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Easy DIY Car Maintenance: Changing Tires, Replacing Air Filters

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With some learning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can save hundreds of dollars every year by being your own mechanic.

We’re always looking for ways to stick within our budgets and save money, and maintaining our car is one of the major expenses month-to-month. Whether it’s paying for gas or routine maintenance, things can add up quickly.

The good news is that not everything requires a visit to your dealer. In this article, we cover two common maintenance procedures — changing tires and replacing air filters — that, with a little knowledge about your model of car, you can do yourself to cut expenses. We’d like to thank for helping us with the technical details.

Changing Tires

As a general skill, knowing how to change a tire is not only handy for emergencies, but it’s also keep your bank account fuller when putting on those winter tires or doing a tire rotation. All vehicles come with the necessary tools you need to accomplish this task, including a jack, lug wrench, and replacement tire. Wheel chocks, gloves, and a short piece of 2×4 wood are also good accessories to have on hand..

You can find instructions on how to change a tire in your owner’s manual and untold numbers of , but we’ll go through the steps here as well.

  1. First, park in a paved, flat area and engage the parking brake. Apply the wheel chocks to the pair of tires you won’t be working with.
  2. Next, remove the hubcap with the flat end of your lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts about a half of a turn. These tend to be well secured, so extra force is normal to break them free.
  3. Place the jack under the vehicle atop the scrap 2×4, right beneath the frame next to the tire you’re changing. Most vehicles’ frames have a specific spot designed to place your car jack. Your Owner’s Manual will illustrate this. Place the scrap wood under the jack and raise the car about six inches up from the ground.
  4. Then, remove the lug nuts and place them in a safe place while you remove the tire. Pull the tire off the lug bolts, then set the tire on its side so it doesn’t roll away.
  5. Lastly, mount the new tire on the wheel studs and spin the lug nuts on finger tight. and push until the lug bolts show through the rim, then tighten the lug nuts on by hand. After this, lower the car, tighten the lug nuts securely and replace the hub cap.
  6. Congratulate yourself if this is your first time!

Replacing Engine Air Filters

Air filters are connected to the engine’s intake manifold and prevent debris and dirt from entering your engine’s combustion chambers. They should be changed once every twelve months or every 12,000 miles — whichever comes first. Here’s a quick procedure.

  • Your owner’s manual details which model air filter you should buy, and they are available at any auto parts store.
  • Under your hood next to or atop your engine you’ll see a black plastic box attached to a sizeable rubber hose. Usually several metal clips usually secure the top, and it simply needs to be popped open to remove the old air filter. If you can’t find your airfilter, Google it.
  • Remove the old filter and install the new one. Snap the clips back into place and that’s it!

Doings these two simple car maintenance procedures yourself will undoubtedly help keep your car in a healthier shape while saving you some money. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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Advice

Follow These 5 Tips Before Heading Out With Your Car In Winter

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Severe weather conditions can be really dreadful for travelers of all walks.

Driving should never be taken lightly. Winter storms and other bad weather conditions in particular can prove difficult for any driver or vehicle, so if you are planning a trip during the winter months, it’s crucial that you check the condition of your car beforehand.

In this article, we look at five important car checks you must make to ensure a safe drive during winter.

Tekmetrics Auto Shop Software

1. Get Your Car Serviced

One of the most important things is to have your car serviced before you heading out with it. Regular servicing and maintenance checks can be very helpful in detecting any sort of issues, and if you’re in the United Kingdom or any other country with a similar requirement, the annual MOT test to assess vehicle safety, exhaust emissions levels and other aspects of roadworthiness will bolster your peace of mind.

Needless to say, from a reliable car service centre should be a mandatory part of your check list.

Car engine coolant

2. Top Up Engine Coolant With Antifreeze

The engine coolant should be a mix of 50/50 water and antifreeze. Antifreeze becomes diluted over time, so you need to top it up every now and then.

People often make the mistake of topping the antifreeze with water, which makes it over diluted and causes it to freeze during very cold weather. This could potentially lead to you engine overheating and, consequently, a huge repair bill. Don’t be that guy or gal!

Car Floor Mats

3. Install Floor Mats Correctly

Driver-side floor mats that are installed improperly could interfere with the operation of a vehicle. The can jam the brake pedal, accelerator or the clutch, possibly leading to an accident.

To minimize or even eliminate this risk, use properly-sized floor mats that fit your vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, and make sure they are secured with any applicable retention clips.

4. Check Condition Of The Tyres

Like the steering wheel and brakes, car tyres play a critical role in operating your car safely, so it’s important to ensure that they are in good condition.

Check tyre condition for the right air pressure and tread depth. Compared to the minimum of 1.6mm for any other season, a minimum depth of 3mm is required for sufficient grip during winter. Ideally, you should replace your summer and even all-season tires with winter tyres for superior grip in slushy or icy roads.

5. Keep A Safe Distance

One of the most important driving tips to follow regardless of season but especially during winter is to leave plenty of stopping distances (#StoppingDistance ) between you and the car in front to ensure that there is enough room to stop when the road is slippery and / or the snow and slush start flying onto your windshield.

You must also accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid spinning your wheels, which requires that you understand your car’s driving characteristics (e.g. is it front wheel drive, rear wheel or a all-wheel drive?). And don’t forget to clean your lights, wash the windscreen and wipers, and check the condition of the battery before beginning your journey.

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How Can I Take A Registration Off A Vehicle And Retain It?

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The process is a lot more straightforward than you probably thought.

You are now able to transfer a registration number from one vehicle to another or apply to retain it directly through the DVLA website. Once the application is completed, the number plate will be removed instantly and your vehicle will receive its old number plate back or a new one in fitting with its age.

It is also possible to apply via post using a V317 form, which can be sent to the DVLA, Personalised Registration, Swansea SA99 1DS.

How Much Does It Cost?

If you want to apply to retain your number plate it costs £80, and this amount is stated on the V778 Retention Document. This is the only charge that will be taken from you for the process.

However, if you do decide to retain your plate, this certificate lasts for 10 years and can be renewed for another 10 years free of charge.

What Are The Regulations?

  • You have to be the registered keeper of the vehicle that the plate is assigned to
  • The vehicle must be registered with the DVLA
  • The vehicle must be taxed or declared SORN for the last 5 years without gaps
  • The vehicle must have an MOT and be able to move in-case of inspection
  • It cannot be transferred if the plate begins with a Q or QNI
  • You will also need the V5C (log book) for the vehicle with the number plate

Passing the number plate to someone else

If you decide to pass the number plate onto someone else, this can be done by selling your private plate to them or, if you’re feeling generous, simply giving it to them. If you want to sell the plate, it is possible to do so through private companies online, who will advertise for you to their large customer base.

Having looked online ourselves, a company like such as appears to be a great place to start. They will help find a buyer for the plate and have you follow the same process with the DVLA for passing it onto the buyer.

Passing the number plate onto someone else (the grantee) can be done if:

  • You want to sell the number plate
  • You want to retain the number plate until you put it on a vehicle registered in someone else’s name (i.e. the nominee).

In order to do so, you must fill out a V317 form and have it sent to the DVLA to BB be processed and approved. When filling out the form, the registered keeper must fill out sections 2,3 and 9.1. If you want to put a grantee’s details on the document then complete 9.1; if you want to add a nominee, complete 9.2.

If you want to apply through the DVLA website then you simply follow the instructions on screen, this service is available from 7am and 7pm and unlike via postal service, your registration will be removed instantly.

Even though the number plate that has been retained can be assigned to a vehicle registered in the name of the grantee or the nominee, it is only the grantee that has rights to the registration.

What’s Next?

During the application process, the DVLA might ask to inspect your car, and you must oblige. It might take four weeks for the inspection to complete, but if and when your application is approved, you will be sent a new registration certificate for your vehicle and either the old plate or a new one to coincide with the year it was originally registered.

If you requested to retain the number plate in another person’s name (the grantee), the V778 will be sent marked to them at their address.

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Car Accident? Here’s How Fault Is Determined, And The Types Of Claims

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car crash street

The last thing you want after sustaining damage is to have your insurance company refuse your claim…

Getting into a car accident is certainly not fun, especially if it results in serious injury and/or damage, but it is definitely important to know what to do after you’re involved in one. And what you may have been told by your insurance company may not be the best course of action when trying to get the compensation you deserve from an insurance claim.

After a car accident, the normal course of action would be to first and foremost call the police. You follow this up by getting in touch with your insurance company, filing a police report, ing your insurance adjuster, and having your insurance claim evaluated. Once all of that is done, you get your claim paid.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out like that. More often than not, car accident insurance claims take forever, and your insurance company may not want to pay out as much as you had hoped, or pay at all!

According to the , “Many car accident victims rely on their insurance agency to honor the agreed-upon terms of their policy. However, in some cases when the insurance company fails to take action quickly or refuses to pay, car accident victims may be left to face serious financial consequences alone.”

It’s important to know the facts about car accident insurance claims, and it very well could be in your best interest to call a lawyer before ing your insurance company to ensure all your legal bases are covered. Let’s take a deeper look.

Who’s Really at Fault After a Car Accident?

Determining fault in a car accident is critical to your insurance claim. This is due to the responsibility your insurance company will have in the matter. There are a few .

Insurance Adjusters

Insurance adjusters are usually able to determine fault in a car accident. He or she will examine the police report, written statements made by both accident parties, witnesses, etc. to get a clear picture.

While your adjuster and the other driver’s adjuster will do their due diligence to find fault, they may not see eye to eye and things could escalate to legal action.

Your Insurance Company Could Act as Your Legal Representation

If fault can not be agreed upon by the two insurance adjusters, you may be in store for a legal case in court. This can also happen if you are sued by the other driver in a personal injury lawsuit.

In any of these cases, your insurance company can represent you legally, though this may not be the best option. Getting a personal injury lawyer yourself can be the best course of action to avoid serious penalties.

Don’t Be Shocked if Fault is Shared

In some states, fault can be shared by both parties in the car accident. If you have any small part in it, be prepared to share fault and potentially not get your insurance claim paid out in full, or at all. This depends on the type of insurance you have.

What You Need to Know About Property Damage Insurance Claims

When it comes to repairing your car, you will need to get your property damage insurance claim paid out after a car accident. But this can be a bit more difficult than you think. For example, you shouldn’t get any repairs done to your car before the insurance adjuster has inspected the damage. If you do, you may not get compensated fully for your out of pocket car repairs.

If you’re not happy with your insurance company’s damage settlement, you can appeal it. To do this, talk to your insurance agent, request a third-party appraisal, state regulators, and even get an attorney if needed. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it, because you shouldn’t have to pay for pricey damages.

What You Need to Know About Bodily Injury Insurance Claims

In countries like the United States, paying for car repairs out of pocket is nothing compared to paying for medical treatment after a car accident. This makes it vital to get your bodily injury insurance claim paid in full. One of the best ways to do this is to get medical injuries documented early and often.

For instance, go to the hospital immediately after a car accident, or as soon as pain or injuries become present. When dealing with personal injuries after a car accident, it may be best to get a personal injury attorney. They have the expertise to ensure you get compensation for medical costs, as well as get insurance claims paid.

In Conclusion . . .

Car accidents can be costly in a number of ways, and like most people, you depend on the agreement with your insurance provider to cover any agreed-upon costs. From damage to bodily injury, getting the compensation you need to recover and go about your life post accident is essential. Do your due diligence and know exactly what steps to follow after a car accident.

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