Car Maintenance You Shouldn’t Try at Home

Tips For Getting The Best Sound Quality Out Of Your Car

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Getting The Best Sound Quality Out Of Your Car

If you are the owner of a vehicle, there’s a chance that you might be spending a great deal of time in your car. You want to be sure that the time that you spend in your car is as enjoyable as possible. One way to do this is to improve the sound quality in your car so that you can listen to the radio, CD’s, your portable music device, or even podcasts with crystal clear quality. Here are some tips for improving the sound quality of your car’s stereo system and of your car in general.

1. Connect Your Portable Music Device to Your New Stereo Using a USB Cord

In many instances, if you connect your portable music device to a newly purchased stereo using a USB cord, you will be able to bypass your older car stereo’s traditional digital-to-analog converter. This is critical because the digital-to-analogue converter takes the binary information that is storing your music and converts it to something that your stereo can interpret as sound to allow you to hear it. This is okay if you’re listening with a pair of earbuds, but it isn’t great if you’re trying to listen to it through your car’s speakers.

First, buy an aftermarket stereo that has a higher quality digital-to-analogue converter. You will likely still have components of your car’s original stereo installed. Then, plug your portable music device into the aftermarket stereo with a USB cable. The USB cable ought to allow you to bypass your old car stereo and utilize the higher quality, newer one.

2. Attach Mats to Your Speakers

There are a variety of sound-deadening and vibration-deadening mats that you can put over the speakers that are attached to the doors and walls of your car so that you get better sound quality. They get rid of the vibrations that are caused when your car is being driven and allows you to block out noise from the outside. Both of these will allow you to have a more pleasurable listening experience in your vehicle.

3. Add an Amplifier

Finally, consider taking your car to a car professional at a company like Safe & Sound and asking him or her to add on an amplifier. This will allow your stereo to push more, better quality sound through your stereo and greatly improve your overall listening experience. The sound will not be distorted even though it’s louder if you make sure that you put in a top-level amplifier.

For more information, talk to a car shop that specializes in car stereos.

How To Prevent Water Spots When Washing Your Car

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prevent Water Spots When Washing Your Car

If you detail your car at home with a weekly wash, wax, and vacuum job, then you may be disappointed to find that your hard work sometimes ends with the appearance of water spots on the exterior of your vehicle. While the spots are highly unlikely to cause damage to your vehicle, they are unsightly. This is especially true if you are serious about the aesthetic appearance of your car. Thankfully, water spots can be avoided, and the following tips can help.

Dry Your Car Completely

Water spots on your vehicle are caused by the deposit of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that are located in your hard water. Basically, as the water drops on your car evaporates, the minerals are left behind. This means that one of the simplest ways to avoid the appearance of water spots is to make sure your car is dried completely after a wash. While natural cotton and fleece cloths are both soft and absorbent, they are likely to transfer water back on to your car once the materials are saturated. To avoid this problem, purchase large microfiber cloths to dry your car instead. 

Microfiber is a synthetic material created out of extremely fine strands of polyester. The strands or threads are about one-fifth the width of a human hair and even finer than a strand of silk. When these fine strands are woven together, they create small pockets that trap moisture. This keeps the moisture from depositing back on your vehicle. Wipe your car with your cloth and wring the cloth over a bucket to release water as it becomes saturated.

Add A Water Filter

Since water spots form due to the appearance of hard mineral materials, you can keep water spots at bay by removing the minerals from your water before washing your car. This does not mean that you need to get a whole-house water softener system though. You can simply purchase an in-line water conditioner that attaches to the end of your hose. These devices are typically salt-free deionization canisters that contain filters with a resin-based material. This resin attracts calcium, magnesium, and metal ions and replaces them with hydrogen ions. This leaves behind a pure form of water with no contaminants.

While this filter works in a similar manner as home water softening system, it does not replace contaminant ions with sodium ions like residential units. This helps to keep salt residue off your car that can cause rusting concerns. 

For more help keeping your car looking fresh and new, contact local car detail professionals like Deluxe Detail & Window Tint.

Three Factors To Think About If You’re Considering Tipping Your Mechanic

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Factors To Think About If You’re Considering Tipping Your Mechanic

It can be hard to keep a smile from crossing your face when your auto mechanic hands you the keys to your vehicle after a repair job and you’re pleased with the quality of the work. Even as you’re getting ready to pay the repair invoice, you might be thinking about showing some extra gratitude to the mechanic for his or her care — and the best way to express your thanks is often with a tip. However, unlike tipping your restaurant server, handing some cash to your mechanic isn’t as clearly defined. If you’re unsure about the approach you should take for tipping, here are three things to keep in mind.

Some Shops Don’t Permit Tips

Although tipping isn’t widespread in the auto-repair industry, many customers do take the approach of tipping their mechanics to express thanks for a job well done. However, not every shop allows its employees to accept tips. As such, if you’re thinking about tipping, it’s a good practice to call the shop beforehand, ask to speak to a manager and confirm if there are any tipping regulations. The last thing that you want to experience is the uncomfortable moment that arises when you attempt to tip your mechanic, only for him or her to have to decline your generosity because of a shop regulation.

Tipping Guidelines To Consider

You shouldn’t ever feel obligated to tip your mechanic. Because tipping isn’t widespread, you can have work done on your vehicle and pay the bill without ever feeling guilty for not leaving a tip. However, if you do wish to tip, there are some general guidelines to consider. It’s appropriate to tip between $10 and $20 if the repair bill is no more than $500. If you’re looking at a repair bill that is higher than $500, you might wish to think about tipping around $50. Remember, though, that because tipping isn’t customary, anything you give is likely to be appreciated by your mechanic.

Cash Isn’t The Only Choice

Whether the auto shop doesn’t permit cash tips or you don’t have the budget to give a tip that reflects the value of the repair work, there are other ways to express your thanks. One strategy is to write a letter or note of thanks to the mechanic that can be displayed on the shop wall for other customers to see. You might also wish to think about giving a treat — for example, stopping past the shop with a cake or some cookies can take the place of a cash tip.

Locating And Dealing With Hydraulic Leaks

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Locating And Dealing With Hydraulic Leaks

A hydraulic system will only work if it has the right pressure. Thus, every component of the system has to fit tightly together with high pressure seals. However, even the best built rig will not be immune to wear and tear. The constant pressure on the system combined with the dirt, grime, and abuse present in your working environment can create leaks. In order to keep your system running at its optimal level, you will need to inspect regularly for leaks and make repairs as needed. 

The Negative Effects of a Leak

A leak in your system will siphon away hydraulic oil. A large leak will rob your system of the pressure it needs to work properly, leaving your equipment crippled and putting you behind schedule. A slow leak might allow you to get through a work day, but you will constantly have to refill your hydraulic reservoirs, which will add to your costs. For the best productivity and to eliminate needless costs, you will need to deal with leaks promptly. 

How to Find Leaks

Finding a leak depends on two factors: (1) Knowing where to look, and (2) Knowing what to look for. As for where to look, hoses and seals are the most likely place to find leaks. Dirt and grime can undermine seals, and sun-baked hoses can get brittle and crack. As for what to look for, oil that leaks out of your system will attract dirt, which will get stuck in the oil, creating nasty stains. Thus, simply look for hoses or piston housings that have black, gritty oil stains on them. 

How to Make Repairs

The pressure inside a piston is dangerous. If you remove a piston while it is under pressure, bad things can happen. For one, a piston can shoot out of its housing and cause harm the piston, other equipment, or nearby people. Even if your piston doesn’t shoot out, any oil escaping from the piston can spray out with enough pressure to cut through your skin. Hydraulic oil is poisonous, so it’s the last thing you want to get under your skin. To avoid problems, you should leave repairs up to the professionals. 

Hydraulic systems are at the heart of the biggest earth-moving equipment on the planet. Unfortunately, one little leak is enough to sideline your equipment, leaving you with no way to make money and the need to find money to cover repair costs. Finding and quickly repairing leaks is the best way to maximize your productivity. 

For more information, or if you feel you cannot repair the leak by yourself, contact a hydraulic repair shop, such as Certified Products Co.

What You Need To Know About Buying A Car With Bad Credit

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Buying A Car With Bad Credit

Many people assume that because they have bad credit, they can’t purchase a car through a dealership. Yes, if your credit isn’t perfect, obtaining a car loan can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. As long as you know what to expect and where to look, you can finance a vehicle that fits your family’s needs.

Purchase From A Buy-Here-Pay-Here Car Lot

Many people have a bad impression of buy-here-pay-here car lots. However, many buy-here-pay-here lots sell really nice cars that run well. In fact, you can even find buy-here-pay-here lots that offer warranties on the vehicles that they sell and have on-site mechanics to complete any repair work needed. When you purchase a car from a buy-here-pay-here car lot, you should expect to make lower car payments more frequently. Many lots will automatically deduct your car payments on your payday to help you keep your loan up to date.

Be Realistic

You don’t need to have excellent credit to finance a car. You can finance a car through lenders that handle bad credit auto loans or purchase a car through a buy-here-pay-here car lot. However, the terms of your loan will most likely include a fairly high interest rate. A higher interest rate is often applied to loans that are a higher risk. Unfortunately, a higher interest rate also means a higher payment, so it’s important to review your finances before you begin shopping for a car. If you don’t have a large budget to work with, don’t expect to purchase an extremely expensive vehicle and have a low payment.

Increase Your Down Payment

Putting a larger down payment on your vehicle decreases the amount of your monthly payment. Also, if you’re trying to purchase a vehicle from a buy-here-pay-here car lot, a larger down payment could help you lock in a lower interest rate. Some companies offer a lower interest rate to customers with larger down payments because it decreases the loan-to-value ratio, which lowers the company’s overall risk. Keep in mind, while making a larger down payment can benefit you in the long run, it’s not a good idea to completely deplete your savings. You should keep enough money to help you cover any unexpected expenses.

Financing a car with less-than-perfect credit isn’t always an easy task. You can’t simply walk into any dealership in the city and purchase whatever car you want. However, you do have options. As long as you’re realistic about what you can afford, there’s a good chance that you can find a vehicle that you want and a company that will finance it, especially if you purchase your car at a local buy-here-pay-here car lot.

Check out Autobank of Kansas City for more information.

Three Useful Ways To Help Your Tires Last As Long As Possible

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Useful Ways To Help Your Tires Last As Long As Possible

Tires represent a significant expense for your vehicle, making it beneficial to think about smart ways of making them last as long as you can. That being said, you shouldn’t ever run the same set of tires past the point of them being safe; if they’re no longer providing the necessary traction, it’s important to visit your local automotive shop to buy a new set of tires and have them installed. Provided there’s still an acceptable amount of tread on your tires, here are three useful ways that you can help extend their life.

Have Them Rotated

Rotating your tires is integral to extending their life. If you consistently run your tires on the same hubs, it’s possible for them to wear in specific areas—often along the inner or the outer edge—if the alignment of your vehicle isn’t perfect. The result will be increased wear to the point that your tires no longer provide the traction that you need. Visit an automotive shop like PDR Automotive Inc or consider doing the work yourself if you’re comfortable doing so. The general rule is to plan to rotate your tires every time you get your vehicle’s oil changed. The frequency with which you change the oil depends on your make and model of vehicle, but aiming for this maintenance task to coincide with your oil-change schedule is ideal.

Visually Inspect Them

It’s beneficial to get into the habit of visually inspecting your tires. Although there’s no set schedule for doing so, some drivers do so when they’re pumping their gas. Inspecting the tires is an ideal way to check tread wear—if you notice the emergence of a worn area, you can get an alignment or wheel balancing quickly before the problem reaches the point that you have to replace the tire. Inspecting them can also help you detect if there are any foreign objects, such as a nail, embedded in the tire. In many cases, such an issue can be resolved by patching the tire in a timely manner.

Change Your Braking Habits

It’s easy to make the mistake of braking too late, which means you’ll have to brake more aggressively to stop your car. By changing your braking habits and starting to brake earlier, you’ll put less wear on your tires and help them last longer. Reducing your speed and watching farther down the road are two simple driving changes you can make that will allow you to brake more moderately when you’re driving.

Three Subjects To Discuss When Considering A Collision Center

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Subjects To Discuss When Considering A Collision Center

Whether you’ve been in a minor fender bender or a major accident, it’s important to find a certified and reputable collision center that can have your damaged car looking like new again. It’s important to take some time to find the right collision center for your vehicle. It’s beneficial to be able to visit a couple centers to talk to representatives and evaluate which will best suit your needs. Here are three important subjects that are valuable to cover during each of these conversations. The manner in which the collision center rep addresses these issues can help you decide on the center to which you’ll give your business.

Ongoing Training From Manufacturer

You should always ensure that the collision center’s mechanics are certified to specifically work on your vehicle’s make and model. It’s common for automotive garages to display information about such certifications in their office or waiting area for customers to see. Talk about your make and model and ask to see proof that the shop’s staff is not only certified in this type of work but also receives ongoing training from the manufacturer. Many automotive brands provide training for mechanics to learn exactly how to work on the various vehicles in the brand’s line of products. It’s important to ensure that this training is updated — you don’t want to pick a shop that last sent its mechanics for training five years ago if you have a new vehicle, for example.

Flexibility With Parts

Many collision centers will give customers the option of having a combination of new and used parts installed during the job. Doing so can help to keep the repair bill low, which is especially ideal if you’re paying for the work yourself instead of going through your insurance company. When you visit the shop for an estimate, you should get a list of the parts that will be needed for the job and a breakdown of which parts should be new and which can be either used or refurbished. The latter can work effectively but carry a lower price tag than the former.

Regular Updates

It’s ideal to choose a collision center that not only gives you a firm date on which your vehicle will be repaired but also provides you with updates along the way. This strategy represents a high degree of transparency that is appealing to many customers. Many shops will call you periodically throughout the repair work to let you know how it’s going and also inform you if there are any unexpected issues that have been encountered.

Keep these tips in mind as you check out auto shops like River’s Truck Center, and you’ll be able to find the right collision center for the repairs you need. 

3 Things Every Car Owners Needs To Know To Take Care Of Their Car

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things Every Car Owners Needs To Know To Take Care Of Their Car

Taking care of your car is important not only for the livelihood of the car, but for your safety as well. If you drive a car that is not in good working condition you put yourself at risk for malfunctions while driving. This is why it is important to catch problems early and get them repaired as to avoid any serious problems. Here are some things that you should be looking for in your car.

1. Puddles Of Fluid Around The Car

Leaking fluids is a fairly simple thing to detect and can help you know that there is a problem with the car. For example, you might notice a puddle in your garage or driveway, or see spills around the car whenever you park it. This is a sign that something in the car is faulty and needs to be looked at. Try putting cardboard under the car when you park it and see what kind of fluid is leaking, this will help you to locate where the problem is.

If the color of the fluid is black, this means that it is motor oil and that there is a potential problem with your engine. If the fluid is pink or red this means it is the transmission. Either way these problems should not be ignored, since driving with low fluid can further damage the car. Consequently, if you notice this problem, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.

2. Any Type Of Loud Noise

Cars aren’t necessarily silent when you drive them, but they also shouldn’t be making any loud noises either. If you hear clanking, grinding, or a loud wheezing while you drive you have a problem. Periodically you should turn off the music in the car and listen to how the car sounds while it is being driven, especially on the freeway when you get to higher speeds. This will help you to better hear if there are any problems.

Loud noises can be caused from a number of things, which is why it is important to take it to a mechanic for a diagnosis.

3. Smoke

Lastly, look for smoke coming from the car while you drive. In some cases it could just be that a little oil spilled and it burning off. But in more serious cases it could be a problem with the engine, or the car is overheating. This is why it is better to take your car in if you notice any smoke.

By looking for these signs you can protect your car from serious damage. Click here for more info on car care tips and help.

3 Principles For Buying A Semi Truck

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Principles For Buying A Semi Truck

Whether you drive semi trucks for a living or want to get into the industry, you owe it to yourself to put your best foot forward when purchasing a vehicle. This will take some experience and knowledge on your behalf, so that you are able to get the best buy possible for your money. With this in mind, you should take advantage of some of the tips set forth in this guide, in order to learn what to look for in a semi truck, understand how much you can expect to pay and to know how to care for your truck after your purchase. 

#1: Inspect The Truck And Know What To Look For

Any time that you are looking to make a great buy, there are a few criteria you will need to look into. First and foremost, make sure that the engine block is in quality condition without rust or wear. Ask the owner to start up the engine so that you can listen for any pings or knocks. You should also look into the alignment of the axle, as this will be a key indicator to the way that the semi truck was cared for over the years. Further, make sure that you inspect the quality of fluid, because this will also be indicative of the way that the previous owner cared for the vehicle. 

#2: Shop Around For The Best Deal And Price Range

Make sure that you take the time and energy to look into the market, so that you do not overpay for your truck. When buying a semi truck, it can cost you anywhere between $80,000 and $200,000 for the vehicle, depending on the year, make and model, and whether the truck has received any sort of customizations or alterations. The value of the truck will also play a huge role in how much your insurance policy will cost, so shop around and remember these points. 

#3: Keep Tabs On Your Truck With Preventative Maintenance

Once you make a purchase, it is incredibly important that you protect it. One of the best things you can do is purchase a preventative maintenance plan. Many dealers will sell you one of these plans, so that you are always able to double down on your investment with the right measure of care. Some points of these maintenance plans will include tire changes and rotations, oil changes and transmission care. 

Keep this information handy so that you can apply these principles to your semi truck purchase. For more information, check out the rest of this blog. 

Three Factors That Influence The Cost Of Transmission Repairs

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Factors That Influence The Cost Of Transmission Repairs

A malfunctioning transmission is never a planned event. However, just like many other vehicle malfunctions, it can happen. One of the factors that makes repairs so stressful for vehicle owners is cost. More specifically, not knowing what to expect. While there is no black and white guideline for determining how much your repair will cost, there are some factors that have an influence. At least being aware of these factors can help you budget more accurately.

Extent Of Damage

A leading factor that influences price is the extent of damage. Is the malfunction an ongoing problem that you failed to address or is it something that just happened? A commonly overlooked issue is a fluid leak. Transmission fluid keeps your transmission cool and the gears lubricated.

When fluid is leaking, the unit can overheat and friction can build up within the gears, causing damage. A vehicle owner who takes their vehicle in right after recognizing the leak is likely going to have less damage than an owner who waits until the fluid is basically depleted. Save money on repairs by taking your vehicle in at the first sign of a problem.

Transmission Style

Whether or not you have an automatic or manual transmission is also a factor that influences how much you will need to pay for your repair. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to spend more money to have an automatic transmission repaired than you would a manual.

The primary reason for this is that automatic transmissions have a more complex design than manual styles. Increased complexity means more labor and more parts, resulting in higher cost. If you have an automatic transmission style makes sure you are prepared to pay a slightly higher cost.

Vehicle Availability

If you can’t even begin to count how many vehicles you see similar to yours each day, you’re in luck. On the other hand, if your vehicle is a classic, high-end import or other rare style of vehicle, your transmission repair is likely going to be more expensive.

When it comes to this factor, it generally has more to do with part availability than labor. If the pool of vehicle owners is small, the manufacturer isn’t going to mass produce vehicle parts. When you find yourself in need of transmission repair it can be both difficult and expensive for a repair technician to find it for you, leading to increased costs.

The more you know about factors that influence your repair cost, the more prepared you will be. Make sure you are considering all these factors when it comes to your vehicle.