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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. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Faulty Alternator?

An auto mechanic is looking at a computer to diagnose a car issue.

Discover More About Alternator Issues

Cars require electrical power to run down the road and the alternator generates that power while the car is running and charges the battery. Without a working alternator, the battery will lose power, and the car will eventually quit running. 

So, are there signs of an alternator going bad? Yes, if you notice any of the following, you need to seek mechanic assistance and possible alternator replacement before you find yourself in a car breaking down.

How Do I Know When an Alternator Needs to be Replaced?

The following are indications that you should have your mechanic schedule an alternator replacement:

  • Lights dim or flickering
  • Car having trouble starting 
  • Onboard dash lights illuminated 
  • Loud, grinding noises from the alternator 
  • Car is dead and won’t jump
  • Smell something burning 
  • Strange sounds coming from the engine area
  • Power loss while driving 
  • Electrical components not functioning

What Can Cause an Alternator to Fail? 

There are a lot of bearings and other moving parts inside an alternator. They are subjected to hot temperatures and collect dirt. That dirt causes those moving internal components to wear out, resulting in the alternator quitting. Other things that can cause you to need alternator replacement are:

  • Jump-starting wrong 
  • Installing an accessory wrong or that requires too much power
  • Fluids leaking from the alternator
  • The belt is too tight

How Long Does an Alternator Typically Last?

Most alternators last between 80,000 miles and 150,000 miles, equivalent to 7 years for most people with average driving distances before needing an alternator replacement. 

What are the Consequences of Driving with a Bad Alternator? 

The alternator is a crucial part of your car’s electrical system. As soon as you notice any of the indications that we listed above, you need to have a mechanic check all electrical and other components. Typically, once any of these things begin, you have a maximum of 30 minutes to drive.  

This is why you shouldn’t keep driving around once you have any of the listed indications. Keep driving with a bad alternator can cause other damage to the electrical system, starting with draining the battery. 

What Happens if an Alternator Fails Completely? 

When an alternator goes out completely, you won’t be going anywhere. The battery gets its power from the alternator, so if it isn’t functioning, the battery is the only power to the car. Again, a car won’t drive more than 30 minutes after the alternator is dead. You’ll need to have your car towed to the mechanic for alternator replacement and maybe more repairs or replacements. 

What are the Diagnostic Tests for an Alternator? 

A professional mechanic will use a voltmeter to check if an alternator replacement is needed. A car owner that is in tune with their car can try some ‘shade tree mechanic’ trick to check the basic condition of the alternator. The following are the steps to follow:  

  • Gauge It: With an amp/volt gauge, read the output from the alternator with the engine running at 2,000 rpm. Testing the AC blower fan, the headlamps, and other electric accessories that will strain the alternator. If the gauge shows a decrease in the amps, you’ll need an alternator replacement.

With the engine still running, use the voltmeter to retest the battery. If the voltage has varying RPM and creates fluctuating volts between 13 volts and 14.5 volts, the alternator is good. If it doesn’t fluctuate or drop, you’ll need an alternator replacement. 

Repeat this process with the air conditioner, lights, and radio on. If the volts are at 13 or higher and the engine is revving at 2,000 rpm with these accessories on, the alternator is in good condition and not the problem. 

  • Listen: With the engine running, listen to the alternator. If you hear a squealing sound coming from under the hood, and it gets louder when the lights or radio are on, you’ll need an alternator replacement. 
  • The Radio: With the engine revved up, turn the radio on a low AM band station. If there is whining coming from the radio, or the screen with the radio stations goes blurry, you need an alternator replacement. 

Why Do Car Batteries and Alternators Need to be Replaced?

Nothing lasts forever, including car alternators and batteries. Alternator replacements and battery replacements are a part of routine car maintenance. While you shouldn’t have to do these weekly, the alternator replacement is usually within 7 years, and the battery within 3 years for most cars.  

In Conclusion

With your routine oil changes, you can request your mechanic to check the alternator if you’re having issues that you feel may be from the alternator. If you can get ahead of the situation with a new alternator replacement before it goes totally out, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches later going down the road, literally. 

When does my axle need to be replaced?

close-up of the axle in a car

Keep Your Car Running

“And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round, and round ….”. Recognize that song? We’re all familiar with it, we learn it when we were little and teach it to our kids and grandkids. But those wheels won’t go round and round if the tires aren’t aired up and if the bus, or any vehicle, needs axle repair.

How do axles wear out?

Your car’s suspension and wheel performance depend on the shocks and axles. The axles are a major component when it comes to the braking, driving, and steering of a car. They are the link between the engine and tires. The axles are responsible for carrying the entire weight of your car and all its components while the shocks absorb any, well shock to the axles. So, if the axle is bent or broken, axle repairs are a must for your car to move.

So, if the shocks are broken or old and worn out when the car hits a bump or pothole, and the shocks or struts can’t absorb any of that jolt, you could find yourself needing the axles repaired. The axle rotates constantly as the car moves, and they flex to accommodate the various road conditions. When they become too worn out, they can break if the conditions are hard when the car hits a bump. 

The three things that are usually the cause of a broken axle are: 

  • Overloading: When you’re hauling too much weight in a car, a common issue for pickups, the axles can’t bear the weight and you’ll end up needing an axle repair service. Always note the recommended towing capacity of a vehicle and this will include how much you can load into a car or truck.
  • Fatigued Metal: This is a prevalent issue for older cars, cars with high mileage, or a car that carries excessive heavy loads. As the car ages, the metal parts become brittle and rusty, which reduces their strength. Axles are made of durable, heavy metal, but that metal will age and lead to a broken axle if the heavy hauling continues, resulting in axel repair or replacement. 
  • Road Conditions: The roadways of today aren’t doing well with the increase in traffic, and that is adding stress to the already worn roads, creating more bumps and potholes. When a car hits these bumps and potholes hard, it stresses the axles, and many car owners are seeking axle repairs or replacements.

How do I check my axle?

You want to inspect the boot around the CV joint. The boot is what keeps the CV joints lubricated and prevents dirt, dust, and water from getting to the CV joints. You’re looking for any holes, splits, or tears in the boot. You want to check if any grease is leaking from the boot. 

Next, you need to inspect the shaft for any dents, dings, or nicks. Note if there is anything rubbing against the shaft and check the clamps connect the boots to the shaft for any leaks. If any of these things are apparent, you should have a mechanic inspect the CV joints, shocks, or struts and the axle. Repairs or replacements may be necessary for any or all these components. 

How do you know when an axle is bad on your car?

We now have an understanding that when the axle is bad, it will put more stress on the shocks or struts, which puts more stress on the tires. All these together are what allow a car to move, and when they are worn out prematurely, the repair and replacement costs can get extensive. If it doesn’t get bad enough for an axle repair job, you’ll be replacing shocks or struts, and tires on a frequent basis. 

Most of us won’t have a car long enough to worry about axle repair or replacement. So, how do I know if my axle needs to be replaced? The following are signs your axle is broken and should be replaced:

  • A clunking sound when putting the car into gear
  • Strong vibrations while driving, braking, or turning 
  • No power is transmitted to the wheels from the engine

Can you drive a car if the axle is broken?

If the axles are bad but turning, yes you can keep driving the car, but at a risk. At any point and time, the axle could completely break and fails, causing you to lose control of your car, resulting in a possible accident or crash. If you’re traveling at a high rate of speed with this happens, the accident or crash could be fatal.

How long can you drive on a bad axle?

Once a car axle is starting to fail, it can take days, weeks, or months before it breaks. It all depends on how much the car is driven, the road conditions it is subjected to, and your driving style.

How long does an axle last?

Again, the road conditions and your driving style will have a big impact on how long the axles last. As we stated earlier, most of us will never have to deal with axle repair or replacement. For vehicles that are subjected to harsh driving and road conditions, the end-of-life for axles will be sooner than a car that is driven a few miles over its lifetime.

mechanic repairing a car axle

In Closing 

So, how often do car axles need to be replaced? On a new car today, you can expect to get up to 60,000 miles or more before needing to replace the CV joints or struts. But again, it will depend on your driving manner and style and the road conditions you drive over. 

Can Anti-Lock Brakes Lock Up?

close-up of a mechanic working on car brakes

Cars have always had some type of brake system. Even Fred Flintstone’s car had brakes – his feet – but he had brakes, although he would never need anti-lock brakes service.  Today, cars are equipped with anti-lock brakes. Understanding what anti-lock brakes and how anti-lock brakes work a mystery is still to most. 

An anti-brake system, ABS, works with the standard brake system cars have had for decades, but they pump the regular brakes when the driver makes a sudden stop. There is a sensor that monitors the speed of the car that can detect when the wheels lock up. The sensor lets the controller know that the car is stopping. 

The ABS prevents the brakes from locking up because, with a sudden braking motion, the driver can lose control of the car.  An ABS is credited with preventing collisions, making anti-lock brakes service essential on the roadways of today.

Who invented anti-lock brakes?

The anti-lock brake, also known as ABS, is an anti-skid brake system for cars, motorcycles, and trucks, even on aircraft! In fact, ABS was installed and used on aircraft before it was used on daily vehicles.  Prior to ABS, when we had to suddenly apply our brakes, controlling the car wasn’t possible, and the car would go into a slide or spin. 

A unique form of the anti-brake system was installed in the 1900s on a few models, including the all-wheel-drive Ford Zodiac. But it was an expensive system and was proven to be unreliable, so production was ended. 

The ABS used today was created by Mario Palazzetti, who sold his invention to Bosch Mobility Solutions in the 1960s. As Bosch improved on his invention, it became a more advanced and reliable system, and would soon become a standard feature we know today. 

When do anti-lock brakes take effect?

A vehicle that is fitted with the anti-lock brake system activates when the brake pedal is pressed firmly and quickly, in an emergency stopping situation. It senses this motion and the wheels locking up. 

What does it feel like when your brakes lock up?

In a vehicle that isn’t equipped with anti-lock brakes, as soon as you press on the brakes, you can feel the wheels locking up. You should release your pressure from the brake pedal and start pumping it until the vehicle comes to a stop. When a vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes, as you press on the pedal firmly and fast, you’ll feel a pulsing and vibration in the pedal. 

Can anti-lock brakes be disabled?

While the idea of anti-lock brakes seems to be a brilliant idea, many question the possible dangers of the system. Cars from the factor come with a speed sensor on each wheel. That sensor alerts the computer when any of the wheels suddenly stops, the indication that the brakes have been applied by the drive. 

 The computer then takes over the driver’s ability to brake and release momentarily, allowing the wheel(s) to re-establish their traction. After the wheel(s) begin to turn normally, the computer reapplies the brakes. It goes through a rinse and repeat method until the vehicle stops.

Experienced drivers find this dangerous and annoying because they lose total control of their vehicles.  The in-experienced driver may or may not benefit from anti-lock brakes, all depending on how attentive they are to their driving and what’s on the roadway.

Can anti-lock brakes reduce braking distance?

Yes, and this can be a bonus when you’re driving on slippery roads. Anti-lock brakes in snow can make for optimal stopping distances and keep a vehicle from going into a skid. If your car has an anti-brake system installed from the factory and you live in areas where rain and snow, having a professional anti-lock brakes service check is an essential part of owning a vehicle. 

What causes anti-lock brake problems?

If your vehicle is having any of these four issues, schedule an appointment for anti-lock brake service job: 

ABS Light Malfunctioning

The ABS light should turn on when the car is first started as the main computer system checks the anti-lock brake system. The light should turn off after the test is completed and the system passed. If the ABS light turns on at other times or doesn’t go out after starting the car, you should schedule an anti-lock brake service inspection. It could be an issue with the main computer or there the ABS system has a malfunction. 

ABS Sensor Malfunctioning

The brakes have ABS sensors installed at the factory. Driving the vehicle can cause the sensors to get dirty with dust and road grime. Once they are covered, they can’t send information to the main computer and will malfunction, causing the ABS light to come on. You can clean the sensors yourself or have an anti-brake service tech clean the sensors and check the system. 

Damaged or Faulty Wiring

If the ABS wiring gets damaged or comes loose, it triggers the ABS warning light to come on, or causes the total ABS to fail. Anytime the ABS light is illuminated under normal circumstances, have a professional anti-brake service.

ABS Controller Malfunctioning

The ABS controller is what monitors the wheels and determines how fast they are turning. The controller engages the ABS system as needed based on the rotation of the wheels. The faster the wheels rotates indicates you’re driving faster. The faster you are driving your car, the more you need to depend on the anti-lock brake system. If the controller or any other part of the ABS fails or malfunctions, it can be dangerous to you and others on the road.

close-up of a mechanic installing car brakes

In Conclusion

 At any point and time, if your anti-lock brakes come on for no reason, seek professional anti-brake service immediately.   It can be a matter or life or death. In states where yearly inspections are required of all vehicles, the ABS light being illuminated can be an automatic failure. 

Can I replace my car battery myself?

close-up of charging cables on top of a car battery

Need a New Battery?

There is plenty of gas and oil in your car, the tires are aired up and rolling, but without a car battery, you’re not going anywhere. It just as important to make sure the battery is charged and in good condition so that you aren’t caught unexpectedly. How can you tell your battery is going bad?

The following are five signals you need an alternator or car battery replacement


When the alternator or car battery is failing, it can’t power the electrical components of your car, like the headlights. If your headlights seem to be dim or weak, have your mechanic check the alternator and battery, replacement of one or the either may be needed. 


When you turn the key in your car’s ignition, it is the battery that tells the electrical components to start, like the starter solenoid. If your car is needing a starter, solenoid, or battery replacement, you’ll hear a clicking sound instead of a car starting. You can have your jumped off, and if the car starts, get to your mechanic as soon as possible. Don’t count on it starting again, jumped off or not. 


If your car doesn’t sound normal when starting it, you may need a battery replacement. It will have a slow and sluggish crank, and will eventually start, or it will not start at all. 


To get a car started, you should only have to press the gas pedal once. If you’re having to keep pressing on the pedal to get it started, it may be a carburetion issue, or you may need a battery replacement. Either way, you should have your mechanic check the issue.


Yes, a bad car battery can make a car backfire because of intermittent sparks allow fuel to accumulate in the cylinders. Once the fuel is ignited, it increases the force and then it backfires. There are several issues that could be the problem, and a battery replacement may be one of those issues. 

Again, some of these issues can be something other than needing a battery replacement. To know if it is a battery vs alternator, or battery vs starter problem, a mechanic can perform several different tests to confirm the problem. 

What should you do when a car battery keeps dying?

Once you have your car started, if the battery keeps dying, it is frustrating. And it can be dangerous too!  So, what could cause this to happen? 

  • Accidentally Discharge

External or internal lights were left on by mistake, or because the auto shutoff didn’t work, will drain your battery. 

  • Only Short Trips

Your battery powers the starter motor when the key is turned. After the car starts, the alternator keeps the battery charged. If you only make short trips, then the battery may not be getting charged enough. 

  • Corroded Cables

Even with a brand-new car battery, if the cables are corroded or dirty, they can’t charge the battery enough to keep it charged.  Clean the cable ends and battery connections will usually work so that you don’t need another car battery replacement. 

  • Electrical Taxing Modifications

A properly battery should put out at least 14 volts with the car running.  Any upgrades to car that pull from the electrical system, like a new radio, it can tax the battery, especially if it is an older battery. A new car battery replacement may be needed. 

  • Failing Battery

When a car battery has been run down multiple times, it creates an internal sediment buildup and is unable to hold a charge. It is time for a car battery replacement. 

Do I connect the positive or negative first? 

If you don’t work with car battery replacement consistently, it can be hard to remember the specifics to connecting and disconnecting. For the disconnecting process, the negative cable is first, followed by the positive. When connecting a new car battery replacement, the process is reversed. Connect the positive cable first and then the negative cable. 

What happens if I disconnect the positive terminal first?

When doing a car battery replacement, the utmost care is important because the chance of touching the cable to any metal surface is easy. That can cause a spark and the battery can catch on fire, explode, or burn the car’s electrical system out. Always remove the positive terminal second! 

Why is my car battery not charging? 

This can be because the alternator is bad and not charging the battery. Corrosion is another reason that a battery can’t charge. 

battery being started with charging cables

Keeping It Charged Up – What car battery should I buy?

The following steps will guide you through the process of choosing the right car battery replacement for your car. 

  • Find the battery group size which indicates the battery case measurement and the orientation of the battery posts and terminals. 
  • Find the minimum cold cranking amps for your car. If it doesn’t have enough amperage to start, you’ll find yourself stranded. 
  • The battery cell type is next, most car battery replacements are conventional lead-acid batteries.
  • Select the battery brand and warranty you prefer. 

What is the average cost to replace a car battery?  The brand, quality, and size will determine the cost of your car battery replacement. Pricing can be as low as $50 and as much as $250.00.

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


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.