Maintenance Q&A Part II:

 

My steering wheel feels like it’s slipping back and forth while I’m turning.
Check your steering fluid as it could be low, causing the steering wheel to feel loose. It could also mean your steering belt is loose or worn. Other causes could be a bad power steering rack or broken steering rack mounts.

My car feels like it’s pulling to the right/left while driving.
There could be a number of reasons as to why this is happening. The most likely problem is with the tires, whether it be low or uneven tire pressure/wear or even perhaps a bad alignment. There could also be an issue with the steering components.

 

My car keeps bouncing well after I go over a bump/dip.

The most likely cause is that your shocks, or struts, are worn out. Broken or slipped leaf springs could also be the problem.

My steering wheel feels stiff when I make a turn.

Your power steering fluid could be low, so check that first. If that’s not the problem, then you could have a loose or worn power steering belt, a bad power steering pump, or a leaking power steering rack.

My steering wheel feels loose while I’m driving.
Check the power steering fluid as it may be low which could cause the steering wheel to feel loose. Other cause could range from worn strut bearings, worn/broken tire rods, worn ball joints, or even broken steering rack mounts.

My car keeps vibrating when I’m on the highway.

Your tires could be out of balance or unevenly worn. You could also have loose wheel bolts, which can be easily tightened. Another cause could be a warped brake rotor.

 

 

 

 

 

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Did You Know…

 

Cars, in the beginning, didn’t have steering wheels. Instead, they had a series of levers the driver would utilize to control the vehicle.

 

 

American car horns are tuned to the key of F.

 

 

Today, race cars glide around the track at about 200mph. During the first Grand Prix race, the average speed 46mph.

 

 

45mph was the average top speed for cars in 1902……which was also the same year the first speeding tickets were issued.

 

Duryea was the name of the first car produced in America…..only one is still known to exist today.

 

 

Before the 1920s, cars did not have gas gauges. Drivers had to estimate their fuel range.

 

 

Cleveland was the first city to have a traffic light…….in 1914.

 

 

The average American will spend a total of two weeks of their life stopped at red lights.

 

 

If you drove 100mph, nonstop, you would be able to travel over every paved road in America in a little over four years.

 

 

The first car insurance policy was issued in Westfield, Massachusetts……in 1897.

 

 

The automobile is the most recycled consumer product in the world today.

 

 

The iconic Chevrolet bow-tie was introduced in 1913.

 

 

Sawdust, wood chips, nuts, used diapers, bad batches of chocolate, cow waste, coffee grounds used polystyrene cups, and turkey guts are among some of the materials researchers are hoping to turn into an alternative fuel source for cars, trucks, and even airplanes.

Maintenance Q&A:

What should I do if my engine is overheating?

Park your vehicle on a level surface and carefully lift the hood. Check to see if the engine cooling fans are running. If the engine is overheating, both fans should be running. If they are not, do not continue to run the engine and have the vehicle serviced.

If you are unable to park and/or lift the hood, get service help right away.

There is steam coming from my engine, what should I do?

Turn the vehicle off and get everyone away from the vehicle until it cools down. If you keep driving when the engine is overheated, the liquids in it can catch fire. Do not open the hood, as steam from an overheated engine can burn you badly. Wait until there is no sign of steam or coolant before you open the hood.

How can I adjust my headlamp aiming?

Headlamp aim has been preset at the factory and should need no further adjustment. However, if your vehicle is damaged in a crash, the headlamp aim may be affected. Aim adjustment to the low-beam headlamps may be necessary if oncoming drivers flash their high-beam headlamps at you (for vertical aim). If the headlamps need to be re-aimed, it is recommended that you take the vehicle to your dealer for service.

My Truck/Car doesn’t seem to accelerate well and takes a long time to shift in the morning.

Many late model GM Truck and Car transmissions will alter the shift programming to raise engine run speeds on cold engines.  This is designed to warm the engine up more quickly.  All engines are the most efficient at normal operating temperature.  So this results in better fuel economy and a warm engine means your cabin heat is available sooner.  The transmission will return to its normal shift programming once the engine is warm.

The display on my radio or dashboard keeps changing brightness.

Digital Radio and or digital dash displays are set to be bright during the day time.  When your full headlamps are on the brightness reduces to that of your night time dashboard display setting.  Vehicles with automatic headlamp controls can turn on the headlamps during the day.  This frequently occurs when driving on streets with many trees or city streets with large buildings that can cast a dark shadow fooling the headlamp sensor into thinking its night time.  If the displays disappear completely your night time dashboard display setting may be set too low.

When I start my vehicle on a cold day my automatic climate control doesn’t do anything even though I have it set.

The automatic climate control on your GM vehicle is like the thermostat on your home.  If it is set to the temperature you want your interior to be and in the AUTO setting it will produce hot or cold air, adjust the fan speed and select the venting location to maintain your desired temperature.  When you start a vehicle on a cold day, while the climate control knows you need heat it also knows if the coolant temperature is high enough to produce heat.  No need to blow cold air in the vehicle when you need warm.  That is why you’re typically a little way from home when the fan speed goes up and heat starts to enter the cabin.

Why is my registration date different from my inspection date?

At one time, yes, in Pennsylvania your registration had to match your inspection date, but that is no longer the case. So it is ok if the sticker in your window does not match your registration as it is no longer a requirement in Pennsylvania.

How do I reset the engine oil life system?

Turn the ignition to ON/RUN, with the engine off. The vehicle must be in P (Park) to access this display. Press the trip odometer reset stem until OIL LIFE REMAINING displays. Press and hold the trip odometer reset stem until OIL LIFE REMAINING shows “100%.” Three chimes sound and the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message goes off. Turn the key to LOCK/OFF. If the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message comes back on when the vehicle is started, the engine oil life system has not been reset, in which case just repeat the procedure.

If your vehicle has Driver Information Center (DIC) buttons, then turn the ignition to ON/RUN, with the engine off. Press the vehicle information button until the OIL LIFE REMAINING displays. Press and hold the set/reset button until “100%” is displayed. three chimes sound and the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message goes off. Turn the key LOCK/OFF. Again, if the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message comes back on when the vehicle is started, the engine oil life system has not been reset. Repeat the procedure.

It is important to reset the system whenever the engine oil is changed so that the system can calculate the next engine oil change.

What should I do with used oil?

Used oil can be a threat to the environment. If you change your own oil, be sure to drain all the oil from the filter before disposal. Never dispose of oil by putting it in the trash or pouring it on the ground, into sewers, or into streams or bodies of water. Recycle it by taking it to a place that collects used oil.

Used engine oil contains certain elements that can be unhealthy for your skin and could even cause cancer. Do not let used oil stay on your skin for very long. Clean your skin and nails with soap and water, or a good hand cleaner. Wash or properly dispose of clothing or rags containing used engine oil. See the manufacturer’s warnings about the use and disposal of oil products.

I have a chip in my windshield, what should I do?

One of two things – purchase a windshield repair kit, or take it to a garage and have them patch it. You will want to do one of these two things immediately because a windshield chip can quickly turn into a crack that will obstruct your line of vision and ultimately result in having to replace the entire windshield.

Throwback Thursday: Chevy Logo

 

Unusual Car Fresheners

When you think “Car Air Freshener” the first thing that probably comes to mind is that little green pine tree that dangles from the rear view mirror of every taxi cab on the road. Car fresheners are available everywhere including Bath and Bodyworks, Dollar Stores, countless websites, and even vending machines. The world of air fresheners for vehicles, however, is just like every other product in that there are plenty of oddities hidden among the norm. For every car with a cardboard pine tree, there is a car with one of the following unique air fresheners:

 

Car Air Freshener (Winy)

This adorable scent ball air freshener is not only for the car but (as the website describes) for the toilet as well.

Air Spencer GIGA BIJOU Car Air Freshener

For the most part, this freshener is normal looking enough. It’s just a tube-like freshener that attaches to the air vent. Where it gets interesting is in the scents. The two that stood out are called “After Shower” and “Shower Cologne.” The website doesn’t give any details as to what these two smell like, so it could either be the smell of a rain shower (which would be a nice scent) or a literal shower (which could go either way pleasant smell).

Dr. Marcus

It looks normal enough, in fact it looks like the norm in air fresheners, but it’s the scents that make it interesting. The two specific scents are “Dark Knight” and “Black.” They almost sound like scents you would expect to see in the Batmobile. Like “After Shower,” the website doesn’t give any details about the scents, which in a way makes it more tempting to track down a distributor and buy one or two out of pure curiosity.

Carmate Sai Chrome Square Cube JDM Car Air Freshener

This is a fun twist on a classic car accessory. Instead of fuzzy duce dangling from your mirror, you can have small metal dice resting in the car that gives off any number of aromas. It looks big in the picture, but it’s not. It’s only 2″x2″x2″ in size. 

Custom Designed Car Air Fresheners

This is an interesting stocking-stuffer or party favor website. It gives you the ability to customize a traditional air freshener. So instead of just having a green pine tree, you could have a pink heart that has your wedding anniversary on it. There’s a lot of different designs and scents you can choose to help just about any type of celebration.

Michelin Fresh!

There’s not much to say here – it’s a giant Michelin Man vent mounted air freshener. It large, it’s unique, and if you remove the tire and flags it would kind of look like the Stay Puff marshmallow man.

55ml Car Air Freshener with Different Fragrances

Ok, forget for a moment that this entire article is about air fresheners. Now, look at the picture above again. You would never guess that these are air fresheners. The penguin looks like a children’s toy, the captain’s wheel looks like a trinket, and the last two look like jewelry. It’s proof that anything can be made to look fun and classy.

Star Wars Logo Air Freshener

In a galaxy far, far away……that desperately needed deodorized. From toys, to comforters, to air fresheners, there’s no limit to where the Star Wars logo can appear. 

 

Heartful Expression

This website gives even more customized air freshener options for your car. Each one is handmade and blended with oil fragrances. Pictured above (for Saints fans) is a blend of black raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, cranberries and cherries and vanilla. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a unique stocking-stuffer.

Throwback Thursday: Corvette

 

                                      

Throwback Thursday: Impala

 

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