If you've got a garage, chances are you've filled it to the brim with junk that won't fit into your house, but you can't bear to throw away. Are we close? Yo... Show moreu're not alone, even though 74% of homeowners believe parking is a garage's most crucial function. Plenty of people use their garage as free in-home storage, rather than for parking their car. If you're one of them, it's time to sort through the junk and bring your vehicle inside. Here are a few reasons why you should always keep your car in the garage.
1. It Protects Your Car From the Elements
If you leave your car in the driveway or on the street, it's not just vulnerable to the occasional errant driver who seems to insist on hitting parked cars. It's susceptible to rain, hail, sleet, snow and sun, all of which can damage your vehicle over time. Hail can scratch your paint and ding your body, while sunlight bleaches the interior and exterior of your car the longer you leave it out there.
Keeping your car in the garage protects it from all that — and from becoming the victim of a driver vs. parked car accident.
2. You Don't Have to Enter or Exit in Rain or Snow
There's nothing worse than getting out of your car to head into work or the house when it's pouring down rain — except maybe doing the same when it's snowing. Cleaning out your garage and parking your car in there keeps you warm and dry. You'll end up tracking less mud and snow into the house too, which we're sure everyone will appreciate.
3. It Keeps Your Car Safe From Thieves
According to the FBI, automotive theft happens every 23 seconds in the United States. In the time it's taken you to read this far, someone somewhere has had their car stolen. Most car thefts are crimes of opportunity. Thieves look for cars parked in the dark, on driveways or the street. They're not going to want to face a breaking and entering charge on top of grand theft auto, which is precisely what will happen if they break into your garage to steal your car.
Consider upgrading your garage door to a more durable model that can help protect your car and anything else — bicycles, lawn equipment, tools, etc. — you're storing in there alongside your daily driver.
4. It Might Lower Your Car Insurance
Parking in your garage doesn't only protect your car — it might also protect your wallet. Depending on who handles your car insurance policy, you may qualify for discounts if you're parking your car in the garage instead of on the street. With lower chances of things like weather damage, vandalism and theft, your car presents less of a risk to the company, so they're often happy to lower your premiums.
5. No More Iced Windshields
While you might not need to warm up your car in the winter anymore — you only need to do that if it's got a carburetor — parking outside means you're still dealing with iced over windows in the winter. When you park in the garage, your car might be cold on the inside, but you never have to worry about clearing snow and ice off the windshield ever again.
Clean out That Garage Already!
Now you've seen all the reasons you should put your car in the garage, what are you waiting for? Clean out that garage already. Have a yard sale, and make room for one of your most significant investments — your car.
It's one thing to treat your friend to pizza and beer in exchange for their truck to help move a few items. However, if you could benefit from having a truck... Show more around more often, you might want to consider investing in one of your own. Purchasing a new truck is out of a lot of buyer's price ranges. If you plan on purchasing a used truck, you need to consider some notes.
Read through the following points to see what you need to know and what you should avoid before signing on the dotted line and bringing your new investment home.
Ask What You Need It For
First, think about what you need a truck for. Do you want to be that friend with a truck, or are you planning to hook a hitch up to it for hauling a boat or a trailer? Maybe you need something to take off-road? What you plan to use your truck for will determine which make and model you finally decide to purchase. Before making any decisions, figure out the intended purpose of the truck you plan to buy.
Choose Your Seller
Your next step is to choose your seller. You usually have three options — private seller, car dealership or the auction.
Auctions can be a great way to buy vehicles cheaply, but you don't have the option to inspect or test-drive it before you purchase it. That said, if you don't mind a project car, or only have a little bit of money to work with, an auction is an excellent option.
If looking for an inexpensive deal, private sellers may fit your bill, but you want to watch out for someone selling a junker likely to break down. With this option, you can have the car inspected, and test drive it before making any decisions.
Dealerships might cost a little more, but they often offer the option to break your purchase up into monthly payments or obtain a loan to help cover some of the costs. It may be the better option if you're concerned about warranties or having the vehicle inspected professionally before your purchase.
Set Your Budget
Step three involves figuring out how much money you have to spend on a new truck. The exact amount you need will vary depending on your income and the seller you choose. You'll need to have money-on-hand for a private seller or auction purchases, while loans may be an option with dealerships.
According to experts, you shouldn't spend more than 15% of your gross pay or 20% of your net fee on vehicle loans and monthly car payments. If you're making a down-payment, it should be at least 20% of your overall purchase price.
Check The History
Take it upon yourself to check the history of the vehicle, even if you choose a dealership as your seller. Tools like CarFax give you the option to study the truck's account based on it's VIN or vehicle identification number. The report should include any accidents or damage, as well as whether the car has encountered any natural disasters like floods or fires. The damage from these disasters may not be visible, especially if the seller wants to get rid of something quickly.
Take a look at the maintenance history as well to make sure the truck has received proper care. A deal that's too good to be true probably is, and you don't want to buy a truck that hasn't had an oil change since it rolled off the assembly line.
Enjoy Your New Investment!
All that's left to do now is sit back and enjoy your new investment — and all the free pizza and beer you'll receive from helping your friends move with your new truck.
Car wraps are a great way to change up your daily driver's look without paying for a permanent paint job that could potentially violate your lease agreement.... Show more Let's take a closer look at how to wrap your car, and some mistakes you should avoid if you're planning on doing this job yourself.
Why You Should Wrap Your Car
Why should you consider wrapping your car instead of painting it?
First, it takes a fraction of the time to wrap your car that it does to paint it. Painting requires removing the old paint and clear coat before you can lay down new primer. Depending on where you go, this can take up to three weeks. Wrapping your car shouldn't take more than three days.
If you decide you don't like the color after you paint your car, you're out of luck. With wraps, all you have to do is remove the wrap — which won't damage the existing paint — and you're ready to change up your look again. Wraps are also much more durable, lasting anywhere from 4-10 years while protecting the paint beneath from
DIY Car Wrapping
You don't have to go to a professional to get your car wrapped if you've got a garage to work in, the right tools and plenty of patience.
First, decide on your vinyl. Do you want plain colors, something fancier, or printed patterns? Most cars take an entire 60'x25' roll of vinyl to cover them bumper to bumper. Next, collect your tools: gloves, cutting blades and tape, a measuring tape, a squeegee, a heat gun, and an infrared thermometer.
Now you need to prepare your car. Take off everything that could interfere with laying the vinyl — door handles, mirrors, trim, or anything else that might get in the way. Clean the surface thoroughly, first with a degreaser and then again with isopropyl alcohol to remove anything that could interfere with the application.
Now, take your measurements and cut the vinyl, leaving an extra four to six inches on all the edges. Measure twice, cut one applies here — you can always cut off extra material, but you can't add more once you've made your cuts. Do a dry fit to make sure that everything is cut to size before start peeling.
As you apply the vinyl, make sure you start from the middle and work out any air bubbles that might appear along the way. Take your time — if you rush this step, you'll end up with a messy job that won't look good. Once you've got all the pieces in place, heat them with your heat gun to secure it.
Mistakes To Avoid
When you're designing your vinyl wrap, it's easy to get caught up in everything you can do with the design and end up doing too much. If you've got too much going on, it's easy to lose the look of the wrap and end up with a car that just looks like a hot mess.
While you're applying the wrap, don't rush. It's not a job that you can speed through or you'll end up making mistakes and either having to start over or drive with a messed up wrap job.
Enjoy Your Hard Work
Once you're done wrapping your car, all that's left is to sit back and enjoy all your hard work, with the knowledge that if you get bored with the color, you can just pull the vinyl off without damaging your paint job and change things up again.
Being able to hook a trailer up to your car, truck or SUV can give you an advantage when you need to tow a vehicle, haul cargo, or bring a boat or RV trailer... Show more with you no matter where you're going. Not all cars come with a trailer hitch as standard equipment, but you may be able to add one to your bumper using aftermarket equipment. Here are some quick and easy steps to put a trailer hitch on your vehicle, no matter what you drive.
Know Your Vehicle's Specs and Limitation
A sedan might be tow-capable, but it won't be able to haul as much weight as a truck or an SUV. Take the time to research your vehicle's specifications and weight limits. Most manufacturers offer searchable databases — all you need is your vehicle's VIN to find out its exact towing capacity.
From there, take a look at the kind of cargo you want to haul. Make sure that it, along with the weight of your trailer, is below your vehicle's recommend towing limit.
Collect Your Tools
Your next step is to collect all the tools you'll need to install the hitch. You don't want to jerry-rig anything when you're installing a hitch — if something goes wrong while you're on the road, you're putting yourself and other drivers at risk.
You'll probably need most of the following:
A shop light
A ratchet, extension and socket set, including a swivel socket
Work gloves and safety glasses
A torque wrench
A jack and stands
A tape measure
Screwdrivers of various size and shape
You may need some other tools, but for most aftermarket kits, this will get the job done.
RTFM — Read the Freaking Manual
Before you even take your new hitch out of the box, remember this acronym — RTFM. Read the freaking manual. Your new hitch will come with installation instructions that detail everything from how to secure the hitch in place to how tightly you need to torque down the bolts.
Going over the installation instructions will keep you from making costly and dangerous mistakes.
It's hard to give you step-by-step instructions because they will vary from hitch to hitch, so the best thing you can do is read the manual.
Rent or Buy a Trailer
Once you've got your hitch installed, your last step will be to purchase or rent a trailer. There are plenty of options out there, from utility trailers for regular hauling to flatbeds for moving vehicles. The one you choose will depend on your needs and the towing capacity of your car. Don't exceed this capacity — if you do, you risk ripping off your car's undercarriage and sending your trailer spinning into traffic.
Practice and Drive Carefully
The last bit of advice we can offer is to practice driving with your trailer, both loaded and unloaded, before you head out onto the highway — especially if you've never driven one before. Once you feel comfortable driving on back roads and in parking lots, take to the streets with care. Trailers are useful tools, but they can be dangerous in the hands of an untrained driver.