Brake Repair

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How To Tell You Need New Brakes

brake pad replacementYour car brakes are one of the parts of your car that you should think about more often than anything else. It is essential to have your brakes in great working condition. The way car breaks wear out is quite gradual and you may not notice there is a problem until you have to stop at an emergency while going at high speeds. The greater the breaking distance you need, the more dangerous it is to drive your vehicle in that condition. Some of the factors to be on the lookout for with brakes include:


You can see the wearing out on the vehicle brakes through the spaces between the spokes of the wheel. You should see at least a quarter of an inch of the outside brake pads that are pressed against the metal rotor. In case the pad is worn down to less than a quarter of an inch, you should get them checked out.

Screeching sounds

The high pitched screeching sound you hear when applying your brakes is an indicator; a small metal shim that gives you an audible warning that your brakes are worn down to a certain level that requires replacement. This sound is usually so loud that you can hear it when your car windows are rolled up. In case you hear it more than a couple of times, it is about time to see the mechanic.

It is important to know that sometimes, when your car has been exposed to water, thin layers of rust may develop on the brake rotors. This can cause a squeal when the brake pads press on the rust covered rotors for the first couple of times you use the brakes until the rust wears off and the sound will disappear.


Wearing out of brakes causes fading or reduced responsiveness. This is when you press on the pedal and it sinks towards the floor without much effort. Besides wearing down of the brake pads, this could also be an indicator of a leak in the breaking system: an air leak in the break horse or a brake fluid leak. If you find a small puddle of liquid where you last parked your car, it could be a brake fluid leak.


Pulling refers to when your vehicle starts to pull on one side when breaking. This happens when the brake linings begin to wear unevenly and the wheels of the car are not stopping uniformly. It can also happen when there is foreign matter in the brake fluid.

Grinding, growling or vibrations

A loud metallic sound from your tires can occur when the disc and the caliper starts rubbing together scratching your rotors and creating an uneven surface. This simply means the brake pads are worn down beyond replacement. You mechanic may suggest turning the rotors to even out the surface or replacing them. In case the brake pedal is vibrating or pulsating, then you may have warped rotors of your car. Warped rotors cause severe breaking for a long time because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly.  If you are needing brakes on your car please visit brake repair cary nc, they have a great selection of some of the best brake pads for your car.


How To Change A Cars Air Filter

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Tips On How To Change The Filter On Your Car

replace your air filter on your car

It’s common knowledge to car owners that the air filter will need to be replaced or cleaned when it gets dirty. The replacement is usually done at certain intervals, say after every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. When dirt and other contaminants build up on the filter, it can affect the engine’s performance, fuel economy and emissions. Changing the filter as is recommended by the manufacturer will help to ensure your vehicle performs better and efficiently over the years.

Here is a simple guide to help you change the dirty air filter in your car.

Replacing the air filter with a new one

To locate the air filter housing, you can refer to the car’s manual. You may also ask your mechanic the next time you take your car for repairs at the auto shop. The internet can be a great resource to help you identify the location of the car’s air filter. Air filters are usually very easy to access regardless of the model and make of the car.

Air filters are usually found inside a little housing. To identify the housing, look for a tube that is connected to the engine where the air goes in. You are likely to see retainer clips or screws on the housing and you can open the housing using a nut. Some come with clamps that can be removed with little effort. Simply pull it out and replace it with a new filter.

Cleaning a dirty air filter

There are various methods to clean a dirty air filter. You can use a vacuum cleaner or simply wash it using a cleaning liquid. Vacuuming is a lot easier and faster than using soap and water. The only major drawback to cleaning the air filter with soap and water is that some parts may not be dry and you risk damaging the engine if you return a wet filter back in your car.

Place water and a cleaning solution in a bucket then dip the filter in. you don’t need to use a cleaning cloth simply wash it with your hands and then remove it. Just make sure that all areas have been cleaned and then leave it to dry. Always make sure that the air filter is completely dry before putting it back in. If you prefer to use a vacuum cleaner, run it on each side of the filter to get rid of the dirt and dust.

Make sure you clean the housing of the air filter as well. You can use a soft cloth together with soap and water to clean the filter’s housing. Just make sure you don’t leave behind pieces of the cloth you were using to clean the filter. Also, make sure the housing is completely dry before you put it back.

There are different types of air filters including foam filters, high performance filters and paper filters. When replacing the air filter, choose one that is most ideal for your car. Foam filters are ideal for car owners living in dusty areas. High performance filters are used in road rally cars and other vehicles that are used in dusty environments.


Transmission Problems

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Problems with Automatic Transmissions


Automatic transmissions are the most commonly installed drive train option on modern vehicles.

Unfortunately, this convenient automatic shifting is sometimes accompanied with problems that can be expensive to repair.

In this section of the you fix cars website we will discuss them in general on this page, but at the bottom you’ll find detailed articles that talk about the theory of operation.

Maybe more important then how they work you’ll find posts about common transmission problems with specific models. Let me give you an example. My 2004 Chevrolet S10 Blazer truck came with the mighty 4L60E four speed transmission.

Unfortunately for my model year many of these automatic transmissions were fitted with a substandard sun shell supplied from China.

When the sun shell cracks you lose reverse. The reason I tell this story is that the 4L60E transmission is reliable on many model years.

On my particular year this is not the case. If you’re experiencing a problem with a specific unit you may want to do some checking to see if it is a repair trend or common problem.

Automatic Transmission Operation

This type of transmission does not need a clutch pedal and shifts through the forward gears without control from the driver all by itself when the drive range is selected.

Instead of a clutch and pressure plate to connect the engine to the rear wheels the automatic transmission uses a torque converter.

This is a fluid coupling to transfer the power from the engine’s flywheel to the transmission input shaft and then back to the wheels. The torque converter stall speed allows for proper engine idle without moving the vehicle and smooth transfer of power at all engine speeds.

On vehicles of the last 20 years the shifting is controlled by both electrical and hydraulic principles working together.

The hydraulic part of the equation is an intricate network of passageways, fluid controlled pistons and servos plus other components that use the magic of hydraulic oil pressure to control the internal operation.

The electrical part of the equation is usually the solenoids and electrically controlled valves that open and close to allow hydraulic fluid pressure to flow in the desired direction and accomplish a specific task.

On modern vehicles the main computer is what controls the operation of the electrical circuits. The computer uses its varied inputs from sensors such as vehicle speed and throttle position to determine what actions are necessary for the transmission to apply.

As an example, a solenoid valve can open to let hydraulic fluid flow to apply a certain gear set to perform a specific action. These gear sets provide many foreword speeds as well as reverse.

This system is extremely complicated and my auto shop instructor once told me that the inventor of this modern marvel wound up in a mental institution.

Even if you’re not going to repair it on your own it can be helpful to understand how it operates and the inherent problems that may occur on the exact model car or truck you drive to work everyday.

Car Repair

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Which cars cost least to repair?


The report, released Monday, shows which companies’ cars have both the fewest and the least expensive repairs. Hyundai, whose U.S. sales have surged this year, finished second in the rankings, published by auto diagnostic and repair website CarMD, which collects repair data from its network of 3,000 U.S. mechanics. Rounding out the top 5 were  Honda, Ford and General Motors — followed by Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen and Chrysler.

The report covers a wide range of model years, from 2001 to 2011, but focuses on repairs made only in the most recent year ending Oct. 1. While ranking individual car models, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index also grades manufacturers on a combination of all their brands. For example, the Toyota ranking includes Lexus and Scion cars, while General Motors includes Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

Based on data from mechanics, the CarMD report differs from car-owner surveys, such as the Consumer Reports reliability survey. The CarMD index ranks individual car models as well as manufacturers, combining both frequency of repairs and repair cost for an overall rating.

The top-ranked model, the 2009 Toyota Corolla, had not only infrequent trips to the shop but an average repair cost of just $45.84. (Repairs picked up by this system cover everything with a check-engine light sensor, including engine, transmission and pollution control devices. Only items like belts and tires are not included.)

Car Repair Studies From CarMD:

  • Luxury brands generally fared worse because of repair frequency, not high costs. Lexus, for instance, rated more poorly than corporate stablemate Toyota. This conflicts with high owner ratings for Lexus in surveys like that from J.D. Power and Associates. The Mercedes-Benz parent company and BMW ranked below the top 10 in this report, though CarMD did not give ranking details beyond the top 10.
  • Hyundai has made great strides in low repair frequency. The company originally launched its 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty to reassure potential buyers. But Hyundai’s rating was boosted by strong performances from recent models of the Elantra and the 2011 Sonata, which ranked sixth among all models.
  • Ford got an especially strong performance from its Edge crossover SUV, which had three different model years ranked among the top 100 vehicles. But Ford’s Windstar minivan, discontinued in 2003 but still going to repair shops, hurt its ranking.
  • Among General Motors brands, Buick was a standout. If Buick had been ranked individually instead of wrapped into GM, it would have topped the list. Its Lucerne model had three different years in the top 100 cars.

As part of its Vehicle Health Index package, CarMD also cites which repair problems occur most frequently for individual car brands. If you want to check your car, go to this CarMD page and put in the make and year.

CarMD is a service aimed at letting car owners know what is wrong with their car and what it should cost to fix the problem. Its $119 CarMD device plugs into the diagnostic system on your car to discover the problem; users can then feed that data into their website to identify the problem and the likely repair cost, based on data the company collects regularly from mechanics at both dealer service departments and independent shops. Its database since 1996 includes about 500,000 repair reports.