Seven Tips For Finding Excellent Car Service

The best car service is preventative, not patchwork. The last thing car owners need nowadays, with increasingly busy schedules, is frequent trips to the mechanic. It’s especially frustrating with easily fixed or recurring problems. Here are some tips to avoid breaking the bank the next time your vehicle breaks down.

Check Out Reviews First

With the spread of customer reviews on the internet, it’s quite easy for a consumer to find personal accounts of a business with a quick search. On occasion, reviews will be staged or not representative of the service, but a perusal of a range of reviews may give you a reasonable expectation of what to expect. An old fashioned review from a trusted friend – especially a car lover – never hurts, either. You can’t put a price on experience.

Shop Around

Most mechanics will offer free estimates. It helps to get the estimate for your car service on paper as proof. This document can also be used as leverage with other mechanics. Sometimes the cheapness of the price can suggest poor workmanship, but you certainly don’t want to be swindled.

Ask To See A Certification

ASE is the most common certification, and a trustworthy business should have no issue presenting you with such certification. This will establish a baseline of experience and knowledge. A shop that possesses an American Automotive Association rating is a good sign too, as it guarantees that they have been pre-screened by an objective source.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions, Even If You’re a Novice

Beyond a price estimation, it is very helpful to ask questions that you may consider basic. Such as, which parts will need to be replaced? How long will the work in question take to complete? Can I see the problem area of the car? Even more intensive questions about the process of fixing the vehicle should not fluster a reliable mechanic. These questions will make you feel comfortable with the car service and prove to the mechanic that you take your car’s care serious.

Go With Your Instinct

This tip is harder to pin down, and will mean different things to different people, but it remains relevant. Simple things, such as the cleanliness of the shop, may be symbolic of the overall service. Furthermore, if a mechanic is giving vague answers or treating customers in a hostile manner, it’s probably a clear sign to get out while you can. Getting a car fixed is rarely a pleasant experience, so there’s no need to add extra stress to the process.

Find a Location Near Your Home

This is especially important if you don’t have a friend or family member to follow you to the mechanic and drive you home. Finding a route home or to work via public transportation may be pivotal, depending on how long the car will be out of commission.

Warranties and Specialists

This tip will mainly pertain to people whose cars need to be fixed at a dealership. It also applies to those who own a car that has to have specialty parts replaced. Do research and determine whether a mechanic has expertise in your particular make and model. Additionally, an honorable mechanic will supply warranties on new parts. Make sure to establish this warranty before they get to work on your car.

Car Maintenance And The Theory Test – Part One

Knowing where to find certain features on a vehicle, and how to maintain them, has become part-and-parcel of the driving theory test and practical driving exam. It is therefore essential that you know your stuff.

Being able to know the difference between your car battery and your car bonnet will prove significant when it comes to answering test questions and taking your practical driving exam.

In your theory test you may be asked a question regarding a vehicle’s battery. Would you know what to do if the battery was flat in order to get the car started again?

Before you begin your practical driving exam the instructor will lift the car bonnet and randomly select two features that you will need to identify. Your instructor could ask you how to check the oil level, so knowledge of vehicle maintenance is certainly worth having.

Basic Vehicle Maintenance

Part one of this series covers basic vehicle maintenance. Any number of questions could emerge in your theory test relating to vehicle maintenance, but here’s a list of the most common themes covered in the exam regarding vehicle maintenance:

· Lights

· Brakes

· Steering

· Exhaust systems

· Seat belts

· Demisters

· Wipers Washers

What You Need To Know

· How all lights and indicators function

· How your windscreen wipers and windows operate

· How to monitor exhaust emissions

· Know how to check seats, seatbelts and head restraints

Further to the items above, you also need to familiarise yourself with all the warning displays on your vehicle instrument panel. It’s not uncommon to encounter questions on the theory test related to a vehicle’s dashboard panel.

When starting a car, if there is a problem with the vehicle, your instrument panel will indicate the source of the problem. It could be a low oil level for example, so as part of your theory test and practical driving exam you would need to know how to add oil to a vehicle.

Tyres are also another common theme when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Knowing your tyre pressures and being able to identify when a tyre is so worn that it needs changing, could be the difference in passing your theory test and practical driving exam.

For instance, do you know what the legal tread limit is for a tyre used on a car being driven on the road? Well, now is the time to find out…

You will also need to know what impact damaged tyres could have on the rest of a vehicle. For example, under-inflated or over-inflated tyres will affect steering performance and braking capabilities.

That concludes part one of this series… Watch this space for part two!!!

Can I Sell My Car?

With the tremendous drop in demand for new and used automobiles due to the crumbling economy, the effort to sell your car might be more difficult than you might think. Rather than attempting to get out from under an automobile with an existing loan, it might be a better idea to look for ways to keep your automobile. In many cases, with the tremendous lack of demand and very low prices for new and used automobiles, you are unlikely to sell your vehicle for what it is actually worth. Due to this imbalance in the market, there are all manner of banks and finance companies who are more than happy to help you by modifying your loan. Rather than asking can I sell my car, you should be asking are there ways to keep my car.

Naturally, there is a tremendous amount of effort being put into keeping drivers in their cars and avoiding repossessions on the part of the bank. Surprisingly enough, the banks have no real reason to repossess vehicles, as they will be required to resell them to new owners, which is simply a big hassle and something the banks are not interested in dealing with. Rather than repossessing your vehicle, they are far more likely to negotiate and compromise on the monthly car payment in order to allow you to keep the vehicle and continue paying the bill, after all, why repossess a car and sell it to someone else, with all the hassle that is entailed in such a procedure, when there is already a ready and willing individual owner who just needs help making the payments. With this outlook, banks have made every effort in order to help individuals who might otherwise feel pressured into selling their car in order to get out from under the monthly payment. There are many ways to keep your car with some help from the bank and some basic modification of a pre-existing automobile loan.

With the automobile market in constant disarray due to the crumbling economy and all of the difficulties inherent in the automobile industry in the modern day, it is easy to see that banks, finance companies and even automobile manufacturers are at the mercy of the consumer. With demand all but disappearing, these industry giants have every reason to make an effort to keep drivers in the car rather than repossess and try to resell them in a stagnant market. In this type of market, the consumer has all the power and is very likely able to renegotiate and come up with some type of compromise in order to ensure that they do not lose their vehicle.

If you’re in this type of situation, and you are considering selling your car or looking for ways to keep your car, make your first call to some type of third-party loan modification service that can help you and represent you in the struggle to renegotiate and compromise on your automobile payment. In this way, you can avoid repossession and renegotiate monthly payments in order to make it possible for you to keep your vehicle and keep the bank happy at the same time.

Tips on Extending the Life of an Ignition Coil

The ignition coil is an important component of a car. It converts power of a few volts from the battery into as much as 25kv which is essential to create a spark to ignite fuel. Optimal functionality of the ignition coil is affected by multiple factors. You can extend the life of the coil up to 80,000 km by following a few tips. Read this article to know more about how you can extend the life of the ignition coil.

Battery should be well charged

Make sure to charge the battery optimally. If it is below optimal level, the workload on the coil is unlikely to create sufficient spark to ignite fuel.

Check for oil leaks

Check if there is any damaged sealant. This condition may lead to the leakage of oil. Often, oil damages the insulation in wires and exposes them. This causes sparks and rules out coil ignition.

Prevent formation of moisture

Look out for any breakages where the ignition coil is located. Make sure you seal such cracks with an adhesive. This prevents moisture from entering into the system.

Avoid engine overheating

In summer, the climate is hot and you may like to sit in your car with the air-conditioner on. Running the air-conditioner puts excess workload on the engine. The engine component gets hotter and hotter. Unless the heat is facilitated to move out from the engine, it might cause excess heat. This heat may reduce the durability of the ignition coil.

Limit vibrations

Occasionally, you may get a knocking noise that is unusual. Such noise is an indication of damage of the part where it comes from. If the noise becomes frequent, it damages the housing. It might also lead to short-circuit in the coil and ultimately failure.

Maintenance of spark plugs

Over time, spark plugs wear because of workload. Get the spark plugs replaced as recommended by the manufacturer. While replacing spark plugs, see that the cylinder head threads and spark plug threads are free from moisture, dust and debris. Make sure to follow maintenance of the coil as recommended by the manufacturer.

Proper maintenance of engine parts

It is important that you take proper care of the engine parts. For this, you need to use engine oil of the right grade and appropriate fuel. You should also replace air filters, fuel injection pump, spark plugs and use right level of coolant (it should be between ‘high’ and ‘low’).

Make sure to replace the belts (in driving the pulleys) in the engine (replace them at 80,000 km), and get the vehicle serviced by expert professionals. Also, for optimal fuel economy, inflate tires to pressure recommended by the manufacturer.

A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Car Charging Stations

People who own electric vehicles often buy these products out of environmental consciousness. After all, “green” vehicles reduce a driver’s environmental footprint in a number of ways, including putting the brakes on pollution and conserving non-renewable fuel resources. However, this green initiative does require a little forward thinking to ensure that your automobile has the power it needs. From refueling to pricing, electric car charging stations are a crucial part of managing your vehicle’s operations.

Private Refueling

Most recharging should occur at home to prepare your automobile for use. This process is simple and fast to perform, as it takes less than a minute to plug your automobile in when you return home.

Public Options

To recharge in public, you will need to find a network that offers it. Networks are available throughout the country, but each one operates independently and uniquely to deliver power. Before utilizing this type of service, it’s helpful to learn a basic overview of how they work and how to use them.

Price

Some stations are free, and others involve a fee for use. Fee structure varies, but it generally includes either a pay-as-you-use option or a monthly subscription. If you opt for a subscription service, one option would be an all-you-can-use service. The amount you can add to your vehicle per hour will depend on your car’s specific capabilities. A smaller or slower charger will cost more to refuel than a faster charger. Some areas may be more conducive for pay-as-you-go payments, while others will probably have special packages for EV drivers who want extensive plans with more options.

Frequented Routes

If you have a regular commute or traveling radius, it’s beneficial to explore this area to find the electric car charging stations available. Networks usually have multiple stations in a geographic area to provide EV drivers with plentiful options. Explore networks to learn the number of stations and their approximate locations to decide which one you want to use primarily, especially if you will be purchasing a plan.

Finding Electricity on the Go

When at home with a computer, it’s a simple task to view a locator map to find electric car charging stations. There may be times when you are driving and find yourself in need of an emergency charge. When this occurs, use a smartphone to search for charging points in your specific geographic area. The search engine results should provide you with options located near you.

You could also download an app to your smartphone to utilize location services in an even more streamlined fashion for finding the power you need.

If you’re lucky, your automobile may even help you with this search. Built-in navigation systems of EVs will often display your remaining range on a map. Also included in the map data will be the locations of all the nearby points for additional electricity.

Don’t neglect the recommendations of friends and family as you strive to find the electric car charging stations you want to use frequently. Personal recommendations often help you find the best spots for topping off your vehicle.