You depend on your brakes for stopping you at traffic lights and during emergency situations, such as having a small child dart out in front of you on a residential road. However, if your brakes aren’t working properly, you run the risk of hurting yourself and others. To keep your brakes in good working order, be aware of the following five signs that they may need attention.
You Have To Push Harder On The Brake Pedal To Stop
Whenever you come up to an intersection, you may start noticing that you have to push your foot down harder on the brake pedal to bring your car to a full stop. If so, you can check the brake fluid to make sure your vehicle’s level is not too low. If it is, there may not be enough pressure to make your brakes work properly, making you have to push the pedal harder.
If you find that the brake fluid level is low, find the reservoir for the fluid and add enough to reach the full line on the dipstick. If you still find that your brakes are not engaging, there could be a more serious problem that needs the attention of a mechanic.
You Notice It Takes Longer To Come To A Complete Stop
Along with having to apply more pressure, you may notice that it takes longer for you to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. While this could also be caused by low brake fluid, another reason you may be having trouble is that your brake pads are starting to wear down and have become too thin or ragged.
Check your brake pads without taking the wheels off. If you suspect they are the problem, you may want to take them to a brake repair shop to have them replaced.
Your Brakes Screech When You Apply Them
Another sign that your brakes are no longer working right is a loud, intermittent screeching noise you may hear when you apply the brake pedal. This is an indicator that your brake pads have become so thin that some of the metal on the brakes beneath the pad are starting to come into contact with the disc.
If this is the case, the pads should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the brakes themselves. This would require that the entire brake system be replaced.
You Find Metal Shavings On Your Wheels
If you hear the screeching noises as described in the last section, look for fine metal shavings on your tires and wheels. You can do this by taking a gloved hand or smooth cloth and wiping the wheels.
If metal shavings are present, this means that the brakes are rubbing against the discs. You may want to have a brake repair service take a look at them as soon as possible to prevent irreparable damage.
You Hear Metal Grinding While Your Car Is Stopping
If you hear metal grinding whenever you try to stop your car, especially when combined with one or more of the above signs, your brakes are in serious need of attention. Most likely, the brake pads have completely worn down, and the metal on the brakes and discs are starting to cut into one another. You are likely in imminent danger of not being able to stop your car at all, so you should not drive your car until you can have them replaced.
If you notice one or more of the above signs, your brakes may need to be repaired or replaced. You may want to schedule an appointment at a brake repair service to have them inspected as soon as possible.
As a business owner, one of the things you should consider is how you’ll enforce the parking regulations on your property. Not only should you be attentive to the unauthorized use of reserved parking spaces, you should also be aware of unsafe parking practices such as blocking fire lanes, parking on medians and other issues. If you’re new to having your own property, here are some things you should know about towing illegally or problematically parked cars.
You Need Plenty Of Signs
If you’ve decided to start enforcing your parking regulations by having offending cars towed, you need to make sure that your lot is properly labeled first. While every state might have its own regulations about the specific signage details, there are a few basic guidelines to follow.
Place multiple signs throughout the parking lot, including at every entrance, labeling your parking area as a tow-enforced parking lot. The sign should also detail who is authorized to park in the lot, such as business patrons only, and what hours the towing is enforced. If you only want to enforce towing when the business is open, list those hours. Otherwise, state that it is 24-hour enforcement.
You’ll also want signs everywhere that parking is prohibited or restricted. Handicapped parking spaces should be clearly marked, and any areas where people are not permitted to park, such as fire lanes or near fire exits, should be posted as well.
You Need A Towing Company
It’s often easiest for businesses to enforce towing when they work with a single towing company exclusively. One of the most important things to look for is a towing company with a secured lot for storing the vehicles. That way, there’s no concern about liability for anything happening to the car while it’s awaiting recovery by the owner.
You may also find that your state has limitations on how far the car can be towed from your parking lot. For example, in the state of California, towing companies can’t take a car to a storage lot that’s more than ten miles away from where the car was parked. Your local traffic law enforcement officers can tell you what the regulation is where you live, but a locally licensed towing company will likely know as well.
When you lock in a service contract with a local towing company, order some custom signs that include the towing company’s name, address and phone number. If there’s a flat rate for recovery of the vehicle, you can even detail that. Otherwise, consider posting that the recovery fee varies based on storage time.
Enforce The Towing Consistently
If you’re going to make your parking lot a towing-enforced zone, you’ll want to be sure that you’re enforcing the towing standards consistently. Whether the towing company you work with monitors the lot or you need to have someone on staff keep track of the cars and call when a tow is necessary, make sure that the standards are applied in the same manner to every car. This eliminates the risk of any kind of civil liability suit for inconsistent towing practices. Your towing company can help you establish procedures that ensure timely and reliable communication and towing every day.
With these tips, you can establish a tow-away zone and towing enforcement standards for your company’s lot. This will reduce the risk of unauthorized or problematic parking as well as ensure safety for all of your customers and guests. Find a local towing company, such as Country City Towing, that you are comfortable with and work together to develop a solid and reasonable plan for implementation, then invest in the signs and communication tools necessary to ensure that everyone knows what to expect.
Upgrading from the car you currently have to one that is nicer and newer is an exciting event, but you may have some decisions to make before you go through with this. The main decision you will need to make is how to sell the car you currently own. For instance, you may wonder “what is the price of my car?” Here are several things you should consider as you plan to sell your car so you can buy a newer one.
Understand The Factors That Affect The Value Of A Car
One thing to understand about the prices of cars is that there is no set price for a vehicle. Every vehicle is unique and different, and the value of your car will depend on the following factors:
These factors will all affect the price you can get for your car. If you want to get the best price for it, you may want to take a few extra steps to improve the factors that are within your control.
Out of all the factors listed here, there are only a few that you have some control over. One of these is the condition of your car. If your car is dirty or has some minor scratches, get the car detailed. For $50 to $125, you can get an average-sized vehicle cleaned thoroughly, and this could help you get a little more for your car. The only other factor you can control is the method you use to sell your car.
Learn The Difference Between Resale Value And Trade-In Value
There are two main methods you can use to sell your car. The first is to trade the car in, and the second is to sell the car outright to a private buyer. Selling a car outright is usually the best route to take to get the highest price for a vehicle; however, it is not the easiest method to use. It may take time to find a buyer, and you may have to put in some work to advertise it on classified ad sites.
As you decide between these methods, it’s important to learn the difference between the resale value of your car and the trade-in value. The resale value (also called retail value) is based on selling the car to a private buyer, and this method will result in a higher price for the car because the buyer will not be marking it up to resell the car.
This is why trade-in values are less. When you trade a car in, the auto dealership must mark the price up to sell it to someone else for a profit.
Find The Value Of Your Car
No matter how you plan on selling the car, you will need to begin the process by finding out what your car is actually worth. There are several good ways to do this, and you could begin by looking up a car appraisal website. Sites like this will usually tell you both the resale value as well as the trade-in value of a car.
In addition, you can try to determine the value of your car by looking at used car ads. This will give you an idea about how much dealers and private sellers are listing similar cars for. You could also take your car to a dealer to find out its value. Many dealers will appraise cars on the spot, and you will have the option of accepting or declining the offer they make.
If you want to purchase a newer car and have an older one to get rid of first, visit an auto dealership today. They may be able to offer you a fair price for your car, and this would make buying a new one a lot easier.
If you are in the market for a used semi truck, you need to take fuel economy into account. Although it’s impossible to get a semi truck that is completely fuel efficient, there are attributes that you can look for that will save you money in the long run. While you’re shopping, look for these features:
1. Trailer Tails
When shopping for used semi trucks, look for ones with rear tail fairings or trailer tails hanging off the back end of their trailers. These end panels have been around since the 1930s, making it possible to find them on used trucks, but unfortunately, it may be difficult as they have only become popular lately. Luckily, if you cannot find a used semi with tail fairings, you may be able to retrofit the trailer tails.
Designed for long haul drivers, these panels are designed to reduce drag, and as a result, they work the best when you are driving at relatively fast speeds. If you typically drive your semi in towns or cities, trailer tails may not be important to you. However, if you usually run your semi over 65 mph, you should insist upon them. In that context, they can help drop your fuel bill by 5 to 15 percent.
2. Side Skirts
Just as trailer tails help to make a used semi more efficient, so too can side skirts. Side skirts hang down along the side of the semi trailer, and they reduce the amount of air that sweeps under it. As a result, there is less wind resistance under the trailer, and you don’t have to fight through it and use up fuel.
3. Small Gap Between Cab and Trailer
Air can also get stuck between the cab and the trailer, and the resistance from this air can cause your truck to require more power to move forward. As a result, your semi has to use more gas. However, if you can find a used semi with a very small gap between the cab and the trailer, you will enjoy slightly improved fuel efficiency.
4. Super Single Wide Wheels
Traditionally, semis have four double sets of wheels, but if you want to boost your fuel efficiency, you should look for super single wide wheels. According to one study, using wide double wheels reduce a truck’s fuel consumption by 2.9 percent.
That may not sound like a lot, but if you are using your truck year round to transport things, you are likely doing an average of 125,000 miles per year, and reducing your fuel consumption by 3 percent is likely to save over 700 gallons of gas.
5. Even Tread on Tires
Whether you opt for single wide or traditional double tires, look at the treads to make sure they are evenly worn. If you buy a used semi that has tires with uneven tread, it may reduce your fuel efficiency. However, if you cannot find tires with even tread, you should talk with the used semi sales associate about replacing the existing tires with new ones.
6. Aerodynamic Curves
The most fuel efficient semis to hit the market recently have one big thing in common — they all have a very aerodynamic design. This is achieved by a curved front end and cab and a close fit between the cab and trailer.
Even if you don’t have enough money to buy a brand new fuel efficient semi, you can take inspiration from those models, and you can look for a used semi that has the most aerodynamic shape possible.
For more tips on finding the most fuel efficient semi possible, talk with a used semi dealer such as Arrow Truck Sales.
When it comes to automotive applications, fiberglass is a versatile, durable material that works well for most uses. It’s lightweight and easy to work with, making it a convenient choice for many body panels and for repair work. For these reasons, it’s not surprising that many automotive fenders are crafted from fiberglass. If your car has a damaged fender, you may be able to repair it on your own by patching it with fiberglass material. Here’s a look at what you need to know to do the fiberglass repair work yourself.
Prep the Damaged Panel
Before you can do any repair work, you’ll need to remove the damaged fender from the car for prep. Open the hood so you can access the bolts that are along the edge of the fender inside the engine compartment. Use a wrench or socket set to remove the bolts and set them aside so you can get to them later. Then, remove the bolt inside the bumper cover that’s holding the bottom of the fender in position. You may need to get under the front of the car for this because it’s usually behind the bumper.
Disconnect the wiring harness for the marker lights, if there are any on the panel. Remove the light assembly and set it aside. Finally, pull the fender panel off the car and lay it on a drop cloth. Use a grinding wheel to remove the damaged portion of the fiberglass. Wipe the whole fender with a rag that’s been dipped in acetone. This cleans the whole surface and prepares it for the fiberglass application. Let it dry before you proceed.
Finally, you’ll need to attach a piece of a thick sheet of plastic on the inside of the fender panel. The plastic should cover the hole where you removed the damage. Use a spray adhesive to keep it in place. This plastic will be the foundation that you apply the fiberglass to.
Trim the Fiberglass Mat
Cut several sections of fiberglass mat to fit the area that you need to patch. You’ll want several pieces, because it’s going to take multiple layers to get the job done. As you trim pieces, make each piece slightly larger than the one you cut before it, because the graduated sizes will create a taper along the edges of the repair work. This makes it easier for you to restore the panel to the same exact dimension and thickness it was originally, making it nearly impossible to know that it was repaired.
Mix the Fiberglass Resin
You’ll need to mix a polyester resin to adhere the fiberglass sheets to the panel. Each resin product requires different steps to mix it, so be sure that you read the instructions carefully. You’ll start with the base mixture, then add a catalyst to encourage the resin to harden. Mix the resin in as completely as possible.
Spread the prepared resin over the surface that you’re patching. Make sure that the resin is even. It’s often easiest to apply it with a felt roller. If you see any bubbles in the resin when you apply it, make sure you pop them and smooth them out.
Once the first coat of resin is applied, put the smallest fiberglass piece onto the surface of the resin. Then, cover that piece with more resin. Apply the next largest piece of fiberglass to the new layer of resin, and keep building up until the whole thing is level. Then, let it sit for a few hours so that the resin can harden.
Finish Things Up
After the resin hardens, you’ll need to sand the surface smooth. Use auto body sandpaper to do this, then wipe the whole panel with a rag soaked in acetone. The acetone rag helps to clear away the residual dust. As soon as the surface is smooth and clean, you can repaint it to suit your preferences.
As you can see, repairing a damaged fiberglass fender is easier than you might think. If you aren’t confident enough in your skills to tackle the job yourself, though, click here for more info or connect with a local fiberglass and auto body repair shop.