Top 10 Common Problems: How to Replace the Headlights

February 29, 2008
The first thing that you should do to know whether your headlight isn’t functioning well is by knowing which one isn’t working properly. To do this, you simply need to turn on your headlights and check which one is dimmer. After doing that, you should check the manual whether you’ll need to replace the bulb only or the whole headlight system. Meanwhile, when buying car parts such as headlights you may want to check out the vast array of online stores out there.

After purchasing the most suitable headlight, here’s what you should do:

For Replacing the Full Headlight:

  1. Get the best headlights here at Discount Auto Parts.
  2. Most headlights are inside the engine compartment of your car so in order to get to it, you should open your car’s hood first.
  3. Once again you’ll be using your manual so you can locate where your headlight system is placed inside your car.
  4. Remove any nuts and screws and place them in a container which is easily accessible.
  5. Remove the headlight system and be careful not to throw it in your regular waste basket.
  6. Install the new headlight and don’t forget to the plug the old wires that you removed from your busted headlight.
  7. Put the screws and nuts then close your car hood.
For Replacing the Bulb:
  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 from the first section.
  2. Twist the black plastic ring that holds the bulb in place and be sure to do it carefully.
  3. Pull the bulb and its housing out from its assembly.
  4. Put the new bulb in the empty housing, reinstall the black plastic ring then close the hood.

Turn Signal Indicator Light

Now let’s move on to the turn signal indicator light and although it isn’t as big as the headlight, having it working in goodcondition wouldn’t hurt at all. If your car’s turn signal indicator light is already dead, here’s what you should do:

  1. Just like your headlight, you should first check your manual in order to get familiar with its specifications.
  2. Purchase the specific type that is stated in the manual from any car or truck accessories store.
  3. Open its assembly and if it’s a front indicator light you should open the hood whereas if it’s a rear light you should open the trunk.
  4. Unscrew the existing bulb and install the new one.
Remember to always be careful and read the instructions very well before repairing or replacing any car part or car add-on. For quality headlights, be sure to check out The Parts Bin. They have free shipping.


Top 10 Car Problems: How to Fix a Busted Car Alarm

February 28, 2008

We’ve tackled different car parts already and this time around, we will be dealing with the most common problems that every car owner has to deal with. First and foremost, your car’s safety is an integral part of your concern as a car owner and having a durable car alarm will always be of good help. However, things don’t always work the way they should for some reasons and when your car alarm starts malfunctioning you better be ready. Before you start looking for a replacement from a discount auto parts store, here are some troubleshooting tips I have for a car alarm that doesn’t work the way it should:

  1. Read the manual and see whether there are tips that can help you fix your car alarm woes.
  2. This may seem pretty obvious but your faltering car alarm might just need new batteries so better check it as well.
  3. If your car alarm remote control is not working properly, be sure that nothing impedes the radio waves between the car alarm and its remote control,
  4. Aim right. Yes you read that right, some remote controls are really sensitive so be sure that it’s aimed at the car alarm so it’ll work.
  5. If things still don’t work out, I suggest you seek a professional advice and consult your problem about your car alarm.
  6. If you can’t get an appointment with a professional, you can opt to temporarily disarm the alarm by:
    • Not turning it on
    • Switching off the alarm console
    • Removing the fuse that arms the alarm

Overall, knowing what to do to your vital car or even truck accessories such as a car alarm can save you not only money but more importantly valuable time.


How to keep them wiping clean

February 23, 2008

Auto Mechanic Wiper Blades

Aside from the license, car know-how, complete auto parts, and the like, a good road vision is also very important before you hit the road. The high-powered headlights assembly is a given, but how about a smudge or dirt-laden windshield? If you do not have a good view of the path or what’s in front of you, how on earth would you manage to maneuver that car of yours? So, this is where a good set of wiper blades enters the picture to get rid of those nasty obstructions. Before these car components work their wonder, however, it is a must that these are in perfect condition.

Wiper blades, along with the water and washer pumps, keep your windshield spotless. These are very helpful especially in periods of rain or snow and in muddy roads. To achieve an obstruction-free windscreen, your wiper blades have to be sturdy enough. You do not have to be an auto mechanic genius like me to figure out if your wiper blades are good to go and hit the trash bins. Anyway, I think it is part of my responsibility as a mechanic to remind you of how to spot the inefficient wipers blades and what do about them. Here are some easy tips from yours truly.

Spot the wiper blades that are good to go:

1. They are starting to make an awful sound or two, like cracking or chattering.
2. You have been using them for half a year now or maybe more than that. Remember that everyday wear and tear plus exposure to all kinds of stuff can damage these too. Cracks and breaks are visible.
3. They look different as if they have been folded or something. Like the previous one, the good old weather causes some irregularities on these auto parts.
4. The blades simply cannot wipe your windshield clean.

When it comes to auto parts maintenance, you simply cannot ignore your wiper blades. You may not use them to make the vehicle work, but these components make driving a lot safer for you. So let go of those wiper blades that are simply not working anymore and get some good discount auto parts right away.


Failed emission test–not the end of your life on the road

February 21, 2008

Smoke belching vehicles definitely have no place in countries with high emission standards. The vehicles sold and used in these places that are under the umbrella of the European Union have to strictly comply with the high emission standards. Some states here in the America are close to following such rules as well. Of course, not all of us can go to a dealership and buy a new car with less noxious emissions, right? Do not fret if you failed an emission test or if your auto is guilty of emitting Carbon monoxide, Hydro carbon, and the like, because there are special auto parts that can help you pass that test.

I know several auto parts that can just do the trick and keep your vehicle emit less of those noxious gases. The first thing on my mind is the catalytic converter. Most of the latest models now are equipped with this component, but there are still some unfortunate cars like yours that are cat con-free. Catalytic converters are available in high-end shops as well as discount auto parts warehouses, it’s up to you and your pocket. Anyway, the cat con will be part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. Strategically installed right before the tail pipe, this component treats the engine’s exhaust fumes before it is released to the air we breathe. The cat con you’ll install will all depend on your car’s specifications. Another thing your auto can use is an oxygen sensor or a cold air intake. Both of these make sure that your engine does combustion efficiently. With a good combustion, there is lesser production of noxious gases.

It’s all up to you whether you like a cat con, a cold air intake, or an oxygen sensor for your smoke belching vehicle. If you ask me though, the catalytic converter is on top of my list and then if you get your next pay check, maybe you could give your car the other eco-friendly auto parts I mentioned. Once your ride is fully-geared, your vehicle can surely ace that emission test.


How To Give Your Power Steering More Juice

February 15, 2008

Gatorade packages itself as giving more benefits than regular water. What they’re trying to project is that they add more “juice” to your body than water by giving it added minerals and extra energy, with its effect lasting longer than your regular H20. Well that works with your steering wheel as well (figuratively folks). Your car’s steering wheel is one of the auto parts that have been upgraded over the years. One of the upgrade it has been given is “power steering.” It makes steering vehicles with this feature easier. It limits you from using too much power. But just like us humans, this auto part runs out of “juice” due to constant use and needs to be refilled with power steering fluid. It’s actually not that hard. It’s pretty much like drinking Gatorade. The only difference is that you’re filling up your car, not your body. Check out the steps below on how to properly juice up your wheel.

  1. Open the hood of your car and locate the reservoir containing your power steering fluid. It can be located either in the passenger or driver’s seat. Oh and some have the word “steering” on top. Lucky are those who have that in their car.
  1. Some reservoirs called “opaque reservoirs” allow you to check the fluid level without having to open it. If you’re lucky (again) enough to have this in your car, then all you have to do is to check the levels using the markings indicated in the container and you’re done. You can now proceed to refill your reservoir. If not, then proceed to step three.
  1. If you’re one of those unlucky enough not to have an opaque reservoir, don’t jump over the cliff yet. Start things off by removing the cap of your reservoir to check the level. Clean it up before removing it. Most caps have a dipstick attached to it. Use that to check the level of your steering fluid.
  1. Once you’ve done that and determined that the fluid level is low, it’s time to add your fluid (steering fluid, not your fluid). Add an ample amount until it hits the “Max” or “Full” mark that matches your engine’s temperature. Then close the cap (I know, pretty obvious. Just making sure you don’t forget).

And that’s it. Easy as 1, 2, 3 right? Yeah I thought so too. Now in case you’re wondering where to get this power steering fluid, most auto shops that sell auto parts and discount auto parts sell these. Just drop by their place and get one.


Overheating: What To Do When It Happens

February 14, 2008

You’re late for work, the traffic is terrible and you’re practically in the middle of the highway when all of a sudden you see smoke rise up. You’re thinking that you’re imagining things and it’s just the heat wave playing tricks on you (or some idiot decided that revving up their engine and have smoke come out is a cool thing to do). But then it starts to increase and you know for sure that it’s no mirage. You’re engine is overheating. So being a good citizen, you slowly (and painstakingly) pull yourself to the side of the road to avoid causing more traffic to the already heavily populated highway. I’m about to say something which may actually cause you folks to react violently but let me assure you that this type of mishap is normal. At one point in our lives this has happened to us. Most of the time, the causes of this could be a busted radiator hose, one of the auto parts in your car’s cooling system. If you find yourself in this situation, the steps below will help you temporarily fix the problem giving you time to drive yourself to the nearest service station and to call your boss so you can file a leave (Trust me and take the day off. It’ll do you wonders).

  1. Open your cars hood, let out some steam (from your car not from you) and locate its source. Remember, before you touch anything, make sure your car’s engine has cooled off. The engine can give off an intense amount of heat and can cause burns if you make a mistake of touching any of its parts while it’s still hot.
  2. Check the radiator hose, look for the hole and dry it completely.
  3. Get a piece of duct tape (about 2 to 3 inches will do) and use it to cover the hole found in your radiator hose. Make sure to press it firmly at the center to keep it in place.
  4. Once done, get a longer piece of duct tape and wrap it around the hose and over the damaged portion. Start slightly above the original patchwork you initially did. Again, make sure that it’s tight and secure.
  5. Before starting your way home or to the nearest service station, make sure you have enough radiator fluid. If you feel like you don’t have enough, you can just use plain old H20 (that’s water folks).

Once you have this done, make sure to have your radiator hose replaced immediately. Most auto parts and discount auto parts shops carry this. Don’t rely on the patchwork you just did. Unless you enjoy making your life a living hell.


Installing A Car Stereo

February 12, 2008

Car Stereo

Every time I drive down the road, I never fail to play Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” The guitar riffs and the lyrics never fail to pump me up while driving. I know it’s some sort of a cheap thrill but it’s one of the things that makes driving for me really worth it. And that’s why my car stereo is one of the auto parts I can’t be without. It’s not as vital as the engine or the tires but it’s something that I would consider a “luxurious” necessity. You don’t need it, but you have to have it, which is why every car comes with one.

So in case your stereo bogs down, can it be replaced easily? Thankfully it can. All you need are the following items: The new stereo (duh!), wiring adapter kit, wire crimps, electrical tape, wire cutter, crimping tools and screwdrivers. Most shops that offer auto parts and discount auto parts carry these items. Once you’ve got all the materials needed in order, just refer to the steps below on how the installation can be done:

  • Remove the trim panels. These panels are screwed so don’t forget your trusty screwdriver.
  • Once the panels have been removed, gently pull out the stereo along with its mounting bracket. The coin tray located underneath the stereo might be end up being included during the removal of the bracket. You don’t need to remove it from its place.
  • Remove the stereo from the bracket by unscrewing its screws.
  • Now before putting in the new stereo, you’ll have to work on the wirings first. Use the wiring adapter (a plastic square or rectangular shaped object used to connect wires) to connect the wiring harness of the new stereo. To do this, you’ll need to remove part of the rubber installation of the wire. Using a stripping tool, take 1/4 inch of the end of the wire by clamping it and pulling the rubber away.
  • If your stereo has a ground wire (it’s a wire with a claw-like hand at the end), cut its connector and attach it to the adapter harness. If by chance your stereo doesn’t have a ground wire, you can just attach its claw-like hand to a screw under your stereo.
  • Before putting the new stereo in its place, make sure to test it. You wouldn’t want to take it apart again just because you found out that it’s not working.
  • After testing, attach the new stereo to the new bracket it came with and using the new screws.
  • Make sure the wiring harness of the stereo is plugged back in place before inserting the new stereo into its slot.

And you’re done! You can now cruise the streets while listening to your favorite tunes and block whatever outside noise there is, from the guy blowing his horn behind you or from the ranting of your wife (or husband) beside you.