Monthly Archives: February 2022

Serpentine Belt Replacement At Carmasters Automotive

Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine.  It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems.  Let’s go over them. First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. Next, the belt powers the alternator. The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes.  In some vehicles, power steering may have an electric drive and power brakes can be vacuum driven. And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump (on some cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt). Your service technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough. There’s a special, spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley and sometimes an extra pulley call the idler pulley.  Their job is to make ... read more

Simple Answers: Disc Brakes

Question: What are the signs that I need a brake job? Answer: Signs of brake problems often fall into one of two categories: making noise or a pulsation in the brake pedal.  Let's start with the noise. Most brake pads have an audible brake wear indicator.  This is a small piece of metal that rubs on your brake rotor when the brake pads are worn to the point they should be replaced.  The noise is a chirp or soft squeal.  This noise gives you enough warning to get your brakes serviced while there is still enough brake pad left to enable you to stop safely. If you ignore the chirp, the sound may change to a grinding noise.  That is more serious.  It means that the friction material on your brake pad is worn away and metal parts of the brake are grinding against the rotor when you press on the brakes.  Obviously, this metal-on-metal means that your brakes aren't stopping very well.  It also means that you ... read more

Light into Darkness (Vehicle Lighting)

You need to be able to see at night and have other vehicles see you as well.  Spend a few minutes to check and make sure all your vehicle's outside lights are working.  It might help to have a friend assist you since there are a few bulbs to check that are much easier to do with two people. With the vehicle running (and the parking brake applied), walk around to make sure no bulbs are burned out.  That means headlights (both high- and low-beams), side lights, fog lights, taillights, and brake lights.  Also, test each turn signal and make sure they are blinking properly, both front and rear. Try the emergency flashers, too. Don't forget about the backup lights.  Have your friend put the vehicle in reverse and see if they are working and clean (don’t stand directly behind the vehicle, just in case).  You don't want to be blind when you're backing up at night, so all backup lamps should be lit. With rear view cameras now very common, b ... read more

What You Should Do When You Find a Vehicle Leak

What You Should Do When You Find a Vehicle Leak

Whenever you go out to your car and find an unfamiliar leak, it's almost never a good sign. Like any other leaks, they need to be diagnosed, pinpointed, and repaired. There are various fluids that constantly run through your vehicle. Fortunately, some auto fluids are dyed in different colors to make it a little simpler to narrow down.    Water - If you see a leak, you're probably crossing your fingers that it is just water. Sometimes, the condensation from the A/C system can drip water, and there should be no concerns here.    Antifreeze - For as long as ever, antifreeze has been known to be bright green. However, some are now pink or orange, making it more difficult to pinpoint. Fortunately, you can detect coolant or antifreeze by its distinct sweet smell.    Gas - Gasoline is a pale yellow or orange color, and it also has a pungent smell that is easy to detect. Gasoline leaks are fairly dangerous because they are flammable, so please get he ... read more

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