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Is Your Car Pulling You In The Wrong Direction

Wheel Alignment - Avoiding The Danger Signs Ahead

If you're experiencing problems with your car pulling to one side, it may be due to a misaligned wheel. A wheel alignment can correct this problem and ensure that your car drives in a straight line. Avoid the danger of driving with a misaligned wheel by getting it corrected at a reputable automotive shop.

Most people don't think about their vehicle's alignment until they experience unusual tire wear or handling concerns. However, just like any other component of your car, regular upkeep is critical to maintaining it in good working order. Here are four reasons why routine wheel alignments are essential.

Wheel Alignments Prevent Uneven Tire Wear

The number one reason to keep up with your wheel alignments is to prevent uneven tire wear. When your wheels are out of alignment, they put unnecessary stress on your tires. This can cause them to wear down faster on one side than the other. It also reduces the life of your tires and makes them more likely to fail unexpectedly.

Wheel Alignments Improve Handling

Another important reason to get regular wheel alignments is to improve the handling of your vehicle. When your wheels are out of alignment, it can make your car feel unstable on the road. This can be dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds or in adverse weather conditions.

Wheel Alignments Improve Fuel Efficiency

When your wheels are out of alignment, your car has to work harder to move forward. This extra effort means that your car will burn through fuel more quickly. In addition, drag from misaligned wheels can also cause your car to lose speed, which wastes even more fuel.

Wheel Alignments Extend the Life of Your Suspension

When your wheels are out of alignment, they place extra stress on your suspension components. Over time, this extra stress can cause these parts to wear out prematurely, resulting in a need for costly repairs or even replacement.

Regular wheel alignments are an important part of keeping your car running safely and efficiently. If you've noticed any unusual tire wear or handling problems, be sure to schedule an appointment with a qualified mechanic right away.

 

Don't Get Burned - Beat The Summer Heat

5 Tips To Keep Your Parked Car Cooler

Summertime is approaching fast, and with it, soaring temperatures. The last thing you want to do is climb into a scorching car and wait for it to cool down.

Did you know "When temperatures outside climb range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172" (actionnews)

What Can You Do To Lower The Temperature In Your Car?

• Tip 1: Park in the Shade

If you have the option to park in the shade, take it! In many parking lots they will have trees or other natural shade options, Also try to park so that the sun is not shining on the driver's side. Even a few minutes in the shade can make a big difference.

• Tip 2: Use Your Visor And A Sunshade

You can find a sunshade for your windshield at most auto stores. Sunshades are especially useful if you have to park in the direct sun. They will help keep your car cooler and make it more comfortable to get in. Your windshield visor can also help keep the sun from entering your car

You could also fit a visor to your rear window as well as invest in window vent visors to keep individual passenger windows shaded.

Tip 3: Let Your Car Cool Before Getting In

Does your car have a remote starter? You turn on the air conditioning to full blast, shut all the doors and give your car a few minutes to cool down before driving. The other option is Leave the doors open for a minute to let most of the hot air out before getting in.

Tip 3: Cover Up Steering Wheel

No one wants to try to dive with a hot steering wheel. Consider placing a light-colored terry cloth towel over the steering wheel before you leave the car. This may reduce how much heat it absorbs

Tip 4: Cover Your Seats

This will protect your seats from the sun's rays and reduce how much heat they absorb. If you have leather seats, this is especially important as they can get uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight. You can buy special seat covers designed to reflect the sun's rays, or just use a light-colored towel or blanket

Tip 5: Tint You Windows

One of the best ways to keep your car cool is to tint your windows. This will reduce the amount of heat that comes into the car, making it more comfortable when you get in.

While you may or may not be able to do all of these things, any combination will help make your car more comfortable in the summer heat. Enjoy your summer and stay cool!

What's That Noise - Your Safety Depends On It

Your Brakes Are Telling You Something!

Brakes are an essential part of every car, helping you to slow down and stop when needed. Generally, if your brakes are making a high-pitched squealing noise when you first step on them, it's an indication that the brake pads need to be replaced.

What causes that noise when you brake?

This can be due to a number of different factors - worn or dirty brake pads, issues with the rotors or calipers, or even something as simple as dirt or debris caught in the brakes.

If you're noticing a strange noise coming from your brakes, it's always best to have them checked out by a professional mechanic to ensure there isn't a bigger issue at play.

What are the different types of brakes, and how do they work?

There are many different types of brakes, each designed to perform a specific function and work in a particular way. Some common brake types include disc brakes, drum brakes, and vacuum brakes.

Disc brakes use a system of pads that press against a spinning metal disc to slow or stop the vehicle. Drum brakes consist of two brake shoes that press against the inside of a stationary metal drum. Vacuum brakes use suction to slow or stop a vehicle, drawing air from the atmosphere into chambers

How can you tell if your brakes need to be serviced or replaced?

If your car is making a noise when you brake, there's a good chance that something is wrong with your brakes. There are several things you can do to check your brakes and see if they need to be serviced or replaced.

Another way to tell if your brakes are in need of service is to look at your brake fluid levels. If the fluid is low or dark, it could be a sign that your brakes need to be flushed and refilled.

What does turning the Rotors mean?

If you've ever had your car's brakes serviced, you may have heard the term "turning the rotors." But what does that actually mean?

Rotors are the metal discs that your brake pads press against to slow or stop your car. When they become worn or dirty, they can cause a number of problems with braking performance. Turning the rotors means machining them down so that they are smooth and clean again, allowing for better braking. If they get worn down below a certain point, they will need to be replaced entirely by a mechanic.

 

As a driver, it's important to be aware of any issues with your car's brakes, as this can have serious implications for your safety on the road. Some common symptoms of worn or faulty brakes include a high-pitched squealing noise when braking, low or dark brake fluid levels, vibrations or shuddering when applying the brakes, and poor response time. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Can Your Car Wax Help Keep The Value Of Your Car

To Wax Or Not To Wax?

It's no secret that keeping your car looking good can help to maintain its value. But what many people don't know is that there are a lot of things you can do to keep your car looking great - and some of them are easy and inexpensive! One example is car waxing.

1. The benefits of car waxing

Waxing your car is one of the best ways to protect its finish and keep it looking new. It creates a barrier between your car’s paint and the elements, which can cause fading, scratching, and other damage. Waxing also makes it easier to clean your car, since the wax forms a protective layer that dirt and dust can

2. The costs of car waxing

The costs of car waxing vary depending on the type of wax and the amount you need. However, it is generally a very affordable way to protect your car’s finish.

3. How to wax your car properly

If you're looking to get the most out of your car wax, follow these steps:

  • Make sure your car is clean. The wax will adhere better to a clean surface, and it will be easier to remove any residual wax when you're finished.

  • Apply the wax in a thin layer. Too much wax can actually end up doing more harm than good, since it can obscure your car's paint job and make it difficult to polish later on.

  • Work in small sections. It's best to apply the wax using a circular motion, and don't forget the edges!

  • Buff off the wax with a soft cloth. Be sure to remove

4. What are the types of waxes available?

There are a few different types of car waxes on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks:

  • Spray-On Waxes: These waxes are easy to apply and usually don’t require any buffing. However, they don’t offer as much protection as other types of waxes and can be prone to fading.

  • Paste Waxes: More durable than spray-on waxes, and they usually provide better protection against scratches and fading. However, they can be difficult to apply and require a lot of elbow grease.

  • Liquid Waxes: Liquid waxes are the most popular type of car wax. They’re easy to apply, and most come with a buffing cloth.

  • Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is the most durable type of car wax and offers the best protection against scratches and fading. It’s also the most expensive type of wax.

  • Ceramic Wax: A newer type of car wax that’s said to offer even better protection than Carnauba wax. However, it’s also more expensive.

4. How to care for your car's finish without using any products at all

  • If you're not interested in using car wax, there are a few other things you can do to protect your car's finish and keep it looking new:

  • Park in the shade. The sun can cause your car's paint to fade over time.

  • Wash your car regularly. Dirt and dust can scratch your car's paintjob

If you're still unsure about whether or not car waxing is worth the investment, it might be helpful to consult a professional. They can help determine if waxing your car will be an effective way to keep its value and maintain its shine over time.

 

 

Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.

The Car Maintenance Checklist

Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:

Inspect and Maintain Tires

Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.

Change the Oil

Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.

Check the Fluids

There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.

Test the Lights

A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.

Replace Windshield Wipers

If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.

Change Your Engine Air Filter

A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.

Regular Checkups

Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.

Have Your Brakes Checked

Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible

Wash Your Car

Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.

Check Belts and Hoses

Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.

Review Your Car Insurance

Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

How to Protect Your Car From Rust

Rust never sleeps: Here's how you can protect your car

No matter what type of automotive rustproofing protection you favour (electronic, one-time spray, factory coating or annual treatments) there are large gaps in warranty coverage from even the best companies out there. First things first; if you operate a vehicle on public roads 12 months of the year, there really is no such thing as rustproofing. About the best we can hope for is to slow down Mother Nature’s ravage of our daily drivers so that the loan payments end before the sheet metal. We really can’t stop rust altogether.

All rustproofing suppliers offer pretty much the same warranty; they will repair or replace outer sheet metal panels if rusted through from inside/out and if all other guarantee conditions have been met (annual inspections, reapplications, etc.). But what about all the other steel and iron on the vehicle? Cast iron and steel suspension and steering components, fuel and brake fluid lines, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and straps can all be affected by rust and can bring major repair bills. Is there anything we can do to extend the life of these components?

1. Park carefully. Parking your vehicle on grass, dirt, snow or poorly drained surfaces is just asking for rust to come and take up permanent residence in your vehicle. As our vehicles spend most of their idle time at our place of residence, tackling the home-parking front can go a long way to keeping rust at bay. If you think investing in a driveway improvement is too expensive, ask your regular repair garage for some cost estimates on replacing brake rotors, exhaust systems, suspension control arms, fuel tank and the like and you’ll quickly find the financial justification. Don’t rest easy if your parking lane is paved. Old cracked asphalt surfaces can provide just as much moisture to the undercarriage of your chariot as a dirt field in spring. Even applying a layer of asphalt sealer can help out.

2. Keep it clean. Most of us like to keep the paint work and interior of our vehicles clean, but what about the underbelly? If you drive on gravel or dirt roads or take an off-road adventure from time to time, the mud and gunk that can collect underneath your vehicle will act as a moisture trap increasing the speed with which your wheels will head to the scrap yard. Check horizontal surfaces under the car/truck such as control arms, skid-plates, axles, etc. from time to time and do a little down-and-dirty cleaning when needed. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose and stiff brush will do. You may have to jack the vehicle to improve clearance, so make sure you take the necessary precautions with proper jack supports and wheel chocks and have a spotter standing by.

3. Keep it full. One of the most expensive repairs a driver can face because of rust is the replacement of a fuel pump module (the electric fuel pump and level sender unit located in the tank). While the interior parts of this piece (which can range in price from $300-$1500 plus labour) are well protected, its metal top plate and output lines are very exposed and prone to rusting. Fuel tanks and their parts can be attacked from two sources of moisture leading to rust. The first is external and the second is internal condensation caused by the difference between liquid fuel and outside air temperatures in a humid environment. Keeping the fuel tank topped off during the wet seasons can help to reduce the condensation effect. It also provides better traction in snow and on icy surfaces.

4. Blow it clean. On trucks and SUVs with large fuel tanks, the dirt, dust, and road grime that can collect on the top of the tank can lead to premature rusting of the fuel pump module. The labour involved in periodically lowering the tank to inspect and clean off its top can be pricey and can make it hard to justify as a means of extending the life of the pump module. A safe DIY method involves spraying compressed air on top of the tank while it’s mounted in its location to dislodge any debris or gunk. Use safety goggles and go easy on the air nozzle trigger as small stones can hurt when propelled by compressed air.

5. Spray it on. While no rustproofing company will guarantee undercarriage components against rust, that’s not a reason to not have the more vulnerable iron and steel parts treated. You can purchase aerosol cans of rust inhibitors at most auto parts stores, or you can have the pros take care of it for you. If doing it yourself, avoid getting any spray on brake rotors, drums, linings, or calipers. Keep it off hot surfaces such as catalytic converters and exhaust components as well as away from electrical wiring and connectors. Don’t overdo it. It’s better to perform annual touch-ups rather than try to lather on enough protection for the next decade.

Article Originally published driving.ca
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