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Deep and high-quality bass is something that everyone enjoys in their car. But to get those, you would require a high-end music system.

That is where the problem arises because even if you have the money to get one of the high-end systems, you might not have the room to install them in your car. Here is where the under-seat subwoofers step in.

These are exceptionally easy to install and does not require that much space either. However, getting the best under seat subwoofer is something that is easier said than done. You might run into some confusion while trying to get one of these. But do not worry as we have it all sorted for you.

 

Top 10 Best Under Seat Subwoofer Reviews:

The oversaturated market will make it hard for you to get one of the decent devices. To make things easier for you, we have gone through the most popular listings and selected the ones that we think are worth every penny. The list of those are as follows:

1. Alpine Electronics PWE-S8 Restyle Compact Powered 8-Inch

(B00OYGGMXK)

The 8-inch subwoofer is one of the most popular picks nowadays. It is because they are exceptionally compact yet powerful. And this one from Alpine Electronics can illustrate that perfectly.

Just like the label states, the size of the diaphragm is eight inches. Even if that size might seem small for you, the power it packs is higher than those with a larger diaphragm. The 120 watts input will make sure that it can deliver crisp and clean bass.

You might wonder that the system might be too large considering the power that it has. Well, that is not the case as it is just 3 inches deep. The width of the body is 13.5 inches, and it is 9 inches tall. For that reason, putting it under your seat will be a pretty easy task.

The response frequency is pretty high too. It can provide from 32Hz to 150Hz frequencies, which will make sure that you can enjoy accurate bass. Also, the body has cast metal. That material makes it extremely durable. As a result, it will offer you a long-term high-end music listening experience.

Lastly, the side panel that it has will offer you easy access to auto-sensing speaker inputs. There is plenty of RCA inputs as well.

Pros

  • Only three inches deep
  • Sports a 120-watt amplifier
  • Offers crisp and clear bass
  • Compact yet powerful
  • Side panel offers easy access to different inputs

Cons

  • The bass tends to get distorted at high volume
  • Some of the units ship with a non-English user manual

 

2. Kenwood KSC-SW11 Compact

(21549898)

The more efficient the amplifiers of the subwoofers will be, the cleaner and more accurate bass you are going to get. And Kenwood had factored that in when they were designing this unit.

First of all, the amplifier that it boasts is 150 watts. It is one of the D-Class amplifiers that have higher efficiency. For that reason, you are going to enjoy a distortion-free bass. Also, it has the capability of providing noise-less bass for that amplifier too.

Apart from that, the frame that it comes in is of aluminum. It is not only exceptionally durable but also reasonably lightweight. You will not have any problem in the case of carrying it.

The housing is reasonably compact too. That compact nature of the product will make it easier for you to store it under the seat of your vehicle.

Unlike some of the units that are out there, this one comes with a wired remote. That will enable you to change the level and frequency and will let you control the phase on the go. You would not need to get under your seat to change those.

Alongside that, there are multiple inputs as well. It can receive Line (RCA) and the standard speaker input. So, you would not have to worry about the connectivity that much.

Pros

  • Features a 150 watts amplifier
  • Its amplifier is exceptionally efficient
  • Sports a die-cast aluminum body
  • Reasonably lightweight
  • Offers noise-less and clean bass

Cons

  • The bass that it outputs might not be that deep
  • Some of the units may arrive dead

 

3. KICKER 11HS8 8″ 150W Hideaway Car Audio

(B007LQWSYC)

The units that have a plug-and-play connection system are the most hassle-free when it comes to the installation process. And a perfect example of units such as that would be this one from KICKER.

Let us talk about the size first. The body of the unit is just 13-7/8 inches tall and 9-3/8 inches wide. Because of being this compact, you would not have to keep that much room under your seats to install it. And the body is made of aluminum, which makes it reasonably lightweight.

Aside from that, just like some of the other subwoofer for car units, this one also has an eight inches diaphragm. That size of the diaphragm is well known for offering crisp and noise-free bass.

Moreover, the unit is capable of outputting surprisingly low-frequency sounds. It also has plenty of connectivity options on the side. Also, it comes with a quick-connect power plug that has Velcro straps. That will make sure that the cable management is clean inside your car.

Additionally, you will have full control over the bass levels, thanks to the remote that it comes with. With that, you can also change the low-pass crossover levels. It is also capable of offering +6dB of bass.

Pros

  • Features a plug-and-play connectivity system
  • Sports a quick-connect power cable
  • The power cable comes with a Velcro strap
  • Boasts an 8 inches diaphragm
  • Come with a highly efficient remote

Cons

  • Bass loses its punchiness over time
  • Flimsy Molex ports

 

4. Cerwin Vega VPAS10 10″ 2Ω 550W Max

( B01M5LBQTS)

If power is what you are actually looking for, let us introduce you to this unit offered by Cerwin. It will not let you down on the power factor that you are prioritizing.

First of all, the peak power of the unit is a staggering 550 watts, which is higher than most of the powered subwoofer car units out there. For that reason, it will be able to offer a punchy and powerful bass that is surely going to make the air molecules inside your car shake a little.

Aside from that, Cerwin did not skimp one bit on the safety protocols. To make it safer for the power supply unit, it features a protection circuit. It will cut the power off once any of the components start malfunctioning.

Other than that, you will have the full freedom of changing the bass boost. You can set anywhere from 0 and 12 dB. And you will be able to do that on the fly because of the remote that arrives in the package. That remote is also going to allow you to change the phase of the sounds.

Lastly, even after being this powerful, the unit is reasonably compact. You would not have any hassle at all in the case of installing this under the seat.

Pros

  • Peak power is 550 watts
  • Features a protection circuit
  • Offers the full freedom of changing the bass boost
  • Can change the phase with the remote
  • Allows a hassle-free installation process

Cons

  • Overheats pretty easily
  • The protection circuit might cut the power off unreasonably

 

5. Sound Storm Laboratories LOPRO8 Amplified

( B0082YUR7M)

Usually, the systems that are capable of receiving RCA inputs are the most versatile. And if you were on the lookout for one, then this one from Sound Storm might be the one for you.

Just like the name of the brand, the unit is really capable of storming the environment with sound. It is able to do that because of the built-in MOSFET power supply. That power supply can reach about 600 watts when the temperature is adequate.

Aside from the powerful power supply, the unit can receive both high-level and low-level inputs. The high-level inputs are basically the standard speaker inputs. And the low-level ones are the RCA interconnect inputs. You will be able to make it work with either of them.

Also, there is a built-in variable low-pass filter. That filter is basically an electronic circuit. It will remove all the sound notes that are lower than the ones that the diaphragm produces. As a result, the bass that you are going to get will be free of noise.

Other than that, the unit is pretty compact. It would not require that much room for you to set this up. Also, it comes with a wireless remote, which will let you make plenty of adjustments without having to go under your seat.

Pros

  • Offers a built-in MOSFET power supply
  • The peak power that it can output is 600 watts
  • Includes a wireless remote
  • Exceptionally versatile
  • Feature a built-in low-pass filter

Cons

  • Tends to output distorted bass sometimes
  • Its remote might be basic for some users

 

6. Rockford Fosgate P300-10 Punch Single 10″

(P300-10)

Even though it is believed that only the high powered units can offer deep bass, sometimes, some of the relatively low powered ones can offer similar if not better sound. And the one Rockford is offering can illustrate that perfectly.

To start with, a 300 watts amplifier powers the unit. Even though the watt-limit might seem comparatively low, the sound that it can give is punchier than most of the average 500 watts system. In fact, it is one of the best subwoofer units that is available regarding sound quality.

Unlike some of the high-powered units, this one boasts a fully adjustable 12dB low octave crossover. There is a built-in bass EQ too. Alongside that, you will also be able to switch the phase from 0 to 180 degrees. And to put a cherry on the top, you can also change the bass level using the remote that it comes with.

Moreover, it implements a closed-loop design. And this design optimizes the performance of the woofer. Alongside that, it is also capable of making the aftermarket speakers’ integration process easy for you. You would not have to go through any intricate steps for that.

Lastly, there are multiple input ports on the inside of this device. It can receive both standard and RCA speaker inputs.

Pros

  • Implements a unique closed-loop design
  • Offers multiple adjustment options
  • Remote can change the bass level with a single click
  • Packs a 300-watt amplifier
  • The phase can be adjusted

Cons

  • Its body is not that durable
  • Amplifier tends to malfunction from time to time

 

7. Rockville RW10CA 10″ 800 Watt Slim Low Profile

(RW10CA)

Most people believe that the woofers that have a high-powered amp are usually large. However, that is not really the case. And Rockville is here to prove that with this unit.

As we mentioned, the unit features a highly powerful amplifier. The peak power of the unit is 800 watts, which is comparatively higher than most of the devices. And the RMS supply of power for the MOSFET power supply is 200 watts.

Additionally, it integrates auto turn-on technology. That allows it to lower the latency substantially. Hence, you are sure to enjoy accurate bass that is going to be in sync with the music. There is a built-in low pass filter as well. That will ensure that the distortion level of the bass is minimal.

Alongside that, it will offer you the full freedom to change the phase. You can adjust it from 0 to 180 degrees. It also has a subsonic filter that will run at 29Hz. You can also adjust the bass boost from 0 to a maximum of 18dB. And it comes with a remote.

It also has an adequate amount of built-in protection. Those will ensure that the woofer lasts for an extended amount of time.

Pros

  • Gives peak power output of 800 watts
  • Sports a built-in MOSFET Unit
  • Features a subsonic filter
  • Its bass boost is highly adjustable
  • Integrates auto turn-on technology

Cons

  • Can overheat during peak supply
  • Tends to rattle while producing high notes

 

8. Pyle PLBASS8 8-Inch Super Slim

(PLBASS8)

If the space that is under your seat is highly limited, then the regular compact units are not going to cut it. You would need something that is ultra-slim, like this one from Pyle.

First of all, the unit has several input options. You will be able to attach both the low-level RCA inputs and the high-level standard inputs. That means you would not have to worry about the compatibility that much.

Moreover, the unit features an ultra-slim profile body. It is slimmer than most of the other units that are out there. For that reason, installing this under your seat will be an effortless task for you. And even though the body is slim, it sports a full-sized 8 inches diaphragm, which will be able to offer crisp and clear sounds.

Other than that, there are plenty of protection circuits. It has high-temperature protection, which will cut the power off if it starts to overheat. Also, there is one protection for voltage overload. These circuits will ensure a long lifespan of the unit.

Lastly, it does not lack the adjustability options either. You will have the full freedom of changing the bass boost and switching the phase. It also comes with a low pass filter, which will make the bass noise-free.

Pros

  • Features an ultra-slim design
  • Sports a full-sized diaphragm
  • Equipped with multiple built-in protection circuits
  • The bass boost is adjustable
  • Comes with a built-in low pass filter

Cons

  • Power supply is not that reliable
  • You might find the adjustment settings a bit basic

 

9. MTX Audio RT8PT Universal Powered Subwoofer

(B005FXFS8G)

Want a system that does not consume that much power but gives crisp and clean sound? Well, you can stop your search because MTX is here to offer you exactly what you were looking for.

To start with, it features a built-in 120 watts amplifier. The power that this amplifier consumes is considerably less than most of the woofers that are available in the market. For that reason, it would not overheat, nor will it suffer from inconsistent voltage flow.

Even though it consumes a reasonably low amount of power, the sound quality that it can output is surely praiseworthy. It is able to do that because of the regular-sized 8 inches diaphragm that it boasts. That diaphragm is capable of offering clean and noise-free bass.

Aside from that, the unit utilizes a compact footprint. It is round in size and is 22 inches long. The width is reasonably low too, which is only 11.25 inches. That means you will have no trouble at all in the case of installing this under the seat of your car.

Besides that, the enclosure has an adequate amount of venting, which will let the excess heat out of the system. Also, it comes with an external controller for the bass level. Because of that, you would not need to get under the seat to change the boost of the bass.

Pros

  • Features a highly efficient 120 watts amplifier
  • Offers an adequate amount of venting
  • Does not overheat
  • Small and compact in size
  • Comes with an external bass level controller

Cons

  • The wire of the controller feels cheap
  • Its bass is not that punchy

 

10. Pioneer TS-WX130DA Compact Active

( B078PHCHSW)

Like to have different bass experiences while listening to music? Were you looking for something that will enable you to switch between listening modes? Well, Pioneer might have the perfect thing for you.

First of all, the unit comes packed with a built-in amplifier. The amplifier is like the class D ones that have a peak power of 160 watts. Because of that, it achieves a high amount of efficiency. That means it is not going to consume much power while playing music.

Though the power consumption is relatively low, the bass is up to par with the high-powered ones out there. It has a specially designed aluminum cone surrounding the amplifier. It will make sure that you can enjoy strong and punchy bass.

Remember the different listening modes that we talked about earlier? Well, this one does offer that by implementing a digital bass control mechanism. That will enable you to switch from deep or dynamic bass. It is also responsible for optimizing the frequencies for clean sounds.

Moreover, the aluminum body that it features is extremely compact. It measures 11 inches by 7-7/8 inches. And the height is only 2-3/4 inches. So, no matter how tight the space is under your seat, setting this up will be an easy task for you.

Pros

  • Comes packed with a Class D amp
  • The amp is highly efficient
  • Features a built-in digital bass controller
  • Sports an aluminum cone inside
  • Height of the body is just 2-3/4 inches

Cons

  • Power attenuation occurs in high volume levels
  • The durability of the unit is not that praiseworthy

 

Things to Consider When Buying Under Seat Subwoofer

 

We know how excited you are to get your hands on one of the units that we have included in our review section. But before you pick any of them up or any other one from the market, there are certain things that you would have to keep in mind. They are as follows:

  • 1. Power Supply

Before anything else, you need to consider the power supply of the unit. Usually, the higher the rating is on the power supply, the punchier the bass. However, in some cases, the ones that do not have that much power supply but are highly efficient can also offer punchy and clean bass.

So, in this case, before you pick one of the high-powered ones, make sure that they are capable of using all of the power. If you do not want to go through this hassle of scrutinizing the power, we recommend you to opt for the units that pack a Class D amp. Those are usually extremely efficient and can output relatively punchy bass.

  • 2. Noise Filter

Aside from the power of the unit, the quality of the bass will also depend on the filters that it comes with.

If you happen to get something that does not have any built-in filters, it would be highly likely that the sound it will produce will be full of noise in high volume. And you would not want noise ruining your music listening experience, would you?

That is why you should opt for the ones that have a built-in noise filter. With those, the sound is going to get filtered before it is produced from the diaphragm.

  • 3. Low Pass Filter

Another filter that you will have to check when you are buying one of these is the low pass filter. Much like the noise filter, this circuit will filter out the frequencies. It will remove any of the frequencies that are lower or higher than what the woofer is capable of outputting.

As a result, there would be a substantially low amount of distortion in the sound. Even if you do like to listen to music at a high volume, these filters will be able to provide bass with virtually no distortion at all.

  • 4. Inputs

In the case of inputs, there are usually two factors. One of them is the low level, and the other is the high level. Usually, the low-level inputs are the RCA interconnect inputs.

On the other hand, the high-level inputs are the standard speaker input. Even if you do not really need low-level inputs, we would suggest getting one that has both the inputs.

With the ones that can take both inputs, you will have the flexibility of connecting it with many of the speakers. As a result, you would not have to worry about compatibility that much.

  • 5. Size

The main purpose of getting one of these is to make them fit under the seat. And in that case, if you happen to get one that is not compact and does not have a slim profile, you will have difficulties in the case of making them fit under seats.

Keeping that in mind, you should only go for compact ones that have a slim footprint. You will be able to install them without any issues at all.

  • 6. Build

Durability is something that you would have to prioritize when buying one of these. In this case, the ones that we would recommend are the ones that are made of high-quality aluminum.

Those will not only be durable but also will be lightweight. And because of being lightweight, it would not be a problem for you to move them around.

Alongside that, many of these will sport a steel body. Even though they are more durable than the aluminum ones, they are going to be a bit hefty. So, if you think that durability is something that you will go all-in, then those are the ones that we would recommend to you.

  • 7. Protection

If the components that are inside the woofer are not well protected, no matter how durable the exterior is, you would not be able to get extended use out of it.

Considering that, you should check whether the one that you are shooting for comes with voltage protectors or not. Without those, the power supply will have a high possibility of getting damaged.

Aside from that, you should also consider whether it features overheating protection or not, especially if the one you are going for has 500 watts plus peak power. That protector will ensure that the components do not get damaged because of overheating, eventually ensuring an enhanced lifespan of the core components.

 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q1: Are under-seat subwoofers worth it?

Considering that there is not usually much space available in the car to install high-end and large music systems, we would say that they are very much worth it. The powerful and efficient ones can give punchy and clear bass that is comparable with the large high-end systems that are out there.

 

Q2: What is the function of an amplifier?

Just like the name suggests, an amplifier will amplify the signals. As a result, the lower frequency will transform into a high frequency. This amplification of frequencies will result in clean and high-volume sounds.

 

Q3: Is an amplifier important for woofers?

Yes, an amplifier is very crucial for the sub-woofers. As you know by now, amplifiers amplify the signals. And without amplification of the frequencies, you would not be able to get any bass out of the music that you are playing.

 

Q4: What does the power of the amplifiers state in the case of subwoofers?

In the case of subwoofers, the more powerful the amplifier will be, the punchier bass it will be able to produce. However, the bass might not always be noise and distortion-free. For those factors, the power of the amplifier has no role at all.

 

Q5: Are low-level inputs absolutely necessary for subwoofers?

Not really. The low-level inputs are generally the RCA interconnect inputs that old-style speakers usually have. Most of the speakers that are available now have the high-level connector, which is basically a standard now.

So, if you do not have speakers that have a low-level connector, you should not worry that much about not having low-level input ports.

 

Q6: Do 4ohm devices output more bass than 2ohm ones?

Usually, lower electrical resistance will output louder sounds. In that sense, it can be said that the 2ohm devices will output punchier bass than the 4ohm ones. Though the 2ohm ones will produce louder sounds, the clarity is something that will be lower than the 4ohm units.

 

Final Note

Getting the best under seat subwoofer is basically the only option you have if you want to enjoy a high-end music listening experience. And if you have limited space in your car, then this device will be perfect. So, we hope that our comprehensive list had at least one product that you are now in love with.

To sum things up, although the preferences will vary from one buyer to another, we assure you that no matter which one you pick from our review section, you will get the most out of the money that you decide to spend.

If you’re a fan of Formula One racing sport, then I believe you’ve seen those super-fast cars lose power and suddenly stop in the middle of the racing circuit. What follows is a radio conversation between the disappointed driver and the team’s engineers saying, “I’ve lost power, I’ve lost power over”. Now, back to a real-life scenario, imagine you’re driving on a busy highway or you’re in the middle of traffic then suddenly, your car shuts off while driving?

Well, not only is it an annoying experience, but also a dangerous situation that can expose you to a serious risk of causing an accident, especially if there are speeding vehicles behind you. Now, let’s assume you safely manage to pull your car off the busy highway. One burning question you’ll ask yourself after this traumatic experience is why your car decided to give up altogether. In this short guide, we will try to shed some light by discussing eight reasons that might be the cause. Once we’re through, we’ll proceed to discuss five possible solutions that can help to troubleshoot this problem.

 

8 Reasons Make Car Shuts Off While Driving

1. Empty Fuel Tank

Now, one of the main reasons why 90% of the vehicles on our roads shut off unexpectedly is the lack of enough fuel. If you’ve been on the back of the wheels for quite a while, I believe you’ve had this experience at least once in your lifetime. Although some motorists underestimate the amount of fuel in their tanks and assume it’s enough, some are easily distracted by the day’s hassle and forget to check the dashboard to keep track of the amount of fuel they have.

Anyway, whether intentional or accidental, hiring a cab, or simply taking a walk to the gas station, not forgetting asking for a canister, is one of the most shameful situations you’re likely to face.

Now, apart from human error, another reason that can lead to an empty fuel tank is when your car has a faulty fuel gauge and you’re not aware. This means that you’re likely to get the wrong indication of the amount of fuel which can cause you to run out of gas unexpectedly.

 

2. Problem With the Alternator

Apart from hybrid vehicles, any other auto whether old or modern has an alternator. This part of the car is more like the car’s generator and is tasked with managing electrical issues within the car such as charging the car’s battery and powering your car’s electrical components. Now, just like any other mechanical component, alternators too can get faulty causing your car to suddenly shut off.

The alternator is usually bolted to the engine and is driven by a serpentine drive belt to generate power. Although it can last anywhere from 10 – 15 years without a replacement, it can suffer major issues over time such as worn-out contact rings, worn-out carbon brushes, and failed voltage regulators.

When this happens, you’ll receive alerts such as charging system warning light and dimming of the dash and headlights. Although your car will still shut off without warning, the good news is that alternators will never malfunction unexpectedly without giving you several alerts. In short, they wear off gradually.

 

3. Overheating Engine

Another reason that might cause your car to suddenly stop is engine overheat. As fuel burns in the combustion chamber, it creates heat that later becomes mechanical energy. With the help of the alternator, your engine then converts this energy into electrical energy to be used by your car’s electrical components.

Since the engine is the heart, it’s always susceptible to overheating. Therefore, to keep it within its normal operating range, a coolant is used to lower the temperature. In case there isn’t any coolant, then the pistons are likely to malfunction causing the engine to shut down unexpectedly.

Low engine oil, electrical issues, and bad catalytic converter are some of the other reasons that can cause your car’s engine to shut down. Since it’s at the heart of your car, your auto’s engine will need to be lubricated frequently to prevent friction. The battery should also be checked regularly to prevent electrical failure as this too can cause the engine to stop in case it detects low battery power.

 

4. Faulty Fuel Pump

For your engine to function properly, it requires a sufficient amount of fuel. Now, the fuel pump is the one responsible for supplying this steady flow of fuel to the engine through the intake runners. If the fuel pump has the slightest of problems, then it simply means that it won’t meet the high fuel demand the engine needs to run.

Once the pressure in the fuel rail drops due to lack of enough fuel speed, then it means that the engine is likely is suddenly shut off as it will generally run out of fuel. Sometimes, the fuel pump might not be the issue but rather the fuel filter itself. Remember, the fuel filter is assigned the duty of removing debris from the fuel before it’s pumped to the engine.

So, if the filter is already clogged, then it generally means there’s inefficient fuel being pumped to the engine which can cause the engine to shut off. Therefore, whether the problem is the pump or the filter, you need to have a mechanic check the car to diagnose the problem.

 

5. Issues With the Engine Control Unit (ECU)

If you’re driving a modern vehicle, then it probably has an engine control unit (ECU). An ECU is generally a small computer that’s connected to the engine to control every component associated with the engine to enhance its performance. It does that via special sensors connected to the engine to collect key on-road data such as the speed, air intake, fuel rail pressure, and crankshaft speed among others.

Since it’s a crucial component in your car’s engine, a small issue with the ECU can lead to a dreadful experience if you’re not careful. Thankfully, this component will alert you with a “Check Engine” light on your car’s dash meaning you have to rash your car to the nearest mechanic as soon as it’s humanly possible.

Some motorists might decide to ignore this alert which is not a good idea as it will cause the engine to suddenly shut off. For enthusiast DIYers, an erratic ECU can’t just be fixed easily. You will need to hire a professional mechanic to troubleshoot the issue and fix the problem.

 

6. Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor

Now, if all the five reasons we’ve mentioned are not the cause of your car shutting off unexpectedly, then you might consider looking at our next reason. Speaking of sensors, the position sensor for the crankshaft is just another reason that can bring your car to a sudden standstill. Just like the ECU, the crankshaft position sensor is a component fitted in most modern cars. Its main purpose is to analyze the precise position of the crankshaft alongside its rotational speed.

This data is then transmitted to the ECU to make the necessary adjustments such as improving fuel ejection timing alongside other operating parameters. Since the crankshaft sensor is located on the engine’s block just above the starter, failure to operate properly means a disaster to the engine. The engine is likely to stall, vibrate, misfire, loose of acceleration and finally, shut off unexpectedly.

Just like some of the other problems we’ve mentioned, a faulty crankshaft position sensor can be fixed by replacing it with a new one.

 

7. Ignition System Dilemma

An erratic ignition system is another reason that can bring your car to an abrupt halt. In most cases, your car will suddenly lose power and shut off all the electrical components including the dash and the headlights. Now, how do you determine the problem is caused by the ignition system? Well, it’s pretty simple. You only need to turn the keys to ignite the car to see whether it starts.

The ignition system is complex and at the same time, a crucial component in your car’s drivability. Inside the ignition system, there’s an ignition relay (switch). When you start the car, the ignition relay will draw power from the battery and supply it to the car’s electrical components among them being the fuel pump and the ignition coil.

From the ignition coil, the power is transferred to the spark plugs which ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber to start the engine. With such a massive task, the ignition relay can sometimes (though rare) be susceptible to damage caused by wear, damage caused by an accident or exposure to water. Once it’s faulty, there will be an insufficient flow of power to the combustion chamber which means less fuel will be burned to keep the engine working. This will hence cause the engine to stall, vibrate then shut down.

 

8. Faulty Electrical Cables

If the spark plugs, the ignition switch, the relay, and the alternator are all working properly, then the next possible explanation for your car’s abrupt stop is faulty electrical cables. But, before you can seal your car’s fate, you need to examine the battery first to ensure that you’re not dealing with an already dead battery. However, to rule out the battery issue, it’s quite uncommon for the battery to suddenly die when the car is already running.

So, the electrical cable failure is an explanation that will definitely stand on. When you start the car, the electrical cables are responsible for transferring electrical power to all electrical components in the car. If these cables are loose or faulty by any means, then it certainly means that insufficient or total loss of power will be transferred. This can make the engine stall then shut off without a warning.

 

5 Possible Solutions

As you can probably see, the reasons that cause your beloved car to shut off abruptly are way more than the possible solutions. Since we can’t discuss everything, we will hit the ones that are most important and common among most motorists.

 

1. Refuel the Car and Fix the Faulty Fuel Gauge and Pump

In most cases, refueling your car is all that’s needed to give it a fresh start. As soon as you’ve done that, the next step is to examine the fuel gauge to see whether it was responsible for the shameful mess. Is it showing empty even after refueling, showing full when the gas tank is empty or is it fluctuating between empty and full? These are just some of the signs you’ll see with a faulty fuel gauge which means you need to replace it.

If the problem is due to a faulty fuel pump, then you have to start by inspecting the screen filter for any dust and debris buildup to determine whether it should be replaced or not. Since the fuel pump is among the components that require electrical power to work, you need to inspect the wiring from the pump to the battery to ensure that it supplies sufficient voltage to power the fuel pump.

You should also consider checking the fuel filter for any exposure to harmful sediments and the fuel pressure regulator as it’s the one responsible for regulating fuel delivery.

 

2. Repair or Replace the Alternator

Your car’s alternator is a critical component that needs to be cleaned and thoroughly maintained regularly. Unlike some of the complex components in your car, a faulty alternator is pretty easy to identify from symptoms such as unexpected battery warning light, ignition problems, noise, and rapid battery drain.

Now, if you detect any of the aforementioned signs, then it’s likely that your car’s alternator is in a really bad condition. However, to rule out other possibilities, you’ll first need to perform some tests. The first test is to check the battery’s voltage using a multimeter. When the engine is on, the reading should be 14 and when it’s off, the reading should be around 12.

Another test is to switch the headlights on then ask a friend to check the intensity of the lights (any dimming issues) when you press the throttle. Finally, though dangerous, remove the negative terminal of your car’s battery and see whether the engine still runs without any interruptions. In case it stalls, then it means the alternator is not generating enough power to feed the engine. From these tests, your mechanic will be able to judge the intensity of the damage then determine whether to replace the alternator or not.

 

3. Tighten the Electrical Cables

As one of the major causes of your car’s abrupt shut off, electrical cables are some of the easiest to fix even by an armature motorist. Here, you only need to inspect the cables for any signs of wear then proceed to tighten them.

Start with the most obvious ones especially those that come from the battery and the fuse box. Locate them carefully and tighten them patiently to avoid damaging other components. In case the problem persists, then you can diagnose the battery or simply hire a professional mechanic to accomplish the task for you.

 

4. Take Your Car For Comprehensive ECU Inspection

If your car’s check engine light keeps flashing, then it definitely means there’s a huge problem with the ECU. Again, enthusiast DIYers will definitely not manage to troubleshoot let alone fixing this problem. You have to take your car to a professional car repair center for it to be diagnosed. In most cases, the “Check Engine” light on the dash is a trouble code initiated by the ECU. So, to read these trouble codes, you have to use an OBD2 scanner to read these codes from the ECU.

Once the trouble codes are read, your mechanic will know the root source of the problem and will hence proceed to troubleshoot the specific issue. Sometimes, your mechanic (with your permission) can opt to use a car ECU programmer to edit, tune, adjust or reprogram your car’s ECU chip data to change the performance of the engine, the brakes, the transmission and the airbags among other components.

 

5. Clean or Replace Components in the Ignition System

Now, how do you detect that your car’s sudden shut off was caused by an irresponsive ignition system? First, if the ignition relay fails, it will force the ignition system to continue drawing power even when the car is off thus draining battery power. Other signs are ignition unresponsiveness, a fried relay, and an engine stall.

To fix this problem, you need to locate the ignition relay from the fuse box (in the engine bay) then clean it thoroughly to remove any debris. You can use a certified cleaner such as ethanol and a piece of cloth to clean the relay. You also need to inspect the ignition coil to see whether it has any issues as it’s the one responsible for transferring power to the spark plugs.

 

Conclusion

The good news about most of these issues we’ve mentioned is that they don’t suddenly shut off your car without alerting you. These alerts can be in the form of signals on the dashboard or symptoms in the form of unfamiliar vehicle behavior such as vibrations, noises, and engine stalling. Now, if you’re the type of driver that constantly ignores some of these alerts, then there’s a higher chance that you’ll be busted.

So, to prevent your car from shutting off unexpectedly, it’s wise that you become more proactive with your beloved car and cultivate the habit of having your mechanic check the various components regularly to prevent surprises.

Whether you’re taking a road trip to a family reunion or just to quench your spirit of adventure, one good thing about a successful road trip is that you’ll remember it eternally. The spectacular scenery and the absolute thrill of uncertainty—such as where will we eat? How far is the next stop?—are just some of the factors that make road trips more memorable as compared to air travel. In fact, most people have confessed that the lure of the road is undeniable as compared to flying. Due to this reason, staying well equipped with a few road trip tips is virtually important especially if you have kids around.

Now, while most people consider road travel as the best for vacations and trips, most motorists, especially those within the Central Business District (CBD), might find it difficult to cope with the endurance demands of long trips. Due to this reason, we’ve taken a bold step to ask some of our social media friends as well as experts across various travel blogs about some of their traveling secrets. Since their responses were awesome, we’ve shared most of those great ideas to help you get prepared before embarking on a long drive behind the wheel. Please read on.

 

50 Tips to Make Your Road Trip an Easy Ride

Before Your Trip

 

  • 1. Have Plenty of Sleep

Before you begin your road trip, always think about exhaustion especially if you’re not used to driving for long hours. So, to avoid fatigue and extreme exhaustion, you need to spare anywhere from two to three days to enjoy seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. This way, you will build your energy reserves and get the body ready for long hours of driving without stopping. After you’ve taken enough rest, start your trip at least early in the morning (when the body is fresh) rather than in the evening (after work) when the body is tired and worn out.

  • 2. What Car?

Something else you’ll need to think of is the type of car you’ll be using. Your decision here will depend on your destination, how many people will be traveling, weather conditions, and the type of terrain you’ll be traversing on. So, in this case, you can think of hiring a 4WD SUV car, a convertible sports car, or just a car with high clearance to avoid any issues on your way. In case the trip is expected to last for several months, you can think of buying a used car then sell it once you get back.

  • 3. Inspect Your Vehicle

Before embarking on a long trip, it’s always good to inspect your vehicle for any signs of damage. You can check the engine, the windows, the doors, the tires, or any other movable parts for any signs of wear. For complex parts such as the braking system and the engine, you can consult a professional mechanic to inspect it for you. The main reason for doing this is to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t develop any mechanical issues while you’re out in the wild.

  • 4. Solve Any Dashboard Alerts

How much do you know about dashboard warning lights? Well, it all depends on your driving experience. Now, before you start your long drive, it’s highly paramount that you perform a comprehensive diagnosis by plugging a standard OBDII scanner into your car’s port located on the dashboard. By turning on the car, the OBDII scanner will power up and highlight the error code of various issues within the engine. This in return will allow you to diagnose the various issues before kick-starting your trip.

  • 5. Do a Road Test

In case you’ve hired a car to use during your trip, it’s highly recommended that you conduct a quick road test around the neighborhood to listen to the engine sounds. Here, you need to ensure that you drive in a quiet place to pay maximum attention to engine sounds. In case you notice any weird noises, it’s good to hire a professional mechanic to inspect and fix the issue as soon as possible before you can start your journey.

  • 6. Check the Fluids and Air

About the fluids, you’ll need to think about the radiator coolant, the windshield washer, the brake fluid, and the engine oil. All these fluids will play a key role in keeping your car in good shape throughout the journey. In case the trip will take long before your next stop, you can pack extra oil, gas, and a few gallons of water in the car’s truck just to be on the safe side. When it comes to air, you need to ensure that your tires are properly inflated.

  • 7. Check Battery Terminals

One thing that can ruin a successful road trip is your car’s battery. Just like your car’s tires, the battery plays a critical role in powering any electrical components in your vehicle. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on your battery’s terminals for any signs of corrosion. In case you spot any, simply clean it off using a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda. Once you’re done, clean the terminals with a damp cloth then fit them back tightly.

  • 8. Perform a Final Pre-Check

You need to perform a quick pre-check of all the components to ensure that everything is working. Since we’ve already mentioned the engine and the dashboard alerts, other things you’ll need to check on include the brake pads, the windshield wipers and the horn/exterior lights. Of course, you can’t travel if any of these components are faulty. Therefore, you’ll need to inspect them by performing a quick drive test. In case there’s any problem, you can just hire a mechanic to fix them rather than do it yourself to avoid making the problem even worse.

 

Travel Packing Tips

 

  • 9. Pack a Spare-Tire Kit

Your tires are the most delicate components of your vehicle as they’re the ones getting in contact with the road. Therefore, you need to think of investing in a spare-tire kit to help solve the difficult part of dealing with a flat tire. This kit comprises of a spare tire, a jack, lift kit, winch, and a lug wrench. It’s a perfect solution for those cars that rely on run-flat and doughnut tires as temporary spare tires before repairing the original tire.

  • 10. Pack Key Documents

Since your road trip will involve traveling from one state or one country to another, you’ll expect to be pulled over by patrols on duty several times. To avoid friction with the law, it’s wise to pack key travel documents such as up-to-date travel insurance and a driver’s license. On top of these crucial documents, you can also carry a national park pass to get access to any national parks within the region you’ll be driving along. This is one way you can leave a lasting impression in your mind about your majestic trip.

  • 11. Pack an Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is an essential addition you can’t afford to miss when getting ready for a long trip. At a bare minimum, you should pack a first aid kit in case of a sudden illness or injury, a spare tire, a flashlight, a jack, jumper cables, blankets, some food, and a pair of road flares. At least with these types of essentials, you’ll never get stranded during your trip especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

  • 12. Pack an Extra Credit Card

Have you ever traveled to a foreign country or region and your wallet gets lost mysteriously? Well, it not only sucks, but you’re also screwed in the process. So, to avoid getting screwed in case you lose your wallet or in case your credit card gets frozen or “swallowed” by the ATM, you need to pack a backup credit card and a second debit card from another bank account just to stay on the safe side.

  • 13. Check for the Fire Extinguisher

Some staff such as a fire extinguisher might not seem to be important not until you need them. In fact, most countries legally obligate motorists to carry fire extinguishers as part of a safety precaution. Therefore, since you’ll be driving in a foreign region, it’s always wise to pack a fire extinguisher to help you out in case of an emergency. In case you already have one in your car, spare some time to inspect it just to be sure it’s filled up.

  • 14. Have a Spare Key

During your trip, you’ll expect to have some stopovers along the way to enjoy the beauty of nature. During this time, there’s a high possibility that you might accidentally lock your car keys inside your vehicle. To save yourself the trouble of having to break into your own car, why don’t you carry a spare key to save you such trouble? Just to mention, when you carry a spare key, don’t pack it inside the vehicle. Instead, pack it in your wallet or carry it using a key holder bracelet or a necklace.

  • 15. Stay Connected and Entertained

In case it must be spelled out for you, never go for a road trip without your Smartphone and some music. Getting entertained with some music as you travel is one way you can enjoy your road trip. Therefore, pack your Smartphone with some downloaded playlists, and don’t forget to carry your USB cable. In fact, you should pack a backup battery and a power bank to ensure your Smartphone is always connected. Besides that, you need to pack a decent camera to capture high-quality photos of the spectacular landscapes, a WIFI device to stay online, and a GPS device to track your location.

  • 16. Personal Care Kit

Although we mentioned carrying an emergency kit, there are cases when you might need to carry a personal care kit. Now, if you’re diabetic, you need to pack some insulin shots and if you’re asthmatic, you will have to carry an inhaler to avoid any medical problems during your trip. You can also pack a pair of earplugs, an eye mask, a scarf, toothpaste/brush, sunscreen, tissues, and some prescription drugs before you begin your journey.

  • 17. Add Some Miscellaneous Items

Although you probably don’t need them, packing a few miscellaneous items can really help when everything goes south. Things like a hand sanitizer, flip-flops, thermos, dustbin, sunglasses, driving glasses, a shopping bag, a pocketknife, car cooler, a notebook, air freshener, bug spray, an umbrella, and a paper map can really help.

Besides that, you can think of packing some spare clothes depending on the type of climate you’re likely to face during your trip. In case the weather is likely to get snowy, then you can pack an ice scraper, a snow shovel, a snowbrush, warm gloves, and an antifreeze.

  • 18. Pack Your Own Water

Packing your own water in a reusable water bottle is another great tip if you’re looking to enjoy your trip. You see, plastic waste is environmentally unfriendly especially if you have to buy several bottles of water on your way. To make things worse, the water you’re getting might be contaminated. Therefore, to reduce the risk, it’s better to pack your own water as it will save you the cost of having to pay for those expensive water bottles.

 

During Your Trip

 

  • 19. Wash Your Car

Before you begin your long trip, it’s wise to first wash your car to avoid any inconveniences later. Remember, your long trip can’t be compared to a short drive to the mall. Your car will definitely be exposed to all sorts of dust and failing to clean it before the trip will be quite dangerous, as you won’t find the convenience to do it later. Therefore, make sure that you clean your car, especially the windows and the side mirrors to improve visibility. So you should also take a duster with you for your long journey.

When cleaning your car, don’t forget to remove any old receipts and business cards in your glove box. In case you’re hiring a car, make sure that you know the rules of renting a car depending on the size and the category of the specific vehicle you’ll be using.

  • 20. Modify Your Car’s Seat Height and Distance

During your road trip, you’ll probably expect to be sitting for prolonged hours while driving. Therefore, if you fail to adjust your seat at the start of your journey, you will feel uncomfortable and probably fail to enjoy your trip. So, before you start the engines, always take your time to adjust the seat. If your car is fitted with memory buttons, then you can use them to adjust your seat automatically to your preferred setting.

  • 21. Adjust the Steering

Apart from the driver’s seat, another important consideration you shouldn’t forget about is adjusting the steering. Thankfully, most modern cars rely on adjustment buttons near the steering, which you can use to adjust to your preferred height and distance. Another key consideration is the side mirrors, which can also be adjusted using adjustment buttons next to the steering wheel. At least by doing this, your vision will not be interfered with during your drive.

  • 22. Calculate the Cost of Gas

During your trip, you will need to calculate the total cost of fuel your car will consume. To do this, you need to calculate your car’s miles per gallon ratio. Next, use your GPS or Google Map assistance to calculate the total distance you’ll be covering during your trip. When you’re done, divide the total miles you’ll cover by the miles per gallon yield of your vehicle to determine the total fuel consumption. Lastly, multiply the total fuel consumption with the current fuel price to know how much you’ll be spending on fuel.

  • 23. Google Maps

The best thing about Google Maps is that they allow you to plan and adjust your route beforehand. So, during your travel, you will easily work out your route from start to your final destination without any worries. This way, you will easily time yourself and know when it’s the best time to divert and visit various destinations such as national parks without interfering with the main trip.

  • 24. Use Those Roads Less Traveled

Unless you have a strict schedule, it doesn’t pain to get off the highway and take the route less traveled by most motorists. Since your main target is to have lots of fun during your trip, diverting to smaller routes will allow you to view some interesting local scenery as well as interact with the locals along your way. The best thing about most roads, especially American roads, is that most of them have indicators that tell you whether the routes are scenic. Therefore, with just some time and patience, these routes can pay off handsomely in terms of giving you some stunning views of the beauty around you.

  • 25. Rules of the Road

To enjoy your road trip to its maximum, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road. You can do this by finding tips and advice about the region you’re visiting from official tourism sites. Remember, each region or state has its own rules regarding the road networks so you have to be familiar with them to avoid any issues during your trip. You can also use apps such as Google Maps to familiarize yourself with the routes from the starting point to the final destination.

  • 26. Book Ahead

The best thing about Google Maps is that it highlights interesting and fun places along your route where you can stop and have some fun. Now, some of these regions (such as Alcatraz and Chateau de Versailles) are booked months in advance. Therefore, before you even start your trip, think of booking early in advance to avoid any traffic. The same applies to specific hotels along your route, which you can book early in advance. These hotels can serve as your stopping spots during your trip.

  • 27. Avoid Expensive Hotels

During your trip, avoid staying at expensive hotels as much as possible. Depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving, you can consider sleeping in your car in petrol stations and Walmart Stores instead of renting those expensive motels. In fact, one great way of enjoying your trip is camping in public campsites or RV campsites. This way, you not only save your money but you also get a chance to meet and interact with fellow travelers not forgetting the local people.

  • 28. Eat Local Foods

During stops, it’s a great idea to taste a bit of everything especially if you don’t have any idea of what it is. Eating street foods saves you some money during your travel and it also adds to those things you’ll remember when you’re back home. Always ask the locals for recommendations and don’t be scared of the food. After all, eating the same foods you’re used to doesn’t create an exciting moment as you’ll always feel like you’re still at home.

  • 29. Travel Mate

A road trip is not like a short drive to the mall. It involves driving for long hours in unfamiliar territories. Since your main target is to have fun, you need to find the right travel mates with whom you share the same temperament. So, if you’re interested in viewing the local scenery and interacting with new people from different diversities, you need to find friends with whom you share similar interests. Otherwise, if your friends are interested in finding the next five-star hotel or the nearest bar, then there will be friction during your trip, which will generally break your friendship.

  • 30. Always Break From Your Comfort Zone

Getting out of your comfort zone is another tip that can make your road trip exciting. This involves diverting to smaller roads that offer scenic views of the landscapes alongside other natural amenities that might excite you during your trip. Just as we mentioned earlier, when driving in such routes, you need to interact with the locals and always listen to their advice. You can also try out some of the local desserts along the way just to ensure that your trip feels different and more entertaining.

  • 31. Keep an Open Mind

During your trip, you need to be sensible and always open to positive criticism. Since you’re likely to meet new people with different lifestyles and customs from your own, always practice embracing their opinions, judgments, customs, and interests. Although you can’t agree with everyone about everything, practicing some empathy is one way of forging a friendship with the locals and learning more about their way of life.

  • 32. Always Drive Early Mornings

There’s always something special about driving early mornings and parking early in the evening. The first advantage of driving and parking early is the fact that you’re able to beat the traffic during the rush-hours. This, therefore, means that you’re more likely to get to your next destination on time. The second advantage of driving early is that you’ll have the chance to view the best attractions along your route before these areas get crowded with tourists. Finally, the morning sun provides an amazing magical time of taking photos.

  • 33. Have a Cooler Bag Around

If you’re in a strict diet, you don’t have to rely on roadside restaurants as most of them are only limited to fast foods. Instead, you can decide to cook your food back at home then pack it in a cooler bag or a portable fridge. This way, you can pack a well-balanced-diet meal comprising of vegetables, fruits, protein food, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Since you’re not certain when you’ll eat your next meal, having some packed food with you can help out when you’re hungry.-

  • 34. Stay Hydrated

Since you’ll be driving for long hours, you should stay hydrated at all times to avoid feeling sluggish and fatigued. You can decide to pack several liters of water or drink coffee during your trip.

  • 35. Chew Gum

Apart from being hydrated, you can decide to chew gums to boost your concentration while on the wheel. If you’re not a fan of chewing, you can opt to use energizing scents such as peppermint scent in your car to boost your energy and mental alertness while driving. Although we had mentioned about adjusting your seat, sitting upright while driving can help to improve blood circulation and prevent you from feeling dizzy.

  • 36. Plan Your Stops

Something else that will make your road trip exciting is planning your stops carefully. Since your trip is likely to lengthy and very tiring, you’ll need to pause after every 2 – 3 hours to stretch your legs, eat your meals and drink some refreshments to hydrate your body before proceeding with your journey.

  • 37. Don’t Over Plan; Just be Flexible

If you want your trip to be fruitful, you don’t have to over-plan or to be over-ambitious. All you need to do is pick a starting point, an ending point, and a few activities to do during your trip. Anything else, such as how long you’ll expect to spend on your trip should be left out to the universe to determine. Always be flexible and open to changes in case something comes up during your trip.

  • 38. Don’t Over Speed

Since you’re not racing, picking speed and sticking to it is one way you can enjoy your road trip to the maximum. Remember, driving at a high speed then accelerating and decelerating rapidly can hurt your fuel economy especially if you had calculated your fuel cost before the trip.

  • 39. Eat Light Foods

If you eat heavy meals during your trip, a lot of things are likely to happen inside you, some of which aren’t too conducive especially if you’re on the wheel. For instance, taking high-calorie meals can lead to the production of high glucose that triggers the release of a particular amino acid (tryptophan) which promotes sleep. If this happens, then you’re likely to feel dizzy, which is not something you’ll want to happen.

  • 40. If it Catches Your Eyes, Then Stop By

When driving, you’re likely to see lots of things some of which are rewarding experiences. If this happens, don’t just ignore them simply because you’re in a tight schedule. Always spare some time to enjoy the experience. After all, you cannot tell whether you’ll have the opportunity to see them again.

  • 41. Stay Entertained

It’s said that music is the food for the soul. Therefore, to give life to your long road trip, you can load your Smartphone with a personal playlist or a DJ mix. You can even decide to listen to the radio during your trip.

  • 42. Get an Audiobook

If you’re not a fan of music, then you can turn to an audiobook instead to stay entertained during your long drive. Unlike music, audiobooks can help to keep your mind active without distracting you. All you need is an action or humorous audiobook to keep you at the edge of the seat while driving.

  • 43. Get Off the Path

Sometimes, you don’t have to stick to your usual driving routine. There are times when you can decide to get off the path a little bit and visit unusual places where there are fewer tourism activities. According to most travelers, visiting such unusual places usually create memorable experiences. However, you need to be careful, as there are areas that can be dangerous at times.

  • 44. Division of Labor

Since you’ll be driving as a team, dividing duties among yourselves is something that can make your trip even more enjoyable. Some of you may be good at driving, others are good at navigating (such as reading maps) while others may be experts in planning meals and daily activities.

  • 45. Volunteer Occasionally

During your drive, it’s good to volunteer occasionally as this results in some rewarding experience. Although you don’t get anything in return, interacting with the locals and making new friends can help you a lot in learning more about the region.

  • 46. Take Lots of Photos

This is one of the must-do activities you simply can’t fail to accomplish during your long road trip. Taking plenty of photos serves as an ultimate souvenir while still creating some lasting memories of your trip. Remember, some of the spectacular sceneries you’ll see during your trip are likely to appear once in your lifetime. Therefore, taking lots of photos can help, and at the same time, they can tell a story.

  • 47. Backup Your Photos

After taking lots of epic photos, it’s always wise to back them up to prevent any loss in case you lose your camera, Smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Just as we’ve mentioned in our previous point, the photos you take during your trip are very special since some of the experiences may not appear ever again in your life. So, to avoid such huge losses, always back them up in an external hard drive or cloud storage. You can also back up some of your documents such as your passport, birth certificate, health insurance, and serial numbers just to be on the safe side.

  • 48. Always Communicate With Your Loved Ones

Even if you’re meeting new people along the way, always keep close contact with your friends and family members. You can do this by surprising your parents with beautiful photos of the morning sunrise or sunset in the various landscapes you’re traversing through. This way, your loved ones will have some peace of mind knowing that you’re having a great time.

  • 49. Download Games

In case you’re driving with kids around, you can try to download some addictive games in your Smartphones, tablets, or gaming consoles just to keep them entertained during the long drive.

  • 50. Watch Movies

This is another great way of keeping your kids entertained while driving. With the advancement in technology, you don’t have to pack an entire Blu-ray DVD. Instead, you only need to stream movies and TV shows via Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it. In case you’ve been struggling on your road trip, then we’ve compelled some expert tips that can prove helpful while you’re in the wild. One thing we will insist on though is that never compromise on safety during your trip. Avoid driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, driving while tired and dizzy, and finally, driving while chatting with your Smartphone.

Finally, avoid driving alone especially if you’re a beginner driver. That’s because, in case an emergency finds you in a dead zone where there’s nothing nearly (such as gas stations, malls, roadside restaurants, and homes), then it can be very risky. In conclusion, if you’ve read this guide to the latter, then there’s nothing that can prevent you from having fun with an enjoyable company.

Sources:

01. These 10 Tips Will Make Your First Road Trip Unforgettable – Forbes

02. 10 (and a Half) Tips for Road Trips – SMARTERTRAVEL

When you are trying to figure out how to choose winter tires, it can be a challenging occurrence. The questions may start to enter your head like “do I need them” or “do I need studless or studded tires?” Luckily, you do not have to worry about these questions that roam your mind. Why? We have all the answers to help put your mind at ease.

The difficulty with buying snow tires is the fact that there is a lot of factors and money involved in this purchase. But, when you have all your eggs aligned into one basket, you will be well on your way to making a smart, well-educated decision. So, without further ado, let us hop into the world of winter tires, not snow tires because there is a big difference here.

 

How to Choose the Best Winter Tires: An Ultimate Guide

 

When deciding on winter tires, you have to walk through why you need them in the first place. The purchase should be no run of the mill decision. This is a big step in adding value to your vehicle.

 

The Need for Snow Tires

If you are looking to be a safe driver, then you need winter tires. When it comes to snow, sleet, ice, and frozen rain, there is nothing better than winter tires. As temperatures drop below 40 degrees, the need for winter tires is that much more prevalent.

Also, if you travel a lot for work through snow zones, there is an extra need for winter tires. You never know what will happen in the mountains either. Snow can happen at any minute. If you are not ready, you may be caught in the elements or worse.

 

Knowing the Markings “M+S”

When purchasing tires, some of them may be rated as an “M+S.” The “M” stands for mud, and the “S” stands for snow. With the help of a hefty tread, you can get better traction than other tires that are not rated in the same way.

However, even though they are rated this way, your tires are still not winter tires. In the slickest of conditions, these rated tires do not have the same traction that winter tires have. Even control and stopping can be a real struggle in the winter with rated tires.

There are some rated tires though that are branded as a 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake. These tires have been tested to drive on packed ice and snow. They can handle these elements with ease. You can trust them with your life.

 

Difference Between All-Season and Winter Tires

When you are looking to buy new tires, you need to understand the differences between all-season and winter tires. When it comes to all-season tires, the product includes ribs, grooves, lugs, and sipes. But, on the other hand, winter tires come with studs, ribs, grooves, lugs, and sipes. All these attributes make winter tires that much better.

Another difference between winter and all-season tires involves the kinds of compounds that are used. All-season tires use a stiff rubber compound. When it comes to hot pavements, all-season tires do a great job of keeping their shape.

Alternatively, winter tires use hydrophilic technology. This makes them better in winter weather. With the help of more rubber, snow and ice are handled with ease.

 

Shopping for Winter Tires

Now, that you have an idea of why you need winter tires, let us talk about the shopping process, shall we? When to shop is a great place to start.

As you look to buy winter tires, start the process earlier rather than later. Of course, it would not be fun if you are dealing with this process when it is snow outside right before your eyes. Installing winter tires before cold weather begins will give you great peace of mind.

Additionally, make sure that you are getting snow tires. All-season and winter tires look eerily similar to one another. Checking the sidewall of a tire can give you ultimate clarity. You should see an inscription with a snowflake to give the difference between winter tires and all-season ones.

 

Pros & Cons of Studded Tires

Ice can be a scary thing to pass on with any vehicle. However, when you have studded tires added to your winter tires, they could make all the difference in your life. When it comes to studded tires, they can help lock into the ice. This will give you a better grip on the roadways.

Unfortunately, there are some cons to studded tires as well, just like anything else on planet Earth. If you have studded winter tires, they can start to be obnoxious when hitting dry asphalt. The pavement will get damaged in the process, too.

This might not seem like a big deal, but when it is your driveway, you will have to pay a pretty penny to put in new concrete around your home. In some states, studs are even illegal to use, so check where you live for more important details.

 

Install Services

When buying winter tires, look to see if the company you are buying them from will bundle installation into the price. If you can handle installation on your own, then be my guest.

But, a professional install can save you money during the process. Look for verified reviews of tire shops to see which one is best here. Do not take any shortcuts during this step.

 

Conclusion

With all the information you have been given, you are now ready to decide on winter tires. Remember to start the process early, so you are not getting stressed when the weather changes and you have not come to a solution for the right winter tires. No matter what you decide, do your best to find a solution that fits you and your vehicle. Then, you will feel safe and in control wherever you roam during the wintertime. Stay safe and enjoy your new winter tires!

Research has shown that car owners annually spend more than 25% —of the price of the new car —on maintenance costs. Besides, the annual number of car accidents has increased drastically. However, having a car maintenance schedule will free you from these unnecessary problems.

This article takes you through the process of taking good care of your car. It outlines what you should practice, enabling you to see your nice car for a longer duration.

After reading this article, you will be well-equipped — to comfortably avoid unnecessary disruptions —throughout your driving life.

 

Basic Car Maintenance Schedule You Should Follow

 

1. Every 3 to 7 Months

Ensure you replace the oil and oil filter, the coolant, the transmission fluid as well as the power steering fluid. This should take place after 3000 to 7000 miles. Read more below:

  • Oil and Oil Filter

Before you handle oil, ensure you have a pair of nitrile or latex gloves. These two will help maintain the cleanliness of your hands. There are 3 main types of oil to choose from. These include synthetic blend, conventional, or full synthetic— there also exist variations of high mileage.

In choosing the best oil type, you should adhere to the recommended oil viscosity of your car. The information on your car’s oil viscosity is available in the Owner’s Manual. Alternatively, you can find the information on the oil cap of your car’s engine.

As far as durability is concerned, synthetic oil is preferred over conventional oil. Again, conventional oil can withstand more extreme temperatures — heat and cold— than synthetic oil.

As you pay attention to the oil, you should consider swapping the oil filters too. Oil filters are very essential to your car’s engine. This is because oil filters lengthen the engine of your car. They do these by removing contaminants from the oil.

To change the oil; run the engine for some minutes. Then, drain out the old oil —for about 15 minutes. Follow closely by cleaning and returning in the drain plug. Next, clean the engine’s mating surface after ensuring that the filters are in place.

Finally, apply clean oil to fill the new filter gasket. You can check for leaks after determining the oil level.

  • Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid should be changed based on vehicle recommendations. If you can’t find that interval, every 30,000 miles is a safe bet. An automatic transmission that roughly shifts, slips or is noisy might also benefit from a transmission fluid change. A low fluid level can also cause these issues, so examine the level before you replace the fluid.

Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you should inspect—and possibly change— the transmission oil after 3 months. Once the automatic transmission begins to shift roughly, become noisy or slips, know that it is time to change the transmission fluid.

Here are steps to follow when replacing the transmission fluid:

After wearing gloves, turn on the car’s engine for 2 minutes. Then, drain the fluid for about 10 minutes. After this, reinstall as well as torque the drain plug. However, if your vehicle lacks a drain plug, remove the bolts followed by the pan to allow it to drain completely.

Get rid of the old gasket material from mating surfaces of the transmission pan. Next, remove O-ring and the old filter. Insert the new filter into the transmission; in the same position as the old one. Then, fix the new gasket.

Using the long funnel, fill the transmission with the recommended amount and type of fluid. For transmissions that lack dipsticks, you may have to fit a hose between the funnel and the fill opening.

  • The Coolant

Whenever you run your car’s engine, the antifreeze chemicals do significant tasks. The fluid gets pumped — through the car’s engine — to maintain the required temperature and prevent corrosion of the engine.

Regular change (between 3 and 7months) of the coolant is significant since failure to do so leads to the ineffectiveness of the antifreeze chemicals. When changing the engine coolant, it is recommended that you strictly follow the Owner’s Manual for specific guidelines.

  • Power Steering Fluid

Replace the power steering fluid after every 3000 to 7000 miles. Follow the guidelines below:

Locate the fluid reservoir or pump of the power steering. The pump is within the accessories of the engine. Search for and remove a cap that possesses a steering wheel symbol or one that reads something such as “Power Steering Fluid Only.”

After this, run the fluid out of the reservoir to the catch can. Once the fluid cannot be siphoned further, get inside the car then turn the key accessories followed by turning the wheel lock to lock. The pump will push dirty fluid to the reservoir. Siphon the dirty fluid out to the can.

Into the neck of the power steering reservoir, pour in power steering fluid. Switch on the cap then turn the accessories’ key. Make the wheel lock to lock once more. Then, check and add more fluid.

Restart the engine for about 15 seconds, switching the lock to lock. examine the fluid level to ensure air has escaped from the system. Drive for five minutes, as you take some turns while paying attention to the whine of the power steering pump. For the last time, examine the fluid. In case it is at the line of “Full Hot” on the dipstick, then the process is successful.

 

2. Every 15 to 30 Months

Apart from checking on the coolant of the car, it is necessary to monitor the air filter, battery as well as the fuel filter, between periods of 15000 to 30000 miles.

  • Air Filter

Clogging up of air filters stops the heater as well as the air conditioner. You need to regularly check the cabin air filter before examining the AC system. This is crucial as well as prior to taking your car for repairs due to cooling system damages— failure to which you may end up paying for repairs which are not necessary.

During the maintenance, it is not enough to clean then reinstall a soiled air filter. Instead, you should replace it.

  • The Battery

A healthy battery reflects a well-functioning engine. This is why regular maintenance for a battery is necessary.

You should carry out one or all of the following during the maintenance schedule:

  • Clean the battery terminals
  • Monitor electrolyte level
  • Inspect the condition of the battery as well as the charge of the battery. In examining the charge, use either a hydrometer or a multimeter
  • Replace an old battery.
  • Fuel Filter

I guess you hate a coughing engine as I do. Besides, you won’t wait till your car’s engine completely breaks down. These are defects that arise from a clogged fuel filter.

For this reason, it becomes necessary to regularly maintain the fuel filter. The manual should dictate the length of time you can use the car without replacing its fuel filter. However, many of the Owner Manuals require you to change the filter after 24000 to 30000 miles — that’s between 2.5 years and 3yrs.

 

3. Every 35 Months to 50 Months

Suspension and Ignition System

A suspension means all parts of your car that makes it possible to connect to the road. Read more on the parts and how to schedule maintenance for them:

  • Wheels and Wheel Bearings: Noise from the wheels while driving indicates worn-out wheel bearings. On average, a sealed wheel lasts for 85000 miles to 100000 miles. With regular maintenance of 3.5 to 5 years, some can even last for 150000 miles (12.5 years).
  • Shocks and Struts: Unstable steering, delayed braking, fluid leaks, and too much bounce are not admirable signs. To avoid such, a regular check after 35000 miles to 50000 miles is necessary.
  • Coil Springs: These buffer the road and the car while absorbing and storing energy. When your car begins to drop or sag, it means the time to replace the coils has come.
  • Ball Joints and Tie Rod Ends: They join the wheels and the steering linkage. A clunking sound —while moving on bumps —indicates that the tie rods and the ball joints need to be replaced.
  • Stabilizer Bars and Brushings: The moment you begin to realize that your steering is loose and sloppy in handling is the moment you know the stabilizer bars should be replaced. This mostly occurs after every 40 000 miles.

Additionally, you should inspect as well as replace the spark plugs and their wires, and the ignition system. This should occur after 40000 miles. Again, you should redo the checks after 45000 miles to 50000 miles.

 

4. Every 5 Years

If you want smooth drives, you should consider changing the brake pads and fluids, radiator hoses, the coolant, power steering fluid as well as the timing belt. This, you should carry out after every 60000 miles of the drive.

  • Brake Pads and Fluids

Use this guide to change the brake pads during the maintenance schedule:

First, buy Ceramic brake pads that give you the best feel and a very long protection fade of brakes. To take off the lugs with a ratchet, you have to loosen them. Then raise the wheels to expose the nuts of the lug. As soon as the wheel is off, let go of the parking brake. Next, raise the car, followed by loosening the caliper. Then, remove the carrier of the caliper.

After this, remove the rotor by hammering it. Then, install a new motor after removing the rust. Use a lug nut as well as an open-ended wrench to fix it. Again, you should wipe off the oil from the packing residue using a brake cleaner. Next, assemble the Carrier.

When all these are done, compress the caliper using a C-Clamp plus one of the old pads of the brake. Using anti-squeal grease, install the pads and the caliper. Finally, put back the wheels. After this, you can replace the brake fluids using the instructions from the Owner’s Manual.

  • Radiator Hoses

Follow these steps to replace the hose:

  • Put the car in N-Mode or P-Mode.
  • Remove the radiator’s pressure cap followed by placing a drain pan under the valve of the radiator drain.
  • Open the valve of the drain.
  • Collect the coolant in the container then close the valve.
  • Take off the clamps. This should be at both ends of the hose.
  • Remove the hose by twisting it.
  • Clean the fittings then install a radiator new hose.
  • Restart the engine then add more water to the coolant when the level drops below the minimum.
  • Replace the pressure cap then run the engine as well as checking that no leaks are taking place.
  • Timing Belt

The best way to make the timing belts remain forever new is simple; buy a new car and park it. You will do that, won’t you? I bet your guess is as good as mine; nobody buys a car to keep but to drive. What do these say about the timing belt?

As long as your car is in motion, it will produce heat. A hot engine makes the timing belt to lose its strength and texture. Consequently, the belt becomes snapped with time. Then, the belt breaks.

Due to irregular or lack of maintenance, the timing belt will always break. It wears and tears since it is made of rubber. For this reason, the belt is regularly maintained as well as replaced after 60000 miles of usage.

Replacing a timing belt is simple. Every step is outlined in the Owner’s Manual that comes from the manufacturer of the car.

Conclusion

These are some of the steps you can undertake to care for your car. However, sometimes you will have to replace parts of your car instantly or before 3 months. This will depend on the fragility of such parts or exposure to risks.

Most cars will obey the schedule as they wear out. So, if you too strictly follow the above schedule, you are guaranteed a healthy car, throughout your driving life.

You are about to read a Self-help article. Knowing how to test a car battery will enable to monitor charge, leaks as well as voltage drop of the battery. This knowledge will enable you to handle countless car breakdowns. Hence, you will avoid the unnecessary annoying costs that are associated with battery failure.

This article takes you through the process of testing for battery charge. You will learn how to use either a multimeter or a hydrometer to test for the charge. Again, you shall know how you can check for leaks within your battery. Finally, this article will take guide you on how to test for a voltage drop of your car’s battery.

And everything in between.

How to Test a Car Battery with a Multimeter

A multimeter is an electrical device that is applied in testing for resistance, voltage or current within an electric device. It is also known as a voltmeter. Besides, this device is used to test the condition of a battery. This is possible because batteries contain electric charges.

A multimeter lets you know whether or not your battery has sufficient charge to carry out its functions. It is designed for testing a battery that is suited to providing a brief power shot or maintenance-free motorcycle batteries. Let’s now see how it does the testing.

First, it is important to familiarize yourself with terminals of a multimeter. It has two electric connectors. The connectors have metal probes. It has a red wire as well as a black one. The red wire denotes a positive terminal whereas the black end is for the negative terminal.

  • Step 1: Turn on Your car’s headlights

Before you undertake any connection, ensure the headlights are on. This is very crucial since it helps to remove any surface charge that your car’s battery may have. A battery that possesses surface charge has a slightly raised voltage. It outputs an unrealistic reading on voltage-based SoC.

To correct this condition, turn on electrical loads to get rid of the battery’s capacity or rest the battery for a few hours. Turning on your car’s headlights for about 2 minutes will help in this. This is possible because the surface charge is a reversible condition, not a battery defect.

  • Step 2: Set the Multimeter to a Voltage of 20 V

At the bottom right of digital multimedia, you will see the terminals of the digital multimeter. Check the leads of the battery to ascertain that they are good— in a working state. Then, move the function switch in a clockwise direction.

Rotate the switch of the multimeter to a 20DC voltage range. Then, the screen should record 00.00 reading. Any prior reading would mean there is a fault on the digital multimeter (DMM). This would result in zero error —positive or negative— at the end of the measurement.

For accuracy, recheck to ensure it is exactly 20V. Again, a battery in a good state should have a reading of approximately 12.5 Volts. Meaning 20 DC Volts from a DMM is just okay. Keep in mind that a DMM reading of more than 20 DC may damage the battery.

  • Step 3: Turn the Headlights off

Once you have got rid of your battery’s surface charge, it becomes necessary to continue testing the battery’s charge. Before you proceed, turn off the headlights of your car.

  • Step 4: Connect the Multimeter to the Battery’s Terminals

Remove the cover of the positive terminal battery. Examine the terminal keenly for signs of corrosion. In case you identify any signs of corrosion, follow these steps to clean the terminals thoroughly:

  • Disconnect the battery cables— to avoid electric shock or extreme burns. While disconnecting the cables, start with the negative cable.
  • Remove the corrosion— use a cleaning agent such as baking soda or Coca-Cola. However, Coca-Cola is highly discouraged. This is because Coca-Cola possesses phosphoric acids and some synthetic sugars which would make the process of neutralization ineffective.

Make a solution of water and a teaspoonful of baking soda. Using an old toothbrush, rub the solution on corroded parts. After that, cover the terminals with baking soda and add a little water. You will see some bubbles after some seconds. This indicates successful initiation of neutralization, a process that eliminates corrosion.

  • Rinse and dry the terminals— use clean water to rinse the terminals then allow them to dry. You can use an air compressor to accelerate the process.
  • Apply anti-corrosion pads after the terminals have dried up. Finally, reconnect the battery to the car.

 

After cleaning the terminals of the battery, connect the positive probe of the multimeter to the positive terminal of the battery. Likewise, connect the negative probe of the multimeter to the negative terminal of the battery.

  • Step 5: Check for Signs of Charge

After connecting the terminals, turn on the headlights. This is to avail the battery with some load. Then, you can determine the following signs:

  • A battery on good health shows a voltage of about 12.6 V. However, on turning on the headlights, it may drop to 12.5 V.
  • A reading of 12.3 V shows a 75% electric charge while a 25% charge is indicated by 11.8 V. These readings are at a temperature of 26.6⁰C.
  • If the voltage drops below 5V on turning on the car, then the battery is bad and should be replaced.

How to Test the Battery of Your Car Using a Hydrometer

This is mostly applicable to the standard automotive battery. A standard automotive battery is one with caps. The caps enable access to the chambers with the cells of the battery. Such a battery has an electrolyte solution with a mixture of water and Sulfuric acid.

The test is also known as an electrolyte gravity test. The test shows charge, undercharge or battery faults. It is recommended that you use a hydrometer with an in-built thermometer. Again, it is advisable to put on gloves and eye protection devices. The devices should be resistant to harmful sulfuric acids.

Testing the Battery Fluid Using a Hydrometer

  • Step 1: Remove the Battery Caps

You should never try to remove the caps while the car is on the motion. Instead, you should park the car first. After this, remove any jewelry on your body. This is because jewelry can conduct electricity. This would result in a fatal scenario. Besides, you should have worn your gloves as well as eye protective gear.

Next, move to the battery. Batteries that have covers also possess a plastic cover top which makes it difficult to view the battery. Some batteries contain a hole with an exposed pole—that subtends from the cover— whereas others will the two ends covered.

In case a pole extends from the hole it is marked as negative. This shows that the battery post has a negative polarity. On the other hand, a positive pole remains covered for safety reasons.

Remove the latch on the side of the cover. By doing so, the plastic should freely get unattached. Next, raise the plastic cover straight up as well as of the battery. Don’t touch the battery, especially in a situation whereby it is cracked or when it leaks.

  • Step 2: Sink the Tip of the Hydrometer into the First Cell

As soon as the hydrometer is inside the cell, squeeze the bulb of the hydrometer. This is to make sure no liquid remains in the hydrometer — after it has been dipped into the cell of the battery. Additionally, this ensures all the air has been pushed out.

  • Step 3: Release the Bulb

Let go of the bulb. By doing this, you ensure a portion of the electrolyte finds its way into the needle of the hydrometer.

  • Step 4: Take Readings of the Specific Gravity

After you release the bulb of the hydrometer, the electrolyte rises up the float of the hydrometer. The readings on the wall of the hydrometer represent specific gravity. The readings — specific gravity obtained—correspond to charge in the battery.

Reading between 1.265 to 1.299 denotes a fully charged battery while a specific gravity of 1.200 to 1.265 is 75% charged. Check the table below for more information:

Specific gravityCharge of the battery
1.265 to 1.299Fully charged
1.235 to 1.26575% charged
1.200 to 1.235Half charged
1.170 to 1.20025% charged
1.140 to 1.170Almost running out
1.110 to 1.140Discharged

 

Generally, a reading that falls below 1.265 is considered an undercharge. Mostly, a trickle or a slow charge will support the restoration of the charge as well as help in boosting the chemical reactions inside the battery.

Conversely, a change difference of 0.025 to 0.050—that’s 25 points to 50 points since a point is 0.001 specific gravity— or more between any two specific gravities is an indication that the battery should be replaced. This is because such a difference denotes that the battery is sulfated.

 

How to Use a Multimeter to Do a Leak Test on Cover of a Battery

Apart from the charge of a battery, you can also test the leak on the cover of a battery. You can do this by using a multimeter. This is also known as testing for Dead Cells. The common cause of dead cells — also referred to as a dead battery — is the accumulation of deposits on the cover of a batter.

The accumulation of acid and dirt material on the battery terminals as well as across the battery will gradually lead to leaking of the charge. A multimeter checks the leaking point of a battery. In carrying out Leak Test:

  • Fix the multimeter to a low setting on the voltage scale
  • Turn the multimeter on
  • Hold the negative terminal of the battery with your multimeter’s black probe.
  • Hold the dirty cover of the battery using the red probe.

Any little amount of voltage that the multimeter records show that the battery power has begun leaking —due to a buildup of deposits on the battery. However, if you obtained a multimeter reading of zero voltage—but still believe that a certain device drains your battery’s power— it is advisable to carefully examine the circuit. This will enable you to locate the device that may be draining your battery’s power.

 

How to Use a Multimeter for a Voltage Drop

Additionally, you can use a multimeter to test terminals of a battery for a voltage drop. In this case,

  • Switch off the ignition system;
  • Touch the positive terminal of the battery using the red probe of the multimeter. Next, touch the negative probe of the multimeter to the negative terminal the battery;
  • Start the engine and register the reading on the multimeter.

A 0.5 V register shows that the terminals are dirty. Hence, you should clean or examine the state of the battery post as well as the terminals.

  • Check the other battery terminal. Touch the multimeter’s black probe to the negative terminal of the battery then turn on the ignition. Likewise, a 0.5 V or more multimeter record shows that there is possible damage or the terminal is dirty.

 

Final Note

Both multimeter and hydrometer are crucial in testing conditions of your car’s battery. Apart from the condition of the battery, you can use the two devices to test for defects within the battery.

These tests depend on the type of battery and condition to be tested. You should first decide on what you want to test. Then, using the steps outlined in this article, carry out your car battery’s tests.

Knowing how to change headlights will save you money. You won’t need to give an engineer lots of dollars to provide you the simple service. Again, you won’t have to halt your journeys.

Be the doctor of your car. First, examine the health of your car’s headlights. In the process, you may realize that the headlights regularly become glimmer. In other cases, your headlights become dimmer day by day or become dipped. In either case, your fast service is required. And the solution is:

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How to Change Car Headlights: Step by Step Guide

This is important because the information—that you are about to acquire — will enable you to set up your car’s headlights any time need arises. Therefore, whether day or night, you will be able to enjoy using your headlights.

Let’s dive in;

Step 1: Power down Your Car

For safety reasons, it is advisable to change your car’s headlights while the engine is not running. I bet you are about to ask me, “How should I power down the car?”

The process of powering down a car is quite similar in all types of cars. The most common steps to follow are:

  • Once at the parking lot, push the gear to P-mode
  • Gently pull the hand brake
  • Turn off the car’s ignition
  • Pull off the keys from the ignition.

Alternatively, you can as well follow this:

First, stop the car in the place you want to park it— most probably the parking lot. Next, pull the hand brake. Then, push the gear to N (Neutral) mode. After this, turn off the ignition followed by pushing the gear to parking mode (P). Finally, remove the keys.

Either of the two ways is acceptable when turning down the car.

Step 2: Locate the Holder of The Headlight

To access the headlight bulb, you need to open the engine compartment of your car. First, open the hood of the car. To do this, look for the hood opening lever. Most of the time, this lever is found in a place where the driver can easily access it—inside your car. The hood opening lever has a handle that you can pull. Pull the handle. Once the handle is pulled, the hood disconnects automatically in the front of the car.

Then, move to the front of the car. While there, slide the lever sideways. This you do by using one of your hands. Use the other hand of yours to simultaneously lift the hood of the car. While lifting, hold onto the hood tightly until you are able to lift it up.

As soon as you have opened the hood, you will access the engine compartment of your car. Through the engine compartment, you will be in a position to locate the headlight. It is found next to the foremost end of the car. The headlight is in a bulb holder, with the three power wires joined to the bulb.

Step 3: Disconnect the Power Wires of The Headlight Bulb

Usually, there are three wires connected to the bottom of the lightbulb. These are power wires. The wires are joined to a plug at the bottom of the headlight. They are either connected by a plastic catch, a screw cap or a metal clip. The connection heavily depends on the type of vehicle.

When working on a metal clip, pull it up and away. Ensure you are having a tight grip on it during the process of pulling. A plastic catch contains, at its top, a small lever. It is this lever that you push down on to. At the same time, you need to be pulling the plug out.

Conversely, working on a screw cap demands that you unscrew it. You unscrew in an anti-clockwise manner.

Step 4: Remove the Old Headlight

The process of unscrewing the old headlight may differ in cars. This is because some cars have different designs from others. For instance, it is possible to instantly reach the bulb in some cars whereas this is totally impossible with some cars— especially the latest designs.

In some cases, the air filter housing or the battery of the car blocks your path to the headlight. In some cases, you are obliged to remove the inner fender, in addition to getting behind it.

Nevertheless, if you are able to open the headlight it becomes simple to change the bulb. In this scenario—once you have disconnected the power wires—you should be in a position to get rid of the back of the headlight holder.

Holding onto the base of the headlight holder, remove the old bulb. In some instances, you will need to slightly rotate the bulb. Rotating the bulb enables it to be free—thereby easing its removal.

If you break the clips, you will have to remove the whole headlight. This means you have to study and see how the bulb is connected to the headlight. Here, gently remove the bulb. Then, you will need to reverse the process, moving back together without holding onto a glass of the headlight bulb.

Step 5: Insert the New Headlight

Before you install the new bulb, you need to clean it. First, hold the new bulb with gloves or tissue paper. This is to prevent your body oil from interacting with the bulb. For the best cleaning, use an alcohol wipe.

After cleaning the bulb, gently screw it into the base of the headlight plug without touching it with bare hands. In the correct position, none of its rubber gaskets should show up. After the bulb has been inserted, return the back of headlights into its right place. Then, plug the three power wires back in.

At this point, you are done with changing the headlights of your car. Next, test if the bulbs are working. This you do by turning on your car followed by switching on the headlights.

If the bulbs work as expected, close the hood of your car. Now, your headlights should just shine like they were when you bought the new car. Go ahead and enjoy your new headlights, whether during the day or at night.

However, if your find that the headlights do not function— even after changing the bulb — do either of the following: Check the fuses and the wiring. For example, if you find that power goes to the fuses but not the headlights, keenly examine your wiring since that is why there is a problem.

Alternatively, check if the bulb that you have just inserted is suited to your plug. Mostly, this happens with halogen bulbs. In a case where the halogen bulb runs hot and the OEM plug—that the car was bought with from the factory— is unable to accommodate the excess wattage, it begins to melt.

Consequently, a poor connection is realized and the headlights turn off automatically. In such a case, you have no option but to change the sockets.

 

Final Note

You need to regularly check the state of your car’s headlights. This will enable you to identify any defect as soon as the problem starts to worsen. In the process, you will avoid unnecessary severe effects that would have otherwise damaged your car’s headlight system.

An obvious remedy to correct damaged headlights is to change them. Changing headlights have never been easier if you are unaware of the steps to follow. Otherwise, you now have the need skills to do so. Go and implement.

Tonneau covers are an essential part of any truck owner`s day, whether you are driving under the hot sun in the summer or snowy winter. The main issue is that most Tonneau covers are either made of polyester or vinyl, which is not scratch-proof and sometimes, not fully waterproof. Sometimes, the padding or the seal on the side may be insufficient, leading to leaks through the sides of your bed cover; That doesn’t necessarily make it useless. To avoid coughing out more cash every time you notice a soggy spot in your cargo, you have to learn how to fix a leaking Tonneau cover.

Using this DIY method to cover leaking spots on your cover is way cheaper, and it may give you a few more years of service if you use the right material and do it right. In this guide, we have put together a step by step process that will help you make your Tonneau cover leak-proof in a short time.

 

What You Need to Fix a Leaking Tonneau Cover

  • Install Water Pipes For Draining

One of the most standard solutions for a tonneau cover leaking on the sides is to install water pipes fitted with rubber insulation on the sides. Usually, they already have slits and adhesives at the sides for immediate covering of the gaps. You can also combine as many as you need covering from top to bottom.

The pipes also make the bed cover firm allowing excess water to drip, preventing stagnation, which is the main cause of most leaks. They can be bought on Amazon or visit your local store and look for one that best fits your tonneau cover. They are also compatible with both rolled and folded tonneau covers.

  • Installing extra Seals

This is another simple way to cover leaks on the side of your tonneau cover, especially if the leaks are minimal. Buy the cover seals that resemble or look compatible with your current seal then install it on the source of the leaks. Extra seals are, however, not the best option if you are dealing with large holes as they may lead to more leaks.

  • Bed seal kits

The bed seal kits keep your cargo bed conditioned. They are a package of everything you need to keep the water contained as they come in packages that have seals, foam blocks, and straighteners for the tonneau cover. It does not only protect your tonneau covers from rain but also from snow and dust. It is costlier than the other two but more effective. Some kits may include a drainage system that keeps water from gathering behind your truck.

 

Step by Step Guide for Fixing Leaks on a Tonneau Cover

  • 1. Find the leak

This is the most crucial step in taming leaks on a tonneau cover. You may need an extra hand to identify precisely where the water is coming through. There are two ways of identifying leaking spots.

  • Fake Rain Method

This is very easy as long as you have a gardening hose with water supply.

  1. Put dry cardboard on the lining of your cargo bed
  2. Completely cover the cargo bed including the tailgate
  3. Sprinkle water on top of the tonneau cover mimicking rainfall without pressurizing it.
  4. Open the cover and find where the leaks are by identifying wet spots on your dry cardboard.

Once you are done, mark those leaking spots with a tape or a bright marker. This method is excellent as it helps you locate even the tiniest leaks in the tonneau cover

  • Daylight Examination

  1. Pack your truck in an open space under bright sunlight.
  2. Close the tonneau cover to the back
  3. Get help in closing the tailgate while inside your cargo bed
  4. Examine any spots that allow light to flood into the cargo bed

This is a great method for spotting leaks in a snap and rolled tonneau covers. You can also identify any wide scratches in the fabric. It is, however, not effective in identifying the smallest leaks.

 

  • 2. Sealing Off Leaks On A Tonneau Cover

Leaks are best stopped if covered from the top of the cover rather than the bottom. You should also ensure that the sealing material holds evenly onto the lining of the bed cover to prevent water from seeping past the seal itself.

  • Measure the sizes of the spots to find the material that best seals it off
  • Carefully stick the seals or the insulation pipes over the leaking spots if the leaks are coming from the sides.
  • You can stick waterproof adhesive tape on scratches and tears in the fabric of the tonneau cover

 

  • 3. Test and Repeat

You have to test your seals to ensure they work perfectly. We highly encourage using water to do the tests to be sure it won’t leak the next time you drive in the rain.

  • Once all the identified leaks are covered, cover the cargo bed and test it out using any of the two leak identification methods
  • Repeat the process if needed if there are any more leaks

If you keep finding leaks in the tonneau cover after performing the procedure, you can employ professional help or invest in another tonneau cover.

 

Conclusion

A tonneau cover is a must-have fixture for a truck. It is invaluable in keeping your cargo safe from harsh weather and prying eyes, but it only serves you best if it is waterproof. Having a leaking tonneau cover can is a disappointing experience, especially if you carry water-sensitive cargo. A few leaks on the cover are, however, not the end of its valuable service, all you have to do is buy the right sealing material, trace the leaking spots then seal them off. This guide has all the details you need to renew the waterproof properties of your tonneau cover.

Many people have wanted to know what causes spark knock. Everyone has had experience with this before. You are out for a walk and on the road when you hear the loud knocking of someone else’s engine. Ratting and pinging might be other noises as well. It truly is not a pleasant sound. Of course, you never want this to happen to you, but if it does, you need to know what causes it.

At its most basic of form, a spark knock is a combustion, but there is a lot more than meets the eye. This type of combustion happens when there are too much heat and compression. Even though combustion is a controlled experience in a vehicle, a spark knock is not a natural thing. The combustion happens outside of its normal chamber. With added cylinder pressure, you get the annoying noises. Of course, if this does not get fixed, a head gasket problem is emminent, along with ring damage.

 

Engine Spark Knock: What Causes Spark Knock?

Nevertheless, why does this abnormal combustion happen? Well, let us hop into the most common reasons why. The Faulty EGR Valve is a great place to start.

 

Faulty EGR Valve

When it works normally, an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve help release exhaust gases. With the help of rerouting technology, emissions are reduced and the temperature during combustion is lessened as well.

As acceleration happens in a vehicle, the EGR stays open to allow the exhaust to be rerouted. When the EGR does not work appropriately, the gas cannot be rerouted. The temperature will continue to increase during combustion. Knocking sounds in the engine will continue to happen moving forward as well.

Carbon deposits are another reason why the EGR will not open either. If you imagine this is the reason for the spark knock, the EGR will need to be replaced. However, if things with the EGR are fine, then it is time to move onto the Knock Sensor.

 

The Knock Sensor Going Bad

With the modernized vehicles in the 21st Century, they are all supplied with knock sensors in the engine. However, if you have a vehicle older than the 1990s, then you should move onto the next possible spark knock issue. But, let us continue if you have a knock sensor.

This mechanism can adjust on the fly with ignition timing. With this in mind, the detonation process for combustion can be fixed. But, if the knock sensor does not communicate anymore to your vehicle’s computer, a spark knock will start to happen.

The computer will start to slow down the timing ignition during the combustion process. In turn, your power will be reduced in the engine as well. Even though this technology is around to save your engine from the worst damage, you will start to hear pinging noises when you accelerate the engine. To this point, there are some tests you can do to see if the knock is coming from the sensor. Have a mechanic do this to make it easy on you. If it passes, carbon buildup is next.

 

A Buildup of Carbon

The older your vehicle is, the worse chance carbon will buildup in your engine. Higher miles will not do you any favors either. Where carbon likes to build up is on piston tops. Combustion chambers also can get carbon accumulation, too.

Primarily, you will have a buildup of carbon happen when a car does not warm-up the way it was made to. This also can happen when people only drive a few minutes at a time regularly. To help with the problem of carbon, there are fuel additives that clean the chamber while it is in use. Other cleaners include ones to help with the carbon on the pistons. You can do this on your own, but a mechanic can certainly help with the process as well.

 

The Wrong Gas

You might not always think about the gas you put in your vehicle, but you should make it more of a priority in your life. You truly do not want to have low octane gas ruining the party going on in your engine.

Low octane gas can be the culprit for the knocking and pinging that can be so annoying. By following the car manufacturer’s guidance, you should not run into this problem. But, you should be diligent to figure out the right fuel for your vehicle.

Some people think low octane gas is better on your vehicle, but this could not be further from the truth. With low-quality issues, the fule will start to buildup cylinder pressure and the temperatures in the chamber used for combustion. Unfortunately, you will hear more and more knocks due to the combustion that has gone haywire.

Fortunately for you, this is one of the easiest fixes when it comes to a spark knock. Just change your fule up to a high-octane gas to get rid of the problem. However, if this does still not fix the issue, then your exhaust system may be gaining unwanted pressure.

 

An Exhausted Exhaust System

When you have increased pressure going to your exhaust system, you can imagine the temperatures rising and the combustion pressure increasing. As the gases leave out the tailpipe, they can start to get clogged. This is when you hear the unpleasant sounds coming out of the tailpipe itself.

When the gas gets to the tailpipe, it cannot work its way back to the intake manifold. This is why you get a huge burst out of the tailpipe. A good muffler will not help you hear. The combustion chamber will have an explosion and it will have to go somewhere. Inspection and evaluation are key here by a trained professional or if you believe you can handle the severity of the problem.

 

An Extreme Compression Ratio

This ratio usually happens in engines that are rebuilt, so if that is not you, move onto something else. However, if this could be the problem for you, this has everything to do with oversized cylinders. They can cause extra static compression. In turn, the volume in the combustion chamber reduces, yet the static increase. Insert more explosions here!

With these upped compression rations, the engine receives more power, but pinging and kncoking can be a result as well. If you do have low octane fuel, as stated earlier than this could make the problem worse. Even an engine that is turbocharged or supercharged can have spark knocks.

 

Bad Fuel Mixers

Low octane gas is not the only fuel that can cause spark knows. A lean fuel mixture can do it as well. The right mixture can do wonders for your vehicle, but the wrong one can cause heat to buildup and the combustion chamber to start to buckle at the seams. It is things like grimy fuel injectors and vacuum leaks that do most of the damage here. Lastly, a bad MAF sensor or limited pressurized fuel is no good either. Look into these components to come up with a solution.

Final Verdict

Spark knocks are about the worst sounds you can hear in the automotive world. However, if you can pinpoint the issue, you will be well on your way to figuring out how to fix it. When everything is said and done, then you can enjoy your vehicle for all it is worth.

Because every human who owns a car on planet Earth wants it to work, so they can use it to their advantage. Those advantages can be adventures, memories, and so much more. Feel confident knowing you know how to identify a spark knock. This way, you will continue to build confidence whenever you have a vehicle issue that needs assistance. Happy trails to you and the ones you ride with!

If you own a vehicle of any sort, you know that there is a lot of upkeep and things to be aware of in the process. With things from brakes to suspension, there is plenty to learn about the common automobile. But, many people truly want to know what causes low oil pressure and how they can fix the problem.

When you think of a vehicle, you have to remember that gasoline is like the lifeblood of the vehicle, while the oil is meant to protect everything about the car. If the oil is the lubrication, the gas makes the vehicle run. When there is not enough oil in the engine, many problems can occur.

Some of the problems include overheating and wear down of the engine. When this happens, the engine starts to have excess friction, which can hurt the life of your car. Low oil pressure is a reality as well, as there is not enough oil in the engine. There are many reasons for this, but let us break down the top-5 causes to start.

Causes of Low Engine Oil Pressure In Your Car

When it comes to causes of low oil pressure, there a few reasons for this. First, let us start with not enough oil and head down the list. From there, symptoms and solutions will help follow-up the section.

#1 – Needing More Oil

The most common issue with low oil pressure is not enough oil. This might seems too simple of a problem, but sometimes this is the case. With the busyness that the world can bring, people just forget to think of their vehicles. Everything else gets in the way of your low oil pressure.

Just remember every time you inspect or tune your car up, have them check for oil pressure. Most mechanics already do this when you take your car in, but it would not be a problem to ask them. This will give you peace of mind, so you can move forward with the rest of your life.

To find the right oil, which we will talk about later on, you can head over to a mechanic or automotive store to help you find the right oil for your vehicle. You know how important this is.

#2 – Wearing Out The Engine

Over time, everyone’s car will start to break down. Think of your vehicle like the human body. The body works with the help of the heart pumping blood to the rest of the body with the help of veins and arteries.

In the same way, the oil will move through the engine to help things like the cam bearings and the crankshaft. If there is not enough oil to go through the engine, the clearance into the engine will become wider and wider. With this in mind, your engine parts and surrounding support will find itself in trouble. Oil could flow too quickly and your oil pressure will certainly be reduced.

#3 – Oil Pressure Gauge Issue

Sometimes, your oil pressure gauge can break. When your car is created from the start, manufacturers put a gauge for oil pressure to help to tell car owners what is going on with their vehicle right at the moment. The gauge can fail, and you will not get an accurate reading or anything reading at all.

To make sure that your gauge is working appropriately, bring your car into a mechanic. This way, they can test if your gauge is making the correct reading. If the mechanic gives a different reading than your reading, your gauge is broken and will need a full replacement.

#4 – Oil Filter Trouble

Do not forget about your oil filter at this juncture either. With its important role in maintaining oil pressure, oil filters can get clogged over time. When this happens, oil pressure can go very low.

There is a handy-dandy relief valve for most vehicles to help with the oil filter trouble as well. This never will allow the pressure to get extra high. Unfortunately, if the valve is damaged in any way at all, you will see reduced pressure because the oil will be allowed to flow at will wherever it wants through the engine and beyond.

#5 – Oil’s Viscosity

Viscosity is the last thing that could be the problem for low oil pressure. The thickness of the oil is known as viscosity, and if it is extra thick, vehicle owners will run into a problem where the oil will not flow as fast throughout your vehicle. In turn, this will cause low oil pressure. The time of year can also change the oil’s pressure based on viscosity.

Now, if the viscosity of the oil is too high, the pressure will not be able to build up at all. Knowing which oil to use is a no brainer here, but we will get to that later.

We have hit the top five oil pressure issues. But, there are still more that you should take notice of if your car ever runs into this kind of situation. Let us start with a bad oil pump. Even though this may be one of the last things to check, it is certainly the most important if things start to go wrong.

 

Oil Pump Gone Caput

Even an oil pump breaks down over time in a vehicle. This is infamous for causing low oil pressure as well. With an overly-generous amount of oil, clearances with the help of the oil pump can cause problems to say it lightly.

Oil pumps vary in how much oil they need to export, but the general rule of thumb is less than 0.003 inches. This is between the cover and the gears of course. There should not be that much opening between the housing and the teeth either at only 0.005 inches. Even between the housing pump and the outer rotor should only have 0.012 inches maximum between them. With this in mind, you can see the purposefulness of an oil pump. If things do not exactly as planned, fear will ensue for you and your vehicle. Too much of an opening will limit pressure and overall flow.

Additionally, if any debris gets in the oil pump, there could be a jamming sequence. Some things that get jammed in an oil pump include seals, gasket particles, engine chips, dirt, sand, and so much more. Think of it like when you eat food. You need to ingest things that are good for your body, or your body will have negative effects quickly or over time.

To this point, some of you may be greatly surprised that anything could ever get under your engine hood and into your engine. Well, dirt, grime, and other culprits can find there way into almost anything. Even with a screen covering the oil pump, there can certainly still be obstacles.

A large piece of debris will not get in, but the pickup screen cannot catch everything. If the screen has oil that cannot pass through, or there is a clog, grime and other particles will find their way somehow into the oil pump. Since the hole of the screen is 0.040 inches, anything can find its way into the square. The reason it is even this big is that oil still needs to flow to make the engine run. Ultimately, this means that the oil pump runs on an unfiltered product, unlike anything else in the engine structure.

To put things into perspective, the smallest of coating issues (only 0.05 inches thick) can clog up the opening to the oil pump. Even a small amount like that can reduce 40 to 50% of the oil flow. When it comes to your engine running smoothly, this will be a big negative, as you try to get the most out of your vehicle.

 

Relief Valve Getting Leaky

We have already talked about the issues with a broken relief valve. However, this component can become leaky as well. In turn, it can allow small debris inside as well. Typically, the valve should work between 40 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). When the leaking happens, the psi can shrink below 40.

At this point, your oil filter can break and even blow up under your engine. That might be a sight to see, but not when it involves your friends. Not just the filter will blow, but the plugs holding in the filter may be blown into oblivion as well.

 

Symptoms of Low Oil Pressure

When you see your indication light coming on with oil pressure as its focus, it is certainly time for you to take action. If you ignore this reading, here are some of the symptoms of low oil pressure that you will start to take notice of.

To start, you will hear valves in your engine start to clatter. The hydraulic lifters will be working extra hard without the proper oil to help with lubrication. Instead of using oil to lubricate, it will try to use oil. This would be a great time to rush to a mechanic or get a tow. If you do not, more detrimental things will start happening.

Next, you will continue to hear a thing that should trouble you about your vehicle. Knocking noises will begin to happen as well as rapping. This would be your rod bearings that are saying enough is enough.

Lastly, your engine will seize up and your vehicle will come to a complete stop. Your engine has now passed away. Things just got a lot more expensive for you.

Know that it is normal for oil pressure to reduce over time. This is the wear and tear that is bound to happen with any vehicle on the market today or in the hands of leasers and owners.

 

Low Oil Pressure Solutions

There are a lot of solutions that we can get to when fixing low oil pressure, but one of the best ideas is to go see an oil mechanic unless you think you can do the deed on your own. The mechanic most likely has a reader who will be able to work for your car. Do this kind of investigative work may help the auto mechanic to see the problem is coming from somewhere else like the fuel pump or another important part of the vehicle. A great mechanic will consider all these things.

Overall, you should make sure to get regular maintenance on your vehicle. Think of it as your trips to the doctor and the dentist. You need to go at least once in the year, so they can see how you are holding up. The same can be said by taking your car in to check the oil pressure. If you bring your vehicle regular enough, you will save yourself from costly repairs down the road. When you routinely monitor your oil, which does not take very long at all, you will fend off serious issues like engine block cracks. You certainly do not want to pay for that kind of repair.

However, some of you might want to figure out things on your own. In that case, it is now time to diagnose the problem on your own time. Start by using your dipstick pushed right into the engine. As you check how the oil levels are doing, make sure you get a proper reading. Having too much or not enough oil is detrimental for different reasons.

Remember when checking with a dipstick that you pull it out, clean it, stick it back in, and then you will get a proper reading. Especially if you have just used the vehicle, the oil reading will be splashed with oil as the car was in use. The low reading means oil is going too fast or a leak is happening. Neglect may be the last piece of the puzzle here. You can add the oil first, but this will only stopgap the problem. There is something worse going on.

If you have come down to a diagnose of leaking oil, there are a few things you can do. First, try fixing the leak with seals or brand new gaskets. Is the engine burning oil? You may need to fix the cylinders and rings. To figure this out, you can use a leak down and/or compression test. This will tell you how bad the rings and cylinders actually are. You can start with seals, but it may need an overhaul with valve steams and the whole thing to boot.

After you have checked the oil viscosity is correct for your vehicle, you can try to clean any clogs in the filter. From here, if things are still having issues, the oil pump is the only feasible problem. You can either have a mechanic replace the oil pump or it is on you to do.

 

What Oil To Buy

Or all you may have to do is change out your oil instead. The heavy viscosity oils include 30W, 40W, and 20W-50. This will help maintain the best oil pressure. If you live in a hot weather area, this is the best form of oil money can buy. However, if you also have cold weather where you are, these oil options will not be your friend. The lubrication problem you will see is an overheating of cam engines.

On the other hand, low viscosity oils could be the solution as well, with forms of 10W and 5W-20. Ideal for cold weather, the lubrication of your engine will be no problem at all. However, these options are not good for the hottest of weather.

Looking for year-around oil? 5W-30 is the gold standard for this type of person. For the most modern engines, any of these options can work. You just need to know how they will impact your vehicle in the area you live in.

Final Verdict

Now that we have come down to the end of the article, you have all the information at your disposal. It is now up to you with what you want to do with it. At first, having low oil pressure might not seem like a cause for concern, but this could be a detriment to you and your pocketbook.

As you take this problem seriously, you will be able to get to the bottom of the issue quicker than you ever thought possible and come up with quality solutions. It really is about trial and error to work through the step when figuring out what you need to do in your car.

When you have come up with the solution, and everything is said and done, then you can go back to using your car like it was meant to be. This way, you can own the roads wherever you travel to. Great memories will ensue and you will not worry about a thing. Stay safe on the road of life, wherever the highways and byways take you.

Tire wear is bound to happen with every vehicle. The difficult thing is the fact that tires are not a minimal part of a vehicle. They are truly a car’s foundation. With a vehicle’s tread helping the handling of the car, you can also receive better comfort in your car with the right tires that are not worn down. When you have a solid tread, you can expect the safest of driving experiences.

The wearing of a tire also has a lot to do with proper maintenance of your tires. When you inflate the tires to the perfect pressure, your tire’s tread will hold up better over time. Additionally, your wheels will stay in alignment as well.

Even with all of these things in mind, you need to know what tire wear looks like. When you do this correctly, you could protect yourself from a horrible blowout that could cause a wreck when on the freeway or the country roads. So, let us check out the top-7 tire wear issues in the 21st Century.

7 Types of Tire Wear Explained

#1 – Toe Tire Wear

Think about a pair of shoes the same way you think about toe tire wear. Over time, your shoes start to fall apart, especially around the toes of the shoes, where there is a lot of stopping and starting. The kind of excessive wear of tire can be seen on the outer or inner edge of a vehicle’s tire. What this should suggest to you is that wheel alignments may be a necessity here.

If you continue to go down this road, expect your car to not stop as quickly or have as comfortable a ride from Point A to Point B. This kind of wear usually shows up as a feathered pattern around the front 2 tires of a vehicle. Just remember, in a similar fashion that shoes will lose their traction, so with tires with toe wear.

#2 – Edge Tire Wear

The edges of your tires can wear down over time as well. This happens when a tire is underinflated. So, make sure to pump up your tires as often as possible. One rule of thumb is the fact that you should check your tire pressure every time that you get gas in your vehicle. If you do not do this, then you will run the risk of having this problem come to you.

With this type of wear, the middle of your tire will look good at all times. But, the edges will have even wear and tear. Just because the tire looks evenly on either end of the tire.

#3 – Tire Cupping Wear

You will notice every couple inches or so on your tire that the suspension and balance start to rub the tires the wrong way. You will notice your tires starting to get compromised, bent, worn down, and so much more. The cupping insignia is a scalloping pattern that goes across diagonally on the tire.

If this is the problem you run into, go immediately to a mechanic to get your balance and suspension. This might be a pretty penny to get things covered, but you will care about your tires in the long run. And since your tires are the lifeblood of the vehicle, then it is on your to get the best out of the products you buy for your car.

#4 – Center Tire Wear

This is one of the most common wear and tear on a vehicle. When a car’s tires are inflated too much, you will see the center of the tire wear out quicker than the edges. Another reason to check your tires when getting gas is to check for overinflation.

It will only cost you a quarter or less to let the air out of your tires, so you will have the best ride on the road. This kind of wear can be stopped in its tracks if you are aware of the needs your tires ask of you.

#5 – Camber Tire Wear

Having a camber tire wear is a funky kind of issue your car can come up again. What you will notice is one side of your tire wear down, while the other side looks brand new. When the camber is misaligned, this is a must to get things checked out.

Go to your mechanic and ask them to take a look. Chance are that you need to have the camber fixed in some way. The prices may vary, but it will be worth your while in the long run.

#6 – Sidewall Wear

When dealing with sidewall wear, you must look out for this troubling situation. This wear usually happens when a driver parks right up against a curb. Street parking and other urban situations bring this type of wear to light for many drivers in today’s day and age.

As the sidewall starts to weaken, the tire’s core starts to get affected. The worst-case scenario is that your tire will buckle causing a flat. Then, you will be stuck on the side of the road needing help with your spare. Do not be that individual.

#7 – The Flat Spot Wear

If you are an aggressive driver, you may run into this next problem. People who are reckless on the roads, brake very quickly, or leave the emergency brake can cause damage to their tires. The worst-case scenario here is that you have an awful brake issue that might need a complete overhaul costing you thousands of dollars.

Are you starting to notice this problem happening with your tires? Then, be more careful when your brake. Place yourself far behind the car in front of you. This way, you will have plenty of time to break without making your tires screech with the smell of burnt rubber-not far behind. By checking your foundational issue that is braking, you will not have to deal with the dreaded flat spot wear.

Other Issues That Cause Wear & Tear

Along with the top tire wear issues mentioned above, there are three other issues that can wear down your precious tires. This involves loads, springs, and bushings. Let us start with Loads

Load Management

If you put a lot of weight in the back of your vehicle, you will be sure that the toe, camber, and caster will cause some problems for you and your vehicle. The front and even the rear of the vehicle can start to be misaligned, and you know by now the problems you might have to face in the interim.

One problem is the caster and the camber will have a front positive issue. Furthermore, if you own a car with a rear suspension that is independent of the rest of your vehicle, you can bet you will have a negative camber. You will have a toed outwear because of this dilemma.

Springs

Springs are essential in your vehicle to help with suspension, but they can wear down over the life of the vehicle. In turn, your tires can start to wear down as well. Here is what the suspension is supposed to do normally.

A normal suspension should rebound and compress every time you hit a bump or uneasy terrain. This way, you will have the smoothest of rides. During this process, the alignment changes angles. What a mechanic can do when the suspension starts to get faulty involves an alignment.

The ride’s height can play a part in the process, so mechanics know the formula for how to give the best handling around, as well as normal wear and tear that the tires can handle. When this is not done probably or not done at all, you can bet your bottom dollar that your tires will struggle to last.

When spring does not support your vehicle as it should, your alignment will certainly suffer. A mechanic can tune your suspension so it is toed out to help with rear compression. In turn, you will get more stability from your vehicle, but you will also get a negative part: wear and tear on the inner edge.

If the type of material for your springs can have different wear on your tires for different reasons. For example, metal springs are usually treated with heat. However, they will still show fatigue over time nonetheless.

Other kinds of springs include torsion bar, coil, and leaf varieties. For these lovely spring, make sure that you talk with your mechanic or you do our homework to make the right adjustments here. They will be extended for any type of vehicle, especially for the camber on the axles pairing the same wheels. Regardless, you should inspect your springs whenever humanly possible. When getting gas to fill up your car, do not just stand there. Do a spring check.

Bushings

The last thing you should look for is bushings. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, your bushings could be in major trouble. Ozone can also be a problem as well as atmospheric issues. What happens is the rubber bushing begins to decay-causing destruction like none other on your vehicle.

When this happens unfortunately in your vehicle, your alignment will change. In turn, your tires will wear down. What trouble cars can be, huh?

Hydraulic bushings are also in a variety of vehicles. The bushings are used for the controlled arms on the lower side of the vehicle. Over time, the bushings can start to leak out and then fail. In turn, the extra movement will start to happen in the vehicle that is unexpected and unwanted. Because of this, the tires will start to have a toe outwear, along with negative camber. Do not expect much longer of life from your tires at this point.

Figuring Out the Measuring Depth of the Tread

There are a few ways that you can measure the depth of the tread. When figuring this out, you can use the penny test or the help of mechanical and digital tools. Let us start with the penny test.

The Penny Test

This is one of the easiest ways to check how your tires are doing. By placing your penny upside down in the tire tread, they can give you a general idea of what you need to do next. Place Abraham Lincoln’s head in between the tread.

If you can see the top of the former president’s head, the tread will be worn down at this point. And you guess it. A replacement is certainly needed for your tires.

Mechanical & Digital Tread Depth Tools

For a more accurate reading, try a mechanical or digital tool. This will help you find the best tread depth around. You will see that both tools measure the depth between 0 and 19/32 inches. With this in mind, you will find success with all your tread depth needs.

How Important is Tire Maintenance?

With the help of rotation and other maintenance, you must care for your tires like you would your child. Alright, maybe that is a little excessive, but you get the idea here. Rotations are key because when the wearing started to happen, and it will, you can move the tires around scientifically, so you can get an even wear on your tires. This way, they will last longer than you ever thought possible.

Inflation, as stated earlier, is also something that should be on your brain a lot of the time. You will just be wasting money if you do not keep them inflated to the best of your ability. If you like to waste money, be my guest. But, I imagine you are reading this because you would like to spend your money on other things than just new tires every year. Tires should last you a couple of years, so give them the best life possible.

Fixing Wear & Tear

Not all wear and tear issues can be fixed. You may just have to replace the tire. But, there are some circumstances where you can patch and fix your tire.

Take a puncture for instance. It is merely a flesh wound in the car world, and it has a high rate of success when looking to fix a vehicle’s tire. If you see your tire going flat, get a spray bottle full of soapy water. Spray the water where you think the issue is coming from. Do you see bubbles forming? Then, you have a puncture. With the help of a plug or a patch, you can fix the problem. However, keep in mind that a patch is better than a plug-in in most cases in the 21st Century.

When Do I Replace My Tires?

Eventually, tires do need to be replaced. If you wear your tires down too much, you will run into flats and blowouts at the most inopportune times. So, with this in mind, check out these warning signs if you, for any reason, believe you need to replace your tires.

  • Tires of 2/32 inches or less of quality tread
  • Rubber is starting to crack and peel
  • Spare cannot have these issues either
  • Check your tires if you live in places with varying temperatures, you load up your truck a lot, and/or you have had maintenance for inflation pressure on your vehicle.

Other warnings you should look out for include seeing more than 3 treadwear issues on one tire. It is natural to have some wear on tires, but if you are seeing multiple issues on one, a replacement should be in your future. Another problem is if you see the fabric and/or the tire cord seeping through the rubber. This is never a good sign. Go get new tires pronto.

As stated earlier, the sidewall and tire wear are the most common signs you will see when tires start to have issues. Cracking, cuts, deep snags are all no-nos you should identify as a vehicle owner.

Are your tires splitting or bulging? Then, “Houston: we have a problem,” too. Of course, punctures, cuts, and other damages can maybe be repaired. But, you may just have to get a new tire at this point.

Storing Tires

Many people overlook this factor for tire wear, but how you store your tires properly is important as well. Since tires age just like people do, know that storing them mounted onto a car can lessen their value. Think of cars like Jeeps who hold the spare tire on the back of the vehicle. Even though these tires on not being used on the ground, you can imagine that weather, like the hot sun and the cold snow, do not do the tires any favors.

So, here some rules of thumb when you have a spare hooked to the back of your Jeep, or if you are storing a vehicle for more than a month. When you park a vehicle, find the best cool, dry place you can nearby your home. This could be a garage, a storage center, or a flat area where you can cover your entire vehicle (even the tires of course). Keep away from sunlight because the rays are notorious for aging your tires like a fine wine. Unfortunately, the results are not as enjoyable as a fine Cabernet.

Your storage area should also be clear from gas, grease, and other chemicals that could damage or break down your tires. Anything that deteriorates rubber should be something you keep hundreds of feet away from your precious vehicle and your tires during storage. Remember that unmounted tires fit into this category as well.

As you continue to think about the best storage area for your vehicle’s tires, park the car on the flattest of surfaces. But, you may run into a situation where the long-term storage cause vibrations when your driving. To limit these issues, which happens in vehicles being parked over a month, either take off the tires or raise the vehicle off the ground. This will ensure your tires will stay healthy as they are not in use for an extended period.

How To Buy The Best Tread Saving Tires

Your tires do tell a story of how your car is performing on the roads. That is why it is necessary to buy tires that you are willing to price out, buy, and take care of for the long haul. By getting a professionals help, you will be able to top the problems that all tires can face. Professionals will also be able to help you decide when it is time to buy new tires after their life has run out.

Reputable websites and stores should be the place you buy quality tires. Do not think for a second you are getting a better deal on tires when they are cheaper than most. Without a good reputation from a store or website, you will probably get ripped off.

Final Verdict

Well, we have come to the end of the road when it comes to tire wear and tear. There is certainly a lot to take in. But, by now, you are a true professional. You know what to look for and you will not be blindsided by tire issues ever again.

Additionally, you have solutions if you ever run into trouble again. Tire issues are bound to happen if you own a car. But, if you are proactive about keeping your tires fresh and clean, you will be able to enjoy them for as long as they allow. Every brand has a general warranty and shelf life, so do your homework when picking out the best tire for you. This way, you can drive with confidence knowing that you will be able to drive around town or across the country with ease.

No matter where you travel to, be safe. Make sure to check your tires. And enjoy all the amenities that a car has to offer you. This way, you can make memories that last a lifetime for you and whoever you are with.

Every car needs a battery for it to function appropriately. But, you cannot just pick any battery and expect it to work in your vehicle. There are car battery group sizes that fit into different vehicles. With this in mind, do you understand what the different sizes are and how they work?

By understanding a BCI battery chart, you will understand how to replace the life source in your vehicle. Batteries differ in a few ways like cell type, purpose, and even chemistry, too. But, ultimately, when you understand how the grouping works, then you will be good to go wherever you roam.

How to Find Your Car Battery Group Size

When it comes to getting the right car battery group size, there are different physical dimensions that you should know about. There is an organization that can help with this. The Battery Council International (BCI) determines letters and numbers for the size of the battery group.

Usually, the car battery group size is sized up by the engine, make, and model of your vehicle. In some cases, some cars can use a variety of batteries. Still, know which batteries work or not. This way, you will not have to worry about your car to have some awful problems.

With the help of a replacement guide, you will get the correct battery size with ease. To this point, all you need to know if the battery will fit under your engine’s hood or not. This can all come together with the help of the vehicle’s manufacturer’s designations.

Types of Car Batteries

Know what type of battery can be an overwhelming thing. Of course, every brand of battery, from Firestone to Odyssey, has its successes and failures. Today, we will talk through some of the main classifications of batteries. There are dozens of machine-based batteries, but here are the top-7.

Group 8D – This type of battery is very large and used for commercial purposes. A battery like this is used for recreation vehicles (RVs), security systems, and medical applications. One of the most used 8D batteries includes the Gel-Cell Sealed Lead Acid (SLA), which has lithium iron phosphate.

Group 24 – A multipurpose battery, like Group 24, is used for the United Parcel Service (UPS). Additionally, these batteries can be used for wheelchairs and other industrial technologies. As a mid-sized battery, there are a lot of different dimensions. This can cause issues when trying to fit a Group 24 battery in the battery compartment.

Group 27 – A Group 27 battery is also really large, like the 8D version. This battery has an Ah range from 66 to 110. Furthermore, they are extremely heavy. They can range from 54 to 70 pounds. When it comes to Group 27 batteries, there are 3 types: Group 27, 27H, and 27F.

Group 31 – If you own a boat or other marine technology, a Group 31 battery might be right up your alley. Truly, this is a very popular model on the market today. This is a decently large battery, but it varies in design, use, and chemistry.

Group 34 – A group 34 battery is not as large as a Group 31 battery, but it is a solid medium to a large battery. With an Ah range from 50 to 75, you will love the reserve capacity from 100 to 145 minutes. The nice thing about this battery is it is not that heavy, as it ranges from 37 to 51 pounds. This type of battery is perfect as a deep cycle option and it has amazing cranking properties.

Group 35 – If you own a truck, car, and/or RV, there is a good chance that a Group 35 battery could be good for you. As a dual-purpose battery, this option can also be used as a great back-up battery if you ever need an extra one. Some of the best Group 35 batteries are an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM), as well as the SLA battery.

Group 65 – Another industrial battery is a Group 65. But, automotive and marine options can use this type of battery, too. With a range of 750 to 950 CCA, you will also be impressed by the weight only going from 45 to 55 pounds per battery.

Differentiating Group Battery Sizes

There is not a rule of thumb when it comes to differentiating group battery sizes. In terms of length, a battery can range from 7 inches to over 20 inches. The width has a smaller range around 5 inches up over 7 inches. Lastly, the height battery ranges from around 7 inches up to over 9 inches.

Even with the ranges of batteries, there are specific groups you should get acquainted with. These include the side-post, recessed top post, and the standard top post. Let’s start with the side-post option.

Side-post batteries use Group 70, 74, 75, and 78. These batteries have cable ending with the help of a screw pressed into the battery. With a recessed top post battery, this type of battery is ideal for any manufacturer from Europe. These manufacturers include BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Ferrari, and much more. This includes group size numbers like 41, 42, and 47-49.

Lastly, the standard top post batteries are for Japanese cars. Imports and American vehicles also fit the bill as well. The range of numbers includes 24, 25, 34, 35, a variety of numbers in the 50s, and 65. These batteries make a connection with the metal hood, which causes a great spark.

Various Batteries Options

When it comes to the purpose of a battery, you can buy one to start a vehicle, as well for dual purpose and deep cycle. Also, there are a ton of cell types reaching from AGM, flooded cell and gel cell.

A gel cell battery uses a purely liquid electrolyte. These batteries are extremely tough. They will not break down when the temperature gets hot or if any physical shock happens. In specific, a gel battery is dry and sealed when it is ready to be used in a vehicle.

On the other hand, an AGM battery uses a glass mat without flooding any plates at all. With the help of thin fibers, they have meshed together for the most efficiency. There will be no spilled battery acid with this option either. Lastly, chemistry uses lead-acid, lithium, NiMH, and NiCd.

Final Verdict

Now that you have come to the end of the article, it is up to you to find the right group size battery. When you have the battery in mind, replace it safely. Then, you get to enjoy the roads wherever you travel to. Have a great year knowing your battery will be ready to roll wherever you decide to travel.