How to Replace Your Lame Stock Brakes with Better Power Stop Brakes

Replace Your Lame Stock Brakes with Better Power Stop Brakes

I was getting that shimmy and shudder, with a dash of squeak.  Any time I hit the brakes, they would emit a pulsing throb, and letting off the pedal would introduce a squeak in similar rhythm.  It was time for some brake work, but instead of simple maintenance, I went for an upgrade.  With Power Stop Brakes.

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All the Tools I Want for Christmas

All the Tools I Want for Christmas

Look, I’m not saying you can’t send me Lego kits, G.I. Joe playsets, and Nerf guns, but the things I wanted when I was 8 aren’t the only things I want anymore.  And since I know none of you cheapskates are going to buy me a ’32 Ford or a BMW M1, here are some of the tools I’d like for Christmas, categorized by winter maintenance needs.

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Fix Your Car’s AC Already

Fix Your Cars AC Already

Summer brings a host of enthralling activities.  Vacations.  Theme parks.  Beach volleyball in Kansas.  And my personal favorite, complaining about how often the sun tries to kill me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a certified ginger, and we’re scientifically known to be more sensitive to heat and cold.  Maybe it’s because I’m bitter about losing the three months of total freedom I loved so dearly as a child.  Or maybe I’m just tired of walking around with 48 active mosquito bites, a patch of poison ivy, three forms of sunburn, and a constant layer of sweat.  Like I’m sitting in a cup of coffee.  But I just made summer a little more survivable when I fixed the air conditioning in my 19-year-old car.  And I did it on the cheap. Continue reading “Fix Your Car’s AC Already”

Honda CRX: From Beater to Project

1987 Honda CRX Si

I stood in the tiny gravel lot behind my apartment building, staring in appalled disgust at my 2002 WRX wagon, my dream car.  My dreams were dead.  The wagon had betrayed me, locking its engine, and I was so broke from the previous repairs that I couldn’t afford to fix anything else.  I would have to sell it.  The next few days were raw, desperate, and depressed.  I needed a car.  Through red-rimmed eyes I scanned Craigslist, looking to replace my car not with another WRX, that was out of the question, but with another copy of the best car I’ve ever owned: A 1990 Honda Accord Coupe with a manual.  Those had been the good days, when the most work a car had needed was an oil change or new brake pads.  But I found nothing.  All Accords were either carbureted, out of my price range, or worse: automatic.  I was downgrading, not retiring, and the last thing you need when you’re depressed about losing a car is to drive an automatic.  As the days passed, I broadened my search.  Anything.  Nothing.  Then I found a car.  A temporary car.  A beater, to get me through a financial rough patch.  And now I want to keep the little punk forever.  What happened?  How did I get here?

Sometimes love takes time. Continue reading “Honda CRX: From Beater to Project”

Winter Lighting 101

Vision X Winter Lighting

It’s dark.  It’s dark when you leave in the morning and it’s dark when you drive home.  You know what makes darkness better?  Rain and snow.  Wait.  No, that makes it worse.  Yet winter often serves them to us in an ensemble platter with a side of bad drivers.  I mean, don’t these people remember last year?  When it also snowed?  Anyway, we can’t fix the bad driving of others, but we can help equip you for the cold, snowy, dark gauntlet that is your daily commute in the winter.  There are many ways to do this: better tires, cable chains, winter wipers, and a good dose of courage.  But none will do you any good unless you can see, which is why we’re talking about winter lighting.  A good set of auxiliary lights in the winter can make your drive safer and reduce your stress level. Continue reading “Winter Lighting 101”

Bring Your Optima Battery Back from the Dead

Pontiac

Maybe you ran a few too many passes at the drag strip.  And maybe that Optima battery under the hood of your alternator-free drag car was a Red Top starting battery instead of a Yellow Top deep cycle battery.  Or maybe you just left your lights on.  At the airport while you were on a two week vacation.  However you did it, you killed that Optima dead.  Deader than ska music. Deader than Bob Dole’s presidential hopes. Deader than the bird in that amazing Monty Python sketch. But like some kind of walking, breathing defibrillator (in more ways than one), you can bring it back to life. Continue reading “Bring Your Optima Battery Back from the Dead”

Covercraft Evolution – A Bouncer for Your Car

The Covercraft Evolution Car Cover is like a bouncer.  It’s like that guy with the tight black dress tee and the four inch goatee and the tribal face tats.  The guy who made up his mind about you the second you got in line.  The usual lowlifes try to get into the club: moisture, UV rays, dust, pollution, and the twins – dings and scratches – who look even bigger than the bouncer.  But he’s not having any of it.  He boots them all in rapid succession.  But when you get up to him, facing down his 300 lbs of Samoan muscle, he gives you his best impression of a smile, just like management asked, greets you by name, and pulls aside the velvet rope.  “Welcome to the Stingray,” he says.  Here’s how he works.

Covercraft Evolution with Callouts Continue reading “Covercraft Evolution – A Bouncer for Your Car”

Biocide Systems: Effortless Stank Destruction

All this week we’re giving away 5 free Biocide Systems Quick Release Odor Eliminator kits.  You could win one by answering the question at the bottom of this post.  And keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the rest!

Biocide Systems get rid of the stink

A friend of mine was once heading back from a local farmers market when she broke an entire gallon jar of fresh milk- on the floor of her station wagon.  Though the cow juice was soaked out of the car as much as possible, the stench of rotten dairy is probably still lingering on, and is probably still permeating the atmosphere of that poor VW, years later.  Short of replacing the carpet, insulation, and sound deadening materials in the cabin, there’s really nothing you can do to get rid of a stench like that, and the car will carry its badge of stank to its rusty pick-a-part grave.

Well, let me amend that.  There was nothing you could do.  Now there’s hope.  We’ve discussed at length how a set of proper floor mats could hold such a capacitous volume, but what about the spills already committed to the clutches of your car’s fabric?  What about those that never even reach the floor mats?

Continue reading “Biocide Systems: Effortless Stank Destruction”

Improving Fuel Economy of Your Pickup

You didn’t buy your truck for its excellent fuel economy. It’s a workhorse, towing champ, off-roading beast…anything but a gas sipper. If you wanted to burn less gas, you’d have bought a moped, right?

Improving Fuel Economy

Still, there’s no good reason to dish out any more money than you have to at the gas pump. Slight changes in the way you drive, maintain, and modify your truck can help you conserve fuel and save money. Here’s a collection of fuel savings tips for truck owners, most of which don’t cost much money. Continue reading “Improving Fuel Economy of Your Pickup”

Installing a Rebuilt Transmission when Everything Goes Wrong

Rebuilt Transmission
It was a commute like any other, winding to work in my 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon.  I was nearing the office when I heard the crunch.  Now, the transmission problems in the ‘02-’05 are pretty well known among Subaru owners.  If I had known this, I might not have become one.

Nevertheless, second gear sounded like a WWI-era machine gun, and I wasn’t panicking.  I wasn’t.  Really.  Primarily, because I’ve already had one of those “if I’d have known, I’d never have bought this” moments when a snap ring inside my center diff kamikazed itself and cost me $1,900, so the Subaru drivetrain didn’t leave much room to disappoint me further, even though my car hasn’t crested 160k.  This was like becoming a parent, but for the second time.  Still a big deal, but without so much shock.  Secondarily, because I drive a manual transmission, and I can just skip broken gears if I want to.

Then I found an on-ramp and subconsciously shifted back into second, causing the rest of the gears to follow suit.  I wasn’t going to get much more life out of this gearbox.  It was time for a replacement.  And since I’m poor and didn’t really care to pay anyone to drop the gears out of my car again, I decided it was time to learn the art of the transmission swap. Continue reading “Installing a Rebuilt Transmission when Everything Goes Wrong”