Repair Articles

Better Maintenance Better Performance

Better Car Maintenance Better Car Performance

Studies at FuelEconomy.com suggest replacing the air filter in your car on a regular basis. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve the mileage that you get with your car by up to 10 percent.

When you calculate that 10 percent into gasoline savings, you’ll be saving up to 15 cents per gallon. You can ask your mechanic to replace the air filter in your car.

Studies show that not only should you be replacing the air filter in your car on a regular basis, you should also be maintaining and regularly replacing the fuel filter. The cleaner that your fuel filter is the more efficiently your vehicle is going to run, saving you more money in fuel costs.

Have the fuel filter replaced when your car is in for a regular maintenance checkup.

You should be paying attention to the alignment in your car. Improper alignment will cause a certain amount of engine drag, which will increase the amount of gas that you are using. The better maintained that car is the better all around performance that you’ll get. Talk to your mechanic about your next alignment servicing.

One of the ways that you can tell if your car is due for alignment is if there is a pulling on the steering wheel when you are driving. If you are experiencing a type of pulling action it’s important that you schedule an appointment to have an alignment done.

When you regularly rotate your tires and check them for uneven use and wear you will find that you are saving in both tires and gas costs. After you have an alignment done on your car most mechanics will also rotate the tires. This doesn’t by any means mean that you should wait until you need an alignment to get those tires rotated. Check your tires regularly to see how they are doing on wear and tear.

If your tires are showing signs of balding you’ll want to replace them immediately since the better your tires are the better fuel consumption you’ll see. Not only should you be maintaining the engine of your car, you should also be paying attention to the tires that you are driving on.

• Purchase a tire gauge and check your car’s tire pressure every month. When you are driving around on tires that are under-inflated you can reduce the fuel efficiency of your car by up to 2 percent for each pound that the tires are under-inflated.

• Under-inflated tires wear out faster, which again contributes to higher gas consumption.

• Not only will you save on gas consumption when you maintain your tires, studies show that you will also save money on the maintenance of your vehicle by up to $250 each year.

• The best time to check your tire pressure is when it’s cool outside or in the morning after your car has been sitting for several hours without driving.

• Use appropriate tires for each season when possible. When you put away your winter tires in the warm weather you’ll be able to use them for several years

How To Do Your Own Disc Brake Job

How To Do Your Own Disc Brake Job

One of the most important parts of any running automobile is the brakes, for obvious reasons. People ask me all the time if they can change their own brakes.

I always say “yes” if you take the time to learn how.

Most cars today have discs brakes which makes it easier to do a brake job than the older drum type. But you still have to know what to do.

First let me explain how the disc brake works. Real simple, there are 2 pads and a rotor on each wheel hub that works in conjunction with brake fluid when you apply pressure to the brake peddle.

Now when you apply pressures to the brake peddle with your foot, brake fluid goes though the lines causing the pads to apply pressure to the rotor which cause you to slow down and stop when needed. This is very basic.

So what do you have to do and what is needed to do a basic brake job with disc brakes?

The first thing you want to do is to jack up the front end of the car so you can put jack stands under the front and get the wheels off.
Note: Make sure when using jack stands that you put them in a place that won’t hurt the car or slide off and hurt you.

Now you are ready to take off the lug nuts that hold the wheel on. If you have trouble with the wheel spinning while you’re trying to loosen the lugs, you can put something between the tire and the ground to stop the wheel from moving. What I do is loosen the lugs just a little before I jack the front end up. Back yard stuff…

Remove all the lug nuts with the lug wrench that came with the car. To loosen the lug nuts you must turn them counterclockwise, to tighten turn them clockwise. Remember “ Righty Tighty – Lefty Loosey “

Now remove the wheels from both sides, do this so you have something to go by or look at if for some reason you get lost or confused about putting it back together.

Now you are ready to remove the bolts. Make sure that you have the proper tools and sockets. Some tools need to be metric.

By being careful you can use a flat head screwdriver and push the caliper piston back into its hole. Be careful of the rubber boot you don’t want to rip it. There are special tools that you can use to push the piston back but if you don’t have them a screwdriver works fine. This makes room to put the pads on and slide the caliper back over the rotor without the piston out of the way you will have troubles.

Now you are ready to put the new pads on the caliper, than place the caliper and pads over the rotor and side in the bolts into place and tighten clockwise “ Righty Tighty” using the proper tool.

After you do both sides you can replace the wheels and tighten the lug nuts. Which way? Righty Tighty clockwise.

Remove jack stands from front end and do the same thing to the rear. This information is only if you’re automobile has disc brakes on the front and rear.

Some automobiles have disc brakes on the front with drums on the back; some cars still have drums on all 4 wheels.

I hope this information was helpful to you and if you are going to attempt to do you own brake job be careful and try to keep any parts of your body from being under the car while you’re working on it.

Auto Repair Shop Harford County – How To Choose

Auto Repair Shop Harford County – How To Choose

Finding a good auto repair shop in Harford County can be difficult. You have many choices but it can be hard to know which auto repair shop to choose.

The average car owner does not know a lot about car repairs. This can make it difficult when searching for a good mechanic. Here are some items that can help you to decide.

1 – Look for a mechanic or auto repair shop that has a good reputation.

Does the auto repair shop have and they willing to show you customer reviews? People who are happy with an auto repair shop, especially long-time customers, are happy to brag about finding a good shop. Check to see if the auto repair shop has customer reviews on their website.

2 – Prescreen an auto repair shop or auto mechanic.

Before you need service stop in and meet the staff at the shop. If they are willing to take some time to meet and talk with you even when you are not in need of service, they are showing you that they care. See if the owner is involved in the daily operation of the business. Take your car to the chosen shop for general maintenance such as oil changes, transmission fluid changes and basic general preventive maintenance work. If the mechanics treat you with respect and the general vibe is good then that’s a great start.

Also look for things like the cleanliness of the shop and observe if there are certifications displayed. If everything seems legitimate, then maybe this is the place where you should get major repairs done.

3 – The difference between a national chain auto repair, a privately owned auto repair and a backyard mechanic.

National chains and car dealers are notoriously more expensive than local repair shops. However, make sure the local repair shop offers a good warranty on their service. Privately owned shops are normally less expensive and often times provide the same quality of service as chains and dealers. Look for a shop that still provides that old-time customer service that you aren’t likely to find elsewhere. Check that the shop has A.S.E. certified mechanics.

A.S.E. stands for Automotive Service Excellence. A mechanic must take regular tests to obtain and maintain their A.S.E. certification. The test is not an easy one to pass. The statistics are that one out of every three test takers fails the A.S.E. test.

Backyard mechanics can be risky to work with. They usually do not have the proper diagnostic equipment to detect what the mechanical issue is. And they may not have the appropriate tools to do the work.

The best choice is to take your vehicle into an auto repair shop in Harford County with the appropriate diagnostic tools and ASE certified mechanics.