Articles:

Concerned about gas prices?

We're all concerned about gasoline prices right now and how to save money on gas. There are a few things that everybody can do right away to help save some gas money... During every change of the season, the mix of gasoline and ethanol at the pump changes. This always causes problems, especially with your fuel filter. Check and replace your fuel filter and air filter. Service your Fuel and Induction systems. They work and get clogged like a spray paint can...a perfectly working system produces a fine spray, and a clogged system dribbles or globs. To clean these systems, I recommend going a preventative maintenance service called Motorvac, which cleans out fuel and air intake systems. At the very least I recommend using a good fuel injection cleaning. Get a maintenance tune-up. If it's been a long time since you've had your spark plugs replaced, make sure your technician evaluates their status, too

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Car Care Tips

Get Ready for Vacations and Week-end Trips

What do you do if you start hearing or have been hearing a weird noise? The easy answer is to get an inspection by ASE Certified Tech. They can find the cause and also find other damage it may have caused. To protect yourself, though, you should take the time to listen to turn off the CD player, roll down the window - and listen to your car: Worn or lose fan belt (high pitched, loud squeal -- especially when cold) Thumping separated tires (thud, thud) Wheel bearing (grinding or growling) Overheated engine (hissing and steam) Brakes (squeal or grinding) Engine (knocking or tapping) Front end/suspension (creaking or knocking) How to save TIME and MONEY on these kinds of problems... Keep a note pad in the car and make notes on problems as they come up: Time of day Description Weather Driving conditions Noise type Take your notes to your tech - AS SOON AS YOU NOTICE IT. Go for a test-drive with them and identify the specific ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Do you really get what you pay for in auto repair?

Here's my question to you: should price be the only consideration? Would you pay a good doctor for diagnosis and then find a cheap, back alley butcher to do your surgery? There is a huge difference in quality of labor and quality of parts in auto repair. Like I said, there are other, more important things to consider than price, like: Safety Reliability and piece of mind Knowing that it was fixed right the first time Time and convenience and saving money in the long run I've seen parts with holes and cracks in the castings right out of the box from every Asian country. Let me tell you from experience: cheap parts and cheap auto repair aren't worth your money. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for...quality isn't expensive, it's priceless

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Car Care Tips

My Car Is On Fire -- What Should I Do?

Don't panic. Determine if it's smoke or steam. Pull off the road immediately. Unlock power door locks -- in case electricity quits. Turn the ignition OFF -- to shut off fuel pump and spark plugs. Pull the hood release -- so firefighters can put out fire. Get everyone out of the car. Call the fire department. Leave the sunroof, windows and doors closed. Don't open the hood -- starve the fire of oxygen. Don't fight the fire yourself. Water won't put out gasoline or electrical fires. Only TYPE B and TYPE C fire extinguisher. Dry chemical is most effective, but leaves corrosive residue. If the fire is under the car: Get out and stay away. The gas tank could explode

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Car Care Tips

3 Main Ways of Being Ripped-Off

They sell you something you don't need. This is the worst kind of rip-off. This occurs regularly in certain shops. Protect yourself: Have them show you each needed item before and after repair; get written estimate; get second opinion before; verify repairs after; get old parts. They don't know what they are doing. Many unskilled techs are in the field due to a general shortage of technicians nationwide. You are paying for their incompetence: wasted diagnosis time, mistakes, and parts not needed. Protect yourself: Select a shop, which is accredited by AAA, ASE and ASA. Also make sure your tech is ASE certified in the specialty he's working in. Just because a tech is certified in one specialty, doesn't mean in all areas. Test their recommendations with a second opinion. They promote a price which isn't realistic. Cheap 4 wheel brake jobs: $99, but really averages $200-$300. Scheduled maintenance, tune-ups, and many other services can al ... read more

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Car Care Tips

'Getting Ready For Cold Weather' Car Tips

A lot of people ask me, 'Do I need to winterize my cooling system this year?' and 'How long should my antifreeze or coolant last?' Most people think that the only thing they need to worry about when it comes to their coolant is AVOIDING FREEZE-UPS. There are 3 things we have to worry about with coolant: Protection against freezing and boiling Rust and Mineral Deposits P/H balance Protection A 50-50 mix gives protection to -34 degrees Rust. Rust will grow in the system over time. It's a living entity that eats things. P/H Balance Acid eats: Radiators Heater cores Hoses Engine head gaskets Alkaline causes: Mineral deposits Clogged up radiators, thermostats, and heater cores What about these $19 or $29 Cooling System Services? A Radiator drain and fill doesn't really fix the big problems. The radiator will still have rust & pH Balance problems. Every 2 Years, do a complete Cooling Syste ... read more

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Car Care Tips

Basic Training for New Drivers

Basic Training - In addition to driver's education, teach them how things work and what to expect: Check tire pressure Check the gas gauge Under hood checks Oil level Washer fluid Coolant bottle level Change a flat tire You should also get a complete safety inspection on your new driver's car and go over it with them. They will gain more: Respect, appreciation and responsibility for taking care of the car Finally, talk about the What if's...what to do when the car stops running, when they become stranded on the side of the road: Jumper cables Flashlight Cell phone with all of the emergency and contact numbers

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Car Care Tips

What Do You Do When Your Car Overheats?

How do you know if your car is overheating? Needle is toward or in HOT zone on gauge Red Temperature Light is on Steam coming out of engine What should you do? STOP NOW! DON'T OPEN RADIATOR CAP Get professional help...have a tow truck bring you to the most reputable tech in area What should I do if my engine has overheated? Have a complete Cooling System Evaluation done by an ASE Certified Technician Have all components of the cooling system -- including head gaskets -- checked for damage ALWAYS REPLACE the thermostat Make sure coolant is 50-50 mix What if needle on Temp. Gauge is just a little over the normal range? Turn off A/C Turn on heater Get out of stop-and-go traffic If in traffic jam, turn engine off

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Car Care Tips

Hydroplaning and Tire Care

What is Hydroplaning? Hydroplaning is the loss of contact between your tires and the road because of water buildup. When your car hydroplanes, it essentially turns into an unsteerable sled, which is especially dangerous if there are people or vehicles in front of you on the road. Rain means high danger for hydroplaning. Older highways with ruts and non-porous surfaces have a higher occurance of Water puddles...and thus an increased danger of hydroplaning. How do I avoid Hydroplaning? Worn tires are at a higher risk of hydroplaning, and need to be replaced before they are down to the wear bar. Narrow or Aqua-tread type tires are better Low tire pressure makes the problem worse Slowing down helps! Drive defensively -- watch for puddling and danger areas

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Car Care Tips

Car Insurance

When someone mentions car insurance, we all think about the liability insurance the state requires us to have on our vehicles. And we all know we can add comprehensive coverage that will help pay for damage in an accident. Usually this is applied to newer cars. But there are several other types of insurance for you car that you may want to consider purchasing for your car: Extended Warranties: These are like health insurance for your car...but they're not all the same. A few are good, but many are bad. Gap Insurance: You should only consider this if you're financing 85% or more of the purchase of a new car. This is because new cars depreciate faster than the loan is paid down. Credit Insurance: This pays off the car loan in case of death, and is usually included in some very expensive life insurance plans. Umbrella policies: These include liability coverage above other policies, and are usually very goo ... read more

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Car Care Tips
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