Friday, December 5, 2008

Knowing the blood and lifeline of your car’s system - Brake, Power Steering, Battery and Radiator Coolant Fluids

Now that you’ve known the other car care basics, perhaps it’s time we take a look at the fluid essentials that are literally the life giving blood of your car.

1. Brake Fluid - Is a type of hydraulic fluid that is used in hydraulic brake applications of your car, motorcycles and trucks. This type of fluid is used to transfer force under pressure from its point of origin among hydraulic lines to the braking mechanism close to the wheels.

Most brake fluids today are composed of glycol-ether but several types with mineral oil and silicone composites are also out in the market. This type of fluid should meet stringent requirements set by organizations such as SAE and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) - hence you get ratings on labels such as SAE or DOT 3 and 4 compliance.

As a rule of thumb, brake fluid should always be replenished if the levels in its container decrease with every drive. Fluid level in the master cyclinder will drop as the linings, brake pads and shoes wear and the calipers extend further to compensate. Brake fluid level may also be low because of leaking, which can lead to loss of hydraulic pressure and the most dangerous- brake loss.

It is very important to constantly monitor your brake fluid levels to ensure safe driving and fill according to the set level. Flush and change your brake fluid every 1-2 years to further ensure reliability and take note to never mix brake fluids with different DOT ratings as this can result to poor fluid performance.

2. Power Steering – Is another type of hydraulic fluid that transmits the power steering system of cars, trucks and other modes of transportation.

This is the fluid that guards your power-steering pump and rack from wear and tear. It requires constant monitoring and refilling from time to time according to the required level in its cylinder.

A way to notice that your steering system is about to have a problem or that your power steering fluid is running low is when you turn the steering wheel and you hear whining noises. Have your car checked when this occurs to prevent serious damages to your power- steering system.

Note: There are products out in the market today that contain the combined properties of Power Steering and Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF). Use any of these products to save and be protected more.

3. Battery Fluid - Is the electrolyte fluid found inside the cells of your battery. If you are using the regular type of battery and not the maintenance free one, then you are required to refill your battery cells from time to time with electrolyte fluid.

Standard battery for cars is 12V and usually has 6 individual cells inside it. To refill, simply remove the vent caps that can either be found on top or on the sides of the battery. Check and fill the electrolyte fluid inside.

Note: There are some brands of maintenance free batteries out in the market today that can run on dual power- meaning they also have vent caps for electrolyte fluids in case their power supply run out. Although this type of battery may not come cheap, it would be best for you to use it.

4. Radiator Coolant- Is a mixture of anti-freeze fluid and water designed to protect the radiator and cooling system all year round. Using one will protect your engine from overheating. Most coolant products out in the market today come with various additives that can further help you against rust and other forms of corrosion, lubricate or increase the cooling efficiency of your cooling system.

Simply pour out the contents of your coolant to the radiator reservoir. Add water to the set level and you’re done.

For maintenance, it is very important for you to drain and flush your coolant once a year (or depending on the product recommendations) and replace it with a new one.

Note: Never mix different types of coolant together as this can lead to damage or a reduction of your car’s cooling system. Before changing to another brand, be sure to drain and flush your cooling system of the old one.

See to it that the reservoirs of these fluids are in constant levels and refill when they’re not enough. Properly maintaining them will help ensure your safety and prolong the life of your car.

Buckle up and drive safely.

by: Jovir Amatong

Test Drive Tips

Are you planning to buy a car? This can be exciting and puzzling, especially if it’s your first time. Cars nowadays can be bought just about anywhere. You can see them by the road, next door, online, or by the local dealerships. There are a great deal of sources to consider and a test drive is the best way to start. Here are some tips to help choose your perfect match wisely.

1. Bring a Friend.
- You’ll need a clear, objective perspective from a friend or relative who knows more about cars and your needs well. Their insights could help a lot especially if they have tried driving a similar model.

2. Take your time.
- It’s better to borrow the car for the day or evening. But if they refuse, make sure to spend a few hours with the vehicle alone. If you have enough flexibility to decide, use all the time you need. Don’t be in a hurry to buy without rethinking the pros and cons.

3. Familiarize yourself with the car’s controls before setting off.
- Once you’re doing the test drive, it’s recommended to maintain concentration and focus. Ask the dealer or sales person about the unusual symbols and buttons. Avoid switching and searching for buttons when driving; this can be very dangerous.

4. Get curious and keep asking questions.
- If you still need some clarification on the vehicle, don’t hesitate to ask. Face it, if this is the first time for you
to buy a car, you’d want to clear all the doubt and questions in your mind. It’s understandable to slightly annoy the dealer with questions about their merchandise; it’s really their job to satisfy you and customers are always right. Ask about the safety features, the mpg, after sales services and other important questions.

5. Choose a different driving route.
- Try the unfamiliar route or road less traveled. Through a different driving route you’ll get more clues and indications on the versatility and performance of the car.

6. Try sitting on the front and back seat.
- Let your relative or friend drive as well. You’ll discover some things from the passenger seat that you couldn’t see from the driver’s seat. That way, you’ll check the car from different perspectives.

7. Test and compare different makes.
- Test two similar models from similar makes or brands. If the dealer permits, you should take the time to try several models for comparison. Just like buying the perfect pair of shoes, look for the perfect fit.

8. Don’t be obliged to buy from the first dealer.
- The car might fit your needs and specifications, but that doesn’t mean you must buy it right away. Don’t let the dealer guilt you into buying it. Remember to check the credentials of the dealer and weigh your options as well.

by: Amalia Aviles

Petrol or diesel: What fuels your drive?

Before anything else, if you have only tried driving petrol powered vehicles and not a diesel or vice versa, you should try driving both first – and no, not simultaneously. And if it has been a while since you’ve driven one or the other, it would be wise to try again with the more current models; the technological changes might surprise you.

The choice between petrol and diesel always boils down to one’s personal preference yet very few people are undecided about the issue. Try asking your friend about which engine type is better and he’ll likely give you a very passionate opinion rather than a straightforward answer. If you want the objective truth, let me give you the facts so that you can decide for yourself.

Fuel Economy

With the rising oil prices, fuel economy is a crucial factor in choosing your next car. Diesel engines are inherently more fuel efficient and can save you money in the long run.

They are more efficient than petrol (per liter of fuel burned) because diesel fuel has a higher energy density. When engines run while the vehicle is at idle, a diesel engine will only consume about one third of what a petrol engine will. Diesel fuel is also generally priced lower than petrol, at least right now. All these potential savings from a diesel unit could substantially accumulate over the years, especially if you plan to rack up a lot of kilometers.

Maintenance Cost

In the short term, regular maintenance for diesel units will cost more as they need to be serviced more often, they have a larger volume of oil in the engine, and diesel replacement parts can become quite expensive.

On the other hand, diesel engines become cost effective in the long term because of their excellent durability. An average petrol unit can only run for about 200,000 kilometers before needing a major overhaul while an average diesel engine can go three times further – and while regularly pulling heavier loads.

Noise and Vibration

Engine noise reduction technology has rapidly improved during the last decade. But the fact remains that diesel engines are relatively louder and shakier than their petrol counterparts. The difference becomes more noticeable when the vehicle is at idle or when it is accelerating from low speeds.


If you want to know which type of fuel gives off more pollution, I’m afraid the answer is too long and complicated for me to coherently address in this article. Suffice it to say that only diesel engines emit significant amounts of Nitrous Oxide (NOx) and soot. While both diesel and petrol emit Carbon Dioxide (CO2), diesel emits slightly less for the same amount of energy output.

Speed and Power

Let’s not go down the long and winding “horsepower vs. torque” road. The more important thing to know is that diesel engines can always beat petrol when it comes to towing capacity and pulling force because they generally produce more torque. On the other hand, petrol engines can give you even more speed and acceleration while at high speeds because of the higher horsepower and RPM they can attain.

So, what’s the verdict?

Still undecided? You might want to consider the following: what you plan to use the vehicle for and what type of environment you are living in.

If you want a car that is quick and quiet for your everyday driving in paved and narrow roads, if you don’t plan to ferry a lot of people and haul heavy stuff, and if you plan to replace your vehicle before it reaches the 200,000 kilometer mark – get a petrol compact or sedan.

If you live in are where steep climbs and rough roads are the norm, if you are looking for a vehicle which is ideal for towing or hauling heavy loads, if you plan to take on a lot of passengers everyday, if you plan to get a lot of good mileage and long term fuel economy – get a diesel truck, van or SUV.

by: Edon Canada

The truth about Lemon cars and how to avoid buying one

No, were not talking about the green, refreshing fruit we’ve all come to love- but of a defective car. The term “Lemon” has been coined for new or used cars which after purchase, has been found by the buyer to have defects not readily apparent before it was bought. Defects could range from simple design flaws to life threatening flaws due to parts installed incorrectly during manufacture.

The term nowadays, is also associated with any product which has major defects that make it useless for its purpose.

New and used lemons

In perception, brand new cars may contain technical defects or workmanship errors. This could be due to incorrect design or errors during the assembly process at the factories. Parts and wiring may have been installed incorrectly or cars may have hidden defects under the hood.

Used cars on the other hand, become lemons once they are not used according to the set standards, abused or poorly maintained, repaired or worse, has been unprofessionally rebuilt after meeting an accident. A common practice of fraudulent dealerships is the tampering of lemon vehicles to manipulate high mileage, technical and mechanical defects, corrosion and more.

The used line up may also encounter the same problems as that of their brand new counter parts, but the problems are way much worse.

A form of lemon known as “Cut and shut” a type of car body collision repair where a wrecked portion of a car is sawed off and is replaced with a section from a matching car. A car that is cut and shut is very dangerous as it will surely come apart under strenuous conditions, high speeds and road mishaps. Usually, cars that have been cut and shut are the ones that were salvaged after a serious collision.

Poorly repaired collision-damaged vehicles are also bound to be a risk with Unibody problems. A Unibody by the way, is the type of construction used in motor vehicles where parts such as the floor, roof, and panels are wielded together to produce a unit. This process has been employed in the manufacture of vehicles since 1987. It eliminates the need to construct a separate frame for every vehicle produced.

Car weight may be reduced, but its unibody parts are prone to bending as they were designed to absorb the impact of g-forces or damage in severe accidents which may cause the car not to work properly when it is still driven (even with stringent repairs) after a grave blow.

Protect yourself from lemons

As a consumer, there are legislative measures that protect you against lemons and manufacturers nowadays are very vigilant about their products that they would be willing to give you back your money, buy back the defective vehicle or exchange it for a new one right away once it has undergone multiple repair attempts yet the problems still persist or when defects caused your new vehicle to be out of service over a long period of time because of repairs.

In buying new or used cars, please take note of the following:

1. Do a research on the manufacturer or find out from the authorities if there has been a recall on your model.
2. Be in the know of your model’s safety recall and maintenance history through consumer safety groups, auto magazines, newspaper articles and website reviews.
3. Ask car shops and mechanics how often your model shows up in their shops for repairs.
4. Do a survey among other owners of your model if they are satisfied with their cars.
5. For used vehicles, always get a vehicle history report to make sure that the car you’re buying is clean with no major wrecks or any illegal activity in history.
6. Be suspicious of a model that’s being sold at a very cheap price. Ask around why the price is so. Be warned of dealers / sellers who try to close a deal too quickly.
7. Buying from an owner? Always see to it to have a trusted mechanic inspect the car. Avoid cars that have been in an accident or have frame damage.

Drive safely.

by: Jovir Amatong

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

36weeks and counting

im on my 36weeks and soon im going to see my baby. for the past few weeks he's been kicking and jabbing me alot. i cant wait to see him soon... our little bundle of joy. all i hope now is to have a safe normal delivery and that he's healthy as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to choose the right kind of battery for your car

A battery may count as a bit small, but in reality, it is one of the most crucial components of your car as it is the one that gives power to all electronic gadgets, components and the startup of your engine.

No matter how well maintained your car is, once you power it up with a low performance battery, it will eventually be left lifeless on the road. It is therefore important to outfit your car with the best battery around.

Recent developments of the vehicle industry has produced upgrades or modifications allowing batteries to keep up with the advanced features of models from various makers. Competition among the battery manufacturers also provides consumers with lower prices, improved battery life and more advanced features. All batteries now can be installed DIY!

Below are the simple how to’s to help you select the right battery for your car.

Finding a new battery

When looking for a new battery, always take note that prices may vary because of brand, features, quality and capacity.

If you’re looking for a brand that’s reliable, simply do a research online for the most popular or ask other car owners for the brands that they’re using.

The availability of new batteries is not a question nowadays; you can get hold of them at most car shops, service centers and auto supplies from urban areas up to the farthest countryside. Prices may vary but most shops provide discounts for customers who turn in their old batteries.

Provided you have the budget, see to it not to buy cheap batteries! You might think that you’re getting a bargain now but sooner or later, you will suffer as cheap batteries are poor in quality and will surely never last long.

Check your car manual or battery referral guides in automotive shops for factors such as group size, cold-cranking amps and cranking amps to properly guide you in your selection.

Group size - Refers to battery volume with the location of terminals (positive + and negative -) your manual indicates the group size required by your car’s model.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) - Refers to a battery’s ability in cold weather conditions. It is in situations such as these that the engine oil becomes thicker thereby making ignition difficult. You can tell how much electrical power your battery can provide to your car at zero degrees (F) by looking at its CCA rating.

Cranking Amps (CA) – Is the indicator of a battery’s power-capability.

Now that you know what to look for, it is then time for you to consider buying a battery based on preference leads such as:


You can select from maintenance free or a regular battery. I’d say go for the maintenance free type as you will not go through the hassles of constantly checking and refilling the battery electrolyte fluids.

Country climate and driving conditions

Select the battery that fits your country climate and driving condition. If you are living in a country with high temperatures, it is appropriate for you to select the battery type for a long life. Look for a tough housing that will protect the plates from easily corroding and provides protection against fluid evaporation.

Display date

Select the ones that are displayed fresh on the counter with no more than 6 months from their manufacture date.

Battery handles

For easy installation and pullout, select a battery that has a handle on it. You wouldn’t want to carry a 4-5 kilo box just by holding on to its sides now would you?

Follow these tips to land the perfect power for your ride. Drive safely.

by: Jovir Amatong

Avoiding used vehicle fraud: How to steer clear of buying stolen vehicles in New Zealand.

New Zealand is a country of spectacular landscapes and the Kiwis love cars.
As a matter of fact, there are heaps of sellers and dealerships across the northern and southern territories.
One of the things, however, that pose a threat to buying used cars is the risk of buying stolen ones.

This is not a dead end; and one sure fire way of fighting fraud is through stolen vehicle checks.
While doing a check means time and money, it is much needed especially now during hard times.

One way is to do the checks through an agency and another is through the dealerships. IBC Japan, and Motohound - are the best examples of used vehicle sources that do thorough stolen vehicle checks and back their vehicles 100%.

If you wish to do some checks yourself, here are some smart tips that you can follow:

• Be suspicious if the price on the vehicle is too cheap. Criminals typically make the sale exceptionally attractive to seal the deal fast.

• Buy from reputable sources/dealers. Ask around or do a background check on any dealer you’re interested to buy from. All motor vehicle traders are required to be registered under the Motor Vehicle Sales Act (MVSA).

• Go to the dealer or seller’s site where the vehicle is rather than have the vehicle delivered to your door.

• Get hold of the engine and chassis numbers and check for any alteration. Any alteration or imperfection may be an indication of an attempt to conceal vehicle’s true identity. Check if those numbers match those on the registration papers, keeping in mind that those numbers may not belong to the vehicle. A criminal wants you to make the match and be happy. Check the certificate of registration for any sign of alteration as well.

• Always get the official receipt! Inspect whether the receipt accurately shows the name, address, date and description of vehicle. Include the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), chassis number and engine number, sale price and signature of seller.

• Get current records by completing an information request form and paying a small fee at any New Zealand Post Shop when the Certificate of Registration papers are unavailable.

• Make sure that the Road User Charges have been paid up to the odometer/hubometer reading during the time of purchase. You will be liable for arrears. You may contact the RUC helpdesk on 0800 655 644 if you can’t find the current RUC license.

• Don’t deal with a seller/dealer by the road side. Make sure to visit their office or yard to inspect their business processes.

• Don’t buy from a seller/dealer without the vehicle’s certificate of registration papers.

• Don’t buy without checking if the color matches with Land Transport Safety Authority records. If vehicle has been repainted, check behind door rubbers for the original color. An incorrect vehicle color may indicate a stolen vehicle with a false identity.

• Don’t buy a vehicle from a dealer/seller without the certificate of registration papers.
• Don’t buy without checking whether there is money owing on the vehicle or a security interest registered over it.
Buying a stolen vehicle or stolen vehicle parts in New Zealand is considered a serious crime and even if you purchase a stolen vehicle or part unknowingly, the rightful owner may take it back from you.
Are you likely to be at risk? Will your vehicle be the next target?

Here’s the top ten stolen vehicle list as reported by

1. Nissan Silvia
2. Subaru Impreza WRX
3. BMW 325 coupe
4. Nissan 200SX
5. Mazda Lantis
6. Subaru Legacy turbo
7. Subaru Impreza non-turbo
8. Nissan Skyline
9. Subaru Legacy non-turbo
10. Honda Prelude

by: Amalia Aviles

10 do-it-yourself ways to solve car starting problems

Car ignition problems have a knack of turning up during the most inopportune time and in the most inconvenient places – like when you are in the middle of nowhere on your way to an important job interview. Here are ten techniques to troubleshoot this motoring menace:

1. Clean your battery posts. Remove corrosion and dirt in the contact area between your battery posts and the wire clamps that connect to your battery.

2. Jumpstart your car. First of all, carry a multimeter tester in your car. It’s cheap and takes up negligible space in your toolbox. But if you are one of those people who hate to carry one around, the only way to find out if your battery is dead or dying is by jumpstarting with the help of another car. If your car starts without a hitch, your battery is most likely the problem.

3. Blame the ignition switch. If you can be fairly certain that your battery isn’t the problem, blame the ignition switch. Turn the key to the “on” position but not all the way to “start.” If the low battery warning lights on your dashboard don’t light up, then you may indeed have a faulty ignition switch. To confirm your suspicions, turn on the headlights before starting the car. If the headlights don’t dim drastically or turn off completely when you try starting, then you are right about blaming the switch.

4. Investigate the starter. Make sure the starter doesn’t have a loose connection. It’s easy to see the wires that connect to the starter motor, assuming you know what a starter motor looks like. If not, search Google Images for “car+starter+motor.” Now!

5. Check your fuses. While it’s understandable that you are about to blow a fuse by now, try having a little more patience. If your car has a fuse box which is associated with the starting system, you might want to make sure that the problem is not as simple as a blown fuse. You might want to do this before getting your hands dirty with step numbers 1 to 4. Oops, sorry!

6. Test the ignition coil. Use a multimeter tester that can measure impedance. In the absence of a multimeter tester, use your hands to feel if there is any current in the coil when the car is started. Really, a lot of people do this but I don’t recommend it.

7. Inspect the coil wires. Examine the coil wires and see if they are shorted or broken then use the multimeter tester to ensure their connectivity.

8. Wipe the distributor cap. Remove the cap and wipe off any moisture with a clean and dry cloth. Look for cracks and replace when necessary.

9. See if the oil filter is clogged. The oil filter has an average lifespan of about 12,000 miles.

10. Tighten electrical connections. Your car’s fuel injection system has a lot of electrical connections. In simple terms, tighten every electrical connection you can get your hands on under the hood.

If you have already exhausted these 10 easy ways but your car still refuses to start, there could be a bigger problem that requires an expert’s attention. The question isn’t whether you should call a mechanic or a towing service. The question is: If you were on your way to an important job interview, why, for Pete’s sake, did you have to stop in the middle of nowhere and turn off the engine?

by: Evert Canada

May nakausap akong rape victim...

Tingin ng mga bobong kapitbahay ko puta daw ako. Nagpapagamit, binabayaran. Sabi nila ako daw ang pinakamaganda at pinakasikat sa aming lugar noon. Ang bango-bango ko daw, sariwa at makinis. Di ko nga alam kung sumpa ito, dahil dito nagkanda loko-loko ang kinabukasan ko. Halika, makinig ka muna sa kwento ko, yosi muna tayo.

Alam mo, maraming lumapit sa akin, nagkagusto, naakit. Ang hirap pag lahat sa iyo virgin eh. Tinanggap ko naman sila bilang tao, bakit kaya nila ako ginago? Masakit alalahanin, iniisip ko na lang na kasi di sila taga rito, siguro talagang ganoon. Tatlong hayok na foreigners ang namiyesta sa katawan ko, na-rape ako.

Sa tatlong beses akong nagahasa, ang pinakahuli ang di ko makakalimutan. Parang maski di ko ginusto ang mga nangyari, hinahanap-hanap ko siya. Tinulungan nya kasi akong makalimutan yung mga sadistang Espanyol at Hapon. Kasi, ibang-iba talaga sya. Ibang klase siya mag-sorry, lalo pa at kinupkop niya ako at ang mga naging anak ko.

Parating ang dami naming regalo - may chocolates, spam, blue seal na yosi, ano ka! May datung pa! Nakakabaliw siya, alam kong ginagamit niya lang ako pero pagamit naman ako nang pagamit.

Sa kanya namin natutunan mag-inggles, di lang magsulat ha! Magbasa pa! Hanggang ngayon, sa tuwing mabigat ang problema ko, siya ang tinatakbuhan ko. Yun nga lang, lahat ng bagay may kapalit. Nung kinasama ko siya, guminhawa buhay namin. Sosyal na sosyal kami. Pero pakiramdam ko unti unti na akong nalolosyang.

Ewan ko nga ba, akala ko napapamahal na ako sa kanya. Akala ko tuloy-tuloy na kaligayahan namin, yun pala unti-unti niya akong pinapatay. Putang Ina! Sa dami ng lason na sinaksak niya sa katawan ko, malapit na akong malaspag.

Ang daming nagsabi na ang tanga tanga ko. Patalsikin ko na daw. Sa tulong ng mga anak ko, napalayas ko ang animal pero ang hirap magsimula. Masyado na kaming nasanay sa sarap ng buhay na naranasan namin sa kanya. Lubog na lubog pa kami sa utang, kulang ata pati kaluluwa namin para ibayad sa mga inutang namin.

Sinikap naming lahat maging maganda ang buhay namin. Ayun, mga nasa Japan, Hong Kong, Saudi ang mga anak ko. Yung iba nag-US at Europe. Yung iba ayaw umalis sa akin. Halos lahat, wala naman silbi, masaya daw sa piling ko, maski amoy usok ako.

Sa dami ng mga anak ko na nagsisikap na tulungan ang kalagayan namin, marami rin sa mga anak ko na andito ang namamantala sa kabuhayan at kayamanan na itinatabi ko para sa kinabukasan naming lahat. Halos mahubaran na ako sa sobrang kasakiman ng aking mga anak. Ibinigay ko na ang lahat sa kanila, pero ninanakawan pa rin nila ako. Kaya dumating ang panahon na di na kami halos makaahon sa hirap ng buhay. Napakahirap dahil nasanay na kami sa ginhawa at sarap.

Ang di ko inaakala ay mismong mga anak ko, ang tuluyang sisira sa akin. Napakasakit tanggapin na malinlang. Akala ko ay makakakita ako ng magiging kasama sa buhay sa mga ahas na ipinakilala ng mga anak ko Hindi pala. Ang tanga ko talaga. Binugaw ako ng sarili kong mga anak kapalit ng kwarta at pansamantalang ginhawa na nais nilang matamasa.

Wala na akong nagawa dahil sa sobrang pagmamahal ko sa aking mga anak. Wala akong ibang yaman kundi ganda ko. Pinagamit ko na lang ng pinagamit ang sarili ko, basta maging maginhawa lang ang mga anak ko.

Usap-usapan ako ng mga kapitbahay ko. May nanghihinayang, namumuhi at naaawa. Puta na kasi ang isang magandang tulad ko.

Alam mo, gusto ko na sanang tumigil sa pagpuputa kaso ang laki talaga ng letseng utang ko eh. Palaki pa ng palaki. Kulang na kulang. Paano na lang ang mga anak ko naiwan sa aking puder? Baka di na ako balikan o bisitahin ng mga nag-abroad kong mga anak. Hindi na importante kung laspagin man ang ganda ko, madama ko lang ang pagmamahal ng mga anak ko. Malaman nila na gagawin ko ang lahat para sa kanila.

Sa tuwing titingin ako sa salamin, alam ko maganda pa rin ako. Meron pa din ang bilib sa akin. Napapag usapan pa din. Sa tuwing nakikita ko ang mukha ko sa salamin, nakikita ko ang mga anak ko. Tutulo na lang ang mga luha ko ng di ko namamalayan. Ang gagaling nga ng mga anak ko, namamayagpag kahit saan sila pumunta. Mahusay sa kahit anong gawin. Tama man o mali. Proud ako sa kanila. Kaso sila, kabaligtaran ang nararamdaman para sa akin.

Sa dami ng mga anak ko, iilan lang ang may malasakit sa akin. May malasakit man, nahihilaw pa. Ni hindi nga yata ako kinikilalang ina. Ang dami ko ng pasakit na tiniis pero walang sasakit pa nung sarili kong mga anak ang nagbugaw sa akin. Kinapital ang laspag na ganda ko. Masyado silang nasanay sa sarap ng buhay. Minsan sa pagtingin ko sa salamin, ni hindi ko na nga kilala sarili ko.

Dadating na naman ang pasko, sana maalala naman ako ng mga anak ko. Isang buwan pa, magbabagong taon na. Natatakot ako sa taon na darating. Ngayon pa lang usap usapan na ang susunod na pagbubugaw ng ilan sa mga anak ko. Sana may magtanggol naman sa akin, ipaglaban naman nila ako. Gusto kong isigaw:


Sige, dumadrama na ako. Masisira na ang make up ko nito eh. Salamat ha, pinakinggan mo ako. Ay sorry, di ko nasabi pangalan ko.

Ako nga pala si PILIPINAS.

Kailangan po talagang mabasa at maintindihan nating lahat ang pinagdadaanan ng Inang Bayan...and sana after reading this...wag sanang manatili sa ating mga mata lamang ang ating nabasa...we have to converge and organize something like a forum or anything na pwede tayo makapag usap usap and to formulate plan of actions.....TAYO ANG MGA ANAK NI INANG BAYAN..AT KAPAG WALA TAYONG GINAWA BAKA DI NATIN NA MAMALAYAN TAYO NA MISMO ANG BUMUBUGAW SA KANYA...

Di ko alam kung sino nagsulat nito, nakuha ko lang sa bobongpinoy groups, pero kalat natin. Kung sino man nagsulat nito, salamat kapatid!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Road Saftey Tips for Drivers

Are you a responsible driver? About a million people all over the world die of road accidents every year. Follow these essential road safety tips for your own sake and others.

1. Belt yourself
– whether you are on the front seat or back, you are still at risk.

If you don’t, you could kill someone in the front as well as yourself.
Check if everyone is belted well before you hit the road and make sure you do, even on short trips.
Seats must be suited to your child’s size , weight, and for your vehicle. They must be
properly fastened as well. Avoid using second-hand seats; only brand new and reliable brands.

2. Wake yourself
Don’t risk driving when you’re sleepy.
If you do, chances are you’ll keep nodding while driving.
Research shows that the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel is between midnight-6am and 2-4pm; so get enough rest before setting off.
If ever you feel drowsy while driving, pull over; experts suggest to get a cup of coffee or an energy drink with caffeine. After drinking, park beside a busy and well-lit area and nap for a few minutes to give time for the caffeine to kick in.
Start driving only if you are alert again.

3. Sober yourself
Don’t drive under the influence of any substance.
Don’t drive if you feel heavy and tipsy after drinking; trying to look sober won’t work and there’s a big chance you’ll doze off and crash. Sleep it off somewhere until you get sober.
Don’t be an idiot. Alcohol slows your responses, dulls your judgement and vision and impairs your ability to drive; same goes for illegal drugs.
If you go out to drink with friends, it’s better to let your sober friend (with a driver’s license) drive on the way back home.

4. Control yourself
Don’t overspeed.
Check your speedometer and don’t go over the speed limits. The faster you go, the harder you’ll hit anything or anyone.
Watch for the speed limits by the side of the road. In some countries, speed cameras are installed and you’ll have to pay a hefty amount of money or worse, crash your car.
Don’t attempt to overtake if you’re not so sure the road is clear.

5. Prep yourself
Drive wisely in bad weather conditions.
When it rains, make sure your headlights function well and keep them on a dipped beam when necessary.
Slow down especially when you’re on wet and snowy roads; you might skid and topple over.
Drive at least 4 seconds behind the vehicle infront of you and avoid braking and steering sharply.
Make sure to bring an emergency winter kit stocked with cloth, ice scraper, glass cleaner, anti-freeze, kitty litter, jack and wrench.

6. Alert yourself
Don’t get distracted while driving.
Pay attention to the road and avoid answering your mobile phone or changing a CD or song in your mp3 player. It only takes a split second to overlook potential danger.
Be fully aware of your surroundings and you’ll be able to avoid hazards along the way. Driving is a complicated activity that requires your full concentration.
Cyclists and pedestrians need to be watched out for especially in round abouts and pedestrian crossings.

7. Check yourself
Inspect gear and vehicle fluids.
Worn out tires may cause serious accidents. Use a tyre pressure gauge to make sure they are also properly inflated and do not have tears.
Do you have enough break fluid? Is there a leak? Check for scheduled check ups on your vehicle.
Also make sure your head lights are cleaned properly and bulbs aren’t blown. You need ample visibility on the road.

by Amalia Aviles

Discovering Odometer Fraud: How to rule out deceptive rollback

Odometer tampering is an under rated risk every used car buyer must contend with. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that odometer fraud results in consumer losses of more than $1 billion annually. But many countries around the world are not putting enough effort to combat this threat in terms of legislating specific laws and informing the public.

But what is odometer fraud, anyway? Odometer fraud is a common scam wherein sellers roll back the mileage reading of a vehicle. This, of course, falsely inflates its value. When vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on them have their odometers clocked back to about half of its actual mileage, buyers end up paying a lot more than the vehicle’s real worth – not just in the buying price but also in the subsequent cost of repairs that the vehicle inevitably brings.

Make sure the next pre-owned vehicle you purchase doesn’t have a tampered odometer. It can be difficult but certainly not impossible to detect odometer tampering. Here are some practical ways to do it.

o If you are importing the vehicle and can’t inspect it in person, make sure that the company you are importing from has a reliable odometer inspection service, preferably by an independent third party;
o Check the title and ownership history documents to see if the mileage reading on the documents have been altered;
o Check the service records and look for service stickers inside the door or under the hood that may give the actual mileage;
o When buying from a private seller, check if the car is being sold immediately after a new title was issued – the new title could have been obtained because an alteration of the mileage reading was apparent on the old title;
o If you could inspect the vehicle in person, look for loose screws or scratch marks around the dashboard and misalignment of the digits (especially the 10,000 digit);
o Check for inconsistencies: vehicles with low mileage readings usually still have their original parts such as batteries, hoses and clamps, and they shouldn’t show heavy wear on the seats, arm rest and steering;

Digital Odometers

Many new cars have digital odometers and a lot of consumers believe that these modern mileage counters are a lot more tamper-proof than the mechanical kind. The sad fact is that, given the right tools – a diagnostic computer and a software program readily downloadable from the net, for free – anyone can make the alteration in mere minutes. And what makes it even worse is that an electronic rollback is much harder to detect.

Be extra careful when buying used vehicles with digital odometers. The best way to ensure that they were not tampered with is by checking whether the mileage data on the vehicle’s ownership history report and service records correspond to its current mileage reading. A vehicle used privately runs at an average of 20,000 to 30,000 kilometers per year. If the odometer reading is inconsistent with its age, take extra care in scrutinizing its history.

by Evert Canada

Rev and Bootstraps: Optimizing your car’s looks and performance

Getting bored with driving your car lately? Perhaps it’s time to consider accessory additions or replacements. Here’s a few tips to help you rev up your ride:

The Interior

To give comfort and flair to your ride, you can load up on new aftermarket accessories readily available at your local car shop from various makers with impressive and stylish designs. Common updates for the interior include:

Carpets/ floor mats, Seat covers, Headrests, Moon light, Strobe lighting, Neon lights, Mobile phone and drink holders, Seat belt harness and pads, CD Organizers, Cockpit films, Dash kits, Door guards, Gauge facers, Pedal pads, Shift pads, Steering wheels, Steering wheel covers, Steering wheel accessories and Sunshades.

Let’s discuss some of the most important upgrades mentioned above. Carpets and mats are very important for your car as they help protect the floor against the entry of dust, rust and moisture which can easily eat up your floor without you knowing it. Seat covers on the other hand will help protect your seats while making them look more stylish. You can even have your covers as the highlight of your planned theme for the interior!

Steering wheels or steering wheel covers will provide you better grip and handling on the wheel. Shift knobs look trendy while providing an improved grip. Pedal pads ensure better grip while adding accent to your cockpit. Seat belt harness and pads may not only look pleasing to the eyes but will help ensure that you and your passengers are safely and comfortably held to the seats when needed. Steering wheel accessories allow you to integrate important triggers and buttons into your steering wheel for ease and convenience. A Custom dash kit is one great way to compliment your interior theme and it usually comes in numerous finishes such as wood veneer and carbon fiber.

The Exterior

Now that we’re done with the interior, we will now give your exterior a make over. Consider the following upgrades the next time you visit the auto shop:

Paint, grille, billet door handles, wings, spoilers, headlights, tail lights and rims. For a really enhanced look, you can also go for a whole new body kit installation.

In a summary, select the best type of paint (Acrylic or Urethane) and finish your car in a color that’s trendy or in tune with your taste and personality. Look for an aftermarket grille which is an upgraded version from your car’s brand or something that is custom designed. Spoilers will improve your car’s aerodynamics while giving it a fuller edge and design. A change in your headlight, tail light casing and bulb colors will also make your car attractive, not to mention improve your view. An upgrade in Mags/ Rims will definitely enhance your car’s profile as well as its grip on the road. Select from various finishes such as chrome, stainless-steel and alloy, that suit your taste. Always remember to compliment a rim change with the appropriate tires. Body kit installations are available at specialized car shops, look for one in your area that caters to quality personalized designs or is the town popular so you’re really getting your money’s worth.

Under the hood

Engine – Have your engine overhauled to bring it back to pristine condition or consider installing a performance chip to boost it even further. Chips can easily be fitted with fuel injection and an Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Installing one often results with a 10-15% power boost in regular engines and a 10% horsepower increase in turbo engines.
Brakes - You need to improve your brakes for better handling and safety. Install performance pads and upgrade performance discs. Performance brake pads enhance your braking power and can withstand much more abuse than their regular counterparts.

Air Filter - Replace your air filter or the filter element in the air filter. For fuel injection engines, enhance the airflow by removing the original box containing the air filter and hoses and then put an induction kit in place. It looks like a cone filter that can be attached directly to the air flow meter, making a more direct and smooth airflow to the engine.

Exhaust – Always see to it that nothing blocks the way of gases on their way out for greater power. You can replace the original exhaust with aftermarket assortments out in car shops. Simply select one that fits your taste.

Suspension - You might want to lower your springs for a leaner look and get a better grip for your car. Springs reduce roll when taking corners and will give your tires better contact with the road. Although you might encounter slight problems when driving over small bumps, these springs will come in handy as they will stiffen and reduce roll when you take on corners. You can also employ shock absorbers and up-rated bushes to upgrade your suspension.

Simply follow these simple tips and you’ll be zooming off to a brand new ride. Just don’t forget to buckle up while you’re at it

by Jovir Amatong

Thursday, October 30, 2008

krismas wishList

I’ve been good this year so I’m making my advance christmas wishlist.

1. Healthy baby
2. Safe delivery
3. baby stuff
4. extra money for house renovation
5. dvd player for our new TV
6. more buhay2x
7. laptop for my buhay2x

kana lng.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How some used car accessories jack up price but diminish value

A regular person’s dream ride, no matter what type of car, will have high tech features just short of James Bond’s vanishing Aston Martin. It wreaks havoc on our sense of proportion when we find a used car with an entertainment system, navigation, and all the gadgetry that we associate with the car of our dreams. A vehicle priced too high could end up looking like a rare bargain. If you want to buy a used car like a pro, you may want to steer clear of these new car features.

Navigation Systems. Many authorities on assigning used car values consider this as an additional asset. The fact is that this accessory usually only works in the vehicle’s country of origin. Some of them only require you to upload maps of your area for the system to work. But downloading the maps to your flash drive still presents an extra cost. So do your homework and find out the type of navigation system you are buying and if maps of your area are indeed available.

Built-in DVD Monitors. LCD screens that are built into the car are becoming quite popular. Sometimes they are imbedded in the front row’s headrests, mounted on the space between the front row seats, or even on the dashboard panel. You’d probably gladly pay a bit more for this gorgeous extra. Don’t. They easily malfunction and are quite expensive to replace. Instead, buy a portable DVD player. It has a bigger screen and is easier to use in and out of the car.

Satellite Radio Receivers. This high tech accessory is perfect for those who demand crystal clarity when tuning in to their favorite radio stations; provided, of course, that they are willing to pay an outrageous sum for subscription. Companies which provide satellite radio service have their own specific receivers which can let you listen to their own specific radio stations, depending on your specific subscription. As to which of these companies will continue to exist in the near future, I’m afraid there is nothing specific at the moment.

Removable Third-Row Seats. This ingenious feature, just like the SUV craze, is all but gone now. Not just because people are now looking for more fuel efficient vehicles but because they realize that if you needed the space while you are away from home and you manage to survive removing the 50 pound third row furniture, there’s no place to store them. If you are really willing to shell out some cash for an extra space, look for third row seats that fold on the floor.

Panoramic Roofs. Glass sunroofs that stretch from the back to the front of a vehicle are dangerous. Debris can crack and break the glass during an accident and there were even cases when passengers were thrown through them. Besides, a damaged sunroof is tough and quite expensive to fix.

Run-Flat Tires. If you are worried about running a flat tire, use the spare. Run-flat tires will give you a harsher ride. Although they can keep you from worrying about holes in your rubber, run-flat tires will still slowly but surely drill a hole in your pocket as they lower your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Keyless Entry. Yes, James Bond never used a key. He never worried about replacement cost in case the remote got lost or damaged either. And when the gadget failed, the director can always call for a second take. Because these tiny contraptions do fail; and when they do, I hope you don’t get mistaken for a burglar when you try to jimmy the lock on your car, Agent 007!

by: Evert Canada


Buying used Japanese vehicles in New Zealand

Looking for a cheaper deal? Whether for personal use or business, new vehicles mean more money and during hard times it’s practical to set aside luxury for necessity.

There are lots of ways to get a better bargain. Used Japanese vehicles are a safe bet, since most used vehicles from Japan are fairly in good condition. Buying used Japanese vehicles could be the cheaper and best alternative and here are a few smart tips on how to start.

1. Do your home work.
Search used japanese vehicles in your local trade magazines, publications or online., for instance, is a trusted source of used Japanese vehicles with an extensive inventory to choose from online. You get to search the inventory and also get to choose the dealer depending on your location without worrying about shipping.
Some online and offline publications by Auto Trader, have classified ads of used Japanese imports as well.
If those options still don’t work for you, you may check out IBC Japan. IBC Japan is the leading vehicle exporter in Japan with a wide-ranging vehicle inventory. You can also access their online auction service-iDirect and get to bid daily and purchase vehicles from more than 100 auctions held weekly in Japan, with over 150,000 units to choose from.

2. Review your notes.
Take time to see which vehicles and dealers work better for you while taking into consideration the Freight on board (FOB) and Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) fees as they may add up to roughly 10% of the total price.
Skim through and check the pictures and vehicle specifications for further reference.
Avoid dealers who do not provide condition reports, stolen vehicle checks ,odometer certifications and accident histories.

There could be better sources just around the corner and some local dealers might just have the right models and services you are looking for.
Some online sources include shipping costs on the price of their vehicles but make sure you carefully read and understand the trade terms.
A test drive is a must and if you can’t do a test drive on the vehicle you are about to purchase, make sure to buy only from a reputable source.

3. Stock the docs. (pre import)
Before you import, it is pertinent that you check and stock the important documents.
Be sure to secure vehicle registration documents and previous ownership records.
Light and heavy vehicles previously registered in Japan must have an original deregistration certificate or export certificate issued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT)
Make sure to also provide certified translations of all the non-English documents. (eg, bills of sale, purchase receipts etc).

4. Ship wisely. (pre import)
After ordering your vehicle, see to it that you understand the shipping details and options. Containerization could be a better alternative to Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) and be sure the company handling this follows the best practices and safety procedures. You wouldn’t want your vehicle to arrive with scratches and dents .

5. Immigrant? For immigrants who want to import a preregistered vehicle in New Zealand, read here or log on to for other queries.

by: Amalia Aviles New Zealand

Monday, October 27, 2008

:: dadi ::

few years back, i have this thing in my mind and in my dreams that i'LL be alive until my my 27th year. until my dad passed away dec 18 - and i was 27 y.o. then... right there when that green line thing in the monitor hit me -- im 27 and its not me who died instead it was my father. i could still perfectly recall how he struggled exactly 7.05pm of dec 18 @ cduh. that last breath, that straight green light in the monitor system -- i never thought it would happen to me, us. its almost 2 years has past since my dad passed away.

when i was still a child - im not that close to my dad. he's my number one enemy at home. even if he's (& my mom as well) the kind of parent(s) who hit their child to discipline them yet i still i love them silently. i used to have lots of questions behind me like -- why my dad dont have any job, he's the one taking good care of us (me & my sis), and the like, alot of "why's". but through the years i found out that my dad is a very shy type of guy, aloof and oh he used to be an activist-- he's only confident enough to speak when he gets drunk. i know pretty much that he's intelligent. i also remember when i was 5-7 y.o. where there are lots of strangers coming to our place-- talking to my dad-- i wonder who they were, so i asked my mom and said they were NPA's asking my that to be one of their speaker or something. "sus if nadayon to si dadi -- ipako.ut jud ni nako ang mga hilabtanon og suyaon sa akong palibot"

i remember one time, when i was out playing in our neighborhood, accidentally hit my head with that coco trunk and had a cut, was crying on my way home, when my dad saw me crying to death and saw my head was bleeding -- instead of comforting me -- he hit me with a broomstick coz he was cleaning our garden and told me "mao na cge man og kiat". it was almost dark when he wanted to bring me to the nearby clinic but decided not to instead coz he wants my mom to do it. scared that my mom will find out and get another set of "bunal", i slept early so she wont noticed my cut - yet she woke me up to take a look and hugged me.

too much bout that.

i may not be the kind of person who visit's my dad but i kept him inside my heart and he's always in my thoughts.
how i wish he's still around

i've wanted and longed to write this thing about him coz 1 thing is for sure, i miss my father so much.


back when i was a child
before life removed all the innocence
my father would lift me high
and dance with my mother and me and then
spin me around till i fell, feel asleep
then up the stairs he would carry me
and i knew for sure, i was loved.
if i could get another chance
another walk, another dance with him
i'd play a song that would never ever end
how i'd love, love, love to dance with my father again.
when i and my mother would disagree
to get my way i would run from her to him
he'd make me laugh just to comfort me (ooh)
and finally make me do just what my mother said
later that night when i fell asleep
he left a dollar under my sheet
never dreamed that he would be gone from me. (noo)
if i could steal one final glance,
one final step, one final dance with him
i'd play a song that would never ever end
'cause i'd love, love, love to dance with my father again.

Dance with my Father Again by Tamyra Gray

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rehearse your own funeral??

i was reading some international news and i found this article, see below -- so funny that nowadays you can rehearse your own funeral from music, flowers and audience... hmmmm pwede kaya ni diri sa pinas?? ma.try nga! -- heheh jk

VIENNA - If you want to make sure everything goes to plan on your special day...then rehearse your own funeral in Vienna, with music, flowers and an audience.

Conceptual artists Gary O'Dwyer and Pierre Coinde have been encouraging people in the Austrian capital to lie back on a white, elevated tomb-like platform in the city's central Karlsplatz while they play a chosen funeral song.

Their art installation, which has passed through Frankfurt, Istanbul, Toronto and Venice, blends in well with Vienna, the home of elaborate funerals and with one of the world's few museums dedicated to death.

"Some people are curious, some are horrified, like you have asked them to do something terrible," O'Dwyer said.

"But for us it is about remembering to live. It gives people the chance to make a statement through a song."

Classical music is a popular choice in the home of Beethoven, while some people choose more tongue-in-cheek tracks like Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' or Falco's 'Rock me Amadeus,' one of Austria's few international pop hits.

Florian Wagner, 24, opts for Phantom/Ghost's eerie song 'Relax it's Only a Ghost' as he lies back on a red pillow in the sunshine next to a plinth decked with flowers.

Passers-by on their way to a nearby concert house stare quizzically at his inanimate body while others stand solemnly and watch the ceremony.

"It's a way of relaxing, it is not macabre at all and gives you a chance to confront ideas about death, which is a good thing," Wagner, dressed in black, said after hopping off the tomb platform with a smile.

People of different nationalities act in different ways, the artists said, with some older Italians a little shocked at what they are being asked to do.

"Some think it is like tempting God or tempting fate," Coinde said. Some Austrians have wondered whether the exhibition is connected to the state funeral of Austrian rightist Joerg Haider who died in a high speed car crash on October 11.

"Yesterday a little girl came up to us afterwards in tears," Coinde said. "If the song is upbeat, people can feel good about it, but if the music is sad, people can get very emotional about the experience."

Friday, October 17, 2008

GG marathon!

wwoohoooo i got to watch gossip girl again. its new season has been started since last month but only until yesterday i was able to watch the 6 latest epis of it. B is such a brat and so self-centered, she really cant beat S. bad person will never ever succeed and will feel awful for herself. poor B, just like the one i knew from here.. poor U

ohh my i cant wait for the next episodes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

blog lurking

its been a while that iv been lurking blogs from other people, some has funny stories, some are inspirational but i like the most the ones where i can get info in technology, new techniques. how i wish i know how to write well so i can be like them as well.

hope some people will be able to check out my blog as well. and my other maintained site, company site

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the waiting game

im in my 29 weeks of my pregnancy, so tiring but still worth it. i cant wait to see my little baby ******. last two saturday's ago i went to a clinic to have ultrasound... i was so eager to know the gender of my baby.. and chechinggggg... i knew im having a babyy.... ehehheh find out for yourself guys.. hope my lil pea is doing alright inside me. and i cant wait to see h**..

la lng.. bored lng ko today

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How to detect hidden defects in a used car

Imagine yourself in the seller's shoes. You are trying to sell your old coupe for a bigger sedan. You gather the keys, rummage through your pile of junk for the owner's manual and old service records. You clean the engines, vacuum the interiors, rub out the stains on the cushions and put your coupe through a car wash.

When you get home to admire the sheen of the freshly polished wax, you notice some scratches and dents. Luckily, you have the cosmetics for such a contingency. And if your luck holds out, buyers wouldn’t even notice the dents and scratches. You are now ready to meet the buyers with a smile borne out of a clean conscience.

Imagine and remember this because this is exactly how a private seller with an ounce of business sense would prep his or her vehicle before a sale. Dealers could do it a lot better when they try. So, how do you see past the haphazard paint job? There is a way to detect hidden defects on the vehicle.

• Check if the paint on the outside of the car matches the paint inside the door frame. Check for gritty surfaces and paint overspray on chrome – possible signs of a new paint job or masking body dents and scratches.
• Check if the panels line up evenly. Also check if there are any scuffs, scratches, dents or irregular protrusions in the wings and bumper – these could be warning signs of past accidents.

Doors and Trunk Lid
• Make sure that doors and lid open without any creaks and close smoothly without being slammed. A door or lid that doesn’t fit evenly could indicate that the vehicle was involved in a collision or was regularly driven in rough roads.
• Check that the locks work properly.
• Look for rips and stains on the interior panel of the door and scrapes on the bottom edges.

• See if there are any hairline cracks or tiny holes in the glass.
• Make sure that they move up and down smoothly and if they fit snugly when fully rolled up or down.

• Check if the tailpipe is damaged from poor reversing.
• Examine the rear bumper for excessive soot from the exhaust. If the tailpipe has black gummy soot, this may indicate that the engine has worn rings or bad valves, which could mean expensive repairs.

Tires and Shock Absorbers
• Check the tires (don’t forget the spare) if they are unevenly worn as this may indicate either bad alignment or worse – damaged suspension.
• Put your full weight on a corner of the car and release – if the car keeps rocking up and down, be wary about the condition of the shock absorbers.

• Check if the steering wheel points straight when the wheels are aligned ahead.
• Check the upholstery for cigarette burns, rips, stains or scuffs. Low mileage readings but worn out driver’s seat and brake and accelerator pedals could mean that the odometer has been tampered.
• Musty smell, dirt under the mat, moisture inside the trunk and watermarks on the interior panels of doors are likely indicators of flood damage.

Lights and Mechanical Devices
• Make sure the lights, air conditioner, heater, windshield wipers, radio and other accessories work properly.

Already sounds like too much work? This doesn’t include checking out the engine and gauging the vehicle’s driving performance yet. That’s a long topic that needs to be addressed in a separate article. Nevertheless, what we’ve discussed could help you unmask any hastily dressed up lemon to reveal its true colors, so to speak.

If you want convenience, buy from a reputable dealer who sells the vehicle “as is.” The dealer does the checking for you, documents all the dents, scratches and damages worth noting and includes the information in the vehicle description. Then all you need to do is negotiate the price.

Maintaining the peak performance of your car’s battery

For those of you who are first time DIYs, the battery is one of the integral components of your car; it is rechargeable and is the power source of the ignition system and other electrical devices in your car.

Initially there’s the maintenance free and low-maintenance types to choose from. A maintenance free battery is sealed and will not require replenishing the battery fluids over a long period of time while the low-maintenance type requires constant check up and replenishing once a drop in battery fluid levels can be seen. Battery fluid (Alkaline) can easily be bought at local gas stations and car yards or you can use distilled water as a substitute.

In layman’s terms the battery is the heart of your car but is often times the most neglected simply because nowadays it’s bought “maintenance free.”

Recent trends and technological advancements have made maintenance free batteries a standard on every vehicle out in the market today.

Don’t get the impression that since you’ve read on the label that it’s maintenance free, you will just simply put it in its place and forget about it. Your car’s battery is not entirely that. Just like any other sensitive equipment of your car, it also requires your constant care and attention for it to function well.

Here are the basic maintenance tips that will certainly save you a lot of trouble and will not leave you clueless by the roadside while on a very important trip.

As a rule before doing maintenance checks, always see to it to disconnect the clamps off the terminals to avoid untoward injuries from shock.

1. Check the cell casing and cover
Run an ocular inspection on the battery cell casing, box and cover for signs of moisture and pungent acidic smell. These are indicators that your battery is leaking and it needs to be fixed or replaced right away.

Maintain caution when handling leaking batteries for hazardous chemicals are present.

2. Clean terminals, clamps and cables
When you happened to see white powdery specks or see colorful substances around the terminals, they are signs of corrosion and needs to be cleaned right away. Make a baking soda solution (1 tablespoon baking soda immersed in 1 cup of water) and with an old toothbrush, clean the terminals, clamps and cables. Also clean the battery cover for accumulated grime and dust.

3. Make sure everything is dry
Make it a point to have everything dry before going further with your check up. With a dry rag, wipe off the remaining dew and moisture from the battery and terminals.

4. Check the wiring and connection
Run a check on the wires and clamps for strips or corrosion. If you have stripped cables, patch the affected part with a good electrical tape or have them replaced by a mechanic. Make sure that the battery is placed securely in its place. If your battery is equipped with a hold down bar, be sure to replace it.

5. Lubricate the terminals
With a lubricant (Petroleum jelly) place a small dab on the terminals. This will keep your cables clean and free of corrosion longer, while making it easier for you to put the cables back on the battery terminal.

6. Change your battery
Change your battery at the maximum of 3 to 3.5 years or after reaching the warranty period. For accidental battery drain (Such as leaving the lights on or stereo on) a lot of auto technicians would just recommend re-charging.
Car battery maintenance is that easy! Do it frequently to extend the life of your battery.

Safe driving.

Vehicles men and women want

We’ve seen how vehicles evolved through the pictures in history books and museums. They had different forms and functions. However, function wasn’t the only important factor to designers and consumers. Aesthetics and style played crucial and constant roles as well.

Ancient civilizations have started the tradition of designing and embellishing their chariots, wagons and other ancient forms of transportation. Egyptian chariots of gold and silver decorated with date palm branches, animals and other motifs were the most preferred.

Today we see how different people especially the men, choose to buy cars with slick wheels and other parts and accessories. The whole craze is absolutely nothing new and as the famous saying among men goes- “you don’t drive a car, you wear it”. A car can magnify a lot, if not all of the traits of its owners and here some of those clues.

• For the women, safety, reliability and value are at the top of their list while men prefer performance, power and style.

According to Imre Molnar, dean of College for Creative Studies (Detroit), men’s desire to showcase power and aggression with the vehicles they drive stems from an “animal nature”. They dress up their vehicles as if it’s “mating season,” he quips. Molnar further elaborates that these attributes of masculine, big wheels, flush or protruding wheel faces and high “shoulder line” and taut lines can be found in most vehicles men drive today. Predator-looking vehicles that sit higher at the back have the “ready to pounce” look and this has become very common among sedans. At the top of the list are vehicles made for looking good and going fast or as Molnar calls them “testosterone show-off devices”.

• Studies, however, prove that most women prefer vehicles that are understated, opulent and with a comfy interior.
“Ease of entry and useful interior storage, including space for a purse, are elements that make vehicles especially attractive to women,” states Brigid O’Kane, a design professor and coordinator of the Transportation Design Track program at the University of Cincinnati.

• To create a distinctive look, women wear jewelry, high-end fashion and expensive handbags rather than cars while men create an image of wealth and influence by the cars they “wear”.

• Buying used vs. buying new: While men are most likely to buy used vehicles if they can’t buy the flashy new one, women are prone to settle for a new affordable car rather than their dream model.

• In general, men are more willing to sacrifice a smooth ride for sharp handling than women or to overlook an impractical cargo arrangement for an engine more pep, experts say.

• Strategic Vision’s new-vehicle experience study shows that 31 percent of men said driving is one of their favorite things to do, while only 18 percent of women said the same.

• According to the experts, SUVs with a “big and powerful” look resonates with men, while small, inexpensive vehicles are preferred by women.

So now you’ve got clues on what vehicles most men and women want. These studies and indicators fairly explain what vehicles both sexes prefer to drive or “wear.”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to prepare your vehicle for cross-country road trips

John and Helen Taylor, the famous Aussie couple who broke the Guinness World Record in 2006 for fuel efficiency successfully circled the globe using only 24 tanks of gasoline while averaging an amazing 52.3 mpg.

Similarly, there has been a trend of cross-country road trips among the young and old.

Call it challenge or madness; more people know how to have a great sense of thrill and adventure.

Are you planning to go on a cross-country road trip yourself?
Before you to take part in that daring quest, while increasing your “cool factor” enormously, you will need to follow these essential tips:

At least three weeks before you go:

1. Plan Your Journey.
Plan your route, keeping in mind rush hour situations where possible. Check the map before leaving or make sure the portable GPS navigator (if you have one) works so you can be more fluid on your trip. Avoid getting lost and unnecessary stops as it burns a lot of fuel.

2. Have your car checked for repairs/maintenance.

3. Tune in your engine.
This will improve fuel economy on your vehicle by about 4%.

4. Check vehicle fluids.
Coolant – flush the cooling system and replace coolant.
Oil – use the recommended motor oil to improve fuel efficiency.
Break fluid – Make sure the fluid reaches the full line of the master cylinder.

5. Look for any leaks.

6. Check the battery.
Clean the top surface with a rag or fresh water before you remove the vent caps. The fluid level should be just below the bottom of the vent hole, level with the filler ring, for each cell.

7. Check the belts.
Replace belt if it is cracked or can be easily pushed more than 1 inch.

8. Check the AC and heater.
Check if all heater fans turn on. If moist air is coming from the vents with antifreeze smell, while the windows become foggy when the heater is turned on, there may be a leak. If your vehicle has rear air-conditioning unit, test it as well.

9. Check the tires.
Are they inflated enough? Tires with pressure too low can cause heat buildup which leads to a blowout at high speeds. To check the tire pressure, use a tire gauge. The tires may become low as the temperature drops because air contracts with cold. It is also best to make sure you have a spare tire that has been fully-inflated with the appropriate tools needed. Don’t risk driving without the jack, tire wrench and lock-nut adapter (if your vehicle has wheel locks); you never know what could happen.

10. Check the glove box / glove compartment.
Make sure you have your owner’s manual and vehicle registration. If your manual is missing, search the internet for automakers with pdf manuals in their sites. If you are travelling in the US and have a roadside assistance program such as AAA, make sure to bring the card (or your member number) along.

At least 5 days before you go, you must do the following checks:

1. Recheck for any scheduled maintenance.

2. Recheck the tires.

3. Wash and clean your vehicle.
Get rid of useless equipment; you don’t need to bring the whole apartment/house with you. Useless objects mean more fuel to burn and more money wasted on the junk you don’t need. Vacuum, wash and scrub your vehicle like there’s no tomorrow. Nobody wants to travel long in a smelly, crappy and filthy car. Every extra 100 lbs (45 kg) you carry can drop fuel efficiency by 1-2%. So keep your boot or back seat clear of unnecessary items.

4. Check air filter.
Clogged air filter? This can affect the fuel economy and performance of your vehicle at high altitudes. An air filter that’s been in your vehicle for more than 10,000 miles needs to be cleaned or replaced.

5. Prepare an emergency winter kit.
At the trunk of your car put the following: blanket, extra boots and gloves, ice scraper, small snow shovel, flashlight and kitty litter (for traction incase you get stuck in snow).

1 day before you go:

1. Gas up.
Fill the tank. It is more expensive to keep refilling on the road.

2. Recheck your gear.
Write a checklist to make sure you already have the complete necessary gadgets, documents, identifications and kits which you prepared before hand.

Preparing your vehicle is key and as long as you’ve followed these guidelines carefully, major problems could be avoided. Lastly, enjoy the ride!