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Auto Repair Service Tips

Recently I took a basic course in auto mechanics so that I could become more wheels-savvy. Plus, I wanted to bond with my teenage son. Hey, I didn’t grow up doing wheelies in parking lots or tooling around under the hood, learning car repair. This was all new to me.

Our professor, Vittorio Principe, who owns Vittorio Auto Repair in Bronx, New York, called the owner’s manual to our vehicles the “forgotten bible” and used it as our basic auto repair guide. Having previously viewed the owner’s manual as an oversized book that was way too complicated, I was delighted to learn that it was both user-friendly and full of valuable information.

Principe, who tunes Ferraris for Michael Schumacher and hosts the Auto Lab audio program, clued me in to what you should (and shouldn’t) look for when you need auto repair service. Following, 10 tips to get you started, in no particular order because all are helpful:

1. Dog-ear your owner’s manual.

Yes, it’s your car’s bible! Knowing where to find information quickly can help in identifying causes when trouble arises. You may even be able to avoid a trip to the auto mechanic in the

How to handle the smell on your car

unduhan (13)Part 1 keep your car clean

Since it’s much easier to keep your car smelling good than to get rid of bad odors, be diligent in preventing bad smells from contaminating the interior of your vehicle by removing bad-smelling items.

Step 1: Keep your car trash free. Remove all trash, food items, laundry, or other odor-causing items every time you get out of the car.

You can either carry a small, portable trash can in your car or just take everything out by hand when you get to your destination.

Step 2: Avoid smoking in the car. Smoking in your car will not only cause bad odors, but possibly ruin your car’s upholstery.

Step 3: Keep the car dry by not leaving the windows open and using floor mats. Water leaks can cause mildew and mold, which is not only smelly, but bad for your health.

Step 4: Use spill-proof cups to prevent accidents. This cups can be found for a low price and save you the hassle of having to clean up

Tips the great gas for your car

unduhan (14)Gasoline is expensive and you’re looking for every way possible to save money at the pump. You already shy away from premium fuel, knowing that your car doesn’t require it. You’d like to save a few pennies per gallon more by going to an off-brand gas station. But you can’t get rid of the nagging fear: Is the cheap gas going to damage your car’s engine? put this question to experts in several fields, including an automotive engineer at a major carmaker, gasoline manufacturers and two engineers with the American Automobile Association (AAA). It boils down to this: You can stop worrying about cheap gas. You’re unlikely to hurt your car by using it.

Because of the advances in engine technology, a car’s onboard computer is able to adjust for the inevitable variations in fuel, so most drivers won’t notice a drop off in performance between different brands of fuel, from the most additive-rich gas sold by the major brands to the bare-bones stuff at your corner quickie mart.

Still, spending a few extra pennies per gallon

Tips auto body repair for your car

When an auto body estimate is approved by an insurance company for you, all of the above will be normally done using the latest combination of repair process like welding, sheet metal fabrication, electrical and computer wirings installation, auto body painting and finishing including the application of the latest vehicle updates recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. It is no wonder that to work in an auto body shop requires a great deal of experience to be able to perform all these complicated repairs. That is why an auto body shop also needs a combination of welders, painters, electricians and mechanics who are the experts in their field.

Note: During collision, a lot of vehicles will undergo intermittent wiring problems which sometimes are difficult to find during an auto body repair. This requires sending the vehicle to the dealer who can then performed a thorough inspection of the wirings using the latest engine repair software and diagnostic equipments.

Selecting an auto body repair shop

To find an auto body repair collision shop like body shop phoenix is not hard if you know what to look for.

Hiring Right Auto Repair Service

If and when you experience troubles with your car, time can be of the essence. For many drivers, dealing with a work schedule and other responsibilities like family make having a working car an absolute necessity.

Before car trouble strikes, take the time to compare several auto repair shops such as Goodyear Automotive to find the one that best suits your convenience and needs:

1. Shop around before an emergency

If your radiator is smoking or your car won’t run at all, chances are you are in a hurry to fix the problem. If you are in a rush to get your car to the shop, your judgment might be clouded; this may influence you to make a hasty decision based on needing your car back immediately, rather than saving money and receiving top-notch service.

2. Ask around

Often the best referrals come from your friends and family who have had experience using the mechanics in your area. Getting a word-of-mouth referral from a friend or family member can also mean you’ll get an honest insight about their experience with those repair shops, which can help save you money or avoid a scam.

3. Check online reviews

Your friends and family could have given you great advice

Big Car Repair Tips

You’re a capable weekend car mechanic. You’ve got basic tools and skills. You’ve mastered oil changes and tire rotations. But when a big repair comes along, it’s decision time. Take it on yourself, or call in a pro?

That’s the choice I faced at the end of last summer, when my 1990 Mazda Miata suffered a crankshaft failure. Expecting a quick repair, I soon discovered the car needed a whole new engine—and I discovered this just after I’d disassembled it to the point that it couldn’t be put back together.

Instead of paying a mechanic to mend my Miata, I decided to try replacing the engine myself. I did it—eventually—though I made plenty of rookie mistakes on the way. Here’s what I learned.

Do Your Research

Aftermarket shop manuals are great for learning the tools and parts you’ll need, but they sometimes read like a general overview (step one: remove radiator, front bumper, and windshield washer reservoir). Internet forums can offer detailed instructions and tricks specific to your car, usually with step-by-step photos. Unless you drive something really outlandish, there’s probably a site like

A car paint tips easy

Unless the car you’re repairing is over 20 years old or was custom-painted,­ the paint is almost certainly a clear-coated catalyzed enamel. Artificially hardened by toxic chemicals, it’s stable within hours of factory application.

On the other hand, the paint you’re applying, whether it’s primer, color or clear, is a lacquer. Lacquers dry because the solvent evaporates, leaving the solids behind. While they may feel hard and be sandable within a few minutes, they will continue to shrink for a while. Allow lacquers to dry at least overnight so they can shrink before you add another coat. If you need multiple coats to build up the paint film to full thickness for a repair, one coat a day is best. Of course, be safe. The amounts of solvents used are small, but work in a well-­ventilated area. Make sure to degrease the area with solvent before starting.
Chad Hunt
Cracking the code

Somewhere on your car should be the factory-paint code, probably on a sticker or metal plaque under the hood or in the doorsill. This will help a great deal in finding the correct touchup. It’s amazing how many similar colors there are in any

Tips for Prep Your Car Long Term Storage

There are a number of times when people need to store a vehicle for an extended period of time. Maybe you have a convertible that you love to drive in the summer, but winter is on the way. Or perhaps you’re going to leave town for a job or an extended vacation. Maybe you are in the military and are being deployed overseas.

Whatever the reason for your time away from the vehicle, you’ll need to put it in storage. If you simply let your vehicle sit on the street or in a garage for an extended period of time, you may return to a dead battery or — worse yet — a damaged engine, ruined tires and a rat’s nest under your hood.

Here are important steps to take before you store a vehicle. They will preserve the life of the engine and ensure that your car starts when you return to it.

Keep It Covered
A garage is the ideal place to store a vehicle. This will protect it from the elements and keep it at a temperature that’s relatively stable. If you don’t have a garage and you can find accommodation at

Tips to Check Engine Light

When your car’s “Check Engine” light comes on, it’s usually accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The light could mean a costly problem, like a bad catalytic converter, or it could be something minor, like a loose gas cap. But in many cases, it means at minimum that you’ll be visiting the car dealer to locate the malfunction and get the light turned off.

The Check Engine light — more formally known as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) — is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. The car dealer’s service department can diagnose the problem for about $75. But there’s a way to preview what the problem might be.

Prior to 1996, carmakers had their own engine diagnostic systems, primarily to ensure their cars were compliant with Environmental Protection Agency pollution-control requirements. Starting with model-year 1996, automakers standardized their systems under a protocol called OBD-II, which stipulated a standardized list of diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and mandated that all cars provide a universal connector to access this information. It’s usually located under the steering column and is easy to access.

Deciphering the Code
Do-it-yourselfers can

Handle for Car’s Tires Tips

Some dealerships and tire stores claim that filling your tires with nitrogen will save you money on gas while offering better performance than air. But a closer look reveals that nitrogen has few benefits and much higher costs. For starters, a typical nitrogen fill-up will cost you about $6 per tire.

Why Nitrogen?
The Get Nitrogen Institute Web site says that with nitrogen tire inflation, drivers will note improvements in a vehicle’s handling, fuel efficiency and tire life. All this is achieved through better tire-pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler-running tire temperatures, the institute says.

This sounds great in theory but let’s take a closer look at each of those claims.

  • Better tire-pressure retention: Over time, a tire will gradually lose pressure. Changes in temperature will accelerate this. The general rule of thumb is a loss of 1 psi for every 10-degree rise or fall in temperature. The institute says that nitrogen has a more stable pressure, since it has larger molecules than oxygen that are less likely to seep through the permeable tire walls.

    In 2006, Consumer Reports conducted a year-long study to determine how much air loss was experienced in tires filled

Tips to find Good Car Mechanic

Crowdsourced review sites have greatly simplified the search. Here are a few tips on how to work these sites to find a good car mechanic in your area. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact science. Sometimes a highly rated shop might disappoint, but at least you can tilt the odds in your favor.

Yelp describes itself as a site that “connects people with great businesses,” whether that’s a hot new restaurant or a top-notch dentist. And, luckily for car owners, it also has auto repair reviews. The site is free and has a mobile version, plus apps for Android and Apple mobile devices.

We’ve had good experiences with Yelp recommendations as we looked for a mechanic to work on Edmunds’ long-term 1996 Lexus ES 300, which is the subject of our Debt-Free Car Project. With our new long-term vehicles, we tend to use dealerships exclusively. But because containing costs is important for the Lexus project, we’ve used Yelp four times to locate independent mechanics. Of the four, we would go back to three of them. We’ve found Yelp to be the most useful site, thanks to its review volume and convenience.


When Windshield the Right Way

When faced with replacing a windshield, many car owners default to the lowest-price option. But if you take this route and are in a serious accident, your decision could cost you your life.

An incorrectly installed windshield could pop out in an accident, allowing the roof to cave in and crush the car’s occupants. Furthermore, when the front airbags deploy, they exert a tremendous force on the windshield and will blow out one that is not firmly glued in place.

“There are a lot of schlock operators” installing windshields, says Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council, which offers certification for installers. She says using original manufacturer’s glass is a plus, but choosing a good installer is even more important. To find a certified shop, visit and type your ZIP code into the box at the top of the page. Certification is valuable because it keeps installers up to date on advances in adhesives and changing automotive designs.

David Beck, one of two technicians at Windshield Express, near Salt Lake City, installs eight windshields a day and has been working in the auto glass business for 18 years. Beck agrees that certification

Tips to fix Car’s Oxygen Sensor

If your car’s “Check Engine” light is glaring at you, it’s probably because the oxygen sensor is malfunctioning. That’s right, the oxygen sensor. It’s a little device that’s a mystery for most drivers but its misbehavior is the problem that most commonly triggers a Check Engine light, according to, which sells an automotive diagnostic tool and provides repair information. The oxygen sensor unseats the formerly most common Check Engine light culprit: a loose gas cap. There are fewer reports of that problem because savvy motorists have learned to fix it themselves and consumers now buy new cars with capless gas tanks.

But don’t despair. Replacing your car oxygen sensor will keep you from wasting money by burning extra gas, and the repair isn’t horribly expensive. We know this firsthand. We had to replace the O2 sensor on our 1996 Lexus ES 300, the subject of our Debt-Free Car project, and it wasn’t as much of a hassle or expense as we had feared.

After the dreaded Check Engine light appeared in our Lexus, we plugged the CarMD device into the car’s computer to read the error code. In our case, the code was P0135, which

The great of Tech Cars

“We wanted flying cars; instead we got 140 characters,” is venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s famous credo.

But though a freeway in the sky seems as fantastical as ever, we are going to get something even better: a self-driving car.

Such a robot, fully aware of its environment, with 360-degree vision and peerless driving skills, is a matter of when, not if. Humans’ fascination with these machines seems limitless, even though autonomous cars could turn us into mere cargo. And unlike airborne cars, self-drivers could prevent the 1.2 million deaths caused by traffic accidents every year.

It’s no utopian fantasy. Among our Top Ten Tech Cars this year are a robotic Audi that tears around racetracks like a professional driver and an electric Tesla whose impressive autopilot skills are as close as the nearest showroom.

Booming sales should also help accelerate the technological pace. Americans parked 17.5 million new cars in their driveways in 2015, more than any year in history, and the Chinese bought even more. That left the industry awash in profits and able to spend heavily on R&D to bring pioneering cars and technologies to market.

So, carbon-based life form, the

Find BMW 7 Series

The BMW 7 Series is the world’s first production car that can operate with no driver aboard, if only to dazzle the neighbors when it eases into your home garage.

It’s more than just a gimmick. Press a button on the remote, with its palm-size LCD readout, and watch the BMW drive itself into a garage or back its way out. With its camera and ultrasonic sensors, the BMW can fit into small or stuffed garages that are too tight to allow opening the car’s doors. This roboparking feature is offered only in Europe for now, but BMW is pressing U.S. regulators for approval.

The car can thrill when you’re behind the wheel, as I discovered on a track test at Monticello Motor Club in New York’s Catskills region. As a riposte to the S-Class, Mercedes’s technical tour de force, BMW’s flagship sedan is faster and sharper handling. It also brings several technical firsts of its own.

One of them is an infrared camera that converts hand signals into action: Twirl a finger in the air to adjust audio volume. Point at the central touch screen to accept an incoming phone call, or wave a

Porsche Mission E Concept

When Porsche floats a big idea in sports cars, it doesn’t fool around. The 911, for example, has been a design and performance benchmark since 1963. So now comes the Mission E, a knee-weakening electric beauty with 600 all-wheel-drive horsepower, much of it coming from a pair of permanently excited electric motors adapted from its LeMans-winning 919 Hybrid race car. It’s just a concept, but Porsche has pledged to get a version in showrooms by 2018. When that happens, figure on a dash to 60 miles per hour in less than 3.5 seconds, a 500-km (311-mile) driving range and a quick 15-minute charge to 80 percent battery capacity via a world’s-first 800-volt architecture.

The four-seater is swathed in carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel, and Porsche is targeting a curb weight below 4,400 pounds (1,995 kilograms—about 10 percent lighter than its obvious rival, the Tesla Model S). A five-dial instrument panel nods to the seminal 911. An eye-scanning camera recognizes which screen menus a driver is looking at, then magnifies them via steering-wheel buttons. Those gauges move in parallax to

Have you a Volvo XC90

Sweden’s Volvo had been in virtual hibernation in recent years, cut loose from Ford, sold to a Chinese owner, and resting on past innovations. That changes with the new XC90, a luxury SUV that’s hogging such awards as North American Truck of the Year and reaffirming Volvo’s reputation for safety.

The XC90 wraps three rows and seven passengers in a Scandinavian body that looks as solid as a glacier. It’s the kind of SUV that you might expect to have a V-8, such as the one in the old XC90. But the new one cuts the cylinder count in half: the Volvo Twin Engine combines a turbocharger and a supercharger in a 2.0-liter four to make a very respectable 236 kilowatts (316 horsepower)—and a downright burly 298 kW in the T8 plug-in hybrid version, thanks to a 65-kW electric-motor assist. That T8 hustles to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in just 5.6 seconds, and its E-mode lets it cover up to 40 km on electricity alone.