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Your Car’s Check Engine Light

check-engine-light-150x150All new cars come standard with a computer that monitors the various functions that are necessary to operate your vehicle. When this computer detects an issue a significant reduction in efficiency, it illuminates the dashboard warning light that corresponds to the issue your car, truck or SUV is experiencing.

These lights are less of a warning system and more of an alert that something has already gone wrong, which means that once one of these lights comes on, you need to take your car to be serviced by a professional. If you own an engine diagnostic computer, you can perform a quick test to learn more about your issue before taking your car to the shop.

An engine diagnostic is performed by connecting the diagnostic computer to your car’s main computer. The diagnostic computer reads the coding from your vehicle’s computer and reports any errors in the form of a numeric code that corresponds to a specific issue. Match the code and issue to determine where to begin making your repairs.

While there are many reasons that your car’s check engine light might turn on, some issues occur more frequently and are more easily remedied than others. Below, is a short list of several of the most common and easily resolved causes of an illuminated check engine light.

  • Loose Gas Cap: Leaving your gas cap unattached will cause your check engine light to turn on. Simply close the cap to turn off the light.
  • Broken Oxygen Sensor: Without the proper amounts of oxygen flowing to and through your engine, your engine will run inefficiently causing the check engine light to illuminate.
  • Worn Spark Plugs/Wiring: Over time, spark plugs and wires wear out. You will need to periodically replace your spark plugs and wires to keep your car running smoothly.

Why You Should Keep Your Transmission Healthy

transmission-150x112Knowing each individual car part takes years and years of studying. However, some of them hold so much importance to your car’s functioning that you should know at least a little about how they work and why you need to keep them running smoothly. Here, we’ll go over why you should always keep your transmission healthy.

What does it do?

Basically, your transmission serves the purpose of regulating the amount of power the engine gives out to the wheels. When you have an automatic transmission, it switches gears automatically based on the speed of your car.

You need to keep your transmission healthy for one simple reason; it costs a ton of money to fix serious damage. If you notice something wrong, like gear slipping, take your car in and save your wallet some hassle later on.

If you need transmission repair service, don’t hesitate to take your car on by our shop. The mechanics at Gerrick’s custom provide only professional, quality services. To find out more about us, please give us a call at (602) 689-7326!

Jumping Your Dead Car Battery

jumper-cables-926308_640-150x150First, you must find someone who will help you jump your car. Either you or this Good Samaritan must have jumper cables: it is wise to keep these in the trunk compartment of your car, and they can usually be found for around $20. Next, the working car should be safely parked about 18″ away from your car’s engine. Turn off the working car.

Now come the jumper cables. As with any electrical work, use extreme caution not to touch the cables to themselves, to you, or to the wrong battery terminals. Improper use of jumper cables can be dangerous to you and damaging to vehicles.

  • Attach one end of the red, positive cable to the positive battery terminal on the dead battery.
  • Attach the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the working battery.
  • Attach one end of the black, negative cable to the negative battery terminal of the working battery.
  • Attach the other end of the negative cable to another piece of metal on the dead car: one that is not painted, greasy, or part of the battery. This will prevent sparks from being created.
  • Start the working car, let it run for 5 minutes, and gently push the accelerator for 1 minute to charge the dead car’s battery. Try to start the working car. Do not attempt to start it more than 4 times.

If your car is still not responding, call a tow truck, and later seek repairs from the top auto repair technicians in Phoenix! Call us today at 602-689-7326.

Watching Your Gas Mileage

404HOV_lane-150x150There is no doubt that a trip to the gas station is easily one of the most annoying parts of every car owner’s agenda. We watch in despair as the cents start to spin and the dollars add up, creating a sinkhole that empties our wallets directly into our gas tanks, and we drive away hoping we don’t have to refill for a while. Here we have compiled some tips to promote good gas mileage and help you spend less time and money at the pump. 

Mileage Tips

Check your tire pressure monthly. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure to help your car work toward optimal efficiency and to avoid unnecessary wear on your tires.

Drive more calmly. Not always passing the cars in front of you avoids excessive acceleration and frequent braking, both of which hamper gas mileage. Driving calmly is good for your mileage and safer for you and others on the road.

Follow the posted speed limit. Many vehicles achieve optimal efficiency between 45 and 60 mph. Adhering to the posted speed limit, or safely driving 5 to 10 mph below, will help your car max out the number of miles per gallon it is capable of.

There is no substitute for the benefits of a regular tune up and inspection to keep your car running smoothly and to help maintain gas mileage. For expert auto repair, emissions, and so much more, call us today at (602) 689-7326! 

Texting And Driving: Don’t Do It

texting-while-driving-150x150Have you ever texted while driving? It may seem like a harmless activity, but it actually increases your risk of getting into a wreck greatly. All kinds of studies back up this claim. Remember, next time you drive, the phone can wait. We care about your safety here at Gerrick’s Custom; we’ll take care of it on your car’s end so you can on yours. Here, we’ve gone over why you just shouldn’t text and drive:

Wrecks:

The National Safety Council has estimated an average of 1.6 million wrecks annually related in one way or another to cell phone use.

Stopping Power:

How far do you think a car goes traveling 55 miles per hour during the 5 seconds it takes you to type your text? If you said the length of an entire football field, you guessed right.

Teens:

According to the NHTSA, of kids under 20 involved in fatal crashes, 11% got reported as “driving distracted”.

 

Please, stay safe when you drive on the roads. If you have questions about your vehicles safety, Gerrick’s Custom can help. To find out more about our services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (602) 689-7326.

Serpentine Belt: An Overview

Learning about your vehicle can seem like an overwhelming task. The knowledge can really come in handy though. You can use it to spot problems before they get too bad, or to ensure you get the best auto repair service available. Instead of trying to cram it all in at once, why not learn it piece-meal? To help you do that, we’ve put together an overview of one of your car’s parts: the serpentine belt.

What it does:

serpentine-beltThis engine part plays an important role; it gets power from the engine and brings it to all the auxiliary parts: the alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, etc. 

Cars used to use a multi-belt system, but one long belt creates more tension (which works better and doesn’t break as easily) and also takes up less space. 

The only downside to using a long belt has to do with the fact that if it comes off, all the parts that it powers cease working.

 

Hopefully now you feel a little more knowledgeable about your car. Should you require auto repair services, Gerrick’s Custom can help. To find out more, come by our location or speak with one of our qualified mechanics at (602) 689-7326.

What Do EVAP Systems Do?

exhaustAsk any random person on the street what any random part of their vehicle does, and you’ve got a good chance of getting a blank stare in reaction. We’ve got automotive mechanics for that. Still, why not learn a little bit about how your vehicle works if you can? To help you with that, we will now give a basic explanation of what your EVAP system does.

Your EVAP system’s job involves getting fuel fumes out of the tank and doing so in a way that doesn’t pollute the environment. Because of that, they cause more check engine lights to turn on than almost anything else. Basically, the system moves the fumes back to the engine to be burned up before they can be dumped into the atmosphere. This keeps the environment healthy; these fumes can be very dangerous.

Hopefully now you understand a little bit more about your car. If you need repairs for your vehicle, Gerrick’s Custom Exhaust and Auto Repair can help. We offer many different auto services. For more information, you can reach our professional mechanics at (602) 689-7326.

What Is A Catalytic Converter?

catalytic-converterIt’s got a big name, and it does a big job. The catalytic converter’s job is this; it converts the three main pollutants from the combustion engine into less harmful pollutants. The main pollutants from the internal combustion engine are very harmful both to people and the environment. They are hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.

Each of these types of pollutants are dangerous in their own way. Hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides can produce smog and acid rain. Carbon monoxide is considered a poison. The catalytic converter does exactly what its name implies: it converts these chemicals with the help of a catalyst. The catalyst is a mix of platinum and palladium coated on a honey-combed shape device in the muffler. It helps turn carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water, and nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen. 

That’s the basic overview of how a catalytic converter works and what it does. It plays a very important role in the functioning of your vehicle. Here at Gerrick’s Custom Exhaust and Auto Repair, we offer catalytic converter repairs alongside a host of other auto-related services. For more information, please give us a call at (602) 689-7326.

3 Signs Your Exhaust Isn’t Functioning Properly

exhaustYour exhaust plays an important role in your car; it removes combustion products and gases out of the engine and reduces noise, smoke, and pollutant quantities that would otherwise be released into the environment. It’s not always easy to tell if your exhaust isn’t working right unless the warning light comes on. Here are 3 signs that you might need to take it into the shop:

1- It suddenly becomes much louder:

There are more than a few potential causes of a loud exhaust; the most likely of which are holes in your muffler or a clogged muffler. If your exhaust suddenly gets much louder, take it in for repairs; a faulty exhaust can drastically reduce your car’s performance.

2- Your car suddenly uses more gas per mile:

If you start having to fill up your gas every few days out of nowhere, it’s probably caused by an exhaust leak. Every day you wait to get your exhaust repaired, you’re throwing money down the drain for extra gas.

3- Vibrating car and frequent loss of power:

If you feel vibrations when you touch the steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes, it might be a fault in your exhaust system. The same goes for if your car’s power suddenly shuts off. In either of these cases, take your car to the shop immediately. 

Here at Gerrick’s Custom Exhaust and Auto Repair, we offer exhaust repair and a host of other services. For more information, give us a call at (602) 689-7326.

Signs You May Need to Change Your Brake Pads

woman-160342_150It’s easy to forget that when you’re driving, you’re piloting a multiple ton mass of metal hurdling at breakneck speeds. Your brakes are the only things keeping destruction in check. It’s important to keep them maintained for your and others safety. Here are some signs they may need to be replaced:

Your pads are worn:

This one is obvious; if your pads are worn then they need to be replaced. Checking for worn pads is as easy as looking between the spokes of your wheels; find the shiny metal rotor inside and then look at the outer edge for the caliper. Between the rotor and caliper are the brake pads. They should generally be a quarter inch thick. If they have eroded beyond that, it’s time to get them changed.

You hear a high-pitched squeal:

A tiny tool in your braking system produces a high-pitched squeal when the brake pads need replacing. Make sure to stop blasting the radio every once in a while to check if this sound is being made.

Your car pulls to the right or left:

This could be, among other things, a problem with your braking system. If you notice your car beginning to pull to one side, have it inspected immediately.

Here at Gerrick’s Custom Exhaust and Auto Repair, we care about your safety.  For any auto-related questions, give us a call at (602) 689-7326.