Easy Tip for Car Windshield Repair

If your car window has been cracked by a rock, you don’t have to replace your entire window. You can just repair it at a fraction of the price that you’d pay if you were to report it to your insurance company or if your insurance agent was to send you to an inexpensive repairman.

The easiest types of cracks to fix are small bulls-eye holes or cracks caused by pebbles or stones. Depending on the size of the crack in your windshield, about $60 is the average amount you will spend on repairing it, compared to about $300 to replace an entire windshield. Or, you can find a car windshield repair kit, which runs around $12.95, through the Internet, a local auto parts store, or a local windshield repair company. Prices may vary at different locations. There are several on the market for under $10 that claim to fix most types of glass damage, from windshields to headlights. It is nearly invisible and uses a professional resin injector system and UV cure epoxy to allow repairs to be done in 20 minutes. Other car windshield repair kits use special vacuum and pressure settings in an individual spring-loaded injector with just one seal to exchange.

If your crack is substantial, searching the yellow pages in the phone book or doing an online search can help you find car windshield repair companies. You can have one of these windshield repair companies fix your vehicle in the parking lot while you’re at work or in your own driveway at home. The mobile car windshield wizards have a process to their magic: starting by drilling tiny holes in the glass, a special glazing technique is used to fill the cracks with a substance that stops cracks from dispersing when it hardens. Like a liquid resin that a dentist would use to repair your teeth, it is hardened with ultraviolet light. The only sign that your windshield has been repaired is a small blur where the crack was, but sometimes even that can’t be seen.

 

Besides the money you save, there are a number of reasons to consider repairing your cracked windshield by yourself. If you have a rare vehicle with a unique windshield, it could be difficult to find the exact size and shape windshield that you need, and sometimes it is difficult to find someone who will work well with you.

You should consider fixing your cracked windshield if you have even a small spot, because little cracks start to spread and turn into large cracks. A vehicle’s windshield is also an important safety factor in that it supports the roof of the vehicle, keeping it from caving in on itself in the case of an accident. Not only that, but if the crack is in the view of the driver, it could obstruct or distract from the other cars and passengers on the road. The bonus side to knowing how to perform your own car windshield repair is that not many people take the time to learn the skill, and many people utilize car windshield repair kits to start a business repairing car windshields for other people.

 

Exhaust Repairs Made Simple

If so, is it really necessary to go to a dealership or high-end import specialist and pay the extra money commonly associated with this service?

You may be surprised.

Thousands of service shops now have access to original equipment (OE)-style replacement exhaust components.

Depending on the brand offered by the shop, you might even enjoy the benefits of more robust, premium-grade materials, factory-quality fit and a carefully tuned exhaust “note” that helps make your vehicle sound like new.

Many import owners feel that the dealership or high-end import specialists are the only ones with quality replacement exhaust products,” said Bill Shutt, emissions control product manager for Tenneco Inc.’s Walker brand.

“The fact is, you can save hundreds of dollars by relying on a qualified auto repair shop that carries a leading exhaust brand.”

In some cases, according to Shutt, an “aftermarket” system will be virtually identical to the more expensive OE product. In fact, some aftermarket manufacturers, including Tenneco, also design and produce OE systems for vehicle manufacturers around the world.

“The bottom line for the consumer, regardless of the vehicle make or model, is finding the best total value in terms of fit, durability, exhaust flow characteristics, and sound,” Shutt said.

“These benefits are available through any auto repair shop that carries Walker products and other leading aftermarket brands.”

The same is true in the case of catalytic converter replacement, said Shutt.

Some vehicle owners assume that quality converter service is available only through the dealership. In truth, however, virtually any qualified shop can install an OE-style replacement converter on nearly any import model.

 

Tips to Get More Miles Out of Your Car

Get more miles out of your car and truck…stretch your vehicles life.

(NewsUSA) – Due to the current economic climate, many Americans are becoming less willing to make expensive purchases. Even the nation’s long-held love affair with the automobile hasn’t escaped the penny-pinching trend.

The latest trends demonstrate that Americans are trying to stretch the mileage of their current vehicles. In 2006, the average car owner drove their car for 68 months before trading it in for a new vehicle. By the fourth quarter of 2008, the average trade-in was 76 months old.

The following simple and inexpensive preventive checks provided by The Automotive Service Association (www.ASAshop.org), which represents thousands of repair shops nationwide, will greatly extend the life of the vehicle and ensure safer operation:

– Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil and filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.

– Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission and transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.

– Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.

– Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle’s suspension system.

– Check battery cables and connections for corrosion, and clean them as needed.

– Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals and brake and tail lights.

– Check windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them approximately once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

– Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.

 

Tips and Quick Fixes The Car

You accidentally scratched your car door with your keys while you had your hands full and now you have an awful mark staring back at you every time you get into your car. Do you have to go to a professional who will charge you for labor? Or can you do it yourself for a fairly cheap price? Well, the answer is, an undersized scuff is something you can most likely fix at home by yourself. However, if you’re small scratch looks more like a tree branch than a stick; it’s time to consult the professionals.

Car scratch repair requires a couple of research steps before you can proceed on the actual scratch repairing. First you have to determine if your car has an enameled based paint, because some of the paint jobs on newer model vehicles won’t blend well with lacquer-based primer paint. Before you get started on the actual work, you can consult your local auto parts store to help you determine the exact color of your car. Take your VIN number so that you can match up the cover-up paint with the car’s original coat. You may be able to find the paint color code listed on the edging of the doorframe or in the glove compartment. A dealership would also be able to tell you the exact color paint you’ll need to repair the car scratch.

Next, buy primer paint labeled for automobile use in a lighter color and body compound that will go on easily in one coat. Then, wash the scuffed area with a laundry detergent to remove any wax or grit that might affect your recover paint. After that, take some fine-grained sandpaper and sand along the scratch, polishing away any rust you find. When sanding the scratched area, you may find that it is easier to buff out enamel with 1500-grit or 2000-grit sandpaper to avoid sanding marks. Be sure to blow or brush away any dust that accumulates and then use masking tape and newspaper to separate the scrape. Leave half an inch of room around the car scratch to work.

As you continue, you’ll need to use a plastic putty knife to apply body compound to any deep scratches; a metal one will cause more damage. Make sure to read the instructions on the label and follow them closely. After the body compound hardens, you can sand the spot flat and blow away all the dust again. Then, spray the primer onto the scratch and let it dry overnight. In the morning, use the brush from the touchup paint to paint the area, and then let it dry overnight. You may find that a finish polish is less abrasive than a regular compound.

 

Starting your car and a great little tips

It’s inevitable. You’re leaving work, more excited than usual because you have big plans for the night and your car betrays you. Turn the key and …nothing. The engine doesn’t turn over, the interior lights don’t come on, and absolutely nothing happens. It may be stating the obvious, but your battery is dead and is in serious need of a charge. Not to worry, a few necessary items will have the battery doing its thing in no time.

The process of jump starting a car is relatively simple and only requires a few tools. The first thing you will want to find is a friendly volunteer. This kind person is an absolute must. Without their permission to use their car’s battery, yours will remain dead in the water so to speak. The next tool you will is a good set of jumper cables. A quality set will be made with multiple strands of copper wire and the alligator clips should be copper as well. Jumper cables should be a part of every car’s emergency kit. You never know when you or someone else may need them. The last thing you may want to consider having on hand is a pair or two of protective glasses. At the very least, protect your eyes with sunglasses or prescription glasses just in case.

Now that the necessary tools are in place, park your car and the volunteer’s car as close together as possible. Front end to front end is the best bet if you can arrange it. Open the hoods of both cars and find the respective batteries. The next things to locate are the batteries’ terminals. Luckily it is fairly standard in the automotive industry for positive charges to be marked with a + and negative with a -.

All of the necessary parts have been located and it’s time to hook it up. The two car’s batteries need to be attached with the jumper cables with positive to positive and negative to negative, but most prefer negative (on car running to metal engine piece in car not running). This is all pretty self-explanatory so far right? Red jumper cable attaches to the positive charge on both batteries and the black goes with the negative. Once the cars are connected, the car with the operating battery should be started. Double check to be sure the cables aren’t interfering with any of the engine’s belts or pulleys. Leave the good battery car running for a few minutes to charge the dead battery. After a decent interval of time try to start the other car. If it doesn’t start right away, check the jumper cables for any corrosion or dirt that may be interfering with the charge. Also be sure the claps are attached tightly to the battery post. These steps should correct the problem and you are on your way to a fully charged battery.

To complete the charge let the recently charged battery idle for a few minutes to fully charge. Turn off both engines and remove the battery jumper cables. The newly charged battery should have no problem starting the car.

You’re off and running and your evening plans aren’t ruined after all. Jump-starting a car is usually a quick process and knowing how will make any driver’s life easier.

Also make sure to note your car batteries lifetime, because when 60-months comes around, be sure that your battery will start to fail in the near future, and this is one repair worth the $40-$80 battery upgrade before it fails a second time. A tow can cost BIG BUCKS and if you feel that $3 per gallon is expensive try paying $2.50 per MILE for the tow.

 

Repairing a Tire Guide

You’re not sure if you hit a nail or ran through glass. What you do know it that your tire is definitely flat. It could be repaired at the mechanic’s shop or you could save yourself the trip and expense and do it yourself. The process can be a little time consuming, but once you know how to repair a flat you will never again be at the mercy of closed shops or stuck in the middle of nowhere. Taking the time to learn this essential maintenance process now will save a lot of time and hassle later.

The first thing you need to do is determine where the puncture is located. A quick way to do this is to submerge the tire in water and watch where air bubbles form. Obviously this area or areas are the place you need to concentrate on. Before the patch job can begin it is important to remove any foreign object that is stuck there. Pliers are a good tool for this step. Simply use the pliers to pull the object out in the same direction as the tire’s tread. Being sure to go with the tread helps ensure that minimal additional damage is done to the tire.

Now is the time to prepare to patch the tire hole. Using a tire reamer clean the hole out from the inside of the tire. This will remove any dirt or oil that may later cause adhesion issues with the cement and patch. Place the patch centered over the puncture to be sure sizing is correct. Remove the patch and coat an awl with cement. Be sure to run the awl through the hole several times to be sure the cement is coating the damaged area adequately. Place a coat of vulcanizing cement on the patch and buffed area of the tire and allow to dry thoroughly.

Remember the awl is still through the hole. Apply a thin layer of cement to the stem of the patch and pull the stem through the hole. Once the patch stem is through the puncture cut the stem off almost flush with the outside of the tire’s tread. The tire is now patched and there are a just a few more things to do before you are back on the road.

To finish up the tire repair job and to help make sure your tire problems are a thing of the past, take the time to complete a few preventative measures. One useful precaution is to take a look at your valve stems. If they look worn, old, or damaged it is a good idea to change them. Be sure they are the right length and diameter for your car’s tires.

Valve stems are important because not only do they function to retain valve core air retention, but they also keep moisture and dirt from getting inside the tire. Once you are assured that the valve stems are in good condition reinflate the tire. Using soapy water sprayed on the tire is useful to see if there are any leaks in the new patch, around valve stems, or the beads.

 

Change a Car Fuse

Picture this. It’s a beautiful night and you and your sweetie are driving down a pretty country road. The bliss of the night is interrupted by a high-pitched scream. The scream wasn’t Sweetie; it was you because the car just lost all power to the headlights.

Since the car is running fine the only conclusion to make is there is a blown fuse. Luckily a few tips and tricks of the trade, not to mention knowing where to look, will fix the problem in a jiffy.

The first thing to do is be prepared. The Boy Scouts are on to something with that one. Being prepared means having the correct fuses for your vehicle on hand, not in the garage at home. They won’t help you there. Ten dollars or less spent at the auto store will provide your car with a spare set of fuses for any emergency.

It’s a good idea to store these in the glove compartment if your car isn’t equipped with a place in the fuse panel to store them. The glove compartment is an ideal location to keep the fuses clean and dry.

Newer model cars and trucks rely heavily on their electrical systems. Ask anyone who has worked on them. Some of these models have up to three different fuse boxes.

An easy way to determine which box to check and which fuse to change is using the owner’s manual. There should be a chart detailing those specifics included. If the chart is missing, the fastest way to find the faulty fuse is to test it with a test light or voltmeter.

Now, if the Boy Scouts’ rule has been forgotten, the option left for you is to check them by sight individually. To test if the fuse is blown, connect the ground wire of your test light or voltmeter to a chassis point, one with exposed metal is a good choice. Then touch the tool’s probe to the fuse’s conductor.

A working fuse will show voltage power on both sides. Obviously the faulty culprit fuse will be missing its charge on one side. Fortunately changing the fuse involves removing the bad one and plugging in a new fuse.

Pay attention here. Make sure the fuse you are using to replace the bad one is the correct amp. If you use a fuse with too high amperage it is possible to start an electrical fire in your vehicle and do more damage than a simple blown fuse is worth.

Fuses typically come in three sizes, mini, normal, and maxi. The fuses that are mini and normal are color-coded. The wrench thrown in is that the maxi sized fuses are color-coded differently.

This being the case it is imperative to check that the amperage on the fuse is correct for location. Don’t even trust a trained mechanic, they make mistakes too. Just because that was the last fuse put in doesn’t mean it was the right amperage.

 

Replace The Car Guide

Is it best to repair or replace your car? That’s a good question in this economy and here are some helpful tips to make your decision a little easier for you.

(NAPSI)-A growing number of people are finding that the economy has them debating whether it’s best to buy a new car or repair the one they have. If you are trying to decide between buying and repairing, here are some tips that may help:

Comparing Costs

It is typically less expensive in the long run to repair the vehicle you already own rather than purchasing a newer one. Financing even a $2,000 repair typically means lower payments (or similar payments for a shorter time) than those incurred when purchasing a newer vehicle.

The 50-Percent Rule

After receiving the estimate of a major repair, consider the “50-percent rule.” When the cost of a needed repair approaches 50 percent of the vehicle’s value, it is time to seriously consider replacing it.

Reliability And Maintenance History

The best way to know a vehicle’s condition is by maintaining it on a regular basis and using the same repair shop. If a repair shop knows the service history of a vehicle, consumers can look to its technicians for guidance on when their vehicle likely will need major repairs.

“Following the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations can greatly increase the life span of vehicle,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA Approved Auto Repair and Auto Buying.

Cosmetics

The cosmetic condition of a vehicle can greatly affect its value and a motorist’s desire to hold on to it. Motorists should take a critical look at their vehicle for signs of wear and tear and evaluate how important their vehicle’s cosmetics are to them.

Lifestyle

Changes in lifestyle can be a large factor in changing vehicles. Family size, commute length, recreational usage and business needs are all legitimate reasons to consider purchasing a newer vehicle that is better suited to a consumer’s driving routine.

Outside Factors

Several outside factors may impact the decision between repairing and replacing a vehicle, such as reduced pricing and special offers from manufacturers. A vehicle that could become a valuable classic might be worthy of extraordinary repairs and maintenance.

 

A Collision Repair Tips

After a fender bender, it’s just as smart to steer yourself into the hands of the right auto body collision repair center as it is to check out a contractor’s credentials when you need home repair.

With more than 35,000 auto body repair shops nationwide, choosing a shop can be confusing.

Steve Cox, vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), says, “Although an insurance company may make some recommendations, drivers ultimately are responsible for selecting an auto body repair shop. Choosing a trustworthy, quality-oriented shop is very important for ensuring the best possible results.”

The CBBB and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) have teamed up to help consumers better manage the collision
repair experience, with tips on choosing a trustworthy shop, saving money on a replacement rental car and knowing how to settle any disputes.

Choose a Trustworthy Collision Repair Shop. Check out the shop’s qualifications by asking about advanced technician training from a national organization such as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) or National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

Look for Commitment to Customer Satisfaction. Ask whether the shop is a member of the Better Business Bureau and verify information on the BBB Web site at www.bbb.org to see if the shop maintains a good reputation.

Arrange a Replacement Rental Car. Since the average car is in the repair shop for two weeks, ask if the shop can make recommendations for a rental car company and if it can arrange for a replacement rental car to be ready when you drop off your car. If your auto insurance policy includes replacement rental car coverage, which is usually only a couple dollars a month, you may get a rental car for little or no money.

Get Everything in Writing Up Front. Get a written repair and price estimate of the work to be performed, as well as an explanation of why specific recommendations are necessary to correct the collision damage, before the job begins. Also, ask about a warranty. Professional, reputable repair shops will stand behind their repair work by offering a warranty.

 

Auto Tech and Learn To Speak

Auto Repair Advice: Learn To Speak “Auto Tech” will show you how to speak to your automotive technician so he will understand exactly what is wrong with your car.

(NAPSI)-You may be better able to stay on the road to safety and savings the next time you need to have your car repaired if you select a quality facility and learn to speak a little “auto tech.”

When communicating with an automotive technician, AAA recommends motorists do the following:

• Before taking the vehicle to a repair facility, write down the symptoms and any performance issues so important information is not overlooked or forgotten.

• Describe the symptoms to the technician. Explain what has been seen, smelled, heard and felt while driving the vehicle. For example, does it vibrate or pull to the left? Explain under what type of driving conditions the problem takes place and how long ago it started.

• When describing symptoms, refer to the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle rather than the right or left side.

• If the vehicle has been serviced recently, bring copies of the previous repair orders rather than trying to explain what work was done.

• Ask questions if the technician uses jargon you don’t understand or if something is not thoroughly explained. Quality technicians will take the time to clearly explain the problem before offering a repair solution.

• Always read the repair order before signing it and authorizing any work. Look for specific instructions detailing the maintenance to be done, the problem to be corrected and the work to be performed. If the language is vague or unclear, ask that it be rewritten.

To help motorists get good repairs, AAA, the country’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, has more than 8,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America.