• How To Act Like The Dude You Want To Be in Hollywood

    Hollywood is a crazy place. It’s one where you can’t just be yourself, that’s the worst thing you can possibly be. You have to be what you want to be, you have to act like the future you, so that you can become that. What’s terrible about that is you start being a monster, this terrible version of a human, some shell on the outside that inside is just calculating on a daily basis about how to become what you think you want to be, but what all your friends and family will loathe. This is why Hollywood folks date and hang out with only other Hollywood folks, because the shells can attract and the insides don’t matter, and the people with actual substance are left out of the equation so no one is there to call attention to the fact that they are all shallow little non human sort of robots. If you want this, and the money and fame that goes along with it, listen up.

    Dress the Part

    Sunrise-Ford-NoHo-4-1

    You have to change your insides of course, but you also have to change your outsides so people will know that you are a Hollywood type. You can’t just wear the clothes you brought with you when you moved to Hollywood. That’s for the folks you left behind at home. You need to change your wardrobe around to match the new you, the you you wanna be. Go to fancy places and buy really nice clothes, like $200 jeans, and fancy shoes. Do not forget to get a nice pair of shoes. There’s a lot of quick judgment that can be made about the shoes. If you need to max out a credit card, do it, it’ll pay off in the long run.
    Fancy Car

    Sunrise-Ford-NoHo-4-2

    You need a car that can get the job done, not just getting you from your apartment in the Hills to the studio, but can impress the show folk once you get to the studio. So don’t snooze on getting a fancy car. Go to Glendale Ford and shop around – there are some pretty fancy Fords these days and it won’t break the bank. You can put fancy clothes on a credit card, but you don’t need to go crazy on a car just yet. The Teslas are in your future, but in your present you need a good fancy but reliable car. Check out what the options are for you on www.sunrisefordnoho.com. You may be surprised about what you can get.

    Always Smile

    Sunrise-Ford-NoHo-4-3

    You can’t get anywhere with being a jerk on the outside, so always flash those pearly whites and be a schmooze everywhere you go. You have no idea who is behind you in line at Starbucks, or who’s near you. Meet everyone, be always smiling, and always have your head shots and business card ready to hand out. Sleep with anyone and everyone. Just go for broke and you’ll make it. If you’re not going all in, you’re not even trying. You can make your dream happen if you just buckle down and make it happen.


  • Reviewing the 2008-2013 Nissan Rogue

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    Nissan Rogue is a fuel-efficient practical compact 5-seater SUV. It has a 4-cylinder engine and comes with front- or all-wheel drive. The only transmission choice is the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Rogue is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive vehicles on the used car market. Inside, it’s simple and functional. Seats are comfortable. The steering tilts but doesn’t telescope. Rear seat space is pretty good and the access is easy. Rear seats fold flat for extra cargo space. The Rogue drives like a car and has a comfortable quiet ride. Maintenance costs are on par with other small SUVs like Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Reliability is above average, but there are a few trouble spots to watch out for, read more below.

    2008 Nissan Rogue
    2008 Nissan Rogue interior.
    2012 Nissan Rogue seats folded
    Rear seats fold down. Photo: Nissan

    Engine: The only choice is the 170-hp 2.5L DOHC inline-4. To help with maintenance costs, Nissan equipped this engine with a timing chain instead of a timing belt. A timing chain doesn’t need to be replaced at regular intervals. With proper maintenance, this engine shouldn’t have too many problems.

    Fuel Economy: The 2008-2010 AWD Rogue is rated at 21/26 mpg city/highway by the EPA. Front-wheel drive 2008-2010 models get 22/27 mpg on regular gasoline. The 2010 FWD Rogue can drive up to 343 miles (553 km) on a 15.9-gallon (60 L) tank.

    Continuously Variable Transmission: The CVT design is very simple: a steel belt runs between two pulleys. Gear ratio is changed by varying the size of the pulleys. Nissan has been using this technology for a while and it’s more reliable now, however there were some issues in earlier models. To address those issues, Nissan has extended the CVT warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles on all 2003-2010 models. You can find more info at the NissanAssist website. Compared to other types of transmissions, the CVT works well in city driving, but is weaker when it comes to towing or driving in hilly terrains.

    NHTSA crash tests: Frontal
    Driver Frontal
    Pass. Side
    Driver Side
    Pass.
    2008-2009 Rogue 5 Star 4 Star 5 Star 5 Star
    2010 Rogue 4 Star 4 Star 5 Star 5 Star
    New NHTSA tests: Overall Frontal
    Crash Side
    Crash Rollover
    2011-2013 Rogue 4 Star 4 Star 5 Star 4 Star

    Safety: The Rogue has disk brakes on all four wheels and comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, front, side and side curtain airbags.

    Pros: Practical interior, fuel economy, comfortable seats, car-like handling, compliant ride, rear seat space, five stars side-impact protection.

    Cons: The engine is a bit noisy, rear visibility, plain interior styling, cargo space could be better, the liftgate glass doesn’t open separately.

    Owner reviews: We looked through hundreds of owner reviews on various forums and other websites. Reviews are mixed. Many owners like the fuel economy, handling and ride comfort, good front visibility and easy access. Poor rear visibility and blind spots in the rear corners is a commonly-mentioned downside. A number of owners also have experienced issues with keyless entry system and CVT transmission. Motorists from southern states often mention a weak air conditioner.

    Common problems: Nissan Rogue common problems include CVT issues, minor emission and electrical faults. Bad wheel bearings causing a humming noise are not uncommon too. Wheel bearing replacement will cost from $320 to $460. Fuel level sensors can fail causing inaccurate fuel gauge reading. The tire pressure sensors fail often, but they are not very expensive. A bad vent control valve can cause the Check Engine light with the code P0455. An updated vent control valve can be purchased from a Nissan dealer. The repair is not very expensive. Read more about this code.

    Overall: A used Nissan Rogue is a pretty good choice for a practical city crossover, however we would not recommend it for towing or other heavy duty use. The reliability is not flawless, but not too bad. As of 2014, Consumer Reports rated the 2008 and 2009 Rogue reliability as ‘average’. The 2010-2013 models get ‘above average’ rating.


  • Read about this Nissan Maxima 2000-2003

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    Nissan Maxima is a mid-size front-wheel drive premium sporty sedan with a strong V6 engine. It handles very well and has a firm but quiet ride. The interior is spacious with upscale touches. Front seats are comfortable. Available features include a power driver’s seat with memory, Bose audio system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated steering wheel, trip computer, steering wheel mounted audio controls and navigation.
    Nissan Maxima is one of the rare V6 sedans that you can find with a manual transmission. The Maxima holds its value well. Fuel economy is not very good. Competitors include Acura TL, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Mazda 6. Reliability is about average, however some common problems could be quite expensive to repair. Read more below.

    2003 Nissan Maxima interior
    2003 Nissan Maxima. Photo: Nissan
    Nissan Maxima Engine
    2000 Nissan Maxima VQ30 engine

    Handling and performance: On the road, the Maxima handles well with solid sporty feel. The V6 engine is very strong, with good low-end torque and plenty of passing power. The ride is firm and fairly quiet. On the downside, you might feel torque steer on hard acceleration, especially with the manual transmission.

    Engine: The 2000 and 2001 models were equipped with the 222-hp 3.0L V6 DOHC (VQ30). For 2002, the Maxima received the 255-hp 3.5L V6 (VQ35), which is to this day used in many Nissan vehicles. Even if you look under the Nissan GT-R’s hood, its VR38 looks very similar and uses the same basic design and some of the valvetrain components as the VQ35.
    Overall, both VQ30 and VQ35 are strong solid engines. Both have a timing chain instead of a timing belt. However, this engine needs to be maintained very well to last, otherwise it could be quite troublesome at high mileage. Timing chain issues are not uncommon. Replacing a timing chain is very expensive. If you are buying a used Nissan Maxima, especially with high mileage, watch out for whirring or rattling noises from the timing chain area. A good engine should be quiet.

    Fuel Economy: The 2003 Nissan Maxima with an automatic transmission is rated at 17/24 mpg or 13.8/9.8 L/100 km city/highway, which is below average for a family sedan. To compare, the 2003 V6 Honda Accord automatic has the EPA rating of 19/27 mpg. However, the 2003 Maxima with a manual transmission gets much better mileage: 19/26 mpg or 12.4/9.0 L/100 km.

    Safety: Antilock brakes are standard; traction control is optional. Side-impact airbags are optional. In the NHTSA frontal crash tests the 2000-2003 Nissan Maxima received four stars out of five for both the driver and the front passenger.

    Pros: Powerful V6, available with a manual transmission, sporty handling, roomy upscale interior, standard ABS, available heated steering.

    Cons: High maintenance and repair costs, torque steer on acceleration, firm ride, reliability could be better.


  • This is How Jimmie Johnson Must Feel

    Even if you find that you absolutely love what you do and you love your job, there is an aspect of each day that makes you cringe just with the thought of it. When you climb into your car each morning and each evening, you already know that your commute is going to be the thing of nightmares. You can feel your blood pressure rising by the second, the anxiety building in your stomach and your knuckles turning white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. Most people in general hate the idea of having to deal with traffic and commuting to the office each day. To help you out, here are a few strategies to keep in mind to help make your drive a little bit more bearable for you coming and going.

    TRAFFIC MM -- Traffic backed up all over the area this morning like this westbound traffic on Interstate 195 westbound. It was backed up onto the ramp from the South Shore Expressway and into Seekonk on 195 at 8 a.m. Heavy morning traffic all over the area for 9to5 blog
    TRAFFIC MM — Traffic backed up all over the area this morning like this westbound traffic on Interstate 195 westbound. It was backed up onto the ramp from the South Shore Expressway and into Seekonk on 195 at 8 a.m. Heavy morning traffic all over the area for 9to5 blog

    Watch Your Health – There are all kinds of medical studies that show just how stressful commuting can be for the majority of people and how much of a toll it can take on your health. Commuting leads to a significant increase in stress that often carries over for hours after you have arrived at work or at home. This means your work performance and your home life are both being adversely affected. You want to do what you can to help limit these stressful feelings and there are a few simple exercises you can do in the car while you sit in traffic. You can do some simple breathing exercises that are very like those taught in yoga classes that can help you to relax. You might also try an easy neck exercise, tilting your head to one side slowly, holding in position for ten seconds as you breathe, going back to your natural position, and then repeating the exercise to the other side. This will help you to relax your neck and head.

    SouthCoastToyota-4-2

    Make Coming and Going as Easy as Possible – you can make your life a lot easier at home and work if you have everything organized for yourself for when you leave the house in the morning and the office in the evening. Get your work bag organized, your lunch made and the coffee set to go the night before so it is all waiting for in the morning. Set a time for yourself to leave the office and make sure you leave by that time, having your desk cleared and ready for the next day to start with a clean slate. This will make coming and leaving the office less stressful for you.

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    There are lots of other things that you can do, such as having relaxing music playing to calm your nerves, having a healthy snack in the car to calm stress and getting enough sleep each night so you feel better. All of these things can work together to make commuting much better for you. Another aspect you may want to look into is the car that you are driving. Perhaps your car does not hold up well in traffic and does not perform well. It might be time for you to look into a replacement so you have a better commuting vehicle. A great Toyota dealer in Tustin can help you find just what you need. You can see a collection of new and used cars available at www.southcoasttoyota.com so you can find the ideal commuter car to help you have a more pleasant drive each day.


  • Check out this 2004-2009 Mazda 3 review

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    Out of all affordable small cars on the used car market, Mazda 3 is probably the most sporty one. This fun-to-drive peppy compact is available as a sedan or hatchback. Very few cars in this class can match Mazda 3’s handling.
    Mazda 3 has front-wheel drive and sport-tuned independent suspension at all four corners.

    The 3 is available with a five-speed manual and four- or five-speed automatic transmission. Rear brakes are discs only.
    Inside, the 3 is exciting and comfortable. Front seats are supportive. Fit and finish is good. The steering tilts and telescopes. The glove box is big enough to hold a laptop computer. The available Bose audio system sounds great. Mazda 3 is reliable, however there are some minor issues to watch out for. Maintenance costs are moderate.

    2009 Mazda 3 interior
    2009 Mazda 3 sedan interior.
    2009 Mazda 3 sedan
    2009 Mazda 3 sedan.
    2006 Mazda 3 trunk
    2006 Mazda 3 hatchback.
    2006 Mazda 3 engine
    Mazda 3 engine. Click for larger view

    Engine: Mazda 3 comes with the 2.0-liter LF or 2.3-liter L3 4-cylinder engine. Both are solid reliable DOHC engines. Both have a timing chain instead of a timing belt. With good maintenance you won’t have too many problems with the engine.

    Fuel economy The EPA rates the 2006 Mazda 3 with a 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission at 23/31 mpg (10.2/7.6 L/100 km) city/highway. With this fuel consumption, the 2.0L Mazda 3 is expected to go up to 405 miles or 651 kilometers on one 14.5-gallon (55 liter) tank. The 2.3-liter Mazda 3 automatic gets 22/28 mpg (10.7/8.4 L/100 km).

    Handling and ride: Thanks to its sporty suspension, Mazda 3 feels lively on twisty roads and solid on the highway. The ride is firm but compliant. The steering is precise and responsive; the turning radius is small. Even the base 2.0L engine has plenty of power. On the downside, some road and tire noise is noticeable.

    Mechanical: Mazda 3 has an independent suspension and disc brakes on all four wheels. Anti-lock brakes are available. Dynamic stability control (DSC), traction control, side and side curtain airbags are available on late models.

    Safety: In the NHTSA frontal crash tests, the 2004 Mazda 3 received four stars for the driver (no passenger score available). The 2005-2008 Mazda 3 scored four stars for both the driver and the front passenger. In the side-impact crash tests, the 2004-2008 models without side airbags received three stars for both the front and the rear seat. The models with side airbags were not tested.

    Pros: Fun to drive, reliable, sporty styling, rich practical interior, peppy engine, tight turning radius, available Bose audio system, huge glove box.

    Cons: Road noise, models without side airbags scored poorly in side impact crash tests, no trunk release on the remote, some interior materials are not of top quality (e.g. carpet).


  • Problem with paint marks? Here’s how you get rid of them

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    Somebody left this mark at the grocery store parking. It looks like it was some green car’s door. If you look very closely it’s actually a green paint residue left on the clear coat surface. The clear coat itself seems to be damaged only slightly.

    Fine sandpaper, polishing compound

    We’ll try to remove this mark. All we need for this is ultra-fine 1500-grit or 2000-grit waterproof sandpaper (3000 grit is even better – the higher number stands for the finest abrasive), a polishing compound containing mild abrasive (we used Turtle Wax) and a car wax.
    Sanding the mark with fine sandpaper

    It’s best to use wet sanding, meaning pour some water over sandpaper first. Very carefully (you don’t want to remove the clear coat), with light pressure sand the marks with the sandpaper until the mark is gone. If you have never done it before, try on some small spot to see how it works first.
    Sanded spot

    This is how it looks after sanding. There is no mark, but the clear coat has lost its shine. We will have to use polishing compound to make it shiny again.
    Applying polishing compound

    Put a small amount of the polishing compound onto the damp sponge applicator.
    Polishing with the sponge

    Buff well using circular motion until the clear coat becomes shiny again.
    Paint mark removed

    Now, all that’s left is a barely visible dent.
    How to remove minor scratches
    Scratch on the car

    Let’s try to polish out this scratch on the hood. The scratch is not very deep and looks like only the surface of the clear coat is damaged.
    Turtle Wax polishing compound

    All we need is a fine polishing compound (we again use Turtle Wax) and a foam applicator. The car is clean and dry.
    Apply polishing compound

    Put small amount of the fine polishing compound on the foam pad.
    Buff with a polishing compound

    Spray some water. Buff in circular motion. Periodically check the progress. If the scratch is still visible, buff a little more. Be careful not to buff too deep, especially when buffing near the edges.
    Wash the area thoroughly

    Once the scratch looks much better, wash the area thoroughly. Now just buff it with a regular car wax.
    Repaired scratch

    You barely can see it now. Click for a larger image.
    How to polish foggy headlights
    Fogged-up headlight

    Over time, the headlight plastic scratches and fades. Using the same technique as described above, your can polish faded headlights, but only if they are fogged from the outside, like this one. If the headlights are fogged from the inside, not much can be done.
    Fine sandpaper, polishing compound

    We will use the same kit as we used to buff out paint marks from the clear coat. Click for a larger photo.
    Applying masking tape

    The car is clean and dry. First, we apply a masking tape to the edges, so when we sand , we won’t touch the painted panels.
    Wet-sand the headlights

    The next step is to carefully wet-sand the headlight plastic surface with a very fine sandpaper. In this case we used a 3000-grit 3M waterproof sandpaper. Sand with water, as the water dries, spray more water. When it’s wet, the sandpaper lasts longer without clogging up.
    polish headlight

    Now the plastic looks more clear when wet, but we need to fine-polish it. It’s time to use a fine polishing compound.
    Polish headlight

    Buff using circular motion. It takes a few minutes of good buffing to restore the shine.
    Restored headlight

    You can see the result.


  • Doing Battle on Planet Earth

    You have seen it on television, in the movies, on the Internet, in tabloids and even written about in conspiracy books. Everywhere you turn there is another theory about the apocalyptic invasion that is coming when aliens come to Earth. The constant belief is that they will be far from the cuddly E.T. you saw in the movies and much more like Independence Day where they will want to wipe out the human race. So what does this all mean? How do you get yourself ready for such an event? There are some preparations you are going to want to make so you can be sure to be ready when the little green men come knocking at your door.

    Right Toyota-4-1

    First off, there are some essential elements that you are going to need to have at the ready. Since most alien invasions seem to start around big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C., try to stay away from these areas. Get yourself a remote cabin in Wyoming or Idaho somewhere where you might be more likely to be safe for a while. Even better is investing in one of those long-unused missile silos underground in the desert in New Mexico. Once you have your hideaway, load it up with non-perishable food and water so you can be safe for a while. After you have your shelter, food and water, everything else becomes a matter of actual survival for you.

    Right Toyota-4-2

    You are going to need some basics so you are ready to run and fight as well. Of course, making sure that your family is safe is always a good thing. How many times have you seen the hero in one of these movies have to go back for a forgotten daughter, girlfriend, wife or dog? Avoid the problem from the start and do a head count before you take off. You also want to make sure that you have the right footwear needed to outrun these aliens. Those snazzy dress shoes or Birkenstocks are not going to help you know. Invest in a good pair of running sneakers so you can be ready to run.

    Right Toyota-4-3

    You should also be ready to travel quickly and lightly if necessary. Get yourself a nice multi-tool that you can slip into a pocket or light backpack. Get yourself a lighter, flashlight, first aid kit and your backpack. You may even want to spend some time watching episodes of “Survivorman” so you can see just how it needs to be done if you have to be out somewhere for a week or more with nothing more than this. At least then you can be prepared for the worse. It also never hurts to invest in some extra cans of gasoline to have at your hideaway. The best case scenario gives you extra to use for your getaway car; at the worst you can set fire to everything and take some aliens down with the building.
    When aliens attack you not only need to be prepared but you need to have a car that is going to be able to get you away fast. If your current car or truck seems less than reliable or likely to be taken out quickly by a spaceship or ray gun, now is the time for you to invest in something else. Check out what Mesa Toyota has available for you at www.righttoyota.com so you can find the perfect vehicle with just enough size for you and your loved ones and maybe Tom Cruise and Will Smith too, because it never hurts to have experienced back up when aliens attack.


  • The best tips on washing your car

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    The safest car wash guide
    At Auto Finesse car care we consider the car washing process is without a doubt one of the most important steps in the detailing process. Not only does it prepare the foundation for all subsequent detailing treatments, it also allows you to maintain the results of your work for a long time to come, our car wash guide will show you step by step how to achieve the ultimate car wash.

    Dirty BMw before the wash process
    Pre
    rinse

    This stage of your car care regime is often rushed but it is one of the most important parts of the process for freeing up loose dirt and silt, driving it out of panel gaps so they don’t get caught in your wash mitt/sponge and cause marring. If you have access to a pressure washer or hose then work from the top down, rinsing the panels carefully. Pay particular attention to panel gaps and regions which may trap dirt (inside roof rails for example) and rinse these out thoroughly. Expect this stage of the detailing process to take a good quarter of an hour if done correctly – you really want to focus on removing as much loose dirt as you can from traps so that it doesn’t get caught in your mitt later on.

    pre-rinse to remove dirt

    pre-rinse with a pressure washer
    Pre-wash

    Often missed out, this detailing stage known as the pre-wash stage can be vital to achieve a swirl free car wash. The idea behind a pre-wash is to remove light contaminates such as road grime, road salts and bug splatter that is on your vehicles paintwork. If this stage is missed, and these contaminates are not lifted from your vehicles paint they can later inflict swirl marks and wash marring. To aid the pre-wash process we created Citrus Power. Citrus Power is a citrus infused cleaning aid that you simply spray onto the surface and allow to dwell. Most of the light dirt on your paintwork will be on the lower half of your bodywork. This is because your front and rear wheels whilst driving will flick dirt and grime up onto your lower halves. Citrus Power will brake down and release light contaminates from your vehicles paintwork. After 5 minutes take a garden hose or pressure washer and re-rinse the surface ready for the two-bucket wash.

    Citrus Power cleaning in our car wash guide

    cleaning away Citrus Power

    During the pre-wash stage it’s also a good time to pay attention to tighter more intricate areas. These includes places such fuel filler caps, door shuts, grills, and window rubbers. To aid this process we turn to another of our detailing products the hog hair detailing brush and Citrus Power. The long soft bristles will help remove grime from the deeper tighter areas. Once the dirt is removed simply wash away with fresh clean water.

    cleaning door shuts with Citrus Power in the auto finesse car wash guide

    cleaning door shuts with the Hog Hair detailing brushes

    Citrus Power cleaning inside the fuel filler cap

    agitating dirt with the hog hair detailing brush

    cleaning window rubbers with the hog hair detailing brush in the ultimate car wash guide

    cleaning the grill with citrus power
    Two
    bucket
    wash

    Often considered the major stage of the wash process the two bucket wash, this is where you physically wash the paintwork using a wash mitt/sponge and car shampoo solution. Fill one bucket with fresh water – this is your rinsing bucket. Fill a second bucket about 3/4 full with water then add Lather car shampoo and stir. Add enough car shampoo to make the mixture feel slick to the touch. Then top up the bucket until full. Start at the top of the car and work your way down. Saturate your wash mitt in Lather car shampoo solution and with only very light pressure, sweep the wash mitt gently from side to side to remove the dirt. Squeeze the water out of the mitt on the paintwork and then wipe backwards and forwards gently ensuring you use plenty of car shampoo solution. Never increase the pressure – stubborn marks may just need extra time. Before putting the wash mitt back into the car shampoo solution, rinse it thoroughly in the rinse bucket. If you are using a lambs wool mitt, run your fingers through the pile of the mitt to release trapped dirt. Once the mitt is thoroughly cleaned, go back to the car shampoo bucket and continue working around the car in this way until complete. Leave the dirtiest areas such as lower parts of doors and the boot-lid and rear bumper until last.

    Lather car shampoo

    Lambs wool wash mitt
    Rinsing

    This stage can either be done as you wash (panel per panel, recommended on a hot and sunny day) or after fully washing the whole car. If you’re using a pressure washer or a hose, set this to give a steady stream of water. Rinse from the top down using plenty of fresh water allowing it to sheet off of the paintwork. On a car that has been recently detailed and protected with a car wax or paint sealant the rinse water will sheet off the paintwork leaving it looking nearly dry. If this sheeting process slows down after a few weeks, it will be necessary to top up the protection on the paintwork – see later section. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer or a hose, then you can use a watering can without a rose to rinse the car from the top down as above. Expect to need at least five full watering cans to rinse a small car.

    Post wash rinse

    garden hose rinse
    Drying

    The drying stage is important to take particular care over, as this is where a lot of paint damage can be inflicted. The use of a water blade for example, while effective at drying, can cause scratches in the paintwork if only the smallest piece of grit blow down onto the paint while you are drying! Such damage will require further machine polishing to remove. When drying a car it is best to proceed methodically and gently. Start at the top and work your way down. Using a jumbo microfiber drying towel or chamois (well cared for!) gently wipe the surface dry using no pressure. You may also wish to pat the surface dry rather than wipe to minimise the chances of inflicting marring. A further option is to spray a quick detailer or detail spray onto the rinsed paintwork, which will add a small amount of lubrication and help prevent the towel from marring the paintwork.


  • The Cooling System

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    From the radiator to water pump your cooling system keeps your car running down the road.

    Your car engine produces lots of heat, and keeping that heat in check is the critical job of the cooling system. Starting at the radiator, we will dive into the cooling system and see what you can do to keep it operating efficiently.

    The cooling system is designed to remove heat from the engine to keep the engine operating in it’s optimal temperature range. The cooling system is comprised of the following parts…

    Water Pump: The water pump is either driven by the fan belt or the timing belt on some newer vehicles. The pump moves coolant from the radiator, through the engine, and back into the radiator. The pump has a shaft with a pulley on one end and a pump rotor on the other end. When the pulley is spun by a belt, the rotor moves the coolant.

    Radiator: The radiator is a series of thin channels where the coolant flows through and it cooled by air flowing through it. It is important to keep your coolant in good condition to keep the channels open in the radiator. Following your manufacturers recommendation for changing your coolant, to keep your radiator in good shape.

    Thermostat: The thermostat controls the flow of coolant through the engine. When your engine is cold, it actually operates with less efficiency. So until the engine warms up to it’s ideal temperature, the thermostat keeps coolant from flowing. Your thermostat can fail in either an open or closed condition. When it fails in the open position, your engine may actually run too cold and you will have bad gas mileage. If the thermostat fails in the closed position, your engine will overheat since no coolant will be flowing through the engine.

    Hoses: The hoses carry the coolant from the radiator to the waterpump and from the engine to the radiator. Hoses are generally made of rubber and can deteriorate with time. Hose should be flexible and not dry rotted (check for tiny cracks in the hose)

    Coolant: Coolant is generally a mix of water and ethylene glycol. Many times called Anti-Freeze, coolant serves many purposes. As it’s common name implies, coolant prevents freezing, but it also provides lubrication for the waterpump, increases boiling point of water, and keeps rust and scale from forming in your cooling system. Coolant must be changed on a regular basis, check your owners manual for the recommended schedule. PH level is critical to keeping your coolant from becoming a metal eating liquid. When you check your coolant for freeze point, also check out the PH level and make sure your coolant has not turned acidic.
    Common Problems:

    Let’s look at the common problems cars have with the cooling system.

    Broken hose. Hoses wear out and can leak. Once the coolant has left the system it can no longer cool the engine and it overheats.
    Broken fan belt. The water pump is driven by the engine through a belt. If the belt breaks the water pump can not turn and coolant will not be circulated through the engine. This will also lead to engine overheating.
    Faulty radiator cap. The radiator cap is designed to hold a certain pressure in the coolant system. Most caps hold 8 – 12 PSI. This pressure raises the point in which the coolant will boil and maintains a stable system. If your cap does not hold pressure, then the car could overheat on hot days since the system never becomes pressurized.
    Water pump failure. Most commonly you will hear a screeching noise and will be able to see coolant leaking from the front of the pump or under the car. Early signs are small spots of coolant under the car after being parked overnight and a strong coolant odor while driving.
    Head gasket… have large amounts of white smoke flowing out of your exhaust? Could be a head gasket. The head gasket seals the cylinder head to the engine block and also seals the coolant passages. When this gasket fails coolant can enter the cylinder and it will be turned to vapor as the engine fires. Head gaskets most often fail after the engine has experienced an overheating situation. When super hot, the cylinder head can warp and allow the gasket to fail.

    Preventive Maintenance:

    Check all belts and hoses regularly. (at oil change is a good time)
    Look out for coolant leaks underneath the car, they could be signs of trouble to come.
    Change your coolant every 2 – 3 years depending on the manufacturers recommendations. You can check the freeze point of your coolant with an anti-freeze tester available at any auto parts store.
    Inspect your radiator cap for deterioration of the rubber seal. Replace if you think it is worn. $5 – $10 is cheap insurance.
    Have your coolant system flushed every 5 years. It gets all the corrosion which has built up out of the system.

    What to discuss with your mechanic:

    Let your mechanic know when your overheating problems occur. Overheating when idling points to a different problem than overheating at highway speeds.
    Ask your mechanic if it’s worth changing the timing belt or chain while he is replacing your water pump. Many times the timing belt turns the water pump so it has to be removed anyway to access the water pump.

    WARNING: Never open your radiator when the engine is hot. The pressure in the system can cause hot coolant to splash out and burn you.


  • Financing Your First Vehicle

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    When you first get your license, it’s pretty typical that your parents will pass along their old car or help you buy something used. A few years later, that car finally bites the dust, and it’s time to find something on your own. While you can buy great used cars from dealerships like Moreno Valley Ford, it’s possible for you to get something brand new, even if you don’t have the cash on hand to buy it outright.

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    If you’re curious whether or not you’re eligible to finance a new car purchase, you can visit www.racewayford.com and fill out a quick assessment in order to be prequalified before you even set foot on the dealership’s lot. The finance application is relatively quick and easy and can save you a trip to the dealership. You’ll provide your basic information and the model of car you’re interested in financing. Once your application is processed, you’ll be able to view your credit score to find out what type of financing you qualify for.
    Financing a new car is a great way to afford something you need when you don’t have cash immediately available to pay outright. You’ll be able to buy the car you love over time, paying a portion of the car’s cost each month, along with interest on your loan. Interest can be very low and can make this an affordable option for anyone who has good credit history. Those with limited credit history can usually still qualify for a loan, as long as they have a co-signer with a lengthier history. These types of loans also help you build up your credit history over time, provided you make your payments on time. Find out today if you’re eligible to finance a new or used car from your local dealer.