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The Pros and Cons of Driving a 50cc Moped

One of the most convenient, cheap and fun ways to get to work or school is by riding a small motorcycle such as a 50cc moped. These are just some of the reasons I think that they are so great for all sorts of people, whether you are getting to work or school.

The main pros of riding a moped:

  • Mopeds are cheap to buy. These little bikes are really cheap to buy. Often times you can get a used one for just a couple of hundred bucks if you look around. If you prefer to get a new one because you want reliability and the certainty of a warranty then you can still get a new one for pretty close to $1000, depending on the make and model you choose. Be careful however when you buy not to get one that is too cheap because some of the imported ones from places such as China have not yet earned reputations for reliability. Spare parts for these may also be hard to find. So it is often best to go with a solid European or Japanese brand such as Piaggio or Honda.
  • Mopeds are cheap to run: Mopeds generally seem to run on just the sniff of an oil rag. Their Little engines buzz along and burn very little fuel. I have found doing commuting every day to work that I spend just a few dollars filling up the tank once a week. That is party because the tank is so small. Mine holds just a few liters of gasoline (petrol for people from the UK) and goes all week between refills. They are also cheap to maintain. This is because their engines are really simple so it does not take a lot of work to open them up for maintenance or repairs. There is also not very much that can go wrong. And because they are so small you spend less on parts compared with a car or a big bike. They have only two wheels, so replacing tires does not cost too much. They have only one spark plug so that is also cheap an quick to change.
  • Mopeds are easy to ride: The other great thing about them is that they are usually really light and easy to ride. Most are “twist-and-go” bikes, which means you just turn the throttle to go and you do not have to worry about changing gears. This makes them perfectly suited to beginners. In many places such as Europe you do not have to take a special test to ride one. If you are allowed to drive a car, then you are generally entitled to ride a moped too. In some places the only formality is that you have to do a one day course of compulsory basic training that is aimed at keeping you safe on the road.

The cons of riding a moped

  • Safety: Motorcycles are not all fun and games. Mopeds are generally safe and fun to ride but you are still more exposed to danger on a bike than you would be in a car. In an automobile you have a seat belt, crash protection and airbags that all come into play if you have a collision. On a bike you generally will only have a helmet and some protective gear such as gloves and a jacket and pants.
  • Weather: Driving in a car means you can turn the heat up when it gets cold or you can put the air conditioner on when it gets too warm. On a motorcycle you are exposed to the elements. That means in winter you will be cold, even if you have warm gloves and clothing. It is also hard to stay dry in heavy rain. And on a hot sunny day you will soon get quite warm, even with the cooling breeze that is generated as you zoom along.

My Car Has Hail Damage, Now What?

So your car got hit by hail now what do you do? If you’ve ever had your vehicle damaged by a hail you know it can be a very frustrating and expensive experience. Well if you have full coverage insurance on your car it doesn’t have to be frustrating or expensive. Often people don’t understand how to properly utilize there insurance coverage and are even afraid to claim the damage for fear that their rates will go up. This is a common fear but let me assure you a comprehensive claim such as hail damage doesn’t not raise your rates. In fact, if you don’t claim the damage and have it repaired you risk having any future claims being denied because of unrelated pre-existing damage.

The first thing you should do is call your insurance company and file a claim. Make sure you write your claim number down and it is always a good idea to ask the name of everyone you talk to and adjuster being assigned to your claim. The next step is the initial inspection or the “estimate.” Some insurance companies will ask you to go out get three estimates and hen fax them in. If your insurance company asks you to jump through these hoops just politely say NO. Ask where you need to go to have “them,” write “their,” estimate. Thats it, do not waste your time driving around getting multiple estimates because in the end your insurance company is just going to use those estimates as a starting point and write their own anyway.

An estimate means just that. It is an estimate of how much money and what the insurance company thinks it will take to repair your car. It is very important that you clean your car before having it inspected because you wont get paid for dents the appraiser can’t see. Secondly it is extremely important that you are as nice and as accommodating to the appraiser as you can be. It will do you no good to argue with or be rude to the person deciding how much money your going to get to have your car repaired.

Often times when there’s a large storm event the insurance companies are overloaded with claims and the have to outsource to independent appraisal services to help write all the claims that are pouring in. This is commonly referred to as a catastrophe team or “cat team.” Now I don’t think I have to tell you that these very busy appraiser’s are going to fly through your estimate as fast as they can and will probably miss a bunch of things. You may think your estimate looks a little low. In my line of work 90% of the estimates are written low. I’ve seen estimates for $1500 on a car that had over $6000 in damage. Don’t worry that estimate is not the final word it is merely a starting point. Unfortunately many people choose to keep they’re insurance money and never get their car fix. Some people even wait around til it hails again nearby and try to claim the un-repaired damage again. The insurance companies lose millions of dollars every year to fraudulent claims. It is impossible for them to keep track of every claim and they can’t force you to get your car fixed. The only way the insurance companies can combat this is by writing their initial estimates a little on the lighter side. I’ve had many appraisers tell me that their company actually trains them to feel the customer out and if they think they probably wont have their car repaired to write the estimate for as little as possible. Obviously if you have a brand new BMW your going to get it fixed but if you a 1984 Toyota Corolla with 350,000 miles on it you are probably going to keep the money, right?

The next step is to find a company to repair your dents. If you have large dents with paint damage and broken windows you will probably need to find a full service body shop. If you have mostly quarter sized dents and the damage is just superficial then PDR is the best option. PDR, or paintless dent repair is a repair method in which the dents can be gently massaged out and the original factory finish is left undisturbed. A good PDR shop can make your car look exactly like it did before the hail damage. Most dent’s half dollar sized or smaller can be removed fairly easily and quickly. In a perfect scenario your car could be repaired in as little as a few hours. Well, the world is not perfect and depending on your insurance company’s original estimate it may take several days to get an appraiser to come back out and re-write their estimate. This process is known as a Supplement. Usually on the back page of your estimate there are instruction for filling a supplement. The insurance company knows that if a professional repair facility is doing the repair then they are going to catch all the dents that were missed and ask to be paid for every last little bolt or clip that has to be removed. This is standard procedure and most insurers actually have a supplement hot line that body shops can call to have an appraiser sent out to the shop.

Some insurance companies send an appraiser out right away while other companies can take 7-10 days. I won’t get into which companies are the worst but I will say that Progressive and Farmers are top notch! This is not a paid endorsement it’s just the painfully obvious truth. If I call farmers they are at my shop the next morning every time even though their policy is within 48 hours. Progressive is almost as fast within 48 hours usually. Some of the other companies won’t tell you when there coming and your at their mercy. This is usually the longest delay in the repair process but it is the most important. Often times we get twice as much money as the original estimate. This is very important because without this additional money you may get a shop to do a complete repair or worse you may have to pay money out of pocket.

The next issue is “deductibles.” You have a contract with your insurance company that you will pay the first $500, $1000, or whatever your deductible is, towards the repair of your vehicle. This money is always deducted out of the check your insurance company gives you and they leave it up to you to pay it or find a company that will fix it for less. Essentially any company that repairs your vehicle without requiring you to pay a deductible is giving you a “discount.” This is completely legal and in fact most PDR companies will not require you to pay your deductible. Make sure you get any promises made to you in writing. I also suggest you get an estimated length of repair time. At my shop we always provide a customer with a written quote of the exact amount due for the repair or we give the customer a guarantee in writing that we will complete the repair for the negotiated amount the insurance company issues payment for. If we file a supplement it is expressed that we earned that money in addition to the original estimate. It is very important that you have written proof that you as the customer will not have to pay more than “x” amount of dollars when your car repair is completed. If a shop is unwilling to put their promises in writing then you need to find a new shop.

Once you find your repair shop or PDR company it is important that you know where the shop is and meet the owner or manager. I know this sound’s weird but a large majority of our customers never come to my shop and meet me. Often they are approached by one of my sales personnel and they let them pick the car up and then deliver back to them when it is finished without ever coming to my shop. This is great for me but it is extremely scary to think how easily people just hand over their keys and insurance checks. I always recommend to my salesmen that they suggest to their customer that they at least come out to our shop so they know where their car will be. It is also a good idea to ask for references. Often times we have repaired other cars in the neighborhood and have satisfied customers just down the street. Also you should check out a companies website if they don’t have one or it is poorly put together that may be an indicator that the company doesn’t pay much attention to detail. For a company to not have a website today is almost inexcusable! You may also call the local better business bureau. Even if a company is not a member the BBB will still field complaints and keep files on companies that receive complaints. Also check with your insurer. The will have files on companies that have had complaints or are suspected of fraudulent activities.

In conclusion PDR is definitely a great alternative to traditional body repair, and with a little research and due diligence the average person can navigate the claims process and find a great shop to repair their car for little or no money out of pocket!

Balancing the Accounts and Necessity of Ledger

Balancing the Accounts

Whenever it is desired to balance an account, the two sides are added up, and if the totals of the two sides are unequal then the difference is put on the side having lesser total. This will make both the sides equal. The amount of the difference inserted is known as ‘balance’ of the account. In particulars column it is written as Balance c/d (carried down). In subsequent period it is known as Balance bid (brought down). If the total of the credit side of the account is less, the balance will be inserted on credit side with the words “By Balance c/d”. This balance is known as Debit Balance and after closing the account it will be shown on the debit side with the words “To Balance bid”. Similarly if the total of debit side of the account is less, the balance will be inserted on debit side with the words “To Balance c/d”. This balance is known as Credit Balance and after closing the account it will be shown on the credit side with the words “By Balance bid”.

Personal Accounts

It is worthwhile to refresh your memory and recall that personal accounts relate to individuals and business entities (firm; company, corporation etc.) and the rule is : Receiver is to be debited and giver is to be credited. Now if on any particular date the business wants to know as to how much amount is ‘due to’ or ‘due by’ a particular person to itself (business) then it should balance the account of the person concerned. Debit balance as per personal account signifies that the person is the debtor of the business i.e. person owes an amount equal to the balance to the business or the amount, represented by the balance is ‘due to’ the business by the person. Similarly, Credit balance as per personal account signifies that the person is the creditor of the business i.e. business owes an amount equal to the balance to the person or the amount represented by the balance is ‘due by’ the business to the person.

Real Account

These are the accounts relating to property or possession or rights. Rule is : “What comes in is to be debited and what goes out is to be credited.” Thus all incomings are to be recorded on the debit side and outgoings on the credit side. On any particular date these accounts should have ‘debits balance’ representing the worth of the item covered by the account. At the end of the year (generally) or at any other point of time when the financial position of the business is required to be ascertained these accounts are balanced. These balances are shown on the assets side of the statement of position or Balance Sheet. These accounts do have ‘debit balance’ which signifies the ‘book-value’ or ‘written down value’ or ‘going concern-value’ of the assets of the business as on that relevant date.

Nominal Accounts

These are the accounts showing the various heads of expenses and sources of income. At the end of the specified period (generally one year) these accounts are closed by transfer to the final accounts i.e. Trading or Profit and Loss Account.

Necessity of Ledger

Maintaining of ledger is a must in every accounting system. It is necessary as will be clear from its advantages:

(1) Transactions relating to a particular person, item or heading of expenditure’ or income are grouped in the concerned account at one place.

(2) When each account is periodically balanced it reflects the net position of that account. For example, how much is due from a customer or how much is payable to a supplier or what is the value of total purchases or what has been the expenditure on salaries? Such information is available by balancing the ledger accounts.

(3) Ledger is the stepping stone for preparing Trial Balance- which tests the arithmetical accuracy’ .of the accounting books.

(4) Since the entries recorded in the journal are referenced into ledger the possibility of errors or defalcations are reduced to the minimum.

(5) Ledger is the destination of all entries made in journal or sub-journals.

(6) Ledger is the “store-house” of all information which subsequently is used for preparing final accounts and financial statements.

Opening entry and its posting. In the case of an existing business we are required to pass an entry in the journal (on the basis of the Balance Sheet prepared at the end of the previous year) for bringing in the new books all assets and liabilities: this is known as Opening entry.

Car Stalls With the AC Turned on – AC Compressor Could Be Locked Up

One of the leading causes of a car stalling with the A/C on is a seized compressor. If there’s screeching, smoking, stalling and the air blows warm out of the vents whenever the AC is turned on it’s a good guess that the compressor has locked up. If there is just a belt squealing but the car doesn’t stall and the AC cools, more than likely the belt or the tensioner is worn. The most likely cause of a car not idling high enough and sometimes stalling with the A/C turned on without any of the other issues mentioned can be an IAC (Idle Air Control) motor.

*Keep in mind the compressor could be hot to the touch when checking.

How to check for a locked up or seized compressor

  1. Try to turn the clutch plate (on the end of the cpompressor).
  2. Using a socket on the nut that holds the clutch plate on – see if it can be turned.
  3. Look for signs of the clutch plate over-heating; discoloration.

If the belt is loose it may be because of a worn serpentine belt tensioner, but this alone won’t cause the car to stall. A sticking IAC motor can cause the car to stall. An IAC motor typically gets carbon build up that can cause sticking. If the idle doesn’t go up when the AC is turned on the engine can stall. Many times if this is the problem, the IAC motor can be removed from the throttle body and cleaned with a brush and fuel injector spray and then re-installed.


Tuning Diesels: Simple Modifications to Improve Diesel Car Performance

This is a quick guide to modifications to get more from any diesel engined car. While it is possible to go to much further, most of these diesel tuning suggestions are relatively cheap, quick and simple.

Engine Upgrades

As diesel engines use compression ignition, the two main areas we are looking at for diesel tuning is the injection system and air intake. Adding a tuning chip or external tuning box allows you to get more from your engine. Diesel engines often come in several performance variants, and are tuned to run on a wide range of fuel qualities.

Modern diesel tuning systems – either the external diesel tuning box or internal chip remapping will adjust the engine parameters dynamically to give better power at all rev ranges. As a bonus, since you have more power available, you will often find you use less fuel overall – unless you have a very heavy right foot.

Choosing between a external tuning box and diesel remapping is largely a matter of preference. Costs are similar – normally around £300-£500 for a quality system. Diesel tuning boxes can often be installed at home, while engine remapping will require a visit to a workshop, or a mobile workshop visit. The external tuning boxes also have the advantage that they can be removed if the car is going to a main dealer for servicing, or you want to transfer it to a new vehicle.

Some older systems for tuning diesel engines just ‘fooled’ the ECU into think it was colder, causing smoking and idling problems, but modern tuning boxes and tuning chips are much more complex, varying the adjustments they make depending on the engine requirements. These modern diesel tuning systems are probably the single biggest upgrade available to most people, with up to 35% more power promised, depending on your make and model.

A replacement air filter will give increased air flow, so giving more potential power. Almost all modern diesel engines will automatically allow the for increased air flow, giving a small boost of a handful of percent. Even replacing your current filter with a new standard filter will help, as they do become clogged over time.

See BHP Plus for a range of Diesel Tuning Boxes and Air Filters.

Tyre Upgrades

Surprisingly, tyres can give a significant boost to performance – although perhaps not straight line acceleration. Sports tyres give better grip (generally at the cost of reduced lifespan), which will improve cornering and braking.

Switching to a lower profile type tyre improves handling by reducing the amount the tyres distort under heavy cornering. They do, however, generally give a harsher, noisier ride quality.

Sport and low profile tyres are more expensive than regular tyres, but the only way to see if the gains are worth is is to try them, or try two identical vehicles with and without them fitted.

One other tyre upgrade worth mentioning is winter tyres. With a rubber compound that stays softer at lower temperatures, and tread designed to cope with water, snow, slush and ice, winter tyres will give significantly better grip that standard all year tyres. This will allow you to drive faster and more confidently when you would otherwise have to be very cautious. These are especially useful for higher performance or tuned diesel engined vehicles, as the large amount of torque available can easily lead to unwanted wheel spin in icy conditions.

Body Upgrades

Contrary to what some believe, there are very few body upgrades that will have any beneficial effect on a cars performance. Add on wings, body kits and similar only add to the cars weight, and have a negligible effect on handling – some may even make it worse!

However, one body upgrade, that is worth considering is shock absorbers. Especially if your originals are more than a few years old, upgraded sport versions can offer better grip and handling. As most diesel engine cars are heavier than their petrol equivalents, firmer shock absorbers can help reduce body roll in corners, and power lost to unnecessary movements.

Driver Upgrades

One element we have not yet mentioned is driver habits. There are a few simple things you can do that will provide benefits on any vehicle.

  • Keep the weight down by not carrying unnecessary weight.
  • Keep the car aerodynamic by keeping windows and sunroofs closed, and not adding external add-ons
  • Keep the car maintained regularly, with oil, filters and general maintenance to get the most from it
  • Go on an advanced driver training course or a track experience day to get some tuition from a professional driver, who can teach you how to drive safely at speed, reading the road ahead, racing lines, handling skids and more.

I hope this has been of use to you – safe motoring!

World’s Most Popular Fabrics and Textiles

The list of fabric available on the market is endless. What are the most popular fabrics and why? Versatility, durability, and ease of care are some of the reasons. Read on for a list of the worlds most popular textiles, their uses and care, and what makes them so sought after.

1. Cotton leads the pack as the most popular fabric in the world. It is a natural fiber from the cotton plant and is versatile and easy to care for. Cotton has been cultivated for over 7,000 years and only increases in popularity as time goes on. It is often blended with other fibers to create garments that last longer and wash better. Common cotton fabrics include denim, gingham, canvas and broadcloth. Cotton can absorb up to 27 times its own weight in water; is machine washable and can withstand high heat; takes and retains dye color easily; and is strong and durable. Cotton can be used to make shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, children’s clothes, curtains and other window treatments.

2. Linen, made from the fibers of the flax plant, has been coveted for many thousands of years. Linen has always been a symbol of purity and wealth. Produced in small quantities, this luxurious fabric is valued for its coolness and freshness in hot weather and its remarkable ease of care. Linen is a strong, cool fabric that doesn’t cling to skin and is two to three times stronger than cotton. Linen can absorb moisture without feeling damp. If a warm breeze blows a skirt or dress made from linen fabric it will return to your skin cool to the touch. High-quality linens are free from slubs (those small knots along the fabric) and present a uniformly smooth texture that is beautiful to the touch. Linen can be used in home décor, and in mens’ and womens’ apparel including skirts, dresses, blouses, and shirts. Linen can be dry cleaned, machine washed or steamed. It may be hung to dry and left with a slightly wrinkled look which is part of the charm of the fabric.

3. Polyester is a popular synthetic fabric that has many advantages over its natural counterparts. While synthetic clothing in general is perceived by many as having a less natural feel, polyester offers superior wrinkle resistance, durability and machine washability. Polyester is often blended with other yarns to create wonderful fabrics that mix the benefits of both textiles, like dressy uniform fabrics and professional wear. Synthetic fibers also can create materials with superior water, wind and environmental resistance compared to plant-derived fibers.

4. Wool fiber comes from sheep and other animals like cashmere and mohair from goats, and angora from rabbits. Wool is bulkier than other fabrics and retains heat well making it perfect for cold weather. Wool is usually specified for garments for fire-fighters, soldiers, and others in occupations where they are exposed to the likelihood of fire because it ignites at a higher temperature than cotton or other fabrics. Wool is resistant to static electricity which is why wool garments are much less likely to spark or cling to the body. Australia is the leading producer of wool, especially high quality Merino from the sheep of the same name. Wool can be used in high-quality suits and several types of men’s and women’s apparel and outerwear.

5. Leather is a flexible and durable material created when animal hide is transformed by a process called tanning. The majority of leather today is tanned via chrome tanning, a process discovered in 1858. Chrome tanning is more supple and pliable than vegetable-tanned leather, and does not discolor or lose shape as drastically in water as vegetable-tanned leather. Most leather is made from cow hide but there are many other types of leathers available including suede, aniline, Corinthian and patent. Leather is a versatile material that can be used in upholstery and apparel including automobile interiors, furniture coverings, skirts, pants, jackets, shoes, handbags, and other accessories.

Defensive Driving – Six Important Professional Driving Techniques

At the heart of defensive driving is a driver’s ability to anticipate situations, including the mistakes of other drivers, especially during less-than-ideal driving conditions.

You may be an excellent driver and a master of road rules, but there’s nothing like a basic knowledge of defensive driving to minimize risks on the road.

Here are six of the most important defensive driving techniques:

1. Let other drivers know of your intentions early

Sudden stops, turns and lane changes often lead to accidents because they catch other drivers by surprise. Hence, one of the basic rules of defensive driving is to clearly communicate to other drivers exactly what you are about to do. For this reason, it is crucial that your brake lights, head lights, signal indicators and other driving lights are working. If they are not, have them checked right away. Otherwise, defensive driving is not an option.

2. Being predictable helps

Having all your indicators in good working order is great, but they won’t help much if you can’t be predictable. Defensive driving is synonymous with being predictable – you do what you’re expected to do. If you’re signaling a left turn, then make a left turn. Don’t signal that you’re going left then suddenly turn right. And, by no means, don’t keep signaling a left or right turn then just going straight ahead for miles and miles. In defensive driving, one never makes a move that confuses other drivers on the road. Surprises are great, but never when you’re driving.

3. Know where you want to go

The first rule of defensive driving is: know where you want to go. There’s nothing quite as dangerous as making a sudden turn or stop, which is something that drivers do when they are not sure about where they are headed. Ditto for driving slowly then suddenly zooming fast. If you’re confused about where you you want to go, you’re probably confusing other people on the road as well. If you’re lost, park your car and regain your bearings. Check a map or street directory or maybe even ask someone for directions. The worst thing you can do is drive around aimlessly. That’s like looking for trouble with a capital T.

4. Make signaling a habit

One of the best defensive driving techniques is to signal every time you turn or change lanes. That way, you never catch other drivers by surprise. Make signaling a habit. Even if the road appears to be deserted and there seem to be no other vehicles around, signaling your intent is always an excellent defensive driving practice.

5. Warn others as you stop or slow down

When making a full stop or slowing down for whatever reason, it’s a good defensive driving technique to let other drivers know of your intention. You can do this by tapping the brake pedal a couple of times so that your brake lights flash and clue in others behind you that you are slowing down or stopping. This is especially important if the driver behind you is driving fast and approaching quickly.

6. Try to anticipate the worst in others

It may sound cynical and ‘s not a good rule to follow in life but, in defensive driving, it pays to anticipate the mistakes of other drivers on the road. For instance, many drivers routinely signal a turn but don’t turn at all. Meanwhile, others don’t signal at all and then suddenly turn. Many people disregard stop signals or try to run red traffic lights so keep a watchful eye out for these instances.

The Advantages of Deionized Water Over Tap Water

Tap water may not serve quite well for washing purposes. Tap water, which contains high amount of minerals, is usually used to clean windows. Pressure washing services also rely on tap water. However, ordinary tap water has dissolved substances. A few of these are calcium, magnesium, and other metal ions. Other nonmetal ions like chloride may also be present. These ions have unwanted effect on the surface of the glass. They react with minerals in the glass and produce undesirable stains. As tap water dries out, what is left on the glass surface is a residue of these particles which looks disagreeable. This is why glass wares become covered with stains, not upon prolonged use but upon frequent washing in tap water.

Deionization is a process that removes water impurities particularly ions. Water is a natural solvent that is why it is not surprising to find it quite impure. Removal of ions in water also removes salts, since salts dissolves in water to give cations (positive ions) and anions (negative ions). For instance when table salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water, it yields sodium ions (Na+) and chloride ions (Cl-). This means that water does not have molecules of NaCl in the water but ions of Na+ and Cl- dispersed throughout. The same thing is true to all ionic salts. There are several ions commonly found in tap water. Calcium (Ca++), magnesium (Mg++), potassium (K+), iron (Fe+++), and manganese (Mn++) are the cations present in tap water aside from sodium. Sulfates, nitrates, carbonates, and silicates are a few anions aside from chloride. Note that water itself dissociates into H+ and OH- ions.

Deionization occurs in two phases which require resin beds, which are sites for ion exchange to occur. Positive ions are displaced by hydrogen ions in the first phase. The second phase causes negative ions to be displaced by hydroxyl ions. The result is water that contains H+ and OH- ions that combine to form water.

Deionized (DI) water is aggressive. It compensates the loss of minerals or ions by taking them away from the surrounding. This means the DI water is more efficient in removing ions or dirt minerals from surfaces than tap water. Tap water leaves mineral residues on surfaces upon long use. DI water does not because in the first place it has nothing to leave. This means that this kind of water is a better cleaning agent than the other one.

The quality of water that underwent deionization is checked through measuring its resistivity, the ability to resist the flow of electric current. Ions allow water to become an electric conductor. But the less ions found in water the purer it becomes; the less ions the lower the conductivity of water and the higher its resistivity. Following from these statements, the purer the water the higher its resistivity and the more it does not allow electric current to pass.

Resistivity expressed in Meg Ohms is a precise way of measuring water purity in case of deionized or demineralised water. Extremely pure water can have resistivity of 18 Meg Ohms. But less pure variants can be ideal cleaning agents. They are too pure that according to some health experts, if a person drinks too much demineralised water, his ions would leach out of the tissues and this could be potentially dangerous. Nevertheless no enough scientific evidence proves this claim. In fact, another theory says that the absence of minerals in DI water has insignificant effects on humans, which means that demineralised water is no better or worse than mineral water.

When it comes to cleaning, however, the advantage of deionized water over ordinary tap water is quite obvious. The former is in itself an aggressive cleaner that leaves no residue, spots or stains on surfaces. Moreover, it is an excellent agent for rinsing.

What Happens During A Car Service?

It’s that time of year when many of us will have booked our vehicles in at a local garage for its annual car service. We all know the importance of having a car serviced, it ensures the car runs at its optimum performance, makes it safer to drive and more efficient to run thus saving you money. But what exactly happens whilst you’re waiting to collect your car and our technicians are hard at work? Here we give you an insight into what may happen during your car service.

Depending on what type of service your vehicle is booked in for depends on the work carried out. Every garage will be slightly different, but this should give you an idea of the different types of service and what may happen to your car:

  • Interim Service – To ensure your car is road worthy and safe in between a full service these are carried out every 6 months or every 6,000 mile and offer peace of mind that all parts of your car are working as they should be.
  • Full Service – Generally carried out yearly or every 12,000 miles a full service is essential in keeping your car maintained.

After discussing with you any concerns or issues you may have regarding your vehicle we commence work, the technician should fit seat and footwell protection covers, check for any damage to the body of the car and examine your wheel trims.

Before your vehicle is raised, the interior and exterior lights, the horn and all the seat belts are checked to make sure they are in working order. The condition of your headlamps, number plates and mirrors are reviewed and the technician will ensure your windscreen, the wipers and the wipers’ alignment are as they should be. Your ABS warning light is checked for correct operation and in an interim or diesel service the heater plug indicator is checked. During a major or diesel service your fuel cap and clutch action/clutch slip are also examined.

Next it is time to go under the bonnet where the battery terminals are checked for security and the auxiliary drive belts are examined. Radiator hoses are checked for leaks and to see what condition they are in, the strength of your anti freeze is checked and the technician will carry out a visual check to check the coolant has not leaked. During a major service and on a diesel vehicle the garage will check whether your cam-belt or pollen filter are due for a replacement. The radiator is checked thoroughly for any leaks and that its cap is in good condition. The expansion bottle and cap are also checked for any leaks. The clutch hydraulics/cable are examined and are adjusted if necessary. An electric cooling fan in your vehicle is also looked at if appropriate. HT leads are reviewed during a major or interim service and the air filter is checked during an interim service.

By raising your vehicle the technician can look at your wheel bearing for noise and play before checking for wear, corrosion and leaks on your steering and suspension. The wheels and brake drums are removed and the discs/drums are checked for cracks, distortion, corrosion and scoring. Wheel cylinders and callipers are inspected for leaks and operation and the pads are looked at for wear. A visual check is carried out on the brake hydraulic system, pipes and hoses for leaks, chafing and corrosion. The handbrake’s security is looked at and it is then lubricated and adjusted if necessary. Next it’s your tyres’ turn, as the condition and pressure of all the tyres, including the spare wheel, is checked. The joints and gaiters of the propshaft and driveshaft condition is looked at and the exhaust system is examined for leaks, security and noise. A visual check is conducted for oil leaks. The fuel lines and filter is reviewed and the auxiliary handbrake shoes are checked. On a major or diesel service the wheels’ balance will be checked and the auto transmission cables/linkage will be lubricated.

Moving onto diagnostics the starter motor is tested for cranking operation and security, and the alternator is examined and tested for charging operation and security. A battery test is also conducted.

Next it is time to refill and replace, including replacing the oil filter, sump-plug washer, and engine oil, checking and topping up the gearbox and axle oils, topping up brake/clutch fluid and topping up the radiator. On a petrol car the spark plugs’ condition is checked. Battery terminals are lubricated, as are throttle linkages and all accessible door/bonnet hinges on a major service. Auto transmission fluid and the power assisted steering reservoir are checked and topped up, and the bonnet catch is greased.

Once your vehicle is level the wheel nuts and bonnet are checked for security and the alignment to the front wheels are examined. If applicable the car service light is reset and the service history book is stamped before your car is road tested!

Your technician should then invite you to inspect your car and answer any questions you may have. As you can see, they will have done quite a lot in the hour or so they were looking after your car!

Choosing the Right Tractor Tire Chains

Tractor tire chains come in many of the same models, styles, and designs as other tire chains. Depending on the size and brand of the tractor and tractor wheel, a variety of tire chains can be found.

Like most other types of tire chains, there are many different options available in tractor tire chains. The most popular choice, and the most widely recommended, is two-link spacing with an optional V-Bar. Two link spacing means that there is a cross chain every second side chain link. Basically, it has twice as many cross chains as the four-link spacing, which only has a cross chain every fourth side chain link. The extra chains provide for a more steady, smooth ride and more steering control. The optional V-Bar chains are extremely helpful on ice, hills, and other hard-packed conditions. While V-Bar chains are available in both two- and four-link spacing, they should not be used on pavement since they can damage the surface of the road.

Kubota Tractor tire chains are available in the basic two- and four-link chains. Kubota recommends using tire chains and wheel weights in icy conditions. Even when using tire chains, drivers should still drive at a speed slow enough to maintain complete control of the tractor at all times.

For farm tractors, dealers recommend duo-group cross tire chains. These chains are not connected in the middle, so the pattern does not fall between the tread bars. Duo-group cross chains are recommended for field work, deep tread, off road use, and hilly conditions, making them the perfect choice for farm tractor tire chains.