How to Bleed the Brakes By Yourself

Want to know how to bleed the brakes by yourself? It can be done with one person using a simple tool made of an empty plastic bottle and a fuel line. In the video below and in this post, we’ll show you how to make this tool, how to correctly bleed the brakes alone, and what to do with the leftover brake fluid once the process is complete. This procedure will work on almost any vehicle.

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The 5 Most Common 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Problems

Mechanic showing Dodge Ram 3rd Gen

The 2002-2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 is a great line of trucks, but like most vehicles, it has common issues owners typically experience. In this post, we cover the top problems of the 3rd gen Dodge Ram, ranging from an engine that keeps misfiring to transmission problems. Learn what their symptoms are, why they happen, and how to fix them with these expert tips.

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How to Remove a Stripped Lug Nut from a Tire

Mechanic trying to remove a stripped lug nut

A stripped lug nut can be one of the most frustrating problems you will come across while doing vehicle repairs. Most of the time, lug nuts become stuck when someone goes a bit too far while tightening.  In this post and the video below we’ll show you 3 ways you can try to remove a stripped lug nut.

A typical lug nut has a cap. When torqued beyond the manufacturer’s specification, the cap separates from the lug nut and allows moisture to get in. This then causes the nut to rust and stick to the hub assembly. 

If you ever find yourself stuck with a stripped lug nut that won’t come off, you’ll need to have an extra set of tools nearby. We’ll take a look at some of the most effective ways you can easily remove a stripped lug nut that’s stuck to the wheel. 

Tools You’ll Need

1. Breaker bar, socket, and pipe

2. Powerful impact wrench

3. Drill bit

3 Ways to Remove a Stripped Lug

1. Breaker Bar, Socket, and Pipe

Using a breaker bar to try and remove a stripped lug nut from a tire

A stuck lug nut will normally have smaller corners. This makes it hard to remove it using its original-sized socket. You may need to go for a socket that smaller to provide the grip you need on the lug nut. If you experience difficulty lining the socket, use a hammer to tap on it until it fits. 

Once the socket is lined up, connect a breaker bar and try to remove the nut. You can insert a pipe at the end of the bar to provide leverage. If the lug nut is too stuck and won’t turn, avoid going any further to keep the bar from breaking.

2. Powerful impact wrench

Using a impact wrench to remove a stripped lug nut

If you try the breaker bar and socket method and still find that the lug nut won’t come off, get your hands on a powerful impact wrench. Impact wrenches are designed to help tighten or loosen various nuts, bolts, and screws. 

They use torque and short jolting blows to deliver the necessary power needed to loosen a lug nut. The most powerful variants deliver up to 250 foot-pounds of torque or more. This is enough muscle to bust a rusty and stuck lug nut. However, if your impact wrench doesn’t get the job done, get your hands on a drill. 

3. Drill

A drill bit is a much safer tool to use when removing a stripped lug nut when compared to an air hammer, an air chisel, or a torch. These can easily cause serious damage to the wheel if handled the wrong way.

When using your drill, you want to start with smaller-sized drill bits and work your way up. Aim for the center of the lug nut. You can start by making an indentation at the center using a center punch to prevent the drill bit from slipping. Alternatively, you could use a burr attachment with a die grinder. 

Drilling can often be a long and tedious process. For safety purposes and to prevent the drill bit from dulling, have a cup of oil nearby. Dip the drill bit every once in a while into the oil to cool it down before drilling any further.

As you move from the smaller-sized drill bit to the larger ones, keep checking to confirm that you’re still aiming for the center of the lug nut. You can use a parts cleaner to remove the chips that may be filling the hole as you do the job. If by any chance you happen to drill off-center, use the burr tool with the die grinder to correct the hole. 

After a decent amount of drilling, the wheel should slide out easily. Sometimes, you may find that the lug nut is still stuck to the wheel. You can remove it using a pair of channel lock pliers, a torch, or an air hammer. 

Remember to shop for new lug nuts at 1A Auto when replacing your wheel. If you penetrated the other side of the lug nut while drilling, you may need to replace the wheel stud as well since it might have gotten damaged.

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Is your Transmission Slipping, Jerking, or Low on Fluid?

3 Transmission Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore.

Transmission Issues

The transmission helps to determine at what speed your vehicle should move. It also controls the amount of power that should be sent to the wheels. Hardly will you ever notice the shift between gears when driving your car but, if you do, your vehicle could have one or more automatic transmission problems. If you notice your transmission slipping or jerking, you should get the issue diagnosed right away.

When the transmission shifts hard or jerks from one gear to another, it could be a warning that you need to have it checked. An inspection will help determine whether you’ll need a simple fix or a major repair. Below are three of the most common signs that will tell you there’s a problem with your automatic transmission. 

1. Low Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid helps to lubricate moving parts, facilitate gear shifts, and cools the transmission. Like other automotive fluids, it ages and loses its frictional properties. It can also run low especially if there’s a leak. To check the fluid, make sure the engine is running at its operating temperature.

You can tell a lot by taking a look at your transmission fluid. If it’s low, it will cause a deficiency in the hydraulic pressure needed to shift the gears. A burnt smell in the fluid is also a sign that your transmission is overheating or damaged. You’ll need to pull out the transmission to see what could be wrong. Simply draining out the fluid and filling it up will not fix the problem. 

2. Vibrations and a Jerking Transmission

A jerking transmission is one of the most common automatic transmission problems you’ll encounter while driving your car. You’ll feel the vehicle shift a little weird at slow acceleration, medium acceleration, or fast acceleration. If you feel the transmission slipping or jerking, you should try to diagnose the cause as soon as possible, before the potential repairs become much more expensive.

As the vehicle moves from one gear to another, listen keenly as you also feel for bumps and jerking. You also want to pay attention to how the vehicle downshifts. Slight bumps that are almost unnoticeable are normal. What you want to look out for are shifts that feel like they are completely out of place. 

At highway speeds of about 60 mph, you may also feel vibrations or hear a heavy-duty droning sound. This is normally a sign that the torque convertor needs a replacement. The torque converter uses fluid to send power to the transmission and to prevent the engine from stopping. You’ll want to have that checked and fixed by a professional. 

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3. Low Transmission Fluid Pressure

You may not be able to find out that your car has a low transmission fluid pressure problem until you run it through a scan tool. The problem normally pops up when you have an issue with the transmission control module (TCM). 

The TCM controls how the transmission gears shift. It collects and processes signals from the transmission to ensure gears are shifting consistently and effectively. When it’s not working properly, you may notice a change in how the vehicle changes gears. This change can often be described as the transmission slipping.

The TCM has diaphragms that go over the pressure sensors. They may rip and come out. You’ll have to replace the entire TCM since you can’t change or fix the diaphragms alone. If there was also a jerk when the car was shifting from one gear to another, you may also need to have the entire transmission checked. 

4. Bonus Signs of Automatic Transmission Problems 

Other signs that could indicate your car has an automatic transmission problem include: 

1. A check engine light that stays on.
2. Delayed engagement when you shift the car from one gear to another. 
3. Unusual groaning, ticking, or whining noises when you shift the car to Neutral. 
4. A vehicle that won’t go into gear. 

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Most Common 9th Gen Honda Accord Problems?

Learn to Diagnose and Fix These Common 2013 to 2017 Accord Issues

Mechanic Driving Honda Accord Showing top problems

Common 9th gen Honda Accord problems like paint peeling or high oil consumption might be more common than you think. In this post, we cover the five most common problems on the 2013 – 2017 Honda Accord. Learn how to identify and fix these common problems with these tips from our experts.

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Top Problems GMT 400 (1988-2002)

Chevy GMC Trucks

A classic truck, the 4th generation of Chevy C/K trucks like the C1500, K1500, also known as the GMT 400 or Chevy OBS (Old body style or original body style) truck, consists of a wide range of years spanning from 1988 to 2002, and with such a large range of years has come a few common problems owners have reported. We cover the top problems of this generation like the door handles, the ABS brake system, and the fuel pump, which also applies to its sister GMC C/K trucks. Find out their symptoms, causes, and fixes with these tips from our expert mechanics.

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Top Problems on the 2002-2006 Chevy Avalanche

Mechanic next to Chevy Avalanche

Common first-generation Chevy Avalanche problems include a tailgate that won’t latch, a tailgate with a broken handle that won’t open, or faded plastic panels that need restoration. All vehicles have their common problems, so our experts went over the top problems owners experience with the Chevy Avalanche, some of their causes, and how to fix them.

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