Monthly Archives: April 2016

Maintenance Tips to Keep Cars Running

Maintenance Tips to Keep Cars RunningWhen they’ve just been acquired from a dealership, new vehicles usually run very smooth, the engine giving everything it has throughout the RPM range, shocks are nicely absorbed by the struts and coils wrapped into the suspension mechanism, and fuel consumption sticks to the data found on the brochure. However as years pass, cars tend to grow old just like we do; components start to gain wear and perform with reduced efficiency.

Still, in the same way we take care of our bodies in order to live past the average life expectancy number, proper maintenance can keep a vehicle rolling the tarmac for years and thousands of miles. Here are 4 key maintenance elements to consider if you want your vehicle to run more than 100,000 miles.

1. Oil, Fluids and Filters

In order to run, a car needs fuel. Also, it needs to breathe and to provide minimum friction for the inner dynamic components of the engine. That is why replacing fluids and filters and respecting maintenance intervals are a critical step in ensuring an extended lifetime for any vehicle. Normally, the only fluid that must be changed on a regular basis is motor oil. Others, such as gearbox oil, coolant or brake fluid must be refilled to their optimum level if the level drops; otherwise, there is no need to tamper with them. Don’t try to be cheap when replacing motor oil on your car! Go for a product that matches settings written in your car’s service manual. Other oils may be cheaper or work better in other vehicles but may produce lower performance on yours.

Replacing motor oil means you will also have to replace the oil filter. Again, don’t try to save a few dollars by acquiring a cheaper, low quality product; you will save more on the long run with a performance oil filter. Remember that your car also owns a fuel filter, an air filter and a particle filter. Remember to replace those as well, according to the service interval mentioned in your car’s service manual.

2. Brakes

Once you’ve ensured your car is running smooth and at full capacity thanks to its new filters and oil, it is highly recommended to make sure you can get to a full stop just as well as you can accelerate. Again, take your car’s service manual and check the indicated maintenance period regarding the vehicle’s braking system. If there’s none, make sure to check the wear level of your brake pads and replace them when they become thin. Also, after a few tens of thousands of miles, it is highly recommended to replace your brake rotors as well; they may take longer to wear but they aren’t indestructible either.

3. Timing belt

A timing belt that ruptures while the engine is running at a high RPM’s is a mechanical nightmare. If it happens, chances are your intake and exhaust valves will damage, pistons may crack and your engine may have to undergo a very expensive repair process. If your car features a chain drive, you don’t have to worry about this. Still, since there are many cars using a timing belt, replacing your old belt with a new timing belt kit on a regular basis is highly recommended. Replacement intervals differ between car brands and models, so you’ll have to look up yours in the service manual or online. The interval is measured in miles, so check your odometer from time to time.

4. Tires

Your car’s enhanced braking system is useless unless the vehicle has a strong grip with the ground. Given that the only elements able to provide such grip are the tires, make sure you keep an eye on their wear level. Use a cheap tread-depth gauge to measure how much tread your tires have left. A low tread increases chances of aquaplaning and tire failure. Depending on where you live, season-appropriate tires should be used; you should own a winter as well as a summer set of tires if you live in a climate with four seasons.

Finally, remember to inflate tires to the appropriate pressure mentioned by the producer. This will ensure it will use the whole treat surface and increase mileage as well as grip.

Tyre Buying Guide

Tyres are one of the most important parts of your vehicle, as they are the only part that comes in contact with the road. This means that every move you make is shifted onto your tyres. When you have bad tyres on your vehicle, then you are posing a threat to yourself, the environment, and others as well. But not everyone is a pro at making the right tyre purchase decision, which is why this article is here to help you. Let’s take a look at some tyre buying tips that will not only help improve your vehicle’s performance, but will also keep everyone safe.

Refrain from Buying Old Tyres
Just like anything else, tyres also have an expiry date. If you live in an area with hot climate, then there is a high chance that your tyres will get damaged sooner. Either way, it is important to know about the manufacturing date of the tyres that you are planning on purchasing. This date would be a four digit number which gives knowledge about the week and year of manufacture. If the date on a tyre is 3011, it means that the tyre was manufactured in the 30th week of 2011. So, pick the tyres that are recently manufactured.

Pick the Right Sized Tyres
When you are changing your tyres, it is important to get the right size. A tyre’s size is mentioned on its sidewalls and is a code with digits and alphabets. When buying new tyres, make sure you compare it with the size code mentioned in your owner’s manual or the car door jamb. The size of the new tyres doesn’t necessarily have to match the size of the ones that you are replacing.

Do not Buy from Big Stores
Big brands might attract you, but if you don’t have that kind of money, then you really need to look elsewhere. You can get tyres from various stores and auto shops. So, instead of buying tyres from a big brand, it is better to opt for local tyre shops. You can also purchase tyres online, where you can benefit from affordable packages.

Select Tyres with Greater Fuel Economy
If you are looking to reduce costs on fuel, then it is best to go for tyres that offer great fuel economy. Tyres have a major impact on your vehicle’s fuel consumption, which means that by selecting tyres that make use of less energy, you will be able to save a lot of money.

Read Reviews
Reviews are more important that you realize. They help you make the right decision and get a good deal on tyres. So, before you head out to make a purchase, make sure you give some time to research and reading reviews. The best way to find reviews is to search on the internet. You will find many customer reviews for different auto dealers and tyre brands, which will give you a better idea of what to purchase.

Purchasing tyres for your vehicle might be a daunting task, especially if you have no previous experience. But with these tips in mind, you can make a sound purchase!

Making Used Cars Feel New Again

Purchasing used cars is a great way to save money, but some may feel as if they are not as nice looking as brand new vehicles. Many pre-owned vehicles are in excellent condition both cosmetically and mechanically. Proper maintenance of both the inside and outside can add more life to the car and keep it looking great. For those who feel as if their used cars are in need of a little sprucing up, consider some of these tips.

Clean the Interior

Keeping the interior of the vehicle clean is one of the best ways to spruce up used cars. Pull everything out from the inside and the trunk, and vacuum the carpeting and seats thoroughly. Don’t forget to catch the corners, crevices, and anywhere else that dirt can collect. Remove the cup holders and wipe down the hard surfaces. Use an antibacterial cleaner to disinfect the steering wheel, handles, and all buttons, including the radio. Take some time to remove any stains on the upholstery using some upholstery cleaner.

Clean the Engine

A clean engine makes cars run more efficiently and look much nicer. Every month, wipe off any build-up with a shop towel. Spray a degreasing agent on the cloth and carefully wipe the outside of the engine. It is also possible to power wash the engine, but be careful not to get water into other elements under the hood.

Clean the Door Wells

Door wells are not an area that often comes to mind when sprucing up a vehicle. It is, however, the first part that people see when opening the door. This area can get very messy and unattractive. Grime and dirt can build up quickly, so take some time to clean it out. Spray the door wells with all purpose cleaner. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then wipe them down with a dry cloth.

Clean the Headlights

Over time, the headlight covers can become very foggy, making used cars look less attractive. A yellow film builds up on the headlights and prevents the lights from working as well. There are a few options to fix this problem. Professionals can refinish the lights using a specialized technique and professional products. Replacing them is also an option if they are in especially bad condition. There are also headlight cleaning kits available for the owner to clean them.

Taking a few moments each month to spruce up used cars can make it seem as good as new. In addition to general maintenance, these tips will make it look and feel like new for years to come.

Benefits Of Used Auto Parts

For those trying to save some money in the household budget, consider purchasing used parts for your vehicle repairs. New parts can often be astronomical in price. In many cases, used parts will work just as well. They can be found at different salvage yards or at a car dealer. Before jumping into the world of used auto parts, first do some research to make sure to get the best deal.

Know Exactly Which Part is Needed

Once you find out there is an issue with the vehicle, it is necessary to either inspect the problem or have a mechanic determine what is needed to repair the car. Auto components usually need to be make and model specific. When shopping used, make sure to have all the information that is needed. If it is possible, bring the old piece when shopping, so there is no confusion as to what the vehicle will require.

Know What the New Purchase Price Would Be

Before shopping, take a few minutes and research the price of those new components if they are purchased new. This way, it will be easier to know whether or not the used is provided at a good deal. Make sure to have a printed copy of the price on hand when looking, just in case it may be necessary to negotiate a better price with the dealer.

Make Sure Returns Are Possible

One of the first questions that needs to be asked before paying for a used component is whether or not it can be returned it if it breaks or quits performing. Many auto salvage centers or a trusted car dealer will offer a 30-day money back or exchange policy. If the retailer does not offer any type of warranty, consider trying other sources that do have a return policy.

Maybe New is Better

Some parts are often better if purchased new. Vital components, like alternators, brake rotors, and others that have a tendency to wear out over time are overall more economical if purchased new. It can be risky buying some items used since it typically cannot be known how long they were used in the previous vehicle before they were sold to someone else. The vehicle may stop working after three months, which means a new component will have to be purchased, so it may have been less expensive to break down and buy it new in the first place. Auto parts that are typically considered safe to purchase used include fuel pumps, brake drums, air conditioner compressors, and CV joints.

Purchasing used auto parts from a salvage center or car dealer can be a big money saver, but they can also cost more if you careful research is not done ahead of time. Make sure to shop around different salvage yards, swap meets, a used car dealer, or classified ads to get the best deal. Most of all don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions before handing over the cash.

Select a Perfect Trailer

Select a Perfect TrailerHow to select a perfect trailer according to your requirements, if you want to carry something valuable, while moving towards any snowmobiling place in the U.S, such as West Yellowstone in Montana, Moran in Wyoming or Priest Lake in Idaho. All of these worth seeing places are considered the Paradise for ATV Riders and snowmobilers.

You might be all at sea while choosing a trailer for you have no idea what kind of trailer should be selected and what kind of features it should contain. Well! Selecting a right type of trailer is not a hard nut to crack if you are conscious to notice a few things such as material and brakes, etc. Let’s have a glance what you should keep in mind while selecting a perfect trailer.

As a rule, a sled trailer is made of either iron or aluminum. Iron will rust and aluminum is less affected by the extreme weather. Hence, try to get an aluminum trailer. Although, it is not much pretty, but a better option.

The length and width should be according to the place, where you are going to store it. Moreover, its height is worth considering. The trailer should be equal in height to the tow vehicle otherwise; it will consume a lot of fuel that will be burdensome for you economically. Instead of a taller trailer, select a wider one to cut wind drag and thus, less consumption of fuel.

The shape is, of course, an important aspect that should be considered. An enclosed trailer would be definitely costly as compared to an open deck one. Select a good trailer to make sure an ideal performance.

It is unjust if we are discussing the selection criteria of a trailer and we do not remark its Frame. Go for a tubular frame that is reliable than L-beam or C-channel.

When considering the main safety features, we should keep in mind the brakes. Usually, the boat trailers use surge brakes, but in some of the modern boat trailers, electric-over-hydraulic brakes can be seen for a better performance and for a greatly efficient system. These brakes are groovy for campers and utility trailers, but not for boat trailers.

There are two types of suspension systems. Torsion-bar is a bit costly, but it is good to hide the signs. The long-run system is, of course, the leaf springs to give you absolutely dandy performance.

Check if your vehicle possesses the cargo safety functions such as D-loops or E-tracks. The wiring system should be going through rubber loops to avoid a short-circuit. Check the strength of the entrance ramp, whether it can tolerate the weight of your ATV, car or other vehicles.

Find the Best Used Trucks Tips

Are you in the market for a used truck but don’t know where to begin? Not to worry! Check out these tips to make buying your next vehicle a quick and easy transaction.

1. Do your research on the make and model that will best suit your needs. Used trucks span the gamut when it comes to makes, models, and extras, so make sure that you have your list of deal-breakers and must-haves before you start visiting dealerships. Having a list of desired features will help weed out trucks that don’t fit your needs and reduce feeling overwhelmed by all of the options.

2. Decide on a budget and stick to it. It can be incredibly easy to get talked into something extravagant, especially since there are so many cool features available for an additional cost. The firmer you are with your budget, the better prepared you’ll be to negotiate with the seller.

3. If you’re going to a lot, try to go towards the end of the month. This old adage is true. Dealers are willing to negotiate more towards the end of the month than the beginning because they are under more pressure to meet their sales quotas. However, it’s better to begin your search during the beginning and middle of the month, but only make your final offer at the end of the month. Before making this big investment, it’s always good practice to take your time, figure out your options, and then make an offer when the dealers are the most willing to make compromises.

4. Always take the automobile to a mechanic before purchasing. If you’ve got a good mechanic that you trust, your hunt for the best used trucks is a lot easier. They’ll be able to run diagnostic tests and give you their professional assessment on whether or not your new-to-you used truck is in excellent condition. If you don’t have a mechanic of your own, search review sites for a qualified, certified technician. Don’t take the word of a mechanic referred to you by the seller, as they may not have your best interests at heart.

5. Invest in your new purchase. While you may have saved a bundle on your used truck, remember that investing in maintenance and care now can save you even more down the road. Regular tune-ups, oil changes, and better tires can help reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and will help it last even longer. Make sure to keep a record of any type of maintenance completed or any warranties that are still active, so that you’ll be prepared if any mishaps occur.

Buying Used Travel Trailers For Sale Tips

Going camping is a great way to relax and reconnect with nature. However, not everyone is into roughing it in a tent with some sleeping bags. Even if you do not have a lot of money to spend, there are many used travel trailers for sale, and you can find one if you know what to look for.

Mechanical

When you begin your search for travel trailers for sale, you want to take your time. Just because one looks good, does not mean it is mechanically sound. Safety while on the road should be your first priority. Be sure to examine the motorhome before purchasing.

Start by looking underneath the trailer and checking the frame for rust. If there is a significant amount, this means the foundation is not sound. It could give way at any time in the future. In addition to rust, look for cracks, impact damage, or any broken welds. If you see any of these things, move on.

While you are under the structure, look at the axles. You want to make sure there is no obvious damage. You should also ask how old the tires are. Anything older than five years should be replaced immediately. Look at the wheel rims to see if there is any rust or dents. Dents in the rims could cause problems for your tires.

Finally, have the wheel bearings inspected, and repacked if necessary. You want to have the electric brake system inspected by a mechanic as well.

Structural

Once you are satisfied that the travel trailers for sale are mechanically sound, it is time to look at the overall structure. You want to check the floors and make sure there are no soft spots. The ceiling should be free of any leaks and should bear no stains from previous leaking problems. The entry door to your motorhome should move smoothly.

On the outside of the structure, look at the walls. Make sure there is no peeling or separation on the fiberglass. If you have aluminum siding, check for damage or any loose panels. Finally, the windows need to open properly and the mechanism should be in good operating condition.

Appliances and Accessories

All travel trailers for sale should come with the appliances already installed and in working order. Refrigerators are expensive to replace, costing as much as $2,000. Be sure to check that it not only cools, but that also the temperature regulator works. The stove should have working burners and the oven should regulate correctly.

While the appliances are the most costly pieces, you should also pay attention to the rest of the interior. Check the condition of the dinette table and investigate the cabinets to make sure the shelves are in good shape and that the doors close. Also, inspect the upholstery on the couch for stains and tears.

The important part to remember about the interior is that much of it can be updated as you see fit. Curtains can be replaced as can carpeting, and walls are easy to repaint. Just make sure it is in good working order and that it is not too outdated for the time being.

Campers, Trailers, and Recreational Vehicles

Have you recently made the decision to purchase a mobile home? These are a great way to add another layer of mobility to your life. But, before you visit the RV Dealers, you should know more about the types of mobile homes available today. The most popular options are the Recreational Vehicle, the pop-up, the trailer, and the truck camper. All of these options have their strengths. Find out which one is best for you.

The Recreational Vehicle

Recreational vehicles, also known as motor homes, are usually the largest of the options available from RV dealers, and they come with the most amenities. Depending on what brand and model you choose, recreational vehicles can be as short as a truck or as long as 45 feet. This means that they are also challenging to drive; some states require special licensing in order to operate motor homes. Unlike the other options on this list, they are completely self-powered.

When it comes to add ons, recreational vehicles have the most versatility. Most motor homes come with a bed, a bathroom, a cooking area, and a small living area. Larger upgraded models can also come with extra beds or bedrooms, full kitchen, living space with sofa and armchairs, and bathrooms with bathtubs and showers. Features like extended cabinets, flatscreen TVs, kitchen islands, and hot tubs can also be added.

If you’re looking for all of the creature comforts of home while on the road, the recreational motorhome might be the best choice for you.

The Pop-up Camper

A pop-up is a specialized mobile home that can be folded into a small space and unfolded when parked as part of the pop-up’s set up. It is much smaller and more maneuverable than a motorhome without sacrificing much on space or amenities. Modern pop-ups consist of a frame, a box, a hard roof, pull out bunk beds, and soft walls, which are made of vinyl or canvas.

Even though unfolded pop-ups share size with motorhomes, they don’t have some of the same amenities. New, high-wall models come with space for cabinets and beds, but there are very few models that come with showers. Special attachments can be purchased to give provide bathrooms. What it lacks in amenities, though, it makes up for in maneuverability and price. Pop-ups are much less expensive than their larger counterparts and can be towed behind a truck or SUV.

The Travel Trailer

A travel trailer, also called a caravan or a teardrop, is a small, hard-bodied living space that can be attached to a vehicle. Like campers and recreational vehicles, travel trailers can have many of the comforts of home – a bed, a kitchen, a living space, and a bathroom. Travel trailers tend to be smaller, much smaller than motorhomes. They are generally less than 18 feet long, and they can weigh less than 700 pounds. The smallest teardrop or ultralight models can even be pulled behind cars or motorcycles.

The Truck Camper

The truck camper is the smallest mobile home that you’ll find on the RV dealers’ lot. These are made to fit in the bed of a truck. Ultra-small and ultra-light, they are manufactured to provide the necessities – sleeping space, stove or hotplate, sink, and, sometimes, a bathroom, are stacked on top of each other, in order to fit the most in the space. Truck campers allow their inhabitants to go anywhere that a normal automobile would be able to go. They’re popular with individuals on long-term job sites.

When you visit RV Dealers, your sales associate can help you navigate which of these mobile homes best fits your needs, style, and budget.

Maintenance of Your Used Diesel RV

People who invest in used diesel motor homes need to protect their investment. No matter whether you have purchased a new model or a used one, investing in it means big money. Your RV is just like your home, and you must take care of it. To make your job easier, here are some details pertaining to the scheduled, preventive and emergency maintenance of your diesel motor home.

Routine or Scheduled Maintenance

You need to do it at periodic intervals depending on mileage, hours or time. Its primary objective is to keep your RV in the best operating condition. It also prevents sudden and untimely repairs or breakdowns. Read up the vehicle’s user manual and warranty details. Understand who is supposed to do the scheduled maintenance. For example, the manufacturer is responsible for some routine checkups; failure to do this might make your warranty null and void.

Preventive Maintenance

When it comes to preventive maintenance, it’s simply common sense. If someone intends to go for a long trip, a sensible RV owner will do a reality check of the lights, tires and fluid levels. It’s wrong to assume that your vehicle’s fluid levels have no problem, there are no leakages or the tires look perfectly fine and inflated. Such negligence may result in untimely breakdowns.

Emergency Maintenance

You are required to perform emergency maintenance when you least expect a part, component or system of your diesel motor home to fail. What is the major cause of an emergency maintenance? It happens when you forget to perform the routine and preventive maintenance. If you are complacent about examining the air pressure of vehicle’s tires before you start your journey, the under-inflated wheels would overheat and lead to sudden breakdowns, and consequently result in the need for an emergency maintenance.

Maintenance Checklist

You are probably aware of the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and so to make your RV maintenance job a tad easier, here is a checklist to prevent unexpected breakdowns or technical snags.

  • Change the fuel filters once annually or for each 12,000 miles you travel. It will cost you around $250.
  • Inspect the RV batteries every 14 days and remember to add distilled water whenever necessary.
  • Keep the tires inflated to proper pounds per square inch (PSI) every six months.
  • Remember to do a reality check of the water filter on the engine annually. That’s because not all models have them. It will cost you around $150.
  • Change your RV’s lube slack adjusters and air dryer filter annually.
  • Inspect the coolant conditioner in the generator and engine annually. This is important to check for the appropriate pH balance. Make sure you change the coolant every four years. The cost will come to less than $35.

With proper the maintenance of used diesel motor homes, there are less possibilities of sudden breakdowns and costly repairs. Take care of your vehicle and it will pay you back with miles of happiness. Happy RV-ing!

Optimize Your Rv’s Resale Value

The day you bring home a new RV, you are a proud owner and it is least likely that you will be thinking of anything remotely linked to its resale. However, there are different types of RV owners, who have different expectations from their recreational vehicles. While for some, an RV means a long-term investment spanning over decades, for many travel-enthusiasts upgrading to new, more luxurious models every year is the norm. A majority of the owners, however, prefer to walk the middle path and keep their rig for at least three to five years. It doesn’t matter which category you belong to, when the time comes to sell your RV for cash, you would always want to get the maximum price. For any high value asset, you need to take good care of it to optimize its resale value. The same rule applies to your home-on-wheels. Here we share a few ways you can protect your investment and command a good selling price:

Enhance Convenience

An RV is not just a vehicle – it is your mobile home. There is little wonder that RV owners expect to enjoy home-like comfort while traveling on road. Naturally, an RV, which has many convenient features, would enjoy a significantly higher resale value. For example, features such as push-button slide-outs, remote-operated awnings and automatic levelers eliminate manual efforts and ease your life on the road. Over time you may introduce more lifestyle enhancing features such as new appliances, better plumbing fixtures, lightweight and moveable furniture and so on. With more and more people opting to work from home, a dedicated work space will be another valuable addition. All these can go a long way to create a more home-like ambience and maximize its resale value.

Increase Entertainment Options

Today’s RV shoppers are looking for top-notch digital entertainment on-the-go. Therefore be sure to invest in good sound systems, good quality televisions and other entertainment devices before you enter the market as a seller. If you are musically inclined, don’t hesitate to invest in good quality speakers. You can connect to your particular mobile device via cord or Bluetooth. In addition, subscribing to a satellite television service is a wonderful way to improve your RV’s entertainment quotient, which in turn helps increase its resale value.

Improve Storage

Getting confined to a constricted space for a long time at a stretch is plain suffocating. Therefore, make the most of its limited space to give it a de-cluttered look. Add more shelves and cupboards. Consider installing storage compartments under the RV and add more built-in storage space wherever possible. Rigs with huge storage facilities are likely to attract more buyers and fetch better resale value.

An RV with a long list of convenient features can significantly boost its resale value. If you are planning to sell your RV for cash any time soon, add a few features that you think will enhance the RV lifestyle. However, keep track of these improvements so that you can include their costs in your resale value assessment.