Car Maintenance You Shouldn’t Try at Home

Benefits Of Spray On Liners For Your Truck

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits Of Spray On Liners For Your Truck

If you have decided that the bed of your truck is in need of a new liner, you might want to consider using a spray on liner, from a company like X-Treem Automotive & Tinting. To help you decide whether this is in your best interest, you will want to check out the following benefits.

It Will Not Shift

The liners that drop into the back of your truck may shift over time. This creates noises that may start to become annoying. It also means that you might have trouble with debris falling in between the truck itself and the liner. With the spray on liner, this is not something you have to worry about. This is because the liner is molded to the shape and size of your truck bed.

It Will Never Crack

Drop in liners are prone to cracking after several years. This is especially true for the truck owners that use the bed of their truck for a lot of hauling and who live in regions that get extreme shifts in temperature. The extreme temperature changes can cause the drop in liner to crack as it is nothing more than plastic. However, this is not something that you will have to worry about when it comes to spray on liner. The changes in temperature, nor excessive use, will cause it to become damaged.

It Can Be Customized

With many of the drop in liners, there is only one color to pick from and that is black. However, with the spray on liners, you can get them in a variety of colors. You might even want to have the bed liner match the color of the rest of your truck. Then again, you might want a different color so you have more of a two-toned look.

Fits Uniquely Shaped Truck Beds

Some trucks have beds that are less common than the other trucks out there. It is because of this that the drop in liners do not work as well. It used to be that the only other option for uniquely shaped truck beds was a carpet liner. However, there is now a spray on liner that will easily conform to the shape of your truck bed.

With all of those benefits in mind, it should be easy to decide whether this is the best option for your truck. If it is, then you will want to make sure that you are taking it to a skilled shop that has a lot of experience with spray in liners.

Make These Changes behind the Wheel to Help Reduce Your Brake Pad Wear

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Make These Changes behind the Wheel to Help Reduce Your Brake Pad Wear

The brakes of your vehicle play a pivotal role in keeping you and your passengers safe when you’re driving. Many people, however, make the mistake of ignoring the many signs that their brake pads are in need of replacement and continue to drive despite having reduced braking response. While it’s important to visit an auto shop when your brakes are nearing the end of their useful life, you can take a series of steps to help the pads last as long as possible. Here are three practical changes that you can make when you’re driving to extend the life of the brake pads.

Remember the Roads

It can be easy to daydream or listen to the radio while you travel, but it’s advantageous to also note specific factors related to the roads you’re driving on, especially if you travel on them often. By watching the positions of hills, sharp turns, and other landmarks, you’ll be able to tailor your braking accordingly—and, in doing so, reduce unnecessary wear on your pads. For example, by remembering that a sharp corner is coming up, you can slowly begin to reduce your speed instead of waiting until the last minute and braking hard, which will wear down your brake pads unnecessarily.

Don’t Carry What You Don’t Need

The heavier your vehicle is, the harder you’ll have to brake to reduce your speed based on traffic or road conditions. Think about what excess items you’re carrying—particularly in your trunk—and evaluate what you can leave at home. Some drivers load their trunks with bulky children’s strollers, sports gear, and other items that can combine to add considerable weight to your vehicle. By reducing what you don’t need to carry on a day-by-day basis, you’ll be putting less wear on your brake pads every time you step on the brake pedal.

Watch Down the Road

Motorists who make a habit of looking only a few feet in front of their bumper are often surprised with changing road conditions and, as a result, have to apply their brakes hard. You can avoid this situation by getting into the routine of watching well down the road. With this approach, you’ll see traffic lights beginning to change and brake lights lighting up several car lengths ahead of you—and you’ll then be able to coast to reduce your speed or simply brake lightly until you’ve reduced your speed or stopped.

If you need your brakes inspected or repaired, make an appointment at a service like Express Oil Change.

Maintaining Emergency Communications On Road Trips

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Emergency Communications On Road Trips

During long drives across the country, you may encounter stretches of land that lack landmarkers that are familiar or areas too far away for friends and family to come help. Smartphones offer a lot of ways out of bad situations, but you’ll need to plan a bit further ahead in case of service outages and drained batteries. Take a look at a few road trip planning points to keep yourself safe on the road and make sure you’ll be able to get all the help you need.

Extending The Useful Life Of Your Smartphone Batteries

Smartphones have obvious uses in a road trip emergency, such as the basic call features to get in contact with help, as well as the ability to look up local information. Hotels, local garages and food directions are just a few taps away…if your phone lasts long enough. 

The relatively short power span of smartphones is well known, and that short duration becomes even shorter if you’re looking information up on the Internet or with a mobile map. To extend the life of your mobile lifesaver on a phone, it’s a good idea to pack extra batteries and a charger.

Packing batteries for emergencies isn’t as simple as throwing them in your car. Excessive heat or direct exposure to sunlight can cause the battery to explode–although the actual explosion is more like a pop and fizz. You’ll need to keep the batteries in a dark, solid case and out of direct light to keep temperatures as low as possible throughout the drive.

The charger needed is a specific battery charger, which allows a battery to dock inside your phone. With this standalone charger, you won’t have to take the battery out of the phone to start charging the battery.

Outage Area Mapping

Cellular signals can fail for any reason. Maintenance can take down entire neighborhoods or city areas, while unplanned mishaps can cause an entire cellular network to go down in a region. There are also cellular deadzones where no cellular signal exists. You’ll need to plan around these areas to be safe. 

Use a map of available cell phone signal areas to plan your trip. Look along the length of your trip for areas that are marked for outages as well as no access at all, and make a note of when you’ll be driving through areas of no coverage. Although unlikely, you need to know how far you are from available signals in case your car breaks down in an outage area.

As you make plans for getting in contact with others during an emergency, make sure to keep a towing service like Big Valley Towing in your contacts. Speak with a towing services professional to discuss towing rates, area availability and easy ways to contact towing services in the event of an emergency.

Step On It! Ways To Improve Your Truck’s Gas Mileage

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Step On It! Ways To Improve Your Truck’s Gas Mileage

You probably purchased your truck without being under the impression that it’s a real gas guzzler. That’s alright: most trucks have to use an ample amount of gas in order to haul items or, in some cases, simply get from point A to point B. There are a variety of ways you can enhance your truck’s gas mileage, though, from using custom truck parts to simply following the rules of aerodynamics.

Cold Air Intake

A cold air intake is an aftermarket, custom part, purchased from a place like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc, that is considered a “bolt on” accessory, which is to say, it’s easy to install. What does a cold air intake do for your truck? Essentially, your engine needs air to run efficiently. Air will naturally cool the gas in your tank, and the more air, the more efficient your vehicle will be. In other words, your truck will have to burn less gas to get from point A to point B.

However, too much air added to your engine can add a stressful effect: you’re going to hear a good amount of this air reaching your fuel intake. This means that the engineers of your vehicle have found a sort of sweet spot, in between making your truck fuel efficient as possible without you having to hear this – as some would call it – grating sound. For those of you who don’t mind such noises, a cold air intake unit will add even more air to your fuel intake, allowing you to burn less gas.

Good Aerodynamics

Against the force of the wind, your truck is going to have to burn more gas to simply work as hard as it would in normal conditions. There are ways to make your truck more aerodynamic, which means that it won’t have to work quite as hard. One common example of how to make your truck more aerodynamic is to use a bed cover. Air will then flow flatly across the bed cover, rather than enter the bed of the truck and then meet force against the tailgate.

Don’t Idle

Although it is not recommended to turn off your truck during stop lights and the such, if truck is going to idle for 5 minutes or longer, it is recommended that you turn your vehicle off in order to save gas. Even when not in motion, your truck is using gas in order to power other facets of the vehicle, like its electronics and air conditioner.

If you are finding that your truck is using a bit more gas than you think it should, try out these quick tips in order to save yourself a bit of money, as well as some wear and tear on your truck.

3 Important Points When Buying Used Auto Parts

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Important Points When Buying Used Auto Parts

Any time that you are looking to get your automobile repaired, you’re going to receive price quotes for two different facets — parts and labor. While labor costs are levied by the hour, you can save yourself plenty of money by acquiring your own parts. You can receive a gold mine of savings when you decide to purchase some high quality used parts. Buying used parts might take a little bit of experience on your behalf, so if this is what you’re in need of, use the following guidelines to your advantage. 

#1: Find A Salvage Yard In Your Area And Select The Type That You Prefer

One of the best ways to get your hands on a quality used part is by reaching out to salvage yards in your area. There are two different types of salvage yards you can buy from — those that allow you to pick your own parts as you please and those that require the assistance of an employee. “Pick it yourself” salvage yards provide tremendous opportunity to find some diamonds in the rough, but will also require you to have your own tools and the handy experience to remove the parts that you need. Conversely, an employee service salvage yard may not land you the same sorts of savings, but you’ll have all the help that you need. 

#2: Purchase A Warranty To Go With Any Used Parts That You Buy

Since the parts that you are buying are used, you should always double down on the protection by getting a warranty to go with it. You will need to get a clear breakdown of the warranty terms, in order to know what constitutes a void and to know how long you’re covered. This level of protection goes a long way toward helping you get the most bang or your buck when buying used auto parts. 

#3: Find Out The Specific Parts Number Before Making A Purchase

When searching for parts, it can be easy to get confused, since many parts look the same when they are intended for the same make or model. However, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you find out that the part is not compatible with your vehicle. To avoid this, always ask your auto parts shop or salvage yard to verify the serial number and parts number, so that you purchase the right part. 

Keep these three valuable points in mind as you shop for your used auto parts

3 Things To Look For In Your Transmission

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Look For In Your Transmission

Transmission problems happen to every car at some point. It is not unusual to experience transmission failure as the car ages and gets more miles. This is why it is important that every driver know what to look for in their car so they can spot a transmission problem early. Here are some things that you should be aware of so you can protect your car.

1. Loud Noises

When you shift back and forth from gears does your car make any noises, such as grinding or thumping? If so, you have a problem with the transmission. The shift from each gear should be essentially silent. The grinding sound means that the transmission is giving out, and it could mean that there is not enough fluid in the transmission. If you ignore this problem and don’t get it fixed, it could cause the transmission to completely give out.

2. Leaking Red Fluid

As a general rule, your car shouldn’t be leaking any fluid when you are in park or when you are driving. If the car is leaking black fluid, it means that you have a problem with the engine and that you are leaking motor oil. Although this problem should be attended to, it doesn’t signify a problem with the transmission. Instead, leaking red fluid indicates that you have a problem with the transmission. As the transmission gets lower and lower on fluid, it will cause serious damage. This is why you should be replacing any fluid that is leaking until you have get the transmission in for repairs from a skilled mechanic.

3. Unresponsive Gear Shifts

If you notice that the car is slow to respond when you shift gears, this is another serious sign. If the car is taking a long time to go back and forth from the gears, or if you have to try a couple times to get the car to shift, you have a problem.

If you are unsure if you have a problem, you can try putting the car in park and then go back and forth between park, reverse, neutral and drive. This will help you see how fast each shift is responding and if you need to take your car in for repairs.

These are just a couple signs that you should look for in your car. If you notice any of these problems, talk to a mechanic right away. 

For auto repair, contact a company such as Automotive Specialties.

Buying A Used Rental: Four Important Things To Consider

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A Used Rental: Four Important Things To Consider

Those on the market for a used car sometimes come across the prospect of purchasing a used rental car.

Rental car fleets regularly sell off vehicles as they start to accumulate miles to ensure that they’re constantly renting out fairly new and dependable cars. Often, these used rental cars offer great deals to used car buyers looking for a discounted price on a quality vehicle. However, there are also some drawbacks to purchasing a used rental car that buyers need to be aware of before making the purchase. 

The following are four important factors to look in to when you’re considering whether you’d like to purchase a used rental vehicle or not:

The test drive offering

One of the biggest advantages of buying a used rental car is that rental companies typically offer an extended test drive to those interested in buying the vehicle.

Many companies will offer a test drive period that lasts as long as three days. This long test drive period really helps drivers to feel satisfied with their vehicle of choice and confident that they’re not buying a lemon. 

Maintenance history

In general, you can probably be sure that a used rental car has been well maintained through the years. Rental companies need to keep their vehicles in good shape and carry out preventive maintenance procedures like oil changes to ensure that they don’t lose money because of premature wear of mechanical components.

However, it’s true that some of the best used vehicles out there sold by a private party or dealer might have received better maintenance. While a rental will definitely be well maintained, it won’t be pampered in the same way a car enthusiast might care for a prized vehicle. 

Accident history

Vehicle rentals tend to get beat up a bit out on the road because those who are driving them don’t have to keep them over the long term. Also, renters are often driving in areas they’re unfamiliar with, and this makes accidents more likely. 

You should be able to get a vehicle history report on a rental, so make sure you inspect it for frequent fender benders that might cause some persistent mechanical issues. 

The cost

Obviously, rental companies are looking to get the full value of rentals they’re getting rid of. However, they’re not in the business of selling cars, so they’ll often get rid of vehicles for a lower price than you might see at a dealer. 

Though you can probably expect slightly lower prices from car rental companies, make sure you’re researching the official market value of any car you’re considering before making a purchase. 

If you’re looking to buy a used car, visit websites like and check out your local dealership.

Need To Protect Your Truck From Your Labor Job? Why Liners Are A Must

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Need To Protect Your Truck From Your Labor Job? Why Liners Are A Must

If you’ve bought a truck that you have to use for your labor job and you know it’s going to get damaged on the job, you can still protect some of it to keep it looking new. There are going to be damages you can’t prevent, but there will also be damages you can stop from happening.

The bed of the truck is one of the most used parts of the truck, and it’s also the easiest to protect. Consider getting a bed liner so you can protect your truck bed from the following concerns during the workday.

Protect from Scratches and Dents

All the tools, materials and items tossed in the bed of your truck can easily causes scratches, nicks and dents. If you have a bed liner in the truck you won’t have to worry about these damages that will devalue the truck and make it look old and worn. The liner will also protect against from damages caused by weathering and regular wear and will prevent rusting.

Make Washing and Cleaning Easier

The bed of the truck can be difficult to wash because of the grooves, and because items get stuck to the paint and surface. The liners are smooth surfaced so debris will wash right off the liner. You also don’t have to worry about scrubbing the liner too hard and doing damage. Cleaning the entire truck regularly to get off dust and other debris is necessary to keep the truck looking in good condition.

Avoid Chemical and Spill Damage

 If you are hauling any type of small machinery items and gas or oil spills, they will eat through the paint and cause damage on the bed, along with any chemicals or liquids you have to haul around with you. Avoid corrosion and discoloration from liquids with a bed liner for protection.

The bed liner is easy to pop on and off when you need it, so getting a liner isn’t something that you’ll need to have on the truck forever or when you go to sell it. There are many things you can do to protect your truck while on construction sites, but if the truck bed is going to take the worst beating, it’s one of the areas you want to protect the most. Get quotes and look at models to find a liner that fits your make and model of truck. For more information, talk to a professional like Rhino Linings &Terry’s Top Factory.

3 Things To Check Your Contract For Before Leasing A Semi Truck

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Check Your Contract For Before Leasing A Semi Truck

If you would love to be responsible for your very own rig, you might be thinking about leasing a semi truck rather than just working as a driver for a specific company. There are a lot of leasing programs out there for drivers just like you, and many of them can seem highly appealing.

For example, some leasing programs for drivers involve low down payments and relaxed credit requirements. This can make it easier than ever for you to lease a truck and can cause you to sign the dotted line without thinking things all the way through. But to ensure that you are satisfied with your lease agreement, make sure that you check your contract for these three things. Otherwise, you might be better off going with another leasing program.

1. Reasonable Payments

A lot of lease agreements include low down payments, which can be enough to get drivers excited about these programs. However, you have to think beyond today and think about the payments that you will be making each and every month throughout the contract. Make sure that the payments are reasonable and affordable; you do not want to be stuck in a lease that you cannot afford.

2. Reasonable Insurance Fees

Obviously, you are required to carry insurance when you lease a truck. The difference between leasing and buying, however, is that the leasing company can dictate the type of insurance that you have to have and the company that you have to have it through. This can result in you being forced to purchase overly expensive insurance, which can obviously be a problem that you might not have budgeted for. Ask about the insurance coverage that you will be expected to have, and compare the pricing with similar insurance from other carriers. This can help you determine if you are being overcharged.

3. Access to Repair Money

Even though your average lease does come with repair money that is supposed to be used for tires and repairs, some lease agreements make it virtually impossible for you to actually access these funds. Find out how tough it will be for you to access this repair money, and look for an agreement that will allow you to get the money if you need it without having to pay too much out of pocket first.

A lease agreement can be a wonderful thing, but you have to watch out for certain things when reading your contract. These are a few things that you should check your contract for before leasing a semi truck.

For more information and options, contact a leasing truck company, such as Decatur Trailer Sales & Service Inc.

The ABCs Of Buying A Used Commercial Truck For Owner-Operator Endeavors

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The ABCs Of Buying A Used Commercial Truck For Owner-Operator Endeavors

As a truck driver, making the transition into owner-operator trucking is a huge step to take in your career, but it is also a major financial decision. This is especially true when the investment into a new semi-truck can be as high as $200,000. If you want to take things a little more slowly and make a smaller investment initially, looking for used commercial trucks for sale is the more logical decision. While investing in a used commercial truck, there is a simple ABC rule set to keep mind to help you along the way. 

Always consider all of your options when searching for the right truck. 

When you are in the process of shopping for a used commercial truck, there are a lot of different routes that you can take to check out what is available. Dealerships are always great if you have one locally, but there are several other options, such as looking for used commercial trucks online at websites such as or even checking with truck rental companies to see if they are upgrading their fleet and liquidating some of their existing vehicles.The only downfall to buying from a private seller or rental company is the trucks will likely have high mileage. Auctions are also a good place to get some fairly good deals on commercial trucks, but auctions rarely give buyers a lot of prior information about the trucks before they go up for bid. 

Be sure to ask about a safety record on any truck you are seriously considering. 

Any reputable truck dealership or owner will have a safety record on the truck. The truck’s safety record is almost like your own medical history report, because it shows you any and all accidents and a history of extensive mechanical work to the truck. This is always important because prior accidents and past mechanical work could have an effect on the overall current condition of the truck current. 

Call up a mechanic who is willing to look at the truck before you make a purchase. 

Even with the commercial truck’s safety record on hand and a reputable dealer, it is always a good idea to have the truck looked over by a mechanic. When you are in the process of investing in your first truck as an owner-operator, it is best if you know exactly what you are getting yourself into mechanically to avoid unexpected costs and delays.