22.05.2018
Thomas Smith
No comments
For a combustion engine to function properly you need to make sure you have fuel, spark and air.  Spark plugs are what provides that spark.  Think of spark plugs as a tiny bolt of lightning. That burst of electricity is used to start the combustion process and essentially jump starts the engine.  Because spark plug health is directly linked to engine performance, it stands to reason weak or bad spark plugs lead to problems Spark plugs are located in the engine block at the top of every cylinder. Therefore, on most vehicles, the number of spark plugs your vehicle has corresponds to the size engine and the number of cylinders.    How long spark plugs last can depend on many different factors, one of which being the type of plugs. copper plugs, for example, have the shortest life; and most manufacturers recommend changing those every 30,000 miles.  Platinum or Iridium plugs should be changed at 100,000 miles Spark Plugs are built to withstand extreme heat and pressure within your cylinders and are built to burn off deposits from fuel additives or other contaminants however as spark plugs age they can buildup deposits.  These deposits can lead to an unreliable supply of energy for your car. Additionally, spark plugs have a specific distance between the ground and center electrodes called a gap.  This gap is where the spark of electricity "jumps".  As the spark plug ages this gap can increase.  If the gap is too far apart, combustion will be erratic or ineffective. Some Signs that your Spark Plugs may need to be replaced        Engine has a rough idle        Having trouble starting the vehicle        Engine misfires        High fuel consumption        Lack of acceleration        Rattling, pinging or “knock”-like noises
10.05.2018
Thomas Smith
No comments
How important is your car?  It may not be brand new, it may have several thousand miles on it, but when it is not running properly, it is incredibly inconvenient.  You need your car every day.  To take you to work, or the store, run to the doctor or take the kids to baseball and when it is out of commission, you need to find alternate means of transportation, and that is just a pain. That being said, for most people, it is also an expense that is not thought about frequently.  You think about your monthly insurance, car payment and maybe even fuel, but when a repair comes up you are typically unprepared and so many people start shopping around for the lowest price possible to repair the issue.  Why?  Let's think about it in a different scenario.  If you were boarding an airplane would you want the pilot with one day of flight training or would you want the pilot that had 25 years flying planes?  Would you want the repairs on the plane to be done with the cheapest parts or would you want the highest quality parts put onto the plane?  Why?  Because you are taking you life in your hands when you fly.  Why does your car, which you use every day, carrying yourself and your precision family, deserve any less? Now let us compare it back to cars.  Here are some things you should keep in mind when evaluating the cost of repairs. Are the technicians qualified?  How many years of experience do they have?  Do they continue learning new technologies and keep up with the trade by earning certifications?  Do they understand your vehicle? Are the parts made of quality materials?  The repair shop doesn't necessarily have to use the highest premium parts, but do they look for reasonably priced parts that they are willing to stand behind with a warranty. Would the owner or technician use these parts on their own vehicle? What kind of warranty do they offer?  By offering an extended warranty on parts and labor, you know they are willing to stand behind the parts they selected if they fail and cover the labor costs associated with replacing the part again.  Also, remember, that they are providing a service for you.  Doing the repairs yourself will always be the least expensive, however, you may not be qualified to perform the repairs needed, or if you are, how much is your time really worth?  Could your time be better spent at work, doing repairs or yard work to your home, or spending time with your family, while letting the professional do the work for you, clean up after and dispose of all the materials.  Sometimes, it is all about the bottom line.  Do you really have the money to make the needed repairs, how much can you truly spend. Keep in mind though, that sometimes by saving money now, you could be causing more or a larger issue down the road.  A good repair center will work with you to prioritize repairs needed to help fit your budget and the greatest safety needs while helping you save and prepare for future repairs. 
27.04.2018
Thomas Smith
No comments
There could be a few different scenarios that got you into this situation: You took the car in for regular maintenance and they found a laundry list of items that need to be repaired or replaced, or Your car broke down and left you stranded again and to fix it is going to cost you over $1000.  However it happened, you have arrived at the decision that you need to just purchase a new car.  But did you actually think it through?  Is it really worth it to get a new car or can your current car be repaired, maintained and last you several more years. When I am asked by a customer whether a car is worth repairing or not, there are several factors I tell them they need to consider.  If they were the original owners then they know the repair history, if they purchased the car used to begin with we would need to take that into consideration and how well it has been maintained along the way New cars are averaging about $37,000, more for SUV's and slightly less for compacts.  A typical car payment would be about $400 a month.  That comes to a total of $4800 a year spent on your new car.  Think about the maintenance and repairs you made on your car in the past year. You need to consider the vehicle's mileage and current value.  Check out Kelley Blue Book website to see what the car is worth based on the mileage you have.  From there you can determine if the repairs are worth making.  Another item to consider, that many people forget about, is to consider your financial and credit picture.  Are you in a financial situation to take on a new car payment and will you be approved for a loan.  Don't forget that your insurance will decrease as your car ages as well, adding into what you need to consider when making your final decision. Today's well maintained vehicles can keep going past 200,000 miles saving you a good amount of money by not having a car payment.  Every vehicle and situation is different.  Make sure that you have is assessed by your local mechanic and they can help you determine what is the best course of action.

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