3 More Things Drivers Do Every Day That Ruin Their Vehicles

Reviving Up Before Warming the Engine

While a consensus on this has not yet been wholly reached by the automotive industry, the point still bears stating here. Modern engines tend to get warm and distribute oil around their parts with more speed than older models, though it’s still important for drivers to be cautious with this for their first few miles. The car and the engine are designed to work at set operating temperatures.

auto repair longmont

By revving or driving hard before the car has had time to warm up, the vehicle might experience drastic changes in temperature between its components. Thus, parts might be damaged, and the car can potentially have several thousands of miles removed from its lifetime.

auto repair longmont

In the worst cases, the vehicle won’t be able to be repaired without having an entire engine overhaul, which may very well cost more than the vehicle is worth. In order to avoid a mess like that, auto repair Longmont advise drivers to give their vehicles a few seconds to heat up, and refrain from driving at ten-tenths for the first couple of miles in order to bypass all issues.

Resting the Hand on the Gear Shifter

Drivers who drive manual cars tend to naturally leave one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear knob. This especially applies when manual drivers flip through their gears on a twisted rural road. However, mechanics have observed that this habit can potentially be damaging to the vehicle.

auto repair longmont

Indeed, the weight of the hand might push the shifter into a position where the synchronizer and transmission bushings wear slightly against each other. Gearbox fixes come at a significant cost, so drivers will want to do what they can to avoid the repair. Also, it’s a basic safety practice to have both hands firmly grasping the steering wheel at all times. While it might not look like a slick way to drive, it might help to remember that two-hands is how the race car drivers do it.

Shifting to Reverse From Forward While the Car Is in Motion

auto repair longmont

Every driver has done this once in a while when backing out of a parking space. It certainly doesn’t seem so bad, but what drivers don’t know is that the shock direction can change and cause serious damage to the car’s gearbox. Despite all mechanical components being built and assembled with sufficient clearance between dynamic parts, abrupt changes in direction while the components are still moving in opposite ways can potentially cause them to grind into each other. In order to avoid damage (and a costly eventual repair), drivers are advised to allow the car to come to a full stop before changing from forward to reverse or vice versa.

3 Things Drivers Do Every Day That Ruin Their Vehicles

Driving With Low Fuel

Drivers can usually be split into two categories: those who make a point of filling their car up to the brim as soon as they’ve made a small dent on the fuel container, and those who perpetually ride with an almost-empty gas tank, filling their car with gas sparsely and frequently. What most auto repair Longmont know (that most average drivers don’t) is that driving on empty can lead to damage in a car’s fuel system. Fuel pumps tend to stay cool by remaining submerged in the fuel within the tank.

auto repair longmont

Since these components pump fuel from the tank to the engine, it’s important that they remain in good shape. If the driver runs on a quarter tank or less on a regular basis, it’s possible that the fuel pump may overheat, which means that it will be in need of replacement sooner rather than later. Fuel pump replacements can come with a hefty fee depending on the make, model, and year in question. In all cases, it’s better for drivers to avoid the bill by making sure that there’s an adequate amount of fuel in their car at all times.

Refraining From Handbrake Use While in Automatic

All drivers who own vehicles with an automatic gearbox should ensure that the handbrake is always used when parked. This applies even if the driver is parked on a perfectly flat surface while in ‘P’ mode. When drivers put their transmission in ‘P’, there’s actually very little that stops the car from rolling away.

auto repair longmont

In fact, the only thing stopping the car from doing so is a parking pawl, which is a tiny metal pin. The parking pawl is the size of a pinky finger, and it squeezes itself into the gears of a car’s gearbox in order to prevent them from moving while the car is parked.



The pawl is prone to shattering if it is made to bear the entire weight of a vehicle for a long period of time, especially over prolonged use. Since replacing the parking pawl can cost hundreds of dollars, it’s best for the driver to simply lean on the handbrake in order to reduce the tension being put on other, more sensitive components.

auto repair longmont


Heavy Feet

Smoothness is key when driving. Despite knowing this, many drivers tend to brake hard and accelerate hard, which cost them in terms of fuel while also wearing out brake pads and rotors sooner rather than later.

auto repair longmont

Replacing brake components are relatively inexpensive, but they need regular replacement throughout a vehicle’s lifespan. By simply easing the pressure on the pedals, drivers can save plenty of money in the long run by requiring fewer break component repairs.

Auto Repair Tools All Mechanics Need (Part 3)

Specialized Floor Jacks

Every auto repair shop Longmont CO, needs at least two floor jacks, though some are savvy enough to combine those two units into one. These days, floor jacks can be fitted with cross-beam lifting accessories, essentially allowing them to lift in two places at once. The arms can be extended and the lift pads can be rotated to meet a cross member.

auto repair longmont

Then, all the mechanic has to do is pump the handle (with a decent amount of elbow grease), and the vehicle will effectively be suspended in the air, ready to be worked on. Surely, there’s no better way to lift a vehicle in the world of auto repair Longmont.

Spark Plug Boot Pliers

Many mechanics have at one point or another grabbed hold of plug wires using pliers, and effectively damaged the boot. This is why all mechanics are advised to stock spark plug boot pliers. With their padded jaws, these pliers allow mechanics to get a solid grip on the boot without shredding it. Simply slide it near the wire onto the top portion of the boot and clamp down, applying pressure to the metal within the boot. Twist and pull, and don’t worry about any torn wires or boots.

auto repair longmont

Precision Hook and Pick Set

While many tools in a mechanic’s arsenal are made for rough surface work, there are some smaller toolsets built for miniute, specific work. The precision hook and pick set is one of them. Mechanics can potentially get the job done without a precision set like this, but it certainly helps when work in tiny areas needs to be done.

auto repair longmont

For instance, late-model vehicles tend to contain electrical connectors that are locked together in place with plastic pins and slides. Most mechanics stock needle-nose pliers to go after them, but these pliers can potentially wreck the locking function of the connectors. Using a specialized hook set, mechanics can maneuver them out with ease.

Specialized Pliers

It would seem as though all mechanics have their own unique need for a special set of pliers. Indeed, no matter how precise a set of pliers is made, the mechanic’s hand will invariably get in the way of the work they’re doing at one point or another. There’s nothing more stressful to a mechanic than having to dig precisely into certain spots trying to grab items while having their own hand obstruct their work.

auto repair longmont

Thankfully, engineers all too familiar with this issue have designed a myriad of specialized pliers suitable for specific tasks and hand types. Mechanics need only try out what works especially for them, and say goodbye to that troublesome view of the back of the hand while doing acute engine work.

Transmission Repair FAQ

What is Involved?

auto repair Longmont

Modern electronically controlled transmissions are complicated pieces of engineering that require expensive diagnostic equipment in order to treat. Qualified transmission technicians use specialized equipment in order to diagnose and repair transmission issues properly. An average transmission contains hundreds of parts. During repair, the transmission as a whole must be removed from the car, taken apart completely, and all the parts must be inspected and cleaned. The technician will then replace or repair all damaged parts, rebuild the unit entirely, then reinstall the whole transmission into the car. Understandably, this is an incredibly demanding task, and it must be undertaken with absolutely no room for error if the car is to be running smoothly and properly.

How Long the Work Will Take?

auto repair Longmont

Small repairs can potentially be completed the same day that the car was brought in or the next day depending on the mechanic’s availability. However, major repairs or rebuilds can take several days.

Should the Vehicle Should be Repaired or Replaced?

This is one matter that several drivers have had problems solving. The driver must first assess their attachment to the vehicle and whether it meets the driver’s needs. If yes, the condition of the vehicle must be evaluated. The driver must determine whether the car can auto repair Longmont last approximately three years without needing another significant repair. Of course, the driver’s trusted auto repair Longmont expert can help them determine that. The driver should consider the cost of the repair compared to the amount of new car payments that he or she will have to make, and assess whether buying a new vehicle is more worthy than replacing expensive parts of the old one. Once there is a true figure of comparison, the driver will be able to make a financially sound decision. Normally, even a major repair will cost significantly less than the sales tax of a new purchase alone.

Will the Repair Will Last Long?

It’s important for drivers to have their car’s automatic transmission serviced regularly in order to significantly increase the vehicle’s life. This is because the automatic auto repair Longmont transmission fluid (ATF) in a car lubricates the components and helps to drive the car’s transmission. Any damage to the fluid, such as shear and oxidation, will significantly lessen its holding power. This causes the transmission to overheat and slip, which can quickly lead to its failure. If a transmission service is performed at least once a year, the driver can expect their transmission to last for years on end. Conversely, if the driver neglects the obligation to bring the car in for a regular tune up, they might experience a total breakdown in their transmission over time, which will necessitate a painfully expensive and inconvenient repair.

Common Transmission Issues (Part 3)

In cases where the car does not shift after the clutch is engaged and the driver attempts to move the stick, the first step is to take a look at the fluid in order to ensure Longmont air conditioning service that it’s at the appropriate level. Some other causes include using the clutch linkage, shift cables, and incorrect type of fluid that need adjustment. Additionally, the source of the problem might be linked to the vehicle’s computer system. If the driver has already inspected the fluid, they can attempt to reset it. In order to do this, the battery must be detached and the car should be left in idle mode for around thirty minutes. Then, the battery should be reattached and the system should be allowed to reset itself. This normally takes around thirty minutes at well. If this still doesn’t fix the issue, then it’s time to bring the car in for auto repair Longmont.

Check Engine Light

The check engine light sign on the car’s dashboard is a reliable early teller that something can potentially go wrong (or potentially already has gone wrong) with the car, oil change Longmont CO particularly with the vehicle’s transmission. Although the light might turn on for a variety of reasons aside from transmission problems, it’s crucial that drivers don’t ignore this warning signal. Several sensors placed in various areas of a car’s engine serve to alert the computer that unusual activity is observed in a specific process. The transmission’s sensors can pick up on slight inconsistencies in the car’s performance that the driver won’t readily pick up themselves. If the engine light turns on, the vehicle should be taken in for inspection. The mechanic will have a look at the car and will get an immediate sense of the issue through the use of his or her specialized diagnostic tools.

Noisy Transmission in Neutral

If the driver observes a noisy sound coming from the transmission while in neutral mode, the simple, inexpensive solution is either adding or changing its fluid. This tends Longmont air conditioning service to do the trick; if it doesn’t, the transmission might be in need of some professional attention in order to replace the parts that have worn out. Commonly, these parts are the bearings, reverse idler gear, or worn gear teeth.

Slipping Gears

oil change Longmont CO

A transmission is meant to remain in a designated gear until the driver (manual) or the computer (automatic) performs a shift. If the transmission slips in and out of gear by its own accord, this presents a serious safety risk and should be handled by a mechanic immediately. The cause of this issue might be broken or worn down components in the link that holds the gears together.

Common Transmission Issues (Part 1)

Finding out what kind of issue a car is experiencing is a difficult task for the average driver. A car’s internal structure is similar in a way to the human body. For instance, auto repair Longmont pain experienced in the chest area can potentially point to a variety of health issues. However, if the chest pain is absorbed along with difficulty breathing, then the issue is likely caused by asthma or a similar condition. Automotive issues are diagnosed in the same way. Problems that tend to befall mechanical system commonly exhibit signs that indicate the malfunction of certain key properties. As soon as signs that a vehicle’s performance is dipping are observed, it’s important to assess the issue auto repair Longmont CO immediately and find a way to solve the problem. The transmission of a vehicle is a complicated system that monitors the application of power to the driveshaft from the engine. It experiences a relatively high amount of wear and tear compared to other parts of the vehicle. This is due to the friction and heat that is produced by the moving and interacting components. The following are some common issues that can befall a car’s transmission and might necessitate auto repair Longmont.

Weak Response (Or Lack of Response Entirely)

Drivers might take note of a car’s reluctance to enter into gear. If this is the case, then something is likely wrong with the car’s transmission. As the car shifts from park to oil change Longmont CO drive, it should immediately enter its designated gear. When it comes to automatic transmissions, drivers may notice that, when bringing the car into drive or park mode, there is some delay before the gear engage is felt. This is usually a concern related to the car’s transmission. Conversely, manual transmissions might exhibit the same lack of response. The RPMs will surge after shifting into gear, but the car might not move as quickly as the engine’s sound would normally indicate. This is normally caused by a faulty clutch that will need to be replaced, though it can also point to a more serious issue.

Humming, Clunking, and Whining

Transmission issues in a vehicle aren’t normally designated by any type of sound. However, if drivers hear a sound that they never heard before, this is likely cause for auto repair Longmont some concern. The sounds in this case will vary depending on the car’s make and model, but they normally come in the form of humming, clunking, and whining. Manual transmissions might exhibit a more mechanical sound that is loud and abrupt. Specifically, a car with a manual transmission might produce a clunking sound when shifting gears. This almost always points back to an issue with the car’s transmission and is a sign that the vehicle should be taken in for a checkup and potential auto repair Longmont CO.

5 Best Places to Train a Young Driver

The Driveway

It might sound funny, but the first terrain that the young driver will learn to maneuver through will be the driveway on which the car rests. Here is where the driver will familiarize him or herself with the basic functions of the vehicle, and will get a sense of the main components’ placements. Before putting the vehicle into motion, the driver should ensure that their seatbelt is adequately tied, that the seat is placed well, and the mirrors are adjusted accordingly. The driver should know how to turn the left and right flashers on, and should practice maneuvering the pedal foot from the gas to the break. Once this has sunk in, it’s time to get the car rolling.

oil change longmont co

The Driver’s Own Street

The first few wheel rotations should be taken on the driver’s own street, provided it’s a low-traffic residential street. This provides the driver with a sense of familiarity which will help them relax in the high pressure situation. While driving on their own street, the young driver can essentially travel at their own pace as they get a feel for the vehicle’s controls. However, drivers in training should note not to accidentally bump into a neighbor’s car!

Empty Parking Lots

auto repair longmont coEmpty parking lots are where young drivers can really get a sense of how a vehicle operates. Here they can apply a bit more pressure to the gas pedal and see what it feels like to take a turn with the car. Of course, it’s important to keep light posts or any other surrounding objects in mind and in view, and it’s advised that parents take their young drivers to the parking lot at night, or at a time when there are barely any cars on the lot. After a few rounds in the parking lot, it’s time for the driver to take on the streets.

Small Neighborhood Streets

longmont air conditioning serviceAt this stage, it’s advised that the driver once again practice in the neighborhood they’re most familiar with. However, now it’s time to actually take the car around the area, taking stop signs and turns and going the designated speed limit. This is where the driver can practice braking and acceleration as well as checking their mirrors and using their flashers. Once the driver is totally comfortable with driving in the neighborhood, it’s time for the real challenge.

The Highway

The highway is next, and young drivers need to be ready for it. Obviously, highway travel comes with great velocities. The last thing young drivers want is a serious accident, a trip to the hospital, and a long session at the auto repair longmont shop.

transmission repair longmont

However, once the young driver has sufficient command over the vehicle, the highway is the next logical step in their preparation. As long as the parent is attentive and the young driver is confident, they’ll pass this stage and be ready for their upcoming exam.