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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Info about Car Danger Signs

Even if you don’t have a mechanical mind and are happy to know where to put the petrol in and how to start the car, you can still add to your skill base by learning a few things that can help you diagnose the problem before it gets beyond control. This means you can play your part in reducing motor vehicle repair bills, and at the same time impress your auto mechanic!

Let’s have a look at a few warning signs that all may not be well with your motor vehicle.

  • The brake warning light. If your vehicle is fitted with the brake warning light you have the advantage of predicting brake problems before they occur. Quite simply, if the brake light comes on take it to your mechanic as soon as you can.
  • If you feel your brakes grabbing, that is, a feeling that the brake pad is catching and holding for too long, your brakes are in urgent need of repair.
  • If your brakes have a vibration that you feel through the pedal or there is a squealing noise coming from your wheels when you apply the brakes, take them to your auto mechanic for adjustment or repair.
  • If you are driving and apply your brakes and feel the pedal go straight to the floor, gently apply your handbrake to bring a vehicle to a stop and call your mechanic as soon as possible.
  • If your car pulls to the left or the right when you apply the brakes, they need to be adjusted urgently.
  • If your car makes a startling noise like a rifle shot from the exhaust you should visit your auto mechanic to have the fuel mixture checked.
  • If you feel a low-frequency booming noise and it feels like you are riding inside a metal drum, you need to have your driveshaft checked immediately.
  • If you hear a knocking or cracking sound coming from under the bonnet, you should stop your car immediately as you may have blown head gasket. You should call for your car to be towed to the mechanic immediately.
  • When the oil light continually flashes on your dashboard, it’s time for a quick visit to the service station.

Proper Maintenance and Car Repairs

Ignoring your car service usually doesn’t bring any immediate, dire consequences. This is the very reason that so many people simply skip their scheduled service. Yet over time, if you frequently do any of the following, you may be up for troubles like:

– Forgetting to change the oil can result in motor troubles and mean your engine needs to be rebuilt earlier
– Neglecting to keep your tires at the correct pressure can cost you more money in fuel. Under-inflated tires can sometimes overheat and explode.
– Not checking over your hoses can mean an immediate, sometimes dangerous problem when a cracked or worn hose bursts
– A worn timing belt can destroy your engine if it breaks – much better to find this at a car service than on the road
– If you don’t change your CV boots regularly, grit can enter the joint and cause much more expensive problems.

It is also worth noting that with certain driving styles, such as frequent cold starts, stop-start or city-style driving, making many short trips a week, often drive in dusty conditions or tow a trailer, it is more critical that your car gets its services on time, every time.

There is plenty of car maintenance you can do yourself, with a little guidance from your owner’s manual or a 5 minute question-session with your mechanic. Your DIY car service tasks might include:

– Checking your oil regularly and topping up with the correct grade of oil
– Checking your coolant regularly and topping up with the correct type of coolant
– Checking and topping up washer wiper fluid
– Replacing windscreen wiper blades
– Keeping tyres at correct pressure
– Ensure spare tyre is in good condition and correct pressure
– Rotating tires
– Check battery level
– Cleaning battery terminals
– Checking tail lights, brake lights and blinkers

However, it is often much more time-effective to have a qualified mechanic go over the car, with their specialized tools and efficient knowledge of the systems. Mobile mechanics are becoming much more affordable, meaning that you don’t even need to arrange taking your car into the shop to have your car service done – just book in a time when you will be at home for a few hours.

While there are plenty of car service and maintenance activities you can do yourself, some need an expert eye to be effective, and to maintain safety. Some you simply cannot do because they require specialized equipment. Activities like the following are best left to your mechanic:

– Balancing the tires and wheel alignment
– Replacing fuel and air filters
– Replacing the engine oil
– Servicing brakes
– Flush and refill brake fluid
– Flush and fill transmission fluid, and replacing filter
– Replacing/gapping sparkplugs
– Replacing diff fluid
– Flush and refill power steering fluid
– Fuel injection and fuel pump problems
– Computer, module or sensor problems

Pick a Good Auto Mechanic

1. Look For auto repair shops that display the ASE Certified logo. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. Having an ASE designation is just about important as having the letters “MD.” after your doctor’s name. Now don’t get me wrong, there are decent mechanics who aren’t ASE certified, but generally it’s too risky unless they have been referred by someone you trust. Another important industry designation to look for is NAPA Auto Care.

2. Ask Your Friends or Co-Workers Where They Take Their Vehicle. Word of mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold.

3. Shop for features and benefits of a shop. Just because a facility may charge a little more than others, might mean that they offer a longer warranty period, free emergency towing, courtesy shuttle service, or extended hours for convenience. Price is not always the best method of decision making.

4. Find Out the Details of Their Warranty. Most car repair shops offer an in house 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. Make sure you understand exactly what it covers and what it doesn’t cover. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, a reputable facility should have nothing to hide. Top repair facilities will have a nationwide warranty and an in house warranty that will cover more than just the 12 months/12,000 miles.

5. Most Good Mechanics Keep Their Work Area Organized And Clean. Their work area, tools, floor, etc should be reasonably clean. Now Don’t Forget that the auto repair business is not generally a super clean industry, but it still should be picked up and organized.

6. Research your Prospective Auto Repair Mechanic. You may find out that they have awards for years of customer satisfaction or many customer complaints. The local Better Business Bureau is a good source for this type of information. A short set of searches online will help you to find out quickly what positive and negatives your local auto repair mechanic is known for.

Changing Car’s Oil

The first thing you need to do is gather the necessary tools and supplies. You will need the following supplies: a new oil filter, 5 or 6 quarts of the recommended oil (check your manual), an oil filter wrench, a socket set, rags and an oil pan to catch the used oil. Now that you have gathered the supplies we can begin. The first step in the process is to warm the engine up. Take the car on a short drive around the block to get the engine warm, but not hot. Warm oil will drain better but hot oil can be dangerous. Now position the drain pan underneath the oil pans drain plug. Using a socket wrench loosen and remove the oil pan plug to allow the oil to drain freely. Be careful of hot oil and try not to drop the plug into the pan. After the oil has drained you will then remove the oil filter from the vehicle using an oil filter wrench. Set the old filter to the side and clean off the filters mounting surface with a clean rag. Next get the new filter and apply a thin coating of oil to the gasket. Attach it to the vehicle and tighten according to the directions on the package (usually hand tight). Finally reinstall the oil pan plug and fill the engine with the amount of oil specified by your manufacturer. That’s it, you are done. Now just clean up your mess and properly dispose of your used oil and filter.

If this sounds like more work than it is worth it might be. You should once again consider having your oil changed by a professional oil service. Good luck with whatever you decide