How to Extend the Life of Your Sedan’s Spring Suspension?

Car Suspension

If you gradually notice any sort of looseness or rattling noises as you drive along, then it’s time to consider the possibility that your suspension has finally started to give up. Taking the car to the service center can be quite a hassle in both time and money, and as you take a first look at the disheartening receipt, you’ll promise yourself that you’ll take better care of your suspension this time around.

The responsibility can be a bit of a chore for sedan owners, but there is nothing here that’s too complicated for your average driver. You too can learn how to extend the life of your sedan’s suspension by following a few simple principles.

First of all, you’re most likely using coil spring suspension, unless you have one of those old ones with leaf springs, which is just an indication that you may have to buy a new car or look for ways to take care of leaf spring suspension. In the case of coil spring suspension, it does enjoy a lot of advantages over leaf springs, including better shock absorption, independent suspension for each wheel, and better performance and durability in adverse conditions and varying temperatures.

Of all the car’s vital parts, the leaf spring is perhaps the part that is most prone to the brutality of thermal expansion, which is brought on by changing temperatures. Just like how you shouldn’t drink anything cold for a while after having sipped some hot soup, the same can be said for your suspension. Make sure that you have the right type of suspension for your car in your particular region.

If you live in a tropical climate, then it shouldn’t be as hard to figure out since it’s only subject to hot or cold conditions. However, in temperate and arctic conditions, you’ll need a suspension that can function properly despite of a consistent icy weather.

The way you drive and your usual destinations can also affect your suspension. Sedans are usually not built for off-roading, so avoid any terrain that may present significant bumps and potholes that challenge your suspension to a death match, since it will most likely not survive long. Also, driving too fast even on the flattest of roads can impose some abuse on the coils, especially since (1) there’s no such thing as a real flat road and (2) speeding over a pothole is not very conducive to suspension care.

Have your suspension checked every once in a while so you can be sure that it isn’t cracked, misaligned, or warped. Any little crack can spread dangerously over time, which can lead to catastrophic incidents on the road. While quality suspension may have massive tolerances and can take a whole lot of abuse, they can only go so far if you drive like a madman every time. Taking care of your leaf spring means being a sensible motorist, which also carries over to other things on and off the road.

These are just a few things that you can do to make sure that your sedan’s spring suspension lasts as long as it ever can. You may find out more in the future, but always remember that sensible driving and regular maintenance checks are the foundation of good suspension care.

How to Remove Adhesive Stickers without Leaving Traces

Adhesive Stickers

Ever thought about buying a used car? Or have you ever had the impulse of self-decorating the exterior of your car just for the fun of it? If you said yes to both or one of the questions, then chances are, you have encountered adhesive stickers.

The removal of adhesive stickers can be a real pain if not done the right way. Without the proper knowledge and instructions, engaging in the process of detaching adhesive stickers can result in unwanted scratches, ruined paint jobs, and costly repair bills. Not good. Should you just risk the scratches or just leave the stickers as they are? Neither, because here are tested steps on how to remove adhesive stickers without leaving traces.

First of all, you need to purchase an adhesive remover from the nearest hardware store. This shouldn’t be a problem for you since it’s a standard item in such stores. Now, with an all-purpose cleaner, begin to moisten the adhesive that you want to remove. Using a clean cloth, rub the sticker in a circular motion.

Apply the adhesive remover on the entire sticker surface. Leave the sticker undisturbed for about half an hour. During this period, the product will melt the glue that is right under the adhesive. Once the half hour has passed, take a small putty knife or a plastic scraper and carefully remove the adhesive, making sure not to scratch the body of your car.

Now, this may not be a one-shot deal. So if at the end of the process you still notice some leftover glue attached to your car, apply the adhesive remover once more and simply repeat the last step after another half hour. When the surface of your is free of all glue, just remove the remaining residue with your all purpose cleaner.

If, by any chance whatsoever, your car still has glue residue after several repeats of the process above, utilize the powers of an abrasive paste or polish. This should put an end to the glue’s reign over your precious car.

Another element that you can use, if your are not comfortable with the methods mentioned above, is heat. You can take a sponge and immerse it in hot water, then apply it several times to soften the sticker glue. You can even use a hair dryer to further heat those pesky stickers. Once the dryer has done its job, use a spatula to make the removal of the stickers safer and easier. As soon as the sticker has finally been removed, carefully clean the area with a soft cloth soaked in alcohol.

So there you have it! Easy steps on how to remove unwanted adhesive sticker without hurting your car’s exterior. As far as the adhesive removal product is concerned, there are many brands out there that are well-known to work wonders. Just ask for assistance from your local hardware sales clerk regarding the ones that will work best for you and your car.

5 Damaging Cleaning Materials that You Shouldn’t Use on Your Car

Cleaning Materials

Sometimes, people think that any random cleaning material can suffice for the overall hygienic requirements of their car. This is just plain wrong. Do you know that a number of cleaning products out there that can actually cause more harm than good to your beloved vehicle? A discomforting fact, but it is what it is. Hopefully, this post will give you peace in its goal to list down five cleaning materials that should never come into contact with your car. Let’s begin.

1) Detergent soaps

A lot of people wrongfully assume that detergent soaps are the same as standard car wash products, which is a gentler kind of soap precisely designed for car cleaning. Detergent soap actually removes the wax properties on the surface of the car’s protective exterior. Due to this, it is not advisable to use detergent soap unless one has plans to have his car waxed after.

2) Products that contain petrochemical and bleach

Petrochemicals and bleach in cleaning materials? Sounds good, right? I mean, these elements seem to promise a high level of cleanliness which we all desire for the cleanliness and maintenance of our car’s tires. However, although these cleaning materials can eliminate all the dirt that engulfs your tires, they can actually make the tires age prematurely as well.

3) Alcohol and ammonia-based materials

While alcohol and ammonia-based cleaning materials are said to be effective in removing dirt, it has been found out that they are too harsh on your vehicle, particularly on your car’s interior. Also, they damage parts that are made of plastic.

4) Acid-based cleaners

Though merciless against dirt, the strength of acid-based cleaners can permanently damage your tires. Unless your tires are chrome, never use such products to clean them.

5) Limonene

A colorless hydrocarbon both found in cleaning materials and cosmetic products, limonene is widely used to remove oil and grease in engines. As we all know, cleaning the engine of the car once a year prevents corrosion. And although limonene doesn’t cause damage to the car itself, its use poses several health risks to people who mishandle them.

You simply cannot just use whatever product you find to clean your car. Always be careful in choosing the exact cleaning materials that will come into contact with your vehicle. Read labels. Research products. Seek advice from friends. Care for your car in every way possible.

Do Gas Saver Fluids Really Work?

In the continuing pursuit for ways to save money, many have confidently claimed to possess the best fuel-saving methods and products out there. A few of these trivial methods involve rolling down the windows, keeping the tailgate up or down, turning the air conditioner off, and so on. Several products have also been promoted that purportedly play an active role in saving fuel by manipulating the fuel itself. That’s something that gas saver fluids are marketed to do, and the very purpose of this post is to verify if these products actually work.

Gas saver fluids are additives that supposedly changes the fuel’s properties, making it more efficient in a number of ways. For one, petroleum-based fuels do not combust easily in their full liquid form, although they do if aerosolized. Also, higher octane fuels are more efficient in being converted to the energy that make your car run. The two factors mentioned can, in fact, result to a more efficient fuel. However, there are a few reasons as to why they wouldn’t really work.

Ways to Save Gas

According to the Law of Thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor lost. This means that you can’t just conjure up energy like magic without losing something else as a result. In the case of cars, you can’t move it without either burning fuel or burning calories. Ever since the Renaissance era, historical icons like Leonardo da Vinci had already figured out that perpetual motion machines are basically bunk.

As for the changing the chemical properties of the fuel, you may want to reassess your plans once you’ve considered the fact that such processes may require more air and a lot more room than your entire gas tank. Changing your fuel for the better would require some drastic chemical change, which sounds risky in itself. Considering the fact that whatever’s poured into your gas tank will then be burned in your engine’s cylinders, it may not be a good idea to just add something in your tank that you’re not entirely familiar to.

This principle extends to anything that claims to save fuel while still maintaining your car’s performance. While petroleum is the most widely used fuel source that we use due to its availability and ease of use, it’s also rather inefficient. Perhaps there’s something that can help us utilize more of its potential, but these gas saver fluids are certainly not it. There are 2-liter engines that can churn out over 300 brake horsepower nowadays, but this is a result of superior engineering, and not some magical fluid.

Perhaps the best way to save fuel is sensible driving, which involves the practice of never driving too fast. Also, instead of just using your brakes all the time while on the highway, learn how to cruise properly, preparing for everything that’s coming your way. This method of driving lets you make the most of your fuel by maintaining the momentum from the fuel you just burned.

There are many other ways to save gas, but relying on additives may be dangerous for your car. You’d never know what it can do to your engine and even the fuel itself. The risk is not worth the investment, and being sensible is the dependable way to being an economical driver.

5 Signs your Car Insurance is a Scam

Occasionally, insurance companies offer great discounts and low protection premiums on their products and services. With a wide variety of companies to choose from, how can one determine which agencies are legit and which ones are a scam? Below, you will find five concrete signs that indicate a high possibility that you are being swindled to a car insurance rip-off.

Car Insurance Scam

1) Über low insurance fees

We hate astronomical prices, but the exact opposite is just as scary. When you find yourself asking the question “Why is it priced so low?” conduct a background check on the company offering the low premium. Do your research. Are they still doing well? Do they do this often? Is this a new company trying to attract clients? Base your decisions from the answers you acquire.

2) Taking advantage of their clients

Do they abandon you in times when you most need them? Comprehensive car insurance involves the security of your vehicle from harm and peril coupled with the assurance that the proper course of action will be taken should something damaging happens to your car. Holding on to the essence of proper insurance, it is truly heartbreaking and traumatic to experience being robbed by people who promised to take care of your cash and property.

3) Automatically screens a client liar.

One instance that could result in the kind of heartbreak mentioned above is when your insurance company screens you as a liar. Although it has been said that this is a common practice in the industry, it is worth knowing that many good and reputable companies have their own way of detecting whether a report or claim is true or falsified. So be honest from the start. If they screen you out and you know by heart that what you are reporting is true, then it’s time to shop for other companies.

4) Repairs your car as cheaply as possible

Read the fine print. Take note on crucial terms and ask your agent to translate it to layman. Most reputable companies will offer repairs – and by “repair”, they mean quality-assured services and superior car parts, and not “cheap repairs just for the sake of saying that your car has been restored”. Before allowing anyone to touch your vehicle, check the replacement parts that they are to put in your car.

5) “Agreed upon value”

More often than not, contracts have a catch, so as mentioned in the previous point, it is best to read the fine print, ask a legal consultant, and request for a layman’s translation of those terms you don’t understand. One common loophole is the “agreed upon value” that’s sometimes interchanged with “current market value”. We know that cars depreciate and that they depreciate fast! Regular cars have a depreciation value of almost 75% 24 hours after your purchase! So be clear on the value as to which the car will be evaluated at in case of an accident.

Pros and Cons of Car Lowering

Motorists who can afford modifications for their cars tend to get them with the goal of increasing their performance beyond the stock. This includes making the car lighter, adding turbochargers under the hood, firming up the suspension, making the body more aerodynamic, and so on. One trick the some car lovers love to do for better performance is car lowering. Like most modifications, this has a set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them.

Lowered Car

PROS

The thing about car lowering is that as long as you have access to the services of a body shop that you can trust with mechanics that are more than proficient at their craft, then all you have to do is to shelf out a few hundred bucks and get a better running car as a result. However, there are a few things to consider before you partake in such a procedure for your car.

The truth is that you will experience a better ride when you lower your car considerably. What it does is make the car more aerodynamic by letting it “hug” the road more closely, giving it a bit more downforce and lessening the drag. It also makes the ride firmer as it also lowers the suspension, so this isn’t something you’d want if you have a bad back. But if you’re looking to give your car a sporty feel, then perhaps this is the way to go.

CONS

You have to understand that the extent of the improvement of your car’s handling once its lowered depends on a few specific factors. For one thing, it will change the steering and suspension geometry, especially since it will affect how the car reacts to bumps and dips and potholes on the road. Stock suspension won’t be enough when the car is lowered at a certain point, so you may have to change the suspension. If you do so, it’ll change the weight transfer characteristics of the car in acceleration and braking, so you better get suspension that works well in a smaller space.

Essentially, if you don’t change things like the bushings, suspension, struts, and spring rates to deal with the car’s new structure, then you’d basically be turning your car into a sled. Take note that, without the necessary adjustments, it’ll be harder to keep your front bumper from scraping the curb or street when parking or going down a ramp. Also, the vehicle’s entire body will become more susceptible to touching the road while you’re going fast and turning around bends since weight transfer along each of the four wheels would be compromised.

There’s no denying that you need to do a lot of things if you’re planning to have your car lowered. You’d be one lucky driver if you are able to employ the services of a master mechanic who really knows what he’s doing. There’s nothing like a skilled, honest mechanic who can satisfy all your needs for car modification.

True or False: Christmas Lanes are Effective

Another Christmas Season is finally here! And along the joy and love that comes with this merry occasion is the nerve-wracking buzz of finding the right gift for the ones we love.  However, getting though this ordeal is daunting for some since it is certainly not a joke to find one’s self caught in the middle of a sea of cars during the rush hour’s peak. The addition of Christmas Lanes has given us drivers some breathing room in the way they provide a leeway from the constricted roads that the yuletide season brings.

Christmas Lanes Philippines

Before we go on further, it is important to note that these Christmas Lanes will cause little to no inconvenience for the major motorway’s of the country. Though it would be great to have additional lanes open all year long, this is just a temporary solution in decreasing traffic problems and accidents caused by the crowded highways. But nonetheless, these lanes create relief and spell safety for all the drivers who are trying to visit as much friends and family as they can during the Holidays.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) opened over 30 Christmas Lanes early this December all over Metro Manila to ease the Holiday traffic. The lanes provide numerous alternatives for drivers who constantly pass through the roads of Makati City, EDSA, Quezon City and many more. Although these Lanes will definitely be useful for hundreds of people, it is important to note that drivers should carefully study the lanes before actually passing through them. The notion of avoiding hours of traffic feels great, but this sense of victory will quickly evaporate if end up lost because you didn’t learning the alternate lanes beforehand.

If all the necessary information regarding the Christmas Lanes is disseminated properly, and if drivers are perceptive enough to take this information into careful account, then smooth sailing within these lanes are guaranteed.  In the event that any accidents happen, response from the authorities should be swift since these streets are usually situated in strategic positions around the city. Well-lighted and populated with the essential traffic assistance, these lanes are protected from sneaky carjackers that are taking advantage of the season.

So there. As long as you plan ahead and familiarize yourself with the road ahead, you should have an easier time getting through our busy, crowded streets. A safe and Merry Christmas to you all!

10 FAQs when insuring a Brand New Car

In·sur·ance – noun – a coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril.

To put it simply, insurance is the assurance of compensation for certain unexpected losses that may happen in the future. We are aware that there are varying types of car insurance designed for different kinds of conditions. But what are those certain “conditions” that you need to know and understand? Here’s a simple checklist.

Insuring Brand New Car

1) When to get insurance quotes?

The best time to look for insurance is prior your buying of a car, especially if you are frugal and practical. If you are not very particular with the brand or make of the car, shopping for insurance may curtail your options and help you decide which car best fits you.

2) Talk to your agent face-to-face.

The Internet is a crazy comfort zone to many. Everything comes with just a few clicks, but some things are better done the old-fashioned way.

3) Know what you are paying (or going to pay) for.

Shop around and find the best deal. Does a high premium already mean better insurance? What are its inclusions? Nobody wants to be surprised in times of peril. It isn’t wise to hope for something that may not be even there to begin with.

4) Inquire about discounts.

Sales agents live on commissions, and whether we like it or not, there are sales agents who place astronomical bucks on top of the regular premium. Inquire for the possible discounts you can acquire. This is most advisable if you are insuring a brand new car.

5) Full amount vs. installment.

Pay upfront the whole amount if you can afford it. Chances are, you are going to pay a much lower amount as compared to amortizing monthly. If the budget is tight, check on the total amount you are going to pay within the tenor. From there, you can compare if you are going to pay too much or just right.

6) Reconsider the policies in your garage.

Purchasing a brand new car feels awesome. But then again, you’d still have your old, trusty car that you refuse to dispose of. Let’s admit the fact that paying the same premium for both cars may be too costly considering that your old car may not need that much insurance. Maybe you can lower the premium for the old car and increase the premium on the new one.

7) Rely on trusted names.

Check client reviews on well-known, competent companies.  They are “well-known” for a reason. Which brings us to the next point.

8) Be careful of too low/too many premium discounts.

Beware of fly-by-night companies. Why are they giving too many discounts on premiums? You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on suspicious, too-good-to-be-true offers like that.

9) Keep your credit history clean.

Reporting too many road incidences may result in companies declining your application for insurance. If you, as a client, do not want fly-by-night companies, insurance companies also do not want to grant their profits to reckless drivers. At the end of the day, it is still about money and the advantage foes to them in the way that you are the one paying for their service.

10) Drive safely.

Paying for your car’s insurance does not give you the license to drive recklessly. Just because you know that someone is going to pay for whatever damage you may incur does not give you the guarantee that you are also freed of the possible trauma you may suffer. Driving requires more than the skill to navigate around the city and to perfect parallel parking. It entails full responsibility on your actions on the road.

How to Know When to Change your Shock Absorber

So you have a car you call your baby. To get it protected, you buy tons of classy car accessories and ensure that everything is working fine every time you sit behind the steering wheel. For comfort, you fill your car with nice seat covers, while as for safety, well-prepared airbags and tight seat belts are equipped. But when the road is hard and bumpy, the real thing that is responsible for keeping you safe are the shock absorbers.

Shock Absorbers

Part of your car’s suspension, the shock absorbers help, you’ve guessed it, absorb shocks, that result in a smooth and comfy ride. Of course, as with anything, they are not resistant to the custom wear and tear after a long time’s use. In this article, we will tackle about four factors on how to know when it’s time to replace your shock absorbers.

1) Miles Traveled

Typically, you have to replace your shock absorbers when you reach the 50,000th mile. That is equivalent to 80,467 kilometers. Still, this depends a lot on how you maintain your car. When you travel to winding roads and streets most of the time, your car’s suspension tends to wear faster than normal. Excessive bounces and car limit sways affect those shocks, thereby shortening the snubbers’ longevity.

2) Style of Driving

Whenever you push the pedal for stop-and-go movement in heavy traffic jams, there is a higher tendency for your shock absorbers to get damaged. Graveling through steep roads and hills also add on to the stressful suspension movement. These also are factors that slam the shock absorbers and shorten their 50,000-mile life expectancy.

Driving in Rough Roads3) Regional Weather Conditions

The contaminants of the weather that end up on the surface of the road take a toll on your vehicle’s shock absorbers. When you’re driving through dry and clean roads, suspension is slightly encountered, and the possibility of abrasions and rust forming on your car will be minimal. This is compared to when you’re driving through snowy, rough, or watery roads, which will wear your shocks down faster.

4) Dents and Oil Leakage

When your car is parked, take the time to notice whether or not there are dents on the tubes of the shock absorbers or struts and oil leakers on the lower portion of the shocks. If there are, consider shopping for new shocks. Aside from these, keep an eye on the overall suspension system including the blushing, springs, bolts and ball joints. Normally, these are the signs that the shocks are becoming pretty worn out. When they are not properly maintained to the optimum performance, they will hamper your comfort of driving and reduce the brakes’ efficiency and antilock brake system.

Don’t compromise safety in driving with busted shocks. Shock absorbers are very important to road handling, especially when you are braking, experiencing a bend in the road, maneuvering on bumpy roads andgoing through strong side winds. Check out these four factors and visit trustworthy automotive shops for preventative checkups. These are just some of the most known ways on how to side-step the effects of worn shocks and/or struts.

Chrome Treated Rims in the Philippines: Why you Should/Shouldn’t go through with it?

Rims, in all its various designs, can improve the visual appeal of your car. But aside from aesthetic purposes, they can also provide better traction and steering.  Chrome rims are preferred by many vehicle owners because they are awesome to look and are popular amongst car shows.  They attract admiring glances from those who know its worth.  Though chrome is applied to car rims primarily to prevent the presence of rust, it is now also designed to enhance a car’s appearance and can be suited for the owner’s preference.

Chrome Treated RimsThe rims are constructed with chrome mirror finish to make it shine in the presence of light.  Car enthusiasts really find this attractive and appealing, although it must be said that it comes with a hefty price tag.  With all the good that chrome rims can do to a car, who would not be tempted to seek its presence on one’s car wheels?

Here in the Philippines, car shows have patterned its standard to that of its international counterparts. Because of this, the popularity of using chrome rims spread not just among the circle of racers or car aficionados, but also among the common populace as well who can afford its price.  And because of the superior traction and steering it grants, chrome rims are not just simply for extra “flashiness”.

It would be nicer to showcase flashy rims instead of hubcaps, but there are certain drawbacks in having chrome treated rims in the Philippines, which include the higher possibility of losing them to pesky thieves. Given their expensive price, car predators, armed with watchful eyes and quick hands, will snatch your car rims if given the opportunity to do so. If you are going to invest in car rims, be wise on where you park your car. Don’t a victim of car thieves.

One last thing. A few years ago, chrome was considered to be a toxic substance because studies done in the U.S proved that it was both a hazardous air pollutant and a human carcinogen. But recent alterations have reassured the public that, since chrome plating is metal, Hexavalent Chromium is completely eliminated once it has been properly treated. Because of this, chrome plating is not banned.  Though no one can be sure enough of what the manufacturers say, it pays to give more attention to product specifications and health hazards that pose threat to the health of the car owner and the public in general.