My Car Wont Start But The Radio And Lights Work

It isn’t uncommon for car owners to discover that their vehicles won’t start upon turning the ignition on. Often, this issue is caused by a dead battery. When a dead battery is the cause of the problem, all accessories in the vehicle, including the radio and lights, won’t work.

My Car Wont Start But The Radio And Lights Work

My Car Wont Start But The Radio And Lights WorkBut when a car owner attempts to turn on the engine and the attempt fails, yet the radio and lights still work, it can lead to confusion. This is particularly true among motorists who aren’t very well-versed in the issues that can occur with vehicles that could lead to such problems.

By gaining an understanding of what could prevent a car from starting, though the lights and radio still work, vehicle owners will have an easier time accurately identifying the source of the problem and correcting it.

Here’s a look at some of the common reasons why a car may not start, yet the radio and lights are still operational.


Low Fuel

A car needs fuel in order to go. If the fuel level is extremely low, it may prevent the car from starting at all. When this happens, the lights and radio – as well as other accessories – will still work, as the battery isn’t the source of the problem.

Identifying low fuel as the source of the problem is simple; simply check your car’s fuel gauge. If it is at or below empty, chances are that all you need to do is add some gas and the car will start.


Faulty Spark Plugs

Before a car can start to move, sparks that are created by the battery have to be strong enough so that it can ignite the compressed fuel vapor. When that happens, the engine will turn on and the car can be driven.

However, when the spark plugs are faulty, there is a chance that a car won’t start. Spark plugs can become overheated, get clogged with dirt, or they can suffer from regular wear and tear. All of these issues can prevent a vehicle’s engine from starting, yet the lights and radio will still be operational. That’s why it’s important to change the spark plugs on a regular basis.


A Bad Starter

Another issue that could prevent a car from starting, yet still allow the lights and radio to remain operational, is the starter.

The starter serves as a motor. It pulls electrical current away from the battery and uses it to start the engine. If a starter is malfunctioning, you might hear a clicking sound when you turn the ignition.

Issues with the starter may be related to a loose connection, in which case securing the loose connections will remedy the problem. It could also be that the starter has simply worn out. If the latter is the case, replacing the part will be necessary.


Problems with the Fuel Pump

A fuel pump sends gas to the engine. If it is faulty, the car won’t start, yet the radio and lights will remain operational. Fuel pump problems can occur when pressure in the fuel transmission system is low. This can happen as a result of wear and tear, blockages, or leaks in the lines.

A fuel pump can also become faulty when the gas tank sits with too little fuel for a prolonged period of time. When fuel isn’t reaching the fuel pump, the pump itself can age faster, which will eventually lead to mechanical failures. Having the fuel pump changed on a regular basis and performing routine maintenance can prevent issues with this component from arising – and can also help to prevent the problem of your car not starting.


Human Errors

While most of the reasons why a car won’t start but the radio and lights still go on is related to a mechanical problem, there are instances when it can be the result of human error. This is particularly true with certain vehicles. Certain cars today are equipped with features that will prevent the car from turning on if the driver fails to do something.

Some examples of human error that can prevent a car from starting include:

  • Not putting on a seat belt. In some newer car models, the engine will not start unless the driver has his or her seat belt on. Until the driver puts his or her seat belt on, the engine will not turn on. If you have a car that has this feature and your car won’t start, make sure you put your seat belt on.
  • The car may not be in park. With most automatic cars, the vehicle must be in park in order for it to start. For example, if you have the transmission placed over drive, the car won’t turn on. Additionally, if your foot isn’t on the brake, the car may not turn on. If you have an automatic car, make sure the car is in park and that your foot is firmly pushed on the brake.
  • The clutch isn’t pressed in enough. If you have a manual car and it won’t turn on, it could be because you don’t have the clutch pressed in far enough. Adjust the clutch to make sure that it is pushed in all the way and try starting the car again.

My Car Wont Start But The Radio And Lights Work

When a car won’t start but the radio and lights still function, it can be frustrating. By knowing some of the common causes of this issue, you can hopefully remedy the problem as quickly as possible.


Thanks for visiting our post “My Car Wont Start But The Radio And Lights Work“.  We hope you found it helpful.

Let us know below.  We’d love to hear from you.

Here’s another great article to help you with this problem.

What next?  If you’re having power problems, or are concerned about having them in the future you might want to consider carrying a portable car jump starter with you.  They’re cheap and compact, and provide great peace of mind.  If that sounds like something you’d be interested in you should read our review of the Winplus Car Jump Start Here for more info.

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Synthetic Motor Oil – The Ultimate Guide

Are you new to cars and engines?  Wondering which oil is suitable for your vehicle?

In this article you’ll find the answers to all of your questions about synthetic oil to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Everything You Need To Know About Synthetic Motor Oil

Over the years we’ve heard so many questions about motor oil, and synthetics in particular – a lot of the time it was us asking the questions – so we thought we’d put together a comprehensive FAQ guide to help others, just like us, out.

First of all, lets start with explaining what synthetic oil is.

What Is Synthetic Oil?

atomWell, it’s a lubricant, an organic substance, consisting of artificially made chemical compounds.

Synthetic oil is made in the lab, thus each manufacturer takes different approaches.

Most synthetic motor oil is actually made mostly from ordinary petroleum, as the primary feed stock. The molecules are highly modified, in terms of size and shape, so as to work better as lubricants and additional atoms of other kinds are added to make these new molecules work even better.

Zinc for instance may be added as an anti wear agent, and other chemicals are added to help neutralize acids formed by combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel, etc.

Some synthetic oil is made entirely from other synthetic molecules which may or may not have been manufactured using crude oil as one of the feed stocks.

What Are The Different Types Of Synthetic Motor Oil?

Not all synthetics are formulated the same way which is why not all of them provide the same protection.

As a result, we have different types: synthetic blend oil; and full synthetic. Here is the difference between the two.

1. Synthetic Blend Oil

synthetic blend oilSynthetic blend oil is a mix of conventional motor oils and synthetic base stocks.

It was first introduced by Mobil in 1966, and is typically engineered to offer similar benefits as its full synthetic counterparts, but at a much lower cost.

Because of the added synthetic base stock, you are going to get more performance and protection than you would by using a conventional oil alone.

Semi-synthetic motor oils are also not fully regulated by clear cut standards regarding the concentration of mineral or synthetic compounds.

As a result, great care has to be taken when choosing the exact composition that would offer a suitable level of performance when it comes to your own vehicle.

They’re less volatile, so they evaporate far less, which reduces oil loss.

2. Full Synthetic Motor Oil

full synthetic oilFull synthetic motor oil is more frequently used and has a synthetic base stock mixed with a variety of additives that boost the performance of the oil.

While all synthetics on the market may offer a higher level of protection than conventional or synthetics blends, not all synthetics are equal.

Each synthetic brand uses a mix of high-performance fluids and additives. How these formulations come together results in various protection levels and attributes.

Full synthetic compounds are known to increase the odds that your car will live longer, they have better machining and metallurgy and better protection under warranty and longer drain intervals.

However, full  synthetics are about 30% more expensive than the average synthetic blend, and their increased life span doesn’t always compensate for that cost.

Synthetic Oil Vs Regular Oil

scaleMost of you know, that synthetic motor oils typically perform better than conventional motor oils in providing protection for your vehicle, but you might not know why.

So, what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil?

Visually, you cannot tell the difference between new synthetic and conventional oil. There are two major differences, however.

First, how they are made is a distinction. We’ve explained that synthetic is far more refined than conventional oil.

Second, used motor oil shows a lot thicker and sludgy in conventional oil vs synthetic oil, given the same amount of wear. Synthetic burns cleaner, thickens far more slowly, and has fewer deposits to start.

According to industry tests, synthetic oil engines perform 47% better than engines using conventional motor oil.

How Is Synthetic Oil Made?

Conventional and synthetic motor oils both begin in the ground and are derived from petroleum.

Synthetic oil is not only refined but also distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules.

This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines.

These customized molecules provide higher levels of protection and performance than conventional oils.

What Are The Benefits Of Synthetic Motor Oil?

As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits.

1. Sludge Reduction

Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine’s efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine.

Synthetics contain fewer impurities compared to conventional motor oils and can better resist the formation of sludge thereby preventing deposits from forming in your engine.

2. Durability

In the extreme environment of your engine, components can wear and break down.

Your motor oil is the protective barrier between these components. As conventional oils break down, their ability to prevent engine wear diminishes.

Synthetics, on the other hand, retain their wear protection properties for a much longer time, increasing engine life.

With conventional oils, it takes more time until they are able to flow smoothly through the engine.

3. Performance In Extreme Temperatures

snow roadDuring the cold winter months, or if you live in an extremely cold environment, this flow process takes even longer.

Synthetics, however, are engineered to flow quickly even at low temperatures, and they start protecting your engine right after you start your car.

When running, engines tend to get very hot. Over time, the high temperatures in your engine can cause conventional motor oils to break down or evaporate exposing your engine to wear.

Synthetic oils are engineered to resist these high temperatures, which is especially important if you’re driving in hot climates.

Can Synthetic Oil Be Mixed With Regular Oil?

faqYou might wonder, whether it is possible to mix the two kind of oils – synthetic and conventional.

Manufacturers state, that it should be fine to mix oils and it is unlikely anything bad would happen because the oils are compatible with each other.

Many oils are a blend of natural and synthetic oils. So, if you are low on oil, don’t be afraid to add a bit of synthetic if you are using regular oil or even regular oil if you are using a synthetic.

Despite this, it is not recommended to routinely mix oils because the additives in different products may interact or the oils may become destabilized by the mixture.

You may reduce or negate the properties of the additives.

You could lose the benefits of the more expensive product. So, adding regular oil to your special synthetic motor oil will mean you’ll need to get your oil changed sooner than you would have otherwise.

Main Advantages

thumbs upAlthough it is more costly, synthetic has its advantages.

It is designed to be more effective at: resisting break-down, and thus lasts longer than mineral oil, withstanding high temperatures, flowing in cold temperatures, thus reducing engine wear during frigid startups.

Using synthetic will prolong your oil life and require fewer changes. Another good use for synthetic oil is as a salve for older engines prone to sludge buildup.

The use of synthetic rather than conventional oil is a major benefit to the environment, as used motor oil is a major source of toxic waste in the water.

Synthetic Oil Disadvantages

thumbs downThe main disadvantage is the price.

Car experts recommend that regardless of whether you use natural or synthetic, you should change your oil every 3,000 miles.

Synthetic engine oil does allow for less frequent oil changes, but this is not recommended, especially for more inexpensive vehicles

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Any Vehicle?

After you have heard about the benefits of synthetic motor oil in vehicles, you may be inclined to switch.

Although, there are some risks you should be aware of if you own an older vehicle.

Technology has improved significantly over the years, and most cars on the road today should be able to use either synthetic or regular oil, so long as the proper weight is used.

In fact, some new cars require synthetic motor oil.

However, one exception is with older vehicles, especially those with high mileage.

The seals in those engines may not be able to handle the additives in some synthetic oils. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to switch to synthetic in an older car.

There are engine oils specifically designed for cars with 75,000 miles or more on the clock, and you’d be better off using one of these.

Check out our guide to the best high mileage oil for more information.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Motorcycles?

motorcycle viewEven in motorcycles, you can use any oil that confirms to manufacturer’s viscosity specifications.

Synthetic will last longer before it breaks down and looses it’s initial lubricating, cooling and cleaning properties so you can extend your oil change interval.

Otherwise, any oil or combination of synthetic and mineral oils will do.

This includes non motorcycle-specific oils such as a car and a diesel/truck oils.

Synthetic Oil – When To Change It

whenYou may know, that you are required to change the oil in your vehicle regularly.

If you use synthetic oil, you should probably change it every 7,500 miles, though some can last 10,000-15,000 miles.

Synthetic does not break down as quickly as conventional oil, so it doesn’t need to be replaced quite as frequently.

Synthetic oil change intervals vary between products and are often dictated by the condition sin which you drive and the stress that you out your vehicle under, so check the manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure.

Do You Need A Synthetic Oil Filter To Use It?

oil filterThe answer is no, you do not have to use a special type of filter although you can buy synthetic oil filters.

That said they’re not meant solely for synthetic oil – they’re called synthetic because they’re made of more synthetic fibres than normal paper filters.

Typically, synthetic filters do a better job of trapping small contaminates for a longer period of time, meaning less frequent changes.

Look for an oil filter that provides 10,000 mile protection with at least a 98% efficiency, such as the Premium Guard Extended Life oil filter.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Diesel Engines?

dieselBetween gasoline and diesel engines it is the diesel ones that especially need more maintenance and frequent oil changes for maximum protection and cleanliness.

And it’s the best synthetic diesel engine oil that ensures your engine runs appropriately and efficiently even when under pressure.

There are synthetic oils specially built for diesel engines and the best fuel for your car is one that’s compatible with your engine.

Both gasoline and diesel engines have the same base oils while different additives change the oil’s properties. So the difference between the two lies in the number of additives used in the oil.

As diesel engines absorb more carbon while gasoline engines absorb more moisture and tar, diesel oils contain more dispersants and anti-wear additives.

Diesel engines also need oil with a higher viscosity, unlike gasoline engines that only produce more heat. Full sensitive diesel engine oils contain more additives as they work under harsher conditions.

One of the most popular and best synthetic oils for diesel engines is Mobil1, famous for its superior protection in all working conditions. It’s unique and balanced formula keeps your engine running like new.

Being synthetic diesel engine oil, it outperforms conventional motor oils by offering better protection to your vehicle.

Best Synthetic Oil Brands

Apart from Mobil1 there are a few more brands worth mentioning.

Castrol

castrol gtx magnatecCastrol GTX Magnatec recently came out on top in our recent review of the best 0w 20 synthetic oil (which is specifically designed to help prevent dry start ups in cold weather.

Shell Rotella

Shell Rotella T6 5W40Shell Rotella is also highly recommended because of its wide array of impressive features. Among others, it is preferred because of its low ash technology.

This feature is basically responsible for controlling the blockage of the exhaust, making the oil fuel-efficient and emission-compliant.

It is also worth noting that the base of this product is free-flowing synthetic base oil. This means various benefits, with one of the most significant being its ability to provide protection even in extreme climates.

Even under high temperatures, the right level of viscosity can be retained.

Pennzoil

pennzoil platinumPennzoil is also a popular brand.

Their motor roil is full synthetic, which means that there are no additives used in its formulation.

Because of its purity, you can expect maximum benefits.

Another significant benefit that should be highlighted is that it provides protection from engine’s loss of power, increasing its reliability.

How To Choose A Synthetic Oil For Your Vehicle

Choosing the correct motor oil for your car might seem daunting but the best way to start is by checking your owners manual for your car manufacturers suggested oil weight.

Adjust this weight based on the weather and then start choosing a specific motor oil brand by checking out the starburst symbol that indicates the oil has been tested and meets the standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Your next task is to pick the viscosity (thickness) that’s suitable for the temperatures your vehicle normally operates in.

Wrapping It Up

Without a doubt, searching for the right synthetic oil is not going to be an easy task.

Make sure that it is made by a trusted brand, given high rating by other users, and more importantly, appropriate for the engine of your car.

Looking for a good oil filter?  Check out our guide to the best on the market right now.

Need a hand getting oil out of your coolant reservoir?  No problem, read this.

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Lug Nuts And Lug Nut Removal – All You Need To Know

Lug nuts aren’t the sexiest of topics.  But for those new to the home garage movement it pays to know a bit about them.

So read on for…

Everything You Need To Know About Lug Nuts

When we were new to mechanics we had a lot of questions.  Many of those are featured below, in our quest to answer the most frequently asked questions about lug nuts.

What Are Lug Nuts?

lug nutsLug nuts are the bolts used to hold your wheel to your axle on your vehicle, typically a car or truck.

How Do You Use Them?

faqWhen installing lug nuts it’s highly recommended that you give the nut or bolt at least 10 turns by hand before ever putting a wrench on it to ensure that no cross threading has occurred, and that the threads are free of obstructions.

Once you’ve done that tighten the nuts all the way down to snug by hand before ever putting a torque wrench to them.

This ensures not only that the threading is correct, but that the nuts have centered correctly in the lug holes of the wheel.

Lug nuts must be installed in an alternating pattern, commonly referred to as a “star-pattern” technique of applying torque to one lug nut, then the one directly across from it, but it’s important enough to bear repeating.

Torquing the lug nuts in this manner ensures that they center properly.

Tor­que one nut, then cross the center of the wheel for the next nut, and so on.

For a 5-bolt pattern, this will have you torque the nuts in the classic star pattern. For a 4-bolt, it’s a cross pattern.

What Are The Different Types Of Lug Nuts?

lug nuts iiFor the most part, dealing with lug nuts only involves using the ones that came with the wheels.

However, changing wheels will often require different lugs, and this is where it becomes important to determine that they are the correct type for the wheel.

Having the correct lug nut for your vehicle helps ensure that your wheel is safely and securely installed.

Conical

The most common type of lug nuts, conical lugs are cone shaped and designed to fit a corresponding cone-shaped lug hole. A taper of 60 degrees is still the most common style.

Conical lugs are generally easy to work with and center correctly just about every time.

Flat

Flat lug nuts have a mounting surface that simply extends out 90 degrees from the lug stud and looks like a large washer.

Most also have a small barrel that extends into the wheel’s lughole for centering, which is what makes them somewhat tricky to deal with.

Ball 

Ball-style lug nuts are essentially round rather than cone-shaped. Thankfully, there are relatively few of these types left in service, as it can be very difficult to tell them apart from conical styles.

Confusing the two can cause serious – and usually irreparable – damage to the mating surfaces on the wheel.

Ball lug nuts can, however, still be found on certain Mercedes, Audi, VW and Honda vehicles.

Tuner

Many aftermarket wheels are designed for extremely small diameter lug nuts usually known as tuner lugs. In the olden days, tuner lugs were open in the center and designed to accept a solid hex-shaped key for installation and removal.

Most are not made this way anymore, as the open design allows a wide-open pathway for air and moisture to get to the studs and threads, causing serious corrosion problems.

In this case, it’s a good idea to recommend changing them out for a set of the newer spline drive lugs.

Spline Drive 

These lugs have many narrow grooves on the head and even down the sides that will accept a special low-profile key that can just fit over the lugs and into the lugholes.

Some people tend to think that spline drive lugs are akin to wheel locks and will protect their wheels from theft which is not true.

The spline drive key is never a unique pattern, and are easily available from any auto parts store. Relying on spline drive lugs for theft protection is no protection at all.

Lug Bolts 

While most cars have lug studs coming out from the rotor plate, some cars, particularly BMW, will have lug bolts that thread into the rotor plate.

They are typically seen on European vehicles. Most tire techs despise this as it means you can’t just hang the wheel assembly on the lug studs while you thread the nuts on.

Instead, you must hold the heavy assembly up against the rotor plate while threading the bolts through the wheel and into the rotor, a process that requires approximately 3½ hands.

Are Lug Nuts Universal Or Do They Come In Different Sizes?

tape measureLug nut sizes have a specific thread pitch, which is determined by vehicle specifications.

Having the correct lug nut for your vehicle helps ensure that your wheel is safely and securely installed.

Different lug nut sizes:

  • 10mm X 1.25
  • 12mm X 1.25
  • 12mm X 1.50
  • 12mm X 1.75
  • 14mm X 1.25
  • 14mm X 1.5
  • 14mm X 2.0
  • 7/16″ X 20
  • 1/2″ X 20
  • 9/16″ X 18

How Tight Should They Be?

Each nut should be fairly tight but not too close to the final torque.

They must be tight enough so they won’t come loose and the heat will transfer uniformly from the hub to the wheel for cooling.

That heat transfer needs to be uniform so it is important that they all be torqued to the same value.

Typically this is somewhere around 90 ft-lbs.

How Do You Tighten Them?

The proper way to tighten the wheel is to use a torque wrench to torque every lug nut to its recommended torque when the car is on the floor.

Some cars even require more complex procedure which is hand tight first, torque to a specific lower torque while the car is up in the air, then torque to its final torque specification when the car is on the floor.

Here are the steps on how to tighten the wheel lug nut properly:

  • Wipe every stud with a rag and air blow the inside of each lug nut to clean them.
  • Use hand to tighten each lug nut onto the studs.
  • If you have an impact wrench, you may use it to barely snug up each lug nut, stop as soon as possible when  you hear a couple of clicks.
  • Drop the car on the floor.
  • Set the manufacturer recommended torque on the torque wrench and tighten each nut according to it.

The right order to tighten the lug nut is not clock or counterclockwise.

If it is a four stud wheel, you should tighten them in a cross order, which means first tighten the top one, second the bottom one, third the left one, last the right one and so forth.

If it has five studs, then you should follow an order of drawing a star.

It is recommended to re-torque the lugs after about 200 miles of driving, especially on alloy wheels.

Can They Be Too Tight?

Some technicians use an impact wrench to tighten every lug nut until he hear many clicks. However, not too many people notice that all the lug nut could be over tighten that way.

It’s remotely possible that dirt or corrosion is causing certain nuts to seem tight when they aren’t.

In that case it is recommended to clean any that seem like they might be a problem, and to apply some anti-seize compound.

What Are The Dangers Of Over Tightening Them?

Over tighten can stretch the stud and cause failure around the rotor.

It can also be the reason of brake warping on a vehicle.

It can make them virtually impossible to remove with normal tools (especially typical lousy tire irons) which can turn a flat tire into a need for a tow.

On some cars, it can cause warpage of brake discs or drums, or even of wheel hub flanges. And in extreme cases, it can cause the lug stud to break off.

What Equipment Do You Need To Tighten Them?

air impact wrenchWhile a lug, socket or impact wrench may be used to tighten lug nuts the final tightening should be performed by a torque wrench, ensuring an accurate and adequate load is applied.

Using the manufacturer recommended torque helps guarantee that there isn’t either too much or too little pressure on any of the assemblies to which the wheel attaches.

Before you install your wheels, check your vehicle’s recommended torque.

The general rule for steel wheel lug nut torque is usually around 80-90ft/lb, and for aluminum wheel is around 100ft/lb.

It can be used in most cases, but we would still prefer you to research for the exact torque for every particular model before you start working.

What Tools Do You Need To Loosen Them?

air impact wrench iiLug nuts may be removed using a tire iron, lug or impact wrench.

Tire irons can be purchased in  your local auto parts stores that usually have an end that fits all vehicles.

You may also choose to simply use a deep socket of the appropriate size with a ratchet or breaker bar.

If the lug nuts have rusted over, apply a generous amount of a thread loosener or rust remover to the nuts.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then attempt to loosen the lug nut again.

If the lug nut and stud break, you will need to have a new lug stud installed in order to repair the vehicle.

Be sure to use the correct sized socket.

A socket that is slightly too large could round off the lug nut.

If the wheel is to be removed then an automotive jack to raise the vehicle and some wheel chocks would be used as well.

Wheels that have hubcaps or hub covers need these removed beforehand, typically with a screwdriver, flatbar, or prybar.

What Are The Most Common Problems With Lug Nuts?

  • Failure to abide by the recommended torque value can result in damage to the wheel and brake rotor/drum.
  • Additionally, under tightened lug nuts may come loose with time.
  • Lug nuts can be difficult to remove, as they may become frozen to the wheel stud.
  • It is crucial that the lug nut seat and the wheel lug seat match.
  • If the lug nut seat type does not match the wheel seat type, it is possible that the lug nut could damage the wheel.
  • It is also likely that a mismatched lug nut and wheel could potentially cause the lug nut to loosen and the wheel to become unsecure to the vehicle.
  • If the lug is not centered just right, the stem can catch on the flat mounting surface rather than going into the hole, and if you’re not paying attention it can seem as if the lug nut has tightened when in fact it has not.
  • The best way to avoid this is to hand-tighten all the lug nuts to ensure proper fit before applying final torque.
  • Swelling lug nuts are common to Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota vehicles. The chromed caps separate from the steel nuts, moisture gets in between the two and causes corrosion, and the nuts swell.

Lug Nut Removal – How Do You Get Them Off In These Circumstances?

In such circumstances a breaker bar or repeated blows from an impact wrench can be used to free them.

  • Alternating between tightening and loosening can free especially stubborn lug nuts.
  • If the wheel is seized in place and won’t come off from you pulling on it, use a rubber mallet to bang it loose.
  • Strike the tire where the rim and tire meet all along the circumference of the wheel until it breaks loose.
  • Do not use a metal hammer to hit the rims or you may damage them.
  • It may take a good deal of force to remove the wheel if it is rusted in place.
  • For stubborn nuts, heat the nut with a torch, then move the flame away and immediately apply WD-40 or any other penetrating oil against the heated bolt threads.
  • The quick change from high heat to to the cool oil will cause the nut to retract and expand, allowing the penetrating oil deeper into the threads to create a slippery surface.
  • You can do this multiple times. Just make sure there is nothing flammable around when torching.
  • After doing this a couple times, use a breaker bar to pull it free.
  • If this fails, you may need to use an angle grinder to cut a groove in the nut, and a flathead bit on a hammer drill to get it out.

Self-Help

It is better to have a stripped or rounded lug nut cut off by a professional.

However, if you are ready to give it a try and remove rounded nuts yourself here is how:

  • First of all take a socket, place its mouth on the lug nut, and tap with the back with the hammer.
  • Make sure you don’t hit too hard. That may have the socket stuck badly.
  • Keep tapping till it fits well.
  • Secondly take the beaker bar and fit it onto the socket’s back.
  • Start hitting with the hammer on the breaking bar’s handle to the left.
  • When you do so a couple of times, you will feel that you are getting closer to breaking the lug nut free.
  • With persistent pressure towards the right, the lug nut will break free with a jerk.
  • Twist the socket clockwise and anti-clockwise a bit and pull it out. It will come off easily.
  • Once the nut is off, you still have to deal with the lug nut which will still be stuck in the socket.
  • Loosely screw the nut along with the socket back again.
  • Then gently tap the socket up and down with the hammer.
  • The socket will come out while the nut will be right there loosely screwed in.
  • You can twist it with your hand and pull it out.

Wrapping It Up

Well, hopefully that whirlwind tour of lug nuts and all they’re about has been helpful and you’re now better placed to work with them.

Let us know below, we’d love to hear from you.

What next?

Why not check out our recent post on how to remove a stripped lug nut (an altogether different kettle of fish!).

Or check out our new guide on the best air impact wrench for lug nuts to make things an absolute breeze.

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Sources:

Tire Review

Discount Tire Direct

Wiki

 

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A Trucker’s Life – What It’s Like To Drive A Truck

Starting a job as a truck driver might be exciting, but hard at the same time.

There’s no doubt, you will have to make a lot of adjustments.

It will be take a while until you get used to your truck, utilize new driving skills and get accustomed to your new lifestyle.

Life As A Truck Driver

One of the biggest challenges you will have to face as a truck driver, will be adjusting to being away from home.

Nowadays, professional drivers often tend to be on the road for several weeks or more at a time. It might be especially hard if you are married or in a relationship.

life as a truck driverOne way to connect with your family while home is share stories of your travels and pictures you take along the way.

New technology makes it easier to keep in contact with family members, so having that much needed connection with them on a regular basis is entirely possible.

Keeping a cellular phone is essential to the job for emergencies with the truck or delivery, contact with the dispatch room, and for contacting the shipper or consignee.  CB Radios are also great for contacting friends on the road.

So, every driver should have a cellular phone within days of becoming a full time driver.

Calling family while at a rest is a small, but important method to being there for family while in a different state.

Many truck stops have several amenities like showers, dining areas, and wireless internet and using it for social media or video messaging is the next best thing to actually being able to go home at night.

Messaging and phone calls will allow first year drivers to ease into their heavy driving schedule and fight feelings of homesickness.

What To Expect

Being alone for long periods of time can be tough emotionally on some people. Loneliness, depression and anxiety are not uncommon issues truck drivers face.

truck driverThe job can also be boring, but it is possible to make it more fun for yourself by listening to music or purchasing audiobooks and listening to your favorite authors.

You can also listen to some language tapes and learn some of the useful phrases in different languages.

Some operators pair up with a partner to help combat the loneliness of long-haul driving. In addition to having someone to talk to, they can cover more ground by having one person sleep while the other drives.

Staying Focused

Drivers must also be mentally prepared in order to perform well on the road.

The ability to focus and concentrate on driving safely and efficiently with a variety of tractor-trailer combinations is only one part of the driving experience.

A driver must be able to calmly and collectively deal with any distractions or frustration that may occur on the road.

Driving may also be monotonous and may take a mental toll on a driver – it’s important for a potential trucker to know how long they can confidently perform one task for an extended period of time.

A trucking career can take it’s toll on the both the mental and psychical health of a trucker.

New technology, like alertness apps and dash cams for truckers can help you to stay sharp, but, as we’ll see in the next few sections, staying fit and getting enough sleep are also key.

Staying In Shape

It is important to try to stay fit as a long distance driver.

All you need are a pair of running shoes, which are easy to store. You can use them to go walking or jogging in the rest area or around the outer edges of the parking lot to avoid traffic.

runningYou can also take weights with you. Make sure you have a good place to secure them. You do not want them to roll under your acceleration pedal, brake or clutch which could be deadly.

Getting Enough Sleep

In order to stay healthy you have to keep track of your sleeping schedule as sleep is essential to good health.

You need to get as much sleep as possible in your 10 hours off and, to do that, your sleeping conditions must be as comfortable and as quiet as possible.

For a driver, truck cabs are like mini-apartments. In addition to sleeping quarters, many have outlets or power sources that can accommodate small appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and cooking gear—all valuable resources when drivers want to avoid the greasy, calorie-heavy food at restaurants and rest stops.

Taking It All In!

The one highlight of receiving driving assignments is taking the road less traveled.

Driving is the one way to view the countryside, big cities, and hundreds of American suburbs all at once.

Stopping in a variety of cities throughout the country will help gain a glimpse into life in different regions around the U.S. and is an experience that is like no other.

truck mountainsNo other career, other than anthropology, allows you to travel the world and experience other groups and their lives in a regular manner like this.

Truck drivers receive one of the best crash-course educations on daily life around the U.S. through his or her freight routes.

Getting Your Licence

If trucking for a living truly appeals to you, seeking out a CDL and trying out long haul loads for a year is the only fool proof method towards figuring out if trucking is a career for you long term.

Again, a trucking career has its challenges; however, the positive gains towards becoming successful, getting paid to see the country, and providing a good life for your family greatly overshadow the negatives of being an OTR driver.

Wrapping It Up

Truck driving is not a career for everyone due to the long hours spent driving, the monotony of the highway and the possible health risks of eating regularly at rest stops and sitting for long periods of time.

For others, the thrill of the drive, the hours spent alone and the satisfactory pay can make a life of pick ups and deliveries well worth it.

Truck drivers are highly respected by their employers for the time spent away from home and family and for their integral role in helping companies operate successfully.

Despite the challenges, many people find trucking to be a satisfying and rewarding occupation.

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The Greatest Trucker Songs Of All Time – 15 Timeless Classics

Life on the road can sometimes get a little dull.

Music is one of the best ways to keep yourself entertained.

So crank up the volume and sing along to the…

15 Greatest Trucker Songs Of All Time

1. On the Road Again – Willie Nelson (1980)

The song about life on tour was written after the executive producer of the film Honeysuckle Rose approached Nelson about writing the song for the film’s soundtrack. It became one of Nelson’s most recognizable tunes.

2. Roll on 18 wheeler – Alabama (1984)

This was the first single and title track to the band’s album Roll On. It was the group’s 12th straight No. 1 single on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles The song is a tribute to the American truck driver. Here, the story is that of a man who drives an over-the-road semitrailer truck to support his wife and three children.

3. Six Days on the Road – Dave Dudley (1963)

A song which captures the sense of boredom, danger and swaggering masculinity that often accompanies long-distance truck driving.

4. Truckin’ – Grateful Dead (1970)

The song was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure. It molds classic Grateful Dead rhythms and instrumentation. The lyrics refer to a drug raid of the band’s hotel lodgings in New Orleans during a concert tour.

5. Highway Star – Deep Purple (1972)

In 1971 when a reporter asked the band how they wrote songs, they decided to demonstrate and ended up playing the first version of Highway Star. Deep Purple continued refining it and ended up performing it live that night. It is considered one of the best driving songs.

6. Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses – Kathy Mattea (1988)

The song is about a truck driver named Charlie who is retiring after thirty years to spend more time with his wife. The song mentions Charlie receiving a gold watch, a common retirement gift.

7. Big wheels in the Moonlight – Dan Seals (1988)

The song written by Seals and Bob McDill peaked at number one immediately after its release. It is about a young man’s childhood memories of watching semitrailer trucks travel along a nearby highway, listening at night to the roar of the trucks’ diesel engines in the distance and dreaming one day of being a truck driver.

8. Drivin’ My Life Away – Eddie Rabbitt (1980)

The song is a first single from Rabbitts album Horizon. It reached number one on the Hot Country Singles in 1980, and peaked at No. 5 on the BillboardHot 100. The song, a look into the life of the roadies and the long periods of time they spend away from home, was featured on the soundtrack of the 1980 movie Roadiestarring Meat Loaf and Art Carney.

9. I’m a Truck – Red Simpson (1971)

The song — sometimes known as “Hello, I’m a Truck” — became Simpson’s biggest hit single, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in January 1972, and spending 17 weeks on this chart.  about life on the road through the eyes of a truck. Instead of giving praise to the hard work of the truck driver (as most truck-driving songs had), the truck — whose story is told in first-person narrative — takes a cynical look at the profession.

10. Truck Drivin Man – Terry Fell (1954)

Popular country song written and recorded by Terry Fell. One of his band members, Buck Owens,  recorded the song himself in 1965, omitting the fourth verse – “When I get my call up to glory, They will take me away from this land, I’ll head this truck up to Heaven, ‘Cause I’m a truck drivin’ man.”

11. 500 Miles – Bobby Bare (1963)

Also known as “500 Miles Away from Home” or “Railroaders’ Lament” is a song made popular in the United States and Europe during the 1960s folk revival. The simple repetitive lyrics offer a lament by a traveller who is far from home, out of money and too ashamed to return.

12. East, Bound and Down – Jerry Reed (1977)

Song written by Jerry Reedand Dick Feller, and recorded by Reed for the soundtrack for the film Smokey and the Bandit. The song spent sixteen weeks on the U.S. country music charts, reaching a peak of #2. It also reached #3 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100.

13. I’ve Been Everywhere – Lucky Starr (1959)

Originally written by Geoff Mack in 1959 and made a hit by Lucky Starr. The song has been sung and recorded by many different artists – Johnny Cash,  Lynn, Asleep at the Wheel and others. Original singer Lucky Starr released an EP called “Lucky’s Been Everywhere”, which contained four different versions: United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, and Australia.

14. Teddy Bear – Red Sovine (1976)

The song — actually, a recitation with an instrumental backing — was one of Sovine’s many recordings that saluted the American truck driver. “Teddy Bear,” released during the height of the citizens’ band radio craze of the mid-1970s, is titled after the song’s main character, a young paraplegic boy whose semi-trailer truck-driving father had been killed in a road accident, and is left with a CB radio to keep him company.

15. Bud the spud – Stompin’ Tom Connors (1969)

The song is an account of a truckerwho hauls potatoes from Prince Edward Island, Connors’ home province. It was written about his truck-driving friend, Bud Roberts. Connors crisscrossed Canada, performing it along with his many other songs about Canada, at first in small venues. In this way the song became known through word-of-mouth as well as through radio airplay on CBC Radio.

Do you have any suggestions?  Let us know your favorite truck driving songs below.

For more great ideas check out the following:

Today’s Trucking

AXS

Why not install a subwoofer and crank up the bass?!

Are you a truck driver?  Need a good dash cam for added security?  Check out our ultimate guide.

Looking to get into trucking?  Take a look at our post on how to get your licence.

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