Pages Navigation Menu


The Auto Shop

Go Car-Free To Free Up Your Money

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you searching for a way to save money? Then you might want to consider ditching your car. While this may sound radical, more Americans are joining the car-free revolution. In fact, according to Forbes, the number of people going car-free has gone up for the first time in 50 years.  And between taxis, bikes, mass transit, walking and car sharing services, it’s a lot easier to go car-free these days. How Much Can You Save? According to Kiplinger, you could possibly save around $5,000 a year by getting rid of a vehicle. Of course, the amount of money you can save will vary greatly depending on the type of car you own and where you live. For example, if you live in a city, you might have parking fees that someone living in the suburbs might not have to pay. The following are some of the things you will no longer have to pay for if you do decide to ditch your car:  Auto insurance. Besides auto payments, this is one of the biggest expenses associated with owning a car. Routine maintenance. No more oil changes, car washes or brake jobs. Parking tickets and driving violations. Hopefully, you don’t get many of these on a regular basis.  Fuel. Depending on the size of your tank and how far you drive, you could save several hundred dollars a month.  Tips for Going Car-free Even in the ‘Burbs Although there may be more transportation options for urban dwellers, you can still try to give up your car even if you live in a small town or suburb. For example, in the small village of Potsdam, New York, two local taxi companies are available to ferry around locals. In fact, many small town dwellers — especially the elderly — depend on taxi services to get around. And even if you may not have noticed a taxi roaming your neighborhood before, there may be services available in your small town. In some locations, such as Potsdam, taxis are restricted from cruising for fares. So you would only see them if were actually working with customers. Other tips for going car-free in the ‘burbs or a small town: Use Internet services to deliver your large bags of pet food, groceries, or anything else that you would typically need a car to pick up. In many areas of the country, grocery stores are offering home delivery services.  Move to a walkable community within a suburb. This type of development, which offers housing, restaurants and shopping all in one place — is becoming more common. There is even a name for these — walkable urban areas” — WalkUPs.  Reduce if you can’t completely eliminate all your cars. If your family owns two or more vehicles and just can’t bear the thought of going totally car-free, you may want to try giving up one first.  Tips for Going Car-free in the City Of course, if you are planning to move to a big city or already live in one, going car-free can be relatively easy. You will typically have several mass transit options, such as buses and subways, available. For those times when mass transit or walking just won’t work, try: Hailing a taxi. Companies like San Gabriel Transit are still the best form of transportation for when you...

read more

Like Going Motorcycle Camping But Hate Tents? Get A Motorcycle Camper Trailer And Enjoy The Best Of Both Worlds

Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You love to head out to nearest National Park on your motorcycle to do a bit of camping, but sleeping in a tent no longer appeals to you. You want a camper trailer, but then you’ll have to leave your motorcycle behind. Why not invest in an enclosed motorcycle trailer that doubles as a camper? Known as “toy haulers” in the RV trade, these camper/trailers provide a secure space for your motorcycle and all the comforts of home for you. The following is an overview of these enclosed motorcycle toy haulers and the basics of how they work. Space for Your Bike Toy haulers come in various sizes and with either one or two axles. All come with dedicated space for your bike. Here are some of the basics you’ll find in most of these rigs. Steel Reinforced Floor A steel reinforced floor easily holds the weight of your motorcycle. Most of the time the surface is non-slip diamond plating, sometimes with a rubber overlay. A ramp folds out from the rear or side of the trailer to make it easy to load your motorcycle. Tie Down System In order to accommodate the different types of motorcycles, toy haulers use both floor and wall mounted tie downs. The floor ties are usually D-rings, while the walls hold C-rings. This makes it easy to strap down your bike without fear of it toppling over. The toy bay is lighted and well ventilated. Space for You Depending on the size of your toy hauler, your sleeping area could be in the same space as your bike or it could be a separate compartment. If it’s the same space, then your bike may have to be unloaded before you can set up the living area. Below are some of the features you can look forward to. A Bathroom No more treks to the campground restroom in the middle of the night. Most toy haulers are self contained which means you enjoy a full bathroom. Features, again depending on the model and size, could include a marine toilet, sink, vanity, cabinet space, fan, lighting and a stall shower. A Galley Kitchen Toy hauler kitchens tend to be on the small side, but they can hold everything from a small microwave to a mini-fridge. You’ll find cabinets and in most cases a two-burner propane stove.  A fold-down dinette table is usually included, but you may have to add folding chairs. Larger models will usually have a complete dinette set. Sleeping Space Bunk beds are the norm in the all in one living space/motorcycle space toy haulers. These could be fold down units, one on either side of the trailer, or a stacked model that folds up when not in use. If your trailer is one of the larger rigs, you could have bunk beds, a full bed or even a queen. Toy Hauler Operation Basics How It’s Powered Most toy haulers have plug-ins so you can pull into any RV park and hook up to water and power outlets. Adding a generator allow you to camp in more remote areas, called “boon docking.” A power converter charges your on-board batteries, so it is possible to just run off battery power for a short campout. Sometimes items that take more amps, like microwaves, can’t run...

read more

3 Brake Issues That Cause Disc Thickness Variation

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your vehicle’s brake system has operated flawlessly for tens of thousands of miles. However, you’re now noticing that whenever you apply your brakes, you experience brake judder—a steady vibration throughout your steering wheel and seat. Brake judder is caused by disc thickness variation, which means the surface of one or more of your rotors is uneven. Inspect your brake system for these three issues to determine the cause of your vehicle’s disc thickness variation: Cementite Spots Cementite is a compound that forms when cast iron overheats and experiences a molecular change. During normal brake usage, your rotors typically won’t reach temperatures that are capable of causing cementite formations along your rotors. However, slamming on your brake pedal when you get cut off on the freeway, riding your brake pedal while descending a hill, and other extreme braking habits can cause your rotors to overheat and form cementite spots. Cementite spots are problematic because they’re significantly harder at a molecular level than cast iron. For this reason, cementite spots on your rotors won’t wear at the same rate as the rest of your rotors’ surfaces. As the cast iron surface of your rotor wears away during normal brake usage, the cementite patches will remain in place and create ridges on your rotors’ surfaces. Luckily, it’s very easy to identify the presence of cementite on your rotors since it’s darker than cast iron. With your vehicle raised on jack stands, remove each of your tires and inspect the interior and exterior surfaces of your rotors for dark patches of cementite. If you see any cementite, then you’ll need to either resurface or replace your rotors. Improper Pad Bedding Every time you install new rotors or brake pads, your brakes need to be bedded. Bedding your brakes requires you to repeatedly accelerate to freeway speeds and lightly press on your brake pedal until your vehicle slows to about half of your original speed. This process allows your brake pads to transfer a thin layers of film onto your rotors that protect your rotor surfaces from unnecessary and uneven wear. If you changed your brake pads or rotors and failed to properly bed your brakes, then both your rotors and pads have sustained uneven wear each time you’ve pressed your brake pedal. Unfortunately, if your disc thickness variation was caused by improper bedding, then you’ll need to resurface your rotors using abrasive brake pads or a brake lathe. Once the surfaces of your rotors are ready for use, you’ll need to replace your pads. Excessive Run-Out Every time you apply your brakes, your pads and rotors grind together and thin layers of pad material transfer to the surfaces of your rotors—a process known as adhesion. Additionally, some of the material from both your pad and rotor grind away and turn into brake dust—a process known as abrasion. Not all brake pads rely on an equal amount of adhesion and abrasion. Some brake pads are designed to stop your vehicle primarily through adhesion, and other pads stop your vehicle primarily through abrasion. Excessive run-out can occur when the surface of your rotors weren’t completely clean when your brake pads were installed and bedded. For this reason, run-out is more likely to occur with resurfaced rotors than brand new rotors. When excessive run-out occurs as...

read more

3 Problems That Will Reduce Your Car’s Horsepower Production

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Regardless of whether you use your car for track racing or commuting, you expect it to perform at a certain level. However, after years of use (and tens of thousands of miles), your car just doesn’t seem to be producing a sufficient amount of horsepower. Instead of continuing to settle for a sub-par driving experience, determine whether or not these three problems are preventing your car from operating efficiently and arrange for the necessary repairs: Insufficient Airflow Your car’s engine needs to receive a high volume of air to ignite the gas that’s sprayed through your fuel injectors. Without a sufficient volume of air, your engine will struggle to ignite fuel—which significantly reduces your vehicle’s horsepower production. The component that’s typically responsible for insufficient airflow is your air filter. Over time, your air filter’s pores become clogged with dust, dirt, and other contaminants. If your air filter is housed in a filter box (which is standard with almost all vehicles), then your airflow can also be restricted by leaves, pebbles, and other objects that become trapped in your filter box. The easy solution to this problem is to replace your air filter at the interval recommended in your owner’s manual—which can be anywhere between 15,000-45,000 miles. However, a better long-term solution to this problem is to install a cold air intake or a high-flow filter. High-flow filters and cold air intakes are less restrictive than conventional filters—which means your engine will receive plenty of air for optimum performance. Additionally, cold air intakes don’t require filter boxes that can become filled with airborne debris. High-flow filters can be washed and reused—which means you won’t need to spend money on a new air filter every couple years. Exhaust Backpressure In addition to receiving sufficient airflow, your engine must also be able to expel all its combustion fumes through your car’s exhaust system. However, depending on the design of your vehicle, your engine may not be able to do just that—which causes an issue that’s known as backpressure. Backpressure occurs when a component of your exhaust system restricts the flow of exhaust fumes through your tailpipe. Typically, backpressure is caused by stock parts that were designed to reduce emissions or physical damage to certain parts of your exhaust system. Significant amounts of backpressure will make it difficult for your cylinders to cycle. Your mechanic can test your vehicle’s backpressure and determine whether or not it’s significant enough to cause performance loss. If backpressure is reducing your vehicle’s horsepower production, then your mechanic can inspect your muffler, exhaust manifold, or catalytic converter for a potential restriction—such as a collapsed baffle, dent, or carbon deposit. If a restriction is found, then your mechanic will repair the issue or replace the problematic part entirely. It’s important to note that these airflow and exhaust problems are typical of affordable import cars assembled with lower quality components, which is why you’ll commonly see import cars with aftermarket air intake and exhaust modifications.  Misfiring Cylinders Regardless of how much air your engine receives or how little backpressure exists throughout your exhaust system, a misfiring cylinder will drastically decrease your engine’s horsepower—especially if you have an engine with only four cylinders instead of six or eight. Luckily, misfiring cylinders are obvious—if your engine pulses, produces periodic loud noises, or...

read more

Buying Used Mack Trucks For Sale: 3 Factors To Look For

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nearly 70% of all freight that is transported within the U.S. relies on the trucking industry. The trucking industry is constantly expanding, and many trucking companies are looking to employ new truck drivers to expand their company and take on more clients. The average truck driver in the U.S. earns $17.02 per hour. If you’re looking for new employment, consider joining the industry, but first, you’ll need to get your hands on used mack trucks that are for sale. Here are 3 factors that you should consider and look for before making a purchase. Inspecting the Condition of the Oil While most people may believe that inspecting the oil levels will be sufficient, it isn’t. It is important to inspect the condition of the oil, and perhaps even send in a sample for testing at a laboratory. The condition of the oil in a truck can actually tell you a lot about the health and condition of the truck. A truck that has been well maintained over the years will have oil that is in good condition. When inspecting the oil, you will want to look for signs of contamination, metal traces and even anti-freeze. All of which can indicate that there are leakages or other problems with the transmission or engine of the used trucks. Review the Service Records  Most truck manufacturers will recommend that truck drivers take their commercial trucks in for servicing at least once every 15,000 miles. More thorough inspections are performed every 30,000 miles or once a year. You want to make sure that the previous truck owners performed their due diligence and made sure to service the used trucks regularly as directed in order to prevent maintenance issues from emerging. When looking at the service records, you want to make sure that the VIN of the used truck matches up with the service records. Standard service records should record when the lube and oil inspections were performed, along with the condition of the trucks at that time. Some of the more thorough inspections will take a look at the condition of the oil, oil filters, air filters, fuel filters and more. Thorough inspection may also check the alignment of the trucks, along with the condition of the engines. Understanding the Premium Certificate™ and How It Works  Used Mack trucks can be inspected and given a Premium Certificate™ that confirms that the used trucks are not only reliable, but also in good condition. All of the used trucks are late-model, low-mileage trucks, have passed 150-point inspections and reconditioning processes, passed Federal DOT safety criteria, and are covered under a 6-month or 60,0000 mile Bulldog engine warranty. By purchasing used trucks that carry a Premium Certificate™, you will be able to enjoy several distinct advantages, which includes: protection for the first 6 months against catastrophic events, such as mechanical failures. breakdown assistance for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. exclusive access to over 3,000 authorized repair facilities. claims process that are handed by the National Truck Protection (NTP). Conclusion With the trucking industry constantly hiring and expanding, this is a good time to enter the industry. If you are looking to invest in used trucks from sites like, consider these 3 factors before making a decision. There are many used trucks available on the market. Don’t forget to...

read more