Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Secret To Door Panels And Door Speakers

By Matt Brooks

SUMMARY: For some, the prospect of changing out speakers is a daunting one, since you have to remove the door panels to access the speakers tucked away within its walls. They are not a tricky as they seem, if you know the right techniques.

For some, the prospect of changing out speakers is a daunting one, since you have to remove the door panels to access the speakers tucked away within its walls. They are not a tricky as they seem, if you know the right techniques.

The first thing to do is to locate any screws holding the panel in place. These are generally found in or under the armrest piece, in the door opener latch, or near the bottom of the door panel. Remove as many as you can find to start.

With the screws removed, you will need to carefully pry the door panel off the door. Start in the bottom corner nearest the speaker. Gently pull the panel until it pops loose. There are usually several clips holding it in place. Work around the bottom of the door panel popping the clips out. Be careful to not break them, because you will need them to reinstall it. Continue around the outside of the panel until you have removed as many of the clips as you can. If you have power windows, doors, etc, remove the control panel from the door panel. It is usually clipped in place, and can be carefully pried out. Look for small notches that may give away the position of the clips. If you have mechanical windows, you will need to push the door panel into the door at the window crank, and look for the snap ring clip holding it in place. With a thin flathead screwdriver, pop the clip loose, taking special note of where it goes, as you will need it to secure the piece back in place. Once this is removed, you should have enough clearance to reach the speaker. If not, you can attempt to completely remove the door panel by sliding it upwards and out of the window compartment. You may be caught up by the door opener latch. These can be a little tricky, as some will slide in place horizontally, screw in, or pop out. Look for screws, and if you don't find any, try sliding it horizontally towards the inside. If that doesn't work, see if it pops straight out. It will be connected to the bars that pull the door latch, so they will have to be positioned correctly for the door panel to be removed. If there is a triangular piece of trim in the top corner of the door panel, you will need to remove it also. It also clips in place and can be removed. This should allow the door panel to slide out, assuming you have disconnected the control panels electrical wires.

You should now be in full view of the door speaker. it can be removed by removing the four screws holding it in place. You may also find that the connectors on these speakers won't work for your aftermarket ones, so you will have to clip the wires and attach the end connectors provided with your speakers. Pay attention to positive and negative here. If you are unsure of what is what, there are a few ways to check. Look at the terminals on the factory speaker. It may have a "+" and "-" sign designating positive and negative. If it doesn't tell you, you can log on to and look up the color codes for the speaker, or try the battery test. Take a good charged battery and place one of the factory speaker wires (attached to the speaker) on the positive, and one on the negative of the battery. If the speaker pushes out, the polarity is correct as you have it, and attach the wires accordingly. If it pushes in, the polarity is reversed, so reverse the battery and try again. If it pushes out, wire the speakers following that polarity.

Install the speaker in the door by replacing the 4 screws and securing it in place, and reinstalling the door panel. be sure to slide it back down in place, and line up the clips exactly before applying pressure to reattach them. You don't want to break any of those. Finish screwing the door in place, then attach the window control panel/window crank, and congratulations, your done!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Car Care and Protection

By Janet Smith

SUMMARY: Easy tips to keep your car looking and performing great.

When you get a new car, you’re protective and careful to keep it looking and performing great. As time passes most of us get a little less interested. Taking the time to protect and keep your car looking great not only helps the look, it can also help to maintain the value of your vehicle.
For instance, roll up car care covers, which can be custom fit to protect your car anywhere while sitting outdoors. These covers can protect your vehicle from outdoor elements, dirt, pollen, and other items that hamper the looks of your car. Another great alternative to parking your vehicle in a garage is to use a parking shelter or canopy.

Importance of Car Care and Maintenance

Car care and maintenance isn’t always convenient but they are necessary components if you want to keep your nice vehicle running. Here are some ideas to make car care less of a hassle: As far as maintenance, keeping up with regular scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, inspections or other special maintenance your vehicle may need can keep you from having many issues later on.

Any time you hear a weird noise, feel vibrating that is unusual or see a warning light that shouldn’t be on, the quicker you can get your vehicle to a garage the better chances you have to keep something serious from happening. Continuing to drive longer than necessary in these situations can create big and expensive problems.

Cleaning and Car Care Accessories

Clean your car in a snap without paying the price of a detailing shop. It’s easy with the right car care accessories to lighten the load. Foam and spray nozzles like we all used to use at the quick car washes are now available to attach right to your own water hose, making it simple to have soap and rinse options all in one nozzle. Also new at many of your specialty retail stores are the automotive detailing kits that have everything in them to make your car sparkle.

For inside car care, the wet/dry cordless vacuum is a must have item. Not only will you be able to clean up dry messes but also liquid spills as well. If your vehicle includes vinyl or leather, don’t forget to use specific car care cleaners on these delicate items especially if they are often in the sun.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Vehicle’s Body Parts Description

The bumper is designed to absorb crash energy during minor and low-speed collisions. Since safety is what matters most, you shouldn’t take this special safety auto part for granted.

Brush Guard
Are you familiar with what a brush guard is? No, it's not one of those high-falutin' mowers they advertise on The Weather Channel. A brush guard is a tubular steel framework that bolts on to the frame of your truck or SUV. The brush guard protects the front fascia of your vehicle from damage by limbs, brush, and debris by covering the grille and headlights. You may have heard a truck brush guard called a "grille guard" too. The terms are interchangeable, and a brush guard protects the same area as a grille guard. If you have any off-road intentions, a grill brush guard should be high up on your shopping list. There's a lot of expensive stuff living at the front of your truck--things like the radiator, battery, headlights, and all that sheet metal. A bumper brush guard will give you a protective framework to keep all that stuff safe. Little rocks and dirt can pass right through the brush guard (as can air for the radiator), but the big, damaging stuff will be stopped cold by the black or chrome steel brush guard.

Nothing changes the look of a car quite as quickly as the addition of a spoiler. A car spoiler, or rear wing, consists of a styled piece of fiberglass that enhances the aerodynamics of your car--not to mention making it look like you just rolled off the circuit at LeMans. Spoiler wings can come in all different shapes and sizes, too. There's the high hoop spoiler, like that seen on the fourth-generation Toyota Supra spoiler, all the way down to the small lip spoiler like that seen on late-model BMW M3 trunklid spoilers. And, of course, every spoiler size in between.

Bug Shields and Wind Deflectors
Bug shields and wind deflectors have come a long way since the days of that upright blue-plastic beast on the front of your uncle's Caprice wagon. Nowadays, auto bug shields, wind deflectors and truck bug shields come in great-looking aero styles that fit the contours of your vehicle. And wind deflectors and bug shields still do what they've always done: protect the leading edge of your hood from stone chips, bug residue, and other road debris. Think about the abuse your hood takes from driving and you'll see why bug shields are more than just a styling accessory.

Car Bra
It's impossible to talk about the car bra without making a joke about how well car bra supports your front end. So there, it's out of the way and we can get down to business. A car bra, also called a front-end mask, is a piece of vinyl that wraps around the exposed front portion of your vehicle. Not surprisingly, a custom car bra protects against flying rocks, debris, and myriad other odds and ends that might smack the front of your car, causing dents and scratches. A car bra is also a styling accessory, though, creating a sleek, custom look at the front of your ride. The auto car bra has come a long way in recent years, and now provides much better protection while allowing your paint to breathe too. And speaking of protection, there's no better way than installing a car bra to keep your front end ding-free. With a heavy vinyl outer layer and padding beneath, a car bra can stop a hit from a fairly large chunk of junk without telegraphing the impact to the paint below. And, unlike some other front-end protective devices, a car bra is easy to remove and reinstall at a moment's notice.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Defensive Driving - Getting Behind The Wheel With Caution

By Jennifer Jordan

SUMMARY: Defensive driving is a key component to driving safely. While you don't want to be so defensive that you fail to be offensive, and become one of the poor drivers you fear, defensive driving and offensive driving go hand in hand. The best offense is a good defense, even when automobile safety is concerned.

People who drive for a living - limo drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers - often undergo defensive driving as part of their professional development. But, defensive driving doesn’t have to be limited to driving professionals: everyone can benefit from learning how to drive defensively. Driving defensively won’t assure that you are never on the receiving end of a fender bender, but it can help to decrease your chances of calling the police, a tow trunk, and your insurance agent.

Watch Intersections
Intersections are a prime place for accidents. From people trying to beat a yellow light to those who flat out run reds, intersections are where danger often intersects with safety. Defensively speaking, accidents can’t always be avoided at intersections, but using caution when approaching may help to decrease the risk. The best way to do this is to make sure those who have a red light are actually stopping. When your light turns green, instead of gunning it right away, take a few moments to glance from side to side, making sure the cars with a red light realize they have one.

Be Careful in Bad Weather
Driving defensively in bad weather may take a back seat to driving offensively. After all, you might be busy simply making sure you don’t cause a wreck. But being aware of the cars around you can also help reduce the chances of a fender bender. In icy, snowy, or slushy weather, it’s best to assume cars will slide. At intersections, stop signs, or parking lots, drivers may find themselves pressing on the brakes, only to realize they are not stopping. Always assume that they aren’t; before you proceed through an intersection or a stop sign, make sure that another car isn’t going to slide right through.

Be Weary of Those Who Swerve
We all know not to drink and drive. But, unfortunately, some people don’t heed this law. They get behind the wheel after three drinks or twenty and take to the roadways. Their logic, vision, and reaction time are all compromised, making them an ideal person to cause an accident. There is no real way for you, the defensive driver, to avoid them. Drunk drivers are on the road at all times of day in all places of the world. They can sometimes be spotted easily, swerving inside their lane or into other peoples’ lanes. If you spot someone swerving, maintain a safe distance at all times, then call the police and report them.

Assume Everyone Around you is a Poor Driver
Sure, it may seem unfair, assuming that everyone your on the road with is a bad driver, but making this assumption forces you to use caution, which makes you defensive by nature. If you assume that everyone around you is distracted or driving with a suspended license, you keep a watchful eye on them, preparing yourself to react quickly when you need to.

Defensive driving is a key component to driving safely. While you don’t want to be so defensive that you fail to be offensive, and become one of the poor drivers you fear, defensive driving and offensive driving go hand in hand. The best offense is a good defense, even when automobile safety is concerned.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Pimp My Ride: Start With Your Rims

By Christopher W Smith

SUMMARY: If you want to enhance the appearance of your car without spending too much money on body kits, or you want to take it slowly to budget your expenses for your car, you should consider changing your car rims first. It is a fact that one of the most noticeable features in a car are the rims.

If you want to enhance the appearance of your car without spending too much money on body kits, or you want to take it slowly to budget your expenses for your car, you should consider changing your car rims first. It is a fact that one of the most noticeable features in a car are the rims. So, if you are planning to customize your car and give it a better look, you should start by replacing your after market rims with a better looking set and also one that will improve the overall performance of your car.

"First, there are different types of rims available today. There are spinners, chrome rims, American racing rims, truck rims and custom rims. All these rims differ in price, size, design, weight and mounting options. If you are a person who just wants to improve the look of your car, you should get spinners or chrome rims. However, if you also want to improve the performance of your car, try getting rims that are built for racing. It is lighter in weight and it improves that road performance of your car.

Most people know that custom rims improve the appearance of a car. However, what many people don’t know is that rims also contribute to the overall road performance of a car. In the early days, rims were made with steel, which were heavy and the handling of the car suffered. However, today car rims are aerodynamically designed, and are lighter which will enhance a car's handling performance.

The size of the rims is also important. The larger the rims of a car, the better it looks and the better the performance. By increasing the size of the rims, you will have better steering response from the car. This is because larger rims tend to increase the surface area of the wheel that comes in contact with the road. Also, because you will be covering most of the rubber in the tires, your car will also look a lot better.

Racing rims are very popular in street cars today. However, there are some people who only prefer to enhance its appearance. If you want a better looking car, and are not really concentrating much on performance, you can consider getting chrome rims or spinners. Chrome rims are popular because of its shiny appearance. Another popular trend today is by installing spinner rims on a car. This particular rim does not have any performance value but is still very popular and eye catching. What spinners do is it creates an optical illusion that even when the car is stationary, it will look as if the wheels are still spinning.

Custom rims are also very popular. This is because it is made from scratch and it is made according to your specifications on what your new rims will look like. Custom rims will cost a little more because it is made from scratch.

These are the kinds of car rims available in the market today. So, if you want to improve the appearance and performance of your car, you can consider upgrading your after market rims to custom rims, spinners, and racing rims. Always remember that by installing larger and lighter rims, you will also improve the performance of your car.