Car Maintenance You Shouldn’t Try at Home

2 Areas To Inspect Before You Take Your Vehicle On A Long Trip

Posted by on Feb 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Areas To Inspect Before You Take Your Vehicle On A Long Trip

The single most important preparation that you can make before you leave on an extended road trip is to have your vehicle inspected and repaired in order to ensure the safety of you and anyone else that may be in the vehicle with you. Listed below are two areas that you should have checked prior to your trip.

Brakes

The brakes are going to be the most important thing to have checked before your trip, mostly because your brakes are the single biggest safety feature on your vehicle. A major reason to have this checked is to make sure that your brake pads have not been worn down excessively.

When your brake pads are worn down, it will take your vehicle much more space before it can come to a complete stop. This problem will become even worse if you end up having to drive through foul weather on your trip. This effect can then make it much harder to stop if another driver slams their brakes suddenly or if you do not notice a road hazard until the last minute.

Another reason to have your brakes inspected and possibly replaced is because old and worn brakes can begin squealing and grinding. Over the course of a multi-day road trip, those sounds can quickly become headache-inducing and highly annoying. Click here for more info on brake repair.

Alignment

Another important area to have checked before a long trip is the vehicle’s alignment. The alignment can often develop issues if you have driven your vehicle on rough roads, driven into a curb, replaced one or two tires instead of the entire set, or simply through a lot of normal driving. One of the biggest reasons to have your wheels aligned prior to your trip is that if the wheels are not aligned properly, the vehicle can become hard to control and pull to the side.

Wheels that are out of alignment can also increase the chances that you will develop a flat while on your trip. This is because wheels that are out of alignment will often result in certain portions of your tires making more contact with the road than the others. This will result in excess wear on those areas rather than spreading the wear out across the surface of the tires, which can lead to air leaks, flats, and blowouts. 

Make an appointment with your local mechanic or auto repair shop today in order to prepare your vehicle for your upcoming trip. Make sure that your alignment and brakes are checked and repaired if necessary in order to maximize your comfort and safety during the long drive ahead.

When Is Your Car Worth Repairing?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Is Your Car Worth Repairing?

Usually, the older your car is, the more repairs bills you have to face. As time goes by, you have to consider if repairing your car is worth the expense or whether it is time to buy a new one. Of course, this decision depends on a number of considerations. In many situations, you are better off repairing your older model car rather than buying a new or different vehicle.

Transmissions

Transmission replacement is always an expensive proposition, even if you choose a rebuilt or re-manufactured part. If you are lucky enough to find an absolute bargain, you will probably spend at least several thousand dollars to get your vehicle up and running again. Before you invest that kind of money, you need to find out what your vehicle is worth if it is repaired. Once you do, you should subtract the amount of money the repair will cost.

If your car is listed at 6000 and your repair is going to cost 2100, the net value of your car is 3900. To get the “as is” value, you need to subtract half of the repair cost from the 3900, which gives you 2850. In that case, it is well worth having another transmission installed, as long as the rest of your vehicle is in good condition. In any case, you need to remember that you’ll have trouble finding any buyer for your car without a fully functioning transmission.

Engines

When the engine blows on an older car, you may think there is no reason to fix it. Replacing an engine is a drastic and expensive step. However, buying a used engine and having it installed in your car is often worth the money. If your car is in decent condition otherwise and you plan to drive it for several years, replacing the engine makes sense. A replacement engine will cost approximately $2250 to $4000. However, a remanufactured engine should last as long as the original engine did. Also, by fixing your current car, you will be saving money on taxes and insurance. Keeping your old car is often the financially responsible thing to do.

Even if your car develops some serious issues, repairing it may be the best course. Buying a new car is expensive. Keeping your current model for a few extra years, even if the repairs are costly, can help you save money for a new vehicle when you really need one. Contact a company like Goodeal Lifetime Transmissions for more information on transmission repair.

Important Things To Know About Car Warranties

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Things To Know About Car Warranties

When you buy a car, the salesperson will likely offer you a warranty. Some people jump at the chance to get a warranty, while others are skeptical, especially if it costs extra. Before you make the decision, consider the following information about car warranties.

Warranties Are Calculated Based on Mileage or Time Period

The first thing to know about car warranties is that the terms of each warranty can be completely different from the next. It is important to know exactly how long the warranty is going to last. Even if it says three years, this might not actually be three years exactly from the date you purchase the vehicle. This may be an estimate based on the approximate miles your car may travel in a three-year period. It may actually be for a total number of miles, such as 30,000 miles. Make sure you know how long the warranty is going to last and if it is based on miles or a specific time period.

There Are Exclusions

Most car warranties will be very specific with what they will cover and what types of repairs are not permitted under the warranty. It is important that you not choose to pay more for a car warranty assuming it will cover all repairs, then realize a repair due to a theft or vandalism of the vehicle isn’t going to be covered. While all car warranties have different exclusions, it is common for the warranty to not cover repairs due to vehicle collisions, crimes, fire, contamination of fluids, and lack of proper maintenance. If you have been negligent by not getting tune-ups or checking the oil regularly, your repair probably won’t be covered by the warranty.

You Can Choose Extras in the Warranty

However, if you want certain things to be covered, you might be able to choose a higher level of car warranty that includes these extras. Many car dealerships offer multiple levels of warranties, going from basic to complex. If you know you want to have roadside assistance included in the warranty, let the dealership know and they will inform you of a warranty that includes tire changing or locksmith services. Some other possible extras include collision repairs, drivetrain warranties, and rust or corrosion coverage.

Extended Warranties Can be Purchased at Any Time

While many people think extended warranties can only be purchased at the time of purchasing the vehicle, this is actually a separate warranty from the ones the dealership offers with the purchase. An extended warranty is more like an insurance policy where you can purchase it at any time for any vehicle. It helps to provide coverage just in case unexpected things happen. It also lasts longer than other types of car warranties and often has less exclusions. It is not uncommon for an extended warranty to pay for a locksmith if you are locked out of your car or need rekeying services, or to help tow your car if it breaks down. It also includes more repair services covered than what a standard warranty includes.

Which Is Best: Auto Club Membership Or Emergency Roadside Assistance?

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Which Is Best: Auto Club Membership Or Emergency Roadside Assistance?

When you’re on the road, it is always smart to make sure that you have some kind of emergency coverage. However, the choice between the two main types of coverage—auto club coverage or emergency roadside assistance coverage from your auto insurance company—can be rather difficult. The two kinds of coverage are equal in some ways, but quite different in other ways. Here are the similarities and differences.

The Benefits

The benefits of auto club coverage and a roadside assistance plan from your insurance company are often similar, but they will rarely match up exactly. Some of the most common types of coverage may include

  • Gasoline or diesel delivery if you run out of fuel unexpectedly
  • Towing if your vehicle is in an accident or otherwise non-operational
  • Locksmith service if you’re locked out of your vehicle
  • Battery jump starts if your battery is dead
  • Tire changes when you have a flat tire

​There are often variations from one plan to the next in terms of how wide the coverage is. For example, both an auto club and your insurance company’s plan may include vehicle towing, but be sure to check on how many tows are included in a calendar year. Additionally, check on how many miles each tow includes. Even something seemingly small, for example how many gallons of gas will be delivered if you run out of fuel, can vary widely from one plan to the next. 

The Cost

Auto club membership may be more costly than an emergency roadside assistance plan from your insurance company. The main reason for this is that your auto insurance company can add the coverage on to your existing policy, and you’ll often get a price cut for doing so. 

The Discounts 

In many cases, an auto club will offer extra benefits in the form of discounts. For example, auto clubs may offer their members discounts on hotel rooms, rental cars, and even vacation packages. Some retailers even offer discounts to the members of certain auto clubs. In contrast, an insurance company’s roadside assistance plan is typically limited to exactly that: roadside assistance. While the extra discounts may be especially attractive to the frequent traveler, they may not be important to others. If the auto club and the insurance company are dead even in terms of benefits and cost, the discounts may be one way to break the tie! 

For more information on emergency roadside service, talk to a professional.

3 Tips To Protect Your Camper From Rodent Damage This Winter

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Protect Your Camper From Rodent Damage This Winter

Many people enjoy taking their campers out to the campgrounds and spending time with their loved ones.  While this makes a great activity during the warmer summer months, it isn’t something you can do during the winter when the snow sets in. At that time, you end up storing your camper and waiting for the spring and summer months to roll around again. However, you don’t want to end up with your camper getting destroyed by pests and rodents during the cool months. Here are a few things you can do to make sure they stay away from your camper.

Kick food to the curb.

Pests are always on the lookout for food. If you have food inside of your camper, they are going to come inside and try to eat it. Your best bet is to take everything out of the camper and put it inside of your main home. Even if you think the food items are sealed up, you shouldn’t leave them inside. You might be surprised at how easily pests can claw, chew and scratch their way through food containers

Seal off any entry holes.

Look inside of your cupboards for any holes that pests could use to get into your camper. Even the tiniest of holes should be sealed off with some type of expanding foam to keep the critters out. Mice don’t need a very large hole to begin with, so spend adequate time going through everything and securing the area to the best of your ability. Look underneath of the camper as well. The best way to find holes is to look for little beams of light shining through in areas that they shouldn’t be.

Eliminate any walkways for pests.

Don’t put things underneath of the camper that serve as a ramp for pests. If you give them an easy way to climb up and into your camper, they are going to keep coming back time and time again. You want to make it as difficult as possible for pests to get inside. Don’t put anything underneath of the camper that would give them the extra boost they need to get inside.  

By going through the three things above, you can make sure your camper is taken care of this winter. Don’t leave anything to chance this winter. If there are any openings whatsoever, spend time sealing them off to make sure there aren’t any holes left behind. For more information, contact a company like Crowder RV Center, Inc.

Benefits Of Spray On Liners For Your Truck

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits Of Spray On Liners For Your Truck

If you have decided that the bed of your truck is in need of a new liner, you might want to consider using a spray on liner, from a company like X-Treem Automotive & Tinting. To help you decide whether this is in your best interest, you will want to check out the following benefits.

It Will Not Shift

The liners that drop into the back of your truck may shift over time. This creates noises that may start to become annoying. It also means that you might have trouble with debris falling in between the truck itself and the liner. With the spray on liner, this is not something you have to worry about. This is because the liner is molded to the shape and size of your truck bed.

It Will Never Crack

Drop in liners are prone to cracking after several years. This is especially true for the truck owners that use the bed of their truck for a lot of hauling and who live in regions that get extreme shifts in temperature. The extreme temperature changes can cause the drop in liner to crack as it is nothing more than plastic. However, this is not something that you will have to worry about when it comes to spray on liner. The changes in temperature, nor excessive use, will cause it to become damaged.

It Can Be Customized

With many of the drop in liners, there is only one color to pick from and that is black. However, with the spray on liners, you can get them in a variety of colors. You might even want to have the bed liner match the color of the rest of your truck. Then again, you might want a different color so you have more of a two-toned look.

Fits Uniquely Shaped Truck Beds

Some trucks have beds that are less common than the other trucks out there. It is because of this that the drop in liners do not work as well. It used to be that the only other option for uniquely shaped truck beds was a carpet liner. However, there is now a spray on liner that will easily conform to the shape of your truck bed.

With all of those benefits in mind, it should be easy to decide whether this is the best option for your truck. If it is, then you will want to make sure that you are taking it to a skilled shop that has a lot of experience with spray in liners.

Make These Changes behind the Wheel to Help Reduce Your Brake Pad Wear

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Make These Changes behind the Wheel to Help Reduce Your Brake Pad Wear

The brakes of your vehicle play a pivotal role in keeping you and your passengers safe when you’re driving. Many people, however, make the mistake of ignoring the many signs that their brake pads are in need of replacement and continue to drive despite having reduced braking response. While it’s important to visit an auto shop when your brakes are nearing the end of their useful life, you can take a series of steps to help the pads last as long as possible. Here are three practical changes that you can make when you’re driving to extend the life of the brake pads.

Remember the Roads

It can be easy to daydream or listen to the radio while you travel, but it’s advantageous to also note specific factors related to the roads you’re driving on, especially if you travel on them often. By watching the positions of hills, sharp turns, and other landmarks, you’ll be able to tailor your braking accordingly—and, in doing so, reduce unnecessary wear on your pads. For example, by remembering that a sharp corner is coming up, you can slowly begin to reduce your speed instead of waiting until the last minute and braking hard, which will wear down your brake pads unnecessarily.

Don’t Carry What You Don’t Need

The heavier your vehicle is, the harder you’ll have to brake to reduce your speed based on traffic or road conditions. Think about what excess items you’re carrying—particularly in your trunk—and evaluate what you can leave at home. Some drivers load their trunks with bulky children’s strollers, sports gear, and other items that can combine to add considerable weight to your vehicle. By reducing what you don’t need to carry on a day-by-day basis, you’ll be putting less wear on your brake pads every time you step on the brake pedal.

Watch Down the Road

Motorists who make a habit of looking only a few feet in front of their bumper are often surprised with changing road conditions and, as a result, have to apply their brakes hard. You can avoid this situation by getting into the routine of watching well down the road. With this approach, you’ll see traffic lights beginning to change and brake lights lighting up several car lengths ahead of you—and you’ll then be able to coast to reduce your speed or simply brake lightly until you’ve reduced your speed or stopped.

If you need your brakes inspected or repaired, make an appointment at a service like Express Oil Change.

Maintaining Emergency Communications On Road Trips

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Emergency Communications On Road Trips

During long drives across the country, you may encounter stretches of land that lack landmarkers that are familiar or areas too far away for friends and family to come help. Smartphones offer a lot of ways out of bad situations, but you’ll need to plan a bit further ahead in case of service outages and drained batteries. Take a look at a few road trip planning points to keep yourself safe on the road and make sure you’ll be able to get all the help you need.

Extending The Useful Life Of Your Smartphone Batteries

Smartphones have obvious uses in a road trip emergency, such as the basic call features to get in contact with help, as well as the ability to look up local information. Hotels, local garages and food directions are just a few taps away…if your phone lasts long enough. 

The relatively short power span of smartphones is well known, and that short duration becomes even shorter if you’re looking information up on the Internet or with a mobile map. To extend the life of your mobile lifesaver on a phone, it’s a good idea to pack extra batteries and a charger.

Packing batteries for emergencies isn’t as simple as throwing them in your car. Excessive heat or direct exposure to sunlight can cause the battery to explode–although the actual explosion is more like a pop and fizz. You’ll need to keep the batteries in a dark, solid case and out of direct light to keep temperatures as low as possible throughout the drive.

The charger needed is a specific battery charger, which allows a battery to dock inside your phone. With this standalone charger, you won’t have to take the battery out of the phone to start charging the battery.

Outage Area Mapping

Cellular signals can fail for any reason. Maintenance can take down entire neighborhoods or city areas, while unplanned mishaps can cause an entire cellular network to go down in a region. There are also cellular deadzones where no cellular signal exists. You’ll need to plan around these areas to be safe. 

Use a map of available cell phone signal areas to plan your trip. Look along the length of your trip for areas that are marked for outages as well as no access at all, and make a note of when you’ll be driving through areas of no coverage. Although unlikely, you need to know how far you are from available signals in case your car breaks down in an outage area.

As you make plans for getting in contact with others during an emergency, make sure to keep a towing service like Big Valley Towing in your contacts. Speak with a towing services professional to discuss towing rates, area availability and easy ways to contact towing services in the event of an emergency.

Step On It! Ways To Improve Your Truck’s Gas Mileage

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Step On It! Ways To Improve Your Truck’s Gas Mileage

You probably purchased your truck without being under the impression that it’s a real gas guzzler. That’s alright: most trucks have to use an ample amount of gas in order to haul items or, in some cases, simply get from point A to point B. There are a variety of ways you can enhance your truck’s gas mileage, though, from using custom truck parts to simply following the rules of aerodynamics.

Cold Air Intake

A cold air intake is an aftermarket, custom part, purchased from a place like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc, that is considered a “bolt on” accessory, which is to say, it’s easy to install. What does a cold air intake do for your truck? Essentially, your engine needs air to run efficiently. Air will naturally cool the gas in your tank, and the more air, the more efficient your vehicle will be. In other words, your truck will have to burn less gas to get from point A to point B.

However, too much air added to your engine can add a stressful effect: you’re going to hear a good amount of this air reaching your fuel intake. This means that the engineers of your vehicle have found a sort of sweet spot, in between making your truck fuel efficient as possible without you having to hear this – as some would call it – grating sound. For those of you who don’t mind such noises, a cold air intake unit will add even more air to your fuel intake, allowing you to burn less gas.

Good Aerodynamics

Against the force of the wind, your truck is going to have to burn more gas to simply work as hard as it would in normal conditions. There are ways to make your truck more aerodynamic, which means that it won’t have to work quite as hard. One common example of how to make your truck more aerodynamic is to use a bed cover. Air will then flow flatly across the bed cover, rather than enter the bed of the truck and then meet force against the tailgate.

Don’t Idle

Although it is not recommended to turn off your truck during stop lights and the such, if truck is going to idle for 5 minutes or longer, it is recommended that you turn your vehicle off in order to save gas. Even when not in motion, your truck is using gas in order to power other facets of the vehicle, like its electronics and air conditioner.

If you are finding that your truck is using a bit more gas than you think it should, try out these quick tips in order to save yourself a bit of money, as well as some wear and tear on your truck.

3 Important Points When Buying Used Auto Parts

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Important Points When Buying Used Auto Parts

Any time that you are looking to get your automobile repaired, you’re going to receive price quotes for two different facets — parts and labor. While labor costs are levied by the hour, you can save yourself plenty of money by acquiring your own parts. You can receive a gold mine of savings when you decide to purchase some high quality used parts. Buying used parts might take a little bit of experience on your behalf, so if this is what you’re in need of, use the following guidelines to your advantage. 

#1: Find A Salvage Yard In Your Area And Select The Type That You Prefer

One of the best ways to get your hands on a quality used part is by reaching out to salvage yards in your area. There are two different types of salvage yards you can buy from — those that allow you to pick your own parts as you please and those that require the assistance of an employee. “Pick it yourself” salvage yards provide tremendous opportunity to find some diamonds in the rough, but will also require you to have your own tools and the handy experience to remove the parts that you need. Conversely, an employee service salvage yard may not land you the same sorts of savings, but you’ll have all the help that you need. 

#2: Purchase A Warranty To Go With Any Used Parts That You Buy

Since the parts that you are buying are used, you should always double down on the protection by getting a warranty to go with it. You will need to get a clear breakdown of the warranty terms, in order to know what constitutes a void and to know how long you’re covered. This level of protection goes a long way toward helping you get the most bang or your buck when buying used auto parts. 

#3: Find Out The Specific Parts Number Before Making A Purchase

When searching for parts, it can be easy to get confused, since many parts look the same when they are intended for the same make or model. However, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you find out that the part is not compatible with your vehicle. To avoid this, always ask your auto parts shop or salvage yard to verify the serial number and parts number, so that you purchase the right part. 

Keep these three valuable points in mind as you shop for your used auto parts