Complete Guide for Buying Tow Mirrors

tow mirror attached to pickup sunny day

 

Towing mirrors give such an extended rearward view, they’re essential for any towing job.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all. How do you know what’s right for your truck?

Deciding which options are most compatible with your vehicle can make the upgrade go a lot easier. Let’s review what’s available.

Snap-On, Suction, and Clip-On Tow Mirrors

If you don’t want to remove the side view mirrors, there’s a few ways you can transform them into a towing aide. These extensions will take minutes to install, no tools needed.

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Complete Guide for Buying Shocks & Struts

DIY auto repair - man changing his shocks & struts

When your shocks or struts wear out, you’ll notice a difference in ride quality. You’ll feel the bounce as you drive down the street, and you may lose some control of the steering. Without shocks and struts, your wheels would bounce freely as they make contact with the road, springing the body of your car up and down like a bouncy house on wheels. While this sounds fun, it is dangerous. It’s important to replace worn shocks and struts before the driving worsens and becomes unsafe.

So where do you start? There are so many different options to choose from it can get confusing out there. This is a guide to help you make sense of the different kinds available so that finding the right one for your vehicle can be easier and a little stress free. But first, in case you didn’t know, it’s important to understand the difference between a shock and a strut.

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Did a Tax on Chicken Change the Pickup Truck Industry?

Subaru Brat in a Brook with a Bridge Featured in Background
Subaru Brat Created as an Attempt to Circumvent the “Chicken Tax”

 

It sure did. A German tax on imported chicken from the 1960s is still affecting where and how trucks are built and what trucks are available in the US – even though the original German tax has expired! International trade is complex and the results can be strange. Cheap chicken in the ‘60s is the reason you can’t get a Ford Ranger in the US today.

Why was there a Tax on Chicken in the ’60s?

Following World War II, US chicken farms became extremely productive, bringing down the price of chicken not only in the US, but in Europe. Cheap imported chicken led West Germans to eat 23% more chicken than before. That was great news for German chicken eaters and American chicken farmers, but bad news for German chicken farmers, who couldn’t produce chicken cheap enough to compete. In 1961, to keep German chicken farmers from going out of business, Germany imposed a tax on imported chicken. France, in a similar situation, followed suit.

The tariff became a point of contention between the US and Germany. German Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer later reported that most of his conversations with President Kennedy were about chicken.

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A/C Not Working? Here’s How to Diagnose It

 

Does your car have a broken A/C? On a hot and humid day that’s the worst. No one wants to feel like a fried egg, and sometimes putting the windows down just doesn’t cut it. So here’s a list of symptoms that can help you diagnose what’s wrong with your car’s air conditioning.

Just find your symptom on the list, and we can tell you what to check so you can troubleshoot the problem.

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Why Are My Power Windows Working Intermittently?

Electric power makes window-rolling easy. It can be a pain to roll your windows with a crank, and driving’s easier when your window motor does it for you. Until it works only when it wants to. Why do power windows do this? And what can you do to fix it?

Depending on the model and the options that you have on your master power window switch panel, one of three or four parts will cause the issue.

The Computer

Some vehicles have a slew of power options that send signals to the computer from the switch. Sometimes it’s just the computer that’s faulty, intermittently sending signals to your motor, and leaving your windows only working part of the time. As you may have guessed, automotive computers are pretty complicated. If you have problems with your computer, you’ll probably have to take your car to a reliable shop to get your issue sorted out.

The Switch

Sometimes the problem is with a defective switch, and sometimes it’s with a defective connector. You can pry the window switch up from the door panel and disconnect the connectors. Check the wiring harness for corrosion. Sometimes this can be cleaned, and sometimes it will need to be replaced. If the connector is fine, it may be the switch. Moisture is tricky and can sneak inside the switch and connector if outside elements manage to get in the door panel.

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Plan Now for your Labor Day Car Projects!

Labor Day celebrates all working people across the country. Ideally, it’s a time to relax and enjoy the last few days of summer, but this long weekend also offers an opportunity to finish a repair and prepare for the colder days ahead.

Eventually the sun will set sooner until it’s almost dark before you get home from work. And if that’s the least of your worries, it’s still an ample opportunity to put some extra time aside and focus on your car.

So here’s some Labor Day Weekend repairs you can do before the seasons change.

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Signs & Symptoms of Failing Shocks & Stuts

Your shocks and struts can wear over time. The rate of wear will depend on the driving conditions where you live, but generally shocks last about 50,000 to 80,000 miles. Shocks are important to the overall safety of your vehicle. They help keep the tires in contact with the road, giving you the traction to accelerate, stop, and steer as necessary. They also keep your ride smooth and in control.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to check if your shocks need to be replaced. There are some telltale signs that your shocks may be wearing out, some visual signs to look for, and a simple test you can do yourself to decide if you need to replace your shocks.

Signs Your Shocks Are Going Bad

  • Your ride will start to feel rougher or more bouncy than before.
  • You may hear a rattling or creaking sound when you drive over bumps.
  • Brake dive, acceleration squat, and the body roll.
  • Loss of traction and increased stopping distances
  • Uneven tire wear including cupped indentations or bald spots

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