Do It Yourself: Tips for a Smoother Oil Change

Worried about changing oil in your vehicle? We’ve got some simple tricks to make it smoother.

  • Before you being the process, examine the engine. In case the engine is cold start your vehicle and let it run for five minutes in order to warm the oil. If the engine is too hot, wait for at least 30 minutes to avoid hassles.
  • Make sure not to use an adjustable wrench or socket on the drain plug. Use the properly sized box-end wrench, usually metric, for the plug.
  • Make sure to use jack stands always. Never work under a car that’s supported by a jack only and use new oil to coat the oil filter gasket before spinning it on.
  • Always hand-tighten the filter. Never use a filter wrench.
  • Line up all the oil bottles you’ll need for the fill so you don’t lose count along the way.

Items You Should Always Keep in Your Car

Essential items to store in your car

  • An Empty Gas Can: This becomes very useful when your vehicle runs out of fuel and is stuck in the middle of the road. Make sure the can is empty as filled cans could be harmful.

 

  • Water Bottles: This is another essential item in case you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you face a sudden breakdown. A water bottle in the vehicle can be a real life saver!

 

  • Traction Mats: This is another ‘must-have’ in your vehicle. When your car’s spinning its wheels on mud, a traction mat which is made of plastic or lightweight steel can help you get unstuck.

 

  • Jumper Cables: This is another absolute essential. A paid of jumper cables can help you start the car’s dead battery and bring it back to life. Follow the proper instructions before jump-starting your vehicle.

 

  • A Flashlight: An LED flashlight could be very useful in case you’re stuck on the road during the night time or looking to fix a broken vehicle.

 

Looking After Your Vehicle Like a Grown-Up

 06 helpful tips to take good care of your vehicle

  • Tires: Ensure the tires contain the specified tire pressure. The tires should be replaced once the tread wear indicators are visibly seen between the threads. The tire pressure has an impact on the fuel efficiency and other driving conditions. Check the tire condition and pressure every other day to avoid any unfortunate situations on the road.

 

  • Oil: This needs much attention. The oil level of the vehicle should be changed every 3,000-3,500 miles for a smooth, uninterrupted, quiet drive. Make sure to check the oil level of the vehicle regularly. Be mindful of the type of oil used.

 

  • Windows: Make sure windows are cleaned with proper solution. In case a window is damaged make sure to replace it. Check for regularly cracks or damages. A smooth wiper will clean the windows in a proper manner.

 

  • Brakes & batteries: Pay attention to the braking system of the car in order to maintain maximum braking efficiency. The brakes should be checked immediately in case something irregular is noticed. Check the battery once a month. In case the battery runs, have it checked by a professional.

 

  • Interior: The interior ambiance of the vehicle is another impart part of the cleaning process. Make sure to dust out every possible part of the vehicle. If possible use a car vacuum to clean the vehicle effectively.

 

  • Lights: The headlights, taillights,  brake lights, reverse lights, parking lights and signal lights are checked often. in case the lights dimmed, make sure to get it checked by a professional.

Steering Wheel: Protecting and Cleaning

Many tend to forget to clean the steering wheel which is an important interior element of your vehicle and  which is constantly held while driving. The steering wheel is a known place which gathers dust and other dirt particles, especially if the hands are too moist. Here are simple yet effective ways to clean the steering wheel.

  • As the initial step, a wet towel could be used on the steering wheel to soften the grime
  • A degreaser or any other solution could be used on a microfiber towel
  • Gently rub the towel on the steering wheel and circulate in small sections
  • Continue to wipe the steering wheel gently
  • Once you deice the steering wheel is fully cleaned, wipe the steering wheel in a 360 degree circle in order to make the cleaning even
  • Once the steering wheel is cleaned with a wet towel with a preferred solution, with another fresh slightly wet towel, gently clean off the steering wheel
  • To end the process, add a preferred protectant as necessary

Weird Tricks to Clean Your Car

Here are some weird ways to make your car spotless.

  • Baking soda as a Car Cleaner – Say What!

Pour 1/4 cup baking soda into a gallon-sized jug, then add 1/4 cup dish-washing liquid and enough water to fill the jug almost to the top. Screw on the cap, shake well, and store the concentrate for later use. When it comes time to wash the car, shake the jug vigorously and then pour 1 cup of cleaner base into a 2-gallon water pail. Fill the pail with warm water, stir to mix, and your homemade cleaning solution is ready to use.

  • Heat Matters – Ever Thought of That?

Washing your car when it’s too hot, right after you’ve been driving it, for example, or when it’s been parked in direct sunlight, can result in soapy splotches and deposits.

  • Avoid Air Drying – Say No More!

Air drying your car, or driving it around while it’s wet after washing can leave unsightly watermarks on its exterior. Use a soft cloth and a squeegee to soak excess water up. Ensure it doesn’t pick up dirt that can scratch the vehicle.

  • Blade Cleaners – Get it Cleaned..

If your windshield wiper blades get dirty, they’ll streak the glass instead of keeping it clean and clear. Make a solution of 1/4 cup household ammonia to 1 quart cold water. Gently lift the blades, and wipe both sides with a soft cloth or paper towel soaked in the solution. Then wipe the blades with a dry cloth before lowering them into place.

  • Window Cleaner – What Every Car Needs!

Clean your windshield and car windows by rubbing them with baby wipes stored in your glove compartment.

  • Hair Conditioner – Ever Thought of That?

Wash your car with a hair conditioner containing lanolin. You’ll become a believer when you see the freshly waxed look.

Vehicle Battery Maintenance

Similar to toys, every vehicle has a battery and similar to every battery, the vehicle’s battery too drains out. The battery of the vehicle should be looked after and taken care of to avoid any unnecessary damages or any unfortunate situations. Here are some effective tips to take care of your vehicle’s battery:

  • Oil and oil filter

It is important to change the oil and oil filter regularly. The user manual of the vehicle will clearly specify the exact time frame this should be changed. However, it is recommended to change them every 3,000 – 4,000 miles. It this is done without professional help, ensure to dispose the used oil in a proper manner without harming the surrounding or the environment.

  • Fluids of the vehicle

It is important to understand the functions of each fluid type the vehicle needs to function. These could include; brake, power steering, transmission, transaxle, windshield washer and antifreeze fluids. The vehicle manual would specify on the usage of these fluids and their required quantities.

  • Air pressure levels

The air pressure level in tires is another important aspect to consider. This should be checked at least once a month to avoid any sudden road hazards and to minimize battery damage.

  • Lights and blades

These include headlights, turn signals, brake lights and taillights and ensure to replace the windshield if it has been damaged or torn.

  • Warnings Signs

Be cautious of any warning lights or signs. Such warnings could indicate an internal issue and should be taken care. Avoid using the vehicle without proper inspection when there are such warning signs.

Be safe at all times!

 

Dry Out Your Vehicle in 3 Easy Steps

There are several ways to clean your vehicle and save it after an emergency flood. Follow these three easy steps to get water out of your vehicle and to save your vehicle.

Step 01 – Cleaning Excess Water

The main aim after a flood, if your vehicle was caught is to get out the excess amount of water from your vehicle, this could be quite challenging. A wet/dry vacuum cleaner would help you to take out the water out of your vehicle. Use towels and other absorbent material to dry out your car effectively.

Step 02 – Clear out Moist

No matter how well you clean your vehicle if it’s not fully dried out. Start using a fan for more support. This would help to fry out the vehicle’s floors and seats from one side to the other. Keep the vehicle’s doors open and leave the fans running for at least a day inside your garage. In case there’s excess water, try using the heaters in your vehicle. This could temporary dry out the interior parts of your vehicle.

Step 02 – Keep Mold Out

At times, a simple wet spot within your vehicle could lead to mold growth. Use a blow-dryer to clean out such places which couldn’t be reached out with a simple effort. Do not rely on air-fresheners when your vehicle is a flood victim. If possible, try using a moist-absorbent such as baking soda which will prevent your car from producing bad odors.

 

Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain

Driving during a rainy season could be dangerous for several reasons. Make sure you have the right mindset before getting into your vehicle and you are absolutely confident of taking controlling your vehicle on slippery roads. Here are some useful and important tips to help you stay safe on the road this rainy season.

  • Keep both hands on the wheel

Make sure you keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Keep yourself away from distractions such as mobile phones, radio or any other devices. Focus on the road and take a look in back view mirror as well as the two side mirrors, so that you get a 360 degree view of what is happening around you.

  • Headlights matter on the drive

Make sure that you turn on your headlights when its gloomy and when there’s a heavy rain fall. This will greatly help to prevent any sudden accidents on a slippery road. This would help you to see pedestrians and other important road/speed signs.

  • Maintain a good distance

Always maintain a good distance (a distance of at least 08 seconds) at all times during a rainy season.

  • Speed limits matter

Always maintain a speed limit which helps you to control your vehicle on a slippery road. Adhere to speed regulations and watch out for speed signs on the road. The speed limits may differ based on the nature of the road.

  • Know your tires

Check out your tires before you get on a slippery road on a rainy day. Radial tires have better traction than the old bias ply polyester tires, but even they lose their ability to grip wet pavement and channel water out as the tread wears out.

  • Avoid flooded roads

Avoid heavily flooded roads and never drive through flowing water. This could stall the engine causing other major damage to your vehicle.

 

This rainy season, stay safe and drive safe!

7 Things You Should Always Have in Your Car

A sudden breakdown on the go could be major destruction and change your plan for the day. To keep you up and running smoothly, keep these in your trunk:

  • Spare tires – Have at least one spare tire in good condition along with a tire jack and tire iron. Without these tools, the spare tire is useless.
  • Jumper cables – This is something we all need as we never know when the car’s battery would go down. Alternatively, you can pack an emergency battery booster so you don’t have to rely on any stranger on the go.
  • Your car’s manual – This should be in your glove compartment all the time.
  • First aid kit – This can be vital if you’re in an accident on the road and someone has injuries. Slowing down bleeding quickly can mean the difference between walking something off and going into shock.
  • Tire air gauge – This one isn’t so vital for emergencies, but is absolutely essential for preventive maintenance.
  • Flashlight – A flashlight is utterly essential at night if you need to change a tire.
  • Battery charger – A few of the items on this list require batteries. A portable battery charger can plug into your car and charge up all the batteries you need.

Car Care Tips

The basic car care techniques may often sound very confusing. But, in reality basic care car is often simply a matter of popping open the hood and taking a look at the engine of your vehicle. Some basic car care starts with examining the exterior. Check your tires at least every other week to make sure they are inflated properly.

Other visual checks that require almost no vehicle mechanics knowledge include the following:

  • Body and bumper damage -Leaking fluids underneath the vehicle, including oil, power and brake fluid, transmission or other fluid (air-conditioning may cause water to drip under a vehicle).
  • Smoke in vehicle exhaust, aside from normal diesel emissions or start-up fumes engine or fluid warning lights, which should be promptly addressed before any further driving.
  • Engine oil level and cleanliness – Make sure the fluids are above the minimum line, and below the maximum line. You should also keep an eye out for any leaks or worn radiator and other tubes, which should be replaced before pushed to the point of bursting.
  • Antifreeze/coolant level (never attempt to remove radiator cap while engine is hot or warm)
  • Belts – Belt replacement is somewhat difficult for some motorists, but is a relatively simple and inexpensive fix at a service station, so it may be worth the trip to your mechanic to get the right belt installed correctly.

In addition, you should also keep an eye on your vehicle’s battery, and be aware of its age. Batteries should be replaced every five years or so (based on the requirement of your vehicle) and if your battery is not getting the proper charge to easily start your car, you should have it checked.