Do you ask yourself, "Should I warm up my car in the winter?" If you're one of those motorists who feel it's crucial to turn on your automobile and let it sit for some time before hitting the streets in the wintertime, you might be doing your car more harm than good.
Your vehicle doesn't necessitate warming up on a cold morning. Below is why many motorists still hold to this belief and why this lie needs to stop.
"Should I Warm Up My Car in the Winter?" Ancient Advice
Whoever told you that you must warm up your automobile on a cold morning is stuck in the past.
Before 1980, numerous vehicles required idling in the cold months. The reason being carburetors controlled the fuel-air combination within the engine and couldn't correctly modify the air to fuel ratio in cold weather.
In cold temps, carburetors wouldn't be able to evaporate all the gas they allow into the engine. Therefore, some of it would remain as a liquid instead of burning off. To work right, a carburetor must warm up, or else it'll stall.
Reasons Not to Warm Up in Winter
Still not persuaded to stop warming up your car? Well, keep reading to find out how harmful it is.
It Causes Engine Damage: If your check engine light is on, it might indicate engine damage stemming from warming up your car in the winter. Idling not only wastes gas but strips oil from vital parts that aid in your engine operating. Little oil means more wear and tear, friction, as well as a briefer lifespan for your engine.
Idling your car might reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency, harm your engine's piston, destroy the environment, and get you fined. Do your car, the earth, your wallet, and yourself a favor this winter and don't make "warming up my ride" a part of your morning routine.
If engine performance concerns you or your check engine light is consistently on, it's time to arrange a complete auto inspection. Please schedule an appointment with us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our technicians are ready to aid in helping your engine remain resilient for a long time.
If you're storing your convertible for the wintertime, having a vehicle sit for an extended period can take a toll on your automobile. The outcome is you might have trouble starting your car when you're ready to drive it.
However, with the right preparation, your vehicle can sit for weeks problem-free. Below is all you need to know regarding how long can a car sit without being driven.
The Answer to “How Long Can a Car Sit Without Being Driven?”
Damage to your automobile in long-term storage is contingent on numerous factors, like your parked vehicle's place and how appropriately you prepared it. Though, the adverse effects on an undriven car might become apparent sooner than you might think.
Fuel can go bad. If not kept in an airtight container, fuel changes with oxygen, causing it to decompose. This process starts after a month. It takes just 90 to 120 days for a full tank of gas to become corrupt. Old gasoline loses its capabilities and gets varnish and gummy deposits, which can destroy other parts of your vehicle's fuel system.
When you drive your car often, a battery usually lasts from two to five years. Though, when your car is sitting, the battery will die in only 60 days. When you're driving, the alternator continually recharges the battery to refuel the power you're using. No driving equals no charging, resulting in a dead battery.
When your car sits for a long time, flat spots develop on the tires. The tires form a sort of memory that stops them from becoming round. This occurrence creates shaking when you're driving after storage. Flat spots start as early as 30 days and get worse by low tire pressures.
In many instances, driving a car frequently after storage might eliminate the flat spots. But typically, the damage may be permanent, necessitating a new set of tires. Along that line, also check your belt and hoses. Due to storage, these parts might need replacement as well.
Reach out to us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance when you have questions about putting your vehicle in storage.
When there is a burning smell from your car while driving, it's imperative to handle the problem immediately. Read on to learn some probable causes.
Burning Smell from Car - Overheating Rubber
If you've detected a smell like burnt rubber coming from your automobile, it could be the result of a slipped belt. The smell might also be coming from a hose in the cooling system that is melting. If this happens, let the vehicle cool down. Afterward, get your belts checked by a professional Buffalo auto mechanic.
A short circuit in your auto's wiring could be by something as little as a plastic bag stuck in the exhaust, or something more complex like visible wires rubbing together. It doesn't matter the case. This issue can lead to a fire happening at any second. Take your vehicle into a repair shop ASAP if you get a whiff of burning plastic.
Brake Pads or Rotors
If you start to smell a burnt scent as you push down on your brakes, this can mean that you have overheated rotors or brake pads. Left unchecked, you might find yourself dealing with early brake failure or brake wear. Getting your rotors and brakes inspected right away if you believe the burning smell is flowing from this part of your automobile.
Leaking oil could be very dangerous for your car's safety and your well-being. It could destroy your engine or create a car fire. If you have an oil leak, your automobile will be the scent of pungent smoke or burning oil. Don't disregard the scent and have your car examined as soon as possible.
If you smell something burning when you cut on your vehicle's heat, that could mean something wrong with the heating unit. It might be from a damaged heating unit or debris and dust accumulation in the heating system.
If the smell continues after you've examined your vents for debris, bring your car into an auto repair shop to identify the issue. Call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance for help.
Brakes are your car's fundamental safety feature, and they are one of the parts created to wear down. But have you asked yourself, "How often should you replace brake pads? This article will tell you all you need to know regarding the regularity of brake service.
How Often Should You Replace Brake Pads: First How Do Brakes Work?
First, let's determine what happens when you use the brakes. Brakes are a system. There isn't one component in a vehicle you can refer to as a brake. To help you realize what type of wear your car's brakes will suffer, here is a quick look at how brakes work.
Your auto has two types of brakes: front and rear brakes. Front brakes use rotors as a braking gadget. Rear brakes might use rotors, although several manufacturers put in enlarging drum brakes to reduce production prices.
When you press the brake, it absorbs the fluid and drives it through a host of tubes. As the brake fluid comes to the front wheels, it triggers a caliper that presses the brake pads on both sides of the rotor, building resistance and making it slow down its motion.
For the back wheels, the brake fluid travels to the wheel cylinder in the drum, making the brake shoes go toward the rotating drum. The brake drums slow down and stop.
There are numerous parts prone to wear in a brake system. Brake shoes and brake pads are the best candidates for replacement. When they wear down, the next system components to experience destruction are drums and rotors. If changes aren't made to the brake shoes and pads in a timely fashion, you'll have costly repairs.
The Causes of Rapid Brake Wear
The less stress you put on your braking unit, the more time you can go without needing brake service.
To learn more about your braking system and when to replace your brake components, contact Buffalo Roadside Assistance.
You're driving along as usual when you come to a red light, you press the brake, but nothing happens.
What do you do? It's a scary situation and completely unexpected. Usually, brake failure occurs when you've worn out your brake pads or lost the right amount of brake fluid. If you want to know what to do if your brakes fail, adhere to these suggestions to be safe.
Downshift (What to Do if Your Brakes Fail)
First off, remain calm. The situation is manageable. You must put your vehicle into a low gear smoothly as you can. This task applies to both manual and automatic cars. There are a few things you should never do, such as:
If you have standard brakes, create brake fluid pressure by pumping the brakes rapidly. If, after a couple of pumps, your brakes still aren't functioning correctly, try the next tip below with the emergency brake.
Then, you can try your emergency brake. Please don't depend on it to make your vehicle entirely stop. Your emergency brake, though, will assist you in slowing down. When you first purchase your car, you should locate the emergency brake. Some are a little pedal to the left of the gas, and some emergency brakes are a hand-activated lever.
It's an excellent idea to test your emergency brake when traveling at a slow speed to see how effective it is.
Pull over to the side of the street, turning on your hazard lights. Be careful if you have to change lanes. Use your mirrors to have eyes on any traffic, signaling other motorists that you're moving to the roadside.
Even if you can get your brakes functioning once more after a meltdown, you should pull over and get in touch with a towing company like Buffalo Roadside Assistance. You need to have your car professionally inspected. It's too hazardous to keep driving.
Routine brake care should stop a situation like this. So, make sure you're up to date on your auto maintenance.
Would you rather drive uphill or downhill? If you ask most people, they will instead go uphill since driving downhill is difficult. It is somewhat harder because you need to think about numerous things like maintaining your car's brakes. Here are some tips on how to brake safely while traveling downhill.
How to Brake Safely While Traveling Downhill: Use a Low Gear
Using a low gear will aid in controlling the speed of your vehicle.
Furthermore, using a low gear would connect engine braking, stopping your car's brakes from burning. Placing your car in 2nd or 3rd gear while going downhill could be your best option if you're driving a manual.
In case you own a contemporary automatic vehicle, you can use the paddle shifters, manual plus, or minus mode and shift into a low gear. Don't fret about the high engine revs when you're in low gear. This action is an element of the engine braking method.
Save the Brakes
You should perform engine braking by moving into a lower gear when driving downhill. Let the engine slow your automobile down when embarking upon steep drops. Putting too much pressure on your car's brakes can cause them to overheat and die. The last thing you want to happen is to have bad brakes when you're driving. You might have a dreadful ending.
Don't Shift into Neutral
Do not shift in neutral when you're driving. Experts say that cruising in neutral can lead to a capable fuel economy. Though, this is not safe mainly when you're traveling downhill. You aren't complete control of your automobile when you shift into neutral.
Moreover, you'll put excessive pressure on your vehicle's brakes when moving downhill since you aren't applying engine braking. Also, you might react safer and quicker to various road hazards when you have an engaging gear.
One of the best things to do is driving along picturesque mountain roads. Though, it would be best if you didn't compromise your security when you're traveling sharp downhill roads. Don't forget to allow your engine to perform the braking while shifting into low gear. No motorists want to drive a vehicle that has faulty brakes.
If you're stuck on the highway due to faulty brakes, call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance.
Uh oh, my check engine light came on. You possibly feel a sense of dread. No worries. Continue reading below to get a clue of what could be wrong.
My Check Engine Light Came On: What's Wrong?
The check engine light brightens when your auto's computer thinks there is an issue that might affect your vehicle's emissions control system.
When the light illuminates, a few diagnostic problem codes are in the vehicle's computer. These codes remain there even if the light disappears. To deal with a check engine light problem, you or your auto technician can get the codes by using a scanner and then troubleshooting to discover the issue.
Don't mistake the check engine light with the service or maintenance light. These lights brighten for expected routine services. Mileage and gas usage generate service lights. Get it analyzed by a mechanic.
What's Next: My Check Engine Light is On
Below are some typical situations:
The Check Engine Light Flashes.
If the check engine light flashes in the city but goes off on the highway, then the issue is only occurring in city driving conditions. Pay attention to whether or not your car works any differently when you see the light.
If you detect a difference, drive the car as little as possible and bring it to your mechanic. In this condition, you run the risk of your car dying. You don't want to be stuck on the side of the road, waiting for towing service.
The Check Engine Light Comes On and the Light Remains Lit.
If the check engine light is on continuously while driving with no visible issues, there is a fault in the emission control system. When this occurs, the computer that powers the emissions system will have your automobile working in a couple of lower gears. This idea is called "limp-home mode." Get your vehicle serviced immediately.
The Check Engine Light Remains On and there are Performance Issues.
This statement means that a crucial part of your emission control system has a significant issue. It typically is a component the automobile needed to function. In many instances, the car is not safe to drive at all. It can stop at any minute. It's advised to pull over to a safe spot and call emergency towing service.
Common Causes of a Check Engine Light
Numerous issues can cause your check engine light to illuminate, such as loose gas cap, bad spark plug wires, and bad oxygen sensor. Call Buffalo Roadside Assistance to identify your problem accurately.
Most folks are aware of which type of gas their vehicle requires. But not as many are knowledgeable about the difference between regular and premium gas.
Difference Between Regular and Premium Gas
One apparent difference is the price. Based on studies, premium fuel usually averages around 55 cents more per gallon than regular gas.
Switching from Premium to Regular Gas
Automobiles function best with a particular type of fuel.
A high-octane gas won't ignite swiftly. This fact explains why high-performance vehicles with high compression engines need higher octane gas. Engines that use higher octane fuel typically work more effectively. It is critical to use the right octane for your particular car. Using the correct octane level stops damage to your car's engine, helping it operate at peak performance.
If you use a lower than suggested level, the gas might combust too quickly for your engine. Additionally, a lower than recommended gas can diminish your vehicle's power and fuel economy, causing engine damage.
Using fuel with a high-octane rating than suggested, the possibility of danger lessens. The fact is that using premium gas when your vehicle operates on regular gas doesn't provide any extra advantages.
If your engine uses higher compression ratios, you will usually have to use high-octane gas. Your owner's manual tells you which gas is best for your vehicle model. You can look inside your fuel door. A sticker is there displaying your auto's fuel requirements.
If your car needs premium fuel, the sticker will say "premium unleaded fuel only" and the correct octane level.
The Longevity of Premium Gas
If your auto's manual just states to use "premium" or "premium recommended," you might want to test the various premium levels to analyze how your vehicle's performance alters. You could do this by letting your gas tank get to a quarter level and fill up with premium gas.
Jot down your gas mileage while driving with the various premium gas octanes. Test the different octane levels. You need to observe how your vehicle sounds and feels while driving. You also want to write down the acceleration rates.
To enhance your car's overall performance, drive it more proficiently. For instance, don't floor it when the light turns green. When driving long distances, go at a consistent speed.
At Buffalo Roadside, we always understand the importance of having a well-functioning vehicle. Call us if you find yourself needing roadside help.
When talking about vehicle maintenance, numerous factors detect normalcy in theory but seldom come to pass. For example, a car battery lifespan is four years. Though, in the real world, vibration, aftermarket navigation systems, and temperature extremes all take a toll on the battery.
If you look at a typical car battery, it's simple to see why these things affect a healthy battery life. In the plastic box are plates of materials like lead dioxide and lead. The plates are floating in a mix of sulfuric acid and water, creating an electrolytic solution. This solution lets electrons travel between the plates.
Negative Impacts on Car Batteries
Numerous factors disturb a battery's chemical reaction. A poorly secured batter or vibrations from rough travel can damage or loosen the plates. Extreme quickens the chemical reaction, reducing battery life. Extreme cold can extend battery life by decelerating the result. Some batteries are protected by insulation to keep dangerous temperatures at bay.
Driving style can affect the reaction as well. Starting a vehicle takes a big jolt of electricity. Therefore, the charging system must step in to reload the battery. If you make a good number of short trips or short commutes, the battery never becomes fully charged. This consistent state of undercharging produces acid stratification.
The light acid layer will start to destroy the plates. The heavy acid solution will begin to counterbalance the car's electrical needs by operating harder than constructed to work. The effect is briefer battery life, even if the battery displays as working on regular tests.
Signs of Car Battery Problems
Batteries are so simple and so dependable that drivers tend to forget they're even there until it's too late. If you regularly check your car's battery, you'll lessen your risk of being stuck on the road. Batteries are very affordable, considering the amount of work they do.
The most apparent sign of a battery issue is a dead battery. Though a dead battery could be a sign of a deeper problem. If something is wrong in the electrical system, a working battery might be giving less electricity than necessary.
The best way to test a car battery is with the electronic tester at many auto parts stores. You can also call us at Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our expert can hook the tester to the battery in the automobile. It takes a photo of your battery's condition and suggests whether it needs replacing.
There's nothing quite as frightening as when your vehicle begins giving you grief while you're driving down the street. Do you know the steps to take if your car dies on you? Keep reading to learn what you need to do if your car dies while driving.
Why Your Car Dies While Driving
Out of fuel - If this keeps happening to you, you might need to have an auto technician examine your fuel gauge. You could be getting a false reading.
A problem with the fuel pump - If something is blocking a filter on the car or a fuel pump, the car can die while driving.
Alternator problems - When there is an issue with the alternator, the car operates off the battery. The battery can only go for so long before it's drained.
Malfunctioning sensors - Modern vehicles have computers. The sensors can transmit the wrong information.
Steps to Take When Your Car Dies
Your main priority must be the safety of both yourself and other drivers. Here's what to do if your car dies while driving it:
Steer the vehicle to the side of the road. Don't panic. Despite the loss of brakes and power steering, you can still pull your vehicle over and get the car to stop. It will just be way harder. If you find it too problematic to slow down, go toward a safe spot, and use the emergency brake.
Attempt to restart the vehicle. If you can start your car again, fabulous. Though, the real problem is a clear sign that you need to head for an auto shop to get the issue assessed.
Call for assistance. Call for towing services to your auto mechanic. This is an issue you need to take care of immediately.
Reduce the Risk of Your Car Dying
Several factors can cause your automobile to die while driving. It's crucial to be mindful of your vehicle's maintenance status at all times. Watch where your gas levels are as well.
Whatever the reason your automobile goes out on you, it's imperative to have the problem handled by a professional like Buffalo Roadside Assistance. Our towing technicians provide gas recovery and jump-start battery services. Reach out to us for all your roadside assistance needs.
Buffalo Roadside is here for all your road care needs. Read our blog for tips on maintenance and how to stay safe on the road!