May 12, 2014

5 Easy Maintenance Fixes For Your Car That You Can Do Yourself

We're not all born mechanics, but it can certainly be worth your while to get to know your way around a vehicle. Regular car maintenance has multiple benefits. It helps to keep your car running at optimum levels for longer and helps you to diagnose problems before they become worse, more expensive issues. Ultimately, car maintenance helps car owners save time and money. However, knowing what needs maintenance can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you are not familiar with the parts of your car. Here are tips for basic car maintenance.
  1. Oil Changing
    An important car maintenance procedure involves checking and changing oil as and when required. Oil changing should be done after every 3,000 miles or every three months. You should also check and change your power steering fluid within the same time or mileage, whichever comes first. There are some handy apps for your phone like this one which will help remind you to get it changed.
  2. Transmission Fluid
    Regular changing of transmission fluid is also necessary, preferably every 30,000-60,000 miles. However, the frequency of changing transmission fluid is also determined by the type of car. You know you need to change the transmission fluid if your car is not shifting smoothly. Consult the owner’s manual if you are not sure about when to change transmission fluid. If you find your vehicle has a slow leak of transmission fluid, a quick and easy fix that might be worth a shot is BlueDevil's transmission sealer.
  3. Check Tires
    Have your tires rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles to accommodate the frequent wear and tear on various parts of the tires. In addition, undertake monthly tire pressure checking to ensure optimal performance of the tires. Check for leaks and small holes in the tires, which could lead to a blowout or a flat. Inspect the spare tire twice a year to ensure it is in excellent condition and can be used in case of an emergency.
  4. Brakes
    Check brake fluids and brake pads every four months and twice a year respectively. The wear and tear on your brake pads is determined by how hard you drive your car. However, brake issues should be addressed regularly in your car maintenance cycle. Take the car to a mechanic if you hear funny sounds such as scrubbing and grinding noises when hitting the brakes. The more you ignore brake problems, the worse the brakes become and the more costly the repair.

  5. Timing Belt Inspection
    Check the timing belt every 10,000 miles. Problems with the timing belt involve costly repair. Regular maintenance will help you avoid the repair costs. The timing belt may not need regular changing. However, timing belt inspection will help you avoid repairing other elements in your car in case it goes out. The owner’s manual will help you determine when the timing belt should be changed.    It's really important to stay up to date on these, particularly the oil changes. Keeping a running log, calendar or a spreadsheet for all of these maintenance items can help you stay up to date on each. If you don't feel comfortable tackling some of these tasks yourself, find a car savvy friend and offer them some incentive to walk you through each (I've found that a few tasty craft beers tend to work really well for this).

May 7, 2014

The Best Cars for Cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The North Carolina’s version of the Pacific Coast Highway is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which starts from Waynesboro and ends 469 miles later at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This summer travelers will be cruising up and down America’s narrowest national park once again for the spectacular view of the mile-high mountains and lush alpine valleys. To make sure you get the most of the trip, you have to be behind the wheels of an awesome car for that sweet and smooth journey across the highway. Here’s what we recommend.