Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Should a Car's Engine Oil Be Replaced?

For years, car makers have preached the gospel that engine oil needs to be changed every 3 months or 3 thousand miles, whichever comes first. This was because engine oil formulations from decades back degraded and broke down when left in the crankcase for longer than the prescribed interval. Heat, friction, and oil oxidation resulted in a particulate-filled and muddy mixture known as sludge. Sludge kills engines by gumming up oil passages and contaminating good oil. It can crystalize and harden from engine heat resulting in formations that cannot be removed except by an engine teardown. Sludge deposits can be prevented by using high quality engine oils, which will prolong engine life.
Modern vehicle engines operate at high heat and close tolerances. One of the reason for this is the Federal Emissions requirements that imposes fines and sanctions if minimum tailpipe emission controls are not met. One of the steps car makers have taken to meet these requirements is to increase combustion chamber temperatures with higher compression engines, running leaner fuel systems, adjusting ignition timing for optimum emissions, narrowing cooling system water jackets, and tightening engine oil tolerances. All this steps result in hotter running engines that emit less tailpipe emissions. However, these tighter tolerances put increased demands on engine lubricants and inferior formulations will allow the oil to break down more easily, thus promoting sludge buildup.
New research, development and cooperation between car makers and lubricant producing companies has resulted in improved engine lubricants that meet the requirements of today's higher performing engines and at the same time delay the onset of sludge buildup. This means that with modern high quality oils such as synthetics, oil changes can be extended to more than the traditional 3 months or 3,000 kilometers. In fact, the best synthetic oils used to flaunt 10,000 km changes but probably because of warranty and legal concerns, this extended change interval has ceased to be advertised.
Several manufacturers now boast of oil monitoring technologies to help extend oil change intervals. Oil monitoring systems look at crankcase temperatures, moisture, and combustion chamber events while the engine is in operation. The best systems can measure the serviceable life of a car's engine oil to within 10%. The result of the adoption of these technologies is that with normal vehicles use, many manufacturer had adopted a new recommended figure of 7,500 miles between oil changes. This presumes of course that the car owner will use the engine oil recommended by the car maker. To be on the safe side, DIY owners would be better off adopting a 5,000 mile oil change interval.
As with other technological breakthroughs, engine oils are much better nowadays and engines are much better protected, specially if synthetic oils are used. The owner must also remember to always use a good quality filter when having the engine oil changed. The filter is the storehouse for dirt in the engine and an old filter will allow dirt and grit to circulate within and on the engine bearing surfaces and virtually all metal mating surfaces. These will be damaged by the sandpaper action of circulating grit, resulting in wider oil tolerances, lowered oil pressure and ultimately premature engine failure.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme Clean & Boost

Dirt & water in your fuel rob your diesel of performance! Restore original power with Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme. This potent formula removes moisture build-up and cleans your injectors, tank, and fuel lines. Stronger than most retail products, Diesel Extreme creates a rust-inhibitor barrier to keep dirt & water away for good! Just add one dose of Diesel Extreme at your next fill-up for powerful clean and boost.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Peace Of Mind Warranty

All NAPA AutoCare Center locations are locally owned and operated. NAPA AutoCare is not a franchise, but a high standard in the automotive industry developed by NAPA more than 20 years ago. Because it meets or exceeds NAPA's high standards - and has an outstanding reputation in your community - your local NAPA AutoCare Center can offer exclusive benefits like the NAPA AutoCare Peace of Mind Warranty to its customers.
What are the benefits to you?
  • Included FREE with your qualifying repair or service work.
  • Covers parts and labor on qualifying* repairs and services for 12 months/12,000 miles.
  • That doubles to 24 months/24,000 miles if you use your NAPA AutoCare EasyPay Credit Card (applications available at participating locations).
  • Honored nationwide by thousands of NAPA AutoCare Centers, so you're protected even when you travel

Mechanical Warranty Phone Number: 1-800-452-6272
Collision Warranty Phone Number: 1-800-452-6272
Truck (Heavy Duty) Warranty Phone Number: 1-888-925-5428

* Click here for details on the Peace of Mind Warranty and covered services and repairs

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Things You Should Ask Your Mechanic

· Are you affiliated with the automotive service association?
Only shops with a consistent record of excellent service may affiliate with the Automotive Service Association. Look for an ASA sticker or seal in the mechanic's office. Association with ASA is a sign that the shop provides really high quality service.
· Do you have an Automotive Service Excellence certificate?
This is another sign of quality service. ASE workers do evaluations of vehicle repair shops. Shops that conform to the ASE standards are given a certificate. A certificate signifies that the shop's work is approved and of great quality.
· What are your credentials?
You want technicians that have been trained at trade school. Trained technicians are more knowledgeable and skilled. Sometimes shops will have untrained rookies work on cars.
· Does your shop specialize in any particular type of car?
Certain mechanics specialize in certain vehicles or repair work. Find out what the shop's strengths and weaknesses are.
· Do you charge an inspection fee?
Do not assume that the shop has a free estimate. You don't want any surprise charges later.
· What did you do to my car?
Ask for a detailed explanation of the repairs done. Question every single detail of the job. Also ask for a detailed breakdown on your invoice of the repairs done. This will protect you from getting scammed. Ideally, you should ask the mechanic to point out each of the repairs on your car. Ask the mechanic to discuss what was removed, replaced, or repaired. You should also ask to see the old part.
· Do I get a courtesy car?
If the repair will take a long time, you may be eligible for a courtesy car. Always ask for a courtesy car. Don't forget to ask for the cost. Sometimes repair shops will charge large amounts for a rental car.
· What are your payment policies?
Each repair shop has different labor rates and payment options. Ask your mechanic about the payment policies. You want to know exactly how much you will be paying for a repair.
· Do you offer any guarantees?
When you get your car fixed, you want to know that the repair is guaranteed. Make sure there is a warranty on the repair. You also need to know long the warranty is. If you have any issues with repairs shortly after, you will want the repair shop to cover the additional fixing costs. The warranty on your repairs is incredibly important.
These questions will help you find a great mechanic. These questions will also make sure you are getting the best possible repair service. Mechanics are necessary for proper car maintenance. You want to be able to find a great one you can rely on.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking Care Of A Car At College

One thing all college kids should know before leaving home is proper car care! Here are AAA's tips on how to care for your care when you away at school.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Tips For Passing Your Smog Test

You receive your DMV notice in the mail and it's that dreaded time again. Thank God, it only happens once every 2 years but it still can be quite a daunting task. Getting that Smog registration form in the mail can be pretty nerve racking, especially with today's strict environment standards and poor economy. Failing your smog check is no joke too because it often results in expensive repairs, dirty shops and hidden fees and upsells.
Although, I cannot fix your car, I can give you tips on how I got my smog check done in as little as 30 minutes, without having a heart attack.
1) Research - First things first, you have to do your research. If you don't, you'll end up going to the wrong shop that can play you like a fiddle. I like to go to yelp to find the top restaurants, dry cleaners, and yes smog shops in my city. If you are in San Francisco, I personally recommend Clean Air Smog. Ive been there three times already and I cannot agree more with the over 100+ 5 star reviews on their place.
2) Call To Set An Appointment - You would be surprised at how many friends I talk to that say they waited 3 hours to get their smog check. Simple solution, set an appointment and you'll be in and out in 15 minutes. (Bonus: look for a shop that has 2 smog machines and usually, you'll get done a lot quicker.)
3) MapQuest - Don't get lost and miss your appointment. MapQuest it so that you will get their prompt and on time.
4) Bring Your Favorite Mag - You will have to wait for your car to be smogged. Make sure you keep yourself entertained.
5) Drive Your Car - Don't lag, get in your car and head over to the car smog station.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Top 3 Car Maintenance Tips

Like your body, you car needs to be taken care of in order to ensure you get the most out of it, for the longest possible period of time. Just like we humans need to take out bodies for a checkup with our GP every now and then, it's essential to your car's health to make sure you get a car service every 5,000-10,000 kilometres. However, also like the human bodies, there are several steps you can take to take care of it in-between check-ups so that the overall quality and standard is maintained. These are simple things that the average car-owner can do from home, and a little bit of extra effort in terms of vehicle maintenance can mean big savings down the line. Here are some things you can do...
In terms of your car's oil, it's advisable to check it every 3-4 times you fill up your car. You do this by popping the bonnet and using the dipstick to gauge levels. It's important to wipe it clean on a piece of towel or cloth before submerging it again in the oil tank, and you must ensure the oil reaches the marker. Obviously if your oil is low it needs re-filling, and oil can be purchased from almost every petrol station in Australia, which is why it's a good idea to check it while you're filling up. In addition to this, you should consult your car's manual to see how frequently it recommends the oil be changed. If you're unsure, a good rule of thumb is that your oil should be changed every 6 months. You can do this yourself or pay to have it done for you, depending on your level of knowledge.
Similarly, the water is something you should check while you've got the bonnet open for the oil. The right water levels are essential as your radiator uses water to cool your engine and keep it running properly. Overheating can cause your car to break down and do lasting damage to your motor. If you can see how high the water is, judge whether or not it needs topping up, but generally speaking it won't do any harm to simply fill it until you can see the levels. Water is free after all!
Tire Pressure
Ensuring your car has the right tire pressure is essential to the smooth running of your vehicle. Consult your driver manual as to the correct pressure ratio your tires should have, and check them just as frequently as you do your oil and water, and again if you are carrying a particularly heavy load. Remember that recommended tire pressure may change depending on the weight of your cargo, so it's a good idea to double check!
Car repairs can be costly, which is why it's important to take measures to minimise the likelihood of needing them. By taking good care of your car you can not only protect it's livelihood but your investment as well.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Prepare A Car For Extended Storage

Thinking about traveling but not planning on taking your vehicle? Here are AAA's tips on how to prepare your car for extended storage.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What to Consider When Picking an Auto Repair Shop

Picking an auto repair shop for your vehicle's needs is essential. For most who have a car, the convenience of mobility is simply non-negotiable. When something happens to your car, having the right pair of hands to get your car running again is important.
When picking a shop, it is important to have one that is near your place of residence.
That way, anytime your car is having issues, repairs are easy to come by; not to mention if you are in a car accident the proximity to your house makes it easier to get your car back home. Further, with a shop that is near your garage, you are more likely to have your car checked for regular preventive maintenance. You can have your oil changed and your car checked more often. Also, if your shop is near you, you are more likely to have access to promos; such as free brake service and free general car checkups. With preventive car maintenance within reach, you are likely to spend less on major car repairs.
When it comes to cars, most only want skilled maintenance workers to fix their car. For your peace of mind, look for auto repair shops that have ASE-certified mechanics on board. This certification will let you know if the mechanic is qualified to do specific car services such as oil changes, tune-ups for manual cars, brake repairs and everything else under the hood. The certification they have will put you at ease knowing that the repairs that are being carried out are being done correctly and efficiently. You may also want to check the Better Business Bureau and see the number of filed complaints for that particular shop. This data can lend insight on the nature of work that you can expect from the auto repair shop you want to work with.
When choosing an auto shop for services, it is important to check that your car warranty will not be voided in the process. Some maintenance repair shops are not certified to do repairs, thus voiding your manufactures warranty. There are shops that are duly recognized by your car manufacturer, and it is important to go to an auto repair shop that is authorized to do car repairs within the clauses of your warranty. Ask your car manufacturer for authorized repair shops that are near your area.
Further, consider the labor costs that the auto repair shop offers. Doing price comparisons between 2 or 3 shops can help you narrow down your decision and will also help you keep on budget for your car. Aside from choosing the best labor cost, choose an auto shop that offer guaranteed services and warranties. Knowing that an auto repair shop guarantees their work also removes a lot of stress when it comes to ensuring your vehicle is in the best hands possible.
Finding the best shop can be a daunting challenge, however if you ensure the items above are covered, you will be successful in your quest for a reliable repair shop.

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