Keep your car looking new

By Kevin Cross

Every time your car leaves its protective womb of the garage it rolls into a world of dangers, not the least of which is parasitic organisms that need cars to multiply dirt. Like cold germs waiting patiently for an entryway into your body, grunge clings to microscopic imperfections on the surface of car paint. Bird poop and bugs land on the finish and immediately make paint-eating acids that introduce water to bare metal. The result: new grunge, in the form of rust. More insidious, grit of all kinds hangs onto paint until you inadvertently grind those particles into the surface; you know, when you brush against the car or wash it carelessly. If you care about your car, you’ll want something better for the skin of your baby. Here are some tips you will find useful in your efforts to raise it, that is, maintain your car. Coatings that resist the dulling, chalking effects of sunlight have come a long way. Ultraviolet light still will oxidize a car’s finish, but unless you are parking in a barren lot in the desert, the paint on recent models is going to last many years. Of course, you can buy one of those canvas booties that encase a car, but don’t look at us when you’re fighting the wind to put it on. The best advice is the simplest. Wash or at least rinse off dirt of any kind on your car ASAP. The longer it’s on, the more likely that it will penetrate the paint. Cool your car in the shade on a shallow incline; the angle will help channel water drops to points where they fall off the car and onto the ground. Rinse before you wash because the mildest of car soaps and freshest of sponges both of which you should use won’t help if there’s sand between the sponge and the paint. Rather than dish detergent, use car soap, some of which is made to remove stuff like wax. When it comes to tools, you don’t have to buy a sponge directly from the Mediterranean, but you definitely shouldn’t use old underwear (too hard, no snap and just don’t). Wash and rinse one section at a time so you don’t have water drying on the body. Don’t scrub that strong-yet-delicate surface. Use long, light strokes that run along the length of your car. Scratches created with circular wiping leave marks that are more noticeable than straight ones. Rinse your chamois or sponge before dipping it back into the bucket to prevent grit from being reapplied to the car. Dry by blotting rather than wiping. Ignore memories of your dad or granddad who looked oddly happy to be driving away “to dry the car.” They likely were sneaking off to a tavern, a game or to anyplace quieter than home. You’d probably have to drive at unsafe speeds to blow the water off a wet car all the while accumulating new dirt. There’s a class of cleaning product designed to be used after your car has dried and before you wax. Obviously, this is above-and-beyond detailing. Maybe it’s even obsessive. But if you’ve got the money and ego to buy a jaw-dropping paint job, it makes sense to do everything possible to maintain the sheen. You shouldn’t rush the rinse-wash-rinse-rewash process, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you take shortcuts with the wax. This is the thin, invisible layer of material that not only deepens the beauty of good paint, but also is like diaper cream in that it keeps the bad stuff (including a significant portion of UV rays) from ever touching your baby. The gold standard is carnauba wax. It’s expensive, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that brings out paint’s richness better. Wipe it on and immediately wipe it off. You have to be careful, though. A lot of wax-makers say theirs is carnauba, but manufacturers can seemingly mix essence of it in their waxes and claim it’s the real thing. You want at least 20 percent carnauba in the can, preferably without any petroleum products mixed in. You’ll get better results with natural oils. Polymer-based waxes are great, too, and worth their price, but they still can’t equal the show that carnauba puts on.

Also take your pet for a ride in your car and use applications from to manage them.

Identifying When to Have Your Brakes and Tires Checked

By Kevin Cross

Brakes can be the difference between life and death on the roadway. Worn out brakes won’t stop you from hitting the car in front of you, or stop yourself at the end of a steep hill.

You want to keep an eye on your brakes. You can do that yourself.

You want your brake pads to be about of an inch thick. You can see them by shining a light through your spokes and finding a shiny surface.

That shiny surface is your rotor. Follow that rotor to the edge and you’ll see a dark pad.

That’s the brake pad. Take out a ruler and figure out how large of an inch looks like, and then eyeball how big you think the pad is.

If it’s thin then you need to have them checked out. If you hear strange sounds and feel grinding or pulling to the left or right, those are also indications of a much needed brake check.

Tires are something you’ll want to keep an eye on. Unexpected tire problems ruin some of your most needed plans.

You always get a flat on your way to work, or in the middle of nowhere. It’s Murphy’s law that anything that can go wrong, will.

Avoid being a victim of that law. Know what signs you should look for to identify potential tire trouble and get them taken care of.

There are several ways to know that your tires are ready for change. The first, and most obvious, is when you notice them going bald.

This is most easily noticed with the depth of the tread. When your tread approaches 1/16th of an inch deep, you know it’s time to get them replaced.

Newer tires have been manufactured with a “tread wear indicator bar.” These are pieces of rubber that run perpendicular to the tread.

When new, these bars are barely visible. As they wear down, they become increasingly visible.

When you can see multiple of them clearly, it’s time to go get those tires checked out. Aside from the just the tread itself, check the sidewall often for cracks.

Cracks can be indicative of a leak or a coming blow out. Both leave you stranded at a time that you need to get somewhere.

On top of that, they can also be evidence that the metal bands in your tire are about to separate. Separation of the metal will cause your car to vibrate loudly.

It’s an uncomfortable experience you’ll want to have checked out as well. Vibration and noise is generally an indication that your tires need some help.

They’re not hard to see. The ones you really want to worry about are the ones that are visible to the naked eye.

While you’re examining the sidewalls, look for bulges or blisters. This is yet another weak spot that preempts a blowout.

Affordable American Insurance is in the business of helping you keep your vehicle working well. They offer affordable car insurance to Colorado residents.

Regularly checking your car for problems will help you avoid bigger, more costly issues later. Affordable American Insurance knows you don’t want to be spending a ton of extra money on your vehicle, that’s why they offer affordable Colorado car insurance.

Auto Repair Replacing Your Worn Out Struts

By Kevin Cross

Auto repair in Austin is easy to do if you know what you are doing and have the right tools. Ironically enough, this is the part that scares most people when they think about working on cars. Most people are afraid that they will mess something up because they don’t know what they are doing, or that even f they might be able to figure it out, they probably don’t have the right tools for the job anyway. What many self-made mechanics have found out is that for most jobs, you are able to find the right tools somehow if you are resourceful. The knowledge and knowhow just come with time. In any case, it is best to first understand what you will be doing, and then figure out what parts you will need for the job. In this article you will learn how to replace the struts on your vehicle.


First take off the wheel to reveal the knuckle of the car. There will be a big bolt or two that connects the strut to the knuckle. Remove the nuts on these bolts and then remove them. The bottom portion of the strut will then swing free. After this is done you will be able to remove the top bolt holding the strut in place. In the front of the car these are normally located on the sides of the vehicle near the back portion underneath the hood. In the rear of the car, the struts top of the strut can generally be found in the trunk compartment. After removing all bolts connecting the strut to the car, the strut can be pulled free.

New Struts

At this point you have a decision to make. You can either choose to replace the whole strut assembly that you just pulled out, with a new assembly, or you can take apart the assembly and replace just the strut portion. The definition of a strut, and what sets them aside from shocks, is that struts are found in the center of the coil springs that hold up your vehicle. The coil springs are loaded with hundreds of pounds of pressure. For this reason, taking apart the assembly can be very dangerous. Most mechanics that work at dealerships have machines that will load and unload the springs for them, but this is not an option for most at-home mechanics. If you want to do this at home, there are special clamps that you can buy that will compress the coil and allow you to take apart the assembly, but this process can be fairly dangerous. If the clamps were to slip they could cause serious injury.


Whether you decide to go with the cheaper route of taking apart the assembly, or the easier route of replacing the whole thing the process or installation is the same and it just the reverse of the removal. Most shops that perform auto repair in Austin are able to perform these kinds of repairs. So now, even if you do not do it yourself, you will at least be educated on the process to know if you are getting your money’s worth.

Why Large Trucks Use Air Brakes

By Kevin Cross

Admit it… At one point in every man’s life (well almost every man). There was that one time, ONE TIME, that he has wished to be a truck driver, whether it was a fire truck or a semi. The truth is that most men have always been fascinated with big machines. Now, the saying goes that the bigger they are the harder they fall… in this case, stop. What sort of magic actually works to stop these behemoths in their tracks? Well… They’re called brakes. Everyone has seen them. Yet, what kind of mechanical power the size of a human head can actually stop hundreds of tons of metal traveling at speeds greater than some laws would allow? Well… let’s get a lot metal, Harness the Mother Nature’s power, throw in a bit of science, and the Air Brake was born.

So what is an Air Brake? Nope… It’s not a big fan on reverse blowing in front of a truck to slow it down. Its harnessing air pressure to push a bunch of steel against steel and creating enough friction to stop what might’ve been an immovable object on wheels when no other force can. (This is getting a bit poetic). So let’s get to the point. Why does the world need air brakes?

More staying power: Air brakes harness the air that is already there, compared to the standard hydraulic brakes which rely on a reservoir of hydraulic fluid. While hydraulic brakes can dry up or leak out, Air brakes can technically never run out. More stopping power: A car’s brakes actually offer more then enough power than that found in one’s foot. These power brakes actually utilize vacuum to increase the applied pressure on the cylinders of the brakes. However, that vacuum comes through the engine in a real-time manner. Since a truck may have a bigger engine than a normal car, while still not being proportionate with some extra weight, one can expect that the brakes would require more power than that of a car’s.

Safety: Hydraulic fluid usually overheats faster in heavy trucks. When it does, it no longer is effective since the pressure generated isn’t enough. On the other hand, air brakes aren’t susceptible to heat, they simply need to be compressed. Having mentioned these reasons, there are also a few other ways in which one can put effective stopping power to their vehicles, such as through the use of battery-powered brakes. However, air brakes are much easier to implement fail safes, which makes them a top pick among car owners and mechanics.

These are just some of the reasons as to why there is much importance placed on the usage of air brakes. One simply cannot expect to drive safely out in the road if they don’t equip their huge trucks with the right kind of security measures, and this is what an air brake provides. It’s not just safety for the one driving the truck, but for all the other vehicles in the same road he’s in.

Comparing Details In Commercial Vans

By Kevin Cross

With bigger companies, it can be difficult to have to haul everyone and everything to the same place in several cars. It can get costly and annoying to have to make several trips. Especially if you are moving or transporting employees. A larger business needs to have a standard Nissan commercial van in Tampa or other cities to be able to move around accordingly. Look into the differences in the types of vans and payments when considering using a commercial van. You also want a company that gives you a quality experience so you know you can trust their services.

Know What to Look For

First off, you will want to do a little research on exactly what type of van you should consider purchasing from a company. Maybe you need it for daily business purposes. You are looking for a company car to carry and provide services through transportation. Look for the specific details and think about whether they are right for your needs. Commercial vans can include high roofs for more storage in the back, advance technology so you can know where you are always going, steering controls, towing competence and much more. The most popular commercial van today is a van that demonstrates power and premium features. It has plenty of space to fill up with whatever you need; it comes with boxed ladder frames and very strong brake powers if ever needing to come to a dire stop quickly. It also provides more of a truck like feel so it is more user friendly.

Know The Differences

There are different types of payments when it comes to either leasing or buying a commercial van. When you lease, you are not actually purchasing the van for your company or yourself. You are required to make monthly payments, and after a certain amount of time you must take the van back and either exchange it for a newer model, or return the van completely. If you are buying, you get a brand new van and also make monthly payments towards it. As soon as you are done with all the payments, you do not have to bring it back; it is completely yours. Search for a company that can provide you with either of those options, you want to be able to make the right decision based on your needs. Another difference you should know when looking at commercial vans is a standard roof and a high roof. Depending on what cargo you may need to be storing in your van, measurements of the roof can make an immense difference. A high roof is not only taller, but gives you more space inside also. Since a high roof van is a little bigger, it will probably cost slightly more. Consider those things when making your purchase.

Your Experience Is Important

You are going to want to be able to gather as much information as possible before purchasing a Nissan commercial van in Tampa. Look for an environment where employees are making the customers feel comfortable. If you have questions, make sure they are getting answered quickly. Ask for demonstrations, customized packages, and if there are any warranties. There may even be a discount if you are needing several commercial vans at once. Whatever you are inquiring, take the time to find the company that will meet all your specific needs.

A Nissan Commercial Vehicle For Every Need

By Kevin Cross

Commercial vehicles are all around and yet such an integral part of your everyday life is often taken for granted. How many people know who supplies these vehicles, where they come from, or what all is involved in selecting the right vehicle? While there are many options out there for this particular market, there are certain things to keep in mind when shopping around. Nissan commercial vehicles in Tampa have varied sizes, specs, and packages to choose from, all with the intention of meeting the specific needs of the customers.

Commercial Vehicles

Traditionally, commercial vehicles have been defined by their capacity to transport large quantities whether of people (more than 9 or 15, depending which standards you adhere to) or of cargo. Today, the term “commercial vehicles” is an umbrella under which cargo vans, passenger vans, company vehicles, and fleet vehicles all fall. These vehicles are generally owned or leased by a business, company, or agency (rather than a person or family). Company cars, public busses, rental cars, the vehicles that sales-people use to visit clients, delivery vehicles, taxis, and public-utility vehicles are all examples of this. So what should the businesses that need this kind of vehicle be on the look-out for when selecting which company to buy from and which vehicle(s) to use?

Features and Specifications to Keep in Mind

Nissan vehicles are known for the high quality, low cost, and overall value of each of their vehicles, and the commercial vehicles they offer are no exception. They offer varying amounts of cargo space (measured in cubic feet) and levels of power to meet their customers’ individual needs. There are models offered that are specifically designed for easy handling and good visibility. The vehicles come with top-notch braking power, and some have mounting points designed for shelving. Customers can choose between standard roof and high-roof options, which differ in both the internal and external height. Many have towing capabilities in order to cater to the needs of the customers who utilize them. There are options to include the latest technologies, including but not limited to GSP and satellite systems, Bluetooth, rearview monitors, audio systems, and satellite radio. These fully outfitted vehicles add to the ease and comfort as well as efficiency of the businesses that own or lease them. Customers can choose to go and get a demonstration of the options that are available to them and become more educated about the selection.


When choosing Nissan commercial vehicles in Tampa, customers have the option to lease the vehicles or buy them. Both choices come with the option of making monthly payments. For those who choose to lease, the vehicle is returned after a few years in exchange for a newer model. With the option of buying, monthly payments are made toward the total cost and once it is paid off, the customer owns the vehicle. Many excellent warranties are offered, and there are different grades of vehicles to choose from. All in all, there is a commercial vehicle out there to meet the needs of any customer.

Getting Some Motorcycle Repair Training

By Kevin Cross

According to a report released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of small engine mechanics is scheduled to experience a substantial growth for the couple of years to come. This career path is seen by many bike enthusiasts as fun and also interesting. Regardless of the type of bikes that an individual wants to spend their time working on, there are a couple of different training that are accessible to them. In general, an individual would prefer to work either on super bikes or on off road bikes. But there are a few other small engines that can also be of interest. In this article, we will provide an individual with some general information about how to obtain a motorcycle repair training. More specifically, we will talk about the importance of choosing a course of study, the choice of the school, the importance of securing a job in the industry of bikes, and also the necessity to maintain the skills up to date.

First, the individual shall have to select a course of study. There are many individuals who have for passion the making of motorcycles. For such individuals, the best thing to do would be to choose a school that offers programs with a concentration on the production of motorcycles. Other people are more geared towards the repair aspect of motorcycles. This type of individuals may also look for a program in which they will be taught everything about motorcycle repair, which would ultimately help them get a position at a dealer of motorcycles or at another company of the bikes industry. Opening a motorcycle repair is another available alternative for the individual after they have graduated from their school or completed the motorcycle repair training. There are a couple of corporations such as Harley Davidson that possess official trade schools and enable prospective mechanics to receive an instruction about motorcycles.

Second, depending on their interest, the individual ought to decide on the academic institution where they will follow their motorcycle repair training. The individual needs to be aware that they will not have to absolutely attend a campus in order to be trained. Effectively, there are a couple of distance learning opportunities in the industry of bikes that permit the prospective student to work from their house or their apartment at their own rhythm. Yet, a one on one instruction is generally considered to be better.

Third, the individual ought to attempt to obtain a job in the bikes industry. According to some reports, the majority of people who were novice and have worked under a professional of this field have gained a tremendous experience. Indeed, being employed for a couple of hours each day or even at a full time basis as an assistant to a professional technician will definitely teach a person as much or even more than they would have learnt in a school environment.

Fourth, the person will need to make sure that their skills are kept up to date after they start their job. One great way to do this is through continuing education. The training for the prospective mechanic is available at a variety of places. An individual may see with motorcycle firms, trade groups, and technical schools about how to receive a training in order to become a technician. The reason why it is so critical that the professional mechanic pursue continuing education is because of the many modifications that are introduced in the design of motorcycles and in their components.

Another way for a professional of this field to stay current is by subscribing to magazines and buying relevant educational materials on a regular basis.

By Increasing Performance Auto Racers Enjoy More Wins

By Kevin Cross

Where most drivers are only concerned about changing the oil in the car to keep up with the recommended maintenance of their vehicle there are others who find every excuse to squeeze the most power out of their engine. Filling the fuel tank with premium unleaded gasoline a driver who is looking for the highest performance from their ride can upgrade their car or truck with aftermarket parts that are specifically designed to improve the economy and speed of their vehicle. In addition to filling up on premium gas an engine benefits from synthetic oil changes. Oils that reduce engine wear allow a car to run longer without damaging the engine. Attention to the small maintenance issues is important for the life of an engine, but when it comes to racing performance auto mechanics have a number of suggestions for beefing up what is under the hood.

Street Racers Modify Cars with Performance Parts

A cold air intake that brings in the mixture of air and gasoline into the combustion chamber provides more horsepower. Tweaking the engine with racing parts ads to speed that can be gained from a stock motor. Police vehicles have upgraded alternators and batteries that provide electrical support for all of the added lights and sirens that are used in them and through an online dealer that sells all sorts of upgrades drivers can find the same high quality products that are not available at the local parts store. Changes that are made to the steering system and chassis affect the handling of a vehicle. Under the hood lifters and headers offer increased torque for faster getaway times. For someone that is serious about racing their vehicle or evading law enforcement there are modifications that include a nitrous tank and switches to control the forced gas into the engine.

Cosmetic Modifications Add to Performance Enhancements

Inside the car and out changes can be made to the stock vehicles that are found on the road. Everything that is needed to make a car less wind resistant can be found online. The addition of a scooped hood for a supercharger makes it easy to add the accessories that improve the performance of a street legal racing machine. To complete the modifications under the hood a driver may want to add some new gauges to their dashboard or front rocker panel. Being able to see what is taking place inside the engine compartment aids in knowing when to shift gears. With the engine supercharged and ready for action it is time to look at the exhaust system. Chrome tail covers and sweeping pipes add to the attraction of a racing machine.

Lightweight Vehicles Sprint from the Start

The lighter the car the faster it will go. While there are some modifications to the body that just cannot be made, there are some things that can be done to lighten the load under the hood. A battery that is designed to be lightweight can make difference to the performance auto racers want from their car. Even small adjustments to weight add up to better times on and off the track. With a series of products to choose from anyone that is serious about their car can find the parts they need to dress up the engine and deliver the speed and handling that makes owning a street racer all the more fun.

High Quality Automotive Services, Honesty and Tradition – Brake For Less

By Kevin Cross

Brakes For Less functions as a company since 2009, but it is in fact a more than 40 years old three generation family business founded by Mr. Joe Ross. All started in Hudson, Texas when Mr. Ross and three of his children opened and successfully managed a full automotive repair and body shop. Since then, the business got expended, and now Brakes For Less offers its services not only in Hudson but also in Huntsville, Decatur and Madison, always working under the banner of high quality services, honesty and tradition.

Break For Less Goal

Since this business has been always family oriented, the Break For Less aims to distinguish itself from others businesses by offering perfect services to its customers. While waiting for their cars to be taken care of, Brake For Less customers can relax in clean office spaces, have a coffee, candies or drinks, watch television or read magazines. But above all, Brake For Less main goal is to gain as many loyal customers as possible by assuring high quality automotive services.

The List of Services Provided by Brakes For Less Shops

The Brake For Less shops are specialized in:

–       Tune-Up                      – Anti Lock system diagnosis              – Radiator service

–       A/C Charge                 – Advanced diagnostic equipment      – Shock and strut replacement

–       Induction                     – Axle work – bearings/seals               – Starters/alternators/heater cores

–       Coolant Flush              – Computerized engine diagnosis       – Timing belt replacement

–       Trans Service             – Imported Japanese engines             – Tire rotation and balance only

–       Oil Chance                  – Lube/oil/filter change                        – Battery replacement


–       Suspension system service (no alignments)

–       Antique/classic car repair

–       Extended warranties honored

–       Fleet service/maintenance

–       Insurance work/estimates

–       Cars such as BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, etc.


Easy Steps on How to Change Brake Pads

By Kevin Cross

Driving with an inefficient and worn out brake bad is not an option anyone should consider. Many people look into adjusting with these worn out brakes for many reasons. So it is always better if one learns to change it by themselves. There are few steps that are needed to know how to Change Brake Pads. Of course, in the beginning, it will cost you a bit of time and patience owing to your inexperience in the task, but with time, it will be like a piece of cake. The cost of these new brake pads is around a hundred dollars and you could get them at a number of places or one could even buy them online.
In order to get this job done, few tools are needed. This will include an adjustable wrench, bungee cord, C – Clamp, Tyre Iron and of course, using a pair of hand gloves is always advised. Before starting with the replacement process, it is necessary to make sure that the vehicle was not in motion since quite a while, as the brakes tend to get hot when they are used. Following are the steps on how to change brake pads
First step on how to change brake pads would be to make sure the handbrake is set up well and firm and also that the ground is level, as you won’t want the vehicle to move during the procedure.
The job starts by jacking up the vehicle and then removing the first wheel. Using two jacks would be better for additional safety.
Now that the wheel is removed, loosen the calliper bolts and distance it away from the disk. The brake parts can now be seen, they are the parts near the disc surface that are black in colour. Make sure that the calliper is not hanging from the brake, as it will only end up damaging the brake.
Now, the most important part, observe the exact arrangement that the brake pads are set in, and make sure you can set it back to the way it should be without concerns.
Now bring in the new pads to replace the old ones, and then make sure to replace all the clips that the old pads were supported with.
Now, since the new pads are already in, it is not possible that the calliper piston will fit back into position as it used to. Here, take assistance off the C -Clamp and make space for the new pads.
it is then advised to apply some brake pad grease onto the part of the pad that won’t be in contact with the rotor.
To conclude the main procedure, now fit back everything just the way they were before, and make sure all the bolts are tightened properly and the task is done crisply. That is it, the replacement procedure is over.
Now lower the vehicle after tightening the wheel cap back on. It is always better to go for a small test ride to ensure that before going into a real travelling, you will get well used to the new adjustments and arrangements. With practise, you will get the basic idea on how to change brake pads without hassles.

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