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Car Diagnostic: The Details

If your car is acting up, you could take it into a repair shop for a total vehicle inspection, but there is an easier way to troubleshoot. The “check engine” light and other misfires can indicate a wide range of issues that can be difficult to determine. An auto diagnostics test will investigate the computer system in your car, and reveal any problems going on quickly and accurately. To learn more about the specifics of an auto diagnostic test, keep reading this blog post.

The Process

Once you take your vehicle in to the dealership or repair shop, a certified mechanic will link a car diagnostic computer to your vehicle’s computer processor, sensors, and microchips. This process takes just a few minutes, rather than the hours needed to perform a total car inspection. The convenience of the auto diagnostic makes it a necessity when your car is off-kilter.

The History

Back in the year 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency established that all cars sold in the United States must use the same diagnostic systems so repair shops can diagnose all vehicles regardless of the make and model. The diagnostic test that was created does a total-vehicle checkup, responding to a set of codes that signal what the mechanic must focus on.

What Does it Detect?

A simple auto diagnostic will tell you a number of things about your car. For example, it will indicate whether it has ignition timing issues, buildup in the engine, engine RPM inconsistencies, and coolant levels. The mechanic can also look for manufacturer notes and other vehicle history information during the scan, which will allow them to tailor repairs to your car’s needs. During the diagnostic exam, the computer will reveal a report with codes that indicate areas that need repair. Since the test will notify you of minor issues, you will be able to avoid future costly repairs.

How Often?

Professionals recommend that people perform annual checkups on their vehicles to ensure their proper function. Once it’s been a year, you should head on in to the auto shop to be safe. Even if you don’t notice any present issues with your vehicle, there could be minor problems with the exhaust system, transmission, brakes, or more that could lead to major future damage. Get ahead of the problem with annual checks.

Conclusion

There is nothing easier than taking your car in for a diagnostics check, which takes only an hour or two. To keep your car in great shape for longer, make sure you get it done every year. If you’re in Del City, OK come on in to H.W. Automotive Inc the next time you’re ready for auto repairs.

All You Need to Know About Suspension Springs

The vehicle’s springs are the foundation of the suspension system. Their job is to hold the weight of the vehicle and its passengers, keep the car high enough so it doesn’t bottom out, and allow the wheels to move up and down without jolting your passengers. In this blog, we’re going to discuss a few different types of springs found on modern cars and trucks!

Steel Coil Spring 

The steel coil spring is the most common type of spring, and can be seen on most cars on the road. Essentially, this coil spring is a heavy-duty steel bar wound into a coil. It compresses and expands to absorb the impact of roads. So while you drive, the bumps you run over are less noticeable!

Leaf Spring

Seen on many trucks and even some sports cars, such as the Chevrolet Corvette, a leaf spring  consists of several “leaves” clamped together to form one unit. Each leaf is a thin, flat, arc-shaped piece of metal, and they’re stacked on top of each other. The more leaves, the more weight the vehicle can carry. Pretty neat, right?

Air Spring

An air spring can be described as a cylinder filled with air and positioned between the control arm and car’s body. A compressor fills the cylinder, which is typically made of a high-quality rubber and holds the vehicle up. The air then absorbs energy transferred to the wheels and tires from the road. You can find these types of springs on luxury cars!

Hydraulic Spring

These springs are also common on higher-end vehicles and use hydraulic fluid pressurized by a pump. The fluid acts as the cushion between you and road. In most cars, the height of the vehicle is constantly adjusted by computers and sensors, for a smoother ride while on the road.

Conclusion

Suspension systems allow your vehicle to maneuver over the road with ease. If your suspension system is not up to standard, have it checked by an expert mechanic at H.W. Automotive Inc. Our mission is for every customer to drive safe on the road, so visit our website to schedule your service today!

The Most Common Symptoms of Suspension Problems

Your vehicle’s suspension system is designed to maximize the amount of friction that occurs when the rubber (your tires) meets the road so you and your passengers can enjoy a smooth ride. Over the years, the suspension has evolved to become a very advanced component, but problems do still happen over time.

Since the suspension is made up of multiple parts – springs, shock absorbers, control arms, and more – they can take a real pounding depending on the conditions of the road. As a result, nearly every part can take some form of abuse. With this in mind, we would like to take a look at some of the common symptoms of the system that will determine whether you need to visit a shop for suspension repairs!

Pulling to One Side While Driving

Pulling to the left or right while driving is probably the most frequent indicator of a problem with your suspension. On the other hand, it’s also one of the most difficult to diagnose on your own if you’re not a trained professional.

The reasons it could be doing this include uneven tire pressure or tire wear, poor wheel alignment, bad tie rods, or a warped brake caliper. When you have a vehicle that likes to pull, you’re putting your tires at risk, you have to constantly fight with the steering wheel, and you are also losing gas mileage. Simply running over a pothole or hopping the curb can misalign everything.

Perhaps the issue you’re facing is that your tires don’t have enough pressure inside of them. Basically, they’re underinflated, and much like a bicycle with flat tires, you’re going to have a difficult time keeping your vehicle going straight when the friction between the tires and the road is far too great. This can be resolved either by inflating the tire or having it rotated, which evens out tire wear to extend its lifespan.

You Can Feel Every Bump in the Road

When you’re dealing with a rough ride, your shocks or struts may be worn out and need to be replaced. An easy way to figure out whether this is the case, when your car is parked and you’re standing near the hood, put all of your weight on the front end of the vehicle and let go.

If your vehicle bounces to and fro 3 or more times, this is a clear sign your shocks and maybe even your struts are worn out and are in need of replacement. It may also be a side effect if you’ve been in an accident as even the slightest damage can permanently wear away the shocks. Get them swapped out as soon as possible!

A Corner of the Car Sits Lower than the Rest

This is one of those moments where you’re going to need to rely on your own level of perception. If you notice that even on level ground, one corner of your car is sitting lower than the rest, this is likely the sign you have a damaged spring.

Another way to tell is when your car makes a clunking noise when you go over a bump, or when you’re having far greater trouble going around corners since the compromised spring isn’t able to support the weight of the vehicle. This irritating behavior becomes exponentially pronounced in poor road conditions.

Much like when you test out the shocks and struts, you can find out if there’s a problem with the springs by pushing down on the trunk of your vehicle while it’s parked, letting go, and listening to how the suspension responds to the weight. If you happen to hear a creak or squeal, there’s a definite problem with your suspension. The last thing you want to put up with is a vehicle that drags itself along the highway while you’re getting to work, so be sure to get this checked out as soon as possible!

Any Momentum Causes Your Vehicle to Shake

If you notice your car leaning forward, backward, or side-to-side while you’re driving, this is another key sign that your shocks or struts may need to be replaced. We’re not talking about when you’re in the midst of aggressive traffic during rush hour; rather, under normal driving conditions.

On that same note, if you find your steering to be particularly difficult especially when you’re driving slowly, your power steering could be malfunctioning. This can be the result of having low power steering fluid, a worn or loosened power steering belt, or worn components in the power steering.

Regardless of whatever you may be experiencing, you shouldn’t ignore these problems before it’s too late and you have a safety hazard on your hands. It’s in your best interest to bring your ride to the nearest auto repair shop to have it checked out as soon as possible!

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