Mark Gittelman - Car Repair Information From MasterTechMark
This is a personal auto repair blog of car mechanic Mark Gittelman. He is currently a Master Technician certified by the National Institute for ASE and a longtime member of the SAE International. Although, his professional life has revolved around the repair industry since the early 1980s his main passion has always been classic cars.
Smoking is an insidious habit that, any smoker will tell you, is incredibly difficult to quit. As you enter into smoking, you find that more and more areas of life are affected by the smell and the urge to smoke.
It’s something that many of us try once or twice in our lifetimes, but a lot of people find that smoking creeps its way into their lives for long periods of time. One piece of the habit is smoking in the car.
Hopping into the car and going to or from wherever you’re going is the perfect opportunity to smoke a cigarette. You’ll soon hear about it from your non-smoking friends, however.
The smell of smoke in a car can be too much to bear for other people. You might not mind it, but others will. We’ll talk a little bit about removing the smoke smell from your car in this article.
How to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Car
Whether you’re quitting, trying to maintain the value of your car, or being considerate of others, you need to find a way to get rid of that gross smell.
It typically won’t go away on its own, especially if you have cloth seats. We’ll cover some preventative methods as well as some that help to get the smell gone after you’ve finished the cigarette.
Let’s get started:
1. Don’t Smoke While Parked
If you’re going to continue smoking in your car, make sure that you aren’t parked while you do so. Smoking while driving is one way to eliminate a good deal of the smoke smell.
Even if you’re parked with your arm out the window, a lot of the smoke you exhale will wind up sticking to the fabric of your vehicle. Driving serves as a sort of vacuum for the smoke to move out of your windows and dissipate into the air.
2. Air Fresheners
This one seems obvious, we know. Air fresheners are one of the weakest defenses against the smell of smoke. Often times, air fresheners simply cover up and blend with the smell of smoke and it’s still pretty obvious.
That said, you can significantly move the smell away from stale smoke and towards summer eucalyptus or whatever scent you fancy.
3. Vacuum Your Floors and Ceilings
The cigarette ash all of over your flours is probably not helping the general smell of smoke in your car. Additionally, we’ve all slipped up and dropped a finished cigarette beneath the driver’s seat a few times.
One old, stale cigarette can be one of the most disgusting sources of smells in the universe. Take a vacuum to your floors, your seats, even your ceilings and get that surface level of smells out of your car.
4. Deep Clean Your Vehicle
A lot of the smell is contained in the surface level of grime or dust that’s coating your vehicle. Taking an hour or two and deeply cleaning your entire car will significantly improve the smell of your vehicle.
In fact, this is the first thing that you should do. By no means will this completely eliminate all of the scents from years of smoking in a vehicle, but it will take care of at least 50 percent of that old, grimy, smokey smell that no one likes.
5. Use Absorbents
Things like baking soda are often used to clear up stains and break up stinky materials to get them out of fabrics. Use baking soda or another absorbent as a method to soak up some of the latent smell that’s stuck in your seats, floors, floormats, and whatever other materials you have in your car.
Simply sprinkle the baking soda liberally and let it sit for a few hours. You can then vacuum it up and wait a while to see if the smell is affected at all.
You can also leave an open box of baking soda in your car at all times to absorb a good deal of the smell. The nice thing about absorbents is that they’re always absorbing, as the name suggests.
6. Consider Your Ductwork
Sometimes the most prominent smoke smells come from the vents of your car. Turning on the air, we’re sometimes subjected to a litany of ash and stink left over from cigarettes of the past.
Even if you’ve deep cleaned your vehicle and absorbed the heck out of the smells in it, you’ll just be pumping that smoke smell back into your car if you don’t take time to consider your ductwork.
As cars move forward, cleaning out the ductwork gets more and more complicated. Our suggestion is to run your air conditioning for a good amount of time, maybe while you’re on your way to and from work, and see what the smell is like in the absence of cigarettes.
It might be the case that your ductwork essentially self-cleans and removes the smoke smell after some time. If you find that it’s not helping, we recommend going to a mechanic and seeing if there are filters to be changed or other methods you could use to clear out those ducts.
7. Never Slip Up
Whether you decide to quit or not, you should be able to hold off from smoking while you’re in the car. One cigarette might not do too much to stink up your vehicle after you’ve cleaned it, but smokers know that one cigarette always leads to another.
Make a firm stand to quit smoking in your vehicle. Once you get it cleaned, you will be home-free as long as you don’t smoke in your car. Read more here about ways to get rid of the smoke if the above methods didn’t work for you.
You can do it!
Smoke Not the Only Problem?
If we’ve made the decision to smoke in a car, it may be the case that the vehicle is already on the frits. You’d be surprised to find that, just like cleaning out smells, fixing your car can often be done on a DIY basis as well.
The day you buy a new car is exciting because it’s shiny and smells good and everything seems perfect. But with each passing year, the newness fades until eventually, that same car has lost its luster.
You might be wondering “when the time is right to junk my car”? After all, it probably rattles everywhere you go, blows black smoke from the tailpipe, and will barely start half the time.
In this article we take a look at how to know when to junk your car. Keep reading to learn the signs for when the day has finally come to give it up for good.
The Check Engine Light Has Been on For Years
Those warning lights on your dash are there for a reason. They are designed to alert you to mechanical and electrical issues. Thus when the check engine light comes on for any reason, it’s likely bad news.
If your check engine light came on long ago and never went off, you’ve likely already done a ton of damage. That light is a sign of trouble, and by ignoring it you simply made a small problem much bigger.
There’s Now More Duct Tape than Metal
It’s funny to see a car on the road covered in duct tape. But it’s not so funny when that car belongs to you. When a car starts falling apart, using duct tape to hold it together is simply delaying the inevitable.
For starters, this a major safety issue. Duct tape isn’t designed for car repairs. Eventually you’re going to sneeze and your car will turn to dust. So if you’re repairing it with duct tape, it might finally be time to walk away.
It Doesn’t Feel Safe on the Road
If you’re driving the speed limit and your car feels or sounds like it’s going to explode, you shouldn’t be on the road. Automobiles are complicated pieces of engineering, and serious mechanical is possible at any moment.
When your car becomes a safety hazard, do yourself and everyone else a favor and keep it off the road.
Kelly Blue Book Won’t Even Acknowledge it Exists
Kelly Blue Book is a resource for determining the value of an automobile. It bases the value mostly by the year it was made, current mileage, and the current condition.
KBB might have your car listed, but might not be worth anything. If this is the case, go ahead and consider getting it junk.
You Can See the Road Through the Floor
Most cars are made out of metal or similar material, right? Well, if not properly cared for, over time metal will eventually begin to rust. And once it starts to rust, it won’t stop.
When a car has been neglected, the rust becomes obvious and often causes the car to start falling apart.
If you’re able to see through holes that have rusted all the way through parts of your car, it’s time to start making some decisions. And when you can actually see the asphalt passing beneath your through a hole in the floor, we’d recommend driving directing to the salvage yard and simply handing them the key.
It Smells Like Jimmy Hoffa is in the Trunk
There’s nothing worse than a smelly car. They can develop a smell for any number of reasons.
Perhaps you left the windows down when it rained and now it reeks of mildew. Or perhaps you’ve left food under the seat a few too many times. The reality is that odors come from a million different sources and none of them are good.
Do what you can to combat the funk, but if your efforts seem to be getting you nowhere and the stink is now a permanent feature, today might be the day to say goodbye to your old friend.
It Hasn’t Started in Months
Eventually, every car will begin experiencing mechanical failures of one type or another. The alternator might go out so the battery can’t hold a charge. The starter might be fried, thus the car won’t…well…start. But if there is a significant wiring problem, this might prove to be too expensive of a repair to sink money into.
There’s simply no reason to hold on to junk cars forever. If you’ve made some minor repairs but it still won’t start, the truth is it might have finally given up the ghost.
You Don’t Feel Safe Driving the Kids
When it comes to your kids, their safety is the top priority.
Earlier we talked about needing to feel safe on the road. This is even more significant when it comes to transporting children. Holding on to a junk car for sentimental reasons isn’t worth it. Your kids come first. Get rid of that thing.
You Can Afford a New Car
Listen, you’re moving up in the world. You’ve got a great job, things are going well, and you finally have enough extra cash to invest in a car you’re proud of.
It’s time to make the move. After all, that old piece of junk is embarrassing to be seen in. Perhaps you’ve known this deep down for a long time but only now can admit it to yourself.
Not having a car payment might feel great, but the trade-off is your driving around in a machine that’s loud, smells awful, and is barely roadworthy.
The time has come to trade up. This is an exciting moment, so choose to embrace it.
Knowing When it’s Time to Junk My Car
How do you know when it’s time to junk my car? It’s not rocket science. That old thing barely runs. It smells like a Christmas cheese log from ten years ago is still rolling around under your seat. And the engine sounds like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Reality is staring you right in the eye. It’s time to junk your car. Not sure whether to sell or trade it in? Check out this article to learn more and decide what’s best for you.
While dented and scratched cars sell on the used market every single day, it’s not easy to get your car sold if it’s riddled with issues. One of the things that keep most sellers from even bothering is that they think they won’t be able to get what they think the car is really worth. If you learn about what a car detailer can do to restore life to your vehicle, you might find that it’s possible to get your car back to perfect condition.
Here are five reasons why you should see a car detailer, whether you’re selling your car or just trying to preserve its luxuriousness for a few more years.
1. Minimize Seasonal Damage
Every year, cars driven in temperate climates are faced with all kinds of challenges. Dirt, mud, and salt on the road contains all kind of impurities and they ebb and flow as the seasons change. If you’re not getting your car detailed, it’s being slowly eaten away at right now.
After a car is washed and dried, there are surface contaminants that still stay stuck on the paint. If you get sap or tar on your car, it can cling to your paint and damage the color base when it goes untreated. If that happens, then you’re going to leave your car are open to damage from the elements.
Depending on what the substance is that’s hit your car, you might have to use solvents to get the contaminants off. While it’s important that you deal with things ASAP, you might not have the skill to do it on your own. Having your car detailed will ensure that the damage that’s hit your car because of seasonal changes won’t make it look anything less than its best.
2. Preserve Your Paint
Your car’s paint job might be what attracted you to it in the first place. However, from the day that the car is painted, its under attack from potential contaminants and elements that might deteriorate it. As much as it’s fun to take out your car on a hot sunny day, the paint job is being faded with every second you’re out there.
What’s worse is the dust, dirt, and debris that’s on the road. Your paint could pick up scratches and dings if you don’t detail your car often enough.
Talk to the technician who is working on your car. They’ll tell you about all the substances they have to help protect your car. Different types of wax can make your car shiny while also add a barrier to protect the car.
3. Keep The Interior Comfortable
Before you start driving your car, you have a few prerequisites for what makes it comfortable. Once you find the right car for you, that interior comfort makes a difference in your driving experience. Maintaining it is part of the detailing process.
If you get your car detailed regularly, you ensure that you’re always driving a car that’s fresh and clean. Detail technicians know how to get all of the stains, dust, and grime from every nook and cranny of your car.
They’ll clean and condition your seats and help ensure that every element is up to perfection. If you’ve bought yourself a luxury car or a sports car, you don’t need to be sitting in an interior that doesn’t feel as lux as can be. If you’re paying for a Ferrari oil change, you should probably front the money to have the interior wiped down so it feels as smooth as it runs.
4. Keep the Vehicle Valuable
Every car loses a little bit of value in the first year of its life. However, if you keep a great car in great shape over time, the value can stabilize and even go up a bit.
Whether you’re going to want to keep your car for a while or sell it in the future, regular detailing appointments make a difference. When someone takes a look at your car, they’re going to look at the exterior first, but they’ll also look at the interior. If they see that you’ve cut corners on keeping the wheels or the console clean, they won’t think it’s in all that great shape.
People buy with their eyes first, before anything else. If the car doesn’t look its best, you’re setting yourself up for having to keep your car on the market for longer than it has to be.
5. Fight Scratches and Swirls
One of the major plagues that upset most owners of otherwise nice vehicles are the scratches and swirls that the body collects. When the sun hits the exterior, the light won’t bounce off without revealing problems with the body. While these imperfections might seem small, they get in the way of enjoying that perfect shine every owner is looking to have.
This comes from using express car washes and using buffers wrong. It’s nice to save money on your car but it usually doesn’t pay off. While car owners might think they’re doing right by their car with these elements, it’s making things worse.
With the help of proper detailing, professional techs can help bring your car back to life. Rather than allowing them to plague you for any longer, paint polish and the correct use of an orbital polisher ensures that you get the gloss that you used to have. Cars can even be returned to their factory standards when technicians know how to handle their tools.
Hiring a Car Detailer Is Always Worth the Cost
Whether you want your car to look valuable for buyers or just for your own good, putting the time and money into detailing ensures it looks and feels good. A car detailer can bring life back to your vehicle when it seems like all hope is lost.
Are you looking for a performance car in time for summer? There’s nothing like American muscle to cruise the straights and crush the corners in the warm weather.
The market has never been better, either. While the classic pony cars are undeniable in their cultural imprint, to say nothing of their timeless style, they just can’t compete with today’s offerings.
The Mustang is as timeless as it is modern. The Camaro is a technical marvel. However, what you really want is the 2019 Dodge Challenger.
Keep reading for 9 reasons why it’s the muscle car to get.
The Mustang has had a few different iterations offering completely different takes on Ford’s pony car. When discussing its style, you need to be clear which generation you’re referring to, as each represents a different approach.
Chevrolet has been even less consistent with the Camaro. It seems that they’re constantly redesigning the front-end in response to dissatisfied customers. While the general silhouette may not have changed much, its grill is constantly under redesign.
It’s refreshing, then, that Dodge has stuck with the same design since reintroducing the Challenger in 2008. It’s big, it’s fierce, and it’s undeniably a Challenger.
Larger than its Michigan-bred brethren, the Challenger is a statement. It has an imposing presence, commanding attention wherever it goes.
The biggest attraction to American muscle cars comes from their raw power. Traditionally, the European and Japanese manufacturers depended on turbochargers to make the most out of their smaller engines, whereas the Big Three relied on big, powerful engines to move their cars.
Fuel emission standards, coupled with innovations to the internal combustion engine, have seen turbochargers used more regularly, helping to offset fuel-use while still providing ample power.
There’s a time when suggesting a pony car with an inline-four would have gotten you kicked out of Detroit, but not anymore. Both the Camaro and the Mustang offer turbo-four engines on their base models.
The Challenger? Not so much.
The base model features the 3.6L Pentastar V6, good for 305HP. Not bad for around $28,000. And it only gets better from there.
There are two V8 Hemi’s available, each upping the output accordingly. The 5.7L Hemi is good for 375HP, while the 392 Hemi found in the R/T ScatPack makes the jump to 485HP.
Still looking for more? Dodge has you covered.
Where Ford and Chevy turned to forced-induction to make small engines focused on fuel economy, Dodge went the other way. They bolted a supercharger to a 6.2L Hemi and wound up with an eye-watering 717HP.
If you’re still not satisfied, seek help. Also, seek out the Hellcat Hemi Redeye version of the 6.2L V8. It increases its output to an astounding 797HP. That’s nearly 800HP in a production car!
Whatever Dodge inventory your dealership has, rest assured that it’ll satisfy your horsepower needs.
While Dodge has remained truest to their muscle car roots of the Big Three, they haven’t eschewed advances in technology altogether.
Dodge’s UConnect interface makes it easy to integrate your phone using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The 7″ touchscreen display makes it easy to navigate through settings, though the optional 8.4″ display is even nicer.
A 276-watt Alpine system comes standard, offering plenty of power. A 506-watt option, also from Alpine, is available, but real audiophiles will want to splurge on the Harmon Kardon system. It features two sub-woofers in the trunk and 900-watts worth of power.
When contemplating the sheer amount of power offered, safety’s likely to become a concern. It’s nice to be reassured that the Challenger was built to be more than a powerplant on wheels.
Anti-lock brakes and stability control help keep all that power under control. As well, additional features available include:
Lane departure warning
Automatic high beams
Forward collision warning
The Challenger is a safety-first vehicle!
5. Four-Wheel Power
Every gear-head knows that real cars send their power to the back. Rear-drive is as traditional to pony cars as peeling away from a green light.
However, modern demands have made all-wheel-drive a popular layout. Having the option to divert power to either of the four wheels makes accelerating out of corners a breeze.
Maybe Ford and Chevy don’t agree, but Dodge has made this option available. While only available with the V6, it does offer more flexibility for those looking for a car that can handle difficult weather.
6. Fuel Efficiency
Anyone looking for an engine worthy of more than 400HP has clearly chosen output over fuel efficiency. You don’t buy a Hellcat to hypermile it.
However, the Pentastar V6 gets relatively good mileage of 26MPG. Considering it’ll get you from 0-60MPH in about six seconds, that’s not bad at all.
You don’t choose an American muscle car for its value, per se. You choose it because it’s big and powerful.
However, being able to get more than 300HP with rear-wheel-drive for under $30,000 is hard to argue with.
Even the Hemi-powered ScatPack is a relative bargain. While any car that approaches $40,000 isn’t necessarily entry-level, you do get almost 500HP.
The Challenger is big, as it should be. Larger than both the Mustang and Camaro, it is a commanding presence. This translates into a far more comfortable interior than those other two offer.
A rear-bench accommodates three in the back, making the Challenger a proper five-seater. Need a family car but still want to have fun driving? It’ll easily fit a child-seat.
Finally, the Challenger succeeds over the Camaro and Mustang with its pony car pureness. It doesn’t rely on dozens of sensors and computers to keep it flat through the corners. It doesn’t need cylinder deactivation or trick engineering to produce adequate amounts of power.
It’s simply what it is: a big engine producing large amounts of power in a large, comfortable chassis.
Final Thoughts on the 2019 Dodge Challenger
If you’re in the market for a pony car, the 2019 Dodge Challenger is the way to go. It offers power, presence, and, surprisingly, practicality at a great price.
The automotive oil market produces $100 billion in revenues each year. The market is so extensive that even Amazon is getting in on the game by announcing that they are producing their own brand of Amazon Basics Synthetic Motor Oil.
For most of us though, we prefer to stick with a well known trusted brand of synthetic oil such as Amsoil and Mobil 1. But which one of these is better?
We are going to do the hard work of comparing these two types of synthetic oils for you.
Synthetic Oil vs. Regular Oil
Deciding between synthetic and regular motor oil is a hotly debated topic. Many car professionals recommend sticking with what the manufacturer recommends. Others argue that synthetic is beneficial for older and high mileage vehicles.
The advantage of using synthetic oil is that the molecular structure is smaller and more uniform in size. This creates less friction.
The refinement of the production process also means there are fewer deposits left inside of your engine. There are also additives in the oil that protect and clean your engine.
If you drive in extreme cold or heat, a synthetic is going to be more stable and perform consistently for you. To make sure your engine performs well be sure to buy a synthetic specially geared for extreme weather.
We are going to stick with discussing synthetic oil for the purposes of our discussion. If you want a more in-depth comparison, you can check out this great comparison.
How to Test the Oils
The best way to figure out which oil is best is to find out a vehicle’s mpg is while using each oil. This is an unbiased test that can’t be rigged to achieve the results the tester hopes for.
This is an effective test because it is a measure of energy used. Your engine should be more efficient as a result of better lubrication and reduced resistance.
The smoother and easier the engine components move, the more efficient they are at producing power. This efficiency results in better performance and an increase in miles per gallon driven.
Another common test used to measure the quality of motor oil is a “four-ball wear test.” In this test, there are four metal balls arranged into a pyramid. Three balls on the bottom, and one on top.
The pyramid is then submerged in the oil.
One good thing about this test is that is measures the effectiveness of the oil during cold and hot operation. One of the most stressful times for your engine is during startup.
The oil in your engine at startup is cold, so it is at its thickest. It takes time for the oil to heat up and begin flowing. During this time your engine is vulnerable to damage.
This is one area where synthetic is a smart choice. Oil producers formulate their product to have a greater resist
Amsoil Synthetic Oil
Amsoil’s performance in these tests always produced top results. It consistently shows an increase in mpg from 1.5 to 3.5 more.
If you consistently use Amsoil in your engine and change your oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles you will experience a better performing and less troublesome engine. You will also have longer drainage intervals and better fuel mileage.
The best part is you can get this increased improvement without having to pay significantly more for the oil. Amsoil’s Signature Series only costs slightly more than other top quality synthetics.
Keep in mind that this high-quality oil lasts about 25,000 miles. The average person only drives 15,000 to 18,000 miles a year. This means you are paying for an oil change once a year instead of three to four times a year.
How can Amsoil protect your engine for that long? It maintains viscosity and fights breakdown. This ensures it continues to lubricate despite high heat and the demands of the high-performance engines of today.
Maintaining a strong level of viscosity long term means your engine components are well protected. This means less damage and free radical metal shearlings in your engine.
Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil
Mobil 1 came in second place when it was tested. The mpg increases were better than other oils, but negligible at best.
While Mobil 1 performed well at increasing gas mileage, it left something to be desired when it came to maintaining viscosity. It starts out strong and protective but quickly loses these qualities as heat degrades to molecular bonds.
Unfortunately, this means you will need to change your oil more often to ensure that your engine is adequately protected. When it comes to price Mobil 1 is reasonably priced for most car owners. This makes it an affordable price for oil changes.
In the long run, it will end up costing you more because you will have to change your oil more often.
What’s Your Oil of Choice?
Ultimately the synthetic oil you choose needs to be the one that you feel the most comfortable with. It also needs to work with your vehicle and align with what your manufacturer recommends.
Amsoil is consistently one of the top performing oils and can greatly benefit your engine’s performance. If you are unsure of whether you should use it, it is best to speak with an expert before putting it in your car.
Now that you know what oil to use, do you know when you need an oil change? Check out our post on how to tell if you need an oil change.
That’s right – and the snazzy upgrades below will make your garage even more valuable, whether you’re planning to sell or not.
If you’re constantly tinkering away or working on DIY projects, then upgrading your garage to make it feel more like a real workshop is an excellent use of your time.
The suggestions below range from smart storage solutions to tips for making the space easier to work in. None of them cost a fortune, and most can be installed over the course of a weekend.
You’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without these awesome garage upgrades.
1. Add Racks to Store Garden Tools
Are you an avid gardener? Are your long-handled tools, like rakes and brooms, propped up in a corner of your garage somewhere?
Make them easier to access by installing long horizontal racks on one wall. You can easily slot tools into these and grab them whenever you need them.
This is much safer than having tools propped up where they could fall over, makes it easier to see what you’ve got, and will keep your tools in better condition.
2. Install a Ceiling Storage System
Does anything that doesn’t fit in your house automatically get banished to the garage? Do you feel like you’ve exhausted all possible storage space?
Even if your garage shelves are already stacked high and you’re completely out of floor space, there is a solution – ceiling storage.
Ceiling storage systems generally work by installing metal racks on the ceiling and then slotting plastic storage boxes into them. You can label boxes for easy access, and this system is a great way to save on floor space.
Remember that you’ll need a step ladder to access your storage boxes.
3. Create a Folding Workbench
Normal workbench taking up too much space?
Don’t worry – by investing in an ingenious folding workbench, you’ll have all the space you need for projects, without taking up half your garage.
Attach a worktop-sized piece of wood to the wall using hinges as a simple DIY solution.
If you want to save even more space, make the section that’s attached to the wall a storage shelf for tools. Your tools will be hidden when you’re not using the bench, and easily accessible when you are – a win-win!
4. Use Magnetic Strips to Hang Tools
Another really handy way to store your metal tools involves using the magnetic knife strips usually reserved for kitchens.
Attach a few of these bad boys to your garage walls and you’ll easily be able to ‘stick’ all your small metal tools the wall, no hassle required.
This makes it super easy to grab whatever you need and allows you to move things around to re-organize any time you like. They also work really well for small items like screws and nails, which are otherwise easy to lose.
5. Get Motion Sensitive Lighting
Do you generally bring an old lamp into the garage for your projects?
Working in low-lighting conditions can be dangerous, especially when you’re using sharp tools or chemicals.
Installing motion sensitive lighting that’s bright enough for you to see exactly what you’re doing will make using your garage for projects feel like a dream.
It’s also a nice feature to have if you often drive home in the dark. Say goodbye to stumbling around a pitch black garage because you had to stay late at work – your new lights will have you covered.
6. Add an Anti-Fatigue Mat
Do you work on a lot of projects that involve standing in front of a workbench for hours on end?
It’s easy to get fatigued when doing work like this, especially if you’re standing on a hard concrete floor.
Anti-fatigue mats prevent you from slipping and reduce foot, knee, and back pain when standing for a long time. They’re used in many manual labor industries and don’t cost much to buy for your own home.
Most mats will easily roll up if you don’t want them on the floor all the time.
7. Install Remote Control Operating
Are you still opening your garage door manually?
Come into the 21st century and get a remote control operating system installed.
Not only will it make your garage easier to drive in and out of, but you’ll also be able to open the door at the push of a button whenever you’re working with chemicals and need to get some fresh air.
Some systems even have security features that link to your smartphone, which provides great peace of mind if you’re working on a project that involves expensive parts.
8. Paint the Floor
Ever get sick of looking down at the dull, grey, concrete floor while you’re working on projects?
Painting your floor in a light shade can transform a dingy old garage into a light, bright workshop that’s perfect for all kinds of activities.
Investing in making your garage flooring look nice will make you more inclined to spend time in your garage, helping you to finish your projects faster.
If your floor is stained with oil, rust, and old paint, giving it a coat of paint is a nice way to breathe some new life into the room. You’ll also be more motivated to clean up spills when they happen in the future.
Why Invest in Garage Upgrades?
If you spend a lot of time working in your garage, spending time and money on some simple garage upgrades is a great way to improve your experience.
The ideas above will make your garage safer, more organized, easier to work in, and a more pleasant environment.
Whether you install a smart new storage system to free up space for a workbench, put down anti-fatigue mats, or finally organize all those loose tools using magnetic strips, you’ll be glad you did.
Planning to use your new garage for a car repair project? Check out our blog for advice.
While millions of people suffer from night blindness, most of them have to get around and get behind the wheels of a car. That’s what makes your choice of headlights so important. If you’re wondering about the advantages of LED lights over traditional lights, you’ll find that it can make a huge difference.
Here are six major advantages.
1. Installation is Simple
When you choose to upgrade your lights to LEDs, you might be worried that there’s a lot of effort involved. Thankfully, most kits are simple and don’t require special training. You don’t even need to have the most minimal technical training as the kits come with solid directions.
If you have half an hour and an LED conversion kit, you can get the job done with very few tools. You’ll save money on labor costs you’d usually spend for something like this while learning more about your car.
However, if you really don’t feel comfortable installing this on your own, you can take the kit to a mechanic to have it installed professionally. It won’t cost you much since it’s a fairly simple installation.
2. Maintenance is a Breeze
Regular halogen bulbs require replacement every year or so. When you replace one, you should always replace both, meaning that each bulb that burns out requires you to buy twice the bulbs. However, LED headlights almost never burn out.
In fact, while most halogen bulbs will give you thousands of hours of use, the typical LED headlight can last 20 years or more. This means that if you switch to LED right away, you might never have to touch your headlights ever again.
This can save you money in parts but most of all save you the stress of a burnout. When bulbs burn out, you could get pulled over. During that traffic stop, the cop could see that you’re not wearing your seat belt, that your kids aren’t in the back seat where they should be, or worse.
Bulb burnout brings a lot of headaches, so why not go with LED and save your stress for something more important.
3. High-Efficiency Lighting
One of the things that LEDs bring that other types of lighting are missing is high efficiency. When you measure the actual amount of light that LEDs are capable of producing, you’ll find that they waste very little energy.
It turns out that that typical halogen bulb can waste 80% of its energy while an LED won’t. All of that head that a halogen bulb creates is wasted energy while an LED light will convert 80% of what it uses into light. They’re wildly more efficient.
Your alternator and battery take on the heavy lifting of providing all of that electricity that powers your lights. If you take away some of its work, you’ll find it’ll be able to last much longer. Rather than burdening it for another day with halogen bulbs, switch them out today.
4. So Cheap to Use
As stated above, LED lights last forever. When you don’t have to replace your parts that often, that means that you save some serious cash. LED headlights don’t have the moving parts that traditional headlights have, making them last much longer and be much more stable.
The efficiency of only having to change your lights when you get a new car means that you don’t have to worry about them over the life of your car. The initial component cost might be lower with traditional bulbs, but it won’t be long before the costs add up.
Don’t forget that aforementioned alternator stress. Replacing an alternator is much more expensive than installing LED bulbs. You’ll get the good end of the bargain if you convert your lights to LED as soon as you buy your car.
The sooner you change, the more money you save.
5. Built to Last
Just looking at an LED light, you can see how much safe the construction is and how much better build quality can be. Small halogen bulbs might seem tough but they’re extremely sensitive.
You can’t touch a traditional bulb with your bare hands. Just the grease from everyday living can get on the bulb, heat up as it runs, and cause it to burst. If that burst results in a small flame, it could damage the whole outlet.
This would never happen with an LED. The quality is so much better and you never have to worry about those heat issues you get with traditional bulbs.
6. Better Quality Lighting
While we’ve talked about the efficiency and the lack of wasted power, the actual quality of light that you get from LEDs is just that much better. Halogen bulbs give you weak light that requires a lot of power to create a glow.
The glow they offer is yellowish and can be eaten up at night by dark roads. The LED light that you get when you switch over is much sharper and clearer. You’ll see more things in your path as you drive down treacherous roads.
It’s also much better for the other drivers on the road as well. When you can see them, rest assured that they can see you too. When you’re seeking the brightest of all bulbs, check out this website for answers.
The Advantages of LED Lights are Massive
If you’ve seen all the advantages of LED lights and still want to stick with halogen, congratulations because you’re a true die hard. However, when it comes to performance and quality, LED wins every time. The savings are worthwhile.
If you’ve decided it’s time to get a new vehicle, you’re in good company. After all, Americans bought a whopping 5.3 million cars in 2018.
Now that you plan to get a new car, you may wonder, “Should I trade in my car or sell it?” The answer comes down to what you prefer and how important getting the best car trade-in value is for you.
Trading in your car is definitely more convenient than selling it on your own. But you should also be aware of the drawbacks.
Read on to explore the pros and cons of choosing to trade in vs sell your car.
Trading Your Car in Is More Convenient
When you trade in your car, you don’t have to worry about finding a seller, meeting up with them, and negotiating a price. Instead, you can go to your local dealership, ask about the trade in value of your car, and then apply that amount toward your new vehicle.
Since you’re only communicating with the dealer, you save time and can get your new vehicle rather quickly. There’s no waiting a few weeks to find someone locally to buy your old car and hand you the cash.
You’ll Pay Fewer Sales Tax If You Trade In
Whether you sell or trade in your car, you’ll still likely have to pay sales tax when you buy your new vehicle. The exception is if you’re lucky to live in one of the few states without a vehicle sales tax.
However, the dealer usually deducts your car trade-in value from the new vehicle price. This means you will pay fewer sales tax than if you sold your old car privately and bought the new vehicle for the full price.
That’s a pretty good deal, isn’t it?
You’ll Get More Money From Selling
When deciding to trade in vs sell your vehicle, do know that you can expect to get less money when you trade in.
Not only do dealers have overhead costs that affect how you’re offered, but you have less room for negotiation on the sale price. In the end, you might get 15 to 25 percent less when trading in.
If you want to get the most money, selling a car yourself may be the way to go.
Selling Gives You Flexibility
You still have control over which new vehicle you buy whether you sell or trade in your car. However, you do have less flexibility when you do a trade in.
Since the dealer puts your old car’s value toward your new car, you’re stuck with choosing a car from that dealership. When you sell, you can buy a car anywhere you want, even online or through an auction.
Luckily, the dealership can often order your desired vehicle for you, but you’ll have to wait until it arrives. This might be inconvenient for you if you need a new car quickly.
Choosing to Trade in vs Sell
Now you’ve got the facts to decide whether it’s better for you personally to trade in vs sell your car.
If you’re willing to get less cash if it means you save yourself the hassle of selling your car, then trading in could be right for you. If you want the freedom of choosing a car from anywhere you want and also would like the best car trade-in value, then selling might be worth the hassle for you.
The MTT Y2K Turbine Superbike is one powerful vehicle. It boasts 420 horsepower, more than double that of the Ecosse Moto Works Founder’s Edition bike.
Fortunately and unfortunately, you can’t just go out and buy one. Every bike is made-to-order for each individual customer.
But this uniqueness is going to cost you. $175,000 to be exact. If you’re going to dish that out, we recommend getting your money’s worth by taking this bike to the racetrack and taking advantage of its top speed.
5. Icon Sheene
The late Barry Sheene was an award-winning professional motorcyclist. The Icon Sheene is Icon’s way of paying tribute to Barry and his accomplishments.
Only 52 will be produced worldwide, but according to their website, you can still order one today.
Should you decided to fork over the $172,000, you’ll get to enjoy a custom fitting session with Barry Sheene’s teammate Steve Parrish. You’ll also have the option of purchasing a hand-painted Icon Sheene helmet.
6. Confederate G2 P51 Combat Fighter
The P51 Combat Fighter is far from one of those lightweight racing bikes. This one-of-a-kind machine is made from nearly 600lbs of aircraft-grade aluminum.
The word on the street is that there are only a few spots left to reserve one of these babies for yourself, but don’t even think about it unless you’ve actually got $125,000 in the bank.
There is a nonrefundable $40,000 payment to make your reservation.
If you’d rather spend that money to create a vehicle of your own, check out Mayco International for state-of-the-art interior modules.
7. Arch Motorcycles KRGT-1
You might be surprised at who is behind the KRGT-1. We might have guessed a professional athlete, but it’s actually an acclaimed actor.
Keanu Reeves co-founded Arch Motorcycles along with bike designer Gard Hollinger after Hollinger created a custom ride for him.
Like many of the other bikes on this list, KRGT-1s are unique to their owners. Each one is custom-tailored to provide a personalized ride, for a price of $78,000.
8. Ducati Desmosedici RR
Want to ride in style like Tom Cruise? Cruise was the first of only 300 Americans to get their hands on the Desmosedici RR.
Needless to say, these bikes are pretty rare. But, despite their $72,500 price tag, they shouldn’t be locked away in garages.
The RR stands for Racing Replica – this bike is a road-legal version of Ducati’s Moto-GP racing bike, making it from 0-60mph in less than three seconds.
9. Energica Ego 45 $68,000
When many people think of electric vehicles, they picture small, unattractive cars. The Energica Ego 45 is here to turn those stereotypes around.
This is a fast and fierce electric bike with 145hp and a top speed of 150mph. It also comes with modern capabilities, such as Parking Assist and Bluetooth connectivity.
It’s quite the chunk of change at $68,000, but you can justify it by reminding yourself that you’re saving the planet.
10. Bimota BB3 $54,000
On paper, the Bimota BB3 and the BMW S1000RR are nearly the same. They share an engine, a horsepower of 200, and a weight of 394lbs.
Bimota boasts that this is their fastest stock motorcycle yet. It is completely welded by hand with top-of-the-line materials and supposedly reaches maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
It’s the cheapest bike on this list, yet owners have complained that they don’t feel the price tag of $54,000 is entirely justified.
Which of the Most Expensive Motorcycle Models Is Your Favorite?
Would you shell out enough money for any of these costly motorbikes? It’s no question that owning something this impressive would be fun, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.
One thing is for sure: if you do end up with one of these crazy machines, you’ll be the one in your friend group to own the most expensive motorcycle.
Hopefully, your motorcycle never gives you any problems. But if it does, consult this article for the five things you should check when your bike won’t start.
Car modding is more than a passive hobby these days. To help those who are new to the modding game, we’ve created this guide.
Get started in modding by doing these things to your vehicle.
Have the Right Tools
Before you get started working on your car, you need to make sure you have the right tools. Otherwise, your project will take significantly longer as you continually stop to buy tools.
The further you get into modding, the more tools you will acquire. Then you’ll need a way to keep them all organized and in good condition. View this product as an excellent option for storage in your garage.
You should also have the manual for your vehicle. This isn’t the owner’s manual that comes with your car. What you need is the service repair manual.
This is the shop manual that goes in depth on how to take apart and put back together every individual part on the car.
Superchargers and Turbochargers
Install one or both of these to boost your engine power. Both superchargers and turbochargers will pressurize the air intake. This injects more air into the engine.
More air going in means more fuel can also go in the combustion chamber. More air and fuel means more power is created.
While a supercharger works on the front end of the engine, a turbocharger works on the backside. This difference means there is a delay in performance with the turbocharger.
You can expect to get at least 50% more power by making these mods.
Upgrade the Air Filter
Cooler air is denser, so by dropping the temperature of the air going into the engine, more air can get packed in. This goes back to the previous mod; more air means more power can get produced.
Right now, hot air from the engine bay is what goes into the engine. To cool this air down, replace the air filter with a cool air intake.
A good quality one will pull air from the outside of the engine bay. This air is significantly cooler.
While you are at it, make sure you use a high-quality air filter. Replace the stock paper one with one that uses cotton or mesh. These aftermarket filters will clean the air better and thereby reduce the number of contaminants going into the engine.
Bonus: You save money with the better filter, simply wash, dry, and replace when it gets dirty. The cheaper ones you have to throw away and buy a replacement for.
Reprogram the ECU
Inside every vehicle is a computer that controls the functioning of the vehicle. This computer controls the amount of air and fuel going into the engine. It monitors the exhaust coming out for air quality.
When your car leaves the production line, manufacturers program the ECU for optimum fuel mileage and emissions. Unfortunately, the limits manufacturers put on the ECU means that performance is often sacrificed.
You can buy an aftermarket ECU and replace the entire unit. OR you can buy a kit to reprogram your ECU. This will erase everything on it and put a whole new program on the computer.
A third option is to buy a kit that lets you adjust the current settings of your ECU. Be careful with this option; you need to understand how your engine works before you start making tweaks.
Lose Some Weight
Instead of trying to increase power, you can reduce the weight of your vehicle. This way you make the horsepower more effective by having less weight for the power to move.
Work your way through the vehicle and replace the heaviest of parts. This could mean replacing the body panels with carbon fiber ones. You could replace the glass windows with lighter plastic ones.
If you are serious about reducing weight, you could remove the extra seats. This is a big commitment though, and you won’t be able to use the car as a daily driver anymore.
Don’t forget to look at the engine and transmission too. Replace heavy parts with lighter weight ones.
Get a High Flow Exhaust
Your exhaust and catalytic converter only allow air to flow at a certain amount. The problem with this is that it limits the engine’s production. If you increase the engine’s output, it will get backed up in the stock exhaust.
Your catalytic converter cleans the exhaust coming out of the engine to make it more environmentally friendly. Replace the stock converter with a high flow one. This will move the air more quickly and reduce the back pressure on the engine.
You should also replace the stock exhaust with one that has a wider diameter. This will also increase the flow of air.
Don’t go nuts with this though. You need a certain amount of back pressure on the engine for ideal performance.
Get Started with Car Modding
Start small when getting started with car modding. Do something easy like having a new air filter or exhaust installed. Then you can move on to more in-depth mods like superchargers and ECU reprogramming.
Only do one mod at a time, that way you know where to look if you run into any issues in performance after the mod.
Did the ECM in your vehicle go haywire? Then you need this repair guide.