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How to Maintain Your Car Battery

Not sure how you can maintain your car battery?

While you may be quite strict about keeping your car clean and supported from the outside, you may have been ignoring under the hood too often. 

If so, chances are you’ve been neglecting your car battery and denying the car what it needs to working properly.

After all, of what use is a sparkling, well-kept car if it doesn’t even start in the morning, making you late for work?  

Obviously, all of your effort into making sure your car remains spotless on the outside would definitely be pointless in this scenario.

 As such, making sure your battery is in tip-top shape is imperative.

Easy task

Still, it’s not like maintaining your battery is too difficult a task to complete. You only really need to check on it once every 2-3 months and perform only a few simple tasks to take care of it.

So, here are all the things you need to do to take care of your battery:

Checking the level of water every 2-3 months

Though checking for water levels is pointless if your car uses a maintenance-free battery , if you’ve got a wet-cell non-maintenance-free battery installed in your car, you’d need to check the fluid levels every 2-3 months or so.

If you want to check the fluid levels, you should unscrew/open the fluid caps and see whether the water levels are below the designated mark.

If so, carefully fill up the battery with distilled water, taking care not to overfill it. Replace the cap when you are done, and you will be good to go.

Protecting the battery from high temperatures

If you find protecting your battery from cold weather important to prevent freezing, you should just as well protect it from extremely high temperatures.

Usually,the car battery quality depreciates faster in extremely hot temperatures than in extremely cold temperatures.

Nevertheless, protecting the battery from heat isn’t really that hard of a task. All you need is some heat resistant grease to slather over the battery exterior, or even get an insulator to cover your battery.

Both of these would work just fine to form a barrier between your battery and unwanted heat to guard against damage

Cleaning off the battery terminals of battery acid corrosion

Now, dried-up acid corrosion on terminals is one of the most common battery problems you will encounter when taking care of your battery.

Ordinarily, your car battery produces hydrogen gas that reacts with the terminals to leave unwanted, disgusting bluish-white gunk on your battery terminals.

So, you need to clean this off if your battery is to perform optimally. Prepare a paste made of baking soda and water and apply it on a wire brush which you’ll use to scrape off the gunk gently.

Safety first

Be sure to don protective gear like face masks and goggles when performing this task; you don’t want to be inhaling this stuff or letting any of it brush off and fly into your eyes.

Though it does need to be said that this is one problem you can’t completely solve. You’ll have to clean this gunk off your car battery time and again.

The silver lining here though, is that you only need do so once every 6-8 months.

Checking your battery’s voltage and recharging when necessary

You can almost always tell if your battery is running low before it dies out. This is picked from indicator panels and dimming headlights.

The most effective way, however, is using a voltmeter. This way, you are sure to determine the exact power left in your battery. It just gets the guesswork out of the way, making you more aware of the state of your battery.

As long as your battery levels are close .to 12.5 or 12.6 V, you’re not in the woods yet.

Use a trickle charger

If you do need to charge your battery, however, take your car to an auto electrician or charge it from home using a trickle charger.  This allows you to avoid the additional service costs altogether.

Though taking your car to the auto shop is important at least once every 6-9 months, there are some things you can’t completely take care of on your own.

How To Maintain Your Car Battery Conclusion

Your car battery is one small component of the car. Its purpose, however, cannot be discounted. A faulty battery, just like a flat tire, can be such a thorn in your flesh. 

However, with these insights, you are sure to be a couple of steps ahead of any eventualities of a faulty car battery.

Top 3 Best Gooseneck Trailer Locks Reviews

Investing in gooseneck trailer locks is another way to effectively secure your prized heavy-duty gooseneck trailer away from thieves aside from using a good trailer hitch lock or anti-theft wheel locks. However, ​there are just too ​many options available on the market today​. ​Hence, it can be quite challenging to pick which one is the best for your needs.

But fret not, because this is exactly what we're bringing you today. We've​ researched, sifted through ​different models, and compiled the best gooseneck trailer locks available for you to purchase. So sit back, relax, and read on to know more about how you can protect your trailer from those pesky thieves!

Reviews on the Top 3 Best Gooseneck Trailer Locks

1) Blaylock TL-50 Gooseneck Lock - Best for all-around

Blaylock TL-50 Coupler Gooseneck Trailer Lock

Via Amazon.com

The Blaylock TL-50 coupler lock fits all gooseneck 2-5/16" style couplers, including most Bulldog, Superior, Stallion and, T.E.M. gooseneck style couplers.  Additionally, it boasts an adjustable two-pin placement that lets you use it on your trailer while enjoying an easy custom fit.

This gooseneck coupler lock secures using a 3/8" diameter padlock (which is not included, by the way). It is especially designed for RVs, heavy trailers, livestock haulers, and other heavy-duty needs.​ Furthermore, this product features a solid hardened steel rod and high-grade aircraft aluminum as materials. ​To add, its design is also patented for maximum security when leaving a trailer unattended.

Lastly, ​the distance between its ears is 4-5/8" at the bottom and 4-7/8" at the top, so make sure to check your trailer to verify if it will fit without problems. 

Details

  • Weight: 7.25lbs , 3.3kg
  • Product dimensions (inches): 11.1" (28.19cm) x 7" (17.78cm) x 4.5"(11.43cm)

Pros


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    Hardened steel and aircraft aluminum material


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    Easy to use and install


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    Wear- and corrosion-resistant


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    Reasonably-priced


Cons


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    It's hard to use on some types of 2-5/16" style gooseneck couplers, particularly with the new Bulldog system


What Buyers Like

The Blaylock TL-50 earned praises for its solid construction that feels just right for heavy-duty needs. ​Many buyers felt more secure about leaving their trailers unattended ​because of its aircraft-grade aluminum body and hardened steel rod.

Also, ​the fact that this gooseneck lock is easy to install and take off is another popular feature. ​With that said, if you'd rather not deal with complicated systems that might be difficult to unlock -- especially when you're in a hurry -- then the TL-50 might just be the gooseneck trailer lock for your needs.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, if you're looking for the best gooseneck trailer lock that offers ample security and convenience, you should definitely look at this product from Blaylock. It's ideal for shoppers who are looking for something that doesn't require too much fuss to use. ​In spite of this, it still offers adequate protection against trailer theft.

​However, if maximum security is what you're after, you might want to check out the next item on this list instead. ​Still, if an all-around and versatile lock is what you're aiming to buy, the TL-50 should tick off plenty of boxes. The fact that it isn't too expensive makes it a good choice for those who do not like to spend too much on a gooseneck trailer lock, as well.

2) Ft. Knox Locks Gooseneck Lock - Best for security

Boltcutter-proof yellow gooseneck trailer lock from Ft. Knox Locks

Via Amazon.com

This high-security gooseneck trailer lock from Ft. Knox Locks puts its boltcutter-proof qualification at the forefront of its specs. Also, it fits most gooseneck couplers, including the new low profile Bulldog BX1 round drop tube (but not the square BX1 version), and both round and square drop tube style couplers. It is constructed using welded steel. Lastly, with a bright yellow powder coat finish, this lock is definitely hard to miss.

The square opening on this gooseneck lock measures 4-3/4" on each side. Moreover, it works well with most puck-style locks.​

According to the manufacturer, only high power tools and a cutting torch can possibly stand a chance against this particular model. To add, it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty for all manufacturing defects, which is reassuring given the price tag that it comes with.

Details

  • Weight: 20lbs (9kg)
  • Product dimensions (inches): 11.5" (29.21cm) x 8.5" (21.59cm) x 5" (12.7cm)

Pros


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    Boltcutter-proof for maximum security


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    Heavy-duty welded steel construction


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    Unique design


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    Simple and easy to use


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    Limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects


Cons


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    Pricier than its competitors


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    Challenging to install because of its heavy construction


What Buyers Like

People who've bought this gooseneck trailer lock seemed to really relish the fact that it's boltcutter-proof and very hard to remove. Although it is pricier than most trailer locks, ​the peace of mind that it gives makes it worth the money spent.

​The construction of this product is certainly ​heavy, and for some users the bright yellow aesthetic screams "highly-secure" and "impossible to steal" -- something that really helps ward off thieves. Although its heavy body makes it challenging to hold, it's not too hard to use it in general as far as locking and unlocking is concerned.

Final Verdict

The price tag on this lock can understandably discourage frugal shoppers. ​​However, if you're on the market for the most secure gooseneck trailer lock and you don't mind paying extra bucks for more peace of mind, then this Ft. Knox Locks product is the one for you. It provides solid protection, great aesthetics, and reliability in exchange for a comparatively-steep upfront cost.

3) Master Lock Trailer Lock - Best for value

Master Lock 377KA silver gooseneck trailer lock

Via Amazon.com

Already featured in our best trailer locks article, this gooseneck lock from Master Lock resists picking and prying through an advanced locking mechanism. Moreover, its design​ makes it easy to install and remove​​. ​Also, every single lock bought​​ comes with two keys.

​Because it fits 1-7/8", 2", and most 2-5/16" trailer couplers, this lock ​can be deemed as a pretty versatile bet. Furthermore, it's relatively lightweight for easier handling and transport. 

As a guide, the length of its bolt measures 7/8". ​Also, the locks are assigned a key code -- and each code corresponds to a specific type of key. This means that some pieces are keyed alike, which is a potential con for some users.

​Above all, it's worth noting that this product comes with a limited lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.

Details

  • Weight: 2.2lbs (1 kg)
  • Product dimensions (inches): 5.6" (14.22cm) x 4.3" (10.92cm) x 2.8" (32.26cm)

Pros


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    Rust- and corrosion-resistant


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    Fits the majority of trailers


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    Affordable


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    Lifetime warranty


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    Easy to install and handle


Cons


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    Some locks are keyed the same


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    Difficult to unlock in some instances


What Buyers Like

One Amazon buyer noted that this product is strong enough to resist hammering and prying after an intruder unsuccessfully forced off this lock from his trailer. Likewise, many other customers expressed that they were pleased with how strong and solidly-constructed this gooseneck trailer lock is.

​Furthermore, its solid stainless steel design looks sophisticated enough to ward off thieves. ​It's also pretty easy to handle and install because ​the lock itself is quite small. Finally, the fact that it costs only a few dollars above twenty bucks is a massive plus, as well.

Final Verdict

​In conclusion, this contender from Master Lock is a viable choice for people who are looking for the best value. ​It doesn't come with highly-attractive features like the gooseneck trailer lock models listed before it (such as a boltcutter-proof exterior), but it still gets the job done and secures your gooseneck trailer hitch without putting a massive strain in your pocket.

Final Thoughts

The best gooseneck trailer locks should be strong, heavy-duty, and resistant to wear and corrosion ​because these features guarantee a high level of security. At this point, we all know that choosing the right lock is just as important as, say, choosing the best gooseneck hitch because all of them​ work together to ensure the best possible trailer experience. As a result, the options we've listed above all possess the aforementioned characteristics. ​​This is what makes them so great at protecting your trailer from theft.

However, keep in mind that they have their own sets of pros and cons ​that you have to consider. Think hard about your budget, requirements, and trailer setup before shopping for your own. ​After that, you'll be able to determine the best gooseneck trailer lock for your own set of needs and requirements.

Top 5 Tips On Preparing Your Car For A Long Road Trip

With summer at full swing, there’s that excitement beginning to brew for a great road trip. The question is, how could you maintain your vehicle? How do you get it in perfect condition for a memorable long blissful trip? The wet or icy roads, rainy weather, gritty surface, a flat tire or a dying battery are all risks that you must carefully address. Aside from getting your car examined as part of general upkeep, it’s vital to have it thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic.

 

Image Pixabay

This is to avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere on your meticulously planned road trip. Follow my tips to keep your automobile in top notch condition for a long journey ahead. Take a look:

Pack The Essentials

Before you even begin getting your vehicle checked at an auto shop, it’s important to pack the items that are essential for a secure and a stress-free driving experience. The items may include the battery backup, windshield cleaner, automobile duster for cleansing, washing lubricant, extra tire, cables, a pair of gloves, radiator lubricant backup and screwdrivers/gadgets etc.

In the Boot

These items must be available at all times in the car boot to avoid any hassles of looking up an auto parts store in a remote location. Additionally, I’d suggest you install a nice monitoring tool like mspy cell phone track app on your smartphone for location tracking of your smartphones. This is especially handy when it comes to tracking your fellow drivers on the route.

Image Pixabay

Be Careful Regarding The Fluids

Check the fluid’s level; take care of engine oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid and other auto lubricants. Fluids are pivotal for the smooth functioning of the engine, transmission and other parts of the vehicle. Essentially you need to be vigilant about six vital fluids.  The transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield fluid and the three liquids I’ve highlighted above. You need to learn a little bit about the upkeep of these important liquids. It’s also vital to know when to refill each one for the best maintenance.

Six Essential Car Lubricants

The engine oil generally needs changing every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (all depends on the oil quality and the engine in question). If you’re about to leave for a long trip, I suggest you use a dipstick to check the condition of the engine oil including its level and have it topped up, in case the level shows a drop. The radiator fluid helps keep the car cool; the optimum coolant level prevents the car from overheating. Have it topped up and make sure you clear away or flush the system every 50,000 miles.

Brake Pads Are Important

If you find brake pads in a spongy condition, it means brake fluid is bad and requires immediate change. Have the mechanic fill up the system with a quality fluid and take care to flush it every 36,000 miles.

The power steering fluid provides flexibility so you can easily rotate it but a contaminated fluid may yield less response from the wheel. Make sure you check it every 24000 miles for its smooth functioning.

What Would Happen?

Jerky and uncomfortable rides can be quite irritating. Avoid these by checking the transmission fluid which facilitates the smooth movement of the gears and other automotive parts inside the car. A good transmission fluid lasts a long time; I recommend you check and replace every 60,000 miles.

The windshield fluid helps keep the dust, ice or other tiny particles away for clear visibility. The last thing you want on your road trip is a fluid ‘run out’ indicator for the windshield. It is especially irritating if it’s raining or snowing and you need it to wash the screen for a clear view. The windshield must be clean, so stock up on the windshield washer fluid. You can fill up the gauge using a funnel even during the journey.

Always Have The Tires & Brakes Checked

The tire’s upkeep is as important as maintaining your car liquids and other systems. Before leaving for the trip, have the mechanic check the tires for air pressure, rotation and any cracks or holes. Tires with proper air pressure are mandatory for good fuel efficiency and a seamless driving experience. Too much air pressure in the tires can make your road trip uncomfortable, especially if you’re driving on a rough surface.

Image Pixabay

Additionally, driving with incorrect air pressure would wear the tires unevenly. This may require you to change them sooner than normal. It’s also a good idea to rotate tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles because factors like suspension calibration, weight balance, and road conditions can cause different tires to wear out at different rates. Make sure you check the pressure every 1,000 miles. Depending on your journey, you may need to take a look at the tires a few times.

Remember the Brakes

Also, have the brake pads properly checked. If you hear any squeaky or screeching noise, it means your brake pads need changing. To make your road trip safe, have any faulty brake pads replaced with high-quality ones. Generally, you should replace old ones anywhere from 25,000 to 70,000 miles.

Air Filters & Light Bulbs

While you are driving, the air filter is busy in preventing the debris, insects, and grime from entering the engine. In case your air filter gets clogged, it can hamper the engine’s functionality, fuel efficiency and the air quality of the interior. Experts recommend that you change the air filter every 12,000 miles. Carefully check your light bulbs by turning on the headlights in the park mode and take a look at them to find out if they seem burnt out.

Do the same for the taillights and turn indicators and have them replaced in case they appear dim or faulty. You need headlights with nice LED bulbs for lucid visibility and proper brightness so you can easily spot the road conditions and other vehicles while driving in the night.