High Mileage Doesn’t have to Mean Low Value

So you have a car and you want to drive it, but that’s the rub – the more you drive the soonerit wears out. Well, the reality may not be so dire. Below are a few words on how to maintain your car to make it go further.

A car with a number of miles on the clock can cause problems, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a car needs to be replaced after say, 100,000 miles. In truth, it’s all about maintenance; you might be able to get your run-around to reach 200,000 miles or more.

The idea that your car cannot go above 100,000 miles is so engrained in the car industry that odometers in the 1960s and the 1970s only went up to 99,999. If you went any further, the count would reset. Irreputable dealers used to get a coat hanger up under the dash roll the odometer forward until it reset and then act as though it’s a low mileage car.

Nowadays we see it different.

People don’t like buying high mileage cars, but it doesn’t mean that this type of car cannot hold its value if looked after correctly. You just need to watch over things like the automatic transmission, battery and tread, especially after a long journey.

Recommendations for making a car last include fixing any problem which comes up immediately. Most drivers do ignore problems and they can come back to bite you. So if you see a warning light or hear a strange noise remember to check it out or get a mechanic to check it out.

Although many people don’t like being tied to the maintenance manual it’s a good idea to follow recommendation on when to check the tire pressure or looking at fluids such as oil and water.

It’s essential to keep the car clean, as foreign bodies such as road salt can damage your car. Most people don’t drive their car respectfully and this can also cause difficulty to a high mileage cars. This includes doing things like not using the brake or clutch too violently, after all you want it to last.

As with any car it is essential to have the right insurance and breakdown cover, especially if you are travelling long distances. No car is safe from breakdown, so it’s best to be careful with a well-used vehicle.


Ways of Jumping Your Car

In the winter it’s important to that everything is working as normal. If it is not, you might walk out to your car one morning and find it doesn’t start. It’s especially likely on a very cold morning. There could be another reason for the drained battery, such as the lights being left on it, but whatever the reason, car batteries do get run down.

Warning! Not all Cars are Alike!

A word of warning though, it is vital that you check the procedure in your manual carefully before attempting it. What follows is merely a guideline, because auto makers sometimes crowd the battery into a space that won’t allow you to access both posts. So, you may need to verify the exact procedure for your model of car.

Also worth noting, you would not jump start an electric car, but if you are attempting to jump a car with an electric car, you’ll need to follow the specific directions for that vehicle.

Before attempting to jump a car make sure the battery isn’t completely dry, frozen, corroded, leaking, or damaged.

Never let the metal leads touch each other, and never hold the leads by the metal parts.


Boosting a car battery (also known as a safety jump) is done by attaching red and black cables correctly. You may think that both sides of the dead battery should be attached to the live battery in the other car but if you do that it will cause an explosion.

  • First, clamp the plus (red) wire to the dead car battery by clipping it onto the metallic + post (aka terminal) at least 30cm up the post from the battery top.
  • Second, connect the plus (red) wire to the donor car (the live battery) by clipping it onto the metallic + post (aka terminal) at least 30cm up the post from the battery top.
  • Third, clamp the black, negative wire to the dead car battery in similar fashion.
  • Forth, clamp the black, negative wire to the live (donor car) battery.

You then start the engine of the car, obviously the donor car, and let it idle and feed electricity to the dead car’s battery for a few minutes. The car with the dead battery will not start straight away after a boost; it is more like a car starting in cold weather. If it still doesn’t start you may need to start pushing it, or revving the engine on the giving car.

There is a possibility for complications for the car which is being boosted, such as having their battery drained. It could even cause some kind of electrical issue with your battery. It is vital that you check the procedure carefully before attempting it.

The Electrical Charge Gauge

In some cars the dashboard may have a gauge for the alternator. This gauge will indicate what you might think of as electrical pressure (not a technical term), when a boost is taking place. These could be found in various places such as near the radio slot or on the “side pillar” near the driver. It is similar in looks to the speedometer. Functionally, most of the time you’ll easily start the car and not engage with this gauge, but if you aren’t able to start your car this gauge may help in diagnosis.

Turbo Chargers

Then there is the turbocharger. It consists of two small fans, one called the turbine and one called the compressor. To make things simple, a turbocharger steels the energy found in a crankshaft. Not all cars and trucks have turbochargers as they are rough on your fuel economy. They also make the engine much more complex than it would be otherwise.

Turbochargers are more typically found in sports cars, and race cars, but if you have one it makes it harder to get a jump.

Here’s The official Recommendation from The Kicker—carry a portable jumper with you, to avoid needing to jump a stranger’s vehicle engine to engine.

Self-Isolation in a Covid-19 World

Op-Ed by Bunch & Wimsett

The idea of self-isolation, of not having contact with society may show how we’ve been spoilt by having a car to drive, to get us to a certain location by a certain time. We’re accustomed to being certain, more or less, we can go anyplace anytime. The car owner without the car feels a little bit, well, like a prisoner. (We know it’s not the same thing, but it feels like it.)

When your car goes in the shop for an extended repair and your insurance company won’t pay for a rental, you’re left bumming a ride from friends or public transport. If you have to rely on public transport, you are at the mercy of other travellers, which can be sketchy, especially during the darkest of nights. We also need to wait around for public transport to appear and have to deal with the cold. But these days, it’s the peril of crowds, and their germs.

Although a car seems safer than a bus it is still a harboring area for bacteria, so it is important to wash your hands after returning from car journeys. This is just the way we live now.

Self-isolation is more than just being unable to travel; it’s also about not being able to set forth outside your home, to use your car. It’s hard to see how a travel ban for a wide group of people can be implemented. (It’s easier in some ways with planes and trains.)

Where you travel to:

However, you travel it is important to realize that it is not a good idea to move into an area which has a higher risk of exposure than the one where you live. You are also more at risk in crowded settings, especially places with limited air circulation. Also, it’s not a good idea to visit older adults.

It is likely the concert, parade, festival or sporting fixture you are visiting is cancelled, check to find out before you start your journey.

The Las Vegas strip, Broadway theaters and Disney theme parks have also closed. It is likely that similar venues will do likewise. Even the beaches, state parks, and tourist attractions are closed. Even though we need the fresh air, the risk of the crowd is too great.

The Auto Industry:

Car factories may also close, though in Detroit a Covid-19 Task Force has been set up in attempt to keep workers as safe as possible. No one is that sure whether the virus lives on cardboard, plastic and stainless steel and anyone touches any of substances risks exposure to the virus. A number of the office staff will be working from home, but it goes without saying that those who are building or repairing items on the factory floor haven’t got that luxury. Somehow the business needs to stay afloat.

A number of CEOs from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will lead the task force.

With all the school closers you won’t need to use the car to take the children to school. It is affecting all areas of life.

There is a lockdown in states such as Washington, California and New Jersey. In the latter a curfew exists between 8pm and 5am.

As for the rest of us you may need to ask yourself, “Is my journey that necessary?”

In most quarantine states, restaurants are allowed to serve takeout or delivery—so far. As things stand now, Mike Pence said that restaurants have the potential to close. This is an ongoing situation, but things will snap back. We can only wait.

So, travel seems not that important right now. Might we suggest the solution to your need to get around is an ancient technology known as walking.

Stay safe,

Team Kicker Blog

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Taking Someone’s Else’s Car For Spin…legally!

If you love, love, love to drive, but you don’t want to put a lot of road trip miles on your car, there are ways to drive other people’s cars long distances. For several reasons, people will drive a vehicle somewhere, like a vacation, and end up flying home. They’ll need to hire a service to get that car back to them and because truck routes are limited it can be less expensive to hire someone to drive it back to you.

Many car and motorhome companies require drivers to take the vehicles back and forth for these road trippers. This occupation seems to be especially strong in Florida where many drivers want to take their car north in the spring. No wonder that there are vacancies for people who want to deliver these vehicles.

You have to be at least 23 years and have a valid driver’s license to become a courier. Please note that some courier companies have a higher age threshold and some may require you to undergo background checks. It is free of charge, but unsurprisingly you need to pay a deposit of $350 before you can deliver a car.

There’s probably a number of weeks spent waiting around for you to get a job, but the jobs may well provide the adventure Americana to scratch your itch.

Motorhome companies with a similar need for couriers. As do ambulances, busses, small fire/rescue vehicles, limousines, and hearse’. What do they have in common? They are too big to fit on a car carrier.

According to ZipRecruiter.com this job should fetch you between $27K and $54k per year. AutoDriveway is one such company that employs drivers to deliver a car.

Of course, if you just want a local job instead of the long haul you can check out your local auto dealership or port where cars are imported. Rental car companies also employ people to deliver cars to and from repair shops and the like.

Expect any of these employers to require a little customer service skill and to require you to fill out a checklist before you pick up and after you deliver the vehicle.

Tire Problems

Most of the population think tire problems start and end with a “flat” and “incorrectly inflated tires” but there are other problems that can occur. A good rule of thumb is to compare the front left tire to the front right tire and a similar way with the back tire as tires don’t tend to become worn at the same rate.

Bald tires: A tire becomes bald from overuse which may make the tire blowout in hot conditions. This will mean that you are more likely to lose condition in extreme conditions. Such tires are much more likely to lose pressure. There should be exposed indicator bars if your tires need to be replaced.

Bubbles: External bulges in the tire. A rubber tire consists of “cords” which are at 90 degrees to the tire’s run (It might help to think of it in similar way to a piece of paper, it is harder to tear left to right than tear downwards). A forceful object can separate the cords and create a bubble. Having more than bubble or bulge is rare but occurrences have been spotted, probably due to manufacturing defect.

Flat spots: A worn part of the tire, caused by parking for long periods in the same place or by locking your brakes. You should fill your tires to capacity; drive at least 150 miles (which will solve the problem if the difficulty was being parked in one place). If it is not fixed, release some of the air in the tire through use of a valve. And if it still seems a problem, take it to a mechanic.

Squealing: This tends to occur when the vehicle is cornering. This is due to an uneven tread – some peeling may become apparent when examining the tire. Again it can be fixed by increasing the pressure in your tires. It may be even be due to loose wheels, in which case the wheel nuts should be tightened.

Underinflation: Generally, tires not being at the correct thickness which as well as making them hard to drive with may also create a burning smell due to excess heat. You can obtain Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems to check the problem or you could just check it at a service station. It’s a good idea to do this before going a long journey as you are likely to be stuck somewhere and it might be dangerous to stop.

Vibrations: This are generally felt when you operate the brake pedal or when the brake caliper sticks (these are used to slow the vehicle). Problems similar to vibrations which might be undetected by passengers in the car may be found by using a roller device called a Tire Problem Detector over the tire. Apparently they are due to an out-of-balance wheel, as it relates to the axel and its partner wheel. It’s quite usual for a tire which is more than a year old to become uneven on one side. It can be fixed by loosening a wheel weight. 

The Problem with Flying Cars

It is 2020 right? So we should have flying cars? But it’s not as simple as that. As said before in these posts not all novelty works and a flying car would surely be one hell of a novelty.

It would cost $50 million to buy a flying car, though it is possible to get one from private hands at about $279,000. This sounds ruthlessly expensive, so let’s break it down.

Because a car is not built for flight it is better to start with a plane and work backwards, so getting a plane to drive on the road. Then you have the problem of where on the road you can land the plane, you can’t just land it in the middle of freeway. So really you’re talking about a plane you can fly one day and drive the next day.

There’s also the difficulty with fuel. Can’t you fill up a flying car at a gas pump? Don’t flying objects need something stronger, like kerosene?

As well as the flying car itself you’re going to run into a big insurance bill. As soon as you have a car which might plummet into the ground from a great height (not that I’m being pessimistic at all here…) the costs are going to skyrocket (especially as a crash could come from simply running out of fuel).

Manoeuvrability is also a stumbling block. Something which flies handles differently from an object on the ground (this is pretty self-explanatory stuff but when you’re exploring possibilities you do have to state the obvious). A car might be tested by a strong gust of wind, but unless its very strong the car will be able to continue on its journey. However a flying car is reliant on the air around it, so in a windy day it will be harder to handle and may just crash.

Another tricky day to fly in would be a foggy day; you might just collide with a building or hill. So this would be a good day not to take your googles out of the glove compartment? 

With the information stated above, it may shock you that people are creating drastic in-roads in coming up with a flying car. The Transition by Terrafugia’s selling point is that it is a plane that is stored in the garage. It can transform; James Bond-style from a car into a plane but again you have the difficulty of where it can take off and where it can land.

This vehicle require two types of engine- a hybrid motor for driving on the ground and a 4 cylinder engine for its plane mode. As well as a driver’s license you need a sports pilot certificate. It has an airframe parachute and airbags. How good are airbags in a plane crash? Maybe this should be looked into. They also need their own registration plate.

Uber meanwhile are looking into the concept of flying taxis, which may be available over the skies of Dubai, LA and Dallas as early as 2023.

Can all these promises be delivered on? It does seem a big ask, but if there is a market for it, there will be an answer…eventually.

Interiors for Lovers of Cars

You can find many different pieces of furniture designed for car lovers such as pool tables, a bubble chair with Herbie’s iconic 53 on it, even impressive watch winders, supercar desks and so on. If you can’t afford the car itself maybe you can afford a car bed? It is after all the next best thing.

A coffee table made of crushed up car parts or car engines may be taking your hobby too far. After all, you might just become sick of cars if you can’t escape them anywhere. They do look seriously weird.

If you want some way to display your books why not have a cabinet which looks like a car driven up the wall? Where exactly they get these ideas from is not known and you might just wonder how popular these ideas are, they look fairly bespoke. Still they have their own websites so people must be buying them.

A refrigerator is also shown. Okay, it’s the right shape for a fridge but it does include the badges and colors of various vehicles; like the VW for instance. Just a novelty fridge, really.

If you can’t afford the hassle of changing your own interior why not take time out at a location where the interior has been changed for you, such as a hotel? It’s certainly a lot less life changing and you might even find ideas you can adapt for your own pad.

The V8 Hotel in the Motorworld Region of Stuttgart is an excellent place for people to visit who are fans of racing cars as well as other car related activities such as running a garage or the actual mechanics of a vehicle. The property used to be an Art Deco designed airport and you can still see the blueprint of that in the current hotel.

The concepts of room include “Mercedes-Benz car wash” and “Cadillac drive-in cinema.” On display in the hallway are various classic and retro cars. You can even watch cars being repaired through a glass wall.

Some of the concepts don’t look very appealing – Would you like to stay in a room with corrugated iron walls or a metallic hood at the foot of the bed? Well, yes it seems that a number of people would. As you can see the design of the room online it’s not that much of a shock when you check-in, except maybe to your significant other. The Wild West room might be a bit tricky to explain though, what’s that got to do with cars? Manly pursuits are probably the key theme.

If your partner doesn’t want to stay in a room that looks like the set of the movie Grease compromise might be a car and spa weekend. For the husband, a driving experience while the reward for his log-suffering wife is a massage. It’s not clear who gets the best deal here? At least it keeps money in circulation.