• Drive less. Walk, bike, ride the bus or join a car pool. Reduce your commute by moving closer to work or working closer to home. Combine trips and make to-do-lists to avoid having to go back. Call ahead to avoid wasted trips.
  • Walk between stops. Once you get into town, some of your stops may be near each other. Park between some or all of them and walk.
  • Parking in the first spot you find in the parking lot. If you wander all over the parking lot looking for that really close parking space, you’ll use more gas.
  • Use the lowest recommended octane for your car. The lower octane gas is cheaper. Check your owner’s manual to be sure, as not all car engines should use lowest octane gas.
  • Determine whether gas with ethanol is right for your vehicle. However, 10% or less ethanol actually helps gasoline burn more completely, resulting in better economy.
  • Compare ethanol price. Fuel with ethanol may be more expensive than standard gas, but the minimal price difference is often offset by lower fuel taxes or subsidies.
  • Don’t fill until the last quarter tank. If you do this, it can extend your gas because you are hauling a lighter load as the tank nears empty. However, in cold weather, you run an increased risk of condensation in the fuel tank.
  • Don’t top off the tank. It is wasted money and bad for the environment since the extra gas evaporates in 10 minutes of driving.
  • Change car oil regularly. Properly maintaining your car will keep your car running as efficiently as possible. Use synthetic oil instead of mineral oil. This will cause your engine to run better and give you better mileage.
  • Upgrade air filter. More efficient brands of air filters cost a little more but will pay for themselves in most vehicles in fuel savings. Clogged air filters cause engines to work overtime which requires more fuel.
  • Use a fuel injector cleaner or complete fuel system treatment occasionally. Not only will you see a boost in gas mileage, but in your car’s overall performance. Fouled injectors vaporize fuel poorly, affecting how completely the fuel is burned.
  • Clean out any unnecessary items in your car. If your car is lighter, it will use less fuel to get where you’re going. If you have a bicycle or ski rack, remove it when you’re not using it. It causes drag and lowers mileage.
  • Avoid idling. While idling, your car gets exactly 0 miles per gallon while starting the car uses the same amount as idling for 30 seconds. TIP: Park your car and go into the restaurant rather than idling in the drive-through. Idling with the air conditioning on also uses extra fuel.
  • Plan your trips in advance. This can prevent wasting fuel and wasting time. Use alternative routes. Often back roads can prevent you from stopping at traffic lights and more importantly sitting in traffic jams. TIP: Try to schedule your trips and errands when traffic is lighter.
  • Use a global positioning system (GPS) to help you navigate and find the fastest and shortest distance to your destination.
  • Drive at a consistent speed. Avoid quick acceleration and hard braking.
  • If approaching a red light, see if you can slow down enough to avoid having to actually stop.
  • Take off slowly from a full stop. This is one adjustment that will have dramatic effects on your gas mileage; don’t tear off from a stoplight or stop sign!
  • Stay well away from store fronts where you will spend significantly more time idling and waiting for pedestrians and other vehicles.
  • Shift into neutral if you are not comfortable with down shifting. NOTE: This strategy will result in more wear and tear on your brakes.
  • Park in the shade because gasoline actually evaporates right out of your tank, and it does so faster when you park directly under the sun – winter or summer.

[credit: eHow]

Car rims have a tendency to attract large amount of dirt and debris, thus you need to spend some time on them when cleaning your car. Here are sure-fire steps for you to have a shinier and cleaner rim!

The first thing you need to do is to clean the tires. This is because when you clean the tires, a lot of dirt fall onto the rims; therefore, it is best to clean the rims last. Once your tire is perfectly cleaned, spray the rims with a degreaser. This should loosen the dirt and dust that accumulate around the nuts and bolts of the rims. Pay extra attention to areas where you see a lot of dirt and grease.

After you have applied the degreaser in all the area of the rim, wipe away the degreaser. If you leave the degreaser on the rims too long, it can cause damage including discoloration. Shower the rims with water from your garden hose. You can wash away any of the debris left behind after using the degreaser. Dry the rims with a clean cloth. At this point, they should be free of any dust and dirt. For the final touch, shine the rims with a rim cleaner. You can use a product, any product to protect rims and give them a nice shine.

Cleaning car’s engine is important to keep it operating at its best. That is why you need to keep it in good shape all the time. You need to clean it regularly to avoid damage that can affect engine operation.

Remember that in doing engine cleaning you need to have a good place to work it. This should not be done in your yard. The grease and the degreaser are harmful to the environment and will kill your grass.

The things you need when doing engine cleaning: engine degreaser, water, and rags

The first thing you need to do is to protect the electrical parts. Cover the distributor with plastic because this part is usually having wires coming off it and going to the spark plugs. There are some vehicles with no wires because they have a coil sitting on top of each spark plug. You need to cover these parts because if this gets wet, you will not be able to start your car for quite a while. You may even short the computer. Also you need to cover the sensors. You may not be able to find them all, but many of the sensors are not bothered by a little water. The sensors MAP or MAF located in the air intake should also be protected from water.

After covering the electrical parts, you can now spray the walls of the engine compartment and the bottom of the block with an engine degreaser. Then when you are rinsing the compartment, you need to do it carefully. Do not splash water on the top of the engine. Again with the use of a degreaser sprayed on the rag, start going over the top parts of the engine. You might have to scrub vigorously, depending on the amount of grease. But the top of the engine is normally just grimed up with dust and dirt and should easily come clean.

After you applied ample amount of degreaser on the engine parts, use a clean rag, soak it and squeeze out excess water. Don’t forget to wipe up the degreaser from the previous step. If you still have a lot of grease on your engine, go over the steps again. You can scrub some spots with stubborn grease again and again until such time that it is completely gone. You may use an abrasive sponge, but be careful not to scratch your engine. Warning: Do not use abrasives on chrome.

Then the last thing you need to do is to inspect the engine assembly if there are spots which needs to be cleaned; carefully remove the covers in the electrical parts. You need to test you engine after cleaning it. See the difference of a clean engine when operating. You’ll surely experience great performance!

When it’s time to repaint your car, there are several things that you need to consider. You want to ask yourself what you like and dislike about the current colors, and why. Are they too dark or too light? Too bright or too dull? The truth is, your choice of colors reflects your personality and idiosyncrasies. You might be taking colors for granted but without you knowing it, they tell stories about you.

Here are some tips to guide you all throughout the painting process.

  • Check out the Colors Matter website. Scientific studies have shown that colors can make a psychological impact in your life.
  • Choose a safe color. Studies show that the safest color for cars are lime yellow. This color is not widely available or aesthetic for most cars. White is highly visible at night and an appealing look on most cars.
  • Choose a classic color. They say black is a classic color. This is true on cars as well. Black cars are easily visible in daylight, but they show dirt quickly and are less noticeable at night or in the rain.
  • Go for a popular color. Silver has been the most popular car color for many years. This is said to be the best color because it reflects the light at night and is visible like white. However, due to its popularity, some people might shy away from the same color as everyone else and at dusk or in the fog it has been reported that the color tends to fade into the pavement and appear invisible to oncoming traffic.
  • Go for a color that hides dirt. Sand and beige colors hide dirt, but do not draw much attention. Also this color leads to danger when you are out in traffic.
  • Choose a color that stands out. Blue and green stand out more and are both well liked and calm colors.
  • Go for sexy red. This popular choice looks great on sports cars, but also can imply speed. Study shows that red cars attracts the notice of police and leads to tickets and accidents reportedly more than any other car color. Fact: Some insurance companies even increase your premium if you choose to drive a red vehicle, something to consider.

Whenever you are having a periodic maintenance, the drive belt of your car should be a part of the routine check . This part is important to be in near perfect condition because it runs the alternator, water pump, air conditioner, power steering and, sometimes, the cooling fan. Here are the steps to do it.

  1. Off the engine before getting in contact with the belt. There are times that you can’t see the whole length of the belt, you just need to bump the ignition switch a couple of times to get the engine to turn just enough to get all of the section of the belt exposed for you to inspect each part.
  2. Look at the outside length of the belt to check for cracks or tears in the surface. It is important to check the entire surface.
  3. Then view the underside of the belt. It should feel flexible and supple. A hard, shiny surface indicates the belt is old and brittle.
  4. Inspect the entire inner surface carefully. Most belts have treads across the underside to help grip the pulleys. Look for frayed spots, cracks, tears or areas where the tread is worn or broken off.

In cases that you have discovered damage in the belt, it should be replaced immediately. For sure you don’t want to compromise yourself having a poor engine performance due to this deteriorating belt.


[credit: eHow.com]

Here are some tips for a hassle-free towing. Hope this one helps you.

  1. If you are stranded near an intersection or an address, remember to give the address not the directions. The tow guy would surely ask direction later if they are unfamiliar about the site.
  2. Do not assume that the towing guy would be there in less than an hour, unless otherwise if there is a emergency.
  3. Make sure that your car is accessible for towing. If it is blocked by another car, clear the way if you can. However, if there’s a problem getting to the car, let the tow guy know in advance because sometimes he needs a different truck or will need to schedule for a later pickup time.
  4. Locate the key of the vehicle before the truck pulls up to a house. If ever there are any keys on the ring, remove them. If the key are left for an unattended pickup, don not lock the door.
  5. Be sure to remove important stuff before the tow guy hooks up and drive away.
  6. If there are any instruction you want to give to a garage or a mechanic communicate with them or leave a note on the driver’s seat. Sometimes telling a tow guy to pass the message on to the mechanic gets lost in the translation.
  7. Don’t assume the tow guy will take a check.
  8. Do not stand in the way giving hand signals unless requested.
  9. Mostly, trucks can carry one or two person, if there are four people in a vehicle make an arrangement for the overflow
  10. Don’t wait until the car is already hooked up to say you are part of a motor club.
  11. Don’t call for a tow/jump start if you are going to continue to try to fix the car/get it started yourself.
  12. Don’t expect the driver to make a diagnosis or repair.
  13. Make sure all the parts that you took off while trying to fix it yourself are reinstalled properly before the car is haul off down the road.
  14. Don’t try to “help” by putting the car in neutral with the brakes off, the car will roll away into a house and it will be your fault.
  15. Don’t tell the driver how to tow your car. He has probably done it a couple times more than you have.

When your friendly tow truck driver gets to your vehicle, remember that he is there to help and not piss you off.

Maintaining and upgrading vehicle headlights is more than just a bright idea. It can be an inexpensive way to help keep you, your family and others safe. Upgrading your auto lights is the best way to help you keep you your family and other safe. Here are a few tips to keep you headlights properly working.

  • Replace your headlights in pairs about once a year. The halogen in headlights dims in a long period of time. Replacing them in pairs helps avoid uneven illumination. You can be sure that you drive safely at night having reliable headlights in your car. Don’t wait for your headlights to dim; upgrade your headlights.
  • Clean your headlights regularly. Remove accumulated dust and dirt in its surface. This small task helps prevent glare, which can be intensified by dust and dirt on the glass.
  • Check your headlight alignment. If you know how to do it you don’t need assistance with a professional mechanic. Headlights can be knocked out of alignment by rough driving, creating a distraction for other drivers.
  • Periodically ask a friend to walk around the outside of your car while you turn on the headlights, brake lights and turn signals to confirm they’re in good working order.

Remember, your lights are the only way you have to communicate with other drivers. By means of regularly upgrading headlights with new ones, you can help make driving safer.

[source: doityourself.com]