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Routine Vehicle Maintenance for Road Safety

Routine vehicle maintenance is so important for keeping your car as safe as possible on the road. You might buy the safest vehicle on the market, but if it breaks down you still could get into a dangerous situation. Doing maintenance on your vehicle periodically throughout the year can save you money. Waiting until you notice a problem can lead to much bigger issues to fix. Check your tire pressure and tread periodically. In addition, do periodic checks on your battery as well to prevent drain. Your engine needs some attention now and then. And of course, it’s important to take care of the exterior of your car as well. Hopefully, by doing maintenance throughout the year you can prevent expensive fixes or breakdowns.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance for Road Safety: Keep Your Car in Great Shape

Tire Maintenance

Routine vehicle maintenance should include taking care of your tires. Tire blowouts can be incredibly dangerous, so the best way to prevent them is to start with a good-quality tire. Change them every 25,000-50,000 miles or so and also have them rotated. In addition, take a glance at them each time before you drive. You want to see if they look like the tread is getting worn down or if they seem low on pressure. Driving tires with bare thread or low/high pressure can be riskier.

Battery Maintenance

Another important part of routine vehicle maintenance is taking care of your battery. The recommendation is that you replace your battery every four years or so. A car care center can also check your battery and see if it’s still in good condition and has plenty of life left. If you plan to be gone for a long time, make sure you start your car periodically. Leaving it for too long without starting can lead to battery drain and engine problems.

Engine Maintenance

Engine care is another aspect of routine vehicle maintenance. Your engine has to work especially hard in really hot or cold climates so make sure to check it a few times a year. It’s best to change your oil every 5,000-7,500 miles or so. You should also check your fluid levels and check for leaks. If you notice any puddles in your driveway or your check engine light comes on, take your car in for a check. A car care center can also check your belts and various other aspects of your engine.

Exterior Maintenance

Finally, routine vehicle maintenance wouldn’t be complete without taking care of the exterior of your car as well. Your car can take a beating in severe weather, so if the possible park it somewhere covered. If you don’t have a garage, try to park in the shade whenever possible. In addition, wash your car’s exterior frequently. The longer dirt and grime can build up on your exterior, the more it can hurt your paint. In addition, you can use soap on your car that has built-in UV protection from the sun’s damaging rays.

Routine vehicle maintenance is important to keep your car running in tip-top shape. This will keep you safer on the road. It will also prevent small preventable problems from turning into massively expensive ones later. Check your car before and after a long road trip, and a few times a year. You should check out your tires and make sure the pressure and tread are looking okay each time you drive. In addition, protect your car’s battery and engine by getting them checked over at a car care center periodically. And finally, try to protect your car’s exterior by parking it in covered areas and keeping it clean. Keeping your car in great shape will save you money in the long run by allowing you to catch small issues before they turn into bigger ones.

Vacationing Safety: Tips for Your Roof Rack

Carrying a roof rack equipped with a travel cargo carrier can be a great way to get a little extra storage space. However, it can present some dangers as well. Nowadays you can find roof racks with cargo carriers, bike racks, canoe racks, and much more. It’s very important to make sure that you have picked out one that is designed for your car. In addition, installation is key in making sure it can’t get loose while driving. Make sure and be aware that your car is now taller. In addition, your car might be more top-heavy, so be careful. And finally, know the weight limits of your roof rack and your car as well. Roof racks can help create extra storage space, but be mindful that you are using them properly.

Vacationing Safety: Tips for Your Roof Rack and Other Equipment

Proper Installation

It’s important to make sure that you pick out equipment for your roof rack that is specific to your car. Some rigs are made for many different vehicles, but you’ll want to check the specifications of your car and the rack. You can usually find these in your driver’s manual. In addition, you must install the roof rack equipment properly. An improperly secured roof rack could come off of your car and create a major hazard for other drivers.

New Height

If you drive a normal SUV or car, you’ve probably never paid much attention to the maximum height signs in parking decks and overpasses. However, if you’ve attached something to your roof rack, make sure that you are aware of the new height of your car. For example, if you’ve mounted bikes vertically on top of your car you may no longer fit in some parking decks. You wouldn’t want to crack your equipment on a low ceiling.

Different Weight Distribution

In addition to a new height, your car’s weight distribution might be different when you attach something to your roof rack. If what you’re carrying is extremely heavy it can cause your car to be more top-heavy than usual. If this is the case, you’ll be more likely to get into rollover accidents. Make sure and be extra careful if it’s very windy out. You’ll also want to slow down more for sharp turns to prevent your car from becoming unbalanced.

Know Weight Limits

Finally, it’s important to know the weight limits of your car. Also, know the weight limit of your roof rack when attaching equipment. If you’ve already packed your car very full and are attaching more onto the roof, you can overload the vehicle. This can cause extra strain on your tires and engine. It can even cause tire blowouts in extreme cases. Your owner’s manual should have weight specifications for your vehicle and your roof rack. Check them before attaching extremely heavy equipment.

Attaching equipment or cargo carriers to your car’s roof rack can be a great way to get a little extra storage space. However, it can cause some issues and you’ll want to do your research beforehand. Make sure and purchase gear that works with your car and install it correctly. In addition, keep in mind that your car is now going to be taller than usual, so be aware of low-clearance areas. Your car might also be more top-heavy than usual so take that into account when driving. Finally, make sure that your car and your roof rack can handle the extra weight you plan to put up there. Finding a roof rack rig that works for all of your vacationing needs can be a great way to save a little space in your car and maximize the fun gear you can take with you on a trip.

Daily Safety Check for Your Car

A daily safety check for your car is an easy way to keep yourself safer on the road. Some of these you might already do without even realizing. But if not, these are a few items that should always be checked before driving your car. Visually glance at your tires before getting in your vehicle. Also, make sure that your mirrors are aligned. Next, check that you and all passengers have seat belts on the property. And finally, don’t forget to stock your car with essentials. All of these things are very easy to add to your daily routine but can have a big impact on keeping you safer on the road.

Daily Safety Check for Your Car: Simple Reminders to Keep You Safe

Tires

Tires should part of your daily safety check for your car. It’s easy to glance at your tires as you walk to your vehicle. If you see that any tire looks flatter than the others, you should check the pressure. In addition, look for any punctures or objects stuck in your tire. Most cars have automatic sensors to tell if your tire pressure is low. However, if your car does not, you should physically check it if any of your tires look flat.

Mirrors

Another part of your daily safety check for your car should be checking the mirrors. Before you begin driving, make sure that you can easily see in all three of your mirrors. You’ll want to make sure that nobody has adjusted your overhead mirror. Also, make sure that both your side mirrors are still sticking out and are adjusted so you can see out of them. This is especially important if anybody else has driven your vehicle. However, other drivers or even strong wind can move your side mirrors.

Seat Belt

Maybe the single most important item in your daily safety check for your car is to check the seat belt. You should make sure that yours fits properly. Also, make sure that every passenger in your vehicle is wearing one that fits properly as well. Children who are in car seats will have safety straps. Make sure that these are secured too. Everybody’s seat belt should fit across the center of their chest, rather than against their neck. The lap belt should be low and tight along their upper thighs instead of resting on their belly.

Before You Leave

Finally, one final thing to check on your daily safety check for your car is to make sure that you have the essentials. You should keep some basic safety gear in your car at all times. For example, a basic first aid kit is a great idea in case anybody has a small injury while you’re driving. In addition, you should always have a spare tire and tire changing kit. Finally, make sure you never leave the house without jumper cables. A flashlight should also be included in your safety kit. Make sure you’re fully stocked before heading out in your car.

A daily safety check for your car is an easy way to keep you safer on the road. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to check your tires as you walk up to your car. Glance in your rearview mirror and side mirrors to make sure they are adjusted properly. Before leaving, make sure that your seat belt fits properly. In addition, check all your passengers for their seat belts as well. Finally, make sure that you have the essentials in your car at all times to help in case of an emergency. Hopefully, you’ll be able to easily incorporate these safety checks into your daily routine.

Electric Vehicles versus Hybrid: Understanding Options

With the rise in popularity of clean, renewable energy, many people are looking at the differences between electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Lately, almost every car manufacturer is making a hybrid or electric option. There are pros and cons to each of these type of vehicles, so it is important to learn more about each of them.

Electric Vehicles versus Hybrid Vehicles: A Comparison

Power Source

Electric cars are fully battery-powered while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gas-powered with a smaller battery. The braking process of the car actually recharges the battery. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are another type of vehicle. These are HEV’s, but have a larger battery. This battery can be charged like a fully electric vehicle. This can be done at a charging station or any plug that would work with your car.

Refuel and Recharge Times

One difference of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles is refueling or recharging time. Since HEV use fuel as their primary source of energy, the time to get a full range of travel takes far less time than charging an electric vehicle. It would just require going to a gas station and taking a few minutes to refuel the car. The battery recharges with energy while you’re driving. Plug-in HEV refuel with gas in the same way. However, it may take a plug-in hybrid electric up to several hours to fully recharge the battery. Of course this depends on the battery size and power source.

Depending on the electric vehicle model, a full charge can take between 30 to 90 minutes on a fast charging network. Tesla’s Supercharging network provides very fast charging speeds for Tesla drivers. These charging times certainly make a road trip take more time. However, most charging stations (and all Superchargers) are in a place where you can get some food and relax. You do want to keep that in mind if you plan on going on long road trips with the EV, since charging stops will add time to your trip.

Less Maintenance

There is a big difference when looking at the maintenance for electric vehicles versus hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles cost less to maintain than a hybrid vehicle. This is primarily due to the engine. An electric vehicle’s engine has around 20 moving parts. However, there are close to 2,000 parts for a hybrid’s engine. Hybrid cars have an internal combustion engine in them. Therefore, they still require the same typical maintenance that a normal engine vehicle would need. This includes oil and transmission fluid changes, as well as timing belt fixes.

While there are some similarities between electric and hybrid automobiles, there are also many differences. HEVs and PHEVs also have many areas they overlap with fully gas cars. If you are thinking about getting a car that would be better for the environment, these are all things to think about. I would recommend test driving all three kinds of cars so that you can make a decision about what is best for you.

Battery Terminals

Your car battery is one of the most important parts of your car and regular maintenance. That’s why it’s important to take care of your battery terminals properly. Cleaning them right will ensure your battery lasts longer and keeps working the way it should…

Battery Terminals: Keep Them Clean

Checking the terminals

The first step of maintaining your battery terminals to give them a quick check. The terminals should be on top of the battery itself. Usually, there will be a plastic or rubber cover on top of them which helps to protect the clamps from the outside elements.

What you may see is a buildup of a white, powder-like substance. This residue builds up over time and is what causes so many battery-related issues. As an extra precaution, put on some work gloves and safety glasses to prevent that residue from contacting your skin and eyes.

Disconnect and clean

To remove this residue off your battery terminals, you’ll want to disconnect the battery itself. Loosen the negative clamp first, and then the positive one next. You might need to use a pair of pliers if there’s a lot of built-up corrosion. Avoid touching any metal while doing this, or else you risk shorting out the battery.

Once you’ve disconnected the battery, then you can clean it. Most people like to use an equal mixture of two tablespoons of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush and wire brush to scrub off the residue. You can also use a can of soda which’ll do the job just as well!

Rinse and reconnect

Now that your battery terminals are clean, it’s time to clean off any remaining cleaning paste or soda. All you need is a spray bottle of water and a clean rag. Just spray the terminals and use the rag to rinse and remove anything that’s left on the terminals.

When you’re reconnecting the battery, this time start with the positive clamp, then do the negative clamp. Be sure that the clamps are properly secured and use a wrench if needed. From there, just re-secure the covers and your battery will be good to go.