Monthly Archives: August 2013

Now That I've Decided To Buy Another Car, What Should I Do With My Old One?

Retail value vs. Trade-in - Know right away: you are going to take a beating. You should only trade in if you just don't want the headache. Sell it yourself - Appearance is a big part of selling your car yourself. Have it detailed (usually less than $100), and make sure your car has good (and good-looking!) tires on. Maintenance - Keep good records of oil changes, repairs, maintenance, etc. Make sure there aren't any weird noises or vibrations. If helps if your fluids are topped off and clean, and make sure your car drives STRAIT! When you're preparing to sell it, know the value of your car using a NADA book and newspapers (The value is determined by miles, equipment and condition.). If you run a classified ad, price the car a few hundred dollars more than you want, so that you can negotiate with potential buyers

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Car Care Tips

Should an oil change be just changing oil?

As I've mentioned before on this website, car repair is a lot like medicine. When you're sick and have to visit the doctor's office, you can choose to have an orderly check your illness, or you can have a qualified doctor review the problems with your health. An oil change at a discount oil and lube joint is like going to a doctor's office that doesn't have a doctor on duty. At reputable shops, ASE certified technicians are on staff in case potential problems are spotted by the lube department. It's just like a physical exam or health check-up. You should also understand the difference between ASE Certification and what most discount oil change places say they have. They may claim to have certified people working there, but more often than not, they're in-house certified! ASE Certified technicians are the cream of the crop in auto repair...they're the ones who have spent the time studying and testing to become the absolute best. It's not easy, and it's not for everyone! An ... read more

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Car Care Tips

My car makes the strangest noise. Is it dangerous?

ecause a car is mechanical, it can develop noises or vibrations when something is wrong. What kind of noise is your car making? Don't be afraid to make the same noise for your technician (even if it's humerous)...Clicky clicky, squeal, groaning, etc. The best solution is to note when it makes the noise or vibration... time temp speed bumps RPMs gear location while under power or coasting braking, etc. Go to the most reputable shop and get the tech or service writer to go for a ride with you and demonstrate the noise or vibration to them. They are blind without your help to identify the noise you're hearing. You know best what your car sounds like normally. And remember: Test-drive the car after you pick it up to make sure they nailed it

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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 Keep Safe On the Roads

Is being a safe driver all it takes to avoid accidents? Although this is a great start, driving defensively takes safe driving to a whole new level. Allstate has released its Collision Prevention Formula to help teach people techniques that will decrease the chances of getting into an accident. There are several defensive driving techniques that will alleviate dangers and help you drive safely: Know, Show, Slow, Go. Know the rules for intersections and know which way you plan on going before you arrive at the intersection. Think about what you need to do at each stage of the traffic signal. For instance, if you are going to be turning right, think about the possibility of pedestrians crossing the street in front of you. Show your intentions with signals and proper lane position before entering it. Don't leave other drivers any doubt as to what you plan to do. When entering into a turn lane, be sure to enter at the appropriate time and do not signal too soon or too late. Doing ... read more

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General

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance for Your Vehicle

Although most car maintenance should be left to an ASE Certified Technician, some regular monthly checks will protect your vehicle from incurring any serious unexpected problems on the road. Make sure to take some time to get familiar with what is under the hood of your car and stop by an auto repair shop in Vacaville if you have questions. Check hoses and belts – Check your hoses and belts for cracking. Hoses connect engine parts that don’t always move in relation to each other, so the hoses should be flexible. Brittle or cracked hoses should be replaced by an ASE certified technician to prevent failure. Your belts are also rubber and will wear over time. Check the tension of your belts by giving them a gentle tug. They should have very little play. Examine the belts and look for any sign of cracking or fraying – in either case you should have the belt inspected and replaced. Check fluid levels ... read more

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General

Maintaining Your Transmission

The automatic transmission is one of the most complicated parts of the vehicle, and the second most expensive component to replace. You can probably see why it’s important to take care of your transmission and make sure it’s in great shape! What causes transmission problems? Overheating is the cause of most transmission troubles. Overheating can occur when towing a heavy load, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop-and-go traffic in hot weather, racing, and other activities that work the transmission hard. At high temperatures, the transmission fluid loses its lubricating power, which could result in premature failure. When that happens, the next step is a transmission rebuild or replacement…SCARY! Ways to Prevent Damage Luckily, taking care of your transmission isn’t hard. Just taking a few extra steps can go a long way in preventing problems with your transmission. - Never shift to Reverse or Park until the car comes ... read more

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General

MPG Advice

Do you cringe every time you arrive at the gas pumps and see how much it’s going to hurt your wallet to fill up this time? There are some ways that you can add some extra miles to the gallons of fuel your vehicle consumes. Some ways require you to purchase something to help your car out, while others ways are simple driving tips, either of which will have significant long term effects. Figures from the Car Care Council state that almost 1 out of every 5 vehicles today either has a faulty gas cap or not even one at all. Gas caps are designed to seal the fuel system and if it is not able to perform that function, then you are losing gas through evaporation. Tire pressure plays a significant role in how much work your car must do to keep its speed up. Under-inflated tires hold your car back and cause you to use more fuel to maintain a certain speed. Your ASE certified mechanic in Vacaville can check your tire pressure for you. Engines are designed to have a very ... read more

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General

Does Your Vehicle Need Transmission Repair?

Transmission repair can be expensive, but without a properly working transmission, your vehicle cannot run. Both manual and automatic transmissions ensure that power moves from the vehicle's engine to the wheels. Your vehicle's engine works at speeds called RPMs or Revolutions per Minute. The transmission's job is to transmit power to the wheels while keeping the engine's RPMs in the optimal range. It does this through a complicated combination of gears and parts that recognize changes in speed and RPMs and move accordingly to optimize the vehicle's energy. If the transmission isn't shifting the gears properly, you'll notice a bumpy ride because the energy isn't transmitting smoothly from the engine to the wheels. The vehicle may buck or stall, or you'll hear grinding noises from underneath the vehicle. If the transmission is really in trouble, you may even see smoke issuing from it. All of these signs are indicators of problems and should be checked by a mechanic immediately. Fi ... read more

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General

Keep Your Car, It's Worth It!

A new automobile, for most people, is their second largest investment (next to a home). A great way to save money and increase financial assets is to hang on to that vehicle, rather than purchase a new one every few years. With proper maintenance, it’s very common and inexpensive to get 150,000 miles from a vehicle, if not more. The Car Care Council estimates that $60 billion in vehicle maintenance or repair is not performed every year. This is evidence that there is considerably more that consumers can be doing to protect the investment they made on their automobile. “Whether it’s an oil change, replacing brakes or new belts and hoses, that periodic repair bill is a drop in the bucket compared to monthly payments on a car,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “The bottom line is that a properly maintained vehicle is safe, more dependable, more fuel efficient, less polluting and more valuable.” Figures from Runzheimer International, a management-consult ... read more

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General
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