Category: Automotive

How To Save Money On Auto Transmission Repair

How can I extend the life of my transmission?

There are several ways to prolong the life of your performance transmission, and if you employ them, it’ll save you from making huge expenses in the long run. A transmission is one of the most expensive components in a car and as such, a replacement could take a huge chunk out of your wallet.

And that may be the least to worry about since serious issues that arise in your transmission may be difficult to repair. Nonetheless, you can cut costs and at the same time, avoid potential transmission problems just by applying certain tips. These tips will help to extend the life of your performance transmission.

A Great Performance Transmission

Transmission in a manual or automatic car helps to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. What this power transfer does is to enable the car to change its gears and also move in the desired direction.

Now if your transmission is in bad shape, it either has to be overhauled or replaced entirely. The process is expensive and may become a bitter pill to swallow. But the good news is, it can be avoided by carrying out certain checks.

 

How to Extend the Life of Your Performance Transmission

You can extend the life of your performance transmission by doing the following:

Check the Transmission Fluid Regularly

Transmission fluid helps in cooling and lubrication, and it transmits force and pressure, while also preventing build-up. Therefore, one surefire way to prolong your transmission’s life is to check its fluid regularly.

The transmission fluid may run low or contain impurities as it gets old. When either of these happens, it could lead to common transmission problems such as overheating. Nonetheless, overheating can be avoided if you know just the right time to refill or change the fluid entirely.

Now you may be wondering, how often should you check the transmission fluid? You can inspect the fluid once every month to ascertain its level and condition.

Pick up your dipstick and check the level of the transmission fluid, and if it looks opaque instead of clear red, then the fluid is bad and needs to be changed. Similarly, if you give the fluid a good whiff and perceive a foul smell, then it could be a sign of a problem.

Use Synthetic Fluid

Synthetic transmission fluid is more preferable than ordinary fluid for a number of reasons. For starters, a synthetic fluid is better at resisting cold, heat, oxidation, and shearing. Heat, on the other hand, can break down the organic compounds in a regular fluid thereby making it less effective.

Therefore, if you want your transmission to last longer, synthetic fluid would be your go to option. Heat-resistant, synthetic fluid will help an aging transmission to still offer good performance over time.

A good number of manufacturers are already replacing regular fluids with synthetic fluids in a bid to ensure that the vehicle is not impacted by certain elements. In line with that, it is worth noting that poor quality fluid can harm your transmission; hence, the high-quality fluid must be used at all times.

 

Service Your Transmission Every 30,000 Miles

Your transmission can last for 300,000 miles or more if it is serviced regularly. The reason can be tied to the fact that the transmission can fail within 100,000 miles. What this means is that if you tend to drive around 10-15,000 miles a year, the unit could be down in seven years. Here’s what we’re getting at:

Another way to extend the life of your performance transmission is to get the unit serviced every two years or 30,000 miles. During the servicing process, one of the most effective maintenance procedures will be carried out on your vehicle and that is changing the transmission fluid.

Accordingly, the old fluid will be drained from the transmission, and the pan will be cleaned.  The filter will then be replaced before new fluid is poured into it. At the end of the day, you would’ve been able to enhance the performance of your car just by changing the fluid and allowing its filter to work better at trapping dirt.

Interestingly, a service of this nature would cost you around $60-$100 or less depending on where your car is being serviced. If you want to reduce the cost of servicing your transmission even further, learn to carry out the process yourself.

 

Use an External Filter

You may have taken the needful step to clean your transmission’s filter. But an external filter to the cooler lines can also help to keep dirt away from the fluid. This is because the original filter may be unable to handle all the particles it may encounter, hence an external filter will help it to do a better job.

In the end, more contaminants will be trapped and the transmission fluid will be as clean as possible. Much more, the fluid will be clean for a longer time compared to when a single filter is used.

Maintain the Cooling System

Your car’s radiator also serves to cool the engine since heat can cause a lot of damage to the transmission. While you may have a radiator in place, its level of performance may reduce with time, which is why it is advisable that you maintain it every two years.

These maintenance checks will involve inspecting the coolant levels, changing the antifreeze, and inspect the hoses and belts. Other checks you can carry out include carrying out a radiator cap pressure test, and a thermostat check.

A transmission cooler might also prove very useful if you tend to travel in environments where the temperature of the transmission might be raised to high levels. The same applies if you drive with heavy loads frequently, or in heavy traffic.

Practice Good Driving

It is important to drive your car more easy. Especially on a cold start since transmission fluid is thicker when it’s cold. If the fluid does not move well from the bottom to the top, it could lead to friction thereby causing damage.

What’s more, the transmission takes time to warm up and if it doesn’t, you may be putting too much strain on it. The point is, don’t drive even before the transmission has warmed up.

If it is in cold weather, let the car idle. When the engine’s RPM has lowered, the vehicle can be put into gear. Asides from being easy on the unit, you can use the emergency brake when you’re parking on an incline, and avoid resting your hand on the gear lever as you drive.

 

Tips for making your vehicle’s clutch last longer

How you drive your vehicle can determine how much time and use you will get out of your clutch. Follow these tips to reduce wear and tear and enjoy your clutch to the maximum life capacity possible.

  • Never ride your clutch. This burns out your clutch quickly. Instead, keep your foot off the clutch any time you are pressing on the accelerator.
  • Only use your clutch when you need to. If you stop, put the car in neutral and take your foot off the clutch. Keeping the clutch pressed down when it is not in use can increase the likelihood of a clutch repair in the future.
  • Do not treat your clutch like a foot rest. Doing so can release the bearings.
  • If you drive a manual transmission vehicle, do not downshift each time you slow down the vehicle. This is what you should use brakes for instead.
  • Take full advantage of your car’s parking brake. Leaving your car in gear may prevent it from rolling, but it puts significant strain on your clutch.

Do not forget routine maintenance—it keeps your clutch in better shape

Even if you use proper driving techniques, you can wear down your clutch if you do not maintain your vehicle. Full vehicle maintenance prolongs the lifespan of each component, including your clutch. Just some things you should do to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle include:

  • Keeping your vehicle’s fluids new and clean. That includes frequent oil changes so that you can prevent any harmful buildup from making your vehicle have to work harder than it should.
  • Replace transmission fluids and filters. Every 40,000 to 60,000 kilometers, you should take your vehicle to a company that specializes in transmissions in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Calgary. Have them inspect the transmission, replace necessary components and replace the fluid.
  • Listen to your clutch and vehicle. Drive with the radio off at least once a week and get used to the noises of your car. That way if you hear something out of the ordinary, you can take it in for a repair or at least an inspection.

Tips For Purchasing New Car Dealer Online

What the Internet of Things Means for Dealerships

A quick look is all it takes to know that vehicle technology has taken huge leaps in recent years. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, GM’s OnStar, and dozens of other technologies have made vehicles part of our ‘network’, not just tools for transportation. Connectivity is a driving force for automotive and it centers around what’s known as the Internet of Things, or IoT.

Internet of Things (IoT) often seems like an incomprehensible term. What it simply refers to, according to Dictionary, is “a network of everyday devices, appliances, and other objects equipped with computer chips and sensors that can collect and transmit data through the Internet.” Essentially, in automotive it’s the wireless connection between vehicles and their surroundings, as well as the connectivity between a customer and the dealership.

IoT Implications on Auto Retail

No question, there’s a massive shift occurring in auto retail due to connectivity. IoT plays a role in various facets, some of which are obvious, and others less clear.

Autonomous Driving and Vehicle Tech

The clearest example of IoT in auto retail is found in onboard technology. Features such as autonomous driving from carmakers like Tesla and ParkSense technologies from Ford are good examples. There are many other IoT aspects in vehicles today including 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots and even infotainment system with satellite radio or navigation. These technologies are all powered by wireless connections. Vehicle updates are completed ‘over the air’ in any cases.

Predictive Maintenance and Repairs

Every sensor and module in cars today are connected to an in-vehicle network. Some of those are also connected to an external network or, at least, could be. Should a sensor detect a failure or predict a potential problem, or if service or maintenance is coming due based on real-time data monitoring, the vehicle can transit that data.

 

things you should always keep in your car

Whether you drive a truck, a car, or ride a motorcycle, it’s always a good idea to have a few things in your vehicle to help you get through unforeseen events. Sure, sticky cup holder pennies may help you pay for an extra bit of gas if you find yourself running low, but would you have what you needed if your car battery dies? What about if you lock your keys in your ride or if you get stuck in the snow?

Snow storms have nothing on this magnetic windshield cover

Unfortunately, we can’t predict exactly what events will happen to you in the future; we can, however, suggest the right tools to help you be prepared for common situations that drivers find themselves in

The only thing worse than having no jumper cables around when you need them is having your cell phone battery die when you need to contact someone with jumper cables. Suaoki solves both those problems. Suaoki is a multifunctional jump starter with USB ports for charging your phone or tablet. It peaks at 500 amps to give your battery the boost it needs and works for cars, motorcycles, and ATVs with 2.0-liter engines. Just connect the mistake-proof jumper cables directly to your vehicle’s battery.

This quick, powerful, and easy to use tool could help keep you and your loved ones alive on the road. Resqme is a 2-in-1 emergency rescue tool that allows you to cut jammed seat belts and break windows in just seconds. This tool can attach to your keychain, so it’s with you at all times and would be crucial if you ever found yourself submerged in water

This set of tire traction mats wants to help get you out of any sticky situation. It has cleat-like, anti-slip spikes that grab onto the snow, ice, or anywhere you get stuck so you don’t have to call a tow truck. Both sides feature traction spikes so it can grip both your tires and the ground below.

 

We’re mid-pandemic. Is now a good time to buy a used car?

The COVID-19 pandemic has most people spending less than they used to, and large portions of the economy have been shuttered in order to keep us socially distant and safe. But the pandemic has also started to create some unique opportunities for consumers. Among them: getting a great deal on a used car.

The new coronavirus is changing the used car market, with some experts projecting a significant price collapse in the coming months. Just like your grocery shopping experience has changed significantly due to COVID-19, buying a used vehicle is now a new world with risks, complications, and uncertainties.

“Prices will probably drop about 15% for cars and about 18% for trucks and SUVs between now and the middle part of the fourth quarter,” Murphy says, which would be around late October.

That expected drop in used car prices is enormous, considering pre-pandemic trends. “Before all this happened, used car prices had been going up for the previous 10 years in a pretty steady way,” Murphy explains.

“We started to see things slow down in March by 1%, which might not seem like a lot but it’s actually significant. It’s the biggest decrease in pricing we’ve seen across the whole industry since September 2007. We expect this month the decline will be even greater.” Through April, May, and June

 

Buying A Car: Tips For A Good Car Dealership Experience

Buying a car may be one of the most stressful things you ever do. Whether it’s new or used, a car is one of the most expensive items you will ever buy. While the internet has helped consumers arrive at a dealership armed with more information, that hasn’t really changed the overall dealership experience. And depending on that experience, it’s very easy to feel you’ve gotten a bad deal.

Savage offers these tips to help you prepare for that big purchase:

Go to Kelly Blue Book to look up the invoice of the car you are interested in: “There’s always some wiggle room, but at least you have a starting price to go in with and work from there.”

Don’t get lazy: “People may look up the price, but they go in and get influenced by color … or features … and salesman are professionals at this. They know what to play up and how to maneuver and try to get people to take what they would like them to take.”

Act like you’re not sure about going forward with the purchase: “That’s a key negotiating tactic.”

Trade-in last: “Know what you’re willing to pay for the new car and negotiate that first. Leave [trade-in] out on the table … Then when you know what you’re going to pay for the new car … if [the dealership] comes back with a [trade-in price] make sure they write it down on the sheet immediately.”

Stay within your price range: “Go in knowing what you want and what price range you want. We’ll probably have a couple thousand-dollar range, probably … but know that before going in and that way you’re not negotiating on their terms.”

Know your credit rating before going in if you’re applying for credit: “Credit unions are great at car loans and they usually have a little lower rate than other people and many times you can pay them off a little more quikcly.”

Go where you’re wanted and go where you’re treated right: “There are certain dealerships that really are strong at the customer service and at servicing your car afterward. And I’d say those are the dealerships I would want to go to because I know that they are interested in me as a long-term customer, not just as a quick sale.”

 

Car Salesman Confidential: Dealer Add-Ons, Good or Bad?

you and the hubby are planning to get out and drive around town to different dealerships to see what’s out there. But at practically every place you stop, right next to the window sticker, which shows the MSRP, or “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price,” you see a tall, skinny sticker obviously put there by the dealership with all these add-ons, like “Coastal Climate Protection Package,” “Lifetime Nitrogen,” “Pinstripes,” “Wheel Locks,” and “ADM.” When you add all these things up, they’ve increased the price of the car by nearly $3000!

Well, these kinds of stickers are usually called “Addendums,” and the why of an Addendum sticker is the easy part: they show products added to the car to help the dealership make a profit. Which is the name of the game after all . . . at least from the dealership’s perspective.

Just because things have been added to the car to help the dealer make money doesn’t mean they’re all bogus, or don’t add real value

Yes, what I’m saying is, you may actually want some of the things listed on an Addendum sticker, something I may not have said 20 years ago. In the old days, they used to put all kinds of silly stuff on cars, like “Paint Sealant” (paint doesn’t come from the factory needing to be “sealed”), and “Rustproofing” (all cars come with rustproofing these days). The generic term for all this stuff is “Mop ‘n Glow,” which is a famous floor shine product. Great for floors but doesn’t do much for cars.

But that was then. This is now. And today, some of the products on Addendum stickers actually do add value. For example, some “Appearance Packages.” I won’t name any brands (unless somebody wants to send me a check), but many of the products designed to protect your car’s paint and upholstery are extremely good. They’re not just waxes or “Scotchguard.” Now, it’s true that you can buy a similar product at an auto parts store and apply it yourself, but the great advantage of a dealer installed protectant is it normally comes with a warranty that allows you to get a portion of the vehicle repainted (or the upholstery redone) if the product fails to do its job — for free.

Or take nitrogen in tires. This seems to be trendy these days, with dealers all over the country charging you a fee to put nitrogen gas in your tires rather than compressed air. Some dealers even offer free refills for as long as you own your vehicle. Is this legit? What are the benefits?

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