Category Archives: Blog

Preparing for your emissions test. Emission Time- By Megan Evans.

I Think My Car is a Lemon. What’s Next?

Lemon Laws

When you purchase a new or used car under warranty, and the vehicle ends up having a persistent mechanical or safety problem, it can be highly frustrating. The good news is that federal and state “lemon laws” exist to ensure that manufactures of faulty automobiles are held liable. As a consumer, you can initiate a lemon law case against an automaker without paying legal fees, as the manufacturer would pay your lemon car attorney’s fees when it is found liable.

How do you know if your car is a lemon? And if it is, what steps should you take to ensure that you receive proper compensation (either a replacement vehicle or a buyback of the lemon vehicle)? Below is what you need to know to pursue your claim and what to expect during the process.

Is My Car A Lemon?

Both federal and state law define a lemon as a vehicle which has a serious mechanical or safety problem that is covered under a warranty, but has not been repaired after a “reasonable number of attempts,” or has been in the shop for a significant number of days in a short period of time, without the problem being resolved.

The phrase “reasonable number of attempts” can be open to legal interpretation. Consequently, the assistance of an experienced lemon car attorney can be indispensable for determining whether your car qualifies for lemon status. In general, if you have tried to have the automobile repaired three to four times and it still doesn’t run properly, there is a good chance you have a lemon vehicle on your hands.

Supporting Your Claim

Ensuring the viability of your lemon claim begins with documentation. When you take your vehicle to the dealership or one of the manufacturer’s authorized repair facilities for repairs, be sure to document the repair history.

Most dealerships will provide you with accurate service records, but some dealerships are known to misrecord repair records, so that it looks as if your car is experiencing a new or different problem. Always check your repair documents for accuracy, and keep copies of the records. While the dealership is required to keep copies, and alemon car attorney can help you procure them, the process can be time-consuming and annoying.

Contact The Manufacturer

Whether you live in a state that requires mediation or arbitration with the manufacturer before you pursue a lawsuit, or your state allows you to file suit immediately after it is determined that you have a lemon, you’ll need to notify the automaker of your car’s lemon status. Alemon car attorney can help you draft a certified letter that asks the manufacturer to either buy backyour vehicle or offer a “substantially identical” replacement vehicle.

If you must go through arbitration, the end result of the process does not have to be the end of your case. Arbitration decisions, which tend to favor automakers, are not binding on you, the consumer, but they are binding on the manufacturer. This means that if you get a favorable decision you are happy with, it is the end of the process. But often, people get less than they deserve. When this happens, a lemon law attorney can help you pursue proper compensation.

The Automaker Denied My Claim. Now What?

Regardless of whether you must pursue arbitration, after you notify the manufacturer about your defective vehicle, they are required to respond to you. When the response or arbitration decision is not in your favor, consider contacting a lawyer to file a lawsuit. Your lemon car attorney can help you decide whether to file under federal or state law. Once you hire a lawyer, he or she will handle all correspondence with the automaker and complete necessary paperwork for the court.

When choosing a lawyer, look for someone who has a strong background in lemon law and consumer advocacy, and a record of winning lemon cases. As your legal fees and trial costs will be paid by the manufacturer if you win your case, focus on hiring a highly experienced lemon car attorneyinstead of choosing an attorney with the lowest fees. This can dramatically increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome for your case.

Do I Have To Go To Court?

The short answer is no. A significant percentage of lemon law cases end in settlement. Your lawyer will analyze your case and develop the best strategy based on what you want and the details of your situation. After the automaker is informed about the merits of your claim, the company may decide to settle right away, as it is often less expensive and better for publicity for automakers to settle. If this doesn’t happen, your lemon car attorney will prepare for trial.

I Won! When Do I Get Paid?

Nobody likes losing, and automakers are no different. Whether you settled before going to court, started litigation and then settled, or went through a trial and won, you can reasonably expect to receive compensation sometime between three months and a year after your case concludes. When the auto manufacturer compensates you, it will also pay yourlemon car attorney’s fees.

If you were to lose the case, you would be responsible for your lawyer’s fees. However, most lemon law cases are successful, as attorneys naturally accept cases that they feel they can win.

 When Life Gives You Lemons…

If your vehicle is a lemon, the law gives you recourse. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the proper operation and safety of the products they sell, including automobiles. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Instead, use the services of a lemon lawyer to pursue acceptable compensation in the form of a replacement vehicle or lemon vehicle buyback.

Written by Katie McDaniel

 

3 Best Plasma Cutters For Professional Auto Mechanics

Are you an auto mechanic? If yes you will agree that vehicle repair requires you to cut metal every so often. Of all the tools available, a plasma cutter is by far the best for that job.

But how do you choose the best plasma cutter? Well, there are so many things to consider. And the truth is it’s not exactly an easy process.

That’s why we have prepared this review of the three best plasma cutters on the market today. Each unit is suitable for use in an auto garage. At the same time, they all have varying requirements and capabilities.

Read on and learn which one suits you best. Don’t have time to read the whole review? I’ve prepared this summary table to compare all the three and save you some time.

 

COMPARISON TABLE

Max cut thickness (steel) Max severance (steel) Voltage/ amperage Amazon Rating
Hobart Airforce 40i 5/8 inches 7/8 inches 230V/30A 4.8 stars
Lotos Supreme CUT60D 4/5 inches 1¼ inches 120&240V/20-30A 5 stars
Hypertherm Powermax 65 1 inch 1¼ inches 208V/52A 5 stars

 

REVIEW: THE THREE BEST PLASMA CUTTERS FOR AUTO MECHANICS

#1. Hobart Airforce 40i Plasma Cutter

Built with an inverter design, the Hobart Airforce 40i plasma cutter boasts up to 40 amps of power. While the inverter design accounts for its compact and portable size, the amperage gives it a powerful performance. Compared to its predecessor, the Hobart AF 625, this unit weighs almost half but performs way better.

It features the new XT40R torch that is known for its ergonomic construction and high performance. The torch not only cools faster (thus increasing the life of consumables) but also feels comfortable to handle.

The Airforce 40i comes with a drag shield that makes it possible to drag the tip. That too helps conserve consumables while at the same time increasing the precision of a cut.

You can use this plasma cutter with an air compressor. The recommended specifications for the compressor are 4.8 cfm at 90 psi.

In terms of voltage, the Airforce 40i requires a 240V input. It actually uses 30 amps at 230V to deliver full output. With that power you can do clean cuts of up to 5/8 inches and sever 7/8 inches of steel. Clean cut ratings for aluminum, galvanized, brass and copper are 3/8, 3/8, ¼ and 3/16 respectively.

The best plasma cutter for auto mechanics is built with auto-refire technology that makes it possible to cut expanded/perforated and painted/coated metals without having to continuously retrigger the torch.

Other topnotch technologies used in the construction of this plasma cutter include wind tunnel, fan-on-demand, post-flow air cooling and thermal overload protection. Collectively, they provide a very efficient cooling system.

As a matter of fact, if you happen to exceed the duty cycle to the point of overheating the machine will turn off automatically. The feature protects internal parts from damage and ultimately ensures durability of the whole unit.

Who is it built for?

The Hobart Airforce 40i can cut virtually every metallic material used to make a vehicle. It is a lightweight yet powerful plasma cutter. That combination is what makes it ideal for professional auto mechanics.

It is particularly perfect for you if you are very mobile. The 31-pound weight makes it extremely portable.

Pros

  • Comes with a 200-amp work clamp
  • Built with inverter design for portability
  • Features a very efficient cooling system
  • Cuts almost all conductive metals
  • Easy to use
  • Post-air flow technology cools the tip and consumables faster

Cons

  • Package doesn’t include a machine torch
  • Cuts through rust and paint are not very clean

It might have its drawbacks but the Airforce 40i is undoubtedly the best professional-grade plasma cutter on this list. Its ability to cut through metals makes it a must-have for any auto mechanic who deals with cutting and welding metals.

 

#2. Lotos Supreme CUT60D Plasma Cutter

With dimensions of 26.7 x 7.9 x 14.6 inches and a weight of 31.3 pounds, the Lotos Supreme CUT60D is one of the most compact plasma cutters out there.

The machine has an automatic dual voltage of 110/120V and 220/240V with 50/60Hz. That means it can either use the 110/120V power or the 220/240V input. It actually senses the power input automatically.

When you use 110/120V the plasma cutter produces 20-30A of output. That’s enough for 1/3-inch clean cut and ½-inch severance cut. On the other hand, the 220/240V option offers a whopping 20-60A of output. With that the cutter can do a 4/5-inch clean cut and 1¼ severance cut.

The Supreme CUT60D is capable of cutting steel (mild, stainless and alloy), aluminum, copper and a number of other conductive metals. That’s just one of the many reasons why it makes a good pick for any professional auto mechanic.

The second reason is the fact that it supports three different plasma functions. You can switch between plasma air gouging, non-continuous pilot arc and continuous pilot arc.

Thirdly, it also supports both 2T and 4T functions. 2T is where you pull the trigger and then hold it continuously as you cut. In the case of 4T you pull the trigger to start cutting and then you pull it again to stop.

The diverse functionality is what makes the Lotos Supreme CUT60D plasma cutter a handy addition to any auto garage. With it you’ll be able to cut through all the metals used in a vehicle with utmost precision. That boils down to all the customizable settings.

As far as construction, the cutter comes pre-installed with an NPT 14-inch type D plug. It also has an air filter regulator. The two make it possible to quickly connect the machine to an air compressor. It only takes 2 minutes at most to finish the setup.

The package also includes a machine torch. You won’t have to buy it separately.

Who is it built for?

This plasma cutter is perfect for general metal cutting work. It’s a non-high frequency start unit, and that makes it ideal for DIYers and mechanics. You will definitely love it if you work or own an auto repair shop.

Pros

  • Supports both 110V and 220V (or 120 and 240V) power inputs
  • Comes pre-installed with almost all components
  • Built sturdily to ensure the most rugged of jobs
  • Can cut through all common metals used in the auto industry
  • Uses safe and non-hazardous compressed air

Cons

  • Uses consumables relatively faster than some high-end units
  • Fairly expensive compared to other intermediate plasma cutters

The two drawbacks don’t make this unit any less than perfect for beginner or intermediate auto repair work. In fact, most plasma cutters of its range blow through consumables as fast as it does. The only difference is that the CUT60D does so and still offers outstanding performance.

 

#3. Hypertherm Powermax 65 Hand System

As its name suggests, the Powermax 65 delivers a maximum output of 65 amps. That’s a massive 44% increase compared to the Powermax 45, its immediate predecessor.

The increased power also comes with some additional weight. This plasma cutter tilts the scale at 65 pounds and measures 19.7 x 9.2 x 17.9 inches.

It’s not exactly the smallest unit on the market but its outstanding performance more than makes up for that. The unit delivers high-quality cuts at a faster speed. It also conserves consumables longer than most of its closest competitors.

The plasma cutter doesn’t come with a power plug. But you can wire it to either a single phase or three phase power source.

If you’re using a single phase of power the Powermax 65 plasma cutter will draw 52 amps at 200-208 volts. That’s way more than most domestic homes or garages can supply. But you can decrease the amperage to 44A by using a 240V outlet.

Better yet you can plug the unit to a 3-phase power supply with 200V. It will draw just 32 amps and perform optimally while on the recommended 50% duty cycle.

For the best performance, you may want to connect the plasma cutter to an air compressor that supplies a lot of clean, dry air. The manufacturer recommends 6.7 cfm at 85 psi. But if you’re planning to do some heavy work you may want to consider a 9 or 10 cfm unit.

Although the recommended cut thickness is ¾ inches, at its best, the Powermax 65 can cut through 1 inch of steel. It has a maximum severance of 1¼ inches.

That alone makes this unit a perfect addition to any auto garage or repair shop. It will cut through any conductive material used to make a vehicle.

But it’s not the only reason why the Powermax 65 is one of the best at the job. Another reason is the fact that it offers up to 4 different torch styles. The 4 are continuous pilot arc, non-continuous pilot arc, gouging and torch lock.

Built with Smart Sense technology, the cutter automatically senses the torch style you have selected and adjusts gas pressure accordingly. That flexibility is precisely why this plasma cutter is one of the most versatile.

Who is it built for?

The Powermax 65 is truly a powerful plasma cutter that might not be suitable for just anyone. If you’re a hobbyist or DIYer who only does small scale auto-repair works you may find it too powerful for your liking. But if you own or work at a professional repair shop you will love it.

In addition to a powerful performance, the plasma cutter is flexible and comes at a fairly affordable price. That’s almost everything you need in a professional plasma cutter.

At 65 pounds, this unit is definitely not one of the most portable. Luckily it is fitted with two handles at the top to make it easier to carry.

Pros

  • Adjusts air pressure automatically
  • Uses consumables in a very efficient manner
  • Can cut up to 1 inch of steel
  • Comes with an easy-to-use CNC interface
  • Fitted with a self-explanatory control panel with an LCD screen
  • Smooth drag cutting

Cons

  • Too powerful for beginners and hobbyists
  • Price is on the higher side

The Powermax 65 is undoubtedly a machine meant for professionals. If you frequently have to cut vehicle metals in your routine repair works then you should consider purchasing this unit.

 

RECOMMENDATION

All the three plasma cutters are great. But each one is suitable for a particular audience. So which unit fits you best? Here’s my recommendation:

Hypertherm Powermax 65 – best for professionals

The sheer power of the Powermax 65 makes it a professional-grade unit. It is fairly heavy, versatile, cuts through one inch of steel and draws a whopping amps of power. With those features it not only offers outstanding performance but also ranks as a high-end model.

Hobart Airforce 40i – best for intermediates

The Airforce 40i needs some background knowledge on plasma cutting. If you’re looking to upgrade from an entry-level machine you may want to consider this particular unit. Besides being portable, it offers a variety of flexible features.

For instance, you can use 2T or 4T cutting technique. You also get to choose between plasma air gouging, non-continuous pilot arc and continuous pilot arc. That versatility makes it a generally reliable machine.

Lotos Supreme CUT60D – best for beginners

This plasma cutter is ideal for you if you’re looking for an entry level unit. It is very affordable (just under $750) and is easy to use. Plus it uses both 120V and 240V, which means you can plug it to a home garage socket or at the repair shop.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

I deliberately selected an entry-level, intermediate and professional plasma cutter to review. That said, each of these units is the best in its category. With one of them in your auto repair garage you’ll be more than glad that you purchased it.

While the Lotos Supreme CUT60D offers all the basic functions in a portable and adequately powerful unit, the Hobart Airforce 40i takes functionality a notch higher. You don’t need to be a pro per se to use it, but some experience will help you a great deal.

The Hypertherm Powermax 65 on its part is a super powerful machine. It is definitely one for large scale professional auto shops.

 

Drowsy Driving Prevention And Statistics

Drowsy Driving Articles

Drowsy Driving: The Silent – But Deadly – Practice You Might Not Know About

Any drivers education program would be incomplete without multiple warnings against drunk driving. By the time you enter high school, if you haven’t already heard about the dangers of driving while intoxicated, you definitely will have by the time you start driving. With all of the awareness campaigns against this practice, drunk driving fatalities have dropped by 51% since the early 80s.

However, drunk driving has a dangerous, lesser-known equivalent: drowsy driving. The numbers are nothing to yawn at, either. Driving while tired is responsible for an estimated 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries after a car accident, and at least 1,500 deaths per year. In fact, the statistics are likely to be even higher due to how difficult it is to detect.

Why Drowsy Driving is So Dangerous

Drowsy driving, as the name implies, is what happens when a driver is too tired to stay alert behind the wheel. Doing anything while sleep-deprived is difficult, and driving requires our focus in a way that few other things do. Exhaustion causes you to have slower reflexes, get easily distracted, and make poor decisions. Any one of these can lead to accidents on the road.

The UCLA Sleep Center published a study which found that someone running on four hours of sleep would react the same way to one beer as someone with a full night of sleep would to six. Not only that, but also one survey found that a shocking 55% of police admitted to driving while sleep-deprived in the year leading up to the study.

What’s Being Done to Fight Drowsy Driving

In the United States, there are very few states which currently have laws against drowsy driving. Arkansas lists ‘fatigued’ driving as negligent homicide – a class A-misdemeanor – as long as the driver has gone without sleep for 24 consecutive hours. In New Jersey, convicted drivers are charged for driving recklessly just like a drunk driver.

Other states, such as Alabama and California, have drowsy driving awareness days, while Texas and Florida each dedicate an entire week to the cause.

Abroad, both the UK and Australia have laws in place to regulate drowsy driving offenses. Neither nation is as hard on the practice as either Arkansas or New Jersey, but it’s a positive step tin penalizing those who take the road while tired.  

How You Can Avoid Drowsy Driving

AAA has recommended that drivers employ a variety of tools to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. Getting a full night of sleep before hitting the road, taking a break every couple of hours or 100 miles (whichever comes first), and having someone else in the car that will stay alert and split the responsibility of driving with are all good practices.

Nothing is a true replacement for a full night of sleep. However, if you find yourself losing the battle to exhaustion while at the wheel it is certainly better to pull off the road and take a nap than it is to risk causing harm to yourself and others.

8 Common Mistakes When Using An Impact Wrench

Must Avoid: 8 Common Mistakes When Using An Impact Wrench

Make DIY projects and automotive care simple by using an impact wrench. An impact wrench is the best solution for use in tight angles where there is no space left to apply the required amount of torque easily. Plus, It is a pneumatic device that helps in providing sufficient torque to loosen the nuts in the best possible way with minimal exertion.

There are various types of wrenches available in the market ranging from manual to automatic, you can visit wrenchguides for more info. But safety precautions are there which one should consider while using it. For smooth operations, one must avoid the following mistakes.

Practical Mistakes:

  1. Not meant for tightening purposes:

Impact wrench helps speed up the process of loosening or removing the nuts/ bolts, whereas a torque wrench is meant for tightening the fixings. Most people are not aware of this fact.

They use the former mentioned product for making the nuts tight, which leads to the situation of over-tightening and can cause severe damages. Excessive tight wheel nuts may cause brake rotors. This problem is, most of the time, caused by inexperienced users who stretch or strip the threads to ensure the tightening level of nut or bolt.

  1. Avoid cross threading:

Cross threading refers to the situation when the threads of a nut or bolt shift somewhere else from the center position. This can commonly occur while working with metal or aluminium fixings. In this situation, if one makes use of this wrench product, it leads to damaging threads. Thus, it will cause significant damage which cannot be repairable. To overcome this risk, try to thread the bolt manually with your hands.

  1. Choose comparable socket/ drill bits:

It is important to choose a socket or drill bit which is adequately similar to the air wrench in every aspect. Sockets with different outlets are available for this wrench. Most people make use of regular or ordinary sockets.

These are not meant to bear the cyclic load and thus wear off within no time. With overuse, they become oversized and cause slips. Sockets, which are specifically used with an impact wrench have a grip across the flats. Their heavy duty nature prevents them from any wear, damage or falls.

Physical Mistakes:

 

  1. Wrench Size:

 While selecting the size of wrench, one should keep specific factors in mind such as:

  • Nature of the job
  • Torque rating
  • Torque application
  • Size of fittings
  • Tenure of usage

 Remember Torque rating > Actual torque needed.

Such considerations help you in selecting the right size. The wrong size wrench would not correctly perform the operations. If it is too small, then it cannot fit adequately whereas a bigger one exerts more pressure than required. For home use, one can opt for an electric wrench.

  1. Wrench Type:

Nowadays, there are various types of gun wrenches available in the market, and you have to choose among the vast array of options. You have to make the best choice as per your need. Here are some examples:

  • Hydraulics work best for manufacturing or construction sites.
  • Cordless tools are ideal, but expensive.
  • Air wrenches are suitable for garage workers and mechanics.
  • Electric wrenches are perfect for home repairs.

Each category has its pros & cons. So, one must consider some of the factors while choosing its type such as battery life, warranty, torque limiter, etc.

General Mistakes:

  1. Prepare your work environment:

First, clean and declutter your work surroundings. Secondly dress properly with gloves, safety glasses, and a cap. Well, these are the general safety measure that one should keep in mind while working with any tool. But this wrench equipment demands special care.

  1. Operate it with due care:

One should make particular attention while operating with this wrench. Thoroughly inspect the equipment that it is free from any cracks or breakage to prevent damage. Maintain a firm grip on the tool and apply the required force only. Avoid operating it in excessive cold or wet situations as there is a chance of getting electric shocks.

  1. Unplug as soon as you complete the task:

This is an essential measure that one should know. Always unplug the wrench after completion your work. If you have no other operation, then unplug it and store in the toolkit properly. Changing of sockets with the plugged equipment is dangerous and can cause injury.

Conclusion :

Finally, we would say that ‘Be Conscious and Be Alert’ while using an impact wrench.

Thus, it will not cause damage to you as well to the vehicle or any other object on which you are working. It is not a product that only professionals can use, but a layman or amateur can also operate it but with due care.

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Visit wrenchguides.com

Summer Automotive Maintenance Tips

With warmer weather approaching, our guest blogger Rachel Min of Rayno Window Film is here to offer tips on preparing your car for summer. Make your car road trip worthy with automotive maintenance.

Tips For Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer is the best time to get your car on the road and enjoy some driving. Maybe you’re going to take a long road trip to your summer vacation destination. Perhaps you’re going to drive to the beach to spend your Saturday in the sun and surf. Or, maybe you just want to hit the open road for a while with the top down and your favorite tunes blasting. No matter what your plans are this summer, your car probably figures into them. That’s why it’s essential to make sure your car or truck is ready for summer. The warm weather and sun are great, but they can put a lot of stress on your vehicle’s vital systems and parts. Before summer is in full swing, here are some important tips for getting your vehicle ready.

Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Works

There’s nothing worse than suffering in a hot car during the summer. Before the weather gets too hot, take your car to your mechanic and have the air-conditioning system inspected — including making sure that there’s enough coolant to last you through the season.

Check Your Tires for Wear and Tear

The heat of the road during the summer can be murder on your tires. That’s why it’s a good idea to inspect them before temperatures rise — to ensure they’re in good condition. In addition to checking the tread levels, make sure your tires don’t have any unusual bulges, bumps or cracks in them. Always make sure your tires are properly inflated and have them rotated before starting a long road trip.

Consider Tinting Your Windows

The sun is what makes summer enjoyable, but it also can make your car uncomfortably hot and difficult to drive. By applying window film to the interior of your car, you can reduce the amount of UV rays you’re exposed to when driving. It also reduces the glare you might encounter while driving into the sun — helping to keep your car’s interior cooler during the day.

Upgrade Your Alarm System

The warmer weather brings people out of their homes to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, that includes thieves. Before summer starts, make sure your vehicle’s alarm system is in proper working condition. The last thing you want is to return to your car after a day of summer fun to discover that someone’s broken into it.

Top Off All Your Fluids

It’s easy to get thirsty in the summer heat, and your car or truck is no exception.

Before summer starts, always make sure that all of your car’s fluids are in good supply — especially coolant. Otherwise, you might be spending part of your summer standing next to your overheated car on the highway waiting for help to arrive.

Look Into a New Sound System

If you’re the type of person who can’t go anywhere without some tunes, you probably want your car’s stereo system to be at its best. Summer is the time to have the best sound system, so you might want to consider an upgrade that features the latest technology, such as Bluetooth connectivity.

Make Sure Your Battery Is Ready

Your car’s battery does a lot of work in the summer, so make sure it’s in good shape before the season starts. Your mechanic can test it to confirm it has enough juice to do everything your car needs it to do in the summer months.

Summertime means fun in the sun. Yet there’s nothing less fun than your car breaking down when you need it to be at its best. Take the time to properly care for your vehicle before summer kicks into high gear, and you can avoid turning the warm weather into a hot mess.

Author bio: Rachel Min serves as Director of Marketing at Rayno Window Film. Since Rayno’s beginning, Min has been playing a leading role in promoting Rayno’s brand, products, services and benefits of window films.

 

5 New Year Car Care Resolutions

Emission Time welcomes guest blogger, James Burke from the UK. He will cover car care tips to keep your vehicle in top shape this year! Automotive maintenance and preventative care will keep your car running for a long time and save you money on costly repairs.


With January nearly behind us, many of us will be reflecting on the resolutions we made at the start of the year. While it’s common to make pledges to look after ourselves better, why not make a promise to your vehicle to take better care of it, too? Your wallet and your car will thank you in the long run.

We asked the team at https://www.bigmotoringworld.co.uk/ to provide us with their five top ways you can take better care of your car in 2018. Here they are:

 

  • Check and change the car’s fluids regularly

 

Make sure you check your oil levels regularly and get the oil changed at least every six months to avoid a build-up of contaminants and dirt in the engine. You also need to check the brake fluid, transmission fluid and coolant levels – make sure there are no leaks under your car which could lead to major problems. While unlikely to occur, it’s still best to check regularly that way, if something were to go wrong you could spot it immediately.

 

  • Assess the pressure and condition of your tires

 

You should make sure you check your tires every fortnight, to make sure they are at the right pressure and are not suffering from wear and tear. This regular check can help you avoid more serious problems further down the line including a flat tire or puncture which could be dangerous if you are driving at the time. Your car manual will advise you what the tire pressures should be and it’s easy enough to check them at most local gas stations.

 

  • Get your car serviced regularly

 

The winter road conditions put added pressure on your car’s system with mud, salt and grit all causing wear and tear and damage, so make sure you stick to your car’s servicing and maintenance schedules throughout the winter months. Wash your car regularly, even if it might feel like a waste of time! If you leave salt and grit on the paintwork it will corrode and cause rust problems so it’s important to keep washing your car. Make sure you get a mechanic to check over your car’s brake system in the winter as well as it works a lot harder this time of year so can be subject to wear and tear. It’s also a good time of year to check the charge in your car battery as the cold temperature can affect it. Batteries should normally be replaced every five years but you can get the charge checked over by a garage, so you know how much life it has left in it.

 

  • Don’t let little issues grow into big problems

 

If your car has been making a slightly strange noise, or smell, for some time, but you have ignored it, then make one of your car care resolutions to resolve all small issues straight away, rather than leave them and hope they go away. If your wiper blade is starting to go wonky and the brakes have started squeaking occasionally, then take your car into be checked over and fixed. Unfortunately leaving little things for too long can result in a much more unpleasant and far more costly problem so it’s always best to get them resolved straight away.

 

  • Drive your car carefully

 

How you drive your car has an impact on its performance as much as anything else so if you want to take good care of your car this winter, then drive it steadily and economically. Staying within the speed limit no only makes you a better motorist; it will help to reduce your fuel bill and should help you to avoid damage to your car by avoiding potholes and other dangers in the road.

The more aggressively you drive your vehicle, the more wear and tear and strain you inflict on it, so driving carefully and economically will help your car to last longer and avoid stresses and strains on the engine and body work which could cause problems in the future.

There are many other options for taking better care of your car in 2018 including keeping it in the garage at night if you have one, and driving it regularly through the winter so that it doesn’t suffer from the cold temperatures too much.

Take better care of your car is a great resolution to make as looking after your vehicle better will definitely save you money in the long run. By keeping the car in tip top condition, dealing with little issues as and when they come up and watching out for leaks and problems, you will be able to avoid major repair bills further down the line.

Driving safely not only reduces the wear and tear on your car but it will also help to lower your fuel bills as well, so taking better care of your car really should be part and parcel of looking after the pennies.

 

How To Save Money On Car Maintenance With An OBD-II Scanner

Emission Time welcomes guest blogger Tim Miller, an avid car mechanic and founder of Obdadvisor.com. Tim offers useful tips for automotive maintenance using OBD scanners. Let’s get started! 


car maintenance guest blogComputers are working their way into everything around us, including our cars. While this makes life a bit more complicated, it can also work to save you a lot of money when it comes to fixing your car. By picking up a cheap OBD-II scanner, you can diagnose, research, and repair many common car issues without spending a lot of money or visiting a mechanic.

What’s OBD2? Does My Car Have It?

OBD-II (or OBD2) is a special format that your car uses to talk to electronic devices. OBD stands for “onboard diagnostics,” while the 2 means that this is the modern format that’s been used universally since 1996. Every car that’s been built since the introduction of OBD-II has a plug that can be hooked up to an OBD-II scanner. This allows the car’s sensors and computers to talk to your scanner and give you information about any car problems that you have.

What is An OBD2 Scanner?

On the surface, OBD-II scanners give you diagnostic information and error codes. Your car is equipped with lots of sensors that monitor key parts of the engine, drivetrain, and fuel system. When your car thinks it’s in need of maintenance, it’ll pull data from all of these sensors, turn on the check engine light, and begin outputting error codes through the OBD-II port. You can use a scanner to retrieve these codes, figure out what the problem is, and then reset your check engine light when you’ve fixed it.

Are OBD-II Scanners Just For Error Codes?

While it’s less universal, many newer cars also use their OBD-II port to govern hidden user settings. You can change how the lock button on your key dongle behaves, for example. Most cars only lock or unlock the driver’s side door on the first press. On several vehicles, you can use an OBD-II device to change that and make your dongle lock or unlock all of the doors immediately.

How Do I Use An OBD-II Scanner?

These days, the easiest way to use an OBD-II scanner is to hook it up to your phone. While standalone scanners exist, they’re much less convenient than Bluetooth or wireless models that connect to your phone without any cords at all.

Once you’ve found an OBD-II scanner you like, download a compatible app to your phone and plug it into your car’s OBD-II port. This port is usually located below the steering wheel on the driver’s side of your car, although the exact location varies. Once you turn your car on, the scanner will begin to work.

As soon as your car is on, navigate to your OBD2 app and connect to your scanner via Bluetooth or WiFi. From there, follow the on-screen interface to retrieve or reset error codes, view manufacturer-specific diagnostics, clear your check engine light, and more. It’s really that easy. You’ll be able to do everything you need from within the app!
What Do I Do With Error Codes?

Your OBD-II scanner gives you access to a lot of diagnostic information. Depending on the app you use and the error code you receive, however, it can be difficult to turn that information into a working solution that fixes your car.

The first thing you should do with any error code you get is Google it. By plugging as much information as you can into a search engine (the make, model, and year of your car, the error code, and even a short description of your problem), you’ll usually find information that’ll help you fix things. Most of the time, you’ll get the most information out of sites where other people have asked for help with similar problems. Browsing the solutions presented can give you a good idea about how to fix your car and how much time and money it will take.

Does Every OBD-II Scan Tool Read Codes From Every Car?

Your car outputs two types of trouble codes. “P0” codes are basic, universal issues, while “P1” codes are specific to certain makes and models of vehicles.

You don’t need to pair a scan tool to a specific vehicle, however. Any tool that reads P1 codes from any car will read P1 codes from your car. Be sure to get a scanner that gives you the ability to read all trouble codes, including manufacturer specific ones. Make sure your scanner can read diagnostic information and can reset codes as well.

What’s the Difference Between Trouble Codes and Diagnostics?

A trouble code is a recorded message from your car that can give you an idea of what’s going wrong. While these codes are a valuable tool for diagnosing car issues, they don’t present a complete picture. A lot of the time, they’re not specific enough for you to immediately figure out what your problem is.

Diagnostics are slightly different. Your car has dozens of sensors hooked up to important internal components. An OBD-II scanner can allow you to retrieve information from these sensors in real time. This helps you diagnose problems in detail as they occur. You can view fuel pressure, the temperatures of individual engine components, and much, much more. All of this information can help you pinpoint the cause and location of your car troubles in just a few minutes.

How Far Can You DIY?

Not every error code can be fixed easily in your own garage. Some car problems will require expensive tools, parts, and equipment to fix. When is it a good idea to fix the problem yourself and when should you involve a mechanic?

There’s no real limit to how far you can go on your own. If you’ve got experience working with cars, the right tools, and a couple of friends who can help, you can fix virtually any car issue on your own. On the other hand, if you’re less experienced, you don’t have tools, and you’re on your own, you should think carefully before you invest too much time, energy, or money into fixing your car yourself.

There are a couple important points to consider. First, your car is probably pretty important. If you plug in your scanner and the internet thinks that repairing your car will be difficult, you might want to call a professional immediately. You don’t want to accidentally make things worse or spend days working on a problem that would take a mechanic a few hours to fix. Instead, let a professional handle things so that you can have a working car as fast as possible.

Second, consider cost. If the solution you uncover seems like it’s expensive, call a mechanic and ask how much it would cost for them to fix your car. If it’s cheaper than buying the parts on your own, you should probably take the car in immediately.

Finally, safety should be a concern. If your fix requires that you do anything you’re not comfortable with (like using a jack or power tools you’re inexperienced with), you should proceed with caution. Contact a friend or family member with more experience or call a mechanic and get an estimate. You definitely don’t want to injure yourself by diving in too deep.

While this might sound like you can’t get very far on your own, in many cases it’s easy for people with no car expertise to fix their own problems. Purchasing an OBD-II scanner and researching your problem allows you to make an informed decision about how to proceed for just a few bucks. Plus, if you ever have another car problem, you’ll still have the scanner.

Beware of Cheap Diagnostic Tools

OBD-II scanners are always helpful, but they’re not all created equal. Some manufacturers make basic tools that only can read P0 error codes. These scanners can’t access more advanced P1 codes or read all of the diagnostic information that your car has to offer. Make sure that the scanner you purchase is fully functional and can read all codes and information that your car outputs.

OBD-II Scanners Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars

If you’ve got a car problem, it’s always a good idea to be informed. OBD-II scanners allow you to research your problem at home and find out more about it. In a lot of cases, you’ll be able to cheaply order parts off of the internet and perform an easy fix yourself that will solve all of your issues. Even if you can’t, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision at the mechanic and you’ll have a scanner you can use in the future to help with other issues in other cars. Over a few years, you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars by fixing small issues yourself and staying informed about your car’s maintenance issues.

For more tips on how to save money on automotive maintenance, by visiting thestickvacuums.com.

About the author

Car Mechanic Guest Blogger
I’m Tim Miller, an automotive mechanic and blogger from Denver, Colorado. I’m the founder of obdadvisor.com, an automotive blog about OBD2 scan tools. My fanpage is facebook.com/autozikcom.
I’ve had over 10 years experience in car repair and using OBD scanners.
Some of my review articles about car diagnostic tools can be found on my own website obdadvisor.com

Guest Blog | Automotive & Vehicle Care

Smog Station Quick Inspection Smoky Exhaust Pipe

Automotive Guest Blog Guidelines


We accept content that is about the automotive industry. Please note that it may take 2 weeks for us to get back to you. Once we review your content, we’ll send you an email. In some cases, we may make edits and adjustments concerning SEO. To be considered for a blog post, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Automotive maintenance
  2. Products related to automotive care as long as it doesn’t compete with our products.
  3. Gadgets & apps relevant to vehicles.
  4. Car insurance- If you can provide sound insurance advice related to vehicles, we are happy to promote your content.
  5. Automotive dealerships- Want to talk about the latest cars in stock? If you have useful information to our customers, we are happy to promote it!
  6. Content must be a minimum of 400 words.
  7. Content must be original- it cannot be posted online anywhere else.
  8. We don’t accept overly promotional content.
  9. Maximum of one link to external website.
  10. Images must be referenced.

  1. If you have another idea related to the vehicle industry, we are happy to hear from you! Please submit guest posts to medomino4@gmail.com and title the subject line guest post

Oil Change Service Salt Lake City

The Best 10-minute oil change near you | Salt Lake City

Why are oil changes important?

Oil changes regulate engine temperature, remove impurities and prevent metal to metal contact. The result is a better performing engine. In addition, oil changes are preventative maintenance that extends the life of your vehicle by keeping the engine clean.

Make an appointment for an oil change in Salt Lake City or Sandy

What is the difference between new and old oil?

It’ time for an oil change if you notice debris in your oil. Your engine’s oil should be clear and be fluid. If the oil consistency is too thick and similar to mud, you will not only need an oil change but an engine flush. The color of oil indicates its oxidation level. The quality of your car’s engine oil is indicated by color. Most new engine oils are originally amber in color. If the engine oil is dark in color in conjunction with a thicker consistency, that could be due to contamination. Keep in mind that some additives create a darker color. If your vehicle’s engine oil is lighter than amber, it could be due to adulteration with a water source.

Oil Change Coupons | Salt Lake City 10-minute oil change

Compared to costly engine repairs, Emission Time has oil change coupons and low prices. Emission Time’s synthetic oil helps regulate vehicle temperature in Utah’s extreme climate. Whether you own a Honda, Mercedes, Subaru or diesel, Emission Time offers customized oil changes, too. Just ask your technician. Visit an Emission Time near you for the best express quick lane oil change! For $24.99, Emission Time offers synthetic oil change with a new filter.  

Emission Time is the best place to get an oil change. Emission Time has two oil change stations near you in Salt Lake City and Sandy, Utah:

Sandy Utah Oil Change Station 

Salt Lake City Oil Change Station

 

 

 

10 facts about Utah’s Inversion and Car Emissions

Utah is not only known as a ski destination but for its inversion. If you don’t drive a fuel-efficient or hybrid car, there are ways you can lower your car’s emissions and lower your exposure to air pollution. Inversions happen when warm air traps the cold air, which in turn traps pollution. If outdoor air quality is poor, stay indoors and get an air purifier. Find out about Utah’s air quality.

10 facts about car emissions and Utah’s inversion:

Schedule an emissions test & safety inspection

1- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that half of all air pollution is caused by automobiles.

2- Car emissions that contribute to Utah’s inversion include ozone and carbon monoxide.

3- People who are most sensitive to ozone air pollution include asthmatics and those who suffer from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4- Ways you can reduce exposure to ozone pollution: If possible, only go outdoors when ozone levels are typically lower in the morning and evening. Unlike the inversion, ozone levels are higher when it’s hot and sunny.

5- Nitrogen and sulfur oxides cause acid rain.

6- Acid rain occurs when acid components enter the atmosphere through precipitation. The pH of acid rain is low and is particularly devastating to forests and lakes.

7- Acidity is not only found in rain but snow, hail, fog and even dust.

8- Want to find out if your rain is acidic? Keep a cup outside above ground to avoid contamination from dirt and use litmus paper to test pH levels. If the substance has a pH of 7 then it is neutral. Typically, unadulterated rain has a pH between 6-5.5 and pH greater than 7 is acidic and less than 7 is basic.

9- Ogden’s worst day for air pollution isn’t in the winter, but July 4th. Fireworks produce lots of air polluting particulate matter. Try to limit the amount  of fireworks if possible or go to a parade or show instead.

10- Reduce your vehicle’s emissions by using gasoline additives that keep your carburetor and intake valves clean. In addition, have your vehicle’s air filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent contaminants from reducing engine efficiency. If your vehicle has poor gas mileage, produces a loud noise when driving or has vibrating gas pedals, it’s time to get a smog test!