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The road is a dangerous place. Any driver on the road has life-and-death power over his passengers and everyone he encounters on the road, including other drivers. Do not, ever, lose your focus when you are driving. Here are 5 quick tips to ensuring your safety on the road.

1. Drive safely, or don't drive. There are many things that can go wrong on the road. But there are also things that you can do to lessen the risk on the road. Two rules: Do not drive when you are drunk, sleepy, or not in full control of yourself. Do not drive when you are not in full control of the car.

2. Be cooperative. Driving is all about teamwork. You have to work as a team with the other drivers on the road so as to ensure nobody gets hurt. You can do anything that people will reasonably expect you to do. But don't ever surprise other drivers by doing unexpected things. This can cause big trouble, especially on the highway.

3. Think ahead. You need to give your fellow drivers time to react to anything you do. Don't do anything sudden. Signal before you change lanes or turn. Do things evenly, be it changing lanes, accelerating, slowing down, etc. Allow the other drivers to mentally compute where you are going to be.

4. Cool it. Don't let your emotions take control of you. Never get angry with other drivers, no matter how unreasonable they are. It is inevitable that drivers make mistakes, even grave or stupid ones. Some drivers will even weave in and out of traffic, just to get to the front, and in the process irritate everyone else. Don't get angry with them, and never get back at them in anyway, or you may become a hazard yourself. Always remember to stay “cool, calm and collected”.

5. Your area of vision is the most important. The rule of thumb is “if you can't see, don't go!” Perhaps your windshield is cracked. Perhaps your mirrors are not adjusted properly. Perhaps your windshield wipers are faulty. Don't drive if you cannot see, especially in wet weather. It's always better to be late than never.

Pete Lance is the founder of, a premier company which helps the consumer save money on gasoline. Thousands of gas stations across the nation are tracked daily to guarantee the lowest prices on gasoline anywhere in the United States.

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Tips To Maximizing Fuel Economy In Today's Climate Of High Gas Prices
By Bill Bolton



High costs at the pump have you troubled? Find yourself at the pump yet again dishing out another $50 - $100? Well, you're not alone. The rising price of gas is on most of our minds and pocketbooks these days leaving us wondering if and when there will be a reprieve.

Until gas prices do normalize, there are some things that you can do to stretch that next tank of gas. Here are 10 tips that should save you a few extra bucks at the pump:

1. Instead of running multiple errands, consolidate your trips into one thus eliminating significant and unnecessary travel.
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2. In congested, urban areas, avoid rush hour traffic. Gridlock and its start and stop travel is one of the quickest ways to drain that gas tank.

3. Resist the temptation to drive alone. Carpool with your co-workers. Carpooling with three of your colleagues means you only drive every fourth week saving you a bundle in fuel costs over the course of a year.

4. In cold weather climates, have an engine block heater installed. This will reduce the amount of fuel needed to warm the car on those cold winter mornings.

5. Resist turning on the AC at the first sign of warm weather. Air conditioning burns up allot of fuel. If you're driving in the city, a better alternative is to roll down the windows and open all vents. Highway driving is a different story though. The drag from open windows can also result in your burning more fuel. If you have to, roll up the windows and place the AC on the lowest setting.

6. Remove roof racks and overhead carriers when not in use. The drag created by these will result in less fuel economy.

7. Remove any unnecessary weight from your vehicle that will cause the engine to work harder and use more fuel.

8. Ensure your vehicle is tuned up on a regular basis. A properly tuned vehicle operates more efficiently resulting in the consumption of less fuel.

9. Alter your driving style. Do you accelerate quickly from a starting position? Gradually accelerating until you've reached your optimum speed will result in a significant gas savings over the long haul.

10. Routinely have your brakes and tire pressure checked. Poorly working brakes can result in your vehicle working harder and using more fuel. The same for your tires, under or over inflated tires will result in the consumption of more fuel.

Following even just a few of these tips should save you some money.

William Bolton is an expert in the field of automobiles specializing in auto leasing. He owns an automotive website called that specializes in the exiting and takeover of auto leases. If you're stuck in a lease you need out of or wish to take over an existing lease on a short-term basis with no money down, check out

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 Dealing with an Overheated Radiator
by: Terry Brown


Overheating is one of the most common breakdowns that autos encounter during the summer season. It happens when the temperature of the coolant exceeds the normal operating temperature range of the engine. Overheating has many causes. Idling under hot weather for prolonged periods can wreak havoc on the cars cooling system, because the water pump doesn't turn fast enough. Thus the coolant is not circulated, as it should be. Sometimes a leak may cause the coolant level to drop thus causing the radiator to overheat.
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Here are a few pointers for dealing with an overheated radiator:
1. Turn off the A/C. If the car is not seriously overheating, this will reduce the engine's temperature. The AC evaporator is located in front of the radiator, and it adds heat to the air going to your engine. The hotter the incoming air is, the less efficient the radiator will be.

2. Turn on your heater (set on highest temperature setting, with blower on highest setting). This will be uncomfortable for you, but it will cool the engine by transferring the heat to the air. Roll down the windows, and remember how 'hot' you'll get if your engine needs replacement!

3. If you're stuck in traffic, pull over and stop. Unless you're moving, very little cool air reaches the radiator. Open the hood and let the engine cool off. This takes time, so be patient. Use the time to go get a jug of water or antifreeze.

4. Check the overflow tank coolant level. If it's empty, the radiator is probably low on coolant.

5. Check the pressure of the system by wrapping a cloth around the upper radiator hose and squeezing it. If it's still under pressure (hot) it will not squeeze easily. Wait until it does.

6. Place a large cloth over the radiator cap, and carefully release the pressure. Serious burns can result from the hot coolant. If in doubt, wait until the engine cools completely.

7. If the coolant is low, start the engine, and slowly add the water or coolant necessary to fill it up. The engine must be running. Adding coolant to a warm engine can crack the block. By running the engine, the coolant keeps moving and reduces the chances of this type of damage occurring.

Radiators are indispensable parts of any cooling system. They are designed to dissipate the heat, which the coolant has absorbed from the engine. However, like all auto parts, radiators are prone to damage and corrosion. As it is mostly made of metal and is in constant contact with liquids, radiators can break down over time due to corrosive forces. Defective radiators can spell doom for any engine. Irreparable damage can result if a malfunctioning radiator is not repaired or replaced immediately.

If your radiator needs to be replaced, you can find aftermarket radiators that are more affordable but are nonetheless excellent in quality. Replacement radiators are available from the best auto parts suppliers online such as Auto Parts Inner. You can find top quality aftermarket Chevrolet Radiators for your Chevrolet automobile at very low prices.

Not only that, they also have a wide array of Chevrolet Parts including Chevrolet A/C condensers, Chevrolet bumpers, Chevrolet catalytic converters, Chevrolet headlights, Chevrolet floor mats and other important Chevrolet parts. Auto Part Inner's array of top of the line Chevrolet parts are sourced from the most trusted auto parts makers in the country. All auto parts from Auto Parts Inner pass the stringent quality control standards that the company, a well-known resource of useful and relevant information, has set up.

About The Author Terry Brown is a 32 year old from Houston Texas, and an enthusiast for anything auto related. He is currently employed as a market analyst by one of the top car parts company in the area. His automotive articles provide valuable source of information for auto enthusiasts like him as well as to those in need of automotive research.

Driving To Savings: Car Tips To Save You Money
By: Jeffrey Strain


Although the most interesting method to save on car operating costs came from my chemistry teacher in high school (Buy your gasoline in the early morning or at night when it is cold outside. Gas becomes denser in cooler temperatures. Since gas pumps only measure the volume of fuel - not the density - you'll get better overall gas mileage for your money by purchasing fuel when it's cool outside rather than in the heat of the day), the moment that will determine the true amount you can save on your car costs comes before you even buy a car.
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The simple fact is that the type of car you decide to purchase will have the largest impact on the expenses you incur during the lifetime of it.

Even if a large sports utility vehicle is your dream car, it's probably a lot more than you really need. Taking some time to make a list of the things you'll use the car for will help determine the difference between your true needs and your wants. It's important to remember that each additional want you add above what you really need will cost you not only at the time of purchase, but in most cases well down the road with an increase in maintenance and operating costs.

The size of the car you decide to purchase will have a direct effect on its operating costs. Purchasing the smallest car possible for your driving needs will save you a tremendous amount in gasoline charges. Small cars weigh about half as much as larger cars which results in about half as much fuel being used.

Once you have decided on the size of car, it's worthwhile taking the time to research the safety ratings of the different cars in that size range. Not only will this improve your chances of staying alive in an accident, it will likely reduce your car insurance costs. A quick call to your car insurance company will tell you the tale. Remember, if you keep your car for 7 years, a $25 a month difference in insurance costs adds up to over $2,100 over the lifetime of the car.

Once you have a car, taking some simple steps can reduce your operating costs by hundreds of dollars. For example, if you reduce your gas consumption by $20 a week, it will save you over $1,000 a year. Most people can easily save this amount (and often much more) by simply changing their driving habits and paying a little more attention to their cars.

By far the best way to reduce your car expenses is to use your car only when necessary. Cars are extremely convenient and this causes people to use them much more often than they really need to. By simply asking yourself, "Is this trip really necessary?" you can greatly decrease the amount you drive.

For short trips close to home, try walking or riding your bicycle. Not only will you save money on your car expenses,you'll also get some healthy exercise. When you go shopping or run errands, take a little time to plan and combine them all into one outing instead of several. Of course, car pooling and using mass transportation systems when possible are always excellent ways to reduce car expenses. If you can find a different way to commute to work rather than by your car, there is a good chance that this will result in a discount in your car insurance.

There are also a number of steps you can take to reduce your driving expenses while using you car. Here's a quick list of some actions you may want to consider while driving.

*** Take the time to check your car's tire pressure each month. Under inflated tires reduce fuel efficiency by 2% for every pound they are under inflated. Under inflation also causes premature tire wear giving your tires a shorter use life.

*** Drive at the speed limit. Cars use about 20% more fuel driving at 70 miles per hour than they do at 55 miles per hour.

*** Avoid driving fast in low gears. Driving at high speeds in the improper gear can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 40%.

*** Avoid using air conditioning whenever possible. Air conditioning reduces fuel economy by 10% to 20%.

*** Don't open windows when traveling at high speeds. Open windows on the highway can reduce fuel efficiency by 10%. It is much better to use the ventilation system. Also remember to remove car racks and other items which make your car less aerodynamic when they're not being used. Use cruise control to maintain a steady pace on the highway to increase fuel economy.

*** Avoid rough roads. Driving on roads made of dirt or gravel can reduce fuel economy by up to 30%.

*** Don't let your car idle. Even on cold mornings, there's no need to let your car idle for more than 30 seconds. Newer cars are designed to be driven almost immediately and letting your car idle longer is a waste of gas. In addition, it's more efficient to turn off your car and turn it on again than to let it idle for more than 45 seconds while waiting.

*** Remove all excess weight from your car. Many people use their car trunk as a storage space adding unneeded pounds to the car's weight. This unnecessary weight reduces the car's fuel efficiency.

*** Try to accelerate gently, brake gradually and avoid stops when driving. Gunning engines, quickly accelerating, and abrupt stops all waste fuel. Try to avoid driving during rush hour periods when you know traffic will be stop and go. If you do find yourself in stop and go traffic, try to maintain a crawl. When approaching hills or steep slopes, accelerate before the hill. Accelerating once on the slope will consume much more gas.

*** Service your car regularly while paying special attention to oil and filters. Blocked air flow from clogged air filters will increase fuel waste. Also check your car's alignment since this can cause engine drag which will also increase gas waste.

*** Periodically calculate your car's fuel efficiency.

A loss in fuel efficiency is an indication of possible mechanical problems.

To really see how much you can save by using the above information, don't change your driving habits this week, but take note of the number of miles your drive and calculate your car's current fuel economy. The following week begin initiating any of the above ideas which you aren't currently utilizing. You are sure to be surprised by how much you can save over your regular driving habits, and you'll be able to enjoy some extra money jingling in your pockets.

Copyright (c) 2004, by Jeffrey Strain

About The Author
Jeffrey Strain has published hundreds of money saving articles and the creator of the Daily Money Saving Challenge Program. He is the co-owner of -- a website dedicated to saving you money.

How to Change Your Car's Motor Oil
By: Stephen Bucaro


First, let's answer the question; Why should you change your own oil? Because you can save time and money. You don't have to wait in line at the service garage or quick oil change shop. For ten bucks you can get the best oil and a brand new oil filter. And, it's so easy to do that you could train a monkey to do it.

Changing your cars motor oil is a very simple three-step process: 1. Drain the old oil. 2. Replace the oil filter. 3. Add the new oil. But before we go through the steps, lets answer a few basic questions.

When should I change my oil?

Look in your cars owners manual. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing the motor oil every 6,000 miles for normal service, or every 3,000 miles for severe service. I change my oil every 6,000 miles, and my engines run like new when I trade my vehicles in with well over 100,000 miles on them. One thing that I do is change a new cars oil after the first 300 mile break-in period. Then, after that, I change the oil every 6,000 miles.

What kind of oil should I use?

You are not going to save money by using an off-brand oil because your engine will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Petroleum Institute (API) classification SL. I use Valvoline, Quaker State, Pennzoil, or Havoline brand oil. These quality oils contain additives that make them work better and longer.

If you are changing your oil just before winter, use SAE 10W30 weight oil. This number means the oil will have a thin 10 weight viscosity when the engine is cold, helping the engine to start easier, and then the oil will thicken to 30 weight viscosity when the engine warms up, protecting the engine better. If you are changing oil just before summer, use SAE 10W40 weight oil. The extra 40 weight viscosity will protect your engine better when it's hot.

What's the First Step?

First let your engine cool off. Modern engines run at close to 300 degrees (F) and hot oil will definitely give you a severe burn. You shouldn't have to jack your car up unless you have some kind of ground hugging sports car or low rider. Almost all cars have enough space underneath to reach under and change the engine oil.

Step 1: Drain the old oil.

Locate the oil drain plug and place a pan under it to catch the oil. With a box wrench, remove the oil plug.

Note for newbies: To remove the drain plug, turn it counter-clockwise.

- If you have a GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine you may have a difficult time locating the drain plug on all that aluminum.

When the oil stops draining, reinstall the drain plug.

Note for newbies: To replace the drain plug turn it clockwise. Start the plug with your fingers. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads.

Step 2. Replace the oil filter.

Move your oil catch pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench to get it started, remove the oil filter. (newbies: counter-clockwise, and you will get some oil on your hand.)

- A strap type oil filter wrench is the best kind to use. A socket type oil filter tool is used with a ratchet just like a regular socket. The problem with the socket type is that it tends to get stuck on the filter. Use the socket type tool if you don't have enough clearance around the oil filter to use the strap type.

With your finger put a thin coat of oil on the new filter's gasket to make it seal better.

*! Now pay attention - here's were you can screw up royal!

With your hand, install the new oil filter. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads. Most filters have an instruction printed on them to give the filter one more turn after the gasket has made contact.

Here's what I recommend: screw the filter on until its "hand tight". Then use the oil filter wrench to snug it up another 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This is critical!

When the vehicle is running, the oil pump puts the oil under pressure. If you don't install the oil filter tight enough, the oil will come gushing out. If that happens shut down the engine immediately! Without oil, an engine will lock up within seconds.

The first time I changed my oil, I used the filter wrench to tighten the filter as tight as I could get it. Wrong! The next time I went to change my oil, I couldn't get the filter off. Luckily I had plenty of room around the filer, so I hammered a screw driver through the body of the filter and used the handle of the screw driver to turn the filter off.

Warning! Don't over-tighten the filter. Follow the instructions above carefully!

- The GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine has an unusual oil filter located on top of the engine. Remove the engine air intake hose. That's the oil filter canister just to the right of, and below, the end of the open air intake tube. Use a proper size wrench to remove the canister lid. This engine uses a special filter cartridge.

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Step 3. Add the new oil.

Locate the oil filler cap on the valve cover. I've seen newbies pour motor oil in everything from the master brake cylinder to the radiator cap. Make sure you have located the oil filler cap. Remove the oil filler cap.

When pouring the oil, you would be wise to use a funnel between the oil can and the valve cover oil filler hole.

How much oil should you add? Look in your cars owner manual. Most engines have a capacity of four or five quarts. Don't overfill the crank case. When you run the engine the extra oil will be blown out through the PCV value, possibly stalling your engine.

Tip: If you don't know the oil capacity of the engine, add four quarts, then check the oil level, if it's a quart low add another quart.

Replace the oil filler cap.

Step 4. Start the Engine.

Yes, I know, I said there where only three steps. You're finished, this is not really a "step".

Start the engine and make sure the oil warning light goes off. Look under the vehicle to make sure oil is not leaking out. Turn off the engine and let it set for a minute to let the oil drain down to the crank case. Then use the dip stick to check the oil level.

How to check the oil level: Remove the dip stick, wipe it clean with a rag, reinstall the dip stick. Make sure the dip stick is in all the way or you will get a false reading. After a few seconds remove the dip stick and examine how far up the stick is covered with oil. Most dip sticks have a "full" mark printed on them.

Note: I find the best way to dispose of the old oil is to use a funnel to pore it from the collection pan into the bottles from which the new oil came. When I get a big pile of used oil bottles I bring them to the oil recycling center. Be sure to mark the used oil bottles so you don't accidentally think they are new oil.

Copyright(C)2004 Bucaro TecHelp.

About The Author
Stephen Bucaro
To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit

Bumpers: Its Importance, Functions and Where to Find Replacement Bumpers
by: Terry Brown


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Bumpers are one of the most essential auto parts. They serve both an aesthetic and practical function. They are also important safety features. Bumpers are made of heavy sheet metal and are mounted on the front and rear of the car. Bumpers are bent and formed into specific shapes in order to absorb and deliver momentum during a collision. In the event of a collision, the bumper absorbs some of the impact, which decreases damage to the car and its occupants. It also protects the front of the car by diverting all of the car's momentum to the object with which it has collided. The bumper is mounted to the car's chassis with special impact absorbers. These shock absorbers are often spring loaded. In slow speed collisions, this allows the bumper to compress, and then extend back to its original position. All bumpers are designed to absorb the energy of the impact. They do this through a series of valves and air chambers.

Some car bumpers have hydraulic chambers. In the event of a collision, the absorption unit allows air and/or hydraulic fluid to pass through small openings. Forcing the air/fluid through the valve openings absorbs the energy from the collision. The bumper's job is to minimize damage, primarily to the occupants of the vehicle and to the vehicle itself. US law requires cars to pass special crash tests at various speeds.

In order to pass, the car's damage level during the crash must be below a specific dollar level. This protects the consumer and is very important for keeping the cost of automobile insurance to a minimum. Sometimes bumpers are constructed with built-in "crumple zones." Crumple zones are designed to absorb impact; they will flex on impact. As the metal flexes, the action of the bending metal converts the kinetic energy of the car into heat. Kinetic energy is the energy an object possesses while it is in motion.

GM automobiles are all equipped with capable bumpers that help protect the vehicle from serious damages in the event of a collision. However, like all auto parts, bumpers will eventually get damaged or defective due to accidents, wear and tear and corrosion. Usually such damages will weaken the bumper's ability to absorb the shock of collision. Thus, it is a necessity to replace old and damaged bumpers with a new one. Replacement GM Bumpers can be purchased from auto parts dealers everywhere. However, to be sure of quality and durability, purchase only from a reliable and trustworthy auto parts store with an established reputation.

One of the best choices in auto parts stores today is Auto Parts Inner. It has already been recognized as an excellent source of relevant and useful automotive information. Its comprehensive inside look into the automobile makes one marvel at the technology that has given us our vehicles. Similarly, it now has a very comprehensive array of high quality auto parts including top-notch GM Parts. Auto Parts Inner offers a variety of GM Parts including GM A/C Condensers, GM Bumpers, GM Carpets, GM Catalytic Converter, GM Mirror, GM Radiator, GM Spoiler, GM Tailgate, GM Weather-stripping, GM Fuel Tanks and other affordable and high quality parts.

About The Author
Terry Brown is a 32 year old from Houston Texas, and an enthusiast for anything auto related. He is currently employed as a market analyst by one of the top car parts company in the area. His automotive articles provide valuable source of information for auto enthusiasts like him as well as to those in need of automotive research.

A Simple Car Cleaning Guide

by Pete Lance
"It looks like new! I can't believe that car's seven years old!" Would you like to hear that from your friends? I'm sure all of us do, but keeping our car looking like the latest models is tough, even with today's longer-lasting finishes.

However, if we adopt simple techniques such as cleaning out cars regularly and attending minor repairs immediately, the results can be remarkable.

Some car owners think rainwater is the only enemy to their car, but bird droppings, highway bugs, atmospheric pollution and road salt can also ruin the beauty of your car.

Many owners think fighting these ever-diligent adversaries is a daunting task, so they don't usually bother, but truthfully, it's easier than they think.

Step 1: Washing First, spray water gently to thoroughly wet the surface of the vehicle. This light rinse helps to loosen the dirt on the vehicle. Then divide your car into five sections: the top, the hood, the trunk, the right side and the left side. Start from the top, move on to the hood and the trunk, and then concentrate on the right side and the left side. Washing should always be done very gentle such that the dirt will not scratch the body of your car. Re-wet and then rinse each section, finishing in the same order- top, hood, trunk and sides.

Step 2: Polishing should only be done a small section at a time. Add an even coating of polish onto a towel, and then apply to the vehicle surface gently in small, even and circular motions. Start at the top and working your way down to the trunk and hood, finally ending with the sides. The polish should be allowed to sit on the paint surfaces for at least five to ten minutes. After this time, remove the residue with a different cotton towel by pressing firmly on the surfaces. The same procedure may be applied to all other four sections.

Step 3: Waxing Use a soft and clean terry cloth towel to apply wax to a small section of the car. The application of wax to the car can be done similar to how polishing has been carried out. The only difference is you should wait until the wax has dried to a slight haze. If you're really striving, repeat the whole process again, adding a second coat of wax to the vehicle. And there you have it! You've removed the dirt and grime; polished away the small spots and scratches; and added another layer of protection to your vehicle's finish. By now your car should glitter like it did the first day you got it. Don't forget the last step - show off your car!

About the Author Complements of Lowest Gas Prices. For any US zip code. Free daily email with locations and prices.

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A Few Easy Steps To Flush Your Automobile's Radiator And Coolant System

by: Jason Miller


One of the most overlooked maintenance items on your car is the coolant system. Most people don't even think about it until they are on the side of the road with the hood up and steam pouring out of the radiator. This traffic nightmare can be avoided by some simple routine maintenance. Your coolant system should be flushed every two years and the anti freeze replaced as well. The chemicals in anti freeze begin to lose their effectiveness and rust and grime can build up in your engine and radiator. This will clog up your engine's cooling system and cause your engine to overheat. The good news is very little mechanical skills are needed to flush your system and keep your car running for the years to come. Just follow these simple steps:

1. First of all make sure your car engine has not been running and it is cool. This is very important. A radiator can get very hot and possibly burn you. With the engine cool, open the radiator cap and relieve any pressure.

2. Next locate the drain valve on the radiator to drain it. It should be located on the bottom of the radiator. Be sure to drain the fluid into a container and not the ground. Once you have drained it, close the drain valve.

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3. Now you are ready to install a back flush kit. This kit is inexpensive and can easily be purchased at your local auto parts store. Follow the instructions on the back on the kit. Basically, you have to cut the heater inlet hose going to the top of the engine. This is where you install the T section provided in the kit into the line. Slip both ends of the hose onto this fitting and tighten the clamps provided in the kit. Go ahead and connect your garden hose to this fitting.

4. Now place the diverter that came in the kit into the opening on the top of the radiator. This is where the water and coolant will pour out from when you start to flush the system. A hose or tube will be helpful to direct the run off into a bucket.

5. Now it is time to start the engine, turn the heater on high and turn on the garden hose. Coolant is now circulating through the engine and coming out through the diverter on the top of the radiator. Continue this process until clean water begins to come out the top. This should only take a few minutes.

6. Turn off the engine and garden hose. Now drain the radiator again into a bucket and close the drain valve when you are done.

7. Now it is time to add the new anti freeze. Pour the entire contents of the anti freeze bottle into the empty radiator and fill it until coolant pours out of the neck. Screw back on the radiator cap and you are done. Make sure you have also screwed back on the provided cap onto the T fitting you installed.

8. Take your car for a test drive around the block and make sure everything is ok. Now you have a back flush fitting installed for the next time you need to flush your radiator and it will be a lot quicker. You will thank yourself the next time you pass that unlucky person on the side of the road with the ominous steam cloud pouring from the hood.

About The Author Jason Miller is the webmaster for Red Hill Supply - Online Air Tools

If you enjoyed A Few Easy Steps To Flush Your Automobile's Radiator And Coolant System, visit our article index for a complete listing of all our car related articles.

Car Diagnosis Made Simple

by Tom McKnight


With a little research on your vehicle, you can avoid future repair problems. Whether you are mechanically savvy or not, you can detect many common vehicle problems simply by using your senses of smell and sight.


Are there any stains or drops of fluid under your vehicle? There may be no problem whatsoever, however you do want to check for wet spots, as this could be a symptom of a serious problem.

What color is the liquid under the car? Yellowish green, blue or orange colors can show an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak. You could have a leaky radiator or a water pump in need of repair. If this is the problem, you need to get to a repair shop immediately.

A dark brown or black oily fluid can show that the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could be the cause of the leak. The repair for this problem can be exorbitant, so you will want to seek out a reputable mechanic right away.

A red oily looking spot shows a transmission or power steering fluid leak. Another reason to see your car doctor! Sometimes the liquid is clear, and this is usually normal condensation from your vehicle's air conditioner. There is no need for concern. If you see light smoke coming from a wheel - it could be a stuck brake. Call a tow truck. Smoke coming from any part of the vehicle shows a need for repair.


Sniff around, and you may detect your vehicles problem. The smell of burned toast can signal an electrical short and burning insulation. Have a mechanic come to look at your car. Do not risk driving it anywhere.

A rotten egg smell usually shows a problem in the catalytic converter. You will need to take the vehicle in for repair as soon as possible.

A thick sharp odor usually shows burning oil. Look under the car to see if there is a leak. There could be a bluish smoke coming from your vehicle, too. This problem needs to be addressed immediately!

The smell of gas after a failed start may mean the engine is flooded. Just wait a couple of minutes and try again. If you keep noticing the gas odor, this could be a sign of a leak in the fuel system - a potentially dangerous problem that needs immediate attention.

Do you notice a sweet odor? This may show a coolant leak. Watch your temperature gauge, warning light and drive to a repair shop. Now, if you see steam emerging from under the hood, stop and pull over. You definitely do not want to keep driving an overheated vehicle. Your engine will most likely be seriously damaged. Call a tow truck.

The basic rule of smell is that if you do notice an unusual odor - get to a mechanic or get one to come to you. Follow these simple guidelines, keep your eyes and nose open, and you could end saving hundreds of dollars in repair!

About the Author Tom McKnight is a freelance author and Corvette enthusiast who writes articles for

If you enjoyed Car Diagnosis Made Simple, visit our article index for a complete lsiting of all our car related articles.

SUVs vs Minivans: Making the Right Choice

by Tom McKnight


Has your family started to cram into the old sedan like a pack of sardines? Have members of the neighborhood car pool begun to look suspiciously at your battered station wagon? Perhaps it's time to retire the old family car and move up to a bigger vehicle. Often, the choice for a more spacious family vehicle is a toss-up between a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and a minivan. Both offer flexible passenger and cargo areas, comfortable seating for five to eight persons, and rear-seat entertainment systems. Although the SUV has a slightly higher risk for rollovers than minivans do, both are equipped with similar safety features, such as air bags and anti-lock brake systems. So, which one deserves to park in your family garage? To come up with the right choice, you need to look at how the vehicle's styling, fuel economy, passenger and cargo space, towing capacity, and safety will suit your family's needs and lifestyle.


More than a matter of need, a vehicle's styling is a matter of personal preference. The SUV usually wins out over the minivan when it comes to appearance. With its rugged, sporty styling, an SUV oozes urban cool, unlike the minivan, which is perpetually associated with soccer moms and suburban neighborhood carpools. Most men would recoil at the thought of driving a minivan, so if your husband would be sharing driving duties, you might have to talk it out with him. Likewise, many teenagers wouldn't be caught dead stepping out of a minivan, so if you'd be using the vehicle mainly to drop off and pick up your adolescent children from school, you'd have to consider their preferences, too.

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Fuel economy

Minivans give better mileage than SUVs, which have a reputation for being gas guzzlers. If you want to squeeze more miles out of the gasoline tank, then a minivan would make a more economic choice than an SUV. Other ownership costs, such as maintenance and insurance, also tend to be higher for SUVs than minivans. Unless you're willing to pay the price for being cool and stylish, the practical minivan is the way to go.

Passenger and cargo space

Sport utility vehicles and minivans have comparable passenger and cargo space, but the roomy interiors of a minivan can be a delight to young kids. Unlike SUVs, minivans also have a low step-in height, so they're easier for kids to climb into. Minivans' large picture windows afford young passengers a better view of the passing scenery, therefore keeping your impatient young ones amused for a good part of the ride.

Towing capacity

If you own a boat and like to take the entire brood for weekend sailing retreats, then an SUV would make an appropriate choice. SUVs have superior towing capacities, enabling them to pull practically anything between a trailer and a small boat. Otherwise, if you're only schlepping groceries and your kid's soccer team, then there's no reason to overlook the minivan.


Although both have comparable safety features, SUVs have a higher rollover risk than minivans. SUV devotees counter this by pointing out that rollovers account for only three percent of all traffic accidents and claiming that SUVs offer excellent passenger protection in two-car collisions. It remains to be seen whether this supposed collision safety factor outweighs the risk of rollovers. If the threat of rollover accidents keeps you awake at night, then a minivan could give you a little peace of mind.

About the author: Tom McKnight is a freelance author and Corvette enthusiast who writes articles for

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Buying Car Parts

by Jeff Lakie


The Internet has changed the way people buy things. It doesn't matter if that purchase is a small ticket item or a larger ticket item like car parts. In fact, major online auction companies like have an entire section devoted strictly to cars and car parts.

For the professional

If you are a professional searching for car parts, running an online search for "discount auto parts" or "wholesale auto parts" will yield a treasure trove of sites that offer huge discounts, free shipping, and great warranties for a minimum purchase. You can take advantage of these online stores which buy in bulk from the manufacturer and resell them at close-to-wholesale prices to you. And, if you are a reseller or have a business license, you may even qualify for tax minimized purchases as well! Often these are great places to purchase parts if you run a shop that has a tight schedule since overnight delivery is available in many areas, allowing you to get that one part quickly to get a customer's car on the road again.

For the hobbyist

However, if you are not a professional auto parts purchaser, you are still able to buy car parts at a discount. If you are a car enthusiast or a backyard mechanic, you may find that you meet the minimum purchase requirements from some of the discount auto parts sites mentioned above, simply from the amount of work you do, since the minimum purchase requirements are surprisingly low.

If you can get a good deal from these online shops, go ahead and order! If you don't think you qualify initially, there is a chance that you may still be able to qualify. Here's how: find one or two fellow car enthusiasts, either people you trust, or people you can find from a taking out a small classified ad in a newspaper. When you've found these people, you can pool your purchases in order to qualify for the minimum discount.

And don't forget about and other auto auction sites where you can bid on great car parts and get them at really low prices! Whether you are a professional car parts buyer or a hobbyist looking to fix up that project car, you can find inexpensive parts online.

About The Author
Jeff Lakie is the founder of and websites providing information on Car Parts

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So You Want To Bolt Your Hubcaps On?

by Kurt Reis


So you are tired of loosing your hubcaps. A good solution would be to bolt them on. Unfortunately with some models that is just not possible.

Your wheels need to be set up correctly in order to accommodate a bolt on hubcap. The lug nuts need to have outside thread for the hubcaps that screw down, or the lug nuts need to be flanged or contain a washer insert for the hubcaps that bolt on behind the lugs.

In addition, all of the bolt on hubcaps are made to fit a particular wheel rim. The depth that the hubcap sits need to be perfect in order for the locking mechanism to reach the lugs and every wheel is different. Also the holes in the hubcap need to be the same distance apart as the wheel in order to bolt up and this differs from model to model. In other words, there are no universal "bolt on" hubcaps on the market because every vehicle is different.

Some car companies have been bolting them on for years. Honda hubcaps have always bolted on as have Saturn's. Others such as some GM and recently many Chevrolet hubcaps also bolt on. Certain Chrysler and Dodge hubcaps are starting to bolt on after several years of poor design, most notably the mini vans.

Some such as Toyota hubcaps, Volkswagen hubcaps and most Ford hubcaps do not as of yet bolt on and these are the covers that most have problems with. So what can you do?

Most non lockable factory original hubcaps are designed with a wire retention system. The clips, or tabs that hold the retaining wire on the wheel covers are made of plastic and lost are quite fragile. Careless handling causes these tabs to break which takes the critical tension from the wire. This is when the losses happen.

Most of these hubcaps will remain on the wheel if handled properly, so careful handling is critical when removing and installing the hubcaps. If the hubcaps are already damaged and you wish to replace them with good quality custom hubcaps. Make sure you select a style that is constructed with metal retaining tabs. The auto parts and bargain store brands are usually constructed with retaining tabs that are more fragile that the original ones that you are replacing, so make sure you choose a quality hubcap with a solid metal retaining system. Not unlike other purchases, you get what you pay for.

For all of your hubcap and wheel needs, visit Hubcap Heaven and Wheels. About The Author Kurt Reis is the VP and general manager of Hubcap Heaven and Wheels in Cleveland, Ohio

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How to Transport Your Classic Car

by Thomas Morva


Classic car transport is a large branch of car transport; it is a specialized field that includes car transport companies that are dedicated to the transport of antique and vintage cars. Most trailers used for the safe and efficient transport of classic cars are specially designed for smooth travel and protection from road and weather.

Classic car transport companies usually employ only professional drivers who are experienced handlers of antique and exotic cars. Some popular trailer options for secure classic car transport are: six-car enclosed trailers, four-car enclosed trailers, and two-car non-stacking enclosed trailers. Most auto transporters of classic vehicles will offer delivery from door-to-door or delivery to the customer. Most classic car transport companies will accept non-running vehicles.

When you are searching for a classic car transport company, ask if classic and vintage vehicle transport is their main activity or a sideline of another business. In addition, find out if they contract out transport to third parties. Make sure when you are investigating car transport companies that classic vehicles are their main focus. To safeguard your interests, also make sure they carry the best insurance coverage available.

Many classic car transport companies will design an itinerary exclusive to you, this allows for greater flexibility on times of pick-up and delivery. Additionally in-transit contact between office and drivers through cell phones is a service that most classic car transport companies will provide as part of the basic transport service. Winching is also available at a modest fee.

Many classic car transport companies offer worldwide vehicle transportation solutions to individuals. These classic car transport companies specialize in reliable, proficient service with frequent departures from major U.S. ports. Normally you will be assigned a very experienced customer service representative to insure the safe convey of your car.

Classic car transport companies use various methods to move your car long distances, such as flatbed truck, enclosed single trailer and enclosed rail service. Your car will probably travel flat without being tied down by chains. Easy and safe loading on custom built covered trailers with full lift gates is usually a standard and most classic car transport companies have tie-down systems that provide security without harming your vehicle. Airtight sanitary environments and full air equipment for smooth travel are other popular available options. Custom equipment designed to meet your needs is often available upon request.

It should not be difficult to find a classic car transport facility with a professional crew of mechanics and maintenance people who maintain an exceptional fleet of opened and enclosed transports to fit your needs and budget. Just knowing the basic facts about classic car transport will make finding the best company a sure success.

About the Author
Car Transport Info provides detailed information about car transport services and trailers, as well as advice on locating an cheap, domestic and international car transport company for your standard, classic, or exotic car. Car Transport Info is affiliated with Original Content.

If you enjoyed How to Transport Your Classic Car , visit our article index for a complete listing of all our car related articles.

How to Winterize Your Car


If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate you may not have to worry about this, but for many winterizing your car is essential. Not getting ready for winter weather puts you at risk unnecessarily. The good thing is that these steps take almost no time at all and are not going to be to hard on your wallet. For an exact quote on your vehicle please Click here

Here are some common sense ways to prepare you for cold weather:

Check your Anti-Freeze. One of the most important things you can do is check your Anti-freeze. You should have your anti-freeze tested at least 2 times a year. You will probably want to change it at least every 30,000 miles or every 2 years. This keeps it at peak performance and prevents it from breaking down. Usually you will want to have it diluted with water. A 50/50 mix is the normal ratio but the simple directions on your specific brand of anti-freeze will tell you exactly what the proper mix is.

Pressure Check for Leaks. When you change your anti-freeze you may want to pressure check the system. This will wash away any impurities, mineral deposits and rust that may eventually clog the system. While in there, check for any visible leaks around the hoses and clamps. You will also want to make sure the belts are tight and not frayed. One main reason you want to do this is because there is belt that drives the water pump. If the belt is not circulating it does not matter how new or unclogged your system is because you will have problems. Having the cooling system checked regularly can save a lot of heartache in the future and prevent you from walking in the snow instead of driving in it.

Check the Battery. Another important part to check is the battery. Cold weather sucks the life right out of a car battery. The performance of the battery is decreased - a lot. Fortunately you can have your battery tested to make sure it is at peak performance. You can bring your vehicle to most local service stations and have the battery and electrical system tested. If the battery is over 3 years old this may be a good idea.

You can also visually inspect your battery and make sure the contacts do not have corrosion on them. Most new batteries are maintenance free, but it is a good idea to check. Make sure the water level is filled correctly and if it needs more use distilled water to level it off. Since the battery can lose its charge in cold weather, you may want to get a plug-in charger. With this you plug it in at night and attach it to your battery. In the morning you will be assured of a charged battery. This can make the difference between getting to work on time or not. Portable versions are also available which can be kept in the car as you travel. You will then be able to jump the battery if it does not have enough power to get anywhere on its own.

Oil. You can switch to lighter oil in the bitter cold months. This will offer quicker lubrication of the engine parts during colder periods.

Tires. Tires are important also. Some tires are all weather and give you decent traction in the snow. For those that are not you may either want to switch to all weather tires or get specially made snow tires. These have better traction but are not made for prolonged normal road use. Another option is attaching snow chains to tires for increased traction.

Windshield Blades. Having proper windshield wiper blades can also save you a lot of heartache as well. These should be changed as you change your oil. Being able to see in a snowstorm is just as important as having your car start. Proper visibility is key to accident avoidance.

Items you should have in the car as well to winterize it are: gloves, deicer, ice scraper, anti-freeze, windshield washer fluid (to de-ice as you drive), salt or sand, old rug for tire traction, shovel, car cover (to prevent icing) cell phone (you might need to call for help), flashlight and extra wiper blades.

All of these preventative measures are easy and not expensive compared to the time and money you will spend fixing problems instead of avoiding them.

Financing Your Car What You Should Know
by Dennis James


Buying a new car is the dream of many Americans; as a result many are sold each year, that is after financing is obtained in order to pay for them. While you might think going and picking out a car and then receiving on the spot financing is relatively easy it is not always so. Before you head to your local dealership to buy the car of your dreams, consider these tips on automobile financing.

Tip #1 Credit Score

Your credit score has everything to do with whether or not you receive automobile financing as well as the interest rates and down payment requirements you will receive. Because of this it is incredibly important for you to know your credit score before you ever head to the dealership. If your credit score is above 600 then you should be able to get financing without too much trouble, however if your score is below 600 you should spend a few months lowering your bills and focusing on increasing your credit score so you can not only qualify for financing, but also for a great interest rate in order to buy that new car.

Tip #2 Compare Rates

Different lending institutions from banks, online lenders and the dealership will be able to finance your vehicle. However, each of them is likely to have different interest rates, fee structures, and general requirements for you to meet. As a result, you should evaluate as many financing options as possible in order to find the best deal for you. Because, when it comes down to it, you don’t want to pay a single cent more than you have to for your car financing needs.

Tip #3 Get Pre-Approved

If there is any way you can get pre-approved for auto financing then you should do so. The reason for this is when you are pre-approved and head to the dealership you will be able to negotiate as if you had cash in hand. This will allow you to qualify for all the rebates and discounts the dealership might be offering and you can negotiate the price of the vehicle down as well.

Following these tips will help you get the best financing available to you considering your personal credit score and financial situation, not to mention the car of your dreams. So follow these tips, save money and finally put that new car in your driveway.


About The Author
Dennis James is the "Average Joe" you might pass daily in the street, except that he has a vision he is striving to complete. After being burned time and time again on his trips to the car dealer every couple of years, he has decided "it is time that we the people stand up and declare we will not be overtaken by the car dealers, but rather we will take the car dealers by storm. Researching the cars is not enough; we need a way to research the dealers themselves." Dennis believes that by overcoming the common obstacles we are faced with when car shopping, through proper education, we will then be able to use our newfound awareness to make the choices we want to make and leave the dealership fulfilled, driving our new dream car home.
At you can read independent car dealer reviews written by car buyers for car buyers.
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Choosing an Auto Mechanic: Look for auto repair shops that display certifications - like a seal of Automotive Service Excellence. This Certification indicates that some or all of the auto repair mechanics meet basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Make sure the certifications are current, but remember that certification alone is no guarantee of good or honest auto repair mechanic work. Ask if the auto repair shop has experience working on the same make or model vehicle that intend to bring in.

Choosing an Auto Repair Shop: Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and other people you trust. Look for an auto repair shop before you need one to avoid being rushed into a last-minute decision. Shop around for an auto mechanic by telephone for the best deal, and compare warranties on repairs. Ask to see current licenses if local law requires auto repair shops to be licensed or registered. Make sure the auto repair shop will honor your vehicle's warranty.

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Need more information? Check out our auto warranty faqs and car care tips.

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