Car and SUV Winterization

Protecting your pride and joy and one of your largest investments this winter. The automobile has become an extension of its owners personality as well as representing a huge chunk of our hard earned income. Lets face it, as Americans we love our cars. We want them to look good, cruise smoothly and last a long time. Then of course there is the weather. Man is constantly adapting to his environment and adjusting to his climate. We put stuff on the roads so we can drive in any weather without fear of becoming the next human driven hockey puck.

During the Winter Months different agencies apply different things to the roads to keep them drivable like salt, sand and chemicals such as de-icing chemicals, which are environmentally friendly but can destroy a regular wax job. Magnesium Sulfate works great to keep cars from sliding into the guardrails and ditches, but it plays hell on an automobiles finish. With rust and corrosion threatening to destroy your investment and reduce the value of your car by thousands of dollars the stakes become high. We may not be able to control the weather quite yet, but we can give you the tips from years of experience and industry knowledge to help you minimize your risk, fight back against jack frost and work with mother nature to co-exist and cruise successfully through winter. How can you win the war on winter?

Winter is coming and will soon be in full swing. Roads will be packed with vacationers and outdoor sports aficionados. You and your car need to be ready. We know from experience that bare metal will rust when exposed to moisture and harsh elements. Take a look around your car, are there paint chips? Even small chips can allow moisture to get underneath your cars finish and work its way all the way through the metal. Holes in your car needless to say will not improve your chances for good resale value. And if your car is on a lease they will be hitting you hard on its return. There are several things you can do to take care of these chips now. To find a chip repair person go to Paint Bull’s website and find one of their 500 mobile chip repair dealers. If you have a fiberglass body or a primarily plastic car such as a Saturn it may not be as critical if you have a chip or two.

Every car that drives through harsh winter climates needs some type of undercoating. There are many options. You can go down to your local auto parts store, buy a can of undercoating and spray it on yourself or you can go to any auto detailing company and have it done for about $80-100. There are a few detailing companies who have a number of stores throughout the country as well as mobile units, which can provide this undercoating for you. You can also go ziebart’s website, they have 216 stores Nationwide. They have been closing stores at a fast rate of about 30 per year. They charge about $200-300 and will touch up the undercoating job free each year. They use this as a gimmick to get you in their store next year to sell you more stuff. Their guarantee is of questionable value since if the store closes then who will do the guarantee wok. Another problem with the lifetime guarantee is that most people do not own their cars for their entire life.

If you own a truck or a cargo van you may consider a lining. There are a few different types of linings. Rhino Lining at Rhino Lining Wesbite has a rubber like lining. An average bed runs about $300. There is Line X, which is a harder liner at Line-X website and Permatech which has a really good liner that is between the hard Line X liner and the softer a Rhino Lining. All these brands have hundreds of franchisees and dealers. You can conveniently search their websites to find a location near you. The going rate is around $300 for an 8 ft bed and you can negotiate a little with your local dealer.

What can you do to protect your cars paint? Several things. It is important to understand the different types of wax and how they perform against salt spray tests. Carnauba the most popular wax name amongst consumers, will not hold up well under harsh salt conditions, de-icing wetted areas or on magnesium chloride soaked roads. It does however work well against roads, which have been covered, with sand. Teflon and silicone waxes do not work well in any of these conditions or in colder climates.

So what is the best modern wax for these Winter environments? Polymers work best, but are usually put on in a liquid form and therefore goes on in thinner coats. It may take several coats to insure that the protection last longer than three months. It is best to put on several coats and then re-apply in three months. If you do not feel that you want to do this yourself you can call several companies that provide onsite service at home or office. National Detail Systems has over 300 dealers.

Ask for polymer wax and ask for a multiple coat discount. Expect to pay $65-90 plus $15-25 for each additional coat from National Detail Dealers. It will vary significantly from dealer to dealer. The Car Wash Guys have standard pricing and charge $35 for an exterior polymer coat and charge $10 for additional coats. Many car washes also have express detailing service starting at anywhere from $35-55. To get a listing of car washes and the new J.D. Powers Car Club website. This site is quite helpful. The website will give you a map to the nearest carwash based on the zip code you put in. You can print it out and drive down and get your car waxed. Fixed site carwashes vary so much from operator to operator it is hard to say what additional coats might cost, it may even depend on the day of the week you go, which manager is working and how busy they are that day. You should try to go on a Tuesday.

You may wish to put a protective coating on your cars carpets. The very popular product ScotchGuard was taken off the market this year due to environmental problems in manufacturing and is no longer available. Blue Coral does make a similar aerosol product although not as good as the former 3M leading brand. With new genetic woven splicing of nylon into cotton plants we are seeing a new breed of interior carpeting in vehicles. It is more durable easier to clean and holds up well under multiple steam cleaning passes. Perhaps a simple plastic cover over the carpets might be your best bet. Most modern day min-vans come standard with plastic covers and if yours did not, you can buy plastic covers for next to nothing at any auto parts store.

There are also some very high tech solutions to automotive protection. For window glass there is a hydrophobic treatment called Diamon Fusion. It prevents chips in the window and allows you to drive in heavy rain without use of wipers. A simple solution may be RainX, which can be purchased at any auto parts store for about $5. All of the companies listed in this article can also put on RainX for you. Be sure to ask them to apply it to the interior windows also because it prevents unnecessary fogging when you do not have your defroster set exactly right. The coating industry has evolved and out of the NASA Space Program came a glass coating used on the tiles on the bottom of the Space Shuttle, which can be put on at room temperature. It is put on 2 to 4 milimeters thick. Glass of course is impervious to moisture.

This new revolution in ceramic technology is also being perfected by the Japanese. PP&G, the leading automotive paint company, is also on the cutting edge of this new field and we may soon have a new and more advanced clear coat for cars for the 21st century. That is the good news. We may see a new clear coat for cars coming out which will make waxes obsolete in the next few years. The bad news is that for now there is no substitute for waxes, coatings and undercoating. You can pay now or pay later. You really should consider protecting your investment. If you neglect to take this opportunity to plan your winterizing strategy, Mother Nature already has a plan of her own and she is coming soon.

Many people are only going to keep their car for two years on a lease and then trade it in for a new model. So if there are no chips in the paint, you may only need a single coat of polymer wax and new windshield wiper blades before Winter. If you are going to keep your car for many years however protect your investment against the inevitable Winter. Please realize that most manufacturers warranties on bodies and paint do not cover salt or environmental damage. If you pay attention to these simple things you can cruise through winter with no problems providing your tires dont get recalled and you can still afford the gas.

Car Maintenance Tips

In this rapidly developing world, it seems like every other person owns a car, but few people know how to maintain their cars. Your responsibility is not over with the purchase of your dream car but proper maintenance is also needed to keep it in good shape for years to come. Improper car maintenance may be due to lack of knowledge or ignorance; both can hurt your car.

Not properly taking care of your car is penny-wise and pound-foolish. To avoid this situation take proper care of your car so it will take care of you, long term. Even if you keep you car for a short time, you will only get top price for it if you take care of the car. Before starting off with your maintenance schedule, you should know your car’s maintenance requirements. Do refer to your car’s manual for this. Keep in mind that it is you only who can understand your car’s cry for help! It is your duty to keep it in top shape.

At times you will find your car emitting strange smells. These smells are an indication of an upcoming problem. Musty smell means that there is some water clogged below your carpets which you need to dry out. Otherwise it would take no time in rusting your car and your carpet will also be destroyed. Smoke type smells are the most dangerous ones; they signify an electrical problem. Shut down your car immediately and check the bonnet. When your fuel tank gets choked or overflows, strange fuel orders will gather; check it immediately. A sweaty kind of smell takes over when varnish is getting burnt. A burning smell takes over your nostrils when your tires are facing problems and you are driving with your brakes on. Strange smells act as early warning signals for those undesirable repair bills.

Sounds are also a form of your sick car’s language. While you turn your front wheels and hear strange clicking sound check the front shaft. It may fall off. Your engine is overheating if you experience a certain change in the engine’s tone. Stop the car immediately and let it cool down, and show it to your mechanic as soon as possible. Backfiring while you are driving normally is the worst of all and calls for immediate check-up. If you feel your engine knocking then it is high time you get the engine oil checked.

The engine is the most important and hard working component of your car. While you drive it, its moving parts are working at high speed and temperatures. Change your engine oil frequently and get the engine checked regularly.

Tires wear off easily. Maintain them and periodically check for gravel and stone being lodged in the tire threads (and hopefully not nails!).

At times you will notice your brakes not responding. Go for their check-up and refill the brake fuel reservoir.

Clean your battery terminals and feed with grease regularly. Prevent corrosion. Make sure that the plates are at place at all times.

The interiors should be clean at all times. This prevents dust and grime to ruin your car. Clean it not with home based cleaners but cleaners made for this purpose.

The exteriors need the same attention. Clean them regularly with water and soap. This is beneficial for those who look forward to resale of their car.

Hire a Sports Car to Enjoy The Thrill Of Driving One

It is a cherished dream for most people to drive a superb sports car and enjoy the thrill and pleasure of it. Hire a sports car if you want to experience the excitement of driving at the speed of wind and feel it rushing through your hair. To cruise the roads in a brilliant sports car is one of the most exhilarating experiences of most people that probably cannot be described in words. Let us discuss the reasons you would want to hire these sophisticated and superior quality cars over and over again:

  • One of the most significant reasons for hiring these cars is that hiring as opposed to purchasing can save you thousands of pounds. Moreover, hiring saves you all the worries and hassles of taking care of the maintenance fees, considering the enormous amounts of expenditures involved in the maintenance and servicing of sports cars. When you hire these cars, the rental company takes complete care of all the maintenance charges.
  • Sports cars are highly comfortable and luxurious, and give you the experience of the most gentle and smooth journey even when you are driving at the highest speeds.
  • The sophistication and magnificence of these cars is undeniable and cannot be compared with anything else. They allow you to make the most superior and posh entry to whatever event you are planning to attend. Driving a fast car ensures that you get all the attention wherever you go.
  • No matter what the occasion is, fast cars can serve the purpose of reaching you to your destination in the most luxurious and extravagant style. Whether you want to make an impression on your clients while attending an important business meeting or want to take someone special out, these high-end cars are your ultimate choice. They are also ideal for various corporate events and red carpet functions.
  • In a sports car you can travel from one destination to another at thrilling, breathtaking speeds. If you are driving a fast car, you can reach your destination in a remarkably lesser time than in other normal vehicles. In addition, you can travel in the most classy and stylish manner, which cannot be experienced with other cars.

If you want to hire a classic car, there are numerous rental services available. However, it is important that you choose the most reliable rental company in order to avoid future disappointments. Let us discuss some of the significant aspects you need to consider while choosing a rental service:

Reputation: It is important that you check the reputation of the rental service before getting into any kind of business with them. They should have the reputation of providing great cars and excellent services to their customers.

Insurance: One of the most important aspects that you need to consider is that the cars they give you on rent are appropriately insured. This is extremely important to ensure that you don’t have to worry about any possible injuries or damages that the car might suffer while you are driving it.

Chauffeur: It is preferable to choose a rental service that can provide you the facility of a chauffeur in case you don’t want to self-drive the car.

How To Install A Car Amplifier From Start To Finish

If you love good music blasting as you drive, then you probably know how irritating distorted music can get especially when you are trying to enjoy your favorite song playing on the radio. Connecting a good car amplifier is the best solution you can find to improve the sound system in your car. A car amplifier installation guide can help you do the installation correctly all by yourself or you can have the installation handled by professionals if you are not sure. If you are mechanically inclined and would like to try it yourself, then you will also find car amplifier installation tips helpful to get it all done successfully.

Step 1 – Choose your amplifier. No work should begin until you have found the best amplifier for your car. A good amplifier should make the sound louder and sharper and more crisp. The RMS power and number of channels are some of the considerations to make when choosing. Remember, a 4 channel amplifier is made to run 4 standard in-car speakers. A 2 channel or single channel/Mono amplifier is made to run one or more subwoofers.

Step 2 – Identify the amplifier location. When choosing where to place the amplifier, remember that it should be within 12 feet from your stereo receiver to keep interference minimal. Ventilation should also be considered. The best areas for the amplifier include the rear cargo area or under the front seats.

Step 3 – Get your amplifier wiring kit. There is no way you will get the work done right without the right tools The wiring kit should include important items such as grounding cable, power cable, signal cable, fuse, ring terminals, turn on wire, self-strapping screws, fuse holder and grommets. Other tools needed to install a car amplifier are wire strippers, wireless drill, panel removal tools like screw drivers and a digital multi meter.

Step 4 – Start the installation. Disconnect the negative terminal of your car battery to avoid electrification. The battery will of course be the power source for the amplifier and should remain disabled. You can then connect the power cable to the positive terminal of the battery ensuring the fuse isn’t connected to your fuse holder without a ring terminal. Drill a hole in the fire wall in a safe location at least 4 inches away from the vehicles main harness. After you’ve drilled the hole safely use a grommet that matches the size of your wire and slide it into the hole. You can run it through a firewall hole and under the carpeting along the floor edge before resting it besides the amplifier.

Step 5 – Set up a signal cable. Run the cable behind the empty stereo head compartment under the carpet and to the amplifier. Connect the turn on wire to the receiver and signal cable to the stereo receiver’s back and replace the receiver in its place.

Step 6 – Connect your grounding cable. Grounding is important to keep electrical hazards at bay considering that the amplifier does produce electricity. Attach an end to a spot on the amplifier and secure the other end using a ring on the car chassis.

Step 7 – Connect the car speakers. This should be done with a high quality speaker wire through the designated outputs on amplifiers and inputs on speakers. You can connect as many speakers as the amplifier can hold.

Step 8 – Finish the installation. Mount the amplifier using the self-tapping screws and attach the power cable, signal cable and the turn on wire to your amplifier. Install the fuse on the battery and close the protective sheath covering wired connections to it in case there is a sheath present. Start enjoying your sound blasts.