Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Car Auction Options

Car Auctions are not for everyone but there are all types of car auctions out there and sometimes you can really get a hold of some great deals, you just need to shop around and you’ll find what you are looking for. 

The government car auctions are probably one of the best ways to find an incredible deal on a car. The government and law enforcement agencies whether they are local or state and even federal have a large amount of property from seizures.  On top of that they also have an amazing amount of surplus that they have on hand and they are always holding auctions because they do not have the space and they do not have the budget to have employees maintain the items.

You can check with your local law enforcement agency to find out where and when they are holding their next auction or you can also check online with the FBI, DEA, IRS as well as our Border Patrol and homeland security departments. They are always having regular auctions due to seized and repossessed vehicles. Another good place to check is with the banks who will sell off their property in public auctions as well.

The public auctions that are held by your local law enforcement agency as well as the state are usually thought to be where you can find the best prices because they would rather get rid of the car and make some money then have to deal with the expense of keeping it in storage.

The maintenance cost drains the budget for these agencies where the money can be used in more practical ways. Their motive is to make money and save money at the same time and they don’t want to be spending it on storage costs for these seized and repossessed vehicles.

When you are at these auctions there is usually a minimum bid that is placed on the vehicle but they are normally very low. Banks however will normally have auctions where the prices are a lot closer to the actual market value of the vehicles they are auctioning off.  The banks goal is to pay off a balance due to the non payment of the actual loan of the car.

Auto auctions are normally held either monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and even yearly. You can check online or in your local newspaper for the date and times of these auctions.  If you don’t see any scheduled dates there just give them a call and they will be happy to supply you with the information of their next scheduled auction.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Honda Announces their Collegiate Skinit Kits

College sports fans can now show their team spirit on an even bigger level because Honda has announced that their Honda Power Equipment is launching their official collegiate Skinit Kit which is an innovative accessory that is available only for its Honda EU2000i super quiet series portable generator.  

The Honda Collegiate Skinit Kit is made of a thin and flexible generator covers that can have your College Official team logo and graphics from a selection of twenty sex different college football teams. Their kits are being produced by the Skinit Company which specializes in on demand personalization technology by using their high quality 3M™ vinyl printed state of the art digital presses to produce bold and vibrant photo quality graphics. These Skinit Kits have been designed to fit all EU 2000 models as well as with the choke, check oil and on and off labels which are being integrated into their design. These skins will not interfere with the generator safety warning or the serial number on the label. They apply easily and can be removed easily while leaving no residue. The Skinit Kits will be available at Honda dealers nationwide or at www.skinit.com.

The Collegiate Skinit Kits will let owners of the Honda EU2000i generators to customize their model which is good news to all college sports fans because they will be able to show off their team colors anywhere. The Honda EU200i generator provides owners with clean, quiet and portable power.

There is an increase in consumers that are turning to the fuel efficient portable generators that are being used not only for play but on the job as well. Very popular uses for the Honda EU2000i generators include using them while camping at family picnics and even at tailgating events along with many other uses. They can even produce enough power to supply energy for a refrigerator, laptop, television and a coffee pot simultaneously.  

The Honda super quiet EU models were the original generators that offered a parallel capability that works together with two lightweight Honda EU 2000i models that delivers a full combined power that is able to start and run an RV air conditioner along with other appliances.

You can purchase your Honda Collegiate Skinit Kit for your EU200i for Big Ten teams, SEC teams, Pac10, ACC, Big 12 and Independent teams.

Honda continuously sets industry standards with their portable generators that are designed for high quality and portability along with a quiet operation as well as fuel efficiency. College fans everywhere will not only be able to show their team spirit but will be able to use their generator virtually everywhere!

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Up and Coming Auto Technologies

We have all seen the movies where cars of the future have been depicted and they showed that the vehicle could interact with the driver with no assistance from the person driving. Cars of today are starting to take on those futuristic technologies.

The Hybrid has been on the market for a bit now and there is technology on the horizon where the vehicles will be totally electric and with no need for any gasoline. Think of what the auto makers are doing as far as the technology in trying to create a fully electric automobile that gives off zero emissions and where you once saw gas stations you will start seeing recharging stations that would run on solar power or even quite possibly wind power.

When it comes to safety features for the future with manufacturers developing systems that are using radar and or lasers to assist a driver in keeping a safe distance from the other vehicles. The technology is astounding and according to some manufacturer surveys their crash tests are looking very promising.

Many say that they sure don’t make cars like they used to and they are totally correct. The vehicles of today are far more light weight and have better fuel economy and give off lower emissions. Yes it is correct to say that when you have lighter vehicles they don’t handle accidents very well. The technology to create the lighter materials are now  being made with  materials that will hold up as well as with stand a bigger collision then when they first came out on the market.  

Those computerized cars that you saw in the movies are now being realized through computer technology. Items such as the GPS or global positioning systems are becoming a standard for vehicles. There are also some on the market that come equipped with breathalyzers so that the driver if they have been drinking will not be able to start their car if they do not past the test.

Self driving cars are going to become a reality in the world some where in the future. The concept is there but as of yet we have not come that far. A self driving car concept in the works is one where a vehicle will be able to be used that contains a magnet system.

So don’t be surprised when one day we are all driving a car of the future and putting aside any thought to those old heavy gas guzzling and air polluting automobiles.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Facts and Nothing but the Facts of SRS

The SRS or also known as the supplemental restraint system is the warning light is more commonly known as the air bag system light. It is a computer controlled system that will deploy one or air bags as needed. This system also will tighten seat belts in order to protect the driver and passengers in a collision to prevent any harm that my come to any of the occupants.

In order for the SRS system to work properly every passenger must latch themselves in via their seat belt. This sort of system is also described as the passive restraint system due to the fact that the driver or a passenger does not need to do anything to activate the SRS system.

When a driver starts their vehicle, it is normal for the SRS light to light itself up for a few seconds to do its self testing. When the light goes out your SRS system is ready, however, if the light stays on then you can be certain that there is something faulty in your SRS system. When this happens the system will disable itself. The bad part is if there is an accident the air bags will not release nor will the seat belts tighten.
If the lights do stay on you will need to bring your vehicle in to a qualified repair shop so that the SRS system can be inspected and have the necessary repairs done. This system is important so it’s not a good idea to put off this type of repair.
An incentive to getting your SRS system repairs is that more and more insurance companies will not cover your medical expenses if it was determined that the SRS system had been disabled and not repaired. The system has a black box just like airplanes do and records any data from your accident. It can tell them what speed you were going as well as how many people actually had their seat belts on. So if you’re insurance company finds the fault to be with you not repairing the system over a certain time frame they will not be willing to cover any injuries that may have occurred.
Another cause of concern for you should be if your SRS light system not only stays on but starts flashing on and off. This means that the fault system has been compromised and you are putting not only yourself but your passengers at risk.
There are some newer and more enhancements that have recently been made to the SRS systems which can recline a front seat which will help those sitting in the front portion of the vehicle to absorb the whiplash phase in a collision which is the cause of most neck and spinal injuries. Many of the newer vehicles have side air bags as well to protect the occupants from hitting the side of the car with their heads. There are also some that come with curtains that drop down to protect everyone from the breaking glass that comes from the windshield or side windows.
The facts are simply just the facts; the SRS system is a wonderful system to protect not only you and your passengers so it makes perfect sense to make sure that it is fully operational at all times. When an accident happens you’ll be glad you took care of any issues before it has become to late.
 Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Stress New Car Purchase Tips

Purchasing a new car can be a stressful time for many people or even you may be one of those people that find it to be an easy process. By knowing some of the in and outs when it is time to make that new car purchase will definitely help you!

If you are looking to trade in your used car towards the purchase of a new car you need to research your trade in value. Having this information when you go into the dealer will definitely give you an edge.It is an easy option however you may want to try selling your car on your own because you might get closer to that retail value then if you actually trade in the car at the time of your new car purchase.

When you go to make that new car purchase, instead of sitting at the dealership waiting to be financed it is a good idea to secure financing before you actually go in to buy that new car. You will more then likely get a better rate financing this way then actually going through a dealership.

Many people are afraid of negotiations when it comes to making a new car purchase. Dealer invoice prices are available online and this will help you when it comes to negotiating a better deal on your purchase. If you do a little bit of research before you go into the dealership you might be able to negotiate a better price with the incentives that are being offered at that time.

When it comes time for that new car purchase there is no need to be nervous or let it become the worst experience of your life. If you make yourself aware of what bargaining tips you do have it won’t be that big of a deal.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grade That Used Car

You found the used car you have been shopping for and now you about to take it for that test drive. There are some very good reason’s you should be taking that test drive and not just to check out the sound system.  When you test drive that used car you will be have a better chance deciding whether it is going to be a reliable car for you or simply a car that you should not be buying in the first place.

When you go to test drive that used car you need to evaluate it in an objective manner and keep notes as to the positive’s or the negative’s that you find so that you can make sound judgement on the actual performance and needs for that particular car. More likely then not you’re going to be shopping around for awhile and this list will help you to refer back to any car you are encountering when shopping around.

Even if you have no idea what used car you want to purchase you do need to make sure that the car is thoroughly inspected. Make sure that there is an adequate amount of oil, coolant and transmission fluids along with the proper tire pressure are important basics.

Check under the hood and see if you can smell any over whelming odors, if you do then more then likely there is some trouble lurking in that engine. Check for any sign that the used car was not maintained properly. Check the oil filler cap; look for dark, sludge deposits on the interior. If you find any that means the oil was not frequently changed. Also, look at the hoses and fan belts for any cracking and then lie on the ground and actually look under the car for things like leaking chock absorbers and a dented skid plate and that’s important especially for SUV’s. Also look at the ground itself and check for any signs of fluid losses.

When you go to actually start the used car accelerate and decelerate all the while looking in that rearview mirror for any signs of smoking coming from the tail pipe area. Check the tires by running your hand on each of the tires treads. If you find any uneven wear to them it more then likely means worn suspension parts are involved. Also, check the depth of the tire treads make sure there is at least 10/32nds inch of tread on that car’s tires and if you are looking at a truck or SUV make sure it is at least 11/32nds. Check the tire pressure for proper or improper inflation because it will affect your test driving performance decision.

If you are able to look through to the wheels take a peak at the brake rotors for any cracking, grooving or discoloration. Some cars you can even see the brake pads as to what the thickness is.

When you are test driving that used car of course you’re going to make a noise about how the car actually feels when you are on the road. Make sure you note any noises that might be coming from the car as well as if the seat is comfortable which might be an important factor if you do a lot of driving. Remember these notes are going to come in handy when you are evaluating the choices on that used car.

Another very good tip is to drive it for at least ten miles or more to make sure you have ample time to assess the entire car. Also if you are going through a private owner it’s always nice to them a little money to make sure that you get enough time behind that wheel. Make sure that you not only get those surface streets but also that you are able to get that car onto the freeway. Ask the owner or sales person if it is ok to take the car up and down a couple of freeway ramps so you can get a better feel for the car and especially in a sports car.

That used car may indeed have an awesome sound system but now is not the time to be evaluating that. You need to turn your attention to things such as the air conditioner or the heater and don’t do this part of the test with the windows down. When flipping the switch back and forth from heater to the air conditioning listen for any noises that are not the usual. Also if the car is making any distressing type noises when you are changing speeds or switching pavements. To check for any steering issues like a velocity joint failure, turn the wheel slowly and fully one way and then the other. A failing velocity joint will make a clicking or whining noise.

If you think you’ve found a good used car and still can not make up your mind try getting a second opinion by having the car checked out by a licensed mechanic for yet another thorough inspection and test drive, you might have to spend a little bit of money but it will be money that is worth spending.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto Group http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3&amp ;  stop on over and visit us! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hyrbid Cars Equals a Good Eco Strategy

It is common knowledge that older cars have a significant impact on gas emission when it comes to global warming. The Green house effect is a result of the carbon dioxides that we have put into the air. It has affected the health of humans and is killing plants all over the world. It damages everything it encounters. You know those days when you see a haze across the land that is carbon dioxide. Thankfully car manufacturers are being forced into developing new technologies to reduce the level of gas emissions that are being put into the air and they are attacking this problem by producing hybrid cars.

The technology that is being put into the new hybrid cars will significantly increase the quality of our air. There are many methods of reducing the pollutants that are given off by an car engines and the technology is getting more advance with every newly developed car as they come into the market. New additives have been developed to replace tetraethyl lead which is in gasoline and there are devices to remove pollutants from the exhaust system to make combustion in an engine more complete.

The new hybrid cars combine the sources of a rechargeable battery and gasoline which are also called gasoline electric cars. The battery in a hybrid is used to provide the needed acceleration power but once the car is stopped the hybrid gasoline motor shuts off and runs off the electric motor and battery.

There are two types of hybrids a parallel hybrid and a series hybrid car. The difference is that a parallel hybrid has a fuel tank that supplies gasoline to the engine while the series hybrid has a generator which is turned by the gasoline engine. It charges the battery or power of the electric motor that drives the transmission. Components that make up a hybrid car are a gasoline engine, fuel tank, electric motor, generator, batteries and the transmission. Both the engine and the electric motor can turn the transmission at the very same time and then transmission will then turn the wheels.

This innovative technology is the alternative energy solution to help us to reduce the risk further global warming. Hybrids reduce the fuel emissions that the hybrid engine draws on the battery when the car is not accelerating. CO2 is another component or also called trace gasses that make up the other part of the air’s composition. If cars do not put CO2 into the air then there will be no more threat of these trace gases.

For the time being it is expensive to produce hybrid cars but Honda has been the leader in production in bringing the CO2 trace gases down to practically zero.

Every car manufacturer realizes that cars contribute in a big way to global warming. We have the technology available so if Honda can do its part in reducing air pollution that is contributing to Global warming then the rest of the auto manufacturers should being doing their part as well.

The Toyota hybrid the Highlander is available in front and all wheel drive version features two electric motors one that powers the front wheels and the second that powers the rear wheels. This system is a twin motor that has no drive shaft connecting the transmission and the rear wheels have the effect of reducing weight and enhance the interior leg room for comfort.

It is a well known fact that Americans are used to the older traditional cars and they choose them because of their safety and power it has become a difficult task to get the American consumers to change their way of thinking but if sales of Honda’s and Toyota’s hybrid cars we may just be coming around to a new way of thinking.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! http://www.manlyauto.com/  We also can be found on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook  at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001445954579&v=wall stop on over and visit us! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Time For A Little Brake Action!

All week long we have been discussing car maintenance and we are now ending the week with important tips for checking your brakes.

We all pretty much know how important brakes are for your vehicle because without them running or running in tip top shape your car just simply won’t stop. If you have ever lost partial brake usage in the past you should learn to inspect your brakes at least twice a year for any wear and damage so that you can protect not only yourself but your passengers as well. By catching needed repairs on your brakes now will save you a lot because it is better to replace it now then wait until later when it could turn out to be a costly expense later on.  

On many cars today you can inspect your brakes without ever having to remove the wheel. If your car has alloy wheels with spaces in the middle you can get a pretty good assessment of them just by peeping thought the hole and looking at them directly. If you can get a good clear look at your brakes check the brake pads and the big shiny disc.

While inspecting the disc you will want to see whether it is shiny from the inside edge and it should be uniformed in its shape. If you see lines on it, it is not a need for panic it is simply normal wear and tear. If the disc has any rough spots or has pronounced type grooves in the disc then you should replace them. A warped brake disc can make even short car trips very irritating. Every time you apply the brakes you think you're going to lose a filling. It's fairly easy to replace your brake discs and not at all expensive. Combine this repair with brake pad replacement and you've had a very productive car repair day!

Before you begin to work in the wheel area be sure your car is safely supported on jack stands. You should never work on your car while it is supported only by a scissor or other emergency tire changing jack.

The first step in brake disc replacement is removing the brake caliper. Remove the brake caliper just like you were replacing your brake pads. Once the caliper is unbolted let it hang out of the way using a bungee cord or similar hanger. You should do this so you won’t have to unbolt the brake line.

Once you've removed the brake caliper, you have to remove the structure that is holding the caliper and pads in place this is called the carrier. Removing it is similar to removing the caliper two bolts on the back and it's off. Be sure to put all of the parts you remove in a safe place with the bolts that they go with it.

With everything out of the way, you can finally start removing the old brake disc. Your disc is held in place by one or two set screws on the front. This may seem like nothing to you but they have a tendency to really be stuck in there.

By using a large Phillips head screwdriver and remove the bolt or bolts holding the brake disc in place. Sometimes the screws will be stripped or otherwise damaged. In this case, you'll have to drill.
With the screws removed, slide the old brake disc off the hub. If it's stubborn, give it some taps with your dead blow hammer to loosen things up and with the old disc off  you can now slide your shiny new brake disc into place. Installation is the reverse of removal so don't forget to replace the brake disc screws.
Brake discs should always be replaced in pairs so that your car's drive ability and safety are not compromised.

The next thing you will need to look at are the brake pads. If you follow the surface of the disc to the top you will see the outside pad touching the disc. If there is 1/8 of an inch or less remaining on the pad it is time for some new ones. Brake pads are very cheap and you can easily replace them.

You will be taking the wheel off so be sure you have your car jacked up and resting securely on jack stands. Go ahead and lugs before you jack it up. It's much easier and safer with the wheel on the ground.

Since you broke the lugs while the car was still on the ground they should be pretty easy to remove. Remove them from the bottom up, leaving the top lug nut to be removed last. This helps in keeping the wheel in one place while you remove the rest of them and makes it easier to safely catch the wheel once you remove the last nut.
If you remove the lugs and still can't get the wheel off, the good old fashioned way and you do this  is reinstall the lug nuts leaving about 5 turns before they start to get snug. Now lower the car to the ground, get in and start it up. Drive back and forth 4 or 5 feet a few times. Now jack the car up and test the wheel. It should be nice and loose now and you are now ready to replace with your spare so you can move on down the road.
On most cars, the next step is to remove the brake caliper so the pads will slide out through the top. On a few cars the pads will come out without removing the caliper, but not many. You'll see the brake caliper in the 12 o'clock position just above the lug bolts and riding atop that shiny brake disc.
On the back of the caliper you'll find a bolt on either side. It will either be a hex bolt of an Allen bolt. Remove these two bolts and put them aside.
Hold the caliper from the top and pull upward, wiggling it around to loosen it up. If it's stubborn, give it a few taps but don’t beat the heck out of them with an upward tap to loosen it a bit. Pull it up and slightly away however be sure not to put any stress on the brake line.
If there is a place to safely set the caliper back there you will need to do it. If not, you'll need to take your bungee cord and hang the caliper from something, the giant coil spring staring at you is a good spot. Don't let the caliper hang by the brake line because it can cause damage and lead to brake failure and that’s not a good thing!
Before you pull out the old brake pads take a second to observe how everything is in installed. If there are little metal clips around the brake pads you should remember how they are in there so you can get it right when you put things back together. It might help to remember if you take a digital picture of the whole assembly.
With the caliper out of the way the brake pads should slide right out. I said should because in a new car they probably would. Since our cars our cars are not always new you may need to coax them out with a little tap of the hammer to loosen them up. If your car has little metal tabs holding onto the brake pads, put them to the side because you'll need them in a minute. Put the new pads in the slots with any metal clips you removed. Go ahead and slide the new pads into place now, making sure you don't forget any of the little retaining clips you removed earlier.
As your brake pads wear out the caliper adjusts itself so that you will have strong brakes throughout the life of the pads. If you look on the inside of the caliper you'll see a round piston coming out. This is what pushes on the brake pads from the back. The problem with this is, it has adjusted itself to match your worn out pads. It’s nearly impossible to get it over the new pads. You can do it but the damage level will be pretty high. Instead of destroying your new pads just push the piston back to the starting point.
Take your c-clamp and place the end with the screw on it against the piston with the other end of the clamp around on the back of the caliper assembly. Now slowly tighten the clamp until the piston has moved far enough in that you can easily plop the caliper assembly over the new pads.

With the piston compressed you should be able to easily slide the caliper assembly over the new pads. Once you have it on there, replace the bolts you removed and tighten them snugly. Press the brake pedal a few times to make sure you have solid brake pressure. The first pump or two will be soft as the piston finds its new starting point on the back of the pad.
Now it’s time to put your wheel back on and to make sure that you tighten all of the lug bolts. Now double check your lug bolts just for an added safety measure. 

Last but definitely not least  take a look at your brake lines. Rubber coated lines should be soft and supple, not cracked and rigid. If you see cracks in flexible brake lines they will need to be replaced.  Also be sure to inspect the hard metal lines. These can become corroded, especially in snowy regions where chemicals are used on the roads.

Your brakes are very important. Brakes are no place to get skimpy. If you need to replace a broken and brittle or leaking brake line you will want to do it sooner rather than later.

Before you begin, be sure your car is safely supported on jack stands. Remove the wheel and you're ready to get busy. The rubber brake line attaches to sturdier metal parts, usually connecting two metal parts at a point that needs to be flexible.
The connection consists of two halves with hex-shaped fittings. In other words, you need two wrenches to get them apart. Put a wrench on each fitting, and loosen the connection. have a rag handy to catch the brake fluid as it leaks out. Installing the new brake line is the reverse of removal. Carefully hand thread the connection together and once it's hand tight you just use two wrenches to finish the job.

With the new brake line installed, you'll need to add brake fluid to the system and bleed the brakes. It is a good idea to replace brake lines in pairs because if one line goes bad the other one isn't far behind. If you're really lucky, you have two flexible lines at each axle. That means twice the work. so don't skimp on your brakes.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Car Maintenance chat this week! We want you to come back and visit us often!

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3& ; stop on over and visit us! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tune Up You Car the Correct Way

While many car restoration hobbyists and backyard mechanics have been tuning their cars for decades, very few actually do so in the correct manner. If you are determined to do your own car tune ups you will know now the correct way to start and finish.

Before you start getting all crazy and start replacing and adjusting things for you tune up take a look at your cooling system and see if it is operating as it should be. Check to see if it is running at the proper operating temperature. Check for leaks and if the condition of the water hose connections to the plate under the carburetor to make sure they are actually connected and operating. Also check your battery make sure it is fully charged and look at your generator or alternator to make sure that it is functioning as it should. Take a look at your fuel system and make sure your filter is clean. Make sure that the pump is at the correct pressure. Check for your choke, accelerator, and transmission shift down linkages and make sure that they are running smoothly. Next take a look at the wiring what is the condition as far as whether there are any breaks in the insulation and if the connectors are rusty or loose.  If everything seems to be in good condition you can now start with your tune up.

First things first, getting the ignition settings correct. You will need to start with a fresh set of points, condenser and plugs. Your plug wires may or may not need to be replaced which really depends on the mileage of your car. You should be replacing carbon core wires after about 15,000 miles on the older cars and with solid core wires should have their rubber end caps replaced as they deteriorate this will keep the wires from arching over to your engine block.

Now crank the engine to Top Dead Center as it is marked on your balancer or your pulley. Now open the distributor cap and check to see if the rotor is pointing at the number one cylinder if it isn’t marked just follow the plug wire to the distributor. If it is 180 degrees away from that position simply crank the engine one revolution back to the Top Dead Center. Next mark a line on the side of the distributor housing and you can continue it onto the engine block. This helps if you need to do a bit of realignment.

You are probably asking yourself why you are doing this well simply put you doing is to prevent misplacement of plug wires later and to make the process as smooth as possible in the removal and or replacement of the distributor if that needs to be done. Your engine is now ready to be set to operate in the proper firing order.

The next step is to pull out the old points, the condenser and rotor and then look for smooth movement of the vacuum advance plate. You can check this by sucking on the vacuum hose. Now loosen the distributor’s hold down screw enough to allow movement and rotate the distributor until the wiper arm on the points is at the very top of one of the shaft’s actuating cam lobes. You then will tighten the hold down screw and adjust the points for the proper mechanical gap in accordance to your engine manual. Now you will use your feeler gauge properly and use caution and take your time because you are mechanically setting the proper dwell angle after this you install the rotor and cap.

Next thing to take care of is to gap the new plugs and install them making sure you do not over tighten the threads into the block.  Place your plug wires onto them while making note of the firing order. Make sure the wires are seated into the distributor cap and coil.

Now it’s time to get out the dwell meter and connect it. The red lead will go to the point’s side of the coil or negative terminal and the black clamps onto some grounding point of the engine. Start up your engine and measure the dwell angle. If it is not in the middle of the allowed range stop your engine and move the point gap closer to raise the dwell or if needed farther apart to lower it.  Just keep on doing this until the dwell is correct and the angle has been set by properly adjusting the ignition point gap. Individual point sets can vary in their mechanical and electrical characteristics so the only way to properly set up your ignition points is with a dwell meter.

Next you will need to get out the timing light which is the most overused engine maintenance tool. If you are now scratching your head and wondering why it is overused it is because the engine’s internal components only wear a tiny amount over time which basically means timing chains or the gears do not get loose between your tune ups. The main reason your engine’s timing changes is due to the fact the dwell angle is changing as the wiper on the points wear down.

The next step is to set the timing by connecting the light either inductive or directly and then mark the correct timing position on the crank pulley or the damper. Follow the engine manual which will make it an easy to read mark with something like white out or chalk. Then you will need to disconnect the vacuum line from the distributor and just stick a pencil or a nail in it to prevent vacuum leak. Now you can start the engine and get this running to about 500 to 600 rpm’s to prevent any action from the centrifugal advance mechanism well if there IS one that is. Now slowly rotate the distributor until the timing mark lines up with its pointer and then tighten the hold down on the distributor. If your engine won’t run slowly enough, back off the accelerator linkage at the carburetor. If your engine runs too slow increase the speed of the idle and then check your timing again and you can then put the light away.  

Now it’s that long awaited time that you can adjust your carburetor. You will first want to adjust the idle mixture screw or two if you have a four barrel carburetor. With your engine at the correct operating temperature , which by the way is very important so just wait until it does get warmed up, you can then adjust one screw slowly clockwise until the engine starts to stumble or run roughly, then back it up just about one turn. Next adjust the other screw the same way until your engine is running smoothly.

Nest step is to set the engine idle speed and do it according to the manual or in your own personal preference. Ideally a faster idle speed of about 800 to 900 is good but you can have this how you want it. Now readjust the idle mixture screws if you are finding that the engine is running slightly rough.  

It’s time to take your car for a spin around the block and no not just because you want to show off the fact you just tuned up your car but because you need to pay attention to any rough running or any hesitation or misfiring. If you find that it is still running roughly try to loosen up a plug wire or it could be something very obvious like a faulty carburetor system or simply a lack of compression.  Once you have everything running smoothly, NOW you can go take that car of yours for a spin around the block knowing that you now have the knowledge to correctly tune up your car!

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3& ; stop on over and visit us! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tips for Car Battery Maintenance

Your car’s battery is it’s lifeline with out this power your car just isn’t going to go anywhere. Take care of your car’s battery and it will keep your car running for a long time.

Here are some good guidelines in keeping that battery in tip top shape!

Test your car’s battery regularly and especially if you are planning a long trip or after it has just been recharged. One thing you don’t want to have happen when you are far from your home is a battery that fails to start.

Park that Car in the garage especially in the winter months, because an insulated garage will keep that battery warm on those cold winter nights. By keeping your battery warm in the winter time it will be easier for your car to start. If you don’t have an insulated garage, then you should insulate it yourself with a blanket.  

When you test your battery, you should take the time to do a once over cleaning, by removing the clamps and cleaning any dirt and great from the terminals as well as on the clamps themselves. You will have a nice strong connection and you won’t be weakening the battery’s charge. Clean the exterior of the battery case with baking soda which you will need to dissolve in warm water. Dirt will conduct electricity as well as discharge electricity.

While cleaning your battery check the fluid level. If it is low add some distilled water to top it off. In keeping the fluid levels full this will help extend the life of your car’s battery. If you don’t see any fluid, you may want to just go ahead and replace the battery. When there is lack of fluid that is a good indicator that your battery is near the end of its life span.

Make sure that your battery is safe and secure in its mounting bracket. A loose battery will slide around and become damage and in some instances has been know to cause short circuiting.  

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3& ; stop on over and visit us! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emission Control Maintenance

Everyone knows the reasons behind having vehicle emission’s testing and many have failed their emissions test because they did not do proper maintenance for their emission controls system.

There are several measures you can take to ensure that your vehicle’s emission controls system is running as it should keep in mind the following  areas.

The first way would be to bring your vehicle in to your local dealership or car repair shop for regular checkups, check your owner’s manual for information as to what parts of your emission control system is covered by the warranty and how much time is on that warranty. If your city or county has emission testing site you can bring your vehicle there for an inspection as well. By maintaining your vehicle’s emission controls system you will be able to improve your fuel efficiency by six or seven percent.

You should never remove or disable any part of your vehicle’s emission control system, besides being illegal you are going to amplify the emissions being created by your vehicle as well as greatly reducing the over all performance of your vehicle.

If you are doing regular maintenance of your vehicle’s emission control system and it still does not pass an emissions test have the catalytic converter checked by bringing it in for a diagnosis of the vehicles engine and emission system. More so then not any catalytic converter problem will come from the engine management system. Make sure that if you actually do need to replace your catalytic converter that is it meets the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements.

Create a check list as to remind yourself of what maintenance you can do to your vehicle to reduce emissions and save on fuel

Always follow the guidelines of your vehicle’s owner manual when it comes to a regularly doing scheduled maintenance.

Always keep your maintenance records, in having this information you can use these records as proof that you maintained your vehicle properly. You will be able to get more money when it comes time for a trade in or selling it on your own.

Have your emission control system inspected regularly to prevent having a failed emissions test done.

Always use a high quality gas cap and make sure your tires are properly inflated at all times.

Check for any wear and tear on your belts and hoses and check your air conditioning system for leaks.

Always change your fuel filters and air filters when you change your oil as recommended by your owner’s manual.

Check your transmission fluid and radiator coolant on a regular basis.

Replace the PCV value and the breather elements as suggested by your owner’s manual or as needed.

By maintaining your vehicles emissions control system you will benefit by reducing air pollution, have improved vehicle performance, a longer life to your vehicle, higher resale value along with helping you save your money by avoiding vehicle breakdowns.

Let Manly Automotive Group help you in your new and previously owned vehicle choices today stop by our website today and drive away knowing that you made the right choice with us! Manly Auto http://www.manlyauto.com can also can be found on Twitter https://twitter.com/ManlyAuto and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Rosa-CA/Manly-Auto-Group/103413126362572?v=wall&__a=3& ; stop on over and visit us!