Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's Leaking Under My Car?

Let's face it, there are a lot of things that can wrong with your vehicle and often the first tell tale signs of trouble are overlooked. One sign you should be paying attention to however if you want to avoid a costly car repair bill down the road is what is leaking from under your vehicle.

Car leaks can be subtle and unless you park in the same spot consistently, the subtle leak may go undetected by you. Or you simply hope or presume that any leak is okay and if your vehicle is still running, you simply don't worry a whole lot about it. However a leak is your car's way of telling you something is wrong and the sooner you address what is wrong, the better your car repair prospects will be.

There are a few basic fluids that go into every vehicle to make it run smoothly and these fluids ideally should not leak out. Oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and radiant coolant are some of these fluids. You can generally tell what is leaking by the color of the fluid and where it is leaking from if you can determine a location.

If the fluid is a bright green it is likely radiant coolant. If you don't change your radiant coolant every 3,500 miles however the fluid can be a light or medium brown color which can be a little harder to identify.

Windshield wiper fluid can be just about any color from green, pink, yellow or orange and finding this leaking is usually just a result of over filling the holding tank too much.

Red fluid is usually power steering fluid which will affect your ability to handle the steering in your automobile, or it can be transmission fluid. Either way, if your automobile is leaking red, you need to have a mechanic look at it and diagnose what is leaking and why before your automobile becomes non-operable.

Brake oil can be a clear oily substance or it can be yellow or brown, depending on how old it is. You will usually find this by the wheels of your automobile if it is brake oil. If your brake oil is leaking, it is probably a problem with your master cylinder and your brakes may have trouble working properly if you continue to drive.

Amber colored liquid can be fresh oil, while a brown or black liquid can be used oil. An oil leak is usually the most common fluid leak and can be the result of a wide variety of car repair issues.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What That Check Engine Light Could Mean

It's never a warm, happy feeling when your check engine light comes on. The first thing that comes to mind is that expensive auto repair could be in your future. Sometimes this is the case, no doubt about it. Many other times, however, nothing could be further from the truth. That light certainly signifies that something is wrong, but that something could be any number of different things. The lack of specificity is the problem with the check engine light. In most cars it is used to warn the driver of a multitude of different problems. However, without someone to look at the diagnostics and check the computer, it can be difficult to tell what problem that might be. Here are some things to check before you bring your car into the shop.

One of the most common reasons for the check engine light to come on is a loose gas cap and it is the first thing you should check if that light comes on. A simple fix, it certainly doesn't require expensive auto repair, and you can go back to driving with peace of mind. So why would such an innocuous thing cause a warning light to come on in the first place? Well, the sensor is actually measuring pressure in the gas tank against a systemic average, looking for digressions that could be a sign of something serious. Sometimes it is something serious, but often times it is just that pesky gas cap.

Don't overlook sensor malfunction as a possible cause. You can't go three days without hearing an old timer lament the fact that today's computer-driven cars can't be worked on like the cars of yesterday. While for the most part this is just a resistance to change, there is some truth to the fact that increasing technology also means increasing sources of problems. Auto repair specialists will quickly check to make sure it isn't the light itself that is malfunctioning, rather than something serious. Many people have also found that getting water into the engine area can cause these sensors to act up.

Bad spark plugs are the final, simple solution to the check engine dilemma. If they are worn, cracked, or misaligned, it can cause a misfired spark, which in turn can cause the light to come on. After you've checked the gas cap, you might want to check the spark plugs. If they look worn and tired, it could be time for a change. You can do this inexpensively on your own and avoid costly auto repair.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Technological Trends

To explain the entire technological history of the car would be quite difficult; therefore, a focus on car repair will give a limited scope in which the causes of technological evolution can be explored. Technological change has created the car as we know it today, but the question is why? Through what circumstances has the car gone from a simple steam powered cart to the computerized, GPS located vehicles that we know today?

One aspect central to the study of technological change is control. The industry concerned with repairing vehicles has always had some level of control over the repair of cars. At the same time, there has always been the tinkerer and do-it-yourselfer. Car engines have been an object of fascination since their inception, and they were originally much less technically complex, giving the everyday person the potential to learn the craft of automotive repair.

Different movements in the technological evolution of the automobile have involved a movement toward complexity and the locking out of the everyday car owner from the process of maintenance and repair. Vehicle repair is becoming more about specialized knowledge and access to software than the tinkerer, who has become relegated to the status of "consumer". Why has this trend affected different aspects of vehicle design? The answer is complicated; it involves everything from simplifying controls to meet consumer demand to the emergence of digital technology.

One trend in the evolution of the car is the simplification of controls, even at the expense of making the internal mechanisms more complex. Cars that were previously started via a crank mechanism were followed by cars that could be started from the inside. Currently, cars are made to start at the push of a button. However, the starting mechanism itself, from the transition from crank to button, has itself become more mechanically complex. This has an effect on car repair, necessitating ever more specialized technical knowledge of car repair workers.

Another trend affecting the body of knowledge of car repair workers is the increasing encroachment of computers into cars. Cars are increasingly software powered. This is part of the larger technological trend of digitization. Mechanical and analog processes are substituted by digital solutions whenever possible.

Car repair has become just as much about software as it has about hardware. Much of this software is proprietary, meaning that it is designed so that only licensed dealers have the knowledge and ability to repair it. The problem this causes is that people can no longer work on their own vehicles, and in fact, doing so would break laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that makes it illegal to tamper with or modify proprietary software.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Professional Maintenance to Keep You on the Road

Technicians from a transmission and auto repair center that specialize in exhaust system maintenance services will keep hazardous fumes out of your car. The exhaust system's purpose is to muffle the sound that is produced by the engine, to control emissions, and to decrease the temperature of the exhaust. Vehicles produce hazardous gases during fuel combustion and the catalytic converter processes these gases into mainly harmless ones. Some of the more harmful gases controlled by the exhaust system include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, lead, phosphorus and more. To avoid these gases seeping into your car, allow a professional auto repair center to inspect your vehicle to ensure the exhaust system is working properly.

It is important to get an engine tune-up on your vehicle for every 30,000 miles you drive or every two years. Through a qualified auto technician's inspection of your vehicle and replacing any parts that are needed such as a distributor cap, plug wires, spark plugs, belts, fuel filter, ignition rotor and more, your vehicle can run more efficiently and smoothly. An engine tune-up will also help your vehicle to perform better, prevents breakdowns, difficulty starting, stalling, and rough idling.

There are many reasons to use the services of a professional transmission and auto repair center to get your brakes repaired. Many people opt to get a brake job done because they have difficulty stopping their vehicle. Other reasons for a brake job may include audible noises you hear coming from the brakes on your warning light coming on. These areas may not seem very serious but in the long run they can turn into very serious and costly problems. It is best to take your vehicle into experts in brake repair and maintenance services for an inspection at the slightest hint of a problem with your brakes. This will not only prevent expensive repairs in the future but will also ensure the safety of those riding in your vehicle.

If you are in need of auto repair or maintenance services for other auto related issues such as heating and cooling, transmission services, battery issues, and belts and hoses, take your vehicle in to experts in transmission and automobile repair. Through a complete evaluation of your vehicle, expert vehicle technicians can locate the problem if there is one and make recommendations to you that will be the best solutions for your problem. You can also inquire about their maintenance services that will help keep your car running smoothly and efficiently. Ask about any store promotions and specials that may give you an opportunity to save.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Immediate Car Repair Tips

It is really hard to get around and do all the things you have to do in one day without a car. When you experience an accident, or your car is out of service, you come to know this frustration very intimately, because it becomes your immediate life. If you notice that your car is beginning to have problems, or have recently been involved in some kind of accident, do not fail to act immediately. Find the car repair shop that you need to get the job done right as soon as possible.

But because your car is also a very important part of your daily life, you do not want to take it to just anyone. While there are many different repair shops found easily in your immediate area, it does not mean that every shop is qualified for the job. As you are searching for the right car repair shop to help you with your problems, take a little time to look into the options that you actually have.

One good way to start is to generate a good list of what is available in your local area. This can easily be done by searching on the internet for contact information, reviews, and examples from the companies near you. So many companies have brought their business online because they know that many people search for services using online search engines. You should be able to find some general information on some of the car repair shops in your area.

If you know what needs to be done on your car, weed through the list of options to find those repair shops that specialize in the damage that has been done. While some repair shops are better at working with tires or changing the oil, you may need a completely different repair shop when you are searching for someone who can do cosmetic work on the body or the paint job. It is always best to find someone who has expertise in the area of focus.

It may also be that your car insurance company will recommend a certain car repair company or another for you to go to. It is important that your insurance know about the problems and how they were caused, so that the right people pay for the right things. Because this is the case, you will need to comply with the wishes of your insurance provider in order to get the coverage you deserve.

If you have a specialty car, such as a sports car or something out of the ordinary, it may be necessary to take your vehicle to that dealer, and have their specialists work on the car. This is because they will be much more familiar with the way that the car works, being a part of the company that manufactured it.

The important thing is to get the car repaired as quickly as possible. Find someone who can give you a good price for high quality services that will ensure that your car is put in the best shape possible.