Tag Archives: autozone

how long car batteries last

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

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.

delphi auto parts coupon

Delphi Auto Parts: 20% Off Coupon + Free Shipping

Coupons for Delphi Brand Auto Parts: For over 100 years Delphi has been a leading name in the aftermarket auto parts industry. From electronics & fuel systems to brakes, Delphi make top-quality parts for virtually every make of car & truck. Use a coupon below for up to a 30% discount site-wide including Delphi brand parts:


logo advance autoAdvance Auto Parts:


autozone logoAutoZone.com:

Use a coupon for up to a 30% discount site-wide including Delphi parts!


delphi brand auto parts coupon

Using a Coupon for Delphi Parts

The above automotive stores have been selected because they are industry leaders, and have the best price on auto parts. Click through to see their latest coupons, most of which can be used site-wide online for up to a 30% discount on brands including Delphi.

Remember, most Delphi parts are eligible for free in-store pickup at your nearest Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone location, or free shipping with minimum purchase.

delphi auto parts car

Delphi Automotive Parts

delphi auto logoIn ancient Greece, Delphi was the seat of the famous oracle that kings and emperors consulted for advice about the future. I guess that’s an appropriate name, as you could say that Delphi has been shaping the future of the automotive industry for over a century.

Delphi partners with the top 25 auto makers in America to make aftermarket parts for all systems of your car or truck. Their goal is to continue to innovate; making cars safer, better connected, and greener for the environment.

When you click through to Advance Auto or AutoZone, you’ll find hundreds of Delphi parts which can be sorted quickly by system or part. Remember to always use a promo code!

Some of Delphi’s popular parts include:

  • Air conditioning & engine cooling
  • Brakes
  • Fuel Systems
  • Ignition
  • Steering & suspension
  • Learn more at DelphiAutoParts.com
acdelco parts vintage ad cars

ACDelco Coupon: 30% Off At Advance Auto Parts – Ongoing

ACDelco coupon from Advance Auto Parts – ACDelco has been a premier name in auto parts since 1974. Owned by GM, they are best known for their high quality spark plugs,  filters, brakes, and fuel pumps. Get up to a 30% discount store-wide at Advance Auto Parts on brands like ACDelco when you use one of our coupons.


ACDelco: a global leader in replacement auto parts

acdelco coupon girl

girls love spark plugs?

Owned by General Motors, ACDelco manufactures Original Equipment parts for GM cars including Ford and Chrysler, as well as replacement parts for other automotive names like Toyota and Honda. So, what does that mean, and why should you care? To be considered, “original equipment,” you have to meet or exceed the standards of the original part that you are replacing. With ACDelco, you essentially get GM creating, and putting their name on replacement auto parts!

ACDelco maintenance parts (such as batteries, oil filters, wiper blades, and shocks) and repair parts (including alternators, radiators, and heating and cooling parts) are found in over 100 countries.

The ACDelco spark plug started it all

Although first founded as “United Motors Corporation,” in 1916, it wasn’t until 1974 that the company merged with AC Spark Plug and manufactured their legendary spark plugs under the name “ACDelco.”

They seem to have also figured out early on that pin up girls would help sell their parts; after all, there aren’t many markets more heavily male-dominated than auto parts, right?

acdelco coupon advance auto parts

While they still are the top name in spark plugs, they currently provide parts for all major vehicle systems including brakes and batteries.

Use a coupon for a prodigious discount: Advance Auto or AutoZone.com

ACDelco has thousands of parts, and obviously not all of these are carried by Advance Auto Parts (get coupons) or AutoZone, (get coupons) but they do carry hundreds of popular parts including spark plugs, brake parts, and repair parts for both GM, and other top car brands. Currently, you can use one of our featured codes for Advance Auto Parts for a 30% discount on ACDelco, or any other parts on their site. (see code to upper left, or click to view all of their current promotions)

acdelco shocks ad dogACDelco ultra-soft shock absorbers

acdelco auto parts couponACDelco – light up the road!

Monroe Shocks & Struts: 3 Coupons from Top Auto Stores Online

shocks and struts promo

advance auto parts logoMonroe Shocks & Struts Coupon: I believe it was rapper, Ice Cube, who boasted about having “more bounce to the ounce.” Well, Monroe would probably be happy to promise you the exact opposite. And, with these coupons, Advance Auto Parts would be happy to promise you more bang for the buck! (which all of us can appreciate)

With over 9,000 shocks and struts in stock, (including top name, Monroe) Advance Auto Parts has you covered, with parts for every model car or truck. The best part is that when you use a coupon, you can save a big on your entire order. Don’t forget that any order can be picked up at your local store, and orders over $75 ship free.

vintage auto advertisement napaAdvance Auto Parts: (recommended)

AutoZone: They no longer carry Monroe, but instead have Garbriel, Sachs & Bilstein brand shocks

 


not monroe shocks

Please, Mr. Cube –  I don’t want more bounce to the ounce!

What do shock Monroe absorbers do, and where can I get a coupon? Monroe shock absorbers are one of the most popular brands sold by Advance Auto Parts. Let’s take a look at a few specific models, but before doing this let’s also review what a shock absorber actually does.These mechanical parts are designed to smooth out and dampen the kinetic energy of small impacts of a moving car along a differential terrain.

monroe shocks promo code

Commonly called “shocks,” these parts can be pneumatic or hydraulic, and are used with cushions and springs. The main components include a bar, piston and oil seal, cylinder, oil reservoir, floating piston, and air chamber.

If you apply one of the coupons mentioned above on your purchase of specific Monroe shocks, let’s see what you are getting in addition to a serious discount and promo.

One of the most popular and well rated is the Monroe Reflex Monotube, (Monroe Reflex Shocks) engineered to improve handling, control and car performance for light trucks and SUV’s. The high-pressure gas charge keeps the internal oil and nitrogen separate, further enhancing functioning.

Monroe Shocks & Struts: Best Price Online With This Coupon!

Another popular product from Advance Auto it the Monroe Gas-Matic LT. No, this is not gas-matic in the sense of what happens to your bowels after eating three bratwursts and a plate of sauerkraut, but is rather the formalized name of a part that is so easy to install it’s automatic. These are heavy duty soldiers for your car’s suspension.

So please don’t hesitate to check out related products in this category, including mounts, coil springs, shock and strut hardware, and other Monroe products that can be bought through AdvanceAutoParts.com using a fantastic promotional code, often saving you 15-40%!

Actron PocketScan Code Reader: Coupons for a 20-30% Discount

actron pocketscan coupons
actron scanner logoActron PocketScan Coupons: The Pocket Scan, and PocketScan Plus from Actron are powerful, hand-held automotive on-board diagnostic scanners. In other words, when your check engine light goes on, you don’t have to be completely helpless anymore. These powerful little computers can help you make sense of your car or truck’s on-board diagnostic system by displaying the exact code and associated problem without having to immediately drop it off at the mechanic. (At $75+ an hour for diagnostics!)



pocketscan obd actronWhat do these Pocket Scanners do? The Actron PocketScan is connected to your car’s diagnostic connector, enabling it to read Diagnostic Trouble Codes. (DTCs) If you’re check engine light goes on, this little gadget quickly can tell you which sensor triggered it; whether it was the oxygen sensors, catalytic converter, electronic fuel injection, or car battery.

How Does this Pocket Scanner Work in your Car? These little gadgets are recommended for use with OBD II compliant cars and trucks built in or after 1996. Just plug it into the OBD II port to the side of your steering wheel, and hit, “read” to display codes and diagnose your car’s problems. If you want to get it fixed, take the code to your mechanic, and save yourself the $50 or so charge for diagnostics!

More Features:

  • Has a large LCD screen that displays DTCs
  • It can Read and erase DTCs, turn your “check engine light” off
  • Determines whether your automobile if ready for an emissions test
  • Will display a snapshot of your car’s operating system conditions at the moment of trouble / fault
  • It will impress your wife and/or kids

auto parts guy puzzledI like to think I’m at least a little bit handy. In fact, just the other cold morning, I jump started my car with jumper cables, and didn’t even cause a fire or electrocute myself. However, when the check engine light goes on, I merely stare at it while making monkey noises and scratching my head. You’d think that on a $25k car they’d give you a little more information to go on that just a light-up picture of an engine.

check engineMaybe the new Tesla Model S, which costs about $90k, tells you in a soothing computer voice exactly what’s wrong, but unfortunately I have to drop my car off for the morning at the local garage where it never costs me less than $50 a trip, even for just a half hour of labor or diagnostics. (Although, the Auto Scanner OBD II Code Reader does speak French, which is pretty fancy too)

The amazing thing is that you can buy the top of the line, Actron Pocket Scan Plus for less than the price of an hour of labor from your local mechanic. Use a coupon and you can get it for at least a 20% discount, and if your order total is over $75, it will ship for free.