Dangers of DIY Maintenance

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Patching a flat tire with duct tape. Replacing a bumper with PVC pipe or cardboard. Hooking up a fan in place of broken air conditioning. Believe it or not, these misguided DIY car repair attempts are true stories. When untrained people look for a cheap solution to a car problem, the results can be disastrous. MYTH: Fixing your car at home is the same as fixing it at a repair shop  FACT: While saving money with some do-it-yourself work can be a good thing, attempting to fix your own car could actually cost you more, and give you a headache. If you are unsure of what you are doing, you could end up making things worse and damaging the vehicle even further. The components in your vehicle, especially when you’re addressing transmission repair, are interconnected in ways that are not always obvious. A …… ( more )

Why you need a Transmission Flush

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The problem with transmission fluid is that you can’t always tell when it is dirty just by looking at it. Transmission fluid is often a bright red or green color. When you look into the fluid while your car is parked, it may seem clean and clear. But hidden underneath is dust and debris waiting to mix in and flow through your engine. Just like the motor oil and other fluids in your vehicle, transmission fluid wears down over time. It collects contaminants, breaks down, and needs replaced periodically in order for it to be effective. When the fluid becomes contaminated, it carries the debris through the engine as your car operates. Over time, this can wear down the components in your vehicle, leading to extensive damage, transmission failure, and expensive repairs. A Transmission flush will clear all this contaminates …… ( more )

Comparing Monthly payments to Maintenance costs

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When you’re thinking about purchasing a new (or new-used) vehicle, it is easy to focus on the new features, shiny paint, and dealer offers of a new vehicle. But is it really worth it to buy a new car? Let’s look at just one factor: Monthly payments. Buying a new car usually comes with a large loan, broken into monthly payments for years to come. If you already have paid off your vehicle, you’re monthly payment free for as long as the car is on the road! But you can’t forget maintenance costs. The cost of a new vehicle isn’t limited to the price tag or monthly payment. New cars (and used cars) will still have regular maintenance costs, including oil changes, alignments, and other preventative maintenance. When you’re looking at a quote for a large repair on an older …… ( more )

My Car has a Computer?

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Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, including our vehicles! All modern cars have at least one computer built-in. But unlike the internet-browsing laptops and desktop computers that come to mind, the computers in your vehicle serve a more limited but vital function – keeping your vehicle safe on the road. The primary computer in your vehicle controls many aspects of its operation, including: Fuel injection Spark plugs Idle speed Engine emissions Various sensors in your car (oxygen, engine temperature, throttle position…) send information straight to the car’s computer, and it automatically adjusts the engine operations to accommodate for the best performance and keep emissions as low as possible. Just as important, the on-board computer can alert you to potential problems with your vehicle. When one of the sensors indicate a problem, the computer can trigger a warning light …… ( more )

What Octane should I use in my Car?

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When you pull into a local gas station in Galva to fill your empty tank, it may be tempting to reach for the fuel with the lowest price tag. After-all, how can one little number be so important? But reaching for the regular grade isn’t always the right choice – consult your owner’s manual, the sticker on the gas cap, or call our techs at 620.654.3445 for advice for your vehicle – keep reading for more information about gasoline octane and when it matters. What do the numbers on the gas pump mean? When you stop at the pump, the numbers indicate the octane rating of the fuel. This rating (87, 89, 93, etc.) relates to its ability to be compressed in the engine without igniting prematurely. In a typical engine, gas and air are combined in the cylinders then compressed into …… ( more )

Busting Gasoline Myths – What to do (and not do) to get the best Mileage

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We’ve all heard tips and tricks to nudge up the miles per gallon we get from our vehicle – from miracle pills to drafting to car repair. But what advice actually helps, and what is just an urban myth?   1. Gas additives and gadgets to boost fuel. Every so often, a slick company offers a “miracle solution” like a pill or additive to ramp up your miles per gallon. In reality, most of these tricks do NOTHING to improve your mileage, some even put your engine at risk. The most common one we see in our shop is Octane Boosters. The only way these chemical solutions work is if you’re putting in the wrong octane of gasoline to begin. Raising the octane with (potentially harmful) chemicals doesn’t improve your gas mileage. Plain and simple. Rather than choosing the cheapest …… ( more )

Weird & Surprising Auto Laws from across the Country

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We’re all too familiar with parking and speeding tickets… but did you know screeching tires amounts to 30 days in jail in Kansas? The auto repair experts at Nightingale Transmissions are here to keep you informed and keep your vehicle safe – give us a call at 620.654.3445 for vehicle maintenance and stay safely on the roads in Galva. From common sense to just plain weird, there are some unusual traffic laws across the country. And while not all of these may be strictly enforced, it’s worth a look at these surprising auto tickets: No Common Sense… It’s illegal to drive while blindfolded (Alabama) Don’t take a nap on the street… it’s illegal to “use the road as a bed” (Eureka, California) Not only is it unwise, it’s illegal to jump from a car at 65 mph (Glendale, California) Stay on the roads! …… ( more )

3 Cat Litter Auto Myths – True or False?

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Kitty litter often makes an appearance in lists for auto emergency kits or winter safety tips – but why is this strange “tool” so popular? What is it for? Does it really work? Here, we address three “myths” about cat litter to help you stay safe on slick winter roads in Galva, KS. Before you find yourself stuck (without cat litter), make sure your car can handle winter conditions – call our team at 620.654.3445. Myth #1 – Cat litter provides Traction TRUE! If your vehicle gets stuck in a snow bank or on a slick road, cat litter can help create the traction you need to get out. Pour a little around your tires to give them something to grip as you navigate onto the road. The non-clumping kind works best for extra traction on slick roads. Myth #2 …… ( more )

New Year, New Cars at the Detroit Auto Show!

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It’s a new year, which means new cars! This month, Detroit hosts the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Starting with press, industry, and charity previews January 12-16, the public auto show runs nine days from Saturday, January 17 through Sunday, January 25, 2015. This auto show is a popular venue for automakers to unveil new product launches for the year ahead. For 2015, there are about 40-50 potential launches anticipated during the two days of Press Preview (January 12 and 13). Not only is the Detroit Auto Show an opportunity to announce new vehicles, it’s also a venue to showcase the most impressive vehicles found across the world. An estimated $6 million worth of exotic vehicles will be on display at the auto show at the COBO Center in Detroit, Michigan. This year marks the 27th anniversary of this …… ( more )

8 Gift Ideas for your Vehicle!

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The holiday season is officially here! People across Galva, KS, and the country are flooding into stores, shopping for gifts for all the special people on their lists. But what about your vehicle? Whether you need a gift idea for a car lover on your list or want to take advantage of holiday prices, don’t leave your car out of the festivities! Explore these auto gift ideas for inspiration: 1 – USB charger These handy devices have a wide range of uses (and only cost a few dollars!). Plug in your phone, camera, tablet, mp3 player, or any USB connected device for an on-the-go charge. 2 – Emergency Kit If your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one, now is the perfect time to purchase or build an auto emergency kit. Put one together for your own vehicle or for a loved one to …… ( more )