Q. What should I do to ensure that I have a smooth running engine for years to come with minimal mechanical problems?
A. For starters, it is fairly common knowledge as well as good practice that you should change your engine oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. When it comes to matters such as spark plug replacement or timing belt adjustment or replacement, it is your best bet to bring your vehicle to a qualified mechanic. It is also important that you keep your air filter clean. Always be sure to inspect and replace your air filter at regular intervals to avoid potential problems in the future. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, it’s a good idea to check your oil and filters more frequently as these driving conditions can be harder on your engine.
Q. What should I do when my transmission starts acting up?
A. The first thing to remember is not to fret because not every transmission related issue is necessarily an expensive one. In many cases, only minimal repairs are needed. It’s best to bring your car in to a mechanic as soon as you notice any sign of trouble.
Q. What is the purpose of an alternator, and what do I need to know should I need to replace or rebuild one?
A. Simply stated, the alternator draws power from your engine to keep your battery and electrical system charged. When shopping for a new or rebuilt alternator, be sure to inspect your old one. Always be sure to purchase high-quality alternators from trusted brands.
Q. What should I do when I have a bad starter?
A. First, check your battery. Generally a weak or corroded battery will not turn the starter over. Turn on the headlights and crank the car. If your lights go out or dim when you turn the key, then you have a problem with the battery or power and not the actual starter. Your headlights remaining steady while your car clicks instead of turning over points to the starter.
Q. What do I need to know when shopping for a distributor?
A. Each unit’s rotor is specifically designed to make contact with terminals and to break the contact right after. As its rotor touches a specific terminal or point, high voltage from the ignition coil is passed straight through to the appropriate spark plug. This then causes your spark plug to flash-kicking off fuel combustion in your engine. With that in mind, you can understand why your engine won’t be able to function properly, or even at all, without this unit. That is why if you discover that your vehicle has trouble starting, then remember to check your ignition distributor. If it needs to be replaced, then we have a few suggestions. When you’re about to place an order for this component, we suggest that you get a replacement that’s built specifically for your vehicle’s make and model.
Q. How can I ensure proper care and maintenance of my tires?
A. Inspecting your tires can help you find punctures or other visible signs of damage that could necessitate replacement. It’s also crucial to know when it’s okay to have a tire repaired and when a tire should be replaced.
• If a tire loses air pressure, it should be removed for an internal inspection.
• Driving on a flat tire for even a short distance can ruin it.
• Most punctures, nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 in. (.64 cm) can be repaired if the damage is confined to the tread.
• Never repair any sidewall punctures
• Never repair any tread punctures larger than 1/4 in. (.64 cm), and DO NOT repair tires worn below 1/16 in. (.16 cm).
Additonally, having your tires balanced regularly and your vehicle properly aligned is important for tire longevity and vehicle performance.
Q. How can I keep my vehicle’s rims or wheels clean and looking their best?
A. Brake dust accumulation can leave your rims looking dingy and older than they actually are. Whenever you wash your car, you should wash and clean your rims as well. It’s good to have a decent wheel cleaner such as Armor All, and a sturdy set of rags. Simply spray the liquid onto the rims, and wipe clean. Some brands of wheel cleaner actually allow you to rinse it off as you’re washing your vehicle.
Q. How can I properly diagnose my new or late-model vehicle with today’s ever increasing automotive technology?
A. Today’s engines require a lot of complex computer diagnostic equipment to analyze the condition of your vehicle. When in doubt, it’s best to bring in your car to a trained professional.
Q. How can I mazimize the battery life of my vehicle?
A. In recent years with increasing vehicle technology such as GPS systems and the increasing trend of hybrid vehicles, average battery life has become shorter as electrical and energy requirements have increased. Your battery’s life span depends on usage; 6 months to 48 months, yet only 30% of all batteries actually reach the 48-month mark. It is best to keep the posts of your battery clean to ensure quick start-ups, especially during cold winter months. Always carry a set of jumper cables in your trunk in case of emergencies. If you park your vehicle in a garage, back into your garage during winter months in the event that you may need a jump.