There are a lot of anti-theft features in cars these days, but would be thieves can get pass them if they really want to steal your car, so this leads to the question of is there any way to stop a thief from taking your car?
If locking the doors, having your car alarm, and having an anti-theft system won’t work, then what else could you possibly do?
Well, the answer is you could install a hidden kill switch. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what a kill switch is, how to properly use it, and also the different kinds of kill switches.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about hidden kill switches in your vehicle.
Before getting into the different types of hidden kill switches, we will first discuss what a hidden kill switch is. A hidden kill switch is a switch that you have to press to complete a circuit, so your car is able to start.
The reason why it is hidden is so that no one knows where it is, so they don’t know to press it. The thing is you can go about hiding one in different ways which we will discuss later.
There are also a number of different types of kill switches which can be installed and we will break down each one below.
The five main types of kill switches that you can install into a vehicle are:
We will go into the detail of each one below and what it does and how it works.
The first type of kill switch we will look at is the fuel-line shut off valves. This type of kill switch will prevent fuel from getting to your engine which is a sure fire way to make sure your vehicle won’t start.
The perk to the fuel-line kill switch though is that the engine will still crank, but just not have enough fuel to turn over.
This means that to a car thief it will just seem like your car is having engine trouble and they are most likely not going to take the time to try to figure out how to steal a car with engine trouble, so while it will keep them from stealing your car, it will also deter them from trying to figure out a way to get the car started.
The way the fuel line shut off valve works is that it is a valve that you install directly into the fuel line. You do this by cutting a chunk of the fuel line out and then put the kill switch in.
The kill switch has a knob that you turn, and in one position it is open, and gas will flow thru normally, but in the other position it is closed, and gas will not go thru.
The downside to this kill switch is that you have to get under your car to turn the knob to open the fuel line. This means you probably don’t want to use this kill switch for a daily driver because you would constantly be under the car to open the valve before you could start your car.
The next kind of hidden kill switch is a better one for a daily driver. It is the car battery disconnect switch.
You still have to open the hood most of the time to turn this one on and off, but that is still better than crawling under the car each time.
You don’t always have to do this though depending on how you connect it and wire it.
You can have the wire run so the switch can be mounted somewhere inside the car and while most of these are knobs that turn some are switches or some require keys.
The way the car battery disconnect switch works is you unhook the negative car lead and then connect the kill switch to the negative battery terminal directly.
You then feed the negative lead into the kill switch. When the knob is turned one way, the circuit is complete, and the car will function and start as normal.
If you turn it the other way though, then the car will not have power. This means when someone goes to start the car it won’t make any sound at all because the starter will not have power.
This will make the thief think the battery is dead. Another downside to this kind of kill switch though is you will have to reset your clock and radio presets every time after using it because they stay in memory with the power from the battery.
That is why one of the other kill switches to come might still be a better option for you.
By the way, If your battery is not dead, try to recharge it with the best battery tender.
The next kind of hidden kill switch is another one that goes on your battery, but this one doesn’t have a knob to turn. Instead, it is activated with a remote that you can keep on your keys.
This is nice because you don’t have to go under the hood all the time to turn it on and off and also it is nice because you can activate it anywhere.
This means you don’t have to turn it on if you don’t want and can turn it on at a moments notice if you see suspicious activity and want to keep your car safe.
Also, it is nice that you can activate it with your remote because this means you can do it secretly which is one of the main points of a hidden kill switch.
Kill switches don’t do any good if a thief knows it is there, so being able to trigger it and no one notice is a great bonus.
The way the remote control battery kill switch works is that you connect electromagnetic solenoid valve terminal to your battery similar to the other car battery disconnect switch we have covered.
Then when you press a button, it uses a strong magnet to move a metal piece on the inside that either opens or closes the circuit.
If it is in the open position, then the car will not start because it doesn’t have power from the battery, but if it is in the closed position, then the car will start like normal.
The nice thing is this device only draws power for a few moments after pressing the button. Pressing the button sends power to one of the magnets or the other, but once it is activated power is not used to help the magnet hold the circuit opener or closer.
This means that it won’t drain your battery just by having it hooked up.
The next kind of kill switch still deals with removing power from your vehicle, but it doesn’t do it directly at the battery.
Instead, it kills power to the fuse box. Some people just prefer to pull a key fuse such as the ignition fuse and then replace it when they want to drive, but depending on where your fuse box is and how much you drive this can be annoying.
If it is your daily driver, then it is easier and generally better to just install a fuse box kill switch. Also, by using a switch, it makes it less noticeable and thus more effective.
The way a fuse box kill switch works is you run a fuse into your fuse box that when it is activated the fuses will not work.
When it is not activated the fuse box will function normally. They are not that hard to install and only take a few parts and tools.
The nice thing is you can run the wires to the switch wherever you want so you can mount the switch wherever. This means that you can have it inside the cabin and even mount it to the dash or somewhere to make it look cool.
If you want your car to look more spy like this is one way especially if you install dummy switches.
A thief won’t know to look for a fuse box kill switch, and if they see a random switch or two, they won’t know what it is for or the combination for them.
These reasons are why a fuse box kill switch as a hidden kill switch is a very effective method and easier than pulling fuses all the time.
The last kind of hidden kill switch we will cover is the ignition wire kill switch. This one goes straight to the source and puts a break in the ignition wire so your car won’t start.
The way it works is you cut your ignition wire and then hook the wire to each end connector of a switch. When the switch is flipped one way the circuit is complete and the other way it is broken.
This kind of kill switch is nice because again you can hide the switch inside the car and no one will know it is there. Being in the car makes it easy to activate every time and keep it hidden.
The key to installing an ignition wire kill switch properly is to make sure that you look at a wiring diagram for your vehicle.
This way you know you are cutting the right wire. Once you have the wire cut, you can crimp the ends to the switch or solder it for a better connection.
You can then mount the switch wherever you want in your car. An ignition wire kill switch will again make a burglar think the car is dead because it won’t make any sounds if they try to turn the key.
So now that you know about the different kinds of hidden kill switches and a rough idea of how to install one, the next question you may be having is who should use a hidden kill switch? Well, the answer to that is anyone.
A hidden kill switch is just an added layer of protection from getting your car stolen, and you can actually install more than one if you really want peace of mind.
They are especially a good idea though if you leave your keys in your vehicle a lot. This might be because you forget them or you might have a delivery job or something where you stop and go a lot.
Anyone that has a habit of leaving your keys in the car can benefit from a hidden kill switch if you use it right.
You also might want one if you live in a busy city or an area with high crime. This way you can keep your car safe and slow down and deter a thief.
Lastly, if you have a vehicle that sits a lot, then you might want to install a hidden kill switch especially if it sits at an area you aren’t at often such as a vacation house.
This is because thieves know when people aren’t around and what vehicles don’t move much.
Also, if you aren’t home, they have more time to be able to steal it, so having a hidden kill switch to stop this can save you from coming back to a vehicle missing.
Hidden kill switches are a great way to keep your vehicle safe on top of the anti-theft system your car already has.
You can use them in conjunction with your current system and can actually install more than one type for adding protection.
Now you know the basics to install a hidden kill switch, and you know the five most common types.
You know that you can stop the fuel with a fuel-line shut off valve or you can cut the ignition wire directly and install a switch with an ignition wire kill switch.
You also know that you can cut power to some or all of your car to keep it from getting stolen using a fuse box kill switch or a battery disconnect kill switch.
There are a variety of hidden kill switches, and they all have their perks and negatives and now you know what they are so you can decide what kind of hidden kill switch is right for you and your needs.
So, you need your car’s computer to reset and it won’t. You have been driving it for what feels like a bunch of miles, but it still won’t reset. What can you do about this?
Well, read on in this article to find out exactly what you have to do to get your car’s computer to reset.
After reading this article you will have a better idea of how many miles you will need to drive your car to get the computer to reset, but more importantly, you will know the conditions required to get your car’s computer monitoring to reset.
So, some of you may be wondering why you might need your computer to reset. Well, there are two possible reasons why you might want this to happen.
The first is a common reason, and that is that you are trying to get your car to pass carbon inspection. In order to pass your car has to run certain checks and not put off any codes.
If you went to the testing place and they connected their scanner and told you that you failed because the computer hasn’t reset, then that might be why you are here now wondering how far you have to drive your vehicle to get the computer to scan all the systems.
The other reason why you might want to get the computer to reset is that you had a code trigger or you had a mechanic tell you something was bad on your car and you want to make sure that is actually the case before having something replaced or fixed.
Sometimes your car can throw codes out of the blue and for no reason, so if it isn’t something major you can reset and clear the code and then see if the computer sends the same code again.
If it does, then that means the part related to the code probably is bad, but if you have been driving for a while and the computer has done the checks, and it doesn’t resend the code, then you know you don’t need that part replaced.
So, for passing emission test how far do you have to drive before it is ready to pass the test. Well, the answer is it depends. It all depends on how you are driving the car because certain conditions have to be met for the car’s computer to run the check on the different sensors.
For some people, it is ready to go after about 50 miles, but for others, they have to drive much farther upwards of a couple of hundred miles sometimes. This is because the system has to make sure the vehicle is safe thru a variety of readiness monitors.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle it could have to perform up to eleven different readiness monitors to make sure all the sensors are working right and that the emissions are correct.
So, how can you know that your car is ready before taking it to get tested? Well, to do this you have to have an OBD2 scanner and plug it into the OBD2 port normally below the steering wheel.
You then go to the emission output section, and it will read with one of three outcomes. “Ready” which means that the car has run the required readiness monitors and that you can pass the emission test, “not ready” which means the car still hasn’t run the required test or “not applicable” meaning your vehicle doesn’t have self-monitoring system.
So, how do you get the car to run the readiness monitors if it is in the “not ready” mode? Well, most people think that that means you have to drive the car a bunch, but that is actually not the case.
It is actually about the conditions that the car is driven in that triggers the monitors. To get the OBD2 drive cycle to begin, you must start with a cold start. That means if your car didn’t cool down below a certain threshold from your last trip, then it won’t do a check.
The coolant temperature must be below 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air temperature sensor must be within 12 degrees of the coolant to get an OBD2 drive cycle to start.
If that requirement is met, then the ignition must not have been left on before the cold start because this may cause the oxygen sensor not to check.
If he is also meet, then the next thing to do is to let the car idle for two and a half minutes with the air conditioner, and rear defrosts turn on.
After the two and a half minutes have passed, you can turn the AC off and rear defrost off and then accelerate the car to 55 miles per hour. You want to make sure to accelerate under moderate constant acceleration and then let the car cruise at 55 miles per hour for three minutes.
After the three minutes have passed you want to begin slowing down, but you don’t want to use the brake or clutch if in a manual.
Instead, you just want to coast and slow down naturally until you are down to 20 miles per hour. Once you reach this point, it is time to accelerate smoothly back up to 55 to 60 miles per hour. Once at that speed cruise for another five minutes.
Then you can begin to decelerate again without braking or clutching and come to a complete stop. This is full should count and trigger as a full drive cycle for your vehicle.
When your car running in long time, you should have best battery tender for car to recharge your battery, it’s important things, your car won’t start if battery is dead or low battery.
So, how many drive cycles do you have to do before your car resets? Well, with most cars you need about three drive cycles to be done.
If you really need to pass the test soon, then you can do short drives like this all in a row once the car has cooled down enough, but you need to make sure to wait at least a few hours between drives to make sure the car is cool enough.
If you are trying to reset the computer to see if a part is bad, then you really don’t need to worry about forcing the car’s computer to run a check. If the part is bad, it will trigger the light quickly enough, and if it isn’t bad, then the check engine light won’t come back on.
Normal driving will allow for a drive cycle to occur, but it is important to remember that when it comes to getting your vehicle’s computer to reset it isn’t how far you drove it, but instead the conditions you drove it in.
Getting your car’s computer to reset is an important thing, especially if you really need to pass your emission test. That is why it is good that you now know how your car checks the different emission parts and uses a drive cycle that tests all the sensors during a drive.
You know that to get a drive cycle to activate you have to have a cold start and then accelerate and decelerate a few times before stopping and turning the vehicle off.
Also, you now know that there is no magic distance to drive to get your computer to reset. For some people, they can get the required number of drive cycle in as little as 50 miles while others may drive a few hundred before getting the drive cycles conditions met.
Now you know to the secret to getting your car’s computer to reset so you can pass an emission test and not get the “not ready” indicator the next time you go for emission test. You also know how to check it yourself with an OBD2 scanner to make sure your car is ready to pass before going to get the emission test.
One of the common luxuries most cars have these days is an air conditioner. This convenience helps keep you cool in the summer.
Another thing that most cars have today is a heating system to help keep you warm in the winter or cooler months. These to things do the opposite of each other, but they have one part in common.
That is the blower motor. In this article, we will look at what the blower motor is and also why it might stop working.
Sometimes it may stop working just at certain speeds, but in this article, we are going to mainly focus on why the blower motor won’t work on any speed.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about your car’s blower motor, why it might stop working, and also some solutions on how to fix it.
Before getting into details of why your blower motor might stop working it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of what your blower motor actually is.
Your car’s blower motor is the part that is responsible for pushing air through your vents. This can be cool air from the AC or warm air from the heater, but it is your blower motor that moves the air thru the vents.
The blower motor is basically a high powered fan that pushes the air thru the system.
Blower motors can come in two types. A three or four-speed system, and a variable speed system. On a three or four speed system, this means that the motor will run at three or four predetermined speeds.
On a variable speed system it the blower will constantly change the speed that it is blowing. It is important to know what kind of blower you have because certain problems only happen with certain blowers.
Normally though variable speed blowers are on vehicles with automatic climate control where three or four-speed motors are on everything else.
Now that you know what the blower motor is we can start going into why it might not be working on any speed.
There are a few reasons why your blower motor may stop working. We are going to list them out here and if you want to jump to a specific section you can, but the main reasons a blower motor will stop working on any speed is:
The most common reason why your blower motor won’t work on any speed is that you have a bad or blown a fuse. A fuse is a small wire inside of a connector that is used to protect the motor itself from a surge of electricity.
It is better for the fuse to blow if it gets too much of a current than for your whole blower motor to get fried. Most cars have the fuse in a fuse box under the hood or in a fuse panel under the dash.
You can locate the fuse to your blower motor. If it is blown, then all you have to do is replace it, and that should fix the motor.
You want to make sure to check the blower motor fuse and also the HVAC controller fuse because either one of these being blown can cause the blower motor to stop working. If it is not blown, then you will have to look farther into the issue.
Another thing that is tied to bad fuses is bad relays. The relays are basically larger fuses. Normally though they are not the issue if the blower motor won’t work on any speed though because there is a relay for high speed and low speed if it is something to keep in mind and check because it is possible that both could go bad at the same time.
This is especially true if they somehow got melted from getting too hot. It doesn’t take long to test relays, so while checking the fuses, you might as well check the high and low-speed relays to make sure they are working right.
The next reason that your blower motor may not be working is that it might have a bad ground connection.
To test this, you can run a fused jumper from a battery to the power side of the motor and attach a temporary grounding jumper to the other motor terminal.
This will provide grounding for the motor, and it should run at high speed. If it does, then you know that the issue is that the motor is not being grounded. When testing your battery, if the battery has low charge, you can recharge it by using best battery maintainer, the tender will keep your battery fully charged and by the way, it will also minimize the risks of long-term damage to the battery due to either under-charging or over-charging
The way to fix this is to locate the grounding point for the motor and clean it. After a good cleaning and making sure the motor is connected to the grounding point try to power the motor using the car and see if it works. If it does, then your probably is solved.
Another way you can test to see if it is a bad ground connection is to disconnect the electrical connector at the blower motor and then attach a multimeter to the motor.
Then turn your key to the run position and see how much voltage you are getting. It should be 12+ volts. If you have a reading, then connect one lead to the power terminal on the motor and the other to the ground.
This will let you know if the ground is good. If it is, then you most likely have a dead motor, but if it isn’t, then that is a sign that the motor is not being grounded and you can clean it like previously mentioned.
This should fix the problem, but if it doesn’t, then you might have to try cleaning the grounding connection more, but first, you should check the speed control module.
The speed control module is responsible for controlling the speed of the motor. This is true for variable speed motors. If the speed control module goes out, then the motor will not run.
To test the control module, you can disconnect the electrical connector at the blower motor. Also, disconnect the jumper power and ground connections.
You want to bypass the speed control. Then run a fused jumper from a battery to the power side of the motor and connect a temporary grounding jumper to the other motor terminal.
The motor should run at full speed. If it doesn’t then the issue is something else. If it does run at full speed though, then you know that the issue lies in the blower motor speed controller or the HVAC control head, but you will have to use a scan tool to see which one of those is the problem and then have it replaced.
If none of these past things seem to be the problem, then the last bit is that you have a bad motor.
It is actually pretty uncommon for the motor to go out itself before something else and you normally have a warning when it is about to fail because it will start running poorly and squeak or slow down and things, but sometimes blower motors do go out.
If you can’t get the motor to run with these troubleshooting tips, then you will need to replace the motor because it is most likely dead, but do these other things first.
Knowing the circuitry of your motor is important because you will need to know that to find where the ground is and different things.
If you don’t know the circuitry of your motor or the type of motor you have, then you can look it up and find specific information for your vehicle. This is also important for locating fuses and relays.
Now you know the possible reasons why your blower motor won’t work on any speed. You know that the most common issue is a blown a fuse, but also sometimes the speed control module can go out if you have a variable speed motor.
You know how to check these things now though and also how to fix them. You also know that both variable speed motors and three or four-speed motors can suffer from bad grounding.
After reading this, you can test for that issue too and fix it.
Lastly, you know if all else fails, then the motor is probably bad and needs to be replaced. You know that the blower motor is the key part in moving the air in your AC and heat system and that you should replace a blower motor that isn’t working on any speed right away so you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter while driving.
Your car’s transmission is a key component. It is the part of the vehicle that is activated when you do what most people call to put the car into gear. This is when you take it from park and put it into reverse or drive.
Then, as you are driving the transmission switches in different size gears into the drivetrain to get the most efficient power from the engine to the wheels.
Sometimes though when you put your car into gear or when it tries to shift gears it will shift hard or not correctly. This is what most people call slipping.
In this article, we will look at signs of a slipping transmission and also talk about why it may be happening when it is cold outside. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the reasons a transmission might be slipping when it is cold.
For some people, their transmission works fine unless it is cold. We will cover why this might be short, but before that, we will talk about the signs of a slipping transmission.
Knowing the signs of a slipping transmission is important because if you catch the problem early enough, then you can fix it before major damage occurs.
The first sign of a slipping transmission is hesitation when you put it into gear. What is meant by this is when you put the car from park or neutral into drive or reverse it takes longer than a second.
This delay is a sign that there is an issue with the transmission. When changing gears, the transmission should switch pretty much instantly as you move the gear shift.
The next this is if there is a clunk or jolt when changing gears. This means there is an issue with the gearbox and needs to be looked at right away. This is also the case if you notice hard shifting while driving and the car is switching gears.
The next sign is high RPM (Rotation per Minute) of the engine before the car shifts. If your vehicle gets much above 3500 RPM before shifting, then that is a sign for concern, especially if it happens regularly.
This lack of shifting quickly enough can also cause delays with your acceleration. This is a bigger issue than you might think because it can put you in harm’s way while driving.
Also, high RPMs may occur when the car downshifts if you have transmission issues because it might downshift sooner than it should.
Lastly, if you notice any odd smells while driving such as burning oil and it is accompanied with the hard shifting, clunks, grinding, or more noise while driving, then this is a major indication that the transmission has an issue.
One last thing to pay attention for is a check engine light because most vehicles will put off codes if the transmission starts to go bad.
Some of you though may only have these mentioned issues when it is cold out. This is the point where we will start covering why that is.
The main reason why that might be is that you have low transmission fluid. Like the engine and its oil, the transmission has fluid that helps keep it lubricated.
If the fluid is low, then it may not move thru the transmission fast enough when it is cold out to do its job properly.
This is because the fluid gets less viscous or thicker when it is cold and if it is too thick, then it can’t move thru the transmission lubricating it and reduce hard shifting or slipping.
That is why if you experience any of the mentioned signs, especially if it is only when it is cold out, that you check the transmission fluid level and make sure you have enough transmission fluid in the system.
The next thing that can cause slipping, especially when it is cold out is that the transmission fluid is old and deteriorated. As you drive and the fluid circulates thru the transmission, it gets hot, and when it gets hot, it starts to break down.
Over time this breaking down will eventually cause the fluid not to work right. It might make it get thicker than normal, especially when cold, or it might make it too thin.
Old fluid can also end up burnt. So, if you have enough fluid when you check the fluid levels if you are noticing problems, then the next thing to do is look at the quality of the fluid.
If it looks old and burnt, then you might need to replace it. You can also buy a kit to test the fluid quality, and this will let you know for sure if the fluid needs replaced or not.
But old transmission fluid that is worn out can cause the transmission to slip, and it might be more noticeable when it is cold because the cold is affecting the broke down fluid more than heat does.
The last thing that can cause your transmission to slip when it is cold is old or dirty oil. Oil also runs thru the transmission and like the transmission fluid if it is old and it is cold outside, then it might be getting too thick to move correctly thru the system.
That means if you have checked your transmission fluid level and the age of the transmission fluid and know that it is good, but you are still having issues of a slipping transmission when it is cold out, then you should check the oil next.
If you have old, burnt, or dirty oil, then you should have it changed or change it yourself, and this will not only help your transmission shift better but will also extend the life of your engine and help it run better.
Oil should be changed fairly regularly at scheduled intervals that depend on the vehicle, but it is important to stay on top of changing your oil to make sure everything in your car will run smoothly.
So, now you know why your vehicle’s transmission might slip only when it is cold outside. You know that the transmission fluid level might be low or the transmission fluid might be old.
You also know that if the transmission fluid isn’t the issue, then it might be your vehicle’s oil. Outside of the reasons why you also know the signs of a slipping transmission.
It is important to pay attention to these things and get your transmission looked at before things become worse. This is especially true if you start noticing the issues all the time and not just when it is cold.
That is because if it starts happening even when warm, then the transmission may have bigger issues, than just not enough or bad fluid. Now you know all you need to know about transmission slipping when it is cold outside.
Your car’s battery is a key component in it. A lot of people have experienced a dead battery and the issues that have caused you. Your car uses the battery to send power to the spark plugs to get the engine to turn over.
This means that if you have a weak battery, your car won’t even start. However, some people still wonder if you can run a car without your battery?
Well, read on to find the answer to this question and also all the important details pertaining to this question. The answer may actually surprise you.
So, before getting into the answer of if you can run your car without the battery or not, we will first take a brief look at the electrical system to help understand this question.
The electrical system is composed of your car’s battery, the alternator, and all the other electrical components. The battery is normally used to run anything needed power, and the alternator takes extra mechanical power from the engine and uses it to recharge the battery.
This process continues while the car is running and then when you turn it off you should have a charged battery that is ready to start your car again.
So based off of this explanation it would sound like you can not run your car without the battery because the battery is what supplies the power to everything that needs it.
Well, this assumption that you can’t run your car without the battery is false. You actually can run a car without the battery, assuming that it is already started and running.
That is because the alternator can provide the power to the system if there is not a battery there to run them. Continue reading to learn how this works and why it works.
If you battery is dead, you should replace it, but it is not, you should use the best battery tender to recharge your car battery.
What about bad alternator? Will your car run with a bad alternator?
The answer is yes, but the car will be only running for a short time and the energy stored in the battery will also running strictly off
The alternator is generally strong enough to power the basic things because it normally puts off 14 volts of electricity. You may know that a car battery is normally only 12 volts.
The extra volts that the alternator puts off is so the battery can get fully charged while being drained, but if the battery isn’t there, then the alternator can send the power it is putting off to the electrical components that need them.
So, yes you can run a running car without the battery. It is just ran off the alternator if the battery is not present.
Just because you can do something though leads to the question of should you do it. In this instance should you ever run your car off the alternator and disconnect the battery while the car is running.
The answer to this is normally no; you should not run your car without a battery. This is for multiple reasons.
The main reason why you should not run your car without the battery is that the alternator doesn’t always put off even amounts of power.
This means that as the car runs the alternator can spike with the power output that it is putting out. Your battery can handle these spikes and has buffers designed to protect it, but other parts of your cars electrical system does not have protection against these spikes.
That means that parts of your electrical system could get fried or blow if you are running them off the alternator instead of the battery.
Outside of surges and possible damage to your car you should also not run the car without a battery because it puts extra stress on the alternator.
This is because the alternator is not designed to run parts of the vehicle but instead is intended to charge the battery. Whenever you use something for a purpose that it wasn’t made for you, risk damaging it.
There are very few reasons why it would be a good idea to disconnect the battery while the car is running even though you technically can, and the vehicle would stay running.
You may have disconnected your battery while the car was running before or had someone tell you it is okay, but it is not recommended.
You might do it a bunch, or they might have done it a bunch and had no bad luck with surges, but it only takes one time and one surge to ruin the whole electrical system of your car.
So it is important to remember the risk involved in running your car without the battery before doing it even though you can.
So, this might lead you to the question of why can you not start the car without the battery? If the alternator can run the car and electrical components while the car is running, why can’t it put off power to start the car?
Well, the reason that the alternator can’t be used to start the car goes back to how it works and what it is made to do. It is made to convert mechanical power from the engine to electrical power.
The alternator just converts power and does not store power. That is why a car has a battery. The batteries job is to store power so the car can use it when it is not running and has no other source of power.
This is why if your battery is dead you can’t start your car and why also why you can’t start your car without your battery.
So, now you know that you actually can run your car without the battery. This might be a surprise to some people since the battery is such an important part, but as long as the car is running the alternator can provide enough power to keep it running and power the different systems.
However, just because you can run your car without the battery doesn’t mean you should. You risk damage to your alternator and the rest of your car if there is a power surge.
That means you shouldn’t risk running your car without the battery unless you have a very good reason.
Also, it is important to remember your car won’t start without the battery, so if you are running it without the battery don’t expect to be able to start it again until you connect the battery.
Now you know all you need to know to answer the question of can you run your car without the battery?
Your car has a lot of key sensors, and one of those is the mass airflow sensor. It measures how much air is coming into the engine. This information is used to regulate how much gas is in sent into the engine so you can have the proper air to gas ratio.
Since your mass airflow sensor is located under the hood, it can get dirty over time. If this happens, it will cause your car not to run right. Luckily for you, you can clean your mass airflow sensor a lot of times and not have to replace it.
In this article, we will look at the steps you need to take to clean your mass airflow sensor properly. Once you finish reading this article, you will be able to clean your mass airflow sensor safely, so it will start working properly again.
The first thing you need to do before cleaning your sensor is to gather your supplies. Luckily for this project, you don’t need a whole lot of things. It is a relatively simple job if you follow all the steps.
The supplies you need are isopropyl alcohol, a clean spray bottle, a shop rag or paper towel, and possibly a tool to remove the sensor. It really is those few things, but it is important to make sure it is isopropyl alcohol you are using and not another type and also a clean squirt bottle.
This is because an old bottle could have impurities in it and you could end up adding dirt to the sensor when cleaning it. Also, you don’t want to use other types of alcohol to clean the sensor because it can damage it or not actually get the sensor clean from the grim, dirt, and build up that you are trying to get off.
After you have all the supplies together the next step is to locate the sensor. The sensor will be under the hood of your car, so you will need to pop the hood. You should be able to find the lever under the dash area to do this.
After popping the hood, you want to open it up and then make sure it will stay up with the stick or something else. You don’t want it to fall and smash your fingers.
After you got the hood open, the next thing to do is locate the mass air flow sensor. The sensor is normally located near the air filter. If you can not find the sensor you can look in your cars manual and it will tell you where it is.
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Once the sensor is located, the next thing to do is remove it. This is because it will be a lot easier to clean if it is out of the car. The way to remove it is to normally just unplug the cords or connection and pull it out gently.
Some cars though you will need a special tool to remove it. If you can not get yours out with gentle force, then you should check your cars instruction book. It should tell you in there how to remove the sensor and if you need a tool or not.
Now that you have the sensor out the next thing to do is to clean it. For cleaning it, it is really simple. Before using the alcohol though you need to make sure to cover all the cords or wires coming from the sensor.
This is because you don’t want them to get wet because if they do, it can short them out and damage the sensor. Once you have the wires covered, you can spray the sensor down with the alcohol using the bottle.
The reason you use the bottle is you do not want to touch the sensor with anything. This can also damage it and give it false readings. The alcohol will break down the grim on its own and does not need to be rubbed.
It is key to make sure to spray down all the sensor though and be sure to get the isopropyl alcohol into all the nooks and grannies on the sensor. You don’t want it to end up partially clean.
Once you are sure, you have the sensor all spread down it is time to let it dry. This is where the paper towel or shop rag comes into play. You want just to let it air dry naturally.
Be sure to leave it in a place that it will not get knocked down and also in a place where it won’t have a chance to get a bunch of debris on it. A good tip you can use it to sit a plastic container over it while it drys, so it doesn’t get impurities on it after cleaning it.
You also want to make sure you give it plenty of time to dry. If you reconnect it while it is still wet, it can give false readings and cause harm to your engine. That is why it is a good idea to let it dry for at least an hour, but longer is always better so no harm will happen.
The last step to do is to reconnect the sensor. Once you have made sure your mass airflow sensor is completely dry, you can reconnect it. This is normally pretty easy because you already know where it goes and you just have to replug the wires.
If you had to use a special tool to disconnect your sensor, then you might have to use that tool to plug it back in. Also, sometimes getting it back in can be hard because you want to make sure you don’t pinch any wires.
These are the steps required to clean your mass airflow sensor, but there is also another method that I will touch on shortly. All the steps for it are the same, but one and that is the spraying step.
You still disconnect and remove the sensor, but instead of spraying it down you can fill a container with isopropyl alcohol and dip the sensor into that container and hold it there for a few moments.
The advantage to this second method is that you know all the sensor is getting covered with the cleaning supply, but the downside is that you have to be more careful not to get the wires wet.
One way you can do this second method is to hold the sensor by the wires and dip it in, but this can cause a lot of stress and wear on the wires.
That is why we prefer the first method better, but if you don’t have a spray bottle and don’t want to get one, you can use the dip method instead.
Now you know how to clean the mass air flow sensor in your car. You know how to find it and then remove it before cleaning it to make it easier and you know you can dip it in the isopropyl alcohol or spray it down.
Then all you do is let the sensor dry because the alcohol does the work, so you don’t have to scrub. You also know why it is so important to let it dry all the way first before reinstalling it.
Now the next time you are having mass airflow sensor issues you can try cleaning your old one first to get all the grim, dirt, and muck from the road off before spending the money to replace a sensor that wasn’t bad and could just be cleaned.
Cleaning your sensor at home isn’t hard and can save you a lot of money and prevent your engine from getting damaged, so next time your engine is acting up if you think it is the mass airflow sensor clean it as soon as you can.
Outside of your engine, the next biggest component of your car is the transmission. Like the engine and the oil it has the transmission has its own fluid. That fluid is called transmission fluid. In this article, we will look at if changing your transmission fluid can be bad for your transmission.
We will cover the different kinds of changes with transmission fluid and also why it might possibly be bad or why you have might have heard that it is bad. Read on to learn everything you need to know about your transmission and transmission fluid.
Before getting into changing of transmission fluid and if it is bad or not we will briefly cover what transmission fluid is. In simple terms transmission fluid is the oil for your transmission.
Transmissions have over 800 moving parts, and these parts need to remain cool and lubricated to work properly. That is what the transmission fluid does.
Transmission fluid, however, lasts a lot longer than engine oil. A lot of car manufacturers will rate their transmission fluid for over 100,000 miles; this makes it hard to know if you should change it or not.
The best way to know if your transmission fluid is needing to be changed or not is to look at it. It should be a reddish color, and if it still is, then it is probably good.
If it is black, then it is burnt and needs replaced. If it is starting to get dark, but still has some red tinge to it, then that is the perfect time to replace it.
You actually have a couple of options when it comes to changing transmission fluid, and that is having your transmission completely flushed or just changed.
This is where the real debate lies for if it is bad for your vehicle or not.
A transmission fluid change is the simpler of the two options. With a transmission fluid change, the transmission fluid is drained out of the pan, and the filter is changed. The transmission pan actually doesn’t hold that much fluid in it tough.
On most vehicles, it holds about half the fluid, but the other half is still inside the torque converter and lines. When doing a transmission change, you are only replacing about half of the old fluid. This will get important later on explaining why transmission fluid changes might be bad.
A transmission flush, on the other hand, removes all the fluid or tries its best too. The pan is drained, and then a machine is hooked up to the cooler line, and it pumps out all the rest of the fluid.
This removes 95% of the fluid and also the gunk that comes with it. Then the new fluid is put in. This way makes the fluid brand new which logically seems better, but is it?
If you are reading this, then you have probably heard stories where people have had their transmission flushed, and then it stopped working.
If people didn’t have problems with their transmission after fluid changes, then there wouldn’t be the question of if a transmission fluid change is bad or not. So, now we will get into why it might be bad now that you understand the two ways of changing transmission fluid.
When transmission fluid gets old gunk builds up in it. Pieces of the gears break down and get in the material. These extra pieces get between the gears in the gearbox and make gaps. As long as the metal is there, then the gears will work fine, but if they are removed, then you might start getting slipping.
This is why some people think that flushing the transmission and removing all the gunk can be bad and hurt it and why you hear stories of people getting flushes have their transmission stop working.
Is, the transmission fluid flush really to blame though? The answer is no; the blame is that the transmission wasn’t taken proper care of to start with.
If you take proper care of your transmission and have the fluid changed or flushed regularly, then you won’t have to worry about components breaking off into the fluid and for gaps occurring. Proper transmission care will keep your transmission working correctly.
With that said, should you get a transmission fluid flush or just a change? Well, the answer is it depends.
If the car has always been yours, then you can get the transmission fluid flushed and not have to worry about anything because you know how often and how well you took care of it.
However, if you have not always had the vehicle and it has a lot of miles on it, then you should probably just start having the transmission fluid changed when it is needed.
That way you don’t have to worry about the free metal being removed. This will make sure your transmission will keep working, even if it won’t last as long as a properly taken care of transmission. If the car is yours, you should have the best battery tender for car to recharge your battery. It will improve the life of the battery.
The key thing with your transmission though, and making sure a flush won’t hurt your transmission is to stay on top of the fluid that is in it. You want to care for your transmission from the life of it, so you don’t have to worry about pieces breaking off.
You can do this by having the fluid changed based on what your mechanic recommends and having it flushed every other time or so.
Also, you need to stay on top of your fluid level and make sure it isn’t getting old and burnt. Some people will say don’t bother it till you have problems, but once you have problems fixing them is expensive.
So, to wrap things up is changing the transmission fluid bad for your transmission? The answer is no, changing the fluid is never bad for your transmission. A change only removes about half the liquid anyways.
Is a transmission flush bad for your transmission then? Well, the answer to that is also no. A flush is never the thing that is bad. If your transmission is damaged already though, then a flush can cause the problems to start showing, but the thing that was bad was the improper care of the transmission, to begin with.
Should you have your fluid flushed? The answer to that is it depends. If you have always had the car and took care of the transmission, then a flush is fine.
If you haven’t always had the vehicle through and it has a lot of miles, then I would just stick with transmission fluid changes, that way you don’t have to worry about possible problems showing up.
Now you know enough though to make an informed decision on if a transmission flush or change is right for you and you also know the answer to the question of is a transmission fluid change bad for your transmission.
Your car has many different systems, and they all serve their purpose. The main system in the car is the engine. This is what allows your car to run, but at the end of that system is the resonator and muffler.
Most people don’t think about the exhaust system for their vehicle and what it consists of or what it actually does. In this article, we will take a closer look at the exhaust system and explain what some of the parts do.
The main part we will be looking at is the resonator and answering the question of do you need a resonator in your exhaust system.
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Before getting into if you need a resonator or not, we first have to look at what it is. You can’t determine if you need something if you don’t know what it does after all.
A lot of times people get the resonator confused with the muffler. The two parts are not the same thing. The muffler is the part that sticks out of the rear of the car, and the resonator falls right before it.
The resonators job is to reduce the sound before it gets to the muffler. This makes the mufflers job easier and allows you to have more power and better fuel efficiency.
An exhaust resonator is a chamber or tube that is a cylinder. It is the first part of the muffler and normally right after the catalytic converter, but not all mufflers have resonators attached.
The thing is resonators can be shaped differently and designed differently depending on the vehicle. We don’t need to get into the specifics though of the different shapes to understand how they function though.
To understand how it works you need a basic understanding of what it looks like, and it is a tubed chamber is enough. The basics of how the resonator reduces the sound are the sound enter it, and then the sound waves bounce off the walls of the resonator.
As they bounce off the walls, they change pitch and then sounds of the same pitch hit each other canceling each other out.
With the resonator, it actually cancels the higher pitch sounds out easier, and those are the ones that the muffler has a harder time with, so by the sound waves passing thru the resonator before the muffler, it reduces the tough sounds and also changes the sounds.
The resonator will resonate some, and that is how it gets its name and also how the sounds are changed some.
Outside of reducing the sound through the resonator also creates back pressure in the exhaust system. This helps the car to be more fuel efficient.
The back pressure makes sure the exhaust comes out at the proper rate. This allows for top performance with the least amount of sound.
If the resonator provides so much good then with reducing sound and increasing performance and efficiency, then why remove it? Well, some people want their cars to be louder than stock.
Some people like the sound that comes from the power of their engine. If you want your car to be louder, you can change the muffler, but another option is to remove the resonator or put in a different one.
So, now that you know what the resonator does in your car’s exhaust system we can address the question of should you remove the resonator.
The answer is it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want a little more noise from your car, then you should probably not remove the resonator.
Just change the type of muffler you have on it. If you want a lot more noise though, then you could consider removing the resonator and just putting a straight pipe in.
Also, with some cars, the resonator is connected to the muffler, so if you want to change the muffler, you will have to change or remove the resonator by default.
Removing the resonator is purely for a sound point though. It will not give you any more power by removing it.
It can actually cause your car to have less power or be less fuel efficient because like we have mentioned the resonator helps make back pressure that keeps the exhaust flowing right.
Some people just like louder sounding cars though and if that is you then removing the resonator is an option. One last thing to remember though is removing the resonator might not give you more of the sound you want.
Most people like the deep roar sound and the resonator mainly blocks out the higher pitch sounds that aren’t desirable. Also, with some vehicles, the resonator doesn’t affect the sound that comes out of the car that can be heard outside, but only reduces the sound you hear on the inside so it might just make your ride louder inside, but not affect the sound of the car.
So, now that you have read this you should be able to make the decision on if removing your exhaust resonator is right for you. You now know what the resonator is and that it is different than the muffler.
You also know the basics of how it works and the kinds of sounds it blocks out and how it does it. With this information, you can determine if you want your car to be louder and if removing the resonator might provide the sound you want.
If you want your car to be a little louder, then I would recommend leaving the resonator on, but if you want the car to be a lot louder and don’t care about fuel efficiency, you can remove it completely.
The other option is taking the middle ground of changing the muffler and or the resonator. With your exhaust sometimes you might have to experiment to get the sound you want and test to see if removing the resonator on your exhaust is the right thing for you to get the desired sound from your vehicle.
So to wrap it up and answer the question with a direct answer, do you need an exhaust resonator? No, but it is useful and recommended in most situations.
Your vehicle has a lot of different sensors to keep it running properly. One of those sensors is the oxygen sensor. In this article, we will not go in-depth on what the oxygen sensor does because if you are reading this article then you probably already know.
Your car has a couple of oxygen sensors, and each one measures things a little differently. What we will cover in this article is how to by-pass the O2 sensor.
The one that might need to bypass is the one after the catalytic converter. We will cover a couple of different methods and explain the pros and cons to each one, and we will also explain why you might want to bypass the oxygen sensor.
Before going into the different methods, we will briefly cover why you might want to bypass the O2 sensor. Well, the main reason is to make sure your car will run properly if you don’t have a catalytic converter and that the check engine light isn’t constantly on.
Your vehicle may not have the catalytic converter for a variety of reasons. It might have fallen off, got a hole in it, or been removed for more horsepower, but without it, your car will always have a check engine light if you still have a functioning O2 sensor.
This can be annoying and also lead to other problems happening that is why it is important to try to get it to turn off by bypassing the O2 sensor.
A functioning oxygen sensor leads right into our first way around it, and that is to put a dummy O2 sensor in. A dummy O2 sensor is a fake one that does readings like a normal one.
A dummy one sends the cars computer the proper information that a normal one would send if it were reading correctly.
Dummy O2 sensors are easy to use. All you have to do is locate your cars current O2 sensor and unplug it. You then plug the new one in. It is that simple or is it?
Well, with dummy O2 sensors sometimes the cars computer can tell that it is a fact sensor and this will cause your car not to run right.
You will not get proper fuel mixtures and will lose power and fuel efficiency.
That is why if you want to go with a dummy sensor you will need to make sure that you get one that is programmed to work with the vehicle you have.
Also, buying dummy O2 sensors can be a challenge because removing your catalytic converter is illegal and the only reason why you would need a dummy O2 sensor is if you had done that.
Another name for dummy O2 sensors is O2 Simulators. An oxygen sensor simulator will send the computer the proper wavelengths. They work with resistors and capacitors.
Another reason why O2 simulators don’t always work though is that waveform is only one perimeter of a functioning oxygen sensor. When using O2 simulators or dummy O2 sensors, then you are likely to get a code for a known working one.
Also, these devices if you can find one can be costly because you need one that is made well. If you get a cheap one, then the chances are good that it won’t work.
If O2 simulators or dummy oxygen sensors don’t work the best, then what are some alternatives? Well, the main alternative is to connect a resistor to the O2 sensor that you already have.
The resister will send a single to the computer that the sensor is working properly. The reason that attaching a resistor straight to your current O2 sensor is a better method is because the one you already have a working sensor that you know is compatible with your vehicle. That means that you don’t have to find a sensor that is compatible.
The way you attach the resistor is like with the first method you remove the O2 sensor from the vehicle. Then you solder the resistor onto the connectors and then plug it back in.
It is pretty simple, and most people can figure out how to do it. The resistor doesn’t have to be a strong one. Just one that is fifty ohms or so will do the trick and will be able to trick the computer into think that the O2 sensor is working right.
These methods for bypassing the O2 sensor are for the second O2 sensor or the one that is after the catalytic converter. This is very important to remember.
You don’t want to mess with the oxygen sensor before the catalytic converter because that is the one that controls the fuel mixture in the engine and regulates things.
The second one is to make sure that the catalytic converter is working right and to let you know if it is not. If you mess with the pre-catalytic converter O2 sensor, then your car will run poorly.
Messing with the second one will not affect how your car runs. This is important to know because some people are misinformed and think it will.
Bypassing the Oxygen sensor is to make sure that you don’t always have a check engine light on. If you don’t mind the check engine light, then you don’t have to bypass the second sensor. It is good to though because you don’t want the check engine light always on or else you won’t know when something does go wrong with your vehicle.
Bypassing the O2 sensor is relatively simple, and there are a couple of methods on how to do it. The key is to trick your car’s computer to make it think that the catalytic converter is there.
You can do this by getting a dummy or simulator O2 sensor, but these don’t always work deepening on the type of vehicle you have and can also be hard to find.
If you do find one though all you have to do is plug it in where the original O2 sensor was. If you can’t find one that will work with your car though or want another method to bypass the oxygen sensor all you have to do is solder a resistor to the current sensor.
This will send a reading to the computer like your sensor is working properly. Bypassing your O2 sensor isn’t hard to do, and while it is illegal to drive without a catalytic converter, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Most cars these days have air conditioners in them, and this is a nice luxury to have because it keeps you cool in the summer. If it is hot outside your window isn’t going to do much good, so having your car AC to rely on is a conviction that most people take for granted.
Sometimes though your cars air conditioning stops working and needs to be worked on or the refrigerant needs replaced. In order to work on the AC or replace the refrigerant, the old refrigerant has to be removed.
In this case, it is called discharging the AC unit. You may be wondering if you can do this yourself at home and if so then how. Well, after reading this article you will know the steps you need to take to discharge your cars AC at home.
Before going into how to discharge a car properly AC, we will provide a list of all the things you will need. The main things you will need are
The list is fairly short of what you need, but it is important to know how to use the tools properly as well. Proper knowledge of how to use the tools and following proper safety precautions is very important with this process.
Coolant is bad for the environment and you, so it must be stored and disposed of properly after being discharged from your vehicles air conditioning if not being reused.
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The first thing to do to discharge refrigerant from your cars AC system is to determine if the refrigerant is pure or not. You don’t want to reuse bad refrigerant, and you want to make sure there are no sealers in the refrigerant which might tear up the server machine.
You test the purity of the refrigerant you will use the refrigerant purity tool. To do this, you will first need to locate the low and high-pressure ports. A lot of times there will be a minus symbol on the low port and a plus sign on the high one.
After locating the ports, you will remove the cap of the high-pressure port and connect the purity tester to it. This will pull out a small about of refrigerant and test it. If it is pure, you are good to go. If it is not, then other steps which we will explain in a moment must be taken.
After testing the purity of the refrigerant in the AC unit, you will then connect the air conditioning service machine. The way it is connected is by removing both the high and low-pressure port caps.
Then you will take the red line from the AC service machine and connect it to the high port. After you have the red line connected you will take the blue line and connect it to the low port.
It is important that you have the lines connected all the way because the machine is going to create a vacuum to pull out the refrigerant.
If the refrigerant was pure, then you can move on to removing it, but if it was not, then you need to add filters into the lines to prevent sealants and other things from going into the server machine. You don’t want things going into the service machine because it can damage it.
Once both lines of the machine are connected, you can turn it on. Notice to see if there are any pressure readings. There should be pressure if there is not then you probably have a leak that will need to be fixed.
Most machines are really simple to operate these days. They are automatic, and you just have to push a button or turn a knob to start it.
Once the machine is started, it will turn on a pump and create a vacuum which will suck the refrigerant into the reservoir tank on the machine. If the coolant was pure, then you can reuse it, but if it was not pure, then it will need to be disposed of properly.
After the machine is done pulling coolant out of the cars AC the pressure will have reached zero. That is how you can know if the AC is fully discharged.
It really is that simple to discharge your cars AC. Once you are done doing the repairs you needed you can use the server machine to add refrigerant back into the car as well. This makes the process really easy.
So, now that you know the proper steps to take to discharge your cars AC we will cover what not to do. The first thing that you should never do to discharge your cars air conditioning is to disconnect any hoses while there is a refrigerant.
That is because refrigerant is bad for you and the environment. It is actually illegal in most place to remove it improperly. Also, the refrigerant must be disposed of properly.
The next thing you should never do is remove refrigerant on your own if your area has a law that requires you to have an EPA certification to remove it.
Some governments require you to be certified to remove refrigerant from a cars AC. If your area is one of those, then you need to follow the law.
Discharging your car’s air-conditioning isn’t as hard as you might think if you have the proper tools. The problem is a lot of times those tools can be hard for an everyday person to get.
This is due some to the fact that a lot of areas require certification to remove refrigerant from a car because they want to protect the environment and make sure it is done right and disposed of properly.
If you can get an air conditioning service machine, a refrigerant purity tool and a supply of HC-134A, then you can easily discharge your cars ac on your own.
You now know that all you have to do is locate the high and low-pressure port, test the purity of the refrigerant, and then connect the server machine and turn it on.
The service machine does all the work creating a vacuum with the pump and pulls all the refrigerant out into a tank. Then you are done and have an empty AC that you can work on or replace with clean refrigerant. It really is that easy to discharge your cars air-conditioning at home.