Can You Tow with a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle?

Electric and hybrid vehicles are incredibly popular these days. And looking at recent gas prices, it’s for good reason. Looking at the number of models available in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (EV) versions, it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart from their gasoline-powered brethren. With these types of vehicles being more and more accessible, switching to a PHEV or full-EV is as easy as choosing a paint color.

While PHEVs and EVs may help save money and cut emissions with their fuel efficiency or not needing fuel at all, we also don’t want to cut into how we can use these vehicles for recreation. The evolution of electric vehicle technology is now at a point where we no longer need to trade all capabilities for fuel efficiency. 

Getting Started

In some ways, towing with one of these types of vehicles will be a more pleasant experience than using their gasoline-powered counterparts. Somewhat surprisingly, the electric motors in EV and the electric assist in PHEV can provide the most important power factor for getting the payload moving from a stop–torque. Even the short time electricity generates the power in the PHEV, the high amount of instant torque is enough to get the full payload in motion. Be sure to check to see the payload capacity of the vehicle. 

Towing with an EV

While towing is possible, with an EV capable of such, there are significant hurdles that technology has not quite caught up to.

Range

There is no way around it. The more you tow, the shorter distance you will be able to travel. With some testing, towing near the payload capacity for a particular car can cut the range in half. Consider that most of your towing might be done for recreation to places that likely do not have EV charging stations, this may rule out EVs overall.

Weight

The torque of the electric motor easily gets the vehicle and payload in motion. However, stopping the weight can prove problematic. Looking at the weight of the EV itself, it does not take a lot more in the way of payload to exceed some vehicle weight limits. Some EVs can weigh almost a ton more than their gasoline kin. This is a lot to stop, not even considering what is being towed.

Charging Supply from Braking

One of the ways EVs maintain their charge to extend their range is by using the braking action of the vehicle to provide a slight amount of regenerative power back into the system. When the force needed to stop the EV and the payload exceeds what this system can safely handle, many EVs will turn their regenerative braking systems off. Without this source of charging on the go, the range is decreased even more. 

Towing With a PHEV

Using a PHEV over an EV to tow, seems to solve most of these issues and keeps the benefits of an electric motor. The PHEV uses the electric motor to get things started before the gasoline engine takes over. Once at speed, the hybrid system keeps the fuel efficiency quite high. There still are some downsides to using a PHEV to tow. The added weight and strain on the electric motor and hybrid system can have significant effects on the longevity of the batteries. This is much less than what is seen with EVs but is still worth considering. 

Conclusions

There are many EVs and PHEVs that offer significant towing capacity. However, this comes at a significant penalty by reliance on denser networks of charging stations and potential more frequent replacement of battery systems. And if your goal is to get off grid you are likely not heading to places with lots of charging stations.

Honda Confirms Small Electric and Hybrid Compact SUVs for 2023

Looking at the prices shown on nearly all gas stations has undoubtedly made you think about the fuel efficiency of your vehicle (s). Especially if you are in the market for a new vehicle, there is an increasing number of options that will not only help you save money by burning less fuel but will still provide you with the capabilities you need.

One of the most popular names in smaller automobiles has just announced two great options for fuel-efficient or electric SUVs for 2023. The all-new Honda e:Ny1 and the next-generation CR-V look to provide you a range that rivals other all-electric vehicles, while keeping the familiar capabilities and space of the long-standing CR-V.

The e:Ny1

At this point, there is not a lot we know about this all-electric prototype. What we do know is extremely promising and is worth looking at. From initial looks, this small crossover looks remarkably similar to the HR-V.

The Looks

There are a few differences that set the e:Ny1 apart from its relatives. The front-end is shaped more like the CR-V with the grille-less form seen on most electric vehicles. The rear carries forward the sporty styling of the HR-V. The body sits atop Honda’s e:N Architecture F chassis, which is specifically designed for electric front-wheel drive vehicles.

What’s Inside

Under the hood is a new battery pack that is estimated to give a range of just over 300 miles while supplying a potent 201-horsepower. This is a significant improvement to the “e:” family that started off 2020 with a limited 137 miles.

Next Generation CR:V

Honda’s stalwart in the small-SUV category, the CR-V, will receive a near-total make-over with the addition of a few proven components from other models. The all-new CR-V still has ample size and capabilities. It is also expected to be available with seating for 5 or 7.

The Looks

Outside, the CR-V seemed to trade in more of its utilitarian and purpose-built looks for some class and refinement. The front grille is opened up and is bordered by contrastingly thinner LED headlights. Looking at the profile, it is clear the design has spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel with previously sharp corners being smoothed into gentle curves. The hood is blended into the teardrop shape of the body.

Under the Hood

The 2023 CR-V will borrow several newer, but proven power-train components that come from the recent update to the Civic family of cars. The non-hybrid version is powered with a 1.5-liter turbocharged, inline 4-cylinder motor with a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated I-4 in the hybrid. Both of these motors have been well tested were given a few minor tweaks to make them fit in CR-V’s hood, and improve reliability.

Plug-In vs. Hybrid only

To bridge the gap between hybrid gasoline and all-electric vehicles, many automakers have come out with “Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles” (PHEV) and Honda is no exception. As there is more and more pressure for all-electric vehicles, it might be worth considering this move sooner than later.

While it remains to be seen just how available the PHEV version of the new CR-V will be in the American market, it certainly has a lot to offer and may help take the plunge into driving an electric vehicle, while maintaining the familiarity of a gasoline-powered engine. Actual fuel efficiency numbers have yet to be released, but some other PHEVs from other makers have reported in the triple-digits for miles per gallon. Plus, there is the added “safety-net” of being able to drive up to 50 miles on solely electric power.

Can a Dash Cam Get You Out Of a Ticket?

A dashboard camera or dash cam, as the name indicates, is a camera that is attached to the dashboard of your car. When an accident occurs, a dash cam is supposed to function as a “silent witness” by recording everything that happens on the road, from the time of impact until help arrives.

While you may have an impeccable driving record, keep in mind that not everyone on the road is a safe driver, and accidents can occur. The dash cam was never meant to be an accident-prevention device, but rather a recording device that would provide an impartial record of what occurred in the event of an accident.

Every driver has had to deal with traffic penalties at some point in their driving career, regardless of whether they’ve been behind the wheel for a few months or decades. Perhaps you were rushing to get to work on time and sped up to avoid a ticket. Alternatively, you may have overlooked that your taillight was out in the first place. But occasionally, we get a ticket for a crime we didn’t commit. Installing a dash cam can help you drive safer but also get you out of a ticket. Here are some types of most common tickets among drivers and how installing a dash cam can get you out of them.

Dash Cams Helping You Out of Speeding Tickets

Many people have gotten pulled over for speeding. It is one of the most common tickets a driver will face throughout the year. This is also something that can be hard to prove in a court of law. It’s your word against the officer who gave you the ticket. If you have proof from a dash cam about how fast you were going and the speed of the street, you are more likely to prove your innocence. Each modern dash cam has a built-in GPS that also tracks how fast your car is going.

Illegal Turns or Stops

Your installed dashboard camera will be able to pick up when you use your blinker at a light or when you stop. It records everything for your safety and others. Once you take this footage to court, it will help the judge understand if you are at fault or not.

Cell Phone Usage

In most states, it is illegal to use your phone while driving. However, for many police officers, it can also be hard to see through windows; they have to make an educated guess on what you are doing. If you install a dual-facing dash cam, it will also record what is going on inside of the car. This can help prove if you were not on the phone the time your ticket happened.

Helps Identify If You Wore a Seatbelt

It is illegal to not wear a seatbelt while driving in many states. This is another instance when a dual-facing dash cam will come in handy to prove that you are wearing one while driving.

Should You Get a Dash Cam?

You probably think you are a good driver, but mistakes do happen. Police officers are responsible for keeping the streets safe, and sometimes it may look like you did something you didn’t do at all. Installing a dashboard camera is the best way to record your surroundings but also record your own actions to prove your way out of a speeding ticket.

Without one of the dashboard cameras, you may not have proof. It may come down to your account of things, and the police officer’s account of things, especially if no other cameras are recording the area. It is important to have something that will record an unbiased video of what happened during an incident.

What Do Car Smells Mean?

Although something chemical smelt when taking a trip doesn’t always mean you are in imminent danger, it’s always best to know what the most common odors mean and what you should do next…

Serious Smells…

If you detect a rotten egg smell it’s sulfur gas or hydrogen sulfide leaking from the catalytic converters or maybe the fuel filters. If the fluid in the filter isn’t changed it can create a rotten egg smell throughout the system.

A mold or mildew smell could be a problem with the air conditioner, possibly items like leaves or sweet wrappers blocking it. This may in turn lead to water flowing onto your carpets or mats. The air conditioner should be run every month or so for about two minutes, but most people forget—especially in the winter.

A strange syrupy or candy smell is the odor of the coolant, also known as ethylene gycol, the same substance used in antifreeze. It may mean that your car is in danger of overheating. It shouldn’t be driven but taken immediately to a repair shop.

The smell of smoke or burning oil is probably an oil leak. If the oil leak hits the exhaust a fire will result, so it’s vital that this is dealt with immediately.

Should you encounter something similar to burnt paper especially when moving the gears could be the result of pressing down the clutch pedal too much. Not many people know that the clutch is sensitive to overuse and as a result could fail.

Burning plastic may be a short circuit, for example a wire being worn down, or alternately, chewed by a small animal. Another explanation would be an item such as a plastic bag entering the exhaust. It’s best to take it to be repaired as both of these are too dangerous to be dealt with by most regular car owners.

A smell of gas a long time after you fill the tank should be cause for concern. Sometimes gasoline does spill onto shoes, coats etc. so it’s always best to check. It could be something like a faulty gas cap or fuel injector. As always, it’s best to take it to the garage.

If you can smell what seems like the exhaust when you are sitting in the car the best thing to do is to roll down your window and take it to the garage immediately.

Lifestyle Smells…

Here are some handy hints to remove smells which you may encounter in everyday use, apart from the item most commonly used–air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror!

A smell from the car’s carpet may be removed by a car vacuum, especially if it has steam clean or a wash function.

Baking powder shouldn’t be placed on the upholstery for instance but placed in a bowl and left in the car overnight to attack any smells in the vicinity.

Those tumble dryer sheets can do miracles if it’s a hot day. Just leave a couple in the back window to replace smells and leave a fresh scent. Or you could use a freshly washed cushion or towel, as long as you remember to remove it after about a day.

A water and vinegar mixture can remove the smell of vomit – and remove it with a vinegar smell but pick your battles, eh!

So now that you’ve cleared your car of bad “lifestyle” smells, you have no excuse to miss an odor that indicates a mechanical issue.

The Good and Bad Of The Grand Cherokee

The Jeep brand has recently celebrated a massive 80 years of production, though not all that time has been spent producing Grand Cherokees. Beginning in 1972 Jeep stuck with a simple two seat design based on the Willies Jeep of WWII.

Grand Cherokees

Grand Cherokees were classed as mid-sized SUVs up until 2004 and mid-sized crossovers (also known as midsize crossover SUVs) from 2005.

It’s not exactly clear why they changed as there was a sizable group (of sizable families) who preferred three rows of seats to two rows? At least it doesn’t appear that having too many rows of seats was the cause for any slowing down of sales.

The modern Grand Cherokee works on the unibody chassis, which is short for “unitized body.” This means the chassis was constructed as a single unit as opposed to those vehicles which have a separate body and frame. This tends to make a vehicle more rigid, but it’s less expensive to manufacture.

Although it was created by the American Motors Corporation the actual design was created by three freelance designers. It’s interesting to note that the model of the original vehicle was created in clay, because this has become increasingly less common in the age of computer aided design.

That’s the good news, but what about the bad?

A noticeable part of the design is the metal gear shift. The 2014 and 2015 model of the Grand Cherokee had so much difficulty with the gear shift that they had to be recalled. The shift didn’t automatically link itself to the transmission. But there may also be problems with vehicles which have too many miles on the clock, the gears seem to go. Colder weather also increases the risk of brake failure.

These electronic issues seem to be best fixed by replacing the TIPM (which stands for Totally Integrated Power Module) according to Carcomplaints.com. The most likely time for the engine to go wrong is after 50,000 miles, which takes on average something like seven years to complete. (Or if you’re an editor for the Kicker Blog, 1 year.)

It seems that the introduction of brake booster shields didn’t fix the problem. Drivers of older models, between 2010 and 2013, should beware of water entering the engine. It also affects the Dodge Durango.

When having a Grand Cherokee you could possibly see after a couple of weeks such as the engine stalling, which is exacerbated if you are on a slope. There are also difficulties with the ignition.

A weird problem associated with them is the bubbling or wrinkling of the dashboard. You may have seen leather do this before but may not expect to see it in a vehicle’s interior as it doesn’t look all that pretty.

Better SUVs to go for include the Toyota Highlander of which there was a new 2021 model, which followed on from a fully redesigned 2020 model. It handles fuel better. In addition, it also has a sizable amount of trunk space as well as a touchscreen. Highlander also has a third row, but it’s a bit of a squeeze.

At the Kicker we don’t like to trash on any particular auto maker, and even avoid trashing on a particular model. It’s totally likely that the best of car makers will produce a problem model. But it’s also possible to buy a car against all online warnings and find it’s your favorite vehicle. Beware of vehicles models with a suspicious number of complaints about, but just because we talk about the good and bad of a vehicle doesn’t mean you are safe just avoiding that whole line of cars, or every car by that maker. The only way to tell if a particular used car is a good buy or not is to have it independently inspected by a company like TireKickers.

Heavy Duty Car Equipment

Not all car equipment you find in garages and workshops are easily managed, some of them by design need to be massive both in size and in weight. But why are they so large? Let’s see…

An engine hoist is a device or machine to use lift the engine out of the car—some places can only be access with the engine out. And it gives you a look at the engine close up. These machines are not always mechanical in nature, but they always take up room. Although simple ones can raise 2 tons the more complicated chain block hoists can raise as much as 5 tons and go up as far as 78.7 inches, the equivalent of 6 feet 7 inches.

A load leveler is there to hook to something like a crane, or in this case a hoist and helps compensate when the load is off level.

You can remove a car engine without a hoist by parking on a level surface and applying the brake. Next you place a jack under the chassis at the front so the vehicle is high enough to work under it comfortably.

As you may have guessed by the name, a car ramp lifts the car up a sloped surface which makes repair easier – alternately it can just lift the front wheels. If your car has low ground clearance – for example sports cars – they need a special kind of ramp.

A scissor lift creates a platform which can rise almost effortlessly for objects as heavy as 20 tons. You need to make sure it fits all the required standards and may include items such as guardrails. There are also double, triple and even quadruple scissor lifts out there. For longer vehicles you may need to acquire a tandem scissor platform lift.

A more flexible device but still quite heavy is a trolley jack. This can also fit in low level cars such as sports cars. For safety’s sake it’s best to use it in combination with axle stands in case something goes wrong.

Other fairly large items you need include tool chests and cabinets as well as battery chargers or starters – also known as jump starters and electric tire inflators. It could be a problem storing electrical items in the winter as many have problems if there is frosty weather outside and least when you plug them in but if your garage is fully insulated there should be no problem.

Bulky Replacement Parts:

It might seem like keeping enough parts around to account for any part that’s likely to fail or wear out is going to require a lot of storage space, but in reality you can stock a lot of parts in a smallish space.

However, some parts are going to take up room. Radiators can be large and take up space unless you only work on one type of car. Exhaust systems are long and difficult to store in a shop. Best to acquire these as needed.

You can get replacement car batteries for your vehicle if necessary. Most people don’t realize that they tend to last a mere five years or so, hence the need for battery checks.

If a car battery has to cope with extremes of temperature, inactivity or the number of rough journeys. The chemical reactions in the car battery tend not to work. A parasitic drain causes it to wear out before its time.

Batteries don’t seem that bulky if you have an I.C.E. car because you only need the one to start the car up. However, modern electric cars take many which makes for a very expensive service every five years—or less. The disposal casts alone (core charge) is pretty costly.

You may not be aware of what fume extraction is, it’s to do with removing the smoke that comes from constantly starting cars up. Some are fixed in one place while others allow for greater flexibility. Parts such as nozzles and hoses can be replaced if need be.

If you’re running your own shop, say out of your home, space can be an issue. You’ll need a safe place to keep entire cars while you wait for parts you order. While on your property these cars are your responsibility so a good fence is a must. Also, upgraded insurance.

Car Theft & Prevention

From the UK Desk

There are so many awful car crimes out there. The Ford Pickup, especially the 2006 version, was the most stolen car in the US. The car in second place with this dubious honor was the Chevrolet pickup. This may surprise drivers of the pickup as it is not the most comfortable pickup in the world.

The state which has the most theft of vehicles is Colorado with 524 thefts out of 100,000 inhabitants or 0.5%. Overall, in the US a theft of a motor vehicle occurs about every 41 seconds.

If you steal a car from someone by force, usually violence, it is known as carjacking. Carjacking occurs to all sorts of cars; even armored ones.

The British Journal of Criminology in 2003 called the crime of carjacking “under-researched”. In order to rectify that they commissioned a study-it was all to do with the value of the vehicle in the underworld or in the open market.

Ways Cars are Jacked:

Sometimes carjacking is planned but at other times the thieves have no idea what they plan to do with the car or its parts, it’s just opportunistic.

The first action may be bumping into the car and taking the vehicle when the driver leaves the driving seat to exchange details.

Alternatively, it could be faking a car accident and stealing the potential first aider’s car. It may also be pretending that there is something wrong with the victim’s car and taking it when they are distracted–anything that gets your attention. Finally, there are those who block the gate to the victim’s property.

As well as locking the doors, either manually or through an electric lock, it’s advisable to ensure that all windows and the sunroof are closed. The number plates are at risk from theft so make sure the screws are tamper proof. The wheel nuts also need to be secured as they are often stolen.

Steeling Part of Your Car:

It’s a good idea to make sure that items like roof-racks and tailgate racks are secured. Make sure there’s a car alarm and a steering wheel lock. Most would-be thieves will see a steering wheel lock and immediately go elsewhere. But be sure that the steering wheel lock fits the specific type of steering wheel – not all of them are the same.

Rim locks and tire locks secure wheels – whether a car, ATV or even lawnmower. It’s possible to get wheels made of a soft PVC to prevent the wheel from scratching. If you worry about having the engine stolen, and there are such people, you should invest in a hood lock.

Theft of Items from Your Vehicle

There’s a problem too with cell phones, coins, wallets and credit cards – make sure they are well hidden. 39% of all thefts although 39%, followed by 19% with exterior fittings.

There are various discussions on what the car’s most prestigious part is. It could be the catalytic converter or maybe a satnav. A suction pad on the glass may give the idea that there is a hidden satnav in a vehicle.

If you want to use a smartphone app or a remote to open the car you should keep away from the kill switch. When fitting one of these devices it is best to hire a professional, but they are easy to remove when you require the car.

Car Color Matters

When considering a new vehicle, we car guys (and gals) often consider key functionality.  Number of passengers, storage capacity, engine size and type, etc.  We do also choose color, but how much thought goes into that decision?

If you live in Arizona, for instance, a black or other deeply tinted color means that we will likely be running our air conditioners from about March through October.  We’ll have to be careful when opening the doors as the handles can reach ridiculous temperatures, and, unless we chose a light-colored interior, we’ll scald our hands on the steering wheel as well.  This is why most people in hot climates prefer lighter tones.

One must also consider their driving habits when choosing a color.  Bright, flashy colors like red, orange (okay, atomic tangerine), and bright yellow stand out and are easy targets for state troopers on the lookout to meet their citation quotas.  White, grey, and tan vehicles are much less often noticed and typically sail past a brightly colored version of the same car, idling by the road while the nice police officer writes them a $400 speeding ticket.

In some cases, insurance companies have been known to have differing rates based on the vehicle’s color.  While it is not generally a blatant question on a form, the vehicle’s color is identified by the manufacturer when it is receiving its VIN number.

So, whether you are buying a new or used vehicle, take a moment to consider the implications of the color options available.

Various Gear Sticks

How do you drive a stick shift car?

You’ll want to engage the services of an actual driving instructor to learn to drive, but here’s a simple description of the process. We’ll start off with the basics.

The neutral sign in the middle is surrounded by the numbers one to five and the R for reverse (sometimes there is a P instead for Parking). 1-2-3-4-5-R (or P) form an extra wide H shape with the N in the middle. (If their were only gears 1-3 and R you’d have an H.

Shifting into first

With the gear shift should be in neutral you must depress the clutch and the brake.

Turn on the ignition. If you are sure it’s in neutral take the parking brake off if it is on. Then check your mirrors and signal your intention.

After some moments keeping the brake with the right foot and the clutch with your left, move into first gear. Take your foot off the brake now. Slowly release the clutch while pressing down the accelerator pedal roughly equal to the release of the clutch. You’re now in first gear.

Going Up Gears

You probably need to go up a second gear to go faster than 10mph. You will repeat the left and right foot motion to go up a gear, but your car will be rolling forward as you do. Despite this, many people feel like starting from zero forward motion is the hardest part.

You probably change gear without thinking about it but the best way apparently is to cup the gear-shift (or lever), rather than swipe or thump it. It needs to be a conscious decision that you make. Unless the gear shift pedal is pressed down the gear stick shouldn’t move.

Note: shifting up or down is informal terminology. It is more formally called a transmission level.

If you do something like go over a bump or go downhill, you need to change to a lower gear. However, most people just put it in neutral or depress the pedal the whole way downhill. It’s a better idea to shift down on a downhill so you can more quickly re-engage the engine at the right power level, or if your brakes fail you can use the engine to slow your vehicle down.

Odd Shift Levers

Some cars like the Mercedes Benz 180 have a shifter sticking out of the steering wheel. The BMW and the Audi both use a joystick, while the Jaguar and Land Rover use a rotary shifter instead of shifting a stick. A push button gear stick is the rarest – you have to press the button to change them.

The Honda Odyssey has buttons on a central dashboard or console, usually where you have your entertainment system. It’s doubtful that most people would be comfortable using a crystal glass gear shaft used by the Volvo XC60 at least to start with but if you drove this type of car you would have to get used to it.

In the Lexus LC 500 the joystick matches the leather upholstery which again takes some getting used to.

The Hurst has a pistol grip which is a bit like a huge joystick, only cooler. The Chevrolet Camaro uses a horseshoe switch design which has a certain steampunk appeal, it doesn’t however look that practical. It is not clear immediately how you change gear or even how you get out of neutral as the only control seems to be only one switch.

Historic Types of Shifting

Many old trucks have the Reverse where 1st should be or way off to the left or right of the other gears. And many trucks were geared to be able to skip gears when the truck isn’t loaded or hauling a heavy trailer. But you are unlikely to run into such things.

Hardly anyone has driven a car with sliding mesh manual transmission which was the first way to change gear, the first car invented with gear in 1894. It only had three forward gears so parking was a problem. It slid left or right but the gearing unit was basically a rotational shaft which moves or “transmits” the power from one end to the other.  Luckily this has all changed.

Pros & Cons of Manual Cars

The transmission in a manual car is much simpler so it breaks down less and is cheaper to fix when it does. By the time your automatic transmission breaks down it’ll be hard to find a replacement. You’ll have to seek out one from a junk yard which will have some milage and age on it. So if you keep a car for several years, manuals are considered the better option.

On the other hand, if you drive in congested city traffic on a regular basis, operating a clutch gets really old, really fast. So it’s just a strategic choice.

One reason we included the “how tos” in this post is that it’s a good idea to know how to shift even when you have an automatic car. You’ll get a better understanding of how your car operates when you are accelerating, even though its doing it for you.

Interior Repair and Improvement

Do you look at the bodywork and how a car runs, or do you look at the interior?

There are upholsterers who can restore a car to its original version, possibly relying on pictures taken at the time of classic and vintage vehicles.

Material Options

If you have a sedan and wish to re-upholster cloth seats you are looking at around two thousand dollars. If you are looking at leather it is even more expensive.

The cost includes removing the current upholstery, possibly repairing the springs, replacing the foam – the cushion like substance which produces the comfort in a seat – and finally re-upholstery of the outer fabric itself.

Haptex, a type of synthetic leather (colloquially known as leatherette) has been used in some cars and is said to be both durable and comfortable. BMW uses a different form of leatherette called Sensatec. Pleather is another brand name used.

Leather seats, although they may form part of the original interior and create a brilliant look, aren’t that good for sitting on. Leather can leave you with the feeling of sliding down, depending on the seat design. But it’s your car and you can choose the right textile for you.

Budget Friendly Options

A cheaper way to improve the car is buy colourful seat covers or even a blanket. You can obtain tiny toys to decorate your dashboard too. Should the steering wheel be the same colour as the gearstick? You can get matching covers for both. It’s certainly one idea.

You may like to tint the windows to improve the feeling of sitting in the car.

Do you require specialist coasters or car phone accessories?

Possibly you want to decorate your keychain?

Maybe you want to decorate your car for a specific season or holiday?

Are racing pedals better than ordinary pedals? Perhaps, but will anyone notice them? Still if you’re going for extras and you like the appeal of them, why not?

There are so many design ideas out there, some people might think too many ideas; just go for what works for you.

One thing most people don’t consider when restoring a vehicle is to obtain the original floor mats, but everything is possible to obtain online. Even if you don’t require the original style it is worth changing them every so often to keep the interior fresh.

From the floor to the ceiling…

The interior roofing fabric is known as the headliner. It’s positioned there by means of a polyurethane glue and it consists of both foam and fabric, even though most people only see the fabric.

After a number of years, the headliner can fall apart, or the glue can lose its adhesiveness. If you leave the car outside for long periods the moisture can cause the headliner to go blotchy or it can start to droop.

Some headline repairs can be made with several pieces of double-sided tape. Others may require glue or pinning the fabric back into position.

The cost of changing the headliner is dependent on the size of the vehicle and which fabric the headliner was originally made from. The other problem here is that car insurance doesn’t include these types of running repairs.