450 W. Main Street , Apopka, FL 32712
Monday-Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Uncategorized

What You Should Know About Your Radiator

under the hood of a carIt’s no secret that car engines get hot during a drive. While most of that is vented through the exhaust system, the rest has to go through a cooling system to keep your vehicle from overheating. That is the purpose of your radiator. Local shops like Millikan Battery & Electric offer auto repair in Apopka, FL, specifically for radiators to help keep them working properly. You’ll want to have your mechanic drain or flush it regularly and repair or replace it when needed.

Radiators eliminate the last of the heat by pumping it through cooling fins and core tubes and sending the coolant mixture back into the engine. Because they’re at the front of the car, they can be hit by debris from the road. If that debris bends the fins, the heat gets trapped inside instead of being dispersed. Speak to your mechanic about radiator auto repair if yours is experiencing that issue or any of the others listed below. These experts can determine both what the problem is and what solution is needed to fix it. Some common causes are:

  • Constant Overheating
  • Coolant Leaking
  • Mineral Buildup
  • Rust
  • Scaling
  • Stress
  • Wear and Tear

 

car

How to Troubleshoot Strange Sounds Coming from Your Car

You know how your vehicle sounds when you start, park, and turn it off. It is probably just a matter of time before you notice something that sounds different. It could result from a temperature change or indicate the start of a serious problem. Instead of ignoring what you are hearing, be proactive and seek auto repair in Apopka, FL.

All Sounds Are Not the Same

A squealing sound when you turn off the engine sometimes indicates an issue with your belts. If they are loose, the belts may require adjusting, but if they are frayed or cracked, it may be time to replace them.

A low oil level or a defective valve may cause ticking that you hear while the engine idles. However, a loud knocking could indicate a serious engine problem, so automotive professionals recommend you pull over and turn off the car right away to prevent extensive damage.

Check your automobile’s suspension system or shock absorbers if you hear a clunk-type sound when you drive, particularly if you hit a bump. The team at Millikan Battery & Electric has the knowledge, skills, and experience to find the source of your car’s trouble and provide you with auto repair and maintenance that resolves the problem. Reach out to us with any of your questions.

 

under the hood of a car

Take Better Care of Your Car’s Battery

Replacing your car battery is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to cut down costs. With the right knowledge, you can save on service fees by avoiding premature drain. When it comes to protecting your car batteries in Winter Garden, FL, follow these quick tips for success:

Keep an Eye Out — Every few months, pop your hood and do a quick visual inspection of the battery. You’re looking for signs of corrosion, cracks in the casing, and issues with cables that might need to be addressed.

Do a Quick Clean — If you do spot corrosion, taking the time to clean it off can help you extend your battery life. A toothbrush dipped in a mixture of baking soda and water should do the trick!

Go Long — Avoiding short trips as much as possible means that your battery has a chance to fully charge while you drive. Likewise, it’s important not to leave your vehicle sitting in a parking lot for too long without firing up the engine, since batteries naturally drain over time.

Invest in Service — You can do a lot on your own to help your battery out, but only professionals can provide the full range of insight and care your car needs. Don’t hesitate to stop by a battery shop for assistance when you need repairs, inspections, or replacements.

car pulled over after an engine oil leak

How to Avoid an Engine Oil Leak

Your car engine runs hot, and unless you have adequate oil lubricating the parts, you could end up with major issues. Learn what to look for and when you might need to speak to an expert in auto repair in Apopka, FL. Since oil is so critical to the function of a vehicle, it’s the concern car owners worry about the most.

Regular Oil Changes

It’s important to schedule your car for regular oil changes and maintenance checks. Dirty oil is very hard on engine parts, so staying on a schedule can help to ensure your oil never gets beyond its usefulness or causes damage.

High-Quality Oil

Using high-quality oil will also maintain the integrity of your engine. Choosing the correct viscosity is vital; too thin and the friction becomes high, too thick, and the engine must work too hard. Your automotive repair professional will know which oil is best for your vehicle.

Stay Ahead of Problems

An experienced mechanic will be able to spot problems before they start. Correct installation of parts like gaskets, components, seals, and flanges is vital to preventing issues for your engine. If you spot a leak from under your car, call us to get it checked out right away. The last thing you want is for your vehicle to run out of oil.

Anyone who sees a smoking car knows that something’s not quite right, but the vast majority of people couldn’t guess what the problem is or the best way to address it. Fortunately, paying close attention to the color and scent of the smoke can provide you with a good indication of the next steps you should take. We encourage you to learn about different smoke colors and smells and what they signify when it comes to auto repair in Apopka, FL. White Smoke Tailpipe smoke that is white in color can indicate that one of your engine’s internal parts is burning inside of the combustion chamber. Alternatively, white smoke accompanied by a pungent and sweet odor can be the result of a blown radiator hose incorrectly spraying coolant onto your engine. Blue or Gray Smoke If you notice blue or gray smoke with a pungent odor exiting your tailpipe, it’s likely that your engine is burning oil. This could be a result of worn piston rings, leaking valve seals, a clogged PCV valve, or even the failure to change your oil regularly. Black Smoke Black smoke that smells of gasoline is a sure sign that your vehicle is burning through raw fuel. There are several possible ways this can happen, from a leaky fuel injector to a malfunctioning sensor. What You Should Do If your car is smoking—regardless of color—it’s important that you pull over immediately to address the situation. You can check the gauges and warning lights to see if there are any obvious problems. However, your best bet is to contact professionals that specialize in auto repair in Apopka, FL. The team at Millikan Battery & Electric can inspect your vehicle and determine the best solution to get you safely back on the road.

What To Do When Your Car Is Smoking

Anyone who sees a smoking car knows that something’s not quite right, but the vast majority of people couldn’t guess what the problem is or the best way to address it. Fortunately, paying close attention to the color and scent of the smoke can provide you with a good indication of the next steps you should take. We encourage you to learn about different smoke colors and smells and what they signify when it comes to auto repair in Apopka, FL.

White Smoke

Tailpipe smoke that is white in color can indicate that one of your engine’s internal parts is burning inside of the combustion chamber. Alternatively, white smoke accompanied by a pungent and sweet odor can be the result of a blown radiator hose incorrectly spraying coolant onto your engine.

Blue or Gray Smoke

If you notice blue or gray smoke with a pungent odor exiting your tailpipe, it’s likely that your engine is burning oil. This could be a result of worn piston rings, leaking valve seals, a clogged PCV valve, or even the failure to change your oil regularly.

Black Smoke

Black smoke that smells of gasoline is a sure sign that your vehicle is burning through raw fuel. There are several possible ways this can happen, from a leaky fuel injector to a malfunctioning sensor.

What You Should Do

If your car is smoking—regardless of color—it’s important that you pull over immediately to address the situation. You can check the gauges and warning lights to see if there are any obvious problems. However, your best bet is to contact professionals that specialize in auto repair in Apopka, FL. The team at Millikan Battery & Electric can inspect your vehicle and determine the best solution to get you safely back on the road.

 

 

under the hood of the car

Troubleshooting Issues with Your Car’s Radiator

When it comes to your car radiator in Winter Garden, FL, our best advice is to keep it cool. This applies to your engine’s temperature and your state of mind. Find out what the problem is before you start stressing.

The Temperature Gauge

The first sign of trouble you may notice is a rise in the engine’s temperature gauge. This is not something you can ignore, for the radiator transfers heat from the engine to keep it from overheating. And overheating can damage your engine – which could result in expensive repairs.

Overheating could be the result of:

  • Low Coolant Levels
  • Broken Auxiliary Fans
  • Broken Hoses
  • Dirty or Damaged Radiator

If you’re not a crackerjack auto mechanic, your best bet is to call a garage for help.

Leaks on the Ground

Another consideration is a leaking car radiator in Winter Garden, FL. Age or damage could be the problem. It’s not enough to replace the fluid and keep an eye on it. You want to get it repaired to avoid problems with your engine and keep this hazardous fluid from seeping onto the ground.

Rust

Yes, rust eats at the metal that makes up your radiator, and that means it can’t do its job of keeping the engine cool. When this is the problem, you’ll notice the radiator fluid is brown rather than pink. Check with your mechanic to determine the cause and make the repairs that keep your radiator in good repair.

 

auto parts

The Most Common Auto Parts You’ll Need to Replace

When you own a vehicle, you know that anything can happen to your automobile at any time. It is not unusual for your car to operate perfectly when you go somewhere. Then, when you get ready to leave, it won’t start. It’s a frustrating premise, especially because most people do not have extensive knowledge about auto mechanics. As such, it will benefit you to learn about the auto parts in Apopka that require replacing the most.

If your car doesn’t start, chances are the battery could be dead. It doesn’t take batteries long to lose a charge, so it’s not uncommon for them to die while you’re at work or doing errands. A defective starter could also be the issue if your vehicle won’t start. While you may be able to jump a dead battery, it will be better to replace it or a faulty starter.

As soon as you realize your car won’t easily slow down or stop, auto technicians recommend replacing the brakes. New brakes will help ensure your safety on the road. Industry officials also suggest replacing cracked windshields and nonworking exterior lights as soon as possible to improve your vehicle’s performance. You’ll find the most popular auto parts in your trusted auto parts store.

Testing a Vehicle Battery

Indications Your Vehicle’s Battery is Weakening

Your car’s battery serves several different roles when it comes to providing electrical current to your vehicle. Its primary function, however, is to power the starter so you can turn on your car’s engine. When your car battery is weak, it isn’t able to support the starter or the engine, which can mean being stranded. Here are some signs from our auto parts shop to look for when you think you might be having trouble with car batteries in Winter Garden, FL.

Your Engine Is Slow to Start – A healthy battery is one that can quickly provide power where it needs to go. When a battery’s power begins to fade, it can drastically increase the amount of time it takes for your engine to get fired up.

Your Engine Won’t Start – If your battery doesn’t have enough juice to start your car, then you will usually hear a long crank or a simple click instead of the roar of an engine when you turn your key. One of the most common reasons a car won’t start is due to a dead battery.

Your Battery Is Heavily Corroded or Coated – Notice blue corrosion or a clear film over the top of your battery? That means the component is leaking battery acid and reducing its voltage and efficiency.

Your Headlights Are Dim – Your battery is the source of power for your car’s electrical components. A weak battery means these components aren’t receiving the support they need to function normally.

Your Engine Backfires – A dying car battery can create weak sparks that can cause fuel to gather in the cylinders of your engine. When this built-up fuel is ignited, it reacts with force, causing your car’s engine to backfire.

Signs of a Failing Starter

Starter

When your starter starts to fail, there are a few warning signs for you to look for to help you avoid an instance of turning your key and finding nothing happens. By recognizing these signs, you are able to bring your car to a repair shop or purchase the auto parts in Apopka you need to avoid being stranded at the worst possible time.

 

Engine Turns Over Slowly – Most modern vehicles should be able to start very quickly once the ignition has been activated. If you notice that your starter is laboring to spin the motor, or it takes a while before everything fires up, then there might be a problem under your hood.

 

Lights Noticeably Dim – If your headlights or interior lights dim noticeably when the starter begins to spin, there is a good chance that there is a short in your starter. A failing starter will commonly pull more energy than required, which is what causes your electrical system to become overwhelmed.

 

The Sound of Spinning – If you can hear the starter spinning, but your engine doesn’t turn, then you are likely looking at a repair in your future. When your starter continuously spins without starting the engine that means it is no longer making contact with your motor.

 

Grinding Sounds On or After Starting – Mechanical grinding sounds typically mean gear problems inside of your starter. This usually means that the starter is either not engaging properly with the motor or it is continuing to receive electrical power even after it has been disconnected.

Identifying Alternator Problems in Your Watercraft

AlternatorLet’s say you have a pleasure boat or personal watercraft you love using, and let’s say it’s starting to give you trouble. You don’t want to be bobbing about like a cork on the ocean with a craft that won’t run, and at Millikan Battery and Electric Inc., we don’t want that either.

 

We are very familiar with electrical and charging systems, including alternators in Apopka, FL, and our experience tells us you may be looking at a problem with your system, of which the alternator is a big part. We’ll give you tips on identifying problems, in that way, if yours starts to fail, you will be ready to get the service it needs.

 

Your watercraft electrical system should be putting out about 12 volts with the ignition on, but without the engine running. This will drop to 8 or 9 during cranking and then should rebound up to 14 volts when the engine starts. If it doesn’t happen, there’s a good chance you have a problem with your alternator.

 

You can also assess the health of your alternator by checking the voltage at the battery with the engine at 2,000 RPM. A reading over 14.4 means yours is not working correctly. A further test has you check performance at the alternator itself with a voltmeter clipped to the wires. A measurement of less than 14 volts means you need to have your unit serviced by a professional right away.