All posts in Auto Care

4 Warning Signs That Your Vehicle Needs Serious Work

Modern automobiles are complex machines, which is another way of saying that many things can go wrong with them. From an irritating squeal when you step on the brakes to an engine that dies occasionally when you reach a stop sign, a car can signal that some mechanical attention—perhaps minor, and perhaps not—may be needed.

Few of us could afford to pay for immediate repair of every little oddity we notice about our vehicles, but there are some ominous signs you shouldn’t overlook. Don’t ignore or put off getting help for these four serious warning signs.

1. Gear Shifting Issues

Whether you drive an auto with a manual gearbox or have an automatic, your car’s transmission is a critical link between your engine and the wheels that transfer power to the road. The automotive newsletter Auto Express lists transmission trouble as the number one major breakdown affecting a range of used vehicles.

If your manual transmission or transfer case becomes noisy or physically difficult to shift, don’t put off having a shop diagnose the problem. Similarly in an automatic, if the transmission begins shifting when it shouldn’t or not shifting when it should, seek assistance as soon as you can. Putting off repair of these problems could increase the damage and cost—and could also render your vehicle suddenly undriveable.

2. Unusual Noises

A modern auto contains thousands of parts, and many of them must interact in motion for your vehicle to perform correctly. In addition to the engine and transmission, many vehicles also have a clutch, differential, transfer case (on four-wheel-drive vehicles), jointed drive shafts and other moving components.

Unusual noise occurring suddenly from any of these could be a warning that serious mechanical failure is looming—and immediate professional help is required.

3. Sudden Unusual Vibrations

If you notice a rapidly developing vibration as your vehicle idles or drives, with or without unusual noise, seek professional mechanical help immediately. This often indicates a critical moving part is failing or has failed, and could endanger not only your car or truck’s longevity, but your safety as well.

Vibration that occurs only when you step on the brake is similarly ominous. Get to a shop at your first opportunity.

4. Reduced Vehicle Performance

All engines, transmissions and other components gradually wear out over time, but a sudden decrease in your auto’s ability to maintain driving speed, idle smoothly at a stop sign or light, or get up to speed quickly and smoothly are red flags warning you that your car may suddenly leave you stranded.

Transmission, clutch, engine component or other serious impending failure can be headed off, but only if you seek help immediately. Shops such as Gearbox Express can give you a rapid diagnosis and estimate, and can perform needed repairs to manual transmissions, clutches, transfer cases, differentials and other key power train components to keep you in the driver’s seat.

Certainly, you might face other problems with your vehicle—brakes, lights, exhaust systems and other components all need regular service—but don’t miss these four major warning signs, or you might find yourself stranded beside the road.

5 Tips To Improve A Car’s Air Conditioning Performance

Are you an owner of the car? If yes, maintaining its optimum performance becomes your utmost priority.  We all want to purchase a car that provides us value for our money by offering constant performance throughout and must also look good. However, with the passage of time, the performance of every car tends to degrade. With the help of proper maintenance, we can improve the efficiency, which includes the performance of the air conditioning as well.

In case you are looking for different ways to improve your car air conditioning, this piece of writing will surely help you. By following car air conditioning
tips mentioned below, you can save a lot of money as well. After all, it is the fuel used in your car that runs the air conditioning system. So, the more efficient your car’s AC is, lesser would be the consumption of fuel.

How to enhance the performance of your car air conditioning?

  • Scorching heat during summers has a severe impact on the performance of the car air conditioning. Especially, whenever you park your car, you need to make sure that the area is a shady one. Parking your car directly under the sunlight can increase the temperature inside the car by significant levels. As a result, when you turn on the AC of your car, the machine needs to take a lot of load in order to cool down the temperature inside.
  • The physical condition of the heater hose ports also matters in determining the performance of your car’s AC. Once you locate the heater hose in the engine section of your car, you need to cap the ports; you can make use of rubber caps in this regard. This will put a lesser amount of pressure on the air conditioning system of your car.
  • Regular cleaning of the cabin air filters is also very crucial in enhancing the performance. When the pores in the filters get filled with dirt and dust then the air gets obstructed resulting in poor performance of the air conditioning unit. So, you must make it a point to get the air filters cleaned by the professionals on a regular basis.
  • A lot of heat enters through the windshield of your car. For this reason, you must equip the windshield with tinted film, which will act as a heat reflector. There are various shades available in the market. You can choose one as per the color of your car. A significant amount of the sunlight will get reflected, which in turn will keep the inside of your car cooler. So, the basic purpose is slowing down the process of heat transmission.
  • Most of the air conditioning systems come with the feature of recirculation setting. Through this setting, you can make the AC to further cool the air inside the car, which is already in a cooled state. In this way, the air conditioning system would not have to work harder, which in turn will improve its performance and efficiency as well in the long run.

So, those were the five tips you can keep in mind for boosting up the performance of car air conditioning. Apart from the above-mentioned tips, there are several other ways you can follow. You can turn off the AC just before reaching your destination. This will give the compressor some time to relax.

Regular check up of the air conditioning system is really important. Experienced mechanics know how to keep the air conditioning in a healthy state. In this way, your car will remain functional for a longer period, and every single ride will turn out to be more enjoyable.

All You Need to Know About Auto Carpet Mats

Adding an auto carpet to your vehicle will go a long way in protecting it and preventing inadvertent damages because of rough footwear, dirt or carelessness of your passengers. Apart from being functional, well-chosen carpeting in your vehicle can transform its interiors and make it look luxurious, even if your car is a basic model.

With lots of functionality benefits, the many colors in which these carpets come just add to the reasons why you should consider them. After all, with the many types open to you to choose from, you will certainly not be left wanting.

Types of Auto Carpets

  • Molded carpets:
    These carpets are usually molded so that the contours of the floor pan fit exactly. There is padding included in places, and there are heel pads as well. These carpets may also come with kick panels, door panels, tail gate pieces and wheel wells. They add sound control as well as heat to the car, and are easy to install.
  • Cut and sewn carpets:
    These carpets are cut using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and they are controlled using CNC equipment to get the correct fit for your car. These have surge or vinyl bound edges and padding and heel pads. Available in ultra plush variants as well as cut pile, these auto carpets give the interior of your car a very posh look. On the other hand, there are heavy duty vinyl alternatives for taxis, cabs, SUVs, jeeps and utility vehicles.

Maintaining Your Auto Carpets

Your auto carpets can last you for a long time if you maintain them well. When carpets get threadbare or worn out, you need to replace them. Carpet replacement may seem easy but it is a lot of work. Whatever is on the carpet, such as seats, seat belt anchors, center consoles, kick plates, sill plates, rear seats, side panels as well as electrical connectors are to be removed. Next, rust or corrosion at the floor pan is to be repaired or painted so that the rust is stopped before a new auto carpet is laid.

All auto carpets are susceptible to stains. Rather than just discarding your carpet because of stubborn stains, use these tips to get rid of them.

  1. Coffee spills should be diluted immediately with cold water and should be blotted with paper towels or a clean cloth. If the stain still remains, it should be sprayed with glass cleaner and then blotted.
  2. Grease stains are removed by rubbing paint thinner on them with a cotton cloth. The stain should then be covered with salt so that the grease is absorbed, and it should then be vacuumed. An alternative is to cover it with cornmeal overnight and then vacuum it in the morning.
  3. Hairspray is used to remove pen ink stains. Salt, too, can be used to remove stains from your auto carpets.
  4. Carsickness stains should be diluted with a mixture of water and baking soda or with diluted club soda.
  5. Blood stains are easy to remove with dry laundry starch and cold water. Dry the area and brush it off.
  6. For general stains, a gallon of hot water and generous amounts of dish detergent should be used, along with a cup of white wine vinegar. Next, a bristle brush should be used to work this into the carpet fibers. It should be left for 30 minutes and then blotted with rags or dry towels.

While an auto carpet can make your vehicle look way more luxurious and classy, you need to take the right care of your carpets so that you get good value for your money. Choose the carpet that suits your needs and get it installed by a professional, and maintenance will be all that you need to worry about.

Image credit: Lexis carpet on Flickr

Caring for a Clunker: Tips for Your Amateur Car Diagnostics

If you have an old car you might be wondering what you can do to keep it running for as long as possible. Although you can’t keep your car forever, you can take steps to extend its life and get more out of your investment. You just have to know how to spot potential problems before they progress. This way you get the best possible results. Although it might be time-consuming, caring for your old car is always worth the effort if you want to prevent it from breaking down. Here are some tips for making better diagnostic estimates one your car.

Check for Leaks

As your car starts to show its age, you might notice small wet spots in your driveway. Those spots are an indication your car is leaking fluid and is an issue you must address right away. Before you do anything else, open the hood and check your car’s oil level because driving while low on oil can damage the engine. If you know what you are doing you can repair the leak yourself. If not, it might be best to get a second opinion from your mechanic.

Break Check

Your brakes play a vital role in your safety and the performance of your car. Any issues with your brake pads can cause more damage if you don’t fix them promptly. The first sign of trouble you are likely to notice is a grinding sound when you apply the brakes, and if you notice a change in the amount of pressure required to push your brake pedal down then your car is likely low on brake fluid. This is one fix you’ll not want to procrastinate on since you use your brakes every day

Check Engine Light

If you want to keep your old car out of the junkyard, you must always be on the lookout for the check engine light. If it comes on, then it’s essential you find out what triggered it so you can make the required repairs. You can buy a scanner at most repair shops that will read the code and tell you what is wrong with your car, but you can also take your car to a repair shop and have it looked at by a trained mechanic. If you have a specific model it might be worth the time to have a places like Performance Honda in Bountiful or your local Volvo dealership take a look at your model since they’ll be able to use the correct tools and parts.

Keeping your old car from breaking down for the final time can be a challenging task. But being proactive when it comes to spotting red flags will work wonders to keep your car on the road for as long as possible. Make sure you’re always vigilant about what’s going on with your car and be sure to upkeep with regular maintenance.

Prepared for a Break Down? 4 Crucial Items to Keep in Your Vehicle

When it comes to your personal safety and well-being, it always pays to be prepared. This includes preparing yourself for any emergencies that you might experience when you get in your car and head down the road. Here is a look at four emergency items that everyone should keep in their vehicle at all times.

First Aid Kit

Every single vehicle should have a stocked first aid kit in the trunk or cab at all times. Smaller kits that are created specifically for vehicles are quite affordable and can be purchased at practically any store. These kits will typically include a handful of bandages in various sizes, pain relievers, a tourniquet, latex gloves, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers. Larger kits might have an assortment of additional gear such as hand-crank radios and sterilized water.


Anyone who lives in a climate with freezing temperatures or will be driving through a colder area should keep extra clothing and blankets in their vehicle. A human’s internal temperature only needs to drop by two degrees in order for hypothermia to take place, and this can result in permanent damage to their organs and other soft tissue. At the very least, drivers should have a water-resistant jacket and thick blanket in their trunk. Those who would like to be even more prepared should consider a sub-zero sleeping bag.

An Old Cell Phone

It might seem counterintuitive to keep a second charged cell phone in your vehicle, but these devices are important for a few different reasons. The first reason is that cell phones can make emergency calls even if they do not have an active calling plan. A driver can also switch out their SIM card if their first phone dies. Plugging your SIM card into the second phone will allow you to make calls to anyone that you need including a heavy towing service in Texas or other emergency services.


Going just a few hours without water or any other liquids can impair one’s judgment as their body begins to shut down to protect itself. Having a couple jugs of clean water in your car will allow you to protect yourself from the harsh side effects of dehydration. Typically, drivers will want these water jugs to contain distilled water so that they can use it in their radiator if their car begins to overheat. Most cars require a mixture of 50 percent radiator fluid and 50 percent distilled water.

Having just these four items in your vehicle will keep you safe and comfortable if your car breaks down and you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.