A Broken Starter Motor

A Broken Starter Motor

The starter motor is an important vehicle component that starts the engine cranking. Like other vehicle parts, the starter motor may fail, but problems with the starter system are often confused with other vehicle issues.

So how do you tell that it’s a broken starter motor? What do you do about it?

What Causes a Broken Starter Motor?

The starter is a small battery-powered motor that gets the engine running.

In most cases, a faulty starter motor is caused by a worn-out electrical solenoid or another fault with the electrical, such as the starter relay. A loose starter wiring, dirty connections, oil leaks, and battery corrosion are other possible culprits. It can also be worn out or damaged parts in the starter.

While you can replace a starter before it fails, you cannot tell when that will happen, which is usually a problem.

Conduct a car starting inspection before you make a hasty conclusion that the problem is with the starter.

Troubleshooting the Starter Motor

A light tap with a hard object usually does the trick to power the starter back up. Usually, the tapping helps regain contact between electrical components that may have been lost for various reasons. However, this is a temporary fix that will help you get to your favorite car mechanic.

Sometimes, it may not even be the starter, but the battery and its components. Keep an eye out for loose or faulty battery cables and check the status of the battery itself.

Try starting the engine in the park status. If it doesn’t start, shift the vehicle to neutral and try again. In some cases, the starter motor will come to life in neutral. This is a clear symptom of a faulty neutral safety switch or other technical glitches.

If you suspect that your starter may be having problems, come in or contact us at A1 Performance Auto Repair for diagnosis and repair. We offer a wide range of motor vehicle services to keep it on the road and ensure smooth riding.

VTOL – The Flying Cadillac Concept Car

VTOL – The Flying Cadillac Concept Car

Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone is a single passenger autonomous vehicle. It will travel at 55 miles per hour from one rooftop to the other.

The flying car concept was revealed together with the family-friendly Cadillac electric shuttle in a video as part of the keynote presentation by Mary Barra, the GM Chief Executive. It pretty much looks like the futuristic air taxi prototypes that you have probably seen and which are under development as we speak.

GM’s futuristic flying Cadillac will carry one passenger above the streets. They will get a chance to escape the slow-moving traffic, the stuff you see in sci-fi movies.

The flying Cadillac has an ultra-weight body and is powered by a 90kW motor, a GM Ultium battery pack. It has four pairs of rotors. The autonomous shuttle in the video has a panoramic glass roof, sliding doors, a boxy silhouette designed by Mike Simcoe and his design team, and luxury-looking wraparound seating. Simcoe describes it as a social space for a group of friends or relatives to spend time together as they travel.

What we know so far is that controls for the shuttle are through voice, biometric sensors, and hand-gesture recognition.

But GM is not alone in exploring the concept of aerial vehicles. Other automakers such as Geely Automobile, Hyundai Motor, and Toyota Motor have revealed plans for a future flying car.

When Can We Expect to See the Flying Cadillac?

The autonomous Cadillac shuttle and the flying single passenger vehicle are part of Cadillac’s Halo Portfolio. They will not be going into production in the near future. The concepts only showcase GM’s design intentions for future vehicles and display their manufacturing skills as a brand. It is still unclear whether there will be a commercialized version or not.

The Best Cars to Have When You Have a Dog

The Best Cars to Have When You Have a Dog

Most people do not give their dogs much thought when choosing a suitable vehicle. But the mutt is an important member of the family, and their comfort when going out on an adventure also matters. As a pet parent, there are a few dog-friendly car suggestions that you can pick, and here are a few of them.

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect is a convenient van for families. It has loads of space for the family outing and can comfortably accommodate a German Shepherd or other big dogs. The smaller Connect is also the right choice if you want something relatively compact that can accommodate your small family, including the dog.

Subaru Outback

The latest model has some exciting features that both humans and their furry friends will love. The rugged rear part of Outback is sufficient for fastening a dog carrier. The floor is easy to clean, and you will not have to worry a lot when the dog comes back from play with muddy paws. Subaru Outback boasts off-road characteristics, and there is no place that you cannot go with your dog for outdoor fun.

Chevrolet Colorado

If you have a refined taste for the hard-working SUVs and pickup trucks, then Chevrolet Colorado will hit the right spot. With such features as easy to clean vinyl seats and all-weather floor mats, you will not hesitate to bring the Great Dane along. The low riding tailgate will make it easier for the dog to hop in and out without much trouble.

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery is a vehicle for the chosen few, and your canine buddy may fall in love with it, as well. It comes packed with various features such as roomy rear cargo and a split tailgate that make it ideal for both humans and dogs. The 82.7 cubic-feet storage space is more than enough wiggle room for your furry friend, and his partner. Also, the optional offloading air suspension setup allows the dog easier entry and exit to make your life and that of the dog, comfortable when traveling.

The Bay Area Old Car Buy Back and Scrap Program

The Bay Area Old Car Buy Back and Scrap Program

The Old Car Buy Back and Scrap Program is a voluntary program aiming to take older and operational vehicles off the road for dismantling. The Bay Area Air District program pays $1200 on a first-come first-serve basis for registered 1997 and older cars that are still operational.

But before your vehicle can be eligible, it must meet specific requirements and Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program guidelines. Read on!

Some of the Qualification Requirements

For starters, your vehicle must be a light-duty pickup truck or a passenger car that is 1997 or older, operable, and registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The category also includes a van with a gross weight rating not exceeding 10,000 pounds.

The vehicle must be driven to the site of dismantling using its own power and not towed there. Furthermore, the car should not be operating under economic hardship extension or the smog check repair cost waiver. Ensure that it has also passed the latest California DMV’s biennial Smog Checks so that it can be considered for eligibility, and it should be free from tampering.

Nevertheless, the vehicle can still be eligible if you had legally placed it in planned non-operational status for a total of fewer than two months. This must be during the continuous registration period of two years and happening at least three months before the sale.

Normally, the registration data from DMV records is what will determine its registration history. But if the data is inconclusive, the vehicle registration certificate copies will suffice. The vehicle dismantler will check its condition and functional inspection to determine if it meets the program requirements. They will reject the vehicle if it fails.

If you are having trouble understanding the requirements or needing more helpful information, A1 Performance Auto Repair is more than happy to help or contact the program directly. Contact us today!

Is Rotating Your Tires Really Necessary?

Is Rotating Your Tires Really Necessary?

Taking care of your motor vehicle is necessary to ensure that it works effectively and safely for longer. Usually, rotating your tires is among the essential maintenance items that determine your safety on the road.

Why should you rotate your tires regularly?

Extend Tire Life

Tires wear out at different rates, with the driving tires wearing out faster. For example, the front wheels of a front-wheel-drive vehicle work harder than the rear wheels, and therefore, they are prone to wear faster.

The freeway tire failure that may happen as a result of poor tire maintenance can be quite inconvenient and risky as well, especially when it happens at night.

When you rotate the tires, you give them a chance to wear out evenly and extend their life. Ideally, you should rotate the tires after every 3000 to 5000 miles.

Check Condition

Another good reason to regularly rotate the tires is to check on their condition. During tire rotation, you check on the condition of the rims, treads, and the overall health of the wheels. Some issues are hard to see, such as the rims’ bending, blistering on the wheels, and cupping.

Mechanics have also come across razor-sharp shards of bolts, nails, and metal protruding out of the tires. Such issues are hard to see unless you remove the tires.

Cupping, for example, is quite common in older vehicles, and it can cause problems with braking, steering, and premature wear of the tires. Blistering often occurs when the car slams into a pothole. The air then gets into the blister and can cause a dangerous blowout when driving at high speeds on the highway.

There are vehicles with different wheel sizes or unidirectional tires, and you should give them extra attention. If you are unsure about the wheel rotation pattern, refer to your driver’s manual. You can also contact us at A1 performance auto repair to help with tire rotation, among other service and maintenance items.

What a Smoky Exhaust Means

What a Smoky Exhaust Means

A smoky exhaust can be a major cause for concern as a vehicle owner. It doesn’t take long before you come across an automobile with significant smoke emissions. In the majority of the cases, a smoky exhaust is a clear sign of neglect. It means that the vehicle is poorly maintained – something to look out for when purchasing a used car.

But what does it mean, especially when it comes out of nowhere? Is it a reason to be worried?

Reasons for a Smoky Exhaust

Some repairs can cost you an arm and a leg, especially if you don’t head off a likely problem at the pass. If you notice some unusual smoke coming from the exhaust, you should scrutinize it. Does it appear when accelerating or when the vehicle is stationary?

Excessive black smoke from your contemporary diesel vehicle indicates something’s wrong in the exhaust system or injectors. This smoke is usually typical for old diesel vehicles.

It’s a bit different for gas vehicles. Black smoke emissions from a gasoline-powered car can be from excessive fuel going into the engine. The main culprit is a faulty electronic sensor or a dirty air filter.

However, blue-grey smoke could be a sign of a more serious problem. For example, you could be dealing with worn-out cylinder bores or piston rings, or even other engine components. The problem could also be the turbochargers or worn valve seals. White smoke could indicate engine coolant leak and which is a more serious issue.

On the other hand, grey smoke could be from a transmission fluid leak or PCV valve failure, especially if you are driving an automatic car.

What to do

If a smoky exhaust becomes the order of the day, the game plan is usually to take the vehicle for diagnosis. Remediation is critical at this point to avoid further damage.

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