It’s so nice to have a car that can go 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It’s also nice to have one that goes 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds. We know you all don’t drive sports cars – but what about stopping? It’s easy to forget that there is some pretty powerful engineering and parts that make it so your car can stop on a dime, quarter or penny. Your brakes are so important! But how do you know that you need to have them replaced before they fail? You don’t want to be going 60 mph and try to stop just to realize that you can’t do it. So how can you tell? There’s five important signs that you need to have your brakes repaired.
#1 Dash light.
The first and most obvious way to tell if you need t ...[more]
If you’ve had to get your engine repaired, you know the worry about a rebuilt engine vs. a new engine. There are so many pros and cons, especially when you compare the cost for a brand new engine can reach into the thousands. But a rebuilt engine, while less expensive, can also be a concern. Will it last? What does that really mean?
A rebuilt engine means that at some point, something inside the engine failed. For the non-technical out there, just imagine that there are several different types of components that make up an engine like rings, gaskets, pistons, etc. If any one item or multiple items fail, then the engine must be taken apart and those components replaced. Then the entire engine must be put back together. Rebuilding an engine is typically referred to as one of the most important, invasive and expensive repairs you can make to a car. After all, it is the heartbeat of ...[more]
1. For performance and handling, the trend has long been toward fatter tires with a bigger footprint. That’s starting to change, though. Skinnier tires mean lower rolling resistance and better fuel economy, as well as a smaller aerodynamic profile. While fatter tires do handle better, tire engineers are making up the difference by designing skinny tires with a stickier tread formulation for traction and cornering ability.
2. Static electricity used to be a real concern for vehicles; if you’re old enough, you may remember seeing station wagons with a “ground strap” dragging along the pavement. It’s become a concern again, with newer tread compounds cutting back on the amount of carbon black in newer tires. The solution? Many tires are now designed with an “antenna strip” ...[more]
It can be a lot of work and attention to detail to get your car really clean…especially if it’s pretty dirty to start with…but here are some ideas for truly thorough cleaning that you may not have thought of!
--A cheap foam paintbrush can get into crevices (like A/C vents) that might be impossible otherwise. As you loosen up dust from these spots, keep a vacuum cleaner nozzle at work in your other hand to suck up the dust and prevent it from settling other places.
--A soft-bristled brush is perfect for cleaning around radio knobs and other buttons.
--While you’re cleaning, don’t forget to locate your cabin air filter and replace it. A dirty cabin air filter can lead to a lot of odd smells and stinks. Check your owner’s manual; cabin a ...[more]
We know that a lot of drivers are working pretty hard to make a dollar go farther and that the outlay for a full set of four tires – even inexpensive tires – can be considerable. That’s why we run across drivers pretty often who ask if it’s okay to just replace a pair of tires, then buy the other pair when they can afford them.
The answer is…yes, but…
You’ll really need to pay attention to the size of the set of tires that you’ve already got and go with that exact same size of tires for your new pair. Having mismatched sizes of tires on your vehicle can result in squirrelly and unpredictable handling and ride quality. If your existing tires are all-season, go with all-season tires. If they’re winter tires, go with winter tires. Ideal ...[more]
Your battery is an integral part of your vehicle. Without one, you can’t start and operate your car. All batteries wear out and need to be replaced sometimes.
Here’s five fun facts that you never knew about your battery.
- Your vehicle’s battery is always draining when the car is off. Your vehicle’s battery starts to slowly discharge when your car is not driven for a certain amount of time. Your battery may wear out while you are gone on a long trip, if you have your car in storage, etc. That doesn’t mean that your battery needs to be replaced. But if it won’t charge you might need to be.
- Your battery has water inside. And the water inside your battery sometimes needs to be added to. Don’t use tap water. Make sure you use distilled water or purchase battery fluid from an aut ...[more]
While you can’t know everything about everything, you do need to know a little about your car. Car maintenance and auto repair come with owning and driving a car. And if you don’t know some things, it can hurt your car and your financial investment in it.
Keep your fluids topped off. Having not enough fluids can be a big problem. We all know that we need gas or fuel to run our car, but we don’t remember that the other fluids are just as important. Try starting your engine when it doesn’t have any oil. Not a good idea? No, we didn’t think so either. If you want to use that great invention of power steering, you’ll need to keep the reservoir full. The systems in your car were designed for specific fluids, with varying amounts and purposes. And don’t forget that not enough fluid is just as bad as overfilling. Use the measurement tools ...[more]
Yeah, yeah…your vehicle’s fairly new and you take care of it, and you’ve even got a membership in AAA. That doesn’t mean that your chances of ending up in a tight spot are zero. It’s just common sense to be prepared with a trouble bag in your car. Here’s a pretty good rundown of things you should keep in a car emergency kit:
Fully charged cell phone: You may want to consider a cheap prepaid “burner phone” with a long battery life and keep it strictly in the car. If nothing else, at least keep a charged-up power bank on hand.
First-aid kit: At a bare minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads and bandage tape, aspirins, antiseptic wipes, scissors, antiseptic cream or ointment, Band-Aids, rub ...[more]
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