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Showing posts from June, 2018

Car Windshield Repair: Yes, You Can DIY It

There’s nothing worse than getting behind the wheel and noticing that faint crack. You know the one- it wasn’t there before. But, now, it’s protruding and disturbing your line of vision, which makes your travels a whole heck of a lot more difficult.

Yep, you guessed it- we’re talking about a cracked windshield. They seem to appear out of nowhere at times, leaving no signs of what caused the damage.

You don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get yours fixed. Some types of damage are repairable at home with tools you may already have. Here’s what to know about car windshield repair, in case yours has cracks or bruises.

What You Can and Can’t Repair
Not all damage is fixable. If your windshield inherited a long, nasty crack, you’re going to have to get it replaced by a professional. It’s very difficult to fill deep, elongated chips, so it’s best to address the problem before it gets to that point.

Surface damage, such as minor chips and scratches, also aren’t repairable at home. If you…

How to Find the Right Car Service Manual

By 2020, revenue from general automotive repair services will be at more than $52 billion. Some people, however, prefer to take the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach to fixing and maintaining their cars. One of the things stopping them is they don’t have the right car service manual.

This service manual is important because it maintains the health of your car. It does this by specifying the car maintenance intervals and the type of servicing for each visit. It helps to spot and fix issues before they become a long-term problem.

You’ll find advice on setting up and driving your car. You’ll learn the functions of each part of your car and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Thus, the car service manual can help you avoid auto repair scams that occur in some repair shops. Keep reading to learn how to find the right manual.

Finding the Right Car Service Manual
Taking the DIY route allows you to save a lot of money on repairs. Many DIY’ers enjoy the work and it gives them extra knowledge abou…

10 Auto Repair Tips You Should Know

At sixteen, most people in the United States have gotten their driver’s license. For most, it’s impossible to imagine life without a car.

Our vehicles are a huge part of our lives, and when they fail it can cause significant ripples in all aspects of life.

Unexpected auto repair costs can drain your bank account, sometimes putting your family into a financial hole.

But luckily, there are easy ways to do many auto repair projects at home.

Check out these ten basic skills you should have to get your car back on the road, without having to go to a shop.

1. Changing Your Oil
If you want your car to last past 100,000 miles, it’s important that you check the oil regularly. It needs to be changed so that your vehicle’s engine will run smoothly.

This is one of the most fundamental DIY skills that everyone should have. After all, your car needs oil changes every 5,000 miles or so, depending on your driving conditions.

The basic steps include:

Removing the drain plug
Unscrewing the oil filter

4 Tips for DIY Bumper Repair

The United States is home to nearly 264 million vehicles with 218 million drivers. As a result, it’s one of the busiest countries in terms of road traffic.

The amount of traffic on the roads is one of the leading causes of car accidents. With this in mind, it’s not uncommon to see cars with dents in the bumpers.

If you’ve got a dent, here are some DIY bumper repair tips you should follow:

Understanding Bumper Repair Mechanics
Modern cars come with plastic bumpers. The metal parts are behind this plastic sheet so that any minor bumps and dents pop back out more easily.

Even with this new technology, if you go head first into another car, the plastic will bend or break.

While most crashes that lead to vehicle damage happen at low speed, repairing a bumper can still cost a small fortune.

Luckily, the parts and materials necessary for a bumper repair are easy to come by.

Here is a step by step guide you can follow:

Prepare the Fascia
Before you get started, remove the plastic bumper cover…

DIY Check Engine Light Diagnostics With These 4 Handy Tools

It happens to all of us. You are driving along in your car, and everything is humming along just fine. And then it happens.

A little light suddenly pops up on your dashboard.

“Check engine,” it says.

Some warning lights, such as “tire pressure” or “engine oil pressure,” give you a pretty good clue as to what needs attention. The check engine light, however, is a mysterious and worrisome warning that any number of things could be wrong with your car.

There are common reasons the check engine light comes on, but the light gives you no clue as to whether you have a major imminent engine failure coming, or it is something simple like you just need to tighten your car’s gas cap.

Before you turn the car around and drive straight to an auto mechanic, you could try using a check engine light diagnostic tool and figure out the problem yourself first.

It Starts With the On-Board Diagnostics
Since 1996, all vehicles sold in the United States have been required to meet a common standard for the c…

5 Tips On Replacing Your Shocks And Struts

Did you know that having your car’s suspension system replaced can cost you around $1,000 to $5,000?

And that still depends on whether you have a standard or luxury vehicle. Of course, you can expect to pay more when your ride falls under the latter.

But were you also aware that not all suspension issues, such as worn shock absorbers or knocking struts, already warrant an entire system replacement?

That’s right. Your car troubles may only have something to do with your shocks and struts.

The good news is, with a better understanding of these components, you can replace them on your own. This then saves you a lot – from an average of $200 to $1,500 (parts and labor from a repair shop) down to about $150 to $250.

So, follow these tips on DIY replacement of these parts to bring down your suspension repair costs.

1. Know When to Replace Shocks and Struts
The first thing you need to do to save money on repairing or replacing shocks/struts is to know when you should replace them. Like how y…

Top 10 Tips to Improve Gas Mileage

Gasoline is expensive, and if you’re like most people, watching the numbers tick up every week at the gas pump is painful. The key to getting more bang for your buck is improving your fuel efficiency. This can make your gas go the extra mile, quite literally, and help keep your fuel costs down.

Read on for 10 easy tips on how to improve gas mileage.
Don’t Punch It
When you’re running late for work and waiting on a stoplight to change, it may be tempting to punch the gas when the light turns green. Likewise, you may have a tendency to slam on the brakes when you come to stop signs or the like. But this is actually one of the quickest ways to hurt your gas efficiency.

Because your car is having to speed up and slow down quicker, it has to use more fuel to fight against physics. Taking off and stopping more gradually will help improve your mileage. You may want to pay close attention to this if you’re upset while driving, as these behaviors show up more during those times.

Use Cruise Con…

Tire Care: How to Keep Your Van Tires in Good Condition

Proper tire care is one of the first steps to safe driving.

This is important for any car, but it’s even more important if you plan to drive a bunch of passengers around in your large van.

Take a look at these tire maintenance tips to make sure your van tires stay in good condition.

1. Check the Pressure Every Month
If you drive on uninflated tires, you can cause damages, like early tread wear, lowered vehicle handling, and even blowouts, that can lead to a crash.

You should check the pressure of your tires every month because it only takes a few weeks to lose an entire pound per square inch of air. Colder climates can lose air even faster, so don’t put off your tire pressure checks.

Doing so could make your van a risk for you and your passengers.

2. Replace Your Tires Before You Need To
Tires aren’t fun to buy, but you should always buy new ones before your old ones are completely worn out.

Driving around on dead tires is a huge safety risk.

Try putting a penny upside between the tre…

5 Steps To A Transmission Oil Change

Out of the millions of people who do their own car repairs, nearly 50% of them turn to the internet to find solutions. Thanks to the depth of information now available at the swipe of an app, people feel more empowered than ever to do DIY auto repair.

If you’re in need of a transmission oil change, it’s the perfect place to start your DIY auto repair career.

Fluids in your car’s engine need to be changed on a regular basis. Over time, they can gather impurities, dirt, and sludge and run that through your most important engine parts. Changing your fluids will allow your car’s most essential components to last a long time.

If you’re thinking about doing your own transmission oil change, here are the 5 most important steps to success.

1. Prepare the Vehicle
It’s hard to change your car’s transmission fluid without being able to see or to move around underneath. Park your car on a flat surface and prop it up with support stands or jacks.

Use strong bracing to ensure your car doesn’t slide…

Your Vehicle Maintenance Checklist When Your Van Has High Mileage

You love your van. It’s gotten you through the best of times and the worst of times, which means it has the mileage to show for it.

That’s okay, as long as you’re keeping up with your vehicle maintenance checklist to keep your van in tip-top shape. If you do, your van will run itself well into the 200,000s! And that’s every van owner’s dream, right?

Keep reading for the essential old car maintenance checklist to make sure you’re keeping your van on track for a long life.

Let’s start with the small stuff. Every week, you should be dusting the inside of your car. Why?

Dust might not seem like a big deal, but it can dirty up your air filters in a hurry. That can reduce your mileage by as much as 10%. And although mileage isn’t necessarily the main goal of a 100k mile maintenance checklist, it’s certainly important for a frugal van owner, and contributes to the overall working health of the car.

Besides dusting, be sure to wash the outside of your car once a week to keep that paint…

How to Replace Your Car’s Battery And Alternator In 3 Easy Steps

There’s nothing worse than getting into your car, buckling the seat belt, inserting your key or hitting the starter and…nothing.

No roaring engine, no burst of power. The dash stays dark and everything is quiet.

Or perhaps the dash lights up faintly, but there’s a clicking sound instead of the sound of the engine. These problems point to issues with the battery and alternator.

The battery obviously provides your vehicles with electricity, whereas the alternator is a device that keeps the battery charged under operation.

Both are easily replaceable. Keep reading for three easy steps to replace your battery and alternator.

Before Starting With Your Battery and Alternator
Before you begin any car repair, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

The vehicle needs to be in neutral or park, with the parking brake on. Don’t wear loose clothing and eye protection should be worn.

Long hair should also be tied back.

An engine is built from moving parts, so it’s important that nothing can be…

What Does a Flashing Check Engine Light Mean?

Everyone knows it’s time to take the car to the auto shop when the “check engine” light turns on.

But what happens if the check engine light starts flashing?

That means there’s something serious going on in your engine, and you need to get the problem addressed right away. If you don’t you could end up with some serious damages on your hands.

Take a look at this guide to learn what a flashing check engine light means and what you need to do about it.

Is a Flashing Check Engine Light Serious?

A flashing CEL is much more serious than a normal check engine light. If your check engine light keeps flashing, that means the engine of your vehicle is misfiring.

This is more urgent than a normal issue that might trigger the check engine light. So if your CEL starts flashing, you need to get it into an auto shop as soon as possible.

What Happens When a Vehicle Misfires?
When the crankshaft turns, your engine should combust the air and fuel, otherwise known as firing. When a cylinder doesn’…

The Complete Guide: How to Paint a Car Like a Pro

Is your car’s paint looking dingy and faded? Are you looking for a change up in your color? No matter what the reason for it, a DIY car paint job could wind up saving you thousands of dollars.

Figuring out how to paint a car isn’t an easy process, but with good prep work and a systematic approach will have your car looking like new in no time.

So before you get to work, follow our guide below for a quick rundown of how to paint a car.

Supplies Assuming you don’t have access to something like Marathon Spray Booths, you’re going to need to set a few things in place before you can get started.

Painting a car is nothing like painting a room in your house. It’s a time-consuming job and you’ll likely need to set aside a few days at least to get it done. Ideally, you would have a few weekends that you could work on this project.

It’s best to use a shed to avoid the elements, but it can be done outside if the weather permits and you use some precautions.

Here’s a list of the basic supplies yo…

Car Damage Estimate: What the Pros Don’t Want You to Know

Uh oh! You’ve been in car accident and now you need to get a car damage estimate. What are you gonna do? You know it’s going to cost a pretty penny, but it doesn’t have to be that bad.

We’re going to show you exactly how to get a good car repair quote.

How To Get a Decent Car Damage Estimate You might need an estimate for two reasons: to initiate an insurance claim or to actually get some repairs done on your car. Those aren’t exactly the same thing. The car might be a total loss and you only need the car repair quote for the claim.

The Insurance Adjuster This person determines how much the insurance company is willing to pay in your case. It’s important to remember that this person doesn’t work for you, and is motivated to please the insurance company. At the same time, they don’t want to rip people off because that will give the company a bad reputation.

When you meet the adjuster, be polite and confident. Take pictures yourself, and allow the adjuster to see that you are taking you…

How to Spot a Lemon When Buying a Used Car

Not many people can afford their dream car. Sometimes the only way to get a car in your budget is buying a used one.

Some car dealers might try to sell you a lemon to make a profit. Here are some ways to spot the lemons on the lot when buying a used car.

A Skimpy Warranty It’s not uncommon for a dealer to offer a low price for the car itself and then offer a small warranty.

Watch out for this. A warranty that looks amazing can be anything but. A 20,000-mile warranty that only covers the engine can cost you extra in repair costs.

The warranty that seems to good to be true is a sign that you’re about to buy yourself a lemon.

If this reg flag happens, look further at the vehicle. Check out the exterior, engine, and undercarriage of the car.

Mismatched Paint Walk around the exterior of the car to look for dints and mismatched paint. A freshly painted car or mismatched paint could indicate the car was in an accident and the dealer is trying to hide this from you.

See if the dealer can prov…