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Your Garage as a Way to Escape Reality

designing your garage

Top supplies you need to have in your garageThe garage is not just a place where you keep and maintain your car. It is a place used for much more things than just this. It is a storage place for things that are not used too often but it is also a place where you keep some of the appliances and tools that don’t feet inside your house. Sometimes, a garage is a place where men like to spend time doing stuff that makes them happy. Just think of Kevin Spacey in the movie American Beauty. He transformed the garage into a mini-gym and spent a lot of time listening to music and working out there.

This is something a lot of Americans like doing too and they are using their garages as a place to hang out with friends or by themselves. Think of it as a place where a simpler version of a man-cave can be created. If you like this idea, read on to find out what you need to make this dream come true and transform your garage into a place where you can escape from the problems and the stress of the reality.

Clean-up

First things first. Garages are always a place where we store everything we don’t really need in the house. Some things can stay there for years without you even remember placing them there. Go through the junk and throw out everything you think it’s not useful. Things that will be left needs to be stored properly so you can free up enough space for your actions later. Along with the rearrangement, make sure you clean-up. Don’t try to make it spotless, just enough to feel comfortable and be healthy.

Get the stuff you like

designing your garageOnce the place is in order and clean enough to continue working, it’s time to make it your own place. Think about what you like the most and what will keep you entertained during the time there. Some people love working on their cars and do some custom works, but others are not so much into that kind of garage things. You might like watching movies or playing video games, so get a TV and a gaming console. Other like to work out, so if you’re one of those people don’t hesitate to build a mini gym with some lifting weight equipment. You might like some hand-crafting or something else. Whatever your passion is, get the equipment inside and find the best place for it.

Get garage heaters

In summer the temperature is not a big deal, but when the winter comes, you’re going to need something to heat up the place. On the market, you can find some excellent garage heaters that will do a tremendous job and make the place a perfect room for spending time and getting out of your boring everyday routine. There are different garage heaters on the market so get the one that fits best for your needs. To choose the best garage heater you should look for the one that will be enough for heating the garage area and will be affordable for you. You’ll notice that there are electric and gas heaters, so make sure you have options for the one you’ll choose. For example, don’t get a garage heater that’s electric and you have no power sockets in your garage. It’s nonsense dragging power cords from the other rooms, right? Instead get a gas heater.

Security

Burglars get into garages really easy. If you decide to make your garage a place to be your own space where you’ll enjoy, you’ll probably have a TV, laptop, surround system, and other valuable things inside. A regular garage usually has nothing special for people to steal, but if they notice you’re having much more than just a garage, then you’ll surely be a target.

Conclusion

The garage is the perfect place to escape reality from time to time. If you’re passionate about cars and bikes, you don’t need to do much for making it a fun place. However, even if you’re not into engines and wheels, you can still make your garage your getaway man-cave. Just a little effort will be enough as we wrote before. A good clean-up, getting the stuff you like, providing heating for those cold days during the winter is essential. Everything else is your own personal preference.

For instance, choice of flooring, fridge, or even a bar are a part of the many options you have as a garage owner that tends to change it to something cool where you’ll spend time enjoying yourself.

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Minimizing your car expenses

Gasoline use

Owning a car is not a privilege like it used to be back in the day. Today it is a must especially if you’re living in the suburbs. Having a car though means having a lot of expenses. Of course, most of the expenses are those for filling up the car with gas, but we shouldn’t underestimate the money spent on maintenance and keeping the car in perfect condition. Every car must undergo a regular change of oil, filters and similar things at least once a year. If the car is used more often than twice a year is highly recommended.

Gasoline use

Gasoline useGas is number one spender when your car is in question. The American driver spends around 656 gallons each year which is more than $1400 every year. Of course, you can’t do much about cutting on the expenses here if you have no other option. People living in the city core can use public transportation or even walk if it is close enough to do it, but people living in suburbs often need to take the car even to get to the store. If you really want to cut on the gas, you should think of leaving the car for situations that the car is not highly needed. As we already mentioned, going to the story is the first place you should start cutting. Another solution is using public transport which is useful and much more affordable than driving a car.

Of course, different cars spend a different amount of gas. Trucks usually spend the most so if there’s no absolute need for using a truck, you can consider getting a smaller and less gas consuming vehicle. Also, if you’re living in the city or often need to drive in the city’s traffic jam, you know that this empties your tank in light speed. Unlike the driving on an open road, a traffic jam requires much more gas consumption. So if you travel around the city it’s always better to take the train or other public transport.

Car maintenance

Another big money spender is the maintenance of the car. Sure, new cars require fewer reparations if not any reparations but it will soon until you need to change the tires, and do other material change. Oil and filter changes are required each year or more often. The rule is that you must change them every 6.000 miles. So it’s a big spender and there’s nothing we can do about it.

We’re talking here about an amount of around $1200 each year that is spent on expendable material. The solution for this is always driving new vehicles. This way you’ll minimize the spending on new parts and deal with mechanics less. Of course, new cars cost more, but if you do the math of selling your old car that needs repairs constantly and spending more for a new car, you’ll realize that buying a new car is less expensive.

Other types of expenses

Some of the other things your car requires and draws money out of your pocket are your car’s hygiene, upgrades of the existing parts, and getting accessories for it.

When it comes to hygiene, the statistics show that the car washing business is worth around $5.8 billion annually. An average American spends around $200 each year for car washers. This amount can be completely brought to zero by a simple solution called washing your car by yourself. First, no one can do a good job as you can, and second, you can use that money for something else. All you need is getting a pressure washer for cars. With it, you can do the same work a professional cleaner will do. First clean the interior with a vacuum cleaner, close the doors and use the washer.

The market has a lot of excellent yet very affordable pressure washers for cars. With them you’ll get the job done in minutes, your car will look just the same as you took it to the car cleaners, and you’ll save a lot of money.

If we’re talking about accessories and upgrades, we can say that these are things that consumerism make you purchase them. You really have no need of those special subwoofers in the trunk and an overpriced baby car seat. A baby car seat only needs to be well secured, so have that in mind before spending $500 for this. Also, a special paint job is really not needed. A car is a machine that is supposed to take you from one place to another. Unless you’re running for a car show competition, don’t spend money on something you really don’t need.

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Top supplies you need to have in your garage

Top supplies you need to have in your garage

The garage is not just a place where you park your car. Every person having a garage knows that this is a place that is used for a lot more purposes. Keeping the tools, things from the house that are not used too often, and supplies for the home that simply can’t be stored in some other room inside the house.

If you’re wondering what other people keep in their garages, here’s a list of things that are most common, and things that are a must in some way.

Tool Chests

Tool Chests

Tool chests are a total must for every person’s garage. This is a place where you keep your tools. You can have the most expensive appliances and accessories, but without tools, you can’t do anything around the house. A tool chest is a place where all the tools are stored and kept in order. Always keep the tool chest in perfect condition and make sure all tools are placed back on their original place. In an important situation, this will save you a lot of precious time which you might not have at all.

Extension power cords

Extension cords are highly important as you can’t always find a socket near the place you need to work. You don’t have a power socket in the yard, right? Sometimes you’ll need tools and appliances to work on your bike outside, and the extension power cord will help you get the electricity wherever you need it.

Quiet air compressors

A lot of machines and appliances that you’ll need to use have the need for an air compressor. Many people keep some of the many types of air compressors in their garage because they use is of a huge variety. The best choice is to find one of the best quiet air compressors. These machines are often very loud as they convert gas to energy, but with today’s technology, you can find a lot of quiet air compressors. You can’t wake up the whole neighborhood if you want to do some work on Sunday morning, right?

Power generators

Power generators

Power generators are one of the most important things you must have in the garage. Sometimes power outages happen and during this time electricity must be produced manually. The city lines are down, and if you want to keep the most important appliances in your house running, you’re going to need a power generator. This machine is also usable for situations where power is hard to be provided or you’re in a place where you can’t get standard electricity. Power generators will help you have electricity anytime and anywhere.

Sump-pumps

Houses in areas that are often flooded must have a sump-pump. Of course, flooding endangered areas are not the only ones that require keeping a sump-pump in the garage. Houses often face water leakage and pipes breaking, and the basement can get flooded even though no one else is in danger. That’s why a sump-pump is one of the appliances really needed and most wanted in the garage.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishersA fire extinguisher is something you should have both inside your house and in the garage. It’s best to have more fire extinguishers around the house because you never know where you might need one. However, if you don’t like keeping it inside the house, having one in the garage is simply a must. In the garage, there are many items that sometimes are flammable so you can’t take the risk of having a fire and nothing in sight to get rid of the problem.

Ladders

Ladders are very common in people’s garages. A house always needs some fixing and work. Not just inside the garage but round the yard and the facade. The best place to keep is the garage as there’s enough space for a huge item like the ladder. Also, many people like to have shelves with tools in the garage in higher places. Keeping the ladder close is great for reaching these tools at all times.

Refrigerators

Even though you must have one in the kitchen, refrigerators in the garage are something a lot of people love. This is simply because you spend a lot of time in the garage working and you often get thirsty and hungry. However, at the same time you get dirty and there’s no logic in washing up just to get in the kitchen for a beer. A fridge in the garage is a great solution. Of course, you don’t fill this one with war meat or groceries, but with water, beer, juices, and foods that are eatable on the place and cold. Think about sandwiches and similar stuff.

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Why Should You Use Earplugs While Riding A Custom Bike?

As a rider, you should really take good care of your ears. Why? Well, imagine that you live long enough now to have grandchildren, and your motorcycle riding days are over and that means that the only joy you’ll get from that time, is when your grandkids ask you “Hey pops tell us about that time you cross from San Francisco to New York on your bike”, and if you don’t take care of your hiring while riding, you may not enjoy this moment.

motorcycle earplugs

A lot of enthusiasts myself included are major advocates for the use of motorcycle earplugs while riding. Of course, there are some concerns about them, mainly because it may reduce safety preventing riders from hearing other vehicles, however, both audiologists and experienced motorcyclists agree that the concern is unfounded.

Well, let’s jump right into it by answering the first question. Why do we need to worry about our ears while riding, in the first place?

NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) which is part of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that workers don’t be exposed to sound levels above 85 decibels in their eight-hour work days and go on to state that sound levels above 100 decibels are damaging right after fifteen minutes of exposure.

These tests were conducted by researchers of the South Alabama University and the William Patterson University the use an acoustically engineered dummy and microphones and found out that speeds over 25 MPH, wind noise cancels out any noise from the bike and at 74 MPH wind noise exceeded the 100 decibels mark.

Simply put what these two facts tell us is that is we drive our motorcycles at highway speeds for over fifteen minutes without earplugs you are permanently damaging your hearing. Let’s face it, no one wants to drive a bike for just 15 minutes.

Well, not me that for sure, and not you either. Nothing brings more joy to a Biker than riding at least 8 hours. Now, riding may not be working, but NIOSH standards applied, meaning that the exposure to sounds over 100 decibels requires protection to avoid permanent damage. The first thing we all need to do is get ourselves earplugs A-S-A-P.

WHY EARPLUGS MAKE YOU SAFER?

benefits of motorcycle ear plugs

If you made it this far, then you know that our ears don’t work at 100 decibels. We humans didn’t evolve in an environment where loud noises were constant and common, back then there weren’t any chainsaws, factories, and motorcycles.

That is the main reason why earplugs don’t reduce your safety, they don’t cancel out noises you should be hearing like sirens, vehicles approaching, horns blowing, amongst others. What they do is reduce the pressure that sound makes on you, allowing your ears to operate in a more natural range, so you’ll be able to distinguish sounds better, trust the experts when they tell you that because of this, you’ll be more likely to hear a distinctive sound like a siren, because your ears are not overwhelmed with 100 decibels of sound pressure.

Another thing experts (and by experts I mean Bikers with many years of riding under their belt) agree on, is that they began to use earplugs on long rides they felt less fatigued, which is a great safety improvement since we are all more likely to make mistake when we are tired, using earplugs really does improves your odds.

WHICH EARPLUGS SHOULD YOU BUY?

motorcycle earplug reviews

Well, not to be unhelpful or anything, but there is really not a right choice, there are many options out there that fits everyone preferences, at the end of the day they all do what they are supposed to do, for example, disposable foam earplugs work just great for most people. Personally, I’ve tried some of the others, but always end up coming back to basics, the trick with the foam earplugs is to use them correctly, just roll them tight insert them into your ear canal and let it expand.

Of course, there are other kinds of earplugs available, including custom made plugs made for you. The best part is that all options are very cheap (Except for the custom made that is).

In conclusion, the sooner you start taking seriously your hearing, the better, no matter which kind of earplugs you choose.

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The Real Way Of Setting Up An Audio System

car audio system

We have come a long way from the days of just having a good radio tuner and CD player with a couple of decent Pioneer speakers. Nowadays everyone wants to get the best audio system for their cars, but most importantly they’ll want to install it themselves for the joy that the experience brings.

It can be quite overwhelming today given all the options available in the market. So, we are going to try to make our best to break down some of the setups you would feel more comfortable about, and some extra pointers you would appreciate.

TYPES OF SOUND SYSTEMS

Upon some conscious research, we can break this into three “levels”.

  1. Basic: This is meant for the people who want just a little more of what their default setup can provide, a simple add-on to the default system or a basic upgrade across the dashboard.
  2. Mid-Range: The costs are going to be higher than in Basic but the system will offer more features and power for a customized sound experience. This level consists of all around component upgrades.
  3. Advanced: Well, this category is for the savviest sound system connoisseur, you’ll get fine-tuned components for people who want to have the absolute best from their audiovisual experience. The features you’ll find here are unreal and the result is an awesome ground pounding experience.

HEAD UNIT

best auto head unit

As the name suggests, this is the head of your car sound system, the head, and the cornerstone. It is from where all the sound originates, and where almost all the sound adjustments are made. You have to consider certain factors when comparing different HUs.

* Source: Here is where all your media will be, AM, FM, CD, iPod, AUX, USB, DVD, satellite radio, GPS, and Bluetooth. The most basic of HU only comes with AM, FM, and CD, a midrange adds iPod and AUX, and an advanced one offers you all of the above.

Preamp: This is where all your sound adjustment is located, balance, fade, and equalizer. Advance units come with crossovers networks.

Power: Here, the RMS power is what your unit will produce, and the max power is the top your unit can produce. The more RMS you have the more room you’ll have to operate before maxing out your unit.

Other Features: Some HU come with touchscreen LCD monitors, customizable displays, and more perks manufacturers offer for aesthetics.

AMPLIFIER

car amplifierIf you are setting up an advanced system, a more powerful HU, high range speakers, subwoofers, you will need an Amplifier no matter what.

Amplifiers will give you more power and better sound quality. So, you have to consider certain factors when choosing a powerful amplifier.

RSM Rating: As you already know this determines the way your sound system will perform. If you want a basic setup for a small car then a 50W RMS per channel is more than O.K, for midrange, an advanced setup then go for the 75W and 100W RMS.

Channels: The number of channels is key for how many different devices are going to be powered, for example, a 4-Channel amp will power 4 devices, the more channels the amp has the more devices you can connect and the more powerful the sound will be.

Ohms: Ohms are a measure of resistance and most amps are designed to work with 4, 8 or 16 ohms of resistance. To prevent any damage to your equipment simply match the total ohm load of your speakers to the amp.

Class: There are a lot of classes of amps, they are categorized by their circuit design and power output. Now, let’s cut right to the chase, Class D amps are what you want to get, they use output transistors like switches in order to control the power distribution and they stay cooler than other classes.

SPEAKERS

speaker for your car

Speakers can also be broken down, Driver Use, type, size, and power.

Driver use: Speakers can be full range or component, it’ll depend on the drivers. The driver is the one that converts the electrical frequencies to sound.

Type: There are several different kinds of speaking depending on which tone you are looking to improve. Subwoofers are all about that bass (remember the song?) while the tweeters handle the highest pitched sounds.

Size: Easy, will the speakers you choose to fit into the manufacturer locations in your car, or will you have to customize it?

Power: Remember that you have to match the power of your amp with your speakers ensuring proper and clean sound.

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How to Build Your Own Kit Car From Scratch?

car parts

Building your own car can seem like a titanic endeavor, but if you are dead set on it, then, let’s go.

A car can be one of the most prized possession one can have and can be even more gratifying building it by yourself, it will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and pride that will make you fly high and you can brag about it at your neighborhood barbecue.

One of the best and most effective ways to build a car is to build a Kit Car, they look like unattainable, legendary cars that we all wish we could have, but this kits normally use car parts from vehicles we can easily find. Building your own kit car is the best way to own the car of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Building your own car

Most kit car builders find success with their projects by doing all the research they can before and during their build. We can break down the research into three important areas.

You need to know all the information you can from the Kit and the vehicle its parts are based on, secondly what parts to get and of course, where to get them from, and third but not last what demands to build the car will have on you, Bob the builder.

Kit Car Information

Finding information on the internet can be very easy, getting to know a couple of websites will set you on the right path. Speedsters.com, www.speedsterowners.com, www.classic-kitcars.com, and www.about-kit-cars.co.uk can be extra full in addition to this article.

car parts

Car Parts to Support your Kit Car

Once you’ve done all the research you need and have chosen your kit car, you’ll need to research where to get the parts you need without going bankrupt. When you get your Kit Car, it’ll come with instructions on how to assemble it and these instructions will tell you which parts you’ll be needing. One cheap way to get them is buying a donor car in good conditions.

Junkyards

This is another great way to get those parts you need, visit all the junkyards you can, remember that “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”. This is a fun part if you love treasure hunting. It’s common for junkyards to have “Half Off” sales that would really help you with the costs.

Once you are in there, look around, don’t settle for the first things you see, dig up, and you are sure to find some hidden gems. Look for newer, dry and cleaner parts. Once you get your parts a good coat of paint will leave them brand new.

Suppliers

In the rare case (or maybe you just have enough money to throw around) that you can’t find a donor car or any junkyards near you, then you can get your parts from a supplier, this is the easy way out, but the most expensive, an option you may want to reserve for those unique pieces that will give your car an original look. Suppliers are still cheaper than retail stores though, it’s not all bad with this one.

Builder Demands

You have to make sure to have the necessary space to build your car, not only to park it but to work around it. You’ll need space to keep your tools and the parts you’ll be buying, make sure is a covered area, like a garage.

Tools

And talking about tools, you are going to need an excellent toolset, don’t worry, as you may know already when it comes to car repair, most of the tools are just hand tools. If you have all the tools you need at your disposal great, but can always rely on friends or family to lend you some.

Patience and Perseverance

Perhaps, the two most important aspects you should have when endeavoring in building a car. This is both a physical and mental challenge, you will find an obstacle that may stall you for a few days, just take a step back, relax your mind, and get back on it.

Getting Started

Kit Cars are just awesome, they always get the heads rolling when they passed by, it comes with a feel of self-accomplishment. Remember to have space and the tools, stay on track, and set yourself short-term and long-term goals.

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Changing Your Engine Oil Step By Step

oil changes edited

One of the most important maintenance job your car needs is changing the engine oil regularly. You can do this easily at home by following very easy steps, you can do it quickly and without getting dirty. Doing this yourself will save you a lot of money and extend the life of your car.

If you are a DIY enthusiast this is a task that you can easily perform, don’t think that just because it looks rather simple, you don’t need certain “guidance”, believe or not, there are plenty of people out there doing it wrong, those who believe it is an ugly chore and those who prefer to overpay.

As the most important thing, your engine needs to “live long and prosper”, you should really learn how to do it for yourself, and no one is going to take better care of your car than yourself.

oil changes edited

Changing your oil isn’t heart surgery, let’s be honest. This is something that you probably have done in the past and you simply need a reminder. Oil changing shops are constantly increasing their prices, so your budget will appreciate if you retake the mantle and get under your car.

Here it is, a step by step guide to help you accomplish this easily and without a hitch.

BUY THE RIGHT FILTER AND THE RIGHT OIL

This is the first and most important one because if you choose wrong you’ll damage your engine. Grab your owner’s manual and search for the type and weight of oil specific to your car.

Normally, your car manufacturer will recommend specific oil viscosity for that engine, and the best you can do is follow them exactly. Choosing your own preference over the manual’s recommendation will damage your engine, decrease performance and light up the “Check Engine” warning.

A good quality oil filter is the next important thing, back in the old days, Oil Filters were all pretty much the same. Nowadays they aren’t anymore. If the manufacturer recommends oil changes every 6000 miles or 3000 miles, you have to make sure to buy a filter appropriate to go the distance, simply put, don’t use expensive synthetic oil if you are going to cheap out on an economy filter. You have to make sure to check and double check that the filter you purchase was meant to run the distance your oil change requires.

According to Caroutfitter editors, There is a massive difference between a high-quality filter and a cheap one, but the difference in pricing is tiny. Now, if you are planning on using regular oil and committing to change exactly every 3000 miles, then, by all means, use the economy filter. But, if you are not going to be as “committed” as you think, then, go for long mileage synthetic blends, or full synthetic and a high-quality filter in order to preserve our engine from you… laziness.

It’s time to get hands-on…

CHANGING YOUR CAR’S OIL THE FAST WAY

If you have everything in order, the right oil and the right filter, then let’s proceed to the actual process of changing the oil.

First, you should buy some plastic sheeting, spread it on the floor, and drive your car onto it, this will help you prevent any spilling cleaning, just toss the setting away after you’re finished or keep it if you don’t have any spills what so ever.

Next, jack up your car and set the jack stands, and lower your car. A good tip right now is to place all the tools you need in a box or tray near you, so everything you’ll need is right within your reach.

The things you’ll need in the box will be:

  • Box end wrench.
  • Rubber Mallet.
  • Filter Wrench
  • Drain pan.
  • New Filter

Before getting under the car, open up a bottle of oil and spill some of it on the new filter’s gasket, and now you are good to go.

Step 1: Remove the oil plug and let the old oil drain out. (Unscrew the plug and pull it away from the stream).

Step 2: Remove the old oil filter and install the new one (Pull of the old filter and the rubber gasket).

Step 3: After all the oil has been drawn out, screw the plug back on again and tighten it with the box end wrench and the rubber mallet. Just wipe off any drips with a rag and you are done (from under the car that is).

Step 4: Open up your hood, unscrew the oil cap, grab a funnel and pour the new oil.

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