How to Tell if You Have a Bad Alternator

When it comes to a vehicle’s electrical system, one the most common cases seen at the auto repair shop is a failing alternator. Your car’s alternator is important because it basically converts the engine revving into usable, electrical energy that recharges your car battery. But your car’s electrical system is the power source for several other systems within your vehicle, including GPS, DVD, stereo, interior cabin lights, headlights, taillights, spark plugs, and several other standard car management systems. So, when your alternator is going bad, several other automotive components our also taking a hit.

Continue reading learn how to tell if you have a bad alternator, and what to do if your alternator breakdown has rented your vehicle a total loss.

Sell an Old or Broken Alternator in Indianapolis, Indiana!  317-608-2188
Sell an Old or Broken Alternator in Indianapolis, Indiana! 317-608-2188

Car Alternator Problems

A car alternator is the automotive part that is responsible for turning mechanical energy into electrical energy for the purpose of charging the car battery. In turn, the car battery keeps all other car management systems powered by electricity operating optimally.

In today’s automotive manufacturing industry, innovative advancements and technologies are now incorporated into automotive design, so these days, many modern cars are almost fully reliant on their electrical systems. This is especially true for electric cars, which are becoming more popular among consumers in the automotive industry.

Needless to say, your vehicle’s alternator is very important. Basically, your car won’t run if your alternator breaks down, because if it does, your battery won’t get any charge and will eventually die. And a quick jump start to the battery won’t help if the underlying problem is the alternator.

Top 3 Signs of a Failing Alternator

Because alternators can break down or suddenly stop working without any warning, it is sometimes difficult to detect the signs of failing alternator. However, here are some common signs and signals that tend to indicate a bad or broken alternator:

Your car battery dies a lot or doesn’t hold charge for very long. Because your car battery is not getting the proper charge it needs from the alternator, it will continue to die even if you jump start or replace it.

Your headlights are dimming or illuminating. If you are headlights, taillights, or interior cabin lights are always changing in terms of intensity, your alternator could be to blame.

You detect the smell of burning plastic. The smell of burning plastic is a common symptom of corroded or burned alternator wires and/or internal components.

Does the cost to repair your alternator exceed the total market value of your car? If so, you can sell your totaled car to a local Indianapolis Indiana junk car buyer for instant cash on the spot. Just be sure to choose a reputable and long established cash for cars company for the highest payouts in the most convenient client amenities you could ask for! You can also sell your old or broken alternator!

Would you like to earn instant cash for your junk car today? Contact GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to get your free quote from an experienced Indianapolis Indiana junk car buyer you can trust. We provide free junk car removal too! No hidden fees ever!

You Should Also Read:

Is My Car Totaled if the Engine Blew?
Do I Need Car Radiator Repair?
When and Why You Need to Change the Motor Oil in Your Car

GC’s Junk Cars
GC’s Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Do I Have to Notify My Insurance Company to Sell My Junk Car?

When it comes time to sell a car, whether a brand new model or an antique automobile, your first thought might be regarding your insurance coverage. That is, if you even have any at the moment. Continue reading to learn how a junk car is deemed a total loss, and when selling one requires you to contact your insurance carrier in Indiana.

Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers
Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Total Loss Junk Cars

When a car is damaged, and the cost to repair the damage exceeds the vehicle’s overall value, an insurance company will consider it a totaled car, or total loss vehicle. For instance, if your car is worth $3,000 on the current market, but after your accident, the total cost of repairs is estimated to be $4,400, then the car is totaled. A car can only be deemed a total loss by the insurance company. An insurance adjuster will come out to inspect the vehicle and determine whether or not it is totaled.

You generally have two options when your car is deemed totaled by your insurance carrier. You can either file the claim to receive compensation from your insurance provider (the amount of compensation will depend on various factors, including your particular policy terms and the market value of your vehicle), or you can refuse to file it with your insurance and keep the car. If you choose to file a claim with your auto insurance carrier, they will take the vehicle, title, keys, and license plate out of your possession.

Notifying Your Insurance Company

If you plan to keep your total loss vehicle, and it is actively insured, you will need to notify your insurance company. If your junk car does not have any insurance coverage, so long as you are the lawful owner, you can sell it without notifying anyone. If the car is still registered, however, you will need to cancel the registration before selling it to a junk car buyer. If you file a claim with your insurance carrier and receive money to repair or replace your vehicle, but instead sell it, you could face legal penalties.

Where to Sell a Junk Car in Indianapolis, Indiana

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to get started on your free quote if you wish to sell a junk car in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer. We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle, and then pay you cash on the spot. Request a free estimate, today!

GC’s Junk Cars
GC’s Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Is My Car Totaled if it Can’t Pass an Emissions Test?

There are many obvious circumstances that render a car a total loss. But what about the more hidden causes of a totaled car? For instance, an emissions test. There are many states that require routine automotive emissions testing. Is Indiana one of them? Because if your car can’t pass one, you might be the bummed owner of a totaled car. But that’s not such as bad thing either!

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about vehicular emissions tests, and why a totaled car can still provide worthy value.

Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188
Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Indiana Law on Emissions Testing

Here in the Hoosier State, it is not necessarily a law that vehicles must pass an emissions test prior to registration. However, it is strongly encouraged. In most other states, if a car does not pass an emissions test, it cannot be lawfully registered. Although there are a few exceptions, if a car doesn’t meet EPA standards and guidelines, you cannot legally drive it in states that have this law. Here in Indiana, there is no such requirement, so cars that don’t pass an emissions test can still be operated legally.

CAR WON’T PASS AN EMISSIONS TEST? No problem in the eyes of the law in Indiana, but you still might want to get it fixed.  

Why Test Car Emissions?

Although Indiana does not require it by law, it is important to monitor and maintenance your car’s emissions. When vehicle burn fuel, harmful emissions are generated, and disbursed into the surrounding environment. By ensuring our vehicles meet safe emissions standards, we better protect our planet, and all the living things that call Earth home. Emissions testing standards were developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

So, is My Car Totaled or Not?

When you car won’t pass an emissions test, it is not likely totaled. In order to gauge whether or not a vehicle is a total loss, identify the current market value for the vehicle, and compare it to the total cost to have the problem with the emissions repaired. If the cost to repair is higher than the value of the vehicle, your car is a total loss. But not to worry! You can sell it to a local Indianapolis junk car buyer and get paid instant cash on the spot!

How to Maximize Your Payout for a Junk Car in Indianapolis

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to get rid of a junk car in Indianapolis, Indiana for an instant cash payment. Our Cash for Cars Company offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer! We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle and pay you cash. Call 317-608-2188 to request a free estimate, today.

GC’s Junk Cars
GC’s Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Does a Check Engine Light Mean My Car is Totaled?

A Check Engine Light, or Malfunctioning Indicator Lamp (MIL), is an important safety component in every vehicle. All modern make and model vehicles are designed with a Check Engine Light feature, which are incorporated to alert drivers when something is not quite right with the operation and systems in the vehicle. Because an illuminated Check Engine Light means that something is wrong, often times, car owners begin to panic when theirs comes on. Sometimes, a Check Engine Light can remain illuminated even after having a car repaired. In this situation, you might be asking yourself whether or not your car is worth repairing.

Continue reading to learn what a Check Engine Light could mean, including when it could mean that your car is totaled.

Sell Us Your Totaled Car! 317-608-2188
Sell Us Your Totaled Car! 317-608-2188

Reasons Why Check Engine Lights Come On

The spectrum of issues that cause a Malfunctioning Indicator Lamp to illuminate range from minor to major. Some vehicles have two types of MIL’s, one that is solid and one that is flashing, both of which mean different warnings. Furthermore, some cars have two different colors of Malfunctioning Indicator Lamps; a yellow icon to indicate a problem, as well as, a red icon for a very serious problem that requires you to stop driving immediately.

Here’s Why Yours Might Be On Right Now:

? Loose Gap Cap – This is by far the most common minor reason why a Check Engine Light might illuminate. If you just filled up your tank, chances are, your Check Engine Light came on because your gas cap came off.

? Spark Plugs – If your car jolts or vibrates as its operating, and the Check Engine Light comes on, it could mean that your spark plugs are defective. If your car is driving abnormally, immediately pull over and call a tow truck.

? Low Fluids – If your vehicle is low on radiator fluid (coolant), motor oil, or another vital automotive fluid, your Check Engine Light might come on. Have your oil changed, and during the appointment, have all other fluids flushed and replaced.

? Oxygen (O2) Sensor (O2) – If your Check Engine Light comes on, and you know it’s not the gas cap or fluid levels, it could be because your oxygen sensor needs to be replaced. This part is responsible for measuring the level of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system.

? Catalytic Converter – If your catalytic converter is experiencing any type of problem, your Check Engine Light will let you know.

? Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) – Another common cause for an illuminated Check Engine Light is a defective mass airflow sensor (MAF). If this sensor is the problem, a simple replacement will turn that Check Engine Light back off.

When it Means a Car is Totaled

There are cases in which an illuminated Check Engine Light can mean that a car is totaled. If the Check Engine Light comes on because of something that requires extensive repairs or replacements that cost more than the overall value of the vehicle, the insurance company will likely deem the car a total loss. See our blog, “FAQS About Total Loss Cars and Claims” to learn more about total loss vehicles.

What You Can Do With a Totaled Car

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to get paid cash for your totaled car in Indianapolis. Our Indiana junk car buyers offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer! We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle and pay you cash. No title? No problem! Give us a call anyway! Call 317-608-2188 to request a free estimate, today.

GC’s Junk Cars
GC’s Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Is a Car Totaled if the Airbag Deploys?

Determining whether or not a car is totaled is usually the job of your insurance adjuster. Whatever they say goes in terms of the condition of your car and how much it is worth. But many car owners often confuse themselves when it comes to airbag deployment. Most people assume that if an airbag deploys, a car is instantly rendered a total loss; but this is not always the case.

Continue reading to learn more about the link between airbags and totaled cars.

Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188
Indianapolis Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Average Cost of Airbags

Airbags are not cheap. They can cost up to $1,000 just for the part; then you have to pay for labor, as well as, any damage done to the dashboard and steering wheel. Overall, you can expect an airbag replacement and repair to cost at least a few thousand dollars.

All insurance companies deem a car a total loss if the cost to repair it back to its condition prior to the accident exceeds the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle prior to the accident. Most states set the limit between 50% and 80%; here in Indiana, it’s 70 percent. So if an airbag deployment renders a vehicle so damaged that the cost to repair it is more than what the car is actually worth, it will be deemed a total loss and given a salvaged title.

However, a deployed airbag does not always cost more than a vehicle’s cash value. In some cases, the cost to replace an airbag and reconstruct the dashboard and steering platform does not exceed the fair market value of the vehicle. This is usually common among newer model vehicles, and brand new vehicles.

For instance, if you have a 2015 Lincoln Navigator, the cost to replace a deployed airbag would not cost tens of thousands of dollars, which is what a Navigator of that model would probably sell for. In contrast to this example, smaller or lighter vehicles, like a new Hyundai Accent, would likely be totaled if the airbag deployed because more damaged would be done.

Total Loss Automotive Claims

The first step to the automotive claims process is to contact your insurance provider to schedule a time to have the condition of your vehicle evaluated by an adjuster. They will determine, along with their appointed auto body experts, whether or not your vehicle is a total loss. If it is a total loss, they will tender your policy limits.

If you wish to keep your total loss vehicle, you must buy it back from the insurance company by paying them the actual cash worth, minus your policy’s deductible. Usually, you just forgo the payout they offer for the vehicle; you don’t actually pay your insurance company out of pocket. Upon keeping your totaled car, the DMV will issue it a salvaged title.

Get Top Dollar for Your Totaled Car in Indianapolis

Cash for Junk Cars 317-608-2188
Cash for Junk Cars 317-608-2188

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to quickly and conveniently sell a totaled car in Indianapolis. We offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer! We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle and pay you cash. Call 317-608-2188 to request a free estimate, today.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Junk Car Buyers 317-608-2188

Most people can relate to having car problems. Squeaky brakes, poor suspensions, broken headlights, and more are common issues experienced by drivers and car owners every day. Although these problems are a concern, the engine is the scariest of them all. When you see your check engine light illuminate, it is easy to feel some degree of panic. You might be envisioning outrageous repair bills, or worse, discovering that your car is completely totaled.

Unfortunately, when a malfunction indicator lamp (also known as your check engine light) comes on, immediate action is required, whether that means paying for repair or not. That is because it is not safe to drive a vehicle with potential performance problems.

This is especially true in the case of major engine damage. In this case, it is in the best interest of your safety to either have your engine repaired, or to junk your car entirely. So learn why your check engine light might be on, and what to do if it is too expensive to repair.

Professional Diagnostic Testing

There are countless reasons for a malfunction indicator lamp to illuminate on a driver’s dashboard. Because there are so many different variables involved when it comes to determining a problem, a person needs professional assistance. The first step in figuring out why your check engine light has illuminated is diagnostic testing. Usually, an automotive repair shop is the obvious place to get this type of analytical testing. They retain the proper tools, training, and equipment to accurately diagnose readings derived from diagnostic examinations. This service can cost anywhere from $50 to $75, depending on the particular provider.

On the other hand, if you are familiar with automotive service and repair, you can purchase a diagnostic test kit and perform the assessment yourself. These are available at any local automotive store, and come in a wide range of options and prices. Keep in mind that you may need to learn how to read codes and pinpoint all contributing factors to accurately diagnose the underlying problems.

Common Reasons:

Loose Gas Cap

The job of the gas is to seal the fuel system and retain pressure inside the fuel tank. It prevents gasoline fumes, or hydrocarbons, from being admitted into the atmosphere and polluting the air and surrounding environment. If a loose gas is not fastened properly, gasoline within the tank will evaporate causing a drivers fuel level to decrease substantially. Considering the high gas prices these days, this is a very undesirable situation for any driver to have on their hands. The good news is that a loose gas is simple to fix. Simply type of backup or purchase a new cap that will fit and seal your fuel tank properly.

Oxygen Sensor

Oxygen sensors, also referred to as O2 sensors, measure the amount of oxygen that is unburned in a vehicle exhaust system. They will cause a check engine light to illuminate when it’s time for them to be replaced. Again, if a driver fails to replace their O2 sensors, they will begin to lose a significant amount of gas mileage because the engine will burn more fuel than it needs to. Fuel economy loss can reach up to 40% or more if an oxygen sensor problem is ignored for too long. Defective oxygen sensors can also cause problems with a vehicle’s spark plugs and catalytic converter; a much higher and costly automotive repair.

Mass Airflow Sensors

A mass airflow sensor, or MAF, is the center that determines how much fuel your engine needs to run properly. It accomplishes this by measuring the amount of air entering an engine. All recommendations for O2 sensor replacements are the same for mass airflow sensors. Failure to replace MAF sensors can cause damage to a vehicle spark plugs or Lytic converter as mentioned before; as well as, reduced engine performance and fuel economy. Again, if caught early on and replaced on schedule, these repairs will cost less than if damages were to occur.

Spark Plugs

We mentioned above that failing to replace sensors can cause damages to a vehicle spark plugs or plug wires. Well, when a malfunction indicator lamp turns on it could mean that your spark plugs or plug wires need replaced. This is also a fairly inexpensive repair, so it is important to catch this early on as well and have them replaced by professional automotive repair shop or licensed mechanic. Failing to replace plug wires can cause damages to ignition coils and O2 sensors, clog catalytic converters, and much more.

Catalytic Converter

The most costly and expensive reason behind an illuminated check engine light is a malfunctioning or damage catalytic converter. Catalytic converters convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide; protecting our environment and reducing harmful exhaust emissions. Neglecting to replace or repair a damaged catalytic converter will cause your vehicle to fail the state’s vehicle emissions test. Your car will lose fuel economy, experienced reduced gas mileage, poor engine performance, and operate at a higher temperature. This can lead to engine overheating and more.

Total Loss Vehicles

Some of the above-mentioned automotive issues may render a vehicle a total loss. Then occurs when the total cost of the repair exceeds the total current value of the vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle has a current market value of $2500, but the cost to replace your engine is $3500, your car is considered a total loss. This means it is totaled. In this situation, you can redeem the insurance money for it, or sell it to an Indianapolis junk car buyer for instant cash on the spot.

Get Paid Cash On the Spot for Your Totaled Car!

GC's Junk Cars of Indianapolis 317-608-2188

GC’s Junk Cars of Indianapolis 317-608-2188

Call GC’s Junk Cars at 317-608-2188 to sell your totaled car for cash in Indianapolis. We offer free towing with our in-house tow truck, so all you have to do is call and accept our offer! We will schedule a time to pick up your vehicle and pay you cash. Call 317-608-2188 to request a free estimate, today.