Auto Upgrades to Keep Teenage Drivers Safe

Early Signs Of Car Trouble That Your College Student Should Watch For

As your son or daughter prepares to move into a dorm for the first time, there are many things you want to be sure they know how to do for themselves. One that is easy to forget about is the necessity of arranging for car repairs when they are away from home. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure that your young adult is aware of the following information, so that he or she is as prepared as possible when seemingly minor car trouble occurs. When Reduced Gas Mileage Occurs Although it is not unusual for the gas mileage on a vehicle to reduce during summer months as the result of extensive use of the air conditioner, the problem may also occur due to other reasons. Common causes that can be quickly repaired include dirty spark plugs, bad oxygen sensors and overly full air filters. Since the oxygen sensors allow the air and fuel to mix in the necessary amounts, impaired sensors need to be replaced as soon as possible to restore normal function. Air filters that are clogged may simply need to be cleaned out, while spark plugs that don’t work as expected will often need to be replaced. When The Brake Petal Has To Be Pushed Farther Down To Stop It is easy to assume that if you never skip a visit for new brake pads, brakes should always function properly. However, there are numerous causes other than brake pads that could force the vehicle to need more effort to stop. For instance, the car could be low on brake fluid due to a leak that is otherwise undetectable. In that instance, it is important to schedule time with a good mechanic so that the problem does not worsen or cause an accident when your student cannot stop quickly enough. Another possible culprit is brake fluid that has become contaminated, through one of those same tiny hoes. Your mechanic might need to bleed the brakes to confirm the diagnosis and then provide new brake fluid after repairing the hole. A third issue might be simply that the vehicle is low on brake fluid, which is often an easy fix. It may be helpful to show your son or daughter where the brake reservoir is on their car before they move out, so that they know how to add the appropriate amount of fluid. Filling it up to the maximum […]

Music Festival Attendees: What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Thirty-two million people went to at least one U.S. music festival in 2014, and they each traveled an average of 903 miles to get there. While that mileage number includes all modes of transportation, including flying, there’s no doubt that festival goers are driving long distances from home and facing car breakdowns. Before Leaving for the Festival Whenever you’re heading out for a long drive to a music festival, it pays to check over your car and make sure any needed repairs are attended to before you leave. Additionally, make sure your roadside emergency kit is well-stocked and includes essential items like a wrench, a spare tire, jumper cables and extra water and snacks. Ensure that you have emergency phone numbers with you and your auto club card if you have that membership. To be extra cautious, have your emergency numbers written on a piece of paper that you store in the glove compartment. If they’re only programmed in your phone, you’ll be stuck if your phone dies and you can’t charge it. Breakdowns on the Road Always exercise caution. If you’re having car problems on the road, try to get into the shoulder on the right side of the road or highway as soon as possible. Keep coasting along until you have a straight line of vision behind you. If your car is hidden around a curve, it’ll be difficult to see oncoming traffic once you’re ready to get back on the road. If your car’s engine dies when you’re driving on the highway and you can’t get it off of the road, don’t get out of the car. It’s incredibly dangerous to try to cross a high-speed freeway on foot. Most major highways are heavily patrolled and before long a highway patrol officer should be on site to help you out. If you’re attempting to fix a flat tire yourself, only do so if you’re on the side of the road that’s not exposed to traffic. If You‘re Halfway There If you’re far from home and also far from the festival, consider booking a local hotel room for the night while you wait for your car to be repaired. Another option is to rent a car and then come back to get yours when the festival is over. Some repair shops offer a car rental service you can use. Breaking down on the way to a festival is […]

A Couple Of Tire Maintenance Tips

Your car’s tires are among the most important parts of the vehicle, but it can be common for drivers to take this part of the car for granted. As a result,you may be overlooking some steps to get the most from your car’s tires. To help you with this part of owning a vehicle, you should make sure to keep the following couple of tips in mind. Invest In A Road Hazard Warranty In addition to normal wear, your tires will be subjected to a number of hazards while you are driving. Fortunately, a road hazard warranty can protect you from these risks for the first year or two that you own the tires. When a tire dealer offers customers road hazard warranties, they are agreeing to repair the tires if they experience a number of common sources of damage. For example, nails or other sharp debris can puncture your tires, but if you have this type of warranty, you will be able to have the dealer patch the tire for free. In some instances, the damage may be too severe to repair, which will result in you needing to replace the tire. When this is the case, you may be required to pay for the new tire as some of the warranties only cover repairs. You will need to carefully examine the details of the warranty to determine what level of coverage it provides you. Perform Weekly Visual Inspections At least once a week, you should make it a point to perform a thorough visual inspection of the tires. During this inspection, you should look for signs of bulging, wear or any other deformities in the exterior of the tire. These issues may seem minor, but they will often worsen if they are not repaired. While it is important for you to inspect the tires for physical damage, you will also need to check the treads. Luckily, this can be a rather simple task because you can use a penny to check the tread by putting it between the treads. If the treads do not come past the forehead of Abraham Lincoln, then it is necessary to replace the tires. Getting the most from your tires is an important goal for keeping your car safe and free of some routine problems. However, if you are a new driver, you may be overlooking some aspects of tire maintenance, which can […]

Need Your Car Repaired? Ask These 2 Questions

When your car breaks down, you’ll quickly find yourself needing to visit an auto repair shop to get it back up and running. Instead of dropping your car off at the first place that can work on it to speed up the repair process, you should ask some basic questions about the type of service you will receive. Asking these 2 things can help you know if your car will be in good hands.  What Kind of Parts Will Be Used To Fix The Car? An auto shop will not always replace a part with the exact part that was in it. There are actually different part classifications, and the auto shop leaves it up to their own discretion about what kind of part they use. A commonly used term is OEM, or original equipment manufacturer. It’s used to describe a part that is created by the auto manufacturer that built your car, and it is identical to the part that is being replaced. There are also performance auto parts, which are referred to as aftermarket parts. These are made by a different manufacturer than your car and are generally cheaper than OEM parts. While they can work just as great as OEM parts, some people prefer to have only official parts made by the manufacturer used on their car. When you are given a quote to repair your car, always ask what kind of part will be used. You may have the option to use a performance part to save money on the repair, or insist that you want the OEM part. For example, you may be worried that a performance part could potentially void the warranty on your car.      What Kind of Certifications Do The Mechanics Have? There are state laws that list the requirements for mechanic certification at an auto repair facility. For example, Michigan requires that at least one mechanic working at the facility hold a certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Trainee mechanics can work under the certified mechanic, but they must sign off on all work that the trainee does. While it is completely acceptable for a trainee to work on a car under the guidance of a certified mechanic, it is understandable to have reservations about it. Always ask what kind of certification the mechanic work on your car has to help you understand who is doing the […]

Three Great Benefits Of Mobile Truck Repair Service

When you want to be sure that you are always able to keep your truck on the road, you will want to get a roadside assistance plan with the help of a mobile truck repair company. These professionals will be able to assist you with a number of common matters that keep you sidelined and ultimately results in lost money. If this is what you are looking for, be sure that you read on and consider some of the benefits that you will be able to take care of when you touch base with one of these professionals.  #1: Mobile Truck Repair Contractors Can Help You With Dead Batteries The more you drive your truck, the more your battery wears down. For this reason, you need to always keep it charged — however, if you accidentally leave the truck running for extended periods of time, leave the lights on or have the battery drain due to cold weather, you will need to reach out to a mobile truck repair expert. These professionals will be able to come out to where you are located and charge your battery in minutes.  #2: These Professionals Can Provide Locksmith Services There may be a time that you are traveling and accidentally lock your keys inside. When this happens, a mobile truck repair contractor will be able to use sophisticated tools to open your door and get you back inside. They will need to see proof of ownership of your vehicle, so make sure that you have your registration present, in addition to your license. The benefit of subscribing to a mobile truck repair plan is that they can dispatch a qualified locksmith mechanic to you no matter where you are in the country. This gets you back on the road quickly.   #3: Mobile Repair Professionals Can Provide You Tire Changes When you blow a flat, you will need to quickly get it changed so that you can get out of harm’s way. Handling these tire changes quickly is crucial, because flat tires can also be damaging to your brakes and calipers. Getting the help of a professional is critical, because they can also give you in depth work. They will be able to decide whether you need a tire replacement or a patched tire. Either way, leaving it to the professionals ensures that you receive the utmost in service.  Consider these three benefits […]

Auto Parts Wedding Themed Ideas For The Car Enthusiast

You are getting married! Congratulations! Now comes the fun part of planning your killer wedding ceremony and reception to make your big day memorable. Even though you are a car enthusiast, you are likely to spend in excess of up to  2 hours per week planning your wedding, like about 75 percent of brides. So why not combine the two. Your reception can reflect your personality and possibly also that of your groom, by incorporating used automobile parts as decoration. So, if utilizing used car parts gets your engine revving, here are a few ways you can use them in your wedding theme. Centerpieces Nothing captures a wedding theme quite like the centerpiece and your car enthusiast or vintage auto themed wedding might certainly make a statement with the use of used car parts from a company like Southwest Auto Salvage. You can get pieces such as pistons or plugs that have their own unique designs while being small enough to be in the center of your table. These can be decorated with floral arrangements, fabric, balloons or candles in your bridal colors to make an eye-catching piece.  The car parts for your centerpieces can be had at used car parts stores or it might be cheaper to rummage through any of the approximately 200 self-service salvage yards to get them. In this instance it would not matter if they are in good working condition since they would not be used for car installation and you might be able to get them at a greatly reduced cost, especially after removing them yourself. Accessorize Other ways that car parts can be a part of your themed wedding is by using them as accessories. You can make a cake stand for your wedding cake using gears of varying sizes or install candy dishes with gears at the bases. Depending on your budget or your skill in repurposing car parts, you could also utilize used engine blocks to house the wine or other bottled beverages at the bar. Lighting can also be accessorized by using pistons and rods to make candle holders for your favorite colored candles. In addition, brake light lamps can be used to provide mood lighting in strategic areas. Though much of this may sound expensive, you should be able to keep within or below the approximate $32,641, which is estimated to be the average wedding budget in the U.S. However, for the avid DIYer, this can be much cheaper. If you […]

Why An Emergncy Roadside Assistance Membership Is Beneficial

If you were thinking about signing up for an emergency roadside assistance membership, but were a little unsure as to whether it would truly be beneficial for you, you will want to check out the following points. Free Towing Many of the emergency roadside assistance memberships offer a certain number of free towing miles for all of their members. If you were to ever need additional towing that puts you over that limit, you may receive a discounted rate per mile depending on the terms of your membership. The number of free miles that you will receive each year from having the membership will vary depending on the company you sign up for a membership with. Locksmith Services Locking your keys in the car may not be something that you think about often, but it is something that can happen. Whether you would be simply stuck trying to find another ride home or your vehicle was left on and it is going to run out off gasoline soon, you need to be able to get back into your vehicle, and you can do that with the help of a locksmith. All you have to do is call the number on the back of your membership card, explain that you are locked out of your vehicle, and they will dispatch a locksmith out to you.  Gasoline Delivery While you might try to keep an eye on the gas gauge level, that can sometimes break and you might not actually have as much fuel as you think you have. This can result in you becoming stranded on the side of the road without any gasoline. A quick call to your emergency roadside assistance company will result in gasoline being delivered to you as soon as possible. They will be sure that you have enough fuel to make it to the nearest gas station where you will be able to fill up. Tire Changes Even if you know how to change a tire on your own, it is nice to have the option of someone else doing it for you. For example, if you are stranded along the side of a very busy highway, you might not feel safe sitting along the road trying to change a tire. If you have the emergency roadside assistance membership, you can simply call for help and someone will come change it for you. They can bring […]

Three Reasons To Offer Your Customers An Extended Warranty

If you own a business that produces items meant for long-term use — small appliances, electronic gadgets, and so on — you likely offer a warranty to your customers for a specific amount of time. It is a very good idea to offer those same customers the option of buying an extended warranty. Extended warranties sometimes get a bad rap as not being worth the cost, the logic being that by the time the extended warranty goes into effect, it would cost less to buy a new version of the item instead of fixing it. But that’s not always the case, and extended warranties offer three advantages for you and your business. Appeals to Customers Who Don’t Like Planned Obsolescence One of the main drivers of the consumer economy is planned obsolescence, the idea that items are manufactured specifically to fail so that consumers will have to buy new products and spend more money. Not everyone likes this idea, and they would rather fix items and hang onto them for as long as possible. Offering an extended warranty gives these customers the chance to avoid having to find a new version of the item. They know that if they spend the money, they’ll be able to keep using what they have for as long as they can. Shows You Have Faith in Your Products Extended warranties also show that you have faith that your products won’t need repair. If you knew that your products were going to break, the last thing you’d offer would be an inexpensive repair program — you’d offer nothing so that you didn’t have to spend a lot of time on repairs. But offering the extended warranty shows the customer that you think your products will last well past the end of the basic warranty. Keeps Customers If a customer has a product of yours, that product breaks, and the customer can’t fix it without spending a lot of money, he or she may end up buying another version of the product made by someone else. Not offering the customer the chance to have the item fixed for no-to-low cost gives the customer an escape route to go over to another company’s side. But if you offer an inexpensive extended warranty that allows the item to be fixed for free (on the customer’s end), then the customer has a very good reason for staying with your […]

4 Improvements That Will Help You Get The Most Out Of Your RV

If you enjoy traveling, an RV can be a great investment that gives you freedom and control. There are many different options for new and used RVs, which can also include improvements and upgrades to give you an RV that meets your needs. If you want to get the most out of your RV, here are some improvements that you will want to consider: 1. Add Lighter Composites To Reduce RV Weight The finishes in new and old RVs can add a lot of extra weight. This can be due to materials like wood and stone being used for interior finishes. If you are in the market for a new RV, consider talking with the dealer about changing these materials or finding an RV with lightweight materials. For used RVs or one that you are restoring, you may want to consider changing some features, such as cabinetry work and interior finishes. This can be done by just changing cabinet doors or replacing interior panels with lightweight materials. 2. Wire Your RV For All The Comforts Of Modern Technology Today, modern homes have all sorts of technology and wiring for communications. When you take your RV on the road, you may want to have access to the Internet for various reasons, such as entertainment, communications or maybe even to take work with you on the road. It may be worth investing in wiring for modern technology for your RV. You may want to include things like networking, as well as satellite and cellular antennas. 3. Add Green Renewable Energy To Power Electrical Devices Many RVs rely on different resources for electricity. When you are driving, the RV will use its own power for appliances and electrical installations. You may also plug your RV into an electrical service or use a gas generator. To reduce the need for electrical service, consider installing solar energy or use a small wind turbine to provide your RV with the power it needs. 4. A Navigation System To Help You Locate The Best Routes When you take road trips in an RV, you are likely to not be familiar with the area you are traveling. To avoid getting lost and to ensure you get places on time, a navigation system can be a great tool. You may want to consider an integrated navigation system for your RV, which can give you features like gas mileage, traffic […]

One Hot Truck: Tips For Troubleshooting A Warm Engine

If the engine on your commercial truck is running warmer than it should or the coolant in the radiator seems low, you may be putting the engine at risk of damage by continuing to operate it. Understanding how to identify and deal with engine cooling problems may help you save the engine. Here are a few tips to help you spot these problems and fix them. Dealing With Radiator Leaks Any time you see coolant dripping from the radiator, it’s important that you address it right away. If you’re looking for a short-term quick fix, you can often add a sealant product to the radiator to seal leaks. These are usually available from many different auto parts retailers, and just need to be poured directly into the radiator. If the radiator has been damaged extensively, though, it’s in your best interest to replace the entire thing. You’ll have to drain the remaining coolant from the system, disconnect the radiator hose and then detach the radiator from the mounting bracket. Once you secure the new radiator in the mounting brackets, you can reattach the hoses and fill the system with coolant again. Addressing Freeze Plug Problems A failed freeze plug seal can also lead to problems with the cooling system. If there’s a visible leak around the freeze plug, you’ll need to restore the seal. You can do this in a couple of different ways depending on what you prefer. For example, you can apply a sealant around the hole where the plug goes, then replace the plug. This will form a tight seal around it. You may also want to clean the surface of the hole with fine grit sandpaper, then fill the area with some epoxy. Just make sure the plug goes into the hole perfectly straight so that you get the best possible seal. Testing The System Pressure When you believe that there’s a leak, you can confirm it by conducting a pressure test. Pressure tests are also beneficial after you’ve done repairs, because they ensure that you haven’t missed any other problems along the way. Let the engine run until it’s reached the normal operating temperature. That’s the temperature that the gauge usually rests at when you’re driving. Once the engine reaches that temperature, turn the cabin gauges to run the air conditioning. Let it run for a few minutes to put some pressure on the cooling […]