1. I bought a car and I don’t know anything about cars. What are the basic things that I should be aware of about my car?
Here are the main things you should do:
- Check your Warning Lights.
- Check the tire Pressure and wear.
- Check your Fluids, like Oil, Coolant level, automatic transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid and the brake fluid.
- Check the seat belts, make sure all the safety belts work properly.
- Check your air bags, make sure the air bag light is not on“on mode” while driving.
2. What should I check or change on my car for winter?
To be ready for winter we advice:
Check your tires. This is crucial as tires that have warn tread can mean hydroplaning on road water and can lead to accidents. Check your antifreeze level and condition. Rust colored antifreeze means you may need to flush and refill the cooling system. Check the level of your motor oil. If it’s been 3 months to 3000 miles since your last oil change, it should be replaced. Check your battery. Batteries that are weak can fail on cold morning and your car won’t start. Change your wiper blades to winter wiper-blades. These prevent ice build-up that can obstruct your view during operation in snow and ice conditions. Perform a brake inspection. A well operating brake system help stop your car, especially during wet or snowy and icy conditions.
3. What does it mean when the light engine light is “on” ?
It alerts the driver of a potential problem on the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system. When the check engine light comes on it means that a system in your vehicle — such as ignition, fuel injection, or emission control — is not operating efficiently, even though your vehicle seems to be running fine.If your check engine light comes on and it’s flashing, that indicates a more severe problem that should be checked out immediately to prevent damage to the catalytic converter (part of your exhaust system). When you experience a flashing light, minimize driving at high speeds, especially if you’re towing.When the check engine light comes on, there’s no need to panic, just make an appointment to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring your check engine light could severely damage engine components and cost you more money in the end.
4. I feel strange smell. What could it mean?
Smoky smells are of various kinds. Electrical smoky smells are the most dangerous and it is advisable to shut down, open the bonnet, disconnect the batteries and seek professional help. Other smoky smells may occur when the sound or heat proof lining inside the engine space burns. Trace the cause. Fuel smells occurs either when the fuel tank venting gets choked or if there has been an overflow. Sometimes, oil or exhaust smells from the engine occur. This maybe caused either due to too much engine oil, or if the engine oil has grown old and is burning, or if it has been overheated. Musty odors indicate the existence of some trapped water, usually under the carpet. This will ruin the carpet and also speed up corrosion. The proper solution would be to remove the carpets and dry both the carpet and the floor. A typical sweetish smell emanates when varnish is being burnt which occurs when your dynamo or alternator is about to pack up and would, usually be accompanied by flickering lights. Burning rubber smells tend to come when you drive with your brakes on. Overheated tires may also be the cause. Strange smells are an early warning signal that need to be heeded if much more time and money are to be saved later on.
5. Is the synthetic motor oil usable for my vehicle?
Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines. Or for vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), and vehicles that operate in extremely cold or hot climates. Although more expensive than mineral-based oils, synthetic motor oils can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes.
6. When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
7. My brake pedal vibrate when I’m slowing down from freeway speeds? What could the problem be?
The most common cause is excessive warping of the brake rotor. This is caused by improper tightening of the wheels or wheel hubs that are not properly cleaned when the rotors are installed after a brake job or tire rotation, or it could be a bad hub. The problem does not show up right away, it can take a few hundred miles of driving, or getting the brakes hot enough for the vibration to show up. To solve this problem, the mechanic must first determine if the rotors are warped, the hubs are dirty, or if it a bad hub. The rotors can be machined if there is enough material on the rotor to machine it properly without going below minimum thickness required for a safe rotor, or the rotor must be replaced. If the hub is the problem it must be cleaned properly, the rotor re-installed, and the smoothness and straightness (run out) rechecked.
8. I hear a strange sound. What could the problem be?
Strange sounds tend to be sidelined in the bustle and din of our roads, and by the car stereo playing in the background. However, if the problem persists, the car will make its condition known every time you take a corner or ride over a bump. Strange clicking while taking a turn from the front wheels means that the front shaft is about to fall apart. Get it fixed before it actually does. A fan-belt squeal means that another one is needed. Rhythmic clicks from the wheel indicate faulty bearings at worst or just large pebbles stuck in the tread pattern at the best. A change in engine tone usually indicates engine overheating, especially if you have been driving at constant speeds for a long time. Stopping or varying the engine speed should be enough if there is no severe problem. Otherwise, let the car cool down and then check radiator and water levels. Backfiring while normal driving means serious problems and should be properly investigated. Engine knocks means that it is time to get into a lower gear. If it persists, however, it is time to get your engine and engine oil checked. At times, your car give personal signals which can be deciphered by only the user. Strange ‘hiccups’ while driving indicate faulty fuel which would in turn cause faulty carburetor or fuel injector. If there is unequal or wrong air pressure in tires, it is evident on braking. Unexplained shudders in braking indicate problems in suspension or linkages.
9. If the engine oil is milky brown, what could the problem be?
Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (or other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician immediately.
10. How do I make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
Battery cables and terminals should be cleaned and inspected periodically to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
11. How Often Should My Car Receive a Tune-up?
Most cars require regularly scheduled tune-ups yearly and require major maintenance at 60,000 miles.
12. The car is Making A Pinging Sound. What Does It Mean?
Most likely, a pinging sound coming from your engine indicates timing problems. Sometimes pinging is caused by poor quality or low octane fuel. Pinging can cause damage. We strongly advise that to have your car checked out by a professional to determine whether it’s causing damage.
13. When should the spark plugs of a car be changed?
For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles.
14. What is the primary cause of tire damage?
Although there are many things that can cause tire damage, improper inflation is the main problem we see. Always keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle and frequently check the pressure of all tires.
15. When should a timing belt be changed?
Timing belt replacement is the “must-do” service operation which every car owner should know about. Along with that knowledge, we should be aware of whether our engine is considered an interference engine or not. Depending on the vehicle a timing belt needs to be replaced between 60,000 and 120,000 miles.
16. What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
17. Why do I need to have my engine oil changed every 3,000 miles?
The additive in the oil starts to break down as soon as it heats up to high temperatures. The engine in your vehicle will reach over 200 degrees almost every time you drive it. History has proven that the 3,000 mile mark is a good interval to have your engine oil replaced. You never want to just drain your engine oil out and put new oil in without changing the oil filter. The oil filter will hold about a quart of oil. If you do not change the oil filter when changing the engine oil in your vehicle you are combining your clean engine oil with deteriorated engine oil and this will lessen the effectiveness of the new engine oil you just put in your vehicle.