Category: Car Maintenance


Your car is subjected to a ton of wear and tear. Constant years of depending on it to get you where you need to be along with exposure to harsh and changing weather conditions will leave your car looking worse for wear. While complete renovations may seem costly and time consuming, there are cheap ways to go about renovating your car piece by piece, saving you money while making sure your car looks and drives as good as new.

Car Tuning

  • Spring for the Expensive Brake Pads– One easy way to upgrade how your vehicle drives is by choosing more expensive brake pads. More than just buying the most expensive brake pads at the automotive store, find brake pads that are specifically designed to help you reduce stopping distances and eliminate the fade in braking situations.
  • New Tires Will Improve Grip and Handling– Driving around on worn out tires is not only murderous on your car’s fuel efficiency but it is flat out unsafe. Worn out tires make handling your vehicle difficult as the reduced grip on the road will make it harder to stay in control of your car. Buying four new tires may still be a pricey purchase but even just buying two tires at a time will improve your gas mileage, handling and safety out on wet or slicker roads.
  • Maintain Your Paint– Regular waxing and washing your vehicle will help to preserve and maintain the paint. Over time though the paint will begin to fade and crack. You can extend the life of your paint by immediately fixing small scratches or other blemishes and keeping your vehicle clean with monthly or bimonthly car washes. In the instance of your paint being cracked or damaged, a fresh coat of paint or two will go a long way to making your car look as good as new.
  • Choose Your Parking Wisely– Natural factors like sunshine, tree sap and passing birds can all have damaging effects on the paint on your vehicle. With that in mind take advantage of opportunities to park in enclosed areas or under shady trees to help avoid dirtying or damaging your paint unnecessarily. By avoiding these factors you will be able to extend the lifespan of your paint and keep your car looking like it did before.
  • Repair Your Seats– If your car’s seats are torn and worn out looking, it can cost hundreds of dollars to get it repaired professionally but doing it yourself will help you save tons of money on labor. Buy a curved upholstery needle and some high strength thread and you can either patch the tears or repair them completely. The right type of fabric cleaner will also give your seats a like-new shine.
  • Clean the Carpets Quick and Easy– Shoes can easily track in dirty footprints and other debris from outside and worn out carpets in your car will make the entire interior look old and outdated and needing extensive TLC. Another quick fix to do on your own, liquid carpet cleaner will loosen up the dirt for you to pick it up with a shop vac. Repeat that process as needed for an extremely filthy carpet and then leave the car in a warm place to dry. A steam vacuum can also help to completely clean all of the dirt that comes up as you clean if you choose to rent one. Also be sure to wipe the pedals as well to prevent dirt from collecting onto the carpet right after you take the time to clean it.

Thorough Cleaning of Car

Final words

Professional renovators can cost hundreds of dollars to take your old car and help make it look as good as new but by taking the right steps and being mindful of your budget you can repair many of the issues and renovate your vehicle on your own for a fraction of the cost. There may be expenses that are unavoidable like fresh coats of paint or brand new tires but the improvements to both the appearance and performance of your vehicle, along with the added safety, will make any of the costs well worth it. No renovation needs to be done completely all at once so take your time to make sure you end up with the vehicle you want.


One of the most important parts on your car is the muffler. Located under the rear of the car, it is essentially the exhaust system of your vehicle’s engine. The muffler helps reduce the amount of noise produced by your engine as well as also controlling the backpressure of the engine, which improves the endurance and performance of your car’s engine. Backpressure is created by the engine’s valves moving in all possible directions and colliding and cancelling each other out, with an old or poorly maintained muffler, this can have a considerable impact on your engine’s performance.
 
Car Muffler

With such important jobs, keeping your muffler well maintained is essential to preventing unnecessary stress and damages to your engine and exhaust system. There are telltale signs to look for that your muffler may be in need of repair or to be completely replaced and being able to recognize them early is essential to preventing incidents. Here are some of the most common problems your muffler can encounter and the signs you can recognize to make sure you can have it looked at by a professional service center immediately.
 

Common Problems

  • Rust– The most common issue in a muffler is that they tend to rust over an extended period of time due to the water that collects inside the exhaust system. The system won’t get hot enough for the water to burn off so it turns into condensation and then rust. Areas with high levels of rain and snow as well as salt like near the beach can also lead to rust in the muffler.
  • Holes/Loose Parts– Another common problem is holes or loose pieces in the exhaust system. This can occur when a car hits a pothole or a rock is kicked up from underneath the vehicle, which can lead to a crack in the muffler. If this happens, then your exhaust pipe or muffler may need to be completely replaced.

Signs to Look for that Indicate a Muffler Problem

  • Louder than usual– The first sign to look for is that your engine will sound much louder while it’s running. Any issue with the muffler can produce a louder, whining sound from the engine even when your vehicle is just idling. If your car is sounding louder than normal, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic as soon as possible to prevent damages to other vital areas of your car like the catalytic converter among others.
  • Lower Fuel Efficiency– When your engine and exhaust system are up to date and properly tuned, one benefit is a better fuel economy and gas tanks that seem to last a little bit longer. If you notice yourself needed to refuel more and more frequently, then this is a sign that there may be something wrong with the exhaust system/muffler.
  • Condensation in the Exhaust Pipes– You know that the muffler can rust due to the build up of condensation in the muffler and in the exhaust system over time. Over time and through all the constant warming up and cooling down cycles, your muffler may start to leak exhaust gases and if you notice excessive condensation leaking from your exhaust pipe, especially during warmer periods of the day, this can be a sign of your muffler beginning to wear out.
  • Bad Smells– Your muffler will work to take exhaust fumes out and away from your vehicle, if there’s a leak or other type of issue, those fumes may be leaking into your car. Over time exhaust fumes can be fatal so it’s important that if you begin to smell any unusual smells, that you take your vehicle in as soon as possible.

Car Exhaust System

What To Do

In the event you notice any of these symptoms such as your vehicle sounding louder or whinier than usual, it’s important that you take your car in to be serviced and inspected by professionals as soon as possible. With how important your muffler is to the exhaust system and your entire engine, keeping your car well maintained with annual inspections and tune-ups will keep your exhaust system functioning at a high performance level and will make finding any wear and tear or holes and damages in the muffler easier and sooner to prevent further or larger and more critical damages to various components of your vehicle. Visit your local mechanic or service center to schedule an appointment for service or a routine inspection of your exhaust system.


Perhaps the worst part of seeing the check engine light come on in your car is the uncertainty that comes with it. The check engine light can come on for a wide variety of the reasons and while not all of them are as costly and as massive as you may think, it’s important to know where to look first and what the most common causes will turn on the check engine light and how to fix them as fast as possible before the issues and the costs begin to pile up.
 
Check Engine Light ON

It’s important to note:

When you see the check engine light turned on in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to take your vehicle to professionals and begin to have it assessed to properly determine the cause. While it can be frustrating and tough to figure out why it’s on, ignoring the light could potentially lead to far more costly and extensive repairs. It’s also important to remember that while the sensors in your vehicle can be reset, which would turn off the light, that by no means indicates that the problem has been solved, if any of these issues go undiagnosed and unattended, it can lead to irreversible and expensive problems down the road.

  • Faulty Oxygen Sensor – Your oxygen sensor over time becomes covered in oil ash and it can reduce the sensor’s ability to change the mixture of fuel and oxygen. A faulty sensor can lead to a dramatic decrease in fuel efficiency of up to 40% and could potentially lead to severe catalytic converter damage if left unattended. This is the most common cause of the check engine light so if yours is on, there’s a good chance it could be the oxygen sensor but be sure to have a professional mechanic determine the reason for the light by reading the error code.
  • Check The Gas Cap – It’s hard to imagine but sometimes the problem can be as simple as the gas cap being loose. You can have this diagnosed by a auto mechanic but simply buying a new gas cap is an inexpensive enough alternative to try if you’d like to avoid mechanics altogether.
  • Aging Ignition Coils – Sometimes a vehicle can have more than 1 ignition coil and if it gets to hot under the hood, it can lead to accelerated wear and tear though it’s recommended to change them over the years as they wear out with time and should an ignition coil fail, it can lead to damage to the catalytic converter, a costly and time-consuming repair when compared to the relatively low cost of a replacement ignition coil.
  • Is Your Engine Light Solid or Flashing? – It’s important to pay attention to what exactly your engine light is doing; a solid light signifies a less severe problem, though service is recommended immediately regardless, you can breathe a little easier knowing that the issue, while serious nonetheless, is not a full on catastrophe. A flashing light on the other hand signals severe engine malfunction and a likely leak of fuel into the exhaust system. Should it get to that point, it heats up faster and can lead to extensive damage to the catalytic converter along with other internal components. If your engine light is flashing, the best way to avoid overheating your vehicle is to lower your speeds and seek repair as soon as possible.
  • Replace the Spark Plugs and Wires – If a spark plug or spark plug wire should fail in your vehicle, your engine may begin to misfire and that could lead to lower fuel mileage and a decline in your vehicle’s overall performance. If left unattended, that can lead to permanent internal damage to your vehicle, specifically to the catalytic converter. If you’re looking to change your spark plugs yourself though, it’s a relatively easy repair that will cost you about $10 and an hour or less of time.

Fuel Load

The check engine light can be a scary thing; you never quite know what could be causing it and there’s no real way to tell until you make the trip to a mechanic to have the issue properly diagnosed. However, knowing the most likely causes of the check engine light is a great way to stay a little bit ahead of those costly visits and for a fraction of the cost, you can try your hand at turning that light off the right way.


All you need to do is look at the calendar to know that hot days of summer are not far ahead. This is perhaps the busiest time of the year for your automobile. You may be traveling on vacation or just having to deal with a lot of heavy traffic in hot weather are some things that you should check out before Memorial Day.

Lady Enjoying Vacation

You can start with the tires. These old reliable tires went through an awful lot of bad weather in January. The treads may have worn down to the point where they are possibly dangerous. Look for bald spots and also check for bubbles that may have formed on the sidewalls. Make certain that the tires are properly inflated to better handle the road.
 
Your car only needs to have the oil changed every 5000 miles. Last time you did this may have been in November. It is a good idea before the summer starts to have the oil checked and, if necessary, changed. The same can be done for any other fluids your automobile relies upon. Having the brake, power steering, and transmission fluids looked at is a good safety project. They may not need to be changed but checking makes certain. To be sure that everything is running efficiently on the you can also check the oil filter. If the filter is clogged it is going to have a negative impact on performance. It doesn’t cost that much to change the oil filter and it is worthwhile.
 
Nobody wants their car stall on the freeway in July. One way to keep this is to check the battery. This means more than just checking to be sure there is no corrosion on the top. The fluid level in the battery has to be where has to be to keep the battery in operation. Checking the electrical system of the car is a bit more than just the transmission and battery. Spark plugs are not much of a concern because these are now designed to last past a hundred thousand miles each. You should be looking at the cables to be certain they are properly insulated and there are no gaps or holes. Anyone who lives in hot weather areas knows how important the coolant is for the car. People living in snow country may ignore this, and it is dangerous to do that. Cars can very easily over heat in summer, even in Wisconsin.
 
Don’t forget the little things, either. Even though the days are longer there may still be times that you will be driving in the dark. The headlights have to function properly and it is not that difficult to check them. Summer brings showers and these often times can be rather heavy. The windshield wipers and the blades ought to be inspected. You may not have done anything as far as washing the exterior, but there still may be some salt residue on the body. It can encourage rust and putting the car through a car wash gets rid of all the salt and grime which built up during the wintertime. The air-conditioning has to be in good working order. If it isn’t, you and your passengers will find out early how overlooking the AC can be an uncomfortable mistake. Every car owner takes for granted the gas cap is going to be fine. You really should not make that assumption. It looks as if the gas cap is in less than good condition, it doesn’t cost that much to replace it. Any automotive supply store has this item on the shelf.

Sunny Day

Vacation travel is an opportunity to have a complete inspection of your car. Scheduling an appointment with an automotive service center makes a lot of sense. Any problem under the hood can quickly be solved by trained mechanics who have the proper equipment. They may in fact discover a problem you may not know existed. The attention can save major repair bills later.
 
The summer is meant to be a time of fun and great relaxation. You look forward to kicking back and enjoying the weather. There is no reason why you cannot do that. It is important that the car be ready for those extended trips you are looking forward to taking. Just a little bit of maintenance will see to it that you can enjoy those long summer nights and days.


Other than your car’s exterior there are few parts on your vehicle that are exposed to the elements as much as your car’s exhaust system. This can be really hard on them because exhaust systems are almost always made of metal and it’s a fact metal rusts easily when exposed to such things as salt, mud and other high moisture substances. Here are a few suggestions on how some people have had success slowing down the rusting process on the inside and outside of their exhaust systems.
 

Why does rust occur on an exhaust system?

People have a hard time keeping their exhaust system from rusting because your exhaust gets attacked both from the inside and outside by moisture. The rusting process is accelerated when this excess moisture is trapped by such things as mud, dirt, tar and other common types of particles that are kicked up onto the bottom of your vehicle as you drive along a roadway.

Car Muffler

Methods to help keep your muffler from rusting

 

Paint before Installing

Some people claim they have had a lot of success preventing rust from forming on their mufflers by painting them before installation. If you are going to try this method make sure you use a high temp metal paint or the coating won’t last long.
 

Get undercoating

There are mixed reviews on doing this. Some people swear by it and say it works and yet others claim that the undercoating will burn off quickly and become ineffective or it will start to emit a very foul odor that you can smell inside your car when you drive.
 

Routinely spray off the bottom of the car

Spraying off the underside of your vehicle and especially your exhaust on a routine basis will go a long way toward preventing rust from forming on your exhaust system. This will get off most of the road particles that tend to trap moisture against the metal in your exhaust system and help the rust to form.
 

Purchase a high end exhaust system

Most mufflers are made of metal but the best ones are made of stainless steel. Although stainless steel is not 100% rust proof it does resist the rusting process much better than other types of metal that exhaust systems are commonly made of. Unfortunately high end stainless steel exhaust systems can be very expensive, as much as 3 – 4 times as discount priced exhaust systems in many cases.
 

Wax it

Some people claim that waxing will help prevent rusting on your exhaust system if it is applied on a regular basis. This makes sense because the wax does not allow moisture, road salt, mud or other rust causing particles to stick on the parts of your exhaust system.
 

Buff it out

Many people have had success keeping rust from forming on their exhaust system by buffing them out occasionally. This is usually done in one of two ways. The first is by hand buffing and the other is to use some type of powered metal brush. This will remove any unseen rust particles before they have a chance to grow and turn into visible ones.
 

Drive at least 30 minutes

One of the big reasons that mufflers start to rust is because of the moisture that is always trapped on the inside of them. When you drive your car a short distance Car Exhaust Repair it never gets hot enough to completely dry the moisture inside the muffler. If you drive the car longer the exhaust heats up more and you have a better chance of eliminating the moisture inside of the muffler that is causing it to rust from the inside out.
 
If you live near the beach or an area where they salt the roads during the winter you better get used to the idea of replacing your exhaust every 3 to 4 years if you don’t believe in spending a lot of money on an exhaust system. As was mentioned earlier, no matter what you do it is hard to prevent your exhaust system from rusting, so the better the quality of stainless steel that is used in it the more likely your exhaust is to hold up for a long period of time.


Hybrid cars were once novelties for the rich. Although the design and concept stimulated conversation there really wasn’t much interest from the general public. That has all changed and the number of hybrid automobiles is increasing. A primary motivator is the federal fuel economy goals established by the federal government. Another demand stimulator is the low emissions that the hybrid will produce. Despite the new appeal the hybrid is still a fairly expensive car and usually cost more than the standard gasoline burner. The question will arise about maintenance and repair of the car. Can an ordinary auto repair service center provide the necessary work?

Hybrid Car Logo

Which auto repair shop to choose?

One challenge is the lack of mechanic’s certification. The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) are working on repair and servicing training, but repair service for hybrids is still a work in process. Diagnostic equipment for the hybrid car is scarce and Automotive Research & Design (AR&D) is apparently the only organization offering the necessary training. What it means for the owner of a hybrid is that an auto repair shop ought to be able to produce a certificate from AR&D before choosing that shop.
 

Any auto repair shop is OK for standard maintenance work

Fortunately, there are a number of services that can be done by any auto repair shop on a hybrid car. The oil and the filters in a hybrid can be a do-it-yourself job or the local auto service center can do it. The process is the same in a hybrid as it is in the standard gasoline driven car. Brakes are a very important part of any car; there is no question about that. Brake disc pads or the rear brake shoes of a hybrid car follows the same procedure of replacement as ordinary automobiles. Tires are tires no matter what model of car they are mounted on. The same rules of the road should be followed with tires on hybrids. The pressure in the tire has to be correct and periodic tire rotation is the same as with any model of car. Hybrids have a Power Control Unit which needs coolant replenished whenever the levels become low. Other fluids such as transmission power steering fluid are just like regular cars. All of these are pretty well standard maintenance work that an automotive service center can do with an appointment.
 

Reason to go to a dealership

This being said, there does remain some areas where the automotive center at the end of the street cannot be of much help. The same is true for anybody who is a do-it-yourself fanatic. The battery of a hybrid is a complicated piece of equipment. These batteries have 36 to 330 volts; trying to replace them can be a safety hazard. The repairs on electric motors can put you in harm’s way because of the electricity. The motor controller in a hybrid is not a simple design. It is as complex as a transmission system a regular car, and a rookie mistake can result in expensive repairs. The hybrid car is very modern when it comes to its dependence on computer systems. Any voltage change can affect the computer control. It is reason enough to go to a dealership in order to have any repairs affecting the computer systems.

Hybrid Motor

The sensitivity of the hybrid battery is an inducement to get a warranty on it. This will probably require that you have only a certified technician work on the battery, but this piece of paper may keep the costs of replacing or repairing the hybrid battery to an acceptable level. Those auto repair shops certified to work on hybrid cars need to provide specific services and you should inquire about that. It should include comprehensive diagnostics, high-voltage battery conditioning, battery cable repair and replacement, and hybrid battery conditioning and testing. You should know the type of hybrid battery in your car and ask any repair center if they can service that particular model.
 

Cleaner environment with hybrid cars

It is true that the servicing of a hybrid car is currently not as convenient as that of a standard automobile. However, you should keep in mind the benefits these cars will provide in the long run. These are noted for superior fuel efficiency and the cost of fuel for your car will go down dramatically. Moreover, this is an environmentally friendly way of getting around. Carbon emissions are drastically reduced when hybrid cars are on the road. Your ownership of one of these automobiles reflects a commitment to a cleaner environment with a smaller carbon footprint left behind.
 


Automobiles are built to last. They should be able to drive tens of thousands of miles before there is any trouble in it. As a car owner you do have to remember that the terrain you traverse is going to have an impact on the engine. Stop and go traffic in the city or rough roads in the country will eventually cause some wear and tear on the engine block. Even though many times you are in a rush to get from one place to another, you should pay careful attention to the engine. That means understanding when things may be going wrong. As a professional auto mechanic will tell you, you pay for your ignorance.
 
Check Engine Light
 

Try to detect problems quickly

Car owners know that when the “Check Engine Light” starts blinking that there may be a problem within the engine. This warning flasher on the dashboard will not tell you what part of the engine is having difficulty, but only if there’s a problem which has been picked up by the sensors. It is quite possible that the difficulty is starting to get into the advanced stages. Being able to detect problems in the beginning is going to help.
 

Other symptoms of vehicle breakdown

The brake pads of the car can wear down and if you are noticing it is getting difficult to bring the car to complete stop, there may be some trouble in the braking system. An inability to accelerate may be problems in the fuel injection system, or the electrical circuitry. Not realizing that acceleration is starting to go bad can result in a major stall on the road. Another serious challenge can be a grinding sound underneath the hood. That can mean serious problems with the transmission.
 
Warning Signs From Car
 

Don’t ignore warning signals

You cannot be expected to be a master mechanic when it comes to car engine problems. However, it doesn’t take a professional to notice difficulties that are happening. A small puddle on the pavement underneath your car could be an oil or transmission fluid leak. What sounds like a pinging noises coming from the hood can be a problem with fuel combustion which ultimately ruins the engine. The danger to the engine block only gets worse as the warning signals are ignored. A high-pitched screech is a common signal that there is trouble with the belts. If one of those should snap not only will your car cease to function, but the whiplash of the severed belt can cause additional problems under the hood.
 

Be aware of engine problems

While this is always considered dangerous, ignorance can be extremely expensive. Most auto mechanics are highly ethical but there are a few that are looking to make some additional money. Not understanding engine problems forces you to rely totally on the recommendations of an auto mechanic. If you are able to demonstrate that you have an understanding of how an engine supposed operate, your mechanic might change the recommendations to maintenance repair that is a little less expensive. Not knowing the difference between OEM and Aftermarket parts can jeopardize your ability to use the warranty. These are situations where ignorance is not life-threatening but can wreak havoc on your budget.
 

Importance of oil in engine

Knowledge is a safety feature. It is well worthwhile to educate Problem In Car Engine yourself about the various warning signs that the car will project. You also need to keep in mind that the dashboard lights are connected to sensors within the car you are driving. If the oil light indicates you’re getting low on oil, you really should not ignore it. Oil is a lubricant that reduces the friction in the engine. If you do not have enough you can expect to have parts of the engine start to wear down. The owner’s manual in your glove compartment is a valuable dictionary of information. It can help you stay vigilant about your engine. You should page through it every now and then just to stay advised.
 

Maintain the engine properly

The engine of an automobile should be able to operate well over 100,000 miles. Proper maintenance of the engine can extend its life for tens of thousands of miles. The cost of repairing the engine is the most expensive work to be done on your automobile. Being informed about potential problem signs will allow you to have maintenance work done quickly, saving you literally hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair or replacement work.


This might appear to be an unusual topic. As we go into the winter months it is ordinarily assumed that coolant is something more important in the heat of summer. However, the coolant in any automobile is very important to the overall health of the car. An unwillingness to pay attention to it can result in engine problems.
 

Responsibility of the coolant

Engines will generate extremely high degrees of temperature. The responsibility of the coolant is to prevent overheating in the engine. This may sound strange, but the coolant is also very important in the wintertime. It will prevent the engine from freezing over. There’s quite a bit to the cooling system in the car. It includes steam hose, radiator hoses, and heater feed hoses. Coolant will help lubricate all of those and keep water from causing corrosion in the internal parts of the entire cooling system.
 

Problems due to ineffectiveness of coolant

The coolant system gets a lot of activity as the car is in motion. It will happen over time that the chemicals of the coolant will begin to become increasingly less effective. Additionally, all of the use generates rust and other sludge. That can result in hoses being blocked with residue. Such blockage can result in the engine experiencing long periods of excessive heat. That will result in the engine ultimately breaking down and needing to be repaired. The maintenance can cost thousands of dollars.
 

Coolant maintenance

Coolant maintenance will begin with a system flush. Hoses are attached to both ends of the engine coolant system, and a power flush and clean takes place. While a person could just drain the old coolant and put in a new mixture, the flush beforehand is much more efficient. The flush process goes in and not only eliminates the existing coolant, will also flush out any grime for rust build up is occurring within the system. Once that is done, a new mixture is put in.
 

Criteria to follow for coolant change

The question now becomes how often should the coolant be changed. There are a few criteria that can be used to help determine the frequency. Areas of extreme cold or heat will require attention to the coolant system. The air conditioner must be taken into consideration because it will raise the heat of the engine temperature. Anyone who lives in a very warm climate, using the air conditioner daily, will probably have to change the coolant on a periodic basis.
 

Detect a bad coolant

Coolant In Bad Condition

By looking inside the radiator you can determine if the coolant is starting to go bad. Healthy coolant should be green and it can be red. If there is rust floating in the liquid that is a signal the coolant is starting to go bad. A coolant tester can be purchased to ascertain whether or not the coolant needs to change at a given moment in time. Be sure if you are using a tester that the engine is neither hot nor warm but cold. That is a general safety tip whenever you’re working around your car engine. Regarding the type of coolant used, the ratio of antifreeze to water is important. Anything that is more than a 70/30 mixture is not very good for the car. A 50/50 ratio of antifreeze to water is more appropriate, although extreme cold temperatures can allow for a little bit more antifreeze.
 

Mileage benchmark for coolant change

A mileage benchmark for change can be every twenty thousand miles. The coolant change can be done at the same time an oil change is scheduled for automotive service. You can, of course, buy some coolant in an automotive store and do a drain and refill yourself. A coolant flush is something that requires some equipment and that is best done in automotive service center. Remember that the coolant flush cleans out the entire cooling system. In the long run, that is more efficient way of doing the job.
 
Coolant Change
 

Give attention to the coolant

The owner of a car should not take for granted the coolant or the coolant system. Whether it is blazing hot summer or freezing cold water, the coolant needs to be able to do its job of maintaining appropriate temperature. Car owners sometimes take things for granted because the coolant system operates so effectively on a routine basis. However, when the mileage benchmark comes close or if it looks to be an extremely cold weather or a very hot summer, attention should be given to the existing coolant.


Car owner sometimes have a moment of complete bewilderment when it is time to have an oil change. The service people at the automotive care center talk about 5w-30 or 10w-30 oil and ask the person to make a decision which one to use. This is a moment when the owner just throws up his or her hands and says “whatever!”. This happens because that individual honestly does not know what the service person is talking about. Information helps a person make better choices on what to do, and having an idea of motor oil weights allows for better decisions.
 

Engine Oil Drain

The terms 5W – 30 or 10 W – 30 speak to the viscosity of the oil. It is referring to the speed of the oil flow that has been measured through a viscometer. The thicker, higher, the viscosity registers means that the oil is flowing slower. If the viscosity has a W, this means that the viscosity of the oil has been tested at colder temperatures. That designates the oil as a winter grade. Those numbers that don’t have the W were tested at 210°F, the approximate temperature of an engine while in operation. To interpret the viscosity 5W-30, it means that an SAE 5 motor oil can perform at a colder temperature (-25°F) but has the viscosity that would be found in an SAE 30 at 210°F. In other words, there will be a quick flow of oil when it is started cold. That results in less dry running and that in turn means lower engine wear. The 5W-30 oil is thin enough for cold starts and at the same time the oil is thick enough to be allow for starts when the engine is much hotter. Additives in the oil will allow the viscosity to get thicker as the temperature rises. It is an almost perfect situation for someone who lives in a colder climate.
 
Knowing this helps the car owner better understand what is being put into his or her vehicle at the oil change. The owner’s manual will give information as to the right viscosity. It helps the consumer to know about the American Petroleum Institute (API) Certification. The API – certified oil has the starburst logo of the API stamp on the oil container. A person who is doing the oil change as a do-it-yourself project will know immediately that the oil product meets all performance standards of the API. Something to remember is that a higher viscosity oil will provide no benefit in a car that the owner’s manual says should have a lower weight. Although a higher weight could be used, there is nothing gained. This means that if the owner’s manual calls for a 30 weight, using a 40 weight is not going to create an advantage.
 
Select Best Motor Oil For Your Car
 
What is interesting is that there is a move towards thinner oil being used in the engines that manufacturers are recommending an SAE 5W-20 be used, when in the past the type of oil recommended was SAE 5W-30. The reason for this is that the thinner oil is going to have greater fuel efficiency. The thinner oil is also better for the engine. There is less friction and wear on the engine because the oil is moving faster.
 
The question of the use of synthetic oil comes up and a consumer can wonder about whether or not the synthetic variety should be used. It is more expensive than the oil more conventionally used. The advantage is that synthetic oil, because it is man-made, is able to handle both extreme hot and cold temperatures.
 
New Engine Oil Change
 
If a consumer is still a little bit confused, the best oil to be used can depend on driving conditions. A thicker oil may be best if there is a lot of high elevation driving or pulling heavy wagons. This is because the thicker oil can handle contaminants. The engine will wear faster if the contaminants that enter the oil are more than the oil thickness. Thicker oil can handle bigger contaminant pieces. Climate is definitely going to make a difference and people living in colder climates will want to see the W. The age of the engine may also be part of the equation. But knowing what the oil weights stands for is going to help whenever an oil changes made an automotive care center. When a mechanic recommends a certain type of oil, the owner will know immediately what the mechanic is talking about.


The little things do mean a lot underneath the gas pedal of the car. There are parts that seem so insignificant that the car owner will take them for granted at that person’s risk. Left unattended, these parts can wear down the car and even put the automobile out commission. While it is important to worry about the alternator or the transmission, the fuel filter is something that has to be given proper maintenance.
 
Fuel Filter
 

Importance of fuel filter

The fuel filter is important to the flow of gasoline through the engine. In the natural flow of fuel, there can be particles and contaminants that get into the stream. This can be all kinds of material such as rust and dirt. It is a filter that separates them from the liquid, while allowing gasoline to continue to flow smoothly. If the fuel filter becomes clogged that is going to cause rather dramatic consequences. These see to it that the fuel injectors are not obstructed with such residue.
 

When to replace fuel filters?

Problem In Car Engine

The fuel efficiency of the car is going to be adversely affected, and that may not be gradual at all. Insufficient amounts of gasoline get into the engine and the car will begin to stall. There is even the possibility of the automobile backfiring when the gas pedal is depressed. A fuel filter that is stopped up with gunk will cause the car to also have very slow acceleration, and may be very difficult to start. Simply noticing a sudden drop in fuel efficiency is enough for the car owner to suspect that the fuel filter needs to be replaced. A rule of thumb for maintenance is that fuel filters should be replaced approximately every 24,000 miles or once every two years. There are some models of automobile that do not require a fuel filter replacement until 30 to 50,000 miles have been traveling.
 

Preventive steps to follow for fuel filter replacement

The good news is that this can be a do-it-yourself project. A fuel filter is a small piece and can be replaced on a Saturday afternoon in the garage. This would require tools such as an open end wrench and a screwdriver, and also jack stands and a car jack. Unless you have done this before having a repair manual that includes fuel filter replacement is a sensible idea. Because you will be working around gasoline and gas fumes, vinyl gloves, and safety glasses are a must. The car ought to be placed in an area where there is level ground, and good ventilation. You will be working around gasoline fumes and you should periodically take a few minutes away from the car while doing the job. Having a fire extinguisher close by is a smart safety feature. By all means never work on your car when the engine is hot. Before any attempt is made to change the fuel filter, make sure the engine is cold. Be sure to check the owner’s manual of the car for any information about the type of fuel filter that is best suited.
 

 

Best to contact an automotive repair center

It does have to be remembered that some of the symptoms of fuel filter problem can also be telltale signs of other maintenance needs. The car owner may decide that replacing the oil filter is a matter that would be best addressed in automotive repair center. That may also be the best alternative for someone who does not have a lot of experience underneath the car, and eliminates the risk of having to deal with gasoline fumes. The car owner who has already established a routine maintenance program and can check with the auto mechanic to determine whether or not a replacement is scheduled. The cost of this type of work is not going to break anybody’s budget.
 
The mile benchmarks mentioned in this article assumes normal driving conditions. If you happen to live in an area of dusty roads and air pollution, the need for fuel filter replacement may be sooner. If you do live in such an environment, you should pay very close attention to the symptoms of fuel filter difficulties. It is true with automobiles that preventive maintenance is always less expensive than having to replace engine parts. The fuel filter is the part that guarantees fuel economy for the car. Keeping a sharp eye on its performance and allow the fuel filter to continue to provide efficient service.


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