Monthly Archives: June 2016

Caring for Your Cars

25People always love it when they drive their car around town when it is new. One would drive it and show everyone how flashy its shining paint is and how glossy the rims of the wheels are. Some would even boast about the capacity of the big engine it has with friends and how far it can go. These are all normal reactions to vehicle owners when they acquire a new set of wheels to drive. If only these cars would stay the same forever.

Despite the caring and maintenance of the owner, there will always be times when a car needs to be taken to a repair shop and get fixed. It can be the engine, some parts or the wheels and when it needs attention, you should always bring it to the experts right away. Delaying may cause a lot more harm, both to you and your car and that is something you do not want to happen. It is very terrifying to think that it may cause an accident if you choose to wait before you bring it to a repair shop.

Some people have a negative mentality on situations like this. They tend to wait until they experience having a car choking on them when they are in a hurry to go to work or a car engine dying when there is a bumper to bumper traffic causing all the other commuters on the road to feel agitated. This could have been avoided if they took time to visit a car repair shop at the first sign of symptom. Cars are always good at giving warnings before they finally stop working.

It is like they have their own set of brains used to show their owners that they have some defects and they need to be looked at. Unfortunately some owners are not mindful enough to notice while others are purposely ignoring the warnings to avoid expenses. They think that they can save money by not bringing the car in earlier since it turned back on when they tried it again. Only to be sorry in the end when they are caught up in a situation which is really unfortunate.

A responsible car owner should always be ready for any kind of car issues. You can always use your car insurance if you want to cut down on the expenses you spend in your vehicle. It is necessary that you take time to search for repair shops which are accredited by your insurance so by the time you need to have it fixed, you know where to go. Some car insurance does not give you back everything you paid for especially if you did not go to a mechanic that is affiliated with them.

You need to play your role to avoid getting stuck in a situation which will require you to spend more money than you should because you did not prepare yourself with the inevitable. This can of course be avoided if you consider everything ahead and do your assignment early.

How to Save a Fortune Caring For Your Car

Many people don’t realize how much money they can save if they were to just take the time to do some simple things for their car. Every one is busy today, with work and relationships and lots of other stresses, but taking ten minutes out of your hectic schedule to do some simple care care maintenance, can save you time and money in the long run.

Here are some common mistakes people make with their cars:

1) Not making sure their tires are inflated properly – There is no real guess work involved here, recommended tire pressure is clearly printed on the tire. One thing you do need to buy if you don’t have one, is a tire pressure gauge. It doesn’t have to be fancy, many reliable gauges cost just around five dollars, less in many cases.

Proper tire inflation can help in a number of ways. First is that a properly inflated tire can save gas, a precious commodity these days. Having tires with the right amount of pressure makes them last longer, and do their job better. Over or under inflated tires could blow out, causing an accident, or you have to replace or repair it. If you have to use a spare, don’t drive around on it like a normal tire, they aren’t designed to drive around on, just enough to get you to a repair shop.

2) Not checking fluid levels (or not checking them properly) – An automatic transmission should be checked when warm, with the car in neutral with the parking brake on. Engine oil should be checked with the car warm, but turned off. Radiator fluid levels should only be checked when the car is cold, because if you check it when the car is hot, the pressure build up in the radiator could cause serious burns.

3) Do it yourself oil changes, or skipping regularly scheduled lubrication – Changing your own oil, while is seems like a good alternative, isn’t, because you have to raise the car, drain the oil, which is messy, and then you are stuck with trying to dispose of the used oil.

Taking your vehicle to a lube shop is much better, because they check and top off everything, lubricate the chassis, and more, for one low price. If you do the math, not only is it cheaper, but it usually is finished in ten minutes, compared to the hours spent doing it on your own.

4) Not having regular brake inspections, or not changing the pads often enough – That incessant squeal every time you apply the brake is a warning that the pads have worn down to the studs, and are scraping against the drums and rotors. Taking the time to have the brakes changed, for under two hundred dollars in most cases, is a lot cheaper than having to replace the rotors and drums.

5) Not making sure the gas cap is tight – If your engine light comes on, it could be telling you that your gas cap is loose, and air is interfering with your fuel intake. By making sure your gas cap is on properly, you won’t have to take your vehicle in to get checked for something this simple.

How to Change the Oil in Your Car Or Truck

The oil in your vehicles engine is one of the main components that keep it healthy. There are two things that above all else you need to do to it. Check it often (at least once a month) and make sure it stays clean. The oil helps lubricate the moving parts, helps disperse the heat, improves sealing, and helps keep the inside of your engine clean. Oil is to your engine like blood is to your body, a necessity.

There are three main types of motor oils: conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blend. Conventional motor oil is the least expensive and is basically a by product of the crude oil refining process. It is prone to quicker deterioration, especially when exposed to high levels of heat. Synthetic motor oil is more expensive because it is developed from chemical compounds, making it far cleaner and more stable than conventional motor oil. It’s also able to maintain it’s viscosity, or flow, in most temperatures better than conventional motor oil. The viscosity index is a measure of how much the oil’s viscosity changes as temperature changes. A higher viscosity index indicates the viscosity changes less with temperature than a lower viscosity index. Synthetic blends combine some of the properties of both of the other types of motor oil. This allows the manufacturers to keep the cost more in line with conventional oil. Synthetic blends are basically a conventional motor oil with high performance elements added to help it burn cleaner and withstand greater temperatures than conventional motor oil.

Your oil needs to be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Refer to your owners manual or ask at your parts store what is recommended by your vehicles manufacturer for your engine. You’ll also need to know what size engine is in your vehicle to get the proper oil filter and proper amount of oil. Most average engines hold 4 to 6 quarts.

The first step in every installation is verifying you have everything to do the installation. You will need a solid, level place to work, a way to elevate the vehicle if you can’t get under it. A floor jack and stands or drive on ramps are the easiest ways. A ratchet and socket or wrench the proper size for your oil drain plug, a oil drain pan, a oil filter wrench, a funnel, disposable gloves, and the new filter and oil.

Tip: Warm oil drains faster than cold oil, but hot oil will burn you. I wouldn’t recommend running the engine for more than 10 minutes before you change the oil because you will get a little on your hand.

Tip: Open the hood and place the oil on top of the engine. You don’t want to forget to put the new oil in the engine.

Once the front of the vehicle is securely supported, crawl under it and locate the oil pan on the bottom of the engine. Usually near the front center of the vehicle and slightly behind or between the front tires. Consult your owners manual or search for a diagram online if you can’t find it. Locate the drain plug.

Place the oil drain pan underneath the plug and loosen the plug with a socket or wrench. Remember lefty loosey and righty tighty.

Remove the plug by hand and hang on to it. Otherwise you’ll be fishing through the oil to dig it out.

After the oil drains, wipe off the plug and plug opening and replace the plug. It’s always good to start all bolts by hand so you know they are not cross-threaded. Tighten with socket or wrench. It needs to be really snug but don’t over tighten it.

Locate the existing filter. Oil filters are usually on the lower side of the engine in front of the oil pan.

Position the oil drain pan under the filter and use an adjustable filter wrench to loosen the oil filter and drain any remaining oil.

Wipe the surface where the filter mounts to the engine and make sure the rubber seal off the filter is not stuck to the engine.

Use some new oil to lightly coat the rubber seal on the new filter and install the filter. Again the filter needs to be snug but most of the time as tight as you can get it with your hands is perfect.

Grab your tools, the oil drain pan and slide out. The hard part is done.

Locate the oil filler cap and remove it from the top of the engine.

Place the funnel in the opening and add the new oil. Keep a check on the level using the dipstick.

Replace cap and run the engine for a minute. This allows the filter to fill up.

Check the dipstick and add more oil if necessary.

Check the area around the drain plug and oil filter for leaks.

Clean up any spilled oil and pour the used oil in a container to drop off at your local recycling center. Please don’t pour it on the ground or in the sewer.

You just saved yourself a few bucks and you have the satisfaction of knowing this project was done right. Order your oil and filter today and start making plans for changing it next weekend.

Changing the Oil and Filter Safely and Correctly

24Changing the engine oil and filter are the simplest and single most important maintenance task for the DIY owner. As engine oil ages, it becomes diluted and contaminated, which leads to premature engine wear. Half an hour of work can make your engine live longer and perform better.

Before starting the work, get everything you need close to hand. You will need plenty of clean rags and newspapers handy, you’re bound to get spills somewhere along the line!. Start the job straight after a run in the car as the oil will drain more easily, and any sludge build up will be mixed up in the oil and drain at the same time. Remember – the exhaust and any other hot parts of the engine can cause bad burns when working under the vehicle so take care to avoid them, its a good idea to wear gloves when you do this to avoid any possibility of scalding, and to protect yourself from any skin irritants and possible contaminants in used engine oils.

Firmly apply the handbrake, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it on axle stands or a sturdy pair of ramps, remember that the engine should slope towards the drain hole ideally

Remove the oil filler cap.

To make things easier, unscrew the fasteners and remove the plastic shield below the engine.

Using a spanner, or even better a socket and bar, slack off the drain plug on the bottom of the sump about half a turn before you put whatever you are draining the oil into under the drain plug, then remove the plug completely.(make sure the container is big enough to take the oil and bear in mind the oil itself will be hot)

Allow some time for the oil to drain, bear in mind to reposition the container as the oil flow slows to a halt.

After all the oil has drained out, wipe the drain plug and the sealing washer with a clean rag. At this point check the sealing washer, and renew it if it shows signs of damage which may prevent an oil-tight seal (it makes sense to fit a new washer every time, they are as cheap as chips). Clean around the drain plug opening, and refit the plug complete with washer then tighten it securely without overtightening.

Move the container into position under the oil filter which is on the rear of the cylinder block.

Use an oil filter removal tool if the filter is too tight to unscrew, then unscrew it by hand the rest of the way. Empty the oil from the old filter into the container, then poke a hole in the top of the filter with an old screwdriver or similar,and drain the rest of the oil from the filter into the container.

Using a clean rag remove all oil, dirt and gunge from the area where the filter fastens and seals on the engine.

Lubricate the sealing ring on the new filter with clean engine oil, then screw the filter into position on the engine. Tighten the filter firmly by hand only – there is no need to use any tools, it seals better this way.

Remove the old oil everything else from under the vehicle, refit the undershield, and lower the vehicle to the ground.

With the car on level ground, fill the engine, using the correct grade and type of oil. An oil can spout or funnel will help to reduce spillage. Pour in half the total of oil you need to fill the engine first, then wait a few minutes for the oil to run reach the sump.

Continue adding oil a little at a time until the level reaches the MIN mark on the dipstick. A litre of oil will now bring the level up to the MAX on the dipstick – don’t worry if a bit too much goes in, as some of the excess will be taken up in filling the oil filter. Refit the dipstick and put the filler cap back on.

Start and run the engine for a few minutes, and check for leaks around the oil filter seal and the sump drain plug. There may be a delay of a few seconds before the low oil pressure warning light goes out when the engine is first started, as the oil circulates through the new oil filter and the rest of the engine before the pressure builds up.

Stop the engine, and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle in the sump again.Now the new oil has circulated and the filter is completely full, recheck the level on the dipstick, and add more oil if necessary.

Its important to dispose of the used engine oil and the old oil filter safely, your local recycling points have containers for waste oil, with oil filter disposal bins as well, DON’T tip oil down the drain!