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Posts Tagged ‘car repair 53027’

BELTS AND HOSES: What affects them and resulting symptoms

What are they?
You car’s belts and hoses are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems, and the engine. Don’t take these routine replacement intervals for granted because they can break down and leave you stranded.

What do they do?

The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft mechanically synchronized to maintain engine timing. Whether serpentine, V-belt or fan belt (the belts on the outside of the engine), they all transmit power from the front of the engine to accessories that need to be driven, such as the air conditioning, the charging system and fans. Radiator and heater hoses carry coolant to and from the engine, radiator and heater core.

Typical Wear and Tear
Key items that affect the replacement interval for belts and hoses:

  • Vehicle age
  • Electrolytic corrosion
  • Mileage
  • Oil contamination
  • Belt tension
  • Failed hose clamps

Symptoms

  • Squeaking noise from under the hood during start-up or operation
  • Coolant leaks
  • Dashboard light will illuminate
  • A/C System may fail
  • Engine overheating
  • Smell of burnt rubber

FUEL SYSTEM: What affects it and the resulting issues

You car’s fuel system works with the rest of the engine control system to deliver the best performance with the lowest emissions. Check your car’s fuel system regularly or immediately if you smell gas or suspect a problem.

The fuel system transfers fuel from the fuel tank and passes it through a fuel filter for straining before it arrives at the injectors. A pressure regulator controls fuel pressure to ensure good engine performance under a variety of speed and load conditions. Fuel injectors, when activated, spray a metered amount of fuel into the engine. Some vehicles use a return line system to return unused fuel back to the tank.

Typical Wear and Tear
Intervals for fuel system maintenance may be influenced by:

  • Fuel quality
  • Vehicle age
  • Mileage/time
  • Operating conditions
  • Maintenance history

Symptoms

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Vehicle won’t start
  • “Check Engine” light is illuminated

TRANSMISSION: What affects it and the resulting issues

The transmission works with the engine to provide power to you car’s wheels. Whether automatic or manual, the transmission plays a major role in the overall performance of your car. Make sure to check it at the first sign of problems.

A transmission/transaxle keeps the engine’s output optimally matched to the speed and load conditions. The torque converter, connected to the automatic transmission/transaxle input shaft, connects, multiplies and interrupts the flow of engine torque into the transmission. Universal and/or Constant Velocity (CV) joints connect to the driveshaft to transmit output power from the transmission to the rear axle on rear-wheel-drive cars and the front axle on front-wheel-drive cars. These joints also allow the driveshaft and/or CV shaft to work at an angle. The several different types of automatic transmission fluid serve multiple purposes: cleans, cools, lubricates, transmits force, transmits pressure, inhibits varnish buildup and continually protects the transmission.

Typical Wear and Tear
Wear and tear on the transmission can be influenced by:

  • Driving habits
  • Towing or excessive loads
  • Operating conditions
  • Condition of the transmission fluid
  • Frequency of regular maintenance

Symptoms

  • Slipping
  • Hesitation
  • Bucking
  • Grinding gears
  • Difficulty shifting

FILTERS: What affects them and the resulting symptoms

Your car’s filters are important to the longevity of your car and interior comfort. Maximize your car investment by replacing filters regularly.

The oil filter traps contaminants, allowing the oil to flow through the engine unrestricted. The fuel filter separates harmful contaminants that may cause problems with carburetors or intricate fuel injectors. The air filter traps dirt particles, which can cause damage to engine cylinders, walls, pistons and piston rings. The air filter also plays a role in keeping contaminants off the airflow sensor (in fuel-injected cars). The cabin filter helps trap pollen, bacteria and dust that may find their way into a car’s ventilation system. Many people don’t realize they have this filter.

Typical Wear and Tear
Filters are normal wear items that require regular checks and replacement. Factors that affect replacement intervals include:

  • Mileage
  • Driving habits
  • Driving and road conditions
  • Type of filter
  • Vehicle type

Symptoms

  • Poor gas mileage
  • Hesitation while accelerating
  • Musty odor in the cabin

ENGINE COOLING SYSTEM: What affects it and the resulting symptoms

What is it?
The engine cooling system affects your car’s overall dependability and engine longevity. Cooling systems have declined over the years with new coolant formulations and new radiator designs and materials. If you suspect a problem with your cooling system, you should check it immediately.

What does it do?
The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate heat to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.

Typical Wear and Tear
Factors that affect the replacement of cooling system parts include:

  • Driving habits
  • Operating conditions
  • Type of vehicle
  • Type of coolant
  • Frequency of regular maintenance such as coolant changes

Symptoms:

  • Overheating
  • Sweet smell
  • Leaks
  • Repeatedly need to add fluid

EMISSION SYSTEM: What affects it and resulting symptoms

What is it?
Your car’s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in all sorts of operating conditions. A steady or flashing warning light on your vehicle dashboard indicates a problem that is currently happening and may require immediate attention. Failure to do so can reduce your gas mileage or cause your vehicle to pollute.

Your car’s emission system controls the emissions, exhaust and pollutants (including gasoline vapors escaping from the fuel tank), using an array of sensors, computerized engine controls and the exhaust components. The emission system substantially reduces harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and, by law, must be maintained in operating condition.

Typical Wear and Tear
Some factors affecting the emission system include:

  • Driving and atmospheric conditions
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle age
  • Type of spark plug electrode material
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Poor quality fuel
  • Damaged or worn sensors
  • Dry-rotted or cracked vacuum hoses

BRAKE SYSTEM: What affects it and resulting symptoms

What is it?
Your car’s brake system is its most critical safety system and you should check it immediately if you suspect any problems. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation under a wide variety of conditions.

What does it do?
When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (drum brakes) and the pads against the rotors (disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the amount of force applied at the brake pedal.

Typical Wear and Tear
Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need replacement. Avoid letting your brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which usually means rotor or drum replacement. Factors that affect wear include driving habits and quality of brake pads and shoes.

Symptoms

  • Car pulls to one side during braking
  • Pulsating brake pedal or steering wheel shake
  • Brake pedal feels “mushy”
  • Unusual noise when you step on the brake pedal
  • Repeatedly need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder
  • Brake fluid sprayed onto outside of wheel
  • Unusual odor or noise

The Cost-Saving Importance of Proper Fluid Flushes

Many people don’t realize the importance of the fluid flush for their vehicle. Proper fluid flushes save car owners thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle. Flushes prevent rust build-up inside the lines that transport the fluid. The master cylinder can fail and brake calipers and wheel cylinders can stick. Flushes also limit hose fatigue. These types of issues can happen with all your fluids, including: power steering, differential, clutch and transmission. Flushes can even prevent costly transmission replacement.

Unfortunately, we have found that not all repair shops are providing proper fluid flushes. The industry has referred to these as “drain and fills”. A proper flush is different than a drain and fill in a number of ways. A proper flush is done at regular intervals based upon climate and amount and type of miles driven. It includes cleaning out areas that trap the fluid, like a brake or clutch reservoir. It doesn’t make sense to leave the dirt in these areas and put new fluid in. The fluid will simply become contaminated with the next start-up.

An example to further demonstrate the difference follows. Draining and filling a cooling system requires draining a radiator of it’s fluid. What comes out is about 50% of the system’s capacity. This requires a technician to replace what came out, again 50% of the fluid. Now, you have 50% contaminated fluid and 50% new fluid. What will happen to the new fluid? The new fluid mixes with the old and is contaminated. So, you paid for a service and you still have dirty fluid in your system. The proper way is to flush the system thoroughly with water. This will remove all fluid from the engine, heater core, radiator, water pump and hoses. When the new fluid is added, it is clean and remains so. We do not recommend long-life coolant in any vehicle. It is toxic to the system.

Here at MARS Mobile Auto Repair Service, we always take the additional time to complete a proper fluid flush. A small amount of preventive maintenance through regular fluid flushes can save you a great deal of money down the road.

Friday Funny – Very Muddy…

A motorist, after being bogged down on a muddy road, paid a passing farmer twenty bucks to pull him out with his tractor. Afterward, he said to the farmer, “At those prices, I should think you would be pulling people out of the mud night and day.”

“Can’t,” replied the farmer. “At night I haul water for the hole.”

Friday Funny

Jill’s car was old and unreliable and she called John for a ride every time it broke down. One day John got yet another one of those calls.

“What happened this time?” he asked.

“My brakes went out,” Jill said. “Can you come to get me?”

“Yeah, all right, where are you?” John asked.

“I’m in the drugstore,” Jill responded.

“Okay, and where’s the car?” John asked.

Jill replied, “It’s in here with me.”

 

Courtesy of http://www.inspirational-quotes-short-funny-stuff.com.

Friday Funny

Me: *on the phone with my mechanic* “Do you do body work?”

Mechanic: “I’m afraid not.”

Me: “Could you recommend someone?”

Mechanic: “Recommended?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mechanic: “Okay.” *long pause*

Me: “So, do you know anyone?”

Mechanic: “Recommended?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mechanic: “They’re out on Highway 41.”

Me: “Who?”

Mechanic: “Recommended?”

(We go back and forth until he finally spells it for me: Wreck-a-mended.)

  • courtesy of notalwaysright.com

Your Winter Vehicle Safety Kit – a must for WI Drivers

Keeping your car well-maintained will limit your exposure to cold weather trouble, but it won’t hurt to have a safety kit in your car or truck.

Car Survival Kit

            Everyone should carry a Winter Survival Kit in their car. In an emergency, it could save your life and the lives of your passengers.Here is what you need:

  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter

        Kit tips:

  • Reverse batteries in flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout.
  • Store items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.
  • Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.

 

        911 tips:

  • If possible, call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you’re experiencing.
  • Follow instructions: you may be told to stay where you are until help arrives.
  • Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
  • If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.

        Survival tips:

  • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
  • If stuck: Tie a florescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times.
  • Stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
  • Don’t expect to be comfortable: You want to survive until you’re found.

 

This is an excerpt from http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/winter/HowToMakeAKit.asp