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
 

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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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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Apr 202012
 

When purchasing a car, there are two important things that people will most likely look at, which are mile per gallon rating and fuel efficiency. Today, these things are important for many who are searching for a vehicle since it can have a huge impact on their pocket books and the environment. These are two things that concern people the most these days.

MPG rating plays an important role because the better the rating, the more money you can have in your pocket; and almost everyone will agree that the price of gas is crazy. This is probably why most people want to make sure that the car they buy has good MPG. In addition to MPG rating, fuel efficiency is also important to many.

Fuel efficiency for a car is important, which include four reasons: saves money, decreases the changes in the climate, and reduces oil dependent cost and increases energy sustainability.

Having a car that is fuel efficient will save you a substantial amount of money, similar to a good MPG rating. When you choose a car that is efficient and meet the needs that you have, you will save as much as $1,400 in costs for fuel. That’s money that you can save or use for emergencies or for something else entirely, like a nice family vacation or a weekend getaway.

Most people nowadays take into consideration the impact that they leave on the environment so fuel efficiency has become a prime consideration for them when purchasing a car. When you decide on a fuel efficient car, you are actually reducing the effects of carbon dioxide which is a result of burning gasoline and diesel fuel, which is adding to the global climate change.

It makes everyone vulnerable to oil market management and price shocks especially since so many Americans are dependent on oil. The economy can suffer.

Almost everyone should know or be familiar with the fourth reason: oil is a non-renewable source of energy which at the rate that we are using it would be impossible to sustain. Because of this, fuel efficiency is an essential factor that people consider when buying a car.

Color, make and model as well as whether or not to get leather seats are no longer the biggest decisions that you have to make when buying a car these days. Therefore when you’re looking for your next car, keep in mind the two major things mentioned above.

With the current state of the economy and condition of the environment, it’s important that people begin to make smarter choices about what vehicles to purchase and which not to. MPG rating and fuel efficiency are two very important considerations to keep in mind. Whatever choice you make might save you money and help save the environment.

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Apr 192012
 

Two things a lot of people worry about these days are gas prices and the ever-present threat of global warming, which means hybrid cars are being touted as an alternative to the conventional automobile. Although walking and biking are more environmentally friendly, it’s not always possible to use these forms of transport – particularly if you have to carry passengers, luggage or other cargo. But automobile companies have come up with the hybrid car, a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional car.

A hybrid car has two engines – the standard internal combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor. It may not be the perfect setup when it comes to environmental safety, as disposing batteries can be dangerous, but it’s as good and as safe as it gets.

The hybrid car can be very fuel-efficient – this is its first main benefit. When you switch gears to idle and the car slows to a stop, the gas-powered engine turns off until you’re in motion again, thus saving you precious gas. Hybrid cars are specially designed with fuel efficiency features, and tend to be smaller cars, so their fuel efficiency is better even when the internal combustion engine is in use.

Hybrid cars are also exceptionally quiet running cars, partly because the engine switches to the electric mode when idling, so the engine does not make much noise, but also due to the slightly modified engines.

A lot of hybrid cars make use of kinetic energy as a means to recharge the electric motor – this happens when the car is braking. You will actually find yourself recharging your batteries on the road. Because energy used at home comes from fossil fuel, this isn’t clean energy – kinetic energy is clean and doesn’t make use of any electricity for recharging.

Anyone wanting to buy hybrid and electric cars would be pleased to know that the US Government and other countries are now offering tax exemptions to those wanting to buy these eco-friendly vehicles. There are even a few countries that have introduced SUV taxes or other similar measures to penalize drivers who use gas guzzling vehicles like the aforementioned SUVs. Eco-friendly, after all, just might be the new black, so why not encourage customers to buy cars that follow this trend?

Unlike conventional cars, hybrid cars cost more, which is why these tax breaks are a godsend to many would-be buyers. The demand, while rising, is still not high enough to justify mass manufacturing, though this may change in the near future. But with the tax breaks and what could be a large percentage of gas savings, there could be some savings passed on to you as a potential buyer.

Many people are discouraged from buying hybrid cars for several reasons – one of which is that they believe it won’t be enough to make an impact in the battle against global warning, as the government may need to do more to step up. But the next time you buy a vehicle, it would actually be a good option to buy a hybrid car, as this action in saving the earth and reducing harmful emissions is better than not taking any action at all.

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Apr 192012
 

Many thousands of families have discovered the particular joy of going on vacation with their own accommodation. Mobile homes have become extremely popular and advances in caravans over recent years have caused even more people to consider the many advantages offered by caravanning. Models are available in many different sizes and price ranger, making them attractive to a wide variety of people.

Older models were usually rather heavy and difficult to tow and handle. They were also fragile and easily damaged. Modern mobile homes, however, are lightweight and they are manufactured from superior materials that are able to withstand the rigors of towing and even extreme weather conditions. This is also why newer versions are safer and roomier.

Older, heavy models were expensive to tow, but modern designs have resulted in significant fuel savings because they are much lighter than before. Conventional holiday accommodation has also become much more expensive, making caravanning increasingly attractive for many people and families. Storage facilities have also been redesigned, allowing for better weight distribution and much better use of the space that is available.

For many people one of the biggest disadvantages of this type of holiday used to be the fact that it was necessary to do without any modern conveniences. Cooking and cleaning took up a lot of time and space was extremely limited. No more, however. Modern models are equipped with everything that is needed to make the holiday as hassle free as possible and to make sure that housekeeping chores are kept to an absolute minimum.

It is not only the mobile home that has seen significant improvements. Facilities for this sort of holidaying adventure have also sprung up everywhere. There is hardly a destination where provision has not been made for caravanning families. As with other types of accommodation there are facilities to suit just about every pocket and taste. Most modern facilities offer all the amenities, including electricity and water.

For many people the primary drawback in using conventional holiday accommodation is the fact that they are limited in terms of where they can go. It is not possible to simply decide to move on or to go elsewhere without losing deposits and other payments that are normally made in advance. Mobile homes provide freedom to come and go as one pleases.

There has been many advances in caravans over recent years and many families have come to realize that this type of holiday offer the best opportunity for truly enjoyable vacations at affordable prices. Women, especially, appreciate the fact that modern mobile homes are comfortable, easy to maintain and equipped with everything that could possibly be needed for enjoying a holiday.

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