On the Money: Car Maintenance

Once your new car warranty expires, you may begin to encounter a series of small repairs that can quickly become large projects if you do not address these problems at once. Car maintenance can be costly, but putting this off can lead to even more expensive repairs. Happily, if you budget accordingly, you can pay for your maintenance as needed, avoid expensive repairs and keep your car in top shape for longer.

1. What you spend. What did you spend on car costs last year? Pull out your maintenance and repair costs from your total costs, separating auto insurance, registration fees, fuel costs and taxes from the pack. This will be a good starting point to anticipate what you might spend in the coming year. Yes, have a calculator on hand as you can tabulate your figures with accuracy and ease.

2. Consider upcoming costs. If you have owned your car for some time, some of the more significant maintenance issues may be due. This can include replacing your timing belt, installing a new muffler, buying a new set of tires or something else. That something else may be listed in your owner’s manual, so pull that book out too. Look at the manufacturers’ maintenance schedule and compare it with your odometer. Plan to handle maintenance issues you have missed as well as those that are coming up in the next 12 months.

3. Divide and conquer. With last year’s figures in hand and your projected costs known, add these together. Divide that number by 12 to calculate your monthly average. For instance, if you estimate that maintenance will cost you $1,800 in the coming year, then you will need to set aside $150 per month to cover your expenses.

4. Stash your cash. You know how much is needed for the next 12 months and how much each month that you should set aside. You can break this down further by dividing the annual total by your number of paychecks and set that amount aside for car maintenance. Thus if you get paid ever other week than divide that $1,800 by 26 to arrive at nearly $70 per pay period. Open up a savings account and plan to fund it accordingly.

Looking Ahead

You may also want to set aside additional money toward the down payment on your next car. In fact, with careful planning, you may be able to pay cash for your new car too. Don’t put off your car maintenance savings plan or the work that needs to be done. A well maintained car will last longer and keep you and everyone else safe as well.

What Does a Clutch Kit Consist Of?

There are some things important for a car and clutch kits are one of them. No matter you are a casual driver or a racer, the clutch will decide how smooth your ride is. There are different stages of clutches and if you are a casual driver then you may want to get rid of your stock clutch and install a basic clutch kit from Fidanza or ClutchMasters. If you want to stand out of the pack and want to blast everybody off in the competition then you may want to get the custom made clutches for your ride. But you may ask yourself a question that what makes them such an important part of a car?

The acceleration of the car is dependent on how good you are at shifting. If you have a habit of short shifting then you will not be aware of the importance of the clutch. You may have never experienced the power of the engine that is transferred to the next gear when you shift properly. But the people who are conscious of the performance and are fully aware of proper shifting cannot get enough out of their stock clutches. This is the reason why they go for replacement clutches to get the maximum burst of torque and enjoy their rides.

It is always good to do some research before you opt to buy a clutch kit for your car. You may want to go to your favorite dealers to get the clutch kit but unless you know what you want to buy, they will not be able to help you out. Once you know about the top manufacturers and the right product for your car then you will be in better position to let them know of your requirements. Even if the dealers do not have what you want, they can order it for you. You can find a clutch kit at a very reasonable price but top of the line manufacturers will cost you a bit more.

A clutch kit mainly has 3 parts:

  1. Friction plate
  2. Pressure plate
  3. Release bearing

You may also find pilot bearings and pilot bushings in some of the clutches.

The friction plates are better in the replacement clutches and stronger springs are also fitted in them to make the clutching process smooth for you. A hard clutch in a car with manual transmission can cause a lot of problem to the driver.

Moreover they clutch kits are made of aluminum and will not add to the weight of your car. Internet is the best place to shop for automotive parts as you can find products from all the manufacturers that sell online and can read the specifications too without moving a step. There are also discounts available online too and the websites readily ship the products to your home. Check the warranties associated with the product you buy online to make sure you have invested in the best possible manner.

Battery Reconditioning is Becoming Very Popular in the USA

It is surprising just how easy it is to recondition a battery, with a little trade knowledge. Nowadays, pretty much anyone can teach themselves battery reconditioning with the teaching of a well written and comprehensive guide. These are now only $50 to $60 on the internet. The concepts are reasonably elementary and the equipment needed costs well under $200 if taken seriously, even less for simple use around the home and on one’s own vehicle.

Normally after three or four reconditions, you could say you were quite proficient. Of course, there is also plenty of money to be made mending seemingly dead batteries. That is a trend which can only rise as more equipment becomes portable and vehicles rely more on electricity for motive power. As a battery matures and has been recharged numerous times, it loses its capacity which then needs to be corrected. Frequently this is only possible to a certain level or even not at all. Quick testing and fast rejuvenation are the keys.

It is quite easy to make good money fixing batteries. It lends itself excellently to profitable part-time work which can be grown into an established business, if desired. Due to the very low investment required to start up, the real value comes from the expertise. That is not difficult with a recommended trade manual, normally available as an e-book. The demand for battery reconditioning will only grow as will the awareness that batteries can be brought back to life.

The essential equipment needed for effective battery repair are a computer battery analyzer, a smart charger and a hydrometer for lead acid batteries. That’s all.

Volvo Penta Outdrivers

Volvo Penta History

Volvo Penta history goes back to 1868, when Shofde Gjuteri och Mekaniska Verkstad founded it. They started by manufacturing iron goods and hardware. During the 1920’s the first breakthrough for Penta occurred. In 1922, the first outboard engine was introduced. In 1925, Penta got its first order for engines from AB Volvo; two years later the first Volvo cars were running using Penta engines entirely. In the 1930’s, Volvo’s business became more important for Penta, and in 1935, Volvo purchased the engine company, and renamed it Volvo Pentaverken. The name was later shortened to just Volvo Penta. In 1946, a great innovation came into play; the first in-line six cylinder diesel engines were created. This meant that engines were now quieter and ran with pre combustion. This again allowed the company to be in the spotlight and forerunner of the industry. Another breakthrough came in 1954, when the first in a series of turbo diesel engines were introduced. In 1982, Volvo Penta became an independent subsidiary of the Volvo Group. These Volvo engines and out drivers are also being used in boats.

Volvo Penta Outdriver Repairs

If you are having problems with your Volvo Penta Outdrivers you might want to do the following things first before taking the car or boat into the shop for repair. First consult your owner’s manual and see what tips and advise they offer consumers who are experiencing problems with the outdrivers. If none of those tips work, before taking it in, you way want to try the following. If your system is electric and has a jack-screw type lift, and you can actually hear the motor running, then first make sure that the outdriver is in the down and in the locked position. You will then need to locate the motor for the lift, look for the black box that is just above the motor, with the wires running to it. Remove this box from the pole that it is sitting on. You will then need to remove the top part of the pole.

You will see that there is a nut molded onto the pole, it is approximately six inches from t he top. Once you remove it you will then be able to get a good view of the jack-screw and a two inch spring. Many times it is this spring that could be your problem, it may have lost its tension. If this is your problem, all that you will need to do is to add a new washer to the top of the spring; this will help to reestablish the tension in the spring that was missing before. You must make sure that the center of the washer is big enough for the jack-screw to fit exactly through, do not get a washer that is too small or too big, it will not work with the system. Then all that is left for you to do is to screw the top of the pole back on, and then replace the black box into its original position. When you reattach the black box, make sure that the nut is on the bottom of the box directly underneath the pole. If it is not in the correct position it will not function correctly and the motor will just stop.

If after doing this task, the outdriver is still not working correctly, then you will have to take the car or boat into the shop. You should consult your manual to find a qualified and licensed Volvo Penta mechanic. This way you will feel confident in the person who is working on the problem.

How to Change a Headlight Bulb

What you need:

New light bulbs

Small screwdriver. (star head)

Changing headlights in your car is very simple. There are lots of women who don’t know how to do this, so I am going to tell you how it’s done. So you won’t have to take your car into a garage and spend anymore money. I have many friends, (guys too) who have no idea how to change their own headlights, and are always taking their vehicles in for simple little problems such as this. So if you’re having problems like changing your headlights then maybe this article can help.

First, you have to make sure you buy the right light bulbs for your car. You don’t want to end up buying bulbs that don’t fit! So check out your owner’s manual, or do some research on what bulbs fit your car. If your car headlight has a pair of bulbs, change them both. Even if the other one is working. If one breaks then the other one will break not too long after, and you won’t end up having to do this all over again.

Make sure your power light is off before changing them. The covers come off the bulb so you can change it. Just pop it off or unscrew it. Now you can remove the old light bulb and replace the new one. Make sure there is no dirt and debris in the socket before your replace the new one. Now put the cover back on and test the lights to see if they work, and if you have installed them properly.

So there it is!! See how simple it is to change your own headlights. No more spending money on things that don’t really need it. Just make sure to be safe! If you have been using your car for a while, then wait for a few minuets for the bulbs to cool down. Don’t try and force the bulbs in, make sure they fit properly.

Tips To Repair Your Garage Door

The role of your garage is to keep your car safe from bad weather and thieves. However, your garage also needs to be maintained on a regular basis. This is true about garage doors as well. At times, they get stuck due to rust or age. Therefore, replacing them becomes paramount. Although fixing them is a costly project, we can give you a few tips that can help you do the repair without spending a lot of money. Read on.

Fix the Power Supply System

When the door is shut, the electricity supply to the garage is disconnected. In this case, if you want to take your vehicle out, the only thing you can do is take a bus. So, what you need to do is identify a cord, which has a red handle, and use it to open up the door.

Actually, this is a manual override system. Once pulled, you can use it to open and shut the door.

Fix the Frozen Garage Door

At times, cold weather makes your garage door stiff. The problem is with the opener. If you check, you will find that the door has a pressure adjustment system. You can adjust the settings and everything will work great.

Fix the Saggy Garage Door

When the garage door becomes saggy, you will find it much harder to open. So, if it’s a little saggy, you can use a tension rod to square it up. Make sure you put the rods diagonally to straighten the door.

You should do it carefully until the door is adjusted. If you can’t find the tension rods, there is no need to worry as you can purchase them.

Fix the Locking System

The majority of garage doors feature a pair of horizontal bars that help with the locking system. With the passage of time, the bars go out of position and lose their alignment with the slots. For realignment, all you need to do is remove the guide brackets until they are ready to be moved. Next, you can reposition them. Don’t forget to use machine oil to lubricate the locking mechanism.

Remove the Oil Stains

Leaving oil stains on the driveway is not a good idea. So, what you need to do is get a piece of drywall and use a hammer to break it. Now, use your hands to pulverize it and then sprinkle on the oil stains. Make sure you let it sit overnight and remove it with water in the next morning. If the stains are too stubborn, you can repeat the process and use a bristle broom for cleaning.

Call Professionals

Although you can perform minor garage door repairs yourself, make sure you call a professional if you think the problem may get worse. After all, you don’t have the required tools in order to fix your garage doors carefully. Doing expensive repairs yourself is not a good idea as you may end up damaging things further or causing an injury to yourself or a loved one.

The Takeaway

We hope that the tips given above will help you perform the repairs yourself. Hope this helps.

Battery Reconditioning Basics

Battery reconditioning has become very easy with the introduction of new techniques. With the correct skills and some quality equipment, which is nevertheless cheap at under $250, anyone can start raising batteries from the dead. A decent guide will also be required but most retail for only around $50. They usually come in downloadable format for ease of use and with plenty of useful extra links.

Possible Uses

With manual and kit, you are ready to go. You are about to save money around the home, for family members and friends. Alternatively, battery reconditioning makes for an excellent part-time or full-time business. It can easily be grown from a few very profitable hours a week to a thriving store or forecourt, all at your own pace. It is worth adding, as a kind of footnote, that if you really just want it for home use, you can get away with an outlay of well under $100, including the manual.

Battery Analyzer

The most expensive piece of kit is the computerized battery analyzer, at around $130. It plugs into your computer or laptop and gives precision readings which can be critical for effective rejuvenation of many batteries. It can mean the difference between restoring a battery to almost 100% of its original charge and arriving at under 80%. It should be capable of testing up to 48 volts, 150 watts and 40 amps.

Smart Charger

Next a smart charger really does make sense. It is designed to recognize a fully charged battery and then revert to a trickle charge. A normal charger is a bit cheaper, but there is little point in being penny wise and pound foolish here. Types of Battery Suitable for Battery Reconditioning All types of battery can be reconditioned. These include NiCd, NiMh, lithium based and lead acid batteries. Once you have the knowledge of how to bring a battery back to life, the crucial thing is simply to be able to analyze it first before even bothering. Around 40% of batteries will be truly beyond redemption.

Cowl Trim Tag – What Is It and How Do I Use It?

The cowl trim tag was used on chevrolet cars during the classic car era to record descriptions and installed options. The cowl trim tag is a thin aluminum plate that was riveted to the firewall or “cowl” of GM classic cars.

The cowl trim tag is often mistaken to be the holy grail of classic car identification. Sorry to say, it won’t reveal every detail about your classic car.

OK. So who needs to know these things? Anyone who knows which series of classic cars were a hot item, like an SS, would want to verify an SS series classic car if they were restoring or buying one. If a classic car were dramatically modified over the years, you would need this information. Considering the asking prices for some hot classic muscle cars are now higher than new cars, you want to be sure you get what you pay for.

Imagine this…You’ve recently bought a 1964 Impala that looks like it’s seen better days. Someone in the car’s past thought it would look better in white paint with a red crushed velvet interior… with dingle balls. It just has to go back to original, you wouldn’t be seen dead in that interior.

So let’s look at the cowl trim tag on this 64 Impala and see what it says. Keep in mind the format for the cowl trim tag is different for other ranges of years. This format only applies to years 1964 through 1967.

  1. CHEVROLET GENERAL MOTORS CORP
  2. 04D DETROIT MICHIGAN
  3. STYLE 64-1847 AT013173 BODY
  4. TRIM 874 975 PAINT
  5. ACC E 2KS
  6. THIS CAR FINISHED WITH
  7. MAGIC MIRROR ACRYLIC LACQUER
  8. BODY BY FISHER

Line 2 in this cowl trim tag has the production date code. This is important when Regular Production Option codes (RPO’s) may have changed at some point during the model year and you need to be sure which option belongs on your car.

Line 3 is the model year-body style, assembly plant and chassis number. The body style number says it was a v8 model 2 door sport coupe. AT means the car was assembled in Atlanta. The chassis number would only mean something if it were something special like the first 64 Impala produced. The chassis number is also in the VIN.

Line 4 is for the trim code which tells us about the interior, and then the paint code. In this case we want to know that the interior was done in red cloth with a split front bench seat. The paint was 2 tone, Desert Fawn on top and Sunfire Red on the lower half. Hmm, that sounds like a nice color combination!

Line 5 is the accessory code. This line is made up of 1-5 groups of codes. This cowl trim tag only has the first 2 groups. If the cowl trim tag has no codes in the other groups, you should assume those options were never installed. The E in group one tells us it has factory tinted glass all around. The number 2 delineates group 2, K is air conditioning, and S is manual rear antenna.

How would we use this cowl trim tag info? If we needed to replace some glass, we’d look for tinted windows, or if the rear antenna was missing we’d know we had to replace it.

This doesn’t reveal anything fantastic about the car except that it would be useful info if the car was missing indicated parts. The option codes would be in group 4 of line 5 if the car were an SS. Since there are none, we know we have a 2 tone red and beige 2 door v8 sport coupe with factory air. In this case, this info helps a lot!

You would use the information found on the cowl trim tag in addition to Suffix Code Guides, and along with Factory Part and Casting Number Guides in order to get the full picture. Together with the Factory Shop Manual and Assembly Manual, tearing down your classic car and re-assembling it is almost like paint by number.

Plasma Cutter Reviews – Lotos – Important Product Features and Prices

Plasma cutter reviews lotos for your benefit!

The plasma cutter reviews Lotos specifically deals with the user experiences and important recommendations for various high quality Lotos plasma arc cutters. Lotos is among the leading brands in advanced manual and automatic plasma arc cutting systems, and ensures impeccable performance, reliability and flexibility. Owing to the superior cutting-edge performance that the Lotos plasma cutters feature, this leading brand has earned incredible responses from the consumers, somewhat like giving full 10 points on a scale of 10. However, before you move on to buy your high performance Lotos plasma arc cutter, there are certain important factors that are covered in the reviews, and may affect significantly your buying decision. Not to worry, the feedbacks and suggestions all play a positive role in making Lotos all the more favorable among the users.

Plasma cutter reviews lotos: important facts to consider!

Built with the most innovative and efficient electrical converter engineering technology, the Lotos plasma arc cutters and welders are among the leading brands in the industry, setting the global plasma arc cutter reviews lotosstandards for performance, flexibility, reliability, and value. All the Lotos plasma cutter models are loaded with high technology features and utmost convenience that makes them all the more favorable among the industries and household activities as well. Featuring innumerable functionalities and benefits, the Lotos plasma cutters are uniquely crafted and powerfully built to cut through stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, aluminum, copper, and other metal materials in the most convenient manner. The plasma cutter reviews Lotos comprises of the important plasma cutter features that are a specialty to Lotos, and are discussed here.

Plasma Cutter reviews lotos: Features

The Lotos plasma arc cutters and welders are built with the most innovative and powerful electrical converter technology, and specialize in certain special features that make these plasma arc cutters exceptionally high-performance cutting machines in the market. These cutting equipments conveniently convert 50/60Hz frequency from the power system to high pitch power of more than 100 KHz. This is facilitated by the V-MOSFET technology that converts the power supply in incredibly higher power in the form of rectification current and reducing the voltage. Using the invariable Pulse Width Modulation technology, the inverter power supply produces strong DC welding current that facilitates accurate and smooth cutting of all metal sheets with ease.

Unlike the traditional plasma arc cutters, the switch power inverter technology is used in the Lotos plasma cutting systems, thereby reducing the weight and dimensions of the primary transformer, making it compact and portable with the efficiency increased by almost 30%. Employing the high frequency cycle mode, you will find it utmost comfortable to strike a spark easily without having to retrigger the torch every time. This significantly saves the power supply, increasing the durability and efficiency of the plasma torch.

Thus, according to the important and most reliable plasma arc cutter reviews Lotos, the key features of Lotos plasma cutting systems can be summed up in ensuring you the following:

Reliability and Durability

Utmost Stabilization

Low noise output

Power efficiency

Portability

Smooth cuts

High cutting speed

Lotos Plasma Cutters

Lotos offers a wide range of automated and manual plasma arc cutters with superior technology features, and high performance capabilities. Discussed here are some of the most popular and widely used Lotos plasma arc cutter models with their high-efficiency features.

The Lotos LTP5000D is also represented as the 50amp Digital Inverter IGBT Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter that features an automatic dual frequency or dual voltage of about 110/220V and 50/60Hz. It is powered by the robust Infineon IGBT technology, invented by Siemens Germany, and also features the unique PAPST advanced German cooling system as well. With all these high-efficiency and super-powerful features, LPT5000D delivers a maximum cut thickness of about ½ mm, and a maximum severance thickness of about ¾ mm with much ease and at nominal timing. It comes with a number of high-quality genuine Lotos plasma cutting accessories and consumables, and a one year warranty on the labor and part only.

The Lotos Ultimate 60A IGBT Pilot ARC plasma Cutter LTP6000 also features the high quality IGBT technology with superior German cooling system, and speedy powerful cutting precision. With an input voltage of 200-240VAC, the power frequency for this plasma cutter is set at 50/60Hz with better performance only under 60Hz. The power factor is kept incredibly at 0.93 with a power efficiency of almost about 85%. Weighing as lower as only 38lbs with a more compact design, this plasma cutter is highly portable and can be conveniently used across various applications. The cutting specifications include 1.10 mm of maximum severance cutting, and 3 mm per minute @ 1.10 mm steel, 7 mm per minute @ 1 mm thick steel, and 17 mm per minute @ 6 mm thick steel. The duty cycle is well distributed as 100% at 40amp cut, and 60% at 60amp cut.

The other Lotos plasma arc cutters comprise of somewhat similar features with limited differences in power supply, voltage, weight, and size. The functionalities also remain the same with accuracy and precision varying depending on the model.

Finding the Best Lotos Plasma Cutters Online

Wondering how to find plasma arc cutters online?? Well, to add to your delight, today the advanced Internet technology has brought the much-demanding plasma cutters closer to you with the opportunity to shop online at great discount prices. There are plenty of E-commerce sites and online stores that provide a wide range of Lotos plasma arc cutter models with unique features and performance specifications. These online stores provide you the opportunity to review and compare different models conveniently online, and make the most suitable choice that matches your requirements. To add more to the delight, the important plasma cutter reviews Lotos feature the best product description and user experiences to guide you in your purchase decision. Moreover, you can enjoy almost 10-20% discounts on the original manufacturing price of the Lotos plasma arc cutters.

However, beware of the online scams while choosing the best plasma arc cutter, and look for the more reliable and reputed online stores that will provide you the genuine high quality product for your money. Check with different plasma arc cutter reviews Lotos online!!

Sneezing to Blame for Car Accidents?

Most of us have done it. Drivers young and old are guilty. It is likely that we all have sneezed at some time while behind the wheel. When cruising, crossing intersections, changing lanes and otherwise minding our business as we drive, the tingle can creep in at any time. After the tingle is panic, just as the realization sets in that one sneeze could cause an accident.

Most drivers make it through a sneeze while driving accident unscathed. But some do get into accidents caused by this one uncontrollable and unpredictable reflex. The dangers of sneezing while driving can be frightening.

Sneezing Behind the Wheel Statistics

Little research has been conducted on the subject of sneezing while driving in the U.S. But British researchers have paid attention and noted some remarkable statistics.

  • According to a study conducted by English cold and flu medicine Olbas Max Strength, over two million car accidents have been caused by sneezing.
  • British car repair company Halfords Autocentres reported that 2.6 million U.K. drivers admitted to taking their eyes off the road due to cold or flu symptoms. Halfords also blamed 2500 accidents each week during British winters on these unnamed cold and flu conditions. Of course, sneezes are the likeliest culprits to blame in these flu-generated wrecks.

In the United States, the National Safety Council (NSC) is clear that distracted driving is very deadly. That organization reports 1.6 million auto accidents are caused by distracted driving each year, specifically blaming the driver’s use of a cell phone or texting while driving. But the NSC has not provided statistics regarding sneezing and driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers distracted driving any form of vehicular operation that could be categorized under one or more of these three types:

  • Visual – eyes are taken off the road while driving
  • Manual – hands are taken off the wheel while the vehicle is moving
  • Cognitive – the driver’s mind is not focused on vehicle operation and safety while driving

Clearly sneezing while driving can fall under all three of those categories, at once. Beyond distraction, a particularly hard sneeze can add a violent head thrust to the reflex. Drivers have been known to hit their head on the steering wheel and other internal surfaces of the car.

According to Halfords, drivers sneezing behind the wheel while driving at 60 miles per hour may travel 50 feet or more with their eyes completely closed. Sneezes can cause temporary disorientation and watery eyes in their aftermath, adding to the distance potentially traveled without visual control.

American Roadway Accidents Caused by Sneezing While Driving

While statistical data is light for this category of distracted driving in the United States, the results of sneezing while driving are clear. Plenty of car accidents have been reported by police across the country.

  • In Missouri in 2012, the death of a single mother was blamed on a schoolteacher who lost control of her car due to a sneeze.
  • In New Hartford, New York, a driver veered off the highway due to a sneeze.
  • One woman in Massachusetts likely caused herself quite a fright when she rear-ended a state police cruiser due to a sneeze.
  • In San Leandro, California, a truck driver who sneezed caused an impact with 10 other cars.
  • A driver died after a sneeze-induced accident in Salisbury, Maryland in 2011.

Experts Weigh In on the Dangers of Sneezing While Driving

U.K. police official Steve Rounds said about sneezing while driving, “Sneezing can cause the sufferer to temporarily close their eyes.” He continued, “Driving a car with severe cold symptoms is certainly irresponsible and an accident leading to death or serious injury can expose the sneezing driver to dangerous driving charges.”

A Phoenix car accident attorney of Cantor Crane advises drivers to try to pull over and stop if a sneeze is coming. Your vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon when it is in motion. This makes it very important to focus on the roadway when behind the wheel. This means focusing your eyes and mind on the road, with your hands on the wheel. Because studies indicate that seven percent of sneezing drivers are in accidents due to their cold-related reflex, Crane emphasizes the importance of considering a sneeze as dangerous as other forms of distracted driving. “Your actions can cause injuries and even fatalities. So it is very important to be responsible the next time a sneeze is coming on while you are operating your vehicle.”

Three Clutch Issues to Be Resolved for the Smooth Performance of Your Car

Do you own a car or drive one? The number of automatic transmission vehicles has been growing now days. But, you can still find several vehicles with manual transmissions, which are performing well on the road. However, you need to be little careful with the gearbox and clutch to avoid any damage to the transmission or other integrated parts. Otherwise, you will have the need for Clutch & Gearbox Repairs very soon. However, regular service is must for every type of car to keep it maintained. Once, the day will come, when you will have to go for repairing your worn clutch or transmission at some garage center.

If you avoid this repairing work, then it may cause serious damage to your vehicle and thus you will have to spend more money on the repair.

Clutch is basically consisted of throwout/release bearing, clutch disc, and pressure plate. Flywheel, master and slave cylinders, and clutch fork are a few more parts that are important to make it function well. Clutch transmits the power from engine to gearbox and also disconnects the connection between transmission and engine when you shift the gear or put it in neutral.

You have read several articles and blogs about every symptom which let you inform that your vehicle’s transmission system has some problem. Here, we are trying to familiarize you with the most common issues with a clutch system, when you drive an MT vehicle.

Clutch Fluid Leak:

Clutch fluid and brake fluid are often taken interchangeably. If you find the brake fluid is leaking near the clutch pedal, then you need to look at this issue seriously. If it does happen, then you find difficulty in changing gears.

Slipping Clutch:

When you change the gear, a slight and smooth slip is fine. But, when it becomes harsh or starts slipping automatically while the clutch is engaged, then the issue needs to be taken seriously by car owners. Your vehicle’s clutch plate needs the repair or replacement work as soon as possible. Avoiding can cost you expensive with the damages of other adjacent parts, such as flywheel and pressure plate.

Clutch Master/Slave Cylinder Failure:

Clutch fluid travels from master cylinder to slave cylinder and thus transfers the action of clutch pedal to gearbox and clutch. When the clutch is depressed, the fluid flows from master to slave cylinder for the smooth clutch operation. Any leakage to these cylinders can make gear shifting difficult.

Inspect Your Vehicle & Make Necessary Repair and Replacement:

Resolving any of these issues is not possible by an unprofessional. However, you can handle basic types of repair work yourself, but handling heavy repairs, especially for the transmission is very difficult. Technicians can inspect your vehicle deeply for the problems and then decide whether to repair the component or replace the one.

Top 7 Vehicle Hack Items That Every Jeep Owner Must Own

Vehicle hacks are important because they can keep you out of trouble in various scenarios. Jeep owners love to go all out on their trips. If you are an avid driver and love to go on long road trips, you need to have a few hacks up your sleeves and prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.

Here are top 7 vehicle hack items that will keep you out of trouble.

Snow Tracks

This goes without saying, if you plan to drive your Jeep in a snowy area, you need to make sure that you have the necessary gear for yourself and your Jeep ready. Snow tracks are convenient and compact chain devices that you can fit on your Jeep’s wheels to help them get enough traction on the snow.

Jeep Cooler

If you are planning on going on a long journey with friends/family, you must carry some food with you. A Jeep cooler is a compact electronic device that derives its power from your Jeep’s cigarette lighter power source. This small cooler will help you keep food items as well as drinks for prolonged periods.

Grippy Strips

Grippy strips are fantastic devices that help you organize your stuff in the Jeep’s cabin. We all have gone through the pain of losing our cellphone between the seats during a long journey. If you are one such clumsy person who desperately wants to keep the interiors of your Jeep clean, you must try these grippy strips. The strips act like a double-sided scotch tape and they stick to your dashboard. You can now use the open surface of the strip to place your phone or other essentials at a noticeable position.

Basic Tool Kit and User Manual

Most Jeep owners carry a small toolkit with them that can help them tighten some screws or bolts. However, without the proper instructions, it is possible that you actually worsen the conditions of your Jeep. It is always advisable to place your Jeep’s user manual in a clear plastic bag with the toolkit to make it easily accessible in case your Jeep breaks down.

Window Covers/Blinds

Window covers are nifty devices that you can use in case you are going to drive all day long. These covers stick to the side of your Jeep’s windows offering sunlight protection to the passengers. Now, your co-driver/passengers can easily enjoy a sun-free environment to rest for a while.

Inflatable Jeep Jack

An inflatable Jeep jack is a device that replaces the work associated with using a conventional mechanical Jeep jack. This Jeep jack derives its power from the vehicle to lift it up so that you can easily change the flat tire.

Rain Covers

If you own an open roof Jeep Wrangler, it is always a good idea to carry a set of extra rain covers to protect the essentials. These rain covers will help you protect the costly speakers and navigation system in your Jeep on a rainy day.

Follow one or more of these vehicle hacks to ensure that you go through your next long journey without facing any glitches.

The Importance Of Use Of Hydraulic Jacks On Vehicles

A device that is used to lift objects is identified as a jack. These devices are used to lift heavy objects and are used for all types of purposes. They can be used in garages to facilitate raising the level of the vehicle so that the mechanic can get underneath and repair it. They come in various sizes and are capable of lifting different weights depending on the size of the device. They can lift anything from a small car to a big truck. It is understood that due to their weight these objects cannot be raised up just with manual effort. Hydraulic jacks are tools that are specifically designed for this purpose; they are a portable device that is very easy to use.

Hydraulic jacks work very efficiently and are available in different types. Everybody nowadays keeps a jack in the boot of their vehicle in case of an emergency. You never know when you might have an accident or any unfortunate incident that may interrupt your journey? If you are equipped with the required tools then you don’t have to worry even if there is no garage nearby.

Most of us have had to change a tyre at some stage or maybe you have needed to get underneath the car to see if there is a problem with it. The most important thing to remember is that you must ensure that you are using hydraulic jacks properly; you can refer to the user manual that is given to you with the vehicle when you purchased it.

Some damages to your car may pertain to the underneath parts of the car. So, it is obvious that you cannot repair it until and unless, it is visible. This is the time that hydraulic jacks justify their role in society. These tools are simply placed underneath the car and using the lever on it, the car is raised to a certain height. This will enable you to see whether there is any issue with the base of the car, and whether you can repair it.

It is a fact that not everybody may be aware of its functioning but it is necessary to learn how to utilise your hydraulic jack. It will be advised that the users gain all the information regarding these tools so that they don’t have to panic in the case of an emergency. They will be able to fix the issues with the car and continue on their journey. The toolbox of the vehicle must essentially have one of these hydraulic jacks. You will always be ready with the solution if you possess these tools.

Learn Basic Car Maintenance

It’s amazing how many people get taken for a ride (ha ha) just by taking their car in for a basic service. A lot of people over think the modern technology of their car and believe everything the repair shop tells them. Modern cars really require way less maintenance, even though the basic concept is the same.

With all this power and amenities, most people forget or never knew that it is the same basic internal combustion engine used over a hundred years ago. And, electric and hybrid cars require even less maintenance than conventional automobiles! Learning basic maintenance about your vehicle can save you thousands of dollars over time and minimize potential breakdowns.

The three thousand mile oil change is a thing of past. If you’re still changing your car’s oil every three thousand miles, you’re wasting your money. You need to know what type of oil your car requires and the capacity. You need to know where the oil filter is located. Cheap oil filters will damage your car over time because they can take up to nine seconds longer to achieve maximum flow at startup. If you use one of those quick lube shops, make sure you know what type of oil they will use to refill the crankcase. Make sure you check the level on the dipstick before you leave the shop. Earlier I mentioned that you need to know where the oil filter is located, here’s why, some shops will not change the filter, but will charge you for one, if you mark the old one before you take the car for servicing, you’ll be able to verify that it has been replaced. Most of these shops lose money on the $29.99 oil change. A good quart of oil will set you back about five dollars, so if your car requires five, that’s twenty- five dollars, add the oil filter and you’re over the thirty dollar mark.

Now pay close attention. This is where you need to be up to date on your car’s maintenance schedule. The $29.99 oil change is a lure, it’s to bait you in and then double or triple charge you for a filter or drive belt or some other regular maintenance item you didn’t keep up with. We’re not trying to make everyone weekend mechanics, we just want car owners to read the owner’s manual so they’ll have an idea of what maintenance has to be done at the recommended mileage intervals. With that said, you tell me if it makes sense to take your new car in for the fifteen thousand mile service and be charged $400 to $600? What did they do to a car with only fifteen thousand miles besides change the oil?

You need to learn what maintenance items to consent to and what to say no to and still be assured your car is in optimum operating condition. A great benefit in learning how to properly maintain your car is also learning how to diagnose potential repair issues.

Car Suspension System Repairs

A car’s steering system enables the car to turn and its suspension system smooths out the ride. However things can go wrong, making the ride rough or steering difficult or dangerous. This means time to repair. Many types of steering and suspension systems have been used to control cars. Older cars use mechanical suspension that relies on springs and shock absorbers but new cars use hydraulic cylinders called struts. Besides this, many of today’s cars rely on rack and pinion steering. Without proper care, a car’s steering system should give 80,000 to 100,000 miles of smooth turns.

Why The Car Doesn’t Turn Where It Is Turned?

Here are some tips for troubleshooting steering and suspension systems:

– If the car’s power steering system growls when turning, then the power steering booster fluid level needs to be checked.

– If the car makes strong squeal, the drive belt on the power steering unit should be checked.

– If the car shimmies, then the tire pressure should be checked for any damages.

– If the car leans hard in corners, the stabilizer and struts should be checked for loose parts and wear.

– If the older car is difficult to steer, then the steering system’s zerk fittings needs lubrication.

For repairing steering systems, follow this guide:

The tie-rod ends have to be inspected, adjusted and replaced if necessary. They connect the wheels to the steering unit. They can wear out if they damaged or worn. Mark the location of the old ones for the new ones to be replaced in the same position.

The steering gear unit has to be inspected adjusted and replaced if necessary. Adjustments can be made to steering gear systems with wrench and screwdriver. Help can be taken from the service manual. In case of replacement, the steering wheel and column may need to be removed first. The manual has to be consulted as every car is different. The repaired steering system can be checked by taking a test drive.

The car’s suspension system includes leaf springs, a stabilizer bar, a suspension arm, a shock absorber and/or MacPherson struts.

For replacing suspension parts, follow this guide:

First, find out the specific suspension parts of the car. Jack up the car and place safety stands under the wheels. Replace the bushings by removing the brackets holding the bar in place. Shock absorbers are installed inside the coil spring at each wheel and can be replaced by removing the bolts at the top and bottom that connect them to the suspension system. The manufacturer’s instructions have to be followed because shock absorbers and springs are under tension and can cause injuries if improperly removed. Remove the fasteners at the top and bottom that connect them to the suspension system. The car service manual will help in this. Replace the strut as a unit. Many cars have upper and lower suspension arms mounted on rubber bushings. For replacing them, loosen and remove a bolt on which the bushing is mounted.

Best Car Key Replacement Services

Anyone will like his or her favorite car to be safe and secure in a busy city like Chicago. Unfortunately, the growing rates of crimes including theft and burglary have made this one of the most difficult tasks to be accomplished. It is never prudent to leave the repair of locks or replacement of key in unsafe hands. Professional Chicago Locksmith who is well reputed could be the answer to all such problems.

Preventing Unscrupulous People

Instead of picking the roadside Locksmith in Chicago it would be good to go for the established and registered ones in the city to ensure that such person does not make an additional duplicate key of your car using it for ulterior motives. That is why it is necessary that you make a little background research on the reputation and reliability of the Car Locksmith before you leave the task in his hands.

Car Lock Replacement

One of the best ways of protecting your car from possible future burglaries is to change the manual lock into something that is automatic. After all ensuring the safety of the car is in the hands of the owner more than anyone else. Hence also ensure that while the manual lock is replaced with automatic locks of modern times, the person whom the task is entrusted is a Chicago Area Locksmith and well known in the circle. One can also ensure that if there is some number or a remote to operate the automatic lock, the secrets of them are not retained by the locksmith after he accomplishes the task of lock replacement.

What Should Be Your Choice

In selection of the Car Key Locksmith Chicago the car owner will have certain issues to address. Three main factors for determination of the choice of the Locksmith to replace the car key or repair the lock would be the speed of work, quality, and affordability. It is also preferable to have the services of such Locksmith that would be available 24/7 at call so that you are not stranded in odd hours with the recurrence of the problems once settled. Maintenance is vital for smooth functioning of any device and it applies to the lock and key of the car as well.

It is Good Going for the Professional

Very often amateur or stop-gap services are available that are inexpensive and the car owner or user could be tempted to obtain the services of such Locksmiths for repair or replacement of car locks and keys. However, there are certain inherent pitfalls in the process. For one, the quality is not assured, and secondly and more important; safety and security of the car may be compromised substantially with such Car Locksmith. Their services may not be available round the clock either.

No such problem will be faced by the owner or use of the car when they opt for the Car Key Locksmith in Chicago.

The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

Like any machine, cars need regular maintenance and care to operate properly. One of the greatest dangers to driver and passenger safety is a poorly maintained vehicle. Vehicles that do not receive regularly scheduled maintenance are unreliable and may malfunction while running, possibly causing an accident. When you decide to purchase or lease a car, make sure you know how often to check all parts and fluids for maintenance needs. Your owner’s manual will have a schedule of recommended maintenance, either by mileage or time.

What’s the Big Deal?

When a car is not properly tuned up, it could experience internal damage that puts the driver at risk. Even small internal damage could turn into a much bigger problem later on. A car has hundreds of parts that must all work together for the vehicle to run smoothly. An issue with one part could cause other parts to fail, leaving you stranded on a drive or causing a severe accident. Additionally, a small problem that may cause major internal damage will be much more expensive to fix later.

When to Have Your Car Checked

The time line for a checkup depends upon the part in question. Generally, it is recommended that you take your car in for a tuneup every 3,000 miles. Your vehicle’s oil should be changed at each of these tuneups, and other fluids such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid should all be checked for leaks or dirty fluid. Tires should be checked and rotated every 7,000 miles or so to ensure that they do not wear unevenly, which increases your chance of getting a flat or blown out tire. Consult your owner’s manual for other guidelines regarding maintenance.

Many safety concerns will be checked yearly during your state inspection, but serious problems could arise during the year between inspections. Space out your car maintenance throughout the year to increase your chance of catching potentially big problems early and to make it more affordable. Preventative maintenance could save you from a costly car accident and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Shop Liability

When you take your car in for a tuneup or inspection, the mechanics working on your car are responsible for ensuring that car problems are detected and that new equipment is installed properly. If you take your car in to have work done and then have car trouble that causes an accident, the auto shop may be liable for your injuries and damages. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney immediately to determine if you have grounds for initiating a lawsuit for compensation.

For More Information

To learn more about car maintenance concerns and accident liability, please visit the website of Sheboygan car accident lawyers Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. today.

Inflate Your Wallet: Fix Your Own Flat Tire

If you have driven a vehicle for any length of time, you have probably experienced a flat tire. For some individuals, such as those who frequently pass through construction zones, this may even be a common occurrence. On average, a properly repaired tire should cost at least $20. If a person needs multiple tire repairs in a year, not to mention potential towing costs, fixing flat tires can easily cost hundreds of dollars per year. How those costs can be reduced by learning to fix your own flat tires.

Equipment. In order to properly, and safely, fix a flat tire, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment on hand. This involves making sure that your vehicle is equipped with a tire jack, tire iron and a spare tire. Even if you know that your vehicle has this equipment, you need to periodically check the condition of the equipment. It is especially important to make sure that your spare tire is properly inflated. Knowing how to fix a flat tire will be of little assistance if your spare is also flat.

Safety. Vehicles today weigh thousands of pounds. While tire jacks are designed to lift up your vehicle safely, they can only be as safe as the surface on which they are used. Therefore, never attempt to change your tire if the vehicle is parked on an incline, or if the car is on gravel or dirt. Doing so can be extremely dangerous, as the jack will not be as stable as it would be on flat, solid pavement. If you can, move the car to flat ground. If that is not possible, then waiting for a tow truck may be your only option.

Changing the tire. The next step is actually changing the tire. Using the tire iron, loosen the lug nuts that hold the tire on the wheel…but do not remove them. Once they are loosened, use your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine where the jack should be placed underneath the car. Then, following the instructions in the manual, or on the jack itself, lift the car so that the tire is not touching the ground. Remove the lugs and take the tire off, replacing it with the spare. Once you have the spare in position, screw the lugs on by hand. This will ensure that you line the threads up correctly. Once you have the lugs threaded correctly, use the tire iron to tighten them until the tire is securely, and tightly, in place. Then lower the jack until the tire is supporting all the weight of the car. At this point, using the tire iron, tighten the lugs as tightly as you possibly can.

Repair. Once the tire is changed, you will want to make sure that the original tire is repaired. One option is to use a tire plug kit to fix it yourself. However, most experts recommend taking it to a service station to have it properly patched. This ensures the safest repair possible.

What Are Major Issues In Heavy Duty Truck Repair And How To Resolve It

For a majority of people, the heavy-duty engines are the biggest investments and there is no reason to compromise the repair work or fixing minor issues. Whether it is a used truck or a new vehicle, you have to find out the problems that exist before knowing how to deal with them. After all, you will never want the budget to skyrocket rather want to remain within the range.

Knowing the scenario

There are different companies selling these trucks in the market and it often makes the decisions meandering. Depending on the model in which you have invested you may experience issues but the amount of time for which the truck runs every day also has an impact on its functioning. Ideally, you must avoid buying those models that are known to have reported more problems than their counterparts. Reading the reviews on the internet is the best way to go. When it comes to heavy duty truck repair the approach is what makes real sense.

Functioning of transmission

Transmission is one of the most important components of these trucks and whether you have purchased new or used vehicle, you have to check whether it has an automatic or manual transmission. If you need to change this component it involves some expenses but there is surely another way out. With heavy duty truck repair you have to move ahead with a careful approach. Regular maintenance is to be carried out to avoid major issues.

Formation of rust

Checking the entire body of the vehicle can reveal the problems of rust. The chances are that there are problem areas in the vehicle that have probably led to the formation of rust in different parts of the vehicle for which the solutions may not come easily. If it is an old truck, the problems may become more intense and deal with them may require careful supervision by the experts.

Oil leaks from engine

When you begin dealing with the problems in these trucks, you will come across the problem of a leak in which the oil comes out of the engine. Ignoring the problem for a long time can aggravate the issues. Consulting the services of expert mechanics can offer the best advice when the leaks start growing out of the control.

Damage to the rubber hose

Of the common problems that exist in the heavy-duty vehicles, issues in the rubber hose might force you to visit a mechanic. Make sure that you get the work done soon as the vehicle might catch fire if this issue is not resolved with proper actions.

Eyeing on the problems

What is needed is a sharp eye on the problems that might erupt anytime. Instead of splurging on repair work of these vehicles you must take one problem at a time and work on it to find the solutions.

Inspection of the vehicle

Whether it is a new or old vehicle that you have acquired, it is good enough to inspect the vehicle. Make sure that no problems must grow in leaps and bounds which lead to more hazards for which the work of repair may take longer and turn out to be expensive.

Oil Change – Why Not Three Thousand Miles?

The three-thousand mile oil change rule is the old standby for protective dads and for times when other means of prediction were not available. To begin, most new off the lot vehicles when following owner’s manual guidelines can go seven thousand to ten-thousand miles before the first oil change is needed or even suggested. After that, there are different guidelines for different types of driving conditions, and being familiar not only with what type of driver you are considered to be and also with your owner’s manual can help you to safely put more time and/or miles between maintenance which means more cash in your pocket.

As this rule is ousted, be sure to read up on recommendations for other maintenance that may have previously been related to the three-thousand mile rule. One new rule that comes out of the shift is that a filter needs only to be changed every other time the lubricant is. If you are not sticking to the three-thousand mile rule, this rule is also a goner. A prevailing difficulty with this new idea is that owners previously were on top of preventative maintenance due to inspections made at regular lube-oil-and-filter checks, but a longer period of time between changes does not mean that the entire car can be ignored for longer periods of time, so be sure to stay on top of your vehicle needs regardless of the miles between changes.

The introduction over the last few decades of synthetic oils to the mass population is also a culprit for the lasting duration between preventative maintenance checks. It has been estimated by trusted scientific analysis that vehicles operating on synthetics can possibly go up to twenty-thousand miles before requiring the maintenance previously known as the three-thousand mile rule, and while this can be a responsibility load off of a car owner, again the time lapse can cause other maintenance needs to fall aside.

Today, lab analysis can be done on existing oil to make predictions about the needs of the engine lubricant. The check is comparable in cost to that of one regular change, and it can indicate, and usually does, that most drivers are apt to change the lubricant more frequently than needed. A check is not necessitated prior to every maintenance; one analysis will do if you’re driving conditions remain the same for the life of your car. If you tend to keep cars on the road until they are considered classics, the needs of the engine and other parts of the car may alter as the car ages, but for the typical driver who keeps a car from two to four years, one initial analysis of used fluid can help predict when an oil change is necessary for you.

The Power of the Race Car Clutch

People who drive manual transition cars use their clutch every time they drive. It is important that someone who races for a living considers a variety of clutches before they simply have one installed. Consider specialised components that have been manufactured specifically for race cars and super cars. In this article I will focus on the types of clutches suitable for race cars.

Combustion engines generally have low torque bands. Because of this the speed of the wheels need to be altered so that it is compatible with the speed. Changing transmissions helps to control the driving experience and the speed. If you want to change the flow of energy in a car, you would require a clutch to do so. That’s why the clutch is so important. They are used to change the flow of speed and energy in a car without turning it off or causing it to lag.

Many clutches are available in sets called clutch kits. It contains all the components necessary for a properly functioning clutch. The material that the clutch is made of is quite important and must be taken into consideration. Some clutches are made of Kevlar. Kevlar is a material that was created to last for a long time and it has a smooth transition sequence. Although they may last for a long time, they often require a long break-in period up to a thousand miles. It’s definitely a good choice if you’re choosing to drive with an engine that may have been modified.

However, Kevlar isn’t the only material to consider. A ceramic clutch will be very practical for those who plan on driving a race car. Your car is going to work hard and drive a lot. The transmissions are going to be continuously engaging and disengaging with the engines. This can cause a lot of heat. Fortunately, ceramic clutches can withstand a great amount of heat. Due to the high heat resistance that ceramic clutches offer, this is one of the best options out there.

All clutches, regardless of strength or what material they’re made are eventually going to break down. At this stage clutch repairs are vital to anyone who wants to preserve their manual transmission race car. Race car clutches will need to be checked as often as possible to avoid delays and problems on the track. Every part has to be in optimum working condition if you want to win that next race.

Basic Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Owners

Riding motor cycle can be exhilarating. When it comes to maintenance, we all depend on repair shop, but every owner should develop a sense of confidence every time they ride with respect to basic maintenance knowledge. It is highly essential to avoid unforeseen mechanical failures. Basic technical knowhow helps keeping the motor cycle fit and running without hassle. Now, there is no need to get admitted into an automobile training school. Are you thinking of mastering your own motor cycle repair? Absolutely not required! Basic maintenance skill will help you stay independent, save time, save money and save yourself from accidents.

Change the engine oil:

Your motor cycle has an owner’s manual where you can find out the frequency of engine oil change. Generally, technicians advise to change the oil after riding 2500 kilometres. Sometimes, this figure varies as per the type of oil used (mineral, semi-synthetic, fully synthetic). So you can change the oil using a wrench. It’s not that difficult.

Check tire pressure:

You just need a tyre gauge to check the pressure. Generally, manufacturers recommend an ambient temperate I.e, when the tyres is cold to check pressure. Pressure recommendation vary based on specific model. These details can be found in the manual. If the pressure is low, consider filling air. If you have a personal compressor or simply a bicycle pump at home do it now.

Clean the air filter:

Whether it is a paper filter, cotton filter, or foam filter inspect the cleanliness every time you change engine oil. Remove the filter from its housing and clean it properly following manual. If it is a paper filter, you can’t clean it. For satisfaction, blow air for cleaning. If it is a foam one, use air flow and in case of cotton, cleaning fluid can be used. It will help your engine get plenty of fresh air.

Check the battery:

Battery performance depends on quality and maintenance. If the battery is older than 3 years, it’s time to be cautious. You must inspect and change it immediately if it doesn’t keep charge. If you face dim light, problem in start, etc. check the voltage scale test using a multimeter.

Grease cables and chain:

It is very important to oil and grease cable housing, chain and some other jerk fittings. Consider greasing in points like sliding points, pivoting points and rotating points. So lubricate whenever you find these places dry.

Clean the body:

This task should be performed in a regular interval to protect the motor cycle from dirt, and to protect the original paint. Regular cleaning also helps avoid junk in iron parts and maintain a shiny look.

All the above needs a little effort to upkeep the vehicle and enjoy a worry free ride. These maintenance efforts require a little automotive technical knowledge. Once you start doing tem, everything will be easy.

Restoring Your Car Bodywork After a Crash – Nuts and Bolts and Collision Repair

Torque spec comes into play after a fastener has been chosen. Bolt torquing is very important. When you thread and tighten a bolt the melt stretches a little, but the metal doesn’t want to be stretched so it resists the stretches and this is where you get the holding power from. This is why when you over tighten it can’t hold the load because it can’t return to its normal shape. Further to this in time the bolt continues to stretch and will end up snapping.

Torque-to-Yield Bolts

A torque to yield fastener is a one-time use that is based on this torque principal we just talked about. The torque spec usually have a 25% safety feature giving you a 25 per cent over tightening leniency. The torque to yield bolts don’t have this safety buffer. They are not meant to stretch the metal. This may sound like a disadvantage but it’s not really. They are extremely strong as they afford the whole 100% of their strength whereas the basic bolt only gives you about 75%.The one disadvantage they do have though is they can only be used once. So if you remove them you have to replace them with a TTY (torque to yield) bold. You are going to end up with 25% less strength with the basic fastener.

The TTY are used in many cases so it’s important for the technician to be aware of this during the estimation process of the procedure.

Tightening Sequence

A tightening sequence can also be specified in conjunction with torque specs. A crises cross pattern is use to install wheels and now some installation patterns are being suggested for body panel fasteners. There is a certain amount of expanding and contracting during temperature fluctuations with composite panels. This means the fasteners have to adjust to these changes and must be designed to allow for this.

Shop Tips

Whenever possible replace the fastener with the same type as the one your remove. Check the manual however to ensure it is the correct part and you are doing the proper procedure. Every part is specific because there is a reason for it.

Keeping track of what you are removing is important and time saving so tossing them in a pile is not the answer. Just use some small plastic bags, put them in and then mark what they are on the outside of the bag.

If you do not have a manual, you can ask a dealership to show you their service manual.

Use all the parts that come with your replacement parts.

If you are not sure about the label, compare height, thread pitch and diameter to the new piece and this will help you choose the right replacement fastener.

Make sure to use coated materials to prevent corrosion. A classic example of making this mistake is using a non-coated steel boat with an aluminum panel. If the coated items you require are not available then use a plastic or fiber gasket, a washer or even a layer of paint to produce a barrier between the materials.

How to Fix Automatic Transmission That Stays in Low Gear

On a car with standard or manual transmission, the driver has to manually shift into first gear and then after the car starts to roll, the driver has to shift manually into second, then third and so on as the speed of the car increases.

An automatic transmission meanwhile allows the car to change gear ratios automatically to shift from first, second, third and so on. The automatic shifting is made possible thanks to the series of valve and switches that control the hydraulic pressure. Most cars in the market now are available in automatic transmission.

If the automatic transmission has problem, you will notice that when you accelerate from a stop, the transmission does not shift to the next higher gear. The car seems to be dragging even though the engine speed increases. You can hear the engine screams louder than usual but the car does not really move smoothly.

This is because if there is failure in the transmission control system, the transmission stays at the low gear and the car is moving faster than it should in the low gear or first gear thus loud roaring sound can be heard from the engine.

If you put the automatic transmission selector at the “Drive” position, the normal shift from the first gear to the second gear occurs when the speed of the car reaches sixteen miles per hour. If the transmission does not shift, the engine speed will keep on increasing but the car will still not gain its normal speed.

The first thing you need to do is to check the level of the transmission fluid. Top up with the correct type of fluid if you found that the fluid is at low level. When checking the level, check also the color of the transmission fluid on the dipstick. Light green or red means there is no major problem with the transmission system but if the color is either dark brown or black, the car will need major transmission repairs.

Some cars come with an additional device installed on the transmission known as a modulator where it will create excellent vacuum to make the transmission works correctly. The transmission will not shift or there will be delay in the shift if the vacuum hose is disconnected or blocked. Just highlight this to your auto mechanic if you are not sure if your car is equipped with the transmission modulator.

Apart from the above, it is also possible that the problem with the transmission comes from a misaligned, disconnected, bent or broken transmission-shift selector linkage. This means the position indicated on which gear you are on is not tally with the actual transmission gear.

On some cars, the shift point, which is the exact speed where the transmission shift, is controlled by a cable. The transmission will not shift appropriately if the cable is disconnected or broken.

The tips above can surely help you before you agree with the auto mechanic for any major repair on the transmission system.

Car Repair Services: Learn About The Best Choices Available For Your Car Repair

Do You Need Car Repair Services?

If you are encountering a lot of problems with your car and your car needs repair, it’s time to check out the different auto repair options available. There are many car repair garages and servicing shops that can offer you with quality services and fix the problem of your vehicle easily. If it’s a simple issue you can take a DIY approach to complete the repairs.

Best Options For Vehicle Repairs And Servicing

Here are some of the different options available for car body repair and servicing:-

Visit The Specialist Repair Shop

If there is a problem in a specific part or auto system of your car, it is always a good idea to seek help from specialist repair shops. An experienced specialist can immediately rectify the problems of your automobile very easily.

Moreover, you can also hire a transmission specialist, a muffler specialist and many other specialists who mainly specialize in providing repair services for specific parts of your car. Hiring a specialist is always the right choice to deal with the complex problems of your vehicle.

Look For A Good Auto Dealer Repair Shop

A reputed and established auto dealer repair shop can also offer you the same garage services such as basic repair and maintenance services for the different makes and models. They may also help you with the mechanical repair or other complicated problems that cannot be fixed elsewhere.

Since they have all the latest tools and equipment they can fix any problem in a hassle-free way. Most of the mechanics usually work on a specific model and so it’s advisable to look for an auto dealer shop which can offer complex repair services for all the models. If you want to replace a damaged part of your car, ask your dealership shop to install the original parts and enjoy a smooth drive.

Can You Take A DIY Approach?

If it’s not a complex issue you can take a DIY approach to carry out the repairs. Not only it will save your money but you may also learn something new while performing the repairs. Car owners can do the easy repairs at home with a little guidance from the car manual.

Replacing a battery, changing the oil filter or air filter, checking the fluid level are some of the basic things that you can do on your own. Call a professional to deal with the mechanic problems of your automobile.

Conclusion

By following a car servicing and maintenance schedule you can extend the life of your car and enjoy a safe drive with your loved ones.

Skills You Need to Restore a Classic Car

Restoring a classic car can be a scary topic for some people. There are a lot of different types of work that goes into a classic car restoration and most people are not skilled at all of them. When you break the process down into the types of repairs that go into your classic car restoration, it’s easier to come to grips with what you really can or can’t do yourself.

An accounting of your skills can help you decide how much work you can do yourself, and how much of the restoration work you should get done by a professional.

Your classic car restoration can be broken down into a few repair categories.

  • Knowing your car,
  • Mechanical repairs
  • Electrical repairs
  • Interior or upholstery work
  • Sheet metal or rust repair
  • Surface preparation and refinishing
  • Auto body and painting
  • Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Some of these categories are self explanatory. Allow me to clarify the ones that aren’t so obvious.

Knowing your car

Cars have always been available with options like sport trim packages, air conditioning, V8, 6 cylinder, or 4 cylinder engines, and the list goes on. As the car gets on in years, some of these options get removed from the vehicle, replaced with something substandard, or never replaced at all. Option codes and shop manuals are generally available for most American classic cars that detail this information.

Mechanical repairs

This covers a lot of what makes up a car and would be most of the moving parts. You’ll find the engine and transmission will need rebuilding, as well as all the regular maintenance repairs like brakes and suspension, and rebuilding components parts like starters, water pumps, and generators. Other components that rarely get considered are the under dash parts like heater or vent controls, window parts inside the doors, hinges, and latches. I’m only touching on the subject, but you get the idea.

Electrical repairs

Electrical can be the scariest of them all. On an old vehicle the sheathing on the wiring can be dry rotted, and cracked and brittle creating the risk of an electrical short. Switches wear out and even fall apart. On some vehicle where these parts are impossible to find, you’ll need to be creative and improvise by using parts from another vehicle make.

Interior or upholstery work

Cloth, vinyl, leather, threading, and stuffing or padding materials all dry rot over time and need to be replaced. Colors fade really bad as well.

Sheet metal or rust repair

Any metal made with iron will rust, even aluminum will oxidize and even disintegrate under the right conditions. The body sheet metal will need to be replaced or patched. This means knowing how to work with sheet metal, how to weld, and even how to shape metal.

Surface preparation and refinishing

Other than the exterior of the car body, there is a lot of sheet metal surface that will need to be stripped of old paint and surface rust, then prepared so it won’t rust anymore, then painted again. This includes the car frame, suspension parts, differential, fasteners and more.

Auto body and painting

Aside from the sheet metal work the exterior of the car body will need to be smoothed and painted. This is an enormous amount of work which is why it can be so expensive.

Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Classic car trim and molding was made mostly from metals. There are steel chrome plated parts, chrome plated pot metal parts, aluminum, stainless steel and even brass or copper. until recently, some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated, pot metal is on of those. In extreme cases, you’ll need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings, grind and sand them down, polish them and get them ready for re-plating.

That’s a lot to know how to do.

Luckily there are some really good how-to DVD’s available that cover all these topics. Even still you might want to specialize in only 2 or 3 of these skills, and get a professional to do the others.

Learning how to do something like this can be entertaining. Even you if you don’t plan on doing some of this work yourself, you’ll want to know how the work is done so you can recognize a job well done.

How to Change a Flat Tire by Yourself

A flat tire always spoils your day. Changing the flat is something that one doesn’t want to do on the road, as it is unpleasant and also a dangerous task. Research has found that tire blowouts result in tens of thousands of accidents, including many fatalities. Thankfully, most of flat tires do not result in accidents. The best way to prevent a flat is getting your tires inspected by a qualified tire specialist regularly.

Tools needed: A spare tire, a jack in good condition, and a lug wrench.

Steps to Change a Flat Tire

1. Put your vehicle on a flat surface- Make sure your vehicle is on a flat surface, or lifting the car may result in damage. Turn on the hazard lights.

2. Remove the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts- First remove the hubcaps, if any, and loosen all the lug nuts on the tire, but do not remove them. It is best to use an anti-slip lug wrench, as it will give a firm grip to loosen the nuts.

3. Place the jack underneath your car- Using the owner’s manual, place the jack in the proper location so that it won’t end up in damaging you or the vehicle.

4. Jack up- Lift the vehicle by cranking the handle of the jack. Lift the vehicle until you can easily remove the tire.

5. Remove the nuts- Now remove the loosened nuts and store them safely. Do not lose them, as you need them to attach the spare tire.

6. Remove the flat tire- Hold the tire and pull it towards you by lifting it slightly. Tires may weigh from 20 to 30 pounds or more depending on the vehicle, so be careful while lifting it.

7. Move your spare- Mount the spare on the hub, place the nuts, and tighten them just with your hands – not using wrench.

8. Lower the jack- Lower the car until it is in contact with the ground, and remove the jack.

9. Tighten the lug nuts- Now tighten the lug nuts that you previously tightened with your hands. First tighten one nut, then the nut most opposite it. Repeat this pattern, always moving to tighten the next most opposite nut. Once all the nuts are tightened to some extent, tighten them more securely one-by-one.

10. Repair the flat (or replace it) as soon as possible- You may not know when you will need a spare tire again.

Things to Take Care of When Changing the Flat Tire

1. Wait until you have a flat before you check your spare- Check to make sure you have the proper tools (jack, lug wrench and the spare tire) before traveling.

2. Changing a flat in an unsafe location- Try to move the vehicle off the road, away from the dangers of traffic, before attempting to change a tire.

3. Ignoring safety visible measures- Do not forget to turn on your hazard lights. Also try to keep the doors open, to provide a buffer to keep other vehicles away.

4. Forgetting to block the tire- Jacked up vehicles may move if the other tires are not blocked. Block the other tires using a brick or stone, and apply emergency brakes before jacking up the vehicle.

5. Lifting up without loosening nuts- Attempting to loosen the nuts when the car is raised ends up spinning the wheel, as you have to apply a lot of brute force. Loosening them before lifting is better, as the ground prevents the wheel from spinning.

6. Raising the car without removing the spare- Remove the spare tire from the vehicle before lifting it on the jack. Interacting with a vehicle that is on a jack can be dangerous, and you may lean or pull on the vehicle while trying to remove a spare tire from the trunk.

7. Take a jack for granted- Be careful while handling a car jack. They can result in serious injuries or death, as the weight of a car can be very dangerous.

Before Your Next Flat Tire

Before your next flat, get yourself familiarized with the vehicle’s manual on the proper procedure for changing a tire. Practice operating the jack and wrench. If they are rusty, then lubricate them, so that they will be easy to use. Store a couple of barking blocks, tire inflator, flashlight, tire sealant, reflective road markers etc, in your car in order to be prepared for emergencies. Periodically check your tires to make sure they are in good condition, including your spare. Usually spares are the ones neglected, as they will be out of sight.

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Knowledgeable on various auto parts.

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

What Does the Odd Sound or Smell Coming From My Car Mean?

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual is a useful resource. It includes maintenance schedules, and a comprehensive overview of your vehicle. However, there is information that you need to know about your vehicle that your owner’s manual won’t tell you. Odd sounds or odors coming from your car can be an early sign that something is wrong with you vehicle. Paying close attention to the sounds and smells emitted from your vehicle can help you catch problems early on and fix them before they turn into more costly major maintenance issues.

Odd Smells

* Burning Rubber – The smell of burning rubber is usually the result of pressing the gas while the car breaks are on. Overheated tires are a common cause of the burning rubber smell.

* Fuel – It is somewhat normal to smell fuel if there was an overflow during a fill-up. However, if the smell persists, this could be a sign that your fuel tank vent is clogged.

* Exhaust or Oil – The smell of oil or exhaust could mean several things. There may be too much oil in the engine. If this is the case, simply wait for the excess oil to burn off the engine. If you do not have too much oil, your engine oil could actually be old, and may have started to burn. Your vehicle may be due for an oil change, which should be performed every 3,000 miles. An oil smell may also be the result of an overheated engine.

* Must – Musty odors are usually indicative of excess water trapped in the vehicle. A common location for excess water in a vehicle is the carpet. Even if the carpet appears to be dry, the musty smell tells another story. Perhaps there is water trapped between the floor of the vehicle and the carpet. Left untreated, this excess moisture can cause the vehicle’s floor to corrode, as well as eat away at the carpet. Excess water can also be found in the vehicle’s trunk, which means you will need to clean or replace the damaged trunk floor, and repair the trunk’s lining to keep moisture out.

* Sweat – A sweat-like smell may be emitted from your vehicle when your alternator is going bad. The smell comes from burnt varnish.

* Smoke – If you smell electrical smoke, turn your engine off immediately and disconnect the battery. Open the hood of the car, and call a professional for help. Running a car after you smell electrical smoke can be extremely dangerous. The smell of smoke could also be the result of the inner sound-proof lining near the engine burning. While this is a less dangerous situation than smoke caused by an electrical problem, it can still be dangerous.

Odd Sounds

* Backfiring – If your vehicle backfires during normal driving conditions, you could have a serious problem on your hands. Get your vehicle checked by a professional immediately.

* Changing Engine Sounds – You should be familiar with how your vehicle feels and sounds on the road, including the sound of your engine. A significant change in the way your engine sounds could be a sign that your engine is overheating. Either pull over for a while to let the engine cool down or reduce/vary your speed. If the odd sound continues, check the water and radiator levels after your engine has had an opportunity to cool down.

* Knocking – Knocking sounds coming from the hood of your vehicle are probably coming from the engine. This could mean that you need to shift to a lower gear. If the sound continues, you should get your oil and engine checked.

* Clicking – Clicking sounds from the steering wheel could be the result of faulty bearings. However, this clicking could also be caused by little rocks or other debris that has been caught in the tread pattern.

* Squealing – Squealing is usually an indicator that the fan belt needs to be replaced.

* Clicking – If you hear clicking that comes from the front wheels when you turn the vehicle, you may have a problem with the front shaft. You should have it checked as soon as possible so the shaft doesn’t fall apart, as a repair is usually less expensive than a full replacement.

Mastering The Basics: How To Change The Oil And Oil Filter

Not all of us can be a master mechanic and perform every service our car needs, but knowing how to perform basic services to maintain your car both saves you money and improves safety. When you know how your car works, you are better equipped to assess issues and possibly fix them without feeling helpless. One of the most commonly performed at-home maintenance services and one of the most important things you can do to keep your car in good condition is changing the motor oil and oil filter. Doing this yourself is relatively inexpensive and easy.

Don’t Ignore The Owner’s Manual

If you’ve always wanted to learn how change your car’s oil and filter, this guide can help! Just remember to always reference your car’s owner’s manual for any vehicle-specific details. The mileage intervals when they need to be changed are listed in the owner’s manual. Also in the owner’s manual is the grade and amount of motor oil you’ll need, as well as any requirements for the filter.

Necessary Equipment

Here’s what you’ll need to be an at-home mechanic, at least as far as the oil change is concerned:

  • Motor oil
  • Oil filter
  • Socket wrench
  • Oil filter wrench, in case you can’t loosen it by hand
  • Funnel
  • Oil pan
  • Mat, newspaper, or big, flat piece of cardboard to catch any oil spills under the car
  • Cleaning rags

Step-by-Step

  1. Drain the old motor oil.
    • Start your car and let it run for a minute or two, or drive it around the block so the motor oil warms up, which will allow it drain out smoothly. After the warm up, park your car in the driveway or garage, ON LEVEL GROUND.
    • If your car is too low to the ground to slide under, you’ll need to jack it up and place jack stands before you get under it (jack stands are a must!).
    • Prop up the hood and loosen the cap on the oil tank or else it won’t drain well.
    • Place your spill mat or cardboard under the vehicle and slide on under with the oil pan.
    • Locate the drain plug.
    • Place the pan on top of newspaper/cardboard below and slightly ahead of the drain plug (the stream will release farther out when you first remove the drain plug).
    • Loosen the drain plug with the socket wrench, turning it counterclockwise, and then remove the plug slowly by hand and let the motor oil drain out. Caution: Oil may be hot.
    • Once the oil slows down to a drip, reinstall the drain plug and tighten it with the socket wrench (just a quarter turn clockwise should be sufficient).
  2. Replace the oil filter.
    • Keep the oil pan under the car and find the oil filter.
    • Loosen it with the filter wrench and remove by hand.
    • Before installing the new oil filter, apply a little motor oil to the new gasket to optimize the seal and prevent the gasket from cracking or sticking.
    • Install and tighten the new oil filter BY HAND.
  3. Add the new motor oil.
    • Remove the cap of the oil tank, and, using a funnel, pour the new motor oil into the tank in the amount dictated by the owner’s manual. When finished, replace the oil cap and wipe away any spilled motor oil.
    • Start your engine and run it for a minute to allow the new motor oil to circulate thoroughly.
    • Time to check the oil level. Turn off the car and remove and wipe oil off the dipstick.
    • Insert and remove the dipstick and check that the oil level is correct. Assuming all is well, screw the cap back on and you’re done!
  4. Clean up and recycle your motor oil.
    • Pour the old motor oil from the pan into a used oil container and put the old oil filter into a plastic bag.
    • You cannot throw your old oil into the trash. Take it to a auto supply store or a lube shop to recycle.
    • Write down the date you performed the oil change and the amount of miles the car had so you know when your next change is due.

And you’re done!

Ball Joints and Your Car’s Suspension System

An important part of your car’s suspension system is its ball joints. Made of extra tough steel, ball joints act as the pivot point between two parts: the suspension and your car’s tires. This part help support your car’s weight and, as is the case with some vehicles, they may be used to help set the alignment. Let’s take a closer look at this key component of your car’s suspension system.

Enclosed in a steel housing, joints are used on the front end of almost every car, truck, SUV, and minivan. As might be expected, this important component is subject to a lot of wear and tear, so to properly protect them they are housed in an enclosed boot to keep dirt away from the joint assembly.

There are two types of suspension systems that use ball joints. The first is a conventional system that uses an upper and lower joint. The second is called a MacPherson strut system that uses a single lower joint and an upper strut bearing. No upper joint is needed as the upper strut bearing does the job instead.

Maintenance for this component has changed over the years for most cars. Many vehicles come equipped with joints that are permanently lubed, so lubrication is not necessary nor is it even possible as the pack that holds the lubrication is permanently sealed. When they wear out or are damaged, you can find replacement parts that come with lubrication fittings; in this case you would need to lubricate your new units on a regular basis as in when you change your vehicle’s oil.

When performing an inspection of your car’s suspension, your ball joints should be looked at too. Have a complete wheel alignment performed and make certain that they are not worn. If they wear out and are not changed, you will soon experience uneven tire wear or unreliable steering, such as wandering. Clearly, worn out parts are a safety issue that must be tended to and fixed immediately.

These parts are developed for the specific make/model of your vehicle. Many models share the same suspension system as other models within the brand, but to be sure check your vehicle’s repair manual for the right replacement parts. Certain manufacturers, such as Moog, develop parts for many makes/models and can be used by mechanics that prefer this particular product. Check online to find out more information about Moog parts and whether they are right for your car.

Remember: ball joints are an important part of your vehicle’s suspension system. Annual check ups of the suspension can head off costly problems which can also impact your safety.

Sick Cars – Millions May Be on the Road

What is a sick car? I am referring to cars that are lacking normal maintenance and/or may need some type of mechanical work. Routine maintenance of a car consists of things like regular oil change, keeping your brakes in good condition, and enough tread on the tires to be considered safe on the road. Some more serious items of repair would be radiator, belts, or even transmission problems. The longer routine and more serious repairs are delayed, the more likely your sick car will either run poorly or just stop running at all.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June, the number of unemployed persons was 14.6 million; the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent. We also have thousands of people that have given up looking for work, as well as families working in minimum-wage jobs. That being said, we have a lot of folks with a limited amount of money trying to maintain their vehicles.

It should be especially noted that this is a catch 22 situation for the unemployed. Without transportation, it’s difficult to find and keep a job-but without a job it’s difficult to pay for maintenance and repair of a car. If you have a sick car or finances are tight, here are some suggestions that may help:

1. Baby Your Car–This is very important. Run your car either at the speed limit or just below. Don’t slam the brakes on at stops; ease into braking. These two things will slow down the wear on your tires and car. It will buy you time until you can get the needed repairs and maintenance done. Jack rabbit starts burn more gas and use more tread on the tires.

2. Phone Calls–Make phone calls instead of driving whenever you can. An example would be calling beforehand for store hours instead of driving to the store only to find out they are closed. If you conserve mileage, you preserve the life of your car. This actually makes sense even for healthy cars.

3. Car Pool–When going to gatherings or church, you can car pool. Nobody needs to know you are eliminating some of the trips your car makes. Take turns now and then with your friends to drive. If you do have a job, this is still a great idea to cut down on the usage of your car and high gas prices.

4. Do- It-Yourself–Of course, this is not for everyone. If you can do mechanical work, change your own oil and filter. Many specs and repair manuals can be found online for those wanting the challenge. This will save labor costs. Also look for discounted parts, including parts found at junkyards. Don’t forget eBay also has cheap pricing on many auto parts.

5. Ask a Friend–Local mechanics may do small jobs for a minimal amount of money either out of their home garage or tucked away in an unadvertised locale. Sometimes, even retirees enjoy doing this type of work at a very reasonable rate. So, ask your friends for personal recommendations. This worked for me when I moved to a different state.

6. Barter or Exchange Services–If you have some type of talent or services you can trade off for car repair, try it. Perhaps you are good at cleaning. Offer to clean in exchange for car repair. You would be surprised these days what works!

7. Walk or Bike–Yes, don’t always hop in the car when you can easily walk to wherever you are going. Biking to your local store is also an option; attach a small basket to your bike for the groceries. This is a real winner since you also benefit greatly from the increased physical exercise.

8. Public Transportation–Taking the bus is another great way to cut down on the usage of your car. If you live in a big city with a great transportation system, this may be the answer. This is another favorite of mine. I met some of the most memorable and lovable people riding public transportation. I saved a lot of money too.

If you have a sick car and a limited budget, you may be able to implement some of these tips depending on your circumstances or where you live. Whatever you do though, make sure levels are full-such as oil, water, and transmission oil. Levels too low can result in engine shutdown. I know; it happened to me.

Also be aware that your car may become “unsafe” for the road if certain repairs are delayed. However, sometimes without charge, a good mechanic can tell you if your car has reached that stage. Chances are your car will not get to that point. With a little bit of ingenuity and some of these tips, you may be able to return your car back to good health.

Removing A Double DIN

Are you looking for easy tips on how to remove your car’s stereo? Then look no further! Be it a double DIN or a single din, you can do it in just 5 easy steps. If you want to know more, then you should read this article.

For car owners who need to remove their factory stereo for replacement or repairs need to do some steps. The standard size of the DIN is 2 inches by 7 inches, and is commonly found in cars, SUVs, and light trucks. Bigger cars and luxury cars have a double-sized stereo than standard cars – this is called the double DIN. If you do not know how to remove your double DIN, then you can hire a car audio technician to do the job for you.

Before you start, here are the things that you will be needing:

1. Screwdriver

2. Trim panel removal tool

3. Pliers or adjustable wrench

Here are the instructions:

1. To have access to the battery terminals, lift your car’s hood. By using an adjustable wrench, loosen up the bolt that secures the cable to the negative terminal. Remove the cable from the battery and put it to a secure place. Go inside your car.

2. Remove the panels from the dash. You can do this by following the instructions found in your car’s manual.

3. Remove the screws and bolt at the corners of the double DIN head unit with the Phillips-head screwdriver or socket and driver. There are some cars that need some specialized extraction tools. For those car brands that like Mazda, Audi, and Ford, use the tools into the slots of the unit’s face. Pull the unit from the dock good enough to reach the cable antenna and wiring connected to the back of the stereo unit.

4. Remove the wirings that are connected to the outlets at the back of the unit. The wirings may have release mechanisms that must be engaged prior to unplugging the cables. Check out the repair manual for any specific instructions before you pull the cable connectors from the outlets on the rear panel of the unit.

5. Disconnect the antenna cable lead from the outlet on the lower-left corner of the stereo’s rear panel. Set aside the panel in a secure place.

These are the 5 easy steps on how to remove a double din or car stereo. If you are unsure on how to do it, then you can hire someone or ask for help from your friend. Good luck!

Car Heater Not Working – Blowing Cold Air!

There are several reasons why your car’s heater may be blowing cold air, instead of heat. It is important to understand how the heater works in your car before you can begin to try to diagnose why it is not working. First, there is NOT an electric heater element in the heater system in automobiles, like in portable heaters used in the home. The part that transfers heat into the passenger compartment is called a heater core. A heater core can be thought of as a miniature radiator. The car engine’s coolant flows through the heater core while the fan (also called a blower), blows air through the heater core fins. When air blows through the heater core fins, it is warmed, therefore warming the passenger compartment.

Start by checking the coolant. As we already said coolant is what warms the heater core. So if the coolant is low, there may not be a sufficient amount of warmth to transfer heat to the air in the passenger compartment. Since it ‘s cold outside, low coolant may not effect the operating temperature of the engine significantly, so you won’t be alerted to a coolant problem by the temperature gage on the instrument panel. Once the coolant is full, feel the heater hoses that go through the firewall. With the engine at normal operating temperature, BOTH of the heater hoses should be hot to the touch. If only one is hot, this indicates there is is a blockage in the heater core or there is air trapped in the heater core. Using a Lisle coolant funnel is helpful in purging the air from the cooling system. If the coolant is really brown, has been neglected, or if “stop leak” has been used at some point, the heater core could be stopped up. The blockage can sometimes be unstopped by removing the heater hoses and using a garden hose with a sprayer to flush the heater core out. If neither of the hoses are hot to the touch, there could also be a malfunctioning heater control valve, if used on the model you’re working on. Check for presence of a heater control valve by following the heater hoses back to the engine. Sometimes, a vacuum line could have a break causing there to be no vacuum to operate the valve. Also it should be noted that if this is your first winter with this car (and you’re unfamiliar with the car’s repair history), the previous owner could have by-passed the heater core because of a leak. When a heater core leaks, usually they wet the passenger side floorboard. The labor cost to change heater cores is usually expensive, so sometimes people will loop the heater hoses and by-pass a leaking heater core instead of repairing it properly.

Next check for proper airflow. After you’re sure the heater core is getting hot water flow, read the following information. Doors within the heater case are either controlled by electric actuators, cables or vacuum motors. Adjust the heat control to both extremes while listening for movement of the blend door. With a cable operated heater door it’s easiest to hear the door thump when it closes. If the door is not operating, find the door that controls the airflow across the heater core. If there is an electric motor that controls the door, tapping on it can sometimes make it work temporarily for testing purposes. A vacuum operated motor needs vacuum to work, so using a handheld vacuum pump for testing is usually recommended. If the vacuum motor does not hold vacuum, the diaphragm is leaking requiring replacement. To go deeper into diagnoses of the control head’s function and diagnosis, specific vehicle repair manual information is needed. But hopefully the basics laid out in this article has helped to get you started on the right track. 

The Top Three Benefits of Changing Transmission Fluid

There has always been some debate on the pros and cons of changing your transmission fluid on a routine basis, per your vehicle owner’s manual recommendation. One of the many rumored suspicions is that doing so will open your car up to having dreaded transmission issues sooner. To debunk those conspiracy theories, let’s get into the meat of the topic and explore, together, why it absolutely makes sense to change it regularly; and how not doing so could actually cause your car to run sluggishly – potentially costing you precious pennies in the long run!

1) Heat is the enemy

The number one reason that manufacturers recommend you change your transmission fluid regularly is because it degrades as it continually heats up during driving. There are exhaustive studies about the precise temperatures in which its effectiveness actually wanes. Suffice it to say that most owner’s manuals duly recommend changing your fluid every 30,000 miles. There is one exception to this rule: newer vehicles using Dexron III ATF fluid can often go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be changed. As you drive, and the transmission heats up, the viscosity of your fluid changes; over time, this heat causes transmissions to burn up and this is the single-most cause of transmission repairs today – burned up transmissions.

2) Gunk and sludge

As your transmission continues to heat up and it continues to break down, your car’s transmission components begin to get bogged down with gunk and sludge. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that gunk and sludge are going to clog up your transmission gears, causing unnatural wear and tear on your vehicle’s transmission. If you want your transmission to continue to operate smoothly, it is vital to keep it clean.

3) Leaky seals and putrid odors

No, I’m not talking about a horror flick here. A well-maintained machine is one whose owner regularly checks the transmission fluid levels – yes, using the dipstick! You should ideally check your transmission fluid level when your engine is warm and idling. Transmission fluid should be bright red and should smell sweet, not putrid or rancid. It shouldn’t be brown or black or even dark red. It should look like the tip of the spindle after Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger. If your transmission fluid level is low, or the color is not right, it’s time to change your transmission fluid and check (or have checked by the mechanic) all of the seals around the transmission for leaks.

If you want your transmission to last throughout the life of the car, it is imperative that you change your transmission fluid regularly, following your owner’s manual guidelines and a few common sense rules. In today’s world of disposable everything – neglecting your transmission can be a rude awakening to your wallet. The potential costs associated with ignoring the routine maintenance guidelines on your transmission could total thousands of dollars that would be better spent on a nice, warm vacation to a sunny spot this summer.

How to Buy a Junkyard Transmission

Whenever you are faced with a potential, unexpected car repair it can be a stressful task. There are certain mechanical failures that may make you panic – mainly the engine and transmission. It is common knowledge that repairs on either of these components are very costly and you may not have the money to take the car to the shop. The good news is you need not panic as there is another option that can sometimes cut your costs in half.

If you need transmission repair there are a few options to consider:

• Take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and pay for parts and labor

• Buy your new parts from the auto store and do the repairs yourself

• Buy used auto parts and have an auto repair shop do labor

• Buy used auto parts and do the repair yourself

The first option of using a repair shop will always be the most costly option. You will pay more for parts as well as labor. Your second option will save you some money by only requiring out of pocket funds for new parts. However, be advised that new auto parts are often marked up quite a bit. Your third and fourth options are the best choices if you are looking to lower your budget significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Buying used auto parts makes some people feel uneasy. This should not be a problem if you go to a trusted and experienced junkyard. There, you can often find almost-new parts and components that have significant years and miles left on them. If you need a used transmission, an auto salvage yard should be your first stop, regardless of whether you want to do the actual repairs yourself or have the transmission installed professionally. Before you go to the junkyard you should follow these steps:

• Make sure you know what you are looking for. Consult your car’s manual to determine the exact type of transmission that your car has and the specifications you need.

• Determine what actual parts you need. If you have an automatic transmission, look for other components that are needed such as a torque converter. If you have a manual transmission, you may need a new clutch in addition to the exact transmission. You can always call the car manufacturer to get full details on what you need so that you have all proper parts assembled before your repair.

• Carefully examine all parts. When you visit the junkyard, look at all of the components of the transmission. Cycle through all gears of the transmission and make sure that you do not hear any suspect noises, especially grinding. It should be fairly easy to get through all gears. If you have difficulty doing so, you should probably move on to the next potential prospect. Look for clean oil between the gears. You should also examine the input and output shafts to make sure the input shaft is not too loose and the output rotates easily.

If you follow these easy steps, purchasing a junkyard transmission and other used auto parts will greatly cut your costs and allow you to make your transmission repairs much more affordable – whether you do it yourself or just get used parts and take them to your repair shop.

Do It Yourself Truck Repair, The Toolbox Essentials

Remember when all you really needed to fix your own truck was a little bit of mechanical inclination, a small tool box and that dogeared repair manual? Man, do I miss those days sometimes! Nowadays its OBDII, fuel trim, O2 sensors, evaporative emissions and allot of other jargon that can make your eyes cross. Lets cover some the the “must have” items you should have in your arsenal! The actual tools that reside in your box are not what I’m referring to. Those tools are the easy part. I’m referring to those specialty items that make diagnosing and repairing your vehicle a whole lot easier.

– A quality Scan Tool, not just a “code reader”, it should be able to give you basic data stream information about your vehicle. This is critical when trying to diagnose a problem or “check engine light” issue.

– A quality DVOM (multimeter). Another critical item for testing the electrical components of your truck

– Internet access! Yes, you heard it right. And heres why:

1. Say your check engine light comes on, you scan your truck and come up with a P0301 code. Simply “google” that puppy and you’ve got like 25 search pages of free help!

2. And on any number of those search pages you’ll find general and specific vehicle forums to join for free! Simply sign up and post your questions. You’ll get helpful tips from professionals and fellow forum members.

3. This is for you hardcore DIYer’s, A number of the professional vehicle repair data base companies are now offering a DIY version of their services on line. For a small monthly fee, usually a “per vehicle” charge, you have access to their database full of information, repair procedures, code descriptions, trouble shooting guides and wiring diagrams!

Bear in mind some of these items can be quite expensive. But there are some really good deals out there, you just have to shop around! And be wary of used equipment, make sure the seller has a good return policy if your shopping on the internet. Repairing your own vehicle can be a daunting task! I hope some of these tips and suggestions help to ease the frustration when problems arise.

Until next time,

Chris

Some Safety Precautions When Working on a Hybrid Vehicle

There are many benefits to owning a hybrid vehicle. Probably the best reason to purchase one of these vehicles is in order to keep the pain at the pump at a minimum. Did you know that there are some precautions to take if you plan on working on one of these vehicles yourself though? First of all, it is true that working on a standard gas-only consuming vehicle is very much the same to working on a hybrid, but you should keep in mind that the battery voltage is much higher.

While each hybrid vehicle is different, each operates under the same principals. It has an internal-combustion engine like all other vehicles, but as a back up power supply, it possesses an electric motor as well. When it comes to working on hybrids, you should know that you are in for something completely different. These vehicles possess more computers and sensors, not to mention they pack a lot of power.

These hybrid vehicles feature high powered battery packs located at the back of the cars which can produce 200 to 275 volts of electricity at up to 80 amps. Honda hybrids produce 144 volts. Keep in mind that 50 volts is enough to kill some people. If someone has only had experience working on non-hybrid vehicles, they could easily make a mistake that could electrocute them pretty badly, even leading to death.

Therefore, if you work on cars and are thinking about working on your own hybrid, keep this in mind. Before you work on your new hybrid car, make sure you have read the manual. Reading a licensed repair manual, such as those prepared by Chilton or Haines would be a good idea as well. If you are a novice at car repair, you may want to leave it to the professionals. One of the best precautions to take though is to make sure that your vehicle is completely powered down before you attempt to work on it. Make sure that you have removed the keys from the ignition, as the vehicle will start the engine if the battery needs charging.

Some hybrid vehicles have already taken this potential danger into consideration. For example, Toyota has made all of the high voltage cables in their hybrid vehicles bright orange. This will be a big help in preventing you from making any spur of the moment mistakes. Also, in their Prius model, they have made it so that when the car is powered off, no power is running through these cables. Another precaution that has been taken in this car is the service plug located on the battery. When this plug is removed from the battery, no energy is able to leave it.

If you are the proud owner of a hybrid vehicle, there is no reason to get paranoid about working on your vehicle. It still remains a very safe endeavor, just as long as you are aware of the added danger and take the proper precautions in order to prevent it.

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.