Creative Ways to Be Cheap

Saving money doesn’t have to mean eating generic canned food every day or wearing uncool clothes which can be older than you are. There are plenty of ways to save money and stay thrifty and have a great time doing the work.

american dollar close up background

If you find the right store, thrift stores are fantastic sources of really fun stuff and much of this is pretty nice. You can get retro clothes or decorations and even find furniture and appliances. Try looking through some of your local stores first so see what they have, you may find they may have it for a fraction of what you will have paid new, if you find something that you have to get. Sometimes you may even locate something that is actually new which was donated on the store.

In terms of furniture, some imagination can lead you to make a not so great piece that you simply buy at the yet sale or thrift store and turn it into something great. Pieces that don’t exactly match can be produced to look great together with the addition of matching paint and hardware. Look for projects on Pinterest and blogs to try.


Learning how to do some decorating and easy projects by yourself can also help you to save money. There is not any reason to pay for someone to do simple projects like paint a wall or do basic landscaping. You can do every one of these things. Go ahead and lookup how to do it online if you don’t think you know how to perform something. You may find it is way easier than you thought it will be.

A used car like the ones you can find at costa mesa used cars can save you a bunch of money in monthly insurance and payments. Used cars, especially certified used cars, can be in great shape and last a long time. Plus, you will still be able to get some perks that come with a brand new car in your newer used car including roadside assistance and a warranty. Find a full selection of used cars at costa mesa used cars.

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Here Are Tips That Could Make You Survive Winter Driving (II)

Note to Reader 1: So, we’ve learned from the previous post that it’s important to keep your ride spick and span during the winter season and that you need to have a great set of snow tires available for your trips around town… In this follow-up post, we’ll be discussing other maintenance tips. Some of which are winter-specific, and other helpful reminders that you should note down and conduct even after the winter season. So, without further ado, I present to you Part II of “Winter Reminders for Every Driver: The Right Maintenance Steps”.

Tip # 3: If You Don’t Think You’ll Be Using Them, keep Your Headlights Clean and Snow-Free As Much As Possible, Even. During the winter season, days generally become shorter. You can expect inches of snow to cling to your headlights, limiting your driving visibility greatly, if it’s snowing pretty bad in your area. One of the downsides of snowy weather is how your surroundings can become dark as night in a matter of hours-sometimes even just minutes! You’re driving and just minutes after light snow coats your hood, it becomes more and more difficult to see oncoming vehicles. And we all know how difficult it is to trust your brakes when your vehicle is crawling through icy streets. This is why it pays to have fully-functional headlights which you can use during poor visibility conditions. It pays to have an awesome pair of headlights too., even though (Fog lights are generally used during the winter)

Another reason why it pays to clean out your headlights before you travel is that it helps prevent the buildup of salt, snow and sand and other debris which could cause long-term damage to your headlights. These harmful agents can easily diminish the effectiveness of your headlights in the long run, requiring you to replace both headlight assemblies come spring. By keeping your headlights in tiptop condition instead, save more.

One way you can resist the temptation of ignoring headlight-maintenance during winter is by bringing out your shop towels and rags while you’re still at home. This way, you’ll be reminded to wipe the thin sheet of ice coating your tail lights before you pull off the driveway every morning. Another trick that works for me is to have my squeegee and towel resting on the hood-that way I’ll have zero excuses when it comes to cleaning my headlights.


Tip #4: Try to Keep your Gas Tank Full as Often as Possible. I wouldn’t want to scare you or anything, but seriously, winter is the worst time to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere or miles away from civilization. While summer is the time to hitchhike or walk to the nearest gas station to get some gas for your ride, fewer vehicles are out during the winter season. Unless you’d like to get hypothermia walking to a fuel station that’s miles away from where you’re parked, or waiting in your car with only the heat of your engine keeping your blood passably fluid, I suggest you keep things safe by keeping your fuel tank close to full as often as possible.

Another reminder, if you do get stranded due to engine failure, please don’t keep your engine sleep and running in the confines of your locked and weatherproof car. Carbon monoxide may seep in-and we all know how carbon monoxide tends to have fatal side effects if you happen to have exhaust leaks. I mean, why else would movie stars use it to “off” themselves, right?

Again, avoid this scenario altogether by keeping your tank filled with gas.

Tip #5: Check your Tires for Signs of Wear and Regularly Inspect Your Tire Pressure Levels. Unless you’re driving with brand new snow tires, it’s crucial that you keep your old snow tires in tiptop condition. Now, if snow isn’t really a problem in your area, it still pays to keep your regular tires in great working order. Before collision, remember the difference between getting to your destination of choice safely and colliding with an immovable tree or road sign during the course of your travels would have to be your ability to stop completely. Stopping efficiently and quickly requires you to have more than a dependable braking system, it requires excellent tire traction. Check your tire treads to see if your tires are in need of replacing. Also check your wheel alignment-heavy inside wear or outside wear indicates misaligned tires, which is something that you need to address immediately.

Also keep in mind that it’s harder to control your vehicle during winter time, so what you may consider as “normal” tire wear during summer may be disastrous come winter season. You need to check each tire’s tread depth to find out if it’s time to replace your worn tires, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Usually you need 2/32” of tread depth at the minimum to ensure that all your winter travels are going to be safe. I say, if you notice excessive wear on some parts of your tires-even if not all areas have less than 2/32”, replace your tires immediately. It’s one of the instances where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Another tire-related tip that you need to keep in mind is periodically inspecting your tire pressure levels. Some people say that cold weather tends to decrease your tire pressure, so once in a while, do take the time to check each of your tires to see which ones are in need of a little more air. Remember, before you pump your tires to the maximum tire pressure allowable, check your tire pressure levels first! Pumping too much air into your tires can result to less traction, which really isn’t much better than driving soft tires.

To find out the right tire pressure levels for your ride, consult your owner’s manual or ask your local mechanic.

Lastly, do make it a point to carry a spare tire along each time you travel. Back that up with a reliable jack, your toolbox, and your owner’s manual in case you ever need a roadside tire change. Because snowy weather tends to affect your driving visibility, it makes it harder for you to spot sharp rocks or debris along the road. In case you end up with a flat, at least you have all the tools you need to install your spare tire.

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Changing The Temperature Sensor Of MKIV VW/Audi, Jetta, Golf, 1.8T DIY

Fix Temp Sensor DIY


Recently my temperature sensor had gone out on me again, and so i figure now around I’ll take some pictures and save everyone a couple of hundred dollars from the dealership. Most of the original sensors positioned in the MKIV cars were faulty and instead of a recall VW/Audi was nice enough to developed a new revised part and let us pay it off. The revised part number is 059-919-501A and will possess a green top as opposed to the original black or blue top that was in your car. No matter if you drive the Jetta, A4 and Passat Beetle or GTI this should be the right replacement part, but make sure with your local V-dub dealership. For some reason all the dealerships are charging a different amount for this part so anticipate paying anywhere from $25-$40 for this fix. The part can also be bought at Autozone for $8.99 (part # SU5404), I have heard mixed results with using the autozone part but it does come with a two year warranty. An alternative is to buy online to save some cash. I don’t trust most online stores but one good one for OEM parts is ECS Tuning. In addition to the sensor I might recommend getting a new O-clip and ring.

After the bad sensor is replaced you should see an increase in gas milage and it is also known to steady the idle along with making your in dash gauge work correctly again. So that as always lets give the stealership a call and see how much it will cost to do this 10 minute repair. The dealership quoted an amount of $161 tax for the repair, parts being about $38. So savings on this DIY is approximately $120.

Symptoms of a Faulty Sensor

Some cars will receive a check engine light when the sensor goes bad and some is not going to. If you have an error code go down to your local auto store and have them scan it for free. In case you are receiving these codes its likely your temp sensor.

Fault Codes:

17704 Error in mapped cooling system

01039 ECT Sensor

p1296 35-00



Quite often you will be able to tell that you have a negative sensor by the way your temperature gauge needle randomly floats around or stays at zero or even a fourth of the way up whenever your car is fully warmed up. When my sensor first went out the needle on the temperature gauge just stuck on zero. I took the sensor out gave it a good scrub and it lasted about another half per year (don’t be cheap as i am, just buy a new one), but both times I did not receive a check engine light so I’m guessing that’s just random.

If your temperature gauge is reading above 190 degrees more than likely it is not your temperature sensor yet your thermostat or even worse your water pump. Ouch! that’s gonna cost some money!

Tools & Part Numbers For the Job

This is a very simple fix only needing a flathead screwdriver and about 20 mins of time.

Sensor: 059-919-501-A or Autozone Part #SU5404

O-Ring: N90-316-802

Clip: 032-121-142

A few sizes of flat head screwdrivers


Coolant in your car after it has been running is extremely hot. So if you do not want to risk a 200 degree fahrenheit money shot right to your facial skin then will not attempt to change this sensor until your car or truck is completely cooled down.

I suggest the “”better safe than sorry”” method on this one and let your car cool down overnight, then do the repair every morning. Seeing the way the repair will simply take most people about 10 mins (thirty in the very longest) this could also be done before heading to work. An additional benefit of waiting till the car is bone cold could it be will leak very little coolant while swapping out the sensor. If you want to attempt this DIY while your vehicle is still hot use google to find instructions for that print and method yourself out the directions to your local burn victims unit in the event that.

The sensor is located in this general area

The sensor is located in this general area

Step 4

Step 4

Step 5

Step 5

Lets Get This Party Started!

Make sure your car is completely cooled off.

Loosen your coolant reservoir cap to release any developed pressure, then tighten the cap support. By doing this you create a vacuum seal then when you pull out the bad sensor very virtually no coolant will leak out while you are making the swap.

The temperature sensor is located directly off to the right of your valve cover as you can tell in the picture. If you have an Audi A4 or passat it is located between the firewall and valve cover while watching battery enclosure. If you’d like but you should have enough room with out removing it, you can opt to remove your engine cover. I can’t say beyond doubt because I have no idea what went down to my engine cover. To remove the cover push down on the twist and screws left (looking at it should be pretty self explanatory).

Once you locate the sensor wedge your flathead screwdriver between the clip and your sensor. If you didn’t want to go all out and buy the new 65 cent clip then be gentle therefore you don’t warp or break it. Now pull out the sensor though it may be still linked to the wire harness. If you are concerned you can place some paper towels under the hose before you remove the sensor, some coolant may leak out.

By using your fingers or possibly a small screwdriver, release the wire harness. I described these little clips before in one of my other DIY’s. Just use gentle pressure, no reason to show off for that ladies and get all he-man here. The clips can be fragile so the last thing for you to do is break it. Update: I just broke one off, Here is a diy on how to replace broken harness connectors when you accidently break yours.

Once your old sensor is released in the wire harness check to see when the o-ring is on it, In the event the o-ring is not on the sensor then dig it out of the hole with the little pinky finger. (Wow that brings back high school memories).

Prior to stick the brand new sensor in I like to lube up the new o-ring after some coolant to help you it all seal up properly.

Slide your clip in gently, plug the wire harness in and start up the car. Given that nothing is leaking out then you’re ready to go. If your coolant is low pour a bit distilled water in the reservoir to top it off (do NOT mix it with store bought coolant).

If you do have a check engine light on you have two options now. You can unplug the negative terminal on your car battery for a couple of seconds which can reset your fault codes or can can just ignore the light for about sixty miles and as long as which was the only problem the sunshine will shut off on its own.

comments and Questions: In case you have any please feel free to leave them below.

More Audi/VW DIY’s

Boost Gauge Install for MKIV Jetta/GTI 1.8T

How You Can Replace Valve Cover and Cam Tensioner Gasket 1.8t

Saving Money Performing Your Own Car Repairs

Changing Spark Plugs & Coils DIY

Looking for a Burnt Out Coil

Washing the MAF Sensor VW/Audi DIY

Cleaning the Throttle Body VW/Audi DIY

How you can fix a broken seat release latch GTI Jetta DIY

Tie Rod DIY for VW MKIV & A4 Platform Cars

Changing the Hvac/climate control bulb

Broken Wire Harness Clips DIY VW/Audi

Replacing the Intake Manifold Gasket 1.8t VW

Cheap Mods, Cutting Down Shift Rod

Cheap Mods, Removing Sun Visor Decals

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Car Insurance Rates for Married and Other Couples

Let’s face it; people get married for all sorts of different reasons. Some people get married as they are genuinely in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together, some people get married because there’s an accessory for the family around the way or – more likely these days – their children are beginning to ask questions and want them to get married.


Many people choose to get wed for financial benefits including taxes and shared expenses – only one thing which many people don’t realize could change when they get hitched is their vehicle insurance premiums.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not for one minute advising anybody to get married to reduce their insurance fees, I’m just saying that it must be another potential hidden advantage of tying the knot.

Why then does your marital status have any result on your car insurance fees? Not so difficult question don’t you think? When it comes to working out auto insurance rates the insurance companies do nothing more than crunch numbers – they base their premiums on the chances of the each driver being involved in an accident thus increasing the risk of having to make a payout. A driver under 25 years of age having a poor driving history will have to pay more than someone over 25 years of age with a decent driving record since they are much more statistically likely to be involved in an accident.


That’s where marriage comes into the equation . . . .

In accordance with the insurance company numbers married people are statistically less likely to be in an accident than people who are not married. This could sound somewhat discriminatory to many people but the numbers do add up – a study in 2004 of 10,525 adults revealed that unmarried drivers (those who never had been married) were two times as likely to be involved in accidents as drivers who have been married. I suppose it’s all an extension from the “settling down”.

Anyhow, the actual fact remains that getting married may have a positive influence on your life, even as far as your vehicle insurance premiums.

Combined Car Insurance Policies for Couples

This is another area where both parties can usually benefit from the marriage, by combining car insurance policies. This could lead to savings but it is definitely not a foregone conclusion. Let’s look at the evidence.


In the event you both have a clean record but if your spouse has been involved in a number of accidents or accrued traffic tickets then the “other half” could actually see their premiums rise, once you combine motor insurance policies the driving records of both sides will be taken into consideration which is fine. Other times when it may not benefit you from combining policies is;

• If your other half drives a valuable classic car this could increase your insurance costs

• If your other half drives a car which is much more expensive to insure than yours (there are some fabulous models at fiat downey)

• If your spouse drives far more miles daily, month or year than you do

Many of these things should be taken into account but it’s a straightforward enough question to ask your motor insurance company when you are intending to tie the knot . . . it could make any difference to your monthly insurance premiums. It could even pay you to change the make and model of your respective car – take a look at OC Fiat for a few great ideas.

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How To Prepare Your Car Door The Winter

Winterizing your car or truck is a wise idea, says the Car Care Council. A great investment of a couple of hours to have your car checked is all it takes to obtain peace of mind and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during severe weather.


“The last thing any driver needs can be a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A vehicle check before the temperatures drop can be a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded outside in the cold and with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs.”

The Car Care Council recommends the following nine steps for winterizing your automobile.

Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.

Clean, flush and put new antifreeze from the cooling system. This should be done every 2 yrs, as a general rule of thumb.

Ensure defrosters, wipers and heaters work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and employ cold temperatures washer fluid. Wiper blades must be replaced every six months, for the most part.

Check the tire tread tire and depth pressure. Consider special tires designed to grip slick roads if ice and snow are a problem in your area. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.

Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Living in a cold climate, consider changing to “winter weight” oil. Have your technician check the air, fuel and transmission filters at the same time.

If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems including pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

Have the brakes checked. The braking technique is the vehicle’s most important safety item.

Hold the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

Check to see that exterior and interior lights headlights and work are properly aimed.

Watch the wintertime Car Care Minute video here!

Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full all the time to decrease the likelihood of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should look into the tire pressure of the spare in the stock and trunk a crisis kit having an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares and blanket extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

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How You Can Be Safe In Your Car

Oftentimes, women don’t feel safe in their cars. This is especially true in the colder months, when they could be driving more regularly in darkness or only partial daylight. Taking precautions and knowing what to do when they feel threatened can help women feel more confident.

Business woman looking at camera through the car window.

Here are some tips that should be taken seriously:

Usually do not pick up strangers for any reason, even if this may seem obvious. If you have a cell phone, you can use it to report dire circumstances to police.

Trust your feelings. Drive to a well-lit public area where one can leave the car safely to have help if you think someone is following you.

Doors and windows should be closed and locked whenever possible. Valuables, say for example a purse, should be out of sight.

Keep the car clean and empty. Put groceries, shopping bags, and coats in the trunk rather than the back seat.

Leave plenty of space between your car and the one ahead of you when parked at a light or stop sign.

Your automobile horn may serve as a deterrent to attackers, so do not forget that it’s available and use it wisely.

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New Cars or Used Cars


It might be hard for you to decide if you should choose a new or used vehicle if you’re one of those those who gets every possible amount of use out of a car before you decide to get a different one. You can find definitely benefits to both routes, though you’ll probably learn that after investing in a few cars, one option becomes your favorite.

New cars tend to be a sign of esteem. Everybody knows that cars are pricey and having the capability to afford a brand new one is sort of a nice suit or a fancy watch; just having it can be impressive in their own right. When you can afford a brand new vehicle, there are many reasons that a used car may well be a better option for you, but making a big impression isn’t definitely worth the big bucks to everyone, and even.


While the new car smell is hard to defeat, the value that one could find in some pre-owned cars is almost worth forgoing it for. It automatically decreases in value, because it’s no longer new, any time you drive a fresh car away from the lot. So, each year, when countless people decide to trade in last year’s model for the absolute newest one, you’re able to get a great deal on cars that happen to be only gently used. They’re still practically brand new, simply have had one owner and have had almost no tear and wear. They could even still be under warranty. So, in case you are in the market for an auto that is a great value for your money, it’s important to look into a dealership’s website to see their used car inventory. For jeep riverside, you can look at OC Auto to find out what they have available on the lot at any moment.

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Questions About Check Engine Light That Is Turned On Now Answered

The Check Engine Light strikes fear into the hearts of some Denver drivers and is totally ignored by only as many. Just what it means can be a mystery to most of us in Colorado.

First, which means that something is wrong that can cause severe damage to the catalytic converter or other components if your vehicles check engine light is flashing. Get that taken care of straight away. If your check engine light is flashing, you shouldn’t drive at Denver highway speeds, tow, or haul heavy loads. Take it easy up to Express Car Care of Denver.


You should keep close track of it for a day or two in case the light is glowing steadily. If the light doesn’t go off, schedule an appointment along with your Denver service adviser to obtain it checked out.

Some more information from Express Car Care on how the check engine light works may be informative. Most of your engine functions are controlled by a computer, unsurprisingly, called an engine control computer. Your computer is able to adjust many engine parameters for environmental conditions, engine condition and even how you will drive in Denver.

In order to make these adjustments, the vehicles computer relies upon a network of sensors to provide data. The computer knows the proper operating range for each sensor. Every time a sensor reading is out of range, the computer runs some tests and may activate the check engine light. The computer may also try to make adjustments to make up for some readings. It will then turn off the check engine light if this can do so.

The sunshine will remain on and you should obtain your car or truck considered at Express Car Care if the problem can’t be resolved. Your service technician will plug a scanner into the on-board diagnostic port and read the hassle code saved in the computer. The hassle code will provide your Express Car Care technician a starting place as he diagnoses the cause of the situation.

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