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.
Your car has a handful of gauges on the dash, and it is important that they all work right because they tell you the key things about your car.
Some of these gauges it is pretty easy to understand why they are important such as the fuel gauge because you need to know how much gas you have so you don’t run out, but others can be a little harder to understand why they matter such as the RPM gauge or engine temperature gauge.
Well, in this article we will help explain and break down the temperature gauge and what it means when it is reading high, but the car isn’t overheating.
More: Overcharging is bad on your battery. A battery tender is smart and will not overcharge the battery. So that is why best battery tenders are the way to go if you are going to keep the battery on a charger for a long term.
So, before going into why your temperature gauge might be reading hot, we will first briefly cover why it is important. The temperature gauge is responsible for monitoring how hot your engine is and let you know.
Normally your temperature gauge should read around the middle, and this is normal. It means your engine isn’t too hot or too cold. Yes, issues can happen with your engine if it is too cold as well as if it gets too hot.
If your engine gets too hot though, then that is when real damage can happen because the seals can break or the head can crake from the engine overheating.
That is why it is a good idea to pull over and stop if the engine temperature gauge is reading hot because this means that the engine is too hot, or does it.
Well, most of the time the temperature gauge works correctly, and when it is reading high the engine is overheating, but sometimes the gauge messes up.
Read on to find out what else could be wrong if the gauge is reading high, but the engine is not overheating.
There are a handful of common reasons why your temperature gauge might be reading high.
We are going to list them out for you, and you can jump to a specific section if you think you know the issue you are having or you can read about them all in order if you don’t know what might be wrong. The common reasons for a high-temperature reading are:
There are more reasons for a high reading, but they will normally cause your engine, and this article is only focusing on reasons why you might be getting a false reading.
The most common reason for your temperature gauge to read hot is that the engine really is overheating. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is low coolant or air in the system.
If your gauge is reading hot, then make sure your engine really isn’t overheating and make sure you have coolant. Also, if you have just had your coolant changed or flushed, then make sure air didn’t get in the system.
If you have checked these things and really think that your engine isn’t overheating, then you can move on to some of the other causes of a temperature gauge reading hot, but it is important to take the reading serious first to prevent damage to your engine before you just think it is a false reading.
The next thing that might cause your engine to read as though it is overheating when it isn’t is a broken temperature gauge.
The temperature gauge is made up of moving parts, and anything with moving parts can sometimes break. There are a few possible ways that the temperature gauge might be broken.
The first is if you did overheat your engine and the needle somehow got stuck in the hot section. Over time gunk might get into where the needle is, and this could up cause the needle to get stuck.
If it had never moved to the hot part before and they did, then it might have got in to build up causing it to get stuck there after overheating for real.
Another way that the temperature gauge may be broken is that one of the stepper gears in the gauge may be broken. The gauge has different gears inside of it that are responsible for moving the needle.
Over time these gears can wear and if one breaks then the needle may move incorrectly. One of these two issues could possibly be occurring leading to a broken temperature gauge that is giving a false high reading.
Another reason why the temperature gauge might be giving a high reading when the engine isn’t overheating is that the temperature sensor may have failed or been failing.
The temperature sensor is responsible for measuring the temperature of the engine at any given time. If the sensor has died, then it may not be sending out reading, and the car could respond with giving a false high-temperature gauge.
Also, if the sensor is dead, it may give off a random reading instead of an accurate one. A false reading might also happen if the sensor is damaged or dying. The sensor could easily get damaged while driving if something hit it or it got debris on it.
Also, if the wires are damaged or it has a short, then this could cause a false reading. Cleaning and checking your temperature sensor is a good idea if you get a false high-temperature gauge reading.
If your engine is not overheating, but you have been getting a high-temperature gauge reading, then what should you do.
Well, we have already mentioned that you should check your temperature sensor.
Make sure that it is clean and working right. Also, check any of the fuses that go along with it to make sure they aren’t messed up.
If the temperature sensor is working right, then the next thing will be to check the mechanical parts of the temperature gauge.
Make sure that the needle inside the temperature gauge isn’t getting stuck and that all the gears and moving parts are clean. Also, when checking to make sure they are clean also make sure that they are not broken.
If these two things are fine, then you really should start looking at reasons for an overheating engine because chance is your engine really was overheating.
So, now you know why your temperature gauge might be reading high even when the engine isn’t overheating.
You know the most common reason for an overheating engine is lack of coolant, but you also now know that sometimes the temperature gauge might give false readings.
These false readings normally come from the gauge being broken due to parts becoming wore and broke or from the needle getting stuck. You also know that false readings can also be caused by a failed temperature sensor.
If you are getting high readings without an overheating engine, then be sure to check the temperature sensor and mechanical part of the temperature gauge.
If those things aren’t the problem though, then your engine might have really been overheating, and you need to get it checked out to prevent major damage to your vehicle.
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.
Have you ever wondered how all the parts in your car always seem to work in the correct way that they need too? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore.
In this article, we will talk about the part that controls all the other parts of your vehicle, and that is the ECM computer or Electronic Control Module.
In this article, we are going to talk about how you replace one if it does stop working and signs to look out for to know if your ECM has gone bad. Read on to learn all you need to know about the ECM and how to replace it.
Before going into detail about how to replace the electronic control module, we will first briefly talk about what it is. The ECM is basically the brain of your computer.
It is responsible for taking all the information from the different sensors, processing that information, and then sending more information back out to the car so it runs right.
The ECM tells the engine how much gas to inject into the cylinder when to shift the transmission, and many other things. That is why it is critical to have a properly working one.
Most of the time the ECM will last the life of your car, but sometimes people do have them go bad before the car is done for.
Depending on the make and model of the car you can look up and see if it is a common issue for the ECM to go out because some vehicles are prone to this issue more than others.
If your car starts running sporadically though or if it stops running completely, then it might be the ECM that is bad. For cars that start running funny though you should check that all the other sensors are good first.
If you get a check engine light, then see the code because chance is it is not the ECM if the check engine light is on.
If the ECM does go out, you normally don’t have much warning because it is the part that is responsible for giving you warnings when things go wrong, so if you have checked everything or if your car just isn’t able to start one day, then you should have your ECM checked out.
Once you know, it is the ECM that is bad you have the choice to either try to repair it or replace it.
Most of the time it is a bigger hassle than it is worth to try to repair it because you have to open it up and the repairs can be complicated with all the electrical parts on the inside.
Repairing an ECM is like repairing a computer’s motherboard, so unless you know what you are doing or have someone that knows what they are doing and doesn’t charge a lot, you are better off with just replacing a bad ECM.
Another reason why it is normally better to just replace the electronic control module is that it is normally a pretty easy task. It really is only a few steps.
The main steps are locating the old one, disconnect it, and then plugging the new one it. It really is that simple, but we are going to go into more detail on each one shortly and the other minor steps you need to take before changing out your ECM.
Before finding where the ECM is in your car, it is normally a good idea to go ahead and pop the hood and disconnect the battery first.
It is important that you do this, so you don’t damage anything else when replacing your electronic control module, that is why it is recommended to just do it as the first thing, so you don’t forget to do it.
Once you have the battery disconnected, you can find the ECM. In most vehicles, the ECM is a silver box looking thing. You can look up your car and find what it looks like, or if you already have the replacement, then you know what it looks like because it will look like that. When checking your battery, i highly recommend you use top rated battery maintainer to recharge your. Battery need to maintain after long time running.
As for what part of the car your ECM is in can vary. Some cars have it under the hood in the engine bay area while other cars have it mounted under one of the seats in the cabin.
Some manufacturers even stick it up inside the car behind the panels on the inside. There are also a handful of other sensors that can look very similar to the ECM, so it is important that you are removing the right one.
If you don’t know where your particular vehicles ECM is, then the best thing you can do is look it up online or find a manual for your car. This way you don’t have to spend a bunch of time looking for it and can just get straight to finding it.
Once you find it the next step is to remove it. For most vehicles, this just means unplugging the cords and unbolting the ECM because in most cars it is bolted down to keep it from moving.
To unbolt it you will have to get a proper size socket wrench and remove the bolts before you can remove the ECM completely. Normally it is best to unplug the wires and then unbolt is, so the wires don’t get damaged if the ECM moves while loosening.
Sometimes the wires will also be bolted on, and if that is the case, you will need the proper size socket to remove them from the ECM.
It is important to be careful when removing the electronic computer module because you don’t want to damage any connectors, and wires or damage the bolts.
Once the old one is removed, you just have to hook the new one into the spot where the old one was. It is best to bolt the new one down first and tighten it into place. Then after it is in the proper position you can plug the wires into it.
This is again to help prevent damage to the wires. Once the new ECM is in you can put back any panels that you had to remove and then reconnect the battery.
If the ECM was the issue, then your car should start running properly again. Sometimes you will need to let the car run for five minutes or so, so the new ECM can run all the required checks on the system.
However, if the vehicle does not start running right, then the ECM might need to be calibrated. Sometimes you can buy them already calibrated, but sometimes you have to do this yourself.
It can be complicated calibrating the ECM, so if yours needs to be calibrated, then you might have to take your car to the manufacturer to have them make the adjustments needed to get your car running right.
Now you know how to change your electronic computer module. You know that it is pretty much as simple as locating the old one, disconnecting it, and then connecting the new one assuming it is already calibrated right.
You also know what the ECM actually does now and signs of a bad one, so the next time you have ECM problems you are prepared to take care of it and possibly replace the ECM on your own.
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 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.
So, your lawn mower keeps dying on you. Well, just like anything with a motor, sometime your mower will have issues that cause it to stall and cut off. If you are having that issue with your mower, then you are in the right place.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why your mower might not stay running and also give you the solutions for them. Keep reading to see all the possible reasons why your lawn mower is stalling.
More: If you must replace the battery for your lawn mower, this is the best lawn mower battery for you.
Before going into an in-depth analysis of each issue, we will list out the potential problems below. That way if you have an idea of what the issue might be you can jump to that section first to save yourself some time.
The reasons why your mower might not stay running can fall into the following areas:
There can be a variety of reasons with the fuel system why your mower might be cutting off. Most of them are pretty simple things and can be fixed easily. The first thing to check with the fuel system is the gas.
If you left gas in your mower for an extended time, then it might not be good any longer. It could have had water condense in it, or it could have evaporated leaving a varnish-like residue.
If you know you left gas setting, then drain the gas from the tank and also the carburetor, then you can add fresh gas. This might solve your problem.
Some of the other issues in the fuel system, which we will cover shortly, can also come about from leaving gas in the system, so it is a good idea to drain the gas if you know that you won’t be cutting for a while.
The next thing that could be wrong with the fuel system that can come about from old gas or happen on its own is dirt and gunk build up. Gunk and deposits can build up in a variety of spots.
The first spot to check is the gas cap itself. Remove the gas cap and see if the mower will stay running without it. If it does, then that means the gas cap vent is blocked.
You will need to clean it out, so air can get thru. After doing that the problem should be resolved. If something else is dirty though and the gas cap is not the issue, then you will have to look farther.
Sticking with airflow, the next thing you can check is the air filter. This should be clean and not have debris or blockage. Also, if it has oil in it, then that is a problem too. If it does have a blockage or is dirty, then you will need to clean it out or replace it.
Air filters are not expensive, so it is a good idea to replace with a clean one regularly or at least clean it out since it is easy to get too. If it is not the air filter that is dirty, then it might be the fuel lines that are dirty.
If that is the case, you will have to drain the fuel and then remove the lines. Remember to drain both the tank and the carburetor. When removing the lines inspect them and see if you see any build up. If you do clean it off or replace the lines.
The issue may be in the carburetor itself though. It might be the thing that is dirty. If you are draining the fuel, then go ahead and take the time to check the carburetor. See if you can see any build up of gunk or deposits in it.
If you do be sure to clean it. Also, remove the fuel filter from the carburetor and see if it is dirty. If it is then clean or replace it as well. Same as the air filter, the fuel filter is pretty easy to get to and is cheap, so stay on top of replacing it and making sure it is clean. This will keep other parts of your mower running longer.
When cleaning the carburetor, it is essential to do it properly. You should use carburetor cleaner and spray it down thoroughly. Sometimes though even the cleaner won’t be able to get all the build up off. This is because fuel residue can be hard to remove.
If you can’t get the carburetor clean, then you can rebuild it with a kit from your mower manufacturer. Sometimes though it isn’t worth it to rebuild. This may be because you don’t have the time or the skills to do it.
If that is the case, then you can just buy a whole new carburetor and replace the old one. No matter if you are cleaning, rebuilding, or replacing the carburetor be sure to clean out the fuel lines as well.
The next reasons why your mower might not stay running could come down to the ignition system. This is similar to the fuel system and could be lumped in there. The ignition system for our purposes is where the spark occurs to ignite the fuel and provide power to the mower.
The part of the ignition system that we are worried about is the spark plugs. Old wore out, and dirty spark plugs can lead to the engine dying. They may work good enough to start the mower, but then misfires might start to happen leading the mower to shut off. If you hear misfires, then checking the plugs should be one of the first things you do.
To make sure the plugs are good you first need to pull them from the engine. Next, you can visually look at the electrode. If it looks dirty, then you can try cleaning it with an emery board, but if the electrode is already too thin, then you will need to replace that plug.
Also, it is a good idea to replace all the plugs if you are replacing one, so you know that they are all good. The electrode might not be dirty though, but the problem could still be the spark plug. If the gap on the plug is too big or too small than that can be an issue too.
You will need to look up the specifications for your mower and the gap it should be and then use a gapping measure to measure the gap. If it is off, then you need to replace the plugs.
The last area that can cause your mower to stall while mowing is in the cutting system. What we mean is if you are cutting thick or tall grass, then it might be bogging down the blades and causing the engine to stall.
If you can tell that the mower is having trouble cutting on the level you have it set too, then you will need to raise the deck. If raising the deck doesn’t help, or the grass isn’t that tall or thick, then the problem might be in the blades themselves or under the deck.
If the blades are dull, then they will not cut well, and that can lead to the mower stopping. You will need to get under the deck and remove the blades to sharpen them. Once they are sharp, that should solve the problem.
If your blades are sharp though, then they might be getting bogged down for another reason. That other reason is you could have a lot of grass built up under the deck. If that is the case, you will need to get under it and clean it out.
If you are sharpening the blades or cleaning the deck, then you should go ahead and do both things since you are already under there. It doesn’t take that long to remove the blades to sharpen them if you are already cleaning under the deck and it doesn’t take that long to clean under the deck if you are already sharpening the blades.
By doing both, it will save you time later and make sure you get the best cut possible.
One thing to check is lawn mower battery, if it is weak, the best battery tender is the excellent tool to recharge your battery.
So, after reading this, you now know all the possible reason why your mower won’t stay running and also the solutions for them. The issue could be in air flow or fuel flow. In either case, you will need to clean those systems out.
It can also be due to bad ignition. If that is the case, you will need new spark plugs. Lastly, it might just be that the blades are dull, under the deck is dirty, or the grass is too thick and not be a mechanical issue at all. If it is from that, then you will need to sharpen the blades and clean under the deck or raise the deck.
Luckily most of the reasons why your mower is stalling are easy fixes if you know what to check, and now that you have read this you do, so you are well on your way to fix your mower that is dying and not has to worry about the engine stopping in the middle of cutting again.
Lawn mowers have a lot of parts and in the big picture work very similarly to cars. One of those parts is the voltage regulator. This part is similar to the alternator in a vehicle. The voltage regulator helps make sure the proper amount of charge is going back into the battery while the mower is running.
In this article, we will cover how to test a voltage regulator on a lawn mower to ensure that it is working properly. We will explain the steps involved and also when you might need to test it.
More: If you must replace the battery for your lawn mower, this is the best lawn mower battery for you.
Before getting into how to test the voltage regulator, we will briefly explain when you might need to test it. The main reason you would need to test the voltage regulator is if your battery kept dying and you already had the battery tested to make sure it was good.
If you keep ending up with a dead battery but know that it is a good battery, then it is time to test the voltage regulator.
There are a couple of ways to test the voltage regulator, and we will explain both of them. Both ways are similar and do the same thing, so depending on your lawn mowers layout one might be easier to do than the other.
The first way to test the voltage regulator is thru the battery. The only tool you will need is a multimeter or voltmeter. Then follow the simple steps below.
If the reading did not change, then that means that the voltage regulator isn’t working and needs to be replaced or repaired.
You can also test the battery thru the voltage regulator itself if you can get to it. You can do that also with just a voltmeter or multimeter and by following the following steps.
What to do if your lawn mower battery is weak? Try to recharge it with the best battery maintainer, it will keep your lawn mower battery fully.
These are the two main methods for testing your voltage generator on your mower. Both methods are easy to do and can be done fast with just one tool.
All you need is a multimeter or voltmeter and to make sure you follow the steps provided. The key is to make sure you connect the meter right. Make sure the positive is connected to positive and negative to negative. Then start the mower and see if the voltage jumps or you get a reading.
After reading this, you can easily test your mower voltage generator and see if it is working like it is supposed too or if it is the cause of your repetitive dead mower batteries.
Cars these days have all kinds of different features. Sometimes you might not even know what the feature is or what it does, but the vehicle still has it. One of those features is overdrive.
A lot of cars have overdrive, and you just leave it on because that is what is commonly told to do. You may not even actually know what overdrive is or what it is used for.
Well, after reading this article you will know what overdrive is, what it does, and when to turn it off. Keep reading to have all your questions about overdrive answered.
Before getting into it or when you should turn overdrive off, you first need to understand what overdrive is. Overdrive is a feature on your car that controls your transmission and in the process also controls your engine.
When you have overdrive on it allows the car’s transmission to shift into the top gear whatever that might be for the particular vehicle. While in the top gear this allows the car to drive faster with less strain on the engine.
That is because the top gear is a smaller gear that spins faster than the engine reducing the engine RPM (rotations per minute) to provide the same power to the wheels. This means the car can go faster easier.
So, now we can look at what you gain when you have overdrive on. The main thing you gain is more power at lower engine RPMs at top speeds. This means that the engine is running more efficient and with less wear.
That means a longer life for your vehicle. This gain is hard to measure though due to other factors that go into engine life. One thing you gain though that can be measured is better gas mileage.
This is because the engine needs less gas when going at lower RPMs. The better fuel efficiency at tops speeds is why most people say to leave overdrive on.
Another benefit of overdrive is that it helps with breaking. That is because the car can shift out of the top gear when you slow down which will help you slow down.
This means that the engine will break the car along with the brake pads helping you to stop quicker. This breaking benefit means that does overdrive help reduce strain on the engine, but it also helps reduce strain on your breaks, which is a good thing because it helps your brake pads last longer and saves you money.
So, the next question is what do you lose with overdrive on. Well, the main thing you lose is towing power. That is because with less strain on the engine it loses the ability to apply force to something.
The lower RPMs means that the engine is putting out less pulling power. Also, having the overdrive on can lead to the car switching between the top two gears depending on the situation. A lot of times this happens on hills or when traveling at speeds right between the top two gears.
So, when should you turn overdrive off. Well, the main time you will want overdrive off is if you find that you are having trouble pulling a load.
You can tell if you are having trouble because the RPMs will get high and the engine will audible have a strain on it. If that is the, you should turn overdrive off, so that the engine can have more power.
The other time to turn overdrive off is if you can tell the transmission keeps switching between the top two gears. It is easy to tell this because the engine will rev up and have the RPMs jump when the transmission downshifts, and then the RPMs will drop when the engine shifts back into the top gear.
If the vehicle keeps doing this repeatable, then it is bad on the car, and you will want to make sure it stops this. This normally occurs when going up and down big hills, especially if your speed keeps changing.
Is it better to have overdrive on or off? If you know the basic purpose of what overdrive is, another question is to determine whether or not if it’s safe for the vehicle. The answer to that is it depends. It depends on if you’re using overdrive for the right reasons. Improper use of overdrive will do damage to your vehicle. In this quick article, we’ll answer the question to determine whether or not if it’s a better idea to leave overdrive on or not.
First, what is overdrive? Overdrive is basically the highest gear in your transmission. The purpose of it is to allow the engine to operate at a low RPM. This is designed to make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Additionally, overdrive is also designed for quieter driving. Overdrive also prevents the transmission from repeatedly upshifting and downshifting. That’s because when a vehicle is towing a load, both the engine and transmission are most likely to shift.
So, when is it safe to have overdrive on? Alternatively, when is it better to have it off? The only time you can turn off overdrive is when your vehicle is towing a trailer, another vehicle, or anything else that would need towing. Another situation is when you are passing through other traffic or preparing to change lanes.
A good time when you can switch your transmission into overdrive is when your on the highway or in long and steady driving conditions. Alternatively, if you are dealing with road conditions where are considered hazardous due to rain or winter precipitation like sleet or ice.
In other words, while there is no definite answer to whether or not if it’s better to have your car’s overdrive on or off, there are instances when you’ll need to use it. Likewise, there will be times when you won’t need it.
Overdrive is a good thing to have in your vehicle. But you should always use it properly in the situation where it is warranted. Improper use will cause damage to your transmission or other parts of your vehicle. It’s not a matter of whether it should be on or off at all times. It is a matter of knowing when to use it.
Today cars are pretty good at determining your speed and if they should be in top gear or not. That means that a lot of times you won’t need to turn overdrive off with the button and instead trust the car with if it wants to use the top gear or not.
Leaving the overdrive on will help make sure that the car uses it when it is going at top speeds where it is beneficial and then not using it when it is not beneficial.
This way you get the gas mileage benefit, engine strain benefits, and all the other benefits that overdrive overs and by leaving it on you won’t have to worry about turning it back on.
The only thing that modern vehicles lack is knowing if you are pulling a load or driving a lot of hills. If you are pulling a heavy load, then you might want to turn overdrive off yourself with the button.
That will save the vehicle from getting confused. Also, if you live in an area with a lot of big hills, or are going to be driving on large hills, then you might want to turn overdrive off on your own to save strain your transmission.
Overdrive is just one of many features that most cars have today. Sometimes the vehicle may have overdrive, and you don’t even realize it. That is because most of the time cars are good at using overdrive when it is beneficial and only shifting into the top gear at top speeds when it is needed.
Overdrive provides a lot of benefits. The easily measured one is better fuel efficiency, but it also makes breaking easier and reduces strain on your engine.
That is why you should only turn overdrive off if you are pulling a big load or if your driving conditions are causing the transmission to repeatable shift between the top two gears.
If the transmission is constantly shifting or the engine is straining to pull a load, then you can turn overdrive off for that trip. Otherwise, it is wise to just leave overdrive on and not to turn overdrive off.
In a manual or otherwise known as standard transmission car, there is the clutch. The clutch is connected to the extra pedal that is normally on the far left side.
Sometimes the clutch doesn’t always function properly. In this article today we will explain what the clutch does and also one of the problems that can come about which is it getting stuck or not disengaging.
Your clutch can not disengage for a few reasons which we will explain here, and we will also discuss the solutions to these problems. Read on to find out why your clutch gets stuck and what to do about it.
More: When the car is not used much, the battery can begin to lose charge because its not charged by the alternator. This is a common occurrence of classic cars that are only used on weekends . To keep the battery fully charged, you need the best battery tender for your car.
First, before getting into why the clutch might not disengage, we will cover what the clutch is. It will help to understand briefly what the clutch does before we get into why it might not work.
The clutch is what connects the engine to the transmission. When the car is running and moving the clutch is engaged. The clutch is a pressure plate that is hooked to the flywheel that puts pressure on the drive plate.
When you step on the clutch pedal, it moves this plate out of the way for a moment so you can shift gears. When you shift gears, it literally moves the old gear out of place and a different into place. The clutch then reengages when you lift off the pedal, and the plate connects with the new gear.
So, now that you have the basic understanding then it will probably make sense to you that when the clutch isn’t disengaged all the way, then part of the plate is rubbing against the gears when you are trying to change gears.
Also, if the clutch is only partly engaged, then it will cause rubbing and friction. This causes the friction material to burn up and get wasted. It will also cause heat which will lead to wear and tear.
Eventually, the different bearings will wear out due to pressure and twisting forces and the system will break completely. This is bad, that is why if your clutch is slipping or not disengaging all the way you need to get it fixed as soon as you notice the problem.
So, now you are probably asking yourself what can cause the clutch to slip or not disengage. Well, there are four main things that can cause your clutch to slip. They are
These are the common reasons, and we will look at each one in more detail if you keep reading.
The most common reason for issues with your clutch is a stretched or broken clutch cable. The clutch cable is what connects the pedal to the clutch and tells the car to pull the clutch out of the way when you step on the clutch pedal. Luckily it is easy to check the clutch cable and replace it if it needs to be replaced.
For checking the clutch cable, all you need is a jack, flashlight, and some things to block the wheels off. A jack stand and googles also help for safety but aren’t needed.
The key when checking the clutch cable has put the car in park or first gear and engage the parking brake. Block the rear tires off and jack the front end of the car up.
Find the cable that is leading from the clutch and to the clutch pedal. Use the flashlight and visual look at it. See if it is tight or if it has slack. Also, make sure it isn’t coming apart or broke.
If it is loose or visible broken, then you need to replace it. All you do is unhook it from the clutch and the pedal and put the new one in. If the cable isn’t the problem, you can move to the next possible issue.
The next most common thing is a hydraulic leak in the clutch system. Luckily this one is pretty easy to check, especially if you are already down under the car.
To check look for any liquids under the car especially around the clutch. Also, pay special attention to the slave cylinder and make sure it isn’t leaking.
Check the rubber boots to make sure the seal hasn’t failed and checked the hydraulic lines. After checking under the car, you can lower it and check under the hood.
Look at the master cylinder and see if there are any leaks. Also, check all the seals and lines from above as well. If you find any leaks, then the damaged parts will have to be replaced. You want to make sure there is no hydraulic fluid or oil coming from anywhere.
Depending on the part of the hydraulic system that is damaged and your experience you might be able to replace it yourself, or you might have to get a shop to do it.
The good thing is about checking it yourself though is you save the labor cost on that and can tell the repair shop exactly what is wrong with it so your vehicle can get repaired faster and cheaper. If the hydraulic system appears fine though, then you will have to start looking at the clutch alignment.
The clutch alignment or linkage may not be right, and this can cause it to slip or not disengage all the way. This issue can be a little harder to check, but you want to look under the car again for this.
You will jack it up the same way as already described. To see if the alignment is right you will want to look at the pin and cotter pin on the clutch linkage and clutch pedal.
If these are loose or in the wrong position, then they will need to be adjusted. You also want to make sure that the adjusting nut is tight. If it isn’t than tighten it down.
Outside of those couple things, it is hard to do anything to the adjustment yourself unless you are experienced. If you are experienced, you can try to make sure the plate is in the right position, but if you are not skilled with cars than you should just take your vehicle to a mechanic and let them look at the clutch.
If you think you have a clutch alignment issue and have checked the other things, then just let a shop take care of it because you can cause more harm than good working on it yourself if you don’t know what you are doing.
The last issue of incompatible parts is also another common problem. This is especially true if you tried to upgrade something on your own and don’t have a lot of experience.
Sometimes, especially if you buy something online, it will say it is compatible, but really it isn’t. If you have recently redone your clutch system and then start having issues, then there is a good chance the part you used wasn’t the right size.
To fix this, you can take it to a mechanic and let them use the right parts or try to find a different part that is compatible. When upgrading or working on your clutch save all the material when installing something new in case it doesn’t work, and you need to return it and also try your best to get matching parts or buy somewhere that guarantees the compatibility of the new parts.
A clutch that won’t disengage is a major issue. It causes the clutch to wear out faster and can also lead to unsafe driving conditions. That is why if you have a clutch that is slipping or not disengaging it is important to check it out right away.
Now you know the four common causes of a clutch that won’t disengage, and that is a stretched or broken clutch cable, a hydraulic leak in the clutch system, an out of alignment linkage or incompatible aftermarket parts.
Most of these issues are easy to solve and now know how to diagnose each of them and know what to do about them to fix them. After reading this, you are well on your way to get your stuck clutch fixed and car driving safely again.