Maintenance

Car lease tips and tricks to save money

Leases can save you a bundle on your monthly payment, but you should never forget that you don’t actually own the vehicle; you’re only the caretaker. And if – as the caretaker – you’re less than considerate in the care and feeding of your leased vehicle, you may get a very expensive reminder at the end of your lease when your car undergoes its wear-and-tear inspection.

That’s when you learn the cost for the door ding you got in the supermarket parking lot. Or that cigarette burn in the upholstery. Or those extra miles from your family vacation to California. Add it all up, and you may be on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Some wear-and-tear is worth fixing in advance, while other problems might be safely ignored.

Here are some tips to help you –

Coronavirus: How to disinfect and clean your car without ruining the interior

If your routine includes a lot of time either behind the wheel or in the back seat of strange automobiles, you may be wondering how best to protect yourself from the coronavirus pandemic. Or maybe you drive for Uber or Lyft and you want to protect yourself and your customers from accidental transmission. 

Take our fleet, for example. In the Autoblog office, we often have a half-dozen manufacturer-supplied vehicles rotating in and out every week, with just as many members of our staff taking turns behind the wheel. That’s a lot of cars being driven by a lot of people, and keeping them as disease-free as possible is a difficult, time-consuming task. 

When it comes to disinfecting an interior, the potential for unwanted interactions can be daunting, especially when some cleaning ingredients can do lasting harm to the materials that

Electric cars and the future of auto maintenance

Moving from internal combustion to electric power does more than reduce tailpipe emissions: it will fundamentally shatter today’s auto maintenance and service sector.

The decline is mathematical. With one-fifth the number of powertrain parts and an almost total elimination of oil (a), the typical automotive dealer will suffer 35% declines in maintenance and service revenue, or roughly $1,300, for an EV versus an internal combustion engine vehicle over a five-year period (b).

But this disruption is not even. Two of the top three maintenance items — oil changes and brake service (24% and 5%, respectively, of all maintenance transactions in the U.S. market) — are reduced or eliminated entirely by the move to EVs (c).

Why are brakes impacted? EVs often use a process called regenerative braking, which slows vehicles down while also saving energy. The reduced wear on pads

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Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Coolant Temperature Switch (Sensor)

The coolant temperature sensor, also known as the coolant temperature switch, is an engine management system sensor that is used to monitor the temperature of the engine’s coolant. Most coolant temperature sensors operate using electrical resistance to measure the temperature of the coolant. This signal is then sent to the computer so that changes can be made to the engine’s timing and fuel calculations for optimal performance, as engines require more fuel when they are cold, and less fuel when they are fully warmed up. The computer will also scale back engine performance settings if it detects that the engine temperature is too high, in order to protect the engine from possible damage due to overheating.

Because temperature plays such a vital role in engine performance calculations, any problem with the coolant temperature sensor can quickly translate into

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Master Cylinder

The brake master cylinder is one of the most important components found on modern car braking systems. It serves as the main valve that pushes brake fluid through the brake lines so that the brake calipers can squeeze the pads against the rotors. It functions by pushing a metal rod through a cylinder to force fluid through the braking system to the wheels. One end of this rod is attached to the pedal and is actuated when the pedal is depressed. Usually a faulty brake master cylinder will produce a few symptoms that alert the driver that service may be required.

1. Abnormal brake pedal behavior

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a bad or failing brake master cylinder is abnormal brake pedal behavior. The master cylinder is the component that generates all of the pressure