Honda Repair

Common Repairs in Older Vehicles

Regular preventive maintenance is the key to keeping an older vehicle running well. No matter how closely you follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Your car has multiple parts that are bound to eventually wear out. The good news is that on the whole, engines are much more reliable than they were 40 years ago. The bad news is that once your vehicle reaches 100,000 miles, you can expect more and more components to wear out or otherwise become faulty, thus necessitating replacement.

Common Repairs For Older Cars

After 100,000 miles, you can expect maintenance costs to rise to between $4,000 and $5,000 for every 25,000 miles that you drive. That’s because in addition to the normal oil changes, tire rotations, replacement batteries and brake pads that your vehicle regularly needs, you’ll need to spend additional money to keep your vehicle running at its optimal level. Thus, it makes sense to be on the lookout for possible problems so your technician at Carolina Mobile Auto Service can examine your car and common repairs it before more serious problems arise.

When a particular part wears out or a problem arises depends on when on a variety of factors, including your driving habits, where you live and even the specific vehicle you own. Be on the lookout for these problems once you car’s odometer passes 100,000 miles.

Timing Belt – Common Repairs

Not all vehicles these days having timing belts. Some have timing chains, which can last indefinitely. If your car does have one, it will generally wear out by 100,000 to 120,000 miles and can cause big problems if it breaks because it plays an essential role in controlling your car when the camshaft and crankshaft rotate, causing the engine to die. If you have an interference engine, one that does not have sufficient clearance between the valves and pistons, the result could be one or more bent values and maybe even a broken piston. These types of common repairs often cost several thousand dollars. The life of your timing belt depends on the materials used in manufacture, miles driven, engine speed, temperatures under the hood and exposure to contaminants.

Water Pump

Most water pumps, which circulate coolant between the engine and the radiator, have an effective life of about 70,000, so it’s wise to keep an eye on its condition, even if you have already had it replaced. Water pump leaks usually manifest themselves through coolant that seeps through the vent hole or around the pump shaft.

Belts and Hoses

Anything made out of rubber will eventually wear out and these vital components of your vehicle are no exception. Heat and time are the main enemies. Be particularly vigilant of your high-mileage vehicle still has its original belts and hoses. Ask your mechanic to check them regularly.

Failing Tie Rod Ends

Technicians usually refer to this component simply as the tie rod, which connects your vehicle’s wheels with its steering and suspension. Tie rods can wear out from impact, constant use on bumpy roads or simple age. Common signs are bad alignment, shaky or loose steering wheel or uneven tire wear. When a tire road needs replacement, an alignment is also required.

Fuel Pumps

The life of your fuel pump differs dramatically depending on whether you have a domestic or foreign vehicle. Original fuel pumps on General Motors, Ford or Chrysler vehicles can fail anytime after 60,000 miles. Those from Asian manufacturers can last indefinitely. Most of the time, you’ll have no warning that the pump is about to fail. So you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Sometimes, the fault lies with something other than the pump, including a bad electrical connection, clogged fuel filter or fuel line, so an accurate diagnosis is necessary if the engine isn’t getting enough fuel. Some late model cars use electric fuel pumps that can be difficult and expensive to replace, are located inside the fuel tank.

Check Engine Light – Common Repairs

Your vehicle’s exhaust system can accumulate build-up as it ages that narrow exhaust passages and force the engine to work harder as well as lower gas mileage. The result can be failing components such as oxygen sensors that regulate vehicle emissions and help the engine work more efficiently. An illuminated light can also indicate a faulty mass air flow sensor. Both problems can cause the catalytic converter, which traps and converts harmful pollutants, to fail. A faulty mass air flow sensor can also cause damage to spark plugs.

Consider having your exhaust system cleaned if you have an older vehicle to avoid these problems. When the check engine light comes on, bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. You’ll want to have our of our technicians check computer codes to determine what the problem is. Replacing an oxygen sensor or mass air flow sensor is much less expensive then replacing the catalytic converter.

Engine Check Light

Common Reasons Why Your Engine Check Light Comes On

One of the most common scenarios at Carolina Auto Service are customers who come in, panicked because their engine check light is on. Many people think that when this light illuminates, an imminent breakdown will occur. Unlike other dashboard lights that signal an impending emergency, you have leeway. Although you shouldn’t ignore the engine check light indefinitely, it does indicate a potential problem that your mechanic should investigate.

Most problems associated with the engine check light are relatively inexpensive fixes, but have the potential to turn into catastrophes if ignored. When this light comes on, the best course of action is to come into our facility and have one of our technicians plug a small computer that will read the code produced by the error light and determine the problem. Although dozens of problems can make the light illuminate, these are the most common ones.

Loose or Cracked Gas Cap

Vapors can leak out of a loose or cracked cap, causing a reduction in gas mileage and increasing emission. Sometimes a loose cap can cause the light to turn on and then turn off a few miles later. Cracked caps are easy and inexpensive to replace with the piece itself usually costing less than $20.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

Most cars ad trucks have between two and four sensors that monitor unburned oxygen coming from exhaust. Bad sensors are unable to provide data to your vehicle’s computer, resulting in poor gas mileage and in increased emissions. Ignoring this problem can lead to failure of the catalytic converter, making your repair bill much more expensive.

Mass Airflow Sensor

This part measures air entering the engine to determine the amount of fuel needed for efficient operation. A faulty sensor can damage spark plugs, oxygen sensors and even the catalytic converter, leading to stalling, increase emissions and decreased gas mileage.

Worn Spark Plugs or Wires

Spark plugs and wires help deliver the energy that ignites the air/fuel mixture in your vehicle’s combustion center. Failure to replace them results in poor performance and decreased fuel economy and can also lead to a clogged catalytic converter.

Catalytic Converter

By far the most expensive repair at more than $2,000, the catalytic converter is responsible for reducing exhaust gases and converting carbon monoxide into harmless compounds. When it fails completely, the vehicle won’t run.

There are certainly many causes for a check engine light but if yours comes on it’s best to have it checked out by ASE certified local repair shop. And of course if you’re in the Winston Salem area Carolina auto service is here to help. Contact us today to set an appointment with one our technicians.

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