So you come out to start your car one morning and the Check Engine light on the dashboard comes on…and doesn’t go back off again. You can’t really notice any difference in the way the car runs and drives, but it’s on anyway.
What does it mean?
Since the late 80s, most engine functions have been controlled by a central drivetrain computer. This includes emissions controls, fuel metering and delivery, ignition timing, shift points and many other elements of drivability and performance. The drivetrain computer relies on information from a chain of sensors that monitor exhaust composition, camshaft position, throttle position and many other factors.
The voltage readings from any of these sensors are supposed to fall within a certain range. When ...[more]
It’s so nice to have a car that can go 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It’s also nice to have one that goes 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds. We know you all don’t drive sports cars – but what about stopping? It’s easy to forget that there is some pretty powerful engineering and parts that make it so your car can stop on a dime, quarter or penny. Your brakes are so important! But how do you know that you need to have them replaced before they fail? You don’t want to be going 60 mph and try to stop just to realize that you can’t do it. So how can you tell? There’s five important signs that you need to have your brakes repaired.
#1 Dash light.
The first and most obvious way to tell if you need t ...[more]
If you’ve had to get your engine repaired, you know the worry about a rebuilt engine vs. a new engine. There are so many pros and cons, especially when you compare the cost for a brand new engine can reach into the thousands. But a rebuilt engine, while less expensive, can also be a concern. Will it last? What does that really mean?
A rebuilt engine means that at some point, something inside the engine failed. For the non-technical out there, just imagine that there are several different types of components that make up an engine like rings, gaskets, pistons, etc. If any one item or multiple items fail, then the engine must be taken apart and those components replaced. Then the entire engine must be put back together. Rebuilding an engine is typically referred to as one of the most important, invasive and expensive repairs you can make to a car. After all, it is the heartbeat of ...[more]
1. For performance and handling, the trend has long been toward fatter tires with a bigger footprint. That’s starting to change, though. Skinnier tires mean lower rolling resistance and better fuel economy, as well as a smaller aerodynamic profile. While fatter tires do handle better, tire engineers are making up the difference by designing skinny tires with a stickier tread formulation for traction and cornering ability.
2. Static electricity used to be a real concern for vehicles; if you’re old enough, you may remember seeing station wagons with a “ground strap” dragging along the pavement. It’s become a concern again, with newer tread compounds cutting back on the amount of carbon black in newer tires. The solution? Many tires are now designed with an “antenna strip” ...[more]