Import Auto News: Volume 1 Car Repair & Car Care Advice For Do-It-Yourselfers
You've told us what you want to see and we've listened to your suggestions and are pleased to announce that your requests for more automotive tips have been responded to. The old Hot Updates newsletter is now called "Import Auto News", and in the coming months it will give you timely & informative automotive tech tips and advice!
In addition to the tech tips provided here, don't forget that there's a whole section of the website dedicated to providing you with interesting and helpful technical articles to save you time, aggravation and money.
We've got several new tech articles being prepared now (including one on electrical systems troubleshooting and on oxygen sensors). You'll see them up on the site soon. Take a peak at the tech articles currently available by visiting Gasoline Alley.
AutohausAZ has once again expanded the car lines for which we carry parts. We now carry the following parts for Rover SUVs: brakes, filters, tuneup parts, belts and cooling system parts.
That means we now offer you savings of 20%-90% on OEM parts for ALL these car lines: Audi, BMW, Honda, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Rover, Saab, Volkswagen and Volvo!
So make sure all your import cars are registered in the My AutohausAZ section by logging into your Member Profile and selecting "Edit Saved Vehicles" from the Car Care drop-down menu.
Cabin Filters Need Replacement (Thanks to Ken S.): Over the past few years more and more cars have been equipped with "environmental" or "cabin" air filters. The filters range from simple dust filters to clean up the outside air coming into your car to nearly HEPA grade filtration systems with activated charcoal for odor control.
Initially, these filters were offered only on the high-end Mercedes and BMW cars but are now on nearly all European manufacturers' cars. So if your car is less than five years old, it probably came equipped with one, too!
The importance of replacing these filters as part of a normal maintenance routine can vary depending upon the car. On the high-end systems (i.e., Mercedes, BMW) failure to replace the filters can result in major damage to the interior blower motor and blower control unit, costing hundreds of dollars each. On Audi/VW, Saab and Volvo, a clogged filter will drastically reduce airflow but may take years to damage the blower system due to non-critical sealing.
But, whatever car you drive, your interior air quality will be adversely affected if you don't replace these cabin filters on a regular basis. With the multitude of airborne dirts, pollens and other large molecule pollutants, changing these filters should be considered routine maintenance. It will keep the inside of your car fresher, cleaner and better for your health. So whenever you request maintenance parts for your car, always request a quote for your car's cabin air filter!
Fresh As A Baby's Behind - Without A Crack (Thanks to Francine M.): One of the ways to keep your dashboard free from dust and protected from the sun is to keep a container of baby wipes in your car and, whenever you see dust on the dash, just pop one up and wipe down the dash. Not only does this clear the dust, but also most of the good wipes contain sunscreens to help protect your dash from cracks. And, of course, it leaves your car with a baby fresh scent in the process!
Oxygen Sensors Don't Last Forever (Thanks to Robert Bosch Corp.): Most people aren't aware of the critical role oxygen sensors play in the operation of their cars. The oxygen sensor is a measuring probe that senses the amount of oxygen in your car's exhaust gases and sends a signal to the engine computer (PCM), which adjusts the air/fuel mixture to the optimal level.
Too much oxygen in the exhaust gases indicates a lean mixture, which can cause performance problems, including misfire. Too little oxygen indicates a rich mixture, which wastes fuel and results in excess emissions and the distinct possibility that your car will fail its annual emissions test. And, either condition (too lean or too rich) can shorten the life of your car's catalytic converter - a very expensive part to replace!
Almost all gasoline-powered vehicles newer than 1986 have at least one oxygen sensor, and 1996 & newer vehicles have at least two oxygen sensors. Most oxygen sensors wear out after 30,000-50,000 miles. And, exposure to carbon, soot, harmful gases, anti-freeze, chemicals and thermal & physical shock will shorten the life of these sensors even more, resulting in reduced gas mileage, poor engine performance (surging & hesitating), acceleration of catalytic converter damage and/or emissions test failure.
That's why checking for and replacing a worn-out oxygen sensor is an important part of every routine tuneup. You'll save money on fuel, improve your engine's performance, prevent premature failure of your catalytic converter and give your car its best chance possible of passing the annual emissions test! So why not check your oxygen sensor(s) the next time you have a tuneup?
Repair articles are added regularly. Come back often to check for new maintenance topics.
These repair tips are designed only as a starting point. Please seek the assistance of a professional mechanic for all repair problems beyond your capabilities.