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Car care San Diego

Windshield Repair San Diego

If your windshield gets chipped or cracked, should you repair or replace it? If you drive with a chip or cracked windshield long enough, that chip or crack can become a problem.

Windshields can take a beating. There could be gravel falling from uncovered construction trucks and the occasional chunk of unknown debris kicked up by cars passing by.

In some ways, it’s amazing that windshields survive as long as they do.

Large and Small Repairs

The good news is that smaller chips and cracks can usually be repaired by a professional. A crack or chip can be safely repaired if it can be covered by a dollar bill. However, if the chip is directly in the drivers line of sight, there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass, the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots, it should be replaced rather than repaired.

The repair process works by injecting a special resin into the chipped area. This should be handled by a professional.

If your windshield can be repaired, do it immediately. A small chip can spread across the windshield if you hit a big pothole, drive on a gravel road or make an aggressive turn. If you’re on the road away from home, a repair company can typically come to you.

A reason to repair your windshield before the crack grows and the windshield must be replaced: the windshield serves as a structural part in many vehicles that contributes to the overall strength of the vehicle.

If your windshield is severely pitted from sand, salt or other objects, replacing rather than repairing can be like getting a stronger eyeglass prescription, especially at night — it can improve visibility and make it easier to see while driving. Replacing opaque headlight covers can have a similar effect.

DIY Repair

You may also attempt to repair the chip or crack yourself. There are many do-it-yourself repair kits available at your local auto parts store, and they typically attempt to replicate the resin injection technique of the professionals. The difference, of course, is due to the quality of the tools and materials, and training and expertise of the person administering the repair.

Remember, a key function of the repair is to prevent the crack or chip from expanding or spreading, and also to help restore some of the structural integrity of the glass. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the DIY repair process, consider hiring a professional.

Repair if possible and logical. Replace if you must. And consider using a professional for best results.

 

Car Care for Environmental Protection

We all hear about a “greener” environment and we want to do our part like recycling but what else can we do? Car care for environmental protection can be another way to reduce pollution.

 Keep your car properly tuned for optimum performance – A properly maintained vehicle can improve its efficiency, reduce emissions and save you money. Regular engine performance maintenance will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent car trouble down the line. This will include checking the spark plugs, replacing the fuel and air filters, replacing ignition system and/or emission system parts if needed and ensuring the onboard computer control system is working properly.

Improve gas mileage by 4% on a proper tune-up and up to 40% when fixing a serious maintenance problem such as a faulty oxygen sensor. Worn or fouled spark plugs can cause the engine to lose power or misfire and waste fuel.

Fuel Economy

How you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Go the speed limit. Avoid sudden starts and stops. Minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip, getting good directions and avoiding excessive idling. Other guidelines to follow include:

  • When possible, use your vehicle’s cruise control.
  • Use your air conditioning only when needed. Parking in the shade and using a reflective windshield shade can help your car stay cooler when parked, meaning it takes less to cool it off when you get back in.
  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving: Most cars lose fuel efficiency over 50 miles per hour (MPH) at a rate of about $0.24 per gallon for every 5 mph over 50. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can also reduce gas mileage – as much as 33 percent on the highway and five percent on city streets.

 Lighten the Load – Get the junk out of the trunk and the stuff out of your car, with the exception of emergency items such as a spare tire and a first-aid kit. Extra items weigh the vehicle down and cause an increase in gas usage.

 Regularly check and replace dirty air filters- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture that causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter will improve your car’s performance and acceleration, but not miles per gallon. The air filter should be inspected at each oil change, and replaced annually or when restricted, torn, water or oil-soaked.

Have spark plugs checked and replaced if necessary- A vehicle can have four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles. This results in a lot of heat, electrical, and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug also causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.

The cooling system- A cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as one or two mpg. There also are improved radiator caps on the market today that allow the cooling system to operate at a higher temperature before boiling over, increasing the system’s efficiency and reducing emissions.

Tire Checks – Proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent or 10 cents per gallon.

Tire pressure should be checked at least monthly, including the spare. Tires that are not properly inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. Remember, tires can lose pressure due to seasonal temperature changes. Optimal tire pressure for your vehicle is listed in the owner’s manual or on the car door sidewall.

Gas Caps  – Check your vehicle’s gas cap. A loose, cracked or damaged gas cap allows gas to escape from your tank as a vapor, wasting fuel and increasing vehicle emissions. It’s also wasting your gas money!

Fill-Ups- When filling up your car, remember to stop when the nozzle shuts off! Topping off the gas tank can release harmful vapors into the environment and waste money.  Remember, your tank needs some extra room to allow the gasoline to expand. Some pumps engineered to protect the environment draw extra vapors back into the pump, meaning you pay for more gas than you are getting, according to the Environmental Protection Agency

Maintenance

The A/C system should be inspected annually, during which a technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures. Use the window to help keep the car cool.

Vehicle Fuel System – By properly maintaining your vehicle’s fuel system such as replacing your car’s fuel filter every two years or 24,000 miles and having your fuel injectors flushed our every 30,000 miles, you will not only have a cleaner, ‘greener’ car, but you will save money at the pump.”

Emission systems – Your car’s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in all sorts of operating conditions, and keeping it in proper working condition can save money and protect the environment. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage by 40%!

* Facts according to the Car Care Council

Car care San Diego

New Year’s Resolution for Car Care

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions started over 4,000 years with the Babylonians. They wanted to find favor with the gods and start the year off right. While we don’t have that kind of goal, it is still a good practice to review and remind ourselves of what’s important and what we want to improve. Every area of your life can be improved – your fitness, your finances, etc. Did you ever include car care on that list? Your car is a very important component of your life to keep you and your family safe. Maybe you should as proper car care can help to keep you safe.

Here’s few items to check for your car care resolution:

Tire Pressure – as the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure. Driving with under inflated tires can be dangerous but on the bright side, it can improve fuel efficiency to have your tires with the proper psi.

Battery – Keep your battery erosion-free. Batteries don’t give warning lights.

Brakes – Have your brakes checked. You don’t have to be reminded on how important it is to have proper brakes.

Oil – Change your oil at regular intervals. Oil is the life blood of your car.

Wiper Blades – Change in temperature can make the rubber on your wiper blades hard and brittle. Torn or cracked blades won’t properly clean your windshield.

Gas tank – Try to have your gas tank at least half full at all times, especially if you live in a colder winter climate. This decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

Headlights – Replace before burnout when possible. The problem is – most drivers don’t know their headlight is out. Driving with a burned out headlight on a dark road poses a risk to both the driver and others.

Spare Tire – Be sure you have your spare tire on your vehicle and not laying in the garage.

Emergency Kit – Try to carry an emergency kit which includes jumper cables, flash light, basic tools, first aid kit, and water supplies – all things to help you survive until help comes to get you back on the road.

Mobile phone – Be sure you have your mobile phone fully charged or carry a back-up battery.

Car Wash – Have your car washed or wash it yourself at least once a month.

Once you follow this list, you will be happier and your car will, too.