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Tips for Unlocking a Steering Wheel

03/22/2021
steering wheel

Most vehicles come with a steering wheel lock that engages when they are not being used. This safety feature can be troublesome, however, if the steering wheel refuses to budge or locks up when you need to drive to your next destination in Boise, Idaho. There are a few methods for getting your steering wheel unlocked.

Ignition Pressure

Most of the time, a locked steering wheel can be released simply by turning on the ignition or repeating the ignition process. The key to this method is avoiding the urge to exert too much pressure on the key or the wheel. Applying too much force can cause several problems:

  • Damaged ignition switch
  • Broken key
  • Expensive repair costs

Instead, insert the key and turn it gently to engage the ignition switch. More often than not, this will release the steering wheel. If the key does not turn easily, you may also try placing pressure on the wheel itself in the direction you want it to turn.

Ignition Cleaning

If the steering wheel lock does not release as easily as it should, you may have a sticky ignition. Debris in the key hole may prevent the mechanism from working properly. Try using canned air to blow out some of the dust or particles that have accumulated inside the ignition. If the problem persists, it may need further cleaning. Your local automotive store can recommend a good electrical cleaner. Squirt a few drops into the ignition, being careful not to overdo it. Then use your key to get the cleaner to all the spots it needs to reach. Once you've done this, the lock may release more easily.

Ignition Replacement

If following car tips such as gentle coaxing and cleaning don't release your locked steering wheel, it's time to consult the maintenance professionals at a trusted used car dealership. As with any car part, the ignition eventually will wear out and need to be replaced. Technicians can assess the problem and give you an estimate of how much it will cost to have the work done in a timely manner.

The steering wheel lock on your car serves an important purpose, but you need it to release when it's time to drive. There are a few things you can do on your own, but don't hesitate to call in the professionals if those tricks don't work.

Tips for Financing Your Car Purchase

car loans

When buying a car, it's natural to spend a lot of time considering the pros and cons of the various vehicles on your radar. What isn't quite as common is researching the different types of loans. When you plan to buy through a used car dealership, in Meridian, Idaho, to save money and avoid steep depreciation, it's important to know how to finance a car.

Types of Loans

If you don't know much about loans and financing, you could end up paying much more than you need. The good news is that with research, you can choose an affordable, cost-effective loan:

  • Lengthy loans
  • Short-term loans
  • Bad-credit or no-credit loans
  • Bank loans
  • Credit union loans
  • Dealer financing

You can decide which options are best by comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each and by talking to a trusted advisor.

Long-term or Short-term Loans

Whether you shop at a new or used car dealership, the salesperson is highly motivated to offer longer-term loans. This is because you pay a lot of extra interest. This means you will ultimately pay several times the original price of the automobile. Choose a loan with the shortest term you can afford.

Bad-Credit or No-Credit Loans

It doesn't take much of an emergency to prompt a drop in your credit score. Unfortunately, this will make it harder to get a used car loan. Bad-credit and no-credit loans can be helpful, but these come with high interest rates. If you must use one of these loans, shop around before heading to the dealership.

Bank, Credit Union, and Dealership Loans

Bank loans tend to be more expensive than credit union loans, and the credit union is usually more flexible about the terms of a used car loan. However, sometimes, dealerships can offer more quotes because they work with more than one bank. The dealership salesperson is more motivated to get you into a loan than a bank or credit union, so the salesperson may work harder to find you a loan that suits your needs.

These are just a few examples of how you can get the best financing when buying an auto from a new or used car dealership. The more research you can do, the better.

How and Why You Need To Check Your Car's Oil

02/24/2021
checking your oil

Oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle. If you have a new car or one you bought at a used car dealership in Boise, ID, you need to know why, when and how to check the oil. You should also know when to have your oil changed.

How To Check Your Oil

Checking your oil is relatively easy. With the car turned off and preferably cool you:

  1. Locate the dipstick
  2. Pull the dipstick out
  3. Wipe off the excess oil using a rag
  4. Reinsert the dipstick
  5. Pull the dipstick out again and look at the engine side end

You should see something like "add oil" towards the bottom and "full" an inch above that with crosshatched lines in between. If it reads full or near full, then you are fine. If it reads closer to add oil, you should add some oil but never go over the full line. It is important to check the oil regularly to detect leaks.

Why Check Your Oil

No matter what make or model car you have, it needs some form of oil or lubricant. Motor oil is vital for your car's most important parts, such as the valves. If there is no lubricant in your engine, your engine will seize up and overheat. Then you will have to replace your motor. Checking your oil is a vital part of car maintenance

When To Check Your Oil

If you know you do not leak, you should check your oil at least once per month. If you have a leak, you have to check the oil more frequently until you have it fixed by a licensed auto mechanic or repair shop specializing in these types of leaks.

When You Need an Oil Change

When you look at your oil, it should appear a very light brown or clear. If it is dark, you should get an oil change. You should also get your oil changed every six months or 1,000 miles, depending on your car or oil type. Checking your oil is not difficult and is essential. Remember to always read your car owner's manual and follow its guidelines.

3 Reasons Your Car's Brakes Might Squeak

squeaky brakes

Being able to stop your car efficiently when you need to is a critical component of safe driving. If your brakes are squeaking, it is important to know whether it is a critical problem that warrants brake replacement or whether the issue can be resolved in some other way.

These are three reasons your brakes might squeak.

  1. Worn Brake Pads
    Brake pads contain a metal disc that is exposed as your brake pads wear down. This functions as a warning to the vehicle owner that the brake pads need to be replaced. If you know how to, you can replace the brake pads yourself. If you don't want to do the repair yourself, you can take your car to a service station in Meridian, ID, and have them replace the pads for you. A mechanic will usually also check your rotors for damage while your car is being serviced.
  2. Warped Discs and Rotors
    Hard braking can accelerate the rate at which your brake pads wear down. It also generates heat that can contribute to the warping of your brake discs and rotors. If your discs and rotors are warped you may need brake replacement. You can reduce the chances of this happening by avoiding hard braking whenever possible and replacing your brake pads whenever they become worn.
  3. Dirty or Rusted Rotors
    Dirt, debris, rust or wear and tear on your rotors can cause the surface to lose its smoothness, resulting in squeaky brakes. A mechanic may be able to file your rotor surfaces to remove debris and rust and smooth out the surface. Some squeaking noises may be a sign that you need brake replacement; however, usually, it indicates a maintenance problem that if addressed promptly can save you from needing more expensive repairs. You should have your vehicle's brakes inspected as soon as possible to avoid potential brake failure or additional damage.

The Most Common Car Leaks

01/22/2021
oil leaks

You pull out of your driveway and you notice a brown stain on the pavement where your car was parked. This is a clear sign that something is leaking. It's most likely motor oil, but there are many other fluids that your vehicle uses that have the potential to cause a steady drip. Identifying the kind of car leak you have is the first step of getting it fixed.

Oil
Keeping your oil at the right level is crucial for engine lubrication. If left undetected, an oil leak can cause irreparable damage to your car after a while. There are several reasons why your car may be oozing motor oil:

  • Lax car maintenance schedule
  • Loose oil filter
  • Uneven tightness on gasket and oil pan
  • Cracked or faulty seals
  • Worn out components
If you see a stain on the concrete where your car is parked, you should have the service department at a used car dealership in Boise, ID, take a look at your vehicle. Expert mechanics can find and fix the problem so that your engine doesn't burn up from too much friction.

Antifreeze
Another common car leak, particularly in the winter months, is antifreeze. If the chamber gets cracked, you may see pink, green or yellow liquid running from under your car. A timely repair keeps your engine's temperature in check.

Brake Fluid
If the puddle is near your tires, it may be brake fluid. This liquid can be brown or clear, and it is crucial for making sure your brakes work properly. Fixing this leak as soon as you notice it helps keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

Transmission Fluid
This brown or red fluid shows up under the middle of your vehicle when it leaks. Your car's transmission helps it shift gears more easily, taking some of the pressure off the engine. Delaying repairs can cause extra problems. No matter what fluid you find pooling beneath your vehicle, a car leak is never something you want to ignore. What starts as a small stream can become a much bigger issue in very little time. Timely maintenance and repair are the keys to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and reliably.



Keeping Your Car Clean During a Quarantine

01/22/2021
Covid 19 cleaning

COVID-19 has everyone washing their hands and not touching public surfaces, but many people forget about the surfaces we touch every day without even realizing it. Surfaces like those in your car. Fortunately, there are quick ways to disinfect your car during the quarantine.

Where To Concentrate Your Cleaning
Where you clean is extremely important to keep yourself safe. You want to concentrate on areas that you are likely to touch, such as:

  • Door handles inside and out of the car
  • Your key fob and keys
  • Your ignition
  • The armrests
  • The consol and buttons
  • Seatbelts and buckles
You might also want to look for areas that you might touch accidentally. If you are unsure, you might want to contact a new or used car dealership in Boise, ID that offers car cleaning and disinfecting services. They are educated in all of the best disinfection techniques and can clean your entire car.

What To Use When Cleaning
Your car has a variety of surfaces that can become contaminated with the virus. Although some disinfectants cover a variety of these, the interior of your car might need different cleaners. Optimally you want to use the correct cleaner on the correct part. Isopropyl alcohol of at least 70% can clean and disinfect most of the surfaces in your car without damaging them. It is also extremely effective against COVID-19.
The exception to this is leather or vinyl interiors. Alcohol will damage leather and cause it to dry out. In this case, a dealer approved conditioner that contains a disinfectant is necessary.

What NOT To Use When Cleaning
Although it might seem like a good idea, you never want to use bleach or ammonia on your car's interior or exterior. Although effective for disinfecting, these chemicals will damage the clear coat, paint and other surfaces. Many quarantine tips suggest using these, but in this case, using them will cause more harm than good. When in doubt, you can always consult your car owner's manual to ensure a substance is safe for your car.
The majority of the websites containing information on COVID-19 caution you to clean commonly touched surfaces. As many return to working outside their home, properly cleaning and disinfecting your car will become more important. Make sure you know how to disinfect it properly."