Peoria Auto Repair

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Tech 1 Auto's car, vehicle and tire blog

Our blog gives you tips and helpful information from the motoring industry regarding vehicle and tire maintenance and repair.

Articles:

My Car Needs a Diagnostic!

My Car Needs a Diagnostic!

From time to time we will get a call into the shop from a customer asking for a Diagnostic for their car. We will always ask the caller what is going on with their car in order to understand the issue that they're concerned with. We get everything from a warning light being on to issues with how the car runs and even complaints about a strange noise their vehicle is making. Many times the caller has the impression that we have machine or tool that we can plug into the car that will tell us all of the car's problems. Unfortunately, there is no such tool. While today's modern vehicle has many sensors, computers and miles of wire, it can be very complicated to get to the root cause of a problem. The good news is that while there is no magic box that we can plug into your car, our mechanic has the tools that can communicate with the modules on your car. The tool, known as a scan tool, can give us information as to where the problem occurs. Many times a trouble code will be stored ... read more

Categories:

Mechanical

It’s So Hot Outside and Hotter Inside My Car!

We have had record heat lately and now with the monsoon season upon us, it is getting uncomfortable being outside. If you park your car or truck outside and it is in the direct sunlight it can get very hot inside your vehicle. Temperatures can reach 170° or more inside! So what can you do to cool down the interior of your vehicle? When you first enter your car, start the engine and lower the windows to allow the heat to escape the interior. Then turn your air conditioning on setting it on cooling, with your temperature set to the coldest temperature and the blower to the highest setting. Also, select the setting that brings the air in from outside the vehicle. This is typically known as the fresh air setting. The fresh air setting is selected because the air outside is cooler than the air inside your car. Raise the windows so there is a gap of an inch or so. Continue on your trip with these settings. Once you feel that the air inside your vehicle is starting to feel cool, clo ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

TO TOW OR NOT TO TOW

Having your car towed into a repair shop can be expensive. A tow bill can reach $100 or more. So how do you know when to have your vehicle towed in or not? Obvious occurrences would be when your car’s engine will not start or when your brakes do not allow you to safely stop your car. But many times a customer will have driven their car into our shop for repairs that in the end money could have been saved if their car was towed in. Any time you have a RED warning light illuminated on your instrument panel is an indication that you should have your car towed in. The RED warning light could be on due to a loss of engine oil pressure or an overheating condition with your engine’s cooling system. Either of these conditions can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement of your engine costing hundreds to thousands of dollars. Another indicator is if your check engine light is flashing. A flashing check engine light means there is a misfire occurring with the engin ... read more

Categories:

Safety

Tags:

towing

THE TIMING BELT: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

Many of today’s vehicles have at least one accessory drive belt or more under the hood this is visible under the hood and is easily inspected. The belt is responsible for driving crucial items needed for operation of your car or truck. They include the water pump, alternator, power steering and the very important air conditioning compressor. Another belt under the hood, the timing belt, is hidden under a cover at the front of the engine. This belt is often overlooked and is crucial to the operation of your engine. If the timing belt fails, the majority of engines will quit without causing any major damage. However, there are some engines that will suffer catastrophic damage that at times may require replacement of the engine. Refer to your owner’s manual to see if your engine has a timing belt or take your vehicle to a repair shop to find out. The maintenance schedule will indicate the replacement interval, which may be 60,000 to 90,000 miles or even 5 years

Categories:

Mechanical

AN EXPEN$IVE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT REPAIR

What do you do when the check engine light comes on in your car? Many people calling into our shop asking about the check engine light on their car explain that they have already checked the engine oil and the engine coolant, and the fluid levels are okay; So why is that light on, and can damage be done to the car if it is driven with the light on? The short answer is, it depends. Let me explain. The check engine light is designed to come on whenever the vehicle’s emissions levels have exceeded 1.5 times the Federal Test Procedure (FTP). The FTP is a series of emissions tests that the vehicle manufacturer must certify in order to show that their vehicles meet the standards set forth in the FTP. Many times when the check engine light is on, drivers remark that the car runs fine, and they will elect to not have the car looked at. This can be a problem, especially if the engine computer detects another problem that could cause the cost of operation of the car to increase and/or r ... read more

Categories:

Mechanical

NEW CAR WARRANTIES – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Many people are buying new cars these days. With all the great deals being offered at the new car dealers and with the exciting new technologies in today’s cars, it’s no wonder. When I talk to our customers that have purchased a new car, most all of them will tell me, “We’ll see you when the warranty runs out.” In 1975, Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. This is a federal law that governs consumer product warranties. So what does this mean as it relates to new car warranties? Your car manufacturer’s warranty cannot require you to return to your car dealer for vehicle maintenance or to only use the brand of replacement parts offered by the dealer. Yet, many dealer representatives are telling new car buyers that in order to maintain the warranty on the car, the scheduled maintenance must be performed at the dealer – this is against the law! By federal law, your vehicle manufacturer’s warranty will stay in effect when you have regularly scheduled maintenance performe ... read more

TODAY’S MODERN ENGINE COOLING SYSTEMS

Your car has two cooling systems. I like to describe them in this way: one is the engine cooling system and the other is the people cooling system. We talked about the people cooling system, otherwise known as the Air Conditioning (AC) system, in last week’s article. A proper operating engine cooling system is critical to a well operating AC system. The evolution of the engine cooling system has changed due to the changes in technology as well as the need for the car manufacturers to increase fuel economy. Remember the old radiator in your car? It was made of copper-brass, was very heavy, but was repairable. Today’s car uses a radiator that has an aluminum core with plastic tanks, is much lighter, but it is not repairable. Along with this aluminum –plastic radiator, the radiator and heater hoses have also changed. Do you remember having to change the radiator and heater hoses every four years or so to prevent a break down? I remember working on an 1984 Ford Thunderbird early i ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning

WHAT DOES THAT FUNNY LOOKING WARNING LIGHT MEAN?

That funny looking light is very important to the safe operation of your vehicle and it shouldn’t be ignored. The light is part of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will illuminate if there is a problem with the system. Most vehicles today are equipped with sensors that are mounted in the wheels that transmit tire pressure to a computer in the car via radio waves. There are some vehicles that will have a TPMS sensor mounted in the spare tire. Other vehicles use wheel speed sensors to determine if a tire is under inflated. If the light comes on and stays on one or more of your tires may have a low pressure condition. If driving, you should pull over and stop in an area where you can safely inspect your tires to see if they look under inflated. If you have a flat tire, have your spare tire put on. If the tires look low or look OK, drive to a shop that can inspect and adjust your tire pressures. Don’t forget to have the spare tire checked. As we have said before, a ... read more

Categories:

Safety

WHAT IS THAT WEIRD NOISE?

You back out of your driveway in the morning and it is a little cool in your car. You then turn on the heat, change the desired temperature from cold to hot and you hear a ratcheting type of noise. This noise occurs for a few seconds, then stops. The next few days, you go through the same routine and there is no noise. Then all of a sudden, you change the desired temperature and the noise is there again. What is causing this noise? Noises can be a challenge to determine what exactly the cause is. Whenever you have a noise and you take your vehicle to your favorite mechanic he (or she) will ask you many questions in order to narrow their focus. Such as, is it cold or hot outside when you hear the noise? Is the car moving or sitting still? Do you hear it when making turns or going straight? What area of the car does the noise come from, the front, rear, right or left side, inside or outside? What kind of sound does it make? Can you describe the noise? In addition to asking these ... read more

Categories:

Mechanical

Tags:

noises

YOUR CAR’S AIR CONDITIONING

We are used to having Air Conditioning (AC) professionals and even utility companies telling us that the AC systems on our houses need to be checked every year. This is important to maintain system efficiency and lower operating costs. Your car’s AC operates in a harsher environment then the AC on your house. The refrigerant system under the hood can see temperatures approaching 200 degrees. There is also vibration that the system endures when you car drives down the road from the engine and road surface. So it is important that you take care of your AC system so it can take care of you when it is so hot outside. So how often should the AC on our cars be inspected? The performance of the AC system on your car should be inspected once every year. Many of today’s modern automobile AC systems hold between 14 to 30 ounces or more of refrigerant (commonly referred to as Freon). Because of the harsh environment the system operates under, refrigerant loss can and does occur. This ... read more

Categories:

Air Conditioning
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