CAR FAQ'S

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  • Air Conditioning / Cooling System

    Is it normal for water to drip from my car when the A/C system is running?
    Water is the result of the moisture that accumulates which is a sign that you’re A/C is working correctly. The higher the humidity, the more volume of water will collect under the vehicle.
    What is the cause of a musty odor coming from the A/C vents in my vehicle and how can it be remedied?
    The evaporator in the dash can accumulate mold on its exterior surface from condensation causing a musty smell in the vehicle, especially when it is first turned on. Roppel’s can perform a cleaning process of the evaporator to eliminate the mold.
    What causes my car’s A/C unit to click on and off and cool intermittently?
    Normally a compressor cycling often with poor cooling out the vents is the cause of low refrigerant level in the a/c system. Other things could be a faulty pressure switch, compressor coil, or electric fan. Running the a/c system low on refrigerant can damage the a/c compressor because the system lubricating oil is carried by the refrigerant. Low refrigerant will cause the compressor to have less lubrication leading to early failure. Roppel’s can fully diagnose the a/c system and get it back to cooling properly.
    Is it safe for a non-professional to replace an A/C compressor?
    This is not recommended since a non-professional would not have access to recover and recycle the refrigerant. Also the proper amount of oil and refrigerant is necessary, plus a deep vacuum must be placed on the system to ensure correct operation. Roppel’s has the Robinair brand machines to handle the job correctly. Now days refrigerant is measured in the 10ths of an ounce so recharging accurately is extremely critical.
    Is antifreeze suggested in warm weather or is plain water suitable to run through the engine?
    Antifreeze has lubricating properties to keep all of the metal parts from corroding. Just having water in a cooling system is not recommended. Also having a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water raises the boiling point so the cooling system can run at a warmer temperature and not boil over in the summer months. The 50/50 mix also lowers the freeze point down to 40 below “0” protecting you engine and other component from busting in cold weather. Cooling system antifreeze will break down over time and the cooling system will need to be flushed and new antifreeze mix installed. There are many different kinds of antifreeze so please refer to your manufacturers maintenance manual on the specific kind to use.
    What causes antifreeze to explode all over the engine?
    There are many things that could cause this but it is important not to drive the car without antifreeze. If this happens, the vehicle should be towed to a service center to be checked out. It could just be a hose but it could also be something as big as a cracked engine block. See your mechanic immediately.
    What does it mean if there is a sweet smell coming from the air vents in my car?
    This could indicate a leaky heater core. It is used to transfer heat to the inside of the vehicle by the blower. Have your local service center check the coolant system pressure to find the leak.
    The heat in my car does not blow more than lukewarm air. How can I get heat?
    You may need to replace the thermostat. Before making that change, be sure that the vehicle has the proper amount of coolant. If that doesn’t solve the problem it is time to visit your local service center.
    What are the signs of a faulty radiator cap?
    Engine overheating can cause the reservoir tank to over flow and lose coolant, therefore overheating. Also when the vehicle is cooled down, you may see the top radiator hose collapsed. The radiator cap is designed to keep pressure on the cooling system so the boiling point of the antifreeze solution can run at a high temperature.
    Why is antifreeze leaking around the water pump?
    This is a sign that the water pump’s internal seals have malfunctioned and the water pump needs to be replaced. See your service center expert at Roppel’s.
    What is the cause of white smoke coming from a vehicle tailpipe?
    It depends on the amount of white smoke that is coming out. A small amount is normal when the weather is cold, however if it continues after the car has warmed up this could be a sign that the engine is burning coolant which could indicate anything from low coolant level in the radiator to a cracked head. Do not continue to drive the vehicle and see a service center expert for an exact diagnosis.
  • Belts

    What is a timing belt and why is it so important to replace one?
    The timing belt is a way of connecting the engine crank shaft pulley with the cam shaft, and water pump. The timing belt is made of a rubber material and over time will crack, split, and break apart. If this happens while driving the vehicle, it will cause the engine to stop running. If the engine is an interference set up, this will cause the valves to interfere with the pistons, damaging both. There is a “shelf Life” to the rubber timing belts, so mileage is not the only factor when considering changing the belt. Not all vehicles have timing belts. Some have timing chains which last much longer. Check with your manufactures maintenance manual on required timing belt replacement intervals.
    What is a serpentine belt?
    It is the drive belt that wraps around the crankshaft pulley, alternator, a/c compressor, power steering pump, and some water pumps. The belts also have a “Shelf Life” and will need to be changed when you see cracking and splitting. If this belt breaks while driving, you will lose use of all of the above components and the engine will need to be immediately shut down.
  • Brakes

    What does the brake warning light mean on my car’s dashboard?
    This could mean that the brake fluid is low or even that you have a brake light out. It could also indicate worn brake pads or a problem with your ABS. A problem with your brakes can quickly turn serious so having a brake specialist check it out is always recommended.
    Why are my brakes squealing after having my brake pads replaced?
    Inferior pads, improper shimmed and lubricated and or condition of brake rotor could be a factor. If you are experiencing this issue take the vehicle back to the service center for them to fix the problem.
    How long should brake pads last on cars?
    This varies from one vehicle to the next depending on numerous factors including driving conditions. In town driving causes more brake wear due to more frequent stops. At Roppel’s we guarantee brake pads and shoes for as long as you own the vehicle and a full one year warranty on labor.
    What would cause a pulsation in my brakes?
    A warped rotor or drum, ABS intervention, worn tires or suspension parts. This is a problem that should be diagnosed by an experienced technician.
    Should I replace my brake rotors when my pads are replaced?
    For best braking efficiency, replacement or refinishing (turned) is recommended.
    What is causing the brakes to squeal when applied?
    This is caused by the wear indicator and most likely means your pads need to be replaced. See your service center for a diagnosis.
  • Check Engine Light

    What does it mean if the check engine light is on?
    It is an emissions issue and must be checked by a competent diagnostic technician.
    Does Roppel’s charge to diagnose a check engine light?
    Roppel’s does charge to diagnose the check engine light which is different than simply reading the code. Some auto parts retail locations will read the code with a scanner for free but there is no way to diagnose what the problem is simply by reading the code. We have sophisticated equipment and trained technicians to make the proper diagnosis.
  • Drive Trains

    What would cause a clicking noise when I turn sharply?
    Worn CV (Constant Velocity) joint or U (Universal) joint.
  • Electrical System

    What is causing the vehicle to make a clicking sound when trying to start it?
    Possible bad battery or starter or low charge on battery caused by a bad alternator. This should be checked out by an experienced technician.
    What would cause the battery light to remain on after replacing the battery?
    This could be the result of a bad alternator not a bad battery. This could have been avoided by seeing your service technician first for a proper diagnosis of the problem.
    What could cause the car to make a grinding noise when starting?
    The starter needs to be checked.
  • Exhaust and Emissions

    What causes the exhaust to smell like rotten eggs?
    This is caused by a bad catalytic converter.
    What causes a catalytic converter to fail?
    If too much fuel in being placed in the engine and not all of will burned, that un-burned fuel goes through the catalytic converter, causing it to fail, therefore a properly tuned engine will help lengthen the life of the catalytic converter.
    Is it dangerous to drive with a muffler with a hole in it?
    The danger is that a hole in the muffler could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Is it an indication of a problem if water is dripping from the tailpipe on my vehicle?
    No, it indicates that your catalytic converter and exhaust system is functioning properly.
    What may be causing oil to collect in the air cleaner housing on my car?
    The most common cause would be a bad PCV valve. The only way to diagnose this problem is to have the vehicle checked out by a reputable technician.
  • Fluids

    What fluids are checked as part of the routine inspection?
    Windshield wiper, power steering, brake, transmission, engine oil and antifreeze.
    What type of oil do you recommend?
    We follow OE manufacturer specifications to use.
    How often should I get my oil changed?
    Per your manufacturer’s recommendation which is usually 3,000-5,000 miles for conventional motor oil or 7,500 – 10,000 for synthetic motor oil.
    How often should I check my oil?
    Oil should be checked at least twice a month.
    Why is engine oil milky brown?
    This could be the sign of a serious problem with your engine such as a blown head gasket or cracked casing and should be immediately checked by an experienced technician.
    What color should my antifreeze be for my vehicle?
    Antifreeze comes in many colors and you should stay with the color that is currently in your vehicle. If you are not sure what color to use, there is a universal or global clear antifreeze that can be used in all vehicles. Use a 50/50 water to antifreeze solution. *Always make sure to properly dispose of antifreeze.
    Should I test my vehicle antifreeze and if so how often?
    At Roppel’s every vehicle that comes in is checked at no charge for all fluids.
    How often do I need to change the fluid in my automatic transmission?
    We follow all factory recommendations for all vehicle fluids.
    Should oil be added when the dipstick shows the halfway mark between ADD and FULL?
    Always give some time for the oil to fully drain into the oil pan. We recommend waiting 10 minutes after engine shutdown or more. By doing this you will be able to properly fill to the proper oil level. If the oil level is half way down on the stick between fill and full, you can add a little or wait till the next oil change if it is coming soon.
  • Fuel System

    What would cause a strong gas smell coming from the fuel system?
    All fuel leaks or smells should be checked by an experienced technician. If you smell fuel, look to see if it is under the vehicle. It will evaporate very quickly. Your are best to have a professional shop investigate this from a safety stand point as leaking fuel is extremely dangerous.
    How often should I replace the fuel filter on my vehicle?
    All factory recommendations should be followed and can be found in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Roppel’s has that information available for you to see when you visit their service center.
    Should I tighten my gas cap until it clicks repeatedly?
    One or two clicks is sufficient to ensure it is tight.
  • Ignition System

    What does it mean that my spark plugs are fouled?
    The spark plug is not creating a good spark. The word fouled means the spark plug has developed carbon over the electrode and causing the plug not to have a spark when energized.
  • Lubrication System

    What would cause the oil pressure sensor gauge to jump around erratically?
    It could be a faulty gauge or sensor but it could also be an internal engine failure and should immediately be checked out by a technician to avoid further engine damage.
  • Suspension & Steering

    What could be the cause of the power steering going out?
    Any part in the power steering system could be malfunctioning from a leak in a hose to a bad power steering pump. A broken drive belt can cause the power steering not to work. These problems should be diagnosed by an experienced technician.
    What would cause the vehicle to bounce unsteadily or sway when going around corners?
    Shocks and struts control the bounce of the springs and these parts wear gradually overtime and will need to be replaced.
  • Tune Ups

    How often does my car need a tune-up?
    We follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule.
    When should the timing belt be replaced?
    Follow manufacturers maintenance schedule. Usually between 60,000 and 120,000 miles. Keep in mind that there is a “Shelf Life” to rubber timing belts, and will need to be replaced even if not driven often, but time has passed.
  • Scheduled Maintainence

    If I bring my car to Roppel’s for scheduled maintenance services, will it void the manufacturer’s warranty?
    No, we can do all of your regular maintenance and service, keeping your factor warranty intact with the exception of factory warranty and recall work.
    Does Roppel’s do used vehicle inspections?
    Yes, we will carefully inspect the vehicle before you make the decision to purchase. Roppel’s uses a colorful in depth inspection form to make sure your vehicle does not have any serious issues. It is like a physical checkup at your doctor’s office.
    What services fall under the preventative maintenance schedule for a vehicle?
    • Servicing Windshield Wipers
    • Tune-up or servicing/replacing spark plugs, ignition wires, distributor cap and rotor.
    • Replacing air filters
    • Engine oil change
    • Differential(s) gear oil change
    • Trans-axle oil change
    • Routine hose inspection
    • Battery service
    • Exterior drive belt replacement
    • Servicing/replacing transmission oil and filter
    • Timing belt replacement
    • Brake fluid flush
    • Power steering flush
    • Antifreeze replacement/flush
    • Rotate tires
    • Inspect exhaust system for leaks
    • Inspect brake linings, brake rotor, hydraulic lines, calipers and wheel cylinders
    • Replace cabin air filter
    • Used car safety inspection
    How should I prepare my car for winter?
    Check all fluids, especially the antifreeze, the battery, wipers for any tears, tires for worn tread and brakes to make sure that they are working properly.
    What maintenance should I be doing and when?
    Check your owner’s manual or your service advisor for the recommended maintenance schedule.