How Much Do New Brakes Cost?

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

You put your foot down on the accelerator and your vehicle responds instantly — good. But then you put your foot down on the brake pedal and something’s not quite right. Whether the issue is a squealing noise or a longer stopping distance than before, it likely indicates that it’s time for a brake job, and your first question is probably “how much do new brakes cost?” The answer is that it depends on a few factors.

What Kind of Car Do You Have?Brake show

It may not surprise you that brakes for a subcompact commuter car are going to be less expensive than brakes for a high-performance sports or muscle car. You may even have paid extra when you bought the car for upgraded brakes. Getting your brakes back to their original specifications will usually come at a cost that’s proportional to the price of your car.

Are You an Originalist?

Whether or not you are an originalist will depend on whether you feel your vehicle must have genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts rather than aftermarket parts that fit your make and model. There are many high-quality aftermarket options out there that will perform as well as OEM parts, so if you’re not having brake work done on a classic car that will be mercilessly judged on period correctness and originality, you could save significant money.

What Do Your Brakes Need?

Brake repair isn’t an all-or-nothing, one-size-fits-all job. Sometimes new brake pads are all you need, but worn brake pads can lead to other problems in short order, most often damage to the rotors. If that has happened, you may be looking at having your rotors resurfaced, and if the damage is considerable, you may have to have your rotors replaced.

Even with proper maintenance and care, the friction involved in braking will mean that, at some point in the life of your vehicle, the rotors will wear too thin to provide proper stopping power. If you’re at that point, it’s a good idea to replace the brake lines too and possibly the master cylinder, depending on its condition. If something bigger has gone wrong, you might even need a new caliper. Naturally, the more components you replace, the higher the price may be.

Who Is Doing the Work?

Dealerships generally charge more for labor than independent garages and mechanics. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, though, you could be very happy to learn the price of brakes purchased and installed at home, as the labor may cost as much as the parts if you have a garage to do the job. Just remember that brakes are a critical component of your car, and your safety depends on this job being done right. If you have a decent amount of DIY experience with your vehicle and a good understanding of your vehicle’s braking system, this might be a job you can do in an afternoon. If you don’t feel up to the job, your local NAPA AutoCare can tackle if for you.

Because of all the variables, the cost of a brake job is hard to pin down. This is where estimates from your local service department, garage or mechanic come in. You can also get an estimate for most vehicles with our online tool. Be prepared — parts alone for a brake pad replacement will likely cost more than $100 per wheel. If you’re looking at brakes, rotors, lines or more, a four-figure bill is not out of the question for a newer car.

Check out all the brake parts available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how much new brakes cost, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo Courtesy of Mike Hagerty

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How Does Cold Weather Kill a Car Battery?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

It’s not uncommon when the weather turns frigid for people to head out to their cars only to find that the battery is dead. While this can happen at any time of year, it’s more common during the winter when temperatures drop. But how does cold weather kill a car battery? Here are the details of the process and what you can do to prevent an unpleasant surprise when you head out first thing in the morning.

How Does the Battery Work?

Knowing how a battery works is key to understanding how cold weather can kill a car battery. Lead-acid batteries are the most common battery type. They have a plastic case that surrounds lead plates. Each pair of those plates is called a cell. The lead plates sit in a solution that’s a mix of water and sulfuric acid.

Jumper cables BK 7825254

The lead plates store a charge through a chemical reaction between the metal and the surrounding solution. That reaction causes a build-up of lead sulfate, which gradually reduces the maximum charge that the battery can hold. Lead-acid batteries also naturally discharge over time. This gradual reduction — or the battery sitting unused for too long — can result in a lack of fresh charge and would eventually cause every battery to die or become so weak that it wouldn’t be able to start your car.

Why Do Batteries Fail in the Cold?

Extreme temperatures can increase the rate of the gradual discharge described above. Summer causes the water to evaporate, while winter slows chemical reactions. Neither is good for your battery’s life, but the extra challenge in cold weather is the additional power demands of a cold engine.

The oil in the engine is thicker when it’s cold, and it offers more resistance against forces trying to move it around. Extra power is also required to run accessories like defrosters and fans for the heat, which puts your battery under added stress. This is how you end up with an already dead or quickly dying battery on winter mornings.

How to Keep Your Battery from Failing

Every battery eventually fails, but you can take steps to prolong your car battery’s life. Since your engine needs to run to power its alternator — the device that charges the battery — you should use or at least start and run the car regularly. Be sure to take it out for longer drives occasionally, as short trips don’t give your battery a chance to recharge. While the car should be able to power all its electrical systems at idle, about 30 minutes to an hour of highway driving should restore a good charge to a low battery.

To ensure that your battery is always topped off, consider a trickle charger for when the car is stored in cold temperatures or not in regular use. To preserve battery charge when you’re away from home, avoid using the air conditioning or infotainment system while the engine is not running, as these accessories drain a battery quickly. Finally, regularly check and clean the battery terminals so that they don’t become corroded and unable to transmit power properly.

No one likes a dead battery on a cold winter morning. Understanding how cold weather kills a car battery and following proper battery maintenance practices can help your battery last longer and reduce your chances of discovering a dead battery when you have places to be.

Check out all the car battery products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about car batteries, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of FreeImages.

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How to Undercoat A Car

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

The road is a filthy place. It’s not only exposed to the elements 24/7, it’s also covered in what we use to clear away those elements (like salt and cinders for snow removal) as well as all the debris from vehicles, like leaking fluids and microscopic bits of worn tire.

Your vehicle needs protection from all of this. Here we will discuss how to undercoat a car to protect it from wear and tear while you’re on the road.

Do I Really Need Undercoating?Undercarriage of a vehicle

Yes. Corrosion is bad enough for the parts of your car that you can see easily, but it can also affect internal components. All that gunk that kicks up from your tires can trap moisture on your undercarriage and lead to rust, and if you live in a state that uses salt for snow removal, the corrosive mixture of water and salt can wreak havoc on bare metal components.

Types of Coating

There are three common types of undercoating products, distinguished by their primary ingredients:

  • Polyurethane: The biggest upside to polyurethane undercoating is that it fills in cracks you might not even be able to see, pushing out salt and moisture in the process. This type of undercoating even inhibits corrosion on a pretty aggressive level. The downside is the extensive prep time required to do the job right.
  • Rubberized: The benefit to this undercoating is right there in the name, rubber. This undercoating is a bit softer, which allows some debris to bounce off instead of causing dents or nicks where rust can get a foothold. As a result, it’s one of the most popular ways to undercoat a car.
  • Paraffin or wax-based: This is an inexpensive and easy way to get the job done. Like polyurethane, this option fills cracks and crevices to provide protection for those hard-to-see places. If there’s a downside, it’s durability. These aren’t do-it-once-and-forget-it undercoatings, and you’ll probably have to reapply paraffin or wax-based undercoatings every year.

Tips for Prep and Application

Is this a DIY job, or should you hire a pro to undercoat a car? In most cases, this is something you can do yourself if you have a modicum of experience with working on cars or if you’re handy around the house.

Plan on this job taking a weekend. Remember that the most important and most time-consuming step is careful preparation. You don’t want to trap corrosion-causing material up against the bare metal of your undercarriage, as it will continue to do damage that you won’t be able to see.

Begin by brushing or grinding off any rust that’s already there — yes, all of it — and then apply paint or primer to those freshly de-rusted areas. Once the primer has dried, follow the manufacturer recommendations for the undercoating you’ve chosen. Just like painting and bodywork, this is not a job to rush. Doing research and taking your time will pay dividends here.

While it can be a laborious and time-intensive job, learning how to undercoat a car can add years to the life of your vehicle, increasing its utility to you and raising its resale value.

Check out all the undercoating products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on undercoating your vehicle, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Mike Hagerty.

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Four Car Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Your New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t just be for you. They should be for your vehicle, too. So let’s set four New Year’s car maintenance resolutions right now.

1. Check Your Tire PressureChecking tire pressure

Once a week, whip out your tire gauge, do four squats, one by each tire, and check the air pressure (this can be part of your fitness resolution, too). All four tires’ pressure probably should be even, but you’re also aiming for a specific number. There’s usually a sticker on the inside driver’s side door jamb that gives the recommended tire pressure for the original equipment tires that came with your vehicle. That’s what you’re shooting for. If you’ve modified your vehicle with different size wheels, check the paperwork that came with the tire or call your tech and get their advice.

Remember, heat expands air and cold condenses it, meaning your tires are going to read low if they’re cold. Drive the car a little bit to warm up the tires before you check the pressure. If it’s low or uneven, grab your compressor or head for the service station to inflate and equalize. Your car will ride better, your traction will improve, and your tires will wear evenly and last longer.

2. Check Your Hoses

This is a key element of basic car maintenance that a lot of drivers forget. It gets hot under that hood and the rubber in the hoses is pretty much baking while you drive. Eventually, they dry out, crack and, in some cases, rupture. That’s when essential fluids that are supposed to be inside your engine and its cooling system end up outside — not good.

You don’t need to know what a hose does to recognize dry, brittle or cracking material. Even if you need to call in a mechanic to learn exactly what system is at risk, you could save yourself a major headache and a large repair bill later by being proactive and giving them a weekly look over and a squeeze.

3. Top Off Your Windshield Washer Reservoir and Coolant

Though this is good year-round car maintenance advice, these tasks are especially important in winter.

If you’ve driven in wintry conditions you know that other cars fling lots of muddy slush around, some of which cakes up on your windshield. You definitely want to top off your washer fluid levels to help clear off the road spray and maintain good visibility. Keeping a gallon or two of windshield washer fluid on hand in your garage for a weekly top-off is a great idea. And in the wintertime, use a fluid that also has anti-freezing properties — the last thing you want is to activate your wiper fluid only to have it instantly freeze to the glass, ruining visibility.

Speaking of antifreeze, it’s a good idea to top off your coolant reservoir while you’re under the hood and have your funnel close at hand. You’ll need to use a mix of coolant (often just water) and antifreeze to ensure that the liquid responsible for absorbing heat from your engine doesn’t freeze in place. Note that some coolants come premixed — it will say on the bottle.

4. Check Your Oil

Once a week, when you’re performing the other maintenance tasks, grab a paper towel, pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, slide the dipstick back in and read your oil level. You’re looking for a thin coating of oil over the hash marks engraved on the blade of the dipstick. If the oil doesn’t come up that far, you need to add more until it does. If the oil is so thick and dirty that you can’t see the hash marks, you need to change the oil and the filter.

None of these tasks are too difficult — they’ll all take just ten minutes of your week, tops — and you probably won’t discover a problem every time. The real point of making these car care resolutions is to engage with your vehicle and get in the habit of preventive maintenance. Your car will be better-maintained and less prone to breakdown, and you’ll have a much happier year because of it.

Check out all the oils, chemicals and fluids available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on car maintenance, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy of Mike Hagerty.

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The Rebelle Rally: Leaving GPS Behind

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

The Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off-road navigation rally in the United States. This October marked the rally’s fifth anniversary, with competitors from all over the US and Canada heading out to the California desert for this 8-day, 1,200-mile event. Teams of two competed in a wide range of vehicles, using nothing but topographical maps, compasses and sheer grit to navigate their way through the rugged terrain. Here’s everything you need to know about the Rebelle Rally.

Running the RallyRebelle Rally

This is not a speed rally. It’s a navigation rally that requires teams to find a series of checkpoints throughout each day. Green checkpoints are clearly marked, blue checkpoints have a much smaller marker that’s harder to spot, and black checkpoints have no marker at all. Once teams arrive at a checkpoint, they signal with a satellite tracker to earn points.

There is a limited amount of time available to collect points during the day, and not all checkpoints have the same value. The tricky black checkpoints carry high values but require the most precise navigation to reach. Each team has to decide on its own strategy for which checkpoints it will try to find.

At the end of the day, teams don’t head to a hotel. Instead, they set up their own tents and camp at a series of sites spread throughout the rally, where food is provided. This is no luxury experience though, as temperatures drop below freezing at night and soar above 100°F during the day, and some of those days are spent out in the sand dunes, where teams might have to break out the shovels to dig out of deep sand.

It’s Not Just for Pros

The women who participate in the rally come from a wide range of backgrounds, and most don’t race or rally for a living. That’s right — you don’t need to be a professional driver or navigator to participate. Drivers do need to have off-road driving know-how, but for many contestants, this is their first time competing in a rally.

The navigator can also be a novice. Since most people don’t know how to navigate without GPS, the rally offers online courses that teach the basics. There are also in-person classes where both the driver and the navigator can hone their skills as teammates.

The Cars Are As Diverse As the Teams

One of the goals that the rally’s founder, Emily Miller, has for the event is to show people that the car in their driveway is more capable than they think. There’s even a special Bone Stock designation for teams who don’t make any modifications to their vehicles.

The rally separates entries into either the Crossover class or the 4×4 class, but the vehicles in each class are quite diverse. The rally has seen everything from luxury SUVs that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to everyday 4×4 vehicles. Even plug-in hybrids and an all-electric truck have shown up to run. Not having a professional rally car is certainly no obstacle for competitors.

The Rebelle Rally is a tough off-road event that challenges competitors to push themselves beyond what they think their limits are. In the end, the competition is about more than just coming in first. It’s about determination and learning that you can do more than you ever thought possible. If you’re a woman and love cars, nature and the thrill of competition, think about giving this event a try. You might surprise yourself.

Check out all the off-road products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about prepping your vehicle for off-roading, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photos courtesy Rebelle Rally

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How to Open A Frozen Car Door Handle

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Ah, winter — snowflakes that stay on your nose and eyelashes, and ice that cakes up inside the locks and other once-moving parts of your door handles.

If this is the case for your vehicle, you likely just want to get into your car, get the heat on and get to where you need to be. But don’t let the hurry lead you to force your way in, as this could damage your car. Instead, read on to learn how to open a frozen car door the right way.

Frozen Shut, Now What?door lock

As with most things, you’ll want to start small and use methods that are less likely to cause damage or require a cleanup. To that end, here are some tips on how to open a frozen car door.

First, try gently moving the key into and out of the lock or pulling the door handle and releasing it a few times. The key word here is gently. Sometimes, all you’re dealing with is a fragile little sliver of ice that just happens to be in the exact wrong place. If you take a more forceful approach right away, you might find yourself standing with a snapped-off door handle in your hand.

If moving the key in the lock doesn’t work, go back into the house, fill a big pot with water and put it on the stove. What you want is a good amount of warm water (not boiling) that you can carry back out to the driveway and pour over your door handle to get rid of the ice. A restaurant or coffee shop may be able to help with this if you’re away from home. Note that the water should not be boiling hot, as that could damage your paint. Pour the warm water slowly and steadily over the door handle, and when the container is empty, try inserting the key or pulling on the handle again.

If you’re still having no luck, your next move is chemical. If you live in a frigid climate, you probably (and certainly should) have a de-icing windshield washer fluid. Put some in a plastic sprayer bottle, adjust the nozzle to “stream,” and very carefully aim it into the stuck parts. Again, go easy — this stuff isn’t meant to sit on your paint or get on your hands. If you aren’t already wearing gloves, put some on before you do this. Give the fluid five minutes or so to do its work, and then try the lock or the door handles again.

If all else fails, grab an extension cord and a hairdryer. Turn it on high and hit the problem area with hot air, and it should melt soon. As you work, try not to overheat any plastic components, and as always, be wary of combining electricity and moisture.

What to Remember for Next Time

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Try spraying a little lubricant in the locks and other moving parts of your door handles before the first cold snap to prevent ice from building up. Also, consider using a car cover if you don’t have a garage. In addition to keeping ice out of your car door’s parts, a cover can pay dividends in your car’s appearance and security.

Check out all the car door handles available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on installing door handles, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Cabin Car Air Filter Replacement Tips

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

While cabin air filters are often overlooked during routine maintenance, most vehicles on the road today have them. And it’s too bad that they’re sometimes forgotten, because adding a regular cabin car air filter replacement to your maintenance schedule is one of the easier ways to care for your vehicle and the people inside it. If you’re thinking of replacing this filter, here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Cabin air filters filter the air that blows into the cabin. Shocking, right? This means their job is to keep out particulate matter both large and small, such as bugs, dust, mold spores, pollen, leaves, twigs, pollution — pretty much all the things you wouldn’t want to breathe in that might otherwise find their way inside your vehicle. This makes them a must-have for people with allergies and asthma.

But more than that, cabin air filters also keep your HVAC system running effectively. If your filter is clogged, the airflow in the system will be stymied, and affected components will have to work harder, which could cause them to wear prematurely.

Do You Need a New Filter?

Recommendations on how often to change these filters vary, so it’s important to consult your owner’s manual. Usually, the baseline replacement interval is every 12,000-15,000 miles or once a year, but that could easily change based on driving conditions. If you’re often driving around in low-quality air or on dusty roads, you’ll want to check your filter more often. Look out for telltale signs that the filter is getting dirty and clogged, such as a musty odor, low airflow from your vents or even a whistling noise from behind the dash.

Air ApparentCabin Car Air Filter Replacement

When you choose a new cabin air filter, you can go with one from the manufacturer, but it isn’t necessary. There are plenty of quality aftermarket filters to choose from. The biggest choice to make is whether or not you want to go for one that’s reusable, and that decision will depend on whether you feel like cleaning it when it gets dirty.

Single-use filters offer options such as activated charcoal and baking soda coating to reduce odors, but the more important features to look for are quality materials and filtration efficiency. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure your new filter is the same shape and size as the old one.

Out With the Old, in With the New

Most cabin air filters are located either behind the glove box or under the dash. They can usually be accessed pretty easily, either by popping a few panels or removing some screws. Again, your owner’s manual is the best resource for this. Note that some cars have more than one filter, so be sure to look out for that as well. Also, pay attention to the orientation of your cabin filter, as it will need to be set in a specific direction for optimal airflow, which is usually denoted by an arrow. Once the old filter is out, vacuum or otherwise clean the area before installing the new one.

Changing this filter regularly will keep the air you breathe fresher and better for your health, and it will help maintain your HVAC system to boot. It’s an easy maintenance item to add and check off.

Check out all the filters available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on a car air filter replacement, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Images courtesy of Blair Lampe.

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How to Use an Engine Hoist: The Basics

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

So you’ve got a garage, a complete set of tools and a dream for your latest project car. You’re finding that you prefer to do as much as you can yourself instead of turning your vehicle over to someone else. If you’re confident that you can take on the big jobs, then adding an engine hoist (also called an engine crane) to your garage and learning how to use an engine hoist makes a lot of sense.

Why Would I Need an Engine Hoist?

Taking the engine out of the car is necessary for some projects, including, but not limited to:

  • Engine rebuilding — it’s a lot easier to access all the parts without a car surrounding the engine
  • Engine swaps — this could be the year you finally take the plunge and swap out that high-output crate motor under the hood of your baby
  • Vehicle restoration — to be thorough, it’s best to remove the engine and restore the motor and body separately.

Okay, Sold. What Should I look for in an Engine Hoist?


First — above literally everything else — look for stability. You want a solid, balanced hoist or crane that won’t tip and damage to your engine, your car or you. Next, you want adjustability. You want to be able to gently guide the engine clear of the fenders and grille as you remove it, and to be able to manipulate it as you work on it. Finally, consider storage. When you’re not using your engine hoist for a project, you’ll want to be able to fold it easily to store.

How to Use an Engine Hoist: The Basics

First, follow the instructions that came with the hoist — every single one. Especially the ones about proper setup and safe use. You need a flat surface, a clear workspace, good lighting and no overhead obstructions. Those are just the bare minimum.

Every vehicle is different, so it’s hard to say exactly which systems will need to be removed, where they’ll be and where your hoist will fasten to the engine, but the NAPA Know-How Blog does offer some key insight to keep in mind as you follow the specific instructions of your vehicle and hoist manufacturers. Even without knowing your exact vehicle, we can offer these tips for getting the most out of your hoist.

Removing the engine is a step-by-step process that requires careful attention, organization and some planning. You’re going to want:

  • A safe place to store the nuts, bolts, fasteners and other parts that come out from under the hood before you lift out the engine
  • The right wrenches, sockets and ratchets close by for the various fasteners you’ll encounter
  • A camera to take lots of pictures of how things looked before you took them apart
  • Drain pans for the fluids contained in the engine (these can be mostly drained before pulling the engine)
  • Shop rags, gloves and dropcloths within easy reach — any job that requires a hoist is bound to get messy

As an aside, check local and federal regulations about the disposal or evacuation of certain liquids and materials from your vehicle, perhaps starting with your air conditioning unit (that might be best handled by a professional before you start).

For the actual pulling: As stated before, this is a highly complex automotive undertaking, and the exact steps vary greatly from car to car. Because of this, you’re likely going to want some guidance. May we suggest an expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts Store?

Check out all the cranes and hoists available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on removing your vehicle’s engine and how to use an engine hoist, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Why Is My Car Burning Oil?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Oil plays a key role in the health of your car’s engine. It helps keep the engine lubricated and prevents all the moving components from building up too much heat. Over time, you may observe signs of your car burning oil. It’s important to identify and remedy this problem, as it can diminish your car’s oil levels, wear your engine prematurely and eventually cause serious damage if it isn’t addressed.

Here we’ll explain what factors can cause a car to burn oil and help you determine whether this is happening to your vehicle. We’ll also offer advice on how to address the issue.

What Causes a Car to Burn Oil?

Engine oil is meant to be held within a car’s engine, but the engine’s gaskets and oil seals can develop leaks. This can be caused by age, excessive wear or extreme heat.

These leaks will cause your car’s oil to travel outside the engine where it is no longer useful for lubricating. That oil is lost and will need to be replaced.

Gradual consumption of oil isn’t always caused by an external leak. Sometimes there are internal leaks that can allow oil into parts of the engine that aren’t designed to accommodate oil. For example, if a car’s piston rings or valve seals are worn, oil could reach the engine’s combustion chamber, causing the car to burn oil during the combustion process.

How to Tell If Your Car Is Burning Oil

Here are three ways to tell if your car is burning oil:

  1. Monitor the Car’s Oil Level — One way to tell if your car is burning oil is to observe the vehicle’s oil level. If it seems to be declining at a faster-than-normal rate, you may have a problem.
  2. Note if There Is a Burning Smell — Another telltale sign is the smell that burning oil emits. When the oil heats up after coming in contact with hot components, it gives off a distinct burning odor.
  3. Look for Bluish Smoke Coming From the Tailpipe — Yet another symptom of a car burning oil is bluish smoke drifting from the exhaust while the engine is running. This can become especially apparent when you accelerate or decelerate.

What to Do

The first step to fixing this problem is to identify what’s causing the oil leak. External oil leaks can be caused by wear and tear in any of these components:

  • Oil filter
  • Oil pan
  • Cooler line
  • Filler cap
  • Drain plug

With an internal oil leak, the problem could be triggered by worn piston rings, valve stem oil seals, a malfunctioning PCV system, or even a blown head gasket. In any case, a service technician will be able to tell you what’s causing the leak and provide the necessary repairs.

If your car is burning oil, it’s essential to deal with the issue promptly. In the meantime be sure to check your oil frequently and keep it topped off to the manufacturer’s suggested level. The longer you wait to address an issue, the more likely it becomes that you’ll be left with engine damage that lands you with a hefty repair bill.

Check out all the oils, chemicals and fluids available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on a car burning oil, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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4 Road Trip Movies With Valuable Car Lessons

Saturday, April 6th, 2019
4 Road Trip Movies With Valuable Car Lessons

Road trip movies are a popular Hollywood trope, and really, what’s not to like? Get a group of likable characters, stuff them in a car, bus or Winnebago, and watch their interpersonal relationships unravel as hours of proximity exposes the rifts between them.

In addition to entertainment, these four classic road trip movies provide lessons you can apply to your day-to-day dealings with your own car. As long as you don’t take things too seriously, you can tap into this cinematic wisdom and be prepared for whatever the road throws at you.

1. ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’

Not all road trips go according to plan, especially in the movies. This classic hit from the ’80s stars John Candy and Steve Martin, and if there’s one lesson about cars to take away, it’s that you should always, always, always get the full insurance when you rent a vehicle. Sure, there’s a chance you won’t set your rental on fire after falling asleep on the highway and then be forced to drive the charred wreck back to town in a major snowstorm — but there’s also a chance you will.

2. ‘Smokey and the Bandit’

If you’re going to drive cross-country with valuable cargo, it’s nice to have a buddy ahead of you in an ultra-flashy muscle car. Burt Reynolds proved to us that the easiest way to solve the “long way to go, short time to get there” problem was to travel with a buddy, preferably in a Trans Am. You never know when you might need help, especially if you are traveling across long stretches out west.

3. ‘Duel’

What started out as a simple commute turned into the world’s worst road trip in Steven Spielberg’s 1971 movie, “Duel.” Although it was filmed 40 years ago, the lessons in the flick still hold true today in a world where road rage can be lethal. Regardless of whether you’ve been cut off, honked at or otherwise disrespected on the highway, it’s always best to just let it go and keep driving. Especially if there’s a homicidal truck driver on your tail.

4. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

If there’s one lesson that most road trip movies teach, it’s to always be prepared. The post-apocalyptic desert in “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the very definition of an unforgiving environment where you need to bring all the extra gas, water and ammunition you can pack if you want to survive. Of course, the veneer of civilization allows you to replace “ammunition” with “beef jerky” if you so desire, but it’s still sound advice.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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