At AAMCO of Keller our goal is to be your locally trusted auto repair experts to keep you and your car safely on the road.  We also aim to educate our customers of common car issues they may face while on the road and the best advice to handle that situation.

So you’re leaving work and you realize you left your car lights on all day and now your vehicle won’t start.  As a well prepared motorist we always suggest that you keep a reliable pair of jumper cables in your car for situations just like this. Having the right emergency equipment is the first important step. You also have to know how to use it. So, here is what you need to know about how to jump a car battery.

dead car battery

Being prepared with the right Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are long, thickly insulated cables with toothy clips on one or both ends. These clips are called alligator clips (because they look like alligator heads). The clips are distinguished by color, usually red and black, to indicate positive and negative polarity. The red clip is positive. The black clip is negative.

Jump boxes are portable batteries used to jump start a vehicle without connecting to another vehicle—come with special jump cables. These cables connect the jump battery directly to the dead car battery. Road side assistance usually uses a jump box when helping stalled vehicles.

Jumper cables are the most popular tool used to jump start cars because they are inexpensive and easy to store. Jumper cables usually come in a variety of lengths, ranging from 10-20 feet. Some people think longer cables are better so that you do not have to move a car with a dead battery. But, while longer cables provide convenience, they may lose power as the longer the cable, the farther the energy has to travel. The gauge of the cable denotes the strength of the cables. The lower the gauge, the thicker the cables and the stronger they are. Gauge six is a standard size for jumper cables.

jump a car, jumper cables

Safety First When You Jump a Car Battery

You should consider all safety risks before performing any basic maintenance or repair on your car. First, make sure that small children are in a safe area away from the engine while you are establishing how to jump a dead car battery. Take a moment to read the manual of your car. Some vehicles require extra steps in order to have a successful jump. If you’re unsure of what to do, call AAMCO of Keller at (817) 431-0009 for advice. Assuming that your car will permit a jump, you should be careful to prevent dangerous electric shocks. When you handle the jumper cables, be aware that their function is to transmit electrical current from one car to another. Once one end of the jumper cables is connected to a car, do not touch the metal clamps to anything but the appropriate target. It’s highly recommended that you wear the proper safety protection gear such as safety classes to avoid possible sparks flying.

How to Jump a Car Battery

Step 1:  To ensure that the car donating a charge (the donor car) is protected, take these precautions. Match the kind of voltage system of the donor battery to the dead battery to be jumped. For example, a 6V and a 12V should not be used together. A quick test that there is enough voltage for the donor, be sure that the car giving he jump start’s headlights are steady and bright when the car is started. If the headlights dim, that can signal that the battery is low.

Step 2:  Park the vehicles next to each other. Park the functioning car so that the vehicles face each other, preferably only about 18 inches apart, but never touching each other. For automatic transmission cars, put the vehicle in park; for a manual transmission, set the vehicle to neutral. Set the parking brakes on both, so neither car moves unexpectedly.

Step 3:  Both vehicles should be off. Set the parking brakes and remove the keys. Set down the jumper cables on the ground, making sure the clamps do not touch each other.

Step 4:  Open the hood to both cars, and locate the batteries (refer to the owner’s manual for battery location) and battery terminals. Usually, the two terminals on each battery will be covered in red or black, with a + or – sign on top. Look at the batteries and make sure that you can identify which is positive, and which is negative. This distinction is crucial to the success of your jump. If the battery terminals are dirty, wipe them off with a rag or wire brush.

Step 5:  Attach the red, positive cable clamp to the positive (+) battery terminal of the dead battery. You want a solid connection to the battery terminal, which may require some initial wiggling of the clamps

Step 6:  Attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal on the working battery. Attach the red, positive cable clamp on the other side of the jumper cables to the functioning vehicle’s positive (+) battery terminal.

Step 7:  Attach the partnered black clamp to the negative terminal on the working battery. Connect the black, negative cable clamp to the working battery’s negative (-) battery terminal.

Step 8:  Walk over to the car with the dead battery. Do not connect the black, negative cable clamp to the dead battery. Instead, attach that clamp to an unpainted, metal part of the car such as a shiny, clean nut on the engine block. This will help ensure a safe jump.

Step 9:  Start the working vehicle. Wait a minute or so. Depending on the age of the battery and how long since it died, you may need to let the car run for a minute or two to get the jump to work.

Step 10:  Try starting the dead car. If the car doesn’t start, allow the working vehicle to charge the battery for an additional minute or two before attempting again.

Step 11:  If it doesn’t turn on, try revving the engine of the working vehicle. In some instances, slightly revving the engine of the working car while charging the dead battery may help.

Step 12:  Once the dead car is running, you may disconnect the jumper cables, starting with the black, negative cable clamps. Do not let the clamps touch each other while any part of the cables is still attached to a car.

Take a short drive to help recharge the battery.  This will allow the battery to build up a charge. This driving allows the vehicle’s alternator to charge the battery and ensures that your vehicle does not die again once you turn it off.

The vehicle with the dead battery should be allowed to run for 30 minutes if possible. This will let the alternator fully charge the battery. If your battery continues to lose a charge call AAMCO of Keller to perform a diagnostic test on your car battery.

What If Your Jump Start Doesn’t Work?

If the jump fails to start your car after a few short attempts, or if the car starts but then dies again, you have some other issues you need to address. Most batteries are rated to last 4-6 years. If your battery is old, you may need to replace it. If the battery should be working well, you should consider other possible problems with other components

Dealing with a dead car battery is a pain. Luckily, getting your car working again is not terribly difficult. By following these instructions, using your jumper cables sensibly, practicing safety and addressing other potential concerns, your car will run better, be safer, and last longer.

If you have questions about jumping your car or your vehicle won’t respond to a jump start give the experts at AAMCO of Keller a call at (817) 431-0009 to answer your questions or to schedule an appointment for a full diagnostic test.

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AAMCO Of Keller, TX – Car Radiator & Cooling System Experts

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.

Summer is quickly approaching the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the summer heat is no joke for your car. Keeping your cars radiators and cooling system in proper working order is super important to ensure you’re not left stranded in the Texas Heat with a car that’s overheating.  At AAMCO of Keller we aim to be your locally trusted auto repair experts to help keep you and your family on the road safely this summer.  Here is some important info to learn about your car radiator and cooling system.

The car radiator is one of the most misunderstood automotive components. This may be because a car radiator works so differently from a home radiator. The one in your home works essentially to warm up the immediate surroundings—but the one in your car does something a little different.

The Car Engine Cooling System

It’s actually an invaluable part of your engine cooling system. Of course, your engine both burns fuel and creates friction in order to give your car the juice it needs, and that causes a great deal of heat to build up. That heat needs to be diverted away from the engine, or else it could cause tremendous damage. The pistons in the engine would seize up and snap in two, and the engine would be broken down completely. That’s why engines have built-in, multi-part cooling systems. This includes an exhaust system, through which heat can escape. It also includes oil, which lubricates the engine parts and reduces the amount of friction. Even so, engines can get hot pretty quickly—and once they hit a certain temperature, the rest of the cooling system kicks in.

A typical 4 cylinder vehicle cruising along the highway at around 50 miles per hour,  will produce 4000 controlled explosions per minute inside the engine as the spark plugs ignite the fuel in each cylinder to propel the vehicle down the road.  Obviously, these explosions produce an enormous amount of heat and, if not controlled, will destroy an engine in a matter of minutes.  Controlling these high temperatures is the job of the cooling system. The modern cooling system has not changed much from the cooling systems in the model T back in the ’20s.  Oh sure, it has become infinitely more reliable and efficient at doing its job, but the basic cooling system still consists of liquid coolant being circulated through the engine, then out to the radiator to be cooled by the air stream coming through the front grill of the vehicle. Today’s cooling system must maintain the engine at a constant temperature whether the outside air temperature is 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 below zero.  If the engine temperature is too low, fuel economy will suffer and emissions will rise.  If the temperature is allowed to get too hot for too long, the engine will self-destruct from overheating.

What Happens When Your Car Radiator Kicks In

There are actually two types of cooling systems found on motor vehicles:  Liquid cooled and Air cooled.  Air cooled engines are found on a few older cars, like the original Volkswagen Beetle, the Chevrolet Corvair and a few others.  Many modern motorcycles still use air cooling, but for the most part, automobiles and trucks use liquid cooled systems and that is what this article will concentrate on.

The cooling system is made up of the passages inside the engine block and heads, a  water pump to circulate the coolant, a thermostat to control the temperature of the coolant, a radiator to cool the coolant, a radiator cap to control the pressure in the system, and some plumbing consisting of interconnecting hoses to transfer the coolant from the engine to radiator and also to the car’s heater system where hot coolant is used to warm up the vehicle’s interior on a cold day.

A cooling system works by sending a liquid coolant through passages in the engine block and heads.  As the coolant flows through these passages, it picks up heat from the engine.  The heated fluid then makes its way through a rubber hose to the radiator in the front of the car.  As it flows through the thin tubes in the radiator, the hot liquid is cooled by the air stream entering the engine compartment from the grill in front of the car.  Once the fluid is cooled, it returns to the engine to absorb more heat.  The water pump has the job of keeping the fluid moving through this system of plumbing and hidden passages.

How the Car Radiator Works

  • A thermostat at the front of the engine detects when the engine reaches an unacceptable temperature. This triggers the release of water and coolant—both of which are held in the radiator.
  • This liquid combination picks up the heat generated by engine friction and burned fuel. It is then sent back into the radiator itself. The surface area is ample enough to let the coolant cool. Additionally, a fan positioned near it helps cool the coolant further.
  • Air from outside the car is brought in through vents, providing further cooling power. The coolant sufficiently cooled down, can then be sent back into the engine to pick up more heat.

car radiator keller

What Happens When a Car Radiator Cooling System Stops Working Properly

The long and short of it is that your radiator plays a vital role in removing heat from your engine—thereby ensuring the engine can function properly, without risk of sudden breakdown. Over time, of course, various issues can prevent the cooling system from working properly. One common issue is that the thermostat, from which the coolant is released into the engine, becomes clogged and no longer opens. This is a significant problem: It means the engine can overheat and ultimately break down if you don’t have the problem corrected right away. An even more common reason for cooling system breakdown is a leak; leaks can cause coolant levels to become too low, which means there is not enough coolant to pick up the heat and remove it properly.

Certainly, if you notice fluid under your parked car and suspect a leak, it’s important to have the vehicle inspected and serviced right away. These problems can be serious, but spotting them quickly can lead to a more straightforward solution.

Is Your Car Radiator In Need of a Radiator Flush?

Anti-freeze, otherwise known as coolant, is the engine’s temperature-regulator. If you’ve ever had your engine overheat, you know how important it is to have the right amount of coolant. Think of your engine as producing a series of tiny explosions. The coolant is the fluid that keeps those explosions burning at the right temperature. The coolant keeps the engine warm in a brutal winter and cool during a blazing summer.

At AAMCO of Keller we recommend as a general guideline to flush the car radiator anti-freeze once a year. This removes any rust or scale deposits and keeps coolant from becoming acidic. Acidic anti-freeze eventually wears down the very parts the cooling system intends to protect.

What are the Benefits of a Car Radiator Coolant Flush?

  • Old anti-freeze eventually loses its anti-corrosive properties, which allows for debris to build up in the cooling system. A coolant flush removes these rust and scale deposits. It’s important to get rid of contaminants because they can cause overheating and damage your entire cooling system.
  • Fresh coolant contains additives which lubricate and can extend the life of your cooling system. These additives also help prevent rust from building up, which allows the cooling system to operate more efficiently.
  • Bring your car into AAMCO of Keller Automotive for a coolant flush and we’ll offer a free courtesy inspection. During this comprehensive evaluation, we check the entire cooling system – including the thermostat, radiator, water pump, hoses and belts.
  • A coolant flush prevents the old anti-freeze from becoming acidic. Once coolant becomes acidic, it starts to eat away at the water pump, rubber hoses and aluminum components of the engine.

Overheating is one of the most common contributors to mechanical breakdowns for many car owners in the North Texas area. Overheating can cause severe damage to the engine and transmission. The expert mechanics at AAMCO of Keller are here to keep your radiator, fluids and car cooling system in the best condition to keep you and your vehicle safely on the road.

Contact AAMCO of Keller today at (817) 431-0009 or click here to schedule your car radiator and cooling system flush or checkup online. Beat the Texas Heat this year by making sure your vehicles car radiator and cooling system is keeping your car cool on the road this summer.

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AAMCO Of Keller, TX – Car Radiator & Cooling System Experts

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.

Proper yearly auto maintenance should always include insuring that your headlights, taillights, turn signals and parking lots are always working effectively. Many customers come to AAMCO of Keller for a yearly car maintenance check-up and find out that they may have a headlight out. While replacing the vehicles headlights with the factory recommended bulb is always the best option, many customers also wonder about XID or Blue Headlights as a replacement option.

What are Blue Headlights?

People commonly describe HID or Xenon headlights as “Blue Headlights”.  They are usually known as one of two things: other xenon headlights, or high-intensity discharge lights, or HID for short. These lights are known to produce an incredibly intense blue light when compared to halogen bulbs, and they give off minimal heat.  In order to produce HID lights, you need a lot of power right away to produce the first burst of light emitting from the headlights. Once the lights have fully been turned on and are at their brightest, they require less energy to maintain for an extended period of time, so they actually save you in power over time. They have a long lifespan, but they do cost more money up front to pay for them. The blue light mixes with a white light and emits such a bright light that it can be harmful to other drivers on the road. Many drivers actually despise xenon headlights on the road, especially at night as they can cause accidents due to their brightness.

Are Xenon or LED Blue Headlights better than traditional Halogen Headlights?

LEDs are the most recent innovation in headlight technology. Instead of gas and filaments, LEDs rely on small diodes that produce light when electric current excites their electrons. They need a low amount of power to work but do produce a significant amount of heat on the diode. This requires heat control systems at the bottom of the headlight and near other car components. If this system fails, not just the light, but other electronics could be affected. Xenon bulbs have a long lifespan and emit little heat, but they cost more than halogen bulbs.  Xenon lights, also known as high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, produce a brighter light than halogen bulbs and with far less heat. The blue-white light emitted by xenon bulbs is so bright, it has been known to “blind” other drivers. These headlights require a large amount of power at the outset to produce their first burst of light, but once fully operational, they require much less energy to maintain constant brightness. Traditional Halogen Headlight Bulbs still rank highest as the most common headlight on the market, but several alternatives, including xenon-based and light-emitting diode (LED) headlights, are growing in popularity.

Are Blue Headlights Illegal in Texas?

The most common question from AAMCO of Keller customers about Blue Headlights is are they illegal in Texas. The short answer is it depends on a few factors.  Any headlight bulb of the vehicle must be white or shades of yellow and amber; this is not only a Texas standard, but a federal one (according to 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 571.108).

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, any colored bulbs or headlamps must have the Department of Transportation or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers stamp of compliance on them; there are currently no DOT-approved red or blue bulbs. Red and blue bulbs resemble the lights used by emergency and law enforcement vehicles, making them confusing or distracting for officers and other drivers.  So HID, Xenon or Blue Headlights sold by a reputable dealer or auto store can be used in Texas as longs as the Blue Headlights carry the appropriate DOT stamp of approval.

If you headlights are currently out or your car is in need of a yearly check-up call the experts at AAMCO of Keller for a full diagnostic checkup at (817)-431-0009. Click here to schedule your appointment online at AAMCO of Keller, Texas.

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AAMCO Of Keller, TX

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.

The summer is quickly approaching for DFW Texas and with the increase in temperatures comes the need for a reliable Air Conditioning system for your car. When the heat starts to approach North Texas many drivers find their A/C isn’t cooling properly. The expert mechanics at AAMCO Of Keller are here to provide some insight into some of the most common problems we see for drivers in the Keller and Fort Worth area facing air conditioning issues with their vehicle.

Reason #1: Your Vehicles AC Fan has Stopped Working

There is a fan in your cars air conditioning system that pushes air through the vents. If your fan isn’t working, your system can’t blow cool air. It can be as simple as a bad wire or as serious as a fan in need of replacement, but your A/C fan can require your entire dashboard to be taken apart. This can be difficult replacement for many auto owners and people that attempt to do it themselves can risk damaging their interior or dashboard. We always suggest bringing your car into AAMCO of Keller to ensure that your AC fan’s failure can be properly diagnosed.

Reason #2: Your Car’s AC has a Leak

Cars that have a leak in their AC systems are not an uncommon issue for many owners, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Your Vehicle uses a refrigerant known as Freon in your air conditioning system, but when it leaks out of your cooling system, your car will have nothing to dispel heat with. Freon can leak out slowly over time or may drain more quickly out of a larger opening.

If you notice fluid under your car, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our trustworthy mechanics at AAMCO Of Keller. A fluid leak can indicate that you’re A/C is leaking, but it also can be the sign of a much more serious problem. If you notice a leak and your air conditioning isn’t cold give AAMCO of Keller a call for us to schedule an appointment to perform a diagnostic on you cars AC system to see if it’s need of Freon replacement.

Reason #3: Your Car’s AC Compressor Won’t Engage

A compressor uses refrigerant to dispel heat and cool the airflow into your car. If there is an electrical fault in your A/C system, your Freon is low, or your vehicle is overheating, the computer in your car may automatically shut off the compressor to protect the system from damage. If there’s an issue in your engine, the air conditioning system is one of the first systems to be shut off making a terrible situation even harder for many owners.

If this occurs, it can be a sign of other issues. The mechanics at AAMCO Of Keller can check your car for other problems, including electrical issues and overheating issues, to narrow down what could be causing your compressor to shut off or not properly engage.

Reason #3: The Blend Air Door is Stuck

When you switch your car’s climate control from heat to A/C, there is a small door inside your AC’s ventilation system that moves to allow heated or cooled air into the system. This part of the AC system is known as the blend air door, and it can cause a lot of problems with your heating and cooling when it gets stuck. If this door won’t move, your system may continue to blow hot air from the engine, even when you have it switched to air conditioning. This is something that should be checked by a qualified mechanic like the experts at AAMCO of Keller. Should this be the case we can replace your blend air door easily. So contact us to today to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing any issues with your car’s Air Conditioning system.

The Texas heat is no joke and you don’t want to be left with a vehicle that isn’t properly cooling this summer. AAMCO of Keller is proud to help our customers save on our full range of trustworthy services for your vehicles. Save now with this special coupon for a full A/C Diagnostic.

Don’t let the Texas heat keeping you from staying cool while driving this summer. Call us today at (817) 431-0009 or schedule your appointment online to have your AC checked by our AAMCO of Keller expert mechanics.

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AAMCO Of Keller, TX

AAMCO Transmissions of Keller our technicians are the best trained in the industry with not only 20 years experience on new cars but also over 50 years experience in the automotive industry. Our goal is not only to provide the best product in the industry but also the best customer service available. A recent survey showed that over 95% of cars serviced with major repairs at AAMCO are still in service with many reaching the 100,000 mile range without failure.

At AAMCO of Keller we believe that getting the best value for your dollar is the most important part of any repair. That is why all of our services come with a minimum of a one year warranty and not the typical 90 days provided by most repair shops. We use only the highest quality parts available.

AAMCO of Keller is a full-service auto repair and preventive maintenance center. We are automatic and manual transmission experts. We provide transmission service and maintenance as well as transmission flush & filter service. We are conveniently located for your service and maintenance needs and we are qualified to repair and service all domestic and imported cars, trucks, and SUV’s using parts that are equal to or exceed the standards of those parts originally used by the manufacturers. We are definitely the cost-effective alternative to car dealership servicing for all scheduled maintenance of your personal or company auto, pickup or truck. Regardless of where it was built, we will service your car or truck and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. We honor most extended warranties.

AAMCO of Keller is independently owned and operated. We pride ourselves on getting the services or repairs on your auto right the first time by our highly qualified service technicians. So drop your auto, SUV, or truck off today and allow us to provide you with excellent service. We look forward to servicing your vehicle.