download (20)The most important control mechanism in your car, as a driver, is the steering wheel. The cozy and smooth ride that you enjoy is usually the product of good steering and a good suspension system. Many people also don’t know that a broken suspension system can affect the steering wheel which means the problems you’re experiencing with the steering wheel might have originated from the suspension system.

More importantly, both of these parts play a critical role in your car: good steering ensures that a car is safe for the occupants, while the suspension makes the passengers comfortable and keeps the car from falling apart a lot faster. This is why the steering and the suspension should be checked regularly.

Steering Wheel Problems

When there are problems with the steering wheel, the car may pull itself in a particular direction. The wheel can also shake as you drive which can make it harder for you to keep the entire vehicle along your intended path. At other times, the steering may completely get locked in a single position, making it impossible to steer. This, of course, can result in immediate and catastrophic disaster in cases where the car ends up veering off the road at high speeds. A steering wheel that is in perfect working order will make steering more accurate, safe and reliable. Other steering wheel issues include fluid leakages and overly tight belts.

Steering problems can be caused by a broken suspension system. A vibrating wheel is also usually the most obvious indication that the wheels are loose or unbalanced. This is why a steering problem requires such immediate and serious attention. It is usually a sign that things are terribly wrong in another part of the car.

Suspension Problems

When the suspension system has issues, your car will not handle bumps and rough roads as well as it generally should, and the tires will wear out unevenly. You might also hear noises when you go over bumpy surfaces. You might ignore the problem thinking that your car can hold out for some time before you visit the garage, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. A suspension problem often causes problems in other parts of the car. In general, your car will wear down much faster, which means ignoring suspension problems will eventually result in more visits to the garage than necessary over time.

 

download (19)Common Reasons for Failure

• Improperinstallation

• Damaged seals present

• Recent accident suffered that’s causing damage

Anyone who has recently replaced a wheel bearing, even within the last year should know that if properly installed it shouldn’t fail again for its entire lifespan. The only way it could is if as mentioned above, there is a seal failure or a vehicle accident. Other failures can be from manufacturers defects or even a bad installation. Low mileage, unbalanced tires and bad shocks are also contributors but not as common.

Vehicle bearings are not parts that wear down like tires and brakes do. The majority of them will last the entire lifetime of the car without needing to be replaced. If one fails and the mechanic says both need replaced, find another mechanic. This is just not true! Steer clear of any mechanic that tries to sell a client on this repair.

Have the Right Tools to DIY

Anyone that plans on doing the work themselves when it comes to replacement should know it’s not hard but it does take some time. Making sure the right tools are available is a smart move. To change it one will need:

  • A 12-ton Hydraulic Press
  • Chilton’s Manual or similar

Damaging the hub and bearing is easily avoided with these tools, don’t chance the repair otherwise or it may end up costing more in the long run in time and money. There are many user friendly tools available that carry all the necessary accessories and there will be no extra assembly involved.

If a press is necessary, disassembly may be needed to remove the wheel wheel bearing, and one must be super careful not to damage the ABS sensor (Anti-lock Braking System). When employing a hub tamer there’s no need to remove the complete knuckle assembly so the work is minimal and having complications is less likely. Some prefer to use special snap-ring pliers to deal with the snap ring holding on the bearing, as it can be difficult.

Nervous About Noises?

Figuring out the cause a wheel bearing noise is no simple task. Most believe it’s tire issues, but aren’t privy to the fact it is the bearings. If they are aware of this, then the problem comes in determining which one has failed. This could even be why some replace both, because they are unsure which it is.

Anyone who has a wheel that’s making noise and they are having difficulty figuring out which one is making it will thankfully discover that there are certainly ways to figure out which is the culprit. They can also trust the professionals to determine which it is, or when it doubt replace both. A great deal of money can be saved when one does it themselves. The important thing is to take the vehicle in or diagnose it right away.

Don’t chance being involved in an accident when bearings fail and vehicle tires seize. Pay attention to the crucial role of wheel bearings and keep every vehicle safe on the road for the driver and others.

 

download (18)Engine oil is vital for proper functioning; if it is not changed it will clog and will not lubricate properly producing extra heat inside the engine. You may not notice this because the gauge on the dashboard may not show the extra heat. Oil is generally changed according to the mileage of your car, certain cars need it changed more often than others, your car manual has a section dedicated to this topic. As a general rule and depending on the car’s use, oil must be changed every two or three months. It is also important to change the oil filter because as the oil circulates inside the engine it picks up minuscule pieces of metal which can eventually produce wear and damage vital engine parts. A trick you can use to check the viscosity of your engine oil is to take out the oil stick and using your index and thumb take some oil from the tip of the stick and separate your fingers. If the oil stretches between your fingers it is good, if not you must have it changed.

Cars need oxygen for the combustion process. Clean air is necessary for the fuel to burn properly. This air gets into your combustion system through the air filter. If the filter is dirty or full of dust you will not have enough air to burn fuel properly. When the combustion system does not have enough air, fuel is wasted because it is released through the exhaust pipe without burning. A dirty air filter will also reduce your car’s horsepower making it harder for it to go uphill. In this situation your car will also respond slower when you step on the gas. This is one maintenance job you can do by yourself, all you have to do is un-clamp the air filter cover, take the old one out and put the new one in. Some people take their cars to the mechanic and have the air filters cleaned with air pressure. Do not do this; it only works to a certain point. The passages on the filter through which the air flows are extremely small and using air pressure will not clean them out. It is recommended to do this at the same time you change your oil.

Engines need a specific temperature to work properly, too much heat may damage motor gaskets or other moving parts which may be expensive and time-consuming to change. Cooling liquid travels through the engine keeping it within the proper heat range necessary for operation returning afterwards to the radiator where it cools of and returns into the engine. Radiator maintenance is as easy as changing the air filter, all you have to do is add coolant to the plastic container which is attached to the radiator through a small hose. Some of the coolant evaporates or is consumed inside the engine which is why the plastic container must be kept full. Too much heat causes extra wear to the moving parts inside the motor and excessive heat can damage it permanently.

Generally people do not pay too much attention to their tires unless they are flat. This is a big mistake; the tires on your car were designed to run with a specific amount of air pressure inside of them. Maintaining this air pressure allows uniform wear on the tires. Maintaining this air pressure makes the car easier and safer to handle, it also saves fuel. When the factory designed the tires you are using they tested them so that only a specific amount of the tire was in contact with the road while driving. If the tire has too much air the tire will lose flexibility and the drive will be bumpy even on a flat, paved road. When the tires, especially the front tires, do not have enough air; a larger portion of the tire rolls on the pavement making it harder make turns or curves. Deflated tires may also make your car slide if you are going fast and have to apply the brakes suddenly. Solving and preventing this problem is easy enough, all you need is a tire gauge and a few minutes to check each tire. If you do not know or do not remember how much pressure your tires should have; no problem, you can find it on the tire itself.

These are a few simple maintenance tips that will help you improve your car’s performance, save fuel and most of all protect your car and the people in it. They are not hard to do once a week and can save you from a lot of pain and headaches. The best part is that you do not even have to know anything about cars and engines to do them. With the exception of the timely oil and oil filter change, the rest you can do at home without the need for tools or any expertise or experience. Preventing engine and car problems is always cheaper and better than having to call a tow truck because your car is overheated or a tire blew up. These few tips will keep your old car running better and longer than you had expected.

download (21)When your check engine light illuminates, it is often the first sign of car trouble. There are various reasons why your car’s check engine light could come on, from a loose gas cap or faulty chip, to a blown head gasket or something much worse. But when it comes to your engine overheating, there are 5 probable causes behind the problem. And the signs are not hard to see.

One of the first signs of an overheating car engine is usually seeing the temperature gauge nearing or exceeding the maximum internal engine temperature level illustrated on the dial. But most often, you just see smoke coming from the hood! You might also smell burning oil or fuel, which is another sign of your car engine overheating. Continue reading to learn five likely reason why your car engine is overheating.

Radiator Issues

There are two common radiator defects that can lead to a car engine overheating. First, you could have a bad radiator fan. This fan blows air over the radiator fins in order to help control the temperature of the coolant. If it comes loose, has broken shrouds, or spins freely when the engine is off, it cannot perform its intended duties, causing the coolant temperature to raise and overheat the engine. But if the fan is not the problem, it could just be a faulty radiator. Leaks, clogs, and broken lines can cause a radiator to malfunction, and subsequently cause a car engine to overheat.

Cooling System Issues

A vehicle’s cooling system lines can get blocked or clogged with rust, dirt, or sediment. This inhibits the cooling system from being able to do its job, thus causing the engine overheat. This is why regular fluid flushed and replacements are imperative. Another common cause of an overheating car engine in terms of a vehicle’s cooling system are leaks. Leaks in the cooling system are a frequent cause for overheating car engines. Also, if you use the wrong concentration of coolant, it can have the same effect. Be sure to get an even water-to-coolant ratio.

Thermostat Issues

A bad thermostat is another common reason for overheated car engines. It is a heat-sensitive valve that opens and shuts in accordance to engine temperature. If something goes wrong and the thermostat gets stuck in the closed position, the car engine’s temperature will skyrocket.

Water Pump Issues

The water pump is colloquially known as the “heart” of the vehicle since it pumps coolant much like a heart pumps blood. But a vehicle’s water pump pressurizes and propels coolant through the cooling system, so it plays a major role in a car’s temperature control. If something goes wrong, the coolant can’t make it to the engine, and the engine gets too hot.

Belt and Hose Issues

Broken and loose belts, as well as, worn or burst hoses, are common causes for overheating car engines. Belts turn the water pump, which is essential for the cooling system and more. If they stop working, so does the cooling system. A faulty hose means leaks, which means a lack of coolant. This also causes a car to overheat.