- Keep your gas tank filled above halfway to avoid emergencies in bad weather.
- Stuck on the ice without sand or cat litter? In a pinch, you can take the mats out of your car, place them next to the tires, and slowly inch the car onto and across the mats.
- Gently rub a small, moistened, cloth bag of iodized salt on the outside of your windshield to prevent the ice and snow from sticking.
- Fog-proof your mirrors and the inside of your windshields with shaving cream. Spray & wipe if off with paper towels.
- Lastly, keep the following items in your vehicle:
- A snowbrush and ice scraper
Battery jumper cables
A bag of sand to help with traction
Extra windshield fluid
A blanket, just in case
Old winter boots and clothes for the trunk
- A snowbrush and ice scraper
It's just a matter of time before Old Man Winter comes to call. Here's a few Winter Safety Tips to keep you out of the cold.
Did you know that there are typically seven fluids found in your car which need to be checked regularly in order to stay safe on the road? We are going to go through a two part series to talk about all the different fluids in your vehicle and share important information on how to check them while on the road. In this article we’ll discuss the most familiar fluid people think of which is gasoline, followed by motor oil, and wrap with brake fluid.
Within the first week of driving you will no doubt learn how to check the level of gasoline and add it to your vehicle, if not, by your second week you won’t be doing much driving at all. This may give you more time to familiarize yourself with your automobile’s owner’s manual. In your owner’s manual you can find important information such as what the recommended fuel is for your vehicle as well as where to check and add fluids to your vehicle. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual, most manufacturers have copies available for download on their website. A quick web search can help you find exactly what you need.
Once you’ve mastered adding the recommended gasoline to your vehicle, you’ll want to get under the hood and learn how to check your oil, one of the most frequently checked fluids.
To check your oil, first locate the dipstick and remove it from its cylinder. Next with a clean, lint free rag, wipe the excess oil off the dipstick. Next reinsert it into the cylinder and remove it again. On the stick you will see markings that identify the level of oil. There should be a range in between “Add” and “Full” that lets you know you have a proper level of oil. If it is in the “Add” area you should add oil. Also, if the oil is no longer a clear amber color, but black, it’s time for you to get an oil change. If the oil level is above the “Full” mark, too much oil has been added and you’ll need to visit the shop to have this remedied.
Keep in mind, older cars can begin to leak small amounts and even burn oil, so you might not notice losing oil in between oil changes.
Next you’ll want to check your brake fluid level. Using your owner’s manual locate the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir is typically a translucent plastic that lets you see the fluid level inside. There will be markings on the side that indicate if the reservoir is full or needs fluid added. Also brake fluid is clear with a slight yellow tint, if it looks dark in color, it’s time for you to have your lines flushed and new brake fluid added.
To ensure the life of your vehicle and your safety, you should routinely check your oil and brake fluid, or we’d be happy to check and change them for you at Fred's Complete Car Care. Check back next month for Part 2.
The high temperatures of summer can be tough on a vehicle - everything from the paint down to the tires is subjected to harsher than normal conditions. Gone unchecked, some issues could leave you stranded in the heat. Here are a few tips to help make sure you and your vehicle are protected against the hazards of summer.
Fluids like coolant, motor oil and windshield washer fluid are things motorists can regularly check on their own. Engine coolant, sometimes called antifreeze, is the number one thing motorists should stay on top of in the summer months. Since modern cars have a closed system for coolant, checking or adding coolant is easy. This is generally done through the coolant reservoir located under the hood. Consult your owner's manual for a specific location. Be sure the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum markings, adding more if necessary. But never open the radiator cap or coolant tank lid when the engine is hot.
Tire pressure is also important, especially in summer months. As the outside temperature climbs, the air in your car's tires expands, so check your tire pressure when the tires are at a normal temperature - before you set out on a road trip. Also, be sure to use the proper tire pressure for your car, not the maximum pressure listed on the tire sidewall. Check the recommended tire pressure label in the door jamb or glove compartment, or consult your owner's manual.
Tires that are over- or underinflated can reduce the vehicle's handling capability or generate excess heat, causing a blowout. Although most newer cars have an on-board tire pressure monitoring system, get a good quality tire pressure gauge - a dial-type analog unit or digital gauge, not a straight, pen-type one - and check them yourself every few months. Don't forget to check the pressure in your spare tire, too. It's like an insurance policy. You never know when you might need it.
Along with the heat, summer also means more long-distance road trips that reveal the high cost of poor fuel economy. So it's a good time to keep up periodic maintenance like oil and filter changes and inspection or replacement of the air cleaner and fuel filters. Not only are these essential to the durability of your engine in the long term, but neglecting them will cause poor fuel economy in the short term, too. Performing regular maintenance means it will take less fuel to make that long highway trip. Maintaining proper tire pressure and using cruise control on the highway can further improve fuel economy, keeping your summer fuel costs down.
While air conditioning can be a drag on fuel economy in stop-and-go driving, keeping the windows up and the a/c on improves aerodynamics and is ideal on the highway. Plus, it will keep the driver and passengers comfortable and reduce driver fatigue. Have your air conditioning system checked annually. If your car's a/c is not getting cold, chances are you have a leak in the system. Adding refrigerant will only solve the problem temporarily, so invest in a proper repair. Some a/c systems have a cabin air filtration system. Check your owner's manual to see how often the filter should be changed. And if you see a little water dripping from your car, don't worry. The a/c system drains condensation when it's working properly.
Keeping your car cool when you're not driving is important, too. The heat of the summer sun can cause cosmetic damage to your car and make it harder to cool off inside when it's time to drive. Protect your paint and interior by parking in a garage or under an awning when possible. Regularly wax your vehicle using a polish with UV protection to reduce sun damage and paint fading. Protect the interior, too. Purchasing a $10 sunshade that keeps sunlight from coming in the windshield can reduce fading, drying and cracking inside your vehicle, and keep you cooler when you sit down behind the wheel.
Preparation is a key to handling harsh summer heat. Following these simple tips will help your vehicle to perform its best this summer. Not only will you and your vehicle be better prepared to survive the heat, but you'll also make the most of your summer by enjoying the freedom that a well-cared-for car can offer. That certainly beats being stranded in the heat.
Spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance. That first wash-n-wax on a warm Saturday afternoon is liberating. Although the winter of 2015/16 was an easy one, it's always liberating to wash away that winter grit and road salt. Surely summer can't be far away.
Some preparation now will help ensure that your summer driving plans go as smoothly. Read the following tips on getting your vehicle ready for summer.
Do you want to excel in the automotive repair industry? Do you enjoy a challenge? Would you like to become an ASE Master Tech? Then Fred's Complete Car Care might be for you!!
Fred's is seeking a full-time general services automotive technician. Candidate must have 2+ years experience in brakes, suspension, and general maintenance services. Experience with tires and alignments a plus. Safety and Emission certifications desirable. We are a fast-paced shop with a loyal customer base so efficiency PAYS! Our benefits include: Health, Dental, 401(K), Paid Vacation, Paid Holidays, Uniforms, Paid Training.
We're looking for a team player with a positive attitude, professional appearance, and a desire to excel. Opportunities at both St. Charles and Wentzville.
Send your resume or application to firstname.lastname@example.org today !
Forbes / Leadership, Nicholas Wyman, Contributor, Sept. 1, 2015
Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. Indeed readers of a certain age are likely to have fond memories of huddling over wooden workbenches learning a craft such as woodwork or maybe metal work, or any one of the hands-on projects that characterized the once-ubiquitous shop class.
But in the 1950s, a different philosophy emerged: the theory that students should follow separate educational tracks according to ability. The idea was that the college-bound would take traditional academic courses (Latin, creative writing, science, math) and received no vocational training. Those students not headed for college would take basic academic courses, along with vocational training, or “shop.”
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We get lots of questions about the differences between shock absorbers and struts. What is the difference? A shock and a strut do the same basic job on a vehicle, damping the movement of the spring and stopping oscillation and bounce. Even though they do the same thing, shocks and struts are completely different parts.
A shock absorber on an automobile does one thing and one thing only, keeps the car from bouncing.
Struts are considerably different. Struts are a structural part of the suspension system where a shock is not. A strut is also a crucial part of the vehicle's steering system and greatly affects alignment angles. Camber and caster angles are usually adjusted right on the strut itself. A strut is a pivot point for the vehicles steering system and contains a coil spring. Because of this, an alignment is always needed when replacing a strut. This is also the reason that struts are typically more expensive than shocks.
When the hot summer temperatures arrive, knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical to your summer driving plans, since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant, according to the Car Care Council.
The primary job of the engine’s cooling system is to remove the heat that is generated during the combustion process. The coolant temperature can be well over 200 degrees and that heat has to go somewhere, otherwise engine components are going to start failing. The key parts of the cooling system remove the heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dispel it to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.
A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes. Motorists should consult their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system. A coolant flush and fill is basic to cooling system maintenance as new antifreeze helps the engine run cooler and a flush removes dirt or sediment that could damage other cooling system parts.
The manual transmission is still a principal player on the global stage, where it finds a role in roughly half the vehicles sold.
But here in the United States, the stick shift has to settle for bit parts. It now figures in only 5 percent of this country's car and truck sales, most of them performance-minded machines and small, inexpensive econocars. "Manuals have gone from 20 percent of sales to 5 percent in the last 15 to 20 years," observed Mark Champine, who is in charge of drivetrain development at Chrysler.
Indeed, the vehicles most people buy, like crossovers, midsize family sedans and pickups, are seldom offered with manual transmissions. And several times a year, it seems, I learn that yet another redesigned model will no longer be available with a stick. (The most recent casualties: the 2015 Subaru Legacy sedan and Outback crossover.)
Basically, it has all been downhill for the once-dominant manual gearbox since the mid-20th century, with a rather dramatic dip in the new millennium. A major impetus for the manual's decline, of course, is American driving tastes.
"Americans, with their cellphones and cups, don't want to be bothered with shifting," said Mark Gunderson, leader of a GM transmission engineering team. The cupholder, he suggested, is symbolic of the American motorist's propensity "to do things other than drive."
READ MORE http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-28/news/52094452_1_manual-transmission-subaru-legacy
Mike Romano calls it a "vacuum," a 30-year vacuum that has worked to suck talent out of the auto repair industry. "For years now, high school seniors ready to graduate have been pushed toward four-year degrees," says Romano, president of the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Avondale, Ariz., campus. "As a result, we have less and less people entering automotive repair. It becomes a bidding war for qualified entry-level technicians, and a lot of shops are losing." And it's only getting worse.
U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that consumer demand for automotive repair is on a steady rise due to a better economy, recent increases in auto sales and a young demographic -- Generation Y -- soon to become America's largest car-buying group. The Department of Labor predicts a 17 percent increase in technician job growth between 2010 and 2020.
Over that same time period, the soon-to-be-retiring Baby Boomer generation will leave additional voids in industry employment. As it stands, there won't be enough qualified workers to fill those gaps. TO READ MORE FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW.
Steve and Chris are both ASE Master Techs with over 30 years experience. Lori is their secretary. And YES there really is a Fred.