maintenance

Exhaust Tips: How Do I Know Something is Wrong?

As a general rule, it’s always more efficient to make car repairs early before small issues turn into large ones, but your muffler can be tricky. Sometimes, it’s tough to tell if you have an issue or if something is just stuck beneath the vehicle causing a ruckus. The exhaust system in any vehicle is critical to safety, both for the engine’s health as well as your own. It not only keeps the car quiet, but also serves to ensure that fumes stay outside of the cabin where they belong. Not only does it keep the engine running smoothly, but your exhaust system lowers harmful emissions into the environment, maintaining a clean vehicle in all respects. Equally as great, it works to maintain maximum fuel efficiency, keeping your costs down at the pump!

The main causes of potential exhaust problems stem from the following, instrumental parts of your system.

Catalytic Converter – When the catalytic converter needs replacing, you know it. A noise similar to shaking a can of rocks can be heard whenever driving. This becomes a distraction, both due to the volume and the sensation of knocking below the car. If you suspect an issue with your catalytic converter, contact your neighborhood repair shop right away, as it may be something that if caught early could save you a substantial expense!

Fuel Efficiency – Have you noticed that the tank needs filling more often than before? Increased fuel use is an indicator of a problem. If your vehicle requires more fuel to perform at an average level, it is an indicator of a leak somewhere within the exhaust system. Leaks of this nature cause the engine to work harder, a condition that may have detrimental effects on the rest of your vehicle.

Volume Level Increase – The most obvious sign of an exhaust issue remains to be increased volume while driving. This increase can often be felt as a deep and loud resonance throughout the engine. If your car is significantly louder than usual, bring it by Quality Auto Care for a check. The issue may be a leaky muffler or damaged catalytic converter and catching any problem early is better than letting it carry on to cause more extensive damage.

Excessive Rust – Consider the look of the muffler and exhaust system. If corrosion has reached levels that appear unsafe, it’s time to have the system checked. This may not be a massive issue, but it doesn’t hurt to be overly cautious especially if any of the indicators above are coupled with excessive rust.

Different parts of your car’s exhaust system show separate and distinct signs of wear and a need for replacement. If there is any doubt, call to make an appointment or just bring your car by your friends at Quality Auto Care – your neighborhood repair shop. Our experts will identify any issue and point out the many options you will have for either replacement or repair. Relax while we perform a diagnostic check of your exhaust system. Feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee while you wait. If time is a concern, ask about our shuttle service. Auto repair doesn’t need to disrupt your entire day. We understand that schedules must be kept and are happy to offer solutions to get you where you need to be.

Summer Road Trip Checklist

With Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial kick off for summer, there are several summertime maintenance tips that come to mind. Summer is the time for travel. The kids are off from school, weather is beautiful, and everyone wants to pile into the car to head off somewhere new. Before you pull out of your driveway, consider the following tips to ensure that you have a safe, trip-ready vehicle! You might even save some money at the gas pump along the way.

1. Simple tire check – It’s easy to overlook tires because they are reliable, do not give much of an indicator when service is necessary, and generally get the job done with little regular maintenance. Checking the tire pressure prior to leaving on any trip is essential and most people overlook it. Driving on both under-inflated and over-inflated tires is dangerous in any season, but moreso as the weather becomes hot. Pressure changes as temperatures rise, putting your vehicle in danger of a blow out or misalignment issue.

2. Check the oil – While most vehicles require an oil change every 3,000 miles, our cars burn more oil over the summer months when long road trips are in the itinerary. Take the time to check the oil prior to any road trip to ensure that levels are appropriate. If the oil is low, top it off before heading out onto the open road.

3. Fluids are your friends – Checking the fluid levels in your vehicle prior to a road trip is essential. Running out of wiper fluid when it’s needed is never a good experience. Neither is being low on coolant because chances are, it’s going to be hot out there when the AC stops doing its job. Best to prepare your vehicle for the road ahead before even starting the engine.

4. Air filter check – Give your air filter a look before any road trip because it’s your car’s first line of defense against debris. A clogged air filter also lowers fuel efficiency and no one wants to pay more than they have to at the pump.

5. What’s that squeak?– The brakes are your first line of defense in an auto emergency. Heading out on a trip with worn brake pads or grinding puts both you and your family at risk. If either squeaking or grinding is noticeable, bring your vehicle in for a quick diagnostic. It doesn’t hurt to check before you are on the road for hours at a time.

6. Clean the battery – A battery weighed down with corrosion can cause a multitude of problems, first being losing its charge. Couple this with hot weather and the opposite effect is possible – overcharging. This could dramatically shorten the lifespan of your battery. Keeping your battery clean can reduce the possibility of overcharging significantly.

For more tips on preparing for a summer road trip, come in to Quality Auto Care. Our expert technicians are happy to advise on this and all car care related matters. It’s our pleasure to help out those in our community and our friends who drive from neighboring communities. We look forward to seeing you!

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