Tag: car

Indications of Car Engine Failure

Engine Stalling

When an engine stalls, this could mean a variety of problems. It could be a simply fix, such as replacing or charging the car battery; or it could be something more serious, like a failing engine. A one-time stall usually means a battery or fuel issue; but if you are experiencing frequent stalling, this could mean you need to repair your engine or replace it entirely.

Banging and Clinking Noises in the Engine Carriage

If you are hearing strange, and even loud, noises coming from the engine region of your vehicle, this is a sign of wear and tear. The diagnosis could be a number of things; from spark plugs to engine oil. Piston rings, the connector rod, crankshaft, valves, sump, cylinders, and more can all cause these strange noises to occur. It is important to have your car engine inspected every few thousand miles to make sure these engine components and more are all functional and in good condition.

Overheating

An engine in a car or truck can overheat for several reasons. A car or truck engine requires a specific supply of anti-freeze to help prevent an engine from overheating. It travels through all the engine components, keeping them cool while in drive-mode. To accurately determine what is causing the overheating to happen, identify when the car or truck is overheating. If it is overheating while driving at high speeds, it could mean the thermostat is broken, there’s a kink in the radiator hose, or other radiator problems. If your vehicle’s engine overheats at a standstill, the possibilities include an inoperative electric cooling fan, faulty AC sensors, bad head gaskets, bad radiator cap, and again, low coolant levels.

Domestic Car Repair

Research the domestic repair shop

It is always smart to research every domestic car repair shop that is on your list. It is your biggest arsenal against devious mechanics. A thorough and intensive check should be conducted through all avenues-the Internet, Better Business Bureau, word of mouth, etc. Verify whether it is an insurance approved accident repair centre or not; what is its reputation; are there any complaints or praises for its mechanics at sites like the Better Business Bureau etc. This research alone would go a long way in weaning out the bad ones.

Ask for recommendations

Nothing works better than the recommendation of a person who had actually availed the services of the car repair shop. With most of your friends, families, and neighbors owning a car, it is not too difficult to get the feedback about their vehicle repair shops. Next rank these recommendations based on how long they have trusted that shop with their car repairs. For example, if a shop is being used by a person for ten years, it is more credible than the shop used for just a couple of months.

Ask plenty of questions

Ensure that you paying a visit to the garage and having a word with the mechanic preferably on the face. If not feasible, speak over the phone. While talking with him, do not hesitate to ask plenty of questions. The questions can cover topics like the pricing, guarantees or warranties, the mechanic’s experience, any awards won by them, their way of handling customer complaints, etc. While at it, also enquire about the repair work that you require. Asking these questions will make it apparent to the mechanic that you are deeply involved with your car and you are not going to be an easy target to take advantage of. If you feel any hesitancy or lack cooperation from the mechanic, red flag the garage the move forward. The chances are that you would be the perfect bait for a swindle there.

Show an interest in your car

Try not to dump your car at the garage and move to the office. Staying with your car would force the mechanic to ask for your permission before going ahead with any unnecessary repair work than what was planned. Thus, it would also give you the opportunity to ask for a detailed explanation of the repair and the need for it. You can also inform beforehand about seeking permission before any extra repair work is executed. This would let the mechanic know that are quite alert to our car and mend his way early.

Gear Issues on an Automatic Car

Sometimes your car will leak fluid from the transmission. This might be one of the serious problems because if it doesn’t get sorted out you could have a problem shifting gears. Irregular shifting could destroy the gearbox because the incorrect gear could be engaged during the wrong speed. For example, if you are driving fast on a highway and your car changes to the first gear, you could break the teeth because it cannot handle that speed. The first gear is always bigger in diameter because of the force required to do the initial movement.

The transmission can also experience oil leakage. This fluid looks red. It comes from the filler tube base that is located between the engine and transmission, the drain hole, the selector shaft, or the radiator. No oil leakage is good as it means that there is a hole somewhere allowing air to move into the car. Oil is also the source of lubrication inside the engine and keeps the mechanisms cool.

The filter could get clogged at any time. The filter inside the car keeps the oil clean keeping any dust or particles out of the engine. Oil supplies the car with lubrication so that there is no friction. Friction is what causes overheating and worn out parts. If you are experiencing delayed shifting and oil leaking it is likely that the filter has been clogged. This filter also keeps the dust away from the gearbox whilst it shifts. If you experience delayed shifting it could mean that there is something blocking the system from making smooth motions.

Shifting gears incorrectly can be easily felt. It often sounds like the engine is groaning if it has gone up one gear too many. This will lead to a slow pulling motion which will not allow the car to move faster until it regains its speed again.

Automatic cars are tougher to fix when it comes to gearbox problems because these cars don’t have a manual clutch. However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible but never repair your car on your own if you are not sure what to do. A clutch and brake fitment centre should have the knowledge to fix the problem with ease.

Get Car Out of a Ditch

Ensure Your Safety

Even though you are on the side of the road, you are still vulnerable. So the very first task you have after driving into a ditch is ensuring your safety and the safety of your passengers if you have any. Do this by first by turning off your ignition and putting your hazard lights on. Next, you will need to also put your parking brake on to prevent sliding down further into the recession. If you are in a high-traffic area or on a dangerous roadway, you should contact police and inform them of your accident so they can help block traffic.

Adjust Your Car’s Weight

If your vehicle was not damaged, you might be able to drive it out of the ditch yourself. Do this by adjusting your vehicle’s weight. If you have heavy items in the backseat or trunk, get rid of them temporarily. This includes all passengers. Just be sure they are safe and far from the side of the road. A lighter load can help your car get out. Also be sure to remove your parking brake before trying to drive out. If you are stuck in snow or mud, you will actually need the extra weight to gain traction. This brings us to your next option.

Get Some Traction

Your car is stuck because it lacks a sufficient amount of traction to grab the ground and propel itself out. To remedy this problem, find some traction. If you have rear wheel drive, place something that will provide traction behind the rear tires. If you have front wheel drive, place these items in front of the front tires. Items that may work include carpet mats, sand, cardboard, clothing, and blankets.

Call the Professionals

It is pointless to try over and over again if your car is stuck. After a few attempts, if you are not successful, it is time to contact a local roadside assistance or towing company. They have the proper equipment to safely pull your car out of a ditch. They operate on a 24 hour basis, and can respond to your location quickly because they are dispatched from the road. Their rates are fair as long as you choose a reputable and experienced towing service.

DIY Car Radiator Flushing

Get Started With the Right Supplies

The first thing to do when it comes to flushing a car radiator is gather up all the necessary supplies and materials. It is never a fun situation to get halfway through your project, only to discover you are missing a key element. Going back to the store could pose a problem; especially if the radiator has already been drained. Ideal provisions for radiator flushing includes a funnel, cloth rag, coolant, radiator flush solution, Phillips screwdriver or wrench, separate container for old coolant, and extra rags for accidents and spills. When you have determined that all your supplies are in place, you can begin the process of flushing the radiator.

Here’s What To Do:

Before you remove the radiator cap, be sure the car engine is COMPLETELY cool; otherwise you run the risk of spilling hot coolant on yourself. And this really burns!

Next, flush the used coolant out of the radiator. Do this by locating the radiator drain plug. It is typically located at the bottom of the radiator. If you have trouble finding it, refer to your owners’ manual or look online for pictures and instructional videos. You can also contact a professional mechanic for over-the-phone assistance.

Once you find the drain plug, place the container for old coolant under the drain and open it up. Let the old coolant flow out for a few minutes; if it seems to be moving slow, check to see if the plug is all the way open.

When the radiator is empty, replace the drain plug and open the radiator cap.

Next, pour the flush cleaning solution inside. Fill the remaining space inside the radiator with room temperature water.

Now you are ready to replace the radiator cap; just be sure it is screwed on tight. It is possible for caps to fall off, which allows coolant to escape from the radiator.

Let the car engine run until it reaches its normal driving temperature. Then turn it off and let it cool completely.

Once the car engine is cool again, you are ready to flush the solution from the radiator and add fresh clean coolant. Use the same emptying process as before.

Use a 50/50 solution of coolant and water to get optimal and safe results. You can find pre-mixed coolants at your local auto store. This is sometimes more convenient.

Makes Car Overheat and Avoid It

The most common reason why the car overheats is due to extreme heat conditions. Although, this is the most common factor to overheating, it isn’t the only one.

Cooling System Leaks – every engine must have a cooling system. It either has to be air-cooled or it has to use liquids in the cooling system. There may be a time where a leak might be present if a seal hasn’t been installed properly. The leak drops the pressure in the car making less liquid travel throughout the engine.

Block – a collection of debris in the engine is not uncommon but it isn’t normal. Debris could be made up of dust particles that have been collected. There could also be a thermostat that has not opened properly.

Failed Water Pump – this cause of overheating is one of the more common reasons. This car part assists the circulation of the coolant and maintains it. There could be an instance where the bearing could wear down and ultimately fail, stopping the coolant from circulating around the engine.

Coolant Problems – sometimes the coolant hasn’t been concentrated enough. This is usually a problem in the colder climates and cooler weather conditions. If the coolant gets too cold it will become thicker and more gel-like and block the pipes of the cooling system.

To avoid your car from packing up when it’s hot you need to switch the air conditioner off and open your windows at the first sign of overheating. You can turn the heater or blower on to transfer the heat into the car. It might be uncomfortable for you or any passengers you have in the car but your engine won’t give up when doing this.

You can let the car idle and rev it so that the water pump and fans can work faster to cool the engine down.

Repair Car Dents In Simple Ways

  • Just Paint It Up
    If the dent is nothing more than a simple flaking of paint or scratch on the surface, you can fix it just by a simple coat of paint. However, remember to use sandpaper to remove rust or paint scrapes before applying the prime and paint.
  • Use A Rubber Plunger
    If it’s a sizable ding with no crease in the middle, using a rubber plunger would be the best solution. It can pop back the steel surface if it hasn’t been creased badly. Place the plunger over the dent after moistening its rubber edges and pump a couple of times to establish a suction. Pull the plunger towards you. With a little force, a couple of tries will be sufficient to pull out the dent. The plunger method will work if the surface is large such a fender or door and made of metal
  • Try With A Hammer
    If it’s a small dent on a steel surface, try to repair it with a flat-ended rubber mallet. It is firm enough to fix a dent in a car but is less likely to leave any ugly marks on the surface. Wrap a flat metal piece with a piece of rag and place it directly on the dent. Now, use the mallet to bang the area from the underside.
  • Use a small hammer for a small ding and a big one for large car dent repair. Besides, be very careful about not to bang the surrounding area of the pitted part as it is likely to create a few more bumps.
  • Glazing Putty For Tiny Dings
    Glazing putty is an excellent option for filling up the places with chipped paint or tiny dimples. Apply it to the spot with a putty knife and then use primer and paint as the final touch ups. It’s very simple as you just have to follow the directions on the package.

Signs of Car Radiator Failure

Low Coolant

If you begin to notice that your coolant is always running low, or your “low coolant” light comes on, it may be due to a radiator leak. Although it can be tempting to simply refill and forget about it, it is important to put your schedule aside and have your radiator inspected by a professional mechanic. A radiator leak can be dangerous for many reasons, so it is necessary to repair them if one exists.

Coolant Leak

If you notice coolant on the ground beneath your vehicle, you have a coolant leak. Coolant leaks are caused by a leak in the radiator. Radiator fluid, known as coolant, flows through the engine and the radiator, so if it is dripping onto the ground, it is a sure sign that the radiator has a crack or opening somewhere. A professional auto repair shop can accurately locate radiator leaks with a specialized test using pressure and dyes.

Discolored Coolant

Radiator fluid should be yellow, red, or green at all times. However, when the cooling system begins to go bad, the fluid can start to turn to rusty or oily colors, such as black or brown. Overtime, this oily fluid turns into sludge inside the radiator, which prevents the coolant from flowing properly. When this happens, it slows performance and reduces efficiency. Unfortunately, a radiator will need to be replaced if sludge gets inside.

Overheating Engine

Since the radiator’s job is to regulate the temperatures produced inside an engine, it is no surprise that an overheating engine is a very common sign of radiator failure. If the engine overheats just one time, it could be due to something minor like being low on coolant. But if your engine is overheating regularly, it could be a more serious repair. The more times you allow your engine to overheat, the more damage is done to your vehicle. It is important to get them repaired as soon as possible before they can get worse.

Deal With an Overheating Car Engine

PULL OVER

When a car has just overheated, attempting to drive it further can risk harming the engine. You should never drive an overheating car because the engine (and other important inner components) can sustain irrevocable damages. It can also be dangerous to you and anyone in or around the vehicle. For instance, head gaskets can blow, engine parts can melt, and smoke can accumulate in large masses.

So the first thing to do when you notice that your car is over-heating, is pull over to a safe part of the road. It is recommended to try to pull into a neighborhood or parking lot if there is one there at the moment; otherwise, simply find a flat surface on the side of the road.

ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL

Once you have pulled over and turned the engine off, be sure to turn on your hazards to alert people of your position. This is especially important at night. Keep all car lights on in the evening if you are ever pulled over on the edge of a street. Many people make the mistake of opening their hoods right away and touching the radiator cap; this is a huge mistake! The car engine and radiator will be very hot and can cause second and third degree burns. Always allow your vehicle to cool off for at least fifteen minutes, depending on the amount of time spent driven prior to the break down. This way you can protect yourself from accidents and injury.

CHECK FOR FLUID LEAKS

When the vehicle has completely cooled, check around and underneath it for any signs of leaking. This could indicate a wide variety of issues, from a cracked radiator to a faulty radiator hose. If there is no sign of leakage, take a look at the oil. Remove the dipstick and concentrate on the color. If it is dark brown and sludgy-looking, this means the liquid coolant might be seeping into the engine. This can result from a blown head gasket or cracked engine block. Even if the oil looks normal, these damages may still be the underlying problem.

CONTACT A MECHANIC

The best thing to do in a situation like this is call a mechanic shop once you have the car pulled over. They are the professionals that can accurately diagnose the issue behind your overheating vehicle. When antifreeze and coolant aren’t the answer, trust a licensed auto repair technician to figure it out for you. Use a directory to contact a towing service that can transport your vehicle directly to the auto repair shop, and give you a ride there too, all in the same trip.

Consider When Buying Used Car Parts

Where to buy

Car parts are available to buy in many different ways. For instance, they can be purchased online, at a local breakers yard, or visiting a traditional car parts store.

One of the first things to do is a little research to get an idea of the likely price of the part. A simple way to get an idea of the price is to take a look at several online stores. Once the price is known, you can start visiting the local yards or stores to check on availability. If you visit a breakers yard, there are often plenty of opportunities to haggle for the best price. A great positive about buying something in person is the ability to inspect the part and make sure it is right for your specific needs.

Alternatively, there will be a need to be more cautious if you decide to shop online. There is never any guarantee that the picture of the part seen on-screen will actually be the part you receive in the post. If possible, it is worth giving the seller a call to find out the exact details of the part to make sure it will work with your car.

Also, it can be worth looking at online reviews of stores to help shortlist the best options and avoid wasting time visiting those that are below average.

Know the exact part

Make sure to find out the exact details of the part before starting the shopping process. If the part in need of repair is relatively small, you can take it with you to the store or breakers yard to minimize the risk of buying the wrong part.

Also, it is worth looking out for a copy or duplicate part. They are often low-quality and aren’t likely to last long once fitted to the car. Many of the copied parts are noticed because they aren’t made in the right material or often have minor issues such as a false logo.

Learn the history

It will certainly benefit to learn a little bit about the used car parts before buying. Ask about the part’s mileage and its age to make sure this is within an acceptable limit. Also, it is worth checking to see if the part is being sold as a refurbished part, a repaired part, or simply used as is. Any parts that have received attention before being sold are likely to last longer.