Articles:

When Am I Supposed to Be In Neutral?

When Am I Supposed to Be In Neutral?

The neutral gear is the least used gear for motorists with automatic transmissions; in fact, it's technically not even a gear. More importantly, it serves such a critical function. While a car is in neutral, the gas pedal does not accelerate the vehicle, and no power from the acceleration is ever transmitted to the wheels. For those with manual transmission vehicles, you are an exception. Manuals require the driver to be neutral before anything gear changes. However, most automatic transmission drivers seldom use this tool. So why is it there? During a Drive-Thru Car Wash If you are a mechanical car wash goer, you are probably familiar with the process. You must place your car in neutral gear so that you can safely pass through the cleaning cycles smoothly and safely. Otherwise, the chances of accidents in a car wash would be increased. During a Tow Without a Dolly Placing a vehicle in a neutral state during a tow isn't usually advised unless the tow truck lacks a dolly. Pu ... read more

Do I Need Muffler Repair?

Do I Need Muffler Repair?

Mufflers are a component of your vehicle's exhaust system, and they serve an essential purpose when it comes to your emissions. The primary role of the muffler is to lessen exhaust system noise that is directed from the engine all the way to the exhaust pipes. Mufflers also aim to direct exhaust gases out of the motor. Generally, mufflers are made to last anywhere between five to seven years, but rust and other external factors can cause muffler mishaps (if you will). If there is a problem with your car's muffler, you will surely start to notice some tell-tale symptoms. Some are super obvious, and some not as much.   How Do I Know If I Have a Faulty Muffler? Engine misfiring Exhaust is super loud (roaring sounds) You remark condensation coming from exhaust pipes You hear a rattling noise coming from inside your vehicle One of the most irritating symptoms of a broken muffler is the loud noises it makes. You may get some looks from other drivers as you roar from any di ... read more

Here's What To Do When Your Tire Blows Out

Here's What To Do When Your Tire Blows Out

A tire blowout can be incredibly scary and stressful, especially if it happens in the middle of congested traffic. A blowout can be triggered by something as minor as a small nail in the road or low tire pressure. However, the five most prominent causes of tire blowouts are under-inflation, overload, uneven tread wear, damage, and defects.   You'll be able to tell when you have a tire blowout if you hear a loud popping sound or sudden instability with your car. You may also smell burning rubber. If any of these things happen to you, please do NOT panic. Proceed to do the following steps: Do not slam on your brakes. Alternatively, keep the handling of your vehicle and pull over to the road shoulder if possible. Do your best to get out of traffic. The last thing you want to deal with is an accident on top of your tire blowout. Turn on your hazard lights. Please remain in your car unless it is entirely safe to do so. Call for roadside assistance.  You should know that ... read more

Debunking Common Automotive Myths!

Debunking Common Automotive Myths!

Misconceptions about car maintenance and repairs are being spread every single day. As a result, there are many differing opinions on how you should take care of your car. It can be tough to tell what is fact and what is a myth unless you take the time to test it out. We've seen and worked on many vehicles over the years at McSpadden's Tire & Automotive. We have the truth, and we're here to set the record straight on the most common misconceptions regarding your vehicle.   Myth #1: Premium gas will heighten your engine's performance.  Premium gas undoubtedly has a heftier price tag than regular and mid-grade, but using it does not warrant that it will boost performance. Premium fuel is only fitting for cars with engines that have a high compression ratio. Nevertheless, you should always choose the appropriate fuel grade stated in your vehicle's owner manual.   Myth #2: An oil change is needed every 3,000 miles.  Your oil change interval ... read more

How to Avoid Uneven Brake Pad Wear

How to Avoid Uneven Brake Pad Wear

Your brake pads are integral safety features, and changing them when they are worn out keeps you safe and confident on the road. They contact and transmit the pressure and force required by the brake rotors and clamp pads to stop the car. Of course, your brake pads will wear out depending on their everyday use, the driving conditions, and the driver's habits. All the same, it might be quite frustrating having to replace on brake pad while the others are in great shape. Causes of Uneven Brake Pad Wear A failing caliper Disc Thickness Variation (DTV) Misaligned brake pads Debris might accumulate at your caliper piston, making it stick and less efficient Corroded slide pins So, What Does Mean When Your Brake Pads Wear Unevenly? When your brake pads wear out unevenly, you will experience break pulls (uneven braking), which means that the brake pads on one side perform better than those on the other side. Consequently, rather than your vehicle slowing down and eventually stopping ... read more

How to Care for Your Car in Extreme Heat

How to Care for Your Car in Extreme Heat

While we all love summer, the season comes with intense heat, which might turn a fantastic season downright frustrating and pleasant. The sweltering heat can become ruthless and take a significant toll on your vehicle if you do not watch out. It can affect your car's tires, air conditioning, and battery. Understanding the issues that arise will allow you to take prior actions to keep your vehicle running smoothly, safely, and efficiently even in extreme conditions. Use a Window Visor or Park in a Shade Like any other driver, you would hate getting into a car that has been parked in the scorching sun for the better part of the day. One of the best ways to keep your car cool is parking in the shade or using a window visor. This will help offset the extreme interior temperature in your car during extreme heat. Turn on Your Car's Floor Vents Most drivers and car owners will turn on the dashboard vents as they strive to facilitate air circulation to cool their cars. However, hot ... read more

Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

A timing belt is what keeps your engine's cam and crankshaft turning together in sync, hence the name timing belt, as it keeps these components in time. A lot of drivers probably don't know what a timing belt is, which is okay. But it is a part of your vehicle that does need to be changed after a period, so you should know the warning signs that point towards it being time. Is it time to change my timing belt? There are a few ways to answering the question above. A general rule to follow is to change your timing belt every 60,000 - 100,000 miles. This can differ from each manufacturer's instructions. To check yours, please refer to your owner's manual. But what if you don't know the last time it was changed, though? If that's the case, you're going to need symptoms to look out for that can give you a general idea of whether or not your belt has aged a bit too much. One thing you can keep an eye (or nose) out for is heavy exhaust fumes. It so happens that ... read more

3 Reasons Why Your Car Smells Like Rotten Eggs

3 Reasons Why Your Car Smells Like Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell is most commonly associated with the element called sulfur and, should this come from your car, raise concern that there is a significant problem. Fuel naturally contains sulfur, but this sulfur is converted into a neutral smelling compound during combustion and afterward in your car's emissions system. A lingering rotten egg smell could be due to one of the following three common problems. A faulty catalytic converter The catalytic converter in your vehicle is designed to neutralize emissions, like hydrogen sulfide, to harmless, odorless gases that do not contribute to air pollution. A faulty or clogged catalytic converter will not function optimally and leads to the emission of unneutralized, harmful, and intense sulfur gas. Additionally, a converter with a significant build-up of byproducts may overheat and further contribute to a smell like rotten eggs. A fuel pressure sensor malfunction The fuel pressure sensor regulates the flow of fuel ... read more

What is the Difference Between a Diesel and a Standard Engine?

What is the Difference Between a Diesel and a Standard Engine?

If you are an aspiring first-time owner of a car or one who is looking to upgrade, then you must have asked yourself whether the diesel or the standard engine is ideal for you. There is no definite answer for you as you choose the perfect engine for you based on your preferences and if you can finance them. Get first to understand how the two engine types work and the major difference before you embark on a thorough search for a new car. Here are the differences between diesel and standard engines. Engine Functionality Both the gas or the standard engine and the diesel engine work by internal combustion. This is where consequent explosions are ignited in the engine to convert the fuel into mechanical force to move the vehicle forward or backward. The difference in functionality is how the ignition of these explosions occurs. With the diesel engine, air enters the engine and is compressed to create heat that is used for the ignition which is commonly known as compression ignition. If ... read more

What are the Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Throttle Position Sensor?

What are the Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Throttle Position Sensor?

The purpose of a throttle position sensor is to ensure that the correct mixture of air and fuel is delivered to your car's engine in order for your vehicle to perform at its optimal best. It is a crucial part of your automobile's fuel management system and is located on the butterfly spindle/shaft. When this sensor is not functioning as it should, you will experience clear symptoms that translate into the performance, or should we say, lack of performance of your car. This component needs to be replaced at the first signs of failure. Depending on what exactly is wrong, the outcome of a faulty throttle position sensor is that you would either be stuck on the side of the road, or your vehicle could start to accelerate uncontrollably. When the throttle position sensor of a car does not function as it should, then a car's throttle body will not function properly, either. If left unattended, the faulty throttle position sensor might cause your car to shake heavily. This in tur ... read more