Everything You Need to Know about Wiper Fluid

Your car’s windshield does various functions like protecting you from the wind, cold, and rain; keeping away dust/dirt, small insects, and flies; and it also provides you clear visibility of the road you’re traversing. With the help of a windshield wiper, your windshield can be free from the unwanted stuff like road grime and insects. To achieve a much cleaner windshield, you can also use a special wiper fluid.

WHAT IS WIPER FLUID?

It is a specially formulated liquid that can help in keeping your car’s windshield free from things like dirt, grime, bugs, and even frost during winter. Wiper fluid usually consists of:

  • Alcohol
  • Cleaning products
  • Dye
  • Perfume composition
  • Solvent
  • Water

In other words, windshield wiper fluid is a type of detergent designed to combat all types of dirt on the windshield and provide the necessary visibility while driving. Aside from keeping away all types of dirt on the windshield, using wiper fluid can also provide you with the necessary visibility while driving.

TIPS IN CHOOSING THE RIGHT WIPER FLUID

person driving the car

It can be hard to choose what wiper fluid will work best for you. So here are tips that can help choose the right wiper fluid:

  • You should know what kind of climate you live in. If you happen to live in a place where temperatures do not usually drop below 0, you can try to use an all-season liquid or summer wiper fluid. On the other hand, if you live somewhere where it snows a lot, you should use winter wiper fluids.
  • Concentrate or ready-made? In terms of price, concentrates are much more profitable than ready-made wiper fluids. However, if you are uncertain how to dilute it in the proper ratio, you can choose to use the ready-made fluid instead since they are easier to use.

TYPES OF WIPER FLUIDS

You might ask, does it matter what type of cleaning fluid I use? Short answer is, yes. It matters because every windshield cleaner is different from one another. Remember that it is very important to use the right liquid that is appropriate for the current weather or season.

  1. ALL-SEASON WIPER FLUID

This type of wiper fluid can be used throughout the year, no matter what the season is. Oftentimes, all season wiper fluid will be a concentrate. During summer, you can dilute it with the ratio of 1: 10 using distilled water. If it’s winter, you can use it without dilution.

  1. SUMMER WIPER FLUID

Wiper fluids used during summer time have higher concentration of solvents and detergents and it’s usually alcohol-free. It’s best to use it when the temperature is at its peak because it works well in cleaning things like dirt/dust, insects, among others. Wiper fluids specifically developed for summer season cannot be used during winter because when the temperature drops to 0, it will freeze.

  1. WINTER WIPER FLUID

Wiper fluids used during winter contain alcohol, surfactants, dyes, and fragrances. With the help of the alcohol, it prevents the crystallization of the liquid. Unlike summer wiper fluids, fluids made for the winter season does not contain ingredients that can get rid of organic substances such as dust, dirt, and insects.

Aside from keeping the windshield clean, it is also important to check for windshield cracks and chips. At A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS, we value your safety so we will examine if your windshield is functioning as it should be. If you want to learn more about auto glass repair & replacement, contact A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS at 623-218-6844.

What Is Tailgating and Why Should You Avoid Doing It?

Tailgating is the act of driving too closely behind someone. When you are driving, there is a recommended safe following distance. It varies with speed and is usually indicated by time which is the two-second rule. This means that the time difference between the front of your vehicle and the back of the vehicle in front should not be less than two seconds. During rainy weather, drivers should increase this to four seconds. The safe following distance should give the driver enough time to stop if ever the vehicle in front stops all of a sudden.grayscale photo of train on rail road

In the event of a car suddenly stopping, there’s a possibility of head-on collision or hitting another vehicle that’s in the way. That’s why it’s important to take into account your reaction time of one second which means you have one second remaining to stop your vehicle. Tailgating or being tailgated can be dangerous so it’s better to avoid doing it. Here are some reasons why tailgating can be dangerous:

  1. Tailgating may cause aggression and road rage.

The act of tailgating can be seen as aggressive and intimidating. In some cases, this may cause road rage in the person you are tailgating. Sometimes, frustrated drivers tend to tailgate others who drive slower due to certain road conditions. So if you are on the road and notice that someone is tailgating you, it’s best to drive considerately and let them pass.

  1. When you tailgate, you can’t see the road ahead clearly.

When you drive, you should be anticipating what is about to happen. In order to be able to do this, you need to see the road ahead. However, you’ll see less of the road if you drive too closely to someone. So it’s ideal to keep a distance to avoid unwanted accidents and be able to see the road clearly.

Reasons people tailgate other vehicles

  • People want to block or stop other drivers from entering the stream of traffic.
  • Feeling of frustration overwhelms a driver. Perhaps, he wants to tailgate in order to push the other person to drive faster.
  • Sometimes, people choose to tailgate, but are ignorant of the possible consequences.
  • By tailgating the car in front of them, they can move closer so that there will be less distance to cover if they overtake.

What can you take away from this?

As they say, “only a fool breaks the two-second rule”. Let’s say you are driving and you pass by an object, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two” at a normal speed. By the time you start saying three thousand and three, you should have passed the object already.

Keep in mind that the two-second rule will only work in situations where the vehicle in front has enough time to brake, not when it just stops abruptly. However, there are several safety organizations that say three seconds is much safer. Either way, it is not ideal to tailgate another car because it might lead to accidents. Be sure to always keep a safe distance from other vehicles when you are on the road.

 

Let’s Learn More about Aquaplaning

Most accidents happen during rainy weather, but it’s not just because of poor visibility. Sometimes it’s because of the most dangerous effect of aquaplaning. Below, we will discuss what is aquaplaning, how to avoid it, and more.

WHAT IS AQUAPLANING?black asphalt road with cars during night time

Aquaplaning occurs when your car tires come in contact with the roadbed because of a pool of water. Some people know this as hydroplaning. If aquaplaning happens, the driver may instantaneously lose control of the car and an uncontrolled skid may also occur when driving at high speed. Aside from high speed, there are several other factors that may cause loss of control over the car:

  • Strong water flow on the road
  • Uneven water distribution due to uneven road
  • Different tire pressures

THE DANGERS OF AQUAPLANING AND WHAT TO DO WHEN IT HAPPENS

The main danger when aquaplaning happens is the total loss of control of the car, as this can lead to a traffic accident. When aquaplaning occurs, it can be a frightening experience so here are some things you can do during when it happens:

  1. Stay calm. It is not the time to panic. If you try to do something drastic, you could cause your car to skid or get into a collision.
  2. Hold the steering wheel firmly. Do not rotate it in any way, trying to level the car because this will only aggravate the situation.
  3. Release the brake pedal with quick and short movements.

HOW TO AVOID AQUAPLANING?

By understanding what is aquaplaning, how to avoid it and how to regain control if it were to happen, you will be in a better position to drive safely during wet conditions. Here are important rules that can help prevent aquaplaning to happen:

  • Observe the speed limit, keep in mind that maximum speed should not exceed 70 km/h.
  • Check the tire pressure. It should be equal everywhere.
  • Avoid sudden acceleration, braking, and sudden steering.
  • Do not overload the trunk.
  • When you see a puddle in front of you, slow down when going through it.

Aside from the rules aforementioned, here are some tips on what preparations you can try to make sure that you avoid aquaplaning:

1. Always check the weather conditions

Before driving, always check the weather conditions. By paying particular attention to the current weather conditions, you can avoid unwanted accidents to happen like aquaplaning. Aside from that, it also allows you to change your driving technique in accordance to the weather and road conditions.

2. Watch your speed

If you are traveling at a higher speed, your car tires will have less chance of gripping to the road. While there is no specific aquaplaning speed limit, it’s ideal to keep your speed at 30 mph to avoid aquaplaning.

3. Keep your tires in good condition

Tires in a poor condition can be partly responsible for aquaplaning because it might struggle to clear enough water off the road. So it is important to check your tires regularly to make sure that they are in tip-top condition.

4. Auto glass should not have cracks and chips

When weather conditions are harsh, one thing that you need is a visible view of the road. Having windshield cracks will definitely obscure your vision. For auto glass repairs, you can call A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS at 623-218-6844. A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS can check and repair your windshield. Furthermore, verify if your windshield is functioning as it should.

What Is Stowaway and Why It’s Important

When driving, there will be unwanted circumstances like getting a flat tire. That is why you should have a kit that can help you get through during emergency situations. Some of the stuff you might need is a tow rope and a set of tools. Aside from that, it’s very important to keep a stowaway or a spare tire at all times. By having stowaway, you can avoid additional expenses should your car need evacuation.

WHAT IS STOWAWAY?

A stowaway is just like a regular spare tire. The stowaway is usually produced with the use of steel. Its size will depend on the looseness and diameter of the wheels used on your car. The thickness of the stowaway is significantly smaller than a spare tire, which is why it allows you to save more save in your car trunk.

STOWAWAY VS REGULAR TIRESgrey and black truck

In case of emergency, every vehicle is equipped with one or more spare wheels. However, it might be space consuming to have regular spare tires. So, here are the differences between a regular tire and a stowaway:

  • The cost of a stowaway is much cheaper than a standard tire.
  • A regular tire’s weight is similar to the other wheels installed on the car. Some people don’t take spare tires with them on purpose because no one needs an extra 20-30 kilograms when on the road.
  • Aside from the weight, a stowaway has smaller dimensions compared to its regular counterpart.
  • You can only use a stowaway in emergency cases. On the other hand, you can use the regular tire for a long time.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A STOWAWAY

In some situations, your special repair kit may not always save you. Yes, it can fix a puncture on your wheel but it cannot repair a cut or deformed disk – which is why you need to keep a stowaway just in case. If you have a jack, it will not take too much to replace the wheel. The stowaway will help you to get to the nearest tire repair shop.

TIPS IN CHOOSING A STOWAWAY

Ideally, you should purchase a stowaway that is specifically designed for your car. If you are still not sure what kind of stowaway to get, below are some tips that can help you in choosing the right stowaway for your vehicle:

  1. The stowaway will only be used as an emergency element. The first thing you should pay attention to is its dimensions.
  2. It’s better to get a stowaway that you can use no matter what the season is. Keep in mind that the stowaway should only be used at short distances. Aside from that, it should comply within safety requirements.
  3. The width of the rubber of a stowaway is almost two times less than the regular spare tire. It’s best to always keep a suitable pump in your car because the wheel needs to be strongly inflated. Moreover, you should make sure that the tire pressure is at the level of four atmospheres.

Everything You Need to Know about Exhaust Manifolds

What Are the Exhaust Manifolds?

Exhaust manifolds are considered as the ‘leading role’ of an engine exhaust system. However, if there is an exhaust leak, it is not the first thing to be checked because the exhaust system has many parts and some are quite complex. On the other hand, the manifold is simple in design and function.

What happens when your exhaust manifold cracks?

An exhaust manifold crack is usually caused by two reasons. As you can imagine, exhaust manifolds are subject to extreme heat, so the first possible reason is the heat cycles the manifold experiences. For a long period of time, these cycles affect the manifold to the point where it cannot handle the heat anymore.black metal pipe on brown wooden table

When that happens, the material will start to weaken and may crack in certain spots. Depending on how severe the crack is, it can be spot welded. You may be able to do it yourself or you can hire a professional to make sure the job gets done well. Keep in mind that welding of cracks is only a temporary solution.

The second reason is brackets (also referred to as “hangers”) that hold the weight of the exhaust system break down. If these brackets fail, the exhaust system will be supported by the exhaust manifold instead. However, exhaust manifolds are not meant to support the exhaust system.

Aside from leaks, cracks in the manifold can also allow outside air in. When this happens, it can cause the engine to stop working. Once you spot a crack, you should get it fixed on time because if it takes too long to get repaired, you can also cause major damage to the engine like blown head gaskets and overheated heads.

If you are not sure whether your exhaust manifold is still okay or not, here are some early detection signs that your exhaust manifold is going bad:

  1. Visible Cracking

    • As discussed above, cracks can allow outside air in. This air can cause the exhaust engine to falter. So when you see a visible crack, make sure to get it fixed immediately to avoid more issues in the long run.
  2. Exhaust Odors

    • Once you’ve noticed unpleasant odors coming from the exhaust, it’s best to seek help from a professional to resolve the issue. If it goes unnoticed, exhaust fumes may cause certain dangers like respiratory problems.
  3. Excess/Unusual noise

    • This may be caused by pressure forcing air out of the crack in the manifold. Upon a cold start of the engine, noises may be heard easier.

Exhaust Manifold Replacement

If you ignore faulty exhaust manifolds, the problem will only worsen over time. It can reduce engine power, cause sputtering, and other problems. Also, you won’t be able to pass emissions testing either. So if you have a faulty manifold, it must be taken off and inspected immediately. Afterwards, it should be replaced with a new manifold. While it might be expensive to do all that, just keep in mind that an exhaust manifold is an important component to your vehicle.

What Is An Engine Water Hammer?

An engine water hammer is a phenomenon when water infiltrates the engine cylinder along with air and fuel. This will occur exclusively through the intake manifold – which is the only place open for foreign substances to enter the engine. Keep in mind that no vehicle is protected from water hammer. In most cases when water hammer does happen, the vehicle will need costly repairs.

HOW DOES WATER ENTER THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE?

Water can possibly infiltrate the internal combustion engine in two ways:

  • The car was parked in low-lying areas which are prone to flooding. Or it happened to be in an underground parking area which got flooded.man in gray jacket and gray pants standing beside black car during daytime
  • The car gets into a very deep puddle which allowed a certain amount of water get into the air filter.

SIGNS OF ENGINE WATER HAMMER

Let’s say your car was caught in a deep-seated puddle or sudden flood, it is likely that the water has reached the upper edge of your car’s radiator. Below are signs that your car has engine water hammer:

  1. There is water in the intake manifold module.
  2. The air filter is wet.
  3. There are interruptions in speed and strong vibrations when operating the engine.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF AN ENGINE WATER HAMMER OCCURS?

If you’ve noticed all the signs above, then an engine water hammer has occurred. Here are some of the things you can do about it:

  1. The first thing you can do is to dry the car. Make sure that you unscrew the plugs and remove the air filter covers. Now, through the spark plug hole, take about one tablespoon engine oil and introduce into each cylinder. You may also use a special grease gun or a syringe to do this. With the help of the grease, the pistons may able to move if there happens to be rust on the cylinder walls.
  1. Lift the hood to check if there is water in the air filter. In some instances, you won’t see visible drops on the filter element, but you’ll notice that it is already deformed. That is a sure sign of a water hammer.
  1. If there is moisture, remove it immediately by using well-absorbent materials such as a dry napkin or a cotton fabric rag.
  1. If you have done everything above but still no progress, it’s best to call a tow truck to your chosen service station or garage. That way, you can seek help from professionals who know what’s best to get rid of engine water hammer.

TIPS TO PREVENT ENGINE WATER HAMMER

Engine water hammer is a real danger, but it can be prevented. If you want to know how you can prevent engine water hammer to happen, here are some tips you can follow:

  • When the weather is bad, there is one rule to always keep in mind: do not go through a huge pool of water;
  • If it can’t be avoided, make sure to run on a slower speed. By doing so, it would mean better chances of avoiding an engine water hammer to occur.
  • After going through that pool of water, it’s best to stop as a preventive measure and check the condition of your car’s air filter.

How to Increase Your Car’s Value (Part 2)

By now, you already know that maintaining your car’s value is a pretty difficult task. You have to consider the factors in Knowing Your Car’s Current Value. Aside from that, you will need to exert time and effort what you do. Plus, of course, you need enough money because regular car maintenance ain’t cheap. If you will not spend money on repairs, the value of your car will sharply decrease.

So, let’s get on with the topic and start regular maintenance.

Adhere to the Maintenance Schedule

You should allocate a certain budget for routine maintenance, and for every car, there would be varying needs. For instance, a Toyota Corolla will need an average of $367 for the usual repairs. However, for a BMW, you will need around $761, and that’s double the amount of owning a Toyota.

So, when you are deciding for an auto manufacturer brand, go for something within your annual budget. You will end up losing more if you do not care for your can properly. Keep the engine lubricated, change the brake pads, and so on.

Keep a Maintenance Log Filecar on gray asphalt

It’s not enough for you to stick to a schedule, but you should also show the documentation of your maintenance. To prove that your car is in great condition, you should keep logs of the repairs. The receipts will attest that you have followed a maintenance schedule, and you only visited reputable auto shops.

Every time you subject your car to repairs, keep the receipts as proof of transaction. Whether you changed the engine oil, the brake pads, or bought a new set of tires, record everything down.

Safety Features Are Valuable Upgrades

Next, there are safety features that add value to your car like the automatic emergency braking. Additionally, there is the forward collision warning system that can help you avoid head-on collisions and traffic accidents.

More than anything else, safety is the utmost priority here so when your car has additional safety features, this can increase the value. Yes, these upgrades may not be a built-in feauture, and you may need to pay extra for them. In the long run, add-ons such as Bluetooth speakers and rear cross traffic warnings will pay off once you decide to sell your car.

Keep the Headlights Bright

The exteriors of your car will make it look appealing. So, try to pay attention to the little details, like the headlights. If you keep it clean, potential buyers would be amazed how you were able to maintain it in a clear and bright state.

Wash Your Floormats

Floormats can sustain damage, and it’s not something that you constantly change. Take time to wash them if you noticed that they are pretty dusty and dirty. Maintain the mats to be in good shape, and if you notice obvious cuts and damage, then replace it right away. A new set won’t cost you over $50.

Stay Indoors

Park your car indoors because the exterior of your car can be affected by weather and other foreign elements lurking around. If it is parked inside, there’s less dust, less bug splatters, less tiny sediments that could affect the automotive refinish.

How to Increase Your Car’s Value (Part 1)

On my previous blog posts, I have discussed Knowing Your Car’s Current Value. Now, I would like to move further and talk about the specific tips in increasing your car’s value. Below, I have listed 4 tips for you to consider.

Keep the Tires Properly Inflated

A set of good working tires will help you maintain and improve your gas mileage. The best part is that the air pump are free to use at some tire shops. If gas stations offer it for a fee, it will not cost you over $5. So, there is no excuse for you not to care for your tires.

black and silver car wheel

To avoid premature wear on your tires,  balance and align your tires often.  Rotate and see if the tread is getting bald. If so, please do not hesitate to get a new set of tires. You will surely get a higher trade or selling value if you decide to do so later on.

Replace the Brakes

Like the other parts of your car, the brakes will also undergo the usual wear and tear. Most importantly, the brake pads will help you  keep you safe. It may cost you a few hundred bucks, but you cannot put a price on your safety.

Ideally, you should change the brake pads every 25,000 miles. If you want the brake pads to last longer, go for the ceramic pads or the semi-metallic ones. The brake pad replacement is something you can do at home, but to be sure, you can ask your trusted mechanic to do the job. Do yourself a favor and change the brake pads regularly. This is not only to retain your car’s value, but this is to keep you safe.

Change the Headlamps

The affordable headlights are the halogen ones, and they cost around $15 to $20. However, if you want a heavy-duty option, you can opt for the HID bulbs. First, you have to check on your car’s manual if it supported for your specific car model.

High Intensity Discharge (or popularly known as HID ) are typically used in huge spaces like a gym, a warehouse, or a stadium. You will also notice that HID bulbs are also for home flood lights and automotive lights.

Do Not Ignore Windshield Chips and Cracks

Did you know that it is considered illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in some U.S. states? So, it is best to check on state laws, and ask local authorities about it.

Aside from it being illegal, having a cracked windshield is totally unsafe. You are putting yourself and your passengers in grave danger. Moreover, if you plan to sell your car, a windshield chip or crack will definitely lessen its value. For small chips, do not rely on DIY repair kits. These things may be cheap, but you are not sure of their quality. For more tips, please refer to How to Increase Your Car’s Value (Part 2).

We take auto glass repair seriously!

A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS  only uses O.E.M. glass and adhesives when repairing your windshield. Most importantly, A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS values your safety so we will check if your windshield is functioning as it should. To know more about auto glass repair and replacement, you may contact 623-218-6844.

Knowing Your Car’s Current Value (Part 2)

In Knowing Your Car’s Current Value (Part 2), I started the discussion how to determine the value of your vehicle. Today, I will continue by sharing 4 more important factors that influence the estimated value. Let’s begin with the factors listed below:

The Mileage

  • Aside from the car manufacturer and popularity, another factor to consider is the age and mileage of the vehicle. Between the age and mileage, the mileage affects the depreciation value more. Generally, cars travel around 10,000 and 15,000 each year. If you drive your car with more than the average, then your car will decrease its value faster than expected.
  • red suv on snow covered road during daytime

    If the car has fewer miles, you will be able to soften the blow on the depreciation value. Imagine for a second that you are the buyer… would you buy a car with a mileage of over 500,000? Ideally, you would want to choose a car in excellent condition, which preferably has less than 100,000 of mileage.

The Car’s Condition

  • Like in other things, you usually classify objects by rating it as either excellent, very good, good, fair, or acceptable. Obviously, you will have to spend more money on a car that looks pristine. However, according to the Kelley Blue Book website, cars in excellent condition are only less than 5%. So, you will mostly find satisfactory or decent looking car.  That means if you want your car to stand out from the rest, it has to be in good working condition and the car should be well maintained.
  • If your car looks shabby and run-down, you might as well give away your old and rusty car.

The Upgrades

  • Next, people also consider the options such engine type, transmission type, and all-wheel drive upgrades. Other upgrades like the seat cushion, GPS navigation device, automobile roof, and an automatic climate control system will make a huge difference.
  • Let’s face it having add-ons will make a more visually pleasing. Going for a higher trim level will allow you to gain access to additional safety features, such as leather seating, powerful engine, an upgraded entertainment and navigation system. So, do your own research on what upgrades you prefer. Once you arrive at a car dealership, try to negotiate. Who knows you could pay an affordable price for a higher trim level?

Safety Features

  • Lastly, the safety features are an important consideration. It will help increasing the resale value of your car, and at the same time, it will keep you safe. People tend to look for something that will keep them safe such as collision warnings, blind spot detection, and other warnings that can alert them of the impending danger.

Tips in Increasing Your Car’s Value

On my next post, I will talk about how you can increase the value of your car. To be honest, maintaining your car in excellent condition is a difficult task. You will need to exert time and effort. Additionally, car repairs won’t come cheap. At the end of the day, you would want to own a car that would last for a long time.  To know more, refer to How To Increase Your Car’s Value (Part 1).

Knowing Your Car’s Current Value (Part 1)

If there is only ONE word to sum up the reality of owing a car, it would be: devaluation. Once you buy a car, it starts to lose its value. Over time, your car will depreciate because of the eventual wear and tear of car parts.

According to Edmunds, their resident experts mentioned that a car will immediately lose 11% of its estimated value the moment you drive off the car dealership gates. Given that not a lot happens with your car, but it will still lose around 15% to 25% of its total value each year. By the time you have reached the first 5 years, your car already lost more than 50% of its sale value.

As time passes, your car will also dwindle and get affected by depreciation. If you plan to drive the same car by the time you are old, you better do some thinking. Moreover, as the clock ticks, the value of your car also changes. If you plan to sell or trade in the future, consider the factors that affect the depreciation of your car.

That’s why taking care of your car will give you an extension. You will not be force to spend thousands for repairs or you can delay buying a brand new car. So, now, let’s now discuss the important factors that determine your car’s value.black 5-door hatchback

Determining Your Car’s Value

What you need to do is to research first on how quick your car depreciates. Look into its depreciation value, and find some helpful tips on how you can soften the negative impact. For the most part, the factors that affect your car’s value are the model and manufacturer of your car, the popularity of the brand, the specific details of your vehicle specifications, trim levels, the mileage, the current condition, the maintenance logs, and the physical appearance.

The Car Model and Manufacturer

If you plan to resell or trade your car in the future, make sure to check on the resale value of the vehicle. Does it retain its value over time? Well, there are superior brands when it comes to reselling and trading it due to popularity and reliability, which allows you to demand for a higher resale price. You can do your own research and look for something that fits your style of living and estimated budget.

For starters, you can begin your search with these websites below:

These websites will give you a head start if you want to do your own research. Then, you will have a rough idea on your car’s value. More factors will be discussed on Knowing Your Car’s Current Value (Part 2). Once you have a car in mind, you can have it checked. Whether it is a fairly new car or an old model, you can have it assessed by A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS.

A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS specializes in auto glass replacement and window tint installation. To know more about A+ PLUS AUTO GLASS, please call 623-218-6844.