To follow will be some information on how to deal with frozen windshield washers. In a perfect world washer fluid would never freeze even on the coldest days in the coldest regions. This is why they have the blue colored windshield washer fluid that contains an anti-freeze to prevent this from happening. As a professional car mechanic I can tell you that even though your windshield washer fluid may look blue sitting in the bottle there could be a fair amount of water mixed in with it.
First of all many windshield washer fluids only protect to a few degrees below freezing. Often this is the $.99 cheap stuff that you might find at your local big-box retailer. Heavy duty fluids can cost a few dollars more but if you live in a cold environment this could be money well spent. When you take your vehicle in for an oil change and the shop is responsible for topping off the fluids all too often they stretch the cheap and weak windshield washer anti freeze by adding water to it. It still looks blue but doesn’t have the protection from freezing like when it was full strength. Continue reading
2004 Chevy Blazer
Daytime running lights was voted into a Canadian law several years back and required all new vehicles to be equipped with running lights that were automatically turned on during daylight hours. This automotive technology was developed with safety in mind.
In the United States General Motors was one of the first companies to also make this standard equipment on all GM vehicles that were sold in North America. My 2004 Chevrolet Blazer is equipped with daytime running lights. And they have not been completely trouble-free.
For one thing they are on so much that they experience more bulb failures than any other bulbs all my truck. There is also quite a lot of heat generated from the bulbs being on all the time. This can eventually melt the bulb sockets and the plastic lenses and housings that they are mounted in.
How daytime running lights work
On some vehicles they use the high beam lights as dedicated daytime running lights. Continue reading
Improper ignition timing can cause several car problems. Anything from hard starting to lack of power might be traced back to the root cause of incorrect base ignition timing.
In rare occasions I have also seen a hard start condition from this as well. Often when people are having poor performance from their engine they may wonder if it is an issue with the engine timing.
You have to remember that poor engine performance can also be caused by poor compression, overheating, incorrect valve timing that can be caused by a timing belt that slipped one notch. Clogged catalytic converters and probably about 20 other things can also cause this condition.
How to test for improper ignition timing
When the ignition timing is not correct there are a few tests that can point to the car problem. Continue reading
Distributor Cap and Rotor
This post is for people that still have a distributor cap and rotor ignition like me instead of the more modern ignition systems such as direct ignition or coil on plug type systems. Some vehicles including my 2004 Chevrolet Blazer still use a distributor cap and rotor to fire off their spark plugs.
This type of ignition system can cause car problems like an engine misfire or shudder under load. Caps and rotors have been around for a long time and for the most part they are extremely reliable. There is no shame in having a distributor ignition.
Sure your friends may say your vehicle is old-fashioned as they point and laugh at you while you’re in the parts store buying replacement parts. When this happens remind your friends that your cap and rotor only cost $28 while their individual coil that has failed might cost $200. A direct ignition coil and module assembly could cost around 350 bucks.
Problems with cap and rotors
The reason I’m writing this article is that I continue to see a common problem that develops on vehicles that use a distributor cap and rotor ignition systems. Continue reading
Most people bring their vehicles into a professional auto repair shop because they believe this will be the fastest and most cost efficient way to get their vehicle back on the road. In a perfect world this is absolutely the case.
As an automotive consumer you should be vigilant and ask questions to make sure your auto repair shop is holding up their end of the bargain (even if you trust the shop).
This is more important when you are paying for things such as check engine light diagnosis or even when you are trying to get drivability problems repaired that require pinpoint troubleshooting.
If you go in for an intermittent stalling condition or rough running car problems the way that the shop handles the troubleshooting and diagnosis can affect the total cost of the repairs. Your repair shop should be using a standardized diagnostic method that brings them to the failure in an orderly and efficient manner.
If the mechanic starts guessing at what is wrong and begins to replace Continue reading
Rough Running Engine
Let us not forget that the engine runs rough condition can be caused by basic car problems. Many times professional and do it yourself auto mechanics start searching for answers in the vehicles high tech areas.
In many cases, the car problem is located in the most basic principles of engine operation.
Not all engine performance problems are directly related to on-board computers, throttle position sensors, fuel injectors or other fancy electronic systems.
This is the reason that all types of mechanics will still need to understand basic engine operation, as well as time tested engine testing procedures.
These basic tests are an important part of modern day engine troubleshooting and this will not change for some time. Well at least not until the electric vehicle is the only car on the roadways. Continue reading