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Yearly Archives: 2018

Are Used Car Salesmen Crazy?

Are Used Car Salesmen Crazy?

Local TV ads for used car sellers usually have a couple of things in common: they are low budget and they star a salesman who is selling cars so cheaply that he must be out of his mind. It's been this way for years, but why? Who came up with the idea to feign insanity for the sake of car sales? Earl Muntz Capitalized on Wartime Shortages The answer is Earl "Madman" Muntz. Muntz began selling used cars in 1941 in southern California. Because of World War II, no new cars were manufactured, so the used car business was coming into its own. Muntz bought cars in the midwest and then paid servicemen to drive them to California on their way to report to military service. California prices were significantly higher than midwest prices. In addition to a brilliant business model, he worked with advertiser Mike Shore to ... read more

Your Often Overlooked Car Lights

Your Often Overlooked Car Lights

You probably only consider your car's lights when a bulb needs to be replaced or when your headlights get covered in thick snow (or mud, for you adventure seekers). But the lights on your car are worth another look. Headlights Did you know that your headlights are specifically aligned for the country you are driving in? It's true! For those of us who drive on the right-hand side, the light that comes out is aimed down and a little to the right. This allows for visibility to see road signs and helps you avoid blinding oncoming drivers. High Beams It's important to only turn on your high beam or full beam headlights on vacant stretches of road. If any other car appears, turn them off. Fog Lights Like high beams, you should only use fog lights in certain conditions. Can you guess ... read more

What Used Car Buyers Should Know About Salvage Titles

What Used Car Buyers Should Know About Salvage Titles

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, occasionally we carry out a used car inspection on a car with a salvage title. When talking to people who are considering whether to buy a vehicle with a salvage title, we have discovered that there is some confusion regarding the issue. In today's article, we review the subject of salvage titles. What Is A Salvage Title? Salvage titles can be confusing because state laws vary on many issues concerning motor vehicle titles. Adding to the confusion, auto insurers have different policies regarding salvage titles. A title that has been marked as "salvage," "rebuilt," "totaled," "junked," or a similar term, could designate one of the ... read more

When Smarter Isn't Safer

When Smarter Isn't Safer

Remember when the dashboard of your auto only had an AM/FM radio and a heater? (If you are younger than 40, you probably don't.) Can you harken back when you could only see a speedometer and odometer through the steering wheel? Those days seem to be long gone as car manufacturers continue to add smart features to our cars. To avoid a mess of knobs and buttons all over the place, consoles are usually designed around a central touchscreen. There is a screen to control the stereo, navigation system, paired devices such as cell phones, the air conditioning, and more! This configuration lets you access everything in one location. But is there a disadvantage to these touchscreens? Many safety experts say yes. Your Fingers Can't Feel What Screen You Are On The main issue with these onboard computer screens is that they are ... read more

5 Warning Signs of a Failing Transmission

Your transmission is pretty important. What is a transmission? A transmission takes power from a car's engine, transmits it to the axle, and causes the wheels to move.  It is one of the most complicated systems in a vehicle. This engineering wonder combines hydraulics and computer-controlled electronics. And a whole bunch of parts.  You probably know that a vehicle either has an automatic transmission or a manual transmission.  With an automatic transmission, the driver only operates a gas pedal and a brake pedal. This is because the transmission changes gears on its own. A manual has both these pedals plus a clutch. With a manual transmission, the driver gets to change the gears. Or "has to" depending on whether or not you like to do it. What makes up a transmission? It is a long list:  Gear shifter Shift Rod Shift fork Clutch Planetary gears Torque converter Oil pump Hydraulic system Valve body Computer controls Governor Throttle ca ... read more

How To Change A Flat Tire

I was driving with my family last week when I noticed a car pulled over to the side of the road. There was a young woman in the front seat staring at her phone. She was about the same age as my daughter, and she looked perplexed. The area was remote and we figured she needed some help, so we pulled over. My two sons and I got out to see what we could do.  As I approached her car I noticed a flat tire. There was severe damage to the sidewall. The tire was ruined. I leaned down to the window and greeted her. "Need some help?" She said "Yes" with a sigh of relief. I asked if she had a spare. She said "No." Uh oh. Things just got a little more complicated... After some discussion, she decided that her mom could come and get her, and that they could then go down to the local tire store to get it replaced. "Sounds like a good plan" I said, and offered to remove the tire so she could be ready when her mom arrived. I asked if ... read more

Wheel Alignment and Balancing: Are They The Same Thing?

When you feel vibrations in your automobile when driving on a smooth road, you might assume it's a tire or wheel issue. And rightly so. Since your tires are what connects your car to the road, they are the usual suspects when things start shaking. To fix the problem, you know you are going to need a wheel service. But which service do you need? Alignment? Balance? Wait a minute—is there a difference? Is wheel alignment the same as wheel balancing? There are many ways tires and wheels get out of whack. Depending on the issue, you might need a wheel alignment or a wheel balancing service. Or both. It's easy to get these two services confused. Let's break it down. What is a wheel alignment service? A wheel alignment is also called a tire alignment. However, both terms are misleading. It's actually the suspension system that is adjusted in this operation. Bu ... read more

Connected Cars Pose Privacy Concerns for Drivers

Connected Cars Pose Privacy Concerns for Drivers

Technology has touched every aspect of modern life. And the pace of innovation seems to speed up every year. In the foreseeable future, there will probably be a new iPhone released every week. Of course the auto industry is moving forward as well. Even economy automobiles have features like rearview cameras and high-end infotainment systems. Car Connectivity Is Transforming Auto Travel One innovation that is transforming driving is the ability of cars to connect to the internet. This technology brings all sorts of benefits to the driver. Route optimization saves car owners time and fuel costs. Online diagnostics detect problems before major (expensive) systems are compromised. Accident prevention systems offer the greatest benefit as they can actually save lives. What are the implications of all this data being transferred ... read more

4 Auto Maintenance Tasks Many People Forget

4 Auto Maintenance Tasks Many People Forget

Most Falconer drivers are dutiful about regular oil changes and have the oil filter replaced when their tech reminds them. But your vehicle has thousands of parts and regular maintenance goes far beyond oil changes. Have you overlooked any of the following maintenance tasks? Replace Wiper Blades If you turn on your wipers and they just smear the dirt and dead bugs around your front window, it's time to replace the blades. If you do this every six months, you won't ever get to the point where they can't safely wash your windshield in a rain or snowstorm. Rotate Your Tires Tires are an expensive purchase but many drivers buy them, have them mounted, and then forget about them. A tire rotation service at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair is economical and pays off by protecting your investment and exten ... read more

Improve Visibility For Night Driving

Improve Visibility For Night Driving

Poor visibility is a factor in many automobile accidents. In fact, you probably know individuals who avoid driving at night because they feel unsafe. Of course, many auto owners have no choice because they work shifts that require them to commute before sunrise or after sunset or they actually drive for a living. If you do a lot of driving at night or in bad weather, the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair counsels that you take some simple steps to improve your visibility when driving at night and lessen your risk of being involved in a collision. Headlamps Some drivers never think about their headlamps until a bulb goes completely out and they receive a citation. (You are much more conscientious about auto maintenance, righ ... read more