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Category Archives: Automotive

Info about Car Danger Signs

Even if you don’t have a mechanical mind and are happy to know where to put the petrol in and how to start the car, you can still add to your skill base by learning a few things that can help you diagnose the problem before it gets beyond control. This means you can play your part in reducing motor vehicle repair bills, and at the same time impress your auto mechanic!

Let’s have a look at a few warning signs that all may not be well with your motor vehicle.

  • The brake warning light. If your vehicle is fitted with the brake warning light you have the advantage of predicting brake problems before they occur. Quite simply, if the brake light comes on take it to your mechanic as soon as you can.
  • If you feel your brakes grabbing, that is, a feeling that the brake pad is catching and holding for too long, your brakes are in urgent need of repair.
  • If your brakes have a vibration that you feel through the pedal or there is a squealing noise coming from your wheels when you apply the brakes, take them to your auto mechanic for adjustment or repair.
  • If you are driving and apply your brakes and feel the pedal go straight to the floor, gently apply your handbrake to bring a vehicle to a stop and call your mechanic as soon as possible.
  • If your car pulls to the left or the right when you apply the brakes, they need to be adjusted urgently.
  • If your car makes a startling noise like a rifle shot from the exhaust you should visit your auto mechanic to have the fuel mixture checked.
  • If you feel a low-frequency booming noise and it feels like you are riding inside a metal drum, you need to have your driveshaft checked immediately.
  • If you hear a knocking or cracking sound coming from under the bonnet, you should stop your car immediately as you may have blown head gasket. You should call for your car to be towed to the mechanic immediately.
  • When the oil light continually flashes on your dashboard, it’s time for a quick visit to the service station.

Proper Maintenance and Car Repairs

Ignoring your car service usually doesn’t bring any immediate, dire consequences. This is the very reason that so many people simply skip their scheduled service. Yet over time, if you frequently do any of the following, you may be up for troubles like:

– Forgetting to change the oil can result in motor troubles and mean your engine needs to be rebuilt earlier
– Neglecting to keep your tires at the correct pressure can cost you more money in fuel. Under-inflated tires can sometimes overheat and explode.
– Not checking over your hoses can mean an immediate, sometimes dangerous problem when a cracked or worn hose bursts
– A worn timing belt can destroy your engine if it breaks – much better to find this at a car service than on the road
– If you don’t change your CV boots regularly, grit can enter the joint and cause much more expensive problems.

It is also worth noting that with certain driving styles, such as frequent cold starts, stop-start or city-style driving, making many short trips a week, often drive in dusty conditions or tow a trailer, it is more critical that your car gets its services on time, every time.

There is plenty of car maintenance you can do yourself, with a little guidance from your owner’s manual or a 5 minute question-session with your mechanic. Your DIY car service tasks might include:

– Checking your oil regularly and topping up with the correct grade of oil
– Checking your coolant regularly and topping up with the correct type of coolant
– Checking and topping up washer wiper fluid
– Replacing windscreen wiper blades
– Keeping tyres at correct pressure
– Ensure spare tyre is in good condition and correct pressure
– Rotating tires
– Check battery level
– Cleaning battery terminals
– Checking tail lights, brake lights and blinkers

However, it is often much more time-effective to have a qualified mechanic go over the car, with their specialized tools and efficient knowledge of the systems. Mobile mechanics are becoming much more affordable, meaning that you don’t even need to arrange taking your car into the shop to have your car service done – just book in a time when you will be at home for a few hours.

While there are plenty of car service and maintenance activities you can do yourself, some need an expert eye to be effective, and to maintain safety. Some you simply cannot do because they require specialized equipment. Activities like the following are best left to your mechanic:

– Balancing the tires and wheel alignment
– Replacing fuel and air filters
– Replacing the engine oil
– Servicing brakes
– Flush and refill brake fluid
– Flush and fill transmission fluid, and replacing filter
– Replacing/gapping sparkplugs
– Replacing diff fluid
– Flush and refill power steering fluid
– Fuel injection and fuel pump problems
– Computer, module or sensor problems

Pick a Good Auto Mechanic

1. Look For auto repair shops that display the ASE Certified logo. ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. Having an ASE designation is just about important as having the letters “MD.” after your doctor’s name. Now don’t get me wrong, there are decent mechanics who aren’t ASE certified, but generally it’s too risky unless they have been referred by someone you trust. Another important industry designation to look for is NAPA Auto Care.

2. Ask Your Friends or Co-Workers Where They Take Their Vehicle. Word of mouth recommendations are worth their weight in gold.

3. Shop for features and benefits of a shop. Just because a facility may charge a little more than others, might mean that they offer a longer warranty period, free emergency towing, courtesy shuttle service, or extended hours for convenience. Price is not always the best method of decision making.

4. Find Out the Details of Their Warranty. Most car repair shops offer an in house 12 month/12,000 mile warranty on parts and labor. Make sure you understand exactly what it covers and what it doesn’t cover. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, a reputable facility should have nothing to hide. Top repair facilities will have a nationwide warranty and an in house warranty that will cover more than just the 12 months/12,000 miles.

5. Most Good Mechanics Keep Their Work Area Organized And Clean. Their work area, tools, floor, etc should be reasonably clean. Now Don’t Forget that the auto repair business is not generally a super clean industry, but it still should be picked up and organized.

6. Research your Prospective Auto Repair Mechanic. You may find out that they have awards for years of customer satisfaction or many customer complaints. The local Better Business Bureau is a good source for this type of information. A short set of searches online will help you to find out quickly what positive and negatives your local auto repair mechanic is known for.

Changing Car’s Oil

The first thing you need to do is gather the necessary tools and supplies. You will need the following supplies: a new oil filter, 5 or 6 quarts of the recommended oil (check your manual), an oil filter wrench, a socket set, rags and an oil pan to catch the used oil. Now that you have gathered the supplies we can begin. The first step in the process is to warm the engine up. Take the car on a short drive around the block to get the engine warm, but not hot. Warm oil will drain better but hot oil can be dangerous. Now position the drain pan underneath the oil pans drain plug. Using a socket wrench loosen and remove the oil pan plug to allow the oil to drain freely. Be careful of hot oil and try not to drop the plug into the pan. After the oil has drained you will then remove the oil filter from the vehicle using an oil filter wrench. Set the old filter to the side and clean off the filters mounting surface with a clean rag. Next get the new filter and apply a thin coating of oil to the gasket. Attach it to the vehicle and tighten according to the directions on the package (usually hand tight). Finally reinstall the oil pan plug and fill the engine with the amount of oil specified by your manufacturer. That’s it, you are done. Now just clean up your mess and properly dispose of your used oil and filter.

If this sounds like more work than it is worth it might be. You should once again consider having your oil changed by a professional oil service. Good luck with whatever you decide

Essential Ways For Car Care

If the car is used regularly, then it is vital that the car owner checks the oil filter and oil levels after every 3000 miles. Clogged oil filter will reduce the performance of the car. Reduced oil levels affect the engine performance. One can check the engine oil level by showing the car to a local mechanic. Car owners can also check the oil level at home by using a dip-stick. One must check the engine oil level and the color of the engine oil. Dark colored oil suggests a need for replacement.

One must also check the brake systems to ensure safety levels. Major accidents and road mishaps happen due to failure in brake systems. One must check the wiring systems and must replace any loose wires. Faulty braking system is one of the major reasons of road mishaps.

There are different kinds of fluids that are used in the car. One must check the coolant level, brake oil and other fluids at regular intervals. These fluids must be replenished regularly. One must always use the fluids recommended by the car manufacturer for best results. Inadequate fluid levels impact the car’s performance. They also reduce the life of the automobile.

Battery is one of the most vital parts of any automobile. One must always ensure that the battery is in an up to date condition. One must beware of

Electric Cars

There’s no real mystery behind these new cars and their costs. The fact is that they are extremely efficient, and their mechanics are much simpler. Electric motors are much less expensive and far easier to work with than petrol engines. They are also comparatively simple in terms of service requirements. Parts can be easily replaced, rather than repaired.

The on-road economics are getting pretty interesting, too. China’s Alpha Lujo is being quoted as being able to operate for $3 a day, and India’s ultra-cheap Tata cars are looking like producing similar results. These dollar figures for running costs are likely to be category killers. For the price of a few litres of fuel, the basic operating parameters are an 80-120kmh speed and a 100-120km range. Overall, the top speed of other comparable cars is steadily becoming much higher, and better batteries are rapidly improving the range factor.

These parameters have another dimension. That 80kmh is roughly the best case urban speed, and the 100km range is more than typical urban car usage per day. When you bear in mind that these cars can be recharged using a power point, and that current cars can do quick recharges in about 20-40 minutes, they are looking pretty good.

Electric cars can be mass produced more quickly than conventional cars, without the heavy engine blocks and the petrol-related technology. That means that their cost at distribution point is also lower. The Alpha Lujo 5 seater sedan is expected to get on the road for around $25,000. Those costs are likely to be too much for petrol powered cars, which even now are facing increased costs as well as a market which isn’t thrilled by on-road costs or the big dollar costs of 4WDs and even basic sedans.

The car manufacturers have taken the pragmatic approach. The economics are all in favor of these cars, and in practice moving to lower production cost bases is very much in their favor. The added costs which have been hitting their sales have also been entrenched in production costs, which reduces the real value of unit sales.

Online Car Repair Estimates

An estimate, as its name implies, is the estimated cost to repair your car. An estimate may be more or less than what you actually end up paying for the repairs. Most estimates are free, and most mechanics will be more than happy to give you an estimate to try and attract your business.

If you are looking to find an estimate online, there are many places you can look. You can do a search at a search engine and see what results you get. Also, several mechanics also have websites. If you visit these websites, you can input information about your car and the repairs you need and you can receive an online estimate from the mechanic website. Similarly, many dealerships have online estimates.

Another place to look is mechanic discussion forums. These are sites where mechanics and people needing repairs discuss car repair topics. You could post what repairs you are in need of and the members of the discussion forum would then be able to give their input as to how much you should expect to pay to have your car fixed.

By getting an online estimate, you make it much easier to get multiple estimates, as you will not have to travel from mechanic to mechanic. Also, you will fell less pressure to get your car fixed at a specific location, as a mechanic will not be pressuring you to make a decision.

Even though there are many advantages to getting online car repair estimates, there are also some disadvantages. One is that the estimate will be limited by your knowledge of what is wrong with your car. When you take your car to a mechanic to do an estimate, the mechanic will thoroughly examine your car and see everything that is wrong with it. When you are just entering the information online, the estimate will only be based on what information you are entering. There may be problems that you are not aware of, and thus your estimate may be too low.

Nonetheless, an online estimate can be a good starting point. With your online estimate, you can have an idea of what you will need to pay to get your car fixed. You can then take the online estimate to a mechanic and see if the mechanic will do the work for the price quoted in your online estimate. You may find that some mechanics will refuse to do so, however, some mechanics may take it into consideration and give you a discount on their services.

Typical Electrical Problems Fixed

Seeking the Elusive Electrical Problem

Many times electrical problems are the most elusive, because they can occur intermittently. For example, the car engine may not work properly, but only after the engine warms up. Or the ignition works randomly. Perhaps the engine cuts out without notice while cruising down the highway. Then again, your car might have a faulty alternator or a defective wire.

All of these are electrical problems which can be fixed by mobile car mechanics. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment is necessary to pinpoint electrical problems in computerised engines, so it’s important to use a technologically current mobile car service.

The kinds of electrical repairs fixed by mobile mechanics include the following.

* Fault testing including reading computer fault codes

* ECU and PCM

* Electronic ignition repairs

* Electronic dash repairs

* Engine light analysis

* Electronic or electric module analysis

* Starter replacement or rebuilding

* Alternator replacement or rebuilding

* Battery replacement

* Electric brake repairs

* Alarm wiring repairs

* Air conditioning repair

Of course, there are plenty of wiring problems an engine can experience and they can be very difficult to locate unless the mechanic is experienced. Analysing electrical problems requires using special equipment combined with mechanic expertise. Today’s engines are extremely sophisticated combinations of electronics, electrical wiring, and moving parts and seem like they are half-computer and half-mechanical.

Quirky Problems Require Expert Repairs

There were 266,539 new vehicles sold in Victoria in 2008. There are over 3,921,574 cars on the road in Victoria. If you could talk to the various car owners who have experienced engine problems, odds are you would find the quirky problems are related to electrical issues. Fortunately the right diagnostic equipment can make it much easier to pinpoint the problem quickly.

Mobile mechanics can perform a variety of electrical repairs on-site. These include emergency repairs such as battery replacements to more complex repairs done at your home or at work. When you utilise mobile car mechanic services, you get convenient repairs for less cost than you would pay at a typical car shop.

Save Car Premiums With Anti Theft Devices

Anti-theft devices and car security systems are classified into three major class types. These are the mechanical car immobilizers, the electronic immobilizer and identification system and the security alarm device. It is best to understand the basic ideas involved in the security system of your car. This is very important if you are looking for discounts in the premium of your car insurance policy.

If you are into the old reliable physical locks that limit movement and control then the mechanical latches and locks are your ideal choices. These mechanical immobilizers provide protection for potential theft by limiting the movement and control of the car. Electronic security devices are often expensive, so the mechanical devices is often used. it offers almost the same security on a lower price. These sturdy metal latches are commonly applied to immobilize the steering wheel although there are now other immobilizers that are designed for brake pedals, the wheels and the stick shifters. It is a perfect deterrent to would-be car thieves and can be relied upon especially when installed as a component of your car’s security system. Thus, security experts strongly advise car owners to use these mechanical locks in tandem with other car security devices. Car thieves normally avoid vehicles outfitted with more than one type of car security and anti-theft devices.

There are now quite a number of electronic car alarm systems that are being sold in the market today. If you prefer the modern gadgetries to provide security to your car then these electronic car alarm systems is your logical alternative. These devices produce sensor that activates an alarm in case a forced entry to your car. It can also be programmed to monitor sudden motion or potential perimeter breaches in order to prevent threats of potential theft.

The third category of car security system is the electronic tracking and immobilizing device. This type of car security system provides protection by triangulating the exact position of a stolen car using an installed location tracking device. It also has a unique and tamper proof car ID system using VIN etching process. This car security system can also electronically isolate the power system thereby permanently immobilizing the car in the event that it is driven off by car thieves.

Car Maintenance Budget

Let’s face it- Owning a care equates to keeping it in decent running order, if you intend to take it on the road. It’s not like there’s a choice. The trick is to lock in a good service routine which doesn’t make your wallet feel like an endangered species. It is possible, and with a bit of research, you can find the service you need.

The best service options are:

· On site service
· No charges for time in transit, etc, and other rip-offs
· On road service when you need it
· No “membership fees”
· Service for all makes of car
· Industry standard best practice service
· Mechanics who are able to explain problems
· No hidden fees
· Upfront quotes before starting work

Impossible? No, it’s the type of service that the top on-road car repair companies provide, and you really shouldn’t settle for anything less. The days of the inarticulate mechanic with reasons for charging you for breathing are long gone. Professional car mechanics are a different species, and they do their jobs properly.

The checklist above is really also a list of your entitlements as a customer. It’s not unreasonable to want good service, proper quotes and actually knowing what you’re paying for. That’s basic consumer law, and there’s no good reason to pay for anything below that standard.

The fact is that motorists with a problem are vulnerable to exploitation, and if your car needs service in a hurry, you’re likely to go with the flow, not use your brain to get the best deal. That’s another good reason for getting your car regularly serviced by top companies.

Rather than taking the risk of getting stuck with whatever’s available when you’re late for everything and distracted by your other problems, getting a good service on standby is by far the better option. Your best shot is to find a local on-road service and plan your budget to keep your car in good condition. This also prevents those shocks to the bottom line, because you prevent a lot of car problems before they happen.