Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Travel Safety Kit for the Car

I recently came up with a list for travel safety for my car. I think it's a pretty complete list for just about any car trip you can take! First Aid Kit Blanket Some tools A flare Flashlight Jumper cables And a cell phone Got any kids coming along, too? Snacks Wet wipes Kleenex Drinks Art supplies Game Boy and a TV and movies

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Car Care Tips

Don't Rock Your Automatic Transmission When You're Stuck

If you're stuck in the mud or snow (or whatever comes your way!), don't rock your car to free yourself! When people get mad and rock their car back and forth to free themselves, they abuse their cars. Weak or borderline problems show up with the stress caused by trying to free your car like this. The next time you're stuck, dig out or call a tow truck. It will be easier on your wallet. What to do when transmission problems show up: Get it inspected and serviced right away Watch for: Abnormal shifting Weird noises or clunking New vibrations Normal scheduled maintenance you should do: Flush your transmission every 15,000 to 25,000 miles. Have an ASE Certified tech test drive your car once or twice a year

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Car Care Tips

Is your car worth repairing?

So, you've been told your car needs expensive repairs. Should you repair it or trade it? Let's examine some issues that need to be considered... The fact is, some people keep their car too long, and some trade too often. A JD Power study revealed that a person would save over $450,000 during their lifetime if they kept their cars an average of 10 years. Maintaining the car during the 10 year period would cost between $800 to $1200 per year. But this investment would save nearly a half a million dollars in new car buying costs, interest, insurance, registration, taxes, and depreciation over a lifetime. Another study showed that consumers loose over $20 billion per year in fraudulent auto repairs. Solution: If you are near a great auto technician, car dealer and financial analyst, you have a pretty good chance of making good decisions about repairing your car. We would like to give you a list of how to scientifically determine what to do about this issue ... read more

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Car Care Tips

My battery is dead!

We have ALL experienced a dead battery, whether in the cold weather or not. Cold weather is the time most car batteries fail, but battery failure is not exclusive to the cold! A battery service and test is the best insurance you can buy to keep you form being stranded next winter! THE PROBLEM Extreme temperatures stress your car -- especially the starting system. In the winter, when you have a cold engine, cold oil and a cold battery...well, it's a bad combination. Weak batteries are caused by Corroded battery cables Lose alternator belt Leaving the lights on Age (average battery life is 4-5 years) THE SOLUTION Test and inspect the battery every fall Clean battery terminals and cable ends Clean the battery case Watch the acid though - it can burn your hands, and ruin your car paint If you get stuck with a dead battery... To jump start, connect red to red/black to black OR + to + and - to -. BE CARE ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Used Car Buyers Checklist

Don't Fall in love with the car before you've done your homework. Let someone else take the depreciation hit. (2-3 yrs old is best) Walk around the car and check paint, body panel gaps for evenness, chips, dents, etc. Check maintenance history (any records). Contact the previous owner (get the name from the title). Check the fluid condition (oil and transmission fluid should be clean and clear). Test drive the car and listen and feel for noises, vibration, and handling problems. Go to www.nada.com and check the retail price. Check the title history using the vin# at www.carfax.com. If the above checks good, have a complete mechanical inspection done by an independent shop on the vehicle. Use the items that need attention on the car, to bargain with the dealer

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Car Care Tips

How To Avoid Theft of Your Car or Contents

Don't leave a running vehicle Park in well lit or occupied areas Don't put stickers on the windows that tell thieves what you have inside (Stereo stickers on the windows, etc.) Use an alarm system and TURN IT ON...most stolen cars with alarms were left turned off Lock your doors, and close your windows and sun roofs Take your keys with you Use THE CLUB or LOW-JACK Install LED or flashing alarm dummy light Turn tires sharply before locking steering wheel Above all, don't leave your valuables in or exposed...if a professional wants your car, almost nothing will stop him

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Car Care Tips

Concerned about gas prices?

We're all concerned about gasoline prices right now and how to save money on gas. There are a few things that everybody can do right away to help save some gas money... During every change of the season, the mix of gasoline and ethanol at the pump changes. This always causes problems, especially with your fuel filter. Check and replace your fuel filter and air filter. Service your Fuel and Induction systems. They work and get clogged like a spray paint can...a perfectly working system produces a fine spray, and a clogged system dribbles or globs. To clean these systems, I recommend going a preventative maintenance service called Motorvac, which cleans out fuel and air intake systems. At the very least I recommend using a good fuel injection cleaning. Get a maintenance tune-up. If it's been a long time since you've had your spark plugs replaced, make sure your technician evaluates their status, too

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Car Care Tips

Does my car just need a Tune-Up?

If your car has driveability problems (stalling, bad mileage, roughness, etc.), a diagnosis is ALWAYS in order. Did you know that today's cars can have as many as 3 computers each controlling separate systems? If it's not already obvious, this is NOT a job for discount tire and brake shops! Specialized equipment and training is required, and you would be wise to seek out a shop with ASE Master Technicians

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Car Care Tips

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Repair Shop?

An easy way to tell how much a repair shop cares about its customers is the time its employees spend getting various certifications. Some of these certifications are more important to me than others. The 'certs' and affiliations that I believe are most important are: AAA Approved Repair Shop Automotive Service Association Gold medallion shops Member of the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) and ALWAYS make sure that the shop has ASE Certified Master Technicians A good shop will have these certifications on display when you enter the shop. REALLY good shops will also do their best to TEACH you why your car needs certain repairs. They'll take you into their bays and show you what needs fixing and teach you WHY. I can't stress this enough: You should NEVER feel like you don't know what your money is going towards...you should be able to ask questions and get REAL answers! If you're not getting this from your current shop, it's time to find a new shop with real customer SERVI ... read more

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Car Care Tips

How To Avoid Getting Ripped-off on Brakes

Many so called cheap brake shops end up selling parts or services that you don't need. Have brakes inspected and measured Every time you rotate and balance tires (every 6000 miles) By ASE Certified tech Be sure to keep record of dates and measurements Find a good shop, which will teach you about brakes before you need them, and who will answer your questions. It is also important to flush your brake system regularly: ABS - annually Non-ABS - every 2 years When cloudy or contaminated (brake fluid absorbs water from atmosphere) I also recommend always installing premium parts...there only two things you always want your car to do: Go and Stop. Generic isn't always the best value

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Car Care Tips
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