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What's That Noise - Your Safety Depends On It

Your Brakes Are Telling You Something!

Brakes are an essential part of every car, helping you to slow down and stop when needed. Generally, if your brakes are making a high-pitched squealing noise when you first step on them, it's an indication that the brake pads need to be replaced.

What causes that noise when you brake?

This can be due to a number of different factors - worn or dirty brake pads, issues with the rotors or calipers, or even something as simple as dirt or debris caught in the brakes.

If you're noticing a strange noise coming from your brakes, it's always best to have them checked out by a professional mechanic to ensure there isn't a bigger issue at play.

What are the different types of brakes, and how do they work?

There are many different types of brakes, each designed to perform a specific function and work in a particular way. Some common brake types include disc brakes, drum brakes, and vacuum brakes.

Disc brakes use a system of pads that press against a spinning metal disc to slow or stop the vehicle. Drum brakes consist of two brake shoes that press against the inside of a stationary metal drum. Vacuum brakes use suction to slow or stop a vehicle, drawing air from the atmosphere into chambers

How can you tell if your brakes need to be serviced or replaced?

If your car is making a noise when you brake, there's a good chance that something is wrong with your brakes. There are several things you can do to check your brakes and see if they need to be serviced or replaced.

Another way to tell if your brakes are in need of service is to look at your brake fluid levels. If the fluid is low or dark, it could be a sign that your brakes need to be flushed and refilled.

What does turning the Rotors mean?

If you've ever had your car's brakes serviced, you may have heard the term "turning the rotors." But what does that actually mean?

Rotors are the metal discs that your brake pads press against to slow or stop your car. When they become worn or dirty, they can cause a number of problems with braking performance. Turning the rotors means machining them down so that they are smooth and clean again, allowing for better braking. If they get worn down below a certain point, they will need to be replaced entirely by a mechanic.

 

As a driver, it's important to be aware of any issues with your car's brakes, as this can have serious implications for your safety on the road. Some common symptoms of worn or faulty brakes include a high-pitched squealing noise when braking, low or dark brake fluid levels, vibrations or shuddering when applying the brakes, and poor response time. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to have your brakes checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Don't Get Burned - Beat The Summer Heat

5 Tips To Keep Your Parked Car Cooler

Summertime is approaching fast, and with it, soaring temperatures. The last thing you want to do is climb into a scorching car and wait for it to cool down.

Did you know "When temperatures outside climb range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172" (actionnews)

What Can You Do To Lower The Temperature In Your Car?

• Tip 1: Park in the Shade

If you have the option to park in the shade, take it! In many parking lots they will have trees or other natural shade options, Also try to park so that the sun is not shining on the driver's side. Even a few minutes in the shade can make a big difference.

• Tip 2: Use Your Visor And A Sunshade

You can find a sunshade for your windshield at most auto stores. Sunshades are especially useful if you have to park in the direct sun. They will help keep your car cooler and make it more comfortable to get in. Your windshield visor can also help keep the sun from entering your car

You could also fit a visor to your rear window as well as invest in window vent visors to keep individual passenger windows shaded.

Tip 3: Let Your Car Cool Before Getting In

Does your car have a remote starter? You turn on the air conditioning to full blast, shut all the doors and give your car a few minutes to cool down before driving. The other option is Leave the doors open for a minute to let most of the hot air out before getting in.

Tip 3: Cover Up Steering Wheel

No one wants to try to dive with a hot steering wheel. Consider placing a light-colored terry cloth towel over the steering wheel before you leave the car. This may reduce how much heat it absorbs

Tip 4: Cover Your Seats

This will protect your seats from the sun's rays and reduce how much heat they absorb. If you have leather seats, this is especially important as they can get uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight. You can buy special seat covers designed to reflect the sun's rays, or just use a light-colored towel or blanket

Tip 5: Tint You Windows

One of the best ways to keep your car cool is to tint your windows. This will reduce the amount of heat that comes into the car, making it more comfortable when you get in.

While you may or may not be able to do all of these things, any combination will help make your car more comfortable in the summer heat. Enjoy your summer and stay cool!

Top 10 Best Midsize Sedans

Content provided by MotorTrend

MotorTrend tests more than 200 vehicles at the track every year. We rate cars using the same factors you do, including how they drive, interior space, efficiency, tech, value, and safety. Ratings are only applicable within each respective segment.

  • 2022 Honda Accord - 9.1/10 - After a midcycle refresh for 2021, we're not expecting any major changes to the Accord for 2022. Barring any significant revisions, it will carry forward with two gas engines and a hybrid option. The Accord competes with other affordable four-doors including the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Kia K5, and Subaru Legacy.

  • 2022 Subaru Legacy - 8.6/10 - Subaru knows its buyers and delivers on their priorities with the Legacy. The midsize sedan offers a compelling blend of technology, safety, and performance in a roomy and comfortable vessel. Middling style and a vexing CVT are the Legacy's greatest Achilles heels.

  • 2022 Hyundai Sonata - 8.5/10 - Hyundai has been selling the Sonata here in the U.S. for more than 30 years, and the current eighth generation is the best version yet. Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Sonata is among the better midsize sedans on the market. It's mechanically related to the Kia K5.

  • 2022 Kia K5 - 8.3/10 - The midsize sedan once known as the Kia Optima has transformed into the K5. Introduced for 2021, the K5 stands out in the segment with evocative exterior styling. Yet despite those looks it remains a relatively normal car in terms of features and capabilities. The K5 is offered with a choice of turbocharged engines and available AWD. Like the Optima before it, the K5 targets sedan stalwarts like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and mechanically related Hyundai Sonata. The K5 is built in West Point, Georgia, alongside the Kia Telluride.

  • 2022 Toyota Camry - 8/10 - Although it's no longer Toyota's best-selling model (that title now goes to the RAV4), the venerable Camry remains a go-to choice for those seeking a dependable midsize sedan. The current-gen Camry was introduced for the 2018 model year and sees a mild face-lift for 2021. The Camry sits squarely in the center of Toyota's lineup of sedans between the compact Corolla and full-size Avalon. Besides its longtime rival, the Honda Accord, the Camry also competes with midsize four-doors including the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata.

  • 2021 Nissan Altima - 7.7/10 - Positioned above the compact Sentra and below the full-size Maxima, the Altima is the middle child of Nissan's sedan lineup. Nissan issued a full redesign of the Altima for the 2019 model year, and the family sedan has been relatively unchanged since. The Altima competes in the midsize sedan segment alongside cars such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, and Subaru Legacy.

  • 2022 Volkswagen Passat - 7.1/10 - Once one of Volkswagen's most successful cars in the United States, the Passat enters its final year of production with a Limited Edition trim. It rides on the platform that's been on sale in the United States since 2012, the same year it won our MotorTrend Car of the Year award. The Passat last received a major refresh in 2020. Although this midsize sedan no longer feels like a fresh offering, it comes with the traditional advantages of its segment, namely a comfortable ride, a large trunk, and spacious interior.

  • 2021 Chevrolet Malibu - One of the longest-running nameplates in the Chevrolet lineup, the Malibu has been a mainstay in the midsize sedan segment for decades. Since its inception, the Malibu has evolved from a rear-drive car that's available in multiple flavors to a front-drive model offered only one body style. Chevrolet even offered a hybrid Malibu for a short time to lure eco-minded consumers to the brand. With only a short time left before it's discontinued, the Malibu lineup has been streamlined. A number of cosmetic packages are also offered.

  • 2021 Mazda Mazda6 - As we wait for the rumored RWD, inline-six-powered, next-gen 6, Mazda adds some polish to its midsize sedan for 2021. The current-generation model debuted for the 2014 model year and saw a mid-cycle facelift for 2018, adding a turbocharged engine option. The 2021 Mazda 6 competes with other affordable midsize sedans including the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata.

Shop Our Used Cars, Trucks, & SUVs For Sale

Buying Used Pickup Trucks - What To Look For

Buying Used Pickup Trucks: What Should You Look For?

Buying a used pickup truck is a lot harder than buying a used car. Used pickup trucks have often lived a harder workhorse-style life, which means there’s more to consider when you’re buying a truck than when you’re buying a normal family sedan or minivan. So just what should you look for? We have some answers that can help you when you’re checking out a used truck.

Towing and Hauling

One thing you’ll have to consider when buying a used truck is just how much towing and hauling the previous owner has done. Obviously, this isn’t something you’ll need to think about if you’re buying a hatchback or a convertible, but trucks are different. If a truck has spent 50,000 miles hooked up to a trailer, it may have caused more than normal wear on the truck’s mechanical components.

Of course, one way to find out just how much towing and hauling a truck has done is to simply ask the owner. But since you can’t always count on the truth from someone selling a used car — and since you can’t always count on a dealer to know the whole story — we recommend taking the truck for a mechanical inspection before you buy it. We especially recommend this if you see evidence of a lot of towing, such as a well-worn tow hitch, a severely bent rear license plate or a cable for wiring a trailer’s brake lights.

Off-Road Use

Another thing you’ll need to consider when buying a truck is exactly how it’s been used. Many used pickup trucks lead pampered in-town lives, but some are used in fields, on farms or on ranches — exactly as they were intended to be. The problem with this sort of use, however, is that it can cause a lot of wear to a truck’s suspension, chassis and other components. To check for off-road use, get under the truck and take a look around. If you see a lot of scratches, scrapes and bent parts on the truck’s underside, it may have had a rough life off-road. While this isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid a truck, it’s certainly a red flag that may warrant a mechanical inspection by a professional.

Commercial Use?

Many trucks are bought by businesses and used as workhorses in a wide variety of applications, including shuttling around the foreman and hauling serious debris and heavy goods. Because so many trucks are used by businesses, we wouldn’t tell you to avoid a truck that’s had commercial use, but we do suggest paying a mechanic to check it over before you buy it. Businesses aren’t always as careful with maintenance as private owners, and you’ll want to be sure that no important services were skipped. Buying a used pickup truck is hard, since used trucks have often had a rough life. But if you follow our suggestions and thoroughly check out any truck before you buy it, you’ll probably end up with a used pickup that serves you well for years to come.

This article by Doug Demuro was originally published on AutoTrader.com

Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.

The Car Maintenance Checklist

Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:

Inspect and Maintain Tires

Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.

Change the Oil

Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.

Check the Fluids

There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil

  • Coolant

  • Power steering fluid

  • Brake fluid

  • Transmission fluid

A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.

Test the Lights

A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.

Replace Windshield Wipers

If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.

Change Your Engine Air Filter

A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.

Regular Checkups

Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.

Have Your Brakes Checked

Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible

Wash Your Car

Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.

Check Belts and Hoses

Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.

Review Your Car Insurance

Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

10 Most Popular Trucks

Based on final 2018 model-year sales, this guide contains the 10 most popular pickup trucks in America. Changes in the segment for 2019, however, could bring changes to this list in the future. Ram is challenging Chevrolet for second-place ranking among light-duty full-size models, while the midsize segment gets two new competitors in the form of the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator. Stay tuned.

10. Toyota Tundra (118,258)

A full-size light-duty truck, the Texas-built Toyota Tundra has been in production for almost 15 years without a complete redesign. The Tundra’s two V8 engine choices are inefficient, crash-test protection is unimpressive, and the mix of cab styles, bed lengths, and trim levels is limited. The maximum payload rating is 1,730 pounds, and the maximum tow rating is 10,200 lbs.

9. Chevrolet Colorado (134,842)

A midsize pickup truck available in extended and crew cab styles with a choice between a 4-cylinder, a V6, and a turbo-diesel summoning 369 lb.-ft. of torque, the Chevrolet Colorado offers variety. You can get anything from a basic work truck to an off-road-ready ZR2 Bison, and when properly equipped a Colorado can haul up to 1,574 lbs. of payload and tow as much as 7,700 lbs. of trailer.

8. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD (148,819)

Available in 2500HD and 3500HD model series, as well as multiple trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious, Chevy’s heavy-duty full-size truck hauls up to 6,112 lbs. of payload and tows as much as 23,100 lbs. of weight, depending on how its configured. Get the optional Duramax turbo-diesel V8 for maximum capability. A redesigned Silverado HD is coming for the 2020 model year.

7. Ram Heavy Duty (149,287)

Overhauled for the 2019 model year, the Ram Heavy Duty comes in 2500 and 3500 series and is available with a turbo-diesel engine making 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. Maximum towing capacity measures 35,100 lbs. and a Ram HD can handle a payload of up to 7,680 lbs. Multiple trim levels, from basic to luxurious, are available, and the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is especially talented when off-roading.

6. GMC Sierra 1500 (158,284)

Redesigned for 2019, the GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty full-size truck is improved in every way. Highlights include a range of engines including two V8s, a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a turbo-diesel 6-cylinder. A new AT4 trim level preps the Sierra 1500 for off-road duty, and the popular Denali luxury model returns. Maximum towing capability is 10,200 lbs., and the Sierra can handle a payload of up to 2,240 lbs.

5. Toyota Tacoma (245,659)

The most popular midsize truck in America, the Toyota Tacoma comes in extended- and crew-cab styles and in six trim levels, including the off-road-ready TRD Pro. Power comes courtesy of a 4-cylinder or a V6 engine, and the Tacoma can tackle a payload of up to 1,440 lbs. or a trailer weighing as much as 6,800 lbs.

4. Ford F-Series Super Duty (264,388)

Redesigned just two years ago, the Ford F Series Super Duty lineup includes F-250, F-350, and F-450 model series with three different cab styles and six trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious. Gasoline and turbo-diesel V8 engines are available, and a Super Duty can haul up to 7,640 lbs. of payload and tow as much as 35,000 lbs. of trailer.

3. Ram 1500 (387,223)

Ram has redesigned its 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck for 2019, though it still sells the old design as the Classic. The new truck takes big leaps in terms of technological sophistication, and comes with a standard mild-hybrid powertrain system called eTorque. Extended- and crew-cab styles are available in six trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious. The maximum payload rating is 2,300 lbs., and a Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,750 lbs.

2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (436,480)

Redesigned for 2019, the Silverado 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck offers plenty of variety. Redesigned for 2019, the Silverado 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck offers plenty of variety. Eight trim levels and six powertrains are available, including off-road-ready Trail Boss versions and both a turbocharged 4-cylinder gas and turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel engine. The Silverado’s maximum payload rating is 2,250 lbs. and the maximum tow rating is 12,200 lbs.

1. Ford F-150 (623,980)

For more than four decades, the Ford F-150 light-duty full-size truck has been the best-selling pickup in America. For 2019, three cab styles and seven trim levels are available, including the Baja-inspired Raptor. Turbocharged gas and diesel 6-cylinder engines are available, along with a traditional V8. The truck’s maximum payload rating is 3,270 lbs., and when properly equipped the F-150 can tow up to 13,200 pounds.

Article Originally published on JDPower.com by Christian Wardlaw
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