The Risk of Driving With Damaged Truck Parts

Many risks whether visible or invisible can cause a lot of problems for truck drivers. Rust and damage to certain parts of the truck can be the reason for many accidents on the roads. Driving with a vehicle that’s not roadworthy is one of the main causes for accidents, as engine is not properly checked and parts are not replaced on a regular basis.

Mechanical failures may occur due to faulty or damage parts. Although only a small percentage of accidents occur due to this reason, it is still a risk. The risk of having an accident with damaged truck parts can be greatly reduced by taking better care of your truck.

Maintaining your truck means paying attention to the tyres, brakes, steering, fuel and other safety systems to make sure your truck is safe to drive. Here are some problems you should watch for:

  • Check your tyres before you go on a long distance trip. Look for uneven or unusual wear and replace the tyres if they are worn down. Make sure the pressure is correct.
  • Don’t drive with bad brakes. If your brakes are making a noise and the red brake light comes on when you apply the brakes, it has to be checked and replaced. Driving with faulty brakes can cause the truck to collide with other vehicles as trucks need require a longer braking distance.
  • Worn out or damaged shock absorbers can damage the truck’s suspension and wear tyres quickly. Faulty shocks can cause the tyres to bounce, creating worn or bald spots; this will lead to replacing tyres more often than is necessary. In addition, a worn shock will reduce the driver’s ability to control the truck.
  • Never let your fuel level dip too low. There’s a good chance your truck’s fuel filter won’t be able to catch all of it, especially if you drive with a barely filled gas tank on a regular basis. This could damage the internal parts of your truck and the fuel filter will have to be replaced often.
  • A component in the steering linkage that may need to be inspected is the coupling between the steering column and steering gear or steering rack. If the coupling becomes worn or separates and breaks, you will lose all steering control.

If you risk driving with damaged trucks parts it won’t just wreck your truck it could wreck your life and your wallet too.

Top Three Auto Detailing Techniques That Can Actually Save You Money

Auto detailing is fast becoming a budding and very promising industry. For quite some time now, car owners are allocating significant amount of budget to grooming and enhancing the exterior of their vehicles through thorough cleansing.

Of course, it matters if cleanliness of the car is observed inside and out. But if you want to make your car look brand new in an instant, at least exteriorly, it would be a big plus if you would subject your vehicle into auto detailing.

Basically, there are three highly popular auto detailing techniques. These three are commonly practiced and offered at almost all car detailing establishments in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere in the world.

As a car owner, it would be a great help if you would be familiar with all of the three so that in case you might be needing auto detailing services, you would already be exposed.

The first auto detailing technique is what is called as clay cleaning. For beginners, clay is a simple and effective mixture of several abrasives and clay base. Clay is normally mixed with a clay lubricant for effective removal of paint contamination. Common dirt and car exterior contaminants being removed by clay bars include tree sap, bugs, road grime, paint over spray, rust and tar.

Clay bars are like detergent soaps for your laundry. Hence, there are many types of clay bars. Moreover, clay bars differ mainly on color and composition or density of chemicals or active ingredients. There are clay bars for mild cleansing, while others are too harsh and are appropriate for cleaning heavily stained and dirty car exteriors. Professional car detailers should know the appropriate and perfect clay technique for your car.

Another auto detailing technique is polishing. This technique is aimed at removing contamination, scratches, swirls and a host of many other paint imperfections. Car polishes penetrate deeper into the clearcoat, move that is far better and more intense than clay cleaning.

Polishing is basically intended originally for removing fine scratches and even light oxidation in the car’s exterior surface. There are some polishing products that when applied can be a prerequisite or a preparation for another popular car detailing technique.

The last technique is car waxing. Waxing is the auto detailing technique that is wrapping up all the two other techniques. In other words, waxing is like finishing the entire car detailing process. Common forms of car waxes include pastes, liquids and creams. Basically, car waxing products contain carnuba, a substance characterized for having a significant amount of essential and helpful fatty acids.

The fatty acids when applied to the car exterior serve as a solid layer protection that coats the surface to keep it from contamination and harsh effects from the outside world. Car waxing is also responsible for giving the car the very shiny and neat finish.

When looking at shops and establishments for auto detailing, you should initially consider auto detailing establishments that offer all three basic techniques in a single bundled package. On the other hand, if you decide to try to do car detailing for your car instead, be careful when choosing the specific products you would be using.

Remember that any miscalculations or simple errors in using clays, polishes and waxes, the external surface and overall appeal of your car would be at great risk.

Online Auto Parts Or Local Auto Parts Store – Where Should I Buy Car Parts?

You are driving your pride and joy through the parking lot on a Saturday and people are admiring your car as they should; you have just detailed the whole vehicle and it’s looking its best. Then you step on the brakes, a couple of people look at you in disgust and the smaller children are covering their ears and whining to their parents as your low brake pad indication squealers are rubbing on the brake rotors. It’s time for a brake job, and you don’t let anyone touch your car so you are going to do it yourself. You have a couple of options. You could drive to the closest dealership and get OEM pads; this will typically cost you an arm and a leg. You could drive to the local auto parts place and save a bit of money on an aftermarket set of brake pads that will likely work just as well. Another option is buying from an online auto parts store.

The online format of business has several advantages, the first is location. The warehousing for an online car parts store does not need to be located in prime real estate. It does not have to be easily accessible to highly populated areas because it does not require the convenience of location to do the majority of its business. A franchised retail outlet on the other hand does. And that convenience comes at a price which is essentially passed along to the consumer.

There are a variety of online sites that specialize in replacement parts. Although each company is unique on its own there are three main formats that are easily identifiable in the realm of replacement car parts. The most common is the company that tries to stock just about every part available. They carry all sorts of brands, give you a variety of options and can usually still beat the prices of anything locally. The simple fact that the company providing the auto part has to stock another company’s car part is a reason for a price mark-up. And this is the same basic idea for some of the specialized auto part sites. Let’s take Volkswagen for example. There are some car parts sites that are run by VW enthusiasts and they specialize in the parts that are available for Volkswagens, this way they can cater to a targeted audience.

There are certain companies that only sell their own brand of auto parts. This means they do not have a retail markup that includes a markup to cover distribution of the parts from the manufacturer to one company and then to another. This lets the company that only sells its own auto parts offer them for much cheaper and still make enough of a profit level to remain in business. A company like this will specialize in the car parts that have the most crossover applications, i.e. the same part fits several vehicles, and the most commonly replaced auto parts. These are car parts like brake parts, hub bearings, struts, strut assemblies, and other frequently changed maintenance parts. A good example of a company like this is Prime Choice Auto Parts.

Tips to Save Money On Auto Parts

Buy OEM parts

It is simply not true that OEM parts are always more expensive than aftermarket parts. Remember that cheap parts are usually cheap for a reason, so if an OEM part is more expensive than an aftermarket part, the higher price serves to remove the reasons why the aftermarket part is cheaper.

These days, there is no telling where any given aftermarket part was made, or even who made it. The global parts market is flooded with cheap, substandard garbage that does not conform to any accepted safety and quality standards, which in practical terms, means that you could be endangering the lives of your family by refusing to pay “exorbitant” prices for safety critical parts at the dealer.

Moreover, if an OEM part fails, you know who to talk to about it, which is often not the case with aftermarket parts. The result of this is that you often have no recourse, and you simply have to buy another part at a different auto parts store, hoping it won’t fail again within a few days. Thus, by occasionally paying more for an OEM part, you can save a lot of money, time, and aggravation in the long run.

Compare prices

If you do choose to go with aftermarket parts, despite the risk of receiving substandard auto parts, you can often realize substantial savings by shopping around. However, when you do shop around, you must compare prices for the same brand.

If you don’t know your way around the parts jungle, it is easy to fall prey to unscrupulous dealers who do not have your best interests at heart. Reputable auto part manufacturers will always brand their products, so stick to brands you know and trust: auto parts that come in unbranded white boxes (or in plain plastic bags) may be cheap, but you just don’t know what you are buying.

“Cheap” never translates into “good quality”, which means that by the time you had replaced an aftermarket auto part of uncertain provenance for the third time, you’ve probably spent more money than you would have done had you bought the part from the dealer in the first place.

Buy used auto parts

We are not suggesting that you should always buy used parts, but where used parts do not pose a safety risk, such as trim panels, mirrors, body parts/panels, and the like, you can often save substantial amounts of money. Moreover, by shopping around and comparing prices at a few junk yards, you can often negotiate a price that will make you come back for more.

Buy refurbished parts

Major auto parts like alternators, drive shafts, and transmissions are always expensive when you buy them new, but refurnished parts can be a viable alternative that can save you substantial amounts of money. However, not all refurbished parts are rebuilt to OEM standards, so if you want to take this route, be sure to investigate the company that does the refurbishing.

Remember that no refurbished auto part ever comes with a warranty that matches the warranty of a new part, but the warranty should offer at least two thirds of what a “new” warranty offers. Nonetheless, a warranty means nothing if it is not backed up by a solid history of superior after sales service, so be sure to check out the supplier’s record with regard to after sales service.

Buy auto parts online

A quick online search will turn up a multitude of online parts retailers that carry huge stock inventories, and often at prices that beat those of walk-in stores. In addition, some online retailers’ will deliver the part to your door, or sometimes at a nearby auto part store, which can save you both time and money.

However, you need to check on a few things before you purchase auto parts online, the most important of which is the retailer’s returns policy. Electrical parts are for the most part not returnable, regardless of where you buy it from, but some online retailers will not accept returns of any auto parts if the packaging had been opened.

This can make online purchases problematic if you cannot supply a sample of the part you need, so be sure to check out the terms and conditions set by each online retailer- not doing this could double the cost of the part if the retailer won’t accept a return, and you have to buy the part from a walk-in store anyway.

Use loyalty programs

Almost all auto part stores and chains offer loyalty programs that could save you the full price of a part if you have enough points or benefits to redeem against the price of that part. However, to get the best from any loyalty program you need to make frequent purchases to collect points, which means that if you only buy auto parts occasionally, a loyalty program is likely not the way to go.

Do preventative maintenance

Nobody actually likes spending money on auto parts, but one sure fire way to save on money on parts is to stick to the specified maintenance schedule of your vehicle. This may sound counter-intuitive, but by replacing worn parts when you should, you save money by not having to buy related auto parts that were damaged because you did not replace worn parts in time.

Fixing secondary damage can run to several times the cost of the part or component that should have been replaced, and these additional costs can add up to ridiculous amounts over the life of a car. So, shop smart, don’t replace parts unnecessarily, stick to the maintenance schedule, and you will be amazed at how much money you are saving on auto parts all of a sudden!