The top five most neglected auto maintenance procedures includes the following items:
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect It: While the basic purpose of wheel alignment is simple, the negative effects of disregarding its upkeep are extensive. Uneven tire placement results in additional road surface resistance, requiring the car to use more gas. This obviously increases both your carbon footprint and the amount you spend at the pump. Furthermore, unaligned tires wear faster, and new tires can be expensive
Air Conditioning Unit
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect It: Failing to properly maintain your air conditioning unit can result in damage to internal components and potentially a complete breakdown. Don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Without access to in-car air conditioning you might find yourself sweating bullets and causing serious damage to your car.
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect It: If the power steering fluid begins to change color, bubble or leak these are signals that identify maintenance needs. Also, if you’re hearing strange noises or experiencing difficulty steering, these should are other obvious signs of maintenance needs. The steering wheel might stutter or resist, which could complicate matters when navigating a busy city street or congested freeway. Steering complications may threaten your safety, as well as other drivers.
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect It : Firstly, your typical transmission comprises of roughly 1,000 parts, so it’s a very complex piece of machinery. The most blatant reason you shouldn’t neglect transmission maintenance is because it can potentially make gear shifting harder or impede the process. Poor upkeep leads to delayed shifting, erratic shifting, or simply no shifting at all. Not only does this complicate the driving experience, but it can be dangerous for both you and those around you.
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect It : You don’t have to be a professional car technician to guess the consequences of not maintaining brake fluid. Your brakes lose power without brake fluid, forcing you to apply them longer, wearing them down even more. In some situations they can cause your brakes to fail altogether, which can endanger lives.
Quality car maintenance is a necessary expense that will save you big moving forward. Call J&F Motors Ltd. and tell us about that last time you check these five key items.
Why Your Engine Overheats
The last place any motorist wants to find themselves is standing by the side of the road with steam pouring from under the hood of their vehicle. Making yourself aware of the reasons for a vehicle overheating and the necessary preventive maintenance routines can help you avoid major engine damage that can result.
Engine Overheating Causes
Your vehicle’s cooling system is designed to keep your engine running within normal temperature ranges (typically 195 to 220? F depending on make and model). Coolant will boil at 225 degrees Farenheit, but pressure created by the radiator cap and coolant blend ratios also help to increase the temperature that can be withstood.
Fan, Pump, Hose and Thermostat Failures
A faulty radiator or radiator fan can cause engine overheating if proper cooling is not occurring. Additionally, when a water pump, one of the most important parts of the cooling system, malfunctions it can lead to leaks or bearing problems that can cause overheating. Hose damage and hose collapses can also play a part in inadequate cooling, as well was a stuck or faulty thermometer.
Coolant System Causes
The most common cause of overheating is also the most simple, coolant. If your coolant level is too low, your vehicle’s cooling system cannot work properly. Coolant levels can drop through normal use, but if you notice significant drops in the fluid level check for coolant leaks or the possibility of a clogged radiator. Make sure to use the coolant ratio recommended for your vehicle. Consult your owners manual for the correct levels.
The Consequences of Overheating
The damaged caused by an overheated engine can be serious. Overheating can cause damage to pistons, cylinders, bearings and valves, as well as a number of other vital engine components. As a result, warning signs of overheating should never be ignored; shut down your vehicle at the first indication that your engine may be operating above normal temperatures!
Engine Overheating Prevention
Avoid overheating by keeping an eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge and coolant levels and regularly inspecting belts and hoses. Since a working radiator cap provides the pressure needed to allow for higher coolant temperatures, make sure your cap is working properly and replace it if needed. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot!
Proper Disposal of Car Parts and Waste
Improperly disposed motor oil is the single largest source of oil pollution. When you dump used motor oil in your backyard, down storm drains, or in your garage, contaminants will enter ground/surface water and soil. Oil picks up heavy metals from the engine which are toxic to people, wildlife and plants. One pint of motor oil can produce a one-acre slick on surface water.
The best method to removing motor oil is to recycle it. Oil never wears out; it just gets dirty so recycling it is easy. First drain the oil and transfer it to a tight-fitting lid, such as a plastic jug or metal can. Make sure these containers are not being used to hold other products to afford cross contamination. You can bring your old oil to many service stations or “quick lube” shops. Some community curbside recycling programs will also pick up used motor oil.
Car batteries contain harmful corrosive materials and heavy metals that can contaminate soil and surface water. Luckily 99 percent of typical lead-acid batteries can be recycled and properly disposed. Upon purchasing a new battery many auto body shops will accept your old battery for recycling and waive the core charge associated with properly disposing the product. To avoid spills or release of dangerous contaminants before recycling, store your battery upright in a sturdy acid-resistant, leak proof container.
Antifreeze is highly poisonous and toxic, ingesting may lead to death. It must be handled with extreme care; children and animals might be attracted to its sweet smell and taste. If you are replacing your antifreeze yourself you should first drain all the coolant and then run for a few minutes filled with distilled water. Drain the distilled water and refill again with new coolant. Store your old antifreeze in the original plastic container and bring it to a recycling center where it will be purified and used again.
Gasoline is highly flammable and toxic, even when making skin contact. It can also contaminate soil and water if not disposed correctly. Store your used gasoline in an approved container away from living areas, ignition sources and direct sunlight. Never use old gasoline as a solvent, paint thinner or weed killer. If you believe your gasoline might be contaminated, bring the container to your local area’s hazardous waste collection center.
Signs Your Car Needs a Transmission Flush
In most cases, getting a transmission flush every 30,000 miles, or every two years or so is sufficient. However, there may be times when you need to get a transmission flush sooner, in order to help protect your car’s transmission. There are some common signs that you need to perform a transmission flush on your car or truck. You should be aware that if the vehicle is displaying these symptoms, your dirty transmission may have already caused bigger problems.
Problems Shifting Gears
Transmission Grinding or Strange Noises
Surging of the Vehicle
Delay in Vehicle Movement
The Basics of Motor Oil
The basic types of motor oil may seem confusing, and some shops or lube-stands might try to upsell you on a more expensive version you don’t need. Here at J&F Motors Ltd. we want you to have the facts to know what oil is right for your car.
Here are the three standard oil types and what types of cars they are suited for:
However, not every car requires synthetic oil. If your driving conditions are not ideal, synthetic oil might be the best option for you. In cases of stop and go traffic, short trips, or very cold or hot temperatures, stepping up to synthetic might be the best case scenario.
Check your owner’s manual to determine whether you vehicle requires synthetic oil. Most newer cars require synthetic oil but older cars should run just fine with a conventional oil unless your car has over 75,000 miles on it, in which case a high-mileage oil is recommended.
When in doubt ask one of J&F Motors Ltd. trained technicians. They will always provide you with a clear and reliable answer.
What happens when your car runs out of oil?
Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. It’s essential for the function of your engine. Any lack of engine oil in the system, or even dirty oil, will lead to extreme engine wear, and driving a car low on oil can lead to some pretty bad situations. In the end, keeping the engine full of clean oil is one of the most important aspects of owning a car. It’s critical to merit a log or checklist to be sure that your car or truck will function well and long into the future.
Running Out of Oil
Engine Maintenance: The Role it Plays
Oil Maintenance on Older Vehicles
Spark Plugs: Signs of Failure
Spark plugs are an integral part of your vehicles motor as they provide the much-needed spark that ignites the air and fuel mixture within the engine cylinders. This continuous ignition is what keeps your car moving on the road. If spark plugs are not checked with regular services, cleaned or changed when necessary, they can cause problems to occur with the vehicles engine.
Below are five signs for when to change your spark plugs:
Engine Has a Rough Idle
Your engine idles when it is stationary and in this position the engine normally produces around 1000rpm. The sound the engine gives off should be constant and smooth but if your spark plugs aren’t performing well, your engine will produce a rough and jittery sound while producing larger vibrations through the car.
Trouble Starting Your Car
Many people blame the car battery for difficulty starting their car. One possibility you may overlook is having bad or worn spark plugs. If your spark plugs don’t produce the spark needed to get the vehicle moving, then it doesn’t matter what shape your battery is in, you’re not going to go anywhere. It is also possible for faulty spark plugs to cause your battery to drain.
Your Engine Misfires
When your engine misfires it causes the vehicle to halt for a fraction of a second and then continues it’s usual movement. This means the vehicle isn’t functioning as smoothly as it should because one or more cylinders aren’t firing properly, which can also lead to higher amounts of emissions.
When a vehicle sucks in more air than usual in the combustion process it can cause the vehicle to jerk and then slow down or continually start and stop, which means the vehicles engine is working inefficiently. This is also known as engine hesitation and dangerous situation can arise if this occurs in traffic.
Lack of Acceleration
If your vehicle is accelerating poorly it is fairly easy to tell. It feels as if the vehicle doesn’t want to respond when you put your foot down, or it does but not instantly as you’ve become accustomed to. It can also feel as if your vehicle is trying really hard to pull itself along. This ‘sluggishness’ can be caused by faulty or deteriorating spark plugs.
While these warning signs are certainly indicative of issues caused by sparkplug failure, there are a number of other factors which could contribute to these problems. If you are experiencing any of these issues, bring your car to J&F Motors Ltd. and one of our trained and certified mechanics will diagnose and resolve all your car care needs.