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Tips for Keeping Your Car On The Move this Summer

Although Summer often means fun and adventure under the sun, it unfortunately also can lead to disaster for drivers that haven’t properly prepared their vehicles for the constant heat and sun. Luckily for you, following some simple Summer tips can not only keep your car feeling cooler under the scorching sun, but you’ll also keep your car running smoother and you’ll keep you and your passengers safe. First, however, let’s quickly look back at your vehicle’s various cooling systems, and what you can do to make sure yours are keeping your car in check.

As we’ve covered in earlier articles, there are a few simple things you can do to cool your car as fast as possible after it’s been sitting in the sun for a few hours. First things first, however, is preventing the car from getting that hot in the first place. Many drivers think that simply cracking the windows will allow all the hot air to escape their car, but that isn’t true. Although that may slightly slow the rate that the car heats up, a lot of hot air is still being trapped in the car and is slowly raising the temperature. There are a few things you can do to combat this, the first simply being that you make an effort to park in the shade whenever possible. Whether that’s under an awning, in the shade of a tree, or in a parking structure, staying out of the direct sun while still cracking those windows can help keep your car at least a couple degrees colder than it would be sitting in the direct sun all day.

You can further keep things cool and protect your car’s interior from sun damage and bad odors by using a sun shield when your card is parked. You’ve seen them before – they often look like opaque or reflective metallic sheets in the windshields of parks cars. These help to keep heat and sunlight from getting in the car and keep the interior shady and cool while the vehicle is parked. In case you were unaware, direct exposure to sunlight over time can damage various parts of your car’s interior, causing warping, fading, discoloration, and can also help lingering smells build up and produce an unwanted stench inside your car. Sun shades are typically fairly cheap and you can pick them up almost anywhere that sells car parts and accessories, but they definitely go a long way in keeping things cool during Summer heat waves.

On a related note, keeping your vehicle cool while it’s parked is not only important in maintaining its performance ability and appearance, but it can also save lives. Every year, distracted or fatigued drivers running around town and working make the unfortunate mistake of leaving a child, pet, or infant in their car for a short period of time, and every year this unfortunately leads to a staggering number of preventable deaths and injuries related to vehicles. The truth is, a car’s interior can raise up to or over 20 degrees in less than 10 minutes when parked in the sun on a hot day, and for an infant or pet that could easily spell death. Further, the extreme heat from a car that’s been parked in the sun can increase the effects of fatigue, cause dizziness, loss of coordination, and a handful of other problems that we don’t want someone to experience while operating a vehicle. In all, keeping your car cool in the sun not only makes your ride comfortable, but it can truly save lives in the process.

Moving away from comfort and maintaining a safe cabin temperature, the Summer sun and heat also can take their toll on different mechanical parts and systems on your vehicle, potentially causing irreversible damage and costing drivers money. The prolonged exposure to heat causes fluids to evaporate more quickly than normal, can warp various metals and other materials, and can cause rubber and plastic pieces to crack, dry out, or rot. To make sure you catch any potential problems early on before they become too costly, and more importantly to make sure you’re as safe as possible while driving around, there are a few simple checks you can perform on your own to make sure everything is holding up and working well over the Summer.

Preventing your car from overheating and leaving you stranded isn’t as hard as you might think during the warm months. Your car’s cooling system, which we have covered in earlier articles, is a pressurized closed system them moves coolant through your engine and radiator to dissipate heat. Since it’s a closed system, you should never actually see coolant on or around your car. With that being said, regularly checking under your car and under the hood for any signs of coolant leaks or excessive wear on any hoses or parts is the easiest thing you can do to catch issues before they cause real damage. You may be able to get away with topping off the coolant if you have a very slow and small leak, but since vehicle cooling systems operate under extreme pressure and must remain airtight, you should see a professional as soon as possible if you do notice any leaks, smoke, steam, or if your car is running at high temperatures.

As stated above, prolonged exposure to the sun and Summer heat can cause fluids to evaporate, and there are a lot of different fluids your car needs to run at peak performance. Make sure you regularly check the levels and condition of your wiper fluid, oil, transmission fluid, and battery electrolytes during the Summer months. Keeping these fluids topped off will keep you safe and help prevent excessive wear and tear in the heat.

Aside from checking the electrolyte levels, there are a few other battery checks you should perform to prevent a failure and a headache. Make sure your battery’s terminals are clean and the connections are secure; Temperature fluctuations can cause parts to expand and contract, potentially loosening connections. On a similar note, ensure the battery hold-down bar is tightened properly and the battery is being held securely in place.

Once you’re sure your battery is ready to tackle Summer, the last checks you should perform are on your car’s rubber. Make sure all the belts and hoses are free from cracks, glazing, tears, etc. before you close the hood. Then, check your tires for any issues. Consider a replacement if there are any bulges, swelling, leaks, punctures, and so on. Finally, check to make sure all your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, and don’t forget to check the spare!

Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a sunny and fun Summer with a cool, comfortable car that runs like-new all year! Our list tip is to keep an emergency kit in your car in case you do break down – make sure you have plenty of water, some tools and flashlights, food, and some first aid items to hold you over in case anything happens and you need to wait for help.

If you’re looking for ways to prepare your car for the Summer heat, or if you need affordable options on the parts you need to get your Summer ride back on the road, make sure you shop at Holbrook Auto Parts for the lowest prices around Detroit! Holbrook carries new and pre-owned OEM and aftermarket parts for nearly all makes, models, and years; That’s the Holbrook Difference!

All images property of Holbrook Auto Parts

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Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Engine Oil

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, anyone can agree that there’s a lot that goes into properly maintaining a car and keeping it running for hundreds of thousands of miles. When it comes to the various parts of the car you need to maintain, however, not all repairs are created equally. You can get away with having some rust or dents, and although it would be unpleasant, you could technically drive without a working AC. One thing’s for certain, however, and that’s the fact that without a properly maintained and well-running engine, your car might as well be a really expensive driveway decoration. One of the easiest ways to stay on top of maintaining your engine is by properly monitoring and maintaining your motor oil.

The number one job that oil does inside your engine is keep all the complex moving parts lubricated, reducing friction and damage within. On top of lubricating your engine, however, your oil also protects against corrosion and acts as an internal cleaner in your engine, collecting sediments, metal shavings, and any other debris out of the engine when the oil is changed. Finally, oil absorbs heat as it moves through the engine, helping to regulate the temperature under the hood and prevent overheating.

 Now, just like there are different types of engines, there are different types of motor oil. Typically, they fall into three main categories: mineral (fossil fuel derived) oil, synthetic blend, or full synthetic. Although synthetic oils are almost always better at removing debris and regulating temperature than traditional oils, be sure to consult your vehicle’s manual before changing up your oil. If you really want your engine to last, your best bet is consulting your vehicle’s manual for a list of recommended compatible oils and choosing the best from those options (preferably a partially or fully-synthetic oil option, if possible).

Aside from a natural vs. synthetic oil blend, you’ll notice you also have to choose the proper grade of oil for your vehicle. The different oil ratings signify different viscosities of oil, and you want to make sure you’re using the right kind for your engine. Further still, you’ll also notice that your particular grade of oil may come in other variations, such as blends for hot or cold climates or a high-mileage blend. These oils tend to be a little heavier and are designed to help thoroughly clean high-mileage engines that potentially have more engine buildup. Once you’ve chosen the correct oil type and grade for your vehicle, consider picking up the proper variation for your vehicle’s needs to help it stay running for longer.

Now that you know a little more about which oil you should be putting in your car it’s time to go over when you should be changing your oil, and that all starts with regular oil checks. No matter how long your car’s manual says to wait between oil changes, and especially if you do a lot of city driving, you should be regularly checking the oil in your car; Most experts recommend checking your oil every time or every other time you stop to fill up on gas. Before you check your oil, make sure to drive around for about 10-15 minutes, then park and stop the car for about 10-15 minutes on level ground before popping the hood to ensure you get an accurate reading. Once you pop the hood, locate the dipstick, remove it and wipe it off, reinsert it, and check it again. You want to make sure the oil looks clean (it will be an amber-brown color and semi-transparent), and that there’s enough oil in the engine (the oil should be at least halfway up the hashed section of the dipstick).

 If your oil is looking black and sludgy, smells burnt, feels gritty/has metal shavings in it, or is low on your dipstick, it’s time for a change. Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily want to wait for these signs to change your oil; Check your vehicle’s manual for a specific amount of time or miles driven between oil changes. Typically, this will be around 3,000-5,000 miles or about three months, although newer cars may have longer intervals between changes. In short, however, you want to stick to your vehicle’s recommended schedule and perform an oil change early if any of the above-mentioned signs indicate your oil needs replacing. If you decide to change your oil yourself, make sure you use the right tools, parts, oil, and you thoroughly inspect and clean everything as you go. Finally, make sure not to overfill the oil as this can cause air bubbles to form in the engine, reducing how effectively the oil works and potentially causing overheating or other damage.

 In conclusion, there’s a lot more to oil than simply taking your car in for a change every once in a while. In order to properly maintain the health of your engine, it’s important you regularly check your motor oil and carefully stick to the recommended maintenance schedule. Use only the highest-grade oil and filters recommended in your vehicle’s manual when changing the oil and opt for high-mileage or synthetic oils when possible and appropriate. By following these simple steps, you can actively prevent costly engine damage and keep your car On the Move for years to come!

If you’re in need of oil, filters, or any other parts for your car, stop by one of Holbrook Auto Parts’ location around the Detroit area. With a massive selection of new and pre-owned OEM and aftermarket auto parts and supplies, you could save up to 50% on maintaining your car year-round!

All images property of Holbrook Auto Parts.

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Recycled Tires: Putting a New Spin on Old Rubber

It seems like every year the general population becomes more and more conscious of our impact on the environment and consumers continue to make efforts to recycle – and that’s a great thing! Unfortunately, some recyclable items and materials are sent to landfills anyway due to lack of knowledge or convenience, and those items sit and pollute the environment for years. Automotive tires are unfortunately one of those frequently-trashed items, even though there are many ways to recycle and repurpose tires that reached the end of their practical life. This article will look at some of the numbers involved in tire waste and recycling, as well as some of the many ways tires can be recycled.

The very same durability that makes tires great during their functional lifespan is unfortunately their biggest downfall when they aren’t properly recycled. Due to their shape and durability, tires tend to become homes and breeding grounds for rats, mosquitoes, and other pests when they sit in landfills. Not only that, but their size and shape make them awkward and space-consuming in landfills, and they can trap gases that later bubble up and rupture landfill linings. In short, we really don’t want tires sitting in our landfills, on sides of roads, or in fields somewhere.

Some places try to cheaply solve the problem of having tires piles up and sitting around by burning them. Unfortunately, this really isn’t a great solution. Sure, it solves the problem of having tires sitting around and costs virtually nothing, but if you’ve ever seen the black smoke that comes from burning tires, you’ll know there’s no way that it’s by any means a “clean” way to get rid of the tires. Oil and other toxic compounds are used in making tires and burning them releases them into the air and environment. Plus, since tires last so long, they have plenty of other uses they can be recycled into once their usefulness on the road ends.

Each year in America, nearly 300 million tires reach the end of their functional life on the road and are discarded. To be more exact, the EPA stated that in 2017, about 294.4 million scrap tires came from the U.S. Luckily, due to increased awareness about recycling, the majority of those tires were responsibly disposed of and recycled, although about 16% still made their way into landfills. About 16 million tires are retreaded, or repurposed into new tires, but that only accounts for a small portion of the tires discarded each year. So, where do all those recycled tires go?

You’ve probably seen some recycled tires already on farms, playgrounds (as tire swings), in artwork, as bumpers on docks, or even as flower beds or gardens before. The very same durability and odd shape that make tires a costly nuisance at the landfill are what make tires a great material for creative people looking for ways to reuse and recycle materials, although this only accounts for a portion of recycled tires.

Next, using up about 8% of the tires recycled each year, are Civil engineering projects. These include things like roadway embankments, drainage fillers, insulation, bedding under roads, and so on. Here, the rubber is often shredded and used to replace various plastics and polystyrene that would otherwise be used. An added benefit to using tires in this way is that most Civil engineering uses for recycled rubber require lower cleanliness standards, meaning old and dirty tires still have a chance at being repurposed responsibly.

Moving up the ladder, recycling tire rubber for various ground applications accounts for roughly 25% of the tires recycled each year. Ground applications encompass a variety of things, some of which you’ve probably seen yourself. Recycled and shredded rubber can be used as a long-lasting and softer alternative to woodchips on playgrounds, and when further ground down it is used as bedding and artificial dirt on indoor sports fields. Taking things another direction, recycled rubber can also be used as an ingredient in the concrete and asphalt we use to pave roads and sidewalks. What may surprise you most, however, is the leading use for recycled tires.

To the surprise of many, on average 43% of the tires recycled each year in the U.S. are used as tire-derived fuel (TDF) in industrial practices. According to the EPA, those very same tires that can harm the environment when simply burned, when carefully cleaned and used in accordance to guidelines set by the EPA, are actually a viable alternative to other fuels like coal. In fact, the EPA reports that, when in accordance with their guidelines, TDFs can actually burn cleaner than coal and produce 25% more energy!

Overall, although there is an enormous number of tires reaching the end of their lives each year, more and more people are making an effort to recycle their tires, and we’re finding more ways to repurpose old tires. Between being an alternative fuel source in industrial uses, being an ingredient in Civil engineering projects, or simply being repurposed as other tires or creative projects, there are plenty of options for those looking for a way to reuse their old tires. Hopefully, with the continued effort from people around the country, we can continue to find new ways to recycle old tires and reduce the number of tires that end up in landfills each year.

At Holbrook Auto Parts we take pride in selling tested repurposed tires to our customers at discounted prices, and responsibly recycling the tires that can’t be salvaged. If you’re looking for a way to do your part in tire recycling, take the first step and save some money by considering pre-owned tires from Holbrook next time your tread looks worn down!

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The Importance of Maintaining Your Car’s Mirrors

For many reasons, it’s very important that you maintain your vehicle’s mirrors as a driver. In some cases, missing or broken mirrors can mean a costly fine, in other cases it’s unfortunately a time-consuming and costly replacement that must be done by a professional. In every case, however, driving around with broken or missing mirrors on your car poses a serious safety risk to you, your passengers, and the other drivers on the road.

In many states, there is some sort of law surrounding the mirrors on your vehicle. Although how many mirrors and which ones are required at minimum may vary from state to state, the fact that most states have at least some sort of laws surrounding mirrors shows their importance to your safety on the road.

When you have all the correct mirrors on your car in working condition and properly adjusted, you can have almost a complete view of the back and sides of your vehicle while minimizing the amount of time your eyes are off the road ahead of you. You should be able to see not only directly behind you through your rearview mirror, but you should also be able to see both sides of a car driving directly behind you. With properly adjusted side mirrors, you should be able to see the back of and slightly behind your car all the way to the side of your car where your peripheral vision ends.

Repairing or replacing a mirror on your car can vary greatly in the amount of money and effort required depending on the age, make, and model of your vehicle. For older vehicles, or if you just cracked the glass on a sideview mirror, you might be able to simply pick up a piece of replacement glass and change it out yourself. Newer vehicles, however, may have more advanced electronic adjustment systems, heating systems, or mechanisms for holding the glass in place that may require a professional to repair things for you. If you are replacing or remounting a rearview mirror, consult your owner’s manual for the proper placement and make sure you use the recommended/approved adhesive materials. Having an improperly-mounted mirror can reduce your field of vision, compromising your safety and the safety of those driving around you. If your entire mirror housing is damaged or broken, the repair may actually get a bit easier as you can replace the entire assembly at an auto parts store or vehicle salvage yard.

Overall, having a complete set of properly-adjusted mirrors on your car is one of the biggest safety factors you have control of in your vehicle. By making sure all mirrors are in the correct position and checking them before any movements on the road, you can significantly reduce the chances of you or someone around you getting in an accident. It’s best practice to repair/replace any broken or damaged mirrors your vehicle may have as soon as possible, as consult a pro if you need help.

If you’re in need of new or pre-owned mirrors for your vehicle, stop by Holbrook Auto Parts or give one of or multiple Detroit locations a call. We have an extensive inventory of automotive mirrors and glass for all sorts of makes and models, and affordable prices on them every day!

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When and How to Recharge Your Vehicle’s AC

There’s an unfortunate possibility that at some point over the years, you may need to perform an AC recharge on your vehicle. Now, your vehicle’s AC system is a precise, airtight pressurized system that won’t function properly should any leaks form. This means a normal AC system won’t naturally lose any freon over time or due to temperature fluctuations, and so long as no leaks appear later on the AC system should never need a recharge. Over time and after hundreds and thousands of miles, however, small leaks may form in the system, causing you to see a drop in your car’s AC performance. This article will quickly cover how to tell your car needs an AC recharge and the steps you can follow to recharge your AC.

There are typically a few telltale signs that your AC system has likely developed a leak and needs attention. One of the first signs you’ll probably notice is a drop in your AC performance. In other words, you may notice that the AC isn’t as cold as it was the previous Summer when you blast it for the first time this year. Since your AC system uses freon to cool the air it blown into the cabin, losing some of your freon to a leak will prevent the system from being able to fully cool the air.

There are other ways to tell that your AC system needs attention besides a noticeable drop in AC performance. Although these symptoms may be easier to spot, they typically indicate a slightly more serious problem may have occurred in your AC system. While a slight leak and minor loss of freon may simply cause your AC to blow warmer air, a more severe problem may prevent the AC clutch from engaging. The AC clutch engages at high AC settings when the pressure builds in your AC system. You may have even noticed it before if you’ve ever heard a small clicking sound when you turn your AC on full blast. Because the AC clutch relies on a buildup in pressure to activate, a severe leak/loss of freon in your AC system can lead to decreased pressure, preventing the AC clutch from engaging at all, dropping your car’s AC performance on its highest settings.

Another very obvious sign of an AC system issue is any signs of freon leaks under your vehicle. Remember, your AC system is supposed to be a closed, pressurized system with no leaks at all. With that being said, if there’s enough freon leaking out of your vehicle to notice it while parked, it’s best you take your car in to be looked at by a professional immediately. In fact, because of the precise and delicate nature of your vehicle’s AC system, it’s best you leave any repairs it needs to a professional. In the meantime, if you suspect you may have a minor leak or have been noticing a drop in AC performance, let’s quickly go over the steps you can take to recharge your AC and fix the problem temporarily until you can have your vehicle looked at by someone else.

To start things off, pop the hood and start your car with the AC on its highest setting. Under the hood there’s an AC compressor which compresses the freon in your AC system, and the compressor runs off the accessory belt. If you see the belt and pulleys moving with the AC on high, the compressor is working and you’re probably just a little low on freon. If the parts aren’t moving, that means the compressor isn’t engaging. We’ll still add freon to the system as that will help us determine whether the compressor went bad, or if there simply isn’t enough freon to cause the compressor to engage.

After checking to see if the compressor is engaging, it’s time to take a quick pressure reading of the AC system before deciding whether or not freon should be added. To take the reading, start by turning off the vehicle and looking for the low-pressure service port. You can typically spot it by looking for a black or gray cap with an “L” on it. Using the quick-fitting end attach the hose from your pressure gauge to the low-pressure service port, being careful not to pull the trigger yet and add any freon. Restart the vehicle and watch the gauge; A normal AC system’s pressure should operate at 40psi. If your reading is under 40psi, you probably have a minor leak, which should be easily fixed by a recharge. If the reading is 0psi, however, you probably have a bigger problem that needs to be addressed by a professional; A recharge won’t be enough to fix things.

Now it’s time to attach the can of freon to your hose if it isn’t already. Make sure you use the right kind of freon for your vehicle and note there are a few exceptions to what normal vehicles use. If your car is from before 1994, it may have a system that uses R12 freon, which is no longer used in vehicles. If that’s the case, you’ll need to visit a professional to have the specialized system worked on. Another exception are hybrid vehicles; Many hybrid cars use different AC systems that aren’t designed for traditional freon and using normal freon to recharge the vehicle can cause costly damages to the vehicle.

Once you’re sure you have the correct type of freon attached to your hose, and the other end of the hose is still connected to the running car, you’re ready to add some freon. Holding the can upright, carefully pull the trigger in 5 or 10 second bursts to add freon to the system, then monitor the pressure gauge for changes. Remember, the goal is to get the pressure as close to 40psi as possible without overcharging the system. Since the AC system is a closed, pressurized circuit, you won’t be able to remove extra freon without spending extra time and money at a repair shop.

Once you’ve successfully added freon and your AC system is back to 40psi, carefully disconnect the freon and hose from the vehicle and store it in a stable, safe environment out of direct sunlight. It’s illegal to dispense freon into the atmosphere, and nobody wants to pollute the air we breathe. If your recharge kit came with a UV light, or if you have one at home, you can use it to check for leaks in your AC system. You may be able to save some money doing maintenance at home if the issue is simply a loose or bad hose. Either way, it’s best to take your car to a professional as soon as possible so that they can double check that there are no major issues and can make sure your AC system is fixed back to perfect shape.

If you’re looking to buy a recharge kit, or if you want a professional to diagnose and repair your AC system for you, Holbrook Auto Parts offers low everyday prices on everything you need to recharge your AC at home. Once your AC is charged up, our trained mechanics will take care of any issues in the system and get you back On the Move in no time!

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Debunking the Most Common Myths About Batteries

When it comes to your car’s battery, like most other parts, you’re probably doing whatever you can to make sure it lasts as long as possible before you need to pay for a replacement. While that’s not a problem if it means you’re regularly checking and maintaining your battery, it may become an issue if you’re listening to common battery care myths. This article aims to quickly debunk common myths surrounding vehicle batteries and their care so you can avoid potentially costly damages to your battery, your car, and even yourself.

The first, and unfortunately one of the most common, myths associated with car batteries is that “maintenance-free” bathrooms are actually maintenance-free. Although you won’t need to regularly maintain and refill fluids or electrolytes, things can still go wrong. If you frequently hit potholes or drive on bumpy roads, your terminal connections could come loose and reduce or stop the electricity transfer from your battery to your car. You should also make sure the terminal connections are clean and consider using battery pads and lube to maintain the best possible connection.

The screws or bolts on the system holding your battery in place can also come loose from bumpy roads and potholes, and having your battery move around leaves it more susceptible to physical damage, such as a cracked case. Keep in mind, these things can also go wrong in a standard battery as well, so you should be checking your connections no matter what type of battery is in your vehicle.

Another common myth surrounding batteries is that idling your car for a few minutes or simply driving around the block will completely recharge your battery. In reality, you should avoid infrequent and short trips, because it takes a fairly significant amount of driving to fully charge a battery. Since keeping your battery below a full charge could reduce its overall lifespan, it’s best you invest in a maintenance charger to keep the battery stored at full charge if you make a lot of short trips.

When it comes to battery compatibility, some drivers claim that batteries with higher CCA ratings are better or provide more power. The truth is, in fact, that your vehicle regulates the amount of power drawn from the battery, so just because the battery is capable of putting out more power, you most likely aren’t actually going to see any difference in your vehicle.

On a final note about compatibility, all vehicle batteries are not created equal. That means not only should you be using the correct battery size and power level recommended for your vehicle, but you can’t interchange batteries in different types of vehicles. You should only use a car battery on cars, boat battery on boats, etc.

Hopefully with these battery myths debunked, you can avoid making costly “maintenance” mistakes that end up damaging your vehicle or battery. The best way to prolong your battery’s lifespan is to regularly check that it’s clean, secure, and has good connections on the terminals. If you’re noticing that your car is slow to start, electronics are acting up, or your battery is damaged or old, Holbrook Auto Parts offers the best prices on new and used auto batteries around Detroit. Stop in and experience the Holbrook Difference – they won’t stop at anything to keep you On the Move!

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Tips to Maximize Profits as a Rideshare Driver

If you work as a rideshare driver for Uber, Lyft, or one of the other companies out there, you probably know that the trick to maximizing your profits while on the road is, along with being a good driver and accepting a lot of rides, finding a way to minimize your per-mile expenses while on the clock. In other words, you’re going to have to spend money on things like gas, water and snacks for your riders, and maintaining the vehicle you use. This article aims to quickly go over some tips and things to keep in mind to help you cut down on your driving expenses so you can maximize the profits you make per mile!

You know how the saying goes: the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes. While we certainly hope death is never part of your career as a rideshare driver, taxes most certainly should be. Many drivers don’t know or simply don’t put in the effort to find out about and/or file taxes properly when they work as a driver. For example, mileage tracking and reporting alone can save drivers up to 54 cents per mile come tax season! In fact, as a driver you can write off everything you use to drive, which includes everything extra you need to provide your riders with an exceptional experience. That’s right, all the snacks, drinks, extra chargers, extra car washes and interior cleans, and everything else you need to spend money on to provide a perfect rideshare experience are all work expenses you can be compensated for! With that in mind, don’t hesitate to spend a few extra bucks and go that extra mile to provide your riders with a great experience, as it may lead to more tips, rides, and positive ratings (read: more money).

Another way to make more money easily in a single shift is to simply take advantage of any special offers, events, or guaranteed pay days. Every once and awhile, top-rated drivers that opt-in to the program may get notifications of guaranteed pay days, usually around big events or major surge times around holidays, where you can be guaranteed to make a fixed rate for a few hours while you work. Rates vary but are frequently in the $20-$30/hour range for a shift that may last 3-4 hours. Besides having a high rating and choosing to be a part of the program, requirements typically require you work a certain amount of hours leading up to the guaranteed pay days, you maintain a high ride acceptance rate (typically 90% or higher), accept a certain number of rides in the week leading up to the event, etc.

Aside from guaranteed pay days, there are sometimes other offers and incentives for drivers to get on the road. Uber, Lyft, or whoever else you drive for may give more money on days they know will be busy, or there may even be incentives to drive on days where most drivers don’t want to work (bad weather, events that leave riders overly wet, dirty, or intoxicated, etc.). Even without promotions, simply knowing when there are big events like concerts, festivals, sporting events, etc. and making sure you’re around to get riders there and back can certainly pay off quickly.

Insider Knowledge

Piggybacking off of making sure you’re at events that need drivers, using both the driver and passenger app together can give you a major edge over your competition. The apps both share different information with the user, and some of the information exclusive to the passenger app could be extremely useful to you. For example, passenger apps commonly will show the user all the nearby drivers. As a driver, you could use this information to see where the majority of drivers are waiting for a given event and strategically place yourself elsewhere, cutting down competition. In fact, some drivers have even reported working at sporting events and not getting any rides, only to open the passenger app and realize that nearly every driver at the event was waiting at that same entrance. As soon as they drove around to the other side of the stadium, they had a stream of potential rides come in and no nearby competition to steal them away.

Similar to knowing how to work a popular event is understanding how to navigate and take advantage of Surge times and areas. Obviously, driving in Surge areas/times is an easy way to boost how much you make per ride, but there’s plenty of competition among drivers to pick up those lucrative trips. A sad reality for many newer or unexperienced drivers is driving across town to get a piece of a Surge period, only to arrive late and miss out on all the rides and waste your gas. You can avoid costly mistakes like this by really getting to know the areas you work in and preparing ahead of time; If you know certain days/times are Surge periods in one area, make sure you get in the area early and park in a convenient location so you can quickly start picking up riders once the Surge starts. If you aren’t in the location on time, only make the trip if you have a rider so that you don’t completely waste your time if you do end up missing the Surge.

Whether you’re driving during a Surge or not, minimizing your dead miles is crucial to increasing your per-mile profits. In case you don’t know, cutting down dead miles means you shouldn’t just drive around aimlessly between riders. You’re just costing yourself money by burning gas and could potentially take yourself further away from customers. Your best bet between rides if you don’t have another trip lined up is to choose a convenient spot nearby to park and wait. You want to make sure you’re not wasting time and gas getting to this spot, and make sure you shut the car off when you get there. A/C is nice but sitting in idle is an easy way to quickly burn through a tank of gas. A similar tip goes for your own personal care (i.e. bathroom breaks, food, and drinks); Researching places you can stop for restrooms that are close to your common working areas can cut down on dead miles when nature calls between riders, and packing yourself some water and quick, healthy snacks can save a lot of time and money when you start getting hungry on the road.

Our final tip for increasing your value to riders is providing them with accessories and refreshments while they ride with you. Make sure you have a stereo system that allows them to hook up their own music, or at least have access to enough variety that you can play whatever they may want to hear. You can greatly increase your chances of getting tips by providing free water, snacks, and charging cables, or you can opt for nicer varieties and sell them to your riders for extra profits. Consider looking into Cargo Box, an in-vehicle mini-store that offers riders the option to purchase refreshments at no cost to the driver. You’ll make a little extra money and add value to your vehicle without having to pay for the supplies up front!

Play for Every Team

Finally, if things are just painfully slow and nothing you’re doing is helping you pick up riders in a particular night, give yourself more options by working for the competition. By being a driver for multiple companies at once, like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Postmates, can give you alternate income options if one particular company is slow in a given night. Further, by driving for both food delivery and rideshare companies, you can see more steady income as opposed to just working for one or the other. Think about it, if it’s a slow night for rideshare and not a lot of people are going out, there’s probably going to be an increase in people ordering food delivery to their house. If you can clock out of a rideshare app and clock in as a delivery driver, you can still make money all night instead of sitting around waiting for riders.

Overall, by reducing how many dead miles you drive, planning ahead to take advantage of busy time, and making yourself available through different mediums you can easily boost the amount of profits you see every mile you drive as a rideshare driver. If you want to further reduce your expenses and increase your profits, make sure you stay on top of regular vehicle repairs and preventative maintenance. If you want to save on the parts and services you need to keep your car running, shop at Holbrook Auto Parts for the best prices on auto parts around Detroit!

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The Importance of Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Most drivers know, as we’ve covered before, that owning a vehicle is more often an expense than an investment; Typically, the cars we drive day-to-day aren’t gems worth thousands of dollars when they reach the end of their life cycle. Since drivers know that eventually the car they spent thousands on will die out and need to be scrapped, most drivers want to stretch their dollars and keep their car on the road for as long as possible without dumping a lot of money into maintaining it. The easiest way to do just that and keep your car running strong for as long as possible? It’s as simple as regular vehicle checks and maintenance.

Under the Hood

When vehicle maintenance is mentioned, the first thing that usually comes to mind is regular oil checks and changes – and it’s for a good reason! Oil is like your engine’s bloodline; Without the proper amount and type of clean oil, your engine most likely won’t run properly and could give way to all sorts of damaging problems that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. It’s best to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifics on how often you should change the oil and with what type of oil, however a good rule of thumb is to change your oil every 3,000 miles or so. If you want to really stay on top of things, check your oil levels via the dipstick every other time you fill up on gas and change it when things start looking dirty or low.

While you’re changing the oil in your car, take the time to make other important checks around your vehicle. While under the hood, you or your mechanic should check all the belts and hoses for signs of cracks, leaks, damage, or any other signs that indicate they should be replaced. After checking the belts and hoses, check your air filter and either clean it or replace it if necessary. In the worst scenarios, a clogged air filter can lower your fuel economy, put stress on your engine, cause overheating and even engine stalls.

You should also take this time to check your fluid levels. Most obvious is the wiper fluid, but you should also make sure your brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant are filled to the proper level and are free of leaks and/or contaminants. Finally, double check the wiring and cables under the hood to make sure there aren’t loose connections or split wires, and make sure your battery connections are clean and secure. It’s a good idea to have your battery tested a few times a year as well to make sure it’s still performing at its highest capacity. Using battery lube and pads can help maintain a secure, clean connection and help to prolong the life of your battery.

Around the Vehicle

Getting out from under the hood, there are various simple checks you should regularly perform around your car. First things first, keep yourself as safe as possible and avoid potential fines by making sure all your lights work – headlights, taillights, blinkers, license plate lights, and any other lights you have in and around the vehicle. If you replace any bulbs, make sure you use the right type of replacement bulb and wear gloves or take caution as to not touch the bulb with bare hands.

Once you finish checking your lights, take a look at your wiper blades. If you haven’t had them for too long but they aren’t performing like you’d like, clean the blades and your windshield with denatured alcohol. This should help preserve your wiper blades and provide a better, streak-free clean on your windshield. If that doesn’t help or you’ve had your current blades for some time, consider replacing them with new high-quality blades.

 Finally, you’ll want to finish off your vehicle check inside the car. If you can access it yourself, check the cabin air filter and clean or replace as needed. After checking on that, look at the rest of your car’s interior. Is it clean? Although it won’t necessarily help your car perform better, by keeping things clean you could greatly increase the car’s resale value should you decide to sell it later on. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes; It’s easy to spot a car that hasn’t been cared for, and often that’s a sure turn-off to potential buyers.

In all, by simply being an aware, careful driver and performing simple, regular checks around your vehicle, it isn’t hard to prolong the life of your vehicle and help it maintain its value. Keep in mind, however, that these simple maintenance items alone aren’t enough to catch all potential issues with your car. It’s a good idea to see your mechanic a couple times a year to run full checks on your vehicle, that way if there are any hidden problems you can catch them before they get worse. If you’ve performed your regular maintenance checks and find you’re in need of parts or supplied for a quick tune up, stop by Holbrook Auto Parts for affordable everyday prices on the quality auto parts you need to stay On the Move!

All images property of Holbrook Auto Parts
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Holbrook Auto Parts Recognized as Exceptional Automotive Recycler

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On April 26th, 2019, on a cloudy but otherwise nice morning, a bus pulled up to Holbrook Auto Parts’ original location on McNichols Road and unloaded a stream of visitors into the parking lot. The group was comprised of employees, owners, partners, machine experts, account directors, and more from various automotive recycling facilities and salvage yards around the state of Michigan and throughout the Midwest. The event was being held by the Automotive Recyclers of Michigan (ARM), as they hold annual tours like this every year to feature the top auto recycling facilities across the state.

ARM holds these tours every year to give auto recyclers and salvage yards that are going above and beyond the basic regulations and requirements the recognition they deserve. On top of that, however, the tours also serve as great networking opportunities for businesses looking for insight on the latest and greatest machines, techniques, and procedures for safely and efficiently recycling vehicles and reselling their parts.

Once the visitors arrived, they were greeted by the staff and owners of Holbrook Auto Parts and spent a few minutes talking amongst themselves while grabbing refreshments. Once settled in, the guests were taken back to newly-renovated dismantling bays, pre-owned parts inventory, and the vehicle salvage yard. Here they were free to walk around and more closely check out the facilities. Visitors were impressed with the cleanliness and organization of the yard; A point Holbrook Auto Parts takes pride in as the organization helps them cut down the time it takes to dismantle, clean and test parts, as well as find parts and prep them for sale when a customer needs to make a purchase.

From the salvage yard, guests were taken across McNichols Road to the Holbrook Repair Center, where visitors were able to walk around and look at the repair bays. Guests were impressed with the large capacity of vehicles that were able to be worked on at one time. From here the visitors briefly looked inside at the lobby, customer intake, and sales area before moving on next door to the new parts warehouse. Again, they were able to walk around to check out the large inventory and stock management system before finally returning to the main parts store.

As mentioned above, one of the recent renovations Holbrook Auto Parts made to their yard were updates to their dismantling bays. The bays were re-painted, has new floors paved, were re-insulated and re-structured to retain heat better while allowing in natural light, and new light fixtures were installed in the bays. The goal of all these updates was to provide a more comfortable environment for employees to work in while maximizing light and visibility for the dismantlers, allowing them to cut down on the amount of time it takes to dismantle cars and increase the amount of parts they can see, access, and clean to either sell or recycle.

On top of the updated dismantling areas, much of the salvage yard itself was repaved and shelves were re-organized to allow for more vehicles to be stores while they are parted out and sold. These changes not only helped create a more cleaned and organized feel in the salvage yard, but they opened up the space inside for trucks and forklifts that are moving, crushing, and recycling vehicles in the various stages of being processed.

Apart from Holbrook Auto Parts, Highway Auto Parts was also recognized by ARM this year as an exceptional auto recycling and salvage facility. Holbrook Auto Parts wants to thank Highway Auto Parts for being a continuous source of inspiration when it comes to improving their processes and facilities, and they want to thank ARM for their recognition this year and the opportunity to showcase their newly-updated facilities. Holbrook Auto Parts also wanted to thank the many companies that came out to their yard and spoke with them, including but not limited to Buddy Automotive Innovations, Acme Auto Parts, Oil City Auto Salvage, Fox Auto Parts, Car-Part.com, Neuner’s Automotive Recyclers, and everyone else that came out! Holbrook Auto Parts wants to especially thank John Savi of Savi Styles Detroit for generously providing excellent photography coverage of the event.

Again, Holbrook Auto Parts was honored to be recognized this year by ARM as one of Michigan’s top automotive recyclers and salvage yards. They want to thank everyone that visited their facilities this year, and appreciate all the networking, support, feedback, and information shared this year. Holbrook Auto Parts hopes to continue to update and expand in the coming years so that they can better serve the Detroit community as a premier auto recycling and salvaging business. If you have a vehicle you’re looking to recycle or sell, or if you’re in the market for affordable new OEM auto parts or tested pre-owned parts, visit Holbrook Auto Parts for low prices on the parts you need to stay On the Move!

All images property of Holbrook Auto Parts and/or Savi Styles Detroit.

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Tips for Maximizing Your Vehicle’s A/C

When the Summer temperatures climb and things start heating up around Detroit, drivers depend on their vehicle’s air conditioning systems to keep their car cool, even after spending hours out under the hot sun. After a long day on the beach, exploring downtown, or enjoying the views on the river, nothing is worse than coming back to a hot car that pushes out warm air on even on the coldest temperature settings. This article takes a quick look at vehicle A/C systems and simple tips to maintain and get the best performance from your air conditioning system.

If we want to really simplify things, your vehicle’s air conditioning system works by using pressurized chemical refrigerant, commonly referred to as Freon, to pull heat, moisture, and contaminants out of hot air and blow it into the vehicle’s cabin. Luckily for you, this system cycles and operates as a closed system, meaning nothing should enter or exit the system; In other words, you shouldn’t have to worry about regularly maintaining the system as, unless a part malfunctions or is damaged and needs replacement, the only “maintenance” you may find yourself doing after a while is “recharging” your A/C; This is just a term for adding more Freon to the system. Do note, however, that this isn’t something that you should need to do regularly, so if you find yourself frequently recharging your A/C it’s best you take your vehicle to a professional to have your A/C system looked at, as the odds are you have a leak or other such problem.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what your A/C does it’s time to go over some tips to help get the most out of your vehicle’s air conditioning. First things first, if you notice the A/C is a little less cold than it used to be, isn’t blowing as much air as normal, or even has strange smells to it, try checking the cabin air filter. Depending on the vehicle this may be accessible through the glove box or may require removal of the vehicle’s dash, but a dirty or clogged cabin air filter can restrict the flow of cold air from the A/C or even fail to remove contaminants from the air.

Now that you’re sure the A/C system is in good shape and the cabin air filter is clean of dirt and debris, it’s time for some tricks to help you get the most out of your air conditioning system. On hot days when your car has been sitting in the sun for some time, many drivers’ first thought before it’s time to drive somewhere is to start their car early to get the A/C pumping and, hopefully, cool the car down a bit before getting in. Little do they know this really isn’t making any significant difference in the temperature inside the car and may even be burning unnecessary fuel! In modern cars, the engine actually performs at its best while the car is driving, meaning the A/C gets the most power and is its most efficient once you start moving. With that being said, the A/C isn’t working very hard while the car sits in idle and won’t cool the cabin very much. You’re better off first opening the windows for a few minutes before getting in the car to let hot air escape, then getting in and hitting the road with the A/C blasting air at the coldest setting. Once you’re moving, leave only the back windows open so hot air can escape from the rear of the car while cold air enters the cabin from up front. If you have a sunroof, make sure to open that as well to speed up the cooling process, as hot air rises, and more heat can escape that way.

Once you get moving and the stale, hot air leaves the vehicle’s cabin, you can turn on the air recirculation if you’re driving alone or with one other passenger up front. This can help further cool things down as the car will recycle the already cooled air inside the vehicle, further cooling it and pushing it back through the cabin. It’s best to avoid this if you have passengers sitting in the backseat, however, as the warmer air in the cabin can be forced into the backseat and become stuffy and stale for passengers sitting back there.

Aside from knowing how the A/C works and how to get it pumping out cold air in the fastest way possible, you can further help keep your car cool by simply being smart about where you leave it. When possible, park in the shade or at least out of direct sunlight and consider leaving the windows and sunroof cracked so that hot air can escape when your car will be parked outside for an extended period of time. Further, consider investing in a windshield reflector to help keep the sun’s hot rays from heating up your car. This can even help keep your interior looking new for longer, as direct sunlight can warp, discolor and damage much of the plastics that make up a vehicle’s dash.

With your new knowledge on the basic operations of your car’s A/C system and these quick tips, you can be a pro at keeping your car comfortably cool on even the hottest days this summer. If you think it’s about time for an A/C recharge or a new cabin air filter, stop by Holbrook Auto Parts for low prices on the highest-quality parts in Detroit!

Images from pixabay.com

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