Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Everything You Need to Know About Off Road Lights

    Off road lightingSo you have decided to add some auxiliary lighting to that new truck, but you’re not sure what to get. There are 4 basic types of aftermarket lights, and they all have their place. We will cover all 4 here, and then it is up to you to figure out what your needs are.

    Long range lights

    These are what most people think of when they say off road lights. Rather than the wide beam of your headlights, these have a long, narrow beam that lights up the horizon, even at higher speeds. These lights are perfect for true off-roaders such as hunters and off-road aficionados. They are also great for driving in rural areas with limited street lights or where lighting is generally poor. Long range lights can be blinding though, and are generally not legal for the street, so use common sense when using them.

    Driving lights

    Just as the name implies, these are everyday driving lights. They shine farther and wider than the headlights, and compliment the stock lighting on your truck. Driving lights are very useful to create visibility near the sides of roadways and out in front of the vehicle. They are great for all around trail riding as well.

    Fog lights

    Fog lights are intended to be mounted below the headlights and project a beam pattern which is very wide horizontally and narrow vertically usually called a cut-off. This pattern lights up a pathway close to the ground but does not light the airborne particles in the line of sight while driving - this increases the visibility in harder to see conditions. Fog lights are intended to be used when visibility is poor and obstructed by fog, rain, or snow. They are intended to light the road surface and the curb, shoulder, and edges of the road. Fog lights have a limited range and are most effective at low speeds. Because of their design, fog lights reduce the glare back from fog or falling snow which makes them a better choice in such conditions.  But only if mounted properly 18-20” off the road as discussed above.

    Flood Beam

    Flood beams create a large wide pattern of light that floods an area with an extremely tall vertical and wide horizontal light pattern. These lights are typically used as work lights and back-up lights to see a broader area at shorter distances, again, perfect for serious off-roading.

    Now, you have the basics, and you have to choose. Long range, driving, fog or flood lights. It can be a tricky decision to make. To make the right decision you really must have a clear understanding of what kind of driving you do most. The sensible way of going about it is to buy what suits your driving pattern. If you do mostly highway driving, for example, your requirements will be different than someone who drives mostly on rural roads. A long distance highway driver might require and use all 4 kinds of lights.

  • Do Bug Shields Really Help?

    Sure, sounds like a pretty dumb question. I mean, it’s in the name, right? So let’s take a look at the first generation bug shields compared to the newer shields that are on the market today.

    Truck with bug shield

    When bug shields first came out, they were pretty simple. A long flat piece of Plexiglas attached to the front of your truck to redirect those little kamikazes up and over your windshield. They didn’t look very nice, but hey you could get them in clear, smoke or even red! Sorry, sometimes the sarcasm comes through.

    The mounting was universal, as was the deflector itself. As manufactures started seeing the real benefit of these, and as the auto makers started making their cars and trucks sleeker, real testing started on the deflectors. They found that you could create the upstream of air with a wind deflector that was smaller, fit the couture of the vehicle and that worked better than the old flat ones.

    So, with this upstream of air pushing at 55 plus miles an hour, the bugs are theoretically swept up and over your vehicle. The bug shield will catch its fair share of bug guts, but that’s unavoidable. But, since most of the bugs will never even touch your vehicle, they are very effective, and that is exactly how bug deflectors work.

    In addition to protecting your visibility and your windshield, bug deflectors also protect the finish of your hood. Not only will your hood deflector keep rocks, stones, road gravel and other road debris from pitting, denting or scratching your hood, but by deflecting bugs, your bug shield is also protecting your vehicle's finish because dead bugs fuse to the paint and etch and pit your vehicle’s finish in a way that can be as damaging as rocks.

    Bug deflectors are now "vehicle-specific", which means they are custom designed to fit individual makes and models. Because deflector angle and curvature is customized to the natural airflow of each specific vehicle, they can be extremely effective while complementing that vehicle's own lines and keeping its attractive appearance.

    So, do they really work? I guarantee you that they definitely do, but the degree of success greatly depends on the vehicle. Do the research, get a quality deflector, follow the installation instructions and you will find that it is a great addition to your new ride.

  • Fill Your Suspension Needs!

    It’s time to get your truck sitting the way you want it to. Whether you are looking for a full-on lift kit like the ones from Fabtech and Daystar, or just wanting to level it out with an air spring kit from Air Lift or Firestone, we at BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com have the kits you are looking for.

    Lifted Jeep with suspension

    If you are looking to simply upgrade or repair the lift that is already on your truck, we also carry single components to help you build it the way you want. Shackle kits from Belltech, brake light kits from CTS Performance, JKS adjustable track bars and even stabilizer kits from Icon Vehicle Dynamics will get your ride back into the shape that you want.

    We carry some of the best shocks known to mankind! Lifted, lowered or stock, we have got your shocks. With brands like Daystar and Rancho, you can get yourself into a great set of off road shocks without breaking the bank, and the Fabtech and Bilstein shocks are always an improvement over the stock ride.

    With the kits and components we carry at BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com, your truck will have the stance, clearance and ride at a price that you have always dreamed about.

  • Prepping Your Truck for Winter in Florida

    So, we have talked a lot about getting your truck ready for winter in various parts of the country. Today let’s talk about prepping your truck for the cruel, harsh winters in Florida. First, are your window regulators in good working condition? There may come a time this winter when you will want to roll your windows up, if for no other reason but to run your air conditioning.

    Get the Right Accessories

    Truck in sunsetOpen up the tool box, and make sure you have the essentials. Tow rope (in case a tug-o-war breaks out), lawn chairs, horse shoes, badminton set, life jackets and flip flops. You never know what kind of emergency will come up.

    Make sure you check the lock on your tool box; Disney world averages 75,000 visitors every day, during Christmas and New Year’s Weeks. That is a lot of strangers, and you may want to lock your truck for safety reasons. Tool box is set, so now you need to turn your attention to the cooler. Is it large enough for all that needs to go in (beer, soda, juice boxes, ice… It is important to stay well hydrated during the rough times of the year.) Check it for leaks. Small leaks can be fixed with a simple application of silicone, or duct tape. Larger leaks will require you to replace it - sorry.

    Prepare Your Truck

    Now, let’s talk about the truck itself. This part is real, so pay attention.

    Oil. CHANGE IT! Use the recommended weight. I know we cover this a lot, but it really is the best thing you can do for your vehicle. Don’t skimp on it, good oil and good filters are always worth the cost.

    Transmission fluid should be checked at this point. Check the color, is it brownish? It might be time for a change. While you are under the truck, check for alligators, snakes and turtles. Also check all of your u-joints, they tend to snap (just like turtles) at the worst possible times. Check your differentials for play (excessive wobble), and top off the fluid if needed.

    Check the antifreeze. In Florida we call it coolant, and it needs the same attention as all of the other fluids in your truck. Check the mileage, it may be due for a flush and fill. Just remember, your truck needs to stay hydrated as well.

    This is a good time to rotate the tires. Also check out your brakes at this time, you should check them every time you have a wheel off.  Brake maintenance is cheap, brake repair is not.

    Check your windshield for cracks and chips, swap out those old wipers and top off the washer fluid, and you should be ready to roll.

    Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your truck this winter!

  • Preparing Your Truck for Winter in the Great Lake States

    It is cold … really, really cold. It’s so cold, the best thing I can suggest for your truck is to attach a U-Haul and head south. You could go to Disney World and be one of the 75,000 people that visit daily. Florida is nice this time of year, and the trucks there are always ready for the harsh Florida winters (check their coolers when you get there).

    Tire tracks in snow

    So, if you’re still reading this, I will assume that you have decided to stay and rough it out this winter. I will try and help, as your truck should not suffer due to your poor decision making skills. Block heaters. Block heaters. Block heaters…. Guess where this is going. Got one? Check it. Make sure it is in good working condition. Make sure there are no leaks around the freeze plug hole where it is installed. Make sure the cord is in good shape, and routed away from anything that could hurt it. MAKE SURE IT WORKS!

    If you don’t have one, it may already be too late. She was a good truck, and she will be missed. There are many kinds of engine heaters, and you should get a good one. Get one that is rated for your truck, and if you are not sure how to install it properly, have it done by a professional. They deserve the money they get paid.

    Now, let’s get going with the real information. We have covered so much in the last few articles that you should know the basics about getting your truck ready for winter. Fluids, check, change or fill. CHANGE YOUR OIL! Check and rotate your tires. Check your brakes (really, please check your brakes, trucks that don’t stop are weapons of mass destruction). Tools: have some. Jacks, tow ropes, kitty litter, blankets, food and water, phone numbers of friends that can come and save your stuck butt, you know, the basics.

    What I would like to cover now is really for the new people in the area. Rust… Ever seen plastic rust? What about rubber? Welcome to the neighborhood where the air can rust around you. The best thing you can do for your truck was last winter. Wash it. Wash it all the time. If you see the sun, wash your truck, and don’t forget about behind the ears. Get it clean, and keep it clean. The winter can literally eat your truck alive. You need to keep it clean, and not just the places you can see, but the real trouble comes from the places you can’t see. Take your time and make sure you washed it thoroughly.

    As stated in the last blogs, don’t forget to fill the washer fluid, and change the wiper blades.

    Next year, think about Disney World, if you get there early, you can get a great parking spot (75,000 people per day). Your wife, your kids and your truck will love you forever.

  • Are You Ready For Winter? (Pacific Northwest)

    Ok, I know we have covered some of this already, but it really is that important! Getting your truck ready for winter means taking some very specific steps if you live in the Pacific Northwest. Failure to plan ahead for the cold months can cause failure to systems in your vehicle.

    Truck in the snow

    What sort of steps should you take to get your truck ready for winter?

    Antifreeze

    Your coolant does not need to be changed every year, but it should have the level and the temperature range checked. If the mixture is not right, adjust it accordingly. The old standby of 50/50 water and antifreeze is not always accurate, so check your owner’s manual.  Make sure to not mix types of coolant. An easy way to keep it straight is to not mix colors.

    Other fluids should be check at this time as well. Differentials, transfer case, brake fluid (should be changed every 2 years) and washer fluid … Always washer fluid!

    Change your oil every 3 months or at the recommended mileage. Heat breaks down oil, and it can become gummy or watery. When this happens, it can’t lubricate properly. The longer it's in the engine, the dirtier it gets. Replacing old oil with new fixes all these problems. The fresh oil lubricates and cools the engine better. When you flush the old oil out, you also flush away the dirt and grit. Make sure to replace the filter at the same time. There is no better thing you can do for your engine.

    Tune Up & Filters

    Most newer trucks don’t need a tune up as often as older trucks, but this is the time to check. Check your mileage and compare it to the recommended schedule. While you are under the hood, check all the filters. Air, fuel, breather and your PVC valve (if equipped). Change if needed.

    Electrical System

    Electrical systems can freeze if they are in bad shape once the frost settles in. It is smart to have your battery and electrical systems checked out as winter arrives. Most parts stores will perform tests for free. Take advantage of the service before it gets too cold out.

    Tires

     

    Snow chainsCheck and rotate your tires. The air pressure in your tires will change with the changing temperatures, and to keep your fuel mileage at its best, keep your tires filled to the specification listed on your door tag (not on the tire). Rotating them regularly will help get the most miles out of them. While your tires are off, have your brakes checked. This is also the right time to have your alignment checked and corrected if needed. This will show if you need any front suspension work, and may save your tires as well. Now is also the time to check your snow chains, try them on and don’t forget about the tensioners.

    Don’t let your truck down, and it won’t let you down. Keep in mind, check your owner’s manual for specific times and mileage intervals for any questions you have. There is a maintenance schedule listed, and should be followed to the letter.

  • Are You Ready For Winter? (Southwest)

    Getting your truck ready for winter in the southwest is tough … depending where you are, and where you are going, you need to be ready for anything and everything. Where else can you go for a drive, leave in 80 degree weather, catch a major rain storm, and finish the day off in a blizzard?

    Truck in the snow

    Yep, fun stuff right there.

    So, this should be easy … Just buy a new truck every year and stock it with cool stuff. There, problem solved - unless you can’t buy a new truck every year.

    Ok, it really is kind of basic at this point. Good tires are always at the top of the list. The issue here is you may have great tires, but can still find yourself in a situation that your tires are not ready for. Pay attention to where you are going, and keep in mind what you are set up for.

    Get the Right Accessories

    This is not only for you, but for the people that are inevitably not as prepared as you. You may have to help them, if for no other reason than to get them out of the way.

    Time for the truck box check list:

    • Tow rope. Check to make sure there are no cuts or frays. Replace it if needed.
    • Tire chains and tensioners. Check for broken links and cracked tensioners.
    • Shovel.
    • Tarp.
    • Kitty litter.
    • Washer fluid. Maybe two.
    • A good jack.
    • Basic hand tools.
    • These items could make the difference between almost making it home, and being home.

    Prepare Your Truck

    • Time for the oil change. Use the recommended winter weight, this makes it easier on the engine when it’s cold. I know we cover this a lot, but it really is the best thing you can do for your vehicle. Don’t skimp on it, good oil and good filters are always worth the cost. Synthetic is always nice.
    • Transmission fluid should be checked at this point. Check the color, is it brownish? It might be time for a change.
    • Check all of your u-joints, they tend to snap at the worst possible times.
    • Check the antifreeze. It’s called antifreeze for a reason, make sure its protecting down to the temperature you expect to be in. Remember, it’s also called coolant. Check it.
    • Check your differentials for play, and top off the fluid if needed.
    • Check the brakes. A simple check can save money and a life. Brakes are the most important system on your truck. If it doesn’t start, no one gets hurt. If it doesn’t stop, well…
    • Check your windshield for cracks and chips, swap out those old wipers and top off the washer fluid, and you should be ready to roll.

    Have fun, be safe, and be smart. Enjoy your truck this winter!

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