Monthly Archives: February 2008

Good Brake Pads Can Safe Your Life – My Story Proves It


I lived a great life until I was in a horrible car accident. Luckily, I am still alive. But I could have avoided this bad experience if I had replaced my brake pads and paid more attention to my vehicle’s maintenance.

I am 26 years old and I was having problems with the performance of my brakes. I am an auto fan and love driving very fast, but driving fast only makes sense when you have brakes that can handle speeds over 100 mph. Two weeks ago I was with a few friends of mine at a racecourse to have a bit fun in a race competition. We were all driving very fast cars. For instance, I have a Lamborghini, so if you want to win such a competition you need pretty good brakes. I think there are three important factors that decide who will win a car race: The power of the car, the talent of the driver and last but not least the performance of the brakes. This hypothesis was confirmed by the mentioned race. After 20 rounds I was in second position, behind a friend driving a Ferrari with a bit more horsepower than mine, so I was content with the progress of the race. In round 21 I wanted to pass him with a risky maneuver. I knew it would be tricky but I had the confidence to try it. That was a mistake! My brakes were not able to handle the speed and I crashed into a small wall close to the racetrack. You cannot imagine the fear you have, when you see a wall coming closer and closer and you have no chance to avoid the accident. I am very happy that I am able to talk about this experience, which has changed my life. Not because I like to remember this day, but because I can warn guys like me, who risk their life, just to feel the speed.

At this moment, I am currently in a hospital and a nurse told me that I will be able to walk again, although I had complicated fractures in both legs. I thank god for giving me a second chance. But now I want to give something back. I was never rich so I am not able to help humanity by donating thousands of dollars. But I have experience concerning cars, which I can share with other guys, who are not supposed to repeat the same mistakes I made.

First of all I have to correct my hypothesis I stated earlier. The factors that characterize a winner were mentioned in the wrong order. The most important factor is the brake performance. You can be the best racer, you can have the most horse power, but if you are not able to brake like you need to after racing at speeds near 200 miles an hour, you will never be a winner. Maybe you will be famous because you are a young guy who lost his life in a car accident and people are interested in stories like that. But you will never have a wife, children and a nice home; attributes that define real winners. So listen to me and pay more attention to finding good brakes. The selection of good brakes is vast. For instance, there are the Hawk Brake Pads or the EBC Break pads, which have unmatched braking power that eclipse standard and even other performance pad replacements by 20-40%. And they are the ideal partner for a set of high performance rotors.

The last advice of mine will be the following: Seize the day and thank god for each day you live in this beautiful world. And buy good brake pads, because they are one of many steps to living a long happy life.

brake pads

I suggest buying good and cheap Brake Pads online. There you will find the best selection of Car Brakes and other auto accessories.

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Demystifying The Myths Of Cold Air Intakes


Cold air intakes are one of the most popular modifications for car enthusiasts. But how effective are cold air intake really? I personally prefer regular or short ram air intakes over cold air intakes.

I recently put of few thousand miles on my car driving across the country. So I went over to the local Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed. The mechanic tried sell me a new air filter, but I chose to hold off. They weren’t giving me a great deal, so I figured I would at least check out a few performance air filters if I was going to be spending the money anyway. I started doing some research and discovered that there are two types of aftermarket intakes that people like: either short rams or cold air intakes. The two names pretty much are self explanatory. The short ram intake has a shorter pipe. The cold air intake has a longer pipe that allows the intake to breathe in cooler air because it is further from the engine. Sounds logical enough, but then I my inquisitive mind got the best of me. I’m a little unclear about the abilities of cold air intakes. If you have ever popped your hood after a long drive, you know that everything under the hood is scorching hot. Would it really matter if the intake head was a foot further from the engine? Moving the intake is like putting a pan in the oven; it is going to be hot no matter where it is because it is in a confined area with limited air flow. Secondly, cold air intakes have longer pipes, which mean that air has to travel a longer distance to reach the engine. I’m not a car expert, but I do know the general principle behind turbo engines and increasing horsepower. Horsepower is derived from an equation where the major factors are the amount of air flow to the engine and the density of that air. If a cold air intake is longer and is bent in order to reach a different part of the engine bay, then it will take air longer to reach the engine. Also, the bends in the cold air’s pipe prohibits maximum air flow; a short straight pipe would be ideal. Now even though the short ram intake is breathing warmer air because of its location, it will simply start sucking in cooler air as your car accelerates. Sure, it may not give you as much horsepower when you are at a stop sign, but then again, who cares? The weather should also be taken into account. If you live in Florida and it’s 94 degrees out, it doesn’t matter where your intake is; you’re not going to be getting cold air. And even if you are in premium driving conditions, how much cooler would the air be that is a foot away? Would you really miss or even be able to feel if you had 1 Hp less? I could see if you are Vin Diesel in the Fast and the Furious, racing for pink slips, then you might want to get the most out of your car. But until that day, I think regular air filters and short ram air filters are the better choice because they are cheaper.

AEM intake

Also, upgrading to an aftermarket AEM Cold Air Intake or a short ram Air Intake can add a throaty growl to your car’s sound. Both types of intakes have their pros and cons, so you should evaluate your priorities when shopping for one.

Husky Cargo Liners For My Huskies


I guess you’re either a dog person or you’re not. Personally, I love dogs and enjoy having them in my life. I live an active lifestyle and try to bring them along as much as possible. But as much of a dog lover as I am, I still like to keep my house and car clean, which can be difficult with three Huskies running around. I found that cargo liners can help manage the mess.

My family always had dogs while I was growing up, which probably explains my love for the animals. We occasionally tried having cats, but I was never too fond of them; especially my sister’s cat Tobie, who confused my leg for a scratching post. Dogs generally have a positive and happy disposition and just enjoy being included. I started working with United Hope for Animals a year ago and it has been a truly rewarding experience. There is nothing better than watching the dog’s behavior transform as he works towards coming out of his shell and reaching his full potential in a positive environment. Huskies are my latest interest. I have found that they are incredible, intelligent creatures. I have been fostering three of them for quite some time now and although they may look a bit scary, really they are three teddy bears.

I live an active lifestyle and am always taking them to beaches, woods, dog parks, lakes. They can’t get enough of the outdoors. Since they have been getting older, they are growing too big for the car crates that I have for them. I have a Nissan Xterra, so I have been putting them in the rear cargo area for trips, but they are making the carpets dirty. My trunk area is covered in paw prints, hair, and I can’t seem to wash the wet dog odor out of them. I went to Petco to see if they had any puppy transportation solutions or cleaning products. They didn’t carry anything that would get the stains out, but they recommended purchasing some good cargo liners. Cargo liners are mats that fit in the back of your SUV that stop mud, liquid, and muck from destroying your carpets. I ended up getting them and they have made bringing my dogs in the car so much easier. After going to the lake, I can throw the dogs in the back, drive home, pull the liner out, hose it down, and done. It’s as easy as that. I really recommend these cargo liners for pet owners. They are also covered by a lifetime warranty, which is good for dogs who love to chew. They make the clean up so much easier!

I was considering the Weathertech cargo liners, but once I found the Husky cargo liners online, I knew I had to get the Huskies for my Huskies.

When I close my eyes, I see only rollbacks and razor blades


There was a time in my life when the sound of birds singing and of children playing on freshly mowed lawns brought a smile to my face. Now, after Wal Mart came and ruined my life, I feel nothing but hatred for the world, except, that is, for my Pace Edwards Jack Rabbit Retractable Tonneau Cover.
Things used to be different. Back when I was in my early thirties, I collected a windfall inheritance from my parents. Rather than blowing that load right away on a Ferrari or a brick of cocaine as my scuzzy neighbor suggested, I invested it in my own company. I opened a small hardware store down in the heart of town. Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I’d wake up to a fresh pot of Folgers, head over to my shop, count nails and arrange the plungers in a fashionable way, eat a sensible lunch, and head home at 6:00 to nuke a Swanson’s and watch the Jeopardy. Yeah, those were the good times. Everyone in town knew my name, and they’d stop in every other day or so to chit-chat and maybe replenish their supply of gopher poison. I felt like I was living in a wholesome Norman Rockwell painting. But fate had some twists and turns for me, and I would have to learn the hard way that heaven doesn’t exist on earth.

About three years ago, the abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town was demolished. Up from the ashes of its carcass sprung my nemesis: Wal Mart. Suddenly, no one in town wanted to come into my shop and buy my wares. Apparently, the promise of a quart of paint that costs forty-seven cents less than mine proved too powerful a ploy for the townsfolk. No one seemed to care that the paint they were buying was made from the ground-up bones of child laborers who died from the noxious fumes at the overseas paint factory. I tried engaging in a price war, but they pummeled me on all fronts. In seven months, I was out of business.

Dejected, I consoled myself with hard alcohol and pastries. In no time flat, I had packed on an extra 150 pounds. I hit rock bottom when my wife left me for the Wal Mart warehouse manager. Et tu, Madeline?

Rather than wallowing in self-pity, I realized that I wouldn’t be happy until I had revenge. I needed to jam my fist into the belly of the Wal Beast, rip out its black heart, and bite off a still-beating hunk of the muscle while it stares, gasps and collapses at my American-made shoes. For that kind of mission, though, I knew it would have to be an inside job. So I turned in an application, interviewed with a pimple-faced punk of an assistant manager, and got a job as a cashier. Don’t get me wrong—it’s hard work. I’m only able to take two toilet brakes per shift, and I’ve found myself standing in a puddle of my own asparagus juice many a time, which has only heightened my hatred for the company.

I’m making steady progress in my preparations. I’ve been mapping the air ducts and testing the response time of the security guard who rolls around the parking lot in his dusty Caprice. I even installed a Pace Edwards JackRabbit Retractable Tonneau Cover onto my Ranger’s bed. That way, when the time to strike arrives, I’ll be able to sneak my arsenal to work without anyone catching a glimpse and ratting me out. Plus, I get better fuel mileage, and that’s good for the environment. But not as good as whipping out the Wal Blight that is popping up all over these United States like canker sores on a rock star’s lips.
pace edwards jack rabbit

Not that I will go through with any of these plans but it is good to vent, at least that’s what my therapist told me. And you know what, he’s right. Now I have three things in my life that are good: my Pace Edwards Jack Rabbit with its cool retractable tonneau cover and my therapist, Bill.

Auto Accessories Answer Desert Dweller’s Prayers


Whether you live in the desert or the tundra, having the right auto accessories can make or break your comfort. The following tips from an experienced desert dweller point out the proper auto accessories one needs to dominate the dunes.

Living below sea level, like I do, puts some serious demands on your equipment. First there’s the sun—oh my god the sun. Around here we get over 300 days of blazing sun each year and it rarely dips below 90 in the daylight. Then there’s the wind, relentless and uncaring it whips up from the west. The frenzy of dirt and debris that it carries combines with the blistering sun to turn our days into a sandy blast furnace.

All I can say is that sometimes paradise comes with a price. You see, I’m one of the hardy residents of the famed Salton Sea out in the California desert. After my early retirement from the ACME wire hanger factory in Pasadena, me and the Mrs. decided to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. We heard about this enclave of retirees from some friends in Palm Springs who knew it would be the perfect spot for us.

Avid birdwatchers, the wife were overjoyed to settle in this beautiful little community known as the Salton Sea. Hailed as the “crown jewel of avian biodiversity,” this area was perfect for us. Since it’s smack in the middle of the Pacific flyway, the Salton Sea teams with American white pelicans and other fish-eating birds who stop on these salty shores for little snack. I’m currently writing a comprehensive study of these endangered birds, and the Salton Sea is pelican central.

Each day, we load our camera gear into our Toyota Camry and head out into the desert. Getting to the outskirts of our community is the best way to get some shots of these beautiful birds in action. This is when things get tricky. The temperature around these parts can skyrocket to over 120 degrees in the day and since there are no facilities nearby, we’re required to gear-up for these outings.

The first thing we make sure to take along is our auto Sun Shade. We do of course bring shades for our heads and eyes, but the auto Sun Shade is also a must. When we leave the car for even a few minutes, things tend to heat up quickly. With the Sun Shade, the car’s interior stays nice and cool. Without the shade in the windshield, the car resembles a crematorium more than it does a vehicle.

Another must-have accessory is one of those refrigerators that plug into the lighter. Since we don’t smoke, unlike most Salton Seanites, we just keep that baby plugged in the whole time. That way, after a long, hot hike, we come back to cold beers, sodas and my wife’s famous egg salad. It also makes a nice cool spot to store our film until we get it to the developer.

Once home, the car’s still not out of danger. The trailer coach we live in lacks a garage of course, so I built a makeshift carport from an abandoned Quonset hut I found in the desert. It keeps most of the weather off the car, but I supplement the protection with a quality car cover. When that wicked wind kicks up from the west, the cover keeps my precious Camry snug as a bug.

sunshades

Those are my tips for easy-livin’, desert-style. My little desert flower and I are loading up the Camry and driving over to the early bird special at Rezac’s in El Centro. In the meantime check here for windshield sun shades and other car accessories designed to make your desert stay all the more pleasant.

I’ve always loved the city. But on a trip into the woods, I discovered just how much it meant to me and my new comrade-the Sasquatch…


I am a city-boy, born and bred. Early on, my parents moved to New York, and while growing up, all I knew were skyscrapers, traffic and noise. I always felt comforted to be surrounded by the masses and I knew anything I would ever want or need would be found close at hand.

When I grew up, the story was much the same. I remained in the Big Apple and got a job in investment banking. Throughout this time laughed at my “hick” friends who chose to move to the Deep South, or to some small Midwestern prairie-town…

One ordinary day at the office, I was working in my cubicle when the boss came down for a visit.

“You boys are doing a great job, and our profits have never been better,” he said. “But ultimately, the key to a well run corporation is the bond between employees. That’s why all of you are going on a ‘back to nature’ trip!”

I groaned.

The management and several departments all flew out to a secluded area in the forest. On the first day of the trip we had to practice falling backwards and into the arms of a co-worker as a trust-building exercise. Later, we put on war-paint and chanted: “Efficiency, Productivity, Profitability” over and over while dancing around a fire. We swung across rivers and ate bugs and listened to motivational pep talks.

I was completely sick of the experience and decided to walk around for a while to clear my head. When everyone was busy I snuck away from the group and went into the woods, despite warnings I had heard about the dreaded Sasquatch.

I wandered around randomly, feeling sorry for myself. I greatly missed my city and my old life with all its pollution, sirens and plumbing. There had to be a way to get out, but how…?

Suddenly I heard an unearthly roar shake the trees.

I looked up and came face to face with the Sasquatch! He looked just like Chewbacca and was covered with mud and twigs. I screamed and turned to run.

“Wait friend,” said the beast, “You have nothing to fear.”

Shocked, I turned and contemplated the hairy monster, which had its arms outstretched and a kind smile on its muzzle.

“You can talk!” I said, amazed. “How can this be?”

“Allow me to explain, good sir,” he said.

It turned out that the Sasquatch was actually a guy named Harold. He had worked for a large corporation, and like me, had been brought out to the woods for a back to nature trip. Somehow he had gotten separated from the group and became hopelessly lost. He had thus begun his new life in the woods, foraging and trying his best to survive. He had also somehow grown a thick fur covering, but I didn’t have the time to question him how.

“So Harold,” I asked, “How come you never left the forest?”

“I tried, but my car wouldn’t start.”

He showed me his battered Chevy. I took a look under the hood and found the problem.

“This is no big deal,” I said, “You just need a few adjustments.”

I helped him with the repairs and soon we were both zooming down the highway, I on my way back to the city, and Harold on the way back to resuming the human experience.

powerslot  rotors

It was nice to do a good deed for my fellow mammal. I’m glad that a few engine parts, car brakes and power slot rotors will assist Harold in transforming back from his animal state.

To Flip Or Not To Flip? A Tutorial On Real Estate Investment


With all the recent success in the real estate market, one can only imagine where the market will go. I think that the industry may take an interesting turn.

By now every Joe Schmoe knows about the potential of the real estate market. There have been enough television shows, books and stories about flipping houses that the market has become overrun with money hungry people looking to get rich quick. But has anything really changed?

The idea of investing in real estate and properties is nothing new. The potential has always existed, as it always will. The problem is that the actual process of flipping house is much harder than the TV shows let on. Sure, on paper, the concept of purchasing a hidden gem at a great price, slapping on a coat of paint, and reselling for thousands of dollars more sounds great. If only it were that simple.

It’s complicated! The home buying process is a long, complicated, which can fall apart due to numerous factors. Think about it, most people buy one house during their lifetime and spend the next 30 years paying it off. That means the majority of people aren’t versed in housing contracts, mortgages, broker fees, etc. You really need to know what you are doing. If you misread a contract or don’t fully understand the fine print, you could end up dishing out thousands of dollars!

It takes a lot of time! Most people don’t have the luxury of starting off with a lot of investment capital. Most people work full time jobs just to pay for daily expenses. That means they must hunt for houses on breaks, after work and on weekends to find a good deal. Once you find that good deal you need to be able to act quickly. Some houses only stay on the market for a day. Heck, some houses don’t even make it to the market because realtors give their friends first dibs. Then if you’re luckily enough to find a good deal, you’re going to have to contact contractors, realtors, insurance companies, and all the necessary businesses.

It’s expensive! So you think you can understand the process and you have the time, but do you have the money? For a lot of mortgages you need proof of income or proof that you will be able to pay back the bank. If you want to buy at $200,000 home, you will need $20,000 for the down payment. If you can scrounge that much together, you also need money for renovations and money to pay off the mortgage until the house is resold. One more thing – you need credit. So if you happen to come into some money, you still need to have good credit in order to get the loan.

If you’re still interested then go for it. I image this industry can only exist for so long before the payoff isn’t worth it. In addition, there is one key aspect that makes this job so risky – the market. You can’t control the market. You can’t control when and how many homeowners will be selling their houses. What if there is a natural disaster? I live in San Diego and I’m sure the recent wildfires have affected the value of many properties. The houses will probably rise up again, but in the meantime people don’t want to feel like they are in danger.

So where will the market go? Who knows? Maybe people will start flipping trailers.

As for me, I think I’ll check out some Trailer Hitches because I definitely can’t afford to flip a house. My last big purchase was an Edge Evolution programmer.

trailer hitch

What is the point in having a car bra?


Some things people do or buy absolutely mystify me. That’s why I created this series of “What’s the Point?” articles, tackling (eventually) all of that which I do not understand. Up next: car bras, an utterly confusing item stretched across the front of many a car on the road today. Read along to understand the stretched vinyl madness.

What’s the point in having a car bra? Enough people swear by the idea that I see the word “Covercraft” almost everywhere I drive. I truly cannot digest the concept of having one of these thick vinyl albatrosses stretched across the front of one’s vehicle, whether car, truck, van, SUV or other auto. Sure, there’s always a need to protect your car—that much I get. But, doing it with a car bra just seems to defeat the purpose in a giant way.

First off, I don’t get covering the face of your vehicle like this. Cars aren’t mere transportation—they’re to be admired as works of art, especially when you motor in something as stately as my Buick. The careful crafting, the impressive grille detail and even the enduring logo are all things you definitely want to show off. The face of a vehicle is virtually its entire personality, molded straight from the hearts of a team of engineers over weeks and months and years. And a person would go and cover that with black vinyl? I just don’t get it.

Worse yet, some drivers even go so far as to say they like the look of a car bra; that their vehicle doesn’t look right without one. They detect a bit of sporty effervescence in the look of a bra. This probably ports over from the bra’s origination as a protection device for track-testing Porsche models in Germany about 30-40 years ago. Could it also be that perhaps drivers like having the look of a test mule vehicle, lugging through the searing desert air and dodging spy shot photographers, all to their own? I think this kind of allure or something similar may be their motive.

I get that people find a measure of protection behind a half-inch of synthetic fabric. Plastic parts crack from tossed rocks; paint pits when virtually and debris brazes its surface. Bugs deposit entrails into inconvenient spots. But, unless a driver has a full-body car bra, the same fate will fall on the uncovered portions of their vehicle regardless. No paint is invulnerable. Sure, a car bra can keep your frontal color fresh for a while. But, it won’t fade at the same rate as the rest of the finish. And, dirt and sand trapped beneath the bra (believe me – it happens to all bras) can effectively sandblast the clear-coat layers into a complete haze. That’s right—a car bra can cause the very problem it was meant to solve.

So, to all of those car bra enthusiasts out there, I say you can keep them. A car bra can’t save you from the inevitable, it blocks the beauty of an automobile, and it looks quite shabby regardless of the vehicle it masks. If you follow the regimen required to simultaneously prevent damage with a bra and damage from a bra, it becomes an entire facet of your free time. I’ll stick to proudly showing my big Buick grille. And I’ll continue to get tougher with every stone thrown its way.

The LeBra and the Covercraft car bra are two things I’d never be caught dead with.