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Car Culture

Common Reasons For Transmission Failure

July 14, 2017
Your vehicle’s transmission is one of the most important components of your car. If transmission problems arise, they can boast a hefty price tag to repair. Here are some common reasons that lead to transmission failure, and steps you can take to prevent these issues from occurring! Low Fluid Levels or Leaks. This is one of the most common transmission problems that I’ve seen. If you have low fluid levels, that is usually caused by leaks in the transmission system. Leaks can be caused by multiple different things, such as the seals in the transmission becoming faulty. Keep an eye out for low fluid levels or leaks in your transmission by looking for these symptoms: gear slippage or slow shifting. In the event that you find a transmission fluid related issue, you may need the fluid changed or transmission completely flushed and refilled. Torque Converter Problems Your vehicle’s torque converter pressurizes automatic transmission fluid. One of the most common problems that I’ve seen associated with the torque converter are worn or damaged needle bearings. Symptoms to look for here: when your vehicle is in a driving gear, you hear grinding sounds. This can affect your vehicle’s ability to properly operate, and ultimately lead to transmission failure. Overheating Overheating can be caused by multiple different factors, common ones being low fluid or a heavy tow load. If your car becomes overheated, this can cause your transmission to seize and often leads to the need for a total replacement. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. Stay aware of your vehicle’s fluid levels, and don’t over-work your vehicle. Solenoid Problems The solenoid in your vehicle controls the flow of fluid throughout your transmission. The solenoid can become damaged due to low fluid levels or various electronic related issues. Problems with the solenoid are often mistaken for low fluid levels or leaks, so if you are noticing gear slippage or slow shifting, and there are no leaks, the solenoid should be the next component you check. Driving Habits Your driving style has a direct correlation to how well your car performs. Improper shifting, aggressive driving, and general neglect of your vehicle can lead to transmission failure. For example, never shift a car into reverse while it’s moving forward! These are just a few of the many common factors that can lead to transmission failure! Take note of the symptoms you should look out for, and simply drive smart! If you are noticing any of these issues, schedule a service appointment now.
Car Culture

Easy Ways to Winterize Your Car

November 25, 2016
Winter is coming—actually. With the brisk winds around us outside, it feels like winter is already here. But, the first day of winter is actually until December 21, so the coldest days are still ahead of us. With that being said, you want to make sure your vehicle is prepared! There are all of these in-depth articles floating around of how you can prepare your car for winter, so I’ve compiled the easiest, most realistic steps you should actually take to make sure your car is winterized!
  • Check your tires. Winter can take a serious toll on your tires. For ever 10° the temperature drops, you tires lose about 1 pound of pressure, leading to underinflated tires—which is seriously dangerous to drive on regardless, but especially in rain or snow. Also, worn tires with little tread make driving very risky. So, make sure your tire pressure is at a comfortable state, and check the tread of your tires.
    • Do the penny test on your tires! It’s an easy hack to check the tread left on your tires. Stick a penny head first into a groove of your tire, if you can still fully see Lincoln’s head, then that’s a sure sign you have little tread left and it’s time for new tires!
  • Check your battery. Cold temperatures can strain your battery, especially if you’re always parking outside. Have your battery checked and replaced if it is running low—better safe than sorry.
  • Check your wipers & wiper fluid. This maintenance task often goes overlooked, but if you’re stuck in a winter storm, you want your wipers to be working at their best. Wiper blades typically last 6-12 months, so make sure you have fresh, working blades so you don’t compromise your car’s visibility. And for wiper fluid, this is also essential for ensuring the best visibility for your car. Top off your fluid levels with washer fluid (since it won’t freeze) just to be safe.
  • Check your oil. When was the last time you had your oil changed? A pre-winter oil change is an easy way to help prepare your engine for the harsher winter driving conditions.
  • Get your brakes checked. Brakes are always important, especially when it’s slippery and cold outside. So, for good measure, have them checked while you’re at it, especially if you notice any changes in your car’s performance.
  • Check your headlights. Walk around your car and give all of your lights a self inspection. Just make sure they are not cloudy or dirty, you want them shining to their full potential. You can always wax your lights to somewhat prevent icicles from forming on them.
  • Get your antifreeze mixture checked. This is essential especially in colder weather. The mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator should be at about 50:50, to prevent the coolant from freezing. If you are checking this yourself, just grab an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at your local auto part store!
  • Last but not least, stock up on emergency supplies. If you’re a worrier or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry. You never know what might happened, so you want to be prepared for whatever might come your way. So if you don’t have one already, keep an emergency supply pack in your car just in case!
Car Culture

Five Easy Sticker Removal Steps

November 11, 2016
If you’re like me, you get a lot of joy out of reading humorous bumper stickers in traffic. I have a select few decals that I have put on my own car, but the thought of eventually having to take them off always deters me from wanting to put them on in the first place. Whether you are needing to remove a sticker because it has gotten old, you’ve gotten tired of it, or it came on a car you just bought… they’re a pain to take off. From personal experience and research, I’ve compiled some tips to help the pesky removal process of those decals become less painful! Step 1
  • You want to start off by making sure the surrounding area of the sticker is clean. So go ahead and use this as an excuse to get a car wash, or just spot clean the general area of the sticker.
Step 2
  • Grab a hair dryer from your bathroom to use its heat to your advantage. Hold the dryer a few inches above the sticker and evenly aim the air over the entirety of the sticker, going over the edges last. Blowing this hot air over the sticker will help to jumpstart the process and make the removal easier, just make sure not to put the dryer directly on top your sticker and car, especially if the sticker is on your car’s paint.
  • OR if you don’t have a hair dryer on hand, start your removal process with some adhesive remover such as Goo Gone. (However, depending on how stubborn your decal is, I think the hair drying method works better.)
Step 3
  • After you’ve let the decal heat up or soak, use either a razor blade, box cutter, or plastic card, such as an old gift card, to gently start scraping the sticker off. The surface might be hot enough to where you could simply peel the sticker off. But, start in a corner and use your scraping tool to get under the sticker: (I’ve found it works best if you go at it from a slight angle.) Plastic cards generally are the safest option, do not use a  razor blade or box cutter if removing a decal from on your car’s paint.
  • This is where your patience will be tested. Continue to scrape away until all pieces of the sticker have come off. It’s normal for the sticker to break off in different pieces, but if you can peel it all off in one piece, jackpot!
Step 4
  • Once the sticker has been removed, you’ll probably notice some remnants of adhesive still present. Here are some different resources I’ve found useful in removing that annoying residue! Grab a clean rag and find out which one works best for you!

– Rubbing alcohol

– Goo gone (again)

– Tree sap remover

– Continue to scrape

  • Note: Using paper towels here sometimes ends up sticking to the left over adhesive, leaving you with more of a mess than you started with! So, use an old towel/rag/washcloth.
Step 5
  • You’ve finally removed it all! Clean up all traces of the old sticker on your car by polishing off the spot with some glass cleaner or detailing spray, and you’re home free!