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Teach Young Children About Automobile Safety

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2 Parts That Can Increase A Car’s Fuel Efficiency

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Gas prices may be falling, but you can always benefit from improving the fuel efficiency of your car. Even though you can carpool or ride your bike, there will be times that you need to use your car that cannot be avoided. In order to cut down on how much fuel you use, try installing these parts. Headers Your car’s engine needs proper ventilation to get rid of the fumes it creates during the combustion process, and your car’s existing exhaust manifold could be causing an airflow restriction in its exhaust system. The problem is called back pressure. It’s an issue that will cause your engine to be less fuel-efficient. Back pressure causes the engine cylinders to work harder on its exhaust stroke, because it is expelling fumes from the engine. The cylinders of the engine are essentially wasting fuel and power to do this rather than using that energy to keep your car moving. Thankfully, headers can be installed to fix this. Headers are a replacement for the engine’s exhaust manifold. Instead of sending fumes through one pipe, there is an individual pipe for each engine cylinder. Back pressure will be eliminated due to having better airflow overall. Performance Muffler Performance mufflers will pair well with headers to improve fuel efficiency. The reason is because the headers will reduce the back pressure from an exhaust manifold that has become restrictive, but won’t cause back pressure to be relieved that is caused by a muffler that is inefficient. While a muffler does a great job at limiting the sounds, it increases the amount of time needed for the fumes to exist the car’s exhaust system. Performance mufflers have a pipe with a much larger diameter, but bigger is not always better. There is a point where a muffler with an exhaust pipe that is too big will cause diminishing returns on performance. Everyone car is different, so purchasing the performance muffler is harder than buying a recommended brand or model that works with all cars. Consult a mechanic to ensure you are getting the right one. When you combine headers with the performance muffler, your vehicle will see improved fuel efficiency that can help squeeze out some extra miles from every gallon of fuel that passes through your engine. If you need help doing any of these modifications to your car, take it to a local auto shop. Having a certified mechanic do the work will make sure it is installed correctly. To learn more, contact an auto repair shop like Marathon -Sleepy...

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Vehicle Dent 101: What You Need To Know About Fixing A Dent

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Regardless of how a dent got on your vehicle, fixing it is all that should matter. If it is a minor dent you have the option of purchasing a do-it-yourself dent repair kit from a local automotive parts store. However, it is better to hire a professional for major dents. But do you know what determines how fixable a dent is? How about what different types of automobile dents there are? Learning more about dents can help you decide whether or not fixing the dent on your own is even an option. Determining How Fixable a Dent Is   There are three main factors which determine how fixable a dent is, including the depth and location of the dent as well as the condition of the paint left behind. Depth: It is important to consider just how deep a dent is, because exceptionally deep dents may have stretched the metal to the point of paintless dent repair not being an option. Location: Most professional auto body shops have tools designed to repair dents almost anywhere on a vehicle. This is assuming the dent is on the edge of a panel of your vehicle. This, again, stems back to how deep the dent is. Condition of the Paint: In order for a dent to be fixed without the need of new paint, the paint cannot be broken or cracked. Unfortunately, damage to the paint can result in the entire vehicle needing a fresh coat of paint as it can be difficult to match the exact color of paint currently on the vehicle. Exploring Different Types of Dents Once you’ve determined how fixable the dent is in terms of where paintless dent repair is an option, it is vital to determine what type of dent you have. There are three main types of dents, including dings, round dents, and crease dents. Ding: A ding is a very small imperfection in the body of your vehicle. Your car door being hit by another car door or being slammed into some other object is a very common cause of a ding. Fortunately, this type of dent is extremely easy to repair as long as there is not any paint damage. A do-it-yourself kit is more than enough to fix a ding without paint damage. Round Dent: A small round dent is usually caused by something slamming into your vehicle such as hail, an animal, a baseball, a basketball, or a roof. Fortunately, this is also a fairly easy dent to fix as long as there is no paint damage. Crease Dent: Crease shaped dents are the hardest type of dents to repair. This dent tends to be the result of an automobile accident. In almost all cases this dent results in a bend of the car’s metal body. It can be nearly impossible to unbend the body of the vehicle and restore it to its original contour. This is because every vehicle’s metal body is formed by being heated at a specific temperature while it is being molded. A professional can smooth out the dent and repair any paint damage, but your vehicle will likely never look exactly as it did before, depending on how serious the dent is. As you can see, whether or not the dent is accompanied by paint damage tends to be one of the...

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3 Tips For Keeping Your Car Clean During The Winter

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Although you might love to keep your car nice and clean, you might have trouble doing so in the winter months. Ice, snow, salt, and deicing solutions can get on your car and make it look like a mess. Even though you may not be able to prevent these things from getting on your car, there are a few steps that you can take to keep your car clean during the winter. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to notice a difference in how clean your car is this winter. 1. Wax It Thoroughly Before the cold weather really strikes, take the time to give your car a really good washing. Then, apply a coat of wax. The wax will protect against the elements, so it can actually safeguard your paint job from being damaged. Plus, it will give your car a nice, beautiful shine. 2. Rinse It Off Regularly When you have been driving in a lot of ice and snow, take the time to rinse your car off regularly. If you have a coat of wax on your vehicle, simply rinsing your car with water should remove any debris and reveal your car’s beautiful shine. Along with keeping your car looking nice, rinsing your car off regularly during the winter will help prevent the snow, ice, salt and other debris from causing permanent damage to your vehicle. You will still want to wash your car during the winter, but a simple rinse can do more than you think if you do it frequently enough. 3. Swap Out Your Floor Mats If you typically use carpeted floor mats, you should consider taking them out and swapping them with heavy-duty rubber floor mats for the winter months. It’s impossible to avoid tracking wet, slushy snow and ice into your car, but if you have rubber floor mats that can be easily rinsed off, this is not a big deal. You may even want to place a heavy, thick towel underneath your rubber floor mats to provide an extra layer of protection so that you do not damage your car’s carpet. It might seem inevitable for your car to be a mess during the winter months. However, it is entirely possible to keep it clean when it’s cold, icy and snowy outside. Follow these tips, and you can help keep your car clean for the winter. Then, you can feel good about how it looks and can help protect it from wintertime damage as well. For  more information about maintaining your car during the cold months, talk to a car repair shop like Southside Auto...

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DIY Tips For Giving Your Car A New Paint Color

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Do you want a new car, but not the new car payment? Do you love and trust your old car, but wish it had a new body? You can achieve a new car look by simply changing the color and painting the car yourself. Although the task may appear challenging, with proper preparation, appropriate tools, and adequate space, you can paint your car like a professional.  Choosing Paint and Color There are three types of paints that are used for cars including urethane, acrylic, and metallic. Urethane Car Paint: Urethane is a popular choice because it can be applied to just about any type of paint without having a reaction. It is also an affordable and durable option that will dry quickly. Visually, urethane is not always the most appealing choice as it tends to make vehicles look like they are made out of plastic. Metallic Car Paint: Metallic is a popular choice on muscle and sports vehicles. This type of paint is ideal if you want an attention seeking car. This type of paint can also increase the value of your vehicle in a lot of cases. Repairing body damage with a car that has metallic paint is frustrating as it is difficult to match the exact color on the car. Acrylic Car Paint: Acrylic paint is easy to apply to a vehicle and leaves the vehicle with a glossed over finish. The downside to this type of paint is it is described by professionals as “soft” because it does not last very long. Being exposed to chemicals and/or UV lights will cause the paint to wear out and fade fast. Paint color is also another factor that you may wish to consider.  The time period or theme of the car, the car’s usage, your personality, and your own inspirations will be a factor in determining what color to choose for your car.  If you are torn between colors, you may wish to consider color combinations. Stripping and Sanding Stripping the old paint will be timely, but well worth it.  You can use a solvent base remover or a sander.  If you choose to use a sander, you will need to use the finest grade possible to ensure that the surface is smooth.  Because paint solvents have a strong odor and are harmful, you will need to wear proper clothing for painting and a mask specifically for painting fumes.  Cleaning Nozzle The paint nozzle and how it is kept clean will make all the difference in the world in how your paint job comes out.  There are several different type paints used to paint cars.  You will need to clean the spray paint nozzle with a cleaning agent that is appropriate for the paint used.  Flush the nozzle with the appropriate cleaning agent being sure to flush all of the components of the nozzle that is used to paint.  Disassemble the nozzle to ensure that all areas are cleaned and flushed.  Be sure to dry the parts and brush off any debris.  Reassemble the nozzle and place in a clean area until you are ready to begin painting again.  For further assistance, contact a local auto body shop, such as By-Pass Auto...

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Did You Know Your Credit Score Affects Your Car Insurance Rates?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Most consumers know that past insurance claims, their driving history, and the length of time they’ve had an insurance policy affect their car insurance rates. However, few know that their premiums are being inflated due to their less-than-perfect credit score. While this may seem unfair, you can learn how the system works and use it to your advantage. Why Your Credit Score Matters for Insurance Insurance companies keep track of statistics on everything imaginable as they try to predict which policy holders carry the most risk. If someone is more likely to file a claim, the insurance company is more likely to lose money on them and charges a higher premium to make up for the risk. Insurance companies have found that consumers with lower credit scores are, on average, more likely to file an insurance claim. This is because those with lower credit scores tend to have less free cash available to pay for car repairs out-of-pocket. Where someone with large savings may avoid filing a smaller claim to avoid an insurance premium hike, skip the hassle of the insurance claims process, and receive savings from carrying a larger deductible, someone with little savings would have to file a claim to avoid going broke. Even though anyone who has driven in their life and talks to people knows that minor accidents happen far more frequently than big ones, even a single bumper repair can cost more than several year’s worth of insurance premiums. As a result, insurance companies raise the premiums on drivers who are more likely to file a claim for a fender bender to avoid being bankrupted by these claims. How to Work the System to Your Advantage If you want to save big on your car insurance, one of the easiest ways to do it is to get your credit score up before you shop for a new policy. Of course, a large part of your credit score is based on your long-term credit history, but there are a few short-term steps you can take. First, avoid applying for any new credit cards or loans prior to changing insurance providers. These actions have a negative effect on your credit score. Second, reduce your reported credit card balances as much as possible. Even if you pay in full each month, your credit score is still impacted if your reported balance is high in relation to your available credit limit. Finally, request your free annual credit report before requesting car insurance quotes. This will allow you to check that the steps you took have been reported and that there are no mistakes on your credit report. Contact a company like Leopardi Auto Sales for more information on auto...

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Caring For Your Mercedes Benz: Important Maintenance Tips

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’ve recently bought a new or used Mercedes-Benz, the fact remains that you’ve got a luxurious, reliable vehicle; Mercedes-Benz vehicles are known for being long-lasting, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t require any level of maintenance. There are some specific care and maintenance tips (aside from the obvious, such as regular oil changes) that you’ll want to follow in order to preserve the longevity and value of your vehicle. Maintain the Cooling System One of the most commonly neglected areas of maintenance–not in just Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but in all makes and models–is that of the cooling system. Without a properly functioning cooling system, your vehicle can easily overheat. Consider mixing equal parts coolant and distilled water and adding to your car’s cooling system to keep it operating properly while preventing corrosion and rust within the system itself. Also, don’t forget to check your coolant regularly; in many Mercedes-Benz models, this can be done via the dashboard display. Keep an Eye on Belts and Hoses Even with meticulous oil changes and other forms of engine maintenance, you could still be putting your engine at risk by failing to replace hoses and belts as needed. Check your Mercedes-Benz owner’s manual to find out how often you should replace your engine’s drive belt, and follow that recommendation closely. Replacing a drive or serpentine belt can be a bit pricey, but it’ll be even more expensive if you fail to replace it when needed and end up damaging your engine as a result. Sign Up for a Maintenance Plan Many Mercedes-Benz dealers these days offer maintenance plans. By signing up for one, you can enjoy scheduled maintenance on your car for many years to come, giving you greater peace of mind. Also, since parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles can be difficult to come by, having a maintenance plan in place from a reputable dealership is an excellent way to get access to the replacement parts you may need without having to pay to have them imported. Don’t Forget About the Exterior Last but not least, be sure to take care of your car’s exterior; Mercedes vehicles are known for their exterior beauty and elegance, but rusted or chipped paint are far from appealing and will affect the value of your car. Be sure to have regular car washes done so as to rinse off any elements (such as dirt or other debris) that could oxidize your paint job. To learn more about Mercedes Benz mechanics, contact a company like Malibu Motors...

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3 Reasons Why You Need An Aluminum Vehicle

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Regardless of whether your vehicle runs on diesel, gasoline or electricity, there is only one way to make them more energy-efficient: they have to be lighter. Aluminum tends to be the most logical choice because it is just as strong as steel, but it doesn’t weigh anywhere near as much. It used to be that aluminum was found in just high-end vehicles, but that isn’t the case today. Many of the traditional vehicle makers on the market today have vehicles that come equipped with aluminum, helping to reduce the weight by hundreds of pounds to help make it more efficient for customers. Aluminum is extremely recyclable. One of the best parts of aluminum is that you can easily recycle it. If the part isn’t salvageable and has to be replaced completely, the old part can easily be recycled into a new part after going through the process of melting it down and remaking the component. Even if that aluminum isn’t used to make another vehicle part, it can easily be used to make something else and prevent it from going to waste. Aluminum improves gas mileage. Since aluminum doesn’t weigh near as much as steel does, it will reduce the overall weight of your vehicle. While you still get the vehicle you love, your gas mileage goes up and you get to save money on overall cost. It also helps to cut down on the added wear and tear of your vehicle from the extra strain of pulling such a heavy load. Aluminum isn’t going to corrode as quickly. Steel tends to corrode far quicker than what aluminum will. The carbon fiber that makes up aluminum helps to keep it looking amazing for longer than you might expect. Steel will end up breaking down and corroding from the salt and other elements out on the roadways today. What starts as a small amount of rust will quickly turn into a disaster and cost you a pretty penny to fix. Replacing or repairing aluminum components is quicker and more cost-effective. Overall, aluminum bodied vehicles are definitely worth the investment. Not only will you get better gas mileage, but you won’t have to worry about going through a bunch of extensive repairs like you might have to with their steel counterparts. Check into the different options available and see which one you prefer; you might not be able to tell the difference when you look at them. To learn more, contact a company like Exoticar Paintworks...

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After Your New Windshield Installation: 4 Things That You Should Not Do The First Day

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have just had a new windshield put on your car, you are probably pretty happy about not dealing with chips and cracks anymore. You probably want to make your new windshield last, though. Luckily, a new windshield should set into place pretty quickly and be ready for regular use, but you do need to baby it for a few days after installation. These are some of the things that you shouldn’t do on the first day after the repair has been made: 1. Wash Your Windshield Your auto glass installation company should have ensured that the new windshield was clean before installing it, so cleaning it isn’t something that you should have to worry about anyway. Just know that if you do clean your windshield, you could put too much pressure on it and cause it to pop out of place. This is why you should wait for a couple of days before cleaning. 2. Remove the Tape When putting in your new car windshield, your glass installer probably surrounded it with tape. This tape is designed to hold your windshield in place until it sticks permanently. If you remove it, you can get in the way of this process, so it is best to leave it alone for a couple of days. 3. Drive Fast When you drive fast, the air puts pressure on your windshield, which can cause it to pop out of place before it has set in permanently. This means that you should keep your speeds low. It’s best not to drive your car any more than you have to for the first day or two, and you should stay off of the highway for as long as possible. 4. Go Over Speed Bumps or Holes in the Road Potholes in the road or speed bumps that are designed to make you slow down can both jar your vehicle and your new windshield. It is best to avoid both of these obstacles for a few days if at all possible. If you know that you will encounter them on your route home, consider going another way. Otherwise, try to dodge them. If you have to go over them, go as slowly as possible to keep the jarring of your vehicle — and therefore your new windshield — to a minimum. Taking care of your new windshield on the first day should be easy. Just make sure that you avoid doing these four things if you don’t want any problems. Talk to your auto glass replacement specialist for more...

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Before You Haul A Horse In Your Trailer, Make Sure You Really Inspect Your Rig

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Before you haul a horse in your trailer from TNT Equipment Hauling for the first time, you need to make sure that everything is hooked up correctly and that your trailer is set up correctly for your horse. Here is a quick checklist for first-time horse haulers to go over before getting on the road.  Start With The Towing Vehicle Before you even hook-up your horse trailer, you need to run a basic safety and maintenance check on the vehicle that you intend to tow the trailer with. Towing a horse trailer can put a lot of strain on a vehicle, which is why it is so important to make sure the vehicle you are towing with is in great shape. Make sure you check all the fluid levels, include the oil, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. Check each tire and make sure it is properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation for your vehicle. If your check engine light or any other warning light is on, be sure to have it looked into and addressed.  Move On To Your Trailer Once you have made sure that your towing vehicle is in top shape, it is time to move onto your trailer. Before you hook up your trailer, get inside of your trailer and make sure that it is clean. Bees love to make nests inside of empty trailers, and other insects and animals like to take advantage of the space as well. These types of intruders will scare your horses and could potentially harm your trailer, so be sure to clean it out before you move it. After you clean the inside of your horse trailer, it is time to inspect the outside of it. Just like with the towing vehicle, you’ll want to check the tire pressure and make sure it is filled to the correct level suggested by the manufacturer of your trailer.  After you check the tire pressure, get out a lug nut wrench and make sure that all the lug nuts are tight on the wheels of your trailer. The lug nuts on a horse trailer can easily become loose through typical wear and tear, so it’s a good idea to always check them before out take off and throughout any long-distance trip. Focus On The Connections Between The Two After you have made sure the towing vehicle and trailer are both ready to go, you need to check on the connections between the two vehicles. When you hook your trailer up to your towing vehicle, make sure you double-check the hitch connection and the safety chains.  Then, test out the brakes and make sure that the brake lights work properly on both your towing vehicle and trailer when they are hooked up together.  Once you think you are ready to go, take your towing vehicle and trailer for a little test drive. Drive it a quarter mile or so, then get out and  make sure that everything is connected properly and that nothing has become loose. Then, take it on a slightly longer test drive so you can practice how to smoothly stop, start and turn with the trailer before you put your horses in it. Conclusion Before you set off and haul your horses with your trailer, make sure that your towing vehicle is...

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What You Need To Do To Prepare Your Car For A Road Trip

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Planning a road trip requires more than choosing a destination and booking a hotel. You have to make sure your car is just as prepared for the trip as you are. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend a portion of your vacation waiting for a tow truck to retrieve your broken-down car from the shoulder of the highway. So, before you pack your luggage, spend some time prepping your car for a long drive. Complete a Basic Car Inspection Look over your car to make sure everything seems like it’s in working order. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to complete a basic car inspection yourself. All you need to do is: Check all of the car’s fluid levels, including the oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Check your windshield wipers to make sure they are working properly and don’t need replaced. Make sure all of your lights are working properly, including your brake lights and fog lights. Don’t forget to check your tires when you complete your inspection. Make sure your tires have enough tread. Also, look for any tears or bulges along the sidewalls. Lastly, make sure your tires have enough air in them. Typically, the tire pressure figures are printed on a sticker attached to the driver’s side door jam. You can also find them in your owner’s manual. Get Your Car Serviced It isn’t enough to look over your car on your own. You should take your car into the auto repair service shop to have the brakes inspected. Have the mechanic replace the brake pads. Also, if your car needs a tune up or an oil change make sure to have these services completed before you leave. Your local auto repair shop can also fix any problems that you find when you complete your basic vehicle inspection. Prepare for Emergencies Your car can break down at any time, even if you’ve taken it to your local auto repair shop for an inspection before you left for vacation. Also, accidents happen sometimes, so you need to be prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes: Blanket Flashlights First-aid kit Basic tools, such as a tire iron and small car jack Extra water bottles and snacks Preparing your car for a road trip isn’t difficult, but it is necessary. It helps ensure that you’ll have a safe trip without any unwanted car problems. For more information, contact a an auto repair shop like The J.A.P....

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How To Save Money And Not Get Overcharged: Know Your Car And The Cost Of Its Parts

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The biggest reason that most people do not trust mechanics and auto body repair shops is that they are afraid they will get ripped off. The problem lies not with the mechanic or the repair shop, but rather with the car’s owner, who authorizes “any and all repairs.” Before you sign on the dotted line for any repairs to your vehicle, here is what you need to know to save money and curtail unnecessary expenses that you may have unwittingly pre-approved. Know Your Car This may seem like simple and ridiculous advice, but the truth is, not many car owners actually know what parts make up their cars. If you were to begin disassembling your car, would you know what the parts are? If you do not, then you cannot know what is broken and what needs to be fixed. What you might assume to be the brakes grinding every time to turn the steering wheel is more likely the CV joints, which are part of the steering mechanism and tire axles. If you come into a mechanic’s shop and ask (or demand) that he or she fixes the brakes, then he/she fixes the brakes and the car still makes an awful noise, it really is not the mechanic’s fault. The mechanic was just doing what you asked. Know the Cost of Car Parts Mechanics usually install brand-new parts because these are still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. However, your mechanic can and will install parts you bought for less, new or used, if that is what you would prefer. You could and would save some money by researching and buying the parts yourself, whereas a mechanic will usually just use whatever brand of parts he or she has on hand in order to fix your car. If you expect that only authentic auto manufacturer’s parts be installed in your vehicle, then you should also expect a higher price on repairs, whether you buy the parts or your mechanic buys them. If you buy and bring the parts, then the mechanic only has to charge you for labor, and you can ask in advance what the mechanic charges per hour of labor. Additionally, you can buy and use rebuilt or salvaged parts, which cuts the parts cost to the bone (and newer, less-experienced mechanics charge less for labor). Knowing exactly what the price range of certain, frequently-replaced parts is will help you haggle the price of your repairs down from what a mechanic might usually charge to something more manageable for your budget. For more information on how the cost of your car repair is determined, contact a company like Collisions Plus...

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