Is It Okay to Drive with an Exhaust Leak?

A Car Exhaust

The Importance of Exhaust Repair: Addressing Common Questions

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, exhaust repair is an essential aspect that should not be overlooked. An exhaust system in good working condition ensures your car runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely. However, many car owners are unsure about what to do when they encounter an exhaust leak. In this blog post, we will answer some common questions about exhaust leaks, including whether it’s okay to drive with one, how long it takes to fix, the symptoms to watch out for, and the potential dangers. Read on to learn more and keep your vehicle in top condition.

Is It Okay to Drive with an Exhaust Leak?

Driving with an exhaust leak is not advisable. While it might seem like a minor issue, an exhaust leak can lead to several significant problems. Here’s why you should address an exhaust leak promptly:

  1. Health Risks: Exhaust gases contain harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide. An exhaust leak can cause these gases to enter the cabin of your vehicle, posing serious health risks to you and your passengers. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even more severe conditions such as unconsciousness or death in extreme cases.
  2. Vehicle Performance: An exhaust leak can affect your vehicle’s performance. The exhaust system is designed to manage and expel gases efficiently. A leak can disrupt this process, leading to a decrease in engine performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and potentially causing damage to other components of your vehicle.
  3. Environmental Impact: Exhaust leaks contribute to increased emissions, which are harmful to the environment. A properly functioning exhaust system helps to minimize your car’s carbon footprint. Ignoring an exhaust leak means your vehicle could be emitting more pollutants than necessary.

How Long Does It Take for a Mechanic to Fix an Exhaust Leak?

The time it takes to repair an exhaust leak can vary depending on several factors:

  1. Location of the Leak: The position of the exhaust leak plays a significant role in determining repair time. Leaks in easily accessible areas, such as the exhaust pipe, muffler, or catalytic converter, can be fixed relatively quickly. However, leaks located in more challenging areas, such as the exhaust manifold, may take longer to repair.
  2. Severity of the Leak: The extent of the damage will also affect repair time. Minor leaks might require simple patching or tightening of loose connections, while more severe leaks could necessitate replacing entire sections of the exhaust system.
  3. Vehicle Make and Model: The design and complexity of your vehicle’s exhaust system can influence repair time. Some cars have intricate exhaust systems that are more time-consuming to work on, while others have simpler designs that allow for quicker repairs.

On average, fixing an exhaust leak can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. It’s best to consult with a professional mechanic who can provide a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation.

What Are the Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak?

Identifying the symptoms of an exhaust leak early can help you address the issue before it becomes more severe. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

  1. Loud Engine Noise: One of the most noticeable symptoms of an exhaust leak is a loud or unusual noise coming from the engine. This noise is often described as a hissing or tapping sound, especially during acceleration.
  2. Decreased Fuel Efficiency: If you notice that your vehicle is consuming more fuel than usual, it could be due to an exhaust leak. A leak can disrupt the proper flow of exhaust gases, leading to reduced fuel efficiency.
  3. Vibrations: Exhaust leaks can cause vibrations that can be felt in the steering wheel, pedals, or the entire vehicle. These vibrations are often more noticeable when the car is idling or accelerating.
  4. Check Engine Light: An exhaust leak can trigger the check engine light on your dashboard. If this light comes on, it’s essential to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to determine the cause.
  5. Unpleasant Odors: If you smell strong exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, it’s a clear indication of an exhaust leak. These fumes can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately.

Can an Exhaust Leak Harm You?

Yes, an exhaust leak can be harmful to your health. The primary danger associated with an exhaust leak is the potential exposure to carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that is highly toxic. Inhaling carbon monoxide can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. It is crucial to address any exhaust leaks promptly to avoid these health risks. Additionally, prolonged exposure to other exhaust gases, such as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, can also have adverse health effects.


Exhaust repair is a critical aspect of vehicle maintenance that should not be neglected. Driving with an exhaust leak can pose serious health risks, reduce vehicle performance, and harm the environment. Understanding the symptoms of an exhaust leak and seeking professional help for timely repairs can ensure your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.

If you suspect an exhaust leak in your vehicle, don’t wait – contact our expert mechanics today for a thorough inspection and reliable exhaust repair services in Venice, FL. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. Call us now at 941-493-6511 to schedule an appointment and keep your car running smoothly and safely.

Why Will My Anti-Theft Alarm Not Go Off Anymore?

hand holding key fob with car in the background

Potential Reasons for a Failing Anti-Theft Alarm

An anti-theft alarm can help you find your car in a large parking lot as well as protect it from potential intruders. However, if your anti-theft alarm is not going off anymore, there could be several reasons for this issue. The alarm system itself may be malfunctioning. This could be due to a blown fuse, a wiring issue, or a problem with the alarm module. If the battery powering your alarm system is dead or low, the alarm may not sound, so replacing the battery may help. Similarly, if your alarm is controlled by a key fob or remote, the battery in the fob might be dead or improperly programmed. 

Sensors that trigger the alarm may be malfunctioning and can include door sensors, motion sensors, or hood/trunk sensors. Furthermore, if your vehicle has an aftermarket alarm system installed, modifications or improper installation could be causing the issue. In some instances, a system reset can resolve issues with alarm systems. This may involve disconnecting the car battery for a few minutes and then reconnecting it.

Connect with Rolling Auto Service for Auto Service in Venice, FL

Sometimes, there is no issue. The alarm system may have been intentionally or accidentally disabled, so check the owner’s manual or consult with a professional to ensure it’s properly enabled. To diagnose and fix the issue, you may need to consult with a professional automotive technician or an alarm system specialist. At Rolling Auto Service, we can perform a thorough inspection of the alarm system to identify the underlying cause and provide the necessary repairs. Call us at 941-493-6511 to learn of all the ways we can help.

Is Replacing Your Own Car Battery Easy?

A Car With Its Hood Up

Summer may have taken a toll on your car battery, and when winter comes blowing in, you may find yourself waiting for the auto club for a jump. Or you may be told it can’t be jumped off and you need a car battery replacement! Yes, sometimes, depending on a few different factors, your car’s battery may not be suitable for a jump anymore, it happens. 

How can you know if your car needs a new car battery? 

The following are ways that your existing car battery was telling you that it didn’t have another jump left in it: 

  • Age: The average car battery has a lifespan between 3 and 5 years. Most batteries have a label on top with the month and year it was installed. Or, you can have the voltage checked and any reading less than 12.6 indicates the battery’s health is aging and you need a car battery replacement.  
  • Won’t Start: When a car is slow to start one morning, and then again, and again, go back to the step we just mentioned and get your budget ready for a car battery replacement. 
  • Frequent Jump Starts: If the scenario we mentioned above has happened frequently, it is time for a car battery replacement. However, if you’re still having to get a jump start after the new battery is installed, have your mechanic inspect the electrical system. There may be a problem with the alternator or other electrical components.
  • Slow Turnover: If the engine takes a long time to start, it may be a battery issue. And if a new car battery replacement doesn’t fix this problem, have your mechanic inspect the electrical system. 
  • Bad Smells: If you notice a bad smell coming from the existing battery, it is time for a new car battery replacement.  
  • Bulging Battery: If the existing car battery case is bulging, this indicates that it is close to rupturing, which can be a dangerous fire hazard. Do not attempt to start the car or have it jump-started. Take it to your mechanic for a car battery replacement. 

What does a car battery replacement cost? 

The cost of a car battery replacement can vary based on the brand, quality, size, and the cranking power. The cost will also depend on where you purchase the car battery replacement, and if you install your own or have it installed.  A new battery can start around $150 and could be as expensive as $500. Some places that install car battery replacements won’t charge for a battery purchased from them, such as your local auto parts store. 

Do the less expensive car batteries work?

Absolutely, but you probably won’t get as long of a lifespan from a less expensive battery. But, when you need a car battery replacement at the worst time of the monthly budget, the less expensive battery gets you back on the road again.

Can you install your car battery replacement?

Yes, most car owners can install their car battery replacement. The biggest challenge for many is the weight of the existing and new batteries, they can be hard to lift. The following steps will walk you through installing your car battery replacement:

  1. Turn the engine off and raise the hood. 
  2. Detach the negative battery cable from the battery by loosening the nut with pliers or a wrench. 
  3. Using gloved hands, simultaneously twist and pull the end of the cable. If it doesn’t come easily, there are battery terminal pullers available at the same place you buy your car battery replacement.
  4. Next, detach the positive battery cable in the same method.
  5. Using a ratchet, socket, or wrench, remove the hold-down clamp over the battery.
  6. Remove the battery (the heavy part comes!) using both hands. Some batteries have a handle that can make this easier.
  7. Mix together baking soda and water to make a cleaning solution and pour over the battery cable ends using a wire brush. 
  8. Position the new car battery replacement in the batter and secure the hold-down clamp.
  9. The new battery should come with an anti-corrosion solution that goes over the terminal ends.
  10. Attach the positive battery cable and then the negative battery cable.
  11. After ensuring all cable connections and the hold-down bracket are properly tightened and secure, start the car. 

Can a car be started without a battery?

No, there must be a power source of 10 to 15 volts to start a car. However, you can jump-start the car without the battery using these steps: 

  1. Attach the jumper cables to the positive terminal first of the running car’s battery post and to the battery cable directly of the car without a battery. 
  2. Now, attach the negative cables and terminals in the same manner.  
  3. Make sure all of the auxiliaries are turned off, including the lights, heater, radio, and other accessories.   
  4. With everything connected, attempt to start the battery-less car. If it doesn’t start, start the car with the battery and then try again. 

In Closing 

It is important to have your current battery inspected by a professional, usually during your regular oil change. In this manner, you can be certain that a professional has examined it and will give you any advice if they see a need for a new car battery replacement before the existing one conks out unexpectedly. 

Preventative Maintenance Checklist for Your Car: Protecting Your Investment

person checking car battery voltage

For most people, their car is indispensable, and we rely on them heavily. Regular preventative car maintenance is crucial for keeping your vehicle in optimal health, maximizing its lifespan, and protecting your investment. Here’s a comprehensive checklist of preventative maintenance tasks to help you maintain your vehicle. And if you’re in need of car maintenance in Venice, FL, give Rolling Auto Service a call. We service a variety of makes and models and make customer satisfaction our top priority. Dial 941-493-6511 with your questions or to schedule your service today. 

Preventative Car Maintenance Schedule

Regularly check the engine oil level using the dipstick and change the oil and oil filter according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Clean oil helps lubricate engine components and prevent premature wear.

Check the air filter regularly and replace it as needed, usually every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer. A clean air filter ensures proper air flow to the engine for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Check tire pressure monthly and adjust as needed to the recommended psi listed in the owner’s manual or on the tire placard. Inspect tires for signs of wear, bulges, or uneven tread wear, and rotate them every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to promote even wear.

Inspect brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid levels regularly, and replace worn brake pads as needed. Check for signs of brake fluid leaks or brake pedal abnormalities and have them inspected by a professional if necessary.

Check the engine coolant level and condition regularly, and top off or replace coolant as needed to prevent overheating and corrosion. Flush and replace the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.

Check the transmission fluid level and condition regularly, and replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Fresh transmission fluid helps ensure smooth shifting and prolongs the life of the transmission.

Keep Your Car in Tip-Top Shape with Help from Rolling Auto Service

Check the battery terminals for corrosion and clean them if necessary. Test the battery’s voltage and replace it if it shows signs of weakness or is nearing the end of its lifespan, typically every 3 to 5 years.

Check spark plugs for signs of wear, such as fouling or erosion, and replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Fresh spark plugs improve engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Check belts and hoses for signs of wear, cracking, or fraying, and replace them as needed. Replace timing belts according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals to prevent engine damage.

Regularly check fluid levels, including power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and brake fluid, and top off or replace fluids as needed to ensure proper vehicle operation.

Check headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights regularly to ensure they are functioning properly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs promptly to maintain visibility and safety on the road.

Inspect suspension and steering components, including shocks, struts, ball joints, and tie rods, for signs of wear or damage. Replace worn components to maintain vehicle stability and handling.

Regularly wash and wax the exterior of your vehicle to protect the paint finish from environmental damage, such as UV rays, road salt, and debris. Clean the interior regularly to maintain cleanliness and prevent stains and odors.

Keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs performed on your vehicle, including dates, mileage, and services rendered. This information helps track maintenance intervals and provides documentation for warranty claims or resale. By following this preventative maintenance checklist and addressing issues promptly, you can protect your investment, maintain your vehicle’s performance, and ensure safe and reliable transportation for years to come. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your vehicle but also helps prevent costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns. We can help. Call 941-493-6511 today.

Is It Hard to Replace EGR Valve?

Engine parts close-up

Learn More Engine Basics

Open the hood of your car and you’ll notice there are many different components and parts. There are even components and parts you can’t see too, like the EGR valve. Well, you know what the battery looks like and what it is. And you’d know the radiator and breather, and maybe when it’s been pulled out, you’d recognize the dipstick and what these components are, but if the EGR was pulled out, would you know what it is and why is EGR valve replacement service so important? 

What is the EGR Valve?

The EGR valve is a part of the exhaust system in all modern internal combustion engines. The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) is how the emissions that are released are controlled. The EGR valve allows harmful gas to return through the intake system after it changes the chemical composition. In short, it is one way car manufacturers have taken to improve air pollution. 

When should EGR be serviced?

The recommendation of most car manufacturers is to have a professional EGR valve replacement service, i.e., cleaning, performed every 50,000 miles. Why is this EGR valve replacement service necessary? Because it is a part of how the emissions are controlled, helps the fuel economy, and your car will have better performance. 

How many miles should an EGR valve last?

There isn’t a standard answer to this, but mechanics that provide EGR valve replacement service is recommended between 40,000 miles and no later than 50,000 miles. If you wait longer than 40,000 to 50,000 miles, some indications that your car needs EGR valve replacement service include: 

  • High Emissions: High emissions are a direct result of an EGR valve not doing its job, which means you won’t be able to pass an emissions test. This happens when the valve gets stuck open, allowing too much exhaust gas to enter the intake manifold. The combustion of the engine becomes inefficient and your car will release unburned hydrocarbon gases. If the EGR valve is closed, the combustion temperatures get too hot and increase in NOxes that escape through the exhaust.
  • Fuel Consumption: If your car is using more fuel than usual, you may need to schedule an EGR valve replacement service. 
  • Idling Rough: When your car is idling, if it is bouncing and shaking, this could be caused by a malfunctioning EGR valve. Replacement service will get the bouncing and shaking stopped. 
  • Knocking Sounds: When there are knocking sounds coming from the engine, it could be out of oil, or it could need EGR valve replacement service. When the EGR valve is closed, the fuel will ignite due to the internal temperature getting too high inside the engine. 

While these things can indicate your car needs EGR valve replacement service, it can also indicate other problems as well.  An experienced mechanic will inspect the situation and ascertain the problem. 

How much is an EGR valve replacement service?

The average cost for EGR valve replacement service can vary from car to car and garage to garage. A common estimation starts around $400 and goes up from there.  The labor portion of that amount can start around $100 with the remaining amount being the EPG valve. 

Is an EGR valve replacement service a difficult job?

For a mechanically inclined DIY person or a professional garage, it is a straightforward job. In general, the steps include: 

  • Remove the engine cover to gain access to the EGR valve
  • Loosen the electrical cable connected to the valve
  • Remove any other electrical connections (note if there is faulty wiring)
  • Remove the screws that fasten the EGR valve
  • Examine the valve for carbon buildup and corrosion
  • Clean the area around where the old EGR valve was located
  • Line the new EGR valve and install
  • Reattach the electrical wires and connections

 When having a professional EGR valve replacement service, the mechanic is inspecting other components around the area, especially for issues with the electrical wiring. For an experienced mechanic, it can be completed within an hour in most cases. Additionally, having the work done by a professional will give you a warranty in case there is issue after the EGR valve replacement has been completed. 

In Closing

Your car has exhibited some of the indications we’ve mentioned, but you don’t have the finances or time to take the car in for EGR valve replacement service. Is it OK to drive with a bad EGR valve?

While it won’t harm the engine, it will affect your gas mileage and perhaps lessen the engine power. The biggest effect that a malfunctioning EGR valve is on the environment. With that being said, it is important to minimize your carbon footprint and do your part to minimize air pollution, get your car’s EGR valve replacement serviced as soon as possible. Our team is here to help with your EGR valve replacement service in Venice, FL! You can reach our team at our office number, 941-493-6511.

How Do I Know if My Engine Needs an Overhaul?

close-up of a car engine

How Do I Know if My Engine Needs an Overhaul?

When you buy a new or used car, you hope to get many miles out of it before you have any significant problems, like the engine going bad. But it can happen, and if you aren’t in the position to buy a new car, you may need to talk to your mechanic about getting an engine overhaul for your car. 

What is an engine overhaul?

The engine in your car is the center of everything that makes your car move. While it may look like a big hunk of metal to most of us, it is an intricate machine that converts the engine’s heat from burning gas to energy that forces the wheels to turn. This may be a simplified explanation, but suffice it to say that the engine is essential, so when it begins to fail, getting it fixed and back on the road is also crucial, and this is where an engine overhaul may be the best solution. 

An engine overhaul is deconstructing the existing engine and putting it back together with new internal components and parts. This includes the: 

  • Cylinders
  • Valves
  • Springs
  • Gaskets

… and more

How do you know if your car needs an engine overhaul?

If you are experiencing any of the following issues, you should have your car’s engine inspected by a mechanic to determine if an engine overhaul is needed. Once they have inspected the engine, they can advise whether an engine overhaul is the best solution. Those issues include: 

  • Warning Lights: If warning lights are illuminated, don’t wait for something terrible to happen—schedule an appointment with the mechanic immediately. Those warning lights are connected to sensors that read how the engine and other components run. When the warning lights are on, many possible problems can occur, and an engine overhaul may be necessary to fix the problem. 
  • Rough Jerking: A car should run smoothly while driving. If your car is jerking, stalling, or surging roughly, this could indicate something is wrong with the engine. Something as simple as replacing the spark plugs or the fuel lines may be needed to fix the issue, though the problem may be something more serious that requires an engine overhaul. 
  • Loud Sounds: If you hear a popping or tapping sound as you drive, it is often a problem with the cylinders. An engine overhaul is often recommended to fix this. 
  • Odors: If you notice a foul odor as you drive, it could be the engine overheating or an oil leak. Your mechanic can determine the problem and recommend what should be done to fix it.
  • Smoking: If your car’s engine smokes or excessive smoke comes from the tailpipe, have your mechanic perform an inspection. There may be a small oil leak, which can be easy to fix, or a more serious issue if oil is pouring out from any part of the engine. An engine overhaul can usually fix this problem. 

How much does an engine overhaul cost?

Many factors can determine the cost of an engine overhaul. The first consideration is the size and type of engine being overhauled, which depends on your car’s make, model, and year.

Other considerations include which components must be replaced and how many. With some jobs, the mechanic can clean, make adjustments, and reuse some parts. Other times, parts like the gaskets need to be replaced. These are all factors that can affect the overall cost of the job.

Is a car engine overhaul a significant repair?

Yes, a car engine overhaul is a significant repair procedure. It can be intimidating for the non-mechanic, but a well-trained, experienced professional will know precisely how and what to do. 

How can you prevent the need for an engine overhaul?

Every engine problem won’t always lead to an engine overhaul, but you can do some things to extend the lifespan of your car. Keeping the recommended maintenance schedule from your mechanic and the car manufacturer is essential! This means having oil changes, transmission screen changes, and flushes and using high-quality gasoline. 

Is an engine overhaul worthwhile?

Though everyone has their own opinion, most people will tell you getting an engine overhaul is superior to getting a new car engine. Why? Because the parts used are older designed parts. Many parts designed today are different than the OEM parts and don’t work as well in many cases. This is in addition to the fact that an engine overhaul is more affordable than buying a new car engine. 

Get Your Motor Running! 

Feel confident if you’re heading out on the highway with a car equipped with an overhauled engine. An engine overhaul will be a dependable engine backed by the mechanic who did the work and the parts supplier. As long as you follow the maintenance program recommended by the engineer, you should receive many miles of happy motoring! For more information about getting an engine overhaul in Venice, FL or the surrounding area, we invite you to contact us. Call 941-493-6511 today.

What Happens During an Engine Inspection?

An engine with different components.

Discover Engine Basics

Cars have come a long way in technology since the first Ford came off the assembly line. They have ‘brains’ now, so to speak, in the way of computer chips and sensors. And through those brains, the check engine light, CEL for short, will illuminate if a sensor picks up signals something is wrong. 

What issues does the CEL sense?

When sensors in the engine and transmission identify there is a problem, signals are sent to the check engine light, causing it to illuminate. Several possible problems can cause this to happen, which is the indicator to the driver to have a check engine light inspection done by their mechanic. Some of those possible problems are: 

  • Loose or worn gas cap
  • An internal issue within the engine
  • An issue with the catalytic converter
  • Faulty ignition coils, spark plugs, or spark plug wires
  • Oxygen sensor malfunctioning
  • Mass airflow sensor damaged or malfunctioning
  • Bad gasoline

Will an illuminated check engine light cause a vehicle to fail state inspection?

Yes, if the CEL is illuminated on the dashboard, a vehicle will fail the state vehicle inspection in the state of Florida, as it will in other states. For a vehicle to pass, the car should be taken to a mechanic for a check engine light inspection to identify the problem. 

Can a mechanic turn the CEL off? 

Yes, when a vehicle is taken to a mechanic for a check engine light inspection, it will turn off automatically when the problem is resolved. A mechanic can also deactivate the CEL manually. After that, if the check engine sensor doesn’t pick up any more signals, the CEL will remain off.

What does a clear engine light inspection cost?

Every mechanic shop has different rates, some are by the hour, and some charge a flat rate for a specific job. In the Venice, Florida area, a check engine light inspection can range between $100 and $300. This will allow the mechanic to get a complete diagnostic report to pinpoint the problem and provide a recommended solution. 

How long should you wait after resetting the engine light before having the state inspection?

In general, after the mechanic has completed a check engine light inspection and cleared the computer, the car will need to be driven between fifty and one hundred miles. In most cases, this will turn the CEL off permanently, but if not, then the car should be inspected by the mechanic again, or another mechanic for a second opinion. 

Some factors that can affect how quickly the CEL deactivates include:

  • The overall size of the vehicle
  • The condition of the vehicle
  • The MPG the vehicle gets

Why does the vehicle need to be driven after deactivating the CEL? 

This allows the onboard computer to scan the sensors and confirm the coding is back to its original settings.  If after driving the car for specified mileage and time, the check engine light comes back on, the mechanic will need to perform a check engine light inspection again, perhaps go further into the inspection to find the cause. 

What is the most common reason for an illuminated CEL?

If the check engine light illuminates on your vehicle dashboard, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. Simply check the gas cap is securely closed, and if that doesn’t deactivate the CEL, then purchase a new gas cap.  If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your mechanic for a check engine light inspection. 

Can I clear my check engine light before inspection?

If your car fails a Florida state inspection because the CEL is illuminated, you can clear the codes that will deactivate the light by resetting it using an OBD device, (On Board Device). An OBD device can be purchased at most auto parts stores or online. However, without doing a thorough check engine light inspection and fixing the cause, the CEL may come back, and the underlying issue will still show in the state inspection process. 

In Conclusion

The check engine light can be irritating for a driver, but it should also cause concern. With all the possibilities of problems that the check engine light could be indicating, getting a check engine light inspection done as soon as possible is recommended.  It may be a small issue like a bad gas cap, or it could indicate a more serious issue within the engine. Some of those serious issues could be any of the following: 

  • The oxygen sensor
  • The mass airflow sensor
  • The thermostat catalytic converter 

Any of these things will require the experience of a mechanic to perform a check engine light inspection to diagnose the matter, and make any repairs or replacements needed. 

Is the cost of a check engine light inspection worthwhile? Especially if you only have one vehicle. For your vehicle to pass inspection, the inspection and the repairs are a must. Do you need a check engine light inspection in Venice, FL? If so, give us a call at __PHONE__ today!

Is it safe to overhaul an engine?

view under the hood of a car engine

Should I overhaul my engine?

Are you one of those people that trades your car in for a new one every three or four years? Or do you drive your car until it can’t go anymore? If you’re the latter one, after many miles and a few years have gone by, an engine overhaul may be just what you need.  For a car owner interested in an engine overhaul in Venice, FL, here are a few things to keep in mind to decide if this is the right option for you.

What is an engine overhaul?

The engine is the centerpiece of your car. It is an intricate piece of machinery that converts heat from the gasoline it’s burning into a force that makes it go, along with other components and parts.  

There is a chain of reaction that makes this happen is started by a spark that ignites a mixture of the gas with compressed air inside a cylinder that is momentarily sealed, and then it burns that gasoline.  As that mixture burns, it creates the power that motivates the car. Confused? 

If you’re not a mechanical person, it can sound complicated. When an engine quits function as we just described, a trained mechanic can do an engine overhaul, i.e., give it life again, and get it going again. 

Essentially, an engine overhaul is the process of taking the existing engine apart and putting it back together with new parts on the inside. This involves installing new cylinders, springs, valves, and more. 

Is an engine overhaul a major repair?

There are different terms used in the auto industry when talking about an engine overhaul. For instance, some mechanic shops may refer to it as an ‘in-chassis’ rebuild, which is where the mechanic doesn’t take the entire engine out of the car to rebuild it. They only replace the components on the top part of the engine which includes the following parts: 

  • Cylinder lining
  • Pistons rings
  • All of the pistons

This type of engine overall, in-chassis rebuild, will get the engine back in good shape and performing better than it was. While this may seem like a major repair to the non-mechanical person, to a mechanic, it isn’t as a major repair job as an extensive engine rebuild.

An extensive engine rebuild, however, is considered a major repair. This type of engine overhaul requires the mechanic to remove the entire engine out of the car body. The mechanic then takes every component and part off, including bolts and nuts. All removable parts are then cleaned and replaced or new OEM parts are purchased and installed. This is the more expensive option. 

How long can an engine last after an overhaul?

This can vary from engine to engine and driver to driver because how you drive your car has the biggest impact. If the engine overhaul is done properly, and you keep the oil changed as recommended by the mechanic, you get another 10,000 miles on an engine that has been overhauled.  Keep in mind that the mileage also includes idling time.

How long does an engine overhaul take?

The engine overhaul process can take up to a week for the mechanic to complete the task. If the mechanic has any issues getting parts, it can take longer. 

How much does an engine overhaul cost?

An engine overhaul can cost between $25,000 and $50,000, depending on the make and model of the car and the type of engine. So, it is worth having an engine overhauled? That is a personal decision to be made with the owner and their mechanic. 

Is it worth it to overhaul an engine?

For a classic car, the owner will usually be willing to pay what it takes to get it back on the road headed to car shows! For a daily driver, and engine overhaul for a car that didn’t even cost $20,000,  you probably wouldn’t want to make that level of investment. 

What is the disadvantage of an engine overhaul?

The advantages gained from an engine overhaul far outweigh the disadvantages in the opinion of a classic car owner.  For the everyday car owners, some disadvantages to consider include: 

  • The Expense: An engine overhaul is an expensive endeavor, not something that everyone who has a  daily driver can afford. 
  • Challenging: An engine overhaul can be challenging for an inexperienced person. It is always best to have this done by somebody who knows car engines. 
  • Performance: In most cases, an engine overhaul will perform as good, or better, than it did before. Some say it is just as good as a brand-new engine. 

Are there any indications that your car may be ready for an engine overhaul? 

Yes, the following are indications that you should get your car checked out by a mechanic. They can advise you if you need an engine rebuild, an engine overhaul, or it is just done: 

  • Unusual warning lights illuminate typically because the computer sensors are telling you something is wrong. 
  • Rough jerking, surging, or stalling are indications that something isn’t running right with the engine. If your car isn’t running smoothly, an engine overhaul may be needed. 
  • Any loud sounds like popping or tapping while you’re driving could be coming from the cylinders. Don’t waste any time getting it checked by a mechanic for a possible engine overhaul. 
  • Any odd odors and smells are another indication that something is wrong with the engine. It may just be an oil leak, but it could also be more severe. 

Get The Motor Running! 

An engine overhaul will typically last up to 10,000 miles or more if the overhaul job is done correctly. The average time frame between engine overhauls is between 500,000 to 100,000 miles. If you’re interested in an engine overhaul in Venice, FL, our team can be there to help. Give us a call at 941-493-6511 to learn more about the options available to you.

What Could Cause the Check Engine Light to Come On?

Check Engine Light on Car

It may look pretty cool to see all the lights on your car’s engine come on at the same time, but each light is an indicator you may have problems, like the check engine light. Many car owners don’t know what the check engine light means and will keep driving until the car just comes to a complete stop. 

So, just what does that check engine light mean? 

On cars manufactured today, the check engine light is the computer’s way of telling you something is wrong with the engine or transmission. There can be a variety of things within these two components that could cause this. 

What is the most common reason for the check engine light to illuminate?

There can be a simple issue like the gas cap being bad or loose. It can also be a more complex and serious matter inside the engine or transmission. In addition to the gas cap being the cause for an illuminated check engine light, other possible problems are:  

  • Bad Oxygen Sensor

A bad oxygen sensor will trigger the check engine light. The oxygen sensor, also referred to as the O2 sensor, measures the unburnt oxygen in the car’s exhaust system and sends that information to the OBC (onboard computer) that regulates the air and fuel mixture entering the cylinders. If this sensor is bad, the car burns more gas than necessary. 

  • Bad Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a part of the exhaust system and when it is failing or is gone, the carbon monoxide that is generated during the process of turning it into carbon dioxide. An illuminated check engine light indicates the car should be inspected, making sure this part is in place and testing it. 

  • Bad Spark Plug or Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is what generates electricity for the spark plugs, causing the engine to start and the air and fuel to mix before going into the cylinders. When the ignition coil or the spark plugs are bad, it illuminates the check engine light. If the spark plug wires are bad, this can trigger the check engine light too. 

  • Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

The MAF (mass airflow sensor) monitors the amount of air entering the engine as a part of the engine management system. This helps a car adjust to altitude changes and when it is failing, the car will have a rough idle, can be hard to start, and affects how the gas pedal reacts. The gas mileage decreases and the car may stall while sitting at a light. 

  • A Vacuum Leak

The vacuum system in a car engine has a lot of different functions. The brakes are vacuum-operated, and the emission system is affected by the vacuum system by routing the fumes after the gasoline evaporates through the engine. 

What is the first thing to check when the check engine light comes on?

Check the gas cap.  A loose or missing gas cap allows a vapor leakage which triggers the check engine light. Immediately replacing the cap may not turn the light off, you may need to let it sit overnight before driving the car. 

Is it OK to drive with the check engine light on?

As long as it starting and running, yes, you can keep driving a car with an illuminated check engine light. But it isn’t recommended to drive any further than needed to get to a mechanic.  You can check the gas cap yourself, but anything more than that should be inspected by a trained mechanic. 

Why is the engine light on but the car still runs fine?

Because the OBC (onboard computer) is working overtime!  Even if your car is running okay with the check engine light illuminated, that typically doesn’t mean there isn’t anything wrong. It is still recommended to have a mechanic inspect the car and eliminate any possibilities. The OBC will keep working overtime to compensate for whatever the problem may be, but eventually, even the computer will quit working.

How bad is a solid check engine light?

A solid check engine light is typically a minor issue, like the gas cap or spark plugs. A flashing check engine light is associated with more severe issues like: 

  • Engine Misfiring 
  • Fuel Injector clogged or damaged
  • EGR Valve clogged or damaged
  • Insufficient Air getting to the engine
  • Ignition Coil or Spark Plugs Failing
  • Alternator or Battery Failing

In Closing

Next to the gasoline, the next most common product needed by an engine is the motor oil.  While the gas gauge will tell you that you need gasoline, the check engine light can be triggered when the car is low on oil, or completely out of oil. Without oil, the internal parts of the engine will begin rubbing together, causing friction, and eventually quit altogether. 

How Long Does Air Conditioning Last in a Car?

car AC cooling a car

History of Car AC

Cars haven’t always had air conditioning, something that would be hard for kids today, even some adults, to believe. Used to be “turn on the 4/440”, meaning, roll down all 4 windows while we drive 40 mph. While it wasn’t the most comfortable ride during a hot summer in Venice, Florida, there wasn’t any need for car air conditioning service!

It wouldn’t be until 1939 when the first car air conditioning option was available on 2,000 Packards. Because of problems that car air conditioning service couldn’t correct, this option was discontinued by 1941.  The main evaporator and blower system was in the trunk, there wasn’t any thermostat to control the temperature, and the cost to have this option was more than the average American could afford during the depression time. 

It wouldn’t be until 1953 that car air conditioning would appear again in the Chrysler Imperial. The “Airtemp” air conditioning system became available in 1941 through 1942, disappeared for a short time, and returned in 1951-1952. In 1953, a more advanced version of the “Airtemp” system would be released. It would be more along the lines of car air conditioning we know today with a single switch on the dashboard, with options of low, medium, and high choices. 

What signs indicate that my car’s air conditioning system needs servicing? 

If you’re experiencing any of the following, schedule an appointment with your trusted mechanic for air conditioning service: 

  • The Airflow is Weak

When the airflow from the vents is weak, that usually indicates that air is not getting to the vents. First, make sure the vents are opened and if they are, there may be mildew or mold built up on the evaporator core, the blower hose is loose, or the blower fan may not be operating. 

Other possible problems could be more detailed like any of the various seals within the system are blown. A professional car air conditioning service technician will have the knowledge of how and equipment to check these various things and narrow down the problem.

  • Warm Air 

If the air coming from the vents isn’t cold, you should have the system checked by a professional car air conditioning service tech. Some of the possible problems can be a hose or tube is clogged, or any of the numerous components within the system have quit working. Those components include the blower motor, resistor, compressor, condenser, evaporator, fuse, or switch. 

It could also be from a freon leak or vacuum leak. These leaks could have been happening for some time, so when the air starts blowing warm, it needs the attention of a car air conditioning service tech immediately before the complete system burns up. 

  • Cool Air that Gets Warm

If your car air conditioner gets warm after blowing cool for a short time, it could be because the expansion valve is blocked, keeping the refrigerant from flowing into the evaporator. It may be the compressor clutch has gone out and isn’t maintaining the right pressure, a blown fuse, or a refrigerant leak. A professional car air conditioning service tech can narrow down the problem and make repairs or replacements as needed.

  • A Foul Smell

A foul smell coming from the vents can indicate a leak in the system, the air filter should be replaced, the air vents or evaporator case has mold built up, or even a rodent has died under the hood of your car.  If it is a burning smell you’ve noticed, it could be compressor wiring is overheating or has burnt. Your car air conditioning service tech will be able to inspect the system and determine the problem. 

  • Strange Sound

Unusual sounds like rattling when the air conditioning is turned may be the system is clogged by debris, a simple fix, or it could be the fan belt or the condenser has broken. These are things your car air conditioning service tech can determine while inspecting the system.

car AC cool down

How often should preventive car air conditioning service be done? 

Most car manufacturers recommend having professional preventive car air conditioning service performed every 12 months or between 12,000 and 15,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

What does a car air conditioning service involve? 

A preventive car air conditioning service appointment will typically include the technician making a visual inspection of the entire system. They will check the refrigerant, add any if needed, replace the air filter, and check the system’s operation including the pressure and temperature range. 

What is air conditioning refrigerant and why is it important? 

Today’s car air conditioner works by changing refrigerant between liquid form and gas-like form. As that change takes place, heat and humidity from the car are absorbed and cool air is pulled into the cabin of the car. And when that air isn’t cool, or quits blowing, is where professional car air conditioning service may be needed. 

Cooling It All Down to the Dollar

Is car air conditioning service expensive? The cost of a car air conditioning service will depend on a few different factors. Those factors that can affect the cost of the service are: 

  • Year, make, and model of the car.
  • The problem the technician finds.
  • If parts have to be replaced instead of repaired.

And every car air conditioning service shop will have different rates as well.  As long as the compressor of your car air conditioning system is working, the entire system should last between 8 and 10 years. 

Rolling Auto Service provides car air conditioning service in Venice, FL for your convenience. Give us a call at 941-493-6511 to get started.