TAMPA, Fla. -- Car problems can wreak havoc on your life, so it’s important to know the warning signs before they turn into a crisis. Your car making strange noises, a warning light that comes, or an oily leak in your parking spot -- just a few red flags you should never ignore when it comes to your vehicle. Not long ago, Josciel Veras was driving his Cadillac Escalade when all of a sudden the check engine light came on. He was smart to take quick action. “My engine got too hot, and I had to pull over, and it’s here now," he said. Veras took his vehicle straight to the Toyota of Tampa Bay garage to get it checked out. “It’s stressful,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my car. I have to pick up my kids. There are just so many things I have to do.” Check Engine light When it comes to car trouble, some warning signs are worse than others. One of the biggest things … [Read more...] about Consumer Wise: Car repair red flags not to ignore
Brakes make grinding noise
I typically really hate this time of year. The NBA and NHL have both wrapped things up, baseball is far from exciting at this point of the season, and the football season is still just a far-off dream. However, this year is different! Once every four years we get to watch one of the most exciting tournaments in all of sports when the world’s top soccer squads get together to compete in the World Cup. There’s only one small problem: After suffering a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago (yes, you read that right) back in October, the US failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. While this is certainly disappointing and could be a major setback to the sport in the US, look at it this way: you are now a free agent! That’s right, you have no cheering obligations to any team, and nobody can accuse you of being a bandwagon fan for choosing a squad. Because most Americans are now team-less and the tournament is just days away, I’m going to help you … [Read more...] about 2018 World Cup: who should you cheer for?
Waking up my bike each spring from its winter long slumber is a mixed bag —kidlike enthusiasm to hit the open roads combined with an annoying adult-onset sense of duty to address maintenance issues.My bike sage, Lance at Larson’s Cyclery, says the top three areas to consider are tire pressure, proper ergonomics and functionality of all moving parts, including the brakes and drivetrain. If you have not yet given your bike a proper spring wakeup call, consider the following:• Pump the tires, check the wheels.• Tires naturally lose air over the course of time and, in a perfect world, warrant a pressure check every time you ride.• To determine how much air goes in each tube, refer to the PSI (pounds per square inch) info shown on the bike tire wall. PSIs vary greatly from bike to bike. My son’s 26-inch hybrid bike tires recommend 40 PSI. The skinny tires on my road bike recommend 140 PSI. For easy pumping, invest in a quality air pump with a wide base to … [Read more...] about Bikes can use a spring tuneup
Last Updated May 3, 2011 3:47 PM EDT After what seemed like an endless winter, you may be planning to hit the road for a spring or summer road trip. Just take this factoid as a warning: AAA roadside service estimates that it helps more than 9 million stranded motorists during a summer. If, like most Americans, you're not driving a fresh-from-the-showroom ride - the average age of passenger vehicles in the U.S. is just over 10 years old - it's time to give your car a little springtime TLC. "Drivers often overlook their cars when it is spring cleaning time," says Shawn Hoelzer, master technician for CarMax, the largest U.S. chain of used car dealerships. "Following a few easy steps to spruce up your vehicle helps avoid costly repairs." So take your car to a dealership to get checked out - or, better yet, to an independent mechanic you trust. (See Save $300 on Auto Repair.) Use this spring maintenance checklist to make sure your car is reliable and running efficiently. Check the … [Read more...] about Car Care: Spring Maintenance Check List
Last Updated Nov 2, 2011 10:01 AM EDT The freak October snowstorm that hit the Northeast should be a timely reminder: Make sure your car is ready for winter weather before you actually get caught in it. "Winter is the enemy of your car, as cold temperatures make it harder for the engine to work properly and snow and ice limit traction," says Brent Romans, senior automotive editor at Edmunds.com. So even if you haven't had to shovel out your driveway yet or if you live in a fairly moderate climate, it is time to make sure your car is ready for winter. Here are seven points to check, with advice from Edmunds and other experts. Whether you check them yourself or take your car to a mechanic, make sure you cover all of these issues.1. Consider winter tires. If you live in a climate where you expect only occasional light snow, or if you don't commute in your car, then the all-season tires that came on your car may be adequate. But if winter ice and snow are chronic conditions where you … [Read more...] about Snowstorms Ahead? 7 Ways to Winterize Your Car