In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.
But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?
Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]
At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn't been for quite some time. Here's a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it's time for an oil change:
- Viscosity: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner's manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work a ...[more]
Summer is here, and it’s time to start thinking about your car’s AC system! Nobody likes driving around in a hot, stuffy car, and a car with an AC system which only works marginally is somehow almost even worse than one which doesn’t work at all. Let’s go through a few tips which can help you keep your ride a little more comfortable this summer…
Remember a cars AC system is really a heat exchanger which moves hot air out of your vehicle, then replaces it with cold air. One thing you can do to help improve its efficiency is to leave your windows down an inch or two (if possible) when you park the car, helping to prevent excess heat buildup. When you start the car and begin to drive off, lower all the windows for the first minute or two to help move hot air out of the car more quickly, giving the AC system a chanc ...[more]
Before the blazing sun of summer leaves you sweating and feverishly rolling down the windows, consult a mechanic to inspect your air conditioning system for leaks, cracks or other malfunctions. There is no greater summertime discomfort than peeling yourself out of a scorching vehicle. Beat the heat with air conditioning repair. Like most auto repair an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of good. Never allow a tiny problem turn into a disaster; as a minor air conditioning repair is often relatively quick and inexpensive, while a larger fix may not be.
As the air conditioning system in a vehicle ages, constant check-ups and addressing small problems will save both time and money in the future. If the air conditioning system in a vehicle is not offering the cooling power it ...[more]
This year you might resolve to fix your house, work out more, eat healthier, or go for that goal you’ve had your eye on for years. This year should also be the year that you resolve to fix or maintain your vehicle, lower your repair costs, lower your gas usage, and add a few years onto your trusted vehicle. With a few simple resolutions, you can keep your vehicle as happy and healthy as you strive to be this year.
- Keep up on your oil changes! Your seasonal (every 3 months or every ...[more]
Another winter storm coming? Before you rush to the store for the last gallon of milk and loaf of bread, you’ll want to be sure your car is ready to battle the elements. Follow these tips before venturing out into the winter wonderland.
- Check your Cooling System. Have your mechanic check your hoses, belts and anti-freeze. A weakened hose or belt can break and leave you stranded, or a weak solution of anti-freeze can ice up and damage your cooling system. Hoses shouldn’t have cracks or become softened. In extreme temperature drops, keep an eye on your hoses and belts, as low temperatures can cause additional breakage or weak spots.
- Check Your Battery. Make sure your car's battery c ...[more]
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