Tips and Tricks

Top 5 Chevrolet Express Cargo Repair Problems

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Various models of this no frill cargo hauler have been serving small business owners for 40 years. This is why it is included in our best commercial vehicles based on Zubie driving data.

Like any vehicle though, this true and tried workhorse occasionally has mechanical failures. Here are the most common Chevrolet Express Cargo repair problems.

#1: One or More Rear Lights May Not Work

Normal wear and tear from using the cargo space of the van can cause damage to the tail light wiring. This damage can cause the rear lights to stop working. Replacing and protecting a new tailight harness shout do the trick. The tail light harness costs about $30 and add another $3 for each bulb that you replace.

#2: Fuel Level Sensor Failure

Apparently it is pretty common for Chevy Express Cargo owners to find that their fuel tank may read the fuel level incorrectly. It is recommended that the whole fuel pump module be replaced. Replacing the entire fuel pump can range from $600-$1000.

#3: Intake Manifold Gasket May Leak Collant or Engine Oil

The intake manifold gasket may develop an external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, and internal coolant leak may occur also which causes the coolant to mix with engine oil. Running the engine with this internal leak can cause engine damage. In this case, replacing the intake manifold gasket will correct this issue. This repair can cost around $500.

#4: Coolant Leak and Engine Overheating:

Different from above, this coolant leak comes from the water pump, which can result in an engine overheating. To fix this, replace the water pump. This repair can run about $300-$550

#5: Damaged Front Electrical Components

Do not hose down the rear cargo mat. Various electrical components under the front carpet/rubber mat may become damaged if excess water is used.

Consider An Extended Warranty

Today’s vehicles have complicated mechanical parts. This means repair costs are rising. With an extended vehicle protection plan, your repair costs are covered.  Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from our trusted partner CARCHEX.  Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

As the leading auto warranty insurer, CARCHEX has collected years of repair warranty claim data on thousands of vehicle makes and models. Specific types of Chevy Silverado repairs highlighted in this article are derived from data provided by Zubie and RepairPal, CARCHEX partners. Repair costs derived from both RepairPal, as well as CARCHEX based on actual warranty related data for 2002-2014 vehicles.

Top 5 Common Honda Accord Repair Problems

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The Honda Accord is one of the most beloved sedans ever. Excellent engineering, comfort, and reliability are reasons Accord owners often buy the same model again. However, every vehicle will have mechanical problems at some time or another. Here are the top 5 most common Honda Accord repair problems.

 

#1: Vibration When Braking

This problem typically is caused by warped front brake rotors. Some owners describe this as a rattling, shaking, or rubbing sensation. Accords with over 98,000 are more likely to experience this issue. In some cases, the rotors can be machined as a fix. If too thin, the rotors will require replacement.

Brake pad and rotor replacement can cost up to $900, parts and labor.

#2: Transmission Failure

Transmission slippage, poor shifting, skipping, or failure may occur in some Accords, usually at over 70,000 miles. Repair might require a transmission overhaul or complete replacement

If your vehicle is under the factory warranty, the repairs should be covered. If not, costs for repairs can run you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

#3: Compliance Bushing Cracking

If you hear squealing or feel shuddering when turning, it could mean that a part of the steering/suspension mechanism is broken. The compliance bushing is typically the culprit, especially in Accords with 95,000 miles or more.

In some cases, a cracked compliance bushing will be detected upon routine service or oil change. Typical repair cost for this problem is $500 to $600.

#4: Power Door Lock Failure

Your Accord’s power door locks might activate intermittently on their own, usually on vehicles with over 105,000 miles. Also, the remote door lock control might not function properly. If your vehicle is equipped with an alarm, you might have problems with it going off due to a door lock malfunction.

Each door has an actuator, and if one is faulty the entire system can be affected. It costs about $200 to have a door lock actuator replaced.

#5: Dashboard Display Dark

For Accords with more than 109,000 miles, you might experience the dashboard display going dark, especially the radio and climate control. This problem is caused by a faulty circuit board which should be replaced. The total cost to repair, parts included, can be around $200 to $300.

Consider An Extended Warranty

Like most cars today, Honda Accords have complicated mechanical parts. This means repair costs can be high. With an extended vehicle protection plan, your repair costs are covered.  Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from our trusted partner CARCHEX. Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

Our guest blogger this month is Joe Campanella of CARCHEX. Get a Warranty Quote from our trusted partner.

As the leading auto warranty insurer, CARCHEX has collected years of repair warranty claim data on thousands of vehicle makes and models. Specific types of Accord repairs highlighted in this article are derived from data provided by RepairPal, a CARCHEX partner. Repair costs derived from both RepairPal, as well as CARCHEX based on actual warranty related data for 2002-2014 vehicles.

Top 5 Common Ford F-150 Repair Problems

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Our guest blogger this month is Joe Campanella of CARCHEX. Get a Warranty Quote.

The Ford F-150 stands out as a worldwide leader among full sized pickup trucks. Do-it-yourselfers, private businesses, and large construction companies all rely on this durable workhorse to get the job done. Like any vehicle though, the F-150 occasionally has mechanical failures. Here are the most common F-150 repair problems.

#1: Ignition Coil Failure Due To Spark Plug Gap

If the check engine light comes on, there’s a good chance that an excessive spark plug gap has caused an ignition coil failure. This might also lead to sputtering or misfiring of the engine. The ignition coil transforms the F-150’s battery voltage into a much higher voltage needed to ignite fuel via the spark plugs.

This problem is fixed by replacing the failed ignition coils, the spark plugs, and the coil boots.

These repairs could cost you up to $700 or more.

#2: Spark Plug Ejection From Cylinder Head

For the V8 F-150, the spark plug sometimes gets ejected from the cylinder head. When this happens, the spark plug hole threads can be damaged. Ford has released a technical service bulletin about this problem. If your truck is still under warranty, Ford recommends cylinder replacement. Otherwise, they authorize a thread insert repair.

A cylinder head gasket replacement can cost around $1,400-$1,500.

#3: Head Gasket Oil Leak

Another common F-150 mechanical issue can be an oil leak on the passenger side head gasket. You might discover oil dripping on the starter. The best solution is to replace the head gasket or repair the leak.

Head gasket leak repair might cost you around $300 – $400.

#4: Rough Engine Idling

Even though it’s a full sized pickup, the F-150 engine should idle smoothly. Rough engine idling is commonly caused by an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) sensor malfunction which results in the EGR valve not closing properly.

To fix this problem, you should have the EGR sensor and valve replaced which will cost you around $300 – $400.

#5: Brake Pad And Rotor Wear

If you hear loud squeaking or feel a grinding sensation while braking, then you probably need at least a brake pad replacement. Make sure the rotors are checked with every pad change. On the Ford F-150 brake pad and rotor replacement can cost you anywhere from $350 – $750.

When you first get your brake pads replaced, brake lightly so the pads can get worn in gradually.

Consider An Extended Warranty

Today’s vehicles have complicated mechanical parts. This means repair costs are rising. With an extended vehicle protection plan, your repair costs are covered.  Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from our trusted partner CARCHEX.  Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

As the leading auto warranty insurer, CARCHEX has collected years of repair warranty claim data on thousands of vehicle makes and models. Specific types of F-150 repairs highlighted in this article are derived from data provided by RepairPal, a CARCHEX partner. Repair costs derived from both RepairPal, as well as CARCHEX based on actual warranty related data for 2002-2014 vehicles.

Img source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F-Series_thirteenth_generation#/media/File:Ford_F-150_2015_Platium_crewcab.jpg

Best Summer Road Trip Tips

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Prepare for the best Summer road trips ever. Tips, safety, money saving ideas, and more.

This summer is expecting to see some historically low gas prices, so it’s a great time to hit the road. Here’s some tips that will make your road trip safer and more enjoyable. No matter where the road takes you, use Zubie’s new Fuel Finder to locate the cheapest gas near you.

 

Maintenance Checklist

You don’t necessarily have to take your car to the mechanic before you travel, but a quick overview might save you from being stranded road-side. Make sure you check:

  • Wiper blades – You’ll be happy to have fresh blades if a storm appears.
  • Fluids – Top off your oil, coolant, brake, power steering, and wiper fluid.
  • Lights – Test headlights, high beams, turn signals, brake, and backup lights.
  • Tire pressure – Make sure the spare tire has enough air too.

 

If You Have More Time

If you have enough time, consider these tuneups, especially if you’re planning a long distance drive:

  • Oil and filter change
  • Tire alignment/rotation check
  • Brake pad inspection/change

 

Things To Bring

You certainly don’t want to bring it all with you, but a few items can make long highway stretches more tolerable. Plus, in an emergency you want to be prepared. Make sure you stow:

  • Car Documents – Registration, inspection, insurance, and warranties.
  • Flashlight – Essential for a nighttime stop or breakdown.
  • Jumper cables – Always important, and you might even help someone else.
  • First aid kit – Local pharmacies sell pre-made kits.
  • Pre-moistened wipes – For sticky fingers.
  • Spare keys – Getting locked out on the road is not fun.
  • Tissues – For a runny nose or nose-bleed.
  • Trash bags – Keep it clear of clutter.
  • Cell phone charger – Get one that can plug into your dash.
  • Snacks – Keep them fed, and they’ll be happy.
  • Surprises – For kids, things like fun magazines, stickers, or small toys can help them pass the time.
  • Water – Don’t force a stop just because you’re thirsty.

 

Highway Or Backroads?

Highways will get you there faster, but they can get boring. You also might have to pay highway tolls. Backroads let you see more local sights. If you aren’t in a hurry, you might discover a cool place to eat or visit that isn’t well known.

In general, highway travel is more fuel efficient. Also, highways usually have better lighting, so favor these when driving at night. If you plan on driving between small towns, however, backroads probably provide the most direct route.

A mix of highways and backroads might be the best bet. Feel free to explore – no matter which route you take Zubie’s got your back.

Tell Friends Or Family

Make sure you tell a close friend or family member your travel plans. If something goes wrong, it’s good to have someone looking out for you.  You can also use Zubie’s Always-Smart tracking to stay connected and update your groups of your progress.

Trip Interruption Insurance

Extended auto warranties cover many unexpected breakdowns, and you also get 24 hour roadside assistance and trip interruption reimbursement. Hotel and food costs are even covered if your car repairs need to be finished the next day.  Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from CARCHEX, a trusted partner.  Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

By Guest Blogger Joe Campanella from CARCHEX

JoeCampanella_Headshot

Joe Campanella possesses over 15 years of experience developing and launching business operations in a start-up environment.  For the past 5 years Mr. Campanella has secured CARCHEX’s strategic partnerships and overseen the company’s social media strategy.  He is an Advisory Board Member for Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Maryland.

Top 5 Common Toyota Camry Repair Problems

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Our guest blogger this month is Joe Campanella of CARCHEX. Get a Warranty Quote

The Toyota Camry holds a place as one of the most valued cars on the auto market. Not only is it a great drive, but the Toyota’s reliability stands out as exemplary. However, like any other vehicle, the Camry can, and does, breakdown on occasion.

So what should a Toyota Camry owner look out for?

1. Check Engine Light

Nobody likes to see this little light come on. Even the legendary Camry can’t prevent this from happening 100% of the time. One of the most commons causes of this is due to a faulty oxygen sensor.

These sensors detect engine exhaust oxygen levels. Engine performance can be affected by temperature, humidity, altitude, and engine load. Your car’s computer automatically adjusts the engine function in response to the amount of oxygen detected in the exhaust. Replacement of the sensor can cost $300 or more.

2. Power Steering Pump and Hoses Leak

It pays to frequently check the power steering fluid levels in your Camry. Leaking is one of the more common problems, and sometime the repairs can be tricky. The difficulty lies in the fact that the leak can be coming from different places. Unfortunately, some mechanics will just replace part after part without really looking for the leak.

Power steering leak repair can sometimes end up costing you thousands of dollars. This problem appears more often in the V6 model Camry.

3. Motor Mount Wear

The motor mount helps secure the engine to the car’s frame. The mount also helps absorb the vibrations of the road and of the engine motion itself. Motor mount wear is more common in higher mileage vehicles, and it often shows up as a shaking or vibration when the car is idling.

If left unattended for too long, this problem can lead to a cracked engine block that can cost $3,000 or more to repair. Changing the mount alone typically costs $350 or more.

4. Oil Leak from Valve Cover Gasket

The valves in your Camry’s engine are covered by valve covers and gaskets. These covers prevent the leakage of oil. If they get damaged, you guessed it, you get an oil leak. You might smell burning oil or see oil on the ground after your car is parked for a while.

Sometimes the covers simply need to be tightened. If the valve cover or gasket is cracked, you’ll need a replacement. Repairs of this kind can cost anywhere between $240 to $350.

5. Transmission Hesitation

You might feel the automatic transmission lag upon acceleration. This could be a computer problem, and updating the vehicle’s software might fix it. On car’s with higher mileage, it could be a worn transmission part. Once parts are replaced, it’s important to update the software again.

Transmission repairs typically start at around $1,000 and go up from there depending on the severity of the problem.

Consider An Extended Warranty

Today’s vehicles are more complex than ever. This can mean expensive repairs. With an extended vehicle protection plan, your repair costs are covered. Through Zubie Perks, you can get $100 off an extended warranty package from our trusted partner CARCHEX.  Go to Zubie > Perks to redeem.

As the leading auto warranty insurer, CARCHEX has collected years of repair warranty claim data on thousands of vehicle makes and models. Specific types of Camry repairs highlighted in this article are derived from data provided by RepairPal, a CARCHEX partner. Repair costs derived from both RepairPal, as well as CARCHEX based on actual warranty related data for 2002-2014 vehicles. 

 

Common ways to increase gas mileage using your driving data

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The average American spends more than an hour ‘on the road’ every day, with millions upon millions of miles being driven every year by the nation’s passenger automobiles. Whether you use your car for commuting, picking the kids up from school, or for running errands around town, your car is costing you time and money.  With just a few small modifications to your driving habits and the routes that you choose to drive, you could save hundreds of dollars a year – and you could shave several minutes off of your commute each day.

driving car

As gas prices continue to fall, increasing the MPG of your car might not be on the forefront of your mind – but this is as good a time as ever to practice efficient driving habits that can prolong the life of your car while helping your wallet and the environment. With Zubie, you put yourself in the “driver’s seat” of your automobile-use patterns – giving yourself all of the data that you need to modify your behavior for the better.

There are a number of ways that you can increase your overall mileage through simple changes to your driving habits.

  • Try to minimize your use of rapid acceleration.  Slamming your foot on the gas to be the first out of stoplights might be enjoyable, but it also wastes tons of gas and is unsafe.
  • Use your cruise control! When you are driving on the interstate, cruise control is a great way to ensure that your car isn’t expending gas unnecessarily – and it also avoids traffic tickets by keeping you under the speed limit. The only exception to this rule is when you are driving in areas with major elevation changes – since cruise control does not deal with hills very well.
  • Zubie monitors traffic patterns during your daily commute to determine the best time to leave your home or workplace for your drive. This allows you to make small adjustments in your schedule to save time and gas – and it can help you optimize your routine so you are only on the road when traffic is at its lightest. For example, shifting your work day from the typical “9 to 5” just one hour earlier can reduce traffic as much as 75% in some parts of the country – allowing you to spend more time at home instead of stuck in gridlock.

Do you have an easy trick you use to increase your gas mileage? Let us know in the comments section. Drive safe!

Zubie Team Spotlight: How I Zubie by Adrienne

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adrienne

Many years ago Steve Jobs was quoted as saying “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” and this couldn’t be truer with my Zubie device.  As the Operations Analyst for Zubie I’ve found this device to be a huge benefit in my life.  At first I didn’t know what to expect, but I remained opened minded, and boy was I surprised.

Protecting my family:

As a first-time mom, I’m super concerned with every detail of my daughter’s life including her comings and goings.  And since my fiancé and I share a car with her car seat in it, I’m able to see where my fiancé and daughter are at any given time with my Zubie App.  In addition to being able to see their location, I’m able to set up location notifications so if my fiancé takes her some place outside of our home I’ll get a notification which lets me know “Now may not be a good time to call him.”  I’m that over protected mom that doesn’t want him texting, calling, or doing anything but focusing on his driving with our bundle of joy in the backseat.

Early detection:

In addition to all these great features, it’s like we now have our own personal mechanic right at our finger tips.  It’s great to be able to log into the App and see the health of our car.  This is one less thing I have to worry or remind myself about.  Now our Zubie app does it for me.

Making my life easier:

I never thought in a million years that I would be using a device such as Zubie to connect me to my everyday life.  I can easily see the benefits of this product for companies to use, but personally I couldn’t conceive of it until now.  Now I don’t think I could live without my Zubie.  As the company continues to grow and add more features I’m looking forward to seeing how much more I can connect to make my life to make things just a little bit easier for me.  And for me the cost is PRICELESS for all the security and comfort I’m getting by having Zubie in our lives.

-Adrienne with the Zubie Support Team

How a college student uses Zubie

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Sally photo

I have had a blast this summer learning and working with the Zubie crew. Not only have they given me an awesome internship experience, but my very own Zubie key…I hope they don’t ask for it back at the end of the summer! I’m going to share with you a few ways in which a college senior like me uses Zubie’s Protect, Detect, and Connect features.

1.) Protect– Zubie’s driver score is slowly but surely helping me develop safer driving habits. My first Zubie score was a 72 and now it’s a 89! Since I know that my driving is being monitored, I am aware of speeding and hard breaking, even though I am the only one who sees this data. It feels good to make good grades even if they are not school related!

2.) Detect– Since I am away from my parents for most of the year I find it helpful that  I can check my engine’s health and get alerts when my battery is running low. I drive a twelve-year-old car and when my check engine light comes on, Zubie translates the engine code into girl code! This feature is really helpful for a college student like myself because it lets me know how severe the problem is and an estimate of how much it would cost to repair…so I can warn my dad.

3.) Connect– My dad and I have this constant struggle where I can never remember to call him when I depart or arrive on car trips alone or with my girlfriends. Zubie has got my back in this battle and my dad’s too, I guess. Thanks to Zubie’s live GPS tracker, my dad can see when I depart and arrive at my destinations. He no longer has to sit, wait, and stew by the phone if I don’t call at my projected ETA.

-Sally Harrison, Zubie Marketing Intern

Car Shopping- Smarter with Zubie

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volvo car

My wife and I recently and reluctantly agreed that our sedan is a bit too crowded for our family. It’s just not fair to our spine or our baby’s head that unnatural body contortions and olympic-style gymnastics are required to put our child in his carseat. He’s 2 years old now and a growing boy needs his room! At any rate, since our wife and I have shared a car for the last couple of years, we decided to add another vehicle to our family.

After some research, we decided on a particular set of vehicles to test drive that we believed would be fit for the clan. My wife and I approached both a private party seller and a dealer for test drives. Also along for the ride is the Zubie key and app. For each of our test drives, the key was plugged in to analyze the vehicle’s systems for any reported issues and also gather the True Market Value from one of our data partners, Edmunds.com.

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Whoa! For one of the vehicles, Zubie reported an issue that was not being reported by the car’s check engine light. Good catch! The other two vehicles did not report any issues.

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After analyzing the data from each of the test drives, we pursued a vehicle of interest for negotiations. Using the estimated market value, I kept this in my back pocket for working out a workable price for a sale. We walked away saving money and the benefit of knowing the car was not reporting any issues.

-Logan

National Car Care Month

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April is National Car Care Month and now is the perfect time to show your car some love after the rough winter months! Staying on top of car maintainance is key to improving safety, dependability, and value. Here are some tips from the Zubie Crew on how they take care of their vehicles:

national car care month

“It’s a good time to check fluid levels, air filters, and brakes prior to any summer vacation travel.” -Dean

“The easiest way for me to take care of my car is simply to not crash it. I leave a lot of distance between the car is front of me and my vehicle. This distance increases with our speed and keeps my brakes in better condition. And my Zubie driving score certainly recognizes the value of this easy tip!” -Jack

“I drive a 2007 Land Rover LR3. No one eats inside, and if it gets dirty, it gets washed and detailed. I change the oil when I’m supposed to and hit the recommended service intervals. I have an extended warranty and hope to get at least 150,000 miles out of it.” -Tim

“New wipers for the spring and Rain-X to help the water slide off!” -Julie

“I try to stay on a consistent schedule for changing my oil to keep my engine and turbocharger healthy. Also, based on my New Year’s Resolution, I am more regularly checking the air pressure in my tires and rotating them more often, which decreases uneven wear and helps me get the most out of the lifeline between myself and the road.” -Logan

“I had my windows tinted to keep the interior from fading, as well as keeping the car cooler in the summer.” -Amanda

“Wipe down the inside of your car with an ArmorAll wipe to keep it shiny and get rid of germs- especially areas you touch frequently such as the steering wheel, radio, shift, etc.” -Lauren

“Lighten the load! A few extra pounds can affect your mileage. Look in your trunk and footwells and get rid of unnecessary stuff that you’re chauffeuring around for no good reason.” -Navin

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