Tips to Extend Your Car’s Battery Life

How many of us really do a check on our car’s battery? Perhaps none. In fact, they say that a battery is actually the “life spark of a car”. It does not attract the attention of the owner until his car refuses to start. And by then, the most likely outcome is not servicing but replacement altogether. Daily traveling takes a lot of the car’s components and the battery is one of them. So to make sure that you do not shell out a fortune in servicing or replacing your car’s battery, here are a few tips which would help you know how to increase the life of your car’s battery.

Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Battery

Water Level
Checking the water level, perhaps, plays the most important role in maintaining your car’s battery. The water that is used must be distilled or demineralized, and the refill must be done using a tool made of rubber or plastic, and nothing of metal. Overfilling the battery must be avoided, but you would also have to ensure that the plates always remain submerged in water. If the water level goes below than what is recommended, then the battery plates would start deteriorating rapidly. To add to this, always add water after the battery has been charged.

Avoid Short Trips
One of the easiest ways of increasing your car’s battery life is by cutting on frequent small drives. This is more important if you live in a cold climate. Starting a cold engine causes condensation in the exhaust, which when not evaporated, causes water accumulation in the muffler. So if you are not running your car long enough for the evaporation to happen, then after a certain period, the accumulated water can damage the muffler. So, the next time when you go to the nearest store, consider walking.

Do Not Jump Start
Jump starting a cold dead battery is not a good idea. But if you need to, then just allow your car to warm up in the sun about 30 minutes prior to the jump start.

Keep it Clean
Cleanliness is not only important at home, but also for your car’s battery. Over time, dust and dirt get accumulated in the cables and the battery itself, and act as a conductive agent thus, causing uncontrolled discharge, and loss of electricity. So to avoid such problems, simply clean the battery using a dust brush. Needless to mention, do not use water.

Disconnect When Not in Use
If you are off for a vacation and your car may lie dormant for sometime, then just be reminded to disconnect the battery. This is to avoid unnecessary drainage of electricity.

Prevent Corrosion
Corrosion and loose connections also lessen the battery life. So look for these things when you check your car’s battery, and get a qualified technician to have the problems solved. You may also make use of a simple solution of baking soda and water to clean the battery terminal, which usually has the accumulation of a white powdery substance that interferes with the transmission of electricity.

Recharging
The way you recharge your car’s battery may also decide how long its life is. Experts recommend to recharge immediately after every use, and using a battery charger that matches with the size of the battery. To avoid overcharging of your battery, an automatic charger is recommended for use.

Wiring
One of the helpful tips to improve a car’s battery life is by checking the electrical wiring too. Sometimes, wires are damaged and get exposed thus, causing electrical leaks and short circuits.

Look for Damage
It is a good practice to have a look at the battery every time you look under the hood. This will keep you abreast of the battery’s wear and tear status. Common signs which indicate that the battery is deteriorating include cracks in the plastic casing, or anything missing in the connections. If the damage is mild, then an early service would give the appliance a few more months or so. Normally, signs such as cracks, vents or swelled battery casing, etc., indicate that the battery is dying, and needs a replacement.

Following the above tips is easy, but maintenance requires consistency. So take out a little time for your vehicle’s battery every week or so, and zero your chances of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Ideas to Increase Their Life

Tires manufactured today are more durable than ever before. They are made of steel, rubber and fabric woven together. Over 1 billion tires are produced every year.

However, it is still important to be very well aware how long can you use tires before you make the replacement. The life expectancy of a tire greatly depends on its maintenance, environmental conditions and the driving style of the driver. Did you know? As long as 40 years ago, the average life expectancy of a tire was not more than two years! It is best to change your tires after every 6 years at least. Because before you bought your tires from the dealer, they may have had been in his inventory for more than a year. Even if a tire may be unused but manufactured 5 years ago, it should not be used for more than a year. After tires hit a life span of 6 years, they should be discarded. This is because rubber loses its elasticity and resistance properties over the period. This may not always be noticeable and it is hard to test whether a tire has reached its expiration period even by a professional. However, you should not use this as an excuse to not get it checked by a professional at least after 5 years of use. Every automobile manufacturing company mentions this date in the owner’s manual.

The best way to know your tire’s life expectancy is to check its tread count. It refers to the tread count number printed on the sidewall of your tires. The side walls also bear the date of manufacture of your tire that starts with DOT followed by a 4 digit number that stands for the number of week in the year in which the tire was manufactured. Every tire manufactured according to the specifications of the U.S. Department of Transport, must bear a tread count number. If your tread depth, after years of use, has become 4/32nd, it’s time to ditch them. However, the only glitch you may face here is that every manufacturer has his own method to rate his tread wear. Every company is allowed to choose their own standard for relative comparison and subsequent tread rating of its tires. However, the UTQG rating denotes the durability of the tire with respect to the standard tire whose rating is 100. Go for one that is the highest, it will last longer.

Factor Affecting the Life of Tires
Climatic Conditions

If you stay near the beach or if it rains a lot in your area, the chances are the moisture in the air will ruin the rubber too soon. Go for a snow tire if that is possible and then replace it according to the season. The tread designs on a snow tire or a winter tire helps it to create more friction while on the road. Also, they are made up of softer rubber compounds which deteriorate less easily.

Road Conditions

A bumpy ride can also reduce your tire’s life expectancy by causing more damage than a tire endure may endure on a well-built road. In fact, if you are a rash driver, too much friction will wear out your tires in less than 5 years.

Exposure to Sun

Simply put, the more the exposure to the sun, the sooner the tire ages. Rubber and the sun do not get along well. So, park your vehicle in shaded areas to avoid interaction of the rubber with the heat. If you live in tropical regions, consider buying tires manufactured especially to be driven at a high-speed. Research shows that they last longer.

Frequency of Use

If the tires were used infrequently, they are prone to becoming unusable within a short span. This is because when they are not on the road, but parked, their standing period is a lot. This causes flat spots due to consistent pressure on specific parts which will, in turn create imbalance and increase friction.

Quality of Maintenance

How long you can use tires depends a lot on how you took care of it in the first place. When the tires are neglected or the wheel alignment is not correct, it will accelerate the aging process of the tires. If you notice that your tires have started to wear out from the edges, it is an indicator of improper wheel alignment or inflation. Also, if you did not store your tires properly or appropriately to their utility when changing them between seasons, they will deteriorate quickly in the storage period. At all times, make sure the inflation pressure in your tires is optimum with a quality air gauge. The maximum inflation pressure allowed for your tire is mentioned on its sidewall. This is, however, not recommended level.

Other Factors

Avoid exceeding the total limit of weight allowed for your tires to carry. If your tires can together carry not more 5 persons. Try not to exceed this limit else it will put unnecessary pressure on your tires which is not good for their health.
Tips to Increase the Life of a Tire

  • Park your car in shade. The rays of the sun gradually alter the chemical composition of rubber and deteriorate your tires as well as your car’s body, over a period with regular exposure.
  • Always dry out your garage before you park your car. The water, consumed from car washing, can deteriorate your tires if its sits in your garage. The moisture will cause them to soften. The chemical compounds in your car washing kit may also react with the tire’s material.
  • Regularly clean your tires. Check inflation pressure and wheel alignment.
  • Also, regularly rotate your tires.

Technology today, will soon lead to the manufacture of tires with a tread wear of as much as 80,000 miles. Do watch out though, wearing out of the tire differs from its aging process. Tires are perishable and when it wears out, it becomes absolutely unusable. Aging, on the other hand, means that tire is deteriorating and on its way to wearing out. But, a tire may become unusable if it speedily ages even before it wears out. Since they have already undergone wear and tear, buying used tires is a safety risk. If you stay in the colder regions, never use your winter tires all throughout the year, especially summers. You need to replace them with all-season tires or summer ones. Keep a check on your spare tires too because they are often the most neglected ones. In fact, you should rotate them too at regular intervals. This means after 10,000 miles you should make the rotation along with the spare tire so your tires last you for around 50,000 miles. You could improve the life expectancy from 6 years to 10 years. The right maintenance of your tires can help ensure that they stay in good condition and durable for longer periods.

Ways to Buying Your First Classic Car

If you’re interested in buying a car, you should be equipped with all the necessary know-how before you pay a visit to a showroom or a dealer, and this becomes all the more important if it’s a vintage car that you’ve set your eyes on. It’s common knowledge that, while many people can help you with information on the latest cars in the market, very few are truly aware of classic cars, and how to buy them.
To make the task at hand easier for you, we at Buzzle have made a compilation of useful tips on buying vintage vehicles, which can help you seal a great deal in a jiffy (you’re advised to take your own time though!).

5 Golden Tips to Buy a Classic Car
Here are five very important tips, followed by some others, which would help you in your quest of acquiring a classic car.

Tip : Know What You’re Looking For
If you do not know how you want your dream car to look like, how are you supposed to find it? In other words, before you set out to look for a vintage car, take time to decide on its looks, design, color, and if there are any specific feature that you’re after. Another important consideration here is your budget. Once you’re done with this, research a little to find models that fit the bill. Have a make or a model in mind, and don’t just look for a classic car for the sake of it. If you’re new to vintage cars, don’t hesitate to consult a friend who can help.

Tip : Don’t Forget to Take a Test Drive
Now that you’re ready with a list of models that you love, start looking for them. Once you get to know about prospective deals, the first thing you should do is test drive the cars from cold start. During the test drive, check the steering, the gears, and the clutch. Also make sure that the engine is running smoothly, and there’s no black emission from the exhaust. Test drive for quite some time, so that you get a chance to note any noise emitted by the engine. After the test drive, examine the interiors of the car and the undercarriage thoroughly, paying close attention to details. Look for signs of rust, damage, or wear and tear.

Tip : Hire an Appraiser
Once you have shortlisted a few cars after a satisfying test drive, you need to have a clear idea regarding their value. Since vintage cars are pre-owned, there are no price tags, and their value is influenced by various factors, such as the year of manufacture, the model of the car, its present condition, how rare it is, and so on. To evaluate the value of an antique car, you should seek the service of a certified appraiser, who is a professional, and would provide a fair estimate of the value of your favorite vintage car. Also, a certificate by an appraiser will make it easier for you to apply for car insurance.

Tip : Check if the Vehicle is Roadworthy
Now this is important. You should be able to judge whether the car needs restoration work or is ready to hit the road. Going for a run-down car and doing the restoration work yourself can have two advantages – you get the car at a lower price, and you have the option to get it customized to suit your fancy. You might even be able to sell a restored car at a fairly high price. However, before you finalize the deal, make sure you consider how much restoration work is necessary, and what the approximate cost would be.

Tip : Never Make a Purchase on an Impulse
This holds true for practically every purchase, and is all the more important before you seal the deal on your first classic car. Ask as many questions as necessary to acquire every bit of information about the car, including its history and previous ownership. Ask yourself if you’re ready for the high cost of maintenance that comes with acquiring a classic car. Do you have enough space to keep it safe from the elements? Also, some spare parts might not be easily available, all the more so if the car in question is a rare classic. In that case, would you be able to source them? Never go for a fancy vintage car solely because you love the way it looks, or because you’ve seen your favorite movie star driving it. Remember that vintage cars can never replace your regular vehicle, when it comes to utility.
Here are some other tips that you should definitely consider. Here we go…

★ Check if the car can pass the state safety and emissions requirements.

★ Don’t go for a car with a very poor mileage.

★ Never hesitate to ask an expert for a second opinion.

★ The value of vintage cars goes up with time. So make sure you have the time and means for the proper maintenance of your vehicle.

★ Go for a collector car insurance for your vehicle, and choose it wisely. Make sure you have sufficient coverage to get the car completely replaced.

★ Ensure that the engine is free from accumulated grime, and that the fluid containers are not leaky.

★ Never order a car online.
All said and done, choosing a classic car for yourself should be nothing short of a fun experience! So, go ahead and get your dream vintage car, and flaunt it with pride.

Love Driving Safety Tips

Driving on the road through a heavy shower, lightning and storm can escalate stress and anxiety levels of a vehicle driver as well as his co-passengers. The weather conditions demand good judgment skills, safety precautions planning and common sense on part of the driver to ensure safe navigation of vehicle during turbulent weather. Read along to get some important tips to ensure safety of your vehicle, other travelers and yours.

Tips for Pre-monsoon Upkeep

Changing Tires

Tires tend to become bald or they lose their grip over a period of time due to wear and tear. An absence of friction from tires negates the effect of your vehicle’s brakes. This creates a high probability for occurrence of Hydroplaning or Aquaplaning. Therefore, it is suggested that one should check their tires and spare tires before the onset of monsoons. If required, all the tires can be replaced to avoid problems once monsoon sets in.

Changing Wipers

The normal expected life of your car wipers is approximately 5000 miles. Old wipers tend to turn brittle and are often incapable of shifting rainwater. This creates unnecessary visibility issues, increasing chances of accidents. Experts suggest that wipers need to be ideally changed every year. Personally, I suggest all my readers to keep a spare set of wipers in your car as an additional precaution.

Changing Old Rubber Lining

It is suggested that one should change the rubber lining of car doors and windshields every 3 years. This prevents leakage of rainwater inside your vehicle.

Spraying Water Repellent

An excellent way of clearing water off your windshield is by spraying a thin layer of water-repellent solution on your windshield before the onset of monsoons. The solution is stain free and helps improve visual clarity during monsoons.

General Repairs

It is most essential for a vehicle owner to ensure that his car is in a mint condition at the onset of monsoons. There is a general tendency on part of vehicle owners or drivers to postpone a vehicle’s repair work. Owners usually visit a car maintenance garage after accumulation of two or three problems. However, the owners should refrain from such laxity especially before monsoons. Before the monsoon begins, the owners should take care that all possible pending problems in the vehicle are thoroughly repaired.

Replacements

It is ideal to replace defective components of your car before the monsoons set in. Some of such components include broken windshields, window regulating mechanism, electronic central locking system, sunroof and hood mechanism, etc. You may also replace the rusted parts of your car to avoid problems during the monsoons.

Road Tips for Monsoons

Safety Alert News & Signals

It is always recommended to practice caution before hitting the road during monsoons. Make sure to understand the weather conditions before setting out on a drive. As far as possible, avoid venturing out in your vehicle during thunder showers, storms and lightning. In case you have no other option but to drive, always make sure to take the safest route suggested. Also, in case of any road blockages, make sure to park your car in an open space of the road away from trees. There is a high chance of electrocution of trees during lightning which in turn may damage your vehicle if it is parked under the tree.

Turn on the Headlights and Taillights

It is highly recommended to use your car’s headlights and taillights during monsoons. This not only gives a clear view of the road ahead to the driver but also makes your car visible to other drivers following your car. Always make sure to switch on your vehicle’s headlights when using the wipers.

Oily Patches

Most of the roads are known to dispel a multicolored oily mixture on their surface at the onset of the monsoons. This oily substance made up of dust, oil and water is a potential hazard to your vehicle’s safety during monsoons. Be on a lookout of such oily patches to avoid your car from skidding.

Speed Control

It is very difficult to control a vehicle’s speed on wet roads. Wet roads are a driver’s nightmare as it increases chances of vehicle skidding. Therefore, it is recommended that you follow a safe speed limit. It is pointless to overtake vehicles by unnecessary acceleration during monsoons. Poor visual clarity and hidden potholes on the road are likely to be fatal and can damage your vehicle. It is suggested that drivers should keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. A thumb rule of ‘three seconds distancing’ should be rigorously followed for safety reasons during monsoons. All in all, slowing down is the best policy when driving during monsoons.

Brake Control

There is a high chance of failing of your vehicle’s brakes during rainy weather. It is suggested, that drivers should make minimum use of brakes and try to control the vehicle by apt use of steering wheel, accelerator, brake and clutch. There is a high chance of your vehicle brakes becoming temporarily useless when your car passes through water-logged areas. It is ideal to push your brakes a couple of times in order to generate heat in the brake rotors. This takes away the moisture from the system.

Road Path

Design-wise, majority of American roads rise along the center and taper towards the corners. Water flowing off the road’s center usually gets settled at the road borders. Formation of puddles makes it difficult for a driver to judge the depth of water. All drivers are therefore recommended to drive along the center of the road and preferably follow the vehicle leading theirs. As far as possible, avoid driving on mud road tracks during the rains. There is a high likelihood of your vehicle getting stuck in the tracks due to marshy landscape.

Crossing Water Patches

It is recommended never to cross any water bodies or streams flowing horizontally on the roads during monsoons since it is difficulty to judge the depth of water at such times. Also, avoid driving over water-logged patches if you are unable to see any road surface below the water. It is necessary for drivers to practice scrutinizing the level of road ahead of them, especially when driving through rains at nighttime. At such time, the road may appear to be straight ahead but the landscape along the road like fields, farms, houses appears to be below the road level. At such times, there is every chance that a road appearing to be straight is actually a water-logged patch. Drivers need to keep one thing in mind, that is, never ever drive on those areas where water levels are deeper than lower end of your car doors. There is every chance of water getting logged in your vehicle’s engine thus creating a hydro-lock in your vehicle.

Pedestrians and Livestock
It is suggested to exercise caution and drive with care for safety of pedestrians, animals and livestock crossing the roads during rainy weather. Speeding vehicle is more prone to cause accidents than a controlled one.
These are some of the most essential tips for your personal and vehicle safety during the monsoons. They may appear to be a bit tedious for those who are a bit reckless and lax as far as driving is concerned. It is however, essential to remember that the safety and happiness of a lot of people depends upon a vehicle driver’s judgment and skills. Let ‘Safety first’ be every driver’s motto.