Never! mix or store Gasoline/Oil mixtures indoors or in enclosed poorly ventilated areas, where fuel fumes may reach an open flame, spark or pilot light such as on a furnace, water heater, clothes dryer or other appliance.
Number 1. Your hood is held down with
a primary and secondary latching system.
Did you know that running the wrong size tires on your vehicle cost you gas mileage? Your vehicle is geared for a specific tire size. look at your driver’s side door jam, it spells it out for you.
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect. (tires, brakes, and steering)
Also, have the service technician evaluate the engines performance, Heater and Air Conditioning and defroster, windshield wipers in good working order, and is your electrical system (horn/lights and directional) in good working order?
Do you have your safety tote in the trunk for emergencies?
-Most repair shops will post educational certifications or accomplishments and professional business affiliations in their waiting areas. Some affiliations to look for include trade association membership, such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA), and membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for certification or education offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and the Automotive Management Institute (AMI).
-Ask about the equipment used to diagnose and perform the service. Is it up-to-date and are the technicians educated in the proper equipment use?
-Make sure a written estimate is provided prior to letting the business begin the repair. A good rule of thumb is to request approval on any changes to the original estimate that exceed 10 percent.
-Ask about the shop's warranty. Most automotive service facilities will warranty their parts and labor either in writing or in shop posted announcements.
Ask family, friends and neighbors for their recommendations. Word-of-mouth referrals are the shop's best form of advertising.
Did you know that a loose or missing gas cap can affect your gas mileage? The vented gas simply vaporizes.
AIR BAGS & AUTOMATIC
ANTI-LOCK BRAKES (ABS)
Raising deductible is the amount you pay when you make a
claim before your insurance company pays. The disadvantage of raising your
deductible is that when you do make a claim, you will pay more on your end.
The advantage is that your annual insurance costs go down. You can raise your
deductible on the comprehensive and collision sections of your insurance
When you have an Accident: "Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible".
- Move your vehicle to a safe place, then stop and identify yourself to the other driver. (Some state or local laws may require the vehicle be left as is.) If it can’t be moved, turn on the hazard lights. Seek medical help if you or other parties require it, and notify the police. Tell them who you are, where you are, and about any obvious or claimed injuries.
-You are required by Law in every State, that you must immediately contact the police, if there are injuries.
-Do not assume that you have no injuries from an accident. Sometimes it takes a few months to surface.
-Do not settle immediately with the other parties’ insurance company. Considering that you may initially have unknown injuries.
-Exchange information with the other driver(s) including driver’s license numbers. Get the driver’s name, address, telephone numbers and name of insurance company. Also, list any passengers and witnesses.
-Get names and badge numbers of any police officers who arrive at the scene. If there are injuries or extensive damage, the police should file a report. Ask to get a copy.
-Avoid any extensive discussions at the scene about who is responsible for damage. If the other person admits responsibility, offers a money settlement and you accept, any future claim against the driver may be compromised. You or the other party may later find damage and bodily injury not apparent at first.
- Write a complete description of the accident as soon as possible. Include weather conditions, estimated speeds, and as much precise information as you can observe. Take photographs if a camera is available.
What is the meaning?
CAR RENTAL INSURANCE TIPS:
Do's & Don'ts
Check with your credit card company, personal and auto insurance carrier, and the rental car company itself. You do not have to buy the rental company's insurance. You might already have it covered. Take the time to check your own existing policy first. Note that there could be certain restrictions to your own policy and that certain rental vehicles might not be covered.
-CDW: Collision Damage Waiver usually covers loss and/or
damage to the rental car. CDW releases you from financial responsibility
under rental contract if you crash the car. This agreement can be voided if
you are caught using the car in an unsafe manner.
Automobile Insurance Providers:
BROKEN ENGINE BELT TIP: Use a pair of panty hose for a "temporary" fix, or duct tape upside down, utilizing multiple layers, obviously, you don't want the sticky part touching the pulley. (what did we every do, before duct tape?)
Little Cool Air
Make sure to have the system checked regularly according
to your vehicle's owner's manual. If you happen to live in a cold climate, it
might not make much sense to run the A/C during the winter months, but you
should run your A/C system regularly, because it contains a
special mineral oil in the refrigerant to keep the compressor properly
lubricated. Turn it on one a month for about 5-10 minutes. Some heating,
ventilation and air conditioning systems also engage the A/C compressor for
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 5 percent.
IT IS THE LAW
Is your Proof of Insurance in your car?
When your automobile tires are not inflated properly, it’s like driving with the emergency brake on. Decreasing your gas mileage.
lane changes and stops using hand signals.
Periodically check the lights to make sure they're all working. Turn on your emergency flasher and see if all four lights flash. Then individually try the right and left turn signal to make sure they are working front and rear. Ask a friend to apply the brakes to see if the brake lights are functioning. Obviously, it's extremely dangerous to drive a car with faulty brake lights.
If any of the lights aren't working, replace
that bulb. If the brake lights aren't working first check the bulbs, then the
brake switch. If your dash lights are not functioning, check for burned out
fuses, or for defective bulbs in older vehicles. For passenger safety, make
sure that the courtesy lamps illuminate. Don't forget any under the hood
bulbs as well as the trunk lamp.
The timing belt is a notched rubber belt that allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. The camshaft opens and closes the valves in synchronicity with the movement of the pistons.
If your timing belt breaks, your engine will stop working, stranding you wherever you may be. Worse yet, it can cause major engine damage.
Generally, timing belts should be replaced every sixty thousand miles.
Serpentine belts, also known as drive belts, provide power to the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, air injection pump, and more.
If your serpentine belt breaks, all of the engine parts it is powering will stop working. Your engine could overheat and be damaged.
-Radiator and heater hoses are also made of rubber. Their condition should be checked periodically. Both the upper and lower radiator hoses can rupture from internal pressure and age without the driver knowing it. When that happens, the coolant flows out, and the engine can freeze from excessive heat buildup.
general, inspect all hoses for wear, including hairline cracks and soft,
bulging spots. Hoses that come in contact with brackets or other metal parts
are prone to wear in these areas. Even if the hoses pass visual inspection, Changing all the water hoses every 50,000 miles is the way
to go, for preventative maintenance.
If at any time your cars temperature climbs beyond the normal range, the engine is running in the danger zone. Conversely, if the car will not warm up sufficiently, the thermostat is not functioning properly, the culprit; most likely the thermostat is not closing.
The radiator is one of the most important operating parts of your vehicle. It’s task is keeping your automobile's engine at a safe operating temperature, a bad radiator could mean serious trouble for you if you do not seek professional mechanical attention immediately.
Unfortunately, radiator problems can often develop without the owner even knowing it, small particles of dirt and rust clogging up the essential elements, preventing your car radiator from being able to cool your engine properly. If this happens, your vehicle will over heat, potentially leaving you stranded. The best way to avoid such problems, which will inevitably happen with all automotive radiators as they age, is with regular routine maintenance and service. Being vigilant will help you catch minor car radiator problems before they become major ones.
Your vehicle engine runs on heat. Chemical energy in the fuel is transformed into thermal energy when the fuel burns, which produces mechanical energy to push the pistons, spin the crankshaft and drive the vehicle down the road.
As efficient as today's engines are, they still waste a lot of the heat energy they produce. The average gasoline engine is only about 25 percent (depending on your vehicle) efficient. That means over two-thirds of the heat produced by each gallon of fuel either goes out the tailpipe or is soaked up by the engine itself. Diesels provide for a little more bang for the buck, as they provide about 35 percent, but even that leaves a lot of waste heat that must be managed and carried away by the cooling system.
Interestingly, the hotter an engine runs the more efficient it becomes. But there's a limit because aluminum pistons and heads (that is what your engine is mostly composed of) can only get so hot before they start to soften and melt. The same goes for cast iron.
Most engines today are designed to operate within a "normal" temperature range of about 195 to 220 degrees F. A relatively constant operating temperature is absolutely essential for proper emissions control, good fuel economy and performance.
A 50/50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol antifreeze in the cooling system will boil at 225 degrees if the cap is open. But as long as the system is sealed and holds pressure, a radiator cap rated at 15 psi will increase the boiling temperature of a 50/50 coolant blend up to 265 degrees. If the concentration of antifreeze to water is raised to 70/30 (the maximum), the boiling temperature under 15 psi (look on top of your radiator cap) of pressure goes up to 276 degrees.
Signs and consequences if the engine overheats the first thing that will happen is a gasoline engine will start to detonate. The engine will ping and start to lose power under load as the combination of heat and pressure exceed the octane rating of the fuel. If the detonation problem persists, the hammer-like blows may damage the rings, pistons or rod bearings.
Overheating can also cause pre-ignition. Hot spots develop inside the combustion chamber that become a source of ignition for the fuel. The erratic combustion can cause detonation as well as engine run-on in older vehicles with carburetors. Hot spots can also be very damaging and burn holes right through the top of pistons.
Another consequence of overheating may be a blown head gasket. Heat makes aluminum swell almost three times faster than cast iron.
The resulting stress can distort the head and make it swell in areas that are hottest, like those between exhaust valves in adjoining cylinders, and areas that have restricted coolant flow like the narrow area that separates the cylinders. The typical aluminum head swells most in the middle, which can crush the head gasket if the head gets hot enough. This will cause a loss of torque in the gasket allowing coolant and combustion leaks to occur when the head cools.
Overheating can be caused by anything that decreases the cooling system's ability to absorb, transport and dissipate heat, such as a low coolant level, loss of coolant (through internal or external leaks), poor heat conductivity inside the engine because of accumulated deposits in the water jackets, a defective thermostat that doesn't open, poor airflow through the radiator, a slipping fan clutch, an inoperative electric cooling fan, a collapsed lower radiator hose, an eroded or loose water pump impeller or even a defective radiator cap.
Heat always flows from an area of higher temperature to an area of lesser temperature, never the other way around. The only way to cool hot metal, therefore, is to keep it in constant contact with a cooler liquid. And the only way to do that is to keep the coolant in constant circulation. As soon as the circulation stops, either because of a problem with the water pump, thermostat or loss of coolant, temperatures begin to rise and the engine starts to overheat.
The coolant also has to get rid of the heat it soaks up while passing through the block and head(s). So the radiator must be capable of doing its job, which requires the help of an efficient cooling fan at slow speeds.
Finally, the thermostat must be doing its job to keep the engine's average temperature within the normal range. If the thermostat fails to open, it will effectively block the flow of coolant and the engine will overheat.
Coolant should be changed at least every two years or 30,000 miles or it will lose its effectiveness, and the mixture of antifreeze and water should always be 50/50.
manufactures design engines, they are not thinking about the necessity of
having to use additives. Your engine is a
engineering marvel, designed to run for a long time. With a good maintenance
program on the owner’s part, today's automobile engines can run over 200,000
STP (there are many others) Gas Treatment is the most well know, used in your gas tank it will dry up any water (Dehydrating) in the tank. It will also keep the fuel line from freezing up in the winter. Your engine will run more smoothly and start more reliably with its use in the winter. You will want to add one entire container just before filling up. Do this about every other fill up in the winter or any cold months. A little water, even a few drops, can do a lot of harm to your engine performance.
You can also use what is called *dry gas for this same purpose, it is an ethanol-based additive used in automobiles to prevent any water in the fuel from freezing, or to restore combustive power to gasoline spoiled by water. It is a liquid that is added in to the fuel tank, that absorbs the water and keeps it in solution. (Some brands contain methanol and some contain isopropyl alcohol).
If you already have ethanol in your fuel, there is no point in adding dry gas to fuel that already contains a significant percentage of ethanol.
*DO NOT use it around heat or flame or while the engine is running, as it is flammable.
Clean fuel injectors are a necessity for peak engine performance, fuel economy and emissions. If the injectors are dirty and can't deliver their specific dose of fuel, performance, fuel economy and emissions are all going to suffer. Dirty injectors can't flow as much fuel as clean ones, nor can they deliver the correct spray pattern that is so essential for clean, efficient combustion.
Rather than spending your money on fuel injector cleaners, spend the money on a new fuel filter every few years. That's the single best thing you can do to protect your injectors. And if you have an older, fuel injected car that ran for a long time on gasoline without detergents, the injectors might be causing it to run poorly, then you can try some fuel injector cleaner. The stuff does work. If you are determined to do some preventive maintenance on your Fuel Injection system, One of the best additives is polyether amine. It keeps injectors, valves and combustion chambers clean without the help of any additional fluidizers, keep in mind that it costs more than twice as much as the other commonly used additives.
Unfortunately, some of the cause of injector systems getting clogged is that some gas suppliers have cut back on the amount of detergent they add to their fuel or have switched to cheaper and less effective additives.
fuel injection do require some slightly different fuel system maintenance!
The normal wear and tear with today's engine temperatures and changes in
gasoline quality suggests some buildup of olefin wax, dirt, water and many
other additives. In this case, you should visit your dealer or garage and
have them clean your fuel injection system. High-mileage engines as well as
engines that are used mostly for short stop-and-go driving are the most
likely in need of injector cleaning.
Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy states otherwise, no one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the car owner, may do so, should this be your desire.
Answer: Generally, no. No one can force you to go to a certain repair shop unless your policy states otherwise.
Answer: Take your vehicle to a reputable repair shop. Leave it with the manager. Instruct the manager to contact your insurance company and advise them as to the damage. You should then call your insurance company and advise them of the vehicle's location.
Answer: Try to collect from the other party because you will not have to pay a deductible. Also, if you use the other person's policy, you may be entitled to a rental car while yours is being repaired, and no accident should be charged against your policy.
Answer: You are. You may direct your insurance company to pay the repair shop, but the payment must be in the hands of the repair agency when you pick up your vehicle. Keep in mind, you are the customer and the insured. The repair shop owner looks to you for payment and you look to the insurance company for payment.
Answer: Generally, the repair shop is responsible.
Answer: You are the owner of the automobile. Only you have the legal right to make arrangements for the repair of your automobile, not the insurance company.
Answer: Generally, no. Unless your policy provides otherwise, it is not mandatory to take your vehicle to a drive-in claims service. Usually it will suffice for you to call your insurance company and tell them where the vehicle can be examined by a claim’s person.
Answer: Generally, no. However, if you decide to take your car to the preferred shop, ask your insurance company to implement its "elects to repair" clause (check your insurance policy). This may cause the insurance company to be responsible for, among other things, the quality of repairs.
Answer: Perhaps, yes, but the commissioner's authority is limited! The commissioner's office in your state can describe the scope of authority for you.
Answer: Generally, no. You should be presented an estimate to know what is being repaired on your vehicle before repairs are made, unless your policy states otherwise.
A Final Word...
Most state laws make it unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle that is unsafe or has defective equipment. Insist on having your vehicle restored to its pre-accident condition. Do not be pressured into having repair work done by a specific shop simply because of lower price.
The owners of some repair shops have pledged their shops to a rigid code of ethics. This code is designed to protect you and your property. Seek out these shops.
Preparing your car for sale.
A clean, shiny car gives the impression that you care about the car and have maintained it in good condition. On the other hand, a dirty car does exactly the opposite, and may devalue your car in the eyes of a potential buyer. If the car is nearly new, you may want to take it to a professional detailed and have them clean the interior, exterior and engine.
fix any broken items that are easy to replace, such as lenses and headlights,
you don't want to give a buyer a reason to not buy your car. The better the
car looks the broader of an appeal the car has, even if you don't get more
money for it, you will probably sell it quicker.
Sell your car "as is." You are not a dealer and you are not required to provide any type of warranty on the car. But be careful that you don't intentionally misrepresent the vehicle's condition, or the buyer "may have some legal recourse".
Include a statement in your bill of sale that the car is sold "as is," and keep a copy of the bill of sale for your records. The bill of sale will establish the date of sale and help protect you from any further liability.
Always ask for payment in the form of a cashier's check or money order to avoid any problems that can result from a personal check. Cash is ok, but provides no actual proof of exchange of monies. If you do, make out a receipt and both of you sign and date it.
The convenience of trading in your car is obvious, you encounter no advertising cost, no test drives to arrange, and no potential legal actions, if your recently sold car breaks down. Once a car is in the dealer's hands, it's the dealer's responsibility to prepare it and handle the resale. Trading in your old car is the easiest way to go. In fact, because even dealers of used cars generally want your trade-in, they make the procedure as easy as possible. Trading in a car is usually a same day transaction with minimal stress. The dealer assesses the condition of your car, its age, and other factors and determines its worth (trade in value)
Trade-in value is generally lower than the amount you could sell the car for yourself, but by trading in you save time, effort and potential after sale headaches. When you trade in your car to a dealer, you walk away, your task done!
Selling a car on your own is the best way to obtain high dollar, and it may be your only option if you are buying your next vehicle through a private-party sale. But be aware of the work involved. Preparing your vehicle for sale will take time, and depending on its condition may also cost you some money. Be sure to fix things well enough to avoid running into possible legal problems later on from your buyer, rare but always a possibility.
Take the time to examine both the trade-in and suggested retail values listed in the (Kelley Blue Book) for your car, you can determine an asking price somewhere between them. Also check your local newspaper's classifieds, car trader magazines and on-line sales containing used-car ads in order to determine local market pricing. Look for listings of vehicles similar to yours and compare their asking prices. Using multiple sources helps assure that you arrive at a fair and realistic asking price.
The next step is to advertise and field phone calls. Since most private party vehicles are sold through local classifieds or used car publications, start by placing ads in those but be prepared to advertise in multiple sources. Remember to calculate the costs involved. Consider that, sometimes a takes a week or months to sell your car. Other times, the first day.
To save a lot
of trouble, set a realistic price, pre-set the lowest amount you will settle
for. It is best to sell the car in the evenings or on week-ends. Set up your
advertising in that manner.
When you finally sell your car, you must sign the title over to them, and notify your insurance company of your actions, as well as a state required pertaining to the sale of an auto.
Maintenance: Keep the cable connections clean and tight. If the battery has caps (many newer batteries have sealed tops, so you do not have to add water) that let you check the water level, keep it an inch down from the top of the cell. Your battery should be tightly clamped down, so it can't move.
Keep in mind that colder temperatures increase thickness of the engine oil, making the engine harder to turn over. The battery is not dead, it is simply having to work harder.
Note: If you place the jumper cables on the wrong terminals, your battery or the battery from the vehicle providing the jump-start, could very possibly explode. VERY DANGEROUS!!!
Jump-starting: If the battery is sound but too weak to start your car, the alternator will probably be able to recharge it as you drive. The first thing is to attempt jump-starting, this will often do the job. Before you get out the cables for jump starting, check your vehicle's owner's manual. Various manufactures advise against jump-starting to protect the car's electronics from a power surge.
In addition, some batteries have a "state of charge" indicator. A fully charged battery has a colored indicator, usually green (sometimes red). Black or clear means the battery is completely discharged and you should not try to recharge or jump-start it. Also, never try a jump-start if the battery's frozen. If your battery is deformed (bulging), it must be replaced.
Make sure to follow the procedure below, EXACTLY!
-Locate the battery. It has two terminals, each marked with a symbol: - for the negative and + for the positive. In some cars, the battery is difficult to reach, so there is often a more accessible remote positive terminal in the engine compartment.
-The good battery must be similar to the one in the car that won't start. The battery you use to jump start your car, must have a 12-volt system, years ago, many older cars may have six-volt systems. Move the car with the good battery close enough for the cables (many cables are 12' long) to reach the car needing a start.
-Turn off the ignition and all accessories on both cars; set parking brakes; put transmissions in park (automatic) or neutral (manual).
-Connect the cables in this sequence!
1. Connect one cable to the positive terminal of the weak or dead
A. -Start the engine of the car with the "good battery" and let it idle. It is best to allow it to charge the dead battery at least two minutes before attempting to start the car with the low or dead battery.
B. -Start the car with the bad battery.
-After you jumped start the car and it is running, disconnect the negative cable from its ground connection, then from the terminal on the good battery. Next, disconnect the positive cable from both batteries. If the charging system warning lamp stays lit and the engine dies, your alternator or battery are in need of replacement. If the light on the dash panel goes out, there's a pretty good chance the battery will recharge as you drive.
When shopping, remember that a battery is rated by cold cranking amps (CCA), indicating its power and the reserve capacity rating (RC), which indicates how long your car's accessories can run and still have enough power to start the engine.
Since starting a car in cold weather can take up to twice as much current to turn over a cold engine, cars in colder climates would benefit from a higher CCA rating. Check your owner's manual for the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) minimum requirements needed for your car and select the battery adequate for you needs. Buying one with an excessive CCA rating may be a waste of money.
The more RC (reserve) the new battery has, the better, like a little extra shot of juice. The size and number of plates in a battery determine how many amps it can deliver. By having more and/or large plates, you can increase the normal life of the battery. This is what distinguishes a three-year from a five-year warranty battery.
If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather
Automotive batteries need little attention. If your battery has removable vents, check the water level and add good drinking-quality water (distilled water is preferred) as necessary to maintain the level just below, but not touching the bottom of the vent (just below filling caps) wells. This will help extend the life of the battery. The green light (look down into a 1/4'" hole) on top of your battery indicates a healthy charged battery.
Tire makers usually emphasize one quality or another for each product line. Some tires deliver superior traction on dry or wet roads. Others bite into snow. Still others are noted for excellent steering response, a smooth ride, or long tread life. Which to choose still depends largely on what you drive, where you live.
Another indication that it is time to buy tires is to note any uneven wear, particularly on the sides of the tire where the interior belts may poke through in extreme cases. If tires are uneven, the car may pull to the side or there may be excessive vibrations or other handling difficulties. Most new tires come with wear indicator bumps – small threads of rubber along the tread. When these bumps have worn off, it is time to consider purchasing new tires.
It is best to purchase new car tires in the fall, before the wet, slippery winter weather sets in. As tires wear, the surface area of the tread increases, which gives tires better traction in dry conditions but makes them more hazardous in wet or icy weather. Newer tires will provide better traction and control during the winter.
It is important to know what
types of tires to buy when replacing worn tires. Always choose tires that
meet or exceed the load capacity and safety ratings of your original tires,
and be sure to choose tires that are a suitable fit for the size of the wheel
and type of vehicle. There are more than a dozen basic types of tires to
choose from, and it is vital to select a style that matches you’re driving
needs. The most popular types of tires are:
Winter tires: Winter tires are the new name for snow tires. They
feature tread designs and special rubber compounds made to grip well in deep
snow and on ice. But the trade-off is often quick wear and compromised ride
and handling on dry roads. Use winter tires during winter month’s only
Tire rotation is switching the position of the four tires tire on the car. It helps to maintain equal tread wear and is critical to gain the maximum life for your tires.
Your owner’s manual states the recommended rotation interval and pattern; generally a rotation interval of 6,000 miles is recommended. The rotation pattern varies with different makes and models, which shows the tire locations during rotation. Some vehicles have different size tires on the front and back or directional tires. This limits the locations that a tire may take on the vehicle. When in doubt, check the owner’s manual. During tire rotation provides an excellent opportunity to have the tires and wheels balanced, as well as checking your brakes.
Oil Stain Tip: When you want to get rid of oil stains and drops on your concrete garage or concrete driveway. Wipe up as best you can, and sprinkle Portland cement on it. Do not sweep off. After about two weeks, the stain(s) will fade or diminish.
Do not park your car over tall grass or piles of dry leaves. Your catalytic converter gets very hot (which is normal), and it is hot enough to start a fire in the dry grass and leaves.
The catalytic converter beneath your car is part of the automobile exhaust system. It converts harmful compounds in exhaust into harmless compounds. In a typical passenger car, the catalytic converter, which is similar in shape to your muffler, is between the engine and the muffler. The unit relies on receiving the proper mix of exhaust gases at the proper temperature. Any additives or malfunctions that cause the mixture or the temperature of the exhaust gases to change reduce the effectiveness and life of the catalytic converter.
Catalytic converters have been standard on U.S. automobiles since the mid-1970s. The catalytic converter helped push toward the exclusive use of "unleaded gasoline". Leaded gasoline contaminates the catalyst used inside a catalytic converter, destroying its usefulness and leading to a clogged converter.
After the engine exhaust gases pass through the catalytic converter, the gases go through the muffler. Some vehicles use a pre-converter as well, to perform a similar function. The catalytic converter generally lasts the life of the vehicle, actually it is rare to experience a problem with it being clogged or plugged or poisoned, during its lifetime.
The inside of the catalytic converter resembles a bee hive with tunnels and passage ways coated with catalysts. There are many passages for the exhaust gases to flow, allowing for a maximum amount of surface area for the hot gases to pass.
Catalytic converters become useless in the presence of lead due to catalyst poisoning. Catalytic converters must only be run on unleaded gasoline. Catalyst poisoning occurs when a chemical in the engine exhaust coats the surface of the catalyst, preventing further exhaust access to the catalytic materials. Poisoning can sometimes be reversed by running the engine under a very heavy load for an extended period of time to raise exhaust gas temperature Common catalyst poisons are lead, sulfur, zinc, manganese, silicon and phosphorus.
Removal of sulfur from a catalyst surface by running heated exhaust gases over the catalyst surface is often successful; however, removal of lead deposits in this manner is usually not possible because of lead's high boiling point. In particularly bad cases of catalyst poisoning by lead, the catalytic converter can actually become completely plugged with lead residue.
Of late, the theft of converters has skyrocketed, due to the precious (Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium) metals used in the production of the converters. Unfortunately, the units are easily removed, especially on SUV's, which are easy to crawl underneath for quick removal of the unit.
As to being able to tell of your catalytic converter is functioning properly, the only way to find out if a catalytic converter is malfunctioning (plugged) is to remove it and check the change in engine performance, this of course being done by a mechanic. Although, sometimes you can tell that a converter is clogged because your car will not go any faster when you push the gas pedal. Also, there usually is a noticeable drop in gas mileage associated with a clogged catalytic converter
Gasoline pumps are commonly labeled regular, mid-grade, or premium. The difference in the fuel is the octane number. Regular is usually 87, mid-grade 89, and premium 92-93. The higher the octane number the more the fuel resists combusting under compression. If the octane rating is too low for your engine, the engine may “ping” due to the fuel igniting prematurely. It is wise to use the recommended octane number that is listed in your owner’s manual. Use higher octane fuel only if your engine “pings” or “knocks”. If your engine runs fine on the recommended octane number, stay with that grade of fuel and not waste money on a premium fuel.
Use Lower-octane gasoline: Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel won't boost your car's fuel economy or performance in the least, so skip it.
If you're not sure what grade of fuel works best for your car, open up your owner's manual and take a look. As long as your engine doesn't knock or ping when you fuel up with regular unleaded, you're good to drive on this much cheaper gas. Passing on pricey premium gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Don't top off: when
filling your car's gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around
or seep out. Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when
the automatic nozzle clicks off. Also, gas will evaporate from your car's gas
tank if it has an escape. Be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you
fuel up your car.
Tire Wear and Directional Control
Camber, toe and toe-out on turns are tire-wear angles. If out of alignment, the tires will wear unevenly and faster than normal. Because camber is related to steering axis inclination, inclination can be considered a tire wearing angle. All alignment angles are directional control angles, which means they affect steering and vehicle control, such as the car traveling to the left or right, you having to always compensate for its pull.
Caster is the tilt of the steering axis of each front wheel as viewed from the side of the vehicle. Caster is measured in degrees of an angle. If the steering axis tilts backward-that is, the upper ball joint or strut mounting point is behind the lower ball joint-the caster angle is positive. If the steering axis tilts forward, the caster angle is negative. Caster is not measured for rear wheels.
Caster affects straight-line stability and steering wheel return. High positive caster makes the front wheels want to go straight ahead. A normal amount of positive caster provides stability and makes the steering wheel straighten out after turning. On the other hand, positive caster increases the effort needed to turn the wheel. Power steering allows the use of more positive caster than would be acceptable with manual steering.
Too little caster can make steering unstable and cause wheel shimmy. Extremely negative caster and the related shimmy can contribute to cupped wear of the front tires. If caster is unequal from side to side, the vehicle will pull toward the side with less positive caster.
Camber is the tilt of the wheel from true vertical as viewed from the front of the vehicle. Like caster, camber is measured in degrees of an angle. If the tire appears to tilt outward at the top, the camber angle is positive. If the top of the tire tilts inward, the camber angle is negative. You will not have uneven wear on your tires.
Zero camber-a perfectly vertical wheel and tire-causes the least tire wear. Positive camber causes the outer tread of the tire to wear more than the inner tread; negative camber has the opposite effect. Your car is designed with small amounts of positive or negative camber into vehicle suspensions to aid handling and steering. Normal camber angles have little visible effect on tire wear, but extreme camber causes irregular tire wear and shortens tire life.
Positive camber, like positive caster, affects straight-ahead stability and steering wheel return. As the vehicle turns, the outside suspension tends to rise on the wheel because of positive camber. When the wheel returns to straight ahead, the vehicle's weight presses down on the steering axis and helps straighten the wheel.
Negative camber resists the tendency of the tire to slip sideways during cornering. It also can increase steering effort. Most cars and light trucks are designed with positive camber, but many race cars and some high-performance street vehicles have negative camber.
Rear wheels usually have zero camber, but some independent rear suspensions are designed with some amount of (usually negative) camber angle. If front camber angles are unequal side to side, the vehicle pulls toward the side with the greater positive camber. Unequal rear camber also can affect vehicle handling.
Toe is how the wheels are aimed, as viewed from above. A pair of front or rear wheels aimed inward at the forward edges has toe-in; wheels aimed outward have toe-out. The toe angle for front or rear wheels is measured in fractions of an inch, millimeters or fractions of a degree.
Zero toe-wheels aimed straight ahead causes the least tire wear. Extreme toe-in or toe-out causes feather-- edged wear across the tire tread. Too much toe-in wears the outside tread edges, with feathered edges on the inside of each tread row. Too much toe-- out has the opposite effect.
Front wheels are usually toed in on rear drive vehicles and toed out on front drives to compensate for changes in the steering linkage and tires when the vehicle is moving. When the vehicle is moving, toe decreases because the wheels straighten out under acceleration and the steering linkage slightly moves.
convenient, they are time servers, they are wonderful in an emergency and
they are a DEATHLY DISTRACTION, while
driving. The number of accidents now due to Texting and Cell phone use while
driving, is exponential in causing accidents. Hands free are an improvement,
but it still a serious distraction to safe driving. But, at least your hands
are free and you are not providing blind spots.
Always dim your high-beam lights, when approaching other vehicles. “Your inaction", could very well cause an accident, with you!
About every twelve minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from a motor vehicle crash. Trying to prevent these crashes is one part of motor vehicle safety. Here are some things you can do to be safer on the road: Most deaths in traffic accidents are due to the occupants being thrown from the vehicle. BECAUSE they were not wearing their seat belt.
Never use your cruise control when driving in wet weather. If your auto begins to hydroplane, it will speed up and you will be further out of control.
The Single Broken line, The solid line with no
break, The large lines separated by a large gap or wide solid line(s).
NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON.
If the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact
with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off
like an airplane
The sound of metal scraping is a sure sign that you have a brake problem. Brakes have varying types of problems, almost always coming from the lack of lining to pads or problems with the calipers. Sometimes you can sense a problem because your car will pull to the left or right (not always a brake condition, sometimes front-end alignment or tire problem.) when you apply the brakes. Whenever you have an irregular feel while driving have your brakes inspected.
Your brakes can become weak due to overuse. The brake lining becomes hardened and they lose their power to grab or stop the rotation of the brake drum or rotor. If you experience a brake fluid lead, your brakes will be soaked up the fluid; you can also have a problem with oil or grease, which causes your brakes to become weak. If you have worn or glazed brake pads you will get grinding noises from the brakes. Sometimes it may happen that your emergency brakes are frozen due to rust. If such things occur the brakes will not release when they are supposed to. As a result, you will feel a drag during acceleration.
Have a annual brake inspection performed by your mechanic. He is going to check the brake pads from outside the front tire or through the openings of the wheel or rim. If the mechanic notes a pad depth less than ¼ inch, he will suggest that you change it immediately. You also need to change the brake pad if you hear a screeching sound on applying the brakes. If you see any fluid leakage or uneven pad wear know that you have to change the disk brake calipers.
drink and drive. Don't drive when you're taking medication that will
Always wear your seat belt.
Obey the speed limits. Slow down when road and
weather conditions are
Don't take risks: don't cut people off in traffic,
make sudden lane changes
Don't drive when you’re tired, upset or sick.
If you're in doubt, let the other driver go first — yield the right-of-way.
keep a two-second space between your vehicle and
the one ahead. To
Cut the distractions: don’t overcrowd the vehicle or play loud music.
Always check your blind spot: look in your mirror and over your shoulder before you change lanes. Check traffic in all directions before going into an intersection.
The Legal Speed Limit
TIP: Do not purchase gasoline
when the tanker trucks are filling the stations tanks.
Quick Tip: When polishing aluminum or chrome wheels on your car,
it is unnecessary to buy expensive wheel polish. You may
find that ordinary, white toothpaste works just as well.
the proper air pressure in your automobile tires, it aids in better gas
mileage, better ride, tire life and safety. To prolong tire life, check air
pressure monthly. Keep tires inflated to the recommended (found in your
owner’s manual) PSI.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing the oil once a year or every 7,500 miles in passenger car and light truck gasoline engines. For diesel engines and turbocharged gasoline engines, the usual recommendation is every 3,000 miles or six months.
"Normal" driving is actually "severe service" driving. This includes frequent short trips, stop-and-go city traffic driving, driving in dusty conditions, and driving at sustained highway speeds during hot weather. For this type of driving, which is actually "severe service: driving, the recommendation is to change the oil every 3,000 miles or six months.
For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three to six months regardless of what type of driving you do.
A new engine with little or no wear can probably get by on 7,500-mile oil changes. But as an engine accumulates miles it should be done more often.
To reduce the
costs of vehicle ownership and maintenance, many car makers suggest the oil
filter needs to be replaced at every other oil change. If you ask a mechanic,
he will tell you every time you change the oil.
-Follow the manufacturer's recommended change interval for severe service or have an oil analysis performed to see if you can use the normal service interval
-If you do the oil changes yourself then buy the oil and filters near the date of the oil change and keep a maintenance log with receipts
-Use an API certified 5W30 or 10W30 oil (whatever your manual says is preferred) and watch out for oil change places that force 10W30 on you
-Don't use oil additives
-Synthetic oil is a good choice if you have a high-performance engine or if you live in an extremely cold climate, otherwise it provides no benefit (but no harm either).
-Avoid engine flushes
-Check your oil after every other fill-up.
OIL FACTS 10W30 Vs 5W30:
10W30 is a one size fits all oil. Many older vehicles need 10W30, and most newer vehicles are okay with it in warmer climates. Many fast lube centers do not want to carry every type of oil, so many choose to carry only 10W30, which is ok, as long as it is does not violate your automotive warranty. (check your owner’s manual)
ENGINE AIR FILTERS:
Has Your Car’s Safety Net Been Compromised?
(ARA) – Are
you driving around in a vehicle that’s an accident waiting to happen? If you
have chips or cracks in your windshield, the answer may be “Yes.”
Under Lemon Law legislation, most states allow new vehicle purchasers to choose either a replacement or a refund if the vehicle can't be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts. Lemon laws apply only to new vehicles, ignoring used vehicles are entirely void of any inclusion. If you have a leased lemon, you'll need to talk to your leasing company, as most state's lemon laws do not apply to leased vehicles. You may need to contact the state's Attorney General's Office in addition to your own attorney if the dealership and manufacturer remain uncooperative.
Keep in mind, even if your car is a lemon, you are responsible for paying back your loan, no matter what happens to the vehicle. The manufacturer or dealer/seller is legally responsible for any problems you encounter, not the lender.
After you purchase your vehicle from your friendly and honest dealer, legally their obligation is over, and yours begins, when you sign the sales purchase agreement and drive away. In most states’ consumer products are covered by 3-day Right to Rescind (buyer's remorse) laws. Unfortunately, motor vehicle sales and leasing contracts usually aren't covered. Contact your state's Attorney General's Office for more information on buyer's-remorse law in your state. If you find you don't like the car you bought, you're generally out of luck. If you bought a car from a private party, you have no recourse other than through your attorney or small-claims court. Returning a leased vehicle is virtually impossible due to the amount of depreciation, paperwork, and fees involved. If you believe you've been misled by a dealer, and have documentation to prove it, contact your state's Attorney General's Office and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If either feels you have a case, you'll need an attorney as well.
Licensed dealers in all states are required to transfer title, registration and tags within a reasonable period of time, this is normally 7 to 45 days depending on your state. If a month has passed since your vehicle's delivery and you haven't received your registration or title in the mail, call the dealer and ask for an explanation. If they cannot provide you with a satisfactory answer, call your state Attorney General, and ask for their intervention.
Quick Tip: Your front wheel brakes wear out twice as fast as your rear brakes. Front brakes should last about 35,000 miles
A spare tire and full of air.
A car jack
and lug wrench
Obey the Laws, Driving is not a right, it is a Privilege
DID YOU KNOW?
"Over 80 percent of everything we consume, wear or drive, travels by truck. At any given time, there is only approximately 72 hours of food on our grocery shelves". Be ready
Infant-only seats are designed to protect babies from birth until they reach 20 to 22 pounds (about 10 kilograms) - sometimes more, depending on the model. Infant car seats should always be installed to face the rear of the car because in a crash an infant's soft spinal column can stretch and the spinal cord can be damaged if he or she is riding facing forward. When a baby rides facing the rear, the whole body - head, neck, and torso - is cradled by the back of the safety seat.
Infant-only seats often fit a newborn baby best and can be the optimal choice if you have the resources to buy another seat when your child grows larger. Many infant-only safety seats are also very convenient because they are designed to double as carriers, chairs, or rockers when not used in the car. Many models detach right from the base, allowing you to leave the base installed in the car.
A baby who weighs 20 pounds (about 10 kilograms) but has not yet reached 1 year of age should still ride in a rear-facing seat, because the baby's neck is typically not strong enough to support the baby's head in the event of a crash. It's a good idea to follow the height and weight guidelines on the child safety seat and you will want to keep your child in a seat that faces the rear as long as it's possible and the seat still fits.
This is where most parents turn their infants to the forward-facing position and switch to an infant seat designed for larger babies or a convertible seat for infants and toddlers. However, smaller children are simply better protected in rear-facing seats.
Convertible seats are designed to protect children from birth up to 40 pounds (19 kilograms). Convertible seats are the only type of seats that are placed in different positions depending on your child's age: They face toward the rear until your baby is 20 to 35 pounds (10 to 16 kilograms) and at least 1 year old and can be turned to face forward after that. However, many of the convertible seats on the market allow a child to remain rear-facing up to 30 to 35 pounds (14 to 16 kilograms). It is recommended that you use the seat rear-facing as long as the instructions allow.
Convertible seats are heavy and not very portable. Yet these types of seats can be economical because it may not be necessary to buy a separate infant-only seat. If using a convertible seat, make sure it fits your child correctly - a small child in a large seat may not be the best option. Models with tray shields should not be used for newborns - the shield comes up too high on infants and in a crash, the baby's face could hit the tray.
Upgrade to Booster Seats (40-80 pounds) When your child reaches the maximum weight allowed for the car seat or your child's ears have reached the top of the car seat; you'll need to switch to a booster seat. Booster seats are designed for children who have outgrown convertible safety seats but are still too small to be properly restrained by the vehicle's seat belts. Many states have passed laws requiring booster seats for children up to 8 years old and 80 pounds (37 kilograms), or 4 feet 9 inches (about 150 centimeters) tall.
Booster seats come in many styles. Belt-positioning boosters raise your child to a height where he or she can safely use the car's lap and shoulder belts. They come in high-back or backless models: High-back boosters are recommended when the car has low seat backs, and backless boosters may be used if the child's head is supported up to the top of his or her ears by the vehicle's back seat or head support.
Combination seats contain built-in harnesses that may be used up to 40 pounds (19 kilograms), but must be removed when the child weighs between 40 and 80 to 100 pounds (19 and 37 to 46 kilograms), depending on the seat.
Shield boosters (with no back and a shield tray in front of the child) are designed for cars with lap-only belts, but they do not provide adequate upper body protection for your child. If your car doesn't have shoulder belts in the back seat, consider having shoulder belts installed by the dealer. If that's not possible, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping any child who is older than 1 year and between 20 and 40 pounds (10 and 19 kilograms) in a convertible or forward-facing seat. Children who weigh more than 40 pounds (19 kilograms) should never use shield boosters unless the shield is removed and the seat is used as a belt-positioning seat with the vehicle's lap and shoulder belts.
-To remove smudges and other small paint scratches (from shopping carts, etc., try using Goof off, it is a great product.
Quick Tip: Install new windshield wipers, annually, or more often, if necessary.
-The impact of a crash generates an electric signal, which
ignites an explosive. That heat sets off a chemical reaction, which produces
gas to fill the air bag. The entire process takes place in 1/20 of a second,
that is less than the blink of an eye..
are not created equal. A loaded semitrailer weighs more than 26 times as much
as a passenger vehicle. The semi also needs 30 yards more stopping distance
than your car, when you are both traveling 55 mph. As speeds increase, so
does the need for extra stopping distance.
you can't see the truck's side mirrors, the driver can't see you. On the
sides, along either side of the cab almost to the middle of the trailer.
Anywhere from directly below the windshield up to 20 feet in front of the
Your automatic transmission is a marvel in engineering,
dating back to early 1900. The main difference between a manual and an
automatic transmission is that the manual transmission locks and unlocks
different sets of gears to the shaft to achieve the various gear ratios,
while in an automatic transmission, the same set of gears produces all of the
different gear ratios. The transmission uses gears to make more effective use
of the engine's torque, and to keep the engine operating at an appropriate
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