Tires are something many vehicle owners don’t think about until one blows out. But tires are an expensive repair, especially when the ideal situation is to replace them all at once. So, here is a quick series of checks to help you stay ahead of any problem that indicates upcoming tire problems.
Whenever you’ve run out of TV shows to watch, go take a look at your tires for unusual things going on out there. By catching something early, you can save yourself a major hassle or even the tire.
Measure your inflation with a tire pressure gauge. If you don’t have one, buy one. Overinflated tires will bulge, causing missing tread down the middle of the tire.
When there isn’t enough pressure in the tire the outsides of the tread have excessive wear and look bald. Always inflate to the number for tire pressure that listed on the sticker in the driver’s door jamb.
One Edge Tread Wear
If the wheels are out of alignment, only one side of the tire will have excessive tread wear.
Cupping is an erratic tire tread wear problem and it could mean the tire is out of balance or there are issues with shocks or suspension.
When the tire’s tread is raised in spots or the sidewall is raised, there is a problem with the belts in the tire. It is going to need to be replaced right away.
General Tire Maintenance
To extend the life of your tires, have them rotated every other oil change, or every 7,000 miles or so. Always keep your tires in good balance, promptly getting them balanced when there is any sign of trouble. Anytime you notice your car pulling to one side, get the wheel alignment checked and repaired if necessary.
Anytime you need help with your tires, let us know. A1 Performance Auto Repair can check them and do the necessary alignment and balancing maintenance.
Many people these days will buy auto parts on the Internet, so they can save a little cash. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that the parts they are getting such a great deal on are likely counterfeit. Counterfeit auto parts, like counterfeit money, isn’t a good thing. So, here are some tips that will help in identifying fake parts from real ones.
Counterfeit Auto Parts
Auto parts that are fake are not something you want to put on your car. It isn’t like a generic brand that makes a good part that doesn’t have the big manufacturer’s brand. Counterfeit parts are parts that are cranked out quickly in China without any care for quality, functionality or safety.
Sure, the price is unbelievably low on counterfeit parts, but that doesn’t make them a great deal. They can cost you your engine or even your life. They will definitely cost you your money, because you will have to buy legitimate parts soon in order to replace the fake one, in addition to anything else those parts ruined.
Here are things to look for to spot the fakes, but keep in mind, the photo they’ll have on a website is likely fake, too.
If it is real, it’ll be protected in nice packaging.
Missing Part Number
Real packaging will have the part number printed on the box, not a sticker.
Just like all counterfeits, they don’t pay proofreaders to make corrections.
Instructions That Are Wrong
If the directions on installing, or other packaging materials, are poor translations and don’t make sense, it’s fake.
It Just Looks Off
Compare the same part that you purchased at your mechanic or a local auto parts store to check against a potential fake. The differences become quite obvious in the details.
Use Reputable Dealers
A1 Performance Auto Repair uses genuine parts that are safe, work properly and you can trust. Don’t waste money buying fakes on the Internet or at swap meets. If the price sounds too good to be true, it is.
Sometimes the signs of bad rotors are also the same signs of cheap brake pads. So, it’s tricky to get a good idea of what is going on without taking everything apart. Here are some tips that might give you a good idea if it is an inexpensive or expensive repair.
Signs of Bad Rotors
Signs of bad rotors are varied, and they can be any one or more of the following symptoms:
Stopping distance increased
As you can see, there can be a lot of different ways your brakes are telling you they need attention. Most commonly, people ignore the signs they start hearing because they feel they don’t see anything amiss. Over time, the brake pedal goes lower and lower, almost to the floor, a place that is the last stop for being able to stop the car.
So, it is important to take all those weird noises seriously and ask the mechanic to take a look at your brakes during your next oil change.
With all that being said, there is a possibility that some of those signs are lesser problem, especially if you just had your brakes done.
Cheap Brake Pads
There are a lot of different kinds of brake pads at all different prices. Of course, the car owner thinks they’ll save some money and go cheap, because a brake pad is a brake pad, right? No.
This is one place you want to spend a little money. The least expensive brake pad will last a long time, but they make some noise usually. Car owners get pretty upset when they hear a little screeching after just getting the brakes replaced. So, your mechanic did do the job, but likely put cheap pads on.
If you’re hearing weird noises or your brake pedal seems to have changed, have us inspect your brakes. It is always far less expensive to catch these things early.
If you own a Toyota with Blizzard Pearl Paint, you’ve might have noticed your paint flying off the car in sheets as you drive down the road, literally. When a car painted with this particular color gets about 7 – 10 years old, this is a “feature” you might not exactly appreciate. So, what to do?
Toyota’s Blizzard Pearl Paint
This problem with Toyota’s Blizzard Pearl Paint is called delamination. Meaning it gets sort of laminated and then it de-laminates and sort of flies away in the wind. Why? Well, one person at a dealership told a customer that Toyota cars manufactured between 2009 and 2013 were not properly primed. That is the cause of the delamination.
Toyota has refused to do anything about the problem, leaving people who have paid $30,000 or more for their vehicles having to have their entire car repainted on their own dime. Toyota gives only 3 years of warranty for paint issues. That’s rather convenient. The problem happens several years after that judging by what is being written in forums. However, one person had a 2018 Highlander with Blizzard Pearl Paint and it took 3 days to happen. There might be a contributing environmental factor.
What To Do
You can search the internet for forums that are collecting complaints in an effort to force Toyota to stand behind their workmanship and repaint the cars with a method that doesn’t blow off in sheets. Whether or not the embarrassment will hurt the company, who knows? So far they don’t seem to care they are losing some of their most loyal customers over the problem.
If you recently purchased the vehicle at a dealership, you’d likely have a warranty that you can use to return the car to them. But if the car is 3 years old or more you’re out of luck, even earlier if you have a lot of miles on it.
If you like to tinker with your car or truck and handle minor maintenances yourself, here is how to flush a radiator. When you do these things yourself you’ll take a chance that you’ll miss a vital step or damage something, but on the bright side, it is fun to work on your own car a little bit.
How to Flush a Radiator
Learning how to flush a radiator isn’t as simple as you might think. Logically, you’d think you just stick a hose in it and turn it on to flush out the old then fill it with the new. No, it is not that easy. Radiator fluid is something that needs to be recycled, as well. You should not let it get on the ground.
This Youtube video is very helpful. He takes you step by step, showing you everything you need to do to properly flush out your radiator and refill it. You’ll notice it is not a quick maintenance. You’re going to need to stay close to home for many hours to get this done. Part of the reason is that you’ll need to let your car cool down before you can continue.
Have a Mechanic Flush the Radiator
Flushing the radiator in your car or truck is very time consuming, plus it is expensive to buy the fluids needed to get the job done right. And then in the end, you’ll need to pay to recycle the old fluid. Instead of figuring out how to flush a radiator, you might want to just have your mechanic do it. The price is really pretty low for this service and your mechanic will be able to check your system to make sure everything is running properly. These are things you wouldn’t know when you saw them. Give A1 Performance Auto Repair a call for an appointment to have your radiator flushed.
If your check engine light stays on, there is a reason. And this is something you shouldn’t ignore. Sometimes it is a simple problem, but most of the time there is something serious going on with your car. Here is how to know the difference.
Check Engine Light Stays On
When the check engine light stays on, rather than blinking, you should get it checked out when its convenient. But you should definitely make a point of getting it checked by your mechanic sooner rather than later. While your car probably won’t immediately break down on the side of the road, it is going to compensate for whatever the problem is. This means you’re possibly sending out a lot of pollutants into the air and getting terrible gas mileage.
For some cars, if the engine light is yellow, that means you should figure out what the problem is as soon as its convenient. If it is red, you’ll need to pull over and not drive it until it is repaired. Read your manual to see if a yellow light is used for your car.
If the engine light is blinking, this is a whole other ballgame. Your car or truck is having a serious and immediate problem. You should pull over and call your mechanic for advice. If in addition to the blinking check engine light you have an indicator of low oil pressure and/or the car is overheating, you should pull over and turn the car off. Call for a tow.
Sometimes the reason the check engine light stays on is because you didn’t put the gas cap back on after the last fill up or you need to tighten it. If you didn’t just get gas at your last stop, then it is probably one of the other problems. Give us a call at A1 Performance Auto Repair for an appointment. We’ll figure out what the problem is with your car and get it fixed quickly to get you back on the road.