How to Avoid Expensive Auto Repairs

If you do not take good care of your car, you are very likely going to incur great costs when you head to the auto repair shop for repairs, replacement and other maintenance needs. Your car is an important part of your life, and you should strive to ensure that you do everything possible to keep it in good shape, and in doing so, avoid expensive auto repairs. Here is what you should do:

Follow the maintenance schedule as outlined in the owner’s manual.

The manufacturer of your car includes a maintenance schedule that is to direct you on how and when to touch up your car for maintenance purposes. This schedule is your best guide as it comes from someone who understands the car properly, and all its components and the needs of every one of them.

Fix problems soon enough

Pay attention to your car so that you can detect when something is amiss. And if at all you detect something wrong, get it checked out immediately. If you allow little problems to exist without getting fixed, they will escalate into something much bigger that will not only be expensive to fix but dangerous to your safety as well.

Change fluids, filters and spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer

You might think you are saving some money by not changing these as recommended, but waiting longer than the time the manufacturer has stipulated only serves to damage your vehicle. So that in the long run you end up spending more money in getting your car repaired.

Inflate tires properly

Tires that contain too little air or too much of it are dangerous not just to your car, but your safety as well. This is because such tires are prone to excessive wear and tear which can result into a blow-out.

Synthetic oil

Consider upgrading your motor oil to a high-performance synthetic oil which will not only prevent certain problems associated with common motor oil, but improve your car’s performance as well.

Unusual noises

Unusual noises on your car might be an indication that something is wrong, and for this reason you should check the owner’s manual to ascertain what is usual and what is unusual. If the unusual noises persist, take your car to an auto repair shop where the repair professionals can check to see what is amiss.

Drive carefully

Avoid expensive auto repairs by driving your car carefully, so that you can minimize the chances of wrecking your vehicle, which would definitely necessitate extensive repairs. If someone borrows your car, make sure they are careful drivers and remind them to handle your vehicle well. This is especially important if you are lending your car to someone who has just started to drive.

Know what you can handle and what you cannot

If your car needs some repairs, do them only if you are sure you can adequately deal with them. Otherwise, let the auto repair shop deal with auto repair problems that are beyond your scope. Tinkering with your car when you are not sure about what needs to be done is only going to worsen the problem, and lead to expensive auto repairs.

Repairing Your Fuel Tank Is a Safety Priority

Promptly repairing your fuel tank at the first sign of trouble is important for safety. The tank for your car carries flammable fuel needed to supply the engine; any condition that leads to leaks can also lead to danger.

Fuel Tanks Can Fail

Fuel tanks for cars and other small vehicles are made of either metal (steel or aluminum), or, more commonly these days, from high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. The plastic tanks can be configured in complex shapes that give auto manufacturers great design freedom in placing the tank over the rear axle to save space and improve safety in crashes. Early fears that the plastic would not last are a thing of the past; although, like any fuel tank, a plastic tank should be monitored for soundness.

Gas tanks are subject to several types of problems that can result from damage to the tank, fuel contamination, and sensor issues. Before attempting to repair a gas tank that is leaking, damaged, or shows other signs of problems, it is imperative to drain all gasoline from it and remove it from the car.

Common Fuel Tank Problems

Fuel tanks can experience several different types of problems:

    • Rust can eat through a metal tank to cause holes or leaks. It can also rust out the straps that hold the tank in place, which runs the risk that the tank can fall off the car. While plastic tanks do not rust, they can have defective or damaged seams that lead to leaks.


    • Since tanks are placed in front of the rear axle, owners can create holes or leaks in gas tanks by drilling into the trunk and hitting the tank. This can happen if owners try to secure a stereo system or trunk organizer and failed to account for the location of the tank.


    • As a result of fender benders and driving over potholes, fuel tanks can suffer from dents and other damage that leave the tank weak.


    • Fuel lines leading into the gas tank can fracture. The extra heat or sparks of the source could cause a fire or explosion


    • Bad or contaminated fuel can cause performance issues and damage other parts. The symptoms are often loss of power, stalling, profiling, and premature fuel injector and fuel pump failure.


    • Slow filling, indicated by a tank that does not want to accept gas, or a gas station hose pump that keeps shutting off, can result from a faulty vapor venting system inside the tank.


  • Fuel sensor issues can show up at the check engine light.

Testing and Repairing Your Tank is a Must

Some of these problems can be quite obvious. If you notice a strong smell of gas inside your vehicle, if you see a puddle of liquid under your card toward the back, or if you experience slow filling, fuel loss, or poor performance, you should have your car examined for potential leaks or other problems, which may be major or minor. To test for leaks, your service facility will run air pressure through your tank to diagnose the problem. While fuel tank problems might be picked up during a routine inspection after an oil change, you should obtain service as soon as you notice a potential problem.

Five Tips For Choosing Auto Body Shops

As if getting in a car accident weren’t bad enough, finding a reputable repair shop may prove challenging. There are many factors drivers must consider, including price, experience, and quality of work. But because most folks know next to nothing about collision work, a little advice often goes a long way. With that in mind, here are five simple tips you can use to find reliable body shops in your area.

1. Ask Around

Any company can advertise, but when it comes to collision repair, word-of-mouth is far more important. Because everybody remembers the time they got in a car accident, asking people you know to recommend body shops is often the best way to find a dependable service provider. Because we are in the Internet Era, many customers go online to search for a service provider. Although they will be strangers, reading posts from customers on review sites is the electronic equivalent of asking around. Another auspicious sign that the shop takes pride in its work is if the owner is involved in it’s daily operation. As a general rule, when a business is family owned, employees tend to go the extra mile, since its often their name on the sign out front.

2. Consider Labor Costs

Because mechanics charge similar prices for replacement parts, labor costs generally have the biggest effect on the final bill. Depending on the facility’s location and the experience of its staff, per-hour labor fees can range wildly. It is actually not at all uncommon for body shops that have multiple locations to charge different labor fees at each of their branches. Although higher labor charges may be justified if the provider does excellent work on difficult jobs, it probably isn’t worth paying twice as much for labor if your vehicle has a damaged fender, bumper, or some other minor repair job.

3. Bigger Isn’t Always Better

The reason smaller auto body shops often charge lower fees than larger ones is that they have a lot less overhead. When you stop at a family-owned repair center, for example, odds are the owner fills several essential positions. He or she may work as the manager, foreman, and chief mechanic all at the same time. But at a larger facility, each of those positions may be held by a different employee. The inevitable result is higher payroll and overhead costs that lead to higher labor rates to offset those fees.

4. Get Several Estimates

As elementary as it may seem, many drivers fail to get more than one price estimate for repair work. More often than not, they do this because they want to get the whole thing over and done with. But when it comes a major accident, you could save hundreds, even thousands of dollars if you compare prices.

5. Ask About The Warranty

Although a one-year warranty is considered standard, not all auto body shops offer it. As such, it is important to ask about the warranty and what it covers before you agree to anything. At the bare minimum, a warranty for bodywork should cover all repairs and should come in written form. It is not enough to simply take the owner or manager’s word that they will fix any problem you might have should something go wrong.

A Wheel Alignment Benefits Your Entire Car

Everyone knows that a wheel alignment, also called tracking, extends the life of your tires, but it is also incredibly beneficial to several parts of your car. By adjusting the angle your tires hit the ground, you can positively affect your vehicle’s axles, suspension, steering, and even fuel economy. The next time you want to put off having your vehicle properly tracked, consider these other systems that are affected by that little “pull.”


When the tires of your vehicle haven’t been properly tracked, you begin putting pressure on other systems in your car in order to keep the car straight. This most heavily affects the steering. When a tire is angled incorrectly, your car begins to “pull” to the left or the right. To compensate for this change in direction, you steer towards the left or right. Over the life of the vehicle, this minor annoyance wears down your vehicle’s steering column. It also causes “play,” or give, in the steering, which can become worse the more you drive.

Fuel Economy

When your tires are not properly straightened, the weight of your car is not evenly distributed on the road. Often, your axles will push together, making your car experience more rolling resistance with the pavement. More of the tread makes contact with the ground, meaning your engine has to work harder and use more fuel in order to keep you and your vehicle moving forward. Angling the tires correctly reduces the friction from the road surface, resulting in a smoother ride and fewer stops at the gas pump.


For vehicles with brake pads, the brakes work by applying the pad to the surface of the tire. Brakes work better when they have more surface area in contact with the tread. With a vehicle that needs a wheel alignment, one or both tires are angled away from the brake pads. This causes the brake pads to be less effective, which increases stopping time and distance.


Because the weight of your car isn’t evenly distributed over the tires, the suspension starts to carry some of the extra weight. Shocks and struts simply aren’t designed to handle that weight constantly. Tires that are tracked do their fair share to support the weight of you and your car, allowing the struts and shocks to come into play only when necessary.

Diagnosing Your Car’s Problems

There are many web pages dedicated to informing car owners just what is wrong with their vehicles and how to go about fixing it. One of the most difficult parts of diagnosing your car’s issue, however, is knowing where to start. This article is therefore dedicated to guiding you to the most effective ways to get your car problems solved. Being able to diagnose problems yourself instead of relying on a mechanic helps you both to understand the problem and know if someone is trying to rip you off.

The first step is to determine exactly what is unusual about your car’s performance. If there is a sound coming from the engine, determine how to best describe it before taking it in to the dealer. Many people bring their cars in without truly knowing how to describe their problem and if the issue stops when the dealer or mechanic drives the car themselves, it is unlikely they will be able to help. While it may sound funny, ask other people to describe the sound you’re hearing and determine whether it’s a pinging, screeching, ticking etc. Mechanics, technicians, and even forum posters are accustomed to hearing issues described this way and can get a good idea of what the issue is.

The next step is to see if your problem is in isolation or if it has occurred as a group of related problems. For example, if you hear a ticking coming from the engine while idling and know that the oil on the dipstick is highly viscous you likely need an oil change or there is an issue in the oil delivery system. Either of these factors in isolation wouldn’t necessarily mean that oil is the issue but the fact that they both are occurring pretty much ensures that oil is the culprit. Similar to diagnosing sickness, knowing that you have a fever and nausea is much more valuable to the doctor than just saying you have a fever as it narrows down the potential illnesses. Make a list of all of the “problems” you are noticing even if they seem completely unrelated as you can later on narrow down which may be in connection with each other.

Once you are able to describe your problem effectively, you can then search your car’s problem online. If the issue requires the help of a professional, ideally you will already know the cause of the problem saving time and money spent by the mechanic attempting to diagnose the problem for you.

5 Benefits Of Changing Your Car’s Air Filters

If you have a car, it’s recommended that you change the air filter regularly. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:

You increase your car’s performance

Dirty car filters reduce the amount of air that flows into the car’s engine. When the amount of air in the engine is limited, the car doesn’t spend the amount that it’s supposed to and as a result, its performance goes down. Studies have consistently shown that cars with clean filters are by far more effective than those with dirty filters.

You protect your car from damage

Filters prevent foreign particles from getting access to the inside of the car’s engine. Even when a small particle gets into the engine it can cause a lot of damage to the moving parts. The damage gets worse as more particles get into the engine. A clean car filter traps all the air debris ensuring that none gets into the engine. This protects your car from damage. Since the car and the engine aren’t damaged, they last for a long time.

You increase the efficiency of the car

Studies by experts show that clean car filters increase the car’s efficiency by up to 14%. The reason for this is because there is plenty of clean air in the engine thus the car doesn’t strain burning fuel. Due to the efficiency, you spend less money than when the car is running on a dirty air filter.

You reduce car emissions

Dirty filters reduce air flow to the engine thus affecting emission control systems. Faulty emission control systems result to an incorrect air-fuel mixture. When the fuel mixture is too much, it can result in engine deposits resulting to a lot of emissions. In addition to the high emissions, it’s also common for the car to consume more fuel than it should.

Changing the car filter

As you have seen, there are plenty of benefits that come with replacing your car filter. The cool thing with air filter replacement is that you can do it on your own. When replacing the filters, ensure that you replace them with identical ones designed for the exact match and model of car. Car filters come in different shapes, designs, and sizes; therefore, you should first remove the one in the car and buy a similar one that resembles it. For ideal results, ensure that you buy from a reputable store.

Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Winter weather can be hard on your vehicle, so it’s a good idea to be proactive and prepare your vehicle for winter before the cold snap kicks in. It’s always sensible to check your car when the seasons shift to make sure that everything is in check and it’s prepared for the weather to come. Instead of procrastinating and waiting until the snow falls, it’s wiser to prepare your vehicle for winter in advance so you can make any necessary modifications to ensure your full safety on the road.


Fill up your fluids and give your engine a once over to check for any cracked hoses or leaks. Make sure you use the right engine oil too, as some fluid can change consistency in cold weather. Check your user’s manual to see if your engine has the right grade of oil for the season and if not, make sure to top up with a fluid that is more suitable.

Exterior Care

While you need to care for the mechanical functions of your vehicle, you also need to take care of the exterior too. Give your vehicle a thorough clean and use a good wax to protect it from any grit or road salt that may eat away at the paint work.


It’s a good idea to doublecheck that all of your exterior lights are in good working condition. When the weather gets bad and you get caught out in rain, fog or snow, you need to make sure that your vehicle is visible to other drivers to avoid any nasty accidents.


You know that small crack and minor chip that you’ve been avoiding getting fixed? Well, now’s the time to do it. Cold weather can cause cracks to worsen significantly, so it’s better to prevent it from getting any worse to save you a hefty bill. Make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition too, as these will definitely be put to the test in torrential rain or snow.


It’s advised to make the switch to winter tires, especially if you live in cold or mountainous areas. Winter tires operate well in icy or snowy conditions, and they can grip the road much better than summer or all-season tires. They do wear down fairly quickly, but it’s well worth the investment if it guarantees your safety in bad weather.

How Far Should I Travel to Buy a Used Car?

Searching for a new vehicle to replace your old one is both a fun and stressful experience at times; not only is it necessary to search through hundreds of advertisements to find a car that fits all your criteria, but it is also important to make sure that you are getting a good deal price-wise from a reputable and trustworthy dealer.

Another factor to take into account is how far you live away from the dealership or private seller, as this can make a huge difference in terms of time and money spend on the whole endeavor. So just how far exactly should you be willing to travel to buy the used car of your dreams?

The first thing is to remember that some vehicles may be worth travelling for.This is especially the case if you are looking for a specific make or model of vehicle that is otherwise hard to come by in your region or even in the country as a whole.
An example of this would be if you are looking for a right-hand drive car for your regular trips to Europe, or a certain model of MG that is no longer in production. For rarer vehicles, it may be necessary to travel to find the car that ticks all your boxes.

Other vehicles may not be worth travelling so far for. Vehicles that are extremely common in the UK – such as Vauxhall Corsas, VW Polos and Renault Meganes – should be available in sufficient number wherever you live in the UK. Car sales dealerships in your area are worth contacting first if you are interested in a popular vehicle such as those listed.

In addition to the vehicle you are after being a rare one, there are several other reasons why you might be willing to travel to collect the car, including the vehicle being in an exceptionally immaculate condition. A low price, however, should not be one of those reasons.

One thing that many people can overlook is the fact that a very low price can be an indicator that the car being sold is not in the best condition it could be. Although the photos of the vehicle on the car sales pages of the dealership may look impressive, it is important to question why a car is fetching a lower or higher price than is average for that specific make and model.

Take the time to thoroughly vet each vehicle as much as you can before you make the journey to see it “in person”. Explain to the dealer that you are thinking of travelling far and would like some additional photos, or ask them to give you details of the full service history – these can help you understand the vehicle pricing better.

After asking all the questions you need to over the telephone or by email and you are satisfied with all that you have heard and seen so far, consider taking a risk and taking a trip to see the vehicle. Be aware, however, that the car may not be as good as you expected when you get there, and in all cases do not feel pressured to drive away with the car just because of the effort you have made.

Some of the best dealerships will offer to pick you up and transport you to their premises, Companies that do this can make life a whole lot easier and less expensive for you, but again, do not feel obliged to accept an offer just because they have made an effort for you to come to them.

Car Dealerships in the Strangest Places

It’s common these days for car dealerships to be located next to many other similar businesses in “auto rows” or “auto malls.” The economic theory of agglomeration gives credence to this practice, based on the logic that a rising tide raises all ships, all businesses benefit from a single destination for vehicle buying that draws all comers, irrespective of make and model. Then there are places that buck that trend and eschew every known economic theory. Here are some of the strangest locations and practices for car dealerships.

British Motor Cars, San Francisco

This high-end auto emporium is the antithesis of the auto mall ideal. Compared to rows of autos laid out around some suburban interstate cloverleaf where there’s ample room for customers to park and view the inventory, this establishment is practically hidden. The showroom is located in downtown San Francisco on an extremely busy section of Van Ness Avenue that’s actually collocated with US Route 101. There is no parking to speak of except for metered spots on the streets, and those max out at two hours. If, however, you are serious about buying a vehicle at British Motor Cars, you can most likely afford to have a limousine drop you off. Inside the slate-gray Greek Revival building lies a cornucopia of exotic and expensive rides. The gilt marble interior is the perfect backdrop to sip a house-made espresso while perusing the selection of high-horsepower Italian speed demons, leather trimmed British mobile palaces, and state-of-the-art German sedans.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwymdrobwllllantysiliogo-gogoch Autos, Wales

No, I didn’t just mash my hands against the keyboard accidentally, that’s the real name of a town in Wales and one of its car dealerships. If you’ve ever spent any time in Wales, or maybe heard people speaking Welsh, it will come as no surprise that this delightfully long and seemingly impossible to pronounce word originates in Western Britain. Welsh is an ancient language descended from the Celtic linguistic family, spoken on the British Isles for far longer than English. English derives its name from the Angles, a Germanic people. While less than a quarter of the people in Wales speak it fluently, the language still gives its name to many towns and, thus, business establishments. Thankfully, the salesmen at this location are happy to shorten it to just Llanfairpwllgwyngyll.

Ling’s Cars

Unlike the other auto dealerships on this list, Ling’s is actually primarily a leasing business. Unlike other car dealerships anywhere, Ling’s is just flat out weird. Only here can you get an affordable lease on a quality pre-owned vehicle while also buying a dozen farm fresh eggs. Ling’s has a hen house on the premises and collects and sells the eggs as part of the wacky business. If that’s not enough, the owner has even been known to ride around the premises in a military surplus missile carrier.

5 Tips for Getting Auto Service for Your Vehicle

Every model and make has its own nuances and every vehicle obviously has its own needs and requirements with respect to maintenance. Each and every part of your car is important and this means that you must give attention to all of them. This article will help you to understand how to maintain and service the parts of your car one by one.

1. Tyres and wheels

You need to rotate your tyres every 5,000 miles or every 8,000 km. cleaning the break dust off on a regular basis can also prove to be an important task. This is mainly because this break dust contains various sorts of nasty stuff. Also check the pressure of your tyre from time to time.

2. Engine

Engine is obviously the most important part of your vehicle or auto. Thus it is necessary to understand all the parts of your engine itself in order to create a good impact on your vehicle. Check your belts as often as possible and in order to maintain a good fuel economy rate, you should also check the pressure of your tyres. These checks are important for the long term wellness of your vehicle.

3. Keep a track of your oil level

This can easily be described as something that everyone does. It is easy and quick and you can determine whether your engine requires any oil or not. The oil should not be too low or too high as it can cause certain problems to your car. Wait until your engine has cooled down after you have parked on level ground in order to determine whether your vehicle requires oil or not.

4. Painting needs

According to experts, you should only choose a superior detailing to fulfill the interior as well as exterior needs of your car. There are also plenty of decent polishes and waxes on this market today and in case the last time that you waxed or polished your car was over a decade ago then it means that things have changed in a considerable manner.

5. Lights

Replace your lights at least every 4 months. This is because you never know when they will get fused. Replace them before you go on a long distance travel because in the night if they get fused you will be in a whole lot of trouble or problems. It is one of the important things to remember.