Octane. You see the word every time you visit the gas station but what does it mean? Octane ratings measure fuel's ability to resist engine knock. Engine knock is caused by fuel being ignited by something other than the spark plug.
If you are using an octane grade that is too low for your vehicle, something other than the spark plug can ignite the fuel in the engine. The engine could even get hot enough where the fuel explodes by itself.
What octane does your vehicle require? Check your vehicle's owner's manual. Don't upgrade to more expensive octane ratings unless your manufacturer recommends it.
When your check engine lights comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. That's perfectly understandable. That same check engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap.
Some people are confused by charges for diagnostic services for a vehicle repair, even though many other services in life include diagnostic fees – things like computer service and appliance repair are just two examples. Even when we go into the doctor for a medical problem, we're paying her to diagnose our ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it. So receiving a diagnostic charge for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise.
How important is wheel alignment?
Think of it this way: Research indicates that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle misadjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year!
Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Some drivers love driving, love their vehicles: To them, picking out the right tire is just as important – and just as much fun – as finding the right shoes is to a runner. Now not everyone is like that. Many people have found that shopping for tires is overwhelming because there are just so many choices. So let’s break it down: there are four main categories of tires, depending on the kind of driving you do.
First, there are summer tires. You would buy summer tires if you’re looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help you stick to the road in fast corners. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain, but really isn’t set up for snow and ice.
How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.
Is it really necessary to replace my timing belt at the manufacturer recommended interval?
YES. The failure of a timing belt in many cars can result in major engine damage. The cost of repairing an engine with a broken timing belt is much greater than the cost of a timing belt replacement.
It’s said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on visual information. Our automotive wiper blades play an important role in this. Most drivers know that a dirty or streaked windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it nearly impossible to see.
Most busy car owners deal with their wiper blades from a failure perspective. They address them when they no longer function. Instead, drivers should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that they should maintain, rather than repair