In a previous article, we told you to never ignore the Check Engine Light (CEL) because doing so could potentially lead to a serious issue that could prove costly to fix. Now, in determining what the problem might be, the first thing your mechanic usually does is plug in a code scanner to “read the codes.”
In most modern cars and trucks, the fuel injection, ignition system and automatic transmission are controlled by computers. These computers collect operating data from the engine and other systems on the car and then send commands to the ignition coils, fuel injectors and other systems. They also store a great deal of this operating data in memory so technicians can get insight into what’s been going on when service is needed.
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When the CEL light on your car’s instrument panel goes on, it means that one of the computers (usually the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), which stores all the engine error codes) is receiving data from a sensor that indicates something isn’t working correctly. The PCM also stores a diagnostic code so that a service technician knows where to look for the problem.
Basically, what code scanners do is interface with a car’s “PCM module,” allowing the user to professionally diagnose the problem and solve it quickly. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do the same thing? Well, you can!
Code scanners were very expensive not long ago and mostly intended for use by service technicians. Today, y from as low as $30 for a simple code reader to around $400 for a full-featured machine.
Using a code scan tool is surprisingly simple. To get started, just plug the scan tool into the OBD II connector under the dash of your car. (If you can’t find the connector, consult your owner’s manual. There are also many informative websites and forums that can help you locate it.) After connecting it, turn the car’s key on and follow the scan tool’s onscreen instructions. Eventually you’ll get an option to check for trouble codes, which you should write down.
To interpret the codes, refer to the scan tool’s manual or make a quick search on Google by typing in the model of your car followed by the code number that the scan tool display. There are dozens of that can help you diagnose what the problem might be.
As good as online resources are, they are not always accurate. The ultimate resource is to have your local dealer, like the professionals at Mr. Ed, take a look at your car.
Now that you can cheaply read your car’s codes like a pro, will you?
Easy 3-Step Guide On How To Sell Your Car Without A Dealer
If you want to sell your car and get the most money for it, you generally want to avoid dealerships.
Trading in or selling your car to a dealer can be quick and convenient, but it’s definitely not the most profitable route to take. Thankfully, it’s very easy to sell your car privately. Here’s a quick and simple 3-step guide to maximizing the profit and minimizing the stress of selling your vehicle.
1. Know Your Car’s Value, Set a Price
The first thing you want to do is get a reliable estimate of what your car is worth. There are plenty of car valuation tools online, such as and Edmunds. All you need to do is input your car’s make, model, mileage, condition, and features.
You will likely end up with two estimates: the retail value and wholesale value. When selling to a private party, you’ll generally want to go with the retail value (highest asking price) to leave yourself room for negotiations.
2. Enhance Your Car’s Curb Appeal
You want your car to look as good as possible to potential buyers, and you can give it the “wow” factor by putting in some work and doing the following:
- Removing junk
- Professional detail
You may also want to repair or replace a few parts with help from your . It’s easy to get discounts on auto parts, such as an .
3. Create Ads
In order to garner the most attention for your vehicle, you’ll want to create eye-catching ads. Take good pictures of your car from multiple angles in a beautiful location and with good lighting. Don’t forget to include photos of the driver’s seat, trunk, odometer, engine, and tire tread depth.
Once you have the necessary photos, post ads online on sites such as Craigslist or eBay. Additionally, you may want to pick up a “for sale” placard to place in your car’s window so passersby can notice.
After you successfully completed those tasks, all you need to do is wait for the offers to come!
3 Reasons Why You Should Buy Winter Tires For Snowy, Icy Conditions
Don’t replace your winter tires with all-season tires just yet.
The arrival of spring marks the end of four months of bitter, cold weather and the corresponding icy and slippery roads, but driving in the spring poses a lot of the same challenges as driving in the winter, and you can be sure there will be another winter.
Snowy or wet road surfaces are dangerous for drivers of all skill levels, so want you to make sure your ready for the next winter. Having the right car tires that offer ample traction on snow and ice would be a great start.
To optimally drive on icy surfaces, it is essential that the tires are soft and flexible, and winter tires are superior to all season tires in both regards. Summer and all season tires harden as the temperature drops, making it difficult to grip roads in .
In addition to being softer and more flexible than all-season tires, winter tires also have tread patters designed especially for snow, ice and rain. Numerous sharp edges on the tire surface created by the ‘siping’ or narrow cuts of the tread bite hard on icy surfaces to greatly reduce the chance of slippage.
Why put your safety at risk over a set of tires? Here are several other interesting facts about winter tires you should know.
Ideal For Snow-Packed Roads
If you are driving up a slight incline covered with snow, make sure that you have winter tires that grip the surface hard and make the wheel roll over smoothly unlike all season tires that spin fruitlessly. You should be able to start the vehicle from a stationary position and drive it effortlessly with minimal or no spinning. While driving, you would rarely use the antilock brake and together with much less wheel spinning you will feel that the car is more stable. However, you should not drive fast on snowy surfaces as it could reduce the gripping power of tires that tend to slip and the same can happen when you are climbing up a steep road. As long as you maintain a safe speed, you will experience increased stability and safety with winter tires. Adjusting the driving speed with the road condition improves tire performance.
Cost Effective Tires
Since are not designed to be used round-the-year, you can use the same set for multiple winter season. However, you must buy winter tires in addition to all season tires, and the cost would be almost the same as the latter. While the initial investment is high for two sets of tiress, the cost recovery is quite satisfactory in the long run. By combining the two type of tires, the all-season tire would also last longer and provide more cost benefit.
Not Suitable For Hot Climates
At places where the temperature hovers around 50oFahrenheit, winter tires that have soft rubber become squishy and lose its effectiveness. When the temperature rises further, you would feel as if the steering linkage has loosened a bit and during cornering and harder turns, the car starts wobbling.
As the spring approaches, you must change the winter tires that are only good in snow and ice.
5 Tyre Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Tyres In Good Shape
Tyre maintenance is that thing that’s never on our to-do list, but it definitely should.
Most Aussies are happy to drive their car without so much as giving a thought to tyre maintenance. For most drivers, if the four tyres of the car are not flat, all is well.
However, it would help to have a tyre maintenance routine to ensure they are in top form at all times. Here are 5 tips for tyre maintenance, courtesy of our friends at Mobile Tyre Shop.
1. Daily Checks
Tyre maintenance begins with regular checks. By regularly examining the condition of your tyres, you can spot any small problems before they turn complicated.
As you examine the tyres, look for the wear bar and check to see if it is flush with the rest of the tyre’s tread. If that is the case, that’s a safety red flag. Get your tyres replaced at the earliest. Like now!
Next, check the sidewall. Tyres are prone to minor scars and scuffs. That’s okay. However, if there’s a bubble or a deep scratch, your tyre is not safe for driving.
A quick daily check can ensure you can detect signs of trouble and stop it in its tracks.
2. Rotate The Tyres Regularly
Tyre rotation is a good habit to inculcate if you are concerned about tyre maintenance. By rotating your tyres regularly, you can lower the risk of black spots and other localised wear that occurs on your tyre’s treads. As a thumb rule, rotate the tyres once every 12,000 km or seven months, whichever occurs first.
3. Wheel Alignment Is Good
Wheel alignment is at the heart of a good tyre maintenance routine. A wheel alignment ensures that the angles of your wheels are adjusted per the manufacturer’s recommendations. It helps make the most of your tyres, while ensuring they wear evenly.
4. Check Tyre Pressure Once A Month At Least
Tyres can lose pressure slowly yet surely. So if you are not in the habit of checking the tyre pressure regularly, you might be putting your family at risk.
Under-inflated tyres are one of the most common causes of tyre-related crashes. What’s more, under-inflated tyres reduce fuel efficiency and can even cause premature wear.
So check the tyre pressure at least once a month. If need be, get a tyre inflation station set at your home. This way, you can check tyre pressure at your convenience without having to worry about long queues at the gas station.
5. Avoid Overloading The Vehicle
This is pretty straightforward. On the door frame is a placard that will tell you how much weight your car can handle safely.
Overloading the car can lead to tyre failure. If that seems like the worst case scenario, do take note that overloading your vehicle is sure to affect the handling. And that has a huge bearing on vehicle safety.
About Mobile Tyre Shop
supply and fit all leading tyre brands. Our prices are fully inclusive of onsite fitting, wheel balancing, new valves and weights. We also recycle your old tyres.