Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Tiny Beater - $1,200 OBO | NAPA Know How

$1,200 OBO (Yes, it’s actually for sale by a private owner

In spite of the fact that you could probably fit it in the bed of most new trucks, this tiny beater has some major plusses. For example, it comes pre-dented, so instead of wiping it down with a diaper every weekend, you can do truck things that trucks are supposed to do. No, it’s not perfect, but with some quality parts and a healthy dose of NAPA Know How, you could be hauling small-to-medium size payloads in no time.

NAPA is not responsible for the condition or sale of this vehicle. This vehicle is owned and for sale by a private owner. One available. Chair not included.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Power Commuter - $1,500 OBO | NAPA Know How

$1,500 OBO (Yes, this blue beauty is actually for sale by private owner

Like a fine Detroit wine, this compact hunk of American steel has only gotten better with age. Not only will it get you where you want to go without any hassle, it’ll get you lots of places you don’t want to go, like the DMV, jury duty or the gym. But with a manual five-speed transmission (six if you count reverse), at least it’ll keep you occupied along the way. With some quality parts and a little NAPA Know How, this could be the Power Commuter you’ve been looking for. Or, not looking for.

NAPA is not responsible for the condition or sale of this vehicle. This vehicle is owned and for sale by a private owner. One available.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

OMG, I Need New Wiper Blades!

It's raining. Actually it's pouring. Golf ball-sized rain droplets are pounding on your windshield. You flip on your wipers, which only make matters worse. As you bob your head, struggling to catch a glimpse of clarity through cloudy, streaked glass you will probably curse and think something like, "OMG, what is wrong with me? Why didn't I replace these stupid things?!"

Guess what? Life doesn't have to be this hard. Most experts say you should replace your wiper blades every six to twelve months for optimum performance and driving visibility. That's because the materials don't last forever-- natural rubber deteriorates over time. Halogen-hardened rubber and synthetic rubber provide longer life, but eventually fall victim to environmental factors as well. Think about it. Your wipers are exposed to nature's elements 100% of the time. Exposure to sunlight and ozone will cause the rubber to age, even if you barely use your wipers.

The irony is you really only think about your wipers when you wished you had replaced them -- times when you vision is obscured by water, road splash, sleet or snow on the windshield. But good visibility requires wipers that are in good condition. If the wipers are chattering, streaking or otherwise failing to wipe cleanly and consistently, you need new blades -- Pronto!

But what really happens to wiper blades over time? As they age, they lose much of their flip-over flexibility thus losing their ability to wipe cleanly. They can develop a permanent set or curvature, which prevents full contact with the windshield. This is more likely to occur on vehicles that are parked outside in the hot sun all day. The sun bakes and hardens the rubber making them streak and chatter because they've taken a set and won't follow the curvature of the windshield. Not only are they dangerous, but annoying.

Cold weather can also affect your blades' life. Freezing temperatures make rubber hard and brittle, increasing the tendency to crack and split. For you snowy drivers, your wipers can become clogged with ice and snow, preventing the holder from distributing spring tension evenly over the blade. The blade then "freezes up" and leaves smudges as it skims across the glass. Driving in the snow is hard enough.

Heavy use can take a toll on your wiper blades, too. Dust, abrasives, road grime and even bug juice wear away the edge that allows the blades to wipe cleanly. As blades lose their edge, water gets under the blade and remains on the glass. The result is reduced visibility and poor wiping action.

If your blades are chattering, streaking or doing a lousy job of wiping, it is time for a replacement. Blades are cheap and easy to replace.

You should also check your windshield washer system. Do both squirters work? A nozzle could be clogged with dirt or a hose may be kinked or loose. Do the nozzles need adjusting? Does the washer pump deliver an adequate stream of solvent? The vehicle may have a weak washer pump, or a clogged, kinked or loose hose.

The wiper blade performance depends on the condition of the wiper arms and holders. The amount of spring tension on the wiper arm, the number of pressure points or claws that hold the blade, and the design of the blade itself all affect the blade's wiping ability. If the springs in the arms are worn out, the wipers may not be pressing firmly enough to wipe your windshield clean. In this case, replacing the blades won't make any difference because the problem is weak arms not bad blades.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Everything You Could Ever Want To Know About Tire Pressure

With the rising cost of gasoline and no end in sight, people are looking for ways to maximize fuel efficiency to make their dollars go farther. One easy way to increase fuel economy and your car's overall performance is to maintain correct tire pressure. Every car comes with a manufacturer's recommendation on which tires should be used for that vehicle, and what pressure should be your target range.

Inflating your car's tires to the proper psi (pounds per square inch) maximizes driving comfort, tire durability and performance designed to match the needs of their vehicle. Proper tire inflation pressure also maintains the tire's structure through responsiveness, traction and handling. Proper pressure is not usually visible to the naked eye, therefore a gauge is recommended as a standard tool to keep in your glove compartment at all times.


If you tire is leaking air, or is just not inflated as much as needed the life of your tread could be dramatically reduced. Underinflated tires will cause the tire to bend as it rolls, building up internal heat and increasing resistance. This can translate into lower fuel efficiency and a significant loss of steering precision and stability.


Overinflated tires are stiff and less forgiving in nature. Potholes and road debris are more damaging to an overinflated tire. On the other hand, higher inflation offers an improvement in steering precision and stability.

Checking Tire Pressure

The proper time to check tire pressure is first thing in the morning before the tires have been driven on for the day. The manufacturer's recommended pressure is usually a cold tire pressure level, a reading that should be done before the day's rising temperatures.

If you are unable to check your tire pressure before driving for the day, there is a way to figure what your adjusted pressure would be for whatever your circumstance may be. Here are some suggestions:

Afternoon tire check: Try inflating to 2 psi above recommended levels if you are checking the pressure later in the day.

Indoor vs. Outdoor temps: If you store your car indoors overnight, try inflating 1 psi higher than recommended levels for every 10 degrees difference in indoor temperature vs. outdoor temperature.

Driven for short periods: If you have driven a short distance, or have driven less than 45 mph before checking the pressure, set your pressure 4 psi over the recommended level.

A longer drive: For a longer trip or driving at speeds higher than 45 mph before checking your tire pressure, add 6 psi to your recommended level.

One time you should not rely on an accurate pressure reading is after your car has been parked in direct sunlight. Your tires will appear to be overinflated due to the heat absorption from the sun, and pressure cannot be accurately gauged until the car has been out of the sunlight for a while.

In the Winter

Winter tire pressure can be higher than summer tire pressure. A typical recommendation is for tire pressure to be between three and five psi higher than normal tire pressure during the winter months. Winter tires tend to have more aggressive tread designs, softer tread compounds and deeper tread depths so they can be more pliable in the colder winter temperatures. This allows the tires to provide more traction on slippery, snowy roads. Increasing the tire pressure will allow more tire stability and performance responsiveness.

In the Summer

Summertime driving offers fewer weather hazards than winter driving. Therefore, your tires have a different operational performance in the summer. The tread doesn't need to be as deep and it's better for more of the tire to come in contact with the road, allowing more traction. It's not a good idea to overinflate your tires in the warm weather, as that detracts from their traction and fuel efficiency. Remember to measure your pressure first thing in the morning, if you can, so you can get an accurate cold pressure reading.

The best way to keep your tires performing at their best is to use the manufacturer's recommended psi rating located on the vehicle's tire placard or in your owner's manual. Minor adjustments can be made due to circumstances and weather conditions, but is mindful because even just a few psi can make a big difference to your tires and your fuel economy.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How To Extend The Life Of Your Car

There are a lot of things that a car owner, new or old, must keep in mind. One of these things that they should have in mind while having and taking care of their car are the different maintenance and automotive services necessary to extend its life and improve its performance. Some of these services focus on your car's engine. Some of them, on the other hand, focus on fuel components, the transmission, or other parts of the car.
One of the services that is available for your car and is considered part of your regular required maintenance is a Brake Service. Your car's braking system can be complex. Be sure to take your car to a trusted and experienced car repair shop who has knowledge of all the differing braking systems for each type of car. A typical Brake Service will include replacing and flushing the brake fluid, and inspecting the brake pads, rotors and cylinders. Since you depend on your brakes to stop your car when it is hurling down the road or highway at excessive speeds, this is a maintenance service that you do not want to neglect.
Another important service for your car that must be done frequently (every 3,000 miles) is the Full Service Oil and Lube. This service drains and replaces your oil, but if it is a "full service" oil and lube, then it should include much more, such as: lubricating the chassis, checking tire pressure, checking and topping off all fluids in the car, inspecting wiper blades, checking and replacing the air filter, the battery and much more. If the wiper blades are found to be defective, then they will offer a Wiper Blade Replacement.
Some people confuse all of the services provided by the Full Service Oil Change with an annual Tune Up. Your Car's Tune Up is important indeed, but it mainly focuses on replacing all the spark plugs in your car. This must be done on a regular basis. Once every 12,000 miles is recommended. By having regular tune up services performed on your car, you can improve your car's mileage and get better fuel economy.
Other important maintenance services for you car include: Fuel Injection Service, Tire Rotation and Balance, Radiator Maintenance, which involves a Radiator Flush Service, and of course the yearly State Inspection Service.
A fully equipped and reliable car repair shop should be able to provide all of these combined maintenance services for your car in one location. This way, you do not have to seek out and travel to 10 different specialists in order to have each of these services performed on a regular basis. What a nightmare that would be to keep track of, and what a nuisance! One complete car care center should have on staff trained experts in each of these areas. They will keep records of all the work done on your car and will know when you are due for your next scheduled visit, whether they are required once every 3,000 miles, once every 30,000 miles, or yearly. Also find a car shop who has reasonable prices, a good reputation, and occasional specials on their services.

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Saturday, January 2, 2016