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Your car needs the alternator to keep regenerating power as the engine runs. When the alternator breaks down, your car's electrical systems and accessories will not last much longer. That's where Rainier Automotive comes in. Read on to learn about the signs of a failing alternator. Sign #1: Electrical/Burning Smells The alternator is supposed to generate a lot of power. Certain issues can cause the alternator overheat. As a result, you may catch a whiff of a hot electrical smell. Sign #2: Odd Sounds Your alternator has belts, pulleys, and bearings that keep it in order to generate power. If any of those parts wear out, you'll likely hear a noise.. It is often described as whining or squealing. Sign #3: Problems with Electronic Accessories Any accessories that draws power from your car's electrical system will run the risk of malfunctioning. When the alternator is failing, it can't supply enough power to everything at once. That may mean your radio, GPS ... read more
Signs of a malfunctioning catalytic converter are not as apparent as an overheating engine or faulty braking system. It is important to note that your vehicle's catalytic converter will malfunction, mainly when you ignore problems with connected parts such as exhaust valves and spark plugs. What is a Catalytic Converter? It is a metal canister that reduces emissions from your auto to prevent environmental pollution. It sits between the muffler and car engine to eliminate or reduce your car exhaust system emissions. Thanks to the chemical catalyst, the latter remains possible, usually comprising palladium and platinum that convert emissions into environmentally friendly gasses. Common Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter Mainly, you will know that your catalytic converter has gone bad once you fail your upcoming emission test. See if you can spot the following symptoms of a bad catalytic converter to know when it is time for a replacement: 1. Reduced Engine Performance A clog ... read more
Gasoline is becoming a more and more expensive expense for many Americans today. This makes our fuel mileage something that we need to be more cautious of. If you've noticed that your vehicle is drinking up more gas than usual, it may be more than just miles it is going. Some mechanical problems can bring down your mileage by as much as 30%. Here are some common car issues that can cause your vehicle's MPG to decline: Low Tire Pressure If your wheels are underinflated, your car is going to require more energy to move you from point a to point b. Make sure you always fill up your tires according to the factory-recommended PSI to get the best possible MPG. Malfunctioning Sensors Things like oxygen sensors or mass air flow sensors have a huge role in the combustion process. When they become impaired, it can cause your car to take in more fuel than needed. Dirty Air Filter If it has been a hot minute since you last changed your air filters, it may be the cause of ... read more
Engine oil is arguably the most important out of all the fluids you have to put in your car. This is true because it keeps your engine cool and prevents damage and friction. Ensuring you have the right amount of oil is a significant car ownership responsibility. Regularly monitoring your oil will ensure your engine performs well and lasts a long time. Fortunately, checking your oil levels is an easy task that any driver can do! Follow These Steps to Check the Oil Level in Your Vehicle Before you get into the nitty-gritty of it, you should have your owner's manual nearby just in case you have problems locating the dipstick or other general questions. Some modern vehicles use electronic oil monitors instead of dipsticks. If your car, truck, or SUV has an oil dipstick, follow these steps to inspect your motor oil: Ensure the vehicle is parked on flat ground and that the car engine is off and cooled down. Locate the dipstick under your hood. Pull the dipstick out and wipe ... read more
Everyone knows the importance of regular oil changes, but there's more you can do to keep your car in top shape. Routine maintenance will ensure your car runs smoothly and help you avoid costly repairs. The items here are listed by recommended timeframes, but check your car's manual for specifics. Monthly Once a month, check your fluid levels and top off as necessary. Inspect the air filter for excess debris and dirt. Ensure the tire pressure is right and check the tread depths for wear. Examine headlights, brake lights, and turn signals for any problems or burnt-out bulbs. Every Few Months The exact amount of time varies by car, but you typically need an oil change every few months. The filter should be changed as well. Take this opportunity to examine all the belts and hoses. Every Six Months Have your tires rotated and wheels balanced about every six months so that they wear evenly. Inspect the brakes at the same time. Give your car a good wash and wax to keep it looki ... read more