- Views: 73
You might not know how low transmission fluid poses a potential problem. Most modern cars don’t even have transmission fluid dipsticks anymore, and some manufacturers claim the fluid inside will stay good for the lifetime of the gearbox.
However, when your car starts making odd noises and having trouble shifting, its transmission fluid can likely be to blame.
What Is Transmission Fluid?
To function smoothly, transmissions require special fluids to provide lubrication and cooling for the parts that transfer power from the engine to the wheels. It’s an essential component for both manual and automatic transmissions, though the fluid may pull double duty in the latter. What’s more, the fluid may also run at specific pressures to actuate gear changes and operate the torque converter.
- Views: 82
Whenever you need maintenance for your car’s brakes, you might think that the work completed begins and ends with the pads and rotors, failing to consider your car’s brake fluid. Unless you’re driving a very old car with mechanical brakes (which, today, would mean a car nearly a century old), your braking system relies on hydraulic fluid pressure to operate properly, and it does, in fact, need periodic changes.
Fluid Change Intervals
How often your vehicle’s brake fluid requires attention depends on the kind of car you drive. Check your owner’s manual to see what its particular maintenance schedule specifies. It may be a time limit, such as two or three years, or it could be a matter of reaching a certain mileage, typically 20,000 to 45,000 miles.
- Views: 89
Does your car pull to one side or the other? Does the steering feel vague in the center? If so, your car’s wheels are likely out of alignment. Though misaligned wheels aren’t an emergency, you cannot ignore the issue. Over time, misalignment will lead to other problems that you must address.
Why Do Cars Need Alignment?
Your car’s tires should be in line with the vehicle’s center line. If a tire is angled right or left, it can cause problems. This angle is called “toe,” which can point toward the inside of the car or the outside. There are other angles, such as camber and caster, but toe is the major one. When the toe is off, you risk facing several consequences:
Tires Wear Out Faster
A tire that isn’t tracking straight is literally rubbing the road the wrong way. The tread will wear out unevenly and more quickly than intended.
- Views: 88
Back when computers were the size of office buildings, the idea that they could be small enough to control all of a car’s systems was but a futuristic dream.
Car engines used mechanically adjusted carburetors and occasionally fuel injection to meter fuel, and these systems needed periodic adjustment by a mechanic. Modern cars fulfill that dream of computer control thanks to the ECU, which stands for “electronic control unit.”
Why Cars Use an ECU
Older cars with mechanical fuel regulation might seem simpler and less prone to error. However, they were far more inefficient, required more maintenance, and were less reliable than modern computer-controlled systems.
The ECU constantly regulates the air/fuel mixture. This action keeps the engine running smoothly, makes maximum power, and reduces fuel consumption.
- Views: 104
Quick: how often do you need to replace your car’s spark plugs? If you don’t have your car’s manual in front of you, you probably won’t know this one off the top of your head. The answer can be anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 miles, but individual vehicles can vary. And specific types of spark plugs can have longer or shorter lifespans.
How to Change Your Spark Plugs
If you change them yourself to save money, you’ll have to gather the right tools and prepare your car for the job.
Here’s what you need: