bout Fuel Injectors And Periodic Cleaning

Cleaning fuel injectors is a service frequently recommended by dealers and repair shops, but unless there are noticeable signs of clogged injectors (such as a rough idle, stalling, poor acceleration or high emissions levels) it might not be necessary. One tipoff is that fuel injector cleaning is not typically listed on automakers’ routine maintenance schedules.

Many shops promote a quick/easy injector service that runs a cleaning solution through the injectors while they’re still mounted in the engine. A more thorough (and expensive) process for severely clogged injectors requires removing the injectors and cleaning them on a machine designed for that purpose.

Fuel injectors clog when deposits build up over time and thousands of miles; when that happens, they don’t deliver the fine mist of gas that provides maximum performance and efficiency. If that happens, you’ll notice a loss of engine performance or lower fuel economy.

The type of gasoline you use also can be a factor. All gasoline is required to contain detergents that prevent carbon deposits, varnish and other gunk from forming in the fuel system, but not all brands use the same amount. Lower-priced brands often use only the minimum, but the so-called Top Tier brands use more detergents, and some vehicle manufacturers recommend them because of that.

Detergents have been required by the EPA since 1995 because many vehicle owners complained of clogged injectors and fuel-system deposits. Not only has gasoline gotten better since then, but so have the injectors, so problems aren’t as widespread as they used to be.

However, gasoline direct injection, a more sophisticated injection system that operates under higher pressure, is becoming commonplace in engines, and some GDI systems have proved to be more prone to clogging than regular fuel injection.

That’s why some manufacturers, such as Hyundai and Kia, among others, recommend adding a fuel system cleaner to your gas tank periodically if you’re not using Top Tier gas on a regular basis.

Many other gasoline additives that are supposed to clean fuel system parts are also available over the counter, and they may help keep things clean enough so that fuel injector cleaning isn’t necessary. The additional detergents found in Top Tier gas should do the same thing, which might be all your fuel system needs.

Change Oil Every 3,000 Miles

No, you don’t, according to every auto manufacturer we’ve talked to. The main advocates of the 3,000-mile oil change schedule are those who would profit by it: repair facilities, quick-lube chains and service departments at some new-car dealers.

Years ago it was a good idea to change the oil and filter frequently, but because of advances in engine materials and tighter tolerances, as well as the oil that goes into engines, most manufacturers recommend intervals of 7,500 miles or more.

Ford, Volkswagen and Porsche, for example, recommend oil changes every 10,000 miles. So does Toyota on several engines, including the Prius’ 1.8-liter four-cylinder and the Camry’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder. BMW says owners can go up to 15,000 miles between oil changes (with synthetic oil).

The intervals vary by manufacturer and engines, so consult your owner’s manual or maintenance schedule to see how often to change the oil in your vehicle and what type of oil to use. You may be surprised. We were surprised to learn that the Camry’s 2.5-liter engine requires 0W20 synthetic oil, for instance.

Manufacturers suggest you change oil more often for “severe” driving conditions, such as frequent trailer towing, extensive stop-go driving or idling in traffic, driving in extreme heat or cold, or frequent short-distance driving in which the engine doesn’t reach full operating temperature.

Some car companies, Ford and General Motors among them, equip most vehicles with oil life monitors that tell you when it’s time to change the oil based on vehicle speed, engine temperature, climate conditions, number of cold starts and other factors. They can all cite examples from owners who say the oil-life monitors indicated they could go even longer than the recommended change intervals.

If you’re nervous about going 10,000 miles or more between oil changes, then do it every six months, when you probably should also have your tires rotated (also explained in your owner’s manual). GM says to change your oil at least once a year even if the service indicator warning light doesn’t come on. With longer recommended intervals between oil changes, it’s more important to check the oil level at least once a month to make sure you have enough.

But to change oil every 3,000 miles is probably wasting money. Environmentalists say it also adds to the glut of used oil that must be recycled or disposed, and the state of California is trying to discourage the practice.

If the guy at the quick-lube shop says he’s only trying to help you when he recommends frequent oil changes, consider this: It is not in the interest of an auto manufacturer for you to suffer premature engine failure caused by worn-out oil. If that happens, they might have to pay for repairs under warranty and probably will lose you as a customer. Yet, they’re the ones advising you to follow longer oil-change intervals.

Learn More About Car Rust Repair as Easy

Once rust starts to eat away at your car, there is no turning back. The rust spots start to plague your vehicle, leaving spots that cannot be eliminated and that never slow down. Caused when mild steel comes into contact with water, which is slightly acidic, the wetter the weather is, the more rust your car will have.

To prevent car rust from ruining your vehicle, check your car regularly for rust spots. Carefully look over the places around the wheel well and on the bottom edge next to the ground, as well as around your door locks where any possible chips could have been made. Often, tiny rust spots are caused by stones being thrown up from the road that chip off the top coat of paint on your car; car keys can knock against the paint to cause scratches. That leaves only bare metal exposed to water, wind, and dirt, which can set in motion an even larger section of rust.

However, if you don’t catch a chipped spot before it starts to rust, you can fix it yourself. Treating a car’s rusty spot can be quite simple if it’s small. It’s the sizable sections that should be left to the professionals where patching may be required to repair the car rust. To treat a small rusted area, start by using a cloth dipped in alcohol to wipe down the rust spot on and about an inch around it, and then scrape off the loose paint. Next, rub the area down with coarse sandpaper until you reach an area of good paint and blow away the dust. Then, apply primer with a fine paint brush, going beyond the area just about a quarter-inch, and let it dry completely.

After this, you’ll want to use an old knife to apply a thin layer of cellulose stopper. Don’t leave any excess around the affected area. In the final step, use a medium-grade sandpaper to make the area smoothly flow into the area surrounding the old rust spot. To finish off the repair, use a can of touch up paint, applied quickly and smoothly, overlapping the paint into the car’s existing paint job. Apply the second coat after 24 hours and you’re done.

To find the exact color of paint to match your vehicle, look for the car’s paint color or trim code on the identification plate underneath the hood or inside the doors. You can take this number to an auto accessory shop, dealership, or auto repair shop to get an exact shade of paint so you can make the car rust repair job look professional. You can also look for the color code inside the frame of the driver’s side door near the door jamb.

To help protect your vehicle from being vulnerable to more rust spots a few hundred miles down the road, there are various rust prevention techniques that come in every form, like corrosion protection coating, corrosion control coating, rust prevention coatings, automotive undercoating, rust repair, and rust paint. There are a number of companies in the market that specialize in applying rust prevention and protection techniques that will provide free estimates and information to anyone who is interested in getting their car rust repaired.

Also using basic car care such as waxing the vehicle adds another protective coating that helps run off water and it adds an extra clear layer of protection on your car to prevent any need for future car rust repair.

 

All About Repairing a Tire

You’re not sure if you hit a nail or ran through glass. What you do know it that your tire is definitely flat. It could be repaired at the mechanic’s shop or you could save yourself the trip and expense and do it yourself. The process can be a little time consuming, but once you know how to repair a flat you will never again be at the mercy of closed shops or stuck in the middle of nowhere. Taking the time to learn this essential maintenance process now will save a lot of time and hassle later.

The first thing you need to do is determine where the puncture is located. A quick way to do this is to submerge the tire in water and watch where air bubbles form. Obviously this area or areas are the place you need to concentrate on. Before the patch job can begin it is important to remove any foreign object that is stuck there. Pliers are a good tool for this step. Simply use the pliers to pull the object out in the same direction as the tire’s tread. Being sure to go with the tread helps ensure that minimal additional damage is done to the tire.

Now is the time to prepare to patch the tire hole. Using a tire reamer clean the hole out from the inside of the tire. This will remove any dirt or oil that may later cause adhesion issues with the cement and patch. Place the patch centered over the puncture to be sure sizing is correct. Remove the patch and coat an awl with cement. Be sure to run the awl through the hole several times to be sure the cement is coating the damaged area adequately. Place a coat of vulcanizing cement on the patch and buffed area of the tire and allow to dry thoroughly.

Remember the awl is still through the hole. Apply a thin layer of cement to the stem of the patch and pull the stem through the hole. Once the patch stem is through the puncture cut the stem off almost flush with the outside of the tire’s tread. The tire is now patched and there are a just a few more things to do before you are back on the road.

To finish up the tire repair job and to help make sure your tire problems are a thing of the past, take the time to complete a few preventative measures. One useful precaution is to take a look at your valve stems. If they look worn, old, or damaged it is a good idea to change them. Be sure they are the right length and diameter for your car’s tires.

Valve stems are important because not only do they function to retain valve core air retention, but they also keep moisture and dirt from getting inside the tire. Once you are assured that the valve stems are in good condition reinflate the tire. Using soapy water sprayed on the tire is useful to see if there are any leaks in the new patch, around valve stems, or the beads.

Having a flat tire is certainly an inconvenience, but some time and a little patience can have you back on the road with safe, road worthy tires.

 

All About Car Windshield Repair

If your car window has been cracked by a rock, you don’t have to replace your entire window. You can just repair it at a fraction of the price that you’d pay if you were to report it to your insurance company or if your insurance agent was to send you to an inexpensive repairman.

The easiest types of cracks to fix are small bulls-eye holes or cracks caused by pebbles or stones. Depending on the size of the crack in your windshield, about $60 is the average amount you will spend on repairing it, compared to about $300 to replace an entire windshield. Or, you can find a car windshield repair kit, which runs around $12.95, through the Internet, a local auto parts store, or a local windshield repair company. Prices may vary at different locations. There are several on the market for under $10 that claim to fix most types of glass damage, from windshields to headlights. It is nearly invisible and uses a professional resin injector system and UV cure epoxy to allow repairs to be done in 20 minutes. Other car windshield repair kits use special vacuum and pressure settings in an individual spring-loaded injector with just one seal to exchange.

If your crack is substantial, searching the yellow pages in the phone book or doing an online search can help you find car windshield repair companies. You can have one of these windshield repair companies fix your vehicle in the parking lot while you’re at work or in your own driveway at home. The mobile car windshield wizards have a process to their magic: starting by drilling tiny holes in the glass, a special glazing technique is used to fill the cracks with a substance that stops cracks from dispersing when it hardens. Like a liquid resin that a dentist would use to repair your teeth, it is hardened with ultraviolet light. The only sign that your windshield has been repaired is a small blur where the crack was, but sometimes even that can’t be seen.

Besides the money you save, there are a number of reasons to consider repairing your cracked windshield by yourself. If you have a rare vehicle with a unique windshield, it could be difficult to find the exact size and shape windshield that you need, and sometimes it is difficult to find someone who will work well with you.

You should consider fixing your cracked windshield if you have even a small spot, because little cracks start to spread and turn into large cracks. A vehicle’s windshield is also an important safety factor in that it supports the roof of the vehicle, keeping it from caving in on itself in the case of an accident. Not only that, but if the crack is in the view of the driver, it could obstruct or distract from the other cars and passengers on the road. The bonus side to knowing how to perform your own car windshield repair is that not many people take the time to learn the skill, and many people utilize car windshield repair kits to start a business repairing car windshields for other people

 

Simple Steps To Change a Car Fuse

It’s a beautiful night and you and your sweetie are driving down a pretty country road. The bliss of the night is interrupted by a high-pitched scream. The scream wasn’t Sweetie; it was you because the car just lost all power to the headlights.

Since the car is running fine the only conclusion to make is there is a blown fuse. Luckily a few tips and tricks of the trade, not to mention knowing where to look, will fix the problem in a jiffy.

The first thing to do is be prepared. The Boy Scouts are on to something with that one. Being prepared means having the correct fuses for your vehicle on hand, not in the garage at home. They won’t help you there. Ten dollars or less spent at the auto store will provide your car with a spare set of fuses for any emergency.

It’s a good idea to store these in the glove compartment if your car isn’t equipped with a place in the fuse panel to store them. The glove compartment is an ideal location to keep the fuses clean and dry.

Newer model cars and trucks rely heavily on their electrical systems. Ask anyone who has worked on them. Some of these models have up to three different fuse boxes.

An easy way to determine which box to check and which fuse to change is using the owner’s manual. There should be a chart detailing those specifics included. If the chart is missing, the fastest way to find the faulty fuse is to test it with a test light or voltmeter.

Now, if the Boy Scouts’ rule has been forgotten, the option left for you is to check them by sight individually. To test if the fuse is blown, connect the ground wire of your test light or voltmeter to a chassis point, one with exposed metal is a good choice. Then touch the tool’s probe to the fuse’s conductor.

A working fuse will show voltage power on both sides. Obviously the faulty culprit fuse will be missing its charge on one side. Fortunately changing the fuse involves removing the bad one and plugging in a new fuse.

Pay attention here. Make sure the fuse you are using to replace the bad one is the correct amp. If you use a fuse with too high amperage it is possible to start an electrical fire in your vehicle and do more damage than a simple blown fuse is worth.

Fuses typically come in three sizes, mini, normal, and maxi. The fuses that are mini and normal are color-coded. The wrench thrown in is that the maxi sized fuses are color-coded differently.

This being the case it is imperative to check that the amperage on the fuse is correct for location. Don’t even trust a trained mechanic, they make mistakes too. Just because that was the last fuse put in doesn’t mean it was the right amperage.

Knowing how to change your car fuses and being prepared for the possibility is the perfect way to ensure that there won’t be any late night blackouts. Sweetie will thank you for it.

 

Information About Windshield Repair using OEM vs Non OEM Glass

One of the Most Important & Overlooked Safety Features in Your Vehicle Is Right In Front of Your Eyes; The Difference Between High and Low Quality Windshields

You’re on the road this summer and a rock bounces up and puts a big crack in your windshield. No big deal, you can you wait until winter to fix it, right? No.

A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger side airbag. In a rollover accident the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.

Okay, so it’s time to replace the windshield, but what are the choices and how important is this really? There are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and non-OEM glass, or what many people refer to as aftermarket glass.

OEM suppliers are trusted by auto manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to provide quality controlled windshields that are a perfect match and fit for their vehicles.

OEM glass suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, using computer-assisted engineering and design programs (CAE and CAD) to ensure quality windshields for their vehicles.

Each OEM windshield goes through rigorous and thorough surface contour and optical quality checks as it moves down the assembly line.

Auto glass parts produced by OEM Manufacturers consistently fit better and adhere to the same standards for fit and finish as the glass that is originally installed when the car is built.

There are significant quality differences between original equipment manufactured windshields and aftermarket auto glass. So why then, would anyone go to a shop that uses aftermarket glass when you need to replace your windshield?

The after market shops will tell you that their product is the same quality as an OEM windshield. Wrong. Non-OEM auto glass manufacturers make copies of OEM auto glass parts. These copies have to vary slightly from the OEM part due to the fact that OEM parts are patented and the designs are protected and trademarked.

Non-OEM suppliers must make significant differences in their product so that they do not exactly copy the glass used by GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to avoid being sued for copyright fraud.

Many auto glass shops use non-OEM parts because they are significantly cheaper to buy. These savings are not always passed along to the consumer, nor is the consumer told the parts being installed are of a lesser quality.

Aftermarket glass parts also are not accepted by new car manufacturers for warranty claims and violate the repair requirements of many leasing contracts. It is common after installation for non-OEM or aftermarket parts to have fit and finish problems like air leaks, water leaks and stress cracks.

“Almost 70% of the automotive windshields that we see (that have been previously replaced) were improperly installed,” says Nik Frye, Vice President of Sales for Glass America. “This is important to note, because in a front-end collision, the windshield can provide up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle.

In a rollover, that number can be up to 60%.  If customers use OEM glass, a high quality polyurethane adhesive system with a one hour cure time, and a trained, certified technician – then this will greatly improve their chances of getting a safe windshield installation.”

Glass America, a national automobile glass replacement and repair company, only uses OEM manufactured glass and approved installation procedures and urethane sealants. The result? The auto glass fits better, looks better and most importantly, provides drivers with the highest level of safety.

About Glass America
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Glass America is one of the largest independently-owned automobile glass replacement and repair companies in the country.  Glass America has 94 service centers conducting business under the names Glass America and Auto Glass Service which are conveniently located in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Glass America offers a complete line of auto glass repair and replacement services for all years, makes and models, foreign and domestic, commercial or passenger vehicles. In contrast to many of the glass companies in the country, Glass America only uses OEM (original equipment manufactured) windshields, meaning that it is the proper windshield with the perfect fit, as specified by the original manufacturer for each vehicle.

 

Learn More About Auto Repair Advice

Auto Repair Advice: Learn To Speak “Auto Tech” will show you how to speak to your automotive technician so he will understand exactly what is wrong with your car.

(NAPSI)-You may be better able to stay on the road to safety and savings the next time you need to have your car repaired if you select a quality facility and learn to speak a little “auto tech.”

When communicating with an automotive technician, AAA recommends motorists do the following:

• Before taking the vehicle to a repair facility, write down the symptoms and any performance issues so important information is not overlooked or forgotten.

• Describe the symptoms to the technician. Explain what has been seen, smelled, heard and felt while driving the vehicle. For example, does it vibrate or pull to the left? Explain under what type of driving conditions the problem takes place and how long ago it started.

• When describing symptoms, refer to the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle rather than the right or left side.

• If the vehicle has been serviced recently, bring copies of the previous repair orders rather than trying to explain what work was done.

• Ask questions if the technician uses jargon you don’t understand or if something is not thoroughly explained. Quality technicians will take the time to clearly explain the problem before offering a repair solution.

• Always read the repair order before signing it and authorizing any work. Look for specific instructions detailing the maintenance to be done, the problem to be corrected and the work to be performed. If the language is vague or unclear, ask that it be rewritten.

To help motorists get good repairs, AAA, the country’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, has more than 8,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America.

 

Learn More About Small Car Repairs

Drivers are holding on to their cars longer in these tough economic times, so AutoZone, the nation’s leading auto parts retailer, is offering tips to help motorists get the most out of their investment.

“Holding off on purchasing a new vehicle can be a smart financial decision, especially if drivers properly maintain their vehicles to ensure they’re running safely and efficiently,” said Steve Stoll, Merchandising Director of AutoZone. “Maintaining and replacing key components, such as brakes and batteries, can keep vehicles on the road and help prevent costly repairs in the future.”

The average length of time consumers hold on to their vehicles is more than five years, according to a recent automotive industry study. Older cars can be safe and dependable, but need ongoing maintenance to keep them running at their best. According to the National Car Council, 80 percent of vehicles on the road are in need of service or parts.

Motorists who know the signs of impending failure and understand the impact extreme weather conditions can have on various car components, can plan ahead for repairs and replacements instead of being hit by an unexpected bill down the road, Stoll said.

“The longer car maintenance is delayed, the more costly it can be,” said Stoll.

Two key components in any vehicle are the braking system and the battery. AutoZone experts offer the following tips to ensure these vital parts are properly maintained.

Give Brakes A Winter Check-up.

Excessive build-up of road salt and brine solutions in the winter on brake components is one cause of brake failure. These solutions can create contamination of exposed brake parts and can cause brake components to deteriorate prematurely. Hazardous road conditions can also lead to increased use of Antilock Braking Systems (ABS), which can cause premature wear of all brake system components.

As temperatures warm up, motorists should check their braking systems to uncover any damage that may have occurred during the winter months.

Check Brakes Quarterly To Ensure Proper Performance.

In general, brakes are the most important safety feature on any vehicle and should be checked quarterly to ensure proper performance. Brake pads and rotors should also be checked any time the tires are removed, such as during a tire rotation. Other brake components such as brake fluid should be checked at every oil change.

Extreme Temperatures Can Mean Battery Failure.

A battery’s biggest enemy is heat. High temperatures can cause the grids inside batteries to corrode and break down. The effects of the corrosion are usually seen when winter hits, when the car requires more electrical power to start. Drivers should have batteries tested up to twice a year in normal climates, and more frequently in extremely hot or cold climates.

Retailers Such As AutoZone Offer Free Battery Testing.

Replace the battery every three to four years.

While batteries can last more than five years in ideal driving conditions, factors such as temperature, the car’s age and nature of usage can impact the life of a battery. Many motorists are unaware that under the stress of normal city driving, the average life of a vehicle battery is about three years.

According to the National Car Care Council, drivers with batteries more than three years old should consider replacing them, since batteries rarely give warning signs that they are about to fail. Drivers seeking more information about protecting their auto investments and extending the lives of their vehicles can visit www.autozone.com for car care tips, seasonal driving advice and maintenance how-to videos

 

Know Some Transmission Problems

When it comes to automatic transmissions, fluid leaks and low fluid levels are probably the most common problems owners experience, especially as a vehicle gets older and parts wear out.

If you don’t notice a puddle of transmission fluid (often red, but sometimes other colors or clear) on your garage floor or driveway, you might observe that the transmission is slow to engage a drive gear or shifts sluggishly into higher gears while you’re underway. Both are signs that the transmission fluid is low, which usually can be traced to a leak, though other issues could be at fault. Transmission fluid also can wear out over time and may need to be replaced.

Other warning signs include unusual noises, such as a whine or a buzz, shifting harshly into the next gear instead of engaging smoothly, or slipping out of a gear while driving. If you hear a grinding noise from the transmission, that could be because bearings have failed, allowing metal-to-metal contact between parts that aren’t supposed to rub against each other.

Some vehicles have transmission-warning lights that illuminate when computers sense a problem, but on many cars, the transmission is linked to the same computer that controls the engine, which is the powertrain control module. That could result in the check engine light coming on when you have a transmission issue.

Using your car or truck for towing or hauling heavy loads makes the transmission work harder and can cause it to overheat. Often that will trigger a warning light; if you smell something burning, that could be an overheated transmission. Cars, trucks and SUVs that do a lot of towing or heavy hauling may need what’s called auxiliary transmission fluid cooler.

Because modern transmissions are electronically controlled, if the software or even a sensor fails, the transmission won’t be getting the signals it needs. That could cause a transmission to shift into a “limp home” mode that allows you to drive at reduced speed until it can be repaired. In some cases, a transmission will just shut down to prevent further damage.