Search This Blog

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Audi Rim Pop Can Center Cap

Audi rims have a pop can option for center caps! This will work with many different rims for A4, A6 and A8 models and is very easy. All you have to do is:

  • Jack up the car
  • Remove the rim 
  • Cut the top part of a pop can (any standard size) 
  • Place the pop can where the center cap would go
  • Bolt tire back on
This is a great little mod to add your own touch to your car and it gets a lot of attention and questions. Comment below if you have any questions and thanks for looking!

Winter Driving

Driving in the snow is an art and mastery comes only after practice. Hitting the roads in a blizzard are sometimes unavoidable, but here are some tips for your car to help you fight the white fluffy stuff! 

  • New/lightly used winter tires are most important when driving in the snow and will not only help you to accelerate, but also stop and prevent swerving. 
  • Make sure that your ABS (Auto Braking System) is working correctly. This system pulses your brakes and prevents snow and ice buildup on the stopping part of the rubber of your tires. This system helps to stop your car much faster and also helps stop sliding during hard braking. Your ABS will only kick on when your tires start skidding and you will hear a groaning or vibrating while it is doing its job. 
  • Studs are great to have on your tires and consist of special tires that have small holes in them deep enough to screw a metal stud into. Sometimes states and cities will ban studs because they wear the roads much faster than regular tires, check your local laws to make sure!
  • Drivetrain is a huge factor in determining how well your car will preform and also how to drive and compensate for slippery conditions. The best drivetrain to have is a 4wd system operating all four tires and turning them at the same time (lockers), second is an AWD system that will drive the easiest tires to spin on both the back and front (some AWD cars have systems to lock the front and back tires together when slippage occurs). Front wheel drive is the third and most common form of power to the ground, this system only drives the front tires and will spin the easiest tire (meaning when your stuck the tire with less traction will be the only one spinning). Last is RWD or rear wheel drive and is the least effective in driving in the winter time for most people, this system only drives the rear tires of the car and is prone to fish tailing (when the back of your car slides left and right under acceleration). 
  • Washer fluid is something you don't really think about in the summer, but when winter rolls around it could mean the difference between seeing and not seeing at all. A common mistake made is buying the wrong washer fluid. Many times summertime washer fluid will be left a car from summer time, when it starts to get cold the summer washer fluid will freeze and almost always crack the plastic container it is stored in. If this happens your reservoir will leak and have to be replaced. Make sure you get washer fluid rated at -20 or below (depending on what area you are in). 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Things That Go Wrong With Your Car

Here is a list of the most common things to go wrong on any car, the sounds they make and links to help you get it fixed!
  1. Thumping or pulsing in your brake pedal.    Cause: Warped rotors due to wear or overheating.    Fix: Typical brake job is done every 50,000 miles with normal driving and costs between $500 and $1000 depending on the parts needed.    DIY: The typical cost in parts for a normal brake job is between $150 and $300. Here is a great video of what a typical brake setup looks like with the rotor, pads and caliper: 
  2. Not starting without lights on gauge cluster when key is on.    Cause: Dead battery. Batteries are good for around 3 to 5 years and usually show signs that they are going bad.  Signs: Longer time starting, dim lights, lights dim when turning on heater or radio.    Fix: A new battery typically costs between $79 and $200 depending on the size and application.    DIY: Cost to install yourself is $79 to $200, but many times places like Advance Auto and Auto Zone will install it for free!
  3. Check engine light, miss fire, running rough.    Cause: Coil pack malfunction, spark plug, mass airflow sensor (MAF), fuel injector, fuel pump, etc.    Fix: Cost all depends on the exact issue your car is having. Taking your car in to have it scanned is the first step. Once you have the cars computer read you will know what code (malfunction) the car is pulling. With the code you can determine if it is a coil pack or something else. Here is a video of what coil packs look like:
  4. No start with engine cranking over. This is when your car sounds like it is starting and your turning the key to start, but it never fires.    Cause: The most common cause of this is the fuel pump. It could be many other issues, but if your car was running great before it stopped running it is probably the fuel pump.    Fix: An easy temporary fix is to take a hammer and hit the bottom of the fuel tank while someone is cranking the car over. Many times by hitting the bottom of the tank while cranking the car will start up again. Eventually the fuel pump will have to be replaced, but by this test you can usually tell if the fuel pump is bad. Here is a video of what a typical fuel pump looks like and where it is located: 
  5. Thumping while driving, usually about 10 or 15 mph.   Cause: This is caused by wheels being unbalanced. Each wheel is balanced with small weights called wheel weights. When you buy new tires or change out old ones the wheels are re-balanced. If a wheel weight falls off during driving your car will develop a hop or jump when driving. It can be very annoying and in some cases can be so bad that the car is un-drivable.    Fix: This is one repair that you will need to go to a tire shop. The tire shop will remove each tire and re-balance. In some cases if you look at the edge of each rim, you can spot the mark where it will look like a wheel weight was attached. 
  6. Squeaking from the front or back of your car.    Cause: Worn front brake rotors and pads. When your pads begin to wear down many times it will cause a little piece of metal to rub up against the rotor causing it to squeak.    Typical brake job is done every 50,000 miles with normal driving and costs between $500 and $1000 depending on the parts needed.    DIY: The typical cost in parts for a normal brake job is between $150 and $300. Here is a video of the front brakes on a Chrysler, but is very similar to other cars:

Nissan Sentra Blower Motor Replacement

Below is a video showing how to replace the blower motor on a Nissan Sentra. Signs that your blower motor is going out are: Squeaking when turning on the blower motor, constant squeak, grinding, low air volume through vents and no air flow at all. On the Sentra, the blower motor is located right behind the glove box on the passenger side. The glove box panel will remove with snap clips and then you have better access to the blower motor. You will need to remove the motor from the bottom near where your feet would normally go. Please comment below if you have any questions.

Nissan Sentra Clutch Replacement

Below is a video showing the clutch on a Nissan Sentra. The clutch is still bolted to the flywheel, but all bolts that hold the transmission to the engine are pointed out. Please comment below if you have any questions!

VW Passat Timing Belt Replacement

Video showing the timing belt on a VW Passat. The Passat engine is very similar to the Audi A4 and A6 engine. Timing belt replacement is recommended every 80,000 miles. Please comment below if you have any questions!

Subaru Impreza Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement

Below is a video showing what the timing belt looks like on a Subaru Impreza. It also shows the location of the water pump and other parts of the timing system. If you are having a water pump issue on your car (leaking from the front of the engine) you will have to remove the timing belt in order to replace it. Please comment below if you have any questions!

Volvo 240 Engine Visual

Below is a video walk around of a Volvo 240 where I point out the intake and other parts. Please comment below if you have any questions!

Pontiac Grand Am Alternator Replacement

Below is a video showing how to replace the alternator on a Pontiac Grand Am. A great way to tell if your alternator is bad is to jump start your car with another car. After your car is running, remove the jump cables. If the car dies when you remove the jump cables it is not the battery to blame, it is the alternator. Please comment below if you have any questions!

Chevy Corsica Alternator Replacement

Video showing how to replace the alternator on a Chevy Corsica. Please comment below if you have any questions!