7 Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

We rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to be. This means long hours on the road and lots of wear and tear on out vehicles – so by rights, auto repair services must be a part of our anticipated expenses. However, these vehicle repairs don’t have to a constant part of life. There are a number of proactive things we can do to keep the time spent at the mechanic’s shop to a minimum.

If you have never considered being proactive about auto maintenance, then now is the time to do so. Better yet, you don’t have to be an auto repair service specialist or have a huge garage full of tools to do these simple tasks. Rather, just some basic knowledge and tools will suffice. Let’s get started.

Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

1. Read the manual. Your vehicle manual will tell you things like how often to change the oil, what to watch for in how your engine is running and many other useful facts. Knowing and following them will save you a great deal of aggravation.

2. As soon as your engine light comes on, take it in for a diagnostic check. Taking care of small problems will prevent larger more costly ones.

3. Change the oil, add water, maintain the anti-freeze and keep up with any other liquids that need to be added to the car. This will keep its performance better and minimize risk of damage to other parts of the vehicle.

4. Keep your tires at the correct weight and amount of air. This information will be listed in your owner’s manual. Also, be sure to get them rotated as recommended. Failing to do any of this can result in a blowout.

5. Pay attention when you drive. Watch out for items on the road that can damage the wheels, or kick up into the workings of your vehicle.

6. Get your transmission serviced. Talk to the people who change the oil to find out how often this is recommended for your particular vehicle.

7. If you notice unusual sounds being made by your vehicle while you are driving, or if it seems to be shaking unnecessarily, take it in for a checkup. It’s always best to be told it is nothing to stress over than to ignore the sounds/shaking and find out there was serious problem or repair that could have been prevented.

When you take the time to maintain your vehicles, then you can minimize the time and money spent on auto repair services. To learn additional ways to get more out of your particular vehicle(s) talk to a local auto repair service team today.

Repair Mercruiser Parts

Mercruiser

Mercruiser is the leading producer of gasoline-powered stern drivers and inboards. The company has been active in this industry for the past forty years. They have a stellar reputation as being reliable and a customer driven company. Mercruisers are sold both domestically and internationally, and offer customers warranties, and technical support.

What is an inboard motor?

An inboard motor is a car engine. It is a fixed propulsion system; an individual is driving a drive system that works via a gearbox with external features. An outboard engine is one that is directly connected to the drive system.

Mercruiser Inboards

Mercruiser is the major player in the gas engine business. Mercruiser inboards are popular because of their ease of use and ease to maintain. These inboards offer a range of power and are used both in cars and boats. A mercruiser engine works the same way a car engine does. The inboard engine is a water-cooled, separate lubrication system, and cylinder formation.

Repair Mercruiser Parts

Mercruiser engines for the most part are very reliable, but when it comes to car engines, or other parts for that matter, something can and will usually go wrong. Things eventually break down and stop working. Even though you might be a genuine car lover and aficionado that does not necessarily mean that you are a car mechanic. Engines and that parts that compose it, can be very complicated. Replacing many of these parts can be an issue and a headache; so many times it is important to take the car to a profession to deal with it.

The first thing you should do, before searching on your own for a mechanic is to take a close look at your owner’s manual. The manual many times will be able to offer you tips and advice on maintenance, and give you enough information to make an informed decision. Many times the manual will have numbers of recommended places that will be able to service your car, and it since it is in the manual they should be reliable places.

There are a couple of things that you may want to try first, before taking the car into the shop for repair. If your engine does not turn over it could be due to a dead battery. Check the battery and make sure that it is fully charged. If you turn the ignition key and it does not activate, it probably means that you are getting no voltage to the dash and or to the key switch. This implies that you might have a blown ignition fuse, a dislodged circuit breaker, a loose or damaged harness plug. You may want to unplug it and then put it back in. This might do the trick. Your engine also has a red circuit breaker button, push the button, you have to really push it hard, the breaker can sometimes pop out of the harness if it is overloaded, and doing this can resolve the problem with this part. If this does not work, then unfortunately, you are probably looking at a bigger issue and will need to take the car into the shop for repair.

The reason an individual purchases a mercruiser engine is because of its reliability. They are products that are cheaper and of less quality, but it is always better to use the best in an industry. When these parts need to be repaired it is more important that you get the best people to fix it. The important thing is make sure you find someone who is qualified and licensed to work on your engine.

Volkswagen and its Top-Down Approach in Launching Cars in India

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker is employing a top-down approach in launching cars in India. And within the span of two years the automaker plans to bring its small car followed by what seems to be a mini car under the Maruti 800 category to India.

After recently announcing that it will start introducing the all new Passat as its entry vehicle in India, Volkswagen plans to launch next what it calls the A-Class, the Golf, and its derivatives. According to Pierre Bruedgam, a member of the board purchasing, Volkswagen India, “We will launch a new car every year. This year, it is the Passat sedan, a B class car, which will be launched in September. And for next year, the A Class, which comprises the Golf and its derivatives are going to be launch. It will then be followed by volume segment small car which will be offered as notchback and hatchback for 2009. In our terminology, the small car is A Zero Class. We are also looking at the A Zero Class, which is the equivalent of the Maruti 800.”

Mr. Bruedgam was in Pune for the inauguration of it’s off site office and at the same time was looking for some interested local sourcing for the e410 million, 110,000-capacity car plant at Chakan. Volkswagen India is expecting to reach the 110,000 capacity by 2009 as it launched its small car, the Golf and its derivatives.

And since India is considered to be more of a sedan market, Volkswagen India would first try to sell sedans like the Passat and then follow it up with the Golf and its derivatives. For a great part of its proposed lineup the automaker is expected to retain 55:45 ratios between diesel and petrol. Mr. Bruedgam further added, “We will begin our sourcing activities from April, first for the cars to be made here and then for the global market.”

Volkswagen officials after visiting India saw that a single purchase office may not be enough and said that they may need to open other offices in the other two auto hubs located in Delhi and Chennai. VW officials have also stated that logistics is an important consideration when sourcing for global operations if the company aims to remain competitive. They also added that Europe’s largest automaker may also get some of their metal products from India particularly for its needed volume products. And since a great number of VW cars are expected to be sold in India, the automaker would also make sure that aftersales services such as repairs are made available to the customers that is, aside from the Volkswagen Repair Manuals that goes with the vehicles.

Mr. Bruedgam also said that the localization program being employed by Volkswagen expects to obtain 50% local content hopefully at the start of production in 2009. In terms of its volumes car, the automaker is expecting an increase of 75% by the year 2011. Dr. John Chacko, a member of the board technical, VW India, said, “We will source from India for volume models like the Golf and its derivatives, where the same part can be used. VW is expanding its platform theme to a module strategy, which allows us to use the module anywhere in the world.” Other VW group companies like Audi and Skoda are also expected to source out from India.

Auto Repair Shop Software – Computer Software For Auto Repairs

With the computer age taking over, more and more businesses are turning to software and other technology to use in their shops. All the old 500 page repair manuals and guides are being put on their shelves and left to build dust until someone desires their hard bound qualities.

It’s no wonder that auto shops are one of the biggest buyers of the new software available today. It was not until the recent past 15 years that auto shops really started to get into the technological swing of things. Once a few companies had produced easy to navigate auto repair shop software, mechanics everywhere fleeted to the stores to get their copies.

Auto repair shop software makes the job of a well trained mechanic much easier, giving diagnostic tips and info, wiring diagrams and pictures of particular components or parts in the vehicle they have looked up. Those are basic skills in some of the older software, as new technology has produced software that can give exact labor estimates and calculate the price of needed OEM parts.

Auto repair shop software is available in its many forms, from simple repair guides to complex programs that help automobile engineers develop new ideas and products. From the cheap software to the pricey big time business programs, repair software can do just about anything you need it to do. I have even run into a few programs that will help the smaller time shop owner get into accounting and bookkeeping in their repair business.

What an amazing thing the world’s best computer programmers could produce. From the brains of the world’s best mechanics and diagram artists, this repair software has helped develop the mechanics way of life. Making well needed information easy to find and no more pages to flip through. No more old receipts with faded illegible writing. No more countless lost files or paper work. Everything can be transferred into electronic data and controlled through many of the different types of auto repair shop software.

Any shop that has not moved into the swing of the computer motion will be left in the dust. There’s no money to be made in old time auto shops that do not have the equipment or software it needs to properly handle the large amounts of customer and vehicle data that come in. This productive software makes it to easy for almost any shop to thrive and earn revenue in the busy world. Which is why you see so many little lube shops popping up everywhere. The chains thrive on software that can basically tell the auto tech how to do their job. Even many of the educational programs for working on automobiles are focused around a set of repair programs that are common in most shops.

This is also the reason you don’t see as many old time mechanic shops around either. They once relied on referrals and small towns to maintain a steady flow of business. Now those small shops have faded away as the neighborhoods grew larger, because they could not accommodate to the larger number of customers and cars that needed service. With just books and paper, even the most talented mechanic had troubles keeping up. On top of that, technology in vehicles is constantly evolving, and there is no way that a mechanic who has been working in the field for 20 years will know everything about the latest model of car.

Repair software makes getting the information you need a breeze, and help organize the mess of clients and their vehicles. It was developed for exactly that purpose, and it is understandable that almost every shop in the world is looking into purchasing or upgrading their software.

How To Repair Your Car’s Power Windows

As you’re driving down the turnpike and approaching the tollbooth, you reach for the switch to lower your window and nothing happens. The switch moves but the window does not budge. Not even a noise from the window motor can be heard which strongly suggests to you that the device is not functioning. You must stop your car and open up the door to pay the attendant before continuing on your trip. Thoughts of an expensive car repair bill are dancing through your head, putting you in a foul mood and tempering the anticipated fun of your getaway weekend. Don’t despair: you can repair the power window yourself and save a bundle over expensive dealership charges. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to fix the problem yourself and save a lot of cash in the process.

Before assuming that the window regulator must be replaced you should first rule out the possibility of dirty electrical contacts. On most cars the main power for all switches goes through the master switch located at the driver’s console. Sometimes the switch is dirty causing the window to malfunction. If this is the case, take the necessary steps to clean the contact and your problem should be resolved.

Should you determine that the contacts are clean and your switch is functioning, then it is likely that the motor has burned out and is in need of replacing. Whether you are installing a Honda window regulator or a Volkswagen window regulator, or a regulator for any other make the steps involved in replacing a window regulator are usually quite similar:

1. Remove the door panel for the affected window.

2. Locate and remove the bolts holding the regulator to the door; it is likely you will have to manually lower the window in order to access the bolts.

3. Remove the old regulator, disconnect all wiring, and replace the old regulator with a new one you have purchased from a parts supplier. Shop online to find the best value as you will pay a mint if you order one through a dealership.

4. Tighten the bolts holding the new regulator and reinstall the moisture barrier. Make sure all the wires are put back in the door before closing the door panel.

5. Engage the power window switch and the new regulator should work unimpeded.

Of course, follow your car’s repair manual for specific instructions.

I’ve given to you a general outline to convince you that this is a task that even a novice mechanic can handle – in other words: you can do it! By handling the problem yourself, you’ll save plenty of money by avoiding garages who will mark up the replacement part as well as tack on several hours of labor costs to your bill. Shop online to compare prices and to receive the best shipping and handling arrangements available.

Save Money With Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance

Regardless of whether the left headlight blew, the tire has a slow leak, or the brakes uncontrollably squeal, there is nothing worse than feeling the vulnerability of turning to a mechanic or auto repair center to solve your problems. Many times, mechanics sense your desperation and wish to take advantage of it, charging higher prices for a simple job. Then, there are the individuals who believe taking their car to the dealership for repairs will save them money, but they, too, provide an inflated price list.

When car owners take car maintenance into their own hands, the savings are often extremely beneficial. For starters, do-it-yourself car repair allows individuals to compare prices on the tools and car parts needed to complete a job. Many times, auto shops use products that they have bought at wholesale prices, but then increase the cost to customers. When repairing your own car, you will probably be more willing to seek out the deals on spark plugs, lights, and fuses in order to do the job for the least amount of money possible. You may also choose whether or not you want to purchase new or used car parts, which often costs considerably less.

The Top Do-It-Yourself Car Maintenance Jobs

There are numerous car maintenance jobs that drivers often tackle. Demanding only a small amount of supplies. Changing your own oil is a common maintenance activity that is rather easy to get the hang of. To make sure your automobile has an effective fuel system, learning how to change an air filter is also a helpful skill to possess. Sometimes a fuel filter will need replacing and many car owners have learned to complete this job as well.

Spark plugs should be replaced every two years and car owners will save money learning how to do this task on their own. Batteries should also be changed every four to five years. You don’t need a mechanic to handle battery problems. This job is completely easy to master. Additional car maintenance duties to consider includes replacing the disc brake pads, replacing drum brakes, working on the ignition coils, jump-starting a car and change your electric fuel pump.

Finding Resources to Help With Car Maintenance

When it comes to finding assistance with your car maintenance goals, there are plenty of resources that make these sorts of jobs much easier. One of the best places to start with involves a thick booklet you probably stuffed in the glove compartment: the car owner manual that came with your automobile. Depending on how long you have owned your vehicle, you may or may not still possess this publication.

If you have misplaced this booklet or it doesn’t clearly address your problems, you should get hold of a car book that is specific to your vehicle make and model. There are numerous approaches to consider, starting with purchasing one from an auto supply store, such as AutoZone or Pep Boys. Surfing the Internet for car repair websites is also a nice way to get the important details needed to fix a car. Depending on what type of site you visit, you may have to pay a fee to access various information.

To save money, car repair manuals can be taken out with a library card or photocopied from the library. These books are usually thick and heavy, filled with every aspect of car maintenance and repair. One of the most well known of car repair publications is the Chilton series of auto maintenance, which offers do-it-yourself help for cars ranging from Toyota Camrys to Ford Escorts.

When Not to Explore Car Maintenance

Beginner do-it-yourselfers may save a lot of money by learning how to change their own oil and oil filter, fix windshield wipers, and check the fluids. Tire maintenance, spark plugs, installing a car audio system, or even fixing a broken muffler are all reasonable jobs a non-professional can learn how to do. But larger jobs, such as installing a new alternator, some radiator and carburetor work, as well as engine and transmission repair might fall best into the hands of professional car repairers.

Although self-car maintenance is a real money-saver, you don’t want to place yourself in danger when repairing your vehicle. Some jobs require the knowledge of a professional to truly complete, so if repair instructions seem too difficult to grasp, you might have to surrender and pay a visit to the local auto shop.

Automotive Clutch Replacement Tips – Dos and Don’ts

Having spent several years in tech support with a company that sells manual transmissions, I have spoken with many customers that have made clutch installation mistakes that cost them dearly in terms of time, money and frustration. These tips are based on my experience with what is frequently overlooked by a novice that is installing a new clutch. This article is NOT a substitute for a good auto repair manual that is specific to the vehicle you are working on! If any of these tips contradict the information in your service manual, follow the service manual instead.

Tip # 1: Lubrication in all the right places (and none of the wrong places!) – Place a light coat of grease on the pilot tip of the input shaft and on the collar that the release bearing slides on. Wipe a VERY light coat of oil on the input shaft splines to prevent rust. Be careful to NOT get any grease on the flywheel, the clutch disc, or the pressure plate.

Tip # 2: Have the flywheel resurfaced, no matter how good it looks. It only costs a few dollars, and the risk of having to remove the transmission again because of a chattering clutch is not worth the money you might save.

Tip # 3: Replace the pilot bearing or bushing. If you don’t have a special pilot bearing puller tool, some service manuals instruct you to remove the old bearing by packing the cavity behind the bearing with grease and using a wooden dowel or old input shaft to drive the old one out. I have found that instead of grease you can use play dough, silly putty, or even some old bread, with equal or better results and way less mess!

Tip # 4: Don’t force anything! If the transmission won’t slide all the way up to the back of the bellhousing, do not draw the transmission up to the bellhousing by tightening the transmission to bellhousing bolts. I can’t tell you how many broken mounting ears and damaged pilot bearings I have seen! If the transmission will not slide all the way in to the bellhousing, then the clutch disc is misaligned or the input shaft is not going into the pilot bearing because the transmission is at an angle. Try this: Install or reattach the clutch linkage, and then have a helper depress the clutch pedal slightly while you wiggle the transmission around to get it aligned. When the clutch disc is released, it will move so that you can get the transmission aligned with the pilot bearing. I fought with a transmission for an hour one time before I thought of this, and then it took about five seconds once I had a helper step on the clutch pedal!

Before tackling your first clutch replacement, I highly recommend reading the complete procedure in a repair manual or factory service manual. Even if you are a seasoned veteran, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at a service manual if you are replacing a clutch in a vehicle you aren’t familiar with.

Have Your Service Repair Manual With You and Save Time and Money

When your vehicle shows signs of any trouble, the first thing you need to do is to identify the problem. No matter whether you are going to take it to a mechanic or going to do the repair on your own, the first thing is to identify the problem. The first tool you need for the job of trouble shooting is the service repair manual of your particular model of vehicle.

Since these manuals are not given by the car dealerships when they sell cars, you need to purchase them your selves. The easiest way to purchase one is to go online and download it from a website that has these manuals for sale. These are instant downloads that you could purchase and download within minutes. You could download your service repair manual as a PDF file and save it in your laptop or there is the possibility for you to print it. Whatever the way you have it, refer to it when you need to trouble shoot and locate a problem.

Once the problem is located, it will be necessary for you to figure out whether you could do the repair at home or whether you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic. Also, if you noticed the problem while you are driving, you need to decide if your car could be driven home or it has to be carried to the workshop. Once you have found these answers, you could take action.

In case you could do the repair yourself, you could dismantle the particular part. In case your windscreen vipers stopped working, it is quite possible that your viper motor has given way. Your service repair manual will tell you how to check if the motor is burnt or if the problem is a burnt fuse. In case you trace the problem to the viper motor, you could purchase a new one. The part number will be there in the manual. You only need to go to the spare parts store and tell the shop keeper the part number. He will provide you with the right spare part.

Once you bought the replacement motor, you could refer to your service repair manual and install the motor in the right way. Test if the vipers are back to normal. Naturally, they will work fine. You have saved a lot of money and time because you had the service repair manual of your car with you.

Auto Repair Made Easy Through Reliable Repair Manuals

Cars, like all machines, eventually break down. One system fails, and then another. Components start malfunctioning, and parts start wearing out. Making sure that your car is always in excellent condition becomes more important for car owners over time. That is why having some knowledge about car repair is necessary to avoid bloated expenses coming from repair and maintenance fees and mechanic services.

Even do-it-yourself newbie like you can perform repair and maintenance. Just make sure you have your auto repair manual on hand to guide you as you go along. Many people won’t instantly grasp how the various parts and components of a vehicle work, so having that manual ready will really be a big help to your cause. If you don’t know anything about a topic, you go and look for the stuff that can help you learn. In the case of car repair, manuals are your keys to learning the ins and outs of your precious ride.

An auto repair manual covers different aspects. It can explain how particular components and systems work. It can tell you when and how to perform maintenance on certain parts. It has information on signs and symptoms to aid in the diagnosis and detection of potential and existing problems. It shows you how to repair different parts, with detailed step-by-step instructions.

Auto repair isn’t a mystery; it can be learned by anyone who is willing to make an effort. Don’t be intimidated even if you’re just starting out. No matter what the make or model of your car is, you can always consult a car repair manual. Regular maintenance and doing repairs on your own will allow you to save money on repair costs, and in the end, you will also have the unique satisfaction of accomplishing an automotive repair task and better understanding of your vehicle.

Find the Free Auto Repair Manual You Need Online

You can easily get a free auto repair manual for whichever repair need you might have. You need an internet access and have to follow a certain procedure searching for auto repair manuals, but when you have done this procedure a few times it will be very easy to find the right instructions for do it yourself auto repair and it won’t cost you a dime.

There are four types of automotive description documents that you will need to choose from when you want to do a repair;

  • General manuals
  • Diagnosis descriptions
  • Repair manuals
  • Maintenance manuals

General Manuals

In addition to some general manuals, most of these are related to the make. Here you can get step by step guidance on how to repair most of the makes in the vehicle market. Let’s say you have a Honda Acura 2002 model and you want to find a manual for that make and model. What you do is perform the following search in a search engine: “free car manuals+Honda Acura+2002”. Then you will have a long list of sites that provide you with all kinds of descriptions for your Honda Acure 2002 model, and you can choose what you want.

Diagnosis descriptions

Automotive diagnosis manuals can also be sub-divided by make and model. But it can also be divided by the area of the vehicle that is affected, for example engine intake problems, brake problems, cooling problems, exhaust problems, start or stall problems, transmission problems etc. Let’s say you have a start problem. Your search would be “car diagnosis manual+ start problem”, then you should get more than enough repair information to choose from. You can even get diagnostic trees where all options are covered for nothing.

You have probably more than one time heard some annoying noise from somewhere in your vehicle, without finding the source of it. This is one of the most kinky situations to run into because you don’t know if it is a serious signal or just a small thing. Some websites gives you the opportunity to diagnose vehicle problems by the noise, sound and vibrating signals – and that is great. The sooner you find it the sooner you can fix it and then you can relax. When you search, you can describe the sound, for example “whine noise” or “shifter knocks” or “driveline vibration” plus car diagnosis manual plus eventually the make.

Repair Manuals

In addition to regular manuals you can also get very instructive and detailed descriptions in other internet document or websites like articles, etc. The natural way to sub-divide such repairs before searching, is by the area of the vehicle that is going to be repaired, for instance body repair, exhaust repair, suspension fix, interior repair and even general car repair.

You do the search the same way as above; “car repair manual (or description) + the area of repair and go through the list of resources you get.

Maintenance manuals

Though vehicle maintenance is closely related to your vehicle make and model, there are some maintenance issues that are pretty much common whether you have a Cadillac, VW or a Mercedes, for example changing oil, changing air filters, engine wash, fluid maintenance, tier maintenance etc. You can get access to maintenance descriptions by searching for the kind of maintenance plus “car maintenance manual (or description)” plus eventually your make and model.

I think you’ll be amazed of the amount of automotive repair free stuff online.