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Replacement of 2007 Honda Accord Transmission Box

Work has always been too easy with good tools with efficient technician, here in brave autos we will always have you covered with good working skill………. For more enquiry please visit our website www.braveautos.org or Visit Fb https://www.facebook.com/HybridAutoSolutionInstagram: brave auto solution ltdTwitter: brave auto solutionltdCall us on 07037466118, 0701000362708094940513 thank you.

Posted by Brave Auto Solution ltd on Saturday, September 21, 2019

 

transmission box is used to provide the gear reduction needed to transform the high speed of the engine to the requisite speed to drive the wheels. The gearbox is the chief component of the transmission system. The gearboxes are different for manual and automatic transmissions. Manual transmissions usually have five or six gears in the gearboxes. When the driver presses the clutch down, the sliding gear gets engaged with the appropriate gear.

 

There are higher and lower gears which when engaged with the sliding gear provide high and low speeds, respectively. Modern manual gearboxes employ a diagonal gear that keeps the sliding gear synchronized with the main gears. This design prevents the gears from clashing with one another.

Automatic transmissions use an automatic gearbox that allows the transmission to select the right gear, without having the driver to choose. A hydraulic system monitors the pressure of fluids in the engine and engages the appropriate gear with the help of a torque converter, with respect to the engine fluid’s pressure.

The torque converter engages the higher or lower gears, depending on whether the fluid pressure is high or low, respectively. so at all points, there’s a need to check the effectiveness of the automatic gearbox.

 

24 Aug

AUTOMOBILE HAS NEVER FAILED

Great ability comes great responsibility, watch brave autos engineers as they move from not just auto repairs, replacing of hybrid automobile Battery and electrical auto Mobile car wiring into assembling of car components

 

The automobile is never limited to what it does we can only be the limit to its performance. The automobile engine has it’s calculated working performance and efficiency ratio, so over time, it’s proper to diagnose engine performance to evaluate working ratio.

Replacement downtime can only be determined by the performance ratio of the automobile

The brave auto solution engineers install a new 2007   Toyota Prius hybrid engine and transmission box, to improve performance ratio and working capacity of the hybrid vehicle. A good understanding of the automobile world makes life smarter than easy.

VID-20190821-WA0001

 

 

13 May

BRAVES AUTOS OFFERS THE WORLD BEST SOLUTION CAR BREAK DOWN ON HIGHWAY AND THE FIRST 5,000 KITS TO ROAD USERS.

Researches has shown that every day thousands of vehicles breakdown in the middle of the road leading to accident during transits. So we did our research, on how we can help reduce these road accidents that is as a result of breakdown of vehicles on the high way. Several automobile engineers where consulted in and outside Nigeria and they all contributed in one way or the other having a leading result of
Disengage from acceleration and put the car on park afterwards put the car off.
Check the car battery terminal if there are loses.
Check the voltage of the battery if its 11volts or more (and it can be done by turning on the head land and by pressing the horn to check if the horn sound will change)
Check the car fuse in case of any broken fuse
And lastly air induction system to see if there is any leakage on the hoses.
Yes its quite narrative and simple all these are correct and can be done, but brave autos says is not the first thing to do. What if the car broke down at night, what do you do? What if it’s a traffic situated area what do you do? The first thing to do, is to Place Safety Signs on the Road (signages) and You Put on Reflective Jacket before checking anything in the vehicle. With this other road users will be properly informed about a breakdown vehicle.
We don’t solve problems half way, we keep the lives of our customers and their vehicles safe at all cost that why we are lunching our first 5,000 Reflective Jacket and Breakdown Emergency Road Sign. For further information do call 07037466118, 07037607442. Or visit us at www.braveautos.org

14 Apr

FUEL SYSTEM: COMPONENTS, WORKING PRINCIPLES, SYMPTOMS AND EMISSION CONTROLS

 

The function of the fuel system is to store and supply fuel to the cylinder chamber where it can be mixed with air, vaporized, and burned to produce energy. The fuel,

which can be either gasoline or diesel is stored in a fuel tank. A fuel pump draws the fuel from the tank through fuel lines and delivers it through a fuel filter to either a carburetor or fuel injector, then delivered to the cylinder chamber for combustion.

COMPONENTS

1. Fuel Tank

The fuel tank is the main storage for the fuel that runs the vehicle. Generally speaking, the gas tank is generally found at, or under, the rear of the vehicle.

2. Fuel Injectors:

Sprays a fine mist of fuel into the combustion chamber of each cylinder or throttle body, depending on design.
The fuel injectors are driven by the fuel pump and their job is to spray a fuel and air mixture into the combustion chamber, ready to be ignited to produce power to the driven wheels. The fuel injectors are basically a nozzle, with a valve attached, the nozzle creates a spray of fuel and air droplets (atomization). This can be viewed similar to that of a perfume dispenser or deodorant can in principle, spraying a fine mist.

3. Fuel Fill Hose

The Fuel Fill Hose is the main connector from the gas cap to the fuel tank. This is the point where the Gasoline (or other fuel) is put into the vehicle.

4. Gas Cap

The gas cap seals the fill hose and is used to ensure that

A) Gas does not spill out from the car, and
B) that the fuel system remains pressurized correctly (in vehicles that use pressurized systems).

5. Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is used to pump the fuel from the fuel tank, via the fuel lines into the fuel injectors, which spray the fuel into the combustion chamber- in order to create combustion. There are two types, mechanical fuel pumps (used in carburetors) and electronic fuel pumps (used in electronic fuel injection).

• Mechanical fuel pumps: these are driven normally by auxiliary belts or chains from the engine.
• Electronic fuel pumps: controlled by the electronic fuel injection system, these are normally more reliable and have fewer reliability issues than their mechanical counterparts.

6. Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is the key to a properly functioning fuel delivery system. This is more true with fuel injection than with carbureted cars. Fuel injectors are more susceptible to damage from dirt because of their close tolerances, but also fuel injected cars use electric fuel pumps. When the filter clogs, the electric fuel pump works so hard to push past the filter, that it burns itself up. Most cars use two filters. One inside the gas tank and one in a line to the fuel injectors or carburetor. Unless some severe and unusual conditions occur to cause a large amount of dirt to enter the gas tank, it is only necessary to replace the filter in the line.

7. Fuel Lines

The Fuel Lines connect all of the various Fuel System components.
Steel lines and flexible hoses carry the fuel from the tank to the engine. When servicing or replacing the steel lines, copper or aluminum must never be used. Steel lines must be replaced with steel. When replacing flexible rubber hoses, the proper hose must be used. Ordinary rubber such as used in vacuum or water hose will soften and deteriorate. Be careful to route all hoses away from the exhaust system.

8. Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge exists as a display item in the vehicle’s dashboard. It is intended to show to the driver the actual amount of fuel in the fuel tank. On older cars, it’s common for fuel gauges (or their related part, the sending unit) to be inaccurate. When you first start driving your classic car take time to learn how accurate the system is. It’ll save you from a long walk to the gas station if you run out of gas!

9. Fuel Gauge Sending Unit

In terms of the fuel system, this may be your biggest headache. Sending units, at best, are generally a flawed design. Generally, the sender is most accurate between 1/4 and 3/4 of a tank of gas. Outside of this, the gauge becomes progressively more inaccurate as you reach the tank limits (full or empty).

Based on the age of the vehicle, the type of carburetion/fuel injection, and the emissions standards in place at the time it may also have:

10. Fuel return lines

They are generally the same types of line tubing as the main Fuel Line. These specific lines are used for a couple purposes. Primarily they are used to return excess fuel to the gas tank for recirculation. Additionally, they capture gasoline vapors, which, as they are pushed back to the gas tank cool and condense back into liquid. In particular, diesel powered fuel injected engines often use the fuel as a cooling mechanism for the fuel injector. They can recirculate significant amounts of fuel.

11. Emission Vapor Controls

These are often used in combination with fuel return lines. The goal of this section of the overall system is to ensure that gasoline vapors are not released into the ambient air. If this occurs a number of bad things may happen: 1) The earth-shattering kaboom of gasoline vapors igniting, 2) The unpleasant smell of gasoline is routed into the interior of the vehicle, and 3) It can harm the environment.

12. Fuel Pressure Regulator

Fuel Pressure Regulators are primarily found in fuel injected cars. Fuel injection, as opposed to carburetion, is a high-pressure system. The fuel pressure regulator ensures that the system maintains the proper amount of pressurization.

13. Pulsation Damper:

As the fuel Injectors rapidly open and close in time with the engines OTTO cycle, pressure fluctuations appear in the fuel system. A Pulsation Damper job is to help combat the pressure levels reducing fuel delivery inconsistency.

WORKING PRINCIPLE

Some of this may seem a little silly, as many components are pretty obvious to all of us. Fundamentally, once you fill the tank with gasoline the system is “ready.” When you start the car the fuel pump begins the process of drawing fuel from the fuel tank, through the fuel lines and fuel filter, to the system that controls fuel/air delivery to the engine (a carburetor or fuel injector). While the car is running a continuous supply of fuel is delivered in this fashion.

The fuel system in modern cars is a complex and intricate combination of components and electronics. Generally, Fuel systems work in the following ways:

• Fuel is delivered from the fuel tank to the fuel injectors via a fuel pump and fuel lines. The pump is normally positioned close to the fuel tank or within the tank itself.
• Fuel leaving the fuel tank and fuel pump passes through a fuel filter which purifies and gets rid of any containment. This is normally a high capacity inline design, to maximize flow rates.
• Fuel travels along the fuel lines and is delivered to the fuel injectors. Fuel Injector pressures are controlled via a pressure regulator.
• Any fuel which is not used and exceeds pressure rates is returned via fuel lines back into the fuel tank.

Carbureted Engines

The fuel system for this type of engine is generally a low-pressure system. If the vehicle is equipped with a mechanical fuel pump, the number of revolutions of the motor (RPMs) control how quickly fuel is delivered. The faster the car is going (or revving) the greater the movement of the fuel pump and the overall volume of fuel being delivered. If the vehicle is equipped with an electric fuel pump the overall process is the same, but some form of the restrictor is necessary to ensure that the appropriate amount of fuel is delivered. This can be a pressure regulator, an overflow system with return lines, or a vehicle specific mechanism.

Fuel Injected Engines

Once the vehicle is started, providing that the gas cap was installed and sealed correctly, the system becomes pressurized. Your modern car is probably fuel injected. Ever notice the release of air when you go to add gasoline? This is the vehicle releasing the system pressure. The electric fuel pump continuously pumps gasoline, ensuring that the system has the correct level of pressure. In addition to the normal fuel delivery, it also passes through the pressure regulator which ensures that the fuel pressure at the point of the Injector is correct so that the amount of fuel injected into the engine is appropriate. Depending on the year and the vehicle in question, the level of the technology that controls the system may be simple wiring type controls or a computer.

SYMPTOMS

The basic symptoms of any type of vehicle fuel system that is showing signs of wear or deterioration are:
• Difficult Engine Starting
• Slow or Hesitation at Acceleration
• Stalling While Driving
• Intermittent Power Loss
• Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon Light Illuminated
• Engine Idling Rough
• Excessive Engine Smoke
• Noticeable Fuel Odors
• Decreased Fuel Economy

EMISSION CONTROLS

Emission controls are an add on to the basic fuel system and vary in complexity based on the year, vehicle, and legal controls in place at the time of manufacture. Fundamentally, they ensure that the appropriate amount of fuel is delivered, excess fuel is returned to the gas tank, and hazardous vapors are not allowed to escape the system. Because of the variability in this specific segment of the system, it isb important for you to review the technical information that specifically relates to your vehicle.

20 Feb

THE BRAIN BEHIND CAR TRANSMISSION

An automobile requires high torque when climbing hills and when starting, even though they are performed at low speeds. On other hand, when running at high speeds on level roads, high torque is not required because of momentum.  So requirement of a device  occurs, which can change the vehicle’s torque and its speed according to road condition or when the driver needs it. This device is known as transmission box or A gearbox.

Function of transmission box (gear box) in automobile:

The transmission box which is also known as the gear box is the second element of the power train in an automobile. It is used to change the speed and torque of vehicle according to variety of road and load conditions.

Transmission box change the engine speed into torque when climbing hills and when the vehicle requires it. Sometimes it is known as torque converter.

Main functions of a gear box is as follow:

1. Provide the torque needed to move the vehicle under a variety of road and load conditions. It does this by changing the gear ratio between the engine crankshaft and vehicle drive wheels.

2. Be shifted into reverse so the vehicle can move backward.

3. Be shifted into neutral for starting the engine.

20 Feb

What is Your Toyota dashboard light saying l

  • The dashboard warning lights on your Toyota are designed to alert you to problems and to remind you to conduct routine maintenance. Ignoring a warning light could have serious consequences, but to respond appropriately, you have to know what each light means. Follow this guide to decode your dashboard and prevent costly breakdowns.

ABS Warning Light

The ABS warning light features the initials ABS surrounded by a circle, and with parentheses outside the circle. If you see this light, you need to get your brakes serviced. It could indicate a problem with the anti-lock brakes or with your Toyota’s Brake Assist system.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

A flat tire can ruin your day, so look for the horseshoe-shaped light that features an exclamation point in the center. This warning light indicates that your Toyota’s tire pressure has gotten too low, so you need to visit a dealership or service station to add air. Failing to do so could make your vehicle more susceptible to a flat. Plus, it will reduce your fuel efficiency because the tires won’t spin as smoothly.

Overheating Warning Light

You can monitor your Toyota’s engine temperature in two ways. First, the temperature gauge lets you know if your car has ventured into the warm zone; second, look for the icon that resembles a thermometer floating on water. If the icon illuminates, your car could overheat.

Fuel Warning Light

The last thing you want is to run out of gas. Your Toyota helps you stay on top of your fuel levels with the gauge. However, if you get close to empty, you’ll see a warning light that looks like a gas pump. Find the nearest gas station to fuel up.

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What Does Each Toyota Dashboard Warning/Indicator Light Mean?

Dashboard Warning Lights

The dashboard warning lights on your Toyota are designed to alert you to problems and to remind you to conduct routine maintenance. Ignoring a warning light could have serious consequences, but to respond appropriately, you have to know what each light means. Follow this guide to decode your dashboard and prevent costly breakdowns.

ABS Warning Light

The ABS warning light features the initials ABS surrounded by a circle, and with parentheses outside the circle. If you see this light, you need to get your brakes serviced. It could indicate a problem with the anti-lock brakes or with your Toyota’s Brake Assist system.

Tire Pressure Warning Light

A flat tire can ruin your day, so look for the horseshoe-shaped light that features an exclamation point in the center. This warning light indicates that your Toyota’s tire pressure has gotten too low, so you need to visit a dealership or service station to add air. Failing to do so could make your vehicle more susceptible to a flat. Plus, it will reduce your fuel efficiency because the tires won’t spin as smoothly.

Overheating Warning Light

You can monitor your Toyota’s engine temperature in two ways. First, the temperature gauge lets you know if your car has ventured into the warm zone; second, look for the icon that resembles a thermometer floating on water. If the icon illuminates, your car could overheat.

Fuel Warning Light

The last thing you want is to run out of gas. Your Toyota helps you stay on top of your fuel levels with the gauge. However, if you get close to empty, you’ll see a warning light that looks like a gas pump. Find the nearest gas station to fuel up.

Check Engine Lights

Check Engine Light

Modern cars are so complex that the check engine light is impossible to diagnose on your own. This warning light has several possible meanings, such as:

Low oil pressure

Failing battery

Damaged or worn serpentine belt

Engine misfires

Faulty oxygen sensor

Issue with the catalytic converter

Damaged mass airflow sensor

Many other problems can trigger your check engine light to appear, ranging from very minor (such as a loose gas cap) to more serious issues (such as engine failure).

You’ll recognize the check engine light because it looks like a tiny engine. It might have the words “check engine” in the middle of the icon or a lightning bolt striking through it. Regardless, take your vehicle to a mechanic right away. He or she can diagnose the problem and recommend solutions.

Low Oil Pressure Warning Light

The low oil pressure warning light looks like a fuel can with oil dripping from the end. If it flares on your dashboard, pull over to the side of the road immediately and turn off your Toyota, especially if the engine makes noise or if you feel vibrations. A drop in oil pressure could cause irreversible damage to your engine.

This issue could involve low oil, which can be fixed by adding more oil. However, if the problem is more serious, simply adding oil might lure you into a false sense of safety. The best course of action is to have your vehicle towed to a repair shop or, if the engine isn’t showing any signs of distress, driving to the nearest mechanic at a low rate of speed.   Warning Light

If you see an illuminated icon that looks like a battery on your Toyota’s dashboard, there’s a problem with your vehicle’s charging system. This icon brightens every time you start your car — it indicates that the vehicle is testing its charging system — but it should disappear after a couple of seconds. If it doesn’t, your car needs service.

It could mean that you need to replace your battery or the connectors. However, your vehicle’s charging system involves a complex array of components and functionality, so only a licensed mechanic can tell you how to remedy the problem.

Slip Warning Light

This light looks like the back of a car with two backward S shapes trailing behind it. The slip warning lets you know that your Toyota’s TRAC (traction control) or VSC (vehicle stability control) system has been engaged. The car is attempting to avoid an accident or other issue by stabilizing the car, but you could be close to slipping.

You’ll most often see the slip warning light when you’re driving in inclement weather, such as on icy roads, or when you’re navigating a steep incline or decline. It means you need to exercise caution or find another route, depending on the circumstances.

EPS Warning Light

The EPS (electrical power steering) warning light lets you know that your Toyota has experienced a malfunction in the power steering system. The icon looks like a steering wheel sitting next to an exclamation point. Sometimes, it means that your power steering fluid levels have dropped. If you replace the fluid, you shouldn’t experience further issues.

However, if your fluid levels are appropriate and the light stays on, visit a mechanic as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose control over your steering wheel. If you notice that your wheel becomes harder to turn or less responsive, don’t delay in visiting your dealership or repair shop.

Maintenance Required Warning Light

Toyota has created a robust system of indicators that can help you stay on top of vehicle maintenance. You might see the maintenance required warning light if your car is due for an oil change, tire rotation, and other regular maintenance. It generally features the words “Maint Req’d.”

This light doesn’t spell devastation, but you shouldn’t ignore it. When it’s convenient, take your car back to the dealership for regular maintenance and a tune-up. This is the best way to catch potential problems before they cause an issue for you on the road.

Open Door Warning Light

You might see an icon that features a car with four doors open flash on your Toyota’s dashboard. This light lets you know that one of the doors is open so you can shut it properly.

Low Windshield Wiper Fluid Warning Light

If you see an icon that looks like a windshield with waves across it, you need to top off your windshield wiper fluid. This shouldn’t require the assistance of a mechanic; simply buy a bottle of fluid and fill the reservoir.

System Indicator Lights

Toyota vehicles feature several indicators to let you know that certain systems are functioning or engaged. These include:

Security: An icon with a car and a padlock lets you know that the security system is engaged.

Airbag: You’ll see an icon with a person in a seat and a dark circle. It lets you know the airbags are set to deploy in the event of a crash.

Turn signal: Two arrows pointing away from each other remind you that you’ve turned on your turn signal.

Cruise control: A picture of a speedometer and an arrow lets you know that you’ve set your vehicle to cruise control.

Headlight and high-beam: Icons that resemble lamps tell you if you’ve turned on your headlights or high beams.

Check Engine Lights

Understanding your Toyota’s dashboard warning-light system can help you take care of your car. Pay attention to these lights and follow the recommendations above to keep your car in top running order.

 

 

5 Sep
BRAIN BOX

IMAGE THAT SHOWS, HOW TO PROGRAM ALL TOYOTA ECU/BRAIN BOX MANUALLY. FROM 2003 TO 2010

PROGRAMMING

ECU PROGRAMMING

An Engine control module  or Electronic Control Module (ECU) acts as the brain for your car. In fact some people call it the brain box.

ECUs are generally used to monitor and control engine functions such as determining what position the gas pedal is at while idling. This allows the car to know that when you step on the accelerator how much gas it needs to feed the engine based on the amount of throttle you’re giving it.

ECUs also control transmissions, telling the car when to switch gears while driving an automatic transmission vehicle. It can adjust the gear ratio depending on what setting it is put in – such as reverse, drive, overdrive, or sport. 

And some ECUs (known as Body Control Modules) control the function of the windows, door locks, and sunroof – basically all the accessories in or on your vehicle.

Before manufacturers switched to using engine control modules and a large network of computers to control the vehicles functions, everything was manual. Typically the only non-mechanical item in an older vehicle was the radio. Windows, door locks, and all the basic functions drivers now expect in their vehicles were manually operated. 

One of the primary functions of an ECU is monitoring a series of a cars actions to register errors with how it is operating. If an error is detected the ECU will generate a trouble code.

Once the ECU notices the problem and generates the trouble code, it will cause the check engine light to come on. When you notice that your check engine light is on, you should take your car in to have it examined by a mechanic. BRAVE AUTOS SOLUTION is the best at car diagnosis

What we do is to hook your car up to an OBD scan tool and register any OBD error code that it may be sending. At this point inspect the location of the error and advise you of any ECU repairs necessary.

Unfortunately if your ECU is malfunctioning you may need to have the ECU repaired or replaced. If your ECU is damaged or the motherboard is corroded you will need a total replacement. Corroded or burned ECUs are generally not repairable.

ECU’s are integral to the operation of modern cars. These are not simple mechanical devices that you should attempt to repair on your own or repaired by non-specialized mechanic. Your Satisfaction is what we are made for.

6 May

Car Care Tips – How do you save on gas

Use regular gasoline

Unless your vehicle requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane gas is a waste of money. The premium gas doesn’t boost your gas mileage or performance. If you’re not sure what grade works best for your vehicle, your owner’s manual will tell you. You can also ask our mechanics what grade to use. Using regular gasoline over high-octane gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Don’t top off

Don’t top off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off.

Tighten up the gas cap

Gas will evaporate from the gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car.

Go for the shade

The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.

Use your garage for your car

Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won’t have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.

Pump up your tires

Don’t get caught driving on under inflated tires. Under inflated tires wear down more quickly, and they also lower your car’s gas mileage. Your car’s gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on under inflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.

Check your tire pressure once a month

Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual and on the placard located in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car’s been idle overnight. Most newer vehicles are equiped with tire pressure monitors which alert you automatically if there is a problem.

Keep your engine in tune

Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You’ll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Ensure your mechanic checks for them.

Replace air filters

When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It’s a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car’s air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as specified in your owner’s manual.

Use the right oil

You can improve your vehicle gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Use motor oil with the words “energy conserving” on the API (American Petroleum Institute) performance label. This oil contains additives to lower the friction.

Don’t skimp on maintenance

Your car’s performance depends on it being properly maintained. The owner’s manual of your vehicle will tell you what maintenance is needed and when. If you have any questions, your repair shop will be able to show you the recommended maintenance for your car. Follow the car care guidelines outlined in your owner’s manual. Not only will they improve efficiency, they will also save you money on costly repairs in the long run.

1 May

How Can I Tell If My Radiator Is Leaking?

How can you tell when your car’s radiator is leaking? When the temperature gauge on your dashboard reads high or a temperature warning light comes on, you have a cooling system problem that may be caused by leakage — be it in the radiator itself or some other component.

First, make sure it’s coolant that’s leaking, not another fluid. (Coolant is often referred to as antifreeze, but technically coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.) You can easily check the coolant level in your see-through overflow tank. If it’s empty or low, the next step should be to check the coolant level in the radiator, but that should be done only when the engine is cool. Having too little coolant in the car’s cooling system can cause engine overheating and/or make your cabin heater blow cold air.

Once you know you’re losing coolant, the radiator is a good place to start. Some radiator leaks will be easy to spot — such as a puddle underneath the radiator — but others not so much. It’s best to check the radiator from every angle, not just from above, and pay particular attention to seams and the bottom. Rust inside the radiator or holes from road debris also can cause coolant leaks. Your vehicle may have an aluminum radiator that technically can’t rust, but aluminum can corrode or develop pinhole leaks too.

Antifreeze comes in different colors — green, yellow and pinkish-red, for example — feels like slimy water and usually has a sweet smell. If you can’t see coolant dripping or seeping, look for rust, tracks or discoloration on the radiator. Those are telltale signs of where it has leaked.

If the radiator appears to be OK, the cooling system offers several possibilities for leaks, including the hoses from the radiator to the engine, the radiator cap, water pump, engine block, thermostat, reservoir tank, heater core (a small radiator that circulates hot coolant into the dashboard for passenger-compartment heating) and others. A blown gasket between the cylinder head and engine block is another possibility, allowing coolant inside the combustion chambers — a problem that must be addressed immediately by a mechanic. (Thick white smoke coming from the tailpipe is actually steam, a telltale symptom.)

If you can’t find a leak, have it checked by a mechanic. Coolant has a way of escaping only under pressure when the car is running — possibly in the form of steam, which may not leave a trace. If the culprit continues to evade detection, you might consider a radiator stop-leak additive, available at auto parts stores, which seals small leaks — but it’s always better to find and repair the problem’s source, especially in the case of faulty head gaskets, which can lead your power supply to overheat and cause catastrophic engine damage.

4 Mar

Car Maintenance Tips You Can Handle – Checklist

1. Air Filter

technician holding dirty car air filter

  • Tools You Need: None
  • Time to Complete: 10 minutes

You need a new air filter for your car every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can pay a mechanic and give up your car for a day, or you can replace your air filter at home in about ten minutes.

  1. First, find your filter under the hood of your car. It’s in a black rectangular box with metal clips on the side. Check your owner’s manual if you don’t see it as soon as you pop the hood.
  2. Open up the casing, and check out how the air filter fits inside it. Make a note of which way the filter faces.
  3. Remove the old air filter, and insert the new one exactly how the old one sat.
  4. Remember to close the metal clips when you’re done.

That’s it. For extra savings in the long run, you can extend the life of your new air filter by hitting it with some compressed air to clear out any debris.

2. Windshield Wipers

cleaning a windshield with a microfiber cloth

  • Tools You Need: None
  • Time to Complete: 15 minutes

I laugh when I visit my local auto parts store and see that they’re having a sale on wiper blades, offering free installation. The free installation only applies if I buy the most expensive blades in the store, so I started changing them on my own. You’ll need new wiper blades after about six months or a year of use. You probably tend to go a little longer before asking your mechanic to change them, but you shouldn’t deal with the danger of streaking while you put off an inconvenient trip to the auto shop.

Wiper blade setup differs quite a bit from car to car, so you may have to follow a few different steps according to your owner’s manual. Basically, the process is similar to changing your air filter:

  1. Lift the blades, as if you were washing your windshield by hand, and remove the old blades.
  2. Pay attention to how the old blades connect to the metal arms.
  3. On most models, you’ll see a tab on the underside of the wiper. Push the tab to remove the old blade.
  4. Attach the new blades, being careful not to bend the wiper arms or scratch your windshield. Line everything up and make sure the new ones are secure and tight.

If you get distracted or just can’t remember exactly how the new blades should fit on the wiper arm, don’t worry. The packaging for the new blades should have a general set of instructions and a helpful diagram.

3. Spark Plugs

spark plug replacement

  • Tools You Need: Ratchet or socket wrench, 12″ socket extension, spark plug socket
  • Time to Complete: 20 to 30 minutes

Most spark plugs need replacing after about 30,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle is any different. While changing spark plugs might sound like intense work, it’s a pretty simple process. You just need to set aside some time and exercise patience. Don’t rush, because you need to install the replacements in a specific order.

  1. You should be able to locate your spark plugs fairly easily, because they’re attached to thick rubbery wires.
  2. You’ll find either four, six, or eight plugs, depending on how many cylinders your car has.
  3. Remove the wire to the first spark plug only. Do not remove all of the wires at once. Your spark plugs are installed in a certain order, which you need to maintain.
  4. Use your spark plug socket and extension on your ratchet to remove the first spark plug.
  5. Install the new spark plug, screwing it in by hand at first and then tightening it with a wrench for a snug fit. Do not over-tighten.
  6. Re-attach the spark plug wire.

Repeat these steps for each spark plug, one at a time. If you buy the right plugs, you won’t have to worry about “gapping” the plugs, because they’ll come pre-gapped.

4. Oil and Oil Filter

young hispanic mechanic changing oil filter

  • Tools You Need: Ratchet, oil filter wrench, oil pan, funnel
  • Time to Complete: 30 to 45 minutes

Experts say you should change your oil every 3,000 miles, but with better products and cars operating more efficiently, I think you can get away with changing it every 5,000 miles. Whichever benchmark you decide to use, you can save time and money by handling the change yourself. Before you start, keep in mind these precautions:

  1. Never change your oil when your engine is hot. Park, wait for it to cool, and then get started. Driving around the block to heat the car and loosen the oil can result in a more effective drain, which is good news, but you must let the engine cool before going to work.
  2. You’ll have to jack up your car, so make sure you’re comfortable safely handling a jack.

Now that you’ve covered safety first, it’s time to get a little dirty.

  1. Get under your car and locate the vehicle’s oil pan. It shouldn’t be hard to find.
  2. Unscrew the drain plug and drain all of the old oil into your oil pan.
  3. Once all of the oil is drained, replace the drain plug.
  4. Go back to your engine and remove the old oil filter with your oil filter wrench. (Be careful, because the oil filter contains some old oil as well).
  5. Lubricate the rubber gasket on the new oil filter with some new motor oil.
  6. Fill the new oil filter about two-thirds of the way with new oil.
  7. Screw in the new oil filter. Hand-tighten it only.
  8. Fill the engine with new oil, using your funnel.
  9. With a dip-stick, double check your oil level to be sure you’ve added enough.
  10. Discard the old oil filter and recycle the old oil (most gas stations will take it).

Changing your oil is the dirtiest job on the list, but it might be the most rewarding too. Though you can find plenty of quick-service stations nearby, when you think about going possibly four times a year, the expense and time commitment adds up.

5. Battery Maintenance

car repair

  • Tools You Need: Wrenches, corrosion-removal fluid, wire brush, rags
  • Time to Complete: 20 minutes

The key to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently is a good battery connection. Just a few specks of crunchy white residue on the posts can keep your car from starting. A simple visual check of the condition of your battery will tell you when you need to perform this process.

  1. Remove your battery terminals, which should be a fairly straightforward process. Make sure you always remove the negative cable first. If they’re stuck, use a flathead screwdriver to pry them loose.
  2. Clean the posts. Some say Coca-Cola will work, and it does, but I suggest using a more professional product from your local auto parts store. Keep in mind that most of these solutions are nothing more than baking soda and water, so if you’re feeling extremely frugal, feel free to create your own cleaner. Generously apply the fluid to the posts, and clean vigorously with your wire brush.
  3. Rinse the cleaning fluid with a little water.
  4. Dry the posts with rags.
  5. Replace battery terminals.

A dead battery can be one of the most frustrating car problems, because it’s usually so simple to avoid the trouble. Especially if you’ve had the same battery for a few years, pop your hood every few months and take a look at the battery to see if it needs a simple cleaning.

6. Radiator Flush

pouring coolant

  • Tools You Need: Phillips-head screwdriver or wrench, rags, radiator flush solution, coolant, funnel, used coolant receptacle
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Your car’s radiator and cooling system need to be clean to work efficiently and effectively. With normal wear and tear, your car’s radiator builds up deposits that can disrupt the cooling system. A radiator flush is a quick and inexpensive way to keep your system in shape. Consult your owner’s manual to find out if you need to flush the radiator yearly or every two years.

  1. Make sure your car is completely cool before you begin.
  2. Check your owner’s manual to find the radiator’s drain plug. Put your used coolant receptacle in place, unscrew the drain plug, and let the old coolant drain completely.
  3. Replace the drain plug and remove the radiator cap.
  4. Use the funnel to add the radiator flush cleaning solution and then fill the rest of the radiator with water.
  5. Replace the radiator cap.
  6. Start the car, and let it run until it gets to its normal operating temperature.
  7. Turn on your heater to its hottest position, and let the car run for 10 minutes.
  8. Turn the car off and wait for the engine to cool completely.
  9. Drain the contents of the radiator.
  10. Refill the radiator with fresh coolant.
  11. Be sure to dispose of the old coolant safely, by bringing it to an auto parts store, gas station, or mechanic. Old coolant is fatal, but its sweet taste can be enticing to pets.

Working with coolant is a step toward more advanced DIY auto projects. Temperature can be a dangerous issue when you’re working on your car, so make sure you give your engine plenty of time to cool before you start and before you drain the radiator. Don’t rush this job, and always err on the side of caution.

7. Brake Pads

auto mechanic repairing brake caliper

  • Tools You Need: Lug wrench, C-clamp, open-end or adjustable wrench, hammer
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes to an hour

You’ll need to replace most brake pads around every 20,000 miles, but as always, check your owner’s manual for specifics about your model. If you consistently do a lot of “stop-and-go” driving, you’ll need to replace them more frequently. Brake pads are DIY-eligible, but safety is your top priority. Be careful, get everything ready before you start, and if you’re uncomfortable at all, pay a professional to do it for you.

  1. Jack up your car and rest it securely on jack stands.
  2. Break the lugs on your tires before you do anything else.
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4. Remove the brake caliper so that the brake pads slide out through the top. The brake caliper should be at the 12 o’clock position, just above the lug bolts. On the back of the caliper you’ll find a bolt on both sides. Remove the bolts and set them aside. Hold the caliper from the top and pull upwards. Give it a few taps if you need to, making sure not to disturb the brake line (a black hose). Don’t let the caliper hang from the brake line; find somewhere to set it securely. With the caliper out of the way, the old brake pads should slide right out.
  5. Replace old pads with the new pads, securing them with the same retaining clips that held the old pads in place. If you have an older car, you might need to utilize your hammer here a little bit. Proceed gently!
  6. Compress the brake piston. Get out your C-clamp and put the end with the screw on it against the piston with the other end on the back of the caliper assembly.
  7. Tighten the clamp until the piston has moved far enough to where you can place the caliper assembly over the new pads.
  8. Re-install the brake caliper (the opposite process of what you did when you removed it), and then simply put your wheel back on.

With this project, you’re stepping up to what I consider “DIY 2.0.” If you’re still mastering how to change your oil, you might want to build your confidence level a little before taking on this project.

8. Fuel Filter Replacement

mechanic working on a car

  • Tools You Need: New fuel filter, new fuel line washers, open end wrenches, rags, eye protection
  • Time to Complete: 30 minutes

For $20, a new fuel filter can protect your engine from very costly damages, so follow the rule of thumb and replace it annually. But keep in mind that like changing brake pads, this is an advanced DIY project. Make sure you’re not in over your head before starting this one. I did it once, and did it correctly, but I definitely paid attention to every detail during the process. Dealing with fuel and fuel filters can be dangerous work if you’re not prepared. If you’re not a DIY mechanic, let a pro do this annual job for you.

  1. Most importantly, start by relieving fuel system pressure. If you don’t, the results can be explosive, to say the least. Locate the fuel pump fuse on the fuse box. If you don’t have a fuel pump fuse, find the relay that operates the fuel pump. Start your car, and with the engine running, pull the fuse or relay out. When the engine dies, you’ll know that you pulled the right one.
  2. Disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel filter. Find two open-end wrenches that are the correct size for your fuel filter fittings (usually you’ll need two different sizes).
  3. When the wrenches are in place, put a rag over the fitting to protect yourself in case there is still some pressure in the lines.
  4. Hold the wrench that fits on the actual filter, and turn the other wrench counter-clockwise until that bolt comes out.
  5. Slide the fuel line off the bolt and set the bolt aside.
  6. Repeat the process for the other side of the fuel filter.
  7. Remove the old fuel filter. Most filters are held in place by a clamp that you can release by using a flathead screwdriver. Be careful here, as the old fuel filter could still have some gas in it!
  8. Change the fuel filter washers, which are located on the bolts that connect the fuel lines to the fuel filter. Make sure to match the new ones up correctly.
  9. Install the new fuel filter, which is the opposite of the process you performed to remove the old fuel filter.
  10. Return the fuel pump fuse or relay before you try to start the car.

This project is another “DIY 2.0” task. Dealing with the fuel system is serious business, so if you’re unfamiliar with any of these terms and don’t know where to start, just visit your mechanic for this regular service.

NOTE:

Doing any of these on your own is at your own risk, that is why a mechanic is there to assist you in any way, we know the best thing and way to go about doing any of the exercises fore-mentioned. It is highly recommended you visit your mechanic to get the best result. But if you think you can do it…why now? That is why we provided you with the information.

Good luck!!!