When Should Automotive Engine Coolant Be Replaced?

Engine coolant goes by many names, including radiator fluid, radiator coolant, or antifreeze. No matter what you call it, engine coolant is one of the most vital car fluids for any vehicle. It is a combination of antifreeze and water (usually a 50/50 mix), and serves a number of purposes for a car.

First, it runs through a vehicle’s radiator to remove any excess heat and prevent the engine from overheating. Next, since it contains antifreeze chemicals, it prevents it from freezing up in cold temperatures. But also, engine coolant prevents corrosion and works as a lubricant to the water pump and other internal workings.

So as you can see, radiator fluid is very important for a car or truck to operate safely and effectively. Continue reading to learn when your vehicle’s engine coolant should be changed, as well as, factory car maintenance scheduling, and more!

Radiator Fluid Flushes

Changing or replacing the radiator fluid in your vehicle is referred to as coolant flush. Regular coolant flushes are vital for your vehicle because it inhibits corrosion, prevents over-heating, and provides lubrication to the internal workings of your engine’s water pump, radiator, and heater core.

To properly identify when your coolant is dirty, you must first know what the color of the fluid is when brand new. The primary colors of engine coolant are yellow, orange, green, and black. Check the color of your radiator fluid once every week. When this color starts to change, you know it’s time to change your radiator fluid. But the most noticeable sign that it is time to replace the coolant is when your engine starts to overheat. The temperature gauge on your car’s dashboard will tell you how hot the engine is getting, and if you start to see smoke, it’s gone too far!

Never operate a vehicle with an overheating engine. Not only is this extremely dangerous, it causes significant damage to the engine. This can result in a costly repair, engine replacement, or even a totaled vehicle. As soon as you are aware your engine is overheating, take it to an auto so immediately and have it serviced.

All fluids should be changed, flushed, and replaced regularly for all vehicles. The general factory car maintenance schedule is every 3,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. This includes motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, battery fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and in some cases, even transfer case lubricants. But engine coolant does not need to be replaced this often. Most manufacturers suggest flushing the coolant every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, or once every 2 to 3 years. But if you are driving in hot climates or long distances regularly, then once per year is a better schedule.

Consult a licensed automotive service and repair technician for information regarding your make and model vehicle’s factory maintenance schedule. An ASE-licensed mechanic will have up-to-date knowledge and information for all make and model cars and trucks.

The Importance of Inexpensive, Reliable Car Parts

We all need to be able to get a hold of car parts at one time or another. Whether you work on your own car or you are a professional mechanic, it is essential to be able to get a hold of the parts that you need when you need them. Of course, brand new car parts can end up being rather expensive, and that is why it is usually a good idea to look for used or re-engineered car parts in order to save a little bit of money. The benefit of using re-engineered car parts is the fact that you will not only be able to get them at a discounted price, but they will also likely be of a better quality than your typical used car parts because of the fact that they have been re-engineered.

If you are a professional mechanic, then you always want to be sure that you give your customers the best quality service at the lowest possible price. This means that whatever parts are needed in order for you to be able to fix your car, you need to be able to find affordable prices for your customers. They are already paying you for your labor, and so adding expensive parts on top of their bill will just cause them an even bigger hassle. Because you care about your customers and you want them to return to you whenever they need help with their cars, it is essential that you do whatever you can in order to provide them with the lowest possible rates.

Of course, if you give them cheap service with cheap parts and they end up continuing to have problems, they are also not likely to return to you for service on their car if they feel as though you did not do a good job or you installed faulty parts on their car. This is why re-engineered car parts are the best of both worlds. You can not only provide excellent prices to your customers in order to undercut the competition, but you can also give them high quality parts so that they will be set for a long time. The less a customer has to go back to a mechanic, the more likely they will be to trust the mechanic.

If you run your own shop, or if you just work on cars in your spare time for a little extra money, being able to provide high quality, affordable parts to your customers is essential to gaining returning business. Even if you just work on your own vehicles, being able to save money on good parts is definitely a plus. The best thing that one can do is to search the internet in order to find the best quality at the most affordable prices. If you can do that, both you and your customers will end up being happy. After all, any business is about providing the best services that you possibly can.

Brake Pad Replacement: The Different Types of Brake Pads

Did you know that there are different types of brake pads you can install in your car? There are three materials that brake pads are made of and that each of them has their own benefits and flaws.

Ceramic brake pads – The name says it all: they are mainly made of ceramic material and have copper fibres embedded within the composition. Originally, they were made to prevent how much dust and noise was being made.

Benefits:

  • Quieter than semi-metallic pads because of the higher frequency being made impossible for us to hear.
  • They produce finer dust that doesn’t stick to the wheels. Dust in the wheel could alter driving experience that should be avoided.
  • They generally have a longer life span than the organic and semi metallic models. The material is so strong that it is difficult to wear away quickly.
  • These brake pads also do well under fluctuating temperatures from cold to hot without changing the way you drive.

Flaws:

  • Because of the strength they contain they tend to be more expensive.
  • Although they do well in different temperatures, they could fail in freezing weather. They also don’t absorb heat too well.
  • These brake parts aren’t fit for forceful and sudden braking in cases such as racing and industrial driving.

Organic brake pads also known as Non-asbestos organic (NAO). They contain glass, fibre, rubber, carbon and Kevlar all joined together with special resin.Benefits:

  • They are soft and quiet making it a comfortable drive. They also produce less dust than semi metallic pads.
  • They produce friction without too much heat needed.
  • It is cheap and suitable for everyday driving under different weather conditions.

Flaws:

  • They work well in specific weather conditions but in extreme conditions you could be dealing with brake failure.
  • They wear much quicker than other types of materials.
  • They can’t be used for performance driving because high heat could damage the material.

Semi Metallic Brake Pads – These brake pads are made of steel, iron and copper. These metals are combined with friction modifiers and fillers and graphite lubricant.Benefits:

  • Braking performance is better than that of the organic pads.
  • They can withstand higher heats because of the metallic content.
  • They last longer than the organic material.
  • It can be used for racing and everyday use.

Flaws:

  • They are generally quite noisy
  • They tend to produce the most dust which could damage your wheels.
  • They wear brake rotors relatively quickly.

How to Safely Drive a Car in Snow

As history tells it, this time of year is certainly no stranger to snow. In fact, it looks like we will see snow as early as the first full week of December this year! During times of heavy or persistent snow showers, the roads and highways become a sheet of ice, or puddle of slush and snow. Excess snow makes the driving conditions much more difficult, so it is important to learn how to adjust.

Driving safely in snow or ice is not easy. It requires a lot of practice, and most importantly, patience. If you are a new driver, it is highly encouraged to practice driving in snowy an icy conditions as soon as possible; this way, you are prepared and not threatened by winter, season after season. Continue reading to learn some tips on how to drive a car safely when there is snow and ice on the roads.

Thoroughly Clear Off Windows and Windshields BEFORE Driving

It is vital to clear off all snow and ice from a vehicle’s windows and windshields. If a driver cannot see properly, there is no chance they can see and steer on an icy road. It is recommended to start your car a few minutes before you intend to drive it, to allow the defrosters to kick it. This will make it easier for the ice and snow to scrape and wipe off. Also be sure your windshield wipers are clear of ice and are still functional. You may need to buy new windshield wipers in the winter for better window clearing in snowy weather.

Always Drive Slower Than the Speed Limit

Even though the sign says 40 mile per hour, anyone who attempt these speeds in snow or on ice can be sure to lose control of their vehicle at some point. Accelerated speeds will cause the tires to lose traction on the road, sending a vehicle in a sliding motion, and possibly spinning out of control. This is a highly dangerous circumstance that can easily result in severe injury or death if the car strikes a tree or post. Subtract, at the very least, ten to fifteen miles from a speed limit sign when driving in harsh weather conditions, including freezing rain, snow, and ice.

Pumping the Brakes

If you are driving along the road and attempt to stop at a red light, only to discover that you have lost traction and the car is starting to slide; just pump the brakes, lightly and evenly, until control is regained and the vehicle is stopped. This does not work at high speeds, which is why speeding in snow and ice is so dangerous. Drive slowly, and pump the brakes to regain traction in your tires.

Vehicle Maintenance and Care

Be sure your car is well-maintained and in good condition before taking it out on dangerous and icy roads. You so not want to be stranded in a snow storm because your tires pop or your engine fails. It is highly suggested to get your tires balanced and rotated for the winter; as well as, your oil changed, filters replaced, and more. This way you know you can rely on your ride to get you from one destination to another, safely.

If Snow Gets the Best of You and Your Vehicle…

If poor driving conditions cause you to get stuck or be involved in a car accident, you have some reliable options for fast assistance. Simply contact a

As history tells it, this time of year is certainly no stranger to snow. In fact, it looks like we will see snow as early as the first full week of December this year! During times of heavy or persistent snow showers, the roads and highways become a sheet of ice, or puddle of slush and snow. Excess snow makes the driving conditions much more difficult, so it is important to learn how to adjust.

Driving safely in snow or ice is not easy. It requires a lot of practice, and most importantly, patience. If you are a new driver, it is highly encouraged to practice driving in snowy an icy conditions as soon as possible; this way, you are prepared and not threatened by winter, season after season. Continue reading to learn some tips on how to drive a car safely when there is snow and ice on the roads.

Thoroughly Clear Off Windows and Windshields BEFORE Driving

It is vital to clear off all snow and ice from a vehicle’s windows and windshields. If a driver cannot see properly, there is no chance they can see and steer on an icy road. It is recommended to start your car a few minutes before you intend to drive it, to allow the defrosters to kick it. This will make it easier for the ice and snow to scrape and wipe off. Also be sure your windshield wipers are clear of ice and are still functional. You may need to buy new windshield wipers in the winter for better window clearing in snowy weather.

Always Drive Slower Than the Speed Limit

Even though the sign says 40 mile per hour, anyone who attempt these speeds in snow or on ice can be sure to lose control of their vehicle at some point. Accelerated speeds will cause the tires to lose traction on the road, sending a vehicle in a sliding motion, and possibly spinning out of control. This is a highly dangerous circumstance that can easily result in severe injury or death if the car strikes a tree or post. Subtract, at the very least, ten to fifteen miles from a speed limit sign when driving in harsh weather conditions, including freezing rain, snow, and ice.

Pumping the Brakes

If you are driving along the road and attempt to stop at a red light, only to discover that you have lost traction and the car is starting to slide; just pump the brakes, lightly and evenly, until control is regained and the vehicle is stopped. This does not work at high speeds, which is why speeding in snow and ice is so dangerous. Drive slowly, and pump the brakes to regain traction in your tires.

Vehicle Maintenance and Care

Be sure your car is well-maintained and in good condition before taking it out on dangerous and icy roads. You so not want to be stranded in a snow storm because your tires pop or your engine fails. It is highly suggested to get your tires balanced and rotated for the winter; as well as, your oil changed, filters replaced, and more. This way you know you can rely on your ride to get you from one destination to another, safely.

If Snow Gets the Best of You and Your Vehicle…

If poor driving conditions cause you to get stuck or be involved in a car accident, you have some reliable options for fast assistance. Simply contact a local towing company for towing or 24 hour roadside assistance service. They can help you on the spot, or tow your vehicle to your house or to the auto repair shop of your choice. And since they work around the clock, there are always there to help regardless of time or day. Some towing companies work 365 days a year, including national holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas!