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September 30, 2014

Prevent 3 Types of Damage By Using Motorcycle Covers

Filed under: Motorcycle Covers — ProbusOnline @ 4:24 pm

As nice weather comes to a halt, you might tuck your motorcycle away until the next riding season. The way you store your bike greatly influences your ability to instantly hop onto it for a ride at the start of the next season. If you keep your bike out in the open, you might spend tons of time fixing damage caused by trees, animals and poor weather conditions. Think about investing in a motorcycle cover to keep your most prized possession safe from unwanted threats.

Tree Debris

There’s no doubt about it, tree sap wreaks havoc on your motorcycle’s paintjob, moving parts and fabric components. This sticky substance takes an incredible amount of time and elbow grease to remove. If you wait too long to remove the sap, you might not even be able to dislodge all of the residue. The worst part is tree sap’s ability to work its way into the moving parts, gumming up the works permanently in severe cases. Invest in a nice cover to prevent this problem altogether.

motorcycle cover

Breathable, Waterproof Motorcycle Cover with “Vent X” Venting System

Animal Intrusions

If you leave your motorcycle uncovered throughout the cold season, it might feel like everything from rodents to insects tried to make their home there. You might find remnants of beehives, spider webs and insect egg sacs under the fairings, saddle and outside of the engine. Rodents, like squirrels and rats, may have even gnawed off the rubber materials used on the seat and handlebars. When not in use, seal up your bike with a tightly fitting cover to keep these pests away.

Weather Sabotage

Rain, snow and hail all pose a serious threat to your motorcycle’s glossy, beautiful finish. Rain and snow can work their way beneath the paint to create large bubbles that pop to reveal bare metal underneath. At that point, your bike will start to rust away from that spot outward. Hail poses an even bigger threat to your bike since its harsh impacts could dent up the finish and knock paint off the frame. A cover keeps your motorcycle dry while deflecting hailstones of all sizes.

Protect Your Ride

Immediately protect your motorcycle with a cover after deciding to park it for the off-season. After all, the earlier you cover it up, the less work you will need to do to prepare it for the first ride of next season.

If you’re looking for more ways to protect your motorbike this upcoming winter, head over to DuraShield now to cover your baby!

June 19, 2014

Things to Look at Before Your Next Car Road Trip

Filed under: Car Covers — Tags: , , , , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 1:55 am
We’ve written before about what you have to do to cover up your car for the winter, but what about the opposite: getting said to stretch her legs on the summer’s open road? A road trip is one of the most classic things you can do during the summer, but going out without a full car inspection is foolish at best, dangerous at worst. Don’t be “that person” and check over your car before you go, and make sure you’re never writing into a comedy site about how you were stuck by the side of Route 66 for days on end. But instead of poring over countless articles, here’s a handy little list of the top X things you should take a look at.
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Fluids

Without fluids, your car just won’t run. Or it might for a little bit, but then it’ll overheat and die. The point is, you want to make sure your fluids are topped up nicely and looking clean, so check for:

  • Oil: Change it if you’re close to the number of miles in your owner’s manual, otherwise, just top it up to the “fill” line.
  • Coolant
  • Transmission fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid (you’ll get a lot more bugs splattering on your windshield than you’d think)
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Gas
  • Brakes

    Without properly working brakes, well, you know very well what the consequences could be. It’s just not worth it to take a chance on shoddy breaks, no matter how far you’re travelling. And if you’re still unconvinced, just picture this scenario: you’re hurdling down a backroad highway at too many miles per hour when a deer suddenly leaps in front of you. And because deer are short, you can’t hit them at the legs like you can with moose, so you’re only option is to stop as suddenly as possible — except you can’t, because you’re breaks aren’t in top condition. Don’t let this happen to you and get them checked over before you leave.

    Tires

    Just like your brakes, tires are crucial to your car’s good health. They’re your only points of contact with the ground and while you can’t rely 100% on road conditions, you can do something about your tires. If they’re bare, cracked or worn, consider investing in a new set. After all, you’ll be putting hundreds of miles on them and it’s only fair to give yourself the best chance possible of being safe. But if you can’t swing a new full set, at least carry a spare with you, and tools to change it. At the very least, check the air pressure.

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    Battery

    Your battery’s one of the more reliable parts of your car…until it isn’t. Unless you’re testing it regularly, you’re probably not very aware of it slowly dying until one day, your car won’t turn over and it’s because of a dead battery. Another common cause is leaving the car on and draining the battery that way, and you definitely don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere if that happens. A spare battery, though, is generally not the kind of thing people carry around with them, but a pair of jumper cables is.

    At DuraShield, we’re always coming up with new ways that you can protect everything you bought with your hard-earned money. If you’re not taking your car out for a long spin, then a car cover is the next best way of keeping it protected. Check out our selection and find the perfect one for your car, and we’ll send it to you with free shipping.

    June 4, 2014

    Have You Invested in Tire Covers?

    Filed under: Tire Covers — Tags: , , , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 10:16 pm
    If you have any sort of vehicle other than a hovercraft, you probably have tires on it. They can be one of the most overlooked parts of your vehicle, and yet they’re one of the most vital because those rubbery patches are your only contact with the ground. Ignore them, and risk getting blow-outs at the most inopportune times. But take care of them regularly, and you’ll extend the lives of them to jealousy-reaching heights. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to use tire covers, which shield them from the sun, rain and other elements.
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    Long-Term Protection

    If you’re a smart driver, you likely know the importance of using tire covers all the time, even on your spare tires. The latter is especially important because they’re not used nearly as frequently as your regular tires. They’re usually stowed in your trunk — your hot and dry trunk — (or on the back of your car) and taken out only if an emergency occurs.

    This long rest period can cause them to become exposed to elements that are not good for them at all in the long-term, such as rain, sun and heat drying them out if they’re on the back of your vehicle, or heat if they’re in your trunk. When the rubber is exposed like this, the integrity of it is slowly eaten away, making them potentially dangerous to swap for a flat or blown tire.

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    They Make an Easy Fit

    You’re not trying to outfit a boat, patio furniture or grill with a cover, you’re just wrapping up a round tire. It’s about as easy as you can get, with tire covers coming with flexibility and ease of use. Plus, tire covers come in an assortment of materials, which means it’s easier than ever to get one that fits just right.

    Fit is also important because any loose space can mean that dirt or water can collect — two things that can greatly reduce the lifespan of your tires. If moisture gets in, for example, it can remove protective compounds like antioxidants and anti-ozones, two things which help protect the rubber. The sun, on the other hand, emits UV rays, which can attack the rubber and cause it to break down. You’ll know if you have wrecked tires if they look brittle and have cracks in them.

    Safety First

    If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to invest in tire covers, think about it from a safety point of view. How would you feel if you were racing down the freeway on your RV and suddenly a tire went flat. It’d throw the whole balance of your RV off, which can be a potentially deadly occurrence at freeway speeds.

    Now imagine that you’ve invested in tire covers: you can cruise to whatever destination you want, never having to worry about your point of contact with the road. It’s a peace of mind you well deserve when you’re on a road trip, as well as having enough on your plate to worry about.

    Tire covers aren’t a luxury item that you should debate investing in, but something you should do automatically for your vehicle. Whether you’re thinking of tire covers for a golf cart, RV or ATV/UTV, they’re a smart choice. And because they’re such a smart choice, we’re happy to throw in free shipping on every set you buy.

    May 21, 2014

    Different Kinds of Materials Used in Our Covers

    At DuraShield, we’ve mostly written about how fabulous our covers are, how to use them with your furniture and vehicles, and provided general maintenance tips for everything that our covers can go on. But one thing we’ve realized is missing is why we’ve chosen the fabrics and materials for our covers that we have, and it’s important that you know what’s in your covers. We don’t just take a tarp, tape it together and call it a cover — our work goes far beyond that, and we want you to know exactly why our covers are as high of a quality as they are.
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    ProtekX™ Plus

    This heavy-duty fabric is a win all around for our covers, and provides optimal year-round protection from the elements. It’s tough, durable and breathable, and doesn’t sustain damage from bugs, the sun, dirt and other pollutants as other fabrics do. There’s also a metallic heat shield on it that helps guard against heat damage when placed close to hot exhaust pipes, like the ones on your motorcycle, golf cart, or ATV/UTV. Plus, it comes with air vents so there’s a steady airflow in and out that cuts down on moisture buildup. If too much water gets in and settles, it can cause rust on your vehicle, leading to a lot of problems down the road. You can find it in our motorcycle covers section.

    ProtekX™ Extreme

    This is like our ProtekX™ Plus fabric, but one step further: it’s a lot more heavy-duty for the really tough elements, and is mildew-resistant for extra guarding against moisture damage. The backing is made of an incredibly tough polyurethane blend, which means it stands up well to extreme weather and abrasion or scratching. It also comes with a no-scratch hood liner for that extra little bit of protection, and you can find it in our deluxe snowmobile covers section.

    Stellex

    When you browse the covers in our boats section, you’ll find Stellex. You’ll notice a theme when we say it’s a tough fabric, and that’s because Stellex is a type of polyester specially fabricated to withstand sun fade and weather shrink. It comes with a fabric-coating technology that’s resistant to mold, dirt, bugs, UV damage and mildew, but is still incredibly light and strong.

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    Lunex RS™

    The term “ripstop” may or may not be familiar to you, but it means a nylon fabric that’s stitched in a grid-like, cross-hatch fashion to protect against scratches, rips and tears (sort of like the parachute material you go skydiving with). There are thick threads sewn into light fabrics, which gives it a bit of a 3D texture, and is a hallmark sign of its strength and durability. It’s also really, really light, but can withstand trailering easily. You can find this in our boats section, too.

    Cotton-Backed Vinyl

    Cotton is a natural fabric, while vinyl is a synthetic one. Together, each fabric grabs the best of the other’s qualities and combines to make an almost superhuman material that’s strong, flexible, light and durable. You’ll see this in our tire covers section because our covers have to be able to fit a range of tire sizes, yet still provide protection to all of them. The seams are double-stitched for an added level of protection, ensuring your tires don’t see the sun at all and enjoy a bit of extra life to them.

    Rain-Tite™

    Not all homeowners store their patio furniture in the garage or in a carport, so it’s important that these covers are able to withstand snow and rain for months at a time, as well as not cracking when the mercury dips down really low. Our covers with this material are thick, durable and tough so snow and dirt can’t make their way in, but come with zippers so you don’t have to fight at squeezing cushions and furniture into the covers.

    WeatherPro 3-Ply

    Just like “ripstop”, you’ve no doubt heard of PVCs, or polyvinyl chloride. It’s a really widely-used polymer, but we’ve avoided using it in our barbecue and grill covers because of its sensitivity to weathering effects (it can get brittle and crack easily). Instead, we skipped the PVC part so it stands up well to weather, and added a special solution to resist fading. It also comes with air vents inside for excellent breathability.

    It’s important to know exactly why certain fabrics are chosen for specific covers, as each one has been specially chosen and designed to best fit each need. We want to give you only the best quality covers, but more than that, we want to make the whole shopping process as easy as possible on you. This is why we have free shipping to the lower 48 states, as well as a daily sale you can always capitalize on.

    May 7, 2014

    Maintenance Tips for Your Golf Cart

    Filed under: Golf Cart Covers — Tags: , , , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 11:38 pm
    A golf cart is one of the most fun ways of getting around. It takes all the storage capabilities of a car, mixes it with the maneuverability of a two-wheeler, and costs hardly anything in gas to fill it up. And if you’ve been using a DuraShield cover on your golf cart, you’re already one step ahead of the game. But like anything with a motor in it, your golf cart needs to be regularly maintained to extend the life on it. Here are some things you can do that don’t require years of mechanical training.
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    Changing the Oil

    All you need are a torque wrench, a disposable container, and replacement oil. Because a golf cart has an automatic transmission — and a dry clutch — you can get away with just about any motor oil. Depending on whether or not you live in a cold area (and take your golf cart out in cold weather), the number in front of the “W” on the front should be 5 or higher.

    Your owner’s manual will also tell you the torque in lb-ft you’ll need to apply to properly loosen and tighten the oil cap, and it’s important to follow it as closely as possible. Too loose, and the cap will fall off and the oil will drain out. Too tight, and you could bend the aluminum and also cause the cap to fall off.

    Place your empty container under the oil cap, loosen, and let it all drain out, and clean the filter while that’s happening. If you run your golf cart for about 10 minutes, that’ll get the oil warm and thinner, allowing more of it to flow out. Place the cap back on (using the right torque!), and then refill oil where the dipstick goes.

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    Maintaining Good Tires

    While you’re not going to take your golf cart on the freeway, it’s still important to take really good care of your tires because they’re the only points of contact you have with the ground. Checking for proper air pressure is a must (your owner’s manual will tell you the psi), but knowing how to change them is also a good trick to know.

    You need to take pressure off the tire about to be changed, and a car jack lets you lift it off the ground so you can easily pop it off. You’ll also want to place chocks in front of the other tires for good measure. Next, take off the lug nuts and tire, switch it up for a new one, and put it back on. It’s that simple.

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    Miscellaneous Maintenance

    Tires and oil are two of the biggest things you can look after on your golf cart, but they’re by no means the only ones. You should also do the following:

  • Perform a fluids check each time you take it out for a ride: gas, oil, coolant
  • Check to see that signal lights are operating. In some places, if you ride your golf cart anywhere but private property, the police may ding you for that, depending on the mood they’re in
  • If you have a trailer hitched to the back, make sure it’s got working signal lights
  • Keep the windscreen clean, and either take it down or change it if it gets cracked
  • Walk around the vehicle and take a look for any cracks, bumps, breaks, ripples or other signs of something possibly being wrong
  • Give the breaks a squeeze to make sure they’re firm. This is a bigger mechanical fixer-upper, so if you don’t know how to fix them, it’s a good idea to have a pro look at them
  • Make sure the horn’s working, just in case you have to alert someone else of anything
  • Always make sure you’ve got a DuraShield cover on to protect it from the elements
  • A golf cart is a pretty easy vehicle to maintain, and yet so many people ignore it to the point of disrepair. Make sure that doesn’t happen to you by using these basic tips, and remember to get a DuraShield golf cart cover for all the rest. Any cover you buy always comes with free shipping to the lower 48 states, so you’ve got no more reason to hold off.

    April 23, 2014

    How to Clean Your Grill to Kick off the Season

    Filed under: Grill Covers — Tags: , , , , , — ProbusOnline @ 10:56 pm
    There’s something about warm weather that makes the outdoors and cooking go hand-in-hand. But before you take the lid off and fire up the grill, you should give it a thorough cleaning first. After all, good grilling is clean grilling, and the first cleaning at the beginning of the season is the most important one.

    Step 1: Grates

    The grates are one of the most important parts of the grill because it’s the only thing preventing your food from directly touching the heat source. Have dirty grates, and your food will taste dirty, too. But take the time to clean them thoroughly and correctly, and you’ll be one step closer to being crowned Master Chef of your neighborhood.

    Start by removing them entirely and letting them soak in warn, soapy water for 15 minutes. This allows the water to work its magic by softening up caked-on crud, making the cleaning process a lot easier. Once they’ve had a good soak, take a wire brush to them and really scrub. Your goal is to get every single thing off that’s been hibernating there over winter, so you’ll need a bit of elbow grease.

    Charcoal grill

    Charcoal grill

    Step 2: Heat Source

    Most grills are either charcoal or gas, so we’ll take a look at how to clean both the proper way.

    Charcoal Grill

    The great thing about charcoal grills is all you have to do is give it a quick clean each time you use it and you’re good to go, including just brushing out the ash. However, after it’s been sitting for the entire winter, you’ll have to be a little more thorough. Hopefully, you took out any bricks or wood before packing it up, as they’ll need to come out anyway.

    Next, scrub out all the other gunk until it’s crystal clean and then wash with soapy water. Not only is this a necessary step in getting it ready, but it’ll make post-grill cleans a lot easier. Lastly, you may want to touch up any spots with paint, but make sure it’s clearly marked as “grill safe”.

    Gas Grill

    Gas grills have a “clean” knob; ignore this. What the “clean” setting is good for is preheating the grill so when you actually get to cleaning it, the job’s a lot easier. Your grill should also have a barrier above the burners in the form of metal plates, lava rock, or briquettes. This area should be well scrubbed, too, for the same reasons listed in the charcoal grill section.

    Gas Grill

    Gas Grill

    Step 3: The Rest of the Grill

    Make sure it’s not possible for your grill to heat up (mostly a concern with having an “on” gas grill) and take the rest of the parts out, again soaking them in warm, soapy water to loosen up the grit. While the parts are soaking, inspect the rest of the grill for the following:

  • Clear burners so nothing blocks the flow of gas
  • No food caked onto ceramic briquettes or lava rock (replace if there is)
  • Any caked on food inside the grill, or any dirt on the outside; clean down with soapy water
  • Once you’ve got all the parts cleaned and free of soap, re-assemble your grill back together. You can pat it dry, but it’s just as easy to let it air-dry, too. The only thing to keep in mind is let it heat completely before you cook on it, just in case you missed rinsing off a soapy spot or two.

    Now that you’ve got a super clean grill, the only thing that’s left is getting a DuraShield grill cover for those rainy or windy days. The last thing you’d want is for your hard work to go to waste, and a DuraShield cover can avoid that. Plus, we’ve got free shipping to the lower 48 states, so there’s no reason not to get one today.

    April 9, 2014

    Getting Your Patio Furniture Ready for Spring

    The warmer months are here! Although this winter seemed like it would never end and the warm weather lagged behind the official start of spring, the mercury is slowly creeping up everyday. This means it’s time to spend more time on our patios, basking in the sun and warm breeze that hits your face. Before you relax, though, you’ve got to make sure your patio furniture is set to be sat upon.
    Patio Furniture Cover

    Patio Furniture Cover

    Plastic Patio Furniture

    This is probably the easiest type of patio furniture to clean, as plastic doesn’t rust and its durability helps it last for years. Take a minute or two to swipe off any clumps of dirt, grass or other debris so the actual cleaning is easier, and then prep your solution: a cup of vinegar, a gallon of water, and a couple of tablespoons of dish detergent (use less if you’re using liquid detergent).

    You can also occasionally use a splash of bleach for stains, but regular use will eat away at the plastic and cause it to degrade. A handy alternative is to go with baking soda, which provides a grittiness that’s great at scrubbing. And if you’re still not pleased with that, just paint it another color!

    Wicker Patio Furniture

    This is also an inexpensive, yet durable, material used for patio furniture, and cleaning it is almost as easy as plastic. Attach a soft brush on the end of your vacuum and clear away any loose bits, and then use a mild oil-based soap (e.g. Murphy Oil Soap). Make sure you use a soft brush to avoid damaging the wicker, and wet it with water first. You don’t have to fully clean it that often, but it is a good idea to hose it down every couple of weeks to maintain it.

    Classic Accessories Veranda Patio Lounge Chair Cover

    DuraShield has the perfect covers for you patio furniture to make sure it stays safe and protected over the winter months.

    Teak

    Closely related to wicker in terms of cleaning methods is teak, and all you have to do is use the same oil-based soap and soft, damp brush.

    Aluminum

    This metal is pretty laidback in terms of maintenance and durability, but that doesn’t mean you get off scot-free. The most important thing is to keep an eye on chipped or peeling paint and touch those up right away, as this helps to seal it and prevent corrosion.

    If the aluminum is painted, just use soap and water to clean it, making sure to dry it completely as opposed to letting it air-dry. If it’s not painted, use a metal polishing paste and avoid baking soda at all costs; the scrubbiness of it will slowly destroy the unpainted aluminum.

    Wrought Iron

    Many homeowners love wrought iron because of its elegance and ornateness, but it comes with one major drawback: it gravitates to rust like there’s no tomorrow. One common way this is combated is with manufacturer’s applying rust-resistant paint to it, which you can buy to touch up yourself.

    Patio loveseat cover

    Cover your veranda loveseat with one of DuraShield’s patio furniture covers.

    Another way of keeping your wrought iron patio furniture looking good is to sand down any rusty bits as soon as they crop up. This isn’t particularly fun and it’s a task that requires patience and dedication, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than tossing away rusty furniture and buying a new set. To clean it, just use water and a mild dish soap.

    Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about cleaning patio furniture, it’s time to take a look at DuraShield’s selection of patio furniture covers. We know it’s the time you’re taking your covers off, but you’ll never find as good a selection now, and nor will you have to worry about getting one in the fall. Find the right one for your needs and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    March 27, 2014

    Protecting Your DuraShield Goods from Springtime Flooding

    Now that spring is officially here, it’s almost warm enough to take your DuraShield cover off your car, ATV, boat, motorcycle, golf cart, barbecue grill or patio furniture. But before you do, remember that one of the quickest routes to needing a new any of the above is wrecking it with flooding. Take the following precautions to make sure your valuable gear doesn’t get waterlogged, and you’ll be able to put your DuraShield cover on them again next season.
    Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPRO™ 3 Car Cover

    Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPRO™ 3 Car Cover

    Cars, Motorcycles, Golf Carts and ATVs/UTVs

    One of the worst ways to damage a motorized vehicle is with water. The mechanical and electrical parts inside need water like a fish needs dry land, and the two should be in contact as rarely as possible. Water can very easily lead to rust, which will weaken the entire integrity of your vehicle and lead it to breaking down much sooner than it should.

    Protect it at least parking it on an incline so water can do its natural thing: find the lowest space possible and spread out there instead of in your car, golf cart or ATV/UTV. On a regular basis, run your hand under the seats to check if water has crept in, take off the spare tire to check for moisture there, and, for cars, run the A/C with the windows up and sniff for mildew or mold.

    Boats

    It may sound silly to read about how to protect your boat from water damage precisely because they’re meant to live in water, but it’s a real risk that’s always present (especially with saltwater).

    Regularly inspect the traps under the sinks, sea cocks, strainers, and holding tanks for any hiding water, and remove it as soon as possible to ensure they’re protected. These areas should stay relatively dry, and it doesn’t take much to keep them that way.

    Barbecues and Grills

    Your barbecue or grill should be washed regularly to avoid ashy buildup, but not draining and letting it dry properly can lead to big and expensive problems down the road. And as with vehicles, saltwater and chlorinated pool water are especially big concerns.

    For ocean side grilling, try and keep the cover on as much as possible. It won’t form a perfect seal, but it’ll be pretty darn close. To complement that, regularly inspect and clean the grill, taking time to scrub off any rust that’s developed and coating it in oil to prevent more from building up.

    If it’s pool party barbecuing you’re after, the chlorine can be a real killer (or bromine, if you use that instead). The biggest precaution you can take is not setting your barbecue right by the pool so the chlorine/bromine vapors have a harder time sneaking in, and repositioning the grill upwind to further combat the vapors (as well as inspecting and cleaning it regularly).

    Classic Accessories Villa Patio Table and Chair Set Cover - Round Tables

    Classic Accessories Villa Patio Table and Chair Set Cover – Round Tables

    Patio Furniture

    Generally, keeping patio furniture from being water damaged isn’t a problem if it’s made of plastic, only if it’s made of wood or metal. It’s also relatively easy to protect it from water damage because the form of patio furniture naturally lends itself to water running off, not collecting on the tops and sides. But you should still tilt the furniture after a heavy rainfall to avoid water collecting, and spray it a protector for that extra boost.

    When it comes to whatever valuables you’ve covered in a DuraShield cover, water damage can easily undo everything the DuraShield cover has protected. Take no chances and browse our selection for the DuraShield cover that’s just right for you, and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    March 12, 2014

    Getting Your ATV Ready for Spring

    The recent days of warm weather herald one thing: spring is on its way. That means it’s time to uncover the ATV or UTV and take it out for a ride. But first, there are a couple of things you need to do to make sure it’s in good working order.
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    Make Sure There’s Enough Fuel in the Tank

    If you’ve been following our tips on how to get your ATV/UTV ready for winter, you’ll know that prepping the fuel tank and filling it fill of gas is one of the things to do. However, an ATV/UTV that’s been sitting in your garage over winter has been largely unattended, and there are a number of things that could have happened:

  • Fuel leak from small, unseen damage when getting it ready for winter
  • Holes or pinpricks somewhere along the line caused by mice, cats or raccoons
  • Insects or water finding a new home
  • General dirt or grit making its way in there
  • Either way, you should check the fuel tank by draining both the tank and carburetor, and then filling the tank with fresh fuel. You may not have enough fuel on hand to fill the tank entirely, but what’s in a jerry can will do until you can.

    Are the Tires Inflated?

    So, your fuel tank is full and good to go, but unless your tires are firm and inflated, you’ll be going nowhere fast in a hurry. Start with a visual inspection of all four. If they look okay, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are; it can mean all four are equally flat. If this is the case, give them a light kick or squeeze to check. They may appear okay, but a bit more air in the tires—and be careful of how much you inflate them because replacing burst tires is a lot more arduous than just slowly inflating them—is probably a good thing after a full season of non-use.

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    Air Filter and Oil

    Now that your ATV/UTV is majorly good, you have to look to make sure it can run smoothly and without overheating or clogging up. Depending on how well you take care of your ATV/UTV the rest of the year, a complete oil change may or may not be necessary. The same goes with changing the air filter. Take a look at it to see how grimy it is. You may be able to get away with just cleaning it off, or you may need a new one (the latter especially goes if you do a lot of desert riding where fine particulate matter can quickly clog it up.)

    Battery and Brakes

    It would be awfully terrible to get in the middle of a great ride and either not be able to stop or have it stopped for you. Your brakes and battery are two of the most important things to make sure you’ve got ultimate control over how long your quadding session goes, so run quick tests to make sure both are in top shape.

    Miscellaneous

    Some of the other things you should be looking at include:

  • spark plug (doesn’t necessarily have to be changed every season)
  • drive chain, to make sure it’s not worn, warped, bent or broken in any spots (also doesn’t have to be changed every season or year)
  • steering rods to see they’re straight and firmly secured in place
  • hand grips
  • fan or radiator so your ATV/UTV doesn’t overheat
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    Now that you’ve got your ATV/UTV in great working order, it’s time to take a look at DuraShield’s line of ATV and UTV covers to keep it that way when you take a rest. Our covers come quickly and of high quality, and there’s free shipping to the lower 48 states.

    February 27, 2014

    Car Safety in Extremely Cold Weather

    The recent return of the second Polar Vortex has caused temperatures to plummet drastically, which isn’t such a big deal when safely ensconced indoors. But what happens if you take a drive out far and your car breaks down—would you be ready to spend the night in really cold weather and make it out in one piece the next morning?

    Before the Cold or Storm Arrives

    While weather forecasts aren’t 100% reliable, they do give enough indication of impending doom and gloom, and this is your chance to do the smart thing and pre-empt it as much as possible. Start by building an emergency kit with the following items:

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  • 1. Sand and/or Salt: Just in case you ever run into a slippery patch of snow, it’s always a good idea to have something that can provide a bit of grit and traction for your tires.
  • 2. Snow Removal Equipment: This can be as basic as a window scraper, or as elaborate as an extra shovel and pair of boots stowed in the trunk. Snow has a way of building up very quickly, and there’s no other way of describing going out there in sneakers than to say it sucks.
  • 3. Food: You can’t predict how long you may be stuck in your car, so stock up on 2,000 calories of non-perishable food, like granola or energy bars and trail mix. Try to choose food that’s high in protein because that’s what your muscles are made of, and they’re the things that’ll keep you warm.
  • 4. Water: You may be able to go days and days without food, but going without water has a much shorter time limit. Make sure to stow water in plastic bottles that won’t break—don’t use glass bottles—and wrap them in blankets to minimize the chance of them freezing.
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  • 5. Blankets: If you can obtain or afford goose-down blankets, that’s the best option for you keeping you the warmest in cold weather. Otherwise, stick to wool for its breathability or fleece for its moisture-wicking synthetic properties, and try to avoid cotton blankets. Fire blankets are also a good idea.
  • 6. First Aid Kit: A good first aid kit has a mixture of bandaids, gauzes and wraps, antiseptic solutions or ointments, painkillers, tweezers and scissors, eye patches, thermometer, and many other items. For your car, also include a seatbelt cutter.
  • 7. Candles and Flashlights: It gets dark awfully quickly in the winter, and with it, a tremendous loss of heat and awareness. But stocking up on candles, deep cans to hold them in, and strike-anywhere matches (stored in a waterproof container), as well as wind-up flashlights, is always a smart idea.
  • 8. Whistle: As loud as you can yell for help, it’ll become ineffective quickly because a) the wind can overpower your voice, and b) you’ll lose your voice if you yell for help long enough. But remember the scene in Titanic where Rose used a whistle and that caught the rescuers’ attention? Whistles work.
  • 9. Maps: There’s almost nothing better than Google Maps, but it has two fatal flaws—it needs an electric or battery-powered device to operate on, and it needs reception for GPS. On the other hand, paper maps will never run out of batteries, and you can use them in the remotest, GPS-lest locations.
  • Although it may be tempting to take the DuraShield cover off your golf cart, boat or motorcycle, keep it on for a little while longer until it warms up from the cold weather. Our covers are made of a breathable fabric that’ll keep the elements out, and just in case you don’t, take a look at our selection and enjoy free shipping on everything to the lower 48 states.
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