Monday, March 30, 2015

Get the Most Life Out of Your Tires

According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, transportation costs the average American household 12.9 percent of its income. That is a pretty high number. Tires are the most common expense among car owners, and a set of four can cost upwards of 500 dollars! It is important to get the most use as possible out of every set. This is completely doable if you are willing to pay close attention and do some simple maintenance. Let's delve into some ways to make your tires last for years.

Maintaining Proper Air Pressure is Crucial

The air pressure in your wheels is a big deal. Tires that are not properly inflated or maintained are not only less effective, but they can also have a direct effect on your vehicle's fuel economy. Wheels that do not have the proper amount of pressure also wear down faster than ones that are at the correct level. Use a gauge to check your pressure at least once a month before you take a long trip or carry a load that is heavier than usual. The cold weather affects pressure, so you will want to check it more often in cold climates or seasons. Refer to your owner's manual to determine the proper level of inflation for your car.

Proper Alignment is More Important Than You Think

Accurate alignment not only makes it easier and safer to drive your automobile, but it also ensures that all of your tires wear evenly. Machines that are not aligned properly have a tendency to wear down their wheels, and often need sooner replacement.

Regular Rotation Goes A Long Ways Towards Longevity

Your tires do not receive equal wear, even when they are properly inflated and aligned. This is why it is important for you to rotate yours every 5,000 miles or whenever the manufacturer's recommended length is. Properly rotated wheels wear evenly and perform more exceptionally. It is a simple service that you can get done when you go in for an oil change, and it can save you a lot of money in replacement costs down the road.

Balance is not Alignment

Alignment and balance are very closely related, but they are not the same thing. When your ride is out of balance, you put uneven pressure on certain points. This will cause some of your tires to wear faster than others to the point that a rotation won't do you any good. If you ignore your balance issue for too long, you will have to probably replace one or two of your wheels if not all of them.

Wheels are essential for cars, and they are not cheap. Take care of your wheels and take care of ride and wallet. If you practice proper maintenance, your wheels will last you a very long time.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

After an Accident, Choose a Body Shop That Can Handle Frame Straightening

After an accident, most cars need frame straightening, or at least a check to see if the car sustained damage to the frame. When the body of your car is repaired without the frame being fixed, you may find that your car is always out of alignment and that your tires wear unevenly and need frequent replacement.

How does a Shop Assess Condition of your Frame?

Modern cars either have a straight rail system or unibody construction that determines how the shop will approach your frame straightening. In any case, they will put your car on a frame machine that measures your car to make sure all parts are properly aligned.

Full-size cars, pickups, and vans with a straight rail system have a frame that consists of two steel beams running the length of the vehicle attached to a front beam. The transmission, engine, and suspension are mounted on the rail system, and the body of the car is set on top.

Cars with unibody construction, which describes cars built after the 1980s, have a skeleton formed by metal panels and a subframe where the transmission, engine, and suspension are mounted. Exterior panels of the car are attached to the skeleton. Although there may be less damage to the frame if the unibody construction absorbs some energy from the crash, cars are built with crumple zones that crush if a collision occurs to protect the driver and passengers from the impact of the crash. As a result, even a car involved in a low speed accident may need frame straightening.

How Frame Straightening Works

In examining the frame, a body shop technician puts the car on the frame machine, secures it with chains and clamps, and raises it up for greater visibility to assess the damage. They compare what they can see visually with a computer readout, which targets areas of the car that need straightening. Then using hydraulics and torque, they get it back to factory specs. Continuous printouts verify that the car is aligned correctly down to the last millimeter.

They used to straighten cars with straight rail frames by softening the middle with heat before straightening. Newer cars use high molecular steel that changes structure in the presence of heat, so heat is no longer used. On badly damaged unibody cars, the shop may replace damaged parts if straightening does not get the frame back to normal.

In selecting a body shop, you should verify that the facility has straightening equipment in-house or if they send the car elsewhere for that part of the repair. A place that claims to do it on-site should have straightening machines, laser measurement tools, and laser frame straightening tools, plus technicians who are qualified to do the work. It is more convenient to use a shop with straightening equipment on hand.

Future Problems with Frame Straightening

What is important is that a proper frame straightening takes place. You may find yourself paying out-of-pocket later if your car has problems that relate to the frame. Since accidents weaken the frame and result in small cracks that can make the car more susceptible to future damage, driving around with a bent frame can be dangerous. Unresolved frame issues also affect the resale value of your car.

After an accident, make sure that your car is thoroughly inspected for damage and that any necessary frame straightening is properly done.

Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.
Central Body Shop in Provo uses the most advanced equipment and technology available for auto frame straightening.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to Spot a Used Car's Potential Problems

Used cars often make more sense than buying new but picking one can be tricky. Consumer Reports shows what to look for when before you drive away with your purchase.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Few Key Signs Your Car Needs Auto Service

Intellectually, everyone understands that their car needs auto service regularly. However, with all of the distractions of your daily life, it can be difficult to keep up with the maintenance your automobile deserves. Here are a few key things to keep an eye on to remind you it may be time for maintenance.

Squeaky Brakes

Every now and then, take a moment to turn off your radio and listen to your brakes when your car first starts moving. Squeaky brakes are usually an indication that your brake pads are wearing out, but the sound can also mean that your tires are wearing out. Many car service companies will offer free brake inspections, allowing you to get an idea of your exact brake situation. If you ask, they can usually even give you an idea of how long you have before you'll start causing harm to the vehicle.

Trouble Starting

If your can has started needing a bit of coaxing before it will turn over, there is a chance that something serious, like the starter or alternator, needs to be replaced. However, it can also be as simple as needing a new battery. An auto service shop can read the existing power in your battery and determine if it needs to be replaced.

Dust Buildup

Have you ever noticed that suddenly your car seems to be retaining a layer of dust on the dashboard? You clean it, have the car vacuumed, and the dust just keeps coming back. Just like your home air conditioner, your car has a built-in filter to absorb dust as it moves through the air conditioning system. Your filters at home need to be changed every few months, so it should be no surprise that your car's filter needs to be replaced regularly. A normal inspection service can typically give you an idea of the state of your filter and when it will need to be replaced.

While it may not seem like a big deal, a dirty filter can cause unforeseen complications. When it's full, the air conditioning system has to work harder to send cool air into the car. This can cause problems not only with the AC, but also with any other part of the vehicle that is involved in the conditioning process.

Ultimately, preventative maintenance is a key part of maximizing your car's lifespan. By regularly taking your vehicle in for auto service, you are accomplishing multiple things. First, you are able to fix small problems as they occur, preventing them from becoming larger issues. This allows you to spend 100 dollars today as opposed to thousands of dollars down the road. Secondly, regular auto service allows you to budget and plan for necessary repairs. A free brake inspection will tell you not only how much your eventual brake pad replacement will cost, but also how long you have until that repair becomes a necessity. You can budget for regular maintenance and then budget each month so that your major repairs will never be a sudden, stressful surprise.

When their vehicles need auto service, Greenfield, MA residents turn to
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Consumer Reports 2015 Best Used Cars

One of the easiest ways to get the most for your money when you buy a car is to go with a used vehicle. Here are nine models that are reliable, safe and in some cases even fun to drive.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Do You Know What to Do After an Auto Accident?

Being involved in an auto collision can be a stressful event. Even a minor accident can be annoying and costly. If you are involved in an accident, the first thing to do is make sure no one is injured. If no is hurt or there are only minor injuries, the next thing to do is make sure all vehicles are moved out of the line of traffic. But, do you know the next steps to take to ensure you maximize your options and protect yourself financially?
  1. If anyone is injured, you should call 911 immediately. Don't play doctor, unless you really are a doctor. Provide comfort and support to help prevent someone from going in to shock, and don't move anyone unless there is immediate danger. Wait for the ambulance to arrive and then stay out of their way and let them do their jobs.

  2. Even if there are no injuries, you should call the police. The police will create an accident report, a document that can be very useful for your insurance claim, or in case some litigation arises from the collision.

  3. Exchange personal information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Your insurance company is going to want to know contact and insurance information from the other drivers - make sure to get it. Even if you don't involve your insurance carrier, this information can be useful if any issues arise.

  4. Documenting the scene is something most people forget to do. It was more difficult years ago, because most people didn't carry cameras around. However, because almost all people have cell phones and almost all cellphones have cameras, it is very easy to document an accident scene. Take as many pictures as you can, from as many angles as you can. Take pictures of road signs, obstructed views and any other pertinent peripheral information. You should also talk to witnesses and write down your own notes on what happened and why it happened.

  5. Call your insurance company. For some minor accidents, calling your insurance company is unnecessary, but for most collisions, it is a wise move. When you tell them what happened, it is important to be honest. Any false or fraudulent information can not only hurt your claim or case, it is also a crime.

  6. If you think that litigation may arise from the accident, do not hesitate to call an attorney. Experienced attorneys know how to protect your rights and make sure you are properly compensated for any damages or injuries.
Following these important steps is crucial if you are ever involved in a collision. Knowing the right steps to take after an auto accident, ensures your personal safety as well as your financial safety.

Jennifer Greenfield is a writer in the auto repair business. For more information on paintless dent removal natick ma, visit Final Finish at
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Some Tips to Take Care of the Car Air Conditioner (AC)

The car Air Conditioner (AC) is an important device that will make your driving convenience. But, you have to make sure that this works well. If the AC does not work well, you will feel hot when you are driving inside your car. To make keep it maintained, there are some things that you can do to take care of this device. The following tips can help you to take care of the AC in your car.

Tips # 1

Always keep the cabin clean from dust and dirt. In this case, you have to make sure that you clean the carpets also. This is because the dust and the dirt in the carpets will result mold and spores. If they are not cleaned, you will smell unpleasant odor when the AC is turned on.

Tips # 2

When you wash your car, open the hood and spray water on the AC Condenser. It looks like a radiator and is usually located in front of the radiator. By doing this, the dirt or dust will be loosen so that they will not cause corrosion or porous that can cause leakage in the condenser.

Tips # 3

When you want to park your car, select a shady parking lot when parking in a long time. If you park your car in hot place, you will feel hot when you enter the car. This will needs long process to cool the air. This will make the AC will work hard to cool the car cool when the car is running.

Tips # 4

Check the extra fan in front of AC Condenser whether turns on when the AC is turned on. If it does not turn on immediately, it will result in high compressor hose is damaged or the press could explode.

Tips # 5

Do not smoke in the car because the fumes can contaminate the evaporator, its nicotine can be slimy and sticky. This will make cause the unpleasant smell and it is hard to loose.

Tips # 6

Do not maximize the AC load when you drive in the high speed. This can make its temperature lower.

Tips # 7

Before starting the machine turn off the AC first and after the machine stable, turn on the AC. Vice versa, turn off the AC before turning off the engine.

Tips # 8

Do not use fragrances and perfumes that have less quality. And do not use fragrances that are plugged into your grill. This can break the grill of your AC. Since some grills are not available in the market, you should pay attention to this.

Tips # 9

If there are unusual symptoms, such as the temperature is less cold, you should bring your car to a repair shop for car AC. This is done to prevent excessive damage that will result high cost for the repairing.

Tips # 10

Do the routine maintenance. It is highly recommended once a year to replace receiver dryer, compressor oil, services blower, evaporator, condenser drain and freon. Routine maintenance will extend the function of the AC component become longer. This will also makes the air is always fresh.

Those are some things that you have to do to take care of your car AC. By doing those things, you will find that the car AC that you have will last for long time. You will also be able to drive conveniently.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

3 Ways a Proper Maintenance Schedule Helps You Save Big Bucks

Most people are unaware of the importance of maintaining their vehicles regularly and they prefer to address car problems as and when they occur. If you do not follow a proper maintenance schedule for your car then you are very likely spending a whole lot of money unnecessarily. As a matter of fact, you could also be doing your vehicle a great deal of damage. Regularly maintaining your vehicle is actually very important because of the following reasons:

1. It ensures optimum car performance: Your vehicle will now run perfectly well. Simply following your car's oil change schedule will ensure that its engine runs smoothly. Your vehicle will also give better mileage than before, as a result of which you will save a lot of money.

2. Vehicle breakdowns will be reduced: When the engine and other parts run smoothly then there will be fewer breakdowns. This in turn means that you won't have to spend money on costly repairs and replacements of parts. If the vehicle is inspected by trained people then potential areas of damage can be identified early and repaired before the problem worsens.

3. It increases the safety of the vehicle: A well maintained car is a very safe car and it performs better in adverse driving conditions. Even something as simple as keeping the tyres inflated to a specific pressure can make the difference between life and death.

4. Better maintenance ensures a higher selling value: Taking good care of your vehicle will help it last much longer than usual and you can go for an extended period without having to replace it. However, if it ever comes to selling your car, you can be sure of being offered a better price if the vehicle is in good condition.

Regular car maintenance can be quite costly. The first service is relatively less costly but subsequent services tend to be more expensive as is to be expected since the vehicle would have been operated for much longer by then. However, you will find that this will help you save a lot more money in the long term. Besides, you'd definitely benefit from not getting into vehicular accidents. The frequency at which you need to get your vehicle maintained depends upon the make of the vehicle and also how you use it. All car manufacturers recommend a maintenance schedule and it is often required to stick to it in order to keep the warranty in place.

Find out how a Subiworx maintenance schedule can help you save money. Visit to find out the best maintenance packages for your vehicle.
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Consumer Reports 2015 American Top Pick Cars

These American-branded cars score at the top of their class in more than 50 tests at the Consumer Reports Test Track. The winners from Chevrolet, Buick, Ford, Dodge and others also have average or better reliability.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CNET On Cars - Car Tech 101: What's Next for Blind-Spot Tech

Brian Cooley tells you how blind-spot tech works, why it's important and where it's headed.