Archive for the ‘Car Accessories’ Category

How to Keep Your Car Cool This Summer

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

After spending the long, cold winter bundled up, a lot of people are itching to take a road trip. Whether that means you’ll be heading half way across the country or just to the next town, there’s just something about that feeling you get when you hop into the car, roll down the windows and drive.


Auto Ventshade 94260 Ventivisor Deflector - 4 Piece

Features

  • Helps reduce heat buildup in parked vehicles by allowing windows to be kept partially open
  • Easy to install with strong automotive grade tape
  • Made of reinforced acrylic
  • Keeps the rain out and lets air in
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

But when your car feels like it’s 200 degrees inside on those warm sunny days, it’s hard to get in, much less going. So what can you do about it? The best solution would be to park in a garage or in the shade all the time, but a more realistic answer to this age-old problem is to add window vents to your car.

These decorative “eves” allow you to leave windows open a crack in the summertime so air can circulate. Warm air vents out and the cooler outside air finds its way in, and you don’t have to worry about a sudden rainstorm. “AVS Ventvisors are a simple and elegant solution to a problem made worse in recent years by vehicle design. Today, many vehicles have side windows that slant inward at the top, to reduce wind resistance. As a result, when it rains, water runs off the roof and into the vehicle if a widow is open even slightly. Ventvisors will keep the rain out and let the fresh air in,” says Peter May, spokesman for AVS, a brand name known for its quality line of car customizing accessories.

His company offers two window vent styles that you can install yourself. The original Ventvisor attaches easily to the exterior of your car with strong 3M tape. The AVS In-Channel Ventvisor installs inside the window channel, giving your car a sleek, streamlined appearance. An added bonus is that no exterior tape touches the vehicle’s paint.

Made from heavy-duty acrylic, the window vents can be painted to match your car, or you can choose to use them as is, in a stylish smoke tint or chrome. Window vents are available for both the front and rear doors, and assisting with air exchange isn’t their only benefit. While you’re on the road, a window vent can also decrease wind noise for a more pleasant driving experience. For more information on AVS products, or to access a store locator, visit www.lundinternational.com.

In addition to taking steps to make your car feel cooler, it’s also important to make sure its systems will function well in warmer weather. Here’s a checklist to follow before setting out on a road trip:

* Change oil and oil filter
* Inspect radiator coolant, hoses and belts
* Have a fuel system inspection done to make sure the intake valve and combustion chamber are free from deposits
* Inspect the suspension system and replace the shocks if worn to ensure a smooth ride.
* Check brakes
* Check the tire pressure

Road Safety Starts with Good Tires

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Regular auto maintenance is imperative to ensure your car is functioning at its best. While oil changes and seasonal preparation are important, one of the most critical parts of your car to maintain is also something that is often overlooked – the tires.

“The truth is that your driving experience is only as good as the tires on your car. And because your tires are the only thing that come between you and the road, it is important to get the right tires so you get the safest driving experience,” says Rick Brennan, executive at Kumho Tire USA.

High performance tires are a great option to help ensure your safety on the road. Most new cars come equipped with performance tires to match today’s more sophisticated handling packages — heavy-duty suspension systems, anti-lock braking systems, increased load-bearing potential and more. High performance tires not only accommodate driving at higher speeds but also perform more safely, especially in the most challenging conditions: slick, rainy roads; tight cornering; and quick stops. So although they cost a bit more, the tradeoff in increased safety is worth the investment.

“Even if you drive a luxury vehicle, performance tires can be beneficial. A high performance tire can deliver 2 percent better braking in a 60-to-zero situation. It appears to be a small number, but that equals about 5 to 6 feet difference, which could be the difference between an accident or not,” comments Brennan.

Why put off shopping for new tires when they are such a crucial part of your safety while driving? Here are the basics to get you started:

Load Index
Your current tire will have a size stamped on the sidewall. It will look something like: 215/55R16 93V. The “93″ is referred to as your load index followed by a single letter (V) identifying the tire’s speed rating. The load index is the indication of weight the tire can carry safely. It is dangerous to have a load index less than the number that is specified. If you have an improper load index, you could have a blowout.

Speed Rating
A common trade off for a higher speed rating is a less comfortable ride. For instance an “S” speed-rated tire will give a more comfortable ride compared to “H” speed-rated tire, but the “H” will function better at higher speeds. The ride comfort characteristics can be attributed to the tire’s overall stiffness. A tire capable of running at high speeds requires a more stiff construction in order to provide the necessary high speed stability and durability. A dealer will not sell you a lower speed rated tire than what is outlined in your vehicle’s manual. It is a liability and not considered safe.

High Performance Tires
In order to maximize tire handling, the high performance tread widths are wider than a typical tire. This allows maximum contact area with the road surface. The tread pattern incorporates larger tread blocks for increased stiffness that performs well on dry and wet surfaces. The stiffer construction helps when traveling at high speeds and enhances your handling abilities. High performance tires are made with different compounds that help them perform better on the road. High performance tires typically have a speed rating of “H” or higher.

One high performance tire perfect for luxury touring or sports sedans is the Kumho ECSTA LX Platinum. The tire features an asymmetrical tread design, three dimensional waffle sipes, a jointless nylon cap ply, and a 60,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. With exceptional mileage, outstanding ride comfort, low noise levels, exceptional snow traction and outstanding dry and wet handling, this tire was made to keep you safe on the road

New Tire Pressure Monitors Do Not Replace ‘Old’ Tire Gauge

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Starting last fall with the rollout of 2008 models, all new vehicles are required by federal law to come equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to give drivers a warning when tire pressure drops significantly.


Accutire MS-4350B Programmable Digital Tire Gauge

Price: $11.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Features

* Programmable to allow recording of factory-recommended tire pressure for both front and rear tires
* Reads 5-99 PSI in 0.5 pound units
* Extra large, blue, backlit LCD screen for easy viewing
* Features ergonomic “easy grip” shape
* Comes with five-year manufacturer warranty


However, those new-fangled gadgets are not a replacement for your old-fashioned tire gauge, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a group that represents tire manufacturers.

Federal law requires every new 2008 model year vehicle to come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that will warn a driver when tire pressure drops 25 percent. The Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, says that is no reason to throw away your tire gauge.

“Motorists risk tire damage if they wait to check tires until they see a dashboard warning light after a 25 percent loss of tire pressure,” says Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “For many vehicles, a pressure loss of less than 25 percent increases risk. That’s why motorists must check tire pressure every month with a tire gauge.”

An RMA survey indicates that tire pressure monitoring systems may cause drivers to become more complacent about tire care. Two-thirds of drivers reported that they would be “less concerned with routinely maintaining” tire pressure if their vehicle had a monitoring system. The federal government estimates that under inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year.

Additionally, when asked how often they would check tire pressure if their vehicle were equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, an alarming 40 percent of drivers said that they would either “never” manually check tire pressure or check it “only when the warning light comes on.”

“Tire pressure monitoring systems can be effective at detecting an unexpected loss of tire pressure,” Zielinski says. “But it is no substitute for regular tire maintenance with a tire gauge.” Tires can lose one to two pounds-per-square inch (PSI) of pressure each month.

RMA recommends that tire pressure be checked at least once per month and before long trips. Motorists should use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure that is found on a sticker on the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Never use the pressure listed on the tire sidewall. Also check tires when they are cold or wait at least three hours after driving on them.

More Horsepower for Less than $100

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Want more horsepower without paying much to get it? Here are three ways today’s top engine builders get more power from their racing engines and their personal cars, without spending a lot of money to do it.


K&N Replacement Air Filter

These reusable K&N Filtercharger air filters outflow any other filter–up to 900 cfm–for power gains of up to 15 HP. They use a surgical cotton fabric soaked in oil as their tack barrier. Sandwiched between an aluminum screen wire, the holes in the cotton catch tumbling air and straighten it out. Since air moving in a straight line flows faster, the filter actually improves airflow. They can be covered by up to 1/4 in. of debris before air restriction makes cleaning necessary. The filters come pre-oiled, and many are available as a direct fit for your application.


Upgrade your lubricants – Friction and heat from engine components and the drive train rob horsepower and performance. Minimizing this power loss can be as easy as upgrading to one of the newer high performance lubricants that are available. For instance, in a recent test by Horsepower TV, upgrading to high performance motor oil freed up 8 horsepower in a V8 engine. Video of the test and more information on upgrading lubricants can be found at www.royalpurple.com.

Replace and/or upgrade your air filter – During the life of your engine, thousands of cubic feet of air will pass through the engine cylinders. Dust and other material in the engine can cause excessive wear and operating problems. It’s imperative that you keep air filters clean by regularly replacing them.

To further enhance performance, upgrade to a performance air filter, which can free up an additional 2 to 3 horsepower. While not a tremendous power gain, the relatively low cost of a filter and ease of installation (about 5 minutes) more than make up for it.

Use higher octane gas or an octane booster – Go for the good stuff the next time you’re at the pump. Depending on your vehicle, high octane gasoline can provide an increase in horsepower. Even a marginal gain in switching from the lowest octane gasoline to the highest octane may be worth a few extra pennies at the pump to you.

For those who want to see a more measurable increase in power, a racing blend of gasoline will work well or one of the numerous brands of octane booster commonly available at auto parts stores.

Upgrading your gas, lubricants and air filter are a cheap and easy way to increase horsepower. These simple steps will also extend the life of your engine and help prevent expensive repairs.

Winter’s Top Rules of the Road

Monday, November 26th, 2007

(ARA) – As soon as the snow begins to fall, as it has in most Northern cities across the country, drivers are faced with an entirely new set of challenges on the road. Snow and ice can be treacherous, but if you’re prepared for the dangers they present, winter driving is much less scary.

Whether you’ve already done a little slipping and sliding, or are hoping to prevent that scary occurrence altogether, it is important to make yourself aware of 10 road rules that apply in the wintertime:

1. Take steps to make sure your driveway will be safe to travel on. Before you even put the car in gear, sprinkle sand that is specially-formulated to increase traction on snow and ice on all areas you’re likely to walk on or drive over. Sand products are one of the most helpful and under-used products for winter driving, and the actual consistency of products such as Sakrete Multi-Purpose Sand was made to be poured over ice and provide immediate traction to your vehicle. You can find it at most home improvement stores and the re-sealable bag is suitable for rugged storage in variable temperatures.

2. Add ballast to your car. Products such as Sakrete’s Tube Sand adds weight and ballast to your vehicle to give you better traction, and if you need it, the sand inside also can help you out of a bind. “This is a product much like your spare tire,” says Shawn King of Sakrete, a leading brand of sand and concrete products. “A lot of people forget about it, but if something happens it immediately becomes the most important item in your trunk.”

3. Be prepared for an emergency situation. Emergency situations can arise at any time. The supplies you should keep in your trunk are a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack, a shovel, jumper cables, tow and tire chains, two or more bags of sand and a tool kit. You should also carry a survival kit that includes a working flashlight and extra batteries, flares, matches, a compass, extra windshield cleaner, an ice scraper and snow brush, blankets, a first aid kit and non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.

4. Turn on your headlights. Even in the daytime to increase your visibility to other motorists, and be sure to keep your lights and windshield clean.

5. Decrease your speed. To drive safely on roads you suspect may be icy, decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.

6. Watch for black ice and other frozen patches. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

7. Shift into lower gears. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.

8. Drive defensively. If your front wheels skid, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go, then return the transmission to “drive” or release the clutch and accelerate gently. Steer in the direction you want your wheels to go. If your rear wheels skid, take your foot off the accelerator and steer left if you are sliding left and right if you’re sliding right.

9. If you get stuck, do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way. If a light touch on the gas doesn’t ease your car out, open the trunk and take out your emergency shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car. Then, put down the bag of Sakrete Tube Sand –Winter Traction Grit, kept in your trunk, and simply drive over it (The sand comes in a reinforced woven bag made specifically to be driven over). Once you’re out of your bind, don’t forget to stop and pick up the bag in case you need it again for traction.

10. If you become stranded, do not leave your car. Unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation; it would be extremely dangerous to leave your car. To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.

No one wants to drive in inclement weather, but if you have to, being familiar with these 10 tips should make you feel safer.

School’s in Session and the First Lesson is Tire Safety

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

(ARA) - Just under the grumblings of students can be heard the quiet elation of parents . . . school is back. This means the usual checklist: notebooks and pencils bought, backpack filled, lunchbox cleaned and tire pressure checked.

Tires? Odds are they never crossed your mind, let alone made your to-do list. In fact, 85 percent of Americans don’t check their tires regularly, according to the 2007 motorist survey by Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). But with school in session, soccer moms, college kids and everyone else driving to or dropping someone off at a campus might want to reconsider their “rubbery friends.”

“Tires are one of the most important safety features on your car,” says Fred Koplin of Yokohama Tire Corporation, manufacturer of everything from ultra-high performance tires for passenger cars and SUVs to tires for buses, trucks and airplanes. “These engineering marvels are the only thing touching the road, affecting everything from braking distance and accident avoidance to ride comfort and fuel efficiency.”

In fact, according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) improperly inflated tires account for more than 33 thousand injuries and 660 deaths annually. Much of that can be attributed to the 27 to 33 percent of vehicles with at least one tire under-inflated by more than eight pounds per square inch (psi).

What’s the reason for such disregard? Koplin says, “It’s a combination of things; primarily a lack of knowledge and effort. It’s natural to forget, but for the best driving safety results, checking your tire pressure should become a monthly routine. It only takes five minutes. If you’re not doing it once a month, chances you’re driving on under-inflated tires.”

The new school year means daily trips carrying your most precious cargo — you and/or your kids. Whether you or your child gets behind the wheel, checking the tire pressure should become more than a chore, but a necessary part of owning a vehicle.

Yokohama’s Koplin offers a few more tips for improving tire safety:

* Check your tire pressure each time you wash your car. Seventy percent of owners wash their car each month, yet only 15 percent remember to check their tire pressure.
* Tires should be checked while cold, which means after sitting for at least three hours. Even driving just one mile causes a tire to heat up and gives inaccurate readings.
* Always inflate tires to the vehicle’s recommended pressure, usually labeled inside the driver’s door, fuel door, inside the glove box or in the owner’s manual. (The number on the tire’s sidewall is the maximum inflation pressure.) Over-inflation reduces the tire’s contact patch with the road, while under-inflation puts extra weight on its sidewalls and causes an unsafe increase in tire temperature.
* Use the “Lincoln’s Head” method to check tread depth: Place a penny head-first between the treads. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head then you have less than 2/32nds inch of tread depth left and the tire should be replaced.

Safety isn’t the only reason to monitor your tires. Tires that are under-inflated by just 6 to 7 psi can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent or more . . . and tread wear life by as much as 10 percent. Two trips to and from school each day, after-school activities, sports, errands . . . and the savings add up quickly. Proper tire care can also increase tread-life by up to 10 percent.

This year, as everyone scurries back and forth to school, remember to also add your vehicle to the study list, starting with the tires. You’ll get an “A” in safety.

You can find more information about tire care and safety at www.yokohamatire.com or visit the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Web site at www.rma.org.

Tips for Getting Around Safely in the Winter

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

(ARA) - Looked at a calendar lately? Time sure is flying! It seems like just yesterday you were enjoying those long, sunny days out by the lake. Now you’re counting down the days till Thanksgiving and Christmas; but the holidays aren’t all you should be thinking about. The most wonderful time of the year is also the most dangerous time of year to be on the roads.

According to the AAA, loss of visibility, slick roads and poorly maintained brakes lead to thousands of accidents every year, and the highest number of weather-related injuries and fatalities occur during the wet and snowy months of winter. But there are precautions you can take to help prevent accidents, and to be prepared, just in case.

Now — before the flakes start flying — is the time to winterize your vehicle! Start by making sure it is well maintained and in good working order. Here’s a checklist of things to inspect:

* Check all fluids and replenish if necessary.

* Have your vehicle’s battery checked to make sure it is strong enough to make it through the winter.

* Check tire tread depth and tire pressure; consider special tires if snow or ice are a problem in your area.

* Check to see that all lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

* Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.

* Change your windshield wiper blades if your current ones are worn or UV damaged to ensure good visibility during the season’s rain or snow storms.

It’s always good to be a defensive driver, but it’s especially important in inclement weather. Good winter driving depends on using common sense and adjusting your driving to weather conditions.

* Keep your gas tank full to minimize condensation, and provide an extra margin of comfort and safety in case of delays.

* Don’t use your cruise control or overdrive when it’s freezing (or colder).

* Trucks take longer to stop, so don’t cut in front of them.

* Don’t get overconfident with four-wheel drive. It helps you get going quicker but won’t help you stop any faster.

* Add weight to the rear of your car or truck for better traction. If you drive a car, add weight to the trunk by using sandbags. If you drive one of the more than 38 million registered trucks on the roads, you should add weight to the truck bed. This can be done with a Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliner. The liner adds about 50 pounds of weight to deter rear wheel skids. It also provides lifetime protection against the rust and corrosion that can form quickly in winter weather.

Finally, keep emergency supplies in your vehicle. Here’s a list of some items that will come in handy if you’re stranded:

* Basic safety equipment such as emergency cash, scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain, and bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction.

* A breakdown kit that includes road flares, blanket, gloves, boots, warm clothing, flashlight, extra batteries, food, water, and first-aid kit.

* A CB radio or cellular phone can be a lifesaver for you or another stranded motorist in the event of an emergency or collision.

These tips and a little common sense will keep you and your family safe on the road this winter.

For more information on Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners, or to find the dealer nearest you, visit www.linex.com or call (800) 831-3232. Line-X has close to 500 locations across the United States.

Tire Care Saves Gas, Gas, Gas

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

(ARA) - Summertime is drive-time across the USA. Millions of vacation-happy Americans hit the road during summer, logging more driving miles on the pavement than any other time of year.But with gas prices climbing toward $4 a gallon (or more!), folks are concerned about the costs of driving. Can families still afford to pile the kids into the car and ride to summer’s favorite hot spots? Will a kids’ chorus of “are we going?” replace the standard endless chants of “are we there yet?”

Savvy drivers say “no!” They’re constantly seeking ways to increase fuel economy and to squeeze out more miles per tank. Instead of focusing purely on the fuel gauge, though, experts suggest paying more attention to tires, those black, rubbery objects that connect vehicles to the road. Yes, the right rubber on the road can save gas in the tank.

According to Fred Koplin of Yokohama Tire Corporation, manufacturer of everything from ultra-high performance tires for passenger cars and SUVs to tires for buses, trucks and airplanes, “Tires that are under-inflated by just 6 to 7 psi (pounds per square inch) can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent or more … and tread wear life by as much as 10 percent.

“When a tire is under-inflated, the car’s weight rests more on the tire’s shoulders than its center, causing poor fuel economy, uneven wear and a less-than-firm ride, which can significantly reduce driver control.”

Koplin says most people aren’t aware that today’s tires are scientific marvels, holding up under extreme heat and freezing conditions, cruising over pavement, rocks, dirt, water, snow, mud, gravel and all sorts of road hazards. Tires boast advanced tread designs, sidewalls, belts and compounds, and they work so well, they’ve practically become an afterthought in most households.

The Auto Club reports that as many as 86 percent of drivers don’t check their tire inflation properly. However, this percentage is likely to start dropping as gas prices under-inflate consumer pocketbooks and former tire novices learn how to maintain proper pressure levels.

“The tire’s proper inflation level can be found on a placard in the glove box or on the car door or in the owner’s manual,” Koplin says. And while there are about 3,500 sizes and types of tires on the market, he suggests some simple procedures to aid proper tire wear.

 

* Once a month, when the tires are cold, or at least 3 to 4 hours after the vehicle has been driven, check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge. (Normal driving causes tires to heat, raising air pressure. Releasing air when tires are hot may dangerously under-inflate the tires.) And be sure that the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep out dirt and seal against leakage.

* Tires should be rotated at least every 5,000 to 8,000 miles and the alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to drag, which lowers mileage and causes unnecessary tire wear.

* An over-inflated tire puts less tread on the road and increases wear on the center of the tread. A tire is designed to run with the vehicle’s weight spread evenly across the tire’s width.

* Consumers can go to (www.yokohamatire.com/csunderstand.asp) for additional tire care and safety tips or visit the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Web site at www.rma.org.

“Even though tire technology has advanced as much in the past decade as almost any other facet of automotive engineering, only the discerning consumers understand the high-tech realities of tires,” Koplin says. “However, with escalating fuel prices, the time is fast approaching when drivers are going to focus on simple things like proper tire pressure to maximize tire performance, increase fuel economy and boost tread wear.”

And start heading back down the highway of summer travels.

Bargaincell- Apple Ipod Rapid Car Charger for Ipod / Mini / Nano (1gb 2gb 4gb) / Video

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Compatibility: Apple iPod 3rd Generation, Apple iPod Mini, Apple iPod Nano, Apple iPod 4th Generation, Apple iPod Photo, Apple iPod Video.

Bargaincell- Apple Ipod Rapid Car Charger for Ipod / Mini / Nano (1gb 2gb 4gb) / Video

LifeHammer Original Emergency Hammer (Orange)

Friday, March 30th, 2007

LifeHammer is the original emergency hammer! Bring yourself extra peace of mind with this car escape tool. It is the perfect escape tool to help prevent automotive entrapment after an accident. Next to the airbag and the safety belt, LifeHammer is the most important automotive safety tool that NO vehicle should be without. Remember, sometimes safety belts jam after a collision and power locks become disabled. LifeHammer can cut through a jammed safety belt with its razor-sharp blade and can quickly break through a side window with its double tipped steel heads. LifeHammer - the 1st and only quality auto escape tool with over 20 years of experience, used and trusted by a growing number of public safety organizations in the US and Europe. Features: - Double-sided steel head shatters side and rear automotive windows - Sharp razor cuts through safety belt - Bracket for mounting in vehicleflourescent pin glows in the dark for easy retrieval - Suitable for public and safety organizations, insurance,automotive, and utility fleet industries. - Life Hammer Auto Escape Tool in box.