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For the DIY Car Owner

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car care tips

Basic Car Care For Non-Mechanics

Emergency SituationsMaintenance Schedules

It takes years to learn and understand how the mechanical systems function and integrate on all the different makes and models out there today.  Personally I learn on average 3 new things a day – things change that quick.  With all the new models and functionality coming out with each new release; it a full time job keeping up.

As a consumer, it just makes sense to hire a solid mechanic to service your vehicle at regular intervals. With that in mind it’s important you understand some basics of your car, SUV, or truck, but it’s even more important you get on a schedule for maintenance.

Here’s my quick thoughts on the subject…

Read The Manual

Sure it’s not Shakespeare, but an understanding of your vehicle’s manual is a basic step everyone should take to understand how their car works.  I don’t espouse reading it all, just understand the maitenance required, and how the manual is organized for future reference.  Keep it in the glove box at all times!

If you a colored light comes on the dash, you don’t have to guess, you can just read the manual.

And don’t worry if you lost the car’s manual, there’s probably one online that you can get for free.

Use Your Senses

Your senses can help you detect problems your vehicle. Do you smell something unusual like gas? Maybe there’s a leak. Do you hear an unusual popping sound? Being able to find problems early on helps you reduce your repair and maintenance bills.

Regular Maintenance And Tune-ups

Even if your car is new, there is still a need to have it checked regularly. This ensures that a problem isn’t starting. If there is any problem, it would be easier to remedy during the initial stages.

Find A Local Mechanic

Even if you have a goal of maintaining and customizing your own vehicle, you still need to find a local mechanic you trust.

You can come to them whenever you can’t repair the car problem on your own. You can also learn a thing or two from them as they maintain or repair your vehicle.

Practice Changing Your Tires

You’ll never know when you’re going to get a flat tire and it will really help if you already know what to do in case that happens. Practice changing your tire at home. Make sure you always have the tools you need in your vehicle.

car problem

Early Car Problem Detection Through Your Senses

Car Diy RepairsEmergency Situations

Driving your car may seem pretty cool but having basic knowledge about troubleshooting your vehicle really helps. You don’t have to have mechanic level understanding of your car. Believe it or not, you can tell when something’s wrong just by using your senses.

Early Discovery Of Car Problems Prevents Major Issues

Sometimes, major issues on a vehicle can be prevented if only car owners paid more attention to their vehicle. Early discovery of car problems can be done with the help of regular maintenance. But sometimes, you just have to know your vehicle.

By using your senses, you can determine if there might be something wrong with your car. When you do, it is best to immediately bring your car to a mechanic for proper diagnosis. Sometimes, there’s an easy fix and most of the time ignoring the early signs just blows up the problem into bigger proportions.

Your sense of hearing, smelling, touch and sight can all help you identify the presence of a problem. Whether you know a lot about your cars or your just getting to know the basics, your senses will greatly help.

Sense Of Hearing

Start your car. Did it start or not? How does it sound? Although there are a few reasons your car won’t start, the sound it produces can give you clues on what problems your car might have.

Can you hear a weird squeaking sound when you turn the steering wheel? That can be caused by a variety of problems like damaged suspension or maybe worn-out ball joints.

You may also hear some popping, clicking or clanking sounds. These can be due to loosened hubcaps, low engine oil or drive belt issues. Also listen carefully to weird sounds when you step on the breaks or gas.

Any unusual sound is a sign that something may be wrong. Even if it’s just something loose, you should always bring it to a mechanic when you can’t pinpoint what it is and solve it.

Sense Of Smell

Do you smell exhaust inside your vehicle? That’s not normal especially when you got all your windows closed. This can be a sign there is something wrong under your vehicle.

The exhaust pipe runs under the car but the smoke shouldn’t be detectable inside the cabin. When this happens, immediately bring your car to a mechanic because there is a huge risk of suffocation due to the carbon monoxide in the exhaust gas.

Another scent to look out for is the scent of gasoline or oil. When you can smell these, your car may have a leak. Gasoline is highly flammable, not to mention expensive, so you should make sure those leaks are dealt with by your mechanic.

A scent of rotten eggs or sulfur is commonly present when the problem is due to the car’s batteries or catalytic converter. Sometimes, fuel can also cause this foul odor.

Burnt rubber or wood is a sign of having too much friction between parts. Friction causes heat which is why it smells like something is burning. This is usually present when you have issues with your clutch or brake pads.

A moldy scent on the other hand is a sign of problems with your air conditioning or air circulation system. Mold can be present in your air conditioning or heating system. There may also be something causing it inside the cabin such as leftover foods.

Sense Of Touch

Feel your vehicle while driving. Is it vibrating or are there parts that seem to be shaking? You can also observe how the steering wheel or other buttons and switches react when you use them. See if they respond correctly or have them checked when they don’t.

You should also fee if your having a difficulty in shifting gears or stepping on the gas or brake pedals. There can be a mechanical problem that can cause accidents when you don’t have them repaired immediately.

Sense Of Sight

Your sense of sight can be used to either find possible car problems or support what your other senses tell you. For example, you can use your nose to tell if you have a gas leak and you can confirm that by seeing puddles of gas underneath your vehicle.

The dashboard is also filled with warning lights that will switch on when it determines that there is a problem. It gives you lots of information about your vehicle like the following:

  • Overheated engine
  • Low fuel
  • Low engine oil
  • Bad battery
  • Tire pressure
  • Brake system and many others


Broken Down Car On Highway

The 4 Most Common Reasons Your Car Won’t Start

Maintenance Schedules

If your like most people, your car is an integral part of your lives.  Basic things, like getting to their workplace on time and shuttling to the kids to their school, just to name a few.

Since we rely so heavily on our vehicles for daily living, your car not starting is, well…a non-starter!

I been blessed to be doing what I love for many years now, and while there may be a hundred reasons why your car won’t start, there are a few that bubble up to the top as the most common.

So while I may just write an article on the wackiest reasons for a dead car, in this week’s post, I’ll aim to highlight these most common of reasons…

Keep reading

Can My Punctured Tyre Be Repaired?

Car Diy RepairsEmergency Situations

It’s a sunny day and you are ready to hit the meeting but guess what? Your car tyre is punctured. We all have been through these frustrating scenarios where one is clueless and numb.

You just can’t waste time blaming the nail or debris on the road for puncturing your brand new tyre. It’s the moment to take action and get your hands dirty in order to repair and get going with your routine.

Before fetching the disassembly tools you first need to figure out that, can your punctured tyre be repaired? Today, we’ll guide you on how to analyze a repairable and non-repairable tyre.

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Transmission in Trucks: Some Basic Info


Truck driving takes some serious experience and skill if you want things to go the right way. Back in the day’s people who drove manual transmission trucks were genuinely known as the only Truck Drivers but that isn’t the case anymore. As technology is evolving day by day with pace many have accepted the automatic transmission as changing a few gears efficiently doesn’t make you the ideal trucker.

Truck drivers prefer the manual transmission system as automatic transmission didn’t hold up to the promises in past. Now here we are with this piece that will reveal you both sides of the transmission story!

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A Little More Info on Your Car’s Air Conditioning

Car Diy Repairslong term maintenance

We are quickly approaching the time of the year where we need our ACs to be literally blasting chilled air through the vents. When it comes to the car’s air conditioning system, we always want it to perform at its best. Having said that, we should keep in mind that it’s a small machine that requires lots of mechanics to perform properly. Also, it has to be kept well-serviced, especially during winters.

In this article we will give you some basic information on your car’s air conditioning system so that you can better understand the servicing needs of it.

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Basic Guide To Oil Change

Car Diy RepairsMaintenance Schedules

Oil is an essential part of car maintenance. It needs to be regularly checked and changed after some time or driving a particular number of kilometers. Oil change, although not very difficult to do, does require some basic skills and high level of carefulness. You can do that at home in a DIY style but that is not recommended as one loose bolt can result in some big problems.

There are many things to consider when changing the engine oil. In this article we will guide you through them….

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The Pros & Cons of Hybrid and Electric Cars

Car Reviews

There was a time when the only type of fuel for vehicles was gasoline. The advancement in technology gave birth to alternative fuel as well. These alternative include hybrid and electric vehicles. The popularity of these cars is increasing day by day as we are moving towards a more energy-saving world.

A hybrid car is one that uses more than one source of power to move. It can have electric motors along with gasoline engines. As you can easily guess by the name an electric car only uses one or more electric motors to move. Both the types of vehicles i.e. hybrid and electric have their pros and cons which we will discuss below.

Keep reading

Wheel Alignment

Yes Mom, Proper Wheel Alignment Is a Thing

Car Diy Repairs

The other day I was driving my Mom’s minivan on the highway and I noticed the vehicle consistently pulling to the right.  My mother, not one for keeping a regular maintained schedule (unlike like her mechanic son :), informed me that she had no idea of what a “tire alignment” was, or for that matter when the last time one was performed.  Needless to say, her car was in our service garage the next day for a proper wheel alignment.

And guess what?  Her Dodge mini-van drove as straight as an arrow on that same highway!

By now you’re probably guessing that I’m a big advocate for properly maintaining your car’s alignment.  Proper wheel alignment is crucial for many reasons, and it’s important to have it done as often as you get your vehicle serviced.

But first, what is wheel alignment?

Simply put, it’s the process of ensuring that the car wheels are perpendicular to the road. It ensures that the wheels are also parallel to each other, that the pressure between them is always constant and that no friction will occur. In layman terms, it’s the process of ensuring that your driving experience will be comfortable and smooth.

Well, there are numerous factors that lead to misalignment, including merely driving your car. Potholes are also one of the primary causes. Improper wheel alignment can cost you a lot and significantly affect your driving performance.

So, why is proper wheel alignment necessary? Here are some of the benefits you may want to know:

  • Reduced Tire Wear:  Premature wear of the tires can be quite costly. One of the major signs of wheel misalignment is uneven and excessive tire wear. If your car isn’t aligned properly, the tires will show wear more quickly as they are not rolling straight. You’ll have to replace them more often which can be very costly. At the end of the day, a proper wheel alignment will save you money.
  • Improved Gas Mileage:  In this day and age, we all look to better our gas mileage and save money. Well, having your wheels aligned properly decreases resistance while rolling which improves your gas mileage. It’s ideally important to ensure that the tires are properly inflated as this will increase gas mileage as well.
  • Improves Safety:  Correct wheel alignment also helps you drive more safely as is reduces tracking problems and improves steering. The enhanced control and handling of your car can help you avoid accidents.
  • Improves Car Handling:  Other major signs of wheel misalignment involve handling your car. These signs can be when the steering wheel pulls to the right or left, if it vibrates or it’s not centered when driving straight ahead. While driving, you may also have a feeling of wandering or looseness. All these signs can be eliminated by proper wheel alignment, eventually providing a smoother ride.

Get an alignment on your maintenance schedule…

If you want your car to perform optimally at all times, you may want to have it regularly maintained. It is advisable to follow the car manufacture’s recommendations as stated in the owner’s manual. However, as a general rule, you should schedule for wheel alignment and checkup every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.

More often than not, car repair service providers include suspension system inspection as part of regular maintenance. This kind of inspection can allow your qualified and certified technician to spot potential issues before they become problematic and costly in the future.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Review

Terry’s Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Review

Mechanic's Training

Ever wondered how it would be if you were to work in a car workshop?  As a professional car-mechanic I can tell you it’s no bed of roses, but I definitely love what I do.  In fact it’s sort of fun at times!  Imagine my surprise when I found out they made a really fun and interesting video game out of it called Car Mechanic Simulator 2015.

I often get asked by prosepctive mechanics about what being a mechanic is like from day to day.  If your goal is to get yourself acquainted with the life of an auto mechanic, it might be time to take a look at this game.  It’s definitely piqued my interested.

So today, I wanted to tell you what this game is all about and whether it is worth getting for those who are looking to get a new game on their PC. This review will take a look at its features, pros, and cons before determining if it is the right game for you and your needs.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Features

At a high-level, these are the basic tenants of the game.  As you can see they’re looking for the user to build an auto shop from the ground-floor up.  Which is sort of like real-life.  You’ve got to build the business before you can do anything and that’s what the game pushes it’s user to do.

1) Create And Expand Auto Service
2) Range Of Cars
3) Use Various Tools To Resolve Car Related Problems
4) Learn To Overcome The Hardest Challenges
5) Get Behind The Scene Of A Workshop

Easy To Play

The main requirement for a game as complex as this is to make sure it’s easy to play. You are not going to be a professional mechanic going into this process, so you do want things to run well and be easy in certain circumstances. The build up of the gameplay is what makes it empowering.

You are going to understand everything, and it won’t go over your head.

As long as you are committed to the game, you will be able to complete the project in front of you and get the car back to how it was.

Beautiful Graphics

Yes, that's a Delorean
Yes, that’s a Delorean

The graphics are breathtaking when you start up the game and well ahead of their time.

There aren’t too many games in any niche that are as good as this because they have spent a lot of time on the intricate details. You can tell the developers spent time on this and wanted to get every detail bang on so you can learn as you go.

Things aren’t overlooked when it comes to car parts and the tools you’re using for the job at hand. Everything has been taken into account, and that’s going to bring a smile to your face.

Plethora Of Scenarios

There are so many different scenarios to work with, and that does make you happy as a gamer.

You will be presented with a range of problems, and some of them are going to be far more difficult than you had assumed. This is what being a mechanic is all about.

Seamless Increase In Difficulty

They have done a good job with the difficulty. It’s seamless.

You are going to get harder issues as you gain experience and that’s going to test you. It is not going to be hard right out of the gate. Plus, their interface provides assistance along the way when you are assembling an engine.

Can Get Tiring

Even the most passionate of car enthusiasts will start to feel the grind of this game. It’s not the game’s fault but being a mechanic isn’t easy!

It can take a toll on a person in a way other games wouldn’t.

It’s best to take it easy on the game and soak in the interface over a longer period. This is going to give you greater value and will make it a fun experience. Those who do get into it state the game is unbeatable when it comes to its mechanics.


Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 is the real deal and is well worth the money being spent on it. The interface is gorgeous, and the plethora of situations makes it a real winner. You are not going to get tired of what they’re putting in front of you.

A lot of people think they’re going to put the same problems in front of them all the time and that’s incorrect.

The game does mix it up, and the best part is, they even use random descriptions such as “I don’t know what the issue is,” which makes it even harder for you to figure out what’s going on.

It’s a great buy for car enthusiasts and mechanic alike.  Try it out and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading…Terry

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