Check out http://bernieautocentre.napasa.ca/#!car-full for all of your car repair and knowledge needs!
En français, visitez http://bernieac.napasa.ca/ pour tous vos besoins en matière de réparation de voiture et de connaissances!
Vehicles are extremely complicated machines, and any number of parts can malfunction. In a society that relies so heavily on their vehicles for work and recreation, an unexpected breakdown can spell disaster. However, increasing numbers of car owners are neglecting routine maintenance and ignoring the common signs of a need for engine repair that could leave them stranded and with huge repair bills.
Getting the most out of your vehicle means keeping it in the best shape possible, and that requires knowing and acting on important warning signs that your vehicle needs engine repair or maintenance. If you want to avoid the inconvenience of a breakdown, take your vehicle in to your auto repair shop when you notice any of these signs of engine problems.
That pesky “check engine” light is hard to miss, but many people do not take it as seriously as they should, especially if the light is not identifying a specific problem. Warning lights are connected to a sensitive computer with sensors monitoring important engine processes. Warning lights can signify problems that range form the relatively minor to very serious, and ignoring the light will only lead to greater problems.
2. Tapping, Clicking, Clunking Sounds
If your engine starts making loud and unfamiliar noises, it could be a sign of significant engine problems. Clunking sounds may indicate loose or broken parts, popping noises might signify premature detonation of fuel in the combustion chamber, and grinding might mean transmission trouble, for example. When you hear strange noises, it’s always best to let your repair shop track down the problem as soon as possible.
3. Jerking, Surging, Stalling
Driving should be smooth and free of lurching and stalling. If your vehicle is responding strangely, it’s a pretty strong sign that you have engine problems. Whether it’s due to clogged fuel lines, fouled spark plugs or any of a number of other problems, ignoring the issue can put you in the danger zone.
4. Bad or Unusual Smells
All vehicles emit smells, but when the smells are unusual or make it into the passenger compartment, it’s an important sign you need some sort of engine repair. Sometimes it might be something as minor as worn or loose belts. Other times it could be exhaust that contains dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. Don’t take any chances and get your vehicle checked out by a technician immediately.
Even if you believe your engine is in relatively good shape, ignoring these signs of problems can lead to even more costly engine repairs. Have your automotive shop take a look and keep your car fit for the road.
When you take your car in to the auto shop for servicing, you have every reason to expect to be treated with honesty and integrity. However, it’s pretty hard to know when you are lied to, over charged, or taken advantage of, when automotive care is not your expertise. So how do you know when you are getting honest auto repairs? It all boils down to the details.
What You Should Expect With Routine Maintenance
Taking your car into the auto shop for routine maintenance is always a good idea. It prolongs the car’s useful life, prevents larger repair bills, and it prevents you from having to deal with unexpected problems and expenses, or wondering whether or not you really need this repair. When you take your vehicle into the auto shop, the technician should tell you what services will be performed, how long it will take, and the cost. Honest auto shops want you to know these details and strive to perform the work as described.
What About Repairs?
Routine maintenance will extend the life of the vehicle, but like any other machine, eventually parts will fail and you will need repairs. An honest auto shop will provide a diagnosis of the problem, a description of the parts or services necessary to fix the problem, and an estimate of the time and cost. They shouldn’t start work without your authorization, and shouldn’t do anything outside of the scope of the agreement without your consent. Auto shops that deal with integrity will not have any problem being upfront and transparent in their dealings with you, and would be willing to show you broken and replaced parts, for example.
What About Additional Work?
When you bring your vehicle in for work, it’s not unusual to expect the technician to find additional problems. After all, the parts all work together to perform a task, so if one is broken or malfunctioning it will likely cause stress on another. Your repair technician should tell you what needs to be done, and it’s urgency. Some repairs might need to be done as part of regular maintenance and could be delayed, others might need immediate attention.
Bringing up needed repairs isn’t necessarily a sign that a repair shop is somehow dishonest. In fact, it may be just the opposite! A technician may bring up a needed repair because they have the necessary area accessible and a repair now can save you on labor. Another reason they may bring up needed repairs is that not having some things fixed could lead to unsafe driving conditions and they may be required to tell you of the danger. Other times, they may suggest repairs that could be of benefit to you such as ones that would provide better gas mileage or a smoother and safer ride.
In most cases, a shop will demonstrate honesty and integrity through their willingness to communicate and provide documentation about the work. It also takes a certain amount of trust from the vehicle owner, understanding the process and why a technician would make a recommendation.
Having the correct tire pressure is an important part of regular maintenance of your car, and it’s also a necessity for being a good driver. The amount of air pressure in your tires has an immediate effect on the quality of your driving, especially when braking and turning. Aside from these concerns, seasonal temperature changes can also effect the performance of your tires, and the overall pressure within them.
Let’s start with the basics, of tire pressure.
Like most maintenance suggestions and requirements, always check the user manual and manufacturer’s schedule for when to have certain repairs and what is required. Your car’s user manual and maintenance handbook will also tell you the exact psi requirements for your tires, and you can also find this information on the tires themselves.
Always check the psi in your tires regularly, during scheduled maintenance and tune-ups (your mechanic should always do this for you), and it’s a good idea to go it before going on long car trips too. If your tires are under-inflated, or have a low psi, this can create unnecessary drag on the car and can cause decreased fuel efficiency.
How does weather affect my tires?
When the seasons change and temperatures begin to rise and fall, so does the air pressure in your tires. Because air that is colder contracts, the air pressure inside your tires falls and the tire may become under inflated. In the summer, the reverse is true. When air starts to get warmer, the volume of the air expands, so for air trapped inside the tires, it begins to expand and increases the overall pressure and potentially causing the tire to become over inflated.
In extreme cases, this can damage the tires and cars if not taken care of. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your tires and check the pressure when the temperature starts to rise and fall dramatically like in summer and winter.
Winter tires, tires designed especially to deal with winter weather precipitation like snow and ice, may have their own specific psi requirements that differ from the average tire. Be sure to check these when getting new winter tires, and check regularly to make sure that the correct psi is maintained throughout the season to deal with fluctuating weather and temperatures. This is especially important when driving in adverse weather conditions, so you always want to make sure you are fully prepared to drive in anything!
Having trouble with your tires? Feel free to stop by Cochrane Automotive to talk to a mechanic about your car’s tires and get everything checked out!
Knowing when to take your vehicle into the auto shop for struts and shocks repair can be kind of tricky. The damping characteristics of shocks and struts diminish slowly over time, making it difficult to detect a problem. Usually when a driver notices that there is a problem, it’s well past the time of needing replacement.
Shocks and (or) struts are part of your vehicle’s suspension system. Not all vehicles have both shocks and struts; some only have one or the other. Each aid in the vehicle’s stability and handling. There’s no strictly set time for shock and strut replacement as part of it depends on driving conditions such as how you drive and the condition of the roads. Some need replacement at 30,000 miles, and others can go as long as 60,000 miles. There are however some good indications that it’s time to get in to the auto shop and have them looked at by service technician.
Signs that it’s Time to Replace or Repair Struts
Shocks and struts are responsible for keeping you on the road, so you’ll want to know the signs of wear. If you notice any of theses signs, it’s important to take your vehicle into the automotive repair shop to ensure that it’s working safely and properly.
Finally, it’s important not to ignore the warning signs. The shocks and struts make your vehicle manageable to drive and interact with other systems such as steering and alignment. Neglecting them can lead to the need for additional future repairs, adding to repair costs. Driving on worn shocks and struts can make the vehicle difficult to drive which could lead to unsafe driving conditions. Replacing shocks and struts regularly can keep your vehicle performing optimally and help extend it’s life expectancy.