Friday, July 29, 2016

The Joys of a Fresh Oil Change


When most people think of joy, they usually think what you might expect them to: warm beaches, gatherings of friends, marital bliss, or for the adventurous, the rush that comes from parachuting from an airplane or reaching a mountain peak. All of that is fine and can really bring anybody a great deal of happiness. However, for us gear heads and motor vehicle enthusiasts, joy hides in places most people wouldn't really expect: the feeling of driving a stick shift, the slight drag you feel as your tires momentarily slip on an off road dirt patch, and the fresh feel of a car right after an oil change.

That's not to say that an oil change will make a car feel noticeably different to everybody; that's a joy reserved for the real aficionados. However, it's undeniable that there are a myriad of benefits to getting your oil changed regularly. So, for the people who are not as up to speed, here's a quick list of the ways this vital procedure will benefit your vehicle when performed regularly.

1. Performance

A fresh change of oil in your vehicle has a tremendous effect on your car's performance. A vehicle's engine consists of a wide variety of moving parts. Oil is the lubricant that keeps all of these parts from harshly grinding against one another, which over time causes the whole system to run more slowly. With a fresh coat, you'll see a great increase in horsepower and a much smoother, quieter operation.

2. Fuel Efficiency

Once again, when an engine's lubrication is not up to par, all of these moving parts start to grind against each other. This not only damages the component parts, but it also requires a great deal more energy to operate. When everything is running smoothly, the parts move with less resistance, and you'll find that you spend much less on gas than you were before.

3. Less Debris

In the course of the normal operation of an engine, a certain amount of dirt and debris begins to develop. All of that extra stuff ends up floating around in the oil, and if you allow it to sit for long enough without a change, you'll find a great deal of random particles that can cause damage. A fresh oil change flushes all of that stuff out.

4. Longer Life

Like everything in a motor vehicle, engines die after some time. This is going to happen eventually, no matter what you do for your car. Keeping everything fresh on a regular basis mitigates all of that damage, and though you won't completely eliminate wear and tear, you'll find that it will last far longer than it would otherwise.

So you see, regular oil changes are essential to the overall health of your car or truck. Check with your mechanic for recommendations on how frequently it should be done.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ace_Abbey/851844

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

5 Signs You Need An Expert For Automobile Repair


Automobiles are turning into more advanced and complex since the last decade. With the arrival of electrical car technologies, with electronic fuel injection system and controlled systems, the automobiles have changed dramatically from what they used to be a few decades ago! The variety of cars which can get minor car repairs done by newbie mechanics is shrinking rapidly.
Let's take a look at some signs that it's time to take your automobile to an automobile repair store to avoid troubles and expensive repairs in the future.
  • The Automobile Is Less Than 10 Years Old
Automobiles that are newer than 10 years typically have really advanced systems. Even automobile repairs such as battery or a fuse changing, brakes replacement and common automobile service process can cause other parts of the system to operate if the right techniques are not followed.
  • The Repair You Are Planning Is Not In The New Car Handbook
If the car company is not advising you to try and do it yourself, it's most likely safest not to try any repairs. If you are doubtful, it will be a better decision to call an auto mechanic to have a look at the problem first. Auto mechanic will advise you on safety points to keep in mind, if it's seemingly that you will have to be compelled to create the fix again more in the future.
  • If There's A Need To Remove Something Out Of The Automobile
Safety may be a serious issue while the repair is going on, so you need to be extra careful while doing automobile repair. While removing some heavy part out of the automobile, you are risking other parts of the automobile and yourself. It's advised that you simply hire professional auto mechanic to perform this type of tasks.
  • The Automobile Repair Needs Equipment You Do Not Own In Your Garage
Contrary to common belief, not each automobile repair job will be finished by just using a shifter and sticky tape. If you do not have the right equipment to try and do the repairs yourself, the value in shopping for that tool/equipment usually outweighs the savings you were planning to make.
  • Your Automobile Comes With An Electronic Fuel Injection System
If your automobile has an electronic fuel injection system (and in several cases, this is often sealed in huge letters right the top, or at the side of the series name somewhere on the car body), it's not safe to perform the repair job by yourself. Even car repairs which are not associated with the timing may throw the PC out, and might cost you a lot more money to repair at the mechanic's than it might have cost originally.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9474289

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Five Signs That It's Time For A New Car Battery


Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead car battery is every motorist's worst nightmare. The ordeal gets even worse when the power cannot be restored with jumper cables. A truly dead battery will almost certainly require roadside assistance and possible even a towing service. When all is said and done, the breakdown could end up costing you hundreds of dollars, as well as several hours of your day. Here are five signs that you may need to take preventative action soon.

1. Engine Is Slow To Crank

When you try to start the engine and it's slow to turn over, the problem is almost certainly electrical. Although the culprit could very well be a poor connection in the starter or starting circuit, the issue often comes does to a charging system shortfall. There's also a chance something could be draining the power when the vehicle is parked. Either way, you should schedule an inspection with your mechanic ASAP.

2. Check Engine Light Appears

There are dozens of reasons why the dreaded check engine light might illuminate on your dashboard. One fairly common culprit, especially in older vehicles, is inadequate electrical power. When a low charge puts the vehicle in danger of breaking down, the engine light will come on. Once again, the charge should be tested by a qualified mechanic to ensure adequate electrical output.

3. Damaged Case

When a battery's casing looks bloated or swollen, it's often a sign it has been exposed to excessive heat. These high engine temps have been known to greatly reduce the life of the unit. As such, drivers should check the case from time to time to make sure it's in good shape.

4. Leaking or Low Fluid

When the unit leaks fluid, it can easily cause corrosion around the posts, which prevents the electrical system from making a strong connection. In other words, the gunk may prevent your vehicle from starting. It is also true that when the battery fluid falls below the lead plates that conduct electricity, the unit may not work. As such, the charge should always be tested when it looks like the fluid level has fallen too low.

5. Old Age

Contrary to popular belief, the average car battery won't last for the life of your vehicle. In most cases, modern units are tested at around three years. After that point, they should be inspected on an annual basis. We should also mention that your driving habits could shorten or extend the period between replacements.

Because the unit will not have enough time to fully recharge, short trips (less than 20 minutes) have been shown to decrease lifespan. And, as we mentioned, extreme temperatures can also reduce the longevity considerably. This is true of both extreme heat and extreme cold. Drivers should also avoid things that may drain their batteries (leaving the lights, fan, and radio on), since constant recharging can negatively affect longevity.

If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, have your car battery tested as soon as possible.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Andrew_Stratton/83489

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9273951

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Importance of Yearly Car Air Conditioning Repair - Beat the Heat!


If you try to blast cool air in your automobile and all you get is uncool or even hot breezes, then there could be a technical malfunction. Before seeking out a car air conditioning repair service, it helps understand a bit about the inner workings of the cooling system.

The Components

The A/C system consists of four main components. First, the compressor does just what it sounds like; it compresses refrigerant gasses. Then an evaporator takes heat from the air and passes it through the refrigerant agent. Next, the heat boils off of and the water vapor, reducing the overall temperature and humidity levels in the vehicle. The condenser also plays a valuable role. Its prime function is to keep the refrigerant cool by converting the heat from the gasses in the compressor to highly pressurized liquid. The final component is called the orifice tube or expansion valve, depending on your vehicle. It converts the liquid refrigerant from the condenser into a lower pressure liquid for entry into the evaporator unit.

Potential Problems

The car air conditioner works through a complex interplay of the aforementioned components, and any number of things can wreak havoc with the system. There are several typical warning signs that indicate car air conditioning repair is needed. A weak airflow could be caused by broken hoses, worn down seals, mold or mildew, or a fried ventilation fan. On the other hand, cooling capabilities can be diminished by condenser or evaporator damage, a vacuum or chemical leak, or a blown fuse. If the A/C works for a short period of time and then produces warmth, there are four potential culprits: leaks, blown fuses, a faulty compressor clutch, or a clogged expansion valve. In some cases, there may be a bad odor coming from the vents. This is caused by either an old filter or mold in the evaporator case.

DIY Repairs vs. Professional Assistance

To save yourself time and possibly money, there are home kits for checking the basics, such as if there is an excess of coolant seeping out. These kits include a special dye that detects if coolant is leaking, and a gauge for properly testing pressure and the coolant flow. Most car A/C issues, however, are best left to the professionals. It is recommended that you schedule a car air conditioning repair once a year to keep the vehicle's A/C in working order. Most issues, after all, are easily dealt with, as long as you take regular maintenance precautions.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Andrew_Stratton/83489

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9273930

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Headlights for Most Small SUVs are Poor - IIHS News



Most small SUV headlights rate poor in IIHS evaluations

ARLINGTON, Va. — Not a single small SUV out of 21 tested earns a good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s headlight evaluations, and only four are available with acceptable-rated headlights.

Among the 21 vehicles, there are 47 different headlight combinations available. More than two-thirds of them are rated poor, making this group of vehicles even more deficient when it comes to lighting than the midsize cars that were the first to be rated earlier this year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

5 Benefits Of Changing Your Car's Air Filters


If you have a car, it's recommended that you change the air filter regularly. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:

You increase your car's performance

Dirty car filters reduce the amount of air that flows into the car's engine. When the amount of air in the engine is limited, the car doesn't spend the amount that it's supposed to and as a result, its performance goes down. Studies have consistently shown that cars with clean filters are by far more effective than those with dirty filters.

You protect your car from damage

Filters prevent foreign particles from getting access to the inside of the car's engine. Even when a small particle gets into the engine it can cause a lot of damage to the moving parts. The damage gets worse as more particles get into the engine. A clean car filter traps all the air debris ensuring that none gets into the engine. This protects your car from damage. Since the car and the engine aren't damaged, they last for a long time.

You increase the efficiency of the car

Studies by experts show that clean car filters increase the car's efficiency by up to 14%. The reason for this is because there is plenty of clean air in the engine thus the car doesn't strain burning fuel. Due to the efficiency, you spend less money than when the car is running on a dirty air filter.

You reduce car emissions

Dirty filters reduce air flow to the engine thus affecting emission control systems. Faulty emission control systems result to an incorrect air-fuel mixture. When the fuel mixture is too much, it can result in engine deposits resulting to a lot of emissions. In addition to the high emissions, it's also common for the car to consume more fuel than it should.

Changing the car filter

As you have seen, there are plenty of benefits that come with replacing your car filter. The cool thing with air filter replacement is that you can do it on your own. When replacing the filters, ensure that you replace them with identical ones designed for the exact match and model of car. Car filters come in different shapes, designs, and sizes; therefore, you should first remove the one in the car and buy a similar one that resembles it. For ideal results, ensure that you buy from a reputable store.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Idd_Aziz/2148367

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Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 - 2017 Compact SUV Comparison - Kelley Blue Book


For our annual state-of-the-segment compact SUV comparison test we rounded up six small SUVs and set off on a two-day, 450-mile drive that took us on a roundabout route from coastal-adjacent Kelley Blue Book headquarters in Irvine, California, to our local mountains and Big Bear Lake.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Five Factors That Affect Oil Change Intervals


Because modern vehicles are stronger, cleaner, and more durable than those of yesteryear, most automotive experts believe that changing motor oil every 3,000 miles is overkill. Depending on the make and model, some cars and trucks can safely travel upwards of 5,000 miles between changes. Car owners' manuals are starting to reflect this growing consensus with longer oil change intervals. There are, however, exceptions that may affect manufacturer's recommendations. Here are five of them.

1. Hard Driving

Almost as important as the actual mileage is the type of driving an owner does regularly. If he uses the car or truck to tow a trailer or pull heavy loads, that will invariably put more stress on the engine, causing it to operate at higher temperatures. Because extreme heat destroys the lubricating ability of oil through excessive oxidation, it will need to be switched out more often. In addition to towing heavy loads, driving on bumpy, unpaved road surfaces often puts more stress on the motor, causing it to run hotter than it normally would.

2. Environment

For obvious reasons, higher engine temps are more likely when it's warm outside. If you reside in a region of the country that experiences year-round warm weather, oil change intervals should be shortened. This is true whether you engage in hard driving or not. It is also important to note that environments that are very dusty and/or polluted can increase the risk of fluid contamination. In other words, there's a greater chance your motor oil will get dirty and need to be replaced. For those living in dusty desert towns or in polluted cities, it's often a good idea to visit the service station every 3,000 miles.

3. Short Commutes

It might surprise you to learn that a short daily commute may actually be harder on your engine than a slightly longer one. The reason? Because short trips do not give your motor the time it needs to reach an optimal operating temperature, lubricating fluids may be degraded. What actually happens is that excess fuel spills into the crankcase, diluting motor oil. This excess fuel is needed because cold engines require more gas than warm or hot ones. Spilt fuel can also break down the lubricating chemicals in the viscous liquid.

4. High Performance

If you have a turbo-charged engine, it will run hotter, on average, than a regular one. Even if you use synthetic liquid blends, it's probably a good idea to shorten oil change intervals with these vehicles. This is particularly true if you live in a warm environment, drive hard, or tend to travel over the speed limit for protracted periods of time.

5. Engine Age

With all other things being equal, the more miles you have on your odometer, the dirtier your motor will be. As such, the liquid that is used to lubricate moving metal components will get dirtier faster. Because dirty motor oil does not have the lubricating ability of clean fluid, it is more likely to cause friction that can do damage to vital engine parts. For this reason, change intervals should be shorter for high-mileage vehicles.

All drivers should consider these five factors before calculating a safe, reliable service schedule for their vehicle.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Andrew_Stratton/83489

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9212696

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Car Care Hacks: What Your Auto Body Shop Wants You to Know


While auto body shop professionals are happy to help with tiny and large problems alike, some car problems can be prevented or at least delayed. A great mechanic wants to empower car owners with knowledge of how to take great care of their vehicles. They should follow these five car care hacks to enjoy logging many miles to come in their automobile.

1. Tending to Tires

It's easy to trust that tires will keep spinning until the driver feels one go flat, but car owners can extend the longevity of their tires with a bit of extra care. They should wipe off brake dust on a regular basis, meaning at least once per week. If brake dust builds up, it's a little-known fact that it can bake into the wheels of an automobile if left on for too long. They should rely on a damp sponge and soapy water to clear off the dust.

That's not all it takes to keep tires in great shape. They should check the car's tire pressure regularly, or have a professional mechanic do so if they're not familiar with the ins and outs of tire pressure. Also, having their tread depth checked and tires rotated regularly is advisable.

2. Keeping Their Cool

Many people don't know that it's important to flush their motor vehicle's cooling system at least once per year, and they should change the coolant then as well as whenever it's needed throughout the year. Automobile owners need to trust a professional mechanic for this job, and they can ensure that grime, corrosion, and other deposits don't build up in the car's cooling system.

3. Letting Their Light Shine

Car owners should check their headlights and brake lights regularly to make sure these lights are in excellent working order. Not only can broken lights result in tickets, but they can also present a hazard on the road. Both the headlights and brake lights can be quickly tested at an auto body shop, and when there is a problem, it's usually easy to fix as long as vehicle owners catch it before it causes problems on the road.

4. Showing Pride in the Car's Appearance

One crucial aspect of taking the best care of a car is also keeping it clean. Whether they own a small car, a huge SUV, or anything in between, automobile owners should get a regular car wash and wax. They need to schedule a vehicle wash every week or at least every other week. Also, if they notice immediate issues, such as a bird relieving itself on the top of their car, it's important to wash the excrement away as soon as possible. Bird waste can actually damage a car's paint job, so cleaning up the mess right away is essential.

5. Paying Attention to Warnings

If drivers notice a warning light on their dashboard, they need to resist the temptation to look the other way. Whether it's a check engine light, a temperature light, an oil light, or something else, car owners should take their vehicle to an auto body shop to check on the problem right away. The earlier they catch an issue, the easier and less expensive it may be to fix.

Finally, automobile owners need to keep in mind that they can prevent some trips to the auto body shop for repairs by taking optimal care of their car. They need to take action today to keep their vehicle in pristine condition.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anders_Abadie/1022510

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9461614

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why Choose Alex's Automotive?


If someone asks, “Why Alex’s Automotive?” we believe the answer is simple. We stand behind our service with a 24 month/24,000 mile in-house warranty as well as a Napa Auto Care nationwide warranty.

In addition, for your convenience we offer local car pick up by arrangement as well as free local customer shuttle service.

At Alex’s Automotive, we believe being a family owned and operated business is also a plus for our customers because of the strong family values that we base our business around. We put customer service at the forefront of our business and treat every customer like a member of our family. Our team realizes that your most precious cargo relies on having a vehicle to keep your life running smoothly and safely. We promise to service your vehicle just as we would our own. Stop by our clean, professional shop at 3190 Bayshore Rd. in Benicia and meet our team.