinder head houses the engine valves while the engine block houses the crankshaft and pistons. The head gasket can develop problems such as leaks that can affect drivability. Another severe issue with head gaskets is being blown. Extreme engine temperatures are the main cause for a damaged or blown gasket. These temperature extremes will be caused by not having enough coolant in your radiator or just a coolant leak. There are some warning signs that point to a blown head gasket. Therefore, if your vehicle exhibits some of the following symptoms, your head gasket could be blown, and you need to have it checked. Contaminated Oil Contaminated oil is a critical sign of a blown gasket and is a direct result of a leak. To check for this issue, inspect the oil cap of your vehicle carefully. If you observe a milk-like ring around it, the oil is contaminated. This ring indicates that your oil has mixed with the coolant. If unattended to, contaminated oil can cause severe problems, including head gasket failure. For this reason, you need to have it replaced. Coolant Consumption There are several coolant passages in your vehicle’s cylinder head that are sealed by the head gasket to keep the coolant from running into the combustion chambers of your engine. A ruptured or blown head gasket can easily allow the coolant to leak into the cylinders, leading to increased engine consumption of the coolant. You should be able to see low coolant... read more

Common Power Steering Problems and Solutions

The power steering feature is an important module in an automotive. Basically, this component is designed as an assist system which will augment your steering efforts when driving. This means that you will require less physical effort or energy to turn the vehicle’s steered wheels when travelling at the typical speeds. The power steering element is fabricated for long-term performance and general durability. However, it is prone to eventual or sudden failure due to constant usage or even accidental damage. Generally, you can still drive the vehicle even when the power steering fails, but the effort required will be higher. Here are the common problems that contribute to power steering malfunction and some possible solutions. Squealing Noises Your power steering is not functioning optimally if a squealing or whining sound is generated when the wheels turn. Generally, this problem means that the power steering fluid in the system is running out. This is the hydraulic fluid which transmits the force from the steering wheel to the wheels. If you have noticed this issue, you should check and top up the fluid to restore proper performance. There are different refilling specifications for vehicles, so check your owner’s manual for instructions. If you top up the level of the fluid and notice a quick decline, you should engage an auto technician for repair. There is probably a leak, so refilling will be expensive without sealing the breach. Wheel Turning Difficulties The power steering system is failing if the physical effort that you require to turn the wheels has increased. You should resolve the problem early to prevent permanent failure of the... read more

Common Questions About Smash Repairs for Vehicles

Hopefully you will go your entire life without ever being in a car accident, but if one should happen, you want to ensure you do your homework when it comes to smash repairs for your car or truck. Quality repairs are needed to ensure your vehicle’s safety as well as its appearance, but you also don’t want to overpay for repairs. Note a few commonly asked questions about smash repair for vehicles and be sure to discuss these with your repair shop or insurance company so you know what to expect when repairs get done. 1. Why can’t I handle my own smash repairs? A minor dent or ding to the body of a vehicle is probably not very important to its overall performance, but many smash repairs actually affect the safety of your vehicle. As an example, airbags deploy when they sense vibration along the body of the car, and if you don’t properly bump out and fix a vehicle’s panels, these vibrations might be compromised. If you don’t attach bumpers properly or fix their dents, they may fall off or fail to absorb the impact of a crash. Your car’s appearance is important, but smash repairs affect your safety as well, so it’s always good to have them done by a professional. 2. Should I get three quotes for repairs? Typically, you’re not required by law or by an insurance company to get multiple quotes for repairs, but even so, this can be a good idea. Some smash shops know that a person is simply eager to get their car back on the road without waiting or... read more

Campervan Moisture Reduction: Put A Stop To Those Drafts!

As the kids are going to be out of school for six weeks at the end of the year, now is the perfect time to start planning where you are going to take your new campervan to explore for the holidays. Buying a second-hand campervan was a great way to save on accommodation costs while you head away, but unless you take care of the current draft problem, you’re going to end up in a moist, hot box with condensation running down the walls. Right now is the best time to address the problem, while you are still at home. What’s The Link Between Drafts And Condensation? You may not consider a drafty campervan to be much of an issue, after all you’re travelling in the summertime, but you’ll be letting in extra hot air. The big problem occurs, however, once the hot air is inside the campervan and it cools. As the hot air cools inside your caravan, it turns into tiny droplets of water. This water attaches itself to any surface it can find, and then pools into water you can see. These constant pools of water can lead to mould and mildew growth within your caravan if it is left untreated. Where Is The Draft Coming From? Any place where your campervan has had a hole cut in it is a potential draft area. Therefore, you need to look at all entrances, windows, extractor fans and ventilation hatches as a potential draft source. If you cannot see any obvious cracks in the seals around these points that could be letting the air in, there is an... read more

Car Service That Many Car Owners Overlook

As a car owner, you want to ensure that you do everything possible to keep your car in good working order, and this means maintaining it by regular service visits. You probably know to change the oil and top off other fluids regularly, but may overlook other types of auto service that can keep your car running like new. Note a few of these service options that many car owners overlook so you can ensure you get them done as needed. 1. Replace the timing belt Also called the cambelt, the timing belt is a belt that goes around the front gears of your car’s engine. This belt synchronizes the upper and lower parts of the engine so all the pistons and other parts work at the same time. If this belt should get worn or break, this can cause severe damage to the engine itself. Each car will have a recommended lifespan of the timing belt; you need to ensure you have yours replaced in this time even if it seems to be in good repair. This will keep it from getting cracked or torn or even overly worn and eventually breaking, causing damage to the engine. 2. Tires Many car owners think that as long as the tires look like they’re in good condition and none of them are flat or soft, then they must be okay for driving. In truth, your tires can wear down without you being able to notice this, or the tires might be poorly aligned. In turn, this can cause uneven wear on the tires themselves and cause your car to pull or... read more

About Me

As an auto service technician, I see many people coming in with their cars late for scheduled services. While it’s not ideal, I know how life can get in the way. On this blog, I have some of the ideas and tips that can help keep your car operating in prime condition between services, especially if you drive your car particularly hard. It’s important to make sure that your car is safe for you and your passengers to ride in, every time you get into it. Keep reading my blog for ideas on what you can do at home to maintain your car.