How to Decipher Your Car's ODB Engine Codes
Vehicle manufacturers have made it easy for auto mechanics to diagnose your auto problems by creating On Board Diagnostics (ODB) codes. Unfortunately, these codes can only be read by certain machines and that leaves the average automobile consumer in the dark. But fortunately, you can buy one of these devices for around $50. Or you can take your car bring your car to us for free. But if you're still stuck as to what exactly those codes mean, the following may enlighten you.
Why Engine Codes?
On Board Diagnostics is now in its second edition (OBD-II) and was set as the industry standard once it was introduced into most vehicle models in 1996. The OBD-II monitors engine controls and other parts of the vehicle, such as the chassis, the body and the brakes.
Reading the Codes
OBD-II Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) vary depending on your vehicle's make and model. However, a short rundown of generic codes includes:
∑P001-P90099 - Fuel and Air Metering and Auxiliary Emission Controls
∑P0100-P0199 - Fuel and Air Metering
∑P0200 - P0299 - Fuel and Air Metering (Injector Circuit)
∑P0300 - P0399 - Ignition System or Misfire
∑P0400 - P0499 - Auxiliary Emissions Controls
∑P0500 - P0599 - Vehicle Speed Controls and Idle Control System
∑P0600 - P0699 -- Computer Output Circuit
∑P0700 - P0899 - Transmission
Never Diagnose a Vehicle Yourself
It is recommended that you purchase a a code reader so that you always know what your vehicle is trying to tell you. But be aware that a vehicle's engine and individual components are incredibly complex, and most often high-tech. That means you will need professional training and knowledge in order to make sense of most vehicle diagnostic trouble codes. That is why it is recommended that you always get your vehicle diagnosed, maintained and serviced by a professional. But not just any professional. You need a professional who is certified, trained and one who focuses on quality and customer service.
One you have figured out what your car is trying to tell you, you can use that knowledge to check your auto mechanic's work. If you both come out with different codes, you'll know that there's a serious problem. But it's always best to trust the professional, as figuring out what's wrong with your car is exactly what they're paid to do.
Finding the perfect mechanic is never easy. If you have vehicle trouble or you just need regular vehicle maintenance, visit Leading Edge Auto Body & Repair.
6 Vehicle Problems You Can't Afford to Ignore
You love your vehicle and you rely on it to take you wherever you need to go. However, when your car starts to develop a problem, it can be a very stressful time. Most people have no idea how to diagnose problems with their automobiles and that means they risk being taken advantage of by unscrupulous auto mechanics looking to make a quick buck. But the following list may help you pinpoint any problems without needing to pay for expensive diagnostics work.
1. Your car isn't stopping as it should: This can be caused by brake fading. If stopping distance seems to increase, which causes longer braking distances, you may need to have your brakes looked at or replaced.
2. Car moves right or left when brakes are applied: In this instance, your brakes may be grabbing. This is when the brakes engage suddenly whenever you apply steady pressure to your brake pedal. This can cause serious problems when driving and should never be left to get any worse.
3. Engine cuts out: This is caused by a temporary complete loss of power. If your engine quits at regular intervals under heavy acceleration, you may want to take it in right away as this could indicate a serious problem, but it can also be minor. A professional will determine the best course of action.
4. You hear a popcorn sound under the hood: This is caused by mild to severe pings during detonation. If the problem gets worse while accelerating, don't drive the car until you can bring it in for a checkup.
5. Puddles under your vehicle: Dark puddles can either mean oil, axle grease, power steering fluid or transmission oil. If the puddles are yellow, green, pink or orange, you may be leaking coolant. And if the puddle is clear, this could just be normal condensation from your vehicle's A/C system. If you're unsure what that substance is under your car, don't just let it go. It's better to get it checked out than be sorry later.
6. Odd smells coming from your car: If you smell a thick, heavy odor accompanied by smoke, you may be burning oil. And if the odor is more like burnt toast, you may have an electrical short. And if the odor is hot and metallic, you may have an antifreeze or coolant disorder. And if the smell is more akin to rotten eggs than anything, that could indicate a problem with your emissions. Any foul odor coming from your car is a bad thing and should be checked out as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing any of the conditions we can help you diagnose these problems call or visit Leading Edge Auto Body, and will diagnose this and give you a free report and recommendation of what you should do now.
What To Do When Your Vehicle Fails an Emissions Test?
You took your car to get inspected and it didn't pass muster. What do you do now? What if you have to pay thousands to repair your vehicle? What if you can't come up with the money? Will you get a ticket for driving it? Will you go to jail? When your car fails, hundreds of questions start swirling around in your head. To help ease your mind, here are four tips that can help you get your car back to being 'street legal' by passing the emissions test without the need for expensive repairs.
Don't Throw Money At Your Car
Many drivers panic when they find out that their vehicle didn't pass the emissions test. So, they take it to the nearest mechanic only to throw money at the problem. This would be fine if it always worked. However, even expensive repairs might not be enough for your vehicle to pass. Before you take your car to a mechanic, review your options. One option is to qualify for a 'Waiver'.
A 'waiver' is a loophole that allows some vehicles to pass an emissions test even when they can't meet the applicable requirements. If you cannot afford to make the necessary repairs to your vehicle in order to pass an emissions test, you may qualify for one of these waivers. You will be given credit towards repairs that will fix your vehicle 'just enough' so that you can get back on the road. The waiver program varies from state to state, so contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state you reside in and ask plenty of questions.
Get Several Estimates
If you don't qualify for a waiver and you still think you may be facing serious repairs, take your vehicle to as many auto mechanics as you're able to. While this seems incredibly time-consuming, the effort will be well worth it when you manage to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the least expensive automotive repairs.
Maintain Your Vehicle
The best way to prevent your vehicle from failing an emissions test is to maintain it properly. And that's why you should always have a great auto mechanic's phone number on speed dial. For help finding the perfect auto mechanic, visit www.leadingedgeauto.com where you'll find more of this and much more, including a mechanic that can help you.
5 Steps to Stop Your Vehicle From Overheating
If your car is continuously overheating, it's a good idea to pull over until a professional can take a look at it. Driving your car with an overheated engine can cause serious damage to your vehicle. And if the overheating is already caused by engine damage, you'll only make the problem worse if you insist on operating your vehicle while it's in such a state. However, before you take your car into an auto mechanic's shop, try these five quick fixes and you may save yourself some dough.
Antifreeze Isn't Circulating
Your vehicle uses antifreeze to keep it warm in the winter and to keep it cool in the summer. But if antifreeze isn't allowed to circulate throughout the engine, you could face a serious problem. An engine gets extremely hot when it's in full working order, and if you have a leak or a busted hose, you won't be able to bring those temperatures back down. If you see a yellowish green puddle under your car, or fluorescent orange, you should take your car to an auto mechanic immediately.
Replace Uptake Hose
If your car has plenty of antifreeze and yet your engine still won't cool down, you should check the uptake hose. This hose can become loose over time and you may need to replace it in order to bring your temperature levels back down.
If the uptake hose is detached completely, or if it's blocked somehow, look through it to determine if liquid is able to pass through it. If the hose is blocked, blow through it or run water on it to clean it. This will allow the antifreeze to flow freely, but you should get a new hose ASAP. These hoses aren't meant to become completely blocked. It does happen occasionally, but it's just best to replace the hose altogether when this happens.
Dilute the Antifreeze
You should always carry water in your car for situations just like these. Find where your vehicle stores its antifreeze and add a cup of water to the tank. This will dilute the antifreeze so that it can circulate more easily throughout the engine. This should get you going until you can get your vehicle looked at.
A Crack or Blockage in the Radiator
If you've recently been in an accident, even a very minor one, you may have a crack in your radiator. Or you may have bugs and debris clogging your air in and outtakes. This can cause your vehicle's engine to 'hold onto' the heat, which can cause serious problems. Try unblocking the radiator if that's the issue, but if it's a cracked radiator it will have to be replaced.
Vehicles only overheat when there is a serious problem. If these quick fixes donít do any good, visit Leading Edge Auto Body, where you'll find someone to help you.