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How To Save Yourself A Ton Of Money By Maintaining Your Car Properly

Many car owners overlook the importance of proper vehicle care. Balancing the tires, checking the mechanical systems, inspecting the ignition and examining the brakes are all key to improving a vehicle's longevity and fuel efficiency. A well maintained car is a safer and more economical car.

Tires should be checked on a regular basis to ensure the pressure level is appropriate and that wear and tear is minimal. It's recommended that tire pressure be checked once a month to avoid rolling resistance, a common problem that occurs when tires aren't inflated with enough air. This lack of air can lead to premature deterioration and additional fuel consumption. At the same time as you check tire pressure, you should also check overall tire condition. If the tire tread is uneven, it could be indicative of over inflation, under inflation or misalignment, all of which can also lead to a shorter tire life span and vehicle handling difficulties. Avoid these potential problems by rotating your tires routinely and testing your car's wheel alignment by driving at a steady speed and checking to see if your vehicle leans more to one side than another (if so, an adjustment is in order).

A serviced engine is an efficient engine. Since 1996, when cars started to be produced with an internal diagnostics system that alert the driver to potential problems with indicator lights, it's fairly easy to do. A common interior alert light that might be illuminated if not appropriately maintained is the oil indicator light. Oil provides the lubrication an engine needs to function, minimize friction and eliminate superfluous heat and unhealthy emissions. Most owners' manuals recommend using an "Energy Conserving" oil to maintain the most fuel economy. It's also important to check a car's cooling system on a regular basis to ensure the engine is operating at its optimal temperature. This also helps to ensure that your car operates with fuel efficiency.

Regular upkeep of the ignition system is also key to a well-functioning vehicle. Since issues related to the ignition are a bit trickier to identify, it's good to rely on the manufacturer's recommendations on when to change spark plugs and/or wires. Damages to these parts can lead to engine misfires and a decrease in fuel efficiency. Worn out brakes, used to stop your car rather than start it, can also contribute to this increase in fuel consumption. Having them inspected, the fluid checked and, when needed, changed, can keep them operating more effectively.

Well maintained vehicles are well running vehicles. Regularly schedule checks of the tires, engine, ignition and brakes to keep your car running optimally. And when it doubt, there's much to read about in your car's owner's manual.


Buyer Beware: What to Look Out For When Shopping for a Used Truck

The Truck is a favorite when it comes to owning a reliable vehicle that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you want to use a truck for commercial use at your job or just because need something to pull your boat or haul household items around, a truck can be your most valued possession. However, trucks can be a bit more expensive, have special licensing and insurance requirements. Often truck resellers take advantage of this when they are in the business of making money so its a "buyers beware" market. Here are some things to look out for when shopping for a used truck:

Truck Size

When shopping for a used truck, the most important thing to consider is how big of a truck you actually need to get the job done. If you will be hauling relatively light loads or small trailers, then a nice compact truck should work nicely for you. In contrast, if you have a large boat or equipment that will be pulled around on a consistent basis, then a larger model will be better. Keeping this in mind before walking into a used truck dealership should help prevent you from driving off with an overpriced full size truck that is more looks than functional for you- with the payments to show for it.

Engine and Fuel Usage

If you are looking for value for your truck purchase, you may be surprised to find that many compact trucks get the same mileage as cars. There are compact truck models that have 4, 6, and eight cylinder engines and automatic transmissions that will give you a good mileage per dollar investment. Thats in contrast to the larger 10 and diesel engines that full size trucks offer. Unless the dealership is giving you an excellent deal on the price to compensate for the lack of fuel economy, then its probably not worth it to buy a full size truck for everyday use.

Safety Equipment

Todays trucks come loaded with the best in safety equipment like anti-lock brakes, drive train slippage prevention and air bags. Just like cars, the newer year trucks will offer you, your family or employees a higher safety rating than an older used truck. Thats especially important if you will be using the truck for family transportation or as part of a corporate fleet of vehicles. When purchasing a used truck, you may want to inquire as to the safety rating and ask about any safety equipment that it has before you decide to purchase it. That can save lives in the event of an accident.

Passenger Capacity/Interior

There are three basic styles when it comes to truck interiors. These include regular cab, extended cab and crew cabs. What that means is if you will need additional room inside the truck, such as for employees or family, you will need the type of cab space to accommodate that. Too many people have learned the hard way that its nearly impossible for the family to ride together in a regular cab truck that has a standard transmission stick in the middle of the front seat area. Try putting a car seat there and youll see how frustrating that can be. When buying a used truck, try to picture who will be riding in the truck on a regular basis and how much room you will actually need.

Towing Ability

People often buy trucks to handle touch hauling jobs like towing boats, work trailers or other equipment. These can be personal or work related so in order to get the best value on a used truck, its important to inquire as to the trucks towing ability before you buy it. Heres a range to keep in mind: Compact trucks can tow between 1-1.5 tons, full-size trucks can tow 4-5 tons depending on how they are equipped.

Buying a used truck doesnt have to be a major headache if you know what you want and how much you should spend. Taking some time beforehand to research the different types of trucks and their available features will save you a great deal of time, money and trouble after the fact.


How To Wax Your Car Properly For A Supreme Finish

The sheen on a showroom car is the item that many people desire. The mirror finish fascinates people of all ages. There is no doubt that a car waxed by a professional, but you can achieve the same look at home without having to pay for an expensive car detailing.

The most important step is to go online and research the different car wax brands. Some brands are mediocre at best, while more expensive brands may not be worth the money. Consumer Reports magazine actually gave Black Magic and Turtle Wax the highest ratings of all the waxes out there. Stick to nonabrasive waxes for best results.

Next, wash your car thoroughly. It is often helpful to wash twice because dirt is hard to find on a wet car. Dry the car completely before waxing. Avoid washing and waxing your car on a hot, sunny day. If it is sunny, make sure you park your car in the shade.

Dampen a sponge and squirt a small amount of wax onto the damp sponge. Aim for an amount that is equal to a tablespoon or so. In a clockwise circular motion, rub the wax over every section of the car. Think of the original "The Karate Kid" movie with the "wax on, wax off" technique. Cover the entire car with the wax and then return to the section where you started.

By this point, the wax should be dry. Cloth diapers are excellent clothes for removing wax. If not, a terry cloth towel will work. In the opposite counterclockwise direction, use small circles to buff the wax off your car. Use a moderate amount of pressure so that you are getting all the wax. Switch clothes or towels periodically so that you are not putting wax back onto your car's surface that causes those pesky streaks we all hate.

When you have finished, take another clean towel or clothe and go back over the entire car one more time. This ensures you do not leave any streaks or wax spots. After two hours, wax can damage a car's paint job. Ensure that you are working quickly enough to get all the wax off. You must be thorough.

If you find a tough stain or mark that washing hasn't removed, waxing often will do the job. Place a layer of wax on the spot and let it dry completely. Buff the wax off and repeat if necessary.

Wash your towels and clothes for future waxings. Use a good quality fabric softener to guarantee that the towel will not scratch your car in the future.

It is simple to have a professional quality wax job on your car. It just takes a little elbow grease and an hour's time. You'll love the end result!


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