RepairPal Blog

There is a lot that can go wrong with cars—all of the moving parts, the electronics, the maintenance required to keep you on the road ... The last thing people want to do is spend money on car repair, even if it is sorely needed.

Everyone understands that cars need to get greener. They are already a lot greener than they have been in the past, but more green is on the way. By 2030, all petrol and Diesel cars will be banned from European cities. 

On my way to work today, I had a warning light go off in my Audi A3 that I had never noticed before. Apparently my daytime running right side light had gone out. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I had daytime running lights. I also noticed that I have fog lights, but in my ten years of driving, I don’t think I’ve ever used them. 

I was looking for a "retirement project" and since over the years I had collected many additional parts from other '39 Dodges, I had fenders and lots more to start something else. I had always longed to have another open car (I had a '30 Ford touring car and a "T" bucket and sold them) and I wanted to cut the top off a car and make a big convertible.

Picture yourself driving down the road on a dark and stormy night. Suddenly you hear a strange knocking noise that fills you with dread. Could it be … gasp … your car? You ask yourself: What is it? Can I make it to my destination? How much will it cost to fix?

When you put batteries in your TV remote control, they eventually die and you toss them out and replace them. Your cell phone, however, has a rechargeable battery that you plug in to charge. Since most of us do not plug our cars in (yet) and we don’t toss out our car battery on a regular basis, how does the battery charge?

In 1965, I went to Oregon with the Coast Guard and ended up in a small town, Depoe Bay, which had about 300 residents in the winter. The station was small, so we had to find an apartment in town. We had to be on the boat within three minutes of a boat call (siren), so I needed quick transportation to the station. I decided to buy a car, so I bought the only car for sale in town—a 1939 Dodge Coupe for $65!

While the RepairPal blog is a great place to find out why our cars are the way they are and work they way they do, you may not always find what you are looking for here. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, you might want to check out the newly revamped RepairPal Encyclopedia.

In December 2011, my partner, Sarah, and I went up to her father's place in Denver. Besides seeing snow for the first time in over a decade, I was also excited to see his garage where he works on classic cars. I had seen a few pictures Sarah had taken before, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes.

Last week I explained why our vehicles are equipped with a tire pressure monitor system (TPMS). This week, let’s look at how these systems work.