Maintaining Your Tires Keeps Your Car Healthy

Maintaining Your CarWe often ignore our tires unless they’re flat. But they play a vital role in the overall condition of your car. Maintain them properly, and you’ll save money on repairs and on fuel costs.

Keeping your tires properly inflated ensures that they wear longer and can prevent accidents. Your car likely has a card or sticker attached to the door edge or the inside of the glove box door. The right amount of air your tires need is specified here. In case your car doesn’t have this sticker, you can check your owner’s manual.

Serious accidents can happen if your tires are under-inflated or overloaded. One of my tires blew-out on me and caused an accident. Luckily I was on a little traveled country road and was going slowly. I hate to think of what might have happened if I had been in major traffic.

Buy your own quality tire gauge. You can’t tell if tires are inflated properly just by looking. And the air meters at your service station may not be correct!

Ask your auto supply dealer for a tire gauge calibrated up to 80 PSI. They’ll know what you mean, even if you don’t.
Take a moment at the beginning of each month to check your tire pressure (don’t forget the spare! Uhm, you do have a spare tire, don’t you??) Check them before you get in the car to drive. Write down the actual under-inflation amount for each tire. Take this info with you to the service station.

Now measure the inflation again and record these numbers. (Don’t worry, this only takes a couple minutes.) Now inflate the tires to a level that equals the warm pressure (that you just took) plus the first under-inflation amount. (called the “cold” inflation pressure)

If the above instructions sound intimidating or confusing, take your car to a shop and give them the “cold” pressure numbers. They’ll put the correct amount of air in your tires for a minimum fee – sometimes they’ll not charge you at all.

The leading cause of tire failure is under-inflation. So make a habit to check them once a month.
Overloading your vehicle can lead to tire failure, too. Just because you have a pick-up truck doesn’t mean it can carry an infinite load.

Schedule a tire check into your calendar each month and you’ll save money, save fuel, and perhaps, even save your family from a car accident.

Maintaining Your Car Will Make It Last Longer

Regular maintenance of your vehicle will extend its life perhaps well beyond what you or others may think is its normal lifespan. Today’s cars can easily top the 100,000 mile mark with many cars on the road exceeding 150,000, 200,000, even 250,000 miles. Ask owners of high mileage cars how they got to that point and most will point to their own rigorous and disciplined maintenance schedules as being the chief factor. By carefully and diligently following a maintenance schedule, you can extend your vehicle’s life too. Let’s take a look at several important maintenance steps you must take in order to avoid costly repairs and to help you hold onto your vehicle longer.

Regular oil changes – The 30 minute oil change specialists recommend that you change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months, while some manufacturers state you only need to change your oil once every 7,500 miles or six months. Opt for more frequent changes than lengthy manufacturer recommended intervals, but change your oil [and oil filter] every 3,000 miles if your car is subject to hard driving.

Change your air filter – Your engine will run better and cleaner if you change your air filter at least once per year; more so if you do a lot of “stop and go” driving or put on many more miles per year than average.
Rotate your tires – Evenly wearing tires will help ensure that your car stops properly and stays on the road. Have your brakes and shocks inspected too to avoid potential handling and control issues.

Transmission fluid – Your transmission isn’t guaranteed to run forever. Change your fluid at manufacturer recommended intervals, generally once every 30 or 60 thousand miles. Neglect it and face costly repairs and potentially fatal [to the car] consequences.

Drain the radiator – Periodically draining the radiator and replacing the antifreeze will help flush out rust and dirt particles that can clog up your cooling system. When the coolant’s rust inhibitors get used up then corrosion will show up within the radiator as well as in the engine block

Change the spark plugs – Some manufacturers have installed long life spark plugs meaning that changing spark plugs once every 60 or even 90 thousand miles or more is a possibility. Keep in mind that the longer your spark plugs sit in place, the more difficult it may be to remove them later. Optimally, replacing your spark plugs once every 30 thousand miles is ideal.

Examine your exhaust system – Your muffler, catalytic converter, and remaining exhaust system parts can wear out. A poorly functioning exhaust system saps your engine of needed power.

Wash and wax – Yes, your car may mechanically run well, but if the body falls apart, then what do you have left? Regular washings and a once a year wax job should do the trick.

Other stuff – Replace your battery, fuel filter, PCV valve, belts, and hoses as needed and every other part that wears out. Sensors come and sensors go; usually you will only have to replace your knock or oxygen sensors if and when a problem arises.

Ultimately, refer to your manufacturer’s repair book for guidelines as to when to perform maintenance. The key to extending your vehicle’s life is in doing the maintenance when needed to head off costly repair bills. Otherwise you will be neglecting your car to the point where it “dies” prematurely.

You can extend the life of your vehicle. If you aren’t up to the task, hire a qualified mechanic to service your vehicle regularly.

Pros And Cons Of Buying Used

Each year, out of all the vehicles bought in the U.S., 41 million are used cars compared to only 16 million new car purchases.
Since purchasing a car is the next financial investment made by US citizen other than housing, it is important to determine if buying a used car is worth your money.
1) CONS – Here is a list of the disadvantages of used-car buying:
* The options of cars are limited, so the search for the right vehicle could be lengthy.
* The buyers have no idea if the car was treated. Used cars usually have worn consumables such as hoses, tires, shocks, filters, fans and clutch.
* Although used car dealers provide a warranty, it is only limited to a couple of months unlike purchasing a new car with full warranty. Certain maintenance on your purchased second-hand car could be more expensive.
* Purchasing a second-hand vehicle would offer you a lower trade-in value.
* The main disadvantage of purchasing old cars is that it has an unknown quantity. Whether the dealer has worked the vehicle to make it attractive for the test drive, the buyers are still unaware of the repair bills, economical issues, and its reliable transportation.
* It is difficult to negotiate fair financing terms on an older vehicle.
2) PROS – On the other side, buying a used car could benefit the buyer in several ways:
* The original owner of the car received the depreciation hit. The market value of the new car decreases from year to year. An average 30% of its value within three years from the time it was bought, so buying their car would save you a lot of money.
* Unlike purchasing a new vehicle with high insurance fees, you will receive a lower cost of insurance if you choose to buy second-hand cars.
* Although buying new and used cars both provide loans, lease, or money-saving the majority of dealers who sell used cars often have shorter loan terms.
* If your investment is decided based on appearance and gas mileage, choosing a used car would guarantee the value and reliability it has provided over the years.
* A used car would provide your dollar more flexibility. Compared from buying a new car that would eat all your finances, buying a second-hand car would allow you to purchase other accessories such as air conditioning that would cost approximately US$200 to $900 extra.
Buying your used car could waste your money if you fail to do your research, compare dealerships, and be aware of the car’s market value. Be a wise used-car buyer.

Perform Your Own Automobile Maintenance

Today’s cars can typically be expected to pass the 200,000 mile mark with consistent automobile maintenance. With the price of automobiles, you will want to protect that investment by performing regular maintenance. If you can do much of the work yourself, you will save a lot of money in labor. Invest in a good set of tools and choose quality parts when performing your own automobile maintenance.
If you have some skill, but want to learn more look for courses in general repairs and maintenance. These can often be found at your local community center, Community College or an automotive technical school in your area. Consider investing in a good repair manual for your car, such as a Chilton’s manual. The internet is a good place to look for articles and information. There are many sites devoted to auto repair and maintenance.
You will want to keep track of all maintenance performed on your car. You can do this in a log, a notebook or on your home computer. There is software available to help you keep track of maintenance. These programs track repairs, maintenance, replacement parts used on the vehicle and fuel consumption. You can use the same software for multiple vehicles.
Most software allows you to create a service schedule and will remind you when it’s time to perform maintenance tasks on each vehicle in your household. The software contains a wide variety of tips for car care. In addition, many have reference and diagnostic tools to help you diagnose various problems with your cars. Many companies offer a free trial that can be downloaded on the internet. This allows you to try out the program before investing your money.
Your owner’s manual will give you some basic information about when certain maintenance tasks should be done. Most tasks will be listed according to the mileage on the car.
3000 Mile Maintenance
Change the oil in your engine every 3000 miles. The filter should be changed at the same time. Newer synthetic oils are said to last longer without breaking down. When you change the oil, check the fluids, the air filter, tires, hoses and belts. At this time check the battery cables and terminals for corrosion. This can be removed with a wire brush or sandpaper.
5000-10,000 Miles:
Have your tires rotated and balanced every five to ten thousand miles. This helps the tires wear evenly and extends the life. The best tires should be put in the front of the car. Check the tire pressure regularly and check the tread for signs of uneven wear or damage.
15,000 Miles:
Change the air filter every 15,000 miles. A clean air filter improves the fuel economy of your car. A dirty air filter can cause the engine to run rough and stall. At this time you should also check the pads and shoes on your brake system. Check the brake fluid and top it of, as needed. The fluid should be clear. If you notice noise when the brakes are applied or the steering wheel shakes or vibrates, this can be an indication that the brakes need replacing. In this case, don’t wait check the brakes and replace as needed.
30,000 Miles:
Check the fluid level on your transmission. The owner’s manual will have information about the kind of fluid that should be used in your car. The manual should have directions on how to drain and replace the fluid. The pan gasket should be changed when the fluid is drained. Also at this time, give the car a tune up. Replace all spark plugs and wires.
50,000 Miles:
Change the coolant at 50,000 miles. See the owner’s manual for directions on how to perform this task.
Remember to take care of your car’s finish. You want the paint to remain in good condition for as long as possible. Wash the car regularly, even in the winter when salt from the roads can ruin the finish. Apply wax to protect the paint from the sun, salt and weather conditions. Don’t neglect the headlights, which can become cloudy and won’t operate as well. New Lite Headlight Cleaner and Restorer will return cloudy headlights to like new condition.

Love Your Car so Much? Find the Best Car Care!

Do you love your car? Why do you love your car? We know that car is something important for everyone right now. When we have the car, we can go wherever and whenever that we want. We can use our car for that. In the other words we will need the car for the mobility. Since here we really know that car is such an essential thing in our life, we need to really make sure that we can treat our car well.

There are many ways that you really can do in order to have the good maintenance program for our car. In this case, you need to really make sure that you check all of the car components in your daily life well. You need to check the car machine and all of the car parts too. Besides, you also can try to give the good interiors for the home so that it will have the great look.

For the car maintenance, I believe that you cannot do it by yourself. In this case, you need to make sure that you can try to choose the best auto car service in order to help you have the good treatment service of your car. You can try to choose auto repair franchise. Have you ever heard about it before? If not, they are such a good car repair service that you can trust and you can try for your own car. To get the further information, you need to contact them so that you will get the best deal and the best information offer for the service of your own car. They can fix any kinds of matter related to your own car. When your car is broken, you only need to contact them and tell the problem. So far, what are you waiting for?

Why Do I Actually Need Auto Insurance

a
I am not a bad driver. Why do I actually need auto insurance? This is the reasoning behind many people refusing to pay a monthly fee to an insurance company to protect their car from a possible accident or damages. The choice can also be influenced by personal financial circumstances.

A few reasons to consider if you are one of the people preferring to refrain from a monthly payment to protect your car from something that might or might not happen in the near future:

1. In many countries it is illegal to drive without auto insurance.

It is best to investigate your country’s stipulations regarding auto insurance. You don’t want a nasty surprise the next time an officer pulls you over.

2. Even if the accident is not your fault you are still going to be held liable.

The purpose of insurance is to have coverage in the event of an unforeseen accident. In other words, you might be a good driver, but there are plenty of reckless drivers out there.

aa

3. Protection for you in a worst-case scenario.

Auto insurance creates a safe-guard for your assets and the property of others. What if you get into an accident and you, your passengers and others are badly hurt, requiring lengthy hospital stays? Paying insurance is more than just obeying the law; it is about protecting your family.

4. Pay a small monthly fee now to save a lot later.

Even if you are an impeccable driver, unfortunately you are not alone on the roads and there are other drivers making silly mistakes that can affect you. Accidents range from a small bump to a total vehicle write off, and to even fix a small bump can be very costly. Most insurance companies offer the benefit of only paying a small excess fee when your car gets fixed, instead of having to cover the total cost all on your own.

5. Saving time and inconvenience when accidents happen.

Your auto insurance company will assist you with the unpleasant post-accident process, like dealing with the other driver’s insurer, completing the claims process, helping you find a good repair shop and getting your claim settled swiftly and fairly. If the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, your insurance company can also help you recover costs through your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.

6. Your auto insurance can supplement your health insurance.

If you are injured in a car accident and have insufficient health insurance or none at all, your auto insurance can help. Most insurance companies offer coverage that cover injuries you sustain as a driver or passenger.

It might seem that you are saving a lot per month by not paying for insurance that will only benefit you in an emergency that might never happen, but in the long run you will benefit from the investment. It will give you peace of mind to travel around carefree, knowing that you are safe from the mistakes of unpredictable reckless drivers.

Tips to Help You Choose a Good Auto Mechanic

Having your automobile break down is not an exciting experience but being unsure of where to take your automobile to get it fixed can be worse. Most folks have a regular doctor, dentist, vet, accountant, etc. and usually we have researched and picked them in advance just in case we get sick or need advice…so why don’t most folks have a reliable auto repair shop to go to? Automobiles are complicated systems, just like the human body… so it is vital to take your car in to an auto repair facility that you can rely on for regular maintenance.

I’m an eternal optimist and generally assume that auto repair facilities are honest and that most mechanics generally try to help you by recommending services that will keep your vehicle running smoothly and ultimately saving you time and stress by avoiding some major repairs. Again, just like the human body, the better you take care of your vehicle, the better it will perform in the long run.

I’ve put together a list of 6 tips that will help you find someone that you can trust to keep your automobile in good running order.

1. Look For auto repair shops that display the ASE Certified logo. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. Having an ASE designation is just about important as having the letters “MD.” after your doctor’s name. Now don’t get me wrong, there are decent mechanics who aren’t ASE certified, but generally it’s too risky unless they have been referred by someone you trust. Another important industry designation to look for is NAPA Auto Care.

2. Ask Your Friends or Co-Workers Where They Take Their Vehicle. Word of mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold.

3. Shop for features and benefits of a shop. Just because a facility may charge a little more than others, might mean that they offer a longer warranty period, free emergency towing, courtesy shuttle service, or extended hours for convenience. Price is not always the best method of decision making.

4. Find Out the Details of Their Warranty. Most car repair shops offer an in house 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. Make sure you understand exactly what it covers and what it doesn’t cover. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, a reputable facility should have nothing to hide. Top repair facilities will have a nationwide warranty and an in house warranty that will cover more than just the 12 months/12,000 miles.

5. Most Good Mechanics Keep Their Work Area Organized And Clean. Their work area, tools, floor, etc should be reasonably clean. Now Don’t Forget that the auto repair business is not generally a super clean industry, but it still should be picked up and organized.

6. Research your Prospective Auto Repair Mechanic. You may find out that they have awards for years of customer satisfaction or many customer complaints. The local Better Business Bureau is a good source for this type of information. A short set of searches online will help you to find out quickly what positive and negatives your local auto repair mechanic is known for.

Researching ahead of time will help make sure that when you need a reliable auto repair facility, you won’t be taken advantage of. Finding a good mechanic can be difficult, but it is very important. A trustworthy auto repair shop will go out of their way to make sure you and your car are being well cared for. A little research on your part now will give you peace of mind down the road.

Basic Car Care Tips For Safety And Performance

Almost everyone can appreciate a beautifully maintained, classic sports car. Now picture in your mind the same car as a useless vehicle due to negligence of simple auto care, let’s say because the owner ignored to check fluid levels and did not add oil to the engine. Not following some basic car care tips can equal the end of the engine for an automobile and the end of the story for a vehicle. What has become a major expense that may exceed the value of the vehicle, would have been a relatively low cost expenditure.

The automobile owner who is not well versed towards essential car care can refer to their owner’s manual to find the best maintenance plan for their specific vehicle, but there are general car care tips that apply to all vehicles. If you do not care for your vehicle it will fail to operate properly or worse, as in our classic sports car story above.

For those who care about maintaining a smooth running, safe car, these tips are for you:

1. Check the oil filter and oil levels at least every 3,000 miles.

2. Your auto has various other fluid levels that need to be check on a regular basis. Again, at least every 3,000 miles, the fluid levels for the brakes, power steering, transmission, radiator coolant and windshield wiper fluids should be included.

3. A regular check on all hoses and belts should be done and replaced as they are showing cracks or are frayed.

4. Brake maintenance is often neglected without realizing it. Not all brakes make loud noises when they are in need of maintenance. You should check the brake system about every six months.

5. Testing of the car battery should be done three years from purchase for a new car, and every three years for older vehicles. Battery condition and connections should be checked to make sure there is no excess corrosion and the battery is secure.

6. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks. If there are leaks, repairs are needed as they can be deadly to those in the car.

7. For a properly running engine, auto tune-ups are essential.

8. The car’s heating and air conditioning should be checked yearly for proper functionality.

9. Check and replace lights and washer blades as they burn out or wear out.

10. Check tie rods, struts, and ball joints at least twice a year.

11. Maintain proper air level in tires and apply new tires as needed or when tread becomes no less than 2/32 of an inch (for normal driving conditions, or 4/32 of an inch if you are concerned about wet roads).

12. Rotate tires about every 5,000 miles.

Everyone should follow these basic car care tips to assure safety and car performance. To find auto maintenance tips that are specific to your car, remember to refer to your automobile’s manual.

The Importance of Auto Accessories

Auto accessories play a key role in smartening up a vehicle and keeping it looking top notch. These accessories are supplementary components that improve the capability of a vehicle, and in fact play a cardinal role in the entire process of auto care.

Car Care:

Car care involves comprehensive care and attention to interior and exterior accessories, body, tires, engine and other mechanical parts. This is necessary to keep the vehicle in top performance and appearance.

Interior car accessories may include dash covers, car seat covers, mirrors, shifter knobs, aftermarket steering wheels, steering wheel covers, fuel consumption meters, window tint film, stereo system, mobile video or DVD players, floor mats, and air fresheners.

Car seat covers can be purchased in various materials and designs, depending on one’s preference. These include leather seat covers, sheepskin seat covers, custom car seat covers and infant car seat covers.

Exterior accessories may consist of styling body kits, spoilers, sports mirrors, head and tail light covers, car hood shields, car bras, window visors, car covers, a sunroof, wiper blades, hood scoops, window graphics and wheel caps.

Truck or SUV care:

Undertaking regular care of one’s truck or SUV is naturally very important to keep it in top form. This may also involve sourcing and storing various new or second hand truck accessories, depending on the significance or rarity of the parts required.

Some specialized truck accessories include customized truck covers, novelty hitch covers, pickup truck bed covers, and tonneau covers.

Benefits of Auto Accessories:

Auto accessories provide smart looks to a vehicle. If they are of good quality and taste they provide embellishment to a point where a vehicle would look plain and incomplete without them.

The roles of auto accessories are twofold; not only do they smarten up a vehicle, but also help protect the vehicle’s parts from wear and tear. A good example would be how seat covers protect the seats of a vehicle from body wear and the sun, and how a steering wheel cover not only protects the steering wheel from wear, but provides a good grip for the driver.

Buying Auto Accessories:

Today with the internet, auto accessories can easily be purchased or ordered online. With such a vast array of online auto accessory stores, you can be sure to find exactly what you are looking for.

Tips To Help You Avoid Getting Swindled

As anyone who has driven for enough time knows, not all car repair shops are equal. They are not equal in the service they provide, the prices they charge, or their honesty. Unless you like the idea of getting taken for a ride every time you bring your vehicle into the shop, you need to formulate a plan that will prevent you from getting swindled. This plan doesn’t need to be elaborate. As long as you follow a few simple rules, you can drastically cut the chances of being conned by a dishonest shop or paying too much for a service you could have gotten for much less elsewhere.

One big tip when it comes to car repair is that you should always be willing to go get a second opinion. If your doctor told you something that sounded a little strange, you wouldn’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Do the same when it comes to your vehicle. See what another mechanic or body shop has to say about what needs to be done for your vehicle. If the two stories match up, you’ll have that additional peace of mind. It might not be something you had hoped to hear, but you’ll at least know that it was the truth. If you get two different stories, go ahead and get a third opinion. It may seem like quite a bit of hassle, but you could be saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars in work.

Demand that your car repair shop tell you exactly what they are going to do to your vehicle and have them explain exactly why. If you don’t understand the process or the explanation, have them explain it in more detail. Don’t be afraid to appear ignorant in front of the mechanic. If you were an expert, you probably wouldn’t have brought it to a shop in the first place. There’s no need to give off an aura of aggression, but too many shops forget that the customer has a multitude of choices when it comes to where they will take their business. If you don’t like what you are hearing or the personnel there don’t seem interested in leading you through the process, simply take that business somewhere else.

One of the best tips you can adhere to is to find a good car repair shop before your vehicle needs maintenance. When your vehicle breaks down or you find yourself in an accident, the emergency nature of the situation often prevents people from using their best judgment. They may simply take it to the first place they can find and accept whatever it is that the shop tells them. If you do some research beforehand and have a place in mind, you will be much more prepared when the time comes to pay for repairs.