The Car Geek: February 2006

The Car Geek

Thursday, February 23, 2006

When You Cant Help But Drive

Life must go on no matter what. That is also true with driving especially if you have to go through your daily routine from home to work. The weather may be too hazardous for you to go out but at times you have no other choice but to do the task at hand. Fog, rain and high winds are just a few of the dangerous weather conditions that would require special care in driving to ensure safety.

It is not advisable to drive during hazardous weather conditions but if you insist, take note of the following:

  • You may think you need blaring headlights to see clearly but that can pose more danger to other drivers because of the corresponding glare that it will produce. Instead set it on dim mode or use fog lights. Too much speed is a no no. Use the proper signal lights to warn other drivers of the changes in direction that you will make. Thats the right time for you to use your side corner lights and steering lights.
  • Expect the streets to be slippery once rain starts to fall. Set up your cars windshield wipers together with your headlights and taillights. Be extra careful when turning on curves and corners especially if there are vehicles approaching or there are lines of vehicles at the back area. Turn on the defroster or air conditioner to clear the windows and mirrors.
  • Big vehicles like trucks, vans, SUVs and trailers are difficult to drive during high windy situations. Extra care is needed when driving in an open area especially if you meet other big cars on small highways. Keep your hands steady on the steering wheel to take full control of the car once a gust of wind breaks out.
  • And of course, plan ahead. Bring with you extra pieces of clothing and other stuff to protect you from the effects of harmful weather conditions. Its also a good idea to have spare or extra replacement parts like mirror, lights or wiper blades from Auto Parts Inner at hand in case something goes wrong with your cars components along the highway.

  • Friday, February 17, 2006

    Set Up That Alarm

    It is hard to imagine. You have been scrimping and saving for weeks. And you were ecstatic that the wheels and hubcaps you have ordered from Auto Parts Inner had arrived. It was time to give your car a new look. But, as luck would have it, they got stolen. Too bad.

    Well, the best thing to do, though, would be to install a car alarm. That way, you would be informed if there is anyone trying to break away with some of your car parts. Or if you are not alerted, an alarm going off may be something that would deter the would-be thief to go on with stealing.

    There are different car alarms found in the market. There are those simple alarms that go off when something upsets its configuration. There are also alarms that also serve as immobilizers. There are central locking remote systems and paging systems. Of course, the world is becoming very high-tech so much so that you would not know just how sophisticated could one simple alarm get.

    It would be best if you tried buying and installing one, even just the simplest alarm of all. These are not that hard to configure. You can ask the store where you bought it for some help. They sure would also be glad to help you. Having your own car alarm would give you, at the very least, peace of mind that in case something untoward happens to your car while you are asleep, you would be alerted and you could also scare the thief away.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Radiator Repair and Maintenance Tips

    The combustion process that happens on your car's engine could also mean production of extreme heat that can speed up the wear and tear of your power train especially if the radiator and cooling system do not carry out their duties efficiently. Damaged radiator and cooling system must be replaced with a new component which can be bought directly from trusted online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Inner but you could do away from costly replacements if you know the basics and the right know-how's of repair and maintenance. Here are some tips and info that can help.
                • Check for breaks and corrosion in the radiator cores together with cracks and rusts on the hoses and clamps. Leak stains underneath the car could mean serious problems, so this time replacement is the best choice. In some cases, using a commercial radiator sealant can correct the problem.
                • Overheating can be solved by cooling down the car to fill in the radiator with new antifreeze or water. Be sure to put the cap in place and keep it tightly sealed.
                • You can also use any of the following services to ensure optimum performance of your radiator:

                Flushing - It is done by removing the radiator from the car to be cleaned with a powerful spray gun. After which it will be inspected to know the points that need repair.

                Cleaning - This service is done before flushing which is done by soaking the radiator in a special type of industrial strength cleaner.

                Replacement - As the word implies, it means taking out the existing factory radiator to be replaced with a new one. Be careful in the removal process or else you may end up damaging other components like the tank and gaskets.

                Thursday, February 02, 2006

                Does Size Matter?

                Most consumers opt for smaller cars thinking that it is more fuel efficient as compared with larger cars but it could also mean greater exposure to dangers and accidents.

                Heavier cars are better as asserted by Michael Smith, a research psychologist working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as he said, "The heavier the vehicle the better".

                The safety features, weight and resistance to roll over are the primary factors to be considered to ensure safety during crashes and collisions. Small cars may have greater resistance to rollover but their weight may not be enough to sustain the impact. Besides, their features may not be suited for a stability control system or a full side curtain airbags.

                Avid Cavano, auto purchasing services manager for Automobile Club of Southern California also added, "Size matters absolutely. It's a big issue, especially when you get on a freeway. Get into a small, two-door car and pull up next to a sport-utility vehicle. The bumpers just don't match. The higher you sit on the freeway, the more the chassis and frame are going to absorb the impact."

                The number of accidents involving small cars can also speak for themselves. Recorded crash figures starting from 2003 done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows 142 fatalities per million registered small cars. 75 deaths per million involve small SUVs which dropped to 62 fatalities for big SUVs. Small truck on the other hand has 124 per million as compared with 102 per million for larger trucks.

                Well, those facts may somewhat be a kind of "against" small cars but all I can say is; safety primarily depends on "you". The person who takes full control of the car's steering wheel or of whatever action or direction the vehicle might take is still more important than the size, features or specifications of the vehicle.

                And of course safety also depends on the condition of the systems comprising the car specifically the brake system, electrical system, engine system, fuel system and steering and suspension system. Defective parts must be replaced at once with new quality parts straight from Auto Parts Inner to avoid risks to our safety and those of our loved ones.