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Easy Ways to Drive More Safely

Easy Ways to Drive More Safely

It's easy to become desensitized to the dangers of driving, but the riskiest moments in your day are spent behind the wheel of a car. Fortunately, although you can't control every factor related to driving, you can master more than you might think. So, before you start another drive, take a moment to reflect on how you can improve your driving safety. Stay on Top of Regular Maintenance Keeping your car in fighting shape is the easiest way to ensure you don't put a damaged machine on the roads. Tire rotations, oil changes, and routine check-ups will help you stay abreast of wear and tear, preventing inconvenient and expensive repairs in the future. Keep your owner's manual handy and make sure you follow its maintenance schedule as closely as possible. With that, communicate freely with your mechanic, so you understand what driving conditions might influence your vehicle in unique ways ... read more

Important Things To Know About Smog

Important Things To Know About Smog

You've probably heard the term smog but might not understand how much weight this word carries. A form of air pollution that becomes more hazardous with heat (summer is right around the corner), it's never too late to learn about the dangers of smog and how you can protect yourself and the environment this summer. Smog and Its Implications Smog refers to a mix of emissions that overwhelm the air and become harmful if breathed. A combination of industrial pollutants, incinerators and vehicle pollutants, the EPA consistently warns the public of the negative effects of smog exposure. The symptoms of smog exposure include: Throat and chest irritation – Respiratory distress is one of the most common signs of exposure to environmental pollutants. Increased asthma symptoms – Asthma sufferers have an uphill battle on good days. When smog exposure gets added to the mix ... read more

What Your Car’s Exhaust Smoke Can Tell You

What Your Car’s Exhaust Smoke Can Tell You

Driving and colors go hand in hand. Traffic lights and signs are often color-coded for easy understanding, leaking fluid from your vehicle can alert you to certain systems that need attention, and your exhaust system swaps shades for much the same reason. Here are a few tips to help you decode exhaust smoke and learn if your engine needs a tune-up, something has sprung a leak, or something more serious is at play. Blueish or Grayish Smoke If you see either of these shades, be warned–something is off. In most cases, these colors indicate an oil leak, either from a worn valve seal, damaged cylinder or failing piston ring. Note: Blue smoke accumulating during acceleration points to piston ring damage, but if it occurs when you let off the gas, it's more likely a cylinder head valve. In either case, you should take your car into a mechanic as soon as possible. Thin White ... read more

Why Every Driver Needs A Roadside Emergency Kit

Why Every Driver Needs A Roadside Emergency Kit

What's that saying….anything that can go wrong will go wrong? Yes, well if you've lived long enough, you know this one bears some truth, especially when it comes to your vehicle. While paranoia serves little purpose, you can navigate life's roadside catastrophes more handily with a little forethought and a few essentials. Here are some tools that might help you out in a bad situation: Flat Tire Accessories – Hopefully you have a spare, but if it's already in use and another tire needs help, you can find commercial products that temporarily fix a damaged tire (Fix-A-Flat, for example). Tire Changing Tools – If you need to put on the spare, you'll need more than the tire: tire iron, jack, lug nuts. Water – If the worst happens in the middle of nowhere, you might need to hydrate while waiting for help. It never hurts to have a few water bottles ... read more

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I Need To Replace A Burned-Out Fuse…What Should I Do?

I Need To Replace A Burned-Out Fuse…What Should I Do?

By design, fuses shut down as a safety mechanism that prevents system overload. Therefore, you've probably experienced a blown fuse in your car or home at some point. Fortunately, changing a broken fuse looks the same regardless of where it happens. To change a burned-out fuse in your vehicle, follow these simple steps: Find the Fuse Panel Like locating this vital hub is one of the first things you do in a new home, so does it help with your vehicle. If you need guidance, the owner's manual will tell you where to find it, but it sits under the steering wheel in most cases. Remove the Cover Once you find the panel, take off the cover and look on other side for a diagram illustrating each fuse and what it powers. The panel itself will involve various numbers and colors that explain different amperages. Find the Blown Fuse The dead fuse will almost always be black ( ... read more

Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?

Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?

When you get ready to buy a new car, you want to know what models withstand the years, staying reliable and sturdy through weekend road trips, weekday commutes, and extreme weather. In fact, dependability ranks high in consumer preferences since it plays a large role in resale value. Fortunately, J.D. Power has recently released its 2019 Vehicle Dependability Study, helping savvy consumers understand which carmakers have upgraded technology and safety systems and which ones have remained static. Here's a brief summary of the findings. How the Study Works J.D. Power's Study takes 3-year-old cars and measures the problems experienced (for 100 vehicles) over the last year. The numbers rack up along with the issues–177 common problems spread among 8 vehicle categories–so a lower score means higher quality. In good news, 2016 models held up well, showing a 4 percent ... read more

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What Happens If I Wait A Few Extra Thousand Miles To Have My Oil Changed?

What Happens If I Wait A Few Extra Thousand Miles To Have My Oil Changed?

Keeping the engine healthy with the proper amount of clean oil is vital to a well-functioning engine. But what happens if you forget? Well, it depends how many miles over you let things go. Clean oil protects the engine's many moving parts, creating a barrier between metal pieces that rub together at high speeds in a heated environment. It also collects contaminates created by the combustion process, moving them to the oil filter that traps sludge until it can be disposed of. Eventually, the extreme environment in the engine will start to break down the oil, causing it to lose its lubricating characteristics. When this happens, the compromised oil will damage the engine, since friction can take over and promote overheating.This heavy-duty job makes oil vulnerable to breakdown with time, which is why manufacturers recommend having the oil repla ... read more

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Should I Consider Using Synthetic Motor Oil In My Vehicle?

Should I Consider Using Synthetic Motor Oil In My Vehicle?

With various motor oils to choose from (and different opinions to sift through), how can you know which one will work best with your vehicle? Fortunately, the process of finding a great fit doesn't have to be overwhelming, and it mostly depends on factors like driving habits, vehicle style, and climate. Here's a comprehensive look at all types of motor oil so you can decide for yourself. Full Synthetic Oil Synthetic oil has several positive attributes. For example, with its higher viscosity, it combats sludge buildup and more easily withstands oxidation and thermal breakdown. Synthetic oil also has a more uniform molecular size, which limits friction inside the engine, minimizing drag and increasing fuel efficiency. If you own a high-performance vehicle than needs an extra dose of lubrication, synthetic oil is an excellent choice. It also works well fo ... read more

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Why Is My Radiator Leaking?

Why Is My Radiator Leaking?

A radiator leak is more than annoying its dangerous. Your vehicle relies on its engine coolant to keep the engine at the optimal temperature. Should the engine overheat, the scorching environment will damage parts. Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose might be emissions experts, but we also know a thing or two about radiators. Here are a few reasons why yours is leaking. Coolant We understand the need to save money in today's economy but don't do it at the expense of your vehicle's cooling system. Subpar, cheap, watered down, or even the wrong engine coolant will cause your vehicle to overheat. As will substandard coolant flushes or adding water instead of the proper water/coolant mix to the reservoir. When this happens, it isn't so much that your radiator is leaking as it is pushing coolant out of the system. Heater Core Your vehicle's heater core can affect the ... read more

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A Family Member Gave Me A Car. Is A Smog Inspection Required?

A Family Member Gave Me A Car. Is A Smog Inspection Required?

In California, if a family member gives you a car, it might not need a smog inspection to transfer the title. It depends on a few factors, including the familial relation. Bear in mind, California is one of the strictest states when it comes to vehicle emissions testing, so it's best to check with the DMV to ensure you don't need a smog. If you do, Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose is a STAR-certified station. Family Relationship The DMV understands that if you receive a vehicle from an immediate family member, chances are you know whether it's due for a smog check or not. For example, you would be exempt from a required smog inspection if you acquire the car from a Domestic partner/spouse Parent Grandparent Sibling Child Grandchild These are the only relationships that allow for a smog inspection exemption, however. Should your aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, cousin, or another relative offer ... read more

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