Articles:

Take Care of Your Brakes So They Can Take Care of You!

Take Care of Your Brakes So They Can Take Care of You!

These days, automobile braking systems are pretty complex. There are a lot of components that have to work together properly for you to be able to brake efficiently. Don’t underestimate just how important it is to maintain the health of your braking system. Signs of Brake Degradation It may seem obvious, but you might be surprised by how many people ignore the warning signs and do nothing to repair or improve their braking system before something catastrophic, or at least expensive and inconvenient, happens. There are a few simple indicators that all drivers should bear in mind when driving. Most brake problems develop slowly over time, and give plenty of warning. If you notice any of these warning signs, your brakes are due for a check-up. Firstly, you should always pay attention to the noises your car makes when you engage the brakes. Brake problems can cause loud clicks, squealing, grinding noises, and rumbling when the brakes are used. The brake pedal sh ... read more

Dealing with Engine Failures

Dealing with Engine Failures

Maintaining your vehicle according to the schedule in your owner’s manual is the best way to avoid costly repairs. Sometimes engine failures happen, however, regardless of how well they are maintained. Major engine failures are often caused by just one of many parts in a unit. Head valves and rod bearings, for example, are small, simple, inexpensive engine components. But if one of them fails, the cost of labor to replace it will be much greater than the cost of the part itself. Should you repair the engine, or replace it? Repair the Engine If the cost of repairing an engine is lower than replacing it, repairing it may be your best option. An engine that is in otherwise good shape may just need a re-ring or a few seals and gaskets replaced. Perhaps your engine has been discontinued, and used, high-mileage replacements are all that are available. In these cases, a repair or rebuild may be your best choice. If done properly, they can offer the reliability and lo ... read more

Troubleshooting Odd Noises

Troubleshooting Odd Noises

Noises are among the most difficult automotive symptoms to diagnose. They are even more difficult to describe. However, noises are also among the most prominent, and helpful, symptoms to help diagnose a malfunction. If you stay alert and use common sense, you can effectively prevent serious malfunctions from turning into catastrophes. There are three things to note about any given noise: its nature, its location, and how it changes over time. These three aspects can help pinpoint the cause of a malfunction and preserve the health of the car and its passengers. If a noise increases in frequency or volume with speed, it is likely caused by a faulty rotating component. If the noise occurs after your vehicle hits a dip or bump, it is likely caused by a suspension component. If the noise sounds like a loud hiss, you probably have an air or fluid leak. All of these issues should be diagnosed by a professional, but some—namely, those that may be life-threatening—should be attende ... read more

Classic Mercedes-Benz S-Class Diesels: W116 or W126

Classic Mercedes-Benz S-Class Diesels: W116 or W126

So you’re in the market for a classic Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Maybe you’re a collector who appreciates the over-engineered build quality and legendary reliability of Mercs from the days when the slogan “engineered like no other car in the world” actually meant something. Or perhaps you’re an eco-conscious driver looking to convert a practically indestructible 5-cylinder diesel motor to run on biofuel.   There are no finer examples of Mercedes-Benz automobiles at the peak of their excellence than S-Class models from the 1970s and 1980s. The diesels are particularly excellent cars, as the large number still going strong today indicates. The only question is: should you choose the first-generation (1972-80) S-Class, or the second-generation (1981-92), widely considered to be the quintessential Mercedes sedan? Decisions, Decisions It’s mostly a matter of personal choice. Some Benz lovers prefer the boxy lines, chrome brightwork a ... read more

How to Tell if You Need a New Muffler

How to Tell if You Need a New Muffler

How do you know if you need a new muffler? For such an important component of your car, light truck or sport utility vehicle, mufflers remain a mystery to many drivers. But there are definite warning signs that your muffler is on the fritz. Here are the most common ones: Listen and Learn If your vehicle is louder than it normally is while idling, it’s a potential sign that you’ve got muffler problems. Ask a friend or relative to start your vehicle while you listen for rattling, rough idle or other louder-than-normal sounds. A noisy muffler could very well be a damaged muffler. Reading Smoke Signals Excessive exhaust smoke could signal the need for a new muffler. Check for smoke by having a friend or relative start your car while you stand behind it and see if any smoke spews out. After letting your vehicle idle for five minutes or so, take it for a short spin and see if it smokes. If the exhaust has a blue tint, it could very well be a ... read more

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