Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Make New Year‘s Eve Cupcakes!

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Makes about 18-20 cupcakes

1 1/3 cups flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cups cocoa powder
3 T. butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
½ tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 cup toasted coconut to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
3. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk until mixture comes together. Mix in instant espresso powder, and fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cupcakes cool completely before decorating.

Buttercream Recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla extract


Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency, and mix in vanilla extract.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

NAPA Keeps Your Wipers From Sticking

Socks are for your feet, but keep some handy. Because when the temp drops, you can use them for other things like keeping your wipers protected.

Monday, December 14, 2015

NAPA Auto Parts Robot

Whether you’re getting your car back up and running or mounting a laser to your science fair project, #ConquerTheJob with #NAPAKnowHow

Friday, December 11, 2015

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips for Your Next Road Trip

Winter Driving - Tips for Dealing with Snow and the Cold
If you're like me, and you live in a temperate clime, winter driving can be daunting the first time you head into the snow.
Having encountered a particularly nasty patch of black ice on a bridge outside of Laramie (in April, no less!) that added more than a few gray hairs to my scalp, I learned to never take the weather for granted.
Preparing your vehicle for winter driving takes only a few moments and can keep you from becoming a statistic (This is beginning to sound like the script from Red Asphalt, isn't it?). But don't worry, I'm not going to show any gory photos to scare you straight. Just some good information to keep you safe and stress-free as you embark on your road trip.
1. Take fifteen minutes to do a pre-trip inspection. Check your anti-freeze levels, heater, defroster and wipers. Put weather appropriate wiper fluid in your car and stow away an ice scraper. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
If you're renting a car, learn where all the controls are so you aren't fumbling around turning the directional signal lever instead of the windshield wipers as you drive into snow or rain. Yes, I have done this. Most car rental agencies keep their vehicles in tip-top shape, but it never hurts to see if they missed anything.
2. Carry chains even if the forecast is clear. Many parts of the country experience snow that seems unseasonal to us soft Californians. Keep your speed down to 25-30 mph depending on the local limits.
3. Leave your AM band on the radio tuned to the local Highway Advisory radio station you see posted along the road. It will keep you abreast to changes in winter driving conditions. In case anything gets hairy, you can toggle back and forth between your road trip music and any information updates. Or consider investing in a NOAA weather radio that your friend in the shotgun seat can monitor while you white-knuckle the mountain roads.
4. Pack some extra energy bars, clothes, water and blankets in case of a breakdown or if you get snowed-in by poor visibility and are too low on fuel to keep the motor running.
5. Have alternate routes or a GPS handy in case of road closures. This happens all the time. Know your way out and keep the gas tank full.
6. Slow down there, Hoss! You might want to get through the storm as soon as possible. The locals might even be running laps on you. But resist the temptation to beat the storm and play the tortoise to their hare. They are either reckless or are just more experienced at winter driving than you. Don't measure yourself against others.
7. Depart early on your road trip. Get as much daylight as possible. Winter driving can be rugged enough in daylight. At night, it can be treacherous.
8. Watch out for "black ice", especially on bridges and shady areas of the road, even if it doesn't appear icy.
9. Keep a safe distance from other motorists as your stopping time is greater.
10. Even if it messes with your plans, don't push past your limits or skill level. Pull over to a rest area to wait out the storm or spend the night relaxing at the nearest lodging. Half the fun of a road trip is the unexpected. You might meet some awesome people or have a great night bonding with your buddies. Trust me, your plans can wait a night if necessary.

Article Source:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My Story - Sgt. Gregg Bushmann, Former US Army Airborne Soldier

Traumatic Brain Injury patient, Sgt. Gregg Bushmann, Former US Army Airborne Soldier, a former US Army Infantryman, tells his story of recovery and his experience with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Give Your Headlights Clarity With #NAPAKnowHow

Old headlight lenses are no match for the 3M Headlight Restoration System. See some #NAPAKnowHow at work.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to Make a Thanksgiving Basket

Making a Thanksgiving basket requires filling an old basket, either a traditional shape or cornucopia shape, with fall-related objects, like pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, gourds and apples. Put together a Thanksgiving basket to use as a centerpiece or decoration with tips from an event coordinator in this free video on holiday parties.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Free Battery Testing

See inside your battery without doing a thing. Just take your car to any NAPA Auto Parts store. They'll test it in minutes and let you know how much juice you've got.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hot Shot's Secret Friction Reducer

See why Hot Shot's Secret Friction Reducer is the best multi-purpose additive today!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Great Deals Shine At NAPA

See how our NAPA SafetyLite, WhiteLite and LongLite headlights sell themselves for 30% off.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Windshield Wiper Blades: Important For Your Safety

Tell me how your windshield wiper blades are and I will tell you the condition of your car. Worn out wiper blades are symptoms of neglected vehicle maintenance that put drivers and passengers at serious risk during rainy or snowy periods.
Rainy or snowy weather also affects driver visibility and control of the vehicle. Because 90 percent of driving decisions depend on good vision, a clean windshield is imperative. Streaking and smearing impair vision and are caused by worn windshield blades. One out of every five vehicles that goes through an inspection has worn wiper blades.
Replacement wiper blades are inexpensive and they are easy to change. Why put it off until there's a downpour or a major snowfall and your blades are chattering and smearing the windshield?
Do you need different windshield wiper blades for the winter period ?
We all tend to run to the auto parts store when winter is approaching, to get winter replacement wiper blades. Usually, winter blades are covered with a rubber membrane which are supposed to better fight against icing. However, before you make the purchase you should carefully check them. Several types of winter blades listed in catalogs of aftermarket parts or even those recommended by car manufacturers are not that effective. Several models are shorter than the "summer version" and do not cover enough windshield surface. Others are long enough but do not have the "banana" shape allowing for proper contact on the windshield over the full length. In either case this results in reduced visibility for the driver.
Windshield wiper blades should be checked regularly to ensure they offer maximum performance. If you need to replace them do not compromise on the quality and ensure they provide good coverage and adherence to the windhield. If you are unsure if the model you are considering meets those criteria ask the auto parts store about their return/credit policy. Once tested, you should be allowed to return them if the results are not conclusive.
Also, don't be afraid to ask your local mechanic for some sound advice. They constantly replace wiper blades on a wide range of car models and they should be able to tell you about the do's and don't for your particular vehicle.
Replacing windshield wiper blades should be simple process ..... but don't jump the gun and make a quick desision. You may regret it next time you drive rainy or snowy weather.

Article Source:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Enjoy Fall Driving With #NAPAKnowHow

Sunroof or not, let the fresh air in and get the full effect of a good ole' fall drive.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Repel Water Like Never Before At NAPA

At NAPA, we put products like Rain-X to the test. And the results are clear. That's #NAPAKnowHow

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme Demonstration - TruckU

Dirt and water in your fuel system steal the power from your diesel. Your engine needs an extreme cleaning. Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme is a new and powerful formula designed to rejuvenate your diesel's fuel system's performance. Add a dose of Diesel Extreme at your next fill up and your engine's fuel system will be cleaned, restored and boosted to its original performance power.

Monday, October 19, 2015

See NAPA Wiper Blades In Action

With NAPA Vista and AccuFit wiper blades, you can wipe off more than just dirt, bugs and debris. You can wipe 30% off the price too. That's #NAPAKnowHow.

Monday, October 12, 2015

How to Check and Test Your Coolant/Antifreeze

How to Know When You Need to Change or Flush Your Coolant. Do you need new antifreeze or a radiator flush? Learn 4 different methods to test your coolant including doing a visual inspection, using a hydrometer to test the freezing point and boiling point, using a multimeter to check the antifreeze, and testing pH.

After watching this video you will know if your coolant is still good or if you need to do a coolant flush and fill!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme Demonstration - TruckU

Dirt and water in your fuel system steal the power from your diesel. Your engine needs an extreme cleaning. Hot Shot's Secret Diesel Extreme is a new and powerful formula designed to rejuvenate your diesel's fuel system's performance. Add a dose of Diesel Extreme at your next fill up and your engine's fuel system will be cleaned, restored and boosted to its original performance power.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

NAPA's 200,000 Mile Club - Truck Tour

This truck has been through it all (as all trucks should). It's moved the content of five fully furnished homes. It's bed is used as a portable trash can. And no air freshener in the world can get rid of that smell. But it's still with you. And you're still with it. Because when you've got a truck, you've got the most useful thing around. That's #NAPAKnowHow

Monday, September 28, 2015

The NAPA 200,000 Mile Club

It takes no small amount of time under the hood and #NAPAKnowHow to put 200,000 miles on your car. If you roll a high-mileage ride with pride, welcome to the club.

Friday, September 25, 2015

NAPA's 200,000 Mile Club - Sedan Tour

This sedan may contain fries older than your kids, but it still gets you from point A to point B. Heck, it'll even get you to point Z. Because at 200,000 miles, it still runs like a champ. That's #NAPAKnowHow

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NAPA's 200,000 Mile Club - Minivan Tour

The minivan, A.K.A.: King of the Cul de Sac. What kind of power does it have under the hood? Enough. How many people can it hold? Lots. And when it comes to soccer, forget about it. Running like a champ with over 200,000 miles... that's #NAPAKnowHow

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Conquer Dirt With NAPA

You may be surprised what you find when you vacuum with the power of Shop-Vac.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Brighten Your Night With NAPA Headlight Bulbs

Whether it's creatures of the night or cars of the night, see them sooner with updated headlights.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Washing Your Car With NAPA Know How

After a few dips, your wash bucket gets dirty. Avoid applying dirt back to your ride, by using two separate buckets. One to rinse the dirt. And one for fresh suds.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Washing Your Wheels With NAPA

A little wheel spray prevents a lot of scrubbing. Take a couple extra minutes and #ConquerTheJob

Friday, August 7, 2015

See The Unseen With A Backup Camera From NAPA

Reverse like a pro and keep your things intact with an easy to install backup camera from NAPA.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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.

Article Source:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

5 Sure-Fire Signs You Need Brake Service Now

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to your brakes, this is definitely true. Whether disc or drum, these devices are responsible for stopping thousands of pounds of swiftly moving metal every time you step on the brake pedal. As a result, they always inevitably wear out--it's only a matter of time. To avoid expensive brake service costs, it helps to know the following warning signs.
1. Strange Sounds
Because they absorb a tremendous amount of energy, it is not uncommon for brakes to occasionally make some noise. But when the device consistently squeaks, squeals, or grinds, it may need to be adjusted or replaced. Of particular concern are grinding sounds, since they often indicate that the brake pads are worn down and need to be switched out as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in irreparable damage to the rotors, which are far more expensive than the pads.
2. Bad Vibrations
If your pedal, steering wheel, or entire vehicle vibrates or shakes when you try to stop, your rotors may be warped and require replacement. Alternately, it may be possible to have them resurfaced, which can cut brake service costs considerably.
3. Sinking Pedal
If your foot brake does not feel firm when applied or if it starts to sink to the floor when you come to a full stop, odds are there's a fluid leak that's depriving your hydraulics system of the pressure needed to maintain proper operation. There's also a chance that your master cylinder is worn out or leaking and may need to be replaced. Either way, the problem requires immediate attention from a brake service professional.
4. Pulling
If your vehicle noticeably pulls to either side when you come to a stop, it's often an indication that the stopping device is misaligned. The good news is that this problem is relatively easy and inexpensive to correct. The device must simply be adjusted by a brake service professional. But if you make the mistake of ignoring the issue, it will almost certainly result in uneven wear that may adversely affect the operation of your automobile and lead to more costly future repairs.
5. Unpleasant Odors
A burning smell that emanates from your brakes can occur under extreme driving conditions when you ride them particularly hard, such as down a steep, winding hill. But when you notice that malodorous scent during regular driving, there could be a serious problem. More often than not, the issue is a seized caliper piston that is causing the stopping device to drag. Immediate brake service is needed to correct the hitch before permanent damage is done.

Article Source:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How To Deal With The Dreaded Check Engine Light

If you have ever owned a vehicle, chances are you have seen it. It can look slightly different depending on what type of vehicle you drive, but it serves the same purpose for every car and truck. It's a small, brightly lit warning light located on the instrument panel. This little warning light has an amazing ability to raise a person's stress level and in some cases, a person will go so far as to cover it up with a wallet size photo or a small piece of black electrical tape. I am talking of course about the "check engine" or "service engine soon" light that illuminates when your vehicle's on-board diagnostic computer has detected a malfunction.
Why does this little light create so much panic in some people? First of all, it never lets you forget that something is wrong with your car or truck. Secondly, mental images of expensive repairs may start to build in your mind. Yes this light can be disturbing and even annoying, but covering it up won't make the problem go away and if left unattended, the problem can actually become worse. Not all people are so intimidated by the check engine light and in fact, some motorists don't even realize what it's there for. The on-board diagnostic computer that is standard in newer vehicles is constantly monitoring numerous systems, and all the parts associated with those systems. When the computer detects a problem, it sends out a signal to illuminate the warning light so you know it's time to get your vehicle into the shop for a professional diagnosis.
So many of the parts on your vehicle are interconnected and depend on each other to keep the vital systems of your car or truck working properly. If you decide to ignore the check engine light, the problem caused by one affected component may spread to other areas. As the problem spreads, the cost for repair is likely to go up. On the bright side of things, a service engine soon light can be caused by something as minor as a loose gas cap. Either way, it's important to get your vehicle into a reputable repair shop with certified mechanics and have the problem diagnosed right away.
The internet is a great resource for researching auto shops in your local area. Look at the customer reviews for each shop before making your decision. Most auto repair shops these days have their own websites and many offer discounts for services like check engine light diagnosis. When you speak with the service writer, be sure to communicate everything you know about the problem you have been experiencing. Have there been any strange noises, any vibrations, or any other lights showing up on your instrument panel. The more information you offer the more effective and efficient the technician will be with the diagnosis. It's also important that you understand the entire process and that you receive a cost estimate of all work to be performed.
A check engine light can definitely be unnerving and annoying, which is all the more reason to have it taken care of in a timely manner. Just remember that trying to ignore the problem can actually make it worse and when problems get worse, repair costs go up. If you haven't already chosen a repair shop that you're comfortable with for routine maintenance and other repairs, it's probably a good idea to get that done. Just in case that pesky check engine happens, you'll know exactly where to take your vehicle so you can get back on the road quickly and safely with the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle was in good hands.

Article Source:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Antifreeze - Useful In Extreme Hot And Cold Weather Conditions

Anti freeze is very important in cold weather for preventing the vehicles from getting damaged due to freezing of water. Antifreeze prevents the water in your car's radiator from freezing up which in turn destroys some parts of your car. Do you know that antifreeze is vital as a radiator coolant also? Radiator coolant is necessary in your car during hot weather. It prevents car system from damage due to overheating.
In cold countries, where the temperatures fall down considerably sometimes even to negative degrees, antifreeze is most important. Antifreeze is necessary in cold weather in order to prevent important fluids in the vehicles from evaporation. Antifreeze does not evaporate as fast as water. It also has lubricating properties, which is why it is very helpful to the system. The vital parts of your car such as hosepipe and other parts need to be protected from the harsh weather. Cold weather is always brutal and therefore you car needs special care.
The most important use of antifreeze is to keep your vehicle running even in the cold weather with heat. The precious green liquid that is environmentally friendly will help to keep up the engine heat even in the frosty weather. Antifreeze is quite a useful thing for the car system but many people do not understand this and are not aware about the fact. If any sort of problem arises, they think that some mechanical problem has been occurred. Sometimes they think that it might be due to radiator leakage, heater core failures, a thermostat being either open or closed and other things that can go wrong and which causes a car heater to stop working. However, this is not the fact.
In cold weather, it becomes necessary to start the car for every few hours to keep vehicles from entirely freezing up even if the antifreeze is in the system. In very cold regions where the temperature usually remains below zero, frequently requires restarting of the engine to catastrophic failure.
Antifreeze is the most important fluid in the car system. Car needs to be instantly started circulating the fluid in order to keep it warm and the car cool. Keeping your antifreeze at the proper levels is vital at any hour of the year especially in extreme temperatures.

Article Source:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wax with NAPA. Shine with NAPA.

Check out a few easy tips to make your old ride look like it just rolled out of the dealership.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

5 Reasons to Change Your Spark Plugs Before They Fail

Car engines never cease to be a mystery for most population, and we can only identify there's a problem by the time the lights in our dashboard go insane and start beeping all over the place.
What most people don't know is that spark plugs are the key when it comes to starting your car, and are the reason why sometimes, in those cold mornings, your car might not start. What these little things do is, they produce the spark your car needs to start circulating.
But, like most things, they deteriorate over time and the electrodes that are part of the system do to, making if harder for the spark to jumpstart your car.
Many drivers never remember this, but you can replace( and should) replace your spark plugs before they start acting up.
  • Your car will perform better: Every time you try to start your car, and it doesn't, you're wasting precious fuel. Also, you release more carbon emissions that are bad for your health and are creating some nasty climate changes. With worn out spark plugs, your car will lose performance, and become sluggish and slow starter. If you replace those plugs from time to time, it will instantly stop misfiring.
  • No more cold starts!: If you're living in an area that is very cold, you have surely faced the problem of the cold start - in the morning, the car just coughs up a bit, and refuses to start moving.
This problem has everything to do with the spark plugs, and can be avoided by a simple exchange. By changing them, the ignition system won't have to create as much voltage for the spark to make contact.
  • It protects the catalytic converter: Everytime your car misfire, a bit of fuel gets into the exaust system. This makes the catalytic converter to overheat, because temperatures at which they have to operate become too high.
If this converter fails, your engine can block and choke your engine - this causes your fuel economy to go awry, and will also downsize your engines power.
  • They won't contaminate the engine: When your spark plugs wear out, they leak voltage to the engine parts that are close by, creating performance problems and deteriorating the engine faster.
  • It costs you less: Weather it's time or moneywise, you can be sure you'll save up some dollars by beating those spark plugs to the punch. By keeping a good maintenance of the spark plugs, you won't need to worry about your car dying on you - and you going through all the trouble of calling a toe truck, all because of a tiny spark plug.
To avoid all these dire situations, you just need to do one thing: replace those spark plugs before it happens!

Article Source:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Treat Your Car Regularly to Get Optimal Performance

Whether you own a BMW i8 or Honda city, it is very important to get your car serviced on regular intervals to keep your car in tiptop condition. Ignoring or postponing vehicle maintenance can deteriorate the critical components and cost a huge sum of money to repair. So, being a car owner it is your sole responsibility to fix an appointment at the nearest garage to get your car serviced. This article is written to highlight the importance and benefits of frequent vehicle maintenance.
The Importance of Preventive Maintenance
To save yourself from needless tension, you should follow manufacturer's manual guidelines strictly. During car service, several components are checked thoroughly using up-to-the-minute equipment. If any part is found faulty or defective, the mechanics will repair your car before the problem becomes worse. Experts recommend getting your car serviced when going on a long journey or once you notice strange sounds coming from your vehicle. Never ignore petty issues, consult an experienced mechanic to diagnose the problem. However, you have to make sure that the garage you choose has trained mechanics to carry out the work efficiently.
Which happens during car servicing or repairing?
Here is a list of vehicle components that are checked during vehicle maintenance -
  • Changing the engine oil
  • Tuning the engine
  • Replacing the oil filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and air filter
  • Inspecting the level of brake fluid
  • Refilling Automatic Transmission Fluid
  • Lubricating the key components
  • Thorough inspection of tires
  • Clutch and Brake Replacements
Vehicle Maintenance Fortifies the Safety Measures of Your Car
Everyone is aware of the fact that smooth driving is directly associated to the condition of the vehicle. Frequent car servicing will not only ensure optimal vehicle performance but also prevent expensive bill repairs. Additionally, regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of your vehicle as well as keeps you always safe on the roads. A well-maintained car will get a good selling value which will surely help you get a good profit if you sell it in the future. Thus, follow these simple vehicle maintenance tips to enhance performance, safety as well as to add value to your car.
The Bottom Line
Delaying vehicle maintenance or apparent problems, leaks or noises will eventually lead to costly and time-consuming repairs in the future. So, look out for a reliable garage in your locality and get your car serviced as soon as possible to enjoy smooth driving experience.

Article Source:

Monday, July 6, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Remove Stains Inside Your Car

When it comes to cleaning your interior, don't stop with the vacuum. Spray on some carpet & upholstery cleaner and #ConquerTheJob

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How To Know If You Really Need A Brake Repair

Most people are really concerned about keeping their car going. They'll change the oil, make sure they're using the right octane gasoline and even have their belts checked and their transmission fluid and antifreeze flushed on a regular basis. But knowing if you really need a brake repair so your car stops as consistently as it goes is vitally important as well.
There are several signs it's time to either have your brakes checked, or changed. Most of those signs manifest themselves as either sounds or, when it's past time to change them even a feeling on your foot as you press the brake pedal. And when it's to the point where it's dangerous, you may even feel it when you press the brake pedal in the steering wheel.
Brakes in modern cars come in two basic types: disc brakes and drum brakes. Years ago, the lining on the brake pads was made from asbestos, but now are either ceramic or a semi-metallic blends which makes them more reliable. However, they still wear out. Each time the brake pedal is pressed, the brake pads are hydraulically pressed against either the drum or the disc to slow the car, or to stop it. These pads pressing against the cast iron drum or disc will eventually wear out and need replacing. But how do you tell when they need replacing?
Short of putting the car on jacks or on a lift and taking the wheel off to apply a caliper to measure the amount of material left on the pads, there are some less technical ways to tell if it's time to have them checked or changed. However, there are some signs that actually mean you should run, not walk, to your local brake shop.
When brakes wear, they create dust from the pads. This dust will show up on the wheels of the car, and may even show up on the outside if you have rims with slots or holes in them. While this is normal, seeing a lot of brake dust on your rims may be a sign of trouble. Some brake pads are designed with special materials in them or they'll have a protrusion on the pad at a certain depth. This will cause your brakes to squeal when you apply them. Generally, when brakes start squealing, it may be time to have them checked for wear.
But definite warning signs are when you press down on the brake pedal and unusual things happen. You'll know it is definitely time to change the brakes when you feel a grinding or vibration under your foot when you mash the brakes. If you have ABS brakes, you'll feel a jump under your foot as the anti-lock brake system engages, but the grinding sensation means the pads have worn out and the rivets that hold the pads to the mounting plate are beginning to dig into the cast iron of the drum or disc. You're actually causing damage to that drum or disc every time you mash the brake, so having the pads changed as soon as possible is vital.
If the brakes aren't repaired, eventually the pad will seize to the drum or disc or will tear loose completely causing the hydraulic hose to the pad and brakes to fail, letting all the brake fluid out. This means when you mash the pedal down, it will go to the floor and the car will not stop. Even if you mash the pedal and it feels soft, or changes where it wants to stop the car, you may need to have the brake fluid checked.
Keeping your car going is important to your day to day activities. Making sure your car stops is important to your life. Check your brakes, the fluid and change them when needed. It is of life and death importance

Article Source:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Check Engine Light/Service Engine Light, What Do They Mean?

The automotive industry has developed to a great extent. The invention of computerized vehicles too is a result of this research and development of the industry. Vehicles now are highly computerized, artificially intelligent, and active in terms of their functions. The Check Engine Light in vehicles is one of the examples of technological advancement.
A Check Engine Light is also known as a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (the MIL), and is a part of the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) System. Engines are now managed through computers in terms of their performance, working condition, service requirements, wear and tear, and the like. It is no more a matter of checking everything manually; rather computers are present to take up this responsibility. A check engine light is usually placed in the instrument panel.
On the other hand, a Service Engine Light is something different. A service engine light indicates that a service is required, probably only an oil change or minor regular maintenance; it never indicates a problem as in the case of a check engine light. Although both are warning lights, they differ greatly in terms of urgency and/or a threat.
The number of people who do not understand what a check engine light means is higher than those who do. Buying a car is easier in comparison to its maintenance. A vehicle's engine requires repair and maintenance at regular intervals, but people do not give this as much importance as it requires. Probably this was the reason why the check engine light was introduced.
A check engine light is an indicator of the engine's condition. When it's lit it signals something that the vehicle's owner or the occupant must understand. Usually a check engine light lights up in following modes:
• A steady light: It signals a minor problem associated with the engine that is not urgent but is certainly important.
• A blinking light: It signals a major problem associated with the engine which is both urgent as well as important.
• A yellow light: It signals that the engine needs to be checked, but it does not identify the exact problem.
• A red light: It signals a potential threat, a serious one.
However, by urgent, it doesn't mean that the problem ought to be fixed then and there; instead it means that the vehicle should be checked by a qualified technician as soon as possible so that the problem could be eradicated long before it harms other parts or components.
It seems like even an engine has its secret codes that are usually understandable for a qualified mechanic or a technician. As soon as a light illuminates over the On-Board Diagnostics System of a vehicle, a code is sent to its built-in computer's memory. This code determines the exact location or the source of trouble.
There are particular electronic scan tools that are designed to decode those codes so that the problem can be fixed. This scanning tool may also be referred as a diagnostic computer which is available at almost all repair shops. In addition, other types of code readers are also available for DIY customers.
Actually it is a check engine light that performs the trickiest function; whereas the manual task comes later in the picture only when the computerized management system has indicated, coded, and retrieved a specific piece of information.
Note that at times it happens too, that a check engine light illuminates without any problem. It may happen because of a temporary change in weather, such as a change in humidity. Such illumination does not stay for long.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

When to Replace Car Tires

It can be difficult to know when to replace tires especially if you are not certain what factors determine that you need a new set in the first place. The Lincoln penny test is still a useful gauge for tire wear, but there are other factors you should consider including the following.
1. Age. You may have low miles on your tires, but age can easily trump everything. Rubber deteriorate over time and older tires are much more likely to experience failure than newer ones. Tires that have been on your car for longer than six years should be replaced regardless of visual condition.
2. Usage. Tires that are on your car are being used regularly. The one in your trunk or the spare on the back of your SUV, is just sitting there. If your spare cannot be cycled in with your rotations, then keep in mind that this one may be virtually useless, especially if it has aged.
3. Temperature. If you live in a warmer climate such as south Florida or are in the desert southwest, your tires are wearing out faster because of the heat. High heat accelerates tire wear and can result in failure. Keep heat in mind when shopping for new radials.
4. Test. The Lincoln penny head test has long been used as a gauge for tire wear and is something you can use to determine wear. Grasp a Lincoln penny by the perimeter and push the penny head down between the tread. If the top of Abe's head is covered, then your tires are fine. If his head is exposed, you need to head to the appropriate retailer at once.
5. Observe. There are visual signs of wear that you should look for too. Uneven wear may mean that your tires are not be rotated regularly. Splits, cuts, cracks, punctures and bulges are signs of trouble too and can shorten your tire's lifespan. If you are not sure about the condition of a tire, your tire retailer can offer an assessment.
Tire Tips
When replacing your tires in pairs, the newer tires should always be on the back even if you have a front-wheel-drive car according to CarTalk. If possible, replace all four tires at the same time, taking advantage of specials where you can buy four tires for the price of three. Don't forget the spare too as this tire might need replacing.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Don't Overheat! How to Protect Your Engine in Summer

The summer is a great time to take your car out for a ride - The wind in your hair, beautiful weather, and exhilaration of speed is what every serious driver lives for. However, before you hit the road this summer, be sure that your car is adequately prepped to deal with the hot climate. Most cars are prone to overheating, especially during the summer climate. By properly caring for your engine, you can avoid being stuck in hot situations.
How Often to Change Your Oil
If you neglect to change your oil regularly, sludge will accumulate in your engine, greatly diminishing performance, gas mileage, and even causing premature engine failure. Oil changes are especially important in the summer months, because oil is used quicker in hot weather.
It is recommended that you change your oil every 4-5 months or 4-5 thousand miles. In summer months, however, you may want to do an oil change every 3-4 months or 3-4 thousand miles. Changing your oil is especially important if you find yourself stuck in traffic in hot weather. Engine sludge accumulates around engine cylinders, pistons, and other engine surfaces - This results in damage to the engine and decreases performance. Also, don't forget to change your oil filter when performing an oil change! The filter keeps dirt and other harmful materials out of the engine components - a clogged filter will greatly diminish engine performance.
Depending on the prevailing weather, one may choose either a lighter or heavier grade of oil. In the summer, most car experts advise that one uses a heavier oil grade. New synthetic oils are able to last longer and some are specially designed for certain types of engines. During the summer, it is only natural that engine temperatures will be higher than most other times of the year. Engine parts tend to wear faster due to increased temperatures, as well as friction. By using a heavier oil grade, one ensures that the parts last longer through decreasing the amount of viscosity, as well as part wear. The lighter oil grade may, on the other hand, result in sludge build up as engine part wear increases.
Check Your Radiator
The most important engine component relating to overheating is the radiator. Most overheating problems are as a direct result of the radiator being blocked or damaged. Be sure to have your radiator checked whenever going in for service. Servicing the radiator involves flushing it, as well as adding antifreeze. The radiator is essential for keeping your vehicle running in extreme weather conditions.
Engine Part Replacement
The car engine is prone to any number of problems, including worn out parts such as hoses and fittings. Replacing engine hoses and fittings are an essential part in ensuring your car can take the summer heat. When driving around during the summer, car engines can reach exceedingly high temperatures. In fact, some types of engines can run at temperatures higher than 200° F (93° C). Worn engine parts may be unable to withstand the high pressure and temperature generated within the engine, resulting in engine failure. Not replacing engine parts at the right time might result in very costly repairs.
All in all, basic car servicing is essential to ensuring your car survives the summer heat. Moreover, it is less expensive than dealing with any blown engine parts that may result in engine failure.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Car Repair - How Tune Ups Can Keep Your Costs Low

Every mechanical system of a vehicle must be in excellent condition for the vehicle to operate at maximum performance. Furthermore, even small components can become a big issue if they are neglected for too long. A tune-up is a detailed investigation of these vehicle mechanisms, which can save hundreds of dollars in car repair maintenance if the check up can address minor issues that have yet to surface.
The auto technician will replace several components including the spark plugs, air filter, distributor cap and rotor. Although each of these parts should be changed at different mileage intervals, the vehicle can continue to operate efficiently as long as they are changed during every tune-up. Under ideal driving conditions, most new vehicles won't need a tune-up until the car has reached 75,000 miles. However, this can vary under strenuous driving conditions such as extremely hot or cold weather, or constantly driving in stop and go traffic. Once any vehicle engine reaches 100,000 miles, it is best to keep regularly scheduled tune ups to prolong the life of the engine, which can be very costly in the event that it needs to be replaced.
The heating/cooling, braking, and steering systems all use fluid to operate properly, and a tune-up also includes changing or topping off these vital fluids. The braking system uses hydraulic fluid to transfer force from the brake pedal to the wheel. Typically, brake fluid does not need to be refilled because it is simply a hydraulic fluid. During a tune-up the mechanic can check for leaks within the braking system, especially if they find low brake fluid levels.
The vehicle's power steering also uses a hydraulic fluid to transfer energy throughout the steering. However, it also preserves the life of the power steering by having some of the same lubricating and cooling properties as engine oil, and neglecting the fluid levels can turn into expensive repairs to this system. Fluids in the heating/cooling system, especially in the radiator, keep the engine from overheating. Neglecting these fluids can cause costly repairs to the engine, which cannot sustain maximum performance at high temperatures.
An expensive car repair can be avoided with an annual tune-up. Decreased gas mileage, a "rough" running engine, or any unusual sounds from underneath the hood are usually indicators that the vehicle might need a tune up. Although new cars do not need them as often, older vehicles with engines that have more than 100,000 miles should have these checkups at least once a year or every 20,000 miles.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

What You Should Do If Your Car's Engine Overheats

The first indication that you will get that you car engine is overheating will usually be when the water temperature gauge starts to rise above its normal level and towards the red zone. This will normally be followed by an overheat warning light illuminating on the dashboard and may even be accompanied by steam rising from under the bonnet. It is important to stop if you have any of these warning signs, as continuing to drive on could cause severe and expensive damage to the engine.
As soon as you get any indication that your engine is overheating you need to pull over and switch your engine off. Carrying on, even until you reach a service station or garage, could create a large amount of damage to the engine, especially the cylinder head, which is prone to warping under high temperatures and will be very expensive to replace.
Once safely parked on the side of the road, switch on your hazard lights to warn any following drivers of your problem. Providing that there is no fire present you can open the bonnet, to give the engine a chance to cool down, however do not be tempted to touch any of the engine parts at this point, as it is very likely that you will be burnt.
Be prepared that it may take quite some time for the engine to cool down sufficiently so be ready for a long wait. If your vehicle has overheated when it is dark, switch on your sidelight bulbs to improve the visibility of your vehicle to other road users and consider turning on your headlight bulbs to help you see what your are doing.
Once the engine has cooled down you will probably need to top up the coolant level. In an emergency it is fine to use ordinary water but make sure it is not too cold or it could crack the plastic water reservoir. If you need to add a lot of water to your coolant it will significantly dilute the concentration of the antifreeze within it, and this will eventually need to be remedied by a qualified mechanic to prevent the coolant freezing during the winter.
Even if the engine has cooled down the coolant may still be hot and undoing the coolant filler cap can release scolding hot steam onto your hand. Therefore wait until the radiator is cool enough to touch before opening the coolant filler cap and cover your hand with a rag for added protection.
At arms length steadily fill up the engine coolant with water, to prevent being splashed with hot coolant, and stop periodically to check the reservoir level. Once the coolant level is back between the maximum and minimum levels marked on the reservoir, and the engine temperature gauge is back within its normal range it will be safe to drive off again.
Remember that whilst your car is safe to drive again, there is an underlying problem that caused the overheating, so avoid a long journey and take it to a suitable garage to be checked out as soon as possible. However, if the engine overheats again, shortly after you have set off, you need to pull over and call a roadside recovery service as you have a serious problem that will require the services of a garage to fix it.
If your car's engine does overheat you will need to pull over quickly to the side of the road to prevent seriously damaging the engine, so switch on your warning car bulbs to alert other drivers to your predicament and also to make your vehicle more visible. Once parked up, if the breakdown has happened at night you should also leave your sidelight bulbs on, as they will illuminate the car, yet only draw a small amount of power from the battery.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Importance of Oil Change in Vehicles!

Changing a vehicle's oil on a regular basis is an extremely important task which offers a number of benefits to vehicle owners.
Oil plays an extremely important role of providing lubrication in the engine. Apart from lubricating engine parts, the oil also performs other important roles like cleaning of engine, reducing pollutants, stopping the formation of sludge and cooling the vehicle. But, if it is not changed on a regular basis, it can result in engine failure and engine wear and tear thus causing huge loss in terms of vehicle performance.
Some of the major benefits offered by oil change include improved gas mileage, improved engine stability and life, increased performance etc. All the benefits have been discussed below in detail.
Improvement in gas mileage
This is one of the major benefits offered by routine oil change. If the engine oil is not changed from a long time, it becomes less viscous and starts losing its ability to lubricate and protect elements of engine. As a result, friction occurs between moving parts of the engine thus causing wear and tear. The more will be the friction, the more the engine needs to work in order to overcome that friction. On the other hand, new oil is extremely viscous, smooth and allows engine to move smoothly with smallest friction.
Improves engine stability and life
This is another important benefit offered by regular oil change to vehicle owners. It improves the life of the engine thus making it functional for years to come. Oil change on a regular basis keeps engine clean. Clean engine shows less signs of ageing and offers an excellent performance for a longer time period.
Increased performance
We all know that performance of a vehicle majorly depends on the condition of the engine. If it is good, performance increases.
Stops noise produced by vehicle
Regular changes of engine oil also prevent the parts of an engine from coming into contact with each other. This helps in reducing the noise made by the vehicle. Moreover, it also reduces the temperature of the engine.
Thus, it becomes clear that regular oil change offers a number of advantages to vehicle owners. Getting oil change performed by an auto service centre is a good decision. There are many auto service centers offering such services to vehicle owners. One needs to do a deep research in order to find a reliable service center which uses quality products and motor oil. Individuals can take help from internet in this regard.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015