Ever wonder why you have to rotate your tires???
We have a new guide on tire rotation just posted !
Even if you dont do your own tire rotation, we offer some good advice on what to do when taking your car to a tire shop.
Posted: 22nd September 2009 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Site News, Wheels and Tires
We have added a new section to our AutoShop101 ! I have spent most of my high school and college life working at a garage changing wheels and tires.Â So it’s a bit of a shock that it’s taken me this long to add a section on wheels and tires.Â Check it out for more information about wheels and tires than you care to know !!!
Posted: 16th September 2009 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Site News
It’s getting to be that time of year, time to break out the Halloween costumes and get ready for the cooler weather. Now is the time to start thinking about your car and what it needs to survive the bitter cold of winter.
The most critical and often overlooked part of your vehicle is the cooling system. Without the proper protection, your coolant can freeze in the winter temperatures and destroy your engine. The coolant in your engine is a mixture of water and anti-freeze, which is supposed to lower the freezing point of the coolant. If the ratio of water to anti-freeze is wrong, the coolant mixture will freeze. Since water is one of those goofy liquids that actually expands as is freezes, it can exert extreme forces on your engine and actually crack the engine block. You can check your coolantâ€™s freeze point with a simple tool called a Ball-Type Tester. You suck up a little bit of coolant into the instrument and count the number of balls that float. Then using the legend on the tool, you can determine the freezing point. There are also testing strips available, which you dip into the coolant similar to a pregnancy test to check the freezing point. If your coolant is more than 2 years old or you have over 30,000 miles it should be changed regardless of the freezing point.
The last thing to check on your engine is the fuel system. A bottle of gas line anti-freeze should be run through the system before the first flake of snow falls. The gas line anti-freeze will absorb any residual moisture in the system and keep it from freezing your fuel lines. Water can get into your fuel tank from a bad batch of gasoline at your favorite gas station or a faulty gas cap.
Once your engine is protected, you should turn your attention to your tires. Check the tread depth and pressures before wintertime hits. The pressure in your tires can drop as the temperatures plummet. If your tires are getting worn, I would suggest replacing them to get the best traction in the winter months. You may even want to consider getting an inexpensive set of steel wheels with dedicated snow tires for the winter months. All-Season tires do every season well, but none of them excellent. By running a set of winter tires, you will get the best winter traction possible and keep your car on the road where it belongs.
Your paint will also need some protection from all the salt and chemicals on the road. Make sure wash your car well, and then apply a liberal coat of wax over the entire car. You can also wax your wheels if you have aluminum wheels, which will help to stop pitting and keep the wheels clean. The biggest mistake I see people make when washing a car is to not rinse their wash mitt or sponge, or rinsing it in the wash bucket. Make sure you rinse off the sponge or mitt outside the bucket with your hose. This will keep the dirt that you just wiped off the car from becoming sandpaper and you clean the rest of your car.
A good first aid kit is valuable any time of year, but what else should you have in your trunk? A good ice scraper, bag of salt or sand for traction and a blanket incase you are stranded and need to keep warm are all vital. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, extra weight in the trunk will help with traction. A bag of cement or sand can give you the needed traction in the winter months.
Good luck and safe driving,
Posted: 4th October 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Body, Cooling, Site News
Anyone who has been flipping though the channels has seen the Barrett Jackson auctions on The Speed Channel and the insane prices muscle cars bring. Do you have a hunkering for a tire burning, fuel guzzling muscle car? Here is how to go about it.
I classify muscle cars into three categoriesâ€¦ Restored, Resto-Mod and Survivors. All three have their advantages and disadvantages, but all three are true muscle cars. Your budget and skills will dictate what category you build your muscle car.
The restored muscle car is one that has been totally ripped down to the frame and rebuilt with NOS (new old stock) parts and refurbished original parts. This method of restoration is the most expensive, but often results in a better than new vehicle. Some cars can be over restored. When muscle cars left the factory back in the 1960â€™s they were never perfect. The build quality was nothing like it is today on modern cars. During a full restoration often times the body panel fit, paint work and details are finished to a level never dreamed of from the factory. If you are interested in building a fully restored muscle car you can brush up on your restoration skills, or pay someone to do it. Be warned, if you pay a professional, you will almost never get your money back when itâ€™s time to sell. If you do the work yourself and view your time spent as a hobby and recreation, you will make money if and when you sell it. If you are not interested in doing the work yourself, consider buying a car already done, as mentioned before, you can buy it for less than the expense to have one restored. Search Ebay, local magazines and online sites like www.classicjunkyard.com for some hot deals.
It used to be that modified muscle cars would never bring big money at auctions and were thought to be impure. In recent years at auctions this way of thinking has been turned upside down. Resto-Mod cars are cars that have been restored and modified to make them better than the factory product. The owner may have added an aftermarket exhaust, carburetor, or even put a more modern engine in the car. Creature comforts like a cool stereo or air conditioning may be added, even if it was never an option from the factory. A resto-mod muscle car can be the most fun to build and one of the cheaper ways to get into the hobby. You get the personal satisfaction of building the car the way you want without the expense of a full restoration. Matching numbers are not critical in a resto-mod car, so you can avoid hunting down those NOS parts at the swap meets.
The last category of muscle cars, is the survivor car. A survivor is just what the name implies; itâ€™s an original car, which has survived the years in its mostly original states. Hoses, belts and tires may have been changed, but the rest of the car is largely original as it came from the factory. The paint may be a little faded or chipped, but itâ€™s still all one color and looks good from 10 feet away. Many survivor cars serve as a library of information for people restoring their cars. If you own a true survivor, plan on having your car photographed and inspected by restorers, so they can get their restoration as close to factory original as possible. Survivor cars are rare, but they can still be found and many times at a reasonable price since the owner sometimes believes that the car is not worth a mint since itâ€™s not fully restored. If you are short on skills and donâ€™t have the money, a survivor car can be a great way to get into a muscle car. You can maintain the vehicle, drive it, and enjoy it for a minimal investment. If you later get the skills and or money, you can then take it to the next level and turn it into a resto-mod or full restoration.
No matter what kind of muscle car you buy or build, enjoy it! Itâ€™s a great investment if done right, and will provide tons of smiles from you and everyone who sees you cruising down the street.
Posted: 11th July 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Site News
Hi there, I’m Ann. I am tired of getting ripped off. Last week my 1970 Karmann Ghia VW stopped on me on the Freeway. I’ve had this car since 1997; and I just love it. A lot of people want to buy it. I had no idea it was a car that many people would want to use as a CLASSIC Project. I’ve been
using it to get around. I’ve had everything put in this car from new transmission to engine. You name it, I’ve had it put on my car. Since I’ve had the car for a while, I can just hear certain sounds and know that there is something wrong. Now last week when the car stopped on me, I knew it had to be something simple. AAA towed it to my house; I had a mechanic to come by the house and look at the car. Off the top, he was going to charge me $100 to tell me what was wrong. I called someone else over to the house to look at it because I felt this guy was trying to ripp me off so he could (PAY HIS BILLS). When this other mechanic finish looking at my car, he went over to his van, took out this piece of clapp, I can’t remember what he told me it was; that’s why I’m on line looking for some way to learn about this car, so I could do it myself. I’ve had it long enough, and I plan on not getting rid of it either. Do not want a car note. To make the long story short. He charged me $20 and left. I went to the parts store and saw this
little piece and it was around $3. I was so shocked. I told my husband we need to go to school for auto mechanics if we are going to keep these old cars. We could really save a lot of money. Now I want to know from you
WHERE DO I START? Do I need to take a auto mechanics class or go to school or will this online serve the purpose. I want to tune up my VW and change the oil.
I would search for an online VW club that specializes in older VW’s. There may even be a Gia club in your area. This type of club can be a big help, and you may find some members who would help you learn more about your car. Typically the clubs have an online forum where you can ask questions, plus monthly gathering where you can show off your cars.
As for a manual, check with AllData.com and see if they cover back to 1970. If not, then a paper Haynes or Chilton manual would be the best bet for your car. These manuals usually have step-by-step instructions for most maintenance items. A local vo-tech may have a night course in auto maintenance which would be a good bet for you and your husband. I can tell you though, that if you find a fellow car club member, they can teach you just as much if not more than the classes, and it will be specific to you Ghia. We now offer a directory of Vo-tech Schools and Technical Colleges where you can get an education.
Posted: 7th April 2006 | Author: Kevin Schappell | Category: Automotive Schools, Site News