5 Types of Vehicular Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Handling routine maintenance on your own, rather than outsourcing professional auto service, can save a driver up to $150 or more each year. This may seem like a nominal figure, but it certainly adds up year after year. And who wouldn’t want an extra couple hundred dollars in their wallet for the holidays?

Performing your own vehicular maintenance on the areas of your car that are DIY-approved can save drivers time and money. It is vital to only perform car maintenance that does not require the tools and training of a professional mechanic. Stick to the DIY-approved vehicular maintenance checklist and keep your car safe and running smoothly. Continue reading to learn the five types of routine car maintenance you can do all on your own!

Oil Changes

Yes, you can change your own oil and oil filter without the help of a professional mechanic! All you needs are the right supplies and a little foreknowledge, and you are ready to change your car’s oil all by yourself! Acquire a new oil filter, an oil pan to store the dirty oil, a car jack, a socket set, a funnel, and a couple bottles of the motor oil your car uses. Safety goggles, rubber gloves, a flashlight, and a few clean cloths wouldn’t hurt either. The oil should be changed every 5,000 miles, or sooner depending on how often you drive.

First, run your car engine for a few minutes to warm the oil up because warm oil flows easier. Then, lift your vehicle off the ground with the car jack and place the oil pan beneath your vehicle.

Next, unscrew your oil cap located under the hood, and the oil drain plug beneath your car. This plug generally looks like a single bolt underneath your car’s oil compartment. Double check your vehicle owners’ manual for instructions on locating the oil drain plug.

Put on your rubber gloves and use a socket wrench to unscrew the drain plug a few rounds, then use your hands to unscrew the rest of the way. Allow all the dirty oil to drain out completely. Replace the drain plug and then change the oil filter. Once this is all done, you can use your funnel to pour your new, clean oil into your engine.

The next step is replacing the oil filter. Simply unscrew the old filter, allow any excess oil to drain, and then replace and tighten the filter. If you are not using paper filters, use a tiny bit of oil to lubricate the edges of the new filter before screwing it back into place.

Air Filters

Aside from oil filters, your vehicle has air filters that need replaced on a routine basis. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at any local automotive store or general store. Expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per filter. If you neglect to change your air filters, overtime you will notice a major decrease in gas mileage and vehicular performance. Luckily, this is a maintenance job you can do all by yourself! It is a simple ten minute process that is easy to learn how to do. Just follow your owners’ manual instructions!

Coolant

Without coolant, your car’s engine would be in pretty bad shape. In fact, it would fail to operate entirely after a short amount of time without coolant. Also called radiator fluid, coolant is imperative for the operation and performance of any vehicle. It prevents the inner workings of a car engine from overheating as a result of constant friction and heat production. If you have an overheating engine, the number one cause is lack of radiator fluid. Simply purchase a bottle or two at your local automotive store, locate the coolant cap beneath your hood, and pour the solution right in!

Headlights

Did you know you can change a burnt-out headlight all on your own? It’s true and not many car owners know it! Since this can get you a traffic ticket or worse, cause an accident, a burnt-out headlight is an immediate repair. And since you don’t need to make an appointment with an auto shop, you can get this problem repaired right away. All you need is a basic tool set and a new bulb!

Windshield Wiper Fluid

It may seem trivial, but windshield wiper fluid is one of the 7 essential car fluids every vehicle requires for functional operation and safety. And you can re-fill your windshield wiper fluid any time it runs low. Simply purchase a bottle of windshield fluid and pour it down the correct tube under your car’s hood. Do this as often as you need to, keeping in mind that you will probably need to do this more often in winter.

 

Maintenance Tips: What Makes a Car Overheat and How to Avoid It

The car is a machine that can run for hours without packing up. Sometimes, the car will overheat because of a number of problems and faults. Here is what makes a car overheat and how to avoid it in the future to give you a flawless road trip.

The most common reason why the car overheats is due to extreme heat conditions. Although, this is the most common factor to overheating, it isn’t the only one.

Cooling System Leaks – every engine must have a cooling system. It either has to be air-cooled or it has to use liquids in the cooling system. There may be a time where a leak might be present if a seal hasn’t been installed properly. The leak drops the pressure in the car making less liquid travel throughout the engine.

Block – a collection of debris in the engine is not uncommon but it isn’t normal. Debris could be made up of dust particles that have been collected. There could also be a thermostat that has not opened properly.

Failed Water Pump – this cause of overheating is one of the more common reasons. This car part assists the circulation of the coolant and maintains it. There could be an instance where the bearing could wear down and ultimately fail, stopping the coolant from circulating around the engine.

Coolant Problems – sometimes the coolant hasn’t been concentrated enough. This is usually a problem in the colder climates and cooler weather conditions. If the coolant gets too cold it will become thicker and more gel-like and block the pipes of the cooling system.

To avoid your car from packing up when it’s hot you need to switch the air conditioner off and open your windows at the first sign of overheating. You can turn the heater or blower on to transfer the heat into the car. It might be uncomfortable for you or any passengers you have in the car but your engine won’t give up when doing this.

You can let the car idle and rev it so that the water pump and fans can work faster to cool the engine down.

Don’t use the brakes too much when you are in heavy traffic. The more you stop the harder the engine has to work to move forward again. If you’re not careful you will need brake repairs sooner than necessary. Rather crawl slowly along the road if you can see the traffic flowing slightly.

 

Repairing Flood Damage to Your Car

1. Do not attempt to start the car!
It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair. Don’t try to start the car. If there’s water in the engine, transmission or fuel system, you’ll just compound the damage. Your best option is to have your car towed to a mechanic work shop.

2. Determine how deep the car was submerged.
Mud and debris usually leave a waterline on the car, inside as well as out. If the water didn’t rise above bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard, you car won’t definitely not be fine.

3. Dry the interior.
If water got inside the car, mole will grow quickly. Mold and corrosion are setting in now. You need to clean out as much liquid and mud as you can and dry out your car as soon as possible Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, however you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding and upholstery.

4. Check the oil and the air cleaner.
If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to drain the water and have the fluid changed. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can try changing the oil then removing the spark plugs and cranking the engine to blow out the water, but we still recommend taking your car to a professional mechanic. Fuel systems on more moderns cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.

5. Check all of the electrical systems.
If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly flicker, including the way the car runs or the transmission change, that could be a sign of electrical issue. Take the car to a mechanic immediately.

6. Check around the wheels and tires.
Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes and under body. Make sure nothing this obstructing the movement of the wheels.

7. It is advisable to consider replacing a flooded car
A flood-damaged car may not should signs of problems immediately, it could take months or even years before such problems begin to manifest. If you can it is advisable you consider replacing the car. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.

8. Beware of flood-damaged cars in the market.
Many used cars in the market today are flood damaged cars that are simply cleaned up and re-sold. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like “salvage” and “flood damage” are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car — if the car has been moved from an area where there has been recent flooding you should be suspicious.

 

Do You Need A Freightliner Repair?

Smooth and effective transportations happen to be the prime requisite for numerous businesses. Running a business isn’t easy, and product delivery is an integral part of it. Companies dealing in product manufacturing, production, and delivery are always on the lookout for smooth and hassle-free transportations. It’s here that they need to ensure perfect maintenance and repair for their trucks.

Importance of maintenance

A strong machinery can exhibit retarded functioning without prior notice. It’s highly imperative to look for the first signs of problems so that you can fix issues without delay. Targeted and proper Freightliner Repair is a crucial necessity for your transportation vehicles. Make sure you identify the issues, find out what’s wrong, and then solve the problem. Following the right tips will help you plan the project and get the best out of your vehicle. With a highly functional truck helping in hassle-free transportations, it would be easier to reach out to clients.

Do you need maintenance?

Repairing or maintenance is of paramount significance for your dream vehicle, but before you start off, it would be crucial to know whether you need it at all. Your Freightliner trucks will turn out to be the best partners in business transportations. Quite naturally, you should get in touch with the top Freightliner Repair companies capable of offering professional services. The leading service providers will provide you with comprehensive details of the entire project. They will perform inspections thus helping the truck owner understand the current state of his vehicle.

Why do you need repairing?

What is it that makes these maintenance services so important? Before taking the plunge, make sure you develop crystal clear ideas of the reasons. The following tips will give you an idea:

• Technical issues: Every truck owner has to face technical issues while driving. It’s highly imperative to identify these problems and solve them at the earliest. It’s right here that professional maintenance comes to your help.

• On-road problems: High-efficiency trucks are the best partners in product deliveries. At times, these trucks exhibit retarded functioning and poor performance. If you want to avoid on-road problems, professional maintenance will turn out to be important.

• Driving hassles: Even if any single component in your truck goes wrong, you might have to face driving hassles. The presence of such issues creates the demand for professional repairs.

These factors and tips will clearly explain why you need professional maintenance or repairs. With the leading experts by your side, things will become even easier than you.

Taking the lead

You need to keep your vehicle up and running always. That creates the need for associating with professional service providers. Right from identifying the problems in your truck to solving them within a short span, the leading service providers will render comprehensive support. One of the major benefits of their services is the all-around support. Irrespective of the occasion, you will get targeted maintenance for your trucks. Load lifting and shifting will become a cakewalk, and your high-powered vehicle will deliver exceptional on-road performances.

 

4 Rules to Follow While Approaching a Car Mechanic

A recent study revealed that most cars on the road these days have an average longevity of 10-11 years and if maintained well and attended by expert mechanics, it is likely to last longer. Owning a car is an investment in itself even though it is no longer a luxury that the wealthy could afford. It is a machine at the end of the day and with regular wear and tear, the parts are likely to stop functioning after a certain point in time if not take care of at the right time.

All cars need servicing and maintenance once in a while, and it isn’t a task that you can undertake all by yourself. Therefore, the presence of a mechanic is something that is imperative especially when you want to keep your assets working just as fine for years altogether. You are likely to come across numerous experts around you who would guarantee the best results, but you cannot just trust any random person. Checking the various aspects associated with their skills, you are to come to a conclusion.

When dealing the right mechanic for your car, you are to follow a few rules that would be beneficial for the both of you and here is a discourse to simplify things for you.

• Ensure excellent communication – Even if the mechanic is an expert with cars, it is eventually a vehicle that belongs to you. It is you who would know the specific problems that your car is facing. You could try noting down any minute irregularity or change in the way the car functions and letting the mechanic know about it. While you let them know the details, it becomes easy on their part to ensure that the problems are resolved almost immediately and further keep a check on other issues that the car may face. Leaving it all to the mechanic to figure out may not be the right option as they would be driving it about to figure out the problems.

• Have realistic expectations – There are numerous mechanics who would promise quick solutions, but it isn’t always the case when they would attend to you the moment you approach them. There may be numerous other cars queued up ahead of yours, and thus there is a need to be patient. You cannot expect quick and super-fast services from their end as it does require time to analyse, repair, test and finally deliver you a car that is back to normal.

• Do not send across a dirty vehicle – Even though your car doesn’t function the way it should, you are expected to have the courtesy to help them with a washed and clean car. While working on the problematic areas of the car, the mechanic would have to otherwise waste time in cleaning your vehicle rather than paying attention to what he is supposed to do. Helping out with a clean vehicle would initiate the repairs in a better way without having to worry about the dirt and clutter.

• Let them do their work – The mechanic understands that it is your car, and you are to know what it is going through during the repair and maintenance process but that doesn’t mean you are to hover around them when they are at work. This would, by all means, make you interfere in their work process which isn’t acceptable. While you have chosen them given the knowledge and experience they have on car repair and maintenance, you are to trust them on whatever they would undertake and not be pokey all the time.

 

Do I Need Car Radiator Repair?

Your car’s radiator is very important because it prevents the engine from overheating. Every time you drive your vehicle, your engine produces high levels of heat. Without a properly-functioning radiator, your vehicle’s heat levels cannot be managed, which can lead to serious safety issues and automotive damage. Continue reading to learn more about car radiators, and the common signs that suggest it needs to be repaired.

How They Work

Radiators pump coolant through the inner components of your engine. The coolant absorbs the heat that the engine produces, and then travels back to the radiator where it is rapidly cooled. The entire cycle is continuous and constant while you drive. On a side note, coolant also doubles as anti-freeze, and prevents your engine from freezing up in cold temperatures.

Radiator Problems

Since radiators are the primary component of a vehicle’s cooling system, it is vital for them to remain in good condition. When a radiator begins to have issues, you will usually start to notice the signs. The most common signs include overheating engines, coolant leaks, low coolant levels, and sludge in the radiator. Look below for a brief description of each sign and why they occur.

Overheating Engine – The most common sign that your radiator is in need of service or repair is an overheating engine. Sometimes, all you need is some more coolant to take care of an overheated engine. But when the overheating persists, it is a sign that your radiator needs attention.

Leaking Coolant – The next most common sign that a radiator needs repaired is seeing coolant on the ground beneath your vehicle. This is usually caused by a leak in your coolant tubes or a crack in the radiator shell, and it is a serious problem that requires immediate attention.

Low Coolant Levels – If you notice that you are refilling your car’s coolant too frequently, that means your vehicle is either using too much too quickly, or you have a coolant leak somewhere. Both are serious issues that require immediate automotive repair.

Sludge – You probably won’t discover sludge in your radiator on your own. It is more likely that your mechanic will come across it during a routine service appointment or while making unrelated repairs. Sludge in your radiator means there is an excessive amount of contaminants in your coolant. The contaminants will give coolant, normally brightly-colored, to a rusty or oily color. It is commonly caused by a defective transmission cooler inside the radiator. Not all vehicles have this.