WHAT CAUSES ENGINE MISFIRE?

Engine misfiring is not something to dismiss. It points to a range of problems that, if left ignored, can lead to engine damage and serious repairs. What causes engine misfire? There’s no simple answer — several underlying issues could be responsible. Identifying the exact source of the problem is something you can do with the help of your mechanic. Here are the signs that it’s time to take your car into the shop for an engine inspection. A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On A shaking engine is never a good thing. Typically, when that happens, you feel a vibration that rattles the dashboard and sends tremors through the steering wheel. It can happen when you’re driving or idling at a traffic light

WHAT CAUSES A VEHICLE’S NEW CAR SMELL?

For some drivers, a vehicle’s new car smell is one of the most intoxicating fragrances on the planet. You may associate this smell with a time when a car’s cabin is fresh and pristine, unblemished by things like juice stains and shoe scuffs. This smell isn’t caused by just one substance. In fact, it’s created by a variety of elements that are used to construct a car’s cabin. An Unusual Potpourri The elements that create your vehicle’s new car smell are perhaps less rare than you might have imagined. One material that can cause this smell is polyester. Polyester is extremely resilient, and this has made it a popular choice for car upholstery. Polyurethane is another material commonly associat

CRUISE CONTROL 101

Cruise control can be a valuable ally on long highway trips. It allows you to maintain a constant speed without needing to keep your foot on the throttle, and this can reduce leg strain. Below, we’ll cover the history of this helpful feature and offer some tips on how to use it. We’ll also take a look at its most modern variant and how it could impact a generation of self-driving cars. Cruising Through a Crisis Cars made as early as 1900 used some form of speed control, but modern cruise control wasn’t patented until 1950, according to the Smithsonian. It was the brainchild of Ralph Teetor, a mechanical engineer. This feature gained popularity in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, the Smithson

BRAKE ROTORS: THE SIX DIFFERENT TYPES

Your brakes serve a very basic purpose: stopping your car. But there are choices to make when dealing with your brakes, not least of all choosing the right kind of brake rotor. Brake rotors can be made of six different materials, each with its own advantages. Let’s take a look at each. 1. Cast Iron This is the very definition of old school when it comes to a brake rotor. It’s one or two pieces and gets the job done. In fact, it’s the most common material for brake rotors. The right design (usually two-piece) can even work well in a performance vehicle. However, it’s also the heaviest option, which affects the overall weight of your car and its handling, since that weight is right up there wi

MOVING SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR CAR AND YOU

It’s moving day! There’s a lot of excitement, but a lot to consider too. Here are some moving safety tips to help things go smoothly, keep your car and belongings in good condition, and make sure you get to your new home safely. Avoid Bedlam With a Poorly Secured Mattress Besides being unsightly, tossing a mattress on the roof of your car and securing it with bungee cords, rope or the clinging hands of the people inside is unsafe. Don’t do it. There’s a lot of mass to a mattress, and no matter what you do, the wind generated by your car’s forward motion is going to go up your windshield — in between the roof and the mattress — and start to separate the mattress from the car. Your mattress wi

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Electric vehicles began taking the market by storm when Nissan introduced its mass-production Leaf model in 2011. Since then, nearly every manufacturer has brought its own EV to the market. The future appears bright for EVs, especially as engineering improvements make them more efficient and cost effective. That said, we’ll examine the good, the bad and the ugly of electric vehicles to help you make an informed decision about this emerging technology. The Good 1. No emissions. One of the big reasons EVs are so attractive is that they have absolutely no emissions. If you’re worried about your direct impact on the environment, an electric vehicle will help allay those concerns. 2. No gas. How

STRONG SHOWING LEADS TO THIRD-PLACE FINISH FOR ELLIOTT AT BRISTOL

Chase Elliott led a season-high 112 laps en route to a third-place finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The result gives Elliott his fifth top-three finish of the season. Elliott started Saturday night’s 500-lap event at Bristol from the outside pole. Elliott ran inside the top five for the vast majority of the first segment. During the competition caution at Lap 60, crew chief Alan Gustafson elected to bring Elliott to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to improve the Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet’s loose handling conditions. Following the pit stop, the No. 9 Chevrolet lined up eighth for the ensuing restart. Elliott recov

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH DIFFERENTIALS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM

Your car’s transmission sends power to the driven wheels, but the wheels themselves need assistance to operate effectively. If they were forced to rotate at the same speed, it would place a strain on the axle and hamper your car’s ability to turn. A differential helps prevent these issues by allowing each of your vehicle’s driven wheels to spin at a different speed. Check out these common problems with differentials, along with the serious consequences that can result if they’re left unaddressed. Symptoms of a Damaged Differential Other components may show signs of damage when your vehicle has differential problems. Here a few things to look for if you suspect something’s off: Worn carrier b

4 LAWN MOWER SAFETY TIPS THAT YOU MAY BE OVERLOOKING

For homeowners and renters alike, mowing the lawn is a normal part of life. Though lawn mower safety is something that may be taken for granted, it is still of the utmost importance. Here are four quick tips to keep you safe, whether you’re mowing your lawn or performing repairs on your machine. 1. Mowing Safety 101 For owners of both push and riding mowers, it’s essential to bear in mind that you’re handling a heavy piece of machinery that includes a powerful engine and sharp, spinning blade. Before starting, you should survey your yard for any obstacles, such as loose rocks, branches and debris that could be struck by the blades and ejected at high speeds. Make sure to wear proper attire

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAKES AND MASTER CYLINDER

Replacing the master cylinder for your brakes or clutch is a fairly simple task – unbolt the old one, bolt the new one in place, swap the lines and you are done, right? Not exactly. While the actual swap process is easy, there is one more step in the middle that you absolutely must do before you take the new unit to the car: bench bleed the air out. What Is A Master Cylinder? The master cylinder is a hydraulic pump. As you pump the pedal, it forces the brake fluid into the calipers/wheel cylinders (or clutch bearing for a clutch master cylinder). This works really well because fluid does not compress. Air, however, compresses quite easily, so any air in the braking system will reduce the hy

THE FUTURE OF VOICE COMMAND CAR TECHNOLOGY

Voice command car technology has been around a while, but its level of sophistication has grown since its earliest incarnations. Older systems offered a very limited range of commands and often required users to speak unnaturally. The situation has improved in recent years. Thanks to technology offered by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, today’s voice command car technology is more user-friendly than ever before. Here’s a look at the current capabilities of the two systems — and what to expect from them down the road. Amazon’s Alexa If you have a connected Alexa device, you can use it to execute certain voice commands in vehicles made by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, BMW, Mercede

HOW TO PROTECT CAR PAINT AND YOUR CAR’S UNDERCARRIAGE

Car paint isn’t just there to look good. It’s what keeps the metal underneath from being exposed to rust. Here are three easy ways to protect car paint, so it protects your vehicle longer, and one way to ensure your undercarriage also gets the love it deserves. 1. Keep It Clean Wash your car regularly and often. It’s the first and easiest way to protect car paint. That’s not just dust that builds up on your car when you go too long without a wash. It’s tree sap, road grime, bugs, leaves and pollution … any and all of which can fade, discolor and even eat your paint away. Washing your car is a great do-it-yourself project, and there’s a wide array of washes, cloths and complete kits that can

BOAT SAFETY TIPS: HOW TO ENSURE YOUR TIME ON THE WATER IS SMOOTH SAILING

Boating is a great summertime activity for all ages, but it’s easy to forget the real dangers it poses. It’s something to take seriously, and being prepared is the number-one thing you can do to keep everyone safe and happy. With a bit of forethought and boat safety know-how, you can greatly reduce the risks and enjoy a day on the water. Get Everything Shipshape The first type of necessary preparation is physical. You want to make sure your boat has been properly maintained and is free from any damage or potential hazards. In addition to regular boat service, always check things like fluid levels (including fuel!) and boat supplies before heading out. The Coast Guard actually offers free saf

VINYL CAR WRAP: WHAT IS IT?

You’ve seen them around town, and in increasing numbers too: vinyl-wrapped cars. Some are very easy to spot if the wrap touts a local business, a product or even a political point of view. Other wraps are not as apparent, as they simply change the color of a car without a repaint. A vinyl car wrap isn’t for everyone – it can make your car look worse or do lasting damage if you’re attempting to conceal a problem. Entering the Wrap Game So, why wrap a car? Typically, the goal is to change its appearance. That said, you should exercise caution here. Unless the current paint is in top condition, a wrap will usually not disguise the problem. In some cases it will only amplify the flaws you want c

BEST FAMILY CARS 2018: THINGS TO CONSIDER

Buying a new car for your family can be a daunting task. You want to make sure your investment keeps everyone both satisfied and safe. There are quite a few factors to consider, but the best family cars 2018 can meet all of your demands and deliver the whole family happily to your destination. Safety and Security The first consideration in buying a new family car is usually safety. Luckily we live in the internet age, which means there is plenty of information available on the safety ratings of various vehicles, but you still have to read through the research for yourself. These safety ratings are measured using different factors, so it’s important to take into account your personal prioriti

DIY LAWN MOWER REPAIRS: FIXES YOU CAN HANDLE YOURSELF

Lawn mowers are a vital tool for anyone responsible for a yard, but they have their share of problems — generally when you need them most. Luckily, many issues are easy enough to solve. You just have to know the operational basics and some of the more common DIY lawn mower repairs. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual to make sure you do things safely. Here’s how to get started. Mow Know-How Lawn mower engines are generally gas-powered combustion engines similar to what you see in cars, but smaller. They need the same three basic elements to run: air, fuel and spark. That’s a good place to start your diagnosis. Does your mower have all three? If not, then why? Remem

DRIVE SHAFT AND AXLE SHAFT BASICS: OPERATION & TROUBLESHOOTING

Most vehicles have drive shafts to transmit engine and transmission torque to the wheels. Usually, people refer to the longitudinal shaft — running front to back— as the “drive shaft,” and the transverse — from the differential to the wheel — as an “axle shaft.” Front-wheel-drive vehicles have two axle shafts, while four-wheel-drive vehicles may have two drive shafts and four axle shafts, for a total of six. Short axle shafts are typically solid steel, while longer drive shafts are usually tubular steel, aluminum or carbon fiber, to reduce weight. Because the shaft is a spinning drivetrain member, it is dynamically balanced to eliminate vibrations. Sliding joints and universal (U) joints all

CAR DEPRECIATION: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Car depreciation is a costly part of vehicle ownership that’s often left out of the conversation when discussing a potential purchase. You may already know that a car or truck’s value typically decreases over time, but do you know why? Certain key factors play into depreciation, and there are certain types of vehicles, driving styles, modifications, and maintenance issues that have an outsize impact on depreciation overall. Here’s what you should keep in mind to get as high a resale value as possible. Market Value One of the biggest factors affecting car depreciation is the market for a particular model. How desirable a vehicle is to buyers, as well as how rare it is, can have a significant

1234YF REFRIGERANT IS HERE: WHAT IS IT?

Especially on hot days, we’re extremely thankful for our vehicles’ air conditioning systems. With just one turn of a knob or a push of a button, cool air soon begins flowing from the vents to fill the cabin. Within minutes, an oppressively overheated interior should cool to a comfortable level. One essential element of climate control systems is the refrigerant. R134a refrigerant is common, but many new vehicles are now switching to 1234yf refrigerant. We’ll explore this new cooling substance and what it means for your ride. Keeping Cool: An AC History Early automotive air conditioning systems started cropping up in the mid-20th century. Today, nearly all new vehicles offer air conditioning

MOLD AND MILDEW REMOVAL FOR YOUR CAR

That new car smell doesn’t last forever. That’s natural. But if it’s been replaced by the smell of mold or mildew, you’ll want to address the problem. The good news is that it can be fixed. Mold and mildew removal takes some work, but it’s doable. Prevention is the Best Cure Mold and mildew are caused by moisture. If you have a leaky door, window or sunroof seal, you need to get it fixed. The heat of the sun isn’t drying out that moisture; it’s creating the perfect home for mold and mildew. Exercising caution when you have food and beverages in the car — and staying on top of spills when they happen — is also a good tactic for preventing mold and mildew. DIY Mold and Mildew Removal When you’

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle