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Windshield Wiper Damage from Winter

wipers

Winter can cause windshield wiper damage, even if they are mild. Winters can be quite unforgiving in most parts of the country, and not just for people. Your cars also face the harsh effects of the snow and extreme temperatures throughout the winter season. This incurs a lot of repair and maintenance bills as soon as spring rolls around. Just like other components in your car give way, your windshield wipers also get damaged during the winter.

 

The windshield wipers are crucial to proper visibility and clean windshields in the car. When they get damaged, you are at risk of not being able to see the road properly. Let’s have a more thorough look at what winters do to your windshield wipers.

 

Wiper Damage

When you leave your car outside and it snows heavily, the entire car is covered with ice and snow. The windshield wipers get stuck to the glass, making it highly difficult to lift them up or use them again. If you left your wipers in the “on” position and you turn on the power, they would actually struggle against the snow. This causes them to possibly break, or damage the internal motor that moves them left and right.

 

Wiper Issues from Sand and Salt

In most places, snowy roads are covered with salt and sand to build more traction, as well as to melt the snow more quickly. However, this may be bad news for your windshield wipers. As the salt and sand can make its way to your wiper blades as other cars drive way. This can cause the rubber blades to get scratched and dried, and when you turn on your wipers, they may scratch the glass of your windshield, thus causing even more damage.

Regular Inspections are Needed

SO, as you can see, winters can be quite rough for your windshield wipers, and they may also lead to further damage to your windshield. It is beneficial and recommended to replace them as soon as spring arrives. When the temperature gets warmer and the sun is out, you can easily and safely drive your car with maximum visibility.

Wheel Alignments and 5 Benefits

wheel alignmentA wheel alignment is important for your car. No matter which make or model your car has, it has to be inspected and maintained from time to time to ensure its efficient performance. If you have a lot of driving to do in the winters, you will feel the effects on your car when spring comes around. As soon as the snow melts and temperatures rise, your car won’t have the same driving performance as it did before the winters.

Therefore, make sure to get your vehicle inspected by expert technicians, and the first thing you should worry about is the wheel alignment. More often than not, wheel alignment gets disturbed due to winter driving.

Here are some benefits that you can experience by getting your alignment checked during springtime.

Better Fuel Efficiency with a Wheel Alignment

If your wheels are misaligned, it can decrease your car’s fuel efficiency by up to 10%, which means that you will have to pay more for fuel than you normally do. This is because the wheels keep rolling at slightly different angles than each other, and throws off your car’s optimum performance. Therefore, by getting your wheel alignment adjusted as soon as winter is over will ensure that you don’t have to burn through more gas and pay extra for fuel.

Smoother Driving Experience

Another benefit of getting your alignment checked on time is that you can drive your car smoothly. During winters, you drive your car on slippery roads and often come across potholes and bumps, which throws off the alignment. This causes your car to move to the left or right, even if you keep the steering straight and release it for a split second. This can often be dangerous for you, which is why you should get your wheels checked as soon as spring rolls around.

The impact of misaligned tires can be felt by you while you drive your car. If you notice that you have to put more force into keeping the car straight, or turning the wheels to the left or right, this is a clear indication that your wheel alignment is off. Therefore, by getting them aligned after winters, you will be able to move the steering effortlessly. Better control over your car will also keep you safe from collisions, which is why wheel alignment is crucial.

Prolonged Tire Lifespan

Normally, your car’s tires wear out over a span of 2 to 3 years, and some high-quality tires can even go up to 5 years. However, wheel misalignment causes them to wear out much quicker than normal, and you can observe this by checking your tires for uneven signs of wearing out. Misalignment can also cause the treads to wear out from certain spots, which hampers your driving performance. Therefore, wheel alignment is highly important to ensure that you don’t have to change your tires every year.

Auto repair can be quite costly, but only if you keep dragging out the required periodic maintenance. If the wheel alignment is off and you keep driving your car, it would lead to more pressure on the suspension and axles, thus leading to higher repair costs. However, if you get your wheel alignment checked and adjusted right after winter, you will be able to avoid those costs by a huge margin.

Keeping your car well-maintained is important, but getting its wheel alignment done is even more important, because your tires are responsible for moving the entire car along. Through periodic wheel alignment, you will be able to experience a smooth and safe driving experience.

 

Springtime Boat Trailer Inspection – What you need to know

boat trailerContrary to popular belief, a boat trailer isn’t a part of boats. However, it plays a massive role in the overall towing and boating experience. In most cases, boat owners tend to begin with a craft towed and stored on trailers. That said, any kind of trouble can lead to several issues when getting your boat out on the water.

The good news is that you can steer clear from problems like these simply by performing basic maintenance. Let us discuss a few tried and tested tips to make sure your boat trailer is ready for spring time:

  • Take advantage of wheel bearing protectors
  • Check the PSI levels of your tires
  • Inspect your tires for wear and tear
  • Clean the trailer brakes thoroughly
  • Lubricate the coupler of your trailer on a regular basis
  • Take a close look at the trailer lights whenever you hook it up
  • Get a professional to inspect your shoes and brake pads at regular intervals

3 of the Most Important things to Check in Your Boat Trailer

 

Trailer Brakes

In most cases, boat trailers come with brakes. As mentioned earlier, you must clean your brakes thoroughly to ensure your boat is ready for the water. Not doing so could cause corrosion and compromise your boat’s performance and looks. It would also help if your checked the trailer’s shoes or brake pads for wear and tear. Using the trailer too much can deteriorate its quality, resulting in performance issues. Consider getting a professional repair service to take care of this job as they will service the bearings and brakes together.

What’s more, the auto repair professionals will also inspect your boat for brake fluids to ensure there is a sufficient amount. For those who don’t know, low levels of fluid can damage your boat trailer in more ways than one, which is why it is important to address this issue right away.

Trailer Lights

Checking trailer lights is arguably the most critical part of your boat inspection checklist. You can start by checking the light connection for corrosion and other signs of damage. If you think there’s too much wear and tear, consider getting a replacement without wasting time. Fortunately, these replacements are easily available at most auto part stores.

Wheel Bearings

Faulty wheel bearings can cause massive trouble. These bearings can accumulate rust, especially because of water. If you boat trailer didn’t come with bearing protectors, consider getting them right away. These protectors have grease fittings to maintain pressure, making sure your trailer remains sturdy at all times.

 

 

Out of Storage, get Your Car Ready For Spring with These 5 Tips

storage

If you put your car away during the winter, then spring is finally where you’ll get to drive it again. You must be especially happy if you put your car in storage throughout winter.

But even if you want to take your car out for a spin, you can only do once you check a few things. You car has been in storage for some time. Therefore, you need to ensure that it is in a state that you could most likely drive it in. So here is a small list of things you might want to check before starting your vehicle.

1.     Perform a general Inspection after Storage

Start out by going around your car with a flashlight and seeing if there is anything out of the ordinary. Check your pipes, hoses, and wiring to see if they are all intact after the storage period. Seeing how rats or pests can get into your car if you leave it in for too long, they might mess with the internal wiring. Rats are especially infamous when it comes to chewing on electrical cords.

2.     Check your Brake Fluid

The next thing you want to be doing is checking your brake fluid. It is responsible for one of the most important parts of your car; the brakes. If you see a leak underneath your car, you shouldn’t take the risk of driving to a mechanic. Instead, try calling one over.

While you’re at it, you should also check on other fluids in your car. Check to see if the coolant and power steering levels are optimal.

3.     Stabilize your Fuel

Your fuel is another precious resource that your car depends on. If you didn’t add stabilizer to your fuel before storing it, then don’t start your car yet. First add some high octane gas along with octane booster to stabilize your fuel. If you don’t add before starting your car, your car will be very sluggish. It will run rougher and can adversely affect the health of your engine.

4.     Check the Battery

Ask any mechanic you trust, and they will advise taking out your car battery before storing the car away. More importantly, you have to attach your battery to a trickle charger, which will ensure your battery is ready when you need it. However, if you didn’t do this, you’ll have to charge the battery properly. Unfortunately, charging the battery when it is completely empty is not the best thing you should do.

5.     Replace the Engine Oil

Replacing your engine oil is the cheapest insurance for your car’s overall health. Especially when your car has been in storage for some time, the oil inside is not the best. Just make sure that there is enough for you to get to a mechanic to get an oil change. Even if you got one before putting your car into storage, many still advise that you should replace it.

Get your car ready, because it’s finally Spring. While these steps might be a little tedious, they can go a long way in improving your car’s health.

What Every Car Owner Needs to Know About Potholes

potholes

Whenever the weather gets cold, it seems like the amount of potholes becomes high overnight. You might be able to avoid one if you are lucky, but there is a high chance that your vehicle will bump into the next one. Your vehicle will go through significant wear and tear if it hits enough paved roads, which could lead to short term and long term damage.

A Closer Look at Potholes

Potholes develop when water enters the ground and freezes up. This generally happens during the winter, causing the water to freeze and expand. Once this happens, the pavement below the road is disrupted. Later on, the cars running over the thawing water push the pavement into a hole, creating a pothole in the process.

Keeping Away from Potholes

While you can easily drive your way around some potholes, there are several others lurking in places that you would least expect. For those who don’t know, the thawing and freezing cycle generally takes place during the spring season, so make sure that you keep an eye out for puddles. You may think the road you are driving on is puddle-free, but it is important to remain cautious to ensure your drive away as soon as you spot one. Be extra cautious when there is another car ahead of you and keep a safe distance so that you can spot paved roads before your vehicle takes damage.

Don’t Speed

Contrary to popular belief, driving fast will not minimize damage caused by potholes. If anything, it could cause even more damage, especially if you hit the road too hard. Your car may even end up getting flat tires if it hits a massive pothole, so make sure you slow down no matter how light the traffic is.

Use the Brakes Cautiously

As mentioned earlier, you must be very careful when driving over potholes. Ideally, it would be best to drive at a snail’s pace to steer clear from excessive damage to your tires and suspension. Also, make sure you don’t hit your brakes all of a sudden or too hard as it could cause your car to nosedive once you hit a pothole.

This could potentially cause irreparable damage, reducing your car’s overall value in the process. Instead, it would be better if you stepped on your brakes gently, just before the tires touch the pothole. Doing so will help your car absorb the blow, preventing the wheel and tires from taking the brunt of the hit.

 

If your car hit a pothole, waste no time in checking it for damage. If you don’t notice anything, consider showing it to a professional auto repair service to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.

 

Car Inspection – Why It Matters and the Importance of it

car inspection

We cannot stress the importance of car inspections enough. Inspecting, spotting, and repairing are three things that you must do to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. By keeping your car in top-notch condition, you can ensure it keeps running smoothly without complications for a long time to come.

The Importance of Car Inspections

Frequent car inspections provide you with plenty of benefits. To start with – you do not have to worry about any car malfunctions when traveling long distances. Being stuck in the middle of the highway is not something that you want to encounter. Therefore, car inspections prevent you from facing any problems or issues while on the road.

Saves You Money having a car inspection done

Frequent car inspection allows your car to run without any major damage. As a result, it will not require you to spend your money on car repairs. Sometimes, the cost of a car repair can be increasingly high depending on how long you drive it without proper inspection.

You must be willing to take some time out to inspect your car to ensure that all of its parts are working properly. Car inspection, along with maintenance, will help you save money in other ways as well. A well-maintained car that has not undergone major repairs has a high selling value. This includes all fluids, even the cooland for your vehicle.

Hence, you must take your car for regular inspections. Also, keep engine fluids, brake fluids, and other important liquids in check. By doing so, you can sell it at a good price.

Ensures Smoother Drive

Lubricating the hoses, pipes, and other parts of the combustion engine allows for a much smoother drive. Car inspection keeps your vehicle from making the rusty and squeaky noises that make your car unable to perform with the same consistency.

A car inspection can provide Better Fuel Consumption

Believe it or not, monitoring all fluids of the engine will result in better fuel consumption. Since basic maintenance involves fluid checks, filter replacements, and coolant replacements, it prevents a vehicle from overheating.

The inspection also involves checking and preventing dirt and debris from entering the engine. This makes your car emit foreign particles that indicate bad mileage. Each wear and tear inside the combustion engine can be the cause of bad fuel consumption of a car.

Conclusion

Car inspections matter the most if you have an old vehicle that has seen many miles. The most basic measure is checking the engine oil. Expert technicians recommend an oil check after every 3000 miles if you have an old car. Today’s modern cars can drive up to 5000 miles without needing an oil change.

 

Driving on Ice and 5 Safety Tips for it

Many of the most dangerous driving conditions you’ll face are icy road conditions. The slippery surface makes it extremely difficult to gain traction, so it could be a life-saving Tip to know how to drive on ice. Today, while driving in icy weather, we are going to be looking at 5 things you need to know.

Have Patience

While driving in icy conditions, the only approach you can find is to take your time and drive slower than you would usually do. Before you depart, you can consider taking some extra time so you can take your time while still arriving on time at your destination. Driving slowly will minimize the risk of having an accident drastically. Not to mention, if you do happen to lose control and hit something, this would also lower the level of damage your automobile will get.

Know How/When To Use Brakes

brakes are usually used to help control your vehicle and bring you to a stop in and out of emergency situations, they can do more harm than good if used incorrectly on ice. Slamming on your brakes in icy conditions can send your vehicle into an uncontrollable skid. What you will want to do is travel slowly enough to allow the weight of your car to bring your vehicle to a stop if needed. If you do need to use your brakes on ice, slowly pump your brakes to avoid locking up your tires.

Skidding – How To Steer Out

Skidding applies to losing hold of a car on ice and slipping without grip through the ice. Often drivers freeze up or overcorrect during a skid, which causes them to fly out of control. In order to get out of a skid safely, you’ll want to slowly turn into the skid and pump the brakes slowly to try to prevent traction. Slowly shift the steering wheel back into place and accelerate out of the skid until you notice your car regaining stability to start straightening out. This does not necessarily mean finishing in the same direction, it may sometimes actually decrease the amount of skidding you would have done if you overcorrected or froze up.

Temperatures – What To Look For

Ice road conditions arise when, due to a decrease in temperature, water on the road freezes. Outdoor temperature tracking is a smart way to keep on top of changing road conditions. A perfect way to distinguish where you can need to check for ice patches on the road is to have an in-car monitor that displays outside temperatures. To see what you should get, you should simply check the temperature adjustments before leaving the house if your car does not have this option.

Are Snow Tires Good For Ice?

Many people claim that in snowy road conditions, snow tires and snow chains can help, close to how they help on snow-packed highways. The solution here is not that no extra traction on the ice is applied. Icy roads are too slippery to make a difference on snow tires and tire chains, so if you do have them on your winter driving car, they sure won’t hurt.

 

 

Air Loss in Tires – Why an ATPMS Could Prevent Long Term Damage

air loss

Every car owner should prioritize sustaining the correct tire pressure. Going for a long road trip only to find out that you have deflated tires can be a massive inconvenience. Not only will you arrive late at your destination, but some people even have trouble finding help when stranded in strange areas.

Consider checking your tires as often as you can to make sure you can avoid unpleasant situations like these. What’s more, regular tire maintenance can also help you save a considerable amount of money and in some cases, prevent a complete tire replacement.

Some people notice pressure loss when they least expect it and you may be one of them too. It’s entirely possible that you filled your tires with air just the previous night, but noticed air loss within days or even hours. In many cases however, PSI loss doesn’t mean that your tires are punctured or damage in any way. Instead, there could be plenty of other issues. Mentioned below are some common reasons behind pressure loss in tires.

Altitude Changes and Air Loss

You may notice increased pressure in your tires when driving in areas with high altitude levels. There are two main reasons for this issue, and they are: atmospheric pressure (outside the tire) and the air in the tire. Driving cars on high altitude places leads to pressure drops. Tire deflation often happens when the gas molecules trapped in your tires move quite frequently and hit each other in the process.

Severe Temperature Changes and Air Loss

In case you didn’t know, a tire’s PSI tends to be quite different during sunny and cold days. The reason why this happens is that temperature dictates how the air molecules in your tires behave. For example, if you park your car in a sunny area, exposing the tires to heat, there is a good chance that it will below up the air molecules, expanding them in the process. However, things are vastly different during the winters, as cold weathers compress air molecules and reduce the PSI levels.

Hitting Impact Breaks

Believe it or not, simply hitting your brakes all of a sudden can cause tire deflation. So, whenever you go out for a drive, make sure that you take extra care when speeding up or making a sharp turn. It would also help if you were extra careful when parking your car as hitting cemented curbs could also damage your tires.

Take Advantage of an ATPMS

As mentioned earlier, keeping your tire’s PSI on an ongoing basis is vital. A lot of people tend to delay tire maintenance and end up paying the price when their tires blow out while driving. This is why using an automatic tire pressure monitoring system would prove to be helpful. Its accuracy is heads and shoulders better than other PSI checking devices, helping you stay on top of your tire’s condition at all times.

 

 

How Winter Affects Your Car’s Stopping Distance

driving

It’s no secret how tough driving during the winter can be. People encounter loads and loads of crashes and accidents due to slippery roads and a plethora of other problems caused by snow. Snow and ice pose a massive threat to all drivers no matter how skilled they are. They often get compacted inside your tire’s tread, significantly affecting its grip. In cases like these hitting your brake’s abruptly can be quite dangerous and result in serious accidents.

It is a major reason why you should consider increasing your stopping distance to steer clear from danger. Many critics argue that stopping distances came into existence when tires used to be thinner back in the day, and that they are not effective anymore. However, if you practice safe stopping distance during the winter, you will notice that it can be remarkably effective, as long as you can safely steer your vehicle and are in control of its speed.

Why do Snow, Ice and Rain Affect Stopping Distance when Driving?

No one feels confident driving their vehicle in the rain and the main reason behind it is hydroplaning. For those who don’t know, this is a phenomenon where a layer of water accumulates between the road’s surface and your tires. This significantly reduces traction from the road and tires, causing difficulty in controlling the vehicle.

Hitting brakes on a vehicle with compromised traction is not only difficult but very dangerous. You will notice difficulty doing simple things like steering, accelerating, braking etc. The combination of these things affects your vehicle’s stopping distance. Despite that however, you must remain calm and avoid making any sudden movements. Instead, it would be best to pump your brakes as slowly as you can while maintaining a firm grip of the steering wheel.

Similarly, too much ice can also be dangerous for drivers. This is because snow and ice can stick to the tread of your tires, resulting in a compromised grip. What happens because of this is that your stopping distance doubles and hitting your brakes becomes quite dangerous. Experts recommend drivers to turn their car’s in the direction where it is sliding, allowing it to stop naturally.

Steer carefully and Driving

When driving on icy roads, make sure that you steer very smoothly. As mentioned earlier, avoid making any sudden movements and be aware of your surrounding at all times. In case your rear tires aren’t able to maintain their grip during a turn, avoid slamming your brakes or steering too much as it could worsen the situation.

While you can do tons of things to drive safely during winters, it’s important to take your car to a professional repair service to prepare it for slippery roads during winter.

Why Do Car Batteries Fail During Cold Weather

Harsh weather, no matter hot or cold, are one of the biggest enemies of your car’s battery. Sure, most batteries can last around four to five years, but if the weather is too extreme, they may become weak sooner. There is a lot of science to explain why most batteries fail or die during the winter season. You can address some of these problems by yourself, while others require professional assistance. Before discussing why cold weather affects car batteries, let us understand how batteries work.

Car Battery – How does it Work?

A car battery’s main job is to get the engine up and running. Once that happens, your vehicle’s alternator will take over and run its electrical systems. Once you switch your car off, its battery provides power to its accessories like heating, AC, light etc, and it can discharge very quickly. Like most batteries, a car’s battery contains negative and positive electrodes.

There are numerous thin plates in each cell that work in unison to form twelve volts. Lead batteries often tend to fail if the discharge is too much. So, leaving your vehicle’s lights on could result in battery failure.

Car Battery and Cold Weather

Winters can be really harsh in some places, causing a lot of difficult to car owners. In many cases, batteries fail to start during cold temperatures. This is because they slow down the chemical reaction that happens in your battery to start the engine. Because of this, the battery requires double the current it would need to run your engine, which often reduces the battery’s life.

Tips to Get Your Car ready for winter

Mentioned below are some tried and tested tips that could prevent your car battery from failing during winter.

Park it Inside

Merely parking your car inside the garage can prevent its battery from damaging. When you park you vehicle outdoors, it is exposed too cold gusts of wind, which are quite detrimental for your battery. Ensuring the battery is safe from freezing temperatures will prevent its performance from deteriorating and may even increase its life.

Keep it Warm and Clean

Batteries are a lot like human beings in the sense that they need to stay warm during cold weathers. In case you do not have access to a garage, sheltering your car with a cover could be a decent alternative. It would also help if you did not open your car’s heater, lights and ignition right after turning on the ignition. It puts extra strain on your battery, and often causes it to fail.

Cleaning away the corrosion, grime, and dirt from the battery’s terminals could also up its performance. You can clean the terminals by dipping an old toothbrush into water mixed with baking soda.

Signs that Show a Car Battery is Weak

The signs mentioned below can help you determine if your battery is becoming weak:

– Your car backfires too much

– The headlights are dimmer than usual

– If your engine is becoming too sluggish, it could be because of a weak battery

– The starter is not getting enough power

– The engine is giving off a sulfur-like odor

 

Show it to a Professional

If you live in St Louis Park, Minnesota and want to get your car ready for the winter season, consider showing it to a seasoned auto repair service like D&D Autoworks. Once you schedule an appointment with them, they will get right on your case, examining your car’s battery and repairing it if necessary.