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Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

  • An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

  • Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

  • Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.


Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 


Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   


Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!


Winter Is Here And So Is The Snow

How To Safely Remove Ice and Snow From Your Car

Winter can bring a variety of problems with your car – from icy windshields to frozen lock mechanisms. But one of the most common winter car troubles is having to clear away ice and snow, which can quickly become an annoying and potentially dangerous job. To make things easier we’ll provide you with some simple tips and tricks for safely removing ice and snow from your car.

Check Your Car’s Temperature

The first step in safely removing ice and snow is to make sure that your car is at the right temperature. Generally speaking, you don’t want the engine to be too hot or too cold; if it is too cold, any sudden change in heat could cause glass (including the windshield) to crack or shatter. So be sure to start your car up and let it sit idle until its temperature reaches a comfortable “warm-to-the-touch” level before attempting any removal attempts.

Start With The Windows

Once you have an acceptable temperature inside your car, it’s time to start removing that pesky layer of ice and snow! The best place to start is with the windows; this will allow you maximum visibility when driving once everything has been cleared away. Begin by scraping off any snow or ice build up on the exterior of each window using either a plastic or rubber scraper or even a credit card; then move on to clearing away frosty condensation from inside (for this, a cloth should do). Once you have removed as much as possible, turn on your defroster until all glass is completely cleared away. 


Use A Deicing Agent

If scraping alone doesn’t seem to cut it – especially if you are dealing with thick layers of frozen water – consider using a deicing agent like rock salt or even diluted rubbing alcohol (make sure not to use straight rubbing alcohol as this could damage paint jobs). Sprinkle these substances onto the problem areas on both the outside and inside of your windows (just remember not to get any of these agents on any part of your vehicle’s interior). Let it sit for a few minutes before attempting another scrape – this should help break up large chunks of ice into smaller pieces that can be more easily removed. 

Finish With A Cleaning Wipe Down

Once all visible snow/ice has been removed from both exterior AND interior surfaces, give everything one final wipe down using paper towel or newspaper – just make sure whatever material you are using does not contain any dyes/inks that could stain fabric surfaces like dashboard coverings or floor mats! This will ensure no dust remnants remain after completion and prevent interior surfaces from becoming wet due to any residual moisture. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can make short work of removing snow and ice from your car.


Do We Really Need Car Touch Screens

What started out as a way to view your car’s rear view camera soon started displaying everything from your radio, temperature controls and everything in between. They’re in almost every new car on the market, and their prominence is only going to increase in the coming years. But do we really need car touch screens?

The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes… and no.


On the one hand, car touch screens make it easier than ever to control your car’s various systems. You can change the music, turn on the AC, and even adjust your seats without ever taking your hands off the wheel.


On the other hand, car touch screens can be dangerously distracting. Especially if you are not that familiar with where  all the controls are. It can take your eyes off the road for vital seconds that could mean the difference between life and death.

While touchscreen displays can be distracting, many car manufacturers are trying to design them in a way that minimizes driver distraction. Some features that are being implemented include:


- touch screens that can disappear into the dashboard

- voice controls

- heads-up displays that project images onto the windshield

- gesture controls


Ultimately, it is up to the driver to decide if a car touch screen is right for them. If you can use it without taking your eyes off the road, then it can be a valuable asset. But if you find yourself constantly fumbling with the controls, it might be best to stick with good old-fashioned buttons and knobs.


How To Keep Your Car On The Road Longer

One of the best ways to keep your car on the road longer is to perform regular maintenance. This includes things like oil changes, tire rotations, and engine tune-ups. By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can avoid more serious and expensive problems down the road.

Spark Plugs And Wires

In addition to regular maintenance, changing your spark plugs and wires proactively help extend the life of your car. Over time, these parts can wear out and cause problems with your engine.

Cabin Filter and Air Filter

Change your cabin air filter and engine air filter. One affects the airflow in your car and the other affects the airflow to your engine. Both are important for keeping your car running smoothly.

Fuel Injectors & EGR Valves

Check your fuel injectors.  Although not part of a standard service maintenance schedule, they start to deteriorate. You'll have a check engine light come on. Another major component that a lot of people fail to talk about when they just tune ups is the EGR valve or the exhaust gas recirculation valve. These should be checked and replaced according to your manufacturer's recommendations.

A faulty EGR valve can cause  all sorts of engine performance problems, including a loss of power and fuel economy.

Tires

Most people recognize the importance of having good tires on your car for  traction, safety, and gas mileage. But did you know that the condition of your tires can also have an impact on your electrical components. It's possible to have vibrations from your tires that will loosen battery terminals and other electrical connections. So, not only do you want to have good tread on your tires for safety, but you also want to keep an eye on any loose wires  or terminals.


By following these simple tips, you can keep your car running smoothly for years to come.


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