Category Archives: Auto

Eleveted, night view of Makati, the business district of Metro Manila.

Enjoying Manila in Wheels

Eleveted, night view of Makati, the business district of Metro Manila.

When one says that they are going to visit the Philippines, the first things that come to people’s minds are the beaches and the food, plus the heat. Then, its capital city, Manila, often gets lost in the next few spots down the list.

While the country is known for its natural beaches, hospitality, and a lot more unique things, its capital is as interesting. Yes, Manila is notoriously known for its traffic, but there is no other way to go around Manila as comfortably as through wheels.

Luckily, you have a lot of options to choose from depending on your budget, comfort level, patience, and overall preference.

Car rental

You can rent a car in Manila to have a quick break from the infamously hot and humid city. A quick 20-minutes ride going to the mall in the comfort of your own car with your air conditioning blasting in full power are small pleasures in life most Manilenos enjoy.

Having someone drive you around the city, or driving and exploring alone is an option. It might be more expensive than other means of transport, but it is definitely an experience in itself that will make it worth it.

Taxi

Hail a taxi and have the driver bring you anywhere you want. However, like other countries in Southeast Asia, taxis with defective meters are common. A lot of tourists end up paying more, but this mode of transportation is relatively safe.

Grab

If being surprised with an enormous amount of taxi fare is in the last of your list, but would want to enjoy the comfort of having your own driver and your own car, booking a Grab ride is the most convenient and practical thing.

There will surely be surcharges depending on the day, but using the app is increasingly becoming people’s chosen mode of transportation.

MRT and LRT

Invest in a Beep Card and be able to travel through the three lines of trains in Metro Manila. MRT 1, MRT 3, and LRT 2 have stops in major parts of the city and are interconnected in the ideal locations.

Jeepney

Jeepney in the busy streets of Metro Manila

If you are adventurous and is open to enjoying the heat and the thrill of riding the “King of the Road,” then a jeepney ride is definitely a must. For a cheap price of less than USD 20cents, you can go around different points in Metro Manila.

Note, however, that the Jeepney is not for the faint of heart as they are known for running fast and abruptly stopping to drop or pick-up passengers. But, it is still regarded as one of the most efficient modes of transport in the metro.

Buses

Buses also run around the whole metro and even those nearby cities outside it. Asking a local which bus stop to go and where to get down can definitely help you reach your destination.

However, it is important to remember that buses, like jeepneys, do not really have a designated terminal or schedule so you might have to run after one or ride at the most awkward of places.

With all these options available, you can enjoy touring around Metro Manila in your preferred vehicle type. Just take your pick and off you go!

Sprinter Van in motion on a background of mountains

Are You Ready to Own a Sprinter Van?

In this day and age, sprinter vans are all the rage. It does not matter if you buy a brand-new unit or a pre-owned one.  What matters is that you are smart enough to know what you need and that your local dealer indeed offers the best possible deal available. Here is a list of things that you should consider before handing in wads of cash or signing a financing agreement:

A BRAND-NEW UNIT

Oh, the smell of new leather interior beats the most expensive fresheners in the world. They even made a scent called “new car,” didn’t they? However, it is not a wise move to walk into a dealership and buy a new van based on the smell factor alone. Some things must be considered.

Research. You can find all sorts of information on the model and make of vans on the internet. Be diligent in your search, and you will find the best one to suit your need. When you have found the one you want, head to the dealership and inspect your van of choice down to the tiniest of details.

Your budget is a significant factor when buying a new van, so stick to it.  Although we all know that salespeople are hard-wired to upsell a higher model whenever they can, we do not have to be wary of this all the time.  Take into consideration the added features you can get from buying a higher model. Sometimes, it is best not to go for cheap at all.

However, even if you have the money to buy a brand-new unit, consider if paying in full is going to make you significantly more miserable. Maybe it is wise to consider purchasing a used unit instead.

USED UNIT

Spinter van white background

The tricky part of buying a vehicle is that if you are purchasing a used unit.  There are just so many things to consider. Again, research is critical. Know the different models and make by year and their respective weaknesses. Find out which models have performance issues as they age and which ones have a record of being “fixable.” Also, it is best to research on dealerships that sell parts and do exact model repairs within your area.

Search online for the prevalent pricing of the model and make that you want. Then, compare it to the price offer of your local dealership. It is, however, sometimes best not to haggle too much. We all know that we get what we pay for. Better to pay a little extra for that higher or more recent model than get an excellent bargain for a rickety old unit.

In the end, you can bring a friend. If you are not engine-savvy yourself, it is best to bring along a reliable mechanic who can help you with making sure that everything, from the engine to the suspension, is in road-worthy condition. Consider everything when doing a test drive. Listen carefully for any creak and crunch that might be a cause for a breakdown.

Car going fast on a cruve

Driving Tips for Tourists to Stay Safe on New Zealand’s Roads

Travelling and driving abroad can have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are a foreigner, you have to make sure you know the driving rules and traffic laws of the place you are visiting.

In New Zealand, there are some things to consider when planning to drive and travel. The place is not overly crowded with people, but there are plenty of vehicles on the road.

Utility vehicles are also favoured here, so if you will be staying a while, it is best to get a 2nd hand ute for sale or rent to make getting around the country faster and safer.

Driving Safely in New Zealand

New Zealand is a country famous for its rolling hills and open roads. If you have just arrived from one of those long haul flights, it is better to be well rested before you attempt to drive. Moreover, this quick guide in driving safely while in New Zealand may be of help:

1. Always drive on the left-hand side of the road. Additionally, it is a good idea to check both sides before turning into a roundabout.

2. Check and follow the weather conditions. New Zealand experiences ice, sleet, snowy, rainy, windy and other inclement weather. Driving during extreme weather conditions requires slower speeds and more careful driving.

3. Follow the speed limits. The round road signs with a black number in a red circle are speed limits. These are strictly enforced for the safety of the community, the driver, passengers and other cars on the road. When near roadworks or in dangerous zones, the speed limit is 30 kph, 50 kph in towns and cities, and 100 kph on highways.

4. Never attempt to drive while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances that are prohibited by law. There are very serious consequences and New Zealand authorities do not tolerate driving under the influence. Fines and jail time await offenders.

5. Use and wear proper seat belts and child seats at all times. This applies with no exception to both the driver and passengers. If the driver or the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, the driver is held accountable and faces a fine.

6. Slowing down before a corner and curve is not a common courtesy; it is a necessity in driving. It is not a coincidence that corners are where a lot of accidents occur. Slowing down allows the driver some safety leeway when approaching the corner. There is a diamond shaped sign indicating the corner. The sign has an arrow in the shape of the curve or corner and a number below that. The number is the recommended fastest speed to take the corner. Not heeding the sign is asking for trouble.

7. The stop sign is not a request. Whenever there is a stop sign, you have to stop and look for approaching traffic. Not stopping at the stop sign is a traffic infraction and can lead to fines.

Keeping Safe on the Road

Young lady keeping her self calm and relaxed while driving to avoind any accident

New Zealand has its fair share of road accidents. While authorities are constantly improving traffic and monitoring road activity, it is inevitable for accidents to occur. People cause most of these accidents. Among the leading factors are sleep deprivation, over fatigue, drugs, alcohol, over speeding and other substance use. Following road rules is necessary when driving.

truck driver

Be a Better Driver: The Keys to Defensive Driving

truck driver

There are a few skills in life that you need to acquire in order to survive. Unless the place you live in provides an efficient transportation system like buses and subways, driving a car would be considered as one of those few necessary skills. From having the comfort of the space of your own car, and the benefit of not waiting for the next train to come or for the next bus, driving could be a really useful skill especially when you are in a rush.

But just like any other skill, it requires proper training and practice. Once you start to drive, it is important to know that you are not alone on the road so being extra cautious is a must. Road safety solutions are everywhere, yet even those who have been routinely driving all their lives are still prone to any type of accidents. Thankfully, there are a few ways that could be prevented.

Keep your emotions in check

Once you start to drive, you must know that you are not alone on the road. This means that traffic would be inevitable and sudden bursts of anger are bound to happen, but it is a must to keep it in check. Road rage would not help anyone in any way. It certainly would not make the cars go faster, so having patience is a must when you start to drive.

Be a defensive driver

Some common causes of road accidents are road aggression, driving faster than the speed limit, not following traffic rules and swerving lanes in heavy traffic that prevents other drivers from merging. A good, defensive driver would be observant of other aggressive drivers or any other potential hazards on the road and ultimately avoid those hazards and drivers to avoid any potential accidents from happening.

Stay away from distractions

driver drinking beer while driving

If you are driving, make sure that your focus is on driving only and not elsewhere. It is prohibited by the law to drive under any influence of drugs or alcohol or anything that could potentially harm your focus and put your life (and others’) in danger. Although, focus is not only limited to these prohibited substances.

It is also heavily advised for a driver to stay off his phone while driving, and as much as possible do not answer any unnecessary calls or texts while on the road. If it is really urgent though, you may stop and step aside for a while. The road is constantly bustling, and even the slightest focus away from it could cause dangerous accidents.

Follow traffic rules

It should be obvious that a good driver follows traffic rules. Even as simple as following the speed limit and wearing seat belts ultimately amount to being a good driver since it lessens the probability of road accidents. If you are not familiar with some traffic rules, take the time to study them around your area to become a more self-aware driver. It could be really helpful.

While it is fun to drive nice cars that often appear in rap songs, it would not mean anything if the driver is reckless. None of it would remain as nice anymore if the driver would not be careful.

Different kinds of bent steel pipes

A Short and Simple Guide on Pipe Benders

When you look at random parts of your car or a building, you often see pipes connecting different areas to another. We don’t give them that much attention because they are always there but have we, at one point in our lives, stopped and thought about how and where these pipes are created? A portion of the answer to these questions might be ‘Pipe Benders’, and this article will talk about precisely that. There are various pipe benders for sale in the market, on the internet and big names such as Baileigh pipe benders have put a dent on the industry that purchasing pipe benders has become such an easy task.

What are Pipe Benders?

A pipe bender is a tool used to bend piping of different materials, such as stainless steel and copper to create various curves and angles. Generally, pipe benders are made of die-cast aluminum or steel. Aluminum is often used as it is strong enabling it to withstand pressure during bending. It is also more preferred compared to steel as it is lightweight. For steel pipe benders, they have a case-hardened steel roller that will allow it to withstand the pressure of bending.

Usage of Pipe Benders

Pipe benders are used to bend a range of piping, but most commonly they are for plumbing and conduit (electrical) piping. These are used to bend pipes in different directions and around obstacles rather than creating a fitting. They can also be useful for creating refrigerator connections. Bent tubing can also be used for moving water and electrical pipes around obstacles such as light boxes and stairs. Also, bent tubing is extremely useful in and among motorcycle exhausts and accessories.

Instead of a fitting, bent pipes are much rather preferred because fitting is prone to leaks and they are way cheaper than using fittings for your water lines.

Types of Pipe Benders

Tool used to bend steel pipes

There are various types of pipe benders, the most popular of which is the Dual Pipe Bender. It has two differently-sized formers for the pipe to be bent around. It can bend pipes to a range of angles. There is also the Mini Pipe Bender which bends piping no longer than 10mm. It works similarly to the dual pipe bender. The Ergonomic Pipe Bender has curved handles that are designed to lessen the effort exerted in bending pies. The free-standing pipe bender allows the user to bend longer and thicker piping. The free-standing base and long handle allow more pressure to be exerted without more force from the user. The ratchet pipe bender has a notch grip that pushes upwards. This upward motion pushes the pipes to bend between two blocks. This bender is more compact and can be used easily in tight spaces. The ratchet mechanism also requires less effort from the user. The conduit pipe bender is designed especially for conduit piping. It only has one handle, and the floor is used as leverage. As conduit or electrical piping is generally smaller than your ordinary plumbing piping, it typically requires less strength and force to bend.

As for maintenance, keeping it indoors and providing lubricants for stiff joints will suffice. Taking good care of your tools will save you money in the long run. There are various high-quality pipe benders for sale out there and taking good care of them will last you a lifetime.

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Drivers’ Primer on Car Window Tint Care

Applying tint foil on a car window in a garage

Window tint has become necessary for drivers battling the daily commute in sunny and warm parts of the world. Protective car tint for Scottsdale, AZ residents reduce glare and improve road safety.

Is car tint necessary?

Some drivers manage to go by for years without tint, and they’re okay with it. However, in a warming world, and in time of the year when the sun’s rays hit the windshield without mercy, even the most stubborn car owner would start considering quality tint. Darkened glass looks cool and current. The best car tint material is scratch-proof and does not tear readily. When it’s time to choose remember there are legal restrictions as to how dark you can go. Make sure you are compliant to local and federal regulations.

When it’s time to clean the windows of your car

Along with the benefits described above, there is a downside. Tinted car windows come with precise cleaning instructions. No matter how well the tint has been applied it would have to be cleaned in time. After all, the thin film adheres to the inside surface of the windows, and are exposed to various chemical compounds and environmental conditions. Remember to refrain from cleaning a newly applied car window for the first 30 days. You may be tempted to do so, but trust us when we say you’d best leave the film alone.

Cleaners containing ammonia should be kept away from tinted car windows. Ammonia is harsh, and it weakens the tint. If you continue using chemicals with ammonia you’d be dealing with torn or scraped tint. When cleaning windows, you must prepare a dry cloth for removal of the cleaning compound.

Essential tools for window tint maintenance

Cleaning tinted window glass should be done with a soft rag or cloth. If you only have paper towels, head out to the supermarket, and look for microfibre towels. They’re not difficult to find. If you already have a sponge for the car, or a squeegee, abandon the plan of using them. You need a microfibre cloth and soap that does not contain ammonia.

When applying a cleaner solution, stay out of the edges. When wet cloth touches the edges, the fluid could seep into the microscopic layer between the glass and film. When this occurs, you’d see bubbles building up—a terrible sign. Bubbles will go away if the patch is rather small, and can still be addressed with a heat gun.

Watch out for a white film on the windows

Installing tint film on car window

The white film is the bane of many car owners. If you don’t follow window cleaning instructions, the while film will remind you of your filly. The film also arises from road salt, hard water exposure, and the action of pollutants. To avoid this unfortunate development and unsightly water spots, wash the windows under the shade.

Cleaning is an essential aspect of car tint care. If you are new to car window films, you’d better know how to maintain them properly.

father and son

Solo Dads: Simple Ways of Showing Them Love and Appreciation

father and son

Parenting is an enormous responsibility and requires great sacrifice to make sure that your family’s present and future are secured. It’s all the more challenging for those individuals who become single parents because of circumstances. Although it is a difficult situation regardless of gender, it still hurts to see an individual undertaking the responsibility of two people.

Many adults begin to realize how much a single father or a mother sacrificed for their child. For many fathers, the problem may be more difficult, as they may lack some skills in taking care of toddlers and babies. If you know someone who is a single father, you know how difficult their life can be. Here are some things you can do with your friend, brother, or father to celebrate their fatherhood.

Travel together

Do you remember when your dad used to take you to places of fun such as the carnival or video game arcade? Now that you’re an adult, you might say that it’s your turn now. Being a father is a busy undertaking, let alone being a single parent. Therefore, your dad wouldn’t have much time for himself because he dedicated a big portion of his life to raising you. Despite that, he’s still human, and the longing for entertainment and adventure won’t be answered by watching TV. Ask them what kind of place they’d be interested in going to and travel there. You can prevent interruptions when you travel together, stick to your car’s regular maintenance schedule.

Take the time to talk

father and son

A good old-fashioned conversation doesn’t require much preparation or spending. You only need to dedicate a bit of your time to engage your dad in an interesting discussion. Fathers aren’t usually expressive of their emotions, so you won’t see what they feel until you try to break the ice and talk to them. It could come as simple as grabbing a few beers in your garden and talking about anything and everything under the sun. Tell him how you appreciate him for the little things such as taking you to your game or buying you that toy you’ve always wanted as a kid. Such simple sentences can travel miles and would mean a lot to them.

Token of appreciation

For sure, you’ve asked a thing or two from your dad back in the day, and without a second thought, he made sure to give it. Now that you’re a working adult, you’re not reliant on him anymore and can now purchase items with your own money. What better way to use that than giving your dad a gift or two? Regardless of its price, your donation will surely be appreciated. No tag is too big or small for a father that sacrificed so much of him so that you’ll grow up to be a happy child.

Father’s day is a celebration of the sacrifice and loves our dads gave to us. However, we don’t need such special days to make them feel special. After all, whether it’s an ordinary school day or Christmas, he’s never ceased to fulfill his role in your life as both mom and dad.

Curb That Screech: Minimize Tire Noise and Stay Safe on the Road

tires leaving marks on the circuitWhile driving in downtown American Fork, you hear loud noises you can’t pinpoint. The sound could be due to misplaced sound-reducing car parts, malfunctioning interior systems, or the design on your tire treads. Regardless of the reason, you need to drive your vehicle to the nearest tire shop in north-central Utah for repair because the noise could indicate car trouble.

Identify the exact cause of the noise for your safety and peace of mind, and resolve it.

The Different Kinds of Tire Noises

Some tire noises are normal and depends on the type of tire you’re going to buy. Noises could arise simply from the tire material impacting the pavement. Visit your local tire shop and ask for the best kind of “quiet” tires suited for your vehicle.

Noises not caused by tire type could be a result of:

    • Over and under-inflated tires
    • Uneven treadwear
  • Tread design
  • Improper tire and wheel maintenance

Over and Under-inflated Tires

Over or under-inflation of your tires is a common cause of tire noise. When the inside and outside edges of a tire wear out more than the central part, it’s probably underinflated. When the center part of the tire wears faster than the edges, it’s usually over-inflated.

One way to solve under-inflated tires is to increase cold tire pressure. This reduces flat tires and spots from occurring frequently. You need to properly inflate your tires before driving and check them after every trip. Rough terrain can cause your tires to puncture. Just a slight change in air pressure from your tires prompts unwanted squeaks.

Uneven Treadwear

Uneven tires impacting the road causes noise because it isn’t uniform. The unbalanced tread depths cause tires to emit loud noises while driving. Squealing and squeaking can also be a sign of uneven tire treadwear.

With high usage, tire treads break down and may even peel off the surface of your tire. This causes noise each time your worn tire rolls over the road. Aside from the noise, uneven tire treads also makes it more difficult to brake and turn as you drive. To fix this and avoid the probability of a road accident, have your tires rotated and balanced regularly.

Tread Design

The grooves in your tire, or tread style creates different noise levels. Curt, repetitive tread pitch patterns like the lug or block type patterns create a “whining” sound, while rib tread patterns make the least amount of sound. Those with variations, such as the rib-lug lug tread patterns, stand in the middle when it comes to noise levels.

tire tracks marking on the road by supercar

When you’re aiming for quieter tires, look for ones that have different tread block patterns. Since every block pattern produces different tones, the combined effect of these patterns becomes a neutral white noise. This process is called pitch sequencing and is vital for maintaining quiet tire noise.

Improper Tire and Wheel Maintenance

Noise can also arise from improper tire and wheel maintenance. Loose tires, improper wheel alignments and a lack of tire rotation can all cause squeaky noises. Imbalanced, loose tires not only produce loud vibrations, but can also cause damage on the suspension parts of your car. As tires wear, the weight distribution changes and the prior balance becomes useless.

Get your car on a regular maintenance program to avoid noise due to improper tire positions. Rotate your tires every 5,000-8,000 miles. You should also balance the weight on your tire, putting small weights opposite the stiffer spots in your tire.

Maintain your tires regularly and enjoy noiseless, safe road trips.

couple being handed keys to their first car

6 Tips for First-time Car Buyers

couple being handed keys to their first carPurchasing your first car is a milestone. However, buying one does not only involve the car’s color, model, and make as the basis of your decision. It should comprise thorough and detailed research and consideration to affected aspects of your life, especially in terms of your finances.

A car is more than a luxury that only some can afford; it is also considered an investment. When properly taken care of, it can provide long-lasting transportation means to its user. Before getting one, what you need is to prepare and consider how you can make your purchase a good experience. Read on below to know the best ways to buy a car in Utah or in any other state:

Examine your financing options

It’s essential to think about what type of financing means you will utilize to obtain your car. The purchase might be through a car dealership, a quick cash loan for the down payment and for the interests, or through a carefully saved amount of money. Whatever it is that you have at your disposal, examine if such option is advantageous to you.

Evaluate your credit score

There’s nothing more horrifying than seeing that your credit score (which shows your eligibility to obtain a loan) will get you higher interest rates in terms of credit availability. If you want to avail of a loan, consider your credit score. Do some improvements and make it more appealing to your chosen financial institutions.

Research about the car you need, not the car you want

There’s a thin line between shopping for a dream Porsche that looks astounding and dashing and choosing an SUV that will drive you to work every day for a good five years. Picking a car you want will definitely affect your capability to pay. It will also negatively affect your finances in the long run. Look for cars that will suit your needs and will be appropriate in terms of your budget.

couple choosing their first car

Compare prices

Different dealerships offer various prices for their cars. The difference might be due to the fact that each dealership provides different services, warranty options, and other factors.

Take the time to compare price offerings from different car dealerships and look into the services they offer. For example, one dealership might be $2,000.00 higher than another because they offer free monthly check-ups and after-sales service, which the competing dealership may not.

Do a test drive and a mechanical inspection for potential purchase

Once the financial aspect is secured and the dealership has been finalized, the only thing you need to check now is the car you intend to buy.

Take it out for a drive to see if some noticeable rattles and jingles might indicate wrecks and inconsistencies for the dealership’s mechanic to check. This will also assure you that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Know the scope and limitation of your warranty

If there’s nothing wrong with the car and you’re now ready to take it home, read and familiarize yourself with what the warranty offers. You might be surprised to find out that free monthly check-ups and repairs come with the purchase. In the long-run, these freebies can save you a few hundred bucks.

There are many professionals and service providers that can offer you recommendations and guidance if you want to buy a car. Just make sure you have all the resources ready to ensure a smooth transaction.

second hand cars

Four Questions Secondhand-Car Buyers Should Ask First

second hand carsIf you are looking for a new ride but on a tight budget, a used car might be the best option for you. However, finding an affordable secondhand car that still functions very well can be tricky. Bear in mind that each used vehicle vastly differs from one another. For instance, one might have been serviced regularly while the other had been neglected by its owner in terms of maintenance and repairs.

To make sure that you find excellent used cars in Pharr, TX and get your money’s worth, do not forget to ask yourself the following questions.

Can you really afford this car?   

Take note that the money that you will use to buy the car is just a part of the equation. You need to consider your fuel allowance, auto insurance and maintenance costs. Be sure to get a ride that is right within your budget. This way, you will have enough funds to keep it running for longer.

Also, you need to know the grade of fuel that the car needs, how much it consumes and the cost of securing it. One way to find out all this information is by calling your local dealer or doing an online search yourself.

Can you see the service history?   

Next, ask the seller about the entire service history for the vehicle. The paperwork should contain all the maintenance and repair work that the car has undergone. It is an excellent way to know if the previous owner took care of it or not.

However, failure to show the records on the seller’s end should not cause you to worry. There are times when people do not realize the value of these records until they decide to resell their car.

Can the car accommodate your whole family?

family inside the car

Do your kids have enough space in the back seat? Will the car have enough room for other passengers as well as extra gears? You need to consider if the size of the vehicle fits your lifestyle.

You want a car that can accommodate all your needs and has all the basic features that you want. So, if you are planning to buy a vehicle, ensure that you check it thrice so you can guarantee that it meets all your needs before entirely purchasing it.

Do you need an extended warranty?  

Most used car dealers often offer extra-cost warranty coverage that ranges from a few hundred bucks to more than a thousand dollars. It is highly advisable to learn more about the warranty coverage so that you can make a sound decision.

Aside from the price, you also need to learn about the service history and the current condition of the vehicle. Inspect the car thoroughly, so you will know if it needs any further repair. Doing so will guarantee that you will only walk away with a car worthy of your hard-earned money. You can also ask for help from the used car dealership to get more information about your new ride.