Monthly Archives: January 2019

Is the transmission filter really that important?

Is the transmission filter really that important?

The transmission of your vehicle does a lot of the heavy lifting to keep your vehicle moving. Heat and pressure over time can cause bits of metal and contaminants to flake off and do damage. This is where the transmission filter saves the day! For the cars that use them, the transmission filter is a crucial part of the automatic transmission that sifts out metal and contaminants from wreaking havoc in your vehicle. The filter is a metal plate with slats where the transmission fluid passes. It’s located below the pickup tube and above the transmission pan. The transmission pan can sometimes be in a hard to reach spot that potentially requires a good amount of labor depending on the vehicle. It’s generally recommended to replace transmission fluid and filter every 25,000-35,000 miles. Stick to the owner’s manual to maximize the life of your vehicle. To answer the question, yes for vehicles that need it, keeping fresh fluids and a fresh filter is important for your tran ... read more

Direct vs. Indirect TPMS

Direct vs. Indirect TPMS

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) light came to be as a matter of safety. An underinflated tire is more likely to cause a blowout. The TREAD act passed by National Highway Safety Administration in 2007 was created to hold manufacturers accountable for recalls and designs of the TPMS. TPMS can be broken into major types. Direct and indirect, let us compare and contrast the two. Direct TPMS: Uses pressure monitoring sensors that measure specific pressure levels Most provide temperature readings on top of air pressure Transmitted directly to a centralized control module where information is calculated. If the pressure is off, the TPMS light triggers More accurate than indirect TPMS Batteries last about a decade, once the battery is dead the entire sensor must be changed Sensors may become damaged while on the road or mounting /demounting tires. Indirect TPMS Rely on wheel speed sensors as opposed to pressure sensors Needs to be reset every time tires are inflated or rot ... read more

When should I replace my timing belt?

When should I replace my timing belt?

Your engine is a complex system filled with pulleys, belts, and much more. Of these parts, the timing belt may be the most important. The toothed timing belt ensures that the crankshaft and camshaft are rotating in harmony. The back and forth between the piston movement and valve opening inside your engine require extreme precision. Without the timing belt keeping these parts in sync, your engine would fail in a catastrophic manner. While most vehicles use a timing belt, newer models, or cars with larger engines use a timing chain instead. While chains have a few differences compared to belts (last longer, harder to access) they generally function the same. So when will you know to replace the timing belt? The best tried and true answer comes down to the maintenance schedule and owner’s manual. There are issues that could signal that you may be due for a replacement. Things such as misfires, a clicking engine noise, or your engine refusing to start. While these could be the caus ... read more

Signs of a failing heater hose

Signs of a failing heater hose

The heater hose is a key component of your engine's cooling system. The purpose of the hose is to move coolant from the engine to the heater core located in the dash of your vehicle. Made with rubber and built with resistance to heat and coolant chemicals, they’re pre-molded to fit each vehicle’s cooling system. There are a few signs that let you know its time for a heater hose replacement. First, if you see a visibly cracked or dry hose, it’s a good indicator it may be time for a replacement. Even with the durable build of the heater hose, aging and weather will eventually win out. Coolant leaks, especially when the coolant is splattered all over the engine and hood, is a major red flag. While this isn’t a surefire heater hose issue, it's worth looking into. These issues can snowball if left unchecked. A cracked heater hose can result in leaking coolant. A lack of coolant can cause your engine to overheat. An overheating engine can end in catastrophe ... read more

Why is my temperature gauge fluctuating?

The engine in your vehicle runs hot. Very hot. Once running, your engine can reach temperatures up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit! If you’re driving your car and the temperature gauge is stuck on high, low, or going crazy, the issue is most likely with your thermostat. The job of the thermostat is to regulate the movement of coolant in your vehicle and maintain the best temperature for engine operation. As you would expect, the thermostat is heat sensitive and is situated between the engine and radiator. When the engine reaches the right temperature (195-220F depending on vehicle) the thermostat opens to allow coolant to enter and maintain the right amount of heat. So, what causes the thermostat to fail, causing the gauge to flutter? Let’s start with over and under heating. A thermostat stuck in the open position will allow a constant flow of coolant causing a lower operating temperature. This increases emission, makes the engine wear faster, and leaves your gauge reading cool ... read more

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