How to Buy a Quality Car Seat – Seven Tips

Car seats are mandatory baby equipment. I know that you’ll be tempted to cuddle your little bundle in your arms while driving, but please don’t! It’s just too dangerous and besides that, against the law.

Here are seven tips to buying a quality car seat for your child…

1. Buy a quality car seat. Make sure that the seal of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety is present on it. Make sure it’s constructed well with no sharp edges or loose parts.

2. Look for a car seat with travel system. The seat, infant carrier and stroller are all part of one convenient unit.

3. Make sue that you check for safety recalls. There are many safety recalls on car seats yearly. You don’t want to purchase one of those!

4. Choose cloth. It is generally more easily cleaned and is more comfortable.

5. Be positive that you choose the correct size. A small baby could slip out of a seat that is too large for him. It’s important that tiny babies under 20 pounds ride only in rear-facing seat. Only after the child is over 20 pounds should he be switched to front-facing seat.

6. Choose a car seat that has been given good reviews by other parents. Many online stores allow people to post reviews about their purchases. Why not check these out to see what other parents have to say?

7. Don’t use a used car seat unless you are able to borrow it and try it first. You want to make very sure that the parts are still functioning well, so your baby will be safe.

Proper child restraints are important. You don’t want to find that out the hard way.

4 Tips for Selecting A Truck Mount for Your Carpet Cleaning Business

If you are looking to start a new carpet cleaning business or if you are already in business but need to replace your current truck mount or upgrade from a portable to a truck mount there are a few things you should be aware of so that you make the best choice.

Tip 1 – Bigger does not necessarily mean better when it comes to truck mounts. Fuel economy is important not only when it comes to how much fuel your work vehicle consumes, but also when it comes to how much fuel your truck mount consumes. This is something that is easily overlooked because manufacturers give you claimed fuel economy figures that are based on fuel consumed per hour. Back when gas was less than $2.00 per gallon, fuel economy was still a concern, but now with gas prices above $3.50 per gallon, it is an even bigger concern. Fuel consumption can add up quickly when your hours accumulate over a period of time. When you are running a small business, every little bit of savings is important to increasing your bottom line. If you were to run a truck mount with a 1.4 gallon per hour combined gas and propane consumption rate for 4,000 hours with a fuel cost of $2.00 per gallon, you would have spent $11,200 on fuel. If you were to run that same machine for 4,000 hours at $3.50 per gallon, you would have spent $19,600 on fuel. Units that consume 1 gallon of fuel per hour are usually slide-in truck mounts. A slide-in unit that is not a heat exchanger and has a fuel-fired water heating system actually has more heat performance than a larger direct drive truck mount, consisting of a V8 engine, or a slide-in with a 65 HP gas engine. The direct drive units with the V8 engine and the slide-in heat exchange truck mounts with the 65 HP gas engine actually consume anywhere from 3 – 3.5 gallons per hour. Remember; these units actually have less sustained heat performance under commercial carpet cleaning conditions than a slide-in truck mount with a fuel-fired heating system. Now let’s calculate running the larger machines with less heat performance at 3.5 gallons per hour times $3.50 per gallon. That comes to $49,000 in fuel cost for the same 4,000 hours of time on your truck mount. That comes to a fuel cost difference of $29,400 over 4,000 hours of operating time on your unit. That is a significant savings that you can have by choosing a smaller slide-in truck mount with a fuel-fired heating system versus a large slide-in heat exchanger unit with a 65 HP engine or a direct drive unit with a V8 engine.

Tip 2 – Purchase price: A typical slide-in unit with a fuel-fired heating system will cost anywhere between $15,000 – $18,000. A slide-in truck mount with a 65 HP gas engine or a direct drive unit will run you somewhere between about $25,000 – $35,000. Remember that you will also have less heat performance on the larger units during commercial carpet cleaning conditions due to the accumulative hours. The reason why you will have less heat performance is that heat exchangers have less BTU’s to sustain long periods of cleaning time.

Tip 3 – Vacuum Performance Misconception: A lot of people believe that a larger vacuum blower with a larger carpet cleaning machine will get the carpets drier. However, there are physical limitations to how much air can actually go through the carpet cleaning wand once the wand is on the carpet and is semi-sealed with wet extraction. At this point only about 200 cubic feet per minute can go through the wand. There is an illusion of more power when the wand of a unit with a larger blower is lifted off the carpet. It has a louder sound of rushing air due to less resistance than when it is sealed on the carpet. The heat exchange machines or direct drive, use larger blowers to stress the engines more to produce more heat. You must make a heat exchanger load the engine to produce more heat.

Even though 200 cubic feet per minute is the maximum that can be used by the cleaning head, you need to have about 300 – 350 cubic feet per minute to keep negative pressure on the recovery tank and vacuum hoses. One of the reasons large heat exchange truck mount units consume so much fuel is that the blower requires more horsepower. The larger blower on these units is necessary to load the engine to make the heat for the heat exchanger. Some of the 65 HP slide-in truck mounts run 59 blowers which produce 850 cubic feet per minute. So 75% of the cubic feet per minute being produced by the blower is unusable and being released through the relief valve. A direct drive truck mount which utilizes the truck engine as the power plant, has an electric clutch similar to a clutch on an air conditioner that turns a shaft that operates the blower and pump. This clutch limitation is 20 HP. This is why you are unable to put large blowers on direct drive truck units. So you might have a truck with an engine that develops 350 HP but your truck mount can only use 20 HP of that 350 to operate. Still it is burning fuel based on a 350 HP engine running at 1800 rpm.

Tip 4 – Design Simplicity: This is one of the most important aspects to consider when you are looking at purchasing a truck mount. A truck mount is a mechanical machine and everything mechanical needs maintenance and repair. A heat exchange slide-in machine is an extremely complicated design with a lot of proprietary parts. It also has very complicated wiring. One of these types of truck mounts consists of a lot of safety switches, relays, solenoids, and thermal relief valves. A fuel-fired unit doesn’t require all of these components, because it uses a separate heating device, either propane, or kerosene-fired. You do have the inconvenience of having to purchase a second fuel for these heating devices. The simplicity and reliability of not having all of these extra parts on your machine outweighs the inconvenience of buying the second fuel. You also will have a better sustained temperature with a fuel-fired system. Plus the fuel-fired truck mount is simpler to repair and utilizes common parts that you can find local at auto parts stores, Home Depot, or Lowes. The engines on these units can also be serviced at a local lawn mower shop.

In closing the purchase of a truck mount is no small matter. You are investing a considerable sum of money into your carpet cleaning business. You want to be sure you get a unit that is reliable and easy to repair so that you experience the least amount of downtime possible. Also remember that you want a truck mount that is economical on fuel consumption since every dollar counts towards your bottom line when you are in business.

4 Tips For Flat Tire Repair

Sooner or later you will go out to your car and low and behold you have a flat. Most of the time, you won’t be in a location that changing it will be realistic. What do you do then? If you prepare yourself, you will be able to handle it.

Being prepared means you anticipated the problem and thus you have a plan to get yourself going. This is not generally the case. Most people don’t even check their spare to see if it is aired up and usable.

Tip #1: Emergency Tire Repair Kits

Be prepared by going to your local automotive parts store and check out the numerous emergency tire repair kits. There are some things you need to keep in mind.

  • If you have a relatively new car, you will have a tire sensor that will tell you if your tire is low. These are great. The sensor is going to warn you if your tire is loosing pressure.
  • Unfortunately, if you are parked and the engine is off when the tire starts leaking, then it won’t do you any good.
  • When you select a tire repair kit or a can of tire fix, make sure the product you are going to buy is tire sensor safe. No use messing up your car to get a tire temporarily fixed. Remember these types of fast fixes are only temporary. Once you get on the way, you need to go to a tire shop and have the tire permanently fixed.

Tip #2 Donut Spare

If you have a “donut spare,” remember these are temporary also.

  • Generally, they are not supposed to be driven more than 50 miles. Check your manual for their recommendations.
  • You will probably find out that you are not to exceed 45 to 50 miles per hour. Again, check your manual.

Tip #3 Familiarize Yourself with the Car

If you haven’t changed a tire on your car, make sure, before hand, you familiarize yourself with your car.

  • Make sure you know how to place the jack for all four tires. These places will vary so check them out first.
  • Make sure you know how to use the jack. There a lot of different kinds of jacks, so check yours out first.
  • Trying to figure out how to work the jack and where to put it when you have a flat will only cause you frustration.

Tip #4 Things to Keep in Your Car

Just as a tip for all circumstances:

· Keep a pair of gloves in your car.

· Keep a towel in your car.

· Keep a gardeners kneepad in your car.

· Keep a full-length apron in your car.

You will find out these things will come in handy. If you are prepared, you can be on your way in just a few minutes and won’t ruin your clothes in the process.

Tips For Selling Genuine Auto Parts On Amazon

Sync inventory with the Amazon store

As people add items to their shopping carts and place an order, a fast delivery option can be expected from Amazon. This implies that you need to update the inventory and make sure that the items aren’t available. As you plan ahead, it might be time-consuming for synchronizing inventory all by yourself. So, if you have a long list of car parts, then it’s essential to sync inventory automatically.

List the items accurately

As you choose Amazon for promoting car parts and accessories, you should check every product page. If you come across pages which depict poor quality, then you shouldn’t upload them. In the end, ensure that the items match to what Amazon likes listing through the website.

Check for the prices

Once you are successful in managing the inventory through a tool, then you should be consistent in maintaining the price. In case you need to stay ahead, then you can decide on the price only when you have checked the same product on different online portals. In this way, you would be able to sell the items at the right price even when an extensive range of items are showcased online.

Shipping cost

As you upload the product pages along with the description and the details, you should do it with great accuracy. See to it that your team doesn’t make a mistake in stating the dimensions and the weight of the car parts. While free shipping can entice people to purchase the product, you should be intelligent to drive everything with a shipping strategy that boosts the sales and covers up the cost.

Avail Amazon’s Buy Box

On websites like Amazon, you can list the products and make the ‘Ready to Buy’ box prominent. After all, you gain the advantage of featuring yourself as a seller on the online portal. Once the Buy Box is displayed on the web page, you can expect an increase in the sales. But, in order to be a seller, you first need to meet certain criteria laid down by Amazon.

Finally, if you wish to be successful soon after proceeding with auto parts listing on Amazon, then it’s time to implement and streamline many processes. You can also use listing tools to make a few aspects of the process. A shipping software can also help when you integrate numerous systems for the comprehensive strategy you had thought about.

Basic Oil Change Tips

From the first car I owned, until just recently, I have always changed the engine oil. My father taught me how. He was a truck mechanic in the U.S. Army and then, as a civilian, he worked in plant maintenance. I would say that my father passed on the ‘mechanic gene’ to my older brother and me.

When it comes to changing the oil in one’s car, the first thing needed is to consult the owner’s manual to find the type of filter and how many quarts of oil are needed. Other items are a good drain pan, and funnel. These can be purchased at the auto parts store. It’s a good idea to have a basic set of tools. An extra tool that makes oil changes easier, in my opinion, is an oil filter wrench (specialty tool). I use a socket and ratchet set when I change oil. I’ve also known people who would use an adjustable wrench. I don’t consider this a good idea because you can slip off of the drain plug and damage the flats.

At the auto parts store, you can look up the type of filter required for your car. I would recommend buying the oil in a five quart container so you can pour your used oil into it after the new oil is poured into your car’s engine.

Once you’ve got your supplies and tools, it’s time to get under the car. You might not fit and you’ll have to jack the car up. One other good investment would be ramps. I always save a big piece of cardboard to lay on when I’m under a car. I have a creeper too, but it sets to high for some cars I’ve worked on. Start your car and let the engine idle for about 5 minutes. That way the oil is warm and will drain much easier.

Crawl under your car and make sure the drain plug, you’ll be removing, is on the engine pan. Some new cars have a transmission drain plug. Have your tools with you when you get under the car, and select the proper socket to use. It may be metric or standard. Make sure to have your drain pan close by when you remove the plug. When the oil from the plug hole is down to a few drips, re-install the plug. Locate the engine oil filter. If you’re not sure what it looks like, take the new one out of the box. Some filters are easy to get to, to change, others are not. Use an oil filter wrench, if you have one, and turn the filter counter-clockwise to remove it. Make sure the drain pan is under the filter, if possible, to catch the oil spilling out. Next wipe some oil on the seal of the oil filter and install it, turning it clockwise until it’s tight, then turn it 3/4 of a turn more, this insures it won’t leak.

The next step is to put oil in the engine. Most engines take 5 quarts with a filter change, but consult your owner’s manual. Also, double-check you are pouring the oil into the engine and not some other service port. I know it sounds crazy but it does happen.

Once you have serviced the engine with oil start it up and check for oil leaks by getting under the car, the drain plug and filter should not be leaking. No leaks and oil pressure in the green? Congratulations on a job well done.