Road Trip Safety

  Summer is winding its way toward fall but there is still plenty of time for a vacation! If you want to avoid airports and the expense of flying or train travel, consider a road trip. Road trips are popular with couples, families and groups of friends. They allow you to get off the beaten path and see more of this country than any other kind of travel, and traveling in your own vehicle is much more comfortable than being crammed into a plane, train or bus. It’s more economical too. As long as your car get good gas mileage, or better still, you have an electric or hybrid, you will save a lot of money. Road trips create great memories, can be educational and will allow you to discover the beauty and hidden gems of our great country. Ready to hit the road? Great, but first there are some things you need to do to make sure your trip is a safe one. Remember, it will be just you and your vehicle out there. While solitary road trips can be wonderful, it’s generally better to have a companion or two, and don’t forget the furry ones! Road trips make great vacations for dogs, as long as they enjoy car trips and arecalm and friendly around strangers. Read on to learn more about how to make sure you road trip is safe and memorable for all the right reasons!

Preparation

Before you leave, make sure your vehicle is in tip top shape. Get a tune up, oil change and have your tires checked. Inspect your spare and repair or replace it if necessary. Stock your trunk with jumper cables, spare antifreeze and wiper fluid, a spare fan belt and spark plugs , tire patch, a jack, and a small tool kit. This should be enough to get you back on the road after most minor break downs. Replace your windshield wipers if it’s been awhile and check your air conditioning. You’ll also want to map out your route and update the maps for your GPS. Make a copy of your planned route and leave it with a trusted friend or relative. Should the worst happen it will help locate you. Along with supplies for your vehicle, stock up on some for yourself. Bottled water, non-perishable snacks and a first aid kit are a must. Finally, remember emergency supplies like flares or triangles, and a white or orange flag to tie on your car-these will help other motorists see you should you break down on the road. You can also buy signs you can place in your windows that say “CALL POLICE”. They may come in handy if you breakdown in an area with no service or your phone malfunctions or suffers a dead battery.

On the Road

Once you’re on the road, try and keep your cell phone and/or tablet charged at all times. Get in the habit of checking the forecast frequently and get off the road if severe weather is expected. This is especially important if there is a tornado watch or warning. Do not try to out run a tornado or ride one out in your car. Be alert when using rest stops. Stick to well-lit and heavily trafficked ones and keep your doors locked and valuables hidden. Always keep your phone on your so you can call for help if necessary!

How to Know When to Get Your Oil Changed

 A car engine’s performance is dependent on many factors, and one of the major factors is the engine oil. From using the best quality engine oil to knowing the best time to change the oil, every detail about the car engine oil is of utmost importance in keeping the vehicle performing optimally. The role of oil in car engines cannot be overemphasized as it is responsible for the lubrication and cooling of all internal parts of an automobile engine. This very important role car engine oil plays in maintaining the best engine function and overall efficiency makes the regularchanging of engine oil very important to help the engine function smoothly without hitches.

The major problem faced by most car owners when it comes to changing their car engine oil is the fact that they find it hard to determine when the oil should be changed. The truth about changing car engine oil is that the more regular they are changed, the more efficient the engine will be able to perform. Below are some of the major signs to look out for which tells you when your oil needs to be changed.

When the Oil Gets Dirty

Car engine oils are always light in appearance when they are fresh and clean with a dark honey color. As your car engine oil wears and degrades, it tends to darken with time and usage. Old and completely worn engine oil turns pure black overtime. Once you notice the color of your car engine oil has turned black, it is a sure sign that it needs to be changed. Generally, you don’t want to wait until it gets pitch black, you want to change it as it progressively gets darker.

When the Oil Level Becomes Low

In most cars like older models with higher mileages, a low oil level is always a sign that the oil is due for change. Most car models consume very low amounts of engine oil through normal car engine operations. When your car engine oil becomes extremely low, it simply shows that the oil has been in use for a very long time and needs to be changed as soon as possible.

Oil Warning Light

Most newer model cars come with oil warning arrows which turn on automatically whenever your car engine oilbecomes either very dirty or extremely low. Whenever your oil light comes on, it is a sure sign that the oil needs to be changed as it is no longer suitable for the efficient running of the car engine operations.

Engine Light Warnings

Even with the engine light on, most cars come with the feature that allows their engine light to glow whenever the oil gets either degraded or low. Since the engine light was designed to turn on whenever anything that disturbs the efficient functioning of the engine occurs, the light comes on when the oil level reduces or the oil gets dirty.

Mileage

Most car owner’s manual comes with a recommended number of miles which a car must travel before the engine oil is changed. If the stipulated number of mile has been traveled since the last oil change, it is a good time to get the engine oil changed.

A Simple Guide to Use of Car Pressure Washers

  Simply put, car pressure washers are pressure washing machines used for auto detailing. These are normally used for cleaning the hard surfaces of an automobile, such as the metal body and engine parts. The high pressure output level of the machines lends themselves unsuitable for soft surface cleaning.
Pressure washing machines are known for their high output power.

Auto detailing, in contrast, does not require very high output power. That does not mean that pressure cleaners are not suitable cleaning automobiles. It just means that one must pay proper attention to the features of the machines when buying car pressure washers.

The following are some tips to buy the most suitable pressure cleaners for car detailing.

Output Pressure Level
The output pressure level of pressure washers varies from a modest 750 psi to an intimidating 8000 psi. For car detailing, the output pressure level of the machines should ideally be in the lower range.

Car pressure washers need not have an output pressure level higher than 1500 psi. Machines with a pressure level exceeding this limit may actually cause damage to the vehicle surfaces. These machines just require the output power to wash away the dust, dirt, and other impurities present on the surface.

Flow Rate
Flow rate provides a measure of the quantity of water passed through the output of the surface per minute. It is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Flow rate generally increases with the increase in output pressure level.

For auto detailing equipment, professionals often prefer low flow rates to ensure minimal water wastage. Less than 2 GPM would be fine, and less than 1 GPM is even better. You can find machines with as low a flow rate as 0.5 GPM.
The reason why low flow rate is often a requirement for car pressure washers is that machines with high flow ratetransfer high quantities of water to the surfaces.

This results in many problems.
One issue is that using auto detailing equipment with high flow rates leads to wastage of water. The higher the quantity of water used, the higher the quantity of water wasted. Another problem could arise if the spot where the cleaning takes place does not have sufficient drainage facilities.

Car detailing companies employ portable car wash pressure washers to provide their service to the door step of the customers. The cleaning workers take the car pressure washers to the customers’ garages to clean the vehicle then and there. If a particular location does not have sufficient drainage facilities, water run-off might cause some problems. Portable car wash pressure washers with low flow rates reduce the water run-off problems significantly.

Specialized Machines
Some companies offer specially made steam car wash pressure washers. These machines can clean almost all kinds of surfaces on automobiles. The special feature of such mobile car wash machines is that the flow rate and pressure level will be low.

The steam car wash pressure washers have an output temperature of 250°F. The high output temperature enables these mobile car wash machines to clean more efficiently and quickly.

Learn What It Takes To Fix Your Car

  Problems with your car represent one of the most frustrating things that can happen during the course of a day. But, if you have a simple understanding of auto repairtechniques and standards, you will be able to handle them with relative ease. Keep reading to gain additional information about getting your car the repairs it needs.

One of the most important qualifications to look for in a mechanic is the ASE certification. They have passed tests and have at least two years experience under their hat. You will then know that you are dealing with a trainedprofessional.

Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.

Make sure that you wash your car frequently to reduce rust and corrosion. When you keep your car clean, rust will be held back. A good wax is your best friend: a friend that will protect that shiny new paint job for a long time.

When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job.

Look up reviews online for body shops in your area. This is a good way of getting an idea on what other customers think of the mechanic’s skills and customer service. You can use online reviews to find an auto repair shop that you are comfortable giving your business to.

Keep well-organized records on your car. You should have readily available records of everything in regards to maintaining your car when seeing a mechanic. Well-organized records can help them diagnose an issue correctly the first time. Unorganized records may lead to repeat repairs and lots of wasted money and time.

Look to your friends for their opinions on reputable car mechanics. You may get a few recommendations from your friends and family that make your search easier. However, make sure you still do your own investigations on anyone that they recommend. You should at least check out the mechanic’s reputation online.

Be sure to ask for detailed pricing estimates before leaving your car with a mechanic. Some repair shops display theirrates, so read them carefully and be sure to ask about anything you don’t fully understand. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Some shops have estimated repair times that are established by specific manufacturers. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.

Be sure that you make a note of your oil change schedule. Look at your car’s manual to see when the manufacturer recommends oil changes. If you don’t change it, your car could stop working much earlier than expected.

Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.

Original Equipment Manufacturer is often referred to as OEM. You need to know this when replacing parts. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. This tells the mechanic that you know what you’re talking about and don’t want used parts.

Invest in a detailed repair manual for your vehicle. Even if you are not comfortable enough to fix your car yourself, you will at least get a better idea of how your car runs and perhaps diagnose a few problems yourself. Being knowledgeable will help you recognize an honest mechanic too.

There is no denying the fact that car trouble has the power to cause great irritation and disruption when it strikes. The key to handling such situations skillfully is possessing a good knowledge base about auto repair and how to facilitate it. Hopefully the information you read above has provided you with just that.