General Articles

5 Tips to Know When Your Car Needs a Service

5 Tips to Know When Your Car Needs a Service

Routine maintenance on your car will save on costly car repairs. Following your dealer maintenance schedule based on your mileage and keeping your eye on the basics will minimise car servicing costs and keep it running smoothly.

Parts wear out and periodically need replacing. Check your tyre pressure and the fluid levels (oil, transmission, battery, brake and power steering). A qualified mechanic can perform regular tune-ups and replace the air, oil filters and sparkplugs. Correct tyre pressure, balancing and alignment increases gas mileage and minimises tyre wear.

Routine maintenance however may not always be enough and I have 5 tips to warn you when it might be time for a trip to the car service centre.

5 Tips to Know When Your Car Needs Service

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (CEL) – When the check engine light is on, it is an early warning coming from the car’s electronic control module. The module is constantly receiving messages from sensors and switches under the hood and may be an indication of a serious problem.

BE AWARE OF SQUEALING BRAKES – Squealing brakes is an indication of excessive wear on the brake pads, misaligned brake calipers or brake drum problems. Pads should be replaced and if the problem is allowed to continue, you will have metal on metal wear and the brake drums may need to be replaced.

MONITOR THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE – Monitor your car’s temperature gauge or indicator light. If the light comes on or the gauge moves into the red zone it may be indicate a radiator or thermostat problem. It could be something as simple as adding fluid or flushing the radiator or a bad thermostat causing a spike in engine temperature. This needs to be addressed immediately. Don’t drive the car when overheated and locate a qualified mobile car service.

MONITOR THE OIL LIGHT – If the oil light is on, check the level when the engine is off. Running the engine without the correct oil level can lead to expensive repair bills.

CAR PULLING TO ONE SIDE – If you experience a steady pull to one side, this may be an indication of the following four problems, all easily repaired.

The rear axle may be turning the wheels to one side or there may be a problem with the car chassis.

Camber misalignment causes the front tires to tilt inward or outward. Tilting outward indicates positive camber misalignment and tilting inward indicates negative camber misalignment. A small variation from normal may cause the car to pull to one side.

Caster misalignment is the tilting forward or backward of the steering axis. Tilting forward indicates negative caster misalignment and tilting backward indicates positive caster misalignment. The car will pull to the side with a negative caster misalignment. Caster misalignment may also be the result of bad struts or spindles.

The master cylinder fluid, sticky calipers or parking brake may be contributing to the pulling.

Following these 5 tips will minimize your automotive expenses over the life of your vehicle.…

Four Reasons a Person Should Never Spend Time Worrying

Four Reasons a Person Should Never Spend Time Worrying

Betty was very unsure she was going to be able to get to Arizona all by herself and was nervous about the flight and the fact that there would be no one meeting her when she landed to help her maneuver through traffic. The only thing she knew for sure was that this trip was necessary because she had to attend the fiftieth wedding anniversary of her best friends, Ruth and Bernie, and she was willing to go to any lengths to be sure she was there. She was very relieved when her daughter made arrangements for a Tucson airport transportation shuttle that would take her right from the plane to the hotel where she would be staying. Because of this Tucson airport car service she suddenly felt confident about getting around town and she knew that there would be no obstacle to keep her from having a wonderful time with her friends.

Sometimes there can be a lot of worry and frustration over making travel plans and it is completely unnecessary most of the time. In this case, it took a simple phone call on the part of the daughter to completely put Betty at ease about how she would be able to get around safely in a strange and busy city.

It has often been said that most of what we worry about never happens anyway so time is wasted when we spend it worrying. Four reasons we should never spend time worrying are:

1. Worry causes us to expend thought and energy that should be directed toward something productive leaving us tired and worn out for no good reason. In fact, exhaustion is a byproduct caused by excess worry and it can be debilitating. Time spent worrying is simply a wasted effort for nothing and should be avoided.

2. Worry can cause us to focus on problems at hand rather than solutions to them and this lends itself to negative thoughts and reactions. It is a documented fact that many times we can unconsciously find a solution to a problem or work out an alternative way of looking at a problem even while we are sleeping but when worry crowds our thoughts it ends this creative process and causes our minds to shut down.

3. Worry can cause us to view life in a fear filled way and can affect our emotions to a point that is unhealthy. Studies have shown that our emotions do directly impact our physical well being and are frequently responsible for illness and fatigue that endanger our health. Being proactive and taking precautions to avoid danger can greatly reduce the chance that we will be wasting time worrying and can ward off the feelings of helplessness and resignation that something bad is about to happen to us.

4. Worrying causes us to become self absorbed and many times leads us to neglect those we love. This is very detrimental to relationships and has created problems where they would otherwise not exist but for one person who cannot resist the temptation to worry when he or she should be focusing on the positive aspects of a relationship.…

All About Wedding Car Hire

All About Wedding Car Hire

A wedding day is really going to start a new life for you. So all the aspects and activities surrounding it require more attention. It starts from things like wedding dress and the list never ends. There are thousands of things in a one fine day. Considering the importance of the day and you are going to take first ride with your new life partner, try to arrange the best available vehicle.

Obviously the wedding day has got a list and many things to take care of. You just cannot go out and get anything that you like. A whole understanding of the issue and many other major and minor things are going to play a vital role. So we will try to cover few such points to make it easier for you.

You can prepare a map route and inform it to the wedding car hire agency. If there are any changes or you want to take a different route than the normal one, discuss it well with them. The color also has got its own importance. The whole feel factor depends on the color. So, car color should respond equally to the occasion. It is an advice that always works wonders. You need to do it well before the deadline. As we all know car agencies would have hundreds of request to look from, your particular request is not going to make much difference. First come first served principle is what we are talking about. It has its own advantages. If you are fortunate enough, you might pick up an early bird prize. Models like classic and modern are available in the market. You need to find the one that is going to help your wedding purpose.

Your responsibility does not end here as you need to go there and get it checked. You cannot do everything on paper. The agencies would never say no to any such questioning part. In order to get the feel, see it before the actual day as it would surely add up to the momentum. The preparation is the key and assurance is another way of doing it. The most critical aspect is that you need to check it out if that particular car is exclusively booked just for you. We are talking about the main principle i.e. one car, one day and one occasion. If this is not done properly, the quantity is going to take a side corner. This is quite important otherwise the whole arrangement would be in deep doubts.

Always ask them how they are going to prepare for the day. Everything should be scheduled properly and chauffeur should be well aware of the route. A dry run couple to the wedding destination, couple of days before, is definitely a good approach.

Wedding car hire is a responsibility that you need to take in a way, so it can bring pleasant memories for the time to come. It is a day like this is just once in a lifetime.…

3 Easy Ways to Look After Your Car Battery

3 Easy Ways to Look After Your Car Battery

Most drivers have experienced a flat battery. It can happen at the most unfortunate time, like when you are about to go to a wedding or go out on a first date. But whenever or whatever the time or circumstance, it is always inconvenient and it usually costs money. The funny thing is, if you have your car serviced regularly, your mechanic will be able to prevent this from happening in the first place by alerting you to potential problems.

In this article we will have a look at some ways you can prevent battery problems yourself and learn three easy things you can do on a regular basis to make sure you are never stranded again.

Most modern cars have fully sealed batteries and problems can be difficult to detect without expert attention.

But many older vehicles have easy to maintain batteries and you can soon learn the tell-tale signs of a pending problem. Corroded terminals are an easy to spot sign that all is not well. You will see discolouration around the terminals, perhaps white powder or similar discolouration which means that the terminals are corroding because of the action of acid leaking from the battery.

If these problems are not fixed quickly you will soon reach a point where the engine will not start and if the wiring has been badly affected, then you may be facing expensive repairs to the wiring as well as replacement of the battery.

Here are three things you can do to get yourself out of this predicament.

Make sure the terminals are clean. Check both positive and negative terminals of the battery at least every month. Remove the wiring and using a post-scrubber clean both terminals to ensure optimal contact. Use a solution of baking soda and water to clean the cables and the terminals. Always wear protective gloves when you are dealing with the engine as well as goggles to protect your eyes.

Make sure the battery is filled with distilled water to the optimum level. Most batteries have indicators which will determine the level to which you should fill. Correct electrolyte levels are vital to optimum performance of your car battery, so check the casing for cracks. If you find any you will need to replace the battery immediately.

Use a hydrometer to check your battery acid to make sure it is in peak condition and then squirt a solution back into the same chamber. A fully charged battery should have a reading of 1.265 or higher. Anything lower than this means that the battery should be recharged.

By performing these three simple tests on a regular basis, you will ensure maximum life for your battery and protect your investment. As stated above, your mechanic will be able to keep an eye on things with regular servicing and this may even obviate the need to you to look at your battery at all.

But there is nothing wrong with taking things into your own hands, especially when it comes to your battery, so why not make it a habit to check your battery regularly and get it to the service station before trouble occurs.…

Car Paint Restoration Tips and Techniques – Paint Stripping and Sandblasting

Car Paint Restoration Tips and Techniques – Paint Stripping and Sandblasting

Auto body Repairs Using Sand Blasting Equipment:

A restoration requires you to make a choice as to which method you are going to use. In order to do this you really need to categorize the levels of restoration.

Category One – Light to Medium fix ups

Mechanical repairs and repainting

The basic mechanical work is done first to ensure safety of the vehicle components. This followed by minor body works and refinishing touch ups.

Mechanical repairs with replacements and refinishing

Some mechanical parts are replaced as needed. Little more detail is required in the bodywork.

Category Two – In Depth Restoration

Similar to the mechanical repairs with replacements with the refinishing more in depth. Some taking apart of the vehicle is required to attend to rust and corrosion of key parts. Items have to cleaned, refurbished or replaced such as drive train parts, suspension and underbody parts. Close color match of body is required and trim may need replacing. Cars restored under this category are often pampered and not used on a daily basis.

Category Three – Just off the Assembly Line

Restoration here entails making the car look like it’s just been manufactured. Showroom quality. No body fill can be used in these restorations as well as fiberglass body panels except for some Corvettes.

Category Four – Show Piece

This is the museum category and is really not applicable because they are those that are only found in the Museums.

Getting Down to Sandblasting

Sandblasters work off of compressed air and are either pressure feed or suction feed which are the cheaper of the two. The only drawback is that part of their energy goes into drawing up the material however; they don’t require an expensive pressure tank. Pressure feeds do require a pressurized tank, but they work extremely well.

Sandblasting is effective cost saving and messy. Should only be done outdoors. With the right grade of sand the results taking it right down to the metal and removing the rust pits. It works effectively on other parts as well. Make sure you apply a flash rust treatment to prevent rust till you get the primer on.

The one thing to remember about sandblasting is do not over do it. As soon as you hit the bare metal stop.

You can use silica sand for various other grades just be sure to be careful with what you use. For light touches, you can use the ground or English walnut shells.

The siphon blasters are a lot less expensive than the pressure blasters. Remember to remove the hardware and trim before blasting and make sure you wear the proper body protection as well ensuring you have a proper hood and gloves. Preferably, a supplied air hood would be ideal.

Sandblasting can be extremely effective provided the right techniques, tools and materials are used in a safe environment. Many individuals are against sand blasting because of the damage it can cause. They are right it can work against you but only if you go beyond what is required. The whole key to success is stopping when you hit the bare metal.…