Monthly Archives: June 2018

Due to the current economic climate

Due to the current economic climate, many Americans are becoming less willing to make expensive purchases. Even the nation’s long-held love affair with the automobile hasn’t escaped the penny-pinching trend.

The latest trends demonstrate that Americans are trying to stretch the mileage of their current vehicles. In 2006, the average car owner drove their car for 68 months before trading it in for a new vehicle. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the average trade-in was 76 months old.

The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks provided by The Automotive Service Association (www.ASAshop.org), which represents thousands of repair shops nationwide, will greatly extend the life of the vehicle and ensure safer operation:

– Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil and filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.

– Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission and transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.

– Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.

– Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.

– Check battery cables and connections for corrosion, and clean them as needed.

– Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals and brake and tail lights.

– Check windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them approximately once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

– Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.

– Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked approximately every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.

Always consult the vehicle owner’s manual for individual service schedules as manufacturer maintenance requirements will vary.

 

Find Mechanics Who Will Come to You

When it comes to managing vehicle repairs, the associated hassles and inconveniences that come about — whether from having no vehicle or the process of finding a reputable repair shop — can become a major annoyance.

However, according to a new start-up business from San Francisco called YourMechanic, a new system is “changing the nature of auto repair.” YourMechanic is a car repair marketplace that connects people to certified, trustworthy, local mechanics. The best part: there’s no need to spend your entire lunch break finding an opening at the repair shop, since the mechanics will come to you.

This new way of fixing your car is getting great reviews and earning awards. YourMechanic recently won TechCrunch Disrupt, the annual start-up competition pitting the best new ideas in Silicon Valley.

TechCrunch, a leader in reviewing the latest tech developments and profiling worthy start-ups, compared YourMechanic to Uber — the company that effectively helped turn every cab driver into a potential entrepreneur. Using Uber, commuters can call a taxi with a smartphone app instead of waiting to hail the next one. As TechCrunch pointed out, YourMechanic has key similarities: mechanics will come to you, and the process is simple.
Anyone can go online to YourMechanic.com, explain their problem, provide details about their vehicle and get instant quotes. All mechanics are required to honor the quotes provided, so you just pick your mechanic and go.

Once you select your preferred mechanic — based on work history, certifications, ratings and customer reviews — they will arrive at your specified location fully prepared to fix your car. Whether day or night, weekday or weekend, mechanics will make repairs as long as they have a parking lot or driveway to work in.

 

Helps Decide Fathers Day Gift

There are two types of fathers, those who work on their cars and those who don’t. Whether your dad is a do-it-yourselfer (DIY) or a Do-It-For-Me type (DIFM), consider an automotive gift for dad this Father’s Day.

69% of male drivers work on their car, truck, mini van or SUV, according to the Car Care Council. Whether it’s light maintenance, like changing the oil and replacing the wiper blades, or heavier projects, such as replacing brakes, most dads enjoy taking care of their vehicles. Automotive accessories, tools, parts and products make ideal Father’s Day gifts.

If Dad’s a do-it-yourselfer, a gift certificate from the local auto parts store would be appropriate.

If he’s a do-it-for me, think about a gift certificate for an oil change or other service at his favorite repair shop.

Everyone loves a clean car, so offer to clean and polish Dad’s vehicle yourself. Remember to use automotive washes and waxes, not dishwashing detergent from under the kitchen sink. This can harm the vehicle’s finish.

  1. If possible, leave the windows down slightly on hot days to reduce heat build-up. An A/C system works by removing heat, so the cooler the interior is to start with, the easier and faster the A/C will do its job.
  2. When you get in the car, open all the windows completely, or even open the doors, for a moment to vent the hot interior air quickly.
  3. When you first turn the A/C on, set the controls to MAX or REC and use highest blower speed. This moves the greatest volume of air and re-circulates it for even faster cool-down. As soon as you are comfortable, switch the system to NORM or OUTSIDE or FRESH, and select a lower fan speed. The lower blower speed produces colder the air from the system.

Celebrate All Year with Green Auto Tips

By changing a few habits, motorists can do their part in helping the environment, say the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE recommends regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits as two easy-to-implement strategies. What’s more, improved automotive habits will help your vehicle last longer and command a better resale price.

The following tips from ASE can put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care:

  • Keep the engine running at peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the owner’s manual.
  • Don’t ignore that ‘Service Engine’ light. Today’s vehicles have much cleaner tailpipe emissions that they did 30 years ago, but a poorly running engine or faulty exhaust system will cause your vehicle to pollute much more than it would otherwise.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Not only will you reduce the engine’s effort and, thus, gasoline consumption, your tires will last longer too, saving you money and easing the burden at recycling centers.
  • Have your vehicle’s air conditioner serviced only by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older air conditioners contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service.
  • Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both of these habits guzzle gas. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Consolidate daily errands to one trip to eliminate unnecessary driving.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight equals better gas mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag, too.
  • If you do your own repairs, properly dispose of engine fluids and batteries. Some repair facilities accept these items from consumer. You can also contact local government for hazardous material drop-off/recycling stations. Remember too that improperly disposed fluids such as antifreeze can harm pets and wildlife.

Think About Your Coolant

It’s the beginning of fall, and time to consider your coolant.

This is a good time to think about your engine cooling system. Regular inspections and pressure tests of your cooling system are of utmost importance, as is good maintenance by following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended coolant change intervals.

As time passes, the protective anti-corrosive additives in the antifreeze break down and lose their effectiveness. But antifreeze has two other very important jobs as well:

• It is used to decrease the temperature at which the coolant freezes.

• It is used to raise the temperature at which the coolant will begin to boil.

It is also very important that the proper ratio of water to antifreeze is always maintained. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, the coolant in most vehicles should consist of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze before being added to the cooling system. This 50/50 solution not only prevents freezing, but also preserves proper cooling properties.

Also concerning the antifreeze to water mixture ratio: adding more antifreeze to the mix (once again, unless otherwise specified by the vehicle manufacturer) to increase its percentage in the mixture is not better. Generally speaking, after the ratio exceeds more than about 65% antifreeze to 35% water, freeze protection can actually diminish, but even worse, heat dissipation can radically decrease, since the water is the primary substance used for this purpose. Antifreeze itself actually has fairly poor heat transfer characteristics. Having too much antifreeze in the mixture can actually cause engine overheating.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.