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Regular Car Maintenance Tips

From the moment you leave the car dealership with your new Subaru from San Jose, it is starting to get older and become more used as you begin putting miles on it. Although maintenance probably isn't the foremost thing on your mind when you are just getting a new car, it is something that you will need to keep in mind in the future. One of the best ways that you can prepare ahead of time and make sure that your car will last is to make sure that you are keeping up on the routine maintenance. Here are some things that you should be doing regularly from the start and keeping track of on some kind of schedule.

Check Tires

One of the most simple maintenance steps that you should take is to make sure to check your tires. You can check the tire pressure as well as the tread on your own when you are filling up your gas tank, and if something needs to be done with the tires then you can usually get your car in someplace quickly to get it taken care of. Make sure that you make yourself familiar with simple ways to check your tires; you can use a the penny trick to check the tread, and the pressure can be checked by a tire pressure gauge or sensed by sensors in some of the more advanced models.

Change Oil and Check Fluids

Another thing that you should do frequently is change your engine oil. One of your first steps when you get your new car should be to check the owner's manual so you know how often to perform various Subaru maintenance in the Bay Area. On average, you should probably get your oil changed and check other fluid levels in your car every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, this may depend on your car.

Test All Lights

Another thing that you should probably do every so often is make sure that all of your lights are in working order. You can do this while you are parked, by turning on the different light settings and looking at your car or having someone else look for you. You will likely need help to make sure that your brake lights are working correctly. Not only are working lights essential for increasing safety and therefore reducing the likelihood of getting in a car accident, but having burnt out lights can also earn you a traffic ticket.

Replace Windshield Wipers

Replacing your windshield wipers is another part of keeping your car safe to operate under less than ideal conditions. As you likely know, rain on your windshield can make it hard if not impossible to properly see where you are going. Don't wait until the wipers are completely ineffective; when they start streaking or otherwise don't work as well anymore, consider looking into the right Subaru parts in San Jose to replace your old wipers with new ones.

Check Your Air Filter

Getting your air filter checked on occasion is a good step to take in order to keep your engine running well as well as keep your fuel efficiency up. If you know how to get to your air filter and take it out, you can take a look at it on occasion to see whether or not you can light through it when held up to the light. If not, it is time to replace the filter. If you are unable to check the filter on your own, you should be able to find information in your owner's manual detailing how often it is recommended to get the filter changed.

Clean Under the Hood

Not only do items occasionally need to be replaced after being used for a certain number of miles, but your car should also be cleaned regularly. A simple step that many people overlook is popping the hood to take a look inside. You can easily take a microfiber cloth to wipe dust and debris off of your engine and other components under the hood, and you can see if there are leaves or some other sort of trash that needs to be taken out. Having a dirty engine can become dangerous, as things can clog and the debris can be burned onto the engine over time.

While you are taking a look under the hood, another thing you may want to keep clean is the undercarriage of your vehicle. This is especially true in the winter if you are encountering a lot of road salt, or in cases where you frequently drive on dirt and gravel. Over time, a dirty undercarriage can corrode, so running through a carwash every so often can be beneficial to the life of your car.

Get Your Car Checked

Finally, it is important to regularly get your car inspected for any other problems that may need addressing. Depending on where you go to get your oil change, there may be some other things under the hood that get looked over as part of the oil change process. However, if the shop doing your oil change doesn't look at anything else, consider taking it elsewhere at least once a year. In many cases, you will have to do this anyway in order to get your updated license plates.

Owning a car can be a lot of fun and there are a lot of benefits to having your own way to get from point A to point B. However, a car also takes a lot of maintenance in order to continue looking and performing great. When you get a new car, make sure that you are aware of what kinds of maintenance needs to be done and how often you need to do it, so that you can keep your car in good shape and make it last for years to come. After all, a car is a big investment and should therefore be treated as such, and this involves taking great care of it.


Common Engine Troubles

This summer, there are a lot of fun things to do in San Jose. For example, for those who love a great murder mystery, you can sign up for a "Dinner Detective" event at the local Hilton hotel in June, July and multiple different dates in August. For those who are fans of festivals, there are several in the area to choose from throughout the summer, such as the Moon Festival in August, where attendees can celebrate the moon with light shows, paper lanterns and more. With all of the excitement, however, it is important to make sure that you car is in top shape to make it to and from all of these events. If you engine light keeps during on in your Subaru in San Jose, don't let it go and risk ruining your festivities; here are some of the most common engine troubles you may be experiencing.

Check the Gas Cap

One of the first things that you can do when your check engine light comes on is check on your gas cap. This is one of the quickest and simplest solutions to a check engine light problem. Simply pull over and make sure that the gas cap is not only still on but also tightened, and if that was the problem then the light should not go on the next time you turn the vehicle on. Although it seems like a silly thing to cause a check engine light to come on, fuel is an important part of keeping your engine running smoothly and if it all evaporates due to a missing or loose gas cap that could cause trouble for your engine.

Check Spark Plugs

Another possible problem with your Subaru Impreza in the Bay Area could be the spark plugs. Worn out spark plugs can cause a variety of problems, such as weak sparks or even misfiring of the sparks. Not only can an engine misfire cause a decreased fuel efficiency in your car, but it can also cause problems with your engine. These damages could very easily end up becoming more expensive than if you simply check and replace the spark plugs.

Problems With Your Radiator and Coolant

Radiator problems can be huge contributors to engine trouble, and there are a few things that you should look into in order to make sure that the problem isn't the radiator of your Subaru Crosstrek in the Bay Area. For example, make sure that you have enough coolant in your car. Over time, the coolant may start to evaporate. If there isn't much coolant left, make sure that you are finding out which type is right for your car and topping it off. If the coolant is close to empty, you may need to inspect the lines to make sure that there are no leaks. You may need to take the vehicle into a shop to have it inspected by a professional in order to diagnose potential problems such as leaks in your coolant container or lines. You may also be able to smell leaks, because coolant has an oddly sweet odor but also smells terrible when burnt, and you may find that leaking coolant burns and emits an odor.

If you do have a decent amount of coolant left, it is also important to make sure that it doesn't need to be changed out. Over time, coolant could get debris in it. This debris could end up clogging the coolant lines to the engine. Since this is one of the components that keeps the engine from overheating, it is very important that there is enough of it and that it is able to reach the parts that matter.

Problems With Oxygen Sensors

Another reason that your check engine light is coming on may be because of problems with your oxygen sensors. This can cause lower gas mileage due to the car getting incorrect information, and like many of the other problems that cause your check engine light to come on, it can cause damage to your engine in the long run if not fixed.

Spark Knocks

Spark knocks are another problem that can affect your Subaru Forester in the Bay Area. This is a problem that occurs when too much pressure and heat builds up in the combustion chamber of your car. This problem is relatively easy to diagnose because you may hear a metallic knocking or pinging noise. Although this can start out being relatively harmless, over time it is likely to get worse and as the noises are getting louder there is increased damage done to your engine. This is one of many reasons why you want to get strange noises in your vehicle checked out as soon as you can.

Dirty Oil or Not Enough Oil

Finally, the engine oil is another thing that can affect the function of your engine and therefore could cause a check engine light to go on should anything happen. Getting frequent oil changes as well as checking your engine oil level should prevent a lot of these problems. Over time, engine oil can get dirty, and if not cleaned often enough, the debris could clog parts of the engine and make it harder for the oil to get through. Since the oil lubricates the engine and keeps it cool, it is an essential part of running your car smoothly.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy this summer if you feel like driving your Subaru WRX to the Bay Area for your vacation. However, in preparation for the summer festivities, it is important to make sure that you car is in decent shape so that you are less likely to have engine trouble. Furthermore, if you do have a check engine light comes on while you are out and about, be sure to get it checked out as soon as you can so that you can continue your fun with less stress.


Exploring Different Engine Placements In Vehicles

Some drivers might think that a Subaru in San Jose will only come with the engine located in the front of the vehicle, underneath the hood. While this is generally true, this is not an accurate blanket statement, as some vehicles tend to come with the engine located in different parts of the vehicle.

Knowing what the various places are that an engine can be located and how it would affect a Subaru Impreza in the Bay Area to have the engine in different spots is good knowledge to have. It can come in handy for the next time that someone is interested in looking at buying a Subaru WRX in the Bay Area. That is why this article is here to help break down the three different spots that an engine could be located in a vehicle and what advantages and disadvantages each of these positions brings with it.

Front Engine Placement

Beginning with the most obvious type of engine placement is a good place to start. It is highly likely that anyone who owns a Subaru Crosstrek in the Bay Area will find their engine located in the front of the vehicle. In fact, this is true for over 80 percent of the vehicles on the road. Besides being the most standard positioning available, there are several reasons vehicles tend to have their engines placed in the front.

One of the biggest reasons to have the engine placed in the front of the vehicle is due to the type of drivetrain the vehicle is equipped with. Most vehicles on the road are front-wheel drive, which means the two front wheels are the ones responsible for delivering the power and traction to the vehicle. Even with all-wheel drive vehicles such as Subaru Foresters in the Bay Area, the drivetrain operates as a front-wheel drive for most of the time and only switches over to all-wheel drive when needed.

By having the engine placed directly over the axle that is responsible for the vehicle's traction and power ratios, it allows the vehicle to become much more efficient. Not only does this help to stabilize the vehicle, but it also allows it to have a relatively even weight distribution during the acceleration process. One of the only areas where front-wheel drive vehicles might suffer from having a front engine replacement is during a racing scenario.

Since the vehicle's weight becomes transitioned to the back wheels during intensive acceleration, this causes a front-wheel drive vehicle to be more prone to under steering when the engine is up front. A driver could always help to get around this issue by choosing a rear-wheel drive vehicle but still having a front engine placement, which would make the vehicle better balanced in all situations.

Rear Engine Placement

Besides being located in the front of the vehicle, the engine can also be put into the back. It is hard to come across this rear engine placement anywhere except for intensive sports cars. In fact, if someone were to go on to a professional race track, it would be almost guaranteed that every single vehicle on the track would have a rear engine replacement.

The reason this kind of placement is not more commonly found in vehicles is due to it being more difficult to learn to handle. Whereas a front engine placement is an intuitive system that most drivers can handle with ease, a rear engine placement comes with a few more small issues that can form a big problem if a driver is inexperienced.

Since the power and traction are going to be directed into the back of the vehicle, it means that they will be constantly wanting to transition up to the front, causing the vehicle to be much more likely to oversteer. However, since the power and traction are focused at the back of the vehicle, it allows the vehicle to accelerate at a much faster rate. As long as the driver is experienced and the vehicle is equipped with the correct type of suspension and other mechanical features, then there should be little problem with handling a vehicle that is equipped with a rear engine placement.

Middle Engine Placement

Many drivers are not even aware that there is a third type of engine placement that is possible for a vehicle to have. Rather than being located in the front or the rear, an engine can always be located in the middle of the vehicle. However, calling this a middle engine placement is somewhat of a misnomer due to the engine be located in more of a rear-middle position. Instead of being located directly in the middle of the vehicle, the engine tends to be located in the area where a rear row of seating would be located. This is another type of engine placement that is rarely ever found outside of sports cars.

There are a few different benefits to using a vehicle with a middle engine placement. One of these benefits is that it is generally better for any type of handling. Rather than having the balancing issues of both a front engine placement and a rear engine placement, the middle engine placement allows the vehicle to have its power and traction directed into the middle of the vehicle, creating a nice balance among all four wheels. This allows the vehicle to be able to handle corners at a much faster speed.

However, using a middle engine placement vehicle is not all fun and games. This kind of system does come with a couple of big drawbacks, which is the reason more vehicles do not use this type of engine placement. The most obvious downside is that it takes over the space generally designated for a rear row of seating. So if someone is interested in having a lot of space in the interior of their vehicle, then this is the worst engine placement to choose. The other important drawback of having a middle engine placement vehicle is that once it loses control, it becomes incredibly hard to gain it back.


Exploring the Various Vehicle Ignition Systems

Trying to count all the ignition systems that have been used in vehicles throughout the years would be a lengthy list involving a ton of in-depth research, since there have been dozens of different ignition systems used. However, nowadays there seems to be three main types of ignition systems used in any Subaru in San Jose. These three different ignition systems consist of the conventional breaker point ignition system, the electronic ignition system, and the distributorless ignition system. This article is here to explain how each of these systems work and breakdown the benefits that each one brings drivers.

Conventional Breaker Point Ignition Systems

This is by far the oldest of any of the ignition systems on this list, as conventional breaker point ignition systems have been used as trusted Subaru parts in San Jose since the first half of the 20th century. This kind of system uses the standard to electrical circuit setup used by the other ignition systems as well. Both the primary and secondary circuits are designed to deliver different capabilities to the ignition system.

The primary circuit in the system is tasked with transporting the low voltage power. It is completely controlled by battery current and monitored through the use of breaker points and an ignition switch. As soon as the driver gets into their vehicle and uses their key to turn the vehicle on, a wave of low voltage power will be released from the battery. This low voltage signal will then transition through the appropriate components, including the ignition coil, and will finally travel through the breaker points and returned to the battery. The purpose of this low voltage circuit is to generate a magnetic field around the ignition coil.

The secondary circuit involves a lot more components, including the ignition coil, external coil distributors, distributor rotor, distributor cap, and spark plugs. When the engine is in motion, the distributor shaft begins to rapidly turn, which causes the breaker points to become separated at various intervals. When these breaker points do get separated, it interrupts the energy flow of the primary circuit. This is used to repeatedly interrupt the magnetic field that is being produced by the primary circuit. As soon as the engine starts rotating, the magnetic field begins repeatedly collapsing at a very rapid rate.

However, there is a component within the conventional breaker point ignition system that works to enhance and interrupt the secondary circuit as well. The line of flux is strategically placed within the secondary ignition coil windings to be able to generate a high voltage that is capable of crossing over any gaps within the rotor and distributor caps. What this results in is the high voltage spark combining with the mixture of air and fuel at the right moment to generate combustion. The ignition system then repeats this series of building up the magnetic field, interrupting it, and building it back up again, all within less than a second.

Electronic Ignition Systems

As vehicles started being built in a way that allowed them to last longer, it meant that Subarus were undergoing more maintenance in the Bay Area than ever before. To make the vehicle components last as long as possible before needing any sort of maintenance, vehicle manufacturers developed the electronic ignition system in the 1970s. These systems were largely similar to the conventional ignition systems, with only a couple of key differences.

Both systems still utilize the secondary and primary circuits, with the secondary circuit being exactly the same as the previous ignition system. Even the majority of the primary circuit was the same as with the conventional ignition systems, except for the inclusion of an electronic ignition control module and the breaker points being replaced by a pickup coil.

The process that occurred in these electronic condition systems was that an electric current would be dispersed from the battery as soon as the ignition switch was engaged. The armature that is continuously revolving during this process is responsible for starting and stopping the flow of the voltage, which is able to generate the magnetic field. When the armature approaches the pickup coil, the electronic module will be notified and will shut off the flow of the primary current. This leads to the magnetic field collapsing, just as it did in the conventional ignition system. A timing circuit is responsible for turning the primary current flow on once again after the magnetic field has collapsed. Of course, immediately after the magnetic field has collapsed, a high voltage signal is created and sent through the secondary circuit, which operates in the exact same manner as the conventional ignition system.

Distributorless Ignition Systems

Only a decade later, vehicle manufacturers developed a brand new type of ignition system that was completely different from anything else previously seen. This system, known as a distributorless ignition system, varies from the previous two types mentioned in almost every way. While the distributorless ignition system still has a primary and secondary circuit, they involve different components than in either of the other two systems.

In this type of ignition system, the ignition coils are located directly above the spark plugs, meaning that there is no need for any spark plug wires. As the primary current gets sent from the ignition module to the magnetic triggering device and electronic control module, it enters the ignition coils, where the secondary circuit takes over and the spark plugs become directly fired from the coils. In this system, the spark plug timing is entirely monitored and affected by the engine computer and ignition module.

There are many advantages to having this setup, which includes not having to deal with any moving parts or distributor to experience wear and tear and eventually need replacement. There is also less engine drag with this kind of system, which means that not only is the ignition system going to last much longer, but the vehicle is going to be able to travel faster when equipped with a distributorless ignition system.


How to Pay a Great Price for a Used Vehicle

Almost anyone who is looking to buy a new vehicle automatically thinks of visiting any dealership and taking a look at their new inventory. However, not enough people consider the possibility of getting a used Subaru in San Jose instead of purchasing a new vehicle. The vehicle will still be new to them although it is not new in general. Plus, there are a variety of additional benefits that can only be found in a used vehicle.

By far the biggest benefits to purchasing a used vehicle is that it is going to cost far less than a new vehicle would. This can be a very appealing factor to someone who is purchasing their first vehicle ever or is in a point in their lives where they are somewhat financially strained.

However, before they pull the trigger on getting a used vehicle, they also need to realize that if they need to bring their Subaru in to get maintenance done in the Bay Area at any point after they purchase it, then it will likely not be covered by warranty unless they purchase an additional extended warranty from the used vehicle dealership.

So to make up for this additional cost of any possible Subaru parts that are needed from San Jose, drivers need to get the best price possible for their used vehicle and attempt to choose one that has recently been serviced quite thoroughly. Here are a few tips to help potential vehicle owners snag the best possible price for the already cheaper used vehicles.

Get Pre-Approved

With almost any major financial decision in a person's life, it benefits them to get pre-approved for their financing before actually purchasing anything. Buying a used vehicle is no different and individuals can end up saving quite a bit of money if they get their financing before they start going into dealerships to negotiate.

Many people trust that the deal they get from the dealership's finance division is the best possible deal that is available to them. While this may be the case in some instances, it is not in others. The only way to truly figure this out is to apply for a vehicle financing offer beforehand. The best amount that they can get pre-approved for can then be taken in with them when they go to negotiate for the used vehicle price. This will force dealerships to offer them better financing options or risk them going through the bank or credit union to finance their vehicle instead.

Taking out a loan with unnecessarily high interest or too long of a payback period can come back and haunt an individual. This is because it can cause them to have to pay back even more money than they would have to with a better financing deal, with the extra money sometimes adding up to over $1,000. Therefore, by being pre-approved for a good financing deal, a person can help ensure they get the best possible financing and save as many pennies during the payback period as possible.

Go Down the Path Less Travelled

As with anything else, the more that something is in demand, the more that it costs. Therefore, there can be a massive downside to picking a used vehicle that a lot of other people tend to purchase. The unfortunate part is that popular vehicles are often good quality vehicles as well. After all, if there is a bunch of people buying the same type of vehicle, then it must perform well and they must have heard some good things from other people who own the same vehicle.

So for someone who doesn't care that much about how much they will have to pay for their used vehicle, then going for a very popular model can be a good decision. However, for someone who is looking to get a really good deal on their used vehicle, they might not want to pick one of the more popular models. Instead, they should go for ones that are reviewed well but tend not to sell nearly as much.

Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Chances are that if a vehicle is really good, then a lot of people will have discovered that already and will be buying them. So in most cases, it is a battle between balancing the price of the vehicle and the quality of the vehicle.

It is quite common to find a few models that perform exceptionally well but may have one or two qualities about them that make them less appealing to a lot of people. For example, maybe a vehicle is slightly smaller than most people would like or maybe a particular one is an unusual color that most people are not interested in driving. If someone is willing to make that sacrifice, then it can easily save them a couple thousand dollars on the total cost of their used vehicle.

So rather than going for the most popular or the second most popular options for used vehicles, drivers should be striving to look at the vehicles that are sitting in the top 20 used model rankings but have not quite cracked the top 10. This is usually where they will find the best ratio of quality for price.

Avoid Unnecessary Add-Ons

An area during price negotiation where everything starts to fall apart is when the add-ons start being presented to the driver. As soon as someone sees all the wonderful things that they could have with their used vehicle, some people start to instinctively say yes to a lot of things that they might not actually need.

This is why individuals need to pay close attention to what each of the add-ons are and think carefully about whether or not they will get their money's worth from these add-on. Even if they decide that they want something later on that they said no to initially, there is nothing stopping them from coming back to the Subaru parts department in San Jose later and getting it added on.


Why Diesel Does Not Work In Gasoline Engines

Even for someone who knows very little about vehicles, it is pretty standard knowledge that there are two different types of fuel that a commuter vehicle can use. Chances are that anyone who has ever owned a Subaru in San Jose has driven a vehicle that was powered by gasoline, since most vehicles on the road run off gasoline. However, for someone who owns a larger truck or some type of specialty vehicle such as a bus or semi truck, then it is possible their vehicle could use diesel fuel instead.

While most people realize that these two things are very different, they do not understand what it is that makes them different or why they cannot be used interchangeably. That is why this article is here to break down the difference between gasoline and diesel and explain exactly what would happen if someone were to put diesel fuel in a gasoline powered Subaru Impreza in the Bay Area.

What Makes Them Different?

Chances are that most drivers have never used both gasoline and diesel at some point in their lives, so they have no basis for comparison. However, anyone who has ever had the opportunity to use both kinds of fuel knows there are several obvious features and more subtle chemical features that make them different from each other.

One of the very first things that someone would notice if they had diesel and gasoline side by side is that they do not smell the same. Gasoline is often described as having a much more abrasive smell to it, while diesel smells a bit more oily. They also tend to vary slightly in color. Whereas gasoline is more of a mix of several yellows and greens, diesel is closer to a deeper brown and tends to be much darker.

If the person has a good sense of guesstimating weights of objects, then they might be able to tell the difference based on how much they weigh as well. Since the molecules of diesel are much larger than that of gasoline, it results in diesel weighing more. So if someone has a gallon of diesel and a gallon of gasoline, the container of diesel is going to weigh a bit more than the gasoline. However, any amounts of either fuel that is small enough to be weighed by one individual is likely going to have a difference that is too small to notice.

Another difference between the two fuels is that diesel has a slightly different viscosity and density, which will affect how it feels. If an individual sticks their finger into both liquids, they should notice that the diesel is slightly thicker than the gasoline.

The last major difference is something that should almost never be resorted to when trying to figure out which is which, as it can be very dangerous. But when all else fails, they can also be determined apart based on how they react when they are set on fire. A small amount of diesel fuel will burn much slower than gasoline, which is far more explosive and has a higher autoignition temperature point.

What to Do Immediately Afterward

Almost every driver has had that moment where they are not paying enough attention when filling up their Subaru Crosstrek in the Bay Area and accidentally grab the yellow nozzle, which is universally designated for diesel. However, most of us realize the issue before actually starting to pump the fuel into the vehicle and are able to avoid this disaster. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky, and there are tons of people every year who accidentally put diesel into their Subaru Forester in the Bay Area rather than its required gasoline.

When this happens, there are a couple of things that the driver needs to immediately do to minimize the risk to their vehicle. The first thing that they should always make sure to do is never, ever attempt to start the vehicle.

If a gasoline-powered vehicle is filled entirely with diesel, then this does not become an issue because the vehicle will not even start. Since diesel has a much harder time evaporating than gasoline does, there is nothing for the spark plugs to ignite during the ignition process, so the engine will be unable to start at all.

However, if the driver was simply topping up their Subaru WRX in the Bay Area, then the amount of fuel in their tank will still mainly be gasoline and will probably allow the engine to start if they attempt to turn the vehicle on. If they do this, then they risk diesel running through the vehicle's fuel lines and causing extensive damage to its various components. That is why they should never try to start the vehicle once they have accidentally put diesel into it.

The other thing that should be done immediately after pumping diesel into a gas vehicle is calling either a mechanic or tow truck company to get the vehicle serviced. If the driver does not know the proper steps for fixing this issue, then they should bring it to their trusted mechanic to get the problem fixed. However, if they have the expertise to solve this issue, then they might only need to get a tow truck to bring the vehicle back to their home without starting there, where they can take the proper steps to getting it back to running condition.

How to Fix the Issue

Luckily, if drivers can avoid getting any of the diesel into their vehicle's fuel lines and engine, then the solution to the issue is quite simple. All it requires is that the vehicle have its fuel tank completely drained and then refilled with the proper fuel. Once this is done, the vehicle should be able to start back up and run fine. If some of the diesel worked its way through the system, then it may need to be cranked a few times before it is able to get it all out. But afterward, the vehicle should be back to normal running condition.


Why a Vehicle Might Not Reverse

Many drivers do not enjoy having to reverse their vehicles, since it involves having to try and keep an eye on several different things at once. Not only do they have to be familiar enough with their Subaru Impreza from the Bay Area to know where the edges of the vehicle are and how far away they are from every other object, but they also need to keep an eye out for any incoming obstacles while backing out of their driveway or parking spot. Thankfully, newer Subaru Crosstreks in the Bay Area come with a reverse camera that makes the reversal process a lot easier.

However, just because many drivers struggle with or do not enjoy reversing, it does not mean that they are okay with having a vehicle that will not even allow them to back up. Unfortunately, this is a reality that some people driving an older Subaru in San Jose are faced with.

As the vehicle experiences a variety of issues, it could lead to the inability to enter the reverse gear, which would prevent the vehicle from backing up. It is important to know what the causes are so that drivers can work on fixing the issue as soon as it pops up. Here are some of the most common reasons a vehicle might not reverse.

Failing Transmission Position Sensor

When driving an automatic vehicle like a Subaru Forester in the Bay Area, it will have a component known as a transmission position sensor. What this piece of the vehicle does is communicate to the transmission what position the shift knob is in. So when the driver takes the lever and brings it from park to reverse, the transmission position sensor will send out a signal through the vehicle that the lever has been moved to the reverse gear and the transmission should do the same.

However, if this sensor ever begins to fail, then it will be unable to send out the signal on a consistent basis. What this will often result in is the vehicle entering what is called limp mode. This is the name for the condition where the vehicle is unable to shift properly and cannot go to anything above the third gear.

Luckily, it is fairly easy to know if this is the issue that is preventing the vehicle from entering into the reverse gear, because it is usually preceded with the check engine light turning on. If the vehicle is unable to reverse but the check engine light has not turned on, then it is likely that a faulty transmission position sensor can be ruled out as the cause.

Insufficient Levels of Transmission Fluid

There are many different types of fluids that a vehicle relies on to operate properly. One of these fluids is the transmission fluid, which is responsible for ensuring the vehicle's transmission is operating how it should. If the vehicle ever reaches a point where it has insufficient amount of transmission fluid, then a wide variety of problems could occur.

In addition to experiencing an overheated transmission, gear slippage, and more, the vehicle may also start being unable to transition into the reverse gear. If there is not enough fluid to be able to properly lubricate the internal gears, then the system will not be able to properly transition into reverse gear, leaving the vehicle stuck going forward.

Most of the time when a vehicle runs low on transmission fluid it is due to a leak. That is why drivers should keep a close eye on the area underneath their Subaru WRX in the Bay Area whenever they reverse out of their usual parking spot. If their vehicle is experiencing any sort of transmission fluid leak, then it should show up on the ground underneath where the vehicles parked as a few spots of dark liquid. From there, they can get a closer look at any stains that may be present and try to determine whether or not it is transmission fluid or something else.

Damaged Gear Teeth

The gears that are used to transition to the reverse mode of the transmission are just like any other type of gears and have teeth that they used to move and interact with one another. So if these teeth ever manage to get broken or otherwise damaged, it can cause them to have a much harder time doing their job.

This most likely occurs as a result of someone driving their vehicle too aggressively and exposing their transmission to intensive conditions. Before the gears completely give out, there are usually some warning signs that consists of the vehicle producing some sort of clicking or clunking noise whenever the driver attempts to put the vehicle in reverse. If they ever hear this, then they should immediately get their vehicle looked at by a professional before the damage gets worse and the transmission needs to be extensively repaired.

Faulty Valve Body

This issue is another problem that is exclusive to vehicles with automatic transmissions. Located within the transmission is a big component that is composed of twisting and turning patterns of metal that are able to effectively direct the vehicle's hydraulic fluid to reach the appropriate valves. This is a necessary task to allow the vehicle to transition from one gear to the next as smoothly as possible.

If the gears do not receive their required amount of hydraulic fluid due to this component, called the valve body, being  faulty, then changing gears can become a much more difficult task. Occasionally, the vehicle's valve body will experience repeated harsh conditions that wear it down over time and make it unable to do its job as effectively.

When the valve body becomes faulty, it can cause the vehicle to start having delayed shifting when put into the reverse gear. In really bad cases where the valve body has experienced traumatic wear and tear, it may end up preventing the vehicle from entering the reverse gear at all.


How to Tell If the Vehicle Has Low Transmission Fluid

Of all the parts of a vehicle that can fail, the last thing a driver wants it to be is a transmission. The transmission in a vehicle is something that is vital to its operation, so if a Subaru in San Jose ever experiences a transmission issue, then it will not be able to travel very far.

Luckily, taking a Subaru to get regular maintenance done in the Bay Area is often enough to keep any serious transmission troubles at bay. However, for someone who does not pay as close attention to their vehicle's components or happens to just have really bad luck, a transmission failure is definitely a possibility.

One of the best ways to try and hold off any major issues from popping up in this area is to keep the vehicle topped with sufficient levels of transmission fluid. Letting this crucial substance get to be too low is a surefire way to cause major issues with the vehicle that is going to cost a lot of money to try and fix.

That is why drivers need to make sure they are taking proper care of their Subaru's parts in San Jose, particularly the transmission, and need to know the warning signs of any major issues so they can seek help as soon as it is needed. Here are the most common and significant warning signs that a vehicle is running on low levels of transmission fluid.

Visibly Low or Discolored Fluid

One of the easiest ways to check whether or not the vehicle has sufficient transmission fluid is to simply check the actual levels within the fluid tank. By peering into the transmission fluid holder, drivers should be able to see how full it is.

They should also take this opportunity to examine the color of the liquid, since this can let them know if there is something wrong with the fluid or not. Healthy transmission fluid should always appear as a more red color that is fairly transparent. However, if the fluid is starting to significantly breakdown and approaching a need for replacement, then it will instead look much darker and appear to have a more brown color.

Unresponsive Gear Changing

Since the transmission is what is responsible for helping switch between gears of the vehicle, it makes sense that having low transmission fluid would then impact the vehicle's ability to switch gears. The actual impact that it has can vary from vehicle to vehicle.

Some may experience the gears changing much slower than usual and not actually transferring over until a couple of seconds after it should. In fact, some people, especially those who drive manual vehicles, may experience an inability to get to certain gears at all.

However, in some situations the issue could actually become the opposite. The vehicle might start gearing up or down much too fast, causing an inefficient driving experience. This is because the transmission fluid needs to build up to a certain level before it can be utilized to switch gears. So if the fluid is dirty or otherwise contaminated, then it can cause the fluid to respond much slower, which means that it could have inconsistent build up times, leading to inconsistent gear transition.

Visible Signs of Fluid Underneath the Vehicle

Many people never think to check the area underneath their vehicle, but this is an important thing to do every now and then because it is often the site of early warning signs that something is wrong with the vehicle. For example, one of the most common symptoms of transmission fluid problems can be found underneath the vehicle.

Most of the time, low transmission fluid levels are caused by some kind of leakage. Most often, when this leakage occurs, it will cause the transmission fluid to drip down on to the ground beneath the vehicle. So if the driver takes the time to bend down and look underneath the vehicle, they might see several large spots of dark fluid, which is likely a sign of some kind of leak within the vehicle.

Determining the exact kind of leak that is will require a bit more detective work and will likely involve the driver getting all the way underneath the vehicle so that they can closely examine the vehicle's undercarriage. If they take a look at the transmission pan and surrounding components, then they should be able to see some sort of tiny droplets forming around the source of the leak. If they do locate one, then it is in their best interest to get it patched up as soon as possible to avoid losing any more transmission fluid.

Unpleasant Shifting Sounds

The basic rule of thumb when it comes to vehicles is that a quiet one is a healthy one. A properly running vehicle should not make any excessive noise and should be more or less silent when doing standard driving. However, when a vehicle starts to develop an issue, then it will suddenly start making more intensive and unusual noises when being driven.

When it comes to running low on transmission fluid, the noise that will occur can be described as a systemic rattling or pounding sound. If it does occur, it will happen while the vehicle is driving, not when it is in neutral or park. Hearing any sort of loud and unpleasant noise while driving a vehicle is always a good reminder that it needs to be brought into a mechanic to be looked at.

Overheated Vehicle

Vehicles naturally produce a lot of heat, which is why they rely on so many 0different kinds of fluids to keep them operating at a reasonable temperature. If a vehicle ever runs low on transmission fluid, then its transmission will no longer be equipped to handle the high levels of friction that occur between its components.

When this happens, it is almost guaranteed to result in the transmission becoming overheated. If a transmission does overheat, then it can start to give off a strong burning smell and may even produce smoke. If the temperature is able to reach a certain height, then it could result in the entire transmission needing to be replaced.

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