Car Emergency Equipment: Must Haves for All Seasons

Emergencies arrive without notice at the most surprising time and in unexpected places. Imagine yourself driving in a desolate area at 1:00 am and suddenly something went wrong, driving and handling your car seems difficult and your tire just exploded. You also remember that the last house you passed by was almost more than 10 kilometers away. In this situation, preparedness is the only way out.

Having a roadside emergency kit can take you out from being stuck for a long time and even save your life. Either short or especially long distance driving, your vehicle must have some stuffs to help you in emergency situations. However, not all people carry an emergency kit and truth is, most actually don’t have one kept in their trunks. To come prepared for any emergency that might happen along your way, keep the items on this list as part of your emergency roadside kit.

  1. Cash instead of credit cards or ATMs will be a lot of help as not all places have ATM machines and stores that accept credit cards.
  2. Bottles of water, for drinking and repair purposes. Water will definitely help during engine overheating and when your battery water runs out.
  3. Ready to eat food like crackers, peanut butter, oatmeal, granola bars or other energy food. Don’t include foods that spoils easily as you wouldn’t know when an emergency would happen.
  4. First aid kit with some medicines like aspirin and Tylenol, bandages, scissors, gauzes, hot and cold compresses, burn cream, and antibiotic ointments
  5. Extra blanket for those living in cold places and during cold season.
  6. Extra clothes so you won’t have to wear one you’re wearing for the whole time you got stranded.
  7. Flash light and spare batteries to help you properly repair your vehicle when it’s dark.
  8. Battery Powered Radio for updates in cases where there is a typhoon or other calamity.
  9. Knife, preferably a Swiss army knife can do more other than simple cutting and slicing.
  10. For drivers who always bring their kids along, diapers, toys, and other children’s necessity
  11. Jumper cables, preferably 12-foot in length to help when you drain your battery because of turning on the lights or your other car features.
  12. Spare tire and jack can help you get back to the road if your problem is damaged or flat tire.
  13. Spare fuses will help restore your lights on after a blown fuse.
  14. Duct tape can temporarily fix many things like broken hoses, windshield wiper, windows, and act as temporary cover to some tanks, and many others.
  15. Headlamp or tail light for extensive travels to replace lights that might go out during the lengthy travel. In construction, LED lights live longer than halogen ones.
  16. Basic tool kit with pliers, screw drivers, hammer, wrenches, and a socket set fitting your car
  17. A set of flares will help you alert other drivers that your vehicle has broken down. It might help prevent accidents and will save your life and the life of the passengers in vehicles that may come across yours.
  18. Pocket warmers or small propane burners for snowy places or during winter season.
  19. A gallon of antifreeze is a must especially if its winter. Low level of coolant can cause severe engine damage so it’s best to always have a refill on hand.
  20. Rain Coat, umbrella, and other rain gear will help you not to get sick when get off the car when it’s raining or when the winter wind is blowing.

You may find this list filled with so much stuff to bring, but you surely can put everything in a nylon bag or at least in a plastic container. Your trunk is big enough to keep your only way out of roadside emergencies.

Tips For Buying Auto Parts Online

The Internet is a wonderful place for buying many things. You will often have access to options that you never knew existed. You will also have many more choices and can often find a better deal on items online than in a brick and mortar store. One area of items that are advantageous to buy online are auto parts. With the ability to search millions of websites and many different stores, you may be much more likely to find the right part for even the most obscure type of vehicle online than in the offline world. You may also find a better price at the same time.

Here are a few tips for buying auto parts online:

Major Stores

Pretty much every major auto parts store has an online version, where you can search their entire nationwide database for parts availability, order the part and have it sent to you wherever you are. It’s highly convenient and makes it easy to compare prices. Some major chains that have sites include, NAPA Online, Advance Auto Parts, Auto Parts Warehouse, AutoZone, CARQUEST, Pep Boys and many more. Nearly all of them offer online search and shopping options. Some of them even offer a low price guarantee on certain parts and provide you with news, information, rebate deals and special online only deals.

Manuals & Auto Repair Information

There are many resources online that may help you install your auto part. Check out 10w40 for manuals and information for many makes and models of vehicles.

Auto Forums

You can find information on your make or model of vehicle as well as ask questions and get answers about repairing and maintaining it. You will also be able to talk with other auto enthusiasts. Some popular auto forums are Automotive Forums, AutoForums, CarForums, Autoforum Universe and the forums at Automotive. You may be able to get advice on where the best place to get parts is for your specific make and model. There are also forums available for specific makers which should also have excellent information on where to get parts.

Books

You can easily order any of the auto repair manuals you need online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. This may be more convenient for people who don’t have a bookstore or auto parts store near them. The most popular and reliable publishers of auto manuals are Chilton’s and Hayne’s. Buying the manual online, you may be able to save money by comparing prices at numerous book sellers, you can use AddAll to do this.

Auctions

Auction are a great place to search for your auto parts and eBay Motors is where you will want to begin your auction search. Currently there are a staggering 546190 listings on eBay Motors under Car & Truck Parts alone. You will want to drill down to the specific category for your desired part, then try to narrow the search under that category.

More Tips

Make use of the many price comparison search engines, coupon code sites and be sure to watch out for shipping costs. Some sites, such as Autopartswarehouse offer free shipping, so be sure to take advantage of those offers.

In summary, buying auto parts online has many advantages, from better availability, to the ability to compare prices much more easily to the wealth of auto repair and maintenance information at your fingertips.

How a Faulty Exhaust System Can Make You Sick

If you smell fumes from your car when starting it or while driving, you have a faulty exhaust system. Breathing in the fumes can make you sick and cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This part of the car should not be ignored because its carbon monoxide and breathing in too many fumes can put you to sleep permanently.

It could be caused from different components such as the catalytic converter or the exhaust manifold. The catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device which converts toxic chemicals in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine into less toxic substances.

The exhaust system is usually piping used to guide reaction exhaust gases away from a controlled combustion inside an engine or stove. The entire system conveys burnt gases from the engine and includes one or more exhaust pipes.

The exhaust manifold collects exhaust gases from different cylinders and goes into one pipe. The muffler is the silencer to the exhaust system. With the descriptions of each part, you can see why if faulty it can cause a hazard to your health.

It’s best to take your car to a mechanic that specializes in exhaust systems as well as other repairs. If you go to a muffler shop, they will charge you more and possibly try to sell you the complete exhaust system when you need one part.

Catalytic converters are popular for going bad. You should never start your car in a closed garage. Always open the door first and once started, drive it out of the garage. People have died from a faulty exhaust system. The muffler just drowns out the noise but without it, you your car will be really noisy.

It’s very easy to detect, so once you smell strong fumes, get it to the mechanic. These toxic chemicals can cause a host of health problems and should be avoided. If you have a family member that knows about exhaust systems, ask them for advice and if they can guide you to a good auto repair shop. Go to two or three different shops and compare the pricing with the work needed.

Ask them to give you a written estimate with their guarantee in writing. By getting this done as quickly as possible, it will save your life or a huge hospital bill. By reading this article, you should know how a faulty exhaust system can make you sick.

9 Things to Consider Before Choosing an Auto Body Shop?

If you have been in a car accident, you may need extensive repairs on your auto. Even if you don’t need a lot of repairs, you will still need to have your car looked at by a professional to make sure that your car is safe to drive.

While most shops can do the mechanical work required to make your car road worthy again, not all auto body shops can repair damage to the body of the car. This may include things like matching the paint in the new parts with the rest of the car, matching the panels and trim, and aligning the car properly. Don’t forget about the fact that the shop will probably also need to restore the electrical wiring and the electronic devices in the car.

There actually is quite a lot to do to repair your vehicle to the way it was before the accident and it takes an experienced group of technicians to do the work.It is very common for cars to need extensive diagnostic services before the repairs can even be done. For example, your car may need to undergo a special computer diagnostic in order to determine how extensive the damage really is and what needs to be repaired.

In order to correctly perform the diagnostics, your car will need to be hooked up to a special machine which will evaluate all of your car’s main systems. This means that a shop will need special diagnostic equipment in order to run the tests. Of course, not all shops will have the necessary equipment.

You may not think that it is necessary to do such testing if the damage in the accident was not that bad. Remember, not all the damage to your vehicle will be immediately apparent! In most cases, you will need to go to an auto body shop in order to get such repairs done.

Your insurance company may give you several shops to choose from, or you may need to find a shop on your own. You may even need to take your car to a special shop to get a repair estimate before getting the repairs done. In order to find a good auto body shop, you may want to check with friends and family. No doubt they have been in an auto accident and have found a good local shop.

You can also look online for a shop. However, before deciding on a particular vendor, you should do a little bit of homework. Here are some things to consider.

  • Is the shop certified?
  • Are the mechanics and other staff members certified in their field of expertise?
  • Are their certificates of qualification displayed in the shop?
  • Does your insurance company work with the shop?
  • Is the shop a member of the Better Business Bureau or other organization?
  • Does the shop offer warranties and money back guarantees?
  • Does the shop use new parts or used parts to repair the damage?
  • Does the shop offer a courtesy van or rental car for your use while they are repairing the damage to your vehicle?
  • Is the shop close to your job or home?

Remember too that you often get what you pay for. Don’t choose a shop simply based on price. Instead, choose a shop that is qualified to do the repairs.

Proper Car Engine Care

An automobile is a big investment, and you want to keep your car on the road for as many years as possible. Proper car engine care is essential to ensure peak performance for the life of the vehicle. From oil leaks and minor engine repairs to new engine mounts and engine replacement, you can find comprehensive engine care services at affordable prices at a full-service car repair shop near you. Below is some useful information on proper car engine care.

Maintenance

Many factors contribute to the life of your engine, including the materials it is made from, how well it is built and how it is driven. However, the biggest factor contributing to engine longevity is maintenance. Any car, whether it’s a restored classic or fresh off the assembly line, requires regular engine care maintenance to run properly for years and years. All of the following might be an indicator that it is time for an engine tune-up:

Decreased gas mileage

Less power

Sputtering or stalling when stopped

Knocking sound when you accelerate

“Check engine” light comes on

Your car’s manual will also provide recommendations regarding scheduled engine maintenance, so be sure to follow these recommendations in order to keep your warranty valid.

Minor Repairs

From time to time, every engine requires minor repairs. Whether it’s a belt, hose or valve replacement or repairing an oil leak, keeping current with all necessary minor engine repairs will go a long way to extending the life of your engine. A qualified auto repair shop can diagnose your engine and recommend minor repairs as issues arise. When you take your car in for manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, your repair technician will perform an engine inspection to identify any potential mechanical issues. Keeping up to date on scheduled servicing, therefore, is a good way to make sure minor issues with your engine are diagnosed and fixed before they cause major problems.

Major Repairs and Replacement

At some point, every engine will require major repairs or replacement. The following are all major engine repairs or replacements that may be necessary to get your car back on the road:

Camshaft

Carburetors

Crankshaft

Cylinder heads

Engine overhaul/replacement

Fuel pump

Head gaskets

Injectors

Intake manifold

Motor mounts

Oil pump

Pulleys

Timing chain

Make sure to find an ASE certified car repair technician to ensure you are receiving the highest quality services at a fair price. For car engine repair services that will keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come, find a reliable auto repair shop near you. In Phoenix, GearHead Auto Center provides quality engine repair services at affordable prices.

Do You Have Plastic Shopping Bags In Front Of The Radiator?

I went out to the mailbox one morning to mail a letter.

I noticed the local sanitation truck losing several plastic Wal-Mart shopping bags.

About an hour later this guy pulls up to the shop.

His car was running hot…steam was coming from underneath

the hood.

The temperature was 110o in the shade and the humidity was

so heavy you had to have a machete just to walk around

outside…well, maybe not that thick, but it was heavy.

We raised the hood on his Thunder Chicken. “Even Ford’s

get hot in this kind of weather,” I stated.

The engine had cooled down, some, so I removed the cap from the radiator…

it was just barely low of coolant.

I told him to crank the engine and I put some water in it,

then we’d look for a leak.

As I was spraying water on top of the radiator to cool it,

I noticed a blue plastic bag, in front of the a/c condenser.

I showed it to him.

“There’s probably the reason she heated up,” I told him as I pointed to it.

“I was following a garbage truck earlier,” he said, “but

I passed him cause some trash was falling out.”

“Well, you helped him,” I said as I removed not one, but

three of the plastic shopping bags.

“How’s that?” he asked.

“You’ve been picking up what he was losing.”

He thanked me and said, “If she starts heating up again,

I’ll be back,” with a grin as he drove off.

I guess that cured it, cause he never came back.