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Car Apps That Will Save You Time & Money

Car Apps That Will Save You Time & Money

  Most of us can't go a day, an hour, or even minutes without our phones, since they carry apps that make our lives a little easier, including driving. For instance, some apps have taken the place of the traditional paper road map and GPS devices. It's pretty nifty! We've found and assembled a list of free apps that every driver should incorporate into their routine.   TOP 4 APPS THAT EVERY DRIVER SHOULD HAVE: Waze If you haven't heard of Waze, then you must be living under a rock. This app is no ordinary GPS app. Waze offers real-time, user-submitted data that can give you instant information on the conditions of your route. You can be notified by all sorts of potential trouble such as hidden police traps, roadwork, stopped vehicles, and even roadkill. Other app users, known as "Wazers," usually submit these warnings.    Gasbuddy We all know fuel is one of the most expensive (yet frequent) expenses for our cars. However, you can dep ... read more

Protect Your Battery From the Summer Heat

Protect Your Battery From the Summer Heat

    When it comes to the summertime, many drivers don't realize that the intense heat can take a toll on their vehicles. Not only is the temperature increasing, but more and more people are on the roads as well. As a result, some vehicle owners find themselves having trouble starting their cars during the summer. A stalling vehicle might make you wonder: can the summer heat drain out your battery?   Your car battery is so important because it helps power your vehicle upon start-up and helps to keep your electrical parts running. The composition of your car's battery is much like a battery you use at home, like a AAA battery in the sense that your battery runs on battery acid. Without battery acid, the battery will not work anymore and loses its "juice."    The truth is, the warmer weather does, in fact, cause your battery's acid to evaporate quicker. This decrease in the battery acid can cause a reduction in the battery's overall ... read more

How Do I Know If I Need My Brake Pads Replaced?

How Do I Know If I Need My Brake Pads Replaced?

Brake pads are a vital component of the entire braking system in your vehicle. They provide the extra padding needed for a smooth, even stop. They are often made of certain compounds that impact brake performance for better or for worse. The frequency of time needed in getting your brake pads changed is contingent upon a few possible factors, one being your level of mileage. Some makes and models require that you have new brake pads installed in as little as 25,000 miles, while with other models, you can wait until you've reached 50,000 miles. There are some vehicles where brake pad replacement is not necessary until you've driven a total of 75,000 miles. In any case, your safest bet would be to have them checked whenever you schedule a routine tire rotation. Other times will require you to be aware of any signs that your brake pads are starting to wear out, as there are just a few that you should be aware of. The first problem that crops up is any type of strange squealing ... read more

Will it Damage my Engine if I Continue to Drive my Car with the Check Engine Light On?

Will it Damage my Engine if I Continue to Drive my Car with the Check Engine Light On?

Every car has an inbuilt computer that uses notifications to alert you of a problem in any part of the vehicle. Therefore, none of the warnings are optional. The check engine light is one of these notifications and is usually located just below the steering wheel. The problems are stored in a trouble code that can be decoded by an electronic scan tool. Can I Drive with the Light On? The action to take when the 'Check Light' illuminates depends on the behavior of the light. If the light flashes for more than six seconds, the problem could be a major one, and you should stop to check the car. In most cases, you will notice a problem with the vehicle. However, if the light does not flash, you can keep driving if the vehicle is not having operational issues. Make sure that a mechanic has diagnosed the problem and fixed it as soon as possible. What are the Reasons for the Check Engine Light Illumination? The check engine light could illuminate f ... read more

What Causes A Clunking Noise When Going Over Bumps?

What Causes A Clunking Noise When Going Over Bumps?

If you hear those annoying clunking noises when going over bumps, it means that something is wrong with the suspension system. Since the suspension system includes various parts, any of them could be faulty. These are the areas to check the next time you hear these sounds on the road. Worn or Damaged Struts When struts are damaged, the strut shocks fail to perform as they should. Also, the strut housing may get dented, causing shocks to keep popping in and out of the strut tube. You can also try to steer the car wheels and check for noises. Worn or Damaged Leaf Spring Shackles Leaf springs are found on trailers, trucks, vans, and SUVs to aid in off-road conditions. Unfortunately, leaf springs may bend or break. When they do, they produce a clunking sound. This problem is usually found on one end of the leaf spring shackles. Damaged or Worn Control Arms Control arms can wear out even in normal road conditions. The damage and wear ... read more

Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

The timing belt is the part of your car's engine that rotates the crankshaft and camshaft in sync and ensures that every cylinder fires when it is supposed to. It is made of nylon-reinforced cords encased in high-quality rubber. However, it is exposed to high forces inside the engine that wear it out. Here are signs that the timing belt requires replacement. The Engine Makes Ticking Noise Manufacturers attach the timing belt to a series of pulleys that leads to the crankshaft. The crankshaft powers connecting rods while the camshaft manages the cylinder head valves. If the belt wears out, it starts to create a repeated ticking noise inside the motor. While the sound can also be a sign that the engine does not have enough lubrication, it is usually a symptom of an aging timing belt. The Engine Does Not Turn On If you hear a starter motor engage when you turn the ignition key, but the engine does not roar to life, the timing belt could be the cul ... read more

5 Signs It's Time for a Wheel Alignment

5 Signs It's Time for a Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment, also known as tire alignment, is the process of adjusting the angle at which the wheels make contact with the road surface by aligning the suspension system. Accidents or rough driving can wreak havoc on your vehicle's suspension components and offsets the alignment. Properly aligned wheels are essential for optimal and safe vehicle operations. 5 Signs of Bad Wheel Alignment Identifying the signs of poor wheel alignment and getting it fixed is vital to keep the driveability safe and stable. Here are 5 signs that should prompt you to get the wheels of your vehicle properly aligned. Irregular Wear of Tires If you notice patchy or uneven worn areas on your car's wheels, it indicates that your wheels are misaligned and should be fixed promptly to avoid further tire damage. Off Centre Steering Wheel The steering wheel remains straight while driving on a leveled road. It is a sign of misalignment if your steering wheel is skewed to the right or left and signifi ... read more

How Does a Car Thermostat Work?

How Does a Car Thermostat Work?

A safe and smooth driving experience depends upon a well-functioning vehicle. There are numerous components housed in a car's engine that are crucial for its proper operation. One of these vital elements is a thermostat, which enables the car engine to work at an optimum temperature by regulating the flow of coolant. Thermostat- a small yet effective device A thermostat is a small device that is positioned in between the car engine and radiator. It consists of a wax-filled cylinder, two valves-main and by-pass, and a spring. Car engines need an optimal temperature range, which is 194°F or 90°C, to function effectively. The valves function to maintain this temperature by allowing or blocking the passage of coolant. The valves are shut tight to restrict the movement of the coolant when the engine starts. As soon as the engine warms up, the valves open wide, allowing the coolant to dissipate the retained heat in the radiator. How does a Thermostat work in the Car's Cool ... read more

Is Replacing a Failing Engine Worth It?

Is Replacing a Failing Engine Worth It?

Dealing with engine trouble is never fun - especially if your engine is completely ruined to the point of no return. Severe engine damage can lead to either needing it completely replaced or rebuilt, which can be costly to do. If your vehicle is older, you may wonder if replacing the engine is worth it, or if getting a new vehicle altogether is a better route.  In some cases, replacing an engine instead of getting a new vehicle can actually make sense monetarily. It can cost a lot less and can help you avoid the fees that can come when acquiring a new vehicle, such as taxes and insurance.  Here are some things to consider when it comes to engine replacement:  If the rest of the vehicle is in good condition mechanically and is a newer vehicle, an engine replacement could be the best option budget-wise.  Engine replacement or rebuilding can be cost-effective when it comes to saving money rather than spending thousands on a new vehicle.  A rebuilt engine typi ... read more

What Maintenance Do Sprinter Vans Need?

What Maintenance Do Sprinter Vans Need?

Sprinter vans are great vehicles for a number of different purposes. Sprinter vans can be great for businesses as well as personal uses, and can even be completely remodeled into small living spaces. If you drive a sprinter van, you may be wondering what type of maintenance your van needs to run at its best. Business or personal, you expect your sprinter van to get you where you need to go. Since these vans are more complex, they do require regular inspections and service.  The best source for understanding what type of maintenance your sprinter van needs to by referring to factory recommendations. These can be found either in your vehicle's owner's manual or by looking online for what the manufacturer of your van recommends. Staying on top of these recommendations is a great way to not only protect any warranties you may have, but also to prevent major issues from occurring over time that can be costly to repair.  Another great way to stay on top of your van's ... read more

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