Category: Auto Repair

What are the Signs of a Bad Transmission?

transmission repair los angeles 90035Some car problems are simple to diagnose. Whether you take your vehicle in Los Angeles, Ca or a Lombard, IL auto AC service, it’s easy to say “There’s no cool air coming out of the vents. Something’s wrong with the AC.” However, a failing transmission can have many potential symptoms, some of them fairly difficult to identify. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself stuck out on the highway in dire need of transmission repair!

Today, we’re going to uncover some of the most frequent signs that your vehicle is having trouble with in transmission system. With these details you should be able to avoid an unpleasant situation on the roadway. Let’s get started!

What Does a Transmission Do?

The transmission manages your vehicle’s gear system, changing gears as needed while you accelerate or decelerate on the roadway. In automatic variants, the system activates gear changes without driver input, allowing for convenient shifting that preserves fuel economy by giving you just the right amount of power to travel at your given speed.

Why Do Transmissions Fail?

Unfortunately, transmission failure is a difficult challenge to avoid. What causes a transmission to go out? Some systems fail as a result of poor maintenance, such as a driver forgetting to replace transmission fluid in a timely manner. Low fluid or a clogged fluid filter can have disastrous consequences for your vehicle performance and safety.

Of course, long-term part wear may also produce significant hiccups in your transmissions performance. Have you ever heard the saying “Hurting people hurt people?” Well, damaged parts tend to damage other parts. If your transmission starts to display symptoms of malfunction (more on that later), you need to arrange service as soon as possible.

When to Repair Transmission

So how do you know when to drive down to your local mechanic and arrange repairs? As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s prudent to arrange service as soon as you start noticing strange behavior from your transmission. This is especially true if you have a specialty vehicle that may demand extra time to source replacement parts.

What Happens When the Transmission Goes Out?

Okay! So we come now to the most important part of our discussion: the warning signs. What are the symptoms of a bad transmission?

  • A warning light and/or error code on your dashboard
  • Delayed movement when shifting out of park
  • The engine activates but doesn’t shift out of park
  • Whining noises or scraping noises during shifts
  • Signs of leaking red fluid (sometimes brown or dark red)

Many newer car models have advanced self-diagnostic abilities that offer more specific problems. When your vehicle generates an error code, it provides your mechanic with a quick summary of the problem under the hood.

Most likely however, you’ll feel the difference in driving performance if your transmission begins to degrade. Difficulty shifting, slipping gears, and whining noises quickly stand out as you zoom along the highway. While your system may not fail completely in one afternoon, it’s important that you arrange service as soon as you are able.

Transmission Repair or Replace?

This may be a difficult decision, especially as your vehicle grows older and more advanced in mileage. Replacement represents a significantly more expensive choice, but cyclical repair costs quickly add up over time too. If you’re vehicle is relatively new (less than 100,000 miles), swapping the transmission may seem like the obvious solution.

Before you jump at repairs or replacement, try researching your particular vehicle online. Some particular models routinely suffer from early transmission failure. If you are having a difficult time making a decision, take fifteen minutes to talk with your trusted auto repair mechanic and get their opinion. They’ll have inside insight into costing and expected part lifetime.

Transmission Repair vs Rebuild

There is a third option that some transmission repair shops may suggest, especially for luxury vehicles. For most problems, part repair offers a very affordable and lucrative way to resolve part wear. Damaged parts are simply replaced without too much fuss. However, replacing numerous parts in a completely worn down transmission is often way too expensive to be practical.

That’s where system rebuilds come in. The entire transmission system is shipped to the nearest manufacturing center (of your car’s brand) where each part is refurbished by that model’s specialist. This allows car owners to restore the entire system without replacing parts unnecessarily. Of course, this process does take significantly longer. It is usually cheaper than replacement however.

Need Professional Transmission Repair?

A faulty transmission system is a frustrating challenge to face on the roadway. Timely service could make all the difference, saving you from an emergency situation. At Carotech Automotive and Tires, our seasoned mechanics offer convenient, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for your vehicle. To arrange your professional transmission repair in Los Angeles, CA, call our team today at (424) 283-4303!

Can a Seized Engine be Fixed?


Car Engine Services

Owning a car is a huge responsibility. They are high-demand, high-performance machines that require regular attention and maintenance, most importantly, maintaining the engine. It’s recommended to get your oil changed between every 3,000 and 5,000 miles. In fact, just maintaining the oil in your car can help extend the life of your car engine. While there are, of course, several other important things to do to maintain your car engine, maintaining the oil levels can be the difference between needing a few repairs and needing a complete engine replacement. Failure to keep up with your oil can lead to internal damages, the most serious problem being an engine seizure. When your engine seizes there possibilities are few and far between to correct the issue.

Seized Engine or Dead Battery

Often times, when an engine won’t start many think the issue is with the battery. In some instances, that is true. If you’ve left your headlights on overnight or a door was not closed all the way can drain the battery, rendering your car inoperable. The difference between a dead battery and a seized engine will be what operates and what doesn’t. When your battery is dead, your car won’t start and neither will the electronic components. On the flip side, when your engine has seized, the electronic components may work, but your car won’t turn over.

What are the signs of a seized engine?

Before your engine completely stops working, there should be several indicators that it will or may seize soon. The two most obvious being the check engine light is on and a knocking or clunking sound coming from the engine. With that in mind, what actually causes an engine to seize?

Seized car engine causes:

Insufficient oil level: when the oil level is low, your engine overheats, parts melt, and the bearings ultimately become damaged.

Accumulation of water: water is not compressible like gasoline and can cause an engine to seize.

Accumulation of rust: when a car is unused for a long period of time, rust builds up, causing the engine to seize when use is attempted.

Faulty parts: this is rare, but has happened and it is why drivers should be aware of parts recalls on their vehicles.

Because of the causes listed above, a car will be at greater chance to seize than a car that has sufficient oil and maintenance. If for whatever reason, your oil levels are low, there is too much water in your engine, or you just haven’t driven your car in a while, there are several things to look for to determine if your engine has seized.

Seized car engine symptoms:

Loud cranking/clunking sounds: this is because the starter is hitting the flywheel because there is insufficient lubrication.

Piston visible: when looking at the engine, the piston may be visible because the loose components will lodge into another part of the engine with enough force.

Fumes/smoke: since the engine can’t turn over, fumes, smoke, and even fire can happen – all of which are a sure sign of an engine seizure.

Nothing: the most tell-tale sign of a seized engine is when nothing happens. When your car won’t start no matter how hard you try.

It’s important to note that it is incredibly unlikely to have an engine seized without warning. There are almost always signs that can indicate potential seizing or failure such as: knocking noises, poor engine performance, oil light is on, and more. At the end of the day, most engine failure is because of poor maintenance, specifically a lack of oil in your engine. At this time, there is debate as to whether you should use conventional or synthetic oil in your car. Either option has benefits and drawbacks, and the mechanics with Carotech Automotive and Tires can discuss this in detail with you. Call us today, (424) 283-4303, to discuss our services further.

Understanding a Seized Engine Diagnosis

If a mechanic has diagnosed your engine as seized, unfortunately, there are few options readily available to you. Depending on the severity of the damage, most mechanics will suggest a complete replacement rather than attempt a repair. This could be because, ultimately, repairs are more costly overall than just going through and replacing the engine. For the mechanics at Carotech Automotive in Los Angeles, CA engine rebuild is an option they can offer and provide. In this case, they will go through to essentially rebuild your engine from scratch, rather than go through to repair the damaged parts. Sometimes a replacement is less expensive and more applicable to your situation, but every car and case is different. It will all come down to the extent of the damage done.

Whatever it is you need, Carotech Automotive and Tires are experts when it comes to rebuilding an engine as well as engine replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between a motor and an engine?
No, engine and motor are used interchangeably with vehicles

Is it worth it to replace an engine?
There is no definite yes or no answer, because it will come down to the extent of the damage done to your engine. If a good mechanic from a reputable business believes that repairs will get the job done, then replacing your engine could be a waste of time and money. This would be something to discuss further with a mechanic.

How much does it cost to replace an engine?
Car owners should expect to pay anywhere between $2,250 and $4,000, or approximately 10% to 20% of the cost of a new vehicle, to replace the engine in their car

What does a seized engine mean?
A seized engine means the electronics in your vehicle may still work (i.e. the radio, A/C, etc.) but the engine itself will not turn over. Instead, you may hear a knocking or clunking sound.

Contact Carotech Automotive and Tires, (424) 283-4303, for car engine servicing in the Los Angeles, CA area.

Getting the Most Engine Power From Your Vehicle

Cars are an important part of everyday life. They help us get to work, home, soccer practice for the kids, musical recitals, and even give us entertainment through NASCAR and Monster Truck rallies. There are those that like the style and look of the older cars, and others who enjoy the comfort, convenience, and the safety features of the newer model of cars. Whatever your preference is, it is important to make sure that your car is running properly and that you are getting the most out of your engine power from your vehicle.

What is Engine Power and Torque?

Power and torque are what is produced from the engine when you turn on your car and press on the accelerator. Air and fuel combust together causing the crankshaft, the transmission, and the drive axles to convert the potential energy of your car into kinetic energy. Here are a few of the textbook definitions to make it easier to understand your car’s engine.

Power – How rapidly work is accomplished.

Engine Power Efficiency – refers to the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel, and the amount of energy required for it to perform.

Engine Power Output – refers to the maximum amount of power an engine can put out. In a car, this is often referred to as horsepower. In the United States, horse-power is used to show how much work is required to pull 33,000 pounds a distance of one foot per minute.

Torque – is a rotating force produced by an engine’s crankshaft. This helps determine how much work can be done. The higher torque results in a higher ability to perform work.

What Causes Poor Engine Performance?

It’s terrifying to be driving on the interstate and you go to accelerate, and your car either feels like it isn’t responding or it is losing power. The causes for this kind of problem are usually a result of mechanical failures, such as low compressions, where the cylinders are not producing enough increase in pressure during the combustion process. Other problems include but are not limited to:

Camshafts control the valves in the combustion chamber of a vehicle.

Camshaft Position Sensors Malfunctioning
The Camshaft Position Sensor is designed to give the electronic control module information on how fast the camshaft is operating in your car. (The camshaft is a set of cams that work the valves in the combustion chamber of your car.) The control module then dictates when the fuel injector and the ignition should go off. If this is malfunctioning, this will cause your car to jerk as the engine doesn’t have enough power to accelerate when being asked to.

Clogged or Bad Fuel Injectors
Fuel injectors spray fuel inside the engine. Bad fuel injectors could delay when the fuel is being sprayed into your engine, resulting in lower performance and ultimately leading to the engine not being able to produce enough power to run the vehicle.

Bad Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are located in your car’s combustion chamber. They send a signal that causes an electric spark in the combustion chamber, allowing the air and the fuel mixture to ignite, and send the needed energy for your engine to perform. With bad spark plugs, this reaction becomes more and more delayed, resulting in the weakening of your engine power and ultimately a failing of the engine.

All of these malfunctioning parts will result in your engine and your vehicle losing power. If left unchecked or unresolved, then your vehicle will ultimately fail, and result in costly repairs. It is important to keep your vehicle running smoothly, so noticing any sort of jerking or a change in the way a car rides is a good indicator that your car needs a tune-up.

What Can I Do To Correct My Car’s Loss of Power?

When it comes to your engine, it is the brain and heart of your car. If it is having trouble, it is time to take it in for a much-needed tune-up. At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we specialize in making sure that your engine is running smoothly, resulting in a reliable car and a happy client.

We can provide engine rebuilds, which focuses on finding broken parts and replacing them with parts that not only fit your engine but help it run more smoothly. Engine rebuilds are not only more economically friendly, but it is also a good way to make sure that the rest of the engine is running smoothly, and if not, that the hidden problem is taken care of in a timely and efficient manner.

We also offer engine replacements which can be helpful if you find your car is really fickle and needs extra care. In the long run, an engine replacement can be more cost-efficient, as it saves you from the hassle of having other parts of the engine malfunctioning. A new engine will guarantee that your runs like it is brand new.

Trust Carotech to keep your car up and running like new.

At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we are dedicated to making sure that you leave with a car that is reliable and able to keep up with the different pulls of life. We are always honest about the repairs your car needs and will not try to push unneeded equipment your way. We are passionate about cars and even more passionate about helping you get safely back on the road. If you are experiencing trouble, call (424) 283-4303 for our honest hard working automotive mechanics in Los Angeles, CA.

What Type of Tire is Best for You?

best-tires-west-los-angeles-minWhen buying new tires for your vehicle, there will be a lot of options. If you are not familiar with different types of tires, this can seem pretty overwhelming. If you know a few things about the types of car you drive and what you want out of your tire, choosing them won’t be as difficult. For example, if you take touring tires vs performance tires, you will see that touring tires are rated for all season. That means that they can be driven during any type of weather and are good on your vehicle all year round. This is a great option for the people that live in climates that get very cold, but also want to drive regular tires during the rest of the year. This way you don’t have to worry about changing your tires out through the different seasons and you will still remain safe. Performance tires are typically for people that drive sports cars and want to be able to increase their handling capabilities and have different traction when driving in areas that are wet or dry. These tires are usually thinner so that there is more grip to the road which will allow the driver to make sharper turns and even take off faster. The different tire types explained here are just a few of the money different options that you can choose from. If you just need a tire that will get you by, you can always go the cheaper route. The problem with this is that it will not last as long and it will not grip the road the same way that other types of tires will.

Questions About Types Of Tires

What do tire codes mean?
The different numbers that you see on the side of your tires, are telling you what size tire is needed for that car. Every vehicle will take a different type of tire. For example, a Land Rover will not have the same type of tire as a Mustang. When you take your vehicle in for a tire service, they will be able to tell you exactly what size tire you need. You should write those numbers down and when you need tires again, you will have that information already instead of having to go look on the tire again.

Can I have two different types of tires?
You can have two different types of tires, but you should make sure that they are the exact same size. You should also try to change your tires at the same time so that the tread will all wear evenly. If you put new tires on at all different times, the tread will wear differently on each of them and then they will never match up because you will constantly be having to change a different one.

What is the difference between all season and all weather tires?
All season tires are a fine choice for weather that is mild all year round. What we mean by this is that they work fine in all weather conditions but do not excel in any one place. If you live in an area that gets heavy snow, these probably are not the tire for you. All weather tires are better equipped for snow because they are built with that in mind. If you want a tire specifically for snow, you will want to get actual winter tires, but if not, these will do if you aren’t doing anything too intense.

What type of tires should I get?
This will all depend on the type of vehicle you have and what you want out of your tires. The best thing you can do is give us a call and we will be able to give you options with prices.

What is an H rating on a tire?
Every rating on the tire will be able to tell you how fast of a speed that these tires can handle. For example, an H rating will have a maximum speed of 130 mph and typically are seen on sports sedan coupes. This is considered a high-performance rating because of the speed that it can stand.

What type of tires do I need?
If you are looking for a basic tire that will get you where you need to go, safely, and you won’t be doing any racing, off-roading, or driving through crazy weather, you are probably safe to get an all-season tire. This will be able to keep you safe on the road and are usually the most cost-effective. The best thing you can do is to ask a professional though so that you get exactly what you need.

List Of Different Types Of Tires

  • All Season Car Tires
  • Performance All-Season Car Tires
  • Ultra High-Performance Tires
  • Winter Tires
  • Performance Winter Tires

With so many different types of tires out there, it is always best to call Carotech Automotive and Tires to let us give you some options and show you exactly what is out there. If you want to know all about the different types of tires in Los Angeles, CA, make sure you call (424) 283-4303 so that we can help you in any way that we can.

What Oil Changes Do For Your Vehicle

oil-change-los-angelesTaking care of your car is the key to making sure it runs for as long as possible. There are many things that you can do to keep your car in tip-top shape, but actually doing them is the key. Car problems can be expensive but, If you avoid taking care of your car you will end up with a check engine light and likely a high maintenance bill. That is why it is important to do things like changing your tires, get your oil changed and do any kind of car maintenance in Los Angeles, Ca that you need to do. If you think about it, it is cheaper to do the things you need to to keep your car working correctly, than to have to buy a whole new car. Getting your car’s oil changed is probably one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle. Below, we list a few reasons why.

Benefits of an Oil Change

Gas Mileage – When your car is well taken care of, it will run better. Just like if you take care of yourself and drink water, you will run better, a car is no different.

Car Health – Changing your oil helps get the old dirt that has gathered up, to come out of your car and clean from your filter, making it run better and for longer without having any problems.

Less Harmful Emissions – Clean oil will help to put less bad emissions out into the world and keep the air from becoming even more polluted.

Give Carotech Automotive and Tires a call when you need an oil change in Los Angeles, CA, by dialing (424) 283-4303.

Why Is My Car Leaking Fluids?

leaking-car-oil-change-los-angelesEvery car contains a variety of fluids that accomplish special tasks to allow the vehicle to operate. When you notice your car leaking, you likely wonder whether to feel worried, take the car in for service, or simply ignore the issue. If you know how to identify car fluids on your own, you can save money on repairs and rest assured about your vehicle’s condition.

At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we’re your local experts for the repair of leaking car fluids in Los Angeles, CA. To learn more or schedule service, reach out to us today at (424) 283-4303.

How to Identify Car Leaks

The first step to identifying a leak is knowing the nature of your car fluids. Once you can identify one fluid from another, you can adequately judge the seriousness of the problem.

Antifreeze: Antifreeze represents one of the more common fluids you may find your car leaking. Usually green, but sometimes orange or pink, antifreeze feels sticky to the touch and has a sweet smell. Though not a serious leak, you will still need to have it repaired. If you have pets, this becomes especially important, as the sweet smell will attract them to this poisonous substance.

Gas Leak: Gas is easy to identify among car fluids, thanks to its distinctive smell. Gas leaks are fairly common, and not a major cause for concern. While they still need repair, you need not worry about a gas leak as an immediate danger.

Oil: Oil can appear yellow if fresh, and dark if old. If you notice your car leaking oil, it needs immediate repair. A car that loses oil becomes vulnerable to a host of problems.

Brake Fluid: Clear to yellow in color, brake fluid leaks are rare. However, if you even suspect one, your car needs immediate service. As a matter of fact, you should probably have your car towed to the mechanic, since this fluid leak can result in brake failure.

Transmission Leak: Transmission fluid is an indispensable liquid that lubricates your transmission and prevents it from overheating. This fluid appears pink to dark red, and deserves immediate service once it begins to leak. Transmission leaks are fairly economical to repair, whereas a new transmission can cost a pretty penny.

Water: If you’ve ever noticed your car leaking water, you may wonder where it comes from. Though a common leak, the appearance of water beneath your vehicle is not a cause for concern. In all likelihood, the leak is simply condensation from your air conditioner.

Trust Our Team with Your Car Fluids

At Carotech Automotive and Tires, we’re your local source for the repair of leaking car fluids in Los Angeles, CA. We offer fast, affordable service that ensures the efficient operation of your vehicle. To learn more or schedule service, give us a call today at (424) 283-4303.

Tire Check: When to Replace Old Tires

tires-west-los-angelesKnowing when to replace old tires can be difference between a comfortable tire change at home and an emergency on the side of the road. Thankfully, you can figure out for yourself when it’s time to spring for a new tire. Here are three simple tips to help you know when the time has come.

Pro Tip #1: Use the Classic Thread Test

Some newer tire models come with a built in bar indicator to let you know when your treads are worn down. There’s no easier way to test out your threads however, than the classic Penny Test. All you have to do is grab a penny and insert Abraham Lincoln head first into the thread of each tire. If Abe’s head starts to disappear, the tread is still good. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, you need to look for a replacement tire.

Pro Tip #2: Examine Your Manufacturing Date

Did you know that tires can expire? It may sound crazy, but even unused tires can (and do) expire after six years. Check the manufacturing date on the wall of your tires; look for a four digit code. The last two digits represent the manufacturing year, and the first two represent the week of that year. Always keep in mind: expired tires are much more likely to fail.

Pro Tip #3: Check Out Your Tire’s Sidewalls

Everybody tells you to look at the threads, but not so many tell you to examine your tire’s sidewall. Be wary of any large cracks or bulges in the sidewall, as this can mean your tire isn’t far from failing. Protect yourself from ending up on the side of the highway by having your tire replaced (if you spot this damage).

Be sure to follow these tips when it comes time to replace old tires. For more details on how to care for your car, such as checking your fluids, talk with one of our experts at (424) 283-4303, or check out our other articles on car maintenance.

Is It Time For Brake Repair Service?

Road safety is very important when operating your vehicle. Your car comes with many amenities and systems to ensure that you not only have an enjoyable driving experience but that you are safe on the road. One of the most important systems is your braking system. Without it, your car is unable to stop on command. You want to make sure these stay at their best, but how can you do that? We have compiled some signs that your brakes have begun to wear so you can get service quickly.

Signs You Need Brake Repair

Are Your Brakes Making Noise? – Many people report squealing and grinding noises when their brakes start failing. However, metalling screeching is also a sign of worn down brake pads. When you hear any strange noise, it is time for service.

Does Something Smell LIke Its Burning? – If you notice a smell of burning from your tires, your brakes and tires are trying to tell you service is needed! This is a sign that your brakes have been damaged in some way and now your tires are being affected.

Has Your Brake Light Come On? – Your brake light is on your dashboard to tell you when part of the braking system has failed or is failing. Disregarding this light can lead to you and your car being hazardous or put in danger.

Do You Feel Vibrations In Your Steering Column? – Vibrations in your steering is absolutely, positively not normal. This means the rotors and metal are becoming damaged. Alternately, it may be an issue with your suspension. Both are serious issues and require repair immediately.

Never take noises, smells or sensations from your car lightly. If you have noticed any of the above issues, the team at Carotech Automotive and Tires is here for you. Give us a call today at (424) 283-4303 for your brake service repair in Los Angeles, CA.

Signs Of Engine Trouble

car-repair-west-los-angelesEveryone knows that cars rely on their engines, right? Now that we’ve got that part out of the way, it’s time for a hard truth. That engine needs a lot of car, and even with all the right care, your engine won’t last forever. However, if you can pay attention to the signs as your engine ages, you may be able to extend the life of that engine, or at least keep yourself from being stranded due to engine failure. Today we are going to go over some key tips you need to know about your engine’s well-being.

3What To Look For

One of the first problem signs people notice is a lack of power. Pay attention to how your vehicle responds when you accelerate. Is it no longer moving as easily as before? This can be an indication that your engine is having to work harder than it used to. If this continues, you will see a steady decline in your gas mileage as well.

You need to take your engine in for maintenance right away if it sounds rough when it runs, or if it has trouble starting up in the first place. Luckily, engines are fairly noisy when they aren’t in great shape, so if you hear any knocking or popping, you know to get it looked at ASAP.

No matter what is going on with your engine, remember that is it one of if not the most valuable parts of your vehicle. If you want to continue relying on your car, you need to take care of the engine. Call our team of experts at (424) 283-4303 if you’d like to schedule service, or if you have any questions for our experts!