Ryan Harvey

Author Archives: Ryan Harvey

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What To Do When Your Car Is Hard To Start But Runs Fine?

If your car takes more than 4 seconds to start, you may have an issue you need to deal with. If it’s extremely cold outside, this may be more of a common, weather-related issue and not much to worry about.

If the weather is no different from any other day when your car has started without issue, then you should troubleshoot the problem. Even though your car runs just fine today, it could take a turn for the worse and start giving you even more trouble if the issue is left alone.

What to Do When Your Car Is Hard to Start But Runs FineT

Before You Begin, There Are A Few Questions You Should Answer

Before you go inspecting the parts of your car, it’s best to start by thinking about the situation you have when your car is difficult to start.

For example, is it most difficult to start your car in cold situations? Is it difficult to start it when it’s hot outside? Are there any strange sounds or smells when you start your car or are driving? Are there any warning lights such as a check engine or service engine soon light? These can all give you invaluable clues. If any of these lights are on, it wouldn’t hurt to get a free diagnostic from an auto parts store in your area.

Troubleshooting the Problem

If your car is slow to start, there could be any number of things wrong with it. Troubleshooting will take some time, so prepare for that. First, determine if the problem occurs when the car is hot, cold, or at all times. This will help narrow down where you should look.

Where to Begin Looking

Before anything else, look for signs of a leak. Ensure that all of your wiring is clean and without nicks or bites. An overly worn or chewed wire can easily cause this type of problem. The same can be said for hoses. Corroded connections can also cause a slow start.

Begin by checking the wires connected to your starter. These should be two of them and they should be thoroughly looked over for damage. The connections should also be tested to ensure that they are well-maintained and corrosion-free. The started itself should also be inspected for signs of wear. Too much wear may mean you need a new starter. If your car does run fine, and there are no signs of leaks, smells, or bad wiring, this could be your issue.

Next, move on to check your battery and all of its connectors and wiring. Measure the health of your battery to make sure it isn’t failing.

A bad battery will make your car start slower and slower over time as it outputs less and less power. A battery over three years old should be tested at least once a year and this service will be offered free with an oil change at many shops (though you may have to ask for it.)

A battery with less than 70% of its original functionality is “failing” though it may continue to work “adequately” until it falls to 50% functionality. If you want to refill your battery, the best battery tender is excellent solution.

Check and Clean Your Sensors

Temperature and air flow sensors can begin to give bad readings if they are allowed to become dirty over time. This is a simple thing to fix. Locating the sensors may be the most difficult part but you should be able to do so with the help of your vehicle’s manual.

Test Your Fuel Pump

After inspecting your wiring and hoses for damage or leaks, consider testing your fuel pump. This is done by placing the key in the car and turning it “on” but not so that the engine turns over. Turn it off. Repeat two more times and on the third try, turn the car all the way on so that the engine turns over. If it starts in 3 seconds or less, you’ve solved the problem for now. What you have, in this case, is a weak fuel pump that needs to be replaced.

Further, if it is very cold and you have a weak fuel pump, your car may completely refuse to start on the first try or two if the fuel supply is very low (below an eighth of a tank.)

In this case, adding fuel will allow the car to start “normally” again, but also reveals where your problems are most likely coming from.

Check Your Filters

One of the most overlooked causes of a slow start are clogged filters. This could be the oil or air filter. These both need regular servicing or replacement. Failing to do so can make it hard for your car to do what it needs to run, hence the slow start. This is a warning sign that if these filters remain dirty or clogged, things will begin to get worse or break down.

Why Your Car Starts More Slowly in The Cold

When it’s cold out, your car will start slower than it normally would. Below certain temperatures, it may not start at all even if it’s in great shape.

This is because your engine oil thickens up and your battery outputs less current. Your engine will also need more fuel to get going and stay going.

All of this adds up to a car that will not start quickly though isn’t in need of repair. If, however, the problem persists when temperatures are well above freezing, you have a problem.

Conclusion

There are many, many things that could cause a slow start. The good news is that most of them are easy to troubleshoot on your own. However, if none of the above are the cause of your issue, you may need the help of a professional to find and fix the problem.

That said, if your car is running fine, the problem is likely to be small or localized. Further, all of the above steps should be done annually anyway, in order to keep your vehicle in good condition. The above troubleshooting options should help you locate the issue and give you peace of mind.

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How to Troubleshoot: Engine Cranks But Car Won’t Start

Having an engine that cranks but won’t actually start can be incredibly frustrating. However, there are a number of easy fixes and troubleshooting steps that may help you find and fix the problem. Also, the following steps assume that you have already checked to see if you have a faulty starter. The starter may be faulty if the engine cranks inconsistently or the started itself makes strange or grinding sounds when you attempt to start your vehicle.

Engine Cranks But Car Won't Start

Engine Cranks But Car Won’t Start

Take The Weather and Fuel State Into Account

In extremely cold weather, if your fuel is low, it can be hard for your car to start up. This can mean that your fuel has become less liquid than usual or you just don’t have enough fuel for your car to start as a cold car require more fuel to start and run than a warm car would. If your fuel stores are very low, the weather is well below zero (including wind chill), or your car has been having trouble starting up in cold weather recently, this may be your issue. Thought it may still be wise to go ahead with the rest of your checks to make sure there isn’t another, obvious and more easily fixed issue.

Make Sure You’re Using the Right Key

Newer cars have keys that communicate with them in order to start. A faulty key or key without these capabilities means that it may not start. However, in these cases, the engine will typically not crank.

Check for Odd Sights and Sounds

Do you smell burnt rubber or fuel? Is there smoke or black soot? Both of these can be signs of a leak or flooding. Make sure to clean everything you can and perform proper maintenance to correct these issues before proceeding.

Check Warning Lights and Codes

If your check engine or service engine soon light is on, check the codes. Even if neither light is on, your car may still output certain maintenance codes for things it knows are “wrong” but that it hasn’t realized are preventing things from working correctly. As your car won’t start and if you don’t have a digital code reading device handy, there is a way to read codes “manually” and this method is typically outlined in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on its manufacturer’s website.

Check Your Battery

Check Your Battery

Check Your Battery

After checking for error and maintenance codes and finding none, check your battery. Is it corroded? Are all of the connectors and wires intact and in good shape? If not, can you repair, clean, or replace them? Once you have done so, it wouldn’t hurt to see if that has fixed your issue. Corrosion can lead to more issues than most people would think.

If no damage is found on the outside, check the function of the battery. It may not be dead, but it could be dying. Had your vehicle been slow to start before it stopped completely? If so, that is a sign that your battery has been dying for quite a while. Even if everything was fine, a battery can lose functionality quite quickly once it has reached the three-year mark and even faster after five years. You must have the best battery maintainer to recharge your battery can to start.

Is Your Security System a Little Too Good?

Occasionally and advanced “anti-theft” security system can prevent a car from starting. If you have recently had a small car accident, fender bender, bent your mirrors, hit your car with anything, or pressed the “panic button” your security system may have engaged and cut off the fuel supply.

Check Your Wiring, Sensors, Filters, and Fuses

Wiring can be chewed overnight causing untold damage and frustration but it’s an easy thing to spot and should be inspected regularly anyway. Sensors, especially temperature sensors, can become blocked, dirty, or corroded and will need to be cleaned or replaced id the damage is too great. Hoses should also be inspected. Even a slow leak could be the culprit.

Filters, both oil and air, can become blocked and prevent a vehicle from starting. They may also be installed too tightly and cause an error with another system or read as blocked even when they are new or clean.

Fuses may blow out or become damaged and need to be replaced. Any fuse could be the problem, so make sure to check them all. If one fuse is damaged, be sure to check the others. There could be more than one at fault.

Test Your Spark Plugs

Much like fuses, spark plugs need to be individually tested to ensure they are in working order. However, spark plugs may also be damaged or weak, rather than simply non-functional. You need special equipment in order to safely test spark plugs.

Test Your Fuel Pump and Compression Systems

Testing your fuel pump and other systems once your car refuses to start will take specialized equipment and knowledge. If you have made it this far and none of the above steps have yielded any results, you may have to seek expert help in order to proceed safely through the rest of your systems.

However, you can test for signs of a dead fuel pump. In order to do this, you should be able to turn the car on, without turning the key far enough to make the engine attempt to turn over. Listen closely as you do. Do you hear the same sounds you usually do? Typically, there will be a light buzzing type sound coming from the fuel pump, briefly. That means it’s working. If there is nothing but dead silence, you may have a dead fuel pump.

Conclusion

If your engine cranks but doesn’t start, any number of things could have gone wrong. Still, most of these fixes are relatively easy and things you may want to do as part of a regular maintenance routine. By now, you may have found your issue. If not, please get help from an experienced professional before attempting to remove or replace intricate parts. Further, if you do not have the tools to perform some of the recommended tests, do not try to do so using makeshift methods. This can be dangerous and risk your safety. Always make sure your vehicle is turned off before working on it.

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery – How To Know Which One Is Not Working?

There are a lot of different parts that keep your car running. And it’s not always easy to tell what the problem is when it stops working. If you’re having car issues, its easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst has happened and that your car will never run again. But instead of going into panic mode, you need to figure out what the problem is. Usually, the issue is with either your alternator or your battery. Bad alternator vs bad battery, how do you tell the difference?

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery  

Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery

What does the alternator do?

The alternator in your car is in charge of recycling the energy your car battery uses while driving. It not only restores the power that the battery loses, it also powers the engine management, entertainment, climate control, and other systems in your car. Your car requires a lot of power to run. And thanks to your alternator, your battery is able to be replenished while your driving, which keeps you moving forward. Think of the alternator as being responsible for cycling the power within your engine as you drive. If you didn’t have an alternator to preform this function your car battery would quickly run out of power and the engine would die.

What does the battery do?

Your battery is also another essential part of your car. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to start or keep your car running.

The battery gives you car a jolt of electrical energy when needed to power the electrical components of your car. This is clear when you start your car, if the battery isn’t working then the car won’t start at all.

Car batteries are designed to last about 3 to 5 years, so if you’ve had your car longer than that and haven’t changed the battery it may be a good idea to get your battery checked.

How to know which one isn’t working? Bad Alternator vs Bad Battery

Taking alternator off and some hoses for heating and cooling systems

Taking alternator off and some hoses for heating and cooling systems

So now you know what the alternator and the battery do in your car. They are both essential parts that help your car function. But if you’re car isn’t working how do you know which one is the cause? Well there are a few signs that will help you determine the answer to that.

To tell if it’s a bad battery, first try starting the car. If it won’t start and you hear a low humming noise or clicking sound, this is a good indicator that the battery is the issue. Also, check the battery gauge, even when the car is on but the engine isn’t running the battery should still be powering the lights, windshield wipers, automatic windows, etc.

Another good idea is to get a rag and wipe any corrosion off of your battery. Then try starting your car again. After you’ve done that and the car still wont start try jumping the car. After you let it run for a little while, turn the car off and try to restart it as normal. If it still doesn’t turn on, this means there is an issue with the battery because while the car was running the alternator was able to supply the battery with power. But once it was turned off the battery was no longer working again. It’s normal as batteries age that they retain less charge. After enough time, the battery wont be able to hold enough power to start the car, so it’s time to get a new one. If your battery can recharge, using the best battery tender is good way to to it.

Now you know how to tell if it’s a bad battery, so how do you tell if it’s a bad alternator? If the previous steps showed that the battery was working, meaning after you jump started your car and turned it off you were able to turn it on again normally, then it’s time to check the alternator. Some signs of a bad alternator are dim lights on your dashboard, your headlights changing brightness as you accelerate and stop, a smell of burning rubber or hot wires, or a growling sound. Also, check your dashboard for a warning light that might indicate an issue with the alternator. But this may not always get trigger or may not be available on older cars. If you see any of these warning signs, it’s a good indicator that the issue is with your alternator and you need to get it checked.

What to do?

So, what should you do if you have a bad alternator vs bad battery? After you’ve determined where the issue is, you should take it to a mechanic to see what can be done. You will most likely have to replace the faulty part. Depending on your car, the year it was made, and other factors one issue may be more costly to repair than others. Batteries usually cost between $50-$200 depending on what kind of battery you get. Alternators are more expensive, ranging from $400-$1000 and up. So, although the symptoms of a bad battery and bad alternator may be similar, the cost to fix the problem is not.

Conclusion

Now you know what car batteries and car alternators do. They are crucial parts of your engine that keep your car running and in good working order. And now you know how to tell the difference between a bad alternator vs bad battery. When your car isn’t running right, it’s easy to notice. However, it’s not always as easy to figure out the reason why it’s not running properly. Being able to distinguish the key warning signs of whether or not the issue is with your alternator or your battery will help you figure out what you need to do next to fix your car. A battery can be a simple, and affordable fix while an accelerator can be a little more costly. But after reading this article you should have all the knowledge you need to be able to tell if its your alternator or your battery that is the problem. And then you can work on getting it fixed from there.

 

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

You probably use batteries for a lot of items in your day-to-day life. Batteries help power a lot of our household items. In fact, there are a lot of things we couldn’t do without batteries.

Alkaline batteries are just one type of battery, but they are often preferred because they have a longer shelf life and higher energy density than their non-alkaline counterparts.

But using them once and them throwing them away seems like a waste, especially if you’re spending a lot on batteries. Which begs the question can alkaline batteries be recharged?

Before we dive into that question, let’s quickly go over the different types of batteries. You have Alkaline, lithium-ion (Li-ion), Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Lead-Acid, and Nike-Metal Hydride (NiMH). These are the most common types of batteries available that you will find on the market today.

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

What Is an Alkaline Battery?

Now let’s look at what an alkaline battery is. Any battery is a cell that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. There are 3 main components of a typical dry cell battery, the positively charged anode, the negatively charged cathode and an electrolyte. When the electrolyte reacts with the anode and cathode the anode tends to lose electrons and the cathode gains electrons. This creates a surplus of electrons at the negative end and a deficit of electrons at the positive end of the battery, which creates electrical pressure called voltage. This voltage is what creates a batteries power.

The different type of electrolyte that is used is what makes each type of battery different. An alkaline battery has a zinc anode and a manganese dioxide cathode. The electrolyte is non-acidic. This differs from non-alkaline batteries, which have an acidic-based electrolyte. Now that you know all the technical stuff, the main takeaway is that alkaline batteries tend to perform better than non-alkaline batteries but they are also more expensive. However non-alkaline batteries are still dependable and can supply sufficient power as well.

Can Alkaline Batteries Be Recharged?

So can alkaline batteries be recharged? The answer is yes and no.

Technically speaking, any battery can be recharged. In order for a battery to be rechargeable, it must have an underlying chemical change the occurs during an electrical discharge that can be reversed by applying an opposite electrical charge to the cell. Which means that an alkaline battery qualifies for this, as it has chemical process that can be reversed.

However, just be cause an alkaline battery can be recharged, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. Many batteries are specifically designed to be rechargeable and they are clearly labeled as such. But you won’t find many alkaline batteries labeled as rechargeable, for a few different reasons which we’ll cover in the next section.

The Pros and Cons

So now you know that alkaline batteries can be recharged. But what are the pros and cons of doing so?

First let’s look at the cons. One major drawback to recharging alkaline batteries is that their performance decreases with each recharge.

Most batteries will loose some of their power after being recharged, but the lose is much more significant with alkaline batteries. Which also means that alkaline batteries cannot be recharged as many times as other rechargeable batteries.

Some batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, whereas an alkaline battery can really only be recharged a dozen times or so.

Also, as with all batteries when they are recharged they can cause the production of gas, which can create high pressure within the battery cell causing it to bust and leak. This issue is much more common with alkaline batteries than other batteries.

Even alkaline batteries that are labeled as rechargeable still require a special charger. You can’t use other battery chargers; it must be a charger specifically for alkaline batteries. Also, alkaline batteries that are specifically designed to be rechargeable tend to have less capacity than true alkaline batteries, making it more effective to just use other types of batteries.

But there are still some advantages to recharging alkaline batteries. Because alkaline batteries have a higher voltage normally, even once they are recharged they still maintain a higher voltage than other batteries. They also have a longer shelf life than other batteries; so recharging them extends that even further. They also have a slower self-discharge and have fewer toxic metals making them more environmentally friendly.

What to do?

So, can you recharge your alkaline batteries? Yes, and some are even marketed as rechargeable alkaline batteries. However, you may not gain much value by recharging them. The amount of power that you loose when recharging an alkaline battery and the higher risk for leakage both seem like pretty good reasons not to recharge your alkaline batteries. Not to mention, you need to make sure that you have a special charger and are using batteries that are designed to be recharged. It is not recommended to recharge batteries that are not labeled as rechargeable. Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether you want to recharge your alkaline batteries or not, however keep in mind everything we’ve discussed here.

Conclusion

Now you know how batteries work and what alkaline batteries are. And you also know whether or not they are rechargeable. The answer to that question is yes, but whether or not you really need to recharge them is another question entirely.

Only recharge batteries that are labeled as rechargeable, whether they are alkaline or not.  There are a lot of other good options out there for batteries that are rechargeable.

If you really must recharge your alkaline batteries, you can but be sure that you have a special charger. And make sure you’re aware that they will loose voltage and can also have high risks for leaks. And no one wants a leaky battery. After reading this article, all of your questions about recharging batteries should be answered. And hopefully you have a better understanding of how batteries work and which batteries you can and should recharge.

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out?

Your steering system is a very important part of your car. Most people think of the engine and brake system as being important, but the steering system plays a vital role as well.

If you can’t steer your car, then how are you supposed to drive it? Well, the answer is you can’t. All the systems of a car work together to make the car useable and if any fail, then the car will not work right.

Your steering system is just one of those systems, but it is one that is overlooked a lot of times until there is a problem. One of the main and biggest problems that can happen with your steering system is the steering rack and pinion going out.

In this article, we will explain what happens when the steering rack and pinion fail and also signs to help you notice it before it occurs so you can prevent it.

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out

What Happens When A Rack And Pinion Goes Out?

What does it do?

Before going into what happens when the steering rack and pinion fail we will first explain what the steering rack and pinion is and what it does.

The rack and pinion steering system in most vehicles is actually multiple parts. The main part is the gearbox in the middle. The more common name for the gearbox is the steering rack.

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver. It is what the steering column goes into, and when the driver turns the wheel, it is the steering rack that sends the proper information to the other parts of the steering system.

The steering rack is the heart of the steering system, and all the other parts connect to it. The other parts are revered to as the pinions.

This includes universal joints, main and intermediate shafts, and other things such as the tie rod. These parts can also wear out over time but isn’t as major as when the steering rack goes out.

So now that you know that the steering rack is the main component of the steering system, you may really be wondering what happens if it fails, or if some of the pinions fail.

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver

The steering rack is the part that receives direct input from the driver

What happens if steering rack or pinion fails?

Well, if the steering rack fails completely, then major issues occur. The most important thing that happens if the steering rack completely goes out is that you will lose control of the car.

That is because turning the wheel will have no effect. If the steering rack is out completely and not making contact with other parts, then it can’t send the information needed to the other parts of the car as you try to steer.

If the steering rack is just starting to go out though and hasn’t failed completely, then it will just be hard to steer. Depending on what is wrong with the steering rack will determine how hard it is to steer the vehicle and also how much it will cost to fix.

If a pinion or other part of the steering system fails completely, then again you can lose complete control of the steering. This is because the system might be broken to the point of not working.

If however, just a pinion component is starting to fail, then the steering might be harder. There are a lot of different signs though that you can pay attention to, to notice if the steering system is starting to fail.

Paying attention for the things to follow is important because if the steering system goes out while driving, then there is a good chance you will wreck. That is why it is key to pay attention to the following things and fix a minor problem before it becomes a major one.

Signs Steering Rack or Pinion is Starting to Fail

One of the first things you might notice when the steering rack or pinion is failing is tight steering. The steering might get to the point of being very tight. This is especially true if your car has power steering.

If your car doesn’t have power steering, then it might not tighten up as much. The reason tight steering is a sign of problems is that it means that the gearbox might be getting too hot or that there is not enough power steering fluid getting to it.

Also, tight steering can mean a loss of hydraulic pressure to the steering. If you notice tight steering, then you should have your car checked out. A lot of times the problem is minor and easy to fix if caught early.

An obvious sign of problems with the steering system is leaking power steering fluid. The power steering fluid is what helps lubricate the system and also helps with the hydraulic pressure.

If it is leaking, then the steering will not act right, and also there is an obvious problem as it should not leak. Leaking fluid could mean a part has a hole in it or that there is a break in the system preventing it from being sealed.

If you repair the leak early, then most other things should be fine, but if you drive with low power steering fluid, then it will damage more parts of the system.

Any fluid under your car is a sign for concern, that is why you should keep an eye on these types of things, and if you notice a leak from anywhere in your vehicle, then you should have it checked out and fixed.

The next issue can be caused by a variety of things in the steering system, but it is grinding sounds while steering. These sounds can occur at any speed from slow to fast and can mean different things depending on when they happen.

The key thing to remember though is that your car should not make noise when steering. If your car does make any kind of grinding, squealing, whining, or any other type of sound while steering, then it means issues are going on.

Normally it means that something is worn out, but replacing it early will prevent other things from getting damaged and prevent bigger problems.

The last sign of a steering rack or pinion failing is a burning oil smell. This is less common than most of the others, but still a sign that there is a problem.

That is because power steering fluid burning normally smells like burnt oil, so if you smell this smell and it is coming from the steering system, then it likely means that the gearbox is getting too hot.

If the gearbox gets too hot, this can lead to fire and major damage. That is why if you notice this smell and think it is the gearbox and not oil burning that you pull over and investigate the problem.

Let the gearbox cool off before driving again and get the vehicle to a mechanic to have it looked at.

Conclusion

So, now you know what happens when the power steering rack and pinion goes out. You know that if they go out completely that you will lose control of the vehicle and wreck.

You also know though that normally they don’t go out all at once, but instead, minor things start to happen like noises and tight steering.

If you notice any of these things, then you now know to have your vehicles steering system checked out and the problem fixed before it gets worse.

A lot of time the steering system is not too expensive to fix and caught early. However, if you let the problem go on the fixes can get expensive and be dangerous. If the power steering rack fails completely, then you are in trouble.

How To Bleed Air From Abs Module?

Whenever you change a part of the brake system, you will need to bleed the brake system afterward. This means removing all the air in the system.

The reason you have to bleed the brakes is that air is compressible and if there is air in the system, then the brake pedal will feel soft.

The reason the brake pedal will be soft and mushy is that the air will have to be pushed out of the way before the fluid can do what it is supposed to do.

This can be dangerous because it means that it will take longer to stop. Most of the time bleeding brakes isn’t too hard, but what if air gets in the ABS Module. Well, bleeding the ABS module can be a bit more of a challenge, but this article will explain how to do it.

How To Bleed Air From Abs Module

How to bleed air from Abs module?

How to bleed brakes?

Before going into how to bleed the ABS module, we will first briefly explain how to bleed the brakes. This is because you might think you have air in the module, but it is really in another part of the system.

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module because bleeding the ABS module can be a challenge for someone to do on their own.

For bleeding the air out of the brake system itself, it also helps to have a partner.

The way you bleed air out of the brake system is by opening the bleeder valves at the proper time. You want to make sure you have clean fluid ready first though before bleeding the lines however you want to open all the bleeder valves and let them drain.

You also want to suck out all the old fluid from the master cylinder. Once the master cylinder is empty, you can add in new fluid. To get the rest of the old fluid in the air out though you will need a partner to make it easier.

You put the hose that you are bleeding into some fresh brake fluid. Then you have your helper depress the brake pedal with enough force to stop at a light.

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module

It is best to make sure that the rest of the system is free of air first before trying to bleed the ABS module

After they depress the brake you loosen the bleeding valve a quarter turn. This will suck new fluid in and cause some old fluid to come out once old fluid stops coming out close the bleeder and have the person lift their foot off the brake.

You repeat this process until fresh, clean fluid comes from the system.

Depending on the vehicle you will want to start with a certain brake line either the front or the back. This is due to how the system is set up, and there is the most efficient way to bleed the system.

You will have to look up the information depending on the make, model, and year of your car. If bleeding the brake system like this though doesn’t fix the problem of mushy brakes though or you know the ABS module has air in it, then you will have to bleed it.

Bleeding ABS Module

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system because the ABS module has a lot of chambers and moving parts in it.

Most ABS modules do have bleeding valves, but a lot of times these aren’t enough to get all the air out. Depending on where the air is trapped though will determine how hard it is to bleed the ABS module.

The first thing to do to bleed the ABS module is to start the car or turn the key to where the battery is on. Then you need to depress the brake pedal. It is important the system is under pressure before doing this to help force the air out.

After the brake pedal is depressed to loosen the brake sensor. This will cause lights to come on the dash which is what is supposed to happen. After you loosen it to keep the brake depressed and tighten it back. This should allow the air out and cause the lights to go off.

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system

Bleeding the ABS module is more of a challenge than just bleeding the brake system

If the air is trapped farther in the system though you will need a special tool to get the air out, different vehicles require different dealer tools that plug into the OBD2 port. Some OBD2 scanners can do the same thing.

The tool cycles the different valves while the brakes are under pressure to help allow air to come out. Then the new brake fluid can go in which in turn forces more air out.

After using a tool to cycle the valves, you will then need to bleed the brake lines again manually. That is because most of the air out of the ABS module is going to go into them.

Can you do it at home?

So, this leads to the question of can you bleed the ABS module at home? Well, the answer is yes you technically can, but it is hard. That is because the special tool that is required is expensive.

You can buy one and like has been mentioned the top of the line OBD2 scanners can also normally do what is required, but it is costly.

Also, it is hard to do at home because in order to get to the bleeding valves on the ABS module you will normally need the car in the air. This is because it can be a tight squeeze to get a wrench to it.

It can even be a challenge to manually bleed the rest of the brake system at home for the same reason. Sometimes ramps are enough to allow you to get to what you need to, but space can be a challenge bleeding brakes at home without the car in the air.

Conclusion

So, now you know how to bleed the ABS module yourself at home, however, you also now know that it is a hard task to do at home.

That is because it can be hard to reach the bleeder valves with the car on the ground and also that it takes a special tool to cycle the valves in the ABS module to let the air out.

You also know that before bleeding the ABS module that you should bleed the rest of the brakes to just make sure the air isn’t in them and also to bleed the rest of the brakes after bleeding the ABS module since air from the module will go into them.

If you can get the equipment to bleed your brakes and the ABS module at home, then you can do it to save money, however, if you don’t work on cars a lot you might just want to let a shop bleed your ABS module since it requires a special tool.

Now you know all you need to know though so you can make the best decision you can when it comes to bleeding your brakes the next time you get air in them.

Why Is Your Car Making Clunking Noises When Turning Steering Wheel?

When you drive your vehicle should not make any weird sounds. These could be anything from clunking or scraping sounds to whining or grinding sounds.

This is even true when you are turning. If you are reading this article, however, your car is probably making some sort of noise when you turn the wheel.

Read on to learn all the possible reasons why your car might be making clunking sounds when you turn. Also, learn what you can do about it to prevent these sounds from happening.

clunking noise when turning steering wheel

Why Is Your Car Making Clunking Noises When Turning Steering Wheel?

Your Speed

Depending on the speed you go when turning the wheel and noises are being made could help determine what could be wrong. If you are going fast, slow, or normal speeds when the clunking sound is made, then it could indicate what might be wrong.

That is why it is important to pay attention to your speed when you start to notice grinding sounds while turning. That is also why sometimes you might hear a sound while turning and other times you might not.

Just because you don’t hear a sound all the time, doesn’t mean you should have things checked out. If you hear any odd noises when turning the wheel, then there is something wrong, and you should have your vehicle looked at.

Clunking Noises At Slow Speeds

If the sounds occur at slow speeds, then the problem most likely lies in the power steering system or the suspension. If the sound you hear when turning the steering wheel is a whining sound, then it is most likely the power steering pump failing.

The power steering pump helps make taking turns easier. It does this by helping lubricate the steering system.

If the sound you hear is coming from the engine bay or front of the car, then it is defiantly most likely the power steering pump. The power steering pump should be checked out and tested and replaced if needed.

If the sounds are more of a clunking sound though when you take turns at slow speeds, then the issue is most likely the suspension. The suspension is what is responsible for helping your car handle bumps.

The suspension springs get damaged overtime though from taking this pressure. They are designed to wear out though, so other more important parts of the car don’t get damaged from bumps.

If the suspension is popping when turning, then it is time to get them looked at and most likely have the springs replaced. Another name for the suspension springs are the shocks.

There are a variety of kinds, and they are all rated for the different amount of use, so get the best ones you can for your needs when getting them replaced.

If the sounds occur at slow speeds, then the problem most likely lies in the power steering system or the suspension

If the sounds occur at slow speeds, then the problem most likely lies in the power steering system or the suspension

Clunking Noises At High Speeds

If the noise occurs during high speeds, then the main culprits are CV joints, bearings, or differentials. Depending on the type of sound that is made can help you figure out which one.

The CV joint, if it is going bad, will make a clicking or crunching sound. The CV joint is where the wheels connect to the axel. A bad coupling can cause the popping sound. If the CV joint is bad, then it should be replaced.

If the sound is a humming or buzzing sound though, then you should check the wheel bearings. The wheel bearings are what the wheel floats on so it can rotate without friction.

While turning the wheel bearings are what carries the load of the weight of the vehicle, and that is why the sound is most noticeable when turning, especially at higher speeds.

If the bearing problem is not corrected, then it can lead to uneven tire wear as well as wobbling. That is why if you suspect the bearings are bad, then you should have them replaced.

Bearings are small, and it is a cheap fix and catching it early will save you money in the long run.

If the noise occurs during high speeds, then the main culprits are CV joints, bearings, or differentials

If the noise occurs during high speeds, then the main culprits are CV joints, bearings, or differentials

Clunking Noises At Normal Speeds

If you turn your steering wheel at normal speeds and a sound occurs, then it could be a whole variety of different components. It could be the power steering system.

This is especially true if the sound is a whining sound from the front engine area of the car. The power steering pump could be failing, or it could just be a loose belt or low fluid.

Check it out first if you have a whining sound. However, just because the fix might be easy, it could also be something more series. You might have a bad tie rod.

The tie rod is what connects the steering gears with the knuckles. In other words, they connect the steering rack with the steering arms. If the noise you hear is a clunking noise, then chances are one of the ends of the tie rod is bad.

This is especially true if your steering seems harder. A lot of times if a tie rod goes bathe steering will be loose and mushy. That is because the tie rod helps you maintain control. A bad tie rod will make your vehicle harder to control, so it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Other Bad Parts

On top of the mentioned potential problems, there are also a couple of other problems that will cause your car to make noises, and the noises can happen at any speed if these parts are bad.

One of the other parts that could be bad is the sway bar. The sway bar is responsible for reducing the body of the car from rolling when taking a turn. In other words, it helps keep all four wheels on the ground.

If the sway bar breaks through, then it will make noises from it hitting things when turning. If the sound you hear when you turn the steering wheel is a knock or clanking sound, and you have checked other things, then you need the sway bar checked. A broken sway bar can be dangerous because you could lose control of the vehicle.

One of the other parts that could be bad is the sway bar

One of the other parts that could be bad is the sway bar

The last potential bad part is possible bad ball joints. The ball joints connect the wheel hub to the rest of the suspension.

Depending on the vehicle and how the weight is distributed might dictate how soon or often the car makes sounds from bad ball joints, but most of the time the sound will be a creaking sound.

If you have checked other components and haven’t found the reason your car is making noise when turning the wheel, then be sure to check the ball joints.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, there are a lot of potential reasons why your car might make noise while turning the steering wheel. Any sound while turning the wheel though means you have a problem.

It could be not enough power steering fluid or a loose belt causing the power steering pump not to work or a dry suspension bushing, or it might be something worse. Your speed when the sound occurs can help you figure out the problem as well as looking at other parts of your car.

For example, check the tires and see how they are wearing. If they are wearing unevenly and you have sounds while turning then the suspension may be bad, the wheel bearings may be worn out, or struts might be damaged.

On top of this if you notice control issues, then the problem might be in a ball joint or more likely the sway bar or tie rods. No matter what part is worn out or damaged though you should have your car checked out whenever you notice odd noises while turning the wheel.

Your car should not make noises when turning, but if it does, then now you know what you can do about it. Luckily for you after reading this you can solve the problem and fix it or why your car is making clunking sounds when turning the steering wheel.

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Symptoms Of Bad Transfer Case Control Module

Most cars are either front wheel or rear wheel drive, but some larger vehicles such as SUVs and Trucks are a four-wheel drive or can switch between two and four-wheel drive.

The switching between what style of driving your vehicle is is controlled by the transfer case control module. Sometimes this module stops working properly though, and this will prevent you from switching between two and four-wheel drive.

In this article, we will look at some symptoms of a bad transfer case control module and will also give you some suggestions on what to do about it.

transfer case control module symptoms

Symptoms of Bad Transfer Case Control Module

How does the transfer case control module work?

Before going into detail on symptoms of a failing module though, we will first explain briefly on how the transfer case control module works.

By understanding how it works, you can better understand what things to look out for with your transfer case control module while driving so you can notice the symptoms of it failing sooner.

The purpose of the transfer case control module is to help your vehicle switch between to wheel drive and four-wheel drive.

The way it does this is it uses speed sensors to judge the speed of the car, and then it processes that information to see if a shift is safe and possible.

If you are going slow enough when you press the button to engage four-wheel drive, then the module will engage and allow the vehicle to switch into four-wheel drive.

The same is true if you are trying to turn four wheels drive off. It looks at your speed, and if you are going slow enough, it will shift the vehicle back to two-wheel drive.

This is a really basic explanation of what the transfer case control module does, but the key thing to know is it is responsible for changing the vehicle between two and four-wheel drive and thus has moving parts in it.

 

Symptoms of Failing Transfer Case Control Module

Since the transfer case control module has moving parts in it, the first symptom we will point out is grinding sounds.

When you press the button to engage or disengage the four-wheel drive if you hear grinding sounds after when the module changes the mode your vehicle is in, then that I am a problem.

Even if it works, it still means that there is something in the module that shouldn’t be. This could be a broken gear, debris from driving, or anything else.

If you have a grinding sound or clanking sound when the module is working, then you need to get it checked out right away, so it won’t break completely on you.

The next thing tied into this is difficulty shifting gears. The difficulty could be audible, or you might just feel it in your vehicle when the gears are changing.

If the module has a challenge shifting the gears, then it might mean that they are damaged and this ties into the first one with the sound.

However, another reason why it might be hard for

transfer case system

Transfer case system

the transfer case control module to change gears is that it might not have enough fluid in it to lubricate it.

This could be from a leak somewhere in the system, so difficulty shifting is another sign to pay attention to and should be checked out farther if you notice it because shifting without the proper amount of lubrication will cause damage to the whole module.

The third symptom of a failing module is a vehicle that jumps in and out of four-wheel drive. This means that it might be in four-wheel and then switch to two wheels on its own or when you hit a bump.

Some might call this slipping out of gear. If the vehicle changes from four-wheel to two wheels on its own, then there is defiantly some damage to the parts inside the module, and the module needs to be checked.

This changing can be dangerous because it can lock up the wheels and cause you to wreck. This issue can also be caused if you have too much lubrication in the module from a leaking fluid line. This means that too much fluid is bad, but also not enough is bad too. Any issues liked this need checked out.

The last symptom of a transfer case control module that is having issues is one that won’t shift when it should or only shifts sometimes. This is generally caused by a speed sensor that has gone bad or isn’t working right.

If the speed sensor isn’t giving a reading or it thinks you are driving faster than you are, then it won’t allow the vehicle to shift from two-wheel to four-wheel drive or allow it to change the other way around.

What to do when Get Bad Transfer Case Control Module?

If you have any of these symptoms, then you should have your transfer case control module checked out. The first thing that you or a mechanic should do when having the module checked out is run an in-dep code scan on it.

The transfer case control module has a lot of parts with sensors and motors, so doing a code scan can help you figure out what is wrong so you can fix the module faster and hopefully cheaper.

You should try to have the module fixed if you can because replacing it can get really costly. It is an important part of your vehicle though, especially if you want to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, so having a working one is important.

Conclusion

So, now you know what the transfer case control module does and some signs of one that is going bad. You know that trouble shifting between two and four-wheel means something is wrong and if you have noises coming from the module, then you really need to have it checked out.

You also know that if it slips out of four-wheel into two-wheel, then that is a sign of issues. The best thing to do if you notice any of the things mentioned is to have your codes scanned, so you can know the best way to fix your transfer case control module. Luckily though, you now know the symptoms of a bad transfer case control module so you can have it taken care of as soon as possible.

What Is The Truth About Seafoam?

Engine additives and fuel additives come in a variety of different forms. They all, however, are supposed to do the same thing, and that is to clean the engine out and help it burn the fuel better.

One of the most common additives out there is Seafoam. In this article we are going to look at what Seafoam is, what it does, and also learn the truth about it.

Read on to learn everything you want to know about Seafoam and have all your questions answered on if you should use the stuff or not.

What is the truth about Seafoam?

What is the truth about Seafoam?

What is Seafoam?

Before going into if you should use Seafoam or the effects of Seafoam, we will first cover what it is and also what engine additives in general are.

Seafoam is an engine additive that is used to clean out the engine. You can mix it into the fuel in your fuel tank, or some people put it into the oil.

It is a chemical that is supposed to help break down gunk and sludge inside your engine and other parts of the car. It is also supposed to help the fuel burn better cleaner to prevent more buildup from occurring.

What does it do?

When you add Seafoam into the engine or oil, it will cause a lot of white smoke to come out of the engine and out of your vehicle. Some people say that this is the carbon burning off of this, but others will say that this is just the Seafoam burning.

When to use it?

So, now that you know what it is and what it does the big question is when you should use it. Depending on who you ask the answer will vary, some never say, while others say all the time. Some will give the in-between answer of if you start to have knocked.

The people that say never use it say this because there is no proof that it works and a lot of them probably have experiences of the Seafoam causing more harm than good.

The ones that say to use it all the time have probably had their vehicle start to run better after using it, and they are giving the Seafoam credit when there is no proof.

The last group that says when there is knocking are saying this because they know there is an issue and the Seafoam might fix it and if it does, then great, but if it doesn’t then you aren’t out much.

Which group is right?

So, that brings up the question of which group is right and the answer to this is it is hard to say.

There is no proof that Seafoam really helps reduce carbon in the engine and other lines, but some people swear by the stuff, and they do so because they have had good luck with.

Others have had bad luck though and blame the Seafoam for clogging things like the catalytic converter or blame it for gumming up the O2 sensor.

They say it causes the carbon to break off parts that it is attached too and instead of it burning off it just clogs things and attaches to something else.

Again though, there is no proof indeed that it is from using the Seafoam that you had these issues and they might have been going to happen anyways.

Should you use it?

Should you use Seafoam?

Should you use Seafoam?

So, you may be wondering should you use Seafoam, and the answer is it depends on if the risk is worth the potential reward to you.

There are a lot of different fuel additives that are supposed to help burn off carbon and remove impurities from the gas, and it really is up to you if Seafoam is the one you want to use or not.

If your vehicle is already running poorly, then using Seafoam and getting lucky and having your vehicle run right again might be worth the risk of using it.

However, if your vehicle runs great already, then using it and risking it having something go wrong might make you decide not to use it.

A lot of people feel that fuel additives are just snake oil and don’t really work. A lot of car people think that if you use the good gas in your car and do regularly maintained like changing oil and the filters, then you don’t need fuel additives.

Others think that additives help make your car run better and more consistently. There really is no right side, and you just have to form an opinion on your own based on your risk tolerance.

More: If you want your car’s battery to be fully charged, highly recommend you use best battery maintainer to recharge your car battery.

Conclusion

So, the truth about Seafoam is that it is a fuel additive. That is the only thing that is completely true. The rest is based on opinion or untestable marketing.

Seafoam is supposed to remove carbon deposits, but there is no way to know if it really works or not. Some say the stuff is great while others say it will gunk up your vehicle.

Some people think you don’t need any fuel additives while others think they help the vehicle run better and longer. The truth is, you have to test them yourself and see if you notice any results or not.

The truth about Seafoam is you have to make your own opinion on it and find the truth yourself.

 

Why Won’t Power Door Lock Work On Driver’s Side?

Your car’s door locks are a key part of your car. While the door locks don’t affect how your car runs, it is still nice to have ones that work. That is because your door locks keep the things inside your car safe and also keeps your car as a whole safe.

Sometimes though they stop working for various reasons. If they all stop working at once, then it is pretty easy to find the problem. It is generally a blown a fuse or just a dead battery in your key fob, but what I only one isn’t working.

Well, in this article we will look at what it means when only the driver side power door lock won work, but the tips in here apply to your car no matter which door isn’t the one locking.

Why Won’t Power Door Lock Work On Driver’s Side

Why Won’t Power Door Lock Work On Driver’s Side

How the door lock works?

To understand why only one door may not be locking properly, it is important to understand how your door locks work. Both the kind that have the switch tip thing that opens and closes or the type that have the push thing that goes up and down, they both work the same way.

When you press the button on your key fob to lock the door or press the button inside the car to lock the door, it sends a signal to the car to engage or disengage the locks.

More specifically it sends a signal to the door lock actuator which takes this signal and turns on a motor to activate the lock. When just one door lock isn’t working it normally means that you have something wrong with this system.

Things to check

So, now that you know you have something wrong with this system it is time to start checking it. The first and easiest thing to check is to make sure that nothing is obstructing the door lock from engaging.

If dirt or grim gets in there, then it might prevent the locking part from moving and locking. A good way to know if that is the problem is to listen when you press the locks and see if you can hear the broken door trying to engage.

The best way to clear out the lock mechanism without taking it apart is to spray some lubricant into the lock. Something like WD40 will help lubricate it and break up any obstructions. This might be a simple and easy fix to your problem.

After lubricating the lock if it still doesn’t work, then you will have to dig deeper into the door to try to fix it. This will mean taking the door panel off to get inside of it so you can get to the actuator and motor.

Once you have the door panel off, you can see if there is any visible damage to the parts in the gearbox. Sometimes a gear from the motor can break, and this could be the cause of the problem.

If you see loose pieces in the door lock area or the gear is missing teeth, then you will just need to replace it. If there is no visible damage, then you will have to go into real deep testing.

Testing the actuator

The first thing that you should test is the actuator. The best way to do this is to remove the wires connected to it and then take a battery. Twelve volts is best, but a 9-volt battery is normally easier to get.

With a 9-volt battery wire, a couple probes to it and then touch the probes to the input connection on the actuator. If the actuator is good, then it should try to engage the lock and make some sound.

If the battery need to recharge, highly recommend you use best battery tender to recharge your car battery.

If the actuator is dead, then it won’t do anything, and you have found the problem. If the actuator is bad, all you will have to do is buy a new one.

A lot of times you will have to order a new one, so you might have to go a few days without your lock working and your door apart. If the actuator is good though, then you can move on to testing the other possible issue.

 

Testing the motor

The other possible issue is a dead motor. At this point that is the only thing left to check. You can check it in the same way as the actuator. Connect some wires to a 9-volt battery and then connect the probes to the motor.

A working motor should make sound and try to spin. If it doesn’t, then it is dead and needs to be replaced. Again, just buy or order a replacement part and install it. I

f the motor isn’t bad and none of the other things are bad, then you have or had a problem with how the lock was put together. Reassemble the lock, and it might work again. The problem might have been a bad connection that you just didn’t notice.

Why only one lock go bad?

You may be wondering why only one motor or actuator failed though if you lock all your doors the same amount of times. Well, since these parts are moving, they happen to fail at different rates.

This is especially true for the plastic pieces like the gears because even though they are the same, they all had different variables in their production. That is why one lock may break and none of the others even with equal use.

Conclusion

So, now you know why only your driver side door isn’t working. You know that locks are made up of gearboxes, motors, and actuators and any one of these parts can break at any time within a single door.

Now you know what to look for though if you only have one lock that isn’t working. You know to start with lubricating the lock and see if that fixes it before taking it apart.

If you have to take it apart though you now know to look for broken gears in the gearbox and how to test the motor and actuator to see which one might be bad. You then know how to replace it, so the next time your driver side lock isn’t working, or one of your other locks isn’t working you will be able to troubleshoot it and fix it yourself.