Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Tell If Your Shocks Need to Be Replaced - Checklist

Some car parts like spark plugs and filters have a standard maintenance schedule for when they need to be replaced. Other car parts like shocks don't have a schedule so you need to check them frequently to ensure top performance in your car and prevent unwanted wear on other car components. Shock wear mostly depends on road and terrain quality. If you drive on roads with a lot of potholes or terrain that is uneven you will need to replace your shocks sooner. It is true that many new cars start showing aging on shocks after only 30,000 to 40,000 miles but your car may not fall into this category. Diagnosing shock health is an easy job if you know what to look for. The checklist we provide tells you everything you need to know to decide whether it's time for new shocks. Be weary though, shocks age slowly over time so problems can go unaddressed if you do not check frequently. Mechanics look for three things to decide whether shocks need to be replaced. Are they leaking? Are they damaged? Are they worn out?

You can tell if your shocks are leaking if:
• There is wetness or oil on the outside of the shock.

You can tell if your shocks are damaged if:
• There is physical damage on the shock like a dent in the housing or a broken mount.

You can tell if you shocks are worn if:
• When driving your car bounces too much when you hit bumps or potholes
• When you break the nose of the car dips
• When driving in crosswinds your car sways or rolls excessively
• When you haul extra passengers or weight the suspension bottoms out.
• You do not pass the bounce test
• In the bounce test you make the car bounce or sway by applying force to the body of the vehicle. After you stop the car should only bounce one or two times before going to rest. If it bounces more than that your shocks are worn and they should be replaced.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

A Clean Engine Is a Happy Engine!

We all know that regular oil and filter changes are extremely important to the life of our automobiles, but do you know the main reason why?

Motor oil is designed to lubricate the moving parts inside the engine, but it is also designed to help with keeping the engine cool from all the friction caused from the engine's internal parts moving around at high rates of speed.

When your car's engine runs it burns gasoline and when gasoline burns, the by-product is carbon residue. We've all seen burned carbon left over after a barbeque or, on the backs of our fireplaces. The carbon that's left behind from burned fuel mixes with the engine oil which is why engine oil turns from the clean golden color when you pour it from the bottle to your engine, to black when you drain it out.

We've all been taught that we want to change our oil on a regular basis because it gets dirty.

The thing to know is that carbon is carbon whether it is burned gasoline, carbon build up in your fireplace, or even just diamonds. The carbon that the oil filter traps is very fine just like a fine abrasive powder, just like Ajax or Comet!

It's that very fine abrasive that causes continual grinding on "all" internal engine parts. The dirtier the oil the more carbon in the oil, the more carbon, the more wear and damage is done to your car's engine plus - numerous other parts.

Here's why abrasive carbon deposits mixed with the oil causes a couple of problems:

1. It now wears on the moving parts rather than lubricates.
2. It absorbs and holds heat, causing even more wear on moving parts.

This is the reason engines have an oil filter. The oil filter is there for one reason, to filter the carbon residue out of the oil as well as it can.

Your oil filter is designed to catch as much of this carbon as it can, but it can only trap so much before it becomes full. Even a new filter will not catch every bit of carbon, as very fine particles will find their way through.

So how often should you change your motor oil?

Very simply, if you don't change it often enough, the parts inside your engine will fail!

We suggest to always follow the manufacturers recommended oil change intervals!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Tires Need To Be Rotated

In today's economy, the price of automobile parts are constantly increasing in heaps and bounds, and tires are one of these products. For the economically sound car owner, replacing tires on a regular basis can be an unwanted financial pressure, whereas on the other hand, having sub-par tires is one of the most hazardous automotive health factors possible. Surprisingly however, there exists a solution to both these extremes, presented by the quick and easy method called Tire Rotation. Performed at regular intervals, tire rotation substantially increases tread life and saves money over the life span of a given set of tires.


One of the most crucial vehicle maintenance procedures is regular tire rotation. Due to the mechanics of the automobile, the front set show very different tread wear patterns, as the front of the vehicle is substantially heavier than the back due to the heavy machinery under the hood. As a result, the front set wear out much quicker than the back, and since most purchase all four as a set, the maximum life of all tires are not prolonged, leading to inefficiency and wasted dollars. In addition, by driving around with the added pressure on the wearing front tires, the passengers unwillingly place avoidable risks on their health. As a general rule of thumb, the front set should be switched with the back set after every 12,000 kilometers, or about 5,500 miles.

Different tire types

The easiest alternative to personally switching the tires is to visit a service center for a cheap, quick and reliable rotation service. However, the task of rotation is relatively simple and physically undemanding. As such, it is crucial to know the types of one's tire to achieve the best rotation results and prolonged tire life.

Multi-weather tires are usually switched depending on their alternating wear patterns. Specifically, the front two are simply removed, then switched with the back tires, and vice versa. For vehicles with front wheel drive, the rear tires are first switched between themselves, then moved forward, whilst the fronts are switched between themselves, and moved backward. With directional tires, the same method as multi-weathered tires is covered.

Additional information

Some crucial factors come into play when manually changing tires. Depending on the manufacturer, it is best to check the manufacturer's manual for ideal inflation levels, and depending on the recommendation, these levels need to be checked to ensure consistency. By doing this small but extremely important task, not only are the tires lives increased substantially, but the safety factors of the tires are kept intact as well.

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If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident come see the experts at Corby's Collision. When you do business with us you will not only deal with our qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a Clutch Moment: Understanding the Clutch in Your Vehicle

The modern vehicle is a complex object, full to the brim with parts and pieces doing all kinds of jobs. It can get pretty intimidating up under that hood. And when the car starts to act funny, even a mechanic can have trouble explaining it. If your mechanic has diagnosed your car or truck with a clutch problem, here's a quick overview of what the clutch does, and how things may have gone wrong.

The clutch is a mechanical device in a vehicle's engine that allows for the transmission of power and motion from the engine to the wheels. It can be engaged (so the wheels receive power) or disengaged (so they don't). Different engines have different settings for the clutch, allowing for multiple gears, which vary the amount of power that the wheels receive.

Without a functioning clutch, no power reaches the wheels of the vehicle and it won't move. A malfunction can happen with the mechanism stuck in any position, or even between gears, leaving it "stuck" or "jammed."

Clutches have different designs in different kinds of vehicles, which makes it difficult to speak broadly about them. They can be structured differently to provide more or less power overall (from a racecar to a scooter, for example), and can have virtually any number of gears. The average consumer car has 4 to 6 gears, plus reverse, while it's not uncommon for 18-wheel tractors to have 10 or more, including several reverse gears.

A manual transmission, in which the driver uses the clutch pedal and his own senses to control when the gears shift, is also called "standard." In the US, automatic transmissions are common, in which a mechanical system automatically senses engine demands and sets the gears without input from the driver. Some cars feature a sort of transmission where the driver can switch between these two options.

There are a lot of moving parts in the clutch assembly, and therefore a lot of places where things can go wrong.

One of the most common causes of clutch problems is user error. Any vehicle that is driven too roughly suffers a greater amount of damage, including on the clutch assembly. A manual transmission has the added threat of inexperienced or careless drivers causing damage.

Even with careful expert driving, the clutch still experiences wear and tear. The friction material on the disks and gears will wear out eventually, causing slippage, and need replacement.

If slipping isn't the problem, it's probably sticking. Sticking can be caused by a number of factors, such as a broken or stretched clutch cable, air in the hydraulic system, misaligned linkage, leaks or defects in the clutch cylinders, or mismatched clutch components.

An automatic transmission depends on a sensor system and hydraulics to shift gears, and a failure in any of these parts can cause an overall failure in the system.

If you drive an automatic, you probably never think about the clutch in your transmission. And if you drive a manual, you're so used to clutching and shifting that you don't think about it either. But there's a lot of mechanical pieces, and a lot that can go wrong. Don't let clutch problems grind your gears - contact your mechanic or transmission specialists to get a diagnosis and a repair estimate today!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

MythBusters - Cell Phone Car Remote

Can your remote car door opener unlock your vehicle through a cell phone signal? Kari, Grant and Tory are on it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Type of Crash Test Aims For Safer Vehicles

New crash test aims to drive improvements

Only 3 of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new small overlap frontal crash test, the latest addition to a suite of tests designed to help consumers pick the safest vehicles.

The Acura TL and Volvo S60 earn good ratings, while the Infiniti G earns acceptable. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC earn marginal ratings. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earn poor.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Red Light Cameras Are Saving Lives

Camera enforcement in 14 large cities reduces rate of fatal red light running crashes by 24 percent

ARLINGTON, VA — Red light cameras saved 159 lives in 2004-08 in 14 of the biggest US cities, a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Had cameras been operating during that period in all large cities, a total of 815 deaths would have been prevented.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Choices In Protection For Your Vehicle These Days

Protecting your vehicle is very important these days. When you are considering one of the various types of covers for vehicles on the market, you need to look for the features that you need. For example, some are intended to simply keep the vehicle clean and protect it from dust and things of that nature. Others will be tied on to prevent the wind from taking them off.

Many vehicle owners also might store their vehicle through certain times throughout the year. For example if they live in an area that experiences harsh winters, the vehicle might be covered and stored away from the weather to protect it. Choices for the cover that might be the most useful will depend on the type of vehicle that is being stored. There are a number of different styles that will be specifically designed for certain vehicles.

For general everyday protection there are several different choices available to the owner. You will find options for custom fit as well as customized looks to the cover that you might choose. When making your choice you will want to consider things such as the underside of the cover. You want it be certain it is soft to avoid creating any scratches while it is in use, being installed or being removed.

When a vehicle is going to be stored indoors, the type of cover will need to allow the circulation of air to avoid moisture build up underneath. When moisture is built up in an area that has no air circulation, it is very likely that mold or mildew will develop. Making sure this doesn't happen is very important.

Additional options that you can find will be for the strength of the material from which the cover is made. Because there is going to be a wide range of choices for the cost, you will also find varying degrees of the strength of the material. When you need sturdy protection, you want to buy the higher quality cover to make sure your vehicle will be properly protected.

At the same time, the car covers found today are also made for ease of use. You want to be able to quickly place them over the vehicle in addition to being able to remove them and put them away quickly. After all you don't want to spend an hour putting the cover on and taking it off when you need to be somewhere else.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Air Bags and Other Car Safety Systems

Adaptive Front Airbags

These airbag systems take into account the occupant's seating position and seat belt use to determine the amount of force used to deploy the airbag.

Side-Impact Curtain Airbags

These airbags can provide both head and torso protection in a side-impact collision. Not all new cars have these as standard equipment so be sure to check with the dealer.

Head Restraints and Seat Design

It's important that seats and head restraints work together to support your head and body during a crash. A poor design provides little protection, but even the best designed head restraints need to be adjusted properly. It needs to fit directly behind your heard, and the top can be positioned somewhere between the top of your ears and the top of your head. Some new cars come with auto-adjusting head restraints when the seat is adjusted.

Some Other Safety Features to Consider

Electronic Stability Control System

This kind of system is an extension of anti-lock brake technology that helps drivers regain control in dangerous situations. This significantly lowers the risk of a fatal crash.

Lower Anchors And Tethers For Children (LATCH) System

If you have a young child who will be riding in the vehicle, a LATCH System is a must. LATCH Systems provide owners with a simpler way to secure child seats in vehicles. While most vehicles manufactured since 2002 have this feature it is always best to check with the dealer.

Seat Belts With Pretensioners

This provides a locking mechanism that engages the seat belt when the brake is applied or the vehicle comes to a sudden stop.

More Features To Look For When Buying a New Car

It's a good idea to keep these in mind when shopping for your new car.

Anti-Lock Brakes
Daytime Running Lights
Traction Control
Rollover Prevention
Emergency Brake Assist
GPS/Emergency Response

Bottom line is do your research extensively before buying a new auto and make sure to ask every question to the dealer so that you buy the safest car you can afford. Most cars have a safety rating given to them by many different organizations, so finding one of those you trust to help guide you is a great way to be a well informed buyer. The peace of mind you will feel when you put your family in that automobile will be worth all of the time spent researching the safety options available.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Tips For Cleaning Car Windows

One thing that is extremely important for safe driving apart from focus on the road and good driving skills is clean windows; they are what allow us to see what's ahead of us on the road or on the sides. Cleaning the windows of your car is easy but really having clean windows that shine is not an easy job. Many people go by with just throwing water at the windows, some clean it with sponge and water, and some just rely on the good old car wash to keep their car and the windows clean. However, a lot of people like to wash their car themselves and getting that road dust and grime off the windows without the water streaks can be tricky. There are quite a few ways with which you can keep the windows of your car as clean and shiny as they were the first day.
A lot of people use products to clean their car windows but most of those products contain ammonia that gives great results when it comes to getting the grime out but at the same time these products can cause harm to your health and the look of your car.
It is essential to understand that the cleaning of regular windows and that of tinted windows is different. There may be some cleaners that can be sued for the regular windows but can be extremely damaging to tinted ones. For example, some people use household glass cleaners to clean their car windows which are acceptable for normal ones but if these are used on tinted windows then the ammonia in them will damage the tint.
The first thing to do is to see how much cleaning the windows need; if they just have the dust from the road then water should work, if they have more stubborn stains then you may want to look at the commercial cleaners to get rid of them.
It is also important to choose the window cleaning cloth with care. Using a normal towel or cloth may put minor scratches on the surface of the windows and that is why it is essential to use towels with micro-fibers that will not just be safe but will also clean every small section of the window. It will also help to avoid streaking.
Follow these simple tips and you will be well on your way to clean windows:
  • Remember to clean your car windows as the last thing in your car cleaning regime.
  • When using commercial cleaners to clean the windows, make sure you either do it in shade or in the evening as sun's rays can make the cleaners dry away too fast, leaving stains behind.
  • Always use long strokes instead of short hasty ones. Longer strokes will insure better cleaning.
  • Make sure you clean the top sides of the windows and also the edges. If you don't clean them then the cleaning is not really complete.
  • Research the products you use to clean your car windows, learn which chemicals make up those products and which ones out of those are safe and which unsafe for the car windows.
Apart from following these steps, it is a good idea to clean your car and the windows on a regular basis to keep them shiny and clean at all times.
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