Benefits Of Used Auto Parts

Benefits Of Used Auto PartsFor those trying to save some money in the household budget, consider purchasing used parts for your vehicle repairs. New parts can often be astronomical in price. In many cases, used parts will work just as well. They can be found at different salvage yards or at a car dealer. Before jumping into the world of used auto parts, first do some research to make sure to get the best deal.

Know Exactly Which Part is Needed

Once you find out there is an issue with the vehicle, it is necessary to either inspect the problem or have a mechanic determine what is needed to repair the car. Auto components usually need to be make and model specific. When shopping used, make sure to have all the information that is needed. If it is possible, bring the old piece when shopping, so there is no confusion as to what the vehicle will require.

Know What the New Purchase Price Would Be

Before shopping, take a few minutes and research the price of those new components if they are purchased new. This way, it will be easier to know whether or not the used is provided at a good deal. Make sure to have a printed copy of the price on hand when looking, just in case it may be necessary to negotiate a better price with the dealer.

Make Sure Returns Are Possible

One of the first questions that needs to be asked before paying for a used component is whether or not it can be returned it if it breaks or quits performing. Many auto salvage centers or a trusted car dealer will offer a 30-day money back or exchange policy. If the retailer does not offer any type of warranty, consider trying other sources that do have a return policy.

Maybe New is Better

Some parts are often better if purchased new. Vital components, like alternators, brake rotors, and others that have a tendency to wear out over time are overall more economical if purchased new. It can be risky buying some items used since it typically cannot be known how long they were used in the previous vehicle before they were sold to someone else. The vehicle may stop working after three months, which means a new component will have to be purchased, so it may have been less expensive to break down and buy it new in the first place. Auto parts that are typically considered safe to purchase used include fuel pumps, brake drums, air conditioner compressors, and CV joints.

Purchasing used auto parts from a salvage center or car dealer can be a big money saver, but they can also cost more if you careful research is not done ahead of time. Make sure to shop around different salvage yards, swap meets, a used car dealer, or classified ads to get the best deal. Most of all don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions before handing over the cash.

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body ShopChoosing an auto body shop doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Estimates from different shops will likely fluctuate, sometimes to the point where you wonder if you are getting quotes for the same repair on the same vehicle. Consider these five tips to help guide you in making your decision:

1. Get Multiple Estimates

This one is obvious. Not only will multiple auto body shop quotes give you some idea of the “middle ground,” you’ll feel better knowing that you did your homework and you aren’t simply going with the cheapest… or worse yet, the most costly proposition.

2. Are They Certified and Insured

Do they seem reputable and carry all the appropriate certifications insurance?

Is the location a direct repair facility for your insurance company?

If you are completely new to the facility and going in with very little information on them, check for appropriate licensing hanging on the wall near the register.

Things can go wrong with any repair shop and your vehicle will be living there for a while, so you want to make sure that the repair facility you choose is protected in the event of fire, theft, or natural disaster.

3. Parts and Warranty

What is the warranty on repairs? Depending on whether they are a direct repair facility for your insurance company, you will likely get anywhere between 1 year and a lifetime warranty. Comparing warranties between locations can be a big indicator of the quality of parts and workmanship. You want to hire someone willing to stand by their craft.

Do they use aftermarket or used parts? Used parts don’t necessarily mean quality is bad, but when comparing quotes, you want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If one location is offering used parts and another new, and their estimates are the same, look closer. What is making up the extra cost in the estimate for the shop offering the used parts? The per-hour labor costs may be higher at that particular shop.

What kind of paint matching technology do they use? You want to be sure that they can make an exact match of the paint code for your vehicle, and that they are using a high-quality coating.

4. Reputation

Do they have a good local reputation? Are they part of a social network where you can check for reviews? Ask around to friends and family; almost everyone has used an auto body shop at some point, and you’ll be surprised how much information you can gather by listening to other people’s experiences.

5. Trust Your Gut… and Relax

If you are searching for an auto body shop, you and your car likely just went through a stressful experience. Trust your gut after visiting the location; you want to leave feeling that the customer service seems knowledgeable about their industry and genuine about service. If anything about the experience seems not above board, keep looking, and use the tips above to guide you until you find a professional you can feel good about.

Be in Control of Your Steering and Suspensions

Be in Control of Your Steering and SuspensionsThe most important control mechanism in your car, as a driver, is the steering wheel. The cozy and smooth ride that you enjoy is usually the product of good steering and a good suspension system. Many people also don’t know that a broken suspension system can affect the steering wheel which means the problems you’re experiencing with the steering wheel might have originated from the suspension system.

More importantly, both of these parts play a critical role in your car: good steering ensures that a car is safe for the occupants, while the suspension makes the passengers comfortable and keeps the car from falling apart a lot faster. This is why the steering and the suspension should be checked regularly.

Steering Wheel Problems

When there are problems with the steering wheel, the car may pull itself in a particular direction. The wheel can also shake as you drive which can make it harder for you to keep the entire vehicle along your intended path. At other times, the steering may completely get locked in a single position, making it impossible to steer. This, of course, can result in immediate and catastrophic disaster in cases where the car ends up veering off the road at high speeds. A steering wheel that is in perfect working order will make steering more accurate, safe and reliable. Other steering wheel issues include fluid leakages and overly tight belts.

Steering problems can be caused by a broken suspension system. A vibrating wheel is also usually the most obvious indication that the wheels are loose or unbalanced. This is why a steering problem requires such immediate and serious attention. It is usually a sign that things are terribly wrong in another part of the car.

Suspension Problems

When the suspension system has issues, your car will not handle bumps and rough roads as well as it generally should, and the tires will wear out unevenly. You might also hear noises when you go over bumpy surfaces. You might ignore the problem thinking that your car can hold out for some time before you visit the garage, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. A suspension problem often causes problems in other parts of the car. In general, your car will wear down much faster, which means ignoring suspension problems will eventually result in more visits to the garage than necessary over time.

If you are someone who expects the very best performance from your car, there is no choice but to have your car undergo a thorough inspection of the suspension and the steering wheel to ensure that they are in perfect condition. Essentially, steering wheels and suspension systems are important for cars because they ensure safety and comfort for the passengers, longevity for the car, and a considerably reduced maintenance budget. Be in control of your car’s steering and suspension system through regular inspections, and you will be certain to enjoy its life of service.

Car Interior Cleaning Hacks

Car Interior Cleaning HacksCar’s exterior washing is generally done on a regular basis, but most of us neglect washing your car interior. Remember, car interior washing is in fact more important the exterior washing.

Here are 7 car interior washing hacks which will surely make your car’s interior look great. Have a look at these seven wonderful car interior cleaning Hacks coming right out of your kitchen.

Cooking Spray – Grab some cooking spray from your kitchen and simply spray it on the inside rubber seals of the car doors and rub it in with a paper or soft cloth towel to prevent the doors from icing shut or sticking when it is icy at the outdoors.

Coconut Oil And Cupcake Mould – On the dashboard and cup holders of your car, you can apply some coconut oil. It not only prevents dust from settling again, but it also provides a little shine. You can keep a silicone cupcake mould inside each holder to prevent the cup holders from getting dirty again. So, whenever they become dirty all you have to do is rinse them out.

Big Cereal Containers – Place your big cereal container with a recycled bag. The best thing about doing this is that while it is closed, everything stays safe inside even if it falls over. Another great thing is that when the recycled bag gets dirty you can wash it inside the container.

Coffee Creamer Containers – Old coffee creamer containers fit neatly in the backseat cup holders. They allow for snacks to be given a few at a time and are an excellent choice for snacks. Your car’s backseat will stays clean and your kids can reach them easily.

Lint Rollers – Lint rollers are important to keep in your car as it is something which can be used effectively for a quick roll over in the backseat of your car before you go for grocery shopping to get rid of your pet dog’s hair or you can brush your suit jacket before visiting your office as a final touch-up.

Water And Vinegar – A mixture of one part of water and three parts of vinegar helps to keep your car windows free from ice. You should keep the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it every night when you park the car. Next morning you’ll see that your car windows are ice free while your neighbours are scraping ice from their vehicles.

Recycled Bags – Place them over your headrests in the seat, so they will provide extra storing space which you can use for grocery and other things as well.

Tips for Making Used Cars Feel New Again

Tips for Making Used Cars Feel New AgainPurchasing used cars is a great way to save money, but some may feel as if they are not as nice looking as brand new vehicles. Many pre-owned vehicles are in excellent condition both cosmetically and mechanically. Proper maintenance of both the inside and outside can add more life to the car and keep it looking great. For those who feel as if their used cars are in need of a little sprucing up, consider some of these tips.

Clean the Interior

Keeping the interior of the vehicle clean is one of the best ways to spruce up used cars. Pull everything out from the inside and the trunk, and vacuum the carpeting and seats thoroughly. Don’t forget to catch the corners, crevices, and anywhere else that dirt can collect. Remove the cup holders and wipe down the hard surfaces. Use an antibacterial cleaner to disinfect the steering wheel, handles, and all buttons, including the radio. Take some time to remove any stains on the upholstery using some upholstery cleaner.

Clean the Engine

A clean engine makes cars run more efficiently and look much nicer. Every month, wipe off any build-up with a shop towel. Spray a degreasing agent on the cloth and carefully wipe the outside of the engine. It is also possible to power wash the engine, but be careful not to get water into other elements under the hood.

Clean the Door Wells

Door wells are not an area that often comes to mind when sprucing up a vehicle. It is, however, the first part that people see when opening the door. This area can get very messy and unattractive. Grime and dirt can build up quickly, so take some time to clean it out. Spray the door wells with all purpose cleaner. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then wipe them down with a dry cloth.

Clean the Headlights

Over time, the headlight covers can become very foggy, making used cars look less attractive. A yellow film builds up on the headlights and prevents the lights from working as well. There are a few options to fix this problem. Professionals can refinish the lights using a specialized technique and professional products. Replacing them is also an option if they are in especially bad condition. There are also headlight cleaning kits available for the owner to clean them.

Taking a few moments each month to spruce up used cars can make it seem as good as new. In addition to general maintenance, these tips will make it look and feel like new for years to come.

Understanding What an Emissions Test Is

Understanding What an Emissions Test IsIn some states, you have to have your car regularly inspected. Part of that inspection should include an emissions test. If your vehicle is new, you may not have to worry as much. However, older automobiles may have trouble. Catching potential problems and fixing them in advance can save you time and frustration.

What Are Emissions?

To understand how an emissions test works, you first must understand what the technicians are looking for when examining your vehicle. Simply put, as your automobile uses fuel to power the engine, combustion takes place. What is left over from this process comes out of your vehicle’s tailpipe. Because of the toxicity of the outflow, inspectors must ensure that these gases are within certain levels.

What Does an Emissions Test Look For?

To perform this examination on your vehicle, the technician places a sampler into the tailpipe. This piece of equipment samples the exhaust coming from your engine and reads what the level of gases are in parts per million.

The equipment is set to sense or “sniff” five different types of gases: NOX, O2, CO, CO2 and HC. NOX is the term for oxides of nitrogen and is produced by heating and compressing air containing nitrogen. This compound is very toxic at high levels.

Oxygen is always found in the exhaust as there is always some unburned oxygen being admitted into the air. While this is not a harmful residue, O2 tells how well the engine burns through the fuel. Excessive amounts may indicate that the engine has been tampered with in order to pass the test with faulty equipment.

In addition to O2 and NOX, CO and CO2 are also tested for. CO, or carbon monoxide, is a well-known, colorless, odorless compound that is deadly. CO2, better known as carbon dioxide, is a leading cause of global warming.

The final compound tested for is HC or hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon is unburned fuel. As with CO and NOX, HC is not something you want to breathe. It is the leading cause of smog seen in large cities.

How Can You Pass the Emissions Test?

Your car must be in fairly decent shape to pass the test. If you have not had a tune up in a while, it is important that you do so before your next inspection. Changing spark plugs, changing the oil, and having a fresh air filter can address many of the issues that your automobile may have. You should also ensure that your gas cap is free of cracks and that it fits snugly.

In addition, if your vehicle has a check engine light on, you will not pass the inspection. Be sure to take your vehicle in for service when this light comes on. There are many different reasons the light could be on, and not all of them are expensive fixes.

The emissions test is designed to help keep our environment clean. While it might seem like a hassle, having cleaner burning vehicles is better for everyone. In addition, you can be certain that your car is in great running condition and will be less likely to break down.

Beginners Guide on How to Change Oil

Beginner's Guide on How to Change OilIf you have always wanted to change the oil in you car yourself, but have never known where to start, then this short guide will show you the secrets.

Why and how often should the oil be changed?

To gain an understanding of this you need to appreciate what purpose the oil serves in the engine and how it does it.

The oil in your engine serves to lubricate internal engine parts to reduce friction, cool internal components by dissipating heat and to flush away, from the moving parts, impurities such as fine metal filings or carbon from the combustion process.

The oil starts off in the sump which is a reservoir usually fixed to the bottom of the engine, this is where a bulk of the oil is stored. From here it is pumped through an oil filter to remove any impurities large enough to cause damage or accelerated wear to internal components. The filtered oil is then piped under pressure to various moving parts throughout the engine. Most rotating parts inside the engine, such as the crankshaft and camshafts, use bearings with no moving parts and are actually floating on a very thin film of oil.

It is for this reason that the oil needs to be kept clean and free of impurities as this gap is very small. Once the oil has flowed out of the bearings it simply runs back down into the sump. During this process the oil has collected carbon from the combustion process as well as fine metal particles.

Typically engine oil needs to be replaced every 10000km/6000mi or every 12 months together with the oil filter. After 10000km the oil has generally collected enough carbon deposits (it will be black) to justify changing it. The 12 month limit is there because oil also collects acidic deposits from the combustion process which over time can cause erosion of internal components.

What you will need.

Although you will find these parts at most Kmart and Target stores, if this is the first time you’ve changed oil I would recommend an auto shop like Supercheap or Autobarn as they can help you get the right items for your car.

1) A jack to raise the car to a sufficient height for you to get underneath.

2) Car stands to hold up the car. (NEVER get under a car only supported by a jack)

3) Oil pan to collect oil.

4) Spanner that fits the drain plug.

5) Oil filter tool for removing the oil filter.

6) Rags for cleaning up.

7) New oil (Typically 4-5 Litres)

8) New oil filter.

How you do it.

First make sure the car is on hard flat ground with the handbrake on. Place the jack under the front cross member which runs across the bottom of the engine between the wheels and raise the car. Make sure you don’t place the jack under the engine sump.

Once the car is raised, place the car stands under the chassis either side of the engine and gently lower the car down onto them.

Note. NEVER under any circumstances get under a car which is only supported by a jack. Jacks can and have failed and you do not want to be under the car if it does.

With the jack out of the way, place the oil pan under the engine and remove the sump drain plug located on the very bottom of the engine. Allow the all of the oil to drain out. (It may drip for a while.)
Once the oil has drained, re-fit the drain plug ensuring the gasket is in place.

Using the oil filter tool, remove the oil filter from the engine by turning it anti-clockwise ensuring that the rubber gasket is not still stuck to the engine block, and wipe clean with a rag. If this gasket is accidentally left in place it will cause an oil leak.

Apply a little engine oil or grease to the gasket of the new oil filter prior to screwing it on and tighten by hand until firm.

You have now finished under the car, so, jack it up again and remove the car stands and lower the car back to the ground. You’ve almost finished.

Remove the oil filler cap and pour the new engine oil into the top of the engine, add the oil in stages until it shows ‘full’ on the dipstick. Don’t be in too much of a rush here as it takes time for the oil to run down through the engine.

Replace the oil cap and start the engine. Just let the engine idle until the oil light on the dash goes out or the gauge shows pressure. This usually takes about 10-20secs and the engine can be a bit rattly during this time. If it takes longer than this then stop the engine and investigate, there may be a problem. Have a look underneath for a leak and check there is enough oil in the engine using the dipstick.

If everything is OK, then check the oil level again you will usually find the engine needs a little more oil, another quick check and you’re done.

Some good tips before starting, it is faster to drain oil if the engine is warm but avoid a hot engine. Keep rags on hand in case you have a spill and if you don’t have any hand cleaner, use ordinary washing up liquid.

What do you do with the old oil?

Tip the old oil into the oil bottle that the new oil came in or another one if this is not empty, but then what? Well these days it is definitely not OK to just tip it down the drain, similarly you cannot just chuck it in the bin don’t even be tempted to do this just once. Most local council tips will take oil for recycling and it only costs about $2 to drop it off. I normally just collect it in bottles and store out of the way and take it all to the tip once a year.

Although just one of the many actions performed when servicing a car, changing the oil and oil filter is really quite simple. I hope you have found this article useful and prompts you to give it a go.

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Auto Air Conditioning Repair

Auto Air Conditioning RepairAuto air conditioning repair is often compared to a detective’s job. Problems may occur in any part of the air conditioner and at times it is not possible to identify the exact nature of the problem, hence it becomes necessary to contact a mechanic who is well versed in the repair of an air conditioning system.

Auto air conditioning may be damaged by leakage in systems, low level of refrigerants, clogging in condensers, and failure of compressors. Some of the problems are simple and can be handled on your own. Some others need technicians to perform the task. To facilitate this, a number of auto repair shops are available. Along with basic auto mechanic tools, some specialty tools are also needed, this depends on the type and area where repairing services are needed. Air conditioning repair manuals serve as ideal companions when repairs are needed.

There are certain facts one must know about auto air conditioning repair. A/Cs are designed to keep the vehicles cool. The repairers must be familiar with five important components, such as compressor, refrigerant, condenser, expansion valve, and dryer or evaporator. In some vehicles, accumulator and orifice tubes are used instead of expansion valves and dryers. One must have a detailed knowledge of the whole mechanism involved in air conditioning systems.

A proper mechanic can check out leakages without pulling the machine parts apart. In addition to basic components, other accessories including switches, fuses, wires, and fan belts are checked as part of auto air conditioning repair.

Auto air conditioning repair is quite expensive. Most of the auto part stores sell air conditioning parts at a high cost. Hence, expenditure is high even if repairs are carried out by vehicle owners themselves.

Tire Maintenance

Tire MaintenanceMost people pay little attention to their tires…until they have a blowout. Here are some tips from tiresafety.com that’ll help you make sure you know how to keep your tires from wearing out:

Tires typically lose one pound per square inch of pressure (psi) per month. It’s also possible for tires to lose one psi per drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

A tire gage is necessary for an accurate air reading. Your tire could need more air and you wouldn’t know it.

While 75 percent of drivers wash their car monthly, only about 14 percent correctly check tire pressure. All tires (including the spare!) need to have their air pressure checked at least once a month.

Forty percent of all drivers forget to rotate their tires every 5,000 miles, as recommended. It’s a good idea to have your tires rotated with each new oil change.

When checking air pressure, look at the sticker in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or inside the door jamb. It’ll tell you what load the vehicle can handle, the tire size, and the recommended level of psi for the front and read wheels.

Just as it’s important to keep the air pressure up in your tires, it’s equally important not to over-inflate them. That’s like putting additional people in the care, and can result in tire damage.

When a car is moving more rapidly, it increases the heat against the tires, due to friction. The more heat applied to a tire, the more quickly the tire will deteriorate and become damaged.

When checking the air pressure in your tires, make sure the tires are cold.

Here is how to check the air pressure in your tires – first, remove the valve cap. Next, press the end of the tire gage against the valve and press the tire gage straight and firm until the scale extends. Once you have the information you need, add air and recheck if necessary before replacing the valve cap.

To get the best mileage out of your car, rotate your tires every 5,000 miles.

To check for tire wear, place a penny in your tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tires are worn down and need to be replaced.

Before replacing a tire, check the owner’s manual. The tires on the vehicle when you first purchase it are known as Original Equipment or OE tires. The manual should give you the specifics information about the tire’s safety ratings, such as how much weight and speed they can handle.

Familiarize yourself with some of the technical terms that apply to vehicles parts and mechanics to gain a better understanding of what you’ll be looking for.

And of course, once you have your tires – drive safely!

Fix Your Transmission Fast

Transmission Trouble - Fix Your Transmission FastHave you been wondering if your transmission will make it to the next stop? I bet it will, but just to make sure, here are some clues that will keep you trucking along. Basic transmission care is so simple, it just takes a few minutes and it will extend your vehicle life by years.

1. Change the Transmission oil and filter at least once every 50K miles.

2. When you start your vehicle let it set in neutral to the count of 20 before you put it in gear every morning.

3. Come to a complete stop before you shift into neutral, reverse, or drive.

4. Check transmission fluid frequently and NEVER over fill it.

5. Never spin your tires on pavement, this causes wear and tear on your transmission.

Taking care of your transmission is not difficult, but it does require serious thought as to drive patterns, behaviors, and habits of the driver. You must consider your vehicle and never expect more than it should be able to provide mechanically. Overextending the simple uses wear on engine and transmission parts.

Keep your tires aired to regulation levels and carefully consider your driving habits. Do they need to change?

Becoming a good driver also means being a safer driver. Extending the life of your vehicle with good driving habits may actually save your life. Consider the alternative to bad driving habits.

* lower gas mileage

* longer tire wear

* better long term performance

* lower costs and repairs

* better maintenance values

* less wear and tear on vehicle

* better resale market values