5 Types of Vehicular Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Handling routine maintenance on your own, rather than outsourcing professional auto service, can save a driver up to $150 or more each year. This may seem like a nominal figure, but it certainly adds up year after year. And who wouldn’t want an extra couple hundred dollars in their wallet for the holidays?

Performing your own vehicular maintenance on the areas of your car that are DIY-approved can save drivers time and money. It is vital to only perform car maintenance that does not require the tools and training of a professional mechanic. Stick to the DIY-approved vehicular maintenance checklist and keep your car safe and running smoothly. Continue reading to learn the five types of routine car maintenance you can do all on your own!

Oil Changes

Yes, you can change your own oil and oil filter without the help of a professional mechanic! All you needs are the right supplies and a little foreknowledge, and you are ready to change your car’s oil all by yourself! Acquire a new oil filter, an oil pan to store the dirty oil, a car jack, a socket set, a funnel, and a couple bottles of the motor oil your car uses. Safety goggles, rubber gloves, a flashlight, and a few clean cloths wouldn’t hurt either. The oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, or sooner depending on how often you drive.

First, run your car engine for a few minutes to warm the oil up because warm oil flows easier. Then, lift your vehicle off the ground with the car jack and place the oil pan beneath your vehicle.

Next, unscrew your oil cap located under the hood, and the oil drain plug beneath your car. This plug generally looks like a single bolt underneath your car’s oil compartment. Double check your vehicle owners’ manual for instructions on locating the oil drain plug.

Put on your rubber gloves and use a socket wrench to unscrew the drain plug a few rounds, then use your hands to unscrew the rest of the way. Allow all the dirty oil to drain out completely. Replace the drain plug and then change the oil filter. Once this is all done, you can use your funnel to pour your new, clean oil into your engine.

The next step is replacing the oil filter. Simply unscrew the old filter, allow any excess oil to drain, and then replace and tighten the filter. If you are not using paper filters, use a tiny bit of oil to lubricate the edges of the new filter before screwing it back into place.

Air Filters

Aside from oil filters, your vehicle has air filters that need replaced on a routine basis. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any local automotive store or general store. Expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per filter. If you neglect to change your air filters, overtime you will notice a major decrease in gas mileage and vehicular performance. Luckily, this is a maintenance job you can do all by yourself! It is a simple ten minute process that is easy to learn how to do. Just follow your owners’ manual instructions!

Coolant

Without coolant, your car’s engine would be in pretty bad shape. In fact, it would fail to operate entirely after a short amount of time without coolant. Also called radiator fluid, coolant is imperative for the operation and performance of any vehicle. It prevents the inner workings of a car engine from overheating as a result of constant friction and heat production. If you have an overheating engine, the number one cause is lack of radiator fluid. Simply purchase a bottle or two at your local automotive store, locate the coolant cap beneath your hood, and pour the solution right in!

Headlights

Did you know you can change a burnt-out headlight all on your own? It’s true and not many car owners know it! Since this can get you a traffic ticket or worse, cause an accident, a burnt-out headlight is an immediate repair. And since you don’t need to make an appointment with an auto shop, you can get this problem repaired right away. All you need is a basic tool set and a new bulb!

Windshield Wiper Fluid

It may seem trivial, but windshield wiper fluid is one of the 7 essential car fluids every vehicle requires for functional operation and safety. And you can re-fill your windshield wiper fluid any time it runs low. Simply purchase a bottle of windshield fluid and pour it down the correct tube under your car’s hood. Do this as often as you need to, keeping in mind that you will probably need to do this more often in winter.

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Learn Basic Car Maintenance

It’s amazing how many people get taken for a ride (ha ha) just by taking their car in for a basic service. A lot of people over think the modern technology of their car and believe everything the repair shop tells them. Modern cars really require way less maintenance, even though the basic concept is the same.

With all this power and amenities, most people forget or never knew that it is the same basic internal combustion engine used over a hundred years ago. And, electric and hybrid cars require even less maintenance than conventional automobiles! Learning basic maintenance about your vehicle can save you thousands of dollars over time and minimize potential breakdowns.

The three thousand mile oil change is a thing of past. If you’re still changing your car’s oil every three thousand miles, you’re wasting your money. You need to know what type of oil your car requires and the capacity. You need to know where the oil filter is located. Cheap oil filters will damage your car over time because they can take up to nine seconds longer to achieve maximum flow at startup. If you use one of those quick lube shops, make sure you know what type of oil they will use to refill the crankcase. Make sure you check the level on the dipstick before you leave the shop. Earlier I mentioned that you need to know where the oil filter is located, here’s why, some shops will not change the filter, but will charge you for one, if you mark the old one before you take the car for servicing, you’ll be able to verify that it has been replaced. Most of these shops lose money on the $29.99 oil change. A good quart of oil will set you back about five dollars, so if your car requires five, that’s twenty- five dollars, add the oil filter and you’re over the thirty dollar mark.

Now pay close attention. This is where you need to be up to date on your car’s maintenance schedule. The $29.99 oil change is a lure, it’s to bait you in and then double or triple charge you for a filter or drive belt or some other regular maintenance item you didn’t keep up with. We’re not trying to make everyone weekend mechanics, we just want car owners to read the owner’s manual so they’ll have an idea of what maintenance has to be done at the recommended mileage intervals. With that said, you tell me if it makes sense to take your new car in for the fifteen thousand mile service and be charged $400 to $600? What did they do to a car with only fifteen thousand miles besides change the oil?

You need to learn what maintenance items to consent to and what to say no to and still be assured your car is in optimum operating condition. A great benefit in learning how to properly maintain your car is also learning how to diagnose potential repair issues.
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12 Amazing Car Care Tips You Should Know About

Whether you are a person using public transport or a person who has your own vehicle, either way transportation is such a pivotal component of each of our day-to-day lives and certainly it is a dream for anyone who doesn’t have his own vehicle to one day own a vehicle that belongs to him or her. It’s a goal for most of us to eventually own our own car and once we do it’s important for us to know how to maintain our car so that we can use it without problems and in good running condition which will make our day to day activities a lot easier.

We have gathered together for you some expert car care tips which not only can be done by anyone but will only take a little bit of time and it certainly will improve the service that your car gives you.

1. Engine Oil

What good is a man without a heart? Similarly, what good is a car without a well-maintained engine which is considered to be the heart of any vehicle. A car’s service manual usually provides information as to how often you need to change the engine oil. In most vehicles, you can test the level of your engine oil by checking the dipstick which is usually yellow in color and you can get an idea if the necessary amount of oil is present.

2. Spark Plug

This might not be a component which can be seen easily in your car but it is a tiny hidden part which plays a main role in the cars ignition. If you have trouble starting your car it may be the case that the spark plug has worn out with use and time and needs to be replaced. This too is a very useful car maintenance tip for you to keep in mind.

3. Car Battery

You can check to see if your car has enough energy to run well by taking your battery to the mechanic and getting it checked by a multi meter. It’s a good idea to make sure you get it checked once a year.

4. Tire Pressure

When refilling tires with air it is always advisable to read the manufacturer’s recommendations and follow them accordingly. The manufacturer’s recommendations are usually found on a sticker attached near the driver’s door.

5. Air Filter

This is responsible for efficient airflow and overall performance of your car. If you feel that your car’s performance is no longer as good as it used to be then it might be because your air filter is dirty and needs to be replaced.

6. Wiper Blades

Even though the significance of your wiper blades is not that obvious through the spring, it is obvious when winter comes when we can see the importance of them and their effectiveness. Just to be on the safe side it is advisable to replace your wiper blades every year during spring time.

7. Brakes

If you come across symptoms such as a squeaky noise coming from your brakes, or you are planning on going on a long distance trip or even if you have a general ill feeling about your brakes it is best and advisable to get them checked as soon as possible since they are a vital component of your car.

8. Radiator

The radiator keeps the car’s engine cool with its coolant fluid. However, say the radiator has run out of coolant and you aren’t in a position to get the fluid replaced, a stopgap is you can use still water too in order keep your engine cool when it over heats.

9. Washing and Vacuuming Your Car

Washing your car daily or at least once every 2-3 days will remove all the road salt and debris that your car catches while on the road.

10. Hoses and Belts

If you don’t check regularly you will never know when a belt or a hose in your car will break so it is advisable to get your hoses and belts checked by a mechanic at least once every three months.

11. Changing Tires

It’s quite dangerous to run your car on worn out tires, and it is very important to know how to change your tires in case of an emergency. If you get the feeling that you have a punctured tire try to stop your car on the side of the road in a place that is safe and not causing trouble for other cars. Then take your jack and make sure you place it under the metal part of the car frame. Then raise the car just enough to take the pressure off the tire so you can remove the lug nuts. Also watch out as tires are quite heavy. An important car care tip is to remember to get the punctured tire repaired or replaced because you never know when you’ll need it again.

12. Emergency Contact

Above everything else is the safety of your life, so make sure to have contact details in your car in case of an emergency. Make a contact list of the following and make sure you have a copy of it in your car and your mobile devices. Emergency contacts such as the AAM Hotline, contact for ambulances, your car insurance company, trusted friends and family. Also try your best not to panic but to keep calm during emergencies.

Tips to Choose a Mechanic

Whenever your automobiles or devices damage you think of the mechanics. The mechanics are the person who has learned all the technicalities of the said device and knows every part well. He is the one who can repair it and bring it back to life.

Thus, if you are having a broker tape recorder or your cars clutches are not working well you need to go to the mechanic. Of course, the mechanic of a car would not repair your tape recorder. Every device needs a different kind of mechanic. Choosing a mechanic is not easy. You need to take care of certain things while you are choosing one.

Check the certificate of the mechanic

If it is a matter of your brand new expensive car then you have to do this on its behalf. This is because a certified mechanic has to go have the technical skills and knowledge. This enables them to have years of experience. If one has a manufacturer’s certificate then that is a more agreeable one.

Check the reputation of the company

You can check out the reviews online so that you know well if the company is a good one or not. There are certain sites which offer reviews for people like you and me to check. I turn it allows to get the best deal from the right company as it monitors against fake reviews.

Check the shop’s affiliation

Every shop has been marked on the quality of services they offer. Do not choose the ones that do not have an affiliation. The marked ones are graded and of course, the top grade means that your automobile is in safe hands and you can expect a good servicing.

The mechanic should be ready to show the problem

Be ready to know the problem from the mechanic. This would make you aware if they are checking well and why at all the problem has occurred. The more idea you have the better you will be able to handle it the next time. You are the owner, so, I think it is fair enough for you to at least know the problem.

If you feel that something is wrong with a shop then never go for it. It is always a better idea to choose the one that allows you to be around when they are repairing. This will make sure that you are in the right place and later on you do not have to regret.

Tips On How To Find A Great Repair Facility & Mechanic

What Are You Looking For?
The first thing you need to consider is how well you want your vehicle fixed and how reliable you want it to be. I know this may seem unnecessary but in this world there are a ton of different people who have different standards. The person with a $1,000 beater is not going to go to the same shop or dealer as the person with a $20,000 vehicle. So, before you determine what shop to go to and what mechanic you want working on your vehicle, think about what standards you want.

Start Big And Then Narrow Your Sights
The second thing you must do is try different shops around where you live. In the online world, you can check reviews or forums for other people’s opinions but the simple fact is that you won’t know until you try it. So, once you have decided what standard you have for your vehicle you should pick 3 or more different shops in your area (if there are that many) and take any issues you have with your vehicle to them. Instead of having it fixed at the first shop you try, go to 3 or more shops with the same concern and see what differs between each of them. Each one should have a certain inspection method to look your vehicle over. Find the one that fits your liking the best, and whatever one gives you the best explanation of your concern or issue with the vehicle.

The Most Important Factor
Now that you have an idea of how well they look over your vehicle and how well they can explain what your issues are you can narrow it down by price, personality, professionalism, certifications, or any other attribute that you deem the most important. The original 3 or more choices will more than likely be down to one or two at this point. The last and most important factor in singling it down to that one shop or mechanic can be simply asking the mechanic or manager what experience they have had in the past and where they want to go in the future. Some of the best mechanics or managers I’ve ever met believe in what they are doing as incredibly important and fascinating. These attributes will assure a long-term relationship with the shop or mechanic that will keep your vehicle in great condition for years to come regardless of the issues you come across down the road.

Brake Safety: Tips on How to Avoid an Accident

During the festive season the road agency keeps a tally of the number of road deaths because there are more cars on the road. It is a scary thought to know that so many accidents occur on the roads that we drive. In certain cases you might actually drive past an accident scene and it can be quite gloomy. You, then, realise how dangerous our roads are. In an effort to curb road accidents, here are some tips on avoiding accidents.

    • Be aware. This is the single most important tip for drivers. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of what you’re doing. Be fully aware when you’re driving. As veteran drivers we may tend to think that we are so good at driving that we can multi-task while driving. This is a dangerous idea. Don’t do it. Multi-tasking while driving causes many accidents. Drivers think they can chat on a mobile phone, text, eat, drink, apply make-up, or grab something out of their bag while driving. This action will lead you take your eyes off the road. That one second is all it takes for an accident to happen. Again, be aware.
    • Service your car. Stick to the service schedule of your car. It’s there for a reason. It ensures that your car and all the related parts are checked, and that the parts are replaced for optimum functionality. During a service, unknown problems can be detected before a breakdown occurs.
    • Check your tyres. Make sure it’s not flat or punctured. If it is flat, pump it. Flat tyres can cause an unnecessary accident because your vehicle handling will be compromised.
    • Check the brakes. Get your car to a brake repair centre if you suspect that the brakes on your car may be faulty. Faulty brakes can be fatal. It’s not something that can wait until next week. If the brakes are worn or damaged, go immediately and have them repaired.
    • Maintain a braking distance. Don’t drive too close to the car in front of you. They could stop at any moment. This is what you should be thinking while you’re driving. Never assume that nothing will happen. Rather assume that something out of the ordinary may happen. Keep a fair braking distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Repair cracked windscreens. If there is a crack in your windscreen, get it repaired soon. Yes, the windscreen may be made of a tempered glass, but a large crack won’t care about that. Pressure of the wind while driving could lead to the windscreen to collapse or shatter altogether.

5 Monsoon Car Care Tips We All Should Know

Monsoons are around the corner and will bring relief from the long torrid summers throughout the country. As nice the notion of rains is after the sweltering heat of June, the fact remains that a monsoon brings the great amount of chaos in a day to day life. Heavy downpours bring flooding, traffic jams, water logging and take a huge toll our beloved cars. They have to endure many problems such as acid rains, rust smelly interiors and bring a lot of headaches to car enthusiasts like us. But don’t worry, here are some simple yet important tips that you can follow to keep your car in mint condition during the rains.

1) Exteriors:
Taking care of the body of the car is essential in the monsoons as the rain is mildly acidic in nature and has an adverse affect on the car’s paint and underbody. You can avoid it by using a good quality wax or a polish regularly during the season. The polish forms a thin coat on the painted surface and does not let water stick to it. A good quality polish will also ensure that rain water does not affect the car paint. An underbody anti- rust treatment is also recommended once every two to three years. It generally does not cost much and has excellent long-term benefits.

2) Interiors:
the rainy season brings in a lot of odours in the cars, be it due to moisture or wet carpets or otherwise. Invest in getting the car thoroughly cleaned up before the rainy season to get rid of all the dirt and grime which may bring those foul smells in the cabin. You may also invest in a good deodorizer or perfume so as to enjoy a pleasant drive every time you go for a drive.

3) Clean windscreen:
People usually have their windscreen wipers in bad shape. Rubber hardens over time, which significantly reduces the wiper’s effectiveness. Besides the hazy view out when it’s raining, a bad wiper will leave permanent scratches on your expensive windscreen. Change them whenever you feel they are getting hard.

4) Electricals & Lighting:
make sure to check all the loose or weak electrical connections, patch them up. Make sure external wires are insulated. Ensure that the head lights and tail lights are working properly as during rains, visibility is poor, not only for you but also for the traffic behind you. Check all the lights as it is advisable to keep your parking light and brake light on while driving.

5) Tyres & Brakes:
one of the most important aspect in keeping you safe through the wet roads is the tyres. Tyres with less than 2mm of tread are prone to aquaplaning. It occurs when the tyre cannot squeeze out the water between the road and itself, and hence glides over a thin layer of water like a surfboard. This lack of contact between the road surface and the tyres could result in loose of control over the car, resulting in a serious accident. Always maintain the manufacturer-recommended tyre pressure, as this ensures the maximum contact area between your tyres and the road thus maximising the grip levels.

Brakes are another important component of your safety. Drum type breaks are especially affected by humid weather and wet roads, resulting in ineffective braking and skidding. If your brakes do get damp while wading through water-logged road. try to get out quickly and once out, hold down the brake pedal and accelerate slowly to dry out the brake pads, thereby enhancing their efficiency. If the problem persists, get it checked at a garage.

7 Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

We rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to be. This means long hours on the road and lots of wear and tear on out vehicles – so by rights, auto repair services must be a part of our anticipated expenses. However, these vehicle repairs don’t have to a constant part of life. There are a number of proactive things we can do to keep the time spent at the mechanic’s shop to a minimum.

If you have never considered being proactive about auto maintenance, then now is the time to do so. Better yet, you don’t have to be an auto repair service specialist or have a huge garage full of tools to do these simple tasks. Rather, just some basic knowledge and tools will suffice. Let’s get started.

Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

1. Read the manual. Your vehicle manual will tell you things like how often to change the oil, what to watch for in how your engine is running and many other useful facts. Knowing and following them will save you a great deal of aggravation.

2. As soon as your engine light comes on, take it in for a diagnostic check. Taking care of small problems will prevent larger more costly ones.

3. Change the oil, add water, maintain the anti-freeze and keep up with any other liquids that need to be added to the car. This will keep its performance better and minimize risk of damage to other parts of the vehicle.

4. Keep your tires at the correct weight and amount of air. This information will be listed in your owner’s manual. Also, be sure to get them rotated as recommended. Failing to do any of this can result in a blowout.

5. Pay attention when you drive. Watch out for items on the road that can damage the wheels, or kick up into the workings of your vehicle.

6. Get your transmission serviced. Talk to the people who change the oil to find out how often this is recommended for your particular vehicle.

7. If you notice unusual sounds being made by your vehicle while you are driving, or if it seems to be shaking unnecessarily, take it in for a checkup. It’s always best to be told it is nothing to stress over than to ignore the sounds/shaking and find out there was serious problem or repair that could have been prevented.

When you take the time to maintain your vehicles, then you can minimize the time and money spent on auto repair services. To learn additional ways to get more out of your particular vehicle(s) talk to a local auto repair service team today.

5-Point Checklist for Test Driving a Vehicle

Don’t worry, because a five point turn is not on the checklist of things to do when test-driving a vehicle. Buying a new or used vehicle can be stressful for people because everyone wants the best possible car of their choice, in the best possible condition, and all within their seemingly-unrealistic budget. This, unfortunately, narrows the list a bit, however, there are smart ways to test out a vehicle in order to ensure you are at least buying a quality asset that is safe and suits your driving needs.

Continue reading to learn five things to look for when you are test driving a car or truck, so that you may better negotiate a deal and make better purchasing decisions.

1. Exterior Appearance

The first place you want to inspect is the exterior of the car or truck. How’s the condition of the paint? Is it shipped, scraped, or faded? What about the condition of the body? Are there dents and scratches on the bumper, fender, or doors? Are there cracks in the windshield? All of these aspects can be used against a seller in the negotiations to get a fairer price.

2. Interior Appearance and Amenities

Next, open the doors and take a look inside. Are the doors squeaky or difficult to open? Do they feel heavy or loose? What about the interior fabric? Is it in good condition? Are there stains, burn holes, ripped carpet, or other similar damages? Is the roof fabric loose and droopy? Are the dashboards in good condition? Is there a spare tire and jack?

3. Under the Hood

Always look is under the hood of the vehicle. Check to see that the engine bay is clean and damage-free. Next, look at the condition of the battery, see that all the proper caps are in place, and inquire whether or not it takes premium or unleaded fuel. Overall, use your common sense to inspect everything under the hood with a glance, and decide if it looks legitimate. If you have concerns about what you see, then you might want to have the vehicle inspected by a licensed mechanic before making any negotiations with the seller.

4. Drivability

Now it’s time to actually see how the car drives. See how the steering wheel turns. Does it pull to the left or right? Take note of how the car feels in drive mode. Is it a smooth ride? Does it feel bumpy? Are the brakes squeaky? Does it take a long time to come to a complete stop? Does the car feel heavy or out of line? All of this can be identifiers of common vehicular maintenance and repair issues. Again, these faults can be used as a negotiations tactic when deciding on a final price.

5. Interior Features

Before getting out of the vehicle and ending your test drive, be sure to check all the amenities and features inside and see that they all work properly. Check the automatic windows, radio, navigation, air vents, sun roof, mirrors, lights, and more. Also take note of the number of cup holders, storage, seating, and more to match these features with the ones on your wish-list.

What Are The Tips To Keep In Check Before Truck Engine Repair?

Are you a passionate truck owner? Then you probably belong to that category of sincere drivers who are looking for means so that their vehicles can perform with high efficiency. Since those vehicles perform numerous functions such as transportation of goods, shifting of load and other miscellaneous logistic operations you need to ensure that they receive the best repair services.

Condition of the vehicle

You have to make a careful decision while selecting a reliable service provider for truck engine repair. The appropriate tips will assist you in planning the entire project.

• Some options

If your vehicle is showing dismal performance, then you may need to start thinking of two things. You may get some components repaired, or you may get them replaced. Your decision will be primarily based on the condition of the vehicle. If your vehicle is facing problems about transmission system, then those issues can be fixed through truck engine repair.

• Identification of issues

Failure on the part of the engines calls for replacement services. So in the initial phase, it is necessary to identify the problem and then look for solutions. You may want to keep the following tips in mind regarding maintenance of the high-performance vehicles.

Refer to the suggestions of manufacturer

An important aspect of vehicle maintenance is oil changing. You should consult the recommendations of the manufacturer while going in for fuel changing. The on-road performance of the vehicle is significantly improved with the fuel change at periodic intervals.

Take steps to reduce internal temperature

You should prevent the inner temperature of the vehicle from shooting up unnecessarily with the assistance of coolants. Circulating coolant liquid helps in keeping the engine cool. Without coolant, the engine would be overheated, and this will lead to break down and engine failure. The coolant system should be inspected at periodic intervals to ensure protection against corrosion.

Transmission system

To ensure the long life of your vehicle, transmission system has to be examined at regular intervals. Several procedures are performed for inspection of your transmission system. You have to ensure that the fluid is flowing properly and it does not have any unpleasant odor or discoloration. Clear red fluid is an indicator of the good health of the engine. Any deviation indicates internal wear and tear and will require a detailed inspection.

Engine oil additives

Oil additives are essential for reduction of friction and help in the prevention of engine wear. Fuel efficiency is considerably enhanced, and smoother transportation is ensured. It causes a significant reduction in maintenance costs because these additives can increase the operating effectiveness of the vehicle.

Follow the manual

Follow the instructions as specified in the manual of the manufacturer. The service documents have guidelines which will assist you in performing maintenance work at periodic intervals in the correct way. You have to be in close touch with a reliable service provider. They will provide you with helpful suggestions and will make sure appropriate discoloration. Clear red fluid is an indicator of the good health of the engine. Any deviation indicates internal wear and tear and will require a detailed inspection.