Preparing Your Car For The Fall Weather

As it begins to creep closer to October, you know that colder weather is on its way. This means that it is time to prepare your car for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons. Your car is negatively impacted by the cold temperatures in many ways. Treat the Fall season as a time to prepare your car for the harsh chill that Winter brings. Cold weather makes it more difficult for your tires to maintain grip and makes the windshield more defenseless against cracks. What can you do to prepare your vehicle for the drop in temperatures? Here are 10 Tips to Preparing Your Car For Fall: 1. Check the Belts and Hoses. Look for cracks, leaks, and wears in the belts and hoses. You want to ensure that there are no signs of splitting, fraying, or glazing. One major problem with faulty belts and hoses is overheating. Although this usually occurs in the Summer, it can occur anytime of the year, including during the colder months. If you notice any problems with these car components, then you should take your vehicle to your local mechanic. 2. Check the Fluid Levels. It is crucial to replace your car’s fluid levels, as necessary. This would include windshield washer fluids, transmission fluids, coolant, brake fluids, and power steering fluids. All are very important for ensuring that your car runs smoothly. Washer fluid is important for maintaining visibility. Transmission fluid is important for cooling. Coolant regulates the engine’s temperature, while brake fluid serves as a lubricant, preventing corrosion. Power steering fluid is crucial for operating the vehicle. 3. Check the Tires. Check...

What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident Without Insurance

First things first, it’s against the law to drive without demonstrating financial responsibility for the possibility of an accident. In most states, auto insurance is mandatory proof of that financial responsibility. In the few states that don’t require car insurance (New Hampshire and Virginia), you’ll need to prove that you have sufficient funds and will still be responsible for damages. If you’re financing your car, there’s also a fair chance your lender will require you to own auto insurance, too. We recommend researching your local laws, as the answers to the following questions will vary a lot depending on where you live. What happens when you’re in a car accident and don’t have car insurance? Accidents happen, to even the safest of drivers, and auto insurance is there to protect when they do — without it, you could end up owing much more than the cost of an annual premium. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you could face penalties for being uninsured — like fines and having your license and/or registration suspended. Monetary penalties will vary by state but could be anywhere from $25 to $5,000. A police officer could also decide to tow your car, and you’d then face impound fees, too. Basically, you could end up paying more by being uninsured than it would cost to purchase a policy. If the accident was your fault, there’s a good chance you’ll be sued for damages. In most cases, the other driver’s insurance will reimburse them if you don’t have insurance. Sometimes you’ll be required to pay the other party’s deductible. And of course, you’ll face the same fees and penalties we mentioned...

Why is My Car Overheating?

Summer is here, and that means the temperatures are on the rise, but hopefully the same isn’t said for your vehicle. An overheating car is a sign that something is wrong, and you can be in line for major repairs if you ignore the issue. Today, we look at some common reasons why you car overheats, and how you can fix the problem before it becomes a major issue. Overheating Engine Although there can be many different causes of an overheating issue, the reason your engine is overheating is because something inside the cooling system is preventing the absorption, transportation or release of heat. Here are some reasons why heat isn’t leaving your engine compartment: Leak in the Cooling System – This is one of the main causes of engine overheating. If you get a leak in your radiator, water pump, hoses, head gasket or thermostat housing, your engine isn’t going to be able to cool properly. If you can find the leak, you may be able to seal it on your own, but you’ll probably benefit from bringing your car into a mechanic. Coolant Issues – You can have problems with your coolant even if there isn’t a leak in the system. If you put the wrong coolant in your car, or if the coolant-to-water ratio is off, your engine my have problems staying cool. Try flushing the system and adding the proper mix as recommended by your owner’s manual. Blocked Hoses  – If there’s no leak and the coolant has been installed properly, the next thing you’ll want to check is your coolant hose. Sometimes dirt or road sediment...

This Is How An Automatic Transmission Works

Ever wonder how your transmission knows to shift gears? Why is it that when you stop, the engine doesn’t die? We’re here to show you how cars work. We recently looked at manual transmissions. This week it’s regular ol’ slushbox time. Automatic transmissions – they’re pretty much black magic. The sheer number of moving parts makes them very difficult to comprehend. Let’s simplify it a bit to get a basic understanding of how it all works in a traditional, torque converter-based system. Your engine connects to your transmission at a place called a bell housing. The bell housing contains a torque converter for automatic transmission-equipped vehicles as opposed to a clutch on manual vehicles. The torque converter is a fluid coupling whose job it is to connect your engine to your transmission and thus to your driven wheels. The transmission contains planetary gearsets which are in charge of providing different gear ratios. To get a good understanding of how the whole automatic transmission system works, let’s have a look at torque converters and planetary gearsets. Torque Converter First and foremost, your engine’s flex plate (basically a flywheel for an automatic) connects directly to a torque converter. So when the crankshaft rotates, so does the torque converter housing. The goal of the torque converter is to provide a means by which to connect and disconnect the engine’s power to the driven load. The torque converter takes the place of a clutch on a conventional manual transmission. How does the torque converter work? Well, have a look at the video above. It explains the basic principles behind a fluid coupling. Once you’ve...

How Your Car’s A/C works

All across North America, a climate change occurs every year. The cooler spring temperatures give way to warmer weather. In some areas this lasts two months, and in others it can last six months or longer. It’s called summer. With summer comes heat. Heat can make your car unbearable to drive, which is why air conditioning was introduced by Packard in 1939. Beginning in luxury cars and now expanding into almost every vehicle produced, air conditioning has been cooling drivers and passengers for decades. What does air conditioning do? Air conditioning has two main purposes: Cools the air entering the passenger compartmentRemoves the moisture from the air so it feels more comfortable inside the vehicle. In many makes, air conditioning cycles automatically when the defrost setting is chosen. It pulls the humidity from the windshield to improve your visibility. Often cold air is not required when the defrost setting is selected, which is why it is important to know that air conditioning functions even when the heat is selected on the heater control. How does air conditioning work? Air conditioning systems operate in much the same manner from manufacturer to manufacturer. All makes have some common components: CompressorCondenserExpansion valve or orifice tubeReceiver, drier, or accumulatorEvaporator The air conditioning system is pressurized by a gas known as refrigerant. Each vehicle specifies how much refrigerant is used to fill the system, and is usually three or four pounds at most in passenger vehicles. The compressor does just that: it compresses the refrigerant from a gaseous state into a fluid. the fluid is cycled through a refrigerant line. Because it is under...