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Your car is a gift that you purchase for yourself. With utmost care, you ensure that it stays in top form for the next few years at least. Thankfully in today’s technologically advanced world, there are many products which help us in maintaining it and make it look as good as new. Let us have a look at the 5 best car detailing products and how best to use them.
· Car wash soaps and shampoos– When you travel in your car regularly it is for sure going to attract all kinds of dirt and mud to it. Hence, arises the need to clean it with an appropriate soap or shampoo at least once or twice a week. Most of the products available in the category are designed to achieve the maximum amount of suds. This ensures that you provide a neutral and gentle wash to your dear vehicle. The use of a car shampoo also guarantees zero residual and once done the car looks ready to rule the roads again.
· Car wax– Another way to ensure that the beauty of your vehicle stays intact is to wax your own vehicle. Pretty easy to use even a normal guy can use a car wax and get back the same shine that was there earlier. Just one application of car wax is enough to ensure that the car appears clean and devoid of any marks or blemishes. Moreover, if you have just got your car repainted applying a car wax makes sure that the paint does not fade away soon.
· Car vacuum– Often your car is home to small pieces of dirt which get trapped in the upholstery causing discomfort for you. To get these pieces out ideally you should purchase a cordless vacuum for use. The ones available in the market are lightweight and can hold a charge for nearly 18 months. A dirt bowl is provided which shows you how much of your car has been cleaned till now. There is a slim nozzle which you can rotate around and ensure that the car is cleaned from all corners.
· Clay bars– If you need in-depth cleaning of your car surface then a clay bar is what you need to focus your energy on. The clay bars have the capacity to remove materials which have sunk into the car and are difficult to remove. What makes them successful is that they do not damage the paint of your car. Once you have used a clay bar the surface of your car seems as smooth as glass and after that, you can ideally get the car waxed for better results.
· Pressure washers– To avoid the hassle of carrying your bucket and mug everywhere it is better you buy a pressure washer for cleaning the car. With a big extension wand, you can make it reach even those parts which you consider as inaccessible. Most of the pressure washers have a tip selector and dual cleaning tank which are going to make the cleaning work much easy for you.
While these are just a few cars detailing products available in the market you must choose the brand with care. Always read through the reviews so that you do not feel cheated upon not receiving the kind of results you expected. A regular usage of these products and your car looks shining and beautiful as it was on its first day.
Nothing compares to loading up the truck with supplies to last a few weeks and hitting the open road for a much-needed road trip. While heading down the highway for a relaxed drive is a great way to de-stress and see the country, it’s important to be sure to take time to have your brakes checked and make sure your car is good to go before loading up and taking off.
If you’re in need of a little time to clear your mind, check out some amazing scenery and burn some rubber as you cruise down the highway, here’s ten of the best bucket list road trips you may want to consider checking out.
The Road to Hana
If you live on the mainland of the United States, you will need to ship your car to Hawaii to take this scenic road trip, but it’s well worth the trip to drive this long and winding road. The Hana Highway, located in Maui is a nearly 65-mile drive where you’ll see spectacular waterfalls, lush floral, rare trees and beautiful, dense forests. This ride is guaranteed to be one of the windiest roads you may ever travel. On top of that, you’ll be able to check out some of the most scenic coastal views in all of Maui as you cruise down the highway. When you’re not cruising, be sure to check out the local surf scene, Thai restaurants and shopping centers in Maui for days on end of fun in the sun and discovering the best that Hawaii offers to visitors.
Pacific Coast Highway
Sunny California is the place to be when you want to have excellent views of the ocean while cruising through some of the most happening spots in all of the west coast. You can take the Pacific Coast Highway for a ride that will last just over 123 miles and make plenty of stops in cities including Santa Cruz, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco among others. If you start in San Francisco and ride the route all the way down to San Diego, you’ll have around 10 hours to drive and get a great view of the California coastline and the many great places to play, shop and dine along the way.
San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway
The San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway is 232 miles of some of the most magnificent scenic highway in the United States. Designated as an All-American Road, this long stretch of asphalt running through Colorado showcases breathtaking mountain views and stopovers in towns like Durango, Silverton and Cortez. You’ll be able to see natural hot springs, old mills, lakes and rivers as well as the majestic mountain peaks all throughout the ride.
Skyline Drive Scenic Highway
While you can travel down Skyline Drive in Virginia anytime of the year, the fall is the best time to venture down this 125-mile road that will put you directly into the Appalachian Mountains. Known as the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, you’ll catch breathtaking views of the mountains and will have plenty of action to partake in if you choose to stop. From white water rafting, camping and hiking the Appalachian Trail, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do while traveling through this beautiful area of Virginia. You’ll find that traveling through Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro, Virginia will offer a wide array of scenery, bursting colors of leaves and plenty of down home places to stop and grab a bite to eat along the way.
Black River Scenic Byway
While this road trip is a mere 11 miles, you’ll find it may be one of the best drives in America because of the amazing views and things to do. You can take time to stop for a picnic at the lake or even hike to the falls on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for a day filled with energetic fun and excitement. This stretch of road is packed with undeveloped forest land and is a favorite spot for locals but often never seen by tourists traveling through Michigan. It’s one of Michigan’s rare gems and a great place to take a road trip.
Location: New Hampshire
Want in on a little secret? New Hampshire is the place to be this fall when the leaves start changing color. While so many people flock to the south to see the fall foliage, New Hampshire is often overlooked although along the Kancamagus Highway, the leaves are bursting with vibrant colors and a beautiful stretch of highway just waiting to share the beauty of the state with you. Road trips are made for taking photos and you’ll want to make sure you have your camera with a fully charged battery as you travel along the 35 miles of scenic highway in Northern New Hampshire. Not only will you see plenty of fall foliage if you choose to travel during the fall, but you can visit the White Mountains and the Swift River anytime of the year and spend hours, or even days, exploring the woods, camping and relaxing in beautiful, scenic surroundings.
Park Loop Road
If you’ve never been to Maine before, road tripping down Park Loop Road will be a great excuse to head north to explore the beautiful state. Along the 27 miles through Acadia National Park in Maine you can see the beautiful Maine coastline as well as eagles soaring in the sky, lush forest land and majestic lakes.
Tail of the Dragon
Location: Tennessee and North Carolina
Starting on Deals Gap right on the Tennessee/North Carolina border, the Tail of the Dragon is one of the most popular road trips for bikers as well as car drivers in the Appalachian Mountains. Complete with long, twisting roads filled with some of the sharpest turns you’ll ever drive, this is one scenic route that is well worth the drive to see. For some, it’s a thrill ride and one that can be dangerous if your eyes leave the road for even a second. For others, it’s a peaceful area with a long and winding road where photo ops are everywhere and there are plenty of spots to pull off the road, take a little hike and really enjoy the brilliant mountainous scenery for hours on end. Be sure to watch the road carefully during the drive and don’t gawk at the scenery unless you’re pulled over or sitting in the passenger seat because as beautiful as this road may be, it’s also one of the deadliest in the U.S. because of all the twists and turns and some of the speed demons traveling along the way.
Mount Washington Auto Road
Location: New Hampshire
If you love great scenery and enjoy hiking, bicycling or splashing around in waterfalls, then a drive to Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire is the place to be. This legendary road trip offers scenic views up to 5000 feet above sea level and has breathtaking views not for the faint at heart. This is a popular drive and one you can take in your own car or even in a guided van as drivers show you the best views along the way. At the base of the road, you’ll find a spectacular lodge where you can spend an evening sitting by the fire, dining in luxury and sleeping in a comfortable bed before heading back out on the road again. Be sure to take your camera and be ready for a great photo shoot as you take this road trip.
Owning a car is a more complex concept than most of us really recognize. Sure, if you’re an adult and you’ve had vehicles before you’re probably in a little bit of a groove, so to speak. But if it’s your first time owning a car, or your first time buying one on your own, there’s a lot to consider that you may not have thought of before. Most of it has to do with financing and maintenance, but the purpose of this article is not to go over these details. Rather, it’s to address some of the underlying traits that lead to successful car ownership. Four stand out.
This is more about the process of buying a car, but it may ultimately be the most important trait for a car owner. The Balance did a whole write-up on this same topic, and pointed to ideas like “knowing how to get the best financing” or car insurance, or more simply, “knowing how to select the right car.” These are very broad ideas, but they can all fall under the umbrella of being scrupulous, which is to say maintaining discipline, thoroughness, and attention to detail throughout the research and purchasing process. You want to make sure you’re considering all factors that matter to you and getting the best deal possible on the most appropriate vehicle.
Being Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional intelligence comes up in all kinds of disciplines: in business, investing, starting your own company, etc. An article about its usefulness among poker players framed the idea in a particularly interesting way, discussing the need to take control of emotions and calmly accept thoughts and feelings without having abrupt reactions. This second bit is often ignored. Emotional intelligence is not about ignoring thought and feelings in favor of stoicism. Rather, it’s about being calm about your own reactions. This means keeping a level head when a situation arises around your vehicle, such as the need for a repair, upkeep, etc.
Pride is generally viewed as a somewhat harmful concept. Indeed, some who are devoutly religious would even declare it to be sinful. However, where car ownership is concerned pride can actually be valuable. If you learn to care about your vehicle and take pride in it – its performance, its upkeep, its appearance, etc. – you’ll be more likely to keep it in its best possible state. This should make it run as safely and consistently as possible, and will also keep its potential resale value as high as it can be.
Being Able To Sell
This is a major concept in any kind of investment or ownership. Business owners need to know when to sell part or all of their companies; investors constantly research when to sell stocks as a major aspect of the entire process; even collectors monitor obscure markets to determine how and when to sell for the maximum profit. A car is not necessarily an investment by any means, but as an owner you should at least stay mindful of the possibility of selling, so that you can make the most financially appropriate decision if and when the time comes.
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Have you Checked your Car’s Brakes and Pads? I have…….
Proper brakes and pads can not only damage your vehicle but could also be critical for your safety as a driver or your passengers. Your brakes are what enable you to stop. If you cannot stop your car it could be very dangerous. It’s very easy to overlook the maintenance of your cars brakes. So here is what you can do. These simple steps can help save a life!!
When to check your Brakes- Every vehicle is different and everyone drives in different areas. For instance one may drive in urban areas and use their brakes more often than one who drives on rural roads due to starting and stopping of city traffic. Normally 6 months or 10,000 miles would be a good time to check them or you may choose to have your tires rotated by a professional technician and at that time they can check your brakes and pads.
Jack up your vehicle and remove a front wheel. (Use blocks for safety)
The brake caliper has to be removed before you can remove a brake disc, and the good news is that there’s no need to do so. If you’re working alone, just check the visible part of the disc for heavy rust, scoring, and uneven wear. Rust generally is harmless unless the vehicle has been standing idle for a long time and the rust has really built up. If your disc is badly scored or worn unevenly, have a professional determine whether it can be reground or needs to be replaced.
Inspect your brake caliper (the component blocking your view of the entire brake disc).
Be careful. If the vehicle has been driven recently, the caliper will be hot. If it’s cool to the touch, grasp it and gently shake it to make sure that it isn’t loosely mounted and its mounting hardware isn’t worn.
Peek through the inspection hole in the dust shield on the caliper and look at the brake pads inside.
If the linings on the brake pads look much thinner than the new ones you saw at the supply store or dealership parts department, or if they are less than 1/4 of an inch, they probably have to be replaced. If the linings have worn to the metal pads, the disc probably has to be reground or replaced as well.
Replace your wheel, lug nuts, and hubcap, and lower the vehicle to the ground.
If the disc and pads seem to be in good condition and your brake pedal doesn’t flutter when you step on it, you don’t need to do anything else.
Always Remember –Relining, caliper maintenance, and disc grinding should be left to a professional unless you do the job under supervision at an auto class.
The Life Of A Recycled Tire
Nothing lasts forever, but old tires come close. With nearly 300 million tires being discarded in the United States every year, scrap tires were once a common element of landfills. However, because scrap tires can take more than 80 years to break down in some cases, throwing them into landfills was a solution that was far less than perfect. That’s not even considering the amount of space they take up in landfills, or their tendency to damage landfill liners, cause soil and groundwater contamination, and attract rodents.
The good news, however, is that scrap tires have become far less of a problem than they used to be. In 1990, only 11 percent of scrap tires were put to other uses, whereas end-use markets consumed more than 87 percent of scrap tires in 2015. A significant number of scrap tires today are recycled into rubber mulch that is used in a variety of applications. This mulch can be used as protection on playgrounds, as a component of synthetic turf for sports fields, as a material for running tracks or as a backdrop for shooting ranges, among other applications.
Rubber mulch offers some advantages over traditional wood mulch in many of these applications because it typically lasts longer and does not blow away as easily during storms. These advantages are in addition to the biggest benefit of tire recycling, which is far fewer tires taking up space and contaminating the ground in landfills.
Although rubber mulch is essentially made up of ground-up tires, there’s more to the process than simply throwing scrap tires into a shredder. There’s a highly specialized process that transforms scrap tires into the rubber mulch that protects children from falls on playgrounds or lines stalls in horse stables. Metal sidewalls and other debris have to be removed from the tires, and the rubber needs to be processed with special chemicals to soften them after they are mulched. What’s left after the entire process is complete is an eco-friendly alternative to wood mulch that keeps people safe and keeps scrap tires out of landfills.
The infographic below takes you through the life of a recycled tire, detailing the recycling process as well as some of the key benefits of recycling tires into rubber mulch. Old tires may seem like they can last forever, but recycling scrap tires has been proven to be a great way to ensure that their long lives result in far more good than harm.
Author bio: Penny Klein, owner of Perfect Rubber Mulch, has extensive experience in the industry and understands the best product fit for her clients’ needs. She works with customers to guarantee the right amount of product is purchased, and makes certain the delivery process is best in class.