Pascagoula Auto Repair

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Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care for Pascagoula: Fuel System Service

Question: What benefit will I get out of a fuel system cleaning? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Well, the dirtier your fuel system is, the bigger the improvement you'll see in performance and fuel economy. But it's not wise to wait until your engine is running poorly, you've wasted hundreds of dollars in gas or maybe even damaged your fuel injectors and catalytic converter. Look, gasoline is a petroleum-based product and will leave some residue, gum and varnish along the way. Some of that can find its way into your fuel injectors and interfere with their job. The fuel injectors do just that – inject fuel into your vehicle engine. They spray a precise amount of fuel at a precise time in a precise pattern at a precise pressure. When they are dirty this precision just isn't possible. So your vehicle engine can run rough. Also carbon deposits build up on valves and in the combustion chamber. Fuel eco ... read more

Clark's Professional Car Care Automotive Tips: Axles

Your axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to your wheels. They're strong parts that last a long time, but they can run into trouble. Most Pascagoula. MS drivers know axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced. And sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Lubricant leaks out, and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears. When this happens you might hear strange noises coming from your axle. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be at the rear end. If you have a front-wheel drive vehicle, the sound would be up front. Of course, with an all-wheel drive, the sound could come from either front or back. It might be a groaning sound or clunking when turning. There are different kinds of axles, each with their own potential problems. Your Pascagoula,  MS service technician knows this and checks for things like leaking seals, torn CV boots, worn axle joints. An inspection will reveal if ... read more

Important Facts Pascagoula Drivers May Not Know About Their Check Engine Light

The Check Engine light might come on in your vehicle. It's an amber colored light that shows on your dashboard. In newer vehicles it might just be a problem with your gas cap not being screwed on tight enough (or a worn gas cap), causing the vehicle to fail the self-diagnostic evaporative emission test. All Pascagoula drivers need to do is go to their gas cap and verify that it is tight. If that was the problem, the light will turn off and everything will be fine within one or two days. At Clark's Professional Car Care, we advise Pascagoula drivers to resist the temptation to have someone “clear” the codes to turn off your vehicle check engine light. This erases important diagnostic information that your friendly and knowledgeable Clark's Professional Car Care service advisor needs to diagnose the underlying problem for the Check Engine l ... read more

Spark Plug

In Pascagoula, MS, the days when Pascagoula drivers changed their spark plugs every couple of years has ended. Back in the day, spark plugs really did wear out that often. A couple of things are different now… First, spark plugs are made of better materials that last longer for Pascagoula drivers and they're designed better. The second reason spark plugs used to have to be changed in vehicles and other autos was that they were fouled up with carbon deposits. The deposits built up when fuel wasn't burned completely. With modern engine management controls that just doesn't happen as often. Engine control computers precisely time when fuel is injected into the engine and when spark plugs fire. Unless something's wrong, spark plugs just don't foul like they used to. Electricity from the battery goes into a coil that allows power to build up to anywhere from 12,000 to 45,000 volts, depending on the vehicle. The engine management computer tells the coil when to ... read more

Check Engine Light

When your Check Engine light comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. That's perfectly understandable. That same Check Engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap. There's a very common misconception that the trouble codes stored in your engine computer when your check engine light comes on will specifically identify a problem. It's really more like pointing to the symptoms of a problem. Call Clark's Professional Car Care at 228.762.3383 for help with your Check Engine light. Think of taking your temperature. Say it's 101°. Your heat sensor – the thermometer – tells you that your temperature is out of the normal range. But it doesn't tell you why you have a fever. Is it the flu or a sinus infection? You need more information, more tests. For any given trouble code, there could be a number of ca ... read more

Clark's Professional Car Care Tech Question On Your Water Pump

Clark's Professional Car Care Tech Question: I was driving on the freeway in MS and my vehicle engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive the short distance to my meeting and then found a shop in Pascagoula. It turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: This guy's story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving when your engine's overheating you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your vehicle engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns. Now there's no way for Pascagoula drivers to know when their water pump will fail – the ... read more

Alignment

It's no surprise that your vehicle will drive better in the Gautier area if all the wheels are pointed in the same direction. That's called wheel alignment. If your wheels are out of alignment you may notice that your vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Something that you won't notice right away, but you will if you keep driving around when you're out of alignment, is that your tires are wearing unevenly and fairly quickly. That's because when the vehicle is pulling to one side, you have to steer it back straight. The outside of the tire just wears out faster because you're constantly turning, which can be very exhausting on a long road trip – fighting to keep the vehicle going straight down the road. Some of the things that commonly throw a wheel out of alignment are slamming into a pothole, smacking a curb or something like a rock. And it doesn't have to be a big shock, it c ... read more

Alternator

Question:My battery keeps going dead. I had it tested and it is fine - what could be the problem? Clark's Professional Car Care Answer: Well, your problem could be caused by several things. Let's start with a likely suspect: your alternator. The alternator is like a little electrical generator. It is spun by the serpentine belt on your engine and makes electricity. This electricity is used to power the electrical systems required to run your vehicle. It also powers all of your electronic accessories like your stereo, navigation, heated seats and air fans, as well as charging all the electronics you have plugged in. After the alternator has done all that, any electricity that's left over is used to charge your battery. You can see where we're going: if the battery isn't getting enough electricity to stay charged, the problem may have somet ... read more

Simple Answers from Clark's Professional Car Care for Pascagoula: Check Engine Light

Question: My Check Engine light is on and my boyfriend thinks he can get the code read and know what part to replace to fix my car.  I say it’s not that simple.  Who’s right?  Clark's Professional Car Care Answer Good news – you are!  Just look at it logically: there are hundreds of things that can go wrong with your vehicle.  Some are simple and some are quite complicated.  Let’s take a step back.  Over 80% of engine functions are computer controlled.  The computer receives information from dozens of sensors.  When a sensor reading is out of range, a trouble code is entered in the computer and the Check Engine light is illuminated. It’s a common misconception by Pascagoula drivers that the trouble code will tell you exactly what is wrong.  For any given trouble code, there are any number of faults that would trigger the code.  For example, a code indicating a misfire on cylin ... read more

Trip Inspections at Clark's Professional Car Care in Pascagoula

A lot of Pascagoula drivers wonder about how to prepare their vehicle for a trip. That's a big deal. You could be driving through MS mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won't leave you stranded. Pascagoula drivers really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive to see if you can feel any vibrations. Are the wheels in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok? The next thing is a full service oil change at Clark's Professional Car Care in Pascagoula to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your vehicle is older, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to cle ... read more

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