Do You Have an Exhaust Leak?

A Tune-Up For Your Audi

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Tune-Up For Your Audi

One of the keys to keeping your Audi in to top shape is to schedule the right preventative maintenance. Most consumers and mechanics refer to this preventive maintenance as a tune-up. These tune-ups may cost you a few hundred dollars but save you thousand of dollars of costly repairs in the process. Last year, American drivers paid an average of $388 for a tune-up. However, not all standard tune-up maintenance performed is necessary. Here’s a quick guide to help you save money at your next tune-up: Oil Change  Common auto mechanic lore suggests that your Audi must have its oil and oil filter swapped out every 3,000 miles. This figure dates back to the days when engine oil was relatively crude, engine valves were leakier, and the average driver simply drove fewer miles.  With today’s synthetic oil blends and virtually leak-free valves, your Audi’s oil should be changed far less frequently. Thus, every 7 to 10K, you should schedule an appointment to have your oil drained and oil filter changed by a licensed, certified, Audi mechanic. 60K If you purchased your Audi new or with less than 30,000 miles, you can hold off on scheduling your first tune-up for when your vehicle rolls off its 60,000th mile.  Most 60,000 mile Audi tune-ups prescribe the following preventative maintenance:  Draining/Replacing all fluids Replacing brake pads Replacing Spark Plugs Replacing the Timing Belt Adjusting the Suspension Here’s what you should keep, add, and scrap: Draining/Replacing all fluids* Replacing Spark Plugs Replace Engine Coil Balance/align Tires Adjusting the Suspension Replacing the Timing Belt The most expensive maintenance in this list is the timing belt. Because Audi engineers their vehicles with “interference” engines, if your timing belt breaks while your vehicle is running, you are looking a very costly repair. Many Audi mechanics scare customers into paying for their timing belt replacement at the 60K mile tune-up with horror stories. What they might not tell you, is that your timing belt is designed to last for 120-150K miles. Thus, you can hold off on the timing belt until your next tune-up at 120K miles. Additionally, you can scrap the brake pad replacement and suspension adjustment. Your money can be more wisely spent on engine coil and having your tires balanced and realigned.  *Many auto repair shops lure customers in with “discounted” tune-up packages. These “discounts” are often used to entice car owners to pay for unnecessary maintenance. Most auto mechanics will, however, offer a “free” oil change if you agree to tune-up your vehicle. 120k (and beyond) When you have your Audi tune-up, you will want the maintenance performed at your 60K tune-up repeated. Additionally, every other tune-up, you will want to have your timing belt replaced. When you have your timing belt replaced, you should also consider having the following services performed: Replace the Water Pump Replace the Hoses Replace the Thermostat Assembly Replace the Tensioners Replace the Relays The most expensive part of replacing a timing belt is the labor required to dissemble and reassemble the engine. Because your engine’s internal works are so accessible when a mechanic is replacing your timing belt, you can save yourself additional money by replacing the components listed above.  Today’s cars are designed to be driven 200,000 miles or more. Audi, in particular, manufactures high performance vehicles...

read more

When All Hail Breaks Loose: How To Protect Your Car From Climate Catastrophes

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When All Hail Breaks Loose: How To Protect Your Car From Climate Catastrophes

While the debate over global warming is heating up everywhere, no doubt remains about the damage all the wacky weather can do to your car. From a dead battery to dented roof, you need to do what you can to protect your vehicle. Here’s how you and your car can survive: Extreme Warming According to some in the debate, the earth is getting warmer. If this is the case where you live, your vehicle can suffer damages inside and out. While the best solution is to keep cars in garages, that’s not always possible. UV rays do a number on paint, upholstery and leather. One of the best things you can do is keep all surfaces clean and free from dirt and dust. Otherwise, as the sun bakes the car, that dirt and debris leave indelible stains. Wash, dry and wax the exterior and park in shade whenever possible. Also, tinting your windows will protect yourself, other occupants and your car’s interior. Some professional-grade tint can block up to 99.9 percent of harmful rays. Extreme Freezing According to other sources, the earth is really getting colder. Even if it’s not and you live where winter prowls, your car needs adequate precautionary measures to remain reliable. Check your antifreeze, oil, power steering, transmission and brake fluids regularly during subzero temps. If these important fluids can’t flow, the car simply won’t run. Ignition components and the battery must also be monitored, as they tend to conk out when the mercury dips too low. Either winterize the car yourself or take it to a pro to prep for freezing conditions. Unprecedented Hail Hail in wacky weather not only breaks records, it breaks just about everything it lands on. While incidents of hail are expected to increase (if global warming predictions are to be believed), the strength of your car’s exterior probably won’t. Hailstorm damage is predicted to increase for everything exposed to the elements, including your car. When brutal hail is forecasted and you don’t have a garage for protection, secure thick blankets to absorb the blows. If the earth is actually warming where you are, you might think you’re going to escape the wrath of hail, but warmth only may mean precipitation in a different form: rain. If your car is damaged by hail, consider taking it to an auto shop like Brandywine Coach Works to repair dents. Ferocious Flooding Of course, with rising seas and more rain, you’ll be lucky if your car doesn’t float away. In which case, you wouldn’t have to worry about the hail damage. However, if your car has been through one too many gigantic puddles, you may have your work cut out for you. Begin by disconnecting the battery to halt power. Examine the various parts and cavities of the vehicle for water and mud, clearing them out or giving them time to dry. Only after that’s been completed should you try to start the car as water in the engine or mixed with fuel and oils can cause permanent damage. Since floods are dangerous, if you believe the area you reside in will see more and more of them due to climate change, learn how to cope from behind the wheel now. Preposterous Potholes Potholes have always posed a problem for drivers, but with...

read more

While You’re Here, You Might As Well… Get These Top 3 Repairs After An Accident

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on While You’re Here, You Might As Well… Get These Top 3 Repairs After An Accident

Getting your car repaired after an accident can feel like a huge headache, but it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Now that your car is already in the shop, this is the perfect time to do additional maintenance that you may have been putting off, since you might be able to get a discount for giving so much business to the mechanic. Here are some good optional repairs to add to your list. Get Your Fluids Flushed And Replaced Sure, you may take your car in for the factory recommended oil changes and coolant flushes every few months, but can you remember the last time you got your power steering fluid flushed and replaced? What about your brake lines—when were they last cleaned? Every fluid line in your car is subject to degradation over time due to air, water, and dirt getting into the lines. This causes the car to work harder just to move fluid from one place to another and reduces the effectiveness of the fluid overall. Unmaintained lines can develop leaks due to air and water adding pressure, as well. In some cases, problems with fluid quality can result in thousands of dollars in damage, such as when old transmission fluid leaks out and stops properly lubricating the gears. If you have all of your fluid lines checked, flushed, and filled with fresh liquid, you might be surprised how well your car responds when you drive away from the mechanic’s shop. Your steering wheel will turn easier, your brakes will slow your car more readily, and you’ll feel like you have much better control over your vehicle. Upgrade Your Bushings To Polyurethane This tip is mostly for people who are driving older or classic cars. Bushings are little hollow spacers that serve to guide shafts and rods in your engine and keep everything exactly as far apart as it needs to be. Over time, friction and heat can wear away the bushings in older cars, which makes your rods less precise and increases wear on your engine. In serious cases, a poorly maintained bushing can wear down enough for the engine to throw a rod. Polyurethane bushings are incredibly durable when it comes to forces involved in driving a car. While racers and sports car owners may need to change them eventually, the typical driver will wear out the entire car before having to worry about polyurethane bushings getting worn down. If your car doesn’t have them, they make an excellent long term investment for protecting your engine. Have Your Emissions System Checked Of all the potential causes of a check engine light to come on, the most common by far is a failure within the emissions system. This system uses evaporation to purge impurities from your car’s exhaust before it’s sent out of the tailpipe. Important parts of this system are the O2 sensor and the catalytic converter. In an ideal world, it would be recommended to simply replace the whole system while your car is in the shop. This can be expensive, however, since catalytic converters are one of the priciest car parts. Still, you should have your system examined by a professional to ensure that it’s not going to fail any time soon. Have the wires from your O2 sensor to your...

read more

Live In Your RV Full-Time? Here’s What To Do If You Are Involved In A Collision

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Live In Your RV Full-Time? Here’s What To Do If You Are Involved In A Collision

Living in an RV full-time is a dream that many people have but only a few get to experience. Unfortunately, the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when the RV is involved in a collision. If you live in your RV, here are a few things you need to know in case your home is ever in an accident.  The scene of the accident You’ll need to do the same things you would do if you were in an accident with a car: make sure nobody is injured call the police and wait for them to arrive exchange insurance and driver’s license information take pictures of the damage, traffic signs and roadway conditions move the RV off of the road, if possible don’t apologize or admit fault call your insurance company get the accident report from the police officer These are all pretty straight-forward, but it’s a good idea to have a written reminder in case your post-accident stress level causes you to be unable to think clearly. Call a heavy-duty towing service The last thing you’ll need is to have the tow truck arrive and not be able tow your RV due to limited towing capacity. You’ll need a heavy-duty towing service, especially if you have a large RV or 5th wheel. You’ll need to give your approximate location. If there are houses nearby, you’ll need the nearest house number, as well as the name of the road. This information may be listed on the accident report. You’ll also need to explain the position of your RV in relation to the roadway. For example, if your RV is tipped over in a ditch, the towing company may need to bring additional equipment to get the RV out of there. You may also need to describe the amount of traffic you’re dealing with, just in case a detour needs to be set up for other vehicles. Fortunately, the police department typically helps with these matters in dangerous situations. Remove your valuables & important documents from the RV Since you are essentially evacuating your home, you’ll need to gather up all of your important documents and valuables that you don’t want to leave behind. Do this while you wait for the towing service, unless the RV is not safe to enter. If its not safe, wait until the RV is at the repair shop to get the things you need, with their help. It’s a good idea to keep a plastic bin in the storage compartment under your RV for situations like this. That way, you have something large enough to keep your possessions in. Take some clothing and other essentials with you In the stress of the moment, you don’t want to forget to take extra clothing and other essentials with you, such as medication, but only if you can safely enter the RV. The repairs for your RV could take a few days or a few weeks, depending on the severity of the damages. Don’t forget extra shoes and outerwear either. Find temporary housing and a vehicle Hopefully, your insurance coverage will pay for temporary housing and a loaner vehicle. If not, you may be expected to pay out of pocket. However, some RV collision repair centers have loaner RVs available for people in this type of...

read more

5 Environmentally Friendly RV Upgrades For The Family

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Environmentally Friendly RV Upgrades For The Family

As new generations of children are born, it’s important for parents to teach children about helping the Earth and protecting the environment. One of the best ways of doing this is by showing your children a variety of environmentally friendly products in your everyday life. When performing maintenance on the family RV, there are a number of upgrades you can implement. The following five options can help the environment and teach children important lessons at the same time. RV Wind Turbines Driving down the highway during an RV road trip creates a lot of wind and flowing air. Instead of just cruising through all of this, it can be transformed into wind power. RV wind turbines can be installed in the upper corners of the RV. The turbines spin and generate electricity that can be used to power appliances and electronics inside the vehicle. When the power is not being used, extra power can get stored in batteries. If you do not want to extend the height of your RV, the wind turbines can be positioned to hang off the side of the vehicle instead of the top. When they are not needed, the turbines fold down to save extra space. Showing children the turbines, the way they work, and how they supply power is a great opportunity for education. Solar Panels RVs are often used in the summer and exposed to a lot of sun during the day. The long and extended days can turn all of the sunlight into power with solar panels. The ideal position for solar panels on your RV is the rooftop. This can help gain maximum exposure to the sun during the day. When the RV is parked, smaller solar panels can be automatically installed on the awning of your RV. This helps add extra power cells to your RV for things like lights and microwaves. With enough solar power, you can access electricity from nearly anywhere. On-Board Generators Instead of plugging into an electric grid, you can have an on-board generator to keep power on the RV. This generator can store power through a solar panel, wind turbine, or another method like a hand crank. Children can use the crank to generate power for activities like video games or television. It’s a great way to teach them about power conservation and to appreciate the modern electronics. Rooftop Gardens A lot of large vehicles give off CO2 into the atmosphere. To help give back to the environment, you can have a rooftop garden installed in the RV. A rooftop garden will absorb CO2, help with plant growth, and is easy to manage. Planning and caring for a garden is also a great activity that families can do together. By choosing low maintenance plants and grasses, the natural rain water can provide the necessary care for the roof garden. When a professional installs the garden, you can ensure that the plant growth will stay contained while protecting the roof of your RV. Appliance Upgrades A number of appliances in your RV can be upgraded to use less energy and still provide you with your needs. For example, an induction stove uses magnetic technology to heat pots and pans. This will use a lot less electricity and cook items more evenly. As children cook while...

read more