3 SUMMER OIL TIPS TO MAXIMIZE HOT-WEATHER PROTECTION AND PERFORMANCE

Is there a difference between summer oil and winter oil for your car or truck? The answer is a little more complicated than simply yes or no. Which oil you should put in your motor depends on the manufacturer specifications, how much stress you put on your vehicle and where you drive. That being said, the seasons can play into each of those factors, so let’s take a look at three tips that will keep your engine healthy throughout the summer months. 1. Use a Multi Viscosity Oil The issue of which oil to use for which temperature was largely solved when the auto industry moved to multi viscosity oil from straight-weight oils decades ago. That’s why you should always follow your owner’s manual w

6 COMMON CAR PARTS THAT ARE FREQUENTLY MISLABELED

The English language can be perplexing, and much of this has to do with the way words are spelled. In many cases, spelling is phonetic, and you can figure out how to spell a word simply by listening to how it’s pronounced. But that’s certainly not always the case. Many common car parts, for example, are spelled differently from how they’re enunciated, causing them to be frequently misspelled or mislabeled. If you’re looking for a car part online, and you’ve spelled it incorrectly, you may have a hard time finding the item you’re after. Here’s a look at some common car parts that are often mislabeled. 1. Carburetor, Not Carburettor Internal combustion engines create power for your car by comb

3 STEPS TO KEEP COOL AND AVOID A BLOWN HEAD GASKET

Blowing a cylinder head gasket is a common mechanical emergency, but it’s not worth losing your own head over. Blown head gaskets are easy to prevent with regular check-ups. It’s all about keeping cool under pressure. And, that’s sound advice for both the car and its driver. What does a cylinder head gasket do? The cylinder head gasket seals the combustion chamber of your engine block to prevent hot exhaust gases from escaping and oil or coolant from entering. But, because combustion gasses run so much hotter than oil or coolant, the temperature fluxes can cause that seal to degrade over time. This can occur faster if the coolant level is low and conditions are compromised, which can limit t

3 CAR TRAILER MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR THE SUMMER SEASON

Breaking your car trailer out of storage for the summer means taking care of any and all maintenance to ensure that towing season goes as smoothly as possible. Regardless of whether you’re hauling a compact sports car or a classic behemoth, your trailer needs to be in tip-top shape to avoid putting yourself — or anyone else — in danger on the road. Fortunately, trailer maintenance is simple to do. Check out these three tips for taking care of your rolling stock. 1. Tires It might seem obvious, but tire health is perhaps the most important aspect of car trailer maintenance that you should check each and every year. Tires are also the most overlooked in the springtime, because many people assu

3 TIRE DAMAGE WARNING SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME TO REPLACE YOUR RUBBER

Not all tire damage takes the form of punctures that result in easily visible flats. Sometimes, a tire can take abuse that isn’t as simple to spot, due to wear, an impact out on the road or heat. Regularly inspecting your tires both visually and with a tire gauge — at least once a month — is a great way to make sure that you aren’t at the limits of safety by riding around on rubber that needs to be replaced. Check out these three common types of damage that can signal the end of the line for your tires. 1. Chunking Chunking is the term used to describe missing sections of tread from a tire. It almost looks as though the tread has been sliced or torn off in chunks from seemingly random areas.

TEN WAYS YOUR CAR IS WARNING THAT YOU NEED BRAKE SERVICE

Brakes are often overlooked and taken for granted until you have a significant problem on your hands. When it comes to the most important safety mechanism on your vehicle, letting problems go until that system no longer functions properly is a recipe for disaster. Don’t ignore the warning signs of impending brake failure, keep your braking system functioning at its peak performance. The following is a list of the top ten warning signs that you are in need of brake service. Spongy Pedal A soft, spongy feel in the brake pedal is a sure sign of a problem in the hydraulic system. Issues such as air in the lines, failing calipers or wheel cylinders, or a weak flex line can feel soft when you hit

MOTORCYCLE OWNERSHIP: LOWERING THE BARRIER TO ENTRY

Motorcycles can provide quick rides around town, easier navigation on crowded roads and breathtaking adventures. But if you’ve never owned one, the idea might seem a bit daunting. The fact is, while motorcycles are one of the more dangerous forms of transportation, it’s possible to greatly reduce that risk and enjoy the benefits of motorcycle ownership with a little bit of responsible maintenance, precaution and preparation. Ride or Die? Getting into the world of motorcycles doesn’t have to be a scary process. The best way to stay safe on a bike is to make safety your highest priority. First off, set yourself up for success by not buying more bike than you need. Instead of that monstrous 2,0

3 REASONS LOW ENGINE COOLANT ALWAYS NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION

Low engine coolant might not seem like a critical condition under the hood of your car, especially if your reservoir tank is showing just a bit under what’s recommended by the manufacturer. Ignore it for too long, however, and you could end up creating serious problems inside your engine. Your antifreeze reservoir needs to stay consistently at the proper level, and if it doesn’t, it can indicate an issue with your vehicle that needs to be addressed, in addition to causing trouble of its own. Here’s a look at three reasons why you should always ensure that your coolant is at the right level. 1. Engine Block = Ice Block One of the most catastrophic consequences of low engine coolant is an engi

3 WAYS YOU’RE DRAINING CAR BATTERY THAT YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE

More often than not, batteries die at the most inopportune times. Sometimes you get the usual warning signs for a weak car battery, like an engine that’s slow to turn over or an illuminated check engine light. Sometimes, though, you get no signs at all, so it’s always a good idea to have your battery frequently tested, and it also may help to have a jump-starter on hand as an extra precaution. If your battery is older than 3 years, then it might not be a surprise when it’s time for a new one, but what if it’s not old? Once you rule out obvious causes like an open trunk lid, glove box or car door, then you have to dig deeper. Here are three unusual reasons why your car battery might die. 1. C

FANTASTIC PLASTIC – FIBERGLASS REPAIR WITH JB WELD PLASTIC BONDER

Dealing with fiberglass repair is no fun, but unfortunately it is a necessary part of owning a fiberglass-bodied car, especially a classic like a C2 Corvette. The C2 was built from 1963 through 1967 and is considered by many to be the ultimate in Corvettes. The problem is that the very nature of fiberglass is that it never stops shrinking. Combine this with years of hard road use, and there are bound to be stress fractures. While working on a 1966 Corvette coupe, we found a few spiderweb cracks while we were stripping away the paint under the hood. We could spend a lot of time and money replacing the panels or we could try a fiberglass repair. We had been looking for a reason to try out the

HOW TO PREP YOUR CAR TO GET THE MOST MONEY WHEN YOU SELL

When you’re wanting to get rid of an old vehicle, you may not think it’s worth the time and money to fix it up before putting it on the market. But giving your old car a little tender loving care can go a long way toward getting more money when you sell. To find out how to bring home the bacon when you sell your old ride, NAPA AUTO PARTS talked to Matt Degen, editor at Kelley Blue Book (KBB), for his expert advice. 1. Get current on basic maintenance No one wants to buy a car that needs a lot of work, so before you put your old auto on the market, take it in for a routine oil change and inspection, said Degen. “It’s going to give the buyer a little more peace of mind that he or she doesn’t h

THE BEST WORK LIGHTS FOR GETTING THE JOB DONE

The best work lights are often the ones you have on hand. It can be frustrating, however, when certain jobs require more than the lighting options you’ve got hanging around the garage. The right amount of light can save you time and ensure a tedious repair job is completed accurately. Check out some of the best work lights for getting the job done — whatever that job might be. Shop Lights Shop lights are intended for use in a garage or workshop. You’ll need to have access to an outlet, as they’re almost always corded. Most modern shop lights are LED, so you don’t have to worry about broken bulbs or a hot casing, and they’re also smaller and easier to position. When you’re looking to buy a sh

SEA FOAM! WHAT IS IT AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT?

Over time, the internals of your engine get clogged up with all kinds of nasty stuff. Inside the crankcase, where the oil lives, varnish and tar build up on the surfaces of the pistons, rings, lifters and in the oil galleys that supply the oil to all the components. This lowers the engine’s ability to cool and lubricate itself, reducing the efficiency, performance, and life of the engine. The same build up occurs inside the fuel system as well, clogging the injectors or carburetor jets, gumming up the intake valves and on the tops of the pistons too. If the valves don’t move freely, then your engine’s breathing is greatly hampered. Carbon deposits on the pistons and valves can lead to hot sp

30 TIPS TO GET YOUR CAR READY FOR A SUMMER ROAD TRIP

With summer around the corner, millions of Americans are planning road trips. And why not? It’s a great way to let go, see the country and make memories with friends and family. Hitting the highways can be an epic adventure or an epic headache if you’re not careful. Unless you want to end up in a “National Lampoon Vacation” movie, make sure your car is ready for long-distance travel with these summer road trip tips. Before You Head Out Check or change the oil: If you’re not ready for an oil change, take out the dipstick and see if you need to add oil. Replace the engine air filter: Check your owner’s manual to find the air filter. If it’s dirty or filled with debris, replace it with a new on

GRASS STICKING TO YOUR MOWER DECK? TRY THESE SOLUTIONS

Learning how to solve simple problems, like the annoying issue of grass sticking to your mower deck, can end up saving you a lot of time when you need to clean your equipment. After a few weeks of mowing, there’s no doubt you’ll notice how easily grass clippings can accumulate on the inside and outside of your mower, gradually reducing its efficiency and creating a hassle when you try to clean it. It’s a pain to deal with, but you should be aware that some of the older remedies for preventing this problem aren’t always the best for your lawn. Check out these three tips to prevent grass sticking to your mower deck and keep your property looking well maintained and green all summer long. Remem

COMMON CRANKSHAFT SENSOR ISSUES

The crank position sensor (CKP) is perhaps the most important sensor in the modern engine. It’s also referred to as the engine speed sensor (ESS or RPM, for revolutions per minute). Without the crank position signal, the engine control module (ECM) can’t detect where the cylinders are or how fast they’re moving. If you have crankshaft sensor issues, the ECM can’t synchronize fuel injection, spark ignition (for gasoline engines) or control variable valve timing. Crankshaft sensor issues can cause a range of problems. How CKP Sensors Work There are two crankshaft sensor types, hall effect and inductive, which generate a signal based on magnetic fields. Both sensors look similar, but function s

10 BEST FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR DIY GEARHEADS

Looking for Father’s Day gift ideas for the Dad who likes to tinker? You’re in luck. DIY Dads are easy to shop for, because there’s always one more tool, helper or gadget they can use in the garage. Check out this list of the 10 best DIY gift ideas for the Father in your life. 1. Screwdriver Set Prying, loosening, tightening and just generally assembling and disassembling almost anything mechanical will eventually call for a screwdriver. This set of 26 assorted screwdrivers ranging from Phillips to Poz to Square comes with its own stand and can tackle most, if not all, automotive jobs. Need a handy travel size solution? A multi-bit driver is the perfect choice for stashing in a glovebox or t

5 WAYS TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR CAR BATTERY

Your car battery is critical to keeping your vehicle running. It sends power to the starter to turn over the engine and receives generated electricity from the alternator to maintain power. If you’re able to extend the life of your car battery, you may avoid an untimely failure. Most car batteries’ lifetimes range from three to five years. But reaching those limits is not a guarantee, as multiple factors can reduce that time significantly. Here are five ways to help keep your car’s battery running for the long haul. 1. Clean the Battery Like other car parts, the battery needs maintenance. Periodically, check the battery and connections, ensuring that the connections are secure and free of di

PREVENT LAWN MOWER DAMAGE: ARE YOU MAKING THESE 3 COMMON MISTAKES?

Your yard might be your pride and joy, but it also requires a lot from you, especially when it comes to mowing. Although it sounds like a straightforward chore, there is actually a right way and a wrong way to do it, and several things you need to keep in mind to prevent lawn mower damage. Follow these simple tips to keep your mower and lawn up to snuff. Maintain Your Mower Like the vehicle parked in your garage, mowers need maintenance and inspection at regular intervals. Always check the oil level before using, and change it as often as specified by the manufacturer. It may not have as many cylinders as a car, but it’s still an engine and it needs proper lubrication. For that matter, check

RECOGNIZING FUEL PUMP FAILURE

The fuel pump is the heart of the fuel injection system. Without it, fuel won’t leave the tank, and your engine won’t run. Although it’s by no means a regular occurrence, fuel pump failure is not unusual in older vehicles. Unfortunately, it’s not always the easiest part to replace. The good news is there are usually a few signs alerting you to impending failure, so you can fix the problem before you’re stranded. Heart of Gas The fuel pump is often (but not always) located inside the fuel tank itself, and attaches to a float and electrical connections that update you on how much fuel is left in the tank. It sucks up fuel and sends it through lines to the injectors, which meter out the proper

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