Battery Check; The Temperature is now ZERO!

5267391336_1d1f7d02cd_b

If you live in a cold climate like we do then you are probably getting pretty sick of the weather. You are probably experiencing cold hands, cold feet, high utility bills and heat that never seems hot enough. Think you got it bad? What about your car?! Sitting out there all alone as temperatures drop below 0. Chances are that salt covered block of metal is feeling a little neglected right now. No one wants to be outside messing around with maintaining a car during the winter.

Because really; ain’t nobody got time for that when it is this cold out.

But we all expect our car to be there for us in the morning ready to take us where ever we need to go. What can one do to ensure that happens? Check the battery! Car batteries take a beating in the cold weather. A weak battery can leave us stranded in a parking lot, cold and alone. Our cars might see this as payback but chances are you won’t be smiling about it.

So what is the deal with car batteries and cold weather? Well a car battery is box full of hazardous chemicals. Chemical reactions take place inside the battery to generate the power needed to start a car. When it is cold out those chemical reactions happen much slower creating less juice for the cars starter. A weak battery before the winter means a dead battery during winter.

Keeping a battery in check isn’t hard to do though. Stop by any big chain auto parts store and ask them to test your battery. It is that simple. If a car is starting to crank unusually slow in the morning it may be time to get it checked out. It’s probably fine but what if it isn’t?! Some would say to just pop the hood and use a volt meter but not everyone knows what that even means. It is much easier to hit the parts store on the way home. If it is bad they can replace it on the spot.

So even though it is freezing cold out there, don’t neglect the basics. Make sure your battery is in tip top shape so you don’t get stranded out there.

Sales Pitch

We do sell a small section of used car batteries locally but we do not sell them online or ship them. What we can help you with is a used starter or used alternator. Two part types that go hand in hand with charging and starting problems.  Get your battery checked first and then come back to us if it turns out to be something more expensive.

Know exactly when to sell your car

Knowing exactly when to sell your car is will save you money and hassle, assuming you pull the trigger at the right time. Selling your car too early might cost you money on a new car that you didn’t need to spend and selling it too late may cause you to put money into the car that you didn’t want to spend. There are a number of philosophies out there on exactly when to do this and a few are listed below.

When the Warranty is Up.

Car companies are offering more and more warranties, not just on brand new cars but also on used cars. Or at least offering warranties that usually will work on a car that has more than one owner. Some of these warranties are better than others, covering more of the car and lasting for a longer period of time or number of miles the car has driven. However, these car companies offer warranties like this for a reason, as they know after a certain number of miles or years, the car is much more likely to break down in specific areas and will cost them a ton of money in service. Meaning it will also cost the owner a ton of money in service. So consider selling your car when the warranty is up or, better yet, selling it a year before the warranty is up, so the new owner feels like they have a safety net when they purchase it.

When You Hear and Feel Some Differences.

If you’ve driven a car for an extended period of time, you’ll often recognize differences in the way it drives or sounds. On an older car, this can be signs of something that is about to go wrong, as parts inside the car may just about ready to give out and begin making a different sound. When you suspect this, you might want to take the car into a automotive center for a general inspection. If there are signs something might happen, you’ll probably want to get rid of the car before it does.

Run it into the Ground.

There are some very loyal car owners out there who never sell their cars until the cars just basically stop working. They will pay for the cost to fix their cars through a good trustworthy mechanic and hope that this is less than the cost of a new car payment in the long run. They never sell their car, or only sell it when it’s barely running, probably for scrap or parts. Sure they are driving around in a car that may or may not make it from point A to point B, but they have a lot of personal history in the car they drive. There’s something noble about that… even if they never know when the car might die on them.

Buying a used car? EricTheCarGuy is here to help!

Just about all of us have had to buy a used car at some point. A car purchase is fun and exciting. Out with the old and in with the new as some would say. Unfortunately used cars often come with gremlins from previous owners. There is nothing worse than finding hidden surprises in your new ride. This applies to cars from private sellers and dealerships. Not all dealerships are created equal and they can often overlook problems on trade ins and auction cars. Luckily there is some excellent information out there to help you make an educated buy. EricTheCarGuy on youtube has posted a 4 part series that shows exactly what to look for on a used car. This could save you thousands! Check out his videos below before making your next car purchase.

 

Tom’s Foreign Reaches 1 Million YouTube Views!

1 Million Youtube views

        2013 is shaping up to be a great year for us here at Tom’s Foreign Auto Parts. It feels like just yesterday when we listed that first part online and posted that first inventory video. This week we reached a massive milestone with YouTube as we hit 1,000,000 video views! February 18, 2008 is when we joined YouTube and uploaded our first video. I don’t think any of us at the time realized the impact video would have on our business. We started taking short walk around videos of every single car we inventoried. We then started embedding the videos into our eBay listings and later into our e-commerce site. Customers started to comment on videos to ask for more parts. eBay customers started messaging us for more parts to add to their orders. Eventually the videos themselves started to drive traffic to our .com site and Facebook.   Read the rest of this entry »

BUILT from eBay – Seriously Cool!

Built from eBay is a recent web series being produced by eBay motors. Four magazines are each building cars completely from parts sourced on eBay motors. At the end of the project, each car will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to charity. The BUILT website has all the episodes (8 so far) and next to each video is a parts list of what they used in the episode. Check out the first episode below or check out www.builtfromebay.com for all the episodes and vote for your favorite!

Readers Ride : Kris Champion’s 1995 Honda Civic

Honda Civic EX Readers Ride

Honda Civics are so popular in the modding community that often it’s hard to stand out. We have all seen Civics with turbos, body kits, altezzas and even air bags. Sometimes it doesn’t take throwing piles of money at a car to stand out. In Kris Champions case he’s taken a little creativity and created something pretty special.

This 1995 Honda Civic EX was saved from the crusher and started its new life as a bare shell. From front to back Kris used recycled auto parts to rebuild his car back to life. What makes his car really stand out in a crowd of imports is the use of camo tape on the body. Kris used digital camo duct tape to wrap the entire car and give it a unique look.

Read the rest of this entry »

How To: 06 Nissan Altima Temp Control Removal / Installation

In this write up we’ll be showing you how to remove the temperature control from a 2006 Nissan Altima. The temp control is the control panel on your dash that controls the air conditioning, heat and fan speed settings. Our AC controls are manual but this procedure should be the same for the automatic temp control. This is also identical for the 2005 Altima model year.

Tools Needed

Philips head screw driver
Small flat head screw driver or prying tool

Disconnect your Battery – Always remove the negative terminal of your battery before working on your car. This will keep you and your cars electronics safe while you do repairs. Remember that you could potentially have to re-enter your radio code after reconnecting the battery so be sure to have that handy. Radio presets, seat memory, trip computers and info screens may also lose information and presets when you disconnect the battery.

Removal

Step One

Using a small flat head screw driver or prying tool, gently pull the trim piece away from the dash. You should feel the clips release as you pull the trim towards you. It’s best to pull the trim out with your hands once you have enough room to get a good grip on it.

When you pull the trim out you’ll see that the passenger air bag warning light is still attached. Using a small screw driver you can release the connector from the air bag light.

Altima-temperature-control-removal Read the rest of this entry »

Hey wheres the clutch?!

Hey wheres the clutch?

If you’re a car enthusiast then you’ve driven a manual transmission car at some point in your life. When you started driving in high school, the coolest cars were probably stick shift. There’s no replacement for the connected feeling you get from shifting your own gears. As you grow up though sometimes life gets in the way of what was once awesome. Wife / girlfriend (both?), kids, work, school etc. can all sway us away from what was once a very important part of our motoring life.

Today plenty of people still desire manual transmission cars but not every ones buying them. The reason for that doesn’t stem from their life choices. Aside from the life factors, the cars that come with a manual aren’t always the cars we wanted with a manual. Many manufacturers have ditched the standard shift options on their flag ship cars. The prime example of this is the Nissan Maxima that still sports the 4DSC badge but has its 270 horses connected to a CVT transmission with faux manual gear selection. A car best known as a “4 door sports car” now has no manual option and a cvt.

Almost more annoying for those row your own drivers is when only the base models offer the manual transmission. It’s typical for the 4cyl no frills model to come with a manual transmission but looking for the big motor and perhaps an AWD option? Sorry auto only for you. Looking for leather seats and creature comforts? Nope sorry, can’t have that if you want a stick shift. And don’t even consider an SUV, with the exception of a few cross overs like the Mazda CX-5, none come with a manual. Gone are the days when SUV’s like the Pathfinder and 4 Runner offered real 4 wheel drive with a manual transmission.

Not all is entirely lost though. If you still want to have fun with a practical car then there are some options out there. All though manual transmissions seem to be a thing of the past outside of performance cars and econo boxes, automatic transmissions aren’t as boring as they use to be. You won’t be able to use a clutch and hammer gears but with a little modern technology auto transmissions can still excite on our daily commute. A sedan like the Infiniti G37x comes with 328hp behind a quick shifting 7 speed and optional paddle shifters. Many cars are also following this trend of more gears, faster shifting, and paddles. The 2011 Acura TL added a 6th gear to its automatic for better fuel mileage and slightly better performance. Coincidently the TL is one of the few full size sedans still offered with AWD and a manual transmission.

Match a quick shifting automatic with AWD, traction control, and launch control and you’ve got a car that can sky rocket off the line before most can even think about letting the clutch out. So while we may never see cars like the Maxima or 4 Runner get a manual transmission again, the automatic offerings to come won’t be that bad. Keep your options open next time you’re out test driving cars, you may be surprised how easy it is to live without a manual these days.

Image Courtesy of ..Stephanie