FALL BOATING PREP TIPS TO EXTEND THE SEASON

Fall boating prep means you don’t have to pull your boat out of the water simply because the leaves are changing color and the temperature is starting to drop. It’s possible to keep boating on into the fall as long as you stay prepared for the changing season and don’t put off your winter storage any longer than necessary. Check Your Gear One of most common problems with boating past the end of the summer is getting stranded because of something that breaks while you’re on the water. Fall boating prep requires that you check your engine, rigging, sails and ropes to make sure everything is still in good shape after a busy summer of use. You don’t want to get caught when something wears out si

HOW TO POLISH YOUR RIMS LIKE A PRO

There’s an entire auto subculture dedicated to custom rim design and care, so it’s no wonder folks want to show them off. Even if you’ve got factory standards on, knowing how to polish your rims can make a strong statement as you cruise along. And while it’s a nice lazy afternoon project, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. Here’s a primer on how to polish your rims. Prep The very first thing you want to do is double-check what kind of rims you’re working with and determine whether there is a clear coat on them. Rims must be treated differently according to their coating (if any) and metal type. Using the wrong products, processes or chemicals can damage a clear coat and cause agi

BRAKE PAD SENSORS: HOW THEY WORK AND HOW TO FIX THEM

Brake pad sensors might seem like new technology, but they’ve actually been around for quite a long time. In the early days of motoring, it was simple enough to communicate to drivers that their pads needed replacement by attaching a metal tab that would eventually make contact with the disc after enough wear had occurred. The unpleasant squeal meant that it was time for a new set of stoppers. How have pad sensors changed? Let’s take a look at the technology. Quieter Electronics Clearly the irritation of squealing brake pads wasn’t the most driver-friendly way to indicate an issue. This is why electronic brake pad sensors were developed. Instead of using friction to create sound, they used a

WHAT IS AN ELECTRONIC THROTTLE BODY?

Up until the late 1980s, most cars had a fairly straightforward throttle control. You stepped on the accelerator pedal which was connected to a cable that actuated a mechanical linkage mounted on a carburetor that moved a valve to adjust the vehicle’s fuel and air mixture. So in a nutshell, the harder you pushed the gas pedal, the faster you went. Long Description With the proliferation of computer technology, the Automotive Industry saw the introduction of a new electronic throttle control system, sometimes called drive-by-wire, which uses electronic signals to control the throttle. In its simplest form, in place of cables and mechanical linkages, electronic throttle control uses an acceler

USING YOUR ATV FOR HUNTING: THE MUST HAVE OPTIONS BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR PURCHASE

ATVs changed the world of hunting by allowing hunters to reach otherwise inaccessible areas and carry gear with ease. With nearly limitless potential modifications in the ATV market, such as 4WD, various sizes and a myriad of storage options, using your ATV for hunting has become the norm among those serious about the sport. Here are some things to keep in mind before you spend some cash on a new ATV. Ride Quality With the larger size of today’s trail ATVs, even for childrens’ sizes, ride quality is important. You don’t want to get to your desired spot and be too tired to enjoy the hunt because you were busy wresting your quad through the woods. Considerations to mull over that improve ride

3 USES FOR A WET/DRY VAC THAT YOU HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF

There are more uses for a wet/dry vac than simply cleaning up the mess in your garage or workshop. Although these heavy-duty vacuums excel when used as directed, their unique design also makes them handy for a few unexpected chores, ones that you might not have considered possible without the use of specialized equipment. To Blow Out Leaves And Dust One of the most simple “bonus” uses for a wet/dry vac is to reverse the unit’s hose so that it blows instead of sucks. This is actually fairly easy to do: take the hose, detach it from the entry point of the vacuum’s canister and re-attach it to its exhaust port. The vacuum will still function normally once you flip the switch, but this time when

THE AVERAGE CAR BATTERY LIFE: WHEN IS IT TIME FOR A CHANGE?

Car batteries provide a vehicle’s life force. We rely on them to get our cars started and keep them running, to power helpful onboard accessories and even to charge electronic devices. The average car battery life can be anywhere from three to five years, but the exact time any given battery needs to be changed depends on a number of factors. Let’s Get Chemical Most cars on the road today have 12-volt lead-acid batteries under the hood. There are a few variations on this, but the basics remain the same. An automotive battery is actually a group of cells in a series — 6 cells producing 2.1 volts, to be exact. Each cell is made up of two types of lead plates (lead and lead-dioxide) submerged i

7 QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT HYBRID CARS

Hybrid cars team an electric powertrain with a gas engine, and this allows them to deliver great fuel economy. They’re also easy on the environment, typically producing fewer tailpipe emissions than comparable gas-only models. If you’re shopping for one of these nifty green machines on the new or used market, there are certain things you need to look out for. Here are seven questions to ask about hybrid cars before making a purchase. 1. What’s the gas mileage? Fuel economy is a hybrid’s biggest draw, but some models are a lot more frugal than others. If you’re considering a hybrid, get a clear picture of its gas mileage so you can make an informed buying decision. 2. How much cargo space is

TOOLS NEEDED TO CHANGE OIL: ARE YOU READY?

Oil changes are an indispensable part of car maintenance, and they need to be completed regularly. The recurrent nature and relative ease of the task make it a no-brainer candidate for a DIY project, but you’ll need to collect all the tools needed to change oil first. Setup for Safety First off, gather everything you need to ensure a safe and smooth project. Use designated lift points found in the owner’s manual to lift the car with a jack, and rest it on jack stands (again on specified points). If you’re only lifting one end of the vehicle, set the parking brake and chock the wheels. Out With the Old First, you’ll need the tools to drain the old oil. Have some old rags on hand as this tends

WHERE TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO DRIVE

You started out watching the calendar — now, you’re watching the clock. Time has flown and it’s suddenly your child’s turn to get behind the wheel. You’ve got one question: Where to teach your child to drive? The Safest Option An empty parking lot is the absolute best, safest place to begin. You want a place with no other moving or parked vehicles, with no pedestrians, with no unpredictable hazards. It’s flat, it’s open and you can see it all from any point. It’s perfect. Best of all, there are likely plenty of them a short distance from you — a large school parking lot on the weekend, an office park on the weekend, a big mall before it opens (or — as is the case in so many places, where som

10 TIPS FOR CHANGING SPARK PLUGS

Old and failing spark plugs can cause a host of problems in your engine, and it should be expected that you’ll have to change them at least a few times during the life of a vehicle. Luckily, it’s a pretty straightforward DIY that requires close attention, but not many tools. With the right know-how and a few tricks up your sleeve, changing spark plugs is a simple job with big payoffs in fuel economy and performance. 1. Solid Prep Get all your tools together so you don’t have to search for them in the middle of the job. This includes a few specialty tools such as a spark plug puller that will make your life easier. Also, though it is tempting to use a regular socket to remove plugs, a special

TOOL STORAGE IDEAS TO ORGANIZE YOUR WORKSPACE

A disorganized workspace can hamper your productivity and make it more difficult for you to complete even the simplest DIY projects. That’s why it’s important to seriously consider tool storage ideas when planning your work area besides the classic toolbox that we’ve all come to love. Proper storage can help you streamline your tasks by making it easy for you to access the tools you need. Here are three storage solutions to consider when designing your workspace. Stationary Tool Cabinet Stationary tool cabinets come in various sizes. They make it easy for you to centralize the storage of your tools. Not all stationary tool cabinets offer the same amenities. Here are some questions to ask you

WHAT IS ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT?

Surprisingly, the concept of active fuel management has been around for over seven decades, first appearing in the 1940s in WWII for use on military vehicles. These initial experiments helped form the backbone for the first commercialized active fuel system used in the 1981 Cadillac L62 V8-6-4. A standard feature on all Cadillac models, except the Seville, the Cadillac L62 used the industry’s first engine control unit to switch the engine from 8- to 6- to 4-cylinder operation depending on the power needed. Unfortunately, the system was troublesome and misunderstood by customers which sent engineers back to the drawing board to develop a better system. Long Description Forward to present day,

BACK WINDSHIELD WIPERS: WHY DO SOME CARS HAVE THEM AND SOME DON’T?

Want to stump your friends (or more likely watch a lot of different people come up with a lot of different answers)? Ask them this question: Why do some cars have back windshield wipers and some don’t? And I’ll be honest — I thought I knew the answer, but in doing research for this very piece, I found that the facts are kind of murky. The Back Wiper Goes Way Back Some of that may have to do with the fact that the back windshield wiper is a lot older than you might think. The first one showed up almost 80 years ago on the 1941 Pontiac. But production was interrupted by World War II, and the idea kind of got lost. It showed up again on a production car available in America 25 years later — o

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