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Clean Your Vehicle to Prepare for Winter

Benefits Of Regularly Checking Your Car’s Tyres

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Benefits Of Regularly Checking Your Car’s Tyres

You might have been advised to check regularly your tyres, but this advice has gone unheeded. It ‘s hard to put the effort into doing something unless you think it is truly worth it. Checking your tyres regularly is crucial. Periodic checks can save you money, can identify mechanical problems you may not otherwise be aware of, and can improve your car’s safety and performance on the road. How You Should Check Your Tyres Firstly, there are three different ways you should check your tyres. You should perform a visual inspection of each tyre, monitoring tread wear patterns. Some wear patterns are best discovered by feel, so you should also run your hand over each tyre. Additionally, it is important to verify the pressure fortnightly with a tyre pressure gauge. Save Money On Tyre Replacement And Petrol Inspecting your tyres on a regular basis is not a waste of time, as it can save you money. If the tread wears unevenly, you will have to prematurely replace the tyre.  When checking for uneven tread wear, look out for the following patterns. Are the tyres excessively worn on both the inner and outer sides of each tyre, or are they worn only along the centre? Wear on both the inner and outer surface can indicate underinflated tyres; excessive wear down the centre can indicate overinflated tyres. If you are in the habit of monitoring your tyres with a pressure gauge, you should prevent these patterns developing in the first place. But picking up uneven tread wear as soon as possible will help you to identify any problems that have developed, and to minimise further damage. Another way monitoring your tyres can save money is at the petrol pump. If your tyres are underinflated, the greater rolling resistance encountered as more tyre surface impacts the road increases fuel usage. So periodically checking your tyres can potentially reduce your weekly fuel bill. Identify Wheel Alignment Problems Regular tyre checks can identify faulty wheel alignment. A visual inspection should show whether the tyres are worn either on the inside or outside; this can indicate a camber misalignment where the tyres are either leaning inwards or outwards. Another misalignment problem, where tyres are incorrectly pointing inwards or outwards rather than straight ahead, can be picked up by running your hand over the tyres looking for signs of feathering. This is when one side of each tread block is worn smooth, but the other side is sharp. You can feel for this wear pattern by running your hand across the width of the tyre. This type of misalignment, where the wheels are pointing inwards or outwards, is termed toe misalignment. Improve Road Safety And Handling Regular inspections of your tyres can help keep you safe on the road. Some types of tyre problems are downright dangerous. For example, underinflating your tyres can make them susceptible to blowouts, which can have dire consequences. A visual examination of each tyre should identify any bulges, lumps or cracks in the side wall that can indicate damage to the internal structure. Again, a damaged tyre is more likely to suffer a potentially catastrophic blowout. Make sure to contact a tyre expert for a replacement if you have any safety concerns. The condition of your car’s tyres is also crucial...

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The Importance Of Coolant In Keeping Your Engine Cool

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance Of Coolant In Keeping Your Engine Cool

Your car generates a lot of heat. The combustion engine process produces heat, and the moving parts and friction of many other systems create additional energy. Your car has complex systems to cool the various parts down, to lower temperatures so as to prevent overheating. The different fluids needed by your car play various roles, and usually cooling temperatures is one of those roles. One central fluid required by your car is coolant, which is vital in keeping your car’s engine functioning at optimum temperatures. Radiator Coolant Coolant is the lifeblood of your car’s cooling system. Coolant is usually made up of a mixture of glycol, water and chemicals that prevent corrosion.  Coolant travels through tubes in the radiator, through hoses to tunnels in the engine block and then back again to the radiator in an endless loop. As the coolant travels through the engine block, it picks up the heat from the engine. As the coolant moves through the radiator, it is cooled by fans and by the flow through breeze created by a moving car. It is the capacity of coolant to transfer heat that is central to its ability to cool your car. The coolant is able to pick up heat from the engine and to release heat as it moves through the radiator. Also, coolant has a higher boiling point than water, and it has a low freezing point. This means it can more efficiently keep your engine cool and also delay the point at which it freezes in cold climates. If coolant levels are low, your car is at risk of overheating so you should check the levels regularly. Always wait until the engine is cold before removing the radiator cap, as otherwise hot coolant can spray out causing severe burns. After removing the radiator cap, you will usually see a level marker, usually about 25mm from the top. Most cars have an overflow reservoir, and the minimum, halfway and maximum levels will be marked. The coolant level should never get lower than the minimum level, even if the car is cold. After your car is warm, the level will usually register as higher. Always uses a recommended coolant for your car by either checking the owner’s manual or checking with your mechanic. Toxicity  Coolant is usually made from a mixture including either Ethylene Glycol or Propylene glycol.  Ethylene Glycol is very poisonous if swallowed and can cause harm though inhalation or skin absorption. If bright green or yellow liquid leaks from your radiator, keep pets away. Don’t ever pour coolant down the toilet as some pets may drink it. Contact your mechanic or a poison’s information center for instructions on how to responsibly dispose of it.  Propylene glycol, on the other hand, is much less toxic, and coolant made from this chemical is sometimes labeled as ‘non-toxic antifreeze’. Coolant is the lifeblood of your car’s cooling system and is central in helping to run it at optimum temperatures. Coolant does degrade with use and needs to be refreshed, so make sure to have a regular car service to keep the cooling system in prime...

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The Heat Is On: Protecting Your Car Battery During The Summer Months

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Heat Is On: Protecting Your Car Battery During The Summer Months

Anybody who’s lived in Australia for even a brief period knows that the summers can be absolutely brutal. But the baking heat of a typical Australian summer doesn’t just drain you – it can drain your car battery too. Excessive heat building up in and around your car battery, especially for extended periods, can drastically shorten the useful lifespan of a typical car battery, and many of the car battery failures that hit drivers in winter can be blamed on the long term effects of summer heat damage. With this in mind, here a few effective ways to keep your battery protected against the merciless summer sun, saving you money and effort in the long run. Keeping your car cool when not in use Leaving your car parked out in the open during the summer months is one of the worst ways to abuse a car battery. Obviously, if you possess a covered garage or carport, you should keep your vehicle parked in there whenever possible, but if this isn’t an option, try investing in a car cover. Reflective car covers with foil linings are best, but even an ordinary car cover can provide significant protection from the worst of the sun’s heat, particularly if it is pale in colour. Using a car cover isn’t exactly practical, however, when leaving your car parked in public spaces while out and about. Instead, you might consider paying a little extra for a parking space in a covered car park. If this isn’t an option, parking in any kind of shade is still better than nothing. Large, overhanging trees are good sources of shade, but you should avoid parking under evergreen trees, as the sap they drop can ruin a car’s paint job. Try to make sure that, wherever you park, there is a good amount of air circulation, to keep hot air moving away from your battery. Keep your battery topped up When the battery of your car heats up, the battery liquid inside does the same, increasing the amounts of battery liquid that escape through evaporation. This evaporation places a small, but gradually increasing strain on your battery – a battery with low levels of liquid overcharges easily while running, shortening the lifespan of the battery’s terminals and other conducting components. To avoid this, you should check your car battery levels at regular intervals, making sure to keep them optimal without overfilling the battery. The liquid inside is a mixture of sulphuric acid and water (exact concentrations of each will depend on the make of battery), but it is the water component which evaporates much more readily, leaving behind excessively high concentrations of acid. Make sure to top up your battery with distilled water whenever possible, as the impurities in regular tap water can cause long-term damage. You should, at the very least, wear protective gloves and goggles when topping up a battery. For more ideas on how to protect the lifespan of your car battery, consider contacting a car battery supplier like 1st Choice Mechanical...

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Don’t Have a Spare? 4 Immediate Actions to Undertake When Car Tyres Burst

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Have a Spare? 4 Immediate Actions to Undertake When Car Tyres Burst

Perhaps you’ve already had a flat tyre once or maybe you needed the extra boot space ­— either way you’re driving without a spare tyre. Driving on major highways without a spare tyre is a foolhardy choice, but nevertheless if you find yourself in one of these situations with a blown out tyre, you’ll need to know what to do. Follow these actions to stay safe and out of harm’s way before the towing service arrives to take your car to the closest service centre. Regain Control of the Car A tyre puncture causes instability in directional car control, so you should not force the car into making sudden directional movements by suddenly turning your steering wheel. Most importantly, you must maintain your calm to regain control of your car while driving. You’ll want to keep it on the road without swerving till you are able to safely come to a halt on the side of the road. Avoid Slamming Your Brakes When your tyre blows out, it can be extremely tempting to slam on your brakes immediately ­— don’t do this. Braking suddenly on a front blown out tyre will increase the stress of weight on the flat. This may cause your car to swerve in the blown-out tyre direction, which could cause the car to flip. When you rear tyres blow out, sudden braking increases the drag and will cause the car to lose its balance. This makes it difficult to steer and can cause your car to swerve out of control. Turn On Hazard Lights You’ll want to turn on your hazard emergency lights and the handbrake as soon as you come to a halt on the side of the road. This will help other drivers know that you’re in an emergency situation, and it will be easier for them to spot you. This helps maintain a higher level of safety as you wait for the towing truck to arrive. Call the Towing Service You’ll want to call the towing service immediately once you have come to a safe halt. Be sure to let them know of your exact location (as accurately as possible), so that they can get to you on time. Most importantly, don’t try to get back on the road or leave the location you have identified before the towing service arrives. Some services, like Barnes Towing & Salvage Qld Pty Ltd, offer 24/7 towing, so it can be smart to research towing services before you ever think you’ll need to call one. Tyre blowouts are stressful situations, so follow these immediate actions before the towing service arrives — and remember never to drive without a spare in your boot...

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Safety Features to Consider for Your Next New Car Purchase

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safety Features to Consider for Your Next New Car Purchase

When in the market for a new car, you have a chance to upgrade the safety features that protect you when behind the wheel. Many of today’s new cars have safety features that you may not realize are available, and may not understand how they can make your ride safer. Note a few features you may want to consider before you even visit the dealership: 1. Backup cameras These are especially popular for SUVs, trucks, and other large vehicles where seeing behind you is virtually impossible. The backup camera can help you to see bikes in a driveway, children, parking cones, or anything else that may be too small to be in your line of sight when your vehicle is in reverse. 2. Adaptive headlights These headlights automatically adjust when you round a curve or make a turn. Rather than always beaming straight in front of you, they turn with the car so that you have your way properly illuminated. This can allow you to see around curves and corners before you actually make the turn. 3. Adaptive cruise control and crash avoidance With these two safety features, your car will automatically adjust its own speed based on the distance between it and the car ahead of you. Rather than having to constantly brake and then reset the cruise control when driving, adaptive cruise control will slow down the car itself and then speed up again as it senses other cars. Crash avoidance works the same way. When your car senses another car or anything in its path, it will automatically apply the brakes or slow down its acceleration. It may also work to alert you as the driver with beeping or a dashboard light as it senses something in front of the vehicle. 4. Parallel parking assist If you need to parallel park a lot and struggle to determine if your car will fit and then also struggle to back into the space, this type of assist can do the work for you. It will measure the space and alert you if it’s too small, and then also alert you to when you’ve pulled forward enough for parking. You can then take your hands off the wheel completely and the car will turn itself to back and maneuver itself into the space. This type of assist can protect you from bumping into other cars as you try to move back and forth into the space, avoiding damage to your car and...

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Five Essential Items You Need to Keep Kids Safe When You Hire a Bus

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Essential Items You Need to Keep Kids Safe When You Hire a Bus

If you are hiring a bus to take a group of children on a school outing, to a sporting event or on a group camping trip, you should take some steps to ensure their time on the bus is as safe as possible. To help ensure everyone gets to and from the destination safely, consider bringing the following five items on your next bus journey: 1. Laminated Evacuation Handout Lest the unthinkable should happen and your hired bus crashes or catches on fire, the children on the bus need to know what to do. Before hitting the road, take a cue from airlines everywhere and guide all of the children through an evacuation drill. Make sure they all know where the emergency exits are, how to open them and which order to proceed off the bus. Make sure all of the supervising adults know this drill inside and out as well. To solidify the info in the children’s heads, hand them each a laminated piece of paper with the evacuation drill explained on it. 2. Seat Belts or Restraints Sadly, not all buses have restraints, but in order to be truly safe, the children should be restrained in their seats. Try to hire a bus with seat belts, and if that is not possible, insist the children stay safely seated. 3. A Film Keeping children seated when they are super excited about their journey can be challenging. To make it easier, embrace the popular parenting hack of putting the children in front of a screen. If possible, hire a bus with a TV screen at the front and pop in a film for the road. If you cannot find a bus with a video player, invite all the children to bring their handheld devices, make a world in a virtual game and join each other there. That way, the children can run and play virtually together while sitting safely in their seats. If you prefer old fashioned fun, skip the screens and lead the children in singing songs or take turns telling stories. 4. Safety Signs To gently remind children of the safest way to be on a bus together, make colourful signs about the bus’s safety rules and regulations and hang them all over the bus. Your signs can address anything from keeping hands inside the windows to staying seated to not yelling and distracting the driver. Make the signs even more effective by having the children themselves draw and decorate them during the days leading up to your bus journey. 5. Handheld Stop Sign For those times when the bus stops and the children are going to disembark, most busses have extra stop signs on their sides. These signs notify other drivers that the bus is stopped, and they create an extra layer of safety compared to using brake lights alone. However, if you want your children to be even safer, bring a hand held stop sign. Every time you are going to load or unload, have one of the adults bring this stop sign out and use it to keep away the traffic while another adult shepherds the children in the right direction. To learn more, contact a company like Myaree Car Hire with any...

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How to Perform a Temporary Fix for Broken Side Car Window

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Perform a Temporary Fix for Broken Side Car Window

An automobile’s side windows can be broken through acts of vandalism or accidental breakage by errant objects. This damage is detrimental because it makes the vehicle’s interior uncomfortable for driving especially in bad weather. The restoration of auto glass is fairly expensive so you may have to postpone the professional repairs if your insurance will not cover the charges. In the meantime, you will need to fix the problem temporarily in order to protect the internal components including the electronic accessories and the seat fabric. Materials and Preparation You will only need to purchase a roll of completely clear packing tape as well as high quality masking tape for the repair task. Prepare the car for repair by wiping the window frames and the painted adjacent area with a lint-free towel. This will eliminate dust and dirt which can affect tape adhesion. Apply the masking tape along the window frame and use a second strip to cover the painted parts bordering the primary layer to ensure maximum protection. The Fixing Process Take the clear tape and apply it along the bottom of the broken window, from left to right. The strip should be longer than the width of the window frame so as to cover the entire expanse. It should also rest on the area covered by the masking tape to avoid damaging the paintwork. Apply a second strip to slightly overlap the first and keep the tape as taut as possible. This will ensure that the seal formed is tight enough to prevent entry of water and dust. Repeat the process to cover the entire window. Next, apply the tape on the reverse side of the window to make a complimentary layer. If the auto glass is completely gone, run the packing tape from top to bottom. If there is glass remaining, seal in the material with strips identical to the initial ones. Precautions Temporary fixes are only suitable for side windows; you should never use this method to repair the windscreen or even the rear auto glass. The flow of air along these surfaces will cause material instability and expose you potential injury. Also, don’t follow the commonly suggested technique that promotes the usage of a garbage bag to cover a broken window. This presents a safety hazard because it will completely obscure your view out of the pertinent window. It is also ill-advised to choose duct over masking tape on glass or other car surfaces because it will leave residual adhesive. As mentioned, this is only a temporary fix. For a reliable repair job, consult resources like Precision Windscreens &...

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2 simple DIY car fixes to make your car safer to drive this winter

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As winter approaches, it’s time to do a once over to make sure that your car is running as smoothly and safely as possible. Here are some things to fix up before you go on any long trips. Windscreen wiper replacement When the rains start pounding the windscreen, it can be both annoying and dangerous to have windscreen wipers that aren’t doing their job wiping away the rain and keeping your line of vision clear. Luckily this is an easy DIY job. Head into any car part store and choose a set of windscreen wipers that will suit your car make and model. Lift the windscreen wiper away from the window, and look for a tab on the underside of the wiper. You can pull this gently to remove the old wiper and angle the new one on. Be careful, as the wiper mechanism can be sharp.  While you are fixing your blades, make sure to fill up your water reservoir so that you can spray the windscreen to remove any fallen leaves or debris at  times when there isn’t active rain fall. Headlight replacement Ask a friend to stand outside your car while you turn on your headlights and fog lights. Get the friend to walk around the car and ask them to check that all the lights are working correctly, while you try turning on your indicators and press down on your brakes. It can be very dangerous for you to be driving if the other drivers cannot see your lights, or if you don’t have good visibility of anything in front or behind your car. This is also an easy DIY job if any lights need replacement. Head into an auto parts store and get the lights that are faulty on your car. Turn off the car and open the bonnet (for front lights) and boot (for head lights) and reach in from inside the car to unscrew the light that isn’t working. Carefully place in the new light and screw it all the way in. Before you head back on the road, make sure the lights are now working correctly. It is also a great idea to take your car in for a service to check the items that are harder to fix on your own, such as wheel alignment, tire tread and brake condition. These car services can help make your car safer to drive this...

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Common Signs That Your Car Needs The Suspension System Repaired

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you concerned that the suspension system on your car is faulty, but you are not sure? Then take the time to learn the most common signs that will let you know the suspension system is no longer roadworthy. By knowing these signs, you will avoid taking your car to a mechanic to get your suspension system repaired when there is nothing wrong with it. Read on for the top signs that clearly indicate the suspension system needs repairs: Tire tread is uneven: take a look at your tires closely and look for uneven tire tread or balding spots. If your tires are wearing down unevenly, then this could potentially mean that the suspension system is not supporting your car evenly, and as a result the pressure that’s being put on the different tires is not consistent. Nose diving: when the shocks of a suspension system are damaged, the car will nose dive whenever you apply the brakes firmly. If you notice this happening with your car, then take it to a mechanic for repairs, because if you don’t then you are putting yourself as risk. This is because when the car begins to nose dive it will also have poorer brake performance – potentially increasing the braking distance by as much as 20%. Car is pulling during turns: if you experience that your car is drifting to one side unnaturally when you turn the vehicle, then it can mean that your suspension system is broken. That’s because the shocks have broken down and cannot maintain the stability of the vehicle against the centrifugal force. This can be dangerous because when turning at relatively high speeds the car could potentially turn over. Therefore, even when you notice the pulling occurring mildly, you should see a mechanic so that the shocks can be repaired. Rough ride: on good quality roads you might not notice that the comfort of ride dips if the suspension system is broken. However, on rough roads the quality of the road decreases rapidly because every bump in the road will be felt. If you pay attention to the bumpiness of the ride then you will be able to tell that your suspension system needs repairs. Oily shocks: you can examine the shock absorption units of your car visually, and if you notice that they are greasy or oily, then they will need repairs. That’s because they might be leaking fluids. For more information, contact a business such as Wollongong Auto...

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Things To Know About Roadworthy Certificates

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you own a vehicle and you want to sell it some day in the future, or you need to register a used car you just bought, you will need what is known as a roadworthy certificate. This is a document that evidences the worthiness of your vehicle to be on the road, and it can only be obtained after your car has undergone a roadworthy inspection. You may also need a roadworthy certificate if a police officer has pulled your car over due to a physical defect that could lead to an accident. If you have never obtained a roadworthy certificate, here are some important things to know about this document. You Get One From a Licensed Roadworthy Tester — You can’t just get a roadworthy certificate from any auto mechanic’s garage. You must visit an auto garage that is licensed to administer a roadworthy inspection. The license grants the garage mechanics the right to perform inspections on cars and small trucks. Make sure you ask to see the license before you allow any auto mechanic to charge you for an inspection. It Is Not A Comprehensive Inspection — A roadworthy inspection only covers a few items, and is not a thorough safety inspection for your vehicle. Obtaining a roadworthy certificate doesn’t mean that your vehicle is free of problems that could lead to major repairs, it simply means that your care meets minimum safety standards required by law to be on the road. It Covers Major Components — A roadworthy inspection covers items such as the condition of your wheels and tyres; the steering, suspension and brake system; the condition of your seats and your seatbelts; the condition of your lights and any reflectors you might have; the condition of your windscreen, side windows and back window, as well as your washers and wipers; the overall structure of your car and the overall condition of your engine. You Will Need To Make Repairs If You Fail — If your vehicle fails to pass the roadworthy inspection, you will not be given a roadworthy certificate until you make all the repairs indicated on the inspection. And you will have to pay to have a new inspection done in order for the auto garage mechanic to ensure that you have made repairs according to the standards required. In many instances, you can save money by having the repairs done at the same garage that did the inspection, as mechanics are more likely to give you a discount if you are performing the inspection and making repairs at the same location. For more information, check out companies such as Titan...

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