Why Is Your Car Yelling at You?

Is Your Car Yelling At You like A Two Year Old?

car

Ugh. Tiny humans….they cry, they scream, and they make the weirdest noises. They’re sort of like cars, although you don’t really pick up after your car. Or do you?

If your car is screaming, whining, or making other weird noises, it might mean that something’s wrong with it. Whether it’s a warning indicator of a storm that’s about to happen to your brakes, or your car is at it’s final stages of a tantrum and about to break down, these handy sounds mean something. So get ready to check it out Brevard, we’re about to list some of the possible sounds your car might make and what is causing those whines and screams!

This is Snow! We've recently purchased her, and along with our green bean Jetta, we're a cute family :)

This is Snow! We’ve recently purchased her, and along with our green bean Jetta, we’re a cute family 🙂

So personal problem: Yesterday I started my car for the first time that morning…and after a few feet from my driveway- my car let out this loud squeal. It sounded like I’d run over a poor squirrel, so I stopped, looked under all the wheels…only to find nothing. What?! My car was just yelling at me as though I’d done something wrong. It seems like my car is out to haunt me. Literally. I’d been driving this car for a little over a year now- so what gives?

This got me to thinking…how many people driving have their car yelling at them? Probably a lot, especially since these days most of the cars on the road are used, hand-me-downs, or barely new.

It’s inevitable, at one point or another your car is going to make funny sounds. The good news? It’s pretty easy to describe the sound to your technician…and if they’re anything like Johnny at Air Mobile, they will be able to diagnose the problem in no time!

Today I’m going to describe the different types of noises your car could be making and the types of problems associated with the sounds. So let’s begin, shall we?

 

1. The Brake Squeal.

bad brakes

Are your brakes squealing at you? Well, this might mean that you need new brakes 🙂 This picture shows you what a bad brake pad looks like.

It’s happened to us all at some point. Imagine your driving down the road with a couple of friends (or your boyfriend – like I was- Yikes!!) and you go to make a stop. As a good driver, you know you need to start braking at least 300 feet from the stop sign or light…but as you push on the brake- it sounds like the most awful sound coming from your wheels. Did you just run over the neighborhood cat? Nope. It’s just your brakes!

<—–You see those four holes? Well, they’d usually have a little warning indicator attached to them, that’s the sound you hear as you brake. It only gets worse, and much louder (also embarrassingly loud) as your brakes wear away.

This is the most common sound your brakes will  make when they need to be replaced or worked on. While it is soo embarrassing- it’s a pretty easy fix, and whether you know how to do it yourself, or need to get to your technician as soon as possible, they will be able to hear right away…espically if you’re squealing the whole way into the parking lot. (insert red cheeks and anxious smile here).

 

2. The irritable grinding noise.

So you turn your car on, it’s pretty hot so you immediately turn the A/C on…and all of a sudden it sounds like there are tons of gears that are grinding against each other like an angry metal music mob. What gives? Did some poor little creature climb up into your A/C system and get caught between all of the different mechanical stuff in there? Probably not- but it has happened to me. (if you mention this story to Troy at Air Mobile on your next visit, you both will have a good laugh and she might even give some sympathy to you and give you an awesome deal on your next A/C repair!)

fan motor

This is your car fan motor. (maybe- each car varies but just imagine it’s yours) Sometimes when the fan motor is going out, you’ll hear this annoying grinding noise.

Unlike the brake squeal, this grinding noise may have you stumped. What could it be? Most often, if this happens when your A/C or heat is on, it could be the fan associated with your heating and cooling system. However, if it’s not happening when you turn your A/C off…well, then that might be something your technician can diagnose for you.

 

 3. A whining noise while you drive.

So this comes from my own personal horror story. As I said above, I started to drive away and all of a sudden it sounded like my poor car was throwing a tantrum at me! We all know toddlers go through stages, well so do cars! And my poor Snow (my white Toyota Corolla) was definitely throwing a tantrum…but only when I was driving her. This noise didn’t happen when I was braking, nor did it happen at high speeds…so what is it?

bad ball joint

Look! A perfect picture to show you exactly what I was saying! You see that little white cloud in the upper left corner? Well, that’s what our car needed to have replaced…and trust me, it definitely screamed at me the entire time I would drive.

 

Well, thanks to Johnny at Air Mobile, I was made aware that I needed a new ball joint. Cool. At least it was a pretty easy fix, and now Snow is driving like a good girl again! I’m so thrilled! Seriously, if your car is beginning to throw a tantrum- making a horrible whining noise as you drive- it’s probably your ball joints. You can most certainly tell it’s a ball joint if it sounds like it’s only coming from the wheels!

The picture to the right shows you a couple of things that could be contributing to the whining noise. When your ball joint becomes worn down and rusty like the one in the picture, it begins to rug against anything next to it…hence the awful whining your car does like a little two year old.

4. Awful squeaking as you drive over bumps in the road.

Shocking news~ If you’re hearing a noise as you drive over any bumps in the road This is pretty easy to describe. It’s only as you drive over those pesky bumps in the road…or the horror of driving over those speed humps (I still shudder sometimes!). The good news is that it’s most likely your shocks. Yes, cars have shocks- and they usually don’t need replacing often, but when they do, they’ll let you know!

good shocks

Shocking news! If you dread going over bumps in the road, and hear this really annoying squeaking noise- it might be your struts…or shocks! Ha!

Normally when you get your shocks replaced, they will realign your axles too. This is a very good thing (and if your technician doesn’t do that- SHAME ON THEM!) That way your brand new shocks and alignment will continue to produce a smooth sailing car.

I should also note that this squeaking you’re hearing will come from all over the car. Plus, it’s pretty hard to not laugh at your face as your cringing painfully to avoid this noise. HA! too good actually.

 

 

5. The window grinding.

Ugh. The worst possible noise I can think of (other than the brake squealing and squeaking!). Imagine it’s so dang hot that all you want to do is roll your windows down and get some fresh air…but your windows have other ideas. As you roll them down, they are constantly complain with each motion. Cry babies, I swear. Windows are so finicky…

Meet your window motor (unless your arm is the motor, then pat yourself on the back). When this thing takes it’s final turn, you’ll either be too hot, baking in a car that won’t allow you freedom unless you open the door…or it’ll make you cold. Very cold.

window motor

This is the inside of your door. And unless your manually rolling your windows up, then this baby will be a live saver, so get it fixed asap…otherwise your window would grind up and down like the worst exotic dancer.

Whether you have all electrical, or you’re still using your good ole arm to roll down your windows- we all hate that sound as it goes up or down…espically if it starts to really yell at you. This is a pretty easy diagnosis! If you aren’t using your hand to crank the window up and down, it’s undoubtedly your window motor grinding and not working to it’s fullest potential. If you are using your hand to crank the window, it’s probably just off it’s track, which could lead to other problems…like your window completely falling off it’s track.

Trust me, my last car didn’t have air conditioning, and while that was like heaven on earth during the winter months…come summer I was boiling in my car! All I wanted to do was roll the windows down, but once they fell off their tracks, it was like a constant battle to keep them up! So take it from me- if your windows are grinding, get it checked out asap!


 

happy car

This could be you. Happy as can be with your car acting like it’s supposed too!

 

So there you have it folks. Some noises your car could be making and what they possibly mean for your technician to fix. While all these noises are super annoying- some even ridiculously embarrassing, it’s always good to take your car in for a regular check up, that way these pesky noises won’t just pop up and take you by surprise 🙂

 

 

 

Well, here’s to another week! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much, but I promise to be a better blogger. 🙂 – K, the Car girl.

instagram

That’s me! The Car Girl.

 

 

 

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Car Hot Enough to Cook Eggs? You May Need Auto AC Filter

Is Your Car Hot Enough To Cook Eggs? You Might Need an Auto AC Filter

Northwest Heat

Summer is rapidly approaching and it’s going to get hot!

Picture this …. It’s Friday afternoon and you have plans on visiting friends on the other side of the state.
You haven’t seen them in a very long time and have been planning on the trip for months.

You get off work and it’s so hot in your car you could cook an egg. No problem you think because the AC will cool things down in a bit.

However, 10 minutes later, you can’t breath because the AC just decided to quit.

NOW what are you going to do? Wrap a bag of ice around your forehead while driving a couple hours in the blazing Florida heat? (picture in your minds eye what that would look like!)

AC systems in cars and Murphy’s law just happen to work very well together just at the time you least expect it. Chances are, your Auto AC Filter is clogged.

One of the main reasons AC systems quit suddenly is because the Auto AC Filter, or Charcoal Filter gets plugged up and chokes the system. Left unchecked, it can completely destroy your entire AC system and that can really put a dent on your pocketbook.

Here is a tip on how to check the Auto AC Filter yourself:

Locating The Auto AC Filter:
Your filter will be located in one of two places:

  1. It might be inside the outside air intake (say that 3 times fast! LOL),  visible with the hood up and perhaps a cover lifted. (say what??)
  2. Or it will be under the dash in one or both of two general locations. (Confused yet? I am)
  • Above the blower in the back section of the outside air intake, a location well protected from moisture.
  • Between the blower and the rest of the HVAC case.

Look in the owner’s manual. If it doesn’t tell you the Auto AC Filter location, and you can’t see it with the hood open, check behind the glovebox—perhaps you’ll see an obviously removable (with a spring-tab or similar retainer) rectangular plastic cover.
Next, look under the dash (on both the driver’s and passenger’s sides) for a removable plastic cover in the HVAC case.
If you can remove its cover, look inside the HVAC case. (Does your head hurt yet?)

Now for The EASY WAY ……
Give Air Mobile of Brevard a call  and let us change the Auto AC Filter for you!

Johnny is the MASTER when it comes to Automobile Air Conditioning Systems!

Seriously though, now is a better time than later to get your Auto AC filter changed and your AC system checked. The hot season will be here before you know it, and we will be swamped with emergency AC repairs.

Call Us Today – 321- 259-6522

Bring Troy a Chocolate Easter Egg and She’ll Give You a Sweet Deal!!

 

 

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My Top Five tips to Clean and Detail Your Car Like A Pro.

 Top Five Tips to Clean and Detail Your Car Like A Pro

This car looks like it’s right off the lot. It’s clean, shiny, and beautiful. This is the goal to cleaning your car. A clean and shiny car!

A clean car will leave you feeling as though you just drove it off the lot, and doing it yourself will save you money!

Okay folks, today I’d like to share with you my top five tips to clean and detail your car like a professional. Everyone sees your car, and therefore it’s a reflection of you-and your life. Whether you mean to or not, everyone judges others based on their car. Crazy right? Well, not really. Humans are hardwired to judge each other- it’s just human nature. And we all know we’ve seen the typical ‘dirty car’ (see picture below) driving down the road and thought “Oh jeez, their life must be a mess.” While it might not be true that their entire lives are a mess, taking good care of your car leads others to believe you take good care of other aspects of your life.

clean your car!

The good news is that the artist did a perfect representation of the driver! Look how dirty this car is, you don’t want to be the driver of this car….right?!

Ahem, anyway….With the warmer weather upon us, keeping your car clean will not only make you feel like a rock-star (with a super clean and detailed car) but it will make others less embarrassed to be seen driving around with you. So grab your clean rags, your soap, and maybe even turtle wax- and let’s begin!

These are my top five tips to cleaning and detailing your car like a pro! Cleaning the inside of your car not only makes you feel better, but it will make you feel as though you’ve just stepped out of a professional automotive cleaner!

Tip One: 

Clean your carpets with a Vinegar and Dish Detergent mix!

  • I suggest starting with the carpets- grab two sturdy brushes (you can pick them up just about anywhere, but I’ve been buying mine from the good ole dollar store!) and some dish detergent, vinegar and a bucket of water. You might be thinking this girl is crazy- dish detergent on carpets? well, yeah. It works the same way you’d wash your dishes, getting dirt and grime off the carpets. I would dilute the dish detergent this way. For every gallon of water, use one cup of dish detergent and vinegar. This will really help you get those tough stains off the carpets.
    clean car carpets wont leave you embarrassed!

    Wow, wonder what the bottom of his shoes look like!? This guy used vinegar and detergent to scrub way that clay on the bottom! Just look how clean it looks- Awesome job dude!

  • Now, once you’ve got your supplies, start scrubbing away. I use circular motions while brushing (think ‘Wax on, Wax off’). I use one brush- with the dish detergent/vinegar solution to rub out all the stains, and then the other brush- just with plain ole water- to scrub away the detergent and vinegar. If you’re feeling particularly inclined- scrub one way with the detergent and vinegar and the other way with the water. This could help eliminate any hard to reach stains. You know, the ones where your kid forgot to tell you he spilled some soda and ketchup the last time you went to Micky D’s.
  • Next, go behind the water, vinegar, and detergent with a clean, dry towel. Go ahead and rub in the circles again. If you feel like this is too much work, grab your shop vac and make a back and forth motion over the carpets for easier drying.

Tip Two:

Not everyone has an air compressor available to use, but if you do- it could just save your nose! Seriously. 

use this handy tool to clean your car ac ducts!

this little baby is SO handy in keeping the air ducts clean in my car. It’s well worth the investment. Plus, I feel like a professional when using this!

If you don’t have access to a portable air compressor, don’t worry. There are a TON of great products out there that you can use to keep your air conditioning smelling like new. And trust me, no one wants to get into a car that smells like something expired inside it..espically on a hot day! (gross!!)

  • To clean your air ducts with an air compressor, simply aim it at the ducts behind the grille (you know, the part that looks like you could cook an awesome burger on it). The goal is to blow all the caked up dirt and grime out of the way, so the next time you turn on your a/c and it blows, you’re not getting dust and other particles flying out.

If you don’t have a handy air compressor- check out some of these other alternatives to use.

this is an alternative to clean ac without the ac compressor

all duct cleaners will have a little spout for you to get directly into the air duct and push out all that dirt and dust that accumulates inside.

  • My personal favorite is from Walmart-it will run you about $10- $15 dollars depending on the size you buy. I usually stick to the smaller one, seeing as I own a small car…but if your vehicle has a rear air conditioning system, it’s probably a good idea to invest into the bigger one. Same rule applies, just shoot the air cleaner into the duct to get all the dirt and dust pushed out.
  • Another good thing to get? An Air freshener! This keeps your car smelling like new- espically if you buy the ‘new car smell’ air freshener. My favorite is (and always will be) the Glade ‘paper candle’ I think these work the best and stay fresher for longer…meaning you won’t have to keep replacing them as often.

Tip Three:

Your Mom taught you that it’s whats on the inside that counts….and that’s true, for humans, but for cars, the outside is just as important!

I bet this guy is going to love how clean and shiny his car looks once he's finished!

getting your car all soapy is fun- espically when you’ve got the little kiddos to help! Make it into a game, to see who can get your car the cleanest! They’ll have fun, and you will too- knowing you’ve got free labor!

Cleaning the outside of your vehicle is probably the most painstaking process to cleaning your car. While not everyone has an outside garden hose available, a bucket of water and some cleaning solution will work just as great- however, make sure to continuously dump out the old water/cleaning solutions otherwise last weeks grit, will become this weeks scratches…and no one wants that!

First you’ll need your supplies:

  • I always use a hose, but like I said, a bucket of water (or two!) will work just as well.
  • Instead of harsh chemicals that can ruin your car’s surface over time (and your hands) I use hair conditioner that contains lanolin. Weird right? well, this solution will leave you speachless by how great the surface of your car looks afterwards. Bonus! You won’t have to use wax or rainx to make it repel rain, Lanolin does it all on it’s own.
    You clean your hair with lanolin, why not your car?

    This is what lanolin looks like. Gross right? well not exactly, you can use this to get your car waxed and repel rain better than any RainX I’ve used!

  • If you don’t have conditioner- don’t worry, another trusty product that I tend to use is: Optimum power clean. You can get it online, or you can always grab a solution from your local store.
  • You’ll also need some sponges, towels, or if you really want to go all out- go get a mitt from your local O’riley or Autozone. These supplies will help you wash your car like a pro!

Now that you’ve got your supplies- soap your baby up. No, not your child, your car! Mix water in with any solution so it doesn’t rub away the paint! And once you’ve got her all soaped up, use one of the towels or sponges to rub the solution in circles…again, think ‘wax on-wax off’! This will help distribute the solution all over your dirty car.

Then simply rinse her off with some water. Make sure to get every nook and cranny, otherwise you’ll see spotting all over your newly washed car. After you’ve given your car the once over with a water rinse, then you’ll need to dry her! I suggest drying as soon as possible, otherwise you will see spotting. I normally get a really big towel (or a few face towelettes) and go over the hood-then the trunk-the side doors- and then the windows.

  • Bonus tip- I usually leave the windows for last because I like to make sure there’s no spotting or run off from the water/cleaning solution mix. This can leave streaks and that’s never good while your driving!

Tip Four:

Getting a wax is not as painful as everyone thinks it is.

look how clean and shiny this car looks

You’ll definitely love the way your car shines after a good wax!

Okay, while that may be true for only cars and not the pesky hairs all over our legs and backs- a wax will make your car absolutely shine! It’ll look like you just drove her off the lot (which is the whole point of cleaning and detailing your car!) As I said before, if you use the lanolin you won’t need to do this, but if you didn’t grab your trusty waxing solution (I mostly use Turtle Wax) and let’s start waxing!

What you’ll need:

  • Turtle wax or any other car waxing solution.
  • Microfiber cloths
  • And a buffing pad (these can run you anywhere from $5 to $20 depending on where you get them)

First apply a generous amount of wax to your buffing pad. Spread the wax evenly across one section of your car. I usually start with the hood, and then move onto the doors, then the trunk. Make sure to never get wax on your windows – stick to rainx and other glass solutions for that.

*Usually professional detailers will use a buffing solution-but this can actually strip away the first layer of your paint, exposing the under-layer- and while that may be okay for brand new cars, older cars like mine will actually suffer. So if you have an older car, or your paint is chipping or peeling in anyway-skip the buffing solution and go straight for the wax!

Once you’ve rubbed the wax solution all over your section, now it’s time to rub it off. Again, this is where the Wax on-Wax off comes into play. Make sure to rub continuous circles in the opposite direction that you applied the wax with (also, get a clean towel to rub it off- otherwise you could be rubbing dirt and other grime into your cleaned towel).

Tip Five:

Clean your tires!

clean car tires- clean life!

This can help keep up the appearance of your car, and while your tires are constantly getting dirty- professionals clean your tires! so this step will make it look like you spent $$ on a detailing.

Supplies you’ll need for this last tip:

  • Tire cleaner- this will make it shiny and look like your tires are brand new!
  • A sponge or something comparable to rub the solution into your tires and rims.
  • A bucket of water
  • A clean towel
use this to clean your car tires!

This is a tire cleaner solution. It will make it look cleaned and shiny, just like the rest of your car at this point!

First get your tire wet. I suggest this only because after living in Idaho for five years, your tires are subject to dirt, sand and snow/mud. While living in Florida, however, your car will be subject to dirt and salt, which can damage your metal rims. So go ahead, wash off the dirt and grime first.

Then apply the solution and use your sponge (or whatever you’ve got) to rub the solution in. Make sure to get all over the rim, that means in the spokes, the outside and inside the wheel rim as well. Get it all soapy!

Once you’ve done that, now it’s time to rub the solution off. Use your clean towel and go back over all the places you’ve put the solution on. Don’t worry if you rub too hard. It’s not going to damage your wheels or rims…in fact, the harder you rub, the funnier you’ll look. Just take your time and make sure that all the solution is rubbed off.

Now you’re tires should look like they’ve just come off the showroom- like brand new!

Alright folks. Now your car should look like it’s brand new…even if it’s not. 

You should always be cleaning your car every two months or so. Especially if your car has been subject to alot of dirt and grime. This will help you not be embarrassed as the warmer months come and you’re taking day trips to Disney world, or going camping in the woods. A clean car not only will make you feel better, but it will leave your car with that new shine and smell…which will make all your friends jealous. They might even ask where you went to get it done!

 

– K, The Car Girl.

clean car- clean girl!

Yep, that’s me. The Car Girl. If you click on the picture, it’ll lead you to my personal facebook- and there you can add AirMobile for all your service needs!

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Car Air Conditioning Repair

Car Air Conditioning Repair – 101Car Air Conditioning Repair

Car air conditioning systems promote a comfortable cabin interior and help prevent driver fatigue.

During normal vehicle operation, a substantial amount of heat is created by the engine and exterior contributors like the road and sun.

Your vehicle’s AC system is responsible for cooling, purifying, and circulating air. Your air conditioning system works through a series of processes that involve refrigerant.

In your vehicle, the refrigerant is responsible for removing heat from the cabin compartment. Refrigerant goes through a continuous cycle of air compression that is dependent on your compressor’s drive belt. The compressor pumps the refrigerant through the system where it is transformed from a hot gas into a liquid and then cooled.

Through a number of other components, such as the condenser, compressor, and evaporator, the liquid is again processed into a gas, pressurized, and vaporized before being released into the cabin as cool air.

Why Should You Have Your AC System Checked At Air Mobile of Brevard?

Because We Care …… You Are Not a Number for a Day – You are a real live person and we treat you that way!

Replacing or repairing the compressor can be more expensive than sealing the leak and refilling the refrigerant. Just take a look a the picture of the car in this post!

Routine maintenance now can help you avoid major AC repairs down the road. Give us a call – get your car in for a checkup BEFORE the HOT Summer weather gets here.

We proudly service the Air Conditioning System Service needs of customers in Melbourne, FL, Palm Bay, FL, Viera, FL, and surrounding areas.

With us, you will treated like a customer for life – not just a number for a day.

Take a look at the testimonials and see for yourself!

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How To Check Your Car Fluids

Car Fluids 

Car fluids are extremely important to the vitality of your vehicle. Just as our bodies need “fuel” these five fluids keep your car running in tip-top performance, and leave money in your pocket. For those that know how to check and fill your car fluids, this could be just a simple reminder to do so, and for those who are just beginning their driving career, this is super important to do! It’s easy too! Just pop your hood and we’re good to begin: 

Car fluids

Car fluids and their various colors. Can you guess what they are?!…Yeah, me either. 🙂

Okay folks, today we’re going to be talking about your car fluids and how to accurately check them. This is a big preventative maintenance measure that you can take to make sure your car is running at tip-top performance.

All cars are different. Your car fluids reservoir will not be in the same place as someone who owns a truck/motorcycle, however the premise is the same. Although there are many fluids in your car, there are five main car fluids you should be checking regularly. These include: Engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid.

Checking these fluids regularly can feel empowering- especially since you’d know you wouldn’t need a coolant or transmission flush, if someone was trying to get you to do that. While all these fluids are vital to your car running smoothly, these are without doubt the easiest car fluids to check.

 

Engine oil:

Most cars will be similar in how to check your engine oil. Although each ‘stick’ is notched differently, there should be some sort of indicator as to a ‘High’ and ‘Low’. (see below)

car fluids dip stick indicator!

The high low indicator on a oil dipstick will let you know whether or not you’ll need to add more oil.

First, find the oil dip stick- take it out and whipe it off on a towel or something you don’t mind getting dirty. Why? well, when your car moves or sits, so does your oil. It can splash higher and make you believe you have more oil than you actually do. It’s the first step in determining your oil level…once you’ve wiped it off, dip the stick inside it’s container once again and pull it out. This should give you an accurate reading.

If you are anywhere between the “min’ or ‘low’ and ‘max’ or ‘high’ side you should be okay, however adding a little bit of oil won’t hurt.

I should caution you, though, adding too much oil can actually do damage to your car. This is why it’s essential to check your engine oil at least once a month. Some experts say to check your oil every time you fill up your tank- and that can be a good judge on whether your car takes more oil, or less. This can also give you some help on when you’ll need an oil change as well- you know, unless your like me who waits until 4,000 miles after my last one- (I’m horrible, I realize this.)

That being said- the old saying of changing your oil every 3k miles or every 6 months to change your oil doesn’t really stand any longer. Cars are manufactured differently, and therefore their ‘oil change dates’ vary. Just remember to get a regular oil change through your service technician and you should be okay!

Transmission Fluid: (automatic transmissions- Manuals are a little harder.)

Transmission fluid is vital to keeping the gears in your car moving smoothly. You check your transmission fluid much the same way that you would with your oil. The only difference is that your car must be running while you do it! Why? Well, transmission fluid is part of a closed system, meaning it should never be low. If it is, you need to take it to your mechanic. The fluid should be red in color and not smell burnt, if it smells or is brownish, it’s definitely time to replace it!

car automatic fluids and discoloring

This is for an automatic transmission- and while a manual will vary- this is a good basis of what your transmission fluid should look like. You see how the bright reddish-pink is new, and the brown (burnt looking dot) means a definitive change in transmission fluid is needed. Like I said before, it really varies on the age of your car and how often you drive it- but it’s not a bad thing to regularly check your transmission fluid!

You should check your transmission fluid monthly, if your check-engine light is on, maybe look to see if that is the cause. You should really only need to replace your transmission fluid ever 50,000-100k miles (this varies depending on the age of your car, and how well you take care of it though). There really are no accurate timelines when it comes to your vehicle!

Coolant:

This is super important. As the name suggests, the coolant- or antifreeze, keeps your car running cool…which is extremely important! Why you might ask? Well, if you are running low on coolant, your car can- and probably will- overheat, leaving you stranded on the side of the road until your car cools off and you’re able to put more coolant in it.

You never want to check your coolant while your vehicle is hot or running! This will backfire on you severely. I’m talking burnt fingers and foul-smelling clothes for hours! However, if your car is cooled off you just look for your radiator cap. Once you unscrew it, you should see the level of your coolant. Like the engine oil, your coolant will have an indicator level of some sort (think high and low again).

This is just an example of a coolant reservoir. You can see the two notches on the side as indicators of your coolant level. If your engine is hot, you won’t get an accurate reading- and you’ll probably burn your face or hands off. (okay, not completely off, but it will hurt!)

If you’re running low, go ahead and put s’more in. Be advised though, be sure to put the same kind of coolant in your car that’s already in your radiator tank. You should probably check your coolant every time you pop-up your hood. It’s easy, and will save you serious headaches down the road.

However, if you’re planning on driving long distances, it’s probably safe to assume that you’d check your fluids before driving out. Experts suggest that you check your coolant twice a year, and replace it every 2-3 years. Again, it just really depends on how much you use your car, the distances you drive, and whether or not your needing fluid more (because of leaks or cracks in a hose).

Brake Fluid:

Exactly like the transmission fluid, your brake fluid is part of a closed system- meaning you should never be low. If you’re low, that probably means you’ve got a leak, which is super dangerous! It’s still worth checking to make sure your fluid isn’t dirty though.

This brake fluid reservoir will look different in each car, but the premise is still the same. The line level will show you if you’re needing to add more fluid, or if you’re fluid is the wrong color.

Your brake fluid keeps your brakes running fluidly (get it? ha!). If your brakes feel a little off, checking your fluid is your first step! The brake fluid reservoir is usually located on the drivers side of your car. You pop the cap, and take a look on inside. If your fluid is a golden color- you’re fine…keep on driving. But if your fluid is brown, it’s time to replace it.

A good time to check your brake fluid is whenever you change your oil. This will give you a timeline of when you might need to replace it as well- aim for replacing brake fluid every two years or so. Again, this just really depends on your type of car and how much you abuse it- ah, I mean drive :).

Power Steering Fluid:

While the other fluids help keep your car running in tip-top shape, your power steering fluid helps to keep your steering smooth and easy. It’s not a bad thing to be running low, however it will make it harder to turn and to steer your car- which can possibly lead to an accident.

You should be able to tell when your power steering fluid is getting low. Your steering wheel will be hard to turn, and you might even hear a ‘creaking’ when you turn as well. To check your power steering fluid, all you need to do is pop your hood (it’s best to check all your fluids at once, just to be safe!) and find the power steering reservoir. (see below)

This is an example of a power steering reservoir, and while most cars won’t look exactly like this- you can still see the min and max line indicators. You should rarely need to replace/fill your power steering fluid. Even some car manuals say you never have to replace it- but a good judge is the fluid’s color! (see more in the paragraphs below!)

You should be able to visually check your power steering level, if it looks low, it’s worth taking into a mechanic to check for a leak. It’s recommended to check your power steering fluid every month or so, however, as I said before, it just really depends on your car…and you.

Usually, car manuals suggest to keep your power steering fluid topped off (or at it’s max level). You rarely need to flush and replace it, however if you’ve recently bought your car and aren’t sure if it needs to- you can always look at the color of the fluid to determine if you need to replace it. Power steering fluid should be clearish-blue. (this also depends on your car).

power steering car fluid

This shows a basis for power steering fluid colors. You can see the the ‘new’ is clear-to-blue, and the bad is brownish gold. You should change it whenever it gets towards the middle color- just to be safe.

So some things to take away with this lesson today:

* Always check your car fluid levels about every month or so. However, it’s good to check your fluids every time you change your oil. Most of the time your mechanic will do this for you and top you off!

* Read through your car’s manual! This will tell you how often you need maintenance on your car, and what it suggests to do based on the age and mileage of your car as well!

* Car fluids should never be brown or smell like a burnt piece of….well, you know. This is why checking your car fluids and doing regular preventative maintenance on your car is super important!

 

Well, that’s all for today. Hopefully you now know how and where to check all your car fluids – well, the main five at least.

yeah, that’s me. The Car Girl!

 

 

– K, The Car Girl.

 

 

 

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Check Engine Light On?

“Why is my check engine light on?” is a question we’ve all asked ourselves and our mechanics at one point or another. What could it really be?

In today’s blog  session, I’ll be discussing the top 5 reasons your check engine light could be on. First and foremost, I can only relay this information and let you know what some of the warning indicators mean. I cannot diagnosis what’s wrong with your car….but Air Mobile can!

5. Your Spark plugs or Plug wires need replacing:

Spark plugs are important! They ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle, and the spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to your spark plugs.

These tricky wires and plugs could be the reason your check engine light is on. If you feel like you can make it to your local service station for a diagnosis that would probably benefit you more than you’d think.

If you don’t replace your spark plugs and their wires it could lead to damage of your O2 sensor, ignition coil, and possibly your catalytic converter. You will also experience possibly engine misfiring, reduced power, and even lower fuel economy.

4. Catalytic Converter needs to be replaced:

Speaking of your catalytic converter, a possible reason for your engine light being on it could mean you need to replace your catalytic converter.

Your Catalytic converter helps to protect our environment by converting the harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. When this part becomes damaged or isn’t running at it’s best, you are not only risking your life driving a harmful car, but you are producing harmful emissions…which is so bad!

This can be an easy fix, but if you are regularly getting your car checked up, your service technician should let you know when it will need replacing.

Johnny, our Air Mobile service Tech, says “Don’t just guess why your warning light is on…get it checked out, just to be safe.” We agree!!

3. Your MAF (Mass Air Flow) needs replacing:

This is VERY important. Your MAF measures the amount of air filtering into your engine to determine how much fuel your engine needs to run efficiently.

If your service technician believes your MAF needs replacing. I suggest doing it! Not only will this lessen your miles per gallon, it can also lead to engine mis-fires and even worse problems down the road.

There is good news though! Undoubtedly, your MAF sensor will become dirty, with the fuel and air mixture filtering into the engine, there’s bound to be some sediment left behind. If you think your sensor could need replacing- it might just need a clean!

2. Your O2 sensor might need replacing:

The Oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen that is left unburned in vehicle’s exhaust system. If you believe this might be the cause of your engine light on, again….just get it checked out!

Not only will your engine burn more fuel than it needs, but you could also loose up to 40% of your fuel economy! This can also lead to other faulty parts in your car- which could add up to a super spendy day at the mechanic’s.

Ready for the most common cause of your check engine light being on?

1. Your Cap is loose, damaged or missing!

Without your gas cap, your car won’t be able to read the pressure in the fuel tank. You may think ‘Big deal’, but it is! This trusty little cap keeps the harmful hydrocarbons out of the air.

Plus, we’ve all seen those people driving down the road with their gas tank open….Don’t be like those people. If you think your warning indicator is on for a reason, get it checked out at your local service station…or, if you’re in Melbourne or it’s surrounding areas, come visit us all at Air Mobile.

Not only will Johnny personally describe what is wrong with your car, but we can also get you back on the road without much of a headache!

Until next week, stay safe Florida! And be sure to always be doing routine checks on your car! It keeps you and those around you safe from harm!

-K

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AC Refrigerant and You!

Winter is coming to a close and Spring is right around the corner. What does that mean for you? Well, hotter temperatures means you will be using your AC in your car….but, is your AC running correctly? Maybe you aren’t sure, and that’s okay!

Bring your vehicle into Air Mobile of Brevard and we will run a FREE 47 point check up. That includes the breaks, AC, and any warning indicators on in your car to let us know how to accurately diagnose and fix your problem.

Today, however, I’d like to talk to you about recharging your AC system and the benefits for not only you, but your car too: It’s important to recharge the refrigerant, when needed, and inspect your air conditioner for leaks. Why? Recharging your refrigerant will tell you if  you’ve gathered too much moisture, which then becomes corrosive, which will lead to expensive leaks. In retrospect, recharging your refrigerant and inspecting for leaks will save you $$$!

Refrigerant takes the warm gas and converts it into cooler liquid so it cool your air…and you! It’s important to make sure you have refrigerant in your AC system, and that it is running at it’s best. 

 Ex. Air conditioning system and why the refrigerant is so important.

Did you know that the number 1 cause for AC problems is not having enough refrigerant?

Recharging your car’s air conditioning system with refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the system operating at it’s maximum efficiency, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool! 

So if you’re hearing strange sounds when your air conditioning turns on, or if it just isn’t as cold as it used to be, have us give it a once over and see what it’ll take to keep you cool. Remember, to ask our Service Adviser, Johnny, about any problems you’ve noticed and come in today for your FREE 47 point check up!

 

-K & D

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How To Be a Green Driver

How to be a ‘Green’ Driver

Eco-driving is catching on quickly in North America. You can reduce the gas your car consumes. Save money as you help save the planet.how to be a green driver image

Speed. Most cars utilize gas most efficiently between 55 and 65 mph. On the highway, keep your speedometer between these marks.

Tires. Under-inflated tires increase gas consumption by up to 3%. They’re dangerous, too. Inflate your tires to the manufacturer’s specifications, and check them often.

Drag. Additions such as roof racks and bike racks create drag. Remove them when possible. Keep the car light by not using it for storage. At highway speeds, moderate air conditioning is more fuel-efficient than open windows.

Flow. Sudden starts and stops waste gas. Look ahead, anticipate stops, and slow down gently. When it’s time to go, ease onto the accelerator.

Route. Plan the shortest route. When stopped for a minute, turn off the engine.

Do your best and learn How To Be A Green Driver and reduce the amount of gas you burn.

 

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