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Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

  • An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

  • Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

  • Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.


Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 


Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   


Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!


How To Keep Your Car On The Road Longer

One of the best ways to keep your car on the road longer is to perform regular maintenance. This includes things like oil changes, tire rotations, and engine tune-ups. By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can avoid more serious and expensive problems down the road.

Spark Plugs And Wires

In addition to regular maintenance, changing your spark plugs and wires proactively help extend the life of your car. Over time, these parts can wear out and cause problems with your engine.

Cabin Filter and Air Filter

Change your cabin air filter and engine air filter. One affects the airflow in your car and the other affects the airflow to your engine. Both are important for keeping your car running smoothly.

Fuel Injectors & EGR Valves

Check your fuel injectors.  Although not part of a standard service maintenance schedule, they start to deteriorate. You'll have a check engine light come on. Another major component that a lot of people fail to talk about when they just tune ups is the EGR valve or the exhaust gas recirculation valve. These should be checked and replaced according to your manufacturer's recommendations.

A faulty EGR valve can cause  all sorts of engine performance problems, including a loss of power and fuel economy.

Tires

Most people recognize the importance of having good tires on your car for  traction, safety, and gas mileage. But did you know that the condition of your tires can also have an impact on your electrical components. It's possible to have vibrations from your tires that will loosen battery terminals and other electrical connections. So, not only do you want to have good tread on your tires for safety, but you also want to keep an eye on any loose wires  or terminals.


By following these simple tips, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.


6 Costly Car Repairs That Are Totally Avoidable

Little Mistakes That Can Lead To Big Car Repair Bills

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be taken as a replacement for following your owners manual or the advice of a certified mechanic. These tips are a culmination from various sources widely available on the internet.

As anyone who’s ever owned a car knows, they are a huge financial responsibility. Aside from the initial purchase price, there’s insurance, gasoline, and of course, repairs and maintenance.

While some car repairs are unavoidable, there are others that are totally avoidable if you take proper care of your vehicle. Here are a few of the most costly car repairs that are avoidable with some simple preventive maintenance.

Never Ignore The Check Engine Light

Ignoring the check engine can lead to major engine damage that could have easily been avoided had the problem been addressed immediately. There are many reasons the light comes on such as a loose gas cap, bad oxygen sensor, or failed catalytic converter.

Failing To Replace The Battery When Needed

Depending on the battery's condition, most last anywhere from three to five years. If you're still driving on the original battery that came with the car, chances are it needs to be replaced. Modern vehicles are full of electronic features that put a strain on the electrical system, and an old battery will struggle to keep up.

If your battery is drained, it will take longer for your starter to turn over. Your vehicle now draws more electricity, and the alternator kicks in to throw additional amps at the battery in order to recharge it. All those things drawing current can be affected by the spikes and lows over time.

It's easy to eliminate a lot of electrical problems by replacing the battery when needed

Not Maintaining Proper Fuel Level.

Electric fuel pumps are located in the fuel tank. Running the pump dry can damage it. The debris from the bottom of the tank will also get into the fuel filter and clog it. This will reduce fuel flow to the engine and cause all sorts of drivability problems.

If you allow the fuel level to constantly run lower than a quarter tank full, you run the risk of having  to replace the fuel pump sooner than necessary. It sounds weird but gasoline has a cooling effect on the fuel pump, and running low all the time could potentially shorten its lifespan

Unnecessary Transmission Flushes

If you know the history of your car, it may be okay to do transmission flushes just as your preventative maintenance suggests. However If you don't know the history and the car is running fine, then you might reconsider getting it done.

When you fill your car with new transmission fluid, it has specially designed detergent in it to keep a transmission clean. The issue is that it can break loose debris already present in the transmission resulting in a clogged filter. If the filter gets clogged, it will restrict fluid flow and cause all sorts of problems.

Not Using The Proper Tire Size

Whether it's a spare tire or just buying tires not rated for your vehicle, putting the wrong size tire on your car will cause problems. The spare tire is rated for a limited amount of miles and speed, so you should only use it in an emergency situation.

When you drive with mismatched tire sizes, it can cause the vehicle's differential to think that the smaller tires are slipping. It then tries to compensate by sending more power to the wheels, which can cause even more tire slippage and eventually lead to differential failure.

Kicking Ice & Sludge To The Curb

You may just do it without thinking but kicking ice and sludge off your car's bumper, fender and doors can cause cracks or damage to plastic moldings. Think about it this way. When the temperature gets below freezing plastic can become very brittle.

So if you're tempted to kick your bumper, Don't. It could easily crack and need to be replaced. The same goes for plastic moldings and door handles. If possible wait for warmer temperatures, spray it off with a high pressure water nozzle at a car wash or just gently use a soft bristle brush.

Diary Of A Car - Don't Bug Me

A Tough Day In The Neighborhood

I'm just a car trying to get from Point A to Point B minding my own business. The next thing you know a swarm of bugs come out of nowhere and start running into me. Now I'm covered in bugs. Aren't bugs supposed to be attracted to light, so why are they attacking me during the day.?

I try to shake them off, but they just keep coming. I honk my horn and swerve from side to side, but nothing seems to deter them. Finally, I pull into a parking lot and come to a stop.

I really hate bugs. They're always getting in my way and ruining my day. I wish they would just leave me alone. But no, they just keep coming and coming. I can't even go for a drive without them attacking me.

It's not fair. There's a big mess to clean up. I don't know why they did it, but it was really annoying.

Good thing my owner knows how to get rid of them.

How To Remove Bugs From Your Car

Keeping a car washed and clean can help some to prevent bugs from sticking to the paint and making a mess. Waxing the car will also make it harder for bugs to stick.

If your car is already covered in bugs, here are a few ways you can remove them:

  • Try to remove them as soon as possible. If they are left to dry, they will be harder to remove.

  • Use a garden hose or a high pressure sprayer to rinse off as many of the bugs as possible.

  • Apply a commercial bug remover that you can find at most auto stores. Typically you apply the solution to the bugs with a sponge and scrub until they come off.

Preventative Measures

It's always best to take preventive measures to avoid bugs in the first place. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Regularly clean your windshield and front of the car so that bugs are less likely to stick.

  • Keep your car waxed so that bugs have a harder time sticking to the paint.

  • Install a bug deflector on the front of your car.

Road Trip Anyone

You Might Go On Vacation But Car Maintenance Never Should

As we enter the dog days of Summer, family vacations and long road trips become top priorities. But even if you're taking a break from your regular routine, car maintenance should never be put on the back burner.

Getting Prepared To Go

Before hitting the open road, be sure to give your car a once-over to make sure everything is in working order. This includes checking your engine oil, coolant levels, tires, and brakes.

If you're not comfortable performing these checks yourself, or if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it's always best to take your car to a professional for a thorough inspection.

Once you're on the road, be sure to keep an eye on your vehicle's gauges and warning lights. If anything pops up, don't ignore it! Pull over at the next safe opportunity and check out what's going on.

Don't Sweat or Let The Small Things Bug You

Summer is also a good time to check other items and systems in your car such as the air conditioning, wiper blades, and washer fluid levels. These are all things that you'll be using frequently during the hotter months, so it's important to make sure they're in good working order.

You never know when you might be driving and you get a heavy downpour or you have to clear away some bugs, so it's always best to be prepared.

Always Have A Backup Plan

In general we have become used to using the GPS system on our phones to get us where we need to go. But what happens if you're driving in an unfamiliar area and your phone dies or you lose service?

That's why it's always a good idea to have a physical map on hand as well as a backup plan for directions. It might seem old-fashioned, but there's nothing worse than being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no way to get home.

If you're going to be driving in unfamiliar territory or in remote areas, be sure to let someone know your route and estimated time of arrival. That way, if something does happen, someone will know where to start

And last but not least, always remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks often when driving during the summer months. Heat exhaustion is no joke, and it can happen to anyone. So stay hydrated, stay alert, and most importantly, enjoy your summer

Can Your Car Wax Help Keep The Value Of Your Car

To Wax Or Not To Wax?

It's no secret that keeping your car looking good can help to maintain its value. But what many people don't know is that there are a lot of things you can do to keep your car looking great - and some of them are easy and inexpensive! One example is car waxing.

1. The benefits of car waxing

Waxing your car is one of the best ways to protect its finish and keep it looking new. It creates a barrier between your car’s paint and the elements, which can cause fading, scratching, and other damage. Waxing also makes it easier to clean your car, since the wax forms a protective layer that dirt and dust can

2. The costs of car waxing

The costs of car waxing vary depending on the type of wax and the amount you need. However, it is generally a very affordable way to protect your car’s finish.

3. How to wax your car properly

If you're looking to get the most out of your car wax, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your car is clean. The wax will adhere better to a clean surface, and it will be easier to remove any residual wax when you're finished.

  • Apply the wax in a thin layer. Too much wax can actually end up doing more harm than good, since it can obscure your car's paint job and make it difficult to polish later on.

  • Work in small sections. It's best to apply the wax using a circular motion, and don't forget the edges!

  • Buff off the wax with a soft cloth. Be sure to remove

4. What are the types of waxes available?

There are a few different types of car waxes on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks:

  • Spray-On Waxes: These waxes are easy to apply and usually don’t require any buffing. However, they don’t offer as much protection as other types of waxes and can be prone to fading.

  • Paste Waxes: More durable than spray-on waxes, and they usually provide better protection against scratches and fading. However, they can be difficult to apply and require a lot of elbow grease.

  • Liquid Waxes: Liquid waxes are the most popular type of car wax. They’re easy to apply, and most come with a buffing cloth.

  • Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is the most durable type of car wax and offers the best protection against scratches and fading. It’s also the most expensive type of wax.

  • Ceramic Wax: A newer type of car wax that’s said to offer even better protection than Carnauba wax. However, it’s also more expensive.

4. How to care for your car's finish without using any products at all

  • If you're not interested in using car wax, there are a few other things you can do to protect your car's finish and keep it looking new:

  • Park in the shade. The sun can cause your car's paint to fade over time.

  • Wash your car regularly. Dirt and dust can scratch your car's paintjob

If you're still unsure about whether or not car waxing is worth the investment, it might be helpful to consult a professional. They can help determine if waxing your car will be an effective way to keep its value and maintain its shine over time.

 

 

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