Understanding Warning Indicator Lights

One of the most important things when it comes to owning and operating a vehicle is understanding the various warning light indicators.  Knowing what part of your car each sensor belongs to can help should your car experience any issues.

 

Warning Indicator Lights

  • Check Engine Light- this sensor detects various issues within your cars motor.  Sensors are connected to an OBD-II interface that can interpret over 4,00 different codes.  Should this light come on it is best to have your car looked and hooked up to a OBD-II scanner that read the different problem codes.
  • Brake Warning Light-  This light can mean many different things.  Your parking brake may be engaged , brake fluid levels could be low, or there could be an issue with your cars brakes. Check your cars owner manual for what it may mean and don’t hesitate to have it checked out by a professional mechanic should it not be one of the simple fixes. Brakes are VERY important when it comes to driving!
  • ABS Warning Light- This is your anti lock brake indicator light.  This system keeps your car stable and prepared should you have to slam on your brakes or come to a sudden stop.  If this light comes on it is advised that you take it to your nearest auto mechanic shop. This is an extremely important part of your cars braking system
  • Coolant Warning Light- If this indicator light comes on your car is probably already overheating.  Pull over and open your hood allowing the engine to cool down. Once the engine is cooled you can remove the radiator cap to chcl levels.  Removing the ca before the engine is cooled is VERY DANGEROUS! It is a highly pressurized system and the heat of the engine causes great pressure.
  • Oil Warning Light-  This light generally comes on when your vehicle’s oil pressure is low.  Should this light appear it is advised that you stop and immediately check your oil level.  Driving with low oil or possibly no oil can cause severe engine damage and VERY costly repairs. The oil warning light can also indicate oil pump failure, oil filter and strainer issues as well.  It is best to have things assessed by a professional.

While there are other warning lights to be aware of and understand, we feel these are the top 5 to really understand.  When it comes to your vehicle if you just don’t know what is going on, it is best to pull over and seek roadside assistance and take your car to the nearest auto mechanic.  The worst thing you can do is attempting to drive your car when something is wrong within the engine or its other components. You can save yourself a lot of unneeded repair costs if you air on the side of caution.

The Craft Behind Limo Conversions

As we mentioned in our introduction, we love cars and all things pertaining to cars and mechanics.  Being that both of us have been in the mechanic business for some time we have explored all areas of mechanic work.  Perhaps one of my most favorite however, is stretch limo conversions!

A friend of mine, Jamal, owns a profitable limo company in Arizona.  While he has all different types of limos, his most sought after are the Hummer and Cadillac Escalade stretch limos he offers! He once told me most of his calls or inquires are for those two types.  To keep up with the demanding trend of these limos he needed to increase his fleet sizes of both.  He looked to me and  my mechanic expertise to help.  And thus that is how my love for limo conversions began!

Let’s start with a little history.  Armbruster was the 1st company ever to make the stretch limousine.  Their motivation came from the need to transport affluent passengers in class in style.  They however, did not convert already manufactured cars into limos, they started from the ground up.  After about 5 years of business they decided to partner with Stage-Way Coaches.  The pair then started converting Cadillacs and Lincolns into stretch limousines.  Eventually their limousines became increasingly more popular and the competition wanted in.  Thus high end sports cars, SUVs and other luxury vehicles began to be converted into stretch limos. So now the question is, How Are Regular Automobiles Converted In Stretch Limos?

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Shocks, Struts and Springs – And When To Replace Them

First things first – what exactly are those things that are mentioned in the title? What’s their purpose in a vehicle? All those things are part of the suspension system of a car. The suspension system is a set of parts that connects the wheels to the rest of the car. The spring in a car is an actual spring/coil, which is used to absorb shocks from irregularities on the road surface. They are capable of handling large amounts of vertical impact, and they are part of the system that helps in keeping your ride smooth.

The actual shock absorbers (often called ‘shocks’ or ‘dampeners’) don’t do much shock absorbing per se. They are used to dampen the vibrations resulting from the spring’s compression. So when the spring absorbs the vertical impact, it contracts. This spring will tend to compress and decompress, which would cause vibrations, leading to a very uncomfortable ride. It is this vibration that is largely curbed by the shock absorber.

A strut, or a strut assembly, is a structural part of the car’s suspension system. Its main components are the shocks and the spring. The function of the strut assembly is same as a regular shock absorber. Each wheel on your car will either have a strut or shock.

Like all moving parts of your car, this entire shock absorbing system will also need replacement/maintenance because of routine wear and tear. Now that we know what’s what, let’s try and see when these parts will need to be replaced.

Rough rides – Since the goal of the shocks/springs/struts is to keep your ride as smooth as possible, naturally, if you notice that your car bounces more than usual on rough roads, it could mean that the shock absorbing system is beginning to wear out. This is the most telling sign, indicating a need to rush to the nearest auto repair place.

Trouble with steering the car – The strut is a crucial part of the car’s steering system as well. So if you experience difficulties while steering, if it seems that manoeuvring the car got tougher, or even if steering the car causes unusual noises, it could mean that there’s a problem with the struts. Additionally, you may also notice that the car leans towards one side slightly more while taking turns.

Trouble with braking – If the struts in your car are damaged, braking will take more effort. Your car will travel further than usual after the brakes have been hit. There could also be a tendency of the car to nose-dive when the brakes are applied. All of these are possible signs of strut damage.

Tires worn out – Strut damage can cause cupping in car tires, leading to abnormal wear patterns in them. So if this happens, the shocks/struts might need to be replaced.

Mileage – It has been observed that in most cases, a car’s suspension system needs examination and replacement once it hits around 50k miles. So once that number is reached, it’s better to get the shocks and struts checked for replacement.

All of these serve as indicators of the shocks being worn out. It’s always best to keep your eyes and ears open for any such issues.

Welcome To Our Blog

 

Hello All!  Welcome to our blog that will be focusing on car repair tips, intresting car facts, maintenance tips and so on.  We are looking forward to getting our blog started and encourage you to invite others to check us out as well.  My brother Tom and I(John), have been in the automotive repair business for many years. 

We enjoy building & restoring old cars, sharing tips and tricks of the trade with others, as well as teaching even the least mecahnically inclined how to check and eventually cahnge their own oil.  We encourage any comments or suggestions and would love to here feedback from our readers as far as anything pertaining to vehicles that you may have questions about or would like to share.  Stay “tuned” like a perfect engine, for our first post!