.(81)Car Repair 101


The more you notice about your vehicle, the more likely you'll be able to head off repair problems. Yep- even if you're mechanically challenged. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your eyes and nose.

“See No Evil”

Is there a little stain or a drop of fluid under your vehicle? It may mean absolutely nothing. But you do want to check the wet spots immediately - just to make sure.

What color is the fluid under your car? Yellowish green, pretty blue or neon orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator. Not good. I remember the yellowish green ooze from my Chevette as the tow truck took it away to its final resting place. Get to a repair shop while you still can!

A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak. This is how my first car met its demise.

A red oily looking spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak. Also, not good.

A puddle of clear water usually isn't a cause for concern. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner. Whew!

“Smell no Evil”

Take a whiff, and you may detect your vehicle's problem.

Do you smell burned toast? This odor often signals an electrical short and burning insulation. Have someone come look at your car. Don't drive it anywhere until the problem is diagnosed.

How about the smell of rotten eggs? This usually indicates a problem in the catalytic converter. Get to a repair shop! Pheee-yew!

A thick sharp odor usually means burning oil. Look for the sign of a leak. This problem needs to be addressed immediately if having transportation is important to you. You may also notice a bluish smoke coming from your vehicle. Ask me how I know. Ahh… memories.

The smell of gas after a failed start may mean the engine is flooded. Wait a few minutes and try again. If the odor continues, there may be a leak in the fuel system - a potentially dangerous problem that needs immediate attention.

A chemical odor may mean overheated brakes or clutch. Check the parking brake. Stop and let the brakes cool after repeated hard braking. Light smoke coming from a wheel indicates a stuck brake. Call a tow truck.

Do you notice a sweet odor? This may indicate a coolant leak. Watch your temperature gauge and warning light and drive to a repair shop. Now, if you see steam from under the hood, stop and pull over. If you keep driving an overheated vehicle, your engine will be seriously damaged. Call a tow truck.

The basic rule of smell is that if you do notice an unusual odor - get to a mechanic or get one to come to you. Pretty simple!

A little extra attention to what’s coming out of your car or truck could save you the cost of a new vehicle payment! Keep those eyes and that nose on the job!


About the Author

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Written by: Simon Harris

(82)Car Video Monitors: There Not Just For Your Kids Anymore

When car video monitors were first introduced to the market, they primarily consisted of either an overhead or flip down monitor. These types of monitors were geared mainly towards parents who took long trips in the family minivan with their kids. These days, there are quite a few more car video monitor options available to consumers with varying reasons as to what they are used for. Of course the market is still filled with parents looking to keep their keeps occupied during long rides, but now people are installing monitors to entertain business clients, review DVD presentations on the way to a meeting or play the latest Madden football game with their buddies on the way to a pro football game. Aside from the overhead and flip down monitors other types of car video monitors available to consumers include: in-dash monitors, headrest monitors, sun visor monitors, and mirror monitors.

Overhead Car Video Monitors: Overhead monitors are exactly what their name implies. You can attach an overhead monitor to the ceiling of your vehicle. Typically they are installed in larger vehicles such as minivans and sport utility vehicles since they require a good amount of headroom for the overhead installation. An overhead car video monitor often fits over your vehicle's overhead lighting unit. A typical overhead monitor is 7 - 10 inches, but you can buy monitors as large as 20 inches.

Flip Down Car Video Monitors:Spray Paint Secrets Video Banner A flip down monitor is basically an overhead monitor that flips down for viewing. When the monitor is not being viewed it can be flipped up to add more overhead space to the vehicle. This type of monitor is also popular with consumers that own cars, who want an overhead car video monitor for their back seat passengers. Flip down monitors come in the same sizes as overhead monitors.

In-Dash Car Video Monitors: In-dash car video monitors provide video entertainment to the often-neglected front seat passenger (and driver, although I don't recommend viewing the in-dash monitor while you are driving). An in-dash monitor is usually one component of a larger unit that includes a TV tuner and receiver. Most in-dash monitors flip up from the unit when being viewed and flip back down to provide more front seat space when it is not being used. These monitors are usually 7 inches or less.

Headrest Car Video Monitors: Headrest monitors can either be mounted to the back of your vehicle's headrest or mounted into your headrest with the use of a mounting bracket and mounting kit. There are even headrest replacement monitors that are designed to replace your vehicle's original headrest. This allows the consumer to avoid cutting into the original headrest. When you sell or get rid of your vehicle you can replace the headrest monitors with the original headrests. Headrest monitors can be used in conjunction with or as a replacement to an overhead monitor. They are especially popular with car owners, since cars typically do not provide the necessary overhead space for overhead monitors. Headrest monitors are also generally 7 inches or less.

Sun Visor Car Video Monitors: Sun visor monitors can either be mounted into your vehicle's current sun visor or purchased as a replacement to your original sun visor. Manufacturers of sun visor replacement monitors have designed the visors in many different colors and textures to match your vehicle's interior as closely as possible. A typical sun visor monitor is 5 inches in length although they make them as large as 7 inches.

Mirror Car Video Monitors: Mirror car video monitors are LCD displays that are designed to fit over the existing rear-view mirror in your vehicle. Besides being used as a traditional video monitor, mirror monitors are also great for rear view cameras as well. This is the smallest type of monitor available for your vehicle and is generally no more than 4 inches long.

About the author:

Dwayne Wright is an automotive enthusiast with over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. After you have found a set of car video monitors that meets your needs, visit his site at http://www.customautosearc to find a car audio installer in your area to install your new monitors.

Written by: Dwayne Wright

(83)Caring For Your Car's Brakes and Rotors


Having properly functioning brakes on your car is a must. Without working brakes, the front of your car will soon be attached to the car ahead of you, to a fence, to a tree or, God forbid, on top of a pedestrian. Regular brake inspections are essential to good automotive care and can save you money. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure that your brakes and rotors are receiving the proper maintenance.

1. Get those free inspections. Most brake shops offer free brake inspections. Why? Because they want your business, that’s why. The inspection should include a check of brake pads and shoes, hydraulic fluids, rotor/drum wear and calipers and, if equipped, your anti-lock system. Have your brakes checked at least once a year, more so if you do plenty of stop and go driving or you use your brakes excessively.

2. Become self aware. Many problems related to brakes can be headed off if car owners would pay attention to certain telltale signs of trouble including:

  • Your brake warning light comes on.
  • Your car pulls to one side when you press down on the brakes, instead of stopping in a straight line.
  • Your car jerks to a stop when you press down on the brakes.
  • Your brake pedal is either mushy, difficult to press down, or you must pump the brakes to get them to work right.
  • Your brakes grind uninterrupted and you hear a loud metallic noise when you press down on them.

    One or more wheels are excessively hot after short drives.
    You see fluid leaks around any wheel or in the engine compartment near the master cylinder.

    If you are a weekend mechanic, you can perform your own inspections and install quality replacement parts such as Honda brakes or BMW brakes. Some parts such as Volvo brakes and rotors are more costly, but by carefully shopping around you can find top quality parts at a reasonable price.

    So, take good care of your car and perform brake inspections on a regular basis. Your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers will be thankful that you did.


    About the Author

    Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Car Parts Stuff, an online supplier of high quality and well priced automobile parts.

    Written by: Matthew C. Keegan


    (84)Cheap Car Insurance – 7 Tips To Reduce Your Car Insurance Costs.


    With the cost of car insurance becoming more and more of an issue for the average American family, there are increasing numbers of people looking for cheap car insurance. But although it is possible to find cheap car insurance, the question remains, is it worth buying?

    Everyone knows that car insurance companies are not all equal. Cheap car insurance is wonderful when paying the bill, but make a mistake on the company you select and you could find that the cheap car insurance policy that you found may turn into a nightmare. Cheap car insurance may not turn out to be so attractive when making a claim.

    So if you have found a discount car insurance broker don’t just take the cheapest quote that you get. You need to find out a little about the insurance company that is offering the cheap car insurance rates.

    And there’s ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance even with the best of companies. Here are some tips for those looking for cheap car insurance to help reduce the cost of car insurance without compromising other things.

    7 Cheap Car Insurance Tips

    1.Look at your deductible amount. This is the amount that you pay first out of any claim. The cost of your policy is directly related to this amount. Many people, particularly those who have had their insurance policy for a long time, have never considered whether they ought to vary their deductible. If you have a good driving record and are prepared to increase the risk of paying a larger amount in the event of a (hopefully unlikely) claim you can save money by increasing your deductible.

    2.Have a look at the type of car you drive. Certain types of cars attract higher car insurance rates. Cars such as sports cars and also certain makes and models that are prime theft candidates cost more to insure. If you are buying a car then find out which makes and models these are before you buy.

    3.Drive carefully. Although it sounds a little trite to say it, your car insurance cost is a factor of your risk profile. You won’t get cheap car insurance if you have had 3 speeding fines and 2 accidents in the last year. These things are all taken into account and you should take care with how you drive. It all adds up onto your bill. There are big safe driver discounts available.

    4.Considering installing safety and anti theft devices in your car. Again these affect your risk profile. If you have a car that is safer and less at risk of theft it should be cheaper to insure. And if you have a car with certain safety devices now check that your insurance company is aware of these, if not tell them.

    5.Look at your policy when it comes to renewal time, don’t just pay. There are some things that you can vary in your policy that will affect the cost. Often there are some things there which duplicate other insurance that you may have that can be eliminated. Be critical, look carefully and ask questions about all these before you renew your policy.

    6.Have a look at who your other insurers are. Many insurers offer a discount for multiple policies. If you insure your house with a certain company then ring them up and find out if they do car insurance. Get a quote from them. Find out what discounts they offer.

    7.Find a good online discount car insurance broker before renewing. The internet is a fabulous resource. Use it. There are all sorts of discount insurance brokers online where you can get fast quotes from a wide range of companies. Don’t just settle for the same company you always use. Car insurance rates vary all the time. Always get comparable quotes before renewing any policy.

    So if you’re in the market for cheap car insurance there’s some ideas for you. Don’t just accept that car insurance is always prohibitively expensive, get out there and do something about it.

    About the Author

    For a website about Car Insurance visit Peter's Website Car Insurance Answers and find out about Car Insurance as well as Cheap Car Insurance and more, including Online Car Insurance Quotes, UK Car Insurance, Car Insurance Rates and Car Insurance Quotes.

    Written by: Peter Crump

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