Are You Low on Power Steering Fluid? Things that Will Tell You

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on Are You Low on Power Steering Fluid? Things that Will Tell You

Power steering is a modern technique used by most car manufacturers to enhance handling and control of your car. It is a hydraulic system made of two hoses used to circulate the power steering fluid between the reservoir, steering pump and steering gear. Naturally, hydraulic systems are designed to be fluid tight to eliminate the need for a refill unless there is a leakage. Such leakages emanate from worn out hoses and valves, and they can lead to low power steering fluid levels. In case of a leakage, here are a few things you can look out for to detect low power steering fluid levels: Noise When Steering A noisy power steering is a clear indication that you are running low on hydraulic power steering fluid. It will be profound when you are driving slowly, like into a parking space, as the vehicle exerts more weight on the steering system in low gears. The noise indicates that the pistons in the hydraulic system are misfiring and hitting against other components in the system. This is because of the lack of sufficient hydraulic fluid, which is always in contact with the pistons. Screechy Steering Does your steering system screech or squeak every time you turn the steering wheel? Well, this is a clear sign that you are running low on steering fluid. The screeching is caused by friction between the different parts of the steering system, as they grind against each other in the absence of the hydraulic fluid. Difficulty in Steering The responsiveness of your power steering system is dependent on the presence of sufficient fluid circulating from the pump, through the hoses, and to the steering gear. Inadequate fluid means that the system doesn’t have enough lubrication, making it difficult to move the steering wheel from one side to the other. Without a doubt, steering difficulties reduce the handling capabilities of your vehicle and elevate the risk of accidents resulting from the loss of vehicle control. Jerky Steering A jerky steering is another sign that you are running low on steering fluid. The steering will seem to vibrate and jerk as you turn at low speeds or after igniting the engine. It is important to maintain the power steering fluid levels for optimal operation of the steering system. If you notice any of these signs, look out for small puddles of a reddish fluid under your bonnet to identify any leakages and have them rectified. The fluid may also appear greyish if it has undergone...

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4 Problems That You May Experience When You Disconnect the Car Battery

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on 4 Problems That You May Experience When You Disconnect the Car Battery

Some car owners disconnect the batteries of their cars if the cars are going to remain unused for long, such as when one is going away on a long vacation. However, such a vehicle may develop several problems when you reconnect its battery after coming back from your trip. Such problems may even necessitate that you call for breakdown towing. This article discusses some of those likely problems that you may experience. Malfunctioning Anti-Theft System Your car may stall suddenly as you drive after reconnecting its battery. This may be because the anti-theft system that was installed by the car manufacturer has cut the fuel supply to the engine. Such an engine stall can take place when the anti-theft system loses its memory during the time when the battery is disconnected. Consequently, the anti-theft system can start working erratically, causing the engine to stall. This problem can only be fixed if a mechanic who is certified by the carmaker uses proprietary software to scan the system and fix the problem. The ABS System May Jam The loss of power to the ABS system can cause the brakes to jam. This is because the ABS system would have lost the data upon which its sensors rely in order to activate the system as you brake hard when you are driving. The loss of data/memory can cause the different modules in the wheels to counter each other’s actions until the brakes jam. Poor Fuel Economy You may also notice that the fuel economy of your car will worsen during the time when you have just reconnected the battery after your long vacation. This drop in fuel economy may be because the powertrain control module (PCM) will have lost its settings that control how fuel is mixed with air in the engine in order to provide power to the car. However, this problem can gradually correct itself as the PCM collects fresh data about the car’s performance characteristics. Malfunctioning A/C System The climate control module of your vehicle may be reset automatically when you disconnect the battery and cut power to the electronic systems in the car. It may be necessary to use a specific restart procedure in order to restart the climate control module so that the A/C can start working again. As you can see, your car may develop several complications when you reconnect the battery after you had disconnected it for a long time. You should therefore call for breakdown towing in case you notice several of the problems above once you start driving your car after reconnecting its battery. An experienced mechanic from an auto shop like Timber City Motors will then diagnose and fix all the problems that resulted from the disconnection of the...

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A Guide to Changing a Tyre on a Hill or Slope

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized Comments Off on A Guide to Changing a Tyre on a Hill or Slope

Getting a flat tyre at any time can be an inconvenience, so breaking down on a steep hill or slope can understandably be daunting. In case you ever find yourself in this predicament, read through these tips in order to help you safely change a flat tyre on an incline. Tip #1. Move (if possible) to level ground  First and foremost, you should always try to drive very slowly and carefully to the nearest spot of flat ground. Do not worry about causing further damage by driving your flat tyre to a safe spot. Even if the tyre has come off the rim, it can still be safe to drive the car to level ground. A damaged rim is far less risky than the possibility of your car shifting from the car jack and lurching down the hill. If the slope’s gradient is too steep and you simply don’t feel comfortable about moving your car, hang tight and call for roadside assistance to get you towed to a safe location. Tip #2. Make a right angle turn A way to immediately put your car in a much safer position for tyre changing is to make a right angle turn. Your flat tyre will then be facing sideways instead of uphill. This is assuming that you have sufficient space on the road to make this turn and that your car is facing either downhill or uphill. If, in a very rare case, your car should breakdown on a banked turn, do not attempt to move the car at all. Depending on the type of surface and the gradient of the bank, the friction holding your tyres in place may not be very secure. For this reason, attempting to jack a flat tyre at any angle on a bank could be incredibly dangerous. In this situation, the safest course of action is to contact roadside assistance to help you move to a safe spot. Changing the tyre Before you start, you may want to measure the slope with a spirit level. If the majority of the bubble gathers in the left or right section of the vial, this is probably a sign that the incline is too steep and unsafe. Assuming your car is on a moderate incline, you can take the first steps towards prepping your car for changing a flat tyre — beginning with blocking one of your tyres. If you have broken down facing uphill, you should place a sturdy wheel chock (a 4×4 block cut with a 45-degree angle on one side) on the back side of the car, opposite to where your flat tyre is. If your car is facing downhill, you’ll need to block the front tyre on the opposite side of the flat tyre. Next, use your jack to carefully lift the side of the car that is closest to the tyre in need of replacing. Triple check that both the jack and car are secure before you start to remove the tyre. Jack your car a little higher to compensate for the space difference between the flat and the fully-inflated spare tyre. Now, remove the wheel cover. If the wheel cover is particularly stubborn, you can use the straight end of a lug wrench to prize it off the wheel. Once loosened, it...

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