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Getting Your Truck Ready For Off-Roading: Tips For You

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Your Truck Ready For Off-Roading: Tips For You

When you purchase a pickup truck, you may have dreams of taking it off-roading on wild and crazy adventures with your family and friends. However, most pickups fresh off the lot, whether new or used, are not yet ready to go off-roading. While truck commercials often feature their trucks conquering mountains or desert dunes with ease, you will actually need to take some steps to get your truck ready for safe and enjoyable off-roading. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to prepare your truck and get started making the changes you need before your big adventure begins. Get A Set Of Tires Specifically For Off-Road Driving One of the best things you can do for you and your pickup truck to get ready for off-roading is to get yourself a second set of tires. These tires will need different treads than your everyday use tires. Tires that are good for city driving are the exact opposite of tires that are good off-road. Off-road tires have deeper treads for more traction. These tires are designed to grip the ground even if there is mud, loose gravel, or other uneven ground to keep your truck from crashing or having other problems when you are driving off-road. Get An Off-Road LED Light Bar Lighting can also sometimes be an issue when you go off-road. Out in the wilderness, there are no streetlights or the general glow of electricity from being in the city. Dark nights in the city are far darker out in the country when you are off-roading. As such, it is important to get additional lighting for your truck before you begin your big off-road adventure. An off road LED light bar provides excellent extra lighting for your pickup truck. These light bars can be installed in different ways. For most standard pickup trucks, the LED light bars are installed on the hood or just below it between the two front headlights. If you have an SUV-style truck, you can also install the LED light bar on the top of your truck. Compared to standard headlights, off-road LED light bars are much brighter and more intense. They are also highly durable so that you do not have to worry about them suffering from damage or malfunction due to the rough terrain when you are off-roading. Now that you know a few of the steps that you can take to get your truck ready for off-roading, you can get the process started and begin your off-road adventures as soon as...

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5 Items You Should Always Keep In Your Car In Winter In Case Of Emergency

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Items You Should Always Keep In Your Car In Winter In Case Of Emergency

Several things can happen while driving in the winter. You can skid off the road, get stuck backing out of your driveway, or get stranded out on the freeway and have to make do while you await a tow truck to retrieve your vehicle in the cold elements. Whether you travel alone or with your family in the car with you, you should always be prepared for winter emergencies on the road. Here are 5 things you should always keep in your car in winter in case an emergency on the road strikes. Hand/feet warmers You likely already have a few emergency blankets or coats and gloves in your trunk to keep you warm in case you get stranded on the road and need to stay warm while you wait for a towing service, and adding hand and feet warmers to your collection can bring further comfort. These warmers can be placed in gloves or socks as needed and can give valuable heat to your extremities until you can get in a safer environment again. List of emergency numbers This list should include: towing services in your area, such as Mark’s Towing, Inc. family members (cell phones and landlines) your family doctor or clinic Make sure your auto insurance card is within easy reach as well and includes a contact number in case you get stuck on the road and need to call them for assistance. Cell phone charger You should always carry a car phone charger for your cell phone, or an outlet adapter to place in your car’s cigarette lighter so you can charge your phone or other device via your home charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, consider getting a prepaid one that you can keep in your glove box for winter emergencies so you can make phone calls for a towing service and more in the event you break down in the cold. Water/snacks Always carry a few gallons of water in the trunk of your car along with snacks that don’t perish quickly, such as fruit leather, nuts, crackers, or even granola bars. When you have children in the car with you and you are stuck on the road for several hours, you will want to make sure you have food and water that can sustain you comfortably until help arrives. First aid and supplies Keep a first aid kit in your car, including bandages, pain relievers, cough and cold syrups, gauze, and sterile gloves. Supplies you should also keep in your vehicle include a flashlight with an ‘SOS’ flashing option (you can find these at a sportsman supply store) so you can flag down help or assist a tow truck in locating your vehicle if you are off the road. To assist in traction, keep a bag of kitty litter and an old rug in your trunk as well. If you get stuck in your driveway or on the side of the road, sprinkling kitty litter under tires or placing a rug under a tire that needs traction can help you get out safely. Getting stranded in winter and having to await a tow truck or other emergency vehicle can be a frightening experience. With the right necessities in your vehicle, you can remain safer while you wait for help to arrive...

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That Dent Will Cost You, One Way Or Another

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on That Dent Will Cost You, One Way Or Another

After getting in an accident, there are a lot of things that need immediate attention. Broken glass, axle alignment, popped tires and doors that are so dented they won’t close will need to be fixed in order for a vehicle to be roadworthy. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of cars and trucks with smaller, less obtrusive auto body damage that could use a few skilled professionals to reverse the problem and paint over the creases. Although these vehicles will still drive, take a look at a few problems that could make a visit to the auto body repair shop a better idea than leaving the damage the way it is. Collisions Can Ruin Your Aerodynamic Profile Think about the shape of your vehicle. Vehicles are designed to be appealing to potential consumers, but they’re also designed to be efficient. Vehicles need to work against wind resistance (also known as drag) by reducing the surfaces that could block wind or be “caught” by the pushing force caused by accelerating. The shape of a vehicle and its ability to “cut” through the air is called the aerodynamic profile, and there’s a lot of research that goes into that design. If you’ve ever put your hand outside of the window while driving, you’ll know the force of wind as it pushes your hand back. If you face your palm forward with fingers extended, there will be a certain push that is enough to send your arm moving backwards. If you turn your hand sideways so that your thumb or pinkie finger is pointing forward, you’ll notice that there is less of a push.  This is because the air has less surface to push against. The aerodynamic profile is designed to achieve less resistance, but getting into an collision that causes auto body damage can lead to more resistance, or at least the aerodynamic profile not working the way it should. Dents caused by the collision are just like hands sticking out of the window; the flattened areas and changing shapes create new surfaces for the wind to push against. Different parts of your car could be picking up varying degrees of wind resistance. Gas Guzzling From Extra Effort A ruined aerodynamic profile leads to a few different problems. It isn’t just increasing resistance as you move forward; the force of air resistance going at strange angles because of dents in the aerodynamic profile can make your car drift or list to a certain side against your will. Not unlike a low pressure or damaged tire problem, you’ll need to put more effort into keeping your vehicle at the same trajectory. The steering wheel may wrestle weakly against your control in a specific direction that changes depending on your speed. With any form of resistance, your engine will need to work harder to maintain the same speed. This means that you’ll consume more gas as you drive, and your vehicle may suffer wear and tear at a faster rate. The extra fuel used depends on how your vehicle is damaged, but if you’re the type of driver who looks for a cent difference at gas stations, you should consider how much money you’re wasting by not getting the damage fixed. Contact an auto body repair professional like Collisions Plus Performance to assess the damage and to get a quote for...

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4 Tips For Getting Your RV Ready For Winter

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Getting Your RV Ready For Winter

You spent the warm summer and mild fall camping and taking road trips in your RV, but now winter is just around the corner. In order to take good care of your RV year-round, it’s important to winterize it. Just like with your car and your home, there are special maintenance tasks in the winter to keep your RV in tip-top shape. Here are four ways to get your RV ready for winter: Purchase Space Heaters If you rely solely on the standard furnace that comes with your RV, you may quickly use up your RV battery since that is what powers RV heating systems. A great alternative is to pick up a couple of affordable space heaters at any hardware store and use these to heat the RV when you’re not driving. You may want to opt for at least one battery-operated one in case you need to go without electricity at any point. Insulate Your Pipes Most RVs have exposed pipes underneath that can easily freeze. Frozen pipes will leave you without access to running water, and you will potentially have a big mess on your hands if they happen to burst. The best solution is to purchase insulation tape at a home improvement store and wrap all of the pipes that are exposed to the elements. In addition to keeping the pipes from freezing, you may find that this simple step helps heat up the water in your RV much faster. Add Warm Comforts Simple touches can make a big difference in how warm and comfortable your RV is in the winter. Be sure to bring plenty of warm blankets and extra clothes. An electric blanket will make even the coldest night feel cozy. You may want to switch out lightweight curtains with heavy-duty, thick curtains that will help keep the heat inside and block out the cold air. Another idea is to cover your windows with thermal insulation to keep things even toastier inside. Consider Adding a Generator There may be times when the power goes down at an RV park. This is inconvenient in summer, but it can be dangerous in the winter. If you plan to do much winter traveling in your RV, a small backup generator can be worth its weight in gold. With your own generator, you will always have your own source of power, and therefore heat. By following these steps, you can make sure your RV makes it through the cold winter months with no issues. Check it...

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3 Signs That Your Teenager Is Mature Enough To Drive

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That Your Teenager Is Mature Enough To Drive

Most teenagers are excited for the day when they will be able to obtain a drivers license and have the freedom to drive on their own. However, just because the teen has reached the legal age to drive, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ready to drive independently. It is up to the parents and the driving instructor to know if the teen has enough maturity to operate a car on their own. Here are some signs that your teen is ready to drive.   1. Your Teen Can Follow Rules At Home An important part of driving is rule following. There may be certain rules that your teen may not fully understand why they are following, but has the trust and obedience to obey the rules. This is because they trust that these rules will protect them. This is vital when you are driving a car. The teen may be asked to not text and drive, wear a seat belt, follow traffic rules, or not drive with certain people in the car. Although you may try to explain why you want them to follow these rules, your teen may not fully understand the big picture. However, if they are mature enough to obey the rules, even if they don’t fully know why, they are ready to drive. 2. Your Teen Is Not Swayed By Peers Peer pressure plays a very important role in driving. When multiple kids get together there is always a chance that they will do something dangerous. If your teen is more worried about impressing friends, then ensuring their safety and everyone else’s safety, then they are not ready to drive. This also applies to other drivers. If you feel your teen will be easily swayed by other driver’s road rage or pressure then you should hold the child back from getting their license until they are stronger against peer pressure. 3. Your Teen Understands How To Properly Care For A Car Driving a car is only one aspect of the equation; before your teen obtains a license they should learn how to care for the car. For example, they should know what it feels like when the brakes are giving out, how to fix a tire, signs that the oil needs to be changed and other basic car maintenance. If they don’t know the signs that the car isn’t safe to drive, they could put themselves and others in danger. By looking for these signs, you can determine if your teenager is mature enough to drive. Contact a local driving school, such as Shropshire Driving School, for further...

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Three Common Causes Of Car Thermostat Failure

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Common Causes Of Car Thermostat Failure

The car thermostat controls engine temperature by regulating the amount of coolant entering the engine. This means the thermostat is integral to your engine’s performance so you need to know why it may fail. Here are three common reasons your thermostat may start acting up. It Is Rusty Physical signs of rust and corrosion (red or brown deposits on the thermostat) mean that you should start thinking of a replacement thermostat. Causes of such corrosion include the use of non-compatible coolants, mixing different coolants, or using a contaminated (for example, if it contains foreign fluids) coolant. A car’s coolant corrodes with time, and there is nothing you can do about that. However, if the coolant’s reservoir pressure cap isn’t tight enough then it may cause air bubbles, and air accelerates corrosion.  Although you will have to replace the thermostat, it’s good to fix the root of the problem, too. For example, if the pressure cap is damaged, then you should fix it so that your new thermostat doesn’t corrode too fast. It Is Clogged With Deposits Deposits and sludge can build up inside a thermostat and reduce its efficiency. The deposits are caused by the same things that cause rust, and they usually precede corrosion. In this case it’s advisable to flush the cooling system to get rid of the offensive fluids. Don’t wait until you the corrosion starts before replacing the thermostat; corrosion usually appears when the thermostat has been operating below par for some time. It Is Leaking From the Mounting Surface A properly mounted thermostat shouldn’t allow any coolant leakage. Thus, if you notice signs of coolant on or around the mount, then you should suspect that the thermostat wasn’t properly mounted. If the mounting is professionally done then the problem may lie with the seals or quality of the gaskets. The risk of coolant leakage is one of the reasons you shouldn’t install a thermostat if you don’t have a thorough understanding of the process. If a DIY thermostat installation results in leaking or associated problems, then let your mechanic handle the re-installation. If the installation was done properly, then it may be that the thermostat is damaged and needs to be replaced. Your engine will not heat up properly if the thermostat is damaged, which makes it difficult to start the car. You also risk overheating the engine once the car is running. Therefore, contact a local mechanic, like Import Automotive, for a...

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How To Prepare Your Tractor Before A Hurricane

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prepare Your Tractor Before A Hurricane

Whether you own a large farm, a small farm or just a lot of personal property, you probably rely on your tractor to help you take care of your land. If there is a hurricane approaching your area, you might be worried about your tractor being damaged by the weather. Following these tips can help you prepare your tractor before a hurricane so that you can help prevent possible damage and ensure that you’re ready for the big storm. Fill It Up If you find yourself dealing with flooding, downed trees, or other major problems after the hurricane, you might need your tractor in order to get around. Therefore, you should ensure that it is filled with fuel before the storm hits. Now is also a good time to check the oil and other fluids, as well as the tire pressure. Seek Shelter It is best to keep your tractor out of the elements as much as possible. If you have a barn or shelter, it should be parked there. Otherwise, rain can make your tractor difficult to crank and can cause damage to the instrument panel. Even if your tractor is kept under a shelter, however, this could be an issue if the shelter has open sides; this is because the hurricane’s strong winds are sure to blow water underneath the shelter. It’s a smart idea to cover the instrument panel, the exhaust system, and the seat; you can use tarps or plastic sheeting for this purpose. Remove Extra Parts It’s best to break your tractor down as much as possible before the hurricane comes. This does not mean that you actually have to take the tractor apart, but you should remove any extra parts, such as utility attachments. Anchor it Down When the wind picks up during the hurricane, you’ll want your tractor to stay in place. Although this might not be much of a concern if your tractor is in a barn, it is something to worry about if it’s under an open-sided shelter. You can do so with anchors that go into the ground and heavy chains or straps. Taking good care of your tractor is important all year long, but it’s particularly important during a hurricane. If you follow these tips, however, you can help prevent your tractor from being damaged by the storm. Plus, you’ll know that your tractor is in good shape and ready to go if you need it when dealing with the aftermath. For more information, talk to a professional like Creel Tractor...

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Understanding The Importance Of Your State Emissions Testing

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding The Importance Of Your State Emissions Testing

The importance of smog or emissions testing is lost on many people. You may view it as a chore, or just an obstacle to your ability to drive. However, these tests serve an important function. With a little understanding of that function, you may feel a little differently about bringing your car in for testing. Why Emissions Testing Exists Mandatory emissions testing dates from the early 90s and the Clean Air Act. It’s important to note that the Clean Air Act was and is an overall effort to reduce the emissions of hazardous pollutants into the air. It’s not directed just at vehicles. However, controlling vehicle emissions plays a significant role in keeping pollutants out of the air. The CAA called for cleaning burning fuel, and more cars that can make use of said fuel. There was also concern for the growing number of vehicles on the road. That’s why emissions testing only works as a cumulative effort. Your car is one of over 130-million cars on the road. That represents a lot of noxious fumes permeating the air. You may not notice it if you’re in a rural or even suburban area. But in cities where there are millions of people, and millions of vehicles, the smog and bad air quality can become quite noticeable. What comes out of the tailpipes of cars is a toxic mix that does more than work to deplete the ozone layer. These toxins are also poisonous to people who breathe them in. Some Cars Contribute More Toxins Than Others This is where individual cars come in. Vehicle emissions are heavily regulated, more so in some places than others. Remember the point about this representing a collective effort. You may think that a single car that doesn’t pass emissions isn’t much of a big deal. But consider that one car likely represents hundreds, if not thousands of vehicles. When you go in for an emissions test, you are taking personal responsibility for your role in the cumulative effort. If your car fails emissions, it’s important that you make the repairs necessary so it can pass. This isn’t an arbitrary ruling to keep you off the road. It’s a way to make sure that your one vehicle isn’t contributing more toxins than the others on the road. The mechanic will give you the report outlining that causes of the failure and what you need to do to fix the issues. This report may actually help to point out issues you have with your vehicle that you weren’t even aware of. And that’s another reason you shouldn’t hesitate to go in for your annual or biannual emissions testing. Contact a local mechanic, like Advanced Auto Care, for more...

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How To Ensure Your Tow Truck Driver Can Find You

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Ensure Your Tow Truck Driver Can Find You

Being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, a mechanical issue or another vehicle problem can be a nightmare. Your first instinct is probably to call a professional tow truck service, like Elden Dattage Towing & Auto Repair, but it’s important to ensure that your tow truck driver can easily find you and your vehicle. These are a few tips that you can follow if you want to ensure that your tow truck driver has no problem finding you. 1. Call a Local Company When calling for a tow truck driver, you may want to avoid using a national service. These services can often send out drivers from bigger cities that are a decent distance from where you and your vehicle are located. Along with causing you to wait longer to get a tow, this can also mean that your tow truck driver isn’t familiar with local roads and landmarks. If you call a local towing company that specializes in providing services in the area that you are located in, you can ensure that you are working with a driver who can easily figure out your location. 2. Give All the Information that You Can Take the time to give your tow truck driver as much information as possible. Look for street signs, highway markers, local businesses and other landmarks that can help fill your driver in on your location. Also, give a description of the appearance of your vehicle. If you have a GPS navigation system, look to see if it provides coordinates or other information about your location. 3. Make Your Vehicle Easy to See If you have pulled well off of the road while waiting for your tow truck driver, your vehicle might not be very easy to see. Make sure that it catches attention by adding reflectors or cones if you have them. Also, make sure that you turn your hazard lights on. Not only will these steps make your vehicle easier to see and recognize by your towing provider, but they will also help keep you safe and help prevent the possibility of a driver crashing into your vehicle. At times, it can be tough to tell a tow truck driver exactly where you are, especially if your vehicle has broken down in a not-so-convenient spot. You probably don’t want to be stuck waiting while your truck driver is trying to find you, however, so follow these tips to make yourself a lot easier to...

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Why It Is So Important In Semi Truck Repair To Keep The Pyrometer Gauge Working

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why It Is So Important In Semi Truck Repair To Keep The Pyrometer Gauge Working

Diesel engines, while being the most fuel efficient in terms of combustible engines when compared to standard gasoline engines, are more likely to cause your semi truck to burst into flames. (Other types of smaller, long distance delivery trucks run on gasoline, diesel or propane, but for comparison purposes it is just diesel and standard gasoline trucks here.) The particulates in diesel exhaust fumes are semi-solid bits of carbon, which can easily ignite if they encounter a very hot engine component or hot exhaust pipe as the particulates make their exit. This is why most semi trucks are equipped with a pyrometer gauge. Here is what the pyrometer gauge does, how to check this gauge’s functionality, and how to fix it if it is not working properly. The Pyrometer Gauge Signals Overheating Your truck’s pyrometer gauge, when it is working properly, will signal to you when your exhaust system is overheating. Because semi trucks do not vent their exhaust out the back and underneath the trucks and trailers behind them, the system forces the emissions to the side, up and out the top of your truck. This requires a little extra effort to fight gravity, which in turn requires more energy. The energy used to force the exhaust in the right direction heats up the very long exhaust pipes hanging off the sides of your truck, and when the pipes overheat, it could be “boom time.” How to Tell if the Gauge Is Working Your truck’s pyrometer gauge should be checked regularly for accuracy. Because it is an electrical component in your dash, it can be tested through the truck’s diagnostic port. You will have to take your truck to semi truck repair technician who has a diagnostics computer just for semi trucks. If the gauge is faulty, you will need to replace it right away to avoid several other system problems associated with high temperature exhaust and faulty pyrometer readings. Some of these additional problems are: Lost fuel efficiency (your truck will gradually need more and more fuel to travel the same distance, signaling a faulty internal problem, and you could spend a lot of money trying to find the problem if you do not check your pyrometer gauge first) Increased maintenance costs (from providing maintenance for every part of your engine and exhaust system until you figure out what the problem with your truck is) Catastrophic engine failure, including, but not limited to, diesel exhaust particle ignition which flows back into the engine While it may not be cheap to replace a pyrometer gauge, it is a lot cheaper than having to purchase more and more fuel to make your truck go the same distance or having to replace your truck entirely because it caught on...

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