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Inspect your car tire tread and pressure

With all that is happening in the world right now, tires are probably the last thing on your mind.  After all, let’s face it – the tires are too boring.  And yet, they are one of the essential parts of your car.  Therefore, besides all other things, we encourage tire maintenance.

The tire affects many different parts, including braking, handling, and traction.  If your car tire tread and pressure are not well maintained, fuel savings can also dive.  As such, most experts recommend checking the tire at least once a month.

You may already know how to check the tire pressure and tread depth frequently.  But not all of this.  There are often neglected aspects of tire maintenance that you should consider as well.

How to properly inspect the tire

tire tread and pressure

Finally, you can take a break from your busy schedule and check your car tires.  Here is what you need to consider:

  • Get to know the tires of your car

Before doing anything else, take a moment to get acquainted with the tires of your car.  It is helpful to understand the details of the tire size, DOT number, and recommended inflation.

  • Tire size, load rating, and speed rating

On the sidewall, you can find the size, load level, and speed of the tire. Let’s look at the following image and example to understand better.

Tire tread and pressure
  • The letter “P” stands for passenger tire.  Light truck tires read “LT” instead.
  • Next, the number 215 mm is the sectional width of the tire.
  • The number 65 – It is a ratio that compares the tire’s height with the section width.
  • “R” refers to radial, the type of tire construction.
  • The last digit 15, indicates the size of the rim.
  • After the size of the tire, you will also see two numbers and a letter.  The numbers(95) are the tire load level, and the letter is the speed rating.

            Charts that define both values ​​can be used and can be easily found online.

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) number

The Department of Transportation (DOT) code is based on the load and speed level.  In short, the twelve-digit code indicates that the tire meets specific safety standards.

Although the DOT code does not seem to be of much interest to car owners, the last four digits are quite significant.  In all cars made after 2000, the final four numbers in the code indicate the tire’s production time and, therefore, its age.

Tire tread and pressure

The first two numbers symbolize the week, and the last two numbers represent the year.  For example, in the above image, the last four digits of the code are 4517, which means that the tire was made in the 16th week of 2012.

  • Adjust the tire pressure
Tire tread and pressure

It is easy to determine the correct inflationary pressure of a tire.  Inside the driver’s side door, you can find a pressure specification list.  You can also look into your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure.

Note: Do not inflate your tire as per the ratings of the sidewall.  It is the maximum limit of pressure that the tire can withstand.

  • Perform a visual inspection

Now that you have a full understanding of your car tire tread and pressure, it’s time to go for a visual inspection.  Start by examining issues such as separating each tire, cracking, bulging, or missing chunks.

It is recommended to replace your tire immediately in case you find any of these issues.

Tire tread and pressure

Running your hand across car tire tread is an excellent way to check for “cupping.”  Cupping is a series of high and low treads, usually the result of struts or worn shocks.

Another thing: As mentioned, you can determine the tire’s age by looking at the last four digits of its DOT code.  If the code indicates that the tire is over ten years old, it’s time to buy new rubber.

  • Measure the depth of the Tread

Many sources recommend using a penny to check the tire tread depth.  And while this method works in a pinch, it’s not so comprehensive or accurate.

Therefore, it is a good idea to use a tread depth gauge.

Using a tread depth gauge on each tire is a direct method.  How it works:

  1. Push the blade or pointer part of the gauge down into the groove of the Tread. 
  2. Pay attention to the reading on the tool.
  3. Be sure to measure at three different locations across the car tire tread: outside, inside, and center.

“If the measurement is between 3/32” and 4/32, it’s time to consider buying a new tire.

“Tread measuring 2/32 or less means you need to replace the tire immediately. You can visit The Auto Parts Shop for tires and various other automobile parts.

Check the pressure

Tire tread and pressure

Tires must be properly inflated.  If the tire is underinflated, it would have speedy wear, while at the same time lowering fuel economy and increasing the risk of a blowout.  Excessive inflation increases the risk of tire failure.

Both situations reduce the braking, handling, and traction of your car.

Even if your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, check the pressure yourself with a tire pressure gauge.

How it works:

  1. Remove the valve stem cap.
  2. Press the gauge on the valve and then hold it in place.
  3. Pay attention to the pressure reading and compare it to the manufacturer’s standard specifications.
  4. Adjust tire pressure as needed.
  5. Reinstall the valve stem cap.

Tire maintenance is the key

Like everyone else, you want your car to provide a safe, reliable driving experience.  Proper maintenance of the tire will help make it work.  So, make sure you look at the car tire tread and pressure regularly.

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DIY Tips For Auto Repairs And Maintenance – Checklist

Auto repairs and maintenance are mandatory, and at the same time, they are expensive. But, did you know that you can cut these costs and save a lot by doing it all yourself? Well, you can take some of the adjustments and self-care exercises, even if you are not an expert. 

Let’s dive into the checklist required for DIY car care tips.

  • Air Filter
Auto Repairs and Maintenance

Tools Required: None

Time duration: 10 minutes

Estimated cost: $ 10

Air filters require replacement after every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. For this, either you can hire a mechanic and leave your car for a day, or else you can also replace your air filter at home, which takes about 10 minutes. 

Steps for replacement of air filter at home:

  1. Find your filter: You can locate it under your car’s hood, in a black rectangular box and metal clips on the side. Check your manual if you are unable to see it as you pop the hole.
  2. Open the casing, and check how the air filter fits inside it. You can make a note of its position and place.
  3. Now, take out the old air filter, and place the new one exactly as the old one sits.
  4. Close the metal clips when finished.

And you’re done! You can extend your new air filter’s life by hitting it with some compressed air as it removes debris.

  • Windshield Wipers
Auto Repairs and Maintenance

Tools Required: None

Time duration: 15 minutes

Estimated cost: $10 to $20

Your wiper blades usually last for six months or a year after regular use, and if they are not replaced on time, there are dangers of streaking that can cost you high.

Setting up a Wiper blade may differ in each car so that you may follow a few separate steps according to your car manual. However, the process remains the same:

  1. Lift the blades, as if you are washing windshield with hand, and then pull out the old blades.
  2. Notice the connection of the old blades to the metal parts.
  3. On most models, you will see a tab at the bottom of the wiper. You need to push this tab to remove the former blade.
  4. Now, attach the new blades. Be careful that wiper arms are not bent as they will scratch the windshield. Line everything up, ensuring that the new windshield wipers are secure and tight.
  5. If you are confused or can’t remember exactly how the new blades should fit the wiper arm, don’t worry. The box for the new blades would have a set of general instructions and a helpful diagram.
  • Spark Plugs
Auto Repairs and Maintenance
  • Tools Required: Spark plug socket, Ratchet/socket wrench, and 12″ socket extension
  • Time duration: 20 to 30 minutes
  • Cost: $10 to $15

Most spark plugs require replacement after up to 30,000 miles but check your manual to see if your car is different. While turning spark plugs may sound like a daunting task, it is straightforward. Don’t rush and be patient as installation requires attention for proper order.

  1. You can locate your spark plugs quickly as they are connected to thick rubber wires.
  2. You can find four, six, or eight seals, depending on your car’s number of cylinders.
  3.  Do not detach all wires at once; instead, pull out the wire to the first spark plug. Since your spark plugs are installed in one command, so you need to maintain it.
  4. Use your spark plug and ratchet to remove the main plug.
  5. Add a new spark plug, tighten it first manually and then using a wrench. Don’t over tighten it!
  6.  Re-connect the wire of the spark plug.

Repeat all the above steps for each spark plug. Just remember that one at a time! Also, the right plugs come pre-gapped, so you need not worry about gaps in that case. You can buy high-quality auto repair and maintenance parts at The Auto Parts Shop.

  • Radiator Flush
Auto Repairs and Maintenance
  • Tools Required: A wrench, radiator flush solution, rags, funnel, coolant, and used coolant receptacle
  • Time Duration: 30 minutes
  • Estimated cost: $ 25

Your car cooling system and radiator must be clean to function correctly and efficiently. With regular wear and tear, your car heater makes deposits that can ruin the cooling system. Radiator Flush is a fast and inexpensive way to keep your system in shape. Check your owner’s manual to find out if you need to flush the radiator annually or after every two years.

  1. Make sure your car is entirely cool before you start.
  2. Check your master’s manual to locate the radiator drain plug. Put the used coolant receptacle in place, open the drain plug, and let the old coolant drain.
  3. Replace the drain plug and take out the radiator cap.
  4. Make use of a funnel to add the radiator flush cleaning solution and then fill water in the radiator.
  5. Replace the radiator cap.
  6. Turn on your car! Let it run and wait for the average operating temperature.
  7. Turn your heater on to the hottest position, and let the car run for 10 minutes.
  8. Now, turn off your car and wait for the machine to cool.
  9. Drain everything off the radiator and then put the fresh coolant in the radiator.
  10. Dispose of the old coolant safely to a hardware store, gas station, or mechanic as its enticing smell can be dangerous for pets.

Working with cooling is a step towards more advanced DIY projects. Temperature can be problematic when working on your car, especially the radiator, so make sure your engine is cold. Do not rush this work, and be patient and cautious.

Final Words

While performing any auto repairs and maintenance DIY projects, you must know what can be done and where the point is when you should stop. Don’t try an extensive DIY project that becomes difficult to handle. Do not take apart complicated pieces that you cannot put together.

Avoid injuries and save yourself a few bucks!

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Symptoms of Automatic Transmission Issues

Because repairing an old car can be costly as the car is likely to be more than ten years old, it is essential to keep it in good condition. Automatic transmission issues are prevented if you take care of your car, pay attention to its performance, and get it for service timely.  A little maintenance can make your vehicle in good condition for several years beyond average.

Here are some of the transmission issues to look for and what they might mean.

  • The smell of burning

If your car smells something burning while running, that’s a bad thing.  It is essential to be concerned and find a source of the burning odor.  It is sometimes associated with transmission.

Automatic transmission

In cases where the burn comes from the transmission, it is because the fluid becomes too hot.  Your fluid plays a role in keeping your transmission cool by keeping it working correctly while lubricating.

If the flow of fluid begins to decrease, it will not lubricate. That’s when the friction occurs, which further builds up sludge and debris that breaks down the transmission parts.

It will be a costly and inconvenient issue if you ignore the situation.

Low fluid transmission may be the reason for the issue.  It can be caused if there is a leak in the line or your transmission.  For many cars, fluid delivery does not go down by itself, such as motor oil or other lubricants.

It is crucial to take some immediate action as soon as you sense a burning odor coming from your car.  Even if it is not a transmission fluid, it may be a problem that you need to address promptly.

  • Difficulty in getting Car in Gear

If you have trouble getting your car in gears, you will have serious issues.  If your vehicle is running in the wrong gears, it can cause severe problems with your transmission.

If your vehicle’s automatic transmission is not engaging when you put it in the drive or pull it back, it could be a problem.  It matters if you try to put your car in the drive or reverse it, and it does not respond immediately.  These issues may indicate a more significant problem or maybe minor.

Automatic transmission

It is up to you to find out.

It may be a computer system problem.  Sometimes all you are required to do is start the computer to solve the problem you are facing.

You can diagnose the issue yourself by disconnecting the battery for half an hour or more.  Or else, you will require a qualified mechanic to do the job for you.  Working with a professional is the best way to solve this problem.

If you see a delay or your transmission still doesn’t work the right way, you should talk to someone.  While the problems may be small, it is always wise to make sure you do not have to spend 1000 bucks on it.

  • Whining or humming noise

If you hear a whining or humming sound that usually doesn’t come out of your transmission, check it out.  Hearing a squeaking, clunking, or humming sound from your engine may indicate that you are having trouble in your transmission. However, it is difficult to tell before you investigate the problem.

When the transmission fluid breaks down, then there are chances that it starts making unusual sounds.  The fluids are tasked with ensuring that all heavy gears run smoothly.  There are several ways that it can go wrong.

Automatic transmission

Over time and after a particular volume of usage, the fluid will lose its protective properties.  It will start to allow for more frictions, which will begin to break your transmission.  Friction causes significant damage to automatic transmissions, and it’s complex interlocking parts.

Clunking noise while the operating vehicle can be heard from the affected parts. If this happens internally, then you need an automatic transmission machine to monitor your vehicle.  If you don’t look for it right away, you might risk yourself in some serious problems.

Simple issues can be solved with more fluids.  More complex matters will deserve to be considered more seriously of what’s happening in your transmission.

  • Vibration or Grinding

If you feel shivering or grinding when using your vehicle, it may be due to transmission.  It will also be a challenging and tough time, as switching gears might become tough. An automatic transmission operates typically smoothly as it shifts.

If your transmission starts giving you slippery or shaking sensations when you change gears, you may not notice it first.  Even a certain amount of grinding may seem familiar to a worn-out car or maybe a delicacy to various engine issues.

However, you need to pay attention at this stage—feeling jarring when a car shift is not regular. If your transmission seems to be dealing with damaged gears, your issues will only get worse.

Automatic transmission

It is a serious, as well as a significant issue that needs the help of automatic transmission professionals. 

Most of the transmission issues can be resolved with simple maintenance, so there’s no reason to pay a large amount for them. However, there are some conflicts and problems that can be complicated. Keeping an eye out for such symptoms can save you thousands. Also, you can find automatic transmission components affordably at The Auto Parts Shop.