Learn More About Jump Starting

It’s inevitable. You’re leaving work, more excited than usual because you have big plans for the night and your car betrays you. Turn the key and …nothing. The engine doesn’t turn over, the interior lights don’t come on, and absolutely nothing happens. It may be stating the obvious, but your battery is dead and is in serious need of a charge. Not to worry, a few necessary items will have the battery doing its thing in no time.

The process of jump starting a car is relatively simple and only requires a few tools. The first thing you will want to find is a friendly volunteer. This kind person is an absolute must. Without their permission to use their car’s battery, yours will remain dead in the water so to speak. The next tool you will is a good set of jumper cables. A quality set will be made with multiple strands of copper wire and the alligator clips should be copper as well. Jumper cables should be a part of every car’s emergency kit. You never know when you or someone else may need them. The last thing you may want to consider having on hand is a pair or two of protective glasses. At the very least, protect your eyes with sunglasses or prescription glasses just in case.

Now that the necessary tools are in place, park your car and the volunteer’s car as close together as possible. Front end to front end is the best bet if you can arrange it. Open the hoods of both cars and find the respective batteries. The next things to locate are the batteries’ terminals. Luckily it is fairly standard in the automotive industry for positive charges to be marked with a + and negative with a -.

All of the necessary parts have been located and it’s time to hook it up. The two car’s batteries need to be attached with the jumper cables with positive to positive and negative to negative, but most prefer negative (on car running to metal engine piece in car not running). This is all pretty self-explanatory so far right? Red jumper cable attaches to the positive charge on both batteries and the black goes with the negative. Once the cars are connected, the car with the operating battery should be started. Double check to be sure the cables aren’t interfering with any of the engine’s belts or pulleys. Leave the good battery car running for a few minutes to charge the dead battery. After a decent interval of time try to start the other car. If it doesn’t start right away, check the jumper cables for any corrosion or dirt that may be interfering with the charge. Also be sure the claps are attached tightly to the battery post. These steps should correct the problem and you are on your way to a fully charged battery.

To complete the charge let the recently charged battery idle for a few minutes to fully charge. Turn off both engines and remove the battery jumper cables. The newly charged battery should have no problem starting the car.

You’re off and running and your evening plans aren’t ruined after all. Jump-starting a car is usually a quick process and knowing how will make any driver’s life easier.

Also make sure to note your car batteries lifetime, because when 60-months comes around, be sure that your battery will start to fail in the near future, and this is one repair worth the $40-$80 battery upgrade before it fails a second time. A tow can cost BIG BUCKS and if you feel that $3 per gallon is expensive try paying $2.50 per MILE for the tow.

Note: If your battery fails before the life on the battery, it may be from the cars belts loosening up or your alternator may be on the Fritz.. So it does pay to get it tested.

How To Repairing a Tire

You’re not sure if you hit a nail or ran through glass. What you do know it that your tire is definitely flat. It could be repaired at the mechanic’s shop or you could save yourself the trip and expense and do it yourself. The process can be a little time consuming, but once you know how to repair a flat you will never again be at the mercy of closed shops or stuck in the middle of nowhere. Taking the time to learn this essential maintenance process now will save a lot of time and hassle later.

The first thing you need to do is determine where the puncture is located. A quick way to do this is to submerge the tire in water and watch where air bubbles form. Obviously this area or areas are the place you need to concentrate on. Before the patch job can begin it is important to remove any foreign object that is stuck there. Pliers are a good tool for this step. Simply use the pliers to pull the object out in the same direction as the tire’s tread. Being sure to go with the tread helps ensure that minimal additional damage is done to the tire.

Now is the time to prepare to patch the tire hole. Using a tire reamer clean the hole out from the inside of the tire. This will remove any dirt or oil that may later cause adhesion issues with the cement and patch. Place the patch centered over the puncture to be sure sizing is correct. Remove the patch and coat an awl with cement. Be sure to run the awl through the hole several times to be sure the cement is coating the damaged area adequately. Place a coat of vulcanizing cement on the patch and buffed area of the tire and allow to dry thoroughly.

Remember the awl is still through the hole. Apply a thin layer of cement to the stem of the patch and pull the stem through the hole. Once the patch stem is through the puncture cut the stem off almost flush with the outside of the tire’s tread. The tire is now patched and there are a just a few more things to do before you are back on the road.

To finish up the tire repair job and to help make sure your tire problems are a thing of the past, take the time to complete a few preventative measures. One useful precaution is to take a look at your valve stems. If they look worn, old, or damaged it is a good idea to change them. Be sure they are the right length and diameter for your car’s tires.

Valve stems are important because not only do they function to retain valve core air retention, but they also keep moisture and dirt from getting inside the tire. Once you are assured that the valve stems are in good condition reinflate the tire. Using soapy water sprayed on the tire is useful to see if there are any leaks in the new patch, around valve stems, or the beads.

Having a flat tire is certainly an inconvenience, but some time and a little patience can have you back on the road with safe, road worthy tires.

Easy Steps to Change a Car Fuse

Picture this. It’s a beautiful night and you and your sweetie are driving down a pretty country road. The bliss of the night is interrupted by a high-pitched scream. The scream wasn’t Sweetie; it was you because the car just lost all power to the headlights.

Since the car is running fine the only conclusion to make is there is a blown fuse. Luckily a few tips and tricks of the trade, not to mention knowing where to look, will fix the problem in a jiffy.

The first thing to do is be prepared. The Boy Scouts are on to something with that one. Being prepared means having the correct fuses for your vehicle on hand, not in the garage at home. They won’t help you there. Ten dollars or less spent at the auto store will provide your car with a spare set of fuses for any emergency.

It’s a good idea to store these in the glove compartment if your car isn’t equipped with a place in the fuse panel to store them. The glove compartment is an ideal location to keep the fuses clean and dry.

Newer model cars and trucks rely heavily on their electrical systems. Ask anyone who has worked on them. Some of these models have up to three different fuse boxes.

An easy way to determine which box to check and which fuse to change is using the owner’s manual. There should be a chart detailing those specifics included. If the chart is missing, the fastest way to find the faulty fuse is to test it with a test light or voltmeter.

Now, if the Boy Scouts’ rule has been forgotten, the option left for you is to check them by sight individually. To test if the fuse is blown, connect the ground wire of your test light or voltmeter to a chassis point, one with exposed metal is a good choice. Then touch the tool’s probe to the fuse’s conductor.

A working fuse will show voltage power on both sides. Obviously the faulty culprit fuse will be missing its charge on one side. Fortunately changing the fuse involves removing the bad one and plugging in a new fuse.

Pay attention here. Make sure the fuse you are using to replace the bad one is the correct amp. If you use a fuse with too high amperage it is possible to start an electrical fire in your vehicle and do more damage than a simple blown fuse is worth.

Fuses typically come in three sizes, mini, normal, and maxi. The fuses that are mini and normal are color-coded. The wrench thrown in is that the maxi sized fuses are color-coded differently.

This being the case it is imperative to check that the amperage on the fuse is correct for location. Don’t even trust a trained mechanic, they make mistakes too. Just because that was the last fuse put in doesn’t mean it was the right amperage.

Knowing how to change your car fuses and being prepared for the possibility is the perfect way to ensure that there won’t be any late night blackouts. Sweetie will thank you for it.

Repair Or Replace Your Car

Is it best to repair or replace your car? That’s a good question in this economy and here are some helpful tips to make your decision a little easier for you.
(NAPSI)-A growing number of people are finding that the economy has them debating whether it’s best to buy a new car or repair the one they have. If you are trying to decide between buying and repairing, here are some tips that may help:

Comparing Costs

It is typically less expensive in the long run to repair the vehicle you already own rather than purchasing a newer one. Financing even a $2,000 repair typically means lower payments (or similar payments for a shorter time) than those incurred when purchasing a newer vehicle.

The 50-Percent Rule

After receiving the estimate of a major repair, consider the “50-percent rule.” When the cost of a needed repair approaches 50 percent of the vehicle’s value, it is time to seriously consider replacing it.

Reliability And Maintenance History

The best way to know a vehicle’s condition is by maintaining it on a regular basis and using the same repair shop. If a repair shop knows the service history of a vehicle, consumers can look to its technicians for guidance on when their vehicle likely will need major repairs.
“Following the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations can greatly increase the life span of vehicle,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA Approved Auto Repair and Auto Buying.

Cosmetics

The cosmetic condition of a vehicle can greatly affect its value and a motorist’s desire to hold on to it. Motorists should take a critical look at their vehicle for signs of wear and tear and evaluate how important their vehicle’s cosmetics are to them.

Lifestyle

Changes in lifestyle can be a large factor in changing vehicles. Family size, commute length, recreational usage and business needs are all legitimate reasons to consider purchasing a newer vehicle that is better suited to a consumer’s driving routine.

Outside Factors

Several outside factors may impact the decision between repairing and replacing a vehicle, such as reduced pricing and special offers from manufacturers. A vehicle that could become a valuable classic might be worthy of extraordinary repairs and maintenance.
If you decide to go with a major repair, be sure to use a qualified and trustworthy auto repair facility. A listing of AAA Approved Auto Repair shops is available at AAA.com/repair. Experts say the best way to know a vehicle’s condition is by maintaining it on a regular basis and using the same repair shop.

Know More About Auto Windshield Repair

One of the Most Important & Overlooked Safety Features in Your Vehicle Is Right In Front of Your Eyes; The Difference Between High and Low Quality Windshields

You’re on the road this summer and a rock bounces up and puts a big crack in your windshield. No big deal, you can you wait until winter to fix it, right? No.

A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger side airbag. In a rollover accident the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.

Okay, so it’s time to replace the windshield, but what are the choices and how important is this really? There are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and non-OEM glass, or what many people refer to as aftermarket glass.

OEM suppliers are trusted by auto manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to provide quality controlled windshields that are a perfect match and fit for their vehicles.

OEM glass suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, using computer-assisted engineering and design programs (CAE and CAD) to ensure quality windshields for their vehicles.

Each OEM windshield goes through rigorous and thorough surface contour and optical quality checks as it moves down the assembly line.

Auto glass parts produced by OEM Manufacturers consistently fit better and adhere to the same standards for fit and finish as the glass that is originally installed when the car is built.

There are significant quality differences between original equipment manufactured windshields and aftermarket auto glass. So why then, would anyone go to a shop that uses aftermarket glass when you need to replace your windshield?

The after market shops will tell you that their product is the same quality as an OEM windshield. Wrong. Non-OEM auto glass manufacturers make copies of OEM auto glass parts. These copies have to vary slightly from the OEM part due to the fact that OEM parts are patented and the designs are protected and trademarked.

Non-OEM suppliers must make significant differences in their product so that they do not exactly copy the glass used by GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to avoid being sued for copyright fraud.

Many auto glass shops use non-OEM parts because they are significantly cheaper to buy. These savings are not always passed along to the consumer, nor is the consumer told the parts being installed are of a lesser quality.

Aftermarket glass parts also are not accepted by new car manufacturers for warranty claims and violate the repair requirements of many leasing contracts. It is common after installation for non-OEM or aftermarket parts to have fit and finish problems like air leaks, water leaks and stress cracks.

“Almost 70% of the automotive windshields that we see (that have been previously replaced) were improperly installed,” says Nik Frye, Vice President of Sales for Glass America. “This is important to note, because in a front-end collision, the windshield can provide up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle.

In a rollover, that number can be up to 60%. If customers use OEM glass, a high quality polyurethane adhesive system with a one hour cure time, and a trained, certified technician – then this will greatly improve their chances of getting a safe windshield installation.”

Glass America, a national automobile glass replacement and repair company, only uses OEM manufactured glass and approved installation procedures and urethane sealants. The result? The auto glass fits better, looks better and most importantly, provides drivers with the highest level of safety.

About Glass America
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Glass America is one of the largest independently-owned automobile glass replacement and repair companies in the country. Glass America has 94 service centers conducting business under the names Glass America and Auto Glass Service which are conveniently located in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Glass America offers a complete line of auto glass repair and replacement services for all years, makes and models, foreign and domestic, commercial or passenger vehicles. In contrast to many of the glass companies in the country, Glass America only uses OEM (original equipment manufactured) windshields, meaning that it is the proper windshield with the perfect fit, as specified by the original manufacturer for each vehicle.

All About Rearview Mirror

One of the most irritating occurrences for a driver is to lose their rear view mirror. Not lost exactly, just that it is no longer attached to the windshield. Besides being illegal and unsafe, not having a rear view mirror is a serious inconvenience to a driver. The good news is it is fairly easy and inexpensive to reattach the mirror.

The first thing to do is get all of your necessary supplies ready. A quick trip to the auto parts store will do nicely. Pick up a rearview mirror adhesive kit. It will have a strong glue vial and a supply of accelerant to speed up the glue curing process.

A small Allen wrench and thin, razorblade scraper will be helpful as well. Get together some odds and ends from the house too. Masking tape and, if the weather is chilly, a hair dryer or heat gun will be helpful.

Now that everything is ready it’s time to reattach the mirror. It’s a good idea to leave the car’s windows down during the process. The fumes from the glue can be a little overwhelming.

Use the scraper to remove any old glue from the windshield. Allowing the car windshield to warm up in the sun or warming the glass with the hair dryer or heat gun will loosen it as well.

It is usually pretty obvious where the rearview mirror should be placed due to residue from the original mirror. However if that is not the case use your tape measure to mark a place halfway across the windshield and about 4 inches from the headliner.

Make sure the area of glass that is to be home to your rearview mirror is clean of the old glue and dirt or oil. The base plate of mirror should be scraped and clean of residue as well. The old glue will prohibit the new adhesion from sticking properly.

The next step is to place the rearview mirror. Using the glue from the kit, apply an adequate amount to the clean glass. Remove the mounting base from the mirror with the Allen wrench.

Working with the mirror attached is cumbersome and awkward. Apply the accelerant to the base plate and allow the accelerant time to dry. Both surfaces are now prepped for adhesion.

You’re almost there. Liberally apply the glue to the back of the base plate and firmly press it onto the prepared spot on the inside of the windshield. Be sure to hold it in place for at least two minutes.

The base plate should be left alone for a 15-minute minimum and longer is even better. If it is convenient letting the adhesive cure overnight is an excellent idea.

After the base plate has had adequate time to dry, rescrew the mirror to its base. Don’t be tempted to test the hold and pull on the rearview mirror. It will hold just fine as it is and with any luck, the job will last for the life of the car.