Frequently Asked Questions


QUESTION: Alternator gauge shows charge, but the battery light is on dim.
ANSWER: The alternator has a bad diode. It's still charging, but if it is not repaired or replaced you may not know when it does go bad.

QUESTION: Motor starts fine in the morning, but engine dies after a short drive.
ANSWER: Alternator is not charging. The alternator will need to be tested and either rebuilt or replaced.

QUESTION: The headlights are very dim, until I race the motor.
ANSWER: The voltage regulator is bad. And will need to be replaced. On most systems the regulator is inside the alternator and it will need to be rebuilt or replaced.

QUESTION: Battery is dead in the morning, but works fine the rest of the day.
ANSWER: The battery has a dead cell and loses charge overnight. The battery needs to be replaced.

QUESTION: Turn the key and get one loud click and then nothing.
ANSWER: Check and clean the battery terminals, and replace if necessary

QUESTION: Squeal or squeak that disappears when the brake is applied.
ANSWER: Most disc brake pads have a warning clip that rubs the rotor when the pads need replacing, check the front brakes.

QUESTION: Installed new disc brake pads and now I have a squeal when braking.
ANSWER: Disc brake pads need a proper backing so they don't vibrate. A good product to eliminate this problem is called "Brake Quiet".

QUESTION: Brake pedal pulsates when I apply the brakes.
ANSWER: Disc brake rotors are out of round and need to be resurfaced.

QUESTION: When stopped at a traffic light, brake pedal slowly goes to the floor.
ANSWER: The master cylinder is bad and needs to be replaced.

QUESTION: Car pulls to one side while braking.
ANSWER: The front disc brake caliper, opposite of the pull is not working and will need to be rebuilt or replaced.

QUESTION: When I apply the brakes, one rear wheel grabs.
ANSWER: A rear wheel lock up is caused by fluid on the brake shoes. Check the rear wheels for a leaking wheel cylinder or axle seal.

QUESTION: Motor overheats very quickly when started.
ANSWER: Thermostat stuck in closed position.

QUESTION: Motor never overheats but runs much warmer than normal.
ANSWER: Radiator is partially restricted, and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

QUESTION: Coolant appears foamy and a brown color.
ANSWER: Oil has gotten into the coolant. This is because of a bad head gasket or a cracked cylinder head.

QUESTION: Turn signals come on but only blink on one side.
ANSWER: There must be a bulb out, check the bulbs on that side.

QUESTION: Turn signals come on, but will not blink on either side.
ANSWER: The turn signal flasher is bad and needs to be replaced.

QUESTION: When trailer is hooked up, turn signals blink very fast.
ANSWER: The turn signal flasher is not strong enough, install a heavy duty flasher.

QUESTION: I hear one click, then after 2 or 3 tries, it starts.
ANSWER: The starter solenoid relay) is bad and needs to be replaced. On some models this is mounted on the top of the starter, on others it's mounted on the inner fender near the battery.

QUESTION: I hear a rapid clicking sound when I turn the key.
ANSWER: The battery is weak and needs to be recharged or replaced.

QUESTION: The starter tries to turn, but then just whirls.
ANSWER: The Bendix (starter drive) is bad and needs to be replaced. Make sure you inspect the flywheel. Even when cold the starter turns very slowly. The starter is drawing to many amps. It will need to be rebuilt or replaced.

  • Hours Of Operation

    Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Early bird and night owl drop box service available.

  • Townside Automotive
    Complete mechanical services in Victoria BC. Radiator and heater repairs for car and large trucks, Marine Repairs, heat exchangers, oil cooler, keel, coolers, fuel tanks and Air conditioning recharging and repairs. Approved for all used warranty work.
    640 Hillside Avenue Victoria
    Victoria, BC
    V8T 4R9
    Phone: 250-381-2421
    Fax: 250-381-2431