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Archive for April, 2006

Servicing your car

April 27, 2006 Leave a comment
Today’s new vehicles are considerably more dependable than ever before. Before, spark plugs used to be a 10,000 mile item, these days they are a 100,000 mile item. Modern cars are also now more efficient; and cleaner than before. No wonder many among us often feel a certain sense of indestructibility, a false sense of security – as if cars now are maintenance free. If so, it’s a dangerous way to think. The best way to destruct an indestructible car is by ignoring the simple things, such as oil changes. Oil changes are essential. Every 3750 miles, it’s time for an oil change. It may not look like your oil needs to be changed, but there’s a build up in the oil of acids, formed when the car is started and driven hard. Your oil may look okay but it would still be the time to change it.

Here are recommended tips that motorists should follow when it comes to car service:

  • Dealerships offer new car owner clinics – sponsored by the service centers. Take one when you purchase a new vehicle.
  • Read and understand the service part of your owner’s manual.
  • Always keep to a repetitive schedule.
  • Build a relationship with the dealership or shop, and start when you make the appointment — make time to speak with the service advisor.
  • Pick up your car from your service advisor – not the cashier.
  • Don’t hesitate to question the Service Advisor.
  • Know what’s supposed to take place – question any variation.
  • If you get your oil changed at an oil change shop, don’t expect them to check your brakes.
  • Listen for rattles, squeaks, and let your technician know about it. Be prepared to show the condition, and document intermittent problems.
  • Remember that the people who work on cars are skilled technicians – not “mechanics”. They are required to serve a four-year apprenticeship, during which time they have to gain a four-year degree. Today’s auto technician uses sophisticated diagnostic equipment in tough outdoor conditions, works on his feet all day in a hazardous environment – and must be versatile enough to do everything from complex repair to tire changes.

And should you need reliable auto parts like Honda wheels, Ford A/C condensers, Volvo grilles, Toyota radiators and more, you know where to go – at Auto Parts Corner.

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Kia Sedona is tops in safety tests

April 20, 2006 Leave a comment
The 2007 Kia Sedona is the first minivan to be awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety‘s top safety award, earning “good” ratings in all three of the safety group’s crash tests: front, side and rear. It also was the only minivan tested that was equipped with active head restraints, designed to move up and toward the back of the head during rear impact.

Also, the Insurance Institute for the first time tested the safety of hybrid vehicles. The Toyota Prius received “good” ratings in front and side crash tests.

These vehicles received top ratings from the IIHS for front and side impact protection:

Safest minivans

These cars received top ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for front and side impact protection.

Kia Sedona (Gold Top Safety Pick)

Honda Odyssey (“Marginal” for whiplash protection)

Toyota Sienna (“Poor” for whiplash protection)

Nissan Quest (“Poor” for whiplash protection)

Safest small cars

Honda Civic (Gold Top Safety Pick)

Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-2X (Gold Top Safety Pick, excludes WRX and Aero versions.)

Toyota Prius (“Marginal” for whiplash protection)

Meanwhile, you can also keep your vehicle safe by making sure it is well maintained and well cared for. Should you need to replace your Honda wheels, your Jeep taillights, Toyota mirrors or Nissan engine parts, just check out the wide selection of top of the line quality auto parts from Auto Parts Corner.

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Car smells funny?

April 18, 2006 Leave a comment
Have you ever encountered a funny smell in your car?

Several days ago I noticed something like a rotten egg smell in my sister’s car. Turns out that she had a problem with her catalytic converter so we had her vehicle serviced immediately. Here are some information about what gives when you encounter a funny smell in your car:

A rotten egg odor means you have an overly rich fuel mixture. The smell is caused by the catalytic converter being too cold to properly burn off the engine’s rich mixture. If you smell this, you should get your vehicle serviced immediately.

A burnt plastic odor could be caused by overheated wiring. To find out for sure, turn off all the electrical accessories and see if the smell goes away. You can also check by removing every fuse in the vehicle’s fuse box and feeling for evidence of a heat problem in them one at a time. If that doesn’t seem to be the problem, smell each wheel for dragging brakes.

An acid smell emanating from your tailpipe indicates there is a coolant leak in your combustion chamber. If you smell this type of odor, keep watching your coolant levels to prevent a possible fire.

A chemical smell coming from inside or outside your vehicle after you drive it could be caused by coolant leaking from the heater core located inside the vehicle. This could also cause an oily film to appear on the windows inside the car.

A burning leaf odor is the result of leaves getting into your heater duct and then falling against the blower motor resistor. Removing the resistor and getting rid of any leaves there should get rid of the odor.

If your car smells like it’s burning rubber, you may be riding the brakes, or driving with one foot on the brake and one foot on the accelerator. In the long run, this can cause damage to the brakes and the brake lining, which can also wear out the tires. If you smell a sweet, steamy odor after the vehicle is fully warmed up, you may have a leak in the coolant system, which ultimately can cause the engine to overheat. In this case, be sure to take your car to an automotive service center to have the car inspected for engine fluid leaks.

Should you need to replace your car’s engine parts, you can check Auto Parts Corner for the best auto parts you can find in the market.

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One Expensive Air Bag Module

2005 Nissan Altima Air Bag ModuleAfter a while I decided to just go ahead and shell out the $800 (not $700 as I previously thought) and get the brand new air bag module. When I ordered the module at Nissan, they told me I had to wait for it for a week. When I went to pick it up, I asked about their refund policy on it in case the module is not causing the problem my car is experiencing, they said “There isn’t one”. I asked, “So it’s mine as soon as I walk out that door?”, he goes, “more like it’s already yours”.

2005 Nissan Altima Air Bag ModuleAlright… I took it down to the shop, plugged it in, stick the key in, turn it to the on position and start the car. The air bag indicator light on the dash is on. After about 5 seconds it goes off. YEAH!!!! It worked. That’s all it took. Well $800 is all it took.

After all the time I spent fiddling with the wires, checking the resistance and checking the connectors. It is finally done.

I built a page where you can see the photos of my Altima before and after the repair. You can see it at www.mirru.com

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Airbag safety tips

While airbags undoubtedly help keep you and your family safe in your vehicle, you should also take a moment to understand how to maximize their effectiveness.

Here are some important things you should know about seatbelts according to www.roadandtravel.com:

Research has shown that sitting too close to an air bag can cause serious injuries. The NHTSA recommends that you place yourself 10 inches from your driver air bag (measure from the center of the steering wheel to your breastbone).

If you currently sit less than 10 inches away, you can adjust your driving position as follows:

  • Move your seat to the rear as far as possible while still reaching the pedals comfortably.
  • Slightly recline the back of your seat. Most drivers can achieve the 10-inch distance even with the driver seat all the way forward by slightly reclining the back of the seat. If reclining the seat makes it hard to see the road, you can raise yourself up by using your car’s seat-raising system or a firm, non-slippery cushion.
  • Point the air bag toward your chest, instead of your head and neck, by tilting your steering wheel downward.

With children, the rules are different. An air bag can seriously injure, or even kill, an unbuckled child who is sitting too close or is thrown toward the dash during emergency braking. The following safety points are important:

  • Children 12 and under should ride in the back seat. Children 8 and under should be buckled up in a properly installed, age-appropriate rear child safety seat (see guidelines below).
  • Infants in rear-facing child seats should never ride in the front seat of a car equipped with a passenger-side air bag.
  • If a child over one year old must ride in the front seat with a passenger-side air bag, he or she should be in a front-facing child safety seat, a booster seat or a properly fitting lap/shoulder belt, and the seat should be moved as far back as possible.

Always remember, safety first. Make sure too that precautionary measure is take before going on a long trip. Inspect your vehicle carefully and thoroughly. Should you need reliable Toyota hood, Honda radiator support, BMW front and rear lights, Volkswagen spoiler and more – just visit Auto Parts Corner.

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