Author: Lautaro Martijez

The Big Reason Fewer of us Can Fix Our Own Car

A study by ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network found that we can’t identify many of the really important parts of our car engines.

This is perhaps surprising, as mechanically, very little has changed in the past thirty years or so.

Engines are Pretty Much the Same as They’ve Always Been

Modern cars use the same type of combustion engine that’s always been used. This type of engine mixes fuel with air which is then inducted into several cylinders. A series of pistons compress the mixture, and a spark then ignites it. The combustion pushes a set of pistons that move up and down. A crankshaft then translates this motion into linear movement, which makes the car move.

However, Modern Engines are More Efficient & Powerful Than Ever

Modern engines are much more efficient and powerful than those found in classic cars. This is because they make use of advanced components that can extract more energy from the fuel.

Features such as direct injection and turbochargers, devices that use compressed air from exhausts, appear to be commonplace in new engines. While other features, such as variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation make sure the right amount of fuel is extracted from the engine, making it as efficient as possible.

In the past, engines were made of mechanical components that could wear out quickly over time. These included things such as carburetors, distributors, and caps. Fast-forward to today, and these have now been replaced with electronic fuel injection systems and throttle bodies that help make the engine as efficient as possible.

Another big difference between classic and modern engines is that modern ones now feature a whole multitude of different electronic sensors. This means that a range of things is measured inside and outside modern engines, making them much more efficient and powerful. Modern engines are also much less likely to fail.

Unlike Classic Engines, Modern Versions Most Likely Need to be Repaired by a Skilled Professional

The main reason for this is because modern engines are now concealed over a plastic cover.

There are many reasons for this. First and foremost, it maintains a tidier appearance when the bonnet is lifted. However, many of these covers serve a deeper purpose than pure aesthetics.

Some of them help the engine run quieter, both inside and out of the car. While others help control airflow and maintain an appropriate level of cooling so the engine can continue to perform well.

With these positives also come negatives. In the past, car owners were able to perform updates relatively smoothly with just a couple of essential tools and the appropriate Haynes manual for their make and model of car.

Now, because car engines are covered, this discourages owners from doing so. Ultimately, this means that fewer and fewer of us are fixing our own cars. Instead, taking it in to the mechanic for repairs and servicing.

Top 10 most unusual bars in the US

Themed bars offer a fun and exciting experience. In the United States, there are some crazy concepts. Throughout the country, these unusual bears are doing their utmost to offer their guests unforgettable moments.

1.San Francisco’s Dungeon (San Francisco)

Normally, seeing a huge rat tumble on the table while sipping your IPA peacefully is not pleasant and can seriously question the cleanliness of the establishment. San Francisco’s Dungeon, on the other hand, is normal. Welcome to the US side rat bar. The concept is a bit the same as for a cat bar because here, the rats all belong to Radical Rongent Rescue, a conservation association for rats. They do not come out of the sewers and do not carry the virus of the black plague. Well, that said, this bar was an ephemeral bar that only opened for a few days in June. But who knows? Maybe one day someone will have the idea to really open a rat bar…

2. Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium (Atlanta, Georgia)

Perhaps the bar with the longest name in the history of bars. A totally improbable thing, with many objects relating to religion, luminous angels, crucifixes and other artistic decorations of good taste, and of course ping pong. Tournaments are even organized throughout the year, while loudspeakers broadcast sacred music. Westin Atlanta is the place to stay while touring Georgia.

3. Mutts Canine Cantina (Dallas, Texas)

Who has not dreamed, after a long day of work, to get ready with their four-legged friend to go down to grab a beer or two at the local bar? Well, in Mutts Canine Cantina it is possible. Here, you can come with your dog! Dogs can enjoy ice cream specifically made for them, a patio, a park, and all sorts of cool stuff without alcohol.

4. Please Do not Tell (New York, New York)

To go to this bar, you must book in advance. When the day comes, you walk in and go to a phone booth to let them know you’ve arrived. There, we are invited to enter a hot dog vendor to finally reach the bar. Decorated with stuffed animals, this hidden bar (but legal), serves superb cocktails.

5. Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Located inside the Hotel Monteleone, this bar, unlike any other dating back to 1949, offers its customers a drink around a carousel. The problem is that this adult carousel moves, so we tend to feel drunk before we reach the limit. That said, it’s beautiful and a fun place to hang out and see while in New Orleans.

6. The Lovecraft Bar (Portland, OR)

If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, this place is for you. At any time, Cthulhu can cross the floor to pay you blows! Otherwise, the atmosphere is horror, with decoration inspired by the writings of Lovecraft and events in tune organized throughout the year. Funny detail, here there is no happy hour but an un-happy hour, where you can enjoy discounted drinks.

7. Unicorn (Seattle, Washington)

The paradise of unicorns and corn dogs! You can also enjoy fried unicorn balls or balls of fried unicorns. The class! In addition, there are arcade stations, photo booths, and karaoke.

8. The Tunnel Bar (Northampton, Massachusetts)

Beautiful wooden tables, upholstered chairs, and 600 different kinds of rums! All in a tunnel! If Jack Sparrow really existed, he would surely get drunk here.

9. Rusty Mullets (Los Angeles, California)

This one we love! Here, we celebrate the mullet cut and the state of mind that goes with it. Redneck America, with cheap beer for $1 during happy hour. The food is also very simple and delicious. And as if that were not enough, when the weather permits, parties are held outside, on the beach.

10. Minus5 Ice Bar (Las Vegas, Nevada)

The craziest city in the world had to be on this list. Because if you can find conventional bars, you can also find many more original establishments, such as this Minus5 Ice Bar, which is hidden in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. A bar in which it is only 5 degrees Celsius. At the entrance, as we are in Las Vegas and therefore rarely prepared to face such cold temperatures, you must pay a few dollars to rent a coat and gloves. You can also pay more for less basic outfits. Ice is everywhere. The glasses are also not glass but ice. Perfect for a good thermal shock in Summer!

Planning for Having a Camping in Auckland with Campervan

Do you ever hear about Campervan? Well, for the traveler, they may have familiar with the term Campervan. It’s one of the alternative ways for the traveler to enjoy their trip. This campervan is getting interested in the traveler due to the low cost and simplicity. You don’t need to rent a hotel and a car anymore for the movement since you have it in one Campervan. Moreover, this campervan also allows you to move freely from one region to another region. However, if you want to rent a campervan, you need to consider several things such as the price, facility, insurance, and others.

A place for renting a campervan

Well, if you have any plan for renting a campervan, you need to find a good shop that offers the renting service of a campervan. If you have a plan for staying in Auckland, you can find several places that offer the renting service of Campervans in Auckland. You can rent the campervans from the private seller, dealership, and car market. Each place provides some advantages. What you need to do is just choosing the place based on your circumstances and ability. For example, if you want to rent from the private seller, you may choose to buy in their house. It will give you a high possibility to get a good machine car. However, if you want to rent from the private seller on the road, you may need to check the condition of the machine. You can bring your own technician or call to place an AA inspection. It will cost about NZD$160. Or else, if you want to rent from a dealership, you will get a new WOF, new service, and a good mechanical machine. It means that you don’t need to call a technician. In addition, they still give 30-days mechanical warranty. This warranty can be made longer for up to 12 months. If you have a plan to rent a campervan in the car market, you need to be careful since the seller often sells a scrap car. You will also not get the warranty for the mechanical service. Therefore, you need to be careful about that.

Tips in Purchasing a campervan

If you want to buy a Campervan, you may need several tips so that you can choose the right car. The first tip is that you need to spare some extra costs for diesel cars. After you purchase the diesel cars, you may need to register the car. Therefore, you need more cost in the registration process. Actually, there are two types of Campervan which are self-contained campervan and in a self-contained campervan. The second tip is that you need to check the machine when you want to buy it in the private seller. You can check the machine before the deal is settled. This will help you to get a good car. The third one is checking the reviews online for the dealership. You need to do this if you want to buy from the dealership. Last but not least, you need to check the legality of the car.

How LED Headlights can Help Illuminate the Road

LED or light-emitting diode headlights have slowly become a common addition to new car models, taking over the halogen headlights. But the transition is more than just an evolution of the technology. It has a lot of benefits and advantages for the way people drive before, during or after business hours in a situation where the light is close to dim.

Improvements and developments include a better beam focus and illumination. It is its most significant difference from halogen bulbs. Light Emitting Diode headlights can illuminate the road 25% farther than their counterparts, and the high-beam settings offer an increased improvement over the low-beam settings according to studies conducted by the American Automobile Association.

How LED projects the light will illustrate its improvements over its counterpart. It is much better when it comes to the ability to project beams where you needed them the most and deal with light scatters, where halogen reflectors do not have a definite cutoff when it comes to the way they distribute the light. To know more about this topic, make sure you visit websites like https://nighthelper.com/led-headlights-efficient-economic-durable-option-headlights-market for more information.

Whether these kinds of headlights – which is usually consist of multiple LEDs – are set to high or low beam depends on the amount of Light Emitting Diode that is shining. When they are set too low beam, every bulb will adjust to create a defined line so no light will come out above the beam.

Using the high beam

But despite the improvements they bring in the technological standpoint, they still face a problem that is very common with car bulbs, which can’t illuminate roads to unlimited distance, as well as susceptible to wear and tear. Despite the improvement in brightness over its halogen counterpart, Light Emitting Diode, usually, do not fully illuminate the road while travelling at high speeds.

They do a better job of illuminating the way, usually in low-beam applications over a halogen reflector in 150 feet or more-test. Still, that will bring the max car speed at around 50 miles per hour, so they are still falling short of roadway speed. To help compensate for the limitation of the device, high beams need to be used more regularly.

The best advice drivers need if you are on the road with no lights and there is incoming traffic at a reasonable distance, you need to be driving your vehicle with high beams on. If your vehicle has an automatic high-beam setting on, you need to make sure that they are activated.

Since if you are traveling at highway speed without a proper lighting system, you are not able to pick up on non-reflective objects. Experts noted that drivers who change from halogen headlights to light-emitting diode would immediately notice a big difference in how clearly, they can see the road.

But it does not mean that everything in the beam can be observed immediately. What drivers are seeing using and LED light is the reflective objects on the road. As with the illuminating device, the light-emitting diode headlamp that is on cars operating in places that has a hotter temperature will face an increase in the deterioration of its ultraviolet shield.

It will result in a dim or cloudy lamp, which can reduce the light output, as well as increase the scatter that can result in glare. Whenever the deterioration takes place, the light that spread will become more of an issue. Fewer lights can get out of the lamp lens as well as the light is not directed at the place that they need to go. Experts found out that the lens restoration can usually result in at least 60% less headlight scatter. Click here to know how vehicle lighting works.

Restoration of headlamps is highly recommended, as well as adequate cleaning of the lamp to make sure that the vehicle is operating at its maximum potential and avoid unnecessary accidents. The lamps need to be cleaned regularly and adequately, as well as ultraviolet protection is the right thing to put on your lamp assembly.

Things to Know and What to Expect from An Auto Transport Service

People are aware that there are a lot of auto shipping companies in the city, but they have doubts about such services. They are not sure if they are going to entrust their belonging to the transport company or they will just drive the car. Well, you have to be firm with this decision. I guess the first thing that you are worried about is the expenses. Which do you think will be costly, to pay for the service or fuel? This is good enough for you to choose, whether to go for it or not.

Now, if you have decided to deal with the auto transport service, then you may check on shipcar24.com for your reference. This is just one of the trusted sites, where you can get a quote or estimate for your shipping needs. However, this does not mean that you will immediately accept a transaction with them. You have to be sure before doing this because with the online booking, you are required to pay, using your credit card. And then, if you would like to cancel this before of your doubts, you may not be able to get your money back or maybe paying cancellation fees.

Of course, you don’t want to experience such things, right? That’s why you have to know more about this type of service and what you should expect from it. I know that you can learn from your family, friends and customer reviews as well. However, you need further reading, can, later on, choose the most reliable company that will transport your car with care and protection.

Insurance

Basically, you should check, if this firm has an insurance and then, ask for a valid proof. It is very important to know if your car is covered when damages to your belonging are covered due to unavoidable incidents.

Pretty sure that you also applied for your own car insurance policy. Therefore, it would great to ask the insurer, if your vehicle is covered when under the hands of the auto shipping firms.

Be reminded that insurance is a must and every driver or automobile owner should apply one. It is a vital part of the business and one of your responsibilities as well.

Picking Up

Let’s say that you have already booked and paid the transporter. The next thing that will happen is for them to pick up your vehicle. The details like the pickup address, telephone number, and your name must be very clear. Make sure that you are around during this time because they also need to inspect the automobile.

As a part of your preparation, you have to make sure that the vehicle is ready for transport – find out more about how you are going to prepare this report. Anyway, you should have hired an expert to inspect it and to affirm that it is in a good running condition. It is also necessary to take photos of the vehicle because this can be used as proof that no damages or scratches were present before it was shipped. By the way, you also need to report any issue that is related to your car to avoid interrogations.

For example, the bumper at the back or other mechanical parts has an issue. Now, you have to discuss it with the transporters for their awareness. Anyway, this will also be noted down in the report during their inspection and this document will be signed both by the client and the transporter.

Shipping

You have to know how your vehicle will be transported. This will depend on how much budget you have and the distance from the point of origin to the destination. One of the options would be by the sea. Of course, the automobile has to travel along the ocean. Do not worry because these cargo ships can usually carry a load of about 5,000 cars. And they move from one port to another across different cities and countries.

Another option for you to choose from is, by rail. Well, traveling by train is also a good choice, especially when delivering the automobile over a long distance. However, there are trains with limited destinations. In this case, the transporters need to load the vehicles from one station to another station. Though sometimes, this is really needed when this is already the fastest and best route. I guess you should not worry about your auto because this is properly secured and kept on the auto racks. And then, there are also trains that are specifically designed to carry about 800 cars.

The last option would be by tractor-trailer trucks. This is another way to transport vehicles for about 12 autos. These automatic trailers come with double-decks and use a hydraulic ramp for ease of lowering and raising the cars.

Delivery

Delivery day is the most exciting part of this transaction. Here, you will have to meet the transporters. This will only happen if you are going to give them a valid address, which you will surely do so that you can receive the vehicle. On this day, you also need to observe the date because it has to be on time. If there would be a delay, then the auto shipping company must inform you and give you a valid reason, why there is a sudden change of time or day. This is done to show that the clients are given respect and to experience quality customer support.

By the way, during this time, your automobile is supposed to be inspected for damages or scratches. You may do it or hire someone to do the inspection and make the report for you. Keep in mind that you have taken photos before the pickup day. If something odd was seen, then the photos and previous inspection reports may be used as a basis or proof. Do not forget that there would be insurance to cover any damages. Therefore, be very sure that it was clearly discussed before dealing with them.

Fix and Repair Headlights

First, determine what the problem is. Are they dim, not working at all, hard to see with at night, have water inside, failed inspection? If they don’t come on at all either you have a burned out bulb or an electrical problem. An electrical problem can be expensive and very labor intensive to fix – but they are usually vary rare. So lets first look at the bulb. The bulb unscrews out of the back of the headlight lens on most newer cars (on older cars with glass headlights the whole lens is the bulb and you just replace it with a new glass replacement $10 – $20 at Walmart). After removing the bulb, look at it. Does it look burned out? Is it black, melted, discolored? If so, replace with a new one. You can purchase replacements at your local automotive store or Walmart for under $20. Insert the new bulb or bulbs and make sure not to touch the glass part of the bulb with your fingers – the grease we emit on our fingers will cause the bulb to wear more quickly or even blow. After installing the bulb try the lights. 99% of the time this is the reason they will not turn on. If it still doesn’t light you have an electrical problem and this should be referred to your local mechanic.

If you have water in your lens this is caused by a leak, crack, or hole in the lens. With the newer plastic lenses you need to remove the lens and then carefully drill a small hole into the bottom of the lens (be careful not to hit the bulb. Let the water run out and then patch with silicone (easily obtained at Walmart or your local automotive store). Then find the source of the water. Usually the seals start to go bad after 3-5 years. You can cover the seal around the lens with silicone to reseal the lens. If the leak was caused by a crack a clear sealant like urethane can be used to seal the crack or small hole. If it is a large hole it would be best to replace the lens.

The other major problem is cloudy, yellow headlight lenses which can lead to diminished output, poor nighttime visibility and basically an unsafe car. There are now headlight repair, restorer and cleaner kits available to cure this problem. In the past you had to resort to replacing your lenses which can be very expensive – $200+ per lens not including installation and labor at your local car dealer. Now for under $20 you can fully restore your headlight lenses to like new optical clarity and greatly improve your nighttime safety. For more information on these kits please see the link below.

There you have it – the three biggest problems with automotive headlights and how to fix and repair them for greater safety for nighttime driving – and save big by doing it yourself. Please take the time to make your headlights and rest of your car as safe as possible. As having volunteered for a volunteer emergency squad for years I have personally witnessed dozens of fatal crashes that could have easily been avoided by just properly repairing and fixing the headlights. Be safe, drive safe – remember the life you save may be your own. Please pass this around so that it may benefit as many people as possible and increase the safety on our roads.

Auto Glass Repair vs Replacement

Whenever such a situation occurs, the first thing that arises in our mind is which option we should choose – repair or replacement. If we go for repair rather than the replacement then certainly we can save some money. Modern windshields have been designed to be repairable. Nowadays special injections are coming into the automobile glass market that contain a special resin which is injected into the damaged area using unique tools that attach directly to the glass.

Some chips or cracks may react successfully to the repair whereas some may not. Windshield repair is like first aid. If you leave a crack and do not fix it, then it may cause more severe damage and the condition of the windshield can get much worse.

If a tiny size chip is just in front of your driving seat, then a quick repair is must as this may hinder your vision. Windshield repair can be quarter sized or up to 3 inches long. But some advance techniques can repair up to 12 inches long cracks. For more than 12-inch cracks, only replacement is suggested.

Major thing that needs to be considered is the location and size of the damage. If damage is at the edge of the windshield then it will spread fast and will destroy the integrity of the glass. If any edge damage is found then repair it soon. It will save the life of your windshield.

Some of current techniques do no repair those cracks that directly come into the view of driver’s line of sight because a small distortion may still left behind. In that case replacement would be a wise decision. Cost of the repair is entirely depending upon the damage of the windshield. If the cracks are quite long or around 12 inches then charges will be higher.

Certainly if you go for replacement then your insurance company may not pay you the entire replacement amount but in case of repair they may pay the total expenditure. So repair is a more economical process.

Windshield repair or replacement is totally depending upon the size and location of the damage and cracks. So, before going for any of these options just consult a glass specialist who can examine your shield and suggest if a repair will work or not. If damage from an accident is quite big then do not compromise your life, as you know better that windshield replacement is a necessity. Just bear in mind that your life is more valuable than anything else.

Properly Balanced Tyres

Properly balanced tyres can mean the difference between a good or bad driving experience. Some cars are much more sensitive to an out of balance tyre, however, no car rides properly when there is a vibration coming from the tyres, not to mention vibration means increased wear. This is why it’s important to have your tyres balanced regularly.

An out of balance tyre will affect ride quality, shorten the life of your tyres, bearings, shocks and other suspension components. If you have a vibration that increases when your speed increases, the problem is, most likely, related to your tyre balancing.

Another primary cause of vibrations is that the tyre and wheel assembly isn’t perfectly round. This includes your wheels and tyres. The problem is when the high spot on the tyre, is matched to the high spot on the wheel.

This effectively doubles the amount of “hop” or runout. If rebalancing doesn’t cure the problem, you need to have your professional installer check the runout of the tyre. If there is a “hop”, most often the problem can be fixed by simply rotating the tyre on the wheel slightly.

The technician should loosen the tyre on the wheel, and turn it 180 degrees, then reinflate the tyre after relubricating the bead. The runout should be significantly reduced or eliminated, and if it’s not, they should try it again, but this time rotate it only 90 degrees. If this still doesn’t work they should then try rotating it 180 degrees on the third try.

This means that the high spot on the tyre has been tried at each quarter of the wheel. The tyre should be good and round at one of those points. Then the tyres can be rebalanced, and should run properly. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem then there is an issue with either the tyre, the wheel or some other component on the vehicle.

Oil Monitoring Systems

Mercedes calls their unit a “Flexible Service System”. The FSS on some Mercedes vehicles monitors actual oil quality as well as operating conditions (such as the number of cold starts, average engine temp, mileage driven, oil sump level, rpms, etc.). To measure oil quality, there is actually a sensor that measures the electrical conductivity of the oil. The higher the conductivity of the oil, the greater the need for an oil change, according to Mercedes. Of course, this isn’t likely a perfect model, and will not be nearly as accurate as an actual oil analysis in determining true oil quality, but it is better than no measurement at all.

At any rate, as electrical conductivity increases, this value is combined with all of the operating condition data and run through a special algorithm to determine if the oil is ready for a change. When a change is necessary, a light will flash on the instrument panel indicating such.

The other Mercedes FSS unit, which will be somewhat less accurate, does not actually measure the electrical conductivity of the oil, so it is not testing the quality of the oil in any way. It does, however, measure all of the operating conditions and uses the algorithm to predict when an oil change will be necessary.

This is actually how the GM oil monitoring system works. It does not measure oil quality via electrical conductivity or via any other means. It simply measures operating conditions and “calculates” when an oil change should be necessary based upon those conditions.

So, How Accurate Are These Units? Can They Be Trusted?

That’s a tough question to answer at this point. First off, these systems haven’t been in use long enough to really have much in the way of hard statistics comparing vehicle/engine life with or without these systems in place. Second, many drivers do not trust the longer drain intervals recommended by these units and change the oil sooner anyway, offering, again, little data to show whether the drain intervals recommended by these systems are conservative enough to maintain engine protection equal to that attained with shorter change intervals.

Since these units do not FULLY measure oil quality, in the same way that an actual oil analysis would, it is unlikely that they are completely accurate, but there is good reason to believe that they are fairly accurate.

The problem, from my perspective is, how were the limits set? Quite frankly, it’s in the best interests of vehicle manufacturers to have their engines begin to decline in performance somewhere shortly after the 100,000 mile marker. Many people these days don’t expect a vehicle to perform well much beyond 100K, so building a vehicle and recommending maintenance practices that will help the vehicle perform longer than that is not in the best interest of the OEMs.

So, I would be willing to bet that, if you are an individual that likes to keep your vehicle as long as possible, oil quality limits have been set to a lower standard than would be appropriate to getting the absolute most mileage from your vehicle. It really only stands to reason.

How many companies do you know of these days that build MORE quality into their products than their typical customer expects? Not many. In fact, unfortunately, I’d be willing to bet that most of us could count on one hand the number of products we’ve purchased over the past year that offered quality/durability that was BETTER than we expected. Although this is a sad commentary on the business world we currently live in, it is a pretty accurate reflection of the attitude of most companies these days. Why would today’s automobile manufacturers be any different?

Of course, that being said, I have no proof of the above statements. There do not appear to be any websites out there collecting oil analysis data from GM and Mercedes owners to compare the ACTUAL oil quality to that “measured” by the oil life monitors. I looked. In fact, if you happen to know of one, please let me know – I’d love to see the results. I’m guessing I know what they’d be, but I’m certainly open to the possibility that I’m wrong.

I think the main thing to remember is, nobody yet REALLY knows just how accurate these oil monitoring systems are nor how conservative their oil change interval recommendations are. So, be careful how much trust you put on their oil change interval recommendations.

Syn vs. Petro – Does INITIAL Oil Quality Affect Recommendations

Well, that’s an interesting question. As it turns out, these systems can’t tell whether you’ve got synthetic or petroleum oil in the crankcase, and, this DOES make a difference. In fact, we can see this in the light of a class action lawsuit that was filed against Mercedes Benz a few years back.

Apparently, the MB FSS assumes the use of synthetic oil in the engine. Most Europeans are using synthetic oil by default, since typical oil drain intervals in Europe are MUCH longer than those recommended here in the states (although that gap is closing). In contrast, most North American drivers are still using petroleum oil.

Well, there were no significant warnings given to these MB owners with regard to the FSS units and the use of petroleum vs. synthetic oils. So, many users were utilizing petroleum oils and using the FSS as a guide for when to change their oil. Unfortunately, since the FSS was designed to recommend SYNTHETIC oil drain intervals, severe sludging was occurring in these vehicles. The petroleum oil simply couldn’t hold up for the oil change intervals the FSS was recommending. Bad news for your engine.

In the end, the vehicle owners won their suit and there was a 32 million dollar settlement issued against Mercedes. It is my understanding that MB is now very careful to make it explicitly clear what type oils should be used in order to rely on the results of their FSS monitor.

So, clearly it makes a difference. And, since these systems can’t tell what type of oil you’re using, you’ll need to adjust accordingly. The way I understand it, the GM units assume petroleum oil usage (with the exception of vehicles which specifically require synthetic lubricants – such as the Corvette). So, if you’re using synthetic oil in a GM vehicle that does not specifically require it, the oil life monitor will likely “go off” much sooner than necessary.

I have heard that you can have the dealership adjust these units to account for the fact that you’re using synthetic oil, but, even then, there are significant differences in quality from one synthetic to another, so this may still not be completely accurate. If you’re using a premium synthetic oil which is designed for much longer oil drain intervals (such as AMSOIL’s 25,000 mile oils or Mobil 1 Extended Performance 15,000 mile oils), the unit will very likely “trigger” sooner than necessary. However, at least you’ll know that you have a considerable margin of error due to the enhanced quality that is built into those oils.

Replace Brake Pads

Your safety while driving depends on several factors but regarding brakes it all depends on equipment: saving few bucks on brake pads isn’t worth!

There’s no need to go to the mechanic to replace your brake pads, you can easily do it yourself.

If it’s the first time you do it allow it some hours, it’s not difficult but it will require some time if you’re not experienced.

Attention: after driving the car brake pads and brake discs are hot.

Avoid any possible risk working in a safe area.

  • Make sure your car will not move at all, set the handbrake and park in a plain area.
  • Loosen the lug nuts before jacking the car up.
  • Jack the car up so you can remove the wheel as if replacing the wheel. (Use two jack stands for your safety)
  • Remove the caliper bolts and make it slide away from the disc: brake pads are the black parts that were near the disc surface.
  • Remove them from the caliper: there are several kinds of calipers so you have to see how it works in your car but you should easily do it: it’s just a matter of bolts or clips.
  • Take the occasion to check brake rotors condition, rotors must be the more smooth possible and must not have any asperities. If it’s damaged you’ll have to get a new one. Discs can also be reconditioned but it’s not recommended.
  • Now, with the new thicker pads you need to push the caliper piston back to its original position in order to create enough space for the new pads, you might need an adjustable spanner or a C-Clamp.
  • Apply brake pad grease on the part that won’t be in contact with the rotor and put them inside the caliper.
  • Reassemble everything as it was and proceed with the other side and the rear axle if your car has four disc brakes.

You’re done, go out for a test and drive slow. Pay attention, the brake pedal might be softer and braking spaces longer. In few days the new pads should reach their final position and any noise should disappear.

Make sure you reassemble everything carefully.