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When Does the Gas Light Turn On in Your Car?

A car needs fuel to get running fuel. Thus, no driver in his or her right mind would drive with no or little fuel left. You might get stuck in the middle of the road, and this isn't one of the situations that a driver would want to run into. However, you might just get stuck on the road with an empty tank if you continue ignoring the illuminated gas light on the dashboard.

The gas light – also known as fuel light, low fuel indicator, fuel warning light – doesn’t really turn on when the fuel tank is already empty. Instead, the gas light turns on when fuel in the tank has reached an incredibly low level. Typically, the gas light turns on when there is only between one gallon and two gallons of fuel left in the tank. It totally depends on the manufacturer on how much fuel really remains in the tank.

Nonetheless, the remaining distance that a car can travel after the gas light turns on is totally dependent on its fuel economy rating. For example, if the gas light turns on when only two gallons are left on the tank and your car’s fuel economy rating is around 25 mpg, then you only have around 50 miles to travel before the tank totally empties.

Read the entire article When Does the Gas Light Turn On in Your Car?

How to take care of your car windows?

Your car windows, including the windshield, are essentially your eyes to the outside world. Just imagine sitting inside your car and the panels stretch up to the roof. You would feel cramped and insecure as you don’t see what is happening outside your car. While allowing occupants to see into the outside world, car windows also protect them from incoming dirt, debris and the elements.

Nonetheless, because of being always exposed to the elements, windows are prone to getting worn out over time. You may start to notice that the outside view from the cabin isn't as clear as before, no thanks to scratches and chips on the your window. If that happens on the windshield, it becomes a safety issue.

Thus, there is an apparent to take care of your car’s windows, including the windshield. Here are some tips on how you can do it.

Read the entire article How to take care of your car windows?

5 basic things to know when buying a convertible

Every time you see a convertible on the road, perhaps you can’t help but be left in awe. After all, convertibles – cars with removable or retractable tops – have a charm of their own that are different from their fixed top counterparts. They offer the joy of open-air drive and ride. Hence, they attract more attention on the road than typical fixed roof cars.

Because of their inherent charm, you might have plans to buy a new convertible, also known as roadsters, spiders or open-tops. But before doing that, it might be wise to know the characteristics of a convertible. This way, you won’t be surprised if you find something not agreeable to your tastes and preferences.

Read the entire article 5 basic things to know when buying a convertible

Air bag suspension: how does it work and how long does it last?

The suspension system plays an important role in a car’s operation. It is vital not just in making the car’s occupant comfortable but also in delivering a higher level of safety. The suspension essentially helps in absorbing and directing road force, while supporting the weight of the car. Nowadays, more and more cars employ air suspension systems.

For several decades, the suspension system of most cars employs traditional shock absorbers and coil springs which help minimize the impact transferred from the road to the car, and ultimately to its occupant. However, traditional stock shocks and springs were designed to deal with a limited set of road situations.

Air suspension systems were once exclusive for luxury cars and heavy-duty trucks. However, as ordinary cars get more technological advanced, air bag suspension systems were eventually adopted. Air suspension systems basically replace the coil springs and shocks/struts with air springs, which are essentially air bags made from tough rubber and plastic. The air bags are inflated to a certain pressure and height to function like the coil springs.

Read the entire article Air bag suspension: how does it work and how long does it last?

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things that you could experience or might have experienced in being locked out of your car. This is especially true if you are in a hurry and there is no other cars you can use to go to your intended destination.

Being locked out usually happens when you left the key inside the car. You have locked all the windows and the doors without using the key. Then after shutting the door, you peeked inside and the key in the ignition switch or on the seats. Likewise, due to being in a hurry, you might have forgotten to bring along with you the car keys. Again, it might still be hanging on the ignition switch or you might have left it on the seats.

Of course, you can prevent yourself from being locked out of your car, so don’t fret and worry. There are many ways by which you could do this way. Below are some of them.

Read the entire article Six ways to avoid being locked out of your car

When buying cars, especially new ones, customers look for a couple of numbers. These numbers include but are not limited to the engine output and torque, top speed and fuel economy ratings. Yes, fuel economy ratings are important figures in car ownership. After all, you want to know how far your car can go before having to refill your fuel tank.

Fuel economy ratings are measured differently in different places. In the United States, fuel economy is measured by miles per gallon (mpg) while in other places like Europe, it is gauged by liters per 100 kilometers (l/100 km). Simply put, mpg means the number of miles your car can travel on a gallon of gasoline or diesel. On the other hand, l/100 km means the amount of fuel – as measured in liters – your car would consume in every 100 km travelled. For this article, we will focus on mpg.

Nonetheless, the actual mpg figure of your car might be different from its published rating from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This because the estimated mpg rating is measured by having a run on a dynamometer through two standardized driving schedules. In real world driving, your car may consume more or less fuel because of the varying traffic and weather conditions as well as on differences on how the car is driven.

Read the entire article MPGe: miles per gallon equivalent explained and measured

There is no denying that a battery is important in a car. The battery is needed start the engine and is employed in stabilizing, filtering and providing the power for ignition, lights, electrical components and other accessories that need electricity.

Thus, a battery drain is always the dread of any driver. At worst, you won't be able to start your car. If you’re in a hurry to leave the garage for a trip, a drained battery can be your nightmare. Most of the time, a drained battery is caused – not by a malfunctioning battery or alternator -- by an electrical issue. This issue acts like a parasite that draws electric power from your battery. In this case, you car maybe suffering from an issue called parasitic draw or parasitic drain.

How would you know if the battery drain is caused by a parasitic battery draw? There is way to find out. But first, you need these tools and materials: a digital multimeter with a 20 amp fuse (as set to read 200mA), gloves and eye protection.

Read the entire article How to find the causes of a car battery drain?

Your car has many enemies, and one of them is rust. Rust doesn’t just make your car look ugly, it also could make some parts unable to function normally. Furthermore, rust can diminish the resell value of your car. But as much as you don’t want rust from building up on your car, it persists.

Rust is the common name for iron oxide. Iron oxide is formed by a redox reaction between iron and oxygen. Your car is typically made from iron or alloys containing iron, like steel. When exposed to air (oxygen) and water (which also contains oxygen), iron will corrode. The process of oxidation of iron is slow, and given enough time, rust will form. This rusting process is similar to fire, as both are a combustion reaction. However, the combustion reaction in a fire is quick and fast, while that of rust is quite slow.

By understanding how rust is formed, you can take steps to prevent it from forming. You just need to stop the process, and this can be done in many ways. Here are some ways by which you can protect your car from rust.

Read the entire article How to protect your car from rust?

A car needs an engine to run, but an engine needs fuel to get running. Usually cars use gasoline or engine as fuel. However, other types of fuel also exist like biodiesel, bioethanol, LPG autogas and compressed natural gas. Hydrogen and electricity are now also used as fuels for cars.

There are times, however, that you might need to siphon the fuel from the tank due to some reasons. For instance, you might need to siphon off fuel from your car’s tank to be transferred into another vehicle. You might also need siphon off fuel from the gas tank of another vehicle to be transferred to your car.

Likewise, you might want to siphon off the fuel from the tank as you store away your car as it won't be driven for a long time. This is usually done due to safety reasons. In addition, you might want to siphon the fuel from your gas tank until it dries due to possible contamination.

Read the entire article This is How You Remove Gas from the Fuel Tank

The importance of tires in car can never be underestimated. They are more than just rubbers, as tires essentially connect the car to the ground, enabling the transfer of power to propel the vehicle. However, the performance, efficiency, traction as well as safety of tires aren’t the same.

Because of different conditions on or off the road, different tires are made. If the wrong type of tires is used, then there would be a compromise in performance, efficiency, traction and safety. Thus, choosing the right tires for the right situation is very important.

Quite a number of drivers have to travel on highways to get to their destinations. Highway driving is quite different from driving in the city. In the highway, cars don’t have to slow down to traffic. Instead, cars can go as fast as the speed limit permits. Interestingly some highways don’t have speed limits. To optimize performance, efficiency and traction, you need to choose the right tires for highway driving.

Read the entire article How to choose the best tires for highway driving?

Windshields are a necessary part of a car. Aside from protecting the car’s occupant from the wind, oncoming road debris and natural elements, the windshield also plays a role in shaping its aerodynamics. A windshield isn't just made of ordinary glass, as it is made from laminated glass to ensure safety.

While a windshield is made tough, it doesn’t mean it won't get cracked, chipped or broken. Just remember that as you drive, the windshield is subjected to torture. After tens of thousands of miles, it might succumb to cracks. Likewise, there are instances that the windshield might get broken – someone threw stones on it or a person fell onto it. Nonetheless, you might really need to replace the windshield. Of course, seeking professional help is recommended, but somehow, you can it yourself. Here is how.

Before starting the process of replacing your windshield, ample preparation is needed. For instance, you need a replacement windshield that fits your car. Different cars have different dimensions, and so are their windshields. If you’re installing a new windshield, scuff the inside edge that will stick to the urethane. If you’re installing a used windshield, scrape the old urethane off while leaving a thin layer and scuff any bare spots.

Read the entire article How to replace the windshield of your car in 10 easy steps

The engine is considered as the heart of any vehicle. It basically generates power that will be sent to the wheels, thereby propelling the vehicle. Without the engine, no vehicle can move. But no thanks to continued use and abuse, the car would get very dirty and would need to be cleaned up properly.

Cleaning an engine is job you can do. You can save some money as you don’t have to pay for the services of an engine cleaning professional. Nonetheless, it would be a great help if you have a guide on how you should you clean your engine. Below are the steps you can take to clean your car’s engine.

Step 1. Prepare the materials needed. You would need a bucket, gloves, bristled cleaning brush (or dish scrubber), water (preferably hot), water hose with trigger nozzle (or a spray bottle), shop vacuum (or an air hose), plastic bags and engine degreaser solution. You may also need safety glasses.

Read the entire article 12 easy steps for cleaning the engine of your car

Due to dirt and debris, the windshield has to be cleaned. To do this, carmakers install a cleaning system that sprays washer fluid onto the windshield. Then the wipers are automatically turned on to clean the windshield. The fluid used to clean the windshield is sourced from a container called the windshield washer reservoir.

Usually translucent to allow you to see whether it is filled with washer fluid, the windshield washer reservoir is usually a part that doesn’t wear out after some time. This is because the windshield washer reservoir is made from high-grade plastic that are really very durable. Thus, when it sustains some damage, it won't be because of wear and tear. Most probably, the damage was sustained because of other issues like putting in other liquids aside from washer fluid, like water. When water freezes, it causes the reservoir plastic to harden. Once it thaws, the reservoir will sustain some cracks.

The windshield washer reservoir contains a pump that pusher washer fluid through plastic lines to the washer nozzles. The washer fluid is then sprayed onto the car’s windshield. If the windshield washer reservoir gets damaged, some of its parts and components might stop working. You might not be able to clear your windshield through the wiper spray. However, there are signs that may manifest if the windshield washer reservoir is failing or in bad shape. Knowing these would help you determine whether it is already time to repair often-times ignored element of the car.

Read the entire article Diagnosing problems with the car’s windshield washer reservoir

One of the main reasons why the engine of your car keeps running despite of working in a high temperature environment is the installed cooling system. If not for this cooling system, the engine, its materials and lubricants can be damaged by high temperature.

The car’s cooling system isn't made up of a single application – it includes the radiator, a cooling fan, a water pump, coolant hoses and a thermostat. The coolant is circulated from the radiator, then around the engine and back to the radiator where it is cooled down anew. This circulation is made possible by the water pump, which is turned by a serpentine belt made from rubber and nylon cords.

Once this belt fails, the water pump wouldn’t work, and coolant wouldn’t be able to reach places where it should reach. As a result, the engine might overheat. In fact, most engine overheating problems are due to a broken water pump belt.

Read the entire article How to tell if the water pump belt is already in bad shape?

Modern vehicles typically have engines that employ Variable Valve Timing or VVT. Because of VVT, a car can achieve more optimal levels of performance and fuel efficiency at any engine speed. Before VVT was developed, the timing for opening and closing the engine valves was only optimized for a single engine speed. But since engine speeds vary, having a single timing means a decrease in both power and efficiency.

Now, VVT can vary the timing of opening and closing of engine valves for multiple engine speeds. When the engine speeds get higher, inlet valves open earlier to allow more air-fuel mixture to enter the cylinders. At normal driving conditions, VVT isn't activated. But when extra engine work is needed, VVT is activated. Then the information will be relayed from the VVT to the vehicle computer by the Variable Valve Timing (VVT) switch.

However, the VVT switch will wear out or fail. This is usually due to lack of basic maintenance. Once the VVT switch fails, the vehicle won't be able to receive any input from the ECU (engine computer unit) to vary the timing of the opening and closing of the valves according to the situation. As a result, the vehicle may experience a decline in performance as well as a decrease in fuel efficiency.

Read the entire article Signs that your car's Variable Valve Timing (VVT) switch is failing

Perhaps one of the less noticed yet still important elements in the field of vehicle safety is the mirror. There are many types of mirrors used in vehicles like side mirrors and rear-view mirror. The side mirrors, in particular, reflect the back of the car on either side, allowing you to spot how far or near an approaching vehicle is. Side mirrors also give drivers the ability to park their cars better.

To fully optimize the safety element brought by the side mirrors, they to be installed correctly and adjusted properly for them to they deliver a clear line of sight to the rear and sides of the car. Of course, the driver has to adjust them without leaving his or her seat, which means a nearby seat is a must. To adjust either the right or left side mirror, the driver has to access the mirror control switch. Usually typically located on the left-hand side of the dashboard or on the driver's side door, the mirror control switch is made up of a number of selector and adjustment switches. To select which side mirror to adjust, the driver has to access the selector switch. Then, to adjust the position of the mirror – up or down, left or right – for the most ideal alignment of sight, the driver needs to use a knob or directional switch. A slave switch, on the other hand, is also found on the passenger side.

The side mirrors are moved by motors installed in the housings. The power and electrical ground to each of the mirror motors are controlled by the mirror control switches. Once the mirror control switch fails or breaks, you won't be able to adjust the side mirrors to their perfect alignment. If the driver doesn’t have a clear line of sight to the rear and sides of the car, safety is already compromised and the possibility of getting into an accident has become higher.

Read the entire article How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Mirror Control Switch?

Driving on the road on a rainy day poses some dangers, one of which is the lack of forward visibility. To solve this, cars are fitted with wipers that can clear rain – as well as snow and debris -- from the windshield. You can actually depend on the windshield wipers to improve your visibility especially during a rainstorm.

The entire wiper system of car is not just made up of the wiper blades. While the wiper blades actually do the job of clearing the windshield, they can’t move without the wiper motor. Yes, the wiper motor can be considered as the heart of a wiper system. Once its fails or is failing, then the wiper won’t be able to function properly when needed, especially when the driver can’t see the road due to the water or ice on the windshield. As a possible result, an accident may occur and there could be fatalities.

Hence, before anything happens, you have to know whether the wiper motor is failing. Here are some signs that could indicate any problem with the wiper motor.

Read the entire article Signals Telling that the Windshield Wiper Motor of your Car Has Problems

If you think that your exhaust system is just responsible for emitting out exhaust gases from the engine, think again. The exhaust system also reduces the noise generated by the engine while helping cooling it. It also channels harmful exhaust gases from the passenger compartment. Likewise, the exhaust system “cleans” the air before they rush out of the tailpipe.

Thus, it is important to ensure that the exhaust system of your car doesn’t have any problem. Any problem could lead to the uneventful release of carbon monoxide into the cabin. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is toxic to humans. This gas is produced due to incomplete combustion of carbon in the engine. When inhaled, carbon monoxide can kill you. This life-threatening gas is reason enough to check your exhaust system for any issue.

How can you identify issues with your car’s exhaust system?

Read the entire article How to Tell if Your Car has Problems with the Exhaust System?

The engine is considered as the heart of a car. To keep it in good condition, oil is needed. However, to keep contaminants like oil debris and particles from reaching and damaging the engine, an oil filter is needed. As it name clearly says, it filters the oil from debris and particles. This oil filter is installed to a housing mounted to the engine. To keep the engine oil from leaking out around the filter, a gasket is installed.

Made of either rubber or paper, the oil filter housing gasket plays an important role in keeping the oil inside the engine and from leaking. Nonetheless, this particular gasket would eventually wear out or break down. It would become brittle, causing oil to leak. When that happens, the overall performance of the engine might be affected and its entire operation would become rough instead of smooth. Thus, it is only logical to check whether the oil filter housing gasket is already failing or has failed.

How would you know if the oil filter housing gasket has broken down?

Read the entire article How to Know if the Oil Filter Housing Gasket is Failing?

Most of the time, people are left in awe when they see an old car restored to all its glory – new paint, refurbished interior, glossy panels and still in good running condition. Then, they would exclaim, “What a classic!” Then, someone kills off the mood and says it is just an old car.

There seems to be confusion between old cars and classic cars. People think that if a car is old, it is also a classic. However, while all classic cars are old cars, not all old cars are classic cars. But how can we tell if a car is classic?

The answer is it depends where you are and who you believe. Classic cars are defined differently in various places around the world. Generally, classic cars refer to old cars with some historical significance and are better to be preserved or restore than beings sent to the scrap yard. Likewise, it has been accepted that cars who are around 20 years or older can be considered as classic. Thus, if you own a 10-year old car, it is just an old car, not a classic.

Read the entire article How to Tell if a Car is a Classic or Just Old?