Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

How to Tie Things to a Car Roof | Tips for Securing Cargo

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Securing Cargo on Top of Car - How to Tie Strap Things to Car Roof

Before you think about renting a U-Haul truck (which by the way is going to cost you a lot more than $19.99), figure out if you can secure the load to the roof of your car. Whether you’re taking a trip to the country or dropping your kid off at college, that extra cargo needs to go somewhere.

As a driver, you have the responsibility to properly secure your cargo to prevent injuries on the road.

In fact, according to a AAA study, more than 200,000 crashes happened between 2011 and 2014 as a result of debris on U.S. roadways. These crashes led to over 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries. Around two-thirds of these accidents were the result of improper maintenance and unsecured loads. You can help decrease road-debris crashes by learning how to properly secure cargo on your cars and truck beds.

And whatever you do, don’t strap your dog or any other pet to the roof of your vehicle, especially if you’re thinking about running for public office.

Whatever you need to tie to the top of your car roof, follow these steps so everything stays firmly in place without flying off and causing an accident.

Materials:

Ratchet Straps or Cam Straps

You can use rope, but it’s too hard to explain how to tie knots for people who aren’t familiar with basic knotting techniques. Plus, good ratchet or cam straps are rock solid, with no risk of slipping or loosening with vibrations. You can buy multiple ratchet or cam straps for around $10. Make sure the straps are rated with a holding strength at least twice the weight of the load.

Warning: Don’t crank the straps so much that they end up damaging your cargo (or your roof)! Consider cam straps instead, which are much less likely to damage anything from overtightening.

Rope

We recommend ratchet straps, but rope can add some nice versatility to the mix. If you’ve been tying knots since childhood, this will be instinctual. If not, you’ll want to learn some trucker’s knots; or instead, use ratchet straps, cam straps, and maybe some bungee cords.

Bungee Cords

Speaking of bungee cords, they should not be relied on as primary tie-downs. They tend to be unsafe and hard to maneuver. They can be useful, however, when preventing bicycle wheels from spinning, strapping down a tarp, or securing items together. But never solely rely on them to hold down a load!

Cargo (Spider) Netting and/or Tarp

When you are finished strapping your load down, we recommend covering everything with a sturdy net or water-proof tarp to prevent airborne debris.

Roof Rack

If you are constantly hauling things like bikes or kayaks on top of your vehicle, consider purchasing a specific rack for these items (for example, Thule or Yakima) to save a lot of time and add some additional safety to the mix.

Helper(s)

Large items are heavy and awkward to move on your own. If you are dealing with cumbersome cargo, ask a friend or family member for help. Don’t let your pride cause expensive damage or unsafe road conditions. Remember, pride comes before a fall—in this case, literally.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Tying Items to a Car Roof

  1. Follow the directions that come with your products

When you are tying things down to the roof of your vehicle, each product (ratchet straps, cam straps, rope, netting, etc.) will have different instructions for use. Make sure you read all instructions before use. As a general rule, buy straps that have a holding strength twice that of your cargo weight.

  1. Consider a roof rack

If you have a roof rack, the straps/ropes can be looped around the side and cross rails.

  • Stack items evenly across the roof and in the center of the doors.
  • Lighter goes lower—place heavier items on top of lighter items.
  • Cover the entire load with a tarp or netting to prevent things from falling out.

Here’s a tip to consider when using racks to tie down large items, such as canoes and kayaks. Since these items can catch a lot of wind, we recommend strapping the item down to the car as well as the roof rack. Roof racks have been known to fail at high speeds with lots of updraft, so take the extra precaution of tying the roof rack down to the roof of the vehicle as well. Use ratchet or cam straps to tie the roof rack through the doors, not the windows.

Tip: Remove your rack when not in use to avoid the added weight, drag, and noise. Leaving your rack on all year will increase the price you at the pump.

Roof Rack Types:

Do your research and consider your requirements before purchasing a car rack. There are many different types available to you, including:

  • Roof baskets – ideal for luggage and everyday items.
  • Cargo boxes – protects items from the elements, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep their equipment protected.
  • Ski/snowboard racks – used for ski/snowboards only, convenient if your frequently hit the slopes.
  • Bike carrier – quick and easy way to secure and remove bikes.
  • Kayak carrier – the best way to transport your kayaks and canoes.

Whenever installing a roof system, be sure to follow all instructions and make sure that your vehicle can support the system.

  1. Naked Roof

If you don’t have a roof rack (rise rails and cross rails are ideal), you’ll want to take extra precautions:

  • Read your owner’s manual and all manufacturer instructions for proper use and maximum allowable weights (this is normally around 165 lbs.).
  • If you don’t have a roof rack, run the tie-down straps through the doors, not the windows.
  • To protect your roof from damage, it’s best to lay down a blanket or towel first.
  • When securing straps through the doors, give it a twist first to help keep the noise down and prevent the amount of force on the straps.
  • If there are hooks to your straps, attach them together inside the car.
  1. Placement

Where you place items on your roof matters, especially when tying items to a naked roof.

  • Center your items in the middle between the doors.
  • Remember, lighter goes lower—place lower items at the bottom.
  • Line up your items at the beginning of the roof, or as far back as you can. This prevents items from hanging over the windshield, creating an updraft that can catch air and cause it to pull upwards away from the vehicle.
  1. Overhanging Items

Sometimes overhang is inevitable, as in the case of Christmas trees, canoes, and other large items. If you have items extending past the windshield and/or rear window, it’s extremely important that you tie the item down to the bow (front) and stern (back) of the vehicle.

Follow these steps if you have an item that hangs over the windshield:

  • Tie down items to the sides, but also to the front and back of the vehicle. Make sure you secure your canoe/tree to the sides before attaching your bow and stern tie-downs. Since significant updraft can occur, we recommend securing the rack to the car as well (remember, through the doors, not the windows). Bow and stern tie-downs should not be used as a stand-alone system.
  • Never hook or tie your item to the plastic bumper or any plastic parts of your vehicle!
  • Look for a metal structure in the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • In the front of the vehicle, look for metal tow hooks underneath the bumper. If they are not there, you can use hood loop straps/anchors that attach to existing bolts underneath your hood.
  • It’s easier to find a metal structure in the rear of your vehicle. Look for the metal chain loops on the hitch. If you don’t have a metal hitch in the back, you can use quick loop straps to create a strong anchor point.
  • When you secure your cam or ratchet straps, remove any loose slack, but don’t tighten it too much.
  1. Proper Use of Tie-Downs

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that each tie-down must be attached and secured properly to prevent it from becoming loose, unfastening, opening or releasing while the vehicle is in transit.

  • Cargo should be secured beside each other, either in direct contact, or in such a way as to prevent them from shifting towards each other during transit.
  • Use cam straps or ratchet straps but be careful about overtightening to avoid damage to your cargo or vehicle.
  • Consider investing in a roof rack. If you don’t have one, lay down a blanket/towel first and make sure you fasten ropes and straps through the vehicle’s doors, not the windows.
  • Cover the load with a sturdy tarp or cargo netting.
  • Be careful not to overload the vehicle. Read your owner’s manual for maximum load weights.
  • Always follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Push and pull items individually to make sure they are snug.
  • Double-check the load after about 5-10 minutes of real-world driving.
  • Don’t drive faster than the speed limits and stay to the right on highways and freeways.
  1. Test Load and Drive Safely

When you are finished securing your load to the top of the vehicle, be sure to check the load by pushing and pulling on the items. Make sure to check each item individually. If the items are not securely in place, make the necessary adjustments.

If you are making a long trip, stop the car and double-check the load after around 5-10 minutes of driving. This will give you the chance to test the load in real-world driving conditions. If everything is still snug, you can continue on your way.

Regardless of how well you have secured the load, we recommend driving on the right lane of the highway at the speed limit. High speeds increase the risk of items loosening or becoming detached. If you have items that are overhanging, consider the effects of updrafts and slow down to prevent items from coming loose or becoming detached.

If you hear whipping or rattling noises while driving, pull over and double-check the cargo. This normally means that the straps have loosened and your load is not properly secured.

Cargo Securement Safety Recap

  • Use ratchet straps or cam straps. Only use bungee cords and rope as supplementary tie-down systems. Learn how to safely load a pickup truck.

  • Cover the load with a sturdy tarp or cargo netting.

  • Push and pull on the objects to make sure they are secure and snug. Check each piece individually.

  • Maintain your vehicle and check tires and tire pressure to prevent blowouts.

Drivers can easily prevent crashes and accidents due to road debris by learning how to properly secure cargo on their roofs and pickups.

Buy Here Pay Here USA wants you to stay safe on the roads. For additional driving safety tips, read our other posts on the topic:

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The Proper Way to Jump-Start a Vehicle

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Jumper Cables - How to Jump-Start a Vehicle

“Click-click-click… click-click-click.” Then, dead silence. The engine won’t start. Needless to say, it can be a nerve-wracking experience to be stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery.

Even though jump-starting a dead battery is an easy thing to do, many people rely on a road service provider or an altruistic motorist.

Rather than waiting around for a tow truck or somebody with the right tools, learn the safe and proper way to jump-start a dead battery. And with today’s portable jump starters— sometimes as small as a cell phone—it’s easy to bail yourself and others out without having to flag someone down.

What to Do Before Jump-Starting a Vehicle

Check the owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your vehicle. For instance, if your battery is in an odd location, such as the trunk or wheel well, you may have to connect the cables to a different area, such as a junction block. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to follow the instructions in your owner’s manual.

Your “dead battery” may just be a “dirty battery.” Sometimes, the battery won’t work because of dirty terminals and loose connections. Try cleaning the battery terminals with a stiff brush dipped in a baking soda and water mixture.

Never touch the terminals with your hand as sulfuric acid may burn you. It’s always a good idea to wear protective gloves and glasses when you are working on vehicle batteries. If any powdery stuff gets on you, clean it off with soap and water immediately.

Rinse the terminals with a spray bottle of water, wipe dry with a rag, and tighten the connections with a wrench. Turn the ignition to see if that did the trick before attempting the jump-start process.

Important Safety Tips:

  • Make sure there are no open flames or cigarettes in use while working on a battery. Batteries emit very flammable hydrogen gas.
  • Always inspect the battery for damage before proceeding. If you notice leaks, cracks, or any other damage, don’t take the risk trying to jump start the car. Instead, call roadside assistance or a tow truck.
  • Make sure the red and black ends of the jumper cables never touch each other once they are connected to a battery. This can result in a very dangerous electrical arcing situation that can cause damage to people and vehicles.
  • Don’t let your jumper cables hang loose around the engine. They can potentially interfere with moving parts.
  • Make sure both cars are off with the keys removed before connecting the cables.
  • Red = Positive (+); Black = Negative (-)
  • Purchase only heavy-duty, high-quality jumper cables. Avoid “cigarette lighter jump starters.” They take a lot of time to generate any useful charge, and only if you are lucky will they work.
  • Make sure the clamps are firmly in place to avoid them being shaken loose and possibly causing an electrical arcing or shorting situation.
  • Keep your face away from the batteries at all times.
  • Never cross cables when they are attached to a battery. If the clamps contact each other while connected to a battery or jump starter, a spark can cause a battery explosion.

Battery explosions are rare, but possible

Hydrogen gas is produced as a natural byproduct of the chemical process used to create electricity. Although there is no real danger of electrocution since the voltage is fairly low (about 12), small sparks can cause explosions from the hydrogen gas that is produced by the battery.

According to The Straight Dope, there may be 6,000-10,000 injuries caused by exploding car batteries every year. While these numbers were never confirmed, it’s still a real danger that affects a significant number of people every year.

Although the chances are slim, you can avoid battery accidents by following the above safety tips and the proper procedures below.

How to Jump Start a Vehicle (with Jumper Cables)

You will need jumper cables (plus another vehicle). We also recommend gloves and glasses for protection, and baking soda, water, a wire brush and rag to clean off battery terminals (if necessary).

  1. In addition to jumper cables, you will need another vehicle to provide the jolt of power from their working battery.
  2. Have the person with the good battery pull up to the disabled car with both engines facing each other. Make sure the vehicles are close but not touching. If the cars are touching, a dangerous arc can be produced.
  3. Turn off both cars, remove the keys from the ignition, and pop the hoods.
  4. Locate the positive terminals (marked by a “+” or POS sign) and negative terminals (marked by a “–“ or NEG sign). If you can’t find your battery, check the owner’s manual.
  5. You may need to remove terminal coverings, known as cell caps. These may be individual caps for each terminal or a yellow strip that can be peeled off. Keep in mind that your battery may not have cell caps.
  6. Make sure both cars are completely off and both batteries are in good shape (no cracks or leaks, for example).
  7. You may have to clean battery corrosion off of terminals and cables to establish a clean electrical connection. Dip a wire brush (or old toothbrush) into a baking soda and water solution to clean up corrosion. Rinse clean with a spray bottle of water and wipe dry with a rag. Try not to get any water or baking soda into the vents of the battery.
  8. Connect the jumper cables in the following order:
    1. Connect the red jumper cable to the positive terminal (+) on the dead car’s battery.
    2. Connect the other end (also red) to the positive terminal on the working battery.
    3. Connect the black jumper cable to the negative terminal (-) on the working car’s battery.
    4. Connect the other end (also black) to a clean, unpainted metal surface under the disabled car’s hood (the engine block is a good place).
  9. Do NOT connect the black end to the negative terminal on the dead car’s battery! This can risk causing a spark that can ignite the hydrogen gas surrounding the battery.
  10. Start the working car’s engine and let it run for about 2-3 minutes. This charges the battery.
  11. Then, start up the disabled car. If the engine does not start, turn off both vehicles and wiggle the clamps to try to establish a good, clean electrical connection. If you cannot get the car to start after a couple of tries, you may need to have your battery replaced or the car towed.
  12. Once the dead car’s engine is running, remove the jumper cables in the opposite order that you put them on:
    1. Disconnect the black clamp from the grounded metal section of the dead car.
    2. Disconnect the black clamp from the good battery.
    3. Disconnect the red clamp from the good battery.
    4. Disconnect the red clamp from the dead battery.
  13. After a successful jump, run the vehicle for at least 15 minutes so that the alternator has time to charge the battery.

If the battery dies soon after jump-starting the vehicle, it’s probably due to a dead alternator not being able to charge the system.

How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

Car batteries last around 3-5 years. If your battery is older than three years, it’s a good idea to get it professionally tested every year.

Many auto shops, battery centers, and tire stores will do this for free and it only takes a few minutes. They’ll be able to tell you if a new battery is necessary and roughly how long your battery will last.


Click here for more car maintenance essentials.

Buy Here Pay Here USA carries a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all of which come with a 6 month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to walk away with your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

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How to Get Your Car Unstuck from Any Situation

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

How to Get Your Car Unstuck from Mud, Sand, and Snow

Off-roader or not, all of us will eventually find ourselves in the situation of getting our vehicle unstuck from mud, sand, snow, or a ditch.

Have you ever seen a flooded road and thought, “Maybe I can drive through or around it?” The car up ahead thought the same thing and got through with no problem. That means you should be fine too, right?

Wrong! This is how many people get stuck. Don’t underestimate the power of water and flooding situations. Most flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. This is usually because many people try to drive through or around flooded roads and barriers that warn of flooding ahead.

The best way to prevent a sticky and potentially dangerous situation is to avoid these types of scenarios all together.

While you may have to add some time to your trip, it’s a lot better than getting stuck, or worse, swept downstream.

How to Avoid Getting Stuck

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.

Turn Around Don’t Drown PSA (National Weather Service)

Many deaths are caused when vehicles are swept downstream.

  • Pay attention to flash flood warnings and Turn Around Don’t Drown® Warning Signs.
  • A mere 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car; 18-24 inches for larger vehicles.
  • Never walk or drive into flood waters!
  • If you see a flooded road, don’t try to drive around it. You are likely to get stuck in deep mud.

While it may feel instinctual to follow someone else’s path, you don’t know what kind of car or tires enabled them to make a safe passage. Additionally, mud ruts tend to be a lot softer, increasing your likelihood of getting stuck.

Don’t be a follower. If come upon mud or flood water, turn around and find a different route.

Sometimes, however, there is no other option. If you absolutely must drive through the mud, we recommend stopping the vehicle and assessing the situation first. You want to plan your attack before mindlessly driving into the muck.

How to Drive Through Mud

  • Check the depth of the mud with a stick.
  • Avoid the mud if you see tire tracks going in but not coming out.
  • Speeding through mud can cause you to lose control. Too slow and you might get stuck. Try to find the right balance and move your steering wheel slightly from right to left to gain more traction.
  • Avoid driving in the same tracks left by someone else. This mud is softer and a lot easier to get stuck in. Be different—blaze a new path.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and in good shape.
  • Consider carrying a shovel, winch, car jack, gravel, sand, kitty litter, and/or planks in your vehicle in case you do get stuck in the snow, sand, or mud.
  • Learn how to winterize your vehicle and which items you should always have in your vehicle.

Recommended Items to Get Your Car Unstuck

Here are the most useful tools and materials to have on-hand in case you ever get stuck in mud, sand, or snow:

  1. Shovel
  2. Wood Planks, Carpet, and Cardboard
  3. Wheel Tracks (for example, Trac-Grabber — a plastic self-rescue device that gets strapped to the drive wheels)
  4. Car Jack
  5. Tow Strap (can be used by another vehicle to help free your vehicle)
  6. Winch (if attaching to another vehicle, always hook it to the frame)
  7. Snow Chains (put them on your tires before you drive around in the snow)

While every situation is different—mud, snow, sand, a ditch—the principles behind getting your car unstuck remain relatively the same. Learn them now before you spend hours of toiling in vain.

How to Get Your Car Unstuck from Any Situation

If you do find yourself in a sticky situation, don’t keep spinning your wheels. You’ll only dig yourself a deeper hole.

Before calling a tow truck, follow these steps for getting your vehicle unstuck:

  1. Plan

Before you start spinning your wheels and digging yourself a deeper hole, get out of the car and assess the situation. Find the trouble spot and make a plan.

If you are in snow, make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t blocked. This can cause dangerous carbon monoxide to build up inside the vehicle.

Determine which wheels are spinning/stuck.

  1. Build Up Traction

Traction is essential for getting your vehicle unstuck. Look for any obstacles that may be causing the problem and remove them. If you have sand, gravel, or kitty litter (make sure it’s not the clay-based type!), add them to the front and back of the tires to aid traction. If you don’t have these items, find some rocks, logs, and other items that may work (for instance, your carpet mats).

If you do use a floor mat, keep in mind that it will probably be destroyed by the end of it. If you ever replace your floor mats, consider saving one or two for just this kind of situation.

In a truly desperate situation, you may be able to use the removable panel that covers the spare tire (found in most trunks). It is usually a large flexible panel with carpeting on one side. Insert it in front (or behind) the worst stuck tire and drive onto a dry area. Bear in mind that the panel will probably be destroyed and need to be replaced.

You may also want to try digging a path for each tire.

  1. Jack Up the Car (if you have planks or plenty of gravel)

You can try to jack up the car, but only if the ground is firm and you have some planks and gravel that you can use to fill the depression in. Otherwise, skip this step.

  1. Release Air from Tires

You may get better luck freeing your vehicle if you release some air from the tires. By releasing the air (not too much!), you can increase the surface area of the tire on the ground. Try not to release more than 15 PSI. At that point, you are doing more harm than good.

  1. Push the Car

If there is anyone around to help you, have them push the car from behind while you very gently press on the gas.

  1. Use a Winch (if available)

If you have a winch, now is the time to use it. Find a tree or another steady object that you can attach the winch to.

  1. Call a Tow Truck

When all else fails, you will need to be towed out.

The Easy Method

This process can get most vehicles unstuck:

  • Stop the car as soon as you feel stuck. Do NOT spin your wheels!
  • Get out of the car and scoop some salt or sand in front the drive tires.
  • Have your assistants push the car forward while you slightly wiggle the wheel to gain traction.

If no one is around to help you:

  • Dig around your drive wheels (the wheels that do the turning when you accelerate).
  • Try to wedge a carpet, blanket, plank, or mat under the wheel.
  • Get back in the car and gently press on the gas to inch yourself out. You want to feel the tires grip the item.
  • If there’s a lot of spinning, but no gripping, stop and reassess.

Once you are successfully out of the mud, wash your car thoroughly and take it to a mechanic to check for damage.

You may also enjoy:

·      Best Tips for First-Time Car Buyers and New Drivers

·      10 Ways to Winterize Your Car | Get Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

·      Winter Driving Tips | How to Handle Skids


Buy Here Pay Here USA wants to help you find the perfect vehicle.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Manual Transmission 101: How to Drive a Stick Shift

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Manual Transmission 101: How to Drive a Stick Shift

For a long time, knowing how to drive a stick shift was an essential skill. In the early days of the automobile, manual transmissions were ubiquitous. In fact, the manual transmission used to be known as the “standard” transmission. They were preferred for their reliability, fuel efficiency, and sporty feel.

Now, however, less than 3% of cars sold in the U.S. have manual transmissions – compared with 80% in some European and Asian countries (LA Times).

Although you might have some trouble reselling a manual transmission car (only 18% of Americans know how to drive a stick shift), knowing how to use a clutch pedal and stick shift is a skill that can help you save money, drive sportier cars, and even save a life one day.

They also tend to have cheaper maintenance costs, and in many countries, they are a lot cheaper to rent than automatic transmissions.

So, how do you drive a stick shift?

How to Drive a Stick Shift

Learning how to drive a stick shift takes a lot of practice and patience. After getting familiar with the different manual maneuvers, practice in an empty parking lot until you are completely confident to take it on the road.

  1. First, let’s get familiar with some of the parts

Clutch Pedal – Manuals have 3 pedals unlike automatics, which only have two. The clutch pedal is the furthest one on the left. You use it when shifting up or down from one gear to the next, including neutral. When the clutch is fully depressed, it is disengaged. When the clutch pedal is released, it is engaged and ready to resume the transmission of power.

Use your left foot to operate the clutch and your right foot for the gas and brake, just like you would in an automatic.

Stick or “Gear Shifter” – Modern manual cars have the shift lever located in the center console. Older cars may have a steering column or dash-mounted shift stick. Locate your stick shift and study it.

Manual cars have up to 6 gears. The gear guide is normally located on the head of the stick shift. Neutral, which is not a gear (you won’t go anywhere), is normally located in the middle of the “H” pattern. There is also an “R” for “reverse.”

Emergency Brake – Since there is no “park” gear, the emergency brake is especially important for stick shift cars. Use the emergency brake when stopping on hills and whenever you park to prevent the vehicle from rolling.

  1. Next, practice with the engine off and emergency brake engaged

Before turning the car on, locate the clutch. The clutch must be pressed down when shifting gears! Practice pressing and releasing the clutch pedal with your left foot. You will begin to feel (in your foot) when the clutch is engaged or disengaged.

After you get a feel for the clutch, depress it fully and move the shifter into 1st gear. Then, begin releasing the clutch with your left foot (sometimes called “feathering”) at the same time as you press down on the gas pedal. If the car were on, you would begin to move forward.

How to Upshift

To shift into higher gears, release your foot from the gas and follow the same process:

  1. Depress the clutch
  2. Move the shifter up to the next highest gear
  3. Release the clutch while pressing down on the gas

How to Downshift

To shift into lower gears, you are basically doing the same thing. Release your foot from the gas pedal while you are shifting.

  1. Depress the clutch
  2. Move the shifter down to the next lowest gear
  3. Release the clutch while slowly pressing down on the gas

Practice upshifting and downshifting while pressing and releasing the clutch pedal while the car is off.

To come to a complete stop, you must depress the clutch to shift into neutral. Then, take your foot off the clutch. Generally, you want to shift gears when your car reaches 2,500-3,000 RPM. Eventually, you will know when to shift by sound and feel.

  1. Practice in an empty lot

It’s one thing to use the clutch and shifter while the car is off, but it’s an entirely different experience when the car is actually moving. Once you have practiced shifting with the car off, find an empty parking lot and practice shifting while driving.

With the car off and in neutral, press down on the clutch and brake pedals at the same time while you turn the key and start the car.

  1. With the clutch and brake pedal depressed, put the car in 1st
  2. Release the parking brake.
  3. Release the foot from the brake pedal and slowly press down on the gas pedal while you simultaneously ease pressure off the clutch pedal. Your right foot will be pushing down on the gas while the left foot will be releasing the clutch. This takes practice! If you don’t do this right, you might “pop the clutch,” causing the car to lurch forward and stall.
  4. If the car stalls, simply engage the emergency brake, depress the clutch pedal and put the car into neutral to start over.
  5. Continue pressing on the gas pedal until the tachometer reaches around 2500-3,000 RPM. To shift into 2nd gear, remove your foot from the gas pedal, press down on the clutch pedal and shift into 2nd Make sure the clutch is fully depressed before shifting. Otherwise, you may “grind the gears.” Then, start to release the clutch while simultaneously giving it gas. Don’t keep your foot on the clutch as you speed up, also known as “riding the clutch”!
  6. As you continue to gain speed, follow the same procedure to shift into higher gears. Generally speaking, these are the mph ranges for the different gears:
    • 1st Gear: 0-10 mph
    • 2nd Gear: 3-25 mph
    • 3rd Gear: 15-45 mph
    • 4th Gear: 30-65 mph
    • 5th Gear: 45 mph +
    • Consult your owner’s manual for more accurate gear ranges.
  7. To downshift, remove your foot from the gas pedal and depress the clutch before shifting the lever to the lower gear. Do not shift while pressing the gas pedal as this can damage either your engine or transmission. After you release the clutch and decelerate, use the same method to shift to the next lowest gear. Always work backwards, in reverse gear order.
  8. To make a stop, at a stop light for instance, either put the car in neutral and release the clutch, or keep the clutch engaged while the car is in 1st If you are stopping for any length of time, it’s best to put the car in neutral. Depress the clutch and put the car into neutral. After setting the stick to neutral, release the clutch.
  9. Practice reversing as well. The process remains the same. Depress the clutch to shift into reverse, and then release the clutch slowly as you reverse.

Once you have mastered reversing, starting, stopping, upshifting, and downshifting on flat land, practice the same maneuvers while going up and down hills.

When coming to a stop on a hill, use your emergency brake. When it’s time to accelerate, release the hand brake, shift into first, and slowly accelerate as you release the clutch pedal.

Don’t worry about it if you stall. Just engage the emergency brake and start again.

Learning how to drive a manual transmission can be frustrating at first, but it’s well worth it. Not only will you gain a valuable life skill and a deeper appreciation for how engines and transmissions work, but you’ll also be able to drive nearly any type of automobile, in any country.

And like many other drivers, you may prefer manuals over automatics for their better performance, fuel economy, and driving experience.

Related Resources:

We carry a large selection of Manual and Automatic automobiles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

Stop by any of our locations for the best deals on your new Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining automobiles: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

The Vehicle Owner’s Manual is Your Best Friend

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

13 Important Things Included in Your Vehicle Car Owner’s Manual

What is the answer to most questions about your vehicle? Consult the owner’s manual.

It’s as simple as that. The vehicle owner’s manual is an instructional booklet that is specific to your vehicle. It includes important information to make you a better driver and car owner, including maintenance and troubleshooting advice.

Rather than excitedly driving off in your new vehicle, take some time to read your owner’s manual and get acquainted first.

13 Important Things Included in Your Car Owner’s Manual

  1. Setup Instructions

While some cars still don’t require any setup, many newer models have technological features that require some user input. These include Bluetooth, keyless entry, and voice recognition.

The owner’s manual can make this process easy. In order to take full advantage of your vehicle’s available options, learn all of the setup instructions before driving your new car.

  1. Gizmo Instructions 

In addition to setup instructions, you will also find instructions for how to use all of the features and gizmos in your vehicle. Avoid the frustration that comes with learning a new system by reading the owner’s manual before you start to use anything in or around the car.

Don’t flip switches and press buttons before you know what they do. If you don’t know what a particular button or function in your vehicle does, consult the owner’s manual first. This includes how to dim, brighten, or modify your headlights.

Your vehicle may also have a “battery run-down” feature that automatically shuts down lamps and lights to conserve your battery life.

  1. Maintenance Schedule

Taking preventative care for your vehicle is money well spent. When you catch problems early on, they are cheaper and easier to fix. Your vehicle will last longer, have higher resale value and better performance.

In addition to saving money on repairs, a well-maintained car is also more efficient, saving you on fuel costs as well. Additionally, any warranty claims normally request a complete service record.

Look in your car’s service manual to learn the proper maintenance schedule (oil changes, for instance), how often you need to service your car, and the expected lifespan for the car’s replaceable parts.

Save money on unnecessary maintenance and oil changes by following the recommendations in the vehicle owner’s manual. For example, many people waste time and money by following a dealership or mechanic’s advice on when to change the oil, or other vehicle fluids. For the most accurate fluid change schedule, always refer to your vehicle’s service manual.

You can also use your car’s maintenance schedule to budget car maintenance and repair expenses. Your mechanic won’t like that you consulted your owner’s manual, but your wallet and peace of mind will.

  1. How to Check and Refill Fluids

If you want to know where the windshield wiper fluid, coolant, or motor oil is located, save yourself time and trouble by checking the owner’s manual first.

You will also learn if it’s better to check the fluid while it’s hot or cold.

  1. Oil Change

Make sure you are filling up with the proper engine oil and gas by consulting your owner’s manual. The “Engine Oil” section tells you how to check your oil level, what kind of oil and filter to use, and how long you can go between oil changes.

Bookmark this page for easy reference.

  1. Gas Grade

What kind of gasoline should you use for your vehicle? Check your owner’s manual to learn the proper octane level.

Premium or plus gasoline isn’t automatically superior. Different types of engines are designed to run on different types of gasoline. Use the gas grade (octane rating) that is recommended in the “Fuel” section of your owner’s manual. 

  1. Seat Positions and Head Restraints 

In order to provide the safest and most comfortable position in your car, check the owner’s manual for how to adjust seat positions and head restraints.

Adjusting the head restraints to the proper height will help cushion the head and spine in the case of an accident, reducing whiplash injuries and increasing effectiveness.

  1. Dashboard Warning Lights

Dashboard warning lights are not the same for all vehicles. While some lit-up warning signs are nothing to worry about, others can indicate important messages about your braking system, engine, and fluid levels.

Your vehicle owner’s manual will let you know what each warning light means and whether it is urgent or not. If you see a dashboard warning light that you do not recognize, look it up in your vehicle owner’s manual immediately. It could save you from a dangerous situation and expensive repair bills.

  1. How to Change Tires

Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you how to remove tire and operate a car jack. Since every car is different, you want to make sure you are lifting the car up at the proper location. Always reference your owner’s manual for the correct location to place the car jack.

We highly recommend consulting the owner’s manual so you can make the ideal tire change. You will learn how long you can drive on the spare and how inflated it should be. While you are replacing the tire, don’t forget to check the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.

  1. Ideal Tire Pressure

Instead of using the tire pressure on the sidewall of your tire, consult your owner’s manual for the proper tire PSI. The PSI printed on your tire is normally the maximum allowed pressure. Never inflate the tire over this number. If you overinflate your tires, you risk overheating, a blowout, or worse.

We recommend purchasing a digital tire gauge and checking your tire pressure about once every month. Maintaining proper tire pressure will enhance driver safety and fuel efficiency.

ALWAYS check the owner’s manual for the proper PSI level for your tires. You can also find the appropriate tire pressure rating on the placard on the inside of your driver-side door, glove box, or fuel door.

  1. Warranty Information

You can save a lot of money by checking your owner’s manual to see what service and parts are covered by warranty. Rather than forking over your hard-earned money to mechanic, check your manual first.

You will learn if you have any roadside assistance along with any relevant contact information. Additionally, you will discover all of the things that you should not do that may void any existing warranties.

If you are having trouble finding out what is and is not covered by your warranty, speak with one of the technicians at Buy Here Pay Here USA.

  1. How to Clean the Vehicle’s Inside and Outside

If you want to keep your vehicle looking brand new, consult the owner’s manual. It will tell you the best cleaning methods for your leather or fabric upholstery and outdoor paint, mirrors, and accents.

  1. Tips & Tricks

In addition to some specific driving tips for your model, you will also discover valuable tips and tricks for extending the lifespan of your vehicle, increasing gas mileage, and maximizing passenger safety. Learn how to maneuver your new vehicle and follow their instructions no matter how seasoned you are as a driver.

In addition to tips for safe driving, you will uncover little-known features. For instance, some cars have the ability to lower the windows a little bit on hot, summer days. Your owner’s manual contains a lot of hidden features you may be missing out on.

We recommend reading the entire vehicle owner’s manual before driving your new car. Every model is different. Get acquainted; learn the vehicle’s quirks and oddities.

How to Find Your Vehicle Owner’s Manual Online

Although vehicle owner’s manuals normally stay put, occasionally they do get lost or misplaced. If you are missing your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you could find yourself in significant trouble.

Luckily, there are ways (mostly free) to obtain your car’s service manual if it has gone missing.

  1. Find Your Vehicle’s Year, Make, and Model (and/or VIN Number)

When searching for your missing owner’s manual online, you will normally need either the vehicle’s YEAR/MAKE/MODEL information of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN can provide more accurate results depending on the manufacturer.

For instance, the VIN can provide a more customized maintenance schedule based on your specific vehicle.

  1. Look up the Manufacturer’s Website

Look up the official website for your vehicle’s make. For instance, if you drive a Ford, you can simply visit the Ford website and look up your vehicle’s year/make/model or VIN.

Sometimes, it may be easier to simply search Google for “______ owner’s manual.” Other times, going to the manufacturer’s website and using their search function will yield a faster result.

Here are a few websites that offer free downloadable owner’s manuals or printed copies for sale:

Another benefit of looking up your vehicle owner’s manual online is learning of any recall information and warranty details.

If you are having trouble finding the official vehicle owner’s manual on the manufacturer’s website, try Just Give Me The Damn Manual, a collection over 2,000 automotive manuals.

Related Resources:

Accessing the Owner’s Manual: Your vehicle owner’s manual should be stored in a protected and accessible place, normally your glovebox or trunk.


Buy Here Pay Here USA wants to help you find the perfect vehicle.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

How to Remove Minor Car Scratches | DIY Scratch Repair

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

how to fix minor car scratches - Buy Here Pay Here USA

Nobody likes finding a scratch on their automobile. Whether caused by a tree branch, bicycle handle, or shopping cart, scratches in the paint are ugly, potentially expensive to repair, and can cause rust problems if left untreated.

Learn step-by-step instructions for fixing minor paint scratches on your automobile with the Turtle Wax Scratch Repair Kit.

Car Scratch Anatomy and Scratch Repair Warnings

clear coat, basecoat, primer, and metal layers of car paint scratch

Source: bestseekers.com

WARNING: A successful auto scratch repair takes very careful attention to detail and some education. Read this guide and follow any commercial products’ instructions very carefully.

If you can run your fingernail over the scratch without it catching, then it’s probably only a clear coat scratch. For minor blemishes such as these, we would recommend using a product that is more limited in scope, such as Meguair’s G17216 Ultimate Compound, Turtle Wax T-241A Polishing Compound & Scratch Remover, or Barrett-Jackson Car Scratch Remover. These top-level blemish products can also be used to restore swirl marks, water spots, and faded head lights and tail lights.

If, however, your fingernail does catch, you have a deeper scratch and will want to decide whether to do the repair yourself or take it into a professional. If you can see metal, that is a very serious scratch. No scratch repair kit will be able to restore a deep scratch completely. We suggest seeing a professional as soon as possible if you see metal. Exposed metal will rust. Wide and deep scratches are not covered in this guide.

We’ve seen a lot of success with the Turtle Wax T-234KT Premium Grade Scratch Repair Kit, so we will be referring to this product in the guide below. If you your fingernail catches on the scratch, but you don’t see any metal, this is a good kit to use. Be careful as the kit includes abrasive sand pads that require delicacy, precision, and attention to detail. Follow manufacturer instructions exactly.

How to Remove Minor Automobile Scratches

You’ll need two main things when fixing most paint scratches, the exact paint match and the clear coat layer that goes on top. If the scratch hasn’t gone through the primer, you can skip the touch-up paint step. 

  1. Look for Your Factory Paint Code

If your scratch is only a clear coat scratch, then you don’t have to worry about finding any paint. Deeper scratches, however, require the additional application of new primer and paint.

To help you find the right paint touch-up product, look for the factory-paint code on the sticker in the driver side doorsill or on a plaque under the hood. If you are unable to find the exact color match at the auto parts store or online, take the car to your auto dealer.

Remember, this guide is for minor scratches only so if you need to cover a large area, go with a professional. Touching up large areas by hand will always have imperfections. A professional will spray it and restore it to like-new conditions. If you can get your insurance to pay for it, do that instead.

  1. Wash and Dry the Car

First, make sure the surface is cleaned with soap and water. Once you’ve dried the area completely with a clean cloth, finish cleaning with a few gentle wipes of a rag and denatured alcohol. Allow the area to dry completely.

  1. Mark Off Area with Blue Painter’s Tape

It’s a good idea to mark the scratch off with some blue painter’s tape, especially if it’s close to any trim or plastic.

If you are applying touch-up paint, mark off the area as close as you can. This will help keep the primer and paint from spreading.

If you only need to add a small amount of paint and you have some experience in car care, you may be able to repair it yourself. If you have any doubts, bring it into a professional detailer.

Steps for touching up paint:

  • Mark the area off as close as you can with blue painter’s tape. This will prevent the primer or paint from covering too large of an area.
  • After the area is clean and dry, apply a very small amount of primer into the scratch or chip with a very fine brush. Allow the primer to dry. Wait a day to be sure.
  • Next, put a small amount of paint over the primed area (make sure the auto paint color is an exact match!). Practice on some paper or metal before applying to your car. You want to get the technique down first. If you are using a paint pen, depress the nib to release the paint onto a paper or metal surface, not the car. Dab the tip into the paint and gently fill in the affected area. If you only have spray paint, spray into a cap or container and use a fine artist’s brush to apply the basecoat. Depending on the touch-up paint you buy, you’ll want to use different strategies. Still, the same principles apply. For best results, it’s a good idea to use a fine artist’s brush and dab very lightly.
  • Wait at least one hour to apply a second coat of paint, if necessary. After adding the paint, remove the blue painter’s tape and allow the paint to dry. We recommend letting it dry and cure for a day or two before moving on to the next steps.

Touching up minor scratches and other blemishes with paint requires practice. Make sure you feel comfortable applying very small amounts of paint onto paper or metal first.

PRO TIPS: 

  • Don’t apply any touch-up paint in direct sun or if temperatures are below 50°F.
  • Just in case you do apply too much paint to the area, make sure you have paint/lacquer thinner to quickly clean it up.
  1. Prime the Clear Coat Pen (from Turtle Wax Scratch Repair Kit)

If you don’t need to add any primer or paint, you’ll want to skip those steps and jump to this one. First, prime the clear coat pen by pressing it against a piece of paper or metal to get it flowing. Then, fill the scratch in completely with the clear coat pen using gentle dabs and wipes. Wait for it to dry. You may want to wait overnight, especially if it is a wider or deeper scratch.

  1. Sand the Surface with Proper Pad

This is the step to watch out for. The Turtle Wax Scratch Repair Kit comes with 4 different abrasive pads, #1 being the most abrasive and #4 the least abrasive.

The problem for most users is that they use too much pressure, fail to lubricate the area first, or use the wrong sanding pad. Ensure the pads and the surface are lubricated with the Spray Lubricator. Otherwise, you can cause even more scratches. You should never dry sand the affected area, only wet sand with the Spray Lubricant that’s included in the kit.

Usually the #1 sanding pad is not needed. The abrasive #1 pad if for deeper scratches when you are using touch-up paint, but usually you can start with #2 if you used touch-up paint. Take your time, follow instructions exactly, and use the proper level grit pad. Be very careful with the amount of pressure you use.

  1. Mark off the scratch, one inch above and one inch below, with blue painter’s tape.
  2. Lubricate the surface with the Spray Lubricator. Spray directly on the area.
  3. Lubricate the #2 pad (if you used touch-up paint) or #3 pad (if no touch-up paint was needed) by spraying the lubricator directly on the pad.
  4. Gently wet wipe the #2 or #3 pad in the direction of the scratch.
  5. Next, lubricate the surface and the next pad that’s less abrasive. If you started with the #3 pad, move on to the very fine #4 pad. If you started with #2, use #3 next, and finish up with #4. Make sure they are all fully lubricated and use very gentle wipes in the direction of the scratch.

We cannot stress this enough—be extremely careful with the pressure you use when using the sanding pads. Very light rubbing is all that is necessary.

To remove the hazy area created when blending in the touch-up paint with the pads, move on to the next step.

  1. Use Polishing Compound/Paint Finish Restorer

Before you move on the Polishing Compound step, remove the blue painter’s tape. To restore the gloss to the affected area, apply the Polishing Compound (from the Turtle Wax Kit) to a corner of your microfiber cloth and buff the scratch in the opposite direction of the scratch/sanding wipes.

For this step, you can use pressure. Use two or three fingers behind your microfiber cloth and firmly wipe the area in perpendicular strokes to the scratch/sand marks. You may have to wipe for over a minute or two.

After around 40 strokes, wipe the area with a clean, dry cloth. Inspect your work and repeat the process if you still see sand marks. On the reapplication of the polishing compound, you can use circular motions to help blend everything in.

  1. Apply a Coat of Wax

If you had any wax on the car, this process will have removed it. Apply a coat of wax to the area you worked on so it shines like the rest of the car.

And you’re done!

Fixing auto scratches yourself all depends on the length and depth of the scratch. If you have any major scratches, take your vehicle into a professional.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Top 11 Books on Automobiles | Maintenance, Repair, Fiction & Nonfiction

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

best nonfiction and fiction books on automobiles - maintenance and repair

In honor of Read Across America Day (March 2nd) and National Reading Month (March), we’re going over the best books about cars, trucks, and automobiles.

While there are many great online resources such as YouTube videos and message boards for learning car maintenance and repair (see our blog for instance), sometimes you end up on a wild goose chase following the wrong advice. But that doesn’t mean you should give up! Regular maintenance and repair will keep your vehicle efficient and reliable for a very long time.

Top 7 NONFICTION Books on Automobile Maintenance & Repair

Instead of scouring the internet, you can save a lot of time and frustration by purchasing a couple reference books for maintenance and repairs that range from simple to complex. If you read the following nonfiction books on auto maintenance and repair, you’ll be able to:

  • Change your oil
  • Check all fluids
  • Change tires
  • Basically anything!

Keep your vehicle running in top shape with these books and manuals:

  1. Vehicle Owner’s Manual

You should already have this one. The owner’s manual that came with the car will give most of the basic information you need for operating and maintaining your automobile.

This piece of reference material is essential. It will tell you exactly how to operate all of your car’s components, what your vehicle dashboard warning lights mean, what the proper tire PSI is, and other important information specific to your make and model.

If you have a question about your vehicle, consult the owner’s manual first (there’s an index in the back). If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the following books on the list will be able to fill in the gaps.

  1. Chilton Total Car Care Manual

For general repair procedures, get a Chilton’s repair manual for your vehicle. With just a few simple tools and a repair manual, you can complete most vehicle maintenance and repairs yourself.

These manuals provide easy-to-understand information about the inner workings of your vehicle. Even if you don’t plan on doing any serious repairs yourself, the manual will enable you to speak confidently with your mechanic.

Be aware the Chilton’s manuals tend to be a little more technical than Haynes manuals (the next book on the list). You should be able to do most car/truck maintenance and repair using only the Chilton’s manual, however, you may find gaps in information here and there. It’s best to compare the Chilton’s procedures with your owner’s manual and a Haynes manual.

  1. Haynes Car Repair & Servicing Manual

If you are serious about DIY auto work, you should supplement the Chilton manual with a Haynes manual. These 2 manuals will provide near comprehensive coverage for all your auto repair and maintenance work.

It’s a good idea to use both books to look up unfamiliar procedures. That way, you can choose the simpler method and get a better idea of what you are doing.

  1. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Service Manual

While Chilton and Haynes manuals should be more than enough for the average do-it-yourselfer, if you want the exact reprints of service manuals from the manufacturer, consider purchasing the OEM factory repair manual for your vehicle. Normally used by mechanics and technicians, these automotive manuals are the most thorough, but are generally harder to understand than either the Chilton or Haynes manuals. If you have all 3 manuals, you’ll have all the specific information you need to understand your vehicle’s many systems and components.

  1. Auto Repair for Dummies by Deanna Sclar

If you are familiar with the For Dummies, you’ll know that they are filled with non-intimidating pictures and guides on a variety of topics. So it’s no surprise the Auto Repair for Dummies by Deanna Sclar is simple, direct, and easy to understand.

The book contains useful information for the layman, including year-round maintenance schedules, general tune-ups, suggested tools, and other very practical information. If you just want to know the basics of car maintenance, reduce maintenance and repair costs, and increase your confidence when speaking with a mechanic, this is a great book.

Be aware, however, that the book won’t have a lot of information specific to your vehicle. For specific information on your vehicle, get the Chilton, Haynes, or OEM manuals.

  1. How Cars Work by Tom Newton

Get How Cars Work if you really want to understand how your car works. It goes slowly through each of the components in your vehicle, gradually building a comprehensive understanding of how each component and system functions.

Although much of the book is focused on how car engines work, it also provides thorough explanations for other systems as well, such as steering, brake, and heating/cooling systems. If you really want to understand what goes on under the hood, this book is for you.

The best thing about this book is that any beginner can understand it. It can even make a great gift for a mechanically-inclined child interested in how things work.

Finish the entire book and you’ll be able to converse smoothly and confidently with any mechanic or automotive enthusiast.

  1. Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk by Tom and Ray Magliozzi

I’m sure you are already familiar with the hilarious hosts of NPR’s Car Talk, but if not, you’re missing out. In addition to the great information on the Car Talk website and radio show, there are also several books by the Tappet brothers, a.k.a. Click and Clack.

Ask Click and Clack collects the best questions and answers from their radio show, combined with additional advice and wisecracks. If you are looking for light reading filled with helpful and amusing information, this is a great book for both the experienced mechanic and the complete beginner.

Honorable Mention: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive by John Muir

If How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot by John Muir (not the nature-writer) wasn’t specific to old Volkswagens, it would have made our list. While certainly for beginners (mostly text with some illustrations), it is a very well written book that combines practical information with an entertaining style. If you own an air-cooled VW (beetle, gia, bus, etc…), this book has everything you need for troubleshooting and repairing your bug.

Advanced Automotive Engineering

If you are interested in automotive engineering and becoming a skilled mechanic, first decide which area you are interested and then go to SAE International for technical engineering information. You’ll also want to see what resources are available at your local mechanical engineering schools and join a team for hands-on experience.

Auto Log Book

If you want to keep track of mileage, maintenance, repairs, and other automotive work, we highly recommend keeping an auto log book. Whether you are trying to keep clear records for tax purposes or otherwise, an auto log book will make it easy to record your vehicle history.

There are also plenty of great nonfiction books about the history of cars and the people who drive them. Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It is a fascinating story about the history of Toyota. It should be required reading for any manufacturing entrepreneurs. Behind the Wheel: The Great Automobile Aficionados by Robert Putal is another great book for automotive enthusiasts, which includes profiles of 80 famous car aficionados.

Top 4 FICTION Books on Motor Vehicles  

Humans and wheels—they’re a match made in heaven. Old or young, these books are sure to please any automotive enthusiast and their need for speed. You don’t even have to be interested in motor vehicles to enjoy these books, but don’t be surprised if they get you hooked.

  1. The Truck Book by Harry McNaught

This bestselling book for children is full of beautiful and colorful illustrations of over 50 trucks, including buses, RVs, and fire engines.

  1. Christine by Stephen King 

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The master of horror wants to take you on a chilling ride with a killer car. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll LOVE the book! 

  1. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the classic story of a young boy, a mouse, and a motorcycle. There are two great sequels as well, Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse. Children aged 5-9 will probably get the most enjoyment out of this motor vehicle tale.

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Don’t be fooled by the title. According to the author, “It should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either” (Wikipedia). It does, however, use motorcycle maintenance as a life analogy we can all relate to in some way or another.

After reading these books and guides for car enthusiasts, come into Buy Here Pay Here USA and check out our collection of used cars. We do free oil changes every 90 days for the life of your loan and have highly-trained technicians onsite. Additionally, if you decide to trade-in or sell your vehicle after being inspired by these great literary works, we do that too! 

Best Online Resources for Auto Repair and Maintenance 


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

How to Check Vehicle Tire Pressure and Inflate Tires

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

checking and inflating car vehicle tire pressure

We all know that routine maintenance is important for everything from our computers to our cars. But sometimes, we fall short. One of the most neglected routine car maintenance tasks is to check tire pressures and inflate them as necessary. That’s why newer cars have tire pressure warning lights, or tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), that let you know when you have under- or over-inflated tires (when any tire is 25% underinflated).

Older vehicles don’t have this useful warning light. So, don’t wait for a rupture to check or change a tire. Use this guide to learn how to check the pressure (PSI) of your vehicle tires and how to inflate them to the proper air level.

Why should you check your tire pressure?

The number one reason why you should periodically check your tire pressure is SAFETY, but there are monetary and handling reasons as well:

  • Longer lasting tires
  • Improved handling and control
  • Reduced risk of accidents and blow outs
  • Better fuel economy
  • Reduced carbon footprint

Proper tire pressure (as recommended by the manufacturer) is needed to drive safely and efficiently. According to a 2009 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

“…about 28% of light vehicles on our Nation’s roadways run with at least one underinflated tire. Only a few psi difference from vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire inflation pressure can affect a vehicle’s handling and stopping distance. Poor tire maintenance can increase incidences of blowouts and tread separations. Similarly, underinflation negatively affects fuel economy.”

When your tires are underinflated, the tires get fatter, increasing their surface area. This causes high heat generation and extra resistance that could result in higher fuel costs, blown out tires, tire wear, and loss of control.

If you feel like you’re spending too much at the gas pump, it might be your tires. According to the US Department of Energy:

“You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.”

In addition to safety and fiscal concerns, keeping your tires properly inflated will also reduce your impact on the environment. When your tires are properly inflated, you’ll pay less for gas, replace your tires less often, and improve your handling and stopping distance. You’ll also feel better knowing that you are emitting less carbon dioxide and other harmful substances into the atmosphere.

What is the right PSI level?

PSI stands for pounds per square inch. The recommended PSI for your vehicle’s tires is determined by the vehicle’s manufacturer and the recommended tire size.

One big question that we get is whether you should follow the recommended PSI level on the tire itself or the recommended PSI level printed in your owner’s manual or on the placard inside of door edge, glove box door, or fuel door.

Do NOT use the max PSI that is printed on the tire sidewall. This is not the recommended PSI level. The pressure amount on the tire is normally the maximum allowed pressure. The correct PSI level is almost always less than what you see printed on the side of the tire. Over-inflation can lead to poor handling and comfort, overheating and blow outs. Over 40 PSI is a dangerous level for most vehicles!

Make sure you always use the recommended PSI as provided in your owner’s manual and don’t go any more than 5 PSI over the recommended level. You should make sure, however, that your tires are appropriate for your vehicle. You can do this by checking the car’s owner’s manual or the placard that is on the inside of the driver-side door, glove box, or fuel door.

Most car tire pressure recommendations range from 30-35 PSI.

How often should I check tire pressure?

A question in many minds is when is the appropriate time and frequency for checking and inflating vehicle tires.

A quick google search will reveal a variety of different opinions and suggestions. Some say that you should check your tire pressure every 2nd visit to the gasoline station, while others say once every 3-6 months is OK.

Most tire and vehicle manufacturers, on the other hand, will say that you should check your tire pressure at least once every month, or every second trip to the gas pump. Your tires will lose around 1 PSI each for every month that goes by.

Unfortunately, not one answer will fit every situation. There are several factors that influence how often you should check your tire pressure, including:

  • The weather (hot and cold seasonal changes)
  • Driving frequency and distance
  • Weight carried or towed

Did you know that for every 10°-drop in temperature, you lose 1 pound of pressure?

If you have a leaky valve or a small puncture, you will lose air pressure much more quickly. This is one more reason why you should frequently check the tire pressure on all of your tires.

Since tire pressure constantly fluctuates, it’s important to check it periodically (at least once a month) and add air as necessary.

How to Check Tire Pressure

Finding out the tire pressure of your tires is incredibly easy. All you need is a pressure gauge (click here for additional items you should have in your vehicle).

Just make sure that you are checking your tires when they are relatively cold. If you check your tire pressure after a long drive, you will get an inaccurate reading since heat will temporarily increase the tire pressure reading.

Unfortunately, not all pressures gauges are created equal. Some are better than others. We recommend shelling out a couple extra bucks for a digital reader. The pop-up, stick-type versions are notoriously inconsistent and unreliable. A reliable gauge will be well worth the investment. Prices range from about $5 for the stick-type and about $30 for the digital and dial-type pressure gauges.

You can also check your tire pressure at most gas stations or auto repair shops. Discount Tire offers free tire pressure checks and inflation.

Here are the steps for checking your tire pressure:

  • Check the tire pressure when the tires are cold—first thing in the morning is best. If you’ve been driving for a while, you’ll want to wait several hours before checking your tire pressure.
  • Remove the caps to your tires’ air valve (keep them in a safe place, like your pocket).
  • Place the tire pressure gauge on the air valve firmly to receive a reading.
  • Take the tire pressure reading 1-3 times to get a good average and reduce the risk of anomalies.
  • Check the tire pressure gauge reading against the recommended PSI levels recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Add some air until your reach the recommended PSI level.
  • If the reading is above the recommended PSI level, push down on the air valve to release air. Check the tire pressure again. Release more air if necessary. If you release too much air, you can always add some air back.

It should only take you a couple minutes to check the air pressure of your vehicle’s tires. As soon as you restore tire pressure to the recommended levels, you’ll start experiencing the safety and savings that come with this regular maintenance task.

Watch this video for more information on how to check your tire pressure:

How to Inflate Tires

Here are the steps for adding air to your tires:

  • Remove the valve stem caps on all of your tires (keep them in a safe place, like your pocket).
  • Use an air pump to fill the tires. Even though it’s possible to fill your tires with a regular old bicycle pump, this is not the most efficient method. Instead, go to your local gas station that has a coin-operated air pump (ask the attendant if you can’t find it). You can also purchase your own automatic air compressor, but it will cost you around $50-$150.
  • Inflate your tires when they are cold. If you’ve driven more than a couple miles, you’ll want to wait until they are cold. The best time to refill your tires is first thing in the morning.
  • You can usually set the desired PSI level on the machine at the gas station (probably around 30-35 PSI). If your local gas station’s air pump doesn’t have this capability, then you will need to fill up the tire, check the pressure with your gauge, and then add or release air as necessary. Some air pumps will have a built-in tire pressure gauge. Once the PSI level is set, feed coins into the machine until you hear the air coming through. It will be pretty noisy.
  • You want to act quickly because you only have a few minutes before the pump turns off. Bring the tip of the air valve to your closest tire valve (or the lowest tire). Hold it firmly against the valve as you listen to the air filling the tire.
  • Make sure your vehicle is close enough to the pump so you don’t have to move and pay for another air session.
  • Give the pump some time to fill up your tires. If you pre-set the PSI on the machine itself, you will hear a loud beeping noise when the desired PSI is reached. If not, fill up the air for around 5-10 seconds and then check the tire pressure with your pressure gauge. Check the air pressure as you go and refill or release air as necessary.
  • If you go over the recommended PSI, you can release air from the tire by depressing the center valve pin with your tire gauge or a similar tool (a fingernail can also do the job). Release the air in small increments and check the pressure as you go.
  • When you have reached the desired pressure, make sure you check all your tires again with your pressure gauge. If all is well, you are done adding air.
  • Remember those valve caps we told you to keep safe. You’ll want to screw them back on now.

Remember, just one drop in PSI can lower your gas mileage by about 0.2%. For every 3-4 PSI units that your tire is underinflated, you are burning around 1% more fuel.

If your tires are flat, then you probably have a leak. Add air and see if you can drive around without the pressure dropping. If you hear air escaping the tire while you are filling up, then it’s time to replace the tire.

Tip: Learn how to use the air pump properly first. Some automatic air pumps at gas stations have a handle/switch that you need to depress in order for the air to flow. When you let go of the handle, a tire pressure gauge will pop out showing you the tire pressure. At the same time, air will be slowly released. If your air pump has this kind of handle, then you will want to hold down the handle for most of the time, periodically releasing it to check the pressure reading. Consult your own tire pressure gauge for accuracy.

When should I replace my tires?

If you check your tire pressure at least once a month as recommended, you’ll also get a good idea of the general condition of your tires and when you should replace them.

We recommend using the penny test:

how to tell if you need to replace car tires - penny test

Source: bridgestonetire.com

  • Take a penny and insert the top part of Lincoln’s head (head down) into one of the tire treads. If you can see his entire head, it’s time to replace your tire immediately.
  • Consider a replacement soon if only a small part of his head is cut off. You are good to go if Lincoln’s forehead is covered. Use the penny test on a few areas of each tire to get a more accurate reading.

Click here for more car maintenance tips. Click here for car winterization tips.


Buy Here Pay Here USA wants you to find a vehicle you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call: 

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining vehicles: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

Vehicle Dashboard Warning Lights | What Do They Mean?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

vehicle warning lights and what they mean

If we’re honest with ourselves, we probably don’t know what all of our vehicle’s warning lights and symbols mean. What they mean for most of us is a slight increase in stress levels and a trip to the mechanic. Some of us choose to ignore them entirely until the car eventually breaks down.

While some warning lights may seem inconsequential, it’s important to know what they mean and how to react. Warning lights illuminate whenever there is a problem with one or more of your vehicle’s functions.

If left unchecked, minor problems can turn into major repairs. So keep a close eye on your dashboard and don’t ignore the warning signs. Most of these warning lights can be prevented with regular service and maintenance.

These strange hieroglyphics vary from vehicle to vehicle, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific information about your vehicle. In many cars, the warning lights will illuminate briefly when the engine is turned on to check the bulb. If warning lights remain illuminated, however, you should take your vehicle in for service.

Red, Yellow/Orange, Green, and Blue Lights

As with most things, there are levels to this. A red warning light demands immediate attention (don’t drive any further), while yellow/orange warning lights indicate a problem that needs to be serviced soon.

If you see a green or blue light, this normally indicates that a certain car function is on or currently in use.

Standard Dashboard Warning Lights

1. Check Engine Light

check engine - car warning light

What it looks like: A yellow submarine

What it is: The Check Engine Light

I’m sure we’ve all seen this one before. It’s one of the more serious lights to pay attention to and normally indicates an emissions or general engine running problem. Sometimes the word “check” appears near the engine symbol, sometimes not at all. Older vehicles may not have a symbol at all, just the text “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon.”

In many vehicles, the check engine light illuminates whenever the engine is turned on to check the bulb. If the light stays illuminated, the car’s diagnostic systems have detected a malfunction that needs to be investigated. If the check engine light begins to flash or blink, this may indicate an engine misfire is occurring.

What to do: If the check engine light stays on, take the vehicle in to be serviced as soon as you can.

If the check engine light is blinking, drive delicately at moderate speeds (slow acceleration and deceleration) until you can get your car to a mechanic. It can be very dangerous and damaging to drive while the check engine light is flashing! Click here for more reasons why your check engine light might be on.

2. Battery Light

battery vehicle charging warning light

What it looks like: A winking robot

What it is: The Battery/Charging System Light

The battery light indicates that the car’s charging system is short of power or is not charging properly. This can lead to electrical problems involving your power steering, braking, lights, and engine. It normally indicates a problem with the battery itself or the alternator.

What to do: Take your vehicle in to get serviced as soon as you can. Most likely, you just need to replace your battery. Other causes may include wiring problems, a faulty alternator, or a faulty battery.

3. Temperature Warning Light

engine temperature warning light

What it looks like: A pirate ship or a key submerged in water

What it is: The Engine/Coolant Temperature Warning Light

The temperature warning light means that the engine is, or is very close to overheating.

Some cars may not have a specific engine warning light. You may only have a temperature gauge with a red section (H) at the highest end of the gauge. If the needle enters the red section, the engine is overheating and should be stopped as soon as safely possible.

Other times, an “engine overheating” or “temp” message will illuminate, sometimes alternating with a flashing radiator or fan icon.

What to do: Never drive with an overheating engine! Stop driving as soon as you possibly can and switch off the engine to allow the engine to cool.

If the engine temperature warning light comes on again, you probably have a problem with your coolant, radiator, or water pump. Drive the car at a low speed to your local mechanic.

WARNING: NEVER open the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is hot or running.

4. Oil Pressure Warning

engine oil pressure indicator warning light

What it looks like: A magic genie lamp or a Neti pot

What it is: The Engine Oil Pressure Indicator Light

The oil pressure warning light indicates a loss of oil pressure, meaning lubrication is low or lost completely.

What to do: Do not drive while this light is illuminated! If you see this light come on while driving, stop the car as soon as it is safe to do so.

You should check your motor oil level and pressure as soon as you can. If that doesn’t get the light to turn off, have your vehicle checked out by a professional mechanic before you do any more damage to your vehicle.

5. ABS Warning

antilock brake system warning light

What it looks like: An abs workout reminder

What it is: The Antilock Brake System (if equipped)

The antilock brake system regulates brake pressure to prevent wheels from locking during braking. If the ABS is not working properly, the wheels may lock up and cause a dangerous driving situation.

If the ABS light remains on, the antilock brake system needs professional diagnosis. Sometimes the warning light is only text, such as “Antilock” or “ABS.” In some vehicles, the ABS warning is red. In others, it is yellow or orange.

In some vehicles, the ABS turns on when the antilock brake system is active. If it remains on, however, ABS safety features have been turned off.

What to do: If the ABS light stays lit, a malfunction in your antilock brake system has been detected. Have your vehicle professionally serviced as soon as you can.

6. Airbag Indicator

SRS supplemental restraint system airbag indicator light

What it looks like: A meteor is heading your way

What it is: The Airbag Indicator, a.k.a. Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)

The airbag warning light indicates something wrong with your airbag system. For the safety of you and your passengers, take the vehicle in for service as soon as possible.

What to do: If the airbag light does not illuminate when you turn the ignition, continues to flash, or stays illuminated, one or more of your airbags are malfunctioning. Take the vehicle in for service immediately.

7. Safety Belt Reminder

seat belt reminder indicator warning light

What it looks like: An obese child wearing a bandolier

What it is: The Seat Belt Reminder Light

Chiming or beeping usually accompanies the seat belt reminder light.

What to do: Fasten your seat belt! If your seat belt is fastened, the warning light may come on if you have a lot of weight on one of the seats. Either remove the weight or buckle the seat belt on the corresponding seat.

8. Brake System Warning

vehicle brake system warning light

What it looks like: A Pokémon gym is nearby

What it is: The Brake System Warning Light

This warning light illuminates when there is a problem with your brakes. You may also see a light that says “Brake.” This can indicate that the parking brake is applied, there is low brake fluid, or the brake system needs to be inspected immediately.

If the light only comes on when you pressing down on the brake pedal, you may have a problem with your hydraulic circuits (bad hose, leaky disk caliber, or something else). If the pedal feels loose or goes to the floor, pull the vehicle over as soon as safely possible.

What to do: Check the brake fluid and make sure the parking brake isn’t on. If adding brake fluid and releasing the parking brake doesn’t turn the light off, have the brake system inspected immediately.

If both the ABS and Brake Light Warning lights come on, you could have a seriously dangerous problem with your brakes. Stop the car as soon as safely possible and get your brake system inspected.

9. TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)

tire pressure warning light

What it looks like: A boiling cauldron

What it is: The Tire Pressure Warning Light (if equipped)

Some vehicles come with a tire pressure monitoring system. The light comes on when one or more of your tires have low pressure. It is usually red or yellow.

What to do: Check the tire pressure on all of your tires. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended PSI levels.

10. Check Gas Cap

fuel gas cap warning light

What it looks like: A big screw is stuck in your car

What it is: The Gas Cap Warning Light

If the gas/fuel cap is not properly tightened, the gas cap warning light will come on. Some vehicles display text instead, such as “Check Gas Cap.” The gas cap prevents fuel from evaporating out of the tank and keeps rain, dust, and other things from entering the tank. If left unattended, the check engine light will illuminate.

What to do: Pull over and tighten the gas cap. If you drive around with your gas cap loose or missing, the check engine light will normally come on. If tightening the gas cap doesn’t work, you may have a cracked or damaged cap. Go to your local auto parts store to find a replacement (they are quite cheap). If that doesn’t do the trick, take the vehicle to your dealer or mechanic.

– Images courtesy of Bigstock

More Dashboard Warning Lights

vehicle dashboard warning lights

Source: banggood.com

You May Be Interested In:


Buy Here Pay Here USA wants you to find a car you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all of which come with a 6 month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

Thanksgiving Car-B-Q | How to Cook a Meal on a Car Engine

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Thanksgiving Car-B-Q - how to cook a meal on a car engine

The annual day of family and food is just a week away! There are many different ways that Americans choose to cook their traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Some prefer the aroma of a slow roast, while others salivate for a deep-fried bird. There is one unique way that you may not have thought of — instead of a BBQ for the festive day, have you ever considered a Car-B-Q?

Believe it or not, cooking a full holiday meal right on your car’s engine is not only doable; it’s delicious! Here are some techniques for filling your tummies without the kitchen cleanup. We’ll also offer up our favorite concoctions for car cooking.

So, wherever you are this Thanksgiving, all you need for a hot meal is your vehicle and a little engine-uity!

Engine Cooking: Safety First

For safety, there are some practices you should adhere to when engine cooking:

First of all, NEVER poorly wrap your food or place it somewhere that may disrupt the engine’s parts.

Secondly, ALWAYS place food on the engine when it is off.

Other tips include:

  • Avoid foods that contain a lot of liquid. Even if your meal is wrapped well with foil, juices could leak out onto your engine, and that’s never good.
  • Place your food in a static location. Don’t pull wires or mess with any of the engine’s parts in order to make your food fit. If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.
  • Do not jam the accelerator linkage or block airflow. Either one of these could cause your engine to break down.
  • Wrap your food items in at least 2-3 layers of foil. Foil is the main necessity when car cooking. Without lots of foil protection, do not attempt to put food on or near your engine.
  • When removing the food, use tongs or oven mitts. The engine is hot and so is your food. Carefully remove, unwrap, and serve.

The Foil Cone Test

The best advice we’ve seen for calculating the size of the meal you can safely cook on your engine is a method called “The Foil Cone Test,” This quick assessment of space will ensure that you correctly cut, wrap, and cook your meal without causing a hazard for yourself or your engine.

foil cone test - how to cook food on car engine

Source: iveneverdonethat.com

Before trying out a full meal, do this:

  • Place a “foil cone” that is approximately 5 inches tall onto the injector housing, then close the hood of the car on it. Open the hood to examine. If the cone is crushed, then you don’t have much room to cook, and your meals will need to be slim, like thin cuts of meat, fish, and sliced veggies or potatoes that can lay flat.
  • If your foil cone is not crushed, then you have plenty of room to stuff your foil cones with food, but remember you’ll need extra foil so that your food does not move around or leak onto your engine.
  • When securing the food, make sure it is snug and not near any moving parts. You can help secure it with additional foil or with baling wire (not any tubes or wires in your car). Use common sense.
  • Pick the right meal for the trip. Some meals take longer than others—don’t plan your trip around the meal, plan the meal around the trip (next to each recipe will be approximate cooking mileage).

Manifold Destiny book cover

These tips and the following recipes can be found in the quirky and innovative book, Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine.

Road Trip Thanksgiving

To Grandmother’s House Road Turkey – Cooking Distance: 220+ miles

If you’re already planning to road trip to a relative’s house, and will be driving 200+ miles, you’ll have plenty of time to cook at least 5 pounds of turkey! With these instructions, you can roast turkey and road trip at the same time.

Ingredients:

1 Boneless turkey breast, up to 5 lbs., sliced into thin strips against the grain
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
3 carrots, finely diced
Dry white wine
Flour for dredging
Butter for greasing foil
Salt and Pepper to taste
¾ cup heavy cream

Steps:

  1. At home, combine the turkey, potatoes and carrots into a bowl with the wine and cover. Marinate two hours in the refrigerator, and then drain well (and don’t drink the wine).
  2. Setting the vegetables aside, dredge the turkey pieces in flour, and then heavily butter five large squares of foil. Arrange equal amounts of turkey and vegetables in each square, and season with sale and pepper as desired.
  3. Cup the foil around the turkey and vegetables, and pour over each serving as much heavy cream as you can without making a soupy mess, then seal carefully.
  4. Cook on the engine about four hours, turning once. We’re assuming grandmother doesn’t live in the next town.

large turkey - how to cook turkey on car engine

Source: usatoday.com/driveon

Pat’s Provolone Porsche Potatoes – Cooking distance: 55 miles

What’s a turkey without sides? As an alternative to mashed potatoes with gravy, serve sliced potatoes with provolone, after cooking them on the medium-hot parts of your engine.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound new potatoes
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 ounces grated aged provolone (or my favorite, aged cheddar)
Butter
Salt & pepper

Steps:

  1. Peel and slice potatoes to 1.4 inch thick.
  2. Place in a saucepan with the milk and water and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Drain, and then spread onto heavily buttered foil.
  4. Sprinkle with your cheese (or cheeses, experiment with flavors) and seasonings.
  5. Sprinkle with butter, triple-wrap and place around medium-hot parts of the engine. Delicious.

car coking with tin foil

Source: wisebread.com

Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloin – Cooking distance: 250 miles

Looking for a different meat option to cook this Thanksgiving? “Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloin” is another car engine delight you can try out this holiday season.

Ingredients:

1 large pork tenderloin, butterflied
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 tsp rosemary (fresh), crushed
Salt & pepper

Steps:

  1. Blend together all of the ingredients (except the pork) and spread across the inside of the pork tenderloin.
  2. Close up the pork, triple-wrap in foil and place on a medium-hot part of the engine. Turn once at 125 miles during cooking.

how to cook meals on car engine

Source: wisebread.com

Engine block cooking isn’t just for long trips. For short commutes, consider heating up pre-made breakfast sandwiches or making some hot dogs. We recommend experimenting with a meal or two before using this as a reliable cooking method.

Once you have found a suitable cooking surface and successfully cooked a meal, now you can use pretty much any recipe for the oven, for your car! Click here for more car-b-q recipes. Just make sure there aren’t a lot of liquids and that the food is fully sealed.

It will take a little experimentation to get the cooking times down, but if you check the food around 10-15 minutes before it’s supposed to be done, you should be safe.

If you’ve never tried this before, we recommend these safer ideas for what to bring to Thanksgiving:

  • Bread
  • Dessert
  • Coffee
  • Flowers
  • Wine/Booze

Click here for Black Friday Gift Ideas for Car-Lovers.

Wishing you safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Buy Here Pay Here USA wants you to find a car you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+. 

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