Top Performance Upgrades

December 28th, 2017

Let's talk about automotive performance. This term means a lot of things to a lot of people... from better handling, more speed, more off-road or track capability or even better fuel economy. For the purposes of this list, performance means one thing; getting where you are going sooner. Consider the following top pick performance upgrades if you want to put more power to the ground:Performance Upgrades

  • Cold-air Intake - Factory air boxes are restrictive and are usually more about packaging under the hood than feeding your engine much-needed air. A less restrictive intake is an instant power adder.
  • Bigger Throttle-body - The intake feeds the throttle body, the modern equivalent of the carburetor. The more air and fuel you can stuff into the e ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Give Your Family the Gift of Safety - New Tires

December 14th, 2017

We are the land of the man (or woman) who has everything. We have electric dog nail trimmers, vacuums that work without your help and phones with more computing power than a fleet of space shuttles. With all this great and not so great stuff, it's getting harder and harder to give a great gift. Before you go flailing around for a gift nobody wants or needs just to say you have something to wrap, consider the gift of safety; a new set of tires for a friend or family member.

Maybe you think this gift won't be appreciated. After all, tires don't have the appeal of a diamond pendant or a 6-way adjustable cyclo-massage equipped lounger. New TiresActually, though, a new set of tires is so much more. 

  • Your tires are the only part of your car that touches th ...[more]
  Tags: tires, replacing tires
  Posted in: Tires 101

Car Maintenance Items you Should Always Leave to the Professionals

November 30th, 2017

It used to be as common as falling leaves in autumn for people to work on their own cars.  And while this red-blooded American pastime has not completely disappeared from our world, the expense and complexity of newer cars make some repairs best left to the professionals. 

Here is a quick list of, "Don't try this at home"' auto repairs:

1.  Check Engine Diagnostics - With everyone from big box parts stores to smartphone app developers making it possible to talk to the computer in your car, many drivers think they can deal with a check engine light themselves. Here's the problem: many check engine codes are vague and require more sophisticated equipment to really get to the bottom of the story.  And please don't just turn the light off thinking you will fix the problem. This is like trying to cure a heart attack by unplugging the EKG. Let the pros read the codes, apply their educated ability to de ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Holiday Travel Tips

November 9th, 2017

Few things typify the holidays like hitting the road to share the magic of the season with family and friends. But with the road choked with other drivers, winter weather hazards, and long empty stretches of sleepy asphalt, a holiday road trip can quickly turn ugly.

Keep the joy meter pegged by taking a few precautions to prepare for your trip.Holiday Travel Tips

1.  Get Your Pre-drive ZZZZZs - Drowsy driving is a largely unheralded hazard, taking a back seat to more socially active no-no's like texting and drinking while driving. A sleepy driver is a gigantic hazard to themselves, passengers and everyone on the road. Make sure you are well rested for the drive and you will find the trip much safer and more enjoyable.

2.  Secure the Figgie Pud ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Driving Safely with Nature

October 26th, 2017

North American roads cover millions of miles of landscape through habitats that vary from desert and grassland to mountain or forest and everything in-between. While we enjoy the freedom of the open road, we are nearly always crossing through the homes of wild creatures which may venture out on the road at the worst time possible. Road Safety

Follow these tips to avoid a collision with our natural neighbors.

1.  Pay Attention - It may seem like the most basic of instructions, but in our tech-crazy world too often we are looking at things other than the road. Don't let a quiet highway lull you into a sense of false security. An animal can wander onto the road at any moment. Keep your eyes alert and watch for movement. When driving between stands of trees or crops like co ...[more]

  Tags: tips
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Storing and Caring for Your Seasonal Wheels and Tires

October 5th, 2017

In many parts of the US and Canada, it is common to have two sets of wheels and tires to tackle seasonal differences in driving conditions. You know what to do with them while they are on your car, but what is the proper way to store the ones you put up for the season? Here are some tips to ensure your seasonal tires are ready to go when it is time to swap them out.Storing seasonal tires

1.  Clean Your Wheels - Contaminants and road grime can degrade the finish on your wheels while they are in storage. Before you put them away, clean your wheels with some mild detergent. Rinse them off and make sure they are completely dry before you put them away for the season.

2.  Clean and Treat Your Tires - Tires are made of natural and synthetic rubbers and ...[more]

  Tags: tires, winter tires, tips
  Posted in: Tires 101

Top 10 Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

September 28th, 2017

Buying a used car can be a great experience or a complete nightmare, depending on what you know when you sign on the bottom line or hand over your hard-earned cash to the seller.  While most used car establishments are reputable, there are still some that will be happy to sell you a little less car than you bargain for.  As a matter of fact, some dealers and individual sellers simply don't know the history or the problems with a car when they offer it to you.

Check these ten important things before you agree to buy a used for buying a used car

1. The Oil Dipstick - You can tell a lot about an engine and a car owner from the dipstick.  Pull it out, wipe it off and put it back, then carefully pull it again.  Note the oil level.  If it is over ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Why You Should Never Skip a Tire Rotation

September 7th, 2017

The cornering and rolling forces on each of your tires are different.  If you have a front wheel drive car, the power and most of the force is transmitted to the front tires while the rear tires pretty much just follow along like fixed wagon wheels.  A rear-wheel drive car or truck sends power to the back while steering forces are handled by the front wheels.  All-wheel drive and 4wd have their unique power, steering and cornering characteristics as well. 

The point is, your front left tire is going to wear differently than your right rear tire, or for that matter, any of the other tires vary at each corner of the vehicle because of the force and friction.Tire Rotation

The solution to this problem is tire rotation.  Tire rotation involves removing your wheels and tires from ...[more]

  Posted in: Tires 101

Cool Summer Car Gadgets and Gizmos

August 31st, 2017

The automotive aftermarket offers thousands of cool gadgets and gizmos to make your summer driving experience safer, more comfortable and way more entertaining. Here are the top ten coolest of the cool gadgets for 2017:

1. Dash-cam - It seems like there are cameras everywhere today, and there is no better place to put one than on your dash. If something exciting or dangerous happens while you are driving, the dash cam will catch all the action. You can use this as evidence in case of a crash, traffic stop or a crime, or simply catch an unexpected bit of crazy video and become a social media sensation.  Dash cam kits are generally easy to install, with suction cups that simply mount on the windshield and a USB or 12v power port plug for power.   

2. Electronic Parking Guide - Wire up the Precision Parking Park-Zone system and get audible warnings before you hit an obstacle or another car. Great for parallel par ...[more]

  Tags: tips
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

The Incredible Evolution of Tires

August 3rd, 2017

With all the tires you encounter every day, it is easy to forget their humble beginning and just how far they have come since the early days of automotive development. Follow along as we recap the incredible evolution that has taken us from simple rubber rings to the products we see today.

The tire had rather humble beginnings. In the late 1800's the invention of the automobile necessitated something for them to roll on. Until then, wheels were rolling around on hard wooden rims or metal bands. In 1888 Carl Benz, one of the famous fathers of Mercedes Benz, invented a new type of tire to match his new type of conveyance, the automobile. It was a metal framed tire, covered with rubber and filled with air. This was the birth of the pneumatic or air filled tire and it revolutionized the world.

Carl Benz' tire had air but it didn't have any tread. It wasn't until 1905 that tread was added to the tire's surface to help it handle the wet, muddy ...[more]

  Posted in: Tires 101
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