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4 Tips To Save Money On Auto Repairs

Unfortunately, vehicle repairs are a regular part of owning a vehicle, but this doesn’t make them any more pleasant. For one thing, you might worry about how much auto repairs affect your budget, but there are ways to cut costs. If you’re looking to repair your vehicle without spending more than you can afford, try these tips for saving money on auto repairs.

1. Find Out if Your Warranty Covers It

Don’t assume that your warranty will not cover your repairs. Call your warranty hotline or someone from your car dealership to find out if your necessary repairs will be covered by your warranty. Not only will this allow you to have your repairs done for free, but you’ll probably also be given a rental vehicle to drive while your car is being fixed.

2. Ask for Potential Discounts

You never know if you might qualify for a discount if you don’t ask. Many auto repair shops offer discounts for military members, senior citizens and those who are members of certain groups or organizations. Don’t expect them to ask or give you these discounts automatically; instead, you should always ask to make sure that you aren’t missing out on a good deal.

3. Bring Your Own Parts

Don’t assume that the repair shop will get the best deal on parts. In many cases, you can save money by buying your own. Ask about the exact parts that you need, and get a price quote from the repair shop. Then, call around and look for better pricing. You might be able to find a better deal on new parts online or at local auto parts stores, and you may even be able to find good used parts at a local salvage yard. Parts can be the most expensive portion of an auto repair bill, so it always pays to try to find a better price.

4. Skip the Dealership

Don’t assume that you have to take your car to the dealership for repairs; in most cases, any auto repair shop can do the work for you. It’s always a good idea to get quotes from multiple car repair shops; a lot of times, you’ll find cheaper prices if you steer away from the big dealerships.

Auto repairs can certainly be expensive, but you don’t have to spend more than you can afford. If you give these four tips a try, you might be able to save more than you think. To learn more, contact City Radiator Service Ltd

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5 Ways To Get Your Car Ready For Summer

Summertime is a great time for road trips, drives to the beach, and more. However, before you load your car up to begin enjoying your summertime, there are a few things you need to do to be sure that your car is equipped to handle it. Here are five ways that you can get your car summer ready:

1. Replace the Air Filter: Parking your car in the hot sun is definitely one thing that’s not so fun about summer time. Your car will easily heat up at this point, which means that when you get back in the car, you want to be sure that you can turn up the AC to make your drive comfortable. However, if you don’t change out the dirty air filter, then dirt and debris that is stuck in it will make the airflow poor, which means that you will have to turn it up extremely high to feel the effects of it. 

2. Check the Tires: Checking the tires on your vehicle is especially important if you plan on taking a road trip. Plus, there is a chance that you could be driving during one of those summer rainstorms, and you need to be sure that your tires are equipped to handle one. If the tread on your tires are worn, then they are more prone to sliding on wet ground, so it is important to have these replaced. 

3. Replace Windshield Wipers: Since summertime is known for thunderstorms, you must be sure that your windshield wipers are ready, as well. These should be replaced twice a year, before summer and before winter. 

4. Inspect Brakes: It is always important to inspect your brakes at least twice a year. If you hear any squeaking when braking or you notice that you have to break sooner rather than later in order to come to a full stop, then you must be sure that you have the brakes replaced. This is especially important before summer to ensure that your car can stop on wet ground and avoid sliding. 

5. Check Battery: The battery on your vehicle is prone to corroding during the winter time, especially in areas where it snows because of the salt that is on the roads. It is important that you check your battery for signs of corrosion. If you notice any, then take it to a professional car mechanic who can either clean it up or replace it depending on how bad the condition is to ensure that you do not have any problems starting your car. 

By knowing how to get your car summer ready, you can be sure that you have an easier time getting your car wherever you need to. Plus, you can prevent large repairs, which in turn saves you money. 

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The Three Main Types Of Car Headlights

Headlights are an extremely important part of your car, allowing you to drive safely at night. Without the proper headlights, your visibility during low light driving conditions is significantly hampered, which means that the likelihood of an accident increases drastically. There are three main types of headlights available for most vehicles: LED, halogen, and xenon lights. Understanding the differences between these three types of headlights can help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

LED Headlights

LED headlights are made up of light emitting diodes, which are extremely small, bright, and power efficient lights. Most LED headlights tend to be fairly small when compared to other types of headlights, due to the increased efficiency of the light itself, which means that they are easier to install. The low energy consumption of LED headlights means that you will not place as much strain on your car’s battery, improving its lifespan and decreasing the chances of you causing your car to die by leaving the lights on by accident. The main drawback of LED headlights is the fact that they are the most expensive type of headlight available, and may not be ideal for every consumer.

Halogen Headlights

Halogen headlights are the most common type of headlight, because their low price means that they come standard in all new vehicles. Halogen headlights have a very long lifespan, and probably offer the best cost to use ratio, as they will last several years before they have to be replaced for a low initial cost. However, halogen headlights are very inefficient, wasting a lot of power through heat instead of light, and the halogen inside the headlights is poisonous, which means that extreme car has to be taken when replacing a dead bulb. Halogen headlights are suited for those operating under a budget.

Xenon Headlights

Xenon headlights are basically an improved version of halogen headlights, except without the toxic chemicals inside. Slightly more expensive than halogen, but less expensive than LED headlights, xenon headlights offer improved efficiency, lower power usage, and an extended lifespan over halogen headlights. The main characteristic of xenon headlights is the harsh bright light that they emit, which provides the best illumination out of all three types of headlights, but which can be distracting to other drivers. Additionally, xenon headlights are more expensive than halogen headlights, though not as expensive as LEDs, making them specifically suited for those who want the best nighttime visibility possible.

Talk to experts like Walker Rd Automotive Ltd for more information.

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3 Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Breakdowns

As a motorcycle owner, you probably do your best to take care of your bike not only so you can preserve its value, but so you can avoid the possibility of breaking down on the side of the road. Still, breakdowns do happen, so it’s always a good idea to have both a reliable roadside assistance program and a trustworthy motorcycle repair shop. By being aware of the most common causes of motorcycle breakdowns, however, you can potentially avoid getting yourself into such a situation in the first place.

Flat or Blown-Out Tires

While there are some situations in which it may simply not be possible to avoid a flat tire (such as when you pop your tire by hitting a nasty pothole or run over a piece of glass), the fact remains that many tire-related breakdowns can be avoided by taking the time to inspect your bike before you hit the road. Often times, a bike’s tire pressure is low before you even climb aboard, and the pressure quickly drops even more as you drive, ultimately leading to a breakdown. By inspecting not only the pressure but the tire tread before you fire up the engine, you can better avoid a breakdown.

Engine Troubles

Engine troubles are also a common cause of motorcycle breakdowns these days, which is why taking the time to have your bike’s engine serviced is extremely important. Unfortunately, some bike owners will believe it’s not a big deal to skip an oil change or to delay a service appointment, but in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Regular oil changes will help keep your engine’s many moving parts well lubricated, this reducing your chances of breaking down and experiencing expensive engine repairs.

Alternator Failures

Finally, bad alternators are also an all-too-common cause of motorcycle breakdowns. Unfortunately, during your routine inspection before you ride, it’s not easy to inspect the alternator. This is yet another reason why regular tune-ups and preventative maintenance are so important; otherwise, you never know when your alternator might go; and if it happens while you’re on the road, this could leave you stranded until help arrives.

These are just a few of the most common causes of motorcycle breakdowns. Fortunately, many of these can be avoided by simply taking the time to inspect your bike before you ride and keep up with your manufacturer’s recommended schedule for maintenance and tune-ups. Talk to a professional like Sherwood Motorcycle & Power Products Ltd for more information.

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4 Questions You Should Always Ask When Requesting An Automotive Tow

Whether you have been in an accident or your vehicle simply stopped working, the ability to successfully get your vehicle towed to a local repair shop will be a vital part of getting back on the road again. However, before you pick up the phone to request a tow truck at your location, you should take the time to review the questions outlined below. Asking each of these questions anytime you call for an automotive tow will help you to avoid any unexpected surprises and ultimately ensure that your vehicle gets where it needs to go.

Question #1: Do You Work With My Auto Insurance Or Roadside Assistance Company?

If you are planning to use your auto insurance or roadside assistance membership to cover the cost of your tow, it is important to ensure that the towing company you are calling has an existing relationship with the company that will be paying the bill. A failure to ask this question could leave you covering the total cost of your towing services out of your own pocket.

Question #2: What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

While some towing companies will accept cash, check, and credit cards, others will only accept cash payment. Since payment is typically due at the time that services are rendered, it is extremely important to ensure you have an appropriate way to pay for these services at the time the tow truck arrives. Verifying what payment methods a particular company accepts will allow you to avoid an awkward situation if you do not have any cash on hand when the driver arrives at your location.

Question #3: Do You Have Any Distance Limitations?

Some towing companies will only operate within a specific radius, while others will travel as far as necessary to get your vehicle where it needs to go. While this question should be asked each time you call for a tow, it is especially important for individuals who require a long distance tow.

Question #4: How Long Will It Be Before The Tow Truck Arrives?

When towing services are in high demand, the wait for a tow truck can become quite long. In some cases you may find that all local towing companies are experiencing delays as a result of bad weather or other common circumstances. However, if a long wait time is caused by a simple shortage of working trucks, it may be possible to find a shorter wait time by contacting another company. Consequently, you should always ask how long the expected wait is before placing a formal request for services.

For more information, contact a company like Charette Service D’Auto Inc.

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Should My Windshield Be Repaired Or Replaced?

It’s all part of owning an automobile – at some point you will probably wind up with windshield damage.  Whether it’s due to a sudden hailstorm, a loose rock on the road, or an accident, windshield damage sometimes happens, and usually when you least expect it.

If you’ve never had to deal with windshield damage before, then you may be wondering whether you need to repair or replace your damaged glass.  Although the best way to tell is of course to have your windshield examined by an expert, you can also make a reasonable guess for yourself.  Here are some of things to keep in mind when it comes to windshield damage.

Size of the Chip or Crack

A general rule of thumb is that a crack longer than three inches long will probably require a complete windshield replacement.  Chips are a slightly different story – you’re probably going to need replacement for a chip that is larger than one half of an inch.  Overall, cracks are more likely to need replacement than chips are, but getting an expert opinion on your car’s unique situation is your best bet.

Location of the Windshield Damage

A chip or crack that is directly in the driver’s field of vision is considered a top priority when it comes to windshield replacement.  This is because windshield repair doesn’t always cure quite as clearly as the original glass.  Since windshield clarity is important for a driver, this is definitely a case where a total replacement would be probably be recommended.  In addition, any time a crack is located in an area that makes it likely to spread – near the edges of the windshield, for example – replacement is generally a better option than repair.

How Long The Windshield Has Been Damaged

Cracks and chips have a tendency to spread and deepen the longer they are left alone.  They are also magnets for dirt, mud, and other debris that wedge themselves in the cracks and crevices of the chipped glass, making repair much more difficult.  So if you’ve been putting off having your car looked at, then windshield replacement is probably what you’re going to be looking at.

Don’t Delay

Don’t let yourself be lulled into thinking that a chipped or cracked windshield is no big deal.  Have the auto glass experts take a look at your vehicle and see what they can do when it comes to fixing your windshield.  You’ll feel much better knowing its taken care of, and it will save money in the long run.  Now that’s a good deal.

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3 Things To Help You Buy A Quality Used Car

Buying a used car from a place like Big Sky Dodge Chrysler Ltd in Lethbridge takes a little more effort than buying a new car right off of the showroom floor. Because these cars have been driven and cared for by other people, you must take your time when choosing the used car you purchase. Here, you will learn a few tips that can help you successfully find the perfect, well-running car you want and need.

Research Before You Shop

Before you even go out looking for a good deal, spend a little time doing some research about the cars you like. Try to narrow your wish list to 5 different models and dig into each one. Look into customer reviews and professional reviews to find out how reliable the car is, the amount it costs to maintain the car and how happy other owners have been with their choice in cars. To find these reviews, simply do a search for consumer reports and reviews and include the year, make and model of the particular car you are considering.

This research will tell you if the transmissions are likely to go bad at a certain mileage, if the motor does not perform as well as it should, if there are interior issues that you should be aware of, and so much more. You can use other driver’s experiences with the car to learn if it is the type of car you really want to spend your hard earned money on.

Get the Vehicle Report

The vehicle report may cost you a little bit, or the dealer may offer it to you free of charge. Even if it does cost you a small fee, it is money well spent. This report will tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident, if it is a salvage vehicle, if it has been in a flood, if it was a rental vehicle, if it was a leased vehicle, if it was a repo and so much more. These details can go a long way in telling you how the vehicle was treated and maintained while it was driven.

Most of the time, it is best to avoid buying cars that have been in accidents, salvaged or rental cars. You should never, ever buy a vehicle that was in a flood, as the damage is likely more extensive than you could ever imagine.

Get a Computer Reading

One thing that many car buyers neglect to do is to get the computer reading from the vehicle before signing on the line. Purchase an inexpensive OBDII hand-held tester. This tester plugs in under the dash of the car and provides you any error readings that the car is emitting at that time. This little unit will tell you if the car has any issues that could cost you a small fortune to repair, and alert you of even the small issues like a bad fuel filter or low antifreeze levels.

Once you have the codes, do an internet search for what each code means. Make a list and take it to a mechanic to learn what it would cost to have each of the problems repaired. You will quickly learn if the car is in good running order or if you should skip it and move on to another.

These steps will help to ensure you do not get a lemon for your next used car. Take your time and look at several cars before deciding on any one to buy. Your time and efforts will be well worth it.

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