Mechanic How To: Diagnose a Short Circuit


When a circuit is short it can cause a fuse to blow and create an open circuit

When it comes to electrical diagnosis, accessing and understanding common open circuits is a necessary step to fixing problems yourself. With a little help from a high-quality DVOM, some basic understanding of diagrams and some diligence, one can effectively determine differences between open and short circuits to maintain and restore fuses and other systematic areas prone to short-circuiting.

Short circuits are annoying to diagnose, and they occur when an electrical current flows into the ground rather than throughout a load. Due to the path’s ground direction, it maintains significantly less resistance than a load. While electricity doesn’t always take such a route, it will with an increased current. When it does, a blown fuse is a typical result. Blown circuits often melt links, blow fuses and trip circuit breakers.

Diagnosing such a situation requires placing a circuit protection device with “short finders” capable of handling excessive currents flowing within a circuit. If you’re not in possession of one, wire a sealed-beam headlight electric bulb with two leads, and attach several male and spade terminals. When accessing materials for such an adventure, be sure to check out online resources like SWengines for additional information.

Understanding power distribution outlines may be difficult, and descriptions tend to differ with each diagram. It’s important to locate solid black dots, as they dictate a fuse upon a system’s circuit. Once the fuse is located, and once it’s been determined as a problem source, make a list. Then, disconnect one system at a time to slowly remedy the problem. Several wiring diagrams provide several system circuit lists pertaining to fuses, and some provide a diagram of actual wiring. If the latter is provided, be careful when making choices, and don’t accidentally miss a circuit connected to a fuse.

For more information on diagnosing a short circuit:


How to Make Your Car Audio Sound Amazing

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Creating an amazing car audio experience doesn’t have to be overly complicated!

Getting the best sound in your car is a tough job, but it’s not as hard as installing a used engine or trying to re-align the alignment with no experience. In fact, getting the best possible tunes out of your car stereo is often a simple matter of making small but meaningful adjustments.

Put in a Good System, With Aftermarket Speakers

The first thing a dedicated audiophile needs to do is remove the cheap sound system that came with a car and put in something with more power and a smoother sound. A sound system is a lot like a tattoo; you get what you pay for. If you’re serious about good sound you don’t necessarily need the most expensive system out there, but do your homework and make sure that other users are pleased with the performance a given model has delivered.

Use Sound Deadening Material

Doors are, it turns out, terrible places to put speakers. All the noise from the road, the roaring of the engine, and the vibration can screw up the sound. Putting sound dampening material around a speaker can help shut out the outside world and let the music flow much more clearly. As with the speaker, don’t skimp on the material; if you buy cheap stuff, it won’t keep out as much white noise.

Add an Amplifier, and a Well Built Sub Box

Most car speakers that mean business have a subwoofer, but if the box isn’t keeping out air flow that can be a serious problem. Make sure that the sub has as close to an air tight box as possible, otherwise there can be interference that leeches out your sound quality. Additionally, don’t be afraid to add an amplifier into the mix. While it might not seem really necessary at first glance, there’s a huge difference between the sound one hears without an amp, and the sound one hears with an amp.

Don’t Let Your iPod Go From Digital to Analog

Most music lovers keep an iPod or similar device on hand to plug into their stereo. What you might not know is that there’s a digital-to-analog converter that changes the binary information into music signals. This isn’t really that much of an issue when you have headphones on, but it can leave the music in your car sounding off kilter and low quality. So use a USB plug if you can, and try to avoid this conversion process altogether. The end result will be a stronger, bolder sound with practically no additional cost or effort on your part.

When you need a new engine to go with your amazing car stereo, call us here at Southwest Engines for a quality used motor.


Impress Your Valentine: Polls Says- Women Prefer Men Who Drive This

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Black trucks, like this Ford Super Duty truck, make some pretty big statements about the driver

One of the biggest reasons that men drive big, flashy cars is because they feel it impresses women. However, according to a survey recently taken of over 2,000 drivers, the sports car might be the wrong ride for those looking to impress a potential date. According to what the survey found, women are much more likely to prefer men in a black truck.

Men who drive black trucks, whether they’re brand new and sleek, or they look like a beater with an engine for sale, tend to be more appealing overall. According to the survey, participants found people who drive a dark truck to be the most attractive option for a ride, with black trucks agreed upon as the most desirable color, which is a number not to be trifled with. Sports cars came in at barely 27%, which might be surprising for those who thought the need for speed was going to tip the scales in their favor.

Trucks, particularly black trucks, make some pretty big statements about the driver. Dark colors are attractive in general, but black has an attitude that’s been used by bad guys in films for years. It’s bad, and it gives off a vibe of confidence that can earn some serious notice. Not only that, but a truck also has the attitude of being tough, hard-working, and being a vehicle that can last through anything. That makes a statement about the person driving it, and it projects qualities people happen to find engaging.

Read more here:


There is a New Car Sheriff in Town and Its Name is Bugatti

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The Veyron has 922 pounds-feet of torque of power (more bang for your buck)


Gentlemen, there is a new “car sheriff” in town and its name is Bugatti Veyron 16.4. This top quality vehicle holds its own when it comes to horsepower and speed. This beautiful car has 1,001 of horsepower and this car travels at a miraculous 252 m.p.h. The price tag is a little hefty and hits about 1.5 million and the Bugatti is the world’s most expensive new vehicle and this “boy toy” is worth every cent.

Some qualities of this beautiful sports car that you don’t get with others may be:


  • Shorter than a Porsche 911 but obtains more speed 
  • More carbon fibers and aluminum metal than normal cars so that it reduces the weight of the sports car 
  • This beautiful boy toy has a quad-turbo 8.0 liter W16 engine 
  • Has 1,001 horsepower 
  • This wonderful car has 922 pounds-feet of torque of power (more bang for your buck) 
  • Seven-speed automated manual gear-box 
  • Ferociously quick and reaches 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds flat


A French race car driver is where this Veyron car’s name is derived from. Monsieur car’s namesake arrived onto the world’s premise for their unique make and model year but the Bugatti’s gestation period was anything but smooth. Many car enthusiasts are well aware of this particular vehicle fact. Volkswagen bought the rights to the Bugatti and announced that this particular “boy toy” would be up for sale to the public in the year of 2003.

According to some of the Bugatti’s car owners, this sports vehicle is relatively easy to drive. Although not as engaging or visceral as other sports cars, this “boy toy” is still quite impressive and unique. The Bugatti car may coddle its accessories such as its leather upholstery and other special aluminum accessories and unique measurements. This sports toy has poor visibility due to it’s thick A-pillars but some of the newer models have increased this flaw over the years. Some of these “boy toys” can be bought used. So if you need a good, quality used engine, try SW Engines. With a good engine, the speed and horsepower that a person may crave for their pleasure and unique style may be achieved.


Futuristic Solar Powered Automobiles Are Here

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Ford’s new solar powered concept car

Solar powered cars are here. Ford recently unveiled a new concept car that runs on solar energy. It’s called the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept and it’s quite possibly the car of the future. The C-MAX combines the best of hybrid technology with the latest innovations in solar energy to produce a vehicle that can run over 600 miles when fully charged.

The C-MAX offers many benefits. They include:

  • It draws energy directly from the sun
  • Never needs to be plugged in
  • Goes over 600 miles on a full charge
  • Uses a renewable power source
  • It gets an EPA estimated 100 MPGe
  • Can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions the average gasoline powered vehicle releases into the atmosphere by four metric tons each year
  • Tracks the sun and amplifies its power
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The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car can run over 600 miles on a full charge

This innovative new vehicle is being developed by Ford with assistance from San Jose, California-based SunPower Corp. and Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology. High-efficiency solar cells atop the C-MAX track the sun and a solar concentrator magnifies the energy captured from the sun’s rays up to 8 times as powerful. This produces about 4 hours’ worth of battery charge each day. This allows drivers to go miles off the electrical grid without fear of running out of energy. With a day’s worth of sunshine the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept performs just as well as Ford’s plug-in C-MAX Energi hybrid.
This Solar Energi Concept can also be charged at a charging station. This gives drivers another option when it comes to powering the vehicle. Even without that the vehicle can power 75% of trips the average driver of solar hybrid vehicle make.

We at Southwest Engines have to agree this is a great idea for saving energy.  With the C-MAX Solar Energy Concept Ford is leading the auto industry into the future.


2014: A New Attitude For The New Year

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Make 2014 a great year with these simple goals to focus on!

We at Southwest Engines owe a lot of our success to a good attitude. Optimism, trust and perseverance are perspectives rather than short term goals like many New Year’s resolutions. You can may need to practice these ideals more often than you want to admit but you will get more out of having them than you can imagine. Here are some simple ways to start.


Be Nice.

Maybe leave an extra large tip for a server or write a nice comment about a coworker. If a friend needs a loan or something from your toolbox, don’t hesitate to give. The happiest people are the ones who learn to enjoy giving and enjoy seeing happiness in others. It never hurts to have a few favors to call in either.


Be Honest.

Being truthful is a good personal and business philosophy. This does not mean simply not lying. It also means admitting the whole truth. Making excuses for bad choices will prevent you from learning from the experience. It makes life more complicated and stunts trust in others, if you cannot be honest with yourself.


Try Something New.

Find a new hobby or restart an old one. Join a dedicated group to help get more experience and make friends. New interests and new experiences give you many health benefits. These include lower blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight and may reverse or prevent brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.


Keep Things Simple.

A friend wanted to be organized. They bought bins, shelves and every self-help book on organizing. The clutter is still a running joke. No matter your goals or needs try to keep them simple. A good rule of thumb for simplicity: if you cannot explain it or justify it to a six year old, rethink your plans.


Move Forward.

Forgive and forget. Abandon regret, fear, anger, revenge and anything that you do not love about your current perspective. It is not helping you to hold onto these so don’t.


We hope these ideas help you in the next year to become even more happy and successful.  Happy New Year!


2014 Chevy Volt: Stars in the sky – Stars on the ground; your choice!

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The 2014 Chevy Volt is ranked 9th in Hybrid cars

If you love looking at stars for your 2014 New Years resolution, you won’t need a telescope to inspect this beauty. We’re talking about the debut of the 2014 Chevy Volt gas and electric Hybrid, folks. That “winning quinella” has come together forming the perfect 4-Star marriage that tells you its electric when you want it, and gas when you need it. With Volt drivers averaging about 900 miles between plug-ins, drivers can pretty much thumb their nose at the gas pumps passing by. So is it any wonder that the 2014 Chevy Volt is ranked 9th in Hybrid cars, and gets an overdose of “oohs and aahs” from those who have had the opportunity to view the Volt?

There is no doubt that 2014 Volt owners will be some of the happiest drivers in the world. And if you’re a newbee in the world of hybrid/electric cars and the word “Hybrid” scares you because you may be a tad short on how the electric and lithium-ion battery works, just ask the specialists at SW Engines for your own personal how-to primer. These guys pretty much wrote the book on new and used engines, so you’ll be able to get plugged in on how everything works in no time.

The fact is if you can drive and have at least one finger that works, you can drive a 2014 Chevy Volt. Why you may ask? Well first you don’t need a key. You simply push a button. We knew you ladies would like that! Another error-free plus is you are not required to look at any dials or speedometer needles. With the 2014 Chevy Volt Hybrid, those two items have now become “persona non grata.” Your only driving chore is to check two interactive LCD screens that deploy feedback on four driving modes where you can easily switch back and forth to suit your personal driving style.

By now you may be thinking about costs and EPA estimates involved in buying a 2014 Chevy Volt Hybrid. Well the Chevy Volt has a pair of electric motors plus a gasoline engine that serves as a “backup” generator for the motors when the battery is depleted. And every reviewer checking the veracity of that statement agreed that the powertrain does provide the necessary power in all situations. Running on only electricity, the Volt comes in at approximately 98 mpg which is equal to other plug-in hybrids. But when the gas engine kicks in, the rating ranges between 35/40 mpg city and highway. So investigate and deliberate. But remember, for the cost of that Latte drink you love you can fully charge your Volt, and still get 38 mpg.

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Saving money never felt so good


The 6 Safest Vehicles On The Road Today

When people are shopping for a mid-size car or SUV, safety is important. The following is a list of the safest vehicles on the road today and the features that make them safe.

1. Acura MDX Crossover SUV

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Acura MDX Crossover SUV

  • Front-crash avoidance mitigation system
  • Rearview camera
  • Superior crash-test performance
  • Blind-spot monitors
  • Improved steering
  • Variable power-assisted steering
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering
  • Vehicle Stability Assist including traction control
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system
  • Electronic Brake Assist and Distribution
  • Dual-stage, multiple-threshold front, front-side and side curtain
  • airbags
  • Rollover Sensor
  •  Active front head restraints


2. Audi A4 Audi’s A4 sedan and Q5 crossover SUV

Audi A4 Sedan

  • Advanced front-crash avoidance stem
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Antilock brakes
  • Stability and traction control
  • Front-seat side and side curtain airbags
  • Rear-seat side airbags
  • Blind-spot warning system
  • Audible warning and brake priming for detection of impending frontal crash
  • Perfect five stars for side-impact protection
  • Rated best on side-impact, frontal-offset and roof-strength tests


3. Cadillac ATS sedan and SRX crossover SUV

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Cadillac SRX crossover SUV

  • Advanced front-crash avoidance rating
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Antilock disc brakes
  • Traction and stability control
  • Side-curtain and front-side airbags
  • Remote door unlocking
  • Roadside assistance on-demand
  • Stolen vehicle assistance
  • Cross-traffic alert systems
  • Forward-collision alert
  • Safety alert driver seat
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic collision preparation
  • Automatic low-speed braking
  • Tops in frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof strength tests


4. Jeep Grand Cherokee 

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Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Advanced front-crash avoidance rating
  • Kevlar-reinforced tires
  • Additional body protection
  • Front collision warning
  • Traction and stability Control
  • Blind spot/rear cross-path detection
  • Four-wheel antilock disc brakes
  • Front-side and side-curtain airbags
  • Active front head-restraints
  • Excellent frontal side crash protection
  • Highest IIHS rating for crash test of frontal-offset, side and roof-strength


5. Subaru Legacy 

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Subaru Legacy

  • Superior front-crash avoidance system
  • Collision avoidance system
  • Traction and stability control
  • Front-side and side curtain airbags
  • Antilock disc brakes
  • Pre-collision braking
  • EyeSight system including adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure and sway warning
  • Pedestrians detection braking
  • Top NHTSA five-star crash ratings for rollover, front and side tests
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ in front-offset, roof strength and side-impact tests


6. Volvo S60

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Volvo S60

  • City Safe feature
  • Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Autobrake
  • Top front-crash avoidance rating
  • Smart all-wheel-drive system
  • Highest crash test scores
  • Rearview camera
  • Driver-attention warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Collision warning system
  • Auto braking when pedestrians are detection.
  • Blind-spot warning system
  • Antilock disc brakes
  • Traction and stability control
  • Front-seat side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front Head Restraints to reduce whiplash
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Side blind-spot warning system
  • Highest safety rating on crash and roof strength tests


While looks, roominess, power and performance are important when choosing a vehicle, a good vehicle must also keep its occupants safe. The vehicles listed above combine style, creature comforts and technology with the best safety features in the industry. Visit for more SUV and car engine information.



Get Prepared: Emergency Car Kit for Winter

Preparedness is key!  You don’t expect emergencies, but being prepared for one sure gives you a sense of security.  Whether you live near an earthquake line, blizzard territory, twister zones or away from all that where you don’t ever see snow; these items are still great to have in your car.  And who knows if someone’s car engine may break down and you will be there to help!


car engine

These items are simple, unexpected, and you can purchase them all at Wal-Mart.


Check out this link that gives you more visuals of these items and how you can store them in a storage tub for your car trunk.  These items are simple, unexpected,  and you can purchase them all at Wal-Mart.


1.  Non-clumping Kitty Liter.  Less than a buck for a 7 lb bag, this stuff can save you if you’re stuck on ice or in the snow.  Throw it under your tires to give traction so pull out.

2.  Jumper Cables. This is a necessity to have no matter what the season.  You can find these for less than ten bucks.

3. Fix-a-Flat Spray.  To get you by in an emergency.

4. Emergency Blanket.  Look for these in the camping section.

5. Hand Warmers.  These are the best things ever.

6. First Aid Kit.  Another total must to have with you for obvious reason.

7. LED Flashlight.  Get one that doesn’t require batteries, but has a crank to generate the power it needs.  They come with a steady light or a flashing light that you can use in an emergency.

That’s not so hard, is it?  This is a pretty good winter car kit that you can find the items for under forty bucks.  Put them in a tub or even in a back pack.  You can also add to it with things like:


  • Energy / Protein Bars
  • Tire Chains
  • Water (bottled)
  • Ice Scraper, Snow Shovel/Brush
  • Paper Towels / Rags
  • Window Washer Solvent (Winter Formula)


Put it on your “To-do” list and get one of these in each of your cars for this winter.  Who knows, you could save a life, maybe even your own!  Safe travels from Southwest Engines.



Quick Tips If You Have to Drive in Bad Weather

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The best option is always to avoid going out in conditions when there is ice, snow, rain, or heavy fog

Have you ever opened your garage door to zoom out for work and been surprised at the weather?  Snow, wind, poor visibility not to mention the cold, can all make your commute seem dreadful.  Or perhaps you are already on the road and an unexpected storms sneaks up from nowhere and bam!  You can hardly see where you’re going.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brand new vehicle or a vehicle that’s been outfitted with a quality used engine from our warehouse here at SW Engines.  What really matters is how you drive and what you do.

The best option is always to avoid going out in conditions when there is ice, snow, rain, or heavy fog.  However, sometimes that can’t be helped.  So here are some important tips to help you get to where you are going safely.


1. Drive Slow.  You need to increase your following distance with the cars in front of you.  If the road is wet or icy, it will take longer to come to a complete stop.  You might be late and feel stressed to get there but it’s most important to arrive safe and sound.

2. Have your headlights turned on.  You want to increase the ability for other drivers to see you.

3. Brake Slowly.  If you begin to hydroplane, take pressure off of the gas pedal and begin to brake slowly.  Do not turn or swerve your steering wheel.  If you react by turning or swerving, you could lose control of your vehicle and even flip over.

4. Follow Tracks.   If visibility is poor, follow the path of the vehicle that is in front of you.  The tires from their car will compact the snow down and help give a clearer path to drive.

5. Avoid Water on the road.  If you see standing or running water on the road, avoid it and look for a higher route.  Flash flooding can happen with no warning and well before any alerts can be given.

6. Pull Over.  Don’t be afraid to pull off the road If conditions are scary and you have a hard time even seeing in front of you.  Find a safe area to pull over, and then listen to the weather stations and see if you can wait it out.


With all the traveling this winter season and through the holidays, the folks here at Southwest Engines ask you to remember to buckle up, slow down and be safe.



Tips To Be More Happy – It’s the Gratitude Approach

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Gratitude Attitude


It’s not just a religious gesture anymore, now science has shown a link to expressing gratitude and feeling happy.  Undoubtedly this is due to the characteristics of gratitude lining up so closely with a sense of well-being, or feeling good.  And not only how they line up, but how feeling and expressing thankfulness can impact our health positively and our ability to handle difficulties.

So feeling truly thankful for not only gifts we’ve been given, but for life itself and all that we have and experience may have awesome long-term effects, but it certainly doesn’t come easy for everyone.  In fact, one study shows that men have a more difficult time getting a handle on gratitude.  Feeling burdened with gifts they may receive instead of accepting them as no-strings attached acts of love, is truly hard for some guys.

Here at Southwest Engines, we’ve found some ways we can all try today to show our gratitude more:


  • Smile.  It’s easy and it’s effective.  Smile at yourself driving in the car.  Smile at everyone you meet.  It’s the simplest gift you give those around you and it makes both of you feel good.


  • Appreciate People and Situations.  When anyone does something for you, say “thank you” and be specific with what they did.  Even little things are great to acknowledge.


  • Opening Praise.  We so easily throw out those sarcastic remarks to people, just to jab or get a laugh.  Try curbing your impulse to jab or critique and give a few words of praise instead.  See what happens in one day when you praise instead of critique!


  • Give Back.  Now that you are expressing thanks more, take the next step and try giving in return.  Give back to society by helping people around you in need, and helping in your community.  Look for those you can help every day.

Genuine gratitude requires a certain amount of vulnerability and emotional openness that can be quite awkward for some folks, and so it takes time to purposefully recognize all the things in life that we should not just take for granted.  Yet the benefits far outweigh the feelings of being uncomfortable at first.  Try increasing your gratitude and your happiness today, and see how it affects those around you.