Category: Emergency Situations

car care tips

Basic Car Care For Non-Mechanics

Emergency SituationsMaintenance Schedules

It takes years to learn and understand how the mechanical systems function and integrate on all the different makes and models out there today.  Personally I learn on average 3 new things a day – things change that quick.  With all the new models and functionality coming out with each new release; it a full time job keeping up.

As a consumer, it just makes sense to hire a solid mechanic to service your vehicle at regular intervals. With that in mind it’s important you understand some basics of your car, SUV, or truck, but it’s even more important you get on a schedule for maintenance.

Here’s my quick thoughts on the subject…

Read The Manual

Sure it’s not Shakespeare, but an understanding of your vehicle’s manual is a basic step everyone should take to understand how their car works.  I don’t espouse reading it all, just understand the maitenance required, and how the manual is organized for future reference.  Keep it in the glove box at all times!

If you a colored light comes on the dash, you don’t have to guess, you can just read the manual.

And don’t worry if you lost the car’s manual, there’s probably one online that you can get for free.

Use Your Senses

Your senses can help you detect problems your vehicle. Do you smell something unusual like gas? Maybe there’s a leak. Do you hear an unusual popping sound? Being able to find problems early on helps you reduce your repair and maintenance bills.

Regular Maintenance And Tune-ups

Even if your car is new, there is still a need to have it checked regularly. This ensures that a problem isn’t starting. If there is any problem, it would be easier to remedy during the initial stages.

Find A Local Mechanic

Even if you have a goal of maintaining and customizing your own vehicle, you still need to find a local mechanic you trust.

You can come to them whenever you can’t repair the car problem on your own. You can also learn a thing or two from them as they maintain or repair your vehicle.

Practice Changing Your Tires

You’ll never know when you’re going to get a flat tire and it will really help if you already know what to do in case that happens. Practice changing your tire at home. Make sure you always have the tools you need in your vehicle.

car problem

Early Car Problem Detection Through Your Senses

Car Diy RepairsEmergency Situations

Driving your car may seem pretty cool but having basic knowledge about troubleshooting your vehicle really helps. You don’t have to have mechanic level understanding of your car. Believe it or not, you can tell when something’s wrong just by using your senses.

Early Discovery Of Car Problems Prevents Major Issues

Sometimes, major issues on a vehicle can be prevented if only car owners paid more attention to their vehicle. Early discovery of car problems can be done with the help of regular maintenance. But sometimes, you just have to know your vehicle.

By using your senses, you can determine if there might be something wrong with your car. When you do, it is best to immediately bring your car to a mechanic for proper diagnosis. Sometimes, there’s an easy fix and most of the time ignoring the early signs just blows up the problem into bigger proportions.

Your sense of hearing, smelling, touch and sight can all help you identify the presence of a problem. Whether you know a lot about your cars or your just getting to know the basics, your senses will greatly help.

Sense Of Hearing

Start your car. Did it start or not? How does it sound? Although there are a few reasons your car won’t start, the sound it produces can give you clues on what problems your car might have.

Can you hear a weird squeaking sound when you turn the steering wheel? That can be caused by a variety of problems like damaged suspension or maybe worn-out ball joints.

You may also hear some popping, clicking or clanking sounds. These can be due to loosened hubcaps, low engine oil or drive belt issues. Also listen carefully to weird sounds when you step on the breaks or gas.

Any unusual sound is a sign that something may be wrong. Even if it’s just something loose, you should always bring it to a mechanic when you can’t pinpoint what it is and solve it.

Sense Of Smell

Do you smell exhaust inside your vehicle? That’s not normal especially when you got all your windows closed. This can be a sign there is something wrong under your vehicle.

The exhaust pipe runs under the car but the smoke shouldn’t be detectable inside the cabin. When this happens, immediately bring your car to a mechanic because there is a huge risk of suffocation due to the carbon monoxide in the exhaust gas.

Another scent to look out for is the scent of gasoline or oil. When you can smell these, your car may have a leak. Gasoline is highly flammable, not to mention expensive, so you should make sure those leaks are dealt with by your mechanic.

A scent of rotten eggs or sulfur is commonly present when the problem is due to the car’s batteries or catalytic converter. Sometimes, fuel can also cause this foul odor.

Burnt rubber or wood is a sign of having too much friction between parts. Friction causes heat which is why it smells like something is burning. This is usually present when you have issues with your clutch or brake pads.

A moldy scent on the other hand is a sign of problems with your air conditioning or air circulation system. Mold can be present in your air conditioning or heating system. There may also be something causing it inside the cabin such as leftover foods.

Sense Of Touch

Feel your vehicle while driving. Is it vibrating or are there parts that seem to be shaking? You can also observe how the steering wheel or other buttons and switches react when you use them. See if they respond correctly or have them checked when they don’t.

You should also fee if your having a difficulty in shifting gears or stepping on the gas or brake pedals. There can be a mechanical problem that can cause accidents when you don’t have them repaired immediately.

Sense Of Sight

Your sense of sight can be used to either find possible car problems or support what your other senses tell you. For example, you can use your nose to tell if you have a gas leak and you can confirm that by seeing puddles of gas underneath your vehicle.

The dashboard is also filled with warning lights that will switch on when it determines that there is a problem. It gives you lots of information about your vehicle like the following:

  • Overheated engine
  • Low fuel
  • Low engine oil
  • Bad battery
  • Tire pressure
  • Brake system and many others

 

Can My Punctured Tyre Be Repaired?

Car Diy RepairsEmergency Situations

It’s a sunny day and you are ready to hit the meeting but guess what? Your car tyre is punctured. We all have been through these frustrating scenarios where one is clueless and numb.

You just can’t waste time blaming the nail or debris on the road for puncturing your brand new tyre. It’s the moment to take action and get your hands dirty in order to repair and get going with your routine.

Before fetching the disassembly tools you first need to figure out that, can your punctured tyre be repaired? Today, we’ll guide you on how to analyze a repairable and non-repairable tyre.

Keep reading

Tire Blowout

How To Handle A Tire Blowout

Emergency Situations

One sure fire way of upping your blood pressure is to experience a legit tire blowout traveling full speed on the highway.  Your car shakes, it pulls hard, and unless you know what to do you may panic and slam on the brakes, creating a bad situation much, much worse.

Experiencing a tire blow out can occur at unexpected times, and it can get scary if you were in highway speeds.  Today we’ll cover the basics of handling a sudden flat tire situation so you can stay calm and collected while safely guiding your vehicle to a stop by the side of the road.

What Do Tire Blowouts Sound like?

You can expect to hear 3 main sounds, which will vary depending on the situation. A loud bang or boom of the popping tire should be the first sound that reverberates throughput the car. A whooshing sound may be heard, which is simply the sound of air escaping the tire. Finally, a repeated flopping or flapping sound of the flat tire hitting the road is heard.

If you’re tires have completely shredded, you may experience violent rattling in the car as the last vestiges of the tire are ripped away from the rim by the pavement.

How Can You Notice a Flat Tire While Driving?

When you have a flat tire at high speeds, you may first feel the car slowing down as you try to maintain the speed. The car will then pull strongly to the right or left depending on the side where the tire burst occurred. When the flat tire is on the front tires, you will feel this force especially with the steering of the car. For rear tires, the force is more on the body or the seat of the car. Regardless of where the flat tire occurred, the response should be the same.

How Safely Handle a Flat tire

Maintaining control of the car and balancing it is vital when you want to get it off the road safely. In this case, you should remain calm, even while your instincts tell you to hit the brakes hard, take your foot off the accelerator, and swerve off the road. Never slam on the brakes, as you will diminish the stability of the vehicle and end up losing its control. Instead, lift off your foot from the gas pedal, and gently slow down the car.

Holding the steering wheel correctly with your two hands is essential, and it makes it easy to stabilize the vehicle. Gently steer to the shoulder only when it’s safe, while softly applying the brakes to stop your vehicle completely. If necessary, you can then push your hazards lights to notify other drivers that you are facing some problems, and keep them out of your way.

What You Should Do After Stopping the Car Safely

Only exit your car when you are sure that you are at a safe distance off the main road; off the harm’s way. Remember to turn on the hazard lights, and put the reflective cones or lifesaver triangles on the road if you have them, to alert other drivers at a safe distance. When it’s not safe to change the tire from where you stopped, or if your are not sure how, it’s better to call for road assistance.

Don’t forget that the spare tires are only recommended for emergencies, (especially the smaller ones) and you should not drive on them at high speeds or for long distances. If you not aware of its location, referring to the user’s manual can give you instructions on where all the necessary tools and spare tire are located. It can also guide you on how to change a flat tire. However, be sure to familiarize yourself with these before you actually need them.

If you don’t feel comfortable changing your tire, contact AAA or a trusted Towing Service that offers Emergency Rates and support

Preventing a Flat Tire

Since tires will naturally lose air pressure over time, it is recommended that you check each of your tire’s pressure at least once a month to avoid a blowout or a flat tire. A simple, regular inspection routine for wear and tear, slow leaks, and pressure is very important. Keeping your load limits within the manufacturer’s recommendations helps too.

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