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How to Buy the Best Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels can be a great addition to most any vehicle for both functional and cosmetic purposes. But there are several important factors to keep in mind when considering purchasing alloy wheels.

Style

Many car owners choose to buy allow wheels simply for their style even though they also have significant performance improvement characteristics such as strength and light weight for better handling. But there are a wide variety of styles and looks out there. Some have more of a polish than others, some are chrome covered, others have flamboyant spoke patterns that help highlight the body style of the car the wheels are on. Since there are so many stylistic choices to choose from, the selection process can often become bewildering, but it all comes down to the personal, subjective choice of the car owner, and that will always remain the case all other factors being equal.

Brand

Some allow wheel lovers are very brand loyal. They will stick with the same brand of custom wheels whenever they buy a new car, keeping the same brand on their new vehicles. They become attracted to the specific characteristics of the wheels, including the brand’s high profile marketing that they see in automotive shops, in online ads, and in automobile print media. Some of these wheels are also associated with top race car teams in NASCAR or Indy and Formula 1 racing programs that receive worldwide attention. This is another strong attraction that pulls many alloy wheel aficionados towards one brand exclusively over another.

Price

Price is certainly a factor. But due to the emotional high many car owners and wheel lovers derive from having these wheels on their vehicles, they often overlook price and purchase wheels that are truly above their financial means. Even the wheels that are not ultra expensive can still be pricey compared to the standard wheels that often come on so many makes and models of new cars. But sometimes car owners feel that they get what they pay for and that the performance and drivability of their chosen alloy wheels are well worth whatever they have to fork over in cash or pop on their major credit card, even though these wheels are really a nonessential purchase when it comes to owning a vehicle.

Durability and Maintenance

Alloy wheel owners want to be able to easily maintain their wheels. They want wheels that don’t have to constantly be cleaned and polished to look their best. And they also want durable ones that are resistant to the road elements like dirt, grease, mud, stones and gravel as well as the harsh weather conditions such as sleet, snow and the hot glare of the sun. Their overall choice in their alloy wheel selection will definitely also come down to these two factors of ease of maintenance and high durability. They’ll be making a better overall wheel investment if they shop carefully in these areas.

Buying a Car From a New Car Dealer If You Have Bad Credit

It may seem like an intimidating prospect, but if you have a little knowledge about your situation, buying your next car is not as daunting a task as it may seem.

When searching for a dealer for your next vehicle purchase it is important to realize that not all dealers are created equal. Sure every Chevy dealer sells the same cars, however, different dealers have different finance sources and this makes all the difference to the credit challenged customer.

I advise choosing a dealer who often advertises its ability to help customers with credit issues. This dealer likely has a large number of finance sources for these customers.

When you go to the dealership don’t hide the fact that you have credit issues. You will be asked to fill out a credit application so the finance department can submit your information to its finance companies to see who will offer you the most favorable terms. Don’t be afraid to ask which finance companies your dealer is submitting your information to. Write these down, you may want them later.

It may be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours or more before the finance manager knows if he will be able to get you approved for financing. If they send you home, use the time to research some of the finance companies that you have applied with. You may find negative reports about a finance company and decide that you would not want your car financed with them.

When a finance company is considering your application they look at several items including your credit score, time on the job, income, time at residence, debt to income ratio, and cash downpayment. All finance companies have different formulas on determining credit risk.

Once the dealer receives a credit approval you will be invited in to view cars that will fit within the lenders guidelines. If the dealer only shows you three or four cars and you are not satisfied with your options, don’t be afraid to ask for more vehicles to choose from. Usually the dealers will have a few other vehicles that may also work.

If you decide to purchase a car, the finance manager will present you with loan closing documents. Pay attention and read these documents carefully. Ask questions as they arise. Don’t hesitate to stop the finance manager and ask him to repeat or explain something. Pay particular attention to the Truth in Lending disclosures on your retail contract. Here you will see the interest rate and the total amount of interest charges expressed as a dollar amount.

If you decide not to do business with the dealer, don’t leave the dealership without finding out which finance companies approved your application. Armed with this knowledge you can go to other dealers who deal with the same finance company and already know that you are approved.

With these simple guidelines purchasing a car form a New Car Dealer with bad credit can be less intimidating. If you need more information or have questions check out your local dealer, or consult an auto finance expert.

Save Your Paint Job – How to Repair a Car Scratch

It’s Friday night and you have just left a card game with the guys and then it happens; time freezes. Your jet black paint job from MaCCo is ruined by a white key scratch. What kind of person would do that, what kind of sick and twisted individual would do such a thing as scratch a fresh paint job? As you become the focus of the humor on the highway; you begin to think, “How on earth will I get this fixed before my next date?”

The Do it yourself Car Scratch Remover Guide

Removing scratches can be a very simple task; but very costly if it is not done correctly. Most people because of convenience go directly to professionals when they simply don’t have the time. But in most cases you have to go to the professionals simply because the scratch is too deep to remove with a scratch remover/repair. Most car scratches, such as key marks and pebble marks from driving on the highway can easily be removed; here are also some other minor scratches that wont cost you a bunch.

a) Random/miscellaneous scratches.

b) Cob-web effects.

c) Pore-Imbedding strains.

d) Oxidation ( Rust)

e) Acid Rain Spots.

f) Dried bird droppings (parking under trees in the summer)

g) Buffer Swirls (from buffing too hard the last time)

These scratches are normally 1000-600 grit which can easily be fixed or buffed. But at 2000 grit the scratch has penetrated to deep into the surface. That’s when the professionals have to step in; the conventional compound or scratch remover would not suffice.

Car Scratch: Getting the Right Tools to Secure Your Paint Job

As you begin to walk through the isles of your local AutoZone or Advanced Auto Parts you begin seeking the right tools. Many online stores also carry variations of paint leveler since the standard compound hurts newer paints. The new paint levelers have heat reducing abrasives that flatten under heat; pretty cool since this now works on almost all modern paint jobs. Now that we have the basics let’s get started. Remember your date is tomorrow and you only have one day. First let’s get the tools squared away.

Things you will need to repair a minor scratch:

a) Body Compound found at chains such as Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts.

b) Primer Paint found at your local dealership service center.

c) Sandpaper. (cut into squares)

d) Two towels or pieces of cloth (one wet and one kept dry)

e) Two buckets (one with soap the other plain water).

f) Small paint brush; about an inch to two inch brush.. (Home Depot or local hardware store)

g) Car Polish.

h) Any scratch removing agent such as (Quixx Car Scratch Removal)

Now that we are all on the same page with the materials let’s remember that some scratch removers may vary in price, so make sure while you are at AutoZone that you select the correct scratch remover. Older model cars and light scratches work fine with standard body compounds; and do not require all of the supplies listed above. But for deeper scratches you will need all the supplies and sunshine. Now let’s begin; but first before you even think about buffing or polishing; wash your vehicle clean. Dirt and grime will make for a very bad paint job, making it appear like melted bird droppings.

Repair Minor Car Scratches

For minor scratches it’s pretty simple:

1. Using the wet cloth; apply the polishing compound to the damaged area.

2. Gently rub the compound into damaged area with circular motion.(allowing it to harden)

3. After applying to damaged area use the soap and water to wash area.

4. Apply wax to towel or sponge and gently dub the area in a circular motion.

5. Using a clean piece of cloth gently rub the surface clean.

Repair Deeper Car Scratches

1. Now that was pretty simple. Now back to reality. This key mark was pretty big and a simple duff and polish would not do the job. So you now need to spend a bit more money and spend a bit more time. Don’t worry; here are the steps to repairing that deep emotional scar; which we call paint terrorism.

2. Using one piece of sand paper, carefully sand the area. (clean area immediately after)

3. Apply compound directly to the scratch.(allowing it to harden)

4. Using the sand paper gently sand the body compound. (do not sand to hard or to long you may end up doing more harm than good)

5. Clean the area of all dust and deposits.

6. Using the one inch brush apply the primer paint to the scratch; just like in elementary school stay within the lines.

7. Put the paint brush in water so it can be re-used for applying the touch-up-paint.

8. Allow the paint to dry; which may take a while. (grad a bite to eat and watch the 5th inning)

9. Take a trip down to the dealer service center to get the exact paint match for your vehicle; this is the most important step. ( supply your V.I.N to the dealer to get the exact color)

10. Gently apply touch-up paint to the scratches.

11. Now it looks like new. (well almost)

You have followed the steps and are now ready for the date. The scratches are gone; you picked up your dry cleaning and your date is sending promising text messages. Then you get the call from your crazy ex-girlfriend; her evil laugh sends chills down you spine. It’s the paint terrorist, she called to claim responsibility for her actions and boast about how great it felt. Little did she know; you have taken care of the problem. Your care is back to being a Superhero and heroes always save the day.

Removing a Locked Club or Steering Wheel Lock

What do you do when you have lost your keys to your Locked Club or Steering Wheel Lock also called a steering wheel car theft prevention device?

In cities with high auto theft and theft of autos drivers have to use car theft prevention devices like the The Club to lock the steering wheel to prevent their cars from being stolen. In 2009, British Columbia had the highest car theft frequency in Canada. Approximately 11 vehicles per 1,000 or 2-4 times the auto theft of other provinces and regions. British Columbia is the auto theft capital of the Western World.

A quick search of the Internet will result in several suggestions on how to remove a steering wheel club. Several website recommend forcing the lock with a screwdriver or to freeze the lock with Freon. Both of these methods do not work and usually result in damaging the wheel, front windshield or causing the airbag to deploy at the cost of hundreds of dollars (one person had the front and side air bags deploy at the cost of over $3000). Another persons’ fingers were frost bitten not to mention how expensive and environmentally unfriendly using Freon to freeze the lock. Has anyone ever seen the results of using Freon work on any lock? Urban myth or something for MythBusters.

Bottom line: Screwdrivers and Freon does not work. Clubs have been designed to prevent the average or above average car thieves from removing them.

An Automotive Locksmith has been trained to safely, and with no damage to the car, remove a locked Club or Steering wheel lock. Most of the time they can pick the lock with their lock picks quickly and efficiently.

Despite the risk of you losing your key to your steering wheel lock they are still a great deterrent to prevent the theft of your car. Even if your car has an alarm system, immobilizer or the car is equipped with transponder or chip key security system a club or steering wheel lock is highly recommended to install on your car. And if you do lose your Club key, a car Locksmith will remove the steering wheel lock with no damage to your car or steering wheel.

If you have auto insurance, Canadian Automobile Association, American Automobile Association or other emergency auto/RV/motorcycle/bike roadside service, and if your keys are locked inside the car or trunk, or your keys are lost or broken, they will cover emergency locksmith service up to $100. A professional automotive locksmith will provide you with a receipt so you can submit it to your auto insurance provider for reimbursement.

Car Insurance – Understanding the Significance of Car Insurance

Any kind of motor vehicle in public places is considered as a potential threat to the life of the driver, the passengers as well as pedestrians. It can also cause damage to your own or third-party properties. Keeping these probabilities in mind, the motor vehicle insurance law, has made it mandatory for every car owner or driver to insure their vehicles as well as themselves.

Car insurance is nothing but a safeguard against the financial risks involved in an accident. Not everyone can afford the unexpected expenses as well as the legal issues that are brought about by an accident and trying to pay all of them by yourself may empty your pocket.

However, car owners who are safe drivers may ask why do they need car insurance if they follow all the safety measures while driving – like wearing seat belts, maintaining enough gap between his car and the one in front and breaking well on time? At the end of the day if he is driving carefully and is confident and comfortable behind the wheel, he need not fear about meeting with an accident.

The question above might sound justifiable, but there is a flip side to it. You might be a careful driver and follow safety measures. But does that really immune you from all dangers? Accidents need not always happen due to a mistake of your own. As one of the famous tire brand commercials rightly says “Roads are full of idiots”. Accidents are never pre-planned, it just happens at the flick of a moment. Expenditures due to accidental damages are mostly high and to cover all of them from your pocket can cost you a fortune. It is in these situations that car insurance comes to your financial aid.

There are more reasons that prove car insurance is important? Consider a situation where somebody’s rash or uncontrolled driving causes death of a pedestrian or damages the property belonging to somebody else. If the driver is not able to pay for the damage and if the vehicle is not insured, then he will be in a soup. Besides, physical damages and third-party casualties generally involve extensive legal procedures to find the perpetrator, which is also highly expensive. You will be covered for all these expenses if you have a car insurance policy.

The above points thus clearly explain why car insurance is made mandatory and not optional. So if you own a car, do not have any ambiguity about buying car insurance. Just compare all the relevant policies online as per your requirements and get the best one to shield yourself, your car and the co-passengers any unforeseen incident.

Powder Coating 101: How Does It Work?

Everybody is talking about the process of powder coating automotive parts. Powder coating has grown in popularity over the past few years for a number of reasons. How many of us see powder coating being used on shows like “American Chopper” or “Overhaulin'”? The general public knows from watching these shows that powder coating is out there. But what is powder coating and how exactly is it done? Anybody know?

Preparation is imperative in achieving a quality finish. The item being coated must be completely bare of any paint, dirt, oil, or any other substance. To achieve this, sandblasting equipment is used. If it is not possible to use this equipment, it must be done with chemicals or by hand. The items are then baked to remove any moisture from the metal. After all materials have been stripped off, the item is treated with a degreasing solution to help prevent corrosion.

Powder coating is a process by which selected items are coated with a fine powder of ground resin and pigment, which is basically ground up paint particles that form a powder-like substance. The items being coated are placed on a rack, which grounds the items. A gun is used to spray the powder onto the items. A large oven is then used to heat and cure the coating. Temperatures used to cure the items typically are between 400 and 450 degrees. Heating the items makes the pigments melt, gel, and then cure to form a durable finish. The finished product is a uniform coating. Powder coating can be used on steel, zinc, and aluminum as well as other materials. The quality of the finished product has the ability to outlast and outperform painted parts. A variety of up to a few hundred different colors are available to choose from. It also exceeds paint in resisting acids, solvents, impact, and abrasions.

Powder coating can be used to coat items such as valve covers, wheels, bumpers, trim parts, engine parts, sway bars, coil springs, strut bars, and many items in between. There are many options as to who does the powder coating for you. There are companies in most metropolitan areas that either exclusively powder coat or companies that offer it along with their other services. Online companies also play into the equation with a number offering services as well. There are normally two systems for purchasing powder coated parts. For popular parts, companies may stock core parts available to be coated in a variety of colors. You order the part and ship yours back for a core. For more custom jobs, you must remove the part and ship it to the powder coater. Companies such as Eastwood also sell do-it-yourself kits. These kits start at $99 and you can use an electric oven or toaster oven to bake and cure the finish. An air compressor capable of a 5-10 PSI output is also required.

So the next time you hear about powder coating on TV or anywhere else, you will now have an idea of how that actual process is performed. Powder coating is superior to normal painting if you want a finish that holds up better and lasts longer. Check it out today!!

Motorcycle Accident Attorney On Your Side

Any motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that the bike is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Since the year 2000, deaths from bike collisions have increased in an appalling 78%. This means that the motorcycle is a more accident-prone vehicle compared to an automobile. It also means that this is a serious problem; people love to drive motorcycles and even if they are experienced there is a big chance that accidents will happen.

Here are a few facts about motorcycle accidents:

1. 10% of bike riders who end up in a collision have no helmets or eye protectors.

2. 95% of motor accidents are attributed to human mistake.

3. 5% of road troubles are from motorcycle crashes.

4. 80% from that 5% figure above die instantly on the spot or suffers grave and permanent injuries.

Safety precautions are not scarce but people feel invincible when on a bike. They feel that they are untouchable until something happens to them. They come knocking on motorcycle accident attorney doors to ask for help but the damage has been done.

Effects of a Motorcycle Crash

Nobody wants to be in an accident. But it happens to some. It will be considered a blessing if the driver is alive but what if the crash has caused the driver’s death? This is a suffering for the loved ones left.

There are no doors or windows to protect the body when a collision occurs. When hit, the body is in direct contact. It can be car, another bike, a tree, a wall, a gutter or whatever hard surface. It can leave a person with broken ribs, fractured bones, dislocated jaw and concussion. And this is not a grave problem, imagine that!

One other thing that people often forget is emotional trauma. Sometimes when all the physical wounds have healed, the mental condition of the person who was involved in the bike accident is not yet in normal functioning mode. With a person like that, how can he move on with life?

Why Look for a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you are the victim, you have rights. These rights will be enforced through your motorcycle accident attorney. He or she will defend your legal rights and claim whatever it is that you need from the other party, the company involved with your accident (if there is) or both parties.

If you are in a hospital with a head injury and casts all over your body, can you work on the legal documentation and filing on your own? You will not be able to protect yourself and filing for a suit involving crashes is a complex move. You need someone who is skilled in the art of suing.

How to Choose your Motorcycle Accident Attorney

You can ask for referrals or better yet, search online for reputable firms who possess a successful motorcycle accident attorney. What are the requisites? Experience in the field, previous cases won, claims (in monetary unit) received by his clients and reputation – with this you can make an informed judgment. Do this as soon as you can after the accident and do not prolong anything if you want to be compensated accordingly.

AC Doesn’t Cool While at a Stop – Air Conditioning Blows Warm at Idle

There are several reasons why a cars AC may not cool when at a stop and blows cool only when moving. The most common reason is the cooling fan for the condenser is not working. It’s important to know that many times the cooling fan is shared by the radiator and condenser, other times there are TWO separate ones. The reason why a bad cooling fan can affect the AC so drastically is the fact that heat from refrigerant (Freon) is normally cooled when passing through the condenser. So even if the condenser fan is NOT working, it may not affect the AC while the car is moving at highway speeds. This is because air is passed through the condenser when driving down the road so the fan is not needed. When the car is at a stop, the condenser is totally dependent on the cooling fan to cool it down. Sometimes the cooling fan may be working, but it may be moving too slowly to sufficiently cool the condenser. To check the motor, a test light can be used to verify that it is getting power and ground to the electrical plug in. If power and ground is present and the motor is not working, the motor has an open circuit. When the cooling fan motor is worn, it may be started sometimes temporarily by lightly tapping on the electric fan motor with a small hammer or wrench. If the fan turns at all when this is done, replacing the motor will be necessary. This is just another way to verify that it is receiving the power it needs to operate. Also keep in mind that a cooling fan may start at any time (some even come on with the engine off) so be careful not to stick your hand in the way of the blades! Note that if the cooling fan motor has seized, it’s likely that the fuse has blown also. So if there’s no power to the fan and the motor is locked up, a fuse will more than likely need to be replaced at the time of the fan motor replacement.

Other Causes of Car AC Not to Cool at an Idle or a Stop   

  1. The car could be overheating – caused by something else other than the cooling fan.
  2. Heat transfer from the radiator to the condenser can alter efficiency, if the car is overheating.
  3. The AC compressor may not be pumping sufficiently at slower RPM’s (revolutions per minute).
  4. An expansion valve may not be regulating the refrigerant correctly.
  5. Condenser fins could be bent or the condenser could be obstructed by foreign debris.

There are special condenser fin combs to straighten condenser fins. But in my experience, bent condenser fins are not that much of a common problem. A more common problem if you drive in the country, is pollen accumulated over time in between the fins. Trash from the road like a plastic bag or piece of paper obstructing part of the condenser reducing performance can happen anywhere. It’s funny to me that during my time as an auto technician, many customers came in concerned that the AC wasn’t cooling, but failed to notice that the car was overheating – even if the temperature gauge was pegged!

Tinting Your Car Windows to Protect Your Leather Seats

Having window tint professionally installed onto your vehicle will provide you with a stylish and sleek look. But having your car windows tinted will also serve a more useful purpose: protecting the interior of your vehicle. This is especially beneficial if your car has leather seats. Leather will eventually become brittle and crack if it is exposed to sunlight for too long. Protecting your car’s interior with tinted windows can significantly prolong the life of your leather upholstery and trim, which will improve the resale value of the vehicle.

Leather seats are abundant in luxury cars and SUVs. These vehicles cost a lot of money, so it would be wise to protect your investment by shielding the interior of your vehicle from harmful UV rays. UV rays will not only cause the leather to dry out and crack, but it can also fade the color of your interior, including carpeting, fabrics and plastic trim.

Without tinted car windows, you and your passengers risk being burned by the super-heated leather seats on a hot day. Everyone has entered a vehicle after it had been sitting in the sun for a while. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the leather interior to become so hot that it can actually cause severe burns to the driver or passengers. When your vehicle windows are professionally tinted, your interior will have protection from direct sunlight and the leather will not be able to reach such a dangerous temperature.

Furthermore, tinted windows can protect your vehicle by warding off break-ins. Criminals will not want to break into a vehicle if they can’t see what’s inside. While you should never leave valuables in your car, having tinted windows will provide the necessary privacy you need for your belongings. Thieves will be deterred from breaking into your car simply because they can’t see through the window tinting.

You should always hire a professional window tinting company to install your window tints. They have the equipment to do the job correctly and have years of experience installing window tint on all types of vehicles. The do-it-yourself kits should be avoided – especially if you have no experience installing window tints – because often times they result in air bubbles and a tint that will only last a few years.

Every state has laws regulating the tint darkness grade allowable. Bring your vehicle to a reputable automotive tinting shop and they will be able to offer your window tinting solutions that are within the boundaries of your state’s laws.

Protect your vehicle and your leather interior with professional automotive window tinting. You can keep your car private, cool and shielded from dangerous UV rays – all while giving your vehicle a classic and sleek look.

The History and Purpose of Toys

Since the beginning of time Mothers have been trying to find ways to occupy their children. Therefore it is no surprise that toys have been around since the beginning of time. The natural playfulness and curiosity of children make toys a natural progression. For instance a child’s imagination can figure out, how to make a game out of, and play with anything.

A child can occupy themselves making roads in the dirt, making castles out of sand, or just digging a little hole, which can create tunnels and other mysterious places. Sea shells, rocks, pine cones or what ever else is available can become a handy toy. In spite of a child’s unique creativeness parents throughout time have tried to reward and entertain their children with toys.

Ancient Egyptians created balls from leather and dried papyrus reeds. They also created marbles out of black and white stones. There were many Egyptian dolls as well. Some were made from leather and papyrus; many were carved out of wood, bone, or ivory. Some even had jointed limbs and moveable jaws. The less affluent would fashion dolls and figurines out of clay.

They even created spinning tops, and had many different physical games, with balls and sticks and wrestling. They also enjoyed board games such as Mehen and Senet. Ancient Roman toys were similar. They had balls and games played with hoops and sticks. Wooden swords and shields were also popular for simulated battle games.

Like the Egyptians the Romans enjoyed board games and marbles. They also created dolls and figurines out of wood, wax, and terra cotta. Similarly the inhabitants of early Greece enjoyed wooden horses on wheels pulled by strings, terra cotta dolls, clay animals, baby rattles, and primitive yo-yos.

I found a New York Times article from 1902 that was about the big Christmas toys of that year. They were new automobile toys, some were metal wind up editions, and some were more elaborate expensive toy automobiles that adults were purchasing. The other big toy hits of that year were toy submarine boats and flying machines.

Baby dolls have been popular throughout the centuries. But in 1960 the first Barbie fashion doll was introduced. Other great toys from the 1960’s were slinkies, colour forms, the view master, etch-a-sketch, lite brite, spirograph, the Fort Apache play set, Marvel the Mustang, and too many more to mention.

Many of these toys are still popular today. Plus we have some new toys. Besides the great strides made in electronics and video games, we have Bakugan Battle Brawlers. Barbie is still around but she is joined by the Bratz, Moxie Girlz, and Liv Dolls. There are tons of new board games and action figures. Plus the classic games and toys of the past are still around and being improved upon.

In spite of changes in time and technology the basic premise of play has remained unchanged. Toys have always been used to stimulate the imagination and keep children occupied and entertained. No matter how much time passes parents will never grow tired of seeing a child’s face light up when presented with a new toy.