Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acne Treatment Guide

There are many things one can do to remedy acne. For general acne treatment you can wash your face, use a moisturizer, and check out any one of the many over the counter products used to fight acne and make your skin feel better.

Another big problem that many people have is acne on the arms, which takes a slightly different approach. Switch to a cleanser instead of soap, and try not to rub the area or bother it in any way during the day (or at night).

Acne on the penis area is a little weird to talk about, so I'll keep it brief (no pun intended). First, rule out STDs. Then start medicating with an acne product. It's really not that hard (doh, there goes the pun again).

Now, what does this have to do with cars?

... Nothing!

Monday, January 12, 2009

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance as a Young Driver

When you are a younger driver or car owner, car insurance prices will probably scare you when you first start looking around. However, it is possible to get cheap (or inexpensive) car insurance, given that you put into place a some of these tips will discuss in this guide. Unfortunately, the younger you are, the more you have to pay in car insurance. If you're under 25, you're going to pay a lot for insurance no matter what - but the further away you are from that magical 25 number, the more you can expect to pay for auto insurance. A teenager will have to pay a lot more than someone who is 21 for car insurance. Let's take a look at few suggestions for keeping your premiums as low as possible.

1) Lower your premiums by purchasing a car that is loaded with safety features: ABS, a good alarm system, always-on daytime running lights and of course a car with a high crash-test rating (remember, insurance companies often have to pay medical bills as well as car repair bills). Tell your insurance co. if you have any of these measures in place. You'll be rewarded with a lower rate.

2) Getting good grades in school often qualifies you for programs at insurance agencies that give you lower rates.

3) Drive as little as possible, and see if you qualify for a "low mileage" or "occasional use" plan. The less you drive, the less chance you have of getting into an accident, so you'll pay less for insurance.

4) You can also just stay on mom and dad's plan. You have to legally register your car under their name, and they pay the premium (or you pay them your share), so you'll feel a little less free - but you'll save a ton of money.

5) Often, insurance companies will check your credit and base your rates off of that. They figure if you are careless with your credit, you might be careless with driving - and vice versa.

7) Shop around for the best prices. Often, rates will vary greatly from one insurance company to the next.

While you may end up paying more than everyone else as a young driver, you don't have to pay through the roof. Use these tips to keep auto insurance as affordable as possible!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BMW M5 Cross-Country in 32 hours 7 minutes

Think you could drive from NY to LA in 32 hours and 7 minutes? That's a speed that most small aircraft couldn't even hold. You'd need to average a speed well above any posted limits. These guys did it in their BMW M3 - with a laser jammer, radar detector, multiple police scanners, infrared vision systems and an extra fuel tank.

It's quite the feat, and is something nobody should attempt - because you'll probably end up in jail. In fact, if it wasn't for their tricky driving (and a little help from air support such as choppers), they might be in jail right now.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

How to Change a Flat Tire

Flat tires happen to all of us. While they may be a pain, they are far from impossible to change. Anyone can change one. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, big or small, mechanic or clueless - you can do it. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions for ideas on how to do it.

1. Pull off the road as far as possible. Never attempt to change flat tire in the middle of the road. If this means driving on the rim for a short distance until you find a safe place to pull over (such as a parking lot), then so be it. It is unsafe to change a tire on a road or highway, not to mention illegal.

2. Remove the spare, jack and tire iron from the trunk, and lay them next to your work area. If you're going to change a flat tire in a reasonable amount of time, it's important to have everything you need right there.

3. Loosen each of the 4 lug nuts slightly before you jack the car up. This makes it easier to remove them once the car is lifted. Only loosen them a maximum of 1/2 turn before jacking the car up.

4. Jack the car up using the jack points that are situated around each of the car's 4 corners. Consult the manual if needed for this step.

5. Remove the 4 lug nuts the rest of the way. Set them aside in a place where they won't get lost (remember, your work area is the side of the road). If needed, place them in the car or your pocket until you are ready for them.

6. Pull off the old wheel and tire, and place it directly in the back of your trunk.

7. Slide on the spare tire, and hand tighten each of the 4 lug nuts as much as you can.

8. Tighten the lug nuts the rest of the way using the tire iron. When all 4 are fairly tight, crank them down using the tire iron. Remember, you don't want the wheel coming off, so get them tight.

9. Place the jack and tire iron in the trunk as well. You're done changing it at this point!

10. Drive a few miles, then when it's safe to do so, stop and crank the lug nuts down again with the tire iron. This will help make sure they are secure and won't come off.

11. Get the flat tire patched or replaced at a shop as soon as possible. You can't drive over 50 mph on most spares, and they shouldn't be used for extended periods of time.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Change Your Own Oil

Changing your own oil is a task that everyone from a 16 year old guy to a 55 year old housewife can learn how to do on their own. The truth is, changing your own oil takes about 20 minutes for the average person to do, where as you will spend around 3 times as much as that driving to the shop, waiting for it to get done, and driving back home!

Not to mention the money you save. Not only do you have to buy the oil and the filter itself, but you obviously have to pay the shop to do it for you! Changing your own oil costs around $11 for the oil and $3.50 for the filter. How much did you pay the last time the shop did it for you?

Here's how to change your own oil right in your own garage. Anyone can do it!

1. Jack the front end of the car up and place it on jack stands. Never support the car using only the jack itself, as this is a very dangerous maneuver. Depending on the height of your car (and, um, the thickness of you), you may be able to crawl under the front of the car far enough to change the oil without jacking the car up.

2. Place a drain pan under the car - this can be anything that catches oil, such a commercial oil catcher or simply a plastic container.

3. Remove the plug on the oil pan. If the car is hot, make sure it has cooled down at least 30 minutes before changing the oil to reduce the chance of a burn. Oil will now flow quickly from the engine into the container, so be ready with the pain under the plug when you remove it. Remove the oil fill cap to relieve pressure and increase the flow of oil.

4. Remove the oil filter. Make sure the gasket from the old filter is still on the filter itself, and did not become attached to the engine.

5. Spread a small amount of new motor oil across the gasket of the new filter to ensure a secure seal, and screw it into place. Tighten as far as you can by hand, but do not use an oil filter wrench. Hand tightening is sufficient.

6. Replace the oil filter plug on the bottom of the engine, and securely tighten it using a wrench. Make sure it is secure enough that it will not come out down the road.

7. Fill the oil reservoir with the appropriate amount of oil. Consult your owners manual for this vital detail. Most vehicles will take either 4, 4 1/2 or 5 quarts of oil. If you intend to know how to change your own oil, you need to know how to do it right. Too much oil or too little oil can cause irreversible damage to your engine. Replace the oil fill cap.

There you go! You're a pro! You can now change your own oil without needing the shop to do it for you.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How to Make Paint Shine

So, you've always wanted super shiny paint that looks better-than new. Of course, this is somewhat hard to achieve using regular techniques. To get the perfect showroom shine, you need to employ techniques that professional detailers use. Though this may seem like a complicated process at first, it can be broken down into several simple steps.

1. Clean the paint. This is done by a thorough hand washing of the car using soap, water, and then clean towels to dry the paint.

2. Decontaminate the paint using a claybar. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for this process.

3. Polish the paint using a random orbital (Porter Cable) or rotary buffer and an abrasive polish.

4. Top the paint off with a high quality wax. Natural carnubas give the paint a rich, warm glow, but synthetics provide better protection and a more "wet" look.

5. Don't forget the finishing touches. Dress the tires, clean the glass, scrub the wheels, and dress the trim for a finished look.

There you go, you've got a showroom perfect paint job! Now, just touch it up in between details with a hand wash or a simple spray-and-wipe quick detailer, and you're good to go!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bridgestone Blizzak Run Flats

I was searching through the garage the other day, and found my set of Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires. I'm going to get them mounted here in a couple of days, and was looking on Tirerack at the specifics. Well, it turns out Bridgestone now makes a run-flat version of this tire. You can drive up to 50 miles at 50 miles an hour after getting a flat due to its self-supporting architecture.

No more standing on the side of the road in the freezing cold 4 degree morning at 6:00 AM before the sun has risen with 22 mile-per-hour winds trying to pry off your old tire, when you forgot to bring a jacket that day. Ask me how I know. The other day when one of my trusty old Goodyear Eagle F1's blew out, that's exactly what happened. Oh well, I guess it's time to switch over to the snow tires anyway. It must be a sign that I should go ahead and do it.

Remember, even if you have the best winter tires in the world, nothing compares to safe driving and judgment. When you hit a patch of ice, no fancy tread pattern or rubber composition can save you.