What Makes a Good Tow Vehicle?

Posted on 14 March 2018 (0)

Tow TruckNobody wants to purchase a tow vehicle only to regret later after realizing that it was a disaster. Besides, not all people are interested in buying heavy trucks for towing such as those used by Fairfax Towing Truck. You may want to use the vehicle for other urban purposes. On the other hand, a nimble car that breaks down after every 20 miles is certainly we all don’t like. Now this is a dilemma, isn’t it? For this reason, there is a need to be careful when you want to purchase one. A towing task is not easy, and not any car can perform it effectively and stay in good condition for an extended period. Well, you won’t get a perfect vehicle, but there are some that are certainly better than others. Several technical factors should always consider. […]

Understanding the Components of a Vehicle Transmission System

Posted on 22 February 2018 (0)

Automatic Transmission | Vestman | FlickrBefore you choose your favorite car, it is important to understand how it works. The transmission system of a car is quite complex and requires in-depth analysis to understand how it runs. Indeed, it is safe to argue that it is the most complex in each vehicle. Maybe we should start by defining transmission: it is the part of the car that connects the engine to the wheels and gives the latter the power to continue spinning. The range required differs from one car to another; hence, it should be adjusted accordingly.

The present transmission is composed of several systems that are technologically designed to function together. It is worth noting that the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical innovations have been made over time. The transmission of a vehicle can either be manual or automatic. In most cases, heavy vehicles are designed with manual transmissions while the lighter ones are fitted with automatic transmissions.

Components of automatic transmission

Planetary gear sets:

These are the mechanical parts that help to provide the various ratios of gears; both forward and reverse. Typically, automatic transmissions have several gears that are combined. However, it should be noted that these gears are never moved physically because they are always engaged. Therefore, there is a need for a specialized system that is responsible for the coordination of these gears to ensure that they remain in a constant mesh.

Hydraulic system:

This system utilizes a specialized transmission fluid that is sent under increased pressure by the oil pump. It passes through the valve body with the aim to control the clutches and the bands. The ultimate function of this system is to ensure that the planetary gears remain fully under control. The hydraulic system has numerous passages and tubes that also ensure that the fluid is sent to the torque converter.

Seals and gaskets:

GasketThese parts are used to ensure that the oil is kept in its right place and does not leak out. Seals are classified into two: the front and the rear seals. The latter is the point where an effective mounting of the torque converter is done on the transmission case. The fluids can, therefore, move freely from the two systems without any leakage. The rear seal ensures that the fluid does not leak past the output shaft.

The torque converter:

This part is a typical replacement of the clutch in an automatic transmission car. It allows the engine to continue running even when the car is brought to a stop. The torque converter is shaped like a doughnut and is mounted between the transmission and the engine. It comprises of other three elements: the pump, turbine, and stator. Each of them is fitted with fins that help them to direct the oil through the torque converter precisely.


Computer controls

Sensors are fitted on the engine and transmission to allow the computer to detect aspects such as throttle position, the speed of the vehicle and that of the engine, the load, and the switch position of the stop light. The system controls the exact shifts and ensures they run softly and firmly.


Five Common Signs of Transmission Failure in Cars

Posted on 27 December 2017 (0)

transmissionHave you ever felt your vehicle producing funny noises while experiencing improper shifting when you were driving? Well, that could have been a sign that your car or truck has a problem in the transmission system. Here, we are going to discuss most probable indicators that can make you suspect a transmission failure. If you see them, do not hesitate to consult your mechanic, or tow truck service otherwise, the problem could persist, forcing you into unexpected overly expensive repairs, which could be avoided through a relatively easy process. The following are five signs you need to take your car for check-ups regarding transmission.


Transmission slipping

Sometimes you may feel that your vehicle is shifting without a valid reason. Besides, the engine might begin to make a funny noise that you are not used to hearing. If these things happen, your car could be experiencing a slipping transmission. Therefore, make an attempt to see your mechanic as soon as possible.


Dipstick Inspection

dipstickOne of the easiest ways to check the transmission fluid of your car is by use of a dipstick. Besides, there are no expenses incurred. If you realize that you are experiencing a rear-wheel drive, then you can find the fluid near the back of the in-line engine. In contrast, if you experience a front wheel drive, it will be located outside the transaxle. Your owner’s manual has all these guides, and it will help you get more familiar with such problems in case your car develops them. Before you insert your dipstick, always ensure that your vehicle is either neutral or park. It is not advisable to turn your engine off. After inserting it, if it is not full, add adequate transmission fluid. Avoid adding excess because it can aerate to create some bubbles that trap heat.


Strange Smells

In general, your transmission fluid should have a sweet or tart smell. Therefore, if you discover that it is producing some burning odor, do not hesitate; think about changing your fluid as soon as possible. This is because the issue can worsen within a very short time if not corrected. It is worth remembering that your car cannot operate well without enough and well-conditioned transmission fluid; it lubricates all the parts and prevents the unit from burning up. So, burned up fluid may indicate a gradually burning transmission system, which may eventually demand a complete rebuild. See an expert as soon as you suspect your car might be experiencing some transmission problems.


Odd Sounds

First of all, you should note that there is a big difference in response sounds between manual and automatic transmission. Therefore, identify your normal sound when your car is in a perfect condition. Automatic transmission mostly produces whining or a bussing sound. About manual transmissions, a grinding noise is common due to an engaging clutch. If you hear a strange one, maybe it is high time you find expert advice.


Movement Delays

Sometimes you may notice that your car is experiencing low response when you ignite it. Also, if after shifting a gear in a manual transmission it is taking time to respond, that is a failing transmission. See your mechanic immediately.

Common Car Problems Every Car Owner Should Know

Posted on 07 December 2017 (0)

Engine careOwning your first car is probably one of the best feelings you have ever experienced in your life. But when it starts developing some problems, the excitement is no longer the same. As a car owner, you should be familiar with the small issues which you don’t always need to consult your mechanic to diagnose them for you. Indeed, if you must see the specialist, it is good to know the exact problem you want to be fixed. The following are five common problems you should be keen on.



Unevenly Worn Tyre

It is dangerous to drive a car whose tyres are worn. This is because their grip on the road is significantly reduced. To recognize this problem, the easiest way is to perform a physical inspection of your tyres. If you notice that there are irregular spots or dips in the tread of the tyre, it is an indication that they are wearing unevenly. To correct this situation, ensure that your tyres are rotated regularly. There is no a standard period for rotation since car manufacturers have different ideas, so check the manual of your car.


Overheating of the Engine

This problem can be diagnosed by noticing smoke that comes from under the bonnet. Similarly, the temperature gauge may not be able to hold the needle at the center. Ideally, this problem is not caused by a single factor. Probably the most known is the absence of enough coolant in the radiator. But now it is paramount to understand the cause of this coolant depletion. Examples include leaks and faulty valves and hoses. Therefore, it is important to check the cause of the depletion before simply refilling. Alternatively, check the fan of the engine to ensure that it is functioning properly.


Faulty Brakes

brakesOne way you can easily tell whether your breaks are not functioning properly is the noise that comes from stepping on the pedal. Moreover, if you see some warning flashing lights on the dashboard do not ignore. They might be an indication that your brake fluid is depleted, or some brake dust could be the cause of the problem. This is one issue that can be quite difficult for you as the car owner to fix. For this reason, consult a specialist as soon as possible.



Oil Changing

As a car owner, you should know when you need to change your oil. If your car continues to function with used up oil, its efficiency is adversely affected. For instance, you realize that the strength of the engine has considerably decreased. The car can no longer climb slopes that it used to before. Check your manual to find out after how long you are supposed to change it.

Tyre Pressure

It is easy to tell a completely deflated tyre. However, if the pressure is slightly lower than the recommended one, you may not notice by just conducting a visual inspection. Therefore, the most effective way to do it is to visit a fueling station where you can use the free air filling services to adjust the pressure.

Five Common Causes of Car Engine Failure

Posted on 11 November 2017 (0)

We both know that the engine is the heart of an automobile. We can as well relate it to your heart in the sense that, when it stops working, your vehicle stops too. Your heart needs you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and provide it with a conducive environment for it to operate and function properly. That’s exactly what your car’s engine needs. You should provide it with proper care and maintenance. Neglecting your car engine, especially when it needs repairs, can end up becoming the most costly maintenance issue you’ll ever face as a driver.

Even someone who doesn’t own a vehicle knows that engine failure is a big deal. Keeping your engine in good shape is critical. Always watch for any warnings and signs for engine repairs and take necessary actions to have them fixed. Here are some of the ways you could be killing your car engine without knowing.

Neglecting Oil Changes

No matter the model or make of car you drive, understand that your car engine requires oil changes. Let’s just say oil serves as the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine. Neglecting oil changes will result in serious and costly engine problems. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer’s manual instructions when changing the engine oil. Furthermore, make sure you’re using the proper type of oil for your car engine.

Overlooking Oil Leaks

If you’ve interacted with your auto mechanic for a while, he’s told why it’s important to keep an eye out for any oil leaks in your vehicle. Oil leaks can be as a result of the loss of lubrication to engine parts which then causes premature failure. Of course, the failure happens after internal tolerance wear issues develop following the loss of lubrication. Other causes of oil leaks include worn out rubber engine mounts, and deterioration to the steering components or suspension bushings of your engine.

Disregarding the Engine Oil Light

Every car, SUV, and truck is equipped with warning indicators that usually alert the owner in case of a problem. The engine oil light is one of the warning indicators that you should always keep an eye on. When this light comes on, there could be a problem that needs fixing in your engine. The light could also indicate that you need to replace your catalytic converter or oxygen sensor.

Flooding your Car Engine

Well, at times you may decide to make shortcuts and simply drive through a heavy rainstorm or standing water by the roadside. What you never realize is that this can potentially cause serious damage to your car engine, especially if your car has a modified air intake. If water passes through the intake manifold, it can end up bending the piston rods thereby causing damage to your engine.

Ignoring the Cooling System

When was the last time you flushed the engine coolant? According to auto experts, flushing of the engine coolant should be done every 30,000 miles. This is equivalent to about every three years, though it depends on your area. Waiting until your vehicle’s cooling system has deteriorated before you can go for maintenance affects the performance of other parts. One of the indicators that your vehicle is low in the coolant is when your engine starts overheating. Driving a vehicle that’s overheating is ruining the engine. Find a mechanic who can address the problem.