This is absolutely cool

•April 30, 2019 • Comments Off on This is absolutely cool

Organized by our good friend Noah Lambert. We would if we could.

Welcome to the first annual Mezzo 200 Reliability Trial. Modeled after the famed road races of last century, the Mezzo 200 (pronounced met-sō) is a leisurely 200 mile organized drive through the most beautiful roads in the Illinois River valley. There are no points, no penalties, no registration fees and no prizes, just a fun day of classic motoring. Held each year in early October, the Mezzo 200 is a “last gasp” outing for those registered on Illinois extended antique license plates and a great excuse to get out and enjoy the fall foliage with like-minded enthusiasts. Fix that oil leak, register your car below for FREE, and we hope to see you in October!

CARS

Cars eligible for registration are any sports or touring car produced in or before 1973. This is a fun day of driving for enthusiasts of old cars, not a snobby car show. Breakdowns are encouraged and rust is part of the fun. Bring the strangest thing you’ve got!

Learn more and register here. We’d love to hear and see your post-rally stories and photos.

Car Insurance For Beginners

•October 15, 2019 • Comments Off on Car Insurance For Beginners

Getting your first car is one of the firsts that you simply never forget. The freedom of being able to go where you wish to go without the constraints of having to rely on other drivers is intoxicating. You also get the apparent status symbol that car ownership represents, so much so that some car owners even name their cars.

One of the less exciting aspects of car ownership is car insurance, but it’s also very necessary. Everytime you’re out on the road, there’s always a constant risk of getting involved in an accident. And while it may not be your fault, you’re going to have to prepare for these types of contingencies.

But first things first, 

How Does Car Insurance Work?

A car insurance policy refers to an agreement between the beneficiary (you) and an insurer (your insurance company). In this agreement, the insurer will pay for the cost to repair the beneficiary’s car if it’s in an accident, or to pay out the value of that car if it is too expensive or unsafe to repair.

The coverage of your insurance policy is what determines what your insurer will pay for. All states require that all cars be insured. There are many insurance companies that you could transact with and you could even get them online. Many car owners opt to get their auto insurance from Allstate and other online car insurance companies in order to save time and allow themselves the ability to get quotes from multiple companies without having to show up personally.

Coverage

As you might expect, insurance providers are not charities. They do not simply offer to pay for your expenses, but rather, their policyholders pay them a fixed premium on a regular basis. Insurance policies differ in terms of coverage.

Insurance coverage is defined by specific things the insurer will cover the costs for. If a policy covers theft, the insurer will pay the agreed upon amount if it gets stolen.

At the basest sense, an insurance policy is exactly what you might imagine from the word “coverage”. It acts as a financial barrier between you and whatever your insurance policy covers and this can include car damage, object damage (as in mailboxes, fire hydrants, etc), medical bills, legal fees, and even acts of nature.

Why You Need It

Not only is a standard car insurance mandatory in every state, it is a way to prepare for any unforeseen events that could adversely affect your car, or worse, your finances. You should never drive without having a car covered by an insurance plan. Not only is this asking for trouble, but this could also increase your future insurance premiums. After all, cars are significant investments, and like any investment, you’re going to want to protect it.

Many new car owners tend to overlook insurance. The fact that it is a complicated matter to handle is a discouragement in itself. But, by explaining the importance of getting a car insurance policy might help car owners perceive it as a manner of protecting oneself rather than as a mere obligation.

How to make sure you do not get erroneously blamed for causing an accident

•October 15, 2019 • Comments Off on How to make sure you do not get erroneously blamed for causing an accident

On average, every year, in the US there are around 6 million vehicle accidents. During those incidents, about 3 million people end up sustaining an injury. Of those, two thirds will end up with injuries that continue to have a long-term negative impact on their lives.

Having an accident is a serious event and not something that should be taken lightly. Even if you are not at fault, there is still a risk that someone will try to put the blame on you. While the person who is responsible gets away with it. So, if you do have an accident, follow the advice below to reduce the risk of finding yourself in this situation.

Hire a good car accident lawyer

Our first tip is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer like this one. He has been specializing in dealing with road traffic accidents for more than four decades. During which time he has built up a deep understanding of how the various processes work and what can go wrong. That includes the guilty party trying to shift the blame.

An experienced car accident lawyer will quickly recognize the fact that this is happening. More importantly, they know what steps to take to make sure that the person trying to shift the blame does not succeed in doing so. They will work to protect your interests.

Be mindful at what you say at the scene of the accident

But, you have to play your part. For example, by watching what you say at the scene and not admitting guilt.

Make a note of what happened as quickly as possible

As soon after the accident, as it is practical to do so, note down what you remember. Doing this while things are still fresh in your mind will help you to recall little details that may prove helpful further down the line.

Make a note of everybody’s contact details

At the scene, make sure you collect the correct details from the other people who are involved in the accident. Do the same for the witnesses. This article explains the best way to secure those details. In particular, how to get the information you need from people who are initially reticent about giving them to you.

Take plenty of photos

Taking photos and video before the vehicles have been moved can be very helpful when it comes to proving who was at fault. Just make sure that you only take them if it is safe to do so. Take distance shots that capture as much of the scene and surrounding traffic system as possible. Photograph the damage done to all vehicles and property. To be sure you get everything take several shots of each area of the scene you want to record. Also, consider going back the next day to photograph things like potholes and poor signage that may have contributed to the accident.

Call the police

In many states, you have to call the police to the scene of a traffic accident. If that is the law where you live, make sure that you are aware and comply. Even if you are not legally bound to do so, it might still be in your interests to call them. This is because the police will compile a report which will likely contain evidence you can use to prove your innocence.

Lastly, make sure that you listen to the lawyer you have hired. They really do know best. So, even if something they ask you to do does not make sense, make sure you still get it done.

How to Change a Car Battery

•October 8, 2019 • Comments Off on How to Change a Car Battery

There may come a day a jump start won’t work and you’ll need to entirely replace a car battery. Read on to learn how to change a car battery by yourself.

Did you know that a car battery replacement can cost you up to $300?

That’s right!

Of course, how much you’ll pay a professional to change your battery still depends on the kind of car you have. Still, the average cost of $118 for professional battery replacement is quite hefty.

If you learn how to change a car battery on your own, you can trim your costs down by at least half. If you already have a toolkit, then you’ll only shell out money for the new battery itself.

Besides, knowing how to replace a car battery can be super helpful if your car breaks down when you least expect it. This way, you can change the battery right away and minimize your downtime.

So, all set and ready to widen your DIY mechanic knowledge? Keep reading, then, to teach yourself the safe and proper way to replace a car battery!

How to Change a Car Battery: Start by Getting the Right Battery Replacement

Car batteries come in different “groups” that classify them based on battery case size. These groups also distinguish batteries by the orientation of their terminals.

It’s important you know what your old battery’s group size is or you might end up with a new one that won’t fit in your car. Whether you buy the new battery online or at an auto parts shop, you’ll have to provide this piece of info.

You can find this information under the specs section of your owner’s manual. Look for a two-digit number followed by a series of letters. For instance, top terminal batteries for Nissans and Toyotas may start with “25”, while Fords have a “65”.

If you don’t have the manual anymore, you can look it up online by researching your car’s specific make and model.

Note that some batteries may also have new model names. In this case, you can use a car battery cross reference chart to find out their group size.

Get Your Tools Out

Changing a car battery isn’t exactly rocket science, but you still need a few tools and proper gear. Wrenches and personal protection will help you safely get that new battery in.

Wrenches

Different fastener types and sizes hold batteries and their cables securely in place. To take these nuts and bolts off, you need a crescent wrench, adjustable wrench, or a socket wrench. Most cars use 10mm-size nuts, but some also use 7mm and 8mm, so it’s best to have all three with you.

Your car may also have battery terminals held in place by quick-release clamps. In this case, you won’t need wrenches or pliers to disconnect the cables.

Personal Protective Equipment

Most lead-acid batteries (the kind of batteries used in vehicles) consist of 60% to 80% lead and plastic. They also contain sulfuric acid and electrolytes. It’s the lead, sulfuric acid, and electrolytes that you have to watch out for.

They’re corrosive and toxic, and exposure to them can cause serious health effects. In fact, half of the injuries related to lead-acid batteries are due to acid burns.

Moreover, car batteries can deliver electric shocks when touched with bare hands.

That said, be sure to don a face mask, goggles, and gloves before replacing a car battery. Things will be greasy, so you’ll also want to wear old, long-sleeved clothing. All these can help protect you from burns and electric shocks.

Pop the Hood and Locate the Old Battery

Park your car on a smooth, level surface and engage the parking brake. Take the keys out of the ignition to be sure that no power flows into the battery.

Next, pop the hood and secure it with a rod. This will help keep the hood from slipping and possibly crashing onto you.

Now, look for the battery, which is likely in a corner near your front bumper or the windshield. It’s the rectangular box that has two cables connected to it.

If you can’t find it, and your car is of a newer model year, its battery may be hiding under a plastic panel. You may have to unscrew this cover first to reveal the battery underneath.

Some cars may have the battery installed in the trunk. 

Remove the Negative Cable First

Most battery cables are color-coded, and black is usually used for negative cables. There should be a minus sign (-) right beside the negative cable. Make sure that you disconnect this first, otherwise, the battery can short.

Unfasten the nuts using one of your wrenches. Use another one to hold down the bolt head in place as you loosen the nut. Once it’s free, carefully slide the cable off the battery terminal.

Only after finishing these steps should you remove the red cable, which is the positive one. Do the same steps to loosen the nuts and bolts holding the “+” cable in place.

Take the Old Battery Out

Check the bracket that holds the battery in place to determine the types of connectors it uses. You may either need a crescent or a socket wrench to remove the nuts and bolts.

Once you’ve unfastened the bracket from the battery, be ready for some heavy lifting. Standard car batteries can weigh anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds. You might need an extra pair of hands to help you lift the battery out of your car.

Install the New Car Battery

Now that you’ve removed the old battery, follow these steps on how to install the new one.

Slide the New Battery in Its Seat

If your new battery came with color-coded plastic covers on the terminal posts, don’t take them out yet. This will help you distinguish the negative from the positive battery post.

After sliding the new battery in its seat, refasten the bracket by screwing back its nuts and bolts. Then, give it a nudge — it shouldn’t budge or wiggle. 

Connect the Positive Cable First

For the new car battery installation, you need to connect the positive cable first. At this point, you can remove the plastic post cover on the positive terminal post.

Spray some corrosion protection on the post first before sliding the cable back on it. Then, secure the cable using the same nuts and bolts that you removed from the old battery.

Follow the same steps when attaching the negative terminal to the negative post.

Refasten Any Other Plate or Panel You Removed

If you removed any battery plate or panel, now’s the time to secure it back in place. Don’t skip this step, as these covers help reduce battery movement when you drive over rough roads.

Close the Hood and Try Starting Your Engine

Don’t forget to remove all the tools, rags, and debris (like the plastic terminal covers) from under the hood.

Once it’s all clear, close the hood cover and put your keys in the ignition. Start your car to check if your DIY battery replacement is a success.

Time to Celebrate!

So long as you followed everything in this guide on how to change a car battery, then your ride should start right up. You should be able to rev the engine and you shouldn’t hear it coughing or sputtering.

If this is the case, then congratulations, as you’ve successfully changed your car battery! You won’t have to repeat these steps until after 30 months, or even longer if you don’t park your car under the sun’s heat.

Ready for more DIY car maintenance and repair guides like this? Then be sure to get this site saved on your bookmarks list so you can keep coming back for more how-tos!

7 Recent Advancements in Automobile Tech

•September 20, 2019 • Comments Off on 7 Recent Advancements in Automobile Tech

With all the technological advancements that have been made in the auto industry, it’s surprising that we’re not already taking our daily commute in flying cars. From improved entertainment features to safety enhancements, driving in 2019 is better than ever thanks to these 7 recent advancements in automobile tech.

1.      Better Mobile Connectivity

Have you heard about the Internet of Things? Basically, the Internet of Things refers to how all our devices are becoming interconnected thanks to the internet. For example, you might have a virtual assistant device at home that can connect to your thermostat, cloud storage, and coffee maker. In 2019, we’ve seen more cars take on IoT technology.

There are lots of vehicles that enable you to use your smartphone to track down your car if it gets stolen, and that also allows you to wirelessly check the maintenance status. Some vehicles even enable you to power on your car to get the A/C or heater going (great for very hot or cold days). In the near future, you’ll be able to perform more and more vehicle functions on your mobile device.

2.      Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

More vehicles are being outfitted to work with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both of these programs enable you to display your iPhone or Android on the vehicle display so you can easily access all your apps, like Spotify, Netflix, and Maps. It’s one of the most intuitive ways to control entertainment and navigation features in your car, not to mention sending and receiving calls.

You’ll be a lot safer on the road because you can just use your vehicle’s display to access your apps—you can tuck your phone away so you won’t be distracted while you’re driving. Expect this to be one of the most commonly implemented features in new cars.

3.      Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is one of the most advanced new technologies on the market. Standard cruise control enables your vehicle to cruise along at a singular pace. Adaptive cruise control enables you to do the same thing, but it’s also responsive to traffic—if you’re coming up on a vehicle in your lane, the adaptive cruise control system will automatically slow your car down so you won’t have to step on the brakes. This is a great system for driving in traffic, and it should also reduce wear-and-tear on your brakes.

4.      Electronic Driver Logs

Electronic driver logs are most helpful for business owners who own a fleet of vehicles. Electronic logs allow fleet managers to monitor how many hours and miles a driver logs in a single vehicle. They also track the route that a vehicle takes so business vehicles aren’t used for non-business purposes. While this technology might not be very helpful for the standard consumer, it’s a godsend for business owners who have vehicles of contractor or delivery work.

5.      Rear and Side Traffic Alert

Vehicles are increasingly being outfitted with systems that can prevent you from accidentally hitting pedestrians. One of the most common alert systems is the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, which alerts you when you’re backing up and there’s an oncoming pedestrian—this is incredibly helpful when you’re backing out of a parking space.

Another great alert system is one designed to prevent you from opening the door when there’s a cyclist about to pass by, a great feature for when you’ve just parallel parked. This alert system is designed to work for several minutes after the car shuts off, and it’ll give you a warning if there’s a cyclist about to pass by the vehicle so you won’t open your door and accidentally hit them.

6.      Auto Emergency Braking

Auto Emergency Braking is an automatic braking system that’s employed if your vehicle senses you’re about to be in a collision (which it determines using your speed and sensors). This is a last-resort safety feature only, but these last-second brakes could be the difference between life and death if you’re about to be in a collision at fast speeds.

7.      Lane Departure Warning

A Lane Departure Warning is an audible alert that lets you know when you’re drifting out of your lane—another potential lifesaver if you’re drifting into oncoming traffic. This is a very effective tool in preventing accidents, so it may become a vehicle safety requirement in the future.

With safety improvements like that, it shouldn’t be too long before insurance coverage gets cheaper (ha—like that’ll ever happen).

Tips to Consider When Modifying Your Car

•September 20, 2019 • Comments Off on Tips to Consider When Modifying Your Car

Motorists are always looking to get the most out of their rides, and there are several good reasons people invest so much time and money on modifications. Whether it’s a performance enhancement or a total makeover, mods are a great way to give  your car the attention it deserves.

However, like in all other projects, you could either do it right or do it wrong. Let’s focus on these essential tips for doing it right.

  1. Ask if you really need a modification

Whether you have a vintage vehicle or a modern one, the first thing you will have to do is to look at the practicality of modifying your car. You should be able to know if the project is even worth your time and money or else it could become a terrible waste.

You will want to make the most out of the resources you have invested, especially on the tools you’ll be using. For this, it’s best to ask if what you’re doing is going to benefit you in the long run. For instance, you might want to focus on improving the performance of your car and fixing issues that need your urgent attention. But if you require expensive tools or parts that are difficult to find, you might decide it’s not worth your while.

  1. Think whether to do-it-yourself or not

Car modifications can be costly. You could be spending thousands of dollars on getting the right parts alone. Added to this is the fact that you need someone else to handle the modification for you.

Then again, not all mods can be handled by a mechanic. Sure enough, there are several fixes you can handle on your own, such as replacing the windshield and giving the body an award-winning wax job!

  1. Look at functionality

When you’re looking to replace or improve certain components of your vehicle, it helps to know if doing so adds value to your car. Again, it’s always important to ensure that the resources you invested in your car could help improve it.

Sure enough, air dams and spoilers can help with stability and give your car a more modern look. LED lights, on the other hand, can make your car stand out with a barrage of colors aside from keeping it visible during a night drive. You just have to look for dealers like XK Glow that provide quality LED lights that are custom made for your vehicle.

  1. Stick to a theme

If you’re planning to go all out with your plan to modify your car, you might as well stick to an overall theme. After all, your car serves as a blank canvas and you can do whatever you want with it.

You just have to make sure all components and elements complement each other. For instance, if you’re looking to convert your car into a street racer, you might as well consider giving it a bolder paint job and major enhancements to the engine. The same also applies to exotic cars.

A vehicle modification is something many motorists want to handle. To many, it’s a rite of passage. To some, it’s a significant way to telling people “I’m really into cars.”

Either way, it’s something that’s worthwhile – so long as we take the right approaches.

Do you know what to do after a traffic collision? 7 steps to take after an accident takes place

•September 18, 2019 • Comments Off on Do you know what to do after a traffic collision? 7 steps to take after an accident takes place

Being in a car accident is extremely unsettling, not only is it frightening, but you could become injured, the safety of your passengers is put in jeopardy, your car might be put out of action and you could potentially file for a personal injury claim – check out this car accident lawyer in Toronto for more information.

But do you know what to do after being in a car accident? With so much going on, it can be difficult to keep your cool, which is why knowing what to do after a traffic collision is so important. Read on for 7 steps to take after an accident takes place.

Stop the vehicle

It is illegal to not stop at an accident. So, if your car is still mobile after the incident, pull over into a place that won’t obstruct other traffic, put your hazard lights on and turn off your engine.

Check yourself and your passengers for injuries

Take a moment to check yourself for injuries and to check the condition of any passengers, if someone is hurt then call 911, or ask a bystander for help.

Get everyone to safety

If it is safe to do so and if everyone is mobile enough, exit the vehicle and get to safety. This could be on a grass verge, on the sidewalk or behind a barrier.

Call 911

Many states require police presence at any traffic collision, whether it is a minor fender-bender or something more serious. Any officer that arrives at the scene will take charge of ensuring everyone is safe and they will complete accident reports and document the scene. Documents that you will later use to claim via your insurance company.

Give an accurate account

The police officer will ask for your account of what happened, so it is your legal duty to give as accurate an account as you can. If you’re unsure of what happened – this is quite common, especially if you’re in shock – then let the police officer know. Avoid trying to second guess what happened or what you think the other driver might have done. Don’t lie.

Exchange information

Speak with the other persons involved in the accident and gather information from them. This includes their name, address, contact details and their insurance information. If there were any witnesses, it’s also a good idea to get their names and contact details too as well as information from any passengers that were involved. Try to avoid discussing fault with the other driver, leave it to the insurance companies to determine via damage/information provided by you/police reports who is at fault.

Speak to your lawyer

It’s always a good idea to seek legal representation after a traffic collision. They can protect your rights and ensure that any information, evidence or testimonials don’t go awry. They can also help you through the claims process and any future dealings with the police or authorities.

3 Red Flags to Watch for When Buying a New Car

•September 11, 2019 • Comments Off on 3 Red Flags to Watch for When Buying a New Car

Being in the market for a new car is exciting; trying to actively avoid being scammed is not. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a new car off the lot or a used vehicle from an independent owner—either situation presents the opportunity to get ripped off. Cars are no small purchase, with price tags ranging between a few thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars and up.

Making a bad investment can put a serious dent in your finances and overall quality of living. The key to avoiding common car scams and driving off in a purchase you can feel confident about is to keep a keen eye out for these three red flags. Pay attention to these warning signs and find a set of wheels that gives you no cause for concern.

#1: Lies about Your Credit Score

When you’re shopping for your dream car, there’s a high probability that you’ll need to finance the purchase. Unless you can drop roughly $100,000 cash on a Lotus Evora GT, you’ll have to work out a financing arrangement with your car salesman.

Car salesmen are typically extremely greedy people with decades of experience developing their ethically-questionable sales tactics. One common way they’ll take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers is by lying and telling them that their credit score is lower than it actually is. A credit check is a necessary step in the financing process when you buy a new car because the seller must know that you are credit worthy and capable of making your car payments. The lower your score, the larger risk lending risk you present, and the higher APR they can charge.

To avoid paying unreasonably high interest, make sure to run a free credit check on yourself and head to the dealer confident about your score. When the salesman tells you otherwise, spot the red flag, call their bluff and walk out the door.

Pro-tip: If your credit score is on the lower end, you might consider taking the time to build it back up before buying a new car so that you get the best deal possible. Another suggestion is to wait and save up to pay for the transaction in cash in order to reap the benefits of the Benjamin.

#2: The Bait and Switch

Imagine this: let’s say you’ve had your eye on a covetable Toyota 4Runner. You’ve done your extensive research and know that you want the 2017 model because you smartly and patiently waited for the value to depreciate. You know what color you want, you call the dealer ahead of time to confirm they have the vehicle in stock.

But when you show up, they say that car is no longer available. Instead, they show you the keys to the flashy 2020 release, point out the enlarged infotainment system with smartphone compatibility, the new USB ports, keyless entry, push-button start, and make sure you see the ultra-stylish Nightshade Edition with black chrome accents.

Suddenly you’re driving off the lot surrounded by unnecessary luxury features and car loan you can hardly afford—you fell for the classic bait and switch scam. Don’t be this person! Instead, call the dealer before you arrive and confirm their inventory of your desired vehicle. Then request that they fax or email you that exact confirmation along with the car specs. If you show up 30 minutes later and are told the car was sold and no longer available, you’ll have proof that they’re lying. No sale closes within that short of a time frame. Identify the red flag and take your business elsewhere.

#3: No Test Drive

This is incredibly important when shopping for a used car, as third-party sellers and independent owners have far fewer regulations to deal with when selling a car compared to the official dealerships that are backed by manufacturers. If someone tries to sell you a car without first letting you drive it, walk away.

No one should have a problem with allowing you to test drive a mechanically-sound car that boasts a clean interior. Maybe it looks great from the outside, but the A/C is broken, one window can’t roll down, the brakes screech, or a number of other problems you would only be able to detect from experience driving the vehicle.

Don’t wind up with a lemon and don’t get duped by a salesman—watch out for these red flags when buying a car rest easy knowing you’re a savvy consumer.