Monthly Archives: February 2017

Buying a Used Car: Engine Smokes and Sounds

hundreds of used carsLooking to purchase a used car? You’ll need sharp eyes to ensure that what you end up purchasing isn’t a useless lemon. If a friend or someone else knowledgeable on cars can’t accompany you, read the following things you should watch out for when checking the car’s engine. Let’s start with basic sounds and smokes.

Engine Sounds

Cold start the car and listen to the sounds it makes. Take note that a warmed up engine could mask plenty of issues that would only be noticeable when the engine is cold. Some clicking sounds are normal, but make certain that you don’t hear any loud clunking or thudding, as well as consistent noises akin to grinding metal.

Next, let the engine warm up. If you hear the engine make unnecessary mechanical sounds, Fletch's GMC Buick Audi notes that you should steer clear of the car or at least consult an expert about it first.

Smoke Colors

Blue smoke coming from the exhaust indicates that the vehicle is burning motor oil. If you see light blue smoke during the cold start that disappears after the engine is warmed up, don’t worry, as this is typically common for older engines with worn out oil seals. Likewise, with older engines, oil trickles in the cylinder overnight, which results in light smoke when you cold start the car in the morning. On the other hand, excess blue smoke following a warm up is a bad sign, as well as black smoke since this indicates that the car burns excess fuel.

Other Important Things to Consider

Never purchase a used car without driving it first. The engine after all, while a major component of the vehicle, is also just one component of the whole package. Likewise, a test drive would also give you the chance to check out the transmission, another crucial component of the car. Apart from actually feeling how the car personally “drives,” the test drive would likewise give you a clearer picture of what you’re in for when you decide to purchase the car.

A Lifestyle Mobility Change: Four Reasons to Get a Residential Elevator

Home Elevator

Home ElevatorOnce a luxury feature, residential elevators have increased in popularity and become a practical part of the home. Apart from making a property look stylish, a home elevator also gives homeowners efficient access to their property while eliminating the legwork required to traverse the home.

Companies that specialize in residential accessibility equipment like Ascent Mobility believe a residential elevator is a way for homeowners to enjoy freedom of access at home. What are the other benefits to having a home elevator, though?

A Profitable Investment

Having a residential elevator is one way to bring up the value of your home. Technology now plays a bigger role in the home, especially with the popularity of smart home systems. Having an elevator installed at home, therefore, may appeal to potential buyers with plans to age in place. A residential elevator, after all, comes with the promise of comfort and safety even in the retirement years.

Convenience and Functionality

While an elevator may seem like a space-eater in a limited residential area, it does take up a lot less space than a standard stairwell. With a residential elevator, homeowners can take advantage of the usable square footage of their home and this, in turn, may also serve to increase a property’s future resale value.

Moreover, since groceries and chores are a part of one’s everyday routine, getting a home elevator is one of the best ways to improve mobility in the household without subjecting kids or the elderly to tiring treks up the stairs, especially when carrying heavy loads. Homeowners can save a lot of time carrying groceries, laundry, and heavy boxes with a residential elevator.

A Sense of Style and Sophistication

Adding an elevator to the home is one way to make one’s property look sophisticated. In fact, elevators represented luxury in previous years. The various designs of modern elevators include steel frames and polished glass walls while other classic designs feature elevators made of wood veneer and nickel.

Times have changed: home elevators are not just for the elderly or the disabled. Having a residential elevator can increase home value and improve the quality of life at home.

Silver-haired and Perfectly Groomed: Achieving a Debonair Look in Your 50’s

Man with Debonair Look

Man with Debonair LookIf wine gets better with age, why can you not? Being a dad or granddad in his fifties should not be a reason for you to stop trying to look your best. You can be silver-haired, with a few wrinkles here and there, and still look beautiful. Take your cue from the likes of Pierce Brosnan or Richard Gere, who are still ravishing in their salt and pepper hair.

Their secret? It lies in proper grooming. Whether you have a full head of hair to work with or are in need of follicular unit transplantation, you can try out these grooming tips that are perfect for your age.

Embrace Those Silver Strands

They will show, and no matter how much you try to cover them up, your entire head of hair will turn silver and then white. No matter what colour they become, embrace those strands. Style them the way you want, and make sure to give them regular hair treatments. Use a good shampoo that does not dry your hair out, and wash away any residue of pomade, wax or gel before going to sleep. This will prevent scalp irritation and possible hair loss.

Have Regular Trips to the Barbershop

If you are not sure about what haircut will suit you, trips to the barbershop can help you find the perfect hairstyle to match your features and personality. Those styles you may have been fond of years ago may or may not suit the maturing you, so ask your trusted barber a style he can recommend. It will also be helpful to search magazines and the internet for style inspirations before you go for a cut.


Embracing your maturing features may make you want to add some character to your face, and that can mean growing out a beard. Avoid looking grubby by practising good shaving habits. Do it regularly, and use shaving cream to prevent skin irritation.

Wine gets better with age, and so should fifty-something, silver-haired you. Try these grooming tips and let your age work well for you.

4 Effective Ways to Take Good Care of Your Sport Horse

Horses in New ZealandThe physical and mental wellness of your racehorse are vital to their success on the racecourse. Therefore, it’s important to provide them with the best of care available. Here are some ways:

Give horse meals that give the most energy

A racehorse requires heaps of energy, so it’s best to give them a horse feed from NZ suppliers that gives the highest amount of energy. This is so they have the energy needed to compete at their full potential.

Provide a good amount of fresh water all the time

Keep in mind that the daily water requirement of a performance horse is about 50 to 60 liters — or even more. Daily workouts raise your horse’s water needs, as sweating and evaporative cooling at the skin surface are the means for them to get rid of body heat.

Groom your racehorse frequently

To help keep your horse’s coats in good shape, it’s advisable to groom them regularly. Doing this gives time to examine your horse’s overall health, as well. It’s best to check his hooves to make certain that there aren’t small stones in the grooves. Check if the hooves appear pasty and white, as this could signify a fungal infection. To eliminate fungus, you need to move your horse to a dry place or use an anti-fungal medicine.

Have your racehorse vaccinated against respiratory conditions

How your racehorse exercise every day has an effect on their respiratory health. As such, experts strongly recommended having them vaccinated regularly. It’s also wise to keep an eye on the signs of respiratory diseases. In case your horse develops a problem, then seek advice from a veterinarian right away.

Having a racehorse is a huge responsibility. Considering the suggestions above enable your horse to perform at their peak and remain in great condition throughout their racing career.

Fences Secure and Beautify Your Home in More Ways Than You Know

Metal Fence
Fences play an important role in your home. It allows you to enjoy the security that it provides and adds to the overall beauty of your abode. It’s certainly a worthy addition to any home.

When you cast your glance at a home that sits at the corner, there are basically two things that will capture your attention. If the house is huge with a front lawn, then your eyes will zero in on the roofing and the entire façade of a home. If it does not, then your eyes may be captivated by the fences that seem to beckon you to have a look. Home Style Central even mentioned that before guests could see what’s inside your home, the first thing they will notice is the fence on your front yard. Indeed, the fence of your home can do wonders in ensuring that your abode looks beautiful and at the same time, secured.

Beauty That Stands Out

Think of your home’s fence as a translucent curtain, which allows people to have a better view of what’s inside the home. At the same time, such curtain acts as a barrier between you and the home’s interiors. A fence acts almost the same way. It allows you to have a glimpse of the home but shields it from any intrusion. With this in mind, the fence definitely adds beauty to the home, in the same way that curtains do to the home interiors.

Material That Lasts

Fences come in many shapes, types, and sizes. One versatile type that could make any home stand out is a metal fence. Just make sure that when you choose metal fencing panels, there is a lifetime warranty on workmanship. Another thing is to make sure that there is a guarantee that the paint will not blister or fade. Once you find these characteristics, then you have indeed found the fence that will be perfectly great for your home.

Lifetime Investment

Since a fence is an addition that has somehow a permanent nature, you can consider it as a lifetime investment. This means that it would be serving you and your family for a long time. It will continuously provide your family with the security it needs, which according to Houzz, these fences deter burglars. Apart from that, a fence would also be adding value to your home. In the event that you decide to move someplace else, you can sell your home and add the value of the fence.

A fence would always help in providing you and your family an added sense of security. In addition, it never fails to add to the aesthetic beauty of your home. With a good metal fence surrounding your property, you would be able to enjoy being secured within the premises of your home and enjoy the beauty it brings.

What Every Emergency Vehicle Needs

Driving an Emergency Vehicle

Driving an Emergency VehicleFirst responders do not rely only on the efficiency and quickness of their emergency vehicles and the quality of their rescue equipment. Their vehicle storage areas and other fit outs also play crucial roles in the way they handle any emergency.

Simple emergency vehicle fit outs can greatly help first responders hasten their response time during emergency situations. MFI Service Bodies explains that these are unassuming, yet efficient, emergency vehicle implements that improve the efficiency of the first responders.

Communications Gear

According to Fire and Rescue NSW, every emergency vehicle has an onboard communications gear that helps emergency personnel know about any developing crisis. The placement and configuration of the communications gear play an important role in an emergency vehicle. They are in a secure place that is accessible. The communications gear should also not obstruct the view or movements the crew. When these requisites are present, a communications gear fit out achieves its design goal.

Medical Gear Storage Fit Out

An efficient emergency vehicle has good placement and organisation of all medical gear. The medical crew should take them out quickly without much effort. Medical equipment includes oxygen tanks, masks, defibrillators, and medicine, that should be accessible to everyone in the vehicle.

Warning Systems and Signage

Fit outs like sirens, blinking lights, and reflective stickers are essential for all emergency vehicles. They warn other vehicles to make way because there is a developing crisis that needs immediate attention.

Blinking lights, such as the red flashing lights of Queensland Police State Emergency Service Vehicles, provide a visual warning to other vehicles. Blaring sirens deliver a loud audio notice to motorists and pedestrians that an emergency vehicle is passing. Finally, reflective stickers allow other cars to see the vehicle even in low light.

A blend of these well-designed fit outs is in use in many emergency vehicles today. Since time is of the essence in any emergency situation, it is important that emergency personnel have the best fit outs that enable them to do their work efficiently. In fact, the design of the fit outs themselves could very well be the thing that stands between life and death.

This is Why More Aussies Invest in Custom Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutter in Brisbane

Plantation Shutter in BrisbaneWindows that boast of well-constructed, properly-installed treatments play significant roles in keeping not just a house secure, but also utility bills at a minimum. And with the ever-changing weather conditions in Australia, they have now become a necessity.

And their benefits go way beyond these. Much thanks to manufacturers of custom plantation shutters, consumers now also have the freedom to incorporate features that make their residences even more comfortable and liveable.

A trend that you set yourself

For many Aussies, following the latest home design trends is important. And while it’s your choice to be a part of this group, you need to keep in mind that, like most trends, those you’ll read about for 2017 considered “hot” can be “not” next year.

Customised plantation shutters provide you with the opportunity to follow a trend you set all for, and by yourself. You can freely choose what you want your shutters to comprise of, meaning you can select renewable, eco-friendly, and sustainable materials. And because the decision is wholly up to you, you can make certain your shutters are made of weather- and element-resistant components.

Insulation, weather-proofing, and shading, all in one package

In many parts of Queensland, Brisbane for instance, it is important to have a home with the ability to minimise heat losses and gains. While you should prioritise the insulation, weatherproofing, and shading of your house’s roof, ceiling, and walls, it is just as equally important for you to apply these on your windows.

Proper installation of plantation shutters can already help increase the effects of these materials you use for the overall comfort, health, and livability of your residence.

Your creativity is the only limit

When you go for customised window treatment services, you can achieve all the above-mentioned goals, plus a way to increase the appeal of your home. In other words, you can let out your creative side and come up with a design that fits and complements the rest of your home.

Cool Clinic Touches for Veterinarians

Veterinary ClinicRunning a veterinary clinic is slightly different from running a normal medical clinic. Your patients are tiny (or large) fur, scale or feather babies, but the ones you have to please are the pet parents. It’s like running a pediatric practice where all the patients don’t communicate with words.

So it follows that aside from the medical facilities, your clinic should have a few more amenities and have a different feel from the usual clinic. Aside from a complete handbook of policies like this one, you also need to inform pet owners what the guidelines are in place.

Here are some cool touches that may make your pet parents come back to your establishment again and again for all their pet concerns:

1. Informative material available for free

Ask your supplier for veterinary prescription pad bundles and other materials you can give to your patients. According to, these supplies could be checklists, booklets, and even posters or postcards that give added value when patients come to your clinic. You can also print ready-made resource materials for common illnesses, and they can double as home instructions for pet parents.

2. Grooming and cleaning services

If you have enough space, hire someone to take grooming and cleaning appointments. Keep up with the latest pet trends. For some pet parents, being able to get everything they need from your clinic is the main reason why they’ll keep coming back.

3. In-house products for specific needs

You can prepare tailored food, grooming aids, and other products for every kind of pet. Put these together in a kit for the pet and his or her parents. The pet owners will surely appreciate the gesture and your suggestions.

Sometimes, it’s the little things such as convenience, free pet care literature, and non-medical services that can really make pet parents come back for their pets’ every need. These small gestures make them feel your concern for their fur babies.

Utah Bankruptcy: How to Use the Motor Vehicle Exemption

Bankruptcy Law in SandyWhen filing for bankruptcy, whether Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, the motor vehicle bankruptcy exemption would allow you to safeguard some equity on your motorcycle, car, van, truck, or other motor vehicles. If you’re able to exempt sufficient equity, you could then keep your vehicle.

Motor Vehicle Bankruptcy Exemption in Utah

If all equity in your motor vehicle is covered by the exemption, a bankruptcy trustee won’t be able to get your vehicle if you file for a Chapter 7. However, if the entire equity isn’t covered, there’s a chance you might lose it. This exemption also plays a crucial part in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, such that your nonexempt property’s value, which includes vehicle equity not covered by the exemption, would establish the amount you need to pay all your unsecured creditors via your Chapter 13 repayment plan. Take note however that there’s a chance that your auto loan lender could repossess your vehicle even if you have enough motor vehicle exemption coverage.

In Utah specifically, the state allows you to exempt as much as $5,000 for your vehicle. But whether you get to keep your vehicle would be mainly dependent on several factors; the amount of your applicable exemption, your vehicle’s value, and the amount you owe on it (if applicable).

For instance, you own a vehicle worth $4,000 and you owe $1,000 to the car dealership. You could then protect your vehicle if you file for Chapter 7, explains a bankruptcy lawyer at Utah Bankruptcy Pros. This is due to the fact that Utah’s motor vehicle exemption is worth $5,000, which is sufficient to cover the $3,000 equity on your vehicle. In addition, if you’re married and own the vehicle jointly with your spouse, you could double the motor vehicle exemption up to $10,000.

The motor vehicle exemption in a Utah bankruptcy plays a critical role when determining if the bankruptcy trustee could get your vehicle ad use it to pay off your unsecured creditors. On the other hand, if the applicable amount for motor vehicle exemption is lower than your vehicle’s equity, the bankruptcy trustee could sell your vehicle and use all the proceeds for repaying your unsecured creditors, while if the exemption is more than your vehicle’s equity, you get to keep your vehicle.

Drive Around New Zealand with This Travel Guide

Touring New Zealand

Touring New ZealandNew Zealand is one of the most wonderful places to visit in the world. Imagine the lush green landscape and the peaceful ambience; you might think of hopping on a plane for a two-week getaway to this country. While you are at it, you can consider a weekend car rental Auckland and drive around these top tourist destinations:

Milford Sound

Once described by author Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, this serene and glassy lake is surrounded by cascading waterfalls and majestic mountains. You can drive to the location and rent a boat to see the entirety of Milford Sound.


If you’re up for an adventure, then you can go to Queenstown, the region that earned the moniker ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’. You can go skiing, bungee jumping, skydiving, river rafting, and boating here.


Having been restored after four earthquakes that nearly destroyed the city, Christchurch bursts with ‘rebirth’ everywhere. You may stroll around Re:START Mall and drink booze afterwards in Revival Bar. You may likewise drive to Christchurch Botanical Gardens that have the oldest and tallest trees in the country.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Learn a lot from this cave and see the glowworms captivate the attention of tourists. You can ride a boat to take you on a short tour inside the cave itself. You will learn about the history of this Waitomo tourist spot, as well.


This is the cultural hotspot of NZ. It’s a great location for anyone who likes the outdoors and rural towns. There are hip bars, a long strip of restaurants, and art-house cinemas for tourists and locals alike.


This list wouldn’t be complete without Auckland itself. You can have a weekend car rental and go to the Auckland Art Gallery, considered the biggest art institution in the country. You can also shop for fresh fruits and organic produce at Parnell Farmers’ Market, or try another awesome adventure at the Auckland Bridge Climb. A weekend drive is perfect to stroll Auckland Domain, a sprawling 185 acres of land. It wouldn’t hurt, too, to visit the Waitemata Harbour.

Going to New Zealand will always be an unforgettable experience for you and the whole family. Tour the rest of the country if you can and take snapshots of these beautiful places for the whole world to see.