Tips On How To Keep Your Car in Top Notch Shape

If you love your car, you will want it to always be at its best shape. There are some conscious steps that you can take to ensure that it stays as good as new every day. They are as simple as ABC and there is no better time to follow them than now.

Tyres

Your car’s tyres are the single most reason you can move. Respect your tyres. They support a weight more than ten times theirs and still absorb any and all of your driving habits. Keeping them in top shape should not be anything but a priority. Good tyres are Important not only for fuel economy but for safety as well.

To ensure they are in their best shape, rotate your tyres at least every 5000 miles. This will ensure that your car’s tyres wear at an almost equal rate and that you make great savings on tire replacement.

Another important trait of tyres which are in good shape is that their tire pressure is always correct. Over inflation and under inflation are both harmful to the longevity of a car’s tyres.  They also pose a safety risk.

While at checking the tyre pressure, do have a look at your tyres tread depth. When it is evident that they are too low, replace the tyres. Worn out tyres pose a safety risk that is not worth it. The tread patterns may also reveal something about the overall health about your car, so if you notice they are uneven, take the car to a competent mechanic. A mechanic consultation may save you from the detrimental effects of whatever is ailing your car and also potentially increase your tyre life.

Hand in hand with the tyre is the brakes, which basically stop you from colliding with objects. While all car parts are important the importance of well-functioning brakes cannot be understated. To ensure that their functioning capability does not deteriorate faster than necessary, clean them regularly.

Engine

When it comes to the engine, the heart of your car, you can expect good results only when it runs smoothly. An engine in bad shape is nothing more than a death trap waiting to happen. You do not want that. It’s better to have a good engine than a good car body. Some of the tasks you can perform to ensure the engine’s runs efficiently are simple and you can do it in a few minutes

One of the simple engine checks you should make is assessing timing belt and accessory drive belt. They are responsible for the smooth running of everything from alternator to the a/c compressor. However they are made of rubber and rubber perishes very fast. It is prudent to check them every 25,000 miles and preferably checked every 50,000 miles.

Another easy task anyone can perform is checking the oil level of a car. It is a simple process that involves pulling out the oil dipstick, wiping it clean with a rag and then re-dipping it so as to check if the oil levels are too high or too low. This is easy because the dipstick is marked with an H and an L indicating whether the levels are high or low. The longevity of your engine is dependent on the quality of your engine oil. The engine oil is critical to good performance of a car. It is responsible for lubricating car parts and ensuring the engine remains cool.  You can never check and or change the engine oil frequently enough but being guided by the oil’s viscosity is a good indicator on the urgency of an oil change

Classic Cars Pros and Cons

Classic cars’ beauty depend on the eye of the beholder.  While some marvel at the cars of old, others simply scoff. How they are perceived is solely dependent on a person’s individual preferences.  However, they, just like many other things, are a double-edged sword. Considering them a must-have or dismissing them in their entirety is not a decision that should be made without a complete picture of the effect of the cars on their owners.

Value

Classic cars are very much unlike modern day cars which depreciate in value over time. These cars share the unique quality of appreciating in value over time.  This means owning a classic car is very comparable to owning a piece of art, an investment. As long as the car is well taken care of, your car will have you smiling all way to the bank if you resell it in the future. This is definitely something to keep in mind when mulling over classic cars. They may not look it but they do not come cheap. Purchasing one which is in good condition may cost you an arm and leg. This may be due to the hotcake demand that surrounds them or the tendency in the world to regard outdated inventions as relics, there is no clear-cut answer. What is known is there are classic enthusiasts willing to pay big bucks for a classic car without a bat of an eyelid.

Maintenance

One of the drawbacks of a classic car is the expensive cost of keeping it running. Maintaining it is no walk in the park.  In an increasingly modern-car world, classic cars are a rarity. Their needs may not be readily available. It may prove extra costly and to be a hassle to meet these needs. Additionally, the frequency with which you need to make these maintenance tasks will be higher than those of a modern day car. Due to their age, their level of efficiency is lower than that of modern-day cars making their servicing needs more frequent and the effect of lack of, more damaging. It may also be important to note that their age also limits the number and type of mechanics that can be trusted to perform maintenance. Not any Tom, Dick or Harry can handle this car. The rarity of competent mechanics has the added disadvantage of inflating the price of simple maintenance jobs. It would be prudent therefore to learn a few one and twos on some of those tasks due to the nature of their frequency if you want to save on costs.

Personality

Another edge that classic cars have is their unique style. They come from an age where car models were not homogenous because car shapes had not yet been standardized. Cars from different manufacturers were extremely distinguishable. The same goes for car models. This is very unlike today’s cars where there is hardly a difference between different manufacturers and/or models. Modern day cars are pretty much a lot of the same thing. Furthermore, since they are also not being manufactured anymore, they are still an awe to behold and still reveal the character of the owner from a mile away. A quality that classic car enthusiasts chase.

No mod-cons

Another disadvantage is that they have no modern day conveniences. This is something that is easily overlooked but important to remember. These cars were built in the age where car functions were largely in control of the driver. A lot of the functions that are automated now were not then. Therefore, you should not be expecting an automatic transmission system in a classic car among other automated features. In fact you should expect detrimental effects in the event of a manual error.

Weather and its effects on Driving

Weather is one element that has a significant effect on our driving mainly because it affects the roads so much. Whether its rain or snow or ice, the roads can sometimes transform into risky places to be in under such conditions. Needless to say, the rates of accidents on our roads shoot up during wet or snowy weather. If you can do something in advance to prepare yourself for driving in rough conditions, you can greatly improve your odds of safe travel and ensure you keep yourself and your family and friends protected.

Let us look at the different conditions we should be keen on and how we can adjust our driving in order to stay safe.

Waterlogged and Flooded Roads

When on flooded or waterlogged roads, keep the following tips in mind;

  • Driving at high speeds may cause a wave splashing water onto pedestrians. In slippery corners, the vehicle may swerve out of control which may pose high risk to passengers, pedestrians as well as the driver. Due to risk of accident, always drive at moderate speed that allows you to be in complete control of the vehicle.
  • Check the highest position of the road and drive on it. This is often where the water is less deep or in case where the road is not too wet, there are less puddles meaning that the tires grip better. This will help improve your control on your car and avoid skidding.
  • Keep an eye out for the other drivers using the road you are on and maintain a safe distance. You will be better positioned to observe the road better and avoid any hazards that may present themselves as well as looking for the best places to drive on.
  • Avoid driving through water if you don’t know how deep it is. Driving in water that is too deep may flood your car engine causing it to go off and eventually leave you stuck. It is okay to check how deep the water is by using a stick and only drive through if you are confident the car can manage. As a rule of thumb, avoid water that is as high as your car doors as they can’t keep the water from seeping into the interior.
  • Check the flow of the water. If it is too strong it may sweep away your car causing risk to you and others. Although it is difficult to gauge the strength of the current, it is best to avoid any fast flowing water.

 

Dealing with Snow and Ice

When nights get cold or the winter strikes, the roads are left frozen and covered in ice and snow. Grip on such roads is of major concern to drivers and other road users as well. Let’s see now how to best manage such driving conditions.

  • As the roads are very slippery, the first and most important thing to do is to reduce your driving speed. This will give you more control on your vehicle and will reduce the dangers that may otherwise be posed by speeding.
  • Check the steepness of the road and avoid very steep sections. This is because the poor grip may result in the car sliding out of control even while applying the brakes.
  • When slowing down and stopping your car, be sure to start braking early. Due to the poor grip the car may not stop immediately and this may cause a hazard to other people and property in close proximity. Breaking early means that you will be able to stop the vehicle in the right time.
  • As you steer your car when driving, avoid moving or turning the steering wheel fast or suddenly as this will only result into the car swerving and skidding out of control. Make sure you steer slowly to keep the car in control.

Before embarking on a journey, it would be prudent to check the weather reports. You will be better informed on weather conditions and will have ample time to plan as well as to prepare for it. When you have been able to drive through bad weather, take time to check on your car and make sure there is no damage and in cases where some parts are not in top form, take time to fix them before the next time you set out on travel.

Cheap ways for keeping your car in top condition

Taking care of your car so that it keeps running great and looking new all the time shouldn’t be difficult. Miracle cures and mystery polymers are all fine but will not do much good for your car. Consistent proper care and maintenance are what will make your car last long; functioning smoothly all the way into the high six-figure mileage ranges with few or no failures. Besides, a well-kept car would make a good deal whenever you need to take out a loan on it. So, here are some top ways that will keep your car in its top condition without breaking the bank.

 

Keep the maintenance schedule

Though this may seem like a no-brainer but it is crucial if you do not want to spend so much money fixing a broken car. Recent models have an oil monitoring system. This system is set in a way that the car determines the best time for an oil change, so you won’t have to get to your manual for reminders.

However, if your vehicle doesn’t have an oil monitoring system, then try and change the oil every 3000 to 5000 miles.

Oh, and remember to avoid keeping the car idle for long periods. Having it idle hampers proper oil flow so some engine parts wouldn’t be properly lubricated. That just translates to incomplete combustion, oil contamination and consequently damage to your car engine.

 

 

Check your emission system

This is a part of the vehicle many fail to take care of. This is the part of the car that controls the pollutants and exhausts produces by your car. It keeps the engine running smoothly and effectively under all operating conditions. That’s why you really need to ensure that the emission system is functioning at its best.

The major culprits here are ERG valves and oxygen sensors. And you want to ensure that a professional does the checking. Professionals are more likely to point out a problem that’s hidden in plain sight.

 

Proper driving habits

If you want your car to last longer, then you better improve how you drive. Believe it or not, it’s got a huge effect, not only on the tyres but also the transmission control. For starters, you can switch your gear to neutral whenever you stop, perhaps in traffic or when you stop for gas. The transmission still continues to work even when you’ve stepped on the brakes.

You could also stop throwing the gear in reverse while your vehicle is still moving. Yes, you’re probably in a hurry but getting the gear in reverse makes the transmission take up more momentum and this can eventually cause damage.

Another working tip is to consolidate all your errands. Constantly taking short trips does a lot more damage to your engine than taking longer trips. This is particularly important after buying a new car. Shorter trips on a cold engine is a nightmare for cars as the engine won’t be at optimal operating temperatures.

 

Take care of its interior

Your vehicle’s interior needs to make a statement. You need to keep it clean and protected at all times. Avoid eating and drinking in the vehicle. Your vehicle’s upholstery can be easily damaged by stains once they soak in, so you need to clean them immediately and occasionally vacuum the interior.

Additionally, you need to park in the shade or cover your dashboard with a window deflector screen to prevent the UV rays from eventually damaging it. You could also apply some UV protectant on the vinyl and plastic to keep them from cracking and drying out.

 

Is It Safe to Buy a Repossessed Car?

Car repossession is a big misfortune to anyone who had hopes to a car ownership. With the current economy, it can happen to just about anyone. This is why it calls for caution for those who want to own a car. The means you choose to car ownership need to be well thought out. This is all in an attempt to avoid a scenario where you would be unable to pay for the car and thus having the lending company coming to repossess the car.

For those seeking to buy cars; yes, it is possible to buy a repossessed car safely. Buying a repossessed car may end up being a very good deal for you. But this is only the case when you know the real market value of the vehicle. You can either benefit from buying a repossessed car or get ripped off by the seller. This is why you need to be cautious when making a decision to purchase one. In the UK, there are thousands of cars getting repossessed on an annual basis. All these are usually put up in the market for sale. There are numerous avenues that usually sell these cars.

Before making a purchase, you need to know the real condition of the car. Most of these vehicles usually lack warranties and most of their history information is unavailable. Have professionals look into the car. Maybe the owner did not afford to service the vehicle regularly or wanted to damage the car internally as a means to send a parting message to the lender of the car. You do not want to end up buying a salvage vehicle in the name of a repossessed vehicle.

Consider buying these cars from dealers. While they may not be so good at giving you the greatest discounts, they are usually more thorough in their inspection of the car. You can also opt to buy the car from the lender. In many cases, lenders like banks will try to sell these cars to individuals working in the institutions. If you do not work with any lenders, make friendships with individuals working there and you will get information when there are cars up for sale. Lenders also usually put valuers to task in inspecting the cars thus letting them know the real condition of the car.

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How to Keep Your Engine from Overheating

An overheating engine is a problem many of us face during the hot summer months. No matter what kind of car you are driving, or how old it is, any car can overheat. If you are driving along and the temperature gauge on your dashboard is slowly rising, your engine is probably starting to overheat. There are a few things you should do if this is happening to you.

The first thing to do is to turn on your heat and to open up the windows. Turning on the heat pulls the energy away from the engine and directs the heat into the car cabin. It will get very hot in there though, and since it is already hot outside, you will probably want to open up your windows to make it a little more comfortable. Point the vents away from you to try and make it a little more bearable as well.

If you have turned the heat on, and the temperature gauge is still climbing, you are going to want to pull over. By this point you may even be seeing steam or smoke coming out from underneath your hood. Pull over when it is safe and turn off the car. If you keep driving while the temperature is high, you run the risk of causing some serious damage to your engine. If you feel comfortable doing so, once the engine has had time to cool down, open up the front hood. If you are not sure what you are doing, or why your engine is overheating, it is best to leave it alone and call roadside assistance.

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            If you are able to get underneath your hood, check the coolant levels in your car. If you see they are low, you may have a leak that you will need to get repaired ASAP. On the other hand, if your coolant levels are fine, the problem may be a broken temperature gauge. If this is the case, wait for your engine to cool then continue onto your destination, but be very careful. Get the temperature gauge replaced as soon as possible.

Lastly, if it is of the utmost importance that you reach your destination right away, there is something you can do from the road. First, make sure you have pulled over and that you have given the engine time to cool. Next, locate that radiator cap and twist it off. If you don’t know where it is, refer to your owner’s manual. Fill up the radiator and reservoir with coolant. If you don’t have any coolant on you, you can use water if you have to. This is by no means a long term fix, and you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. It will just keep your engine cool long enough for you to reach your destination, although you may have to pull over again to repeat the process.

Whenever you get your car inspected, you should have the fluid levels checked. This way you know that you always have coolant in your car, and you can avoid your car overheating in most situations. By performing this regular maintenance, and by not pushing your car when it does start to overheat, you can save yourself a lot of money on future repairs.

How to Change a Flat Tire

No one likes getting a flat tire. They always seem to come right at the worst moments, like when you are already running late for work, or when you are coming home after a long day. If it is a rainy day out, you may soon find yourself stuck on the side of the road trying to change your tire as quickly as you can so that you can get out of the rain. In order to do this, you have to know how to change a tire a head of time. This is a skill that everyone who drives should know, since you never know when a flat will happen to you.

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The first step is to get to a safe place. If you get a flat while driving, you want to get over to the shoulder or into a parking lot as soon as you can. You’ll need some room to work when changing your flat, so get as far off the main road as you can before trying to change your tire. Try to find the flattest possible spot to work to make it safe for yourself. Once you have found a good spot, put the car into park and put on the emergency break.

After doing that, you need to get out your tools. Most vehicles come with an emergency car jack, a tire iron, and a spare tire. If you are missing any of these in your car, you will want to replace them as soon as you can, because changing your tire without them is basically impossible. Place the jack on the ground near where the flat tire is, along with the spare tire. Use the tire iron to loosen the bolts on your wheel before jacking your car up. Don’t take the bolts off all the way, just loosen them a little bit so that they are easy to take off once the car is up.

Next, look under your car to see where to place the jack. There is usually a spot marked underneath your car, or it is written in your owner’s manual. Putting the jack in the right spot is important to ensuring that the car stays up while you put the new tire on. Once you have the jack in place, start raising your car up. Most jacks will either have you turn a nob to raise it up, or push on a lever. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out yours after looking at it for a few minutes. Keep jacking up your car until the tire is off of the ground. Depending on your jack this may take a while, so keep at it.

With the tire off of the ground, take the bolts off all of the way. Now you can remove the flat tire and put it off to the side. If the tire is stuck at all, just give it a little kick to loosen it. Slide on the spare tire, and put the bolts back in to secure it. You don’t have to tighten these too much yet, but make sure they are on there pretty good. Now lower the car back down to the ground and take the jack out of the way. Use the tire iron to tighten up the bolts and make sure they are on there nice and tight. Once you’ve tightened up the bolts as much as you can, you’re done! Put away your tools and store your flat tire in your trunk for now.

Once you have changed your tire, be sure to get a replacement as soon as you can. You don’t want to drive around without a spare tire for too long, just in case you get another flat. Also, if you have never changed a tire before, we recommend going out and practicing how to do it, so that when the time comes you will know what to do. Changing your tire is a simple process, and one that you don’t really need to call roadside assistance for. You can be on your way  a lot quicker if you take a few minutes to learn how it’s done.

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Save Money by Taking Care of Your Car’s Tires

Your monthly car payments are already putting a strain on your budget as of the moment. You don’t want your other car expenses to bury you further. In order to save money and get the most out of your car tires, below are some things you can do. When done properly, proper care and maintenance of your car tires can spare you money you can spend on other important things.

Check Tire Pressure

The number one way to keep your tire in good working condition and thus extend its longevity is by maintaining proper air pressure. Your tire will wear and tear faster when it is under-inflated.Not enough air pressure also leads to tire stress and sometimes unsafe driving.

Under inflated tires wouldn’t always look or appear flat. It’s important for you to check the air pressure regularly. Make sure that the tires are cool when doing your check-ups.

Rotate Tires Regularly

What will also extend your car tires shelf lives is by rotating them regularly. Doing so will facilitate even tire wear. To know the right time for tire rotation, check your car’s manual. Otherwise, rotate tires every 5,000 miles.

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Check Tire Alignment

You’d also want to check tire alignment. When tires are aligned poorly, it often leads to uneven and faster tread tire wear. Again, check your car’s manual to know the right time to have your tires realigned. You’ll have to do it periodically to ensure optimal tire usage. Signs such as shaking and vibrating may mean also mean misalignment.

Check Tire Tread

To save money and at the same time ensure your safety, you must make it a habit to check your tire tread regularly. Ideally, you shouldn’t let your tire tread get worn down to 1/16 of an inch. When it does, a replacement is in order. Otherwise you are risking your tires to skid while on the road especially during a rainy weather.

Manufacturers pose reminders with their built-in tread wear indicator. You will typically see it on your tires once the 1/16 inch has been reached. Another way to check your tread is to place a penny into the tread grove. If the coin’s head is covered by the tread, there’s no need for replacement yet.

Go for New Tires

If you have no other choice but to have your tires replaced, you are better off buying new tires rather than used tires. While it’s true that you can save money with used tires, there’s still the issue of safety and risk you have to think about. If you can afford to buy new, you are better off going this route. Just remember to pick a high quality brand that can offer you your money’s worth in the long run.

10 Fuel Saving Tricks You Should Know About

The cost of fuel is every increasing. Either you let it ruin your budget or do something about it. If you’re the type who’d rather do the latter then the following tips and tricks are some of the best ways you can save up to 20% or even more on your fuel expenses.

Check Air Filter

Do you know that a clean air filer can help improve your car’s gas mileage? Yes, that’s right and by as much as 10% too. Before anything else, make sure your air filter is clean. If it needs replace which one in four cars usually does then go ahead and take care of it.

Maintain Motor

This one’s pretty obvious but some drivers still fail to carry it out. Though you’ll have to pay for the tune in and full car service, consider it an investment that will help with fuel economy as well as ensure that your car stays safe and reliable for the long run. A trip to the garage once in a while for maintenance purposes is recommended for all car owners.

Align tires

Make sure that your tires are also aligned correctly. Bad wheel alignment means faster wear and tear for your tires and they are expensive so better cover this problem while you’re at it. With tires aligned properly, you can expect for the car’s engine to work more efficiently and thereby allowing you to save up to 10% in fuel.

Pump-up Tires

About one in 4 cars have deflated tires. You may be among those people who keep driving anyway even if the tires are already begging to be pumped up. Stop the habit because you can save up to 2.8% in fuel efficiency if you keep your tires well pumped.

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Reduce Drag

When driving, you want to increase drag by opening the sun roof or having the windows down especially when you get somewhere at 30 mph. Placing sport equipment on the roof like a surfboard or a bike may also reduce fuel economy. Keep this in mind if you want to save money on gas.

Be a Master Operator

Accelerating quickly or slowly while driving puts a strain on your car motor and may reduce fuel economy. In order to save more on gas, try to learn how to be a smooth operator. Ideally, you should master how to seamlessly take the car to 50 mph within a 15 to 20 second time frame. Once you get to the right speed, aim to maintain the car at a constant pace as that avoids fuel wastage.

Check Gas Cap

Do you know that close to 17% of cars have missing or broken gas caps? And that’s while on the road too. You don’t want to be a part of that statistic. Always check your gas cap because doing so improve fuel economy as this will avoid escaping fumes and air pollution.

Monitor Air Conditioning

Of all the electric gadgets and extras in your car, it is the air conditioner that adds up a lot of load on your car’s motor. To improve fuel economy, you may want to take it easy on the use of your air conditioner. Turn it off when not needed and opt for a low setting if you’re going to use it.

Get off the Brakes

If you’re in the habit of laying your foot on the brake while driving, break that habit now. With your foot on the brake, the pads will not only wear out faster but doing so also increase fuel usage by up to 35%.

Slow Down

We all want to drive fast while on the highway. There’s just a thrill to it that we long for once in a while but do you know that you can reduce fuel usage by 7% for every 5 mph you reduce on your speed? Yes, that’s true so you should slow down too when you can.

How to Not Get Ripped off on Your Car Service Bill

Whether you like it or not, your newly-bought car will eventually go through wear and tear. Some parts will need to be checked and replaced. Maybe you need new brake pads or your spark plugs need more attention. In any case, you’d need a trip to the garage for a car service.

Each car has different servicing needs. Even if you know your way around your car’s internal parts, you’d still need to tap an expert mechanic’s help from time to time. The problem with a trip to the garage, however, is the ever increasing and baffling cost that comes after. A recent research, in fact, found that garages in the UK today charge a hefty hourly fee of about £92.

Not everyone can afford the increasing cost of car repair and maintenance but there are things you can do to avoid being ripped off.

Do your homework

Like most drivers, you may have absolutely zero knowledge about car maintenance. That’s not entirely a bad thing if you just do your homework. Before making the trip to the nearest garage, take time to read about your car and what you can do when a thing or two go wrong.

Your best bet is to buy a manual for your specific model or you can always troll the internet for more information. Either way, sufficient knowledge is your best armor when dealing with garages and mechanics that are out to rip you off.Also remember that the Citizens Advice Bureau endows you the right to be charged reasonably for car repairs. For a better idea of what’s reasonable, you must be willing to read and keep reading about these things.

Inquire about work and parts guarantees

Before you pick a garage for your repair needs, make sure you ask about guarantees. Reputable garages, in general, offer work and part guarantees for one year. Don’t expect that all garages offer that kind of guarantees. Always ask first before handing over your car and your money.

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Always Ask to See Replaced Parts

With car repair’s increasing costs, it is not time to be passive. You need to be more proactive when bringing over your car for repair. If anything needs any replacing, for instance, you should ask your mechanic to show you which parts needed it. Ask about what they did and why they needed to do it in the first place. A good garage or mechanic for that matter will be more than happy to show you the ropes.

Seek for Recommendations

You probably have a family member, friend or neighbor who had a trip to the garage. Ask for their recommendations to help you find a good garage. But again, before you finalize your pick, make sure you checked out several garages on your list of recommendation. Compare their services and fees. Also ensure that your car is a similar type to that of the person who recommended the garage.

Hold on to the receipts

This is not going to be your first trip to the garage so make sure that you keep the receipt for your own records. If you’re planning to sell your car anytime soon, having the receipt for a full service handy will help with increasing your car’s resale value.