What Not To Do When Modifying a Car

Although, the car might be all yours to change and enhance, did you know that some modifications done to your car could get you into trouble? Before making these changes to your vehicle, make sure that these are not one of them:

Installing Nitrous Oxide Cylinders – these are intense performance boosting parts that can make the car shoot forward with incredible force and speed. Nitrous oxide is also something that many drivers can’t handle because of this incredible force.

Bigger Wheels – vehicles have a standard wheel well size that can only fit a specific size wheel and tyre. Fitting bigger wheels and tyres have the risk of rotating against the well thus wearing down the rubber on the tyre. There is also the risk of shaving off parts of the rubber and hitting the roads at high speeds. This puts other drivers at risk as their attention will be distorted.

Dark Tints – there has to be visual clearance through the windows of the car. Tints that block the driver’s face is noted as an offense. The only windows that can have extremely dark tints are the back windows but they can’t be completely black. It is also necessary to see into the car in case you have reported your car as stolen. The police will be able to describe the driver to other police officers.

Loud Exhaust – Not only is a loud exhaust irritating to the ear but it can also get you a fine. Loud exhausts disturb the peace in certain suburbs and towns. There is a limit as to how loud the exhaust can be before you get pulled over.

Dropped Suspensions – many cars were not made to have the chassis of the car so close to the road. A dropped suspension also makes it difficult for the driver to go over road humps.

Light Modifications – the driver is not allowed to change or tint the colour of the lights on the car. Standard light colours have been used for other drivers to notice you in case you suddenly brake. Tinting the glass cover is also against standard rules of the law. Indicator light modifications are also not allowed. These need to remain the standard colour at all times.

Under Body Neon Lights – these are bright lights that are installed underneath the car. These trick people into believing that you are a cop car. It is also relatively distracting when driving at night.

The best types of modifications to have installed are new and classy wheels from an accredited wheel supplier, as well as standard aesthetic changes such as paintwork or vinyl decals on the chassis done by a professional.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Visit our website for details and images of our mag wheel range.


Modifying a Car: DIY Car Painting Tips

Modifying a car is one of the most exciting activities. The car eventually becomes personal to you and everyone associates the style with your personality. Painting your car is the first step to a unique look but you will need to follow a procedure.

  • Make sure that you have all your tools on hand. This includes sand paper, electric sandpaper, masking tape, newspapers, air compressors and spray guns. Also consider weather conditions such as sunshine, wind and rain.
  • Make sure that you have the correct chemicals for the paint such as thinners, primer, undercoat and top coat. All these are necessary to prolong the life of the paint job.
  • Remove all the dust in your work area to prevent particles landing on the wet paint. Particles will destroy the smooth finish. You also need to clean the car to remove all grease and road contaminants.
  • Never forget to wear a face mask, goggles and gloves to avoid getting the chemicals on your skin. These items will also protect you from the particles that come off when you sand current enamel off the car.
  • Sand the car in circular motions for a uniform surface. The more uniform the better the end result. Once you have finished with sanding the chassis, apply thinners onto a cloth and wipe the surface. Thinners will get the remaining paint off.
  • Priming the surface provides a good base coat to prolong the life of the paint job. It also helps to set the chemicals for an even finish. If you don’t want a specific section of the car to be painted, cover those areas with masking tape or newspaper.
  • Apply thin layers of primer and paint so that clumps and drops don’t form. Thinner coats will set quicker and allow you to add another coat on top without unsightly formations.
  • Follow all the rations mentioned on the instructions of the paint packages. There might be a different amount of chemicals that need to be mixed with the right amount of thinners.
  • Cover the tyres with newspaper so that the paint does not come into contact with the rubber. If the paint dries against the rubber it could decrease the lifespan of the tyre.

Follow these tips to create an old, but improved version of your vehicle. Above all, always remember to follow all the safety rules on any of the spray or paint bottles for your own protection and the protection of others. Although you are equipped with protective gear always spray paint in a ventilated area.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.


4 Mistakes to Avoid While Selecting Car Cleaning Services

Your car is your pride. Keeping it spick and span is your responsibility. Picking the right professional car cleaning services is your responsibility as well. However, many car owners unwittingly end up committing mistakes while selecting professional car cleaners.

Listed below are a few of those mistakes. Educate yourself in order to avoid them.

Rushing through the Process
“Over-prioritizing” budget is never advisable. Have you already started comparing quotes online? Your initial instinct is to settle for the cheapest of services out there. The key is to strike the perfect balance between cost and quality. Settling for cost-effective services is definitely advisable. However, don’t settle for poor quality services arbitrarily just to save money. Car cleaning is a nuanced exercise. Credentialed professionals employ superior cleaning agents to render your car spotless. They’ll not be able to quote incredibly low even if they want to. Keep this point in view before arbitrarily settling for the cheapest services.

Being too Shy to Ask about the Package
Most of us are too eager to settle for the cheapest services. Then there are others who are too shy to ask about the exact packages. There are times when car owners do not ask about the total cost of the package. There are certain services in the package that you may not even use but pay the entire amount. This is pure waste of money.

Find the costs pertaining to particular services. Compare packages offered by different companies. Do no pay for the services that you are not using. Make the most of your investment.

Not acquainting yourself with their cleaning techniques
Your responsibility does not end with finding a professional car cleaner. Cleaning techniques may differ with different brands or makes of car. Acquaint yourself with the same. Find out whether the professional cleaners are adopting the right techniques or cleaning agents or not. If not, consider switching services.

Chemical cleaning, for instance, is not recommended for all cars. Is it harmful for your car as well? Have you found that out? It is important for you to ask the professional cleaners about their techniques. Are they using caustic cleaning agents? Can they affect the paint of your car?

Opting for Cleaning Services Too Soon
Do you know how long the effect of your car wash would last? If not, then you seriously need to find that out. If you are taking your car for cleaning too soon then you’re unnecessarily spending money. Opt for the services of professional car cleaners who can offer you long lasting services within competitive price brackets. In short, it is important for you to know how frequently your car needs cleaning services. Do check out warranties duly as well.

The Different Types of Car Modifications

The day you get your first car is a step into a new chapter of your life. Your first car will also give you a sense of freedom to be yourself including creating an image for yourself on the street. Car modifications can be expensive but, at the same time, it boosts your confidence and gives you real street cred. Here are the different types of car modifications that you could try.

  • Cold Air In-take Installation – Installing one of these not only enhances the performance but it also assists the engine with cooling. Long journeys or intensive driving can cause the engine to overheat so what better item to install than an air in-take?
  • Short Shifter Installation – This modification is purely for having a good time on the roads. The short shifter minimises the distance before having to change gears. Often, a short shifter also assists the driver with increasing speed which could be useful when overtaking those slow drivers.
  • Car Wrapping – Car wrapping is for those car owners who don’t want to get the chassis painted. There are also more patterns, colours and styles that can be used and is much cheaper than getting the car repainted. The downside to having your car wrapped is easy damage to the material. Once the material has been damaged, the car will have to be rewrapped.
  • Spoiler Installation – There are tasteful and useful ways of installing a spoiler kit and then there are pointless and ugly spoiler kits that many people install. This wing was designed to assist the car with aerodynamics and the correct shapes make the chassis look good. Other spoiler kits look disproportionate to the rest of the car.
  • Chrome Trimming – Adding chrome trimmings to the exterior of your car gives it a little bling without over doing it. The shininess of the chrome also makes the doors and wheel well look good. The end result of adding chrome features enhances the look of the car.
  • New Tyres – Make sure that you select the correct size tyres for your car. Some tyres have not been made to fit within the wheel well. Low profiles look good with any car whether it is new or old.
  • New Wheels – Wheels are always the best item to get when customising and detailing your car. There are so many different sizes, styles, colours and materials at a wheel supplier that can really make the car pop on the road.

Car modifications are a way that you can express yourself without overspending on a brand new performance car. It is also easier to get simple appearance modifications that make an impression on other drivers.

A1 Wheel and Tyre is a private family owned and operated company specialising in the warehouse and distribution of wheels and tyres to the automotive fitment trade. The company has a well established operation in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Visit our website for details and images of our mag wheel range.

Wheels and Tyres: City Driving

If you have a job you probably have to drive the city roads every day. This daily driving adds to the wear of your car parts so it is important to take care of your car whilst you are driving and when service intervals are due.

Have you ever taken note of how much your car has to work when you drive to and from work? In the morning when it is cold and you start your car, the engine has to warm up and adjust to the cold temperature. You use the clutch, the gears, the acceleration pedal and the brakes simply to pull out of the driveway. Once on the road, you utilise all of these car parts and during the drive you encounter stops, low and high speeds, left and right turns, and sometimes, obstacles. Unless you’re driving in the perfect environment, you would most likely find debris on the roads from prior accidents, perhaps vandals scattered some objects on the roads, a truck may have lost some of its load, or there are potholes. You would have to take evasive manoeveurs to avoid these obstacles whilst also avoiding other road users or possible pedestrians. This can take a strain on the steering wheel, gears, brakes, wheels and tyres. If you hit any of these obstacles it could damage your tyres and the rims of the wheels quite badly. A sharp object could cut the tyre or a pothole could rupture the tyre completely.

Because you drive your car every day, it is important that you don’t miss any services to ensure that your car is able to function at 100% on the road. If you do encounter any wheel and tyre damage, be safe and opt for the car to be towed if you don’t have a spare wheel. Alternatively, if you are able to, change the wheel so that you can drive to a tyre repair workshop as soon as possible. Then have the wheel and tyre replaced. Once the wheel is replaced, check the alignment and balancing so that you are certain the car will drive perfectly straight and not veer left or right.

City driving can take quite a toll on your car, especially on the wheels and tyres, so ensure that you check the tyre pressure regularly too. If you notice any punctures repair it immediately. Take care while you’re on the roads to ensure your safety.

Minty’s is amongst the leading tyre suppliers in South Africa, and is recognized for our high standard of customer service. We have built a reputation amongst our customers and ensure that they receive tyres and alloy wheels of the highest quality, amongst the largest brands nationwide.


Tidy Car Interiors Could Have Multifaceted Benefits

When did you get your car interiors cleaned thoroughly? Chances are that it may have happened long back during the last servicing of the car. The truth is car interior cleaning is often neglected. In most cases, it is left to the car wash guy who cleans the foot mat, dashboard, seats, windscreen, rear screen and side windows once in a week. Considering the lack of knowledge and equipment at his disposal, you can’t expect a good job from him. He is simply not equipped to keep your car interiors tidy.

Now, imagine the kind of pollutants that enter your car on a regular basis. You can’t stop the dust from entering the car even if you always drive with side windows in the raised position. Loose dust, dirt and grime come inside the car through your shoes and get stuck on the carpet. If shoes are wet, carpets absorb the moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. And if you have kids, you’ll have a range of items, including food particles and spilt milk and drinks polluting the interiors.

In other words, a comprehensive car interior cleaning is something you need to take seriously. Here’re a few reasons for going for it.

1. Ensuring hygienic conditions
Driver and other occupants of the car touch the interior surfaces of the numerous times every day. Sweat and oil from hands, shoes, drinks and food items contaminate every surface, right from the clutch, brake, accelerator to the steering wheel and from stereo to seats and windows. Therefore, it is imperative to disinfect the interiors at regular intervals by professionals who have access to right products for this kind of cleaning operations.

2. Containing the risks of allergies
Food particles and residue of spilt liquids can accumulate over a period of inside the car. This could lead to mould growth responsible for triggering several allergies and health problems. Vacuuming and cleaning of every nook and corner, including upholstery, carpeting and other surfaces can go a long way in minimizing the health risks involved.

3. Maintaining a high resale value
No one would like to pay a big sum for a used car with dirty interiors. In line with this, it is imperative to keep the car in a perfect condition, both from outside and inside.

4. Enjoying a relaxing drive
Driving could be a stress buster with so much tension in our lives nowadays. Maintaining a tidy interior of your car can make your drive more pleasurable, which is sure to help manage stress and enhance the quality of life.


Installing the Low Range Off-Road Defiant Armor Suzuki Samurai Bumper

Every year around this time I clean up my garage with a garage floor cleaner and other stuff to get ready for the winter and what I will be working on through the season.

I stood there and looked at my Samurai and considered all the things I have going on with it. Right now, the engine is being built (I hope), the factory fender flares are off because I will be putting Bushwackers on (which will be covered in another article), the factory plastic rocker guards are off because I am in the middle of putting on Low Range Defiant Armor Rocker Mount Rock Sliders (also to be covered in another entry in the near future, after some minor body work is done), and then there is the Low Range Defiant Armor Modular Front Bumper kit that I ordered which is still in the boxes.

I wanted to wait until I had a good recovery winch picked out before I did the bumper kit install, but I got to thinking…

Since I now have a giveaway in process for a FREE Low Range Defiant Armor Suzuki Samurai Front Bumper kit, perhaps this would be a good time to mockup the install

… plus, I was dying to see what it looked like in person.

Before I knew it, I was under the rig with the Sawzall, struggling to cut through the hack job of a bumper extension that the previous owner(s) did before I bought the vehicle. You’ll see what I mean in a bit. The instructions that Low Range provides with the kit state that cutting the ends off the bumper mount tube is optional, but the way mine was already modified I had no real choice.

Speaking of the instructions, they are very concise and expertly written (you can check them out on the product page). Follow along with my exploration into making the front bumper go from something weak and useless to something strong and useful.

Shown is the factory bumper with a basic bar welded to it as it came to me when I bought it.

I removed the driving lights and turn signals from the bar and bumper.

Here is how the previous owner(s) extended the front bumper out to clear the 31″ tires. Have you ever seen a more shoddy weld job?

I have to admit, I have never used a Sawzall that much, but I removed the factory bumper without too much issue. I was very surprised at how light the factory Samurai bumper is. It barely offered any real protection at all compared to the Low Range kit.

After making the cuts, I shot the exposed areas with some flat black rust preventative spray paint to keep it corroding.

After removing the factory bumper, it is pretty simple from there. Just position the winch plate per the instructions…

… then bolt on the winch plate cover, the bumper ends (and you have a choice of them, I ordered the short version) and your choice of stinger bar. Then torque the supplied hardware to the specs provided in the instructions and you are good to go!

All in all, it took me around an hour not including cutting the bumper tube off. Makes a hell of a difference, doesn’t it? I think I am going to call up Low Range and place another order for the additional available stubby ends to widen it up a bit and offer more tire protection. Once I get a winch picked out, I’ll revisit this with the final installation. Until then, I am not sure what I am going to do with those Hella driving lights. Maybe I will figure something out by the time I figure out which winch I will go with.

Above all, this is a very high-quality kit made with precision and durability. It is designed very well and even packaged with care. I am thankful that Low Range made these for the old’ Samurai!

Here, on Secret Storages, you can pick a few good things for your vehicle: car gun safe, alarm, etc. Car safety is very important too so don’t forget about it.

Mobile Valeting Service – The Right Choice to Keep Your Car Clean

Is your car dirty and parked in your porch? Are you having a heavy workload and unable to do a car wash? Want to give your car a service while parked at your office parking area? Take your phone and call a mobile valeting service to help you in these situations.

Mobile valeting services offer the customer almost a complete car care service. Many companies and websites are available, who provide services like basic car wash to whole car professional works, at your place, nowadays. Some companies provide a wide variety of services other than servicing, like interior works, professional advices, etc. Not only cars, vehicles like tractors, agricultural vehicles, caravans, etc. can also be serviced by these facilities.

Think how much effort you should put to completely clean your car, if you are doing it all yourself. Firstly, you should clean all your seats, vacuum the fitted mats, shampoo wash the carpets, clean the mirror and glasses, water wash the exteriors, etc. and waste the whole day. Still you won’t get the best results. Of course, you can do something creative and more productive rather than wasting your precious time cleaning your car that is already messed up.

By booking a valeting service, you are calling for a van fully loaded with equipment and products to fulfill your demands for your vehicle, at your doorstep. All you need to do is search for the best service provider at your place, call the one you have chosen. Negotiate your need for the service to the expert and fix an appropriate time convenient for both. Then, wait for the van to reach your doorstep, to clean up the mess and clear your problems.

There are some places you cannot reach and some tasks you cannot accomplish when it comes to car servicing. Think how helpful it will be, if you get a chance to get all those done sitting in your place. Just give a call and tell your problem to a valetor, if you are too lazy to drive your car to a center.

A valetor’s van will be fully equipped with high quality tools and products to take care of your vehicle, at the best. They can provide you with best services anywhere, under any circumstances, as they will be travelling with electricity from generators and water, from water tanks, within the van.

The thing you should keep in mind while calling for a valeting service is that, whether the company provides a budget friendly service. Another important point, is the products and chemicals used. Check whether quality products and tools are used in your vehicles.

Choose the best mobile valeting service and avoid waiting for hours in the boring servicing center, while your car gets ready. Whether you are in your office or at home, enjoying a free day. You can arrange for the valeting service and get your car new and clean.

Performance Car Tuning: Enjoy UN-Interrupted Performance of Your Car

With the regular hike in the fuel prices across the world driving the car has become a difficult task for the motorists, especially whose cars are old. You will agree that car is one of the expensive assets owned by a person and therefore it is not possible to sell it and buy the new one as soon as there is the decline in its performance. Therefore a layman looks after the proper maintenance of his car to enjoy its flawless drive. But, as the car gets older there is a decline in its performance due to regular wear and tear, this decline is the natural process. Because, as different machines witness depreciation in their working efficiency, depreciation in the functionality of your car is not an exception to it.

But, the regular hike in the fuel prices has emerged as the big problem in front of every car owner because there is a decline in the fuel efficiency of their vehicle and due to hike in the prices of fuel they have to fuel tank of their car within the short span of time. This adversely affects their monthly budget. Moreover, while driving the vehicle on regular basis the drivers have to combat with different types of road and traffic conditions which also play an important role in determining the performance of their car. To get rid of this problem nowadays the practice of car tuning is flourishing across the world to enjoy improved performance of the four-wheelers in a cost-effective way.

The concept of Car Tuning: In simple words, car tuning may be explained as the method of editing the functionality of engine control unit installed inside your car. Now days going through the use of the computer, mechanism of the car is controlled by the software that is installed in the engine control unit of the car. This engine control unit or ECU is linked with the engine and other components through sensors. Car tuning refers to altering the program of the software installed in the ECU. Doing this results in the improved performance of the car and it not only starts delivering the improved fuel efficiency but also starts generating more power as compared to earlier.

Here it would be interesting to know that the problem of decline in the performance of vehicles is not only faced by the owners of small cars but also the owners of luxurious cars like Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW, etc. Interestingly going through the concern of all types of car owners nowadays there are various technicians that expertise in the job of offering the service of performance car tuning to the car owners across the world. The worth mention feature of the services offered by these technicians is that apart from car tuning they also offer various additional services that are helpful in enhancing the performance of any car. Some of these methods are referred below:

  1. Upgrading the exhaust system: Being a car owner you must be aware of the functioning of an exhaust system that throws out the harmful gases taking inside the engine from the combination of air and fuel from the car. Surprisingly, as the car gets older there is also decline in its performance moreover with passing time the exhaust pipes also get older. Therefore, after the ECU of a car is re-tuned there is an increase in its power generation efficiency and the pressure of gases developing inside the engine. In such scenario, it becomes imperative for the car owner to get the exhaust system upgraded in accordance with tuned ECU. Doing this is helpful in improving the performance of the car.
  2. Upgrading the brakes: The enhancement in power generation efficiency also impacts the acceleration performance of the car and therefore to comply with that efficiency upgrading the braking system becomes necessary for retaining the proper control over the vehicle. In absence of this, there are chances that your car might smash to other cars.
  3. Upgrading the air filter: As the exhaust system throws the harmful gases out from the car, similarly the air filters support the smooth entrance of clean air in the engine. As the time passes the dust and other particles start blocking the holes of the filter, which adversely affects the performance of a vehicle. To combat this problem replacing the existing air filter with the new filters is helpful in enjoying the enhanced performance of your vehicle to a huge extent.

In simple words, it can be said that as there is a solution to every problem in the world, the problem of struggling with the hike in fuel prices is not an exception to it. By tuning the ECU of your car you can easily combat the problem with selling your beloved car.

What Is A Car Wrap?

By applying large sheets of vinyl to your car, you can change its colour to create a totally new and refreshed look – this is called a car wrap.

The vinyl completely covers the paintwork of your car, protecting it from stone chips and minor abrasions caused through general wear and tear. If any section of the car does become damaged for any reason, the vinyl can be easily repaired or replaced. This means that panels of your car can be individually re-wrapped at any time.

Installers begin by giving the car a quick, detailed clean, before they begin the process of removing bumpers, badges, rubber seals and other components of the car.

After which they then start to slowly apply the vinyl, ensuring that all edges are wrapped around, and that there are no loose fitting pieces of material. This process is done through the use of a heat gun, plastic scraper, and a steady set of hands.

Once all pieces have been wrapped, the parts of the car that were removed are then replaced and reinstalled to ensure a quality finish.

Many people often choose to go down the car wrapping route for many different reasons, such as:

1) A quick and easy face lift:

Breathe new life into the appearance of their car by simply changing the colour. Many companies come with a standard range of colours and even some rare, unique materials that can be wrapped on cars.

2) Maintaining a cars residual value:

As appealing as vinyl sounds to car customisation fanatics, it’s also a practical way of ensuring your car’s paint job stays as new as the day it rolled off the production line, and had its VIN number engraved. Vinyl, or more specifically Paint Protection Film, can ensure that your car can be resold and that you get a higher price, as the vinyl often takes the brunt of stone chips, scratches and weather.

3) Business Use

Car wrapping isn’t just reserved for those looking to make their car a standout vehicle. It’s also a massively popular method of advertising for business owners, who often have their work vehicles wrapped in special vinyl and graphics with their business names and logos, all to help them in the promotion of their business, plus they also use it as a tax write off for their business’

4) Individual Styling

Car wrapping is by far the easiest way to change your car, whether it’s a simple colour change, to a unique material switch up to help it stand out from the crowd. It is a more popular method for vehicle owners who are part of car clubs and owners of unique vehicles who are looking to have their vehicle stand out.