Browsing Tag

car maintenance tips

Money Matters, Under the Hood

Synthetic Oil vs. Regular Oil

January 29, 2016

Getting an oil change is generally a pretty common and uneventful experience. However, it can be costly depending on the type of oil your car should have. You will likely hear your mechanic talk about synthetic oil, but before you give the go-ahead on this pricey job, make sure you know what the difference is.

Synthetic oil is, at the base, a cleaner oil. It’s refined, distilled, and purified to get rid of any debris and impurities that regular oil possesses. This means that the oil circulates through your engine and comes out cleaner. If your engine is running cleaner, that usually means it’s going to run longer. Synthetic oil also performs better at more extreme temperatures. It is able to flow smoothly through the cold and the heat, while regular oil can break down and expose your engine to damage. However, it may not be worth the money. The biggest difference you will see with synthetic oil versus regular oil is how often you need to change it. It is recommended that you change your oil about every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but with conventional oil it’s about 7,500. It all really comes down to how long you want your vehicle to run on a single oil change.
Car fun

Hilarious Custom License Plates

May 1, 2014

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You’re having a bad day and all you need to do is get out of the house and onto some open road. You just can’t wait to speed away in your Nissan Altima. You put on your seatbelt, put on your favorite playlist, and put the pedal to the metal.

Just your luck, you hit every red light.

“Blast!” you yell out loud.

You look ahead, and there it is a custom license plate. But it’s not just any custom license plate, it’s happens to be hilarious.

The plate reads, “JedI IAM”. You start to laugh, and all of the sudden your day seems brighter.

Custom license plates, especially clever or funny ones, can make anyone smile on the road.

What was the best custom license plate that you have ever seen?


Easter Egg Time!

April 18, 2014

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I have always loved the Easter season! This year I wanted to get a little bit creative with my dyed eggs. I have searched the Internet looking for the most unique and fun ideas, and here they are!

#1. The first one is a great way to make a mini terrarium inside an Easter egg. What’s a terrarium, you ask? Terrariums are glass containers filled with plants and flowers, and are fantastic mobile planters that can be hung around your home. Learn more on how to make these darling eggs here:

#2. I just love this idea of making graffiti eggs. This blogger decorates these eggs with acrylic paint. I have also seen some bloggers paint eggs with watercolor. Learn more with this link:

#3. Looking for a little glam this Easter season? Check out these gold flake eggs! So easy to do as well. All you need is dipped dyed eggs wrapped in gold flake paper.

#4. Last but not least are these darling marbled eggs. “How?” you ask! You can achieve this look with nail paint! Just like marbling finger nails with water and nail polish, the artist was able to achieve those stunning eggs with the same logic and idea.

Which method will you try this year?


Car Parts and their Functions

April 8, 2014

I have been doing a couple car part quizzes on my Facebook page, and I’m proud of my fans for getting so many correct answers! I thought that I would take this time to write about what functions these car parts play in a car.

Here is my first car part rundown:


1. Turbocharger- The function of a turbocharger is to significantly increase an engine’s horsepower without affecting its overall weight. How does it work? They are a forced induction system that compresses the air going into the engine. When the air is compressed it allows the engine to squeeze more air into the cylinder. This in turn allows more fuel to be added, which then results in a powerful explosion in each cylinder.

2. Electronic Control Unit- An ECU controls a couple of the electrical systems or subsystems in a car. What does that mean? Well the ECU can control the fuel injection system, the ignition timing, and the idle speed control system. If you thought that was enough, it also helps with the air conditioning and EGR systems. It’s also been known to control power to the fuel pump. Pretty important car part!

3. Valve Springs- A valve spring is a helical spring used to close a valve, which allows fuel/air in, or exhaust gases out.

4. Alternator- A good alternator is vital for a running car. It’s a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. How is this possible? With something called a rotating crankshaft.

I hope that you were able to learn more about these car parts!


Under the Hood

Air Filter … When do you need a new one?

February 27, 2010
I’m a (fairly) new home owner these days … and there’s a lot I didn’t know about home ownership and maintenance. Needless to say, I have learned a lot this past year! When the winter season rolled around, my mother said “Hey Noni, you need to change your filter on your furnace!” (By the way, Noni is my nickname!) Hhhmm … I thought to myself. Trying not to look too stupid, I relayed this message to my father. He, of course, told me what to do and it’s so simple! But  I guess that you don’t know, until you ask! So I was thinking about the filter in our cars. I asked some people around the store when they change the air filters in their vehicles. I got a couple blanks stares, along with a few “I don’t knows.”  I even got a few brave souls to share their thoughts with you. Make sure to watch to the end of the video for the real answer from Dave! [youtube][/youtube] Hope that makes things a little more clear for ya’ll. What other service and maintenance questions do you have?
Under the Hood

Winterize your ride with this checklist

November 6, 2009
There’s nothing worse than hopping in your “iceberg” of a car and realizing your heat is on the fritz. How about inching down the highway in the middle of a blizzard only to notice your gas tank’s flirting with “E”? Or perhaps it’s clutching the wheel, praying your car makes it up the hill. Every woman and man needs to understand that vehicles are not invincible and service departments do exist for a purpose. After asking several McCarthy Auto service techs, writers and managers, I came up with this simple list of stuff to check out before the winter hits us.
  • Tires
  • Windshield wipers
  • Brakes and brake lights
  • Heater
  • Washer fluid
  • Antifreeze/coolant
No time to check these on your own? All of these services are checked during McCarthy’s standard 27-point inspection, at no extra cost. A good place to go if you need anything repaired or replaced too. To learn more about winter driving safety, check out these tips for winterizing your car. Special thanks to McCarthy service employees Dave Shepperly, Shawn Dearing and Ryan McLain for helping me write this post.