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Heater Malfunctions and Three Common Causes and Solutions for the Car

heaterWinter is coming and your car heater isn’t properly working. You might think that this is the right time to visit a car repair service station. Any sign of the heater not producing warm air should always be taken seriously.

Why Your Car HVAC Malfunctioned?

But, before solving the problem, you need to determine why your car heater is blowing cold air. So let’s find the problem with your car:

  • A clogged heater core
  • A fault in the heater switching system
  • A chocked cabin air filter, disrupting the airflow

Cause and Solution of Car Heater Malfunction

Now let’s determine the issue and solve it using some simple techniques:

1.    A Clogged or Faulty Heater Core

The heater core keeps the air in the cabin warm. But, sometimes rust and salt deposited on the coolant block the fine tube. Since the fine tube is responsible for circulating hot water, the blockage will result in insufficient or no heat. In this condition, many car owners visit professionals. However, they can solve this problem at home. Here’s how you can clean the blocked core:

  • The first step would be removing the dashboard. But because this might turn off the airbags, you need to take out the battery’s terminal from the engine compartment
  • Now take out the dashboard
  • Find the heater core and take it out
  • Blow or pass water into the core and check for the blockage
  • Replace the core and put the heater core back

2.    A Faulty Switch

If you didn’t find any blockage in the heater core, a faulty HVAC switch might be the issue. To fix the heater switch we need to replace the switch and turn on the heat. Here is what you are going to do:

  • Check for the fuse in the fuse box. If you notice a blown fuse, you need to replace it.
  • If you hear the clicking sound coming from the dashboard, when you turn on the heat, try replacing the switch.
  • Sometimes the automatic climate control system is the problem. In this case, you need to tune the temperature all the way from the dial.
  • When both AC and heater are on, you won’t feel the hot air in the cabin. Therefore, you need to turn off the AC.

3.    A Choked Cabin Air Filter

The car’s air system contains air filters, which clean the air and prevent the HVAC exchanger from blocking. The heater and AC won’t work with chocked filters. Fixing this issue takes 10 to 15 minutes. Here is what you need to do:

  • Use the owner’s manual and find the cabin air filter. In most cars, you’ll find it behind the glove box.
  • Remove and check the filter for dust and leaves blocking the airflow.
  • Purchase a new filter and replace them.

Most car HVAC malfunctions because of the above reasons. Furthermore, following the instructions above, you can solve those problems. Still, if you can’t determine the main problem, you can visit a professional.

Cabin Air Filters – History and Significance

cabin airYour car’s cabin air filters play a significant role in making the internal environment of your car’s cabin safe for you and the passengers. With winter around the corner, many will have to rely on the heating of the car. This is why it is important to bring your vehicle in to be inspected.

Relying on the car’s internal cabin air system also means that you will be relying on the car’s cabin air filters to work efficiently. Thanks to the car’s cabin air filters, passengers inside the car can drive around in their safe bubble, without having to worry about contaminants and pollutants that infest the outside air. Below, the article will discuss how the modern cabin air filters became an integral part of automobiles by diving into their history.

History of Cabin Air Filters

Over the years, HVAC systems have undergone drastic changes. The basic concept of a cabin air filter came about first in the 1950s. Hans Freudenberg, who was an engineer noticed that his clothes were becoming very dirty when driving the car. When he found out that this was because of the dirty air coming into the car from outside, he thought of a solution of putting a non moving piece of fabric in front of the air vents to prevent this. This led to the creation of the very first automotive air filter.

It wasn’t until 1989 that a vehicle manufacturer incorporated this idea into their production line of vehicles. The 1989 Mercedes SL roadster was the first vehicle that came standard. This was equipped with an internal cabin air filter. After that, other famous car companies followed suit by introducing their own line with optional air filter integrations.

The first time a mass market car adopted the air filter as standard was the 1990 Oppel Astra. Nonetheless, this did not make the news, and very few people paid much attention to it. This was because air quality was not of the utmost importance in those times.

This is why you could find many more restaurants, and airplane cabins that allowed smoking. Throughout the 90s, cabin air filters started gradually becoming common. Some cars came with a compartment for an air filter inside the car, but the air filter was not installed from the factory. This is why in some 90s cars, when you check for a filter you will find that the place for it is empty.

Modern Day Air Filters

Car manufacturers today, have start developing more advanced air filtration systems, because the growing concerns of worsening air quality, and the rising carbon emissions of the environment. These systems advanced and help eradicate pollutants with efficiency. As you can see, cabin air filters have come a long way. At first, they were not as important, but the growing concerns over the increasing carbon emissions have made them a necessity.

If you happen to live at a location where the outside temperature is not the best, or you happen to be allergic to some sort of microbes, then you should definitely take a good look at your vehicle’s cabin air filters. Inspect them and check whether they have lived past their lifetime and be quick to replace them.

 

 

 

Operate Your Car’s Headlight this Winter

Make sure to know when to operate the lights on your vehicle when you drive. When driving, very few people realize that there are multiple ways to use car headlights. Since most people spend their commuting hours in the daytime, they do not focus too much on headlights and the various car lights that they can use. However, the upcoming winter season is set to shorten the daytime, and there are chances that you will be driving in the dark much more often.

Driving in the dark is vastly different than driving in the daytime. Night-time driving means that you not only have to cope with other cars on the road, but you also have to deal with the lack of visibility, especially along paths that are devoid of any street light.

In this instance, your knowledge of headlights will pay dividends, and knowing how to operate them to their full potential will reduce the risk of injuries.

Car light Options

Most cars come with many different light options. However, some prove to be more critical in the face of foggy, snowy conditions. Below are some car lights that you must use when driving across dark alleyways and roads.

When to Operate Daytime Lights

All modern cars that have been manufactured since 2011 come with daytime running lamps. This option, fitted inside the headlight, is one that people frequently use during the winter season. Since most days of winter are cloudy and dark, with only a slight speck of light, daytime lamps become one of the best options.

This is because winter days are too bright for the main beam and too dark for no lamps at all. Therefore, the daytime lamps provide enough light to make the car visible to oncoming drivers and on-looking pedestrians.

Operate Fog Lights

Fog lights are located slightly beneath the main headlights, and they offer drivers a boost of additional light in foggy conditions.

This boost is crucial in conditions when the fog percentage is at its highest and you still have a long distance to cover on the road. Nonetheless, drivers must use this light responsibly as the high beam can also blind other drivers on the road.

Automatic Headlamps Feature

People rarely use this feature; however, putting on the automatic headlight feature can prove integral in avoiding risks when driving in the winters. This option makes the car automatically turn on the main beam as it senses transition from day to night.

Since this transition happens quicker during the winters, people often forget to turn their headlights on and do not realize that they are putting themselves and others at risk. This is why this car light option is important. Make sure to utilize the car headlights effectively and efficiently. This will involve making sure that you do not blind others on the road.

Why is a Coolant Flush Important for Your Car?

coolant

There are many car maintenance tasks that people avoid. This results in costly repairs and replacement overtime. One such maintenance measure is flushing your car’s coolant. Did you know that the cooling system inside modern cars has not changed from how it was a hundred years ago?

Despite the modern ones being more efficient, they still have the same coolant that circulates through the engine. To understand why flushing the coolant inside your car is important, you need to first get an overview of the car’s cooling system.

Cooling System

The cooling system’s job is to moderate the heat levels that you generate from the engine, and dissipate it through a heat exchanger, which is the radiator. The coolant inside the radiator carries the heat generated in the engine and transfers it to the radiator.

Why Flushing the Coolant is Important?

As the coolant ages, it starts to collect heavy metal solids and other properties of metals. Once this happens, the fluid loses its capacity to lubricate the water pumps since it no longer has the qualities to carry surface tension.

Even if the coolant appears clear, this does not mean that it is in good condition. The heavy metal particles immersed inside the liquid coolant are mostly not visible with a naked eye since they can be broken down. A better way to check for them involves using test strips.

With the infusion of heavy metals, the coolant loses its ability to contact the walls of the radiator tubes, making it flow with lowered down surface tension. Without sufficient surface tension, the coolant does not flow as smoothly as you would like, and this removes its ability to transfer heat efficiently to the radiator.

Heavy metals and Radiator Damage

As the coolant circulates around your engine and radiator, it chisels away at the cast iron and aluminum, along with other metals that are inside the system. The tiny particles of that metal do not have anywhere to go, until you turn off the engine.

The small solids that are stemming from all the damage from the fluid will drop down and solidify at the bottom of the radiator. This settling down at the bottom is something that technicians will refer to as concrete.

The overtime accumulation of heavy metals inside the radiator will not only damage it, but also reduce its capacity by a large margin. With the radiator capacity down, your car can experience overheating problems since the coolant is a huge part of the cooling system.

Ultimately, not flushing out your cooling system frequently enough will cause overheating problem, along with damage to the seals, causing bearing or seal failure. This is why it is important that you make timely coolant replacements so that you do not give it the time to chisel away at the seals for too long. Always make sure to contact us, and we can advise you when the coolant should be flushed.

How Season Changes can Affect your Tires

seasonAs the season changes, now is a good time to inspect the tires on your car. Your car has plenty of rubber components, and the biggest one of those include your car tires. This is important to note, because rubber, as a material is a malleable compound that is responsive to extreme temperature conditions of each seasons. You also have to take into account that summer and winter seasons do not only present you with temperature shifts, but they also play a huge role in shaping the road conditions that you drive on.

Hot Weather and its Impact on Tires

Extremely hot weather can be detrimental for your tires. If you wish to keep your vehicles running smoothly all summer long, then you take extra precautions when the weather turns incredibly hot. In some parts of the country, temperatures can blow out of proportion and rise above 110 degrees.

If you have car tires that have exceeded the five year mark, then it is advisable that you replace them. With the stresses and pressures of heat, your tire will no longer be pliable enough to withstand the temperature. This means that it is probably not in the condition to handle the heat the same way to when it was new.

In the summer season, tires not only have to handle the heat stress hitting them from the sun, but on top of that, the frictional heat from rubbing against the dry road also causes damage. Since rubbers react to heat, excessive heat pressures will overtime decrease a tire’s tread depth.

Treads

Tire treads refer to the bulging rubber designs and groves on the outer surface of the tires. These treads come in contact with the road surface and contribute to the cars road grip, and traction. Thus, even the slightest difference in tread depth can make your commutes a risky endeavor, putting you in the face of a fatal accident.

Tires during Each Season

Tires are essential components and they help us move from one place to the other. They are integral parts of all modes of transport. In the winters, temperatures can fall to an incredibly cold spectrum. In the fall and winter seasons, you need to pay close attention to the tires, and inspect whether they are tolerating the falling temperatures.

This is because tires have air pressure inside them, and a decrease in the surrounding temperature can impact the pressure inside the car. Pressure and temperature go hand and hand, and the ideal gas law explains this relationship with the help of an equation.

When temperature cools down, the pressure decreases and the same goes through the air pressure inside your tires as well. This means that tire pressure can decrease in the winter time and you may need to check the pressure more frequently.

Final Words

To avoid seasonal damages to your tires, you have to make sure that you make the necessary inspections pertaining to all seasons, and if you find any inadequacies in the tire, then you can replace them with ones that offer the most optimum function for the specific weather.

Components that Need Thorough Inspection Frequently for your Car

ComponentsSome components of the car are integral to its longevity and functionality. This is why you need to keep a close eye on them. Fortunately, you can easily inspect and replace them by yourself with only the help of simple tools such as lubricating oil, pressure gauge, flash lights, washer fluids and coolant.

Check Your Air Filter

The air filter may as well be the easiest component that you can inspect. All you have to do is pop open the hood of the car and locate the air filter compartment inside the engine. This is usually very easy to find. Once you locate it, you can detach the filter element out begin your observation.

The air filter is an essential item of the car as it filters out the air that enters into the engine and keeps it away from any air suspended contaminants and pollutants. If your air filter is full of debris and dirt then it is time that you replace it with a new one.

Check the Brake Fluid

If your car’s master cylinder and braking system is lacking sufficient fluid, then you are putting the car at risk of unwanted accidents. Therefore you have to make sure that your car’s brake fluid levels are optimum. Checking whether the brake fluid is low is very easy. All you have to do is open the brake fluid cap, and inside the vessel you will find markings that indicate the appropriate levels.

Check Your Battery Terminals

It is always a good idea to keep your battery terminals in check. You want to look for any corrosion on the terminals that can be problematic. Apart from the terminals, you should also make sure that there is sufficient distilled water inside the batteries as well.

Power Steering Fluid

On the left side of the engine, you can find the power steering fluid column. Nonetheless, this location can differ depending on which car you drive. If you spot that the braking fluid is less than the optimum level then you can bring it back up by filling the steering fluid inside.

Make sure that you use the appropriate oil. Using a different oil to fill up different components will negatively impact the car’s performance. Every different type of oil has a different viscosity level that favors the specific component of the car. Thus, you have to be careful of using the right type of oil.

Check Your Drive Belt Components

Your drive belt is responsible for the functioning of your air compressor, power steering pump, alternator, crank and can hooks and other important processes. Hence, when looking under the hood you should definitely check if there is even the slightest bit of wear on your drive belt.

To sum it up, if you want your vehicle to last you a lifetime, you have to make sure that all your vehicle’s essential fluids are at their optimum levels, the main drive belt is in good condition, along with the tires. There are other inspection components as well but they are the job for technicians.

 

Why are Catalytic Converters so Expensive?

There is a very obvious reason why people would consider steeling catalytic converters. When you look into the cases entailing catalytic converter thefts, you will find that this is a growing trend that is troubling car owners all across the nation.

Up until now, the cases of catalytic converter theft are up by 500 percent. This massive increase in criminal behavior may sound surprising, but considering the unemployment rate and economy, paired with the growing scrap value of catalytic converters, it only makes sense.

Few Reports

In Orangeburg, South Carolina, a thief stole a total of 17 converters at a Toyota Dealership. Similarly, in Missouri, someone went on a converter spree, and stole twenty catalytic converter in Lawrence County alone. These are just two incidents out of the many that Police Departments have to deal with.

Catalytic Converters?

The name catalytic converter has a catalyst within its vessel that converts harmful gasses to something that is much less harmful. People often need to replace their converters when it becomes clogged from burnt oil or coolant, or damaged due to rapid change in temperature. Another common reason why you may need to replace your converter is theft.

For the catalytic converter to function optimally, it needs the help of expensive metals such as Rhodium, Platinum, and Palladium. These metals act as the catalysts inside the converters. A catalyst refers to a substance that increases the rate of speed of a particular chemical reaction, without intervening the reaction.

These metals are inside converters in the form of two honey comb layers. This gives them maximum surface area, and they are also at temperatures nearing 400 degrees to increase efficiency. Their job is to convert carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydro carbons and other pollutants into carbon dioxide oxygen and other gasses that are not nearly as bad for the environment.

Overall, it turns bad gasses that you car produces from combustion into not that bad gasses for the health of the environment. So why are the cases of catalytic converters increased about ten times from 2018 to 2020?

Why Catalytic Converters?

According to a price chart, the price of rhodium has skyrocketed. In 2018, it cost you 1800 dollars to buy an ounce of Rhodium. Today, the same ounce can go up to 2000 dollars in value. This insane price hike is the fundamental driving force behind the increase in catalytic converter theft.

One typical catalytic converter contains a few grams of rhodium, along with other pricey metals such as Palladium and Platinum. These metals can be used in jewelry, construction and many other applications. All of these metals in different ratios cost a huge sum, making catalytic converters a high-prized target for thieves.

There is literally gold underneath your car, and you must be watchful in the current times. Make sure that your car is insured, parked in a safe spot, and away from mischievous offenders looking to make a quick buck.

 

 

 

Brake Issues in Your Car and how to Stop Them

brake issues

Brake issues cause problems in the long run. Noise from braking systems is often alarming and threatening signs. Identifying brake noise is easy. You hear either a squeaking or a scraping noise when you apply the brakes. Noise such as this is often an indication that the brake pads need replacement because they are wearing out.

Checking over for Brake Issues

Checking the braking pad is easy. All you have to is check between the wheels and observe the thickness of the brake pads. The ideal thickness of the brake pads is a quarter of an inch. If you notice that, the brake pad is thinner than a quarter of an inch, then this is an eminent sign that you need to replace them to new ones.

The Role of the Metal Squealer

At the end of all brake pads, you can find a metal squealer. You can refer to this as the indicator. This indicates whenever your brake pads need replacement. It does so by coming in contact with the rotor as the padding begins to flatten and lose thickness.

Therefore, the noise may only be an indication that tells you to replace the brake pad before it completely gives out. In the worst-case scenario, the squealer can break off, and you will have no warning sign once your brake pads begin to flatten. If in this case you hear the noise, it usually means that you break pad has lost its padding, and the metallic base is not coming into contact with the rotor

Other Brake Issues

Sometimes, things are not as simple and the car will begin to squeak just because the discs are open to the air, which cause the rotors to develop surface rust. This can result in them producing noises now and then, and in this case, you will find that there is plenty of brake pad left, yet the car is still making brake noises.

Another problem presents itself in the form of a spongy brake. In this, the brake sinks lower than it should. This can be a part of an either complicated or simple issue. Either way, it is best to take your car to the professional when this happens.

Tips to Stop Brake Noises

The best advice to rid you of the disturbing brake noises is to invest in a high quality brake pad. Apart from that you can also replace your rotor depending if it has any damages. However, most people do not like to make costly rotor replacements and find that brake pads replacement work just as fine.

Braking issues often come about as noises, sinking brake pedals, or the loss of braking force. Fortunately, all of these problems worsen in a gradual process, so you have all the time to take notice and repair them.

Timing Chains and Timing Belts Differences

Timing chains and timing belts are integral components of your vehicular transport’s engine. They are parts that facilitate the rotation inside the engine. Without rotational movements, an engine cannot work, so any faults in the chain or the belt can drastically damage your vehicle’s interior mechanics.

Even though the major difference between a timing belt and a chain is that chains are metal and belts are rubber. This may lead you to believe that chains are better options than belts because metals are stronger.

However, strength is a quality that does not matter when you apply it to holding engine components in the car. For engine components to work most efficiently, timing belts and chains need to have better durability instead.

You may think that timing chains are more durable than belts because of their metallic properties. Even if that is true, you have to take into account differences in maintenance. Chains need lubrication, whereas rubber belts can run dry. Similar to this, you can find more differences between timing chains and belts.

The difference in Service Intervals

Timing chains have a longer service life than belts because of their durability. Some even manage to outlast the engine life. You cannot find a timing belt that can give you this type of service interval. Instead, you will have to replace the service belt every couple of years.

Since service belts are mainly rubber, they have compositional vulnerabilities that make them reactive to heat. When you take into account the fact that a car engine tends to overheat, you can understand why a timing belt has a shorter service interval. Despite heat, rubber also goes through a natural deterioration process with time.

Other Differences of Timing Chains and Belts

Timing belts are also sensitive to oil and coolant spills. This means that they are vulnerable to quicker wear inside a leaky engine. Rubber belts also have a difficult time adhering to high temperatures. So if they are inside engines that have a heating problem, they can wear off quicker than their shelf life.

A typical modern engine has a timing belt service of about 60 to 80 thousand miles. In general, timing belts featured rubber material with reinforcement fibers, which are usually fiberglass. This reinforcement of other materials increases the tensile strength of the belt. A modern timing belt, however, consists of highly saturated Nitrile, which allows it to have such an increased time interval.

Although timing belt rubber is weaker than the metallic chain, it is softer and lighter. This means that belts are particularly quieter than chains. They also have less friction and inertia, making them easier to spin. Rubber is also better for absorbing the vibration and harmonics of an engine, which in turn results in an engine that feels smoother.

As you can see, both rubber belts and timing chains have different properties, advantages, and drawbacks. You can either invest in the longevity that timing chains offer, or settle for a smoother engine with a timing belt.

Summer Heat and Protecting the Tires

summer heatThe summer heat is quite devastating, especially because the temperature keeps rising by a few degrees every year, making it unbearable for people to be out there for work and other purposes. Similarly, your car’s tires also have to tolerate the brunt of the excessive heat. This causes them to get worn out much quicker than expected. Luckily, there are some things you can do to protect your tires from the heat, and you can read all about them in this article.

Keep monitoring the tire pressure

For a safe and smooth driving performance, it is always imperative that you check your car’s tire pressure. This should be done every few days to ensure that they are all equal. Having each tire at a different pressure level will not only cause hindrance in driving the car, but it would also lead to tires getting worn out quicker. The summer heat also causes them to expand and burst, which may be incredibly dangerous for you, especially if this happens while you are at a higher speed.

Check the tire treads

The treads on your tires aren’t there just as a design, but their purpose is to ensure a better road grip, while also removing water from wet roads, so that your car can glide over these roads without any difficulty. However, as you drive your car for a few months, the treads start to wear off and you can notice them become less deep.

Also make it a point to keep an eye on the tire treads, so that you can replace your tires as soon as you think that the treads are getting smooth and won’t be able to grip the road properly.

Look for any signs of damage

Apart from tread wear and tear, your car’s tires may also have some signs of damage on them, which includes chunks, cuts, bubbles, etc. These may be caused due to the summer heat, which heats up and expands the molecules inside the rubber material used to manufacture the tires. When the tires expand and run on less smooth roads, the tires may get damaged.

Therefore, make sure to check for any physical damage on both the internal and external surface. If you notice anything, it is always best to bring it in, so we let you know whether you need to change tires or you can run the existing ones for a few more miles.

Get your tires inspected

Although you may be successful at checking your tires every day and preventing any sort of mishap from happening, it is always wiser to bring your car in. Experts can check your car’s tires, including the spare tire, using advanced equipment and machinery. Not only that, but they will also be able to guide you about getting new tires, rotating their position, or repair your existing tires.

This brings us to the end of our guide on how to protect your car’s tires from the summer heat and ensure that they last longer than you expect. By following these methods, you will be able to put off replacing your tires, and save a lot of money in the process.

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Cottage Grove

651-458-5158
8799 E Point Douglas Rd S
Monday-Thursday: 8AM-6PM
Friday: 8AM-5PM

Maplewood

651-578-0885
275 Century Ave N
Monday-Friday: 8AM-6PM

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