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How to reduce your car-running costs

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Owning a car can make life a lot easier; when you have your own vehicle, you never have to rely on public transport or other people to take you where you need to go. However, the cost of maintaining and fuelling a car can be very high. If you’re on a budget and are keen to reduce your current car-running costs, here are a couple of tips which could help. Look after your vehicle’s tyres Tyres can be very expensive; as such, it’s important to take good care of them, so that they last as long as possible. To keep them in optimum condition, make sure to check their pressure levels regularly, and adjust them if necessary; both over and under-inflated tyres will wear out faster than those that are inflated correctly. Moreover, under-inflation can also increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption. In addition to maintaining correct tyre pressure, it’s also important to make sure that your vehicle’s wheel alignment is correct; misalignment can cause uneven wearing of a tyre’s tread, which in turn can reduce its lifespan. Inspect your tyres on a regular basis; if you notice a greater amount of wear on the outside edge, in comparison to the inside (or vice versa) then you may need to have your wheel alignment adjusted. Your driving habits can also determine how long your tyres last before they need to be replaced. Rapid, abrupt acceleration and sudden braking can scrape away the tyre’s rubber, leaving a worn patch which will eventually turn into a hole. Driving around very tight bends too quickly can also cause problems, as the vehicle’s weight will be transferred to the outer tyres, placing additional pressure on them, which will increase the rate at which they wear out. Invest in annual car servicing It may seem counterintuitive to spend money in order to reduce your car-running costs. However, a small sum spent once a year could save you thousands in the long run. Having your vehicle inspected by a trained mechanic will ensure that any issues are discovered and dealt with early on, before they become serious issues which will be expensive to fix. A mechanic may for example, spot a small leak in the radiator and be able to repair this before it grows wider and causes the engine to overheat (excessively high engine temperatures can result in the warping of its metal cylinders, which can be extremely difficult and costly to replace). A car servicing will also include maintenance work that can keep your vehicle running efficiently and reduce the likelihood of expensive future breakdowns.  Mechanics conducting a servicing will usually replace all of a vehicle’s fluids, including the engine oil. Using a fresh batch of clean oil will reduce friction within the engine and thus help to prevent its metal components from wearing out prematurely....

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4 Problems Associated with a Lack of Transmission Fluid in Your Automatic Vehicle

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your transmission system requires transmission fluid in order to keep its parts lubricated, provide pressure and cool itself. Though a manual also requires a sufficient level of transmission fluid, automatics are far more susceptible to the issues associated with reduced levels since they contain far more moving parts. Here are four problems that will occur if your automatic transmission system starts running low on transmission fluid. 1. Excessive Heat Since they have numerous moving parts, many of which work at high speeds, automatic transmission systems are always at risk of overheating, even with sufficient transmission fluid to help remove excessive heat. If you start to run low, parts will go unlubricated and pressure problems will develop, and both of these issues can cause a spike in running temperature. This is bad for your transmission system, and you might find that the overheating light on your dash is activated. 2. Slipping Gears Automatic transmission systems are prized for their convenience, with all shifts taken care of without the driver ever having to lift a finger. Of course, an improperly maintained system is going to stop behaving as it should. When the transmission fluid is low, you’re likely to find that the car jerks or stutters when gears are changed. The gearshift might even slip into neutral for no apparent reason. Such behaviour is more likely during low-speed, stop-start driving since more shifts will need to be made under such conditions. 3. High RPMs The number of RPMs (high revolutions per minute) that your engine is performing can provide a strong indication of how healthy the powertrain is. If your transmission fluid is low, you might find that the engine starts racking up high RPMs without any reason, even when you’re sitting in neutral. This will be shown on your car’s tachometer, which is positioned next to the speedometer, but you should also be able to feel the engine revving too high. 4. Loud Sounds While Driving If you continue driving and neglect to top up your transmission fluid, you will eventually start hearing unpleasant noises emanating from beneath the hood. This will occur when metal is scraping or striking metal without any lubricating fluid preventing friction. Such noises are cause for serious concern if you want to avoid any costly repairs. If you have any reason to believe that your car doesn’t have enough transmission fluid, make sure you take it in for car service as soon as...

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A Comparison Between 1st and 2nd Generation EyeSight Systems on Subaru Foresters

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many carmakers now offer different technologies to assist a driver during different driving conditions. This article discusses how the second generation of driver-assist technologies (called “EyeSight”) in the Subaru Forester differs from the first-generation of those technologies in the previous models of that crossover SUV. Colour Capabilities The previous version of the driver-assist technology could only recognise objects as black or white. This “colour-blindness” often limited the assistance that the system could give a driver. For instance, the cameras could not distinguish between the different colours of traffic lights. The second generation of cameras can recognise different colours. Consequently, it is now possible for the technology to trigger an automatic braking action in case the vehicle is approaching red traffic lights. Object Recognition Another key difference between the two generations of EyeSight is how the system recognizes objects. The first generation could only recognise objects, such as other cars, that were in front of the car. The second generation can now also recognise objects that are behind the car as you are reversing. This added capability makes it easier to avoid knocking something as you reverse. Lane Keeping The latest version of the EyeSight technology can help a driver to stay within his or her lane during a journey. The cameras of the system alert the cruise-control function of the vehicle to adjust the steering wheel so that the car returns to its lane in case it was beginning to stray out of that lane. The first generation of the driver-assist technology did not have this capability. Sensitivity to Weather and Dirt Both generations of the EyeSight technology exhibit the same vulnerability to dirt and extreme weather. For instance, both versions of the technology can be impeded when the windscreen of the vehicle is dirty, such as when you drive on a dirt road when it is raining. Similarly, the cameras of the system may be “blinded” in case you are driving towards the rising sun in the morning or towards the setting sun in the evening. This vulnerability means that the driver has to be extra vigilant when driving during those conditions. As you can see, the second generation of the driver-assistance features provides more features and capabilities that were lacking in the previous version. However, the vulnerability cited shows that a lot more needs to be done to improve the technology so that you can rely on the system under all driving conditions. As you go shopping for an SUV crossover, pay attention to the type of driver-assistance that is available so that you select the best technologies...

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How to Keep Freight Costs Affordable

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many small companies struggle to grow because the cost of transporting their products to distributors and customers is very high. This article discusses some measures that you can take in order to keep the freight transport costs of your small company affordable. Select Transit Days Many small companies incur high costs for freight transport because they frequently transport small amounts of cargo. Such small consignments cannot fill a truck. However, the business owner incurs the cost of the entire truck simply because he or she wants to deliver the products to the client within the shortest time. You can reduce freight costs by setting up transit days when large consignments can be shipped to clients at the same time. For instance, you can select three days in a week when you dispatch outbound freight. Such a method will enable you to fill more of each truck that leaves your loading dock. In this way, you will be able to lower the cost of transporting each unit of cargo because the truck will be more fully utilised on each trip it makes. Clients may not mind waiting an extra day or two if that delay means that they will get the product at a lower cost. Expedited delivery costs should be passed on to clients who request for prompt delivery of the product. Rethink Your Packaging Some third-party logistics companies may use a pricing matrix that puts into consideration the weight and volume of the packages that they transport. Such a complex matrix may lead you to spend much more on freight charges if your packaging system allows space to remain within packages. It is therefore better for you to review your packaging so that products fit tightly into their containers. This will reduce the space occupied by each item that is loaded onto a truck. Find Ways to Reduce Accessorial Costs Accessorial costs refer to added charges that are levied by transport companies each time they encounter a challenge, such as having to wait for security clearance before delivering cargo at the destination. Those charges can pile up and eat into your profits. You can reduce such charges by finding a more affordable way to take consignments through the final leg of their journey. For instance, you can find a cartage company to deliver the goods to a construction company where the transport company cannot easily reach. Numerous ways exist for you to keep freight transport costs within manageable levels. Use the suggestions above as a starting point to find ways to reduce the transport costs of your outbound freight. You can also work with your transport company to find additional ways through which more cost savings can be...

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Diagnosing Some Common Problems With an Automatic Transmission

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your car’s automatic transmission should operate for many years without a problem, but once a problem does occur, you want to address it as soon as you can. Ignoring some minor problems with a car’s transmission can lead to even more serious problems in time, so that you face even bigger repair bills. It might also mean that the transmission simply fails and your car stays in neutral or park; if this happens when on the road, this could be dangerous. Note a few tips for diagnosing common problems with an automatic transmission so you know what repairs you might be facing.  No forward or reverse, or slipping gears Low transmission fluid can mean not enough lubrication in the system to take the car out of neutral, but if the car is slipping gears, this often means a defective solenoid. This is a type of spring or cable that holds the car in gear and when it goes bad, it won’t keep the transmission mechanisms in place. Worn gear teeth can also allow the car to slip out of gear and either of these parts may need to be replaced.  Transmission overheats If you smell something burning from your car or notice black smoke, this can be the transmission. If the fluid levels are not low, it may be that the fluid in the transmission is old and corroded and not keeping the transmission cool; a flush of the system can keep it cooler. Clogged fluid lines in the transmission can keep it from getting adequate fluid to keep the system cool.  You may also be hauling too much weight for the car’s transmission so it cannot easily stay in gear, causing added wear and tear, corrosion and overheating. If you’re pulling a trailer or caravan, and especially if you’re going uphill, consider if the car is simply overloaded and you need to lighten that weight. Delayed shifting When you put your car into gear, it should “take” immediately and not hesitate from one gear to another. If this happens, it could be low fluid or a bad solenoid, as mentioned above. If that spring wears out, then the car may not move easily from one gear to the next, and it hesitates. If you’ve used the wrong type of fluid in your transmission system or the fluid is burnt, this can also cause a delay in shifting. Draining the system and refilling it can be what’s...

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A Few Important Things to Remember When Renting a Car

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Renting a car is not difficult and most people are able to quickly and easily book a car when needed without a hassle. However, not everyone who needs a car to rent is in the same situation, so note a few things to remember and especially if this is the first time you’ve ever rented a car. This will ensure you don’t face any surprises when you show up at the rental counter and don’t have any surprise fees for your rental either. Ask if there is a minimum age or other requirements for driving the car Your child or someone else traveling with you may have a driver’s license, but a car rental agency may have age requirements for them to be behind the wheel. Even if you’re from an area where someone can get a driver’s license at 16 or 18, a car rental agency may dictate that no one under 18 or 19 or even older be allowed to drive their cars. There might also be restrictions as to what country your license was issued in for someone to be able to drive. This might preclude someone who is accustomed to driving on the left side of the road from renting a car in a country where they drive on the right side, and vice versa. A car rental agency may also simply have their own restrictions about licenses for any reason, so never assume that having a license means being able to drive the car; always ask about any restrictions upfront. Ask what the additional insurance covers Don’t assume that the offer for additional insurance from a car rental agency is just a scam to get more money as it may protect you if you’re at fault for a collision or damage to the car. Consider where and how you’ll use the car and if that added insurance would be a good idea; for example, will you be in a city with lots of bumper-to-bumper traffic? If so, you might be at high risk for a fender bender. Are you touring a very old city with small, narrow roads that might increase your risk of a collision or damage to the car? Are you renting a minivan or larger car than you’re accustomed to driving, so that you might risk scraping it against a parking structure or other obstruction? These factors might convince you that the added insurance is a good idea and not some pointless scam offered by the agency.   For more information, contact a car rental...

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Quick Tips on Choosing a Grain Trailer for Your Transport Needs

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Transporting your grain may be just as important as how you grow, collect, and otherwise get it ready. After all, it does no good to harvest all that grain if it cannot be transported safely and easily in the right type of truck trailer. When you’re ready to invest in a good grain trailer, you might be surprised at the options you have, so note a few tips on how to make the best choice for your transport needs. End dump versus hopper An end dump refers to a type of dump truck or trailer; the trailer part lifts up so that the load is then dumped out the back door or flap. A hopper has a type of opening that allows a steady but smaller stream of materials out the trailer; you may need to attach a type of tubing or other such apparatus to empty the grain out a hopper and into a silo or other such storage material. This can mean more control over the emptying of the grain, but note that it also takes more time. If you’re on a tight schedule for transport runs, you might prefer an end dump. That being said, an end dump may have more risk of tipping and it also offers less control of where the material is deposited, so if your grain needs to be pumped into a silo rather than a trough or large weigh scale, the hopper may be the better choice. You might also need to note the materials being hauled and dumped from your grain trailer. Very fine grain may be fine for a hopper but if you also want to use the trailer for gravel, dirt, or any other such material, you may find that the hopper is too narrow and the weight of these materials won’t allow it to move through the chute very well. An end dump may be the better choice if you need more versatility from your grain trailer. Material of trailer Many trailers are made of steel or aluminum, for durability. While these materials can last for a long time, they may also hold heat while you’re transporting your grain. In turn, you may find that you have more problems with the grain sticking to the walls of the trailer. Any type of plastic may be a better option if you make runs in hot weather, as it may allow for far fewer bridges, rat holes, and other materials flow problems in your grain...

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What are some reasons to choose rail transport?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a need for transporting large or heavy goods, you may be considering rail transport. While sometimes considered an old-fashioned way of transporting goods, it is actually still one of the major options and has a wide range of benefits. Here are some reasons to consider rail industrial transport.  The Railway is Dependable in All Conditions Other forms of transportation for industrial purposes, such as by air or sea, are not always available in inclement weather or due to situations like natural disasters. Boat transport is not at all reliable in bad weather due to heavy rain, wind, and fog. Big trucks on the road that are transporting goods can’t make it to their destination if there is major traffic or bad weather conditions. Airplanes also have to be careful about these concerns. However, the rails are often still in service in inclement weather, except for some severe conditions that don’t make it safe. For the most part, it is one of the most dependable ways to transport goods. Trains Can Handle Large, Bulky and Heavy Items Freight trains are an excellent choice when your goods are bulky or especially heavy. Large trucks and other forms of industrial transport tend to have stricter limits about the weight or size of the goods. However, with rail transport, there are rail cars specifically designed for extra-large transport on the freight trains. If you are transporting heavy equipment or machinery, this is an excellent option. Railways Are Very Organised Also consider the fact that when you choose rail transport, you know the schedules and approximately when goods will arrive at their destination. The railway system is very organised and sticks to a very strict schedule. There are specific routes to get to certain locations, so you would know right away when goods are meant to arrive. With other forms of transportation, such as with trucks delivering goods, there is a lot that could get in the way of arriving on time. It is a Safer Form of Industrial Transport If you have ever shipped goods by truck or sea, you know that there is a risk of goods getting damaged due to the mode of transportation. Trucks could get into vehicle accidents that all but destroy the goods, while air travel and boat travel has their own risks as far as the safety of goods goes. With the rails, they are not only dependable for weather and unexpected perils, but also for being one of the safest ways to transport...

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Simple Guidelines on Maintaining Your Truck’s Braking System

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The braking system is critical in your commercial truck because it must handle the heavy weight from your cargo and towed trailers. If this element is not serviced properly, the potential risk of unexpected failure and subsequent accidents is high. This will result in costly repairs, loss of goods and even lawsuits when other parties are involved. You can avoid these problems by promoting proper maintenance of the braking components. Here are some crucial tips to help you get started on brake system servicing if you are new to truck handling. Install New Brake Pads The brake pads are exposed to friction when the braking system is engaged. This friction ensures that the vehicle stops efficiently by deterring the motion of the wheels. Unfortunately, this type of energy causes accelerated wear of the brake pads, so you will need to perform regular replacements. You can inspect the components to determine the right time for the task. Generally, a wear indicator is fabricated into the brake pads, so plan for replacement when the wear level is close to the mark. When you take the truck for pad replacement, it is prudent to have other parts replaced since their wear rate is correlated. These components include the bushings, pins and system springs that are connected to the brakes. Service the Slack Adjusters The slack adjusters in your truck are critical in ensuring that the brakes do not fall out of alignment when pressure is exerted. The most important servicing task in all types of slack adjusters is proper greasing of the components. If these dry out due to negligence, the adjusters will eventually seize up and your brakes will experience breakdown. You can choose any type of recommended auto grease, but the lithium type is the most suitable. If you have acquired an older truck with manual slack adjusters, you will need to reconfigure them periodically to keep the brakes in position. Automatic adjusters will realign themselves after usage. Check the Pressure Gauge The application pressure of your braking system is a crucial consideration during maintenance of the vehicle. Fundamentally, this reading is the available pressure that can be transferred from your foot to the wheels. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure levels and ensure that your vehicle does not fall below the outlined figure. If you are constantly losing the application pressure, your brake lines are probably damaged. Therefore, engage a truck repair technician to identify the cause of the reduced application pressure and seal any...

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How to Get Ready For Your First Off-Roading Trip

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a truck that you can’t wait to take off-roading, there are some things to know first. The first time you head out to the trails, regardless of the terrain, you need to be aware of how to get our truck ready and some basic tips for participating in this activity safely. Make Vehicle Upgrades Unless the truck you have was built for off-roading, there are some upgrades you will likely need to make. One of the more important areas of the truck to get ready for off-roading is the tires. Make sure you have good tread and tires that are large enough to accommodate off-roading. You can visit a local tire shop to find out for sure if the ones you have chosen will work. With bigger tires, you might also need a lift kit, which is also recommended for off-roading. Some mechanics will be able to make all upgrades at one time if you let them know what you want to do. Other upgrades you might want to make include sticking to steel or cast alloy wheels and ensuring you have brakes with proper gripping power. Bring Along Supplies and Essentials Another thing you need to do before you head out for your off-roading trip is to bring along supplies, which includes anything you might need during the trip. It includes bringing along a tow rope in case you get stuck, spare tires, an air compressor, and a navigational system. You should also have auto repair supplies just in case, such as a high lift jack, winch, fluids and extra fuel, and a variety of small hand tools. It is also a good idea to bring a shovel, first aid kit, extra fully-charged mobile phone, and a fire extinguisher. Learn How to Control the Vehicle One of the more difficult parts of off-roading for beginners is maintaining good control over the vehicle. You should be starting slow so you get used to the proper way of handling the steering wheel during the excursion. While many beginners think the trick is to hold as tightly as possible to the steering wheel, the opposite is actually true. You need to have a loose grip so you don’t injure your hands if there is kick-back. If you have a dead pedal on the left, that is a great thing to have, but you should never use the clutch pedal in its place. After using the clutch pedal, move your foot away from the pedal. Practice these methods of controlling your vehicle before you go off-roading. For more information about upgrading your car, contact a company that sells Ford parts and other truck...

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5 Considerations for Your Home-Build

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

So, you want to build your own house — a house that will meet your needs, based on land that you’ve chosen to suit you? If you don’t know where to start, these top tips will help you decide what you need to do next. Things to Think about When Budgeting You’ve probably thought of the main costs when building your home — builders, surveys, architect’s fees and materials. You may not have thought of allowing for things that can go wrong. Unforeseen problems can occur. Having a contingency allowance of at least 10% of your overall budget will make it easier to cope with any problems that may arise. Researching Your Plot Thoroughly The location is the most important thing to consider when buying a plot for your self-build, but there is more to think about than that. You want to know if the land will be suitable for your building needs. If the land has been surveyed before being listed for sale, all the better. You will know what type of land you’re getting and whether it needs any preparation before it can be built upon. If you’re demolishing an existing house on the property then it will already have electric and water facilities; if not, then you may have to pay to have these run up to the house. Steps to Take When Choosing Your Architect and Builders Start by researching your architect and builder. If they have a web presence, you should be able to see previous jobs they’ve completed. Once you’ve made a shortlist, you can start to contact your choices and request references. If you’re still undecided after seeing them, arrange a meeting to interview your choices and ensure that you can have a good working relationship with them. If you need a final determining factor after all those steps, then choose an architect and builders who have already completed homes within your council district. They will have a good understanding of the regulations prior to submitting a development application, making the process easier. Where Will You Live While Your Home Is Being Built? Some people save a lot of money by living on site. A caravan is an ideal choice if you want to be around to watch your house grow while taking a managerial role in the build. If you already have electricity and water on site, you can plumb in your caravan, giving you all the comforts of home. Solar panels designed for caravans are an option if you’re waiting for the electricity to be connected. Caravans come in different sizes offering you varying degrees of comfort. Some have separate rooms, including bathroom facilities, making it possible to house your family without having to sacrifice too much privacy. Speak to a caravan sale adviser about the variety of caravans on offer. You can also check if they’ll consider buying it back from you when your project is complete. Or you may just want to keep hold of it for future family holidays.  A caravan sales websites will give you a good idea of costs for your budget. Making an Inspiration Board Now for the fun part. Creating an inspiration board will not only help with realising your design ideas, but it will also help with budgeting. Think of the structural design elements...

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