Browsing Tag

car tips

Behind the Wheel

Master the Perfect Parallel Park

November 17, 2016
The task of having to parallel park can seem daunting for some. You might automatically think, “No way MY car can fit in THAT spot!” It might just be me, but it seems like the act of parallel parking was overlooked back in driver’s ed, and you’re faced with having to fit your car in these spots ALL the time! But this parking job isn’t as puzzling as you might actually think… it’s kind of like riding a bike–once you learn how, you’ll never forget it! Follow these steps to ease your parallel parking fear, and you’ll become a master in no time! giphy-11
  1. Use your best judgment. Will your car actually fit in that spot? If you have to question it too much, then it probably doesn’t. But it doesn’t hurt to try, as long as you’re careful. Just take it slow and steady!
  2. Drive your vehicle up alongside the car in front of the space you are aiming for. Try to get even with it and align your rear axle with that car’s bumper.
  3. Pause and steer your wheel all the way towards the curb at full lock. Make sure your car is not moving yet, you’d hate to be prepping for your parking spot and turn straight into the neighboring car.
  4. Look over your shoulder and make sure you’re aiming the right direction. Begin backing your car into the spot. With your steering wheel still fully turned, your car should simply ease into place.
  5. Back up in this position until the right-front corner of the car behind you looks like it is in the middle of your rear windshield. Once you’ve successfully parallel parked a couple of times, you should just get the feel of it and this will become more natural.
  6. Now, straighten your wheel and continue to reverse.
  7. When your car just barely clears the car in front of you, stop and turn your wheel the opposite way and straighten up your parking.
  8. Now just use your judgment to straighten up your car accordingly.
  9. If all went according to plan, you should be placed in the correct spot and successfully parallel parked!
Car fun

Car Tips for the Summer Driver

May 20, 2016
Sweltering temperatures can be brutal for your vehicle, but these tips can help cool things down:
  1. Many people don’t think to roll their car windows down AND have the air running at the same time. I get it—it seems like a waste. However, when you do both within the first few minutes of driving your car, the hot air is forced out faster, allowing cooler air to circulate. In a matter of minutes, the internal air of the vehicle should match the outside temperature, making things a lot more bearable for everyone!
  2. We all know how HOT the steering wheel can get in the summer months. Here’s a trick: Turn the wheel 180 degrees before getting out of the car. That way, the side you normally touch is in the shade and staying cool until you’re ready to drive again.
  3. Stash a few dryer sheets under the seats! Hot temperatures can make for smelly adventures… A little extra deodorization will make a huge difference.
  4. Regularly check your tires! Tires are more prone to blowouts in the summer because drivers are often on scorching roads for longer periods of time. Under-inflated tires are most at risk, since the lack of air pressure puts the tires’ materials under increased strain… but overinflated ones are more likely to hydroplane in a summer rainstorm. Stay ahead of your tread!
  5. Hot temperatures and low coolant levels increase the risk of your engine overheating and your AC working overtime. If you see signs of an overheated engine—temperature gauge rising, warning lights, steam under the hood, etc.—pull over to a safe place, turn off the engine, and wait at least half an hour for it to fully cool down before opening the hood. If your coolant levels are low, topping off the tank should do the trick… but if the tank is empty, you might have a leak and will need backup!
  6. Spending time in the sun is just as bad for your car as it is for you, as sun damage can cause paint and interiors to fade. To prevent this, park in a garage whenever possible and invest in a sunshade. Also, you can just as easily get burned through a car window as you can on a tropical beach. Wear sunscreen while you’re driving if you anticipate being in the sun!
Car fun

The Correct Way to Wash Your Car

April 23, 2016
Washing your car might seem like a mindless task, but professional detailers will tell you there is a proper way to do it. There is an art to getting your car as clean as possible without scratching or damaging its surface. How do you do this without emptying your pockets? Let me tell you! Gather up your supplies. You’ll need a water hose, soap that is safe for car paint, a microfiber towel, and a microfiber or lambswool washing mitt. Four items–that’s it! Avoid using dish soap because it can strip away wax. Additionally, regular towels and terry cloth can scratch away the paint’s clear top coat, so stick to microfiber. Rinse the car. Thoroughly rinse your vehicle before applying any soap. This is especially important during hotter months, as it helps cool down the paint and wash away debris. If bird droppings or bugs remain after the initial rinse, apply additional cleaner or rubbing alcohol to loosen it. Be careful not to scrub too hard, though! Start from the top. It’s crucial that you wash from the top down. This will minimize time, effort, and the amount of soap needed. The bottom of cars are the dirtiest, so it’s important to let the dirt from the top funnel down to the bottom. Make sure to wash in vertical or horizontal patterns, not circular motions. Use two buckets. Why would you want to mix dirty water with clean water? You’ll never get your car clean! Keep clean, soapy water in one bucket, and rinse out your washing mitt in the other. Rinse thoroughly. After you’re done cleaning the car, use the water hose to rinse away any remaining soap. Dry off the car. Never let soap dry on your car’s surface, as it can leave behind a sticky film. You should also try to dry your car in the shade; washing a car in the sunlight or on a hot day can leave behind spots that only a (costly) professional can remove. Don’t forget to use the microfiber cloth! Voilà! You now have the prettiest car on the block. So, as you can see, washing your car doesn’t have to be a chore. Just follow these six easy steps, and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Car Culture

Car Buying Tips for Beginners

February 6, 2016
Buying a new car can be more than a little intimidating. How do I get the best deal? What if the salesperson doesn’t take me seriously? What if I make the wrong choice? These questions and more run through your head as you arrive at the dealership… or worse, as you’re stuck at home too anxious to even shop. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be really exciting! However, you do need to know that car sales are, almost 100% of the time, final. That means you can’t return a car because it doesn’t ride as smooth as you thought it would, or because it’s missing the navigation system you assumed was there. There are no return loopholes for your misassumptions. This brings me to my first tip: Be informed. Do your research! Generally, barring an emergency, people aren’t in a rush to buy a new car. It’s a long, delicate process. Spend time researching makes and models online. Talk to friends and family about the cars they own and how they run. Read reviews and consumer reports. Test drive, test drive, test drive! This doesn’t mean you can’t still be a little unsure when you go in to buy (definitely listen to the salesperson’s suggestions), but having a good idea of what you want makes for an easier experience. Timing is everything. When you buy can make all the difference. The last week of the year is always a good option. Dealerships don’t have to pay taxes on any cars they get off the lot before Dec 31st, so they’re generally willing to negotiate. The end of a model year is also a great time to buy. When newer models are starting to roll in, you’ll likely find specials and sales on the older models. There’s even a strategy for which day of the week to shop. If you visit the dealership on a weekday, you’ll get way more personal attention than you would on a busy weekend. This is great if you have lots of questions. Don’t overbuy. It’s easy to get carried away when buying a new car. You’ve gone without for years, and now you want all the bells and whistles. However, the fanciest car might not be right for you. Remember, more tech upgrades and features means more potential repairs and glitches. Also, are you tech-savvy enough to utilize all the intricate and expensive features? Your perfect car might be sitting two rows away with 5,000 miles on it. These are just a few of many car buying tips, but it’s a great place to start. I’d wish you luck on your car search, but you don’t need it!
Money Matters, Under the Hood

Synthetic Oil vs. Regular Oil

January 29, 2016

Getting an oil change is generally a pretty common and uneventful experience. However, it can be costly depending on the type of oil your car should have. You will likely hear your mechanic talk about synthetic oil, but before you give the go-ahead on this pricey job, make sure you know what the difference is.

Synthetic oil is, at the base, a cleaner oil. It’s refined, distilled, and purified to get rid of any debris and impurities that regular oil possesses. This means that the oil circulates through your engine and comes out cleaner. If your engine is running cleaner, that usually means it’s going to run longer. Synthetic oil also performs better at more extreme temperatures. It is able to flow smoothly through the cold and the heat, while regular oil can break down and expose your engine to damage. However, it may not be worth the money. The biggest difference you will see with synthetic oil versus regular oil is how often you need to change it. It is recommended that you change your oil about every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but with conventional oil it’s about 7,500. It all really comes down to how long you want your vehicle to run on a single oil change.
Behind the Wheel

How To Keep Your Car Running Forever

August 28, 2014
Okay, so maybe no one can keep their car running forever, but there are a lot of things you can do to greatly extend the life of your car. These tips and tricks will save you a ton of money in the long run, and you’ll be able to avoid the trouble of buying and selling a car for several years more than you otherwise might. Read on for some ideas on how to treat your car with TLC. It will pay off! 1. Easy on the Pedals One of the first things to know about your car is that it needs gentle care — that means no rapid accelerating, braking or revving the engine! These things put much more stress on the engine. So take it slow when you are speeding up, slowing down or trying to warm up the car. If it’s extremely hot or cold outside, let your car take a few minutes of idle running to get ready for the trip. Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.11.13 AM 2. Spare the Air This one seems obvious, but one of the best ways to prolong the life of your car is by not driving it! So whenever you can avoid using your car, take the opportunity. Start a car pool, ride your bike, walk to close destinations, or get a ride with a friend. Especially short trips in your car can be rough on your engine, bad for gas mileage and bad for the environment. So you’ve got a whole host of reasons to minimize your trips in the car! 3. Go In For Regular Maintenance  Oil, fuel filter and air filter changes are an important part of car maintenance. The more you skip these things or get behind on visits to the auto shop, the more your car will suffer. You may not want to shell out the cash at the time, but you’ll really be saving money in the long run! Check your car manual to see how often your car needs to be checked out. 4. Keep It Clean While it may seem like an image thing, keeping your car washed and clean can have a long-term impact on the quality of your car. Dirt and other chemicals can wear down your paint job and cause chipping and other damage. So make sure to wash your car on a regular basis, particularly in the winter time, when salt builds up from snow melt on the roads! Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.11.51 AM 5. Solve Car Problems Quickly Take your car into the mechanic at the first sign of trouble. Like your own health, a car’s state can get worse if you don’t have it checked out immediately. So when the engine light goes on, you hear a mysterious rattling or your car just isn’t running like it used to, get it the attention it needs! If you’re nervous about trips to the mechanic, ask around until you find a trusted person to do the job! 6. Keep It Light While it’s certainly nice to be prepared, you don’t want to keep too much extra stuff loaded up in your car. The added weight can really take a toll on your car, and it also uses up gas more quickly. So make sure to unload random boxes, clothes and unnecessary items from your car. It’ll probably make you feel more organized too!  
Car Culture

Essential Items To Keep in Your Car

July 24, 2014
If you’re like me, you’re on a constant mission to get stuff out of your car rather than put more things in it. Somehow random things just seem to pile up until your backseat resembles the depths of your storage closet! But sometimes there are essential things that are better to keep packed in the car than take them out. So I’ve gathered a list handy car items that will make your life easier when you’re on the run, in a bind or just killing time! CAR SAFETY -Jumper cables: You never know when you’ll need a jump — or when you can help someone else in a time of need! -Spare tire: I’ve already showed you how to change a tire, so now make sure you have one on hand! -Car manual: The car manual stores valuable information about your car that you could need at a moment’s notice. -Ice scraper: Most people think to have an ice scraper on hand in the winter, but I like to keep one year round for freak storms or other random situations where it could come in handy.ice_scraper_blue -Proof of insurance: If you ever get pulled over, you most certainly will need to show your insurance. Don’t be caught without it! -Tire pressure gauge: Tires must be kept at a certain pressure, so it is important to keep a gauge on hand to make sure everything is at the optimal level. GENERAL SAFETY -Flashlight: If your car has ever broken down at night, you know how valuable it is to have a flashlight on hand. -72-hour kit: You never know what can happen when you’re on the road, so be prepared with a first aid kit, water bottles, emergency food and all that comes in a 72-hour kit. RZfull -Blanket: If you get stuck in cold temperatures overnight, you’ll be grateful to have a blanket in your car. As a bonus, it can be used for picnics or long road trips as well! -Small amount of cash: For the terrible moment when your wallet gets lost or stolen! (Or for the times when you cross a toll booth) -Emergency phone numbers: In the day of cell phones, you probably don’t know even your own family members’ phone numbers. So write them down and store them in case your phone gets lost, stolen or damaged. -Maps: Your GPS or cell phone might not always be there for you, but a map will! (Just make sure you know how to read it! 😉  ) CONVENIENCE -Umbrella: Don’t get caught in a freak storm! -Car cell phone charger: If you rely on your phone as much as I do, you know how fast the battery can drain. With a handy car phone charger, you won’t be in trouble if you forget to charge it overnight! -Paper towels: For those times you spill a drink, get mud on the seats or end up with any other mess, paper towels are here to save the day! -Reusable bags: With the green movement going on these days, it’s always nice to have reusable bags for the moments you need to run into the grocery store. -Snacks: Do you ever get caught running errands and realize you haven’t eaten in hours? Skip the fast food and keep some healthy snacks stashed in your glove compartment. -Trash can: The garbage in my car always goes way beyond the built-in trash spot, so I bought one of these to hang over the seat. Life-changing! PS2-BLACK-3 -Change of clothes & overnight supplies: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided to stay overnight at a friends at the last minute. In those moments, I’m so glad I keep a stash of clothes, toothbrush and pajamas in the back of my car! -Anything you need to return or donate: It seems like I always have a pile of items to return or donate to a second-hand store, but it takes weeks to make it happen unless I keep it in my car with me. That way I can drop it off if I happen to be in the area of the store. -Wipes: Because sometimes paper towels just don’t get the job done! For the times when the roadside bathroom runs out of soap 🙂
Auto News, Car Reviews

Up and Coming: 2015 Nissan Murano

May 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 10.20.26 AM

It’s been awhile since I talked about a new up and coming vehicle. This week I want to spotlight the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano, that is coming late 2014.

Nissan has redefined the crossover. Again. They first introduced us to the Murano in 2002. A vehicle unlike any other, it was a combination of utility and style. stated in early April 2014, “(2015 Murano’s) bold new styling is bound to get you noticed in a way that few other SUVs will.”

Now they have made the Murano even better! I’ll let you in on some of the features it has to offer.


1. Safety Shield- I believe this is one of the coolest features. The Murano warns you of any blind spots, predicts forward collisions, carries forward emergency braking, and provides intelligent cruise control.

2. Heated steering wheel, which every person in Kansas City will need during those cold winter months! A cool thing about this heated steering wheel is that it can be turned on remotely. Talk about convenient.

3. Advanced driving assist display (ADAD)- This feature is practically the size of a mini tablet and has every feature you can imagine. It lets you know about your tire pressure, fuel stats, weather, traffic, and can even be an extra pair of eyes for you on the road.

There are so many features in the new 2015 Nissan Murano, check it out online and get ready for an amazing crossover!

“Introducing the All-New 2015 Nissan Murano Crossover.” Nissan USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014.

Why Won’t My Car Start?!

April 24, 2014

It’s a cool brisk Saturday morning and you’re excited to go shopping for yourself. You deserve it after a brutal week at work. Walking towards your car, you’re already thinking about all the stores you want to hit up.

“Maybe I’ll buy those cute strappy sandals from that boutique,” you think as you open the car door.

Hopping into the drivers seat you place the key into the ignition and… nothing! Thinking there might have been a fluke, you try it again. Dread washes over you when you realize that, yes, your car won’t start.

“I have to get those cute strappy sandals,” you yell out loud.

No worries, I’m here to help solve the mystery of why your car won’t start.

#1. Dead Battery- My first thought would be check to see if you left any lights on in your car. Even the smallest light can drain your battery if left on for too long. If you have a battery tester then that is great! If you do believe that your battery is dead then try jump starting your car. If your car starts right away, most likely the problem was just a dead battery. You can always get it replaced or have someone clean the connections. Over time battery connections can become dirty or corroded. Bad connections can make it difficult to start your car as well.

#2. Faulty Fuses- Hope that it is just a faulty fuse. It’s easy to get them replaced! You can tell when a fuse is blown, because the fine wires in the casing will be broken and there will be discoloring. (Few cars have faulty fuses related to starting systems, but your car might be one of them)

#3. Ignition Switch Problems- Your ignition switch could be the problem if it wasn’t your fuse or your battery. One sure sign that it could be the ignition switch is if you turn your key and the red warning lights on your dash don’t ever light up.

#4. Bad Starter- If you’re getting current to the starter but it just keeps spinning, it most likely needs to be replaced. I would recommend having someone help you test this, seeing as it could be slightly dangerous to do own your own.

There are some other reasons why your car won’t start, but hopefully this will help eliminate possibilities! So you can get back on the road and buy those cute strappy sandals!


Easter Egg Time!

April 18, 2014

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

I have always loved the Easter season! This year I wanted to get a little bit creative with my dyed eggs. I have searched the Internet looking for the most unique and fun ideas, and here they are!

#1. The first one is a great way to make a mini terrarium inside an Easter egg. What’s a terrarium, you ask? Terrariums are glass containers filled with plants and flowers, and are fantastic mobile planters that can be hung around your home. Learn more on how to make these darling eggs here:

#2. I just love this idea of making graffiti eggs. This blogger decorates these eggs with acrylic paint. I have also seen some bloggers paint eggs with watercolor. Learn more with this link:

#3. Looking for a little glam this Easter season? Check out these gold flake eggs! So easy to do as well. All you need is dipped dyed eggs wrapped in gold flake paper.

#4. Last but not least are these darling marbled eggs. “How?” you ask! You can achieve this look with nail paint! Just like marbling finger nails with water and nail polish, the artist was able to achieve those stunning eggs with the same logic and idea.

Which method will you try this year?