Category Archives: Blog

When Should Automotive Engine Coolant Be Replaced?

Engine coolant goes by many names, including radiator fluid, radiator coolant, or antifreeze. No matter what you call it, engine coolant is one of the most vital car fluids for any vehicle. It is a combination of antifreeze and water (usually a 50/50 mix), and serves a number of purposes for a car.

First, it runs through a vehicle’s radiator to remove any excess heat and prevent the engine from overheating. Next, since it contains antifreeze chemicals, it prevents it from freezing up in cold temperatures. But also, engine coolant prevents corrosion and works as a lubricant to the water pump and other internal workings.

So as you can see, radiator fluid is very important for a car or truck to operate safely and effectively. Continue reading to learn when your vehicle’s engine coolant should be changed, as well as, factory car maintenance scheduling, and more!

Radiator Fluid Flushes

Changing or replacing the radiator fluid in your vehicle is referred to as coolant flush. Regular coolant flushes are vital for your vehicle because it inhibits corrosion, prevents over-heating, and provides lubrication to the internal workings of your engine’s water pump, radiator, and heater core.

To properly identify when your coolant is dirty, you must first know what the color of the fluid is when brand new. The primary colors of engine coolant are yellow, orange, green, and black. Check the color of your radiator fluid once every week. When this color starts to change, you know it’s time to change your radiator fluid. But the most noticeable sign that it is time to replace the coolant is when your engine starts to overheat. The temperature gauge on your car’s dashboard will tell you how hot the engine is getting, and if you start to see smoke, it’s gone too far!

Never operate a vehicle with an overheating engine. Not only is this extremely dangerous, it causes significant damage to the engine. This can result in a costly repair, engine replacement, or even a totaled vehicle. As soon as you are aware your engine is overheating, take it to an auto so immediately and have it serviced.

All fluids should be changed, flushed, and replaced regularly for all vehicles. The general factory car maintenance schedule is every 3,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. This includes motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, battery fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and in some cases, even transfer case lubricants. But engine coolant does not need to be replaced this often. Most manufacturers suggest flushing the coolant every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, or once every 2 to 3 years. But if you are driving in hot climates or long distances regularly, then once per year is a better schedule.

Consult a licensed automotive service and repair technician for information regarding your make and model vehicle’s factory maintenance schedule.

Buy Quality Automotive Equipment

If you run a garage service or automotive business, you know the importance of having highly reliable and quality automotive equipment. In a highly competitive automotive manufacturing market, everybody is looking for advanced technology that reduces downtime and improves and simplifies usage. The equipments should be of the highest standards, as it affects performance and reliability.

Automotive equipment can be for wide ranging requirements and specifications. There are various categories of equipment dealing with various aspects of automobiles, including repair and maintenance. Equipment should be bought from leading suppliers and manufacturers that supply the best and guaranteed quality at competitive prices.

Variety Of Equipment

Among the various automotive equipment that are available as follows:

* Lifts: These are used to hoist cars for repairs and maintenance and can be of various types. These include two posts, four posts, mid-rise, turf, parking, and other types. The lifts are used for various functions such as oil changes, brake work, lifting equipment, and other jobs. Some automotive lifts are space saving and increase revenues for your business. Leading companies provide lift repair parts as well, which help prolong the service life of lifts.

* Lubrication equipment: Various types of equipment for lubrication are available. These include oil meters, oil pumps, hoses, grease valves, manual oil pumps; Balcrank oil pumps, accessories, pump and reel package, and tank monitors are available.

* Jacks and accessories: These are vital to your business and you may need high-quality engine hoists, bumper frame jacks, bottle jacks, heavy duty floor jacks, and engine support, among other equipment. The finest transmission jacks, vehicle and wheel dollies, and under hoist stands are among many accessories available.

* Vehicle service equipment: If your business deals in servicing of vehicles, you know how important it is to have the best automotive equipment. These include battery chargers, brake fluid exchangers, break flush accessories, booster cables, wheel balancers, testing equipment for noise vibration, transmission accessories, paint and body equipment, and many others. You can get all this and more at the leading suppliers of car parts.

* Exhaust hose: you can get superior quality exhaust equipment for all applications from automotive equipment suppliers. High temperature needs dictate the use of overhead reels, many of which are motorized which is recommended for diesel engine uses. There are overhead hoses, Crushproof® rubber hoses, welding exhaust hoses, underground exhaust and accessories included in the extensive range.

* Air compressors: These are very important for tire service. You can get the best quality of compressors from automotive equipment stores. These include vertical or horizontal compressor, gas and diesel compressors, duplex compressors, and pancake and stack compressors, among others.

* Reels: These are very important equipment used for a variety of purposes in automotive-related services. Reels are available in extensive and wide ranging varieties. These include oil reels, water reels, pressure washer hose reels, grease reels, welding and hydraulic reels, and many other types.

Buying automotive equipment is now no longer difficult as you have a one-stop shop for any item you need from the leading suppliers online. They are authorized distributors for leading brands and provide customer-oriented service by trained and experienced employees. You get unmatched quality in service and products.

What Is Automotive Paint Protection Film?

Paint protection film is a layer of thermoplastic urethane applied to the painted surfaces of an automobile to protect the paint job from chips, splatters, and small abrasions. Is is also commonly used on airplanes, motorcycles, electronic, cell phones and other electronics. Almost all automotive manufacturers have approved the usage of paint protection film on vehicles. It is also commonly referred to as Clear Bra which was the original manufacturer.

It is recommended by manufacturers to entrust the application of the product to certified Vinyl Wrap and Clear Bra professional shops as the installation requires unique skills and techniques to get it to look right and last the life of the film. Many Window Tinting and detail shops also perform the installation.

The primary purpose of Clear Bra is to prevent scuffs, rock chips and other types of vandalism which cause damage to a vehicle’s paint and body. It is commonly applied on the front facing portions of cars, trucks, and SUVs. It may also be used on the full body of a vehicle to provide maximum protection for the vehicle’s factory paint.

Originally developed for use in military applications, it is now commercially available for public use. The automotive industry took note of the benefits offered by the paint protection film and began applying it to race cars to protect the expensive carbon fiber and fiberglass bodies. Originally the film was thicker and tough to install because the thick film was designed to protect helicopter blades from sand erosion.

The film available on the market today is specifically designed to be flexible and conformable to a vehicle’s body. There are many options available in the market with specific types manufactured primarily with the technical capability to offer top level protection and even self-healing capabilities.

Why use Paint Protection Film?

Scratches on brand new or well-maintained vehicles not only destroy the look of your car, truck or SUV, they reduce the resale value. To prevent a car from suffering at the hands of vandalism or road debris, paint protection film is the perfect solution.

Clear Bra has the strength to withstand the hazards on the road such as debris, rocks, sand and cement. It will shield the areas on the vehicle where it is installed and keep the body looking like it did the day you applied the film. Many of the premium films have self-healing properties so the film will heal itself when damaged by scratches and cracks. Another great application is to protect your vehicle from children playing near the car and scratching the paint surface with their toys.

Which Paint Protection Film Brands are the most trusted?

The most reliable brands of paint protection film on the market today are the original Clear Bra, 3M, Suntek, and Xpel. Xpel and 3M are the preferred films used in our shop due to their self-healing properties and industry leading warranties. In addition to full rolls of film, many of these manufacturers offer the DIY enthusiast pre-cut kits that are unique to a vehicle’s make, model and year.

Today there is no shortage of cheaply made films imported from places like China and India and sold on sites like eBay and Amazon. Always be wary of any material that does not come from a reputable manufacturer. Cheap paint protection film will not protect your vehicle, and often the cheap adhesives used in this type of material will damage your factory paint when you attempt to remove it.

How is It Applied?

There are many types of installation for paint protection film. Most installers do not have plotters. Therefore they have no choice but to apply the fill directly from the roll and cut the material to length on your vehicle. Reputable installation shops that have invested in plotters use specially designed software to create a pattern for the shape of the panel on which the film is to be installed and have it plotted or cut with precision. A plotter can also be used to modify the cut pattern to fit custom patterns such as aftermarket body kits and bumpers.

A popular installation technique for the DIY customer is a pre-cut kit. A pre-cut kit can be ordered by your vehicle make, model, and year and comes ready to install out of the box. The downside of a pre-cut kit is if you damage one of the sections of material during installation, you’ll have to purchase an entirely new kit. Pre-Cut Kits are also not available for any custom parts you have on your vehicle such as an aftermarket bumper, body kit, or spoiler.

When you are looking for a Clear Bra installer, it is imperative to select a reputable shop with good reviews. The installation requires cutting near your car, truck or SUV’s paint with razor blades. An impatient or unskilled installer can quickly cause substantial and irreversible damage to your expensive vehicle.

Where can the Film be Applied?

Paint protection film is manufactured to appear practically invisible to the naked eye to maintain the appearance of your vehicle. It can be applied to any area of the car however it is mostly recommended for portions of the car that are susceptible to damage. The most common areas are the side mirrors, front bumper, and hood of your vehicle. Another area that Clear Bra can be used is door edges as they are prone to wear and tear from the constant opening and closing. Protecting door edges offers an excellent shield against chipping and scrapes which often happen in parking lots.

It may also be applied to door handle cups because they get damaged from constant use. The scratches and scrapes can are prevented through the application of an invisible film of Clear Bra on the door handle cups.

Benefits of a Paint Protection Film

Clear Bra is flexible and stretchable as well as long lasting. It is almost invisible and can be molded to fit any surface of the vehicle. It seals the painted surfaces to give a long lasting glossy appearance and shiny exterior. Clear Bra is a branded self-healing coat which is resistant to scratches and cracks. It puts up a tough defensive front to damage of any kind which in inevitable when it comes to cars.

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

Automotive Equipment and Tools For The Automotive Industry

The automotive equipment industry deals with the production of every kind of tool and machinery that is needed for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of vehicles including cars and car parts. As such, the industry produces several different varieties of equipment starting from basic hand tools to more complex machinery.

Different Kinds of Automotive Equipment

Automotive workshops and garages will be unable to function without automotive equipment. Shop furniture, lifts, exhaust hoses, air compressors, lubrication equipment, electric and light reels, jacks, vehicle servicing equipment, fluid storage tanks and trans-air piping are some of the many different types of automotive equipment that are used by automotive manufacturing and automotive repair businesses.

Common Types Of Automotive Equipment

* Hand Tools: Automotive repair shops use several different types of hand tools for their repair and maintenance projects. Some of the commonest items include ratchet sets and wrench sets, crowbars (also known as pry bars), socket sets, screwdrivers, star and clutch-head drivers, hammers, pliers and wire cutters, electric drills, hacksaws and torque wrenches.

* Pneumatic Tools: Most automotive workshops now use pneumatic tools as an alternative to electricity powered motors because the latter is more prone to fire hazards. Such tools are powered by compressed air and are high powered versions of the more traditional hand tools. Common examples of pneumatic automotive equipment include air compressors that can be used to power a variety of tools including hammers, drills, ratchets and spraying tools.

* Availability of pneumatic equipment makes it easier for mechanics and technicians to undertake repair and maintenance work because they are powerful and easy to use. For example, a set of pneumatic shears can cut through sheet metal at a faster rate and leave behind a smoother edge when compared to traditional tin snips. Similarly, air hammers outfitted with chisel or punch bits have multiple uses. They can they be used for straightening dents. The chisel feature can be used to break rusted parts loose and the punch bits can be used to remove old rivets and bolts that are too difficult to take out by hand.

* Lifts: several different kinds of lifting equipment are used to lift and secure cars so that mechanics and repair persons can easily work under the vehicle. These lifting tools include both low-tech tools such as basic floor jacks, car ramps and jack stands as well as hydraulic lifts and floor jacks for better efficiency and performance.

* Vehicle Exhaust Removal Systems: vehicle exhaust removal systems are used to capture and remove harmful exhaust fumes to insure optimal air quality in automotive maintenance and repair facilities. These are mandatory equipment as per OSHA Standards in order to limit exposure to harmful vehicular emissions. Common vehicle exhaust removal systems include hose drops as well as reels.

* Lubrication Systems: Automotive lubrication systems include several different types of oil meters, ATF meters, gear lube meters, dispense valves and grease dispenses valves.

The Automotive equipment business is a very large and competitive business. Automotive repair businesses must buy equipment from reputable dealers for the best deals and performance levels.