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Trade Secrets: 10 Things about Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Your Mechanic Never Told You

When you own a car, you need to bear in mind the necessity of regular maintenance.  While most mechanics will persuade you that you need their specialist knowledge to get the job done, that’s not always the case. There are a number of ways you can easily check and maintain your car so that you need to visit your mechanic less frequently than they would like.

Here we tell you 10 things about your car maintenance that your mechanic would prefer you not to know:

#1 Initial Setup of Your Car

Every year there is new technology featured in cars that requires a little input from the owner to setup. Things like keyless entry, comfort settings, delayed lighting and even sound system settings all need to be setup when the car is purchased, even when used, so that everything is personalized to your preferences.

Many people feel so daunted by the prospect of working out how to set up such things as Bluetooth that they leave it to a mechanic. Although it’s true to say that without the guidance of your owners’ manual, it may be complex, you can source everything you need to know fromnumerous online sources relating to your car’s make and model.

#2 Checking Your Fluids

There are several fluids used to ensure smooth driving which need to be checked on a regular basis so they’re all full to the necessary limits. Using a dipstick isn’t rocket science but you do need to know where to locate the fluid containers in the engine such as water and oil. The location of fluid containers can vary considerably from model to model, so it should be one of the first things you look for when you get a new car.

#3 Advice for Better Driving Practices

No matter whether new or used, any car you’re new to driving will need a breaking-in period, particularly if it’s fresh off the forecourt. Generally speaking, new cars have a break-in period of around 1,000 miles although there will be more definitive information in your owner’s manual. It’s worth consulting the manual to find out the ways you can maximize performance of your car through improved driving practices too.

#4 How to Troubleshoot Common Problems

There are some common problems you may or may not be faced with. Such things aschanging a tire or jump starting the engineare well worth knowing how to carry out safely, particularly if you live in a rural area. Most owners’ manuals include very clear and easy instructions on how to deal with these common problems on your own. Familiarizing yourself with these procedures is essential as part of being a responsible car owner.

#5 Access Technical Data Easily

It’s always useful to know the technical aspects of your car which is often needed for insurance purposes or for a quote for considerable work to it should the need arise. This kind of technical information is usually available in the manual but if you have bought used and there isn’t one available, there are plenty of online resources.

#6 Maintain Ideal Tire Pressure

Keeping the tires inflated to the right pressure is crucial in ensuring your car handles safely. When there is one tire putting the others out of whack by being flatter than the rest, your car can be very dangerous to drive. The correct tire pressure will be noted in your owners’ manual and some service stations have charts next to the air machines to use as a guideline.

#7 Clean and Protect Your Car’s Surfaces

Of course your car is your pride and joy and so you want it to be shiny like new all the time. Although most people pay attention to the outside of their car, they can sometimes neglect the interior. If you have leather seats you’ll need to invest in special cleaning fluid to maintain its finish. Chrome or wood accents will each need their own kind of cleaner to keep in pristine condition. Not only does regular cleaning keep a car looking brand new for longer, it will increase its price when you come to sell it.
#8 Find Out what the Gizmos Do
Every car is different but there are generally some buttons you don’t explore when you’re initially getting to know its driving qualities. Although randomly flicking switches and pressing buttons while you’re driving is tempting, it’s also very dangerous. Always check out what gizmos your car has on offer but do so from a stationary position! Even knowing how to get the reverse gear in your car is important when it’s all new to you.

#9 Deciphering Warning Lights

Most cars have quite a few warning lights and they’re there for a reason! It’s always a good idea to check the warning light system of your new car when you first get it so that you can understand what any mean if they should display while you’re driving. Even a warning light telling you that the trunk is not shut properly can be a distraction when driving so knowing what warning lights are located where is important.

#10 Know what your Warranty Covers

When you have issues with your new vehicle, you should know what is covered by the manufacturer or the dealer when it comes to fixing repairs. The details of your warranty should be made very clear to you when you purchase the car and many people include this as part of their initial negotiations on the sale. It’s important that you have in black and white what your warranty will cover and what it won’t before signing on the dotted line.

Your car is one of your biggest assets and many of us are totally reliant on them on a daily basis.Learn more how to correctly maintain yours and you won’t need to make unnecessary and expensive visits to mechanics any longer. Most of the regular maintenance checks you have to carry out have been covered in this article and we hope you can see for yourself that you don’t need mechanical experience for any of them.

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It All Adds Up: Which 7 Factors Make a Truck Accident More Likely?

So many of us are used to being behind the wheel of a vehicle, especially those who drive trucks for a living.
With such confidence in driving, as the years pass, it gets easier and easier to overlook certain risk factors you would have been far more cautious than when you started out.

While there is an infinite number of causes to truck crashes, today we’re going to explore factors that can make an incident far more likely. The more aware of these you are, the less likely you will be to be involved in a truck crash.

#1 - Fatigue

When you’re a truck driver, you can spend hours on the road at a time, remaining sat in the same position, and it’s easy to get too comfortable. When tiredness hits, make sure you’re pulling over and getting some rest in a designated area. Your life could depend on it.

#2 - A Poorly Loaded Truck

Perhaps one of the most overlooked factors that could contribute to an accident is the load you’re carrying being poorly stacked. This isn’t your fault, but it can cause serious problems when it comes to weight distribution that can seriously affect your truck’s handling.

#3 - Drugs or Alcohol

Of course, as a truck driver, you would be stupid to drink and drive or to drive under the influence of narcotics. Your safety, other people’s safety, and your job depend on it. However, the substance doesn’t have to be illegal. Some medication can have fatigue-enhancing effects, so be aware.

#4 - Unlicensed/Unqualified Drivers

While you may be over the moon at securing a job in a truck driving vacancy, if you’re not qualified to drive the truck you’re licensed for, you may not be used to the handling, and this is incredibly unsafe.

You should always stick to drive what you’ve been trained to drive. Even if the company is asking you to do them a favor, is it really worth the risk?

#5 - Mechanical Issues

A truck driver is never normally responsible for the nitty-gritty maintenance tasks of a truck, but one small oversight in the garage can cause a lot of problems out on the road. It doesn’t matter whether you drive the same truck regularly, always be aware of what sounds and feelings the truck are giving you, and don’t be afraid to say something when it’s wrong.

#6 - Poor Road Design

Not all truck accidents will come down to the driver or even the truck itself. In some parts of the world, a poorly maintained road can be more than enough to cause problems for a truck; especially when the truck is carrying weight.

Drivers should always try to be as focused as possiblewhile driving and be on the lookout for possible dangers.

#7 - Speeding

One of the most common causes of accident for all vehicles, as a truck driver, it’s imperative you don’t speed. Each country will have its own laws and regulations for speeding depending on the weight of your truck, so be aware of what they are before hitting the roads.


While it’s impossible to predict when an accident may take place, it’s important for all truck drivers to be aware of their responsibilities while out on the road. Be mindful of what you and the truck are doing at all times, and you can surely minimize the risk of being involved in an accident.

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Preemptive Measures: Never Do These 5 Things After a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident is one of the scariest things that can happen to anyone. Regardless of who hit who, the extent of damage, or the location, an auto accident can be expensive--and potentially cause injury. Whether you’re an experienced driver or just bought your first car, a car accident is a big deal. Hopefully, there are no injuries, and the only thing that’s been hurt is your pride or anger.

Immediately Following the Accident:

The number one thing to do following any accident--either as the driver, passenger, or an observer--is to make sure that no one is injured. If someone is, or you’re worried that that is the case, immediately call 911 and make sure that an ambulance is on the way.

After ascertaining that no one is hurt (or that the ambulance is en route), assess whether or not the cars involved are operational and can be moved out of the way. If they can, make sure to remove the cars from the road and set up flares or hazards to warn other motorists. Once the people and vehicles are safely removed, you can begin the more mundane parts of the accident reporting.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do:

  1. Never leave the scene. Regardless of who was hit, it’s important to make sure that you’re on site, as leaving can be construed as leaving the scene of a crime. Being present also ensures the easiest passage of information between the drivers, the police, and observers.
  2. Don’t get so flustered that you forget to protect yourself with information. Always document all parts of the crash. It never hurts to have too much information, and taking photos--that can be timestamped--of the damage to any car, will make it easier to explain what happened at a later date.
  3. Don’t let other parties involved talk you out of contacting the police. Having an accident report filed can ease the legal side of things, and can be helpful if there is tension between the people involved in the accident. Often, the police can also make the interaction between the insurance companies easier and keep everything on file.
  4. Never forget to contact your insurance company, if necessary, or look at your insurance card to determine what your coverage entails. Also, be sure to get the insurance details of any other parties involved in the crash.
  5. Don’t try to navigate the legalities of the crash alone. Whenever you’re not sure--or if you have any questions--you can always contact a lawyer for more details, and to ensure the best possible outcome. Some personal injury lawyers, like those at Furniss Law Firm, can help you with the legal aspects of an accident.

Don’t Forget:

No matter what happens, it’s always key to make sure that everyone is safe, first. Afterwards, don’t forget that it’s key not toadmit fault at the accident. Regardless of how you feel, make sure that you file your accident report based on the facts, and work out the fault aspect later, as admitting it right off the bat can increase your liability dramatically.
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The Wind in Your Hair: 3 Compelling Reasons to Get a Motorbike

Don’t discount the wind in your hair. It’s one sign of the fun in riding a motorcycle. You should wear a helmet of course, but you’ll still wind up with that somehow attractive hairstyle.

Motorcycles are selling well, so there must be something more attractive than hairstyles. As Popular Mechanics says, “Nobody really has to buy a motorcycle. But these days plenty of people want to. And you may be one of them. Before you plunk down your money, swing your leg over the seat and feel that warm breeze of freedom, you need to resolve several critical issues.”

3 compelling reasons to get a motorbike:

1.      A motorcycle makes great commuter sense. If you must drive to and from work daily, a motorcycle will get you there faster and cheaper. It will also start and end your day with more fun.
City, suburb, or country, your motorbike will get you to work around and through routine traffic or traffic jams. With a motorcycle, you have command of more road and can maneuver to your advantage while cars are stuck steaming in their lanes.

You’ll park easier and cheaper in designated bike parking areas and arrive at work early. If your job calls for you to visit multiple sites, the bike is even more convenient.

Burning up that much road in short time is more fuel efficient than cars, SUVs, or trucks. For example, a Honda Africa CRF1000L DCT gets 45 mpg, Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster offers 50 mpg., and Zero SR ZF14.4 is the first all-electric bike with a range of 200 miles.

And, while you are outperforming other vehicles, you have a far different commuting experience. You ride with a different focus and freedom than other drivers, and you enjoy the trip more — in good weather.

2.      The biker experience changes you. Riding a motorcycle puts you in touch with the road, nature, and people in a different way.

In addition to saving fuel, your cycle reduces your carbon footprint and adds fewer pollutants. It taxes highways, bridges, and the travel infrastructure less. And, it gives you access to roads you haven’t used before and places you’ve yet to visit.

When you ride, you relate to the bike, the road, and the world differently. You are alone without kids in the back seat or faceless voices conducting business from your infotainment center. You lean into angles, curves, and lane splitting with a heightened focus and excitement worth writing home about.

Adventure motorcycling (ADV) involves touring hidden back roads and unpaved trails. As the LA Times reports, “Now, ADV riding has warmed to the boiling point. The niche segment, which in 2011 accounted for only 5% of motorcycle sales, has grown to 10%.”

And, solitary as your ride may be, you meet the most interesting people. Wannabes want to talk about the bike. Veterans want to compare notes. And, rider clubs want members. The cycle becomes the topic of conversation for people from all walks of life.

3.      A motorbike makes you cool. Regardless of age or gender, anyone who straddles a bike sees themselves as Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Peter Fonda, or other icons from celebrity cycling. And, those new riders will outfit themselves in top-dollar leathers and gear.

But, they don’t needn’t buy their way into stardom. Family, friends, and strangers will view them with envy for doing something they have always wanted to do. They envy you the adventure and freedom. And, they envy your courage to be “different” in their terms.

What they should recognize is how your confidence and self-possession have improved. What they see as “cool” are your strength in being connected, your independence from the norm, and your comfort with the risk.

Shopping for the wind in your hair

There are more motorcycle brands and models than ever. And, there is always an inventory of used motorcycles with enough variety in size, style, power, and features to attract first-time buyers and expert riders, too.
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Moving Forward: 3 Things to Think About When Selling Your Motorcycle

You’ve come to the realization that it’s time to sell your motorcycle. Selling any kind of vehicle can be a challenge, especially when you try to sell it yourself. However, when done correctly, you can generate a higher profit than if you were to sell it through a used vehicle lot or car dealership. You can reduce the amount of stress you experience by doing the proper research and being prepared. Here are three things to think about when selling your motorcycle.

Do Your Research

One of the first things that you need to determine when selling your motorcycle is to determine how much it’s worth. While you may you’re your bike and think that it is worth a lot, your particular style or model may not currently be popular. You can check to see if your asking price is appropriate on sites like Kelly Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealers Association. You may also be able to determine the actual market price by looking at classified listings and internet auctions. You need to set a flexible rate, to avoid scaring buyers away. When you’re ready to sell your bike, you can go to and receive a cash offer for your motorcycle.

Preparing Your Bike

Before you place your bike for sale, you need to prepare your bike to be inspected by potential buyers. The first step in preparing your motorcycle it to thoroughly clean it, according to the experts at Motorbike Writer. When cleaning your bike, you want to be sure to get under the seat where mud and dust tend to collect. You also want to remove any surface rust that is visible on metal parts and chrome. If your bike has some worn areas, you may want to consider using some touch-up paint to deal with these areas. Make sure your motorcycle starts quickly and easily by giving it a tune-up.

Meeting Potential Buyers

When you advertise your bike, don’t disclose your home address or the address where you are storing your motorcycle. Try to take pictures of the vehicle at a public location. When a potential buyer contacts you, try to meet them in a neutral, general place. After the potential buyer has seen the bike, it will be up to you whether or not you allow them to test drive the bike. If this is something that you are willing to allow, be sure to check with your insurance to ensure that you have the proper coverage, advises the experts at Allstate. You also want to verify that the potential buyer is experienced enough to handle the motorcycle and has the proper credentials. You may want to consider asking for the down payment as a measure of collateral in case they don’t come back with your bike, or the crash it.

Once you’ve agreed upon a price, you can finalize the sale by filling out a bill of sale and transfer the title to the new owner. After you’ve ensured that the vehicle registration information has been removed from the bike, you can relax knowing that you successfully sold your motorcycle.

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Mahindra Gio passenger cab specifications

Engine type - Single cylinder, direct inection
Bore x stroke (mm) - 86 x 76
Displacement - 441.5 cc (0.5 litre) diesel
Compression ratio - 20.3:1
Maximum power - 6.8 ± 0.3 kW (9.5 bhp) at 3600 rpm
Maximum torque - 21 ± 1 Nm at 2000 – 2400 rpm
Clutch type - Multi-plate wet type clutch
Gear box type - Sequential shift, constant mesh gear box
No. of gears - 4 forward, 1 reverse
Suspension type front - Independent Mcpherson with banded piston
Suspension type rear - Leaf spring with telescopic shock absorber
Brake (front & rear) - Hydraulic drum
Parking brake - Internal expanding type on rear wheels, hand lever cable type
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A Driver's Best Friend: These 5 Car Care Products Will Make Your Vehicle Shine

Sprucing up your ride? There are plenty car care products on the market to help you do it but knowing which ones to use can be a challenge. Like, do you really need wax AND polish?

We’ll answer that question as we look at 5 types of products to give your vehicle an awesome shine!

Car Wash Soap
Car wash soap is meant to clean all kinds of outdoor dirt and grime from your vehicle without damaging the automotive paint or removing the wax. Avoid liquid detergents, dish cleaners, and anything other than car wash soap.
There are some pricey car wash soaps but, if you shop around, you’ll find affordable brands that do a good job. Some brands include wax but they won’t be necessary if you intend to give your car a good waxing after washing.

Wash Mitts
“Clean” is the operative word when it comes to wash mitts. Always start with a clean mitt and clean it after ever use. Also, keep the mitts used for washing the paint, windows and wheels separate. Some experts even suggest using different mitts for the upper and (usually dirtier) lower sections of the vehicle.

The preferred mitt materials are microfiber and lambswool. Microfiber mitts are much cheaper and work very well at grabbing and holding dirt.

Glass Cleaners
Grimy windshields, windows and mirrors are a safety hazard. Don’t be tempted to use household window and glass cleaners on them, however, as these contain ammonia which can damage the surface of your automobile’s glass.
Look for auto glass cleaners which are haze and streak free. There are also those which go beyond simply removing dirt. They add a protective layer to the glass to help repel dirt. Or, you could go with self-cleaning windows, instead.

Wheel Cleaners
Wheels tend to be the dirtiest parts of your car. To spruce them up, you’ll need a cloth (used only on the wheels), a scrub brush and a cleaner designed specifically for wheels. Plus, the wheel cleaner you buy should be formulated for your type of wheels. Strong cleaners like those for chrome, aluminum or mag wheels are too harsh for other types. If in doubt, go with a wheel cleaner labelled safe for all wheel types.

Car Wax and Polish
Car polish is abrasive and it smooths out the paint and protective coat as you rub it on. This causes the paint to reflect light more evenly. In other words, it makes the car shine! Wax is also shiny but it’s non-abrasive and adds a protective layer against UV rays, dust, acid rain and other airborne pollutants.

It’s recommended that you wax every couple of months and go a little longer between polishing. Car waxes you should consider if you want to keep your vehicle looking bright till its next polish, are those called cleaner waxes. They contain very fine abrasives for an extra shine.
Everyone can appreciate that few things are as satisfying as rolling out in a car that’s clean and shiny, inside and out. So, grab your wax AND polish, add a little elbow grease and bring on that shine!
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Safety First: 3 Reasons You May Be Required to Take a Driver Improvement Course

It is undeniable that getting a traffic ticket can be an extremely stressful experience and finding a way to deal with the traffic violation can be equally challenging. Many driver improvement courses provide drivers of all ages with an effortless, easy, and convenient way to reduce points from your driving record, dismiss a traffic ticket, or reduce your monthly insurance rates. In Texas, there are different types of driver improvement courses that you can take depending on your reason for completing the course, according to the site

Get Your Tickets Dismissed

If you've recently gotten a traffic ticket, you can enroll in a driver improvement course to dismiss the ticket to keep your driving record clear and avoid the dreaded insurance premium rate hike. If you are a Texas resident, you can complete in person at a commercial driving school, or through an approved online provider. While both options can provide you with valuable driving safety tips, courses that are offered online through, have been found to be more convenient. When you sign up for an approved online defensive driving course, you will be required to complete the course within a specific period after enrolling. If you fail to complete it in the required timeframe successfully, you will fail the class and be ineligible for a refund.

Insurance Discounts

Taking a defensive driving course in Texas won’t just help you dismiss a recent traffic ticket but can help you to reduce your monthly car insurance premium as well significantly. Many insurance providers will provide discounts to customers who take a driving safety course. Online defensive driving courses make it easy to get your insurance discount. They allow you to study from the comfort of your own home, all you need is a computer and access to the Internet. It is essential that you always check with your insurance company before you enroll in a course. Some insurance companies may not offer you a discount for completing a defensive driver, traffic safety course.

It Is Court Ordered

In Texas, all drivers and passengers are required to be secured by a safety belt, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. While a safety belt violation can result in you receiving a fine, it can also land you in a court-ordered traffic safety course. Before you sign up for a class, you must make sure that it is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations to ensure that you are getting the information that you need to fulfill the court requirements successfully. An online Texas Seat Belt Course is the easiest way to satisfy your court requirement, as they provide you with a comfortable pace that is 100 percent online, allowing you to start and stop the course as needed.

While nobody starts their day hoping that they get a traffic ticket, sometimes it’s inevitable. Don’t let your recent traffic violation ruin your driving record. Taking a driver improvement course can allow you to dismiss traffic violations and possibly reduce your car insurance premium, helping to keep you on the road and driving safely.

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Winter Roads and Driving: Six Important Things to Keep in Your Car in Case of Emergencies

Freak winter snowstorms can strike almost anywhere at any time. In fact, over 600,000 motorists each year get stranded in winter weather. Typically, help is only a phone call and a few minutes away. But that’s certainly not always the case.

To prevent hours of discomfort or something much, much worse, we’ve compiled a list of some things that every vehicles should have during the winter months. These items should protect you in the event of an accidental breakdown, such as a dead battery, flat tire, or low fuel. However, if you or a loved one is injured because of events that are beyond your control, such as a defective product or someone else’s negligence, partner with a law firm for personal injury near you.

Wireless Cell Phone Charger

These devices are incredibly handy and only cost a few dollars at most local or online retailers. Most of them charge very quickly when attached to a power outlet and hold that charge almost indefinitely. Be sure and check the charger frequently, at least once a week or so, to see if it needs more juice.

If you never leave the city limits, this charger might be about the only item you need. But many parts of the country are still very rural, and cell phone service is spotty at best. Other more advanced features, like GPS locators, may not work at all, especially in a heavy storm.

Jumper Cables

All wireless cellphone chargers are about the same, as long as they have good charging indicator lights. But the same is not true of jumper cables. A good pair of jumper cables needs to meet the following standards:

       Length: The cables should be at least twelve feet long. Sixteen feet long is even better. Anything longer is probably overkill.
       Connectors/Wires: These parts should be copper. This high-quality material will cost a little extra, but the investment is well worthwhile. Also, be sure the alligator clips are pressed and not soldered, because soldered connections can melt.

If you’re travelling a fair distance and driving alone, it may be a good idea to put your cables in the passenger compartment instead of the trunk.


The choice is basically LED or incandescent. LED flashlights are usually long-lasting and do not rely on bulbs that can burn out; incandescent flashlights are usually a little brighter and cheaper. In an emergency situation, you can’t go wrong with either one.

Fire Extinguisher

Many people forget about this emergency device, but it can be the difference between a burned hose and a burned car. There are different classes of fire extinguishers for different kinds of fires (Class A for wood and other combustibles, Class B for flammable liquids and gases, Class C for electrical fires, and Class D for metal), so be sure you have the right type of fire extinguisher. Many of these devices also require some routine maintenance.


There’s almost always room for a thick blanket or quilt. At the very least, it will make the wait for the tow truck much more bearable in bitter cold weather. In the summer, blankets are also good for treating accident shock victims.

Food and Water

As any combat veteran will attest, an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) is no banquet. But if there is no other food and you have been stranded for several hours, it may taste like one. At least two bottles of water are a good idea as well. There’s no need to pack them in ice.

Honorable mention goes to a first aid kit, the ability to change a flat, and road flares.
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Ford Figo Crossover

First ever spy pictures of Ford Figo Crossover without camoflage

Picture courtesy: Carwale
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