YOUR CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TURNED ON, WHAT’S NEXT?

The check engine light can be an intimidating surprise. A number of questions immediately come to mind: What’s wrong with your car? Will it be expensive to fix? Can you fix it yourself, or will you have to bring your car to a mechanic? With the right tools and resources, you can quickly get to the root of the issue. Why Did the Check Engine Light Illuminate? First, think back to when the light came on. Was it just after you refueled or hit a pothole? Then, consider any other potential clues. Is there steam coming out from under the hood? Does the engine sound like a shaking box of hammers? Generally speaking, the severity of the issue will dictate how promptly you must address the situation.

WHAT CAR MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE SHOULD YOU FOLLOW?

Everyone knows the age-old car maintenance schedule advice of getting your oil changed every 3,000 miles. Or was it 7,500 miles or three months? There’s a passionate debate around service intervals — whether they should be based on time or mileage, and even then, how much? What everyone can agree on is that following a maintenance schedule is important, so let’s cut through some of the fat to find out what’s best for your vehicle. Time Is Miles The reason there are so many heated opinions on the matter is because the answer isn’t straightforward. Vehicles sustain a lot of wear and tear, and while some components are consumed more than others (oil, tires, wipers, air filters, etc., are prime

CHOOSING HYDRAULIC OIL FOR DURABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

Hydraulic systems found on heavy machinery are under a lot of demand, even more so as manufacturers move to lighter and more efficient designs. Choosing the right hydraulic oil for your heavy equipment, whether you’re operating a single piece of machinery, running a farm or a fleet of construction equipment, is critical to keeping your business running. As hydraulic systems have changed, operators expect even more out of them, but may spend less time on maintenance. What factors go into choosing hydraulic oil for your equipment? Basically, the name of the game is “high performance.” Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting hydraulic oil. Viscosity Older hydraulic systems used hea

VEHICLE RECALLS: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

If you own a car, then chances are you may have to deal with a vehicle recall at some point. Here’s what you need to know about them and what you should do if there’s one issued for your vehicle. What Are Vehicle Recalls? Every car make goes through months of rigorous testing before it goes on sale. Despite all of that, some things get missed and can eventually cause problems for owners months or even years after they buy their cars. There are laws in place, like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which protect you if you have problems with your car specifically. Vehicle recalls are issued when a problem is found to affect not just one car, but multiple vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Sa

BATTERY TERMINAL END: FAILURE SYMPTOMS

Being able to engage your car’s ignition and turn it on without giving it a second thought is something a lot of drivers take for granted. However, trouble may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including with your car’s battery, which supplies electricity for ignition. Problems with a battery terminal end can leave you stranded, but the solutions are easy to identify and relatively simple to mend. Signs of Battery Terminal Trouble The battery terminal end serves as the connection point between a vehicle’s electrical system and the battery itself. When trouble occurs, it can typically be spotted by the following warning signs: 1. Difficulty starting the vehicle. Turn your key to “start” o

WHAT CAUSES A HEATER CORE TO FAIL?

Running water is great to have for your home — inside your car, not so much. If you find water dripping onto your carpets from underneath the dashboard, there’s a good chance that a failed heater core is the culprit. What Is It Anyway? A heater core is like a smaller version of the radiator that’s under your car’s hood, and the two are connected. Coolant runs through it, and when the fluid warms up, the core creates heat that radiates through your vehicle’s heater. It also plays an important role in your car’s air conditioning system. It splits the work with the air conditioning compressor to hit the temperature you dial in. It also dehumidifies the air in the cabin and defogs your windshiel

CAR BRAKE CLEANING TIPS

You step on the brakes one day and hear a squealing sound. And it’s not the tires — it’s the brakes themselves. That noise from the disc brakes is often caused by brake dust, and the answer is a good cleaning. Below are some useful car brake cleaning tips to help keep your brakes running smoothly. Question: Can I Clean My Brakes? The answer is yes. You should be able to manage the cleaning, as long as you’re fairly handy and follow some simple but important safety steps along with these car brake cleaning tips. Raise the Car A garage-style hoist is best for this, but if you don’t have access to one, jack stands are the next best thing. Note that you will need more than one jack stand for the

FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE: HOW IT WORKS AND WHEN TO USE IT

Four-wheel drive is a feature often seen in trucks and large crossovers. Below, we’ll examine what this amenity is and shed some light on its benefits and disadvantages. We’ll also provide insight into when you should use this feature and how to tell if it’s working correctly. What It Is and How It Differs From Other Powertrains Most vehicles have a powertrain that sends power to just two of its wheels. A two-wheel-drive powertrain may be either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive provides an alternate method of power delivery. This configuration sends power to all four of a vehicle’s wheels. This setup is similar to all-wheel drive in that both systems deliver torque to

HEAVY MACHINERY CARE: HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR INVESTMENT

People who own and operate heavy machinery know that while the job they provide is vital, repairs can be costly. However, considering the price tag on buying new machinery easily starts at six figures, it’s usually better to get the repairs done to ensure the longevity of your machine. That said, with a proper heavy machinery care routine, many repairs can be avoided to minimize surprises and operational downtime. Heavy Duties It’s the same as with personal vehicles: A little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way. But setting a good service routine is far more important for heavy machinery, because even small problems can put people’s safety at risk, whether it’s an operator or a b

4 UNCOMMON SPOTS TO DEEP CLEAN IN YOUR CAR

We all know how to clean a car don’t we? For many of us, it’s one of our fondest childhood memories and one of our most common adult responsibilities. And it’s usually not difficult – just wipe down the dash, vacuum the seats and floorboards, and give the exterior a good once-over with soap and water. And voila! You have a fresh clean car, right? Well, while these tactics a perfectly fine for your routine car cleaning regimen, there are actually plenty of other nooks and crannies that are worth cleaning when you really want a pristine ride. In this article we’ll tell you about four of the easily cleanable areas you may have forgotten – or totally overlooked – and how to deep clean them. Head

WHAT THE EMERGENCE OF EMERGENCY BRAKING SYSTEMS MEANS TO YOU

Emergency braking systems are a relatively new improvement in the world of automotive safety. They’re also a subtle development. You’re unlikely to ever notice their presence until you’re in a situation that requires the most stopping power from your brakes in the shortest span of time. Why are emergency braking systems becoming so common in new cars and trucks, and how do they work? Let’s take a quick look at this emerging technology. Stopping Power Modern automobiles have truly exceptional braking power. However, when faced with the need to stop as quickly as possible, most people don’t take full advantage of what their brakes have to offer, thereby increasing stopping distances and the ri

5 COMMON DRIVING CHALLENGES AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

Driving a car is fairly straightforward; you probably follow most of the rules of the road without much thought. But there certain challenges that crop up, especially when you’re traveling in an area you aren’t familiar with. Entering and leaving traffic circles and even knowing when to give pedestrians the right of way can quickly turn into white-knuckles-on-the-wheel situations. Though some of the rules vary from state to state, here are five common driving challenges you’ll face no matter where you drive. 1. How to Tame a Traffic Circle Also known as rotaries or roundabouts, traffic circles are cropping up everywhere. They’re proven ways to move traffic, replacing signaled intersections i

FALL CAR CARE: 7 FLUIDS TO CHECK

Fall and spring are the best times to check your car’s fluids, being ahead of the coldest and after the hottest months of the year. Extreme temperatures can take a toll on your car, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown, which may lead to an expensive repair. Your fall car care routine should include checking these seven key fluids. 1. Motor Oil Motor oil is to your car what blood is to the body: a vital fluid that allows both to function optimally. Engine oil must be changed regularly, but service intervals are generally much longer than the 3,000-mile schedule DIYers followed in the past. Furthermore, many new cars now require synthetic oils. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct

IS DRIVING WITH THE GAS LIGHT ON REALLY THAT BAD?

We’ve all been there. You’re driving, when your low-fuel light comes on and you think, “I can get home; I’ll do it tomorrow.” Or maybe you decide to keep driving until you find cheap-enough gas. It makes sense, your car will continue down the road for a while longer … but at what cost? Is consistently driving with the gas light on really that big a deal? It turns out it kind of is. Miles to Go Before I Fill First off, you don’t really know how much farther that remaining fuel will take you. Even with the very accurate volume measurements in modern cars, mileage is still an estimate. It depends on your driving habits, traffic conditions and even things you wouldn’t think of like tire inflatio

PREPARE YOUR CAR FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE: A HANDY CHECKLIST

Learning how to properly prepare your car for long-term storage will protect the investment you have made in your cherished ride. Whether it’s a classic that will never see the winter snow again, or a vehicle that you simply don’t plan on driving once summer is in the rearview mirror, preparation goes a long way toward ensuring that your car survives its hibernation in comfort. Top Off Fluids, Air Up Tires One of the most common questions about how to prepare your car for long-term storage has to do with gasoline: specifically, is it going to go “bad” in the tank from sitting there for too long? It actually takes quite a long time for the additives in gasoline to separate out, which means th

SAFE WINTER STORAGE: 4 BOAT FLUID PREP TIPS

Boat fluid prep is a step you simply can’t skip when getting your boat ready for storage during the off-season. Check out these four tips to prepare your boat’s fluids for long-term storage. 1. Flush And Drain A clean boat is a happy boat — at least, from a coolant perspective. At the end of the season, it’s a good idea to flush out your boat’s cooling system, which means running fresh water through a raw water cooling system to make sure it’s as clean as possible. Outboard motors need a similar flush and drain process before being put away long term. Make sure the final fluid you run through is antifreeze so that it leaves behind an anti-corrosive film inside the cooling passages. If you ha

WHAT DOES THE BRAKE MASTER CYLINDER DO?

When you think about your brakes, you likely imagine the parts you can see behind each wheel. Most cars have disc brakes with a caliper, pad and large, round rotor that are all visible. Then there are the parts you can’t see until you lift the hood, like the brake master cylinder. This part helps stop your car, so it’s important to keep it properly maintained. Here’s how it keeps your brakes functioning smoothly and how to know if something is wrong. What This Critical Brake Part Does Press on the brake pedal and the brake master cylinder converts the pressure from your foot into hydraulic pressure. This hydraulic pump forces brake fluid through a series of pipes and hoses to engage your bra

CAR SENSORS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS

Car sensors and their functions may seem complicated, but they’re a simple way to make sure essential systems in your vehicle are operating smoothly. These sensors monitor everything from oxygen levels to air flow to the temperature of the engine coolant. Here are five car sensors and their functions to help you better understand how your engine works. Oxygen (O2) Sensor Your engine needs oxygen, but too much or too little can cause problems. These sensors measure the oxygen level in your car’s exhaust and compare it to the amount of oxygen in the air around your car. This determines the ratio of fuel to air in your engine, which is called the fuel ratio. It’s used by the engine’s computer t

WHAT TO DO AFTER A DEER COLLISION

Fall is a beautiful time of year, but it comes with its own unique set of driving hazards, including increased chances of a deer collision. Hopefully, you’ll never need this information, but here’s what you need to know if you hit a deer with your car. acc Safety First It’s important to move your car to avoid a secondary accident where someone hits your stopped vehicle. Drive off to the side of the road if possible and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the situation. Call the Police Once you’re safely pulled over, call the police to let them know you hit a deer and whether it’s blocking the road. Do not try to move the animal yourself! It could accidentally hurt you or some

2018 SEMA SHOW REVIEW

The 2018 Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association, more commonly known as SEMA holds an annual trade show in Las Vegas the first week of November. It is the largest automotive convention in the world, and it just keeps getting bigger. The caveat is that this show is not open to the public, so it is often shrouded in mystery, which is why you will see tons of show coverage during and after the event for the folks who can’t get in. While it is not a car show, it’s a car show. One that just happens to have the largest manufacturer midway on the planet. While not every manufacturer has a booth on the floor, it seems like they do. From hard core race parts to cheap knock-offs, it can be fou

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