RPM Automotive: Muskegon, Michigan Auto repair
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Custom Exhaust Bending

Towing Available

Family Owned & Operated For Over 25 Years

We build custom exhaust systems!

Your Neighborhood Full Service Repair Facility

FAQ

This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vehicle repair and service. We've thrown in some of our favorite tips and recommendations, too. Please call us or consult our Contact Us page for answers to your specific questions. We are happy to assist you!

  • Tires

    • Is it safe to repair a flat tire?

      If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure it's not damaged. Tires that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch which are confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, or with any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires that are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your Advisor and tire technician can advise you.

    • What should I do if I notice a vibration?

      Vibration is an indication that your car has a problem. You should have your tires, steering system and suspension system checked to help determine the cause and correction of the vibration. If the problem is not corrected, the vibration could cause excessive tire and suspension wear.

    • How often should I rotate my tires?

      Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.

  • Vehicle Maintenance

    • My check engine or service engine soon light comes on. What should I do?

      When you first start your car all the dashboard lights come on as a safety test. These lights will go off when the test is complete. If your light comes on later you need to have it checked by a competent technician familiar with modern diagnostic procedures. This could be a simple problem, but left alone it may result in an expensive repair. Don’t ignore this warning.

    • I have 100,000 mile spark plugs in my car. When will I need a tune-up?

      In the traditional sense there is no such thing as a tune-up anymore. Carburetors and distributors with their myriad of parts destined to failure have been replaced with electronic injectors and electronic ignition systems. There is virtually little to wear out. Aging Ignition wires and spark plugs may continue to function for 100,000 miles but not optimally. The car manufacturer’s boastful claim of 100,000 between tune-ups has little grounding in common sense, and is mostly a marketing ploy. At the price of gasoline these days even a three percent decrease in fuel efficiency is expensive, not to mention ecologically unfriendly. A fresh set of spark plugs any time over 50,000 miles will normally make a noticeable difference.

    • When should I change my spark plugs?

      For maximum fuel economy and peak engine performance, your spark plugs should be replaced every 30 months or 30,000 miles, unless your vehicle is equipped with 100,000-mile platinum tipped spark plugs.

  • Fluid Leaks

    • I see a fluid leak under my car, what is it?

      You can identify fluids by their color and consistency: • Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator. • A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak. • A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak. A puddle of clear water usually is no problem. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner.

    • I have a leak under my car. How can I tell what is leaking?

      The coloring of the liquid identifies the type of liquid. Coolant Fluid is orange or green, Engine fluid is Brown or Black, Transmission Fluid is Red or Pink, Power Steering Fluid is Light Brown, Differential Fluid- Brown. depending on the leak it could mean trouble, don't wait until it's too late!

  • Vehicle Smells & Sounds

    • My car is making a terrible sound, what information will help?

      Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and their definitions. Squeal - A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed. Click - A slight sharp noise, related to either engine speed or vehicle speed. Screech - A high-pitched, piercing metallic sound; usually occurs while the vehicle is in motion. Rumble - a low-pitched rhythmic sound. Ping - A high-pitched metallic tapping sound, related to engine speed. Heavy Knock - A rhythmic pounding sound.. Clunk - A random thumping sound. The more details you can provide us, the better chance of locating the problem quickly. Does the noise occur when the engine is cold or warm? Hot or cold outside, rainy or dry? Does the noise occur while driving or only when parked? These clues help the technician diagnose your problems faster, saving you time and money!

    • I hear an intermittent noise from the front of my car. Do I need to worry about it?

      Every noise should be checked by a qualified technician. Use you best judgment, if it sounds bad, get it checked right away. Quick action on a problem can many times save big dollars.

  • Oil Change

    • How often should I change my oil?

      Most car manufacturers say to change your oil every 7,500 miles unless you drive in severe conditions. Severe conditions are defined as dirty or dusty roads, extremely hot or cold climates, a lot of stop and go driving, taking long trips or if you tow a trailer. If you answer yes to any of the severe driving conditions, your vehicle falls into the severe conditions category, or the 3,000 mile oil change interval.

    • What is synthetic motor oil?

      Synthetic motor oils can be a good choice for high output, turbocharged or supercharged engines, vehicles that are used for towing (especially during hot weather), or vehicles that are operated in extremely cold or hot climates. Synthetic motor oils, though several times more expensive than mineral-based motor oils, can improve fuel economy and provide longer intervals between changes. They also provide instant lubrication on start-up.

  • Troubleshooting

    • What should I do if my car starts to overheat?

      This is a very serious problem – if your car overheats for too long, you can damage your engine. As soon as possible, find a safe place to pull off the road and shut the engine off! Do not attempt to check the fluid level in the radiator as it can burn you. The best thing to do is have your car towed to a repair shop.

    • What dashboard lights should I worry about and which are just precautions?

      Every dashboard light is responsible for notifying the owner of issues that need to be addressed. If any of the following lights are lit you need to have your vehicle looked at: Engine light, Oil light, ABS light, Traction light, Tire Pressure light.

  • Electrical System

  • Fuel System

  • Improving Gas Mileage

    • How can you increase fuel mileage?

      To optimize gas mileage, check tires for proper inflation, make sure wheels are in alignment, check and replace filters, change Your oil regularly, keep your engine properly tuned, empty out your trunk of unnecessary items, observe the speed limit. These seemingly minor adjustments to your driving and maintenance habits can save on gas--and money!

  • Cabin Air Filters

    • What is a Cabin Air Filter?

      Cabin air filters filter the air that comes from the outside of a vehicle into the passenger compartment. They were originally designed to remove solid contaminants like dust and soot from circulating inside the vehicle. These filters can now also absorb gases and odors. Cabin air filters may also be known as passenger compartment filters, pollen filters, or dust filters.

    • When did Cabin Air Filters come into being?

      Cabin air filters first appeared in European vehicles in the mid-1980's. They began appearing in North American vehicles in 1994.

    • Where are Cabin Air Filters located?

      Cabin air filters are typically located behind a vehicle's dashboard, or behind the glove box. Others may be located in the engine compartment, typically in the cowl area.