What to Look for Before Buying a Used Car

Used carBuying a used car is not an easy task. It requires a lot of keenness to avoid getting yourself into a big problem. You would want to get a car that is in prime condition to eliminate the need to towing services or unnecessary mechanical repairs.  Ideally, there are several unknowns in the vehicle you want to buy. A used car is not like a new one where you are sure that most of the parts are functioning as required. Therefore, there is a need to visit the site with a person who has excellent knowledge regarding cars. Maybe a mechanic can help you by approving or disapproving the mechanical and physical condition of the vehicle. This article discusses some of the things you should do when you go to purchase a used vehicle Read more…

Easy Steps to Better Gas Mileage

Gas mileageThe cost of fueling your car is undoubtedly the most frequent costs you incur. The prices of gas are somewhat unpredictable, and it is only logical that we all want to save as much fuel as possible. Nobody wants to empty their wallet every time to fill their car’s tank. This article aims to discuss five ways you can follow for better fuel economy and the frequent trips to the gas station.

 

 

 

Avoid aggressive driving

Aggressive driving is one of the striking causes of gas wastage. When you over speed and accelerate rapidly, there is no regular flow of fuel in the engine. Indeed, the gas mileage can be lowered by an estimated 33 percent on the highways if the car is driven aggressively. In most cases, vehicle experience a decline in the gas mileage at speeds that exceeds 50 miles per hour. Therefore, smooth and average speed driving will save you a significant chunk of money and gas.

 

Avoid heavy loads

It is common knowledge that the heavier the load, the more gas will be used by your vehicle. For example, if you carry roof-top boxes, they will substantially increase the resistance of the wind, which subsequently lowers the fuel economy. Therefore, it is vital to limit the weight of luggage in your car.

 

Proper inflation

Flat tireThis is another important factor that can either lower or increase your gas mileage. When the car tires are not properly inflated, the movement of the vehicle becomes difficult. Consequently, the engine is overworked, which increases the consumption of the fuel. Therefore, it is always important to ensure that the car tires have adequate pressure because that will increase your gas mileage.

 

 

Clean or replace air filters

Dirty or clogged air filters mean that the engine will use more effort than normal to power your vehicle. It is always vital to either clean or replace the filters regularly to remove dirt such as dust particles and oil residue. This will boost the efficiency of the engine and increase the gas mileage of the car.

 

Change engine oil

Changing the engine oil regularly allows the car to operate at maximum efficiency. Ideally, when there is no resistance on the parts of the engine, it will only use the usual efforts to power the vehicle. However, if there is a lot of friction, the engine will consume more fuel than it normally does, which reduces the gas mileage. Always use the right oil for your car engine.

Common Bad Habits that Damage Your Car

daMAGED CARYour car is probably one of your most expensive valuables. It is also among those possessions you depend heavily for convenience. You should thus take macimum care on it to avoid breakdown and issues such as towing service. Therefore, it is a common guess everybody wants their vehicle to provide maximum service for lasting longer than it is even expected! Thus, as a car owner, you must avoid several driving habits that are deemed destructive to your vehicle. The following are seven such habits.

 

 

Ignoring Parking Brake

It is always important to use the parking brake even in cases when you think it is not very necessary. Always note that the car is designed in a way that it has an automatic transmission, so, failing to use the brakes puts immense pressure on the transmission. This is because whatever is holding the whole weight is the little-sized parking pawl, which gets damaged after the extended habit.

 

Shifting your gear into Reverse and Drive before it stops completely

This mostly happens in an automatic transmission car. If you force the transmission to do unusual things that it is not accustomed or intended to do, it is very easy to damage both shafts and suspension. Therefore, whenever and wherever you park your car, do not forget to use your parking brakes. Read your owner’s manual for more on this.

 

Ignoring the communication of your car

Typically, your car will not make unusual or odd sounds unless it has some mechanical problems. Therefore, when you hear a strange sound, you should know that there is something your car is “telling” you. If you ignore, it will only get worse. So, you need to see your mechanic as soon as your car ‘communicates’ a problem.

 

Carrying unnecessarily heavy loads

Heavy loadCarrying a load is not wrong for your car. However, if you force it to carry excess weight, you obviously know what will happen. You put an unnecessary pressure, probably one that should be meant for a truck. It is very likely you will damage the suspension and loosen other parts of the car.

 

Overusing breaks downhill

One of the quickest ways to wear down your breaks is to overuse them. Sometimes when you are driving downhill, avoid riding the breaks throughout. It is instead advisable to drive in a lower gear that slows the movement of your car.

 

Sudden and random stops

This is a bad habit that can damage your car very quickly. It is not advisable to regularly slam your car brakes or the gas pedal. Starting and stopping should always be a gradual process, well, unless you are faced with an emergency, which of course doesn’t happen every time.

 

Riding the clutch

If your car has a manual transmission, it is wrong to keep your clutch engaged for long, especially when you are not shifting your gears or braking. Usually, this practice destroys the hydraulic system of your car because it forces the flywheel to meet the pressure plates, which ultimately wears down the whole system. Therefore, try to minimize the use of your clutch to the only occasions it is required.

Five Sure Signs Your Car Needs Immediate Service

car serviceIt is always important to repair small problems in your car as soon as you discover them. If these problems accumulate, they may force you to send your car to the workshop for a complete overhaul. This will cost a lot of money that could be avoided if measures were taken earlier. It is important to understand these signs to help you note any mechanical and physical changes in your vehicle

 

1.      Strange Noises

If you notice some strange noises produced by your car, do not assume anything. They could include irregular engine noise, unusual exhaust noise, squealing breaks when stepped on, and uneven sounds which seem to result from dragging wheels and under the bonnet. Each of these abnormal sounds is a clear sign that your car needs immediate assessment. See a specialist before the problem escalates.

2.      Steering Wheel Problems

It is not advisable to underestimate any single problem that you notice in your steering wheel. For instance, if you realize that there is some difficulty to steer your car or that it is imbalanced even when it’s in a neutral position, then, there is a problem. Do not wait until it worsens. Book an appointment with your specialist.

3.      Warning Lights on the Dashboard

car careThere are several problems that can be shown by flashing lights on your dashboard. For instance, the flashing of the yellow light indicates that one or several of the systems of your car have some mechanical problems. Since it is not possible to predict the exact problem, it is important to seek assistance from your expert mechanic as soon as possible. He will diagnose the car and uncover the real issue.

Besides, if you see a red flash on your brake fluid light after you step on the pedal, and you realize that there is a continuous illumination, this is an indication that your break system is experiencing some problems. It is very dangerous to continue driving your car in this state because brakes are the most significant safety feature. If it is not functioning well, your car is exposed to avoidable accidents.

4.      Smoke or Steam

If you notice that there is smoke that is coming from your bonnet, it is because the radiator is overheating. This smoke or steam has a white color. Although this does not imply immediate danger, if it escalates, the problem could get worse. Therefore, it is important to check the temperature gauge of your car. If it reads maximum temperature, remove it and wait for it to cool. Ideally, the needle should always remain at the center of the gauge. However, blue smoke is an indication of a mechanical problem that results from burning oil. If the smoke exceeds normal, then it is a sign that there is an oil leakage. The problems associated with this issue are wearing of pistons and their rings, valve seals that are worn, and the failure of head gasket.

5.      Abnormal shaking and Vibration

Usually, this happens as a result of wearing of break discs and pads. The signs could also indicate worn tyres. Ensure you always check your tyres to confirm even wearing. It is also important to take your car for servicing before this problem worsens.

 

Four signs your car needs alignment

As vehicle technology and performance advances, you may find it daunting to sustain all the required maintenance and repairs tasks of your car. One of the most crucial aspects of car maintenance is proper wheel alignment. However, it is one of the most omitted maintenance tasks by car owners. Detecting and correcting wheel alignment symptoms on time is very important for your safety. When you hit a large pothole head-on, you may only be cautious of the loud thud without realizing it can cause wheel alignment problems. Fortunately, it is possible for you to notice most wheel alignment problems before they become disastrous. Here are four signs that will help you know if your car has a bad alignment.

Unusual tire wear patterns

Normally, the tires of your car wear evenly across the tread due to the constant contact with the road. If the shoulder of your tire looks worn, but the rest of it is still in good condition, it is probably as a result of bad tire alignment. Poor wheel alignment causes lateral wear of the tires as well. Consider visiting your mechanic for alignment. One of the added advantages of proper wheel alignment is that it increases the life of your tires by ensuring they wear evenly.

Steering wheel pulling on one side

When driving straight down a flat road, your steering wheel normally would be sitting close to perfectly straight. If you notice your steering pulling on one side or the other, this could be an alignment problem. To make all the tires to sync together, you need a technician to align your wheel.

Strange vibrations

When your car has alignment problems, it creates vibrations. This is as a result of the tires pulling against each other rather than rolling in the same direction. When driving on a flat road, pay close attention to any noises from the car. You may hear the steering vibrating, a clicking sound when turning the wheel or a grinding noise. Whatever the case you may experience, it is better to get to the technician to have the problem fixed as soon as possible.

Sloppy steering

When your car has alignment problems, the steering wheel will feel sloppier than normal. You may notice that your car is not immediately responding to turning the wheel. Additionally, the wheel may feel looser in your hands than usual. Although it may not certainly mean you have a bad alignment, it is one of the signs that you should look out for. Let your technician help you diagnose and fix the problem

Wheel alignment problem is not only a threat to your personal safety but also the safety of others. Once you notice any sign of wheel alignment problem, have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible. Whether it is a safety issue or not, realigning your vehicle is cheaper than the cost of replacing prematurely worn tires. When realigning your car, ensure the all the steering and suspension components are checked and any issues fixed. This will help you have nice car drives every day.