Tire maintenance to save fuel

Today’s tires are more fuel efficient, safer and reduce carbon footprint compared to tires made several decades ago.

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The tire manufacturing industry has and is going through a revolution. The first all-steel reinforced radial tire was introduced in 1946 by Michelin. Since they invented the rubber tire, it has been improved with a radial tire, use of silica filler in tire construction in 1992 which significantly lowered roll resistance (LRR) and most recently the improvement of rubber chemistry.

In order to improve overall performance of your vehicle, learn few things about tires. Punctures and tread cuts could lead to loss of air and even destruction of your tires. If you see these, repair your tire or replace. If you experience a break lockup, your tires may get localized tread damage. If you don’t treat the tire, it could extend into the steel belts. Avoid severe braking to reduce break lockups. The misalignment of tires could lead to shoulder wear of your tires. If you see this get a mechanical inspection and repairs as needed. If you see shoulder wear on both edges of the tire, it indicates under-inflated tire. In order to avoid this, maintain the tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Enter the Mobile Comfort Zone: 5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Camper or RV

Written by: The Foam Factory

When the open road beckons, owning a camper or recreational vehicle is the best way to maximize the vacation experience. Although you can’t take all of the comforts of home with you, the convenience that campers and RVs afford are worth the compromise. If you’d like to kick things up a notch for a reasonable price, the following upgrades are worth considering.

Maximize Storage Space

Despite the fact that campers and RVs are designed to do more with less by default, there’s always room for improvement in the storage department. Your own mobile machine no doubt features plenty of opportunities for adding extra storage space. Consider shelf racks affixed to doors, recessed drawers underneath kitchenette tables and ceiling-mounted hanging baskets to start.

Upgrade Your Mattress

Stock cushions and mattresses often leave something to be desired, even in relatively upscale recreational vehicles. Upgrading your mattresses is hands down the easiest way to make your camper more comfortable and livable in the long run. Whatever your preferences may be, there are dozens if not hundreds of high-quality custom cushion options available on the market.

Get Wired with Wireless

No matter how hard you try to get away from it all on vacation, web access is sometimes a must. While cable or satellite connectivity is often out of the question, free public Wi-Fi is quite common. A few simple gadgets like a wireless repeater and a Roku box can provide your RV with communication and entertainment capabilities.

Add Solar to the Equation

Whether you’re trying to decrease your carbon footprint or merely save a few bucks on energy costs, adding solar panels to your camper or RV is the way to go. Thanks to the dramatic drop in price we’ve seen in recent years, a few 200W solar panels can add considerable juice for a minimal price.

Invest in All-Weather Cushions

A few pieces of collapsible outdoor furniture are vital if you want to really get the full RV experience. If you’d like to take a patio with you anywhere you go, specialty outdoor cushions should be considered. Look for Dryfast foam cushions that can take a beating and withstand the moisture that comes with life on the road.

No More Hell on Wheels

Everyone’s definition of comfort is a bit different. As such, customizing your RV or camper is a no-brainer. The tips outlined here are certainly a good start. With just a few outdoor foam cushions and some additional interior storage options, your home away from home is well on its way to becoming a virtual palace.

Brembo, a disk brake giant

By now you may have seen the Cadillac ATS advertisement where a red car speeding down through the Morocco’s Atlas Mountains hairpin turns.  Cadillac also ran few other commercials during the Olympics highlighting its disc brakes among other things.

Disc brakes in the Cadillac ATS are made by an Italian company known as Brembo.  It started on January 11, 1961, as a small machine shop known as Officine Meccaniche di Sombreno by Emilio Bombassei and Italo Brada and started manufacturing brakes for cars in 1964.  Since that time it has produced auto disc brakes for Alfa Romeo and in 1975 expanded its manufacturing to cover Formula One race cars and motorcycles in 1972.  Today it is headquartered in Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park next to the A4 motorway just outside Bergamo, one of the most important science parks in Italy.  This area is the Lombardy region of Italy.  With 36 plants in 12 different countries including Sweden, France, and Germany, Brembo employ over 6,000 employees.  Brembo’s revenue for the first six months of 2012 was over $871 million.  It has several brands including Brembo, Breco, Bybre, Marchesini, AP, AP Racing and Sabelt.  It design and manufacture braking systems for high performance cars and motorcycles, both street and competition.

Meguiar’s Complete Car care Kit

Here comes a complete kit that includes 16 oz. wash and shampoo, 16 oz. liquid wax, 16 oz. high gloss gel, quick detailer, 16 oz. interior quick detailer, Clam shell clay, two clay bars, clay kit instructions, plastic restorer (PlastX), scratch remover (ScratchX), microfiber towel, form applicator pad, and a micro fiber wash mitt. All these cost only $40.00 with free shipping at Amason.com.

Over the years, I tried just about everything that is out in the market. It amazed me to see a complete kit for exterior and interior from Meguiar. Products for the exterior shine follows an easy sequence from wash, clean, and repair to wax, polish and shine your vehicle and get rid of scratches. Simply spray interior cleaner on to your towel and wipe off the interior for a clean bold look. Its Endurance tire cleaner and the plastic polish are also work wonders. Make sure to read directions carefully and use the products in the suggested order. Use clean towels that come with the kit for each task. For tires, you can use a clean towel along with the product to get rid of oil and shine your wheels. You will be shocked to see the final result.

Keep Driving If Your Gas Station Is Being Refilled

If you are looking for a gas station to fill up your tank, you might be searching for the station with the cheapest prices or with easy access to get in and out quickly. But there’s another consideration that you might not have thought about before: if you see the refueling tanker at the station. It’s something that’s important to consider, because getting gas from a station which recently had its own tanks filled could mean trouble for your car.

Gas stations store their gasoline in underground tanks. Over time, massive amounts of sediment can stack up in these tanks over time. The process of refueling empty gasoline tanks can loosen and stir up this sediment and put it into the gasoline you get from the pump. Over time these sediments will sink back to the bottom of the tanks but are mostly likely to make their way through filters and into your car immediately after the underground tanks have been filled.

So if you see a large tanker filled with gasoline refueling the underground tanks at your local gas station, it’s a good idea to drive past it for a day or two until any loosened sediments have had a chance to settle to the bottom of the tanks again. You don’t want your fuel lines being clogged with that type of debris.

Cold Weather Car Preparation

With winter weather fast approaching, many car owners are starting to think about preparing their cars for driving in cold temperatures, rain, snow and other adverse conditions. Drivers in the Midwest and East Coast should absolutely be ready for winter driving, but even drivers in places like California and Florida need to have their car ready for colder weather and heavy rain storms. Here are a few things to do to prepare your car for the winter months:

Replace your wiper blades: Having worn-out windshield wipers can make driving in rain, snow or sleet almost impossible and very dangerous. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that their wipers need to be replaced until the first storm hits. Check your wipers to see if they are cracked or worn before bad weather conditions start.

Check your antifreeze levels: Many people only fill their coolant systems with water during the summer months when they “top off” their cars. However, this can leave you low on antifreeze, which is very important when cold weather hits. Make sure to flush your system and fill it with the proper amount of antifreeze before the cold weather strikes.

Switch to synthetic oil:
Modern blends of synthetic oils help you to avoid “rough starts” in the winter and make it easier to get your car going first thing in the morning. Replace your regular oil with a synthetic before the winter, especially if you have an older car.

Questions to Ask During Routine Maintenance

When most people bring their car into a mechanic or oil change place for routine maintenance, they simply drop the keys off and pay the bill after work is completed. They don’t think much about it and generally agree to whatever recommendations that mechanic might make about services to perform. This is a big mistake! Not asking questions or paying attention during even the most basic of car care procedures can cost you hundreds of dollars immediately or down the road.

Being a smart car owner means asking questions. Here are a few things that you should be prepared to ask your mechanic when you bring your car in for an oil change, tune-up or any other scheduled maintenance procedure:

  • Are you putting the right oil in my car? If you have an older car, you will want to consider motor oils designed for high mileage vehicles. If you drive in cold weather or frequently haul things, you might want to consider different viscosity oil than what is standard for your model.
  • Is it time to change my oil filter? A dirty oil filter can hurt your engine’s performance and rob you of gas mileage.
  • Are my fluid levels where they should be? If your fluid levels are lower than would be expected for the amount of time between maintenance visits, this could be a sign that you have a leak or some other mechanical problem which is draining your fluids and could be something to look at.

Replace Your Air Filters on a Regular Basis

Most people understand that it’s important to change your motor oil and other fluids in your car on a regular basis on order to keep your car running properly. While the old axiom of having a motor oil change every 3,000 miles might not hold true today with improvements in motor oil technology, it’s still a good idea to change your oil every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

But your motor oil isn’t the only thing you need to be replacing on a regular basis in order to maximize the performance of your car. The air filtration system is an incredibly important part of the car’s internal workings but something that many people ignore. Cars need fresh air in order to fire properly, meaning that your air filter and other parts of the filtration system need to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

Simply making sure that your air filter is clean can improve your gas mileage by 10 percent or more along with reducing the wear and tear on your motor and improving your engine life. Every time you replace your motor oil, making sure you check your air filter. If it is simply clogged, the particles can easily be removed; older air filters will need to be replaced. It’s an easy and cheap way to improve your gas mileage and performance.

Don’t Settle for Poor Quality Gasoline

When it comes to most passenger cars, spending extra money on high-octane gas is a waste of money. Higher octane levels only benefit high performance vehicles which require a certain type of fuel and unless your car’s owner’s manual specifically calls for a higher octane gasoline, there’s no need to purchase it.

However, this doesn’t mean that the quality of gasoline doesn’t matter. When you go to fill up your car, it’s important that you go to a reputable gas station that is known for having high quality gasoline. Unfiltered gasoline can add sediments and other particles to your gasoline which can hurt your car’s performance or even cause damage.

If you’re unsure, ask the gas station attendant if their gasoline is filtered at the pump and how frequently the pump filter is changed. If you aren’t happy with the answer you receive, it’s a good idea to move onto another station.

Three Simple Tips for Increasing Your Fuel Economy

With gas prices averaging around $2.75 a gallon nationwide, drivers everywhere are looking for ways to extend their gas mileage and save a few extra dollars each week. Purchasing a hybrid vehicle is a great way to save money on gas but not everyone can afford to buy a new car. If you want to get more mileage out of your existing vehicle, here are a few steps you can take on your own:

Put Your Car on a Diet: Extra weight inside your car means that the engine has to work harder to propel the vehicle, wasting more gas in the process. If you have a van filled with old vacation supplies, golf bags and other useless junk, chances are this is keeping you from getting the best gas mileage possible. A thorough cleaning that gets all of the extra weight out of your car will save you space and perhaps gas money as well.

Keep Your Car Running Right: Properly caring for your car can increase your mileage by a mile per gallon or more. Underinflated tires are a major source of poor gas mileage – consult your car’s handbook for the proper air pressure. Dirty air filters or oxygen sensors can also rob you of gas mileage.

Use Regular Gasoline: Unless you are driving a high-performance car, you aren’t getting any benefits from paying extra for premium octane gasoline. Check your car’s manual for specifications but it’s a safe bet that the lowest octane gasoline is just fine for most passenger cars.