Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Often Should I Change My Brake Pads?

You have had your vehicle for three years, you have put 45,000 miles on it, and the only maintenance repairs that you have had to put into the vehicle are a few oil changes. You usually don't worry about your vehicle unless a trouble light comes on, but suddenly you notice your vehicle screeching whenever you come to a stop. You assume this is being caused by the brakes but you have never had to do any brake repairs before, so you ask yourself "How Often Should I Change My Brake Pads?"

If you are uncertain you should have a mechanic inspect your brake pads to see how much of the pad is left. It is recommended that you have this done every 20,000 miles. There is usually a large range for when brake pads are changed on cars. A heavy-duty truck that is driven by an aggressive driver (brakes hard), mostly in stop-and-go city traffic may have their pads wear out at 15,000 miles. On the contrary, a small car that is driven with care and mostly on the highway may not have to replace their brake pads until 45,000 miles. Other factors such as the quality of your brake pads and whether they are semi-metallic or ceramic will also play a factor in when you need to change your brake pads. It is important to note that if you have 4 Wheel Disc Brakes, you will probably have to change your front set more often than your rear set. This tends to be the case for 90% of the vehicles on the road.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What to Do If Your Check Engine Light Comes On

We all know how pesky the Check Engine light on your dashboard can be. It is inconvenient and troublesome to take your car in to get this checked. There are a few common triggers for the Check Engine light that all drivers should be aware of. Check Engine lights can be complicated to repair - knowing how they work and what to check for will help you take the best care of your vehicle, as well as avoid unnecessary trips to an auto mechanic.

Understanding the Check Engine light

This light serves as a warning indicator. It is a response of your vehicle's computer to changes or hindrances in the emission control system. When the light comes on, it is a result of one of many trouble codes stored in the system. These trouble codes are what auto mechanics use to determine the cause of the light.