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How to Identify a Head Gasket Leak

How to Identify a Head Gasket Leak

A head gasket leak is one of those car problems that can leave you with a major headache and a hole in your wallet. When it is not handled carefully, you can end up with irreversible engine damage.    A head gasket is a component that separates the engine into two sections and prevents fluids from contaminating each other. It contains the stress of combustion and keeps motor oil and coolant from running together. It is a heavy-duty component that is resistant to high pressures, friction, heat, and more.   Since our engines operate at such high temperatures, it can overheat if the cooling system isn’t properly maintained. When your vehicle gets too hot, the tension on the head gasket is increased and can cause it to swell and blow.    Besides a blown head gasket leak, other scenarios can happen to cause the head gasket to leak. Another scenario would be a fault in the part itself.   Signs That Your Head Gasket is Leaky Boilin ... read more

On the Road Again: How to Prepare Your Car for Your Summer Road Trip

On the Road Again: How to Prepare Your Car for Your Summer Road Trip

Your summer road trip is almost here! If you’ve followed our first three tips for road trip prep last Thursday, here’s three more to make sure you’re ready to hit the road.   Start System   Have your battery/starting/charging system checked. Your battery provides electrical power to start the engine, stabilizes voltage for the charging system, and supplies additional current to the charging system. It’s always good to catch a weak battery before you get on the highway, rather than having it fail while you’re on your trip.   Emergency Kit   If our tips missed something in your vehicle, or something unforeseen happens and you find yourself in a sticky situation, having a kit with all the necessities will hold you over until help arrives. In this kit, you’ll at least want to pack some blankets, drinking water, snacks, first aid, and reflective triangles. The food and water will keep you nourished and hydrated, a first aid kit ... read more

Hit the Road : Preparing for Your Summer Road Trip

Hit the Road : Preparing for Your Summer Road Trip

Summer is here and so are your summer road trips! Before you hit the road, it’s important to ensure that your car is ready for the journey ahead. Regardless of your destination, taking the extra steps to prepare your car and have your mechanic check it out to get it road-trip-ready will keep you from being stranded on the side of the road on your vacation.     Tires   The only thing between you and the road is your tires. It’s crucial to ensure that your tread is wearing evenly, there’s plenty of the tread remaining, that no road hazards have damaged your tires, and they are filled to the proper pressure. And don’t forget the spare! You never know when a flat tire could create a detour in your route.   Fluids   Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle. Your car has many different fluids ranging from engine oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid, and of course, your fuel sys ... read more

Troubleshooting Your Car's A/C Blowing Hot Air - Part 2

Troubleshooting Your Car's A/C Blowing Hot Air - Part 2

On Monday, we went over three reasons your car’s A/C might be blowing hot air instead of cold air, from refrigerant leaks and levels to the electronic system. If those three reasons aren’t the case for you, here are some more options that could be causing the problem.    Failed Air Compressor   In air conditioning systems, it is common for air compressors to fail. The compressor powers the unit of your system that controls the pressure of your refrigerant before it pumps it into the A/C condenser. If yours fails, your A/C will no longer function properly, and could mean that you need to replace your entire system, as particles will continue to plug things up.   Clogged A/C Condenser    Your A/C condenser condenses your freon or refrigerant from a high-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid to cool down your car. If the condenser is clogged with debris, it won’t be able to do that job properly. You can generally find your condenser ... read more

Fixing Your A/C: How to Keep Your Car Cool for the Summer

Fixing Your A/C: How to Keep Your Car Cool for the Summer

After a long, cold winter, it’s easy to forget about our cars’ air conditioning systems–until the first hot day of the year, when we look forward to a nice icy blast to cool us off. Of course, oftentimes our A/C chooses the worst moments like this to fail and blow hot air instead of the cold we’re looking for. In our A/C blogs this week, we’ll give you the top 6 possible problems that can cause your air conditioner to blow hot air instead of cold.   Low Refrigerant   The refrigerant in your vehicle, often Freon, is what keeps your car cool. It circulates through the A/C system, and removes heat and humidity as it expands and contracts. The system is sealed and airtight, so your refrigerant supply should not be able to evaporate or get used up, so if your levels are low, something is definitely wrong. Without the right freon level, none of the components of your A/C system will work properly.        A/C System Leak   ... read more

Get the Most Out of Your Mileage

Get the Most Out of Your Mileage

On Monday, we gave you four tips to make the most out of your fuel mileage. Today, we’ve got four more ways–from things you can do at home, to services our skilled team at Honest Wrenches can help you with.  Tire Inflation It’s a simple fix, but when it comes to an easy step to get the best gas mileage, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. When your tires are underinflated, heat and friction between the tires and the road increase, creating drag–which increases your fuel consumption. By properly inflating your tires, you can improve your gas mileage by at least 3.3 percent.  Alignment   When your alignment is off, it can cause your vehicle to dog-track (when your vehicle pulls to the side when you’re driving) which will cause you to have to fight the steering wheel to go straight. The pressure from preventing dog-tracking creates added heat and friction between your tires and the road, not only decreasing your gas mileage but al ... read more

How to Get Better Gas Mileage

How to Get Better Gas Mileage

One of the most common questions we hear at Honest Wrenches is “how do I get better gas mileage?”. With gas prices at an all-time high, we know that getting the most out of your fuel mileage is more crucial than ever. From maintenance to fuel additives and services, there’s a lot you can do to make what’s in your tank last as long as possible.  Check Your Air Filter Your engine has to breathe too! A dirty filter reduces airflow to your engine,  reducing your engine’s performance, especially its fuel efficiency as well as horsepower. Making sure your filter is clean enough to let some fresh air through will keep a proper mixture of air and fuel, which will significantly help your fuel economy. Take it Easy on the Pedal With your air filter clean, your vehicle’s horsepower should increase, so you won’t have to put the pedal to the metal to get your vehicle up to speed. Hard acceleration greatly reduces your gas mileage, while a stea ... read more

What Causes a Car To Overheat?

What Causes a Car To Overheat?

Most people know that it can be a real problem when a car overheats. But not everyone knows what causes a car to overheat in the first place. In this blog post, you'll learn what causes a car to overheat and how you can prevent it from happening. Coolant Issues One of the most common causes of car overheating is low or contaminated coolant. Coolant is what keeps your engine cool and prevents it from overheating. If there isn't enough coolant in your system, or if the coolant is old and dirty, it won't be able to do its job correctly. That's why it's essential to check your coolant level regularly and flush and replace it according to your manufacturer's recommendations. A Malfunctioning Thermostat In a nutshell, this device regulates coolant flow through your engine. If your thermostat is stuck in a closed position, the coolant won't be able to flow through your engine, and it will overheat. Conversely, if your thermostat is stuck in the open position, c ... read more

How Many Spark Plugs Does My Car Need

How Many Spark Plugs Does My Car Need

Spark plugs are an item of maintenance that many owners ignore. But a healthy engine needs a spark plug. The condition of your spark plugs may impact your fuel efficiency, engine performance, and power output. Spark plugs, like oil, should be checked and replaced as needed. How Spark Plugs Work The spark plug was designed to ignite the air-fuel combination in the combustion chamber. This is done to ensure that the car's engine has adequate power to start the vehicle. The spark plugs do not maintain power once they are light. Instead, it starts transferring heat away from the combustion chamber. This heat is transferred to the water jacket in the cylinder head, which pushes the cylinder down and then moves the car forward. How many spark plugs does a car need? The number of spark plugs needed is typically determined by the number of cylinders and engine size of a vehicle. There is one spark plug for each cylinder, thus a four-cylinder engine will have four spark plugs. Four cyl ... read more

Get Your Vehicle Ready For Spring!

Get Your Vehicle Ready For Spring!

Springtime is near and it is time to start thinking about how you can get your vehicle ready for the season. Winter can take a toll on our vehicles, and getting ready for spring will protect the safety of your ride as well as your car's integrity overall. So, what type of maintenance items are good for preparing your vehicle for spring? Here are some of our most recommended. Check Your Lights Inspect all of your car's exterior lights, from brake lights to headlights. During the winter, we are constantly using our exterior lights, so checking to make sure that no bulbs have gone out and that all lights are clear and visible is important. Test Your Battery Pre-spring is an excellent time to have your car battery tested for charge. Batteries typically last 3-5 years, so if it has been a while since your last battery replacement, you may want to consider this service. Also, check for corrosion around your battery terminals. Tire Tread Test Ensuring that your tires have proper ... read more

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