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Spark Plugs – How Often Should They Be Replaced?

April 27th, 2017

In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor’s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.

But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?

Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Reasons Why Tire Inflation Is So Important

April 13th, 2017

Even just a pound or two of underinflation in your tires can be a problem. Why, though? There are several reasons. 

Tire Inflation

Fuel economy: If you ever rode a bicycle with a low tire, you know that it feels like you’re riding through wet cement due to the added rolling resistance. The same thing is happening with your car, and compromising your fuel economy. Over the course of 10,000 miles per year, that can add up to 150 gallons of gas or $500 out of your pocket!

Handling: Low tire pressure means poorer control and longer stopping distances. At high speeds, in particular, this can be downright hazardous.

Premature tire wear: Underinflated tires are under a lot of stress, especially their steel ...[more]

  Tags: tires, tire pressure
  Posted in: Tires 101

Spring Car Care Tips

April 10th, 2017
Winter sweaters and boots are being swapped out for shorts and sandals. Have you done any warm weather maintenance on your car? Warm weather means long weekend getaways and even longer vacation road trips, so taking the time to perform seasonal maintenance today can help avoid trouble later.
  Posted in: Car Care Tips

Uh Oh…My Check Engine Light Is On

March 30th, 2017

So you come out to start your car one morning and the Check Engine light on the dashboard comes on…and doesn’t go back off again. You can’t really notice any difference in the way the car runs and drives, but it’s on anyway.

What does it mean?Check Engine Light

Since the late 80s, most engine functions have been controlled by a central drivetrain computer. This includes emissions controls, fuel metering and delivery, ignition timing, shift points and many other elements of drivability and performance. The drivetrain computer relies on information from a chain of sensors that monitor exhaust composition, camshaft position, throttle position and many other factors.

The voltage readings from any of these sensors are supposed to fall within a certain range. Whe ...[more]

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

10 Things You Should Do To Get Your Vehicle Ready For Spring & Summer

March 24th, 2017

Most will help your vehicle perform more efficiently, get better gas mileage and last longer. 

 

Get rid of road salt on the undercarriage.

Road salt can damage your vehicle by eating away at its undercarriage. Use a garden hose with as much water pressure as your system can muster to loosen winter grime and salt. Or, if you have a movable lawn sprinkler that's low enough, set that under the vehicle to wash away what you can't reach.

 

Check the tires’ pressure.

Tire pressure changes about 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, so it's important to check tire pressure after weather changes. Check your owner's manual for the recommended pressure f ...[more]

  Posted in: CJ Tire News, Car Care Tips

Driving Safely in the Springtime

March 20th, 2017
Now that winter is over, did you think that the weather would no longer affect your driving? Well, you aren’t in the clear yet. The warm spring rains can make springtime driving almost as dangerous as driving in the snow and ice.
  Posted in: Tires 101

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Tires

March 16th, 2017

Tires1. For performance and handling, the trend has long been toward fatter tires with a bigger footprint. That’s starting to change, though. Skinnier tires mean lower rolling resistance and better fuel economy, as well as a smaller aerodynamic profile. While fatter tires do handle better, tire engineers are making up the difference by designing skinny tires with a stickier tread formulation for traction and cornering ability.

2. Static electricity used to be a real concern for vehicles; if you’re old enough, you may remember seeing station wagons with a “ground strap” dragging along the pavement. It’s become a concern again, with newer tread compounds cutting back on the amount of carbon black in newer tires. The solution? Many tires are now designed with an “antenna strip” ...[more]

  Posted in: Tires 101

CJ’s Guide to Safe Wet Weather Driving

March 10th, 2017
To maximize your driving safety in wet weather conditions, be aware of the road conditions, reduce speed appropriately, and be prepared for challenging situations. Make sure all of your lights and wipers are working properly. And don’t take your tires for granted. Make sure they have enough tread depth left and keep them properly inflated so they can keep control of your vehicle in your hands.
  Posted in: Tire Basics

Is Your Car “Rain Safe”?

February 27th, 2017
Two of the most important keys to keeping your car “rain safe” are wipers and tires. For many people, driving on a rainy day is more hazardous than driving in winter weather. According to the American Automobile Association, wet road surfaces contribute to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. In fact almost 50 percent of weather-related crashes happened during rainfall, but just 17 percent happened, while it was snowing or sleeting. These statistics can be partially explained, of course, by the fact that many drivers have the good sense to stay home during a bad winter weather. But the statistics also reflect a sobering truth: Drivers often do not respect the rain, and they fail to adjust their driving habits to hazardous conditions.
  Posted in: Car Care Tips

Get Your Car Really, Really, REALLY Clean!

February 23rd, 2017

It can be a lot of work and attention to detail to get your car really clean…especially if it’s pretty dirty to start with…but here are some ideas for truly thorough cleaning that you may not have thought of!Cleaning Car

--A cheap foam paintbrush can get into crevices (like A/C vents) that might be impossible otherwise. As you loosen up dust from these spots, keep a vacuum cleaner nozzle at work in your other hand to suck up the dust and prevent it from settling other places.

--A soft-bristled brush is perfect for cleaning around radio knobs and other buttons.

--While you’re cleaning, don’t forget to locate your cabin air filter and replace it. A dirty cabin air filter can lead to a lot of odd smells and stinks. Check your owner’s manual; cabin ...[more]

  Tags: tips
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101
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