The Importance Of Regular Tire Rotations

 

Sometimes performing even the simplest of maintenance procedures  on your

automobile can be the most beneficial.  Oil changes are quick, simple and relatively inexpensive, but they are one of the key components to keeping your cars engine running smoothly and efficiently. The same can be said about the simplicity and importance of regular tire rotations. Rotating your tires allows for the wear on your tires to be evenly distributed which provides not only a lot more safe of a ride for you and your passengers, but also a longer tire life for all of your tires!  It also helps with alignment and making sure you do not experience an often dangerous, sometimes accident causing blow out. Tire rotation is probably one the most inexpensive maintenance procedures you can have done on your vehicle and can even be done yourself with the right tools?

So how do you know when it’s time to rotate your tires, and what are the tools needed to perform this maintenance procedure on your own?

 TWO ways to monitor when you should rotate the tires on your vehicle:

  1. Take a look at your cars owner’s manual, it has pretty much all the details you will need when it comes to maintaining your automobile properly.  In it you will find the manufacturer’s recommended tire rotation interval, which is usually about every 5,000 miles.
  2. Some people like to monitor the wear on their tires themselves.  This can be done by checking your tires periodically looking for advanced wear on either the front or back of your tires.  Should you see that there is an uneven amount you will know it is time to have your tires rotated.

Should you choose to have a professional rotate your tires it is advised to have them rotated every other oil change.  This will ensure that they are being maintained regularly and will only had a short amount of time to your oil change. Your mechanic shop may even have a special pertaining to the two! Should you choose to rotate your tires yourself the following tools are needed and/or suggested!

  • Impact Wrench- Although it is not a required tool when rotating your tires itis very helpful in removing the lugnuts.  Without one it may require a lot more effort and more time.
  • Hydraulic Floor Jack VS. Scissor Jack- Either type of jack can be used to help lift the vehicle off the floor.  The hydraulic jack tends to be little more stable and easy to maneuver
  • Cinder Blocks VS. Jack Stands- Either can be used but again it is recommended that you use a standard tool that was made to actually keep a car off the ground once raised by a jack.  Safety should always be the first priority when it comes to performing any procedures on your vehicle.
  • Torque Wrench- used to make sure that your lugnuts have the right amount of torque on the, as recommended in your owner’s manual

How ever you choose to monitor your tire rotations as well as perform the tire rotation is entirely your choice.  We strongly suggest keeping up with your tire maintenance as to ensure for a safe, smooth ride!

How to Change Your Car’s Air Filter

The purpose of our blog is to provide tips, advice, and facts about automobiles that can help you maintain them and keep them runnng smoothly and problem free! In our last post we talked about the importance of changing and maintaining your air filter.  We thought we’d post a DIY video as a follow up for those of you who want to try doing it yourself at home!

air filter

The Importance Of Changing Your Air Filter

Preventative maintenance for your car is very important, however most vehicle owners tend to find maintenance measures such as oil changes, changing your air filter, transmission flushesetc. time consuming and bothersome. The truth is that overlooking these preventative maintenance procedures may seem small but they can definitely create problems with your vehicle that can become quite large.  Aside from oil changes which we know are of extreme importance, changing your air filter is too!  So what exactly does your air filter do for your car?   We got the low down on the importance of changing your air filter and what it actually does for you car from an experienced mechanic at J-N-J Auto Services in Phoenix Arizona.  Todd, the certified mechanic we spoke with broke it down quite nicely for us and we are going to share it with our readers!

What Your Car’s Air Filter Actually Does?

The air intake system controls the amount of air that enters into your engine’s chambers.  From there the air is mixed with fuel to ignite with combustion when you start your car.  Although the air filter is not technically a part of the air intake system, it is responsible for filtering out dirt and debris from the air that the intake system pulls in. Why is this so important? Having Debris and other hazards in the air when it ignites with fuel and combustion can be dangerous to the cars passengers as well as harmful to the engine

How Do I know When To Change my Air Filter

Each car is different explained Todd, and a lot depends on how much you drive and so forth.  Todd suggested that you first check out your car’s owners manual as to see when it is recommended.  In general however, it is suggested that you change the filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. The more miles you drive your car the more clogged with dirt and debris your air filter becomes.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Vehicles Air Filter?

If your air filter is really weighed down with debris and dirt it will create a lack of power when you attempt any strong acceleration.  It also is unable to pull a lot of clean air in to the engine chamber and can create a lack of fuel efficiency.  Think your car is eating up gas?  Todd advises to check the air filter.  Having a new air filter put in your car might just save you money on gas!  Probably the biggest consequence attributed to not changing your air filter is the fact that when you air filter is dirty and clogged it doesn’t allow for the full amount of air to get into the chamber to complete the combustion cycle.  In turn the reverse happens and it is almost like a vacuum that pulls dirt and debris into the engines internal components.  This can be very damaging and create VERY EXPENSIVE issues.  Seems like having your air filter changed regularly doesn’t sound so inconvenient anymore!

Todd explained to us as well that most times when people skip or ignore preventative maintenance procedures for their vehicle it is because they don’t really understand all of the parts, big and small, that go into making your car safe, and stay driving at optimal performance.  Being a certified mechanic and working at J-N-J Auto Service for over 10 years he has seen a lot of unnecessary problems with vehicles that people could have prevented.  As a mechanic you work with cars all day long so you understand the importance of small maintenance procedures as well as those all encompassing.  He also suggests that it is wise to find a trusted mechanic that will take the time to explain things to you, and that you don’t hesitate to ask questions too.  Your mechanic is providing a paid service to you involving the vehicle that drives you and your loved ones around daily.  Your mechanic should be able to take the time to explain procedures and reasoning to you.  It seems a lot of people feel like they can be taken advantage by mechanics and auto service shops because a lot of people don’t really know that much about cars.  If you are ever in doubt of your mechanic service Todd also recommends that you perhaps seek another opinion from a different shop or mechanic. Is number one advice tip for all vehicle owners is “ DON’T skip preventative Maintenance procedures on your car/truck/SUV!

DIY Oil Changes

Not eveyone knows how to change their oil in their vehicle, but they should.  Having basic knowledge such as properly doing your own oil change is always a good idea!  Here is a video that breaks it down simply so literally anyone can do their own oil change.  Give it a try, you may just be suprised at your “mechanic” skills!

Traditional Paint Job vs. Vinyl Wraps

With ever growing and updated technology many things in all spectrums of life are changing or improving.  Including the way automobiles are built and how they run in general.  Think self driving cars, electric cars, better GPS systems, reverse cameras, etc.  So why wouldn’t technology allow for better ways to customize your car that don’t include the traditional paint job!  These days you can embolize your car with your business/company logo.  You’re literally a driving advertisment for your business. Does a traditional paint jop offer this benefit?  Not exactly, and if some how it did that paint job would take for ever and propbably cost a lot of money.  To reverse it would be another story!  Enter in vinl wraps.  One of the trending and growing ways to update the look of your car without actually changing the original paint job.  In fact vinyl wraps have been proven to protect the life and quality of your original paint job.  If you decide car
you don’t like your vinyl wrap anymore, you may simply have it removed with no damage to the underlying paint!  As an automotive tips & advice blog we strive to provide the best advice and techniques when it comes to automobiles.  We think in a nut shell that vinyl wrapping is probably one of the best things to happen to the automobile world.  Why? Beacuse literally you can wrap just about any transportation device.  Jet ski, boat, moped, food truck, semi, company fleet of cars and more!  We thought  we would give the breakdown on traditional paintjobs vs. vinyl wraps!

How Important Is A Transmission Flush?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preventative maintenance is highly recommended to keep your vehicle running at top performance and increase its overall longevity. But how important to this maintenance are Transmission Flushes? And what exactly are the differences between a flush and a replacement of transmission fluid?  In fact what does transmission fluid even do for your vehicle and why is it so essential?  Ok, so first things first.  Transmission fluid is a type of oil that helps lubricate gears in your car’s transmission.  It also acts as a coolant to keep gears running at lower temperatures.  Overtime the ingredients in this oil start to break down thus throwing off the balance created by optimal transmission fluid.  When this breakdown occurs the temperatures are not balanced while also leaving gears less lubricated and working harder.  This imbalance can cause numerous issues throughout your car’s entire engine and can eventually lead to complete transmission failure which we all know is NOT a good thing at all.

Although it first seems a lot easier and quicker to just have your transmission fluid drained and replaced a complete transmission flush will actually replace more of your transmission fluid than just a replacement of fluids.  A complete transmission flush will replace old unusable transmission fluid while also cleaning the transmission itself in the process.  When having a complete flush done you will see a lot better of performance out of your vehicle than just a replacement of fluids as well. Infact a Transmission Flush encompasses all of the following:

  • Helps to reduce and rid transmission gears and parts from any debris or any other foreign matter that may have found its way into your transmission. Thus helping cause less wear and tear on engine parts.
  • Lessens wear and tear on all internal engine components thus creating a longer life span for your vehicle.

In a nutshell we recommend that you have your transmission flushed verses just replacing the fluids.  We also recommend following these transmission maintenance techniques as to help keep your transmission running with optimal performance.

Transmission Maintenance Tips

  1. Check transmission fluid regularly
  2. Use the right transmission for your vehicle
  3. Have your transmission inspected annually
  4. Make sure to maintain/service engines cooling system
  5. Warm your car up before you drive it(esp in cold weather)
  6. Change transmission filter periodically
  7. Refrain from towing with your vehicle
  8. Have your transmission fluid flushed regularly
  9. Refrain from driving for a long period on a spare tire( creates unnecessary strain on transmission)
  10. Make sure to be at a complete stop before shifting between gears

If your follow along with these maintenance tips as well has have your car serviced regularly with oil changes, tune ups and transmission flushes you should see less to non existent transmission issues.

 

When Hail Damage Happens to Your Vehicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a Colorado native there is one thing that I know, hail storms can and will damage your vehicle! Many say the Colorado weather is schizophrenic- one moment the sun is shining and the next you are stuck in a hail storm, and this my my friend is the spoken truth. Weather happens. Look at Houston right now!

Colorado and Texas are two of the state’s most susceptible to hail storms. With Colorado’s hail storm season between April and Colorado and Texas residents being the victims to some pretty severe storms, we thought that we might give you a few tips on what to do if a hail storm damages your car.

First and foremost, it is a pain in the rear to get stuck in storm. Small pellets are beating the body of your car as you’re trying to steer safely out of it. You get out to check you car, and all you see is what looks like you were held up by a fire happy chap! The entire experience is less than ideal, but it can be quickly remedied and without decreasing the value of your vehicle, having to have body work and a new paint job, and in less time then both body work and a paint job.

It’s called paintless dent repair. The art of manipulating out minor dents, dings and creases utilizing specialized equipment, tools, and technology. Now PDR can fix more than just hail damage. However, being it is hail season and your insurance (as long as you have it) will cover hail damage.

Here are a few tips on what to do if hail damage happens to you, or really your vehicle.

  1. Get an evaluation. Send images in of many angles and views of the vehicle that has been damaged, or take your vehicle in for a free evaluation.
  2. File an insurance claim. The Colorado Dent Man will do this for you to aid in the process. Most PDR shops will handle this for you (and should). If you’ve already filed a claim then the shop will need the claim info and then handle the rest of the process
  3. Schedule a time to have your vehicle picked up. Bring your vehicle in for inspection and repair. The Colorado Dent Man will arrange to have your vehicle picked up for you as well. Professional, quality repair shops will make the process as easy as possible for you.
  4. Insurance company approves the repair process and the repair process begins.
  5. After the process has been completed a final quality inspection is performed to ensure that all damages have been repaired.
  6. Your vehicle is for pick up and to be on the road again.

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get is “Will my insurance premiums go up if I file a claim?” The answer is NO!  A hail storm is an act of nature. Your insurance will not go up from filing a claim. Insurance companies may increase premiums depending on the number of hail storm the state you are covered in receives each year, but not from you filing an individual claim.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out, or call you local Dent Repair Shop. Just make sure they are a professional company with experience. There are many pop up shops that come around when hail storms hit to make quick money. We always recommend working with a shop that has your best interest in mind.

Automobile Safety & Garage Safety!

Maybe this month’s full moon has made a dent in garages and cars…literally, or maybe it is a mere coincidence, but we have heard about and seen more autos colliding with garages then we could realistically imagine.

Let’s begin by saying the what spawned this post was “a car hits a garage encounter” by a customer at a friends shop. It was 30 minutes before Tim opened shop. An early customer decided to park right in front of the garage so that once the shop opened, pulling straight in was all that needed to be done. Well shop is about to open, but the customers car needs to go into a different area. She was asked to go ahead and move her car, which she proceeded to do, but rather than reverse to move where hs needed, she (accidentally) out the car into drive and hit the gas. BASH! Right into the shops garage. Needless to say, it was an accident, but not fun for my buddy’s shop or the woman’s car.

This post is meant to drive awareness…. Be aware of the garage! Not only will your car get a bit beat up, but garage fixes are not cheap. Your homeowners or auto insurance may the claim, but without proper insurance or if you’re a renter……be aware of that big piece of metal or wood!

We decided to reach out to the garage door company, Ahwatukee Garage Doors, that fixed my buddy’s shop garage. We wanted to get insights of how many garages they fix from vehicles hitting and damaging the good ol’ door. There response was, “more than you would think.” They also informed us that in the past month alone they repaired six, yes SIX garages that had been damaged by automobiles…crazy huh?! Two of those happened from teenage drivers, and the other four from adults. Maybe it is the full moon. Maybe people are getting antsy as the seasons change, who knows!

Well here is a little advice on how not to damage your garage with your car. It may seem crazy, but it happens. Whether it’s a tight fit getting your car into the garage or it’s lack of distance perception, take a minute to review what could save you a big headache, time and money.

  1. Attach a Tennis Ball. If you are unsure of the stopping point once you’ve entered your garage, hanging a tennis ball can be a great cue and forewarning of when to stop. Hang the ball so that as you pull the car in you know to stop when the ball is touching the windshield.
  2. Install Bumpers or Blocks. This is helpful especially if it is a tight squeeze. You can use pool noodles or block where you need the most. This will prevent you from hitting the sides of the garage and you car.
  3. Turn Your Headlights On. This tip is obviously helpful at night, especially at dusk when they may still be off, but the light is dim or you don’t have a light in your garage. It is always quite helpful during the day and will create more see space as you pulling in.
  4. Side Reflectors. If you park outside of the garage and are concerned about hitting the garage from pulling up to close, a great thing to do is attach a reflector to an upright pole and use it as a cue when to stop. Place it a few feet from the garage door on the side of your driveway (maybe even use 2). As you pull up, stop inline with the reflelctors. Especially helpful at night.
  5. Be CAREFUL. Slow down and take precautions. You will wish you had should you ding your garage door or your car. If you have a tight squeeze, really just pay attention. No cell phones or diverted attention, just total awareness with what you are doing.

A Few Things Every Car Owner Should Know…

Let’s face it, we drive our cars on a regular basis, but many of us don’t know much other than what type of car we drive, how to put the key in the ignition and how to fill up the gas tank.

With the amount of money that is spent to own and maintain a vehicle from auto payments to tune ups and maintenance, you would think more people would know a little more. However, all of the information can be overwhelming and honestly, not that interesting to most.

Maybe some other figure in your life takes car of the car and what it needs, or maybe that figure is the local auto repair shop. Regardless, you really have no clue about much other than you own your car.

Well today is the day to learn a few basic tips that you should know. It’s not mechanic school and you will not be quizzed at the end, but these few things will prove to be valuable and assist you when in need, but also give you a basic understanding and help you feel more confident as an owner and operator of your vehicle. You never know when some of these basic tips will really come in handy. So take 10 and read on!

  1. engine lights and indicators – these lights are a headache to see…..oh no what’s wrong with my car? That can mean you put off seeing what’s wrong until the car breaks down. Well these dashboard lights are symptoms of your car’s overall health. It is important that you see what’s going on. Turn to your owner’s manual for reference and take necessary action. You may have no need to worry, or you may need take your car in ASAP. Simply being aware of warning lights can and will save you from additional damage, and extra money spent.
  2. Tire Pressure – probably the most ignored maintenance issue with a car. The reason it is often ignored is because tire pressure is not regularly checked. Underinflated tires will not only wear your tires faster, but waste gas…..the end result is money wasted. The next time you fill up the tank, check your tire pressure and add some air. It really is simple, just not at the top of the priority list.
  3. Oil – the cars lubricant that keeps things running smoothly. Not only should you regularly have your oil changed, but you should make sure you check it periodically, especially if it seems oil may be leaking from your car. Dirty oil can even make your car run rough.
  4. VIN # – where to find it and why you need to know it. The VIN number is your car’s identity. It is on your car registration, but it is can also be found on your vehicle. Check the inside of door of the on the driver’s side and you should find your VIN#. This is useful for repairs and insurance.
  5. Brakes – your brakes should overall run smoothly. At times they may sound a little squeaky which can mean dust in the brakes or the need for new pads. Grinding, shuddering, scraping or any other weird sound or vibration should be immediately checked.

These tips are to keep you safe, as well as save you money. Keeping your car healthy will keep you safe and financially healthy. Automobiles are not cheap. Keep them running smoothly by being mindful of a few basic things. If you ever need assistance, your local Autozone or other auto parts store may be able to help you. If you purchase from them, example: windshield wipers, they will help you install them properly. Just make sure you tend to the health of your car.

Happy, Healthy Driving!