T-berry Enterprises

Mobile Auto Repairs

The purpose of this page is to help promote better understanding of your automobile. So when your "mechanic" calls to tell you that; Your A/C is not blowing cold because the "service soon" or "check engine" light on your dash is on, you will not assume that he/she is scamming you. Most people that are not mechanically inclined have been burned at least once unfortunately. If you have a question that you need a quick reply to you can e-mail me and I'll try and answer your question, I check my e-mail 3 or 4 times a day. Please keep in mind that I do not have your car in front of me, so it is impossible to make an exact diagnosis and I would not even try. I will give you a second opinion based on the information you provide, and let you know if I think your being "oversold". I have been in the auto repair business professionally for over 18 years and specialize in Emissions and drivability problems but also all the other systems on your vehicles.

Vehicle Systems

The Car care Council has developed a service interval schedule with general guidelines for the regular maintenance of passenger cars, mini vans, pickups and SUVs. Below is a breakdown of the vehicle systems that require regular maintenance, as outlined in the council's car care guide.

BELTS AND HOSES

BRAKE SYSTEM

EMISSION SYSTEM

ENGINE

ENGINE COOLING SYSTEM

EXHAUST SYSTEM

FILTERS AND FLUIDS

FUEL SYSTEM

LIGHTING AND WIPERS

STARTING, CHARGING AND BATTERIES

STEERING AND SUSPENSION

TRANSMISSION

BELTS AND HOSES

What is it?
You car%u2019s belts and hoses are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems, and the engine. Don%u2019t take these routine replacement intervals for granted because they can break down and leave you stranded.

What does it do?
The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft mechanically synchronized to maintain engine timing. Whether serpentine, V-belt or fan belt (the belts on the outside of the engine), they all transmit power from the front of the engine to accessories that need to be driven, such as the air conditioning, the charging system and fans. Radiator and heat hoses carry coolant to and from the engine, radiator and heater core.

Typical Wear and Tear
Key items that affect the replacement interval for belts and hoses:
%u2022Vehicle age
%u2022Electrolytic corrosion
%u2022Mileage
%u2022Oil contamination
%u2022Belt tension
%u2022Failed hose clamps

Symptoms
%u2022Squeaking noise from under the hood during start-up or operation
%u2022Coolant leaks
%u2022Dashboard light will illuminate

BRAKE SYSTEM

What is it?
Your car%u2019s brake system is its most critical safety system and you should check it immediately if you suspect any problems. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation under a wide variety of conditions.

What does it do?
When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (drum brakes) and the pads against the rotors (disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the amount of force applied at the brake pedal.

Typical Wear and Tear
Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they%u2019re going to need replacement. Avoid letting your brakes get to the %u201Cmetal-to-metal%u201D point, which usually means accelerating expensive rotor or drum replacement. Several factors that affect wear include:
%u2022Driving habits
%u2022Operating conditions
%u2022Vehicle type
%u2022The quality of brake lining material

Symptoms
%u2022Car pulls to one side during braking
%u2022Brake pedal pulsates when you apply the brakes
%u2022Brake pedal feels %u201Cmushy%u201D
%u2022Noise when you step on the brake pedal
%u2022Repeatedly need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder

EMISSION SYSTEM

What is it?
Your car%u2019s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in all sorts of operating conditions. If your car%u2019s engine isn%u2019t performing up to par or the %u201CCheck Engine%u201D light goes on, have it inspected immediately. Failure to do so can reduce your mileage per gallon of fuel or cause your vehicle to pollute.

What does it do?
Your car%u2019s emission system controls the emissions, exhaust and pollutants using an array of sensors, computerized engine controls and the exhaust components. The emission system substantially reduces harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and prevents harmful gasoline vapors from escaping at the fuel tank.

Typical Wear and Tear
Some factors affecting the emission system include:
%u2022Driving and atmospheric conditions
%u2022Mileage
%u2022Vehicle age
%u2022Type of spark plug electrode material
%u2022Maintenance history
%u2022Poor spark
%u2022Bad fuel
%u2022Damaged or worn sensors

ENGINE

Rebuilt Engine
When a car or truck suffers major engine damage, the first reaction of most vehicle owners is to buy a new or used car or truck. This makes sense in some cases, but often, it isn%u2019t necessary. Repowering your car or truck%u2019s worn out engine with a rebuilt/remanufactured engine can also be considerably less expensive than buying a new or used car. A rebuilt engine is one that is remanufactured to prescribed standards and specifications by highly-skilled machinists using state-of-the-art equipment and components. During this process, many of the new components installed meet or exceed original equipment performance standards. Frequently, rebuilt engines are superior to new car engines because better parts are used, or design changes in parts correct problems with the original engine. Rebuilt/remanufactured engines are dependable, reliable and backed by warranty programs. A rebuilt engine gets better gas mileage than a worn-out engine and emits fewer pollutants. Engine repowering also saves energy related to processing discarded engines and cars. The savings from engine repowering is notable when compared to the prices of new cars and trucks. A rebuilt/ remanufactured engine purchased and installed at an average cost of $2500 - $3500 is a sound and attractive investment. Typically, a professionally rebuilt engine comes with a one-year or 12,000-mile warranty but some of these warranties can be as long as 36 months or 36,000 miles. Check with your local repair shop for information on their rebuilt engines and warranty programs.

ENGINE COOLING SYSTEM

What is it?
The engine cooling system affects your car%u2019s overall dependability and engine longevity. Cooling systems have advanced over the years with new coolant formulations and new radiator designs and materials. If you suspect a problem with your cooling system, you should check it immediately.

What does it do?
The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate heat to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.

Typical Wear and Tear
Factors that affect the replacement of cooling system parts include:
%u2022Driving habits
%u2022Operating conditions
%u2022Type of vehicle
%u2022Type of coolant
%u2022Frequency of regular maintenance such as coolant changes

Symptoms
%u2022Overheating
%u2022Sweet smell
%u2022Leaks
%u2022Repeatedly need to add fluid

EXHAUST SYSTEM

What is it?
Your car%u2019s exhaust system has come a long way from the old days of exhaust pipes and mufflers. Today, the exhaust system is safety and emissions control rolled into one. Have your car%u2019s exhaust system inspected regularly and check it immediately if you suspect any problems.

What does it do?
The exhaust system routes dangerous exhaust gas from the engine out and away from the car to keep from affecting the occupants. Next, the exhaust system reduces exhaust noise from the engine. The catalytic converter reduces the level of harmful pollutants in the exhaust. Finally, the oxygen sensors mounted in the exhaust system monitor the level of exhaust gases to maintain efficient engine operation and to monitor the converter%u2019s operation.

Typical Wear and Tear
Maintain a safe car with regular exhaust system checks. Factors that affect replacement requirements include:
%u2022Driving habits (short trips take their toll on exhaust system life)
%u2022Road conditions (salt, road spray, bumps)
%u2022Vehicle type
%u2022Age of exhaust system parts

Symptoms
%u2022Loud noise
%u2022Rattling noise when starting, accelerating or braking
%u2022Drowsiness while driving

FILTERS AND FLUIDS

What is it?
Your car%u2019s filters are important to the longevity of your car and interior comfort. Maximize your car investment by replacing filters regularly.

What does it do?
The oil filter traps contaminants, allowing the oil to flow through the engine unrestricted. The fuel filter separates harmful contaminants that may cause problems with carburetors or intricate fuel injectors. The air filter traps dirt particles, which can cause damage to engine cylinders, walls, pistons and piston rings. The air filter also plays a role in keeping contaminants off the airflow sensor (in fuel-injected cars). The cabin filter helps trap pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases that may find their way into a car%u2019s ventilation system.

Typical Wear and Tear
Filters are normal wear items that require regular checks and replacement. Factors that affect replacement intervals include:
%u2022Mileage
%u2022Driving habits
%u2022Driving and road conditions
%u2022Type of filter
%u2022Vehicle type

Symptoms
%u2022Poor gas mileage
%u2022Hesitation while accelerating
%u2022Musty odor in the cabin

FUEL SYSTEM

What is it?
You car%u2019s fuel system works with the rest of the engine control system to deliver the best performance with the lowest emissions. Check your car%u2019s fuel system regularly or immediately if you smell gas or suspect a problem.

What does it do?
The fuel system transfers fuel from the fuel tank and passes it through a fuel filter for cleaning before it arrives at the injectors. A pressure regulator controls fuel pressure to ensure good engine performance under a variety of speed and load conditions. Fuel injectors, when activated, spray a metered amount of fuel into the engine. Some vehicles use a return line system to return unused fuel back to the tank.

Typical Wear and Tear
Intervals for fuel system maintenance may be influenced by:
%u2022Fuel quality
%u2022Vehicle age
%u2022Mileage
%u2022Operating conditions
%u2022Maintenance history

Symptoms
%u2022Clogged or worn fuel injectors
%u2022Poor fuel economy
%u2022Vehicle won%u2019t start
%u2022%u201CCheck Engine%u201D light is illuminated

LIGHTING AND WIPERS

What is it?
Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving %u2013 the chances for accidents increase if you can%u2019t see or be seen. Some states have laws that require the headlights to be on with the wipers. If you detect any problems with your car%u2019s lights or wipers, have them checked out at once.

What does it do?
The wiper system keeps excessive water, snow or dirt from building up on the windshield and removes them to maintain clear visibility through the windshield. The lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers, and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle%u2019s interior.

Typical Wear and Tear
Lights and wipers are normal wear items that require periodic replacement. Factors affecting replacement intervals include:
%u2022Operating conditions (winter conditions are tough on wiper blades)
%u2022Frequency of use
%u2022Material and type of lights and wipers
%u2022Sunny weather %u2013 wiper blades can deteriorate faster and need more frequent replacement in desert states

Symptoms
%u2022Chattering or streaking wiper
%u2022Rapid signal blinking
%u2022Dimming lights

STARTING, CHARGING AND BATTERIES

What is it?
Your car%u2019s starting and charging systems, and the battery help ensure dependable vehicle operation whenever you drive your car and in all sorts of driving conditions. Make sure to check these systems regularly.

What does it do?
The battery stores electrical energy and the starter converts that energy into mechanical force to turn the engine for starting. The alternator produces electric current to replace what the starter used during start-up and to support electrical loads when the engine is running. An ignition module turns the low-voltage supply to the ignition coil on and off, and the coil produces the high voltage for the ignition system. This creates a spark at the spark plugs and ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine. A belt transmits power from the front of the engine to the alternator%u2019s pulley, along with other accessories.

Typical Wear and Tear
Driving habits such as frequent engine on/off cycles will cause more wear on the starter than a simple trip back and forth to work. Other factors include:
%u2022Driving and weather conditions
%u2022Mileage
%u2022Vehicle age
%u2022Excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems

Symptoms
%u2022Headlights and interior lights dim
%u2022%u201CCheck Engine%u201D and/or battery light may come on
%u2022Accessories fail to operate

STEERING AND SUSPENSION

What is it?
Like your car%u2019s brake system, the steering and suspension systems are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car%u2019s ride and handling. Have your car%u2019s steering and suspension systems checked regularly, at least once a year and usually with a wheel alignment.

What does it do?
The suspension maintains the relationship between the wheels and the frame or unibody. The suspension system interacts with the steering system to provide vehicle control. When working properly, the suspension system helps absorb the energy from road irregularities such as potholes and helps to maintain vehicle stability. The steering system transmits your input from the steering wheel to the steering gear and other steering components to control the car%u2019s direction.

Typical Wear and Tear
Over time, steering and suspension components wear out and require replacement. Regular checks are critical to maintain a safe car. Factors that affect wear include:
%u2022Driving habits
%u2022Operating conditions
%u2022Vehicle type
%u2022Type of steering and suspension system
%u2022Frequency of regular maintenance such as chassis lubrication and wheel alignment

Symptoms
%u2022Pulling
%u2022Uneven tire wear
%u2022Noise and vibration while cornering
%u2022Loss of control

TRANSMISSION

What is it?
The transmission works with the engine to provide power to you car%u2019s wheels. Whether automatic or manual, the transmission plays a major role in the overall dependability of your car. Make sure to check it at the first sign of problems.

What does it do?
A transmission/transaxle keeps the engine%u2019s output optimally matched to the speed and load conditions. The torque converter, connected to the automatic transmission/transaxle input shaft, connects, multiplies and interrupts the flow of engine torque into the transmission. Universal joints connect to the driveshaft to transmit output power from the transmission to the rear axle on rear-wheel-drive cars. Universal joints also allow the driveshaft to work at an angle. Automatic transmission fluid serves a multitude of purposes. It cleans, cools, lubricates, transmits force, transmits pressure, inhibits varnish buildup and continually protects the transmission. There are several different types of automatic transmission fluid. Reference your owner%u2019s manual for how they should be used.

Typical Wear and Tear
Wear and tear on the transmission can be influenced by:
%u2022Driving habits
%u2022Towing or excessive loads
%u2022Operating conditions
%u2022Condition of the transmission fluid
%u2022Frequency of regular maintenance

Symptoms
%u2022Slipping
%u2022Hesitation
%u2022Bucking
%u2022Grinding gears
%u2022Difficulty shifting

%u2022Talking to your mechanic%u2022 When do I change my oil %u2022 Freon changeovers %u2022 Why did I fail my emission test

%u2022 Wiring Diagrams %u2022 TSB's and Recalls%u2022 OBD II CODES %u2022 Oxygen Sensors %u2022 NOx FAILURES

%u2022 Brake Squeals %u2022 Certifications %u2022 Glossary %u2022 Cooling System %u2022 KIA TIMING BELT WARNING

Please feel free to contact me at the following address:

Last Updated on 12/15/2008

webmaster:stberry@netzero.com