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Tips for Beginner Highway Drivers

Tips for Beginner Highway Drivers

If you have a teen in the house, you know that a day will come where they will have to practice their driving on the highway. The first time can be scary, which is why it's common for new drivers only to drive local until they gain enough experience to go on the freeway. Being prepared can help a beginner driver make a safe transition from local roads to the highway. We've compiled several helpful driving tips that a teen or new drivers should follow before hitting the highway:   Plan accordingly on when to start driving on the highway. If you want to venture out onto the interstate, you want to pick the right time and place to do it. Consider starting on one that is not too busy with ample lanes. Also, try not to go during rush hour traffic. You also want to ease into it by driving on a bright, clear day without rain, snow, or fog that could impair your vision.   Start off driving in the right lane. New drivers should start by only riding in the right lane since ... read more

Keeping Your Pennsylvania Air Fresh in Your Car

Keeping Your Pennsylvania Air Fresh in Your Car

  Air quality is a global issue and affects us wherever we are, even in Stockertown, PA. Many drivers are now becoming aware of how air pollution negatively affects our health. But what about the air inside your vehicle? Does it matter?   Your cabin air filter will unquestionably affect the heat and air conditioning in your car. In fact, the most common indication that you need to replace your air filter is a moldy, foul smell whenever you turn on the unit in your car. Yuck! Inhaling that mold will not be suitable for your lungs in the long run. A filthy air filter can also restrict the power yielded by your engine as it takes more effort to run the blower motor.    The real question is: HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET YOUR VEHICLE’S AIR FILTERS REPLACED?    Most of the time, manufacturers will recommend changing your air filter every 10,000 to 25,000 miles. It will also depend on external factors such as car make, usage, etc.   You can also ... read more

What Vehicle Maintenance Schedule Should You Follow?

What Vehicle Maintenance Schedule Should You Follow?

If you have not yet heard that you should follow a strict maintenance schedule for your vehicle, you may not yet be an automobile owner. There is a debate going on between manufacturers of cars and those who repair them about the best type of schedule to keep when maintaining your vehicle. Here are some tips for the best practices for taking care of your vehicle. Inspecting and Maintaining the Tires It should come as no surprise that tires with proper inflation most of the time will be safer for you to be on the road. You must first obtain the recommended tire pressure for the tires on your car and check it regularly. Most newer vehicles will have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) built into them. If you do not have one of these, you will need to get the classic tire pressure gauge. These can be purchased at any local auto parts store, and are relatively easy to use. If the gauge says there is too much air, you will need to deflate the tires. Contrary, if the tires do not h ... read more

What is a Car Radiator?

What is a Car Radiator?

A radiator is a heat exchanger that helps to cool internal combustion engines (ICE) in automobiles. More importantly, you may find this crucial component in motorcycles, locomotive engines, and piston-engine aircraft. Currently, most modern automobiles are fitted with aluminum radiators. What is the Working Principle of the Radiator? When an ICE is operating, it emits a lot of heat, especially during the power stroke. To mitigate the problem of the engine overheating, a coolant is pumped by your car through the engine block, receives the heat, and carries it away. The superheated coolant moves through your radiator, which blows air across the cooling fluid. A heat exchange operation occurs, and the heat from the coolant is transferred to the air outside of the car. The radiator itself is designed in such a way that it has metal fins, which allow the transfer of heat to the air outside to occur fast. Notably, depending on the cooling needs of the equipment in questi ... read more

What is That Strange Smell in My Car?

What is That Strange Smell in My Car?

There are certain smells that you have come to expect from your vehicle. From your teenager's socks to rotten fruit that you forgot about; those smells can be dealt with. It is when you start to smell something unusual in your car that you should be concerned about. Such smells could very well be an indication that there is a problem looming that you need to have taken care of. Take Note of These Smells The following smells are not common and should give you pause to take notice and get your car checked out by a professional technician. You Start to Smell Gasoline While some gas smells are the result of a recent fill-up, they should not last long. If it has been quite some time since you stopped to fill the car up with gas, there could be an issue if you start to smell fumes. You could have a leaky fuel tank or injection system. This should be taken care of as soon as possible. You Can Smell the Exhaust from Inside Your Car You should never smell the exhaust inside your car ... read more

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Catalytic Converter?

You might be surprised to find that the most important part of your car was invented over 150 years ago and has not changed much over the years. Yes, the four-stroke internal combustion engine powering the large majority of the estimated 1.4 billion cars on the road today has been around since the mid 19th century. Even though the engine has remained virtually unchanged, there have been many devices added to automobiles to improve different aspects of performance. One of the devices contributing to improved emissions performance is the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is a large metal box located between the engine and the tailpipe of a car. It has an intake pipe connected to the engine and an output pipe connected to the exhaust system. The inside of the catalytic converter is a dense honeycomb of ceramic and is coated with catalysts. This catalyst covered honeycomb takes harmful gases like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon produced by the engine and splits the gases into s ... read more

Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts

Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts

What are shocks and struts? In a nutshell, shocks and struts make your car stable. Without them, your car would bounce up and down. They provide enhanced control when turning, braking, and accelerating, and a better ride when encountering uneven road surfaces. Your vehicle might have shocks, struts, or a combination of both. Due to their inherent nature, shocks and struts experience normal wear and tear. While you may not mind the bumpy ride, they do need to be replaced when worn. It's a safety issue. The Signs of Worn Shocks and Struts Your vehicle feels unstable. A little shaking is normal, but your car shouldn't feel like it's constantly moving up and down at highway speeds. Additionally, your steering wheel shouldn't vibrate on normal city roads.   Front end dips while braking. The front of your vehicle should not take a dive during hard braking.   Vehicle swerves or leers. You should not need to correct your car in ... read more

Why You Should Have a Winter Survival Kit in Your Car

Why You Should Have a Winter Survival Kit in Your Car

There are a number of scenarios where you might find yourself in need of an emergency kit in your car, especially during the winter. You never know when you might blow out a tire, run out of fuel, or slip off the road due to snowy or icy roads. The list below will help you prepare what you could potentially need, and remember - keep these items in your trunk, preferably somewhere with easy access to them. Antifreeze/Coolant. Extra fuel, a tank should be enough. A first aid kit. A multi-tool. That means something like a Leatherman multi-tool or a Swiss knife. Jumper cables. Reflective warning triangles, and/or road flares. Windshield wiper fluid, ice scraper, and a brush for snow. A few bottles of water, and some nonperishable snacks, such as protein bars. A flashlight, and fresh batteries. Blankets, or extra clothes, such as jackets, socks, hats, gloves/mittens. The items above are simply a must, and the following are additions that you should really ... read more

What are the Signs of a Dying Car Battery

What are the Signs of a Dying Car Battery

A dead battery is typically obvious - you get into your vehicle and realize that it won’t start. You hear the ignition click, but it won’t start up. A typical car battery only lasts between 3-4 years, depending on your vehicle and other factors, so it may be time for a replacement. There can be other causes of a dead battery as well, such as leaving electrical components on for an extended period of time, like the lights or radio, which can cause your battery to die prematurely.  A car battery can die due to a number of different reasons, whether from the battery itself or the charging and starting system. If you ever suspect an issue with your car battery, you can always take your battery into your local auto repair shop for testing to see how much life it has left.  Warning signs that can point to a dying car battery include the following:  Car starts up slow or takes multiple tries Problems with the radio Dim interior lights Failing po ... read more

Does a Full Trunk Affect Your Vehicle?

Does a Full Trunk Affect Your Vehicle?

Many drivers are guilty of it - overflowing their trunk, using it as secondary storage, and never cleaning it. It's easy to think of your vehicle's trunk as another place where you can keep stuff that you have no room for otherwise. We've seen it time and time again servicing cars, people coming in with their trunks filled to the brim, so much so that they can barely close. Does this have an effect on your vehicle overall?  While junk in the trunk is pretty common, you'd be surprised how much it can actually affect your vehicle. Let's look at some of the ways in which an overloaded car can have its effect:  Lowered gas mileage The most prevalent issue is that a heavy vehicle can significantly decrease your vehicle's fuel efficiency. If you have a bunch of stuff in your trunk, you're costing yourself more on gas in the long run. Having a clean vehicle helps save you money on gas and keeps your fuel efficiency high. So if you have ... read more

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