May 122012

If you watch the news or read it online, you should be familiar with the recent batch of car recalls. You may think your car is safe from the recall menace, but don’t celebrate just because your dealer hasn’t sent you anything in the mail. However, there are still ways that you can do your part in ensuring the safety of your car.

If you bought your car new from a reputable dealership, contact them to see if you car is on the recall list. Get in touch with other dealers who also carry the make and model of car you purchased if your dealer’s out of business. The manufacturer’s website is one of the best authorities when checking if your make and model is up for recall. You will most likely be pushed back to the dealer, so be prepared for this should your car be up for recall.

If your car is on the recall list, that’s the time to set up an appointment for the repair. It would be more polite to schedule an appointment rather than just walking in. This gives the dealership time to order parts, staff accordingly, and ensure that they’re giving your vehicle enough time to make the repair. You just might fall asleep waiting if you walk in.

Next thing to do is to have all your ducks conveniently in a row – ask them how long the repair would take, if you would need to loan a car, and if the repair is going to cost you – it shouldn’t. You shouldn’t pay because it is their defect that led to the recall. Their fault, they pay. The dealership, though, may not be able to let you rent a car for free if the repairs would take one night or more. You should have other choices. One such option would be a shuttle service. A shuttle service would be able to drop by for you before work once you drop off the car, then return for you after work. Regardless if you wait, take the shuttle or rent a loaner, being without your car, even for a few hours is tough, so plan ahead.

Documentation is essential whenever your car ends up on the recall list. Keep every piece of paperwork that you get regarding your car. Print out and save any email correspondence you have with the dealership or manufacturer, as well as any vital information found on a website. Also keep any estimates or receipts for the work. This may be the most important part of the recall process, so keep everything in order! If you have disputes regarding the cost of repairs or safety of your car, you will need this file.

All the tips above are applicable only for newer vehicles. If you are driving a used car, you will need to verify whether it is still covered by the recall. Don’t jump into any hasty conclusions. And take note that different models would have different reasons behind the recall. Don’t go rushing in like a fool, read up on the issue at hand and find out what it is before having your car repaired. Know what the problem is going in, how they intend to fix it, and keep any proof that shows the issue has been repaired.

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May 082012

There are a few simple ways to perform little tasks on your car without destruction or complexities. Every level of experience for car repairs is addressed in several different manuals whether online, or in a book. A drastic improvement in the resale of a car and the overall performance can be achieved through small maintenance performed by the owner.

Although DIY automotive maintenance cannot replace a regular service at the shop, it can help maintain a car between services, and help stretch out the service intervals if budget constraints require more time between servicing.

Clean battery posts, new windshield wipers, and properly filled fluids under the hood of the car are all easy maintenance jobs that can be performed by the car owner to save a trip to the mechanics.

A radiator flush keeps corrosion from building up inside the radiator, ensuring that the cooling system in the car works properly. Radiator flushes are an easy way to participate in DIY maintenance of your car, using the right items, from the comfort of your home.

Changing brake pads and discs is pretty straightforward for most people who can handle tools. Pad replacements can be pinpointed by how much pressure you have to apply before your car stops, or a squeaking sound your car makes every time you brake. Many local automotive parts retailers have a variety of brand name and off brand items for your car.

Keeping the ABS sensors clean can prevent the ABS warning light from switching on and leading the owner to believe the brakes needed to be serviced. After you realize where the sensors are, it is easy to wipe them off to keep from having another false alarm. Often this simple job prevents an expensive trip to the repair shop. Take the car into a dealership or shop to check the performance of the car after a maintenance light turns on.

Improving fuel efficiency, car performance, and the prevention of costly affairs are easy to do by the replacement of fuel and air filters. In conclusion to changing air and fuel filters, it is important to have common knowledge about the tools being used.

Oil changes requires the removal of all old oil and for the sump to be filled with clean oil. Oil changes are rather filthy tasks that will clean and maintain the life of the engine.

Practice safety by making sure the car will not roll or move with proper security of tires before beginning. Use an extremely low skateboard or slider for under the car. Otherwise a rubber mat on the ground offers protection from dirt and scrapes.

Car parts are not as hard to replace as it may seem. Just remember the order in which everything was removed, put it back in reverse order, and make sure you use every nut and bolt you took off. Every part of a car is just as important as the next one.

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May 082012

It’s not impossible to slid across an icy road or be unable to see out a foggy windshield.

During the winter months, dangerous driving conditions will increase. Be positive that your car will be up to the test.

Your tires are the first things you need to think about. If you want to avoid feeling frightened that your car has little traction during these weather conditions, then it’s best to put on a set of winter tires. The winter tires today are designed to reduce the risk of slipping and also allows better traction. Keep in mind that the tires are the only part of your vehicle that touches the ground.

Besides getting the right tires, appropriate car maintenance is also important. If you want to be safe on the icy roads, then it’s good to adopt good maintenance practices.

Making sure your tires are properly inflated, rotated, aligned and replacing them whenever necessary is an important thing to consider, regardless of the season. But pressure is reduced when the air inside a tire contracts, and this usually happens when temperatures drop. That’s why it’s vital to check your tire pressure often during winter months. Over inflation or under inflation will cause trouble because it will lessen the gripping action due to the tread not meeting the road surface as it’s supposed to.

When tires have not moved in at least 3 hours or have been driven less than a mile, then they should be checked weekly.

A certified automotive technician should also check components like exhaust, batteries, heating and defrosting systems, and engine. Also remember to keep the vehicle’s main fluids filled to the recommended levels.

Keeping your gas tanks full is also a good idea because not only does it add helpful weight, it also helps to lessen moisture problems within the fuel system.

You’ll feel safer and thankful for the feeling of control while you’re driving knowing that your winter tires are given the right maintenance.

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May 062012

Even though installing speaker is an easy process, cars have their own type of car speaker installation. Installing speakers usually take about an hour or even less. Depending on the vehicle, the intricacy of the installation will vary. Speakers can either be installed in the dash, doors or rear deck, and it’s also depending on the vehicle.

You should also consider safety when installing speakers. Damage, injuries, and added costs can be caused if speakers are not installed properly. As for the protection of hearing/vision, it should be used as necessary.

Here are some fundamental steps that should be considered when you install speakers. But keep in mind that extra steps may be required for some vehicles. Regardless of the location of speakers in your vehicle and the location for mounting that’s noted here, in the end the methods should still be comparable.

Ascertain if the vehicle has speaker grilles that are removable if you are to install on the dash or door. If the grilles are removable, then here’s what you have to do: utilize appropriate tools to remove the grilles, remove the screw that are holding the speakers in, disconnect and connect the speaker harness to the new speaker, plug speaker harness, set speaker in the opening, reinstall using the screws for mounting, then replace the grille. You need to make sure that window operation won’t be interfered and affected by the speaker’s depth once you’ve installed in the door.

The dash pads or door panel will have to be removed if the grilles are not removable. Just pay close attention to any screws or clips that are removed. Aside from following the same steps above, you will also need to reinstall the door panel or dash pads. The screws that can be mounted in the armrest, behind the trim panels or inside the door latch space are what you need to be aware of when you’re removing the door panel. Raise the panel up after all the screws are removed so you can disconnect any wiring harnesses.

Determine if the speakers are top-mounted or bottom mounted if you’re installing rear deck speakers because this will help you determine your steps. For top-mounted speakers, what you need to do is remove the grilles and screws that’s holding the speaker in, disconnect speaker harness then connect it to the new speaker, plug in the harness, mount the speaker and replace the grilles. Reach in the trunk then remove the screws mounting the speaker if these are speakers are bottom-mounted. When that’s done, follow the basic steps above.

To check the operation of the new speakers, turn on the radio.

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May 062012

Most cars have AC in order to make summer driving more enjoyable. Everyone suffers when an AC goes in a vehicle in the Summer. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in five o clock traffic with no air conditioner.

In order to conserve fuel, turning on the AC is a no-no, but it’s it’s hot, you may have to. If the car overheats, dangerous things can happen, but if the driver is overheated, road rage can happen. The air conditioner of your vehicle requires almost eight horsepower to function. This does consume fuel. You may need to turn the AC on. When the window is down, a drag will be created, forcing the car to work harder.

How does it all work?

Your air conditioner for your automobile works in the same way your window A/C works. Freon gets sealed. Then, a compressor pressurizes the Freon. The heat around the unit is absorbed as this happens. The hot gas is then dispersed over a series of coils and tubes. Contrary to popular belief, the unit doesn’t produce cold air, it just absorbs hot air. When pressure on the Freon is reduced the gas gets extremely cold and turns to a liquid. Newer models of vehicles use environmentally friendly Freon. It is now not illegal to work on these systems without a special license.

There are several components to the operation of the coolant system.

There is the compressor which is the main part of your air conditioning system. The compressor compresses the Freon. To run, the compressor is connected by a belt to the engine. The clutch is in the compressor and gets turned on when you flip on the AC.

The A/C unit has a condenser that is like a tiny radiator usually located next to the vehicle’s big radiator. The radiator pushes cool air in the car. This air can get super cold so there is a thermal expansion valve that controls the super cool air flow. This is how you will choose the temperature. There is an accumulator that acts as a safety for your system, a filter to collect sludge that collects from the system and different sensors depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle.

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May 042012

Hybrid cars, quite plainly, are environmentally-safe cars, and owning one can make the owner look like a forward-thinking sort to people in the community. But what is it exactly? Does it run on gas, electric, both? If it’s electric, how do I charge the battery? That’s too big for our living room, my folks would kick me out! And is it really as environmentally friendly as it’s cracked up to be? If these and other questions have been puzzling you, read on.

Distinguishing Hybrids

A hybrid is a car that uses at least two power sources to operate. The typical hybrid car is electrically powered, as well as gasoline powered. Hybrids are typically classified in one of three categories: mild, full, and plug-in.

Mild hybrid vehicles rely heavily on the internal combustion engine to power the car. The electric motor would be more of an additional source of electric power than anything else. You can use the electric motor to fully control a full hybrid. This wouldn’t happen too often, as the electric motor can only be used exclusively if less power is required. Most of the time both engine and motor would work in tandem. A Plug-in is a similar to other hybrids but with a much larger battery. It will be your option whether to use a charging station or to charge the battery at home. In this case, the internal combustion engine is more of a backup engine, meaning this type of hybrid would be the most fuel-efficient.

How Can A Hybrid Car Help You?

First of all, you can benefit because of the average hybrid’s outstanding fuel economy. Ergo, you get more bang for your buck, traveling longer distances and spending less money for gas. But for the green-thinking amongst us, hybrids also reduce the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere. Consider these figures – hybrid vehicles normally emit 80 percent less contaminant gas when compared to standard vehicles. Motor vehicles are a major contributor to an air pollution called greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases are indeed a buzzword in the earth-friendly community – a bad one, because they are believed to be the main culprit behind global warming. Global warming is said to affect weather patterns, causing more frequent and damaging storms. This is a direct result of greenhouse gases damaging our ozone layer, the part of our atmosphere that protects us from the sun’s cancer-giving ultraviolet rays. You kill two birds with one stone through hybrid vehicles – one, you save the environment, and two, you save on gas money with much better mileage.

Hybrids are smaller cars, often compact ones – something to bear in mind. If you are very tall or have a larger stature, you may find that many hybrids are not comfortable for you to handle. This would hamper one’s capacity to go at a safe and slow pace. Safety outweighs all other benefits when it comes to driving. And before you set some money aside to buy yourself a hybrid just because your neighbors, friends and coworkers have one, don’t do so without researching! The hybrid market is one that is ever-growing. An SUV hybrid may be a better bet for you.

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Apr 282012

There are a variety of items that are brought to the market each year to enhance your car with. Many accessories are simple and improve the way people may drive. Few car owners buy items for their own delight to enhance their driving experience. Many accessories are designed to make the driving experience more comfortable, and others are created to enhance performance.

Practical accessories include car seat covers, which, although they can be decorative, will preserve the underlying upholstery and improve the resale value of the car. Seat covers can save seats from being stained or torn by pets or children.

To extend the life of exterior paint and reduce the chance of exterior blemishes on your car, a car cover is perfect for cars that have no protection from the outdoors. Likewise, sunshades used to protect the dashboard and steering wheel from the sun prevents cracking and fading, not to mention keep the car cooler and enable the driver to touch the steering wheel without blistering. Velour, carpet and suede are all options for dashboard covers.

If you use a cell-phone while driving it is vital to the safety to you and other drivers to purchase a Bluetooth or a hands-free cell-phone system for your car. The driver may still need to press a button or two, but at least they are not trying to juggle a phone while driving.

Increasing desired visual examination of a car is an easy goal. There are items that can improve the look of every inch of your car for both the exterior and interior. Tools to customize your car are offered on the market at affordable prices for any car owner.

There are kits available that completely overhaul the interior of the car, in any color the owner may want. A car can be kitted with neon colored carpets, door panels, dashboard cover and trim, gear stick cover, seat and steering wheel covers to completely transform the interior.

Convenience and ease of use are important factors when choosing accessories. Even things as simple as cup holders and bluetooth adapters make a drive more enjoyable. Accessories that provide for an easier trip include a few item holders and small lights and notepads.

The choice of accessories depends on what the car owner wants to achieve. Customized exhaust pipes, and other car parts can increase the chance of positive vehicle performance. Excellent sound equipment is a must for most drivers.

The car market provides an assortment of enhancing accessories to personalize or improve your driving experience. From as little as $4 for a pen holder, everyone can afford to accessorize their car.

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Apr 272012

Have you noticed the thickness of the air in your car? Road works, other cars and the sheer amount of good old everyday dust the gets into your car can make driving a pain. Add in the number of drivers who also smoke an the air quality within their vehicles is already plummeting. If you are tired of breathing in road dust and fumes then an in car air purifier is just what you are looking for.

Cabin air filter and combustion air filters are the two main types of air purification systems that are available on the market. Both of these in car purification packages can help to make the air inside of your car more breathable. However, the downside to these purification packages is that they are not as potent as the home purification systems that you can buy for your house. The filters in a portable car purification system will remove the bigger particles from the air but, unfortunately, let the smaller particles through.

The filters are designed to remove harmful particles from the air that you breathe inside your car. Lots of drivers drive with their windows up in hopes of avoiding as many harmful particles as possible. Many drivers who suffer from allergies have noticed that their symptoms get worse in relation to the amount of dust and smog in the air. The quality of the air inside your car can have an impact if you are a sufferer of asthma.

You have a massive range of air purification packages to choose from. You would expect to be able to buy a decent portable air purifier for your car for about $200 as long as you take your needs into account. Each different brand of air purifier attaches to the inside of your car at a different point. Research has proven that the position of your air purifier doesn’t factor into it’s effectiveness, this means that you can take a little extra time in choosing the perfect system for you depending on where you want to position it.

Requiring no other power source than your car’s cigarette lighter makes them handy to use. Most purification systems are designed to be largely unnoticeable to those in the car and are also designed to run quietly. When you are considering which purification system to buy two things you should really think about are how easy it is to use and how effective they are.

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Apr 272012

In certain parts of the country it is compulsory for cars to pass a yearly inspection. The inspections are for the safety of both the passenger and the driver of the car. The inspection will make sure that the headlights, brake lights, exhaust and brakes are all functioning correctly. If a car fails it’s inspection, the parts that are faulty need to be replacing with working parts. Replacing and repairing all the problems in your car to make sure it passes its inspection can be very costly. The car will receive and upgraded sticker once all the necessary repairs and replacements have been made and the driver will then be allowed to continue driving the car.

The origin of any replacement parts does not matter as long as the fix the issues with the car. Salvage and scrap yards are great places to find the parts you need without paying the cost of new parts. Fitting the parts you have bought yourself is a great way of saving money, but if you are unsure of your abilities it is best to have a mechanic fit the for you. It is worthwhile searching for pre-owned auto parts as buying them new can cost a lot of money. Buying new parts could also mean you end up waiting whilst they get delivered which could mean being without your car for a few days or even a few weeks.

The yearly inspection is another way for you car to be tested to make sure that it will pass an emissions test. The tests involving a car’s exhaust are strictly monitored in an attempt to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants being pumped into the atmosphere. An oxygen sensor is of utmost importance in these tests. As technology increases the amount of chemicals being put into the air by cars had decreased. These factors have helped to raise air quality. The air filters that stop harmful chemicals from entering your vehicle need to be in working order before you car can pass its yearly inspection.

To make sure that essential parts of your car are working fine the Muffler, cold air intake, shocks and other vital components will be checked during the inspection. It is vital that the you look after your car properly by replacing all the parts that need to be replaced as soon as they need replacing. This can help you to save money over a long period. If you aren’t lucky enough to own a garage for you car then buy a set of car covers is a cheap way of keeping your car protected from the weather. A car cover will help to limit the amount of rust that you car may acquire which will play a part in whether your car passes or fails the inspection. Other auto accessories may enhance the image of your car, but will do nothing to help it pass its inspection.

Passing this inspection means that you can drive your car for another year, until it is ready for the next inspection. It is a great money saving idea to do repairs to your car as and when the need doing, this will help to keep the cost during your inspection at a minimum. Even a basic car inspection costs money, so you will want to pass without the need for any pricey repairs.

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Apr 272012

As your car goes through time and use, there are distinct smells that emanate from it. But you would know that these are the usual odors if you were the owner or driver and it isn’t something to get alarmed about. What you do need to watch out for are the types of smells or odors that seem out of the ordinary and seem to be different.

What is the usual smell that your car has?

The usual smell for most cars would be the scent of the materials used or the scent of leather. For cars that are newly purchased, this would usually apply. On the other hand, as your car goes through time and use, then there are no distinct smells that emanate from your car. But you would know that these are the usual odors if you are the owner or driver and that it would not be something to get alarmed about.

There are types of smells or odors that seem different and out of the ordinary and these are what you should be on the alert about. You need to make sure that you are aware of these smells since they could conceal something much more serious than just a smell out of place.

It could indicate that there is a leak in the exhaust system if you smell an odor emanating from your exhaust. It could mean several things such as a hole in your car’s tailpipe, exhaust pipe, exhaust manifold, or even the muffler. It could also mean that your hatchback or rear door already has a worn out seal. If this happens, you should take on the challenge immediately for you might get carbon monoxide inside your car which could get pretty deadly. It is therefore important that you bring your car to a mechanic right away.

If raw gas is what you smell, then it is possible that there is a leak in the fuel delivery system of your car. The fuel lines of your car as well as the gas tank or fuel filter could be affected. This is dangerous as well since a car fire could be sparked by any fuel leaks. By first seeking if you have put back the gas cap right on properly, then you can remedy the situation. If this does not seem to be the problem, then go straight away to your mechanic.

You may also have noticed the smell of rotten eggs and if you did, then this could mean that your catalytic converter has become unplugged. In order for you to remedy the problem, you can go see your mechanic once you smell this.

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