Category

Parts

Category

Ever happens that you get into your car and first look at the roof? No …. Because that’s not a common habit, but once you witness headliner material start sagging from the corners of the car’s roof, your eyes will get fixed on it, even while driving.

It’s quite understandable that you would never have imagined that the perfect, smooth headlining of your vehicle will one day start hanging like baggy pants but there are several culprits behind it.

Sagging Headliner

The main offender is the Sun; yes the yellow ball besides causing skin burns also dries out the glue of the headliner, after you left your car with it for a decade or so, and the horrible humidity playing its part too. Other than sun and humidity, there is age factor too, alas you can’t fix it.

Not repairing is not an option, not even for lazy pricks, because; number one your hair will get static when they’ll come in contact with bulging headlining, watch out girls. Second, the uber irritating sound of floppy headlining, which will be flattering in the wind while you’ll be driving, ugh? Third, the risk of headlining falling and obstructing your view; well that’s some serious likelihood which can result in accidents and you can’t brush it aside.

So, what should you do now? Instead of scratching your head, as this won’t do any favor to the headliner, try out car-saving hacks which will aid you to get out of this nightmare. These quick-fix means will prevent the droopy headliner problem from spreading further and relax; you won’t need a diploma in auto-mechanics to fix this fuss. All these measures require are few bucks and a few hours.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out these car-saving hacks.

Fix the Headliner Without Removing it:

Take your car to any car repair shop to fix the sagging headliner and the first thing the mechanic will advice you is to replace it and this is not the option your wallet will happily agree upon. So, instead of jumping into a fight with your budget for the sake of your old car, try these easy peasy and pocket-friendly hacks.

Gluing:

Don’t get surprised, this oldie goldie method of fixing headliner is still the easiest and effective way to put the headliner back to its place. Unless you are way too impressed by the DIYers who suggest tricks to use hot-glue to fix the headlining, it’s better to buy specific headlining adhesive.

Look out for adhesive spray cans; they will make your glue-application task lot easier and you won’t have to mess up around with glues, gloves, and brushes. Keep in mind that regular glues aren’t much efficient in repairing the sagging headlining, so STAY AWAY from them.

While shopping adhesive for your headlining, don’t let the cheap glues lure you. The attractive prices they offer are mere to misguide you as neither they will provide the desired adhesiveness, nor they will save the headlining material. Look out for the best headliner adhesive available in the store and invest on it, as indirectly it’ll be an investment on your vehicle.

Gluing is practical for partial sagging, like flaked corners or edges; by spraying there you can put the headlining back. But if unfortunately, a larger portion of your car’s headliner is hanging then this hack won’t do much favor to you, as then you have to take out the entire headlining panel, and you surely don’t want to experiment this much with your car.

Using Staples and Hair Spray:

No wonder this sounds crazy and childish to you, but this is one cheap way to temporarily fix your car, especially if you aren’t willing to put lots of money on your ancient vehicle. Stapler and Hairspray are all that’s required for this quick fix. Mind you, when I said stapler, it means stapler gun as certainly paper stapler isn’t for stapling car roofs.
All you need to do is to staple the sagging headlining on the backing board. After stapling, pick up the hairspray and spray the headlining. Now relax, have some refreshing drink till the spray is dried; once dried, remove the staples and voila, it’s done!

Sequin Pins:

Don’t let your headliner be a spoiled saggy brat and pin it back to its original place. Take help from the sequin pins; push them in through the headlining fabric into the foam of the backing board. These little pins have the ability to hold the headliner in its place, even if half of the headlining fabric has come off, they will mend it.

Unleash your inner artist and be a bit creative with these tiny pins. Arrange them in patterns like circle, spiral, diamond or square. These intricate patterns not only provide extra hold but will also give your car interiors a premium bespoke look *winks*.

Saggy Stoppers:

Not sure about sequin pins or glue application? If yes, then don’t experiment with them or else you would be left with damaged headlining fabric or car roof. Inexperienced fellas out there, clear-headed twist pins are made for you; they are also referred as saggy stoppers, and rightly so.

They are ideal to hold back entire slumped headlining and prevent it from falling on your head. More so these economical pins won’t damage the fragile headlining board, so this is a win-win option for a no-fuss repair.

Double-sided Tape:

After stapler, the double sided tape from your stationery comes to your rescue. If unfortunately, your headlining has detached this much that you can access it from inside, then instead of leaving it hanging there (as this will worsen the damage) fasten it back to the roof.

Double-sided tape is one handy option for this purpose, drag it out of your stationery box and stick it. This hack is more helpful if your headlining has detached around rear view mirror mounting or near the edges.

Steam Cleaner and Paint Roller:

Don’t be surprised, household items like a paint roller and steam cleaner have several other purposes to serve than just the cited uses and one of them is mending your car’s headlining. Fetch your steam cleaner from the storeroom to your garage and heat the headlining.

The heat will melt the dried glue in the headlining material. Next step is to smooth out the wrinkles and for this, a paint roller will be a clever option for you. Don’t forget that this should be an UNUSED paint roller, or else you would be left with a pink colored car roof matching your daughter’s room’s paint color.

Smooth out the wrinkles and creases by rolling the headlining after heating it up. Another precaution for over-enthusiast chaps; don’t let the thoughts of“should I heat more for better results” drive you; otherwise there will be burnt or shrunk headlining and double damage.

Replace the Headliner:

Well, this option is always available; all it requires is a handsome amount of money. So, if you want to satisfy your free-spending nature or believe that your vintage car deserves this much money, then go ahead and buy a new headliner. This will certainly provide factory results to you, that too without any DIY hassle.

Bottom Line!

So, whether you are thinking of picking up sequin pins from the market or pondering over glue application or steamer and roller combo, the first and foremost step is to do your research. Ask your peers, browse the internet, read blogs and check which hack is ideal for your vehicle.

For example, for sagging corners and edges, gluing and steamer with roller are effective while if entire headlining is drooping then you should consider fixing it with knacks or sagging stoppers. Don’t let titles like easy peasy DIY ways distract you; explore different hacks because inexperience together with zero knowledge about repair hack can damage your car and this is not something you can afford experimenting with.

Most Ford truck covers are designed to protect your truck from sun damage and harsh weather. The problem with covers usually stems from misuse or purchasing the wrong one for the truck’s needs.

Custom Truck Cover

If you really want to get the most out of your truck cover, use the following tips when making your purchase.

Select the Right Cover for Your Needs

If you own a Ford truck, chances are high that you use it to haul heavy loads or to have plenty of power and traction when heading off-road. If your truck is more modern and you use it often, you probably want to look for all weather truck covers, such as the Superweave Premium from California Car Cover, to give your vehicle ample protection from the elements. An older Ford truck that will be used strictly as a show car would more likely benefit from indoor storage and a special custom truck cover to protect it from dust and moisture.

Apply the Cover Correctly

The next step to maximizing the benefits of your custom truck cover is to apply it correctly. Some Ford truck covers may have mirror slots to really hug every curve of your truck. If this is the case, you need to cover the mirrors first, then pull the cover around the rest of the vehicle. A custom truck cover will sit in place better than a universal truck cover.

Clean the Cover Regularly

You might think you can just leave the cover on your truck for as long as you want and never worry about it again. However, if you really want to use the cover to keep your vehicle clean, then you need to clean it regularly as well, particularly if it is used to cover a truck outdoors. A cover you can throw in your washer might be easier to maintain than one that requires special hand washing methods. For a wide selection of truck covers for many needs and climates, search the options available at California Car Cover.

Image Source: Flickr

What are Dipsticks?

Dipsticks are a type of measuring instrument, actually it’s a rod for measuring the amount of liquids. It is usually used to check the level of liquid in any opaque storage material like a tank or reservoir. The dipsticks are also used to perform testing as well.

Types of Dipsticks:

Based on their usage the dipsticks can be categorized into the following types;

  • Testing dipsticks
  • Measuring dipsticks
  • Dipsticks as a floor leveler or profiler

Testing Dipstick:

A dipstick can be used for performing different types of tests that usually involve liquids. These type of dipsticks are usually made up of paper or some type of cardboard. It usually works by soaking the dipstick in some type of reagent which helps in indicating the changes in properties of liquids by showing different color variations. In pharmaceutical industry dipsticks are used for testing of the presence of analyte; a chemical substance of our interest. Like it’s most popular use is in urine testing.

Urine dipsticks are used to test the urine samples for any possible traces of haemoglobin, nitrite (which can be produced due to some sort of bacterial infection), glucose, proteins, nitrocellulose and occasionally ketones or uribilinogen. They are the basic pathological tool used in the diagnosis of any changes that can be observed from a urinary sample. A typical urinary dipstick consists of 10 chemicals or reagents which tend to change color when dipped in a urine sample this is to show the changes, which can be caused due to presence of different chemicals.

Measuring Dipsticks:

The measuring dipsticks are used to measure the quantity of liquids in a place which is not reachable.It is also used for the testing of your hardware equipment like it is used to measure the level of oil in engines. The level of liquid can be measured by carefully immersing the dipstick inside the storage tank or reservoir and then by checking the level which has been covered by the liquid.

The most commonly used type of measuring dipstick is the oil level dipstick which can be found on almost all internal combustion engines like the engines of your car. The measuring of volume of oil or any other liquid using a dipstick is really easy. All you need to do is take the dipstick clean it and then submerge it into the oil tank. By measuring the level up till which the dipstick was wet you can measure the amount of oil or liquid present in the desired container.

Dipsticks as a floor leveler or profiler:

Dipstick is the name of a surface profiler made by Face Construction technologies NYC. It is used to measure the concrete slab flatness/levelness in terms of face floor profile numbers. It is the system adopted by American concrete institute, ASHTO and ASTM. This instrument is used to establish reference road calibration data for road roughness. It is highly user friendly. The engineer or construction worker just have to walk with it to measure the levelness of the surface. It is very compactable, fast and gives accurate results. It is used by nearly all well reputed organizations of the world.

Uses of Dipsticks:

Some of uses of dipsticks are given below;

Medical Industry:

In medical industry the dipsticks are widely used. The most important usage for dipsticks is in UTIs i.e. (Urinary tract infection) diagnosis. The changes are observed by dipping the dipstick in urinary samples and observing the color changes of the chemical reagents. The infection can be easily traced as different type of infections produce different types of chemicals that can be traced from the urine samples by the use of dipsticks.

Measurement of levels of liquids:

Another important use of dipsticks is to determine the level of liquids in places where you can’t directly measure them. Dipsticks are used to measure the level of engine oil in internal combustion engines. Dipsticks are also used by brewers to measure the level of beer left in ale casks.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Whether you accidentally left on your headlights or battery is just getting worn out, there may come a time when you need to jump start your car’s battery. If you’ve never done this before, it may seem like a daunting task, but we assure you it can be quick and easy! Read on for a step-by-step guide to jumping a dead car battery, and become confident in your ability to face this challenge head on.

With Dead Car Battery

1. Find someone who can give you a jump:

Oftentimes, people are under the impression that a large vehicle with a powerful engine is needed to jumpstart a battery. This is untrue. Virtually any car can be used to jump start another, although we recommend avoiding the odd car which houses its battery in the trunk, as these can be harder to get to.

2. Get hold of some jumper cables:

There’s a decent chance that whoever you flag down to give you a jump will have a set of cables, but our friends with Browning Dodge say that your best bet is to keep a set of your own in your vehicle at all times.

3. Get the vehicles close together:

Ideally, you could pull the cars up nose-to-nose, but side-by-side works too. Just make sure that you get as close as possible, so that you can be sure that the cables will reach between your battery and theirs.

4. Make sure both vehicles are staying put:

Turn off the engines of both cars, and put them in park (manuals should be put in neutral.) Take the extra precaution and engage the parking brake as well.

5. Identify the positive and negative terminals:

You may need to remove rubber or plastic caps. The positive terminal will probably be marked in red and have a “+” sign. The negative terminal will be black with a “-“sign.

6. Attach the cables:

Clamp one end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery, and then attach the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the live battery. Next, attach one end of the negative cable to the negative terminal of the live battery, and then the other to the negative terminal of the dead battery.

7. Fire up the “live” car:

Start the engine of the live car, and allow it to run for several minutes, It may be useful to rev the engine by pressing lightly on the gas pedal (making sure the vehicle is still in park or neutral with the parking brake engaged).

8. Get your car running:

Go ahead and try to turn on your own vehicle. Hopefully, it will get started! You may have to take more than one try, but if you try four times or so and still don’t get any results, you should give it a rest and let the good car run for a longer time while attached.

There is a possibility that you’ll charge your battery with the other car for a long time and still not get any results. If this is the case, your battery may be completely dead, or there may be an underlying issue such as corrosion on your battery terminals or a problem with your alternator. You may need to have your vehicle towed to an auto shop and looked at to identify the issue.

The need to communicate the direction motorized vehicles are turning became an issue as soon as they started to appear on early roads. Even though the speed of horses, bicycles and motorized vehicles was rather slow back then, it was still imperative to know where everyone was going to avoid accidents.

At first, the solution was to default to the old standard: pointing with your finger or using one’s hands in a semaphore fashion as we do on bicycles today. While this worked fine during the day, it was obviously less effective at night.

Electric Turn Signals

The first electric turn signal can be attributed to Edgar A. Walz, Jr. In 1925, Walz secured a patent for an “electrical signaling device.” He tried to market it to the major car manufacturers but, believe it or not, the car manufacturers weren’t interested at that time.

In Europe, the genesis of turn signals began differently. The signaling of turns was originally accomplished by using hand signals, like here in the States, but later via “Semaphore Indicators”. Semaphore indicators were little mechanical arms mounted on the sides of cars and trucks. They were powered by electro-magnets that would raise an arm with a bright lighton it indicating that a turn was about to be made.

Buick was the first here

Back in the States, Buick was the first U.S. automaker to offer factory-installed flashing turn signals. Introduced in 1939 as a safety feature, these early turn signals were advertised as “Flash-Way Directional Signals.”Originally, Buick Flash-Way system only operated on the rear lights. In 1940, Buick enhanced the system by extending the signals to front lights and adding a self-canceling mechanism. That year (1940) directional signals became standard on General Motor’s Buick, Cadillac, LaSalle, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac brands.

DIY Solutions

For those cars without them, the Illinois-based Lester Company offered a ‘Simplex Direction Signal Kit” for ’42 to ’49 model vehicles. Their advertising copy stated that Lester signals would work “just like the factory-installed models on expensive cars”. The cost for a Lester system was $8.95.

Color standardization

In 1968, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 required amber (rather than the earlier white) lens front turn signals. Rear signals turn signals were allowed a little more flexibility and could be made in red or amber.

Solid state technology

For the first 50 years of turn signals, the source of light came from incandescent bulbs. While these worked satisfactorily, they had an upper limit of brightness and they would annoyingly “burn out” after 500-1000 hours of use. A new, more reliable technology was needed, not just for turn signals but for all automotive lighting applications.

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology was introduced to the automotive world in the 1980s. Because LED lights do not depend on lens color (they can emit true white, red and amber hues) clear lenses can be used. While it hasn’t happened yet, it may not be long before old filament bulbs have been phased completely out of automobiles.

Our sources at East Hills Jeep of Greenville, a local Jeep dealer in Greenville, NY, warned us about doing it yourself with “aftermarket LEDs,” though. They tell us that the LEDs that come from the factory are designed for longevity and safety. Many of the aftermarket ones are inexpensive alternatives and can overheat. When in doubt, consult your local dealer before adding any high-power LEDs to your vehicle.

Conclusion

Though the basic function of turn signal technology hasn’t changed in years, the technology behind them has. And we can expect it to change even more. Such is the nature of all automotive technology.

An investigation into the accident that killed the actor Paul Walker revealed that the Porsche Carrera he was riding in had almost ten-year-old tires on it. The California Highway Patrol Investigative Group that researched the accident concluded that the tires’ age might have compromised the Porsche’s handling characteristics and this may have played a factor in the accident.

Old Tires can deteriorate

For years, people have associated a tire’s road worthiness with its tread depth. While this may be a factor in their condition, but one must remember that the rubber compounds in a tire deteriorate with time. The result is that you may have a tire that is unsafe, despite the fact it has good tread on it and the tire looks good.

For many people, it’s not a factor

For many drivers, old tires are never an issue. If you drive a typical number of miles, somewhere around 12,000-15,000 miles annually, a tire’s tread will wear out in three to four years. This is long before the rubber compound in the rest of the tire does. The problem comes when one drives less. Say you drive only 6,000 miles a year or have a car that you only drive on weekends, aging tires could become an issue for you.

What happens to a tire as it ages?

Have you ever stretched an old rubber band and seen how it develops cracks? That’s essentially what happens to an old tire that’s put on a vehicle and driven. Cracks in the rubber begin to develop over time and this cracking can eventually cause the steel belts in the tread to separate from the rest of the tire. The result could be a complete failure of the tire under hard use.

How long does a tire last?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has no specific guidelines on tire aging and defers to the recommendations of the tire manufacturers. Most give a maximum life of approximately 6 years but Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years, provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year.

How to determine the age of a tire

The sidewall of a tire is full of numbers and letters. Tires made after 2000 have a four-digit DOT code. The first two numbers represent the week in which the tire was made. The second two represent the year. A tire with a DOT code of 1109 was made in the 11th week of 2009.

Don’t Buy Used

We get it, tires are expensive, especially when you factor in the price of mounting and balancing. However, as the folks at East Hills Chevrolet of Roslyn NY warn, the purchase of used tires is very much a buyer-beware situation. Even though a used tire may look great, it might be too old to use.

Conclusion

Of all your vehicle’s components, tires have the greatest effect on the way it handles and brakes. If you have an older car, check the build date on all your tires. If they are older than 6 or so years, consider buying a new set. Your life could depend on it.

Does gasoline really go “bad” if you leave it unused for a long period of time? Some people say yes, others say no. In this article, we’ll get the advice from some experts in the field and we’ll look at some of the things you can do to make sure that older gas doesn’t damage any of the equipment you have it stored in.

Gasoline Degrades

Gasoline is a highly refined product brewed to a certain chemical composition with very specific characteristics. One primary characteristics of gas is volatility, a term used to describe how easily and under what conditions the gas vaporizes. The most highly volatile components in gasoline evaporate first. When they do, the remaining fuel’s volatility and ability to burn properly degrades. The result is diminished engine performance. Your engine may still start and run, but it probably won’t run as well as it does with fresh gas. The good news is that unless it has sat for years, all you need to do with old gas is to add some fresh gas to it and run the engine for a while. The new gas will mix thoroughly with the old gas and the combined mixture should work just fine.

A Bigger Problem: Oxidation

Hydrocarbons in the gas react with oxygen to produce gum and varnish deposits in the fuel system. These deposits and impurities can clog up gas lines and filters as well the small orifices in a carburetor and the even smaller orifices in a fuel injector. Removing these deposits can be expensive and your vehicle may not run at all or run very poorly until they are removed. The solution is to make sure that fresh gas is stored in the vehicle or device at all times.

Condensation

When the outside temperatures cycle a lot, condensation can form inside your gas tank. Accord to our technical source at East Hills Chevrolet in Douglaston, NY, fuels such as E85, which have a high concentration of ethanol alcohol (up to 85%) may be even more susceptible to water contamination, as ethanol is “hydroscopic” meaning that it likes to draw moisture out of the surrounding air.You can reduce the chances of water contamination by keeping your car’s gas tank as close to full as possible, especially if the vehicle is going to be stored for an extended period.

How do you identify bad gas?

One way is to eyeball it, then smell it. Oxidized fuel tends to turn darker over time and may smell like old paint thinner. You can check stored gasoline by pouring some into a clear glass container and seeing if it looks dark.

How long does it take for gas to go bad?

That depends on a number of factors. For one, it’s hard to know how old the gas you just bought actually is. It may be fresh from the refinery, or it may be a month old already by the time you top off your tank. Some gasoline is mixed with better or more oxidation inhibitors than others.

Using a stabilizer

It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid leaving gas in your tank or a storage container for more than a couple of months. If you can’t consider using a fuel stabilizer. Using fuel system stabilizers for extended storage is far more preferable to draining the tank and leaving the system dry. This can cause rubber hoses, gaskets and seals to dry-rot and crack.

Conclusion

Gasoline is a highly refined substance with complex molecular bonds. Over time, these bonds break and oxidation occurs. The result is that the fuel reverts back to an earlier unusable state. The two things that you can do to mitigate this is to either add fresh gas occasionally or a gas stabilizer for long term storage.