There are hundreds of parts and components in your car that can start to wear or break down and need to be replaced. A lot of time, these repairs can be easily done and won’t break the bank. But there is one part of your car that can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace if it completely breaks down and that is your transmission. Transmission repairs are notoriously expensive and lengthy fixes, and that’s why it is so important to stop any problems as soon as they start. While that sounds easy enough it can be hard to know if you are facing a problem if you don’t know what to check for.
The video below does a great job at explaining what you should listen and feel for when driving to try to stop any major transmission problems before they start.
So be sure to regularly check your transmission fluid and keep your ears open when driving to stop any major transmission problems before they stop your car from working. If your old car has experienced major transmission failure and you’d rather get into a new ride rather than spend the same money on a new transmission, then be sure to come into Superior Cars.
Have you ever wondered if your tires could be affecting your fuel economy? I know i’ve written plenty of blogs before expressing the importance for tire inflation but this one is a tid bit different. I ran across this story from Consumer Reports and since I just adore them I thought that I should share this story with you. It’s important to remember that bad tires can affect your car in more than one way and you should take the very best care of them! If you ever have any questions regarding your tires feel free to call your local Cincinnati dealer and we’ll be happy to give you the right answers!
Your car’s tires can play an important role in helping you get the best gas mileage and save money at the pump. Checking tire pressure regularly is one step toward optimum fuel economy, but your choice of tires can also help.
Automakers often specify low-rolling-resistance tires as original equipment to enhance vehicle performance in government fuel-economy tests. But replacement tires are not limited by any vehicle manufacturer’s requirements, and attributes such as all-season grip and tread life are big selling points. In the past, consumers often had to weigh a trade-off between low rolling resistance and other performance capabilities, such as wet braking. But in recent years, tire manufacturers have been achieving a better balance of rolling resistance and all-weather grip.
Consumer Reports recently tested a few all-season tire models with low rolling resistance and found that those tires can improve fuel economy by an additional one or two mpg. The reward for replacing a less-optimum tire can be a payback covering most of the cost of the new tires over their lifetime in fuel savings. Moreover, you generally don’t have to pay more to get a tire with better rolling resistance.
Here are some additional tips for getting the most fuel economy from your tires:
Keep your tires properly inflated. (A label on the driver’s doorjamb tells you the correct pressures to use.)
Check inflation pressure at least monthly; do this when the tires are cool.
If you were happy with the tires that came with the car when it was new, consider replacing them with an identical set. Low rolling resistance is a common trait of original-equipment tires.
Before buying replacement tires, check Consumer Reports’ Ratings for tires that excel in overall performance and use rolling resistance as tie-breaker
Car accidents are a money grubbing business. They cost a lot of money. Money for you, money for states, insurance providers and more! As a matter of fact car accidents cost this country 99 billion annually!
It should be no surprise to you that this is the point where I tell you that you should be wearing your seat belt. It doesn’t matter if you are just driving around the block you should put your seat belt on the first second you sit down in the car.
Consumer Reports‘ Lisa Barth wrote a great article about how much money car accidents cost and I wanted to share it with you. Have you been in a car accident lately? How much did it cost you?
Every 10 seconds someone is injured in a car crash and every 12 minutes someone dies. Now, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) finds that in a one-year period, the cost of medical care and loss productivity from motor-vehicle injuries is more than $99 billion. This averages to nearly $500 for each licensed driver in the U.S. That $99 billion breaks down to $70 billion for fatal and nonfatal injuries in motor vehicles, $12 billion for motorcyclists, $10 billion for pedestrians, and $5 billion for bicyclists. Medical expenses account for $17 billion of the total.
This data was based on 2005 numbers, which were the most current available on injuries and cost.
The study also found that more men were killed or injured (70 percent) than women (52 percent) in motor-vehicle accidents; injuries and deaths in men represented 74 percent of all costs. Teens represented 28 percent of fatal and nonfatal injuries and 31 percent of the costs. Motorcyclists represented six percent of fatalities and injuries, but accounted for 12 percent of the costs due to more severe injuries.
Overall, the number of fatalities caused by vehicle crashes has declined in recent years. In 2008, 37,261 people were killed, which was the lowest number in decades. And it looks like the number of fatalities will be even lower for 2009. Still, there is more that can be done to prevent motor-vehicle accidents, deaths, and injuries. The CDC notes a few policies that would help reduce costs and save lives, including:
Improving teen driver safety with programs such as graduated driver licensing (GDL), which limits the time and conditions under which a teen can drive in the early stages.
Increasing safety-belt use by making laws that mandate usage primary. This means that a driver or passenger can be pulled over solely for not buckling up. Currently the safety belt usage rate is 84 percent. The CDC notes that if the rate were to increase to 90 percent in all states, the country would save more than $5 billion in costs.
Improving child passenger safety by strengthening the laws governing the required use of child seats, educating parents on their correct use and installation, and distributing seats to those who can’t afford them.
Reducing drunk driving deaths by implementing stricter policies, such as increased sobriety checkpoints and the use of ignition interlock devices for those convicted of DUI.
This has to be one of the most clever commercials I have ever seen. I just had to share it with you cause it made me laugh. Gary Numan is the New Wave musician behind the huge hit, “Cars” (1979). Now he plays an instrumental version of his song on 24 car horns. Make sure you check out the video for the making of the commercial. It’s pretty interesting too!
It’s that time of the year when it’s getting a little warm outside. Is your air conditioner is your car working properly? I only ask cause mine was on the fritz last weekend and after a little work I figured out what the problem was. I am now back to driving in my car without sweating! It’s greatness!
Here are a few things that you should look for so you can figure out why your A/C is acting up. Courtesy of macsw.org. No one wants to be without an A/C. Of course if you don’t want to work on your new or used car by yourself we are happy to help you out. Just let us know.
Here’s what to look for:
Note: Always be extremely careful any time you’re under the hood while the engine is running. Stay away from all rotating components with your hands, clothing, and hair, and always wear eye protection around a running engine.
1. Are A/C component mounting bolts in place and tightly secured?
2. Are caps installed on the A/C system service ports? This keeps out dirt, and also provides a seal for refrigerant.
3. With the engine running, does the compressor clutch engage when the A/C is switched on? If it doesn’t, this usually indicates a low (or empty) refrigerant condition, or an electrical problem. Also, listen for rapid clicking or cycling noises at the compressor when the A/C is switched on. If this is happening, it could also indicate low refrigerant or some other problems. Have it checked by your service technician. (Note: Some A/C systems prevent compressor clutch engagement in low temperatures, typically at or below 40° F.)
4. With the engine running and the A/C switched off, listen for knocking or rumbling sounds in the vicinity of the compressor. These could indicate a failing compressor clutch, and/or loose mounting hardware.
5. Check all belts for cracks, wear, and glazing. Have them replaced at the first sign of any of these conditions. Also, check for belts that vibrate while the engine is running and the A/C is on. This may indicate a belt that needs to be tightened, or a defective automatic belt tensioner.
6. Examine all A/C and cooling system hoses for cuts, abrasion, weak spots, and signs of leakage. Leakage from A/C system hoses is often indicated by an accumulation of dirt and oil, particularly at connections and fittings.
7. Make sure the condenser (in front of the radiator) is free of any obstructions, such as leaves or insects. This could reduce airflow, resulting in reduced A/C performance. You can rinse the condenser clean with a garden hose.
Seriously let us know if you need any help with your A/C. We are here for you.
Are you adventurous? Do you like to tinker with your own new or used car? Personally I like to try things on my own before I take it into the shop. Granted if I know I can’t do it then I go ahead and let the professionals take care of it. I can change the oil myself when I am not being lazy!
Courtesy of Edmunds.com check out this list of things you can do on your own. If you have fear and don’t want to the see your Cincinnati Hyundai dealer for help.
The idea of doing anything mechanical fills some car owners with fear and trembling. But there are at least five or six things nearly everyone can do themselves to avoid repair bills and save money. AutoMD assembled a list, and we have our own thoughts on this subject, plus plenty of DIY articles and videos to help shade-tree mechanics.
Doing it yourself not only saves money but avoids the hassle and time of taking your vehicle to the mechanic and schlepping back home again — or hanging out in a grimy waiting room and being serenaded by the whine of power wrenches. An Edmunds.com editor recently wrote about changing his own front brakes in one hour, saving at least $225. So now that you’re sold on the idea, let’s get to the specifics.
According to AutoMd, here are the five things you can do yourself:
1. Replace wiper blades: No tools are required, but it can be tricky at first.
2. Replace a fuse: Locating the fuse box is the only difficulty. Your owner’s manual can tell you where it is and what fuses control which devices.
3. Replace a light bulb: You might have to remove the lens cover with a screwdriver. But once you’re in, it’s just a matter of twisting the old one out and the new one in.
4. Replace an air filter : The filter box is usually easily accessible and the cover is held in place with clips.
5. Change your engine oil and filter: This is a bit more challenging and messy but many DIYers love doing it. Be sure to recycle used engine oil.
If you’ve felt wonderfully empowered after doing one or all of the above, it’s time to move on to Level Two. We can suggest a couple other tasks that don’t require many tools and can save you a lot of money:
1. Change disc brake pads : This falls in the category of “much easier than you ever thought.” And it saves a bundle.
2. Rotate your tires : This is easy to do but is somewhat strenuous, since it involves lugging around heavy wheels. Still, it’s important to do and could be combined with the oil change in the first list.
Well what are some of the things you do with your car on your own? Do you think that you can handle any on these tasks?
I can not stress enough how important it is to make sure that you get your oil changed regularly and on time. Bad or dirty oil is bad for your engine. Your engine will run a whole lot better with fresh clean oil. Did you know that getting and oil analysis could tell you if you have any maintenance issues? Well it can. Edmunds.com has put together this story on how you can get your oil analyzed in your new or used car and find out if it’s trying to tell you something. This is great information!
Analyzing the oil in your car is like sending a sample of your blood to the lab — it reveals an astonishing amount of information about the inner workings of your engine without invasive surgery. By reading the results of the analysis, you can fine-tune the intervals between oil changes and discover problems — such as a leaking head gasket — before they cause more expensive damage.
You might even consider analyzing the oil from a car you are considering buying. Currently this is popular with airplane, boat and heavy equipment buyers, but at least one company may soon offer this as an option for used car shoppers as well.
Test-Driving Oil Analysis
We sent two samples of engine oil to Blackstone Laboratories in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to see what we could learn about a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant with 80,000 miles on its four-cylinder engine. The first sample was oil that had been used for 3,000 miles. The second sample was taken right after an oil change at a Jiffy Lube.
The 3,000-mile oil still had plenty of life left in it, according to the lab results. Blackstone recommended we try increasing the oil change interval to 5,000 miles and send another sample for analysis at that point. Furthermore, the report said the wear metals in the oil were within normal levels, meaning that the engine was not in immediate danger of breaking down. By detecting specific wear metals in the oil, experts can tell which engine parts might be in danger of malfunctioning.
Since the purpose of oil is to lubricate, clean and cool the engine, a TBN (total base number) is used to measure the deterioration of the oil by assigning a number that is usually between 0 and 8. The TBN of the 3,000-mile oil was 3.7. The Jiffy Lube oil was 7.6 indicating it had been barely used.
“Even if the TBN is 1, it doesn’t mean the oil isn’t doing its job,” said Ryan Stark, president of Blackstone Laboratories. “But it does reveal the rate at which the additives are being used up.”
Oil Analysis, a Growing Business
Stark said that his company, which employs six analysts, gets about 20 new customers a day and does between 40,000 and 50,000 reports per year. A single analysis costs $22.50 but discounts are available for multiple analyses. Blackstone can also analyze transmission fluid and other engine fluids to look for possible problems.
Many other laboratories offer engine oil analysis, but Blackstone’s reports are user-friendly, and the turnaround is quick. Within days of our mailing in two 4-ounce samples, the results were e-mailed to us.
“We’ve had customers who were changing their oil every 3,000 miles and now they’ve gone to every 10,000 miles because of our reports,” said Stark. “But we’re conservative. If the oil looks good at 3,000 miles we recommend increasing the frequency by 2,000 miles and taking another look at it.”
A Used-Car Buying Tool?
A Long Beach, California, company that provides pre-purchase inspections for private parties is breaking new ground by planning to offer engine oil analysis to private-party used car buyers.
“With an oil sample test, which essentially is the DNA of a car’s engine and transmission, we can detect any excessive conditions that can lead to serious mechanical problems down the road,” said Alliance Inspection Management Vice President of Sales Eric Widmer.
If the oil sample result meets industry standards, a limited warranty will be offered to the buyer. Edmer said this was the first time an inspection service has used this method to qualify a buyer for a warranty. It would, Edmer points out, provide a level of confidence for used-car buyers shopping for a reliable car.
Stark said that some of Blackstone’s customers have sent samples from cars they were considering buying but it’s far more common practice with buyers of airplanes, boats, motorcycles or even jet skis.
How To Take an Engine Oil Sample
We took the Mitsubishi samples by sliding under the car, unscrewing the oil filter and draining the oil into a glass jar. The jar was sealed securely, wrapped in padding and Fed Exed to Blackstone.
Taking a sample in this manner is messy, and you can burn your hand on the hot oil filter. Instead, you’ll want to use a vacuum pump that takes a sample through the dipstick opening. Such a pump is available from Blackstone or other oil analysis labs.
Oil Analysis for Do-It-Yourselfers
Car owners who enjoy changing their own oil will find oil analysis an inexpensive test and easy to perform as part of engine maintenance. It helps consumers tailor their oil change intervals and experiment with the benefits of different oils such as synthetic blends. Furthermore, some people might try it as a used car shopping tool next time they are looking for a reliable car.
Then again, there is the pure love of knowledge that such a test provides. For a gearhead, that’s an end in itself. “For years and years no one knew when to change the oil, so they went with three months and 3,000 miles,” Stark said. “Now, we can provide a service that’s a good value to people so they really know what’s best for their engine.”
Well do you think this is something that you might like to try on your new or used car? I’d be interested to see what my oil says. It’s probably something along the lines of, “hey there not to bad at all.” You see, I am a maniac about getting my oil changed regularly.
Ok so we live in Ohio and we know that putting water in our windshield wiper reservoir in the winter can freeze and cause cracks in your reservoir. Right?? Well did you know that it might even possibly make you sick? Ok don’t freak out you’re probably fine! But have you ever heard of Legionnaires’ disease? To be completely honest I hadn’t heard about it either until I stumbled upon a story about it.
Legionnaires’ disease (LEE-juh-nares) is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. The bacteria got its name in 1976, when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion suffered from an outbreak of this disease, a type of pneumonia (lung infection). Although this type of bacteria was around before1976, more illness from Legionnaires’ disease is being detected now. This is because we are now looking for this disease whenever a patient has pneumonia.
Each year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S. However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher. More illness is usually found in the summer and early fall, but it can happen any time of year. – CDC.gov
I came across the story I am about to share with you on AutoBlog and thought it was important enough to share. No need to panic. The point is you really should not use tap water to clean off the windshield on your new or used car but actual cleaner.
If you use standard tap water in your windshield washer fluid reservoir instead of a cleaner, you may have effectively turned your vehicle into a biological weapon. Sure, that sounds cool and all, but according to BBC News, the only person you’re going to be hurting is yourself. As it turns out, using plain water can cause the washer fluid system to become a breeding ground for Legionella bacterium – the same nastiness that causes Legionaires’ Disease and pneumonia. Spray your windshield and the bacteria becomes airborne, allowing it to easily enter your lungs and wreak havoc with your immune system.
Researchers discovered the hive of scum and villainy lurking under the hood by attempting to discern why professional drivers were five times more likely to become ill than their amateur counterparts. After a little scientific sleuthing, the lab coats unearthed the bacteria. So do the world a favor and top off your windshield washer fluid reservoir with some sort of purpose-built cleaner. The stuff will kill the infection-causing bacteria and will keep the fluid from freezing in the winter. Not bad for 99 cents a gallon.
Better to be safe than sorry! So what are your thoughts on this?
It’s almost SUMMER time! Time to cruise the streets of Cincinnati in your new or used car! You want to look good right? Well there are some things that you can do to get your car in good shape and may save you some hassle later. Edmunds.com came up with the top 10 tips to getting your car looking and feeling good for summer time. Some of these things you will not be able to do yourself. You may have to call in a mechanic for a little tune up action but your Cincinnati Mechanic would be more than happy to help you out I am sure of it.
Get rid of road salt on the undercarriage. Road salt can damage your vehicle by eating away at its undercarriage. Use a garden hose with as much water pressure as your system can muster to loosen winter grime and salt. Or, if you have a movable lawn sprinkler that’s low enough, set that under the vehicle to wash away what you can’t reach.
Check the tires. Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, so it’s important to check tire pressure after weather changes. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure for your tire, and never exceed that. Always check pressure when the tires are cold, since driving even a couple of miles to the gas station can provide a false reading. Higher pressure generally results in improved steering response and fuel economy, but a stiffer ride, and it wears out the tread in the center. Underinflation generally provides a smoother ride, but it causes tires to wear out at the sides. It also wastes gas because tires need more power to push the vehicle.
Check wiper blades. Your wipers work hard all winter removing dirt and debris, including salt spray. Since the life expectancy of a wiper blade is six months to a year, check that the blades are making full contact with the windshield and have not dried out. Don’t wait for a heavy spring or summer rainstorm to discover your blades aren’t performing properly. Also, refill the wiper fluid reservoir.
Rotate the tires. This is a relatively simple car care procedure that will extend the tread life of your tires, and should be done roughly every 5,000-10,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for exact intervals. A good rule is to rotate tires after every oil change.
Change the oil and oil filter. Some car manufacturers recommend changing to a heavyweight oil to help the engine perform more efficiently during hotter weather. Most cars now have recommended oil grades of 5W-30, 10W-30 or 10W-40, which are all multiviscous grades — your owner’s manual will tell you which. Change the oil filter each time you change the oil, since it’s obvious that a dirty filter won’t keep the new oil clean.
Change the air filter. The air filter prevents dust and other impurities from getting into the combustion chambers of the cylinders, resulting in wasted gas and weaker engine performance. According to the Car Care Council, replacing a clogged filter can improve mileage by as much as 10 percent. The time-honored way to check for dirt is to hold the filter up to the light, but since many new filters show light when dirty, or show no light when clean, it is more reliable to change the air filter every six months, and more often in dusty locations.
Flush and fill your cooling system. This is cheap insurance against engine failure. The Car Care Council recommends flushing every two years, or 24,000 miles for most vehicles. Simply draining your radiator is not enough; you need to flush the system with a radiator flush product, not just plain water, to remove stubborn rust, grease and sediment. Then, refill with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water. (If you live in a more severe climate, increase the percentage of coolant to about 70.)
Check the radiator and gas caps. A snug radiator cap helps raise the cooling system pressure, giving added protection against boil-overs. Radiator caps don’t last forever, so replace yours whenever you flush the cooling system. Pressure recommendations vary, so get the right cap for your vehicle model. With gas at record prices, be sure there’s a tight seal on the gas cap, too, to prevent that high-priced octane from vaporizing. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles have gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether, wasting some 147 million gallons of gas every year.
Check the battery and spark plugs. Make sure battery posts and connections are secure and free of corrosion. Spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles. That’s a lot of heat and wear and tear in the form of electrical and chemical erosion. Dirty spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. If you’re planning a long trip, consider replacing the battery and spark plugs if they are more than two years old.
Clean the cabin. Appearances are important, no matter what the season. Discard the debris that’s been hibernating under the seats all winter, then attack the cabin with the most powerful vacuum cleaner you can find. Remove the floor mats to vacuum or wash outside the car. Open the trunk, remove the spare tire and jack and vacuum here, too. Before returning the spare, check its pressure. Most likely it will need air, so remember to do that the next you time you fill the tank. Road dust, coffee stains and fingerprints have no appeal any time of the year, so after vacuuming, use a spray vinyl cleaner and a soft cloth on the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels and seats. That also helps protect against cracking, sun damage and fading. A good household upholstery cleaner is fine for fabric seats; for leather seats, follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Next is an aerosol silicone spray to treat the weather stripping around the outside of doors, windows and the trunk. Be sure to wipe away the excess.
Whew — all done! Finally, you’re ready to wash and wax. Ordinary dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water and a clean, soft sponge will do nicely for the washing, using a different sponge for the body and the tire rims. Then buff dry to a sparkle worthy of spring sunshine, apply a protective coat of wax if necessary and treat yourself to a leisurely ride. You’ve earned it!
Do you think these are helpful tips? Are you going to try these? I am!
Have you been looking to purchase a used car? With recent flooding I thought it was important for you to know the signs of water damage when you are searching for a used car. Flood or water damage can be very difficult to detect but you do not want to sink your money into a flood damaged vehicles. I will cause an even bigger headache then you could ever imagine. So when you are out searching for a used vehicle at your Cincinnati automotive dealer I hope you remember these tips from Consumer Reports.
Here are some hints of what to look for:
Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed, not generally a part of normal maintenance.
Inspect the lights. Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace, and a visible water line may still show on the lens or reflector.
Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Waterborne mud and debris may still appear in these places.
Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels, where it wouldn’t settle naturally.
Look at the heads of any unpainted exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
Check if the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors look as if they have been removed recently. It may have been done to drain floodwater.
If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see whether there is a water mark on the inside.
If you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car that was not damaged, be aware that buyers may still suspect that it was. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you sell it so that you can present potential buyers with a clean bill of health.
Likewise, months and even years after a major event like the Tennessee flooding, damaged cars can surface in other parts of the country. It best to be vigilant when considering a used-car purchase.
Here is a video from Car Fax on what to look for.
Let me know what you think about these tips. Have you ever bought a flood damaged car?