Your Garage is For Your Car!

Our Seattle body shop sees it all the time these days: driveways and residential roadsides filled with cars. Our lives can so easily become overwhelmed with excess clutter that it can be easy to forget that a car is supposed to be parked in the garage. After all, it’s easier to park your car outside than to pile up stacks upon stacks of cardboard boxes on your front lawn.

However, you can do yourself a great favor by finding a way to squeeze that car of yours back into its rightful place. Your car may very well be one of your most valuable pieces of property, as well as one of the most prone to breakdown. Such an asset needs to be treated properly. Only by housing it in your garage every night can it be best shielded from nocturnal break-ins, harsh weather effects, and the odd bit of flying debris. Save yourself some trouble in the long run, and reclaim your garage for your car.

Should I Fill My Tires with Nitrogen?

Filling your tires with nitrogen gas is one of the big luxuries you can get for your car, and some people want to know our Seattle auto body shop’s opinion as to whether this represents a worthwhile expense. Though this is a common practice for race cars and airliners, the fact is that this probably is not a practical idea for the common motorist.

The main idea of nitrogen-filled tires is that they resist wear and tear better, as nitrogen is less susceptible to leak out of your tires. It also experiences less of a change in volume when exposed to severe temperatures, allowing for more stable pressure. Ideally, this adds up to better performance for a longer period of time from your tires.

However, the first thing to remember is that the air we commonly put into our tires is already 78% nitrogen. An ideal mixture of nitrogen is going to be about 93% pure, so the extra money you spend is getting you roughly 15% more nitrogen. Based on the additional cost, and the miniscule improvement in performance you may experience, it’s not something that the average driver is going to find worthwhile.

Your Tricky Little Oxygen Sensor

Most motorists aren’t even aware that their cars have oxygen sensors, much less that these little devices can cause big problems for their engines. In truth, these elusive little spark-plug-like sensors can very well be the culprit for a majority of the “check engine light” issues that are brought into our Seattle auto body shop. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your own oxygen sensors and the implications they have on the performance of your vehicle.

When your “check engine light” goes on, this could mean that your oxygen sensor is not functioning properly. You may feel inclined to ignore this problem, as you will probably not notice any real issues in the functioning of your engine. However, a faulty oxygen sensor is actually causing your car to start sucking down gasoline like nobody’s business. This can result in up to a forty percent decline in fuel efficiency. So, if you think that your oxygen sensor is malfunctioning, bring it down to Greenwood as soon as you can.

Checking Your Car’s Fuses

Some people are surprised to learn that their cars have fuse boxes. It’s here that some of the simplest solutions to problems with your lights, radio, or possibly even ignition system may be found. As much as we appreciate your visits to our Seattle auto body shop, Greenwood Collision recommends that you familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s fuses; though it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s an easy part of troubleshooting your car’s problems that can save you a lot of time and money.

Many of today’s cars have two fuse boxes: one underneath the dashboard and one under the hood. They should be marked clearly and feature a diagram that will tell you which fuse corresponds to which system. If your headlights are not working, for example, seek out the fuse marked “headlights” and pull it out. Some cars will supply you with a tool for removing the fuses, but it should be easily done with your hands as well. You’ll see a melted “bridge” going between the fuse’s blades if it has been blown, at which point you should replace the fuse. Your new fuse must be of the same amperage as the old one; you’ll be able to find a fuse’s amperage based on its color coding. Simply push the new fuse into place as if you were pushing a plug into an electrical outlet.

By familiarizing yourself with your car’s fuse boxes and keeping some extra fuses on hand, you may be able to save yourself a few unnecessary trips to your auto shop. Failing that, however, you can at least help your auto mechanic narrow down the cause of your problems. So get to know your fuses! It’ll pay off in the long run.

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