The Nuts and Bolts of Vehicle Survival Kits

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Fall is upon us and winter isn’t far behind. As many of us begin making travel plans for the holidays we need to consider an emergency kit for our vehicle. How large or small the kit is will be up to you as an individual. The only real downsides to a large kit is the amount of space in your vehicle you sacrifice and the cost to set up and maintain. Look at your lifestyle and decide if a small kit in the trunk is enough or if you have the room and budget to plan for the zombie apocalypse. Let’s take a look at some starting points for your vehicle survival kit.

CR-Cars-Hero-Winter-Emergency-Kit-12-17Any kit needs to be versatile enough to be beneficial in different environments. Think about what would help on a 4 lane interstate versus a deserted dirt road. Our environment will also determine the amount of time that we must sustain on our own. In the modern era with cellular phones, this time has dramatically decreased in most locations. Keeping a battery charger with you survival kit can extend the life of your phone. The only consideration for this is you must keep it charged as it will lose its charge over time in your survival kit.

One of the greatest dangers to a stranded motorist is other vehicles that are still moving on the roadway. Marking your vehicle as disabled is a key step to ensuring your safety. Beyond your hazard markers, consider road flares and orange reflective triangles. These will help ensure other motorists see your vehicle and you.

hypothermia-symptoms2-5ad4bb0fc6733500379fc89bHypothermia can set on quickly once a vehicle loses power and can no longer supply heat. Even if you are not planning to be out in the elements bring a coat with you in winter just in case you find yourself exposed to the elements longer than you planned. Keep a set of smaller items such as a warm hat and gloves in your vehicle kit. A foil thermal blanket is a compact option that can help if there are more than one of you when you get stranded. Carrying a lighter and a small bag of dryer lint is a great way to get a fire going quickly. Don’t forget that road flare we mentioned earlier, it can get a fire going to keep you warm in a hurry.

Having a basic first aid kit is a must. Ensure that any pre-packaged kit has items that will be useful in a situation with severe injuries. This is not the kit we are turning to for a band-aid. Large bandages that will be useful for stopping major bleeding are a great item to have on hand. Taking a first aid class before you find yourself in a dangerous situation can pay off huge when things go wrong.mental-health-first-aid-usa-announces-partnership-with-afsp

Other areas you may consider that go a bit farther are water purification and a shelf-stable food source. These would only be necessary for more extreme and longer-duration situations. For most of us, a candy bar and a bottle of water would go a long way. Keep in mind the water will freeze if it’s below 32 where you park your car. Lastly, it’s hard to go wrong with a knife or a multi-tool. They can be used for just about anything.

Whatever items you carry make sure you practice with them. The first time you strike a road flare should not be on the side of the interstate with cars flying by at 80 mph. It’s also tough to build your first fire when the temperature is dropping and you are starting to shake. Stay safe and plan ahead.

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Come visit us at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC or call us at (910) 483-2958

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Tire Selection

Today’s blog is the third and final installment on tires and proper set up for your vehicle.  We all know that tires are our connection to the road. There are so many options out there that staring at a tire rack can get very confusing. The first piece of advice is to consult a professional that you trust to discuss the pros and cons of each type of tire.  The employees at Crumpler’s Automotive have decades of experience picking the right tire for your vehicle and budget. A quick way to tell if you need to start looking is to use a quarter to check the tread. If you insert a quarter with George Washington’s head pointing down and the tread is shallow enough that it is even with his head then it’s time to start shopping.

Quarter

One of the best places to start looking for a tire is on your vehicle.  When choosing a new tire it is hard to go wrong with Original Equipment (OE).  You know they will fit the intended use of your vehicle. If you plan to use your vehicle outside the lines of what it was designed for or you prefer a different ride from what you had off the factory line then making a change is in order.

First look on the side of your current tire to determine the size you need.  It will look something like this: P215/65 R15. The first letter designates the type of vehicle. “P” as in our example designates a passenger vehicle.  Some of the other designations are “LT” Light Truck and “C” Commercial. The next three numbers are the width of the tire in millimeters. The number following the slash is the height of the tire.  This is done as a ratio to the width. The example tire is a 65 so that means that the tire is 65% as tall as it is wide, or 139.75mm tall. The lower the number the lower profile the tire is. The last number is the rim size in inches.

Tire size

When choosing new tires there is generally a tradeoff between comfort, handling, and style.  Comfort and handling often work inversely when it comes to tires. There are tires that will make your ride super soft and comfortable, but if you try pushing your car through the corners you will have decreased handling.  Conversely, if you want your car to handle on a road course you will feel every bump on the road. The independent variable is style. It’s all up to what you think looks good on your vehicle. Remember the white walls on cars from the 1950’s? They offered no comfort or handling but looked so cool.  In case you are wondering, you can still find whitewalls today.

White Wall

Tires come with all different treads for all different applications.  Each of these choices has pros and cons. Mud tires, for example, will help you if you get your truck bogged down in the muck, however, the tradeoff is loud road noise and short tire life on the road.  One thing to keep in mind with performance road tire is that some of them are unidirectional, which means they only roll in one direction. This will shorten tire life as they can not be rotated around the car.

The bottom line is that you need to do some thinking about how your car has performed to this point and what applications you are planning to do in the future.  Stop in and see one of our car experts and we can get you back on the road in no time.

FALL means HUSQVARNA! What are you waiting for? If you’re like us, you want tools that make your life 10 times easier, not harder. Husqvarna tools are well-made, easy to use, and easily accessible at our shop. Come check out all that we have!

If you don’t see what you need, we can get it. Call us at (910) 483-2958 or stop by our shop at 7611 Clinton Road, Stedman, NC. We’re open from 7 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday. Stay up-to-date on all things Crumpler’s Automotive by following our Facebook page and checking out our website as well. We’re always happy to receive feedback from you, so please let us know how we’re doing!

The Lowdown on Oil

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We all know that we need to get our oil changed about every 3,000 miles based on your manufactures recommendations. What we don’t know is how to reply when the mechanic asks “What kind of oil do you want?”. To most of us what follows is a meaningless string of numbers and letters that may or may not launch the space shuttle. This month we will take a look at what it all means.

Oil

Synthetic vs. Conventional
The first question the service tech usually asks is “Would you like conventional or synthetic motor oil?”. Let’s take a quick peek at the differences between the two. Conventional oil is crude oil that has been refined and cleaned to become the usable oil we all know. We put it in everything from our cars and motorcycles to our lawn mowers. In recent decades synthetic oil was introduced to the market. It begins its life as crude oil then has additives that change the way it performs. It lasts longer, reduces deposits, flows better at cold temperatures, and maintains lubrication better at high temperatures. So why wouldn’t we all use synthetic? It is more expensive and not all cars really need it. In fact, it’s really only high-performance cars that require more performance than conventional oil requires. It’s kind of like giving an amateur golfer use Tiger Woods’ golf clubs. They may be better, but we can still shank the ball into the water if we don’t have the skills to match.

By the Numbers
The numbers on the bottle all have to do with viscosity. Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow (how well it coats). This is listed as a two-number letter combination such as 10W-40. The viscosity is rated at two different temperatures. First at 0° F which is the winter rating and the first number. It’s the 10W part of our number code. A 5W is rated for colder weather than a 10W. The second number is found by measuring the viscosity at 212°F. The higher the second number the better it coats at this temperature, which keeps parts lubricated minimizing friction.

Oil shelf

Hopefully, this will help you next time you are getting your oil changed so you can make an informed decision on what oil is right for you and your car. If in doubt, call us. We’re always here to help you. (910) 483-2958

Summer is a Time for Your Yard!

Choose the best in yard work help with Husqvarna. We only carry it because we love it and recommend it. Come check out all the Husqvarna we have the shop. If we don’t have what you want, we can order it!

 

Keep following us here as well as at our website and our Facebook page. We’re always available to help you out!

Crumplers Automotive

7611 Clinton Road

Stedman, NC 28391