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Take Insurance coverage for Your Car

A plethora of corporations, immediately, present insurance coverage protection for automobiles. And due to the stiff competitors, they provide automobile insurance coverage low cost. It is advisable spare a while and put in efforts to analysis and examine the charges so that you just select the precise coverage on your car. The good thing about doing that is that you simply achieve info of varied corporations and know lots of quotes. This makes it simpler so that you can attain a choice. Throughout your analysis, you would possibly come throughout insurers from completely different nations, reminiscent of California or New Jersey, offering reductions for drivers with clear data or vehicles with security options. As an illustration, automobiles with alarms put in in them could get reductions from insurers.

Suggestions To Get Insurance coverage For Ladies Drivers

*Women, you will get it by escalating the quantity paid earlier than the insurer pays.

*Each good girl driver will preserve credit standing, as insurers have outlined a correlation between these with good credit score file and people with good driving report.

*If you happen to pay yearly as an alternative of month-to-month, you could have larger possibilities of getting a reduction. This occurs due to a slash in administrative prices.

*Purchase multiple type of protection and you’ll take pleasure in a reduction out of your insurer.

*Set up an alarm system in your automotive. This not solely decreases the danger of theft, but in addition decreases the premium, as there tends to be fewer claims with alarms at place.

*It is good to cross the superior drivers course. Insurers have a tendency to supply automotive insurance coverage low-cost if you do that, as you’re purported to be an knowledgeable driver, with lesser probabilities of getting concerned in accidents.

woman-driving-car-500*Final however not least, it is higher to drive rigorously and park in parking zones for fewer claims and possibilities of accidents. Whether or not you’ve got Florida automobile insurance coverage, Houston automotive insurance coverage, or every other, at all times adjust to driving guidelines.

It has been discovered that girls drivers make fewer claims than males drivers. However there are occasions while you become involved in an accident on account of different driver’s fault. Chances are you’ll be driving completely on the street when a reckless automotive driver hits your automobile from behind. What do you do? That is when automotive insurance coverage low cost involves your rescue.

Making Claims For Car Insurance Settlement

car insurance settlementBeing involved in a car accident is not a pleasant experience for anyone. If the injuries that you have sustained are grievous; the accident can actually shake you to the core. Added to that is the worry about the damage that your car sustains. If you have a car insurance then you can obviously make claims to your car insurance provider but it has been seen that at times settling the claims become a cumbersome affair and you need to go through a fair bit of trouble to reach a favorable settlement with your insurance provider. If you want a favorable settlement on your car insurance claim then you will face to make sure that you follow the right procedures while making the claim. You should also know how you can negotiate properly for the claim that you make. Here is some help.

For starters, when you want to negotiate a car insurance claim you will first have to send a letter of demand. The value of the claim that you are making must be mentioned in the letter; but mention the value only when you have a clear idea about it. To support your claims you will also have to furnish supporting documents like the estimate of the cost to be incurred for repairing the damages and photographic evidence of the damages. Other supporting documents might be required as well. The insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will try to counter and reduce the value that you quote in the letter of demand and if you think that you will not be able to argue with the adjuster well then you must hire an insurance lawyer. The lawyer will be able to argue your case better. However, you might need to write a second letter of demand and then take up the matter with your state’s Department Of Insurance if your claim is not granted.

General Myths Surrounding Auto Insurances

If you own a vehicle then it is absolutely necessary that you acquire auto insurance for it so that the vehicle is covered in the event of any damage, accident or loss. The importance of auto insurance cannot be undermined especially if you have availed a loan for buying the vehicle. There are certain misconceptions that majority of the people have regarding auto insurances. This article will highlight some of these myths so that you can dispel them immediately.

Myth 1: Auto insurances cover all kinds of damages that can happen to a vehicle.
This is not true because auto insurances are of many different kinds which provide cover for certain damages and not for all types of damages. No auto insurance policy can provide full coverage. You have to acquire a variety of auto insurance policies to get an almost full coverage for your vehicle.

Myth 2: Full coverage auto insurance policies will provide cover to a vehicle when it being utilized for any kind of work.
In actual fact, these full coverage insurance policies will offer protection to a vehicle only if it is used for personal purposes. You will have to buy commercial insurance policy to cover your vehicle when it is used for commercial purposes.

Myth 3: Auto insurance is costly for elderly drivers.
Well this myth is also false. Elderly drivers are given discounts for their policies because they have more experience and can avoid accidents more easily than the young drivers.

Myth 4: Military officers have to pay higher interest rates for the auto insurance .
This is another myth that needs to be dispelled because in reality military officers pay lower rates than the rates paid by any common man.

Myth 5: Auto insurance for red vehicles is costly.
Remember color of the vehicle has nothing to do with the costs of the auto insurance policies.

Everything You Need to Know About Excluding People From Auto Insurance

As one’s household grows, so too, does their auto insurance policy. While this is a pretty standard and expected occurrence, it’s important for people with an increasing number of licensed drivers under one roof to realize they have options. Should any of their family members threaten their driving reputation and quotes, policyholders have the option to remove and exclude them from their insurance plans, making auto coverage someone else’s problem and responsibility.

Requesting an Exclusion

If you’re a policyholder interested in excluding one or more individuals from your policy, then you need to contact your insurance company and/or agent. Your request will have to be in writing and might also come with additional forms and paperwork, depending on who your insurance company is. It’s also important to note that requesting an exclusion may cause your rates to increase a bit, but some view this cost as a much more affordable expense than the potential damages they might be held accountable for when the dangerous driver(s) in question get in a serious accident or have repeated traffic offenses.

Whom Should I Exclude?

Now that you know how to request an exclusion, it’s important to understand WHO to exclude. You should exclude anyone you see as high-risk, unreliable and irresponsible. Individuals who show no regard for rules and regulations and could care less what happens to your name and record in the process are other obvious options. To help make the choice easier for you, below is a list of three individuals you definitely don’t want on your policy.

Mittens, the Family Cat

While a fluffy, cute member of the family, Mittens also has a wild side with which you are all too familiar. She is open about her late-night romps with her neighborhood friends, often coming home as the sun rises. She’s practically nocturnal! Those crazy hours coupled with her sassy attitude are a recipe for disaster for you and your record, so nip this problem in the bud while you still can — before Mittens brings you down with her.

Your Six-year-old Who’s Going on Sixteen

Six-year-old Ben is your pride and joy. He’s cute and sweet, but let’s be honest — the boy is growing up too fast. Rather than run the risk of him growing up, stealing your car and running away, it’s probably best to exclude him from your policy to keep that from happening. You might not be able to stop him from physically growing, but you will darn sure try to stop him from leaving you!

The Neighbor Next Door Who Thinks He’s ALWAYS Welcome

Sure you let him borrow a cup a sugar once, but does that really warrant unannounced pop-ins or the dreaded ‘surprise I was waiting for you to get home from work’ visit? The answer is obviously no, but that doesn’t stop your too-close-for-comfort neighbor from doing just that and more. A sweet, eager individual with no concept of social norms, this neighbor is here so often you’re worried he thinks he’s actually a part of the family. While you technically shouldn’t have to cover him on your insurance, the lines that surround your whole relationship — and evidently your property— have been blurred. So, just to be on the safe side, you better exclude him. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll get really comfortable and decide to take your car for a spin and get locked up for grand theft auto — maybe then at least you’ll get to cook in peace again!

Reality Check

Obviously, these examples of potential exclusions are extreme and ridiculous, but that’s just the point. Auto insurance exclusions are a serious issue that should be treated as such. They shouldn’t be added to policies willy-nilly and on a whim, but rather after serious thought and consideration has been given to the situation. It can be a pricey and potentially lengthy process that should only be implemented after you have determined there is no other feasible option.

You should only opt to exclude drivers with repeated violations such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding or any other behavior that shows a disregard for the law. It’s also important to note that exclusions can also apply to non-related roommates. Depending on your policy and location, it might be a smart idea to exclude any irresponsible roommates you might have, should they try to drive your vehicle without permission and thus endanger your reputation and record.

We do hope you’re never presented with having to exclude a family member from your auto policy. Keep in mind, it’s only advisable when the said-driver is extremely toxic. Most of the time, excluding a single driver will only lead to higher rates for everyone involved.

You’ll know they are a real risk if they cause you to be subjected to higher rates, or worse, put you in danger of losing your coverage altogether — those are costly expenses worth the fees that come along with an exclusion.

If you are seriously considering opting for an exclusion, talk with your insurer to explore all of your options and alternatives. They should help point you in the right direction for your future.

Auto Insurance Company Ratings – Best Firms, Most Prices

Auto Insurance Company Ratings

There are a variety of factors to try to find when it pertains to auto insurance company ratings – financial toughness, customer care, and consumer satisfaction. So where do you getting these ratings?

Financial Scores

There are two companies that provide insurance firm financial ratings:

A.M. Best  rates insurance companies on their monetary stamina and their capacity to pay cases. The most safe firms have an “A” rating or much better.

Standard as well as Poors rates companies on their economic stamina and also credit history scores. Business with “A” rankings are your best bet.

Client service Ratings

The best place I have actually found for customer service rankings is Epinions . Here actual customers cover their encounters with a particular business, providing you a behind-the-scenes consider just how the company treats its consumers as well as exactly how well they pay their claims.

Client Contentment Ratings

Every state has a department of insurance internet site, and most of those websites list the consumer problems filed against insurance coverage business. The variety of problems a business has as compared to various other business offers you a respectable idea of how well it treats its clients.

If your state’s department of insurance policy does not listing business issues, you could view them at the California insurance policy web site .

Obtaining the very best Prices

Getting the best auto insurance coverage price with the most effective insurance policy company is simply a concern of comparing rates with different companies. There are insurance policy contrast sites that provide you prices from A-rated companies, and allow you to chat with an insurance professional with an on-line chat solution so you could get the answer to any kind of inquiries you may have.

Exactly how That Discover It The correct methods?

Insurance auto quotes plan is an insurance coverage protection gotten by automobile owner that protected guard his/her automobile from robbery, problem as well as different other loss endured. You could easily acquire car insurance policy plan for many of your car mobile like car, truck or bus. Vehicle insurance defense most definitely not just covers safeguarded auto as well as covered party, however times this covers 3rd events likewise. Various automobile insurance plan encounter from various expressions, requirements in addition to conditions under which, these items are covered.

insurance auto quotes

Today large types of auto insurance defense strategies are available around and that is actually really quite uphill struggle to acquire the most suitable car insurance coverage to find the guard of your vehicle.

Here are actually some reminders, which might be really used to find the greatest auto insurance policy plan to find your black boomer.

1. To find finest automobile insurance, you are looked for to make a search on your own. To begin with head to local automobile insurance coverage protection providers. Testimonial car insurance coverage quotes given through all of them. A lot of automobile insurance policy dealers possess their sites, you could go certainly there and request for vehicle insurance plan prices estimate online, if you possess an auto. Evaluation their insurance auto quotes as well as find biggest automobile insurance coverage security for your automobile. Constantly keep in thoughts that bargaining is the vital that acquire cost-effective vehicle insurance coverage.

2. After examining auto insurance policy prices estimate acquire the biggest one for you and your motor automobile. While making use of offered them particulars as a big amount as you could include your label, offer with, postal code, your marital condition, vehicle’s yearly driving to work miles as well as security associates thinking about that as default they could generate you high quotes with no certain benefits. Therefore, that persuade an inexpensive and excellent motor vehicle insurance policy regularly give comprehensive details pertaining to you as well as your motor vehicle.

3. Sometimes insurance plan companies offer particular promotions. Therefore regularly look for deals, as they can easily minimize your fee from 0 to 0.

4. Before licensing your application evaluation each and also every facet of particulars, as they could easily secure your right.

With attempting to keep these basic reminders in ideas you can locate finest automobile insurance plan.

Dependable methods to Locate Astonishing Savings On Online Automotive Insurance policy

The capacity to purchase on the internet auto insurance coverage has changed the way patient buy insurance coverage for good. Gotten are actually the days of extracting the Telephone directory, telephoning countless providers to discover quotes, standing by times to find a specific to call you back along with a quote (if they contacted you back whatsoever!), examining the insurance auto quotes, trying that find out if the plans along with deductibles coincided for all the quotes, and ultimately– purchasing a plan and also desiring this is going to be similar to your final one.

Due to the magic of on the net car insurance policy quotes, each of the above fight is not required. Each of the key vehicle insurance policy strategy corporates possesses a tool for supplying insurance auto quotes online, and also a number of evaluation websites have actually arised that permit you that immediately analyze several significant company versus one another.

The largest component is that you may easily alter your deductibles to immediately see exactly how that is visiting eventually impact your general charge. This is really the suitable ways that discover just just just how much you are actually going to invest for automobile insurance policy protection and that find out just which of the vehicle insurance policy protection providers will absolutely supply you specifically the most inexpensive of charges.

Getting your car insurance policy with the internet site is extremely hassle-free along with uncomplicated. Although that lots of insurance coverage corporates make considerably fewer funds as a result of experiencing a lot more educated person, this is really countered via the reality that these business do not shed helpful employee time refraining from doing anything however fee estimates all day long for people. You can swiftly seek price quotes, in addition to produce enhancements constantly once more, along with you are under no commitment up till you pick a strategy, and also go through the investing present.

A great deal of business have in fact even created the modern technology to allow you release out your called for insurance policy plan cards that establish in your automobile when you finish your acquisition. This minimizes the quantity of time along with difficulty of hanging around for these insurance protection memory cards that appear in the email. Some law firms are starting that give your whole entire plan as a printout, though they still need to send a kind for you that license along with blog post back.

To discover a great deal people, it is in fact essential that find the least pricey practical rates, while making particular our team choose a business that will absolutely support our company in case of a crash. It is really the utmost evaluating action. A few of the testimonial internet sites online will definitely additionally offer you with a business A.M. Very best position, tailored that offer you a reminder of the total costs of the firm you are really contrasting. Once more, this gets another part of the unpredictability of picking on the internet car insurance policy.

For all the incredible methods that acquiring online automobile insurance could conveniently save you time, cash, migraines, and frustrations, you may definitely never ever have to open up that part of the Telephone directory once more.

Timing belt, alternator, starter, drive belt – when to replace, problems

engine_animation6bA timing belt is a toothed belt that connects the engine crankshaft to the camshaft or camshafts as you can see in the picture.
A timing belt synchronizes the camshaft to the crankshaft position, so the valves will open and close at the proper timing in relation to the position of the pistons. The camshaft rotates at exactly 1/2 speed of the crankshaft; meaning two revolutions of the crankshaft are equal to one revolution of the camshaft.
In some engines a timing belt can also drive additional components such as a water pump, balance shaft, intermediate shaft, injection pump and an oil pump. A balance shaft, an intermediate shaft and an injection pump must also be synchronised with a crankshaft.
To work properly a timing belt needs to be under certain tension that is controlled by a timing belt tensioner. Some older cars have an adjustable timing belt tensioner that must be re-adjusted if the timing belt gets loose. Newer cars have an automatic timing belt tensioner that doesn’t need any adjustment. If the timing belt gets loose, it may skip a tooth and the proper timing will be lost.
When a timing belt is replaced, it’s very important to set the timing properly. Before a new timing belt is installed, the crankshaft, the camshaft and other components synchronised with a crankshaft must be aligned in a certain way. A repair manual has proper instructions and a diagram with timing marks. Improperly set timing will cause a variety of problems such as lack of power, Check Engine light, vibration, misfiring, etc.

Timing belt in good condition

Timing belt or timing chain?

Not all cars have a timing belt – many newer cars use a timing chain instead of a belt. A timing belt wears out over time and needs to be replaced at a certain mileage. A timing chain can last as long as the engine itself and doesn’t need to be replaced unless there is a problem with it. If you don’t know if your vehicle has a timing belt or a chain, you can check your owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, many car manufacturers offer to download it from their websites. Here is the link: Where to download an owner’s manual. You also can call your local dealer service department or ask your mechanic – they have this information. We also have this information for many cars in our used car reviews section.

Cracked timing belt

When a timing belt must be replaced?

A timing belt must be replaced at recommended by the manufacturer intervals, usually from 60,000 miles to 105,000 miles (from 96,000 km to 168,000 km). You can find the recommended replacement interval in your owner’s manual. In addition, the timing belt must be replaced if it has any damage like cracks (see the picture), cuts, or if it is soaked in oil leaking from the engine, or if it shows any signs of excessive wear. If not replaced in time, the timing belt can break. If you are approaching the mileage for a timing belt change, or if you bought a used car and you don’t know if the timing belt has been replaced, it’s good idea to have your mechanic to inspect the timing belt condition.

What happens if the timing belt breaks?

If a timing belt breaks, the engine will no longer work. If a timing belt breaks while driving in an interference engine, the camshaft stops turning leaving some of the engine valves in the open position. The heavier crankshaft will continue to rotate by inertia moving pistons up and down. This will cause the pistons to strike the valves that left open. This may result in a heavy damage to the engine with broken or bent valves, damaged pistons and, possibly, destroyed cylinder head and block.
The damage will be less extensive in a non-interference engine but in either case, the engine will stall, leaving you stranded.
You can check the “Timing Belts” section of website to see if you have and an interference or non-interference engine.

Timing belt replacement cost

The cost to replace a timing belt may vary from about $200 to $750 depending on a model. Often your mechanic may recommend replacing a water pump or some other parts, such as, a tensioner, seals idlers, etc. along with the timing belt; this obviously will cost more. You can just call your local dealer service department or a repair shop for an estimate.

How it Works, Symptoms, Problems, and Testing Purge Valve

A purge valve is the part of the vehicle Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP). The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors in the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system traps fuel vapors from the fuel tank and temporarily stores them in the charcoal canister, see the diagram. When the engine is running under certain conditions, the fuel vapors are purged from the canister and burned inside the engine. The purge valve precisely controls the amount of fuel vapor that is purged from the charcoal canister.
In modern cars, the purge valve is an electrically-operated solenoid, that is controlled by the engine computer. When the engine is off, the purge valve is closed. When the engine is running and fully warmed up, the engine computer gradually opens the purge valve to allow some amount of fuel vapor to be moved from the charcoal canister to be burned in the engine. The purge flow is monitored by a number of sensors. If the purge flow is less or more than is expected under the conditions, the computer illuminates the$_12.JPG?set_id=880000500FPurge valve problems

The most common problem with the purge valve is when it sticks or does not close fully. This may cause the “Check Engine” warning light to come on. In some cars, a stuck-open purge valve can cause difficulty starting right after refueling at a gas station: for the first few seconds the engine may run rough and stumble. Purge valve problems are common in many cars. In some early-2000’s Hyundai models (Elantra, Santa Fe, Tucson, Tiburon), a stuck-open purge valve is fairly common to cause the “Check Engine” light with the code P0441. Similar problems are fairly common in many European cars including Audi and Volkswagen. In some Mazda vehicles the faulty purge valve can cause the code P0446 and other EVAP codes. The purge valve is not very expensive ($35-$65 for the part) and is fairly easy to replace.

How the purge valve (solenoid) is tested

You can find the proper procedure to test the purge valve in the vehicle’s service manual. The procedure is different depending on the car make and model. In most cars, the purge valve is normally closed, meaning it should be closed with no voltage and open when the voltage is applied.

Testing a purge valve

For example, for this vehicle, the service manual recommends applying battery voltage to the purge valve terminals and see if it produces an audible click. We just use a 9-volt battery to illustrate. This purge valve does produce an audible click.

Testing a purge valve

The next step, as per the service manual for this car is to test if the purge valve closes properly and does not leak. We connect a hand-held vacuum pump and apply vacuum to the purge valve.

Testing a purge valve

Almost immediately, the vacuum drops. This purge valve doesn’t seal properly and must be replaced. This car had a “Check Engine” light on the dash. We had it scanned and got the code P0446 – Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit Malfunction. We tested the EVAP system and found that it had a slow leak. Now we found the culprit!

Testing a purge valve

To illustrate the difference, we tested the purge valve from a different car. It holds the vacuum very well, even after one minute the vacuum hasn’t dropped.

Testing a purge valve

Now we connect the battery voltage. The purge valve clicks and the vacuum immediately drops. This purge valve is good.

6 common Check Engine light problems

There are hundreds of possible faults that can cause the Check Engine light to illuminate on your dash. To find out what the problem is, you would have to have your vehicle scanned for fault codes. A fault code itself only points to a certain system or component. To find the problem, your car will need to be further diagnosed by your local dealer or a qualified mechanic.

To give you a few examples of Check Engine light problems, we have analyzed thousands of repair cases in hundreds of different cars. Although causes are often different, we found several problems that are common in many cars and produce similar symptoms. Here they are:

Vacuum leaks and mass airflow (MAF) sensor issues

Very often, issues with a mass air flow sensor or vacuum leaks can cause the engine to run lean. The term “running lean” means that the engine is not getting enough fuel, or in other words, the air-fuel mixture injected into the engine has more air and less fuel. The symptoms include RPMs fluctuating up and down when stopped, stalling, rough idle, difficulty starting when the engine is hot, lack of power, slow acceleration, etc.
The mass air flow (MAF) sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine. The engine computer adjusts the amount of fuel based on the mass air flow sensor readings. If the sensor doesn’t work properly or if there is a leak that allows the air to enter the engine bypassing the sensor (unmetered air), the engine computer cannot adjust the amount of fuel correctly. Most common Check Engine fault codes related to this problem are P0171 and P0174. Here are a few examples:

Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor

If the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor is found faulty it must be replaced. In some cars cleaning the sensor may help. Often the MAF sensor malfunctions when the air filter box is not closed properly.

Intake manifold gasket

Leaking intake manifold or plenum gaskets are common, especially in cars with plastic intake manifolds. Replacing intake gaskets could be expensive because of the amount of labor involved.

Cracked intake boot (snorkel)

Rips or cracks in the intake boot or vacuum hoses can cause a vacuum leak. For example, some Ford and BMW vehicles are known to have this problem. .


An engine “misfires” when some of its cylinders don’t work. When this happens, the engine would start shaking and run “uneven” like a motorcycle motor. The Check Engine light would start flashing repeatedly or stay on solid on the dash. The car would lack power. Sometimes a misfire happens at a cold start and goes away when the engine is revved. Often the engine misfires during rainy weather or after driving through a puddle or when accelerating from a stop. In most cases, the misfiring is fairly easy to diagnose. A faulty ignition coil is the most common culprit in newer cars. Other causes include vacuum leaks, worn out spark plugs, cracked ignition wires, bad EGR valve, faulty fuel injectors, mechanical problems, etc.

Ignition coil

A failed ignition coil often causes misfire in newer cars. To diagnose a faulty ignition coil, your mechanic may try swapping coils between two cylinders and see if the misfiring follows the suspected coil.

Fouled spark plug

If the engine misfires, spark plugs are usually replaced if they are old. The recommended spark plug replacement interval ranges from 30K-50K miles for conventional plugs and 50K-120K miles for iridium or platinum plugs.

Ignition wires and a distributor

Ignition wires can deteriorate over time and can also cause misfiring, especially in wet weather. In cars with a distributor, the distributor cap and rotor are typically replaced with the wires too.

EVAP system leaks

The EVAP system prevents the gasoline vapors in your gas tank from escaping into the atmosphere. It’s a sealed system and if there is a leak, the car’s computer turns the Check Engine light on. Evap leaks rarely cause any driveability symptoms. A loose gas cap is one of the examples of an EVAP system leak. Other common sources of an EVAP system leak include a purge valve and a canister vent valve.

Loose gas cap

If you found that the gas cap was loose, close it properly and the Check Engine light will reset itself after a day or two of driving.

Purge valve

A sticky purge valve can also cause an EVAP leak. A purge valve can be tested fairly easily and if it sticks, it’s not very expensive to replace. Read more »

EVAP canister vent valve

A vent valve is normally open. It closes only when the EVAP system tests itself for leaks. If the valve sticks open it can cause a leak. Read more »

EGR system problems

The EGR or Exhaust Gas Recirculation is one of the vehicle’s emission control systems. It reduces the combustion temperature by redirecting a small amount of exhaust gases back into the engine intake. The main component of the EGR system is the EGR valve. Often, carbon deposits and soot accumulated inside the valve preventing it from opening and closing freely. This will cause the Check Engine light to come on. Symptoms of a sticky EGR valve include stalling at idle, rough idle. Sometimes these symptoms happen after exiting the highway. In some cars, when the EGR system is clogged up, the Check Engine light may come on, but no other symptoms would be present. Common fault codes: P0400, P0401.

Vacuum operated EGR valve

In some cars with a vacuum-operated EGR valve as the one in the photo, the leaks in one of the vacuum hoses or pipes can stop the EGR valve from working.

Ford DPFE sensor

In some Ford vehicles, the EGR system problems are caused by a bad DPFE sensor. Replacing the DPFE sensor is not very expensive.

Electricaly-operated EGR valve

In many cases, to repair the problem, the EGR valve needs to be replaced. In some cars, the EGR passages need to be cleaned or even modified (Honda, Acura)

Oxygen sensor or air/fuel ratio sensor problems

An oxygen sensor is the primary sensor in the fuel injection system. Installed in the vehicle’s exhaust, it provides feedback for the engine computer on how efficiently the engine runs. A more precise air/fuel ratio sensor used in many modern cars for the same purpose is also commonly referred to as an “oxygen sensor”. Oxygen sensor problems are also common. A failed or deteriorated oxygen sensor may cause a drop in the fuel economy and the Check Engine light to come on, but the vehicle may still drive fine. Common causes include a failed oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor and shorted out sensor wires. Common fault codes: P0130, P0133, P0134, P0135, P0136.

Oxygen sensor

If your car throws a code related to the oxygen sensor, your mechanic may recommend replacing the sensor even if it appears to be working at the time.

Air/Fuel ratio sensor, Acura NSX

An air/fuel ratio sensor is still called an “oxygen sensor”. It work differently, but has the same purpose. This is an air/fuel ratio sensor in Acura NSX

Oxygen sensor wires and connector

Sometimes oxygen sensor faults may be caused by a damaged sensor wiring. In this Mazda 3, the sensor wires were rubbing against the bracket.

Failed catalytic converter

A catalytic converter is the main emission control device installed in the vehicle’s exhaust. It has a honeycomb-like ceramic structure inside that helps to burn any unburned fuel and reduce other harmful emissions. A failing or clogged up catalytic converter often causes the Check Engine light in many cars and trucks. When a catalytic converter becomes clogged up, an engine may start and run well at idle, but bog down when accelerated. A rattling noise coming from a catalytic converter and a smell of unburned fuel from the exhaust may indicate that the ceramic structure inside the converter has disintegrated. In either case, the catalytic converter will need to be replaced. The most common Check Engine light codes: P0420 and P0430.

Catalytic converter

The catalytic converter is typically covered by 8-year 80-mile Emission Warranty. If your car is still within the warranty coverage, your dealer should be able to help you.

Catalytic converter

If your car is not under warranty and the repair quote from your dealer is too expensive, try a local muffler shop, as there are plenty of less expensive aftermarket parts available.

Ceramic honeycomb structure inside the catalytic converter

The most common Check Engine light code is P0420 – Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1). The code P0430 indicates the same fault for a bank 2 in a V6 or V8 engine.

How to check the car engine when buying a used car ?

Inspecting a used car

When shopping for a used car, the condition of the engine, transmission and the car body are the most important. The fact that the car looks ‘clean’ and drives well doesn’t mean much if its engine has a hidden problem or was poorly maintained by previous owners. Engine repairs are very expensive. Of course, it’s difficult to evaluate the mechanical condition of the engine during a quick test drive, that is why we strongly recommend to have a used car properly inspected by a qualified mechanic before signing the contract. To help you be more informed, here are a few tips how to spot signs of engine problems or lack of maintenance when checking a used car.

Check used car service records

The service records are not always available, but it helps if the dealer can produce some proof that the vehicle was maintained regularly. If you can get access to the service records, look for oil changes and mileage records. It helps if you can verify that oil changes were done regularly. Depending on a manufacturer, the recommended oil change interval varies from 3,750 to 10,000 miles. If the vehicle was driven between oil changes for much longer intervals than recommended, the engine might be worn inside.
If a car has a timing belt (not all cars have it), see if there is any records that it was replaced. Typically, a timing belt needs to be replaced every 60,000 to 105,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. If it hasn’t been replaced yet, it might cost you from $200 to $750 to have it done. Read more about a timing belt.

Have a look under the hood

When you are checking a used car at a dealer’s lot, have a quick look under the hood before the test drive. It helps if you have a small flashlight. Make sure, the engine is off, the transmission is in “Park” and the parking brake is on. What you are looking for are the leaks, smell of burnt oil or antifreeze, signs poor quality repairs or lack of regular maintenance and ‘racing’ modifications.
If everything looks clean and shiny, it doesn’t yet mean much, as car dealers often clean their used cars under the hood before showing them to potential buyers. Let’s see some examples:

Signs of poor maintenance

Corroded car batteryIf the battery looks like this, it’s very unlikely that this vehicle has been maintained regularly.

Burnt oil smell under the hood

Shiny engine compartmentThis Audi looks clean and shiny under the hood but we noticed a strong burn oil smell, which is a sign of possible problems.


Coolant leakThis car runs fine, but a close inspection revealed the coolant leak from the radiator. As a minimum, this car requires a new radiator, but sometimes, a cracked radiator may be a sign of more serious problems. It’s best to avoid used cars with this type of issues.
Engine from underneathWatch out for oil leaks too. They may not be visible from above, but here is the trick – look underneath the car using your flashlight. Check the lower part of the engine and transmission. Everything has to be dry, like in this car. There might be a slight wetness which is not too bad, but there should be no leaks.

Low oil level

Low oil level on the dipstickWe checked the oil level in this car, and it’s very low. Oil looks dirty too. This means that either this engine consumes oil or it was very long since the last oil change was done. In addition, the engine wears faster when low on oil. Normally the oil level should be close to “Full” mark.
Correct oil level on the dipstickEngine oil in this car looks clean and the level is OK. It looks like the oil change has been done recently.

With the engine off, check under the oil cap

Oil capThis test can tell a lot about the engine. If you aren’t comfortable doing this test, leave it to your mechanic. With the engine off, remove the oil filler cap and look under it.
Checking under oil capFor example, in the left photo, you can see there is a lot of black carbon deposits under the cap. The visible internal engine parts and the oil cap itself look very dirty too. Usually this is a sign of poor maintenance. In the right photo everything looks clean.

Watch out for performance mods

Engine performance modsBe careful if a used car has some performance mods. If done right, the modifications can greatly improve the vehicle performance. However, poorly done engine mods can lead to many problems, especially if parts that were originally on the vehicle are no longer available. If the car has been modified, it’s also likely that it has been raced or otherwise abused.

Cold start can reveal many hidden problems

The best way to catch hidden engine problems is to start it cold. To do this, it might be a good idea to come to the dealer a little earlier than your appointment time. First thing that this will reveal is how good is the battery, because if the battery is old, it might need to be boosted to start the car. Another thing to look at a cold start is the engine noises. If the engine rattles or makes other loud noises, it might be excessively worn or has some mechanical problems. Similarly, a blue smoke at a start-up means the engine is worn and it’s best to look for another vehicle.

‘Check Engine’ light stays on

Check Engine light on the dashAfter the car is started, all warning lights on the dash should come off. For example, in this car, the engine symbol that is known as “Check Engine” light remained on after it was started. This means that the engine computer detected some fault. It could be a minor issue, but it also could be a very expensive to repair problem. There is no way of knowing how serious is the problem until the car is properly diagnosed.

Smoke from exhaust

Blue smoke from the car exhaustHere is another example: we started this car and noticed a blue-gray smoke from the exhaust. It smelled like burning oil too. A blue smoke means that the engine burns oil. Cars like this should be avoided.

Test drive

During the test drive, watch out for engine noises, vibrations, lack of power, or any other driveability issues. When started, the engine should run smooth, without shaking or hesitation. If you feel that the engine is bucking or stumbling when accelerated, there is a problem. The idle speed should be stable too. Test drive for as long as possible; sometimes problems may not be obvious during a short drive around the block. It’s best to try the car in all modes: acceleration, deceleration, stop-and-go traffic, highway cruising. Watch out for the engine temperature on the dash. Once the engine is warmed up, the temperature gauge should stay somewhere around the middle of the scale.
Even if everything seems OK, we strongly recommend to have the used car properly inspected by an independent mechanic before buying.

What is an Automotive Engineer?

Automotive engineering is one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding careers. Whenever a customer drives a new vehicle off a dealership lot, he or she is taking with them the technical expertise of many engineers, but in particular, the automotive engineer.

Automotive engineers research, design and develop vehicles and their subsystems. They work with sophisticated technologies to create products that thrill the senses and bring the freedom of mobility to the world. Do Automotive Engineers Do?

Automotive engineers are concerned with the development of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles or off-road vehicles. They do one or more of the following:

  • Design new products or modify existing ones
  • Troubleshoot and solve engineering problems
  • Plan and design manufacturing processes

Automotive engineers must apply their engineering skills in a commercial way because their innovations and solutions must be effective and profitable. Their typical responsibilities include:

  • Researching, designing, developing and producing vehicles and components
  • Preparing cost estimates and design specifications
  • Preparing plans and drawings
  • Analyzing energy, environmental and safety aspects of the planned project
  • Predicting vehicle or component behavior under different conditions using computerized models
  • Developing testing procedures
  • Investigating product failures
  • Analyzing, interpreting and condensing technical data into reports or presentations
  • Supervise technical staff
  • Working closely with other types of engineers, such as civil, electrical, aerospace, chemical and industrial
  • Working with professionals from other occupational fields, such as marketing and legal

The Difference Between an Automotive Engineer & an Auto Mechanic

Auto mechanics spend most of their day inspecting and repairing vehicles

Automotive engineers and automotive mechanics each play critical roles in keeping safe and efficient vehicles on the roads in the United States. Engineers work on vehicles in a broader sense, designing and developing new vehicles and improving the performance of existing machines. Mechanics diagnose and repair vehicles on a case-by-case basis, typically in a repair shop or at an auto dealer.

Auto Engineer Responsibilities

In addition to working for auto manufacturing companies, automotive engineers also work for engineering firms, government regulatory agencies and other departments and firms that need vehicle engineering expertise. Some engineers work on the creation of automobiles, helping to design systems and components, while others examine existing vehicles to analyze their effectiveness and to diagnose systemic problems and explore possible improvements. Engineers are a critical part of the manufacturing of vehicles and the ongoing oversight that ensures their fitness for public use.

Auto Mechanic Responsibilities

Auto mechanics largely work in auto repair shops, typically at either a shop that repairs a wide range of vehicles or a dealer that works on a particular brand. Mechanics work directly with drivers in a way engineers do not, discussing the specific operations of a particular vehicle. Mechanics labor to identify the source of problems with vehicles, then repair them so the car or truck can operate closer to its optimum level. Mechanics also carry out routine inspections of vehicles to make sure that they are safe to operate on the road.

Education and Training

Automotive engineers have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering and many proceed to earn a master’s degree that allows them to specialize more closely on automotive engineering. Auto mechanics need to have a minimum of a high school degree or its equivalent. In addition, mechanics typically receive extensive training before they work on vehicles. Some mechanics begin their training at a vocational school or in an associate’s degree program that focuses on automotive repairs. Most then require years of on-the-job tutoring and hands-on experience to be ready to handle the wide variety of repairs that they will face.


Automotive engineers possess a large advantage over automotive mechanics in terms of compensation. Auto mechanics earn a median annual wage of $36,180 per year and a mean wage of $38,560, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Automotive engineers, on the other hand, earn a median annual wage of $106,000 and a mean salary of $117,600, according to a survey of SAE International, which was formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers.

How to Become an Automotive Engineer

Automotive engineers are responsible for creating new vehicles and systems.

Automotive engineers design vehicle systems and automobiles. To become an automotive engineer, you can follow one of two engineering disciplines in college: mechanical engineering or automotive technology engineering. Automotive engineers are also responsible for designing cars that use alternative sources of fuel. When you have a passion for designing or working on automobiles, an automotive engineering career might be the right choice. An affinity for advanced mathematics is critical to any type of automotive engineering classes.
Step 1Take classes during high school in automotive shop. Taking physics courses and advanced mathematics also helps with understanding math used in structural design.

Step 2Graduate from high school with better than a 3.0 GPA so you have a better chance of going to the engineering school of your choice.

Step 3Research accredited colleges that offer automotive and mechanical engineering degree programs. Choose an accredited school to ensure a good education and to get better chances for employment.

Step 4Pass the college entrance exams required for the college you want to attend with high scores in math.

Step 5Work hard and study to pass all your college classes with higher than 3.0 GPA. Take computer classes that teach design using computer-aided programs.

Step 6Obtain work in the automotive industry while you are going to college to gain hands-on experience. Companies in the automotive industry prefer employees who have a well-rounded education combined with experience.

Step 7Apply for an internship with an automotive-related company during your junior or senior year of college. An internship with a recognized or large automotive corporation provides needed and valuable on-the-job experience.

Step 8Graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical or automotive technology engineering.

Step 9Join a professional association for automotive engineers during college or after graduation. This group allows you to network with other engineers. It keeps you abreast of the changes in the job marketplace as well as putting you in contact with other automotive companies. An association network also presents the opportunities and contacts for new job openings.

Step 10Prepare your resume and include all related work experience. Include any special honors you received during college. Obtain letters of recommendation from former employers.

Step 11Look for work in the automotive engineering field. Automotive engineering also includes all the support industries and vendors that supply automotive manufacturers with parts and auto supplies.

Step 12Consider pursuing an advanced degree in engineering after obtaining at least two years of work experience. An advanced degree provides you opportunities to work for automobile manufacturers.


  • Passion about automobiles and engineering makes you a desirable job candidate.
  • Develop your goals and objectives for your career path and follow it to success.

Can I Become an Engineer if I’m Bad at Math?

Mathematics is a central component to the education engineers receive in all major specialties before they begin their careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineers also use math extensively on the job. For these reasons, it is unlikely anyone would be successful in becoming an engineer with poor math skills.

In School and on the Job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that math is a major part of engineering coursework, along with statistics, physics and life sciences, depending on what kind of engineering you study. Math skills are listed as important qualities required by all engineers, as the profession involves the use of calculus and sometimes trigonometry in the analysis, design and troubleshooting of the work.

What Math Skills Are Needed to Become an Engineer?

Engineers are often math enthusiasts who got bored with the abstract. Even though number crunching is significant to engineers’ work, math is no more than a convenient means to arrive at a physical end. The type of math an engineer uses will depend on the type of engineer he is and the type of project in which he’s involved.

Basic Arithmetic

All math is based on the idea that 1 plus 1 equals 2, and 1 minus 1 equals 0. Multiplication and division –2 times 2 and 4 divided by 2 — are variations used to avoid multiple iterations of either subtraction or addition. One example of an engineer’s use of basic arithmetic is the civil engineer’s calculations for describing water flow across an open basin. The flow is reckoned in cubic feet per second, or Q, where Q equals the runoff coefficient times the intensity of the rain for a specified period, times the area of the basin. If the runoff coefficient is 2, the intensity, in inches of rain, is 4 and the basin — a specified area of land — is 1/2 acre, the engineer’s formula resembles this: (2×4)/(.5×43,560), or 8/21,780. The result, 0.0003673, is the volume of water, in cubic feet per second, flowing across the land.

Algebra and Geometry

When several of the factors of a problem are known and one or more are unknown, engineers use algebra, including differential equations in cases when there are several unknowns. Because engineers work to arrive at a solution to a physical problem, geometry — with its planes, circles and angles — determines such diverse things as the torque used to turn a wheel, and reduces the design of a roadway’s curve to an accurate engineering or construction drawing.


Trigonometry is the science of measuring triangles. Engineers may use plane trigonometry to determine the size of an irregularly shaped parcel of land. It may also be used or to determine the height of an object based solely on the distance to the object and the angle, up or down, from the observer. Spherical trigonometry is used by naval engineers in ship design and by mechanical engineers working on such arcane projects as the design of mechanical hand for an underwater robot.


We all love statistics. They tell us where we stand in the world, among our peers and even in our family. They tell us who’s winning. The engineer uses them for the same reasons — by statistical analysis of the design, the engineer can tell what percentage of a design will need armor or reinforcement or where any likely failures will occur. For the civil engineer, statistics appear as the concentration of rainfall, wind loads and bridge design. In many locations, engineers designing drainage systems must design for a 50- or 100-year storm in their calculations, a significant change from the normal rain concentration.


Calculus is used by engineers to determine rates of change or rates by which factors, such as acceleration or weight, change. It might tell NASA scientists at what point the change in a satellite’s orbit will cause the satellite to strike an object in space. A more mundane task for calculus might be determining how large a box must be to accommodate a specific number of things. An engineer who designs packaging, for example, might know that a product of a certain weight must be packaged in groups of no more than 10 because of their weight. Using calculus, he can calculate both the optimum number of objects per box, plus the optimum size of the box.