What Can Cause Engine Misfire?

One of the most common engine problems reported to mechanics across the country is an engine misfiring. The car suddenly jumps, then regains its pace, only to continue doing the same thing each time you accelerate. An engine misfiring can be nerve-wracking experience. An engine misfiring can be caused by numerous factors, but there are common reasons that can cause this malfunction. However, before checking to see the problems causing a misfire, it should be checked whether the car is misfiring or not. At times, the engine isn’t actually misfiring, but is indicative of other problems with the vehicle. One of the most common misconceptions involves a driver thinking a car is misfiring due to the jerkiness of the drive, when it is actually the transmission that is bad. As always, it is helpful to take it into a licensed professional! Ignition Problems The first of these common problems can be an issue with the ignition. In particular, the spark plugs, cables, ignition coils, and other parts involved in starting the car necessarily wear down over time. While at first this only results in a weaker spark—causing the misfire to be nearly unnoticeable at first—over time it can completely stop the ignition process. At times, the misfire can cause a loud bang to occur when starting the vehicle. Can Fuel be a Factor? The second major issue that can cause a misfire is a problem with the fuel. In particular, the chemical mix between gas and air needs to be as exact as possible. An engine operating normally needs a mixture with more fuel than air. When the ratio...

How to Avoid Overheating Your Car This Summer

Summer is here! And in these long, hot days, keeping your car from overheating can be,and should be, a key concern for you. There are easy ways to make sure the vehicle stays within the normal temperature, and these steps can help alleviate some worry! First things first: make sure you have a lot of coolant in your car. Coolant is made to make sure the engine doesn’t overheat; without it, an engine can obviously get too hot, but it can also cause irreparable damage to the engine that will cost you a golden goose egg to replace. Low levels of antifreeze can lead to overheating. Some owners will want to make sure the levels are right by themselves, but for many of us, getting the right mixture of antifreeze and water is a bit beyond our skill. Getting a check-up with a fluid replacement will put this responsibility into the hands of a mechanic, who can make sure that mixture is correct. At the same time, the antifreeze that is used to make sure the engine doesn’t overheat can grow dirty over time. Its cycle of continually cycling throughout the engine can cause this. Particle build-up in the antifreeze can cause an engine that has enough liquid still overheat. Simply request a change in fluids at your next check-up to make sure that the antifreeze is fresh and ready to go! The next step that should be taken is to ensure that the radiator is clear of debris. Over time with driving leaves, dirt, bugs, and other debris from the road can build up, blocking necessary airflow to...

New Driver Safety Tips!

Look at you! You just took your driver’s exam, passed, and are now given the key to American freedom! Maybe you’re sixteen, smack dab in the middle of high school and excited about wanting more freedom. Or maybe you are an adult taking your drivers’ test for the first time. Either way, you go! But whoa! Slow down there Jethro! There are a lot of things you need to take into consideration that can keep you safe behind the wheel, something that needs to be remembered as driving vehicles can quite literally be the most dangerous thing you will ever do. First, let me tell a story. A young lady I once knew was learning to drive and was intent on making sure her hands were at 10 and 2. Then she came to an intersection at which she had to take a right. She kept her hands at 10 and 2 and…never moved them from that position. Now, maybe you have multiple, freak-joints in your shoulder and can pull this off. If that’s the case, join cirque du soleil, because people NEED to see that. If you’re like the rest of us, take one hand off the wheel and place it beneath the other to turn safely. You’ll do just fine. Now, onto braking. When you’re driving instructors (whether it was in an actual class or spoken by your family) talked about slowing down with enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you, they weren’t kidding. Keep that space! While many people don’t do this, keeping enough space between you and the person in front...

What You Should Know About Visual Damage Reports

Visual damage reports are estimates taken by auto body shops and mechanics to set a price on repairing your vehicle after you got into an accident. There are numerous items that go into it, but how do you know what should and shouldn’t be in that report? Follow these tips to make sure that you get the proper repairs done to your vehicle. What To Do Before a Visual Damage Report First, before you even take the vehicle into the body shop there are some things you should do. Immediately after the accident, take photos of the damage to your car and the car you got into an accident with: this will help the body shop and, more importantly, your insurance company, to make the proper estimate. Next, it is suggested to take the vehicle through a car wash in order to wipe any excess debris from the car. This can help you with further understanding the damage to your vehicle, the locations of the damage on the vehicle, and helps you take cleaner pictures for the body shop and insurance company. Getting Your Visual Damage Report Done Now to getting the actual report done by a body shop. Just as with medicine, it is always best to get multiple opinions. But don’t be immediately put off by one body shop using higher estimates than another. Look closely at the report and talk to the mechanic: what may be going on is that store uses newer parts while another uses “aftermarket” parts. On top of this, one shop could have the resources to replace an entire part, while another...

Is Hail Damage Covered By Insurance?

Extreme weather can cause extreme havoc on your vehicle’s exterior. From dents to shattered glass hail damage repair is never fun to deal with.  When your vehicle is damaged by hail, you’ll want to get it repaired as quickly as possible.   But an unexpected repair means unexpected costs. Who’s going to pay for it? It wasn’t your fault! Who can you send a bill to, Mother Nature? Relax! Your hail damage may just be covered by your vehicle’s insurance policy.   If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, then hail damage is most likely covered. This type of policy covers your vehicle for items that need repair not linked to a collision. This can include things such as dents and dings from hail and damage from tree branches or other debris. Did water get into your vehicle because of damage from hail or a storm? Your interior is likely also covered with your comprehensive coverage.   However, to use your comprehensive coverage, you’ll need to pay your deductible first. This means that if your deductible is $250 then you’ll need to pay the first $250 of the repair and then the insurance company will pay the rest.   If you have damage, always talk to your insurance company first. They can tell you what is covered and what is not under your insurance policy. If the hail damage is covered for repair, they will instruct you on where to take your vehicle to be repaired or instruct you how to get an estimate at a shop of your choice. They may even send someone out to assess...