BRAKES AND AUTO REPAIR TIP FROM BRAKE WORLD PINES
|Posted on September 7, 2017 at 9:45 AM||comments (6)|
If your engine misfires, hesitates, stalls, gets poor mileage, is hard to start or has failed an emissions test, it clearly needs something, though a tune-up in the traditional sense might not be the cure.
If you tell a repair shop you need a tune-up, the mechanic should ask why you feel you need one before recommending any service. Just like a doctor should ask what symptoms you're experiencing, a mechanic should seek to diagnose the problem. And just as a doctor may recommend some tests, a mechanic may do the same.
You can speed the process by being ready to describe what happens and when (such as whether your car hesitates when the engine is cold or when passing at highway speeds), any sounds you hear and what you feel when your car’s “illness” shows up.
One caution about lower fuel economy: You should expect it to go down at least a little during the cold months, and maybe a lot. Colder temperatures make your engine and charging system work harder. In addition, winter gasoline blends have slightly less energy content than summer blends, so they don’t deliver as many miles per gallon. A tune-up won’t make Old Man Winter, or his effects, go away.
What are symptoms that might make you think you need a tune-up?
* A misfiring engine (when spark plugs ignite at the wrong time) could be caused by worn or fouled spark plugs. Bad spark plugs can also cause low fuel economy, hard starting and sluggish acceleration. Most plugs, though, should last 100,000 miles or more, and engine computers do a remarkable job of compensating for worn plugs, so that might not be the main or only culprit.
* A dirty or clogged engine air filter is more likely to reduce acceleration than fuel economy, according to tests conducted by the EPA. Because filters get dirty gradually over time, you might not notice a small but steady loss of performance until your car is accelerating like a turtle. But if you haven’t changed the filter in a couple of years (or sooner in areas that have a lot of soot in the air), that could be part of the problem.
* Engine deposits caused by low-quality or contaminated gasoline create drivability problems, and the cure for that might be a fuel system cleaning, either by a repair shop or with a gas-tank additive.
* An illuminated check engine light signals when something is amiss in the emissions control system, but depending on what the issue is it could also affect fuel economy or engine performance, so don’t ignore it. A faulty oxygen sensor, for example, leaves the engine computer in the dark about how to set the air-fuel mixture, and that can result in poor fuel economy.
* An old oxygen sensor (say, 90,000 miles or more) may still work well enough that it doesn’t trigger the check engine light but could still hurt fuel economy. Engine performance can also be reduced by more serious internal problems, such as valves that don’t seat properly or worn piston rings, or by restrictions in the exhaust system.
Because the same symptoms can suggest different problems, and there are often several possible causes and cures, it’s better to consult a professional mechanic than to try to be one if you have neither the experience nor the right equipment to diagnose drivability problems.In short, rather than ask for a tune-up, tell a mechanic what you’re experiencing and ask him or her to find the cause.
|Posted on September 2, 2017 at 8:25 AM||comments (3)|
To reconcile the varying points of view, you’ve got to consult your owner’s manual and use a little bit of common sense. Most owner’s manuals for newer vehicles will tell you it’s acceptable to go 5,000 miles between oil changes under normal conditions. But you should drop to 3,000 miles if you drive under severe conditions.
evere driving conditions can take a toll on just about every part of your car — both inside and out.
But what exactly are severe conditions? AAA defines them as the following:
Driving on short trips of less than five miles in normal temperatures or less than 10 miles in freezing temperatures.
Driving in hot weather stop-and-go traffic.
Driving at low speeds of less than 50 miles per hour for long distances.
Driving on roads that are dusty, muddy or have salt, sand or gravel spread on the surface.
Towing a trailer, carrying a camper (if a pickup truck) or transporting items on a roof rack or in a car-top carrier.
Making “jack rabbit” stops and starts — the kind people tend to do when racing from traffic light to traffic light.
If you’re just driving back and forth to work during the week, and to soccer fields and baseball games during the weekend, then there’s really no sense in changing your oil every 3,000 miles.
A couple of years, a Consumer Reports study put the brakes on the myth of the 3,000-mile oil change. They found no noticeable difference in engine protection whether you changed the oil every 3,000 or 7,500 miles.
Ultimately, this one has to be a personal decision. Maybe you’re comfortable changing every 3,000 miles and think 7,500 is too long to wait. Then why not split the difference and do it every 5,000 or so miles? You’ll be saving about a third by going those extra miles between oil changes.
|Posted on September 1, 2017 at 9:40 AM||comments (2)|
Why Bleed the Brakes?
The term "bleeding the brakes" refers to the process in which a small valve is opened at the caliper (or wheel cylinder) to allow controlled amounts of brake fluid to escape the system. (When you think about it, "bleeding" may appear to be a somewhat graphic term, but it aptly describes the release a vital fluid.)
We bleed the brakes to release air that sometimes becomes trapped within the lines. Technically, "air" only enters the lines if there is a compromise of the system's sealing (as when flex lines are removed or replaced), because when fluid boils, it will instead create "fluid vapor." Vapor in the brake fluid, like air, will create an efficiency loss in the braking system. However, for the sake of simplicity we use the term "air" throughout this article to describe both air and fluid vapor.
When air (or vapor) becomes present within the lines, it creates inefficiencies within the system because, unlike liquid, air can be compressed. So when enough air fills the lines, input at the pedal merely causes the air to compress instead of creating pressure at the brake corners. In other words, when air is present within the system, the efficiency and effectiveness of the braking system is reduced. Usually, a small amount of air within the brake system will contribute to a "mushy" or "soft" pedal (since less energy is required to compress the air than is required to move fluid throughout the brake lines.) If enough air enters the brake system, it can result in complete brake failure.
So how does air enter the lines in the first place? Sometimes, it can be the result of a service procedure or an upgrade – such as replacing the stock flex lines with stainless steel braided lines. But often it is the result of high temperatures that cause brake fluid components to boil, thus releasing gasses from the boiling fluid into the brake hydraulic system.
|Posted on September 1, 2017 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
It’s the worst feeling you can have as a driver: the indisputable fact that something is wrong. Steam spews from under the hood while warning bells chime and lights flash from your dashboard. Your engine is too hot, and you’ve got to pull over to the nearest parking lot or onto the road shoulder to let the engine cool down. There’s a knot in your stomach – this could be expensive.
Heat is an engine’s enemy. The damage caused by overheating can be catastrophic and require a complete overhaul or replacement if the problem is not caught in time. There are many conditions that can cause overheating, with some being straightforward repairs and others requiring long hours of work and high parts costs.
What is overheating?
An engine operates efficiently at a certain temperature. That temperature, even though it is too hot to touch by hand, is significantly cooler than it would be without a cooling system. Overheating is when the temperature of the engine climbs to a point where mechanical damage can occur. Usually a sustained temperature of over 240 degrees fahrenheit is enough to cause concern. Steam coming from the engine area, a temperature gauge spiking to the red zone, and engine warning lights – often shaped like a thermometer – are signs your vehicle may be overheating.
Does my car have a cooling system?
No matter how big or small it is, every engine has a cooling system. Very early on in vehicle development, car engines were air-cooled. Essentially, exposure to the air passing over it dissipated the heat from the engine. As engines became more complex and powerful, instances of overheating became more frequent, and a liquid-based cooling system was developed in response.
Liquid cooling systems are used almost exclusively in today’s automotive design and development. Your modern vehicle is equipped with a cooling system that circulates coolant (also known as antifreeze) throughout the engine and through a radiator to dissipate the heat.
How does it work?
There are many parts to a cooling system in an engine. There is a water pump, a thermostat, a heater core, a radiator, coolant hoses, and the engine itself. Here’s how it works:
The water pump has an impeller that circulates the coolant. The impeller looks like a fan or windmill, and is turned by the serpentine belt, or timing belt or chain.
The coolant flows through the engine’s coolant jacket, which is a labyrinth of channels through the engine block. Heat is absorbed by the coolant and carried out of the engine and into the heater core.
The heater core is a small radiator inside your vehicle to warm up the interior. A valve controls how much hot coolant passes through the heater core to warm the air temperature inside. The coolant then passes through a hose toward the radiator.
The radiator is essentially a long tube that is bent into shorter coils. The air passing by the coils disperses the heat from the coolant inside, reducing the temperature of the coolant. After passing through the radiator, a hose carries the cooled fluid back to the water pump and the cycle starts over.
WE WIIL CHECK THE COOLING SYSTEM AT NO COST TO YOU AT BRAKE WORLD PEMBROKE PINES
|Posted on August 31, 2017 at 11:30 AM||comments (1)|
There are two ways to check for brake wear on disc brakes: by looking and by listening. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced.
Have you ever heard a high-pitched screeching sound when you applied your brakes? That's a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. You should be aware of this sound (which is loud enough to be heard while the windows are up, but not necessarily loud enough to be heard over the radio or air conditioner). If you hear it regularly, quickly make an appointment with your mechanic.
One exception is if your car has been sitting after being exposed to water, such as from rain or from washing it. The moisture can cause a thin layer of rust to develop on the brake rotors. This is normal. When you first apply the brakes, the pads pressing on the rust-covered rotors may cause a squeal for a few stops until the rust is worn off and then the sound will disappear.
Here are some other signs of brake problems. If you experience any of these, you should visit your repair shop as soon as possible:
Reduced responsiveness or fading. If your brakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal "sinks" toward the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. One telltale sign of a brake fluid leak is the presence of a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil, but with a less "slimy" texture.
Pulling. If your vehicle "pulls" to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. Your vehicle may need a brake adjustment or to have the fluid drained and replaced.
Grinding or growling. This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely, most likely beyond replacement. The grinding or growling noise is caused by the two pieces of metal (the disc and the caliper) rubbing together. This can "score," or scratch your rotors, creating an uneven surface. If this happens, do not be surprised if your mechanic tells you that the rotors need to be "turned" (a process that evens out the rotor surface), or even replaced.
Vibration. A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors (but can also indicate that your vehicle is out of alignment). The vibration can feel similar to the feedback in the brake pedal during a panic stop in a vehicle equipped with anti-lock brakes.
It is a sign of warped rotors if the vibration occurs during braking situations when the anti-lock brakes are not engaged. Warped rotors are caused by severe braking for long periods, such as when driving down a steep mountain or when towing. Tremendous amounts of friction are created under these conditions, heating up the rotors and causing them to warp. The vibration is felt because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly. If you drive in these conditions, make sure to stop periodically to allow your brakes to cool off.
For many owners, maintaining the vehicle's brakes is something that is often overlooked. But keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and, more importantly, help you avoid a collision.
at brake world pembroke pines we inspect you brakes at no cost to you usually immediately so come in or call us 954-438-5560
10225 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33026
*We are located next to Applebee's across from City Hall at the Northwest Corner of Palm Ave and Pines Blvd.
Email: [email protected]
Licensed #AR1721/MV 18341