Qualities a Trailer Lock Should Offer You

To have a set up that is ready to pull a trailer, you will require several different pieces. Whatever the set up you have, you need to look into ways of keeping the trailer set up secure.

As you are out having fun on the weekend or taking care of business-critical tasks, you cannot always stand guard. In such situations, you need to do the best you can by proactively taking precautions to secure the trailer. In some setups, you can simply slide in a padlock in an attempt to secure your property; however, this is still open to several issues such as a bolt cutter that slices off the lock.

For added security, you need to consider purchasing a trailer coupler lock. Trailer coupler locks are specifically designed to deter any effort at stealing your trailer while hitched to your vehicle.

Some coupler locks are key-operated and found in several different styles. So, what makes for the best trailer hitch lock on the market for you? For a smooth purchasing process, you need to check on the following qualities in a trailer lock.

Durable Construction Material

Even before diving into the design of the trailer lock, one of the first things the best coupler lock should offer you is durable materials. Trailer locks are made from various materials, and each offers a different degree of protection. On the market, you will find zinc alloy, aluminum and steel locks – but the important thing is the material’s ability to provide security.

If you purchase a cheap option, it is likely made of low-grade steel, which can be overcome by a couple of sharp blows from a sledgehammer. On the other hand, it’s not easy to break a higher quality steel trailer lock.

What you should be looking for is a lock that cannot be easily broken because once broken, it will not act as a deterrent to thieves. In addition, the lock’s materials should also be in a position to stand up to the elements. This is especially critical if you spend an extensive amount of time outside where the lock and trailer are exposed to elements and weather.

Compatible Design Build

When it comes down to it, you will find two basic models when shopping for a trailer hitch lock. The first is the universal model that has a metal ball that fits into your trailer hitch coupler followed by a bar or bridge that goes over the hitch assembly. This design allows stopping anyone from attaching the trailer to his or her car without a key.

The other is the deadbolt lock (hitch pin lock) that attaches through the trailer hitch handle. Such locks are usually smaller and cheaper, but you need to find the exact size that fits through your trailer hitch.

Added Locking Mechanism

Some trailer locks feature inbuilt locking mechanisms that help you save money. Such locks also add more strength to your security plan. In most cases, locks with inbuilt mechanisms have hardened locking parts that are not easy to tamper with.

Other locks allow you to use third-party padlocks, allowing you to choose what kind of lock works best for your situation. These locks also allow you to customize your trailer safety plan for maximum protection.

Weather Resistance

Most of the time you have your trailer is outdoors; therefore, they will encounter harsh weather conditions. Locking your trailer with a good weather-resistant trailer lock is a great step. Rust-resistant and non-corroding materials on trailer locks ensure that they do not decrease their performance.

Easy to Use Trailer Lock

The simple truth is that if you buy a lock that takes fifty steps to operate, it will not make securing your trailer any much easier. The most probable scenario is that you will stop using it within a couple of days, rendering it useless. You need to find a lock that is so simple to use, that you can comfortably do it in the dark!

Conclusion

The best trailer hitch lock is your best guarantee at an efficient and affordable way of deterring trailer theft attempts. In addition to the lock, add a few other lock systems to ensure complete security of your trailer. Overall, the trailer hitch lock is the lynchpin that prevents anyone from simply towing away your trailer with ease.

How to Stay Safe When Driving with a Trailer

Driving with a trailer in a skillful manner is necessary in many situations. When buying new furniture and hauling an RV, you need to know how to drive a trailer safely. Here are some tips that will help you to drive safely with a trailer:



Consult the Owner’s Manual

You need to look at the owner’s manual to figure out how much weight your car can haul safely. If you own a regular size sedan, you can haul up to 2,000 pounds safely. SUVs and big trucks can handle much more weight.

When you consult the manual of your vehicle, you will not carry more weight than your car can handle. Doing so can make it more difficult to maneuver the car and increase the likelihood of getting into an accident. Before you attach a trailer to your vehicle, you need to understand the importance of loading it properly. Make sure that you invest in the best trailer lock to avoid having a runaway trailer on your hands.

General Handling

Make sure that you use the gear that your manufacturer recommends to avoid problems. Moreover, you should drive at reasonable speeds to keep the strain off your trailer and vehicle. As the speed increases, the probability of an accident increases because the trailer is more likely to sway.



When driving with a trailer, you should avoid sudden starts and stops because they might cause jackknifing and skidding. Be careful not to steer suddenly to prevent swaying. When you get to curves and corners, you should make a wide turn to keep the trailer wheels from hitting curbs or riding over them.

To manage swaying that results from changes in air pressure when a large vehicle passes by, you should decelerate and hold the steering while firmly.

Braking While Driving With a Trailer

Make sure that you allow for a significant distance before stopping. If your trailer’s brake controller is electric, you can activate it with your hands whenever extra swaying occurs. However, you should never try to control the sway by applying brakes on the tow vehicle.

Make sure that you anticipate the need for slowing down by reducing speed, shifting to low gear, and lightly hitting the breaks.

Upgrades and Downgrades

Add power when climbing hills and downshift when braking on a downgrade. When on a long downgrade, you should hit the brakes at intervals.

Passing and Acceleration

Whenever you change lanes or try to pass a slower car, you need to signal ahead of time. Moreover, you should leave enough space to clear the car that you are passing before you return to the lane. When passing another vehicle, leave plenty of clearance and do it on level terrain.

You should not try to pass on a steep downgrade or upgrade when driving with a trailer. If you have to pass other vehicles on a narrow road, you should avoid going to a soft shoulder. Doing so might cause the trailer to sway out of control.

Backing up

When backing up, you should move your hand in the direction that you are turning: move your hand left when turning left and right to turn right. Your mirrors might not offer enough visibility, so you should ask another person to guide you.

You should move the steering wheel only slightly to change direction. When you make exaggerated movements, you might end up losing control of the trailer.

Parking

Whenever possible, you should ask somebody to guide you from outside as you park. You should follow the proper parking sequence to keep your car from locking in park due to the extra transmission load. If you want to uncouple the trailer, you should put blocks at the back and front its tires to make sure that it does not roll away as soon as you uncouple.



Make sure that you place a jack stand under the back of your trailer to avoid injuries. If the load in the trailer is unbalanced, the tongue might end up rotating upwards, which can be dangerous for the people nearby.

Conclusion

Hauling a trailer is not child’s play and you should be very careful. The above tips will come in handy if you want tips that will help you to drive a trailer safely.

How to Find the Perfect Car Color and Brake Caliper Paint Combination

Nothing beats a car that’s painted in a beautiful color, which is both attractive to the eyes and refreshing to the mind. You might be struggling with making your car conform to these ideals by regularly painting it. While repainting the car, you may have been concentrating on the outer body, and forgetting an important part – the brake caliper paint combination.

Brake calipers also require a fresh coat of paint regularly, just like the rest of your car. The calipers are what squeeze brake pads against the rotor for some frictional force, reducing the car’s shaft rotational speed. Due to this constant force, the brake caliper paint will fade and wear out, requiring a repaint job.

However, you should ensure that the paint you choose brings out the best aesthetic qualities of your vehicle as well. No ordinary paint will do for this job; you will require special paint. Below are a few tips that will help you find the best paints for brake calipers.

For starters, you need to have an idea of what quality the caliper paint should bring you. Unfortunately, finding the right paint for your car can be a challenge, especially considering that companies are trying their best to outdo each other. Below are some specific features to look out for in brake caliper paints.

Heat Resistance

Some products out there bring you such amazing heat resistance. For instance, you will find some caliper paints are capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 980 degrees Fahrenheit. Other brands are capable of withholding up to 500 degrees.

However, just because one paint brand is capable of withstanding higher temperatures than another doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more resistant to other factors or even offer you a better finish.

If you feel 980 is a bit of overkill, don’t purchase that particular brand. Of course, you can always go for it, but do not let resistance be the one factor you depend on while settling on a brand.

The most important factor in terms of heat resistance is the paint’s ability to withstand the heat around your brake caliper for a long time. Plus, the paint should also remain attractive once the application is done – something only high-quality paints can offer.

Durability

Durability revolves around several factors including the paint’s resistance to chemicals, rust and even salt. In addition, you need to understand the climatic conditions of the place you reside while choosing the right kind of brake caliper paint for your car.

For instance, if you will be in arid or semi-arid areas, it’s recommended you purchase a high heat-resistant paint.

You also need to take into consideration the paint’s density, which affects the coating, drying and finishing processes. Many manufacturers try hard to create durable and robust paint resistant to dust, rust and heat, but neglect considering the paint’s aesthetic nature. The best caliper paints should offer you a durable and beautiful finish at the same time.

Safety Concerns

The paint you choose for your brake calipers should not affect the car’s brake system performance in any way. The high temperature produced while braking is likely to cause the paint to come off and be exposed to the braking system.

In other words, purchasing paint without checking its safety standards can be hazardous for your braking system.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Brake Caliper Paint Job

If you are planning to paint your brake calipers, here are a few tips to help you get the best results:

  • DO paint your caliper if it is a performance tool with opposing pistons
  • DON’T paint a single piston caliper with a bright color. Instead, consider going black to make wheels stand out
  • DO remove the caliper, hardware and pads before painting
  • DON’T paint the whole caliper – avoid surfaces in direct contact with the pad
  • DO replace your hardware after caliper painting for extra bling

Conclusion

If you want to be a happy customer, pay attention to these details and mind heat-resistance, durability, and safety concerns. More importantly, prepare the surface so the paint job goes well.

How to Choose the Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for You

Before dragging a fifth wheel trailer at the back of your truck, you need to ensure that there are no items and utilities on the bed. This is because you will need the space in the middle of the bed for your fifth wheel hitch. Plus, you will want to ensure that the trailer is mounted at all times because removing one can be quite tedious.

Using the fifth wheel requires that your truck is dedicated to hauling it, and clutter can make doing this difficult. Once you have dealt with this, you can then dive into the selection process of finding the best fifth wheel hitch. However, keep the few considerations below in mind, and choosing a hitch by yourself will be even easier!

Look at the Pivoting System

While driving with a fifth wheel hitch gives you peace of mind, it doesn’t guarantee that your trailer will not be rocked as you pass a bumpy road. To prevent irregular trailer movements, it’s critical that the hitch you install features a pivot system. The pivoting system used by a hitch indicates its flexibility as you drive.

Hitches with two-pivot systems will allow your trailer to move forward. In practical use, you will be able to drag the trailer on any straight and hilly roads. However, two-pivot hitches do not offer swiveling action; so, you need to be careful whenever you’re driving on bumpy trails.

Four-pivot system hitches provide you with maximum flexibility, no matter the trail you are on. These systems allow the trailer to move sideward, giving you confidence as you drive over uneven terrain. The four-pivot system is especially beneficial when driving over mountainous terrains for that weekend camping getaway.

Consider Hitch Mounting Style

It is also critical that you consider the hitch mounting style. This essential factor ensures that you achieve a solid and seamless connection between the trailer and your truck. Most modern fifth wheel hitches utilize rail systems as a mounting platform.

You may still find some models that are designed to be installed below the truck’s bed. In addition, some of the customized mounting systems come with their own custom brackets. While the latter provides a clean installation and setup, they will require some amount of work put in before installation.

For now, you can comfortably choose fifth wheel hitches with universal rails that can be installed to any trailer. These hitches are the standard for making tough connections. Furthermore, they are not difficult to assemble, making them the most user-friendly options available.

Consider Hitch Towing Capacity

Fifth wheel hitches are rated based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), also known as Gross Trailer Weight (GTW). The rating is simply the trailer’s overall weight that a hitch can comfortably carry.

Tongue weight is the measurement that is about 10 percent for the gross trailer weight. In case the tongue weight is overly small, your trailer is likely to sway.

If a particular hitch indicates that it has a 24k capacity, it means that it is capable of carrying a trailer of up to 24,000 pounds. As you would expect, the higher the weight rating, the more expensive a hitch will be.

Inspect Coupler Locking Method

Your hitch’s most critical component is the coupler and how it locks together with your trailer’s kingpin. There are several methods of locking the coupler to the king pin, as well as many locking mechanism styles. Always ensure that the jaws of the coupler are secure around the kingpin to prevent the jaws from opening while towing.

If your trailer is more than 25,000 pounds, choose a hitch that features a single jaw design. A double jaw mechanism wraps around the kingpin, lessening movement and noise while driving. On the other hand, a double jaw hitch might not be the best choice when hauling extremely heavy trailers.

Final Word

The best fifth wheel hitch will ensure that the time you spend on the road is safe and smooth. This mechanical component is a vital amenity that you should consider before towing a large trailer with a heavy load.

5 Tips to Reducing Carbon Buildup in Your Car

As fuel burns, waste byproducts deposit themselves on the engine’s intake manifold and exhaust system, which includes the catalytic converter. Having such carbon buildup seriously restricts the engine’s airflow, causing obvious problems.

What are the symptoms of carbon buildup?

Some symptoms of carbon build up in your car include:

  • Engine not running smoothly
  • Vibration or shaking of the engine
  • Car surging or jerking at stops
  • The check engine light comes on
  • Cold start misfires
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Failed emissions test

If carbon build up is affecting your engine, a mechanic will manually remove the gunk out. Fortunately, you can use the methods below to reduce carbon buildup in your car and reduce the number of visits you make to the mechanic’s shop.

Regular Maintenance

carbon buildup

Checking vital components whenever you take your car in for service will help catch carbon build-up before it becomes a significant problem.  One place to start is ensuring that spark plugs are inspected to reduce the amount of unburned fuel in the combustion chamber.

In addition, make use of the manufacturer’s specified oil and oil change intervals.

As a rule of thumb, you should do a full synthetic oil change at least after every 5,000 miles. Regular changing of the oils allows your car’s intake valves to perform at optimum levels. Most importantly, make sure that regular maintenance includes cleaning of the fuel injector to help improve its spraying capacity.

Regularly Clean Your Catalytic Converter

Your car’s catalytic converter is tasked with one job – that of cleaning up the exhaust gases coming from your engine before they are directed out through the exhaust pipe. The converter uses small amounts of catalyst material like platinum, palladium or rhodium to clean exhaust gases through a chemical reaction.

The catalytic converter fails when stuff that should not go into it does. These particles may come from various sources like oil or coolant leak in the engine and even using the wrong oil. If your car is misfiring for some reason, plenty of unburned fuel ends up in the catalytic converter, making it useless.

In extreme cases, or if you ignore the problem, the substrate (the converter’s core) can break down and block the exhaust system. The result is loss of power and a serious increase in average fuel consumption.

Fortunately, you can use the best catalytic converter cleaner to break down the carbon deposits in the system. Not only does the liquid help in cleaning the catalytic converter, but also the car’s entire fuel system.

Floor It

Most vehicles redline at more than 6,000 Revolutions per Minute; however, everyday driving will not see you crest even half of that. Drivetrains are programmed to reduce engine revolutions for efficiency and while higher RPM burn fuel faster and increase strain, it’s a good idea to let your car run through its RPM range – occasionally.

Flooring it helps remove carbon deposits likely to foul valves, intake manifold, and the exhaust system. This will result in increased catalytic converter efficiency. However, only do this once your engine is warmed up and you are in a safe, wide-open lot or freeway. While you will waste some gas, you will also help your engine last longer.

Update Your Car’s Engine Management Software

The latest software versions may reduce carbon deposits by reducing the amount of time valves are exposed to conditions likely to cause carbon buildup. Such systems do this by adjusting the timing of valves and sparks.

However, you will not find a TSB stating that re-flashing your ECM will help correct any carbon buildup issues. Actually, most regular updates may never even indicate that the problem exists. The best way to see if your car has the latest software version is by checking the OEM’s website.

Occasionally Run Car on High-Octane Gasoline

The car’s engine design, including combustion ratio and operating temperature, is related to octane rating. Octane rating applies to the engine itself, not the gasoline. It represents the minimum octane level the engine requires for proper operation. The octane rating you find on gasoline is the measure of its anti-ping or anti-knock properties.

A car that has been running for a long time may require a higher-octane gasoline every four to six years. This is because carbon deposits in the cylinders raise the engine’s combustion ration, raising its octane rating. Also, premium gas has other additives like detergents and other solvents that will help keep your carburetor and the fuel system clean.

Conclusion

Reducing carbon buildup is possible, as long as you implement the methods above. Your car will surely run smoothly and much more fuel-efficiently for a long time, once you have reduced the carbon build up.