Car Tips


Roadside Emergency Kit Essentials

Roadside Emergency Kit Essentials

Getting stuck on the side of the road is never fun. Whether your car broke down, you’ve had a fender bender or are stuck in traffic; significant time can lapse while waiting for a reprieve. There is no ideal time for getting stuck but being prepared with a properly stocked roadside emergency kit can help make the time pass more comfortably and can even be a lifesaver. Take the time to outfit all your vehicles with emergency kits so no matter what family member is driving and whoever the passengers are they can be prepared.

Emergency Kit for your Car

It 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 Passengers

Keeping 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 Prepared

Take 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. 
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Summer Vacation Car Tips

Summer Vacation Car Tips

Summer is just around the bend with nearly 89% of Americans planning to take a summer vacation. You know the drill, you pack up the car and the kids and hit the road hoping to avoid traffic and make it to the beach in record time. Sound familiar? Well, keep in mind that it’s important to do some trip planning. We often spend lots of time choosing a destination and buying flip-flops and sunblock, but preparing your car for vacation needs some planning too.

Prep your Car for Vacation

Inspect 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 Vacation

Packing 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 Drive

Did 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 Traveling
Driver 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.
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Winter Car Care – Be Prepared

Winter Car Care – Be Prepared

It may be the dead of winter, but we are dreaming of warmer spring days on the horizon. Even with a warm day here and there, spring is far away. We aren’t through the colder, shorter days just yet and who knows if we’ll get more snow before the daffodils burst. Taking care of your car during winter can help ensure you always get where you want to go with little frustration or issues. Cold weather can affect some systems in your car, but with a little maintenance effort, you won’t have to worry.

Under the Hood Winter Car Care

Check 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 Winter

Shorter 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!
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5 Easy Ways to Save Gas when Driving

5 Easy Ways to Save Gas when Driving

Saving money is always important. Finding easy ways to save money on the things you do every day is exciting. For many of us, we drive every day. From the long, into the city daily commuter to the stay at home parent running around town all day, we use a lot of gas. Paying for gas is just something we must do to get to where we want to go. What if there were some easy ways to save at the pump? What if by adjusting some small things on your car and the way you drive you could save gas? The good news is there are 5 easy things you can do right now to save gas money.

Save Gas with your Driving Style

Being 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 Gas

There 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.Save Gas with these 5 easy tips you can do today!

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.  
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4 Summer Driving Dangers to Keep in Mind

4 Summer Driving Dangers to Keep in Mind

Summer is the season of fun. The kids are off from school and many plan vacations, day trips, and activities. The weather is warmer; the pool is open and the pace a bit slower. Well, not necessarily when it comes to the roads. Summer driving is notoriously dangerous. There are more car insurance claims nationwide over the summer months and more vehicles damaged. Even though summer is a time to relax and unwind, remaining focused and aware while driving is still essential.

Summer Driving – what to watch for

Of 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 Happen

No 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.
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Car Problems you can often avoid

Car Problems you can often avoid

It’s never a good day when your car doesn’t work. We often take for granted that our cars will work every time we turn the key, but sometimes they don’t cooperate. Of course, regular maintenance is essential for cars with so many moving parts that work together. Over time, belts wear down, the friction causes damage and parts need replacement. There are however some car problems that can be avoided before things go bad. Here we’ll discuss two issues that can cause major damage to your vehicle and how you can avoid them.

Storm Water can cause Big Car Problems

It 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 Problems

Car 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 Problems

Car 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!
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3 Car Noises you Shouldn’t Ignore

3 Car Noises you Shouldn’t Ignore

We all know that sinking feeling when our car starts making a strange sound. We think about ignoring it and hope it will just go away. There are however certain car noises not to be ignored. They can lead to much worse problems down the road costing more money in the end. Some car noises can even be a warning of something making your car more susceptible to an accident or complete breakdown. There are three important sounds you should pay particular attention to.

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.

Keep your car in good shape on the inside and the outside

Keeping your car in good shape can be an expensive prospect but regular maintenance and paying attention to car noises can save money in the long run. Worn parts can fail which can cause worse engine damage or even an accident. Pay attention to these noises and find a mechanic you can trust to let you know about important repairs. When auto body repairs are needed, trust Barbosa’s Kustom Kolor located in Parkville, MO. They will get your car back in shape, deal with the insurance companies and even help arrange a loaner car. You’re in good hands at Barbosa’s.
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