Talking About Vehicle Exhaust

Cosmetic Touch-Ups After A Car Accident

In a minor car accident, it’s common to have a few scratches and dings left on your vehicle. Deciding how (and whether) to repair them will depend on the types of blemishes you see. Here are some common cosmetic issues along with advice on your repair options.  Dents Dents may be important to repair quickly, depending on the severity. If you’ve got simple dents where the paint isn’t showing through, then often times it’s just a matter of preference; you don’t need to rush to the shop unless you’re worried about the resale value of the vehicle. This type of dent is also fairly easy to repair with a paintless dent treatment, so it may be affordable to fix anyway.  When you really need to fix dents is when the paint shows through buckled metal. This becomes more of a structural issue; that chip can also cause the metal to be exposed to the elements and it may start to rust the car. You may need to replace the metal panel at an auto body shop to ensure that there is no rust damage to the car.  Scratches Scratches are another issue that will depend on severity. Where there are several prominent scratches that expose the metal underneath, a fix is necessary. If the scratches don’t go down to the surface of the metal, they may be easy to fix with sandpaper on your own.  Paint Chips When your paint is chipped, you may want to repair it, depending on your aptitude for DIY projects. Paint scratches and chips are one of the easier things to fix on your own if you get a paint repair kit from your auto body repair shop. And there is little risk in trying to apply the paint yourself, since in the worst case scenario, you’ll just take it back to the auto body shop to paint over it. Of course, starting at the auto body repair shop is also a great option if you want to save time or if you’d like to change the color of the vehicle entirely.  In short, while some repairs may be more important than others, there are often affordable ways to get each of these cosmetic issues fixed after a collision. Check with your insurer to see if they can help cover the expenses, or approach your auto body repair shop to see if they offer package […]

Signs You Need To Replace Your Shock Absorbers

Your car’s shock absorbers, sometimes colloquially referred to as shocks, are part of your suspension system and help to maintain a smooth and comfortable ride while driving. If your shocks become damaged, driving will not only become more uncomfortable, but can also cause damage to other parts of your vehicle. Thankfully, there are a number of warning signs you can keep an eye out for to help determine when you should have your shock absorbers replaced. Vibrations If you notice that your steering wheel is vibrating constantly while driving, your shock absorbers are most likely in extremely poor shape and are unable to reduce the vibrations coming up from your tires. This can greatly reduce the amount of control that you have over your vehicle while driving, so it is something that you should have addressed immediately. Bouncing Another clear sign of a damaged or worn out set of shock absorbers is excessive bouncing and shaking while going over uneven terrain (like speed bumps, railway tracks, and other similar surfaces). If your vehicle shakes excessively or continuously after going over this type of terrain, head to a mechanic straight away to have your shocks looked at, as this bouncing can cause wear on your tire struts, tires, and other components of your vehicle. Uneven Tire Wear Visually inspect your tires for signs of wear. If there are bald spots or uneven wear on the inside or outside of the tire tread, your shocks may be in poor shape. This causes your tires to have poor or uneven grip with the road. This can have a negative effect on your fuel efficiency and the responsiveness of your vehicle, and it can reduce your overall level of control over your vehicle. Address it immediately to reduce the chances of an accident. Swerving If you notice that your car swerves slightly to the left or right, your shocks are most likely nearing the end of their lifespan. This problem can also only manifest itself while braking, causing you to suddenly veer to one side or the other while slowing down. Additionally, sometimes your car may dip forwards excessively while braking or slowing down instead of veering to the side, but still represents extreme wear of your shock absorbers. This is a serious problem that will get worse in poor weather conditions, and you should have your shocks looked at, such as by Highwood Auto […]

Two Maintenance Tips For New Diesel Engine Owners

A car or truck with a diesel engine can be a very durable vehicle for you to purchase. However, diesel engines require vastly different care needs than traditional gasoline engines, and failure to appreciate this fact can lead to damages and performance issues. Fortunately, first-time diesel owners may be able to use the following couple of tips to help ensure that they avoid common problems with their new diesel engine. Consider Installing A Fuel Heating System The winter months can be hard on any engine due to the extremely low temperatures. However, this can be especially problematic for diesel engines. Diesel fuel can thicken in low temperatures, which can prevent it from igniting or flowing through the fuel system. For those that must regularly drive through extremely cold areas, this can prove to be a major inconvenience as the vehicle may struggle to operate until the engine has been given plenty of time to warm up. Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by installing a fuel warming system. These systems are designed to prevent diesel fuel from thickening in the low winter temperatures by gently warming the fuel. While having one of these systems installed may seem inconvenient and expensive, the performance benefits may more than outweigh these costs and inconveniences. Monitor The Water Separator During the course of operation, a diesel engine can generate a large amount of water. This occurs due to a combination of condensation as well as water separating from the diesel fuel. To combat this problem, diesel engines are equipped with a water separator. This device is usually located near the fuel filter, and it is designed to intercept any excess water from the fuel before it can enter the engine. Without these devices, you may find that your engine could flood. While these devices can save you from expensive damages, it should be noted that you will need to regularly drain this water to prevent the engine from flooding or corroding. To alert you when this work needs to be done, most diesel engines have a warning light that will activate when the water separator is full. If your vehicle lacks one of these lights, you should check the fuel separator each time you get fuel. If you are have recently purchased your first diesel engine, it is important to be aware of the unique maintenance requirements for these engines. Making the mistake of […]

Tips For Preventing Rust On Your Car

Rust can cause an otherwise well-running car to quickly turn into a pile of junk. It will eat through the metal of both the body and the undercarriage. Cars in areas with high salt content in the air, such as near the ocean, or in areas that use salt to treat icy winter roads are at the highest risks for rust and corrosion. The following tips can help your car to avoid this fate. Tip #1: Check for trouble spots routinely Certain areas are more prone to rust. These areas include around the wheel wells and on the fenders behind the tires. This is because salt from the road is thrown up into this area, leading to a higher concentration and a higher likelihood of rust. Under the hood and around the engine compartment is another prime area for rust, since this area is rarely rinsed clean. You should also check for any nicks or scratches in the paint, since bare metal is the first area to rust. Get in the habit of doing a quick check at regular intervals, such as each time you fill up with gas. If you find rust, schedule a quick repair before it has a chance to cause major damage. Tip #2: Clean regularly Rinsing off the salt goes a long way toward preventing rust. If you live near the ocean, it is well worth the effort to wash the car, or at least hose it off, once a week. Make sure to spray well inside the wheel wells and on the underside of the vehicle. In snowy areas, try to rinse the car thoroughly or wash it each time temperatures rise above freezing. Even a quick trip through a drive-through car wash can help prevent rust. Tip #3: Touch up the nicks Nicks in the paint leave behind exposed metal. Keeping a small bottle of touch-up paint, available from the dealership or an auto parts store, on hand means you can cover up these small nicks as soon as they appear but before rust can occur. If there is already rust on the nick, wrap a fine grit sandpaper around the tip of a narrow screwdriver and use this to sand the rust out of the nick before repainting. Tip #4: Consider rust proofing A rust proofing procedure from a company like ValuGard applies a wax-like oil coating that covers all exposed metal […]

Automated Car Systems New to the Market

The world of automated cars is fast coming upon us. Although it’s not here yet, if you’re looking to take advantage of the power of automated cars as soon as possible in order to properly enjoy your new car, there are a few options available. Here are a few examples of such automated car technologies. Headlight Automation It’s easy to forget exactly when you should put your high beams on and exactly for how long. The conditions in which you should do this are often actually fairly narrow. However, it’s exceptionally important that you focus on making sure that you have your lights on bright enough when you’re in low light conditions with no one else around.  Low-light conditions can be a major contributor to accidents. It’s also important that you not blind other people on the road, however. This is where the automation comes in. Having lights that can automatically detect what the light conditions are and then adjust accordingly is a real boon to your driving experience. You will never have to strain to see in front of you, but you will also never risk blinding a police car. Adaptive Cruise Control Regular cruise control has been around for a while of course, but this only really worked when you were alone on the highway. You still had to brake manually to avoid hitting a car in front of you that was going much slower than what would work. However, with smart cruise control systems, you can have the car slow whenever it gets too close to another car in front of you. The vehicle will always maintain a safe distance between yourself and cars further down the road. Some systems that have names like “traffic control” can even bring the car to a stop when traffic is going slow. When traffic picks up again, the system will get your car moving again back to whatever speed you were going at before. This is why you don’t have to worry about getting a completely full automated car in order to benefit in some way from the systems coming out. There are plenty partially automated systems out to make your commute and driving life much easier that are going to be quickly affordable for those that pay attention. Some only come with certain cars, but there’s no doubt that you will be able to add on options eventually as […]

3 Reasons To Invest In Auto Body Repair After A Small Fender-Bender

If you are involved in a minor fender-bender that isn’t your fault, you may be tempted to collect the insurance money and use it on something other than auto body repairs. Or you and the other driver may decide not to contact the insurers or repair shops to make sure your rates don’t change. However, even if your car is running fine, you should still take it into the shop. Here are three reasons why taking your car into the shop will be better for you in the long run. 1. Your vehicle could have unseen damage that could affect steering. When you make the choice to have a professional, like Wasatch Body Shop, Inc., repair your vehicle after you have been involved in a collision, you will be able to address any unseen damage your vehicle might have sustained. Cars are meticulously designed to ensure that each part fits perfectly together. Bumping these parts during an accident could cause alignment issues. Tire rods and joints are easy targets in small accidents and can cause your car to move awkwardly. Your tires may also start wearing down unevenly more quickly due to unseen damage, so you should take your car in to at least have the tires rotated. 2. Your vehicle could begin to rust if you don’t address minor body issues after an accident. When your vehicle is involved in an accident, the clear coating that covers the exterior paint can be compromised. Scratches to the underlying paint will reveal bare metal, leaving your vehicle susceptible to rust damage in the future. Corrosion caused by rust can weaken the integrity of your car’s frame, making it less safe to drive over time. By having minor body damage repaired and repainted by a professional after involvement in a minor accident, you can help to prevent rust from plaguing your vehicle. 3. Your vehicle’s frame could have sustained damage during the collision. The frame of your vehicle is designed to help keep you safe in the event of an accident. Minor collisions can damage or weaken the frame, making it less likely to protect you from serious injury in future accidents. Even when there doesn’t appear to be any external damage after a minor fender-bender, you should have a professional auto body specialist check your vehicle’s undercarriage for warping or fractures. Understanding the important role that auto body repair can play in keeping your vehicle […]

3 Odors That May Mean Your Transmission Is Malfunctioning

If you have been noticing that your car is unable to accelerate properly or loses power as you speed up, you may have a problem with your transmission. If you suspect that you do, see if your vehicle is making one of the following three odors that could mean the transmission is malfunctioning. Sickly Sweet Smell If you smell a strong, sickly sweet odor, it is likely caused by the transmission fluid. This could indicate that your fluid is low. Check the dipstick to see if the level is where it should be. If it is too low, add fresh fluid until it reaches the level indicated for your vehicle. However, do not overfill, since this could cause too much pressure in your transmission, damaging the gears or blowing the gaskets. Before trying to fill the transmission fluid, look for drips of red fluid under the transmission. If you see any, this is the transmission fluid and could indicate a leak. If you see this, you should have a transmission specialist take a look in case the casing is cracked or the gasket has deteriorated. Burning Rubber Odor Another odor you could possibly detect is the smell of burning rubber. If you are smelling this, the gaskets inside the transmission may have torn or are deteriorating. If they have become loose, the heat inside the transmission could be causing them to burn. Eventually, this could cause irreversible damage to the transmission, requiring it to be replaced. If you think this is the problem, take your car to a transmission service as soon as possible. Old Metallic Smell If you are smelling something that resembles old metal, this could be an indication that the gears have started to wear down inside the transmission. You may also hear a grinding noise as the gears’ teeth become off-centered and rub against each other. If you smell and hear these signs, your transmission could be in immediate danger of seizing up, causing you to break down. You should have a professional look at it before you drive it again to avoid being stranded. If you smell the above odors, you may have a serious issue with your transmission. If you suspect this is the case, you may want to take your car to a transmission shop as soon as possible so they can diagnose the problem and discuss your options depending on the problem, from […]

How To Save On Your Upcoming Car Repairs

If your car isn’t running properly, you have likely begun thinking that it is time to take your car to a shop for some routine maintenance. However, the cost of repairs or maintenance services may not be within your budget at the moment, and this can make it difficult for you to take your car into a shop. Well, rather than prolonging your trip to a repair shop because you are worried about the costs, you may want to consider hiring a mobile mechanic. There are many ways you can save by hiring a mobile mechanic, such as the following: Obtain Third-Party Replacement Parts: It is likely that your mobile mechanic won’t have replacement parts in stock, but will order them upon request. This means you won’t be limited to only having the option of stocked replacement parts, which means you can request that your mobile mechanic pick up third-party replacement parts, instead of parts made directly by the original manufacturer. This option can save you a great deal of money on your repairs, while allowing you to still obtain parts that will work with your make and model vehicle.  Avoid High Labor Charges: Assuming your mobile mechanic only works out of a mobile truck, he or she won’t have the expenses that most auto repair shops have, which means they will be able to offer their services at a more affordable rate, while still making a profit. So, if you are worried about paying too much for labor charges, be sure to consider the affordable rates that mobile mechanics have to offer, as this saving opportunity alone can definitely help you obtain your repairs within your budget.  Take Advantage of Negotiations:  There are many self-employed mobile mechanics, and in order for them to gain your business they have to offer attractive price points and sell their services more efficiently. This means that your mobile mechanic will likely be open to the idea of negotiations. So, before you commit to a price, consider negotiating to ensure you are maximizing your potential savings. This is definitely something to take advantage of, so never agree to a price without asking for a more affordable price point.  By utilizing the benefits of a mobile mechanic, you won’t only be able to reduce the cost of your car repairs, but you will also be able to obtain professional-quality repairs without having to go over […]

Increasing The Life Of Your Heavy Duty Truck’s Brakes

If you are a new heavy duty truck operator, and you work for your own trucking business, you will soon find out the importance of maintaining your vehicle. By tweaking a few of your driving habits, you’ll be able to extend the life of the parts that make up the mechanics of your vehicle. If you drive long distances with your rig, the braking system is one you will need to have working up to par each time you hit the highway. Here are some tips you can use to help you increase the life of your braking system. Plan Your Route In Advance Before you head out to make a delivery, take time to plot the route of your trip so it utilizes major highways for the bulk of the ride. Get online to look at highway department websites for the roadways you plan on using. Most sites will supply maps showing areas with construction on these highways. Knowing where you will need to slow down will prepare you to do so in advance of the areas where speed restrictions are in place. This will help you refrain from needing to brake in a hurry as you see signs to reduce your speed. You can slow down your speed gradually by allowing your engine to do the bulk of the work in the miles before the construction, helping your brakes to stay intact for longer. Get Service Regularly Rather than wait for your brakes to deteriorate, take your heavy duty truck to a repair shop at regularly scheduled intervals. Let the mechanic know the number of miles you routinely put on your vehicle in a week so they can give you an estimate for when you should come in to have the brake pads replaced. At your appointments, they will check your brake lines and add fluid if necessary. One way to keep on top of brake usage is by using a brake wear gauge. This is a chart provided by the brake manufacturer alerting consumers when to replace the brake in its entirety according to how much of the brake has disappeared. In most cases, when the brakes wear down to about half of the width of the original size, they should be replaced with new ones. Keep On Top Of Weather If you need to drive your rig in inclement weather during colder months, be aware of […]

Four Reasons Not To Ignore Your Auto Dealer’s Maintenance Reminders

Within a few months of buying a car from a dealer, you’ll probably start receiving emails or postcards reminding you when it’s time for services such as oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacements and fluid checks. While you might see these reminders as upsells, it’s actually to your benefit to have these services done. Here are the most important reasons to follow up on these reminders and schedule these preventative maintenance services. Safety Most preventative maintenance is performed to prevent catastrophic failures that can result in accidents. Replacing brake pads, rotors and fluid ensures that your brakes stay functional and reduces the chance of blowing a brake line or having your calipers seize while you’re in traffic. Rotating and balancing your tires keeps them from wearing unevenly and weakening, which could cause a blowout at high speed and make you lose control of the car. Replacing fan belts, serpentine belts and other flexible rubber parts before they wear out can also prevent sudden losses of power that can leave you stranded. While some car parts and systems can and do fail at the worst possible times, being proactive about maintenance can significantly reduce the chance of it happening to you. Savings Along with making your car safer, “fixing” things before they’re broken can often prevent more expensive repairs. While you probably realize that regular oil changes prevent major engine damage, the same is true for your car’s other systems as well. Nobody knows how long auto components are expected to last better than the company that designed them, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for when parts, belts, fluids and filters should be replaced or checked – you’ll save money by heading off major repairs and towing fees. Warranty Protection Check the fine print in your dealer warranty and you’ll probably see that it’s void if they can show that you neglected basic preventative maintenance on your car. Whether you have the services performed by the dealer or at your local garage, your receipts will show that you fulfilled your requirements. Having this regular maintenance will help keep your warranty valid if you ever have a major problem or system failure. If you have no proof and it’s obvious that neglect was a contributing factor, you’ll be out of luck. Increased Resale Value If you’ve ever purchased a used car, you already know that customers want reassurance that the previous owner […]