Monday, November 28, 2016

What You Need to Know About Brake Repair

Did you just roll up to a stop sign, apply the brakes and hear a funny metallic sound you don't remember hearing before? Or maybe you hear a grinding sound, but have ignored it for a few weeks now? Hopefully the latter is not the case, because it could be a serious problem with your brakes. The longer you go with a funny noise from the brakes region, the potential for a more expensive fix exists. The brakes might only new pads, but the longer the problem goes, they might need new rotors, calipers or something else.

Have the Brakes Checked Routinely

The brakes are something that can be checked often, when you have a routine maintenance check done or if you are having the tires rotated. Having the brake pads checked when the tires are off the vehicle is more accurate than when they are on the tires. The brake pads are measured to see how much is left and then you are given a percentage of how much brake pad is left.

Once the brake pads are getting down towards the 25% range, you should consider having them replaced. Once the pads get worn down below 50%, they can wear even faster. What might be 25% one week can be down to 15% in just a few short weeks. It is better to have the brakes replaced sooner rather than later, since you can then be assured you aren't damaging other parts of the brakes.

To repair the brakes, the car is simply put up on a lift, the tires pulled off and then the brakes looked at. Depending on how many of the parts need to be replaced will determine how long the process will take. When just the brake pads need repair, then it will only take an hour or so. When you need the brake pads, new rotors and even calipers installed, it might take a half of a day to complete the job.

Brake repair can be costly, but it is not something you can go without on the car. When the brakes don't work properly, the car won't stop properly. A car that cannot stop when predicted will get in accidents or be scary to take out on the road. As soon as you suspect a brake problem, have it checked out by an ASE technician so you can get the problem fixed if it exists.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

How Do I Tell What Country My New Car Really Comes From?

It's very hard to know where any car is really made. It's easy to presume, and be dead wrong. In practice, the car industry does not want you to know.

We've got allegedly German cars built in South Africa, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Spain. So-called Japanese cars that come from 'Straya, the UK, India and Thailand.We've got notionally American cars coming from Mexico and Canada, and allegedly South Korean cars coming from the Czech Republic and India. There are even French cars coming from South Korea, and Italian cars from Poland.

It's a multi-cultural motoring mish-mash, and the car industry really doesn't want you to think too hard about it. Not on the cusp of writing any big, fat check.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year and now more people are driving than flying due to the increased costs. Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, has some Thanksgiving travel tips.

Plan ahead -- you won't be alone on the roads this year. Families accustomed to the convenience of air travel may decide to endure a long drive instead this year to cut down on costs. With proper planning, you can have a safe and cost-effective trip.

Auto check up: Before you leave home, have an ASE certified technician inspect your car. Make sure he or she checks for any car maintenance left undone, inspects your tires, and provides a tune-up to help you get the best fuel economy on your trip.

Make frequent stops. Stop at least once every two hours to stretch your legs and walk around a bit.

Keep the little ones engaged. Magnetized board games, travel bingo, and word games are saviors on long car trips. Newer vehicles often have video displays and DVD players for the backseat. If your children watch movies or use game consoles, provide them with headsets so they don't distract the driver.

Bring snacks. Most kids are content with small snacks throughout the day. Greasy "road food" definitely isn't the right thing for staying alert or feeling good on trips. Bring fruits and vegetables that are easy to eat, like carrot sticks, bananas, and apples. Also consider easy snacks like granola bars and pretzels. Stay away from excessive caffeine and sugary soft drinks, in favor of juice and water. If you must use caffeine to stay awake, you probably shouldn't be on the road.

Make it an adventure. Make a pit stop at a zoo, tacky tourist destination, or ask relatives or friends for advice for a stop on your route that the kids might enjoy. Both you and your kids will look forward to these breaks that parcel the trip into manageable pieces.

Use The Internet: Plan in advance with websites like Rand McNally, Trip Advisor, or MapQuest to decide your route and get turn-by-turn driving directions.

Be Weather Ready: Prepare for inclement weather and bad road conditions. If visibility is poor or the road becomes slippery, slow down. Prepare in advance for problems by packing a winter emergency kit. Also pack extra blankets, clothing, hand warmers, and water for each passenger.

Have patience! Holiday travel - especially in bad weather - may take much longer than anticipated. Allow extra time for weather and traffic, and arrive safely.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Auto Advice : How To Check Your Brake Pads

Checking your brake pads regularly can prevent serious accidents. Check your brake pads with the advice of an automotive expert in this free video.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Breathing Clean - When Do You Need To Replace That Air Filter?

Maintenance had a totally different meaning in the pre-computer auto repair days. Back then, we performed regular “tune ups” to keep cars of the day running their best. By one definition, the term “tune up” means “an adjustment, as of a motor, to improve working order or condition”. In other words, the stock systems (carburetion, ignition and even some engine mechanical) would be tweaked to return them to an original condition, with existing parts cleaned and adjusted and only replaced if worn outside of serviceable limits. Today, these systems have no capacity for adjustment and the “tune up” of the old days has been replaced by the need for routine maintenance – a process of inspection and replacement.

The process of keeping the engine running at peak performance has gotten simpler as a result. No ignition points to gap and time, no valves (for the majority of engines anyway) to adjust, no idle speed or choke rods to inspect and correct. But that doesn’t mean it’s gotten any less important. If anything, today’s engines are increasingly less tolerant of maintenance mistakes. Use of the wrong engine oil and other fluids is one example, improper servicing techniques leading to engine component damage is another, and we’ve reported on several others over the last few years.

Today’s topic of the Trainer ties to the service of another component that is often considered less important than it is – the air filter. This simple part is responsible for keeping dirt and other contaminants out of the engine’s internals while offering minimal restriction to the airflow the engine needs to breathe properly. How do you know when the filter is no longer able to do either job? And is servicing the air filter really a matter of yanking one out and putting one in?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Truth About Motorkote

See how leading brands' diesel additives oxidize & cause diesel sludge - while Hot Shot's Secret FR3 maintains performance.

This test shows that in a period of 100 hours at 300F, a popular retail oil-additive begins to oxidize, causing sludge and stiction.

The Hot Shot’s Secret FR3 was subject to the same test conditions; remaining crystal clear, with no signs of oxidation on the steel bearings in the test tubes.

Oil in a turbo charger can reach temperatures of 400F, which, over time breaks down engine oil causing stiction.

Some additive companies use a chlorine based additive that breaks down and oxidizes even faster than conventional oil.

This test shows the dangers of using these additives, which is not mainstream knowledge. These products include: Motorkote Hyperlube, Duralube and Prolong Engine treatment.

They contain chlorinated paraffin which should NOT be used in combustion applications.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Is My Car's Fuel Consumption Too High?

Does your car have a drinking problem? Is the fuel consumption excessive? This video examines why most drivers never achieve the official claimed fuel consumption figures. Government regulations are out of step with reality, leading to false expectations in the minds of car buyers, aided and abetted by car companies claiming that economy over-zealously. (Note that the liquid being poured is water. It would be dangerous to behave in such a cavalier way with actual gasoline.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Smartest Car - Single Battery Technology | NAPA AUTO PARTS

Every car company’s talking about electricity like it’s something new. The truth is, we’ve had electricity in cars for years. Behold: the revolutionary Single Battery Technology.