Tag Archives: mobile auto mechanics

Checking Your Car Before Making the Big Trip

Trip Inspection Guide

Mobile Mechanic Houston

North Americans really love their cars. And the perfect thing to go with cars is a great road trip. Nothing can be better than being out on the open road to visit new sights and be free of your regular daily schedule. However, there is nothing like car troubles that can bring all of your fun and excitement to a complete grinding halt.

It isn’t always possible to avoid problems, however there are steps that you can take to reduce the potential of being sidelined while on your trip. When you are planning your trip, think about it from the perspective of your vehicle. What types of roads will you be on – super-highways or winding byways? Plains or mountains? What type of weather conditions will you most likely run into? How many miles will you be traveling? How much weight is your car going to hauling – both luggage and passengers? Will you be hauling a roof top carrier or trailer?

Once you have the answers to those questions, you can begin on your trip inspection to help get your car prepared for your great adventures. You can also have mobile auto maintenance done.

The tires is a very good place to start. Inspect them for proper inflation and tread wear. Is it time to rotate or replace your tires? Are they up to what’s ahead? If you are going on a muddy off-road adventure then you don’t want to drive on regular highway tires.

Struts and shocks play a significant role in safety and also driving comfort. If if it time to replace them, then you will be very happy you did after you have hit the road. Do your wheels need to be aligned? Trying to fight a car all day long that is pulling to one side can be dangerous and tiring.

Also don’t forget about your brakes. Are there any hard or soft peddle feel, grabbing or strange noises? If you have any doubt, make sure to have your brakes inspections before you leave on your trip.

When it comes to underneath the hood, have the hoses and belts inspected. If there is anything near failure or excessively worn, all of the stresses of a long road trip may be the final straw.

Another thing that is important is your engine air filter. For each gallon of gas that your burning, your car filters and uses 12,000 gallons of air. You will notice the amount of fuel that you save on your trip, if the filter needed to be changed.

When is your next oil change due? Will you be able to finish your trip before your due date? If not, then you should have it done before you go. That way you won’t have any interruptions on your trip. It is a really good idea to have a full service oil change done since they will top all of your fluids off and check and see if there are any other maintenance that are due, like cooling system or transmission service. See if you can have mobile auto maintenance to make it even more convenient for you before you head out on your trip.

Does your vehicle have any unusual odors? If so, it might be just a dirty cabin air filter. However, it you have an exhaust leak on a long trip it could potentially be fatal. You of course want to be comfortable, so if you aren’t getting the regular amount of cold air that you are accustomed, then you should have your air conditioning serviced.

Are your wiper blades working well still? If not, they are inexpensive and quick to get fixed. When planning a trip, headlamps frequently overlooked. If you have not changed your bulb in around six months, then replacing the bulb can keep things lit up at night while you on your trip.

In Conclusion

All of these items that we have discussed here are part of any solid vehicle maintenance plan. They are things that you need to have taken care of anyway, however, as you are planning for your trip they all start coming into focus.

In the long run they always save you money and might help to prevent delays on your trip, which can be pretty inconvenient.

We at Mobile Mechanic Houston – Houston’s #1 Mobile Automotive Repairs and Maintenance provider, look forward to your call concerning any questions you have about your vehicle and how we can help you to maintain it! We encourage you to contact us or call at 832-604-9493 with any questions that you may have!

Smoke Coming From My Exhaust. What Does It Mean?

What Does It Mean When There Is Smoke Coming Out Of My Exhaust?

If you are seeing various colored exhaust fumes, then you need to start paying close attention to your vehicle. Even if no warning lights are being flashed by your car, the smoke that is coming out of the exhaust is a sign that something may not be working correctly.

What does blue smoke coming out of my exhaust mean?

If blue smoke is blowing from your car, that is a clear signal that oil is be burned by the engine. That means the piston rings or valve guide seals are worn out, and there is oil that is leaking past the point where it is supposed to be lubricating moving parts, and into the combustion chamber where it is burning along with the fuel.

If you see that type of smoke, make sure to check the oil on a regular basis and watch out for any consumption problems. Although this kind of issue usually requires attention immediately along with expensive repairs, which include some internal parts being replaced, if the leak is minimal and your vehicle is old, you may be able to manage it carefully by topping the oil off regularly. You may also want to contact a mobile auto mechanic to come check out your vehicle.

Burning oil, in addition to causing environmental damage, can also cause rough starts, since the process can ruin the spark plugs on your car.

There may also be blue smoke if your car is turbocharged. In that case, the smoke can be a sing that the blower needs to be replaced or rebuilt.

What does gray smoke coming out of my exhaust mean?

It is difficult to directly diagnose gray smoke. Similar to blue smoke, it might mean the car is either suffering from having a bad turbocharger or is burning oil. Take the exact same precautions that you do with blue smoke, and make sure you check for any excessive consumption of oil.

Gray smoke may also be caused by there being a problem with the automatic transmission fluid being burned up inside the engine. In that situation the culprit would be a faulty transmission vacuum modulator, which can lead to transmission fluid become sucked into the engine and then being burned up.

Gray smoke may also be the result of a stuck PCV valve. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system cuts down on the amount of harmful emissions through recycling them back inside the combustion chamber. But if the PCV valve becomes stuck, then pressure may build up and result in oil leaks. Luckily, PCV valves are not very expensive, and for either a mobile auto mechanic or handy do-it-yourselfer can be an easy, quick job.

What does white smoke coming out of my exhaust mean?

If it is vapor and thin, then you don’t need to worry about white smoke. It probably is being caused by normal condensation buildup within the exhaust system. This type of smoke disappears fast.

However, if there is thicker smoke, that might be a major problem, and may be caused by coolant being burned by the engine. It might be due to a serious problem like a cracked engine block, damaged cylinder head or blown head gasket, which are all expensive repairs.

However, don’t ignore it, since the problem could get much worse. Even when the coolant has just a small leak it may result in overheating which could seriously risk damaging your engine. Also a coolant leak may mix with oil which can cause serious problems for your vehicle.

What does black smoke coming out of my exhaust mean?

When you have black exhaust smoke the means that too much fuel is being burned by the engine. The first thing you should do is check the air filer along with the other intake components like fuel-pressure regulator, fuel injectors and sensors. The fuel return line might also be clogged. Usually black smoke is the easiest to diagnose and fix, however your fuel economy will definitely be affected if you burn unnecessary fuel, so don’t think you can save money by avoiding the problem.

Any smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe of your is a sign that the vehicle is in distress. Pay attention to whatever needs to be done or have a mobile auto mechanic check out your car to determine what the problem is and have it fixed.

Our mechanics are trained and certified in many fields! Please feel free to contact us or call us at 832-604-9493!