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What Do You Do When Your Battery Light Comes On?

Car battery with jumper cables connected

What is a car battery?

The battery is essential to a car’s functioning. There are many aspects and components of a car that are affected by a car battery. It is essential in maintaining the battery and getting the right car battery replacement when needed. While it is common for car batteries to quit in the winter, it is the summer that sees more needs for car battery replacement – that is surprising for most people. 

Why does car battery die when not in use?

From starting your car to keeping it running, the battery is an essential key part of your car. The clock, radio, security system, and computer all continue to draw power from a car battery even when the car isn’t running. This is a parasitic drain, aka key-off battery drain, and will drain a battery dead even with a car not being driven for weeks. 

While the alternator’s job is to keep the battery charged under normal conditions, when a car just sits idle for an extended amount of time, it can damage the battery. How long your car can sit unused without killing the battery will depend on how healthy and how old the battery is. On average, a battery that is three years old or older that sits for a month or more will need a car battery replacement. 


The following tips will help you maximize the performance of your car battery and keep your car running. 

  1. Lights​​​.

Leaving the dome light, headlights, or the interior lights on will drain a battery quickly. When this is done too many times, a car battery replacement is needed.

  1. Condition.

A battery ha is poorly maintained will weaken it to the point it can’t hold a charge for long. Even the memory function of the radio can drain a weak battery.

  1. Connections.

Corroded or loose battery connections prevent a battery from charging while you’re driving. So when you park your car, the electronic components that continue to drain the battery are pulling off what charge is left in the battery. Cleaning the connections and tightening any loose connections could save you from having to purchase a car battery replacement.

  1. Parasitic Drains.

There are parasitic drains that are hard to find that can kill a battery. Even lights in the glove box or trunk can drain a battery. 

  1. Temperatures.

Cold and hot can’t kill a good battery, but it will kill an older battery or one that isn’t in good condition. Extreme cold and hot temperatures magnify underlying issues.

  1. Charging.

If a battery dies while driving, it is likely a problem with the charging. Belts that are loose, stretched, or worn tensioners will keep the alternator from doing its job of charging the battery. You may need the alternator changed in addition to a car battery replacement. 

Is it safe to drive my car with the battery light on?

You can, but it isn’t recommended. With a bad battery, a faulty alternator, or bad wiring, your car could lose power at any time and leave you stranded. If the battery light comes on, get your car to the mechanic as quickly as possible. 

What can drain a car battery when the car is off?

In addition to the things we’ve already mentioned, like leaving the lights on or the parasitic draws on a battery, there are other things that can drain a car battery. One is not driving your car far enough or long enough to charge up.  A battery that is older than 3 years can drain fast as well. If the current battery is 3 years old or older and it keeps losing its charge, your best solution is a new car battery replacement. 

How do I find out what’s draining my car battery?

If you have one or know somebody with one, a multimeter can help you find the hidden cause of your car battery draining.  Connect a digital multimeter to the negative battery terminal. Now, remove one fuse at a time and keep watching the multimeter reading. If the reading drops when you pull a fuse, there’s your problem! 

How can you tell if your car battery needs replacing?

Any of the following 7 things are hints that it is time for a car battery replacement: 

  1. Engine is slow starting.
  2. The headlights are dim or your having electrical issues.
  3. The check engine light has come on and stays on.
  4. A bad smell from under the hood around the battery.
  5. Connectors keep corroding.
  6. A mis-hap with the battery case.
  7. The battery is older than 3 years.

At what percentage should a car battery be replaced?

There isn’t a steady number to rely on for knowing when you need a car battery replacement. Batteries don’t wear out steady, they can go from having 90 percent performance today and having only 20 percent in a month or two. Having your battery checked and tested regularly is the best way to reveal when it is time to replace it. Can a car battery last 20 years? Not likely – the longest car battery life is 5 to 7 years, rarely 10 years. 

car battery with testing equipment connected

How do I know what battery my car needs?

When it comes time for a car battery replacement, it is recommended to take it to your mechanic or an auto parts store. They will not only know which battery you need, but they will know how to replace a car battery correctly, so the computer or other components aren’t damaged.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Transmission?

close-up of gloved hands working on transmission

Identifying Transmission Issues

There is oil in the engine and gas in the tank, the tires are aired up, but your car isn’t moving, so what’s the problem? One issue could be that the transmission has quit working. So what does the transmission do that a bad transmission could keep your car from moving? 

What to Look Out For

The transmission moves the engine-generated energy to the wheels and makes your car move. There are different types of car transmissions, each having a different ratio between the engine and the wheels. This ratio can determine how fast a car moves, or in cases where you need transmission repair, not move. This leads us to our next question. What are the symptoms of a bad transmission? There are six signs that your car needs transmission repair or maybe replacement: 

Doesn’t Respond or Slow Response

If your car hesitates to move or doesn’t move at all when it is in gear, you have a transmission problem. In an automatic transmission car, it will usually have a delay going between gears. In a standard transmission car, you may feel or hear the engine revving up, but find your car isn’t moving. 

Odd Noises and Sounds

Vehicles all have different noises, but when you hear an odd noise or sound like a buzzing, clunking, humming, or whining and find the car isn’t moving, you may need a transmission repair. Most transmission repair shops will offer free towing and inspection with a complete transmission repair or replacement. Strange sounds coming from the transmission while it’s sitting still are a concern for possible transmission repair too. 

Leaking Fluid or a Burning Smell

An automatic transmission requires fluid to keep the internal parts lubricated and working correctly. When that fluid leaks out, eventually the transmission will overheat and quit working. You’ll know when you have a transmission leak if you see a puddle of red fluid under your car. It also has its own smell, especially when it has gotten hot. 

Grinding, Jerking, or Shaking

Transmission repair or replacement may be needed if your transmission has been shaking, jerking, or has a grinding sound. It is often referred to by mechanics as a slipping transmission and can often be repaired by replacing or tightening existing transmission mounts. 

Transmission Won’t Go into Gear

This can happen while sitting at a signal light. You push on the gas, the engine revs up, and the car doesn’t move. As all the cars behind you begin honking and going around you, you keep giving it the gas only to have a revved up engine and a car that still isn’t moving. This could be a transmission repair that can be done by adding fluid, changing the screen, or flushing the transmission. You may also have a bad clutch or computer chip. If none of these repairs fix it, then you’ll need a new transmission. 

The Service Engine Soon Light

When the Check Engine Light comes on, you need to have your car examined by a professional mechanic. If that light comes on and the car isn’t moving, then your car probably needs a transmission repair or replacement. 

What happens when the transmission goes out?

When a transmission goes out, a car’s handling is affected. With a transmission slipping or vibrating, you could find it shifts differently, and it’s also possible the gear shift will stop working. 

Possible transmission repair or replacement can range from replacing the pump and changing the filter to installing new gears. Installation of new gears will require the transmission be torn apart, which is considered a transmission rebuild. 

A professional mechanic or transmission shop will inspect and test the transmission. They will then advise you on which option is needed for your car: transmission repair vs rebuild. 

What causes a transmission to go out, and why do transmissions fail?

There are many interrelated mechanisms and parts within a transmission. There are also many problems that can develop to cause a transmission to fail or simply quit working. While it isn’t going to be inexpensive, a  transmission repair is the less expensive option overall when it comes to replacement. Some common issues that can cause a transmission to fail and quit working are:

  • Leaking transmission fluid
  • Clogged and dirty transmission fluid filter
  • Broken transmission bands
  • Broken transmission gears
  • Faulty Torque Converter
  • Ruptured Transmission Seals

Leaking transmission fluid is something you can check yourself. There will be a puddle of red fluid under your car. Often a transmission repair will fix this by replacing ruptured transmission seals. Other times, it can be the bands have slipped, and a transmission replacement or rebuild will be required. You can also have the transmission filter changed and having new fluid added to your car will often fix issues such as a slipping transmission. 

close-up of gear lever in a car

Conclusion 

If you are having car issues such as a transmission not working properly, take your car to a trusted mechanic or transmission shop. They will be able to tell when to repair the transmission as well as determine whether it needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

What are the symptoms of a bad car starter?

Car starter failing to turn over engine

What to do when your car won’t start

You have gas and oil in the car, the tires are aired up and good to go. But the car won’t start! So, you call a friend or the auto club for a jumpstart and it still won’t start. The tow truck driver suggests maybe you need a car starter replacement.  Why is the car starter not working? 

The starter in your car is a small motor that gets its power from the battery and is what gets the main motor “started” by way of a starter relay. That relay is situated between the battery and the starter and transmits the power needed to start the car. If the starter relay or starter motor aren’t working properly, your car isn’t going anywhere.  

Are there any indicators a starter is about to quit? Here are some things that can tell you that you may need a car starter replacement soon, if not now:

1. It Sounds Off.

If your car starter clicks, grinds, or whirs when you try to start your car, you need a car starter replacement. However, a car started going out doesn’t always make a sound, you may get no noise at all. This is when it could be confused with a dead battery.

2. The Lights Are on but Nothing Happening.

If you try to start your car and get a lit-up dashboard but nothing from the engine, it may be the starter has quit working.  

3. The Engine Isn’t Cranking.

Is the engine isn’t cranking up, even with a friend or tow truck jumping it off, you need to get your car to a certified technician. They will inspect and test the start, battery, and alternator and advise you if you need a car starter replacement or something else needs replacing or repairing. 

4. Smoking under the Hood.

Smoke coming from under the hood isn’t good no matter what the problem is, but for certain, if it is the starter smoking, it could be an electrical issue. From circuits shorting out or fuses blowing out, they both can overheat a starter and keep it from working. Or a bad starter can cause the fuses to blow and the circuits to short. Either way, a car starter replacement is needed. 

5. Oil-soaked Starter.

A car starter is connected to the motor, typically on the driver’s side, right below the cylinders. If you look under the hood and see the start soaked in motor oil, there’s one problem. The starter won’t start when it is soaked in motor oil, and you need to find out why the cylinders are leaking oil too. 

Can you jumpstart a car with a bad starter?

This is where many get confused between car starters vs battery problems. If you have an automatic transmission car, jumpstarting does nothing to help the starter. It only powers up the battery. However, if your car has a manual transmission and the car starter quits, you can push start the car with someone in the driver’s seat “popping” the clutch.  This will work for a while, but eventually, a car starter replacement will be needed. 

How to start my car if the starter is bad?

It isn’t recommended, but yes, it is possible by one of the following methods: 

  • Examine the Connections: Make sure all electrical wiring is connected that control the ignition. An unsecured connection in this pathway will not allow enough power to get to the starter. 
  • Examine Ground Connection: Connect a jumper cable from the battery’s negative terminal through the structure and try to start the car. If this works, then the problem is with the ground connection and a car starter replacement won’t fix that problem. 
  • Examine The Solenoid Cable: The solenoid is why the starter connects to the transmission. Check the solenoid for dirt, grime, and rust, clean it off and then try to start the car again. Sometimes, you an bypass the solenoid with a cable directly to the start and start your car.  This should only be a temporary fix until you get a car start replacement installed.
  • Check For Corrosion: If a cable within the system is corroded, it will jeopardize the electric conductivity and your car won’t start. Any corrosion on the battery or other electrical components can be cleaned off using baking soda and water of equal parts and wash the corrosion off with a wire brush or old toothbrush. Allow to dry then try to start the car again. 
  • A Soft Thump To The Starter: Old school method is to ever so soft, thump the starter with a hammer. If there is a short in the starter, this will sometimes allow it to start the car.  Again, another temporary fix and a new car starter replacement is recommended. 

Can a car starter drain the battery?

Yes, in fact, anything electrical can pull energy from the battery and drain all of the power from it, keeping it from starting the car. You’ll need to replace the battery in most cases, but first, find out what drained the battery so it doesn’t do it again. 

Can the car starter be repaired?

Yes, but it isn’t a quick job.  Most people will purchase either a brand new start or a rebuilt starter, which is less expensive. The rebuilt starter is one that has quit working and a trained mechanic or technician replaced the armature, field windings, brushes, commutator,  and sometimes the solenoid. 

Why is my car taking a long time to start?

If there is a delay between when you turn the ignition key and the car starter kicks in to start the engine, there is likely a connection that is corroded or has a poor connection. Have the alternator, battery, starter, and solenoid checked by a technician. 

car key on seat

Why does my car starter keeps going bad?

A start typically goes when the armature, brushes, and other internal parts wear out naturally. A vehicle that is started and killed repeatedly will wear a start out quicker than a normal everyday driver would their car. 

There is nothing more frustrating than a car not starting, except maybe the water heater going out.  Where the problem is the batter, car starter vs alternator problems, or out of gas, the problem is major when it happens to you. Having a mechanic you can trust and rely on is important. Call 941-493-6511 today for your car starter replacement in Venice, FL.

Why Car Maintenance Is Important

car upkeep and fluid check

Ensuring your car is at its best

If you’re like most people that have a car, you depend on it to be at the ready when you need to go.  But then, do you take care of it and follow a routine scheduled auto maintenance? What is scheduled maintenance on a car?

Every vehicle that comes off the assembly line will need routine auto maintenance to maintain its roadworthiness. The type of auto maintenance services it will need will vary from manufacturer  recommendations and the model of the vehicle.  Regardless of all that, it is important for the owner to keep a scheduled car maintenance services regiment. 

The basic scheduled car maintenance checklist typically consists of the following: 

30/60/90K Checkup and Maintenance

The 30/60/90K checkup appointment will include several areas of your car to be inspected. An ‘every 30k mile’ auto maintenance and checkup is to assure that all is working correctly and safely with a multi-point inspection.

Oil Change

This is the most common auto maintenance. For most cars is between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Regular oil change will ensure the engine is being properly lubricated throughout the engine internally, preventing any metal on metal contact. 

Tune Up 

The tune up will include replacing the air filter, spark plugs, (wires if present), fuel filter, and fuel injection cleaning.  These things can all affect your car’s fuel economy, and your mechanic will be able to advise you what your car needs in this area of routine auto maintenance. 

Timing Belt Replacement

The auto maintenance will include inspecting the timing belt, looking for cracks or other indications it is about to break. Getting the changed before anything happened will minimize the need of extensive repairs later, or worse, a new engine.

Fluid Flush

There are several fluids within a car and part of the auto maintenance routine is to flush and change these fluids. This removes any possible contamination that could damage the engine. 

Is a car service necessary?

The purpose of automotive scheduled maintenance is to keep the car in proper functioning state and prevent  most unexpected brake-downs that require expensive repairs. A car will haves a longer lifespan and better performance  with regular auto maintenance. The minimal cost of money and time it takes is well worth it at the end of the day. 

How often should I service my car?

The year 2020 was unexpected and unpredictable, and with all that brought us, being quarantined to our homes, auto maintenance wasn’t at the forefront of our minds.  However, life is returning to a normal, albeit a new normal, and we need to get back to the routines that matter. Auto maintenance needs to be one of those routines. 

Most mechanics recommend scheduled car maintenance by mileage, the 30-60-90 service schedule. Meaning, you schedule your car for auto maintenance every 30,000 miles starting at the 30,000 mile mark and continue that every 30,000 miles. 

However, during the times in between the 30-60-90 mile intervals, there is still auto maintenance that should be kept every 3,000 miles, starting at the 3,000 mile mark. Those interval auto maintenance checks should include: 

  • 3,000 miles: Battery, belts, and cables 
  • 6,000 miles: Transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid
  • 9,000 miles: Power steering fluid, lights 
  • 12,000 miles: Coolant, tires

During 2020, many of us didn’t drive our cars, but every year, there are many that don’t drive anyway, quarantined or not.  That is the one of the worse things you can do for you automobile. A ten minute drive once week is recommended to keep the gas and oil moving through the system, keep the tires from going flat, and more. 

When should you schedule car maintenance?

It’s pretty simple reason:  Auto maintenance will keep your vehicle running safely and smoothly. Yes, you have your car payment, car insurance, and registration, to pay for, those are required by the bank and the government.  

Your auto maintenance is just being smart and fortunately, many of the things you don’t have to pay a mechanic to handle for you – you can do some of the basics yourself, like checking the oil, transmission fluid, and tire pressure. Use the owner’s manual that came with your car and the multitude of YouTube videos to help you with these things, and you’ll find yourself needing your mechanic less and less. 

maintained car driving down the road

What should you do to your car every 30 000 miles?

You’ll need to follow the guidelines for every 3,000 miles, and at 30,000 miles, it is recommended that you do the following: 

  • Replace the air and fuel filters.
  • Get the radiator professionally flushed and inspected, new coolant added.
  • Inspect the condition of all belts and hoses, replace if needed.
  • Have all suspension inspected.
  • Test the air conditioning system and have recharged if needed. 
  • Have the power steering fluid professionally drained, flushed, and new fluid added. 
  • Check the tire tread, get new tires if needed. 

Keeping your car maintained can extend its life. Need car maintenance in Venice, FL? Call Rolling Auto Service today at 941-493-6511.

Why is My Car Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air?

car air conditioner repair

Keeping cool on the road

The summers can get warm in Venice, Florida, so having a working car air conditioner is nice on the way home after a long day at work. Until it quits working anyway. This is when we realize how valuable car ac repair service can be!  What is car air conditioning service?

With regular maintenance routine on your car AC, repairs will be kept at bay and the  system will keep working all summer. If your car air conditioner hasn’t been checked in a while, or it isn’t blowing as cold as it should, it may be time to schedule a car AC repair appointment. What takes place with a car ac repair and service? Let’s review the parts of your car air conditioner first. There are 5 key parts to a car air conditioning system along with hoses and charging ports for the refrigerant. Those key parts are:

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator
  • Orifice tube 
  • Receiver dryer 

The most typical problem that most car AC repair technicians are faced with are: 

  • Coolant: Many cars with air conditioner not working is because the car needs coolant. The car AC repair technician will top it off or replace it completely. The coolant is exposed to extreme engine and road heat, dirt, road debris, quick stopping, and vibrations. The coolant will evaporate eventually.
  • Compressor: The car AC repair technician will check for clogs and  leaks with the compressor. Clogged and leaking compressors can’t build up a pressure high enough to cool the refrigerant. 
  • Cooling fan: This will be inspected the replaced if needed. After a lot of use, a cooling fan can burn out, the blades get chipped, a fuse blows, or a relay gets burned. If the fan was poorly installed, or has come loose, a car AC repair technician will repair if possible or suggest a replacement. 
  • Electrical:  An electrical problem can be caused by faulty signals being sent that don’t let the air conditioner cool. This can be a bad module, bad sensors, or a  broken wire.

Why did my car AC stop blowing air?

If there isn’t any air coming through your car’s ventilation system, it doesn’t mean the air conditioning is broken. It may be the fan. The majority of cars on the road today have one multi-speed fan and it blows air through several ducts and vents that are selected by the driver. 

These different speeds are determined using the climate control system that consists of a small computer module. The fan switch sends signals to the computer module that tells the blower module when to activate the fan. A car AC repair technician will often determine that the fan is burned out and quit working or only works on one speed (usually the lowest or the highest). 

 An air conditioning technician may also find that the resistors themselves are burned out. This is an easy and fast car AC repair. Most cars that is two screws and disconnect the electrical connection. 

However, not all cars are the exact same, which is why taking your car in for professional car AC repair service is recommended.  Car AC repair technician has been trained with car ac repair how to make the repairs and has the proper car ac repair tools to do the job correctly, as well as recharge the system with freon. 

What does it mean when your car AC blows hot air?

If your car air condition is blowing warm air, it could be one of the following issues: 

  • REFRIGERANT LEAK: Most car AC repair needs are because the refrigerant (freon) has leaked. A trained air conditioning technician will check for leaks and if they can be repaired or if the unit needs to be repaired. 
  • FAULTY CONDENSER: The air conditioning system in a car pulls heat and humidity out of the car and is absorbed by the refrigerant. The condenser keeps the refrigerant cool and the cycle continues. If the condenser isn’t working, the entire car air condition process stops working. 
  • BROKEN COMPRESSOR: A car’s air conditioner main component is the compressor. It is what circulates the refrigerant so if the refrigerant isn’t circulating, the air conditioner isn’t working. 
  • ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: What if all the air conditioning components are working but hot air is still blowing out the vents? Most likely, the car AC repair technician will find a blown fuse or frayed wire.
car ac knob

Why does my car AC stop working after a while?

This is referred to as intermittent cooling and can be caused by any of the components within the air conditioning system. The more typical issue that a car AC repair technician will find is the evaporator is covered in ice. Once the evaporator thaws out and the ice melts, it can work again. Why does an evaporator freeze over? It can be because the cabin air filter is dirty, or it can be the system has been overcharged  with coolant. 

Perhaps the biggest concern is the air conditioner not working. The next biggest concern is when you take go to car AC repair shop. The question is, “How much does it cost to get air conditioning fixed in a car?” Car ac repair cost can vary from car to car and based on the problem the car AC repair technician finds.  The average cost can be as low as $175 and as much as $4,000, all depending on how big of a problem. Minor compressor repairs will be as much as $730 and major compressor repairs as much as $4,000. Call 941-493-6511 today for your car AC repair in Venice, FL.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Timing Belt?

timing belt and gears

Signs of a bad timing belt

In older cars, there was a timing chain and looked something like a chain. Today, it is a timing belt made of rubber. When the timing belt breaks or gets off kilter, a timing belt replacement is necessary, or your car won’t move. Why is the timing so important? 

It is an important component of your car’s operation as it is what synchronizes the function of two other important components: the camshaft and the crankshaft. The camshaft works the valves that lets the air and gas in and out of the engine. The crankshaft operates the pistons to go up and down. Both of these have to work in synchronized method, or it can damage, even destroy the engine.  The timing belt keeps them in synchronization of perfect timing. So, when the timing belt is broke or off kilter, a timing belt replacement is a must, or your car won’t be going anywhere. 

How do I know if my timing belt is worn out?

The timing belt isn’t where you can visually see it  as soon as you open the hood, it is located close to the engine’s front end.  There isn’t a warning light on the dashboard of your car that tells you a timing belt replacement is needed. However, there are some symptoms that will tell you that your car needs a timing belt replacement: 

Ticking Noise 

A car engine is something like the human body. The knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, and the timing belt is attached to the engine with a series of pulleys. Those pulleys operate the camshaft and crankshaft, and the crankshaft powers works the rods, the rods work the pistons. The camshaft works the cylinder head valve  and rocker arms, to send fuel to the combustion chamber. The ejected gases pass through the exhaust manifold.  So, when the timing belt begins to weaken or breaks, a ticking noise is heard from inside the engine. A clicking sound also comes from the engine when it is low on oil. In either case, immediate attention is needed by a mechanic who will add oil to the engine or determine if a timing belt replacement is needed. 

Engine Won’t Start

When a timing belt is broken, the engine can’t turn and start. This is discovered when you insert the key to start the motor, you’ll hear it engage, but it doesn’t crank. That is because the camshaft and crankshaft can’t engage the pistons and get the fuel to the engine. It is possible for your timing belt to break while driving it too. You won’t be able to drive your car until you have a timing belt replacement job, and there is a chance that more damage has been done to the motor that the timing belt replacement isn’t enough. 

Oil Leak

An oil leak from the engine can be a symptom of a few things, one of them is the timing belt has broken or is worn out.  There are bolts and nuts on the timing belt cover that hold it in place, protecting the timing belt. When the timing belt has begun to wear out, oil will begin leaking around those bolts and nuts. Fortunately, a timing belt replacement will usually fix that problem. However, an oil leak from the engine block indicates more serious engine problems. 

The Exhaust 

If there is more smoke coming from your car’s tail pipe than normal, that can be an indication that a time belt replacement is necessary. As soon as you notice excessive amount of exhaust, have your mechanic inspect the engine. Finding the problem sooner than later could be the difference of hundreds to thousands of dollars. 

RPMs Acting Up

If the RPMs of your car are acting strange, it could be because of a bad timing belt. It could have broken teeth, or it has completely broken. 

What does a bad timing belt sound like?

A timing belt that is wearing out, where some of the teeth have worn down on the rubber belt, will cause a ticking noise. The sound will sound like it is coming from the engine front, which can often sound like a rod knocking. An experienced mechanic check the oil first to make sure that isn’t the problem, then check to see if a timing belt replacement is necessary. 

When a timing belt breaks, the engine will create a whining noise when you try to start the motor. This is because the pulleys the timing belt works the camshaft and crankshaft are spinning with no belt resistance. 

Can you drive with a bad timing belt?

You can’t put off a timing belt replacement until it is more convenient. If your car won’t start, it could be the alternator, battery, out of gas, or the timing belt is bad or broken. If the timing belt is wearing out, your car will start and run, until it breaks as you’re driving down the road. This is why you need to be aware of the indicators we listed above so that you know to get your car inspected by a mechanic. 

How often do you have to replace a timing belt?

Timing belt replacement miles or years aren’t the same for every car because everyone has different driving patterns, however, regular timing belt replacement between 60,000 miles and 100,000 miles is recommended. Using the services of the same mechanic will help them learn your driving patterns and their timing belt replacement recommendations could be every 50,000 miles or every 100,000 miles.  If you put a lot of miles on your car in a short time, your car will benefit from a timing belt replacement sooner. 

timing replacement

What does a timing belt replacement cost? 

What is timing belt replacement cost can depend on the year, make, and model of your car. The average expense starts around $300 and can go as high as $700 or more.  There is a lot of work involved in removing the broken timing belt and other tasks that take place before the timing belt replacement is done. A high end car, the timing belt replacement can cost upward of $1,000. Call 941-493-6511 today for timing belt service in Venice, FL.

What causes a fuel pump to go bad?

fuel injector

How does a car act when the fuel pump is going out?

A car fuel pump is as essential as the motor and transmission. A review of the car fuel system explained so that first sentence makes sense is the car fuel pump stores and supplies fuel to the motor. An intake system in the motor is where air and fuel is mixed then atomized, and vaporized. The amount of fuel pressure is regulated by a fuel pressure regulator that works by the amount of vacuum the intake system provides. 

If your car fuel pump isn’t getting the fuel from the gas tank to the motor, you’ll have to pump the gas pedal to get the fuel up to the motor. Once you get the fuel pumped up to the motor, it may not want to keep running, requiring you to keep pumping the pedal for the car fuel pump to keep fuel in it. A worn out car fuel pump will be a car fuel pump empty of fuel, and at this point, the more you pump the pedal, you could be pushing debris and trash into the car fuel pump which will clog it up and require professional mechanic service. 

Can a fuel pump go out without warning?

Absolutely! A car fuel pump will fail without warning more often than you may think. All things related to a car fuel pumps like the injectors, the  pressure regulator, and the car fuel pump itself are the part that are most replaced with the fuel system. Any of these components have a problem can cause a car fuel pump to quit, leaving you sitting at the intersection. a bank or fast food drive through, anywhere at any time, without any type of indication or warning.  

Will check engine light come on for fuel pump?    

It depends on the age of your car, but newer cars have an OBD system (on board diagnosis) and the check engine light or service engine soon light will come on. There is one drawback to the OBD system – there can be more than a 1,000 reasons that light has come on, and a car fuel pump is only one of those reason. 

When that OBD light comes on, the best thing you can do is take it to your mechanic and have them run a diagnosis with a special computer they will connect to the OBD sensor.  

This will provide them car fuel pump diagnosis as well as other diagnosis by a series of codes and lights. Each make of vehicles of certain year will have specific codes and your mechanic will have a guide detailing those codes. Possible causes the OBD reading from your car fuel pump could be:

  • Weak fuel pump.
  • Clogged fuel filter or screen.
  • Fuel line restricted. 
  • Car fuel pump driver module faulty.
  • Car fuel pump pressure sensor faulty.
close up of a engine

What are the signs of a bad fuel pump?

Today’s car fuel pump average more than 100,000 miles lifespan. A car fuel pump going out today is a rare occurrence, but it can happen. The basic car fuel pump failure symptoms that are warning you you’re your car fuel pump is going out are: 

  • Car is difficult to start because ethe fuel isn’t reaching the motor.
  • Acceleration hesitates because the fuel pump isn’t pushing fuel into the engine to give it power. 
  • Lose power intermittently or sputtering happens because the car fuel pump should still push fuel to the engine after it has started.  If the car fuel pump doesn’t produce that constant stream of fuel when you speed up, it will sputter, even stall and the car will quit. 
  • Check engine light comes on is telling you the OBD system is picking up a problem within your car’s operating system, the fuel pump could be one of the problems.  
  • Rough idling engine is result of the fuel pump isn’t sending fuel into the engine at a steady rate.
  • Engine smoking can be caused by the fuel pump has flooded the engine.
  • Excessive smell of fuel can indicate the car fuel pump is flooding the car’s system. 
  • Poor fuel economy from the fuel pump pushing more much fuel than normal. If you notice your getting worse fuel mileage, you should have your mechanic check your car fuel pump. 

How dangerous is a fuel pump malfunctioning, can you drive with a bad fuel pump? In most cars, a fuel pump will not have any spark causing it to explode. However, you won’t be able to drive your car with a bad fuel pump because it won’t be pumping fuel into the engine. If you’re unfortunate enough that your car fuel pump goes out while you’re driving, you’ll simply be stalled out where you are sitting. If you’re going down the road, your call will die and won’t restart. If this happens, turn your emergency flashers on and try to coast your vehicle to the side of the road then call for help. Call 941-493-6511 today for your fuel pump in Venice, FL.

Can I Drive With Check Engine Light On?

Check Engine Light

Can I drive with check engine light on?

Whether you’ve just started your car or you’ve been driving along, when you’re check engine light pops on it can cause alarm and frustration. The biggest question that comes to mind: Should you keep driving when the light comes on? Usually, you have no reason to panic. When the light comes on, it means your car’s computer system has detected some kind of malfunction.

If the light is steady, you should be OK to drive the car unless it’s bucking, making unusual noises, or surging. If there are no immediately discernible problems, you still should take it to a repair shop or dealership as soon as possible so the problem can be diagnosed. Problems could range from a loose gas cap to a faulty oxygen sensor to faulty spark plugs.

A flashing engine light means the computer has detected a severe fault such as a damaged catalytic converter. You’re better off not driving the car if the light is flashing because the engine is misfiring in some way. If your light pops on and you need a check engine light inspection in Venice, FL, bring your car in to the experts at Rolling Auto Service. Set up a service appointment by calling 941-493-6511.

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

When your check engine light comes on it means your car’s computer has detected a malfunction. What that malfunction is could mean different things:

  • A loose gas cap
  • Faulty ignition coils
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Faulty catalytic converter
  • Faulty oxygen sensor
  • Faulty mass airflow sensor
  • Faulty evaporative emissions purge solenoid
  • Faulty fuel injector

Can low oil cause the check engine light to come on?

Another reason your check engine light might come on is low oil pressure. If your oil pressure is low, however, the oil light will also come on. Low oil pressure occurs because of wear and tear on your oil pump or from letting air in the pump or putting too much oil in it.

Can check engine light come on when cold?

Extremely cold temperatures could cause your check engine light to come on. If ice forms near electrical components it’s possible false voltage readings could result. The computer codes should be checked to make sure this is the case.

Can check engine light come on for no reason?

If your check engine light comes on, there will always be a reason for it. It’s not, however, always indicative of a major malfunction in your car’s fuel or emissions system. A loose gas cap or an electrical issue, including a faltering or dead battery, could cause the light to come on. The only way to be certain of what’s causing the problem is to have it diagnosed at an auto repair shop because the light could also indicate serious problems like faulty coils or a bad catalytic converter.

Will check engine light reset itself?

Whenever you’ve repaired the issue that caused the check engine light to come on, the light should normally reset itself. This process could actually take some time. So don’t be alarmed if the light stays on for a short period after the repair is made. The car may need to be driven several cycles—or driven until it warms up before stopping—for the light to reset. If the light takes some time to reset, you might have to reset it using an OBD reader, the diagnostic tool technicians use to scan the fault codes. Disconnecting the battery will also cause the light to reset.

What causes check engine light to flash?

If your check engine light is flashing, this normally indicates a repair is urgently needed. Flashing lights are often indicative of one of these problems:

  • A defect in the ignition system could include bad spark plugs, hoses, coils, or wires.
  • A faulty fuel system including temperature sensors, fuel injectors, or coolant.
  • The engine is damaged internally, which could mean the cylinder heads, the pistons and rings, or the timing belt.

How can I check my engine light for free?

Several options are available to test your check engine light for free. You can download an OBD reader app to your smartphone that connects by Bluetooth to your car’s computer. Some auto parts chains provide free diagnostics and some repair shops also provide free diagnostics. Rolling Auto Service provides a free check engine light diagnostic with the purchase of another service.

A Technician Runs a Diagnostic on an Engine.

Where to diagnose check engine light

When any dashboard warning light comes on, you want to get it inspected as soon as possible. If you need an accurate check engine light diagnostic in Venice, FL, look to the professionals at Rolling Auto Service. We offer a full range of automotive services for most makes and models. Find out more or schedule a service appointment by calling 941-493-6511.

How does anti lock brakes work?

Anti lock braking mechanism

What are anti-lock brakes?

Anti-lock braking system, referred to as ABS, helps the driver steer their vehicle in an emergency braking situation by restoring traction to the tires. This  allows the driver to keep control of the vehicle and steer to a safe stop and area. When a vehicle is equipped with anti lock brakes and skidding is stopped, keeping the car from sliding into another vehicle, tree, etc. 

Why anti lock brakes are important?

When vehicle brakes lock up, the vehicle typically goes into a skid, taking it longer to stop, diminishing the driver’s ability to safely control and steer the vehicle. This anti-brake system works with wheel speed sensor that monitors each wheel and when the wheels are going into a skid, hydraulic pressure is temporarily reduced. 

When the anti-lock brake system engages, there typically isn’t time for the driver to think and react. They will have their foot on the brake pedal already and feel a grinding or pumping motion. This is from the antilock brake pump metering the braking pressure through the valve assembly. The tires will make a screeching noise as they skid. 

The anti-brake system is for a panic stop situation and doesn’t stop the vehicle faster. It does allow for the driver to maintain control of the steering, with the goal of avoiding any danger, not go into a skid and slide into the situation. 

What are the benefits of anti lock brakes?

 An anti-lock brake system coordinates the activity from wheels with sensors. Those sensors regulate the brake pressure as needed so that each wheel operates in a analogous speed range. The benefits of anti-lock brakes are: .

  • Slippery Roads: An anti-lock brake system will keep a vehicle from locking up and going into a kid on slippery roads like ice or rains mentioned earlier, an anti-lock brake system prevents lock-ups and skidding, even in slippery conditions. 
  • Insurance Costs: Because anti-lock brake systems have been thoroughly tested and proven to be an effective safety device, insurance companies offer discounts for safety features on their client’s vehicles.  
  • Resale Value: Anti-lock brake system raises the re-sale value of vehicle. Without an anti-lock brake system, a vehicle wouldn’t be worth as much resale. 
  • Traction: An Anti-lock brake system and new technology share traction control system infrastructure, making the build of both features easier in manufacturing. 

How should you use anti lock brakes in emergency?

To get the most effectiveness from our anti-lock brake system, you will learn a different technique than you have used with other vehicles before anti-lock brakes were introduced. Much like when you were learning to drive, got to a large empty parking lot and practice braking by driving a speed over 10mph an applying the brakes. 

Four-Wheel Anti-Lock Brake System Instructions

  • Slam the brakes as in an emergency stop, this stops the skidding that normally would happen.
  • You will feel a vibration and hear clicking as brakes come to a stop. 
  • Do not pump the brakes – that deactivates the anti-lock brake system. 
  • The anti lock brakes will take effect when you have your foot pressed firmly on the brake pedal while steering.

Rear-Wheel Anti-Lock Brake System Instructions

  • In a vehicle equipped with rear-wheel anti-lock brake system, typically trucks, the front wheels will lock up just like the conventional brake system.
  • If front wheels appear to lock up, ease pressure on the brake pedal so the front wheels allow you to steer the vehicle to safety.

The car should have an anti-lock brake system warning light on the dash to alert you of any system malfunction. If that light comes on as you drive, the anti-lock brake system is disabled, and the standard non anti-lock brake operation begins. 

What are anti lock brakes most effective?

The anti lock brakes are most effective when your tires have good contact with the road and brakes are applied firmly and promptly. The sensors on the wheels of anti-lock brake system detect when wheels are beginning to lock as the driver slams on in an emergency (normal driver reaction). They then reduce the braking power on the locking wheels, helping to maintain traction and help the driver control the steering. This stops the car quicker and safer. 

abs light on dash

What happens when the anti lock brakes fail?

When the anti-lock brake system isn’t functioning, the tires lose traction, the vehicles goes into a skid, and hydroplaning is likely in a heavy braking condition. The anti-lock brake system is designed with ample indication and warning signs of a problems. As the driver of the vehicle, it is critical to be aware of those indicators and warnings and address them accordingly to avoid this situation.

Many drivers who have driven cars for years before anti-lock brakes were developed and installed often ask, can you turn off ABS brakes? The answer is yes, it is possible, but not recommended.  The wheel speed sensors can be removed and will disable the anti-lock brake system, which also will disable the stability control. When the anti-lock brake system is unplugged, it can affect the braking performance adversely as well. Need help with your anti-lock brakes in Venice, FL? Call 941-493-6511 today!

What is Differential Service and Is It Important?

differential gears

What is a differential and what exactly does it do?

We are going to talk about differential service today, after we explain what  a differential is and how it is important to your vehicle. Your vehicle needs the engine, transmission, and wheels and tires to make your vehicle move. Within or attached to those things are other important components like axles and a differential.

The differential is a mechanism that separates the engine torque two ways. This allows a different speed for each output’s spin. All late model and all-wheel drive vehicles have a differential between each drive wheel set. 

Compensation for difference is the job of a differential, specifically the wheel speed differences when they turn. A good example is as you turn a corner, the inside wheel doesn’t have as far to travel as the outer wheel. That means that outer wheel is going at a faster speed to stay in pace with the inner wheel. 

The differential allows those different speeds and keeps your car powered in the process. All of the power in an engine goes through the differentials. So, is there a difference between a rear and front differential? Yes, because the front wheels travel at a different speed than rear wheels, there is a differential between the two front wheels and one in between the two rear wheels.  

Is differential service necessary?

Yes! The differential uses oil, thicker than the oil that goes in the engine. Changing the oil in the differential is as important as the engine oil change because over time, the oil wears thin and becomes contaminated. Like the engine, without the oil, the differential will start having metal-to-metal contacting that will wear the differential out. 

The differentials on most vehicle should be changed at about 50,000 miles. However, that can vary based on the mileage of the vehicle and the travel conditions, like dirt roads, your vehicle may need differential service more frequent. 

What is the differential service?

Differential service with a mechanic or technician will include draining the old fluid from the differentials and replace it with new fluid according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications.

The rear differential service is a little different in the fact that the mechanic or technician will perform a          Differential service and fluid flush before putting in the new fluid. This is typically recommended to be done every 30,000 to 35,00 miles, and definitely before 50,000 miles. Many mechanics will suggest having the Differential service and tires rotated at the same time, making it easier to remember getting the differential service performed on a timely basis. 

Can you overfill a differential?

There is a fill hole on most differentials that may have a rubber plug covering it. This makes it easy for the mechanic or technician to check the fluid. Overfilling the differential can cause the seals to push through the vent tube. When this happens, the axle seals must be replaced. Because it can be too easy to do this, and the fact that draining the old fluid is extremely messy, having a professional mechanic or technician perform your differential service is always recommended.

What does a bad differential sound like?

Just as you pay attention to the oil change for the engine, the differential needs that same attention. The differential in your vehicle needs to be working properly for longevity of your vehicle and safety. Some indicators that your vehicle’s differential is having problems would be: 

  • Leaking Oil: If you see what appears to be oil dripping from under the vehicles at one of the axles, you need professional differential service immediately. 
  • Strange Noises: A differential that is going bad will often make loud rattling or whirring noises. If you’re hearing these noises from under the car, see differential service. 
  • Vibrating: Of you notice an unusual vibration while driving, it could be differential and is worth taking it to your mechanic for a differential service check.  
  • Unusual Odor: As differential oil ages, it can start to smell like it is burning. When you smell burning oil, it is time to get a differential service. 
differential under an old 4x4 truck

Can you drive with a bad differential?

A differential doesn’t just go out without warning.  The indications we listed above could be what keeps your car on the road if you have professional differential service performed. As long as your following the recommended schedule for fluid and oil change in your vehicle, including the differential, you shouldn’t ever have these problem. 

Technically, yes, driving a vehicle with a bad differential is possible, but not recommended. Driving with a bad differential will only make it worse and you could find yourself stranded on the roadside somewhere. Other components of your vehicle can be damaged as well, cost you even more money with extensive repairs. 

Next to your home, your vehicle is an expensive and important investment. Just like your home, you should follow the recommended maintenance schedule of major components like a differential service, oil changes, and tire rotations. These are considered preventive maintenance and will extend the life of your car. Call 941-493-6511 today for your differential repair in Venice, FL.