Yearly Archives: 2021

How does an O2 sensor work?

The oxygen (or O2) sensor is one of the most critical sensors in your car. The O2 sensor's job is to scan the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream as it exits the engine. This task allows the sensor to measure the fuel mixture. This vital information allows the engine to make the changes needed, so your vehicle runs properly. The beauty in the oxygen sensor lies in the ability to reduce harmful emissions while simultaneously increasing efficiency. The O2 sensor is continually communicating with the engine to determine if the fuel is burning rich (not enough oxygen) or lean (too much oxygen). At precisely 650° Fahrenheit, the sensor begins to operate. If the air/fuel ratio is rich, it will generate a small amount of voltage (800-1000mv). If the air/fuel ratio is running lean, it will generate an even smaller amount (100-200mv). Think of the O2 sensor as a mini generator. Because the oxygen sensor must become hot before it sends signals, many sensors have heating elements inside to ge ... read more

Why is my steering wheel hard to turn?

Why is my steering wheel hard to turn?

Not only is a hard to turn steering wheel an annoying issue, but it's also a dangerous one. We don't have to stress the importance of having full control of your vehicle during emergencies. With many components that control the steering in your car, let's look at the common issues. To start, the most common reason your steering wheel is hard to turn is probably a lack of power steering fluid. Power steering fluid moved throughout the system using pressurized hoses. These hoses may become loose and are prone to cracks and leaks as they age, leading to difficulties. When it comes to other problems, you can use context to figure out why your steering wheel is hard to move. Harder to steer while driving slowly? It could be the power steering pump. Does it become easier to turn the wheel the longer you drive? You may have a damaged rack and pinion. Vehicles can be difficult to diagnose, so none of these symptoms mean there's a certainty. Even a broken serpentine belt can ... read more

How often should I balance my tires?

How often should I balance my tires?

While it can be easy to overlook, balancing the tires on your car help maintain a smooth ride. Properly balanced tires reduce tire wear, provide better handling, and even maximize fuel economy. The balance we refer to is all about weight distribution. Most shops have wheel balancing machines that allow technicians to find which areas of the tire are stiffer or heavier than the rest of the tire. To counteract this weight imbalance, technicians add small weights measured by the ounce. The weights are applied via sticky adhesive or a clip, depending on the rim. So, just how often should you balance your tires? While there is no single hard and fast rule for this, every 10,000 miles is a good gauge. A good rule of thumb would be once a year or every other oil change. It is also recommended after each tire rotation or after the purchase of new tires. As you can see the time may vary, so it's most important to pay attention to your vehicle and high speeds and let your mechanic know if ... read more

How do Anti-Lock Brakes work?

How do Anti-Lock Brakes work?

Traditionally, slamming on the brakes would cause them to lock up, making your car occasionally lose control. With older vehicles, it was hard to maximize the stopping power of your brakes. You either were not braking as hard as you need to, or you hit the brakes too hard, causing a skid. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) give you the ability to stop faster and steer your car while you do it. ABS provides any driver with the ability to brake with full power, allowing the technology to do the heavy lifting. That catch and release vibrating pedal you feel after you slam on your brakes are the ABS at work. With bad weather such as rain or icy roads, ABS even allows you to brake on mixed surfaces with control. The anti-lock brake system comes with four main parts: the speed sensor, valves, pump, and controller. The sensor communicates with the wheels (or differential) to know when to lower the tire speed. Each brake line connects to a valve controlled by the ABS. This valve has three positions tha ... read more