Prepare Vehicle for Winter – Checklists and Suggestions

Winterizing Your Vehicle

Winter is a harsh and cold time of the year, especially in New England or in colder areas, such as the mountains or northern states/countries.

winter snowstorm
Heather Shevlin – Unsplash

You should always prepare for winter, as you would for summer. The similarity is that both seasons are extreme in temperature. Winter is cold and summer is hot.

There are many things you may want to check before the cold weather gets here. Create a checklist of things you will need before winter comes.

Good tires designed for the snow and ice. You can always use All Season Radials as well, but it won’t be as effective in the snow.  Always talk to a person who knows a lot about tires. You can also put in the search bar “best type of snow tires for a year, make and model” of whatever vehicle you have.

tires
Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Make sure you have a working flashlight. An emergency strobe light which is contained in an Emergency Roadside kit or can be purchased separately. A blanket to keep you warm without power, which is something that uses your own body heat to keep you warm until help arrives.

You should make sure you have an Roadside Emergency Kit which contains things such as raincoat, jumper cables, booklets, batteries, gloves, flashlight, tool(s), first aid kit and other stuff. Some kits are bigger than others, so they will contain more items.

One of the most important things you should have and have easy access to, if your vehicle dies in bad weather, especially snow storms, is Emergency Insulated Thermal Blankets. Some are silver with insulation and there are also Military grade wool ones that are great for extreme cold.

Having a small tool kit available in case you need to do any quick fixes if you have the knowledge to do that. They come in different sizes depending on how many tools are in the kit.

Make sure your vehicle has the proper jack to lift the car if you should get a flat and have to change it. (Yes, sometimes even in the bad weather.) The scissor jacks they give you for the car – really aren’t that good. They sell the better ones in the auto parts stores, some in department stores and online. Trucks have a larger, higher lift one as they have to go up higher to lift the vehicle. (There are also special ones for motorcycles, but I don’t see many in the winter time.)

Wiper blades are extremely important in the winter time. You need these to be able to see, especially during a storm. I change mine twice a year as they aren’t made as good as they used to be and tend to go bad. If you do a lot of driving, such as a traveling sales person would, you may have to change them more often.

Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

Snow brooms with extensions are great if you have a surface you cannot reach across or just don’t have the time to use a small one. The extender ones are much better as they are longer, and they lock into place. It has a broom on one end and a rubber side on the other (doesn’t not scratch the paint). See the illustration below. 

Steering wheel covers are great for keeping hands warmer in the winter time. There are many to choose from and you can get really fuzzy covers or just cool colorful ones.  Sometimes these accessories will come with covers for the shift knob and the emergency brake handle.

The best way to get a steering wheel cover on is to first warm it up so it will stretch over the wheel properly. You can do this by letting it sit on the seat of the vehicle in the sun or if it’s really cold outside, to blow hot air from a hair dryer on it.  Be Safe – Do Not Put in the Microwave, Oven or Any Type of Fire! 

Take the time to go to the store before winter comes and look up year, make, model of vehicle and it will tell you the size(s). Some vehicles have two different size wipers on them. You just have to look under driver’s side and passenger side information. You can also have an auto parts store associate look them up for you, and if you need help installing them, please ask if they can take the time to help you.

I also use RainX Water Repellent spray on the glass. It works at it’s best when using it before it gets cold outside (designed to work great with the RainX wiper blades). It helps to repel the rain, sleet and snow. It helps to keep your mirrors clear (even those are heated), and it helps to allow the snow, and sleet to slide off the car, so that you won’t have to work so hard to get the snow off and you will be able to see more clearly. I use it on all the glass and the mirrors.

DO NOT TO DRIVE FAST IN BAD CONDITIONS, AS YOU CAN CAUSE AN ACCIDENT THAT MAY INJURE OR KILL YOURSELF OR OTHERS!  SO DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY IN THE BAD WEATHER!

Have the coolant flushed! Make sure that the coolant they are going to put in IS THE RIGHT ONE! I have a Buick and it takes Dexcool which is Orange in color. Volkswagen’s (VW) last I knew, take the Purple coolant.

Too many places assume the all the vehicles take just one or the other coolant. Make sure to look in the owner’s manual to see if it’s listed in there or call your dealer’s service dept with the VIN (vehicle identification number) to get the right coolant information on the vehicle.

SPECIFIC VEHICLES HAVE COOLANT THAT CAN ONLY BE PURCHASED AT THE DEALERSHIP!  CHECK THERE FIRST.

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment. Thanks!

New Keys And Key Fobs – Extra Set or New Remote

New Car or Truck Keys

To make new keys for the newer cars and trucks these days, one must bring a set of keys to be made and go to a hardware store that cuts keys with the “chip” already installed in them, buy them online or go to the dealership to obtain another one. The newer car keys have a computer chip embedded in them.

The chip is a micro-computer that the car company puts in the key to talk to the car’s computer in order to start the car. (Think of the chipped key as a credit card with a chip in it, that the credit card machine reads to take the money for a purchase.)

credit card chip

If you just get a key made for the vehicle, one that doesn’t have the chip,  the computer in the car will not be able to read it and allow the car to turn over. It’s part of the anti-theft system.

Hardware stores such as Star Hardware, Rice Hardware, Ace Hardware and other stores have the technology to cut a new key with a chip already in it.

For keyless remote, such as ones on the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincolns, you would program a code into it via the information in your owner’s manual.  It’s located above the driver’s door handle.

Lincoln

The old car keys from the 70’s and 80’s were just keys. Similar to the ones you open the door to your home with. One key for the door/the glove box and one for the ignition. The ignition key was only for the ignition lock inside the car. They were all metal in different shapes and sizes. The square on in the picture below was for the ignition and the round one for the door.

GM Ignition and trunk keys

The keys shown above are similar to the keys I had for my 1985 Chevy Cavalier.

The newer cars may have only one key entry on the driver’s side or have keyless entry that you need a remote to unlock and open the door. If you only have a key and no key fob or remote (the thing with the door open/lock, trunk, and alarm buttons on it), then you place it in the door lock and turn it one way or another to open it, unless the car is missing the remote in which case you should get one.

Some new cars don’t even have keys to start the vehicle, just a remote to open the door, use in the ignition or set the alarm. Some custom cars have just a remote to open the door, lock and unlock the door or set the alarm.

When you use the remote to lock the car it also disengages the starter so that the vehicle will not start until you unlock it with the remote. It acts just like an anti-theft device, so the thieves cannot start the vehicle.

Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Key Fobs or Remotes

Key Fobs or Remotes usually come with at least one set of keys. It is the way to lock, unlock, alarm your car and open your trunk or hatch. On some vehicles it may also have a button to start the vehicle.

The alarm button on the car can also be used to alert someone if you are in danger! The newer cars, you just press the alarm button and the car alarm goes off either driving the person off or to bring help.

You can buy the remotes anywhere. You can find them in the auto parts stores and online and they usually run about $60. You might be able to find them cheaper online, but it will still need to be programmed to your car or it will not work. You still need the car or truck information in order to buy the right fob or remote.

If you’ve never programmed a remote before and have no idea how to do that, you can leave it to the professionals or take it to a dealership and ask them to help you program it to your car or go online to learn how to program your own car or truck remote – Click here.

If you have a car that has never had a fob or remote, find out if you can get one for your older car. There is a place in my home town that specializes in electronics, digital products, glass, tinting and a whole lot more. You can even check with a place like Long Radio.

The keys on some cars are the remote. It has a remote built into the top of the key. Different cars have different keys and remotes, so depending on what you have for a vehicle, will depend upon the kind of remote you buy.

Car and Truck Remotes

Were you aware that you can get a cover for your key fob/remote? If your key chain holder is broken on the remote, you just get one of the covers and it has the key holder on it! Just put your remote cover on, add your key(s) and go.

There are many different things you can get with the remote in order to keep it in good condition. Blank keys, covers, replacement parts, and batteries and learning how to program the remote yourself.

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Automotive Holiday Accessories – Automotive Gifts

Car-Truck Gifts and Decorations for the Holidays

There are many Holiday gifts and decorations available for car/truck owners on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other occasions can be fairly easy to find if you know where to look. The web is full of sites that have many different types of holiday items for the vehicle.

When I worked in the auto parts store, one of the biggest gifts that were sought out was the car cleaning kits. There are many different brands of cleaning products and kits available. Some of them are Armor All, Meguiar’s, Mother’s, Turtle Wax, Simoniz, Lucas Oil, Chemical Guys and more.

Amazon has a great selection of gifts and accessories for the car owner. If you like to decorate your vehicle or keep it clean all the time, you can find things like deer antlers and a red nose, a car cleaning kit, if you’re giving a car as a gift (bows & ribbons), give a first aid kit or a survival kit (that has a warming blanket, emergency light and more) for when you break down in a storm, and or if you just want to give funny holiday accessories to someone as a gag gift.

I will sometimes see Christmas lights on the outside or in the interior of the vehicle and wreaths as well. Sometimes you’ll see them flicker to music as it’s hooked up to some kind of electrical box. It’s pretty cool to see around the holidays.

Another good gift to give is a tool kit that can be kept in the car. You can find these tools anywhere. You can buy them online, in stores such as Walmart,  Auto Parts stores, Kmart, Sears, Hardware stores and others.

You can always buy a gift card from any store that carries auto parts or get a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express gift card for those who want to buy whatever they want.  This way the person buys what they want.

For your favorite car/truck person, you can always get them a T-Shirt with a cool image or text on it. You can also go to some online stores and make your own. Some are cool, obnoxious or just plain funny. The choices are good and you can get the right one for that enthusiast on your list.

There is also quite an amount of electronic devices at EinCar that can be bought for your favorite person or family member! GPS, HD Video, Stereo, Back up cameras, Dashcams and more!

If you need help finding a product, gift, automotive accessory or specialty item that you are looking for,  let me know and I’ll do what I can to find it for you.

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License Plate Bracket

License Plates

Here in Connecticut, we are a 2-plate state. The plates must be on the front of the vehicle’s front bumper and the rear bumper or placed on the hatch of the vehicle. Other states may have only one plate, but it still needs to go in the right place on the vehicle.

If you want to add a personalized or designer plate on your car, you just bolt it in in the front. For 2 plate state cars, bolt it on above or below the front license plate, so you won’t get harrassed about it being there.

Designer plate shown below.

American Flag Designer Plate

In the last few years, I’ve seen an awful lot of plates on the dashboard inside the car, and inside on the rear package tray (rear dash). This is illegal to do, but it doesn’t stop folks from doing it. The law for not having a plate in the rear window, is still on the books. It must be bolted to the license plate area in the rear of the car or truck.

On the vehicle’s front bumper or bumper cover, as it’s now called, there are usually two holes for the license plate to go. If you didn’t get license plate screws, you can get them from the auto parts or hardware store. You can also purchase a license plate bolt kit that also contain tools to help you install the license plate bracket.

In many auto part stores, they have license plate brackets for sale. They aren’t hard to install onto the vehicle or place the license plate on. Some brackets come with screws and others don’t.

 

You may also obtain a license plate holder. It’s a little different than the bracket, but it does the same job. You install it on the front/rear bumper or hatch, and then put the license plate on it.

The holder usually comes with license plate screws.

License plate mount

 

You can use a screwdriver to screw in the license plate bolts for the plate or you can use a drill. If you need help, ask someone who is familiar with installing things like that on a vehicle… such as a neighbor who works on their car or someone from the parts store if they aren’t too busy and can help you.

If you are a professional and want to post your business on your license plate, you can order one that you can design yourself or have one designed for you.

Or… if you just want a really cool one!

 

You can always just buy a regular plate holder and then go to a crafts store such as Micheal’s, Jo-Anne Fabrics or A.C. Moore and get cool items to put on it. They have little sparkly beads, jewels, letters, numbers, characters, or different little items to put on there. It’s also fun to do!

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

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Cars and Railroad Crossings

Amtrak and Freight Trains

Trains are another form of transportation. Taking us from one place to another sometimes faster and other times a little longer. There are also those freight trains that also take products from one place to another. They are so much heavier than cars and trucks. If they have to stop it can take up to a mile or more depending on the speed of the train.

There are many railroad crossings in many towns, cities and states across the US and in the world. Usually there is train signal posts that flash and gates that come down to stop traffic as the trains need to cross over that road.

If there are no signals or gates in place, make sure you slow down and look both ways to make sure you aren’t going to get hit by a train. In some places, there is very little train traffic and sometimes the gates and lights may not work, so you still need to look both ways as you cross the tracks.

I live near the Springfield/Hartford line in Connecticut. The gates and lights are always operating when either Amtrak or the freight trains are coming through the area.

In the news, you will sometimes hear about someone getting stuck on the train tracks or they STOP on the tracks in traffic. The train is coming through and the vehicles in question get hit. People get hurt badly or are killed because they were on the tracks.

It’s weird thing if a car just stops working while on the train tracks and the driver isn’t aware of a train coming down the track. If your car dies on the tracks – get everyone out of the car! You don’t know if a train is coming and they cannot stop quickly!

NEVER STOP ON THE TRAIN TRACKS!

If you are driving in traffic and you are close to the train tracks, there is usually a line on the road before them. Stop on the line or before the gates if no line, until traffic is cleared enough for you to get completely past the gates. This way, you’re not stuck if a train shows up, while you are waiting for traffic.

In Connecticut, the buses, no matter if it’s a school, elderly or regular one, are always required to stop before the tracks. It’s to keep people safe. Vehicle should follow a similar pattern, so that you stay safe.

 Have you seen others sit on the train tracks while waiting for others to move forward? Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

Learn more about Trains at MotorStyles.

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Finding the Right Hitch

Finding the Right Hitch

If you are one of those folks who wants to or needs to pull a trailer, wants to carry bicycles, any type of camper or boat, pull a car trailer/auto transport, or anything else that requires a hitch, do you know where to find that information?

Well, U-Haul is one company that not only sells the hitches and the accessories that are needed to go with it, but they also have certain stores that install that hitch and wiring. If you have them install the hitch and the wiring, the warranty is lifetime.

You can look up the information for your hitch in a U-Haul store, in an auto parts store or on the internet. They may ask you for the Gross Vehicle Weight (Rating) or GVWR. You can find that information on your car. There is a metal tag that is usually in one of the door supports (when you open the door – on the door or the body). (Metal tag also contains other information for your vehicle as well.)

vehicle data tag

The photo above is the Vehicle Data Tag. Left to Right: It has the build date, GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), and other information. The lower part of the tag has the VIN (vehicle identification number) and the type of vehicle. This one is from the Buick Century.

REESE is one company that builds hitches for resale. They are the ones that are installed at the U-Haul facilities. They are one of the best companies to get a hitch from as they are designed to do what it takes to tow, pull, hold up, or transport the correct weight.

REESE also has Bolt-on hitches that you can install yourself, BUT they are designed to a very specific vehicle. So you shouldn’t put a hitch for a Ford F150 on a Pontiac Sunbird. There are some hitches that fit more than one vehicle, but if you don’t know what those are, you shouldn’t attempt to MAKE IT fit.

There are many different hitch companies. These are Reese, Curt, MaxxHaul, Camco (RVs), Trimax, Draw-Tite and more.

There are 5 different types of hitches depending on what your vehicle is designed to tow and what you are towing. They are referred to as Class 1, Class II, Class III, Class IV, and Class V.

Class I hitches – designed to pull up to 2000 lbs GVW and 200 lbs tongue (what connects to the hitch) weight.

Class II – designed to pull up to 3,500 lbs GVW and 300/350 lbs tongue weight.

Class III – designed to pull up to 5,000 lbs GVW and 500 lbs tongue weight.

Class IV – designed to pull up to 10,000 lbs GVW and 1,000/1,200 lbs tongue weight.

Class V (considered Extra Duty)– designed to pull up to 16,000 or 17,000 lbs GVW and 2,400/2550 lbs tongue weight.

Just remember, when you hook up wiring to any camper, trailer, or anything else that has lights on it, put some dielectric grease where one end connects to another. It will keep out the moisture and the dirt.

I hope this helps you to find the information you need to make an informed decision about finding a getting a hitch and all the stuff that goes along with it.

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

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Quick Auto Repair Fixes

Quick Auto Repair Fixes

We see lousy quick repairs on different vehicles as we are traveling from one place to another, at the light, in a parking lot, at the garage, or in other places. The cars look absolutely dreadful. You’d think that someone would take more pride in their vehicle.

In places where they have yearly inspections, if your car looks that bad, the police may tag it and tow it. You also may have to pay a fine.

The duck-taped fender or mirror, missing rearview mirror (inside car), missing driver/passenger mirror altogether, no headlights or bumper cover, color-taped rear lights lens, plastic covering the window because it won’t go up anymore or someone broke into the car, or the bungee cord or rubber tie-down to tie down a hood, a trunk, or a hatchback. Duck tape on rust to keep it from rusting any further on the car (they make a spray paint to change the rust to primer).

If you are going to do these quick fixes (sometimes called mickey-moused jobs), they are only TEMPORARY fixes! You should always repair them the right way as soon as you can.

The bumper cover that is zip-tied or duck-taped into place, isn’t safe because the zip-tie or tape will eventually let go. You may run over it, possibly get a flat tire and/or do damage under the car as well. It can also cause an accident to happen, as it’s now lying in the path of other oncoming cars.

I’ve purchased good used tires in the past because I didn’t have the money for the new ones right away. I’m not the only one who does this. This is temporary, as I will take the time to save the money for each pair of NEW tires, and then have them put on by folks I trust.

As to the broken tail light lens or turn signal lens, you can temporarily use lens tape which is sold in most part stores. It comes in Red, Amber (yellow), and clear for those specific colored lenses. It’s made to fix the lens for a short period of time. You can go online to eBay, or an online store to find the replacement lens you’re looking for – cheaper than you will at the dealer and sometimes even the Salvage (Junk) Yards.

Mirrors if they are broken completely off the car, you can find one online or in the junkyard or salvage yard fairly inexpensively. If the glass on the mirror is broken, did you know that if you go to a glass place, they can order the specific mirror glass and install for you at a reasonable cost?

If you have a busted plastic fender (that’s the part of the car along the side of the car, from the front to the first door of the car, above the front tire), you can go online to KeyStone to get that new body part.

Plastic covered window because the window stopped on it’s way up or down. Sometime the mechanic can jump start a window switch to get the window up. This does not always work! You may need a new window switch (cheap), window regulator (power) or the whole window assembly (time and effort – you have to take apart the door panel to replace it). If the whole door is really busted up from an accident, go to the salvage or junkyard to get a new door to put on.

Missing rear view mirror inside the car. Just go to the parts store and get a new one. They are inexpensive enough to buy and then have the glass replacement place install it for you.  They are very reasonably priced AND it will be done right, and won’t fall off anytime soon.

On occasion, I will spot a vehicle being driven that has either no headlights and/or bumper cover (the bumper on the newer cars).

You should never drive a car like that as this is ILLEGAL! You must have headlights and turn signals on the car by law.

You will need to find a new nose (front piece of the car between the hood and the bumper cover) or go to the salvage yard to get one. You may or may not have to buy new or used lens as well. They don’t always sell the parts together.

Do you know why the truck or hood won’t stay latched when you try to close it?

It’s because you have to add grease to the latches every now and again to keep it lubricated. It’s a working part and it needs to be able to move smoothly to release the hood or trunk. If you don’t, it can rust in place or just freeze and sometimes you may have to replace those working parts and it can be costly depending on the vehicle.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article or a part of your vehicle that needs to be repaired and you had to “quick fix” it and aren’t sure how to go about finding parts or getting it fixed, please contact me by email.

Email – sylvia@car-basics-for-women.com

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

Keys and the Ignition Switch

Keys and the Ignition Switch

An ignition switch is the place you put your key when you want to turn the car on. The switch was designed a certain way to operate and if it you put too much stress on it, it will break.

We’ve all heard about the General Motors Recall on some vehicles with faulty ignition switches. It is a design defect that will cause other problems to arise, can cause a major accident where the airbag DOES NOT deploy, and in some cases death.

To check your vehicle to see if you have a recall that needs to be taken care of go to the GM Ignition Recall Safety Information page or call the service department of your local GM (Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Oldsmobile) dealer with your VIN (Vehicle Identification) number located on your insurance card or on the registration.

A good way to prevent a good ignition switch from going bad, is to have only a few (3 at the most) on the key ring that you have your ignition key on. If you put too much weight ( a lot of keys on the same key ring), eventually you will break the ignition switch. (It’s not designed to have all that weight put on it.)

With the era of air bags in the column, which is where most of the keys are inserted into the switch, you can’t just tear apart the steering column without deploying the airbag. No one needs to get hurt. Go to a designated GM dealer or garage that can replace it safely.

Some vehicles have the ignition switch in the dashboard. In these cases, you have to go to the garage to have it replaced. If it’s a recall, call first to the GM Dealer’s service department, ask them if the car has a recall, and give them the VIN number. Then make an appointment to have it fixed.

Recalls are in place for a reason! They are replacing a bad part with a much better one! Don’t ever ignore a recall!

If you’re a mechanic, and you’re familiar with the problem and resolution, and have the education and experience to fix it, that’s different. For inexperienced folks and people who know nothing about vehicles, you need to go to a place where it can be fixed.

If you break the ignition switch, you may not be able to shut the car off. Most people panic at this point… so take a deep breath and let it out slowly a few times. Are you good now?

Okay… this is what you will do…

  1. Look in your owner’s manual in the glove box or console.
  2. Find the index (it’s usually in the back of the book)
  3. Find fuses
  4. You are looking for a picture of the fuse box.
  5. Find the location of the fuse box
  6. Look to see which location is where the ignition is (abbreviated to IGN)
  7. look at the book and the way the fuse box is set up
  8. find the actual location on the fuse panel
  9. use a pair of pliers to pull the fuse (you might want to wait until your home to do this)
  10. Make sure you put on the EMERGENCY BRAKE! Usually the car will not be able to go into PARK if you break the switch. You don’t want the car to roll away if you pull the fuse.
  11. Call the Dealer or the garage and tell them that you had to pull the fuse to shut off the car. Have the car towed to the garage to have it fixed.

Be aware that on some of the newer cars – this may not work! You will still have to call someone for help.

Please be careful when it comes to your ignition switch. You need to be able to drive the car from point A to B without issues. This one will stop you dead in your tracks!

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

Dangers of Driving and Cellphones

Driving and Cellphones

Cellphones… they’re everywhere. We use them for talking and texting. We use them when we have to call for help, we take photos and videos and then share them. We use covers to protect them from damage.

Jacob Ufkes from Unsplash

There are so many different brands of cellphones. Some of the most popular cellphones are the iPhone, Galaxy, Android, and others. They can do so much. You can take pictures, upload photos to Facebook, and other social sites, download apps, use it for GPS, talk and text, and more!

Jamie Dench from Unsplash

One of the biggest problems we face currently, is that people are texting and talking while driving. It’s one of the biggest distracted driving issues we have.

Example…

If you were ever a taxicab, limousine, or van driver, you would need to learn how to drive and use a radio at the same time. If you can’t drive and use the radio, you pull off the side of the road to call in. When you’re done, you just continue onto wherever you were going safely.

Jesse Bowser from Unsplash

As the saying goes… “not everyone can chew gum and walk at the same time”. It’s the same with cellphone use.

That’s why we have hands-free technology such as Bluetooth. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with that technology, you can get Bluetooth put into the car. It’s also sold as an “aftermarket” product and there are places that can install it.

In Connecticut, we have a No Texting/Hands-Free (No Hands on the Phone) Cellphone law here. If you get caught driving while talking and/or texting, you will get fined and a ticket for doing that – if you don’t get into an accident first and then it’s so much worse.

ONLY Emergency Personnel are exempt from this law. That would include Police, Fire, and EMT/EMS (Ambulance) folks. The law does not allow for taxicab drivers, van drivers, or limo drivers to be allowed to use their phones while driving.

Don’t take selfies or videos when you’re driving!

I see so many people talking on their phones while driving. It makes them drive faster, fail to use turn signals, pay attention to other drivers around them and other necessary safe driving techniques. It scares me to think that some folks think that the cellphone is more important than driving.

It’s a little hard to come back from the dead to say you’re sorry or to kill someone else and not want to take responsibility for that person’s death. If you are driving with that cellphone on your face or texting, and you lose control of the vehicle and crash, you ARE very responsible!

If you are a Business person and Absolutely have to be on the phone all the time, use the BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY! If you have to do ANY TEXTING, pull into a parking lot and put the vehicle in PARK! You never know if you pull off to the side of the road, if another Distracted Driver is going to hit you… so be safe and get OFF the road!

Cellphone Accessories

There are also many accessories that you can get for your cellphone. One of them is to hold the cellphone in place, so that you are hands-free. Bluetooth hooks up through the radio so that you can talk or talk-to-text hands-free. You should use this technology at all times!

There are cellphone chargers, ear buds, holders, covers, a pouch to carry it in, stands, tools, credit card holders, mounts and more. (iPhone now has a watch that is the cellphone.)

There are many places in which you can purchase accessories for your phone(s). There are different auto parts stores, department stores like Kmart, Walmart, specialty stores such as Best Buy, Amazon, and other online stores as well.

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Shocks VS Struts

Shocks and Struts

Shock absorbers or “shocks” and struts are part of a vehicles suspension system. It is so the vehicle will absorb the bumps and ride smoother. Newer cars have both struts in the front and shocks in the rear.

The struts are located in the front of the vehicle. The shocks are in the rear. Some struts and shocks will have coil springs over them and others none.

Struts, when they go bad, will ride hard and bang against the body in the front of the vehicle. Replace them immediately!

Shocks, when they go bad, will bounce like a rubber ball. I don’t recommend getting on the highway when it’s doing that, as the faster you go, the worse it gets. If you go through a bumpy area or through construction, you could literally bounce the vehicle out of control or be unable to stop. If it starts to bounce even a little bit, replace them immediately! Risks like that aren’t worth the cost!

There are many different shocks available on the market. The type that came originally with the vehicle and the type that is considered “aftermarket”. Sometimes you want to change the shocks to something that will help the car to ride smoother or a Jeep to have a stiffer ride.

Different brands of shocks are AC Delco (GM), Monroe, SENSON, Gabriel, Rancho, Bilstein, and more. Some brands have coils or springs over the shock or strut.

If you want to change the strut or shock yourself, you can ask your local auto parts store if they rent out strut or shock removal tools. You can also go online to get the tools and to YouTube to find a video on changing those parts on a specific vehicle.

If you don’t know how to change these parts, find someone who is knowledgeable in that area and can do it for you or help you. You may know of a neighbor or a reliable mechanic that can help you with it.

There are adjustable Air Shocks and Gas-Charged shocks. There are also load leveling and heavy duty shocks. Shocks are one of those “disposable” parts… you buy them, replace them and toss them out.

We in the U.S. used to refill air shocks, but even if you have them, and it has a fitting so you can refill them, it is not recommended, because they always end up leaking anyways. It’s better to get the gas shocks instead.

If you find that your car seems to be riding too hard or the car is bouncing like a rubber (which is NOT safe), you should replace them.

                  Always replace them in pairs!

Did you find this article to be informative? Did it leave you with more questions? Feel free to post a comment or a question by going to the “leave a comment” link on the top left. Thanks!

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