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The Next Level of Car Care

Want To Take Your 2WD Truck Off-Roading? Here’s What You Need

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you drive a 2WD truck and would like the opportunity to occasionally go off-roading — but don’t want to purchase an entirely new vehicle — you’re now in luck. There are several accessories you can purchase (and modifications you can make) to help your truck manage all types of terrain. These modifications will still allow your truck to handle well on highways and back roads and remain street-legal. Read on to learn about the various ways you can modify your 2WD truck to allow it to perform at 4WD levels. Install a lift kit Even the largest 2WD trucks will require the installation of a lift kit in order to be successful when traveling off the main roads. In fact, a larger truck may need a lift kit even more urgently, as its weight can make it more unwieldy when traversing large rocks or climbing steep hills. You should be able to purchase a lift kit designed for your specific truck through your dealership or online. There are two primary types of lifting kit available — body lifts and suspension lifts. A body lift raises the body of your truck so that the doors and other exterior truck parts sit a few inches higher.  A suspension lift raises the frame and axles to allow more ground clearance below your truck. Although you can have both types of lift kit installed on your truck simultaneously, if your primary goal is successful off-roading, the suspension lift is the better choice. This lift allows your frame to clear high hurdles and can help you easily slide beneath the truck to remove obstacles or debris. The body lift is generally geared more toward aesthetics or achieving a substantial height increase by combining both types of lift kits. Purchase larger tires Once you’ve had your truck lifted, it may look a bit comical with its original tires. Installing larger wheels and tires will not only help your truck look better, it will increase your control over its speed and stability in all types of terrain. If you’re debating how large you should go, the most basic guideline is that you can add the same number of inches to your tire as you’ve added to the body or frame of your truck. For example, if you install a 2″ body lift and a 4″ suspension lift, you can upgrade from 28″ tires to 34″ tires without a problem. Also keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. Installing tires that are too large can cause you some problems — they may rub the edges of your fenders, reducing the life of your tire and limiting your ability to make tight turns. If you’re in doubt of how much to upgrade, or if your new tires are going to be substantially wider than your old ones, you may want to err on the more conservative side. Install a locker  A locking rear differential, or locker, will allow your 2WD truck to climb slanted terrain, like large rocks or slippery hills. You may have noticed that your 2WD truck has trouble navigating its way out of situations in which one wheel is stuck or has no traction and the other has some traction. This is because the same force is applied to both wheels on an...

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2 Ways To Eliminate Your Car’s Brake Fade

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After driving your vehicle for several years, you’ve fine-tuned your pedal pressure while braking. However, during your last vigorous drive down a stretch of open road, you found your brakes were struggling to slow your vehicle. This is a problem that’s known as brake fade. Brake fade can occur for several reasons, so there are several brake service tasks you must perform to eliminate it. However, once you’ve eliminated your vehicle’s brake fade, you can take another audacious drive down the road without fear of being unable to stop. Change Your Oxidized Fluid As you continue to use your brakes on a daily basis, your brake fluid will slowly oxidize. Typically, your fluid will oxidize when it overheats or when air enters your master cylinder (the piston that pumps your brake fluid) and brake lines. When your brake fluid is oxidized or overheating, your brake pedal will become spongy and unresponsive. Since you’re unable to prevent overheated or oxidized fluid, you’ll need to periodically bleed and replace your brake fluid. Luckily, you can change your brake fluid by yourself. To do so, purchase the correct brake fluid for your vehicle (typically listed on the cap of your brake fluid reservoir) and a brake bleed kit from your local auto supply store. In addition to these items, you’ll need a breaker bar, ratchet, socket set, hydraulic jack, and jack stands. Raise your vehicle with your hydraulic jack and place jack stands beneath your vehicle’s safe lift points. Place your bleed kit’s hose inside your brake fluid reservoir (attached to your master cylinder) and drain it. Next, remove your tires and locate the small bleeder valves on the interior side of each brake assembly. Attach your bleed kit to the bleeder valve that’s furthest away from your master cylinder. Pour a small amount of fresh brake fluid into your reservoir and pump the line until only your fresh fluid is visible in your bleed kit’s acrylic hose. Once you’ve drained the line that’s furthest from your master cylinder, repeat the same bleeding process for the line next furthest from your master cylinder. Drain the line that’s closest to your cylinder last. By bleeding your lines in this order, you can ensure all oxidized fluid is removed from your brake system. After you’ve bled all your lines, refill your reservoir and turn on your car. Pump your brake pedal a few times to send the new fluid throughout your lines, and top off your reservoir to finish the job. Install Drilled Or Slotted Rotors When your brakes are overheating during an extensive or high-speed commute, your brake pads will release a small amount of gas while they create friction against your rotors. If your vehicle has standard rotors, then the gas released from your pads will prevent your pads from making complete contact with your rotors. The flat surface of a standard rotor is unable to give the gas released from your pads a way to escape the space between your pads and rotors. However, slotted or drilled rotors are designed specifically to ventilate the gas released from your pads. As each slot or hole of these rotors passes over your pad, the gas escaping from your pad will be ventilated away from your rotor—ensuring perfect friction generation even while under extreme...

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Care & Driving Tips To Help You Avoid Transmission Repair Bills

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Americans are busy with work, school, errands and family activities. Since most of these activities require transportation, many hours are spent driving in all types of road and weather conditions. While convenient for us, this type of daily driving can take a real toll on our cars. This is particularly true for the transmission, which actually makes the car move when the force of power from the engine is applied to the drive train through the use of gears and clutches. Since most automatic transmission problems are capable of sidelining your vehicle until they are repaired, it pays to learn how to avoid them by driving and caring for your car in a transmission-friendly way. Here are some tips to help you get started! Be Alert Flashing check engine lights on the dashboard, strange smells or unusual noises can all be early warning signs that your transmission is under stress. If you ignore these signs, or put them off until it is convenient, you run the risk of increasing the amount of damage that may be happening in the bowels of your car. Transmission problems usually exhibit symptoms long before they fail, and responding to these symptoms is the best way to limit the damage and minimize the repair bills.  Also, watch for any new drips or spots on garage floors or anywhere your car is parked regularly. If you suspect your transmission may be leaking fluid, test your theory by placing a piece of cardboard underneath the car. Position it directly under the transmission and leave it overnight. If there are spots or drips on it, have the transmission checked as soon as possible for leaks at a transmission repair shop.  Be Proactive Checking the fluid level of your transmission on a regular basis is key to maintaining a healthy transmission. The fluid is what makes the transmission operate properly and prevents it from overheating. Just like the engine’s oil, transmission fluid can become scorched, degrade or collect metal shavings and other debris that can cause internal damage to the transmission. Checking the fluid and topping it off as needed on a frequent basis will also help you discover problems before lasting damage is done. For instance, if your transmission suddenly begins to need a frequent topping-off of the fluid, or if the fluid looks burnt or dirty, take the car into a reputable transmission repair shop to have it evaluated. In most cases, it will be a simple repair, such as changing the transmission fluid filter or replacing a leaky hose or seal. If left unattended, however, these simple repairs can cause the transmission to suffer far greater damage or fail completely.  In addition to having the transmission checked when you think there may be a problem, remember to have it serviced regularly by a reputable transmission repair expert. Having the fluids and filters changed will help protect the transmission and you will get the benefit of having a professional assessment to see if there are any issues that you should know about.  Be Gentle Even though we depend heavily on our cars, we can be their worst enemy when our poor driving habits become a threat to the automatic transmission. Avoiding these driving mistakes can help you keep your transmission operating properly for a longer period...

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How Trucking Companies Can Avoid Cargo Theft

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cargo theft is a huge problem in the trucking industry. There were 951 cargo theft reports, with 692 of them being either full truckloads or containers. The load value of the stolen cargo averaged $171,000. These stolen goods are often just the tip of the iceberg of a larger criminal operation. If you own a fleet of trucks from places like Arrow Truck Sales or operate an independent trucking business, it’s important to mitigate the risks of cargo theft even though most losses are covered by insurance claims. Each filed claim can cause your insurance premiums to increase, which can severely cut into your bottom line. Also, if word gets out that you’ve suffered a loss due to cargo theft, freight brokers and clients may turn tail and find another trucking business to entrust their valuables with in the future. Here are a few ways you can protect your cargo from theft. Use Common Sense Background checks—To avoid inside theft, conduct thorough background checks on all drivers and employees. Check their driving and criminal records, and check their credit report. Hire an investigator to determine if they are living far above their means as this may signify that they are in a cargo theft ring. Truck stops—Establish theft-deterrent procedures for your drivers to use when they stop for a break. Eliminate the possibility of anyone being able to open the tailgate by having the drivers back-in park against a gate, fence, building or the tail of another semi trailer. Do not allow them to let the trucks idle while they go into an establishment. Expensive loads should be transported by driver teams. That way, they can take turns guarding the truck and cargo when they need to stop for a break. Check identification—Each time the cargo is transferred, picked up or dropped off the driver should require the person taking control of the cargo provides them with a form of identification. Keep the radio traffic to a minimum before a transfer occurs. This will help reduce the risks of becoming a target if thieves are listening in looking for a victim. Use Technology Load sensors—These devices can pinpoint the exact time and date that a load was tampered with or stolen. Some load sensors allow you the ability to print out a report of changes in the weight of the load. This can be helpful when your drivers regularly pick up and drop off loads at various stops throughout the itinerary. GPS geofencing and tracking—GPS geofencing technology will alert you when the semi or trailer goes outside of predetermined areas without your approval. At that point, the semi and/or trailer will be tracked by a GPS. You will be able to watch the travels via the Internet or on an app on a handheld mobile electronic device. You can then call the location into the police after you’ve determined that the cargo has been stolen. Vehicle immobilization technology—You can safely disable a semi that is rigged with vehicle immobilization technology. This is a device that you can command from a remote location. It will not allow the engine to start back up after the criminal has shut it off. Use this in conjunction with GPS tracking. That way, the police will be able to find it quickly, which may...

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Replacing Your RV’s Flooring

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your RV’s flooring is designed to survive years of wear and tear. But like all things, the material holding your flooring together can break down with age or through water damage. To avoid that sinking feeling the next time you set foot inside your RV, you’ll want to replace that damaged wood right away. The following offers a few important tips for removing and replacing your RV’s flooring. Assessing the Damage When you first step inside of your RV, what do you feel? A sudden split between two otherwise solid sections of flooring will likely reveal a crack or a split in the underlying wood structure. Old age and rough treatment of the flooring itself can easily cause the plywood or particle board underneath to crack apart. If you feel a soft, spongy spot in your flooring, then chances are you’re dealing with water damage. This usually happens due to a plumbing leak, usually at times when an RV is more susceptible to freezing temperatures. Leaks around the exterior of the RV can also let water snake its way through the interior walls and into the flooring. You can also use an awl to probe the extent of the damage to your flooring. This will help you get an idea of how much flooring you’ll have to cut out in order to repair the damage. Removing the Floor Before you get to work on removing the flooring, you’ll want to dismantle and/or move any cabinets or furniture out of the way. USA Today recommends drawing an accurate diagram of your RV’s interior on graph paper, making sure to mark where all of your equipment and appliances are currently installed. Pull up any carpet, vinyl or linoleum flooring until you’ve exposed the flooring underneath. Carefully mark out the areas you want to cut out with a felt-tip marker and then use a circular saw to cut out those sections. Make sure it’s set to no more than the thickness of the floor itself; otherwise you’ll end up cutting through the underlying support structure and outer sheet metal. The key to a successful floor repair is to remove as much of the rotted, damaged wood as possible. You’ll also want to get rid of any underlying insulation or sound deadening material, as it’s likely to be damaged as well. Controlling Mold Growth Once the flooring is removed, the next step involves dealing with mold. Even if there aren’t any apparent signs of mold growth, you’ll want to take proactive steps towards treatment and prevention. You can use a wide variety of products to disinfect the underlying structure, including: Commercial mold and mildew sprays A mixture of borax and water (which can be used as a spray or a paste) Household vinegar and water Some people may even recommend antifreeze for curbing mold growth. However, after being given more information antifreeze’s toxicity and attractiveness to small animals, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. After allowing the disinfectant to dry, you can use a penetrating epoxy resin to seal the wood against moisture. Replacing the Floor After allowing the resin to dry, you can start adding your new insulation or sound deadening. Any cracks or gouges left behind by the circular saw in the underlying support can be filled in with a bit...

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Tips For Novice Car Buyers: How To Tell If A Used Car Has Major Bumper Damage

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although most used vehicles have some mechanical issues to fix due to age or wear and tear, you don’t want to buy a used car with major structural damage to its bumper. Frame damage in the bumper can cause serious mechanical problems in the engine of a car. In addition, this type of damage isn’t always easy to spot, especially if the bumper has a plastic or rubber covering over it that bounces back after another vehicle runs into it. But there are some things you can look or listen out for as a novice car buyer to keep from purchasing a car with bumper damage. How Does a Bumper Receive Hidden Damage? A bumper is the metal piece in the back of a car that protects the frame from damages and backseat passengers from injuries. It absorbs the impact caused by rear-end accidents. Most cars have a plastic or rubber piece placed over the bumper. This piece acts as a shock absorber during vehicular impacts to help reduce damages to the cars’ bumper. In a number of cases, the plastic or rubber housing can “bounce” back into place after an accident. If the car you want to buy has a damaged bumper, there are some common engine problems you can spot right away. For example, if the car has an oil leak from a rear-end accident, it might rattle or shake when it runs. If the car has transmission problems, the car might shift or skip gears when you put it into drive. However, there are some engine problems you may not notice upfront because they lie deep within the engine itself. These problems may include: A Misplaced Engine When an engine moves out of place, it can eventually affect the performance of the car. The engine usually moves or shifts out of place when another vehicle rams into the bumper and causes the car to lurch forward and back violently. A Leak Around the Head Gasket The head gasket is the part of the car that makes sure oil and coolant stay separated in the engine. It also makes sure fuel reaches the engine’s pistons, which basically fire up the car to help it run. A bad or blown head gasket won’t seal in or out fluids, nor will it help cool the car. An Oil Leak Inside the Engine Any type of oil leak can be very dangerous – especially if it happens inside an engine without holes. The confined oil can cause a fire inside the engine if it becomes too hot during certain conditions. For instance, the confined fluids may cause the engine to get extremely hot during the summer. Oil should stay cool enough to lubricate and protect the engine, but if you drive in very hot conditions, the heat can place stress on the engine and make the oil work harder to keep it cool. Because the hot oil can’t leave the engine or receive air to cool it down, it may catch fire. To avoid any of the above problems, you can look out for some things that may save you money and headaches. What Should You Look Out For? A car that has silent engine problems due to a damaged bumper might: Be slow to accelerate when you drive on...

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