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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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9 Benefits Of Buying A Motorcycle

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a motorcycle then you more than likely already have your own reasons for wanting one. Maybe you’ve had one before and you loved it, maybe you have a relative telling you how much they love theirs or maybe you’ve just always thought they looked like fun. No matter what your reasons are, you’ll be excited to learn there are many benefits that come with having a motorcycle and you can learn about 9 of those benefits below:

  1. Motorcycles take up much less space than cars. When you have a motorcycle you can park it many places you wouldn’t be able to fit a car. This makes it great if you have a small garage.
  2. Motorcycles require less maintenance than cars. Motorcycles are much easier to care for than cars. They have a lot fewer parts and this means fewer things needing maintenance or repairs.
  3. Motorcycles will save you on gas expenses. If you find you’ve been spending a lot on gas; you’ll be pleased to learn that you can significantly cut down on your fuel expenses by getting a motorcycle.
  4. Motorcycles are generally more affordable. As long as you don’t decide to purchase a top-of-the-line motorcycle, you can plan on spending much less for a motorcycle than if you purchased a new car.
  5. Motorcycles can get you there faster. When you are on a motorcycle you can cut through rush-time traffic and get to where you’re going much faster than if you were driving in a car.
  6. Motorcycles can be romantic. The feeling of having your significant other grip tightly to you is a big benefit to having a motorcycle.
  7. Motorcycles come with status. There’s no way around it, when you drive a motorcycle many people will assume you’re cool without even meeting you.
  8. Motorcycles allow you to be one with nature. When you’re in a car you can roll down the windows, but you’re still not fully feeling the nature around you. When you are on a motorcycle you truly get to enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine.
  9. Motorcycles give you the chance to enjoy camaraderie and going on runs. When you have a motorcycle, you will be able to have a great time mingling with other motorcyclists. You can also enjoy going on short or long distance runs with many others.

If you’ve been tossing around the idea of getting a motorcycle, you want to think about all the benefits that come with owning one. Talk to a professional like Motosports of Trenton for more help deciding.

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Simple Car Maintenance Tips

Simple car maintenance can help to keep your car from breaking down when you least expect it. Staying on top of things and doing regular maintenance checkups can also save you money in the long run as the car will run more efficiently. Here is a simple list of maintenance tips that you can do on your own.

Keep Coolant Filled

Coolant is necessary for the engine to be able to operate at maximum efficiency and it cannot operate without it. Consult with your owner’s manual to see where the coolant reservoir is kept underneath the hood of the car. Coolant is extremely hot while the engine is being operated so you cannot check the coolant levels until the car has been sitting stationary and not on for a couple hours. There should be markings inside where the coolant is stored to tell you if the level is low and you should add additional coolant.

Check The Battery Terminal

The car cannot operate with a dead battery so it is important to check the terminal every month and make sure the contacts are clean. Unclean contacts on a battery will not allow current to pass through which can cause complications with other mechanical items on the car. To clean the contacts disconnect the battery from the car and gently clean the contacts with a wire brush to remove rust or other debris that is on or surrounding the area.

Check Tire Pressure Once A Week

Tire pressure has a direct relationship with the fuel consumption of your car. Tires operating with low tire pressure force the car to work harder which causes the vehicle to expend more gas each time you drive. You should check the air pressure on your tires once a week to ensure that the tire pressure does not dip down below the recommended pressure.

Following the tips outlined above will help keep your car operating at maximum capacity, but you should always take your car into a professional mechanic shop (such as AutoRx Repair Centres Ltd) to have it tuned up every few months. A professional mechanic will have the knowledge and training to be able to fix almost all types of cars and mechanical issues that will cause your car to break down. Having your car tuned up is the best way to prevent problems from starting and it will save you money in the long run as your car is always mechanically up to date.

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Three Ways To Get Your Truck Ready For Winter

If you drive a diesel truck, you know that these great vehicles do not like the winter months. Many people choose to drive a diesel engine due to the reliability, lack of electrical components, and better fuel economy. There are a few drawbacks to owning a diesel and most of them have to do with the winter months. Here are three things you should do to prepare your truck for the long, hard, winter months.

Change Fluids

While a traditional gas engine may only require a lower weight oil, a diesel engine requires you to change all fluids before the temperature begins to drop. You will want to switch your traditional fluids over to synthetic. This includes:

  • transmission fluid
  • oil
  • differential
  • transfer case
  • power steering

Synthetic fluids tend to flow better during those cold winter months. You should change these fluids before the temperature drops too low to avoid problems with your engine.

Check For and Repair Leaks

While you are changing all of your fluids over to synthetics, this is a great time to inspect your truck for leaks. If you notice fluids leaking from seals or hoses, now is the time to fix the leak. Waiting until the temperature plummets will result in the job taking twice as long due to cold hands and frozen fluids. While inspecting your truck for leaks, you should change your coolant and check your thermostat and heater core.

Inspect Electrical Components

Many diesel owners forget to check the electrical components of their truck until it is too late. Diesel engines can take several long minutes to warm up after sitting in cold weather. For this reason, you will need to plug your truck in to a 110v outlet to keep the engine block warm while your truck is sitting in the driveway. During the fall months, you will want to inspect the coolant heater cables to be sure they are working properly.

Winter weather and chemicals that are spread on the road can wreak havoc on your battery. To prevent this, you should coat your battery terminals with a corrosion inhibitor and keep it clean. You can protect your battery function during the cold weather by using a battery blanket or battery tender. A batter blanket will keep your battery warm while a battery tender will keep a small electrical charge on your battery.

Don’t wait until your truck won’t start on the coldest day of the year. Get your truck ready at places like Independent Diesel Sales Ltd for those long, hard winter months in the fall months to avoid making repairs in the cold.

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