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Carla and Her Cars

5 Rules For Pulling Parts At An Auto Recycling Center

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Rules For Pulling Parts At An Auto Recycling Center

The auto recycler, also known as a used part or salvage yard, can be a treasure trove of parts for your vehicle. It can even provide you with a part time income if you have some knowledge of cars and want to begin selling some valuable parts to car enthusiasts. If you have never visited a recycling center before, there are some basic unwritten rules that you should be aware of.  #1: Don’t ask for your money back Few recyclers offer cash back on returns. If a part doesn’t work or isn’t the right one, you just might be stuck with it. The best option is to ask about the return policy before you pull a part. Some recyclers do offer either full or partial credit. In some cases, this may only be available for parts they pull, not for any that you pull yourself. #2: Bring your own tools At U-pull yards, you will need to bring your own tools to remove any parts that you may need. Generally, a full socket set, pliers, a crowbar, and screwdrivers are sufficient. You may also want to bring a cat battery so you can test electronic parts. #3: Don’t expect to pull late model parts As a general rule, late model car parts are more in demand and can fetch a more dependable high price. For this reason, many recyclers opt to pull from late model vehicles themselves so they can charge the full premium used price. Each yard is different in what they consider a late model. If you are planning to pull parts yourself, call ahead to see which years are off limits. #4: Take your time Be patient once you do find the part you want. Don’t be in such a rush to remove it that you destroy other parts of the vehicle. Although you may not need the other parts near your chosen part, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t need them later down the line. Remove parts properly and don’t simply force them out. #5: Ask for a discount, but don’t expect it Parts from a recycler are naturally discounted because they are used, but that doesn’t mean it’s the final price. Your best bet is to know the regular list price of a used part before you pull it. This ensures any discount you ask for is realistic. There are certain specials that some recyclers also offer. For example, they may offer military discounts or they give you a discount for paying cash instead of credit. If a recycler has a sign or states that all prices are final, don’t push them about a discount,...

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Advantages Of Buying Used Semi Trucks

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Advantages Of Buying Used Semi Trucks

Whether you’re a looking to add more trucks to your fleet or you’re a new owner-operator, you have an important choice to make before you begin shopping for semis: Should you purchase a new or used truck? While a new semi will probably have more interesting features and will give you that sense of satisfaction that comes with purchasing a new vehicle, there are numerous advantages to purchasing used semi trucks. So, before you start looking at trucks, take these things into consideration. Costs Less Obviously, it costs less to purchase something used than something new, but it really matters when you’re comparing new and used semi trucks because there is a substantial difference in the price. A new or almost new semi truck will cost you upwards of $100,000, but you can purchase a truck that’s seven years old for between $40,000 and $60,000. On average, semis that are between 10 and 15 years old cost anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000. Lower Operating Costs The difference in the sticker price isn’t the only way purchasing a used semi saves you money. When you purchase a used semi instead of a new one, the amount of taxes you pay at the time of purchase is lower, you won’t lose as much money as the semi depreciates, and chances are, the cost of your insurance will be cheaper as well. All of these things add up, and the less they cost, the more you’ll profit. You Get More For Your Money The lower price tag on used trucks allows you to get more bang for your buck. Top-of-the-line semis typically come with more features and have more power, which will increase driver satisfaction — and in turn, your employee retention rate. So, instead of shopping for new, mid-range models, shop for used high-end models. Mechanical Concerns Many owner-operators want to purchase new semis because they assume that they’ll have less mechanical problems with the truck. However, you can easily find used semi trucks that are in great shape internally. If you’re worried about the condition of the truck, have the truck inspected before you purchase it. Also, try to find a used semi that has a detailed history available. The more you know about the truck’s history, the easier it is to make an informed decision. The fact is, buying a used semi truck gives you more bang for your buck. Not only does it save you money upfront, the operating costs are lower, and you can purchase a higher-quality truck. So, before you look at new models, try to find a used semi truck that fits all of your needs. For more information, visit or a similar...

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It’s The Little Things: Additional Considerations When Choosing A Truck Bed Extender

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s The Little Things: Additional Considerations When Choosing A Truck Bed Extender

If you’ve been trying to get a truck bed extender, you know you have specific styles that you have to choose from. Some install on the truck’s hitch, other’s install inside the bed and can be pulled out, and so on. But there are other considerations that could make an otherwise fine style become problematic for you. Here are three things to consider when choosing your truck bed extender. Corners Cage-style extenders generally follow the outline of your truck’s tailgate, but the corners can differ. Some models have fairly squared-off corners — they’re still rounded somewhat, but you get that space. Other cages have basically no corners; the extender sides veer diagonally to the center point at the back edge of the tailgate. That lack of extra corner space can make carrying wide, flat goods difficult. If you think you’ll need a lot of tailgate surface space, look for more squared-off corners. Vertical Bars Flat items like planks of wood can fly through horizontal bars on an extender if whatever was restraining them broke. For example, if you had them wrapped in bungee cords, and the cords broke, there’s nothing to stop the boards from sliding through the extender’s horizontal bars. That is, unless you find an extender with vertical bars that can block items from slipping through. You’ll find extenders that have very few vertical bars and others that have so many that the extender looks like a grid. Open Sides Some extender styles block the back of the tailgate, but not the sides. These open sides are OK if you’re hauling something big, like a couch. But if you’re hauling smaller items, you need sides that restrict items from falling out. That sounds obvious, but it’s these smaller spaces that will get you if you don’t plan properly. Metal vs. Plastic You’ll have your choice of materials when choosing an extender. Some are made with plastic, some with metal, and some with both. Metal will be less prone to cracking, though many plastics are quite strong themselves. Consider the weight of what you’ll be hauling and the likelihood of that cargo breaking free of restraint and sliding into the extender. For more heavy-duty loads, metal might be better. If you want to see more styles of truck bed extenders and talk to someone who can help you choose, go see your truck accessory dealer today. You’ll be able to look at extenders up close and compare...

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Three Tips For Choosing A Paint Color For Your Vehicle

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Choosing A Paint Color For Your Vehicle

It isn’t always easy to choose a new paint color for your car. After all, there are a lot of colors you could choose, and the popularity of certain colors will vary, depending on the kind of vehicle you own, the year the vehicle was made, and where you live. Before you call your local auto body shop to schedule an appointment, choose your paint color by considering these three things. Your Car’s Function If you’re having a car painted that you plan to drive on a regular basis, you should probably keep your paint job simple. It’s important that you choose a color that can be easily retouched if needed, you won’t quickly tire of, and shouldn’t go out of style any time soon. Sticking with a more traditional paint color for your car may not be exciting, but it does have its benefits. For example, cars with traditional paint jobs are easier to sell and you won’t have to pay a ton of money just to fix a small scratch. If the car that you’re having painted is only going to be used for fun, such as going to car shows, consider choosing a paint color that will make a bold statement. Contrasting colors and an intricate design will make your car stand out amongst the other cars at your local car show. Your Car’s Style You also need to take the car’s year, make, and model into consideration when you’re choosing a paint color, especially if you’re restoring a classic car. Opt for colors that were available when the car was brand new — otherwise the car won’t have an authentic look. Your Personality The color of paint you choose for your car actually says a lot about your personality. People are drawn to specific styles and colors of cars for different reasons, such as: Driving a red car might indicate that you’re a go-getter. Blue represents happiness, stability, and practicality, so it’s often a car color that’s popular with parents looking to project a stable home life. Owning a silver car indicates that you have style and you’re secure, while gray cars are typically an indication of a driver that’s more mature and dignified. Black is considered a power color that indicates that you’re in control and classy. The fact is, the color that you choose for your car is completely up to you. However, you can narrow down your options by taking the car’s style, function, and your personality into consideration when you choose a paint color. For auto body work, contact a company such as Collision...

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Beginning Car Maintenance: Wheel Alignments

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Beginning Car Maintenance: Wheel Alignments

When your mechanic suggests a wheel alignment, he means that he will adjust all four wheels to make sure that they’re lining up properly with each other and with the road. If you’re not sure what it means to have your car’s alignment checked or adjusted, here are some questions you might be asking yourself.  How Can I Tell if I Need an Alignment? When your vehicle is out of alignment, it will actually let you know pretty quickly. One of the biggest ways to know that you need an alignment is that the car pulls either to the left or to the right when you’re trying to go straight. If it feels that you’re fighting the car to keep it going straight, you have an alignment issue. Another big indication that your car is out of alignment is that as you pick up speed, your car may start to vibrate. You’ll feel it in the steering wheel, and the vibration may become quite violent if you’re going over 50 miles per hour. A final place to look to verify that you need an alignment is your front tires. If there’s a significant amount of wear on the inside or outside tread but not as much on the opposite side of the same tire, you have an alignment problem.  Can’t I Just Wait to Get an Alignment? The short answer is that you really can’t wait to get an alignment. The problem starts out simply enough with just pulling to one side or the other, but if your car is already vibrating and your tires are showing significant signs of uneven wear, you are in danger of having serious problems. Continuing to drive when your car is misaligned can lead to your tires blowing out, to your steering and suspension systems malfunctioning, and really bad gas mileage. Waiting just makes all of these problems more severe. Why Did My Car Go Out of Alignment Anyway? Unfortunately, there’s no one answer for this question. Since your car is made up of lots of moving parts working together, sometimes those parts simply don’t line up as well as they once did. Another big cause of cars going out of alignment involves hitting something with the car. This can be as small as a pothole, or it could involve being in an accident. Each time you hit a bump, your car runs the risk of going out of alignment. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your car’s wheel alignment. If you haven’t had yours checked recently, make an appointment today with professionals, such as those from D Wells Automotive...

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The Process of Using a Junkyard for Used Auto Part Hunting

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Process of Using a Junkyard for Used Auto Part Hunting

Many people opt to purchase new automotive parts through their mechanic or dealer when something needs to be repaired on their vehicle. This is a convenient but expensive way to get a vehicle back on the road. Trying to find a part in a junkyard can be a great alternative that will save a bunch of money. Here is a rundown of what can be expected when visiting a junkyard to find a used part instead of buying it new. The Layout Most junkyards will categorize their vehicles into separate sections to make it easier for both customers and their workers to easily find the parts needed easily. These sections are usually distinguished by make of vehicle. Some junkyards may separate the different models in a particular make section while others will have all the vehicles jumbled together. In most junkyards, older vehicles that are deemed as being structurally strong will most likely be in the back portion of the junkyard since they are not sought out for parts as often as newer vehicles. The Process When someone goes to a junkyard, they will need to sign a waiver stating they will not press charges should something happen to them while in the junkyard. While this may be a bit intimidating, it covers the junkyard against injuries when someone doesn’t know how to properly use tools needed to remove pieces or how to handle them safely. Since junkyards are situated on a vast area of land, it is impossible for the workers to be able to monitor all activity within, putting them at risk for someone suing them if a waiver is not present. There may also be a fee to enter the gates, but this is usually a small amount compared to the savings one would get from finding their own parts instead of buying them. The Removal After a similar vehicle is located, the part can be removed. The person looking for a part would need to bring in their own set of tools. Using a degreasing agent can help to remove rusted-on parts. Bringing along an extra set of hands or two is also a great idea as some parts can be very difficult to get off or out of a vehicle after it has been sitting for a long time period. Junkyards will usually provide testing equipment you can borrow to make sure parts removed are in good working order. Contact a company like Southwest Auto Salvage for more...

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Four Signs You Might Need Brake Repair

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Signs You Might Need Brake Repair

Brakes are a very important part of the car, as without them it isn’t possible to stop or slow down quickly. You don’t want your foot hitting the floor when you push down on the brakes and the car refusing to stop to be the only time you realize you need your brakes repaired. There are a number of signs that the brakes in your car are starting to go and need to be repaired or replaced. Screeching Sounds Some types of brakes have a metal shim that makes a high-pitched screeching sound whenever someone applies the brakes once the brake pads have started to get worn down. If your car has recently been exposed to water, it could have gotten a thin layer of rust on the brakes which could also cause a squealing noise the first few times you brake, but if the sound lasts longer than this, you should get your brakes checked. Hearing a growling or grinding sound, however, means the brake pads may be completely worn down and you may need more than just a brake repair. In this case, you may need the brakes totally replaced. These sounds may be hard to hear if you’ve got the radio on loud, so drive without the radio from time to time so you can listen for these warning signs of brake issues. Takes Longer to Brake Than Usual As the brake pads get worn down, it takes longer to stop. This is a gradual process and can be overlooked by a driver for quite a while. If you realize that your foot is sinking further to the floor than usual when you hit the brake pedal to try to stop the car, this is another sign that you could have either a leak in brake fluid or an air leak in the brake hose. On th other hand, if it’s hard to push down the brake pedal, the brake line could be obstructed or there could be something wrong with the vacuum system. Pulsing When You Push the Brake Pedal Feeling a vibration or a pulsing when you push down the brake pedal could also be a sign that the rotors are warped and the brakes need repairing. This pulsing feels a bit like when the anti-lock braking system engaged, so watch for this in multiple stops to make sure you aren’t just feeling the anti-lock brakes. A pulsing like this could also happen if the vehicle isn’t in proper alignment.  Pulling to the Side If your vehicle seems to be trying to pull to one side when you hit the brakes, you may need to have the fluid replaced due to it being contaminated with a foreign matter or your brakes could be wearing unevenly and need to be adjusted. This pulling could also happen due to issues with the tires being worn or unevenly inflated or a problem with the car’s suspension or alignment. For further assistance, contact a local brake repair shop, such as Covey’s...

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Your Fifth Wheel: Choosing A Truck And Maintaining Safety

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Fifth Wheel: Choosing A Truck And Maintaining Safety

Fifth wheels are an ideal solution to traveling and many individuals are ready to hook them up and start their adventures right away. Depending on the type of fifth wheel you choose, the length will vary from around 20 feet to upwards of 40 feet. Before you simply attach the fifth wheel and take a drive, there are some things you need to consider. Choose the Right Size Truck It is important that you choose the right size truck to tow the fifth wheel. If the truck is not a match for the fifth wheel, you will find that you are unable to control the trailer on the road and you will run into safety concerns along the way. You should research the truck you are interested in and make sure that the towing capacity fits within the weight limits of your fifth wheel. If your fifth wheel weighs more than your truck’s towing capacity, don’t try to tow it as you can cause damage to the truck and the fifth wheel. In addition, a 4×4 truck will be able to better tow your fifth wheel over a two-wheel drive truck. This is because the 4×4 can grip onto gravel, sand, and other terrains that the two-wheel drive would not otherwise be able to do. If you do not choose the right type of truck for your fifth wheel, you may experience jackknifing where the trailer slides and collides with your vehicle. Jackknifing is dangerous and can cause damage to your vehicle, your fifth wheel, and even other drivers’ vehicles. Brake the Vehicle Carefully Interstate and highway driving can be stressful in and of itself, but it is important that you are always cautious when you are driving. Braking erratically or hard will cause you to lose control of your fifth wheel. Remember, larger vehicles do not stop on a dime, so you should ease into a stop and pump your brakes slowly to ensure a safe and slow stop. Always Check Your Tires Before you head off on the road, check your tires—that means all of them. You should inspect the tires on the fifth wheel and on your truck to ensure that each one is at proper inflation. If you do not check your tires, you run the risk of a flat tire on the highway, which can be dangerous. Be Prepared and Pay Attention When driving down the road with your fifth wheel attached, make sure that you are always paying attention to the road and do not become distracted. If you hear any odd noises or you feel like your truck is not driving properly, have it inspected. It is better to be safe than to be in an accident. For more tips on choosing and driving with a trailer, contact a company like Brad’s Trailer...

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Repurposing Tires Into Fun Decorative Items

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Repurposing Tires Into Fun Decorative Items

If you are going to be getting new tires put on your vehicle, the tire shop where you are having the procedure done usually keeps your old tires to bring to a recycling plant. Instead of paying the fee to have tires recycled, consider asking the tire shop to allow you to take them home with you instead. You will be able to save a few bucks on the recycling fee by reusing the tires to make a few decorative items to place around and outside of your home. Here are some ideas you can use to repurpose your used tires. Make An Ottoman Consider making a nifty area to use as storage in your home or on a deck or patio by making an ottoman out of your tire. Start by picking up a few pieces of plywood to completely cover each side of a tire. Cut it using a circular saw into a circular shape. Glue one piece to the tire using contact cement and allow to dry completely. This piece of wood will be the bottom of your ottoman. Use the contact cement to adhere rope to the outer perimeter of the tire, circling it around the portion you drive upon from the hubcap side to the interior side. Make sure there are no gaps as you wind the rope around and stick it in place. Cut the rope when the entire rubber portion is covered. You will use several feet of rope. The amount will be determined by the thickness you select. A one to two-inch diameter should work nicely. For the top, glue the end of a piece of rope to the center of one side of the plywood and continue wrapping the rope in a spiral while gluing into place until you get to the edge of the wood. Cut the rope and allow the glue to dry. Paint over the entire roped portions using polyurethane to help seal the rope into place. The top can be lifted off the tire and items can be stored within! Make A Hanging Wall-Planter A tire is a great resource to use for a planter. Paint a tire in a pleasing pastel shade with an exterior paint and allow to dry. Drill a 1/4″ hole about an inch and a half above the center of the inner rim of the tire. Use a 1/4″ washer and bolt to attach the tire to the side of your shed or garage. Bolt it to a vertical beam in the wall for better support, if possible. Fill the bottom of the tire with potting soil and plant several flowers in the tire, making sure that some of the foliage hangs over the edge. This whimsical flower planter will be an eye-catching conversation piece! Children’s Sandbox Paint an old tire blue and place it in an area near a swing set or other children’s yard toys. Place a small beach umbrella into the center of the opening of the tire and hammer it from the top so it stays in the ground below. Pour sand into the tire opening, around the beach umbrella. Place several shovels, sifters, and containers in the new sandbox and watch your children or grandchildren go to town!  For more information about tires, contact a tire...

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3 Tips For Choosing A Brand New Car For Your Teen

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Choosing A Brand New Car For Your Teen

Many people think that the best cars for teenagers are older cars since they are more affordable. However, there are many reasons why you might be thinking about purchasing a brand new car for your teen. New cars can be more reliable, which means that you will not have to worry about your teenager being stranded in a dangerous place. Plus, newer cars often have more safety features, which can provide peace of mind for you if your teen is new to driving. However, you shouldn’t just run to the nearest car lot and let your son or daughter pick out the car of his or her choice. Instead, you should look for these three things when taking your child to the dealership. Then, you can ensure that you have made a purchase that neither you nor your teen will regret. 1. Affordable to Insure First of all, you probably already know that you can expect to pay high insurance rates for the first few years that your teenager has his or her driver’s license. This can’t really be avoided, but you can reduce the impact by choosing a car that is more affordable to insure. Cars that are lower in value or have smaller engines are usually a better choice. You can always call your insurance company ahead of time or get online to get rate quotes between different vehicles to help you make your decision. 2. Highly Rated for Safety One of the main reasons to purchase a new car for a teenager is the fact that it can be a lot safer. Therefore, you are going to want to find the safest new car that you can find. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both run tests on new vehicles to determine how safe they are, so check out these safety ratings for any car that you might be thinking about buying for your son or daughter. Along with looking at crash test ratings, you may also want to look at other things, such as whether or not the vehicle offers a backup camera or a blind spot assist notification. These safety features can also help your teen drive safely. 3. Practical Many teens just look at cars for how they look and drive. However, you should try to look for something a bit more practical for your son or daughter. You’ll probably want to look at things like gas mileage and cargo space for when your teen goes off to college. For more information, contact Milo Peterson Ford Co. or a similar...

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