Monthly Archives: June 2021

Winter Safety Tips and Your Car

Winter presents many unique hazards for drivers. Wind, sleet, ice and snow can make driving treacherous, with bridges and underpasses especially dangerous. The following winter safety tips will help keep you and yours safe as you traverse the frosty highways and byways: 1. Beware of Exhaust Fumes Never start your car and leave it running while parked in the garage, there is a risk that poisonous exhaust fumes can enter your home and prove deadly. If your car is parked outside and covered in snow, always ensure the exhaust pipe is uncovered before starting the car. A blocked exhaust pipe will cause noxious fumes to back up into the interior, posing another potentially deadly threat. 2. Understand the Danger of Black Ice Ice is not black, rather it’s transparent. The term “black ice” describes ice covering black road surfaces, typically invisible to the naked eye and presenting an extreme hazard to drivers. If you find yourself sl ... read more

Antifreeze Uses and Why Your Car Needs It

As temperatures drop, a very important liquid is at work in your car to help keep it running. Known traditionally as “antifreeze” and sometimes thought of as “coolant,” this fluid runs in a circular pattern under the hood to maintain the temperature for key components, especially the engine. Without coolant, your car would stop running. Moreover, your engine might overheat and crack, so here’s how antifreeze protects your car: Antifreeze Uses Antifreeze is found in your car’s radiator and is typically refilled by pouring it into a separate reservoir connected to the radiator. This is necessary because directly pouring it into the radiator can be dangerous and might result in burns if the engine hasn’t cooled. The liquid travels in a circular pattern out from the radiator and is driven by the water pump. Next, the fluid enters the engine where it removes combustion-generated heat, then it moves through the heater core, the u ... read more

Make Your Battery Last Longer

You’re in luck — car battery maintenance is one of the easier types of DIY work you’ll encounter with an automobile. While some modern battery designs are called maintenance-free, this really only means they don’t have to be filled with water like the maintenance accessible designs used in the past. You still have to keep up with the proper storage, cleanliness and inspection cycle on a maintenance-free design as you would with any other battery, so it helps to know what to watch out for. Check out these four quick and easy car battery maintenance tips: 1. Keep Terminals Clean Corrosion on battery terminals can be caused by many things, for example, exposure to salt in the air from the ocean or spray from winter roads, gases that are naturally vented by certain types of batteries and hard use or repeated jump-starting. If you see corrosion on your battery terminals, use a wire brush to clean it off completely, thus preserving a strong connec ... read more

Signs of a Bad Catalytic Converter

When cars were first invented, there wasn’t a ton of thought given to emissions beyond “keep them out of the passenger compartment.” As you can imagine (or if you were around in the ’80s or before, maybe you remember) this wasn’t great for air quality. These days, exhaust systems work to keep emissions to a minimum, and play an integral role in keeping your engine running smoothly. Catalytic converters have come a long way, but they’re still a centerpiece of the system. So what are the signs of a bad catalytic converter? And what should you do if yours has an issue? One Cool (Scalding Hot) Cat Catalytic converters take the harmful chemicals that form as a result of the combustion process and render them harmless through chemical reactions at very high temperatures. Traditionally, they live in line with the muffler in the undercarriage, but as technology has advanced, they’re sometimes seen right up on the engine block in one ... read more

What Happens When Your Timing Belt Breaks?

What happens when your timing belt breaks? I can answer that one firsthand. I was taking one of those flyover connector ramps that goes from one freeway to another when all of a sudden, there’s a lot of noise and no power. Twenty seconds later, I’m at a dead stop, still on that ramp, blocking traffic and wondering what just happened. Here’s what I learned. What Is a Timing Belt, Anyway? It’s a continuous loop of rubber with ridges cut into it. It goes around the teeth of the camshaft, which controls the valves, and the crankshaft, which connects to the pistons, and keeps them in sync with each other. In other words, it regulates the timing of the opening and closing of valves with the up-and-down motion of the pistons. Why Does Timing Matter? Without a belt doing its job, the valves and pistons on most engines are on a literal collision course with each other. And with your engine turning at thousands of revolutions per min ... read more