Category: Car Maintenance Tips

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Prepare your car for winter driving

Having moved from a single season state, to a full four-season state, keeping my vehicle in proper running condition in the winter months was a learning experience. Like many of today’s society I looked to the Internet for answers to my many questions about tire pressure, battery life, oil weight and so forth.

Here are some of the things I learned about keeping my vehicle in proper running condition in the colder months.

  1. Change the Oil. Your engine relies on oil to run smoothly. When the weather gets cold, oil can thicken and cause your vehicle to run rough or stop running all together.
  1. Check the Tire Pressure. When the weather gets cold, the pressure in your tires can drop, reducing your traction on slick roads. Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure to ensure safe driving and precise handling.

No matter what type of car you own, from Ferrari’s to Hyundai’s, there are a boatload of expenses that come along with them. You have vehicle payments, insurance payments, maintenance, repairs, and more. Most of them are inevitable – you can’t (legally) own and drive a vehicle without paying for it. The worst part? Even though you are constantly putting money into it, the vehicles value will continue to drop due to mileage, age, and newer and better cars being released. This is a pretty negative way of looking at things, but it’s not all bad! Let’s take a look at some easy, inexpensive ways to maintain (or even increase) your car’s value.

Prevent, Prevent, Prevent! The cheapest problem to fix is the problem that never happens. There is always something you can do to prevent most problems from occurring:

  • Buy floor mats to replace the factory ones, and put the originals in storage. [...]

With the cold weather upon us, many of our consumers are asking questions about winterizing their vehicles. The most common question of all is whether or not to let a vehicle sit and warm up on cold mornings. If you research the topic, you will find many conflicting answers. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, and decide whether or not it’s worth it.

When the temperature drops and your vehicle has been sitting in the cold overnight, a lot of the oil that is supposed to coat your engine parts settles to the bottom of your oil pan. The cold temperature impedes its flow, which means it takes longer to reach the places it needs to be. Five minutes to warm up in the morning can remedy this, and have your engine back on track. Newer model vehicles are less prone to this problem, but slower driving is recommended for the first [...]

In order to register your tires there are certain requirements you will need. One of which is a registration form that you can receive from the dealer when purchasing your vehicle. The other is your Tire Identification Number located on your tires.

The DOT numbers are located on your tires and are also known as the Tire Identification Number or the tires’ serial number. You can find the DOT numbers on the sidewall of the tires. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all tire identification numbers be joined with the letters DOT. They are then followed by 10-12 numbers that will identify the location the tire was manufactured, as well as the size of the tire, a manufacturing code, and the week and year the tire was manufactured.

Tires produced after the year 2000 have a new regulation; this requires the Identification number to be split up and placed on both sides of the [...]

Waxing or polishing your car is an important but often an overlooked step in auto maintenance.  Just like regular oil changes are necessary to protect the life of your car’s engine, regular waxing or polishing is necessary to protect the life of your car’s paint job.  Waxing your car or truck on a regular basis prevents the paint from losing its protective oils and helps protect the car’s exterior from normal wear and tear.

Wax vs. Polish
It is important not to confuse wax with polish. Wax is a smooth coating that protects the paint and fills in all the tiny holes in the paint in order to make the exterior shine. Polish is made with a mildly abrasive agent that actually removes a small layer of paint from the car when it is used. Polish should only be used when the paint color has become completely flat and never on a regular basis.


Fueling your car may sound easy, but there is a lot more to it than pulling up to the gas pump:

Below are some helpful tips for you to use when refueling.

Chose the appropriate fuel for your car (see owner’s manual).

  1. Fueling in the morning is always preferable during warmer months, temperatures are lower. The hotter the temperature the less gas you get: (hot gas equals vapor).
  2. Topping off your gas tank can cause fuel level sensors to malfunction. More gas equals more weight causing your gas mileage to decrease.
  3. Running your car below ¼ of a tank causes the gas pump to heat up, gas keeps the pump cool. The longer your pump is subjected to overheating the shorter the life span. This is a costly repair because most gas pumps are inside the gas tank.
  4. Avoid fueling if the gas truck is refilling the tanks, as this mixes up existing debris [...]

As technology advances, the computer systems in vehicles are getting more and more complex. These days, your vehicle has everything you could need. Many vehicles have Bluetooth, Navigation, Complex Camera Systems, and even WIFI! It’s easy to get caught up in all of the options and completely forget what your vehicle is telling you it needs, even when the guide for this is right under your nose – literally.

Your vehicles dashboard houses all of the information you could need to operate it. Speed, RPM’s, Fuel Level, Oil Pressure and Battery Life are usually all measured in gauges that are constantly visible. Warning lights, however, remain hidden until there is a defect causing them to light up. Below is a guide to help you understand what common dash lights mean and what you should do to fix it:

First and foremost, the biggest indication is the color of the light.

RED: A red icon on [...]

Everyone loves driving off in their new car for the first time. Getting to hear the engine roar for the first time, the new smell, and all the shiny new buttons and gadgets, there’s really nothing quite like it. After a few road trips or months of the mundane daily commute, the luster starts to wear and the truth sets in, you have another vehicle to maintain. Door dings from less than courteous drivers, bugs that love to call your bumper home, and rocks that mistook themselves for hail.  Don’t fall into the old tourist trap, “It’s just the normal wear and tear, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Well you can.

There are several different products that can keep your car looking new. One of the best available is the 3M [...]

You may have heard of winterizing a boat due to the frigid climate it is constantly enduring, but seldom do you hear of winterizing your car. Even though most of us depend on a car 365 days a year, it is rare to find people that prepare their cars for the environment they are being exposed to.

There are a few things you should always do to make sure your automobile is ready for winter conditions. Depending on how extreme the winter climate is, you may need specific tires. You could go with the all-weather tires year round, or may choose a snow tire that is studded for gripping in the ice and snow. Some people may even to use chains on their tires, although, if Georgia began to see snow to that effect, we’d have bigger problems than [...]

Tires are one of the most technologically sophisticated systems on any automobile. They are a primary factor in the overall comfort and performance of your vehicle. While they don’t exactly come in all shapes, tires certainly come in all sizes and have unique identifying information embedded on their walls. The following rundown, supplied by Firestone, should help crack the code on figuring out what all those numbers mean. For example, if your tire’s size designation reads P185/70R14 87S:

  • “P” stands for P-Metric. This is one of the two most commonly used systems to identify passenger tire sizes. The other is European-Metric, commonly called Euro-Metric.
  • “185” is the tire’s section width in millimeters. This is the distance from the edge of the sidewall to the edge of the opposite sidewall when the tire is mounted and properly inflated.
  • “70” designates aspect ratio. Also called the profile or series, [...]
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