Auto Part and Engine

I do the maintenance on my Dodge Stratus myself. With the high cost of auto mechanic labour, it makes sense to do as much as possible of the upkeep and maintenance on your vehicle yourself.

The auto parts store is a good place to start to get the items you need to do the job. They can offer helpful advice, if you have any questions about the maintenance jobs you plan on doing.

I usually replace spark plugs once a year. The clerk at the auto parts store needs specific information about your vehicle to be able to provide you with the correct parts that fit your car. He needs to know the year the car was made, the car manufacturing company, the car model and the car’s engine size.

Sometimes the parts are not kept in stock, so they have to be ordered from a distributor, but they usually arrive the next day. When they do arrive, I pick them up and pay for them.

Replacing spark plugs is not difficult, if they are located in a place on your engine block where you have enough room to reach them with a socket wrench. I usually start by taking out the first plug on the left side of the engine block. The spark plug wire is carefully removed. Then I put the socket wrench over the spark plug and turn the wrench counter clockwise until the plug comes loose.

The new spark plugs need to be checked to see that the space between the two electrodes, the “gap”, has the correct distance. This does not have to be a difficult procedure. By gently sticking a screwdriver into the gap of the old spark plug you removed from the car you can mark the spot where it fills the gap. Place the same screwdriver into the gap of the new spark plug and either bend it tighter or gently bend it looser until the screwdriver fills its gap in the same spot as it did for the old spark plug. Then make sure the new plug has the sealing ring in place at the top of the threaded area. Place the new spark plug in the hole on the engine block. Turn it by hand in a clockwise direction to start with and once it is turning correctly, finish tightening it with the socket wrench. Then reattach the spark plug wire. That’s it. Do the same for each of the remaining spark plugs.

Remember to reattach the spark plug wire right away, as soon as the new plug is tight in place. Your engine will not run properly if the spark plug wires are mixed up, connected to the wrong plug. When everything looks correctly connected, and all the old plugs have been removed from the engine area, start the car and check that it is running smoothly.

In today’s fast-paced ever changing world, many auto owners don’t have the time to search for a hard-to-find accessory or part for their car. Don’t despair, because the availability of auto parts online are greater than you would ever dream of. Whether the part is as ordinary as an oil filter or a rare stock item for a classic 1970 Mopar Challenger, the place to buy auto accessories and car parts is online. Rather than spend all of your precious time making phone calls or thumbing through catalogs, all you have to do is plug in a keyword or two into a major search engine, and pretty soon you’ll get the information you need.

JC Whitney (jcwhitney.com) – Whitney has taken their mega-auto parts store and put it online. Because this company is one of the largest auto part retailers, this couldn’t have been a small taste. It’s just breathtaking to view their selection of auto parts online; they have everything from caps for the air valves on your tires to complete auto body kits. Even in the rare situation that you can’t find the part or accessory you’re looking for, the staff at JC Whitney will track it down for you. The award-winning web site is user-friendly, with navigation and a helpful search bar that narrows down choices to your car or motorcycle’s make and model. Whitney offers quality products at nice prices and delivers to any place on the globe.

Autozone (autozone.com) – Compared to JC Whitney’s almost hundred years old history, Autozone with only 20 years in the business may seem like a freshman. Nevertheless, Autozone’s selection is just as varied. The difference lies in that the customer needs to know exactly what item they’re looking for. One point where Autozone excels is with their troubleshooting, installation, and auto repair guides. Although they don’t have advice for every make or model, the instructions on what they do offer are listed simply and user-friendly. Also, if you register your car, Autozone will provide you with specifics for your it, from auto part recalls to auto body kits. If you can’t find the part on Autozone’s website, they encourage you yo call their customer service line and they will quickly research it for you. Another difference is that they only deliver car accessories within the United States.

Parts America (partsamerica.com) – Parts America has a nice and clean website. With a minimum of graphics and pictures, it gives you exactly what you need to find what you want. A user friendly search engine allows you to narrow your search based on the kind of vehicle you have. You’ll also find a section about summer maintenance, and if your make and model has had any known problems, they are divided into categories including power systems and transmission. You won’t find many exentric car additions, just auto parts you’d need to make any repairs to any part of your vehicle.

O’Reilly Auto Parts (oreillyauto.com) – This company has been a part of the car accessory scene for fifty years and is slowly expanding their website to include buying auto parts online. From the list of parts for any style of car to auto body kits, the site will display everything they offer. You can tell by exploring the web site that O’Reilly is still working out some of the bugs in their search engine. Don’t let that discourage you. Missing what this site has to offer would be unfortunate. They provide great variety if you want to buy car parts or accessories online.

Fortunately, the days of hunting down vehicle parts and accessories from one end of town to the other are gone, thanks to the amazing selection of auto parts online. Now you can literally search the ends of the earth for all kind of things you might need for your car. Whether you use one of the sites listed in this article to track down custom auto body kits or find that accessory for your Lamborghini in Milan, you can do it easily and quickly from your recliner and expect it delivered at your door within days.