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Posted by Mike Hornok
August 31, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Which Antifreeze is Right for Your Vehicle?

Vehicle antifreeze used to be simple. You went to the parts store, picked up a jug of green liquid, mixed it 50/50 with water and poured it into your radiator. But now with yellow, orange, blue, pink and red antifreezes covering the shelves, it can be hard to know what to get. This overview will help you make the right choice for your vehicle.

Determine the right antifreeze for your vehicle

Green and Yellow Antifreeze: Photo by Anthony Easton

Types of antifreeze

For all the available colors, there are three basic types of antifreeze. Traditional green antifreeze uses Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) and is fortified with silicates and phosphates such as ethylene glycol (EG) or propylene glycol (PG), which prevent acid buildup and prevent metal corrosion. This needs to be replaced every three years or 36,000 miles, as the additives are eventually consumed.

As for modern antifreezes, Organic Acid Technology (OAT) coolant….

Learn Car Restoration
Posted by Mike Hornok
May 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm

How to Learn Car Restoration

Car restoration is a leading passion among many vehicle enthusiasts – and is a booming industry in its own right. But how, exactly, does one learn the process of rebuilding an automobile? This guide from The Motor Bookstore offers a number of tips and places to look for information as you pursue your newest hobby.

Start small. Get a cheap-but-working clunker from a junkyard or auto auction that you can use to learn the basics – oil and filter changes, brake systems, etc. You’ll gain a lot from working on your own vehicle, and if you do make any big mistakes, they at least won’t be expensive ones. Get help from – and help – your friends. You’re sure to have at least one or two friends or family members in your circle who likes working on cars, and they usually have car-minded friends as well. Offer to help out on their next project, and consult them whether you run into a roadblock on your own project. Car enthusiasts are a tight-knit community, and they’re almost always happy to share knowledge. Read books. There are a number of automotive….

Posted by Mike Hornok
April 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Toyota Camry Head Light Bulb Change Guidance Tips

The Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in North America, and one of the biggest reasons is that they’re easy to maintain. Oil changes, filter changes and other basic maintenance are easy to do in your own garage or driveway. Changing head light bulbs is no exception, and with this guide, you’ll learn how to do it without a trip to your mechanic.

How To Change Head Light Bulbs in your Toyota Camry

Head light bulb guide

For the 2007-2016 generation of Toyota Camrys, you’ll need H11 bulbs for the low-beam head lights, and 9005/HB3 bulbs for the high-beams. Toyota Camrys made from 2000-2006 use 9006/HB4 low-beam head light bulbs and 9005/HB3 high-beam bulbs. Older Camrys use 9003/H4 bulbs. Consult your vehicle manual for more information about how to change head light bulbs.

Change the head light bulbs

After popping the hood, locate the low- or high-beam headlight that needs to be changed. Remove the wire harness by….

Posted by Mike Hornok
February 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Automotive Air Conditioner Recharging Steps, Tips and Strategies Overview

When it’s 95 degrees on a July afternoon, the last thing you need is for your vehicle’s air conditioning vents to blow warm air. Tiny amounts of refrigerant leak from your A/C system lines over time, and this eventually adds up to subpar cooling. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to recharge your existing A/C system and restore great cooling performance.

Do it Yourself Car Air Conditioner Recharge

Source: Haynes 10425 – Automotive Heating & Air Conditioning Guide

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 1-2 12 oz. cans of R-134a refrigerant (for vehicles 1994 and newer); one refrigerant dispenser with pressure gauge and trigger; one pair of goggles

After putting on the goggles, insert one can of refrigerant into the bottom of the dispenser and screw it in until tight. Locate the fill port for the A/C system. This is usually on the left side of the engine bay, protruding from the firewall, and has a small….

Posted by Mike Hornok
January 23, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Battery versus Alternator: Which One is Bad?

Batteries and alternators go together like peanut butter and jelly, with the battery starting the vehicle and the alternator charging the battery. But if the vehicle suddenly won’t start, how can you tell which one has gone bad? The Motor Bookstore looks at how to test your battery and alternator so you’ll know which needs to be replaced.

Battery versus Alternator: Which One is Bad?

Engine Bay: Photo by BradleyOlin

The battery

You should always start by checking the battery, because this is easier both to check and replace. An early sign your battery is going dead is if you hear a low whining sound when you start the vehicle. If it’s gotten to the point where it won’t start, there are a few diagnostic options. After jump-starting the vehicle, let it run for 20-30 minutes; if the vehicle won’t start again after turning it off, the battery is no longer holding a charge.


Posted by Mike Hornok
December 19, 2016 at 11:04 pm

How to Tell if Your Fuel Pump is Bad – Tips and Strategies

Having a full tank of fuel doesn’t do any good if it can’t get to your vehicle’s engine, which is where your fuel pump comes in. But like any mechanical part, a fuel pump won’t last forever. These tips and warning signs will help you determine if the fuel pump needs to be replaced on your vehicle.

How to Tell if Your Fuel Pump Is Bad

1986 Bronco II Fuel Pump Assembly – Photo by Marion Doss

You hear a whining or howling noise from the fuel tank. Electric fuel pumps make a clicking or buzzing sound when they’re functioning normally. Whining, howling and whirring are early signs the pump is going south. Your vehicle suddenly “surges” when moving at consistent speed. You’re driving at 35 mph, and your vehicle suddenly speeds up to 40 mph even though you didn’t press any harder on the gas pedal. It could be ghosts in the machine – or a sign your….

Posted by Mike Hornok
November 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Things to Consider Before You Attempt to Rebuild an Engine

Rebuilding an engine can be a great way to keep your favorite vehicle on the road, and also gives you the satisfaction of doing your own repair work. But it can also be a challenging, time-consuming task and isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced mechanic, consider the following questions before you attempt an engine rebuild:

Rebuilding an Engine - Things to Consider

Does the engine really need to be rebuilt?

There are three primary reasons to rebuild an engine: loss of compression, excessive oil consumption and excessive oil clearances. But like any symptom, there are multiple potential causes. For example, excessive oil burning could be caused by stuck oil rings – or you could just need a $6 PCV valve. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly test your engine first to make sure a rebuild is necessary.

Does it make sense to fix it?

This is ultimately a personal choice and depends on factors such as the overall vehicle condition, how much longer you want to keep it on the road, and the….

Posted by Mike Hornok
February 29, 2016 at 8:48 pm

AAA isn’t the only show in town these days. Thanks to a competitive market and a determination to draw in consumers, everyone and his mother is offering roadside assistance programs, including dealerships, cell phone providers, auto clubs and credit card companies. This is actually great news. Nothing ruins your day more than being stuck on the side of the road with a flat, a stalled engine or being in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank.

How to Pick the Best Roadside Assistance Program

Now, the Motor Bookstore is about empowerment for car owners. Our library is filled with manuals about how to save money and getting yourself out of vehicular jams. But even we’d admit our best Haynes manual can’t help in every situation. That’s why everyone should look for the best roadside assistance program.

But, considering the market, which one? Your dealer or triple-A? The one that costs less but has the tendency of leaving you waiting….

Posted by Mike Hornok
January 19, 2016 at 10:22 pm

The Toyota Corolla. Believe it or don’t, even in a world of Jags and BMWs, it’s one of the most popular cars in the world. In 1997, the model was the globe’s best selling vehicle, taking the place of the perennial VW Beetle. In July 2013, there were 11 generations of the Corolla and over 40 million people were enjoying them.

Toyota Corolla Repair: 5 Tips to Reduce Costs

It’s a dream machine for anyone interested in a sleek, well-designed and compact ride with exceptional fuel economy and a sizable cabin. Since the mid-1960s and throughout its many adjustments, the Corolla remains an affordable and reliable investment.

Like any car, Toyota Corolla repair and maintenance is a must. The cost and time that goes into the process makes a lot more sense than the cost and time that will be required if you don’t. The repercussions of not regularly managing your car is going to cost you, devalue your Corolla and, at worst, result in one of the thousands of accidents that….

Posted by Mike Hornok
November 30, 2015 at 10:02 pm

5 Things to Remember For Your 1st Gen Camaro Interior Restoration

Believe it or not, the Camaro was originally and quickly designed as competition to the Mustang and was the automaker’s response to the Baby Boomer’s personal coupe revolution. To everyone’s surprise, the result was a revelation. A car classically proportioned and lean, muscular without being brash, with an European flavor but obvious American expression. No other car before — or since — has had quite the aesthetic as the first generation Camaro.

1st Gen Camaro Interor Restoration - Custom
If you’re one of the lucky few with keys to a first-gen Camaro, you’re probably spending time keeping it classy, especially that cabin. From radios to sun visors and sport seats, you want that interior to shine.

There are two basic projects for the first-gen Camaro interior restoration. For the purist, there’s the original restoration, which is the process of meticulously returning the cabin to the manufacturer designed state. And for the owner that likes to put a personalized spin on everything,….