Monthly Archives: June 2017

Road Trip Preparation Prevent Unexpected Automotive Repair

If you are preparing for a day-trip or an extended vacation to unwind, having a “pre-trip” automotive service will ease your mind and possibly prevent an unexpected automotive repair that leaves you stranded out in the cold. Here is a simple check list to include in an automotive service to get you off to a great start:

* Vehicle Loading & Tire Inspection

Virtually all late model motor vehicles are equipped with a sticker located on the driver’s door or pillar. That sticker determines maximum vehicle capacity, which means the weight of the vehicle along with the combined weight of passengers and cargo. Don’t exceed the recommended load capacity. On the same sticker is also a tire pressure chart. Be sure to check all tires and make certain they are inflated properly. Tire tread depth should also be inspected. If tires are worn to a point where less than 2/32-inch of the tread remains, or if the cord or fabric is showing, it’s time to replace the tires.
* Lights & Horn

Inspect all exterior and interior light/lamp functions. If any bulbs are burned out, and if you are uncomfortable with replacing it yourself, take your vehicle to your automotive service center and have it taken care of. You will want to make sure the horn works properly.
* Windshield Wipers

Test the wiper operation of your vehicle. You will also want to check the wear of the wiper blades. If they are streaking, or squeaking, they probably need to be changed to make sure you have clear visibility in the elements.
* Parking Brake

Test the parking brake with the engine running, transmission in drive and your foot on the brake. With the parking brake engaged slowly release the foot brake. If your vehicle moves forward, then the parking brake is not adequate. To ensure your safety, don’t forget to have it checked as part of the automotive service.
* Spare Tire

Spare tires can lose pressure over time. It’s a good idea to not only check the pressure of the spare, you should also insure it isn’t damaged, as well as checking the tread wear and overall condition.
* Car Jack & Tools

Check the truck to make sure you have the appropriate tools and car jack (and that they are in good working order) for changing flats, etc.

If you have completed the above check-list and had a complete automotive service, make sure you have taken care of any deficient or broken items. Although you can never guarantee that something unforeseen may happen, you will at least be prepared for the unexpected.

Saving Money on Auto Repairs

If you are having problems with your vehicle you can take it to a mechanic or you can try to solve the problem yourself. Many mechanics charge high sums of money for their services, but there are several auto repairs you can perform yourself to save money.

One of the easiest auto repairs you can do yourself is changing the oil and replacing the filter. This needs to be done every three thousand to five thousand miles. This is a maintenance issue, but it will help you avoid the more costly repairs that will be necessary if you do not change it regularly. The hardest part may be finding a place to dispose of the old oil and filter as most cities have regulations on how they can be disposed of.
A more challenging do-it-yourself auto repair project is replacing the brakes and pads. Not having good brakes can result in expensive repairs to other parts of the vehicle later as well as the danger of not being able to stop fast enough, resulting in an accident where someone could get hurt. Changing them when you first notice a problem will help your vehicle run better, longer.

You can also perform your own tune-up fairly simply. This involves removing the spark plugs and replacing them with new ones. If too much time goes by, carbon builds up on the spark plugs in the engine, resulting in spark plugs breaking. A good indication of this problem is your vehicle misfiring when you accelerate or not speeding up as fast as it should.

Another fairly simple repair you can perform on your vehicle is replacing your windshield. All you need is a windshield repair kit that you can purchase from your local auto body shop. The best windows to repair are those where the crack is very small and the adhesive can fit into the chip. It is not recommended that you perform this repair in the hot sun, as the adhesive does not work as well under those conditions.

Finally, if you have steering problems, you can use a turkey baster to suck the old fluid out of the system, instead of paying upwards of a hundred dollars at your mechanic. This trick should remove roughly ninety percent of the old fluid. After this add the new fluid and start the vehicle. This will get the new fluid moving through the system, resulting in a better driving vehicle.

Auto repairs do not need to be expensive if you know what you are doing. Your pocket book will thank you and you can save money both in the short and long run.