It’s time to start thinking about the colder days to come. Give us a call if you need your engine cooling system checked, so you’ll be ready when the temperature drops!
It’s the beginning of fall, and time to consider your coolant.
This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.
As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:
• It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.
• It is used to raise the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.
It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze before being added to the cooling system. This 50/50 solution not only prevents freezing, but also preserves proper cooling properties.
Also concerning the antifreeze to water mixture ratio: adding more antifreeze to the mix (once again, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer) to increase its percentage in the mixture is not better. Generally speaking, after the ratio exceeds more than about 65% antifreeze to 35% water, freeze protection can actually diminish, but even worse, heat dissipation can radically decrease, since the water is the primary substance used for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.
Law enforcement everywhere will be increasing their presence this Labor Day weekend in an effort to prevent drunk driving. Do your part by securing safe, sober rides and never driving under the influence. Have a great holiday!
Click Here for More Information on Law Enforcement’s Plans This Labor Day Weekend
Seven Signs Your Brakes Need to Be Inspected – Brake Safety Month
During Brake Safety Awareness Month in August, the Car Care Council reminds motorists that routine brake inspections are essential to safe driving and maintaining your vehicle.
“When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.”
The Car Care Council recommends that motorists watch for seven signs that their brakes need to be inspected:
1.Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
2.Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
3.Low Pedal:brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.
4.Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
5.Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
6.Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.
7.Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.
Brakes are a normal wear item on any vehicle and they will eventually need to be replaced. Factors that can affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material.
Using the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you remember to have your brakes inspected and take better care of your vehicle. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
Four Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System
June 10, 2014
With the hot summer temperatures on the rise, knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical to your summer driving plans, since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating , leaks , a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant , according to the Car Care Council.
“Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure, which would put a sudden end to your summer road trip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If the
cooling system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, it’s not a question of whether it will fail, but rather when it will fail. Performing regular checkups of belts, hoses, the water pump and fluids will ensure your car remains properly cooled and healthy for many miles down the road.”
The primary job of the engine’s cooling system is to remove the heat that is generated during the combustion process. The coolant temperature can be well over 200 degrees and that heat has to go somewhere, otherwise engine components are going to start failing. The key parts of the cooling system remove the heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dispel it to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.
A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes. Motorists should consult their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system. A coolant flush and fill is basic to cooling system maintenance as new antifreeze helps the engine run cooler and a flush removes dirt or sediment that could damage other cooling system parts.
The coolant level should be checked regularly at the reservoir and motorists are reminded to NEVER open a hot radiator cap. If the coolant is low, a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and distilled water should be added.
Motorists can also do a visual inspection of hoses, belts and the radiator to help identify cooling system problems before they escalate. Radiator leaks, bulging hoses or frayed and cracked belts are clues that the cooling system is in need of maintenance.
Additional signs of cooling system problems include the vehicle temperature gauge rising near the danger zone, coolant leaks, steam or hissing sounds under the hood or the district smell of an engine that’s running hot.
The Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle this summer and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org .
Shared from the website Visual.ly
A car’s dashboard is a communication device that relays important pieces of information to the driver. Utilizing a vast range of sensors and sophisticated on-board equipment, your vehicle is able to self diagnose a wide range of issues relating to its condition and performance. With the advancements in modern day motoring technology, the number of potential problems the dashboard can warn the driver on has risen dramatically. This infographic provides an overview of the most common and universally used car warning lights, what they mean and how the driver should act once illuminated.
Please note that every car has its own individual set of specific dashboard warning lights and precise information relating to each one can be found in the driver handbook. This allows consumers some ability to self diagnose a wide range of issues relating to its condition and performance.
For a comprehensive look at most warning lights and what they mean go to the following link on the Visual.ly website: http://visual.ly/car-dashboard-warning-lights-understanding-what-they-mean-how-to-act-they-mean-how-act
More car fires occur every year due to deferred maintenance than accidents. Keep your family safe…
Things can get out of control quickly if you don’t know what to do when your vehicle’s temperature rises.
M any modern automobiles are so refined that you can hardly hear their engines anymore, but don’t be lulled into complacency—there’s still a combustion cycle taking place under the hood, and catastrophic overheating remains a remote possibility. That’s why you should periodically check your vehicle’s temperature gauge while driving. Every gauge has a normal stopping point once the engine is warmed up; it’s usually a bit below the midpoint line between cold and hot. It’s probably not a doomsday scenario for your engine if your gauge ever reads anywhere above normal, but it could easily become one if you don’t take prompt action. Here are the steps you’ll need to know.
Step 1: Check for steam
The one surefire indication that you’ve really got an overheating engine is that old B-movie standby: plumes of steam pouring out before your eyes. Except it likely won’t be that dramatic, so take a closer look. If you see any steam at all, proceed to Step 3 posthaste lest you meet the same fiery demise as many a B-movie villain. Steam is bad. Take it seriously.
Step 2: Turn off your A/C, Turn on your heater
If you’re the cautious type, skip directly to Step 3—but bear in mind that older engines in particular are prone to mild overheating on hot days, especially when the air conditioner has been running. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in this case; you just need to give your engine a breather. So if you don’t see any steam, you can turn off the A/C and see if that calms things down. If it doesn’t, put your heater on full-blast, which will transfer heat away from the engine. Of course, it will also transfer heat toward you, but your comfort is a lesser priority than the engine’s at this point. If these measures don’t work in short order, then you’ve definitely got a problem, and you need to stop driving and figure it out.
Step 3: Pull over and turn off your engine
When you find a safe place to stop, get there and kill the engine immediately. Do not idle the engine while you’re collecting your thoughts. Engines have to work harder to keep cool at idle than at cruising speed, and the last thing you want to do is add stress to a potentially overheating engine. So turn it off, and then take that breath. NOTE: If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, and you believe your engine is suffering from more than just temporary overload, now is the time to call for roadside assistance. The remaining steps will require you to get your hands dirty.
Step 4: Pop the hood
WARNING: Very likely it’s hotter than usual under there. You’ll get a feel for this once you’ve pulled the hood release and the hood is slightly ajar. If the heat strikes you as potentially dangerous—as it may well be—then let the engine cool down before proceeding. Only open the hood fully when you are confident that it’s safe to do so.
Step 5: Check coolant levels
Your engine should have a coolant reservoir in the vicinity of the radiator (see your owner’s manual for the exact location). This is usually made of plastic and thus unlikely to be dangerously hot. Check the coolant level in this reservoir. If it’s normal, you’re in luck—chances are you’ve just got a malfunctioning temperature gauge. As long as there are no other signs of overheating, you can restart the engine and proceed with caution. If it’s low or empty, however, there’s probably a coolant leak somewhere. Calling for roadside assistance is strongly advised here, though the more mechanically inclined might first inspect the radiator hoses for loose clamps and such.
Step 6: If you need to keep driving…
Wait until you’re certain that the engine is cool, protect your hand with a thick glove or rag, and twist off the radiator cap. Coolant is normally visible just below where the cap sits (your owner’s manual will have the details), but if your engine’s overheating, the coolant in your radiator should be visibly depleted. Be sure to refill both the radiator and the reservoir, using coolant or—if necessary—water. This should bring the temperature down once you’re underway, but remember, you’ve got a serious leak somewhere, so be vigilant. If the temperature starts rising again, you’ll have to pull over and repeat the process. Incidentally, by no means should you view this as a long-term solution—your engine needs professional help, so get your mechanic on the job as soon as you can.