When To Replace Your Engine

Woman thinking what to do with the failed engine

Woman thinking what to do with the failed engine

Know a thing or two about car engines? You do? Excellent! You don’t? Not to worry, we have the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.  When do you know that it is time to change your car’s main component? Yes, that elusive engine?!

Well, here is a good rule of thumb, most engines manufactured within the last 15 years all have engines that will run far past the 150,000 mile mark.  If you are there or close to that then depending on how the car was driven your engine might need to be replaced. If it is having a lot of inconveniences that take you over to the mechanics shop, then the time may be at hand that you need to figure out what the next step is.

Here are your options:

If the exterior of your car resembles your engine (which you probably need to change) – then you may want to scrap it all together and get something new.

Head down to your local used car dealership and pick out a new rig, trade in your old car and drive off of the lot with something that is not only reliable, but something that will make you thrilled that you purchased a new rig. Now a days going to a car lot is as convenient and hassle free as going to the movies. You can walk in and in about an hour drive off with a new car.

If the exterior and interior of your car look pretty good and the only thing wrong is your engine then here are some more issues to look for: worn cylinders and rings, broken and failing valves and worn bearings. This is where most issues arise when it comes to engine problems, so this is your first line of defense.

You can buy a new engine, but keep in mind they can be costly sometimes upwards of $9,000 – Rebuilt engines can run you anywhere from $500 – $3,000 USD, as a rule a reworked engine can be 10% – 20% the cost of the vehicle. Do not forget to add to this the hourly rate your trusted mechanic will charge you for about 3 hours of work. If you are a DIY (Do It Yourselfer) then you might want to let the experts handle this one. Placing a new engine in your car is not only very complicated but about 1,000 things can go wrong.

You can buy a slightly used engine or a rebuilt engine, you may save a dollar or two when you opt for this option but ensure that the other components such as the timing belts and hoses are intact and do not need to be replaced as well.
If you decide to go with the rebuilt engine as your option then you will get the best bang for your buck. Also, if you are concerned with the carbon footprint you leave behind then a rebuilt engine is a recycled engine for all intensive purposes. This allows for the reuse of the base materials, therefore lessening the impact you have on our beautiful planet. Lets keep Houston beautiful and green and if you need to replace your engine what we recommend is change your vehicle or purchase a rebuilt engine.

Noisy Car? This Is Why!

noisy cars

Most of us are oblivious of the idiosyncrasy we face on a daily basis with our vehicles, a squeak here a rattle there. We just chuck it up to “I told the mechanic about this when I took the car in and it didn’t make the noise, not even once!” We have all been there, but here is a quick solution guide to deciphering what these mystical noises can be and where they originate.

Sometimes that little buzzing or rattling might be annoying, but it does not suggest that this might not be the preamble to a bigger issue down the road. Repairing cars can be inexpensive if you catch the problem in the early stages, once the engine has fallen apart, it gets very costly. Would it surprise you to know that a large percentage of car crashes are by faulty machinery, everything from transmissions going out to breaks failing and tires being a top contender.

Lots of cars on the road today have hydraulic steering such as the Jaguar X- type from 2004. When this needs more fluid it begins to squeak and whine when the steering wheel is turned. It is almost like the car is whinnying and complaining that it has indeed taken this long.

I order to keep your car running smoothly, in order to get the most resale value on your vehicle, you should become familiar with preventative maintenance. Preventative/routine maintenance like oil changes and brake adjustments and tire rotation and balancing. It is not every Dick and Harry that can understand the complexity of a car engine, but suffice it to say that there are many parts. Parts that need special oils, filters, belts and have to work with a sort of process to propel moment forward.

If you regularly take your car to get the oil changed, if your tires are wearing in a balanced way, then you can even extend the life of your tires a little longer.

What to look for and listen for:

A whislte of a hissing sound, will probably occur after the car is started, maybe even some smoke.
The next time this happens, ditch your date and your plans and take your car to the mechanic, this is not a good sign and could end up being very costly in the future.

If you are in Houston and your car is growling, you might be revered as a tough guy. Unfortunately, you might hear this because of some lose thread on your tires, which can be very scary if you are not expecting it. When it is safe pull over and call AAA, get someone to help you with your tire change if necessary.

When the breaks are on their way out they are squeaky and annoying. Grinding under the hood means that something is not right and that some lubrication is needed. I would take it to your local auto supply place, in Houston, they are everywhere.

Save Gas With These Tips

Car Engine

If you are like most of us here in Houston, we are constantly keeping an eye on the price of gas. When it goes up we start to worry and we start to drive less, we are more aware of our route only trying to use the gas necessary to get you from point A to point B.

What we have learned and what we will be sharing with you are techniques to put into play that will allow you to drive your car like the gas prices do not matter. These are some great gas saving life hacks.

We can all agree that even thought there is a lot of oil in Texas, most of us cannot affect its ascent of descent in price. Having said that what option does the average person have to enjoy this liberty as much as the next guy?

You might be surprised to know how inefficient your car becomes when it is not regularly maintained. How about that if your tires are under inflated or over inflated it can affect the drag, suspension and the efficiency of the engine. Thus making the car perform worse and worse and that great engine that you were so proud of is now just working to get by.

If your car is maintained perfectly it can increase your gas mileage by a minimum of 4%, change the filters to everything! And save every more MPG’s, If your timing belt looks like it is on the fritz, then change it. Since you probably live near or around Houston you know that a major component to any vehicle in this heat is A/C. Ensure that your AC is working properly and not straining and draining energy from the car.

Something so trivial, but if your gas cap is not tight fitting because of the mere nature of gasoline that it fumes up and is very volatile it can begin to dissipate and evaporate right out of your loose fitting gas tank.

Drive the speed limit, it is just good form. When you do not need to weigh your rig down, then do not.

Roadside Assistance –

Tow Truck
What a wonderful experience in car sales that in the United States, almost all of the vehicles come with not only one, but two warranties to make our lives less stressful. Oftentimes this includes roadside assistance, which minimizes our dependence on AAA. Along with that, many of the new hybrids and electric cars also offer warranties on batteries.

Your basic warrant will cover all except wear and tear, which includes wiper blades and oil changes. Most of our tires and batteries have their own individual warranties. You will find all of this information in your owner’s manual. According to the Federal government, emission equipment must be covered for 24,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first. There are certain components which has an extended warranty of 80,000 or eight years.

One of the most critical components of any car is the drive train, which covers most of the moving parts except hoses and and belts. Most of the tome this includes the transmission, the engine, the drive shaft and the drive axles. Many of the internal parts of the engine, such as the pistons and bearings are also covered, in spite of wear and tear. You need to check your specific owner’s manual to see what your car covers.

In some parts of the country it is important to consider rust and corrosion coverage. This can happen due to excessive salting during the winter. Once the rust becomes an actual hole, it is covered.. It is important to maintain your car by consistent washing and waxing . This will minimize rusting problems.

It is very common for manufacturers to offer roadside assistance to their clients. usually it will cover you even if it is your fault., Whenever you are locked out or run out of gas and perhaps even have a flat tire, there is help available. Always check your owner’s manual.

As far as hybrids go, they are pretty standard. Since the hybrid’s purpose is to minimize air pollution, the batteries are considered an essential part of the emission control. Usually these are covered for 100,000 miles or eight years. California and several other states have extended the zero-emission to a minimum opt 10 years/150,000 miles for the batteries.

Because the batteries are high voltage, the cooling systems are also covered, and the battery modules and the variable transmission or high energy converters. Once again, check your owner’s manual for individual coverage.

Those vehicles which are pure battery are not covered by any federal or state emission regulations. As their batteries are essential for the running of these vehicles, they are pretty standard: eight years or 100,000 for batteries and any components which are associated with the batteries.

Of course you must check your individual manufacturer to see what is covered or not. Each model may have differences.

Ford has some obvious differences from Tesla but all the information is available to you on their websites.

Tire Warranties

Tires

Think for a second about what might be the most important safety item to keep a constant eye out for, you guessed it, your car’s tires. There are companies that state that their tires have a shelf life of this or that, but the cold hard truth is that cars are susceptible to all kinds of perils on the road in regards to their tires. There could be road debris, nails, or they could just wear out and break apart.

What solutions can you think of in order to achieve this? Having a spare – this is a great solution in the short run. But let’s dig a little deeper, let’s dig into the actual functional life of a tire. First of all most tires are made of rubber and some have fiber, some are smooth for racing or city driving while some are knobby for gripping wet mud and climbing you up the side of a hill.

The rule of thumb is that the tire will last for six years from when it was purchased and installed. However if you have a good eye you can check to see when most of the tread is gone, then it is time to upgrade tires. Luckily for us most car tires sold in the U.S. have thread indicators on them and once these start to peek through the rubber, then it is time to change your tires.

Regardless of what type of tire you buy, the manufacturers offer what is known as tread life warranties. There are a stipulated amount of miles that a specific tire should run smoothly, under normal driving conditions. Two exemptions to this rule must be made, off road vehicles or extreme performance tires like race tires. The normal rules of wear and tear do not apply in these cases.

If the tire has worn out evenly way before the tires life is up, then you may be able to get the tires replaced under the tread – life warranty. This requires proof of purchase so keep onto your receipts.

Some tire companies add a road hazard warranty, in the case that you get a flat, you can take your tire to the company and they will fix it free of charge, if you can prove that you bought the tire there.

When it comes to warranty, tire warranties are like car warranties, there are certain things that you can do that can void this additional perk. If you think of the most important part of your vehicle to check periodically, your tires are it! Maintain them properly, ensure that they are wearing evenly and if not get them rotated. Each tire comes with specific volume limits when it comes to filling the tire with H20 or Nitrogen.

Rotate your tires periodically, do not drag race or spin out with them or go drifting unless you are Kenny Block.