RepairPal Blog

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.

Every year the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brings a smile to my face. I remember in past years seeing 3D TVs and touch panel displays, just a few of the items I get all giddy about. This year, however, I got excited about a new technology that Audi is developing for the 2013 models.

I was driving on the entrance ramp to a highway yesterday when a huge crater suddenly presented itself before me. I was going about 55mph and the double lane was tapering into a single lane, so there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I braced myself and cringed when I went over the pothole, certain it would rip the entire suspension from my vehicle. It didn’t, but it sure sounded and felt like it.

Due to safety and fuel mileage concerns, in the early 2000s, the Federal government began to look into mandating on-board vehicle systems that would monitor tire pressure and alert the driver when one or more tires dropped 25 percent below the recommended inflation pressure. By 2008, this mandate went into full effect for all cars and light trucks.

We hear about recalls all of the time, but have you ever heard of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) or a campaign? How do they differ from recalls? If a recall or TSB is issued for your car, do you have to pay for the repairs? 

Over the holiday break, I finally had enough time to do the little chores I’ve been putting off. My car was utterly filthy, and so cleaning it was on the top of the list. I generally use this one random brand of soap my father has in his garage, but this time I put my big boy shoes on and went to the store to purchase my own.