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Winter Car Care Tips

winter car care tipsAs the temperature drops and you get the shovels ready, have you thought about your car? It needs attention too, and by being prepared you can assure a safe winter driving season.

Check Your Coolant!

The most important thing to do, since the damage can be so expensive, is to check your engine’s coolant. Engine coolant or anti-freeze is designed to keep your engine cool all year round but when the temperature drops it must also keep from freezing. Anti-freeze is usually a mixture of distilled water and propylene glycol and can protect from freezing way below 0 degrees F. Have your mechanic check the freezing point using a refractometer and top off the level prior to winter’s chill.

Is Your Battery In Tip-Top Shape?

Batteries have a typical lifespan of 3 – 5 years depending on brand, construction and environment. Cold weather puts stress on a car battery and will reduce the rated output making cold weather starts tough. If your battery is over 4 years old, I suggest getting it checked with a load meter, and consider replacement if you are in a cold weather climate for safety sake. Having the terminals cleaned, and cables checked is also a good idea going in to the winter months.

Air Up Those Tires.

As the air outside cools down, so does the air in your tires. Tires can lose 3 – 5 PSI when the temperature drops. Also check out the tread, and consider a good set of winter tires to help plow through the winter months.

Are You Prepared?

A good emergency kit is vital for winter driving. Make sure to have jumper cables, first aid kit, a warm blanket and some ice melt to help you out of slippery situations. A collapsible shovel and a tow rope are optional, but recommended if you do a lot of winter driving on rural roads.

Last But Not Least…

Have a good coat of wax on your car! A fresh coat of wax before the winter season will help protect your car’s paint from the harsh salt and chemicals used by road crews. Regular car washing and cleaning of the undercarriage will assure your car stays rust free and operating properly. Click here to schedule a convenient mobile car wash and detailing today.

Posted: 7th January 2014  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: General

How I shop for new tires…

shop for tiresI have bought many sets of tires over the years for many different cars.  I also used to work at a tire store and installed my fair share of tires.  The majority of the time I am shopping at the worst time, the car needs inspection, or there is a hole in the tire which can not be patched.  Plus, since budgeting is not my strong suit, price is ALWAYS a consideration.  Here is my process…

  1. Research – I head over to and enter my vehicle specs and sort through the reviews.  As with anything on the internet, you will get idiots leaving mindless reviews, but I have found the quality of reviews on TireRack to be better than average.  You will be able to spot the idiots by their grammar and usually terse responses.
  2. Price – Once you have found 2 or 3 well reviewed tires in your price range, get a shipping quote and get an all-in price from TireRack, don’t purchase just yet.
  3. Installation – TireRack offers a service where they ship your tires to a local shop and for a set fee, that shop will mount, balance and install.  Convenient and price effective.  Most shops that participate in the program are independent shops, which do more than just tires.  Get the price for this service as well.  You can have the tires shipped to your house and go to any local shop and get them mounted and balanced, but call around and get prices.  In my area, Eastern PA, going rate is $25 per tire.
  4. Call your local tire stores and get pricing on the tires you researched on TireRack.  Not all local tire stores will carry all brands, so you may have to call around or check their websites out for the brands they carry.  Some of my local shops are matching TireRack pricing after shipping/install is considered.  This has been my favorite method, as I get to support my local store and get the best pricing, a true win-win.
Posted: 19th December 2013  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: General

What IS All This Stuff in My Car Emergency Kit and WHAT is it For?

If you don’t believe that driving is risky business, you should ask your insurance company about it. Checking in with services like can clarify for you exactly how much risk your incurring just by getting behind the wheel (let alone getting behind the wheel sleepy, in the rain or snow, or otherwise not your best). Given your odds of having an accident, it’s relatively important to know what is in your emergency kit and how to use it. Do people ever really use it? If they knew what was in there, they probably would a lot more!

Click Here To Read More…

Posted: 12th May 2012  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: General

EZ-Pass Velcro Replacement

If you are like me, and buy and sell cars like I change my underwear, and forget to scrape off the plastic velcro strip for your EZPASS, I finally found where to buy replacement strips.

I was getting sick of holding up my EZ-Pass when zipping through toll booths, so when my wife called to straighten out a mis-read tag ticket, she asked the woman on the phone to send her some velcro strips.

When we got the strips, the backing on the tape said 3M Dual Lock so I finally had my answer.  Amazon stocks it.

Posted: 13th September 2010  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: General

Most creative car mod!




Yes that is a house Air Conditioning unit in the window with a gasoline powered generator powering it !!!

So when the guy goes to the gas station, he has to fill the gas tank on the car, and the generator.  I think if you take a step back and look at this scenario, you could sell the generator and A/C unit and have more than enough to fix your A/C

Thanks to my friend Randy for posting this picture on Facebook.  It was taken in Reading PA, at a Walmart of all places… go figure !

Posted: 3rd August 2010  |  Author: Kevin Schappell  |  Category: General

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