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RepairPal Blog:

Mechanic's Corner

Advice from experts concerning automotive parts, repairs, and services

Things are changing fast in the automotive world as vehicles and the parts and fluids that keep them running properly are constantly being updated to make them more efficient. I thought I would take a moment to share the latest in coolant as I am frequently asked about it.

If you are going to love and drive the car that you’ve paid for, be sure your timing chain does not look like the example in the video. This timing chain is from a 1986 Mercedes Benz 300 diesel that my shop restored eleven years ago. The new owner had brought her in, having just purchased the vehicle. What a small world!

We have filters to protect us and our expensive devices from harmful debris. Think for a moment about the furnace filter in your house. If you don’t change it or clean it every so often, it gets clogged and can’t do its job well.

There are many factors which combine to make a great automobile repair technician, but all truly great technicians will have the following four characteristics:

I recently performed some repairs on my 1994 GMC Sonoma pickup. Along with replacing the fuel injector due to a leak from the fuel pressure regulator, I also replaced the spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filter. Not long after these repairs were completed, I began to notice a slight engine misfire when pulling away from a stop.

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?

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.

As we begin 2012, I am reminded how our cars have become more and more complicated with each passing year. This added complexity can make repairs very difficult for our service technicians. When I began working on cars in the 1970s, they were pretty basic. Each passing year has added a level of complexity and there seems to be no end in sight. This places a huge burden on entry level technicians and the schools that train them.

Do our cars have too many warning lights? A lot of us may think so, but for years, warning lights were the best way vehicle designers had to inform the driver of a potential fault.