Diagnosing an Overheated Car Engine

When driving, you may notice the thermostat needle shoot way up high, indicating an overheated car. This situation may leave you clueless on what to do next. Well, the first thing to do is diagnose the car’s condition. You can figure out why it is overheating before looking for solutions.

Symptoms of an Overheating Car

Initially, it is crucial that you can identify whether the car has an overheating problem, or any other malfunction. The most obvious indication is obviously the temperature gauge. Other signs include steam rising from the engine, and a sweet smell of the coolant in the air.

Many times your car engine will overheat because it is leaking and when it vaporizes, the smell of the coolant becomes evident. Another indication of a coolant leak is if you have find coolant dripping on the ground beneath your car.

Below are some steps that you take in the instance of an overheating car.

Get Far Away

If you find steam or smoke flying away from the engine, then it is advisable that you turn off your engine and get away from the vehicle. After a couple of minutes, you can switch the car back on and turn on the blower engine because it drives heat away from the engine.

After the steam or smoke clears off and settles from the car engine, you can go ahead, lift the hood up carefully, and let all the remaining steam dissipate before you can start observing the engine more closely. It is also advisable to have hand or eye protection.

Check the Cooling System

Your car’s cooling system is responsible for the functioning of the car, and so, this is the first thing that you should be inspecting. Check whether the coolant levels are optimum and also if there is leak in the coolant tank or pipes. Be sure to never open the coolant cap if you feel that the coolant system is hot.

The coolant serves several different crucial functions of a car. If the coolant is hot, then it cools down the engine, alternatively, it also ensures that the engine does not cool down if the temperature is cold. It is not only the level of the coolant that you need to be aware about, but it is also the condition of the coolant.

Check the Radiator

Another component that is commonly responsible for the overheating of your car. Your radiator consists of multiple cooling fins that manage to cool down the areas in which the coolant flows. Sometimes, there is debris accumulating on the cooling fins that can lead to overheating.

Other times, the fan that draws air through the radiator cooling fins fails to work, which in turn leads to an overheating car. Hence, you have checking the radiator and the fans can also identify the problem.

Apart from the radiator and the cooling system, you can also find other malfunctions of the car’s engine, which can lead to overheating. Nevertheless, in most cases, these issues are the cause. The primary underlying cause is however, a lack of maintenance and service of the car’s engine. Therefore, keep your car in shape by taking it to frequent service checkups.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen So Often?

If your neighborhood is the target of car thefts, then you may always be on alert. Nowadays, instead of cars getting stolen, thieves are focusing on car parts, especially catalytic converters. They are installed close to the exhaust tips and are responsible for converting the harmful fumes from the car’s engine into harmless gases that are released into the air.

Catalytic converters are quite valuable and their theft is becoming increasingly common nowadays. Let’s have a look at why your car’s catalytic converter may be at risk of getting stolen.

They are Easy to Remove

The first reason why catalytic converters are stolen frequently is because they can be easily removed from vehicles. All the thief needs are a spanner to remove the bolts and if they are short or time, they simply cut the pipes from both ends to free up the catalytic converter. The removal takes only a few minutes, and thieves can easily stash away the device once they are done stealing it.

They are Quite Expensive to Replace

New catalytic converters are quite expensive, which is why there is an increased demand for second-hand converters by car owners whose converters fail to work anymore. As a consequence, these parts are stolen from cars and sold to auto part dealers that buy second-hand parts, as well as scrap metal dealers. Even if you buy a second-hand catalytic converter, you can expect to spend anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000, so you can imagine how much a new one would cost, along with installation costs.

Another reason why these converters are so expensive is because most of them consist of metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum, which are highly precious metals and even more expensive than gold. Hence, they become an easy target for thieves.

Last but not least, the catalytic converters installed in electric and hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, are highly in demand and they are stolen the most as well. The reason for this is that since these cars mostly or completely run on electricity, they don’t have as much emissions as gas-powered cars do. Therefore, the condition of the precious metals inside them is much better as well. Thus, they are removed from cars like the Prius and sold for higher prices.

What can Car Manufacturers Do?

Thankfully, car makers acknowledge the fact that some of their models are more prime targets for catalytic converter theft than others, mainly because the device is installed at an easily accessible location. This is why companies like Toyota have started adding a protective cage or casing over the catalytic converters, so that it becomes even more difficult for thieves to steal them.

This brings us to the end of our article on catalytic converter theft and its causes. While you may think there isn’t much you can do to prevent this, you just have to be a little more cautious, and prefer parking your car in the garage at all times, or increasing the lighting outside your home, so that thieves can’t easily slide under your car to steal the converter.

How To Change The Windshield Wipers On Your Car?

Are you the kind of person who knows nothing about repairing or maintaining their car, and takes it to the mechanic every time it makes a slight noise? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Car issues can be quite alarming, and they should be taken care of at the earliest. Most people take good care of their car, but often miss out on replacing their windshield wipers from time to time.

Windshield wipers have an important role to play in maintaining visibility and ensuring road safety, which is why you should never neglect them. Luckily, even if you don’t know the first thing about fixing anything in your car, you can change the windshield wipers on your own. Have a look at the methods you can follow to do this.

Deciding Which Part to Change

The wiper is made of three main components: the lower wiper arm, the metal or plastic blade and the rubber blade. You can change the entire thing, or you can simply change the metal or rubber blade. It depends on which part is hindering the function of your windshield wipers. Once you have made the decision, measure the size of the blades, as this will help you in choosing the right size wipers. Make sure you measure both wipers, since some cars have different sizes for both.

If you are changing the entire wiper, all you need to do is to undo the nut that holds the wiper in place. Then, you can put the new wipers in place of the old one, and tighten the nut once again. However, changing the wiper blades requires a little more effort.

Removing the Wiper Blade

To remove the wiper blade, you have to lift the windshield wiper away from the glass. Once you do this, find the joint that holds the rubber blade and the metal blade together. It should be a stopper or pins that you can undo to remove the wiper blade from the lower arm. Make sure to hold the arm with your free hand, as it is spring loaded and can snap back in place, damaging your windshield.

Installing the New Wiper Blade

Once you have successfully removed the old one, all that remains is to put the new wiper blade in the same formation as the old one, turning it until the hook snaps into place. Now, you can slowly move the metal arm towards the windshield.

Now you have to repeat the same process for the second wiper blade. The same procedure will be followed, and it shouldn’t take any more than 3 minutes to install both wiper blades.

As you can see, it is incredibly easy to replace windshield wipers and you can do it even if you have no knowledge about cars or auto parts. By doing this small exercise, you will be able to prepare your car for bad weather, such as rain and snow, as well as to avoid bumps and potholes on roads. In a nutshell, windshield wipers are present to ensure your safety, and you should replace them periodically to make sure they work properly.

Why Your Car Loses its Wheel Alignment in the Springtime

Here are a few reasons why your car loses its wheel alignment as soon as spring comes around. Whether you have a new or old car, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure that you keep enjoying a smooth drive. However, when winter comes around, your car has to go through extreme weather conditions, and if your area experiences snowfall, it also has to brace through the snow to get you to your destination.

Naturally, when you drive your car excessively in the winters, it is bound to get worked up as soon as spring rolls around. This means that your car requires a good tune-up and service, and the most important step in this regard is to get its wheel alignment checked. The wheel alignment refers to setting the angle of your car’s tires, so that it keeps running smoothly.

Driving in Snowy Conditions

When there is snowfall, roads often lose their traction, making it difficult for car tires to get a proper grip. In such cases, accidents are often caused by motorists who are unable to control their cars on the slippery roads. Other than that, these conditions also cause your tires to get worn out easily, and this also misaligns the tires. Thus, each tire is set at a different angle, and this causes a lot of wear and tear for your tires. As a result, they get worn out much quicker, and you have to replace them before time.

Rash Driving

Rash driving is one of the major causes of wheel misalignment. If you feel the need for speed, you might not be careful about running the car over potholes and bumps, which are often hid by the snow or moisture on the roads in winter. When you drive your car at a high speed and your tire collides with a pothole, it causes a sudden jerk that can ruin the wheel alignment easily. If you do this repeatedly, your car will start to swerve and go left or right, even on smooth roads. Not only is this bad for your tires, but for your safety as well.

Improper Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the major factors that keep your tires well-maintained. Often during winters, people forget all about checking the air pressure in each of their tires, mainly because they are preoccupied with removing the snow from their driveway and getting to work safely. Moreover, if you drive fast or on slippery roads, each tire starts to deflate, and all four tires have different air pressure levels due to this reason. Not only does this throw your wheel alignment off, but it can also damage your tires greatly.

As you can see, getting your wheel alignment checked and maintained is highly important, especially when winter is gone and springtime approaches. The effects of winter driving on your car are quite impactful, and your car needs proper maintenance to make sure that no other problems develop in your car.

Therefore, always get your wheel alignment checked by a professional, so that they can use their devices to fix the alignment accurately and in the shortest time possible. By getting the alignment checked, you will be able to drive your car smoothly and also keep your tires running for a long time.

Prepare Your Boat Trailer for Spring Season with these Tips

More and more people are getting boat trailers these days, and for good reason. They offer a great deal of convenience for carrying boats around from one place to the next. However, many people don’t know how to maintain these trailers. If you are one of those people too, there is no need to worry, as that is precisely what we will discuss in this piece.

Before we proceed, it is important to keep in mind that not maintaining or checking your boat trailer regularly can lead to a great deal of deterioration and sometimes the damage can be irreparable. So much so, that some people have trouble getting their boats ready for the water. Fortunately, you can prevent these issues by following a straightforward checklist.

Check Your Boat Trailer’s Wheel Bearings

Any boat trailer that has old, worn out wheel bearings could face an enormous amount of trouble. Bearings can gather dirt and rust pretty quickly. Plus, the wear and tear caused by driving it around does no favors whatsoever. Consider getting bearing protectors for your trailer’s wheel to avoid further damage. Luckily, most auto repair and vehicle accessory shops sell bearings, so finding them won’t be hard.

Inspect the Trailer Brakes

Modern boat trailers and some older models come equipped with brakes. You must clean these brakes thoroughly to ensure your boat is water ready without any hassles. Not doing so could deteriorate the trailer’s performance and looks due to corrosion and other similar problems. Checking the trailer’s brake pads would also be a tremendous idea to prevent damage. Regular use can worsen your brake pad’s quality, leading to subpar performance.

You can easily prevent these issues by getting a professional auto repair service to inspect these problems and address them appropriately. These services will also check other critical components of your trailer like the brake fluid, water levels etc.

Don’t Forget the Trailer Lights

Trailer lights can gather rust and corrode very quickly, which results in wear and tear, dimming, flickering etc. Unfortunately, examining the trailer lights can be a tricky task, which is why acquiring help from an auto repair expert would be a wise choice.

Here are some other handy tips you should follow to make sure your boat trailer is primed for spring season:

  • Clean the debris and dust from the trailer brakes regularly
  • Check each tire’s PSI levels and look for signs of wear and tear
  • Get the brake pads serviced by experts
  • Prevent dirt by utilizing wheel bearing protectors