Posts Tagged ‘cardenas events’
You rely on your car to keep you and your loved ones safe as you travel day to day. Carelessness towards (or not even knowing) the health of your car can cause a snowball effect that leads to a multitude of expensive problems down the road- and NO ONE wants to be that broke down minivan stranded on the side of I-15 in the middle of a snowstorm with 3 grumpy kids in the backseat, or the shiny sports car that’s lost most of its value due to poor maintenance.
Here’s how often you should be prioritizing health checks of your car and make sure everything is in order. Following this schedule will allow you to catch any potential problems early on before they become major headache-inducing issues down the road. It’s best if these regular inspections are done by professionals who can examine everything with a critical, trained eye.
Once a month, make sure to check your oil levels. Add oil, coolant, and antifreeze. If any levels are low, top them off or swing by and we’ll be happy to do it – most times at no charge. While you’re at it, make sure to check for any potential leaks by backing up from your normal parking spot and scanning for drips. Do a quick scan of your hoses and note any that appear to be bulging at the ends, soft or make a brittle ‘crunch” sound when you squeeze them. Examine your belts. They may need to be replaced if they look work, frayed, or glazed. Check your tire pressure and add air if too low (check your car’s recommended pressure on the sticker printed on the door, 32-35psi is normal for most cars). Also inspect your tires for damage, bulges, poor tread, or uneven wear. This may be a sign that it’s time to replace them. Finally, do a quick examination of your air filter by holding it up to the light and see if you can see light through it. If you can’t, replace it!
Every 3 Months
Typically your oil and oil filter needs to be changed every 3,000 miles (usually ~ 3 months) or as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Check your windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid, adding extra if levels are low (if they are really low,get that checked out right away!). Examine your battery terminals and cables, cleaning them if any corrosion is spotted. Lastly, do a quick check of all your lights to ensure that all lights (including turn signals) are working properly. Have a friend or family member step on the brake pedal with the headlights on to make sure your brake lights work – we can’t believe the number of cars we see running around with only 1 brake light working!
Every 6 Months
These bi-annual checks are really critical to preventing any long-term damage. Look at your wiper blades and replace if they appear in any way worn, brittle, or smeary. Test your horn and make sure it works properly. Inspect your brakes for any unusual wear and tear. Check your spare tire to ensure it’s still fully inflated. Take a look at your exhaust system, keeping a close eye out for rust, damage, or loose parts. Finally, inspect your shocks for oil seepage or wear.
Following this schedule on a routine basis will enable your car to stay in the best shape possible. Doing monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual “check-ups” may help to prevent major issues from sneaking up on you and the least opportune moment while simultaneously keeping the resale value of your car at its highest. As always, we can help perform these critical maintenance checks for you at your convenience at our shop.
Immersion in water can wreak havoc with a car, especially an engine, electrical system, and interior. If your car has been immersed in water more than halfway up its wheels, follow these ten steps to assess and address the damage.
1. Do Not Attempt to Start the Car!
It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair. I’ve outlined a few basic checks below, but if in doubt, its best to have the car towed to a mechanic.
2. Determine How Deep the Car Was Submerged
Mud and debris usually leave a waterline on the car, inside as well as out. If the water didn’t rise above the bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. Most insurance companies will consider the car totaled (damaged beyond economically-reasonable repair) if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you don’t have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement. Your car insurance company will probably be flooded (sorry) with claims, so it’s a good idea to start the process early. (More about floods and car insurance)
4. Start Drying the Interior
If water got inside the car, mold will grow quickly. Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, but you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding, and upholstery. Remember, these repairs are likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance.
5. Check the Oil and the Air Cleaner
If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to have the water cleared and the fluids changed. (Hard-core do-it-your self can try changing the oil then removing the spark plugs and cranking the engine to blow out the water, but we still recommend leaving this to a mechanic.)
6. Check All the Other Fluids
Fuel systems on late-model cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.
7. Check All of the Electrical Systems
If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly amiss — including the way the car runs or the transmission shifts — that could be a sign of electrical trouble. Take the car to a mechanic, and remember that the damage may be covered by insurance.
8. Check Around the Wheels and Tires
Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes, and underbody. (Set the parking brake before crawling around the wheels!)
9. If in Doubt, Push to Have the Car Totaled
A flood-damaged car can experience problems months or even years after the event. If your car is a borderline case, consider pushing your insurance company to declare the car a total loss. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.
10. Beware of Flood-Damaged Replacements
Many cars that are totaled due to flooding are simply cleaned up and re-sold. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like “salvage” and “flood damage” are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car — if the car has been moved from another state and re-titled (especially a state that has been subject to flooding just before the title change), the seller may be trying to hide flood damage.
A Few Things to Keep In Mind
When it comes to keeping your tire pressure right, there are a few things to consider
- Always set your tires to the pressure specified in your vehicle’s owner manual or tire information placard.
- Always check and adjust your tire pressure before driving.
- Temperature differences affect your tire pressure. Cold, winter weather may cause your pressure to drop, while warm, summer weather may cause your pressure to increase. Although you should check your tire pressure periodically as part of good vehicle maintenance, it is exceptionally important to check it when the season changes.
- Always check your tires with a good quality tire pressure gauge. Many vehicles come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Generally, this system will alert you if your tires are losing air or are below the recommended pressure. We recommend keeping a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment—even if you have a TPMS built into your vehicle. This will ensure you are getting a consistent reading each time rather than using multiple gauges at different gas or service stations. If you suspect your TPMS system is malfunctioning, we offer TPMS service package designed to fix the faulty component.
Overinflated tires are rigid and stiff, causing the tire’s contact patch (the amount of rubber that meets the road) to be reduced. That leads to a “harder” ride as well as uneven tread wear. The most common type of uneven tread wear due to overinflation is referred to as “center wear.” Exactly what it sounds like, the center of the tire will be smooth and worn down while there will be more tread on the sides of the tire. Due to the rigidity of an overinflated tire, it can be more easily damaged by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road.
Underinflated tires do not hold their shape and are flatter to the ground. Therefore, more of the tire comes in contact with the road, causing the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. That is referred to as “shoulder wear.” There will be a strip of normal tread down the center of the tire, while the shoulders of the tire will be smooth and worn down. Underinflated tires are more flexible when they roll, leading to increased rolling resistance and therefore a decrease in fuel economy.
Source: Pep Boys