So you come out to start your car one morning and the Check Engine light on the dashboard comes on…and doesn’t go back off again. You can’t really notice any difference in the way the car runs and drives, but it’s on anyway.
What does it mean?
Since the late 80s, most engine functions have been controlled by a central drivetrain computer. This includes emissions controls, fuel metering and delivery, ignition timing, shift points and many other elements of drivability and performance. The drivetrain computer relies on information from a chain of sensors that monitor exhaust composition, camshaft position, throttle position and many other factors.
The voltage readings from any of these sensors are supposed to fall within a certain range. When ...[more]
- Thermostatic expansion valve
Let's address a maintenance item for everyone – timing belt replacement. It's important because letting this one slide can lead to engine damage.
Your timing belt is what makes all the moving parts inside the engine open and close at the precise
time needed in order for your engine to run smoothly and efficiently.
The worst case for drivers is that a valve is opening at the wrong time and collides with the piston. The result is bent valves and maybe even more damage to the cylinder head. Repairs can run several thousand dollars or damage the engine beyond repair.
Now, timing belts just wear out naturally so you want to replace a worn belt before it slips or breaks. Check your owner's manual o ...[more]
Often, drivers are mystified by how their cars actually work. It’s to be expected. Even an older car is a complex machine with many sub-assemblies that all work together to move it down the road.
As a result, drivers tend to be a little intimidated by auto repair and often tend to not inform themselves by asking the necessary questions of a tech or a garage. Too often, that ends up being a big mistake. Here are some examples of the kinds of things you really should know before any auto repair work starts:
- Does your shop work on any kind of vehicle? Of course, most shops can service a product from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and the other leading makes. Some makes, however, require a lot more training and experience, o ...[more]