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FIGURE OUT WHY YOUR CAR IS OVERHEATING

An overheating engine is more than a bummer, it can be an expensive engine killer that will leave you on the side of the road, then on to the repair shop for an expensive repair bill. If your car has been running hot, you know the feeling. You're sitting in traffic, the light turns green, and you pray that traffic breaks enough for you to get some air flowing over the radiator so that engine temperature needle will go down just a little bit. It's beyond stressful, and there's no reason you should be forced to endure this. The fact is, there are only a few things that commonly cause an engine to overheat regularly. 1. Low Coolant By a large margin, the most common cause for engine overheating is simply a low coolant level. Your engine's cooling system relies on coolant to circulate and remove heat from the engine. If you don't have enough coolant in there to do the job, heat will build up and your engine will overheat. No amount of running the heater in the summer will help if you don't have enough coolant in the radiator to transfer that heat. 2. Electric Cooling Fan Failure If you have an electric cooling fan that isn't coming on, this can cause your engine to overheat. The electric cooling fan draws cooler air through your radiator when your car isn't going fast enough to ram it through from the front. You can test this by letting your car idle long enough for the engine to heat up. If you've been having an overheating problem in traffic, keep an eye on your temperature gauge. When it starts creeping into the danger zone, look under the hood to see if your electric fan is running. If it's not, you'll need to figure out why. There are two usual causes to this: 2a. Bad Electric Fan: Sometimes your fan motor will just burn out and your fan won't come on at all. To test this, find your radiator fan switch and disconnect the wiring harness. Get a jumper wire and insert it into both contacts, your fan should come on. Another way to test the fan is to turn on the air conditioning. Most, but not all, cars activate the cooling fan at either a medium or high speed when you turn on the AC. 2b. Bad Radiator Fan Switch: There is a switch that tells your cooling fan to come on when your coolant reaches a certain temperature. The easiest way to test this switch is to disconnect the wiring harness and then run a jumper wire across the harness contacts. If the fan comes on, you need to replace the switch. 3. Thermostat Not Opening The most common symptom of a failed thermostat is overheating at highway speeds. Your engine may be able to stay cool at low speeds because it's not working that hard, and therefore not creating as much heat. But at highway speeds your engine needs lots of coolant flowing through. If the thermostat doesn't open, there isn't enough flow to keep things cool, and you'll find yourself looking more like a steam ship than a sedan going down the highway. 4. Broken Fan Belt There are still lots of engines out there which have a fan belt to drive the engine cooling fan. If you see a belt attached to your fan, you're in this club. The good news is your repair is always cheaper than the electric guys. You can replace your fan belt easily if it's broken. 5. Clogged Radiator If your car has more than 50,000 miles on it, your radiator could start getting gummed up. You can avoid this and other problems associated with old coolant by flushing your radiator every year. There's nothing good about an overheating problem. If your engine is running hot you should try to fix the problem as quickly as possible. A hot engine can do damage to itself, even if you aren't going into a full overheating. Check your oil regularly to be sure you are providing adequate lubrication to your engine, everything you can do to reduce heat buildup helps! If you've checked these more common causes of overheating and don't see an answer, check out this advanced overheating troubleshooting guide for more answers!

HOW TO REPLACE A GM POWER STEERING LINE ASSEMBLY

Does Your Power Steering Line and Cooler Assembly Need Replacing? Power steering issues can be very difficult to diagnose, and leaks even harder to trace. On GM vehicles, especially GMC and Chevy trucks, the power steering system’s hard lines are very prone to rust and corrosion, which can lead to one — or dozens - of pinhole leaks that introduce air to the power steering’s hydraulics and leak fluid. While none of these leaks are large, they are often enough to drain the system of fluid over time. Such small leaks are very hard to notice as they often don’t even leave a drip in the driveway. A low power steering fluid level can cause a number of malfunctions in your steering including excessive noise, jumpy steering, or very difficult steering. On top of that, you can do damage to the power steering components if they are allowed to run dry. One of the most common sources of power steering leaks in GM trucks is the power steering line assembly. This is a hard line that also includes a small integrated power steering fluid cooler, which just loves to grow rust. Luckily, replacing this assembly isn’t too expensive and can be done fairly easily in your driveway or garage. Here’s how to get it done:
1. START DISCONNECTING.To remove the old power steering line, we have to start by disconnecting from the top. Disconnect the end of the line that attaches to the power steering fluid reservoir by removing the spring clamp on the side. Carefully pull the line off the reservoir. We don't care about the line, but don't want to break the tip off the reservoir! 2.
REMOVE THE HEAT sHIELD Remove the protective tin shield that covers the lines just past the point that they transition from flexible rubber to rigid steel. There are two bolts holding this shield on. 3.
DISCONNECT FROM THE RACK Follow the hard line to the power steering rack. There you’ll see four lines going into the rack itself. You want to remove the line that you traced from the rusty power steering fluid cooler. Use a line wrench for removing this to avoid destroying it in the process. 4.
OIL COOLER REMOVAL There is a bolt attaching the power steering fluid cooler section to the truck. This needs to be removed before you can get the line and cooler off. With everything unbolted you should be able to coax the whole assembly out of the engine area. If you get frustrated, you can always cut a section out to make it easier to remove. Your new lines won’t mind. 5.
Carefully wiggle and twist the new line into place, taking care to route the lines in the same manner they were originally installed. Use your line wrench to tighten the nut at the power steering rack. The other end of the line goes to the power steering fluid reservoir and is attached via a clamp. Don’t skip reinstalling the heat shield. You may not think it’s important, but if heat were to become a problem, you would regret not having that heat shield installed as your power steering started to freak out from boiling fluid. Reattach the power steering fluid cooler to the frame. Refill the power steering fluid reservoir and run the engine to get things circulating again and fill the system with fluid. The air should purge out on its own. You should monitor the level of the power steering fluid and add more as needed. It will drop significantly as the lines refill with fluid.

DO I REALLY NEED GPS NAVIGATION?

Question: “Do I really need GPS navigation in my car?” I’ve set some money aside in my budget for a new car radio, but one feature I’m really stuck on is GPS. Some people talk about it like it’s absolutely necessary, but I’m not sure I really see the point. I know the area I live in really well, and I don’t venture out of my comfort zone very often, so the huge sticker price just doesn’t seem worth it. Convince me that I actually need GPS in my car. Answer: Over the course of the last decade, in-car navigation has slowly matured from an expensive (and often inaccurate) novelty into an indispensable tool that grows more and more ubiquitous each day. In-car navigation has never been more accessible, and gaining access to it doesn’t actually have to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, it’s not only available via expensive head units, you can also find standalone devices that are very reasonably priced, and there are a handful of cell phone apps that can get the job done for a fraction of the cost. Who Needs GPS Navigation? I suppose that the most important question here really boils down to, “who needs a GPS navigation system in their car?” Although I’m not familiar with your particular situation, I can outline some of the reasons that people in general might need GPS, which should help you (and any other fence-sitters) make an informed choice. Off the top of my head, here are some of the top reasons you might enjoy having access to satellite navigation in your car: You don’t like getting lost. Getting stuck in traffic sucks. Time is money (and so is gas), so finding the quickest route is important. Never Say “I’m Lost” Again If you really know your hometown (and immediate environs) so well that you never have to look up an address, then getting lost probably isn’t an issue. There are also a ton of mapping and route-planning resources available on the internet, so you can always look up a tricky or confusing address before you hit the road. However, a good, updated GPS navigation device means never having to say, “I’m lost” again, and that’s pretty valuable. Who Needs Traffic on the Tens? Traffic data isn’t a standard feature that’s found in every single GPS navigation device, but it is a feature that can make your commute a whole lot less frustrating. It essentially overlays real-time traffic data on the GPS display, which can allow you to avoid traffic jams before you ever get stuck in them. Some GPS devices can automatically avoid bad traffic via intelligent route-planning that’s designed to find the shortest travel time instead of the shortest physical route. The Importance of Efficiency and Time Depending on your priorities, you may value efficiency more than time, or the other way around, but GPS navigation can help you in either case. The main issue is that there are typically a number of different ways to get from point A to point B, and each route has its own unique characteristics. One thing that every GPS system can do is find the shortest path, which can save you a lot of time in aggregate (especially when coupled with integrated traffic data.) However, some GPS navigation systems provide other options. For instance, systems like Ford’s Eco-Route can take factors like traffic, terrain, and even stop signs and traffic likes into account when planning a route. Rather than finding the shortest or quickest way to get to point B from point A, these systems find the most efficient path. According to Ford, it’s possible to see a 15 percent increase in efficiency (i.e. gas mileage) when using Eco-Route over the long term. GPS Navigation Options If you’re interested in a satellite navigation system, but the high price tag is turning you off, then it’s important to note that there are three main ways to get GPS navigation in any car: Navigation head units Standalone GPS devices Cellphone apps Navigation head units tend to be pretty expensive. So while that is an option if you’re planning on upgrading anyway, and you happen to find one you like, it’s far from the only option. Standalone GPS devices have come down a lot in price over the course of the last decade, and they’ve gotten to the point where you might even save enough money in gas in the first year to pay for a mid-priced unit. They aren’t as clean or integrated as nav radios (or OEM infotainment systems), but they do come with the added benefit of portability, which means you can move them from one car to another—or even use them outside of a car altogether. The cheapest, easiest way to get satellite navigation in a car is probably always going to be a cellphone app. If you have a modern iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry, there’s a pretty good chance that it has a built-in GPS radio, which means you’re already carrying around all the hardware you need. All you have to do is add an inexpensive cellphone GPS app that can take advantage of that hardware, and you’re good to go. Remember to share using the share buttons

HOW TO CHOOSE CAR GPS INTEGRATED NAVIGATION, STANDALONE DEVICES, AND ALTERNATIVES

If you’re in the market for a car GPS unit, there are a handful of different things to consider. Some of the most important factors that may influence your decision making process include: * budget * integrated navigation vs. standalone unit * core features * map availability * additional features. BUDGET money is no object, it’s a good idea to start off by setting a general price range. If you’re looking to spend less than a hundred dollars, you’re probably going to have to settle for a small screen and scrimp a little on the features. You can also look for a bargain on an older model, but make sure that you don’t end up with outdated maps that are either costly or impossible to update. Your budget will also inform your decision to go for an integrated unit or a standalone device. Head units that include built-in GPS navigation are typically quite expensive, so you may want to steer away from them unless your existing head unit is begging for an upgrade. In that case, there are some head units that include integrated GPS navigation that can boast some pretty impressive features. INTEGRATED GPS NAVIGATION also an option in some higher end aftermarket head units. While these GPS navigation units tend to be quite expensive, they’re also pretty slick. If you’re opposed to sticking a blocky device to your dash or windshield, and you’re also looking to update your head unit, an integrated device could be a good way to go. Some of these head units that include built-in navigation are also full fledged carputers, so that’s something else to keep in mind. STANDALONE CAR GPS DEVICES These GPS units are typically the less expensive option, but that doesn’t mean they’re all cheap. Standalone units span the full range of sub-$100 budget models to feature-packed units that commonly have price tags of over $300. Other than price, the main benefit of standalone GPS devices is portability. Since they aren’t built into the dash of any one vehicle, you have the option of using one device in more than one vehicle. This is even easier if you pick up an extra mount and power supply. Core Features There are a handful of features that you should look for regardless of your budget or any other concerns. The most important ones include: * screen size and resolution * type of receiver * audible directions * automatic routing Screen size and resolution are typically tied very closely to price. Budget models tend to have smaller screens with lower resolutions, and you can expect to pay a lot more for units that come with big, detailed touchscreens. If you’re not familiar with GPS screen sizes, you may want to check out a few in person before you buy. In order to determine whether a screen is big enough, you can stand back a few feet and try glancing at it. If you have trouble making it out, then you might want to step up to a larger screen. As far as receivers go, some are more sensitive than others. GPS units that have low sensitivity receivers fall into the budget category, but not every budget model has a poor receiver. If you want to make sure that your GPS unit actually knows what road you’re on, look for a unit that has a high sensitivity receiver. And while most car GPS devices include audible directions, they aren’t all created equal. Some units include text-to-speech technology that allows them to read out actual street names, which can come in handy when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area. Other devices are nearly unintelligible, so it’s vital to take the quality of the audible directions into account when shopping for a car GPS unit. Other less important features that can come in handy include: * traffic * lane assist * voice input * 3D map view * points of interest * There are also a handful of non-core features that you may find, such as: * built-in MP3 player * digital picture viewer * hands-free calling While these features may be useful in limited circumstances, they’re mainly useless fluff. Rather than looking for a Swiss army knife that can do a lot of unrelated stuff, it’s a much better idea to zero in on a device that does one thing (in this case, GPS navigation) really well. a car GPS unit, you should also look into the: MAP AVAILABILITY Before you buy a car GPS unit, you should also look into the: * availability of map updates * timeliness of map updates * cost of map updates difficulty of updating the device This is especially important if you’re buying a discounted unit that’s a little long in the tooth. While it’s possible to find some incredible deals by shopping for old stock and factory refurbished car GPS units, it’s vital to make sure that you don’t get stuck with old map data. If the map updates are expensive — or the company isn’t putting out updates anymore — it might be wise to take a pass. ALTERNATIVE Due to the prevalence of devices like smartphones, the days of the dedicated car GPS unit may be numbered. These devices used to be the only game in town, but you now have a variety of other options like: * smartphone * tablet * carputer * multimedia cellphone If you already have any of those devices, you might want to check into the navigation options before dropping any money on a new car GPS unit. Some smartphones come with built-in GPS navigation, and there are also a number of applications that provide additional functionality. Tablets and carputers can do an even better job of replacing a standalone car GPS unit. And while your multimedia non-smartphone might not be a great choice for heavy usage, it may do the trick in a pinch.

THE 6 MOST EXPENSIVE MERCEDES-BENZES

Today's Mercedes-Benzes are certainly gorgeous, gorgeous machines, and they're on an aesthetic upswing on account of Gorden Wagener's clean take on the brand's image. That said, no modern Benz can match the grandeur of the old-school ones from the '30s through '50s. Because nostalgia is one of the most potent economic forces in the world, this means that certain old Mercedes-Benzes can fetch truly ludicrous amounts of money at auctions. Between that and the rapidly inflating prices of top-tier classic cars, prices are going up very rapidly; we're talking eight figures here.
1. 1936 540K Spezial Roadster - $11,770,000 Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2012 The Baroness Gisela von Krieger of Prussia had excellent taste, and was fond of making grand entrances. That explains why she kept this car until her death in 1989. 2.
1939 540K Spezial Roadster - $4,620,000 Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2011 The 540K Spezial Roadster is the epitome of what a '30s roadster was intended to be. Powerful, elegant, and with a solid and lightened chassis, 25 of this improved version of the 500K were sold to the wealthy and powerful of the Depression era. Now it's highly sought after by today's rich and powerful. 3.
1955 300SL - $4,620,000 Sold by Gooding and Company in Scottsdale, AZ in 2012 The legendary 300SL is not only the most iconic Mercedes sports car of all time, but it's also the first car to ever feature gullwing doors. Rather than just trying to be flashy, however, the doors were designed to help the chassis engineers add an extra brace across the bottom of the car. 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - Gooding & Company 1927 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen. Gooding & Company 4.
1927 S-Type 26/180 Sportwagen - $5,040,000 Sold by Gooding & Company at Pebble Beach in 2011 Only five of these S-Type 26/180s with Sindelfingen coachwork is known to exist, and one of them crossed the block in 2011. It's the oldest Benz on this list, and a prime example of the popular design of the era which focused on presenting the automobile as a machine, complete with exposed piping and very utilitarian-looking venting on the engine bay. 5.
1928 680S Torpedo Roadster - $8,250,000 Sold by RM Auctions at Pebble Beach in 2013 This 680S was fitted with a custom body by Jacques Saoutchik and wond Best in Show in the 2012 Pebble Beach Councours d'Elegance; that's a surefire way to get your auction price up. 6.
1937 540K Spezial Roadster - £3,905,000 (About $6 Million) Sold by RM Auctions in London in 2007 You're about to start seeing a lot of these gorgeous 540K Spezial Roadsters on this list, and for good reason. This one was made for Sir John Chubb in England, and features a long wheelbase, high doors, and and exposed spare tire.

AVOIDING FRAUD WHEN BUYING A USED CAR

Buying a used car is often a stressful experience, because it can be difficult to verify with 100% certainty that the car you want to buy is in good shape. Buying a car of any kind is a significant financial investment, and you are likely relying on that vehicle to get you to and from your place of employment. Proper diligence is therefore essential to make sure that you are not being taken advantage of when purchasing a vehicle. There are common scams that conmen frequently rely on to swindle used car buyers out of their money. Recognizing these traps helps you to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle fraud yourself. Faulty Mileage One of the simplest scams is when a seller lies about the number of miles on a car. The seller rolls back the mileage on the speedometer or resets the digital readout, eliminates any past paperwork that shows the discrepancy, and raises the asking price of the car based off the lower mileage. While the scam is often effective, it can be undone with a bit of research on your part. Always research the VIN of any used car you are considering buying. Multiple services exist that look into a car’s history using the VIN for a nominal fee. This not only helps you validate the mileage, it also alerts you to any possible accident history or serious repair that you may not otherwise be aware of. A VIN check is not foolproof, but it is a very useful resource that you need to take advantage of when researching any used car. It is also useful to take the car to a local auto dealership repair shop that specializes in that make of car. The dealership can check its own records for the vehicle, which should include any repairs that happened at any auto dealership (for that make of vehicle) nationwide. Any time a repair is done, the mechanic takes a record of the mileage on the car. If a previous repair shows a higher mileage than what the car is current showing, you know your speedometer has been tampered with and should avoid buying that vehicle. Faulty Title Buying a car off of Craigslist or any type of online private seller is always risky. That doesn’t mean that it cannot be done, but you need to do some extra research to make sure that the seller of the car is the actual legal owner of the vehicle. Scam artists often steal a car, falsify a title and then sell the car online. By the time you discover that your car title is faulty, the seller has long since vanished. The vehicle must then be returned to its rightful owner, and you have no real recourse to get your money back. Verify that the car seller has the title in his possession. Always compare the car title to a current driver’s license of the car seller. If any excuse is given as to why the seller does not currently have the title, look for another vehicle. It is not worth the risk. Contact the DMV with any questions about legality prior to giving the seller any money. Hidden Repairs Used car sellers, whether they be private or an actual dealer, will often get the vehicle looking as good as possible while ignoring or covering up substantial repair needs. Never buy a car without test driving it first. However, a short test drive is often not enough to uncover potentially long-term repair liabilities. Always take any used car you want to buy to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection before you make any purchase. Use a mechanic that you are familiar with, and not one the seller recommends. The small fee that you pay now for the inspection can save you thousands of dollars in the future and eliminate years of mental stress caused by buying a vehicle that is unreliable and expensive to fix. Used cars are more cost-effective than new models, because vehicle depreciation is still one of the highest costs associated with the car. A new car drops in value as soon as you drive it off the lot to take it home. However, you do have fewer protections and more instability when buying a used vehicle. This is why proper research and taking your time is so important. Always make sure you are completely comfortable with the history, condition and pricing of a used car before you turn over your hard-earned money for it.

PREVENTING MOTORCYCLE THEFT

Motorcycles typically get stolen for several reasons. Some people steal them simply to joyride around, and the theft was one of opportunity. Others steal motorcycles to commit additional crimes with them. The acceleration, maneuverability and smaller size of a motorcycle makes it an ideal getaway vehicle, depending on what the crime is. Finally, others steal motorcycles to strip them for parts or to sell them, and the theft is how the thief makes a living. This is the toughest type of thief to protect your motorcycle from, because he is better prepared to deal with typical motorcycle security measures than an amateur looking for a quick ride. The same features that make a motorcycle fun to ride make it easier to steal. The Challenge Motorcycles are small, and the ignition is in the open air, without doors or a roof protecting it from burglars. A thief therefore has easier access to the motorcycle controls, and he can also tow a bike away without much difficulty if he has the time and the equipment. The motorcycle’s smaller stature also makes it harder to locate it after it has been stolen. Motorcycle’s are easily hidden and stored. However, this also works to your advantage when protecting your bike from thieves. Security Options Keep your motorcycle out of sight when not using it. A cover helps protect it from the rain, and also makes the bike harder to see if you choose a neutral color. The cover also hides the type if motorcycle and its features, making it less of a target for thieves looking for specific types of bikes. Park your motorcycle strategically. Keep it in a garage if you have one, and park it close to cars when out in public. If your bike is parked by itself, it is a more attractive target. Always use the ignition lock. They are far from fool-proof, and an experienced thief works around them. However, an ignition lock provides another barrier that takes time to break. The harder your bike is to steal, and the longer it takes a thief to steal it, the safer it is. Many bikes that get stolen either didn’t have an ignition lock or didn’t have it properly engaged at the time of the theft. Lock your bike to a proper barrier whenever you can. Use a strong lock to anchor your motorcycle to a lamppost or a rack that is bolted to the ground when parked in public. Use a thick chain and run it through the center of the motorcycle’s frame. A disc lock is also useful. It locks onto the bike like an additional brake, and the wheel can’t turn until the lock is removed. An alarm system is an additional theft barrier. It functions in the same fashion as a car alarm, creating a loud noise when it gets disturbed. Some cars have kill switches that shut off the fuel supply to the motor when the car gets tampered with. Motorcycles have something similar, and a thief won’t know where the kill switch is located. They are inconspicuous and difficult to spot. Never leave your helmet or any supplies with the bike when it is parked, unless those items are secured. Some motorcycles have a storage space with a lock. Make sure the lock is strong if you have one, and always lock the storage locker when leaving the motorcycle unsupervised. If you don’t have a storage space on the bike, keep your belongings in a backpack when you use the motorcycle. Keep the backpack with you once the motorcycle’s parked. Whether you use your motorcycle for regular transportation or just for recreation, it represents an investment that you don’t want to lose. Take as much time and care protecting your motorcycle as you did purchasing it. Keep detailed records of your bike and its components as well, so you can prove a stolen motorcycle is yours if it gets recovered.