Category Archives: Car Repair Questions

The mechanics at All Around Automotive Repair are experts in the field of auto repair. Search through our list of commonly asked car repair questions to find what you need. If your question is not listed, you can always call us at 719-597-4146, or email us at RnS@repairandshare.com

Why Should Shocks and Struts Always Be Replaced in Pairs

Why Should Shocks and Struts Always Be Replaced in Pairs? Unlike some steering and suspension components, there is no significant difference in wear rates between left and right shocks or struts. If one shock or strut is shot, chances are its companion also needs to be replaced. For front versus rear, there can be differences in wear rates depending on Continue Reading...
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Why Should Ball Joints and Tie Rod Ends Be Changed in Pairs

Why should ball joints and tie rod ends be changed in pairs? It is not absolutely necessary, but many professional installers insist on replacing both even if only one is bad. This is because both have more or less the same mileage and sooner or later the other one is going to fail too. In many instances, the companion part Continue Reading...
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Why Replace Rack-and-Pinion Steering Rather Than Rebuild It

Why Replace Rack-and-Pinion Steering Rather Than Rebuild It? Overhauling a power rack is not a job for the novice. Special tools are required to remove and install internal seals. The tools are expensive and may not be cost justified for a shop that only does an occasional rack. For a do-it-yourselfer, the tools could end up costing as much as Continue Reading...
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Why Do Some Engines Use RTV Seal

Why Do Some Engines use RTV Sealer Instead of Gaskets? For a period in the 1980s, domestic auto makers thought they could lower production costs and improve sealing by using RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) silicone instead of conventional cut gaskets to seal valve covers, oil pans, timing covers, transmission pans, and other parts. In theory, the idea made sense. By Continue Reading...
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Why Cars Need Preventive Maintenance

Why Preventive Maintenance Manufacturers know that a properly maintained car will be more dependable, safer, last longer, and increase your satisfaction with their product. Car makers and owners also have a responsibility to make sure emission controls receive regular service and are functioning properly. Regular maintenance helps accomplish these goals by keeping your engine running efficiently and eliminating potential problems Continue Reading...
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Why Are There No Returns On Electrical and Electronic Parts

Why Are There No Returns On Electrical and Electronic Parts? Too many people have tried to take advantage of the system. Instead of using proper diagnostic procedures, some people (mostly do-it-yourselfers, but also some so-called professionals) resort to trial-and-error parts swapping when they don’t know how else to fix an electrical problem. When parts they have installed do not fix Continue Reading...
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Why Are There Many Types of Spark Plugs

Why Are There Many Different Types of Spark Plugs? Spark plugs need 5,000 to 40,000 volts from the ignition coil before a spark will jump across its electrode gap. It takes a lot of volts to push the spark across the gap because air doesn’t conduct electricity unless it is ionized first. The spark jumps from center electrode to side Continue Reading...
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Which Engine Sensors Are Most Important

All sensors are important. The computer is the brains of a computerized engine control system and sensors are its link to what’s happening under the hood. Some sensors have more influence on engine performance than others. These include the coolant temperature sensor, oxygen sensor, throttle position sensor, and manifold absolute pressure sensor. The coolant sensor is often called the master Continue Reading...
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Replacing a Lifter

New lifters should always be installed. Reusing worn lifters on a new cam is asking for trouble. With flat tappet cams, lobes are ground with a slight taper so they will spin the lifters as they push them open. The lifters are also slightly convex on the bottom to reduce the point of contact and to promote rotation. If lifters Continue Reading...
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Wheels and Rims

The wheels on today’s vehicles are made of steel, aluminum, or aluminum alloy (a combination of two or more metals). Steel wheels are the least expensive to produce, which is why they come as original equipment on many passenger cars and light trucks. The center section includes the bolt circle, or mounting holes, and is used to attach the wheel Continue Reading...
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Wheel Lug Nut Torque Clamping

Although proper wheel lug nut torque is important, it does not guarantee that the required clamping force will be achieved. For example, excessive corrosion on the wheel and hub mating surfaces will result in improper clamping force, even when the lugs are tightened with a calibrated torque wrench. Low clamping force can also occur if the threads are dirty. This Continue Reading...
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Wheel Attachment Hardware

For conditions noted below, also check condition of wheel stud holes. CAUTION: Proper lug nut torque is essential. Follow recommended torque specifications and tightening sequence. DO NOT lubricate threads unless specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Condition Code Procedure Bent A Require replacement. Broken A Require replacement. NOTE: Some manufacturers require replacement of all studs on that wheel if two or Continue Reading...
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What Type of Motor Oil Is Recommended

Use the type of motor oil specified in your customer’s owners manual. Most manuals say it’s okay to use a variety of viscosity grades depending on temperature conditions. Generally speaking, the following holds true: 10W-30 is best for all engines for year-round driving. 10W-40 is more popular in the aftermarket, but 10W-30 is actually a better oil because the additive Continue Reading...
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What to Use to Clean Brakes

Brake cleaner is a chemical product specifically formulated to do a specific job. There are other chemicals that can be used for cleaning, but many leave behind a residue that can contaminate linings and attack rubber components. Brake cleaners contain a variety of ingredients. Many have been reformulated to make them more environmentally friendly. For years, 1-1-1 trichloroethane was the Continue Reading...
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What is Needed to Restore a Cylinder Head

Everything needed to restore a cylinder head to like-new condition, including basics such as: Cleaning cylinder head and valve train components Inspecting head for cracks, leaks, warpage, or other damage Inspecting valves, seats, springs, guides, and other valve train components for wear and damage (and replacing parts that cannot be reused) Grinding or cutting valves and seats Restoring valve guides Continue Reading...
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What Size Battery Is Needed

A battery should be big enough to allow reliable cold starting. The standard recommendation is a battery with at least one Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) for every cubic inch of engine displacement (two for diesels). CCA rating is an indication of a battery’s ability to deliver a sustained amp output at a specified temperature. Specifically, it is how many amps Continue Reading...
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What Should a Complete Tuneup Include

Electronic ignition, computerized engine controls, and electronic fuel injection have eliminated many adjustments that were once part of a "traditional" tune-up. Most would agree that a tune-up today is a preventive maintenance service and engine performance check. Call it what you will, a complete tune-up should combine elements of preventive maintenance, adjustment and performance analysis. One of the main reasons Continue Reading...
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What Kind of Replacement Pistons Are Best

What Kind of Replacement Pistons Are Best Ordinary cast pistons are usually adequate for most passenger car applications. When it comes to modified or high output engines, racing engines, marine engines, and severe-duty applications, ordinary cast pistons may not be adequate in terms of strength, durability and longevity. Higher operating speeds, horsepower output, torque loads, and thermal stress create an Continue Reading...
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What Kind of Maintenance is Required for Cooling Systems

Replacing coolant on a regular basis will prolong the life of the radiator and other cooling system components. Most new car maintenance schedules call for coolant changes every three years or 50,000 miles. Many professional mechanics consider that too long and recommend every two years or 24,000 miles. There are some who argue that annual coolant changes on late model Continue Reading...
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What Kind of Fuel Hose is Best

Fuel, emissions and vacuum hoses are made of special materials to handle the liquids and vapors they carry. Fuel hose, for example, is made to withstand gasoline and alcohol (up to a certain percentage concentration). It is also reinforced to withstand internal pressure. It is extremely important not to use any other type of hose for a fuel line. Use Continue Reading...
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