Browse Month

April 2016

Austin Healey Restoration Austin Healey Time-Line

Austin Healey RestorationOut of many famous classic care marques the Austin Healey has to be one with the most loyal following. Over the production run from 1953 to 1971 this striking classic sports car evolved through several distinctive models, and with versions in need of restoration available fairly inexpensively, it is an ideal project for someone interested in classic cars.

There is an awful lot of specialist information available on the subject of Austin Healey restoration, making it an ideal project for the novice. But which model should you choose? To help here is a short time-line detailing the various models in its evolution.

The Austin Healey is a British sports car however it was originally produced with the north American market in mind, with over 89% of the production being exported to the USA.

Austin Healey 100

It was developed by Donald Healey to be produced in-house by Healey’s small car company in Warwick England. The mechanical workings were based on the pre world war 2, Austin A90 Atlantic. However only one was produced and exhibited at the 1953 London motor show. This ‘Healey Hundred’ so impressed the chairman of the Austin motor co that a deal was struck to mass produce it at the companies Longbridge car plant, and so the Austin-Healey was born.

The 100 was produced up until 1959, and was the first version of the car. From 1956 it was renamed the 100 six because of the new six cylinder engine. The 100 in the model designation was chosen by the car designer Donald Healey, because of the cars’ ability to reach a speed of 100 miles per hour.

Austin Healey 3000

This model is the best known of the ‘big Healeys’, and the one you are most likely to find as a restoration project as it was produced in larger numbers than the 100. The number 3000 refers to the size of the engine which is a 3 liter engine.

This model found much success on the rally racing circuits of Europe, and was produced from 1959 until 1961, in both two and four seat variants. Some enthusiasts still race the car to this day.

Austin Healey Sprite

The Sprite is the smallest of the line, and it was described at its launch in 1958 as an affordable car for the masses. The MK1 became known as the Frogeye in the UK and the Bugeye in the USA. This was because its headlights were perched on top of the front wings. They were originally designed to retract into the wing, but this feature was abandoned as a cost cutting measure.

The Sprite was made at the MG sports car factory at Abingdon, and the success of the sprite lead to an MG version named the midget. Often the Sprite and MG Midget are referred to as ‘Spridgets’ by fans of the type.

No matter which model you have, Austin Healey restoration is a great project for anyone looking to get involved in classic car preservation.

Car Problems Diagnosed A Trip To The Friendly But Trusted Mechanic

Car Problems DiagnosedOld Betsy is acting funny lately. She took forever to get started yesterday and now there is a strange jerking sensation as she noisily shifts from one gear to the next. Getting car problems diagnosed while they are still manageable and repairable is not only a good idea, it is an absolute must. The longer you wait, the worse the damages can become and the more expensive any repairs may be when they are done.

For most people, their car is more than just a way to get to and from one place to the next- it is their mobile home away from home, the place where they spend many hours each day, heading to work, doing errands or taking the children to their various school and after school activities.

Getting car problems diagnosed quickly will keep you from having to explain to little Bobby why he is not heading to hockey practice or telling your boss that you are going to be late yet again because of a tie up in public transportation. By the time you have cancelled the second after school activity, your children will be planning a coup and you will be ready to slip out the backdoor, over the fence and down the road as quickly as possible.

Most people know exactly where they are going to go to get their car problems diagnosed. For those lucky people, there are no frantic phone calls and moments spent wondering how well the job will be done and whether the price will be a fair one. Before you take your Betsy, Gertie or whatever it is that you call your motorized baby in for a checkup, make sure that you check out the mechanic and garage that is going to be doing the work. Ask for some recommendations from trusted friends and family members, especially if you are new to car ownership or new to the area.

Before you go to the garage to have car problems diagnosed, have a few ideas of what the possible cause is and what should possibly be used to remedy it. While a good mechanic would never try to do it, there are many fly by night mechanics who will turn your trip to get the family’s car problem diagnosed into a slowly bleeding wound that never stops sucking your income down the proverbial drain.

It is important to have your car problems diagnosed quickly because many of the car’s systems are linked to one another. In some models, a broken belt will slap around inside of the engine compartment, bending, breaking and damaging other things inside of there. A couple hundred dollars in repair can quickly become a couple thousand. The faster you have your car problems diagnosed, the better it is for everyone. Remember how many people are counting on the car working properly, not the least of whom is you. Unless you want to be stuck in the house all of the time, keep your car in good repair.

Why Buy A Waterproof Car Cover

Waterproof Car CoverWhy do people buy waterproof car covers? The answer may be obvious. To keep the rain off the car when not in use. The number one question, asked by consumers when buying a car cover is…’Is it waterproof?’ In Arizona, which gets around 7 inches of rain per year, they will still ask this question. Even if they have bought a dustproof car cover, they’ll still ask it. So what have they bought? A dustproof or a waterproof car cover? Well both in fact. Of course you can buy dustproof covers that are not waterproof but you’ll find it hard to buy a waterproof car cover that isn’t dustproof too.

Most people buy car covers to suit there needs. The climate you live in or where you car is the overriding factor that determines what kind of car cover you need and should buy. Other factors include, how much you’re willing to spend and how many of the little niceties e.g. mirror pockets, double stitching etc…, that you want.

If you live in the Arctic, say parts of Canada or Alaska, it’s a sure bet that you are going to get very extreme weather conditions, blizzards, storms, driving rain, hail and snow. It is safe to say that you’ll need a heavy duty car cover. One that will be stormproof and waterproof.

If you live in a more temperate climate (meaning mostly rain, occasional storms, wind and snow) you’ll probably opt for a waterproof car cover.

If you live near the coast you should buy a waterproof car cover. Rain and sea salt on the wind are highly corrosive on metal in these areas. Waterproof car covers can offer some protection here.

If you live in or near a desert you’ll probably opt for a waterproof car cover. Ok! Dust covers should do, but rainstorms are not unknown in these areas. As well as keeping the UV sunrays at bay, waterproof car covers will keep the water off during the occasional rainstorm. It does everything a dust cover can and more.

Some people do like to keep their cars indoors and there are car covers for these as well…even indoor waterproof car covers.

As you can see, because most people in the world tend not to live in inhospitable environments (stunning as they are), waterpoof car covers are the most popular car covers sold today. They are the best allrounders when it comes to protection. A waterproof car cover not only stops the rain, hail and snow from damaging your paint work, it protects it from animals fouling, fading from uv sunrays, light knocks and scratches. It will also help to stop corrosion of engine parts in coastal areas ensuring your car starts first time, every time. It just makes sense to opt for a waterproof car cover if you need a car cover

How To Save Money On Oil Changes

Save Money On Oil ChangesSave Money on Your Next Oil Change

Even do-it-yourselfers can’t beat these tips to save money and keep your mechanic honest. With a little preparation you can save hundreds of dollars on auto repairs by following some simple guidelines during your next trip to an auto repair shop.

The mechanics of an oil change

Let’s review how oil changes are different today than in years past. Certainly there are new rules and guidelines concerning today’s modern cars, what kind of oil to use, and how frequently oil changes are really needed.

Today’s highly engineered motor oils are better solutions than the motor oil your father used. Whether your car uses typical motor oil or the newer synthetic oil, both will provide better and longer protection with better engine cleaning treatment today.

When should I change my oil?

The 3,000 mile rule is a thing of the past for many new cars. Auto maker guidelines for many new cars call for 5,000 mile oil changes; some even go past that mark and call for changes of 7,500 or even 10,000 miles.

So don’t let that auto shop sticker on your windshield dictate when you need an oil change. Refer to your owner’s manual to see what intervals you should be using. Be sure to note if intervals are different depending on light or heavy duty use of your car or SUV.

Oil changes don’t have to be costly

A simple search of the internet will always yield results in terms of discounts and coupons. Paying more than $20 for an oil change is often unnecessary provided you plan ahead. If a shop recommends using a more costly synthetic or other oil ask why. There’s little difference between quality motor oil and a more costly synthetic blend if you’re changing oil at recommended intervals.

Just change the oil thank you

Steer clear of oil change packages that offer services, such as checking fluid levels, at an additional cost. These simple checks take little or no time and most reputable repair shops will look at fluid levels for no charge. The same holds true for tire rotations, a service that’s usually included with every tire purchase you make.

There’s a reason shops give you those discounts for oil changes; they want to have an opportunity to offer maintenance or repair work. Listen carefully to any recommended repairs. Reputable shops may notice needed brake repairs or belt replacements, but just as many other shops will recommend parts and services you don’t need. Listen carefully and ask the shop manager to carefully go over what repairs might be needed, and why.

And a final tip. Most newer cars have oil level indicator lights to alert you to low oil levels. Often they illuminate when your car is low by one quart, maybe more. For a typical automobile that uses 5 quarts or so, it’s important to replenish your oil quickly. Even better, check your oil twice a month to keep your car’s oil levels topped off.