Prevent The Theft of Your Catalytic Converter

The theft of catalytic converters is easy because removal is often as simple as removing a few bolts.  The thieves can conceal their actions because the converters are underneath of the car. Some vehicle makes and models are bigger targets because of the value of the catalytic converter and the ease of removal.Neal’s Garage has started a service that will make the theft of your catalytic converter much less likely.  The service is free and must be scheduled. We engrave your license plate number into the catalytic converter.  This will help police connect your vehicle to your catalytic converter. Call us today for more information about this service.

Know The Noises Your Car Is Making

As you drive your vehicle be aware of its operating characteristics and normal sounds from the engine, transmission, driveline, exhaust system and tires.  Excessively loud or abnormal sounds fall into the category of “noises.”  They can be very helpful to service technicians when diagnosing the cause of a problem.  The following definitions of common noises are provided to assist you in diagnosing your automobile:

  • Boom:  Rhythms sound like a drum roll or distant thunder.  May cause pressure on ear drum.
  • Buzz: Low pitched sound, something like a bee.  Usually associated with vibrations.
  • Chatter:  Rapidly repeating metallic sound.
  • Chuckle: Rapid noise that sounds like a stick against spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel.
  • Chirp: High-pitched rapidly repeating sound like chirping birds.
  • Click: Light sound like a ball point pen being clicked.
  • Clunk/Thump: Heavy metal-to-metal sound, like a hammer striking steel.
  • Grind: Abrasive sound, like a grinding wheel or sandpaper rubbing against wood.
  • Groan/Moan: Continuous, low-pitched humming sound.
  • Growl/Howl: Low, guttural sound like an angry dog.
  • Hiss: Continuous sound like air escaping from a balloon.
  • Hum: Continuous sound of varying frequencies like a humming in the wind.
  • Knock:  heavy, loud, repeating sound like a knock on the door.
  • Ping:  Similar to knock except at a higher frequency.
  • Rattle: A sound suggesting looseness, such as marbles rolling around in a can.
  • Roar: Deep, long, prolonged sound like an animal or winds and ocean waves.
  • Rumble:  Low, heavy continuous sound like that made by wagons or thunder.
  • Squeak:  High-pitched sound like rubbing a clean window.
  • Squeal:  Continuous, high pitched sound like running finger nails across a chalkboard.
  • Tap: Light, hammering sound like tapping pencil on the edge of a table.  May be rhythmic or intermittent.
  • Whir/Whine: high-pitched buzzing sound like an electric motor or drill.
  • Whistle:  Sharp, shrill sound like wind passing through a small opening.

Common Questions

  • How often should I rotate my tires?
    Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear
  • Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the recommended interval?
    YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
  • When should I get my oil changed?
    You should get your oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  • What is that milky brown engine oil?
    Milky brown engine oil is an indication of coolant in the oil. This can be caused by a blown head gasket (other gasket), a failed transmission cooler, or cracked casings. This condition is very serious and needs to be checked by a professional technician quickly.
  • How to make sure my car battery has a good electrical connection?
    Battery cables and terminals should also be cleaned and inspected to make sure they provide a good electrical connection.
  • What is synthetic motor oil?
    Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.
  • What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
    This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.
  • When should I replace my car’s fuel filter?
    To help ensure dependable, trouble-free performance, replace your car’s fuel filter approximately every 30,000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  • When should I change my spark plugs?
    For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.
  • I need to replace a burned out fuse, what should I do?
    Always replace burned-out fuses with ones of the same amperage (printed on the fuse) and note that if a fuse continues to “blow,” you should have the circuit checked professionally by one of our technicians for defects.
  • What does it mean if my “check engine” or “service engine soon” light comes on?
    There are many sensors and computerized components that manage your vehicle’s engine performance and emissions. When one of these fails, the “check engine” light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run fine, it is important to have the issue addressed to prevent long-term problems.
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