Category Archives: Car

How Much Does A Car Battery Cost

The life cycle of a car battery is four years on average. Meaning, a car battery replacement will always come into view no matter what happens. Besides age, several other factors can call for a replacement of the battery. For instance, periods of inactivity and short trips can drain the battery’s power. This article will help you determine the cost of a replacement battery for your vehicle.

Typical Cost Of A Car Battery

The cost of a car battery ranges from $40 to $200.

Included In The Price Of A Car Battery

The price includes the car battery and a limited warranty. In some auto shops, installation of the car battery is already included.

Consider These Factors

Size. Basically, the group size of the battery is the biggest determinant of the price of a car battery. Three of the most common group sizes are 24, 64, and 75. The smaller the size, the cheaper the battery’s price tag is.

Brand. Generic car battery brands are cheaper and well-known brands like DieHard, Optima, Everstart, and Duralast price their car batteries higher. However, this is not only a matter of name. Generic brands usually do not last as long as batteries from good quality brands.

Warranty. Car batteries with longer warranties are generally priced higher. Though they may be more expensive, a warranty can be a good guarantee to you in times when your battery fails for any reason. This can save you from another cost of replacement.

Cold cranking amps (CCA). This refers to the battery’s capacity to start even under cold temperature. A battery must exceed, or at least meet, your car’s OEM cranking rate. However, this is only important for people who live in colder climates.

Reserve capacity. The longer the battery’s reserve capacity is, the higher its price usually gets. Reserve capacity refers to the number of minutes the battery can power the car when the alternator fails.

Additional Costs

You may need to pay extra for professional installation of the battery if you are not confident about your ability to do the replacement job. Prices vary depending on the repair shop you get the job done.

Some stores will charge you for a battery disposal fee. However, other stores offer this for free if you exchange the old one with a new one from them. Read this car battery disposal instruction to know more about the proper disposal of your car battery.

price of car battery
Photo by TruckPR

Tips Before You Buy A Car Battery

Identify the type of battery that is currently installed in your car. You can check this at the owner’s manual. In cases the manual is misplaced, you can check the battery type for your car on a car dealership or the manufacturer’s website. You can also examine the battery yourself and check for the labels such as group size, cold cranking amps, and reserve capacity. It is very important that you know the right battery for your car to ensure you will shop for the right one.

Purchase car batteries from trusted retailers. You can consider auto parts stores like NAPA Auto Parts, AutoZone, and AC Delco. Sears and Walmart also carry a line of car batteries for you to choose from. The same is true for auto repair shops such as Good Year, Pep Boys, and Firestone.

If you want to buy car batteries online, make sure to deal with reliable stores. The top online stores today where you can buy a battery are 1st Optima Battery Sales, The Parts Bin, Amazon.com, and Auto Anything.

Buy a battery that is fresh. A car battery that is on the shelf for more than six months is not a good find anymore. Check the date on the label of the battery to ensure that the battery is a brand new stock.

Double check the warranty of the car battery. Make sure you understand the coverage, the free replacement period, and other terms and conditions regarding the warranty. Read this article from ConsumerReports.org about car battery warranties to guide you with your purchase.

Ball Joints Replacement Cost

The ball joints are very important components of a car’s suspension system. They are responsible for maintaining the connection between the steering and the front wheels. However, after some time, the ball joints may give up and calls for a replacement. This happens due to several reasons including constant wear and tear, lack of lubricants, and dirt.

The car will send signals once the ball joints may be in need of replacement. Signs may include unstable car steering, car shaking while driving, or noise from the front wheels. AA1Car.com discusses what ball joints are, how to inspect them, when to replace them, and a few ball replacement tips. To calculate the cost of replacing the ball joints, check out this article.

Typical Cost Of Ball Joints Replacement

The cost of a ball joint replacement can range from $500 to $1,100.

Included In The Price Of Ball Joints Replacement

The price includes four ball joints for the two wheels of the front suspension system. In some cases, the price can include the labor fees for the mechanic.

Consider These Factors

Labor. If you replace the ball joints yourself, you need not bother for the labor costs. You only have to buy four ball joints for your vehicle. The price of the four ball joints depends on the make and model of your vehicle. However, in most cases, the price of four ball joints can cost $500 to $600. On the other hand, if you want a professional mechanic to do it for you, the price can increase to $800 to $1,100.

Car make and model. Your car’s make, model, and year will more likely affect the price of the replacement. There are some car models that can be accessed easily, which means lesser time to complete the replacement. This makes replacement for these models less expensive. However, replacement for some high-end luxury vehicles can cost a lot higher.

Assembly. The above-mentioned price refers to a normal replacement of the ball joints. However, for other vehicles, the ball joints are connected to the control arm as one complete unit. Hence, you need to replace the whole unit, which can cost an average of $600.

Additional Costs

In some cases, vehicles may need a wheel alignment right after the ball joints replacement. This depends on the specifications of your car and is not true for all car models. A wheel alignment can cost around $60 to $100 extra.

If you are doing the replacement yourself, you need several tools such as a grease pump, jack, pickle fork, wire, drill machine, torque wrench, and hammer. If you don’t have a complete line of these tools, you may need to buy them yourself.
Towncar repair #3
Photo by bsabarnowl

Tips Before You Decide To Replace Ball Joints

If you are considering replacing the ball joints yourself, make sure to follow closely what is stated in the manual. Follow all specifications and procedures unique to your vehicle to ensure success. AutoMedia.com has this detailed instruction on how to replace ball joints.

If your vehicle needs an alignment, seek the services of a professional.

Go for standard and OEM products when replacing the ball joints. These parts perform a very important function so you want to get only the most appropriate one for your vehicle.

Choose a repair shop very wisely when replacing the ball joints. Choose based on the experience of the mechanics and the quality of the products they use. Autos.AOL.com can help you choose a decent repair shop to help you with the ball joints replacement.

How Much Does A Helicopter Cost

Getting a car is one thing, buying a helicopter another. The latter is oftentimes a more serious undertaking. This is true especially with the price involved in doing so. Whether it is for military, commercial, or public use, purchasing a helicopter involves a big sum of money. Read on and discover how much does a helicopter cost.

Typical Cost Of A Helicopter

The average cost of a helicopter is $200,000 to $400,000.

The price can increase dramatically up to $100,000 depending on the model, type, and size of helicopter you choose.

Included In The Price Of A Helicopter

  • The helicopter including all its parts, machines, and safety features
  • Other selling companies offer pilot services, maintenance, and repair in line with the purchase for a specified period of time

Consider These Factors

  • Seating capacity. More often than not, the bigger the helicopter is, the higher its price becomes.
  • Condition. Used helicopters are obviously way cheaper than brand new ones.
  • Individual needs. How will you be using the helicopter? Is it for your company, the military, or public service? Take note that not all helicopters are made the same. Pick a helicopter type and model that will be right for your needs. Your choice will usually determine how much you will be spending on this big purchase.
  • Location. Helicopter manufacturers are not likely to be here and there and so as their stores. Meaning, shipping will have a major impact on the overall cost of the purchase. You must consider buying from stores near you so that the shipping and handling fees will not be that much to bear. This will save you more money as compared to buying a helicopter overseas.
  • Shipping adds up the total cost of a helicopter. The farther you are from the store, the bigger the price you have to pay to cover for the shipping.

Additional Costs

  • Operational costs. The cost of flying a helicopter is not cheap. Some operational expenses of owning a helicopter include fuel and oil, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.
  • Training. If you plan to fly your own helicopter, you need trainings and licenses before you can successfully, legally, and safely take over the front seat. Flight training can cost around $10,000 to $15,000 to meet the necessary requirements for getting your private helicopter license. If you don’t plan to fly your helicopter yourself, you will spend on the cost of labor that can be offered to you by licensed helicopter pilots.
  • License. Registering your helicopter is important when you buy a brand new one.  A $5 registration fee is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Check out the requirements and processes of registering your aircraft at the FAA website.
  • Decide whether the purchase is reasonable or not. Investing on a helicopter means a lot of money. Hence, it is important that your purchase will be worth it in the end. See whether or not you will save more on owning a plane as compared to leasing one every time you need to fly.

Tips Before You Buy a Helicopter

Helicopter Pilot’s Guide lists the major helicopter manufacturers and links to their websites. Choose the best make and model that will meet your specific needs.

Talk with the manufacturer in terms of the inclusions of the purchase. Make sure to discuss about warranties, after-sales services, legality, and a lot of other factors.

If you are not well-versed in terms of helicopter purchases, it may be best to get the help of aviation consultants. You may need to pay them service fees but at least you can be sure that your purchase will be worth your money in terms of quality, safety, design, maintenance, and legality. Check out this directory of aviation consultants in the United States at AirlineUpdate.com.

How Much Will Gas Cost On My Trip

If you are planning a trip with your car, you have to plan a lot of things. Where you are going, what you should bring, and how much money you will need. One of the bigger cost factors for the average trip is gas. How much will gas cost on my trip? This article will help you come up with an accurate estimate for your fuel expenses.

Typical Cost Of Gas

In general, the cost of gas for a trip is the price of one gas unit divided with the number of miles your car gets to a gallon (MPG), times the number of miles you will drive. In formula:

Gas cost on a trip = Price(gallon) / MPG * Miles

Based on the 2010 averages* ($2.7 per gallon; 25 MPG for cars; and 20 MPG for a van/suv), this leads to the following average gas cost per mile:

 Gas Cost On A Trip (car)  = $0.108 per mile

Gas Cost On A Trip (van/suv) = $0.135 per mile

*estimates by project.org

Depending on the number of miles your car gets to the gallon, The cost of gas on a trip can vary quite a bit. If you want to make a general estimate based on current gas prices, car type, and distance (city to city), you can use a fuel cost calculator tool at aaa.com. However, you need to make some adjustments to make it a better estimate, since there are more factors to consider. Those factors will be discussed below.

Included In The Price Of Gas

Included in the price of gas is….gas. But that includes taxes and duty.

Crenshaw Blvd Walk
Photo by waltarrrrr

Consider These Factors That Affect The Cost Of Gas On Your Trip

  • Car type. Cars get different miles to the gallon. This is one of the most contributing factors to the gas cost on a trip. Some cars will get a little as 11.5 MPG (Bugatti Veyron) while others accomplish an astonishing 99 MPG (Nissan Leaf). Note however, the MPG that is measured by manufacturers is based on optimal conditions, and therefore good for comparison, but less accurate for calculations.
  • Weight. A Heavier car will use more gas than one that is less loaded. When you go on a trip, you will likely bring quite a bit of stuff with you, and maybe other persons. This all adds up to the weight of your vehicle, thus affecting your MPG.
  • Driving style. If you have an aggressive driving style, especially with fast accelerating, you will use more gas and thus have a lower MPG.
  • Type of road / city. On long roads, you can drive an even speed, whereas in the city you will make lots of stops for traffic lights and stop signs. On the other hand, the optimal speed for attaining the highest MPG lies around 50-60 mph. Going faster than this decreases your MPG exponentially.
  • Gas prices. Along the way you will have to fill up your gas tank. However, this might not necessarily be done at the cheapest gas station around. Especially when you don’t know the surroundings and know  where to find the cheapest gas in town. Furthermore, taxes vary per state and country, as well as the actual raw gas price. To find gas prices per state, visit fueleconomy.gov.

The best way to calculate your personal MPG is by using the mile counter in your dashboard, and adding up the number of gallons used over a period with enough driven miles (say a thousand). From full tank to full tank is the easiest. So, fill up your car completely and write down the number on the mile counter. Every time you fill up your tank, write down how many gallons you put in. Then, after a (few) thousand miles, fill up your tank for the last time and divide the number of miles driven (new number minus old number) by the total number of gallons used over that period. The result will be your personal MPG.

Additional Costs To A Trip

  • Although you might only be interested in the price of gas during your trip, dont forget that your actual cost per mile might be more.
  • Wear and tear on your car. Your car devalues over time due to age itself and wear and tear due to driving. This devalue over the years could be included in the cost per mile.
  • Possibility of tickets for speeding or parking.
  • Possibility of damage to you, your car, and others and their property.

Tips Before You Start Your Trip

Bring a jerry can so you can fill it up at a cheap gas station. Your car will be a bit heavier, so only fill it up to the point that you have enough (jerry can + gas tank) to reach the next cheap gas station.

Plan your route along cheap gas stations.

Bring your tire at the right pressure. This saves you gas.

Don’t use airconditioning. This uses a lot of gas!

Don’t open your windows as it lessens the aerodynamics of your car. However, if you get too hot and the internal car fans are not enough, open your (back)windows instead of using the air conditioning. This saves you gas.

Tips for driving more cost-efficient

  • Drive more efficiently
  • Keep your car in good shape
  • Plan and combine trips
  • If renting, choose a more efficient car

How Much Does It Cost To Tint Car Windows

There are many benefits to tinting the windows of cars. It protects you from harmful UV rays, just like sunglasses can protect your eyes. Tinted windows also reduce theft because thieves cannot look through your windows to spot valuable items. It decreases the chance of getting hurt in an accident, as the film of the window tint keeps together shattered pieces of glass. But lastly and foremost, it looks nice and classy.

Typical Cost Of Auto Window Tinting

The cost depends a bit on the surface area of your windows. Generally speaking, trucks have less surface, and SUVs have more surface compared to a normal sized car.

How much does it cost to tint car windows?

The window tinting cost ranges from $150 to $250.

Included In The Price Of Car Window Tint

included in the cost are labor and material. So at this price you should get a complete installation on all windows (except the front windshield) including the film material. A normal window tinting job will use a standard film that is non-reflective.

Consider These Factors Of Car Tinting Prices

type of film used. A normal tint job uses a standard non-reflective film.

warranty against bubbling and peeling. Some companies offer only one year of warranty, while others will cover the car’s life time.

Additional Cost Of Window Tinting

If old tint needs to be removed first, you should expect to pay an extra $25 for labor.

You can select an upgrade for the type of film that is used. These options include colored window tints, hybrid and metal film.

Benefits of Commercial Window Tinting

  • Reduces fading and interior cracking
  • Lessens eye fatigue
  • Improves vision and safety
  • Reduces glare
  • Reduces heat in the car
  • Increases air-conditioning efficiency
  • Increases skin protection
  • Blocks UV rays
  • Improves occupant comfort

Tips Before Tinting Car Windows

Be sure to get some information on what type of tinting is allowed in your state. If you travel across states, be sure that the type of film is allowed in all those states. The important aspects that determine what is allowed and what not, are the reflection characteristics and the percentage of transmitted light. For more information on automotive film state legislation, visit iwfa.com.

 

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car

If you have bought or sold a car, you still have to ship it to its next location. If the distance is too long for one of the parties to drive themselves, you can have your car shipped. You might wonder about the price of shipping a car. This article will cover the cost of shipping a car within the US.

Typical Cost Of Shipping a Car

The cost of shipping a car coast to coast lies around $800 for a normal sedan car, $950 for a small van, pickup, or SUV, and larger varieties will average $1050.

Car Type

Winter rate (coast to coast)

Summer rate (coast to coast)

Compact 4-door sedan

$ 600

$ 1000

Small van, suv, pickup

$ 800

$ 1100

Large van, suv, pickup

$ 900

$ 1100

Included In The Price

shipment on a open carrier or in a container. The maximum size for a container shipment is7x7x19 ft.

Consider These Factors

Size and weight of the car. A heavier and bigger car will be a few hundred dollars more expensive.

Season. summer or winter can affect the price. Summer is the peak season, and you can expect to ship your car for $250 extra compared to the winter season.

Location. If you don’t live close to a terminal, you might have to pay extra for pickup. You could drive it to an embarkation point yourself, though. Same goes for the delivery location. If the shipping address is far from the arrival terminal, you have to pay extra to get it driven there individually. Conversely, a terminal to terminal shipment might get you a discount.

Overseas. If the car needs to cross the waters, such as from the westcoast to Hawaii, expect to pay an extra $250.

Additional Costs

Weight. If the car is heavy, you have to pay extra. Conversely, if the car is very light you might get a better deal with a regular moving company instead of a car moving company. Also remember not to fill up the gas tank completely, it will add to the weight.

Speed. Normally, a cross country delivery takes about two weeks. You can ask for speed delivery, which can saves you a week’s time, and expect to add an extra $200-$500 to the cost of shipping your car.

Running. if the car is not working properly, an extra fee would cover the more difficult handling of the car. For example, autosmoving.com charges $150 extra for a non-running Alfa Romeo 164.

Tips Before You Get Car Shipping

Take some pictures from the car before you ship it, to have proof of the condition your car was in before shipping. Also, clean the car to make sure no items can move around and damage the inside of your car.

ask the shipping company for the locations of their terminals, and about their pickup and delivery prices.

If the price is dependent on weight, make sure the tank is not completely full. A quarter of a tank would suffice most shippings.

Ford Model A car
Photo by L2F1

you can find shippers in your state at movecars.com. However, be sure to check consumer ratings at transportreviews.com before you actually buy car shipping. You can request quotes at vehicletransport.com.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car

If the paint on your car is peeling, or you have scratches or rust, or you just don’t like the color of your car anymore, you can get a new paint job done. A new paint job can greatly improve the looks of your car, and make the difference between feelings of shame and pride while drive your vehicle.

Typical Cost Of Painting A Car

A car paint can cost as little as $250-400 at the national car chain MAACO, to as much as $4000 at a custom body shop.

Included In The Cost

  • You will get your car sanded to remove old paint, grease, and dirt. This will make the paint stick better to your car.
  • the parts that don’t need painting will be removed or covered. This can be quite labor intensive, and is something you might be able to do yourself to get a discount.
  • Usually get 2 layers of paint on your car.

Consider These Factors

  • If the shop needs to do a lot of extra work, such as removing parts separately, it will cost more.
  • Also, if you want your car to be a completely different color, it will be more expensive.
  • The size of the car will be of influence on the price. Obviously, a larger car will be more expensive than a small one, as more paint and time is required to fully cover the body work of your car.

Additional Costs

  • To have an even better job done, you can ask for extra layers of paint (instead of two layers). This will be more expensive, but also provides a paint job that lasts longer.
  • There are different types of paint. A higher quality paint will be more expensive.
  • A layer of clear coat on top of the spray paint can give your car paint more protection, as well as extra shine.
  • If the car needs some repair in the body work before it can be painted, it will cost more. It will cost up to a couple of hundred dollars to fix dents and scratches.

Tips Before Getting Your Car Painted

  • Make sure that you check out the warranty terms. Normally, you would get a warranty that lasts a couple of years. This sounds like quite a while, but a bad paint job might last less than three years. Therefore, a couple of years of warranty will give you the piece of mind that the job will be done well.
  • When you visit a body shop, make sure to inspect the painting booth, to see if it is dust-free and clean looking. If they have recently done a car paint, you can look at that car to see how clean the work was done.
  • Get 3 or 4 price quotes from different shops, as prices may vary as well as quality, even within chains.