Knowledge Base

How to Clean Foggy Headlights


So your headlights aren’t as bright and perky as they once were. It happens to all of us.

Years of grit, grime and ultraviolet light have rendered your once gleaming headlights hazy and dull. You could make a trip to the store and spend $15-$25 for a “headlight cleaning kit,” or you could stay right at home and make them shine using things you already have around the house.

Just follow this quick and easy guide to get those headlights beaming bright again!

What you’ll need:

  • “Regular” baking soda-based toothpaste. Avoid anything with beads, mini breath strips or other debris in them as they’ll scratch up your lights.
  • Toothbrush
  • Cloth or old t-shirt
  • Bucket of water
  • Sponge

How to do it:



Put a healthy squeeze of toothpaste onto your cloth. Use the cloth to smear a layer of toothpaste over the surface of the lens. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

Use a toothbrush to scrub the lens using a tight, circular motion. You should start to notice the lens clearing up at that spot. Use a little “umph” to get it completely clear.

Once you’ve gotten the entire lens surface, use a sponge and clean water to gently clean away the remaining toothpaste. The result should be headlights that shine like new!



Here’s a video to help:

How To Tell If Your Brakes Are in Trouble

The best way to determine if your brakes are up to snuff is to have them inspected by a professional. It’s quicker, easier and less expensive than you may think and there is simply no substitute.

However, for whatever reason it’s not always easy or even possible to get an inspection. Chances are, you’re reading this guide because you’re concerned about your brakes. You probably came to that conclusion because you sensed that something might be wrong.

Follow those instincts. This guide will help you look for signs of trouble in your brakes.


1. How does it feel?



Try to envision what your brakes were like when they were new. Are you having to use more force to stop the car? Does it take longer to stop in general? Does the brake pedal feel mushy? If so, it’s probably time for some maintenance or replacement.

This should be your first point of inspection. If anything feels like it’s not working how it should, it probably isn’t.

2. Follow your nose



If you’ve smelled burning brakes before you’ll recognize it in an instant. It has a distinct burned chemical smell, almost like singed carpet.

This smell happens because your worn-down brakes are generating too much friction. This friction causes your brakes and rotors to get so hot it burns your brake fluids and any other greases in the assembly.

Needless to say, this can be quite damaging to more than just the brakes themselves.

3. What’s that sound?



There is a distinct screech that brakes make when they are worn down or malfunctioning. It is ear-piercing and can be heard from hundreds of yards away. You will certainly notice it when it comes.

This sound almost certainly indicates a problem. It is caused by direct metal-to-metal contact between the brakes and the rotors. This can cause severe damage to the rotors and the brakes themselves.  Fortunately it usually just requires new brake pads to be fixed.


4. Got the jitters?



If you’re driving on a flat surface and apply braking pressure, does it stop smoothly? Or does it feel likeyou’re grinding or pulsing against the rotors.

When this happens it will cause the pedal or the steering wheel in your car to vibrate. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to get it checked out.


5. Been a while?


Maybe you haven’t noticed any obvious signs of brake failure, but it has been a long time since you’ve had them inspected.

All cars are different, but in general you should be getting yours checked every 25,000 miles. They are the primary safety feature on your vehicle. You should be able to have them inspected at many places near you. It is well worth the money, if for nothing else other than peace of mind.


Good components save lives. Get your brakes checked and buy quality parts.

Stay tuned to the Strutmasters blog for more car care and safety tips.

How to Restore Your Brake Fluid


Any idea how often you should replace your brake fluid? Chances are, your guess is as good as any. Surprisingly, this information is often left out of owner’s manuals. While “every 25,000” seems to be a good ballpark figure, the lack of consensus means it’s probably one of those things you should just monitor when you can.

The following guide will help you test to see if your brake fluid is healthy and restore it if it isn’t. A full “brake fluid flush” cannot be done at home as it requires special equipment. What you will do is replace it gradually until the old, worn-out fluid is refreshed with new, healthy fluid. It will make a huge difference in your vehicle’s braking and it will delay the need for a brake flush, saving you money in the process.

Step 1 – Test your fluid



Purchase a brake fluid test strip from your local auto parts retailer. Pop the hood and look for the brake fluid reservoir. It should be clearly marked.

Dip the test strip and compare it to the chart on the test strip’s packaging. Brake fluid is a golden color when new and gets darker as it gets used. If your brake fluid is fine and doesn’t need refreshing, close the hood and call it a day. If it does, proceed to step two.

Step 2 – Replace the brake fluid



Use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from the reservoir. Make sure to expel it in a suitable waste container and dispose of it properly.

Then, pour the new brake fluid into the reservoir. Wipe up any spills around the area. Screw the cap back until it’s on snug.

Step 3 – Rinse and repeat



Your car’s braking system will still have lots of old fluid and probably some gunk in it. The new fluid you put into the car will mix in get dirty almost immediately, defeating the purpose of adding it in the first place.

After replacing the first round of fluid, drive the car for a week or so. Then, check the fluid again using another test strip. See where it lands on the color chart.

Repeat steps two and three until the fluid looks new.


We love saving our people money with tips like these. For more guides like this and car care advice, check out the Strutmasters Blog.

5 Signs Your Car is Out of Alignment

Death. Taxes. Your car going out of alignment. These are some of the few certainties in life.

A car being out of alignment does more than just annoy the driver or prevent them from steering with their knees (tsk tsk!), it can pose a serious safety hazard and put serious strain on a number of your car’s components.

Here’s a quick guide on how to recognize your car needing an alignment.


1. Your handling is feeling loose


When your car is new its handing should feel “tight” and responsive. If it goes out of alignment, you may notice that it “wanders” around the road a little bit. It may be a little sloppy when taking turns.

In general you might find that the car doesn’t respond as directly or immediately to the directions you give it via the steering wheel. If you are experiencing any of this, take your car into the shop to have the alignment checked.


2. Your steering wheel sticks to one side


This one is a little more obvious. When all’s well, your steering wheel will be perfectly centered. When the alignment is really off, it will tilt to one side.

Note that while your wheel should be centered on a flat road, depending on the crown of the road it may be off center by a few degrees. A general rule of thumb is if the misalignment is immediately noticeable and obvious, it’s probably time to get that alignment checked.


3. Your tires are wearing out unevenly


Next time you take your vehicle into the shop for a balance and rotation, ask the mechanic to take a look at how the tires are wearing in addition to how much. While it’s fairly simple to do this at home, these guys see a lot of tires every day and are a great judge of what’s “normal” wear and tear versus what’s irregular.

If it appears that your tires are wearing out unevenly, get that alignment checked out immediately. This is symptomatic of an alignment problem that’s not just affecting your tires, but also your entire suspension system and wheels.


4. Your steering wheel fails to re-center itself



Your car is designed so that your steering wheel will right itself after it’s been turned. This is a pretty important safety feature and it acts to assist drivers. While it is important to always right the wheel yourself for safety reasons, it’s still a great way to see if all’s square under the hood.

If you find a long, straight road with light traffic, see if your wheel aligns itself naturally after you’ve turned it a bit. Make sure to be ready to steer if needed. If the wheel doesn’t return to its centered position right away, you’ve got a problem.


5. Your car starts to “pull”


If you’ve somehow ignored all the other warning signs, this one is the final straw. A car that is severely out of alignment will “pull” itself to one side or another in its natural position, rather than stay centered. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you why this is dangerous.

If your car is pulling, you are a serious danger to yourself and everyone else on the road. Take care of that problem as soon as possible.

At Strutmasters, we are huge fans of DIYers. That’s why our suspension conversion kits are designed specifically to be easy to install at home.

However, an alignment is something that requires specialized equipment and some serious know-how to do. This is not a problem that will correct itself, it will only get worse. Take care of yourself and be considerate of others on the road and correct your alignment today.

For more car care tips, check out the Strutmasters blog.

Tips: How to Lube Up Your Suspension and Steering

Your vehicle’s suspension and steering components are critical to its driveability. These components take care of your control, comfort, safety and wear and tear on other components. We have already detailed how a worn out suspension can do serious damage to other parts of your car.

Regular maintenance of components like ball joints, tire rod ends and center links can significantly improve the quality of your ride and extend its lifetime. While car design is moving towards more vehicles having “sealed” components that don’t need to be lubricated, they still benefit from regular inspections. Still, many cars have “serviceable” components that require regular maintenance like lubrication.

Fortunately, keeping your steering and suspension oiled up isn’t too difficult, especially with the help of this handy guide.

What You’ll Need
Floor Jack
Grease gun w/ cartridge
Jack stands
Creeper
Rags
Owner’s manual
Wheel blocks

Part 1 – Lift the vehicle

Safety tip:
Make 100% certain that the floor jack you are using has the right weight capacity to safely keep your vehicle lifted. Double-check your jack stands as well. Your car’s VIN label will have the vehicle weight, located either on the driver’s door jamb or the door itself. It is abbreviated as GVWR.

A creeper is a great tool to help you slide in and out from under your vehicle. If you don’t have one and don’t want to buy one, use a piece of cardboard.

Locate the points at which the vehicle needs to be jacked. In our experience, when working at home it’s much easier to do this one side at a time.Some cars feature a distinct marker or a cut-out to indicate where the jack should be placed. If you cannot find these on your car, check your owner’s manual.

Secure the wheels. Put your wheel blocks in front or AND behind both of the rear wheels. Lift the car slowly until the tire has no more contact with the ground. Once you’ve done that, place the jack stand at the lowest point underneath the car.

 

Safety tip:

Make sure that the jack stand is placed in a sturdy part of the vehicle such as the chassis. Once in position, lower the car slowly onto the stand. Don’t remove the jack. Keep it in its heightened position.

 


Part 2 – Grease the components

Use your creeper or makeshift creeper to slide under your car, keeping your grease gun and rag with you. Locate the ball joints, tire rods and any other serviceable components. They will have a grease fitting on them. Check all of the suspension and steering component assemblies to be sure you find all of them.

On most cars you will find one upper and one lower ball joint in addition to a tire rod end (outer). Starting from the driver’s side and working towards the middle of the car you will find a “pitman arm” which is connected to the steering box. You may also find a center link, if your car has one, which connects the right and left tie rods to each other. Some cars also have an idler arm that supports the center link from the passenger side.

All of these should be easily reachable, except on cars with an offset wheel design. With those vehicles, you may have to take the wheel off to get to the grease fitting. Consult your owner’s manual if this is the case or if you are unsure.

Use the grease gun to fill each of the components with grease. Depending on your car, they may have a rubber “boot” surrounding them. If they are overfilled there is a chance they may burst. It shouldn’t take more than a few pumps to properly fill them.

Many components are designed to simply expel excess grease. If that’s the way your car is designed, grease running out of a component is the signal that it is full.

Use a rag to wipe off any excess grease.

Lower the car and repeat parts one and two again, this time on the other side of the vehicle.


Part 3 – Lubricate the rear suspension (maybe)

Many cars have a rear suspension that does not require lubrication. If your car features an “independent rear suspension” it may have these components. Consult your owner’s manual to see whether or not your rear suspension has serviceable components before spending time lifting your vehicle.

Here’s a great reference video to help in case you get stuck:



The Ultimate Guide to Fluid Maintenance

Quick! Where is your power steering fluid and how often should you check it?

Unless you’re one of the more dedicated car owners among us, you probably have to check your owner’s manual or Google for the answer. Don’t worry, it’s okay! We are here to the rescue with this handy guide on how and when to check your different fluids.


Transmission Fluid

In a car with an automatic transmission, the transmission fluid is what keeps the gears moving smoothly.

The well for the fluid is located in a different place in each vehicle, so consult the internet or your owner’s manual to find it. It will have a dipstick, just like your engine oil. Since the transmission is a closed system, you aren’t checking for levels, but for the shape that the fluid is in.

Healthy transmission fluid should be essentially odorless and have a pinkish-red hue to it. If the fluid appears brown, black or smells burnt it is time to replace it.

How often to check: Once a month
When to replace: Depending on the car and driver, between 50,000 to 100,000 miles or whenever the fluid appears brown or burnt, whichever comes first.

 

 

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid, like transmission fluid, is within a closed system. If your levels are low, there is something seriously wrong and you should take your car to the mechanic. It is still important to keep an eye on it.

If your brakes don’t feel like they are supposed to, the fluid is the first place to look. It’s probably the likeliest source of issue and certainly the cheapest and easiest to fix.

The brake fluid should be visible in its container/well. Look at the color. It should be a slight golden color. If it is brown, it needs to be replaced.

How often to check: Whenever you change your oil.
When to replace: Every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.

 

 

Engine Oil

This is probably the one you’re used to checking. By the time you own a car, someone should have drilled into your head that you need to check and change your oil regularly. Maybe you even know how to do it yourself.

 

But for those of you who don’t, the question has become a lot more complicated than it once was. It used to be that “every 3,000 miles or six months” was a standard, catch-all answer. Nowadays, different manufacturers have different recommendations for how often you should replace your oil and it’s important to follow their recommendation.

While checking your oil every time you fill up with gas is a smart move, with newer cars you can probably get away with checking it less frequently.

Engine oil exists in an open system, so it is likely it will fall below safe levels and need topping up from time to time. For that reason, it’s a good idea to keep a bottle or two on hand at home.

How often to check: At least once a month, preferably more often.
When to change: Consult your manufacturer’s recommendation.





Power Steering Fluid

The power steering in your car ensures that steering is smooth an easy. Cars that are low on power steering fluid will start to make creaking sounds and the driver will notice a tactile difference when driving.

The check for power steering fluid is a visual one, just pop the hood and look for the well, which should be clearly labeled. Consult your manual if you can’t see it right away.

Power steering fluid should remain at relatively the same level at all times. If it is low, there is a good chance you have a leak. Take your car to your mechanic if this is the case.

How often to check: Once a month
When to replace: Maybe never. Consult your manual.





Coolant

Take a wild guess at what this stuff does! Since you can probably guess what coolant does, you know how important it is. Like engine oil, the health of your car’s engine depends on this to function properly.

Wait until your engine is cool to the touch to check the coolant. This is a simple one. Just unscrew the radiator cap and take a look. There should be a line or hash mark indicating the proper coolant level.

If it needs topping up, go ahead and do it but be sure to use the same type of coolant that is already in the engine. If you have never replaced the coolant in your car, your manufacturer should have that information freely available.

How often to check: At least twice a year: once before the beginning of spring and once before the beginning of fall.
When to replace: Every two years.




Wiper fluid

While “low windshield wiper fluid” doesn’t sound like an emergency, it’s an important one to keep an eye on.

Visibility is one of the cornerstones of safety. If your windshield is dirty or obscured in any way, it puts you and everyone else on the road at risk. Good windshield wiper fluid cleans your windshield and decreases the friction between your wiper blades and your windshield, reducing wear and tear on both.

Wiper fluid is usually the easiest of your car’s fluids to monitor and replace. Pop the hood and look for the reservoir and fill to the line if it’s not there yet.

How often to check: Every time you fill your car up.
When to replace: Top up as needed. Consider seasonal fluids which may perform better depending on weather conditions.






At Strutmasters, we want your driving experience to be as easy, inexpensive and pleasurable as possible. That’s why we make suspension conversion kits that save owners thousands and keep cars on the road longer than their original air suspensions.

If your car is showing any warning signs of suspension failure, be sure to visit our website or call our suspension experts at (336) 597-2397 for a free consultation today.

Tire Maintenance 101

Your car’s tires are the only component that touches the road. If that’s not the case, you have bigger problems (like maybe a worn-out suspension!) and you should get that car the shop as quickly as possible.

Back to the original point, your vehicle’s tires are what stands between the vehicle and the road surfaces over which it rolls. That makes them incredibly important. However, tires are also one of the main components people are willing to ignore as they don’t give any loud, noisy indicators that they have failed like your car’s mechanical components.

Taking care of your tires is one of the most important ways to take care of your car. Here are a few tips you can follow to make sure you’re treating them, and by extension your vehicle, right.


1. Get (and use) a tire pressure gauge

It is important to know how much air is in your tires. Just looking at them or kicking them from time to time isn’t going to tell you what you need to know.

By the time you can actually see that they are underinflated, they are dangerously low. Similarly, it is nearly impossible to tell if tires are overinflated just by looking at them.

Every car has a recommended tire pressure, and for good reason. This is the pressure that the manufacturer has determined to be optimal for your car. Many times there is a small difference in the recommended pressure between the front and the back.

Fortunately, tire pressure gauges are incredibly cheap and sold at just about every auto parts store and even gas stations. There is simply no excuse to not have one in your vehicle. There is also no need for one of the fancier digital versions. The old school pop-ups do just fine.

Make a habit of checking your tire’s pressure once a week or so, and every time there is a dramatic change in temperature. Under or overinflated tires wear out unevenly and seriously degrade your car’s handling ability, creating a safety hazard.


2. Balance and rotate often

Depending on your vehicle’s drivetrain, the front and rear tires on your car will wear out at different rates. In addition, certain driving habits or transportation patterns might mean that the tires on the right side of your car may wear out sooner than those on the left, or vice versa.

You should ideally be balancing and rotating your tires every 5,000 miles. Consider one of the many places that allow you to purchase a “lifetime balance and rotate” plan. Businesses like Discount Tire offer plans that will allow you to balance and rotate your tires whenever you want. Many of them throw this service in for free when you purchase tires from them.

Consistently and frequently balancing and rotating your tires will help you get the maximum life out of those tires, saving you hundreds of dollars over time.


3. Drive easy

Hard braking is the number one way your tires get worn down. Braking hard generates a lot of heat and friction, which wears rubber down quickly. The reason you see black tread marks after someone has “peeled out” is because they have left actual rubber on the asphalt.

If you are the type of driver to accelerate hard and brake hard, consider teaching yourself to move a little more consistently. Not only will this save your tires, it will reduce wear and tear on your car and help your fuel economy.


4. Replace when needed

Tires, especially good ones, aren’t cheap. So it’s no wonder many people wait longer than they should to replace them.

However, in addition to being tremendously unsafe to drive on, bad tires reduce your fuel economy and increase the wear and tear on other components of your vehicle like your suspension. Any money you might save by stretching them out a few thousand extra miles you’ll lose in the extra costs that come with it.

As we’ve mentioned before, there is a quick and easy “penny trick” to check to see if your tires treads are good to go. Simply put a penny upside down in the tread of your tire. If the tread reaches Lincoln’s head, you’ve still got life in those tires. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace.



As the suspension experts, we understand the relationship between properly-functioning tires and a healthy automobile. It is important to us that you keep you and your family as safe as possible on the road. It is also important to us that you save money wherever you can. Proper care might have small costs here and there, but it will save you hundreds, if not thousands, in the long run.

Six Ways to Invest Your Tax Refund Into Your Car

The average American will receive around $3,100 in tax refunds this year. That’s no small chunk of change. If you’re like a lot of us, you’ve already spent that tax refund in your head before it arrived. Maybe there’s a brand new TV you’ve had your eyes on, or a vacation you’ve been wanting to take.

 

Investing that refund into your car, however, might be one of the best ways to use that money. Let’s take a look at how that can work for you.

1. Paying off any debt on your car will save you loads

Chances are you got some help paying for your vehicle via a bank loan. Most of those loans carry interest. If you are still making payments on that loan, consider using some of your tax refund to pay off the balance. Any interest you pay is money that doesn’t contribute to the value of your car and instead lines the pockets of your banker.

Any time you get a big chunk of cash like a tax refund is a good time to pay down loans which are accruing interest.

Paying off the balance of your loan could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the loan.


2. Getting a thorough check-up is great preventative care

There is a reason why many health insurance plans offer free preventative care visits–early detection of health problems can save thousands of dollars in care. This is the same for your car.

Take your car to your mechanic and get them to spend an hour or so thoroughly checking over your vehicle to see if there’s anything that can be tightened up, cleaned or replaced before it becomes a problem.

That small rattling noise from under the hood might be an annoyance now, but in a month it could be a blown gasket if left unattended. Spotting problems before they become major ones can result in thousands of dollars difference in the repair bill.


3. Give the exterior some TLC, too

While taking care of the mechanical side of your vehicle probably takes priority, making sure that your car’s exterior is in top shape will help preserve its value. You need look no further than the Kelly Blue Book website’s value calculator to understand how the outward appearance of your vehicle affects its selling price.

In most places you can have your professionally washed, waxed and detailed for just a couple hundred dollars. Not only will it improve the value of your car, but chances are you’ll enjoy driving your spiffy like-new car much more too.

4. Look for air suspension problems (and you’ll probably find them)

If you’ve got more than 50,000 miles on a vehicle with an air suspension, it’s a good time to start looking for small, underlying issues so that you can fix them before they get out of hand.

The first components to go are usually the air bags. There is also a high probability of small holes or leaks in the hoses that deliver air from the compressor to those air bags, as they are prone to getting nicked by road rubble.

To check for leaks, prepare a bucket of soapy water and apply it with a brush to your car’s plastic or rubber air suspension components. If you see bubbles forming at the surface, you’ve got a leak and you should consider replacing that component immediately. If the leak is in one of the air bags, you’ll want to consider replacing all of them as they do wear out at about the same rate.

If endless air suspension repairs doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time or a good use of your money, consider replacing that faulty air suspension with standard coils using one of our conversion kits. They typically cost less than replacing just one of your air struts and should last you the remainder of your vehicle’s life.


5. Tires tires tires

Whenever you have some spare cash to put into your car, make sure to look at your tires.. Worn down tires are going to cost you in operating costs and increased wear and tear on your vehicle. If the treads are alright, you’ll still want to balance and rotate them as uneven wear and tear costs you more to drive than evenly worn tires.

Your car’s tires are its first line of defense from uneven road surfaces, and good ones will save you money in the long run. Consider premium tires, especially for older vehicles.



6. Get a good old-fashioned tune up

Is it just us or does it seem like the tune-up is a lost art?

Your vehicle is made up of dozens of moving parts, all which vibrate and shift over time. Parts being out of alignment seriously degrades the performance of your vehicle.

It’s a little like walking around with your shoe untied. Sure, you can walk around just “fine” but it’s a lot less comfortable and there’s a higher chance you’ll injure yourself.

With some of that extra refund cash, take your vehicle in to your mechanic and ask them to give it a once over with the wrench and some grease. It might cost you two to three hours of labor but you’ll save money in the short term on gas mileage and in the long term on the working life of your car’s components.



There is nothing we love more than saving our customers money. When tax refunds come around, it’s a good opportunity to use that influx of cash wisely and take care of your vehicle so it can take care of you. Since the beginning, we here at Strutmasters have done everything we can to provide affordable, effective solutions for car owners.

Visit our website or call us today at (336) 597-2397 to speak with one of our suspension experts about your vehicle.

Headlights Maintenance 101

It’s dangerous enough just trying to fumble your way to the refrigerator in the middle of the night without lights to guide you, but the danger becomes very real very quickly when your car’s headlights aren’t functioning up to snuff.

Thankfully, making sure your headlights are in optimal condition isn’t that difficult. Here’s a quick, handy guide to making sure your headlights are equipped to keep you and your family safe on the roads at night.




1. Replace your headlights before they burn out

“Once they burn out” is the typical time most car owners replace their headlamps. Since it’s not something you check for regularly, a burnout might be the first time you even think about replacing a bulb.

However, even high-end headlight bulbs dim before they burn out. Dim headlights reduce a driver’s ability to see what’s in front of them and their visibility to other drivers coming from the opposite direction. This poses a risk to everyone.

Typical modern bulbs last anywhere from 500-2,000 hours with the average right in the middle. This means that bulbs should last two to three years of normal driving. It’s probably a good idea to replace your headlamp bulbs every two years at a minimum, and more often if you drive at night regularly.



2. Restore!

Over time, especially in more humid climates like down here in North Carolina where we’re located, your light covers might fog up. This reduces how powerful your headlights are and can seriously limit your nighttime visibility.

Fortunately it’s pretty simple to restore your headlamps by yourself. A number of companies make cleaning kits that make it simple, easy and effective to clear up your lights. Most of these kits have an additive in the cleaning product that protects your lights from UV rays. A good restoration job can increase the amount of light that actually makes it out of the headlights and onto the road by up the three times!



3. Replace in pairs

While headlights typically don’t burn out at the exact same time, it’s best to replace them simultaneously. They will tend to wear out at about the same rate so chances are if one has burned out or dimmed significantly, the other is not far behind.
In addition, uneven light coming from your headlights can create an uneven field of vision which can be a tremendous distraction and safety hazard for driving at night.

 



4. You can upgrade

Most people tend to think that a headlight is a headlight is a headlight and don’t know that they have options. However, manufacturers these days make a variety of different bulbs using different materials for filaments or bulb construction. Many of these vary greatly in the amount of light they put out.

 

Your vehicle, especially if it’s a little older, likely came with standard headlights. Any improvement on that standard bulb is going to make a world of difference. Do a little research online and see which bulbs offer the greatest downroad visibility for your vehicle. While they may cost a few more dollars, the extra stopping distance they afford you at night could be the difference between a wreck and arriving home safely.

 

 

5. Aim your lights

 

Minor accidents or even going over a big pothole can change the alignment of your headlights. It’s a good idea to check where your lights are pointing once every couple of months, or immediately after any kind of collision.

 

Make sure that your lights are pointing down at the road ahead and not too far down or so high up that they are pointing other drivers’ eyes. This is also a simple quick and easy fix to do at home.

 

6. DIY!

 

At Strutmasters we are all about the DIYer. Replacing headlight bulbs yourself is one of the easier jobs for the home mechanic and will save you quite a bit of money over taking it to the mechanic.

 

Here’s a handy general guide for replacing your headlamps at home, but YouTube has hundreds of videos that are specific to the make and model of the car. With a little patience and proper safety equipment (gloves and goggles always!) you should be able to install a new bulb in no time at all.

 

Keeping your car’s safety equipment in optimal condition benefits everyone. By properly maintaining your headlights, you are not only keeping you, your family and your car safe, you’re keeping everyone else on the road safe too.

 

Stay tuned to the Strutmasters knowledge base blog for more car care tips and explore our inventory if you’re giving some thought to replacing or repairing your suspension.