Monthly Archives: May 2020

Tires & Wheels Care And Maintenance

A slight imbalance on the tires and wheels can cause your vehicle to overturn at high speed especially when making turns. You don’t want that to happen! If you want to drive safely, then you must prioritize your tires and wheels through the following steps;

Did you know that most tire-related accidents are caused by under-inflated tires? Not only does it diminish the gas mileage and handling, but an under-inflated tire can trigger a dangerous blowout. Don’t wait for the mechanic to check your tire pressure once in a blue moon but you should do it yourself every month. As per the norm, the owner’s manual will tell you the appropriate pressure for your tires.

Don’t forget, over-inflated tires can be a problem too.
Do you see those imprinted patterns on the tires that leave marks on the ground when you drive on dry soil or mud? They’re known as tire treads and they play a big role whenever you want to drive in all weather conditions. Suffice to say, always make sure you check the depth of the tread before you drive that car.
Unlike that short trip to the mall, the tires are more strained during a long road trip. A small crack, bulge or stuck object on the tire can cause a lot of trouble when you travel halfway across the state or country. Just pray that stuck glass on your tire doesn’t set off a deflated tire on the highway. Well, you don’t have to leave your safety to chance but you can always inspect your tires regularly.

How Can I Tell If My Radiator Is Leaking?

How can you tell when your car’s radiator is leaking? When the temperature gauge on your dashboard reads high or a temperature warning light comes on, you have a cooling system problem that may be caused by leakage — be it in the radiator itself or some other component.

Related: Common Radiator and Cooling-System Problems

First, make sure it’s coolant that’s leaking, not another fluid. (Coolant is often referred to as antifreeze, but technically coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.) You can easily check the coolant level in your see-through overflow tank. If it’s empty or low, the next step should be to check the coolant level in the radiator, but that should be done only when the engine is cool. Having too little coolant in the car’s cooling system can cause engine overheating and/or make your cabin heater blow cold air.

Once you know you’re losing coolant, the radiator is a good place to start. Some radiator leaks will be easy to spot — such as a puddle underneath the radiator — but others not so much. It’s best to check the radiator from every angle, not just from above, and pay particular attention to seams and the bottom. Rust inside the radiator or holes from road debris also can cause coolant leaks. Your vehicle may have an aluminum radiator that technically can’t rust, but aluminum can corrode or develop pinhole leaks too.

Antifreeze comes in different colors — green, yellow and pinkish-red, for example — feels like slimy water and usually has a sweet smell. If you can’t see coolant dripping or seeping, look for rust, tracks or discoloration on the radiator. Those are telltale signs of where it has leaked.

If the radiator appears to be OK, the cooling system offers several possibilities for leaks, including the hoses from the radiator to the engine, the radiator cap, water pump, engine block, thermostat, reservoir tank, heater core (a small radiator that circulates hot coolant into the dashboard for passenger-compartment heating) and others. A blown gasket between the cylinder head and engine block is another possibility, allowing coolant inside the combustion chambers — a problem that must be addressed immediately by a mechanic. (Thick white smoke coming from the tailpipe is actually steam, a telltale symptom.)

If you can’t find a leak, have it checked by a mechanic. Coolant has a way of escaping only under pressure when the car is running — possibly in the form of steam, which may not leave a trace. If the culprit continues to evade detection, you might consider a radiator stop-leak additive, available at auto parts stores, which seals small leaks — but it’s always better to find and repair the problem’s source, especially in the case of faulty head gaskets, which can lead your power supply to overheat and cause catastrophic engine damage.

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Benefits Of Maintaining Your Car

Longevity

You’ve probably seen a car that is older than Dracula but surprisingly, it doesn’t look like it. In fact, a well-maintained old car can outlive a newer car that’s been neglected without proper care. Quite often, it’s the little things like regularly checking your tire pressure, brakes, fluid level, battery and lights that make the big difference in the long run.

Boost Your Safety

Did you know that some road accidents are indirectly caused by poor car maintenance? For instance, you can forget to service your brake system and when you need to slow down, it malfunctions causing an accident. Another scenario would be a worn out tire that was supposed to be changed that bursts when you’re driving at high speed – you get the picture?

Anyway, maintaining your car can improve your safety and potentially save your life.

Enhances Reliability And Performance

If you drive a car for long enough without maintenance, you start to notice a decline in the performance. It could be that it doesn’t accelerate fast like it did when it was fresh out of the dealership. Maybe the fuel economy worsened or it coughs when you start it. No, a wizard didn’t put a spell on your car but it is normal for car components to wear out if they aren’t serviced or replaced on a regular basis.

Increases The Resale Value Of Your Vehicle

Ever wondered why some classic cars are auctioned at a higher resale value decades later after they were purchased? This is usually quite common among rare limited car models that are out of the market but the owners kept them in mint condition. However, even if your vehicle is not one of those scarce types, ensuring that it is well-maintained will increase its resale value.