PJ’s Blog

Split Decision

Some car owners may wrongly conclude that since a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water works so well in their cars’ cooling systems, increasing the antifreeze level will provide even more protection. However, under normal circumstances, a 50/50 mixture...

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Ignition Problems

The ignition coil’s job is to transform the low-voltage power from the battery into the thousands of volts required to produce the electric spark in the plugs to ignite the fuel. If the gap in the spark plugs widens due to normal erosion, additional...

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Stat

If an engine runs fine for a few minutes and then overheats, a bad thermostat is the likely culprit. It is the thermostat’s job to regulate the engine’s temperature by opening and closing to regulate the flow of coolant. If the coolant is not changed in accordance...

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Ties That Bind

“Tie rods” are slender, structural rods that are integral parts of the vehicle’s steering system, and they tie the steering rack to the steering arm (that attaches to the wheel). Because tie rods are responsible for transmitting the force from the steering rack to the...

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Water Pump Failure

If you notice a coolant leak that seems to be coming from behind the timing belt cover on the engine, or you notice that your temperature gauge is beginning to fluctuate, you may need to replace the water pump. This impeller pump, which is usually located under the...

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Turbocharged Maintenance

As automobile manufacturers look to meet government energy requirements without compromising engine performance, they are increasingly embracing turbocharging. According to the estimate of a leading turbo supplier, 39 percent of all the vehicles sold in North America...

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Do You Know Cars?

While there are garage mechanics that can rebuild engines, some vehicle owners cannot find an oil dipstick. According to a recent survey of 2,000 married homeowners with children and driver’s licenses, nearly two-thirds (63%) said that they had ignored a dashboard...

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Dragging Brakes

“Dragging brakes” is a term that refers to brakes that remain partially applied even though pressure is not being exerted on the brake pedal. One of the likely causes of dragging brakes is contaminated brake fluid, which usually occurs as a result of openings around...

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All Up in Your Grill

Some vehicle owners express their holiday spirit by decorating their front grill with wreathes, ribbons, and images of Santa Claus or Rudolph. As delightful as these decorations are, they pose a potential danger to the efficient operation of the radiator. If pine...

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Around the Belt

The “serpentine belt” that drives a number of devices in an automotive engine (including the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and air conditioning compressor) is critical to the proper functioning of a vehicle. As little as a 5% loss of rib material and...

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