Guide to Car Dashboard for New Driver

By david | Posted in Auto Info on Friday, September 30th, 2016 at 7:18 AM

Learning to drive is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, it can also be one of the most overwhelming, especially if they’re not too familiar with the layout of a vehicle. In most brands and models of car, the dashboard is pretty similar with a few various design and style choices depending on the make of the vehicle.

Familiarizing yourself with the dashboard and all of the various indicators and lights before driving is a great way to make it feel a little less overwhelming and more manageable. Here are some of the standard displays and indicator lights and what they mean to you and your vehicle.

Car Dashboard

This is a chart that shows 64 of the most common lights that may appear on your dashboard. The dial on the left shows the RPM gauge, which is the Revolutions Per Minute, which is how many times a minute that the crankshaft is spinning. It is measured in 1000s and as you can see, once you get to a higher RPM, in most vehicles around 6,000, you run the risk of overworking or damaging the crankshaft.

The other dial on the right is the standard speedometer, which monitors the speed in Miles Per Hour of your vehicle. Here are just a few of the most important lights to consider on your dashboard.

Important lights on car dashboard

1- Fog Light (front)– In your vehicle there are likely two types of lights- driving lights and fog lights. Fog lights are, as it sounds, specifically made to handle driving through thick, dense fog. This light indicates that the front fog lights are going out.

2- Power Steering– This means the power steering is experiencing trouble, whether it’s low fluid or another issue. If this light is on, seek an experienced auto mechanic immediately.

3- Fog Light (rear)– Same as the front, except this light indicates that the rear fog lights are out.

4- Washer Fluid Low– This means that your windshield washer fluid is running low, while this may not seem important, clean and clear windshields greatly reduce the chance of accidents.

5- Brake Pad Warning– Usually you’ll begin to hear your vehicle making odd sounds to accompany this light, which indicates that your brake pads are wearing out.

6- Cruise Control– Most vehicles have a cruise control feature which will maintain your speed without needing to push the pedal, this light indicates that cruise control is on.

7- Turn Signals– Whether you’re turning left or right, these arrows indicate to you that the signal is on and visible to drivers.

13- Ignition Switch Warning– This indicates that your generator is not charging your vehicle’s battery.

21- Tire Pressure Low– This alerts you that your tire pressure is running low and you may have trouble gripping the roads.

29- Catalytic Converter Warning– Your catalytic converter is a crucial part of your vehicle’s exhaust system and this light indicates that something is wrong and needs to be addressed immediately.

30- Seat Belt Warning– This will also usually be accompanied with a chime to remind you: always wear your seat belt.

31- Parking Brake– This shows you that your parking brake is still set, which will grind and overwork your vehicle if you try to drive with it engaged.

39- Airbag Warning– Any issue with your airbag will be indicated by this light, there is also a light (42) that indicates the airbag is deactivated.

49- ABS– Another light that signals a trip to the mechanic is needed immediately, this is referring to your Anti-Lock Brakes.

51- Door Open– Even if it seems closed, your door needs to be properly closed for this light to turn off.

52- Hood– This light will show that your hood has been popped and is opened.

53- Gas light– This won’t come on until you’re running low on and need gas. Every vehicle has a different threshold so be sure to learn the limits of your car.

57- Oil Pressure Low– If your oil pressure dips, it can be extremely damaging to your engine so check your oil and see an auto mechanic for any repairs needed.

58- Defroster– Used in cold weather, this will help clear the windows of cold air and frost to make visibility easier for you.

62- Check Engine– The light nobody wants to see, check engine can mean just about anything so seek an immediate diagnosis to solve the problem, whatever it is, as fast as possible.


These are just some of the lights found on most vehicle dashboards; with so many alerts and notifications now it can be overwhelming to new drivers. Familiarizing yourself with these though is a great place to start to help you understand your vehicle’s functions and also what to look for in case you may need service or have an issue.

Do I Need High Performance Tires For My Car?

By david | Posted in Car Tires on Friday, February 26th, 2016 at 2:39 PM

You will see the advertisements on television and hear them on the radio. Tire centers are pushing high-performance tires on consumers. All the qualities of the high-performance tire are explained, the features that can help a driver magnified, and discount sales prices are all over the place. This is all very well and good, but a major question arises. Do you really need high performance tires? There is a very obvious herd mentality that is encouraged by advertising, and everybody wants to have the best tires. What is more important, however, is that you have the tires that you need. Anything more than that is money


poured down the drain. You have to be cost-efficient.

Advantages of high performance tires

To be sure, there are some advantages to having platforms times these include the following:

  • Better Handling. Soft rubber high-performance tires allow the tire to better hug the road.
  • Exceptional Traction. This happens because high-performance wide stance. Additional service allows greater connection to the road. This helps when the weather is bad.
  • Better Stopping. The extra space of the high performance tire means you can stop quicker, and use less distance to bring your car to a halt.

These are some of the major advantages of high performance tires but you really pay a price for these qualities.

All-season tires

If you do not mind doing that, fine, but there are alternatives that costs less and have equally attractive features. All-season tires come to mind immediately. The traction is good on an all-season tire. They’re extremely valuable in the wintertime, and have been known to provide superior traction as the snow is falling. Granted, all-season tires might not have the same grip as a summer tire but they have longer tread lives than ordinary tires. All-season tires also provide a very comfortable ride, and are highly affordable. Unlike the high-performance tires it does take longer to stop the car.

Which tire to choose?

It becomes a challenge of deciding which tire is going to be the best for your needs. If you have a sports car, the high-performance tires will probably be your best bet. These allow the driver to better explore the capabilities of his or her automobile. Then again, the all-season tire is cheaper with a longer tread life. You also want to consider if a comfortable ride is more important than the thrill of riding on tires with better handling.

When you look at all of the pros and cons, it boils down to there being no one best tire. Much depends on what you expect out of those four rubber wheels you are driving on. If you need something that is going to be gripping the road, and you will be often driving in conditions such as heavy rain, the preference can point towards the high-performance tire. The average driver should be looking at tires as if he or she is looking at sensible shoes, which is not a bad idea.

Tire Tread

Because when you choose shoes, the rule of thumb is to buy the best quality which you can afford. That plays well with tire selection. You can check the treads on the tire, at the same time deciding whether performance is going to critical. If speed is not a major wish, high-performance tires will be a big waste of money. Also keep in mind your driving. All-season tires may be better for the family. What is essential is not to simply follow the crowd as you go out and purchase tires. You have to keep in mind what is best for you and the automobile. Buying a tire just for the sake of saying that you have an ultra-high-performance tire is a little bit silly. There are many other brands of out there that provide the kind of performance you want to have, and the comfort you would like. You can take a look at those other wheels as well. Remember that you don’t necessarily need a high-performance tire unless it fits certain criteria. You can do just as well with something that is a little less expensive, even though it might not have the super traction or the performance. The less expensive tire might do the job for you, and not cost nearly as much as high performance rubber wheels.

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

By david | Posted in Car Care Tips on Saturday, February 6th, 2016 at 3:06 PM

Many parts of USA have recently faced severe cold & snow fall that blocked the normal life for few days. Pollution or whatever the cause behind this; one thing for sure that winter with its cold blow will continue for rest of the season. And we may expect to get some rough weather. Is your car ready for the season? Here are some things you should consider to get the automobile ready for the rest of the cold weeks.

1. Check the Pressure in Your Tires. You’ll be glad, you did this as you go out

Car On Icy Road

onto icy roads. Pressure in the tires goes down in cold weather and you need to maintain the proper amount of air pressure in tires. It is not just to keep things safe because properly inflated tires can save money on gasoline. You may also want to think of using snow tires if you happen to live in areas with a lot of hills.

2. Check All the Fluids in Your Car. Winter is no time to get stuck on the road because of problems with the oil and transmission fluid. Oil in particular is going to thicken in cold weather, and you should be sure that you have the right oil for your model of car. Other fluids can also get thicker in subzero weather, so be sure that they are at the right levels and do the necessary fluid changes.

3. Clean Up the Battery. The posts and the connection of the battery need to be cleaned and brushed. You also have to make sure the battery has the proper level of water. A battery which is getting old ought to be checked by a professional repair shop to see if it can still charge. By all means have jumper cables in your trunk, or means of contacting emergency road assistance. You need to be safe in the event you are caught out on the open road in a major storm.

4. Inspect The Belts and Cables in the Car. Cold weather can cause cracking and considerable amount of wear on the belts. The cables should be in good order, and mended if there happens to be a crack in the insulation. Once again, this is for safety on the open road. If the belt snaps in the middle of a blizzard, you are going to be more than sorry.

5. Take A Look at the Defroster and Heater. These have to be working properly in subzero weather. If they are not, you could be facing a major safety hazard if you are stalled in a blizzard. The repair work could be a little expensive but it is well worth the price you will pay.

6. The Windshield Wiper and Washer Fluid. There needs to be new wiper blades installed so that you can see effectively. Vision problems are not always caused by snow and ice. Debris is sprayed onto windshield by other cars and can dirty up the windshield. This is why your washer fluid should be at the proper level.

7. The Anti-Freeze in Your Car Should Be at the Right Level
. Your engine is going to have antifreeze ordinarily at a ratio of 50/50 to the water. Wintertime makes things a little bit different. That ratio should be more 60/40 to compensate for the freezing weather.

You probably noticed by now that safety is the major concern in getting the car ready for the winter months. Storms can happen suddenly and drop the temperature as much as 20° in the space of an hour. Strong winds can also play a major factor. You have to be ready for any emergency in winter. Your tires should be able to grip the road firmly and the brakes must work well. This perhaps a good time to have an overall tune up to be done on the car. While it should’ve been done before Thanksgiving, it is still not too late to see to it the car is ready for the weather.

Frozen Car

We will probably have a few more weeks of nasty weather. The good news is that spring is not that far away. If your car is properly maintained and ready for the storms, you will not have a problem at all. A final thing to remember is trying to drive a little bit slower in the ice and snow. Things can get slick and you do not want to be in an accident.

Dos & Donts Of Car Cleaning & Detailing Work

By david | Posted in Car Care Tips on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 1:01 PM

Your automobile is your pride and joy if you really love cars. It is your little baby, and you do not want anybody else detailing or cleaning it. This is good do-it-yourself project but you have to be careful about a few things. you need to be mindful and do certain steps and avoid other mistakes as well.

Car Interior Cleaning

1. Wear Soft Clothes and Do Not Wear Jewelry. The reason why is you don’t want to accidentally scratch the car surface. Zippers and jewelry could leave a scratch you do not want on your car.

2. Do not use a Sponge. A sponge is a great device to use on the kitchen floor but it has an abrasive surface. You are better off using a surface mitt, or something else that is made of gentle cloth.

3. Be Careful About the Water. You should never use dirty water on the surface of your car. If you are doing the entire vehicle, you would wash the wheels and tires first, and then dispose of the water. When you are working on the body, you can have one bucket for the car shampoo/water mixture, and another filled with clean water. Once you have finished cleaning, you would use clean water to remove any soap suds. The car has to be completely dry before you apply any polish

4. Do the Work in a Cool and Shady Spot. The hot sun can evaporate the water while you are working and leave water spots that don’t look too good. It is better to do the cleaning when the weather is cool outside, and in the shade of a tree or house. The surface of the car must be cool as well. If hot the temperature will force the evaporation that will leave water spots. A good rule of thumb about temperature is to do the work in the morning.

5. Never Use Dish or Laundry Detergent. Dish and laundry detergent contain chemicals that may not work well with the paint on your car. The car wash shampoo is what you need, because it has the ingredients that you need to have to do the cleaning without damaging the finish.

6. Use a Buffer Instead of Polishing by Hand. You may feel that you are adding a special touch when you polish your car by hand, but what happens is that you may get an uneven result. You might also accidentally produce streaks. A buffer applies the right amount of pressure to the car wax and can make the body sparkle. Think of it as what you do when you polish your shoes. A buffer always makes the shine stand out. The car polish should be done in wide circular counterclockwise motion.

7. Go Easy on Car Wax. A thin sheet of wax is all you are going to need, The biggest problem with applying too much wax is that it can cause streaks and leaves an unsightly appearance which you have to fix.

8. Pay Attention to the Bird Droppings and Other Debris. This is part of the cleaning which has to be done as soon as it is noticed. Bird droppings contain acid that can eat into the paint of the car. The same may be true in any other debris and sticking to the surface. You do not want to be in a situation where you have to use a sander to get rid of these eyesores. Water can be applied to eliminate them.

Car Exterior Cleaning

9. Use a Soft Towel to Dry Your Car. Having the car dry in the sun runs the risk of having watermarks appear. You want to drive the servers off of the soft towel. Always be careful that something which is abrasive does not touch what you’ve just completed doing.

You should also clean your car in winter, to remove salt that may have come from the road. Be careful doing this in cold climate, and you may want to do most of the work in your garage. You really do not want to have dirt and debris accumulate on your car. The matter how good it looked when it was first purchase, the paint job is going to dull over the years if proper attention is not paid.

My Foreign Affair 360 : The Oil Change

By melissa | Posted in Auto Repair in West Palm Beach, Bosch Service Florida, Car dealership values, Car Maintenance West Palm Beach, Car safety, Foreign Affairs Service, Oil change in West Palm Beach, oil change WPB, Quality car service, West Palm Beach Car Service on Friday, September 18th, 2015 at 9:11 PM

“It’s 5’o Clock Somewhere”

Our cars that we drive day in/day out deal with our crazy lifestyles. The daily routines, unannounced weather conditions, lane-switching, music-blasting, brake-slamming behavior is just a “snapchat” of  what our babies have to endure. Although they do not show their emotional breakdowns as we do, they are machines that have their good and bad days too. When your car is running outstandingly smooth it just makes you want to cruise down A1A, windows down, music up, and appreciate the moment. However, when your car is a bit cranky and not running as it should, it is probably because you need to pour her a good ole’ drink!

We all know that staying hydrated helps keeps our body feeling and acting healthy. I have also heard in recent studies that one glass of red wine every night can help prevent heart disease (thank you to whomever performed that experiment). Like humans, our cars have several ways to prevent the unexpected doctor’s visit.

Like water (or wine), oil in cars is used to keep the engine functioning properly. The moving parts included in a car’s engine need to be hydrated and lubricated for free movement. In turn, when the oil filters start to collect too much grime, varnish, and carbon it can unfortunately cause engine failure. Therefore, we need to keep our vehicles hydrated and even treat them to a nice happy hour once in awhile.

For luxury cars like mine, the average oil change is expected every 10,000 miles or about six months (depending on how much you drive), although your vehicle manual will most likely dictate the recommended time frame.  Remember: Prevention is preparation. Clogged oil filters can result in a worn-out piston or an engine cleaning, both too costly while you splurge on your next Tory Burch bag.

Foreign Affairs Happy Hour

My Foreign Affair 360 ⟳ Car Maintenance and Inspection

By melissa | Posted in Auto Repair in West Palm Beach, auto repair services, auto repair warranty, Bosch Service Florida, Car dealership values, Car Maintenance West Palm Beach, Car safety, Foreign Affairs Service, Oil change in West Palm Beach on Friday, September 18th, 2015 at 8:59 PM
Car Maintenance & Inspection

 My Car’s Time of the Year

As a woman, I must say we have so many schedules and updates we live by . From “it’s that time of the year”…to ” that time of the month”… to “time of the week”…and even “time of the days”. If you know what I am talking about, we are all on the same boat. There are those “times” that we can call ourselves pros when it comes to self-maintenance, such as scheduling your regular mani-pedi or highlight touch-ups. However, there are those other “times” that we dread just because after all the years, we perhaps still feel like rookies.

The other day I noticed it is nearly time for my baby (2013 6-Speed Mini Cooper S) to receive maintenance.  Being that my father has always taken care of my car needs for as long as I can remember, I can embarrassingly admit that I am a rookie in this game field, just like many others. For that reason, I did my research to earn a self-degree with specialization in Motherhood of my Mini Cooper.


The Importance of Car Maintenance




How you can avoid buying a car with hurricane damage

By blogsadmin | Posted in Dealer Information, Hurricane Damage, Used Car in West Palm Beach on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Hurricane Damage

Hurricane Damage

Avoid buying a car with hurricane damage

Here in West Palm Beach we all know about and are familiar with hurricane damage.  When you are looking to buy used car make sure you don’t get stuck buying one that has hurricane damage.

Whenever there is hurricane flooding, there is sure to be someone trying to sell a used car that has been ruined by hurricane damage.  Used car buyers in Florida need to be aware that some used car dealerships may try to sell used cars that have hurricane damage.  Foreign Affairs would like to share some tips with you so you know what to look for so you don’t get stuck buying a used car that has hurricane damage.

Here are some signs that a car may have been flooded by hurricane damage. Read the rest of this entry »

The 2011 BMW 535i is a great choice for a used BMW in West Palm Beach

By blogsadmin | Posted in BMW 535i, BMW for sale in West Palm Beach Florida, BMW West Palm Beach Florida, Cars for sale in Florida, European Car Brands, European Car Info, European Car Makes, European Cars West Palm Beach, Foreign Cars, Luxury Cars in West Palm Beach Florida, Used BMW West Palm Beach, Used Car in West Palm Beach on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Foreign Affairs Auto has used BMW in West Palm Beach

The 2011 BMW 535i is a great choice for a used BMW in West Palm Beach

The 2011 BMW 535i at Foreign Affairs Auto is a great choice for a used BMW in West Palm Beach.  The BMW 5-Series is a mid-sized sport sedan that was redesigned for the 2011 model and it’s a true driver’s car when you compare it to other mid-sized luxury sedans.  The 2011 BMW 5-Series feels sportier and is more impressive than the previous model it’s replacing and gives you a sports sedan that will impress you and your passengers.  A quality used BMW in West Palm Beach is a great choice for luxury sports sedan.

When you see this used BMW in West Palm Beach at Foreign Affairs Auto you will love it.  The lower roofline and stretched wheel base have combined nicely to give the 2011 BMW 535i in West Palm Beach a markedly sleeker appearance.

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The 2012 Audi A4 Wagon is a great used car in West Palm Beach

By blogsadmin | Posted in Dealer Information, Luxury Cars in West Palm Beach Florida, Used Car in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 3:36 PM
A great used car in West Palm Beach is the Audi A4 Wagon

A great used car in West Palm Beach is the Audi A4 Wagon at Foreign Affairs Auto

The 2012 Audi A4 wagon delivers refinement in both appearance and driving dynamics along with some great cargo space for whenever you need it.  The 2012 Audi A4 wagon offers a little something for everyone which makes it a great choice for used car in West Palm Beach.

The 2012 Audi A4 wagon delivers a great combination of power and efficiency making it a great choice for a luxury car in West Palm Beach.  A favorable balance of sport and comfort are also helping the 2012 Audi A4 wagon be the best used car in West Palm Beach that we have to offer on our lot.

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How to prevent auto theft in West Palm Beach

By blogsadmin | Posted in Auto Theft on Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Prevent Auto Theft

Auto Theft

Prevent auto theft in West Palm Beach with tips from Foreign Affairs Auto

On average a vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in the United States and most of those thefts can be prevented with a few common preventative methods.  Florida is in the number two state for auto theft in the country so all of us at Foreign Affairs Auto are going to teach you some methods to help you reduce the risk of having your car stolen in West Palm Beach.

Auto theft unfortunately happens in Florida all and most of the time it’s because of the owner’s behavior.  Almost 50% of auto theft is due to something that the driver does or doesn’t do, like leaving the keys in the ignition or leaving the doors unlocked.  Certain vehicles are more likely to become victims of auto theft.  Surprisingly, instead of fancy sports cars and expensive SUV’s the cars that are most likely prone to auto theft are the common run-of-the-mill passenger cars.   Car thieves often target your car for auto theft because they want to sell your components and the individual parts of your car, not because they want your whole car.

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