Category: Tips & Tricks

A Guide To Caring For Classic Cars

Vehicles need the right maintenance–be it, classic cars or not. That’s why it is just mandatory that car owners know enough information to keep their cars in tip-top shape. The following tips can help the classic car owner in you:
Avoid parking under trees.

The exterior of your classic car is the one part that people notice first. It is for this reason that paint and other outside furnishings must always be on top of your priorities. Bird droppings have acid contents that can ruin your car’s bodywork. With this in mind, you should start to avoid parking your classic car under the shades of trees.

Get a garage

Car owners must have their own covered garage where they can safely keep their vehicles. Classic car collectors must ensure that they have a covered space or warehouse before acquiring units. Having a covered garage is like having your own car vault. Such a structure will ensure that your vehicles are all secured while you are away or sleeping at night.

Never use abrasives

Borne of the habit of using abrasives to clean stuff, some people tend to use the said cleaning tool to cleanse vehicles. This is definitely a no-no. Abrasives are hard and rough. Although they are designed for heavy duty-cleaning, abrasives are not meant for cleaning cars. The roughness of abrasives can cause damages and scratches to your classic car’s bodywork.

Tune-up regularly

Prevention is definitely far better than cure. Have your classic cars tuned-up or checked up regularly. This means that your mechanic have to pay your car a visit even if there isn’t anything wrong with it. Having regular tune-ups would enable you to prevent possible damages. It would also let you save on repair costs.


Although classic cars are seen as collectible items, they still exist to serve their original purposes. You might be lured by the aesthetic appeal of classic cars but you have to remember that they’re meant for driving. Drive your classic car at least twice every month. You can take on a few lapses inside your vicinity or use it when heading to the grocery. Driving your classic car would ensure that its engine gets its much-needed boost and vibe.

Have it covered

Check for used car insurances that would work best for your classic car. Good insurance coverage would let you sleep soundly at night. Remember that you should consider getting insurance since the spare parts of classic cars are usually expensive or hard to find.

Some Parallel Parking Techniques

Parallel parking is probably the toughest way to park a car. You’d have to skillfully and accurately guide your car into that parallel space between 2 other cars. In my experience, if you ask drivers what type of parking they are having the most difficulty with, most would probably say parallel parking. I agree that it isn’t easy compared to parking forward or backwards. Here are the things that I usually do to accurately park my car into a parallel parking space.

You should estimate the actual parking space first. If it’s just enough for the exact length of your vehicle, I suggest you do not take it and look for another parking space. Ideally, there should be at least a distance of 2 feet between you and the car in front and behind you (4 feet total) so that it would be easy to get in and out. That’s in my opinion and experience.

A good trick in parallel parking is to use the vehicle in front of the parking space as your starting point and guide. Stay beside the car in front of you and make sure your rear bumpers are parallel to each other. 1 ½ feet away from the car would be fine. The farther you are to the vehicle beside you, the harder it seems to get into the space unless the parking space is really wide and open. Now, straighten your wheels and reverse slowly.

Now, stop when your side mirror is beside the adjacent vehicle’s rear bumper. Turn the wheels into the parking space first then reverse. This is if your engine is in front of the car. Or better yet, if your car is already three-fourths behind, that’s when you turn your wheels in. Just make sure that you are at a full stop before turning the wheels.

Once fully turned, reverse again and when your car’s rear is around 6 inches away from the gutter or the wall, you may begin turning the wheels around to the other direction. Just be careful so that you don’t hit the rear bumper of the car in front of you while turning.

Once you’re clear of the rear bumper of the car in front of you, fully turn into the space making sure that you don’t hit the car behind you. Again, 2 feet in front and behind you is ideal and more than enough for you to get out afterwards. This will be beneficial to you and the other two cars.

Now what should you do if you’re still jutting out of the parking space? Don’t worry though since this scenario is really common and it happens. Just move forward a few inches near the car in front of you then turn the wheels into the space while your vehicle is at a complete stop. Reverse after turning the wheel.

Now, before turning the steering wheel the other way around, make sure you stay closer to the gutter or the wall. As soon as you’re not jutting out anymore, give enough distance in front and behind you. It’s perfectly fine if you jut out a little especially if you don’t have enough room to maneuver.

As you have seen, I always reiterate turning your wheels while at a complete stop. This will make sure that your vehicle is already in the right direction before you reverse. If you turn while reversing, you’ll probably run out of room and move forward and try again.

Most parallel parking spaces have enough room for vehicles and have guide lines to help you park properly. The problem is that sometimes, you may run into a space wherein the car in front of you or behind you is really big or did not park properly and went over the line or something similar. If you have doubts, don’t park at all. Don’t try to squeeze if it it’s really not possible.

How To Change Your Car’s Thermostat

One of the smallest and most needed parts of your car’s cooling system is the thermostat. Most car thermostats can be hidden in a man’s closed fist. If this small part fails in its closed setting, you will be stranded somewhere along the side of the road with steam flowing from your engine. If it fails in the open position, your car will never get warm in the winter.

Either way, it is best to just replace that thermostat every couple of years when you replace the upper radiator hose on you car.
For specific details about your car, you may need to consult your maintenance manual. For most cars, the thermostat is easy to locate.

Sometimes, it can be a little tough to get out of the engine because of hoses and other things that may be installed on your car. These things can shield easy access to the thermostat until you remove them. The way to find the thermostat on nearly all cars is to follow the upper radiator hose from the radiator to where it attaches to the engine.

Usually, the piece that sticks up to anchor the hose is part of the housing that covers the car’s thermostat. You need to inspect this housing carefully and determine where all of the bolts that hold it place are located. Most thermostat housings are held in place with two bolts. Some may have 3 or 4. If you can easily access all of the bolts, there is no reason to remove anythng else.

Purchase the thermostat at the autoparts store ahead of time. A gasket should come with the thermostat. If it does not, you will want to purchase one of these, two. Some people like to use adhesive to bond the gasket in place, but it usually is not necessary.

Having located the thermostat and secured a clear access to the housing and bolts, it is time to start removing the old thermostat. Remove the bolts from the engine. Take care not to lose the bolts. Also, as you remove them, make sure that you note if there are any differences from one bolt to the next. They are almost all just alike, but one in a while, you will find some are longer or shorter than the others.

After the bolts are removed, grip the housing and work it loose. Some coolant will spill when you raise this housing away from the engine. This is normal, and there is really no good way to capture it. Make sure to hose it off of hard surfaces when you finish the job. This antifreeze is deadly to pets and wildlife.

You should now be able to see the top of the thermostat. It will usually be brass or bronze in color. Pull the old thermostat from the engine. It will usually not look like its bad, but do not be fooled. Throw this away. Using a scraper, remove any left over gasket pieces from the housing and the engine. This needs to be bare metal for the new gasket to seal.

Drop the new thermostat into place. Lay the gasket over the rim of the seat for the thermostat. The holes on the gasket should line up with the holes on the motor. If they do not, you either have the gasket on the wrong way or have the wrong gasket. Put the housing back in place and replace the bolts.

Tighten the bolts down until they are very snug. Do not try to prove your strength because they can be twisted off. Once everything is in place and tight, it is time to replace any lost coolant and start the car. Leave the hood up so you can check for leaks. Let it run until it reaches operating temperature. If you do not see any leaks and your car seems to be running alright, you should be finished. All that is left is to clean up and put away the tools.

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