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Categories: How-To Articles

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:26AM | By: Chris Salamone


Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012 test 2

Occasionally, an event so exciting, so dramatic, and bizarrely authentic graces the average auto enthusiast’s agenda. As a result, months of planning and preparation go into a single quasi-religious-type migration. For some, that trip might be to the Concours, and for others it could be Indy. But not all gearheads are sated by mere spectator events alone.

Queue: Aaron Copland’s Rodeo.

The Overland Expo, or OX as it’s affectionately called, is an adventurers' carnival: a three-day feast of workshops, exhibitions, and camping, topped off with a travel film festival. Fortunately for us, OX 2012 has been slotted for May 18 -20, leaving ample time to refine our adventuremobiles and work a nice crease into our safari hats.


Fall Maintenance

On: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 5:22PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Fall Maintenance test 2

There’s no doubt about it, the fall weather is here and it’s only going to get worse. Not to worry though—your car is running fine and it’s unlikely that it’ll breakdown, right? It has been estimated that over five million breakdowns could be avoided each year if car owners would simply take the time to visually inspect their tires, belts, and hoses, etc. Although they’ve been covered before, I’ll go over them once again—five million is quite a big number!


Basic Tools

On: Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 1:24PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Basic Tools test 2

Over the years, I found that there are some inexpensive, yet almost indispensable, tools you should have available, assuming, of course, that you want to save money. Let's take a look at some:


Sealing That Leaky Hose

On: Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Sealing That Leaky Hose test 2

If you’re somewhat casual about automotive maintenance, it’s more likely that your cooling system is going to develop leaks. Under-hood temperatures can really skyrocket in the summer months, but the reality is, leaks can develop at any time.


 

Pre-Winter Maintenance

On: Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 3:14PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Pre-Winter Maintenance test 2

Do some pre-winter maintenance now because you know the good weather won’t last. This is the time to get your car in shape for the miserable months ahead. Maybe the Farmer’s Almanac says we’ll have a warm winter, but winter it still is. So at the minimum, you should perform the following preventative maintenance steps.


How To Flush Your Braking System

On: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 2:00PM | By: Peter C Sessler


How To Flush Your Braking System test 2

Your vehicle’s brake fluid should be changed on a regular basis, at least every two years.

Brake fluid never goes bad, it is hydroscopic—meaning it has a tendency to absorb moisture—something it’s supposed to do anyway. But it doesn’t take much moisture to make the fluid less effective. The heat generated by normal and especially hard braking makes the moisture in the fluid boil and that causes brake fade. And, what’s worse, brake fluid that is contaminated with moisture and dirt (if moisture gets in, dirt will get in the system, too) can have a very detrimental effect on braking systems that use anti-lock brakes. The contaminants can ruin the delicate innards of these systems, which are extremely expensive to repair.

You can’t really stop moisture from entering the brake system because the system is vented. The rubber brake hoses used are also permeable. So every time you open the master cylinder to check or add fluid, moisture is absorbed. Since the contamination process is a very, very slow one, it isn’t something to worry about, but flushing your brake system is a good thing to add to your automotive maintenance list.


How To Lease Your Next Car

On: Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 3:21PM | By: Peter C Sessler


How To Lease Your Next Car test 2

Leasing has become more popular over the last decade for several reasons. Car prices have climbed and, so, for many people, leasing, with its lower monthly payment is a viable alternative. This is particularly the only alternative for those who are interested in high-line and other expensive vehicles costing $30,000 and more. Few people have $15 or $20,000 lying around to put down on a car in order to have a manageable payment.


Buying A Used Car From A Private Party

On: Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 12:54PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Buying A Used Car From A Private Party test 2

Generally, people buy used cars because they can't afford a new one. All you have to do is to take a look at what cars are going for these days to understand why. I believe that the average price of a new car today is around $20,000! For this reason, used cars outsell new ones by a two to one margin.

You first have to decide what type of car you need. You really need to know in advance what you're looking for because the possibility of confusing yourself is great. There are just too many models and brands to choose from.


Cold Weather Hibernation

On: Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 7:22AM | By: Peter C Sessler


Cold Weather Hibernation test 2

Some car owners don’t drive their cars during the cold winter months, whether it’s a classic or perhaps a convertible. They prefer to just put their car away for the winter.

If you’re contemplating doing this, know that storing your car for any length of time does require some preparation and precautions, as it’s more than just a matter of putting your car in the garage after Thanksgiving and taking it out in April.


Shock Absorber Basics

On: Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 4:39PM | By: Peter C Sessler


Shock Absorber Basics test 2

Here’s an easy job you can do in your driveway—so you think. After all, a shock absorber has just two mounting points—one at the top and one at the bottom. What could be simpler? Actually, it is a simple operation, but you have to have the some simple tools to do it.

What about struts? Struts are similar to shocks but they usually incorporate a spring, and require a spring compressor for removal. Unless you decide to make an investment in these tools, you’re better off having these replaced professionally. Most cars use struts in the front and some in the rear as well, but most minivans, trucks, and SUVs use traditional shocks in all four corners.


The Cheapo Power Wash!

On: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 5:07PM | By: Peter C Sessler


The Cheapo Power Wash! test 2

There are several ways to get a quick wash. You can go to the traditional car wash, pay the ever increasing price or do it yourself at one of the do-it-yourself washes. Of course, there’s always your driveway, too, but for a quick and effective wash, the do-it-yourself places are pretty good because of the power nozzle feature and you can certainly do a better job yourself than one of the automated car washes. You can do a decent job in fifteen minutes and, if you’re efficient, spend less than five dollars in the process. You can spend more too, depending on how thorough you want to be.

You’ll do a better job if you bring along a few things when visiting your local coin-operated wash facility. First, make sure you bring a few one-dollar bills, a few quarters, some wheel cleaner spray, a squeegee, and a towel or two. If you can, also bring along an assistant.