"What happens if my drive belt breaks?"
The drive belt is located on the front of the engine, it is also called the serpentine belt. in most cars it runs the power steering, alternator, air conditioning and water pump. If it breaks none of these will work. You could still drive the car for a short time (between 5 and 20 minutes) but it would be difficult to drive and the car would be running on just the power from the battery since the alternator is not turning or supplying electrical power. You risk overheating the engine as well. There are many different engine designs but this is the basic result. Belts rarely break on their own, the more common cause of belt failure is a bad belt tensioner, oil contamination or other pulley misalignment problems. I have included a picture in the Services page that show a good and worn belt side by side.
"Do we work on electronics?"
I was asked recently if we work on electronics. The answer is Absolutely! In fact computer and electronic repairs are a favorite of mine! Every car maker has a specific way they design their electronics and how these electronics communicate with each other but the way electricity works does not change. It is fun to repair electric problems!
"Can you drive on a flat tire?"
Many times I am asked how far can you drive on a flat tire? The response is ..."not very far". When a tire is flat it scrubs against the rim and that will destroy the tire in just a few blocks. Here is a picture that shows what happens inside a tire when you drive on it with no air. All that black powder you see inside is the rubber that has come off the tire sidewall and the tire is ruined. If you have a flat tire and want the best chance of repairing it do not drive on it until it can be fixed.
We have just added a interesting new video about the Nissan 2.5 Liter engine in the media section that highlights how some problems can take time to figure out. I hope you find it informative.
"Can I wash my engine?"
At some point you may want to wash your engine or transmission because of a oil leak, mud, dirt or some other reason. Then you wonder... "Can I wash my engine compartment without damaging anything?" The answer is yes but keep a few things in mind.
1. Avoid directly spraying any electrical fuse/relay boxes or computer modules. Some are now marked with a No Wash Icon as you can see in this picture. Some water overspray is ok and the owners manual will show you the location of these items.
2. Use a general cleaner and avoid anything acidic. We use a product called Purple Power or Oil Eater that is common at auto part stores. It works fast and is available in different sizes, it will leave white stains if it is not washed off well or allowed to sit on plastic.
3. If the vehicle runs rough after washing the engine the ignition component's most likely need to dry by letting it warm up or use compressed air to dry the engine.
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