Why does my truck shake? Why does my truck pull to the left or right? These are great questions with no short answer. As tires have gotten bigger, it is harder to get them to balance. This makes it easy to unbalance as well. The added weight of the bigger tire also adds a ton of stress on Tie Rods, Ball Joints, and Shocks / Struts. This is even more of a problem with today’s Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet trucks with Diesel engines. These engines, in many cases, are double the weight of the gasoline engines. That added weight is a killer of wheel hubs and all suspension parts.
What to do? There are ways to combat this, because, let’s face it, we love our trucks, so this is a problem that is not going away.
Regular Tire Rotation / Balance is a must. About every other oil change is a good rule of thumb. Make sure to have the front suspension check at the same time, as this can catch things early before they become a major headache.
Check your tire pressure once a month.
Spend time off road?? This is Texas, so for me the answer is, “Heck Yeah!” Well, then wash the undercarriage afterwards. Cleaning will remove dirt, mud, and sand. All of these will destroy a suspension. The grit is like sand paper on moving parts and it also dries out rubber bushings. Around the coast much?? Salt is very aggressive on all metal parts. CLEAN!! Can’t stress this enough.
Lastly, I would say get the alignment checked once a year. My last set of tires on my Ford cost me $1500! I feel an Alignment is cheap insurance don’t you? Remember once they start to wear it is too late!
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope this was helpful!. Check out the YouTube video below and leave some comments of likes / dislikes or some questions for future blog posts!
Is an engine flush a good idea? In the past I would have had to say no…DON’T do it. But things change and todays cars use oil for more than just lubrication. Variable valve timing and other engine controls are now using engine oil pressure to operate. For that to work they must remain clean. They are protected by very fine screens that can and do stop up with sludge. This has made me have to rethink the engine flush. The products we tried in the past broke up sludge in chunks stopping up oil pump pick up screens. This was my hesitation to relook into the flush systems. Enter our BG products salesman who assured me that his is different. The BG system dissolves sludge into very fine particles that get trapped in the oil filter where they belong.
It will typically continue working on into the next oil change, so you really should shorten the next interval up to about 1000 miles. You start out with a new oil filter and drain the engine oil. The flush is then added in the amount recommended by the manufacturer to fill the crankcase. The engine is then run for 1 hour and the oil is then changed with normal oil and another new filter. Be sure to check out our video on YouTube https://youtu.be/VIN4-JTjxwY on the subject to see some dramatic results.
This is an important thing to consider as the miles add up on your car. The fine screens on Valve Timing solenoids and Phasors block very easy. An engine flush every 50-60K miles is not a bad idea. Remember your care is a valuable asset to your family. It is very expensive to repair or replace so a little maintenance along the way is always a sound investment.
Why do we charge for looking at your car? A legitimate question most shops don’t like. To answer the question, we need to understand what we do. We are a service industry that sells 2 things : Parts and Labor. A part is bought and sold and labor is bought and sold. Most customers understand this as they come in with a problem, for example a water pump leaking. Shop purchases (part), replaces (labor) pump and no more leak. A physical problem that can be seen is fixed; a mechanical problem no one has a problem paying for.
Our industry has evolved and is ever changing, and thus is requiring more and more trouble shooting. Cars and trucks today are not only a mechanical machine, they encompass computer networks that must interact with each other. There are automations in actuators and sensors that must work with the still present mechanical side. So a mechanic today really is a Technician. He has to be as proficient in networking as an IT specialist, understand electrical engineering with actuators and engine controls, and still keep up with the mechanical side. Now here comes the best part, every make is different…What do I mean different? Think about your phone Apple or Android? Two different platforms and require different tools and information to run/repair. How many Makes are there?? Doctors have it easy they only have 2 Male and Female.
All of this leads us to the Diagnostic Truth that no matter what the internet or chain stores may tell you there is no such thing as a computer that tells you what is wrong with your car. That takes a Technician with training in all 3 areas mentioned above. Even that is not enough, tools and information about that specific car(remember apple vs android) are necessary. This all comes at a cost, but unlike above with the water pump it isn’t tangible. Water pump took x time to replace…you can see it you can feel it. When a TCM can’t communicate with an IPC do to a network issue there is nothing to see or feel. It still takes time though and Time is Labor one of our 2 commodities. The hard part is time is finite. We have to be diligent and charge for it or the business does not survive. That does not mean charge whatever we want it means fees based on diagnostic levels that may change from case to case. What you should expect is an explanation of this up front. As professionals we should deliver a service adviser who can communicate with both the customer and the technician, so both understand the concern, a technician who can diagnose and pin-point the cause of the concern and advise the best plan of action to correct the concern. At that point an accurate estimate should be made and communicated with the customer. This is fair and reasonable and should be paid for.
Quick Change lube stops are everywhere. An Oil Change or Oil Service is preventative maintenance and the most common service done hand down, but is faster better? Let me give you my thoughts. We live in a microwave society. We want it NOW! We love fast food and lighting quick WiFi and we HAVE to have it!! There is a trend out there for quick service and fast maintenance…so is that a problem?? I feel it is. Now, let me explain it this way, certain things should not be rushed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a quick open heart surgery, instead I would prefer a surgeon who takes the time to do it right and look for future problems. The same with my car. I want to know what will be needed to keep my wife and daughters safe. What kind of shape is my car in?
Look I get it we all need our cars and life is busy, but like the cardiologist, Oil is the life blood of you car. I have been doing this for 33 years and I cannot do a QUALITY oil service in 5 minutes, yet we have 5 minute lube shops all over. We even have dealerships promising 20 minutes or it is free. Notice the word quality. I can change the oil and filter and check your fluids in 20 minutes, but remember this is a preventative maintenance service. It is not just about the oil. In 20 minutes I cannot make sure the rest of your car is in safe working order. There is not enough tine to spot potential problems and let YOU, our customer, know. Another problem I have with a quick service is when you rush things happen. It is inevitable that a mistake will be made and I don’t want a mistake made by my cardiologist or my mechanic! I want them both to spot potential issues early and focus on quality.
Folks, I am afraid both of those require time… Thanks for reading and be sure and watch the video!
Does my Radiator really need a flush? This is a great question! We get it almost every day. The coolant does not have to deal with combustion gasses like engine oil does, but the additives do break down over time and lose its effectiveness. As time goes by, the additives for rust and corrosion tend to break down. You also start to lose the boiling point and freeze point protection. As rust and corrosion happens it sends particles and debris into the radiator and heater core. There they build up and start to affect the flow of coolant. This can cause an overheating of the engine or a lack of heat from the heater. Those particles are also like sand paper to moving parts like the water pump and thermostat. This can cause premature wear and failure. What does that mean to you ?? More Money More Money!
So how often should I flush the coolant? How is it done? Glad you asked! Your best place for information is your owners manual. But as a general rule every 2-3 years or 30000 miles is a good average. Keep in mind your owners manual recommendation is under best case driving conditions. We are in Texas and it is Hot and %&*#!?! and that is in December so it is always a good idea to get it checked with every other oil change or so. Some coolants like oils these days can go longer so do some research on your make and model. The manual and our recommendation is just a guide.
For a proper flush the coolant is drained. The radiator and engine block are then flushed to remove debris. This can be done manually, but most of the time is done with a flush machine. Then new coolant and water at the proper mix is added and the system is bled out to remove all air. We personally like to use a coolant additive from BG Products. It is a 2 part with a cleaner and an additive. The important part though is to have it checked and done on a regular basis!
What causes my car to overheat is a great question
To answer the question why does my car overheat we need to understand the components that make up the cooling system. The major players are the radiator, water pump, thermostat, fan, and hoses. The radiator is a heat ex-changer that coolant runs through. Small tubes with fins carry the coolant where the heat is exchanged into the air. The water pump moves the coolant from the engine block where it absorbs heat to the radiator where the heat is removed by the radiator. The thermostat has two roles, to slow the flow down and to regulate the temperature. If the coolant runs through the system too fast it cannot adequately transfer the heat to the coolant. The temperature of an engine has an effect on the efficiency of the engine. Most gasoline engines today prefer to run around 190 to 212 degrees. This makes them run strongest and most fuel efficient. The fan can be driven by belt or electric motor. It pulls air through the radiator to cool down the coolant before it is circulated back to the engine to start the process again. Hoses are the most overlooked part of the system. They are the pathway for the coolant to flow through to make this all happen. So what causes my car to overheat? If any of these components are disrupted then your car will overheat. Coolant leaks are the #1 issue, but if a fan fails there will not be enough air flow to take the heat out of the radiator, especially at stoplights or drive though windows. If the thermostat sticks it can limit the flow of coolant through the radiator and engine causing an overheating situation. A water pump can fail to move the water or it can leak coolant and cause issues. Hoses generally leak to the outside world.
If you are having a problem with the cooling system some things to consider.
When does it overheat? Only on the highway…at stops…always??
How quick does it overheat? With in a few miles or only after long drives.
This is all valuable information to help your technician narrow down the problem.
Remember always turn your car off ASAP when you discover you have an overheating issue and call a qualified car repair facility to get your car tested. NEVER open a hot cooling system! Remember it is at 200 degrees normally and that is not something to play with!
Why does my air conditioning smell? The heating and air conditioning in your car is not unlike your house. While it controls temperature it also controls humidity. This is super necessary in the Brazos Valley. We definitely have wet air!! Air is brought in from the outside or inside depending on the setting and circulated through a cabin air filter and the evaporator. The evaporator removes moisture and lowers the temperature and sends the cooler drier air out the vent. The air is the recycled through the whole process again. The moisture condenses on the evaporator and runs out of the drain to the outside of the car. Keeping your filter changed is your first defense to keeping this drain free.
When you start to get a smell most of the time it is from 2 problems. A cabin air filter left too long or mold and mildew built up from the moisture. In the Bryan College Station area allergies are rough and this can be problematic. Fortunately the fix is not that bad. We remove and replace the filter and do a vent cleaning. This is done normally by removing the glove box and gaining access to the filter and duct work. Check out our Youtube video attached to this blog for more information on how it is done. There are many products on the market today but we prefer BG’s Fridgie Fresh. It kills mold and mildew, the cause of most odors, and leaves a mild fresh sent. Check out more at this link. https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/climate-control/bg-frigi-fresh/
Others are a little over powering in that department and no one wants to trade one strong smell for another.
I hope you found this helpful! please use the social share buttons on the bottom of this page and share the love. Call Gary or George at B&B Automotive Services
Why does my air conditioner smell - YouTube
today to get yours checked out! You might be surprised at how much better you feel and breathing clean air!!
Why does my car shake? Or What is making my car vibrate? Both are great questions and both will start with more questions. You will need to give your Mechanic as much information as possible so pay attention to When does it shake? Only when I accelerate…only on turns…when I stop etc. Don’t be afraid to describe it in great detail. This is very valuable information for the Auto Repair Shop to use in finding the cause and keeping you safe.
As a general rule most vibration or shaking issues are related to rotating parts. Tires, Axles, Bearings, Pulleys…all are common causes. And there are many more, so answering the above questions will save your Automotive Technician time in finding the cause of your vibration. We all know that time is money so this is a great way to save you some money as well.
It is important to note that most cars today are uni body meaning the body is part of the support structure of the car. This tends to make vibrations and sounds transfer through out the car. This makes tracking these problems down that much harder. This is all the more reason to gather as much information as you can and pass that on to the Auto Tech. These can be some of the most challenging problems to solve in the industry.
So lets recap…
1)If you have a shake pay attention to when it is happening
2) Describe it in as much detail as possible (don’t be scared to sound silly we have heard it all)
3) Be patient with the Shop. This type of testing is time consuming and is just as frustrating to the Tech as it is to you.
Bottom line we are here to help keep you safe. Don’t forget to check out the video on you tube
and leave a comment on how we are doing!! And use the share buttons!
My car has 90,000 miles what needs to be done? What maintenance is needed at 100,000 miles is becoming a very common question. As cars are easily passing 200K mile mark and so expensive to replace the question of servicing makes sense. The answer is going to vary from car to car, but here are some things to consider.
Spark plugs – With plugs being made out of platinum and iridium it is true many will go well passed 100K miles, but the point of preventative maintenance it to stop a problem before it leads to a bigger problem.
Fuel filter and Fuel service – Many cars today do not have a serviceable fuel filter anymore so this is often overlooked. A restricted fuel filter is very hard on the fuel pump and can also lead to poor performance. The fuel service is more important today than most people understand. A modern car is all about efficiency and to be that efficient the fuel control is very precise. With such precision a little build up can mean big problems. See our blog on more of this https://www.b-bauto.com/what-is-an-induction-service/
Fluids Fluids Fluids – This is a biggie! Some opinions vary on this one, but if it has 100k on it it needs a change! 60% of power steering failures are due to fluid failure! With traction control and anti-lock brake systems, brake fluid should not be overlooked. Radiators, Transmissions, and gearboxes all need to be maintained.
Belts and Hoses – This includes timing belts. This could start some arguments and I agree that belts and hoses do last longer. Better rubber compounds and fluids help most hoses pass this mile mark, but I still do not want my wife or daughter driving on a belt or hoses with over 100k miles. The reason we do preventative maintenance is once again to prevent a hose from blowing. The cost is high on this one, but the replacement of an engine is far more!
Recap – What is needed at 100K? – Spark plugs – Fuel filter and fuel service – Fluids Fluids Fluids – Belts and Hoses
Most importantly check your manual and get a qualified shop to look over the car. There are so many thing that can wear getting a good look over is by far the best!
It’s a good idea to buy a good set of jumper cables and keep them in the trunk. The bigger the cable size the easier and better they will work.
Place the running car as close as possible and turn off ignition.
Engage both parking brakes as well.
Attach one of the red cables to the positive terminal of your battery. It is a good idea to clip the dead battery side cable to the insulated cable to prevent and accidental short. (see Pic)
How to jump start a car - YouTube
It has “POS” or “+” on it, or it’s bigger than the negative terminal.
Attach the black lead to the negative side of the battery. On many cars today there is not access to the battery so look for a sticker that says jump start here.
Attach the Red cable to the Positive terminal of the dead battery
Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface preferably on the engine block
Start the working vehicle and let the engine run for a 3-5 minutes.
Try to start your vehicle.
If it fails to start try again in 7-10 minutes. If it still fails it may be to far gone. If it starts remove the cables in the reverse procedure and proceed to the nearest auto shop to have the charging and starting system checked.