Talking About Automotive Upkeep

Five Telltale Signs Of Impending Wheel Bearing Failure

Posted by on 1-01-17 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Telltale Signs Of Impending Wheel Bearing Failure

Those odd noises and vibrations you’ve noticed for the past few hundred miles might not be your run-of-the-mill repair issue. Instead, you could be faced with a wheel bearing issue. Just like your brakes and shocks, your car’s wheel bearings aren’t designed to last forever. Although they’re designed to last for countless thousands of miles, they’ll eventually wear out at some point. The following offers five telltale signs that usually indicate worn-out wheel bearings.

Persistent Grinding or Grating Noises

As the metal components within the wheel bearing wear down, the resulting metal-on-metal contact can produce grinding or grating sounds. The sounds can be heard throughout your vehicle and they often become louder as vehicle speeds increase. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming just by listening to the wheels, so it’s always a good idea to have a trusted mechanic track down the culprit by inspecting each wheel carefully.

Steel or Alloy Wheels That Are Hot to the Touch

It’s not unusual for your wheels to be a little warm after a long journey, but a wheel that’s hot to the touch may indicate a worn-out bearing on that wheel. Wheel bearings can create tremendous amounts of friction as they wear out. This friction generates large amounts of heat that eventually radiate throughout the wheel, making it hot to the touch. Hot wheels can also raise tire air pressures by several psi, so it’s important to check your tires while checking your wheels.

Steering Wheel Vibration and Loose Steering

If you’ve noticed your car’s steering feels a bit loose or you can feel vibrations through the steering wheel, then chances are your wheel bearings could be the culprit. Wheel bearings can exhibit varying amounts of play as they wear down, resulting in excessive wheel movement that transmits vibrations through your steering components.

This movement can be detected and even replicated once you have your vehicle lifted off the ground. By gently rocking the wheel with your hands on the top and bottom of the wheel, you may be able to induce that play and even hear a small amount of knocking in the wheel bearing.

Steering wheel vibrations can also be caused by tire balance issues, but these vibrations typically show up only at higher speeds. Vibrations caused by a worn-out wheel bearing wheel appear at lower speeds and become progressively worse as speeds increase.

Uneven Tire Wear

In addition to steering wheel vibrations, there’s another negative effect that failing wheel bearings can have on your tires. The lateral movement caused by failing wheel bearings can also create irregular wear patterns in your tire tread, leading to a shorter tire lifespan and increased vibration.

Keep in mind that failed wheel bearings aren’t the only reason for a tire to wear unevenly. You’ll also want to rule out common suspension-related issues that could contribute to tire wear, including poor alignment, improperly inflated tires, and worn-out CV joints, shocks, and struts.

Unexplained ABS Failures

Your car’s anti-lock brake system (ABS) has a close relationship with your wheel bearings. On most modern vehicles, the ABS tone ring is integrated into the wheel bearing. If the wheel bearing fails, then there’s also a good chance that the tone ring can become damaged. This can cause unexplained errors and behavior from your ABS system. In some cases, it can even cause the ABS system to cease functioning at all.

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, then you should have your vehicle checked out by your trusted mechanic from an auto shop like Jensen Tire & Auto as soon as possible. Allowing these problems to go on could result in a catastrophic failure later on.

Animal Owners: 4 Horse Trailer Mistakes That Can Lead To Serious Injuries

Posted by on 5-05-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Animal Owners: 4 Horse Trailer Mistakes That Can Lead To Serious Injuries

Two million people in the United States own just over 9 million horses, and the horse industry brings significant revenue to the country, raising nearly $40 billion annually. Unsurprisingly, as part of this thriving industry, owners must often move their horses around, and horse trailers are a common sight on American roads. Nonetheless, if you don’t handle the trailer and its contents correctly, you can seriously injure your horse. Find out about four common mistakes horse trailer owners make that can easily lead to serious injuries for their horses.

Improper use of hay nets

Horses love to feed, and it’s a good idea to make sure the animals have plenty of food to last a long journey. For many horse owners, hay nets are a great way to stock up on feed. By suspending the net from the roof of the trailer, you can give the horse a plentiful supply of hay that he or she can easily get to.

However, used improperly, hay nets are dangerous. Empty hay nets can slowly sag towards the floor of the trailer. If the net sags low enough, the material can get close to a horse’s leg, increasing the risk that the animal will get tangled in the netting. As well as causing stress, this situation can also damage the horse’s tendons.

As such, when you use a hay net, you must make sure you hang the device high enough to avoid dangerous sagging when the netting is empty. 

Failure to properly use leg wraps

When you’re carrying more than one horse, it’s always advisable to use leg wraps. Horse boots and wraps protect horses from injuries that their traveling companions can cause. There are various devices on the market, but quilted or padded wraps are often a popular choice. You can even buy special chaps for horses!

Wraps are also good for horses in transit after an event or show jumping, when the device helps control any swelling. That aside, it’s a good idea to invest in high-quality products made from breathable materials, which can actually keep the animal’s legs cool. When wrapped too tightly or with the wrong materials, wraps can trap heat against the horse’s leg and cause an injury.

Poor horse training

Horses won’t instinctively wander in and out of a trailer without training. The confined space of a trailer may seem dangerous to your horse, so you need to prepare the animal for the experience. You can use obstacle training and simulated confined spaces outdoors before the horse has to contend with a real trailer, and you need plenty of time in and out of the trailer with the horse before your first run on the road.

Similarly, horses won’t instinctively know how to back out of the trailer, and if you don’t show the animal what to do, he or she may panic, which can lead to a serious injury. Even if you drive a larger trailer, you never know when you may need to transfer the animal to a smaller, more confined vehicle, so it’s important to prepare the animal. Have the animal step up with his or her front feet into the trailer and then quickly back off. Keep repeating this exercise until the horse is more comfortable.

Failure to control insect infestation

Trailer owners may not regularly use their vehicle, especially at certain times of the year. As such, horse trailers can sit unattended in barns or sheds, where they may attract unwanted insects. These insects can alarm and aggravate a horse. Some insects, like wasps, may even injure your horse.

To make matters worse, if you don’t check for problematic insects, you probably won’t notice the issue until you get on the road. If a wasp or bee stings a horse while you’re in transit, the animal is likely to panic, which could result in an even more serious injury. As such, you should always check your trailer for pests and insects before you use it, especially if you haven’t taken the trailer out for some time.

If you don’t use your horse trailer properly, you could easily injure your horses. Make sure you buy the right type of trailer, and make sure you use the vehicle safely, or you could face expensive veterinary bills.

3 Signs To Look For When Buying A Used Car You Suspect May Have Been Submerged During A Flood

Posted by on 4-04-16 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs To Look For When Buying A Used Car You Suspect May Have Been Submerged During A Flood

If you have found a used car you are thinking about buying, you may be concerend about the possibility of it having sustained flood damage, especially if you live in an area prone to floods. If so, look for the following signs that the car may have been submerged in water during a flood.

Make Sure All Of The VIN Numbers Match

While the VIN number is typically viewable on the dashboard, it can also be found in other areas of the car, such as on the door frame or engine. If the numbers do not match, there is a possibility that the previous owner replaced parts on the vehicle that showed obvious signs of water damage. 

However, this is not a sure sign that the car has been flooded. It is also possible that the parts were switched out for other reasons, unless you also see the other signs discussed below. Ask the seller about the mismatched numbers to clarify the history. If necessary, you can also want to obtain a free VIN report for each one to find out if the numbers are associated with the car’s make and model.

Look For Excessive Rust Under The Hood

While looking under the hood at the engine to find the VIN number, also inspect the condition of the engine, hoses and transmission. Especially if the car is not very old, you should see minimal to no rust on the mechanical parts. Also, the hoses should be intact without any signs of deterioration.

However, if you see excessive rust on the engine block or around the bolts, this could be a sign that the motor was submerged in water. If so, there is a possibility that there is still water inside the engine block that seaped in through the header gaskets.

Water in the block could eventually cause the gaskets to rot, leading to water in your engine’s oil. You can check to see if this has already occurred by starting and running the car for a few minutes. Then, turn off the engine, and check the oil’s dipstick.

If the oil is the consistency of a chocolate milkshake, water has contaminated it. Shortly after this occurs, the engine may seize up while operating due to lack of lubrication, requiring a new one to be installed.

Also, if the hoses look brittle or cracked, they could have been waterlogged and then dried out. Although they may appear dry, rot could set in, creating the possibility of them breaking loose or leaking.

Inspect The Dash For Dried Mud In The Crevices

After inspecting the motor, carefully inspect the interior of the vehicle. While doing this, pay very close attention. Although the dashboard and upholstery may have been diligently cleaned, there may still be leftover signs that the car was flooded with water enough to fill the passenger compartment.

One particular place to examine is the crevices and cracks of the dashboard. Because these are fairly difficult to clean completely, dried mud may still be caked inside them. If you are unable to see any mud, run the end of a straightened paper clip inside. If you see light brown or black residue, this could be river mud that was not completely removed. If black, it could also mean mold is growing inside the dashboard.

If you notice one or more of the above signs, the vehicle you wish to purchase may have been involved in a flood. To be sure, you may want to contact a service that provides free VIN history reports that will list any accidents or natural disasters the car was subjected to or click here for more info.

The Wheels On The Truck Go Round And Round: 5 Things To Look For With High Mileage Semis

Posted by on 10-10-15 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Wheels On The Truck Go Round And Round: 5 Things To Look For With High Mileage Semis

One of the key factors when considering the purchase of commercial trucks for sale is the mileage on a truck. The wear and tear on the road can make a huge difference in the life of a truck. It’s not as simple as looking at a number and accepting it at face value. As you browse through sales and listings, the mileage on the truck can be broken down into a number of different factors. By understanding what you’re looking for, you can make a purchase that makes sense for your trucking needs and budget. The following five things should be considered when you’re seriously considering a semi truck purchase.

Total Mileage

As you read mileage listings for used trucks you may notice a lot higher numbers than typical automobiles. A standard automobile typically has a life of around 250,000 miles. For trucks, reaching 250,000 miles is nothing. This is because trucks were built to run at high speeds and last for numerous years. This means that if you see a used truck with over 500,000 miles, you should not have the same concern as if it was a regular automobile.

The diesel engines in these trucks can also help them run cleaner and smoother than traditional gasoline engines. It’s important to compare truck mileage to truck mileage and not to the mileage for your regular automobile at home.

Long Haulers & City Haulers

Every mile that the truck puts on the engine is also a factor in determining the quality and age. Many semi trucks are used as long haulers. This means that the trucks will travel on long stretches of highway with minimal braking or speed changes. This does little to the wear and tear of the engine as miles are racked up. If the truck was primarily a city hauler, then you may be concerned about the stop and go traffic that it encountered during its life on the road.

By requesting a truck history report, you can decide the risk you take on purchasing a 500,000 mile truck that has been used as a long hauler versus a city hauler. The engine life and performance will be a lot different.

Engine Rebuilds

Diesel semi truck engines are made for easy repairs and rebuilding. Instead of removing the whole engine block and replacing it, separate components can be properly maintained through the years. When looking at the mileage for the truck, it’s also a good idea to consider the number of engine rebuilds and maintenance that it has gone through. For example, a semi truck with 750,000 miles and two engine rebuilds may be better suited than a truck with 450,000 and no engine maintenance. You could end up paying for more repairs and replacement parts in the long run.

A trucking log should give detailed information about the exact repairs that were done. This can also help you keep with the same repairs on the same time schedule if you choose to purchase the truck.

Driver Safety History

Two of the exact same trucks with 500,000 driver miles may seem the same on the surface until you look into the driver safety history. Trucking accident history could have a dramatic effect on the performance of a truck. In some cases, it could be a good thing if everything was repaired, cleaned out, and replaced as needed. The truck may have the miles, but could be performing longer due to the new parts.


Another important factor of the mileage on a used truck is the tires that it has driven on. To ensure that you don’t end up paying extra in the future, you should check out the condition of truck tires. Not only should you see how the current tires are, but you should examine any spare tires attached to the truck.

A driver history may also showcase any tire accidents that have occurred. This includes blown tires, leaking tires, tie alignment, or damaged truck rims. As you invest in a truck, you want the tires to last as long as possible without any costly problems.

A little research can go a long way when purchasing a used semi truck. Understanding how to break down truck mileage will help you have the best success with your purchase.

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