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Winter Maintenance Your Car Needs to Prevent Costly Damage and Time in the Shop

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winter Maintenance Your Car Needs to Prevent Costly Damage and Time in the Shop

Winter months bring harsh, cold temperatures, which cause a lot of damage to cars that are not prepared. You may think you have anti-freeze and have done all the required maintenance, but there are some things that you should double check; Is your anti-freeze protecting your car during the coldest days? Will your car benefit from having thinner oil and lubricants? It is better to be safe and have your car checked for these issues. Here are some of the winter maintenance that will ensure your car makes it through another winter without costly repairs: 1. Different Types of Anti-Freeze for The Coldest Weather Conditions The anti-freeze in your car prevents that coolant from freezing and cracking the engine block. Most cars only need a standard coolant. In northern areas where temperatures drop well below freezing, you may need to install an anti-freeze that protects at lower temperatures. If you are not sure what anti-freeze you have, have the cooling system flushed and new liquid added to be sure. 2. Lighter Oil and Lubricants to Help with Cold Weather Conditions The lubricants in your car, such as oil and transmission fluid, are also subject to freezing. Heavier lubricants will become a jelly like substance in extreme cold. Cold lubricants cause problems with starting your car and the performance of the engine. During the winter months, you may want to have the oil and other lubricants changed for liquids that are designed for cold weather driving. Changing the fluids will ensure you do not have any trouble starting your car on a cold winter morning. 3. Tire Care and Winter Treads for The Worst Cold Weather Driving Conditions The tires of your car are also important for any winter weather driving. Poor treads on tires cause hydroplaning and loss of control in snow and ice. Today, there are special tires with winter treads that a tire store, such as XL Auto Service & Tires, can install for you, which will give you better handling in winter weather. In addition, as temperatures change, make sure you check your tire pressure regularly to ensure that it is correct for the type of tires you have and the weather conditions you are driving in. Your questions about winter maintenance and car care will be answered when you take your car into the shop. Contact a tire store to help you find the right tires for safe driving during winter weather...

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When Trucks Run Hot: How You Can Stay Cool

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Trucks Run Hot: How You Can Stay Cool

A transmission that runs hot in your commercial truck is a problem. When it causes excess heat to build up inside the cab and the air conditioning does not work either, that is an even bigger problem. Here is how (and why) truck transmission repair in conjunction with air conditioning repair can cool your truck down to a safer, better temperature for both you and the truck. Transmission Running Hot If the transmission is running hot, it usually means that the gears in more than one position have ground down and are now clunking and slipping. You have to use more force or “jimmy” the gear stick so that you can get the truck moving, get it to slow down or get it to stop. The transmission will also have several noticeable leaks and eat through gallons of transmission fluid. If you forget to put more transmission fluid in and there is a major leak, the transmission will run so hot that it will get stuck and send a lot of heat and unpleasant smells into the cab. Fires are possible, so it is important to get this fixed as soon as possible. Cooling the Cab and Engine  Once you fix all of the problems with your truck’s transmission, it will not run hot or grind, slip, and stick. The truck will move as it should, and the temperature inside the cab of your truck will drop somewhat. This also helps the engine keep cool, since you are not gunning it to get the truck to work against a malfunctioning transmission anymore. However, a lot of that is easily reversed if your air conditioning is not working either. When you have your transmission repaired, have the air conditioning checked and repaired too. Then your cab will be very cool and comfortable, and your transmission and engine will be too. Auto Service for Hot Trucks While it may be an inconvenience and an expense you do not want to address immediately, fixing the transmission and the air conditioning obviously has some very good benefits to both you and the truck. Do not wait too long to have these systems repaired. There are plenty of auto service technicians near you who can even take appointments to have your commercial truck inspected and repaired so that you can work around your schedule and not miss work. The alternative–overheated truck and cab exploding or suffocating you from the heat and smells–is not something you want to deal with in the middle of a work...

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How You Can Clean The Mass Airflow Sensor On Your 2003 Nissan Altima

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How You Can Clean The Mass Airflow Sensor On Your 2003 Nissan Altima

A good sign that your mass airflow sensor unit is getting dirty is that your car will start to hesitate when you press down on the gas pedal. There can be other reasons why your car is running rough, so you should take your car to an auto parts shop to have it checked. An auto parts store will usually test your car with a diagnostic scan tool to find the problem. A reading of P0171 on the scanner means the engine is running “lean” and it is also an indication that the mass airflow sensor needs to be cleaned. Here is how you can clean the mass air flow sensor on your 2003 Nissan Altima in an afternoon. Location of Mass Air Flow Sensor The mass air flow sensor slides into the duct work coming from the air filter to the fuel injection system. The air filter is located in the engine compartment near the bottom of the windshield. The duct work starts at the air filter and goes to the left toward the engine block. Where the ductwork begins is a part with electrical wires running to it. This is the mass airflow sensor. Removing the Sensor You should disconnect the cables running to your battery before you proceed to eliminate the chance you short out the sensor as you are removing it. Now, pull the electrical harness out from the top of the sensor to disconnect the wires running to it. There are a couple of small bolts holding the sensor bracket the duct work. Remove the bolts and take out the sensor. Cleaning the Sensor You should lightly tap the sensor to loosen and knock out any material that might be stuck in the opening on the sensor to measure air flow. Sometimes little particles that get sucked into the air flow system will get stuck in the opening in the sensor. You want to get a can of mass airflow cleaner to thoroughly clean the sensor.  A mass airflow cleaner is specially formulated to remove the debris from the sensor heads, which capture the signals that are sent to the computer without causing them harm. Spray a liberal amount of cleaner on the sensor and allow it to air dry. Installing the Sensor After the sensor has dried, slip back into the slot on the air duct and bolt it back in place. Reattach the wire harness and the cables to the battery. You are now ready to start the car to make sure it is working better. For professional help, contact a service like Leo’s...

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Four Maintenance Tips For Your European Vehicle

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Maintenance Tips For Your European Vehicle

European models are highly-praised because of their superior detail and luxury, as well as their high-quality craftsmanship under the hood. Keeping these benefits in your vehicle begins with proper maintenance; here are a few tips to get you started. Belts Make it a habit to have all belts inspected on a regular basis. Whether it’s a belt that aides the power-steering pump or the belt that helps power the alternator, a belt that is worn can keep a vehicle from functioning properly. Recognizing that a belt is worn before it fails can save a great deal of stress and money. Request that your belts be inspected with each oil change to stay on top of this concern. Leaks If you park your vehicle in the same spot every day, such as the driveway or garage, make sure you are checking under the vehicle for any signs of a leak. Should you notice any fluid, being able to recognize the fluid can help you better determine what type of repair is necessary. A green fluid is generally antifreeze, brown fluid can be brake fluid or engine oil, and a pink or red fluid is generally transmission fluid. If you recognize a leak, have the vehicle serviced promptly. Brake Fluid Poorly maintained brake fluid leads to a reduction in braking power and an elevated risk for brake system damage. Check the condition of your brake fluid routinely. Brake fluid should be brown. Black fluid is an indication that it is very old and that it needs to be changed immediately. Fluid that is light brown is often a sign of condensation buildup within the master cylinder. This is also an urgent matter as condensation can cause wheel cylinder damage.   Battery Batteries are designed to last a considerable length of time; however, this is only the case with proper care. Inspect the condition of your battery once a month to look for white spots. These white deposits are the result of acid from inside the battery leaking out and coming in contact with the air. If left unaddressed, it can corrode the clamps and wires and eventually cause the battery to fail. If you notice this buildup, pouring a small amount of hot water over the area will generally help. Taking your vehicle to a technician that is certified to maintenance European models is critical. From design to mechanisms, the inner workings of European vehicles are different from American made models. Only rely on professionals that are well-versed on the inner workings of your...

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How To Add Fluids To Your Vehicle

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Add Fluids To Your Vehicle

It’s always a good idea to check your fluid levels before embarking on a summer adventure. However, you must follow certain guidelines before adding any fluids where levels are low, or you may do more harm than good. The first thing you need to do is buy a funnel. Even if you have the steadiest hand in the West, a moderate wind will blow fluids all over the engine area of your vehicle as you attempt to pour them into narrow fluid fill tubes. Checking and adding engine oil You must check your oil with your vehicle on level ground to get an accurate reading. Wait at least ten minutes after driving because the oil will heat and expand when driving, and the oil level will appear higher. The oil dipstick is near the front of the vehicle. Pull it out and wipe it clean, then reinsert it and remove it to check the level. Oil should cover the dipstick up to a point between the lower “add” line and the upper “full” line. If the level is at or below the “add” line. add one quart of the type of oil that is recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle, not a cheaper, substandard oil. You will add the oil by removing the metal cap atop the engine. Do yourself a favor and use the funnel. Spilled oil smells terrible, and you will smell it for many miles before the smell dissipates. Don’t forget to replace the cap and tighten it securely. Check the level again to ensure that the level is between the two lines. Coolant Hot and humid weather can put a strain on the vehicle’s cooling system. This is especially true when the air conditioning is used continuously on long trips. Coolant will heat and expand to the point where it flows out of the overflow tank that is designed for this purpose. The overflow tank is a transparent plastic container that is connected to the radiator to compensate for the expansion and reduction of the coolant level as it heats and cools. Coolant level is determined by examining the side of the overflow tank. The optimal level should be a midway point between the “low” and ‘full” lines on the tank. This allows for expansion of the coolant without an overflow and spill. Overfilling should be avoided for environmental and safety concerns. Spilled coolant is poisonous to pets and small children, and its initial sweet smell and taste are tempting for them. When adding coolant, you must use the grade of coolant that is suggested by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Cheaper coolants may not meet the vehicle’s needs and result in overheating and a breakdown on the road. Windshield washer fluid While not an essential fluid for operating a vehicle, washer fluid is a blessing when traveling near the ocean and encountering swarms of insects. You will find the fill tube for washer fluid at the far left corner on most vehicles. It will have a large cap with a picture of windshield wipers stamped on top.  Add washer fluid slowly until it reaches the top of the fill tube. Brake fluid Your brake fluid is stored in a clear plastic container near the back of the engine compartment. There are “add” and “fill”...

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Exposing A Couple Of Myths About Common Summertime Car Problems

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Exposing A Couple Of Myths About Common Summertime Car Problems

The summer months can pose an assortment of risks and problems for your car. Unfortunately, it can be common for car owners to be under the impression that a couple of fairly common misconceptions are true. Learning the realities behind these notions will help you to keep your car safe from some of the more common summertime problems. Myth: It Is Always Extremely Expensive To Repair A Car’s Air Conditioning System Without a functioning air conditioner, it can be possible for the temperature inside your car to quickly reach dangerous levels. Even with the windows down, you may still find it extremely unpleasant to be in the car for long periods of time. Unfortunately, many people may fail to have air conditioner problems addressed because they assume that they can not afford it. While it is true that some air conditioner repairs can be extremely expensive, many issues are caused by simple problems that can be very affordable to repair. For example, it can be common for an air conditioner to develop a leak, which will let the refrigerant drain out. This problem can quickly cause your air conditioner to fail, but it may be able to be repaired by simply replacing the damaged hose and adding more refrigerant. Luckily, there are many mechanics that will offer free inspections to help you determine the severity of the problem before committing to paying for repairs. Myth: It Is Not Serious If A Car Overheats On A Hot Day An overheating car can be a fairly common problem for individuals to encounter. Unfortunately, the source of this issue can be attributed to a wide range of causes, which means that you will need to have the vehicle professionally serviced to determine the cause of the overheating. Sadly, some people will make the mistake of failing to have this problem address in a timely manner because it may not seem like a particularly serious problem at first. However, the overheating will greatly increase the wear and tear that the engine. If the overheating is allowed to continue, it can cause seals to rupture and components to melt. Due to these reasons, you should never delay having your engine repaired because you may accidentally cause catastrophic damage to your car. Unfortunately, the hot summers can pose unique threats to your car. By being informed about the facts that auto air conditioner repairs do not have to be prohibitively expensive and that overheating is always a serious threat to your car, you will be in a much better position to address these routine automobile issues.  For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Vince’s Auto...

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How A Mechanic Can Change An Air Conditioner Compressor In The Average Vehicle

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How A Mechanic Can Change An Air Conditioner Compressor In The Average Vehicle

Pretty soon the weather will be warming up and it’ll be time to turn on the air conditioner in your car again to keep cool. However, now is the time to get your air conditioning system checked by your local mechanic to make sure everything is in working order. One item that can freeze up after sitting unused for a little while is the compressor for the air conditioner. If the compressor is faulty, the best thing to do is to have the mechanic put in a new one. Here is how a mechanic can change the compressor for the air conditioner in your car. Remove Old Refrigerant The first thing the mechanic will do is remove the old refrigerant. Air conditioner refrigerant is considered a pollutant and needs to be placed into a container versus releasing it into the air. The mechanic will use a refrigerant recovery machine to remove the old refrigerant. The machine is connected to the low-pressure hose on the air conditioner so it can draw the refrigerant into the machine. The old refrigerant is then either taken to a refrigerant recycling center or dumped at a certified dumping facility. Removing the Compressor The mechanic will then remove the fan belt from the pulley on the compressor. In some cases, other parts such as the power steering pump might be in the way. The mechanic will remove those parts as well. The refrigerant lines will have to be removed from the top of the compressor. These lines are usually held in place with a single bolt. The electric wire harness going to the compressor is also disconnected from the compressor. The compressor is connected to the engine block with several bolts. The mechanic will remove the bolts and pull out the old compressor from your car. Installing A New Compressor A new compressor will usually come without any oil inside of it. The mechanic will have to put oil in the compressor to keep friction from building up in the unit and overheating the compressor while in use. In some cases, the new compressor will not have a top for the hose connections already installed. The mechanic should be able to take the top off of your old compressor and put it on the new one without any problems. The mechanic will bolt the new compressor back onto the engine block and reconnect the hoses and electric wire harness. A vacuum pump is connected to the low-pressure hose and allowed to run for an hour or so. The vacuum pump removes any moisture that has gotten into the air conditioning system. Moisture will prevent the air conditioning system from working as well as it should and it could eventually damage the compressor. The mechanic will place the fan belt back over the pulley on the new compressor. The last step is adding new refrigerant to the air conditioning system. Your car should blow cool air again once the new refrigerant is added to the system. Contact a business, such as Modern Auto Air, for more information about getting your air conditioner fixed....

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3 Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

If you are trying to start your car, but can’t seem to get it going, there could be a number of reasons why. Troubleshooting can be a long and expensive process, so it’s best to rule out the most common starting issues first. #1: The Car Battery The most common reason for a car not starting is a dead battery. If the battery is out of juice, you will be able to tell immediately. When you insert your key into the vehicle’s ignition, the interior lights should dim or turn off altogether. If they aren’t working, the battery is most likely dead. If the weather has drastically cooled in your area, your battery is more likely to die. Always keep a set of jumper cables in your trunk, and check the weather ahead of time to be prepared. #2: Low Fluids A lack of gas can cause your vehicle not to start. If you are sure you have a full tank, your oil levels could be low. Low oil causes the vehicle to lock up. Always keep spare oil in your trunk in case you forget your monthly fluid check-up. Also, check your transmission fluid. It is extremely important that you have this fluid filled to the fill line, otherwise you could have to replace your transmission as well as the fluid in order to get your car to start. Be sure to check all other fluid levels in case any are low. The gas and oil levels are the most common reasons for a vehicle not starting, but there is a possibility it could be one of the other fluids. #3: Engine Area Failure Failure in the engine area could be the culprit behind your car refusing to start. This area is made up of numerous components, which makes it difficult to assess without professional help. It is possible that one of the car’s belts has worn and shredded in the engine area, which would stop your vehicle from starting. Easy to fix issues are usually visible to the naked eye. Look around the engine area. See if anything looks out of place and start troubleshooting. It is imperative to your safety to be sure you know what you are doing when attempting to troubleshoot and repair your car. If the problem isn’t obvious or you are unsure of how to repair the suspected issue, your best bet is to get your vehicle to a qualified mechanic like...

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Three Simple Tips To Keep Your Automatic Transmission In Tip-Top Shape

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Simple Tips To Keep Your Automatic Transmission In Tip-Top Shape

Many people don’t realize that in order to keep their car’s transmission working properly, the transmission needs to be properly maintained. If you don’t take care of your car’s automatic transmission, problems are more likely to arise. So, in order to avoid paying for auto transmission repair services more frequently than needed, check out these tips to help you keep your car’s transmission running in tip-top shape. Look for Leaks You should check the ground in your parking space on a regular basis to see if transmission fluid is leaking from your car. Transmission fluid is typically a thin, reddish liquid. However, if it’s almost time for your transmission fluid to be changed, it might appear to be light brown and thick. Power steering fluid leaks are often mistaken for transmission fluid leaks because the fluids are similar in appearance. However, power steering fluid leaks from the front of your car, while transmission fluid leaks from the middle of the car. If you notice a leak that you think could be transmission fluid, you should take your car to an auto transmission repair service shop as soon as possible. If the leak is caught soon enough, there’s a chance that the transmission could be repaired instead of replaced. Check the Transmission Fluid You should check your transmission fluid on a regular basis to make sure there is the right amount of fluid in the car and that the fluid isn’t worn down. Checking a vehicle’s transmission fluid level is similar to checking a car’s oil. However, the process isn’t the same for all vehicles, so you need to consult your owner’s manual to determine the right procedure for your car. There are two important details to look for in the owner’s manual: the location of the transmission fluid dipstick and whether you need the car to be on or off while you check the transmission fluid. If your car doesn’t have a transmission fluid dipstick — some newer models don’t — you will need to take the vehicle to a transmission repair shop to have the fluid checked. Once you determine where the transmission fluid dipstick is located and whether the car should be on or off you will: Make sure the vehicle is sitting on a flat surface. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it off, and put it back. Pull the dipstick out again to read the fluid level. The minimum and maximum level is marked on the dipstick. The fluid level should sit in between the two marks. You also need to check the color, thickness, and smell of the fluid. Allowing the fluid to drip from the dipstick onto a white cloth or paper towel makes the process easy. If the fluid looks brown, thick, or smells burnt, you need to take your vehicle to the transmission repair shop to have the transmission flushed. Have Your Transmission Flushed The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association claims that approximately 90 percent of automatic transmission failures result from the transmission overheating, which happens when the transmission fluid breaks down and is no longer lubricating the transmission properly. To avoid this, you should get your transmission flushed completely and the filter changed as indicated in your owner’s manual. Some manufacturers recommend that the transmission fluid be changed in automatic transmissions every...

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How To Make Sure You Hire The Best Mobile Mechanic

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Sure You Hire The Best Mobile Mechanic

If your car is failing to start up and you don’t want to worry about the added expense of a towing service just to get your car to a repair shop, then you may have considered hiring a mobile mechanic. However, if there are many mobile mechanics in your neighborhood and you don’t know who to hire, then you may want to consider doing the following: Hire a Licensed Mechanic: Hiring a mechanic who is licensed to legally provide you with service is critical as this can help prevent potential legal actions if something were to go wrong while your mechanic was on the job. For example, licensed businesses must meet requirements which means they likely have personal insurance coverage and business insurance. This helps you stay protected in case the mechanic gets injured on the job and attempts to put the blame on you as he or she can just utilize his or her own insurance coverage to receive the medical attention that is needed. So, rather than hire a mechanic who isn’t insured or legally allowed to provide you with services, be sure to hire a licensed mechanic who is properly insured.  Make sure They Are Certified: Certified mechanics are a must when thinking about hiring one to fix your car problems. Mechanics who are certified have done all the schooling and learning programs to obtain their certification, which means they have a great deal of experience and knowledge under their belt. So, by hiring a mechanic who is licensed, you can rest assured that the mechanic who is working on your vehicle knows exactly how to diagnose and repair your vehicle, so you can avoid further complications.  See Their Evaluation and Labor Charges: Many mobile mechanics will offer a free evaluation if you take on the job that they propose to you. This can save you a great deal of money, which is why looking for deals for evaluations is important. Not only do you want to check for free diagnostics, but you will also want to find a mechanic who offers the best labor rates in town. Also, because mobile mechanics likely don’t work for anyone, they are able to control their prices, which means you can influence their rates by doing some negotiating before accepting any job they propose to you.  Taking control of these tips when hiring a mobile mechanic can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands on your car repairs. Along with money-saving tips, these tips will also help you hire someone who is fully capable of providing your vehicle with high-quality repairs. This will ensure your repairs are done quickly, correctly, and at a reasonable rate so you can feel confident when you hire your mobile mechanic, such as from Professional Automotive, to fix your current car...

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