Before looking at how to find a resourceful auto shop for vehicle repairs and maintenance, let us understand the difference between these two terms. Maintenance items are shared with the owner at the time of purchase. These are to be checked as part of preventive maintenance at regular intervals. Repairs deal more with a problem that has to be fixed. Both go hand in hand. If you have a good auto repair shop who can do the maintenance check well, then the need for car repairs will reduce. Scheduled maintenance can also be done at your dealership.
A key thing to remember is to find a suitable auto repair shop as soon as you get a car. Do not wait for the need to arise. This will give you less time to choose a shop. If you already have a trusted mechanic, then stick to that shop. An internet hunt can let you know the auto repair shops in your area with reviews and customer responses. Try to avoid choosing a place that is too far away and becomes inconvenient during emergencies. Another option is to do this old style. Talk to friends, family and even directly to different mechanics.
Look for an auto repair shop that suits your car brand. Many shops today have a brand or model of vehicle they specialize in. Use this information to narrow down the shops that will work for you. Once you decide on a shop, ask for two important things –
- Ask them about guarantees and warranties they offer. See if the options are making sense to you as a consumer.
- This is important, ask for the shop’s certification. The auto repair shop should be certified and have relevant authorization.
The final thing that you can do is to try out two to three auto repair shops for maintenance. A car is a long-term asset. Therefore, invest time in finding the best auto repair shop for your car.
A tire blowout is a special kind of flat tire. The side wall has ruptured, leaving a huge tear in your tire that cannot be repaired. While many believe that a blown-out tire is caused in part by over inflation, the true culprit is actually the opposite: tires that are underinflated. It’s not the rubber and steel that makes a tire able to carry the weight of a car and its passengers. It is the air. Without enough air, the components inside the tires flex and heat until it all snaps and a blowout occurs. If the car is carrying a heavy load, then the likelihood of a blowout is compounded. This is why it’s important to regularly check tire pressure. The proper pressure for a car’s tires is listed in the driver’s side door jamb.
Another common way to get a flat tire is by driving on very worn, very old tires. After a while the rubber starts to thin, and a blowout becomes more likely. To see if your tires are too worn, use the penny test. Stick the edge of a penny into your tire’s tread so that Abe Lincoln’s head is hidden by the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then your tires are too worn to drive on. However, if you cannot afford to replace the tire, then try rubbing it with vegetable oil. The oil will moisturize the rubber, allowing it to be more flexible and decrease the chances of a blowout.
When your tire blows out, what you absolutely must not do is apply the brake. Because one of your tires is now effectively useless, the brake will be applied unevenly, causing your vehicle to veer. If you’re driving a van or SUV, then it’s quite possible to flip your car by braking during a blowout.
Instead, you need to press on the accelerator after a blowout. This may seem counterintuitive, but when a tire blows out, your car’s speed may suddenly drop due to the drag caused by the flat tire. You must step on the gas for only a moment, so that any cars behind you won’t be surprised by your sudden drop in speed and ram into you.
After you have quickly pressed on the gas, you’ll notice that your car will want to veer in the direction of the blowout. Keep your car steady, let it lose speed gradually, and only when you are going slower than 30 miles per hour should you steer the vehicle to the side of the road.
Once you have successfully steered your car to the side of the road, you can start thinking about what steps you need to take next. You should always have a spare tire on hand. Now is the time to change out the flat and continue to the nearest service station. However, you need to make sure there is enough room around your car to freely work in.
Don’t try changing the tire if doing so will put you on the road, and in a dangerous situation from oncoming traffic. If you don’t have enough room to change the tire, or if you don’t have a spare, you need to call a tow truck. Depending on where you are, you may decide to have the truck drop off your car at home or at the nearest mechanic.
Where to buy
Car parts are available to buy in many different ways. For instance, they can be purchased online, at a local breakers yard, or visiting a traditional car parts store.
One of the first things to do is a little research to get an idea of the likely price of the part. A simple way to get an idea of the price is to take a look at several online stores. Once the price is known, you can start visiting the local yards or stores to check on availability. If you visit a breakers yard, there are often plenty of opportunities to haggle for the best price. A great positive about buying something in person is the ability to inspect the part and make sure it is right for your specific needs.
Alternatively, there will be a need to be more cautious if you decide to shop online. There is never any guarantee that the picture of the part seen on-screen will actually be the part you receive in the post. If possible, it is worth giving the seller a call to find out the exact details of the part to make sure it will work with your car.
Also, it can be worth looking at online reviews of stores to help shortlist the best options and avoid wasting time visiting those that are below average.
Know the exact part
Make sure to find out the exact details of the part before starting the shopping process. If the part in need of repair is relatively small, you can take it with you to the store or breakers yard to minimize the risk of buying the wrong part.
Also, it is worth looking out for a copy or duplicate part. They are often low-quality and aren’t likely to last long once fitted to the car. Many of the copied parts are noticed because they aren’t made in the right material or often have minor issues such as a false logo.
Learn the history
It will certainly benefit to learn a little bit about the used car parts before buying. Ask about the part’s mileage and its age to make sure this is within an acceptable limit. Also, it is worth checking to see if the part is being sold as a refurbished part, a repaired part, or simply used as is. Any parts that have received attention before being sold are likely to last longer.
- Change the Transmission oil and filter at least once every 50K miles.
- When you start your vehicle let it set in neutral to the count of 20 before you put it in gear every morning.
- Come to a complete stop before you shift into neutral, reverse, or drive.
- Check transmission fluid frequently and NEVER over fill it.
- Never spin your tires on pavement, this causes wear and tear on your transmission.
Taking care of your transmission is not difficult, but it does require serious thought as to drive patterns, behaviors, and habits of the driver. You must consider your vehicle and never expect more than it should be able to provide mechanically. Overextending the simple uses wear on engine and transmission parts.
Keep your tires aired to regulation levels and carefully consider your driving habits. Do they need to change?
Becoming a good driver also means being a safer driver. Extending the life of your vehicle with good driving habits may actually save your life. Consider the alternative to bad driving habits.
- lower gas mileage
- longer tire wear
- better long term performance
- lower costs and repairs
- better maintenance values
- less wear and tear on vehicle
- better resale market values
Choosing the most suitable motor oil for your car is the aspect that should not be disregarded. This is because not all the oil types fit one and the same vehicle and some of them may even affect the way the auto will function. There are a few important questions you need to answer before shopping for the best engine oil brand. These questions concern the type of the vehicle you own, its age, manufacturer’s guidelines and the weather conditions that prevail in your location.
To start with, it is essential to recollect the type of engine oil you have been using before. If you have never inquired about this issue or if this is the first time you have to change the motor oil, then it makes sense to find out what engine oil you used before. Having found that out, analyze how exactly your car functioned when you used the oil. If everything was all right and you didn’t have to fix the engine problems, then you don’t have to look for another motor oil.
The next point that is worth consideration is checking the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer. This is especially true if you own a new vehicle, which comes with the warranty. In this case, changing the oil is not allowed. Otherwise, the manufacturer may not repair the car for free in case of necessity.
If your car is not new, this means that its engine may be worn. As a result, the parts of the engine may become smaller, forming space between them. To fill this space, you will need think oil, so find out more about heavy single-weight oil brands that will fit your car most of all.
Finally, it makes sense to take into account the weather conditions that prevail in your location. Thus, if you live in the mountainous area, where the temperature changes are extreme, then it is better to purchase multi-weight types of oil, which are allowed to be used under any temperature regimes. Pay attention to the “W” index, which reflects the way the oil “behaves” in hot and cold weather. The higher this index is, the worse the oil works in autumn and in winter, when it is too cold outside. Keep that in mind.
Different motor oil types are manufactured for various purposes. To select the one that meets your requirements and needs, you have to understand the essence of such notions as the viscosity ratings, classification codes and oil additives. Let us have a closer look at each notion.
Each type of oil has specific viscosity rating that shows how the oil flows in the engine. With regard to this aspect, customers choose between two popular types of oil – single- and multi-viscosity oils. The prevailing amount of vehicles run on the second type of oil, because it can be used under any temperature conditions. Actually, the higher the viscosity index is, the thicker the oil proves to be and the worse flow capability it has. As a rule, the first number in the combination signifies the way the oil flows during the autumn-winter season, while the second number shows the way it flows under the hot temperatures in spring and summer. If you don’t know the most suitable viscosity index for your automobile, consult the manufacturer or the manual that comes with the vehicle.
Speaking about the oil additives, they are required to ensure the best engine performance. They contribute to the way the engine is cooled and cleaned by the oil. In high quality engines, the cost of the oil additives constitutes over 25% of the overall cost of the oil.
All types of motor oil have unique classification codes that reveal the levels of engine protection and economy of the fuel they ensure. The popular oil classification codes include: the API starburst label, the API donut label for diesel motor oil and the API donut label for gasoline motor oil. You should select the one, which fits your vehicle.
Mechanics and writers have worked together to give both a reputable and intelligible account on car operations. The Volvo REPAIR MANUAL contains details of car construction, maintenance, and repair guides. It is a comprehensive source of service information and car specifications, contrary to the manual’s restrictive title. More than repair guides, fundamental automotive concepts form a considerable portion of the Volvo REPAIR MANUAL, making troubleshooting and repair instructions not a lemming-like procedure. Available in soft covers and with editions measuring 8″X11,” the Volvo REPAIR MANUAL makes car information handy.
Subjects range from car engine operations to troubleshooting techniques and tool use. A footnote to model specs is the recommended car maintenance schedules tailor-fitted for specific Volvo makes. The bulk of the Volvo REPAIR MANUALS focuses on the emission control and engine management systems of the Volvo. This includes the car’s fuel injection system, breaker-less electronic ignition, Charge Air Pressure Control System, automatic and manual transmissions (including overdrives) and detailed procedures and specifications for four- and five-speed Volvo manual transmission overhaul. Also covered are Volvo engine systems that run on after market and performance parts, including but not limited toLH-Jetronic fuel injection (from LH 2.0, to 2.2, 2.4, and 3.1 versions), K-Jetronic, and EZ116 K.
For the more difficult repair procedures, texts are accompanied by diagrams and illustrations. The Volvo provides a clear picture of how repairs are ideally done: from valve clearances adjustments to heater blower replacements, suspension bushings restoration, and water pump replacement. Additionally, electrical wirings of the Volvo power drive are diagrammed, along with an illustrated troubleshooting and circuit description, including fuse, relay, and component locations. With the easy-to-understand illustrations of car operations in the Volvo REPAIR MANUAL, car maintenance appears elementary.
On the maintenance part of the Volvo REPAIR MANUAL, detailed are the useful factory tolerances, wear limits, adjustments and tightening torque specifications of critical maintenance items like stock brake lining, radiator, strut mount bushings, constant velocity boots, actuators, spark plug, and spark plug wires, among others. In cross-reference to this portion is the lowdown on car care and parts preservation that can allow you to save up on replacements.
A windshield wiper is very essential for visibility and safety. Defective windshield wipers can seriously compromise the driver’s vision when road conditions are not favorable. A windshield wiper has three main components – the arm, the blade and the wiping element. Factors like sunlight contaminants, oil and dirt cause the wiper blades to age and deteriorate. Common problems that result include chattering, streaking and the inability to clear water from the windshield. The most economical repair is to replace the wiper refills that are attached along the edge of the blade. Wiping the edge of the blade with soft cloth is also helpful in case the blades are dirty. The other option is to replace the wiper blades that are a complete assembly consisting of metal frame and refills. Although this is slightly expensive, it can be done quickly and increases the windshield wipers’ efficiency and stops damage to the wiper. The windshield washer fluid reservoir has to be inspected and refilled when it is low. Windshield washer fluid is easily available in automotive parts stores.
In case the wipers move slowly or stop moving in extreme cold, the wiper motor must be checked. Removing the motor and adding grease and a drop or two of oil lubricates the motor and allows it to function at a normal speed.
The windshield wiper arm is the mechanical component that connects the windshield wiper blades to the windshield wiper motor that provides the movement. Without the windshield wiper arm, the entire windshield wiper system is of no use. In case the windshield wiper arm gets damaged, the only option is to replace the arm of the wiper with a new one. In case the wipers are frozen and stuck to the windshield or packed with snow, it’s important to free them before trying to use them. The windshield wiper system should be serviced periodically to ensure uninterrupted functioning.
Let’s take a closer look at just what an oxygen sensor does and the steps you can take to do the work yourself.
As a backgrounder, your oxygen sensor works like this: placed inside of your exhaust pipe, the oxygen sensor detects the ratio of air and gasoline your engine is fed. If the mixture is too rich or too lean than the oxygen sensor adjusts the amount of fuel entering your engine accordingly. The wrong mix of gasoline and oxygen can increase pollutants that exit your vehicle – thereby harming the environment — as well as potentially causing your catalytic converter to fail or even damage your engine. So, a properly working oxygen sensor is a must for any vehicle.
There are some clear signs that your oxygen sensor is no longer functioning. They can include:
- A rotten egg odor emitting from the exhaust.
- A reduction in fuel economy.
- Your catalytic converter fails unexpectedly.
- Exhaust emissions reach undesirable levels.
- Your engine surges or hesitates.
You can diagnose the problem yourself if you have access to the right tools including a digital voltmeter, an oxygen sensor socket, and a propane enrichment device. These specific tools, along with a proper Haynes or Chilton manual by your side, should be all that you need to determine if the oxygen sensor is no longer working. If it has failed, than consider ordering your replacement part online through a reliable wholesaler such as the Oxygen Sense shop to obtain a high quality OEM part at discounted prices. Once your part has arrived than all you will need is one or two automotive wrenches to accomplish the job. Again, reference your car’s manual for exact instructions.
The best thing about online manuals are that whatever manual you’ll need for whichever car brand, it is only a few mouse clicks away; you can load it down from the internet in no time.
If the time is a significant factor for you, for instance if you are in a situation that requiers repair information immeadeatlY and your knowledge about the specific problem is limited, the fastest and cheapest solution is to go online to find high quility vehicle repair manuals.
Some of these manuals include not only repair information, but also updated technical service information and some of them even include approximate business hours. This is valuable info if you decide to take your car to a mechanic: You’ll know in advance how much you could expect to pay for the repair. Most of these websites charge a minor fee for their service, but compared to what you’ll get back, it is worth it.
Good vehichle repair manual sites also features updated diagnostic and maintenance information. Their manuals are Original Service Manuals Written by the manufacturers and contains the original workshop repair descriptions. Therefore many professional auto technicians are using quality downloadable manuals. .
Good manuals contain thousands of pages of diagrams and all the necessary detailed information for the specific vehicle and car part repair.
I have chosen to make a brief review of three of the best printed motorcar fixing manuals available on the market today. If you chose these instead of the online alternative, expect some time for shipping and handling.
- the target is the experienced mechanic, and is considered by many experts as the hands-down best reference.
- probably the most detailed car repair book available
- Unfortunately, Bentley focuses on European models mostly, not US models.
- The target for these service manuals are factory certified mechanics, and unfortunately not amateurs
- may require access to special tools only available to authorized mechanics.
- Simple step-by-step procedures, easy-to-follow standard format their targeted audience is the average, general backyard mechanic
- focusing on maintenance and basic repairs
- containing lots of sequential photographs and graphics to simplify maintenance and thus make the job easy and fun.
- new cars are treated with thorough attention. Older cars however, get lumped together and the instructions for these are a little more generalized.
The first option , primarily for more extensive damage – is to take your car to a paint repair specialist (bodyshop or crash repair centre) to fix the damage and repaint the affected area. Usually this type of repair job can take several days.
The second option , primarily for minor damage (and if the car paintwork is not damaged) – is to have a paintless dent removal technician work on it, which will be much faster, cheaper and convenient as their mobile service personnel can come to you at a suitable time, rather than you going to them during your working hours.
The third option is to use a SMART repair technician (small to medium area repair technique) as these paint repair technicians specialise in minor repairs such as bumper scuffs and small scratches.
The fourth option is to attempt to do the repair job yourself, although this only solves the paint repair, not the actual dent or scratch itself. It goes without saying that if you’re not experienced in this type of work, you could end up doing more harm than good, with a result that is a lot worse than when you started!
And the fifth option is to do nothing and leave it as it is. Of course, that doesn’t really solve anything, but it doesn’t cost you anything either. However, it is recommended that you at least “touch in” any scratches to prevent rust forming.
Which method of repair you choose depends on several different factors: the cost, the make of the car, the extent of the damage, and your car insurance cover.
If you don’t have much money, then the first car paint repair option is eliminated. However, if your car is a Porsche, where the paint job comprises 21 different stages to ensure its durability, you may find the first repair option the only viable one available for major damages.
If the extent of the damage is minor, then the second or third paint repair options become the most practical, although the rather primitive touching-up method will always show much more so than the method of paintless dent removal followed by touching in, which is designed to disguise the damage to almost invisible. It is important to note that paintless dent removal is largely used when there is very minor or no paint damage.
Whichever method you choose, it is still hard to believe that the “paint” used in Auto Industry paint repair originated from a substance comprised of items such as berries, blood, plants, soot and ash, during the cave men era.
As the demand for vehicle paint increased dramatically, technologists were commissioned to discover faster ways of applying paint to automobiles. The three days needed for the numerous coats of standard paint to dry was hampering supply and a damaged car needing car paint repair was taking almost as long as a new one to finish!
Aside from perfecting the spray gun so that greater quantities of paint could be more accurately and evenly dispersed over the shell of a car, “dilutable” paint resins incorporating water were produced. These were more environmentally-friendly than previous ones, releasing water into the atmosphere upon drying instead of organic solvents and are still the ones used today.
Later, tiny metallic pieces which when administered would only be a depth of 15 microns (15 millionths of a metre) were added as well as pigments to the paints to vary the car paint palette and choice of car paint repair materials. To finish, a clear coat of protective resin was introduced over the paintjob to seal in the paint, add to durability, and give it that lustrous shine.
This explains why when you take your car to a garage it takes so long, why paintless dent removal is such good value, and why when you do a “touch up” car paint repair job yourself, it looks so noticeably different from the original manufacturer’s paintjob.