Why Is My Steering Wheel Shaking?

As a driver you need to be aware of unusual signs that your car displays while you’re driving. Strange sounds or movements could mean that there is a problem with the car. If the steering wheel is shaking, there is a possibility that the problem is with the wheels or tyres.

At the top of the list of problems is whether any of the wheels is unbalanced. Unbalanced wheels are caused by worn or deflated or underinflated tyres.

Misaligned wheels could also be the cause of your steering wheel shaking so much. Alignment problems could cause damage to your tyres making future drives uncomfortable and irritating.

There is a possibility that one of the side walls of the tyre is damaged. It could either be the front or the rear one depending on whether you have a front wheel driving or rear wheel driving car. The shaking will only be felt if the rack and pinion gear is connected directly to the axle.

A damaged sidewall is incredibly dangerous and you should get a new tyre replacement before you end up in an accident. The sidewall can’t be destroyed and be fixed later on. Once this part is torn, you need to replace it immediately. Unfortunately, because there is so much tension in this part of the tyre it cannot be fixed.

You will also feel the shaking and vibrating if the rack and pinion is damaged or any other parts of the wheel are damaged including the ball bearings, rods and nuts. If any of these components are worn down it will usually feel like the motion factor of the car is about to fall apart with the slightest bump.

If you live in a muddy or snowy area, there are chances that the debris picked up along the way has gotten embedded into the components. This might be the easiest problem to fix as nothing was damaged and your car was manufactured to be prepared for this sort of situation. It may only require a thorough clean.

Also consider whether there are exterior factors that may cause the shaking. This could include underinflated tyres, worn treads or whether the edging of the tyre has been worn out. In that case, you may only need to go to a tyre supplier to have the tyres replaced.

You will only feel the shaking or vibrating of the steering wheel whilst you drive but make sure that you get it checked. It is best to trust the professionals because they will always be able to help you with tasks that you are not familiar with.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Checking the Wheel Bearings on Your Car

Firstly, what is a wheel bearing? If you have ever seen that metal ring that encloses what looks like steel balls, you know you are looking at a bearing. The purpose of a bearing is to allow as little friction as possible when the wheel is spinning during motion.

To check for a bad wheel bearing without having to drive, place the car in neutral and check that the hand brake has been disengaged. The car has to be lifted to check for free motion of the wheels whilst you do this test. Spin the wheels a couple of times to check their movement and motion. They should both be spinning freely without too much input from you. This is an indication that the wheel bearing is fine. If one of the wheels needs more force and pressure to spin, it means that the bearing is worn or faulty.

You know that you need to check or possibly replace the bearing if it starts making noise whilst it drives. The only problem then will be that you will have to troubleshoot what is causing the noise, since the car has to be in motion to produce that sound.

The noise that you should be listening out for is a dull and blunt sound. This noise sounds like a bunch or marbles rolling on brick paving. Remember that the wheel bearing is, in a way, a bunch of steel marbles in a metal ring.

Checking which side the faulty or worn bearing is requires for you to get in your car and take a quick drive down the road. Sway the car from left to right as gently as you can to listen out for the noise. If you turn or sway left and no noise is heard then the bad bearing could be on the right side. If the sound gets stronger and louder as you drive faster, you know for a fact that it is the wheel bearing or ball bearings that need to be replaced with brand new ones.

Your car is known for making all sorts of sounds. The chances are high that the dull sound you are hearing is from the tyres going over bigger pieces of rubble. Listen carefully for all the sounds, especially the unusual ones.

Before making any assumptions and deciding to take the time to replace the wheel bearing, take the car in to a professional. A wheel supplier or a car specialist will know the exact sound to be listening for.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What Colour Should Brake Fluid Be?

The whole braking systems works completely on hydraulics. The liquid used within the braking system is a solvent and silicone mixture which makes up one chemical that won’t corrode the linings of the system. The brake fluid is made with these elements because the brakes need to react immediately after applying pressure to the pedal.

All brake fluid is almost the exact same colour with little to no differences. The different types of fluids are called DOT 3, 4 and 5. The oil is made for the type of vehicle you drive and how much force the car needs to come to a complete stop once the brakes are applied.

Overall, all brake fluid should have a light colour that looks like oil. The darker the hue of the liquid gets, the older it actually is. So it needs to be changed occasionally to optimal driving performance.

When the brake fluid is brown to black, you need to flush out the liquid and replace it with new brake fluid. The easiest way to purge the system is by disengaging the pipe that runs to the brakes and continuously push down on the brake pedals. You can do this activity on your own but it’s quicker if you have someone assisting you by pushing on the pedal whilst you analyse what type of liquid is being released.

Dark or different coloured fluid could mean that your car is collecting debris and injecting the particles into the braking system. A contaminated system could cause problems for you when you are driving. There is a possibility that the rubbish could block up the entire system thus making the braking action an impossible task. Hence this could become dangerous.

The fluid is supposed to be checked every time you do maintenance on your car. Usually when your vehicle goes in for a service, the brake fluid is one of the first things that the technician will check.

If you are experiencing problems when you brake or apply the brakes then you need to take your car to a centre that specialises in brake and clutch repairs. It might be easier and cheaper for you to do your own home repair job but sometimes a professional can assist and give you advice if contamination occurs.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that if brake fluid has the ingredients mentioned on the container and you find another liquid in the system, such as water that was not mentioned on the label, you need to flush the system. A technician will never accidentally add an unnecessary ingredient in mechanical systems.

Car Servicing at Regular Intervals – A Great Way to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Performance

Are you a proud owner of a car? Investing your hard earned money on buying a vehicle is truly an achievement that makes you feel out of the world. Often it becomes difficult to afford a brand new vehicle due to the involvement of a huge investment, exceeding your budget. Isn’t it? But, the used cars are affordable and a great option anytime when you think of the importance of cars in your day to day life. Owning a car help you to use the vehicle at any point of time for whatever reason you want.

However, purchasing a car involves routine maintenance and servicing at definite intervals. The car can function poorly after a certain period of time due to wear and tear, pollution, weather conditions, and daily use of the vehicle. To avoid any such problems and enjoy a tension free ownership, it is very important to maintain and service your car from time to time.

Are you aware of the benefits that you can enjoy with the routine car servicing and maintenance process?

· The right auto repairing shop and regular servicing schedule of your car can help you in saving a lot of money. Wondering how? If the vital components of your car like engine oil and fluid levels, inflation level of the tire are checked and change of filters, brakes, and spark plugs are done at predetermined intervals, it reduces the chance of any major breakdown of the car, thereby, saving a huge sum in repairing your car.

· Often the gas prices become unstable. In such situations, regular maintenance can help you in keeping your expenses low. It reduces your vehicle’s operating cost and increases gas mileage.

· Your vehicle can have additional damage if you avoid regular servicing. If you ignore your car, it might stop functioning completely requiring you to invest extensively in auto repair. Commuting in a well-maintained car increases its life.

· Regular maintenance of your car can ward off any unwanted problems, breakdowns, and delays while traveling to reach your destination.

· Servicing your car at definite intervals can help you maintain the value of your car. To get a good price for your vehicle while you plan to sell it off, auto servicing in a timely manner becomes very important.

Plan your vehicle maintenance and servicing soon to keep your car in great working condition and also save a lot of money. Enjoy driving your vehicle at any point of time with regular servicing and maintenance.

Why Buy a New Battery When You Can Recondition Your Lead Acid Battery?

I have restored old batteries with this simple method.

The only required materials are a dead battery, distilled water and a homemade battery charger.

This process should restore any dead lead acid type due to old age or use. First of all, inspect the for any physical defects like Burnt connectors, melted plastic housing, warped battery sides or visibly warped or badly damaged plates inside are signs of damage.

These defects are signals that a battery can’t restored.

If no visible signs of damage are present, then most likely it can be restored using this method.

First, wash the battery thoroughly with lots of water and baking soda. A soft brush is useful for any oil or dirt stuck on the body. Dish soap can also be used to clean very dirty batteries. The baking soda reacts with the battery acid, rendering it harmless.

Next, carefully pry off the cell covers with a screwdriver. Wear old clothing or an apron to protect your clothes from battery acid. Acid will quickly eat through clothing.

Set the covers aside. Now you may want to use a Shop Vacuum machine to clean out any larger dirt particles. Be careful not to let any dirt fall into the cells. Take a damp paper towel and clean the area around the cell holes.

Fill the cells to just above the plates with distilled water. Do not use anything except for distilled water. Tap water has minerals that will corrode your battery. Some have a plastic cover over the plates. Fill to just above the top of the plastic cover. It is easier to use a smaller bottle to avoid messes when pouring.

Pour slowly to prevent over filling. The battery is now ready for charging. A very old and used battery can take over 20 ounces of distilled water!.

Now is time to charge back. Conventional battery chargers will most likely not be able to charge or you would not be on this article in the first place. The special pulsed radiant energy used in the Charger breaks up the sulfation on the battery plates and restore the battery to full power.

It may take multiple cycles on the charger to restore a very old battery. Often, as it nears its top charge level, you may want to slowly discharge and recharge it on the Charger again. With each cycle the battery will gain usable energy until it is fully charged. An auto light bulb and some wires are useful to slowly discharge. Be careful and watch the voltage while doing this. Do not discharge the battery below 11.5 volts so as not to cause any harm to the part. Recharge and repeat as needed until the battery is fully topped off. A fully charge will sit between 13.5 volts to 14.5 volts when finished.

Be very careful when working with batteries. Never work on a lead acid battery indoors. Always work in a well ventilated area. Batteries release explosive gases when being charged. Be careful working around battery acid. It is very corrosive and will burn skin, clothes and tools. Be sure to wash hands and tools thoroughly after working with lead acid batteries.

Are you interested in a more deep information? Please leave a comment to discover that reconditioning batteries can be a very profitable business.

Brake Pad Replacement: When to Get New Brake Pads

The brakes are one of the most changed parts on your car. Why? They get changed so often because they are also used the most. Think about it. To slow down you use them, to stop at a traffic light or at intersection you use them again. You use them all the time while you’re driving. So when should you get your brakes replaced?

Driving habits are important when it comes to your brakes. Many drivers tend to stop abruptly which does cause your brake pads to wear away faster. The key to stopping is to do it gradually and smoothly to avoid wearing away the pads.

We are living in an era where traffic is normal. Did you know that the more you use your brakes, the shorter their lifespan is? The pads work as a clasp and every time they get used they wear away a little more each time.

You can often tell when your car requires new brakes. A squealing and scraping noise often means that something has to be replaced. The squealing is caused by worn out surfaces rubbing or pushing against the discs. The sounds that the car should not make include grinding, squealing, screeching and clicking. Note that any sounds the brakes make indicate that a brake pad replacement is imminent.

If your car does not stop correctly when you apply pressure on the brakes then you need to make it an urgent task to get it replaced. If it feels like the car is jumpy or vibrating whilst you are applying the brakes it could mean that the rotors are warped. The rotor is what assists the car to brake correctly and smoothly.

Check the pads regularly to make sure that they are not thinning. If it is thin it can lead to a weaker system that will eventually not allow the brakes to work at all.

If your car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes it could mean that one side has worn more than the other. The car could pull to one side without the help of the steering wheel. This is dangerous as your car should not be making turns unless you are the one enforcing it.

You should always make sure that the brakes get checked whenever you take it in for a service. Any damage that has been done has to be fixed immediately so that you can avoid any accidents.

How to Change a Tyre on Your Own

There might be a time in your life where you will have to change the tyre of your car. Many people are unable to do this task because they were never taught how to. Here is a simplified tutorial on how to change the tyre safely and efficiently.

Before you do anything you need to make sure that you have all the necessary tools. This list includes a lug wrench or tyre iron, a jack, an inflated tyre and the manual as the manufacturers may have specific instructions.

Upon realising that you have a flat tyre you must drive extremely carefully. Don’t suddenly brake or turn as it could damage your wheels. Slowly reduce the speed and park in a place where you are safe and off the road.

Once you have stopped in a safe location engage the handbrake to prevent the car from moving whilst you are changing the tyre. It’s also important to engage the handbrake as you need the wheel to be still.

It would be wise to put bricks or wedges behind and in front of the tyres that don’t need to be changed so that your car is safely static in one place.

Now you can remove the hubcap so that the lug nuts are exposed for removal. The hubcap can be removed with the tyre iron by using the flat part. There is a clip on it that shouldn’t be too difficult to remove.

When placing the jack under the car, the best place to put it would be as close to the flat tyre as possible, along the edge of the body of the car. Your car has to be fifteen centimetres off the ground. You can now remove the lug nuts.

To remove the lug nuts, use the wrench with the correct fitment and turn counter-clockwise. When dealing with any screws, bottle caps, water taps keep the following rule in mind: “lefty-loosy, righty tighty”. Turn left to loosen the screw and right to tighten the screw. At this point you don’t need to completely remove the lug nuts. You can remove the tyre by pulling it towards you gently until it disengages from the wheel axle.

The dirty part is now completed and it’s time to put a new and air-filled tyre onto your car. Align the tyre with the wheel and the lug bolts so that they fit together properly. Place the nuts back on and tighten them as much as you can. Tighten them with the wrench once the car has been lowered back onto the ground. Finally you can put the hubcap back on the same way you took it off.

Before any of this occurs, ensure that a wheel supplier is able to give you a wheel that is similar to what you have. So when you get a punctured tyre, you will have a spare tyre that looks the same as the others.

It’s important to have general knowledge of your car so that if you encounter a problem you can fix it or handle it yourself.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dealing With Gear Issues on an Automatic Car

The most luxurious cars in the world are automatic cars with stunning finishes. Unfortunately, the best cars also gain problems over time and it should be taken seriously. Gear Issues are problems that are associated with the gearbox.

Sometimes your car will leak fluid from the transmission. This might be one of the serious problems because if it doesn’t get sorted out you could have a problem shifting gears. Irregular shifting could destroy the gearbox because the incorrect gear could be engaged during the wrong speed. For example, if you are driving fast on a highway and your car changes to the first gear, you could break the teeth because it cannot handle that speed. The first gear is always bigger in diameter because of the force required to do the initial movement.

The transmission can also experience oil leakage. This fluid looks red. It comes from the filler tube base that is located between the engine and transmission, the drain hole, the selector shaft, or the radiator. No oil leakage is good as it means that there is a hole somewhere allowing air to move into the car. Oil is also the source of lubrication inside the engine and keeps the mechanisms cool.

The filter could get clogged at any time. The filter inside the car keeps the oil clean keeping any dust or particles out of the engine. Oil supplies the car with lubrication so that there is no friction. Friction is what causes overheating and worn out parts. If you are experiencing delayed shifting and oil leaking it is likely that the filter has been clogged. This filter also keeps the dust away from the gearbox whilst it shifts. If you experience delayed shifting it could mean that there is something blocking the system from making smooth motions.

Shifting gears incorrectly can be easily felt. It often sounds like the engine is groaning if it has gone up one gear too many. This will lead to a slow pulling motion which will not allow the car to move faster until it regains its speed again.

Automatic cars are tougher to fix when it comes to gearbox problems because these cars don’t have a manual clutch. However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible but never repair your car on your own if you are not sure what to do. A clutch and brake fitment centre should have the knowledge to fix the problem with ease.

How to Clean Contaminated Brake Pads

Contaminated brake pads are never a good sign. You can usually tell that there is something wrong with the brake pads when they grab or pull whilst you are applying pressure to the pedal. This could become dangerous because the more worn out your braking system becomes the tougher it is to stop the car.

Contamination is caused by dust getting between the brake pads and brake discs with normal everyday driving. As the dust builds up it scratches the face of the brakes and wears away pads to a point where braking is difficult and requires more use of the emergency brake.

When cleaning the brake pads you can gently wipe away any residue that you can see using a soft cloth. Apply copper slip to the components to seal the damage. Copper slip is used in mechanisms and machines on static parts that should not move. Moving parts include bearings where lubrication is required. Copper slip also helps to prevent the squealing sound when you apply the brakes. It also helps to prevent a seizure. This can damage the system badly causing you to have irreparable brakes and discs.

Once you have applied the copper slip on both parts you should test it to see if your handy work helped. You can drive the car and slow down until you feel it braking hard. It is suggested that you wait for some white smoke to come from the brakes. This means that the excess has been removed thus you no longer have contaminated brakes and you can drive safely.

You don’t have to remove any components in order to apply the copper slip as this would require professional help and tools. It isn’t a necessary step as the copper is there to prevent oxidation.

Never let your brakes get to this point as it could become dangerous. Although your hand brake is present, it shouldn’t be used for this purpose. The hand brake is only to be used in order to stop your car from rolling while parked. If you ever run into a problem like this it is best to undergo brake repairs to be on the safer side.

Always be aware of any issues your car may have. It might not seem as a big problem at the time but over a time you could end up having a wrecked car with damaged car parts. Don’t take sounds your car makes light heartedly as it could be a bigger problem than you think.

5 Monsoon Car Care Tips We All Should Know

Monsoons are around the corner and will bring relief from the long torrid summers throughout the country. As nice the notion of rains is after the sweltering heat of June, the fact remains that a monsoon brings the great amount of chaos in a day to day life. Heavy downpours bring flooding, traffic jams, water logging and take a huge toll our beloved cars. They have to endure many problems such as acid rains, rust smelly interiors and bring a lot of headaches to car enthusiasts like us. But don’t worry, here are some simple yet important tips that you can follow to keep your car in mint condition during the rains.

1) Exteriors:
Taking care of the body of the car is essential in the monsoons as the rain is mildly acidic in nature and has an adverse affect on the car’s paint and underbody. You can avoid it by using a good quality wax or a polish regularly during the season. The polish forms a thin coat on the painted surface and does not let water stick to it. A good quality polish will also ensure that rain water does not affect the car paint. An underbody anti- rust treatment is also recommended once every two to three years. It generally does not cost much and has excellent long-term benefits.

2) Interiors:
the rainy season brings in a lot of odours in the cars, be it due to moisture or wet carpets or otherwise. Invest in getting the car thoroughly cleaned up before the rainy season to get rid of all the dirt and grime which may bring those foul smells in the cabin. You may also invest in a good deodorizer or perfume so as to enjoy a pleasant drive every time you go for a drive.

3) Clean windscreen:
People usually have their windscreen wipers in bad shape. Rubber hardens over time, which significantly reduces the wiper’s effectiveness. Besides the hazy view out when it’s raining, a bad wiper will leave permanent scratches on your expensive windscreen. Change them whenever you feel they are getting hard.

4) Electricals & Lighting:
make sure to check all the loose or weak electrical connections, patch them up. Make sure external wires are insulated. Ensure that the head lights and tail lights are working properly as during rains, visibility is poor, not only for you but also for the traffic behind you. Check all the lights as it is advisable to keep your parking light and brake light on while driving.

5) Tyres & Brakes:
one of the most important aspect in keeping you safe through the wet roads is the tyres. Tyres with less than 2mm of tread are prone to aquaplaning. It occurs when the tyre cannot squeeze out the water between the road and itself, and hence glides over a thin layer of water like a surfboard. This lack of contact between the road surface and the tyres could result in loose of control over the car, resulting in a serious accident. Always maintain the manufacturer-recommended tyre pressure, as this ensures the maximum contact area between your tyres and the road thus maximising the grip levels.

Brakes are another important component of your safety. Drum type breaks are especially affected by humid weather and wet roads, resulting in ineffective braking and skidding. If your brakes do get damp while wading through water-logged road. try to get out quickly and once out, hold down the brake pedal and accelerate slowly to dry out the brake pads, thereby enhancing their efficiency. If the problem persists, get it checked at a garage.