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Turn Tyres to Toys for Tykes

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Turn Tyres to Toys for Tykes

Have some old tyres?  Want to turn them into toys for your kids? There are many ways you can repurpose old tyres into toys, and a tyre swing is just the start. Optimise the fun in your backyard with these five ideas: 1.Shady Sandy Zone Turn a tyre into a personal sandbox for your little one by lining a tyre with sheets of polyurethane and filling it with sand. Then, plant a sun umbrella in the middle. If you like, paint the tyre to coordinate with the umbrella.  2. See-Saw Let your kid practise their balance by making a see-saw out of a tyre. Cut the tyre in half through its diameter, and then cut a piece of timber so it’s slightly wider than the diameter of the tyre and the same width of the tyre. Attach the board with screws oriented at an angle through both the timber and the tyre. If you want to use it as a see-saw, attach drawer pulls at each end for the riders to use as handles. Alternatively, for solo play, leave off the handles and let your little one ride it like a surfboard.  3.  Jungle Gym If you have a bunch of tyres, make a climbing frame for your kids by stacking them together. To hold them together, you are going to need an industrial strength adhesive. Start by setting a layer of tyres on the ground. Then, build up walls using more tyres. You can make a simple box shape or slant the tyres to make an octagonal shaped frame.  4. Crawling Path Encourage your kids to climb or support their parkour passion with a crawling path. Plant a row of tyres upright on the ground. Then, place a piece of timber running through the tyres. You kids can crawl through the tyres on the board.  Diversify your course by hanging tyres from trees, making enclosed tunnels with rows of tyres or creating running challenges by setting tyres flat on the ground. 5. Trampoline With a few springs and an old bit of trampoline tarp, you can turn an old tyre into a mini trampoline. Order a pack of trampoline springs, drill holes into the sides of the tyre and slip the hook end of the srings through the tyre. Finally, cut a patch of trampoline tarp so that it fits perfectly into the space between the edge of the springs and the center of the tyre. Finally, connect the tarp to the springs. Make multiple mini trampolines to create a leap frog...

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Diagnosing Some of the Most Common Problems With an Automatic Transmission

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Diagnosing Some of the Most Common Problems With an Automatic Transmission

It’s never a good idea to overlook signs that your car’s transmission is failing or needs repair, as doing so can mean making a small problem worse and even burning up the entire transmission system, so that the system then needs replacement. You may hesitate to take your car into a shop when you know it needs work on the transmission simply because you’re afraid of the cost or extent of the work to be done, but note a few common problems that occur with an automatic transmission. This can assure you that the work isn’t always as extensive as you assume and can help you note what to discuss with your mechanic. Slow response When you put the car into gear, it should immediately catch and not linger as if it’s in neutral, or fail to stop moving forwards or backwards. When it does respond slowly, this can mean that there is not enough transmission fluid. The fluid helps to build pressure in the system so the gears can engage as needed. Low fluid may mean a leak in the pan that holds the fluid and this may need replacing. However, your car might also have a worn clutch. The clutch is what helps to move the gears into place. You might not think you have a clutch if you have an automatic transmission since you don’t have a clutch pedal, but note that a manual transmission simply means that you’re engaging the clutch yourself. An automatic transmission system still needs this clutch to move the gears into place and when it’s worn, your gears may seem sticky or the car may seem slow to respond to a new gear. Burning smell A burning smell from your car can mean a number of problems, but very often it’s the result of fluid leaking onto a hot exhaust pipe or another part. If your car is not overheating, this often means that it’s the transmission fluid that is leaking. Note if you see any fluid under the car and if it’s just plain brown and not shiny like motor oil, as this often signals transmission fluid. Noisy when in neutral or changing gears The chains of the transmission system have teeth that work to let the chains move against each other. When the teeth are worn, this means that the car can be noisy when in neutral or when those chains move to change gears. Consider if it’s a high-pitched or grinding noise as these both often signal a problem with the chains and gears of the transmission and these may need to be replaced. If your car shows any of these signs, consider taking it into an auto shop like Gearbox...

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Chains Or Studs?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Chains Or Studs?

There’s never a bad time to replace worn out tyres. However, replacing tyres during the winter might require you to invest in accessories that will make it easier and safer for you to drive on snow and on icy roads. This article discusses two ideas that you might want to embrace as you gear up for the tyre replacement exercise. Snow Chains Snow chains are installed around the circumference of truck tyres for improved traction. These chains can be made of various materials including steel, rubber and polyurethane. Steel chains are often preferred over those made of rubber and polyurethane because they are often studier. This often makes for a more “rigid” grip on a road surface full of snow. Snow chains don’t have to be wrapped around all of your tyres unless you buy an all-wheel drive truck. For front-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles, these chains are only mandatory for the front wheels and the rear wheels respectively. However, having all your tyres wrapped in chains often makes for a more stable driving experience in snowy conditions. Perhaps the best thing about buying snow chains when you replace old tyres is that you won’t need to replace the all-season truck tyres with tyres designed specifically for winter. It’s important to point out that adding snow chains to your tyres means that you won’t be able to drive as fast and it might have a slight negative impact on your truck’s fuel efficiency. Studded Tyres If you don’t like the idea of driving around in “chained” tyres until the end of winter, you can buy a set of studded tyres to replace the worn out tyres on your truck. Studded tyres are different from all-season tyres because they have small studs of steel incorporated into their tread design. Contact between the metal studs and the snow-packed road surface improves the grip between your tyres and the road, thereby making it difficult for the tyres to skid over an icy road surface. The presence of steel studs in studded tyres might mean that your tyres will produce more noise than their all-season equivalents. In addition to this, steel studs may cause physical damage on the road when there’s not much snow or ice on the road surface. For this reason, you need to confirm that your state laws and/or local council laws permit the use of studded tyres before they’re fitted on your...

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Why Have an Auto Shop Fix Your Car After an Accident?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Have an Auto Shop Fix Your Car After an Accident?

Even if your insurance company will pay for repairs after an accident, you may still be facing a deductible or other costs that go along with having your car fixed. To reduce these costs as much as possible, you might be thinking of managing your own repairs. Before you assume this is a good way to avoid costs and to get the repairs done quickly, note a few reasons to have an auto shop repair your car after an accident, no matter the extent of the damage. Legal guidelines Do you know all the legal requirements for your car to be considered road worthy, and for avoiding tickets if the police should see you on the road? Chances are, you may know the basics, including having working brake lights and a windscreen in good repair, but you may not know all those requirements. As an example, in many areas it’s illegal to have a bumper that isn’t properly attached to the car. The same might be true for side mirrors and even the mirror inside your car. Rather than risk getting pulled over and getting a ticket for repairs that aren’t considered road worthy, you would do well to have an auto shop handle them for you. Additional testing and diagnostics When you handle your own smash repairs, you might think that you can readily see all the damage that’s been done; however, a repair shop can perform testing and diagnostics needed to note if there is damage you’re overlooking. For example, wiring may have come loose after a collision, or a hose may have gotten split or cracked. If left unchecked, fluids could drain from the transmission, oil pan, and elsewhere, and your car could suffer unnecessary wear and tear. Those fluids could also drip on other parts and cause damage to them. Rather than assume you can assess all the damage done to your car on your own, have a good repairperson check it thoroughly. Damaging your car If you don’t manage smash repairs properly, you could actually be doing damage to your car. As an example, if you sand or grind down the body where it has a dent, you might take off too much metal and, in turn, your filler material won’t protect it properly. Your car then might be more prone to rust and corrosion. If you drill holes to reattach a bumper or to add protective metal plating over certain areas, these holes too much expose the car to potential rust formation. To avoid inadvertently causing more damage, it’s good to leave these accident repairs to a...

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Aluminium Auto Fabrication: Choosing the Most Suitable Surface Finish

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Aluminium Auto Fabrication: Choosing the Most Suitable Surface Finish

Aluminium is an ideal material for fabricating custom automobile body components for a car restoration project. This metal is lightweight, so the manufactured vehicle parts will be easy to handle during installation. Aluminium is also resistant to damage in adverse climatic conditions such as humid and saline environments. Moreover, the material is highly malleable, and this reduces the amount of energy and finances required for your custom metal fabrication project. If you decide to order aluminium auto components, you must think about the surface finishing. This will determine the aesthetics of your restored car and its susceptibility to damage. Here are the most advantageous aluminium finishes to consider for your project. Powder Coating If you are looking for an attractive and long-lasting aluminium finish, you should consider selecting powder coat finishes. The powder coating process involves applying a free-flowing powder material to the surface of the manufactured metal product. This powder is usually made from plastics such as epoxy resins, polyurethane and even acrylic. When the powder is evenly spread on metal, heat is applied to melt the plastic. This cures to form a resilient coating which is resistant to blistering, cracking and damage by most chemical materials. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal choice for auto body panels. You should elect this finishing for custom rims and wheels as well as functional parts like brake callipers and engine mounts. Anodised Finish Aluminium metal is attractive and resistant to corrosion, even when exposed to water and saline conditions. This is because the aluminium reacts with oxygen in the air to create a protective oxide layer. Anodised finishes are manufactured by reinforcing this natural layer using specialised equipment. In simple terms, the aluminium oxide layer will be made thicker to protect the surface and improve aesthetics by dye incorporation. Aluminium anodising is ideal because the coating is relatively cheap, unaffected by UV radiation and usually attractive. You should consider choosing this finishing for your vehicle trim parts, rear finish panels and aluminium grills. Paint Spray paint is the default finishing choice for aluminium body panels. You can choose your preferred aesthetics from a wide selection of colours in the market. Moreover, you can save money by requesting for unfinished aluminium elements from your manufacturer and then painting the surfaces yourself. If you choose the latter DIY option, you should ensure that proper pre-treatment practices of aluminium are observed to promote paint adhesion. Also, choose high-quality paint which has been recommended for aluminium. These precautions will prevent premature peeling and blistering of the...

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Important Factors to Consider before Custom Exhaust Modification

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Factors to Consider before Custom Exhaust Modification

Custom exhaust fabrication may be the first modification you want to have to improve your car system performance. The exhaust system can be improved to give your car more power or better breathing ability. Some vehicles have a ready-made performance enhancement system, but for most new or rare models, a custom system must be fabricated from scratch. However, before you and your mechanic get to work replacing your tubing, there are important factors to consider, and these are discussed below. 1. Exhaust gas temperature Your exhaust system works around three important principles. First, when gases are compressed, they heat up. Second, when they cool, they contract and occupy less space. The contraction creates a mini-vacuum, which pulls gases from the cylinder into the exhaust. Finally, exhaust gases leave the exhaust valve during the cool down process. The performance and emissions of the exhaust system depends on its ability to manage these temperature and volumetric changes. Restrictive systems (where the exhaust is too small) will cause gas temperatures to rise and hence hamper gas expulsion and power production. Overly-large systems conversely mean that exhaust gas temperatures won’t rise high enough to combust soot within particulate filters and/or raw hydrocarbons produced from the converters. Your replacement exhaust system should improve on the flow characteristics of the previous system, or else you stand to lose more than just power. Ensure that the fabricated system is bent properly. Using the right material is also very important for this. 2. Material choice You have to choose whether aluminized steel or stainless steel is the best material for your car. Many systems currently use the latter owing to its ability to prevent oxidation and corrosion especially at high temperatures. Stainless steel is, however, more brittle compared with the former. Stainless steel systems should last as long as your vehicle, but welding is harder, and stainless steel is also more expensive. Experts recommend using 304-grade seamless stainless steel if you live near the coast (salty air). If not, you may opt for 604-grade stainless steel which is less expensive. If you choose aluminized tubing, watch out for the seams, which is where rotting commonly begins. You can control this by having the seam at a higher point to prevent accumulation of condensation around it, and subsequent rotting. 3. Design considerations If you’re looking for an exhaust system redesign, bear in mind that more than just tubing adjustment will be needed. For gas as well as diesel models, your mechanic will have to modify the fuel trim, a process that may involve injector replacement, ECM remapping and even sensor changes in some circumstances. If you have a late-model diesel vehicle and are looking to replace the exhaust, your replacement system should have the correct back pressure to enable it to withstand heat from the burning of soot trapped at the filter. For more information, talk to a professional like Genie Performance Exhausts...

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Finding a cheap-to-run used car

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding a cheap-to-run used car

If you have a limited budget for your new used car, you’ll also want to find a car that is cheap to run. A car that is reliable and has low running costs will be a great way to save some money on your car costs going forward.  Check the industry surveys There a range of not-for-profit motoring groups that publish surveys on car running costs. These organisations do annual surveys to work out the cheapest car to run in a range of size categories and cover all sorts of costs including depreciation, insurance, fuel and registration costs. These survey can be a great source of information and give you a good starting point when you head out looking for which models of cars to buy.  Get the car checked out While some models are more reliable than others, the current state of the car will also affect how reliable any used car is. If you are not confident in looking over cars yourself it can be a good idea to get a professional car inspection done to identify any expensive repairs on looming issues that could lead to issues down the road. Even the most ‘boring’ car can be driven into the ground. The inspector can also review the log book and check if the car has been regularly serviced to date.  Choose a common model of a car If you do have problems with your car that need repair, choosing a common model of car can make it relatively easy and more affordable for you to find your own secondhand parts from wreckers as there will be more of that model of car in the wrecking yard. even if you don’t do the repairs yourself you can often save big bucks by sourcing your own spare parts. For less common brands you may need to buy parts from the manufacturer or get parts imported for repairs, which adds to the running cost of a car.  Have your car finance sorted out Once you do discover an affordable car that looks like it will be reliable you want to make an offer quickly. A great bargain will often not last long so you want to be able to make an offer once you find a good option.  If you are looking to buy a used car that doesn’t end up costing a fortune to run it can be good to do your research. For more information, contact companies like Blue Ribbon...

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3 Questions to Ask When Considering a 4WD Rental

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Questions to Ask When Considering a 4WD Rental

If you’re thinking of taking a holiday to the mountains, the outback, on a ski trip in the snow, or along any rural terrain, you might do well to choose a four-wheel drive or 4WD rental. A 4WD can mean more traction and more control of your vehicle for use in mud, sand, snow, and the like. Before you rent, you may want to ensure you shop carefully and ask the right questions. Note a few of those questions to consider below and discuss these with a rental agency if needed. 1. Always ask if the type of vehicle you want will be safe in your chosen terrain Getting a 4WD vehicle can help you navigate through snow, mud, sand, and the like, but four-wheel drive in of itself doesn’t guarantee that this is the right vehicle for a chosen terrain. As an example, a very heavy vehicle may sink in mud even if it’s working with all four tires at once. On the other hand, a heavier vehicle may be better for snow as it might sink through the snow and make contact with pavement more readily. Rather than just choosing a 4WD vehicle and assuming it will be the best choice for your holiday, ask the rental agency what they would recommend as they may be more familiar with nearby terrain and can note the best choice for you. 2. Ask about body armor and other protective features, if needed A 4WD vehicle may keep you safe when you’re taking the vehicle through the outback or in rough terrain, but it may not be the only protective feature you should choose. Body armor protects the body of the car from scrapes and dents, and you might also want to choose a vehicle with fog lights for nighttime driving or spotlights for driving in very rural areas with no street lights. Oversized mud flaps can deflect mud and wet sand. Wherever you plan on taking the vehicle, ask about these added protective features.  3. Ask if there are restrictions as to a vehicle’s use Being a 4WD vehicle doesn’t always mean you can take that vehicle into the mud, sand, and so on. Ask if there are restrictions as to off-roading for any vehicle before you rent it, and if even if you are allowed to take it off-road, note if you need to have it specially cleaned before you return the vehicle. Failing to do this can mean a claim on your insurance or the loss of a deposit, and this can be...

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Considerations When Selling Your Vehicle to an Auto Salvage Yard

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considerations When Selling Your Vehicle to an Auto Salvage Yard

If you have an old car sitting on your property with no use for it, chances are it is simply taking up space on your premises that you could put to good use. The good news is you do not have to get rid of your car at a dump and not make any money from your investment. More and more people are looking to auto salvage yards to enable them to make some profit from their decrepit vehicles, even though they cannot resell them in the automotive market. However, selling your vehicle to an auto salvage yard is not simply about dropping off the car and waiting to be paid. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you make the most of your sale. Here are some of the considerations you should have when selling your vehicle to an auto salvage yard.    Have proof of ownership One thing most people take for granted is that if they are selling their vehicle as junk, then establishing ownership will not matter. The reality of the situation though is that most auto salvage yards will not purchase a vehicle unless you can prove you are the rightful owner. Whether the vehicle has been passed down in the family and remained a fixture in your yard or perhaps it was a gift, you still need to have the appropriate documentation that shows you are the sole owner. Getting this documentation prior to taking the vehicle to the auto salvage yard will save a lot of time for both you and the potential buyer.  Strip the vehicle If you are panning on selling the vehicle as scrap metal, you need to ensure that it only consists of metal. This will involve eliminating all other components of the car that will not be considered scrap. Start of by draining all components you can think of ranging from the fuel, the transmission fluid, brake oil and more. Once all the fluids have been eliminated, carefully remove all internal components such as the chairs, car radio, the engine, the steering column, the oil pan and anything else you can think of. In general, most auto salvage yards will not accept vehicles that have not been completely stripped. In the event that they do, they will probably pay less for the scrap metal as they would have to invest their own labour and resources to removing all these internal components.  Take care of the spare parts When selling your vehicle to an auto salvage yard (such as Buffalo Motor Wreckers), you can also make some profit from the spare parts that you have stripped from the vehicle. Components such as the transmission, the engine, the brakes, the wheels and more can all be resold. As such, it is important to take measures to ensure that they are cared for to minimise the potential of damage to them....

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Travelling With Cats: Three Discreet Places to Stow a Litter Box in a Caravan

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Travelling With Cats: Three Discreet Places to Stow a Litter Box in a Caravan

Travelling with a cat in your caravan can be extremely fun and rewarding, but it isn’t nice to have a litter box in the middle of your caravan. Luckily, there are discreet places you can stow your litter box in your caravan. Look at these three ideas: In the Old Battery Box If you have replaced your recreational battery, you may be able to store your litter box in the old battery box. For this to work, you must have replaced your battery with a new one that doesn’t go in the same spot as the original — for example, some people switch to solar batteries and install them near the front of the caravan. So that your cat can access the battery box, cut a small hole in the wall next to it. Depending on the location of your battery box, this typically means cutting your entryway into a kitchen cabinet. Then, pop your cat’s litter box into the old battery box, and cover the entry with a cat flap to make it even more discreet. Tunnel to the Storage Area Many caravans have storage compartments underneath the main living area and accessible from the outside of the caravan. If you are willing to forgo a bit of storage space, you can use part of this area to house your cat’s litter box. Find the interior wall adjacent to your caravan’s under storage space and cut a cat door in it. If you like, line the floor of your caravan’s storage area with peel and stick tiles — they will make it easier to clean this area. Your cat will enter their personal toilet space from the inside of the caravan, but when you clean it, you will access it from the outside door to the compartment. If there are any wires in that compartment, make sure to secure them together and out of the way so that your cat is not tempted to play with them. Under the Bed In many cases, caravans feature under-the-bed storage, and if the clearance isn’t too low for your cat, you can turn this area into a kitty toilet. To place the litter box under the bed, you will need to lift the bed, and the downside of this placement is that you will have to lift the bed every time you want to clean the litterbox. However, it is discreet, and your cat can access it through an entryway cut into the frame of the bed. To make the entryway easily, purchase a cat door installation kit from any pet store....

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