Oil change intervals vary by manufacturer and engines, so consult your owner’s manual or maintenance schedule to see how often to change the oil in your vehicle and what type of oil to use. You may be surprised. We were surprised to learn that a Camry’s 2.5-liter engine requires 0W-20 synthetic oil, for instance. Manufacturers suggest you change oil more often for “severe” driving conditions, such as frequent trailer towing, extensive stop-and-go driving or idling in traffic, driving in extreme heat or cold, or frequent short-distance driving in which the engine doesn’t reach full operating temperature.
How do I know when it’s time for an oil change?
Time and mileage intervals vary by vehicle manufacturer and whether an engine requires synthetic oil (which is meant to last longer). Use the guidelines in your owner’s manual, including whether most of your driving qualifies as happening in “severe” conditions, such as frequent short trips and stop-and-go driving. Under those conditions, you should change the oil more frequently.
How often should I replace my oil?
You should change the oil at least as often
When the temperature gauge on your dashboard reads high or a temperature warning light comes on, you have a cooling system problem that may be caused by a leak — be it in the radiator itself or some other component.
First, make sure it’s coolant that’s leaking, not another fluid. (Coolant is often referred to as antifreeze, but technically coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.) You can easily check the coolant level in your see-through overflow tank. If it’s empty or low, the next step should be to check the coolant level in the radiator, but that should be done only when the engine is cool.
Once you know you’re losing coolant, the radiator is a good place to start. Some radiator leaks will be easy to spot — such as a puddle underneath the radiator — but others not so much. It’s best to check the radiator from every angle, not just from above, and pay particular attention to seams and the bottom. Corrosion inside the radiator or holes from road debris also can cause
The auto repair shop business is still thriving and many businessmen and women are making some considerable amount of money from it. However, there are more and more people starting their own service. The competition is higher now than it has ever been before.
How do you run a successful body shop business? The secret is to develop good personal relationships with your customer. A few improvements in customer service can increase customer loyalty for your business. This means clients will keep coming back while referring others to your shop. Here are a few suggestions on how to achieve that.
Make it more convenient for customers to book for appointments. An online booking system is ideal for this. Most of your client’s do not have the time to come and meet you face to face in order to book for services with your repair shop. If you make your service easier to use you can attract and keep customers.
Email Content Marketing
This is another way going digital can help you connect with your customers. Email marketing involves sending periodic newsletters with news about your business. It helps to increase brand recognition as you keep your business in their minds. If you can do
When it comes to getting a car repaired, what we really need is a reliable rating scheme for garages
finding a decent garage to look after your car is a bit like finding a reliable builder – it’s definitely harder than it should be. It’s a task that you’d think would be made easier by ratings schemes, but it can actually be made more difficult due to the sheer number of schemes aiming to provide impartial advice.
First of all, it’s worth investigating what a rating actually signifies. It should mean undercover inspectors turning up out of the blue, as they might to give a hotel its coveted stars. At the collision repair Tucson very least they should probe technicians’ qualifications and how up-to-date their equipment and mechanical know-how is.
In the more rigorous schemes, this happens. Others are simply listings dressed up to look like ratings services. I found one scheme that’s run by a lubricants company and whose featured garages only make the list because they buy the product. That information was revealed by a rival ratings scheme.
How do you know whether any garages on these sites are any good? The answer is you don’t. The Retail Motor Industry Federation’s Trust My
Not all auto service in Buckeye offer honest estimation. There are auto services estimates for about $300 for a specific problem in your engine or any certain part of your car while some auto repair shop want more than $1500 for multiple problems existing in your vehicle. You may be confused who is telling the truth and who’s not. That is why many people prefer to research more about the best auto repair shop like diesel repair Buckeye that is knowledgeable about the causes of problems of your motor. But the question is where to find them and how could you tell if they are great? In this blog, we are going to give some tips in choosing the best auto repair shop not only in Buckeye, also within the State.
Insurance is Important
It is better to play safe than to trust a company that is not insured. Insurance play a big role in repairs, particularly if the shop is not trusted or if there are instances that the auto repair shop burst into flames, would you suffer to pay the high premium instead of them paying the damage that has been done within their shops? What if the technician accidentally
Most professional car repair service centers offer a free quote. They should inspect your vehicle as well as listen carefully to the details of your needs. The mechanic should not try to pressure you into purchasing anything that is not required. He/she should also provide you with cost cutting measures which do not compromise quality. Make sure all parts that will be used to repair your car are up to code, from a reputable dealer, and be properly warrantied. If you feel pressured, it may be best to move on to the next potential hire.
The Written Word
Your repair quote should be in
When you apply the brakes to stop the vehicle, the brake pads are the friction material that gets pressed against the discs that spin along with the wheels. Eventually they wear down and need to be replaced. How many years or miles before that happens depends on where and how you drive, as well as on the type of pads.
The pads are mounted in calipers that have an inspection hole on top that lets you check the thickness of the pads on both sides of the disc, also called the rotor. On some vehicles that have aluminum-alloy wheels, you can check the outer pads with the wheels on, but in most cases you will have to jack up the car and remove the wheels to look at the pads on both sides.
Mechanics use different guidelines for determining when pads should be replaced. New pads range from about 3/8 of an inch to 1/2 inch in thickness when new, depending on the vehicle. Some shops recommend replacing the pads when they’re down to about 1/4 inch, others say 1/8 or when only 20 to 25 percent of the original thickness is left. The danger of
If your car’s owner’s manual says it does, you do.
For many consumers, whether to spend extra money for synthetic oil for an oil change is a difficult question to answer.
Manufacturers of synthetic oil promise more miles and better performance when compared with conventional motor oil, but it comes at a higher cost — sometimes twice as much per oil change. Is it worth the extra money?
Typically, high-performance vehicles will be more likely to require synthetic oil, as will vehicles that have a turbocharged or supercharged engine. However, if your vehicle does not require synthetic oil, the choice is trickier – and there is no clear answer.
Synthetic oil generally resists breaking down for longer than conventional motor oil (typically 7,500 miles to 10,000 miles, sometimes up to 15,000 miles, as opposed to 3,000 miles to 7,500 miles for conventional oil). That makes the extra cost a wash, if you have half the number of oil changes, but each one costs you twice as much. Other touted benefits include cleaner engines, better flow in cold temperatures, better protection when it’s hot outside and better performance with turbocharged engines.
There are also
Manual transmissions are usually cheaper to maintain and repair than automatics because the latter are far more complex and have more parts and functions that can fail, but it may depend on your driving style.
An automatic has hundreds of mechanical, hydraulic and electronic helpers that have to work in harmony to shift gears smoothly for you. In contrast, a manual transmission is mostly mechanical gears that rely on the driver to engage the clutch and shift when needed.
The cost of replacing automatic transmission fluid generally ranges from about $100 to $200, depending on the vehicle and who is doing the work. Manual transmissions also require periodic fluid changes, but the cost tends to be about half of that.
Transmission repair costs vary widely based on the vehicle and what it needs. Repairing a leak might cost a few hundred dollars or less, but tearing apart a transmission to find the cause of problems can be much more expensive. That is why many repair shops recommend replacing a transmission instead of trying to fix internal problems — especially in the case of newer continuously variable and dual-clutch automatics, because parts are more difficult to
This is a great question, but we must examine what “acting funny” means when referring to one’s drivetrain before recommending a course of action. Do any of the following seem familiar to you?
When an automatic transmission seems to slip in and out of gear, or the engine revs up but the vehicle goes much slower than the engine seems to be running, it’s known as slipping. Sometimes the gears reengage harshly.
This is where the whole vehicle shudders and shakes while driving, as if it’s having a convulsion. It feels like you’re driving over rumble strips even if you’re on a smooth highway.
A condition that feels similar to slipping, neutral drop-out is where the transmission drops into Neutral when the vehicle comes to a stop or while driving, typically at slower speeds. Sometimes when driving, the trans drops out of gear resulting in the engine racing up, and then either sliding — or banging — back into gear, or you step on the gas and the engine revs but the vehicle goes nowhere as if it’s in Neutral.
Heavy Drivetrain Vibration
This heavy vibration
Regular maintenance is key to helping your car survive a hot summer. Start under the hood. Look for battery corrosion, as the heat raises the internal temperature of the battery and speeds up corrosion on the terminals. According to research by Interstate Batteries, more than 30 percent of vehicles with batteries 3 years or older experience battery failure, so get older batteries tested by a technician.
Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, particularly the engine oil and coolant. You’ll also want to inspect coolant hoses for wear and tear and look for leaks, which typically develop near hose clamps, the radiator and the water pump. Other levels to check include brake, transmission and power-steering fluids. Taking care of routine maintenance before a trip is a good way to avoid becoming one of the travelers this summer who will need to have their broken-down car towed for repairs, as AAA estimated 3.5 million needed in 2013.
Driving with properly inflated tires will help reduce the risk of tire blowouts and lengthen their life. An under-inflated tire generates more heat, which adds to already-hot summer temperatures and causes them to wear out quicker.
If it’s cosmetic or superficial damage, such as from scraping a curb, the wheel is probably still round and has no bent sections or chunks of metal missing. On the other hand, if the wheel is bent, cracked or structurally weakened from hitting a massive pothole, running over a steep curb or some other mishap, it may need to be replaced, though it could possibly be repaired.
A dented wheel may not be able to maintain a seal with the tire bead, resulting in consistent slow leaks or blowouts, and will be difficult if not impossible to balance so that it doesn’t vibrate at speed. A wheel with structural damage could eventually break apart. When in doubt about the severity of damage, a mechanic experienced in assessing wheel damage should inspect the entire wheel with the tire removed.
Whether to repair or replace a damaged wheel is often a judgment call, but because it involves safety issues as well as cosmetic concerns, the best course is to err on the side of safety.
Repair services that promise to restore badly damaged wheels to like-new condition might be able to remove dents and bends and make
Unlike the old days, when a pair of “snow tires” would be mounted to the drive wheels only for winter use, today we recognize that a vehicle should have four matching tires: same type, same model and, yes, even same degree of wear. The reason is simple: A car with four tires that behave the same — whether accelerating, braking or cornering — is balanced and predictable. If any of these factors are different at one or more wheels, traction characteristics can vary and performance will be unbalanced.
Tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch, and most new tires typically have 10/32 to 12/32 (5/16 to 3/8) of an inch of tread. If a car’s other tires have lost only 2/32 or up to maybe 4/32 of their original tread depth, it’s probably OK to replace just the damaged tire.
There can be exceptions, though. Some manufacturers of all-wheel-drive vehicles recommend that all four tires be replaced, not just one or two, because a new tire will have a larger overall diameter than the other tires. The ones that have lost just a few 32nds of tread depth will spin faster than the new
If your vehicle is giving off an unusual or sickening odor instead of that new-car smell, follow your nose and find the source of the aroma. Bad smells can lead to expensive repairs or health hazards and shouldn’t be ignored. Here are some common odors and their possible causes:
Musty: If turning on the air conditioner generates a musty smell, mold and/or mildew have probably formed in the air-conditioning system. Moisture naturally collects on the cold air-conditioning evaporator (a small radiator that carries refrigerant into the car’s dashboard) and it may be harboring mold. Running only the fan at high speed (with the air conditioning off) can dry the evaporator.
However, that doesn’t guarantee the problem won’t reoccur — especially if it’s being caused by a clog in the drain tube that allows water to drip out under the car. A musty smell also can be caused by carpets that get wet when water leaks into the interior.
Sweet: Antifreeze has a sweet, syrupy odor, and smelling it inside a car usually means there’s a leak somewhere in the cooling system. The source may not be easy to see. For example, the leak could be
If you’re lucky, the squealing (or squeaking) noise that your brakes make when you first drive your car in the morning, particularly after rain or snow, is just surface rust being scraped off the rotors by the pads the first few times you apply the brake pedal, or the result of moisture and dirt that collects on the rotors, including from condensation caused by high humidity. If it goes away after a few brake applications, no worries.
If the noise persists most times or every time you apply the brakes or stays on continuously while you’re driving, the cause is more serious — and the fix will be more expensive.
A continuous high-pitched squeal while you’re driving is usually the sound of a built-in wear indicator telling you that it’s time for new pads. As the pads wear down and get thinner, a small metal tab contacts the rotor like a needle on a vinyl record to warn you it’s time for new pads. (Some wear indicators may work differently and engage only when you apply the brakes.)
Other squeals and squeaks will require a brake inspection to diagnose, and may require cleaning, lubrication or
Many automakers recommend that your car’s tires be rotated on the same schedule as its oil changes. In most cases, this means every 7,500 miles or six months, though some automakers have stretched the oil-change interval to 10,000 miles. Rotating your tires when you get the oil changed is good, assuming you do that at least once a year; you should do it more often if you drive, say, more than 10,000 miles annually. Unless you drive fewer than about 7,500 miles per year, you should probably rotate tires every six months or so.
The tires mounted on the drive wheels of any vehicle perform extra duty because they apply the power to the pavement. On front-wheel-drive vehicles that is amplified by the weight of the engine and transmission, and because the front tires do most of the work in turns. Rotating the tires between front and rear a couple of times a year spreads out the burden so they wear evenly. Automakers that offer all-wheel-drive cars also recommend rotating tires.
How do I know it’s time to rotate my tires?
You can’t tell only by looking that it’s time to rotate them, so following a
Officials with the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence — the independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians nationally — note that automotive service and repair has changed dramatically in just the span of a generation. High-tech systems unheard of 30 years ago are now standard equipment on much of the nation’s fleet of vehicles: stability and traction control systems, adaptive cruise control and variable valve timing, just to name a few. And more changes are on the way: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles are commonplace; hydrogen fuel cell and other alternative fuel vehicles are deployed in municipal fleets around the country; and Internet connections, voice recognition commands and GPS mapping are available in economy to luxury models.
Given the advance of technology and a richly varied automotive industry that offers an array of positions and career paths, the future is bright for talented young persons with math, science, communications and technical skills. And unlike many high-tech careers that require four, six, or even eight years of college, automotive technology careers can begin after just two years of education. As with any career, lifelong learning and continuing education is necessary, but
The cost of neglect
“It’s tempting to avoid car maintenance in tough economic times, but that’s not a financially sound method to manage the big investment you’ve made in your vehicle,” notes Tony Molla, vice president of communications for the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence . “Surveys of our certified technicians show that a well-maintained vehicle lasts longer, retains more of its resale value, pollutes less, and gets better mileage than one that’s been neglected — to say nothing of being safer to operate.”
According to the pros neglect causes components to wear out faster than they would otherwise (poorly aligned tires, for example) and can result in minor problems growing into more expensive repairs (worn brake pads will eventually damage the more expensive rotors). suggests motorists, whether they are do-it-yourselfers or take their cars to ASE-certified technicians, become familiar with their owner’s manual and follow the service schedules. “The owner’s manual is under-utilized; it summarizes systems to check and provides schedules based on normal or severe driving,” notes Molla.
While some people might relish a weekend tinkering with the family car, today’s technological advances under the hood and busier lifestyles find more
Your shift interlock feature, which requires you to step on the brake pedal to prevent unintentionally shifting out of Park, could be malfunctioning. Alternatively, the shift cable or linkage connected to the shift lever could be gummed up with grease or corroded so that it can’t operate freely.
If the interlock switch is worn and not fully releasing, or the brake lights don’t receive a signal from the brake light switch to illuminate, you won’t be able to shift out of Park.
Grease, dirt and moisture can collect in or on the interlock and brake light switches, and on the shift cable and related parts, hampering their operation. When that happens, you’re most likely to have problems shifting out of Park when the engine and transmission are cold, such as after the car has sat for hours. After the engine gets warm — and other parts get warmer, as well — the goo might become softer and make it easier to shift out of Park.
Most cars have a means of overriding the shift lock so you can drive the car to a mechanic rather than have it towed: A small door the size of