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For the DIY Car Owner

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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.

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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

Toyota Prius Engine

7 Cars with the Lowest Maintenance Costs 2016

Car Reviews

As an auto mechanic, people ask me all the time what they can do to lower maintenance costs on their car. While simple tips like not idling, using the right motor oil, and keeping your tires inflated can make a big difference over time, one of the biggest factors is actually the type of car you buy, to begin with. Choosing the right make and model for your next car could save you thousands of dollars over the next ten years.

For everyone out there who wants to save money on car maintenance, I’ve compiled Terry’s (Me!) list of 7 cars with the Lowest Maintenance Cost in 2016 as this is one of the as compared to others:

1. Toyota Prius

Over the course of 10 years, most cars are going to cost somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 to maintain. The Toyota Prius cuts that in half, and then some. With 10-year maintenance costs averaging about $4,300, the Toyota Prius is the cheapest car to maintain that I’ve been able to find on the market. And because it’s a hybrid, it’s cheaper to drive, too!

2. Kia Soul

While most of the top 7 low-maintenance cars are Toyota’s, the number 2 comes from Kia. Coming in at $4,700 over 10 years, the Kia Soul is the second cheapest car to maintain. Additionally, the Soul has some of the best safety features on the market. With its distinctive exterior design, the Soul offers lets you drive in style while saving money over time.

3. Toyota Camry

It’s no surprise that the Toyota Camry has been so popular for so long––it’s comfortable and affordable, coming in at about $5,200 in maintenance costs over 10 years. The new 2016 model even has a refined transmission so that its powerful engine drives smoother than ever before. The updated dashboard of the newest model gives you all the modern conveniences you could want, including the touchscreen, virtual buttons, and smooth voice recognition.

4. Honda Fit

Out of all Honda’s models, the Honda Fit is the best if you want to save money on maintenance costs. Over a 10-year period, you’ll probably spend about $5,500. In fact, the Fit is a great choice for saving money overall. While the average car costs over $30,000, Honda’s Fit begins at the low price of $15,425. The Fit also gets great gas mileage and has excellent safety features!

5. Toyota Tacoma

It’s no secret that Toyota’s vehicles are some of the easiest to maintain on the market. Nothing shows that better than the fact that the Tacoma, a truck, makes the list of the 7 least expensive cars to maintain. Over 10 years, you can expect to maintain your Tacoma to cost you about $5,800. Furthermore, the Tacoma is cheaper, to begin with than most trucks, providing excellent value for your money over time as far as it is concerned.

6. Toyota Corolla

Like their Camry, Toyota’s Corolla model is one of the best-selling cars of all time. Its maintenance costs tend to be just a bit more than the Camry, matching the Tacoma’s $5,800 over 10 years to maintain. Even better, the Carolla has some of the best gas mileage on the market. The least efficient Carolla models run about 36 miles per gallon on the highway, and the most efficient run as high as 42 miles per gallon!

7. Nissan Versa

Nissan’s Versa is the seventh least expensive car to maintain. Over 10 years, you can expect to spend about $7,600. Like the Honda Fit, the Versa is a great choice for overall value. Starting $14,230, it’s hard to find a new model that’s less expensive and provides as much value over time. In addition to the low price, the Versa offers comfortable seating and more storage space than most cars as they’re well known.

As an auto-mechanic, I love helping people learn how to save money on repairs by treating their vehicles right. But never forget that the most important piece of cutting maintenance costs is buying the right car, to begin with. Lots of popular brands, like Dodge, Chrysler, Pontiac, and Cadillac, run an average of $10,000-$12,000 in maintenance costs over a 10-year period, no matter how well you treat them––that’s over twice as much as the Toyota Prius!

In fact, the average price of maintenance for many car brands over a 10-year period is almost as expensive as buying some of the cars on this list, to begin with! You’ll be saving yourself money, time, and frustration by thinking about maintenance costs ahead of time.

Vehicle Air Pollution

Ever wonder How Your Car Emission System Works?

Car Diy RepairsEmissions Systems

Source: Wonder How Your Car Emission System Works? Here Is How

Easy step by step guide on how automotive emissions systems work, though appearances may vary, the process is the same for most vehicles.




Your Car’s Emissions Process

Step 1 – The vehicle computer is responsible for the emissions produced by the internal combustion engine it controls. By using many sensors such as an oxygenor mass air flow, which provide feedback data for the computer to analyze and adjust engine emissions, which are controlled to within manufacturer specifications.

Step 2 – The exhaust system oxygen sensor is designed to sense the amount of oxygen in the exhaust system and send feedback data to the computer.

Step 3 – An EVAP (evaporative emission) solenoid is used to purge raw gas vapor from the fuel tank as to not allow these fumes to enter the atmosphere.

Step 4 – An electronic throttle actuator is designed to move the throttle plate only when the engine can utilize the fuel being consumed. This control helps unneeded emissions when a driver over advances the throttle pedal.

Step 5 – A catalytic converter is utilized to expend un-burnt fuel in the exhaust system. The unit is heated by exhaust gases as thermo reaction heats up to achieve the design goal of lowering exhaust emissions. By using primary and secondary oxygen sensors the efficiency of the catalytic converter is monitored. An electric air pump is sometimes used to help heat up the catalytic converters to optimize efficiency.

Step 6 – The mass air flow sensor monitors airflow that enters the engine by measuring resistance across a hot wire that is cooled while various amounts of air pass over it. This feedback data trims the computers adjustments to further help clean emission output.

Step 7 – The gas cap seals the liquid and fumed gases from escaping the fuel tank. This cap is designed with an automatic tightening mechanism to support a minimum tension the cap must be installed at.

Step 8 – An EGR valve (exhaust gas recirculation) is use to allow engine exhaust to enter the intake manifold of the engine which cools combustion temperatures and lowers emissions.

Helpful Information

Emission control systems have been incorporated into automobiles to prevent pollution by limiting the amount of partially burned and evaporated gases into the atmosphere. These systems have been efficient in reducing the air pollution caused by automobiles to a large extent. Increased engine efficiency and lighter vehicle construction has also contributed to helping reduce emissions. The different aspects of emissions are tailpipe emissions, life cycle emissions and evaporative fuel emissions.Unspent fuel vapors are known as the main contributors to air pollution. These omitted gases consist of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

Lifecycle emissions are byproducts which are released into the environment during the manufacturing, maintenance and disposal of the vehicle. These products include volatile solvents such as auto paint and lubricants, manufacturing plant waste, petroleum, heavy metals and many more. The name “catalytic converter” was derived from the operation the device performs. A catalyst material converts partially burned gases to completely burned gases.


Automobiles were first manufactured with exhaust emissions control systems in 1966. Since then, technology has undergone several advancements that have increased the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Older emission control systems inject air into the exhaust manifold which are known as, air injection reactor (AIR.) The catalytic converter was developed in the early 1970’s when severe air pollution was widespread and was made mandatory by the US government in 1976. An EGR valve is used is to lower KNOX (NO2) gases which occur when the combustion chamber when temperature reaches over 3500°.

Tailpipe emission are measured in parts per million or PPM. The first smog emission test was conducted in the mid 1980’s. Restrictions in smog laws came later which ushered in the use of a dynamo-meter so vehicles could be tested as if they were being driven, the number of gases measured also increased.


Article first published 2016-02-04

Source: Wonder How Your Car Emission System Works? Here Is How

Tire Blowout

How To Handle A Tire Blowout

Emergency Situations

One sure fire way of upping your blood pressure is to experience a legit tire blowout traveling full speed on the highway.  Your car shakes, it pulls hard, and unless you know what to do you may panic and slam on the brakes, creating a bad situation much, much worse.

Experiencing a tire blow out can occur at unexpected times, and it can get scary if you were in highway speeds.  Today we’ll cover the basics of handling a sudden flat tire situation so you can stay calm and collected while safely guiding your vehicle to a stop by the side of the road.

What Do Tire Blowouts Sound like?

You can expect to hear 3 main sounds, which will vary depending on the situation. A loud bang or boom of the popping tire should be the first sound that reverberates throughput the car. A whooshing sound may be heard, which is simply the sound of air escaping the tire. Finally, a repeated flopping or flapping sound of the flat tire hitting the road is heard.

If you’re tires have completely shredded, you may experience violent rattling in the car as the last vestiges of the tire are ripped away from the rim by the pavement.

How Can You Notice a Flat Tire While Driving?

When you have a flat tire at high speeds, you may first feel the car slowing down as you try to maintain the speed. The car will then pull strongly to the right or left depending on the side where the tire burst occurred. When the flat tire is on the front tires, you will feel this force especially with the steering of the car. For rear tires, the force is more on the body or the seat of the car. Regardless of where the flat tire occurred, the response should be the same.

How Safely Handle a Flat tire

Maintaining control of the car and balancing it is vital when you want to get it off the road safely. In this case, you should remain calm, even while your instincts tell you to hit the brakes hard, take your foot off the accelerator, and swerve off the road. Never slam on the brakes, as you will diminish the stability of the vehicle and end up losing its control. Instead, lift off your foot from the gas pedal, and gently slow down the car.

Holding the steering wheel correctly with your two hands is essential, and it makes it easy to stabilize the vehicle. Gently steer to the shoulder only when it’s safe, while softly applying the brakes to stop your vehicle completely. If necessary, you can then push your hazards lights to notify other drivers that you are facing some problems, and keep them out of your way.

What You Should Do After Stopping the Car Safely

Only exit your car when you are sure that you are at a safe distance off the main road; off the harm’s way. Remember to turn on the hazard lights, and put the reflective cones or lifesaver triangles on the road if you have them, to alert other drivers at a safe distance. When it’s not safe to change the tire from where you stopped, or if your are not sure how, it’s better to call for road assistance.

Don’t forget that the spare tires are only recommended for emergencies, (especially the smaller ones) and you should not drive on them at high speeds or for long distances. If you not aware of its location, referring to the user’s manual can give you instructions on where all the necessary tools and spare tire are located. It can also guide you on how to change a flat tire. However, be sure to familiarize yourself with these before you actually need them.

If you don’t feel comfortable changing your tire, contact AAA or a trusted Towing Service that offers Emergency Rates and support

Preventing a Flat Tire

Since tires will naturally lose air pressure over time, it is recommended that you check each of your tire’s pressure at least once a month to avoid a blowout or a flat tire. A simple, regular inspection routine for wear and tear, slow leaks, and pressure is very important. Keeping your load limits within the manufacturer’s recommendations helps too.

Auto Repair Shop

Classic Mechanic Scams

Car Scams

Taking your car to an auto mechanic can be a little stressful even for someone that knows a lot about cars, but for those that have no idea what’s under the hood, it can be downright traumatic experience.

While the majority of auto-mechanics are trustworthy guys and gals, it can be incredibly easy for a mechanic to trick you into having unneeded repairs, after all, they’re supposed to be experts in their field, why wouldn’t you take their word as the honest truth? As the old adage goes, “Trust but Verify” – so goes our advice toward dealing with auto mechanics.

With newer technology, there’s new scam being created every day in the auto repair world, here we’re going to cover a number of the common scams that mechanics have run on unsuspecting customers over the years, knowing them might even save you from being tricked yourself someday.

Oil Change Scam

“Can I Check Your Oil?” The setup goes like this: When the gas station attendants check your oil they put their thumb on the dipstick so that it leaves a little space when they put the stick into the motor for the test. A thumbs width looks like your more than a quart low, you really need to change your oil now because the old oil is too thin and leaking out through your gaskets.

An experienced scammer can do this trick while you’re standing there watching him, he’s done it a million times before you got there. Even if you don’t decide to have him change your oil, he’ll have some high priced house brand oil that he gets a couple of dollars commission on ready to top up your oil before you go on your way. It’s a good idea that everyone learns how to check their own oil and do it often.

If the gas station attendant says you need some right away, tell him you’ll take it straight to your mechanic and thank him for his time.

“Your Engine Sounds Like It’s Missing, Let Me Take A Look”

Spark plug disconnects are easy to pull out part way, causing an instant problem upon startup. A bad-apple mechanic can then spend all day replacing the rotor, cap, spark plugs, wires and other parts, only to reconnect the part he disabled at the end to “fix” your problem. It’s easy to run up $200-$500 on tune-up parts and labor, especially if he’s jacking the prices up as he goes.


Squeaking Brakes Don’t Always Need Replacement

Many disc brakes will squeak even though they are working fine and have thousands of miles left before they wear out. Sometimes all they need is a quick shot of brake cleaner to remove built up dust. The only way you’ll really know is to watch the mechanic remove the wheel and actually look at the pads.

Disc brakes are usually quick and easy to replace, and high-quality pads can be purchased on sale for low prices at the parts store. When you get snagged at the local mechanic’s place he might be looking to make several hundred dollars in profit on just one job. Meanwhile, a high volume national chain may have brake jobs on sale for $59 per axle, saving you hundreds of dollars.

Stay Informed

Getting scammed at the auto mechanic isn’t fun. Our advice, always, is to do your research on a potential mechanic. However, if for some reason you’re in a bind and need help from the nearest auto repair shop, make sure you stay involved with the repair, ideally right there with the mechanic in order to keep an eye on any potential scam.

Scammers work best when their customers are in the dark – so stay informed and – when in doubt – go for a second opinion.

About Me

TerrysArticles is brought to you by ME!, traveling Mechanic Terry Wade, I’m do my darndest to update the site with the best quality articles and news available on the internet and elsewhere to help you diagnose and fix your vehicle yourself.

Thanks for stopping by!

T Wade - At the Shop
T Wade - At the Shop

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