Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Lane Departure Warning

Lane Departure Warning A Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system monitors your vehicle’s position within the driving lane and alerts you as your vehicle approaches or crosses lane markings without your turn signal and lane change feature activated. In those cases where you haven’t activated either the turn signal or lane change feature, the system assumes you are inadvertently drifting out of your lane and alerts you to avoid an accident or collision. How Does Lane Departure Warning System Work? A LDW system uses at least one camera in your vehicle … Read More

Forward Collision Warning

Forward Collision Warning Safety Feature A forward collision warning system (FCW) detects a potential collision with a vehicle ahead and alerts the driver with a visual and audible signal. Some systems also provide alerts for pedestrians or other objects. Some systems may also activate Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to avoid a collision. Forward Collision Warning Can Saves Lives The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates as many as 1.9 million total crashes could be prevented or mitigated each year if all vehicles were equipped with forward-collision systems. NTSB figures show … Read More

Blind spot monitor

Blind spot monitor or blind spot warning Blind spot warning (BSW) is the new term industry term to replace blind spot monitoring A blind spot warning system detects vehicles in the blind spot of the vehicle while driving. It notifies the driver to the presence of the other vehicle in the blind spot by illuminating a light on the side rearview mirror. If the driver activates the turn signal or lane change feature, the system may also produce and audible warning. How blind spot warning works Blind spot warning (BSW) … Read More

Oil filter removal tips

Oil filter removal —Tips to make oil filter changes easier Four basic types of oil filter wrenches for spin-on filters • Oil filter pliers wrench —  pros and cons PRO: Many shops use an adjustable oil filter plier wrench. A single plier wrench can handle many different filter sizes. As long as the filter wasn’t overtightened by the previous installer, this wrench works well and saves time. CON: If the filter is stuck and you use this wrench, you will crush the filter and turn the job into a disaster. … Read More

Oil filter size versus capacity

Oil filter size has nothing to do with capacity A larger oil filter size does not mean it has greater filtration capacity In the early days of oil filtration technology there were only a few different types of cellulose filtration papers. So a larger filter generally meant is could trap more particles. That’s no longer true Modern oil filters can be made from over 80 different types of filter media Based on the vast array of filtration media available these days, you really can’t judge a filter’s capacity by it’s … Read More

Wheel speed sensor

Wheel speed sensors — How they work and the two types What does a wheel speed sensor do? Wheel speed sensors track the rotation speed of each wheel (in most vehicles *) and report the speed in either analog or digital format to the Anti-lock Brake Module (ABS Module). The ABS module compares the speed reading from each wheel. If the ABS module senses that one wheel is slowing down faster than the other wheels, it concludes that the slowing wheel is losing traction with the road (due to water, … Read More

Timing belt versus timing chain

Timing belt versus timing chain What does a timing belt do? What does a timing chain do? Every internal combustion engine contains a crankshaft and at least one camshaft. Both the crankshaft and camshaft must rotate in precise synchronization with each other to avoid the pistons hitting an open valve. There are three ways to do that: gear, chain, or a belt. All three methods accomplish the same goal, rotate the crankshaft and camshaft in synchronization with each other. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. Timing gears In … Read More

Direct-Fit versus universal-fit catalytic Converter

Direct-Fit versus universal-fit catalytic Converter What is a direct fit catalytic converter? A direct fit catalytic converter is designed to bolt/weld directly onto the vehicle’s exhaust system without any modifications or additional flanges. A universal fit catalytic converter, on the other hand, most likely requires significant modifications in order to fit into your vehicle’s exhaust. That’s why they cost more than universal catalytic converters. They are also designed to meet the carmakers specifications for cleaning up the exhaust. What is a universal fit catalytic converter? Universal converters are made to … Read More

Tire dry rot — causes

What causes tire dry rot? Dry rot has many names but the same causes If your tires have cracks in the sidewall, shoulder area and between the tread blocks, chances are you have tire dry rot. Tire cracks are also referred to as Sidewall Weathering, Weather Checking,  Weather Cracking, or Ozone Cracking. #1 Cause of dry rot tire cracking Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays. UV degrades rubber and the synthetic materials used in your tires. To determine if the tire cracks are caused by sun exposure, simply compare … Read More

Does toothpaste actually clean headlights?

Toothpaste to clean you headlights? Don’t waste your time What causes headlights to become yellow or cloudy? Modern headlights lenses are made from polycarbonate plastic. It’s strong and crack resistant. But it scratches easily and is susceptible to oxidation. So new headlights are sprayed a scratch resistant clear coat to protect the surface layer. Over time, the sun’s UV rays and the sandblasting effect of road dust and grit tend to wear off the clear coat, causing the polycarbonate to appear cloudy and yellow. The cloudiness can reduce headlight brightness … Read More

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