Stick Shift 101

Learning how to drive can be done in two ways, and it’s either through manual transmission or automatic transmission. Though it’s more convenient to go with automatic transmissions, it takes real guts to choose the more complicated mechanisms of stick shift cars. As a matter of fact, automobiles, during their early existence, were all manual. During that time, the stick shift was treated as the best companion for driving, whether it’s for short distances or faraway road trips. It is not that easy to learn driving using a stick shift when compared to the luxury offered by automatic cars. The good thing about knowing how to use a stick shift is that you’d be granted full control of the vehicle. You’d appreciate how powerful it could be as you explore its varying gears, which is something you cannot do with an automatic transmission.

“Real Driving” is learned when you drive a car that is on manual transmission. So if you successfully master the method of stick shift cars, you’ll surely be able to learn the simpler automatic transmission should you choose to study it later on.

Stick ShiftBefore anything else, you must familiarize yourself with the five gears that you’d normally see in a stick shift—first gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear. Include the “Reverse” option, and you’ll end up with a formation that basically resembles the letter “H”.

Unlike automatic transmissions, stick shift cars have a clutch pedal located at the left of the brake pedal. One thing that is essential here is that the clutch pedal always needs to be stepped on whenever you are switching gears. To get your car in motion, step and hold your left foot on the clutch. Navigate the stick shift towards the left then push it to the front—this will get you to the first gear. But this action alone will not make the car move. For it to accelerate, you’d have to slowly step on the gas pedal, which is located at the right of the brake pedal. As you step on the gas pedal, balance the flow of the gas as you slowly release the clutch.

Do this correctly and consistently, and you should be able to drive smoothly. However, an unpleasant sound will result if the balancing is not right, which means that’d you need to blend in the clutch and gas pedals more properly. In the event that you’re about to shift to the next gear, just step on the clutch, navigate the clutch to the next gear, and blend in the gas while slowly releasing the clutch. Follow the same pattern if you’d like to slow down, and step on the brakes when needed. Remember that if you want to speed up your car, you still have to shift it from the low gear until you reach the gear that’s appropriate to the speed you desire.

If you’re a car enthusiast, manual transmissions is the type of car you should be studying. In doing this, you’d be able to better understand the functions and parts of your car. Also, you’d earn a kind of confidence when driving a stick shift because it requires more skill to operate than an automatic transmission. But whatever you’re driving, be sure to drive safely and wisely, because after all, that’s the most important thing when you’re in the road.

GPS in the Philippines: Is It Worth It?

A Global Positioning System (GPS) is a lightweight, portable device that provides detailed information about specific locations. The good news about the GPS is that its price range has significantly decreased since its initial release. Its purpose and function should aid drivers in reading maps and identifying certain locations that will lead to their foremost destination.

Driving with a GPSAs we all know, using a GPS in the Philippines will have its fair share of benefits and disadvantages, and its usability would still vary in the locations where you’re going to use it. A distinct feature of the GPS is its stored artificial intelligence. Its accumulated input will automatically suggest alternate routes whenever it detects possible traffic jams somewhere on your original route. Another feature that can be deemed useful is its ability to inform you the exact distance between your current location and your desired destination.

Philippine roads are composed of crowded highways and roads that are plagued with countless curves and detours. Major traffic jams has quickly become an everyday thing. The increasing number of reckless drivers and car accidents are only making things worse for everyone. But, regardless of all these hindrances, as long as the needed research is gathered, GPS devices should be able to function effectively in the Philippines. Also, with the help of some of the major telecommunication companies, you should be able to use your mobile phones as a GPS. But remember, if at any time you intend to rely on your GPS mobile phone, you should check the carrier first before taking off on a long journey.

Unlike in other countries such as the United States, most GPS devices in the Philippines can only provide access to the standard map. This is the downside of having a GPS in the Philippines. Places found on and around major highways and metro areas should be covered by your GPS; you can rely on their assistance when you’re driving along the mentioned areas. However, they won’t be as effective once you enter rural areas, so you better have alternate sources of guidance during these instances.

Conclusion: Go and buy one GPS device for your own if you’re someone who needs or wants to be acquainted with the twists and turns in Metro Manila. You’d be surprised as to how much you’ll end up learning as a result. Think about it: Would you rather conform to the difficulty of having to use a traditional map and/or a compass instead? Stay tuned for future developments of the GPS software that would further improve digital navigation here in the Philippines.

DIY Oil Change

Oil ChangeProper car maintenance involves changing the oil of your engine once in a while. It is commonly recommended that drivers should perform an oil change when your car reaches a mileage of 3,000 miles. Actually, even if you don’t drive your car frequently, you’d still need to change your engine oil every six months or so.

There are numerous reasons why you should personally change your engine’s motor oil. The truth is that you can easily do it yourself at your own garage. Not only will this save you money, but it will also give you control over your car, allowing you to explore its anatomy, function, design, etc. If you’ve already started familiarizing yourself with your car’s internal parts, then it should be easier for you to tell whenever any of your precious car parts need special attention.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ratchet (a.k.a. the jack stand)
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Draining container
  • Funnel
  • New oil
  • New oil filter
  • Pair of gloves
  • Clean rag

Unless you’re a beginner, changing your engine’s oil won’t really take a very long time. As long as nothing goes wrong, this activity should just take you about half an hour to finish. Remember to never perform an oil change while the engine is hot.

Draining Engine OilNow, follow these steps:

1. Jack your car up with the ratchet; the engine should be off while doing this. The oil filter housing is located at the very front top of the engine. You’d need to loosen the oil filter housing cover.

 2. The oil drain plug is located under the car, which should be near the driver’s side. Once it’s pulled out, it will leak the used oil. Position the container under the leaking oil. Wear your gloves to protect your hand from the upcoming grease. Prepare for oil release.

3. Release the plug. Let the oil flow out completely from the oil tank. When you notice that oil is no longer dripping, return the plug where it’s designed to be.

4. Next thing to do would be to remove the old oil filter. Loosen the filter using the oil filter wrench, and then slowly take it out. Be careful as there’d still old oil inside the filter.

5. Before replacing the old filter with the new one, you have to lubricate the rubber ring that is seen together with it. After lubrication, fill two-thirds of the filter with fresh oil. Filling the filter all the way up might cause you to spill some of the oil while you reposition it back to the engine. Screw up the new filter until it fits the engine firmly.

6. Once you’ve secured the filter back to its original position, you can fully fill the filter without any risks of spilling. Use a funnel to guide the oil directly inside the oil tank. Tightly place the cap back on.

7. Check the level of oil. If it hasn’t reached the limit line yet, you can add more oil as long as none of it overflows.

Once done, you’re all set to drive!

How to Rust Proof Your Car

How to Rust Proof Your CarRust Proofing should be a part of every checklist that involves car maintenance. Including this method of preservation should extend the value of your car. All cars out there are subject to the possibility of rusting, most especially if a certain car is always exposed to sunlight. The good news is that there are ways on how drivers can protect their cars from rust, which is exactly what this article is all about.

The areas that are the most prone to rusting are the corners of your front and rear bumpers. Car bumpers are designed to absorb the initial shock of any kind of collision. But as much as we try our best to avoid accidents, we can never guarantee ourselves of full safety, for the road is full of crazy drivers. So if an accident occurs, the bumper will be the one to suffer the most damage, which could later result in rust. Remember that a single spot of rust can spread continuously throughout your car until no pure metal is left. This is why you should frequently monitor your car’s condition.

Another good reason on why you should rust proof your car is deals with your actual health. Scratching yourself against dirty rust can cause several diseases, so it is highly advised to stop rust even before it starts!

Some steps to follow:

1. Check your car for scrapes or any unwanted touches. Use a sandpaper to polish and remove the slightest signs of rust.

2. Clean the exterior of your car. Wash it, dry it, polish it, wax it… everything.

3. Make sure that there’s no more oil or grease covering any part of your car.

4. Consult the professionals: create a schedule for regular check-ups, which should be performed every 3 to 6 months, depending on the overall condition of the car. Even if you only find little, suspicious scrapes, it is recommended to rust proof it as soon as possible. Rust spots can spawn in tricky places, and can be missed by the “inspector” if he or she isn’t looking hard enough.

In addition, there are rust proofing kits that have been made available in the market. And because nobody likes to have a rusty car in their garage, such products should be identified as an investment. Preserve your car. Maintain its value. Rust proof your car today.

The 5 Steps in Car Restoration

Has your old car been kept in the garage for quite a while? If yes, then have you ever thought about the idea of giving it a revamp? There are many possible reasons as to why a driver would want to consider the restoration of his or her car.

Commonly, most of the cars that are being restored are those that are about to be featured on car shows. A car that is be showcased competitively would be overhauled internally and externally right before it is given its specific customizations. Other drivers who are less competitive apply the principle of car restoration simply because they want to give their car a new feel and look.

If you are an ambitious driver that would like to do your own restoration, then here are five steps you can follow. Remember that when you get into this, things won’t actually be as easy as you think. You’d need lots of time, effort and patience all throughout your car restoration journey. Here you go:

Car Restoration1.     Find a good place to work at; be choosy enough because you will be there for the entire duration of your car restoration project.

2.     Frame it up; start with the foundation and be sure to ace it! When you’ve set a good base, rest assured that you can properly proceed with the rest.

3.     Check on the condition of the engine; if it has gotten worse through time, then you will need to install a new one. Aside from the engine, change the other components of your car (e.g. transmission, springs, axles and wheels) when needed.

4.     The interiors are very important too. Replace the upholsteries and carpets. You have to feel great and proud when you drive your car again.

5.     Polish your car to make it look good as new!

The exact hours you will spend on this will always depend on the overall condition of your old car. But this I can guarantee: once you’ve successfully restored your car, it’s going to give you a great sense of achievement. As soon as you start driving again, try to develop a calmer and careful state of mind; never forget to always give your car the proper maintenance it needs.

At the end of the day, restoring your car doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll end up for personal use only. You can actually easily make money from it because not all people prefer to buy brand new cars. If your restored car is a classic model, you can always sell it at a very good price. Remember that there are many dedicated car collectors, so name your price!

How to Make Your Car Pollute Less

Car PollutionAt present, no one can ever deny the fact that our environment has been vastly invaded by pollution. One of the main causes of pollution is the advancement of technology. And because the existence and evolutions of cars is part of this movement, we must admit that cars have become one of the primary pollutants of our environment. Many are very much eager to show off their car that represents the latest models.  Nothing wrong with this, but it’s sad how most drivers are not even aware of the pollution their car emits. Truth is, excessive car usage produces plenty of pollution, which has unfortunately become one of the major contributors to it.

One significant effect of car pollution is climate change, and this does nothing good to us at all, particularly to our health. Respiratory diseases and various forms of cancers are the most common health effects of car pollution to people. But you know, it’s never too late to do something to inhibit this problem.

Hence, here are some effective ways you may follow to reduce the pollution produced by your car—

  • Once in a while, provide your car with proper care and maintenance by taking it to a service center, where you can ask the mechanics to do a check-up on your car’s engine, tire pressure, brakes and fuel consumption. It is important for you to learn about the condition of your car to prevent unwanted incidents from happening while driving.
  • Use nitrogen to fill the tires of your car, as it is more consistent than normal air pressure or oxygen. Currently, nitrogen is being used in race cars because of its stability. A nitrogen-filled tire causes it to become more stable because nitrogen inside the tire can handle temperature changes better than oxygen. Another plus factor of using nitrogen is that it wouldn’t combust should it encounter fire. This will prevent further pollution.
Air Pollution
  • Drive in moderate speed, because it’s another effective way to save fuel. Driving in high speeds in unstable roads would cause you to continually hit the brakes. Not very wise. Did you know that your car consumes more fuel when you hit the brakes more frequent than normal?
  • When you’re stuck in traffic, always remember: Observe. If the condition remains the same after a couple of minutes, then switch off your engine. Just switch it back on when cars the cars in front of you are starting to be mobile again.
  • Carpooling is encouraged. It saves money. It lessens the cars seen on the road. It reduces stress. Most of all, it reduces pollution.
  • If a certain destination of yours can be reached by walking or by riding a bike, then just do so. As much as possible, try to lessen the usage of your car. By looking at the brighter side, you’ll still benefit from it because in return you’ll be able to have a fitter body.
  • Drive a hybrid car as it has better mileage than non-hybrid ones. Also, it has been well proven that these species of car have cleaner emissions.

On a last note, simply remember these tips—

  • Don’t hurry. Keep in mind that no one’s chasing you.
  • Drive safely, and wisely. So when driving, don’t go over the speed limit.