What Is Keeping Your Car From Starting?

What Is Keeping Your Car From Starting?

A Vehicle Owner’s Guide To Understanding Brake Calipers

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Brake calipers are the part of the brakes that connect the force on the brake pedal to the brake pads. This is done through hydraulic fluid within the actuators and the calipers used on both front and rear brakes. As a vehicle owner, it is normal to want to know more about brake calipers. When Are Brake Calipers Needed? Calipers are found on cars that use disc brakes. The majority of vehicles have them on the front wheels, and many also now have them on the rear wheels. The calipers work with the disc brakes to create friction and slow the wheels down. How Are Calipers Made? The caliper fits over the brake rotor and metal plates known as brake pads. The calipers have hydraulic actuators, so that the pressure is released when the brakes are pressed within the car. The pads then move towards the rotor to create the needed friction to slow the car down. What Type of Calipers Are Available? You can get either floating or fixed calipers. The former slides in and out of the rotor, usually with up to two pistons on the inner part of the rotor. The friction is created by the caliper being pushed forward by the pistons onto the brake pads. Fixed calipers don’t move at all. The pistons are on opposite sides of the rotor, instead. While fixed options offer better performance, they are also more expensive. Some of the fixed options can have up to six pairs of pistons. How Do You Know the Calipers Are Failing? Brake calipers fail usually due to corrosion and rust inside the system. The pistons seize and don’t create the pressure needed to slow the car down. You will be able to see if corrosion is occurring when you change the brake fluid. There are also times that the guide pins will seize, usually meaning that the whole bracket needs to be replaced. Broken screws are another common problem leading to caliper failure. You’ll know if your calipers need replacing by observing brake pad wear. It will be uneven between the inner and outer pads, and is usually a sign that the guide pins need replacing. If one side of the car’s brake pads wear more than the other, it is a sign that one side of the car has air trapped in a piston which has caused it to seize. You will usually feel a pull towards the side where there is a problem when braking. If you suspect your calipers are failing, take your vehicle to a mechanic that specializes in brake service, like those at Budget Automotive...

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3 Maintenance Tasks To Help Your Car Deal With Extreme Heat And Avoid Overheating

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The summer heat means that cars get a lot of extra wear do to the heat. Just like you may be overwhelmed by heatwaves, the same thing can happen to your car without proper care. Since most cars are air cooled with fans and radiators, modern commutes in traffic can compound these problems. To avoid these problems, maintenance like flushing the coolant and checking auxiliary fans can help reduce the potential for overheating problems. Here are some simple maintenance tasks that you can do to ensure your car does not overheat during a heatwave: 1. Check And Upgrade Auxiliary Fans To Ensure Proper Cooling In Traffic Auxiliary fans are an essential component of the cooling systems in modern cars. They provide the radiator with air to cool the engine when idling or stopped in traffic. Often, the fuse for these auxiliary fans can go out and you may not even notice. This is something that you may want to check from time to time. If replacing a fuse does not work, you may want to have the fan replaced to ensure that you do not have any problems with the auxiliary fan working in traffic jams during hot days. 2. Change Fluids To Ensure Your Car Has Protection From Viscosity Breakdown It is also important to change the fluids of your car to ensure that you do not have and problems with the coolant. You may want to consider having the oil and coolant changed to fluids that are more suitable in high temperatures. The manifold of the engine can also become stopped up and restrict flow of fluids and other problems. Removing the manifold and taking it to an auto machining service can help solve the problem with debris stopping up your cooling system. 3. Revise Oil And Coolant Regularly To Ensure That Your Car Does Not Go Without Fluids It is also important to check the oil in your car consistently, as well as the coolant. This is something that it is a good idea to get in the habit of doing every time you put gas in your car. When you do this, it is also a good idea to inspect the brakes too, which neglecting to change the pads can lead to serious problems and warped disks. If brake disks become worn, you can remove them and take them to a machining shop to have them worked to ensure you do not have excessive wear when you change brake pads. These are some of the maintenance tasks that you may want to do to ensure your car does not have problems with overheating this summer. If you need help with machining of parts of your car, contact an auto machining shop to help you with some of these tasks. To learn more, contact a company like G P...

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Four Commonly Heard Misconceptions About Maintaining A Foreign Car

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There are a few common misconceptions out there about foreign vehicles. If you fall under the influence of any of these misconceptions, it could cause you to spend more than you need to on vehicle maintenance or pay for service from mechanics that aren’t qualified to work on your car. The following are four of the most common misconceptions about maintaining a vehicle produced by an overseas manufacturer:  Foreign vehicles require more costly maintenance than domestic vehicles. It’s true that maintenance on foreign vehicles can sometimes be more costly because auto parts suitable for foreign vehicles are typically more difficult to come across and more expensive to purchase.  At the same time, it’s true that foreign vehicle parts are often higher in quality and less quick to malfunction. In the long run, the greater longevity of foreign parts makes up for any additional expense involved with acquiring them.  You have to take a foreign vehicle to the dealer for routine maintenance procedures. Any dealer – regardless of whether the dealer is selling foreign or domestic vehicles – will try to get you to take vehicles to them for maintenance. Obviously, dealers get additional business when motorists rely on them not only for an initial vehicle purchase, but for maintenance as well. Nevertheless, you do not have to take your foreign vehicle to the dealer for maintenance. If you wish, you can find an independent auto shop.  You should only put premium fuel in a foreign vehicle. To find out which type of gas you should use in your foreign vehicle, you should consult the owner’s manual. You should not assume that a foreign vehicle requires premium fuel simply because it has a reputation for better performance than your average domestic vehicle.  If your foreign vehicle isn’t designed to run on premium gas, it will be a waste of money to pay to put premium gas in the tank.  You can go to any mechanic for maintenance on a foreign car. While you don’t necessarily have to go to the dealer to get maintenance performed on a foreign car, that doesn’t mean that you can take your foreign car to any independent auto shop out there for maintenance. Foreign cars tend to be designed a little differently from American cars. As such, a mechanic needs to have some familiarity with foreign car design standards to service European vehicles. Question your mechanic about past experience with foreign car models before relying on that mechanic to service your vehicle. Contact a company like Sid’s Auto 2 for more...

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Tips For Inspecting Your Chimney Before Winter

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With the end of summer approaching, it’s the perfect time to start prepping your chimney for the winter season ahead. If this is the first pre-season inspection you’ve done, you might not know what you should be looking for. You can’t always see the problems just by glancing at the chimney, so there are a few things you should be aware of.  Look At The Mortar The mortar holds the bricks of your chimney together. It’s the material that you see between the bricks and it’s vital to the structural stability of the chimney. Look at the mortar for any signs of cracking, crumbling or chipping. These are indications of weakening mortar strength that could mean the risk of collapse. Another thing you should be aware of is the risk that those cracks could allow moisture to seep into the chimney. When the cold temperatures start to set in, any moisture in those cracks will ultimately expand due to freezing. This worsens the damage and may actually cause the chimney to fall apart. Examine The Flue Tiles Damaged flue tiles can be destructive to the chimney, because they can allow flames to pass beyond the tiles and into the chimney liner. When the tiles and chimney liner are damaged to this point, it increases the risk of a serious chimney fire that could even spread into the walls in your home. If you’re seeing pieces of tile inside the fireplace, that’s a sign that the tiles are damaged. Don’t light a fire in the fireplace until you’ve had it assessed and repaired by a chimney specialist, because you don’t want to risk a disaster. Consider asking about a stainless steel liner for more durability. Inspect The Wallpaper The wallpaper along the chimney wall is often one of the earliest warnings you’ll get that something isn’t right. If you’re seeing bubbles or wrinkles in the wallpaper on that wall, it often indicates that there’s moisture seeping in around the chimney. This can be damaging to the chimney and the wall, weakening the structural integrity of both. If one fails, it could expose the other to enough damage that it fails as well. Don’t let your unfamiliarity with the chimney be your downfall this winter. Before the temperatures get cold, use these tips to evaluate its condition. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself or you want to have the whole thing assessed by a specialist, talk with a chimney repair specialist about scheduling a professional inspection. Contact a company like Brown & Sons for more...

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Can’t Get Your Tire Indication Light To Go Off?

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Your tire pressure warning light has come on. At first, you thought it was just a warning to say you need to pump the air up in your tires. Now, you can’t get it to turn off, so what does it really mean? What do you need to do right now? Is It Operating Correctly? The first thing to check sit that your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is working correctly. Like any other part of the car, the gauge can go and often without any warning. The light may be on telling you there is a non-existent problem. Take the car to the dealership to check it out if you are worried. Are Your Tires at the Correct Level? According to Popular Mechanics, between 20% and 50% of cars are driven with tires that are 20% under the recommended amount of inflation. In most cases, the tire pressure light won’t come on until the pressure is 25% below, but if it has already come on it may stay on until your tires are at the correct level. Double check to make sure you do have enough air in all your tires. Running at 20% below the required level will mean poor fuel consumption and you running the risk of a blow off and having further damage to your car. Is There a Reset Button? Some vehicles have a reset button that you will need to press for your TPMS. Check your manual to see if your vehicle is one of those. It could be on the dashboard, but some will be to one side. In some cases, the button is in the glove box or through the radio controls. Pull over and look for the button to get that warning light off your dash. Have You Overinflated? Having overinflated tires is not any better for the car than underinflated ones. If you pump your tires up too much, the warning system may stick on. Check your manual for the best recommendation on pressure for your exact make and model, and the type of tires that you have. Overinflated tires will lead to extra wear in the middle of the tires. That TPMS system won’t initially come on when your tires start to drop in pressure, but it can stick on even when you act. In many cases, it is due to not inflating them enough or not pressing the reset button. Check your make and model, and don’t worry about taking it into the garage if you feel it is faulty. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for more...

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How To Replace A Rear Turn Signal On A Vehicle

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If you have almost been rear ended or another driver shouts at you or points at your vehicle, check your rear turn signal. A burned turn signal needs replacing right away to avoid traffic tickets and accidents. You should be able to replace a rear turn signal bulb with no prior experience. Here are some tips to replace a rear turn signal bulb. Prepare to Work For this project, you need: work gloves safety glasses flashlight rags wire brush Phillips screwdriver or socket wrench set replacement bulb Determine which rear signal has burned out. Activate the emergency brake on the vehicle, move the gear to neutral or park, and start the engine. Flip the signal right, check the back of the vehicle to see if the light is working. Check the left turn signal. Remove the Old Turn Signal Bulb If you have an older vehicle, access the bulb through the light cover. The cover has screws or bolts holding it in place. Remove the bolts or screws with the screwdriver or wrench, and set the hardware aside. On a newer vehicle, access the rear light through the trunk. Detach the panel over the rear light in an SUV, or move the trunk liner aside in a vehicle. On a pickup truck, access the taillight bulb by opening the tailgate. Look for a bulb shaped like a barrel. You may want to take a picture of the wiring to help you recall how to reattach it later. Disconnect the wires. Grasp the bulb with a rag, push it in slightly, and rotate it. After you remove the bulb, inspect the socket area for dirt or corrosion, which could interfere with the operation of new lights. Scrub the area with the wire brush, then use a clean, damp rag to wipe the light assembly. Install the New Turn Signal Bulb Use the old bulb as a guide to buy a replacement bulb. Screw the new bulb in place, and avoid touching the glass. Touching the glass leaves fingerprints that could weaken the bulb. Reconnect the wiring referring to the photo you took. Test the bulb first before you reinstall the cover. Release the emergency brake, start the vehicle, and flip the turn signal. Check to see if the light is working. If it works, reinstall the cover. If the light fails, check wiring connections, remove the bulb, and reinstall it. Replacing a rear turn signal yourself saves you money. If you don’t trust your skill, or the bulb still fails, visit an auto repair shop. For auto repair services, contact a shop such as P & T Automotive...

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Tips For Towing A Trailer

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Towing a trailer will require you as the owner and driver to handle a few things. Some of the most important steps include figuring out what equipment you need to tow the trailer, remembering some tips for driving while towing the vehicle and understanding the laws in your state. To go a little bit more in depth on each of these matters, read below. Buying The Right Equipment For Towing Before towing a camper, you will need to figure out exactly what you would need for the job. The equipment below include some necessities: A ball mount – this piece of equipment, also referred to as a draw bar, houses the mounted ball to create the hitch connection. You will need to purchase the size, style or height that best suits your towing truck. The trailer hitch receiver – this component attaches to the vehicle’s underside as a foundation for the tow. The standard size for one of these trailer hitches is either 1.25″ x 1.25″ or 2″ x 2″. The trailer hitch ball – this is the point of connection between the towing truck and the camper. Driving Tips When Towing A Camper There are some very important tips to make sure that you are driving efficiently and safely while towing a trailer: Observe longer brake times – it will be harder to stop on a dime since you are towing a heavy vehicle. Because of this, increase the distance and time that you begin to slow down before coming to a stop. Keep the electric brake controllers working – this system communicates with the brakes so that the temporary brake lights alert vehicles when you are slowing down and stopping. These brake systems can sometimes malfunction on you, so always keep them in the best condition. Know your vehicle – the size of your vehicle will determine the way that you drive in certain conditions. For instance, if you are dealing with a larger trailer, wind from passing drivers can affect the trailer’s stability. Know Your State’s Laws States have different laws when it comes to towing trailers. For example, in Indiana, the maximum towing length is 60 feet, while New Jersey does doesn’t touch on tow length, but limits towing to a maximum of one trailer or boat. Knowing these laws will help you avoid an expensive ticket. Following these tips will be helpful when you are towing a trailer. Contact a business, such as Exit 48-24 Hour Repair, for more information....

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3 Tips For Saving Money On Auto Brake Repairs

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Auto brake repairs are going to be necessary at some point. This is because the brake pads on your vehicle will become worn over time and they will need to be replaced, especially once you hear a squealing noise when you step on the brakes. This means that the pads are worn and the metal is now exposed causing metal on metal contact, which does not make for a smooth transition when coming to a stop while driving. Since getting auto brake repair services is necessary, you cannot avoid the cost, but you can save money on the repairs by considering these three tips: Ask About the Fit:  Many auto repair shops will replace the brake pads in your vehicle with a generic brand, which works with most vehicles. However, you should ask if this is the case with your own vehicle. If the fit is off slightly, then you may still hear squealing when you brake your vehicle, which means that the rotors are still experiencing some wear and tear. If your vehicle will not take well to a generic brand of brake pads, then you will want to take your car to the dealership to ensure that the brake pads are replaced with pads that are made to fit your specific make and model vehicle.  Ask Why You Need More Than Brake Pad Replacement:  When you take your vehicle into an auto repair shop for brake pad replacement, the mechanics will inspect the brakes further to ensure that no other parts are worn, such as the calipers and the rotors. If they discover that other components need replacing, ask why this is. In some cases, the mechanics may advise you that the rotors or calipers can be resurfaced instead of replaced, which is a better option since it is overall cheaper.  Ensure They Ask Your Permission for Further Repairs:  To ensure that you are made aware of repairs that go beyond brake pad replacement, you should request that the auto shop double checks with you before making any further repairs. You want to be sure that you not only guarantee permission but also sign off on the repairs being done on paper. This will show the specific cost that you agree to so you are not left in the dark about your total cost at the end.  When you consider the following tips when you need auto brake repairs, you can be sure that you are saving as much money as possible on the routine...

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Top Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

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You’ve put the key in the ignition and turned it over, but nothing is happening. Your car isn’t starting and you have no idea where. Here are the top reasons for cars not starting and how to deal with them quickly. Your Battery Is Dead A dead battery is one of the most common reasons for cars not starting. You’ll usually get some of the lights to turn on, but the start motor doesn’t turn. In some cases, your battery is so drained that nothing works at all and all you get is silence. Check for any signs that you left your electronics on and consider whether push starting or jump starting is the best idea. Jump starting gives you the chance to ask your jumper nicely to allow you to get some charge to your battery first rather than getting the alternator to do all the work. The Battery Connectors Need Cleaning In some cases, it’s not the battery but the connections. Check to see if they need cleaning or repairing. Sometimes, they just needed connecting back on due to accidentally being removed. You’ll usually be able to tell if this is a problem because you’ll just get silence when you turn the key. The Ignition Switch Is Faulty If you know the battery is fine and the connections are clean and working, it’s time to look at the ignition switch. This is faulty if you see no lights appearing on the dashboard (and you’ve checked the other problems). You Need Fuel You’ll be surprised at the amount of people who forget about this. If the car cranks over but doesn’t actually start, it’s a sign that you need fuel. This could be due to parking on a hill and your fuel collecting at the wrong side and you just need to roll down the hill to get it level and started. Spark Plugs Are Faulty When your car is cranking, not starting but the fuel supply is fine, it could be that your spark plugs aren’t working properly. There should be a spark when you turn the key. If this doesn’t appear, you’ll need to get them replaced. There are various reasons for cars not to start. Some of the most common problems are the easiest to fix, but what if it’s not those problems? It’s all about looking for signs and listening to the faults, so you can work out why your car isn’t starting. Contact an auto repair shop if you need...

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How To Spot Trouble With Your Car’s Transmission

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When something goes wrong with your car, what is your first reaction? Chances are you baby the engine because you know it’s the heart of the car. But there’s more to a car than just its engine. The transmission is another major component. You might compare it to lungs, and if they don’t work, you’ll need life support. An automatic transmission engages gears, allowing the vehicle to shift as speed increases or decreases. A failing or failed transmission won’t necessarily kill your car, but it will stop it from going anywhere without assistance. So how do you spot trouble with your car’s transmission? Look and Listen For Rough Shifts A telltale sign of transmission trouble is rough shifts. The car may hesitate where it would normally shift gears. Severity varies, but a rough shift can feel like a slight hesitation or a full jerk that physically causes the vehicle to lurch forward and/or backward right as or after it shifts. In some cases, rough shifting is less of a feeling and more of a sound. A distinct clunk, thud or metal-on-metal grinding sound when the car is put in gear or shifts can indicate a brewing problem. Look For Power Issues Does your car feel like it’s losing power? It used to get up and go when you hit the gas. Now, you’re wondering why your 4-cyl feels like a 2-cyl and your 6-cyl feels like a four. Power issues can be a sign of transmission trouble. Note Strange Smells or Leaks If the transmission is experiencing technical difficulties, chances are you will notice a strange smell or accumulation of fluid beneath the car. If your vehicle does not usually have a certain odor or a puddle beneath its parking space, the transmission may need service. Transmission fluid leaks are easy to spot. The puddle in your parking spot will be bright red and have a sweet or tart scent. If your fluid levels are low, there is a leak. Transmission fluid does not burn like oil or gas. Lack of enough fluid can cause the entire transmission to lock, which is a fatal outcome. Watch Your Dashboard Transmission trouble might trigger a check engine light. Watch your dashboard for sign of impending issues. If a warning light turns on, get your vehicle to an auto shop like Rolling Bay Automotive promptly to avoid rapid deterioration. Your car’s transmission is an integral part of its operation. Don’t let a possible problem go unaddressed. Transmission trouble can be costly, and the sooner you diagnose the problem, the...

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