DIY Car Maintenance Tips That You Should Take Advantage Now


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DIY Car Maintenance

DIY Car Maintenance

Mar 20, 2014

By Staff Writer

By tackling the task yourself, save cash on routine maintenance. While many car repairs ought to be left to some professional, consider handling these simple tasks.

DIY auto maintenance

Replace your wiper blades. Every six to 12 months is a good rule of thumb, for the way often they’re used. Make noise or are hard and cracked, it could be time to get a fresh set, if they leave streaks. Talk to your user manual for more information in regards to what type to acquire.

Fix minor paint and scratches chips. Any break in a vehicle’s finish makes the surface susceptible to rust. Temporarily seal small chips and scratches with clear nail polish till you can correct the damage. A feeling-up paint kit might be a wise decision for repairing minor problems. Be sure to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Inspect the tires. Tires must be held in good condition and properly inflated for that economical and safe operation of your vehicle. Here are some simple checks:

Take a good look at every tire, together with your spare, monthly. Note tread depth (replace tires with treads worn to 1.5 mm); uneven wear; and other, cracks and damage deterioration. Consult your local tire professional if you find any one of these issues.

Check the tire pressure. Do that in the morning as soon as the tires are cold (preferably before driving the vehicle on that day). Tire pressure can change as a result of many factors, including a change in temperature. For each and every 5 degree Celsius improvement in temperature, tire pressure can increase (in case the temperature rises) or decrease (if the temperature falls) by 1 psi. Find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure on the placard in your owner’s manual or information sticker inside the glove box or driver’s side door frame.

Repair minor windshield chips. Some windshield repairs are covered by insurance. You may be able to correct it yourself with a repair kit and about one hour of time should your windshield includes a small chip with minimal cracks. While it’s extremely hard to fix all chips, you may be able to prevent one from growing or discoloring.

Wash and wax. Among the finest ways to keep your car’s exterior is to remove residue and dirt that can damage its finish. A hand wash offers a close-up examine chips, dings and scratches you may not normally notice.

Wash your car away from direct sunlight along with a cleaning solution designed for automotive finishes. Work in sections from the top down and employ a microfiber or lambswool washing mitt. Clean tires with a separate cloth and new bucket of soapy water.

Inspect the paint for hard-to-remove gunk for example bird droppings, tree sap or pollen. A clay bar made for car care may help take them off.

Dry the vehicle thoroughly with fresh towels. Soft, absorbent chamois drying towels are a good option.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, after you finish washing the car, use a coat of wax. This ought to be done twice yearly to protect the vehicle’s finish.

Southern California Travel Guide

Southern California is one of the most scenic places on earth. From the dry, desert mesas of the Mojave and Joshua Tree, to the coastal cool of Santa Barbara and Malibu, there’s almost no end to the adventures available to the residents and visitors of this incredibly diverse region. Almost any activity you can imagine can be found here, whether you’re longing to escape into the great outdoors or hit Hollywood Boulevard. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Southern California destinations, all within a few hours of Los Angeles. Pack your suitcase, and head out on an unforgettable excursion in Southern California.

Big Bear Lake


Big Bear Lake, California, is only a 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, but it feels like it’s a world away. This tiny mountain town is settled smack in the middle of the San Bernardino National Forest, and is a gorgeous year round retreat. The area’s alpine hills gets over 100 inches of snow in the winter, making it a world-class skiing destination. But it’s balmy summer temperatures and beautiful lake makes it a great getaway during warmer weather too. With recreational activities ranging from fishing, hiking, skiing, and horseback riding, Big Bear Lake has something to offer every visitor of every age.

Joshua Tree National Park

Mohave Sunrise Delight

While so many Los Angelenos and Southern California residents stick to the coast during their time off, there’s a certain breed of adventurer who is powerless to resist the strange pull of the desert. Joshua Tree and its surrounding areas exert such magnetism, and it’s easy to see why. Expansive stretches of sky, vast mesas and weird rock formations, sun soaked desert sprawls, and lithium rich hot springs all call to the wild and rustic parts of the spirit. Hit the highway out of LA in a car that can handle going off road, like the Nissan Xterra from Fontana Nissan. The used Xterra we picked up at has seen us through countless desert adventures. Whether you’re camping in the National Park, or slinking around the old saloons of Joshua Tree and 29 Palms, you’re sure to experience the strange, the beautiful, and the truly unforgettable.

Santa Barbara


The romantic lure of Santa Barbara is undeniable. The town’s red-tile roofs, gleaming whitewashed walls, gentle rolling hills, and pristine coastline set it apart from its neighboring Southern California cities, and draws legions of weekend tourists from up and down the coast. Its Spanish Colonial influence has made it a popular second home for celebrities and the super elite, who flock here to hide out on their glamorous estates and soak up the sun during the winter. Hit up the historic hotel, Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore, for sunset cocktails overlooking the ocean and to get a taste of how the 1% lives. Or try your hand at surfing the gentle breaks at one of the area’s beautiful, family friendly beaches. Santa Barbara’s genteel spirit is sure to leave you rested and relaxed.

Here Are The Ten Top New Car Lease, Cash and Financing Incentive For April 2014 You Should Get


Are you shopping for a new car in April? It’s no joke that most consumers want to get the best deal possible. If you don’t desire to fool around at the dealership, then we know you want to be informed about these ten most beneficial leash, cash, and financing incentives accessible to new car shoppers throughout the month of April.

No matter whether you’re purchasing a luxurious sedan or a sporty little subcompact, is here to assist you find the best possible deal on the next new car. A number of excellent lease programs, super-low financing rates, and generous cash back incentives worth thousands of dollars off a wide range of vehicles means shoppers have many options to choose from throughout the month of April.

We’ve gathered 10 of the bestfinance and lease, and cash incentives currently being offered from among all the manufacturers in the month of April. Regardless of what kind of new car you’re shopping for, or which offer works the best for your budget, one of these brilliant 10 offers can get you in to the most car possible for the very least amount of money.

Much better, if you’re financing your purchase via a credit union or any other automotive lending source, you may be able to combine these great cash-back offers with promotional incentives available by your own automotive lender to create even more savings in your new car purchase.

You might like to consider one of these ten great lease and financing deals before you head to the dealership if you’re planning on buying a new car in April.

What You Can To Add Air In Your Tires


Then drive to your local service station and add air. It’s easy, but be sure to bring some change (usually quarters) with you for that air dispenser. (Forget about things being “as free as air” – at many stations it isn’t! ) if your tires appear to be low, check the pressure and note the amount that they’re underinflated.

Follow these steps to add air to your tires:

Park your automobile by the air dispenser.

You have got to reach all tires together with the air hose.

Remove the cap from the tire valve about the first tire.

Use your tire gauge to discover the air pressure in the tire.

Air hose gauges at many gasoline stations are inaccurate.

Checking your tire pressure.

Checking your tire pressure.

The pressure can have increased because driving causes the tires to heat up and the air inside these people to expand. In order to avoid overinflating the tire, regardless of what the second reading indicates, you must only add the same amount of air that the tire lacked before you drove it towards the station.

Utilize the air hose to add air in short bursts.

Check the pressure after every time with your tire gauge.

Let some out by pressing the pin around the tire valve with the back of the air hose nozzle or with the little knob on the back of the rounded end of the tire gauge in the event you add an excessive amount of air.

Keep checking pressure until you have it right.

If you need to keep adjusting the air pressure, Don’t get discouraged. Nobody hits it on the head the first time!

Simple Maintenance – Changing The Oil in Your Motor

One of the easiest and most important things you can do to make sure that your engine runs smoothly and efficiently is to change the oil and filter regularly. Oil tends to break down over time which clogs up the filter with contaminants and hampers the performance of your engine. This could be necessary every 3 months / 3,000 miles or maybe not until 24 months / 20,000 miles depending upon particular driving habits.


This is one thing which most people can manage to do themselves; it’s relatively quick and inexpensive, alternatively you can pop into Nissan Riverside and let them do the job for you.
Here’s what you need to do:
Drain the Oil – to do this you will need to lift your motor using either car ramps or jacks. Park on a level surface put the parking brake on and jack up the car. Make sure that you place the car jacks in the correct place for your make and model of motor – the information should be in the manual. Make sure that your car is secured with braces before attempting to work beneath it.


Warm up the Engine – just leave it ticking over for a couple of minutes to churn up the oil and allow it to drain a little bit quicker and easier. When the oil is cold the solid particles of grime and dirt settle at the bottom so you need them to be in with the oil. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job handy – a new supply of oil, new oil filter, pot and newspaper in which to catch the old oil as it drains, socket wrench plus a flashlight. Your owner’s manual will have the information about the type of oil and filter needed for your make and model of car.
Remove the Oil Cap – this will help the old oil to drain out more freely. Remove the oil cap from the top of the engine under the hood to speed up the process.
Locate the Oil Pan – this will probably be a flat and metal pan which is located close to the engine with a plug or bolt in the bottom of it. Remove the plug to allow the oil to drain out but make sure that you place a pan and newspaper underneath first to catch the oil. Make sure that you are ready because the oil will start to run out as soon as you remove the plug. Remember to wear old clothes because there’s a very good chance that you’ll get dirty doing this job.
Wait – it will take a few minutes for all of the oil to drain out so give it plenty of time. After all of the oil has run out replace the plug to hand tight and then tighten it up with the wrench. Remember to replace any washers or gaskets which were in the plug.
Replace the Oil Filter – now you will be able to locate, remove and replace the oil filter. Wrap a plastic bag around it before you remove it so that you don’t spill lots of waste oil onto the floor during this procedure.


Fit the New Oil Filter – many people will place a small amount of oil into the new filter before they fit it.
After you have fitted the new oil filter and everything is snugly in position you can fill up with the new engine oil. You do this from the cap at the top of the engine.
You should always place the old engine oil into a sealed container and take it to a designated collection location in your local area.
And that’s really all there is to it. Of course, you could always contact and leave it to the professionals if you prefer.

The Things You Need To Have In Your Toolbox


If you plan to do your own car repairs and maintenance, you need a toolbox to keep tools clean, in good condition, and multi functional place. Look for a lightweight, plastic toolbox that fits easily into the trunk of your vehicle and fill it with these tools:

Screwdrivers: The difference between a standard screwdriver as well as a Phillips screwdriver is the form of the head, as shown here.

Standard (a) and Phillips (b) drivers and their screws.

Standard (a) and Phillips (b) drivers and their screws.

Offset screwdrivers are handy because they help it become easy to get to screws which have little clearance over the head. Offset screwdrivers come in both standard and Phillips styles and some have one of each type of head at either end.

An offset screwdriver.

An offset screwdriver.

Screwholders: Instead of holding a screw in place using the fingers of a single hand while wielding the screwdriver together with your other hand, you fit the screw to the screwholder and then use it to insert and tighten the screw.

A screwholder helps you get into hard-to-reach places.

A screwholder allows you to get into hard-to-reach places.

Wrenches: Wrenches are probably the most basic tools for auto repair. Most wrenches are available in both standard – also called SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) – and metric measurements. Today, most American vehicles have a mix of SAE and metric nuts and bolts. Foreign vehicles or foreign components suited for American vehicles (a practice that’s becoming quite common) use metric nuts and bolts – even the inch-based British.

A socket wrench set.

A socket wrench set.

Socket wrenches: Socket wrenches can be found in sets for a wide variety of prices, depending on quality and how many wrenches are in the set.

You need a minimum of one ratchet handle; most sets have several handles with at least one adapter.

Socket extenders are indispensable items that will help you reach those almost-unreachable nuts and bolts.

A spark-plug socket (a), a ratchet handle (b), plus an extension bar (c).

A spark-plug socket (a), a ratchet handle (b), and an extension bar (c).

Combination wrenches: Combination wrenches have one open end and one boxed end. These wrenches come in sets of several sizes, and each wrench is made to fit a nut of a specific size, whichever end you utilize.

Torque wrenches: These wrenches are designed to tighten abolt and nut. Alternatively, screw to an exact degree to protect yourself from under-tightening or higher-tightening.

A dial torque wrench (a) plus a deflecting beam torque wrench (b).

A dial torque wrench (a) and a deflecting beam torque wrench (b).

Adjustable wrenches: You probably currently have a crescent wrench in the home, and you can adjust the jaws to fit various bolts and nuts simply by turning the wheel.

Pliers: If you have to buy pliers, the very best kind to get are combination slip-joint pliers. You are able to adjust this general-purpose tool to several widths with a sliding pin.

Needle-nosed pliers (a) and combination slip-joint pliers (b).

Needle-nosed pliers (a) and combination slip-joint pliers (b).

Gauges: Several tools are available to assist you to determine when enough pressure, fluid, oil and air or whatever is enough. The gauges here are probably the most useful:

Wire feeler gauges.

Wire feeler gauges.

Tire pressure gauges: Make a habit of regularly checking the tire pressure; it’s critical both for safety and good fuel economy if you never check everything else on your vehicle.

Wire and taper feeler gauges: You utilize wire and taper feeler gauges for “gapping” spark plugs.

Compression gauges: You utilize compression gauges to check the pressure that builds up in each cylinder when your engine runs.

In addition to these basics, you may choose a work light. Fluorescent work lights can draw power from the car’s battery or cigarette lighter or plug into a wall socket. They also have changeable batteries, like flashlights. And if your car didn’t include a jack, you’ll want to be sure you get some of those, and jack stands too!

What Did Federal Investigators Do When It Delayed Action in GM Recalls


Federal safety investigators put General Motors beneath a microscope earlier this week, asking the troubled automaker 107 detailed questions regarding its decade-long delay in recalling cars with a deadly defect. Now, it may be the government government’s turn to face questions.

The Center for Auto Safety, among the nation’s leading automotive safety organizations, wishes to know why federal regulators failed to act even though they had knowledge of the ignition-switch problem since 2007.

In a letter sent today, Clarence Ditlow, the organization’s president, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration not only failed to protect motorists, but charged it kept details of its preliminary inquiries secret and effectively helped GM hide this defect.

While GM bears completely responsibility for failing to recall these vehicles by 2005, when it knew what the defect was and the way to fix it, NHTSA has responsibility for failing to order a recall by early 2007, Ditlow wrote. … People died and the agency shares responsibility for their deaths with GM.

Although documents show General Motors knew about the dangerous ignition switch problem in 2004, the company failed to recall any vehicles until February, when GM announced it would recall more than 1.37 million vehicles, including certain kinds of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Chevrolet HHR, the Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Solstice.

Thus far, 13 deaths and 31 crashes happen to be attributed to the situation, in which the ignition switch inadvertently moves through the run to accessory position, and cuts power to the airbags and engine.

Could the death toll grow? The Center for Auto Safety says NHTSA received at the very least 51 reports of death claims from GM via its Early Warning Reporting system between 2012 and 2004. Federal investigators sought more information in no less than 29 of the 51 reports, including 17 records before a meeting in 2007.

On March 29 of that year, NHTSA investigators and GM representatives met to discuss an accident that killed a 16-year-old Maryland girl whose airbags did not deploy in a 2005 Cobalt.

Following it, NHTSA stopped seeking more information about similar crashes, even though details from that meeting are unknown. According to the Center for Auto Safety, ahead of 2007, NHTSA sent GM inquiries on 90 percent of crashes published to the Early Warning Report system; after 2007, the agency sought more information in just 38 percent of deadly cases.

Americans need NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting system to actually provide early warnings, instead of just a rear-view mirror look into what has already gone wrong, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Friday. If NHTSA won’t take action to greatly increase public disclosure of information linked to potential safety defects, I am going to introduce legislation ensuring that it does so.

Former NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook echoed Markey’s displeasure together with the agency she used to lead. On Friday, she sent a letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation asking for an impartial investigation into NHTSA’s failure to demand a recall.

Nobody is evaluating why NHTSA failed to carry out the law, she said. I am asking you to undertake a whole evaluation of the failure, taking into consideration the overt secrecy the agency now imposes on most from the defect investigation work in order that the public is deterred from pressing the agency to act.

Earlier this week, Claybrook called upon new General Motors CEO Mary Barra to send a recall notice to consumers that underscores the severity of the ignition-switch problem.

Cars To Help You Stand Out Among Your Friends

Everyone in Los Angeles has to have a car – it’s not like you’re going to be able to get around using the paltry public transportation or anything. The buses don’t run often enough, particularly at night, and the Metro doesn’t even go to 1/10 of Los Angeles county. So if you want a car that will help identify you as a force to be reckoned with, or just something fun and cool since hey, you only live once, then here are some options for being the coolest person in your friend circle.



Teslas are actually more affordable than you think. Well, that’s not necessarily true, but they are making some versions of the fancy all-electric car that are in a normal person’s budget. You might think that there’s no way you can afford such a cool and fun car that really sets you apart from your friends, but if you think the Honda Accord your driving is worth salvaging a relationship with your friends, then you are wrong, and you should get a Tesla.



The new Fiats are really cool, and you may think that you can’t afford the import fees to bring them over from Italy, but that’s where you may be surprised: they now sell Fiats in the United States of America! If you go to a fiat dealer Los Angeles and look at their inventory, you may think that you have been teleported to the old country but that will not be true: we do not yet have teleporting technology! So you will indeed still be in your homeland, so take one out for a test drive. Not only are the cool and unique and funky, but they are easy to park, and we know in LA that’s an important criteria for getting a new car. Check out the awesome new Fiats at

Honda Odyssey

You may think that a minivan will never be what you want in order to be cooler than your friends, but just think about beach day, when it’s time for the whole gang to hang and enjoy some waves and some sun. If everyone drives separately where’s the camaraderie in that? If you get yourself a mom car like an Odyssey, not only will it last a long long time, but you will be the king of your friends circle.

Ford Mustang


Then of course there’s the muscle car factor: the power of a V6 or V8 ‘Stang, with a drop top, is the perfect thing for you to get this summer to wow your friends, impress strangers, and excite the co-eds who may take a fancy to you for the materialistic aspect of what you drive. There’s nothing wrong with a little sweetness for the summer, like a Ford Mustang. They get a bad rap for being sort of a car for douches, but in reality, they make for a really fun ride for an awesome price, since they are cheaper because no one other than rental car companies buys them.

Brake Defects Reason Why Chrysler Recalling 870,000 SUVs

2013 Dodge Durango Crew

Chrysler is recalling nearly 870. 000 SUVs because corrosion may make the vehicles’ brakes harder to use.

Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from your 2011 through 2014 model years are involved.

If they’re subjected to water, chrysler says crimp joints within the brake boosters can corrode. If the water freezes, the boosters won’t aid braking as they usually do.

Chrysler began investigating after some customers said their brakes felt too firm when pressed down. The company knows of one accident, but no injuries, because of the defect.

Dealers will install a shield to protect the boosters free of charge and replace boosters that aren’t working properly.

Chrysler has since changed the design to help make the boosters more corrosion resistant.

Chrysler will notify owners of the recall, that involves 867,795 vehicles.

Save Your Self From Drama-Free Summer Driving


The summer months are the perfect time to have a road trip or visit relatives and friends who live far away. Your automobile is a gateway to going to the big city, going on a fishing trip, getting a hike within the woods or just barbecuing with the lake. Before leaving for a trip, you should ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition. In fact, nothing ruins a warm sunny day like getting stranded along the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Follow these five easy steps to make certain your summer road trip is a inexpensive and safe endeavor.

1. Check your tires

Checking your tires is advisable when you go on any long trip, whatever season it can be. Over time, your tires can become deflated and may need to be topped with some air. Usually, your car’s owner’s manual could have the proper air pressure. Also you can check the driver door jamb for a sticker with the prescribed pressure levels. Low tire pressure can hurt your car’s fuel economy and then make it harder to steer, which is a serious safety issue.

Also, be sure to have plenty of tread (using the penny test), and that the wear is distributed evenly along each tire. Go to a tire shop to remedy the trouble as soon as possible in case your tread is low or worn unevenly.

2. Obtain your brakes inspected

Your brakes are among the most significant safety devices in your car. Worn-out brakes can mean the main difference between a harsh stop as well as a serious accident. If you haven’t had your brakes checked in the past year, swing from a local shop to have them inspect the wear in your pads. For most cars, a visual inspection takes only a few minutes and can literally save your life.

3. Inspect your belts

The belts become dry and brittle, causing them to crack and, eventually, break, like a car ages. Your car will cease working and you’ll lose a great deal of time and money having it towed on the nearest shop if your belt snaps on the streets. The time it takes to get a belt inspection can be a tiny fraction of the time it takes to get pulled home from the middle of nowhere.

4. Top off coolant

Your car’s cooling system is extremely critical if the weather warms up and you’re running the air conditioner to remain frosty and nice inside. Open up the hood and appearance the coolant level in case your car’s low coolant light has come on in the last few months. Most cars have a built-in gauge that indicates the proper level. Only check your coolant level as soon as the car has not been driven recently, and make sure to top with distilled water to avoid impurities.

5. Refill window washer fluid reservoir

During a long trip, your windshield will assuredly become covered in dust and dead bugs. To make sure you can quickly and easily remove these without having to stop at a gas station, ensure that your window washer fluid reservoir is full. You can get the fluid at your local auto parts store, and it’s usually relatively cheap. The window washer fluid reservoir on most cars is readily accessible under the hood, as it’s indicated by way of a picture of a windshield about the cap.