Maintenance

Car Battery MaintenanceHave you ever popped the hood of your car and noticed that your car battery looked similar to the one shown here? It looks like it has been at the bottom of the ocean for several years! All those deposits on the top of the battery are battery corrosion.  This corrosion can cause the strangest problems with your vehicles electrical system.  Therefore it is important to practice proper car battery maintenance.

Car Battery Maintenance is Actually Rather Simple

Many car battery problems and vehicle electrical issues are typically caused by dirty or loose connections.  Therefore, as you might guess, car battery maintenance consists of maintaining a clean battery and connections as well as making sure the battery cables are tight and making good contact.

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Dead Car BatteryEver wonder how to determine if you need to replace your dead car battery or maybe just recharge the car battery? At some point in every driver’s life, they will experience the dreaded day where get in their car to go somewhere, turn the key and nothing! This guide from Car Care Fanatic will help you to troubleshoot the signs of a dead car battery that needs to be replaced, a dead car battery that just needs to be recharged, or some other maintenance issue.

When you turn the key, what happens?  Do you hear a click?  If you hear nothing, it is likely that the battery is drained of all or most of its charge. It is best that the battery be taken to the nearest auto parts store to have it checked.  Most auto part stores have a special machine that will test a dead battery to determine if it can be charged (which the store will likely do for free in an effort to possibly gain future business from you) or if the battery will not hold a charge and needs replacement.

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How to Clean a CarburetorA dirty carburetor can wreak havoc on the performance of your carburated vehicle. This is because the carburetor is one of the most vital pieces of the engines system. A carburetor mixes the fuel and air that go into the engine. They are most popular on hot rods and muscle cars, but still are very prevelant on many motorcycles and home tools such as lawnmowers.  While Car Care Fanatic will focus on how to clean a carburetor found on a classic hot rod or muscle car, there is great applicablity of these methods for carburetors found on other engines.

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Basic Car Maintenance

With rising auto repair costs the old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. Keeping up on basic car maintenance is very important. By keeping up just on basic car maintenance a car will be more reliable, perform at its best, get better gas mileage and most of all the car will last longer.

Here are some very basic car maintenance tips that will help to maintain your car:

      1. Consult your owner’s manual for the cars oil change interval. A lot of newer cars use a synthetic oil that is recommended to be changed every 7,000 to 10,000 miles. Older vehicles that use regular oil it is recommended to perform an oil change every 3000 miles or 3 months. An oil change performed on a regular interval is one of the best things that can be done to protect a car and keep it running at its very best. The oil lubricates all of the moving parts of the internals of the cars engine. If you do not have the ability or tools to change your own oil most mechanics and lube shops do not charge too much to perform an oil and filter change.
      2. Check antifreeze levels in your radiator reservoir every month or so, or worst case when the oil is changed.  If your antifreeze levels are low, top off with pre-mixed antifreeze.  Be aware that some newer Japanese cars come with special Pink coolant, some American cars have special orange coolant, and the rest are green.  Be sure to check what color of antifreeze your car has first prior to adding any as you do not want to mix types. By keeping the coolant system topped off you will aid in preventing overheating problems which can easily leave you stranded on the side of the road!
      3. Check your windshield wipers regularly. When you wash your car, clean the wiper blades with either the glass cleaner or straight rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.  This will clean the dirt and grime off the blade which is the cause of streaking. You do not want to be caught in a rain storm with dirty, inefficient wiper blades!
      4. Be aware when your brakes become spongy, start to squeal or make other grinding noises.  Sponginess could indicate that there is air in the brake lines that needs to be bled out or that the master cylinder is low on fluid.  The squealing and grinding could either indicate the brake pads or shoes have worn out and need to be replaced or that there is an accumulation of brake dust which needs to be cleaned off. Be sure to check, because if the pads or shoes need replacing and you drive on them too long you could cause further damage to your car. It could force you to have to replace your rotors or drums and that is a fairly large added expense compared to just a set of pads or shoes.

Hopefully this list has given you some ideas of things to watch out for to better maintain your car. A well maintained car will definitely save you money in the long run so be sure to keep up on basic car maintenance!

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Save Gas

There are several practical ways to save gas and raise the miles per gallon of just about any car.  The first way to conserve gas is to slow down!  By not speeding, you can save a lot of gas.  The faster you go, the harder the engine has to work and the harder the engine works, the more fuel and air it will need.

Another popular way to save gas is to combine several small trips into one, larger, trip. A cold engine tends to be an inefficient engine. Therefore, if you go out and do several short trips the engine has the potential to cool down and will not be working at its optimum efficiency.

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paintless dent repairFor many people these days life is very busy and time is very valuable. Therefore, in an effort to save a little bit of time from anywhere we can,  we fight for the parking spots closest to our destination and since we have not parked far away from civilization dings and dents are inevitable. Dents can come from a bad thunderstorm pummeling your car with hail, a ding from the neighborhood kids ball, the rouge shopping cart, you name it! Dents will happen, but you do not have to live with them and best of all you do not pay through the nose to have them fixed!  Paintless dent repair is the solution.

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Tire Safety Tips

The tires of your car are the only part of the vehicle that connects the vehicle to the road.  Tires have a dramatic effect on gas mileage, safety and the safe handling of the vehicle. These tire safety tips will help to ensure you do not neglect your tires!

Tire Air Pressure should be checked in a regular interval. Tires lose air over the course of time. A tire gauge, whether digital or traditional will indicate whether your tires are in need of inflation.  Tires should be checked for proper air pressure at least once a month and definitely prior to taking any prolonged road trip.  The proper inflation pressure is available from the car’s manufacturer in the owner’s manual, a sticker on the door jamb or inside the fuel door. Tires should be checked when the car has been sitting for a while and the tires are cold.  If a tire is found to be under inflated fill the tire with air immediately. An under inflated tire is a dangerous tire!

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Changing a Tire – How to Change a Tire Simply and Quickly

How to Change a TireDriving on a flat tire is never a good idea.  It can cause further damage to the vehicle and can cause loss of control of the vehicle and create serious property damage or bodily injury. Changing a flat tire is not a hard task. The steps on How to Change a Tire are listed below.

Tools Needed:

Lug Wrench (Most cars come with this in the trunk)

Car jack (Also include in the trunk, though there are more efficient models available)

Jack Stands (Not included with your car, but are certainly cheaper than an ER visit or your life!)

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If there is one thing on cars that most people do not enjoy spending money on, it is on tires for the car. Tires can be a huge expense for the average person. If a tire gets a flat, replacing it could cost easily upwards of $80 or more depending on the size of the wheel and type of tire.  Need a complete set of tires?  That could cost $400 or more! Thankfully, there is something that can be done to extend the life of tires and that is to regularly rotate them on your car. Tire rotation is simply moving where an individual tire is mounted on the car to a new location.   Some people do not rotate their tires and allow the local oil change place, tire store or car dealership do it for them. A 15 minute job will cost you at least $20 not to mention your time!   This article explains how to rotate tires.  You can save both time and money by doing it yourself at home with some simple tools.

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How to Use Jumper Cables to Jump Start a Car Battery

How to Use Jumper CablesAlmost everyone has been stranded with a dead battery in their vehicle at one time or another. Either headlights were left on, maybe a reading light, or the battery has just met its expiration date. Inevitably though, it seems it tends to happen at the most inopportune times. Either you’re late for work, trying to get home in horrible weather or some other scenario. It is at these times that knowing how to use jumper cables properly will help ease the stress of the situation.

Here is how to use jumper cables step by step to successfully jumpstart your vehicle with a dead battery and avoid having to wait for a tow company or worse PAY someone to jump it for you.

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