How To Get Great Fuel Economy Out Of Used Cars

While some complain that used cars are more expensive due to poor fuel economy, this is not always the case. There are forces at work in your favor. Most drivers have noticed that gas prices are beginning to dip lower than the national average, which has been above $3.00 per gallon since 2010. To add to these savings, there are several things you can do to save money on gas. With fewer dollars going to gas, set the extra money aside for car maintenance. Additionally, adjust your driving habits to save fuel.

Under the Hood

The experts agree: a properly tuned engine increases the fuel economy in used cars. Use the money you’ve been saving at the pump to correct any serious problems under the hood. For example, a bad oxygen sensor can destroy your fuel economy. Fixing this issue will save you a lot of cash.

Tire Pressure & Oil

One do-it-yourself tip is to check the air pressure in your tires. Your used car’s owner’s manual should state how much pressure is needed for each season. While you’re at it, be sure you or your mechanic have been putting the correct type of oil into the engine. Additionally, when you have your oil changed, ask the technician to show you the air filter. If it’s dirty, purchase a replacement. Many people don’t realize this common mistake is costing them extra money.

Gas Cap

While you’re at the gas station, check your gas cap. If it’s loose, cracked or appears leaky, it’s time for a new one. Another clue may be that your check engine light is on. This is often remedied by replacing the gas cap. If you need a new cap, try visiting your local auto supplies store, or order one from an auto parts warehouse online.

Driving Habits

Still not getting the mileage you want? Check your driving habits! Are you always speeding? Do you stop and start quickly? Do you do a lot of city driving? These could all be culprits. Give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B. Go easy on your gas and brake pedal. Take highways when available instead of city streets. Call your fellow co-workers and suggest carpooling to cut down on your driving time. Never sit with your car idling for long. If you’re waiting, turn off the engine. While you’re working on your driving habits, you may want to consider the weight of items in your car. A trunk full of unnecessary objects makes the engine work harder and use more gas.

As you can see, with the right strategy, you can get great gas mileage out of used cars. It could well be worth your time to heed the tips offered above to save at the pump.

P0171 and P0174 Codes – Don’t Replace an Oxygen Sensor Before Reading This

So your car’s CEL (Check Engine Light) is on and you had the codes scanned at a local parts store. Your car has either a P0171, P0174 lean fault code or both stored in the computer, these codes are based on Oxygen Sensor (O-2) readings. A lean code or codes indicate that there’s too much oxygen in the exhaust. Remember parts stores have employees that have good intentions but they may not have the experience necessary to interpret what the trouble codes really mean. These codes are based on oxygen measurements in the exhaust. A common mistake with lean codes is to replace the oxygen sensors. This could be a very expensive mistake that will not fix the problem. Especially if both codes are present, because the chance of both O-2 sensors failing at the same time is very unlikely.

Most likely the cause is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak can be caused from a vacuum hose, intake gasket or maybe even a leak in the air intake hose from the MAF (Mass Air Flow Sensor). Listen for a hissing sound that may lead you to the source of the problem. Some technicians will use a propane bottle with a hose attachment to help pinpoint vacuum leaks. With today’s computers it’s not quite as easy to check for vacuum leaks this way because the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) will compensate quickly for the added fuel and a change in idle is harder to notice. Oxygen sensor readings can be monitored with a scan tool while checking for leaks with propane, by looking for increased readings when enriching the mixture. Another way technicians can check for vacuum leaks is with a smoke test. By introducing smoke into a vacuum hose on the engine, the leak will be revealed when the smoke escapes from the problem area.

Aftermarket air filters that use oil on the element can sometimes damage the MAF. Over oiling the air filter may allow some excess to get on the MAF sensor wire or element. This can alter the reading, fooling the ECU into seeing more or less air flow therefore changing the air/fuel mixture incorrectly. I once worked on a car that would not start that had a problem with a MAF. When looking at the wire in the MAF, there was a burned piece of trash that made it’s way past the air filter. After cleaning the sensor the car ran perfectly. The ash that was on the MAF sensor wire was altering the reading by enriching the mixture so much that the car could not run. After talking with the customer, he said the air filter was just changed. This was obviously when some trash got into the air intake hose that settled on the hot wire of the MAF.

Fuel Pressure could also cause a lean condition. If the fuel filter is clogged or the fuel pump pressure is low, there could be higher level of oxygen in the exhaust also. Most of the time though, the ECU will compensate for the reduced fuel volume. So this is one of the least likely causes of a lean code.    

Repairing Automotive Paint Damage Caused by Bird Poop in 5 Minutes

Every time you take your car out of the garage it’s exposed to potential paint damage hazards. Some of the most common issues are acid rain, insects, battery acid and road stones. There is another hazard that’s particularly messy and harmful, and that’s bird poop.

Bird poop is essentially an acid. It can have a pH level between 3.5 and 4.5. That means it will burn delicate surfaces unless it’s removed relatively quickly. On car paint, in particular clear coat finishes, bird droppings burn the surface, causing a permanent etch mark.

It’s not at all uncommon for a large dropping to cause paint damage that’s 2 mils deep, or more. To understand what that means to your car’s clear coat, good laser printer paper is about 2 mils thick. More importantly, a quality clear coat finish is typically 4 to 6 mils. That means a heavy-duty bird bomb won’t leave a lot of clear coat in the area that needs to be repaired. The good news is that paint etching from hard water spots and bird droppings is an easy repair you can make at home. Most repairs like this take less than 5 minutes.

Fixing Bird Poop Paint Damage

The only way to repair the paint damage caused by a bird is to polish the affected area with a fine cut rubbing compound. The basic procedure is to use the compound to cut away the damage and re-polish the surface so it looks new again. This is exactly the step taken by professionals and the factory when they remove painting defects. Your only concern is over-polishing. Be careful that you don’t over do it and polish all the way through the top coat.

The best car polish to use is one that’s formulated for removing paint scratches or restoring oxidized paint. The product I highly recommend is Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. It’s available in most auto parts stores, and it works great by hand or with an electric car polisher.

If the damage covers an area larger than about 1 square inch, a polishing compound alone might not do the trick. For larger areas of damage you can make the repair faster and easier by first removing the damaged paint with 2000 or 3000 grit wet sanding paper, then re-polish the area with the compound. This may sound severe, but it’s not. It’s a safe procedure used by paint and body shop professionals.

Preventing Bird Damage

Although it’s difficult to avoid being splattered with bird waste, it’s not at all difficult to prevent the damage. The sooner you remove the mess, the less likely it will be that your paint will be damaged. Conversely, the longer the mess remains on your vehicle’s paint the more damage it will create.

If you live in an area where you are prone to getting pooped on, I highly recommend keeping a small bottle of car detailing spray and a microfiber cloth or two in your vehicle. It will come in handy for all kinds of spills and emergency cleanups. The Meguiar’s Quik Detailer product is very inexpensive and easy to find. When you need to clean up a bird mess, simply give the bird droppings a few shots of the spray, allow it to soak for a moment or two, then wipe it away.

Different Types of Winter Wiper Blades Available

Winter wiper blades are inexpensive, and should be put on cars before cold, snowy weather moves in. The winter blades are designed specifically for harsher conditions. They are able to move ice and snow more easily, making it safer for you to drive in winter weather. There are several types of winter blades available. Here’s a quick look at a few of them and the differences and advantages to each.

Silicone Blades

A silicone blade will use a wiping surface made of silicone rather than rubber. Silicone can withstand colder temperatures without freezing and cracking as rubber can. The silicone surface will provide a clearer field of vision during times of freezing rain or snow. They also last much longer than rubber blades, and many are available with lifetime guarantees. You may pay extra out of pocket when you purchase these, but you’ll save money in the long run. At the end of the season you can remove them and store them for use again the next year.

Vibrating Wiper Blades

Vibrating wiper blades, or shaker blades, use a vibrating motion while wiping the vision area. This helps to remove snow or ice that can accumulate under the blade. When snow or ice builds up on the blade, the vision field can become obscured, making driving more dangerous. These can be used at any time of the year as well to clear leaves and other debris that can become lodged under the blade. These aren’t considered disposable. Some models offer replacement rubber strips instead of full blade replacement. These will cost more than standard blades, and you may end up needing to pay for installation as well. If you choose to only use these during the winter, you may also have to pay to have them removed for storage.

Heated Blades

Heated wiper blades are becoming more popular as a standard feature on new vehicles. These include a heating element inside the rubber strip of the blade. This is nice to melt ice or snow as it builds up. The driver is able to turn the heater on and off as needed. This isn’t typically going to be easy to install, and will need to be done professionally because of the wiring involved. However, many people still opt for these since it makes it much easier to defrost a window in on a cold morning and makes it safer for driving in sleet and snow.

Maintenance

You will get the most out of your winter blades with some basic maintenance. Use a washer solution that will not freeze. This is easy to find, most big box retailers and auto parts stores will carry these solutions. Keep your blades clean, and always return them to the off position before turning off the car. This will help if they become frozen overnight, as you won’t burn out the motor in the morning while trying to heat up your vehicle.

Quality Safety Auto Parts for Mazda, Worthy Car Investments

Among the most distinguished names in the auto industry is Mazda. More than 800,000 units of Mazda vehicles are being sold out in the market every year, which only shows Mazda as a reliable auto maker. It is known for its exciting concept cars, powerful engines, including the revolutionary Wankel engine and tough and reliable auto parts designed and made with the most sophisticated technology. In the field of racing, Mazda has also exhibited superiority in building cars through its several wins credited to two, three- and four-rotor Mazda cars and other modified Mazda autos of private racers.

Mazda definitely deserves no less than excellent care as it affords every Mazda user great driving satisfaction. One way of taking good care of your Mazda is by installing the finest replacement and aftermarket aftermarket Mazda parts. You don’t have to go farther now because you can conveniently find the best Mazda parts in one convenient store online, Auto Parts Corner. For many years now, this store is considered as one of the most trusted sources of top of the line replacement auto parts for various makes and models.

Featured in this store are thousands of high quality safety parts for your Mazda car including Mazda tail lights, Mazda rear lights, Mazda Bumpers, Mazda rear bumper and Mazda Mirror. Investing on safety parts like these is never a waste of money; except of course, if you buy low quality replacement and aftermarket auto parts from a non-reliable source. At Auto Parts Corner, there is nothing to worry because getting your replacement parts from this store assures you of getting the finest from the industry. Its well designed online store itself can tell you it has the best solution to your auto parts needs.

Since most of these auto parts are fixed outside the car, they are made to enhance the car’s exterior as well; thus, replacing them can be beneficial not only to your safety but to your car’s looks, too. Headlights for example are designed to last longer than most auto parts; however, you can replace your stock Mazda headlights with excellently designed headlamps to give your Mazda a fresh new look. But more importantly, replacing your Mazda headlights with lamps that provide broader and longer beam can reduce risks in driving, especially at night.

Mirrors like the auto lights are important safety features in a car as they allow the driver to see the area behind or at the side of the car. High quality Mazda mirrors available at this Auto Parts Wholesale dealer provides better view of the road; thereby, they help prevent you from hitting obstacles, another vehicle or a pedestrian on the road more effectively.

Bumpers for various Mazda models are also offered in this store. These are among the most essential safety parts in a car since it is the Mazda bumper that absorbs the force during a collision. Without a bumper, the risks of incurring serious damages both to the passengers and the vehicle are higher. If your Mazda bumper has been damaged due to a small or high impact collision, replace it with tough and durable replacement bumper. It’s better to spend some extra cash for these new parts than to incur more damages in the event of an accident.

Avail of these auto parts now and enjoy auto parts wholesale deals. Other performance parts offered for your Mazda car are Mazda engine parts, Mazda Radiators, Mazda starter,Mazda Wheels, Mazda suspension parts and Mazda Spoilers. Aside from these, a complete and up-to-date list of quality replacement and aftermarket BMW Parts, Toyota Parts, Chevrolet Parts, Ford Parts, Volkswagen Parts and a whole lot more await you at the most experienced and trusted dealer online.