Your car’s radio and headlights, plus a slew of other important functions, are powered by an electrical current generated by your vehicle’s engine. A vital part of generating electricity is having a place to store it while it’s not being used, which is where a car battery comes into play. The battery holds electrical energy while a car is off in order to help the engine turn over and create a spark to start internal combustion. Without a working battery, your car will not be able to start. If you perform proper maintenance, however, an average car battery can start your car reliably for roughly four years.
If you’ve ever been in an emergency braking situation, you’re probably all too aware that the brakes are the most important safety system on your vehicle. And like many other systems in a vehicle, the brakes need regular upkeep to continue functioning properly. One way to preserve the integrity of the braking system is through brake bleeding, and while it may not be as well known as certain services like oil changes, it is a key maintenance item for a vehicle.
So your vehicle has become dirty enough to cause you just a little bit of shame. It happens. With a busy schedule and tight budget, cleaning a car is often the last thing on your mind. Luckily, the problem of a dirty car is completely fixable – and, even better, you can do something about it without breaking the bank. There are a lot of expensive car care products out there that will certainly make your vehicle gleam in the sun, and by all means use them if you want. But these tips are so easy on the wallet, you may already have many of the materials in your house.
Pro tip: While these recommended solutions are generally harmless, it's always a good idea to test on a small, unnoticeable area first to be sure it won't damage the fabric or paint on your car.
Many modern automobiles are so refined that you can hardly hear their engines anymore, but don’t be lulled into complacency—there’s still a combustion cycle taking place under the hood, and catastrophic overheating remains a remote possibility. That’s why you should periodically check your vehicle’s temperature gauge while driving. Every gauge has a normal stopping point once the engine is warmed up; it’s usually a bit below the midpoint line between cold and hot. It’s probably not a doomsday scenario for your engine if your gauge ever reads anywhere above normal, but it could easily become one if you don’t take prompt action. Here are the steps you’ll need to know.
You may be surprised – shocked, even – to learn just how important automotive shocks and struts really are. If you need new shocks or struts, don't delay, because these are crucial safety items that help you maintain control behind the wheel.
But wait a minute. How do you know whether or not you need replacements? And what does a shock or strut even do in the first place? Every driver should know the answers to these questions, yet few actually do. So we're going to walk you through the answers, step by step.
Often confused with wheel alignment, a properly balanced wheel is a beautiful, perfectly tuned wheel-tire combination. This is accomplished by placing measured lead weights on the opposite side of the "heavy spot"—the noticeable tread wear on your unbalanced tire.