How to Select the Right Tires For Your Car and How to Take Care of Them Properly

Living in a climate that has harsh winters, I recently went to a tire shop to buy a new set of winter tires for my car. I drive a 2006 front wheel drive Honda Civic – a vehicle that wasn’t exactly built for serious winter conditions. After doing some research online to find the best possible price on tires, I went into the shop that had offered me the apparent ‘best deal’, neglecting to ask about make, style, or quality over the phone. When I got to the shop, I asked what type of winter tire was about to be installed on my car. The guy behind the counter laughed and replied, “Buddy, the kind that are round and black.” I turned around and walked out of the store – actually, I almost ran.

Here’s something you may know – tires are round, black, and made of rubber. Here’s something you may not know – rubber comes in hundreds of compounds, styles, makes, and qualities, and selecting the right one’s could literally be the difference between life and death.

Tires are the first point of contact between your car and the road and should be selected carefully either when buying a new car, buying used car, or buying a new or used set of tires. Most of the major manufacturers of tires – Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, and many others, are of a similar high quality. When you choose to buy tires from a reputable brand, you are most likely going to get a good quality tire, but selecting tires goes beyond just picking a major brand blindly.

Perhaps the most important determinant when you select the style of tire to put on your car is climate. Tires are fabricated out of rubbers that are designed and tested to perform optimally in certain conditions – wet or dry, hot or cold – or of course, the magic ‘all season’ tire (the quotations around ‘all season’ are not suggesting that all season tires aren’t in fact decent in all seasons, but as you will read, buying specific sets of tires for specific seasons and conditions is optimal).

Think of it like this – in Toronto, Canada, temperatures in the winter have been known to drop to minus thirty degrees Celsius. Conversely, their summers have, at times, been known to eclipse plus thirty degrees Celsius. That is a whopping sixty degree variance in temperatures over the period of one year. Most rubber experts would tell you that it is impossible to have a rubber compound that performs optimally in that great of a disparity in temperatures. Furthermore, precipitation levels can change in the Toronto area. Some seasons are quite dry, where others are damp and wet. The point is that, in that situation, it would be wise to consider having two sets of tires – one for the winter, and one for the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

I’m not suggesting that you have a set of tires for every weather condition imaginable and that you should change them daily. What I am saying is that you may live in an area with a dynamic climate, and that at least having an all season or warm weather for warmer conditions, and a winter or cold weather tire for when temperatures drop. If you live in a place with a steady climate, warm or cold, you may be able to get away with one style of tire, which brings me to my next point – how to take care of your tires properly.

Taking care of your tires (which, in turn, take care of you) is not like advanced calculus. It really isn’t that hard. All you need to know is that periodic checks of your tires are very important. On every single vehicle that is manufactured in North America, the required tire pressure – the measurement of the air pressure inside of your tires – is printed on the inside of the driver’s side car door, often adjacent to the inside door handle. This way, you have no excuse to not know the required tire pressure for your specific vehicle! I would suggest checking at least once a month at your local gas station on the pressure of your tires. Sometimes, the air machines require you to put in a quarter or two to operate. As a tip, gas stations normally have a button behind the counter to turn the air machines on manually, and they usually let gas paying customers use the air machine for free – just kindly ask the clerk at the gas station.

Once the air pressure is right, the next thing to be aware of is rotating the tires. This helps to spread the wear and tear of the tires, so they last longer and are optimally safe. Turning your car puts a lot of pressure on the inside walls of the tire, meaning they tend to wear more on the inside of the tire than the outside. This is why you need to rotate your tires frequently – about once every three months. This is not only the safe thing to do, but it will extend the lifespan of your tires. In fact, frequent tire rotation may double the lifespan of your tires.

This brings the next part – the life of the tire. Experts agree that the very best tire that is looked after properly should last sixty thousand miles, or, one hundred thousand kilometres. Most people don’t buy the best tires nor do they look after them properly, meaning we can estimate that an average driver should change his or her tires every thirty thousand miles, or fifty five thousand kilometres. Most drivers drive around fifteen thousand miles, or twenty five thousand kilometres per year. This means that the average driver should actually change his or her tires every two years.

So there you have it – select the right tire for your climate condition. Do yourself a favour and spend a bit extra – the big brands are reputable for a reason, and the warranty may be better than a cheaper tire. Rotate the tires often, and check the tire pressure monthly. Following these tips will optimize your safety and extend the life of your tires for as long (and as safe) as possible.

How To Go About Caravan Repairs And Buying Used Caravans

It is always nice to recall the days when a British holiday meant camping in a farmers field or beside the sea when the whole family trooped into a car with a caravan in tow, the children playing in the fresh air while you having dinner under the blue sky. This can be done again in style as it is making a come-back. British people across the country are making use of caravan trips during their summer vacations as the caravans are easy to pitch, are sources of great enjoyment and a sure-shot way to be able to lodge close to tourist destination. Due to the fact that the new caravans are expensive the used caravan selling business and the caravan repairing services are seeing an all time hike in their businesses.

To get a true taste of freedom, caravaning is the best way and even more profiting when travelling in a used caravan. Some sound advice is required regarding the use of the caravan and you can be sure of having a great trip wherever you feel like, the hills or the sea. However you must ensure that the caravan is in proper working condition or else the trip can be seriously hampered due the rains of UK.

It is always safer to buy caravans from reputed dealers and not from private individuals to ensure the quality of the caravan. You must be as careful about buying a caravan as you are about buying a second-hand car. It is advisable to buy from a business firm and get a receipt so as to make the law able to help you in the case of any legal problem. Even the best caravan repair services in the world cannot repair a caravan that has had a long-disregarded broken seam.

Caravans can provide a good place for an outdoor holiday only in sunny weather when it is warm and dry. Dampness does it harm in a major way. When the caravan is bought and it has been put to use it is an essential thing to bear in mind the condition of the caravan itself. The caravan must visit the caravan repair shop at the first signs of any damage such as a damp ingress or a cracked window seal to get the damage fixed.

Caravans’ repairs can be easily done by an expert if the damages are found out in time. The unsaid norm followed by all caravan owners is that the damage must be found out quickly and repairs must be done immediately. Instead of waiting for a damp ingress to spread over the whole ceiling and the walls it is better to take it to a caravan repairs shop and get it repaired. This will save both money and the caravan itself.

Let this information not dampen your spirits of a British holiday because caravans are mostly enjoyable provided you make your purchase from a reputed dealer. Remember to take the caravan for repairs whenever necessary as this will go a long way to keep the caravan in a great state.

Why Purchasing Auto Parts Online Is So Great

In today’s fast-paced ever changing world, many auto owners don’t have the time to search for a hard-to-find accessory or part for their car. Don’t despair, because the availability of auto parts online are greater than you would ever dream of. Whether the part is as ordinary as an oil filter or a rare stock item for a classic 1970 Mopar Challenger, the place to buy auto accessories and car parts is online. Rather than spend all of your precious time making phone calls or thumbing through catalogs, all you have to do is plug in a keyword or two into a major search engine, and pretty soon you’ll get the information you need.

JC Whitney (jcwhitney.com) – Whitney has taken their mega-auto parts store and put it online. Because this company is one of the largest auto part retailers, this couldn’t have been a small taste. It’s just breathtaking to view their selection of auto parts online; they have everything from caps for the air valves on your tires to complete auto body kits. Even in the rare situation that you can’t find the part or accessory you’re looking for, the staff at JC Whitney will track it down for you. The award-winning web site is user-friendly, with navigation and a helpful search bar that narrows down choices to your car or motorcycle’s make and model. Whitney offers quality products at nice prices and delivers to any place on the globe.

Autozone (autozone.com) – Compared to JC Whitney’s almost hundred years old history, Autozone with only 20 years in the business may seem like a freshman. Nevertheless, Autozone’s selection is just as varied. The difference lies in that the customer needs to know exactly what item they’re looking for. One point where Autozone excels is with their troubleshooting, installation, and auto repair guides. Although they don’t have advice for every make or model, the instructions on what they do offer are listed simply and user-friendly. Also, if you register your car, Autozone will provide you with specifics for your it, from auto part recalls to auto body kits. If you can’t find the part on Autozone’s website, they encourage you yo call their customer service line and they will quickly research it for you. Another difference is that they only deliver car accessories within the United States.

Parts America (partsamerica.com) – Parts America has a nice and clean website. With a minimum of graphics and pictures, it gives you exactly what you need to find what you want. A user friendly search engine allows you to narrow your search based on the kind of vehicle you have. You’ll also find a section about summer maintenance, and if your make and model has had any known problems, they are divided into categories including power systems and transmission. You won’t find many exentric car additions, just auto parts you’d need to make any repairs to any part of your vehicle.

O’Reilly Auto Parts (oreillyauto.com) – This company has been a part of the car accessory scene for fifty years and is slowly expanding their website to include buying auto parts online. From the list of parts for any style of car to auto body kits, the site will display everything they offer. You can tell by exploring the web site that O’Reilly is still working out some of the bugs in their search engine. Don’t let that discourage you. Missing what this site has to offer would be unfortunate. They provide great variety if you want to buy car parts or accessories online.

Fortunately, the days of hunting down vehicle parts and accessories from one end of town to the other are gone, thanks to the amazing selection of auto parts online. Now you can literally search the ends of the earth for all kind of things you might need for your car. Whether you use one of the sites listed in this article to track down custom auto body kits or find that accessory for your Lamborghini in Milan, you can do it easily and quickly from your recliner and expect it delivered at your door within days.

A Guide To Buying Used Motorhomes – Taking The Risk Out of Motorhomes For Sale

With predictions that we’re going to have one of the best summers in the recent years, people are snapping up the fantastic range of used motorhomes for sale. The motorhomes market is more buoyant than ever before, and there are more and more new models coming onto the market, resulting in more and more used motorhomes to choose from than ever before.

And what a choice there is, but it’s not just as easy as knowing your budget, the size of used motorhome you require, or even the make or model you like. So, let’s say you’ve gone through the hardship of waking up in the morning and screaming ‘buy my motorhome’ and ‘sell my motorhome’. You have the cash in your pocket, and you think you know which used motorhome model you’re interested in.

Well, before you even decide upon a make and model, you should look a little deeper into whether or not it’s going to be suitable for the purpose intended. You should ask yourself about its safe and legal weight restrictions. How many passengers will be travelling with you. and will you be adding additional weight, such as a bike stand, roof rack and more? And then there’s the MTPLM, being the manufacturer weight, plus the furniture, the camping equipment and the occupants. In other words, this is the complete weight of the loaded motorhome. There’s also the Mass in Running Order (MIRO) to consider too; i.e. the weight of the motorhome as it left the factory, including the furniture, the fuel and the essential equipment needed in order to function properly. This doesn’t include the weight of any additional baggage and occupants. So research your needs and base your model decisions on this.

When you’ve found the motorhome you’re interested in, whilst you do have to act fast when it comes to snapping-up the best motorhomes for sale, you do need to ensure that some thorough checks have been carried out on the vehicle first. First of all, a thorough inspection of the interior should be undertaken to check for dampness. Holes, bad smells, damp mattress sets, springy floors, discolouration and mats around the doors can all be indications of damp.

Apart from damp, used motorhomes have in some cases been modified and personalised, and this is generally to cover something up. Perhaps something nasty, like a fire or damp damage. So look a little deeper. And whilst examining the interior, don’t forget that, as well as all the fitted equipment, it is imperative to make sure that the gas and electric are in tip-top condition. Failure to do so can result in a real risk to those staying in the motorhome.

The exterior inspection should be looking for dents, scratches and broken surfaces. Seals and sealants should be high on your used motorhome checklist, and you should also inspect all the handles, windows, aerials, lights, doors, wheels, and the hitch and its electronics too.

Mechanical leaks should be identified; so you should focus around automatic transitions, leaking brake components and radiators. If any of these are leaking at all, these could be signs of an expensive repair job to make the motorhome safe.

The chassis and running gear should be inspected thoroughly, as hitch and suspension repairs can be expensive. Look for corrosion, signs of new paint or sealant, split rubber gaiters; all of these can be signs of disrepair, neglect or previous problems, and check that the handbrake is effective and moves freely.

So you’re satisfied with the state of your used motorhome. Well, now it’s time to check the history. With a number of very dodgy used motorhomes for sale, you want to check that the mileage matches the dashboard. An Experian check will reveal the history of the motorhome i.e. whether its been stolen, written off, still has outstanding finance, mileage discrepancies and more. And a good indicator of a quality used motorhome is a well filled-out logbook.

HPI checks are also very much worth carrying-out too! Since 2001, motorhomes have been sold carrying a unique Motorhome Identification Number (MIN), a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and of course, a Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM). An HPI check references these and will tell you if a motorhome has been stolen and if it has any outstanding finance on it. They don’t cost much either.