Show Your Car Some Love

Many people would love to keep their car looking like new. One easy way to accomplish that is simply washing your car every once in a while to keep it clean. However, in addition to washing your automobile, you should also get it detailed. Auto detailing is much more thorough than a quick wash. Auto detailing includes cleaning you car’s interior and exterior and finishing it off by polishing and waxing to make it shine. This service may seem to be suitable only for those with show cars, but an auto detail is necessary to properly maintain your car and here are the reasons why:

Improves Resale Value

According to CarsDirect.com, by successfully incorporating auto detailing as part of your car’s regular maintenance routine, you will improve your vehicle’s resale value much more than someone who does not continuously detail their car. An article on Bankrate.com states that a vehicle can depreciate by thirty percent after one year of being in use and can depreciate by fifty percent after three years of being in use. Usually a new car can cost about $30,300 as mentioned in The Wall Street Journal. This means that after three years have passed, it would be worth about $15,150. On the other hand, CarsDirect claims that even having your automobile detailed just one time right before showing it to a potential buyer can help you sell your car for up to one thousand dollars more.

Protection from Environmental Damage

No matter if you park your car in the garage as opposed to outside in he driveway or street, your vehicle is bound to face the elements. Storms and UV rays can cause some serious damage if your car is poorly taken care of. If you live in an area where acid rain can fall, then storms can huge problem as they can easily ruin your paint job. As discussed in Autopia.org, UV rays can damage your automobile’s paint, by causing it to change color, flake, and lose its glossiness. UV rays can cause oxidation to occur, which causes the paint to become dull. Fortunately, a good detailing can protect and preserve your car’s paint.

Preserves Your Car

Everyone loves getting a brand new car. Unfortunately, that new car scent and new car look fades over time, but you can slow down its aging by having an auto detail service done at least once a year. A proper detailing will perform a foam pad buffing on the exterior to remove small scratches. It will also usually include the use of a clay bar to remove pollutants and dust, such as rail dust and brake dust, that can penetrate the clear coat of your vehicle and ruin its paint. Detailing takes care of your automobile’s interior by removing any dirt and disinfecting the interior, which leaves your vehicle smelling great without the use of car fresheners. Therefore, continuously detailing your car can keep it looking as great as the day you bought it.

In conclusion, the three main reasons that explain why you should get your automobile detailed are: improving the resale value, protection from environmental damage, and preserving your car. Usually auto detailers will have a variety of packages so that at least one will fit your needs and wants. In addition to having an auto detail, you need to make certain that you yourself take of your car as well on a daily basis. Many people may associate auto detailing with people who are known as “car people,” but you really do not have to be a car person to have a detailing done, you just need to care about your car.

A Car Brake Repair Primer

The security of your car is vital, whether it is a Mercedes or a Mazda – even the safest vehicle on earth can have brake failure. If your car’s brakes don’t work properly, the consequences could be fatal. Thus, the brakes are probably the most important part of your vehicle. Car brake repair knowledge is always good to have because you never know if or when your car’s brake system will let you down. If this happens while you’re driving let’s say in the desert, miles away from the nearest garage, you should be able to

  • Perform a brake inspection and troubleshoot the problem
  • Know what it takes to do a car brakes repair
  • If possible, do the fix yourself
  • If not, be able to describe the problem to someone who is able to repair your automobile brakes.

To become able to perform the work listed above, the first thing you need to know is how a car’s brake system works.

A drum system is utilizing hydraulic pressure to press a pad against a brake drum to slow down the speed of the vehicle. Here is how it works:

  • press the brake pedal
  • the piston in the master cylinder sends pressure via the brake lines held by the brake shoe to the wheel cylinders inside the brake drum
  • the friction caused by the shoe pressed against the drum is stopping the wheel from turning

A brake drum is a flat-topped and heavy cylinder, that you normally find somewhere between the wheel rim and the drive wheel. When you press the brake pedal, the friction material held by the brake shoes is pressed against the brake drum. This will slow the rotation of the wheels. A wheel cylinder contains pistons utilizing hydraulic power from the master cylinder to force the brake pads against the brake drum.

Another brake system, called disk brake system is using hydraulic pressure to press a pad against the rotor. This way it slows down the vehicle. Here is how it works:

  • press the brake pedal
  • the piston in the master cylinder is activated and sends pressure via the brake lines to the calliper
  • when the pad makes contact with the rotor, friction is created and this stops the wheel from turning

A rotor is nothing but a circular plate that is gripped by the brake pads for slowing down the vehicle. A brake pad is a pad made of friction material. When pressed against the rotor it stops the wheel from turning. This pad is held by the calliper, which straddles the rotor by using hydraulic pressure from the brake lines. With help from internal pistons it forces the brake pads against the rotors.

Performing this process, the breaking system needs brake fluid. The master cylinder provides this by distributing the brake fluid under pressure, to the entire breaking system of your vehicle.

The description above gives you the knowledge of how two different car brake systems work. These are the first things you need to know when troubleshooting and fixing any problems regarding your vehicle’s brakes. Brake problems can occur in a Cadillac, a VW or even in the safest vehicle brand. There are plenty free resources online which give you step by step instructions on fixing any brake problems that your vehicle may incur. I recommend that you go online and do a search for ‘car auto brake repair’. You’ll be amazed of the list of brake fix resources that will appear within seconds.

Aftermarket, OEM, OE Auto Parts Explained

Aftermarket, OEM, replacement parts–you see these words in almost all auto parts stores online. What do these terms mean?

For a passive buyer, these things are but ordinary terms used in the automotive market but for someone meticulous and who wants the best for his auto, these things matter considerably. Deciding which among these to purchase is just like deciding what car to buy.

O.E.M. stands for Original Equipment Manufactured. This means that OEM Ford parts are manufactured by Ford itself, Chevrolet parts are manufactured by Chevrolet, Toyota parts by Toyota, BMW parts by BMW and so on. The terms O.E.S. and OE are also used; these mean Original Equipment Supplied and Original Equipment, respectively. While in many cases, OEM and OES mean the same, OE is more general referring to any part that came as original equipment on the car. Some of OE car parts and components are not actually made by the car manufacturer but are purchased and assembled by the automakers to create a vehicle.

Those referred to as “aftermarket auto parts” are not made by the original car manufacturer; furthermore, they are bought and added to the vehicle only at the dealership or after the vehicle left the dealership. In terms of design and function, aftermarket products are almost the same as the stock auto parts since they are primarily used to replace a damaged original part so that the vehicle can continue to run. If you need replacement parts for your car, however, you can either buy O.E.M. or aftermarket auto parts. There are numerous sources of aftermarket auto parts. Stores like Auto Parts Discount give you a great variety of parts for almost all makes and models.

Some cars, especially the base models are not completely equipped so users just add aftermarket parts later on. For example if you have purchased an old Toyota Corolla, you can add aftermarket Toyota fog lights, Toyota spoiler, Toyota turn signal light or Toyota mirrors. Aftermarket products can also help you give your car a fresh new look. Even if your original parts are not yet damaged or worn out, you can replace them with or add specially designed aftermarket auto parts like Honda taillights, Ford center cap, Chevrolet chrome bumper, and Mercedes Benz Front Cover Towing Eye found at Auto Parts Discount.

Enthusiasts, on the other hand would opt for custom parts and specialty equipments. Compared to a universal fit auto part, which can be installed to any vehicle make, year and model, custom aftermarket products are designed to fit only a particular application. Examples of custom parts are your Ford hood, Ford fender and Ford doors. Specialty equipments on the other hand, are intended to make the vehicle more stylish, comfortable, convenient and more up-to-date.

Most auto users prefer aftermarket products because they are less expensive than OEM replacements. While it is true that there may be some aftermarket auto parts that do not meet high standards of original equipments, it is not right to say that aftermarket products are generally inferior in terms of quality and style. Replacement parts sold at Auto Parts Discount, for example are made by car parts manufacturers that are mandated by high international standards.

Which is better, OEM or aftermarket replacement part? It depends on the product. Some OEM parts are not durable enough while the aftermarket parts you use to replace them could last for many years. If you want to give your car a different look and also, if you want to save, aftermarket products are worth a try. However, make sure to get these replacement parts from trusted sources.

Ball Joints and Your Car’s Suspension System

An important part of your car’s suspension system is its ball joints. Made of extra tough steel, ball joints act as the pivot point between two parts: the suspension and your car’s tires. This part help support your car’s weight and, as is the case with some vehicles, they may be used to help set the alignment. Let’s take a closer look at this key component of your car’s suspension system.

Enclosed in a steel housing, joints are used on the front end of almost every car, truck, SUV, and minivan. As might be expected, this important component is subject to a lot of wear and tear, so to properly protect them they are housed in an enclosed boot to keep dirt away from the joint assembly.

There are two types of suspension systems that use ball joints. The first is a conventional system that uses an upper and lower joint. The second is called a MacPherson strut system that uses a single lower joint and an upper strut bearing. No upper joint is needed as the upper strut bearing does the job instead.

Maintenance for this component has changed over the years for most cars. Many vehicles come equipped with joints that are permanently lubed, so lubrication is not necessary nor is it even possible as the pack that holds the lubrication is permanently sealed. When they wear out or are damaged, you can find replacement parts that come with lubrication fittings; in this case you would need to lubricate your new units on a regular basis as in when you change your vehicle’s oil.

When performing an inspection of your car’s suspension, your ball joints should be looked at too. Have a complete wheel alignment performed and make certain that they are not worn. If they wear out and are not changed, you will soon experience uneven tire wear or unreliable steering, such as wandering. Clearly, worn out parts are a safety issue that must be tended to and fixed immediately.

These parts are developed for the specific make/model of your vehicle. Many models share the same suspension system as other models within the brand, but to be sure check your vehicle’s repair manual for the right replacement parts. Certain manufacturers, such as Moog, develop parts for many makes/models and can be used by mechanics that prefer this particular product. Check online to find out more information about Moog parts and whether they are right for your car.

Remember: ball joints are an important part of your vehicle’s suspension system. Annual check ups of the suspension can head off costly problems which can also impact your safety.