Diving Into Motor Oil

If the engine is the heart of a car, the motor oil is the lifeblood.

So, in order to keep your vehicle
running smoothly, and avoid costly maintenance fees in the future, it’s important to make sure a vehicle’s oil is changed regularly.

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Fuel Fumble

What happens when you add the wrong gas into your tank?

We’re no strangers to living life on the go and mistakes will always be a part of that process. With the variety of gasoline available, it’s easy to fill your tank with the wrong gas one day. You know you’re not supposed to do it, but what happens if you do?

The Mixes

Gasoline in a Diesel Engine

Perhaps one of the worst fuel mix ups you can do, filling a diesel engine with gasoline is going to cost a lot to fix. According to Jim Gill from Volkswagon, you will basically have to flush the entire system and refill with diesel once every spot of gasoline is gone.

Why such a drastic measure? It’s very dangerous to the engine. Gill continues that a “catastrophic failure of the injection pump, the injectors, and finally the whole engine will likely occur.” Sounds serious, but what’s the technical reasoning behind that?

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the creation of gasoline makes a product with higher boiling points (gasoline boils around 105 and 410 degrees Fahrenheit, and diesel boils around 500 to 650). Along with boiling point, you need to consider how the fuel is used. Both gasoline and diesel mix fuel with air and uses compression to ignite the fuel. Diesel only rely on compression, unlike gasoline engines, they are not equipped with spark plugs. The discrepancy in compression can bend connecting rods, break pistons, or even destroy the engine.

Diesel in a Gasoline Engine

This is a much more forgivable offense to your vehicle, as the diesel in a gasoline car may only cause it to perform poorly. Expect a lot of smoke, and don’t do this often as you can still end up killing your car.

As previously mentioned, the compression ratios between diesel and gasoline engines are very different, and a gasoline engine may fail to ignite diesel fuel. If you realize your mistake in filling diesel, try to get your car drained and refilled with the proper fuel.


Avoid a Costly Mistake

We all make mistakes, but the next time you’re in a rush or maybe considering, “what’s the harm, fuel is fuel, right?” Remember your vehicle is made to run a certain way. Most fueling stations have color coded nozzles and the types of dispensers are kept separate, but not everyone adheres to making it easy. Stay safe and happy driving from Toyota of Whittier!


Community Resources on Purchasing a Used Vehicle

Overheated car

Worst case scenario after you buy a used car.

Purchasing a car is not a light decision, so it’s always great to go in at least a little knowledgeable. Here are some great resources to help you shop and verify your used car is in as good of shape as the salesman tells you.

The benefits of buying a used car over a new one are obvious, especially if there isn’t any underlying issue on the used vehicle. The big problem buyers face is finding an honest deal on a used car. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not here to bash on any other dealers, but a grain of caution is always a good thing to have. This article is for that little nervous voice in the back of your head telling you to get that second opinion.


Carproof.com is well renowned for its efficiency, and all you need is your VIN number. With that, they can trace a car’s history from how many accidents it may have had, and where it’s been manufactured. To date from the post of this article, fees are reasonable and well under a hundred for a full detailed history of the car.


Carfax.com is also very reliable, but different from Carproof. Their approach is to have you search for a car, year, and make and connect you to dealers near you with the perfect match. You can purchase single reports and easily add additional searches for a fraction of the cost.


Last but not least is Autocheck.com, yet another safe resource for used-car buyers. Unlimited reports are available for under fifty dollars and the site gives direct comparisons to Carfax to help you find the better deal.

We hope this helps ease a little anxiety when buying a used vehicle. These sites are great in giving that second opinion, but here at Toyota of Whittier we pride working one on one to find you a great deal. Our construction is finally winding down as well, so soon we’ll no longer be saying, “pardon our dust.” See you soon!


Chips and Cracks: When to Repair or Replace a Damaged Windshield

When’s a good time to replace a chipped or cracked windshield? Can it wait, or should you get it done as soon as possible? No matter where you live, your windshield will take a beating, whether it be a piece of gravel, sand and debris from harsh weather, or the occasional freak accident.
Although it may feel like it, nothing is usually thrown at your car. It’s simply in the air, and you run into it with the force of the speed you’re traveling.


Types of Repairs

Thankfully, small chips and cracks can be repaired under $100. A tip from Safelite Auto Glass: a crack or chip can be safely repaired if it can be covered by a dollar bill. The only problem with that is if the chip is directly in the driver’s line of sight. If it is, it should be replaced instead of repaired for the driver’s safety.

How Does the Repair Process Work?

  • A special resin is injected into the chipped area. If there are cracks, holes may be drilled at the ends of the crack to prevent it from spreading. There are three layers to a windshield: resin or polymer is sandwiched between two layers of glass, according to Popular Mechanics.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of the DIY repair process, consider hiring a professional.

To answer the question posed at the beginning, repair your windshield immediately. Even a small chip can quickly spread with a rough bump in the road or an aggressive turn. If you’re traveling away from home, a repair company can easily come to you.

Aside from the obvious issue of broken glass potentially hurting you, a windshield also needs to be repaired quickly because it is a structural part of the vehicle that contributes to the overall strength, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). When you replace a windshield, the new seal might not be as strong as the factory seal. This can lead to possible leaks that may be a challenge to find and fix.

DIY Repair

If you’re handy with automobiles, you could take a crack fixing your windshield yourself. There are plenty of do-it-yourself kits that mimic what the pros are using. Just remember the tip from earlier, if the damage is smaller than a dollar bill, it can be repaired. The only issue with DIY is that the quality of materials may not be as good as the professionals’. If you do try this, only fix cracks that aren’t in the driver’s immediate line of sight.


If your windshield is cracked, try to get it repaired but don’t shy away from replacement if it’s better for your safety. And for best results, contact a professional. Drive safe!



7 Car-Maintenance Myths

Here are seven widespread myths on auto upkeep you shouldn’t blindly follow:

Myth: Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles. Wrong. Follow the advice in the owner’s manual and ignore the self-serving pleas from oil companies and quick-lube shops. Under normal driving conditions, most vehicles can travel 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Changing oil more often certainly won’t harm an engine, just waste money. But if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving, trailer-towing, or traveling through mountainous or dusty areas, 3,000 miles between oil changes is a good idea.

Myth: Flush the coolant with every oil change. Most owner manuals recommend changing the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles. But check for a leak if the coolant reservoir is low despite repeatedly topping it off.

Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall. The psi figure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure the tire will hold safely. If you’re looking for the automaker’s recommended pressure that balances braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort, it’s usually on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb, in the glove box, or on the fuel-filler door.

Myth: If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better. Another expensive mistake. Most vehicles run fine on regular-grade fuel (87 octane). Filling these cars with premium won’t cause damage, but it won’t improve performance, either. Higher-octane fuels are less likely to create pre-ignition problems, so they’re usually used in hotter-running, high-compression engines.

Myth: Warm up your car for several minutes before driving. Outdated advice. Driving the car is the fastest way to warm up a modern engine, and the sooner it warms up, the sooner it delivers the best mileage and performance. And don’t rev the engine during the first few miles.

Myth: Wash your car with dishwashing or laundry detergent. No, not really. Detergents strip off a car’s wax finish. Pay a little extra and stick with the car-wash liquid, which cleans without removing wax.

Myth: A battery will recharge after a jump start in only a few minutes of driving. Not even close. It can take hours of driving to give the battery a full charge, especially in the winter. Heated seats, music systems, and other accessories draw so much power that the alternator has little left to recharge the battery. You can check to see if the battery will still hold a charge by having a load test at a gas station. If it can, several hours may be needed on a battery charger to give the battery a full charge.


Source: http://machinedesign.com/blog/7-car-maintenance-myths

4 Simple Car Maintenance Tips That Will Save You Thousands

Have you ever owned a car that was a complete lemon?

Every time you get something repaired, it seems like another part went bad? The repairs never ended and it can leave your wallet completely empty.

It may not always be the fault of the car, but perhaps improper maintenance.

f we take the time to keep our car running smoothly, it will most likely continue to run well and allow us to save our money, rather than spend it on preventable repairs.

Car Maintenance Tip #1: Watch the Oil

Did you know that many vehicles today don’t really need an oil change every 3,000 miles? Many of the newer ones can go 7,500 miles before they really need a new filter.

However, how many of us regularly check our oil? If I asked you how many quarts of oil were left in your car at this very moment, how many of you would have any idea?

In fact, some of you might not even know how many quarts of oil your car can hold. Oil is the lifeblood of your motor.

If you unknowingly let the oil drain out of your car, your engine will soon be destroyed, leaving you on the side of the road with a very large repair bill coming at you in your near future.

Car Maintenance Tip #2: Check Your Transmission Fluid

Another important part of our car is the transmission. If the transmission begins to break down, we may lose the ability to shift our car into reverse.

Soon, all of the gears begin to go out, which means that we won’t be able to get anywhere without getting out of our car and walking.

It’s incredibly important to check your transmission fluid, both to make sure that you have enough, and to be certain it’s clean.

If you see metal shavings in your fluid, or if it’s a dark cloudy color, you should take it into your mechanic immediately for a flush.

If you do not, you’ll likely lose your gears and need to pay for a new transmission. This can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000.

Car Maintenance Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Dash Lights

Today, there are many dash lights that can warn you of various things. Be sure that you research the problem when you see one of those lights go on.

If, instead of taking your car in to resolve the minor issue, you’ll most likely face an even larger issue in the future, which can only mean major dollars.

Car Maintenance Tip #4: Rotate Your Tires

Tires are quite expensive. Just for a full set of regular, non-branded tires, you could be spending more than $600. If you have a nicer vehicle, you could easily get a bill for over $1,000.

Want to make your tires last a little longer?

Take them into the shop to get rotated at least twice a year. This will allow each tire to get worn more evenly, which will allow them to last longer and therefore save you money!

Follow these preventative steps and you’ll keep more of that money in your pocket, rather than in the hands of your mechanic.


Source: http://blog.taxact.com/car-maintenance-tips/

Extend the Life of Your Car

Care and Maintenance Tips Keep Your Car Running in Top-Notch Condition

We’ve compiled our best expert advice, surprising tricks, and car care tips to prolong the life of your automobile!

Check engine oil at every other fill-up

For an accurate reading, follow this procedure:

  • Run or drive your car for about 15 minutes to warm the oil; then park the car in a level place.Turn off the engine and wait 15 minutes to allow the oil in the engine to drain back to the oil pan.
  • Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel or rag. Reinsert the dipstick, being sure to push it in all the way, then pull it out again to check the oil level. It should be somewhere between the hash marks on the dipstick.
  • Add the type and amount of oil as specified in your owner’s manual, if necessary.

Change oil frequently

Your dad knew that frequent oil changes were key to keeping his Buick on the road another year. And while owner’s manuals for today’s cars recommend increasing long intervals between oil changes, the fact remains — frequent changes flush abrasive dirt and metal particles out of the engine, prolonging its life. Most owner’s manuals recommend a more frequent interval for “severe conditions.” To maximize the life of your engine, follow the severe intervals recommendations, especially if drive regularly in stop-and-go traffic.

Avoid overfilling your crankcase with oil

Don’t overfill your engine crankcase with oil. If you do, the oil can rise into the crankshaft, where air bubbles will get churned into the oil.Your oil pump can’t do a good job of circulating oil with air bubbles. The result can be overheating and stress on engine components. Overfilling can also foul your sparkplugs. In fact, overfilling is a bad idea with all automotive fluids.

Wipe oil pan plug clean

If you do your own oil changes, clean the drain plug and washer with rags before reinstalling your oil pan. Some plugs are magnetized to trap metal particles.

Don’t forget the filters

There are several filters (the main ones are oil, fuel, transmission, and air) important to preserving your car engine, and they should be changed according to the schedule in your owner’s manual or as follows:

  • Change the oil filter at least at every other oil change — every change is even better because the old filter contains nearly a quart of dirty oil that will remain with the new, clean oil. If you change your oil yourself, wipe the filter threads with an anti-seize lubricant, available at auto supply stores.
  • Check the air filter every two months and replace it when dirty or as part of a tune-up. Air filters are generally easier to get to than oil filters.You find them under the big metal lid in a carbureted engine or in a rectangular box in a fuelinjected engine — check your owner’s manual for the exact location. Extend the life of air filters by blowing them clean with compressed air.
  • Despite claims by makers and dealers that some newer fuel filters never need changing, it’s smart to have it done once a year. A clogged fuel filter will cause poor engine performance (hesitation and starting difficulties) and is an early warning that there may be corrosion in your gas tank.
  • Change your transmission fluid filter after the first 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of driving and every 25,000 miles (40,000 km) or two year thereafter.

Don’t forget the PCV valve

The PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve is an emissions control device on older cars — check your service manual to see if your car has one.The valve recirculates partially burned gases from the engine’s crankcase to the combustion chamber. Important to a properly functioning engine, the valve should be changed every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or as specified in your owner’s manual. In addition to helping you get the most from a tank of gasoline, it helps to prevent the buildup of harmful sludge and corrosion.When replacing your PCV valve, be sure you use the correct one or you may damage your engine.

Heavier is not always better

Use the oil viscosity grade that’s recommended in your owner’s manual for the temperature range you expect
for the coming season. Lighter grades (lower viscosity, such as SAE 5W-30), often specified for today’s smaller car engines, will deliver easier starts and better engine protection in winter and improved gas mileage throughout the year, thanks to less internal engine friction. Do not use a heavy grade of oil in cold winter climes or you will risk damage to your engine.

Maintain your transmission

Change automatic transmission fluid and filter after the first 5,000 miles (8,000 km) and after every 25,000 miles (40,000 km) or two years thereafter, or as recommended in your owner’s manual. If you use your vehicle for towing, change the fluid and filter every year. For manual transmissions, change the lubricant (motor oil or gear oil, depending on the car) after the first 5,000 miles and after every 50,000 (80,000 km) thereafter. Use synthetic motor oil or gear lube for longer transmission life unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise.

Consider adding oil coolers

If you plan to do a lot of towing and your vehicle is not already equipped with coolers, consider having them added. Aftermarket engine oil and transmission fluid coolers are simple, low-cost addons that operate on the same principle as your car’s radiator. The fluid flows through them, and many small fins absorb and dissipate heat. Cooler operating temperatures of engine oil and transmission fluid can add significantly to the life of your engine and transmission.

Spark plugs do need changing

The advent of electronic ignition and on-board computers has eliminated the need for regular tune-ups, but you still need to change your spark plugs. Many manufacturers recommend changing plugs every 30,000 or 40,000 miles (48,000 or 64,000 km) to ensure good fuel mileage and engine performance. Some new cars come with long-life plugs (sometimes called double platinum plugs) that can last for 100,000 miles (160,000 km). If your car isn’t so equipped, make the switch after 30,000 miles. The extra cost is only a few dollars per spark plug. While you’re at it, change your spark plug wires as well. Their typical life is 50,000 miles (80,000 km). Deteriorated wires can cause those high-tech new spark plugs to foul.

Avoid hose hassles

Check the hoses under your hood every month or two to avoid the hassle of a broken hose while you’re on the road. With the car cool and off, squeeze the hoses. If they are hard or make a crunching sound, replace them. Ditto if they are extremely soft or sticky.With the car warm but off, examine hoses for bulges and collapsed sections. If you find any, the hose walls are weak, and it’s time to replace the hose. Never drive with a ruptured coolant hose, or you are liable to overheat the engine and damage it. Other hoses are crucial to operation of your power brakes and cruise-control systems.

Test drive-belt tension

Check the tension and condition of your drive belt (or, with many cars, multiple belts) every month. Belts that are too tight can wear out the bearings in accessory components, such as AC compressor, water pump, and power-steering pump. Belts that are too loose will wear out faster and may fail prematurely. Perform your examination before you start the car to avoid injury due to a hot belt or moving engine part. Check for tension by pressing in the center of the belt’s longest exposed run while holding a ruler next to it. If you can depress the belt 1/ 2 to 1 inch (13 to 25 mm), but not more or less, the tension is good. If not, adjust the belt tension yourself according to your car’s service manual, or have your dealer or auto repair service do it. Also check for belt damage, such as glazing (often due to oil leakage), fraying, and cracks. If you spot damage, have the belt checked by a pro and replaced if necessary.

Don’t forget the timing belt

On many cars, it’s the belt you can’t see that is the most critical. If your manual says, as many do, that you should replace the timing belt at 50,000 miiles, do it! A failed timing belt can, depending on engine type, cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your engine.

Clean your engine

There are several reasons to wash your engine at least every year or two. A clean engine will run cooler than a dirty one. You’ll be more apt to tackle routine belt and hose checks and the like if you know you won’t get covered with grime every time you do so. A clean engine will also make it much easier to spot leaks and to service components. Remember to protect sensitive engine components — including the air intake, distributor, and electrical parts — with plastic bags before getting started. Use dish washing liquid or other grease-cutting detergents and a bristle brush to scrub engine and components surfaces. Rinse thoroughly. Heavy-duty engine cleaning products are available at automotive parts stores. Follow the directions carefully. You may also have your engine professionally steam cleaned.

Source: carcareclinic.com