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.
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.
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.
Among the signs and symptoms that you should treat as urgent include the smell of exhaust or fuel in the cabin. Gas fumes are not only unpleasant-smelling but also a health and fire risk. The exhaust contains carbon monoxide, which is quite lethal.
Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is odorless. If you smell something unpleasant in the cabin, don’t wait for the next scheduled maintenance. It may not get that far. Take immediate action.
Before you can take action, be sure that the automobile ahead of you is not the one responsible for the fumes or exhaust.
Exhaust fumes can come from a leak in the exhaust system and that is quite worrisome. The problem will be located between the engine and the tailpipe.
Fuel fumes can indicate a leak somewhere in the fuel system. That means they can be anywhere in the engine compartment fuel lines or even the fuel tank.
Failing catalytic converter, usually characterized by a sulfur smell, is another common cause. The converter is an essential component in the anti-pollution system of your vehicle. Most US states require it. Over time, this vital component that converts harmful elements into less harmful ones can wear out. If this happens, your cabin starts to smell of rotten eggs.
Other tell-tale signs of a failing catalytic converter include reduced fuel efficiency and acceleration performance.
Have a qualified technician handle the catalytic converter problems.
What You Should Do
Problems in the fuel system are an imminent fire danger and should always be treated as such. Don’t sweep the issue under the rug, or you will be forced to pay top dollar for a repair. Even worse, you could lose your life when your BMW transforms into a ball of fire.
The best course of action is to park your vehicle safely and switch off the ignition. Go some distance away and call for help.
Nothing spoils your day better than engine problems in the morning. The dreaded misfiring or sputtering of the engine can drive you up the wall. But what does it mean, and what can you do about it?
A purring or humming sound is the best indication that every component in the engine is working correctly. Don’t ignore the sputtering noise, and take action as soon as possible. Such a problem does not go away on its own.
What you can do about a Sputtering Engine
The health of your engine depends on an efficient combustion chamber, where air and fuel mix effectively. The ignition system components and the fuel must work together in a couple of series for everything to run smoothly in the combustion chamber. Misfiring happens when the ignition and fuel system components no longer function properly, and a replacement is due.
Ideally, you should replace these components as recommended by the manufacturer.
In some cases, the sputtering can be from low fuel levels that need more than a tank refill. The injectors in the fuel system must shoot sufficient fuel amounts into the engine cylinder for efficient combustion. Unfortunately, the injector sprays can somehow break down, get clogged, or wear out. The result is insufficient amounts reaching the cylinders, and the engine must work harder, hence the sputtering.
Replacing or repairing injectors for your Mercedes-Benz or BMW can solve the problem. However, you can save a handful of bucks if the problem is just a clogged injector sprout or nozzle. The component could be dirty, and a replacement may not be necessary.
Some other Causes of Sputtering Engine
A problematic component in the fuel or ignition system is not the only cause for a sputtering engine. Problems in the exhaust system are another common culprit. For example, a worn-out gasket in the exhaust system can cause your BMW to sputter. Worn out spark plugs can also cause the same problems.
Deteriorating gas mileage is one of those problems that you may encounter as a vehicle owner. But does it mean that age is catching up with your Volvo or Mercedes? Is there something you can do to remedy this?
Leading Causes of Poor Fuel Economy
Dirty fuel injectors and air filters are among the major causes of poor fuel economy. Deposits of carbon inside the injectors can inhibit the delivery of healthy fuel doses. As a result, this can cause a waste of fuel and misfiring.
Fuel injector cleaners can do the trick if the problem is the clogged injectors. If that doesn’t work, you can go for professional cleaning of the fuel injectors, or even a replacement if necessary.
On the other hand, a dirty air filter can choke the engine of air. The result is a reduced fuel economy because of unbalanced combustion. Check the air filter and replace it if it is too dirty.
Another cause is slipping transmission or clutch. This can happen for both manual and automatic transmission. If this is the case, it means that the engine cannot effectively reach the wheels, and the fuel economy deteriorates.
Without a doubt, engine misfires are fuel wasting, and the culprit for this may be dirty or worn spark plugs. Iridium and platinum plugs can go for up to 100,000 miles. Unfortunately, stop and go driving or short trips can cause spark plug fouling. Inspect the spark plugs and clean them if necessary. You can install a new set of spark plugs to be sure.
But engine misfiring can also come from other fuel and ignition system problems. For example, it can be weak ignition coils, or even vacuum manifold leaks. Low fuel pressure can also be the leading cause of poor fuel economy.
Also, If you tend to use a higher viscosity motor oil, the fuel efficiency of your motor vehicle will suffer. Some vehicle manufacturers tend to mention the recommended viscosity, and it’s best to stick with it.
There is nothing as frustrating as waking up early in the morning, ready to go to an important meeting, only for the vehicle to fail to start. Of course, there are various reasons why a car would fail to start, such as a significant part failure. However, it can also be because of corroded battery terminals.
Modern vehicles feature computer-controlled systems, and corrosion on battery terminals can strain it significantly. Cleaning the terminals is the best insurance against such problems.
How to Clean Corroded Battery Terminals
The first thing you need to do is to switch off the vehicle to reduce the chances of grounding the terminals. Then loosen the nut on the negative cable clamp and do the same for the positive. Carefully check for any cracks on the surface of the battery. If you find cracks, you will need to replace the battery. Check for tears on the clamps and cables and replace them if you see large rips.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water in a bowl and mix it with baking soda. The next step is to dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and carefully scrub the corrosion off the terminals. You are free to immerse the battery cables inside the hot water. Keep soaking the toothbrush in hot water as much as possible.
After you are satisfied with the results, rinse the ends with cool water. Wash away all traces of baking soda and corrosion and use a clean cloth to dry the battery. You can use a protection spray or petroleum jelly to lubricate the metallic parts.
Finally, reattach the positive terminal and tighten the nut. Repeat the process for the negative clamp and make sure that it is tight in place.
Should you need any help in diagnosing problems with your car battery or any other issues, don’t hesitate to contact A1 Performance Auto Repair.