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Maintenance

How to Find a Reputable Motorcycle Repair Shop Near You

When you are in need of a motorcycle repair you need to be sure you find a reputable shop to take it to. If your motorcycle was wrecked in an accident contact your insurance company first as they may be able to help. Some tips can also ensure you get back on the road quickly and without spending a lot of money.
When you are in need of a motorcycle repair you need to be sure you find a reputable shop to take it to. If your motorcycle was wrecked in an accident contact your insurance company first as they may be able to help. Some tips can also ensure you get back on the road quickly and without spending a lot of money.

When you are in need of a motorcycle repair you need to be sure you find a reputable shop to take it to. If your motorcycle was wrecked in an accident contact your insurance company first as they may be able to help. Some tips can also ensure you get back on the road quickly and without spending a lot of money.

How to Find a Repair Shop

You can find a reputable motorcycle repair shop relatively easily. First start with a list of places that are nearby. Focus on whether you need engine repairs or body work. Some places will only do one or the other and you don't want to waste your time by going to the wrong one. Go in and ask for an estimate. A mechanic should provide you with this for free. Ask what needs to be replaced and how long it will take before your bike is ready to take on the road. You should be able to get this estimate in writing with a breakdown of expenses for both parts as well as labor. Go into some of the review sites online such as Google Local and CitySearch. This gives you the opportunity to read reviews and find out what others have to say about a repair shop. If other people are satisfied with the repair that they received it is a good indication that you may have a similar experience.

Work with a Repair Shop

To ensure you know what is going on with the repair you need to have open communication with the repair shop. Don't just find a repair shop and drop it off. Talk with the mechanic discuss the issues that you have been having and listen to what the mechanic is going to do about it. If the mechanic is not discussing matters with you or wants to put you low on the priority list you can always find another shop. The important thing is to get your motorcycle up and running so that it is road worthy once again. If you were getting your bike repaired to take the motorcycle permit test for the first time you can practice ahead with sample tests online before taking the written test at the DMV.

Basic Car Maintenance Every Teen Driver Should Know

Car Maintenance for teens
Many teens get their driver's license even without knowing anything about basic car maintenance. However, this knowledge can save them from a lot of headaches, and more importantly, from dangerous situations. For their own good, teens should know how to do the following.

Many teens get their driving permit��or even their drivers license without knowing anything about basic car maintenance. However, this knowledge can save them from a lot of headaches, and more importantly, from dangerous situations. For their own good, teens should know how to do the following:


1. Taking proper care of tires
Teach your teenage kids to keep their tires properly inflated at all times. Advice them to check their tires whenever they stop for gas. Instill this tip in their minds until they make a habit of it. Tires have a minimum and maximum pressure that all drivers should be aware of. Keeping within these limits significantly improves gas mileage. On the other hand, overinflated and underinflated tires wear out unevenly, resulting to shorter shelf life, which in turn leads to more frequent replacements. This costs more money, and also puts teens in danger of getting a busted tire while driving.

2. Changing the engine oil
Regularly changing the engine oil is an important maintenance task that all drivers -- including teens -- should know. This keeps the engine working in top condition. Failure to change oil will result in the accumulation of dirt and other contaminants, making the oil unable to lubricate the engine properly. As a result, the engine will wear out and fail much sooner than it should. Thus, teach your teenage kids how to change oil. It will take them only around half an hour to perform this task.

3. Checking the coolant
An overheated engine can suddenly stop at an inconvenient time and place. It's frustrating when this happens, especially since it's a scenario that can easily be avoided. Make sure to prop up the hood open and show your teenage kids where the coolant is and teach them how to check whether or not it's within range. It's a very easy and quick task that will save them a load of trouble caused by inadequate maintenance.

4. Knowing what the dashboard warning light means
The dashboard helpfully displays warning lights when something is working improperly or running low.�� These lights will inform teens when the oil needs to be changed, the engine needs to be checked, etc. Teach your teenage kids what these warnings means, and more importantly, teach them the right thing to do. You can refer to the owner's manual for the correct response for every warning light.

5. Monitoring the fuel gauge
Running out of fuel is a simple mistake, but it's such a hassle if this happens miles away from the nearest gas station. Teach your kids not to procrastinate when it comes to getting fuel. As much as possible, keep at least a quarter tank of gas or diesel, especially when driving over long distances.

6. Keeping the lights shining brightly
Drivers use the car lights to communicate with fellow drivers, so driving with faulty or broken lights can lead to accidents. Your teenage kids should understand that when they have problems with lights, they should get those fixed or replaced right away. To make sure that the lights are working properly, tell your teenage kids to perform a�� weekly check at night.

7. Cleaning the car
A regular car wash will make a vehicle cleaner and safer. A dirty windshield can get in the way of driving especially in conditions with less-than-ideal visibility, such as rain, fog, or nightfall. Even teens with perfect vision will have a harder time navigating with a dirty windshield. Advise your teenage kids to get regular car washes -- or wash their cars themselves. Also, tell them to keep a bottle of washer fluid in the trunk in case they need to clean off a splattered bug, or sticky bird's poo.

As a parent, you play a big part in molding your teenage kids to become responsible drivers. They will carry over what they learn in their teenage years to adulthood. Remember, responsible drivers are not born; they're made.

3 Car Maintenance Basics You Ought to Know

Car Maintenance Basics
Owning and driving a car is a great privilege that provides freedom and independence. Cars, however, need some maintenance to keep running well. The driver cannot simply put gas in and drive forever worry-free. The last thing anyone wants to be is stranded on the side of the road, on the way to school or work, only to find later it could have been avoided by following these three car maintenance basics.

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Owning and driving a car is a great privilege that provides freedom and independence. Cars, however, need some maintenance to keep running well. The driver cannot simply put gas in and drive forever worry-free. The last thing anyone wants to be is stranded on the side of the road, on the way to school or work, only to find later it could have been avoided by following these three car maintenance basics.��


1. Tire Pressure��
Tires are filled with air, so ensuring proper tire pressure is a very important part of car maintenance. If the air pressure in the tires is too low, the car will suffer from poor fuel mileage. If the pressure is too high, the tires will wear out prematurely and the car will be difficult to control. Checking tire pressure is a relatively simple procedure. A tire pressure gauge is needed, which can be bought at most any gas station for fewer than five dollars. Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold (the car has not been driven for at least a couple hours). Each tire has a 'valve stem', similar to a bicycle, which allows air to be pumped in at pressure. Unscrew the dust cap from the end of the valve stem. Then, depress the tire pressure gauge onto the valve stem. The pressure is given as PSI (pounds per square inch). Refer to the owner's manual for proper pressure levels. If the tires are in need of air, most gas stations have air compressors available. Most popular tire retailers will also fill and check tires at no charge.��

2. Lights
One car maintenance basic that is regularly neglected is the lights. Being able to see well at night is important, and you want to ensure other drivers can see you day or night. Properly functioning tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals alert other drivers of your intentions and allow them to make adjustments, if necessary, to avoid an accident. Many new cars are featuring LED lights, but most cars on the road still have halogen or incandescent bulbs which need to be checked regularly. With the car running, turn one turn signal on and walk to the front and rear of the car to make sure they are flashing like they should, and then check the other direction. For brake lights and tail lights, back the car up to about two feet of a garage door, or wall. The reflection of the lights can be seen on the wall. Check that all tail lights are working, then depress the brake pedal to check the brake lights. For the head lights, simply point the front of the car at the same wall. Turn on the headlights, and then the high beams.

3. Oil Level
This car maintenance basic, if neglected, can result in major repair bills. Oil is the life blood of the engine. Oil lubricates many moving parts, removes dirt and contaminates, and displaces heat. If the oil gets too low, the engine may suffer damage. To check the oil level, park the car on a level spot such as the street or in the garage, and turn the engine off. Open the hood of the car and prop it securely with the prop rod. Have a rag or paper towel handy. Be careful, the engine will be hot if the car was just turned off. The oil 'dipstick' will be near the front of the engine, and is usually topped with a small T-handle marked "oil." Pull the dipstick out vertically until it comes completely out from the engine. Wipe the oil from the end with a rag. Return the dipstick to the engine and pull it back out. This process ensures a proper reading of the oil level. The oil level should be between the hash-marks near the end of the dipstick. If the level is below the acceptable amount, more can be added through a larger access hole on top of the engine.

These three car maintenance basics should be performed every week. It is good practice to set a schedule, such as every Saturday morning to ensure the maintenance checks are always done; keeping you, and your car, on the road. There are a myriad of other things, such as the air filter, brake fluid, and power steering fluid that need to be checked at fewer intervals. These can usually be checked by your mechanic at the time of an oil change. Refer to the vehicle's owner manual for specific information for each car. Read more Car Maintenance tips for Teens.

Tips for a Happy Car: Do-it-Yourself Maintenance

So youve passed your driving test and are the proud owner of a spankin new drivers license. Your Dad reluctantly has handed over the keys to his precious ride with hopes that you will keep it in the pristine condition he had. You both know that probably wont happen.

So you've passed your driving test and are the proud owner of a spankin new driver's license. Your Dad reluctantly has handed over the keys to his precious ride with hopes that you will keep it in the pristine condition he had. You both know that probably won't happen.

Chances are you'll never be able to compete with your Dad's maintenance schedule over the years, but there are some basic tips to know about keeping that freedom on wheels safe and running for as long as possible.

1. Car wash

Ok, so we'll start slow. At some point, everyone has either washed a car, or seen one washed, and I'm not talking about the fundraising ones put on so guys can check out sorority girls in white shirts. Go to the auto parts store and find yourself a sturdy bucket, sponges, and car wash solution. You can even add some wax or polish after your done washing to really impress the ladies. Or you can put on a see-through white shirt instead and see if that does the trick, but I'm guessing it won't.

2. Check your tires

Before tires were invented cavemen transported themselves on foot or just sat dejectedly in their caves, dreaming of a better life on the other side of the jungle. Today, tires play a pivotal part of safety on the road so it is important to ensure they are properly inflated and have correct air pressure. This can also help with gas mileage. If you're not sure what specifications your tire pressure calls for, check your manual and pick up a tire pressure gauge.

3. Change your oil

Teen-agers run on slurpees and cheetos; cars run on oil. Without clean oil, cars don't run properly so it is important to know how to check it as well as get it flushed regularly. A typical time to get your oil changed is every three to six months or 3,000 to 4,000 miles. You can find a reputable mechanic to do this for you, or learn how to do it yourself. During a routine oil change, mechanics will also change filters, and check other fluids such as coolant, windshield wiper liquid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and others but you should also check these yourself and top them off if they are low.

4. Check your battery

A car battery should be free of any corrosion and be changed per recommended by your car manual. A weakened battery can cause stress and issues for other electronic components in your car. A battery can be purchased at an auto part store, online or even at convenient locations like Costco. They can be installed on your own, but make sure you read the manual so you don't electrocute yourself in the process.

5.  Windshield wipers

Damaged or old windshield wipers can make things difficult in precarious weather, and they are cheap to replace. Unless you are driving a Ford Model T, you should be able to find your car model at any auto parts store. You can replace them yourself.

6. Lights

It will become fairly apparent at night when you can't see more than a foot in front of you that your headlight is out. The brake lights aren't so obvious, nor are your signal lights. Make sure you test all your lights from time to time with someone at home to ensure they are working properly. You can be pulled over by police for something this simple, and they won't be as forgiving as your home tester. You can pick up these parts at your local auto store and follow the manual on how to replace.

7. Gauges/Notifications

Most people tend to use a lot of obscenities when a notification light pops up on the dashboard, or a gauge is malfunctioning, but they are a key indicator of what is going on under the hood of your vehicle. It's best to pay attention to these important signals. When they come on they're not just flashing in a feeble attempt to attract the female gauges in the car. There has yet to be a notification that says Jim your car feels great today, keep doing what you're doig, so look up what the it means in your manual. Typically this will tell you whether you should bring your car in for service, assess if you can replace yourself, or if you have five minutes before the car explodes into a fiery ball.

Things like fuses will notify you they have malfunctioned when something stops working. The radio might not turn on, the dashboard might not look as bright as it once was, or something that you swear was working yesterday no longer is. You can find a spare fuse box somewhere in your car and that location will hopefully be posted in your manual otherwise you may need to rent the movie Da Vinci Code. Decoding may be required to locate.

If you follow these simple tips, your car should run as smoothly as a gazelle through the plains. If you don't, you better get yourself a good insurance company or befriend a tow truck driver.

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