Emergency Kit for your CarIt never fails, your car will break down at the worst time in the most desolate area. Or maybe your tires are stuck in the snow or blown by a nail in the roadway. No matter the reason you are stuck a few emergency kit items for your car can keep you safe and maybe even allow you to drive home or to a repair shop. Spare Tire Check: At the beginning of each year and before a long road trip. check the spare tire in your car. An unchecked spare could be flat or worse, not able to inflate when you need it in an emergency. Emergency Tire Inflator: These cans are available at car supply stores and are a great way to refill and temporarily patch a flat. They don’t always do the job, depending on the size of the hole or tear, but in many cases, they will work well enough to get you home. All cars should also be equipped with a spare tire and jack. Jumper Cables: You may find you use these more often to rescue others, but having a set is important for the one day that your car battery decides to die. A quick jump can get your car mobile again. Flares or reflective hazard triangles: An accident or stalled vehicle can often happen at night or in a dangerous congested area. Having flares or hazard triangles will alert other drivers to your location, increasing your visibility and helping to avoid additional wrecks. Kitty Litter: Keeping sand or kitty litter in the trunk in the winter is a good practice if you live in a place with snow. A car stuck in the snow with spinning wheels can often gain traction with a sprinkling of either. Flashlight: Always have a flashlight in case it's dark and your car loses power. Packing extra batteries can ensure it will always work. Cell Phone Charger: Invest in a block cell phone charger just in case you have an issue, and your cell phone battery is low. Calling for help and relaying your location is going to be the easiest and fastest way to get back on the road and to safety. Let someone know: Always let someone know where you are going, the route you are planning to take and when you plan to arrive. In the event, you do not make it to your intended destination, rescue personnel know where to look. It is even a good idea to use a tracking app on your phone such as Life 360 or Find My Friends.
Emergency Kit items for PassengersKeeping you and the people in your car safe is of the utmost importance when your car breaks down. Adding these items to your emergency kit can help. Blankets: Always have extra blankest to protect against below freezing temps. Remember, your car’s power may not work, or eventually, you may run out of gas, which means no heat. Summer nights can get cool and a blanket can come in handy. Water and Snacks: Essential to survival, pack some water, and high protein snacks that don’t perish quickly like pre-packaged granola or protein bars. Make sure they can handle the heat of your trunk (i.e., no chocolate). First Aid Supplies: A well-stocked kit can be handy for so many emergency situations.
Always be PreparedTake the time to protect your loved ones. Put together roadside emergency kits for each of the cars in your family. This would also make a great birthday or wedding present. You never know when they might need them. Check them every year and replace perishable items like waters and snacks. Periodically check the cell phone charger to make sure it works and is fully charged. An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Have peace of mind that you’ve done all you can to help your family be prepared. This article was originally posted in April 2018 and has been recently updated.
Prep your Car for VacationInspect your car for any issues before you hit the road, traveling for hundreds of miles. Check your tires for tread depth, air pressure and that they are secure. Have your brakes checked and serviced, especially if they have been squeaky. Test all your lights, headlights, brake lights, hazards, and blinkers. If your windshield wiper blades are old or not performing well, replace them. Check all your engine fluids from the windshield washer to power steering. Many garage or oil change service stations can complete these maintenance details for you.
Pack the Right Way for VacationPacking your car for vacation is essential for safety reasons. Try to evenly distribute the weight of your items in your vehicle so it can smoothly travel on the road. In addition, make sure to have a clear line of sight out the back and sides of the car. If you are using a roof rack, make sure your items are completely secure and not too high for passing under bridges. Investing in a storage unit that bolts to your roof rack is a good idea. If you are bringing bikes or outdoor equipment, follow all rack use instructions and guidelines.
Prepare the Kids for a Long DriveDid you know that when driving that children can be 12 times more distracting than your cell phone? This means that keeping them comfortable and occupied is essential. Bring their favorite snacks and drinks. Let them travel with a comfy blanket and pillow. Charge up the electronics and download some movies to keep them busy. Headphones are important to keep the noise level down. Giving each child their own space or zone where they can comfortably stretch out and not annoy one another is good for everyone in the car. Also, if you are traveling with a pet, make sure they have a comfy spot all their own.
Stay Alert when TravelingDriver fatigue is blamed for 100,000 police-reported crashes per year. If you are driving, be sure to start off well-rested. Arm yourself with what you need to stay focused. Coffee, soda, snacks or music can help. Taking breaks along the way can help reduce fatigue and let the kids use the bathroom. Also, be aware that using cruise control can cause you to lose focus. Know your limits and don’t be ashamed to admit them. You and your family, of course, want to arrive safely at your vacation destination. Take the time to prep your car, pack properly and remain alert. Getting there fast is not more important than getting there safely. Vacation travel can be stressful. Try to sit back and enjoy the ride. Just imagine the sand between your toes and the waves crashing on the beach. You’ll get there soon enough.
Under the Hood Winter Car CareCheck your Belts: Engine belts are made of rubber that can be affected by cold temperatures over time. If a belt is nearing the end of its lifespan, cold weather can help push it over the edge. Frigid temps make the rubber more prone to failure by reducing flexibility and making it more brittle. A belt that already has wear and tear can snap more easily during winter. Have your mechanic check your belts and hoses for soft spots, tears or bulges and replace them before they break and you get stuck on the side of the road. Upgrade your Engine Oil: Consider switching from conventional oil to full-synthetic. Synthetic oil is more expensive, but it can help make cold-weather engine starts easier on your car. This oil flows freer at lower temps, providing your engine with instant lubrication throughout and alleviating the need for long warm-ups on colder days. Test your Antifreeze: Antifreeze flows through your engine in the coolant system, keeping it from overheating. During cold months, engine cooling is still needed. Antifreeze keeps this system from freezing and seizing up. Over time antifreeze can lose its “charge” affecting its ability to work at a lower temperatures. Have your antifreeze tested at your local mechanic’s bay to ensure it will work when you need it most.
Drive Safely in the WinterShorter days mean less sunlight. Checking that your car lights are in working order is a great way to make sure you are visible at night. Even if your headlights work, consider upgrading them if they are very old. New headlights are designed to provide better visibility by shining farther and wider. Checking that all your wiper blades are in working order is also important. Upgrade old blades and replace them if they are older than six months or simply not doing their job. Another great tip is to fill your windshield washer reservoir with a de-icing washer fluid to help melt precipitation and repel dirt and salt from the roadways. If you find yourself in a winter auto accident and in need of auto body repairs, Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor in Parkville, MO is ready to help. They are a local, family-owned business that does right by their customers. Call (816) 741-6348 or request an estimate online to get back on the road quickly with quality repairs. And before you know it, spring will be there!
Save Gas with your Driving StyleBeing behind schedule or getting stuck in traffic can frustrate and stress drivers out. Stress can lead to aggressive driving which can use up more gas than usual driving conditions. Quickstarts from a traffic light or stop sign and speeding causes worse fuel economy in your vehicle. When tempted to jump off the line when starting from a stop, image an egg between your foot and the accelerator pedal. Slow and gentle starts save wasted gas. In addition, speeds above 55 mph are less fuel-efficient. 10-15% improvement in fuel economy can be gained from reducing your speed from 65 to 55 mph. And idling is a gas zapper. If possible, turn your engine off to save gas when waiting in a line or in traffic for long periods of time.
How your Car can Save GasThere are several easy steps you can take to save gas money when it comes to your car.
Highway Tires: Reduce resistance when you choose highway type tires instead of enhanced traction or off-roading tires.
Tire Pressure: Monthly checks of your vehicle's tire pressure can help save gas. Underinflated tires increase resistance, decreasing fuel mileage. Check the driver’s door frame for the proper tire pressure and keep that maintained.
Maintenance: Keep your car running at maximum efficiency with regular maintenance. Oil changes and tune-ups will keep your vehicle at peak performance and use the least amount of gas to run.
Check the Trunk: Extra unnecessary weight in your car can significantly reduce fuel mileage. Unload heavy items as soon as possible for maximum gas savings.These easy tips can help your wallet at the gas pumps and keep your car in great shape. Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or across town, saving money on gas is a great feeling. Knowing that Barbosa's Kustom Kolor in Parkville is ready to repair your car should you have a fender bender is an even better feeling.
Summer Driving – what to watch forOf course, driving is always hazardous and requires focus. Certain conditions often present during the summer can be especially dangerous. These four situations are important to keep in mind.
Traffic Volume – Even though school is out and traditional rush hour may seem a little lighter, the volume of cars on the road significantly increases during the summer. Some days it feels as though everyone is out on the roads. This can lead to more congestion and more stop-and-go traffic throughout the day. Traffic often leads to frustration. Patience is a virtue when it comes to summer driving.
Teenagers – Dubbed the 100 deadliest days of driving for teens, summer can be dangerous. Teens are out of school, driving to summer jobs, hanging out with friends and simply on the roads more. They lack experience which can lead to more accidents. Being aware of other drivers, especially teens can often help avoid collisions.
Motorcycles & Cyclists – The warmer weather is a perfect opportunity for all 2-wheelers to hit the roads. Motorcycles and bikers are often harder to see, especially when switching lanes. Always look twice and use your mirrors before changing lanes. It could save a life.
Weather – Summer weather can be unpredictable. Even though snow and ice aren’t a problem, heavy and sudden rains can be just as dangerous. Drivers should always be cautious of flash flooding from sudden downpours. Standing water can cause vehicles to hydroplane and oily roads often become slick soon after rainfalls. Slowing down, using your wipers and never driving through large puddles are smart ways to avoid issues.
Auto Accidents Still HappenNo matter what the season or how cautiously you drive, auto accidents still occur. When the dust clears and it’s time to get your car back in shape Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor in Parkville, MO is there to help. Their top-quality repairs and paint service will get you back on the road quickly. Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor is a company you can trust. They’ll give you an honest quote and perform the work promised. You’ll be happy you trusted them. Call (816) 741-6348 today should summer driving prove hazardous to your car.
Storm Water can cause Big Car ProblemsIt seems like every time you turn on the TV there are storms across the nation wreaking havoc. Often flooding can occur which can create car problems you may not be aware of. When a car is parked in a flooded area, there isn’t much that can be done. When driving its best to a route when you know flooded roads are up ahead. It’s very difficult to estimate how deep floodwaters are and trying to drive through floodwaters is not only a dangerous gamble for the driver and passengers, but can cause major damage to your car. Most cars have modules for the airbags under the bottom of the center console. Should these modules become submerged, they can become completely inoperable, meaning your car will have to be replaced. Even small amounts of water can damage the airbags and insurance companies will not pay to have them fixed. They will consider the car totaled. Your best bet if caught in a flooded road situation is to slowly back your car out and take another route. Keep yourself, your passengers and your car safe.
Critters and Car ProblemsCar won’t start? Headlights blinking? It sounds like a strange car problem. Surprisingly, critters could be the culprit. Small animals like mice and squirrels like to chew on things to sharpen their teeth. If they find a feast of exposed wires under your car, they might think they've hit the jackpot. This can be an expensive car problem. Removing and replacing chewed wires is not an easy task. Avoiding these electrical issues could be as easy as keeping your car in a garage. This, however, is not always possible. It’s a good idea to park your car in an open area, near your home where the activity will keep animals away. Don’t park near the woods or next to trash receptacles. Sometimes having a vigilant house pet can help drive critters away too.
Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor will fix your Auto Body ProblemsCar problems can be expensive to repair, but a bit of caution and preparation can sometimes save your wallet. When a car accident occurs, knowing a reliable auto body shop you can trust is important. Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor cannot fix the mechanical or electrical car problems, but they can help with any auto body repairs you may need. They’ll talk with your insurance adjuster and help you get a rental car. We can all be plagued by car problems. Barbosa’s is always here to get you back on the road quickly!
Car Noises and what they can mean
1.Squealing during acceleration: We’ve all heard the high-pitched squealing sound some cars make when accelerating. This one is tough to ignore because it can be so loud, turning heads all around you. This tell-tale sound is often an indication that you have a fan or timing belt issue. This belt can be loose or reaching the end of its life. The bad news is once it snaps, your engine won’t work. These belts don’t last forever and many cars have maintenance tips for when it should be replaced. This might be a costly repair. The belt typically serpentines through your engine requiring a good amount of labor to replace.
2. Knocking inside the engine or when turning: Knocking sounds deep in the engine of your car can be a sign of serious issues. Rod bearing can be worn out or another part has come loose and is banging against the inside of the engine somewhere. This is a sound that should not be ignored. Bring your car right to the repair shop. If you experience a knocking sound when turning, coming from the front of the car, it could indicate a worn or failing CV joint. Again, this needs a timely trip to the repair shop for diagnosis. Driving could be dangerous depending on how bad the CV joint is.
3. Squeaking when braking: Most modern cars have a built-in squeak tab to alert drivers that their brake pads are worn. The squeak can start off small but continuously grow louder. It’s a good time to have your brake pads checked. If they become too thin, you can damage the rotors causing much more expensive repairs.