Tag Archives: tips

4 Wheel Drive In Snow Is Not 4 Wheel Brakes

4 Wheel Drive vehicles are fantastic to have in snow emergency situations, especially like those currently striking the Midwest.  I personally have a Jeep Grand Cherokee that gets me around in the snow, ice, mud, and whatever else gets thrown my way.  It instills confidence in myself and my wife’s driving when behind the wheel during questionable conditions.  The 4 wheel drive also allows us to provide services to friends and families who are unable to get out during the 8 inches of snow that have fallen in the past 24 hours.  But when we are out running, we also play it smart, by respecting the 4 wheel drive.

Having 4 wheel drive allows easier movement and perhaps even a more controlled movement in adverse weather conditions like snow.  However, introduce ice and having 4 wheel drive does nothing for stopping and can complicate matters during certain maneuvers.  When possible, only use part-time 4 wheel drive.  Moving at highway speeds in all wheel 4 wheel drive can cause instability and becomes less safe than moving in along snow and ice in normal 2 wheel rear-wheel drive.

Still allow time to stop before an intersection, you will not be stopping any better than that small Honda Civic in front of you.  Consider the life left in your tires when setting out on a wintery mix adventure, 4 wheels might be turning but if there is no grip left, it’s all for naught.

Go prepared, don’t think you are immune to being stranded while driving a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  Make sure your vehicle is stocked with snacks, water, blankets, and first aid kits, should the worse happen.  During a blizzard most towing companies will not come to your aid until after the storm passes, so you may be stranded for hours.  Those shriveled up raisins start looking awfully tasty after setting for 3 hours in total darkness.

Lastly, if you don’t have to be out, just stay home.  Don’t go play with your 4 wheel drive, let the emergency vehicles and road workers do their job.  Don’t risk becoming another emergency phone call into 911, if you are able to stay home, make some hot chocolate and enjoy being snowed in.

Tips For Working On Your Car In The Cold

A broken down car sucks, being stranded sucks, and being out in the cold sucks.  Basically there is no way around being in a sucky situation when you must work on your car in the middle of winter.  However, there are tools, items, and tips that will help you brave the elements and make them slightly more bearable.  Although some of these are simple, it’s important to be reminded.

Gloves – Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, big duh.  But I’m not talking about the cute little mittens grandma made you for Christmas, I’m talking about some rough leather gloves or some padded mechanix gloves.  You need to protect those hands from cold metal, sharp edges, and the occasional smashed finger.  Try changing the oil in some suede or faux whatever and you have the formula for destroyed winter hand accessories.  Throw an extra pair in the glove box or in a side holder where you can get to them quickly and forget about it untill you really need them.

Nuts and Snacks – Maybe it’s obvious here my mind always is, constantly planning my next meal. Thankfully that’s normally not a problem, but when a car breaks down it puts a hamper on my dinner plans. The stress of not making it on time to my next food source is compounded by cold temperatures and frigid winds. Simply having some salty snacks like peanuts or having a sweet non perishable like raisins makes the wait more bearable.

Chargers – I’m guilty of not always having a charger for my cell phone or other electronics in my car. It’s because I’m cheap and not always because I live in the stone age. This is not a good practice, especially with my wife and daughter riding with me more times than not. Just a simple flat tire could have been more tolerable for my daughter if I had the tablet charger. Also, that more severe break down that was over my head would have seemed a lot less stressful had I had a way to recharge my phone. Long walks on cold winter nights are no fun.

Blankets – I wish more of what my father has taught me over the years had stuck, thankfully this tip will always be with me. When it starts getting cold, start keeping at least a couple blankets in the trunk of the car. Worst case scenarios are obviously not the norm, but I’d rather be prepared and keep myself and my family from freezing. It’s worth the few extra bucks to keep some old comforters or quilts in the back in case we have to spend the night on the highway.

More than just being an educational post, this should serve as a friendly reminder to always be prepared when you are out in the highways and byways. Also, be sure to help others if you came prepared and see a fellow traveler in need. Spread the karma around.

Speeding Ticket Magnets

When it comes to speeding tickets, not all drivers, cars, or states are created equal. To assess your risk of inadvertently getting a speeding ticket, be mindful of your driving habits, what car you drive, and how unfriendly your state is to drivers in general. Our friends from CarInsurance.org have compiled this handy reference infographic to keep you driving safely and avoiding speeding tickets.

Where, who, which cars are speeding ticket magnets?

Where, who, which cars are speeding ticket magnets?


Tips On How To Winterize A Hybrid Car

This is a guest article on tips to winterizing your hybrid car.

When approaching the winter, you should winterize your hybrid car to maintain the highest efficiency. Hybrid cars have the same winterizing need as do traditional car. There are a number of things that you should take into account while winterizing the hybrid cars.

WinterizeYou should perform assessment on the hybrid car and appropriate tune up when a winter is approaching. When diagnosing the hybrid car, you must check all car parts including the engine, brakes and etc. The cold temperature of the winter will worsen the existing fault in the car so you should get them repaired beforehand.

[ad#Google Adsense]You should check the antifreeze level of the car. Most engines in hybrid vehicles are water cooled like standard car engines. By ensuring the hybrid car has the right mixture of antifreeze, you can prevent possible damage caused by the frozen liquid.

To maintain maximum performance, you must change the oil and filter. Dirty oil will cause problem in the engines and decrease its efficiency. Besides the oil filter, you should also check other fluid levels and filters and replace them as necessary.

During the winter, it can be hard for the car to move in the snow. To solve this problem, you can install snow tires on your hybrid car so that it can travel smoothly across the snowy roads. You can also fix all season tires to your vehicles to obtain the best result.

If you live in an extremely cold region, you can install the engine block heater in your hybrid car. Before installing the block heater, you should call your hybrid car dealer to see if the model is equipped for it.

To increase the engine’s performance, you can install a front grill block. The front  grill block is installed between the grill and radiator. The front grill block has the ability to increase the car’s mileage.

In some hybrid model, the heater stop functioning when the car come to an idle stop. If you encounter this issue with your hybrid model, be sure to keep gloves and blanket in a nearby places so that you can easily accessed them.

You should get the appropriate oil change for your vehicle. During the cold weather, the oil in the car will become thicken. If the oil is too thicken, it cannot keep the engine from lubricated. You should refer to the manufacturer’s manual on what oil to use during the cold climate.

If your wiper blades is used for more than one year, you should replace it. The wiper blade must work efficiently so that you can see in a blinding storm. To help the wiper works properly, you can pour the windshield washer fluid into the windshield washer reservoir. Plain water should not be used because it will become frozen. You should also check the heater and defroster to make sure they are working properly.

During the winter, the hybrid car will have a lower mileage. The tank should be filled with gas all the time to maintain a minimum condensation. When pumping petrol at the station, you can also take time to check your tire pressure. The cold weather can decrease the tire pressure so you will have to pump in the tire pressure from time to time. Hybrid cars are lightweight so you’ll want to drive them slowly on icy road to prevent slipping.

Tailgating Done Right

Upcoming concert, sporting event, or a bored meeting at a local parking lot?  Sounds like it’s time to prepare for that first big time Tailgating party for the summer.  Let’s look at what can make that tailgating experience one to remember and replicate throughout the year.

Must Have Tailgating Items:

  • Charcoal Grill
  • Gas Powered Blender
  • Sweet Ass Recliner Camping Seats
  • Satellite Radio
  • Multiple Coolers
  • and of course Brewhaha

But those are just a few items to make a tailgating experience this summer successful.  The real meat and potatoes, so to speak, comes in with style depending on what kind of recipes you know.  Tailgate parties are most successful with unique finger foods, grilled items, and adding character to a meal makes it always memorable.  Keep in mind, the more unique the recipe, chances are the more prep work will need to be done in advance of downing a few brews.

Plan some games to pass the time as well, since competition is surely running high if you are at a sporting event anyway.  Beer Pong is especially popular amongst the college crowd, but for those of you who are older and don’t need a reason to drink, let’s look at some other easy options.  I always enjoy a game of Cornhole or Bean Bags.  Also, everyone and their mom owns a washer board where horseshoes will most likely bust out a window.

Last but not least, stay safe, not everyone is partying in a parking lot so practice safe tailgating partying.  See you on the pavement.

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