Why Are My Power Windows Working Intermittently?

Electric power makes window-rolling easy. It can be a pain to roll your windows with a crank, and driving’s easier when your window motor does it for you. Until it works only when it wants to. Why do power windows do this? And what can you do to fix it?

Depending on the model and the options that you have on your master power window switch panel, one of three or four parts will cause the issue.

The Computer

Some vehicles have a slew of power options that send signals to the computer from the switch. Sometimes it’s just the computer that’s faulty, intermittently sending signals to your motor, and leaving your windows only working part of the time. As you may have guessed, automotive computers are pretty complicated. If you have problems with your computer, you’ll probably have to take your car to a reliable shop to get your issue sorted out.

The Switch

Sometimes the problem is with a defective switch, and sometimes it’s with a defective connector. You can pry the window switch up from the door panel and disconnect the connectors. Check the wiring harness for corrosion. Sometimes this can be cleaned, and sometimes it will need to be replaced. If the connector is fine, it may be the switch. Moisture is tricky and can sneak inside the switch and connector if outside elements manage to get in the door panel.

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Plan Now for your Labor Day Car Projects!

Labor Day celebrates all working people across the country. Ideally, it’s a time to relax and enjoy the last few days of summer, but this long weekend also offers an opportunity to finish a repair and prepare for the colder days ahead.

Eventually the sun will set sooner until it’s almost dark before you get home from work. And if that’s the least of your worries, it’s still an ample opportunity to put some extra time aside and focus on your car.

So here’s some Labor Day Weekend repairs you can do before the seasons change.

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Signs & Symptoms of Failing Shocks & Stuts

Your shocks and struts can wear over time. The rate of wear will depend on the driving conditions where you live, but generally shocks last about 50,000 to 80,000 miles. Shocks are important to the overall safety of your vehicle. They help keep the tires in contact with the road, giving you the traction to accelerate, stop, and steer as necessary. They also keep your ride smooth and in control.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to check if your shocks need to be replaced. There are some telltale signs that your shocks may be wearing out, some visual signs to look for, and a simple test you can do yourself to decide if you need to replace your shocks.

Signs Your Shocks Are Going Bad

  • Your ride will start to feel rougher or more bouncy than before.
  • You may hear a rattling or creaking sound when you drive over bumps.
  • Brake dive, acceleration squat, and the body roll.
  • Loss of traction and increased stopping distances
  • Uneven tire wear including cupped indentations or bald spots

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Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Bearing

How do you know if you have a bad wheel hub or bearing? There are number of symptoms that can indicate a bearing or hub problem. They include:

  • Grinding noises coming from the wheels
  • Sounds of clicking, popping, or snapping from the wheels
  • Steering that feels loose or sloppy
  • Steering wheel vibrations that get worse at higher speeds
  • Roughness or difficulty rolling in neutral gear
  • Pulling to one side when you use the brakes
  • Unusual or uneven tire wear on one side
  • Lit up ABS dashboard light– on many cars the anti-lock brake system sensor is built into the hub

What Can Go Wrong With a Wheel Hub?

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Back-to-School Checklist for your Car

Between packing your bags and shopping for school supplies, it’s easy to forget about what you’ll be relying on to get to class, your car. We’ve created a checklist you can follow to make sure your car is as prepared as you are to head back to school.

How’s your Tire Pressure?

You can find the recommended psi for your tires on a sticker, in the door jamb, or in your owner’s manual. Keeping your tires inflated will give you better gas mileage and less likely you’ll get a flat, which could make you late for class, or worse, a midterm!

Most gas stations will have an air pump you can use to fill your tires. Some of these may or may not have a working tire gauge, so owning a one can come in handy. Then you can check your tire pressure wherever you are.

 

Check & Fill Fluids

Can’t remember the last time you changed the oil? Now is a great time to check. You want to find level ground and be sure the engine is off and cold. Then remove the oil dipstick. Clean it off and reinsert it. Then remove it again. This time, check the level by noting where the oil is on the dipstick. If it’s closer to the end or add line, add the correct oil for your vehicle accordingly by unscrewing the cap on the engine. If the oil looks black and feels coarse, it’s probably time for an oil change.

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What to Do If Your Car’s Overheating

Car Coolant System

How do I know that my Car is Overheating?

Temperature Gauge:

You’ll notice the needle on your dashboard engine temperature gauge (that’s the one marked with H for hot and C for cold) creeping up.

Plastic or Rubber Smell:

Plastic parts and rubber hoses in your engine bay may give off smells under intense heat.

Bubbling Sound:

A Bubbling sound coming from the engine bay might be a sign of hot, expanding coolant overflowing from the radiator to the coolant tank.

Ticking Sound:

A ticking sound from the engine could indicate that your oil is low, but can also be a sign that your oil is thinned out from overheating.

Steam:

If steam is starting to come out from under your hood, you most likely have an overheating problem.

What Should I do?

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