Tangent and Albany Auto Repair

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Monthly Archives: June 2024

My Diesel Blow White Smoke. Why?

Seeing white smoke from your diesel engine can be alarming. Not only is it a sign that something isn’t right, but it can also indicate other underlying issues that may need immediate attention.  White smoke from a diesel engine often indicates the presence of un-burned fuel or coolant in the exhaust system. When these substances are not properly combusted, they create a white vapor that exits through the exhaust. Typically un-burnt fuel causes black smoke, but we have seen it cause white smoke as well.  The primary reason for white smoke is a coolant leak. When coolant leaks into the combustion chamber - and it doesn't belong there. It mixes with the diesel fuel, causing incomplete combustion. This result can be from a damaged head gasket, a cracked engine block, or a faulty cylinder head. A sure sign of a coolant leak is a sweet smell accompanying the white smoke or a noticeable drop in the coolant level.  Another common reason for white smoke is ... read more



Why Is My Car's A/C Blowing Hot Air?

Why Is My Car's A/C Blowing Hot Air? Experiencing a blast of hot air from your car's A/C on a scorching day can be frustrating. Several factors might be causing this issue.  Refrigerant Leak One of the primary reasons your car's A/C might be blowing hot air is a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant is essential for cooling the air inside your car, and if there’s a leak, the A/C system can’t function properly. Leaks can occur due to damaged hoses, connections, or the compressor itself. The A/C compressor will not turn on if the refrigerant is low.  Faulty Compressor The compressor is where the magic happens. It compresses the refrigerant and circulates it through the system. If the compressor fails, the refrigerant won't move, and you’ll get nothing but warm air. If you're compressor is failing or has failed it may make strange noises and typically you will have a complete lack of cooling.  Clogged Condenser The refrigerant gets hot ... read more


Air conditioning

What Causes a Diesel Engine to Run Away?

Youu might have heard the term "diesel engine runaway." This frightening phenomenon occurs when a diesel engine revs uncontrollably, often leading to severe damage if not promptly addressed. Understanding the causes behind this issue can help prevent it and help prepare you if it ever occurs. A diesel engine runaway happens when the engine starts to consume fuel uncontrollably. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines rely on compression to ignite the fuel, which means they can run on a variety of fuel sources, including engine oil or other flammable substances that might find their way into the combustion chamber. This is where the problem begins. One common cause of diesel engine runaway is a failure in the turbocharger. The turbocharger, which boosts engine power by forcing more air into the combustion chamber, can leak oil from its seals into the intake system. When this oil gets into the combustion chamber, the engine treats it as fuel. Since the engine can keep ru ... read more

Why Does My Car Die While Driving?

Experiencing your car dying while driving can be a startling and stressful event. Understanding the possible reasons behind this issue is essential for both safety and peace of mind. Let's explore some common causes for this problem and how they can be addressed. Fuel System Issues A common culprit for a car dying while on the move is a fuel system problem. If your fuel pump fails or your fuel filter is clogged, the engine might not be getting the fuel it needs to keep running. Regular maintenance, including fuel filter replacement and checking the fuel pump, can help prevent these issues.  Electrical Problems Electrical issues can also lead to your car shutting off unexpectedly. A failing alternator, for example, might not charge the battery properly, leading to a sudden loss of power. Similarly, problems with the wiring or ignition system can disrupt the electrical flow necessary for the engine to function. Keeping an eye on your battery’s health and having your el ... read more



Why is my pickup overheating?

Overheating can be a serious concern for any vehicle, especially pickup trucks, which are often subjected to heavy loads and tough driving conditions. As an automotive expert, I'll guide you through the common reasons why your pickup might overheat and what steps you can take to prevent this issue, ensuring your truck runs efficiently and safely. Understanding Overheating in Pickup Trucks: Overheating occurs when your engine's temperature exceeds its normal operating range, and it can lead to significant engine damage if not addressed promptly. Several factors can contribute to your pickup truck overheating, from simple maintenance overlooks to more serious mechanical failures. Common Causes of Overheating: Cooling System Leaks: One of the most common causes of overheating is a leak in the cooling system. Hoses, the radiator, water pump, thermostat housing, and the heater core are all common leak points. Coolant leaks reduce the overall fluid level, impairing the system&rsquo ... read more



Why should I have my shocks and struts replaced?

The shocks on your vehicle, often paired with struts, play a crucial role in maintaining a smooth and stable ride. They are key components of your vehicle's suspension system, ensuring that your car handles road irregularities with ease, maintaining comfort and safety. However, like all mechanical parts, shocks wear out over time and need replacing to ensure optimal vehicle performance. As an automotive expert, I’m here to guide you through why keeping your shocks in good condition is essential for your driving experience. Shocks are essentially hydraulic pump-like devices that help control the impact and rebound movement of your vehicle's springs and suspension. Apart from smoothing out bumps and vibrations, they also keep your tires in constant contact with the road, which enhances safety and control. When shocks begin to wear, they can no longer perform these critical functions effectively. The primary reason to replace old shocks is for safety. Worn shocks reduce th ... read more



Why did my turbocharger stop making boost?

A turbocharger is a critical component in enhancing the performance of your vehicle by forcing extra air into the combustion chamber, thereby increasing power without the need for a larger engine. However, when a turbocharger is not producing the desired boost, it can lead to a noticeable drop in engine performance and efficiency. Understanding why your turbocharger might not be making boost is the first step in solving this issue and getting back to optimal vehicle operation. Common Causes of Turbocharger Boost Issues: Turbocharger problems can stem from a variety of issues, ranging from simple fixes to more complex mechanical failures. Here are some common reasons why your turbocharger may not be performing as expected: Leaks in the Intake or Exhaust System: One of the most common causes of reduced turbo boost is a leak in the intake or exhaust system. Any leak in the intake path between the turbocharger and the engine can result in less air entering the engine, reducing boost. Sim ... read more



Are you road trip ready?

The open highway beckons, promising adventure and escape. But before you buckle up and blast the tunes, a little preparation can ensure your road trip is smooth sailing (or cruising, as the case may be). This guide will equip you with the knowledge to get your car road-ready and yourself packed and prepped for an unforgettable journey.   First off get a Checkup:  Schedule a pre-trip inspection. They'll ensure your car is in tip-top shape, checking fluids, tires, belts, hoses, and lights. Fluids and Filters: Fresh oil, coolant, and wiper fluid are essential. Consider replacing air filters for optimal engine performance and cabin comfort. Tire Talk:  Check tire pressure and tread depth. Don't forget the spare! A roadside tire change is much easier with a properly inflated spare. You can request this to be checked at your vehicle inspection.  Pack an Emergency Kit:  Be prepared for minor mishaps. Include a jack, lug wrench, jumper cables, flares, a fla ... read more


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