Has Your Car Got Curb Appeal? Steps To Take Before You Sell

Are you thinking of selling your car? Whether you’re keen to sell privately or you’re hoping to get a good price at a dealership, it’s essential to ensure that your vehicle looks the business. We often associate curb appeal with houses, but if you’ve got a motor for sale outside your home, you want it to turn heads for all the right reasons. Here are some simple steps to take before you place that advert or visit local dealers.

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Clean and polish

There’s nothing more off-putting for a potential buyer than a dirty car that’s full of wrappers, cartons, and other random bits of trash. Think about what you would want to see if you were the customer looking for a new car. Clean and polish the exterior and vacuum the interior. Hang a new air freshener on the mirror to provide a pleasant odor, and remove any rubbish. If there are stains on the fabric seats, clean them with soapy water. If you’ve got leather seats, wipe them clean. Giving the car a wash can make a massive difference to its aesthetic appeal, and it will also make it look like the car has been loved and well looked-after.

Removing scratches

It’s very common for cars, especially old ones, to have scrapes and scratches. If you’re getting ready to sell your car, investigate minor and deep key scratch removal techniques and try and make your car look as pristine as possible. Scratches can affect the value of the car, as well as its visual appeal.

Check the tires

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, you’re not going to be very impressed if you turn up and see a vehicle on the driveway with flat or worn tires. You don’t need to replace the tires if they’re in good condition, but if there are obvious signs of wear and tear or the air pressure looks low, it’s worth taking action. Pump up the tires and replace damaged parts before you make arrangements for potential buyers to come and visit.

Take a good photograph

Many of us are influenced by images when it comes to buying products, including cars. A blurred, low-quality photo could put buyers off before they’ve taken the opportunity to read your amazing description and learn more about the car. The photo is really important, as this is what most people will look at first. Choose a bright day, try and avoid capturing any other objects in the foreground or background, and use a filter to enhance the quality of the shot.

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Are you looking for a new car? Do you want or need to sell your current vehicle before starting your search for a replacement? Before you place an advert in an auto magazine, put a sign up in the window or visit dealers, follow these steps to ensure your car looks as good as possible. If your car is shiny and clean with tires that are in perfect condition, you stand a much better chance of selling it for the price you want.

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Road Trip Hacks for the Ride of Your Life

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There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned road trip to really make you feel alive and ensure that you appreciate the world around you that little bit more. However, you can make that amazing road trip even more amazing with a few simple hacks that will make it the ride of your life.

Here are some of those hacks that will make your next road trip that bit more amazing:

Have Your Car Serviced

AAA says that the vast majority of vehicle breakdowns could be prevented by having the vehicle serviced before heading out on a trip. So, if you do nothing else, be sure to take your car in and have the oil changed and the tires, brakes and battery checked. This will help to ensure that you don’t end up stranded in the middle of nowhere when you should be having a great time exploring the local attractions.

Make a Flexible Plan

One of the best things about going out on the open road is the sense of freedom it brings, which is why you shouldn’t make any strict plans about where you’re going and when. That being said, it does make sense to do a little light planning, so that you have a rough idea of the direction you’re going in and how long you can afford to stop off at all those lovely roadside attractions if you want to make it as far as your planned final destination in the time you have available for you. So plan a little, but allow for the odd whim or the occasional wild night, too.

Forget Researching Your Road Stops

If you want to be truly exhilarated when you’re on the road, don’t go online and look up every single roadside attraction, museum and diner on your route. That will take away the spontaneity of the experience and ruin those amazing discoveries that you make when you’re out on the road, stopping when you feel like it and looking around.  When you don’t research the local attractions, you’re much more likely to stumble on those obscure and unusual sights that make road trips so much more exciting that other trips.

Download the iExit App

If you’re going to be driving on the major interstates and highways along your route, do yourself a real favor and download the iExit app which will let you know about the upcoming exits, gas stations, hotels, attractions and other amenities on your route.

Upgrade Your Stereo

Road trips and great music go hand in hand, so as well as compiling a playlist of all your favorite driving songs and the favorite driving songs as any of your buddies who are coming along with the ride, unless you already have a great car stereo, get on to Stereo Champ and find a new improved model. You’ll have so much more fun singing along as you take in the view when your jams aren’t muffled and you can hear them loud and clear.

Pack Light

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A lot of roadtrippers pack quite heavily because they aren’t restrained by baggage limits. However, it’s far more fun to pack light, so that you have plenty of trunk space to collect little souvenirs along the way. You’ll have so much fun seeking them out, and you’ll enjoy the constant reminders of your best trip ever when you get back home.

Pack Non-Essentials First

While we’re on the subject of packing, it’s a very good idea to pack non-essential items first. Why? Simply because you will need them less often and that means that you won’t have to keep messing up your luggage as you search for them. The items you’ll only need at your final destination should be packed first, with the stuff you’ll be using daily being packed on top for ultimate efficiency.

Take a Gas Card

If you don’t already have a gas card, it makes perfect sense to get one ahead of your road trip because you are going to be burning a lot of rubber and spending a lot of money on gas. If you have a card, you’ll be able to earn lots of points, free fuel, grocery discounts and even cash back on any hotels that you book into and that means you’ll be able to have more fun with your road trip budget than you might otherwise have been able to.

Visit Sitorsquat.com

Keeping clean and maintaining a good level of hygiene can be much more difficult when you’re on the road, so the last thing you want is to end up having to clean up or use the bathroom in a restroom that is dirty. If you visit sitorsquat.com, you can avoid this by checking out the bathrooms on your route that are cleanest and which ones are best avoided. What a relief!

Invest in a Multi-Outlet Adapter

If you’re going to be taking your phone, a GPS, kindle and a whole host of other gadgets and you don’t want you and your road trip buddies to end up fighting over the outlet, then it would be very smart of you to invest in a multi-outlet adapter ahead of your trip, so you can all stay connected all the time.

Take Time to Talk

One of the best things about being on the road is that you have a unique opportunity to mingle with lots of people in lots of parts of the country. You shouldn’t waste this by only speaking to your travel companions, and you should resolve to start a conversation with as many people as you can. Not only will you make lots of new friends, but you’ll get the skinny on the best places to eat, the hidden attractions that visitors don’t know about and the best bars (if you’re not driving). You’ll also get to hear some interesting stories and see more of the culture outside of your own hometown.

These hacks might be simple, but they will make your next road trip the best one of your life if you use them.

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Getting Back On The Road After A Car Accident

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Getting back into your car after suffering from a road accident isn’t easy. While you may not have suffered the physical traumas, there are still the psychological effects that are prevalent after an accident takes place. The thought of getting back behind the wheel again may give you untold amounts of anxiety, and despite the assistance of an auto accident lawyer, no amount of compensation is going to make your life easier when it comes to dealing with your feelings. Still, you can’t avoid it forever, and there are ways to make getting behind wheel possible again. Consider the following for example.

Talk to somebody

You shouldn’t keep your fears to yourself, so talk to anybody who is willing to listen. Friends and family are a start, and the more you get your frightened thoughts out into the open, the less burden you will be carrying around on your shoulders. While those closest to you may not understand exactly how you feel, they should at least be sympathetic to your feelings. Consider trauma counselling too. Usually done through CBT, the counsellor will talk through your traumatic experience with you, help you to manage your fears, and give you tools to eventually overcome them.

Consider a driving course

This is especially useful if you were in any way responsible for the accident, or if you panicked in the face of a dangerous road user. By taking a defensive or advanced driving course, you will sharpen up your skills to help you manage most situations, and regain your sense of confidence in getting back behind the wheel.

Equip your car

Modern cars are fitted with a range of safety features, and these are designed to protect you and your car when out on the road. From driving assist features to airbags, you will at least have added peace of mind, even if you never have to make use of them. You don’t need to swap your car for the latest high-end vehicle with all the safety bells and whistles attached, as mid-level cars have certain features as standard, and you can get your existing car modified with anything you feel necessary to improve your state of mind.

Go for a short drive

As with any trauma, you need to pace yourself when dealing with it. In this case, you should get back on the road in stages. This means going for short, undemanding drives, perhaps with another driver sitting with you to give you peace of mind if your nerves get the better of you. After a while, take short car journeys alone, even if it’s only to the shops or the commute to work. You should also visit the crash site. Avoiding it forever may be problematic, and as any counsellor will tell you, visiting the cause of your trauma is your first step to overcoming your anxiety, no matter how difficult it may be. After taking these small steps (although they will be huge in your mind), you will be able to drive for longer distances again, including your annual summer road trip.

Finally

We hope you never get involved in an accident, but if you do, the steps above should help you to get back out onto the road. Let us know if you have any tips based on your personal experience.

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My Car, My Rules: A Driver’s Role In Safety

Even when you have no one in the car with you, driving is a significant responsibility. And, that responsibility only increases when you have passengers. Many drivers fail to consider that it’s down to them to keep their passengers safe. Surely everyone should look after themselves, right? In an ideal world, perhaps, but that’s not the way it works when you’re behind the wheel. As the owner and driver of a car, it’s actually down to you to ensure everyone’s safety. And, this becomes especially crucial when you have to rescue kids. Children aren’t always able to see what’s best for them. They may wriggle, fidget, and even unbuckle their seatbelts. And, some adults are guilty of these crimes too.

As such, it’s crucial you consider the following before driving anywhere.

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Is your vehicle safe?

Before passengers even come into the equation you need to ensure your vehicle itself is safe. Not taking care here means failing anyone who chooses to get into your car in the future. And, that’s including yourself. If you invest in untrustworthy parts, or fail to keep on top of maintenance, you’re taking unnecessary risks. And, these could go against you should anything happen. On top of which, you’ll have to face your conscience when people put their trust in you.

To ensure everyone’s safe at all times, you should invest in parts from trusted automotive experts, and know which issues to look out for. It’s also worth checking things such as tire pressure every two weeks or so. And, don’t hold off booking into a garage if you do suspect there’s a problem. Ignoring an issue is as bad as not doing checks at all.

Is everyone buckled in?

Asking passengers to wear seat belts can feel embarrassing. It’s one thing ordering your kids around, but you may not know what to do when friends don’t buckle up. But, if anything happens because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you’ll come under scrutiny. After all, it’s your car. You should have checked they were secure before driving. That’s not to say, of course, that you need to do a vocal check before heading off on each journey. You can keep things subtle, and give gentle reminders to those who don’t look set to buckle up anytime soon. Either way, DO NOT start driving until you can be sure everyone’s safe.

Don’t distract the driver

It’s also vital that you tell passengers when they’re distracting you. After all, we all have different levels of concentration. Some people can drive and hold conversations all at once. Others are unable to concentrate on the road this way. Some may be able to block out arguing kids in the backseat, while others will find this overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to let passengers know your limits. You don’t need to be rude about this (unless the kids won’t stop fighting). A simple “hold on a minute” will suffice. You can then resume the conversation when you reach a quieter road.

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Pimp Your Ride – For Less

Buying a new car is one of life’s great moment. The feel, look, and even the smell of a brand new set of wheels is a simple pleasure everyone loves, and almost the start of a new relationship and journey. However, the experience is not without issues. Once you get hold of those keys and drive your new car away, that uniqueness you felt on the test drive might not be markedly different after all.

The truth is that unless you can afford the huge expense of buying an incredible car, you can pretty much guarantee that thousands – maybe even millions – of other people are going to be driving the exact same model. And you might start to feel like you are driving something a little more run-of-the-mill than you first thought.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways of standing out. All it takes is a little customization to personalize your vehicle to your liking, and it won’t cost you a fortune to do it! In today’s guide, I’m going to go through a few of your options and reveal how to pimp your own ride for less.

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Getting started with the basics

First and foremost, let’s talk about personalization. Ultimately, there’s a right way of doing it, and plenty of ways of overdoing it. You want to attract the right kind of attention, of course, but it’s very easy to go too far and end up with a vehicle that is noticeable for all the wrong reasons. As an example, let’s discuss blacked out windows. Sure, your new car is going to look sleek – and also keep the sun’s glare out of your eyes. But in terms of getting noticed, your darkened windows will attract attention from all kinds of people – including law enforcement officers. It’s the same principle for exhausts – the only thing you will be doing is annoy people, and, most probably, attract the attention of the police again. To conclude, be careful! It’s OK to look cool in a car, but be aware that it is all too easy to overdo it.

Personalized license plate

Now, personalized plates are something of a ‘love/hate’ thing. And let’s be clear, they can be incredibly tacky in the wrong hands – not to mention expensive. In fact, something like the A1 or 1A plate could set you back up by millions of dollars. And of course, there are plenty of rude and inappropriate plates that you can buy – which aren’t recommended for public display! But you don’t have to spend a fortune. With a little ingenuity, it’s possible to find a personalized plate that doesn’t cost the earth but also reflects your name or an aspect of your personality. Check out the license plate specialists online and see what you can find.

Painting

Bored of your standard silver? Tired of the boring black paint job on your car? Well, why not take the DIY route, or pop to your local spray center and choose your own color? The reality is that if you want a funky color for your car, it can be expensive – and difficult – to find the perfect shade when buying new. But you don’t have to settle for what you have – you just need to find a professional bodywork shop to spray your ca to perfection. And as for the choice of color, it’s totally down for you. Bright pinks, gun-metal grays, matt blacks – the decision is yours, depending on whether you want to portray an element of fun, gravitas, or whatever you feel suits your personality type.

Sound systems

If you buy a standard car, the chances are that the stereo system that is fitted in the vehicle is pretty average. Car manufacturers just don’t worry about it, and although it might come complete with touchscreen and GPS, the sound quality is often poor. Why? Well, there’s an element of car drivers not being fussed about in-car sound quality, and manufacturers have to cut costs somewhere to make their vehicles affordable. However, if you love music and use it to express your personality, then you will need to upgrade. So, look for a great site for car stereo DIY info and product advice and consider getting that upgrade. Car stereos and speakers can be found for reasonable prices, and you can pump out your tunes of choice to your heart’s content.

Seats, wheels and tires

Your car will also come with standard seats, wheels and tires – unless you are willing to pay a premium. However, it’s possible to find some exceptional deals on all three of these car products when you buy from elsewhere. Whether you want to install alloys, buy some chunky tires with better grips, or upgrade your car seats with racing or heated seats, there is plenty of choices out there to reflect your personality.

Bumper replacement

Here’s one that not many people realize they can do – replace your bumper! Doing this particular task can make an instant impact on the look of your car, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve a sporty or classic look. You can choose between rough-and-ready all-terrain style brackets or super glossy chrome-plated bumpers – ultimately, it’s your choice.

The little things

There’s plenty more you can do with your car, at very little cost. Bumper stickers can be a great way to show off your interests, from the football team you support to a local charity. Antenna toppers are cheaper than a pack of chips and come in a range of styles and colors you can use to complete the look of your car. And even air fresheners can add a nice fragrance to your car, so find a flavor that sings to your nasal senses.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways of upgrading your car that won’t cost the earth. It’s all down to a matter of choice. Ultimately, even if you buy the most popular, mainstream vehicle on the roads these days, there is nothing stopping you from turning it from an average set of wheels to a ‘pimp my ride’ classic.

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Fancy a Road Trip This Summer?

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Now that Spring is upon us, many of you will be feeling the excitement and optimism that comes with longer days, warmer weather, and that sense of knowing summer is just around the corner.  What better way to celebrate than planning a fabulous road trip, and if you’re looking for some inspiration, this is the post for you.

That said, before you start planning your trip you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is up to the journey as the last thing you want is to have to curtail your journey or make a detour via an auto repair shop due to your car breaking down en route.

Now, presuming your car is road trip ready, or in the case of travelling internationally and hiring a car that your passport is up-to-date, it’s time to start thinking about locations.  Here’s some top picks from around North America.

  1. CANADA’S COWBOY TRAIL

If you’re looking to get away from it all you can follow the route through Southern Alberta to the lunar landscape of the badlands to where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.  It’s a breathtakingly beautiful journey with a lot of variety in terms of scenery and activities en-route.

  1. FLORIDA KEYS

The US 1 from Miami to Key West is an ocean focused 150 mile drive that takes in a variety of the keys (little islands) sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.  The most amazing section of this drive is the Seven Mile Bridge.

  1. US ROUTE 20

If you want to travel coast to coast then Route 20 is known for being the longest road in America covering a distance of 3,365 miles from Newport (Oregon) to Boston (Massachusetts).  Going around Yellowstone National Park makes a lovely pit stop but covering 3,365 miles is no small feat.  The route is fast and easy to drive; you should be able to cover it in two to three weeks – but the best way would be to take a little longer, so you can experience the Real America along the way, rather than just sit on the tarmac.

  1. MONUMENT VALLEY

Starting out of Route 17 in Phoenix you can visit Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and cowboy landscapes on the Arizona/Utah border.  Then, progress to Route 191 to enter Winslow using Route 66. The top tip for this trip is to take a Jeep Safari along Diamond Creek Road, as this way you get to drive along the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

  1. ROUTE 66

Perhaps one of the most famous roads in the entire world, Route 66 will soon celebrate its 100th birthday, as one of the first numbered roads in the US.  In reality, whilst beautiful this journey covers a colossal 2,451 miles which means you’re not always going to be in awe of the scenery.  Indeed, even though at times it might feel like you are driving through the set of an old western movie there’s only so much driving one can enjoy in a single trip.  The full route stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica but there are a number of shorter options that pack in the most scenic parts.

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5 Essential Things Everyone Should Keep In The Trunk Of Their Car

You may think your trunk space is reserved for grocery shopping, but it can actually be a great place to store some useful things. On this list, we have a bunch of essential items that will always come in handy if you find yourself in a sticky situation while driving.

Make sure you always carry a spare. Source

Spare Tire Kit

This is a fairly obvious one to start things off! Everyone needs a spare tire handy just in case one of your original one’s punctures. But, the tire itself isn’t enough, you should also have a full kit to help you replace it on your own. This includes a tire jack and tire iron, to help elevate your car and take the old tire off.

First Aid Kit

Speaking of kits, you should also have a little first aid kit in your trunk for emergency scenarios. You never know when something might happen to you or a passenger, so having some essentials like band aids, bandages, gauzes – and other basic first aid stuff – can help you out.

A filter cleaner helps prevent a filthy filter like this. Credit

Portable Filter Cleaner

Did you know that car engines have a filter built into them that basically keeps all the gunk out? I only knew this recently, and was amazed to see how dirty my air filter was! It’s something that needs to be cleaned quite regularly, which is why you should get yourself an air filter cleaner to keep in your trunk. You’ll know if your filter needs cleaning because your engine may make weird sounds, could take ages to start up, or you’ll have check engine warning on your dash. Simply pop your trunk open, then get your cleaning tool ready.

A Pressure Gauge

Checking the pressure of your tires is one of the key maintenance tasks that all car owners need to do. If you let that pressure drop below a safe limit, then you put your car at risk. Tires are more likely to burst, which can damage your wheels, leading to costly repairs. With a tire pressure gauge in your trunk, you can easily check the pressure whenever you want, wherever you are. This helps you avoid dropping too low, and creating a safety hazard.

Jumper cables will always come in handy. Link

Jumper Cables & Power Bank

Lastly, you need to have a set of jumper cables in your trunk just in case your engine battery dies. A dead battery can be partially revived if you have jumper cables and link them up to another car. Or, you can get small power banks these days that help jump-start your car as well. Get both of these in your trunk, and you’ll be sorted if you’re ever driving and your car shuts down because of a dead battery.

Pack your trunk full of these things, and you should be ready for almost any situation that comes your way. It may seem like quite a lot of stuff, but pretty much everything other than the spare tire kit is relatively small. Either way, it can all easily fit in your trunk and leave you with enough space for your grocery shopping, or anything else you need to put in there.

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