Things To Know When Buying Roof Racks

Do you like to go camping, or need to carry stuff that generally won’t fit inside your car?

If you answered, “Yes”, to this question, then you probably need to consider getting some roof racks.

Roof racks can also be referred to as “cross bars”, “roof bars” etc.

The things you can carry on your roof racks are only limited by the weight of the goods vs. the roof load limit and your imagination. You can carry all sorts of things like luggage boxes and bags, camping and fishing gear, kayaks, canoes, as well as skis and snowboards or even ladders.

There are so many options these days when it comes to selecting the appropriate bars for your car. If your car is fitted with side rails, you will need roof racks that are designed to be fitted to factory rails. For rails that are slightly raised and have a gap between them and the roof of the car, you will have to choose between the type of “Rail Bars” that sit between the rails, clamping on along the inside of the rail, and don’t raise the profile of the car by more than a few millimetres, and the type that sit on top of the rails and clamp on from above.

If you don’t have rails and your car is fairly new, it my have what are known as factory fixed points. These are an integral part of the car’s design that allow roof racks to be fitted at specific points.

Some cars built within the last 10 years will have a set of tracks fitted to the roof. These allow for the roof bars to be fitted and slid to almost any desired location on the roof.

Some older cars will have actual rain gutters, and you will need the type of racks that clamp onto the gutter. If your car is a reasonably late model car that doesn’t have any of these options then you may well need to get the type of roof rack that basically clamps to the car roof via metal straps that are fitted inside the doors.

When buying a set of racks for your car there are certain things you will need to consider, to ensure that you buy the solution that is best for you. First consideration would be, “What do you intend to carry up there?”

Secondly but of equal importance is the weights you intend to carry and what the legal implications of that can be. All cars have a roof load limit that includes the weight of the roof racks.

Before you go ahead and buy your roof bars it would be a good move to discuss your requirements with a qualified roof rack specialist to be sure that the roof rack you buy meets the vehicle’s manufacturer specification and the vehicle’s load rating. It.s also worth noting that the official roof load limits are designated for on road use. If you are going off road then you need to divide the load limit by 1.5 which means a 50kg limit is dropped to 33kg.

Safety and Handling have to be your next consideration, as any extra weight above the centre line of the car will have some detrimental effects on how the car handles. You may not notice it at first, but you’ll definitely notice it under emergency braking…

Whilst there are some downsides to using roof racks, the upsides far out weigh them. As long as you take some extra precautions before you travel, everything will be fine. First and foremost, DO NOT try to carry more than the specified weight on your roof racks. Make sure that you distribute the weight evenly across the bars, paying particular attention to the placement of the heaviest items, keeping them as close as possible to the centre of the car.

Whenever you stop, check to make sure that the load is still secure, and has not moved. Keep your load as low as possible.

Traffic Violations, Auto Insurance, and Your Rates

Auto Insurance is expensive enough. You do not need a traffic ticket to make your premiums go up even higher. That is why it is important to drive carefully, courteously and within the legal speed limits. This way, you will give no reason for a police officer to pull you over and hand you a summons in regard to irresponsible driving patterns.

You may wonder. The ticket itself involves a fine. Why would you be penalized any further by your insurance company?

To be honest, your insurance company is not interested in punishing you. They are solely out for their own interests. When they see you have been convicted for a moving violation, they view that as a peril to their operations. Traffic violations demonstrate to the insurance company that you are at more risk of being a part of a car accident or collision than someone that has a clean driving record. A car accident, in insurance terms, means there will likely be a claim that they will cost them money. The insurance company balances the risk of an auto accident claim with a raised premium or added charge.

Of course each company gauges its response to a poor driving record individually. By and large though, they have a team that looks at the general behavior you have exhibited when you are behind the driving wheel.

And when deciding the amount of the rate increase, the insurance company will consider the severity of the traffic violation.

So, if you are committed of drunk driving, you will find yourself up against an extremely strict reaction in regard to a rate increase. If you have merely been ticketed for a broken headlight, judgement meted out against you will be mild. And if you have been found to be speeding 15 miles above the city limits, you will get a higher increase than if you would have been speeding only five miles beyond the posted mileage.

People often ask about parking tickets. For the most part, the motorist who receives a parking ticket need only worry about paying that ticket. The insurance company will not raise your rates if they see that you are responsible about your bill and they do not view a parking summons as a concern in regard to your likelihood of being involved in a car crash.

The line of thought goes far beyond a car. Whether you drive a truck, van, motorcycle or other type of vehicle, your rates can go up if you have been convicted of a moving or speeding violation.

For more on the topic, speak to an experienced independent insurance agent.

How to Flush the Brake System on a 2003 VW Jetta TDI

A brake bleeder (available at auto parts and Internet stores) is used to remove moisture, and expel contaminated brake fluid from the brake system. The brake fluid in a VW should be flushed every 24 months or two (2) years.

Step 1 – Drive the vehicle front wheels onto ramps (2)

Step 2 – Place the gear selector in “Park” or “1st Gear”.

Step 3 – Place wheel chocks behind the two (2) rear wheels.

Step 4 – Place an oil pan under the passenger-side rear wheel.

Step 5 – Engage the hood lever lever in the cabin compartment.

Step 6 – Raise the engine hood.

Step 7 – Remove the brake reservoir cap (Yellow) by turning counter-clockwise.

Step 8 – Fill the reservoir with fresh VW Dot 4 brake fluid to the fill line.

Step 9 – Fill the reservoir of the brake bleeder pump with fresh VW Dot 4 brake fluid.

Step 10– Attach the plastic tubing (from kit) to the ports of the brake bleeder.

Step 11 – Attach the adapter cap (Red) to the master cylinder reservoir by turning clockwise until tight.

Step 12 – Pump the handle of the brake bleeder pump to pressurize the brake system.

Step 13 – Pump the handle of the pump until a reading between 12 and 15psi is shown on the gauge of the pump.

Step 14 – Place an oil drain pan under the passenger-side rear wheel.

Step 15 – Position the body or use a creeper under the passenger-side rear wheel.

Step 16 – Place a piece of plastic tubing (from kit) on the brake bleeder fitting.

Step 17 – Using a 9mm box wrench, loosen the bleeder fitting by turning counter-clockwise. one (1) turn.

Step 18 – The pressure from the pump will force discolored and contaminated brake fluid to enter the drain pan.

Step 19 – When there are no noticeable air bubbles and the brake fluid turns “clear”, close the brake bleeder fitting.

Step 20 – Move the drain pan to the drivers-side rear wheel.

Step 21 – Repeat the steps above (14 through 19) on the drivers-side rear wheel.

Step 22 -Move the drain pan to the passenger-side front wheel.

Step 23 – Repeat the steps above (14 through 19) on the passenger-side front wheel.

Step 24 – Move the drain pan to the drivers-side front wheel.

Step 25 – Repeat the above steps (14 through 19) on the drivers-side front wheel.

Step 26 – Remove the drain pan, plastic tubing, and 9mm wrench from under the drivers-side front wheel.

Step 27 – Pour the contaminated brake fluid into a plastic container.for recycling.

Step 28 – Unscrew the adapter cap (Red) by turning counter-clockwise.

Step 29 – Attach the original brake reservoir cap (Yellow) by turning clockwise.

Step 30 – Remove the hoses to the brake bleeder and adapter and set pump aside.

Step 31 – Have an assistant apply pressure to the brake pedal and check for a firm pedal.

Step 32 – Check for fluid leaks at all four (4) wheels.

Step 33 – Close the engine hood.

Step 34 – Remove rear wheel chocks.

Step 35 – Back vehicle off ramps.

Step 36 – Road test vehicle.

Rearend Repair For Your Rear Wheel Drive Car and Truck

Rearend repair is a complex and tedious task best left to a qualified master of this craft! Truth, most mechanics today do not know how to repair differentials. They send these jobs out to a differential rebuilding shop. I know it sounds unbelievable, but for this job you require a specialist. Many factors go into securing a quiet and long lasting service job on a rear differential!

I will elaborate further, you will require premium parts Timken bearings National seals for an American made car or Koyo bearings and NAK seals for a Japanese make vehicle. Ring and pinion sets factory oem or original from the factory work best. Second best are the aftermarket such as Motive, Richmond, and US gear. Gear oil choice is a primary concern for gear life I recommend 85-140wtgear oil. Synthetic gear oil simply has insufficient cushion for the impact between the ring and pinion. Great for an engine but rearends need a thick like molasses gear oil! This will give you long life on your gear set in your rearend of your car!

Four wheel drive trucks racing applications normally do not come with a warranty! Its best if you go to a differential specialist to have your differential custom built for these applications. Always go to someone who does this work as a specialist. Most repair shops do this work one here and one there. You want someone who does this daily. Break in period is critical! no excessive speeds over 75mph for the first 500 miles and make sure your differential repair shop runs the differential in with no load! Meaning just let the rear wheels turn above the ground slightly above idle before the vehicle is driven. Thanks for reading!