How To Handle Your Car Stalling Out

While it is something that occurs on an often normal basis for vehicles with manual transmissions, for automatic vehicle owners, the vehicle stalling can be a scary incident. More often than not, it stalls during the worst times and it tends to mean that there are deeper problems with the vehicle. So what do you do if your vehicle stalls? As it turns out, there are specific steps that you should take that often depends on the road and traffic conditions you find yourself in. The first thing you should always do—and always be doing, even if the vehicle hasn’t stalled—is look for the safest “escape route,” or path off the road. On a highway, these are most often the shoulders, while on regular roads, it can be a parking lot or side street. When you do pull off the road, put your signal indicator on to tell the drivers behind you what way you are going and, if it is possible, turn on your hazard lights as you get most of the vehicle into the zone of safety. The next tip to take into consideration when your vehicle stalls is that when it does so, some of the components may feel “off.” Power steering may go out, meaning that you can still steer but will have to put more pressure into it. Your brakes may not be fully working, and you will have to press harder on them to bring the vehicle to a stop. Speaking of brakes: do not slam on them in the middle of traffic when your vehicle stalls! It is unbelievable how often a...

Why it’s Important to Have Proper Wheel Alignment

It is one of those options offered to you when you take your vehicle in for its regular service maintenance: getting your tires re-aligned to get proper alignment. Many people opt out of this option, getting an oil change and fluid check and driving away. Yet proper tire alignment is one of the most important things you can do for your car, your safety, and your pocketbook. Proper wheel alignment differs from car to car. A vehicle with a wishbone suspension will require a different wheel alignment than a semi-truck, and both of those will need a different alignment than a vehicle with standard four-wheel suspension. With the variety involved in the process, it is always best to allow a certified mechanic realign the tires for you. Proper wheel alignment provides numerous benefits that you will want to take advantage of. The first advantage is that it allows the vehicle to operate as efficiently as possible. Proper wheel alignment’s effects on a car are actually best felt when the wheels are not properly aligned. When driving, you will feel a tugging to either the right or left, depending on the wheel that is misaligned. The opposite is true for properly aligned wheels, allowing you to drive straight, safe, and efficiently. This efficiency leads to the next benefit of properly aligned wheels: it maintains gas mileage in your car. This is pretty simple to understand: the straighter and more efficient the car drives, the less work it will have to do. The less work it will have to do, the less fuel it will burn. Et, voila! Your car takes...

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...