While most of us understand the importance of keeping up with routine oil changes and tire rotations, we rarely think of the other parts within our vehicles that require upkeep as well. For instance, do you know when (or if) you should replace your shocks or struts? If you don’t, you aren’t alone.
There are several factors which will determine your answer. First off, does your vehicle have shocks and struts or just shocks? While they are often mentioned together in one breath, shocks and struts are two different parts. Shocks (in addition to struts if you have them) perform two main tasks – to dampen the spring oscillation and also help overall ride control. Essentially shocks are used to absorb bumps and shocks to the vehicle and exist as part of the overall suspension. Struts, on the other hand, are a total suspension assembly.
Now that you understand the basics, here are a few factors that will help you decide when to replace your shocks or struts.
It’s summertime and that means lots of fun in the sun and travel galore. Time to kick back, relax and enjoy those leisurely days, leaving the heavy lifting behind. Well, unless you look at the summer months from a vehicle’s perspective. You expect a lot from your car, especially when there is so much to do and see. If you are planning a road trip (or are simply expecting to put on more miles this season), you need to make sure your vehicle is running at its best. Nothing can put a damper on your summer fun faster than breaking down on the side of the road while the kids anxiously jump and down yelling, “are we there yet?!”
In order to keep your summer relaxing, here is the ultimate travel checklist for your vehicle.
Unexpected tire blowouts can put a massive damper on your day. No one wants to be stranded roadside forced to break out the donut and carjack. While road hazards may be unavoidable, extending the lifetime of your tires with proper care and maintenance is something that you can take control of.
Let’s face it, driving is an expensive necessity. When you add up basic maintenance, gas and tires, your budget can be frequently depleted each month. Just like anything else that you own, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last you.Read the rest of this entry »
A Driver’s Guide to 11 Common Car Noises
Those of us who identify as less-than-car-savvy-individuals have had that moment when we walk in to the garage and make a variety of squeaks and squeals in an attempt to explain the problems our car is having. To our amazement, the seasoned mechanic nods in understanding and translates our gibberish, making statements like “oh, sounds like your brake pads are shot,” or “yup, your drive belt is giving out.” Magic? It sure seems like it but once you know what to listen for the mystery surrounding car noises begins to vanish.
Car noises belong to a different language and while you don’t need to speak car fluently in order to operate one, it does help to understand the basics. Not only will this allow you to ‘talk the talk’ with your mechanic, but it will also enables you to become more aware of your car’s need for maintenance.Read the rest of this entry »