All posts tagged auto maintenance

Avoid Breakdowns: 4 Signs of Major Car Issues Ahead

auto breakdowns

There’s nothing worse than hopping in your car to go someplace fun (or to work, I guess) only to turn the key and discover that it won’t start. Even worse, you could be on the road and suddenly see smoke pouring from the hood. Car problems are inevitable, but you can prevent unexpected disasters and huge repair bills by catching problems early. Below, read about four signs that you could be on your way to a major car problem.

Your Engine Revs More than Usual

Cars make a lot of noises, but if you notice that your engine is revving more than usual, that could be a sign that your clutch is slipping. You might also notice the tachometer accelerating faster than the speedometer. If your clutch is slipping, it’s likely that it is too worn out to engage properly. If you let this problem go on for too long, you could burn out your flywheel, which will mean a heftier mechanic bill. It’s best to have your clutch serviced or gearbox repaired at a professional shop.

Your Fuel Economy is Taking a Dive

It’s always a good idea to have a basic understanding of how far your car can go on a full tank of gas. If you find yourself filling up more frequently, it could be a problem with your compression stroke. One simple fix for this is using a fuel cleaner from any parts store. You could also have your fuel system serviced by a mechanic.

Your Car’s Lights Dim

If you’re driving slowly and the headlights and dashboard lights get noticeably dimmer, that could be a sign of an electrical problem. The battery, alternator, or voltage regulator could be the culprit. Many auto parts stores can check your battery, but for alternator or voltage regulator issues, you’ll need to have the problem diagnosed by a mechanic.

Your Brake Pedal Vibrates

If you drive regularly, you should get a feel for how your brakes usually act. If you notice vibrating when you push down on the pedal, you could have a problem. There are a few possible causes: worn or damaged brake pads, bad brake discs, poor alignment, or worn suspension components. You should check each of these for issues. If not fixed, brake vibrations can lead to significant rotor issues down the line.

Even if you aren’t particularly car-savvy, you should be aware of basic car maintenance. Keep an eye out for these four problems, and you’re on your way to being a responsible car owner!

Top Reasons to Have a Dealership Service Your Vehicle & Not an Auto Shop

auto dealer maintenance, dealer maintenance

If your vehicle needs service, you may be wondering if you should take it to a dealership or an auto shop. There are many advantages to taking your car to a dealership that you might have not realized. Here are four reasons why it’s best to have a dealership fix your vehicle.

The Right Parts

A dealership that specializes in repairing your type of vehicle will be likelier to have the right parts in stock. An auto shop might not have the right parts in stock and may try to use similar parts that aren’t compatible with your vehicle.

If your vehicle is an older or a rarer model, the dealership can order parts from the proper supplier if they aren’t already in stock. This can save you the trouble of having to search for these parts on your own.

A Better Waiting Area

If you choose to wait at the dealership for your vehicle to be repaired, you’ll have access to a nicer waiting area than what you’d find at most auto shops. Dealership waiting areas are often cleaner, more spacious and better organized.

Waiting at the dealership also gives you the chance to check out some of the newest products. Edmunds.Com states that you can buy sunshades, keychains and other fun products from the parts department.

Certifications and Warranties

Most dealerships have factory-certified technicians on staff. These mechanics have been specially trained to service your type of vehicle. The mechanics that work for auto shops are sometimes not factory-certified and can’t give you the same quality of service.

Many dealership parts are also covered under better warranties. Whether you require Honda, Ford or Nissan repair service, the dealership will be likelier to offer you parts that have longer warranty periods with greater guarantees.

Up-to-Date Information

A dealership will know more about your vehicle than an auto shop does. The dealership can let you know the latest information that has been published about your vehicle.

Quite often, dealerships are among the first places to know of any vehicle or product recalls. Auto makers also pass on service recommendations to dealers. Dealerships are usually good about letting their customers know about the latest recalls and service recommendations. Your dealership should contact you about any important news.

Visiting a dealership is the obvious choice if your vehicle needs any repair or maintenance work performed. By going to a dealership, you’ll be making an excellent investment of time and money into keeping your vehicle running.

5 Ways to Keep Your Car in Good Shape This Summer

summer car

The summer is coming, and it is going to be hot. You have been waiting for the warm weather for months now. You cannot wait to get out and have loads of fun with your friends. Before you can truly enjoy your summer, your car is going to need some much needed maintenance attention from you. Here are five things you can do for your car to make summer easier on your ride.

Check Your Fluids

The temperature is getting warm for the summer. This transition can cause the fluids in your car to evaporate. By checking and topping off your car’s fluids, such as your transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and windshield wiper fluid, you could be preventing performance problems with your car from giving you a headache this summer.

Change Your Oil

To keep your engine running smoothly, your car needs to have clean oil on a regularly scheduled basis. The summer is no exception—especially when it comes to preparing your car for the long, cross country family trip. If your engine has been sounding like it is working a little harder than usual, this could be a sign that your car’s oil change is long overdue.

Clean Your Engine and Engine Bay

As you are heading into the hot summer weather, this is the opportune time to give your engine and the engine bay of your car a much needed cleaning. Oil and dirt build up in these areas of your car can cause your engine to run hot. This is not good for your engine in the summer heat. By getting the dirt, oil and grime off of your engine and other areas of your engine bay, you will make it easier for your engine to remain cooler so it can perform better.

Protecting Your Paint Job

The sun will be beating down on your car this summer, and the excess heat can cause your paint job to fade. By using a slip over cover for your car, this can do a lot to keep direct sunlight off the surface of your car and protect your paint job in the process. Looking for metal carports for sale is another way to acquire a cover that can help to keep sunlight from constantly heating up your car and damaging the paint in the summer months.

Check Your Tire Pressure

When your tire pressure is off, this can cause everything from uneven wearing of your tires to a blow out that leaves you stranded on the side of the road. It is generally cheap to get a tire pressure gauge to keep around to test your tire pressure from time to time. Be sure to check your car manual to know what your car’s manufacturer recommends as the best tire pressure to rate your tires for when making this check.

Conclusion

You want your car to perform reliably for you during the summer months. As a responsible car owner, you will need to take the initiative to keep your car in good working order. By doing so, you will help to ensure that you will not be left stranded on the side of the road.

What Every Classic Car Owner Needs to Know to Protect Their Vehicle

classic car

Very few things in the world are as exciting as being handed the keys to a beautiful classic car. In addition to being fun projects, older cars can also be great investments as long as you keep them well-maintained. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you protect your classic vehicle for many years to come.

Skip the Cheap Cleaning Products

When it comes to cleaning cars, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. As a general rule, you should only use high-quality products that were specifically made to clean vehicles. Using dish detergent or an old rag to clean your car could strip away the protective sealant and scratch the underlying paint. Many classic car owners find it easier to hire an auto detailing specialist a few times a year.

Continue Schedule Regular Maintenance

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with an older vehicle is letting it sit without any maintenance for more than a few weeks. Even if you aren’t regularly using the car, you should still have it serviced by a professional mechanic once every two or three months. You also need to drive it a few times a month to lubricate the motor, rotate the tires, and blow out any dust that has settled in the engine compartment.

Leave Major Projects to the Professionals

Unless you have quite a bit of experience working on vehicles, you should leave all major projects to a professional mechanic. Older vehicles are notoriously easy to work on, but you need to spend a few months familiarizing yourself with a car or truck before you work on it. Maintaining a relationship with a reputable mechanic is also going to make your life much easier when the vehicle breaks down or you need to order a custom part.

Get Specialty Car Insurance

An auto accident can happen in the blink of an eye, and that is why you need to contact an insurance provider, such as Marine Agency, to discuss your coverage options. Generic auto insurance might not be a good idea for older vehicles that actually go up in value every year. With a comprehensive classic car insurance policy, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for expensive parts and repairs.

Protecting and maintaining a classic car takes a lot of work, but the payoff is almost always worth it. As long as you remain proactive and don’t ignore your car for months, you should be able to avoid some of the most common problems that classic car owners run into.

3 Tips for Having the Perfect Space to Work on Your Dream Car

auto garage

If you have recently purchased the classic car of your dreams, you may have incredible plans to restore it to mint condition. This type of restoration project can take many months to complete. While this will be a labor of love that you may enjoy thoroughly, there is one thing that you need to focus on before you get started with the work. You need to create the ideal space to work on your car restoration project.

The Right Square Footage

Working on an auto restoration project is not something that you want to do in a tight space. You may need to raise the car at certain times, and you may need to swing all doors wide open at other times. You may also need to use specialized equipment a few feet or more away from the vehicle to prepare parts for installation. The minimum amount of space that you may need for this type of project is a two-car garage, but it is best to work in an even larger space if possible.

A Comfortable, Functional Environment

Regardless of whether you plan to work in your garage or in a separate structure on your property, you need this space to be perfectly comfortable to spend hours in. This means that you should consider installing an HVAC system through a company like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. for year-round climate control. You also should have adequate ventilation for your health and safety. Both natural and artificial light are essential, and you will need access to water and electricity to complete many of the smaller projects related to your dream car restoration work.

A Secure Space

Your old and perhaps beat up car may not have much value right now. However, as you make regular improvements to it, its value can skyrocket. In addition, you may have expensive parts, tools, and equipment in your home workshop. Because of this, you need a way to secure your workshop when you are not in it. This should extend beyond a simple door lock. Keep any blinds on the windows closed when you are not working on the vehicle. Use a garage door open with a secure entrance feature. Ask a locksmith to upgrade your door locks as well.

It may have taken you time to find the right classic car to begin restoring, and it will undoubtedly require a substantial personal investment to complete the restoration project. The environment that you choose to work on your car will affect your comfort level, your ability to move around freely and your ability to secure the vehicle. Focus on each of these factors to create the ideal auto workshop.