Tips for Caring For Your New Car

Tips for Caring For Your New Car

Now that you have your very own car, it is essential that you know all of the basic things that you should do in order to take care of it. Driving safely is only half the challenge. The other half is making sure that your car will be in tip top shape for the next couple of years!

So, here are some of the most basic tips that you will have to keep in mind pretty much as long as you have a car. (more…)

The Economics of Car Designs

As far back as the late 1930′s, air conditioning systems for cars were not really meant for mass production since it was more of a special customization for people who can afford the installation of this unique new feature. With a special introductory price back then of $274, it was no wonder why air-conditioning systems for cars weren’t that appealing to most people as it only catered to luxury branded vehicles such as Packard and with its retail price, that seems to be an awful lot of money considering that its just been a few years after the Great Depression. Other special features such as cruise control, power steering and climate control weren’t really considered as “standard accessories” until late 1960′s until the earlier part of the 1970′s when almost 80% of newly manufactured cars in the United States started rolling off the line with these features.

It was during the middle of 1975 when car manufacturers started including these features into their products as the entry to the American market of overseas imports from car manufacturers from Japan had given potential buyers a chance to choose some of the best features at the lowest price possible, giving most local car manufacturers in the United States a run for their money. Further aggravating the slowly dwindling sales of traditional American cars was the advent of the Arab oil crisis that shot the price of oil in the global market at an all time high, prompting buyers to choose smaller Japanese cars which were lighter and consumed less fuel than the bigger and heavier American cars that had 6 cylinders and guzzled down a lot of gas.

Eventually, American car manufacturers tried desperately to find a solution to the effect of the rising fuel costs which gave their Japanese competitors, literally more mileage with their cars, as they were soon being preferred as a logical choice against big American cars that offered less mileage for every gallon of gasoline. American manufacturers soon had no choice but to downgrade their designs without compromising the quality of their products to compete with their current competitor that is already taking a big slice of the market share. Interestingly though, it was actually the Japanese car manufacturers that started integrating plastic parts into their cars, as it greatly lessened the weight of their vehicles, further improving their car’s mileage over American cars.

During those times, plastic parts in vehicles was not heard of and it surely was a ridiculous idea during that time when cars were made from a lot of shinny ornaments made from chrome. Back then, chrome was an essential part of every American car and it would not be considered an “American Car” if it did not have a substantial amount of chrome on it, particularly the grills, the fenders and the wheel hub cabs. Unfortunately, chrome did contribute a bit of weight on a car and as the 1970′s drew to a close, so did the use for chrome on a aesthetic aspect. The early 1980′s brought drastic changes in the way automobiles were being made as leather seats slowly gave way to synthetic materials as so with the engine design in most vehicles.

As of the end of the 1970′s. American car manufacturers who were making engines with the minimum 6 cylinder displacement soon found themselves designing smaller engines with 4 cylinder designs. It was without a doubt that the Japanese car manufacturers had greatly influenced the general opinion of most car buyers during that time as well as the continued rise in the price of gasoline. It was pretty obvious that Japanese cars were already winning the market over in which the American car manufacturers once ruled supreme. Plastic parts were now becoming more and more visible in the interiors of cars, particularly on the dashboard which was now completely made from plastic materials.

This was also the same for American cars, in which were now almost as the same size as their Japanese counterparts. But regardless of how small these cars are now made, this was not a bad thing after all as most people thought it could have been. The reduction of car sizes with regard to their design has brought in new innovative features that were not possible then such as better material insulation since it was not easy to provide adequate insulation for bigger cars which means it would have been harder to provide air-conditioning for them since they will take a longer time before the ideal temperature is reached.

Another thing to consider is the fuel consumption since air-conditioning systems take up a heavy load on an engine that it needs to consume more fuel to efficiently run the air conditioning units main compressor to substantially cool down the interior of the car. Today, car designs are even more compact than ever that some even have engine designs that have 1100cc engines that are comparable to big motorcycle engines. Air conditioning systems have become a standard accessory including GPS systems (check here for reviews) that help you navigate to where you want to go with real time accuracy. With regard to GPS systems, as much as manufacturers would want to include this as a standard equipment, most car manufacturers consider this an optional equipment when you buy a new car. This seems to be the same with other types of vehicles such as motorcycles since they do not come with motorcycle GPS systems as a standard equipment either. To learn more about GPS navigational systems, check this site:

Most well known car manufacturers today include GPS systems even on their entry level vehicles to entice potential buyers in considering their cars. And since most car manufacturers have already made features such as power steering, air conditioning and even GPS navigational units included on their vehicles, could there still be any room for improvement with regard to any new innovations in car accessories in the near future? Possibly yes since technology is greatly improving at a very fast pace that it may even be possible to make cars drive by themselves which could be sooner than we might expect.

Classic Cars – How to Keep Them Looking Like New

All classic car owners will agree that it is imperative to keep their cars in tiptop condition, especially if they are going to be stood down or stored for a period of time.  Cars that are left standing are prone to all sorts of deterioration and problems and, if not stored correctly will not be fit for use next time you want to go out for a spin.

If you are planning to place your car into storage here are some tips on how to prepare it.  Before you start, consider your storage methods. One thing you could think about is 40 ft. container rentals, similar to what this company offers.

Storage containers are ideal for cars as they are weatherproof and safe from the evils of rodent damage. They are secure and, if you get one with air vents, will stop any moisture from being able to build up on or in the car.

How to Prepare Your Car for Storage:

  • Detail your car. Give it a good wash, not forgetting the undercarriage and then wax it thoroughly. DO NOT buff any chrome until it comes out of storage.  Lubricate any rubber or vacuum parts and give the upholstery a good clean.
  • Drain fluids from the car if it is being parked for any length of time. Change the oil for new.
  • Grease up all universal joints, especially wheel bearings, suspension and steering.
  • Bleed out the brake system and replace with fresh fluid.
  • If your car is being stored for several months, drain the fuel tank completely.
  • Drain down the cooling system and take off the radiator cap.
  • Disconnect all heater hoses
  • Take the battery off and place it in a dry place, off the ground. Make sure you top it up with distilled water first.
  • Remove the tires and place the car on jack stands at the suspension points
  • Press the clutch down and lock it into place with a brick or piece of 2 X 4.
  • Open the windows slightly to allow air to circulate and pop a couple of open boxes of baking soda or salt inside – this will absorb any moisture

If you can’t get access to a storage container, make sure your car is well covered to keep the weather out.

Choosing the Right Ear Plugs for Watching a Car Race

Exposure to excessive level of noise may cause hearing problems or even loss of hearing. Excessive noise may come from gunfire, power tool, construction equipment and industrial machines. Another source of high level noise is a drag race or car race. In fact, an F1 race car’s cockpit has a noise level of up to 140 dB. This makes it one of the noisiest places in this world.

This is the reason why race car drivers must use special ear plugs to protect their ears from excessive noise and at the same time still allow them to clearly hear the announcements during the race, as well as the communications from their crew. However, the race car drivers are not the only individuals who must wear ear protection. Even the pit crew members and the spectators should also wear ear plugs to help protect their ears while on the race.

How to Choose the Right Ear Protection or Plugs

There are several types of ear protections available in the market. Here are some tips on how to choose the best plugs for your ears that would suit your needs.

  1. NRR or Noise Reduction Rating – this is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the ear protection to purchase. The NRR is measured in decibels or dB and it determines the noise level that the product can eliminate. Those with 33 dB NRR are some of the best options. For instance, the conversation between individuals may be around 60 dB. Using this type of ear protection, could reduce the noise to 27 dB.
  2. Material Made – you would find plugs that are made from foam and silicone. Those that are made from foam are soft, but they could easily lose their shape if it becomes wet. Moreover, there’s a higher risk of developing bacteria. Silicone plugs on the other hand are often more expensive than foams, but they do not change in shape and there’s no risk of developing bacteria and other sources of infection.
  3. Ear Protection’s Shape – these plugs come in different sizes and shapes. Find one that fits your ears perfectly so you’ll feel comfortable, even when used for an extended period.

Aside from car and drag races, these ear protections can also be used in any place where you’ll be exposed in high level of noise.

Gearing Up for the Ultimate Road Trip

There are few things more invigorating, more liberating, more downright American, than a good, long road trip. Whether you’re headed cross-country or just across your state; getting you and a few buddies together is a great way to relax and unwind. Maybe you’re taking the family on vacation by way of the open road so everyone can finally spend some quality time together. You don’t really need a reason to take a road trip, all you need is a reliable automobile and some essentials to make getting there all the more fun.

This is a list of some absolute necessities that you’ll need to have squared away before you head out. Some of them are no-brainers, others you may not have thought of yet; but all of them will ensure your trip is a memorable one…for all the right reasons. Because there’s nothing worse than getting stranded along Route 50 in the Nevada desert; once named The Loneliest Road in America by Life magazine.

1. Get a Check Up
Not you, the car. The last thing you want to do is suffer a blowout or some other road incident that you weren’t expecting. Bring it in to your mechanic or the local gas station. Check the tire pressure, get an alignment so the wheels don’t shimmy and cause undue stress on your vehicle. Check the oil, spark plugs, just a quick once over to make sure the car’s in good shape and you’ll make it to your destination.

2. Tire Gauge
Okay, so maybe you didn’t listen to me on the first one. At least have a tire gauge with you in the glove compartment. If your pressure is low, the car is going to feel it and so will you. It’s also not a great idea to drive long distances on improperly filled tires, it’ll kill your gas mileage. Sure, you can pull over and try to use one of those beat up tire gauges at a filling station off the highway. When was the last time anyone calibrated or checked to make sure those were accurate? Exactly.

3. Empty Gas Can
The gas gauge is closer to E than F. But why not push it? You’ve got another 20-30 miles left, at least. Yeah, we’ve all said the same thing. Then we end up on the side of the road. If you’re one of these types of gamblers, better to have an empty gas can in the trunk. Just in case.

4. Extra Engine Oil
Road trips are taxing on your engine. If you didn’t check your oil before you left, you’ll likely remember to do so during the trip and it’s always good to keep an extra bottle with you for a top off if necessary.

5. GPS System
Most late model cars have some form of GPS in them already but if you’ve got an older vehicle, then you’ll probably want to invest in a good GPS device. Garmin and TomTom make some great products suitable for all types of budgets. The only thing worse than getting stuck is getting lost.

6. A Good Watch
Yes. You want a reliable watch on your wrist. Why, you ask? Well first off, you don’t want just any watch, you want one that can handle any type of weather and can give you vital information besides the time; weather, traveling direction, elevation, even your own heartbeat. You’ll want to invest in a good military watch. Especially if you’re planning on doing any camping during your trip. It’s a one stop information hub on your wrist. You’ll find some great military watches here; so go check them out.

7. Radar or Laser Detection
All of us get a lead foot now and then. To make sure you avoid any smokeys out there, a good radar or laser detector is the best investment you can make. It’s not a license to speed, but if you do find yourself moving at a pretty good clip, the last thing you want is a ticket.

8. Dual Cigarette Lighter Adapter
There are car chargers for everything now. Smartphones, laptops, mp3 players, and more. But you only have one outlet, maybe two. Now you’ve just doubled up. You’re welcome.

These are certainly just a good starting point. It’s your road trip, you can bring along whatever else you think you’ll need or want. It all really depends on where you’re going, how far away it is, any stops you plan on making, and how long you’re going to be in the car. Plan accordingly and happy motoring!

Things You Should Know Before Getting Lift Kits

Trucks and SUVs don’t just serve as transportation or machines for hauling things. They can also be used for off-roading activities. However, not all trucks can be readily used for off-roading. There are trucks that are not designed to be driven in extremely rough and muddy terrain. Even the vehicles shown running through challenging road conditions in advertisements may not really be that capable of going through such a ride. That’s why there are lift kits available.

Lift kits are basically sets of components that augment the capability of trucks or SUVs to run through challenging roads or terrain. They include highly durable shock absorbers, springs, and other related parts that are attached to the wheels of a car. Essentially, they raise the suspension of the vehicle so that modifications can be introduced, enabling better performance over challenging conditions.

Types of Lift Kits

There are different types of lift kits: body, leveling, and suspension lift kits. Body lift kits are the cheapest in the bunch and they are good for those who just want to add height to their trucks and use bigger wheels. Leveling kits are intended for lifting only one side of a vehicle’s body. As the term implies, these kits are used to level the vehicle if the owner does not like how their truck or SUV’s rear is a few inches higher than the front. Suspension lift kits, on the other hand, raise the whole suspension system and are the go-to option for enabling a vehicle to be more capable in running over very rough terrains. Installing these kits entails the raising of the whole suspension by replacing the shocks and the front and rear leaf springs.

Where to Buy Lift Kits

There are many automotive shops or stores that sell various lift kits. For more extensive choices, it is good to buy lift kits online. It’s an easier and more convenient way to look for kits such as the 2003~2008 Ram 2500 lift kit available at shops like Nowadays, finding automotive components only takes a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can easily find, for example, a good 2003~2008 Ram 2500 lift spindle at MaxTrac Suspension or by going over the product catalogs of other online stores you can easily find on the web. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying from brick and mortar suppliers although it can be a little less convenient and uncomfortable. You can also ask for recommendations from friends who have experienced buying these kits.


eBay has a great article in buying a lift kit for trucks. It offers very interesting and details and information. The most notable of which are the need to take into account the legality of doing suspension lift modifications, getting used to driving a vehicle with a significantly raised suspension, and other additional adjustments. Before installing lift kits, it is very important to ascertain that doing so is legal in your state. It is necessary to inquire about the specific laws concerning the customizations made on a vehicle that is to be used on public roads and highways. On the other hand, it is advisable to be aware of consequences in the driving experience. It will be useless doing modifications when you eventually find it uncomfortable or difficult maneuvering your truck or SUV. Lastly, it should be taken into account that it will likely be difficult to revert to the original once the kit becomes successfully installed. As such, the decision to buy a lift kit has to be very carefully thought out.

5 Ways to Reduce Truck Insurance Rates

It's now relatively easier to find effective tips and advices regarding clever ways of cutting down insurance rates on cars and motorbikes. However, the pre-assumed dangerous vehicle-trucks, hardly has any cutting edge advice available for reducing insurance rates. The thing with trucks is, there are higher chances of accidents, with bigger possibilities of life threatening injuries. Due to the severity of the injuries that occur, trucks are charged differently and there are very few flexible ends that can be put to use. Therefore, here are 5 ways to reduce truck insurance rates drastically. 

Keep Your Vehicle in Mint Condition
For the safety of your own vehicle and other vehicles who would be sharing the driveway, keep your vehicle in mint condition. Be it the set of tires, brakes, gearbox, oil and petrol filters, everything should be perfect. Some of the best truck wheels can be seen at, these are accepted and credited by the authorities for their quality as well. A well maintained truck translates into lower insurance premiums automatically. 

Excellent Driving Record
Insurance companies check out the driver's driving record in order to determine the amount of insurance rate that must be applied on the vehicle. Having a spotless driving record increases the chances of getting an excellent insurance rate. This also includes the number of years that the driver has been driving trucks and the number of trainings that the driver has taken for safe truck driving. 

Clear Off Deductibles
Clearing off as many deductibles as possible reduces the amount of premium that has to be paid as the insurance cover. By working out a smart financial plan or looking for options that increase the possibilities of paying a larger chunk in the deductibles makes the rest of the insurance plan affordable and cheap. 

Choose a Good Insurance Company
Instead of going over to newbies and getting insurance covers from them, it is advised to go with polished and renowned insurance companies. The goodwill of insurance companies counts a lot when it comes to fair insurance covers and sincere advice from their representatives. 

Compare Insurance Rates
Before signing the insurance rate, first of all make a comparison and ask around friends and family for making sure that a good  deal is being offered. Secondly, inquire if the company offers health or home insurance, by having multiple insurance covers from one company leads to good packages and truck insurance rates.

Hottest Upgrades that Every Car Needs

In a matter of minutes, a car can be turned from an average riding vehicle to a raving beauty on the road. It's all about looking for the right kind of upgrades, these upgrades increases functionality and value without ripping off a great chunk of cash from your pocket. It is not at all difficult to make-up your car in a manner that its overall value and useability also enhances side by side. Therefore, read on to find out the hottest upgrades that every car needs along with pertinent advice of how to get it all shipped at really affordable rates.

Bright Headlights
Car experts suggest that bright headlights might not seem as important as they are while driving in the city, but when you go for long drives or out of the town, these lights actually act as life savers. Without doubt, bright lights uplift the entire look of a car and makes it look more savvy, inviting and expensive than it really is. Visibility increases along with the convenience of driving at places where there are no headlights along with cancelling the fear of running into or hitting anything.  

Tire Pressure Gauge
It may sound weird, especially for girls who are looking for car upgrades. But it is actually a very practical upgrade that every car owner must think about. Tire pressure gauge allows your vehicle to give the exact pressure of the tire, without misleading and helps get away from bigger problems of getting stranded on the road with a flat tire. It helps in checking and keeping the car maintained on a regular basis. 

Windshield Wipers
This particular item of the car seldom receives the kind of attention that it should. The quality of wipers actually determines the condition of the windscreen along with the way that wipers perform during heavy showers. People do not change their windshield wipers until and unless they tend to break down or wear out. To keep your windshield scratch-less and improve the quality of wiping off dirt, water, snow flakes and rain, do upgrade the windshield wipers to high quality ones. 

Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is understandably important for improving the fuel consumption and economic friendly driving experience from the car. But more than that, if wheel alignment is not done quarterly or semiannually, it can lead to greater wear and tear of the tires ending up with the need of changing or placing new tires altogether. Thus, keep a check on when the next wheel alignment schedule should be set in order to improve your driving experience, fuel consumption and the tire's life span. 

It is advised to get these upgrades done from renowned workshops or mechanics for lasting results. If the raw material cannot be found from the local shops, invest in high quality and affordable material imported for cheaper places. A smart idea is to group up with more people, and with shipping container rentals like get the total raw material imported together. Not only are these used shipping containers such as Shopping Container Pros affordable and easy to manage, but they can in-house some really great stuff at cheap prices from abroad.

How to Repair Your Damaded Auto Upholstery

Sadly for many people one of the first things to wear in a car is the upholstery. There’s nothing worse than looking into a car and seeing rips and tears in the seats.

Of course if this happens to you then you can always take it to an upholstery repairer however it’s not cheap to have your car upholstery professionally repaired. An auto repairer will do a good job, or at least should do a good job, but you have to factor into this the cost as well. A professional auto upholstery repairer is far from cheap.

So if your car doesn’t really justify spending plenty of money on the services of an auto upholstery repairer what do you do?

Why not tackle the job yourself? Even if the job that you do isn’t as good as the job which will be done by a professional repairer it will be much cheaper and will still look better than rips and tears in the seat.

You’ll need to know a number of things. For instance is essential that you establish the material that has been used in the upholstery. Is it leather? If it is then it’s not so easy to repair. Is it vinyl, and if so can you get the same vinyl to effect a repair?

Is it a woven fabric?

Except in the more expensive cars the most common types of materials used in upholstery are fabric blends. These are synthetic materials. Microfiber is also quite common as it is very durable.

Not sure what type of material it is? Try consulting the manual first. If you don’t have it any more look online.

Once you determine the type of material head down to your auto supply store. Most of these stores will supply upholstery repair kits to use with each of the different types of upholstery and so you need to know which upholstery you will be repairing to identify the correct repair kit.

The type of damage is what governs the type of repair. There’s many different types of damage from cigarette burns, abrasion from excessive wear, cuts, ink, discoloration, blood, tears and more. Ask in the repair shop for a repair kit that will repair the type of damage that you have found in your upholstery.

You may also need some simple dedicated tools of your own. One of the most simple is a short bladed sharp knife. Often it’s necessary to trim and clean up the edges of the hole before effecting any repair.

It’s essential that you use a high quality knife that is super sharp. You will not be able to cut most upholstery fabrics with a blunt knife. If necessary invest in a quality knife sharpener (see to ensure that your knife is as sharp as possible before you begin work.

If you’re unsure about how to sharpen your knife search online to find out some modern knife sharpening techniques at

There’s nothing worse than seeing a nice car but with dreadful upholstery. If you have any pride in your vehicle and would like to make sure it looks its best then consider the upholstery. If your upholstery is looking a little worse for wear and it’s not all that difficult, or expensive, to make sure that it looks good like the rest of your car.

How To Keep Your Car Clean During An Outing

Family outings are extremely fun and definitely should be part of every summer. Whether it’s picnic, road trip, hiking, or swimming at the beach, there’s no better way to bond with your family. If you’re a car owner, however, frustration often comes at your face at the end of the day. The amount of trash in your car is unbelievable. If you have a baby or toddler, there will be scattered pieces of crackers, food wrappers, toys, bottles of drinks, papers and pens, and even vomit. Yeah, it sucks.

But there are actually few simple tips that will help make your family AND car happy:

Bring Ziploc Bags

Keep a box of one gallon Ziploc bags. There is no better way to store any wet, sticky, and messy stuff than this. Ziploc bags can also be used as containers of wet clothes (in case of swimming) and dirty diapers. You can also keep your foods here and place it on a cooler. If there’s any one in the family who gets sick during trips, a Ziploc can be handy.

Keep Foods at Dehydrators

Dehydrators are excellent containers of raw foods such as fruits, veggies, fish, and meat. Dehydrators can be sealed so it’s pretty sure that your food won’t spill. Eating raw fruits and veggies are proven to be better for the health. Cooking kills enzyme and nutrients, so eating them raw will give your family higher nutritional value. One of the best brands of food dehydrators is Excalibur, discussed in Excalibur dehydrator review here. More on food dehydrator reviews:

Buy a Trash Bag

Many car owners use garbage plastics for trash disposal, but these plastics can become messy themselves, especially if it’s not properly supported and the contents happen to spill. To avoid this, buy a trash bag for the car which you can hang in front at the hand brake or at the seat. You can get a trash bag at Etsy and hang it where it’s accessible. These bags are cute and tidy, so no more ugly garbage bags inside your car.

Reward Your Kids

Kids can be messy when it comes to toys and foods. Try to bribe them with cookies if they will keep their stuff clean. Give them extra cookies or get them a toy they want if at the end of the trip their toys will all be in their toy box, and if all their food wrappers are properly disposed in the trash can. We all know kids dig cookies and toys, so they might just bite it.

Watch Out For Chain Hotels

During your stops, make sure to spot a clean comfort room for diaper change and other necessities. Budget chain hotels usually have comfort rooms at the lobby which are relatively cleaner than those in fast food restaurants, malls, and large grocery stores. During these stops you can also survey the car for its cleanliness state, and dispose of any trash. This way, you won’t have a pile of trash at the end of the day.


Tips on Keeping your car Insurance Premiums Low

If your car insurance premiums keep on rising, no matter how careful a driver you are, it’s time to take a look at how you can reduce them without reducing your cover.  The following tips will knock something off your insurance:

    1. Haggle

If your renewal notice is higher than your current premium, ring up the insurer and haggle over the cost. If they won’t reduce it, see about getting a few extras added in

    1. Cancel Automatic Renewal

Shop around for a new quote.  Get on the phone and on the internet and see if you can better your current price

    1. Insure For More

Go for the fully comprehensive cover – it can actually cost you less. Those who go for third party only trigger off a feeling amongst insurers that they don’t care about their car and, as such, the premiums go up.

    1. Secure Your Car

Does it have an alarm system on it? Is it kept in a garage or at least parked in your driveway, off the road? These can trigger significant savings on your premium.  If you tell your insurance company that you garage your car at night then make sure you do so or questions may be asked if a claim is made.

If you lose the keys to your garage door ad can’t get the car in, don’t panic. Call on a locksmiths for help. If you need a locksmith in Bromley these guys have good reviews.

    1. Only Insure the Miles you Drive

If you only drive 5000 miles a year, tell your insurance company that. Don’t pay for double that if you aren’t doing it. Higher mileage can increase premiums by quite a bit.

    1. Protect Your No Claims Bonus

If you have been driving for several years and have a high no claims bonus, consider protecting it. It doesn’t cost much and keeping it up can save you up to 75% with some insurance companies.

Be careful not to break the law either as motoring offences will put your premiums up. Depending on what the offence is, some companies may actually refuse to insure you afterwards so drive safe and drive within the law.


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