Tag Archives: advance auto parts

how check power steering fluid

Power Steering Fluid: How to Check + Flush Yourself – DIY Video

What is power steering fluid, and how do you check it? Most people rarely think twice about the power steering unit they have in their vehicle, mainly because it’s not a maintenance issue that commonly gets brought up. However, power steering might be one of the most important functions of your car, because if you’re not able to successfully navigate the wheel quickly, your car is an accident waiting to happen.

How to check power steering fluid:


If you can’t see inside to examine your fluid, a good way to check is to use a turkey baster and look at the fluid that you pull out from inside the baster.

If the fluid is lighter in color and doesn’t give off a burnt smell, then you probably just need to add more fluid to what you already have. As long as the fluid isn’t dirty and isn’t burnt, it’s usually still good to use.

If your fluid is a darker brown or black color and smells like something that was pulled from a fire, however, that’s when you might need to flush your power steering fluid. One common way to replace your fluid is to simply remove the contaminated fluid with the turkey baster and replace it with newer fluid. If you’re only somewhat savvy when it comes to cars, this method of replacement rather than a full flush is a much safer way for you to handle your car’s maintenance.

How to FLUSH power steering fluid:


If you know what you’re doing when it comes to cars, however, a full power steering flush makes sense. The best way to do a proper flush requires the help of a friend who you can trust to start the car while you examine the fluid.

  • Disconnect the main low-pressure hose from the steering pump, allowing the contaminated fluid to drip out of the bottom.
  • Add enough new fluid to fill the system to the halfway mark, making sure that you’ve filled the steering system to the halfway point before starting the vehicle.
  • Once you have the system at the halfway point, have your friend start the vehicle to get the power steering pump engaged.
  • For best results, you’ll want your friend to turn the steering wheel back and forth to help get the new fluid pumping through the system.
  • As this is happening, you’ll notice the old fluid coming out of the back to be replaced by the new fluid. What you need to watch for when you replace power steering fluid is the color of the fluid that’s coming out of the system.
  • Once the color that comes out matches what you know is new fluid, then this part of the job is done and it’s time to get the hoses reattached.

Power steering change cost

For some people, the average power steering fluid change cost of $115 isn’t something that bothers them, but if you’re the type that doesn’t mind getting your hands dirty, it’s a relatively simple process that can lead to some moderate savings.

In fact, you can check the monthly flyer of stores like Advance Auto Parts to see if they have any on sale in-store. If you’re lucky, one of their mechanics might even check it for free at your local store.

The first thing to know about a power steering fluid change is that it’s not always necessary to go for a full flush. In order to know if a full flush is necessary, it’s a good idea to take a look at the existing fluid that’s already in your power steering system.

Test your power steering

However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the job is done and getting right back on the road immediately after you complete a power steering fluid change. Once you think you’ve removed all of the contaminated fluid from the system, it’s time to put the cap back on and test the steering with the car in a safe area.

Make sure that the wheel turns smoothly in each direction. When you operate the wheel, it should be easy to turn, with no difficulty in changing direction. If you find yourself getting stuck making a turn and having to use incredible force to complete it, that’s a sign that you might have a bigger steering problem.

Checking & flushing your power steering fluid is an important habit!

When you really think about it, the decision to replace power steering fluid is mostly about common sense. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very straightforward maintenance procedure that you can do at home. If you can read a dipstick and determine how much fluid to add, managing your power steering fluid and keeping yourself and others safe on the road won’t be a difficult task at all!

How Long Do Car Batteries Last? How To Tell If It’s Bad + When to Replace

How to tell if car battery is bad, how long it should last: Your car’s battery is one of those things you don’t think about much until something goes wrong. If you’ve ever left your lights on accidentally and drained your battery, you know what an awful feeling it is to be stranded with a dead car.

Most car owners know how important the battery is to their car’s lifespan, but few are aware of when the right time to change the battery is, because (like determining how long your brakes will last) there isn’t a set time frame for how long a car battery should last.

For most drivers, a car battery should last three years or more, but there isn’t any way to know what end of the scale your battery will fall on until it starts to show signs of aging. For that reason, it’s important to pay attention to what your car and your battery are telling you.

Corrosion: a sign your car battery is dying:

One of the easiest signs of how to tell if a car battery is bad is the presence of corrosion on the battery itself. Even though batteries require acid in order to function properly, they don’t corrode around the cables unless there’s a sign of a leak. Not only is car battery corrosion terrible for your battery, but it’s also a major problem for your car.

If the acid leak is able to mess with the metal that makes up your battery, you can imagine what it’s doing to the other parts of your car that you need to function properly in order to drive. If left untreated, that corrosion can cause a major problem for the rest of your car, causing you to have to return to your auto mechanic for a repair that you could have avoided.

how long car batteries last

How to tell if a car battery is bad: Slow engine crank

Unfortunately, there aren’t always visible signs your car battery is dying, so it’s important to pay attention to any sign of trouble when you attempt to start your car. If you’re having trouble getting the car to start in the morning (engine doesn’t rollover quickly on first attempt) and it’s not a particularly cold day, that’s a sign that you almost certainly have a battery problem. A weak or dying battery might make the car sound like it’s struggling to start up.

Also, f you can’t get any lights to turn on fully in the car when you turn the key, the battery is almost surely the culprit.

Even if the car ends up starting after a few cranks, you don’t want to push your luck. One instance means that it’s time to start checking around to see how much car batteries cost (see below) and planning your budget appropriately. A second instance within a short time frame means that your waiting period has expired. When that happens, you need to test or replace your battery as soon as possible.

The last thing you want to have happen when you’re trying to figure out when to replace a car battery is to discover that you waited too long to replace the battery and you’re stranded with a car that won’t start.

Sign you need to replace your car battery: Low battery fluid level

Looking at the battery is also important because it shows you the fluid that you have inside the battery, which is one of the most vital parts of the battery’s life span. If you can’t see the fluid in the battery’s translucent case, (if the fluid is visibly below the lead plates inside) that’s a sure sign that your battery is living on borrowed time, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to purchase a new battery to keep your car moving.

Another sign: Your Battery or “Check Engine” Light Is On

This seems like it would be an obvious message that you need to replace your battery, but think of it more as a hint. If your dashboard lights up with a battery symbol, take it to a mechanic right away. They can determine what part of your electrical system is the problem and causing the battery light to go on. Keep in mind that it’s not always your battery’s fault! 

A good battery should last 3-5 years

vintage pin up car girl holding wrench wearing heelsFinally, sometimes you simply get an excellent battery that features a long life and shows no signs of problems even through its third year. If you don’t live in an area with harsh seasonal climates and driving conditions or put a lot of miles on your car, your battery should last longer.

Good batteries have warranties of at least 3 years, and upwards of 5 years. 

What if it’s been 3 years since you’ve had your car’s battery replaced? You don’t need to replace a battery that has never had a sign of an issue, but you should take an older battery in to get tested by a trusted mechanic. If you have an AutoZone, Pep Boys, or Advance Auto Parts store near you, they will check your battery for free. It just takes a few minutes, and if your battery is shot, they can also quickly replace it for you. After being stranded recently when my car wouldn’t start in a strip mall parking lot, I also recently learned that they will test your car battery for free at most of those Bulbs & Batteries stores. Who knew!?

A full test by any qualified mechanic will let you know if your battery’s good fortune is likely to continue and help you decide whether a new car battery is something that you should plan for sooner rather than later. If the problem isn’t your battery, they’ll also be able to test your electrical system including your car’s starter and alternator.

How much do car batteries cost?

how much car battery costFirst of all, get a good brand name car battery like Autocraft or Duracell, even though it costs more. You should plan on spending about $100-150 total to replace a car battery, and don’t try to save $30 by getting something cheap!

If you aren’t leaving your old battery, some automotive stores, including Advance Auto Parts, will add on what’s called a core charge,” of an extra $20 or so. This is a policy that encourages the recycling and proper disposal of old batteries, as they are filled with lead and acid, and nasty things to just throw in a landfill or field!

If you place your order online at advanceautoparts.com, you can get the core charge refunded if you bring the old battery along with your receipt, to your nearest store location. They also have deals in their monthly flyer and online coupons for up to 30% off site-wide including batteries, although you’ll have to pick it up in-store.

AutoZone has an ongoing 20% off $100 coupon code, but once again, you’ll probably have to choose in-store pickup due to safety regulations with the mail.

Plan ahead; don’t wait until your car battery dies to replace it!

No matter what your car battery’s situation is, it’s never something to be ignored. If your battery does die on you, it’s going to cause some serious problems for you on the day it happens. When you’re trying to decide when to replace a car battery, it’s always best to be proactive and have your solution ready to go, rather than waiting for disaster to happen.

how long do car brakes last

How Long Do Car Brakes Last? Maybe An Extra 20k Miles w/ These Tips

You know that you can’t afford to have unreliable brakes, but this begs a very important question: how long do brakes last?

Automotive engineers have not defined a firm lifespan for our brakes, presumably because there are a lot of variables involved.

Evidence of this frustratingly vague guidance is evident in a study from Toyota, estimating their brake pads can last anywhere from 25,000 miles to 70,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

*Thanks a lot. That 30k difference between the low and high estimate is more than the circumference of the Earth!

However, how long your brakes last depend on the type of car you drive and how you drive as well. Maybe you can’t trade in your jalopy for a new Mercedes, but there are plenty of things you can do on your own to improve the lifespan of your brakes.

Specific brands and makes of brakes will reveal more specific estimates for how long they will last, but a lot of it has to do with the driver. In fact, some motorists have made their 30k+ mile brakes last for 90,000 miles and more with conscientious driving highlighted in the following tips and tricks!

Make Your Brakes Last Longer: Slow Down

speedometerAttention: your need for speed is killing your brake pads! 

The higher your speed, the shorter your reaction time, and the longer it takes to fully stop your car. Not only is speeding dangerous, but it puts massive of wear and tear on your brake pads.

The physics behind our brakes shows that car brakes turn their kinetic (motion) energy into heat. So, when you stop your car at high speeds, your brakes expend more heat energy, wearing down your brake pads more.

Try these tips for easing up on the road:

  • Stay within the speed limit (*Not to mention that a single speeding ticket can cost you more than new brakes!) 
  • Coast when you can, especially downhill
  • Don’t tailgate: Keep a safe distance between yourself and other cars to avoid any sudden braking. Tailgating is murder on your brakes, as you’re giving yourself very little reaction time to slow down or stop
  • Refrain from road rage. If you are out of control, your car will suffer too!
  • Look ahead and anticipate upcoming traffic lights: This is a great time to coast to a smooth stop

how long brakes last cheap car

Remove Any Excess Weight From Your Car

How long do brakes last for heavy cars? Well, not as long as lighter cars! The heavier your car is, the more stress is put on your brakes.

You learned that your car and brakes operate on kinetic energy, which is simply energy derived from motion.

The amount of kinetic energy is dictated by the overall weight of your vehicle, so, the more excess weight your car has the more kinetic energy it needs to generate to function properly. In layman’s terms: the heavier your car is, the the shorter your brakes will last.

This weight only puts more pressure on your brakes and brake pads, and that wear and tear is worsened with continuous speeding or reckless driving.

Check your car to see if you’re lugging around extra weight you don’t need, such as exercise equipment, gallons of water, power tools, and other heavy items. The extra weight is straining your fuel efficiency, too!

Don’t Use Your LEFT Foot for the Brake Pedal!

This is something you need to make a habit of.

When you break with your left foot, you’re more inclined to have pressure on both pedals at the same time. Even if your right foot is just lightly resting on the accelerator while you brake, you’re fighting against your braking system.

It’s like having the AC and the heat on at the same time in your house, and this just turns up the pressure even more on your car and brake pads.

brakes last harsh weather

How Long Do Brakes Last in Harsh Weather?

Not as long as in good weather! If you live somewhere with long winters, you’re probably looking at the lower end of the estimate for how long your brakes will last. Extreme temperatures are hard on your brakes, and the salt on winter roads is brutal on brake pads and drums, and rotors, shortening their lifespan.

You can’t mess around with driving in bad weather. You need a reliable car to last through blizzards, icy roads, and trips to the mountains. The money you are saving by trying to stretch out your tires or brake pads is nothing compared to the cost of a single accident.

When driving up and over snowy hills, make sure your car is in the right gear for safe incline driving while periodically putting minor pressure on your brake pads.

Another important thing to remember is to fill and flush your brake fluid periodically to extend the life of your brakes.

When your brakes create too much heat energy, it depletes your brake fluid supply. On the flip side, if you don’t change your brake fluid enough, it will eventually dilute with moisture and lose its effectiveness.

Also, if you notice that your brake pedal feel “spongy,” or soft, it means there’s air in the line, and needs attention. “Bleeding” the brakes / brake fluid change costs about $80-100, but it will fix both of these issues, and will extend the life of your brakes.

Don’t Try to Save a Buck & Get Cheap Brakes

If you’re trying to decide between Wearever Gold brakes and something made in China that has a blurry photo of Michael Jackson on the packaging, you need to stop being stingy.

Spend the extra money on a trusted brand name, and consider researching reviews and ratings from trusted sites like Consumer Reports.

If you do want to save money, get the good brakes, and use a coupon at these top auto parts stores:

Also, doing your own brake check-ups, or getting them done for free at a local Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone is all you need to make sure they’re operating and stopping properly all year round. Follow these simple tips to keep your brakes working longer and your time in the car safer.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

monthly flyer specials advance auto

Advance Auto Parts Monthly FLYER: View the In-Store Circular Online

advance auto parts logoMonthly Flyer / In-Store Circular: Advance Auto Parts – is a convenient way to view all of their in-store deals in one place online. Each month they feature about 10 pages or so of unbeatable low prices on automotive parts, oil change specials, coupons, rebates, and promotions. These deals vary slightly by store, so enter your zip code at advanceautoparts.com to view your store.


instore ad circular for advance auto

auto parts in store flyer guyAdvance Auto stocks thousands of discount automotive parts, so the monthly flyer is an exciting way to get even lower prices on their featured products. Set up as a PDF file, it’s basically like being able to virtually flip through an in-store circular and view all sale items in one place online. As an extra incentive, each month they also tend to include an exclusive coupon for their website that you can only find in the flyer.

Tips for viewing the monthly flyer / sale circular

Because the deals offered in each flyer can vary based on store locations, the first thing you’ll be prompted to do is enter your zip code. (see below) After doing so, you’ll be able to virtually flip through the flyer online, with no messy ink from cheap newsprint on your fingers!

Keep in mind that with each page you’ll be able to zoom in, move the pages around (by clicking and dragging) and apply discount filters by moving the slider. This is a neat feature if you are looking to view all of their best deals in one place, organized by the percentage of discount.

monthly flyer features advance

If you decide on a promotion, there is a feature to quickly print the page that you’re viewing, or download the whole flyer as a PDF. This can be a valuable feature, as you can bring the promotion with you to your local store without depending on an internet connection. It’s not necessary to do so, but it’s convenient to have a hard copy of the deal, along with any terms or conditions that apply. If you do so, you won’t have to flip through a weekly flyer at the store when you arrive.

Also, with a digital or hard copy you won’t be blind-sided at the register, realizing that a minimum purchase was required, or that you bought the wrong size of an item. You can also view the flyer on your smartphone if you’d rather conserve printer ink.

View the flyer and be prepared

“If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” Viewing the circular online lets you see what all of the in-store deals are for this month without showing up to a store unprepared. The promotions vary slightly bases on location, but after you enter your zip code the in-store flyer for your local Advance Auto Parts location will load instantly.

In-Store Coupons & Promotions in their Monthly flyer ad

Remember that when you order online, you can choose to pick it up at your closest Advance Auto Parts location. If you have an order over $75, and don’t need your parts today, definitely consider opting for their free shipping coupon.

reese tow trailer hitch discount

REESE Towpower: 20% Off Coupon from AutoZone

reese hitch logoCoupons for REESE Brand Auto Parts: REESE has been a legendary brand in towing products for over 50 years. Best known for their trailer hitches including ball mounts, custom fit, gooseneck, & 5th wheel hitches their parts are incredibly strong and exceed all industry safety standards. Use a coupon below for up to a 20% discount site-wide including REESE brand parts:


autozone logoAutoZone.com: REESE

  • View couponsnew20% off $100+ including REESE towing, trailer hitches, trailer lighting & accessories. Get free in-store pickup or free shipping with minimum purchase
  • Using one of our coupons? see all Reese parts at autozone.comnew plus today’s featured on-site promotion.

logo advance autoAdvance Auto Parts:

  • View promo codes – Up to a 30% discount site-wide, good towards REESE parts. Free same-day in-store pickup.
  • Advance Auto doesn’t have a good selection of Reese tow products & hitches. They only currently have REESE Carry Power ratchet tie-downs & straps

Use a coupon for up to a 30% discount site-wide including Reese automotive parts, towing accessories, & trailer hitches!

reese towpower trailer hitch coupon

REESE Towpower: Towing Hitches for Any Size Job, For Sale at AutoZone: 5th Wheel & More

Whether you are looking to haul supplies to a construction site, hitching a car to an RV, or towing a trailer carrying livestock, REESE has the receiver hitches and to meet all of your towing needs. REESE products are solid, all-welded construction for legendary strength, weight distribution, and safety that exceeds industry standards.

Their exclusive paint finishes fight corrosion and rust, and look pretty sleek too! Every REESE hitch comes with a lifetime guarantee. In fact, they’ve recently been honored for their fifth wheel hatch by Trailer Life Magazine.

Popular REESE Towpower products include: 

  • Custom Fit Hitches – Receiver hitches built according to your car or trucks specific make, model, year, and weight specifications for a perfect fit
  • Multi-Fit Hitches – Universal fit for cars, SUVs, vans, and light trucks. Multi-fit receiver hitches are less expensive than custom-fit!
  • Front Mount Hitches – Attach a cargo carrier or bike to the front of your car or truck
  • Gooseneck & 5th Wheel hitches – For any heavy haul, a gooseneck of fifth wheel hitch is anchored through your truck bed, offering extra strength and a better turning radius than hitches that connect off the back.
  • Ball mounts including carbon forged, standard welded, heavy duty, & class V
  • Towing accessories
  • Trailer & hitch accessories
  • Trailer electrical & lighting

The Best Prices for REESE Hitch Parts & Ball Mounts Are at AutoZone When You Use a Coupon!

We’ve compared prices, and the best deals for REESE Towpower automotive products (including their legendary trailer hitches and tonneau covers) are at AutoZone.com.

Of course, that’s when you use one of their featured coupons including their popular 20% off promo code with a minimum $100 order. Most of their popular trailer hitches start at about $120, so their products usually qualify for the discount.

Installing a Trailer Hitch

Wondering how long it takes to install one of these hitches? See how to install a trailer hitch in under 2 minutes!

Free Shipping on Trailer Hitches Including REESE

All $75+ orders ship free at AutoZone.com, which includes their popular “Towpower” towing products and trailer hitches. For less expensive products, look for their “free shipping no minimum” coupons which are available about half of the time, and check out CURT trailer hitches at Advance Auto for even bigger discounts! We’ll also be adding REESE products from AutoAnything soon, as well.

armor all coupon advance auto

Armor All Coupons: 20% Off at Advance Auto Parts

logo advance autoArmor All Coupons: Armor All is a top name in auto protectants, cleaners, washes, and waxes to make your car or truck look like new. (Go ahead, stare!) You can get the best price online for all automotive products including Armor All when you use our 20% off coupon from Advance Auto!

  • Top 10 Advance Auto Parts Coupons – 20-30% off site-wide including all Armor All products. You can choose free local store pickup. Click for today’s updated promo codes!
  • View all Armor All productsnew at advanceautoparts.com. Use the coupon code: MA20 above for a 20% discount.

armor all car wash wipes

Armor All Coupons: Get a 20-30% discount on all automotive products with our featured Promo Codes!

If you are looking for the best price online for Armor All cleaning and protection products, we’ve found it at advanceautoparts.com. Armor All’s mission is to protect your car, inside and out. Our mission is to protect your wallet, making sure that you don’t overpay for automotive products online.

We were ecstatic when we realized that the store-wide coupon codes we have for Advance Auto Parts include just about all of their top brands, including Armor All. You can also find Armor All products at AutoZone; click for coupons!

armor all logo large

How to Use a Coupon or Promo Code for Armor All

Actually, using a coupon at advanceautoparts.com is a snap. Just add one or more Armor All or other automotive products to your cart. Then, at checkout you’ll see an obvious field that says, “promo code.”

You guessed it, that’s where you’ll enter your coupon. If the code is valid you’ll see the old retail price crossed out, and the new, discounted price will replace it. If, for any reason, the coupon is invalid, it will usually give you a reason.

Why Is My Armor All Coupon Not Working?

We are pretty good at updating Advance Auto coupons, so the main reason a coupon for Armor All won’t work is because the code requires a minimum purchase. While popular codes like their 20% off coupon have no minimum order requirement, their best promo code for 30% off has a $50 minimum order requirement.

armor all protectant cleaning coupon

Armor All Wipes Coupon – Leather & Glass Cleaning Wipes for Your Car

Armor All protectant wipes, cleaning wipes, glass cleaner wipes, and air-freshening protection wipes are available separately or in their Armor All Wipes Variety Gift Pack.

The wipes gift pack gives you everything you need to clean, refresh, and protect the interior of your car including leather care. Give your car or truck a “just detailed” look and put a little bit of order into your life!

Armor All’s most popular products are their protectant, Ultra Shine Wash & Wax,  and cleaning wipes, as well as their Nu Finish once a year car polish. Use the coupon above for a 20% discount on all Armore All wipes!

armor all shield wax coupon

Armor All Shield Wax Coupon & Car Wash Soap

Armor All Custom Shield gently lifts the dirt on the exterior of your car that can cause those little annoying scratches, while encouraging water beading on your paint. The result is a mirror-like shine that will reveal your car’s true, rich color.

Use our coupons for a 20% discount or more on Armor All products including their waxes and shileds.

armor all tire foam coupon

Armor All Tire Foam Protectant

Armor All’s (not “Armour All”) Tire Foam Protectant protects your car from harmful conditions that can cause cracking and fading in your tires. It also nourishes your tires’ black color. It’s just so easy and rewarding to use, especially knowing you got it at the best price online after using a coupon!