Need another gift idea for the holidays?  Consider Smart Cap TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors) by Ride-On.

Ride-On SmartCaps

These are a great accessory for any vehicle that uses pneumatic tires since they flash when air pressure drops by 4 PSI.  The tire(s) can then be inflated to their correct pressure.

Why is this important?

  • Underinflated tires have higher rolling resistance which can result in a loss of fuel economy of 1-3%
  • Proper tire pressure extends tire life, improves handling, and reduces tires failures
  • Low tire pressure can cause blowouts which leads to vehicle damage

Smart Caps have some great attributes including:

  • They install in seconds and provide years of service
  • Self-calibrating, no false alerts during high or low ambient temperatures
  • Metal construction means long life and durability
  • Integrated anti-theft protection

I’ve had Smart Caps installed on my car for just over a year and they are great.  My vehicle doesn’t have a built-in Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors installed so these allow me to quickly check my tires to ensure they are properly inflated.  This gives me peace of mind knowing that my vehicle is safe and that I am saving money at the pump.  For around $20 per wheel position, they are a great investment.

You can order LED Smart Caps by clicking here, they make great stocking stuffers.

The holidays are upon us and that means figuring out what to give people on your list.  It can be a daunting challenge, especially for those who seem to have everything they need.  If somebody on your list has a wheeled vehicle with pneumatic tires though, consider giving them Ride-On Tire Protection System.

Ride-On has been around since the mid-90’s and has been popular in the powersports market, especially with motorcycle riders.  However, Ride-On has formulas for automobiles, trucks, SUVs, construction equipment, tractors, quads, ATV/UTVs, trailers, RVs, armored vehicles, and even bicycles.  While the different versions of Ride-On are formulated for specific applications, they all share common benefits and attributes.

Benefits include:

  • Increase tire life by up to 25% or more through air pressure maintenance and balancing
  • Maintain set-point tire pressures 3 to 4 times longer by reducing porosity loss
  • Make tires virtually impervious to flats by reducing tire-related road failures by 85-95%
  • Balance tire/wheel assemblies
  • Improve fuel economy 1-3%

All Ride-On Formulas are:

  • Biodegradable
  • Non-hazardous
  • Non-flammable
  • Non-toxic
  • Free of VOCs and heavy metals
  • Chemically inert
  • Ozone-safe
  • Made in the USA

I’ve used Ride-On on the last two sets of tires I’ve had on my car and I can vouch for its effectiveness.  I initially installed it in a set of Michelin LX4s that had over 50,000 miles on them.  They lasted another 13 months and over 15,000 miles before I had to replace them.  During that time, I had to put air in my tires ONCE.  All four survived a hot Arizona summer without any problems and ran smoother due to the balancing effects of the Ride-On.  When I went to get a new set in May, I discovered that I had a nail in my left rear.  There was no air loss due to that wound!  Needless to say, I installed Ride-On immediately after getting a new set of LX4s.

To order, click here or go to the link on the right-hand side of the page.  Select the correct formulation along with the correct quantity.  To calculate the correct dosage, go to this page and enter the tire information.

After all, this is a site nobody wants to see.

Credit: Tire Rack


If you aren’t already, I suggest you get hitched.

Draw-Tite Receiver Hitch

No, I don’t mean getting married…

Your vehicle is a valuable tool both in everyday and emergency situations.  Adding a receiver hitch to your car/truck/SUV/van/RV makes it both more valuable and versatile.  Consider the following attachments:

I like the options a receiver hitch gives me, which is why it was the first item I had installed on my SUV.  Most of the time, I use it to hold my bike rack but having the ability to carry extra cargo externally or tow a trailer is a great option to have.  Consider a receiver hitch a valuable tool that you can add to your inventory, it may come in handy more often than you think.

I wrote about this subject last week over at Misfires and Light Strikes but thought it might be worth reposting here.

When things go wrong, you don’t want your vehicle’s fuel gauge to look like this.  Its a good idea to keep your fuel tank half full for a number of good reasons.

During an emergency, you may not be able to refuel when you need to.  This could be due to a power outage, fuel shortage, civil unrest, or other factors.  Also, if an evacuation is called for (ex. hurricane), you want to have enough fuel to get out of town and on your way to safety.  That’s why many knowledgeable experts recommend you keep your fuel tank half full.  Sure, it means more frequent trips to the gas station but its a small price to pay for being more resilient.

Listen, I am guilty of letting my tank get down to the last gallon or two so this is one piece of advice that I am implementing myself.  My suggestion is that you start doing this now in order to save yourself from running out during an emergency.

When I mention the importance of having extra car keys, I speak from experience.

GM Key Fob

Last year I had a problem with my car’s clutch and had to pick it up late after work.  The shop was closed and my mechanic locked the set I gave him inside the car.  I was going to use the second key to open my car, start it up, drive it home, and use it to get to work the following morning.

That’s what I thought at least.

What I neglected to do was test both keys *before* I dropped my car off.  You see, I switched the keys and had the dealer reprogram one of the fobs when I was going through my divorce five years ago.  My goal was to ensure my ex would not suddenly decide to drive off with my car, which I was able to successfully prevent.  However, in doing so I messed-up my second set of keys.

Fast forward to a dark night in the late fall of 2012 with a fixed car but a non-working key.  Oops, had to go home and get the plastic emergency key to finally get into my car.  That weekend, I went to the GM dealer and had both key fobs reprogrammed and two brand-new keys cut so everything matched.  Oh, and I tested both sets at the dealership before I left.

The moral of the story is even an ostensibly prepared individual can make mistakes through oversights.  Learn from me, test your additional keys and fobs to ensure they work before you need them to.  Testing your preparations is a key component in making them so don’t forget this step.

You remember a while back I wrote about the importance of redundancy?  Well, here’s a story that will emphasize the importance of it in a harmless yet illustrative fashion.  It start with an automobile, kinda like this one:

Mazda MX-5

My girlfriend and I were going to take her car up to Flagstaff a few weekends ago to get out of the heat.  We figured it would be fun to go to the mountains, drop the top, and drive in the cool pines for a while.  It didn’t happen that way because of a little mistake that caused unnecessary stress and frustration.  Thankfully, the story has a happy ending…but let me describe what happened first.

Its a Saturday morning and we are getting ready to leave.  As we are preparing to load her car, both of us notice that the keys to the Mazda are nowhere to be found.  When she purchased the car, she only received one key from the dealer.  This wasn’t a problem…until now.  For the next three hours we searched in vain for the key, we even drove to a Mazda dealer to attempt to get a duplicate key.  Because of the programming of the key however, even if we were able to purchase one, it would have required programming to start the car.  We decided that since we couldn’t find the key it was best to take my car and salvage what we could out of the weekend.

My girlfriend and I were stressed, both of us were frustrated at the situation and each other.  The looming problem was getting her car working so she could get to work on Monday and the expense of getting her car operational again.  She was looking at several hundred dollars out of pocket to resolve the situation.  Having a second key would have prevented all of this, which is why locksmiths recommend you have at least two keys for each automobile.

Despite the rocky start to our weekend, we had a great time in Flagstaff.  Both of us needed time to relax and we took advantage of the cool weather to be outside and active.  As the weekend drew to a close though and we started heading back to Phoenix, the question of what to do about the missing keys came up.  We decided to do one last search together to see if we could find the one and only set of keys.

…and we found them.

Luckily, it took us only about five minutes of searching before we recovered the keys and breathed huge sighs of relief.  Later that week, she got a second set of keys so this wouldn’t happen again.  Both of us were glad things turned out alright in the end, but the moral to this story is to have two of everything you might need.  Redundancy comes in handy both during emergencies and in weekend getaways.

Chances are you own vehicles that have pneumatic tires on them.  The problem is that they can lose air due to porosity, punctures, or catastrophic failure.  All these will eventually result in flat or destroyed tires that will prevent your wheeled vehicle from moving.

How do you prevent this from happening to your car, truck, van, Jeep®, SUV, trailer, ATV, UTV, motorhome, tractor, motorcycle, or bicycle?  The best product out there that prevents flats and reduces porosity air loss is Ride-On® from Inovex Industries.  They produce several different formulas that are specifically designed for various types of tires (ex. autos, motorcycle, ATV/UTVs) you may have.  Ride-On TPS has been around since the mid-90s and has been used world-wide by military, government, and civilian vehicle fleets.  I’ve been using the Auto/SUV formula in my vehicle for the past year and believe in it.

To find out more information, you can go to the manufacturer’s website and browse for more specific information.  You can click here to order the correct Ride-On® formula for your vehicles.  I would strongly suggest doing so in order to keep your tires properly inflated and ready to roll.  A flat tire is a liability so take steps now to prevent that from happening.

Click here to order the correct Ride-On formula for your wheeled vehicle(s)

Cars break down, often times at the wrong place at the wrong time.  It will happen, the only question is when.

How does one prepare for this?

Nationwide Insurance has a fairly helpful page on what you should have in your car and what you should do when you experience a break-down.  We’ll cover more details on what should be in your car kit in future posts but the Nationwide page is a good starting point.  You will want to fine-tune your car emergency kit based upon where you live and other factors, the key concept though is to learn principles that you can apply in your preparations.  So take some time and put together your car’s emergency kit today.  It doesn’t have to be complete, the main idea is to get started and add to it over time.