Changing Headlight Bulb on Volvo S40

Today I helped a family member change the headlight bulb in their 2008 Volvo S40.  At first I thought this was going to be an easy job, like replacing most headlight bulbs, but as with everything on Volvos you need to know the special tricks to do anything basic.

First I had to search around for the hood latch, which is a red lever but has no hood or car marking on it.  Most cars have this so I was thrown already just trying to open the hood.  Thankfully I figured it out but I am sure a lot of people get frustrated by the fact this isn't straightforward.  I certainly did and I have been working on cars for awhile.

After that I got the hood opened and started looking at the headlight housing I wasn't sure how to get at the bulb.  It was clear there was a door but there wasn't enough clearance to release the springs to open it.  I started looking around the headlight housing and thought, “Ok… how do I remove this thing?”  That was clearly the only way to get at the headlight bulb but there weren't any screws.  This is where your best friend comes in when you don't know how to do something on a car comes in, Google.

Yes, I Googled it!  There is a metal piece and bracket mechanism that holds the Volvo S40 headlight housing in.  No screws!  Very smart and very Swedish in it's design.  I thought it was quite cool actually and removed the headlight no problem once I knew how to do it.  Then I undid the electrical connection when I had the headlight off.  I removed the housing, got out the old headlight bulb, and then made a quick trip to the local auto parts store to get a new H11 and put it back everything back in.

Now I know how to replace headlight bulbs on these Volvo S40's and it will be hella easy next time.  It was sort of annoying though having to figure it out, but that is how it is working on cars sometimes.  You got to figure things out as you go since some cars are completely different than what you are used to.

Most likely I will post a guide with some pictures in a couple of days.  I am sure there are a lot of Volvo owners who would like to know how to do this right.  I might even shoot a video if I have time as I think a lot of Volvo S40 owners would appreciate this.

Win an iPhone 5 at Salvo Auto Parts!

Win an iPhone 5!

Want to win a brand new iPhone 5?  Salvo Auto Parts is giving away one iPhone 5 to a very lucky customer.  All you have to do is visit one of their 10 Baltimore area auto part stores, including their brand new Perry Hall location, and enter by leaving your name, email, phone number, and zip code.  I don't think it costs anything to enter the iPhone 5 contest and you can winterize your car while you are at Salvo.  The contest ends on December 15th, 2012 so if you want to win the iPhone 5 you better hurry because I assume a lot of people will be heading over to various Salvo Auto Parts locations to enter this contest.

Dont’ Buy Trico Flex Wiper Blades!

The other day I went to the auto parts store to pick-up some Trico Flex Wiper Blades I had purchased online for my Mom's Chrysler van.  (I usually do this to save time and hassle.)  I assumed spending money on the frameless wipers, like the Trico Flex Wiper Blades, would be a good investment.  However, when I went to install one of the Trico Flex wipers on one side of the van, I noticed that it wouldn't fit.  I thought for a minute I was doing something wrong and starting fuss with the wiper arm and the wiper blade.  This is when I noticed what the problem was.

The Trico Flex has the wiper attachment mechanism on one side of the wiper blade instead of being embedded in the into it the body, like most wipers.   This makes the Trice Flex line of wiper blades not usable for a lot of vehicles like my Mom's van.  Talking with the girl at the auto parts store only confirmed this.  She told me when I returned the wiper blades, “Yeah, I need to exchange a lot of those because they won't fit on customers vehicles.”  I returned the Tricos and got another frameless wiper for the other side.  It was kind of ridiculous and a waste of my time.  Wish I had taken a picture before I returned the blades so people could see what I am talking about.

Some stupid Trico engineer probably thought this was a smart move.  I am fairly sure he/she has never actually every installed wiper blades on a car though or they would have realized this serious design flaw.  Bottom line Don't But Trico Flex wiper blades and save yourself hassle.

I recommend Bosch Icon frameless wipers and have them installed on my Honda Accord.  They are usually expensive, but worth the cost and investment since they last for quite a long time.  The set on my Accord have been installed for a year without a problem.

 

Celebrate Veterans Day with 45% Off at Standard Auto Parts

I hope most people are enjoying Veteran's Day today.  If you are a veteran or in the military currently please know I appreciate your service and what you have done or currently are doing for America.  As well I am sure that lots of other people appreciate your service even if they don't say it everyday.

For Veterans Day I thought I would just let all veterans and military members know that Standard Auto Parts, a local and family own Baltimore auto parts company, offers 40% off on auto part purchases.  Standard offers these discounts as a “Thank You” for everything veterans and the military does.  (This includes helping people recently in Hurricane Sandy.)  In case you were wondering, yes the discount is valid even when it's not Veterans Day.

An important note, not all auto parts not have as great a discount as 40% off and it doesn't apply to fluids to my understanding.  However 40% off is extremely generous considering that I don't know any other auto parts company in the Baltimore area that can match this deal.  Standard Auto Parts also extends the generous discount to police, firefighters, and postal workers.

Standard is a company that especially appreciates service and they want to show that by offering great deals on auto parts.  To find your nearest Standard Auto Parts location in Baltimore, visit their Standard Auto Parts website.

 

Cross Keys Exxon, Your Baltimore Neighborhood Mechanic

Cross Keys Exxon

UPDATE – The manager of, Mike Sullivan, unfortunately passed away.  This repair shop is now under new management.

If you are looking for a reliable Baltimore auto repair shopin the area, look no further than Cross Keys Exxon.  Located conveniently on the corner of Falls Rd and Cold Spring Lane near Roland Park, Guilford, Hampden, and Medfield Cross Keys Exxon has been providing general auto repair services since July, 2007.

Owner and Master ASE Certified Mechanic Mike Sullivan runs the shop with his special blend of friendly service and attention to detail.  He tries to make sure all customers are happy with work performed, which includes anything from oil changes to engine replacements.

Mike has been a mechanic since 1972.  He's seen it all when it comes to fixing cars.  He even was a technical trainer for a major auto repair chain, showing other mechanics all around the Baltimore metro area how to perform auto repairs.

What sets Cross Keys apart from the other shops in the area, is Mike takes the time to explain services and repairs to customers.  Cross Keys doesn't try to “upsell” on unnecessary jobs and services like most auto repair shops and chain operations.  The mechanics focus on what is needed and what they feel is best for the car and customer.

Services provided at Cross Keys include, MD State Inspections, Oil Changes, Tire Rotations, Routine Maintenance, Computer and Electronics Repairs,  Engine Replacements, Transmission Replacements, and any other mechanical repair your car or vehicle could need.

He tries to ensure that all auto parts he buys and uses for vehicle repairs are quality parts.  He likes ordering from local parts supplier, such as Standard Auto Parts (which is a family run business), that are as concerned with quality as he is.

Since Cross Keys is close to Johns Hopkins and Loyola he offers a 20% student discount on labor (not parts).  All you need to do is to show a valid student ID to receive the discount.

Best part of taking your car to get fixed at Cross Keys, you can pick-up and drop-off your car 24 hours a day 7 days a week!  There is gas station attendant at Cross Keys Exxon at all times, which allows you to easily drop your car off safely if you work odd hours.  Additionally if you need to pick-up your car after the shop closes, it's not a problem since the attendant accepts payment from customers.

Sullivan has been happy to be in business for almost 5 years, “I am the neighborhood mechanic that everyone can feel comfortable coming to” says Sullivan.  He hopes to continue repairing cars, trucks, or whatever you might bring in for repair for many more years with the same level of service he has come to be known for.  If you need a great neighborhood mechanic, give Cross Keys a call.

Cross Keys Exxon

4434 Falls Road

Baltimore, MD 21211

Phone: #410-366-6828 

Website: http://crosskeysexxon.com

Sunshades can Keep Your Car Cool on Hot Summer Days

Since it's Summer I'm sure you've experienced getting into your hot car, when it's been sitting out in the sun all day. Well there's a simple solution to this … Sunshades.

Sunshades are something I bet you've seen in lots of other peoples cars. I'm sure in a store you've considered getting one. Sunshades are worth the money during the brutal parts of Summer. They keep your car much cooler. I wouldn't say the claimed “44 degrees” on sunshades labels is accurate. It's definitely at least 10 degrees, probably more. That doesn't seem like a lot, but that's the difference between being unbearable in your car and warm. They help not only reflect sunlight out, but give the car shade.

If you want to buy one for your car they are available in all sorts of big-box stores, convenience stores. and auto parts stores. They sell for about $10. I wouldn't buy a Sunshade at those stores though! They are available at Dollar Stores, and usually sell for about $3.

Below are Sunshades we've had for years. They've lasted a long time, and work well. I personally prefer these Panel Sunshades, to those Fold-Up Accordion type. The Panels can fit easily under a seat.