Weight Distributing Trailer Hitches Explained

A weight distribution system will include a receiver hitch on the tow vehicle, removable receiver hitch with your ball on it, and a spring bar assembly. Most of the weight distribution hitch systems and spring bar assemblies are going to mount to the receiver hitch on your tow vehicle. Instead of putting all your tongue weight on the receive hitch, the weight distribution system will apply leverage between the trailer and tow vehicle. By applying the leverage this way it will transfer to tongue weight to the rear of the trailer and the front of the tow vehicle. When you transfer to the tongue weight away from the receiver hitch is allows you to tow a heavier trailer. It will also assist you in better brake and steering control and level out the trailer with the tow vehicle.

So when do you need a weight distribution system for you towing setup. Here are a few suggestions below that may help you decide if you are a candidate.

1) Your tow vehicle headlights point upward
2) It is difficult to stop or steer your vehicle
3) You are getting trailer sway
4) The tow vehicle is sagging in the rear when the trailer is on
5) Your gross trailer weight is more than 50 percent of your tow vehicle

In order to use a weight distribution hitch your trailer must be rated for it. If there is not a rating listed on the trailer for a weight distribution system you will be unable to use one.

Regular AC Maintenance

How And When To Clean Your Air Conditioner System

When it comes to your home air conditioning system, dirt is the biggest problem that causes most A/C units to run inefficient or fail. Dirt will effect three components in you’re A/C unit, the motor, the blower and the filter system. Let us start with the air conditioning filter. The filter should be cleaned or replaced before the beginning of the summer season. Then depending on the amount of use it will get during those hot summer months it should be checked and cleaned once a month. In order to check the filter you will need to remove it from the unit and hold it up towards the light. If you cannot see light coming through the filter it is clogged and will need to be replaced. If you are using a disposable filter in your furnace you can look on the side of filter and the size of the filter will be printed on the frame. When replacing the filter make sure and check to see the arrow on the filter is pointing in the correct direction. The air flows from the return air duct and towards the air conditioning unit, so the arrow will be pointing towards the air conditioner and away from the return air duct. If you are using a cleanable air filter simply rinse it off and let it dry before reinstalling it.

Next we will want to look at cleaning your blower assembly and the housing of the motor. If your air conditioner is designed with a squirrel cage type fan you will want to pay close attention to cleaning the openings since they are easy clogged with dirt and will make your unit run less efficient. In order to clean the blower you will need to take off the panel that covers the filter. This will give you access to the panel or blower on the front side of the unit. Once you have access to the blower unit, it can be removed by unscrewing a few screws from the blower and slide it out. You now can clean the assembly and reinstall it. If this scope of work is beyond your capabilities, then you should look for a qualified air conditioning company that can do the work for you.

Add Freon to AC

Why Is My Car Blowing Hot Air Out Of The A/C?

When your cars air conditioning starts to blow hot air our suddenly then this is an indication you have a refrigerant leak, AC electrical problem or clogged condenser.

Your car uses a refrigerant in the AC system to remove heat out of the inside of the car making the car become cooler. If your AC system develops a refrigerant leak in the system from a leaky connection or damaged AC hose, the refrigerant will evaporate and make the air conditioner loose its performance. If the AC system has an electrical problem such as a switch or wire that has shorted and blown a fuse, then the air conditioning system will malfunction. 

If your air conditioning system starts to blow hot air out over time, this is a sign that there is a small leak with the system or you could have a clogged condenser. A small leak in your system will slowly drain the refrigerant and the air coming out will gradually get warmer. 

The same happens when the condenser is clogged. The condenser in your car acts as a mini radiator that will remove the heat that the refrigerant absorbed from in the car. Over time the condenser can get clogged from debris and dirt coming from the road. This can slowly reduce the performance of the AC and your car will start to blow warm air. In order to fix this problem you need to remove the dirt that has built up on the condenser. By using a little liquid dish soap in warm water and spraying it on the condenser will remove the dirt. The best option is to put it in a garden sprayer and apply it. Let it soak for about 10 minutes then rinse off with clean water. It is important to remove all the soapy water so it does not leave a film on the condenser. 

If you are unable to determine the problem it is best to take it to a mechanic that specializes in automotive air conditioning repair. 

Repairing A Radiator

Cooling An Overheated Engine

Knowing how to cool an overheated engine is a very important skill that can apply to any licensed driver. Being able to trouble shoot and fix your own overheating issue will save you from having to get help from a stranger or having your car towed to an automotive repair shop.

If your car is overheating and you see white smoke coming from under your hood it is not smoke but steam that is coming from your engine overheating. An overheating engine can happen when your car does not get enough coolant to cool the motor. The first thing you want to do is turn off your air conditioning if it is on. The pump to the AC unit draws power from the motor which in turn makes the motor work harder. You can also turn on your heater to its hottest setting and run the fan on high. This draws heat from the engine block and will help keep the motor cooler. You will need to pull over to a safe spot like a parking lot or to the side of the road so you can identify the problem. Turn off the car and open the hood to the engine compartment. If the hood is to hot to touch give it time to cool down before opening. Once the hood is open you will want to let the engine cool down before you remove the radiator cap.

Sometimes it can take as much as an hour for the motor to be completely cool. You will need to check the level of the radiator fluid in your radiator by removing the cap. If it is low then you can refill with coolant and water if available. If you only have access to water you can fill the radiator and put the cap back on. Also check the coolant reservoir to make sure it is full. It is a good idea to also check the hoses for leaks or cracks. If you have a broken hose then most likely you will be calling a tow truck. You do not want to drive your car if there is coolant leaking from the system. Your motor will overheat and chances are you will ruin it. If no leaks are found start your car up and keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If the needle goes back up to the red area, turn the car off.

Check Engine Light

Why Did The Check Engine Light Just Come On?

When you see the check engine light come on in your car the first thing that comes to mind is this is going to be a costly problem. It could be a bad catalytic converter or something as simple as a loose gas cap. No matter what the problem is, one thing is for sure you will be visiting your local mechanic to diagnose the problem and get the necessary repairs.

The check engine light is also known as the malfunction indicator lamp or MIL which picks up a signal from the vehicles computer alerting you that something is wrong. In 1996 car manufactures made this system standardized which they called OBD II. This system would store any diagnostic trouble codes and required car manufactures to provide a universal connector so the computer could be accessed. The plug is usually located under the steering column of the vehicle.

If you are one that is mechanically inclined then you have the option of buying an inexpensive code reader that will connect into your OBD port. You can access your vehicles computer and see what code is triggering your check engine light to come on. On some readers you can even turn off the check engine light, but this does not fix the problem and usually the light will just come back on.

Make sure and not confuse the check engine light with the service required light. The service required light will come on when you are due for an oil change or other basic maintenance.

Your check engine light can come in different colors such as amber, yellow or orange depending on the vehicle manufacturer. If your check engine light begins to flash this can be a sign of a much more serious problem such as a misfire that can overheat the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter operates at very high temperatures and can be a fire hazard if it reaches high temperatures.

So if your check engine light comes on in your vehicle and it does not flash what should you do? You need to get to a mechanic as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed. Avoiding the problem can result in costly repair bills that could have been avoided if taken care early on.

Cleaning Your Car’s Fuel Injectors In 6 Easy Steps

To keep your fuel injectors performing at there best you will need to know how to clean them when the time comes. To perform this maintenance you will need a fuel injector cleaning kit and a long screwdriver which you can find at any automotive store. It is always best to follow the instructions that come with your injector cleaning kit, but these simple steps below will give you an idea on how it is done.

1)The first thing you will want to do is plug the return fuel line and disable the fuel pump or you can use a U-tube to return the fuel back to the gas tank.

2) You will want to disconnect the pressure regulator and install the injector cleaning kit to the fuel port located on the fuel rail.

3) Take off the fuel cap from the gas tank and try to start the engine. The engine should not turn over.

4) Make sure you know the fuel pressure reading that matches your car. Open the valve on the injector cleaning kit until the fuel pressure reaches the correct reading.

5) With the injector cleaning kit hooked up start the engine and let the cleaning solvent run through the fuel injectors until the engine goes off. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

6) The injector cleaning is now complete. Put the gas cap back and reset the fuel pump. Put the pressure regulator back on and start the engine. You should check each fuel injector by using a long screwdriver and putting the flat end to the injector and the handle to your ear acting like a stethoscope. If the sound you hear is like a rhythmic clicking then your fuel injector is clean and working properly.