When to Replace Brake Pads

Worn brake pads can adversely impact your ability to bring your car to a halt. This can be especially dangerous in an emergency situation when adequately working brakes are a must to help you stop your car promptly. There are some telltale signs of pending brake problems; do you know what they are? Awareness of a problem is the key to avoiding potential harmful consequences; let’s examine some well known warning signs.

Signs of pending brake trouble include the following:

  • Squealing brakes
  • Pulling of the car from one side to the other
  • Wheel grabs
  • Brake pedal pumping
  • Sudden and hard brake pedal
  • Spongy brake pedals
  • Grinding of the brakes

    While some of these problems may necessitate you replacing other brake components, an inspection of your brake pads should reveal that they are worn and are in need of immediate replacement.

    Your next course of action depends on your expertise, your time, and on your wallet. Most garages offer a free brake inspection and this can be a wonderful opportunity to have someone else inspect your system to confirm your findings.

    Ask your mechanic for a complete diagnosis of your brake system and an estimate on what parts and repairs will cost you. A good garage will give you a print out showing a fairly close estimate of what your costs will be. Throw in your local taxes and the price quoted should be within 95% of the final cost, barring an unforeseen additional problem being detected [for example, brake master cylinder failure].

    If you feel reasonably confident that you can do the work yourself, you stand to save yourself plenty of money, at least in labor costs. You can save money with parts, too, by shopping around; the highest prices you pay will likely be through your dealer’s parts department. Prices at a national auto parts supply store should be lower, while prices through an online wholesaler should be about the lowest available as they purchase directly from the manufacturer.

    If you decide to purchase online, only obtain parts from a reputable dealer selling parts from trusted manufacturers. Be careful of those sites selling generic parts from overseas merchants. Make sure that you can return what you purchase, if needed, to address in based in the U.S.

  • Skills You Need to Restore a Classic Car

    Restoring a classic car can be a scary topic for some people. There are a lot of different types of work that goes into a classic car restoration and most people are not skilled at all of them. When you break the process down into the types of repairs that go into your classic car restoration, it’s easier to come to grips with what you really can or can’t do yourself.

    An accounting of your skills can help you decide how much work you can do yourself, and how much of the restoration work you should get done by a professional.

    Your classic car restoration can be broken down into a few repair categories.

    • Knowing your car,
    • Mechanical repairs
    • Electrical repairs
    • Interior or upholstery work
    • Sheet metal or rust repair
    • Surface preparation and refinishing
    • Auto body and painting
    • Trim or molding repair and refinishing

    Some of these categories are self explanatory. Allow me to clarify the ones that aren’t so obvious.

    Knowing your car

    Cars have always been available with options like sport trim packages, air conditioning, V8, 6 cylinder, or 4 cylinder engines, and the list goes on. As the car gets on in years, some of these options get removed from the vehicle, replaced with something substandard, or never replaced at all. Option codes and shop manuals are generally available for most American classic cars that detail this information.

    Mechanical repairs

    This covers a lot of what makes up a car and would be most of the moving parts. You’ll find the engine and transmission will need rebuilding, as well as all the regular maintenance repairs like brakes and suspension, and rebuilding components parts like starters, water pumps, and generators. Other components that rarely get considered are the under dash parts like heater or vent controls, window parts inside the doors, hinges, and latches. I’m only touching on the subject, but you get the idea.

    Electrical repairs

    Electrical can be the scariest of them all. On an old vehicle the sheathing on the wiring can be dry rotted, and cracked and brittle creating the risk of an electrical short. Switches wear out and even fall apart. On some vehicle where these parts are impossible to find, you’ll need to be creative and improvise by using parts from another vehicle make.

    Interior or upholstery work

    Cloth, vinyl, leather, threading, and stuffing or padding materials all dry rot over time and need to be replaced. Colors fade really bad as well.

    Sheet metal or rust repair

    Any metal made with iron will rust, even aluminum will oxidize and even disintegrate under the right conditions. The body sheet metal will need to be replaced or patched. This means knowing how to work with sheet metal, how to weld, and even how to shape metal.

    Surface preparation and refinishing

    Other than the exterior of the car body, there is a lot of sheet metal surface that will need to be stripped of old paint and surface rust, then prepared so it won’t rust anymore, then painted again. This includes the car frame, suspension parts, differential, fasteners and more.

    Auto body and painting

    Aside from the sheet metal work the exterior of the car body will need to be smoothed and painted. This is an enormous amount of work which is why it can be so expensive.

    Trim or molding repair and refinishing

    Classic car trim and molding was made mostly from metals. There are steel chrome plated parts, chrome plated pot metal parts, aluminum, stainless steel and even brass or copper. until recently, some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated, pot metal is on of those. In extreme cases, you’ll need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings, grind and sand them down, polish them and get them ready for re-plating.

    That’s a lot to know how to do.

    Luckily there are some really good how-to DVD’s available that cover all these topics. Even still you might want to specialize in only 2 or 3 of these skills, and get a professional to do the others.

    Learning how to do something like this can be entertaining. Even you if you don’t plan on doing some of this work yourself, you’ll want to know how the work is done so you can recognize a job well done.

    4 Amazing Magento Themes for Your Online Store

    Proper functioning, professional outlook and simple user-interface are some of the essential requirements of a business website. As potential clients and customers will be visiting your site, it will be good that you must create an easy to use website, that can be navigated in a hassle-free manner. With the help of an efficient & feature-rich portal will not only be able to enhance your business but will also be able to stay connected with your target audience.

    Owners of e-commerce portals, completely understand the importance of having good-looking websites. Magento is a flexible and feature-rich e-commerce website development application that will help you in creating an attractive online store that will surely boost your product sales. The reason Magento is an obvious choice for building an e-commerce website, because it offers thousands of free and paid themes which will give a perfect outlook to your portal.

    Beside this, you can also opt for a Magento Theme Customization option in which you can easily customize the theme as per your requirement. Well, you can browse through the various themes available on the Magento’s home page, and can easily choose the suitable one.

    Given below is the list of highly responsive Magento themes which you can use for your online store:

    1. T-Shirts Magento Theme: if you deal in urban clothing or customized t-shirt, then this theme is perfect for you. T-shirts theme comes with a fully functional slider bar, which you can customize by adding tabs like latest collections, hot deals, etc. Beside this, you can also add big banners to display ongoing sales & discounts. T-shirts is a fully responsive theme which is both PC and mobile friendly and allows users to familiarise themselves with the product in a really easy manner.

    2. Infant Clothes Magento Theme: if your online store deals in infant clothing then this theme will surely going to enhance the look of your portal. This theme consists of several hand-drawn elements like borders, product labels, buttons and fonts, which adds an informal feel to this theme. Beside this, it also comes with social media integration which will allow you to promote your products on different social media platforms.

    3. Extreme Sportswear Gear Magento Theme: if you are planning to setup an online store, that will be selling specialized sports-gear, then this theme will give a perfect outlook to your portal. This theme comes loaded with a vibrant color scheme and large image boxes, which can be used for displaying pictures of individuals engaged in different extreme sports. This theme is a great solution to increase the sales of any e-commerce portal dealing in sports gear and clothing.

    4. Successful Auto Dealers Magento Theme: as its name suggest, this theme is meant for those who are engaged in the business of selling new and used cars. A professional looking template, with the combination of black, red and white color, this theme is an optimum choice that will assist any car shop in boosting sales and attracting new clients. Well it’s a multi-purpose theme, so you can also use it for online store that deals in bikes or car parts.

    Well all these themes are the result of Magento Development Services which made this application a perfect platform to build an efficient online store that too in a hassle free manner.

    Fixing Your 2006-2009 Ford Explorer Radiator Problems

    Some 2006-2009 Ford Explorers are experiencing failure in their radiators. This article will share some of the things that you can do to prevent this failure from occurring, and get you back on the road if your radiator does fail.

    While not a difficult repair, replacing a radiator does have significant cost associated with it. Wholesale cost from Ford on a radiator for a 2006-2009 Explorer runs as high as $470 for the part alone, and labor costs can take replacing the unit much, much higher.

    It is thus prudent to take steps to avoid replacing the unit is possible. Regular coolant flushes are your best ally in keeping your Explorer Radiator in tip top shape. I personally do a complete machine flush of my coolant right before each winter. This not only keeps all my cooling lines and the interior of my radiator as clean as possible, but gives me a good time to check my coolant to make sure it can handle a hard freeze. Use a standard anti-freeze tester that you can buy at any local auto parts store to periodically check the coolant to make sure it can handle hard freezes in your area. If you think the temperature will fall to 20 below, make sure you are rated 20 degrees lower than that – handle 40 below! The alternative is a cracked radiator, or possibly even a cracked engine block.

    One of the most common problems with 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Ford Explorer radiators is not with the radiators themselves. It is, rather, with the starter. The wiring leading to and from the starter corrodes. When this happens, there is, of course, electricity introduced into the frame of the vehicle. Electrolysis can cause coolant to eat through a radiator faster than you can blink an eye.

    Ford has a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) out stating that anytime you replace a radiator on one of these vehicles, you should check for electrolysis in the cooling system. According to Ford, you should not ground the heater core in a 2006-2009 Ford Explorer. Rather, you should check for electrolysis. You check for electrolysis by disconnecting the battery cables, making sure they are not touching each other or the car, putting the negative DC voltmeter probe on the engine ground and the the positive probe in the coolant and checking to see if you get more than.2 Volts in the coolant. Ford says.4 in the TSB, but that is too much for me!

    If you are experiencing electrolysis in the early stages, and use a voltmeter to check all grounds. This is long and tedious, but if it isn’t done, you’ll have the same problem again. No companies will honor a warranty on a radiator that has been subjected to electrolysis. Once you have repaired issues causing improper grounding, flush all coolant.

    If your radiator is beyond hope (cracked tank, leaky core), you will need to purchase a new one. There is no need to purchase an OEM Ford Explorer Radiator, as aftermarket radiators can be found with better warranties for much less money. Silla is a leading brand and has an excellent radiator available for this application. When you get it in, again, check for electrolysis!