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Category Archives: Automotive

Car Radiator Failure

If your car’s radiator begins to show signs of needed repair, it is wise to have it serviced by a licensed mechanic as soon as possible. Catching a small problem early on is a cost-effective method of routine car maintenance and repair. Continue reading to learn the most common signs of car radiator failure, and test your vehicle to assess its current condition.

Low Coolant

If you begin to notice that your coolant is always running low, or your “low coolant” light comes on, it may be due to a radiator leak. Although it can be tempting to simply refill and forget about it, it is important to put your schedule aside and have your radiator inspected by a professional mechanic. A radiator leak can be dangerous for many reasons, so it is necessary to repair them if one exists.

Coolant Leak

If you notice coolant on the ground beneath your vehicle, you have a coolant leak. Coolant leaks are caused by a leak in the radiator. Radiator fluid, known as coolant, flows through the engine and the radiator, so if it is dripping onto the ground, it is a sure sign that the radiator has a crack or opening somewhere. A professional auto repair shop can accurately locate radiator leaks with a specialized test using pressure and dyes.

Discolored Coolant

Radiator fluid should be yellow, red, or green at all times. However, when the cooling system begins to go bad, the fluid can start to turn to rusty or oily colors, such as black or brown. Overtime, this oily fluid turns into sludge inside the radiator, which prevents the coolant from flowing properly. When this happens, it slows performance and reduces efficiency. Unfortunately, a radiator will need to be replaced if sludge gets inside.

Overheating Engine

Since the radiator’s job is to regulate the temperatures produced inside an engine, it is no surprise that an overheating engine is a very common sign of radiator failure. If the engine overheats just one time, it could be due to something minor like being low on coolant. But if your engine is overheating regularly, it could be a more serious repair. The more times you allow your engine to overheat, the more damage is done to your vehicle. It is important to get them repaired as soon as possible before they can get worse.

Cleaning Car Interior

Cleaning the interior of a vehicle could be considered an easy task despite the amount of “collections” you have in it. One of the tips that you should keep in mind when cleaning your car’s interior would be to think that after you are done, you would have a car that not only looks new from the outside but also feels and smells new from the inside.

Before starting out, make sure that you park your car in a cool and shady place. This is because direct sunlight actually heats the cleaners you would be using. When the cleaners are heated on your upholstery, the natural oils of the leather would be actually taken out. This would leave your upholstery looking old and brittle, which is something that you would not like to have. Also, make sure that you would have at hand everything you would need. Make sure that you use the right products. Using cleaning products that are not very friendly to your interior could only create a big mess.

Then, start by removing all of the collections you have been keeping inside your interior. Check behind the seats and even under the seats. Of course, make sure that you remove all big pieces that would be too large to vacuum. Then, start from the top going down, vacuum your car’s interior. After you are done vacuuming, wipe the dashboard, the gauges, and the console. Use a damp terry cloth towel. By doing so, you are actually removing any additional surface dirt. Make sure that you go through each nook and cranny of your seats. Do this with other parts of your interior like the console and the transmission tunnel.

Vacuum your vehicle’s floor mats well. You can use a soft scrub brush along with some cleaning products. However, when you do use cleaning products, make sure that you rinse them well with water after you are through. If you have a carpet that has stains large enough, it would be best to run them with a professional carpet-cleaning machine or service.

Safely Drive Through Tire Blowout

A tire blowout is a special kind of flat tire. The side wall has ruptured, leaving a huge tear in your tire that cannot be repaired. While many believe that a blown-out tire is caused in part by over inflation, the true culprit is actually the opposite: tires that are underinflated. It’s not the rubber and steel that makes a tire able to carry the weight of a car and its passengers. It is the air. Without enough air, the components inside the tires flex and heat until it all snaps and a blowout occurs. If the car is carrying a heavy load, then the likelihood of a blowout is compounded. This is why it’s important to regularly check tire pressure. The proper pressure for a car’s tires is listed in the driver’s side door jamb.

Another common way to get a flat tire is by driving on very worn, very old tires. After a while the rubber starts to thin, and a blowout becomes more likely. To see if your tires are too worn, use the penny test. Stick the edge of a penny into your tire’s tread so that Abe Lincoln’s head is hidden by the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then your tires are too worn to drive on. However, if you cannot afford to replace the tire, then try rubbing it with vegetable oil. The oil will moisturize the rubber, allowing it to be more flexible and decrease the chances of a blowout.

When your tire blows out, what you absolutely must not do is apply the brake. Because one of your tires is now effectively useless, the brake will be applied unevenly, causing your vehicle to veer. If you’re driving a van or SUV, then it’s quite possible to flip your car by braking during a blowout.

Instead, you need to press on the accelerator after a blowout. This may seem counterintuitive, but when a tire blows out, your car’s speed may suddenly drop due to the drag caused by the flat tire. You must step on the gas for only a moment, so that any cars behind you won’t be surprised by your sudden drop in speed and ram into you.

After you have quickly pressed on the gas, you’ll notice that your car will want to veer in the direction of the blowout. Keep your car steady, let it lose speed gradually, and only when you are going slower than 30 miles per hour should you steer the vehicle to the side of the road.

Once you have successfully steered your car to the side of the road, you can start thinking about what steps you need to take next. You should always have a spare tire on hand. Now is the time to change out the flat and continue to the nearest service station. However, you need to make sure there is enough room around your car to freely work in.

Don’t try changing the tire if doing so will put you on the road, and in a dangerous situation from oncoming traffic. If you don’t have enough room to change the tire, or if you don’t have a spare, you need to call a tow truck. Depending on where you are, you may decide to have the truck drop off your car at home or at the nearest mechanic.

Deal With an Overheating Car Engine

PULL OVER

When a car has just overheated, attempting to drive it further can risk harming the engine. You should never drive an overheating car because the engine (and other important inner components) can sustain irrevocable damages. It can also be dangerous to you and anyone in or around the vehicle. For instance, head gaskets can blow, engine parts can melt, and smoke can accumulate in large masses.

So the first thing to do when you notice that your car is over-heating, is pull over to a safe part of the road. It is recommended to try to pull into a neighborhood or parking lot if there is one there at the moment; otherwise, simply find a flat surface on the side of the road.

ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL

Once you have pulled over and turned the engine off, be sure to turn on your hazards to alert people of your position. This is especially important at night. Keep all car lights on in the evening if you are ever pulled over on the edge of a street. Many people make the mistake of opening their hoods right away and touching the radiator cap; this is a huge mistake! The car engine and radiator will be very hot and can cause second and third degree burns. Always allow your vehicle to cool off for at least fifteen minutes, depending on the amount of time spent driven prior to the break down. This way you can protect yourself from accidents and injury.

CHECK FOR FLUID LEAKS

When the vehicle has completely cooled, check around and underneath it for any signs of leaking. This could indicate a wide variety of issues, from a cracked radiator to a faulty radiator hose. If there is no sign of leakage, take a look at the oil. Remove the dipstick and concentrate on the color. If it is dark brown and sludgy-looking, this means the liquid coolant might be seeping into the engine. This can result from a blown head gasket or cracked engine block. Even if the oil looks normal, these damages may still be the underlying problem.

CONTACT A MECHANIC

The best thing to do in a situation like this is call a mechanic shop once you have the car pulled over. They are the professionals that can accurately diagnose the issue behind your overheating vehicle. When antifreeze and coolant aren’t the answer, trust a licensed auto repair technician to figure it out for you. Use a directory to contact a towing service that can transport your vehicle directly to the auto repair shop, and give you a ride there too, all in the same trip.

Cleaning Car Frames

It would be best to have the following supplies available; Both Heavy and Light Liquid Degreaser, some sheets of Plastic used in painting and for your body protection we recommend; goggles which protect your eyes, rain Gear and Plastic Boots.

When you hit areas of where the frame comes together or where there are holes in the frame, which have paint chips or rust, you will want to hit these with the zero tip. Be careful to wear eye protection because the deflected water will still be moving very fast. The non deflected water if it hits your body can easily break the skin.

It is best to work on one section at a time. It is also important to contain the dirty water flow once you start using the chemicals for cleaning. Many times you will be surprised at how well the pressure washer does without any degreaser or with light degreaser. To do this job correctly follow this easy step by step guide. First check the water flow to make sure dirty water will not enter gutter then lay down the plastic in the section to be cleaned and use two by fours to put under the outer edges of plastic to stop water flow. Rinse area to be cleaned prior to starting then spray at close range tough and stubborn stains and paint chips and rinse and see how good it looks,

If it looks great you are finished if not continue to the next set of steps. Spray degreaser on the areas to remove the hardened grease and oil. Allow about 30 seconds of dwell time for it to soak in and then Blast at close range with 15 degree tip and zero tip if needed. Rinse with wide angle tip and repeat until you are satisfied and continue this process on other sections.

Repair a Windshield

The windshield is a two-layered laminated glass. This laminate is made of vinyl plastic which is very strong. The windshield accounts for nearly 20% of the strength of the car. It plays a major role in keeping you safe. With the advancement in technology, the process of placing the windshield has become a computer controlled process. It has been designed to work with the other safety devices in the car. For instance, the airbags need a strongly bonded windshield in order to work correctly. Thus, it is important to get even a tiny crack on the windshield repaired. Ignoring it may put the life of the driver in danger.

The costs for replacing the entire windshield costs $300 and repairing a crack or a chip in the windshield could cost around $100 or lesser. There are also many kits available for you to repair the windshield yourself. These kits can be purchased from Amazon and in large stores that sell auto parts such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, and AutoZone. The kit will consist of the adhesive seal, windscreen repair resin, curing film, pedestal and a safety razor. Once you have the kit, park your car in your garage or somewhere indoors. Use a pain to clear out any broken glass from the windshield and leave it to dry. The instructions on how to use the kit will be available with the package. If the directions are unclear, the best option is to take the car to an auto repair workshop.

Another consideration is your car insurance. If you carry comprehensive coverage, then windshield repair can be included in your coverage. Be sure to check your deductibles as this will be required to be paid first. In some states, there is no deductible for windshield damage, as it is considered a safety related repair.

At the end of the day, the important thing is that any windshield repairs are fixed immediately and you are no longer vulnerable to any potential accidents.

UTE Maintenance

The first thing is to locate your dipstick, in a manual vehicle there is only one, but an auto will also have one for the transmission fluid so be sure the verify which one it is engine oil before filling. (It should say on the top). It is usually colored plastic knob that is formed into a loop or has a rounded top that your finger can fit through to make it easier to pull out.

Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe the end clean so you can inspect it and tell where the fill and empty lines.

Insert the dipstick back into the engine, then pull it out again. The dipstick will go down into the engine sump and tells you how much oil is there.

You can then read how much oil is there. The ideal oil level is at the full mark. If the oil is above the halfway mark it is safe to leave it as there will be enough oil, but take note of this and check the level again after a few 100km.

If it is below the halfway mark, then add the recommended oil for your engine. (Diesel engine oil has special cleaners added to deal with any carbon build up. Petrol engines have different additives) It is best to add only 200ml at a time and then recheck and add a bit more if needed to ensure you do not overfill the engine (A very slight overfill is generally OK)

If you have your vehicle serviced at the manufactures recommended times and check the oil regularly and suddenly it has fallen it may be because you have gone past the service life of the oil and it is advisable to have it serviced and checked at a mechanic shop

Check the transmission oil in the same way and use the recommended transmission fluid.

The brake reservoir is on top of, or very near, the brake master cylinder, a clear white plastic screw top container with a viewing area so you can check the fluid level and top up if needed.

Cooling System

Check the coolant in the radiator (do not use plain water as an adequate anticorrosive is needed to stop electrolysis.

Check the visual condition of the rubber hoses around the cooling system and squeeze them to ensure the hoses are firm and have not gone soft.

Electrical System

With the assistance of another person who is outside the Ute to monitor the lights check their operation.

Check the indicators, park and brake lights as well as reversing and number plate light. It is also important to ensure your Headlights are working, both full beam and dipped as well as spotlights.

Check that all the instrument lights are working on the dashboard usually these will all light up when you turn on the ignition to the 2nd stage just before it activated the starter motor.

Check the horn and that all power windows operate correctly, it is important they work without the motor running in emergency conditions.

Engine Belts

Check the condition of the drive belts between the engine and Alternator, some vehicles have several belts, driving the air-con, pump the power brake pump, water pump. If your Ute is fitted with a back tray, not a molded body, it may have a hydraulic lift pump connected to the engine or a separate electric hydraulic pump, the fluids and any belts of these need to be checked as well.

Filters; Fuel, Oil and Air

It is important to have a clean air cleaner, especially if you travel in dusty areas. Remove the cleaner and blow compressed air through it to remove any dust. If it is really soiled there are companies that clean them or you can purchase a new one. Many vehicles are now fitted with pollen and dust filters on the air-conditioning system so these also need to be checked and cleaned where necessary

The fuel filter needs to be changed regularly as it can become clogged from contaminants in the fuel and any moisture in your tank, see the manufacturer’s instructions.

The oil filter is best left up to your service center unless you have adequate facilities to collect and deal with the waste oil (this can be very messy).

Windscreen Washer and Wipers

Check the liquid level in the windscreen washer reservoir and top it up if necessary with a good quality windscreen washer solution. Over long dry periods the hot sun, the wiper blades can become brittle, so need to be checked and replaced as needed as well.

Tyres

Your vehicle tyres are very important and maintaining the correct tyre pressure will increase your fuel economy and your Ute will handle and brake better.

Checking the wear of your tyres is a good way to gauge the condition of your Utes suspension. It the tyres are wearing unevenly if probably means you need to have this checked.

Tyre rotation is where you change the tyres by placing the left front tyre on the right rear and the left rear on the right front about every 10,000k will help to extend the life of your tyres.

Car Wrap

1) A quick and easy face lift:

Breathe new life into the appearance of their car by simply changing the colour. Many companies come with a standard range of colours and even some rare, unique materials that can be wrapped on cars.

2) Maintaining a cars residual value:

As appealing as vinyl sounds to car customisation fanatics, it’s also a practical way of ensuring your car’s paint job stays as new as the day it rolled off the production line, and had its VIN number engraved. Vinyl, or more specifically Paint Protection Film, can ensure that your car can be resold and that you get a higher price, as the vinyl often takes the brunt of stone chips, scratches and weather.

3) Business Use

Car wrapping isn’t just reserved for those looking to make their car a standout vehicle. It’s also a massively popular method of advertising for business owners, who often have their work vehicles wrapped in special vinyl and graphics with their business names and logos, all to help them in the promotion of their business, plus they also use it as a tax write off for their business’

4) Individual Styling

Car wrapping is by far the easiest way to change your car, whether it’s a simple colour change, to a unique material switch up to help it stand out from the crowd. It is a more popular method for vehicle owners who are part of car clubs and owners of unique vehicles who are looking to have their vehicle stand out.

Modifying a Car

  • Make sure that you have all your tools on hand. This includes sand paper, electric sandpaper, masking tape, newspapers, air compressors and spray guns. Also consider weather conditions such as sunshine, wind and rain.
  • Make sure that you have the correct chemicals for the paint such as thinners, primer, undercoat and top coat. All these are necessary to prolong the life of the paint job.
  • Remove all the dust in your work area to prevent particles landing on the wet paint. Particles will destroy the smooth finish. You also need to clean the car to remove all grease and road contaminants.
  • Never forget to wear a face mask, goggles and gloves to avoid getting the chemicals on your skin. These items will also protect you from the particles that come off when you sand current enamel off the car.
  • Sand the car in circular motions for a uniform surface. The more uniform the better the end result. Once you have finished with sanding the chassis, apply thinners onto a cloth and wipe the surface. Thinners will get the remaining paint off.
  • Priming the surface provides a good base coat to prolong the life of the paint job. It also helps to set the chemicals for an even finish. If you don’t want a specific section of the car to be painted, cover those areas with masking tape or newspaper.
  • Apply thin layers of primer and paint so that clumps and drops don’t form. Thinner coats will set quicker and allow you to add another coat on top without unsightly formations.
  • Follow all the rations mentioned on the instructions of the paint packages. There might be a different amount of chemicals that need to be mixed with the right amount of thinners.

Mobile Auto Detailing

A little soap is good for the environment, but we are not allowed to let soap run into a storm drain. While it is true that there are harsh chemicals and detergents that are currently used by industry and homeowners that should never be allowed free to run into our ecosystem, most basic soap won’t hurt anything. As a matter of fact, they actually help break down other unwanted contaminants so they can be further filtered by mother earth’s soil and diluted by her abundant water. Most mobile auto detailer’s soaps are perfectly harmless. Unfortunately, no matter how good or biodegradable these soaps are, the law reads nothing but ‘domestic potable water’ goes into the storm drains.

Non-spray products such as silicon for bumpers, wax, adhesive remover, etc. are major environmental problems because they contain dastardly chemicals. You must realize these chemicals do not go into the environment during the washing of the vehicle; therefore, they do not constitute a pollution discharge. Whatever you do, do not pour out a 55-gallon drum of this type product into the gutter in front of your house.

Here is a sad story of what happens when there is an unscrupulous manufacturer tries to sell a product that is not safe:

A company that touted their product as being safe for the environment sold it to thousands of retailers that had thousands of outlets. It was on shelves all over America for about three years. It was in the garages of over forty million households. It was later discovered by a company that preps boats for painting and stripping that the product killed fish. Fish were floating to the surface dead each day that this product was used. The company cleaning the boats didn’t want to get in trouble, so they switched products and didn’t say anything. The new product worked fine and no more dead fish.

About a year and a half later, the supplier for the new product went out of business and the boat company was forced to switch back to the first product. Guess what? That’s right; more dead fish; even more than before. This time the boat cleaning company told someone. The Fish and Game Department slapped on a lawsuit for one million dollars. The product manufacturer paid but continued to make the product with same formula. Other government agencies and environmental groups caught wind and forced the company to change the formula. The price increase to change the formula cost the company eight cents more per bottle on a retail price of $10.00. The one million dollars was less than eight cents per gallon, so they just paid it. When they finally switched formulas due to the pressure from environmental consumers and the negative media, the bottle said “New and Improved” and “Even More Environmentally Safe Than Before.” The price increased an average of $1.99 retail. The product’s name? I am not writing this article to hurt brand names so we will leave it at that, you can figure it out through public record.