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When spring rolls around, we all have a long list of tasks to tackle. Everything from thoroughly dusting the house to packing up your heavy winter coats seems to eat up your free time. All too often, the importance of caring for your car gets ignored after harsh winter driving conditions and preparing it for the heat of summer.

While the idea of adding preventive maintenance for your vehicle to your list might seem daunting, one of the best things you can do in the spring is to have your vehicle’s cabin air filter changed. It is easy to overlook this routine task, so we’ve put together our top three reasons why it’s a springtime necessity.

Pollen’s a Problem
Perhaps the most important reason to change your cabin air filter is to ensure you won’t be breathing in all the pollen from outside. While a filter should normally be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, it is often a good idea to change it at the end of pollen season too. Otherwise, allergens might end up blowing through your vents as the filter deteriorates.

Clean Air, Clean Car
With the unpredictable weather that accompanies spring, your air conditioning is sure to get a ton of work, placing more strain than ever on your filter. When this happens, pollen isn’t the only thing that can come through your vents. If a filter isn’t changed regularly, gunk can build up and eventually start blowing into the main cabin. This can quickly turn a recently detailed car into a dusty mess.

Efficiency Is Key
While cabin filters may help you breathe easier, they also help keep things running smoothly. A dirty filter can result in your heater core or air conditioner becoming clogged, reducing overall efficiency and causing a headache down the road.

Changing your cabin air filter can be a painless process and relatively inexpensive. Any of Mighty’s thousands of partner facilities across the nation will be able to help and get you back on the road in no time.

To find out more, visit us today at mightyautoparts.com!

The post 3 Reasons Spring Is the Perfect Time to Change Your Cabin Air Filter appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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Just like you, your car requires regular, preventive care to stay healthy. What’s one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly? Having your fluids checked and changed when required.

Did you know most automotive repair facilities where you have service done will check your vehicle’s fluids between visits for free? Do you know how many fluids need to be checked or how often they need to be changed?

Everyone knows engine oil in his or her vehicle needs to be replaced! Below is a brief introduction to other important fluids, as well as engine oil, required to make your vehicle run properly.

Engine Oil

Once upon a time manufacturers recommended you check your oil every time you fill up with gas, but with most modern cars you’re safe having the levels checked once a month.

The more important question is, how often should the engine oil be replaced? The answer depends on the car, type of oil and oil filter used, as well as your driving habits. You will need to consult your owner’s manual to find out your vehicle’s recommended oil change interval. Your trusted automotive repair facility will be able to help you determine the type of driver you are or what your driving habits are.

Differential Oil

If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, your differential will need periodic service. When your vehicle turns a corner, your inside wheels don’t have as far to travel as the outside wheels. The differential oil in your vehicle is what allows the wheels to spin at different rates.

Just like engine oil, differential oil needs to be changed at regular intervals. Consult your owner’s manual to know how often the differential oil in your vehicle needs to be changed. Knowing these intervals and maintaining your vehicle per the manufacturer’s recommendations will help ensure your vehicle provides you with many trouble-free driving miles.

Brake Fluid

You won’t stop very well without it. Brake fluid is used in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications. It turns the force you put on the brake pedal into the pressure that applies the brakes and stops the vehicle.

Most brake fluids used today are glycol-ether based, and most automotive professionals agree that glycol-based brake fluid should be serviced every 1–2 years or 24k miles. Ask your local repair facility about the condition of your brake fluid.

Power Steering Oil

Most vehicles these days have a hydraulic power-steering system. Whether you steer left or right, it’s a smooth turn either way. However, if there isn’t enough power steering fluid, steering becomes difficult, and the delicate hardware inside the power steering rack can be damaged.

With some vehicles, power-steering fluid level can only be checked accurately after the engine has been running and sometimes the steering wheel needs to be turned, while the car idles. Your local automotive repair facility can help!

Ask your service provider to check the condition of your power steering fluid and service it if the mileage and condition warrant.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is what keeps your transmission smoothly transferring power from your engine to the wheels. Monitor its levels monthly and make sure you have it replaced every 50,000-100,000 miles. Just like other fluids in your vehicle, this mileage range depends on your manufacturer’s recommendations and driving conditions.

You should have your transmission fluid checked every time your engine oil is changed at a minimum. Your transmission fluid should never be low! Have it checked regularly by your local professional.

Coolant

If your engine’s coolant level is low it may overheat. You can typically check this fluid by removing the radiator cap. Note: Never check the coolant when the vehicle is hot, or when your car is running! Add more as needed, but add the same type of coolant already in the reservoir.

Coolant levels should be checked at least twice a year, winter and summer, and replaced on average every 2-3 years.

Now You Know!

Monitoring, maintaining, and changing your vehicle’s fluids should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Follow these, and you’ll be improving and protecting your vehicle’s performance.

To learn more about protecting the longevity of your vehicle, visit Blog.MightyAutoParts.com, the leading provider of quality auto parts to honest technicians from coast-to-coast.

The post A Primer in Vehicle Fluids appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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The importance of vehicle inspection cannot be overstated. The common idea has always been to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles.  Lately, different services have begun to recommended oil change intervals at increasing rates beyond 3,000 miles all the way up to 5,000 miles.

So what does this mean? It means fewer service visits per year which in turn causes fewer opportunities for you service technician to find issues that need repair.

When you do come in for that oil change, it is essential to give your technician time to perform a complete vehicle inspection. In the long run, this will help you save time and money while preventing major repairs.

Having peace of mind when behind the wheel is invaluable, talk to your service technician today about scheduling an inspection program today.

What's the Importance of Vehicle Inspection? - YouTube

The post Your Vehicle Needs A Physical! appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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The true test of wiper durability is during the winter… snow and ice covering the windshield and the wiper blade. Proper wiper care in the winter is helpful but some perceived remedies could actually damage your wiping system, windshield, or the finish of your vehicle.

If the car has been left out and the windshield is covered with ice and snow, the wipers are probably stuck to the windshield and may not easily lift off. Hopefully the wipers were in the “off” position when the engine shut down, so the system will not be working against the ice – possibly damaging the motor or linkage. First, NEVER pour hot water or liquid on the windshield to thaw it. The sudden change in temperature could crack and even shatter the windshield. Next, do not attempt to pull the wipers off the windshield. Doing so could rip the rubber, bend the frame, destroy the joints of the wiper… and if you pulled on the wiper arm you could bend the arm which could cause future wiper problems. Also, we do not recommend pouring any fluids on the windshield that are not intended for automotive use. These include brine (pickle juice) or alcohol (some have suggested vodka… really?). Use a winter formula washer fluid if you want to try to speed the process, but it must be winter formula. It’s best to proceed safely!

The best method is starting the vehicle and let the defroster slowly warm up the windshield. Once the ice on the windshield has started melting, an ice scraper should pry up the frozen coating. Wait until the thaw reaches the windshield wipers before pulling them up and cleaning the ice off the blade and arm. DO NOT run the wipers over frozen ice on the windshield. This has the same effect as running your hand over sandpaper. Jagged ice will destroy the rubber edge of the wiper and replacement is the only fix.

If you are able to prepare for icing, you may avoid a lot of problems. Some like to lift the wiper arms away from the windshield and have the blades suspended. This will help in snow conditions, but not icing. The blades will still ice up unless you cover them. Some suggest using socks, but if your blades are a popular 26” length you may need the socks from an NBA uniform to cover the length. Plastic bags secured with a rubber band have worked well, or some have used saran wrap.

Covering the entire windshield and wiper blades is another option. Aftermarket products accomplish this with a plastic film and magnets that hold the cover in place along the A-pillar. You could get the same results with a sheet of thin plastic that covers the windshield and wraps into the driver and passenger doorways, then close the door to keep it in place… but it should be THIN material.

Some consumers like winter blades or replace original frame blades with aero or beam style blades to minimize ice build-up in the frames. They work to a certain degree on the blade, but do not help clearing the ice off the windshield. The best tool you have to cope with wipers in winter good old common sense.

The post Winter Wiper Do’s and Don’ts… appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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These items could be ideal gifts for the automotive enthusiast—or family chauffeur—in your life. (You could also give yourself a present.)

Your car isn’t just a set of wheels. It’s a way to show off your personality.

If you’re looking to jazz it up with options to help you drive more safely or make your ride more convenient, we’ve got a shopping list just for you.

Remember, these accessories could make great gifts for your friends and family.

Let’s take a look:

Smartphone mount 

Navigating can be stressful. What makes it even more stressful—and dangerous—is when you’re fumbling for your phone or looking down at it for directions. Solve this problem with a smartphone mount, which puts your phone in your line of vision. 

Rearview camera 

Do you feel a little anxious when you parallel park or pull out of a parking space? A rearview camera might be right for you because it shows you who—or what—is directly behind you.  

iPad holder 

If you’ve got kids who can’t get enough of their (or your) iPad, a no-frills, non-installation iPad holder is exactly what you need. Made with an elastic strap, iPad holders fit on the back of the front seat headrest, making the car ride more enjoyable and entertaining for the passengers in the back seat. 

Purse holder 

Purse holders come in all shapes and sizes, but each one was created to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. For the times when you’re driving and you need to reach into your purse for something, an easy-to-reach purse holder is what you’ve been looking for. 

Blind-spot mirrors 

Newer cars have blind sport alert functions, but if you’re driving something a little older—tiny blind spot mirrors can do the trick. These mirrors easily attach to the outside mirrors on your car and give you an “extra” eye when you’re driving.

The post Cool Car Gadgets: Holiday Gift Giving Ideas appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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Proper tire maintenance keeps you safe and your vehicle performing at its best. Checking tire pressure is one of the most important, yet commonly overlooked inspection procedures. Consider the fact that air pressure is responsible for supporting the weight of a car, not the tires themselves. Manufacturer’s tire pressure specifications are designed to ensure peak handling and traction while maximizing fuel efficiency and tire service life.

Maintaining recommended tire pressure is more than simply “fill it and forget it.” Tire pressure fluctuates for a variety of reasons. Seasonal changes in temperature impacts tire pressure significantly, whether increasing or decreasing. Hotter temperatures cause air in tires to expand, which can result in tires being over-inflated. Cooler temperatures have the opposite effect, reducing air pressure. Interestingly, it is estimated that a 10°F change in temperature will increase or decrease tire pressure by 1 pound per square inch, or 1 PSI. In North America, the average change in temperature between summer and winter months is 50°F, meaning that changing seasons could impact tire pressure by 5 PSI or more, assuming no additional air loss has occurred. Normal driving also affects tire pressure. It’s estimated that within several miles of driving, tire temperature can rise by 20°F, increasing tire pressure by 2 PSI.

The effect of changing temperatures on tire pressure explains why drivers with TPMS (Tire Pressure monitoring System) equipped vehicles experience low pressure warning lights as temperatures drop. Unfortunately, drivers of vehicles without TPMS may not be aware of a possible unsafe tire condition.

The key to maintaining proper tire pressure is to check your tires regularly, especially during seasonal changes in temperature. For best results, always check tire pressure when the tires are cold, or only after driving the vehicle a short distance. And always follow the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, found in the vehicle owner’s manual or tire information placard (see fig. 1) located on the driver side door jamb.

Figure 1

Click here to learn more about the quality products and services at Mighty Auto Parts.

The post Changing Seasons Means More than Changing Temperatures appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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Before you know it, your car’s going to be at risk of slipping, sliding, and other common wintery issues. Is your car ready for the challenges of the winter season? Being proactive about winter car preparation can help keep you and your loved ones safer on the road.

Take these 5 steps to prepare your car for winter.

  1. Make Sure Your Tires Are Fit for Winter Weather– It’s wise to check the condition of your tires before winter hits. There are two key factors that affect tire performance, proper inflation and tread wear. Tire pressure should match the recommended tire inflation shown on the driver’s side door jamb placard or sticker. In most states, the minimum legal tread depth for a passenger tire is 2/32”. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require that a passenger tire be manufactured with wear bars to allow for visual inspection of the tread depth. As illustrated, wear bars run across the width of a tire. If the surface of a tire is flush with the wear bar, the tread is less than 2/32” and needs to be replaced.

  1. Check on Your Car Battery and Headlights– One of the effects of cold temperature is that it causes the battery to work harder. This means your car battery will require more power to start the engine and to operate. You should find out if your battery is in good condition for this kind of strain. It may need to be replaced as a preventive measure.

In some cases, batteries just need to have corrosion removed and have the cables inspected to be ready for winter. In the process, clean and/or restore your headlights. These are essential for safety, especially when your headlights may need to shine through elements like snow or sleet.

  1. Stock Your Car’s Emergency Kit– Winter weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for what winter may throw your way. In case of an emergency like engine trouble or sliding into a snowdrift, there are certain items you should keep on hand. This is extremely important for your safety. Create an emergency kit to keep in your trunk. Be sure your kit includes:
  • Blanket
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Toolkit
  • First-aid kit
  • Boots, gloves, and warm clothes
  • Water and non-perishable food
  • An ice scraper and a small shovel
  • A flashlight and backup phone-charging battery
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Tire chains, a tire gauge, a spare tire, and tire-changing equipment
  • Abrasive material like sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter for traction if you get stuck
  1. Replace Your Windshield Wipers- If you live in an area that gets ice and snow, it is essential to use good quality wiper blades. Be sure to keep an ice scraper handy too wipers are not designed to clear ice off the windshield.
  1. Ask an Automotive Technician to Winterize Your Vehicle– Your car also needs specific types of maintenance performed in preparation for winter. For example, check the cooling system, belts, tensioners and hoses. Some manufacturers suggest changing the oil and replacing dirty filters seasonally.

In summary, conditions tend to be more hazardous during this season, so getting your car winter ready using Mighty Auto Parts is the best way to ensure you’re equipped to handle the winter season.

Learn more about how Mighty Auto Parts can help you equip your car for safety here.

The post Don’t Slip Up: 5 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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Today’s modern vehicle is known for its ability to hum quietly along, so when a new noise starts, you’ll probably notice this right away. However, you may not know what it means. Discover what these seven distinct noises could mean to your vehicle’s health.

Download full PDF info graphic here.

The post What Noise is My Car Making and What Does it Mean? appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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Running out of candy on Halloween night is a scary thought! However, do you know what is even spookier? Neglecting to prioritize proper car maintenance throughout the fall months. Heading into winter, it’s of ghastly importance to be proactive in preparing your car’s battery, brakes, headlights, tires, and windshield wipers for the sometimes-frightening harsh weather ahead. So here are some tips to avoid problems in these five parts of your car.

  1. Battery: On All Hallow’s Eve, it’s important to prepare for an encounter with the undead. Make sure your battery is charged (and fully alive!) to make a quick getaway. Check and charge your battery this fall at a service center near you.
  2. Brakes: With all those little fairies and ninjas on the road, safe braking is crucial. Also, sliding into the winter months should not mean sliding on icy roads. Have those brakes checked out now—before the trick-or-treaters and winter storms arrive.
  3. Headlights: What happens when the crypt keeper jumps out in front of your car on a dark and treacherous evening? With your newly serviced brakes, you can come to a quick stop—if you see him! Don’t forget to test those headlights regularly, replace bulbs if needed, and give those lamps a thorough cleaning. Nothing ruins a holiday like running into ghouls unprepared.
  4. Tires: The streets just ooze fun and playfulness this time of year, so make sure your tires have a great grip during all your travels. Perform a weekly visual inspection to check for wear and damage and check the tire pressure bi-weekly. If your tread depth is low or cords are showing, you could be in danger on the roads, and that can be truly terrifying.
  5. Windshield Wipers: Part of the fun of Halloween is never knowing what kind of superhero or princess will show up at your doorstep. What’s not so fun is unpredictable winter weather and how it affects visibility during your commutes. Fall is a great time to replace your wiper blades, and don’t forget to refill your wiper reservoir with fluid to keep your windshield clean and clear.

This Halloween Mighty Auto Parts can help you be fully armed and ready to fight those creepy creatures and the upcoming challenges of winter weather. Follow these tips if you want to be ghoulish and not foolish this Halloween and into the months ahead.

Learn more here about the automotive treats instead of tricks offered by Mighty Auto Parts!

The post Don’t Let Car Maintenance Terrify You this Halloween appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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With the inevitable shorter days coming with the changing seasons, you’ll be depending more on your headlights. That means they need to be working properly; so it’s time to focus on headlight maintenance. You may find you need to clean or replace your headlights if they aren’t working optimally to ensure you can see the road at all times while driving at night.

Dark Driving—Headlights Are a Critical Resource

Once Daylight Savings ends, you’ll probably find yourself driving to and from work in the twilight. It’s at this point your dependence on your headlights hit a high. Not only do headlights allow you to navigate in the dark, but they also ensure that other drivers see you.

While many of the latest models have automatic lights that sense when they need to be on, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still maintain and check them. Here’s how you can check your headlight operation. Get to a place that is closed in like a garage or parking deck. Look for a reflection or other indicator of proper exterior illumination. It’s a good time to check your turn signals, too. This check will allow you to determine if any lights need to be replaced if there’s no light or need to be cleaned if they are too faint.

Cold Seasons Equal More Grime

Driving conditions in the fall and winter are different than warmer months, especially if you live in an area with lots of snow and ice. This grime accumulates on your car’s exterior, necessitating the need to clean your headlights more regularly. Add this to your regular checklist of pre-winter maintenance.

Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Properly running headlights are also key to safety on the road. There’s the ability for you to see more clearly as you are driving, including spotting pedestrians. Your lights are also beacons to other cars behind you, in front of you, or passing you going the other way. If your lights aren’t working correctly, your risk for an accident could increase. Headlight maintenance could be the difference between a normal drive home and a collision.

Car Headlight Performance Levels: What’s Right for You?

As a driver, it’s important to know that there are a variety of choices to suit your car’s needs. For example, there are headlights that deliver greater brightness for road visibility or whiter light to assist with contrast, helping drivers identify objects on the road or beside it. If you choose to replace your car’s headlights, review all your options and consider what you need most as a night driver.

Replace Before Burnouts During Your Pre-Winter Check-Up

A burned-out headlight is a safety hazard—it could also land you a ticket from law enforcement. With only one headlight, you’ll have half the visibility you need. If you aren’t sure the last time your headlights were replaced, or if you have never had them replaced, then go ahead and take the opportunity to do so during your pre-winter check-up.

Ready to Replace Your Headlights?

For more information on maintaining safety for your headlights, ask an auto technician professional for tips and tricks to keep them at their brightest. For the automotive professional, Mighty offers a Headlight Restoration Kit. To learn more about this kit contact your local Mighty distributor or click here to learn more about Mighty Auto Parts products and services.

The post Changing Seasons Signal Time to Check the Health of Your Vehicle’s Headlights appeared first on Mighty Auto Parts.

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