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Bad Alternator or Battery: Which One Is It and How Can You Tell?

Bad Alternator or Battery: Which One Is It and How Can You Tell?

A common mechanical issue in starting problems with most vehicles (especially with older models), is whether the behavior is due to a bad battery or a bad alternator. Since the two are inextricably linked this can be hard to determine sometimes.    A strong battery will run a car for a time if the alternator goes out, but it does all of the work originally designed for the two to do together. If the battery dies however, then the car goes nowhere. Both problems are equally important and require immediate fixing. Yet, it can be confusing to know which one to fix over the other, so here is a guide to assist on some of the more common issues from the battery or the alternator.   If the current battery in your car is old, it might show signs of corrosion in the form of battery fluid leaking, there might even be a strange odor wafting through the vents that smells acidic. New batteries last approximately 3 to 5 years, but you have to calculate the amount of travel made wi ... read more

The Different Kinds of Filters In A Car

The Different Kinds of Filters In A Car

Filters play a vital role in your vehicle's life; they protect against premature wear and tear and remove any debris or obstructions. However, over time these filters need to be replaced periodically. As these foreign matters build up within a filter, the filter will clog up and impede your vehicle's performance. So, what type of filters can you expect to find in your car? ENGINE AIR FILTER This filter is found behind the engine air intake, and it purifies the air entering your engine's combustion chamber. All combustion engines need a mixture of air and fuel.  CABIN AIR FILTER The cabin air filter is fitted to purify the air entering your vehicle's cabin. The air will flow through the cabin filter before entering your vehicle's cabin through your vehicle's vents. You should change this filter every 15K-30K miles. Failure to swap out a clogged cabin air filter will result in HVAC inefficiency and dirty air. OIL FILTER As engine oil moves from the drip ... read more

Get to Know Your Car's Belts

Get to Know Your Car's Belts

Did you know that your vehicle houses over 30,000 parts (including nuts and bolts, of course)? Many of these components need regular check-ups, especially those made of rubber, such as your timing belt and serpentine belt. Though they are often neglected, both of them play an essential role in your vehicle's performance. Serpentine Belt The serpentine belts loops through various parts of your car, including the power steering pumps, cooling fans, injector pumps, A/C system, and more. They are the most powerful of belts because they can do it all! Without the serpentine belt, those functions mentioned above will simply not work well. The black belt is made of sturdy rubber with a smooth side and a ribbed side. If this belt ever breaks for whatever reason, you will be sounded by it with a squealing sound. A snapped serpentine belt can be dangerous as it puts you at risk of engine overheating and complete failure of the power steering system. Timing Belt The timing belt looks ver ... read more

How Should I Prepare for My Smog Test?

How Should I Prepare for My Smog Test?

Did you know there are more vehicles in the state of CA than there are people? With so many cars in a bustling city, there are no words to describe the amount of pollution. The state government realized this and implemented laws and regulations for vehicles producing high smog levels to better the environment. To limit the environmental impacts, a smog check has become an essential part of today's vehicle maintenance.   Smog checks are an excellent way to manage society's air quality and helps prevent your vehicle from contributing to a high pollution level. If your automobile is eight years old or older and is a gasoline-powered vehicle, alternative fuel vehicle, or hybrid vehicle, then you are required to pass a smog test. Your car needs to be approved every two years to be a registered vehicle in CA. To pass this test, here are some of our top tips to follow beforehand. Prepare in Advance Once you get your renewal notice from the DMV, you should make an appointment ... read more

Is It Easier to Keep a White or Black Car Clean?

Is It Easier to Keep a White or Black Car Clean?

As car owners, we want our cars to look clean and shiny with as little effort as possible. Some people go the extra mile to clean their vehicles weekly, while some wait to do it monthly and seasonally. Your car's color is an essential factor to consider when purchasing a vehicle because not only is it reflective of our personalities, but it also will influence how clean your car looks.   The two most popular vehicle colors on the road are white and black, which has resulted in ongoing discussions on which color car is the most desirable choice. Most people are under the impression that white cars show dirt and grime the easiest. However, black cars or darker colored cars have shown to be the most difficult to keep spotless. Any speck on a dark surface will show very quickly, from watermarks to pollen to bird droppings.    There is also the disadvantage of overheating. The color black is scientifically known to absorb heat the quickest, whereas white deflects heat ... read more

Top Symptoms of Dirty Fuel Injectors

Top Symptoms of Dirty Fuel Injectors

Your fuel injectors operate alongside your fuel filter and fuel pump to concurrently provide the engine with a sufficient amount of clean fuel. Just like any other car part, the quality of your fuel injector deteriorates over time. Faulty fuel injectors can result in some tricky circumstances. How do you know when your fuel injectors have gone wrong?   Here are the four most common symptoms that you need fuel injector repairs: POOR GAS MILEAGE. If you've had your vehicle for a long time, then you're used to the number of miles you push a gallon. If you notice a reduction in your MPG, it usually means there are inefficiencies with your engine. Your fuel system could very well be the culprit. However, countless problems can lead to poor gas mileage. It is highly advised that you have an expert technician to diagnose the problem correctly. CAR ENGINE MISFIRES. In extreme circumstances, dirty fuel injectors can also result in engine misfires. Good luck getting somewhere wh ... read more

Summer Travel Tips

Summer Travel Tips

So it's finally time to go for that summer drive vacation you have been planning. You are now ready - you have set the day, mapped out the routes, have a complete list of things to do at your destination, and booked your hotel. But is your car ready for the trip? If not well prepared, it might end up breaking down, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Here is a brilliant checklist to help you ensure that your car is also set for summer travel. Test Your Car Brakes You already know how your car brakes sound, how the pad feels, and how long it talks to halt your car. Drop your vehicle at a reliable auto repair shop for a comprehensive brake inspection if you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or feel. Our mechanic will inspect your brake pads, rotors, drums, shoes and check out for any signs of fluid leaks. They will then provide you with an accurate report, offer professional advice, and provide quality repairs. Inspect Your Tires Thoroughly inspect all your tires ... read more

What Does the TPMS Warning Light Indicate?

What Does the TPMS Warning Light Indicate?

Fortunately for all vehicle owners and drivers, our vehicles come with computer technology in order to warn us whenever a specific part or system of the vehicle is experiencing serious issues. One of these warning lights is the "TPMS" or "Tire Pressure Monitoring System" light. The tire pressure monitoring system is a wonderful tool that notifies you when the pressure in one or more of the tires is not consistent with the baseline, which is set to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations. This is a very useful tool for every vehicle owner, as it helps keep you and your vehicle passengers safe by giving off a warning at the first sign of trouble. Unfortunately not every vehicle, especially the much older ones, come equipped with such a system. If this is the case for you, we recommend that before driving your vehicle, you do a regular scan of the tires to make sure they seem inflated evenly. Making this a habit can one day come in handy because if you c ... read more

What Does The Battery Light Mean?

What Does The Battery Light Mean?

Your dashboard is the command center for your vehicle, giving you real-time data on what's happening throughout the engine and chassis. Tire pressure, fuel levels, and your speedometer are the most looked at numbers, but you shouldn't ignore the warning lights that pop up when your vehicle isn't feeling well. Why The Battery Light Can Be Horrifying Out of all the lights you can be presented with, the battery light is the mysterious dark horseman of your dash. It doesn't have a single issue tied to it as a tire pressure sensor or open door light would have. It also doesn't immediately mean that the battery is done for. Often, the first reaction is just that though. Your battery light is on which means it's dying and will become another expense you have to budget in. Don't worry, this typically isn't the issue at the end of the day. It Does Mean You Should Take Your Car In Your vehicle's electrical system is a joint effort between your battery tha ... read more

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

What is an Oxygen Sensor?

Also known as an O2 sensor, an oxygen sensor is a vital component of your car's exhaust system. They keep track of the amount of oxygen in your car's exhaust gases as they exit the engine and into the atmosphere. This is mostly a test of efficiency to ensure that the catalytic converter is functioning well. Oxygen sensors monitor whether your engine's air-fuel mixture is too rich or lean, then drive the information to the engine's Powertrain Control Module. Consequently, your vehicle's PCM will make the necessary adjustments to maintain an ideal air-fuel balance in the engine. Given its importance, a failing oxygen sensor can disrupt the entire combustion process. Besides reduced engine performance, a faulty oxygen sensor can negatively impact environmental emissions. Thankfully, you can easily recognize the symptoms early enough to contact a certified technician before your sensors fail. Here are some of the signs of a failing oxygen sensor you cannot afford to ig ... read more

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