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Why You Should Check Your Car’s Automatic Transmission Fluid Regularly

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Should Check Your Car’s Automatic Transmission Fluid Regularly

If you look after your car’s transmission it can, very often, last for its lifetime. Yet you need to understand the importance of regular maintenance, as well as best driving techniques. One of the most crucial tasks for you, as a driver, is to ensure that the fluid is kept in good condition as this truly is the lifeblood of this component. What do you need to know to help you be the best caretaker? Checks You Can Make From time to time you will need to check that the level of your automatic transmission fluid is sufficient. Some vehicles will come equipped with a dipstick, which will be similar to the one attached to your engine. In many cases, the location of the dipstick will also be the access point to add any fluid. It’s usually best to check the fluid when it is warm and then to make sure that it is in between the two lines on the fluid level stick. When you check the level you also need to be looking for unusual signs. What you find will determine your next course of action. What You Should Find If you find very small black specks within the fluid, don’t be too alarmed as this is fairly normal. Usually, these are very tiny particles of material from the clutch pack, which break off during normal wear and tear. If it’s been a long time since you changed the fluid in your gearbox, this might be the time for you to flush it out and refill it. It largely depends on how many miles you do each year, as if you are racking them up then you may need to do this annually. When to Be Cautious When you check the transmission fluid level, do you notice a distinct “burnt” smell when you first withdraw the dipstick? Does the fluid have a blackened appearance, or do you notice tiny metal specks? If so, you need to be worried. This is a sign that the transmission has been significantly overworked and damage has been caused to the internal components. You might think that this makes it even more important for you to flush out the old liquid and replace, but this is the last thing that you should do. Usually in this case it is better to add any new liquid if needed but to leave everything as it is. It’s not uncommon for a transmission to fail immediately after a flush in this situation. It’s likely that the transmission will fail in time, but your best course of action is to plan to get it replaced rather than to risk it changing through “intervention.” Remember, that the liquid that you see when you check the levels should be the same colour and should smell the same as the new liquid that you put in. What to Do Next? When in doubt, ask a qualified mechanic for their opinion...

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Engine Losing Power? Four Areas to Look at

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Engine Losing Power? Four Areas to Look at

Do you feel as if your car is losing power these days? It can be quite difficult to put your finger on it, but you’re sure that there is something wrong. What are some of the symptoms and what could this mean? It‘s a Power Struggle If you find that your car loses power significantly whenever you accelerate hard, this indicates that there could be a malfunction in the fuel system. This will in turn prevent the engine from getting the additional fuel it needs to convert into speed. It’s possible that you have a leaking fuel line, a clogged fuel injector, a pump on the way out or a filter that needs to be cleaned. Note that in a newer car the fuel filter is placed inside of the tank itself, so it’s not something that can be easily changed at home. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes If you’ve noticed smoke coming out of the exhaust or your car popping and banging occasionally, then this could be one of two things. Either you have too much fuel getting into the mixture or you have a problem with the ignition spark. Both of these can result in power loss. A banging noise indicates that the air and fuel mixture is not ignited fully within the engine’s combustion chamber. As far as misfiring is concerned, this could be sparking plugs that have become contaminated with engine oil or dirt. Smoke coming out of the tailpipe can indicate sparking plug problems, but it could also be that the air to fuel mixture is too rich. It Shakes, Rattles, and Rolls If you notice that your engine appears to be shaking when you are standing at a stoplight, resulting in vibrations from the whole car, then it is likely misfiring. Eventually, this will manifest itself into a number of other problems, including a struggle starting in the morning. You may have a cracked distributor cap or failing spark plugs, which can lead to compression loss. You may also have a blown head gasket which is more serious. You may need a specialist diagnostic scan in order to find out which of the cylinders in your engine is at issue. It‘s an Uphill Struggle If you find that you have difficulty driving up a steep hill, then this could be a clogged petrol filter. This needs to be cleaned out periodically, and it’s possible that it has not been done for some time. It’s a good idea to check for a buildup of rust in your petrol tank as well to see if that is making its way into the system. Have a word with your car mechanic to help you make the necessary...

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3 Truck Parts to Replace for Better Visibility When Driving in Rainy Conditions

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Truck Parts to Replace for Better Visibility When Driving in Rainy Conditions

The roads become significantly more slippery when it’s raining, and you’ll need to be extra careful when driving in order to avoid getting into accident. Equipping your truck with the right parts can greatly improve overall safety on the road and allow you to respond quickly to unexpected obstacles that come your way. Here are 3 truck parts you’ll want to replace regularly. Truck Tyres When the rainy season approaches, it’s crucial that you check on your truck tyres to verify whether they are in good enough condition for the roads. Your truck tyres should have tread that is at a minimum 1.5mm deep across the entire tyre width. If your tyres’ tread is nearing these measurements, you should consider replacing the tyres early. You want to confirm that your tyres have optimal grip and traction on the road so that they can respond quickly to unexpected situations. Truck tyres with good tread will also be much more capable of stopping without skidding. Windshield Wiper Blades While most truck owners don’t spare a second thought to their windshield wipers, windshield wipers actually play an important and large role in regards to road safety. You need the windshield wipers to be functioning properly and removing water streaks immediately, so that they do not disrupt your visibility. Ideally, you should replace wiper blades every 6 months to a year or so or whenever you start to notice issues with visibility. Bright Headlights To ensure that you can completely see the road conditions ahead, you’ll want to invest in some high quality truck headlights. If your headlights are fogging up or dimming, it’s time to replace them and get new ones. You can take this opportunity to even customize the overall look of your truck headlights, as this can have an impact on your truck’s exterior design. In addition, you can also customize the color of the headlights a bit. Choosing headlights that emit tinted lighting can help your truck stand out from others on the road. Conclusion Choose truck parts that not only improve either the overall aesthetics or performance of your truck, but also improve how safely your truck can drive in different terrains and conditions. You’ll want to inspect your truck every year before the rainy season begins in order to make sure that all of the parts are functioning properly and are in good condition for the many months...

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Reasons You May Require Auto Electrical Repairs

Posted by on Aug 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons You May Require Auto Electrical Repairs

Your vehicle comprises a complex maze that is made up of fuses, wire, relays and an assortment of other electrical parts. If any of these components begin to have operational problems, it can affect the entire driving experience. It is prudent to have any auto electrical problems diagnosed and fixed as soon as they occur to prevent the complete breakdown of your vehicle. Unfortunately, some motorists do not know if their vehicle requires an electrical tune-up or major repairs. Here are some of the reasons why you may require auto electrical repairs. Your vehicle’s battery is not charging One of the sure-fire signs of electrical problems is a battery that will not retain any charge. This tends to be common with older batteries that are reaching the end of their lifespan. In this instance, replacing the battery for a newer one would fix the problem. However, if you have a new vehicle and find that your battery is not holding charge as it should then it would be prudent to see a mechanic to determine the cause of this. Your vehicle has a faulty alternator Your vehicle’s alternator is a component tasked with converting energy in your vehicle. If your alternator is malfunctioning, you will find that an other electrical components in your vehicle will not be receiving the electrical charge they need to operate at optimum levels. Some of the signs of a faulty alternator include headlights that are constantly dimming, power windows that are not opening or closing and recharging problems with your car battery. Your vehicle’s solenoid is faulty The solenoid is the component of your vehicle that turns over the engine. It is also commonly known as a starter. Over time, the solenoid may acquire damage that renders it unable to perform its function. As such, when you start your vehicle, you will begin to hear a loud clicking sound instead of your engine revving up. It would be crucial to have it replaced so as to prevent a situation where you are completely unable to start your car. Your vehicle’s battery cables are damaged Another reason your car may suffer from electrical problems is damaged or worn battery cables. There are various ways that the battery cables can acquire damage. One of the most common ways is the development of corrosion on the cables. The layer of rust makes it difficult for the cables to transfer energy from the battery, which in turn leads to electrical...

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2 Tips to Help You Avoid Stolen Boats When Buying

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Tips to Help You Avoid Stolen Boats When Buying

Many prospective boat buyers do not imagine that they could unknowingly buy a stolen boat. Sometimes, such boats are also involved in cases of insurance fraud, where an owner in need of cash sells off the boat and reports it stolen. The buyer may never know until they are discovered by state agencies or insurance companies’ bounty hunters. On discovery, you must give up the boat with no way to recoup your investment; you may even face criminal charges in worse circumstances. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to know how you can assess a boat’s legitimacy and ownership trail before buying. Learn how in the following paragraphs: 1. Check the numbers The hull identification number (HIN) is usually moulded onto the hull’s plastic, and it is the first thing thieves change before trying to resell a stolen boat. It may have a few alterations in the digits or be completely changed. Boats also have engine serial numbers and registration numbers. Engine numbers are not usually changed on a stolen boat, and are in fact used by state agents or bounty hunters to identify stolen boats. Watch out for indistinct hull numbers or numbers with missing digits, the first sign of potential problems with the boat. Do not accept any explanation for obscure numbers, and instead assume the boat stolen until further research proves otherwise. Also check the gelcoat, which is used to mould the hull number in place. On an old boat, the gelcoat should be faded; new gelcoat could indicate recent alteration. Look at the numbers carefully; some numbers are easy to alter like turning 1 to 7 or 5 to 8. 2. Check the papers Inconsistency in paperwork is one of the easiest ways to identify stolen boats. Upon registration (required of every new owner), the boat receives a unique number according to that state’s rules. Re-registration in a new state is also required, and this is used by thieves to their advantage: they steal a boat in one state and re-register it in another. Therefore, be very cautious when buying boats from out-of-state, especially when the transfer is recent. Get as much paperwork from the owner as you can including registration papers, purchase receipts and warranties, repair invoices etc. Boat owners generally keep good records of such things. Ask how long they’ve owned the boat and where else it has been registered and get copies of those documents after verifying authenticity of the original documents. You should also verify HIN and registration numbers against seller ID by simply contacting the state registration department. Look out for signs of alteration in the documents. Be especially careful when dealing with freshly painted or refurbished, as well as clearly used boats whose owners haven’t had them for at least one year. Where the boat has multiple owners e.g. a husband and wife, speak to all owners to avoid being caught in the middle of a property custody battle. Do not sign any agreements or put out a deposit until you are fully satisfied with the boat’s titles, registration and documentation. Even if a boat has a dealer number, it should have its own registration number; watch out for any that has just the former. Consult with a boat sales expert for more...

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All you need to know about your first driving lesson

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on All you need to know about your first driving lesson

For some people, getting their driver’s permit is an ordinary aspect of life. For others, however, being able to drive a car represents a huge step toward independence, and therefore is a very important process. A beginner driver’s agency school is the first place you should consider for developing your driving technique and getting the driver’s permit. Where Should You Look? It all starts with searching for agencies, organizations, or even accredited professionals that offer to teach you how to drive. If you’re currently a student in high school, you can check around campus to see if your school offers driving lessons. The driving classes are often organized outside of regular school hours, so you won’t have to skip school! What Should You Expect? Most driving sessions include classroom lessons and on the road training. The duration of the classes varies, and it can vary between a month or more, depending on how often you take them. Generally, though, classes should be held on a weekly basis. Here’s what you should expect from a driving lesson. In the beginning, an instructor will focus on teaching you the basics of driving. This includes things like starting/stopping the engine, maneuvering the vehicle, changing gears, and so forth. Your instructor will sit in the passenger seat. All cars used for teaching purposes have a foot pedal brake on the passenger side so that your instructor can brake in case of an emergency. Once you’re finished with the basic driving guidelines, your instructor will focus on the more advanced techniques, such as checking your mirrors, merging into traffic, and how to parallel park. Some instructors provide some tips on how to react in case of accidents such as hydroplaning or vehicle collision. Moving on, you will be required to take a theoretical class on driving, where you will learn about the regulations and laws of driving a vehicle from textbooks as well as instructional videos. At the end, you will have to take a written exam to test your understanding of driving laws. Some More Handy Tips If you want to expedite the learning process, you should consider driving after hours with a professional driver along. Try to wear comfortable clothes while taking your driving lessons, so that you can be fully focused on the driving experience. This will help you be more aware of your surroundings and make you feel more comfortable while...

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Why Car Window Tinting Is Essential For Any Motorist

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Car Window Tinting Is Essential For Any Motorist

When some motorists consider car window tinting, they tend to assume that it is simply done for aesthetic reasons. Granted, window tints can enhance the overall appearance of your vehicle. However, this is not the sole reason to opt for this type of window treatment. Here are some of the reasons why car window tinting is essential for any motorist. Car window tinting reduces fading in your vehicle Purchasing a vehicle is a significant investment. As such, most motorists would want to ensure that their investment stays in pristine condition. When you are driving, especially during hot summer months, constant exposure to the sun’s rays puts your vehicle’s upholstery at risk of fading. This is especially true of you tend to park your vehicle at an unsheltered space. Not only will the upholstery fade, but you will find that your interiors will also begin to show signs of cracking as well as warping due to the heat. To prevent this type of damage, you should consider car window tinting. The tint blocks out these harsh rays, which works to keep the interiors of your vehicle in good condition for a longer period. Car window tinting protects you from UV rays Another concern you should have when driving is extended exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. More so if you spend extensive hours in your vehicle driving long distance. Continued exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays puts you at risk of aging your skin prematurely. It is also a major concern as it poses the risk of developing skin cancer. To be on the safe side, it is best to opt for car window tinting. There are some tints that have been specifically designed to block out these harmful UV rays. If you would not want to darken your windows, you can still get these tints with clear film, which will filter in the natural light into your vehicle while still blocking the ultraviolet rays. Car window tinting decreases radiant heat in your vehicle During the summer months, you will find that you tend to use your air conditioning more often than usual. This is understandable with sweltering temperatures. However, this also means that you are driving your vehicle’s battery faster than usual. If you would like to reduce your dependence on your air conditioning, you should opt for car window tints that work toward reducing the amount of radiant heat that penetrates into your vehicle. Not only will this make your vehicle more comfortable, but it also decreases the amount of energy consumed by your vehicle to keep the interior...

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How to Master Driving a Manual Transmission Vehicle

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Master Driving a Manual Transmission Vehicle

There’s a little more to the art of driving a manual transmission car, or driving stick shift, as it is more popularly called. It can seem intimidating, especially once you’re accustomed to auto-transmissions, but it’s nothing you can’t do with a little practice. Besides, it’s a skill that you can’t afford to overlook – at one point in your life you may find yourself having to drive a manual transmission car. Below are a few tips to help you master the art of manual transmission driving. 1. Smoothness is the key The most important concept you can grasp about driving stick is that the clutch doesn’t run like an on-off switch. Whether you are clutching in (depressing the pedal before changing gears) or out (releasing after changing gears), you should master how to coordinate your left foot on the clutch with the right on the accelerator for every transition. Nowhere is this balance more crucial than when starting a stationary vehicle: you need to clutch out gradually as you depress the accelerator. Clutching out too fast will not lend your engine the torque it needs to power movement. However, clutching out too slowly makes the clutch manage too much power at once, which ruins the clutch system over time. When clutching out, do not depress the accelerator too far; only increase the gas once your foot is completely off the clutch. As you handle the vehicle more often, you will learn how to subconsciously make this shift. 2. Do not depress the clutch halfway Depressing the clutch halfway, better known as ‘riding the clutch’, is a common problem with starter manual-transmission drivers. This usually happens during normal driving, while temporarily stopping or even while accelerating from a stop. Riding the clutch damages the clutch over time. For longer stops, shift the vehicle back to neutral and release the clutch. When changing gears, depress the clutch completely. 3. Master the art of gear selection This is the most difficult part for drivers accustomed to automatic transmissions, since the system controls everything. In a manual car, you make the decisions about gear-changing. To do this, you need to learn your car engine’s and gear’s characteristics, so that you’ll know when the vehicle is ‘struggling’ because of a wrong gear. A general rule is that higher speeds require higher gears, and lower speeds require lower gears. When starting out, look at the engine RPM indicator on your control panel: if you’re accelerating and the engine clocks 3,000RPM, you need to shift to the next gear. However, since higher gears mean less engine torque, your ability to accelerate may be limited beyond a certain point, requiring you to shift down to a lower gear. Regular maintenance of your transmission is the best way to ensure that you enjoy optimal fuel consumption, and that any problem areas are discovered and fixed before they escalate at the worst possible time: when you’re on a busy road and likeliest to cause an...

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Shoot The Soot: Particulate Filters Explained

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Shoot The Soot: Particulate Filters Explained

Particulate filters are an integral component of any 4×4 vehicle that runs on a diesel engine. This is because particulate filters are designed to trap and eliminate the soot that would have otherwise been released into the environment from a vehicle exhaust system. Thus, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) with which particulate filters work will often determines whether an automobile owner complies with environmental protection laws formulated to deter air pollution from vehicle emissions. Here are answers to three questions that a first-time 4WD vehicle owner may have about diesel particulate filters. How Do Particulate Filters Work?  Diesel particulate filters work through the process of regeneration. Through this process, particles of soot that may have accumulated on the filters are burnt off at high temperatures. Exposure of soot particles to the high temperatures turns these particles into a residual ash-like compound, thereby allowing the regeneration cycle to continue. Particulate filters used with diesel engines are named after their mode of regeneration. This nomenclature gives rise to active regeneration filters and passive regeneration diesel particulate filters. What Differences Are There Between The Two Types Of Filters? Active regeneration filters work by bringing increasing heat energy levels within the filter such that the temperature inside the filter is higher than the temperature required to burn particles of soot. The additional heat energy needed in an active regeneration filter has its source in the heat energy given off by the burning soot particles. In a passive regeneration diesel particulate filter, a catalyst is introduced into the filters. The catalyst is responsible for bringing down the ignition temperature of accumulated soot particles. Once the ignition temperature goes below the temperature of exhaust gases being produced, the regeneration process commences. In a large number of cases, there’s also a significant difference between the cost of an active regeneration filter and its passive counterpart. This is because active filters are designed with a higher degree of complexity. As a result, the installation of active regeneration filters is also often more complicated than the installation of passive filters. DIY-minded 4WD vehicle owners would have better luck with a passive regeneration filter. How Does One Know The Type Of Filter Fitted On Their 4WD? Passive regeneration diesel particulate filters are sensitive to the sulfur-content in diesel fuel. Thus, this type of filter will often only be fitted on 4WD vehicle engines that operate on ultra-low sulphur diesel...

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Tips For Diagnosing Auto Air Conditioning Problems

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Diagnosing Auto Air Conditioning Problems

If you have noticed that your auto air conditioner isn’t quite working right, it might be time to have repairs done. However, it helps to do your own inspection first, since the problem might be something you can deal with yourself. Here are some tips for diagnosing common auto air conditioner problems. Are you getting air but it isn’t cold enough? One of the common issues associated with an auto air conditioner is having some cool air when turning it on, but not quite enough for the setting. This could be due to a few different problems, some of which you can check on your own. A good place to start is by checking for blockages in the unit and near the condenser, including bugs or dirt buildup. You might also have problems with the radiator or condenser cooling fans, which may be bent and need adjusting. Also check to see if the cabin air filter is clogged. Do you smell something funny? You might be getting cold air when turning on the air conditioner, but it has a bad odour. This is often from lack of cleaning and maintenance of the air conditioning unit. It happens more often after a longer period of not using it, such as between the winter and spring seasons. During this time, debris collects, and the unit sits there unused as it collects debris and moisture. In this case, you may need to clean out the filters and have the entire system flushed to get rid of the smell. Do you have a complete lack of cool air? One of the bigger issues with an auto air conditioner is that it doesn’t provide cool air at all, but that doesn’t mean it will require expensive repairs. Sometimes, this is nothing more than a lack of antifreeze in the system. However, you should not mess around with this on your own. On the other hand, it could also be due to more serious issues, such as the condenser failing not just from buildup, but from needing to be replaced due to age. Is there a leak when you operate the air conditioner? Some faulty auto air conditioners might provide you with cool air, but there is a lot of moisture leaking out from underneath your car. This can be from a lot of different issues, most of which you can fix on your own. This includes having fittings that aren’t secure, problem with the hose manifolds or pressure switchers on the compressor, or holes in the condenser. There are UV detector kits that can help you find the source of the...

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