Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Inspect Your Vehicle’s Air Filter | Allstate Insurance

Your engine's air filter must be cleaned and installed correctly. Auto maintenance and repair specialist The Humble Mechanic offers his tips for inspecting your air filter.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to Identify Car Issues With Your Nose

Did you know that your nose can actually identify certain warning signs of vehicular trouble? Different smells may imply particular problems with your vehicle, and picking up on these smells early on can spare you time and money on auto repairs. Continue reading to learn which automotive smells to be on the lookout for, and what to do if you detect any of these odors in your vehicle.


If you buy a car right off the market, you can expect that tell-tale new car smell. But after sometime, that new car smell wears off, and what replaces it depends on your interior automotive hygiene. However, it is possible to smell odors in your vehicle that are different from the food, smoke, perfume, and other odors that may generally occupy your interior. In this case, the presence of unusual odors could be a sign that something is mechanically wrong with your car. Below are the 6 most common automotive odors that may indicate an automotive problem.

Look Out for These Automotive Odors:

Gasoline - If you smell gas, it could mean that your vehicle has a gas leak somewhere in the fuel injection line or fuel tank. Since gasoline is highly flammable, it is vital that you take immediate action. Have a licensed mechanic locate the cause of the smell and make the necessary repairs to get your vehicle back to a safe driving condition.

Burnt Rubber - The smell of burnt rubber could indicate that your engine has slipping drive belts or loose hoses that are rubbing against the rotating accessory drive pulleys. This calls for professional auto repair.

Burnt Carpet - Smelling burnt carpet is a serious sign since it usually indicates a problem with a vehicle's braking system. This is a serious safety hazard that should be addressed by a professional mechanic immediately upon discovery.

Hot Oil - Hot oil smells could mean that your car has an oil leak that is causing oil to get into the exhaust system. If you also see smoke coming from the hood, or oil on the pavement below, it is most likely an oil leak. This calls for professional service.

Sweet Syrupy Smell - Sweet syrupy smells are an odd odor to experience in your vehicle, but they are also quite serious since they may be an indication that your vehicle has a coolant leak in its cooling system. Get professional auto service right away.

Rotten Eggs - The smell of rotten eggs, or sulfur, is a sign that your car's catalytic converter is defective. When catalytic converters stop converting hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide properly, it can cause the smell of rotten eggs. This sign requires immediate professional automotive service.

Never ignore odd odors in your car. Consult a licensed automotive mechanic right away if you smell something unusual, especially while driving under normal conditions.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Top Five Most Commonly Replaced Car Parts

Every automobile owner will tell you that maintenance is critical. By taking care of your vehicle, you can dramatically increase its lifespan. There are some car parts that should be at the forefront of your mind during road trips or even your daily commute. Here are five automobile components that need to be replaced frequently.

Spark Plugs

Some manufacturers suggest you change your spark plugs every three years in order to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Engine idling, engine misfiring, high fuel consumption, engine surging, or a lack or acceleration all indicate that it's time for new spark plugs.


In order to see properly and drive safely at night, you need working headlights. As technology changes, owners have seen a decrease in the frequency of replacing the car parts associated with headlights. That is because more manufacturers are using LED technology, which outlasts traditional lamps. Of course, these do cost more, so when the time comes to replace the bulbs, you probably will spend a little more money if you have a newer vehicle.


Depending on the brand of your tires, you could have to replace them after as little as 30,000 miles of travel. You should regularly check the tread for signs of wear. If you place a penny in between the treads of a tire and can see the head of Abraham Lincoln, then the rubber has worn down too much.

In addition, if you have a newer vehicle with a tire pressure monitoring system, you will eventually need to replace this component. Over time, the sensor will wear out. This system offers significant benefits, as it warns drivers when the pressure is too low. Even though the replacement of this system adds to an automobile's maintenance pricetag, many choose to pay the extra price.


Stopping your vehicle takes its toll. Brake pads eventually wear down and have to be replaced. In order to avoid incurring additional expenses, you should have your pads replaced at the first sign of wear. This could be a noise or noticing that it takes more pressure or time to come to a complete stop. If you wait too long, not only will you have to replace the pads, but you may also have to replace the rotors underneath.


New technology is making it so that your vehicle's battery does not have to be replaced every three years. However, even if you have a five-, seven-, or ten-year battery, you should make sure the battery gets testing during your annual maintenance tune-up. By checking it annually, you can replace the battery before it dies, avoiding the hassle of finding your automobile dead one morning.

There are many different car parts that you will eventually have to replace. However, these five are the most common and will need to be changed more often than other components. If you perform regular maintenance on your automobile, it will last for years.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

5 Reasons You Need To Get Your Car's AC Checked Before Summer

There is nothing as amazing as the feeling you get taking a casual drive on a hot summer day with your windows rolled down and the music turned up. With all the places to see and the things to do this summer, the last thing you want to do is have your car breaking down on you or simply refusing to start. It is for this very reason that you have to make sure that you get your car checked and necessary repairs made.

One of the most important checks is the auto air conditioner check. It goes without saying that the AC is one of the most important parts of the car especially over the summer when there is nothing but heat and humidity inside and outside the car. This makes getting an auto AC check and repair something that should be at the very top of your priority list.

5 reasons you should get your car's AC checked

1. A good AC will keep you cool in the hot weather

Driving on a hot summer day can be absolute torture if your auto air conditioner is not working. Getting it checked ensures that it is in good enough shape to keep you cool and supplied with fresh air as you enjoy your drive.

2. The AC keeps other parts of the car from overheating and malfunctioning

Some parts of the car are at risk of damage from excess heat and humidity in the car. A good AC system ensures that the cool air in the vehicle also benefits these parts by cooling them and allowing them to function properly.

3. It is more cost effective to find and fix problems early

AC checks allow you to identify potential problems early and to have them fixed as soon as possible. This will save you a lot of money in terms of costs that might be incurred fixing the problem when it gets bigger.

4. It is possible to discover other issues during the checks

Given the position of the AC in the vehicle, a certified technician can come across other problems with other parts while performing the check. This is a major advantage and allows you to fix these problems as soon as they are found.

5. AC checks and repairs prolong the lifespan of the AC itself

Automotive AC repair work is part of the recommended maintenance practices for most of the systems and ensures that you get to enjoy the cool fresh air breeze in the car for as long as possible.

Bottom line

With all these advantages, there is no reason why you shouldn't get you car's AC checked. It is sure to make a difference in your summer and for as long as you have the car.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Accident Repair: Things To Do Before Taking The Car To A Body Shop

People from different parts of the world, drive some vehicle or the other. No matter you drive a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler; you can always meet with road accidents. The number of cars on the road is increasing each day. This is a reason why so many accidents occur today. If your car meets with an accident (on the road), you need to look for a trustworthy auto repair shop.

When it comes to accident repair, looking for a nice auto repair shop is necessary. But, if you want to find a reliable professional, you must take certain things into consideration.

Client testimonials or referrals

Ask your friends, relatives or neighbours to see if they have suggestions. The referral system comes pretty handy while looking for reliable bodywork mechanic. Reputed body shops always offer a quality service to service their clients. So, client referrals and recommendations are extremely beneficial for finding a quality professional. If your friend or relative feels intent with a body shop, then you can certainly rely on its service quality.

You can also check a company's customer feedbacks. This will certainly give you a good idea about the company's credentials. You can check the company reputation on Google Places. If you find any complaints or negative feedbacks, always verify them with the business bureaus. Rival companies may always post negative feedbacks about a company to damage their credentials. So, you should always checks the feedbacks with the business bureaus.

Get in touch with your insurance company

Speak to your insurance company before choosing an auto repair shop. Even though many insurance companies have a list of suppliers, you do not have any obligation to take your car to these body shops. Before picking an auto garage, always make sure that they offer warranty on all their services.

Checking the body shop environment

Check whether the body shop is environment friendly or not. All reputed garages have a good working environment. So, checking the environment will certainly help you judge the body shop's credentials. Paint booths must include exhaust devices to hold the paint particles and apply them correctly.

Body shops and their services

No matter if you need a minor collision repair or a major structural spoilage, you should always look for a body shop specializing in different services. Always check their skills before offering them the contract.

Evaluating the infrastructural facilities

Make sure that the garage has proper licences and certifications. Certified garages always have access to the best mechanics and tools. So, they always come up with a quality accident repair service.

Meeting with a road accident is immensely stressful. But, a trustworthy crash repair mechanic will certainly offer with a relaxed and stress-free feeling.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

6 Standout Small SUVs | Consumer Reports

Americans are buying more small SUVs. Consumer Reports shows five reasons why people like them so much with examples of each key attribute.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tips for Giving Your Motorcycle a Spring Checkup | Allstate Insurance

Matt from HowToMotorcycleRepair shares his tips for doing a quick spring checkup on your motorcycle. You are going to want to perform this basic check up anytime your motorcycle is coming out of short term storage or winter hibernation.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Consumer Reports 2017 Lowest-Rated Cars in 10 Categories

Knowing what not to buy can be as useful as knowing what to buy. That's why each year we highlight the cars that have the lowest overall scores in our testing in 10 categories. Check out our Top 10 Car Picks for help in figuring out which car to buy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Always Be Prepared for Auto Emergencies

We live in modern times and basically everyone has car insurance, an auto club membership, or a cellphone, and many of us drive new car models which are not likely to break down. Accidents and malfunctions still happen, and when they happen in an area that is not inhabited, we may find ourselves in a bit of trouble.

The first move for many will be to pick up the phone and call for help from your auto club, but this can take a lot of time. Your phone battery could be dead and the reception in some of the wilder parts of the country is certainly not reliable.

This is why it is important to always have a car emergency kit with you, with all the emergency materials and tools you might need to make minor fixes to your vehicle yourself, and at least get it running until you reach the nearest gas station or town. At the very least, you should have everything you need to wait it out until someone can come pick you up or until another car comes along so you can ask for help.

Some of the emergency materials you should always prepare before going on a trip include:

- First aid kit
- Charged phone or phone battery
- Spare tire
- Tire gauge
- Jumper cables
- Duct tape
- Rugs and gloves
- Drinking water
- Blankets, shovels and clothes

While some of these emergency materials such as jumper cables, duct tape and tire gauge will help you do actual fixes to your car, most of the listed items are survival gear. You don't know where a breakdown can happen, and during long trips you may end up stuck in the middle of nowhere. Having a turned off, charged phone is a great idea, but sometimes there is simply no reception.

In these cases, if you can't fix your car yourself, all you can really do is wait. This is where the other emergency materials will help, as they will keep you warm, hydrated and alive until someone comes along and you can finally get back to civilization.

In some cases, you may have to spend the night in your car, and being well prepared for such an emergency may mean the difference between being comfortable or extremely uncomfortable and in extreme cases even between life and death.

Making sure you learn a bit about auto mechanics before setting out on long trips will be the smartest thing, because minor breakdowns can be fixed with a simple set of emergency tools and materials. If the breakdown is more serious, it is important to call a professional auto repair shop that can make any necessary repairs to your car.

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

In Memoriam 2017 - Farewell to the Cars We Lost

Over the past year we've had to say goodbye to a number of cars, along with an entire brand. Some left before their time, some stayed longer than we could have possibly imagined. But in the end we'll always have the memories...for better or worse.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Consumer Reports 2017 Top Car Brands

We crunch the data from our testing, owner surveys and other key information to find the highest, and lowest, scoring auto brands, all to help you make a better decision when it's time to shop for a car.