Fuel system pressure issue can be check engine light cause

20120911032504CEL_AmberYour car’s “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light can flash on for more than 1,400 different reasons. The light is part of your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and can indicate anything from a quick fix like a loose gas cap to a major repair like a catalytic converter. And here’s another example of a problem that can trigger the light…

Trouble code: P0087 Fuel Rail/System Pressure – Too Low

Some vehicles are equipped with a returnless fuel supply, which means that the fuel pump is pulse width modulated and can vary in pump speed to deliver fuel to the rail at a variable rate instead of constantly running the fuel pump and regulating the pressure with a pressure regulator, returning fuel back to the tank.

There is a sensor on the fuel rail that monitors fuel pressure at the rail to determine fuel pressure and vary the pump speed accordingly. The PCM (powertrain control module) or ECM (engine control module) has detected that fuel pressure is below specification for the supply commanded to the fuel pump driver module or fuel pump assembly.

Symptoms of a P0087 DTC may include a misfire because of a lean fuel condition, and the vehicle might run rough or lack power on acceleration.

Possible causes:

  • Weak fuel pump, clogged filter or screen, restricted fuel supply line
  • Faulty fuel pump driver module
  • Faulty fuel pressure sensor

Possible solutions:

  • Test fuel pressure at the fuel rail or line
  • Inspect all fuel lines
  • Check for damaged fuel filter
  • Check for damage to the fuel tank
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Let Schneider’s Auto help you pass your emissions test!

Question: I need to take my car in for an emissions test, but the Service Engine light has been on for some time. I’ve been told my car won’t pass. Is that true? What happens if my car fails the test?

Answer: Yes, you are correct: Your car cannot pass the emissions test when the Check Engine light is on. In fact, it’s likely they’ll just turn you away.

Save yourself the time and schedule an appointment at Schneider’s Auto. We’ll conduct comprehensive diagnostics to determine which emissions part or parts have failed, and once we replace it, we’ll run your vehicle through an extensive test drive to be sure it’s ready for the emissions test.

This test drive is necessary because once we reset the Service Engine Soon light, all of your computerized emissions monitors are reset as well. (You could accomplish the same by disconnecting the battery for a length of time, but the test lane wants to make sure you’ve repaired the problem and aren’t just masking it.) Before the car can be tested for emissions, all of those monitor have to run through complete test cycles to ensure they’re working properly. This involves running the car at different speeds and various driving conditions.

We take care of this process for you, and we won’t stop there. After your emissions repair, a Schneider’s Auto repair team member can take your vehicle to the emissions testing facility for you, saving you time and a second trip.

A lot of people wonder why these tests are important. It’s because motor vehicle emissions are a significant source of pollution, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. And in a study being published this fall, MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment found that ground-level emissions from combustion engines like those in, cars, ships, trains and more cause about 200,000 premature deaths each year. The data also indicated that the biggest killers were cars and trucks, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to tailpipe emissions.

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Leave the creepy sounds to the ghouls and goblins

Does your car sound possessed? Have you fondly nicknamed it Christine? Better get it checked out before the ghosts take over!

Does your car sound possessed? Have you fondly nicknamed it Christine? Better get it checked out before the ghosts take over!

The kids are back at school (finally!) and you’re seeing those festive packages of tempting little treats on display at the store. Yes, Halloween is still several weeks away but if your car is starting to celebrate a little early, don’t ignore these warning signs.

Squeaking

Whether it’s your brakes telling you they need some attention, power windows that seem to hesitate on their way up or down, or high-pitched sounds emanating from under the hood, you’ll want to have it checked out by our ASE-certified auto repair technicians. Loose belts can often be the cause for under-the-hood squeaks, while suspension squeaks that occur while turning or driving over rough roads might indicate metal-on-metal wear or the need for some additional lubrication.

Groaning or Grinding

Loud groaning or grinding noises can come from rusty rotors or a power steering problem among other things. While it’s common for new brakes to make some noise, that noise should dissipate over time. If you’re hearing a groaning noise when turning, you might have a wheel bearing issue. This can be serious, so you’ll want to bring it in for an inspection ASAP.

Rattling

Loose exhaust clamps and heat shields, worn suspension parts, a worn catalytic converter and even loose brake parts or a loose timing chain can all make rattling noises. Don’t let your rattle haunt you and leave you wondering. Schedule an auto repair inspection at Schneider’s Auto today!

Howling

Many things, from major to minor, can cause a howling noise. Imbalanced tires or worn shocks or struts can cause your tires to wear unevenly, causing the tire to vibrate at higher speeds. The air injection and pump system has valves that enable air to transfer into the exhaust system. If one of these valves has failed, air can get into the pump, creating that howling sound. The metal in the axle bearings, designed to help the wheels rotate, can also fail. When you hear that tell-tale sound, it’s time for to call your auto repair technician for back-up.

Unwanted Guests

As the temperature changes and nights grow a bit cooler, you might find that some furry friends have found a warm, comfy place to rest: under your car’s hood. Mice, chipmunks and even rats (gross!) will be proud to call your car home. By building nests near the warmth of the engine, they bring all kinds of debris, often blocking valves and clogging up necessary ventilation mechanisms. You’ll not only need to remove the culprits and their nesting materials, but take proactive steps to ensure they don’t come back.

If your car is making any strange noises, have our ASE-Certified Auto Repair Technicians perform a thorough inspection. Put your mind at ease and put those monsters to rest. This fall, leave the noisy high jinks to the kids in costumes.

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If your headlights are hazy and dim, restoration can make them bright again

headlight_befor-aftAs summer fades into fall, you’ve probably already noticed the days are getting shorter. With more time on the clock between dusk and dawn, you’ll be using your headlights a whole lot more.

If your headlights are cloudy, hazy or simply not as bright as they used to be, you could be compromising your night-driving visibility.

With the average age of cars today hitting an all-time high of 11.4 years, dingy lenses are more and more common. This is because the UV coating on modern vehicle lenses absorbs sunlight, rather than allowing the sun’s harmful UV rays to pass through. The lenses degrade over time, and that deterioration can be more pronounced in cars parked outside or cars used primarily in sunny climates.

The good news is we have a process called headlight restoration, which brings back that ability to see through the night when those joggers, kids playing or critters unexpectedly cross the road.

Even if you haven’t noticed a pronounced difference, take a look around the next time you’re in a crowded parking lot. If your vehicle’s headlights aren’t as clear as the surrounding cars, it might be time to consider restoration. According to a March 2012 Consumer Reports study, your headlights’ effectiveness could be reduced by up to 80%, posing a serious threat to safety. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary culprit in the headlight aging process, compounded by other environmental factors.

Why worry, when a simple, inexpensive fix like headlight restoration could provide a quick and easy solution to sharpen your driving night vision?

What is headlight restoration? A sanding disc and special abrasive are used to remove the clouding, discoloration and surface defects from the lens. After buffing and polishing multiple times, the lens is restored, drastically improving visibility.

The process is quick and often can be performed in an hour or less. It’s also far less expensive than replacing the entire headlight assembly. For $173.97, we can bring back the clarity and crisp lighting you depend on for safe, secure driving. Call us today to schedule your headlight restoration. Then you can relax, knowing you can head home with the ability to clearly see the road, wherever it takes you.

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If your parking brake warning light is on, your brake fluid might be low

parking-brake-warning-lightThere are a number of dashboard warning lights that can pop on at any minute. Everyone knows what the oil light and battery light are for, but a lot of them require pulling out the owners’ manual. In the coming months, we are going to take a look at different lights and what they stand for to help make it a little clearer.

This light is the parking brake warning light. Depending on the make of the vehicle, it can be either red or orange. It illuminates to show that the parking brake or emergency brake is engaged and must be released before driving.

If it remains lit after the parking brake is released or if it turns on and off intermittently while you’re driving, it means you need to add brake fluid. If you check the fluid, add as needed and the light still doesn’t turn off, you’ll need to have the brake system inspected.

In fact, unless there’s a leak in your brake system, you’re probably due for a brake inspection regardless. Why? As your brake pads wear, it takes more fluid to press the pads or shoes against the rotors or drums and bring the vehicle to a stop. This dashboard light could gently be telling you it’s nearly time for brake repairs and service.

If the light has an illuminated wrench underneath it, then the parking brake needs servicing. The vehicle can be driven safely, but it needs an auto mechanic’s attention.

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When it’s time to buy new tires, trust the experts at Schneider’s!

Page1photoBuying new tires can be a bit overwhelming. We’re here to help anytime, but if you want to do some initial research on your own, here’s what you need to know.

Some information it’s good to know is how different types of tires affect fuel economy, how long the they have lasted for other people, how much road noise they make and how they handle.

You also need to look at the type of tire your vehicle manufacturer recommends. These recommendations are based on the size, weight, load capacity, off-road capability and steering for your specific vehicle. You want to select a tire that meets those recommendations because changing the size or type can affect how the vehicle handles, steers, stops, etc.

On the sidewall of your tire and on a decal in the glovebox or door jamb, you’ll find a code that tells the tire’s size and capabilities. The decal contains the manufacturer’s information about what type of tire and size the car should have. If the tires have been replaced before, there’s no guarantee that the tires on the car are what should be on there. Make sure the tire code matches the decal.

Here’s a sample code:

P195/60R16 89H M+S

  • P – Type of tire (P indicates passenger, T indicates temporary, LT is light truck, and C is commercial)
  • 195 – Width of the tire across the tread in millimeters
  • 60 – Aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width
  • R – Radial construction
  • 16 – Diameter of the rim in inches
  • 89 – Tire’s load rating (89 indicates the tires can carry approximately 1,279 pounds)
  • H – Tire’s speed rating (H indicates maximum speed of 130 mph)
  • M+S – Tire is suitable for all-season driving

Even if you only need one tire replaced, it’s important that the corresponding tire on the other side of the car be replaced, too. Uneven tread wear can cause instability, uneven traction and braking, and adversely affect the vehicle’s balance.  You’ll also get uneven wear of the tires.

It’s recommended that all four tires be replaced at once if possible because if one pair of tires has more tread than the other pair, then the pair with less tread will begin to hydroplane with less water on the road surface than the other pair. And keep in mind that even though all four tires started out the same size, the older two tires will be smaller because some of the tread has worn away. That small size difference puts more strain on the driveline, in addition to adversely affecting tire performance.

Go to the experts

Where to buy your tires is another decision it’s best to be informed about. At Schneider’s, we get to know you so we can recommend tires based on your vehicle and your driving habits. We spend a lot of time asking you questions before we make a recommendation.

Installation is key, too. Our ASE-Certified technicians take the time to properly install the new tires, including cleaning the rims properly, installing tire valves carefully, and balancing the wheels properly. And don’t worry, we will not damage your expensive tire pressure monitoring system sensors, which cost $200 or more each. It doesn’t matter how good your tires are if they aren’t installed correctly!

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Escaping fuel vapors can trigger ‘check engine’ light

20120911032504CEL_AmberYour car’s “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light can flash on for more than 1,400 different reasons. The light is part of your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and can indicate anything from a quick fix like a loose gas cap to a major repair like a catalytic converter. And here’s another example of a problem that can trigger the light…

Trouble code: P0456 Evaporative Emissions System – Small leak detected

The EVAP system is a closed system that captures fuel tank vapors and prevents them from escaping into the atmosphere. When the light comes on for this reason, you most likely won’t notice the car driving any differently. Everything will seem fine, except for the glowing check engine light on the dashboard.

Here are some possible causes:

  • Missing or loose fuel cap
  • Incorrect fuel cap used
  • Evaporative emission canister or fuel tank leaks
  • Evaporative emission system hose leaking
  • Fuel tank leaking
  • A small leak in any of the EVAP hoses or fuel tank hoses
  • A small leak in the purge valve or vent valve

Possible solutions

  • Check your gas cap and make sure it’s tight and there’s no rust or anything else preventing it from sealing.
  • Bring it to Schneider’s. We’ll use a smoke machine and watch to see if any smoke is coming out of the system at any EVAP component. If so, that component is the leaky culprit.
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