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Check Engine Light: What’s Up With That?

You are driving your and suddenly a check engine light appears on the dash board. For many drivers, this can be confusing because they don’t know how to react. The check engine indicator is one of the most misunderstood and even scary for most drivers. The check engine light can stand for many things and you need to understand what to do in case you encounter it on the dash.

What Does Check Engine Light Mean?

Check engine light is a component of a car’s diagnostic system. In this case, the car’s electronic system brings a warning when something is wrong in the engine. The car’s computer system stores a “trouble code” when a problem is detected. In this case, an electronic scan tool is required to read the code and identify the problem. You need to take the car to an auto parts repair shop for the code to be read by a professional.

What Should You Do When the Check Engine Lights Comes On

The check engine light may blink or remain still on the dash. In most cars, a blinking light is often an indicator of a misfiring engine. This is a serious problem where unburned fuel gets dumped into the car’s exhaust system that leads to damage of the catalytic converter. You may be up for expensive car repairs if this happens. If the light remains still, the problem in your car may not be serious. All the same, regardless of the type of check engine light, your car should be taken to an auto spare parts shop for a professional to do a proper diagnosis.

Below are some of the things that you should consider:

  • You need to have your car checked by a genuine auto spare parts technician: The technician examines the dashboard gauges, as well as any signs of low oil pressure that could cause the car to overheat. If your car is such a state, it should not be driven. If some cars, the indicator may be red and this means that if you are driving, pull over and shut off the engine.
  • Checkup of the gas cap: It is possible that the check engine light comes on because the gas cap is loose or open. If you know where the gas cap is located, reach out and tighten it. If an auto spare parts shop is nearby, you can get the vehicle there and a professional can check it for you. While some vehicles have a separate indicator that warns of a loose cap, others do not. You need a technician to help you find the problem.
  • Check car load: Sometimes the check engine light blinks if the engine is overworked. In such cases, the car may show other problems such as loss of power when accelerating. For example, if a trailer is being towed, it could mean excess demand on the towing vehicle. You should stop towing if such indicator light is blinking.
  • Contact authorized auto spares shop: A genuine auto spare parts shop has all the equipment that can help understand the built-in diagnostic services in your car. Most modern cars have these in-built features and a professional can determine this problem easily. Make sure you get your car checked before continuing driving.
Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Six Ways You May be Damaging Your Car

A car needs special care. When you buy your dream car, you want to ensure that it performs at its best otherwise it could turn into a nightmare. Many motorists do not take time to consider how to enhance the longevity of their car. Here are six things that you may be doing that could damage your car leading to high auto repair costs.

  1. Not paying attention to check engine light: The check engine light is an indicator that lights on the dash when there is engine-related problems. For the check engine light to appear, there must be a serious problem that needs to be attended immediately. Most auto parts shops have technicians who have the equipment to read this indicator. If you ignore the check engine light, you may be forced to do engine repairs that could be costly.
  • Ignoring regular change of fluids: Your car cannot maintain itself. Car fluids such as engine oil, radiator fluid, and brake fluid should be checked and replaced regularly. Engine fluids help prevent any damage or wear of the engine that can cost you expensive auto repairs later. You should note that auto spare parts shops sell these fluids and will help you change the easily.  
  • Failure to take care of the tires:Without your tires, your car cannot function as expected. Car tires need to be examined for inflation and also tread depth. If you don’t inflate tires as per the manufacturer instructions, you will find yourself needing replacement tires often. Poorly maintained tires means poor car performance and a safety risk for you.
  • Ignoring service schedule: You should follow manufacturer’s service schedule. Many auto parts experience wear and tear overtime and servicing your car ensures that you do not drive with damaged parts. Damaged or faulty parts could lead to more serious problems that require costly repairs later on. Ensure you have a mechanic you trust who can service your car regularly. If repairs are needed, a genuine auto spare parts shop can provide the necessary OEM parts for your car to ensure optimal performance.
  • Not washing your car: There are drivers who go for months without washing the car. This leads to buildup of dirt and destructive chemicals increasing the risk for rust because of road salt. Your car needs cleaning to avoid such corrosion because it interferes with visibility. You may find that your windshield is not clear as it was when the car was new. Don’t damage your windshield and overall appearance of your car because you failed to visit a car wash regularly.  
  1. Rough driving: If you are one of those rough drivers, you may be slowly killing your car. Hitting potholes carelessly, stopping abruptly, hitting the breaks constantly, and overloading your car are some of the ways you can damage the car. You need to take care of your car the way you take care of other valuable items. Otherwise, in the end, you may always have to content with expensive auto parts repairs.

You can ensure longevity, improved performance, and safety of your car by taking care of it. If you don’t, your car is bound to wear and tear quickly requiring expensive auto parts repairs and replacement.

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

What Are Shock Absorbers And What’s Their Lifespan

By now you know that there are many auto parts designed for different purposes. All parts of the car whether big or small are essential for proper functioning of the car. Shock absorbers are one of those auto parts that are talked about often but probably most misunderstood. It is important to know their functions and how long they last in a car.

What Is the Work of Shock Absorbers?

Popular belief is that shock absorbers support the weight of a car. For clarity, shock absorbers, just as their name sounds are designed to absorb shock so that it does not reach the occupants of the car. Do you find yourself driving smoothly even on bumps? It is because of shock absorbers. They are oil pumps that absorb any impact when you apply the brakes even if suddenly. They do so by converting kinetic energy into heat.

Types of Shock Absorbers

You need to know the different types of shock absorbers so that you can have your auto spare parts technician give you the specific ones you request for your car.

  • Twin-tube: These are designed with a pressure tube and a reserve tube. They are the most widely available at car dealerships, repair shops, and auto spare parts stores. The twin-tube shock absorbers work by transferring the hydraulic fluid inside the tube and this heats the mechanical energy that naturally dissolves. You will find tiny holes in the piston and special valves between the two tubes that limit the oil flow and this controls the wheel movement.
  • Mono-tube: These only have the pressure tube. However, they have two pistons – one is working and the other floating. They move in sync with the movement of the car when moving on the road.
  • Spool valve: They are made with oil passages that are around the cylindrical sleeve. Spool valves are compatible with twin-tube and mono-tube. They are also used in electronic systems.

For any type of shock absorbers, you can have a genuine parts dealer check their functionality when you begin to feel impacts of your car during a rough drive.

When Should Shock Absorbers Be Replaced?

Unlike other auto parts, shock absorbers do not have an expiration or mileage. There are certain things that can tell you if your shock absorbers are failing.

  • You may begin to find that your car takes longer to come to a full stop. For example, the car may takes additional distance before stopping. You don’t want your shock absorbers to reach that level and so you should contact an auto spare parts dealer to get you new ones.
  • If the shock absorbers are worn out, you may also notice that the wheels are wearing down in an uneven way.
  • Another sign is that the car seems to vibrate as you drive. This occurs because of lack of strong shock absorbing capability.  The vibrations may be subtle especially when you are on low speed but your car can lose control when driving in high speed.
  • The car also tilts to one side. When you drive in such conditions you also feel off-balance.

Ultimately, replacing the shock absorbers is the best solution. Contact a genuine spare parts dealer for new shock absorbers to ensure the safety of your car. Auto Plus Dubai has been dealing with OEM auto parts for years. You can be sure of genuine and durable shock absorbers when you contact Auto Plus.

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Why The Traction Control Light May be Coming On

Modern cars are designed with an integrated traction control system (TCS) that helps the driver maintain control and stability while driving in case the car loses grip or skids. Your car’s TCS can detect when the wheel loses traction and a warning is sent to the dashboard cluster. Loss of traction is a problem that can occur because of various reasons. You need to ensure that you know when you may need to visit an auto parts shop for checkup in case your TCS warns you of a problem. Here are reasons why the traction control light is coming on.

 Damaged Wheel Speed Sensors

Your car is fashioned with wheel speed sensors that connect to the TCS and the engine control unit. The sensors detect the speed of the wheel when the car is in motion. If for any reason the rotation of the wheels suddenly changes, the wheel speed sensor detects the change and notifies the TCS. If the wheel speed sensors are damaged, the TSC does not get the message. You will notice the traction control coming on because your car loses traction. A genuine spare parts store can easily replace these sensors and deal with the problem.

Adverse Weather Conditions

If you are driving when the weather conditions are bad, you may notice the traction control light comes on. Bad weather conditions include driving on ice, snow, heavy rain, and storms. Adverse weather conditions makes it difficult for the vehicle to maintain traction on the road. Sadly, in such cases, nothing much can be done and it is best to park your car until the weather clears. You will notice that once the weather clears, the traction control lights goes off and you are safe to drive.

Issues within the Anti-Lock Braking System

In many cars, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the TCS share the same internal control system. In such cases, when the ABS is faulty, the traction control lights may come on as an indication of a problem. The ABS is one of the critical auto parts and if it is damaged, you want to have it fixed immediately. It is the system that ensures that your wheels do not lock when you apply the brakes risking damage to the car while also preventing the car from skidding. If the ABS is the problem, a genuine spares parts store can get it fixed and the traction control light should go off.

Computer Problem within the TCS

Sometimes, the traction control light comes on if the TCS computer system is faulty. This should be checked by a professional after all the external causes have been ruled out. A technician should check the computer system to ensure that it is communicating effectively with other auto parts. The problem can be solved easily by reprogramming the system. Certified auto spare parts dealers and shops have the tools for testing and reprogramming.

You should always ensure that if you are not driving in bad weather but the lights keeps coming on, the TCS should be examined by a professional. Auto Plus Dubai has technicians and tools to help address auto parts problems such as the TCS system. Auto Plus provides OEM genuine spare parts to enhance car performance and safety.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Is Your Radiator the Problem?

Despite the fact that it is a relatively common problem, radiator problem is one of the auto parts that is not widely understood. If you’re a driver, you want to know when your radiator is posing problems. A faulty radiator can cause extensive damage to your car. You need to know the signs of a failing radiator so that you can fix it on time.

What is a Radiator?

When your car’s engine is on, it becomes very hot. The radiator is designed as part of the engine’s cooling system to ensure that the car is always at the right temperature. In simple terms, the radiator blows cold air and moves water and coolant within the engine. If you suspect something is wrong with your radiator, have an auto spares parts technician examine its functionality. Here are signs to look for.

  1. Coolant Leaks onto the Floor

Have you found some liquid on the floor when you move your car? The coolant moves through the radiator and so if the radiator is broken or faulty, you should see leakage underneath the car. The coolant may also leak while you are driving the car and so it becomes difficult to understand if you have a radiator problem. For a positive confirmation, a genuine auto spare parts shop conducts pressure tests to determine if the radiator has a problem. During this process, the technician pressures the radiator and adds a colored dye to the cooling system. If a leak occurs, you need to get the radiator replaced.

  • Overheating Vehicle

A car that is constantly overheating is an indication of a radiator that is malfunctioning. The overheating occurs because the engine is cooled only through the radiator. When you notice overheating, it does not mean the radiator has completely failed. All the same, you should have an auto spare parts technician or a mechanic check the system. Leaving the problem unresolved the engine can get damaged leading to more expensive repairs.

  • “Low Coolant” Indicator is On

Have you been constantly refilling the coolant? There are high chances of a leak in the radiator. If you refill the coolant but the “Low Coolant” indicator keeps flushing, take your car to a mechanic or auto spare parts shop. Stop adding any more coolant at this rate because a proper diagnosis needs to be done. Don’t drive your car without the coolant, it is a recipe for disaster.

  • Goo/Sludge on the Radiator

This sign is not easily noticeable but it occurs. The coolant is normally green or yellow. A faulty radiator causes contamination of the coolant into a rusty or brownish color. The coolant fails to drain properly and cannot cool the engine properly. It piles up on the radiator creating a sludge. This occurs because the barrier found between the coolant and transmission fluid malfunctions leading to a mix-up of the fluids. It is difficult to find the sludge on the radiator with your bare eyed but a professional mechanic or auto spares parts technician knows what to look for.

If you have noticed any of these signs, don’t wait any longer. Seek out your mechanic because you will need auto parts replacement. If you want genuine spare parts, Auto Plus Dubai deals with original OEM auto parts. You will find them offering their services 24/7.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Reasons Your Car is Overheating

Modern cars are designed with high-tech cooling system that holds multiple sensors, as well as computer-controlled fans to ensure that the engine can run smoothly in any weather. But overheating can still occur. An overheating car is a sign that something is wrong within your car and you may be in for major auto parts repairs. Read through to find out why a car may overheat.

Leakage in the Cooling System

The leakage in the cooling system does not directly lead to an overheating engine. The main cause is air sipping through the cooling system. As the coolant level drops because of a leak, it gives room for air to enter the system. Given that air is lighter than coolant, it moves to the top of the cooling system and this causes an airlock. Airlock refers to a bubble that can be forced into the cooling system through the coolant flow. This means that the cooling system malfunctions because it cannot circulate the coolant effectively, hence the overheating. You have no other way around such a problem except reaching out to a technician or an auto spare parts shop for a determination of the cause of the leakage.  

Blockage in the Cooling System

If there is no leak, you may find that there is blockage in the coolant hose. Blockage leads to poor circulation of the coolant to the radiator that is responsible for dispersing heat. When this happens your car begins to overheat. You need to have a genuine auto spares parts shop or mechanic check the cause of the blockage. Some of the reasons for a blockage include:

  • Failure of the thermostat to open as required.
  • Mineral deposits that block the radiator.
  • Dirt or foreign objects entering the cooling department and blocking the coolant hose.

Faulty Water Pump

A failing water pump is one of the most common reasons for car to overheat. The water pump plays a crucial role in the cooling system because it ensures that coolant circulation is maintained. Unfortunately, overtime, the impeller within the water pump suffers wear and tear and it malfunctions. Within a short time of the impeller breaking down, the engine starts to overheat. An experienced auto spare parts technician can identify the faulty water pump and provide a replacement or fix the impeller.

Problems in the Radiator

It is also common to find that an overheating car has a broken or faulty radiator. The radiator or its fan can be prone to leaks, breakage of the radiator cap, clogs, or other problems. When the radiator is not working properly, heat is unable to escape as required and this causes the temperatures to rise.

Poor Concentration of the Coolant

This is a problem faced in areas with extreme cold weather causing temperatures to go below freezing. The coolant can gel up leading to a blockage. The circulation of the coolant is stopped causing the overheating.

Common Repairs Required

  • Replacing the water pump.
  • Repair or replace radiator.
  • Flushing the antifreeze.
  • Replacing the thermostat.
  • Changing the coolant hose.

A genuine auto spare parts shop can provide these repairs to ensure improved performance of your car. Auto Plus Dubai is one of the companies that has been offering OEM (original) auto spares parts for many years. Reach out for all your auto parts repairs.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Signs of a Faulty Transmission Speed Sensor

Your cars’ transmission speed sensor also known as vehicle speed sensor (VSS) is the one that tells you the speed you are moving with on the road. VSS communicates this information to the engine control unit (ECU). In automatic cars, when the engine control unit receives this information, it selects the right gear to enhance efficient driving depending on your speed.  While it may seem that the sensor is one of the auto parts that can never get damaged, it is actually prone to damage.

Some Reasons that Can Cause the Sensor to Malfunction

  • Corrosion of the transmission speed sensor components
  • Loose wires
  • Cracking within the compartment of the sensor
  • Sensors moving off their shaft completely
  • Lack of efficient connection between the sensor and the ECU
  • Faulty magnetic coil

Here are the signs to watch for when the transmission speed sensor is damaged.

Damaged Cruise Control

When the transmission speed sensor is faulty, it ECU does not receive information about the speed of the car. You may be driving and you feel that the car is not maintaining its speed even when you have not applied the brakes. The ECU reacts by preventing the driver from maintaining velocity when it fails to receive reliable information. You need to have a genuine auto spares parts dealer check examine the ECU and VSS to rule out any other problems.  

Sluggish Shifting

Another common problem when the transmission speed sensor malfunctions is a feeling of longer shifting intervals. You find the car is taking longer to shift gear. The car transmission is dependent on the information it receives from the ECU and if the information is not relayed as it should, the ECU faces difficulties managing the gears. You may assume the problem is minute but there is actually a noticeable waiting period before the car changes gears. It is evident that auto parts repairs are required within the transmission speed sensor and the ECU for the car to perform efficiently.

Problems in Shifting

Difficulties shifting gears occurs for both automatic and manual cars when the sensor malfunctions. For a manual car, the stick may seem harder or rougher or even faster than it normally is. For automatic cars, the car fails to shift the gear when it should such as while climbing a hill. You should have a genuine spare parts mechanic check the sensor as soon as possible. Smooth gear changes are vital to have a safe drive. 

Failing Speedometer

You may notice that your speedometer seems erratic or does not work entirely. The most probable reason is that the dial is not getting reliable speed information and so it becomes unreliable.

Check Engine Light Comes On

When the check engine light comes on, it can be scary and confusing. The light may come on because the ECU realizes it does not get the required speed information and it triggers the light to come on because all these functions are somehow connected to the engine.

Diagnosing the Problem

If any of these problems occur, you need a genuine auto spares parts technician to conduct the right test. Diagnosis is easy because an auto parts technician plugs an electronic tool to your car’s computer and it reads the error code to determine if the sensor is malfunctioning. 

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Car Oil Changes

How much do you know about car care? Oil changes for your car is one of the way that ensures care for your car. If you’re confused about car oil changes – the right time to do the change, how often, and what to look for – then you have come to the right place. Use these tips to guide you through the process of oil changes for your car.

When Should You Change the Oil?

You should use the manufacture’s manual as your guide for oil change. Don’t come up with your own assumptions on the intervals oil changes should be done based on past behavior or car mechanics who are after your money. In truth, if you have a genuine technician or auto spares parts dealer, they can guide you on when you should do the oil changes. All the same, it is important to follow the manual. Today, many cars are fitted with service reminders that send alerts when it’s time to so oil changes.   

Do You Check Oil Levels Often?

Oil levels should be checked regularly. Most auto spares parts stores and gas stations have the dipstick that is inserted in oil compartments to check the level. The dipsticks have indicators for proper oil levels such as letters L and H (for low and high) or the words MIN and MAX to show you the right level. The right level is when the oil level is between the two marks. Also pay attention to the oil color. If it has a milky appearance, the coolant could be leaking into the engine. If you find this problem, get your car to a genuine auto spares parts dealer or mechanic for proper diagnosis.

How Often Should You Do Oil Changes?

In the past, many cars needed oil changes every 3,000 miles or after 3 months. Modern cars have advanced in regards to engines and oil requirements. Today, there are cars that need oil changes after 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Again, you need to use the owner’s manual for this information. You should know that it’s not just about the miles, it’s important to strive to have the oil always fresh. Even for those that don’t drive their cars often, you should try to make oil changes at least twice a year. This is because oil declines in efficiency as it ages. Visit your trusted auto papers parts shop or garage and get oil change for your car.

Which Oil Should You Use for Your Car?

As earlier indicated, the manufacture’s guide details the right oil for your car. Don’t just assume that synthetics oil is okay for all cars. Knowing what’s recommended in the manufacturer’s manual is also important because you can control the cost. In fact, for those with older car models, your car may need special oil. If you not sure what oil your car needs, check online or contact a genuine auto spares parts shop.

Most importantly, you should ensure that you take care of your car. Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s guide because if you don’t do oil changes, your car’s engine could suffer extensive damage.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

What Could Cause a Steering Wheel to Lockup?

Most people are scared of losing control of the car. It is likely to result in horrific consequences that most people would want to avoid. A steering wheel can lockup while the car is immobile or while you are driving. While the steering wheel is one of the auto parts that many people assume it would never cause problems, it sometimes does. Though it is a rare occurrence, you want to know you should know what can cause the problem and address the signs before it happens.

What is a Locked Up Steering?

The steering wheel is designed to lock up under certain circumstances. It is part of the vehicle’s safety mechanism to prevent the car from moving if the ignition is not started. When you insert the key and start the ignition, it inlocks the steering wheel. If for any reason the ignition system fails, the steering wheel could also lockup. However, there are situations where the ignition system is okay but the steering wheel locks up. This is a sign that you need to have a professional mechanic or auto spares parts technician evaluate the car as soon as possible.

Below are reasons the steering where can lock up:

Faulty Power Steering Pump

Most modern cars have the power steering pump that makes turning the steering wheel easy. The pump is made up of valves and linkages that can jam when something like debris is wedged inside it. The problem can even occur while the car is in motion and so it’s important to regularly have the car checked by a genuine mechanic. If the steering wheel jams, auto spares parts technicians or mechanics examine the pump and eliminate the debris to prevent the jamming.

Lock Pin

A driver can encounter a situation where the car can be driven but the driver lacks control of the steering. Such a problem can occur if the lock pin in the steering wheel mechanism fails to withdraw completely. This problem occurs when the pin and the lock plate come into contact. If you have a genuine auto spare parts dealer, the problem can be resolved without replacing the entire ignition system.

Locking Up of the Car Ignition

Your car ignition can malfunction and lockup. If the engine can’t come on or off, the steering wheel can also lockup. Professionals refers to this condition as “sudden lock up.” It is caused by fatigue failure of the ignition system and this is dangerous because it can occur even when driving in high speed. Get your car to a mechanic or a genuine spares parts technician in case you realize even minute problems with the ignition. You may find that the entire key assembly is worn out and requires replacement.

What You Should Do in Case of a Locking Steering wheel

  • Contact your mechanic to do proper tests.
  • Have the power steering pump replaced.
  • Get the car’s steering wheel column cleaned.
  • Have a genuine auto parts technician replace the ignition switch system.
  • Ensure your car is having routine maintenance, as well as fixes.
  • A mechanic should use the steering wheel lubricant oil on your car.

For any replacements of auto parts, Auto Plus Dubai is there for you. Reach out for OEM genuine spare parts for your car.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Reasons for Grinding Noises from the Brakes

One of the scariest thing for many drivers is facing faulty brakes. Faulty brakes can easily contribute to accidents because you cannot stop the car. The good thing is that most of the time, there are signs that can tell you when the brakes have a problem such as the grinding noises. However, drivers may have difficulties interpreting the grinding noises coming from the brakes. 

Why the Grinding

It is difficult to easily determine the reasons auto parts behave the way they do. For example, there are many reason why your car’s brakes may be making the grinding noises. It could be one reason or a combination of many reasons. Either way, reach out to your auto spare parts dealer when you suspect any slightest sign of wear and tear of the brakes.

You Have Not Used Your Car for a Long Time

When a car stays for a long time without being used and especially under poor storage, it can develop corrosion or rust. Many auto parts develop corrosion this way. You may notice that even when you start using your car, the rust may spread to other parts of the braking system. Just like how people, need to be active and exercise to avoid injury, you should regularly drive your car even if it is for short distances.

Damaged Rotor Discs

Rotor discs eventually wear out after years of use. They last approximately 15,000 to 20,000 miles. When they wear out, you begin to hear the grinding noises when you apply the brakes. If you have been stepping on the brakes and you hear noise resembling scraping noise, it time to reach your trusted auto spare parts dealer for replacement.

You Need To Check the Brake Pads

The brake pads are in constant contact with the rotors and caliper. Overtime, they cause damage to the brake pads leading to the grinding noise. The same advice applies here because you need a genuine auto spares parts store to get new brake pads.

Problem with the Wheel Bearings

When driving and you hear the grinding noises coming from around the wheels, you may be dealing with a damaged wheel bearing. You can determine if this is really the problem if the car vibrates softly and then loudly and this goes back and forth while you drive. A wheel bearing is made of wheel balls that are held in place by a race. If the steel balls wear out, the grinding noise occurs and your tires start to wear out in patches. Make sure you can get new auto spare parts as soon as possible because if left unchecked, the damage can extend to other auto parts.

Poor Lubrication

You should ensure that brake caliper bolts and other small parts in the braking system are well lubricated. If the caliper bolts are old or worn out, an auto spare parts dealer can easily replace them.

Damaged Shims

Just like the caliper bolts, small parts like the shims should be in good condition. The brake shim refers to a metal or rubber placed in between the rotors and brake pads. If the shims are damaged, the grinding noises appear but you can have this fixed easily. Brake shims are easily found in auto parts stores and it takes minutes to change them.

For OEM auto spare parts, reach out to Auto Plus Dubai. Auto Plus has been dealing with auto spare parts for more than 15 years.

Monday, April 1st, 2019