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Can I Drive With a Bad EGR Valve?


Do you suspect that your vehicle has a bad EGR valve and you are wondering if it’s possible to drive with a bad EGR valve? Are you worried that driving with a bad EGR valve might cause engine damage? I have had this issue and I am going to share my experience with a bad EGR valve. In short, it shouldn’t cause any problems UNLESS it is completely stuck open which is very rare. A stuck open EGR valve can cause stalling at idle, no start, rough idle, popping sound, engine misfire, and check engine light.

Can I drive with a bad EGR valve? Technically, you can drive your vehicle with a bad EGR valve, but your vehicle will run rough, shake at idle, and a check engine light will be illuminated. You might also hear popping sounds while driving down the road. However, driving with a bad EGR valve means that your vehicle is producing a lot of nitrogen oxide which pollutes the environment and you will fail the emissions test.

Can I Drive With a Bad EGR Valve?

Can I Drive With a Bad EGR Valve

If you suspect that your EGR valve is bad, or a mechanic has diagnosed this issue, the question is ”Can I drive with a bad EGR valve?” Technically speaking, you can drive your vehicle with a bad EGR valve without any major limitations. You might experience shaking at idle, rough running, popping sound, and that’s about it. In some cases where the EGR valve is stuck completely open (which is super rare), you might not be able to start your vehicle.

The question here is more ”Should you drive your vehicle with a bad EGR valve?” The EGR valve helps reduce the creation of the toxic nitrogen oxides that are created in the combustion chamber by up to 70%. Driving with a bad EGR valve will mean that your vehicle will produce a lot of toxic gasses for the environment. Also, you won’t be able to pass the emissions test with a bad EGR valve.

Changing your EGR valve can cost you anywhere from $140 to $599. That’s why it’s best if you first try to clean your EGR valve without removing it before replacing it. You don’t have to be an expert mechanic to clean your EGR valve and it will only cost you around $20. If cleaning the EGR valve does not fix your issue, take your vehicle to the mechanic and have it replaced.

What Does an EGR Do?

What Does an EGR Do

Exhaust gas recirculation – EGR for short – is an important pollutant reduction method in petrol and diesel engines. When an engine runs, the exhaust gas is taken directly after the cylinders. Then, the EGR valve regulates the subsequent mixing of the exhaust gas with the intake air. This means that less oxygen reaches the cylinder, and less oxygen means a lower combustion temperature.

This way, nitrogen oxide quantities can be reduced by up to 70% as the higher the temperature, the more harmful nitrogen oxides are produced in petrol engines. This can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.

The EGR valve is a key component of exhaust gas recirculation. It meters the quantity of exhaust gas that is returned. EGR valves come in various designs and models such as pneumatic, electrical, for petrol or diesel applications, or with connections for cooling.

Regulating throttles are used in the intake air system in diesel vehicles. They generate the pressure difference required between the exhaust gas side and intake side to achieve the necessary high exhaust gas recirculation rates.

Air mass sensors are required in diesel engines to regulate the exhaust gas recirculation. With their help, the mass of the recirculated exhaust gas is calculated indirectly using the reduction of intake air.

The EGR coolers have been used since simple exhaust gas recirculation has no longer been sufficient to fulfill emission standards. Just like all components in the EGR system, EGR coolers are exposed to the extreme conditions of the aggressive exhaust gas condensate. They must therefore be manufactured from highly corrosion and temperature resistant materials.

How Do I Know If My EGR Valve is Working?

To determine whether your EGR valve is working or is bad, you have to perform a series of tests. These test might require basic mechanic skills. I am going to explain the EGR valve testing process as simple as I can. Please follow all of the steps and at the end you will know if your EGR valve is working or not.

1. Scan the vehicle with an OBD scanner

The first thing you should do is scan your vehicle with an OBD scanner. If you don’t have an OBD scanner, you can grab one on amazon.com. Attach the OBD scanner to your vehicle’s main computer and look for any error codes. The error code associated with a faulty EGR is P0401.

2. Locate and remove the EGR valve

The EGR valve is usually located on the upper air intake of your engine. Once you locate it, you will need to remove it in order to perform the tests to see if its working or not. You don’t have to remove the upper air intake in order to remove the EGR valve.

3. Perform a visual inspection on the EGR valve

The first test that you need to perform is a visual inspection. Once you remove the EGR valve, clean it with a WD40 and wipe it with a clean towel. You must clean the EGR valve so you can perform a visual inspection and check for cracks and damages. If the EGR valve has no cracks and passes the visual inspection, perform the next step.

4. Perform a vacuum test

Grab a hand-operated vacuum pump and attach it to the EGR. If you don’t have a vacuum pump, you can grab one on amazon.com. This test will show if your EGR is able to hold a vacuum. An operating EGR valve has to hold a vacuum without dropping off. If your EGR holds a vacuum for a couple of seconds and then drops off, the EGR is faulty.

5. Check for leaks in the EGR valve

The idea behind this test is to check if the EGR valve is stuck in an open or closed position and if it has any leaks. So, grab any kind of colored liquid. I have tested an EGR valve with ATF fluid before and it works just fine. Pour some colored liquid into the opening and check if the EGR valve is leaking. It should not leak at this point and that means that the EGR valve is closed. Now, attach the hand-operated vacuum pump and attach it to the EGR valve. Once you start pumping, the EGR valve should open and the liquid should come out of the bottom.

6. Reinstall the EGR valve

If your EGR valve has failed one of the tests, you will need to get a new EGR valve. You can grab one on amazon.com. If your EGR valve passed all the tests, you can go ahead and reinstall the old one. Some EGR valves don’t have a gasket and you can add a little bit of silicon rubber around the intake hole and bolt it back on.

Why My Car Dies While Driving And Then Restarts


If your car dies while driving and then restarts, you probably will think that a huge mechanic repair bill is on the way, but that’s not always the case.

I have a 2007 car that used to die while driving and then restarts as nothing happened. I was afraid of a huge mechanic repair bill, so that’s why I had to figure out on my own what was causing the problem. It turned out to be a faulty fuel pump, but there are also many things that can cause your car to die while driving and then restart. Here are the top reasons why your car dies while driving and then restarts:

Why My Car Dies While Driving And Then Restarts

Here are the top reasons why your car dies while driving and then restarts:

1. Faulty Fuel Pump

Faulty Fuel Pump

A faulty fuel pump can cause your car to die while driving and then restart on its own. The thing with most vehicles is that a faulty fuel pump will not throw a check engine light because there are parts of the car that the computer system doesn’t know anything about. One of the big things that most car computers don’t know about is the fuel pressure because there’s no sensor on many cars to tell the computer what the actual fuel pressure is.

So, if the fuel pump starts to go bad, the computer isn’t going to know what the fuel pressure is, and it often won’t set a code. Your car will continue to die once in a while and then restart on its own. So, checking the fuel pressure is the first thing you should do.

How to check the fuel pressure:

  1. Get a fuel pressure testing kit. I got one from amazon.com and you can check it out here. It has a lot of different fittings and works on all models.
  2. Choose the right adapter from the fuel pressure testing kit.
  3. Connect the adapter to the fuel line bolts into the fuel rail.
  4. Connect that line to your gauge to measure the pressure.
  5. Start the engine and leave it to run at idle.
  6. On idle, the fuel pressure should be between 46 and 49 psi

When you don’t have enough fuel pressure, the car won’t run right, especially at higher speeds. It’ll just die when you’re go on a higher speed, and then restart.

Is your engine oil due for a change? Visit our Car Fluid Guide Website to learn the importance of changing your oil on time, which type of engine oil is best for your vehicle, and much more.

2. Engine Misfire

An engine misfire can cause your vehicle to die while driving and then restart on its own. A severe misfire will prevent a vehicle from running properly. Every time the spark plugs ignite the fuel in the cylinder and move the piston down as a result, that’s going to speed up the reluctor ring.

The reluctor ring is attached to the crankshaft and every time there is combustion in the cylinder, the reluctor ring is being pushed just a little bit. This movement is monitored by the vehicle computer. In case of an engine misfire, there is not a sudden burst of energy that is going to move the reluctor ring and the vehicle computer is going to know that there’s something wrong with that cylinder and can cause your vehicle to die while running and then restart. This will also trigger a misfire engine light.

The engine could misfire due to:

  • a faulty ignition coil
  • faulty fuel injectors
  • low engine compression
  • oil on a spark plug
  • bad valve cover gasket
  • tube seals open
  • damaged wires
  • worn spark plugs
  • bad spark plug cables
  • vacuum leaks

Will Injector Cleaner Fix a Misfire?

3. Bad Cam Position Sensor (Error P0340)

If your car dies while driving and then restarts on its own, it could be because of a bad cam position sensor. In order to check if your cam position sensor is bad, you will need a scan tool (you can get one on amazon.com).

How To Check For a Bad Cam Position Sensor and Replace It

  1. Connect the scanner to your car computer and turn the scan tool on. If the scan tool shows an error code P0340, you have a bad cam position sensor and it is making your car die and then restart while driving.
  2. Locate the cam position sensor. On most vehicles, the cam position sensor is located on the backside of the engine and it looks exactly as in the image shown above.
  3. Once you locate the cam position sensor, tart your vehicle and keep it running.
  4. Grab a rubber hammer or a steel hammer wrapped with a cloth and gently hit the cam position sensor. If your car dies while you do this then your cam position sensor is bad and you need to replace it.
  5. Get a new cam position sensor on amazon.com for your vehicle made and model.
  6. Take out the old cam position sensor by removing the two bolts (usually a 10-millimeter socket).
  7. Spray the connector with an electrical cleaner. They only use tiny amounts of electricity, and any little piece of dirt will make them work incorrectly.
  8. Install the new cam position sensor and tighten the bolts, but don’t overdo it because the cam position sensor is made out of plastic and you don’t want to crack it.
  9. Scan your vehicle with the scan tool. You will probably see an ”check engine light” and you will have to restart it before starting the car again.

4. Faulty or Failing Mass Airflow Sensor

A mass airflow sensor is supposed to measure the amount of volume and density of the air getting drawn into your engine. The mass airflow sensor is then going to send out a little signal that goes out to the car’s computer and it’s gonna say you need to match this amount of fuel to this amount of air. That way the vehicle can run efficiently because it will have a proper air to fuel ratio.

The accuracy of the mass airflow sensor is going to be critical to making sure that your engine runs properly. If the mass airflow sensor gets dirty in any way or even damaged, it’s going to cause an issue with the run ability of your vehicle and your vehicle will die while driving and then restart itself.

You can unplug the airflow sensor and if the vehicle starts right up then the airflow sensor is faulty. Sometimes an airflow sensor can be saved by cleaning. Use an appropriate airflow cleaner (check prices on amazon.com) and clean the airflow sensor. In addition, inspect the inlet tube for possible cracks.

5. Vacuum Leak

Vacuum Leak

A vacuum leak is any amount of unmetered or unmeasured air that enters your engine past your mass airflow sensor. In other words, any amount of air that enters your engine past the mass airflow sensor is not going to be measured and your vehicle’s computer will not know the exact amount of air that entered your engine. This will create an imbalance in the air to fuel ratio and can result in your car dying while driving and then restarting again.

The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air that enters your engine and sends out that information to the computer so the computer can calculate and send the exact same amount of fuel to the engine. All of your engine’s vacuum lines, intake manifold gasket, air hoses, or any other type of air hoses need to be in good shape and airtight so they don’t allow any unmeasured air to enter the engine past the mass airflow sensor.

6. Faulty Throttle Position Sensor

A faulty throttle position sensor can cause your car to die while driving and then restart itself. The throttle position sensor is attached to the throttle body and measures the movement of the throttle body. As you press the gas pedal, the throttle body opens and the sensor tells the main computer how wide the throttle body is open so it knows how much fuel to fire with the fuel injectors.

A faulty throttle position sensor can send faulty data to the main computer and the main computer can then send too little or too much fuel causing the engine to die while driving. You will be able to restart your vehicle and the problem can reappear further down the drive.

How To Check For a Faulty Throttle Position Sensor

Here is how to check if your throttle position sensor is faulty:

  1. Hook up an OBD scanner to your vehicle’s computer. If you don’t have an OBD scanner, you can get one on amazon.com.
  2. Open the menu on the OBD scanner and select the option to measure the throttle position.
  3. Locate the throttle position sensor in the engine bay. It is usually attached right to the throttle body.
  4. Press the gas pedal couple of times to make the throttle body move.
  5. Check the data on the OBD scanner and see if the throttle position sensor has recorded any movement at all.
  6. If there is no movement recorded, your throttle position sensor is bad and has to be replaced with a new one.

How To Fix a Squeaky Suspension


Is your car suspension making a squeaky or creaking noise while driving down the road, or does your car squeaks when rocked? I am going to show you how to fix a squeaky suspension.

Older model vehicles used to have grease fittings on the suspension and once your car started to squeak, you could just fill the grease fittings with a grease gun and the squeaking will go away. But, modern vehicles do not have grease fittings. Instead, modern vehicles have rubber bushings that get old and start squeaking and creaking while you drive over bumps, rock the car, or when you get out of the car.

One way to fix a squeaking or creaking suspension is to replace the whole suspension system. But, changing multiple parts on your suspension system will cost a lot. Instead, there is an easy way on how to fix a squeaky suspension.

Is your engine oil due for a change? Visit our Car Fluid Guide Website to learn the importance of changing your oil on time, which type of engine oil is best for your vehicle, and much more.

1. Locate where the noise is coming from

Each wheel of the vehicle is supported by a suspension system. Even though behind each wheel there is a suspension system with bushings that can go bad, not all bushings will go bad at the same time. It is important that you fix the bushings that are bad and not waste material on the good bushings. So, in order to locate where the noise is coming from you will have to perform a small test.

You might not be able to hear the squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension system when you drive or go over a bump. So, park your vehicle and start rocking it above each wheel. If you hear a squeaking or creaking noise coming from a particular wheel, that wheel has a suspension with bad bushings.

2. Jack up your car

Once you locate where the squeaking or creaking noise is coming from, jack up your car. If you don’t have a jack, you can grab one on amazon.com. After you jack up your car, place it on jack stands for maximum safety. The last thing you want is for your car to fall down while you are working on it or under it. Each vehicle has different jacking points, but the ones on the image provided are the most common jack points.

3. Remove the wheel

With your vehicle placed on jack stands, remove the wheel. You can remove the wheel by removing the bolts. Each vehicle has a different number of bolts, but the number of bolts is usually five. If some of the bolts are rusted and won’t come off, spray some WD40 on them and let them soak for a couple of minutes before starting again.

With the wheel removed, you have exposed the suspension system and the bushings that are bad. Make sure to store the bolts and don’t lose them because you will need them in a couple of minutes to reinstall the wheel.

4. Locate the bad bushings

The bushings are part of the suspension system and are made of rubber. They act as a vibration isolator with a purpose to prevent metal-to-metal contact between the other parts of the suspension while driving the car.

Even though they are made out of hard rubber, they still allow some movement which is very important. Every time you drive your vehicle, the bushings are moving and are constantly exposed to the elements underneath the vehicle. Being under so much exposure, they are doomed to fail. You will be able to locate the rubber bushings behind each wheel as shown in the photo.

5. Spray the bushings with the lubricant

The bushing lubricant that I use is called AT-205 Re-Seal and you can grab it on amazon.com. It is a clear polymer liquid that rejuvenates rubber bushings. Pour the lubricant into a spray bottle and spray it on all the bad rubber bushings. Make sure to get enough of the product on the bushings and make them soaking wet.

You need to spray the torsion arm bushing, frame bushings, and strut mount bushings. Basically, every part of the suspension that is made out of rubber can be sprayed with this lubricant. This will take care of the squeaking and creaking noise coming from the suspension. You could spray WD40 as well, but it will wash off with the first car wash or rain. After you are done spraying, leave the vehicle overnight so the lubricant can soak into the rubber bushings.

6. Reassemble the wheel

After you let the rubber lubricant soak in overnight, reassemble the wheel and take your vehicle for a test drive. At this point, you shouldn’t hear any squeaking or creaking noises coming from the suspension while driving over a bump or rocking your car.

When To Change Bushings In Car

  1. When you hear squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension, that is a clear sign that the bushings are old and have started to fail. It is only a matter of time before you start hearing clunking noises.
  2. If the bushings are bad you will hear a clunking noises. This happens when you start driving and the wheel will shock backwards causing a clunking noise.
  3. Best way to tell if your bushings are bad is to jack up your car and perform some tests. Grab the tire by the nine and three clock position and try to move the wheel back and forth. There should be no motion. If there is a movement, you need to replace your bushings.

How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It


It’s a fact that deposits form in every fuel system but the amount and how quickly they form depend on the quality of fuel, the oil used, personal driving styles, and engine type.

Some engines are particularly prone to wrap and buildup of fuel deposits because they’re never cooled or washed with fuel. Carbon deposits can form in as few as five thousand to ten thousand miles causing restricted airflow and increased engine operating temperatures. So, here is how to clean the intake valve without removing it:

How To Clean Intake Valve Without Removing It

1. Wear protective glasses and gloves

This is an obvious thing since safety is always number one. In order to safely clean the intake valve without removing it, please wear protective glasses and gloves. The cleaning product is applied with the engine running and you do not want to burn your hands or risk any fluids from the running engine getting into your eyes. (See some gloves and glasses on amazon.com).

I work around cars a lot and I used to forget to put on my gloves or my glasses. You know, when you work on cars all day and you want to get things done, you forget about your safety. I used to come home with very dirty hands and skin burns on my fingers. My wife didn’t mind the dirty fingers because those fingers put food on the table, but she told me one day that she respected my work but I could be a lot cleaner and without injuries, if I only put on the protective gloves. So, me being a good husband, I did put on the gloves and made it my habit. It’s not bad to listen to the other half from time to time.

Is your engine oil due for a change? Visit our Car Fluid Guide Website to learn the importance of changing your oil on time, which type of engine oil is best for your vehicle, and much more.

2. Get the engine to operating temperature

In order to clean the intake valve without removing it, you have to start your engine and get it at operating temperature. Most engines operate at 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. A great way to know that your engine is at its operating temperature is by looking at the temperature gauge on the dashboard. Once the temperature gauge is in the middle between C (cold) and H (hot) that’s how you know that your engine has reached its operating temperature.

3. Remove the air filter cover

The air filter has a plastic cover that has to be removed in order to get access to the MAF sensor. The air filter cover is located near the engine and has a duct that travels from the front of the car into the engine. To remove the air filter cover, you need to loosen the hose clamps on each side and remove any wing nuts (if present). Make sure that you don’t lose any of the parts because you will need to reassemble the air filter cover later.

While you are at it, you can check the condition of the air filter and replace it or clean it if necessary. I always recommend changing the air filter with a brand new one because they are not that expensive (check prices on air filters on amazon.com).

4. Locate the MAF sensor

The MAF sensor is a part of the electronic fuel injector system and has a function to calculate the amount of air that is entering the engine. The combustion that occurs in the combustion chamber has to have a specific air to fuel ratio, otherwise, the vehicle will run rich or poor. The mass airflow sensor is in charge of the air intake.

The mass airflow sensor, also known as the MAF sensor is usually located between the airbox and the throttle body. It is important to locate the MAF sensor because you are going to spray the valve intake cleaner past the MAF sensor.

5. Rev the engine to approx. 2,000 RPM

For this step, it’s best if you have someone behind the steering wheel that will be able to rev the engine to approx. 2,000 RPMs. Revving your engine to approx. 2,000 RPMs will get the engine running and will speed up the combustion process.

6. Insert the cleaner straw past the MAF sensor

This is an important step. You should only spray the cleaning product after the MAF sensor. If you spray the cleaning product in front of the MAF sensor, you will see a check engine light on your dashboard.

If you have an OBD Scanner (see prices on amazon.com), you will be able to scan your vehicle for error codes. Usually, the error code associated with the mass airflow sensor is P0102. Since you will know what caused the error code, you could go ahead and remove it.

7. Spray the intake cleaner

With the engine running at approx. 2,000 RPMs, go ahead and spray the intake cleaner (see the price on amazon.com) in 30-second intervals until the can is empty. If you feel that the engine is beginning to stall, press the gas pedal but do not exceed 3,500 RPMs.

The spray cleaner will be able to remove a lot of the carbon deposits that accumulated on the intake valves. It is important that you pay attention to where you are spraying the intake cleaner. Some vehicles have intake manifolds designed in a way that they will allow the intake cleaner to ”pool” in one place. What could happen next is when you are driving down the road, the intake cleaner could end up past the valves and trigger error codes on your dashboard.

8. Rev the engine up to 3,500 RPMS

When the intake cleaner can is empty, accelerate the engine 2-3 times over 2,000 RPMs, but again do not exceed 3,500 RPMs. Run the engine idle for one minute and then turn off the engine.

9. Re-assemble the air intake system

After you are done with the spraying and revving your engine, it is time to reassemble the air intake cover. While you are at the air intake filter, inspect it and replace it if needed.

Then, turn the engine off and lead the engine head-soak for an hour. This will allow the intake cleaner to really clean the intake valves from the carbon deposit. Once one hour passes, drive your vehicle at highway speeds for at least 10 minutes. At this point, you should have clean intake valves.

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside


There are a lot of reasons why your tire wears from the inside. What happens is, some of the suspension parts fail, therefore, causing the angle of the tire (camber) to slightly tilt which makes the inside of the tire have more contact with the road than the outside of the tire.

If your tire wears from the inside I will explain the 4 most common reasons why your tire wears from the inside and how to know exactly what’s causing it.

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

1. Negative Camber

Negative camber is when the inside of the tire is making more contact with the road than the outside of the tire causing your tires to wear on the inside. All tires should be set at an angle of 90 degrees to ensure equal tire wear. If your camber is negative, the angle of your tires would be less than 90 degrees and the tires would be slightly tilted inwards causing your tire to wear on the inside.

Many of the cars out there have non-adjustable camber from the factory. The car manufacturers do this they make all of the suspension components pre-set perfectly within spec.

The problem comes with wear and tear over time. Suspension components like bushings and ball joints become sloppy, the rubber gets old and dry and then it creates extra slop within the geometry of the suspension. The result of this is uneven tire wear or in this case, your tire wears on the inside.

The real fix for this would be to start replacing any worn-out bushings, ball joints, control arms, and other suspension parts. But the downside to that is it can get really expensive. So, it’s best if you look further into this issue and diagnose which suspension part has failed and is causing your tire to wear on the inside.

Is your engine oil due for a change? Visit our Car Fluid Guide Website to learn the importance of changing your oil on time, which type of engine oil is best for your vehicle, and much more.

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car

This is the easiest way to determine the camber angle on your car tires. If you determine that there is a difference in the measurements and your wheels have either a negative or positive camber, then you should take the wheel off and measure the angle with a spirit level.

How To Measure Camber Angle on a Car 2
  1. Park your car on a leveled ground. It is very important that your car is leveled. Use a spirit level to make sure that your car isn’t parked on unleveled ground.
  2. Set a plumb line so that it splits the wheel in half. The weight must hit neither the wheel nor the ground and should be at 90 degrees. The plumb line should be set on the bumper above the tire that you want to measure the camber on. You can use a spacer if necessary.
  3. With a measuring tape measure the distance between the plumb line and the upper outermost point of the rim.
  4. Then measure the distance between the plumb line and the lower outermost point of the rim.
  5. If you notice that the distance between the upper outermost point of the rim and the plumb line is different than the distance of the lower outermost part of the rim and the plumb line is different, your tire camber angle is off.
  6. Jack your car and remove the tire.
  7. Put a spirit level on the disks and you will be able to see the exact angle of your tire alignment. The angle should be 90 degrees, but if it’s off, you need to readjust it or your tires will continue to wear on the inside.

2. Worn Shocks and Struts

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

Shocks and struts are a part of the suspension system and have a function to absorb shocks caused by the road so your car doesn’t bounce a lot when you hit a pothole. Shocks and struts are installed at a specific angle, and they need to maintain that angle. However, worn-out shocks and struts can be bent and change their angle causing your tires to slightly tilt and wear on the inside.

The difference between the shocks and struts is that struts are basically a structural part of the vehicle that is installed on. Meaning, you can drive your vehicle without shocks, but you cannot drive your vehicle without a strut. Basically, the suspension would be sitting on the wheel. Being a structural part of the vehicle, worn-out struts can most definitely cause the tire to tilt inwards and cause your tire to wear on the inside.

Shocks and struts function off of the premise of turning kinetic energy into thermal energy. Essentially, you have a tube that is filled with a bunch of fluid and that is going to be pushed through a series of small holes called orifices inside by a piston. The orifices only allow so much fluid to travel through them at a given rate which is how you get your dampening that is going to control the movement of the car and the suspension.

How To Tell That Your Shocks and Struts Are Worn

Shocks and struts are often overlooked parts, but that doesn’t mean that they are not important. Shocks and struts can get damaged from a large pothole, corrosion from road salt, or simply wear. Here is how to tell that your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing:

  1. The most common sign that your shocks and struts are worn is when your tires wear faster than normal. Also, the wear on the tires occurs on one side, most of the time they wear on the inside.
  2. If the front of the car nosedives excessively when you press your brakes, your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing.
  3. If your car bounces more than usual when you drive over a pothole, your shocks and struts are worn and need replacing.
  4. Worn shocks and struts will often leak fluids and can be checked by a visual inspection or simply by pulling the rubber up and exposing the strut.

3. Worn Upper or Lower Ball Joints

Worn upper or lower ball joints can change how the tire of your car contacts the road. When upper or lower ball joints go bad, they affect the angle at which your tires sit on the road. Usually, they create a negative camber causing your tires to wear on the inside.

A ball joint is a connection that is flexible and it allows movement of the two parts of that connection in more than one direction at the same time. Basically, the ball joints allow the wheels to turn left and right and move up and down.

Each front tire has an upper and lower ball joint. The lower ball joint is attached to the lower steering knuckle at the wheel. The upper ball joint is attached to the upper steering knuckle.

Ball joints have a critical function in vehicle suspension because. Simply put, the ball joints hold the wheel to the car. The ball joints provide the suspension with the ability to move up and down when the tire hits a pothole.

When a ball joint becomes worn, the ball inside the socket or the socket itself wears out. If it’s bad enough, it can cause the tire to tilt inwards and wear on the inside. If you didn’t catch a bad joint on time, over time the ball joint can get so bad that your tire could completely come off.

How To Check If Your Ball Joints Are Bad

  1. If your upper or lower ball joints are bad your tires will wear n the inside. So, a great way of checking if your ball joints are bad is by looking at the tire wear.
  2. A worn upper or lower ball joint will make a squeaky noise (like an old door opening) when you turn the steering wheel or your suspension moves. You can either roll down the windows when you drive. Or, you can simply turn the steering wheel while your car is parked.
  3. You can visually inspect the upper and lower ball joints. See if the boots to the ball joints are cracked. A cracked boot will allow dirt and water to get in and cause a lot of trouble. The boots are non-greaseable and need to be replaced.
  4. Jack your car off the ground. Then grab your tire by the 12 and 6 positions (the upper and bottom part of the tire). Wiggle the tire back and forth. If your ball joints are worn, there would be play.
  5. Grab a crowbar or some type of long bar and place it under the tire. Then, move it up and see If there is any movement, clicking, or clunking noise. There should be no upward and downward motion in a ball joint. So, if you feel any movement or hear any noise, your upper or lower ball joints could be worn-out.

4. Bent Control Arms

4 Reasons Why Your Tire Wears From Inside

Control arms can bend or break when the wheel of the car hits a curb or drives over a large pothole. Many modern cars have control arms made from poor material. It is not a newsflash for a control arm to bend or break upon hitting a curb.

Some vehicles have are equipped with four ball joints; two uppers and two lower. Front suspension systems with four ball joints are called SLA or short-long arm. But in most cases, strut equipped vehicles have only two lower joints.

A bent or broken control arm can affect the camber angle of your tire. The bent broken control arm can pull the tire inwards and causing it to wear on the inside.

Control arms should be stiff and free of play to best serve their purpose. Once the control arms or the bushings on the control arms become worn, there is an excess play and can cause the tire to tilt inwards and wear on the inside. The purpose of the bushing is to allow the control arm to twist and move up and down while absorbing impacts from the road.

Signs of a Bad Control Arm

  1. Worn tires on the inside.
  2. Instability while driving. If the control arm and the bushing are completely worn and have broken off, steering will become unpredictable and dangerous. Your vehicle may randomly pull to one side while you are trying to drive straight. Usually, the side to which the vehicle turns is the side the control arm is worn.
  3. Knocking or clunking noise while driving. When the bushing on the control arm is worn, the control arm will make knocking or clunking noise while driving, turning, braking, or going over small bumps on the road. This means that the rubber component of the control arm bushing is worn and causes metal to metal contact.

12 Signs Your Engine Is Going Bad


Engines are complex and have many components which all are required to work flawlessly in order to have a high-performance engine. But, all engines will be worn out after some time. You can prevent and delay your car engine from going bad. Here are 12 signs that your engine is going bad:

12 Signs Your Engine Is Going Bad

1. Rod Bearing Making Knocking Noise

Rod Bearing

A clear sign that your engine is going bad is when the road bearing starts to make knocking noise. The knocking noise coming from the rod bearing is accompanied by a major decrease in engine power. Normally this is caused by not changing the engine oil on time and low engine oil. A loud knocking noise usually means the engine can no longer be saved without a complete rebuild of all new parts and machine shop work.

When a rod bearing is worn, it will allow the piston to rock back and forth while hitting against the cylinder walls. Eventually, the vehicle will throw a rod and cause the engine to seize. The pistons will get damaged from hitting against the cylinder walls. Engine oil will slip into the combustion chamber and will burn with the air-fuel mixture.

Is your engine oil due for a change? Visit our Car Fluid Guide Website to learn the importance of changing your oil on time, which type of engine oil is best for your vehicle, and much more.

2. Main Bearing Noise

Main Bearing

The main bearing is located between the crankshaft journal and the engine block and has a function to allow the crankshaft to rotate without friction. The crankshaft journal has holes that allow engine oil to pass through them and lubricate the crankshaft journal and main bearing. In case of not changing the oil on time or lack of engine oil, the main bearing will run dry and cause friction between the crankshaft journal and main bearing.

A worn or bad main bearing sounds like marbles hitting each other. The noise can also be knocking, rattling, and metallic and will come from the lower end of the engine. The noise progress louder as the vehicle increases the speed. A complete rebuild is required and all rod and bearings require replacement. Crankshaft journal must also be resurfaced depending on how worn it is.

3. Metal Shaving in Engine Oil

metal shaving in oil

When the main bearing is severely worn, you will notice metal shaving, copper sheen, or chunks of metal during an oil change. If metal shaving, copper sheen, or metal chunks are found in the engine oil, that means the engine is severely worn and needs to be rebuild.

If there is a noticeable amount of metal shaving in engine oil, that means the rod and main bearing are worn. You should always inspect the engine oil that you just drained and look for metal shavings. Sometimes large pieces of metal can be found during the inspection. I have a permanent magnet built on the bottom of my oil pan. The magnet helps collect the metal shaving circulating in the engine oil.

4. No Engine Oil – Lack of Lubrication

No Engine Oil

All moving components require some form of lubrication. Even a slight oil leak can leave your engine with insufficient oil. Sometimes drivers do not know the vehicle has lost a considerable amount of engine oil.

Bad oil pump gasket and seal can cause severe oil leaks over time due to high temperature. Over time, due to the high temperature, the gasket and seals will begin to deteriorate. When this happens, there will be a large puddle of oil on the ground.

An oil leak can be caused by a bad rear main seal, worn oil pan gasket, severe valve cover gasket leak, bad oil pan drain bolt, bad oil pump gasket, worn camshaft, and crankshaft seal, loose oil fill cap, worn oil cooler gasket, bad oil pressure sensor seal and cracked engine block.

5. Worn Engine and Extremely Low Power

Engines that have high-mileage are usually worn out because of the normal wear and tear that comes with all those miles. A compression test can help determine the cause. Usually, a compression test can help determine worn piston rings, cylinder walls, bad intake or exhaust valve, and bad head gasket. All cylinder compression should have a similar reading. Normally, the engine can still be saved by completely rebuilding the engine.

6. Engine Misfire

Regular engine misfire can be a sign that your engine is going bad. An engine misfire can be caused by bad spark plugs, bad ignition coils, oil on coils, water on coils, water in fuel line/injectors, and a bad PVC valve. You should diagnose the cause of the engine misfire and fix it.

However, if all the above does not fix the issue then most likely the problem is mechanical. Again, a compression test should be performed.

7. Clicking Noise

All moving parts should be lubricated in order to reduce friction and heat. When the timing chain does not receive enough lubrication, it will start to make a loud clicking or tapping noise and gradually become louder when the engine speed increases.

A clicking noise is usually caused by the timing chain. A worn timing chain can cause clicking noise or a completely worn timing guide or timing chain tensioner can also contribute to the noise. If a timing chain is loose enough, the engine can skip a tooth and this can cause valve damage for an interference engine. Sometimes broken timing piece can be found during assembly.

8. Sudden Loss of Power Due To a Broken Timing Belt

When the timing belt breaks, it can cause valve damage in interference engines. The valve hits the piston causing it to bend. The end result is low compression. However, if an engine is non-interference then there will be no valve damage, and a replacement of the timing system is required. A timing belt can break due to normal wear, weak timing belt tensioner, bad water pump, and bad idler pulley.

9. Loud Ticking Noise

If your engine is making a ticking noise, it is a clear sign that some parts are worn and need replacing. If the ticking noise is coming from the right side of the engine where you have no belts, it could be a problem with the valves or even how the engine connects to the transmission. It could also be that one of the bolts on the flexplate that connects the engine to the transmission got loose and is touching the engine.

If the ticking noise is coming from the left side of the engine where you would usually have a belt, it could be a worn-out timing belt.

Sometimes a valve adjustment is needed to make the ticking noise go away. Low engine oil can also contribute to the ticking noise due to a lack of lubrication. If a valve adjustment or adding more oil does not fix the issue, then a worn camshaft lobe or lifter could be the cause.

10. Worn Oil Pump

The oil pump job is to make sure the engine oil circulates around the engine and lubricates all moving parts such as the hydraulic lifters, the camshaft, the crankshaft, main bearings, rod bearings, balance shaft, and timing chain. The engine oil first gets pushed through the oil filter. Then, the filtered engine oil goes to all moving components on the top and bottom end of the engine.

When an oil pump is worn to a point where it’s not functioning properly, an engine light will be triggered. Do not confuse the engine oil light with a faulty oil pressure sensor. The oil pump is the heart of the engine and helps circulate engine oil. Without it, the engine oil will not flow and eventually cause all moving parts to fail.

11. Severe Engine Overheating

A severe engine overheating can cause the head gasket to give out, therefore, causing low compression. Overheating can cause all sorts of issues such as low compression, ignition coil melting and getting stuck to the engine, and any plastic component or wire around the engine.

12. Fuel Leak and Engine Fire

Although this is rare it can occur. Usually, a leak can be caused around the fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator, fuel line, poor fuel connector, and so on. When there is a fire this will cause surface engine damage and eventually a useless engine. Fuel smell can be smelled through the vents. Whatever you do, pay attention to these warning signs.