3 Tips For Saving Money On Auto Repairs

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Owning a car can make life easier in many ways, but vehicle ownership also comes with responsibility and the need for financial investments. But taking care of your car and making repairs doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A little bit of foresight and automotive savvy can ensure that you’re not emptying your bank account when auto repairs are needed. Use the following tips to help you save money on auto repairs: Keep Up with Maintenance One of the simplest ways to save money on auto repairs is to keep your car properly maintained. When you have all recommended services performed, parts are less likely to wear out as quickly, and small issues can be taken care of before they turn into big problems. Regular maintenance involves more than just getting an oil change– you also need to remember to do things like have the transmission serviced, the cooling system flushed, and the timing belt and spark plugs replaced. The easiest way to keep track of what maintenance your car needs is by following the service schedule in your owners manual. Avoid the Dealership The service center at an auto dealership can be a great place to visit while you’re car is under warranty and all repairs are covered, but after the warranty period expires it is best to avoid the dealership. It is not uncommon for dealership service centers to have higher hourly labor charges and use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are often more expensive than other auto part options. If your car is no longer under warranty, it is in your best interest to find an experienced local mechanic that has fair prices. Utilize Used Auto Parts When you’re on a budget, used auto parts can be a big money saver. If you are mechanically inclined, you may be able to visit an auto salvage yard to select and remove the part that you need. If you don’t have any automotive experience, let your mechanic know that you are interested in used auto parts; there is a good chance that he or she can source these for your repairs. Used auto parts can be an excellent value– in many cases it is possible to find used auto parts that have low miles on them and can last for a long time. Purchasing used auto parts can be an excellent cost saving measure when you need a very expensive part, such as a transmission or...

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3 Easy Upgrades That Will Improve Your Toyota’s Performance

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your car gets you where you need to go just fine. However, you want to ensure that it stays that way. Here are three easy improvements that can be made to improve the overall operation of your Toyota car: 1. Spark Plugs Sparks plugs are one of the smallest components that need regular changing, yet they have a huge impact on how well your engine functions. Changing your spark plugs on a regular basis can ensure your vehicle runs as smoothly as possible. There are many different types of spark plugs that can be purchased. Gear Patrol says that copper spark plugs have decent conductivity, but platinum and iridium spark plugs will last longer. So, they recommend iridium spark plugs that come with fine wire centers, as these conduct well and have a long life –up to four times the life that copper plugs have. New spark plugs have the ability to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, offer consistent combustion production, and ensure smoother starts. 2. Air Filter Air filters are probably one of the most common parts of vehicles that are overlooked in terms of importance to the proper running of the vehicle. Not only does a new and clean air filter keep the air inside the cabin of your vehicle cleaner and healthier to breathe in, but it may be able to improve the performance of your vehicle as well. Dirty or clogged air filters can result in your car running roughly, the engine back firing, lower fuel economy, and many other symptoms. To combat these issues, air filters should be changed every 12,000 miles or annually. 3. Battery When it comes to long-term performance of your Toyota vehicle, it is crucial that you have a strong battery that has the capability of getting consistent power to your car. Pop your hood and take a look at the battery. Is there some wiggle room around it? If so, you may want to consider adding an insulation blanket around it. This is an insulating wrap that is designed for your battery. It can help the battery remain cool in the heat during the summer and vice versa in the winter. If there isn’t room and you are in need of a new battery, purchase a smaller one that provides you the room necessary to place an insulating wrap around it. This type of upgrade can result in the battery lasting longer and keeps it from overheating. In addition to these three upgrades, you should also ensure that you keep up with regular and routine maintenance on your Toyota, as this is the best way to get the best performance out of your car and keep it running for years to come. If you need any type of Toyota service or...

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3 Reasons To Take Your Broken Vehicle To Your Local Recycling Center

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Do you have an old vehicle that no longer works? Have you tried selling it, but you can’t find anyone who wants to buy a car with a blown engine? Right now, you may be contemplating how to get the vehicle to the dump, just so it’s no longer taking up room in your driveway. But before you go that route, you may want to think about taking it to your local vehicle recycling center instead. Here are some reasons why you should consider this option: Better for the environment: When you take your vehicle to the dump, they may simply compact it and throw it in with the rest of their trash. Unfortunately, this will waste a lot of materials that could be reused. Even if the vehicle is complete junk, there may still be parts that can be taken off and reused. As an example, a vehicle with no engine has no need of working window motors, so the recycling center can take those out and sell them to a car owner who is in need of a working window motor. Even the engine itself can be taken apart and melted down, to help reduce the need for mining of new metals. Save money: Unless you own, or know someone who owns, a vehicle trailer, you are going to have to pay to have your vehicle towed to the dump. This could range from hiring a tow truck to take it there to renting a trailer and doing it yourself. If the dump is relatively far from your home, your costs for disposal will only go up. You’ll either have to pay the tow truck more to compensate for the additional miles or you will have to buy additional gas for the vehicle that’s being used to tow the broken one. Fortunately for you, many vehicle recycling centers will pick up your unwanted vehicle at no cost to you. Because not every center will offer this option, you should contact your local recycling centers to see if this is a service that they offer. Make money: When you take a broken vehicle to the dump, they will likely charge you a relatively hefty fee to dispose of it. The exact fee will depend on many things, including state regulations and local ordinances. But recycling centers will often pay you a nominal fee for giving them your vehicle. While this is unlikely to be very much, it’s still a net gain instead of loss like you would get if you took your vehicle to the dump. In addition, some dumps may even take your vehicle to the nearest recycling center anyway. So not only would you be paying the dump a...

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Taking a Closer Look at Possible Owner-Operator Options

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

While making a living as a truck driver at any level is a lucrative form of employment, breaking into an owner-operator trucking career is often the most attractive option because the profits that you gain are usually all your own to keep. The only thing is, in order to step into the world of owner-operator trucking, you have to have a rig of your own. Leasing a semi truck is a good way to get started, but it must be done right. Here is a simple ABC rule set that you should keep in mind about leasing semi trucks. Always look for lease-to-own options. It is fine to sign up for a temporary lease program if you only need a truck for a short amount of time, say a few weeks. However, if you are looking to make a long-term investment in a semi truck, short-term leasing options are not that logical. You will end up paying more money out of pocket and still have to find a semi truck when the term of the lease is up. Look for companies that offer lease-to-own options so that whatever you pay will go toward the overall cost of the vehicle. Be sure to consider pricing differences. A like-new semi truck can run $100,000 or more, which is not an affordable investment for most owner-operators when they first start out. An older-model used truck is usually a much more affordable option, with a truck that is 10 to 15 years old costing as little as $35,000. You may pay a slightly higher interest rate for an older model, but your payments will be lower and more affordable. Carefully assess the terms of any lease agreement you may be offered. Lease agreements can vary greatly depending on the lender when it comes to semi trucks. Therefore, when you choose to make an investment in your trucking future with a new lease agreement, you should fully understand every last detail of the paperwork involved and shop around for the best rates before signing anything. If you have your commercial driver’s license and are like the majority of truck drivers in the country, you spend your days hauling freight in a truck that belongs to a company that has hired you for your professional expertise. Get away from giving away your talents and start putting more money in your pocket with every load. Be sure to to talk to a semi leasing company like Decatur Trailer Sales & Service Inc for more information about getting started with owner-operator...

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Transmission Fluid Tips

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Owning a vehicle can be stressful. From the initial purchase to the expense of insurance and gasoline, it is easy to see the challenges. Unfortunately, driving is most likely an important part of your daily life, so owning and operating a vehicle is an unavoidable necessity. Considering that the cost of a transmission rebuild averages $2,800 to $3,800, maintenance is essential for reducing the risk of expensive repairs. Using this guide, you will understand the importance of flushing your transmission fluid to reduce your risk of a complete transmission failure. Fluid Failing You? Transmission fluid is an imperative part of your vehicle’s ability to drive, shifting gears as you accelerate or decelerate. If your transmission fluid is dirty or outdated, you may experience the following while driving: Rough Shifting Slipping or Difficulty Shifting Gears Noticeable Sounds while Shifting – Excessively loud popping, clicking, and grinding while accelerating or decelerating After noticing the above issues, check your transmission fluid. Remove the fluid’s dipstick and inspect its color and texture. If the fluid is dark, you should change your transmission fluid as soon as possible. While shocking to many, 9 out of 10 transmission failures are due to old, discolored transmission fluid. Fortunately, preventing a complete failure and expensive repairs is possible. Changing your Fluid Changing your transmission fluid is an inexpensive, yet highly effective, task to maintain your vehicle’s operation. To get started, park your vehicle and place old towels, newspapers, or cardboard underneath to protect your driveway from stains. Then, use the following steps to flush and change your transmission fluid: Place a drip pan directly under the fluid reservoir under your vehicle. Remove the transmission pan cover by undoing the bolts with a wrench. Use caution when undoing the bolts, since the fluid will drain quickly into the drip pan. Remove the transmission filter and O-ring. These will also need to be replaced. Install the new filter and O-ring, securing both in place with a layer of auto grease. Reinstall the reservoir cover and tighten the bolts with your wrench. Move to the top of your vehicle and unscrew the fluid reservoir cap. Add new fluid, as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Add the fluid one quart at a time to ensure you do not have overflow. Start your vehicle’s engine. Let it idle for a few minutes. Check the fluid dipstick to ensure it is full and displaying a brighter, cleaner color. Maintaining your vehicle’s transmission with this simple task can save you stress, time, and money. For more information, contact The J.A.P. Shop or a similar...

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Winter Car Maintenance: Importance Of Checking Your Suspension In Winter

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As the colder weather approaches, it is time to begin thinking about your suspension and shock maintenance. Winter weather can be very damaging to your vehicle’s suspension system, which can lead to significant issues that are not ideal for winter transportation. While it is vital to have your suspension checked regularly throughout the year, it is particularly crucial to pay attention during the cold winter months. The following reasons for checking your suspension in winter should be considered: Winter Road Damage The winter weather can be very harsh on your shocks and suspension. Thanks to the snow, ice, and salt damage, the cold weather tends to create additional potholes in roadways. This often leads to many vehicles needing to have their shocks changed due to the constant pressure they are under while driving on rough road conditions. Bumpy streets can do significant damage to your shocks, as it can be difficult to see potholes while driving in snowy or icy weather. Many drivers hit them head on rather than trying avoid them, leading to the possibility of damage to the vehicle’s suspension. Presence of Rust The ice and snow in the roadways often cause significant problems for a vehicle’s suspension. Rust is a common problem this time of year, and can be cause for suspension and shock repairs. Unfortunately, rust does not only occur to older cars; newer vehicles are at risk for damage as well, particularly in very snowy and icy climates. Once you begin to hear strange rattling sounds, it is time to have the suspension checked for rust or other weather-related damage.  Special Prices on Shocks During the winter months, many mechanics and auto parts dealers run special prices on their inventory. This is often done due to a slowdown in auto repair business during the colder months. Some auto repair businesses also like to tailor their prices with the special holiday prices that are popular this time of year as a way to increase their sales. You can often find great deals on your shocks, such as four-for-two specials. To prevent the need for repairs during very cold weather, it is ideal to have your vehicle checked in the fall for any sign or risk that could result in damage in the winter months. It is much better to have it fixed before it becomes a problem, especially if it requires getting out into freezing temperatures. Contact a service like Jones Automotive to learn...

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