• DIY Tools – How to Save Money

    Do-it-yourself projects can be a great way to save money. Whether by saving you money on labor or being able to shop around for your own parts, DIY auto repair projects can be the way to help your wallet keep on storing your hard-earned money. The problem that can occur with DIY projects though, is the DIY tools necessary for the ongoing jobs you decide to take on. How can you save money, by doing it yourself, without compromising your saved money by buying tools? Here is a list of useful tips get the best deal possible on DIY tools.

    • The first deal you will want to keep in mind is the understanding that combo packs can save money. As with most products, buying in bulk gets you the most bang for your buck and when you are buying DIY tools, that pattern is not much different. The price of a combo pack of tools compared to buying each tool separately can be drastically different. Buying combo packs also saves money for you by the tools being compatible with each other, or more specifically, their battery requirements.
      This can be extremely helpful, but there can be some negative factors. For example, some tool companies may put tools that you don’t need inside the combo packs, in order to increase the attraction of the assortment of tools, without adding anything too expensive for them. Keep this in mind so you aren’t fooled by the draw of large combo packs, they can a lot of money, but they can sometimes fool you into buying something you don’t necessarily need.
      As stated before, having interchangeable functions for your batteries can be incredibly convenient, so sometimes sticking with the same brand can help with that convenience. It is not just convenient for you be able to have them but it can also save money. You don’t have to continue to buy batteries for a bunch of different types of tools, buying just one or two batteries saves money and space, and also makes sure that its convenient consistently.
    • Buying tools at different points in the year can save money as well, as certain holidays and specials may discount the needed DIY tools that originally can be above your price range. Getting these DIY tools for the best price in the year does take time and planning, but in can pay off if you can wait patiently for the discounted times in the year.
    • Sometimes buying DIY tools needed only for the job can save money too. Always thinking about whether you need a certain tool or not, before you buy it, will help you keep saving your money. If at all possible, avoid buying one-time-use tools. Instead, ask if a friend has one or see if it’s available for rent at your local autoparts store.
    • Searching for the best deal and searching for the cheapest tool are not the same thing. A deal implies that quality doesn’t change, but the price of the product is less than the original price. Certain cheap tools are ok, but many give you low-quality DIY tools that will break only after one-time-use, which you want to avoid. If you know you are going to need a specific tool for your next project or upcoming projects, and you know that the tool is expensive (even after a promotion), then maybe buying a quality DIY tool would be your best bet for saving money in the long-term.
    • The last tip to keep in mind, is always check online specials and deals. You can sometimes find specials that are online only This can you help save money and allows you to really com-pare and contrast the details and prices of the difference brands for your DIY tools as well.

    Buying DIY tools can be a chore but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. If you follow the tips found in this article, when going to buy DIY tools for your different auto repair projects, then you will see the many ways you can save money, both in the now, and for the future.

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  • Know Your Limits – When It’s Time to Call a Professional

    DIY auto repair projects can be both exciting and rewarding, as well as money-saving. Working on your vehicle, maintaining the many parts and pieces that keep your car running smoothly and efficiently can be a feeling like no other. DIY projects can teach you many knew things about yourself and a car, and they can also give you a lot of practice in using tools that you wouldn’t ordinarily use. Overall, DIY projects can be a lot of fun and can be a practical use of your time and energy.

    Unfortunately, though, not all auto repairs are DIY projects, as there are certain things that can’t be done on your own, or at least shouldn’t be done. There are times where a necessary repair should be handled by a professional, such as your local certified master automobile technician. At what point should you decide to let a professional take care the problems with your vehicle? We will discuss a few situations in which you may feel it’s time to call the pros.

    • First, in the situation that may cause you to need or prefer a professional’s expertise, is finding out whether or not your car or the part that you need replacing is under warranty. If either are, then that’s a perfect time to let the professionals take care of it instead of you. Not only is it taking advantage of the warranty that you paid for or that came as a bonus, but it also ensures that you don’t void the warranty either.
    • Second, if in the worst case scenario, the project you are working on wont mess up anything with your car or what you are repairing, and the replacement parts aren’t too expensive, then that sounds like a DIY project you can get your hands dirty with.

    If, however, you see notice that the repair could cause serious damage and any replacement parts would be expensive, then that is a good sign to maybe let a professional take over. DIY projects are a way to save money, if you have a feeling you will jeopardize that aspect of DIY projects, then you would best let the project go to the pros.

    • Third, if you find yourself in a predicament that you can’t find a way out of, during your DIY repair, don’t feel like you must immediately give up and pay a professional. DIY projects can have hiccups but what better way to help alleviate those hiccups than ask a friend for help. If you have a friend that may be more experienced in the DIY project you are working on, or working on vehicles in general, ask him for help. Odds are he or she might just be the help you need to get you through the project.
    • Fourth, deciding to continue with a DIY project or not can be helped by seeing what tools and space you have. If you have plenty of well-lit space and the right tools, then going ahead with the DIY project could be great. DIY projects that aren’t just relatively simple replacement or repair jobs, can add up in cost. Not just the supplies or parts, but the tools needed can be extremely expensive. This can detract from the romance of a DIY project and should be kept in mind whenever you are looking to start one.
    • Fifth, and last, something you need to ask yourself before embarking on a DIY project is: “Are you a DIYer?” Having the experience of different DIY projects can help with future ones and help ensure you are prepared mentally for them. However, experience alone may not be enough to continue with some projects. Some seemingly minor jobs can go poorly and, even with years of DIY experience, may lead to you needing outside, professional assistance.

    As you can see, taking the cost, the tools needed, the knowledge-base, the warranties, etc., can help you decide whether or not you should call a professional for your auto repair projects. Essentially, just know your limits when it comes to your DIYing and be modest. Sometimes you just need to let the professionals take care of things, and give you the peace of mind of a job well done, as well as a safe and reliable ride.

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  • How to Replace a Serpentine Belt

    The accessory belt system is, as with most parts in your vehicle, a vital aspect for your car’s drivability. This system, however, is often overlooked and this can lead to breakdowns, typically at the worst time and place! The drive belt, or serpentine belt, can wear and fray causing most of the problems with the system, but it is always a good idea to check the whole system when you feel problems are occurring within it. Although the drive belt can wear out and cause problems with your vehicle, there is an easy solution and DIY guide to prevent these problems from occurring. We have DIY guide that will help you replace your serpentine belt before it wears out. Follow these DIY steps to replace the drive belt on your car and get you back to driving a fully maintained vehicle.

    • To start out this DIY project, you must first gather the tools needed. The tools required for this project are a torque wrench and a 3/8 socket extension on a ratchet wrench. You will also need a replacement serpentine belt as well. Once you have the tools and supplies ready, you are ready.
    • When beginning the replacement process for a serpentine drive belt, always use proper safety techniques with your tools, with ventilation and with lowering and raising the vehicle. Also, make sure you have a first-aid kit ready in case of an accident or emergency.
    • As you start the project, visual inspection of the serpentine belt will testify the need for a new one. Normally, around 80,000 km, you will notice the belt wearing and the ribs will start to compromise. Of course, if the belt is slipping or making noise, this is a good indication that it needs to be replaced. If you notice these symptoms, then you can be assured that you are making a good decision in replacing your drive belt.
    • Now, the first step in actually replacing the drive belt, is removing the old one. You will need to locate the correct pulley to release belt tension in the system. You can normally find decal diagrams on or near the engine, and they should explain which direction the pulley should go for tension. You may also find the belt routing information in the owners’ manual.
    • That you have found the right hole to release the tension, attach your socket wrench to it and pull the handle in the direction of the diagram’s arrow. This should release the tension on the serpentine belt and allow you to slide it off the pulleys, as you continue to hold the handle back. Once the belt is off, slowly release the tensioner. After doing the, work the belt through and around the fan and pulleys until it is completely free. You have now successfully removed a serpentine drive belt.
    • The next step in the serpentine belt replacement process is the replacement To attach it, wrap it around all the pulleys following the same pattern as the old one, only let the backside of the belt, where there are no ridges, be the final part to put on. Then, pulling back on the handle to release the pressure and tension on the pulleys, slide on the last part of the drive belt. Understandably, before letting the handle back up, make sure the belt is on securely and is situated into all the grooves on the pulley. If the belt is not secure, then when tension falls upon the drive belt, it could cause serious injury. When replacing the serpentine belt, it may be a good idea to replace the automatic belt tensioner as well. If the tensioner is not also kept up to date, then it could render your work with the belt futile.

    Following these steps and applying these tips in replacing your serpentine drive belt will get you back to the days of a little less belt and a little more drive.

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  • How to Bleed Brakes Quickly and Easily

    When you hear the word bleed it oftentimes means something dangerous and gory, but when it comes to brakes, it means something quite the opposite. You should bleed your brakes every two or three years, flushing them oxidized brake fluid, for the safety of you and your passengers. You may need to bleed brakes if you replace a caliper or if there is a brake fluid leak. Air in the system robs your brakes of stopping power, and can be a dangerous situation. Bleeding brakes isn’t particularly difficult, but with the right tools and the following steps, we will have you bleeding your brakes like a pro. (Keep in mind that some newer cars may not respond to this method, particularly those with electro-hydraulic brake boosters instead of vacuum brake boosters, as they require scan-tool activation to properly flush the master cylinder.)

    Brake fluid is literally the blood of your brakes and can mean the difference between stopping on a dime and not stopping, maybe never. This means, just like your own blood, your brake fluid must be working and in perfect health, for the safety of everyone in and around your car. The fluid, unfortunately, can become contaminated by dirt and other abrasive particles, and also absorb moisture, which can accelerate corrosion or even boil. These can lead to future issues and poor braking quality, so replacing your old brake fluid during the bleeding process may be a necessity.

    • Using a couple brand new cans of brake fluid, you will want to properly bleed brakes with the car in the air and the wheels off. This can be done with the wheels on but you have to be sure you can attach a wrench to the bleeder valves.
    • Once you are with the bleeder valves, you need to find out if you can loosen them. Using a box wrench, and avoiding the use of a crescent wrench or Vise-Grips, try to loosen the bolts. You may need some penetrating oil and a hammer to motivate the valve into loosening, but keep the bleeder valve closed for now. If you can’t remove the bleeder valves, without breaking them, then you will need to replace you brake calipers or wheel cylinders, adding an additional headache to the process. This may be the time to call the professionals.
    • If you were successful in loosening all four bleeder valves, move on to the master cylinder reservoir. You will need suction gun or similar tool, such as a turkey baster (but don’t put it back in the kitchen drawer when you’re done), to suck out the old fluid from the master cylinder reservoir. Use a rag to clean out any leftover sediment from the reservoir, making sure not to drip the brake fluid anywhere.
    • Using a clear piece of plastic tubing, put one end of it over the recently loosened bleeder valve on the right rear brake caliper or wheel cylinder (that is, the passenger side rear brake), and put the other end into a bottle with an inch of new brake fluid in it. Make sure the tube stays below the level of the fluid, to keep air from drawing back into the system. Put a small block of wood under the brake pedal to prevent it from going all the way to the floor, which could damage the seals in the master cylinder. Add brake fluid into the master cylinder, as you want to ensure no air gets into the system again.
    • You will need a friend for the next step, someone you can trust implicitly to follow instructions. Have them sit in the driver’s seat, listening to your commands. You will tell them to press in on the brake, with enough force to bring your car to a stop, if you were out driving it on a roadway. Let them know that the pedal will sink, and they need to continuously put pressure on it.
    • You should see the old fluid start bleeding into to the bottle. When it stops, close the bleeder valve and let your friend know to lift the pedal. Keep following this process, watching for new fluid to start coming out. Do this on each wheel and it is extremely important for you to keep the reservoir full during this, to keep air out. Do not let it get below halfway.
    • Repeat bleeding brakes, continuing on the left rear (driver side rear brake), then right front (passenger side front brake), and finishing with the left front (driver side front brake). Finally, top off the brake master cylinder reservoir with fresh brake fluid to the “FULL” marking.

    If you stick to these steps to bleed brakes on your vehicle, you will be well on your way to achieving, yet another, impressive DIY victory.

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  • How to Choose a Car Jack and Jack Stands for DIY Auto Repair

    Oftentimes, when doing DIY auto repair, the one aspect that you may not notice you use and need for most projects, is a car jack. We take for granted the one tool that can actually lift your car off the ground and allows a safe and comfortable environment for you to work in. In order for a car jack to provide that safety, however, the right jack must be in your possession. There is no one-jack-fits-all kind of jack, especially if you just accept the cheapest, most portable jack you can find. So what car jack should you get that will make your DIY auto repair project a safe project? …a car jack that gives you the peace of mind so you can focus on the work and not worry about any danger? Let us take a look at a few different jacks and lifting techniques that can be used to match your DIY auto repair needs.

    • Jack stands are a type of safety equipment that by definition are life savers. As their name implies, they are just stands that are a support after your car has already been lifted off the ground. They are often overlooked by those working under their vehicle, but jack stands are just one failed jack away from being the tool you owe your life to. So before you life your car to do any DIY auto repair job, be safe by making sure you have jack stands ready to place underneath.
    • An interesting alternative to lifting the vehicle off the ground, which some DIY mechanics forget about, are ramps. They don’t allow you to do much work on the wheels or brakes necessarily, but for most projects under the vehicle, especially towards the front, ramps are safer to use than a car jack. If you use ramps, always remember to use wheel chocks and set the parking brake, as well.
    • Floor jacks are the most common lifting tool used on both DIY auto repair and regular maintenance. Many floor jacks come with the car, often as mobile tools, useful for changing a tire and other situations where working around the tire area is necessary. These car jacks are not safe for working under the car as they have a small surface area on the lifting pad and are not rated for any in-depth repair conditions. If you are wanting to use a floor jack, make sure to go out and buy one that is designed for working under a car, and as stated previously, always use jack stands with them.
    • Bottle jacks are small, funny looking, and extremely powerful lifting tools. They can lift more than many floor jacks can, but because of their compact size and shape, they may not be as stable. You will also want to ensure the bottle jack is on a flat, strong surface, for your safety. It is particularly important for you to accompany bottle jacks with jack stands, as they offer even less stability than floor jacks.
    • There are some specialized jacks that are made specifically for a DIY auto repair project, and can make your job considerably smoother than previous situations without the jacks. Just because these jacks were made for the specific projects you need them for, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use caution. All car jacks have a crushing hazard, and therefore taking necessary precautions before and during the project is very important.

    Just as a car jack can make a DIY auto repair situation safe, it can also make it extremely dangerous. Choosing the right jack, and practicing safe lifting techniques, can make your DIY auto repair project an enjoyable one and get you out from under your car in one piece.

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  • How to Replace Door Seals (Toyota / Lexus)

    That cool winter chill or the whistle of a summer breeze is creeping its way into your car through a crack in the door seals. You have grown so accustomed to the noise and the chill that you have almost forgotten it is there. Finally, though, you open your door to head out about your day and suddenly, without warning, the rest of your door seal falls off. How do you replace your door seals and eliminate the uninvited air problem from your car door? Let us take a look at our DIY step-by-step guide, to help you get back to the air-tight seal of a time long gone.

    • First, you will want the necessary tools for completing this project. You will need a ratchet wrench, with a long extension bar, and a 10mm socket on the end. You will also need a pair of pliers, preferably needle nose, as those fit this project better than another kind of pliers. Once you have grabbed the right tools, it is time to move on to the next step.
    • Second, after seeing where the seals you need to, and or want to replace are at, you are ready to begin disassembling. For the door seals, you will need to remove the bolt that keeps the door from opening too wide.
    • Third, removing the door seals themselves is actually relatively easy, and normally can just be pulled right off door. It should just pop off the top, and then pull off little white or blue buttons on the side of the door. You can pull the buttons out with some pliers if they are stubborn.
    • Fourth, since we have removed the bolt from the door, pulling the rest of the door seal off should be an easy job. Just wrap the seal around the conjoined bolt area of the door and car.
    • Fifth, Now that the old seal has been removed, it is time to insert the new door seal. Snap the seal at the top corner first, while tucking the back side of the seal underneath the ridge of the door. Then, tuck in the front side under the small metal lip on the door. Do this on the top of the door first, then move your way down the side of the door, about halfway.
    • Sixth, now that you have reached the bolt from the start of the process, where you had removed it in order to swing the door farther, this is where you need to wrap the seal around. Slide the seal around the arm coming from the bolt and then snap the seal into the grooves.
    • Seventh, pop in the rest of the seal with your white or blue buttons, and then the outer seal is finished!
    • Eighth, the inner seal that is on the car itself is even easier to remove, as it pulls straight off. You will have to remove part of the trim, simply popping it off, then pull the seal free.
    • Ninth, adding the new door seal is easy as well. Line the corner of the seal at the corner of the car doorway and then move your way down and around the doorway, pushing in the seal. If it is too long you may have to cut it to size, although some seals come with a split so no cutting is necessary.
    • Tenth, all that is left is reinserting the trim piece and installing the bolt for the door. Once you have done this, just clean up your tools, check to make sure the seal is tight, and you are good to go!

    Replacing your door seals is an easy DIY project that some places will overcharge you for. If you follow these simple steps in replacing your door seals, you will be well on your way to saving yourself money, and keeping the cold air outside.

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  • Wheel Alignment – Do You Need One?

    When you are driving down the road, most likely on the highway, do you notice your car pulling either to the left or to the right? Maybe it is not necessarily pulling but rather, drifting, if you let the steering wheel go for a second? This phenomenon is a sign that you may be due for a wheel alignment.

    Other symptoms that help confirm your vehicle needs a wheel alignment are: after visual inspection and comparison of your tires, you notice uneven tire wear pattern between them; you may possibly even feel or hear a vibration while driving down the road; or your steering wheel may be crooked while you are driving straight on a straightaway. If you have these symptoms, does it really mean you need a wheel alignment?

    These vehicle symptoms, like any cold or flu symptom a person may have, are not just inconveniences that can simply be shrugged off and endured without consequences. Like a cold or a flu, if you ignore the symptoms of a wheel alignment problem, oftentimes they can escalate and cause worse issues for you and your vehicle. Let’s discuss a few of the reasons why getting a wheel alignment is a necessity and not just a suggestion.

    • You may consistently and on a regular basis bring your car in for a tire rotation, thinking that will help your vehicle’s tires last longer. While getting a rotation is an excellent idea, if you have a wheel alignment problem, then your tires can still wear incorrectly and shred earlier than designed or expected. Getting a wheel alignment helps make sure tire rotations are worth your time and effort.
    • Many times, when you buy tires, they come with a warranty or lifetime certificate. This warranty may stipulate getting occasional wheel alignments, to help the tires wear the way they were supposed to. If you avoid getting a wheel alignment, especially after noticing different alignment issues and symptoms, you could void the warranty. Having periodic wheel alignments can save you in the long run, by helping you keep your warranty up-to-date.
    • As some of the symptoms we talked about earlier included a pull to the side while driving, a wheel alignment can help alleviate that problem. Being able to concentrate on your surroundings and where you are going, is far more important than trying to make sure you stay within the driving lines.
    • A benefit from getting a wheel alignment, that everyone would appreciate, is the improvement in gas mileage. If your car has wheel alignment problems, then it has to output more energy towards where it is trying to go, as opposed to using that energy more efficiently towards where it is actually This benefit alone may not necessarily make a wheel alignment imperative, but in the long run, it will help you save a lot of money on gas.
    • The worst case scenario having a bad wheel alignment could cause, is messing up other parts of the car. A bad wheel alignment can make your car shake and move in ways it shouldn’t, which can cause different things in your vehicle to wear out quicker. Although this is in the most extreme situations, getting a wheel alignment can save you from your worst nightmare becoming your worst reality.

    Wheel alignments have many benefits that make them more than just a suggestion. Both in short-term and the long-term, having a wheel alignment can save you money and headaches. Although alignment prices vary in different areas, the varying prices do not change the fact that getting an alignment will improve both you and your tires’ lives.

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  • How to Replace Transfer Case Oil (07-14 Toyota Tundra 4×4)

    If you are planning to replace your Toyota Tundra’s transfer case oil, you will want to follow this easy do-it-yourself guide that will help you change the oil with ease. This guide is specifically designed for Toyota Tundra 4x4s 2007-2014.

    • As you start this project, you will first want to head to a local auto parts store and pick up some 75W-90 gear oil (Check your maintenance manual to confirm type and quantity) and a fluid transfer pump, to replace the old oil. You will also need ratchets, 12 mm and 24 mm sockets, a torque wrench, and possibly a breaker bar. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need an oil drain pan, to catch the old oil and overflow from adding new oil, and some rags for cleanup. Once you have your tools and oil ready, go ahead and head on under your Toyota Tundra 4×4. When working under a car, be careful of the tight space and any dirt or oil falling from above you. Wear proper safety glasses and you may want to have a mat for laying on, while working under your vehicle.
    • Now that you are under your vehicle, looking at your transfer case, you will see the transfer case skid plate. It will be held in place by two to four 12 mm bolts. Use your 12 mm socket to take them out and pull the skid plate off.
    • Once your transfer case’s skid plate is off, you will want to switch the 12 mm socket out for the 24 mm. You may also want to switch to the breaker bar for taking out the transfer case drain and fill plugs, as they are usually exceptionally tight. When removing the first plug, the fill plug, it may have some oil drip down so have some rags or the oil pan ready to catch the oil. Once that has drained a little bit, it is time to remove the drain plug.
    • The drain plug has fluid behind it, so be sure to use caution when removing it. It is best to have the drain pan already in position, as there will be a lot more fluid behind the drain plug than there was behind the fill one. After setting the pan in position, use your breaker bar with the 24 mm socket to break the drain plug loose. Now that the plug is loose, slowly unscrew it as this will make it far easier in controlling the flow of the oil. This may take a little time to drain so while it is draining, prepare your new oil and transfer oil pump.
    • After it has finished draining, wipe the holes for the fill plug and the drain plug, and clean the drain plug magnet. Then, insert the drain plug back to its proper place. Torque it to 27 ft lbs. When the drain plug is tightened, you will now want to top off the oil with around 1.2 quarts. Do this by inserting the transfer pump hose into the fill hole, and allow the oil to fill until it starts coming out of the hole. Wipe off the excess oil on the edge of the hole and insert your fill plug. Torque the fill plug the same as the drain plug, at 27 ft lb.
    • You are now ready to reinstall the skid plate. You will want to apply Loctite to the skid plate bolts, to keep them from coming loose while driving. Tighten the bolts and you are good to go!

    Replacing your transfer case oil is a do-it-yourself project that can be done in just a few minutes. Use these steps and you will be ready to give your vehicle the new transfer case oil, to keep your car maintained for all your future drives.

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  • Oil Change – Should You Use Synthetic Oil?

    Ever wondered if there was difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil, other than the price tag? There are many rumors and stories you may have heard about synthetic oil that may have portrayed it as either being useless, or worse, harmful to your engine. What is the real story, though? Is there really any difference that would make synthetic a good choice?

    First, the price difference is explained by an actual product difference and not just some scam to get people to buy a so-called “premium” product. “Conventional” simply refers to its origin, that is, oil refined directly from crude petroleum, you know, the stuff that comes out of the ground. “Synthetic” oil is also exactly what the name implies, being synthesized from other sources, like methane, carbon monoxide, or carbon dioxide.

    The question on everyone’s mind is, “Do the different ingredients and processes actually make a difference for your engine?” The benefits can result in a turnaround, making the cost not only worth it but in the long run save you more than you put in to pay for the synthetic oil.

    For example:

    • Synthetic oil contains very few impurities which helps it last longer in your engine. This may seem like a less important reason to prove synthetic is worth getting. In reality though, if your oil lasts longer in your engine then oil changes aren’t needed as often. This can save you both time, money, and the hassle of changing your oil as frequently as if you had conventional oil.
    • According to Florida Synthetics, synthetic oil is more uniform in molecular structure which ultimately lets it flow allowing your engine to have more power and better fuel efficiency.
    • Synthetic oil can also dissolve contaminated particles left by oxidized and older conventional oils before it. This can result in a healthier engine, which means a longer-lasting engine.

    Increasing your fuel efficiency can save you daily, lessening the amount of oil changes you have a year can save you annually, and improving your engines health can save you indefinitely! This can make the price of the synthetic oil more of an investment than an overcharge. What about all the negative reports about synthetic oil? Is there any reason why you shouldn’t use it instead of just sticking with conventional oil? There aren’t as many drawbacks to synthetic oil as you might think.

    For example:

    • Many people believe that synthetic oil causes oil leaks, that weren’t there when they used conventional oil. Synthetic oil does flow better, which can lead to you finding old, faulty or failing oil seals. These should be replaced anyways and, if your car is maintained regularly, it is unlikely to cause a problem.
    • Many people believe that there car is just too old or just wasn’t maintained well before and so they don’t need to switch to synthetic. There are many aspects of synthetic oil that can make it worthwhile in practically any car or engine. Synthetic oil can still bring all the elements it brings to newer cars, like the better gas mileage, longer engine life, etc.

    With the many benefits that synthetic oil brings to the table, it can be a valuable decision to switch to it on your next oil change. However, there are some reasons why switching may not be best for you or your car.

    For example:

    • Synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil and even with all the long term benefits, it still is money out of your pocket right now. If you keep your engine maintained and regularly have your oil changed then you can keep your engine running well. The qualities of synthetic oil are designed to keep your engine running as efficiently as possible, and if you don’t have the ability to switch to synthetic right now then don’t feel like conventional oil will make your engine breakdown.
    • Some engines can’t actually take synthetic, and if this is the case, the benefits that synthetic has on other cars will not help these engines. If you aren’t sure what engine you have, talk with a mechanic or look it up in your manual.

    As you can see there are reasons why you would want to switch to synthetic oil and reasons why you can’t. Having in mind the benefits of using synthetic oil will help you maintain your engine and keep your car running as efficiency as possible from oil change to oil change.

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  • How to Replace a Side Mirror

    You could simply be leaving to go to work when suddenly-you misjudge the distance between the wall and your car, or more specifically, your side mirror. This most likely leads to an infuriating moment where you curse the car, the mirror, the garage door, and possibly your job for putting you in this predicament in the first place.

    Leave that unpleasant disposition at home, because replacing a side mirror isn’t too difficult and there are a few benefits of replacing the side mirror yourself. For example, you can choose the brand you want yourself, you don’t have to pay for the repairs, and because the repairs would most likely be below your insurance deductible anyways, asking them to replace a side mirror would be futile or, worse, hurtful. In other words, replacing the side mirror yourself will save you money and help you get back to focusing on more important things.

    How do you replace a side mirror? Here’s a few steps to follow to help guide you in the replacement process.

    • Step one involves getting the tools necessary to replace a side mirror and prepping the door for the new mirror.  You will need screwdrivers, sockets, and a door panel removal tool. It will be used for removing the door panel and all the retainer clips. If it is a manual window, that has a crank handle, then you especially need the door handle removal tool. It is used to slip between the window crank handle and door panel, which opens up the spring clip that holds the crank, allowing the crank to be pulled off of the spline. If you want the tool to work correctly, you must insert it from the side of the handle knob. In a pinch, you can use a long, thin screwdriver, but it is much easier with the door panel removal tool.

    • Step two in replacing a side mirror involves retrieving the mirror and prepping it as well. You can often get aftermarket mirrors far less expensively than going for the on-brand type, which will help keep your expenses on this project down. The mirror will most likely come in black, which means it will need to be painted, at least if you want it to match the rest of the car. If not, black is always “in” and matches everything, anyway. You want to do this before installation to make it easier to mask and lowers overspray issues. You’ll find the paint color code from the manufactures information label normally located on the driver’s door. Once you have the paint, mask the mirror and any other glass found on the mirror. When you are painting, try not putting on too heavy of a coat for it could run. Do multiple coats for it to come out best, as well as painting rapidly so the paint does not dry after each pass.

    • Step three involves removing the old mirror or what is left of it. To remove the old one, you will find many screws in hidden areas that are not plain to see. Some may be covered by small plastic caps, which can be removed with a screwdriver. There will most likely be a separate triangular trim piece where the mirror is mounted. You remove the panel by taking out the screws and clips holding it on, and then prying on it to loosen it up. The different wiring you see does not need to be messed with as long as the mirror’s wiring is accessible. Remove the mounting screws and disconnect the electric connection to pull the mirror off. Make sure the connector and wiring don’t fall inside the door as this will cause unnecessary trouble for you in the next step.

    • Step four, the last step, is the one you have been waiting for, installing your new mirror. You basically are going to retrace your steps from when you removed the old one, starting with connecting your wiring. Put the mirror in the correct position, aligning it with the window trim. Make sure to figure out whether your car’s mirror mounts with the base flange under the rubber window seal or not. If it does, it is an important step to keep in mind as it ensures your window seals. Keep following your bread crumbs by tightening your screws, checking the wiring, finding all your clips and making sure they are undamaged. Finally, line up your door panel and tap liberally at the different clips’ locations and reinstall the screws, caps, and the mirror trim cover.

    Having your side mirror set up and ready to be used is a responsible necessity. Following these simple steps to replace a side mirror will help you always be safe for both yourself and the many drivers following at your six.

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