An Adventure with a Car Engine Overheating

A couple of weeks ago, I was stranded 30 kilometers away from Sydney when my car overheated. Diagnosing car trouble is always the biggest problem.

Do you know what to do when your car overheats and you have no idea what the cause is? I am not sure I know a single driver who at one point in their lives didn’t have such a problem. Whether the reason for it was the lack of engine coolant or extreme weather conditions, we were all in that annoying situation once.

Unexpected engine problems include cars overheating.
Unexpected engine problems include cars overheating.

A couple of weeks ago, something went terribly wrong. I was stranded on the road 30 kilometres away from Sydney.  I was in a hurry on that scorching hot day.  Already late for the meeting I had scheduled weeks before, my trusty Mazda decided it was the right time to break down. The smoke came from the bonnet and it just stopped. A few curse-filled seconds later, I decided screaming in despair is not the most productive thing I could do at that moment. I decided to get out and open the bonnet.

Diagnosing the Car Engine Overheating

The steam which surged out confirmed again what even I as a complete car layman could diagnose as engine overheating. The only thing that came to my mind is that I don’t have enough coolant in the radiator, but my Mazda is an older model which doesn’t have a translucent plastic so I couldn’t see it. Then I tried to unscrew the cap and check it. It was hot. I got burned.

Luckily, I’m not a stubborn person, so after the first incident in which I’d suffered pain, I decided that I should find someone to solve the problem for me. I was near Seven Hills, a peaceful Sydney suburb which at that moment seemed a bit like a ghost town. Wandering the streets, sweating like crazy, partly because of the weather, partly because my nerves couldn’t deal with the fact that I was almost definitely late for the meeting already, I found a car repair shop.
123AutoParts.com

The Quest Begins

I got a hold of one of the blokes working in Tyre King Seven Hills (I owe them some beer next time I am around). He was kind enough to give me a ride to the place where my car was parked. A few moments into the inspection he had a good and a bad news. The good was that I had enough coolant in the system. The bad was that the problem was somewhere else.

The mechanic then proceeded to check the fan. He had a jumper wire ready and attached it to the contacts. He told me the fan could either be faulty or the problem was in the fan switch which is supposed to turn the fan on when the engine starts to overheat. After the check, we were both none the wiser. Everything seemed to be in order.

On to the Thermostat

But my new friend had a couple of ideas more. He wanted to check the thermostat. Thermostat is apparently important at high speeds and if it doesn’t open when the engine needs a lot of coolant to keep the temperature low, the flow will be insufficient. Due to the fact that I was late for my meeting, I was playing “Fast and Furious” on the road, and it made a lot of sense that this was the reason behind the sudden halt. No luck though. Thermostat was fine.

Towing the Car

We towed the car to the shop where a couple of mechanics tried to solve the problem together. It took them a couple of minutes of baffled silence and fiddling with the car, but they solved the problem. Just when I checked the time on my mobile phone for the n-th time that hour, one of them, with an “Eureka!” look on his face, suddenly just exclaimed: “It’s the belt!”

And indeed, my Mazda, being an older girl, still had one of those fan belts which are used to drive the fan. The belt was close to snapping and it didn’t do the proper job anymore. When the first mechanic checked the fan it was working, but if he had observed it more, he would probably have noticed that the fan.

Epilogue

They quickly replaced the belt and I was on the road after a couple of minutes. It goes to show that diagnosing the problem is the biggest part of the problem solving. As for me, my meeting was long finished, but at least I was moving again. And, let me tell you, it felt good.

car overheating image by Pixabay

 

Tips for Looking for an Apartment Rental

Things to consider when you look for apartment rentals are to set your priorities, get word of mouth recommendations, safety and transportation.

If you’ve moved to a new city or neighborhood, you might have to rent an apartment for some time before you can put up or buy your own house. But how do you find the best apartment rental? Searching through hundreds and hundreds of units in a matter of days can be a quite a difficult call, and it can be tempting to pick the first community you come across. However, since the unit you choose might be your home for a year or even more, it can help to take some time and consider several factors so that you get the best out of your money as well as avoid making the wrong choice of a unit.

Before you look for apartments for rent, define your priorities.
Before you look for apartments for rent, define your priorities.

1. What are your rental priorities?

Before starting your search for the perfect rental, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. What is the maximum amount of rent that you’re willing to pay? What’s your preferred location? How many bedrooms should the unit have? Would you like to keep a pet? Are the things to do in the city you have in mind that you like to do? Is the weather there ideal for you?

The amount charged as rent may vary from one apartment to the next. Additionally, these rentals may not always have the same number of rooms or size. You may also come across a neighborhood that prohibits certain weight or breeds of pets. Once you know your priorities, you’ll be able focus your search and save a lot of time you’d have wasted running around looking at inappropriate places.

2. Search for apartments

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get a few names of rentals. Ask friends, colleagues, local businesspeople, or just anyone with whom you have a mutual, friendly relationship. Alternatively, do some research online for rentals in your preferred community. Make sure to list their recommendations so that you have a few options to consider. There are many websites that have apartments for rent or other geographical areas along with other information such as rent charges, amenities and so on.

3. Consider safety

Safety should be one of your priorities. Do the doors & windows lock properly? Are there smoke detectors in place and are they in working condition? Do you feel that the lighting outside is adequate? Do the rooms have an operable window that one can use for emergency escape in the event of fire? It may also be a good idea to read the news and check with the local police department to see if there are any potential crime problems around the neighborhood or if any reports have been filed against the rental you’re thinking of hiring.

4. Consider transportation

Another tip for finding the best apartment rental is to look for one that offers easy access to transport facilities. Generally, a good unit should have adequate parking space and it should also be near public transportation especially if you won’t be using a car. You may also want to consider whether your kids can access school easily. Moreover, you’ll want a rental where you can get to the local grocery store, entertainment or that possible part-time job without much hassle. Even if it will take some more of your time, it’s something surely worth the wait.

 

Find Your new home today!

Dallas apartment image by Wikipedia

 

How To Choose Your Solo 401K Provider

One way for independent contractors save for retirement is a solo 401k plan. An experienced and qualified solo 401k provider must be picked wisely.

If you are an individual running a sole proprietorship, you probably need guidance on how to choose your solo 401K provider. An independent contractor needs a way to save for his retirement, which means they need some form of 401k plan. The plan that is best for these individuals will be a solo 401k plan, but they also need someone to set this type of plan up for them.

money bag labeled retirement
Find a qualified professional in your area to help you set up your solo 401k.




A professional that handles this type of investment is a solo 401k provider, because they have the experience and knowledge to help an independent contractor figure out how to make this retirement option work for them. The issue that some people may run into is finding the right solo 401k provider to assist them with their retirement.

When you need a solo 401k provider, you will have to look at different aspects, so you pick the right one. It is not just looking at websites and picking one. Take the time to visit a few to make an informed decision. Each provider will have their own qualifications, education and fees, so you should look at each of these aspects to choose the one that will fit your personal financial goals for the future. Hopefully, you already have a financial diary. If not, you should start one.

Without doing this type of research, you could end up paying more for these services. You will have several ways for researching these providers, which may take some time and patience, but your retirement plan is worth the additional work. The best providers will be able to assist you in locating the right options for you to create your solo 401k plan.

The qualifications of any solo 401k provider will be one of the areas that you need to pay close attention to when you are trying to find one. You need to make sure they know how to handle this type of retirement plan, so you get a decent plan for the future. Some providers will work solely with type of retirement option, which may be your best option.

If you choose a provider that handles different types of retirement options, you will want to ask them about their experience with a specific one.  Ask about investment’s history in the last several years. When choosing a provider, it may be in your best interest to find one that is certified in your area, because these individuals have proven that they understand the different areas of the financial world.

The education of a provider will go along with their certification and their experience. Many of these providers have spent years obtaining a proper education in handling financial matters. They may have a financial or accounting degree, some will have higher degrees than others will. These questions are essential for you to ask, since you want to verify that they understand and that they have the skills to help you with your solo 401k plan.

The fee that the provider will be charging is another area that you should consider very closely. If they are charging a large fee for their services, you need to consider whether you can afford that option. Many providers that have extensive experience in this line of work may not charge as much as other providers will. In many situations, the provider or the company they represent determines the fee for this service.

You may be able to find a lower fee if you consult with other companies or individuals that offer their assistance with solo 401k plans. You may discover that you are actually paying more for a service if it is through a company that has a large number of affiliates, so researching your options may offer you the same services for a cheaper price.

Locating a solo 401k provider will take some time, especially if you need one that is more budget friendly. Finding the right one to help you with your retirement plan will take attention to different details, since you want one that is qualified in your area. By taking your time and consulting with a few providers, you should be able to locate a decent provider who will be able to assist you for years to come. Hopefully you have invested early, so now you can retire smart. The earlier the better. Now is better than later.

How to Pick Your Dentist

When picking a dentist, the American Dental Association recommends to get recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, and your family doctor.

Is there such a thing as a positive experience when going to the dentist? There absolutely is, and a big part of making sure that it is a positive experience is picking the right dental professional to go to. Here are a few helpful tips to assist you in picking the right person to take care of your dental health and insure that you have healthy teeth.

two dentists working on a patient
Dental work is important, so you must pick your dentist wisely.




The American Dental Association recommends that you first gather information and recommendations from your friends, family, co-workers, and even your family doctor.  Who better to help you with the decision of picking a new dentist than from someone has firsthand experience with your potential prospects and whose opinion you trust? Getting just a few recommendations will help narrow your options and speed up the process.

The next thing to do after narrowing your list is to find out what type of person your dentist is and choose one that you trust and feel comfortable with. Just because a dentist is qualified and certified to be in their position, it does not mean that you will have a good experience with them. A few questions to find out are where did the dentist receive his education and training? And how frequently is the dentist attending continuing education workshops and conferences to keep up to date in an industry that is constantly changing? It is very important to be comfortable with your dentist so keep that in mind when meeting them.

After getting to know your dentist it is important that you are comfortable with the dental staff and that the office and environment are clean and professional.  Make sure all equipment, as well as all tools and devices are completely clean and orderly.  Are the staff members friendly and willing to help and answer your questions and are the dentist and their staff wearing gloves and proper protective gear during treatment?

The final thing to do is make sure that it is going to be a good fit for your physical and financial needs. Ask yourself: What are the office hours and does it work with your busy schedule? Is the dental office located in a place that is easy to get to from your home or work? And finally is the dentist covered under your dental health plan?

The Benefits of Transmission Flush

Maintaining your engine requires a periodic transmission flush, which replaces all of the transmission fluid as opposed to transmission fluid change.

There are many good benefits of a transmission flush. Most car or vehicle owners place a strong emphasis on the engine. A transmission check up is often ignored and it is one of the most important parts . Without a functional and operational transmission, the vehicle is basically useless, and worthless. The transmission flush is a great way to maintain and preserve the condition of the vehicle.

car's engine under the hood
Obtaining a transmission flush is extremely important, for a clean, longer running engine.




Those who need transmission flush should understand the difference between a transmission flush and a transmission fluid change. A transmission fluid change will typically only remove about 50% of the fluid inside the transmission. This fluid is typically dirty. A transmission flush, on the other hand, will replace all of the old fluid with new one. It will actually remove all of the dirty residue from the fluid in order to ensure that the entire transmission is clean again. The removal of all of the contaminants from the fluid will help to ensure that the transmission stays in good condition. For this reason, transmission maintenance is usually recommended.

To do a transmission flush, an automotive certified technician from the mechanic shop will connect the vehicle to a flushing equipment while the vehicle is still running. New fluid will then be flushed through the transmission. This will help to remove not only the contaminated transmission fluid, it will also help to remove all of the sludge that is available. When considering all of the different types of maintenance services that are available, the transmission flush is more recommended in comparison due to the fact that it will actually remove some of the contaminants that have gotten stuck in the interior parts of the transmission. These contaminants have been known to affect the overall quality of the transmission which will generally cause it to deteriorate at a quicker rate.

It is important to note that the contaminants will build on critical surfaces, and will even cause the transmission to fail quickly. In fact, the contaminants have been known to cause the valves to stick, and the bearings to fail. The problems that arise will generally cause major repairs to be needed. The major repairs are rather expensive, and some of them are irreversible. The irreversible problems will result in the transmission needing to be replaced entirely. Replacing a transmission with a new one will cost several thousand dollars; those who are interested in rebuilding the transmission will be able to spend less. Replacing a transmission with a new one will cost several thousand dollars; those who are interested in rebuilding the transmission will be able to spend less. Still, the cost of replacing the transmission may actually be equivalent to the value of the car.

Obtaining a transmission flush is extremely important. This is particularly true for those who will be driving in extreme weather and in rugged and extreme terrain. Those who will need to be using the vehicle in a strenuous way will generally find the transmission flush to be extremely beneficial to the performance of the vehicle. This is due to the fact that these conditions will generally cause the transmission fluid to go through oxidation at a quicker rate. This will cause the fluid to be broken down and damaged easily. With this in mind, once the transmission fluid loses its natural properties, it will begin to harm the vehicle. In fact, the condition of the vehicle will begin to deteriorate and the performance will be reduced.

car engine image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Expanding Usable Space With Lean To Shed Plans

Look at lean to shed plans as a smart storage option. By using an outer wall to your house as the main wall for your shed, it is easy to install

Even in the most organized household, storage space is often at a premium. DIY shelves, bins and boxes are used to manage the products and materials that are used occasionally, but not often enough to have their own niche in the hierarchy of easily accessible storage areas. Garden and yard maintenance tools and supplies often fit into this category, so when the volume of what needs to be stored becomes greater than the amount of square footage available, it’s probably time to evaluate lean to shed plans as a smart storage option.

The main wall of a classic lean to shed plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property.
The main wall of a classic lean to shed plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property.

The design for the sheds in the modern era has evolved from the days of the frontier when boards were slapped up against a sod cabin to make a little more room to house the farm tools. Contemporary versions of the sturdy design are visually attractive, and while they offer a very practical approach to storage needs, they also can serve as supplements to the overall architectural design.

Depending on the planned use of your new shed, you may also want to install a window or two in order to have natural light in the space. By positioning the lean to next to an existing structure, you should have easy access to an electrical outlet or wiring that allows you to install a light fixture that will illuminate the space so that you can easily see what is stored. The paint you use on the shed’s exterior walls, and the roofing material you use, will help integrate the shed with the overall look and design of your home or whichever structure you use to provide the fourth wall of the shed.




Materials and Equipment

One of the reasons the shed plans are popular is because they are simple and easy to install. The main wall of a classic plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property. That leaves only three walls and a roof that you need to erect. The shed will also need a good, sturdy door that gives you access to the interior and that you can lock to protect the shed’s contents.

When you evaluate lean to shed plans, consider the availability of the materials you need to use to bring this project to completion. In most areas, the timber for construction, tools and supplies are readily available at home improvement stores, internet marketing affiliates and lumber yards. In many cases, the wood can be cut to size onsite before you bring it home to assemble. Doors with casings are available, and all you need to do is haul them home in a vehicle or trailer large enough to accommodate the size of the feature.

Flooring material may be plain gravel for the most simple type, but for many plans you will need to use concrete. Ready mix concrete or quikrete will do. Depending on the size of the shed, you can mix cement by hand in a small tub or in a larger concrete mixer that can be rented by the day. While you are at the hardware or tool store , make sure you have the standard tools of the trade — a hammer, a drill, a screwdriver, and a leveling device.

Finishing Touches

The roof on your shed may be a simple assembly of asphalt shingles, wood shingles or slate to match the exterior decor of the house or structure to which it is attached. Your next step is to paint the shed with the same color as the house, or in a subtle, complementary color that will blend in with the overall visual appeal of the land. Add a few shrubs around the shed to create a transition with existing landscaping.

The Shelving Store

 

 

Some facts about Murano Glass

Murano glass is one of the most popular types of glass that is produced in Europe which includes wine glasses, figurines and a wide range of products.

Glass has always had a special place in the imagination of men and women all over the world. In the medieval times, when glass was just invented, it was attributed with having special, sometimes magical, powers. People believed they could look into the future of a person just by staring at a crystal ball! Murano glass is one of the most popular types of glass that is produced in Europe. Glass goes way beyond the wine glass, champagne glass, light fixtures, crystals and chandeliers. They also include paperweights, figurines, decorative items to fine jewelry, necklaces and earrings, Murano glass and a wide range of other products.

blue and gold bottle
A popular type of glass, produced in Europe, is Murano glass.




Where is Murano?

It is a small island that located near the coast of Venice, Italy. Originally developed around the 13th century, glass making is an age old craft here and artisans from Murano were famed all over the world for their skill and knowledge in the art of glass making and glass blowing.

Why is Murano glass so popular?

Italians know the ins and outs on how to make glass. Italian glass has always been famous throughout the world. During the Roman Empire, glass making had expanded with thousands of pieces being manufactured every year. But after the fall of the Roman Empire when Europe plunged back into the dark ages, this fine profession almost died except in Italy. Here too, great fires from glass making furnaces often destroyed homes due to which all activities were shifted to Murano, just near Venice.

Artisans really began innovating and started producing gorgeous pieces of glassware in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The patterns on the glasses were achieved after several steps of melting the glass and giving it shape. Since it was a skill that required years of practice, no one outside Murano could really learn it and hence, it became an exclusive product from Italy. Consumers who know glass know Murano glass.

How to identity fake Murano glass

Unfortunately, fake Murano glassware has been around for as long as the original pieces and for a new collector, it can be difficult to identify fake Murano glass from the real deal. If you want to buy Murano jewelry or glassware, ensure that you buy it from a reputed dealer who has been in the business for a number of years. Otherwise, you can end up spending a fortune on “Murano style” glass that was probably manufactured somewhere in Asia. You can also identify pieces by identifying various labels of a maker or etched markings on the glass or you can ask for a certificate of authenticity.