Browsing Tag

car

Behind the Wheel

A Guide to Avoiding Blind Spots

January 3, 2017
Properly adjusting your rearview and sideview mirrors can be one of those things that is easily missed. It can be confusing and frustrating trying to get the mirrors as precise as possible in order to get the best view. It is important to know how to fix the mirrors accordingly so that you are fully aware of what is behind and on the side of you while driving. Here is what you need to do to properly adjust your mirrors: Adjust the Driver’s Sideview Mirror To adjust the driver’s sideview mirror you’ll need to be sitting in the driver’s seat. While seated, place your head against the window and set the mirror to where you can barely see your car in the right side of the mirror. Adjust the Passenger’s Sideview Mirror While seated in the passenger seat you’ll need to lean your head against the window. Begin adjusting the passenger mirror until you can just barely see your car in the left side of the mirror. Adjust the Rearview Mirror To adjust the rearview mirror make sure you are seated in the driver’s seat while doing so. Move the mirror around until you are able to see the entire rear window from where you are sitting. Now you’re good to go! Follow these easy steps to make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly for your surroundings.
Auto News

7 Features Seen in 2017!

December 26, 2016
2016 is dwindling down and the New Year is buzzing with talk and trends! When it comes to the auto world, some trends are clearly becoming more popular than others. Inspired by this article, I wanted to compile the top projected trends seen for the automotive industry in 2017. The world is constantly increasing in technological feats, which is evident in the evolution of cars! Read on to see what to expect in 2017!
  • Digital dashboards. I’m seeing this trend more and more: Cars are doing away with the classic analogue dials and quickly being replaced with more detailed, customizable, digital gauges. With even the least-expensive models seen with advanced systems that can wirelessly stream calls, texts, data, and more.
  • In-Car WiFi. Bluetooth and hands-free features have been around for awhile, but WiFi capabilities in cars are popping up more and more. Yes, you can buy a hotspot or special device to bring WiFi to your vehicle, but on-board WiFi? That’s a game changer.
  • Entertainment tablets. In-car entertainment systems have been around, but lately I’ve seen custom tablets included, making systems more portable. Someone in the backseat wants to change the radio station? No problem, just pass back the car’s tablet.
  • Advanced guidance cameras. Guidance cameras have become almost a norm in a majority of vehicles, helping drivers to reverse safer. But, now, these cameras are becoming more and more advanced, with some models even offering 360-degree, bird’s-eye view capabilities.
  • Truck-Bed audio systems. The benefit of this feature is up to your imagination. But, weatherproof audio systems are being seen incorporated into pickup trucks in the near future!
  • Improved seating. Vehicles are taking notice of seat comfortability more and more. Spinal support, back support controls, and overall, more detailed seat customizable options are a few features being seen in many 2017 vehicles!
  • Improved safety technology. With more and more distractions being added to the road every day, it’s nice to see safety features taking technological advances. Lane departure warning features are being seen and improved upon, ensuring more safety out on the road!
These are just a few of the new features popping up in cars in 2017! Do you have a favorite feature you can’t live without? How about a feature you wish your car offered? Let me know!
Behind the Wheel

Car Accident? Now What?

December 19, 2016
There’s no doubt that car accidents are terrifying for everyone and something we all strive to avoid, but as the saying goes: accidents happen. Although it’s hard to think straight after you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are necessary steps to take afterwards.
  • Get to a Safe Area
            If your car is at all drive-able after an accident, pull over to a safe area to avoid holding up traffic or causing another accident.
  • Check to See if Everyone is Okay  Check to see if you and/or your passengers have any major or minor injuries, then check to see if those in the other vehicle are okay as well.
  • Call the PoliceReport the accident to the police and let them know where you are located. It is important to call the police even if the other person involved in the accident doesn’t want you to. Most states require you to call the police and they are there to help protect you from fraud and establish a liability.
  • Collect Information from Other PersonMake sure to exchange your names and addresses, insurance information, vehicle information, and licenses plate numbers. Collect as much information as you can to help protect yourself as much as possible during this accident. Also, take pictures of the accident. Get photos of both your car and the other vehicle(s) involved.
  • File a ClaimContact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim! As soon as you have all of the information from the other person involved, call your insurance company to make sure you will be covered.
Car Culture

How to Keep Your Car Fresh & Clean

December 15, 2016
I think most of us can agree that the new car smell is one of the best smells there is. Knowing that you are driving around in a clean and fresh car can lighten your driving experience. But of course, as time goes on that new car smell diminishes. It’s hard to keep your car smelling nice and clean especially when you are always on the go and if you tend to have a lot of passengers. I’ve looked into some ways that you can keep the inside of your car as clean as possible while also keeping it smelling fresh.
  • Keep A Small Trash Bag  Random papers, water bottles, and miscellaneous items tend to get lost in cars and trash, especially trash from food, can cause an odor throughout the car. By keeping a small trash bag on hand in your car you’ll be able to properly dispose of waste. At the end of every week, just throw out the trash and replace the bag. Not only will this help to eliminate smells, but it will also eliminate unwanted trash in your car.
  • Vacuum Out Your Car  It is super important and helpful to vacuum your car out every time you get a car wash! There are car washes that allow you to use the vacuums for free if you’ve paid for a car wash. Vacuuming out your car interior gets rid of crumbs, dust, and dirt throughout the cracks and crevices that you’re unable to get by hand.
  • Keep the Dashboard and Seats Clean  If you have leather seats, it’s especially important to get a nice car leather cleaner to keep the odor from locking in. Use a cleansing spray and rag to wipe off the dashboard, steering wheel, and cup holders. Not only will this eliminate germs, it will also keep the car smelling fresh.
  • Shampoo the Carpets  This isn’t something that you have to do often, but perhaps every 6 months to a year you should consider getting your carpet shampooed to remove the dirt and debris. Nasty odors get locked into the carpets, especially during the winter. Making a habit to shampoo the carpets at least once a year will help preserve the carpet and keep the car smelling nice.
  • Use Odor Eliminators  Odor eliminators are great for getting rid of nasty smells throughout the car and substituting them with nice clean smells. They come in different shapes, sizes, and smells and are very reasonably priced. Though they are great for making your car smell wonderful, it is still important to keep your car clean as much as possible.
Behind the Wheel

How to Drive in Inclement Weather

December 2, 2016
Winter is upon us which means happy holidays, pumpkin pie, spending time with loved ones, and unfortunately horrible weather. Driving in bad weather is very hard. Each year there are thousands of accidents because of bad road conditions due to severe weather. Though frustrating, it is possible to drive in inclement weather and still make it to your destination in one piece. Here are some tips I know will help you get over your fear of driving through the rain, sleet, and snow: – Stay Informed
  • First and foremost it is super important that you double check the weather reports before you venture out. Listen to warnings from your local TV and radio stations and use your best judgement.
– Keep Your Distance
  • I’m sure you’ve heard the rule-of-thumb that you should keep at least 3 seconds distance between you and the car in front of you. When driving in snow and heavy rain, it is important to keep at least 9 seconds of distance between you and the driver ahead of you. You never know if you or the car in front of you will hit black ice and begin spinning out of control. Keeping a safe amount of distance will lessen your chance of getting into an accident.
– Be Cautious
  • When driving in inclement weather there’s a huge possibility that you will run into black ice. Take precaution especially when driving on bridges and overpasses because ice and black ice form faster there. Drive extra slow, brake lightly, and hold onto your steering wheel tight while paying attention to your surroundings at all times.
 – Be Smart
  • If the conditions get too bad and you know you wouldn’t be able to drive through them, make the wise decision to pull over until the roads are clear again. It is better to sit and wait out a storm than end up in serious danger by trying to drive through it. Keep your trunk full of things in case of an emergency situation such as this. That way, should you be stuck on the side of the road, you’ll have everything you need. Not sure what emergency equipment you need? Check out a list of essential items here.
  – Make Sure Your Car is Prepared for the Winter
  • This is one of the most important tips on this list. With each season comes different responsibilities with your car. During the winter time your car needs extra care and attention to ensure your safety while on the road. If you take care of your car, your car will take care of you. You can find out how to best prepare your car for winter here!
Behind the Wheel

Car Care Schedule

December 1, 2016
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life in your car that takes you everywhere… but stay observant of how many miles you’re driving and keep a schedule of your car’s maintenance to ensure peak performance for your vehicle! Just like you buy certain gifts for certain anniversaries, you should get maintenance done for certain mile counts. Use this checklist as a guide to help remind you when to take care of your car!

Every 5,000 Miles

– Check/refill fluids for:
  •  Coolant
  •  Brake fluid
  •  Power steering fluid
  •  Washer fluid
– Change Oil – Check lug bolts

Every 8,000 – 10,000 Miles

Perform the same 5,000 maintenance tasks – Check tire tread
  • Use the easy penny test
– Inspect brakes – Check spark plugs/wires – Check/clean battery – Replace windshield wipers
  • Or every 6 – 12 months, whichever comes first
– If you haven’t yet, you should rotate your tires about every 5,000 – 8,000 miles

Every 12,000 – 15,000 Miles

– Perform all previous maintenance tasks – Schedule maintenance/inspections for:
  • ABS sensor
  • Fuel pressure regulator
  • Timing belt
– Replace these parts:
  • Spark plugs
  • Fuel filters
  • Brake pads
– Flush radiator
This checklist stands as a good measure for how often you should generally perform certain maintenance for your car, but stick to your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and use your best judgement. If you can’t remember the last time you had something checked, then it’s probably time to schedule a check for it. Follow this checklist to help you stay on top of your car’s maintenance, check your tire inflation monthly, and make repairs (as needed) promptly!
Car Culture

Easy Ways to Winterize Your Car

November 25, 2016
Winter is coming—actually. With the brisk winds around us outside, it feels like winter is already here. But, the first day of winter is actually until December 21, so the coldest days are still ahead of us. With that being said, you want to make sure your vehicle is prepared! There are all of these in-depth articles floating around of how you can prepare your car for winter, so I’ve compiled the easiest, most realistic steps you should actually take to make sure your car is winterized!
  • Check your tires. Winter can take a serious toll on your tires. For ever 10° the temperature drops, you tires lose about 1 pound of pressure, leading to underinflated tires—which is seriously dangerous to drive on regardless, but especially in rain or snow. Also, worn tires with little tread make driving very risky. So, make sure your tire pressure is at a comfortable state, and check the tread of your tires.
    • Do the penny test on your tires! It’s an easy hack to check the tread left on your tires. Stick a penny head first into a groove of your tire, if you can still fully see Lincoln’s head, then that’s a sure sign you have little tread left and it’s time for new tires!
  • Check your battery. Cold temperatures can strain your battery, especially if you’re always parking outside. Have your battery checked and replaced if it is running low—better safe than sorry.
  • Check your wipers & wiper fluid. This maintenance task often goes overlooked, but if you’re stuck in a winter storm, you want your wipers to be working at their best. Wiper blades typically last 6-12 months, so make sure you have fresh, working blades so you don’t compromise your car’s visibility. And for wiper fluid, this is also essential for ensuring the best visibility for your car. Top off your fluid levels with washer fluid (since it won’t freeze) just to be safe.
  • Check your oil. When was the last time you had your oil changed? A pre-winter oil change is an easy way to help prepare your engine for the harsher winter driving conditions.
  • Get your brakes checked. Brakes are always important, especially when it’s slippery and cold outside. So, for good measure, have them checked while you’re at it, especially if you notice any changes in your car’s performance.
  • Check your headlights. Walk around your car and give all of your lights a self inspection. Just make sure they are not cloudy or dirty, you want them shining to their full potential. You can always wax your lights to somewhat prevent icicles from forming on them.
  • Get your antifreeze mixture checked. This is essential especially in colder weather. The mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator should be at about 50:50, to prevent the coolant from freezing. If you are checking this yourself, just grab an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at your local auto part store!
  • Last but not least, stock up on emergency supplies. If you’re a worrier or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry. You never know what might happened, so you want to be prepared for whatever might come your way. So if you don’t have one already, keep an emergency supply pack in your car just in case!
   
Car Culture

How Much Life Does Your Car Battery Have?

November 22, 2016
Sometimes the internal skeleton of our vehicles seem like a mysterious abyss. We just trust that the inner workings of our cars will go on as they should and keep everything running… but it is important to understand how the inside actually works. One of the most important inside components to understand is the battery. The battery in your car is responsible for a multitude of important responsibilities. It helps start the engine and supplies energy throughout your car. On average, car batteries last about two to six years. If you drive a hybrid or electric car, you could expect on average around eight years until even having to think about replacing your battery. But like everything in life, there’s a catch: how well you take care of it. Depending on your care and other outside factors, you can hinder or help prolong your battery’s life. The life of your battery is dependent on how long it can hold its charge and its capability of being recharged. When it gets to the point where it will not recharge anymore, it has died. But, don’t worry, there are some ways you can help avoid this and make your battery last longer! The best way to help enhance the lifespan of your car battery is to try and always keep it fully charged. Are you one to forget to turn your interior lights or headlights off? Do you always keep accessories plugged in? Well, this is harming your battery. Help keep your battery charged by staying conscious of your lights and accessories plugged in, and always having your battery looked at during routine maintenance checks. If you’ve ever left that mirror light on by accident over night and woken up the next morning with the fear of your car not starting–it’s because of your battery. However, the amount of damage lights and accessories can actually do to your battery is dependant upon the type and age of your battery and how much draw the different components of your car have. The lifespan of your battery mainly depends on two factors: where you live, and, like I mentioned above, how well you take care of your battery. Aside from being conscious of taking good care of your battery, the environment in which you drive and live in also greatly affects the life of your battery. Temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors greatly affect the life your battery can live. Car batteries like colder weather, so if you live more north, you’ve lucked out, your battery will live longer in colder weather. Warmer climates tend to increase damage because of different factors such as sulfation. But, if you take care of your battery, you can help prolong its life regardless of the climate you live in… it just takes a little more work for those in warmer environments. Take care of your battery, treat it well, and you will reap what you sow. Keep in mind that over-charging, under-charging, and charging with defective systems can all also harm your battery, so you want to get it just right. Regardless of where you live or what you drive, stay conscious of the importance of your car’s battery and properly care for it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Holiday

Holiday Guide to the Perfect Car Accessories

November 18, 2016
It’s time to treat your car! All year you’ve driven it around, up and down the highways and byways of the city. Perhaps you’ve even taken a few road trips across the country. You have bought many things for yourself throughout the year, but what have you bought that would be beneficial for your car? After all, it has given you the luxury of driving around. If you’re not sure what to buy, don’t worry! The holidays are here, and I’ve got you covered. Here are some awesome accessories that both you and your car will love:            How many times have you dropped food, coins, and trash down the forbidden cracks of your seats? Not only was it extremely irritating to know you dropped something in between the car seats, but also frustrating because it was nearly impossible to retrieve anything from that abyss. Fortunately, there has been a solution to this problem and you should probably stop everything you’re doing right now to check it out. The Drop Stop is a car seat gap filler that eliminates this problem and helps keep your car clean!            If you have leather car seats, it can be a struggle to keep them clean. Leather tends to lock in spills, stains, and odors that make it harder to clean than other materials. Leather Honey leather cleaner is one of the best products in the market and is designed to tackle the dirt and debris that has been building up in your car seats.            After a while, your car headlights begin to get dim and dingy, making it hard for the light to fully shine through the lens. This could be dangerous, especially at night when it is hard to see on the road. If you are having this problem, there is a quick solution. There are plenty of reasonably priced headlight lens restoration kits that you can buy to give your car the quick fix it needs.            The USB Aromatherapy Diffuser is one of my favorite things on this list. Say goodbye to air fresheners because this diffuser will leave your car smelling fresh for a long time. The mist gets rid of any and all bad odors polluting your car and is also super cute and handy!             This accessory is the perfect way to conveniently keep your food, drinks, phone, and any other things you may need that would otherwise clutter your front seat area. The cup holder swivel tray switches back and forth between the driver and the passenger, making it easy and accessible to use!
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!