Appearance

Balancing Wheels and Peace of Mind

Properly balanced wheels have long been recognized to help provide improved ride quality, better gas mileage and reduced tire wear, making wheel balancing an important part of car care and maintenance.

For decades wheel weights have largely consisted of chunks of lead clamped to the wheel rim. Lead has traditionally been used to make wheel weights because it is cheap and heavy, allowing the use of relatively small weights to balance wheels. However, the highly toxic metal can cause brain damage and other nervous-system disorders in people.

Keep Your Wheels in Balance the Lead - Free Way

Most people know that proper tire pressure means better gas mileage and a more comfortable ride. But what about proper wheel balance?

Automobile manufacturers and tire retailers install a weight on the metal rim of each wheel when you purchase a vehicle or new tires. Traditionally made of lead, these small weights are designed to help provide a smoother ride, better gas mileage and more even tire wear.

Refresh Your Vehicle With Do-it-Yourself Aftermarket Parts

Maybe you’re not in the market to buy new, but you’d like to change the look of your car, truck or SUV. Or maybe you just bought a new or used vehicle and you’d like to add some personality. It’s easier than you may think.

Going Green—On the Road and at the Car Wash

While drivers are becoming more environmentally conscious by purchasing hybrid vehicles, many may not be aware that washing those automobiles at professional car washes also positively impacts the environment.

Environmental Partners, Inc., Issaquah, Seattle, conducted two tests in 2006 to measure the potential impact of untreated car wash discharges into the storm water system (and thereby to streams and lakes) using fish mortality as a measure.

Your Car's Safety Check Should Start With A Stop

When it comes to your car's safety, brakes top the list of systems that need monitoring. However, many people are unaware of the signs that indicate a car's brakes may need maintenance or repair.

For routine maintenance, it's important to check the vehicle's braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection should include brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights, as well as taking the car for a test drive to detect other potential brake system problems.

Your Car Looks Like New. What’s Your Secret?

“It looks like new! I would have never guessed that car was eight years old.”

That is what we owners want to hear, but keeping our cars looking like the late models is tough, even with today’s long-lasting finishes. Dents, dings and cracked glass are several items that age the appearance of a vehicle. Fortunately, technology has helped advance the solutions to these problems, making the fixes quicker and less expensive. With mobile repair units, these items often can be repaired on site at your home or work, adding to the convenience.

High Water Headaches

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are one of the most common and widespread of all disasters. Most communities in the United States have experienced some level of flooding from high water due to spring rains, heavy thunderstorms or winter snow thaws. While your vehicle may not have been flooded or completely covered in water, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should not be concerned about water damage. If you drove through high water, there's a chance that you may have damaged your vehicle.

The Road to a Long-Lasting Automobile

Auto technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well-today and down the road-is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto-basics.

A recent survey by the Car Care Council found:

Save Money On Car Repair With These Four Questions

Automotive technicians are often compared to doctors. This comparison undoubtedly makes some techs smile and others grimace. But in the end, the two professions have a lot in common. It may surprise consumers to find that by choosing these professionals wisely, they can get better care at a better price.

When it comes to choosing a repair shop, many experts extol the virtues of the clean facility, a wall adorned with ASE certificates or a coffee pot and some tasty snacks. While these items are important, these four vital questions tell most of the story:

Rust: A Nasty Four-Letter Word

Henry Ford told buyers of his Model T they could select any color as long as it’s black. Today we see cars in any of 7,000 hues, including shades of rust that won’t appear on color chips in new car literature.

“Serious rust damage, including a hole right through the metal, can begin with a minor scratch in a parking lot from a shopping cart,” said Rich White of the Car Care Council. “Steel is strong and lasts a lifetime when it’s protected, but when that protection is invaded, the metal is exposed to the elements. That’s when rust begins its invasion.”

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