What To Look For If You Want To Buy A Used Car – How To Buy A Used Car

Buying a used car can be risky business. Let me offer some strategies that might prove helpful in that situation. First, do your homework. Look online, read consumer magazines, peruse some used car lots, investigate the “For Sale” ads in your newspaper and check out Kelley Blue Book for reasonable pricing. Take all the time […]

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Driving On Snow And Ice

Snow and ice certainly provide challenges to drivers. (Don’t laugh; I know we are in Yuma but you may travel to snowy or icy conditions.) When driving on snow you need increased traction. That’s why four-wheel-drive vehicles (or front-wheel-drive vehicles) get around better—simply because of their superior traction. The photo above is from a Spring […]

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How to Drive in Desert Southwest Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are another danger in our part of the country, often coming hard on the heels of dust storms. The desert sand doesn’t soak up much water, so our dry washes suddenly fill with fast moving, deep water. It creates a very dangerous situation, especially when the thunderstorm occurs miles away and the wash fills […]

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How To Drive Safely In A Sand Storm

Here in the desert southwest, sandstorms can be extremely dangerous, often sending visibility to near zero. If you are caught in a sandstorm, as visibility diminishes, so should your speed. Your safest option is to exit a freeway or busy street and find a safe place to park such as a shopping mall or other […]

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Stuck In Traffic? Traffic Jams & Your Safety

The one thing you want to avoid is becoming trapped behind the car in front of you. The way to avoid that is to stop far enough behind that you can still see their rear tires touching the pavement. That way, you can maneuver around it if you need to. You’ve heard of, or perhaps […]

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What Do I Do After (Before) An Automobile Accident?

Having an accident is always an emotional situation—whether that emotion is anger, frustration, fear, sorrow, anxiety, worry or panic. Even something as minor as a fender-bender or a slow-speed parking lot accident can be enough to create emotion. Try to remain calm. When you are in an accident, remember first that insurance companies typically investigate […]

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What Do I Do If My Car Breaks Down?

You should be familiar enough with your gauges to know what “normal” is, so when the gauges are not within normal range, you will realize something is wrong. When you are driving, and begin to feel something about the function of your car that you are unsure about, or hear a new noise, cautiously move […]

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How To Change A Flat Tire

While to some people, changing a flat tire may sound like no big deal, to others it is a daunting task. For some of those who think it’s a piece of cake, modern vehicles may change your mind. That’s because some vehicles have the jack equipment stowed in very out of the way places and, […]

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Should I Have To Pay For Diagnosing My Car’s Problem?

Years ago, a technician might spend five minutes diagnosing a car and five hours making the repair. Today, we might spend five hours running tests and diagnosing the vehicle, and five minutes repairing or putting a component on it. The use of electronics drives this change. Vehicles today have a tremendous number of electronic systems. […]

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When Should I Service My Car’s A/C System?

In states with sweltering, hot summers, few things are more frustrating than having your air conditioning blow hot air when it is over 100˚ outside. Proper maintenance can prevent this. Your air conditioning system is a sealed system. In closed systems, the only way you lose fluid, or in this case refrigerant, is when you […]

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When Should I Jump Start My Car?

Knowing when to jump start a car can save you time and frustration. Not every no-start condition can be resolved by a jump start. Jump starts only help when the actual problem is a discharged (dead) battery is the cause of the no-start condition. If you hear a series of rapid “clicks” when attempting to […]

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Do I Really Need To Change My Coolant? Is A Coolant Flush Necessary?

The cooling system’s primary component is antifreeze/coolant, which helps keep the engine from freezing in the winter (don’t laugh, we do travel to other climates you know), and keeps it cool in the summer. As with brake fluid, your coolant can be tested to determine when it needs to be replaced. In this case, we […]

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Does Brake Fluid Really Need To Be Changed Or Flushed?

Unlike the previous aspects of maintenance, brake fluid is not added at particular intervals. Instead, we can measure when brake fluid or coolant should be changed. The measurement for when brake fluid should be flushed is 200 copper parts per million. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that if you left the can open overnight, […]

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Does The Power Steering Fluid In My Car Really Need To Be Changed?

Shown above are two power steering pumps. The one on the left is for a newer vehicle, the one on the right the old fashioned style many of you may be familiar with. Of course the main thing they have in common is that they do their job by creating hydraulic pressure on a specially […]

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What Is A Differential? Does The Differential Fluid Really Need To Be Changed?

Most of us have heard of a “rear differential” or a “front differential” but few know what it actually does. Basically, the differential takes power from the vehicle’s transmission and turns power traveling down the centerline of the vehicle and transfers it to the wheels. It also allows the wheels to turn at different speeds […]

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Is a Transmission Flush or Transmission Service Really Necessary?

If you read our blog on motor oil, we covered the fact that dirt is suspended in the oil. At each oil change, the oil (and the dirt it holds) drains out of your car and clean oil is added. Can we apply the same reasoning with transmissions? Transmissions don’t pull in air or combustion […]

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Are Auto Club Memberships Worthwhile?

Motor clubs provide good benefits for the consumer and offer peace of mind for the consumer who travels a lot or has a loved one living away from home. Undoubtedly, their primary focus is the customer. I am thinking of clubs like AAA Motor Club or Cross Country Motor Club, the two big wheels in […]

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What Is The Best Kind Of Fuel For My Car? Should I Use Premium Gasoline?

The best way to determine if premium fuel is right for you is to check your owner’s manual to see what they recommend for your specific car. Higher-end models and turbo charged engines may require premium gas. Those cars are designed to burn fuel at optimum levels. Both the way the engine is timed and […]

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How Do I Jump Start My Car? What Is The Proper Jump Start Procedure?

We’ve all experienced a dead battery, haven’t we? We turn the key and either hear nothing or series of repetitive clicks. The engine does not turn over. That is the only time you should jump-start your car. If you’re driving down the road and your car dies, the battery is not the cause of your […]

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Should I Buy An Extended Warranty?

We advise our customers against purchasing extended warranties. Evidence proves that, in most cases, the cost of the warranty is far more than the benefit received. The concept we operate under is very simple. Any warranty company has to make a profit or it goes out of business. It must have significant overhead, with a […]

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Should I Fix My Car Or Buy A New One?

Every car has a point of diminishing returns. What you do from the day you drive your car off the showroom floor and whether you think of your vehicle as an investment or as an expense affects the decisions you make about replacing it. You should not say, “Well, I don’t want to put that […]

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How Long Before I Should Change My Oil?

How often you should change your oil is becoming an issue in our industry because of changes in service intervals. Years ago, it was every three months or three thousand miles. Our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers all taught us that. The reason the oil needed changing so often was because the engines were exposed to […]

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Does It Matter What Oil I Use?

Here are some common questions about engine oil: Does the type of engine oil I put in really matter? Can I change the brand of oil I use? What do the numbers mean? All oil today is called “paraffin-based oil.” That means the oil has the ability to capture dirt—this is one of its jobs. […]

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What’s That Whining Noise In The Engine?

Whining usually occurs either from the children in the back seat or from the car’s power steering pump under the hood. You’ll want to check both of those possibilities. You may need a cookie for one and power steering fluid for the other. The power steering fluid is a sealed system for the most part. […]

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What Is That Thumping Noise While I Am Driving?

If you hear a regular thumping or vibration that varies with your speed as you’re driving down the road, the tires are usually the culprit. Many times, the tread in the tire is separating internally. Want a sure-fire way to know if this has occurred? Try this: Drive across a parking lot at 2 to […]

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