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3 Tips To Prepare Your Pickup Truck For Off-Roading

Posted by on 10:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Prepare Your Pickup Truck For Off-Roading

If you have a pickup truck, you might be thinking about taking it off the road and into the mud. Before doing so, you probably already know that it’s a good idea to have you truck checked out to make sure that it’s mechanically ready for off-roading, and you may even want to invest in mud tires. Even though you might have thought about the outside of your truck, however, you may not have thought about the changes that you should make to the inside of your vehicle. However, these are a few things that you’ll want to do to ensure that your truck is ready for mudding from the inside out. 1. Put Together an Emergency Kit When done carefully, off-roading can be safe and fun. However, you never know what could happen when you’re off the main road, so it’s important to be prepared. For safety and peace of mind, consider investing in a first aid kit and purchasing a seat belt cutter, emergency flares and other essentials. Then, if you get yourself into a bad situation when you’re in the mud, you will be better equipped to handle it. 2. Invest in Seat Covers If you don’t already have seat covers in your truck, it’s a good idea to purchase a set before you ever take your truck into the mud. If you get in and out, you could get covered in mud. You don’t want to ruin your car’s seats, so consider putting seat covers on them to protect them. You can purchase seat covers that are made out of vinyl or leather, which can be easily cleaned off if you do get them dirty. 3. Purchase Heavy-Duty Floor Mats Along with protecting the seats of your pickup truck, you also want to protect the carpet, too. Purchasing heavy-duty floor mats that can be easily taken out and sprayed off is a smart idea if you are worried about tracking mud into your truck when you’re off the road and getting in and out. As you can see, you shouldn’t just focus on the outside of your truck when preparing for off-roading, although that is obviously important, too. Instead, consider following these three tips to prepare the inside of your truck, too, so that you can keep both yourself and your truck safe when you’re off the road and getting into the mud. Then, you’ll have that many fewer things to worry about when you go off-road. Find accessories from a truck part company, like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories...

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Tips To Help Prepare Your Car For The First Emissions Test

Posted by on 8:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Help Prepare Your Car For The First Emissions Test

Smog inspection requirements can be vastly different from state to state, with some states and counties not conducting any testing. That makes it likely that you could move from a state with no emissions testing at all to a state with strict annual testing requirements. If this is your first year preparing for smog testing, there are a few things you should consider. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car. Do Your Routine Maintenance Several weeks before the test, take time to complete routine maintenance. Change the oil so that there isn’t any dirty oil releasing pollutants into the engine. At the same time, have a tune-up done and top off all of the fluids. The tune-up will reset the car’s onboard computer, clearing any errors. You’ll then want to drive the car normally for a couple of weeks before doing the testing. Topping off the fluids is also important; the car will run on a dynamometer at high RPMs. Since it will be on the machine, there’s minimal air flow. That makes the presence of sufficient coolant essential. A full gas tank is important, too; it prevents vapor in the lines. Deal With Warning Lights If your car’s check engine light is on, most states require an automatic failure on the testing. Before you bring your car in for the test, you’ll want to have the car’s computer scanned to find out the cause of the light. A mechanic can plug a diagnostic device into the computer port on your car to read the error code. One common reason for the light to come on is a failed oxygen sensor. These are fairly inexpensive, so you can have it fixed before the smog test. Ask About A Pre-Assessment Some states will allow you to have a preliminary smog test done without actually recording the results in the database. This gives you the chance to identify problems before you’re actually required to pass the testing. When you do this, the technician can give you a report of all of the errors that arise, if there are any. Many auto shops will even do these preliminary tests free of charge if you agree to have the official test done at their facility. Don’t let new inspection requirements and emissions tests leave you feeling uneasy about your car registration. With these tips, you can prepare your car for that first smog test and increase your chances of a successful result. Contact a company like Lakeside Radiator & Auto Repair for more...

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3 Birthday Gift Ideas Your Newly Licensed Teen Is Sure To Love

Posted by on 7:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Birthday Gift Ideas Your Newly Licensed Teen Is Sure To Love

Now that your teen is a licensed driver, why not gift them with something to deck their ride out with for their birthday? Your teen will likely appreciate the ability to take advantage of high-tech accessories, as well as the opportunity to show off in front of their friends a little. The following three gift ideas may just meet your teen’s personal preferences perfectly: Custom Headlights Possibly one of the coolest auto accessories on the market are custom headlights, and your teen is sure to fall in love with a pair of their own. Custom headlights come in a vast variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that will make your teen’s car unique from any other that’s on the road in your community. Some headlights can even be programmed to create subtle designer patterns as they illuminate the roadway. Consider your teen’s favorite colors and shapes when choosing a pair of headlights to gift them. If you want to ensure that they love their gift, you can always provide them with a gift certificate, so they can choose their own headlights and customization options. Companies like Humboldt Hydrographics may be able to meet your needs in this area. A Rearview Camera Another gift idea that might interest your teen is a rearview, or “backup,” camera. Not only is the technology impressive and fun to use, but it is sure to increase your teen’s safety while they’re on the road without the supervision and support of a seasoned driver. According to AAA tests, rearview cameras can actually increase rear visibility by about 46 percent as well as reduce the risk of back-over accidents and fatalities. It’s a good idea to take a few rides with your teen while they learn to use the rearview camera, so you can ensure that they’re using proper methods. This should help minimize confusion and decrease the risk of an accident when your teen does use the device while driving alone or with friends. A Remote Starter Kit With a remote starter kit installed on your teen’s car, they are sure to feel like a trendsetter among their friends. A remote starter will allow your teen to warm their car up on icy days, so it’s easier to scrape the windows. It may even increase the vehicle’s resale value which will come in handy if your teen wants to trade it in for a newer model at some point in the future. And of course, your teen will never have to worry about entering their vehicle when it’s too hot or cold inside—their remote starter will help ensure comfort all year round. It’s a good idea to accompany your gifts with a serious talk about safety measures that should be taken when using technology as a responsible driver. Consider gifting your teen with a series of defensive driving classes to go with their new gadgets.  ...

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Your Tire Is Going Flat On The Highway – Now What?

Posted by on 4:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Tire Is Going Flat On The Highway – Now What?

If you’ve been driving for a long time, there’s a good chance that you’ve dealt with a flat tire. While you don’t want to go through it again, you’ll know how to react the next time it does occur. For new drivers, however, it can be a panic-filled time to hear a strange sound coming from your tire or suddenly have trouble controlling your vehicle. While your local towing service will be able to help you, here’s what to do in the meantime to ensure that you and your vehicle stay safe. Look For A Safe Spot To Stop While you don’t want to drive on a flat tire for a long time, you don’t need to swerve onto the shoulder right away, either. Reduce your speed gradually, either by braking gently or coasting, and look for a safe spot on the right side of the road to pull over. Ideally, there will be a spot without a barrier or guardrail; such a location will allow you to pull over well away from the traffic lane. If you can’t see an open spot ahead, you’ll have to pull as close to the barrier or guardrail as possible. Stay In Your Vehicle Your initial instinct might be to quickly jump out of your vehicle to survey the damage, as it’s easy to be in a shock-like state upon having your first flat tire. However, it’s necessary to stay calm. Turn your vehicle off and turn on your four-way flashers. Doing so will increase your visibility so that approaching motorists will steer clear of you. Call The Towing Service Once your four-way flashers are on, use your cellphone to call a local towing service. If you can’t look up a number, call a friend or family member and have him or her look up the number for you. Calmly give your location as best you can; look for nearby signs or mileage markers that can pinpoint your specific location. Give a description of your vehicle, answer any questions that the towing dispatcher has for you and ask how long it should take for a tow truck to arrive. Plan Your Next Move Although there’s nothing wrong with staying in the vehicle if you feel that doing so is your safest location based on the road and the traffic situation, you might also wish to get out of the vehicle and stand well away from the road – for example, in a field adjacent to the highway. Be very careful about getting out; do so quickly and only when the traffic is light. Move quickly to your safe location and watch for the tow truck’s arrival. For a towing service, contact a company such as Michael’s Towing & Recovery...

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Building A Home? Select Between These 5 Different Roof Styles

Posted by on 4:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Building A Home? Select Between These 5 Different Roof Styles

While a roof plays a critical role in keeping a home sheltered from the weather, it also adds an element of style that helps separate it from your neighbors. When building a house, you have the option to go with the kind of roof style that you want. By knowing what your options are, you can make the best choice possible.   Mansard The defining characteristic of a mansard roof is that it that each of the 4 sides has two different slopes. A very shallow slop up top, and then a steep slope towards the bottom. The steep section of the roof can act as a wall if you ever decide to make an addition on your home, or give an attic additional storage space. The shallow slope on the top can cause issues with water runoff, which can cause drainage issues, mold, and roof damage.  Saltbox If you want your home to look very unique, a saltbox roof can definitely give you that. The roof is asymmetrical, with a long side and a short side. It’s used in homes with two floors or more, and provides plenty of slop for rain and snow to naturally run off the surface. Homeowners do not like this type of roof because it will cause the ceiling on the top floor to slop instead of being completely flat. Pyramid As the name implies, this roof looks like a pyramid with all four sides coming together to form a point in the middle of the roof. It is ideal for small roofs on structures like a garage. The slope will give you less interior attic space, but will give your home a high-end look. Flat A flat roof will be easy to install and maintain because how easy it is to access t the roof. It can be an ideal choice if you have limited yard space since utilities like the air conditioner can be installed on the roof. That said, you’ll need to perform more maintenance due to problems such as standing water and debris that can collect over time. Arched This roof has a gradual curve to it that stretches over the entire roof, not coming to a single point in the middle like other styles. A curved roof can be put over individual sections, such as an overhang above an entrance, or across the entire roof. The biggest drawback is that it needs to be constructed with a material that will easily bend into the curved shape, making metal one of the best choices for the style. Now that you know of some different roof styles, work with a roofing contractor (such as one from to get a pricing estimate for the roof you want to go...

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Help Your Car Recover From Water Damage

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Help Your Car Recover From Water Damage

Water damage can wreak serious havoc on a car, and it’s more common than you might think. Water can get in if a sun or moonroof is left open during rainfall.  Driving through flooded streets can pull water into the car and stop the engine. Even sitting in a parking lot, when water gets high, a car can sustain damage within 30 minutes. Faulty doors can let in water that runs down to the floor and causes rust, and water can also damage wires and create mildew. Violent storms with heavy winds can push water into a car, too. Checking for Water Damage Some parts of your water-damaged car can be replaced, and some may need to be repaired. Here are some tips to help you get your vehicle back on the road. Engine or Transmission Systems If water mixes in with transmission or engine fluids, there could be severe damage.  Check for signs of water by looking at the dipsticks of both the engine and transmission. If the fluid on those sticks looks watered-down, milky or lighter colored than it should be, water has probably mixed in. If you find signs of water infiltration, do not start or drive the car. Have the car towed to a garage for further assessment and repair, or alternately, drive it someplace where you can flush the transmission and oil pan yourself, if you’re comfortable with DIY car repairs. Brake Systems There’s a very high probability your braking system’s been damaged if your car was submerged in water. The best thing to do is dry out the underside of the car by elevating it and taking off the wheels. Once everything is dry, inspect the drums, shoes and pads. It’s also a good idea to drain and replace the brake fluid. Coolant Drain and replace the coolant. While water mixed in with coolant won’t damage the engine coolant system directly, there’s a possibility that the diluted coolant will freeze and crack the engine block. Inside the Car Waterlogged car upholstery is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If water only affected a small area, aiming a fan at the area and leaving it blowing overnight could help the wet area dry out sufficiently. For a larger area of damage and carpeting that’s saturated, you’ll have to remove the seats and the carpeting to get everything dried. If mildew has already set in, you may need to replace the carpeting and seat fabric. Make sure to check your car’s owner’s manual before attempting to remove the seats because removal methods vary widely.  For transmission repair, contact a company such as Atomic...

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4 Things You Never Knew About Your Car’s Air Filter

Posted by on 1:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You Never Knew About Your Car’s Air Filter

Properly maintaining an automobile can be intimidating as you start to learn just how many different parts your vehicle is made of. Routine maintenance, however, is vital in saving yourself some money. One of the easier steps you can take to maintain your vehicle is cleaning the air filter. In fact, how much do you know about your vehicle’s air filter and how to maintain it? You Can Clean Your Air Filter When you need to change your air filter varies depending on what type of vehicle you drive. Chevrolet, for example, recommends a filter change every 45,000 miles. Hyundai recommends changing it every 30,000 miles in normal driving conditions and 15,000 miles in severe conditions. Ford, on the other hand, recommends a chance every 30,000 miles.  If you are driving through an excessive amount of debris, the air filter is not likely to last the recommended mileage. Fortunately, you can take the filter out and clean it to save yourself some money. Cleaning it will lengthen the lifespan and allow you to use the filter until the recommended replacement date. Cleaning Your Air Filter is Easy The thought of removing a part from your vehicle (even just to clean it) can be scary. Fortunately, this is a very easy task to complete. Just take out your car manual and figure out where the filter is located. Once you determine where it is located, you should just be able to pull it off. Once you remove the filter, tap it to remove any loose debris. Depending on how much debris you are dealing with, you may need to sweep it out. You can also use a vacuum to get the debris out. If tapping, sweeping, and vacuuming are not successful, it is time to replace the air filter. Reduce Your Vehicle’s Gas Mileage A clean air filter is also going to save you money on gas as you will get better gas mileage. Some vehicles have been known to have a gas mileage improvement of as much as fourteen percent just by cleaning the air filter. When the air filter is full of debris, it is hard for the engine to suck out air. This forces the engine to burn more fuel to function. Prolong Your Engine’s Life Prolonging your engine’s life is another money saver as replacing or repairing an engine is expensive. Cleaning your air filter will prevent small particles from making way to the engine and wreaking all sorts of havoc on it. As you can see, there are tons of benefits to cleaning and changing the air filter on your automobile. Most of these benefits translate into saving some money too. Contact a business, such as Wolfe’s Foreign Auto, for more information....

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Considering A Used Car? What To Know Before You Buy Anything

Posted by on 10:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering A Used Car? What To Know Before You Buy Anything

If you are looking for a high quality used car but you don’t know how to tell a good deal from a scam, there are some things that you can do to protect your investment. You don’t want to pay too much for a car that isn’t worth buying and end up with a mess of repairs to pay for. You want find out the details of any car before you purchase, and have it inspected by your own mechanic to see if there is anything wrong. Here are a few other things you’ll want to consider. Detailed Vehicle Report You can often get a VIN report which will show you all of the vehicle history information. This information can show you if a car was serviced at the dealership after it was purchased and if the owners took great care of it. You can also see if it was in any accidents, if it had a salvage title, and how many people owned it. Find a great used car that was maintained meticulously and hasn’t had major body or mechanical work due to an accident. Dealership Warranty Some used car dealerships do their own inspections and work on cars that come in, and they will provide buyers with a time or mileage warranty when the buyer purchases a used car. This is ideal because then you know that even if you drive a car off the lot and have something costly break down, you won’t have to cover those costs out of your own pockets. Recent Sale Reports You can compare the cost of the vehicle you want to others of the same year and make in the area, and compare the costs to what other cars have actually sold for. This way you don’t put too much money out for the car, and you can see what the car is really worth. Price will fluctuate based on mileage, body and interior condition, and more. It can be hard to predict how a car is going to work after you buy it when it’s used, but if you make sure that you look into the things listed above, you will be able to make the best decision. Talk with a car dealership like Star Auto Mall LLC to find the car that you want, and then do your research and only pay what you feel comfortable with for the...

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4 Must-Have Pieces Of Equipment For Your Truck

Posted by on 6:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Must-Have Pieces Of Equipment For Your Truck

Half of the enjoyment of buying a new truck is being able to make it your own. But the number of options available to the average consumer looking to customize their truck can be too much at times. So take a look below at some of the most popular equipment choices for truck owners to see how you can turn your bare-boned vehicle into something a little more sophisticated.  Bed Liner If you use your truck as a truck should be used – that is, to haul things from one place to another – one of the first things you’ll notice is the beating that the bed takes. To keep it from being completely destroyed, you’ll want to install a bed liner. This can be done most easily with a spray gun, which results in a much smoother, more professional look than a paint roller and brush. That said, it will cost you a bit more upfront, so be prepared to open your wallet. Sway Bar Disconnect If you want to provide your truck with even further stability at high speeds, a sway bar disconnect is exactly what you need to get the job done. Contrary to what you may hear from the casual off-road Jeep enthusiast, a installing sway bar disconnects isn’t the best way to go about clearing obstacles when you’re off the beaten path — in fact, it will destabilize your truck and lessen the ability of each wheel to move independently of the other. Suspension Seats There’s nothing worse than feeling like your body has taken a beating after a day of off-roading. If you’re no stranger to this feeling, it’s probably because you haven’t installed suspension seats in your truck. Suspension seats keep your body from feeling the brunt of every impact, and lessen the shock that is otherwise transferred directly to your body. Suspension seats can be customized endlessly to provide superior comfort and safety measures, and should be one of the first things you pick up if you’re a lover of off-road adventures. Running Boards If you decide to have your truck lifted, running boards should be the very next item on your to-buy list. Fortunately, today’s running boards are a far cry from the ugly ones of old; most can fold up and down automatically at the push of a button, and come in a staggering variety of looks and materials that will perfectly match your truck. Contact a business, such as Godfrey Brake Service & Supply, for more information about truck...

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Three Reasons Why You Should Expect A Tow Truck Service To Tow Your Car From The Back

Posted by on 12:30 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons Why You Should Expect A Tow Truck Service To Tow Your Car From The Back

Tow truck services almost always tow a car or truck from the front of the vehicle. However, there are some very special situations or reasons for towing your vehicle from the rear. If you are involved in any one of the following situations, you should expect the tow truck driver to tow your vehicle from the rear. If he or she begins to hook your car up the usual way (i.e., from the front of the vehicle), you may want to stop him or her and ask why or request that a different and/or more experienced driver be sent to pick your car up.   Your Front Bumper Is Attached to Another Vehicle’s Rear Bumper Bumper collisions are quite common. However, there is always the freak accident where one bumper does not separate from the bumper in front of it. Either the two vehicles will need to be cut apart in order to be towed, or your vehicle has pulled away with the other vehicle’s bumper firmly welded or pressure-formed around your own bumper. In this state, your vehicle cannot be towed from the front because the other vehicle’s bumper is in the way of the tow truck’s lift system. One or Both of Your Rear Tires Are Flat Towing a vehicle requires that the two tires remaining on the ground are sound enough to turn and assist the tow truck with moving the damaged or broken vehicle to the mechanic’s lot. If one or both of your rear tires are flat, then your vehicle has to be towed with the front tires on the ground and the rear of the vehicle in the air. Otherwise, the tow truck driver would be intentionally destroying the wheel, rims,and axle connected to the flat tire, costing you several hundred more in damages and repairs. Thankfully, most tow truck drivers are going to tow your car from the back when they see a rear flat tire. (If ALL of your tires are flat because you ran over a tire guard or something similar, then the towing company will need to load your vehicle on a flatbed instead). Almost All of Your Vehicle’s Rear Has Been Sandwiched, Shorn Off, or Too Badly Damaged In the most extreme of all towing situations, the rear of your vehicle has been sandwiched into a squished accordion-looking piece of metal with an axle and tires that are beyond repair or completely shorn off. If the front of your car is still in fairly good shape, the tow truck driver may try to tow the vehicle in reverse. If you were injured in this accident, then the vehicle will be towed to a lot until you can sift through its remnants for anything important. Then the vehicle may need a second tow to the salvage yard. Contact a local service, such as, for further...

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