Most Common Catalytic Converter Issues

The catalytic converter is a container that boosts emissions control in your vehicle exhaust system. All the harmful chemicals from your vehicle get filtered through this converter including carbon monoxide, nitrogen compounds and any other unwanted risky emissions. However, there are issues or hindrances that affect the operation of the catalytic converter. Below are the most common catalytic converter issues that affect its effectiveness:

Overheating

Excessive heat in the exhaust system causes failure in the catalytic converter which will be indicated by the engine light even when driving. One of the reasons for this excessive heating is the failure of the one or more oxygen sensors which are connected to the exhaust system. The main duty of the oxygen sensor is to measure the ratio of air to liquid fuel, and when it fails, the mixture is not well regulated, and this causes overheating in the converter. Oxygen sensor failure can be detected by use of engine diagnostic system which is mostly found in many modern vehicles.

Clogged

When you fail to maintain your exhaust system properly, your catalytic converter will clog over a certain period. Additionally, the exhaust system might also fail to work efficiently, and this can also lead to clogging. Failing to recognize the problem earlier can be costly as the clogging might cause excessive damage to your catalytic converter and the exhaust system. Cleaning and maintaining your exhaust system is one proper way of preventing clogging in the converter.

Contamination

The filtering container can also be affected by contamination and this can result from several different circumstances. These situations that lead to contamination include excessive end particles that build up in the exhaust system as a result of the burning of fuel. The coolant can also leak into the engine and cause contamination. Early detection of contamination can save you from paying costs to high repair your catalytic converter.

The information above represents the most common catalytic converter issues to look out for and make the necessary decision regarding Auto Repair for your vehicle to properly get rid of the harmful chemicals.

 

Developments in Driver Safety through Technology

Technology sometimes seems to be the enemy of driver safety these days with the distraction brought on by handheld phones and texting. Technology of this sort has also made cars safer. One example of this would be seatbelts which have saved thousands upon thousands of lives.  Here are 3 other technical options that you can use to keep you and your family safe and less likely to need Auto Repair in Eugene.

G.P.S.

Although it is reducing our ability to use maps or get to places just suing memory, GPS is relatively hands off meaning that we don’t need to have maps and other things laid out before us. We also will not be distracted by looking for the right street since the GPS will tell us. In this way, the GPS ha removed distractions from the driver’s focus. This has arguably made roads safer.

Back-Up Camera

Backing into a parking space or pulling out of drive way can be a nerve wracking experience as well as be a literal pain in the neck. Back Up Cameras however make it easier to navigate these situations and give the driver more visibility behind the car. This way it is easier to notice a detail like that they are too close to a tree just behind them as they are backing up or a car not following the speed limit in residential area that rockets by them as they try to pull out of their driveway to go to work.

Bluetooth

Although we could just listen to the radio while driving, there seems to be this urge in our culture to stay connected through smartphones and other devices even while driving. Also, important information does need to be conveyed while driving at a times, such as a change of plans for a meeting place. The Bluetooth has helped with this, because someone can stay on the phone with both of their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes fully on the road. The danger that is texting while driving has been mitigated.

In some very expensive cars there are now Pre-Collision Systems which will calculate the likelihood of an accident. If the system determines that the accident is likely enough to be unavoidable, it will slow down and stop the car and lock the seatbelts. Although this may also be a stepping stone to AI’s taking over human society and becoming our post-human overlords, it also could prevent many collisions. If you can afford it, it might be worth it. Would you rather be 4,000 dollars richer or alive?

How to replenish the Freon in your Air Conditioner

If your AC isn’t keeping you as cool as you like in these Maryland summers we provide Auto Repair in Graysonville.  If you want to find out about charging the Freon yourself, here is how:

1. Can it be recharged with Freon?

Before restoring your air conditioner to a state of being fully recharged with Freon there is something that you must check. You must make sure that your car uses the right refrigerant. Cars made after 1994 use R134 whereas many cars made before that use R12. You must first check which type your car uses. If it uses the older refrigerant than you should get it converted before continuing.

Once you have established that your car uses the right refrigerant, you may proceed. If you have had a recharge in the past.

2. Using a recharge kit for R134

Recharging the air conditioning system with Freon requires, well, Freon of course which is a pressurized refrigerant which allows the air conditioner to produce cool air. You also need a pressure gauge to monitor the amount of Freon to make sure that all of it gets into the system.

There are recharge tools used by professionals, but they usually rather expensive. If you are just trying to maintain a couple of personal vehicles and not an army of automobiles set to transform the world we know into the one witness in Cars, there are kits which usually consist of a can of Freon and a pressure gauge which can be used by anyone who needs to fix a car. This particular kit is called the all-in-one kit.

Also, don’t forget to inspect your air conditioning system for leaks.

3. Preparing the kit for a recharge

Within the kit you will find the pressure gauge, a rubber hose, and a can of Freon. You will follow the instructions provided and assemble it. Typically, the hose and the gauge will already be attached. The gauge must be screwed counterclockwise until it resists any further counterclockwise turning before being attached to the can. Once everything it attached there is a pin within the gauge which will pierce the can as the gauge is turned counterclockwise. Do not pierce that can until you are ready to use it, otherwise the earth will become a flaming ball of plasma, ok not actually, but it is best to keep the can unpierced until it is ready for use.

4. Constructing the kit

Once the pin is a safe distance from the rest of the kit, connected the gauge to the other side of the hose. There is something you must do before connecting the hose to the can. Once you have done this, you must calibrate the pressure gauge. Do this by setting the calibration dial to the ambient temperature in your vicinity. Remember to turn ensure that the coolant is not tapped on since that will produce heat and throw off the calibration.

5. Identifying the port of low pressured

The air conditioning system has both high and low pressure components. You will need to recharge your system using the port that says “L” or low pressure. The high pressure port will be labeled “H” The ports will be different size for low pressure and high pressure so connecting it to the wrong one is unlikely. Nonetheless, it is always good to check.

6. Cleaning the port of low pressure

To prevent fragments from getting into the port and damaging the air conditioning system, you should clean the outside of it before and after removing the cap. This may seem excessive, but it is better to be overly cautious than not cautious enough.

7. Pressure testing

Turn the gauge tightly clockwise before connecting the hose to the port. The hose attaches to the pressure port by a latch. Simply pull the latch back and then once release once the hose is around the pressure gauge. Once you have done all of this, start your engine and turn on the AC. Give the pressure gauge a few minutes to equalize and then you can get an accurate reading and see how much your AC system needs to be recharged. Turn off the engine before going onto the next part of this process

8. Adding refrigerant

To add refrigerant, just turn the gauge clockwise in order to use the piercing pin. Screw the gauge tightly onto the can by turning it clockwise. Do this until you hear the can rupture. Turn the gauge counter clockwise again so that the pin can be retracted.

Connect the hose attached to the can and the gauge to the low-pressure port. Now turn the engine back on and turn on the AC again. In order to release the R134 coolant in the system start slowly turning the gauge counterclockwise. The segment of the gauge indicating outside temperature will show whether it is full. More instructions can be found in the manual.

9. Concluding advice

Once you are finished recharging it, reattach the cap to prevent any debris from entering the system. The gauge can be used more than once to so hold onto it. You however will have to get a new can.

4 tips for making driving with your dog safer

Image result for dog truck windowWell, there is the option of just not driving with your dog if you can manage. Dogs don’t like being in cramped spaces, they are descendants of woodland creatures. But sometimes dogs do have to be driven places like to a veterinarian and some people just like taking their pets everywhere. If you are looking for Auto Repair in Lake Elsinore or just some tips for driving with your dog, we are here to help.

1. Bring Supplies

If you are driving with your dog, bring everything you will need for the dog. This includes collars, ID tags with contact information in case the dog gets lost, treats and snacks, and doggie bags in case the dog needs to cleanse its bowels, that might have been to graphic actually, anyway, you know what I mean. Bring what you need.

2. Kennels

True, dogs are often fluffy creatures which are fun to cuddle with, except when they are not anything of the sort, but it is safer for the dog and for you to keep it in a kennel which is strapped down by bungee cords or some sort of restraint. If you are a dog-owner, I would recommend you procure one.

3. Dog seatbelts

If the kennel idea does not work out there are also dog seatbelts. These can come in a variety of sizes to fit different dogs depending on size and weight. It is apparently safer, though it may sound odd.

4. Keep them Calm

Kennels and seatbelts make them safer, but sometimes you may not be able to use these or the dog may just not be cooperating and may be too much of a distraction. Once way avoid this would be to keep them calm while in the car. For a dog, especially a puppy, being in a car can be an exciting experience, thus it is important to keep them calm. This could include rewarding them for sitting down and staying quiet by giving them cuddles or petting them, while stopped at a stoplight or stopping point of course, whenever they behave and keep themselves calm. This could be easy or difficult depending on the dog and will require an owner to know its dog and have an understanding of dog psychology. Any owner should be able to do this though.

Regardless of how safe your pet is, that may not matter if your car is not a safe place so it would be best to make sure it is safe and driving well. You can do this by stopping by AB Auto Repair & Tire Shop. They will take care of you.

How To Keep Your Cars Auto Repair Costs Low

You are stuck in traffic with time to kill when you get a glimpse of the sticker in upper-left corner of the windshield. It states in no uncertain terms that it is time to take your vehicle in for routine maintenance.

Upon closer inspection, you realize that the last time you took the vehicle for servicing was 3 months ago and it has only done about 3,000 miles since the last oil change. The thought of a roadside breakdown then an expensive auto repair. Or a blown engine suddenly floods your mind. You decide to call your dealership and set a service appointment to be on the safe side.

If this is a perfect description of how you handle your car maintenance, you are simply wasting a lot of money. The little stickers put there by dealership service departments and quick-change shops are nothing by highly effective sales tools but highly inaccurate reminders for servicing your vehicle.

Reading The Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual that is gathering dust in the glove compartment is probably a sore subject but it has to be revisited. We would not want to try shaming you into reading your owner’s manual from page 1 to the last page. However, it has an important section, which is the maintenance schedule of your car.

Click here if you don’t have your owners manuel and want an online copy.

The maintenance schedule is simply a chart informing you how regularly the vehicle should be services and the work that should be done. The manufacturer who designed and built your vehicle is responsible for creating this schedule and not the dealership selling you transmission flush at $120.

Service Overview

If your vehicle has below 36,000 miles, the maintenance required to keep it running smoothly is minimal; usually tire rotations and oil changes. Once the vehicle starts aging, it requires more maintenance. Keep in mind that it is “scheduled maintenance” referred to here and not repairs.

Most people usually take their newer vehicles for servicing at the dealership where they bought the vehicle. However, they might opt to use independent mechanics or chain repair stores such as Pep Boys once the vehicle starts to age. The difference between the independent mechanics and the service department of the dealership is significant.

Top Reasons Your Car’s Air Conditioner is Not Working

AC Repair

You cannot live without an air conditioner in your car. At some point, you will need to get your car serviced. It does not matter how well you treat your vehicle because using the AC frequently puts a lot of stress on the compressor, the hoses, and eventually, the Freon gas.

The fast answer is given to us by Alex owner of the Car Doctor a Auto Repair Shop in Pleasant Hill he says, “the most common solution for your AC not working is a Freon Recharge.”

For more detail about your auto ac system, there are signs that will alert you as to when you need to bring your car in. If you turn on the AC and no cold air kicks in or it feels like a fan blowing, something is wrong. Air conditioner repairs on vehicles are common. We are well-equipped to provide service or repairs for most any vehicle.

Are you hearing strange sounds when you turn on the AC?

Test this by turning the AC to MAX or high. Put your ear near one of the AC vents, and listen. If you hear weird noises, you might have a faulty compressor.

At what temperature is the air conditioner running?

Does it feel frosty? Or, does it feel cold and then become warm? There is a clear problem when the AC does not deliver appropriately cold air for the temperature setting. If it blows cold air intermittently take note of whether it is blowing warm air that is similar to the air outside.

Are blowers working at the correct settings? Does the air flow correctly when you have it to various settings? If you put the air on MAX does it blow at full blast or not? If the air that comes out of the vents does not feel right depending on the setting, you could have a broken fan motor.

Are there strange smells coming from out of the vents?

If you smell anything odd when the AC is one, it could indicate a leak. This means that recharging it with Freon is not going to solve your problems. The smells can vary, but anything that strikes you as odd and is not coming from outside is a problem.

If it smells moldy it could just be that you need a new cabin air filter. Get your vehicle to a repair shop as soon as you can. You want to keep anything further from harming your air conditioning system.

Signs You Need A Brake Job

Today’s braking technology offer excellent brakes than the standard drum brakes. Which are prone to seasonal and ecological factors that affected their capacity to stop movement. The hot summers and cold winters often affect the drum brakes’ efficiency causing them to fail. Thus rendering them incapable of stopping a moving vehicle.

Which is why you need to have them maintained properly to avoid any costly brake repair jobs.

All the parts of a car’s braking system are essential and affordable pieces that get damaged or worn out over time and can be changed with ease. As such, it is vital to do routine tests and checks to ensure they the function at their optimum capacity and if not, then they need to be changed.

Below are two of the most common signs to note that indicate it is time to change a part of or the entire braking system.

1. Troubling Noises

While may not be the same as bad noises, but you should take heed once your brakes start producing sounds. That is a sign that they are wearing down. The car will come to a slow and incomplete halt when you put your foot on the brakes, and there will be sounds such as whining, scratching, or grinding as the car comes to a stop. The sound may not be so loud, but they will be noticeable and unnerving compared to other sounds.

2. Poor Road Traction

It can be frightening when you experience poor traction, and you can feel your car not responding to the applied brakes. Such situations are even scarier in severe weather that significantly hampers your vision and control; it is not a pleasing moment to discover that you have defective brakes that delivery limited traction for stopping.

Give your car’s brakes some TLC, and they will ensure you enjoy a safe drive. Regular tests and maintenance checks will make sure that they have the right traction and able to execute their function efficiently.

Are High Mileage Warranties Worth It?

autowarWhen you purchase your new car your probably expecting to keep it for a couple hundred thousand miles. So when the warranty only goes to 50,000 or at the highest 100,000 miles. It seems to make sense to buy the extended warranty, right?

David at Rancho Smog & Auto Repair Temecula says “The car manufacturers have so much data and are incredibly smart. They have data and know if your vehicle is maintained properly you most likely won’t even touch the warranty.”

Seem to make sense because warranty items can be so expensive. Here lies the big secret, when your given a warranty from the car manufacturer you also have a list of pre-requisites to maintain. For example you have to rotate your tires at certain intervals, do oil changes, do your fluid flushes. If those things are not completed it can void your warranty.

What does this mean? Well the car manufacturers are smart and like to make money just like the dealership. The big secret is IF you keep up on your scheduled maintenance many times those BIG warranty items your worried about never occur.

So when they roll out that warranty plan that costs $$$, it also comes with a must do list to keep the warranty valid.

This is essentially telling you if you don’t purchase the warranty but keep up on all your scheduled maintenance many times those big warranty items will never brake. As you can assume there is no absolutes, however if the dealership is gambling they will make money off of never fulfilling on your warranty items it’s safe to say you can as well.

Second, most people sell or trade in their vehicles in 7-10, in most cases your warranty is not transferable. This means if you drive an average of 10,000 miles per year. You will only get to 70,000 or 100,000 miles. You would never need a warranty past those miles anyway.

The last thing to remember is

In conclusion it’s a safe bet to not buy the warranty. You see each vehicle goes through a extremely detailed testing phase, then the manufactures have reports back on how the vehicle is performing for years. This is how they can take an very data educated guess on how long your vehicle will last, and when or if parts on your vehicle will fail.

When you take all this into consideration, it’s a safe bet not to purchase the warranty.  However, if your a worrier and you DO keep your car for 10-15 years or until the wheels fall off. You could spend the extra money to take off the burden of worry. Remember to keep your scheduled maintenance top of mind and fulfill all of those maintenance requirements at the proper time.

Learn more about extended warranties here.