AUTONET TV


Archive for April 2021

Emergency! (Vehicle Emergency items)

Posted April 25, 2021 12:13 PM

"I never expected it could happen to me." Countless drivers have said that after they've had an emergency turn their lives upside down. So before that happens to you, let's thinking about planning ahead for an emergency with a few things you should keep in your vehicle.

  • Road flares. If you've ever driven by a disabled vehicle sitting at the side of the highway at night, you know how terribly hard it is to see, especially in bad weather like rain.  If you are the one in that broken down vehicle, you run the risk of being hit by a vehicle whose driver literally may not be able to see you.  The best emergency signal includes one or more road flares.  There's a reason police officers and firefighters carry them in their vehicles.  When you see a series of burning red flares at the side of the road, you know something serious is going on.  These are far more visible at a much longer distance than nearly any other portable signal device.

 

  • Fire extinguisher.  Thousands of vehicles catch fire every year.   Most fires start small but can get out of control. It's vital to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, and there are several small ones designed especially for the job.  Since many different types of vehicle fires can start, make sure the extinguisher you choose will handle every fire from gasoline to electrical. Some have handy mounting brackets. And keep it up to date!

 

  • Flashlight.  Sure, your cell phone likely has a light in it.  But you will need that phone for communication if there's an emergency. Plus, the light’s just not that bright.  So carry an LED flashlight designed for automotive use.  LEDs produce a lot of light with little power; plus, many of those designed for vehicles include a lantern which will light up a wider area. It’s vital if you have to read your vehicle's jack instructions or tend to an injured person.

 

  • Drinking water and snacks.  If your vehicle breaks down during bad weather and you may be forced to stay with it for a long time, you'll need food and water to survive until help can arrive.  These are simply the necessities of life, so have a small supply on hand, just in case.

Other things like basic tools, a first aid kit, a space blanket and jumper cables are also good ideas.  Many service repair facilities offer these items for sale, and you can ask your service advisor for suggestions.  While it's fresh in your mind, plan a shopping trip and put together your own emergency kit now.  Sure, you can put it off, but you may find yourself stuck in a difficult situation, saying to yourself, "Only if…"

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



The Truth about Tire Pressure (Tire Inflation)

Posted April 18, 2021 10:06 AM

Most light vehicles (under 10,000 pounds/4,500 kg) in North America sold from 2008 model year on have a feature that many people are confused about.  It's the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).  You may have some experience with it yourself if you own a newer vehicle.  Vehicles with TPMS have sensors in each tire that are supposed to warn the driver when tire pressure gets dangerously low.  That's important because tires that are significantly under-inflated can cause very serious accidents.

Unfortunately, many drivers think the TPMS does all the work keeping track of tire pressure. To them, as long as the warning light or gauge isn’t giving a warning, the tires must have the proper amount of air pressure in them.  That's not the case.

Tire pressure monitoring systems aren't all created equal.   Some give you a digital readout of the pressures in each individual tire.  But many simply have a warning light that looks like the cross section of a tire with an exclamation point in the middle.  If you don't know what it is, it's because it's not instantly recognizable as a tire.  In fact, one company that makes TPMS, Schrader Performance Sensors, surveyed drivers.  Their study showed that more than 40 percent of drivers didn't know that that warning light was. 

One out of 5 of the drivers who did know what the light was only looked at their tires after the light came on to see if they could see any that needed air; they never checked them with a tire gauge or had someone else do it.  Ten percent of them didn't do anything when the light came on.

In most vehicles with TPMS, the warning comes on only when the tires are more than 25% underinflated.  The American Automobile Association says that's under the pressure you need for safe vehicle operation.

The bottom line is once a month you should make sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommendations.  That means each tire should be measured with an accurate, external tire gauge.  To be confident you are getting a correct reading, take your vehicle to a reputable service facility where their equipment is calibrated and they know what they're doing.

Severely underinflated tires can contribute to an accident that kills or severely injures people.  The idea behind TPMS is well intended, but the system was never meant to replace regular inflation measurements and maintenance.  Periodically have your tires checked for proper inflation.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



What Is an EGR Valve? (EGR Valve Service)

Posted April 11, 2021 7:12 AM

If you've ever felt your vehicle hesitate, go, then hesitate again, you might think there's something wrong with the transmission.  After all, it's not moving smoothly  down the road.  But there are plenty of malfunctions that can cause those symptoms, one of them being something you may have never heard of: the EGR valve.

EGR stands for Exhaust Gas Recirculation. It's a system that channels small amounts of exhaust back into the engine to cool down the cylinders and reduce polluting gases.  Those include nitrogen oxides that can cause smog. The EGR valve regulates how much of the vehicle's exhaust gas is recirculated. After years and long distances traveled, that valve can get clogged or fail. Sometimes the EGR valve can stick open.  When the EGR valve isn't working properly, your vehicle can start releasing those nitrogen oxides and pollute the air.

The symptoms of a malfunctioning EGR valve include:

  • Engine losing power
  • Engine idling roughly
  • Pinging and knocking sounds in the engine
  • Stalling and hesitation
  • Fuel economy decreasing
  • Check Engine light illuminated

 

Depending on its condition, the EGR valve can be cleaned or it may need to be replaced.  Consult with your service advisor to see what options are recommended to you.

The EGR system is part of your vehicle's pollution and emissions control equipment. If you care about keeping our planet's atmosphere clean, you'll want to make sure it's doing its job—for everyone's benefit.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



Got it Covered! (Timing Cover Maintenance)

Posted April 4, 2021 10:21 AM

You may have heard at one time or another about something called a timing belt or timing chain in your engine.  And you may know that if they fail… well, let's just say that there can be some major engine damage.  So obviously, we want our timing belts and chains to be in tip-top shape.

One part that helps keep them running the way they should is the timing cover.  As you can probably guess, it's something that covers the belt or chain.  The timing cover protects both belts and chains from dirt and road debris.  Timing belts also need to be lubricated so their covers allow them to be lubricated as well.  They have a gasket that insures a good seal for the engine.  If that gasket breaks or develops a leak, then engine oil can escape, and loss of lubrication is never good for an engine component.

Other symptoms of a failed timing cover are leaking coolant, a metallic sound coming from the front of your engine or your Check Engine light coming on.  You might also notice a drop in power when you're going uphill.

It's important that your timing cover be in good condition and functioning properly.  Your repair facility will check out that part of your engine to make sure gaskets are in good shape and the cover is doing the job it's meant to do.  Catch that leaking or broken timing cover in time and your engine will thank you for avoiding some serious damage and an expensive repair.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



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