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Bunge's Automotive Blog

August 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Display_and_Test_Drive.jpgWhether you’re looking to get a new family vehicle for back to school time or you’re taking advantage of model year sales at the local lot, August is a great time to buy a car. Here are five tips to help you make sure your new purchase is the right one.

Make sure you know what you’re looking for and you stick to your plan, don’t just wander onto the lot to see what cars are out there. If you’re looking for a family car, bring the kids on the test drive. Kids can tell you if the seats are comfortable, if there’s enough storage space and you can see whether the car is big enough to handle everyone.

Second, although it’s what’s on the inside that counts, walk around the vehicle and inspect it closely, even if it’s brand new and never been off the lot. If it’s a used car and you see damage, ask the owner about it, and be sure they tell you about any collisions. If it’s a new car, check for accents like custom paint jobs. If you don’t want those extras, ask to see a different car: Little things like paint striping can add hundreds of dollars to your purchase.

For your actual test drive, take the vehicle for a long spin, being sure to drive at different speeds. If it’s a used car, listen for any strange noises when going over bumps, and while turning. And, new or used, run all the accessories: The A/C, the stereo and even the DVD player, if the car comes with one.

Beyond function

June 29, 2017 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Kid_Car_Wash.jpgSchool’s out, and that means your kids are spending more time than ever around the house. So rather than working on your car by yourself this weekend, why not take the opportunity to teach them about car care? It can be easy, fun and you can build skills and interest that last a lifetime.

A great way to start is to include your child in a car wash. Not only is it fun to get into the swimsuit and enjoy some sunshine—and the inevitable water fight—a comprehensive wash allows you to introduce your child to your car, bumper to bumper and fender to fender. As you clean, explain how an engine works, and how a car’s exhaust system completes what the engine starts. Pop the hood and take them on a brief tour. You don’t have to be a mechanic to help your kid learn the basics.

Also, focus on things your child understands, and tires are perfect for that. Yeah, we know: There’s decades of advanced science in tires. But the big idea is as simple as holding your breath. Show your child a pressure gauge, and allow them to test tire pressure. Together—based on the tire and car manufacturers suggestions—figure out if your tires need more air, and show your child how to top off a low tire. It’s a great way to show that not all car maintenance is difficult, and the most common calls road side services get are flat tires the driver can’t fix.

Your lights and turn signals are some of the most important parts of your ca

June 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

Use Your Senses to Avoid 5 Common Vehicle Maintenance Mistakes

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Summer is here, and between camping trips and vacations, you’re going to be relying on your car more now than ever. To keep your family on the road to fun this summer, don’t make these five common car care mistakes.

One of the easiest, and simplest, repairs you can make is to replace worn wiper blades. If you ignore the signs of wiper blade wear—including cracked rubber and streaking on your windows while the wipers are in use—what would have been a five-minute repair can become a nightmare if you hit what you can’t see. Check your blades manually for signs of wear, or spray some wiper fluid on your windshield and make sure your wipers clear it quickly, effectively and without streaks.

Next on the list in terms of simple ways to stay on the road is checking tread depth and tire condition. It’s been said a million times but here it is again: Take a penny and hold it with Lincoln’s head facing you, upside down. Insert in your tire’s tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need to get your tire’s replaced right now. Besides depth, check to make sure your tires are wearing evenly, and that there are no cracks. You don’t want to be the family stuck on the side of the road in that hot summer traffic.

Despite what you might hear, you should always bring your car into the shop if the check engine light comes on. It’s true: It’s often not a sign of a major issue. (

May 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

Inexpensive spring cleaning for your carWith spring flowers already popping and the weather heating up, you’re probably in spring cleaning mode, getting your family ready for the summer. Don’t forget to get your car ready, too. Here are a few tips for making your vehicle look like new without breaking the bank.

Did you know the same stuff that keeps your smile bright can help your headlights stay bright, too? If you notice yellowing and wear on your headlights, use toothpaste to polish it away. Make sure you’re using real paste, not gel, and that your paste has some grit. Polish the toothpaste into your headlights with a rag or old toothbrush, working the paste into the plastic. Then, simply wash the toothpaste away and voila, clearer headlights.

If you have kids or have to eat on the run, there’s a good chance your car’s carpet shows it. A simple bottle of hydrogen peroxide works wonders on everything from ketchup to coffee. Simply pour the peroxide on your carpet and work it into the stain with a rag, blotting as you go. Older, or tougher stains may need a few applications.

Some of the most frustrating places to clean are those tiny nooks and crannies in your air vents and cup holders. Grab your vacuum and an extra foam brush from your last painting project. Use the foam brush to wipe up dust and debris and the vacuum to lift it away. (A regular paint brush works too.)

Finally, spring means one thing around here: Rain. And, when your windshield gets

April 01, 2017 @ 12:00am

Listen to the noises your brakes are makingYour brakes are your car’s best friend. Besides bringing you to those leisurely stops at traffic lights, they’re there when the neighbor’s dog darts in front of your bumper, or when that guy on his cell phone backs out in front of you in the parking lot. They’re also one of the only parts of your car that tell you when they need attention, and especially after the damage this winter may have done, you need to learn to speak brakes.

If your brakes are making an unusual sound, chances are they’re squealing. Besides being the most common brake noise, it’s also one of the least troubling. That’s not to say it isn’t important. Some brakes have wear indicators built in and when it’s time to replace your brake pads, you’ll hear that squeak. Other common causes include environmental moisture and debris. If the squeaking persists, or gets louder, it’s time to get your brakes checked.

Another common sound is a rhythmic thumping. While not an immediate danger, thumping in your brakes can mean warped brake rotors, a problem that can worsen over time. It’s often a quick fix: We just have to resurface or replace your rotors and voila, no more thumping.

Easily the most troubling sound your brakes can make is a metal-on-metal grinding sound. This is a serious problem and you should bring your car in immediately for service. Likely caused by the rotor making contact with the caliper, this indicat