Adjusting Your Full Size Pick Up Truck

Jan 14, 2009

Do you have a full size pick up truck and want to make it safer and worth a little more? With full size pick up trucks this is a very easy thing to do because of the endless options, … although we’re only going to talk about a few of them.

If you live in a snow & ice climate, are you one of the many people that throws sand bags in the bed of your truck for extra weight and traction? This is a effective way of doing extra weight, no doubt about it. However, some have argued it looks unsightly in the bed of the truck and they may take away from the hauling capacity of the bed. This is true, you really can’t haul a arm chair or garbage cans if the floor of the bed has sand bags all over it.

Consider this option. Install a metal truck box in the bed of your truck under the rear window. These are boxes that rest on the sides of the truck bed and go across the width of the bed under the rear window. They come in different colors such as aluminum, white or black. Most of them are lockable. These boxes, even though you don’t haul tools, have another great purpose. Load them up with sand bags. Once you slam the lid of the box, look at the truck with the tailgate down. You would never know the truck is loaded down with sand bags just by looking at it. You also have plenty of open floor space on the bed of your truck for hauling other things. Plus, you still have the sand bags, but with a far better cosmetic appearance to the truck. This is not only a good idea for the family use pick up truck, …but pick up trucks that plow snow can also benefit from this cosmetic way of carrying sand bags.

Does your truck have a factory style one piece rear window? Make a beneficial change here too. Replace it with a tinted window that can open for fresh air. A tinted or screen printed rear window can help keep the hot sun off the heads and shoulders of people riding inside. This makes the truck more comfortable and reduces the chance of sunlight fading out the top of the seats. Installing a tinted window that opens gives a unbelievable cross draft for fresh air.

Brush guards and grill guards are more than a decoration. They help protect your vehicle from ‘a more costly collision repair’ than if it didn’t have one at all. Lets say two trucks of the same type get in identical accidents. One truck has a guard, the other doesn’t. They both had the front ends hit.

The truck with the guard has a damaged brush guard, some minor damage to lights, hood and grill. The truck without the brush guard has all the same damage as the other truck, … plus radiator, shroud, fan, transmission lines, and maybe the battery. In most cases this truck won’t be driven away and may need a tow truck. When buying one of these guards, make sure you buy a good one.

Now that the front of the truck is protected with a functional accessory, the same can be done with the back of the truck simply by installing a full size class three receiver hitch if one isn’t already present. These are some of the toughest trailer hitches made and are very heavy. The hitch will serve its towing purpose as well as provide protection. The protection comes in the way these hitches really beef up the rear frame area of the truck because they can take one heck of a impact in a rear end collision. It’s for this reason the rear frame tines of your truck are less likely to suffer unfixable damage in a rear end collision.

Toughen up your automatic transmission. Add a transmission cooler. Start using a product I absolutely swear by. Start running ‘Lucas’ transmission additive in your transmission fluid. Normally I’m not a big fan of fluid additives. This product is a exception to this, … not only do I use it, but I encourage others to use it and ‘feel’ the difference in how tight your vehicle feels when you drive it. This product also extends the life and health of your transmission fluid and drastically reduces transmission aging. A awesome product for fleet vehicles, work trucks and plow trucks. You can also use it in cars. I’ve been running ‘Lucas’ in my last eight vehicles as preventative maintenance. Absolutely good stuff.

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Reporter Joseph Toth

Washington Micro Bank BBS

I was raised in Wisconsin as a hard working individual. As a teenager I worked on a farm until I became a adult. I have never worked less than two jobs at a time until I turned 44.

I don’t, … (and never have) smoke, drink, drug or gamble. In 2005 I successfully gave up caffeine entirely and haven’t had any since.

My hobbies are automobiles, electronics, driving and photography.

I have many friends, and I am well known in the tri-village area I live in.

My adult careers that stayed with me long term are ‘commercial driver’ and ‘loss prevention agent’.

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How to Perform a Service Check

Jan 5, 2009

Author: Robert

Performing regular maintenance on your car is very important to ensure the longevity and economy of your vehicle. However, most people don't know how or what they need to check in order to make sure the car stays in tip-top shape. Although you could go to a dealer or service shop for regular maintenance, there is no reason to spend the money if you can learn how to check things on your own. Therefore, I've assembled a guide to teach you how to look and what to look for when you perform a car service check.

The first thing you need to look at is the exterior of the vehicle, both around and underneath. If you see cracked or peeling tires, then obviously you need to replace them, but it is also important to check for leaks. A good sign of a leak of any type will be a small amount of liquid underneath the car. If you see black, then it is probably oil, if it is green than you most likely have a leak in your cooling system.

You also want to check the fluid levels under the hood to make sure they are all at proper levels. Check the engine oil (usually very easy to find), coolant levels, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission or transaxle fluid, and window washer fluid. All of these are important to top off as required to prevent your car from breaking down. Also, when you check your oil, if you see that it is very dark black, then you probably need to change it. Keeping your motor oil fresh is one of the easiest ways to keep a car's engine in top shape.

Once you've checked fluids, you need to look at the hoses, wiring, and sparkplugs. Check to make sure that everything is tight, that the insulation is intact, and that there are no cracks or holes in any of the wires or tubes. A vacuum leak, electrical short or loose sparkplug can all sideline your car, so take the time to look through every part of the engine compartment.

Once you've been under the hood, you have finished most of the car service check. Still, as a final check make sure that your lights, front and back, right and left, all work and that your break and emergency lights work as well. Test your horn, wipe off your lights, and make sure your wipers are still good to go. Once you've done all of these things, then you've done 90% more than most vehicle owners will do and as a result your car will run smooth and you'll know when something is wrong.

When it comes time to do a large repair, such as something inside the engine or underneath the body, or check something you don't understand, then I agree that you should take it in to get serviced, but there is no reason why you can't do the little things on your own and save a ton of cash in the process.

I Knew It! provides a large database of information -- from how to paint a car to how to sell your car. Visit How To Perform A Service Check.

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The Essential Guide to Adjusting Your Car Headrest

Dec 21, 2008

Why Should I Worry About Adjusting My Headrest?

Whiplash is a common injury sustained when a car is shunted from behind, often when it is stationary at a junction. The vehicle behind impacts with the car in front. Whilst the trunk of the body is connected to the car as it is pressed against the seat, the head and neck are normally not touching the seat. As the car and body move forward with the impact, the head and neck stay in the same position as they have not yet felt the force of the impact. If the headrest is in the wrong position, whilst the rest of the body and trunk is moving forward the neck now gets thrown over the back of the chair and headrest and "whip-lash" snapped back up and forwards.

Now the neck is moving forwards, the seatbelt has done its work and is now bringing the body back into the seat. Unfortunately, this means that there is a second snapping period, when the body has gone right back into the seat and the neck now whips forward into its over extended state, snapping back when it hits the chest..

That is twice now that your poor neck has been damaged, so I hope that you are now convinced it is worth taking just a few minutes to adjust your headrest correctly before each and every journey (when moving between vehicles).

It is this over extension and over flexion that stretches the neck muscles way beyond their normal comfort zone causing them to sustain often long term and permanent damage. Sleepless nights of discomfort are often guaranteed!

So How Should You Correctly Adjust Your Headrest?

Most car headrests are set too low, and can actually cause increased whiplash pain as the neck will snap back over them in the event of a rear end collision.

The Rule Of Thumb!

The rule of thumb is that the top of the headrest should be level with your eyes. If you position your headrest with the top of the eyes you will have a good chance that if you are hit from behind, you will limit the impact of the whiplash injury. Maybe the months of sleepless nights will only be a few days. Pain well saved!

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Nicholas Jervis is a personal injury solicitor (non-practising) and a director of 1stClaims.co.uk, a claims company which connects innocent personal injury and medical negligence victims with expert personal injury and medical negligence solicitors at no cost to the individual. Read more about Conditional Fee Agreements