AUTOMOTIVE TIP/QUESTION OF THE DAY

 

 

APRIL

4/25/2019

Park facing east

This one can be a little tricky but it's so awesome when you do it. When you park your car, make sure you park facing east. Since the sun rises in the east, it will be radiating its warm goodness all over the windshield of your car long before you need to get in it to go to work. This can dramatically decrease the defrosting time and it may even help you avoid getting back out to scrape it off manually.

 

4/24/2019

Mesh bungie net can add extra storage

This one can be a little tricky but it's so awesome when you do it. When you park your car, make sure you park facing east. Since the sun rises in the east, it will be radiating its warm goodness all over the windshield of your car long before you need to get in it to go to work. This can dramatically decrease the defrosting time and it may even help you avoid getting back out to scrape it off manually. 

4/15/2019

Use tinted plastic sheets for shade anywhere

A fun little trick that pilots use is to attach plastic sheets to their windshields to avoid glare from the sun. By using that same trick you can achieve much the same effect. The sheets stick on your window using static from the windshield so there is no messy stickers or anything to clean up. When you need relief from sunlight to your face and the visor isn't doing it's job, you can always try this instead.

4/11/2019

Use a plastic cereal container as a trash can

 Those little trash receptacles on the driver and passenger side doors are a joke. You can never fit anything of substance in there and cleaning them out is a pain. Fix both problems at one by picking up a plastic cereal container. If you get one with a big enough hole you can stuff anything in there and you can even put a trash can liner in there so you can empty it out easier. They only cost a couple of bucks and can make your car look less like a dumpster.

4/10/2019

Use your seat warmer to keep food warm

Not all cars come with seat warmers but the ones that do can be used for a really useful function. When you pick up food, turn on your seat warmer and put the food on the seat. It won't keep food piping hot but it'll definitely help slow the process of cooling so your food stays warmer longer.

4/9/2019

Use a staple remover to add keys to the key ring

Getting keys onto a king ring can be a real pain in the rear end. If you don't have nails it can be even worse. New key rings are also really stiff from not being used and some are just huge and cumbersome. Don't break a nail or hurt yourself anymore! Use a staple remover to open the key ring to put keys on!

4/8/2019

Use a shoe for a cup holder

Pretty much all cars come with cup holders but not all cup holders are good. Sometimes you need something a little more secure to hold that 32oz drink than a flimsy piece of plastic or a cup holder that isn't deep enough to hold it properly. The answer is a shoe! Use a tennis show to put your drink in. since the opening is adjustable it fits nearly every cup. It's also deeper than many cup holders and the shoe itself is bottom-heavy to help prevent spills. This is also a great trick when you're in the great outdoors and need a cup holder.

4/5/2019

Fight sludge: 

There's a big downside to short trips, stop-and-go traffic, as well as long trips when there is a heavy load on the engine, for example, pulling a trailer. The enemy: Sludge. Sludge is a petroleum byproduct that is a gooey, black-colored substance that builds up in an engine. It is a major contributor to engine problems. Changing the engine oil at prescribed intervals or more frequently will reduce the probability of sludge buildup and extend the life of the engine. Specific driving conditions can cause sludge. It can come from oil solidifying on a long trip at engine temperatures generally above 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Other culprits are short trips that prevent the engine from reaching its proper operating temperature and water in the oil caused by condensation. “It accumulates everywhere in the engine. Sludge drops to the bottom of the oil pan. But when the engine warms up, the oil mixes with the goo and is pumped through the whole engine,” Moritz said. “Sludge does not burn away.” To avoid sludge, follow the owner's manual for oil and filter changes or switch to synthetic oil, which is not petroleum based. Many fleets use synthetic oil.

 

4/2/2019

Skip the DIY Car Wash 

Washing a car at home uses five to 20 times more water than a professional car wash. You also aren't doing your car any favors: A recent study at the University of Texas proved that a single DIY wash can leave scratches as deep as a tenth of the paint's total thickness. 

 

4/01/2019

Rainproof Your Windshield

Manufacturers recommend replacing your blades every three months. Keep a spare set in your trunk. A product such as Rain Clear can also help minimize the work of your wipers; spray it onto the glass every few weeks. In some light rains, it makes the wipers almost unnecessary.

MARCH

3/28/2019

Change your Spark Plugs

If you noticed that your engine is running effeciently, then the reason could possibly be the spark plugs. If not checked, they wear out easily and could be covered in a build up. They usually last for 30,000 miles. Check your owners manual and/or take to your automotive repair shop.

 

3/27/2019

CHECK YOUR BATTERY

We all have had our car battery run out when we need it the most. We all faced the situation where we are left stranded on the road in the middle of the nights with just the lights of our cell phones. It isn't a pretty situation, is it?To avoid this never ignore your low battery sign and always get it checked regularly. Check for leakage or any mineral build up around it. Clean it with a battery cleaning brush and do this whenever necessary.

3/26/2019

Check your Air Filter

Many car problems are due to faulty air filters attached to them and the wear caused by them. You should get your filters changed every 12 months or after 12000 miles, whichever comes fast. Don't ignore this maintenance as it will lead to problems in your AC and you are breathing unhealthy air in your car.

 

3/25/2019

As you go about cleaning the carpets in your car, keep in mind that you are going to basically be using the same steps whether you are cleaning the mat, or the carpet themselves. The biggest difference is that if you are cleaning the mats, you want to remove them from the car, simply because it is easier to clean that way. After you have gathered all of your materials, you are ready to begin.

Your first step is to remove any residue from the stains. If the stain is fairly fresh, meaning still wet, then you should try to use your paper towels to try removing the stain by using a blotting motion. In the event that it is a little older, then use your spatula as a scraper. Do not scrape too hard, so that you don't tear or rip the fabric.

Next, you are going to start with the gentlest possible cleaning solution first. Harsher solvents, or cleaning solutions may bleach, or fade, the carpet in your car, so it is always better to try the gentler one first, and work your way up. Begin with some soapy water, and spray it onto the stained area of the carpet. Let the water and soap sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe away with either a damp sponge or wash cloth. If your carpet is stained with something that is oil-based, like crayons, use your solvent cleaner. If you do use your solvent cleaner, make sure that you follow the directions closely. If you would rather use a home made cleaner, a good one is to use ? cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with 3 cups of water. Spray it on to the stain, being sure to let it sit for ten minutes. Rinse away with a mixture of ? cup white vinegar, and ? cup water.

For those really tough, ground in stains, why not try to use something like the Rug Doctor machine. Follow the directions, and you are going to get professional results. Whatever method that you use, you are going to want to make sure that the carpets are completely dry, since you do not want to have any mildew or mold infestations grow in your car. The best way to make sure that everything gets completely dry is to use either a fan or a hair dryer.

 

3/22/2019

FIGURE OUT WHERE YOUR SPARE TIRE IS

No matter how safe you drive or how expensive your tires were, everyone will experience a flat at some point.  Because of this, one of the most important things that every car owner needs to know involves exactly where their spare tire is, or even if they have one in the firtst place.  Again, this information is going to be in your manual - some keep the spare tire in the trunk, others have them located underneath the car and still others put them on the back hatch (this is common in SUVs).

If your car has a spare you need to not only find it but know how to remove it from its housing and know how to swap it out for your flat should the need arise.

 

3/21/2019

CHECK YOUR FLUID LEVEL-ALL OF THEM

One of the most important things that any car owner should know-even if you don't consider yourself a "gear head"- invoves how to check/change your fluids.  Not just your windshield washer fluid, because everyone knows how to find the clearly labled container this is usually right under the hood of your car. No, you need to know how to check/change ALL of your fluids-because there's nothning worse than getting stuck on the side of the road somewhere because of a problem that you should have been able to easily fix yourself.

Take a look at your manual that came with your car to find our the appropriate locations and levels of your oil, coolant, power steering fluid and your brake fluid.  You don't have to know how to tear a car apart and put it back together again, but you should at least know how to check and change these fluids if the going gets tough.  The locations vary depending on the model of car you drive, which is why it's always important to learn spcecifically based on the vehicle you're actually driving.  When the going gets tough- and rest assured, it occasionally will-you'll be very glad you did.

If you should realize you don't have a maual stop by your friendly automotive shop and they will certainly be glad to help.

 

3/20/19

ESCAPING A SINKING CAR

A sinking car is one of the most frightening situations you can find yourself in. Staying calm and following simple steps, however, can make all the difference in the world. First, you will want to quickly roll down at least one window before the car is completely submerged so that you can climb out or open a door. Secondly, you want to make sure that you can quickly access your seat belt releaseso yu can free yourself easily. If you're not able to foll down a window, you can use the ROADSIDE HERO talked about on the 2/22/2019 automotive tip.Make sure to hit the corner of the window rather than the center. You will hopefully never have to do this,but it is always better to be prepared.

 

3/19/2019

ALL ABOUT ENGINE TEMPERATURE

Another essential tip that every car owner should know involves your engine temperature-meaning its current status and what temperature it SHOULD be operating at.  Never assume that the fuel temperature warning light is qoing to save you in the event of an emergency, as usually by the time it pops on you've already got a major problem on your hands. Knowing what your optimal engine temperature is will not onlhy help guarantee the best possible performance out of your vehicle at all times, but it can also help immediately clue you into small problems before they become much bigger and more expensive ones down the road (pun absolutely intended)

 

3/18/20199

YOU SHOULD BE KEEPING A MAINTENANCE LOG (LIKE UNDER THE TABS MY GARAGE ABOVE)

If you're not already keeping a maintenance log for your vehicle, now would be an excellent time to start.  This is  great way to view the health and history of your car in one easy-to-access document.  You  should never have to wonder when the last time you changed your tires was, or when you last checked your coolant and other fluids.  You should know beyond the shadow of a doubt and keeping a regular and accurate maintenance log is the perfect way to do just that.

 

3/15/2019

USE A PLUNGER TO REMOVE DENTS

Tiny dents can also be a problem, attracting dirt, dust and debris and also often encourage rust growth.  Often times you can remove tiny dings and dents with a plunger. When pulled back, the suction of the plumger also pulls the dented part of the panel forward and back into place.

 

3/14/2019

REMOVE PAINT SCRATCHES ON CARS WITH NAIL POLISH

some people may only know nail polish as something women put on their nails as a form of an accessory.  However, nail polish has a lot of uses, and one of the these uses includes being a great scratch mover.  As you can tell with the other DIY fixes, you will need to buff and sand.  However, with nail polish, you will just need to clean the area before applying it.

 

3/13/2019

RENEW AND REFRESH YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPERS WITH ALCOHOL

No, we're not suggesting that your wipers take shots, but clean windshield wipers are a must to avoid streaks and scratches on your windshield.  Cleaning your wipers with a little rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth is a cheap, but effective way to keep them in great shape.

 

3/12/2019

YOUR GLOVE BOX IS FOR MORE THAN JUST YOUR MANUAL

One of the most important tips that every car owner needs to know involves exactly what to keep in your glove box. Most people tend to keep their manual and other documentation inside, but it really does serve a much more important purpose. A small survival kit is a must.  This kit should consist of compass, small flash, whistle, pen, paper, kleenox, bandaids, wet wipes and toilet tissue.

3/11/2019

CLEAN CRUMBS, LINT AND DUST WITH SLIME

Because if the slime's natural malleability, it can clean otherwise hadr to reach crevices and crannies without making a mess,

 

3/8/2019

GET RID OF NASTY ODORS USING BAKING SODA

If your car smells bad, it ruins the whole driving experience, plus it's embarrassing when you're giving someone a lift.  Use the baking soda to absorb and neutralize the nasty smells and be proud of your fresh-smelling vehicle again.

3/7/2019

USE A COFFEE FILTER TO DUST INTERIOR

The lint free material of the coffee filter is perfect for wioing car dashboards, the center console and other parts.  Coffee filters are cheap, and you can buy huge packages at the dollar store.  Even if you don't brew drip, use can use them for other for other things, lilke keeping the interiorof your car clean and freee of lint splatters and stains.

 

3/4/2019

KNOW WHAT YOUR CAR IS TRYING TO TELL YOU

The "Check Engine" light is proably one of the most inportant warning indicators in your car.  There is a multitudepf reasons why the check engine light an aome on.  While many of these reasons can be rather harmless, you can risk serious damage to your engine if you continue driving not knowing what it is for.  One of the best decisions you could make is to have a "Certifided Tech" diagnose the problem.

3/1/2019

LEARN HOW TO CHANGE YOUR FILTER

Another important tip that every car owner needs to know involves not only where you filter is located, but how exactly you need to change it. Once again, this information will vary slightly depending on which car you drive. Knowing how to both locate and change your filter is a great way to improve the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle, as when your filter has to work hard it pulls in more gasoline-dramatically cutting down on your average miles per gallon as a result.

We as always recommend you take your vehicle to a certified automotive technician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrying a set of jumper cables can help you help a fellow motorist—or the other way around. Jump-starting a vehicle is usually pretty simple, but it's serious business and you have to do it right to do it safely. Every year people are seriously injured while attempting to help another driver with a “jump.” Clip this article and put it in your glove box. Then, before you even connect the cables, go through these steps:

  • Make sure both batteries are the same voltage (most batteries are 12 volts) and the same polarity (both have a negative ground). You can check this information in your owner's manual in your glove box.
  • Pull your cars close enough to each other to connect the cables, but never let the vehicles touch. This could cause a short.
  • Shut off the ignition switch, lights and accessories in both cars. Be sure the vehicles are in park or neutral and that the parking brake is set. Wear safety glasses.
  • Don't smoke. Sparks near a battery can cause an explosion.
  • If the weak battery is frozen, don't try to jump it! It could explode. You can tell if it's frozen by looking through the inspection cap to see if the water is frozen. One or more sides of the battery case will bulge if it's frozen.
  • Make sure you can identify the positive and negative terminals of both batteries. Also be sure you'll have enough room to clamp to the cable terminals. The positive terminal is most likely connected to the car's starting/charging system with a red cable that has a plus sign. The negative is connected to the engine of the vehicle and usually has a minus sign.

How to hook up the cables and start the car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Clamp the positive (red or yellow) cable to the positive terminal of the weak battery. Make sure the other end doesn't touch any part of the car's engine or body or you could get a dangerous spark.
  2. Clamp the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the good battery.
  3. Clamp the negative cable (black) to the negative terminal of the good battery.
  4. Clamp the other end of the negative cable to a clean metal part of the engine (like a bolt head or bracket) in the car with the weak battery. Keep the clamp away from the battery, any moving parts and the fuel system.

     

    Caution: Don't attach the negative cable to the negative terminal of the weak battery! This common mistake could ignite hydrogen gas directly over the battery. Battery explosions can cause serious injury. Even if you've gotten away with it before, use a metallic engine part instead.

 

Now start the car with the good battery, let it charge the weak battery for 5 minutes, then try to start the car with the weak battery. If it doesn't start, shut off both ignitions, make sure the cable clamps are making good contact and then try it again. When the car with the weak battery starts, wait (about 15 seconds or so) to make sure it doesn't stall.

Disconnect the cables in the reverse order: First remove the negative cable from the car you jumped, then the negative cable from the car with the good battery. Then remove the positive cable from the car with the good battery (don't touch a grounded part of either car with the clamp of the positive cable). Finally, remove the positive cable from the car with the weak battery. Remember, both engines will be running (with any luck!), so work carefully as you remove cables to avoid belts, fans and other moving parts.

 

Tip: If you live in a very cold climate, buy the thickest-gauge cables you can find (the lower the number, the thicker the cable).

 

JULY 10, 2017

 

 

 

You may have noticed the illuminated symbols on your dashboard when you start your car. While these lights usually go off right away and are soon forgotten, motorists should be car care aware and learn the meaning of their vehicles' dashboard lights, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

“Warning lights on the dashboard are simply that, warnings. If one of the lights stays on after you start your car, you could potentially have a problem and should have your vehicle inspected for needed repairs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By checking your owner's manual and learning the meaning of each specific dashboard warning light, you'll be better prepared to take action if one illuminates.”

While dashboard lights may vary by vehicle, the following are examples of common warning lights.

check engine redCheck Engine Light

The check engine light usually indicates that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally. A glowing check engine light doesn't mean you have to immediately pull the car to the side of the road, but it should be inspected as soon as possible. A flashing check engine light requires immediate attention.

brake light redBrake System

An illuminated brake system light could mean the parking brake is on, the brake fluid is low, or there is an issue with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). Check to make sure the parking brake is off and have a professional technician check the brake fluid level and diagnose if there is an ABS issue.

tpms light redTPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)

The TPMS light indicates that a tire has low air pressure or there could be an issue with the sensor. Tire pressure should be checked immediately. Some vehicles will allow manual reset of the TPMS warning light while others may require you to bring the vehicle to a professional service technician to reset it.

oil light redOil Pressure Warning

When the oil pressure warning light stays lit, it indicates loss of oil pressure. Have the oil level and pressure checked immediately.

battery light redBattery/Charging Alert

 

JULY 5, 2017

It's actually good to go out on the highway and floor your car. This cleans out the carbon deposits in the injectors. While in the short term this will decrease fuel economy, but in the long term it increases gas mileage. Just be sure not to exceed speed limits to much.

 

JUNE 22, 2017

Simple car maintenance can extend the life and durability of your vehicle. It can also save you money in the long run. Basic care and checks ensure that you aren't making any illegal mistakes. Not having a suitably maintained car can result in invalidation of your car insurance and breakdown cover.

Simple DIY car maintenance includes:
 

  • changing your car's air filter every 12,000 miles
  • changing your oil every 5,000 miles
  • rotating your tires every 5-10,000 miles

 

JUNE 21, 2017 

Car Care with Kids

GETTING KIDS INVOLVED WITH CAR CARE

New drivers love their cars, but they typically don't realize what it takes to maintain them. The Car Care Council recommends having fun teaching children about the importance of car care long before they can drive so they know how routine maintenance impacts the safety and dependability of their vehicle.

“Many children love learning how cars operate, however, they don't really understand the nuts and bolts of what it takes to properly maintain a car,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By taking the time to teach your children the basics of car care, they will not only learn to appreciate the value of taking care of a car, but they will be more informed and better prepared for the day they become a car owner.”

There are many do-it-yourself service procedures that can be performed by parents and children together. The Car Care Council suggests starting with three easy and fun maintenance steps to give children a general overview of car maintenance.

Check Lights and Wiper Blades – Explain to children the importance of being able to see and be seen when driving. Show them how to replace the wiper blades and work together to make sure all interior and exterior lights work properly.

Wash the Car – Kids love to help wash the car. Ask them to look for any dents, dings, scratches or cracked glass, as these problems, when left unattended, can lead to more expensive repairs down the line.

Check the Oil – Show children how to check the oil and explain how periodic oil and filter changes help keep your car clean on the inside of the engine. Also explain that other vehicle fluids, such as windshield solvent, should be checked and refilled to keep the car running properly.

 

 

JUNE 20, 2017

 

How to Protect Your Car's Interior

Try to add up the hours you spend in your car. It's a lot, isn't it? Commutes, errand runs and road trips can have you sitting in those bucket seats for hours on end, and during that time, you and your passengers are actually living in the interior. That means smudges on the windows, scratches on the dash and food in the seat crevices accumulate and leave you wondering what happened to the spotless interior you swear it had when you first bought the car.

 

A Quick Clean

Luckily, it's not that difficult to keep a car's cabin from looking a little too, well, lived in. First things first, get something to stuff your trash into. Just use a plastic bag or a container you don't use around the house and throw it in the backseat. You can even affix a temporary hook to the door or seat to keep things even neater. Every once and awhile, take it out and relish in the fact that you haven't spent an hour cleaning up. Keeping trash off the floor also preserves your carpets, which can get stained from any number of items.
The idea of taking a rag to your dash and leather seats is made easier if you have them on-hand. The key here is to just use a little bit of soapy water to wipe the surfaces of your car – some cleaning products contain alcohols that prematurely dry and age the materials by reducing the flexibility in the vinyl. Store a small spray bottle of your homemade cleaning fluid and a rag under your seat or in a storage bin for access when you're waiting for your kids to get out of school or sitting in that crazy-long drive-through line. This will also come in handy when an emergency spill happens. Lastly, keep your car smelling like roses (or at least a laundromat) by adding dryer sheets under the seats.
 
 

JUNE 19, 2017

 

 

Don't Let Tires Flatten Your Summer Travel Plans

 

Getting a flat tire is no fun for anyone at any time, especially on vacation. To keep your summer road trip rolling along, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends a quick tire check before you leave the driveway.

“The excitement of summer vacation quickly deflates when your car has a flat tire,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A quick four-step tire check will help you to avoid the aggravation of changing a flat tire on the side of the road.”

  1. Check that all tires, including the spare, are inflated to recommended pressure levels.
  2. Check tire tread depth with a simple penny test – if you see Lincoln's head above the tread, then it is time for new tires.
  3. Check for irregular wear as uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment.
  4. Check tires for cuts, bruises, bulges, bald spots or other irregularities that can lead to a flat tire.

 

JUNE 16, 2017 

 

How big is your keychain? The bigger the keychain can actually cause damage to the internals of the ignition, causing costly repairs down the road. It can damage the ignition by bouncing the weight around during normal driving conditions.

 

JUNE 12, 2017

 

Is Your Car Ready For A Road Trip? 

 

If you are planning a road trip this summer, it's important to remember that you shouldn't just put gas in your car and go, says the non-profit Car Care Council. A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have any problems fixed before heading out for vacation.

Before you hit the road, the Car Care Council recommends a vehicle check to help avoid the inconvenience, potential safety hazards and unplanned expense of breaking down miles away from home.

  • Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids.  Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
  • Check the hoses and belts and replace if they become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear.  These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  • Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread.  Under inflated tires reduce a vehicle's fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment.  Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  • Check the engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.

 

  • Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

“With summer vacation season upon us, a thorough inspection of your vehicle will give you peace of mind and help make your road journey safer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Taking a few minutes to ‘be car care aware' will make for a less stressful and more fun adventure.”

 

JUNE 9, 2017

Keep your family and pets safe if you take them for a ride:  

 

Cool outside doesn't mean cool in the car...


When it's 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour when your car is turned off. 
It doesn't have to be that warm outside for a car to become dangerously hot inside. Here are some facts:

 

When it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes.

 

Rolling down the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car. Please don't leave children or your pets in the car.

 

JUNE 2, 2017

My car emits smoke when I start up. What does the smoke indicate? 

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    If the cloud is relatively blue or blue/black, it may indicate that oil is being burned along with the fuel. The possible cause may be either worn piston rings or an oil viscosity that is too low.

    If the cloud is black, it indicates that excess fuel is being burned.

    If the cloud is white, it may simply be the moisture in the cold engine and exhaust system being burned off. If there's a lot of white smoke and it continues for a long time, you may have an internal coolant leak. 

 

 JUNE 1, 2017

 

When, Where, How and Why to Change Your Vehicle's Oil

The Car Care Council reminds motorists that basic vehicle maintenance is an easy, inexpensive way to prolong the life of vehicles and avoid costly repairs down the road.

“When thinking about vehicle maintenance, regular oil changes likely come to mind first,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A quick review of the why, when, where and how of changing your vehicle's oil is a good way to see the value of basic auto care.”

Why

Motor oil lubricates the moving parts in your engine, preventing wear by keeping the engine clean, removing contaminants and regulating engine temperature to prevent overheating. Neglecting to check and change your vehicle's oil can lead to expensive repairs, including engine failure.

When

Check your vehicle owner's manual; most will recommend changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, other factors such as harsh weather conditions, driving in stop-and-go traffic or on dusty/dirt roads, towing a trailer, driving at high speeds and the age of your vehicle can all bring down this time interval, making it a safe bet to have the oil checked at the lower end of the recommended interval.

Where

An oil change performed by a professional technician is a quick, low-cost vehicle service. When taking your car in for maintenance or repairs, be sure that the shop employs ASE-certified technicians. ASE certification means that the technicians take their training seriously and have passed tests to demonstrate their skills.

 

How

Call us today to book your appointment, 314-752-2886, or visit our web page to request an appointment WWW.A-PLUSAUTOCARE.COM

 

MAY 31, 2017

 

With the summer heat soon approaching its time to pop up the hood and inspect all the hoses and belts. If any of your hoses or belts have cracks, frays, or any type of fluid on them, it is time to replace them. Even if you belt isn't cracked it's still a good thing to replace every 100,000 miles.

 

 

 MAY 24, 2017

Ever wonder what kind of gas mileage your car gets? When you fill up reset you odometer(tracks how many miles you go), then the next time you fill up take the number on the odometer and divide it by how many gallons of gas you put into the car.

 

MAY 12, 2017

 

 

 Air-conditioning is a summer essential. If the system hasn't been working properly, but wasn't really a pressing issue over the winter, now's the time to get serious. If it's an older system, then leaking Freon into the atmosphere is not good. Remember, if there's not enough refrigerant in the system, you have a leak. Have a qualified mechanic fix the leak before paying to have the air-conditioning system recharged.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 14, 2016 

 

Winter Battery Care

Connections. You need to make sure that your battery connections are still good. Check the connections for any signs of corrosion as well as to make sure that they are not loose. If there are loose connections then there is not going to be a proper flow of electrical power. You should check these connections every time that you open the engine compartment.

Clean and dry. If your battery itself is not clean and dry, then you are looking at loosing some of your battery's energy. While you are checking the connections, take a little bit of time to make sure that the battery itself is actually clean and dry. If it is not, then go ahead and clean it.

Fluid level. Unless your battery is one of those sealed types, then you are going to need to check the fluid level. If the battery fluid level is too low or even dry, then you need to fill it. When you fill the fluid level make sure that you do so with distilled water.

Battery tray. Make sure that your battery is fit snugly within its carriage tray. This helps to ensure that the connections do not end up becoming loose or the battery becomes damaged in some way.

Battery age. As a battery gets older, it tends to lose its charge. On the average, a battery is only good for about four to four and a half years. If your battery falls within that range, then you should take the expedient measure of getting a new one.

Storage. If at all possible, then you should store your car in a garage every night. This helps keep the battery from freezing solid.

 

Battery heater. If you cannot keep your car in a garage and you live in a very cold climate then you should take advantage of battery heaters. These things can be plugged into your home electrical outlets, help keep your battery from freezing and are going to cost you between $20.00 and $250.00 depending on the type that you purchase.

 

Dec 13, 2016

Check Coolant and Add Water/Coolant

  1. Allow the engine to cool. Before you can actually begin doing anything with your radiator, let alone the rest of the engine, you need to let everything cool down. This isn't really a problem if you haven't done any driving for the day yet. However, if you have been driving and you don't let your engine cool properly, you can easily find yourself burned from the steam that will come from the radiators coolant reservoir.

  2. Locate the reservoir. Once your engine has cooled enough so that you can actually touch it, the time has come for you to locate the reservoir. Typically, this can be found by following the hose that comes from the top of the radiator cap. If you can't find that, then look for a plastic tank that looks something like a milk jug. This will be the radiator's overflow reservoir.

  3. Check the coolant level. After you have located the coolant reservoir, it is time to check the levels of the coolant. This should be relatively easy. The outside of the reservoir should have markers indicating full and low levels. If your vehicle doesn't have a clear plastic reservoir that will allow you to see through the tank and directly compare the levels of the fluid, then you will need to look inside the tank and make a guestimate as to where the levels fall.

  4. Add water or coolant. If the fluid levels are low, then you will need to add some water or coolant. Ideally you should add some premixed engine coolant, or coolant where you do the mixing, to the reservoir. Unfortunately there may be times when you do not have any engine coolant, and really need to get the vehicle working again. In such situations, you can add water. This should only be done as an emergency measure though since the water will not last as long, and frankly won't work as well, as the engine coolant will.

  5. Check the engine, and close up. Once you have refilled the radiator to its proper levels, take the opportunity to do a little bit of nosing around prior to closing up. Check your belts and battery terminals to make sure that they are clean, working properly, and not showing any signs of corrosion. Take a look at the rest of your engine, and make note of anything that looks out of place or in need of repair. If you find anything get it fixed as soon as you can.

 

Dec 12, 2016

Passing Traffic Safely

 
Side. In most states within the United States, we are required to pass on the left side of the road. This is to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. As we all know, faster traffic is to the left, while the slower should stay to the right. This may not happen all the time because slower traffic seems to happen in all lanes. But as much as possible, pass only on the left.
Signal. Other drivers can't read your mind and signaling is your car's communication system. It allows the vehicle ahead, to the side, and behind you, to know which direction you will be moving. This helps minimize potential accidents.
Speed. Never drive faster than the road conditions permit. This also applies when passing other vehicles. Do not go too fast, or too slow, for passing since you do not want to become a danger to those around you.
Room. Only pass when you have enough room to do so safely. A good rule of thumb is that when another vehicle (like that large semi barreling right at you) is about three seconds away from hitting you, you really should be back in your original lane. Roughly speaking, three seconds is 200 feet of distance.

Dec 9, 2016

De-Icing Your Car Door

Check all your doors. It is always a good idea to check all the doors on your car to make sure that you are actually iced out of your car. After all, if one of the doors isn't iced over, you can simply open it up and then start the engine to warm everything up. Over time, this will allow the ice on your frozen door to melt and allow you an easier time of entering the vehicle.
Start at the keyhole. It is always a good idea to begin de-icing your car door at the key hole. This will allow you to unlock the door, which is a necessary step to actually opening the door. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is by heating up the car key with a lighter before you place it into the lock. However, you may want to wrap one end of the key into a cloth to help protect your hand. Once the key is warmed up simply place it into the keyhole, the heat from the warmed up key will melt the ice. Keep in mind that you may need to repeat the process a couple of times before the key will completely get through the ice.
Thaw out the lock. If you find that you can't get the car door unlocked, or get the key to turn, by warming the key up then you need to try thawing out the lock directly. The easiest way to do this is by using a hairdryer. Simply plug in a hairdryer to an extension cord and point it at the lock. Set the temperature to hot or high, and let it work on the lock for a few minutes.
Work on the door. Once you have the lock unstuck, you need to begin working on the door itself. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using an ice scraper on the ice that covers the doors seal. If necessary, you can also use the hairdryer to work on this area of the car as well. Once you have the seals unstuck you can then begin pouring some windshield wiper fluid to help get rid of the ice. The windshield fluid will help to thaw out the ice and allow you to open the door.
Wipe down the door. After you have thawed out the door enough for you to open the door, you need to wipe it all down. This will help you to remove the water from the melted ice, which could end up refreezing the door and causing you to go through all of this hard work again.

 

Dec 8, 2016

How to check tire pressure:

1. Pull your car onto a level surface in the shade.

2. Remove dust caps from the tires' valve stems.
3. Using your tire gauge, firmly press the tip of the gauge straight on to the tire's valve stem for a brief moment.
4. The tire gauge should provide a psi reading; if the number seems unrealistically low or high — for example, 85 psi or 1 psi – you will need to repeat the previous step, ensuring that the tire gauge's tip is properly making contact with the valve stem.
5. If the tire gauge's recorded reading is higher than the manufacturer-recommended rating, press the gauge tip on the valve stem until you hear air leak out. Check the tire pressure again.
6. If the reading is lower than recommended, fill the tire with air by firmly pressing the air-hose tip onto the valve stem. You will hear air quietly enter the tire. If you hear air leaking or spraying out, you need to double-check that the connection between the air hose and the tire's valve stem is secure.
7. When you think you've added or let out enough air, check the pressure a few times with the gauge.
8. Replace the valve dust caps. Rastetter emphasized the importance of keeping dust caps on during winter driving because if water gets into the valve stem and freezes inside the tire, it could cause a flat.

While you're at it, check your spare tire's pressure. You don't want to have a flat tire and then find out your replacement is flat, too.


Dec 7, 2016

Is your car bad on gas? If so, by checking and maintaing your tire pressure you can see gains of 10% better fuel mileage. To check your tire pressure you only need one simple tool (a tire gauge which can be seen in the picture). You should inflate your tires using a method called the "10% method." Fill your tires 10% less than what the tire recommends. The recommended pressure can be found on the side walls of your tire.

Nov 29, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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