Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Windshield washer fluid

WHY: Rain, insects, grime and other debris on your windshield will compromise your vision if your windshield wipers cannot remove them. A supply of the proper washer fluid will help your wipers remove these contaminants effectively.

WHEN: Check your washer fluid reservoir monthly and more often when you use the washers frequently. Top it up with a washer solution formulated to aid in the removal of insects and other debris, and during winter, be sure to use a solution with antifreeze protection. Finally, test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim.

BOTTOM LINE: Whether your windshield becomes covered with bugs in the summer or ice and salt in the winter, it’s critical to keep it clear for your safety. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fuel saver tip

Here’s a question for Michigan motorists: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?

Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)

If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.

Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel economy. A lot.

If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Troubleshooting noises

It is very useful to be able to troubleshoot your car problem from the noises it makes.
Firstly, look for the obvious,
  • Have you driven over something that could have damaged your car?
  • Have you been the only driver ... or could someone else have bumped something?
  • Have you hit a curb a bit hard?
  • Hit a really big bump that made your suspension make a loud "thunk" noise?
Any of these events could cause your wheels to go out of alignment. When the wheels are not aligned you will get a lot of tire noise.
Two totally different tire noises are common.
  1. A normal tire rumbling noise on the highway, but much loader than usual, or coming from one side of the car only, usually the one closest to the curb.
  2. A screeching sound when you go around corners even slowly.

Other suspension noises.

If you hear a constant rumbling noise coming from one front wheel, that changes as you go faster or slower, it will often be a worn wheel bearing. No big deal to repair except on 4wd vehicles, where it can be expensive.
The other cause of this noise is exclusive to front wheel drive or 4 wheel drive vehicles, and is a bit tricky to pick.
Drive joint noise. CV joints or short shafts. They all have universal joints that can make noise when worn out.
A quick way to see if a front wheel drive vehicle has worn out CV joints is to drive the car in a tight circle and listen for a clicking sound. The clicking sound means that the CV joint needs replacing. Usually 3 to 4 hundred dollars for both sides. (Always replace both sides)

Tire pressure.

If tire pressure is too low the tire will make a large rumbling sound that will seem to be coming through the vehicle.This will be more pronounced as you increase speed.
This is because the tire is having it's walls destroyed! Put air in it now!
Keeping front tire pressures identical for both sides is essential for good braking.