Who knew your car had feelings?
If you are like me, you pat the dash and apologize to your car whenever you hit a hard bump or pothole in the road.
But, I am not talking about THOSE feelings…
When you become used to your vehicle, you can tell when things just don’t feel right.
Being aware of how your vehicle is supposed to feel can be the difference between a normal maintenance repair, and a major expense.
Common “Feelings” that may mean trouble for your vehicle:
Feels Like: A vibration through the brake pedal up and into your leg under light braking at highway speeds.
Cause is normally Warped Brake Rotors in the Rear of the vehicle and they become warped from high heat or rapid temperature changes (Hot Brakes and cold water, etc…).
Code = Red.
Remedy: Replacement of Rear Brake Rotors and Brake Pads.
Feels Like: A vibration through the steering wheel under light braking at highway speeds.
Cause is normally Warped Front Brake Rotors and they become warped from high heat or rapid temperature changes (Hot Brakes and cold water, etc…).
Code = Red
Remedy: Replacement of Front Brake Rotors and Brake Pads
Feels Like: A Vibration or Thump you can feel in the Driver’s Seat under braking, or the nose of the vehicle dives.
Cause is normally worn suspension components like Ball Joints, Tie-Rods, Sway Bar Links, or Shocks / Struts, and these components wear out over time or due to extreme use – like on Colorado Roads!
Code = Yellow to Red.
Remedy: Replacement of the component and an alignment of your vehicles wheels and steering and suspension systems.
Feels Like: The vehicle begins to shimmy for no reason and you can feel and hear a flapping noise.
Cause is normally a blown tire, usually from road debris or sidewall damage.
Code = Red.
Remedy: Pull over to a safe location and change the damaged tire out for a Spare. If unsure how to perform this task, contact Roadside Assistance.
Feels Like: a vibration with a rhythm or in a pattern, usually from under the center of the vehicle.
Cause is normally worn Universal Joints (U-Joints) or an out-of-balance Drive Shaft. A Drive Shaft is not a common wear item, but the U-Joints are a component that need to be periodically replaced as they are subjected to extreme wear and contamination from the weather and elements under your vehicle.
Code = Yellow To Red.
Remedy: Have a trusted Technician inspect your vehicle for worn or needed U-Joints. If they fail, they can leave you stranded in traffic or at the side of the road.
Feels Like: Heat or Air Conditioning won’t blow out of all of the proper spots, or the Fan only operates at One Speed.
Cause is normally a Blend Door, Blend Door Actuator, or a Heater-Blower-Resistor.
Code = Green to Yellow
Remedy: Most vehicles will have a default setting to send conditioned air to the Windshield for Defrost. While the other settings are a great comfort and convenience, they are not vital to the operation of your vehicle. A competent Technician can assess the needs of your vehicle and replace the necessary parts to get you back on the road in complete comfort.
Feels Like: your engine is revving up, but the vehicle isn’t going any faster.
Cause is normally a slipping clutch (Manual Transmission) or a slipping Transmission (Automatic)
Code = Light Red to Red
Remedy: In a Manual Transmission, the Clutch components can be replaced. In cases of an Automatic Transmission, a rebuild or replacement is usually needed. The Manual components are made to wear and are a maintenance item, in an Automatic the Transmission can fail due to age, improper or neglected maintenance, or towing a load too heavy for the vehicle.
Feels Like: A really loud, Thumping noise from the rear of the vehicle, usually in-time with music.
Cause is normally a Sub-Woofer which is too loud.
Code = Color depends on the type of music!
Remedy: Ok, this one is for humor and to see if you are paying attention! Keep your music at a respectable volume as a courtesy to your fellow motorists!