Looking Out for Car Problems

When Your Automatic Transmission Doesn’t Shift: Reasons Why Gear Shift Levers Can Fail

A stuck or unresponsive auto transmission gear shift lever can be frustrating. In some cases, if your lever is unresponsive or slow to respond, it can be potentially dangerous, especially if your car is moving. Since the transmission is a critical component of the drive train, when any part of it doesn’t work, your entire automobile is potentially useless. Here are some ways and reasons why an automatic transmission’s gear shift lever may have problems. The lever moves, but car won’t shift: If the gear shift lever moves, but the car won’t go into gear or changes gears slowly, a common reason is that the shift linkage is broken or needs adjustment. The shift linkage is the part of the transmission that directly connects the lever to the transmission. Shift linkages can be completely broken, or could be positioned wrong so that the lever’s gear indicator doesn’t match up to the transmission’s actual gears. Another explanation, unrelated to the gear shift, is that there may be internal components broken or misaligned inside the transmission. The lever is stuck in park and brake lights won’t work: Another problem is when the lever won’t shift out of park. One reason for this could be that the neutral safety switch, or brake light switch in some cars, is malfunctioning. This often happens when the fuse for the switch goes bad. One way to check if the problem is brake light or neutral safety switch is to have someone stand behind your car, while it is in park, and see if the brake lights come on when you step on the brake. In... read more

4 Tips For Restoring Your Classic Car

If you are planning on restoring a classic car, whether you are still in the purchasing stage or it is your own classic Porsche, there are some things to know first. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you want to restore a classic. Look For a Car That Starts When you are still in the process of purchasing the classic car, one of the first things to check is the mechanical system. You can do this by attempting to start the car. While many classic cars being sold won’t start, especially if the goal is to rebuild the engine or restore it in other ways, you are ahead if you can one that starts. This doesn’t mean it will run well, but it is a good sign that the mechanical system is still in relatively good condition. This can reduce the overall amount of work you need to do. If it doesn’t start, bring along someone who is familiar with engines and starters to determine what will need to be replaced. Get the Repair Space Ready Another thing to keep in mind when restoring a classic car is that you need plenty of space. You typically need more space than doing basic auto repairs, so your one-car garage might not suffice. Consider how much room you would need if you have a classic Porsche that needs to be dismantled, then rebuilt again. This is going to require a good amount of space. If you have a bigger garage, consider clearing more space so you have enough room and parking your other vehicles in the driveway... read more

3 Signs That the Brakes of Your Car are Not Healthy

Caring for the brakes of your car is an essential part of keeping yourself and everyone else in the car safe. This is why it is so important that every car owner learn the signs of failing brakes so that they can get the problem fixed before it becomes serious. Here are some things you need to know about failing brakes. 1. There May Be a Grinding Sound When You Brake One of the first things you may notice as your brakes start giving out is that there is a grinding sound when you press down on the brakes. Your brakes should essentially be silent when you use them if they are healthy. The only exception is if you have new brake pads. In some cases new brake pads will take a while to break in. This means that during that time they could make a slight squealing sound, or a very mild grinding sound. However, if you don’t have new brake pads and the car is making noises, or if you can actually feel grinding on your foot while you press down on the brake pedal, you have a problem that should not be ignored. 2. The Brakes Will Be Slow to Respond Another sign that the brakes are giving out is that the brakes will slow to respond when you press on them. Your brakes don’t necessarily have to be extra sensitive and super touchy, but you also shouldn’t have to slam on the pedal to get the car to respond. If you are moving fast on the freeway and notice that you have to really push... read more

Three RV Summer Storage Tips

Most people are aware that they need to winterize their RV, but they may not know that “summerizing” is another important task. This is especially true if your RV spends a lot of time empty and parked in a warm climate. The following tips can help you protect your RV during summer so that it doesn’t suffer any damage. Tip #1: Moisture Management Dry rot can be a major concern in hot, dry climates. Wood trim and paneling inside the RV can begin to crack and peel, as can fiberglass and plastic. Dry rot is a real threat since the dry air inside a closed up RV becomes heated when it is closed up and empty. A few bowls of water placed on surfaces in the RV can put some moisture in the air via evaporation. It’s also a good idea to treat all wood with a wood conditioner before shutting up the RV. In hot, humid climates, the opposite is a problem. Too much moisture can build up inside of an RV and lead to mold and mildew. Make sure all surfaces are dry. You may also want to wipe them down with a bleach-containing cleaning to disinfect them against mildew and mold spores. Ventilation is also a must. Make sure that any vents on your RV are open before closing it up. Tip #2: Sun Damage Control The UV rays in sunlight will eventually damage certain parts of your RV without some protection. Use sun-blocking draperies inside the RV and make sure they are closed completely. Reflective insulating wrap, cut to fit windows, works especially well. Roll... read more

Three Things You May Be Doing To Harm Your Transmission

You probably don’t think about your transmission often unless you start experiencing problems with your vehicle. Your transmission is something that you need to be running right in order for your vehicle to even go. At times, you may notice warning signs that your transmission is experiencing problems, but other times there may be very little warning at all. The amount of time your transmission will last depends on how you care for it and how you drive the vehicle. Without even knowing it, you could be hurting your transmission. In an effort to make your transmission last as long as possible, here are four things you could be doing to harm your transmission.  Wrong Transmission Fluid Not all transmission fluids are created equal. Using the wrong transmission fluid in your vehicle could do some major damage. In order to determine which type of transmission fluid your vehicle needs, you should take a look at the car owner’s manual. This should specify what properties to look for in a transmission fluid. There are four main types of transmission fluids, including HMF fluids, Type F, Synthetic Fluids, and Dexron/Mercon. Each of these types contain different properties that could benefit or harm your vehicle. By matching up the qualities of the type of fluid to what your vehicle needs, you are essentially feeding it what it needs to run optimally.  Neglecting Weird Noises The best warning sign your vehicle may give that signifies transmission problems is a weird sound. Should you continue to drive your vehicle even when it is making a strange noise, you could be causing even bigger issues.... read more

Three Questions To Ask Before Leaving Your Vehicle At A Repair Shop

Whether you’re in a mild fender bender or more significant accident, one of your first priorities in the day that follows the unfortunate event is to find an automotive repair shop in your city that can make your vehicle as good as new. With so many certified businesses, it’s prudent to devote some time to visiting a handful of locations to help determine which shop will best suit your needs. In each visit, you’ll likely ask questions about how long it’ll take to get your vehicle back and you might also ask some questions about the shop, including inquiring how long it’s been in business. Here are three other important questions to pose. Do I Have The Option Of Used Parts? If you’ve decided not to get the work done through insurance and would rather pay out of your own pocket, a significant way of saving money is through the use of some used parts. Asking the repair shop representative if the use of used parts is possible — and, if so, which used parts would work for your specific job, can start an important discussion. Many repair shops will use certain used parts to save their customers money. While used parts aren’t practical for every element of the repair, they’re an ideal say to lower your bill if their use is possible. What Does Your Warranty Cover? Being absolutely clear on the repair shop’s warranty policy is vitally important before you sign any paperwork. It’s ideal to partner with a shop that offers a comprehensive warranty that covers both parts and labor. If a warranty only covers parts... read more

Do I Have To Use A BMW-Certified Repair Shop For My BMW Vehicle?

Whether you have purchased a brand-new BMW, or you opted for a pre-loved model, your vehicle is an investment and should be taken care of like any other investment. Finding a BMW-certified repair shop can be difficult, especially if you live in a small town that lacks a BMW dealership. You can have your BMW serviced at other shops, however, it is not advisable for several reasons. Technology BMW is an import brand, and as a result, has different parts and engineering than domestic vehicle brands. Just like you wouldn’t take your laptop to a shoe repair shop for maintenance, you shouldn’t take your BMW to a non-BMW certified shop for maintenance, as these mechanics may not be familiar with all the small nuances of BMW maintenance and repair. Your BMW will also need a software update once in a while, when the manufacturer deems necessary. You can’t get this software update at your local mom-and-pop auto shop. These updates have to be installed at a BMW dealership. Parts and Service You can opt to have your BMW’s oil changed at a local shop or a quick change oil shop. However, it is important to call first and ensure the shop has the right oil and the right filter, as BMWs have special oil filters. Again, it is always best to stop by your BMW dealer for any type of service or maintenance, so you can be sure that BMW-recommended parts are being used on your vehicle. Warranty A BMW-certified repair shop is also familiar with any warranty or recall issues that your vehicle may face. Other shops that... read more

4 Signs That Your Car Is In Need Of Brake Service

When it comes to an automobile, few things are as important as the brake system. A properly functioning brake system keeps you and other drivers on the road safe, so when brakes start to go bad it can become a dangerous situation. Luckily, your vehicle will give you signs that your brake system needs attention. Some common signs that you need to take your automobile in for a brake service include:    Strange Noises While Braking When brakes are in good repair, there should be no sounds while braking. Typically you will hear squealing first when your brakes need attention- this is a sign that your brake pads are wearing out  and need to be replaced. If you fail to have your brake pads replaced when you first hear the squealing, you may begin to hear a grinding sound while braking. This indicates that your brake pads are completely worn out and need to be replaced right away– if you continue to drive while your vehicle makes grinding sounds when braking you can severely damage the rotors, which can be very expensive to replace. Dashboard Indicator Light Almost all vehicles have an indicator light on the dashboard for the brake system. Depending on the make and model of your car, the light may say BRAKES or ABS– when this light comes on it typically means that your vehicle is low on brake fluid. In this situation, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic since low brake fluid often means that there is a leak in your brake line. After the leak is repaired, a mechanic can refill your... read more

How To Stop That Banging Noise That Is Coming From Your Vehicle’s Exhaust System

If you hear a dull thumping noise whenever you run over a rough patch of road, it is likely that your muffler hanger needs to be replaced, because your muffler is hanging free and bumping against the bottom of your vehicle. While it is a simple job, it is very dirty, so if you have an aversion to lying under your vehicle while being showered with rust and accumulated dirt, you may choose to have the hanger replaced at an auto service facility. If you don’t mind the dirt, then you should expect to perform the following procedures. Replacing a muffler hanger Muffler hangers hold your exhaust system in place, suspended between the bottom of your vehicle and the ground. The hangers that hold them in suspension usually consist of a rubber ring or strap. While rubber doesn’t last as long as metal, it is necessary to allow the exhaust system to absorb the shock of riding over uneven road surfaces. To check which style of hanger you will need, you need to check under the vehicle and remove the old hanger. It is important that you park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. It is also very important to wait until the exhaust system has cooled before touching it, or you run the risk of severe burns. You may need an adjustable wrench to remove the old hanger, depending on the model used. You should wear safety glasses and a dust mask when removing the broken hanger, because the exhaust system and the bottom of your car is covered with dirt and rust... read more

Prevent Your Windshield Chip From Expanding With These Three Tips

When the windshield of your vehicle is chipped by a rock, it’s ideal to book an appointment at an auto garage like A.O.K Auto Body & Glass to have the windshield replaced. Even if the chip is small, it can quickly grow into a large crack that can block your vision and even compromise the integrity of the windshield. If your appointment isn’t for a few days, and you still have some driving to do in the meantime, there are several ways you can try to keep the chip from growing in size. Here are three useful strategies. Keep The Interior Temperature Moderate One of the easiest ways that the chip in your windshield will expand into a large crack is when the temperature inside your vehicle is drastically different than the exterior temperature. The best way to avoid this scenario is to allow the interior temperature of your vehicle to change slowly. If it’s cold outside, skip running your vehicle’s defroster, as it blasts heated air directly onto the inside of the windshield. Instead, use the vehicle’s heater to slowly raise the temperature. If it’s hot outside, run your air conditioner on a moderate setting or lower the windows as you drive to lower the temperature inside the vehicle slowly. Stay Off The Worst Roads If you’re aware of certain roads in your city that are rife with potholes and ongoing construction, it’s best to find an alternative route of travel. The sudden vibration that your vehicle experiences upon hitting a pothole can quickly cause the windshield chip to expand into a large crack. Search online for a list... read more

About Me

What do you do if your car overheats while you are driving it? Is this something that happens often? When a car overheats, it puts the entire engine at risk of serious damage. This is just one issue that you may have to address as the driver of an automobile. My blog will provide you with information about what to do when something like this happens. You will also learn what else to look out for when your car acts differently than normal and how to determine if the car needs a trip to your local mechanic for a check up.