All posts in Auto Maintenance

Exploring Your Car: 3 Lesser-Known Parts and What They Do

auto parts

Are you one of those people who want to know how cars work but can’t figure it out? Maybe your knowledge doesn’t span beyond tires, the engine and steering wheel. Or maybe you consider yourself something of a handyman and know your way around your car’s inner-workings.

The average car is made up of 30,000 parts, and many of them aren’t easily visible. Understanding some of technology behind your vehicle can make your next repair a lot easier, or at least impress your mechanic the next time you have to take your car to the shop. Let’s get under the hood and take a look at these three lesser-known car parts.

Camshaft

Camshafts open and close your car engine’s valves to let air and fuel in and let exhaust gas out. These rotating metal parts use lobes called cams to apply pressure against different valves.

A lack of oil or other damage to the area could cause them to malfunction, but for the most part, you can expect your car’s camshaft to stay up and running.

Turbo Charger

Often referred to as simply a turbo, this part of your car forces extra air into the combustion chamber to increase your vehicle’s internal combustion and power output. The purpose of a turbo charger is to increase your engine’s efficiency.

Not all cars have turbocharged energy, so you should keep your eyes out when shopping for a new model. Turbocharged engines are more fuel efficient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save more money on gas. It really depends on how you drive and what speed you average.

Catalytic Converter

Air pollution is a major problem across the U.S., especially in large cities with constant streams of heavy traffic. In order to cut back on the amount of pollutants being expelled from vehicles, the catalytic converter was created in 1975.

The part’s sole purpose is to filter harmful toxins from a car’s emissions before they’re released. While small and simple, the catalytic converter makes a major contribution to our well-being.

Some people are natural car buffs while others are just curious tinkerers. Learning more about your vehicle online or from an experienced professional is a great way to maximize its personal value to you and help you better understand how you can utilize it. Read guides, check out YouTube videos and pop open your own hood to take a look around and learn the ins and outs of your vehicle. Soon, you’ll be discussing cars like a pro.

How Smart Mechanics Organize Their Garage

organize garage

Mechanics have detail-oriented and technical minds. They know how to do things well. They know how to do things the right way, too. If you’re an intelligent mechanic who wants to optimize your workspace, then you should focus on strong organizational practices. A neat and user-friendly garage can be the key to daily success as a mechanic, after all.

Intelligent Mechanics Invest in Storage Cabinets

High-quality storage cabinets are a must-have for mechanics who wish to store all of their supplies and tools. It’s crucial for mechanics to invest in heavy duty storage cabinets that are strong and dependable. Flimsy cabinets cannot accommodate bulky parts reliably. They tend to deteriorate rapidly, too. That’s the last thing that busy mechanics need.

Intelligent Mechanics Depend on Storage Bins

If you’re a mechanic who lacks the space for storage cabinets, you don’t have to worry. That’s because you can always turn to the convenience of storage bins. Storage bins are often extremely roomy. Mechanics can place them in all different parts of their garages if necessary, too. Mechanics can safeguard pliers, screwdrivers, brake cleaner formulas, socket adapters, oil filter wrenches and more inside of storage bins. These bins are available in many convenient sizes.

Intelligent Mechanics Go for Storage Unit Rental

Mechanics sometimes have rare tools or parts that they don’t have to use frequently. If you want to stop certain things from unnecessarily taking up space inside of your garage, you should think about going for storage unit rental. Renting a unit that’s accessible through a storage facility can free up a lot of wonderful room in your garage. It can make it simpler for you to access things you use daily as well.

Intelligent Mechanics Get Rid of Annoying Clutter

Few things can be more unpleasant and bothersome than miscellaneous items that waste valuable garage space. If you’re a mechanic who wants to organize your garage well, you should take the time to take care of any clutter you discover. If you find tools that you’ll never use, donate or toss them. If you find random objects that people gave you years and years ago, donate or toss them, too. A tidy garage is essential for mechanics who are committed to success.

Intelligent mechanics are methodical individuals. They’re also people who comprehend the undeniable power of organization. If you want to thrive as a mechanic, you need to keep your garage orderly at all times.

Avoid Breakdowns: 4 Signs of Major Car Issues Ahead

auto breakdowns

There’s nothing worse than hopping in your car to go someplace fun (or to work, I guess) only to turn the key and discover that it won’t start. Even worse, you could be on the road and suddenly see smoke pouring from the hood. Car problems are inevitable, but you can prevent unexpected disasters and huge repair bills by catching problems early. Below, read about four signs that you could be on your way to a major car problem.

Your Engine Revs More than Usual

Cars make a lot of noises, but if you notice that your engine is revving more than usual, that could be a sign that your clutch is slipping. You might also notice the tachometer accelerating faster than the speedometer. If your clutch is slipping, it’s likely that it is too worn out to engage properly. If you let this problem go on for too long, you could burn out your flywheel, which will mean a heftier mechanic bill. It’s best to have your clutch serviced or gearbox repaired at a professional shop.

Your Fuel Economy is Taking a Dive

It’s always a good idea to have a basic understanding of how far your car can go on a full tank of gas. If you find yourself filling up more frequently, it could be a problem with your compression stroke. One simple fix for this is using a fuel cleaner from any parts store. You could also have your fuel system serviced by a mechanic.

Your Car’s Lights Dim

If you’re driving slowly and the headlights and dashboard lights get noticeably dimmer, that could be a sign of an electrical problem. The battery, alternator, or voltage regulator could be the culprit. Many auto parts stores can check your battery, but for alternator or voltage regulator issues, you’ll need to have the problem diagnosed by a mechanic.

Your Brake Pedal Vibrates

If you drive regularly, you should get a feel for how your brakes usually act. If you notice vibrating when you push down on the pedal, you could have a problem. There are a few possible causes: worn or damaged brake pads, bad brake discs, poor alignment, or worn suspension components. You should check each of these for issues. If not fixed, brake vibrations can lead to significant rotor issues down the line.

Even if you aren’t particularly car-savvy, you should be aware of basic car maintenance. Keep an eye out for these four problems, and you’re on your way to being a responsible car owner!

Car Crashes: How to Take Care of Your Ride After an Accident

car crashes

The first thing you need to do after getting into a car crash is to make sure that you and anyone else involved are all right. The second thing you need to do is make sure your car is alright. The effects of a collision on your vehicle can be intense. Here’s how to take care of your ride after an accident.

Bring It into a Shop

Some car accidents are so intense that a vehicle is all but unsalvageable, while others have a decent amount of damage that can be remedied. To show you really care about your vehicle, you need to give it a thorough inspection after an accident. First, you should make sure that you’re using a shop approved by your insurance agency. This will hopefully be a business that is honest and has a great reputation.

Determine All the Damage

While some vehicular trauma is readily apparent, other aspects might not be so visible. For instance, your engine could be damaged in a way that you would only realize if you tried driving it. There’s no sense in cutting corners with car repairs. Even if it’s expensive, it’s absolutely worth it. You don’t want to get substandard repairs and have to deal with even further damage to your car.

Be Mindful of Cosmetic Damage

Things like scratches and bumps might not have a huge impact on your car’s overall performance, but they’re still things that you want to take care of. You want to get in touch with businesses who specialize in this type of damage. Auto glass repair services are especially necessary for trauma to your windows and/or mirrors. After an accident, it’s worth it to try to make your car look better than ever.

Drive Carefully

A car that has gone through an accident needs to be brought back on the road with as much tenderness as possible. It’s like getting back into running after recovering from a broken leg. You want to make sure you’re being as gentle on your car as possible. Your accident can help remind you of the importance of road safety.

Just because your car has been involved in an accident, it doesn’t mean it can’t be salvaged. The most important thing is to be aware of what’s happened and how to prevent a recurrence. By having it looked over by professionals and driving with even more care than before, you can drive with confidence.

Roadside Assistance: How to Safely Handle a Car Breakdown

roadside assistance

When properly maintained, the odds of your car failing to start or stopping suddenly on the highway are relatively low. However, there is always a chance that an emergency situation could occur while on the road. Therefore, it is important that you know how to handle it in a calm and safe manner.

Draw Attention to Your Situation

Ideally, you will be able to get your vehicle to the side of the road. After pulling over, you should put up flares or take other actions to alert others to your distress. If you can’t get your vehicle to the side of the road, make sure that your emergency flashers are on. This will tell other drivers to pay attention because your car is disabled.

Call for Help

The first thing that you should do after your car has come to a stop is to call for help. This could mean placing a call to a local towing service, to your parents or to anyone else who can provide assistance. If there are others on the road when the breakdown occurs, they may be able to stop and help.

What If No One Is Around?

It is possible that you find yourself stranded in a rural area or in an area that doesn’t see a lot of traffic at night. In such a scenario, you should put a flag on your vehicle to indicate that it has broken down in case someone drives by while you are sleeping or away from the vehicle. Hopefully, you will have packed an emergency kit that has a blanket, food and water. If not, it may be necessary to walk to a gas station or another location to make a phone call.

You Don’t Have to Stay with the Car

If you suspect that gas or other fluids are leaking, you should get as far away from the car as possible. The same is true if you smell gas or anything else that doesn’t seem right. Depending on the weather conditions, it may be a good idea to seek shelter in a wooded area or anywhere else where you will be safe until help arrives.

There are few feelings worse than your car not working properly. However, panicking is not going to make the situation better. By staying calm and only worrying about events as they unfold, you are more likely to get through the situation with your health and sanity intact.