50 Great Car Tips

1. Rainproof Your Windshield
Manufacturers recommend replacing your blades every three months. Keep a spare set in your trunk. A product such as Rain Clear can also help minimize the work of your wipers; spray it onto the glass every few weeks. In some light rains, it makes the wipers almost unnecessary.

2. Skip the DIY Car Wash
Washing a car at home uses five to 20 times more water than a professional car wash. You also aren’t doing your car any favors: A recent study at the University of Texas proved that a single DIY wash can leave scratches as deep as a tenth of the paint’s total thickness.

3. Eliminate Distractions
As driving instructors stress, your hands tend to follow where your eyes are looking. Adjusting the radio dial takes 5.5 seconds—and that’s 5.5 seconds when his eyes may not be on the road and both hands may not be on the wheel. Dialing a phone triples your risk of a crash. Reaching for a moving object increases it nine times. Worst of all is texting, which makes you 23 times more likely to crash. “Avoid the temptation to multitask behind the wheel altogether and put your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you get in the car,” says Ray Lahood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

4. Lower Your Seat
Drivers who sit higher feel as if they’re driving slower. Thus, SUV drivers, who are already piloting the vehicles most prone to roll, drive faster because they feel like they’re creeping along. So lower your seat to get the sensation of more speed.

5. Turn Your Lights On
A Canadian study from 1994 found that people who drive with their headlights on during daylight hours have an 11 percent decreased risk of being in an accident with another automobile.

6. Assume the Position
Smaller blind spots mean you’ll crane your neck less. Try this mirror adjustment method from Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR’s Car Talk: Set your rearview mirror as you normally would, then tilt it upward so you sit up straight. Lean your head against the driver’s window, then set your left mirror so you can see the back corner of your car. Lean right to do the right mirror.

7. Save Your Clutch
Don’t ride your clutch in anticipation of shifts. You’ll accelerate quicker and your clutch will last longer if you use it like expensive cologne—sparingly.

8. Check Your Hands
Your seat is positioned properly when you can hang your wrists over the top of the steering wheel. And remember not to grip the wheel as you would a tennis racket, with your thumbs wrapped around so that they connect in back with your fingers. Instead, leave your thumbs on top of the wheel. Otherwise, in a collision, the wheel can whip back around and snap your thumbs.

9. Don’t Jump the Gun
Ramp metering, or the use of traffic signals at freeway on-ramps to regulate flow, forces a small time penalty on drivers at the beginning of their commutes, but it pays off. “Requiring vehicles to wait 20 or 30 seconds can save drivers 5 to 10 minutes on their trip,” says David Schrank, Ph.D., of the Texas Transportation Institute.

10. Look Left, Then Right
Forty percent of car crashes occur at intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as do 22 percent of all fatal crashes. HOW TO…HANDLE ANY DRIVING SCENARIO

11. Deal with a Deer in the Road
Don’t take radical evasive action to avoid a collision, which is more likely to cause you bodily harm than making contact with the animal will. Plus, you’re facing a wild animal, and there’s no way to tell in which direction it will flee. If you have time, flash your headlights to try to scare the creature out of your path. If a collision is imminent, brake with your steering wheel straight. At the last possible second, steer away from the animal’s midsection to prevent the animal from crashing through your windshield and landing on your lap.

12. Downshift Like a Racer
Try the heel-toe shift, recommends driver Robby Gordon, winner of three Baja 1000s. “Use your foot to apply the accelerator and brake at the same time,” he says. “As you apply the brake, keep your right foot on the right side of the pedal so you can rock your foot over and use your heel to blip the throttle, which raises the rpms and allows the car to drop into gear more easily.”

13. Ford a Stream
Do not drive in water higher than the air intake, which is typically on the front side fender. Pick an area where the flow of water is slow and enter at an angle to cut down on the surface area of the vehicle being pushed against by the stream. Enter gently but with enough speed to cause a bow wave, which pushes the water forward, creating a shallower area, and ford at a constant speed.

14. Corner on Dirt
Going sideways is the quickest way through a corner on dirt, driver Rhys Millen, who was the General Lee’s main stunt driver in Dukes of Hazzard. “To do it well,” he says, “initiate the slide through input to the steering wheel—you oversteer into the turn. Flick the wheel in the opposite direction of the curve to break traction, then whip it back the other way to initiate a slide in the direction you want to go. Once the car starts to slide, you can ‘steer’ by adjusting the throttle. More or less throttle will make the car slide at a wider or tighter arc, respectively. More gas makes for a more sideways slide. If you lift off the throttle, the car will still go sideways, but it will start to reduce speed and straighten out again.”

15. Drive on Sand
Before driving onto a beach or into the desert, get out and drop your tire pressure to 12 psi, which helps you “float” on the sand. If you do start to sink into the sand, keep the momentum going: Do not stop. If you really feel the car getting stuck, reverse, back out, and look for a better way forward.

16. Survive a Rear-End Collision
First, pull your seatbelt taut. Next, release your foot from the brake and put the car in neutral. This will help distribute the force and may prevent you from being rear-ended twice, which can happen if you’re applying the brakes after being hit and the car behind you is still moving forward.

17. Get Unstuck
If your tires have sunk into mud, snow, or sand, driver Cameron Steele, a Baja 1000 winner, says to lower the tire pressure way down—as low as 5 or 6—and dig out space in front of the tires to give yourself a run. “If you still don’t get traction, put down some pieces of carpet,” he says. “But always put a leash on what you use for traction—say 50 feet long—and tie it to your bumper so you don’t have to run back into the mud or gunk to pick up the pieces.”

18. Survive a Water Landing
Almost all cars have electronic windows that short out when they come in contact with water. So invest in a center punch, a device shaped like a screwdriver but with a sharp center point. It makes breaking a window a cinch. Store it in your center console or glove box—not your trunk.

19. Maneuver Tight Corners
At the BMW Performance Driving School, instructor Jim Clark says these four words over and over: “Slow in, fast out.” When taking a corner, you need to scrub as much of that speed as you can while the car is braking in a straight line, then you can accelerate out of the curve. The converse is “Fast in, maybe no out.”

20. Add Trees to Your Commute
Even if it takes you out of your way, trees may make your ride less stressful. An Ohio State University study found that scenic drives were more calming than those involving strip malls and endless asphalt.

21. Add Some Horsepower
If you drive a turbo, all you need is a bit of computer programming to add some power. Whether you’re driving a twin-turbo Bentley or a simple 1.8-liter VW diesel, a few minutes of “chip tuning” by your mechanic can add 20 percent more power.

22. Rub It Down 
Cleaning and moisturizing your dash, doors, and seats will extend their lives. Try to clean twice and condition four times annually. If you’ve got vinyl, apply a thin coat of vinyl cleaner, such as Lexol Vinylex. For leather, you’ll want both a cleaner and a conditioner. Stick to leather products if you’re in doubt, and “run like hell” from dual-purpose products, says Larry Reynolds, CEO of Car Care Specialties:

23. Give It a Rest
Shift into neutral at traffic lights. The transmission doesn’t care, and it makes life a bit easier for the engine. This technique reduces the amount of heat carried by the cooling system and can increase gas mileage a tick or two.

24. Find the Center
The folks at DriveCam analyze driver behavior using video recorders installed on vehicles. (See highlights at drivecam.com.) Safety specialist Julie Stevens recommends sticking to the center lane on freeways. Rear-end crashes happen less there than in adjacent lanes. “Every time you change lanes you add risk,” she says, “and the slow lane always has the most action.” Other research has shown that the “chronic lane changer” saves a mere four minutes out of an 80-minute drive.

25. Use Your Headrest
Before you hit the road, sit up straight, raise your head as high as you can, and press it into the headrest. Hold it there for five seconds, then relax and repeat five times. This will improve your posture and put muscles like your multifidus to work to keep your spine erect. This, in turn, will reduce the strain on your neck.

26. Jump-Start a Dead Battery
If your battery terminals are corroded, crack open a can of cola and pour it directly onto the battery terminals. The acid in the cola will bubble away the corrosion, improving both your connection and the odds of a successful jump-start. Once you’re home, run water over the battery to remove the cola residue and dry it with an old rag.

27. Avoid the Hot Seat
If you want to become a dad, don’t turn up your heated car seats this winter. A study in Fertility and Sterility found that when healthy men sat in a temperature-controlled seat for 90 minutes, their scrotal temperature jumped as high as 99 degrees Farenheit, four degrees above the optimum temperature for sperm production.

28. Ace the Details
If you want to customize a new car without making it look like something out of Pimp My Ride, start with the wheels. A rim upgrade can be inexpensive ($1,500 or so) and quick (your car won’t be laid up for a week). If you have a higher-end car, you don’t even need custom rims—just get the wheels powder coated in a new color.

29. Roll ‘Em Up
Nixing the AC lowers fuel consumption, but only if you’re not driving on the highway. Otherwise, opening the windows uses more gas because of the drag you’re putting on the car. Instead, run your AC in recirculation mode, which recycles some already-cooled air from inside the car, requiring less energy than completely cooling the air that comes in from outside. HOW TO…BEAT THE DEALER

30. Prevent a Ticket 
Go to speedtrap.org to find lists of speed traps, submitted by users all over the country.

31.  Rest Your Right Foot 
Cruise control applies the throttle more smoothly, reducing fuel consumption and increasing mileage. (And each 5 miles per hour above 60 is like paying 6 percent more per gallon of gas.) When you use it on long stretches of highway driving, rest your feet firmly on the floor to take pressure off your lower back.

32. Check Your Tire Pressure 
Less air means more contact and friction between the tire and road, which wears the rubber faster, makes the engine work harder, and uses more gas, says Chris Johanson, author of Auto Diagnosis, Service and Repair. Just don’t overinflate: The harder the tires, the less grip they’ll have

33. Keep Your Focus
Staring down long straight roadways for longer than 5 minutes at a time fatigues the visual cortex of your brain, causing you to speed and underestimate distances between cars, according to a study in Human Perception and Performance. Check all three mirrors and your gauges at the end of every song on the radio to keep your vision—and brain—sharp.

34. Play a Game 
If you’re feeling sleepy behind the wheel, ask your copilot to play Alex Trebek. An Israeli study showed that trivia games, not music, made drivers more alert.

35. Beat Carsickness 
If a passenger is prone to motion sickness or turns pale during a road trip, have him or her eat gingersnap cookies. Hunger worsens carsickness, but research has shown that ginger root can help alleviate and prevent it.

36. Add space 
Tailgating destabilizes traffic flow, says Tom Vanderbilt, author of the bestseller Traffic. “People brake more than they have to when they follow too closely, so the drivers behind them do as well,” says Vanderbilt. “This creates ‘shock waves,’ which lead to stop-and-go traffic.” Aim for a 4-second cushion between vehicles. Drivers with less than a 2-second cushion are almost three times more likely to cause collisions, according to data from DriveCam, a driving safety service.

37. Stay in Gear 
While coasting in neutral does improve gas mileage by a hair, it also levies a heavier burden on your brakes, leading to premature—and expensive—maintenance. Constantly reengaging an automatic transmission at speed also causes gear wear. So let your transmission provide engine braking as the engineers intended.

38. Replace the Filter
Just as a colander separates cooked pasta from water, the oil filter traps dirt that would otherwise harm your engine. Today’s best oil filters trap particles just 10 microns in diameter, a rate not possible 10 years ago and far superior to that of budget filters. Replace your filter every time you change your oil, lest old oil get mixed with the pristine stuff.

39. Fuller Is Better 
Keep your gas tank more than half full during cold weather. Otherwise any void above the fuel in your tank will fill with moist air, which condenses to water in the cold. Since water is denser than gasoline, it settles in the bottom of your tank. If enough accumulates, it’ll be delivered through the fuel line to the engine.

40. Empty Your Pockets
The average guy spends 67 minutes each day behind the wheel. A thick wallet in your back pocket raises one hip above the other, twisting your spine and straining your lower back. Plus it can put pressure on your sciatic nerve, a common source of lower-back pain, says Stuart McGill, Ph.D., of the University of Waterloo, in Ontario.

41. Be Careful in the Country
Rural roads have a death rate 2.5 times higher than that of any other type of road. The reasons include dangerous, poorly marked curves, lack of streetlights, distance from medical care, and a higher percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers.

42. Forget Your Keys
On your next date night, leave your cars in the garage for a change and hire a car service instead. You’ll ride in style to and from a restaurant, enjoy a night of carefree drinking and dancing, and you won’t need to worry about staying sober for the drive home.

43. Beat Frost
Run the air-conditioning while defrosting the windshield. (New cars do this automatically, but in older cars, turn it on yourself.) AC air is dry, so it will take the moisture out of the air by dehumidifying as it cools. If you’re cold, adjust the temperature so that the AC pumps out warm air.

44. Use Your Eyes
A bad driving habit is focusing on the road in front of you or at the bumper of the car ahead. Practice looking farther ahead. By the time you’re in the turn, for instance, you should be looking ahead at your exit. It may feel like this will cause you to run off the road, but it won’t. Your peripheral vision will keep you in line.

45. Know the Numbers
Modern motor oils are engineered to flow at low temperatures and to provide adequate lubrication at high ones. Take oil labeled 5W-30, for instance, which is suitable for all weather conditions except desert Southwest climates. The first number indicates viscosity (the ability to flow) at low winter (W) temperatures. Five will work in the coldest of U.S. climates. The other number indicates lubrication performance under extreme heat. The higher the number, the better the performance under hot engine operating conditions.

46. Check Your Emissions
The Blade is an aftermarket device that attaches to your car’s tailpipe and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 12 percent. It also improves fuel economy by up to 12 percent by shortening the duration of your car’s wasteful cold-start period, when fuel burn and particulate emissions are both at their worst. Go to: bladeyourride.com.

47. Quickness Counts
Slipping a 5-speed’s clutch—that is, pausing briefly as it engages a gear—ensures a smooth start, but it also generates heat that diminishes its life. So don’t be bashful. Get in gear, then get off of the left pedal as soon as the car is rolling.

48. Wax Off, Then Wax On
Most old wax leaves a car on its own—in fact, three-quarters disappears after 2 months. But you’ll want to apply an ordinary car cleaner prior to waxing to remove the rest. Anal-retentive pros also use a Silly Putty-like material called paint clay to remove any remaining residue. Find it at meguiars.com or griotsgarage.com.

49. Get Some Support
If your car doesn’t have adjustable lumbar supports, buy your own backrest—or simply roll up a towel and place it behind you to fill in the small curve between your waist and hips. The more you support your spine, the less your back will ache. 50. Forget Your Schedule
Trips usually take 10 to 15 percent longer than planned, says Leon James, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and the author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. Accept this before you travel.

50. Lose the Junk
Every 100 pounds you remove improves economy by 1 to 2 percent, so clear our your trunk and your backseat before you leave home. Both of them are preferable to a loaded-down roof rack, however, which can fuel economy by as much as 5 percent.

Credits to: http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/100-best-car-tips

 

How hot can the interior of a car get – and how quickly?

Quotes by experts

“Children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 63 degrees. Basically the car becomes a greenhouse. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees.”

– Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University

“When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172.”

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“In terms of heat-rise over time, it makes very little difference whether a car’s windows are closed or partially open. In both cases, a car’s interior temperature can rise approximately 40 degrees within one hour, even when the exterior temperature is only 72°F.”

– American Academy of Pediatrics study (2005)

“Even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found. They hope their findings will put to rest the misconception that a parked car can be a safe place for a child or pet in mild weather. ‘There are cases of children dying on days as cool as 70 degrees Fahrenheit,’* said lead author Catherine McLaren, MD, clinical instructor in emergency medicine. Though past research has documented the temperature spike inside a car on extremely hot days, this is the first time anyone has looked at cooler days, she added.”

– Stanford University press release: “Parked cars get dangerously hot, even on cool days, Stanford study finds” (2005)

(*HeatKills.org.: Here in Charlottesville, VA, a toddler died of heatstroke after being left in a car, on a day in which the outside temperature did not exceed 66 degrees.)

“Never leave your pet in a parked car when the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. Not even with the windows partway down, not even in the shade, not even for a quick errand. Dogs and cats can’t sweat like humans, so they pant to lower their body temperature. If they’re inside a car, recycling very hot air, panting gives no relief, and heat stroke can happen quickly.”

– Michael Dix DVM, Medical Director, Best Friends Animal Society

“Heat stroke can permanently damage a pet’s health very rapidly. The change of only a few degrees to a dog’s normal body temperature can quickly result in coma, organ dysfunction, permanent brain damage or even death.”

– Jules Benson, DVM, Medical Director, Pet Plan Pet Insurance

How hot does it get in a car, and how quickly?

This chart helps to answer that question:

Dogs-Temperature

Also, Dr. Ernie Ward is a veterinarian you should know. He’s spent many years devoting himself to not only treating illnesses in dogs and cats, but in developing better means for preventing them.

Doesn’t leaving the windows cracked an inch or two make a difference? No.

A study conducted by Red Rover demonstrates that the difference in interior temperature between a car with the windows fully closed, and those that are cracked a few inches, is negligible.

Red Rover cracked window study excerpt

HAIL DAMAGE: HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL

When most people think about major natural catastrophes, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes come to mind.

However, there’s one other type of storm that, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (the U.S. government’s climatology branch), causes $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year—hail.

So, how can you avoid being part of that large sum of money, and how can you make sure your coverage is ready in case your car is damaged?

  • Get covered parking

    —Covered parking can save you a lot of hassle and money, especially in the middle of the country. DisasterSafety.org has a map highlighting states that typically receive the most hail. If you live in one of the bright blue states, you should evaluate your parking options.

  • Ride out the hail storm

    —If you don’t have access to covered parking, another option is to find temporary shelter. Local malls, for example, usually have parking garages where you could park if you know a storm is brewing. If you don’t have a covered place to store your vehicle, find those options for the big storms.

  • Use blankets or a hail car cover

    —If you don’t have a shelter option, and you know a storm is coming, get something over your car. Some companies sell car covers specific to this purpose, but you can use your own blankets, as well. Just make sure you duct tape them down—the winds can pick up pretty quickly during hail storms. The tape can leave a sticky residue on your car, but most likely won’t cause any damage to the paint.

    Prepare in advance for this. Opt for personal safety and don’t do this if the storm is happening within a matter of minutes.

  • Get Comprehensive and Rental coverage

    —With insurance, “Comprehensive” doesn’t mean “all encompassing.” Instead, it’s the specific coverage that helps pay for damage caused by things like weather or fire. In most cases, Comprehensive will cover hail damage, too. Also, make sure you have Rental coverage—one in 10 Progressive policyholders who have a total loss (meaning their car is damaged beyond repair) do. And it’s an option that helps pay for a rental car if your car is being fixed or replaced.

credits to: https://www.progressive.com/claims/protect-car-from-hail-damage/

10 EASY THINGS THAT WILL KEEP YOUR CAR RUNNING FOREVER

The 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

In 2016, the firm IHS Markit released a report on the lives of American-owned vehicles, and the results were surprising. Of the 264 million light vehicles registered in the U.S., the average age of of each one worked out to be 11.6 years old, with owners keeping their cars an average six and a half years. By 2021, the firm predicts that a full 20 million cars on the road will be over 25 years old. If its projections are accurate, then there will likely be more old cars on the road than ever before.

With so many antique cars on the road — the official designation for cars 25 years or older in most states — preventative maintenance is as important as ever. For people who don’t have the luxury of a bumper-to-bumper warranty, it’s important to keep on top of the basics so that they don’t add up to something bigger and costlier.

The truth of the matter is, there’s really no such thing as a car that runs forever without a little help. So for even the most reliable old cars on the road today, we came up with 10 things you can do to keep your car running like a top for as long as possible.

1. It’s all about good timing

The LT4 V8 found in the 2015 Corvette Z06

Most modern cars have a timing belt or chain, which makes all the moving parts of your engine run smoothly. But when these go wrong, it can kill your engine in a matter of seconds. While chains are more robust and need to be changed far less frequently, belts need to be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on your car. If you’re going to a mechanic, this isn’t going to be a cheap job, but once you get it over with, you won’t have to worry about another one for years.

2. Play it cool

Check your radiator hoses for cracks

Your engine is making thousands of explosions a day to keep you moving down the road. Understandably, things get pretty hot in there, which is why your car has a cooling system. And while it doesn’t need to be swapped out as often, antifreeze is just as important as oil. Make sure you’re topped off with coolant, and if there are any leaks coming from your radiator or hoses, get them taken care of immediately. A car with no coolant is not long for this world.

3. Find bulletproof suspension upgrades

The 2017 Chevrolet COPO Camaro -- a factory-built drag car

This isn’t universal, but it’s a common enough issue that it’s worth mentioning here. Say you’ve got an older sporty car and are ready to make the jump and modify it to get that nice, low, mean look. There are plenty of easy ways to do this — cheap aftermarket kits on eBay, actually cutting your car’s springs down and reinstalling them, among others — but there are really only a few ways to do it right, and they’re rarely the cheapest options. Your car was designed to drive and handle the way it does by a team of engineers working for years on a multibillion-dollar program, so don’t be surprised if your car drives a lot differently after questionable suspension mods. Stick with performance parts from the manufacturer or upgrades from trusted aftermarket companies that have a relationship with the automaker. After all, if you’re into modifications, you want your car to look as good as it drives.

4. Blood transfusions save lives

An unscrewed engine oil cap

If you can’t remember the last time you changed your oil, go do it now. The key to a healthy car is keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance, and the easiest and most important of these routines is a regular oil change. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended type, then take it to a trusted mechanic (quick lube places do the job, but a lot can go wrong too) for some of the fresh stuff. Or if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, oil changes are a great way to enter the world of DIY auto repairs.

5. Less is more when it comes to longevity

Production of Lucas Oil additives

There are a whole lot of products out there that promise to make your engine faster, stronger, and more powerful as it gets older. Sound too good to be true? That’s because, by and large, they are. Stick to the stuff that works, like high quality oils and fluids, genuine parts, and common-sense preventative maintenance, and avoid the snake oil altogether.

6. Bi-annual inspections are your friend

An employee of an automobile garage at work

Some states don’t require annual safety inspections. And while the potential for getting slapped with a bill for repairs once a year is tough for anyone to deal with, we think it’s essential to get your older car looked at by a fresh set of eyes — read: a better mechanic than you — at least once a year. The last thing you want is an unexpected problem to pop up at the worst possible time, so do yourself, and other drivers on the road a favor and make sure your ride is safe.

7. Get ready, it’s going to burn oil

Old engines like this rotary found in a Mazda RX-7 will burn oil

Old engines burn oil — they just do. What’s important is to keep an eye on it, watch for any leaks (lower-engine leaks could mean old gaskets, upper-engine could mean head gasket troubles), and make sure to keep it topped off with high quality oil. This is one of those things that may seem like a big deal, but can be managed safely and responsibly.

8. Invest in the best wheels, tires, and brakes

New tires for sale at a tire store

We’ve all been there before: You ran over something on the highway and you shredded a tire. Now you need new ones, and you really don’t feel like spending hundreds of dollars on the best. But going cheap on things like that could cost you more further down the line. Tires are one of the most important parts of a car. They’re the only things connecting you to the road, and are supposed to be able to keep you safe even in the worst driving conditions. Cheap tires can wear faster, or unevenly, throwing your car’s suspension out of whack and causing wear-and-tear on vital components. This rule also applies to replaceable things like wheels and brakes. If you love your car, pay a little more and get the best. It could even save you money over the long haul.

9. Drive it like you own it

An old Mercedes 230 SL

Say you have an older, high-mileage car. Chances are it’s going to have its quirks, but believe it or not, the difference between an aging runner and a basket case usually comes down to how often it’s driven. A warm car is a happy car, and while essential fluids like oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid keep vital metal parts lubricated, they also keep things like hoses and gaskets from drying out. Park an old car for a while, and chances are you’ll start seeing leaks. When you can’t even tell what’s leaking from where anymore, it may already be too late. So do your car a favor, and drive it regularly.

10. When all else fails, conduct a heart transplant

Sometimes you need to do a full engine replacement

Here’s some interesting food for thought: Extensive repairs on an aging engine or transmission can potentially cost you thousands in parts and labor at your local garage and take your car off the road for days, if not weeks, especially if your repair shop is booked solid. So as scary as it may sound, sometimes an entire engine or transmission replacement is the way to go. Ask your garage for help in sourcing a healthy powerplant, and they could have your car running with a brand new heart in a matter of days. If you love your old car and can’t bear to let it go, this may be the easiest way to give it a new lease on life.

 

credits to: http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/car-maintenance-to-extend-its-life.html/?a=viewall

Planning a road trip? Here are 10 tips for improving your car’s fuel efficiency

Gas costs can be a drain on your wallet – especially if you have a long commute.
Here are 10 ways to help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save you money.

 

  1. Check the pressure

 

Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Under-inflated tires burn more fuel. If tires are 8 pounds underinflated, rolling resistance of the tires increases by 5 percent. That added friction results in the engine pumping harder to push the car, and more gas being sucked out of your tank.

 

  1. Get what you paid for

 

When you are filling up, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off and make sure you allow all the fuel to pour out of the nozzle. As much as a quarter of a cup can pour from the hose. That’ll be what gets you to the next pump when the needle is on E.

 

  1. Use your cruise

 

When you can, use cruise control. Keeping your vehicle’s speed consistent can save you up to 6 per cent in fuel consumption on the highway.

 

  1. Clean your battery

 

Corroded battery cables cause the alternator to work harder, which means you’re using more gas. Have them cleaned with each engine check-up.

 

  1. Keep it moving

An idling car consumes half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour and pumps needless CO2 into the atmosphere. The modern engine will consume less fuel turning off and re-starting than idling for extended periods.
To effectively warm an engine, simply start the engine, wait for 20 seconds, (this builds the oil pressure,) and drive away.

 

  1. Change the filter

 

Change the air filter at least the set number of times outlined in the owners manual, more if you drive in dusty conditions. If you live in an area that gets a lot of pollen, this can also clog up your filter.

 

  1. Check the sensor

 

If your car was built since the mid-1980s, it more than likely has an oxygen sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced just as you would spark plugs, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
This little device trims the fuel delivery and has a profound effect on fuel economy in the process.

 

  1. Drive smoothly

 

With a light touch on the throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

 

  1. Lighten your load

 

It doesn’t seem like much, but thinking about what you have in the car (and on the car) can make a big difference.
If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed – they create extra wind drag. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2 per cent. Carrying excess weight wastes gas.

 

  1. Choose the right octane gas for your car

 

Check the owner’s manual to find out what octane your engine needs. Octane ratings measure gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock. But the higher the octane, the higher the price.
Only about 6 percent of cars sold need premium gas. Still, premium gas accounts for about 10 per cent of all gas sold. Resist the urge to buy higher octane gas for “premium” performance.

 

Joshua Trudell, Rare Contributor

credits to: http://rare.us/rare-life/travel/10-tips-for-improving-fuel-efficiency/

Give your car a clean start to spring with these 6 tips

What better time to clean that salty car of yours than Spring?

There’s no doubt, winter is hard on your vehicle. Salt and slush are destructive elements that can damage your vehicle’s paint, wheels and suspension components.

“Not only can the driving conditions in a Canadian winter be horrible, they are also just brutal on your car,” says Megan Currie, senior marketing manager for Armor All. “The roads are a slushy mess, and all the salt used to melt the ice can be corrosive on the body of your car. What’s worse, you track all that sloppy mess into the car with you, leaving an ugly, crusty residue behind.”

Here are five tips to wash off months of winter neglect, courtesy of Currie.

1. Remove salt

There is nothing more damaging to your car inside and out than winter road salt. An industrial-strength carpet and upholstery cleaner with foaming action is perfect for cleaning the salt from the carpet and car mats in your car. It is also good for lifting ground-in stains from the other three seasons as well, including grease, oil and mud.

2. A clean dash

Get rid of dust with a thorough cleaning of your dash, console and doors. Take care of your dashboard and interior trim with a multi-use auto cleaner or wipes, and keep it clean and safe from UV damage with an interior protectant.

3. Clear windows

You can’t see out of dirty windows, and when your windows start to fog up even a little bit – every streak becomes obvious. Restore the clarity to your windows with a specialized automotive glass cleaner.

4. Preserve your seats

Leather seats are a nice option in a car, and you will want to preserve them as much as possible. Protect the leather in your vehicle from wayward splashes and salt with a restorer and protectant that will rejuvenate and preserve your leather interior.

5. Run it through a wash

When spring rolls around, you will want to ensure your car is free of rust and corrosion so that you can get back to giving it that custom shine car enthusiasts love. Give your car a regular wash, especially the undercarriage, to clean away any salt residue. For an added level of protection against winter’s worst, brave the cold for just a few moments and apply a spray-on wax, which can be applied to a wet or dry vehicle. Simply spray on the carnauba wax and enjoy a high-gloss shine that also protects the clear coat on the paint.

6. Tires and rims need cleaning too

Whether it’s a coin op, or your local car wash, you can easily clean your tires and rims to help prevent salt and road grime from pitting the rims and diminishing the look and moisture in your tires. Before you turn on the water gun, or drive through the car wash, use a touch free tire and rim cleaner like Armor All Quicksilver Tire and Rim Cleaner and have the water do the dirty work for you.

credit: “https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/give-your-car-a-clean-start-to-spring-with-these-5-tips/79513”

30 Gifts for Car Lovers and Enthusiasts

There are few things better than cruising down the road or working on a classic car. Unfortunately, buying gifts for the car lover in your life can be difficult. No matter what your budget, this list of gifts will make finding the right item a breeze.

Universal Cell Phone Air Vent Car Mount Holder

Phone aren’t just handy to have when calling and texting friends and loved ones, they can also help you navigate with their GPS abilities. Unfortunately, keeping track of your phone can be difficult when driving. This universal cell phone holder is a great gift because it keeps your phone within arm’s reach.

PRICES VARY

 

Bluetooth Cassette Adapter

Older cars are great, but they are definitely behind the times when it comes to technology. Update a loved one’s car on the cheap with this Bluetooth cassette adapter. It can be used to play music from a portable Bluetooth enabled device. You can even take calls through the speakers!
$40.00

Auto Timing Chain and Gears Wall Clock

Have a loved one that loves working on cars? Help him decorate his interior space with this cool gears and wall clock. It is made out of an engine timing gear and chains, making it the perfect accessory for a garage, but its design makes it classy enough to hang in a living room.
$125.00

Personalized Garage Sign

If the man in your life loves working on cars in the garage, then this personalized garage sign will be the perfect gift. This metal sign can be completely customized. From choosing the recipient’s name, font, and car model, this is truly a one-of-a-kind gift you won’t find anywhere else.
$210.00

Automatic Cordless Tire Inflator

Properly filled tires can make a big difference when it comes to fuel efficiency and the smoothness of your ride. Unfortunately, filling car tires can be a real pain. Give the gift of perfectly inflated tires with this cordless tire inflator that automatically shuts off when the proper PSI is reached.
$89.95

Encyclopedia of Classic Cars

The classic car enthusiast in your life is sure to love this book! It contains 1,800 photographs of some of the world’s most famous and fabulous cars. From classic to modern classic and dream cars, this fully illustrated tome contains models from 1945 to 2000.
$16.78

Car Seat Gap Filler

If you know someone that spends a lot of time in their car, they likely spend a lot of time doing other things in their car too. Help keep their car clean with these seat gap fillers. They squeeze in between the seat and the center console to keep out fries, change, and more.
PRICES VARY

Pontiac GTO Front 1966 Car Shelf with Lights

There no need to leave your friend or family member’s love of cars in the garage! This cool car shelf is designed to look just like the front of a 1966 Pontiac GTO, but it is designed to hang on the wall instead. It’s perfect for an office, den, or man cave!
$120.00

Glove Box Car Jump Starter

There are few things worse than finding yourself stranded with a dead battery. If you know someone who loves cool car gadgets, this will soon become their favorite. It is able to fully jumpstart a car using electrical energy, which means no other car is needed.
$40.00

Car Charger

No arsenal of cool car gear is complete without a car charger. Unfortunately, most car chargers only accommodate one device at a time. This car charger makes the perfect gift because it has three separate ports that allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time.
PRICES VARY

Car Speedometer Cuff Links

Have a special occasion coming up? Or maybe you’re just looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Skip the boring gold cufflinks and gift these car speedometer cuff links instead! They are a great functional keepsake and make the perfect graduation, wedding, birthday, or Father’s Day gift.
$23.00

One Gallon Car Mats

If you know a car lover, you know how important it is for them to keep their cars spotless. Help them do just that with these special one-gallon car mats. They can soak up to a gallon of liquid, which means there isn’t any mess these mats can’t handle.
$69.95+

Ford Mustang Collage Metal Sign

Help a friend or loved one decorate their garage or man cave with this cool metal collage sign. It makes the perfect gift for the car lover in your life because it depicts and labels nine of the most popular and classic Mustangs of the 20th century.
$11.89

Kick Mats

Preserving a car’s interior is about more than just protecting the floors. Encourage a friend or loved one to take the kids for spin with these kick mats. They fit snugly over the back of the driver and passenger seats so busy, muddy feet can’t damage the car’s interior.
$14.97

The iPhone Remote Controlled Enzo Ferrari

You may not be able to afford a real Ferrari, but this remote controlled Enzo Ferrari is the next best thing! Instead of using a remote control that requires batteries and can be easily lost, this toy car uses an iPhone to control the Ferrari’s headlights, horn, and speed.
$99.95

Heated Massage Cushion

Spending a lot of time in an automobile can be a lot of fun, but it isn’t always comfortable, especially if a friend or loved one likes cruising around in a classic car. This seat cushion is heated and has massage capabilities. Plus, it can go from the car to the office easily.
$50.00

Custom Made Camaro SS Pillow Set

Decorating a man cave with classy, functional items can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for manly pillows. However, you aren’t likely to find a more manly set of pillows than these custom made marine naugahyde pillows with a Camaro inscription.
$50.00

1959 Corvette Billiards Table

Looking for an unexpected gift that is sure to knock a car enthusiast off his feet? If you’ve got some money to burn, nothing beats this 1959 Corvette billiards table. Not only is it actually finished in an auto body shop, but also the headlights can even be turned off and on with a remote control!
$25,000.00

Industrial Garage Fan

If you have a loved one that spends a lot of time in the garage working on automobiles, this fan is a must-have. It is exclusively designed for high-performance work areas to take care of strong fumes while keeping the area cool. It features a 3-speed motor and tilts 180 degrees.
$170.00

Hail Protector

Keeping classic cars can be challenging if you don’t have enough garage space. Purchase some peace of mind for the car lover in your life by gifting this hail protector. It is completely inflatable, so it keeps any car safe from severe weather without the need for a garage.
PRICES VARY

The No Blind Spot Rear View Mirror

Have a friend who’s an amateur racer? Or maybe a family member loves unique car accessories? This no blind spot rear view mirror is a cool and functional gift. Used by police officers and racecar drivers, it offers a field view of 180 degrees, which greatly reduces blind spots.
$59.95

Racing Car Hard Stand Case For iPhone

Cool car accessories don’t just go in the car! If you know someone with a passion for automobiles, they are sure to love this racing car hard stand case. It comes in multiple color choices and even has a trunk that opens and acts as a kickstand to prop up the phone.
PRICES VARY

Model A Fords Fine Art Print

Appreciating the beauty and craftsmanship of modern cars means remembering where it all started. This high-quality fine art print features a row of antique Model A Fords that harken back to another time. It makes the perfect gift for any man or woman who appreciates classic cars.
$80.00

Illuminated Ford Mustang Christmas Tree

Celebrate the holidays in a unique way with this Ford Mustang Christmas tree! It is small enough to fit on a table and sports a variety of ornaments that include Ford Mustang pony-coups, hubcaps, and a hood ornament tree topper. It even makes engine revving noises!=
$129.95

Volkswagen Seat Buckle Belt

Give the gift of style to the car lover in your life with this Volkswagen seat belt buckle. It is completely functional, but it is made with an authentic replica of a metal seatbelt buckle with classic VW logo and reclaimed webbing.
$20.00

Nascar Lovers Gift Chest

Get ready for racing season with this Nascar themed gift. A variety of tasty and fun goodies come packed in an ice chest and include longhorn cheese, crackers, a cooler cup, and Hot Tamales racing themed candies. It even includes a book about the history of stock car racing.
PRICES VARY

Vintage Ah-ooo-Gah Car Horn

Just imagine walking down the road and listening to the ah-ooo-gah of vintage vehicles driving by. This vintage car horn can make that dream a reality. It can easily be placed on a shelf and displayed as a decorative item, or it can be installed with three connecting bolts.
$115.00

Authentic Morgan Three-Wheeler

Having a passion for cars is all about having fun, and there isn’t anything more fun than this authentic Morgan three-wheeler! Although its price point may make it unattainable for some, it meets U.S. motortricycle classification so it can be driven on the road.
$59,000.00

LED Interior Underdash Lighting Kit

Tricking out the exterior of the car is only half of the total project. Help a friend or loved one finish the interior with these cool LED interior underdash lights. They have seven color brightness levels, three strobing modes, three fading modes, and a sound activation mode.
PRICES VARY

Funny Men’s T-Shirt

Know a man who prefers to spend Sunday afternoons in the garage? This hilarious T-shirt makes the perfect gift for any husband who loves cars. The text is misleading because of the differences in font size, but that’s what makes this T-shirt so hilarious!
$15.00+

DIY Gifts for Car Lovers

Road Runner Trapunto Quilt Pattern

Not all car lovers are adults! If you know a little one who loves vehicles, this quilt pattern is great ways to hand make the perfect gift. It features fun vehicles like cars and trucks, as well road signs and accessories, like stoplights and traffic cones.

Funky Hood Ornaments

Want to play a funny prank on the car lover in your life? Or maybe you just want to jazz up a friend’s beloved vehicle? Simply choose a funny weather-safe item and attach a magnet. From plastic pineapples to disco balls, there’s no limit to the funky hood ornaments you could make!

Car Dice

No car is complete without car dice. Unfortunately, standard car dice can be so boring. Jazz up a friend or family member’s favorite ride with these striped dice that are made out of felt. You can even choose different colors to match the car’s interior and exterior.

Key Fob

True car lovers have multiple vehicles. However, keeping track of all those keys can be a nightmare. Make organizing car keys easy with these homemade key fobs. They can be made in a wide variety of colors and the length can be extended or shortened.

Car Wheel Doorstop

Although this doorstop would look great in a little boy’s room, it also makes a great cushion accessory for a man cave. All you need is a little fabric, a little sewing knowhow, and a big bag of rice. It’s a great gift for all ages!

Credit: http://dodoburd.com/gifts-for-car-lovers

7 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Car

Car people, you’ve been selfish with your New Year’s resolution-making and you know it. Every year it’s the same resolutions about joining the gym, traveling the world or starting that freshwater fish tank you’ve always dreamed about. Selfish resolutions, with little to no impact on the quality of your car’s life. It’s not too late to change.

Break the bad habit this year by making a resolution that’s not just good for you, but is also good for your car. We’ve assembled seven great examples of goals for 2017 that are achievable, rewarding and realistic.

KEEP YOUR CAR CLEAN

messy-car

This doesn’t mean you’ve got to pay someone to perform a professional detailing job. Just keep your trusty ride clean inside and out. You can pick up basic cleaning supplies in any auto parts store at a reasonable price. All it takes after that is a little bit of time and elbow grease. Don’t carry the junk! It’s extra fuel to move it around. Save a buck or two.

DON’T TEXT/TALK AND DRIVE

If you’re already living this way, right on. If not, this is the resolution for you. The one possible exception worth noting is if you make the commitment to get a hands-free device and forgo standard texting entirely. If you really need that level of connectivity, it’s probably an improvement on whatever you’ve been doing.

GET AN OIL CHANGE

lube

Fresh oil has the same mythical power as washing your car – you honestly believe it’s faster when you’re done. Contrary to all our hopes and dreams, a change of oil pretty much never unlocks the kind of dormant horsepower we’d swear it did. Even so, the outcome is much better when you keep fresh oil in a car than when you leave the old stuff in. Perform the oil change yourself for added difficulty and street cred.

PREVENT ENGINE PROBLEMS

If you suspect there’s something wrong with your car’s engine, taking action now could ensure you continue to enjoy a running car. Signs of major problems, such as a leaky head gasket, can be mitigated at a reasonable price if you make the choice to act now.

FIX A DENT OR BODY DAMAGE

dent

Facing up to the cost of body repairs is never fun, particularly if the particular scar or dent has been with a car long enough that you’ve become numb to it. You might be surprised, though, at how affordable paintless dent repair can be. Of course, for larger repairs, you will still need to repaint.

CHANGE YOUR OLD TIRES

It’s easy to let tires go unattended for a few miles longer than you should. Even easier is letting old tires remain mounted on a vehicle that isn’t frequently driven. While you might not have exceeded a tire’s mileage limit, don’t forget that age can affect performance and integrity.

RECONDITION YOUR HEADLIGHTS

For those who already keep up with the big items in terms of cleanliness, here’s a fix you can do for a small amount of cash that makes a big difference in cars with faded headlights. You can pick up a kit with a simple buffing wheel and headlight compound. Follow instructions so you don’t damage your lenses and you’ll be amazed at how much newer your car looks.

Did your car have the 2016 it deserved? If you’re like most of us, it’s feeling unsure of exactly what the hell will transpire over the next 12 months. Be a good car parent and promise to follow through on one of these seven good deeds.

Article Credit:  http://www.carnewscafe.com/2016/12/7-new-years-resolutions-for-your-car/

 

15 Must-Have Car Gadget Gifts

Hunting for a gift for the car-lover with everything? We have you covered.

By Automotive Editors

 

Scissor Lift

Scissor Lift

Price: $1000

Lying on your back on cold concrete gets old pretty fast. This scissor lift will lift a car or truck plenty high to work on the suspension, brakes or body, even inside most residential garages.

Swift Hitch Portable Back-Up Camera

Swift Hitch Portable Back-Up Camera

Price: $239

Make one-person trailer hookup easy with a portable backup camera. Simply magnetically affix the camera to your tailgate and view the action from the driver’s seat on the handheld 2.5-inch color screen. It even has night vision.

GearWrench Ratcheting Box Wrenches

GearWrench Ratcheting Box Wrenches

Price: $50

Who wants to deal with sockets in tight places? This seven-piece set of SAE ratcheting combination wrenches needs as little as 5 degrees to move a fastener, versus 30 degrees for standard box-end wrenches. And it’s virtually impossible to round a fastener using one of these chrome-plated tools, which come in seven standard sizes.

Stanley Portable Battery Jump-Starter

Stanley Portable Battery Jump-Starter

Price: $70

Stop worrying about dead batteries. With 500 amps of continuous power (and up to 1000 amps of peak power), the Stanley J5C09 Jump Starter can get your car, truck, boat or RV back in service. You can even inflate your tires with the 120-psi air compressor, and a powerful LED illuminates the dark spaces where batteries typically reside. This jump-starter includes a 120-volt AC charger that lets you recharge from a standard household extension cord.

Car MD

Car MD

Price: $70

It won’t turn off your Check Engine light, but this easy-to-use gadget will capture a trouble code, then take you to a website that explains your problem in plain English—and suggests solutions specific to your vehicle.

Accutire Digital Pressure Gauge

Accutire Digital Pressure Gauge

Price: $15

Maintaining the right tire pressure lengthens tire life, saves fuel and enhances safety. Check yours every month. We use this digital tire pressure gauge that we’ve found is as accurate as much high-priced models.

GoLink iPod Cable

GoLink iPod Cable

Price: $99

This cable, your Apple handheld device and a free app provide a picture of your car’s computer. Users can check and rest trouble codes, monitor various parameters and diagnose problems.

Snell SA2010 Helmet

Snell SA2010 Helmet

Price: $250 to 1000

The Snell foundation has updated its helmet specification, and the new lids are just now becoming available. Many racing organizations require either SA2010 or SA2005, so check the rules before heading to the track.

Piloti Driving Shoes

Piloti Driving Shoes

Price: $$75 to $180

Piloti may be Italian for racing drivers, but even amateur driving enthusiasts will appreciate the rounded heels on these shoes that facilitate a well-executed heel-and-toe downshift. Prices range from $75 for the original Spyder to $180 for the Corsa, a professional racing shoe that’s available in suede with a fire-resistant Nomex liner.

Craftsman Cordless Impact Driver

Craftsman Cordless Impact Driver

Price: $100

The 19.2-volt motor in the C3 impact wrench weighs just four and a half pounds, but it really packs a punch, developing 200 lb-ft of torque, and generating up to 3000 impacts per minute. It breaks through even the tightest lug nuts.

Garmin 665

Price: $1000

Whether it’s on your motorcycle, snowmobile, boat or bicycle, this weatherproof GPS keeps you on course. With real-time weather, Bluetooth and XM satellite radio built-in, it’s also a great gadget for use in your car.

Eastwood Glass Polishing Kit

Price: $47

Don’t put up with a scratched or sandblasted, pitted windshield. This kit will let you and a drill polish your windshield back to its original glossy finish.

WeatherTech Floor Mats

Price: $100 and Up

These days, it’s hard to find anything that’s not made in China. What’s interesting about MacNeil Automotive—maker of WeatherTech all-weather floor mats—is not the fact that it supplies floor mats to all three German automakers, but that its products are entirely made in America. MacNeil not only designs and manufactures its products in the good old U.S.A,, it sources its rubber compounds, and most of its machinery, from North America.

Ram Drink Cup Mount

Price: $37

Okay, the drink cup is great for caffeine addicts, but Ram Mounts also makes one of these articulated mounts adaptable to virtually any vehicle and any device you might need ready at hand.

CG Lock

Price: $50

This easily installed device maintains seatbelt tension, which holds the driver in place. You’d be surprised how much something so simple can improve your driving. It also enhances the safety of kids in booster seats.

Article Credit:  http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g139/car-gadgets-gifts/

 

 

How To Winterize Your Car

Image result for winterizing car

Climate changes don’t affect just you―they also affect your car. In regions that don’t enjoy mild winters, you wouldn’t dream of heading outside without a heavy coat if the wind chill brought the temperature below freezing. Don’t expect your car to function properly without some attention to its winter needs, too.

Engine Oil in the Winter

The oil in your engine changes depending on how hot or cold the engine is running. Because the outside temperatures will influence the internal temperature of your engine, you need to make sure you’re using the proper oil for the conditions.

During the winter months, if you live where temperatures get below freezing, you’ll want to switch over to thinner―less viscous―oil. If you run a 10W-30 in the summer, for example, try moving to a 5W-30 when changing your oil in the fall or winter. If you are in doubt, refer to your manual or the manufacturer.

Engine Coolant

You car’s coolant system is not intended only to keep your engine from overheating. It is also responsible for protecting your valuable engine against corrosion. Before the weather gets too cold, make sure you are using coolant with ethylene glycol to help protect your engine.

Every vehicle requires a certain ratio of coolant to water, and your owner’s manual or repair technician can explain what your engine needs. For most vehicles, a winter ratio is 60% coolant to 40% water. Adjusting this ratio is an important step in winterizing your car, so if you need help, ask someone who is experienced and knowledgeable.

Additionally, some engines can only take specific types of coolant. Be sure to check with you vehicle manual to make sure you are putting the right type of coolant into your car.

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Cold Weather and Battery Capacity

It isn’t only your engine that doesn’t like to start in the winter. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter.

Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. You can check your battery fluid by uncovering the refill hole (or sometimes holes). If the level is below the bottom of the cap, refill with distilled water.

To read the level of charge in your battery, you will need to turn the engine off. Some batteries have a built-in hydrometer eye that tells you the amount of voltage remaining in the battery. If you prefer, a handheld hydrometer can be used to collect the same information.

While you’re inspecting your battery, look around for the manufacture date. Knowing how old your battery is can clue you in to when it will begin to lose charge. Shopping for a new battery? Never buy one with a six-month-old manufacture date.

Snow Tires

When it comes to really dealing with winter weather, your tires are out there mixing with the snow, sleet, and ice. Driving in snow can be very difficult and sometimes dangerous; still, the reality is you need to get to work.

Mounting the right tires on your car or truck can give you a huge advantage when trekking through snow. Many car makers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. If you don’t swap all four, the difference between snow and summer tires can cause other problems for your vehicle.

If you live off the beaten path, you can even buy snow tires with studs to help you get where you’re going all winter long. When spring comes, though, you’ll be glad to get out of the heavy winter tires because your fuel efficiency and handling will improve with a less aggressive tire.

Another option is all-season tires that you drive year-round―winter and summer. The advantage of all-season tires is that you don’t change the tires before winter or need to keep two sets of rims. Of course, the disadvantage is that you don’t get all the great features of a specialized seasonal tire.

Windshield Treatment

An easily overlooked part of your winterizing program is your windshield. If you have ever driven behind another vehicle kicking up wet, dirty road snow, then you already have a true appreciation for windshield washer fluid.

For best results in clearing off cold, heavy grime, select a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. But beware―some washer fluids can be harsh and damage your car’s paint.

Frozen Out

Door locks can freeze in cold weather and break your key if you try to force them open. The old fashion cure was warm water, but what if you’re not at home and don’t have any warm water nearby? Discount stores, auto parts stores, and even hardware stores sell glycerine you can use for de-icing. Think about where you keep it, however, because if the de-icer is in the glove box of your frozen-shut car, then it won’t help you any.

Stock a tube at home in the garage and also in your desk at work. That way whenever your locks freeze up, you’ll be able to solve the problem.

Emergency Kit

If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, consider putting together a few basics and stowing them in the trunk. Naturally, you’ll want to be sure your spare tire is in good shape with all the tools to change it out. But you might also want a few other emergency items in case you slide off the road and get stuck in a snow bank:

  • Flares
  • Blankets
  • Boots
  • Radio
  • Engine oil
  • Washer fluid
  • Coolant
  • Flashlight

When you take the time to winterize your car, you become more comfortable driving in cold, snowy climates. A short commute quickly becomes difficult when your vehicle isn’t equipped to handle snow and ice. By planning ahead, you can make winterizing your vehicle an annual ritual in the name of safety and vehicle reliability.

Article Credit: http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/winterize-car.php

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