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Category Archives: Automotive

Exhaust Fitting Centres Have the Answers

Trust A Local Car Exhaust Fitting Centre

When you ask the question “where’s the best exhaust fitting near me?” don’t forget that local independent exhaust fitting centres often have more time and the will to illuminate you about issues rather than the national chains who can perceive your exhaust as just another in a long line of jobs that day.

Mick Jones and his team at Thatcham Tyres and Exhaust, for example, pride themselves on their outstanding reputation, competitive pricing, excellent customer services and the friendly atmosphere. Many customers have used them for years for their car exhaust fitting, plus batteries and tyre needs.

If you sense that there could be an issue with your exhaust, no matter how small it may prove to be, please seek professional, experienced specialists who have the answers to all your questions. It’s true, it is better to be safe than sorry.


The basic components of an exhaust system

  • Tailpipe, this is the most recognisable part.
  • The silencer box or boxes, these are connected to the catalytic converter and the tailpipe. It is imperative that these operate so emissions are within legislative and environmental levels.
  • The exhaust manifold, this is the means via which the exhaust fumes are removed from the engine.

Your exhaust performs several vital tasks in your vehicle:

  • Ensures efficient fuel consumption.
  • Improves the engine’s performance.
  • Directs exhaust fumes away from passengers within the vehicle.
  • Control the operational noise levels.

Possible faults

  • A blown exhaust pipe impacts negatively on the above and has the potential to lead the police to stop you. Better to take your problem to a car exhaust fitting centre before the authorities have an opportunity to scold you!
  • Strange noises should never be ignored. Whistling, rattling, hissing, roaring…any unusual occurrence should be investigated by a car exhaust fitting specialist.
  • Rattling suggests that the exhaust is out of alignment, there is a crack or blockage or loose brackets.
  • Roaring tends to occur when there is an issue with the silencer, exhaust manifold, gasket or tailpipe.
  • Hissing can be a sign that the pipework or the muffler is leaking.
  • Rust, the silencers suffer from rust and corrosion thanks to acidic moisture, this can cause separation of parts and should be taken seriously.
  • White smoke when the engine starts is normal but if the smoke continues this often indicates a coolant leak. Burning antifreeze causes smoke and leaking gaskets or engine cracks can also result in white smoke so please seek professional advice at once. The emissions are hazardous.
  • When blue smoke appears, this is often an engine issue as burnt oil is getting in to the exhaust network. Again, an instant evaluation is required.

Car owners are not expected to be able to ascertain what may be wrong with their exhaust or vehicle, if this was the case why would specialists exist? Please don’t think that talking to an expert will make you feel silly or unknowledgeable; one chat at an exhaust fitting centre could save lives.

Can Car Safety Ratings and Recalls Affect Illinois At-Fault Traffic Accidents?

Over the years there have been a huge number of recalls on vehicles which were found to be safety risks by the IIHS, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and many of those were the result of investigations after traffic accidents. If you have been involved in what was considered to be an at-fault accident and the vehicle you were driving should have been recalled, you would be best served in Illinois by a Chicago traffic attorney.

You Will Be Fighting an Uphill Battle

While you may have just cause to make a claim that a defective vehicle was the ultimate cause of the accident, it can be argued that as the owner, it was your responsibility to know your car. Have you owned it for any length of time? Were you aware of any recalls due to safety issues but failed to turn your car in for repairs or replacements? All these things will be considered, and it may take some serious litigation to prove that you were uninformed and unaware of any problems leading up to the failure resulting in an accident.

Your Attorney May Fight for Punitive Damages

Oddly, it can be easier than you think to win a case against a vehicle manufacturer once you’ve established you had no prior knowledge of the defect. A good traffic attorney can seek punitive damages from the manufacturer above and beyond any personal/bodily injury or property claims. It is often noted that a manufacturer may look at the cost of changing a design only to ignore the safety issues because of what it will cost them to recall and redesign defective parts or assembly.

Apparently, it has been argued that it costs less for a manufacturer to pay punitive damages as they arise than to recall vehicles. If this can be proven in a court of law, your chances of winning a traffic violation in a previously held to be at-fault accident are better than good.

Before You Buy a New Vehicle

No one wants to live with the fact that they were responsible for damages, injuries or fatalities due to an at-fault accident. That goes without saying. It is therefore suggested that you always read the IIHS safety ratings on any vehicle you are about to purchase. If those ratings are acceptable, you should keep a copy for your file in the event that you should ever need to defend yourself in traffic court. What if you weren’t involved in an auto accident but were given a speeding ticket when your speedometer wasn’t calibrated accurately or the gas pedal stuck? It isn’t unheard of for pedals to stick, brake or accelerate, and it likewise isn’t unheard of to win a case in court if those issues could be proven.

Car safety ratings can impact the decision of who carries fault in an accident, but it is up to you as the vehicle’s owner to know the car you are driving. If you ignore safety ratings, then you could still be held liable. Your best defense is a good attorney. That’s the bottom line.

Car Battery Reconditioning

You may use the car’s electric systems to excess or you may forget you left your car headlights on over night. So batteries problems are quite common and frequent and if you know what to do in such scenarios, reconditioning an old battery or reviving an apparent dead battery is quite easy.

The most important of these actions can be performed by anyone with the proper equipment and the necessary accessories and best of all it will not cost you over $40. In fact, these tips can be put into practice when it comes to various batteries reconditioning, from car batteries to cell phone and even iPod batteries.

You can even take things further, because if you learn how to recondition batteries, you may even find it to be a profitable business venture on a small scale. There are several things you have to take into consideration when reconditioning a battery.

First, batteries of all sorts, car batteries included, are filled with dangerous acid and proper handling is vital to avoid any accidents. If you injure yourself while reconditioning a battery, consult a medic at once, as many dangerous chemical elements are included in a modern car battery. Batteries nowadays are more environmental friendly than a couple years ago, but they still have components that are dangerous to the environment so dead batteries and batteries’ parts should be disposed of in their proper places.

So let us get started and you will see how easy battery reconditioning really is. Modern rechargeable batteries allow users to forget about annoying power cables that hinder the manipulation of power tools and that restrict movement of any device to length of the cable from a power source. Many electric devices are portable and their batteries are very compact as well. When reconditioning batteries, it is important to take on board that an unhealthy battery can have its causes in the chargers that malfunction.

However, more frequently, it is the battery, which is killing the charger. People will go and buy new chargers all the time, without knowing that the problem is in the battery itself.

Every battery has a determined lifespan in which it functions properly and once this period has passed, a battery will require reconditioning. Car batteries are no different. They are charged while the car is moving, but after some years, a car battery will require maintenance as well. New batteries develop a memory effect but reconditioning a battery properly should remove this effect completely.

Fuel Pump and Injection

Electric fuel pumps will experience problems with wear after many years of continuous service. Gradual loss of pressure and flow can result from the wear on pump vanes, rollers or gears. If the inlet filter sock lets sediment or rust get by then you will also have accelerated wear. This can even cause serious problems such as overheat and burn out if the pump becomes jammed with the sediment. Lubrication and cooling of the fuel pump only occurs when fuel is passing through it.

If you start having problems with your fuel pump then the first thing you should do is check the voltage supply and the electrical connections. You may simply just need to replace a fuse or loose wire. However, if everything is fine then you will need to run a measuring static output pressure and fuel delivery test to check the ability of the pump to deliver fuel. If your pump is not meeting manufacturer’s requirements after these test then you will need to replace the entire fuel pump.

When replacing your fuel pump always remember to disconnect the battery to prevent unwanted sparks during the replacement process. And always remember to drain the tank first. Before putting in a new fuel pump it is always a good idea to also replace the filter screen and use new o-ring and gaskets.

Paintless Dent Repair

As well as preserving the vehicles long term value, the paintless dent removal process is dramatically faster than conventional methods, resulting in a car owners time off the road being significantly reduced. Amongst the many benefits of paintless dent repair, the most remarkable is in favour of the customer, which is the price. Average cost of repair in comparison to conventional methods is half and the quality of repairs are as good, if not better in most cases.

So how exactly are the dents removed? Before repair begins, the vehicle is thoroughly washed to ensure the technician can see the dent completely without any misrepresentation caused by dirt or debris. Paintless dent removal specialists use long steel rods to gently massage the dents out. These rods come in a multitude of shapes and sizes catering to different applications and areas of the vehicle. All dents are massaged out from underneath the panel being worked on e.g. For a vehicle with a dent on the hood, the hood lining would be removed and then with the right tool, the dent would be slowly pushed out from underneath.

A chain or strap is hooked to the panel where ever possible and the rod sits on top of it. The technician will then pivot back and forth with the rod on the chain forcing pressure on the dent, moulding it back into shape. The technician has great control over the pressure and the angle of the tool which enables him/her to be extremely precise. As pressure is applied from underneath the panel, the technician will see where the force is coming from by viewing how the dent reacts above the panel.

Lighting is an important factor during the paintless dent repair process. The most effective source of light comes from normal everyday fluorescent tubes. The light places emphasis on the dent and shows its true magnitude by distorting the light across the surface of the panel making the depth and span more apparent. Whilst massaging the dent out, the technician has a lot more control over the repair as each push is amplified by the light, thereby increasing accuracy.

The number of dents a technician is able to remove is based solely on his/her skill level. Certain areas on a vehicle are a lot more difficult to repair mainly due to the inaccessibility of the underside of the panel. This is the main reason for the variety in the shapes and sizes of tools used. As a technician’s skill level increases, so does repair time and the quality of the final result.

The paintless dent repair industry has grown significantly over the last few years. Quick, efficient and effective repairs have greatly contributed to the increase in demand for the service, technicians and improved techniques and process management. An important advancement within the industry for has come from the adoption of paintless dent removal services by automotive insurance companies and their choice to prefer these services over conventional panel repair techniques.

All about Repair Mercruiser Parts

Mercruiser Inboards

Mercruiser is the major player in the gas engine business. Mercruiser inboards are popular because of their ease of use and ease to maintain. These inboards offer a range of power and are used both in cars and boats. A mercruiser engine works the same way a car engine does. The inboard engine is a water-cooled, separate lubrication system, and cylinder formation.

Repair Mercruiser Parts

Mercruiser engines for the most part are very reliable, but when it comes to car engines, or other parts for that matter, something can and will usually go wrong. Things eventually break down and stop working. Even though you might be a genuine car lover and aficionado that does not necessarily mean that you are a car mechanic. Engines and that parts that compose it, can be very complicated. Replacing many of these parts can be an issue and a headache; so many times it is important to take the car to a profession to deal with it.

The first thing you should do, before searching on your own for a mechanic is to take a close look at your owner’s manual. The manual many times will be able to offer you tips and advice on maintenance, and give you enough information to make an informed decision. Many times the manual will have numbers of recommended places that will be able to service your car, and it since it is in the manual they should be reliable places.

There are a couple of things that you may want to try first, before taking the car into the shop for repair. If your engine does not turn over it could be due to a dead battery. Check the battery and make sure that it is fully charged. If you turn the ignition key and it does not activate, it probably means that you are getting no voltage to the dash and or to the key switch. This implies that you might have a blown ignition fuse, a dislodged circuit breaker, a loose or damaged harness plug. You may want to unplug it and then put it back in. This might do the trick. Your engine also has a red circuit breaker button, push the button, you have to really push it hard, the breaker can sometimes pop out of the harness if it is overloaded, and doing this can resolve the problem with this part. If this does not work, then unfortunately, you are probably looking at a bigger issue and will need to take the car into the shop for repair.

Interior Repair Techs

1) Rush your work. Yup, time is money, so don’t take your time…haul ass and finish in seconds. Who cares how the repair looks anyways..

2) Don’t color test your dyes prior to redying. Just spray and hope. I mean, why would you want to be sure the leather dye on that Mercedes is a spot on match, right? Heck, it might take you 2-3 minutes to do so..

3) Use cheap products. Yeah, everyone says good products keep your business coming back and save you time, but spray paint and household glue from Home Depot are SO cheap! Use crap products…

4) Don’t grain your leather and vinyl repairs. Yeah, just fix the rip or tear or hole, and then fill and dye. Sure the area texture wont match and will be smooth and standout like a sore thumb, but time is money… so move on.

5) Don’t remove a stain, always dye it. Sure, it might come right up with Acetone, but that would be too easy. Complicate it…use a spray dye, or better yet a spray paint from your Home Depot run..a surefire way to have more problems.

Tips Negotiate Car Repairs

Car repairs can be negotiated just like anything else, more so even. Your mechanic or service manager at the dealer, knows for a fact that you are being over charged, that means that all you have to do is ask for a discount. If your mechanic is worth his salt he calls you before he does any work on your car, that is when the negotiation should start. When your mechanic tells you that you need a new “flex capacitor” and it cost around $800, your first reaction should be “Can you give me a better price?”
Or better yet “Can you do it for $700” . You need to make it clear from the very beginning that you want a discount. A ten percent discount is always a good starting point, you are only trying to get a small discount, which is better than nothing. The biggest mistake you can make is to wait until your car repair is finished. At that point he basically is holding your car hostage until you pay him, so that means he is in full control of the negotiation. The very little control we do have is before any work is done, because we still have the ability to say no thanks I’ll take it somewhere else.

Most people want a discount, but most people don’t like negotiating. Let’s face it, it’s not for everybody. The reason car repair is set up for negotiation is because your mechanic or service manager knows that he can give you a discount but he certainly is not going to offer it. You’ll be surprised to see how easy they will give you 10% just for asking. The next time your you need a car repair follow these steps to get a 10% discount::

1. Make sure you tell the service manager or mechanic to call you BEFORE he does any work to your car.

2. Always ask for an estimate when he tells you what repairs you need.

3. What ever amount he says, ask for at least for a 10% discount. It’s much better saying a specific price instead of 10%, so make sure you have your math ready.

Chilton Manuals

The Chilton Publishing Company originated in 1922 as a publishing house for automotive periodicals. Over the years, their publishing expanded to include other industries, earning a reputation as the premier authority on mechanical information and repair. The company has always prided itself on accuracy and reliability, and the trust their manuals have instilled in both laymen and professionals accounts for the wide demand of Chilton repair manuals throughout the automotive world. A Chilton Manual focuses on a specific line of cars during a set range of years (e.g. Buick Regal/Century 1975-1987). It covers all parts in the car, explaining size, feature, and function. This level of detail proves invaluable when something small on the car malfunctions, and the owner decides to purchase a replacement and install it at home. Without the specifics available through a Chilton repair manual, this would be virtually impossible. Furthermore, beginning mechanics find Chilton repair manuals useful as learning tools because they actually explain the cause and effect relationships of the automobile’s mechanical systems. For the newcomer to home auto repair, the step-by-step instructions and the detailed diagrams and photographs teach the repair process as much as they assist in its completion. It goes without saying as well that high school auto shop teachers use Chilton repair manuals more than they do their auto repair textbooks, and they train their students in how to use the manual both for safety purposes and for knowledge of the craft.

Almost everyone who associates daily with automobiles either has on hand or frequently uses a Chilton repair manual. Classic car enthusiasts rely upon them for both parts and assembly instructions vital to the restoration process. Owners of older vehicles simply cannot rely upon anything other than a Chilton repair manual simply because the typical service chain keeps pace with newer automotive models and often tells the proud owner of a vintage car to take it to a special shop or buy a new car. As we mentioned earlier, students and first-time mechanics use Chilton repair manuals for everything from learning how to change the oil, replace spark plugs and check manifold intake systems, and troubleshoot electrical problems by using a Chilton manual’s electrical wiring diagrams essential to understanding today’s integration of computer technology into the modern vehicle. In fact, vehicle owners doing any type of electrical work on their vehicle need to strongly consider using Chilton as their guide, as much of today’s sophisticated technology can actually pose a danger even to a mechanic skilled in traditional automotive repair but unfamiliar in new wiring and computer hardware. With a Chilton repair manual, even a professional can learn and grow as technology continues to evolve.

Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are supposed to pay (in full or in part) for specified repairs for a specific period of time after the expiration of the factory warranty. They can be a great value. They can also be a significant waste of money. It gets quite foggy in the details. What exactly is covered? How long? How much? Are there hidden charges?

There are numerous extended warranty companies and an even wider variety of warranty packages available: silver, gold, platinum, platinum-plus, and a host of other confidence-building words. What’s the best plan, and are extended service contracts worth the money?

Extended warranties, like life insurance policies, are a numbers game. They’re a gamble. You pay $2500-$4500 for a 2 year, 100,000-mile protection plan and hope that you get at least that back in warranty repairs. The provider on the other hand, hopes to pay out less than it insured.

There are three major types of plan providers: The manufacturer, the dealership/third party, and third party providers. Each one has its assets and liabilities (discussed ahead).

What exactly is covered in an extended service plan? As mentioned above, what’s covered depends on the package purchased. Some plans only cover the power train: the mechanical components of the engine, transmission, and rear-end. Others cover the power train plus some electrical components. Still others cover electrical, advanced electrical, and computer components. Some only cover what’s listed in the contract. This is called a “Stated” or “Named” contract. This means that if it’s not stated, it’s not covered. Some cover bumper-to-bumper, similar to a manufacturer warranty, except trim pieces, upholstery, exterior components, cosmetic items, and a number of other exclusions.