Archive for the ‘Car Maintenance’ Category

August 3, 2011 @ 7:00 am
posted by mego

via autos.aol.com

What do finding a good doctor and a good car mechanic have in common? According to this comprehensive guide by AOL Auto, finding one before you need one. When you have the flu isn’t the time to try and get in a doctor’s office as a new patient. And it’s the same with your car. You want time to find a mechanic without worrying if they’ll take advantage of an emergency situation.

Other tips include using reliable review websites, knowing what certifications to look for and the best time to visit a shop. You can read the complete guide at AOL Auto.

If you’re in the Southern California and Seattle areas, you can trust CarHelp to recommend reliable and efficient mechanics.

August 1, 2011 @ 7:00 am
posted by mego

via ridelust.com

Today’s trivia question. How many miles has the owner of this 1966 Volvo P1800 put on the car?

a. 500,000

b. 1,500,000

c. 2,900,000

The correct answer? C! Irv has averaged almost 65,000 miles annually since purchasing the car, breaking world records since 1998. Astounding not just because of the amount of miles on the car, but because its been owned by Irv for the last 45 years.

You can read more on Yahoo Auto.

 

 

July 1, 2011 @ 9:00 am
posted by mego

I never pictured myself driving a minivan. As a kid, I thought I’d rather die than drive one of those ridiculous-looking station wagons. They definitely weren’t cool. But, alas, I’m a minivan Mom. Granted, it’s a cool minivan (Honda Odyssey), because it has so much storage space and the doors open automatically. With three kids, often their friends, and all their junk, I’ve decided a minivan is an essential piece of organizing equipment.

Because our van is so big and roomy, the three kids have managed to trash it by the time a trip to the zoo is over. Food wrappers and used Kleenex litter the floors, and empty juice boxes and toys cover the seats. When the car pulls into the garage, the kids know to grab as much as they can; no one is allowed out of the car empty-handed. If the car still has junk in it, additional trips are required until it’s once again clear. If you let the mess go, it soon becomes overwhelming and requires a much bigger effort to clean. Don’t allow yourself to settle into your home until your car is clear of clutter. Even when babies are infants, you can grab the carrier in one hand, throw the diaper bag over your shoulder, and grab and whatever you can manage in the other hand. Then one extra trip out to the car (before your child starts to protest) goes a long way. Get your kiddo settled then run out to grab any last remnants. Systematically clearing one area at a time will give you a sense of completion and feel calmer.

Believe it or not, you can actually organize the clutter! Especially on longer trips, you need lots of “stuff,” so having the right organizing tools makes clean up so much better. The latest car models have many neat organizing gadgets built right into them: center consoles for sodas; under-seat drawers for CDs; large glove boxes for maps, tire gauges, and car care books; remote-control holders or pre-programmed buttons. Still, many things that are “homeless” in your car just end up getting tossed about. The solution is to create a “home” for every type of item you need in the car. Over the years, I’ve discovered great accessories that will keep your car from looking like a hurricane went through it.

Check these out!

Backseat organizers. Kids want to bring coloring books and markers, hand-held games, water bottles, and superheroes or dolls with a million tiny pieces, etc. They either end up all over the seat or strewn about the floor. The simple solution is an awesome back-of-seat organizer. Put it on the back of the seat in front of your child’s seat. You’ll be amazed as little fingers take their things in and out of the pockets. Adults can use them to stash the umbrella, ice scraper, camera, maps, and so on. If you’d rather have a cooler hanging over the seat, try a seat back cooler. If your little ones like to draw, get a travel tray with a fold-down tray, just like on airlines, for activities requiring a sturdy work surface. That way, your budding artists won’t lose their markers under the seat when you have to slam on your brakes.

Center consoles. If your front seat has one long seat or doesn’t have a new-fangled organizing console between the seats, buy one! Center consoles come in handy in the backseat between two warring children who typically fight over the extra seat space between them. We love the canvas High Road Kids Backseat Organizer (www.ajprindle.com). It straps into the backseat between the kids and has different sizes of pockets, outside drink holders, and a top that can be flipped over for playing travel games. In the front seat, it can be used for extra sodas—the garage door opener, sunglasses, cell phone, or anything you use frequently and don’t want to search for as you drive.

Passenger seat organizer. This is my favorite. When I’m loading up for a trip, the front passenger seat is usually the catchall for my directions, apple, protein bar, the CD I want to hear, and my extra water bottle. When I hit the brakes, my apple used to roll under the seat, and my water bottle went flying. Enter the handy Lewis N. Clark Front Seat Organizer (www.ebags.com), which straps into the front passenger seat and keeps everything you need in a pinch readily accessible and organized.

Trunk organization. The trunk is typically “clutters last stand” and serves as a catchall for homeless items. We realized we had a problem when soccer balls were on the loose; a milk jug toppled and spilled milk everywhere; and my new potted plant overturned and created a milky mud mess. So I went on a search for a way to systemize that vast trunk. Although having the big space is great (thanks, Honda), it’s difficult to secure loose items. My solution is two-fold. The Axius Easy Access Trunk Organizer (www.axius.com) neatly corrals the jumper cables, flashlight, first aid kit, and coolant. In front of that, the Highland Three Pocket Storage Net (www.cargogear.com) restrains sports equipment, groceries, and plants without fear. It’s big enough for a small cooler as well. If you’d rather have an organizer that’s portable, the Creekside Cargo Mini (www.drivewerks.com) might do the trick. With its firm sides and adjustable section dividers, it keeps groceries firmly upright.

Dry cleaning. If you pick your dry cleaning up rather than having it delivered, install your own clothes rack.

Dog divider. If you want to keep your pooch out of the front seats, use a pet barrier to keep him in the back of your minivan, SUV, or wagon. It is safer for him and your family.

CDs and tapes. I like using my CD carrying case I picked up at Best Buy. My friend swears by her visor CD holder by Case Logic. It quickly converts your sun visor into a handy, quickly accessible storage space for 12 CDs. There’s also a mesh pocket for receipts or toll money. Or if you own a mounted DVD or VCR, you need a full-blown organizer with more space.

Trash. I used to simply use the side pocket on my door for trash, but it was so small, filled up too quickly, and looked bad. Now I use High Road’s bottom-weighted collapsible wastebasket (www.thebusywoman.com). I keep it on the floor in the middle between the front seats. It doesn’t tip over and has a Velcro top that prevents spills. For backseat drivers (e.g., children) who have larger garbage needs, the High Road Trash-Stash may be perfect (www.containerstore.com). With its three-gallon capacity, it won’t run out of room quickly. Whenever I’m stopped for gas and hanging around waiting for it to fill, I dump the trash. Find an automatic car wash in your area that has vacuums available, so you can keep it neat, inside and out.

I hope you love these tips and got one new idea on what you can do to keep your car from becoming a two-ton trashcan on wheels!

Make it a productive day! ™

© 2006 Laura Stack. Laura is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc. and the bestselling author of Leave the Office Earlier and Find More Time. She presents keynotes and seminars on time management, information overload, and personal productivity. Contact her at 303-471-7401 or www.TheProductivityPro.com.

May 4, 2011 @ 9:00 am
posted by Mego Rider

Image courtesy of Rense.com

I drive a 1999 Volvo V70. The odometer hit 175,000 miles on it this week, which is 5,000 more than this 1928 Rolls Royce Picadilly P1 Roadster. Click here to read more about the vehicle, owned by the same man from his 1928 college graduation to his 2005 death.

April 14, 2011 @ 8:00 am
posted by Mego Rider

Image via Aftermarket.org

A bill that would give consumers the right to access information needed to repair their automobiles was introduced to Congress by Representatives from Pennsylvania and New York. The bill is called the “Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449).”

So what does this mean for the consumer?

The act would “require automakers to provide the same service information and tools to independent auto and maintenance shops, as well as to consumers, that the automaker dealership service centers receive.”  It would allow consumers to choose their own trusted auto mechanic, either an independent mechanic or the dealership service center.

You can find more information on the act, and sign a petition, on the Right to Repair website.

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April 4, 2011 @ 11:54 am
posted by Mego Rider

Ah Spring. The snow is melting, the trees are budding, and the weather is unpredictable as, well, spring weather. It’s time to pack away the heavy winter coats and bring out the shorts.

Just like your wardrobe and your home, cars have unique needs to spring. Here’s a list of all you’ll need to do to keep your car in top shape for the warm weather.

Remove winter tires (if needed) and chains – Studded tires, chains and heavy traction tires need to be removed as soon as snowfall starts slowing down. These types of tires can do serious damage to asphalt. Each state has its own deadline, typically in early (Washington) to late April (Idaho, Alaska).

Check tread – Check your tires to make sure you have enough for the next 3 months. Here’s a cool link to checking tread with spare change.

Rotate tires – Rotating your tires properly can extend the life of your front tires dramatically. Tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles, and before you start those many spring and summer road trips.

Check wiper blades – April showers bring May flowers. In sub-tropical climates like Alabama and Florida, this translates into April, May and June showers. Check wiper blades before heavy spring rainfall starts. Don’t wait until you’re on the interstate in a heavy storm!

Check brakes – Drive without the stereo turned up for a few trips. If you hear any squeaking, squealing or, heaven forbid, grinding, take it in to one of our fantastic mechanics.

Change oil – Switch out to your normal thicker oil for the warmer weather (if you use thinner oil for winter). Change that oil filter while you’re at it. Gunk builds up over winter.

Check fluids – While you’re changing the oil, or having it changed, check transmission, windshield wiper, coolant, brake and power steering to make sure levels haven’t been depleted over the winter. If so, get the fluids topped off.

Clean the undercarriage – All that nasty dirt and salt can ruin your car’s undercarriage, reducing the value of your car. Make sure to get under the car and pressure wash all of that loose.

Clean and protect interior surfaces – If you’re driving an older car, use a vinyl protectant on all vinyl surfaces. For any car with leather seats, regardless of age, use a leather conditioner to protect seats.

Clean and protect exterier – Wash the exterior carefully with products specifically made for cars. Don’t use kitchen soap or lint covered towels! These can strip your surface of all wax and leave lint over your entire finish. Finish it off with the annual buff and wax. You can do this yourself or pay a professional to detail and buff your car out.

There you  have it!  A complete checklist to prepare you for the bliss of driving with the windows open, top down and ZZ Top at full volume. With these items completed, you’ll get better gas mileage and be ready for road trips!

[Source]

August 24, 2010 @ 8:40 am
posted by Mego Rider

Are you the type of person who will try anything for a little peace of mind? Many people have adopted the principles of feng shui for their homes….but you can also try a little feng shui  in your car. Your car is a place where you need to try and incorporate positive energy –  to get you through the frustration of rush hour and restless children in the back seat. Read more

August 23, 2010 @ 6:00 am
posted by Mego Rider

Running out of gas is one of those things that we all hope as drivers we’re never going to do. But, no driver is perfect. There comes a time where drivers decide to push it to the next gas station on a road trip, leave home in a rush only to discover the last driver left the tank low, or in some cases, even find that the gas gauge was deceiving. The gas light is never a welcome sign as no matter what the reason.

So what do you do when the unthinkable happens and you find yourself stranded on the side of the road after running out of gas? Don’t bang your head on the steering wheel in frustration…follow these steps instead. Read more

August 18, 2010 @ 5:17 am
posted by Mego Rider

August 17, 2010 @ 6:00 am
posted by Mego Rider

Tire maintenance is something that many drivers overlook. Unless air pressure is drastically reducing, you can’t tell that it’s time to change your tires from behind the wheel of your car. But, neglecting to do so can cause damage to the suspension system of your vehicle, and it can increase your gas consumption if the car needs more power to run because of low air pressure or poor traction. There are also safety concerns, of course. Neglecting to change your tires when it’s needed can increase the odds of a collision, especially when the roads are slick with water and ice.

Here are a few things you should know about replacing your tires: Read more