DoorShox Car Door Protection Made Easy

One of the most annoying things for any car owner is coming out to your car in a parking lot and noticing a freshly minted dent or ding on your door. You look around because you know that wasn't there before you went into the store. Well if you are tired of this happening than I have a good solution for you, it's called a DoorShox.

What is a DoorShox? If the picture doesn't make it clear, essentially the DoorShox is a device that helps you keep unwanted dings, scratches, and knicks from affecting your precious paint on your car doors. At first the DoorShox sounds a little too good to be true. However having used the Standard and Valet DoorShox models I can you tell you that the DoorShox is actually a well designed automotive product.

The DoorShox sticks to your car door with magnets. This allows it to stick securely to your car doors but makes taking them off a cinch. The DoorShox magnets are covered in silicone to prevent scratching your car paint.

doorshox
DoorShox Magnet

With the silicone covered magnets this means the DoorShox can work on virtually any car or any car door. That is unless you have plastic car doors, in which case I would recommend you find some new wheels.

The first thing that struck me when I took the standard DoorShox out of the box and placed it onto my car was how well it is made. The rubber material is strong, yet flexible which helps absorb impacts from reckless and annoying opening car doors, should there happen to be any. I even asked someone who was curios about what I was putting onto my car to open their car door onto mine.  It worked flawlessly.  As well the security cable holding the two DoorShox pieces on the standard model is also quite thick and sturdy.  I even left the DoorShox on my car in the rain and it didn't move.

What's the market for the DoorShox? Well, anyone with a car that has doors. I at least hope your car has doors! 🙂

The DoorShox would be useful for instance if you are leasing a car, which is not a good idea. This is because when you go to turn in a leased vehicle the dealership goes over the the leased car with a fine tooth comb. They try to find any dent, ding, or scratch or other imperfection on the car they car charge you for. It's the nature of the leasing business. With the DoorShox you would have some reassurance that at least door dings wouldn't be a problem. Other areas and parts of your car you might need to be a little more careful.

I would also recommend the DoorShox if you know anyone that keeps getting their car doors dinged.  It would make an excellent Christmas or holiday gift for a gearhead or auto enthusiast.

The DoorShox is made by made by the same people that make the BumpShox, a bumper protection device which I have also used and tested.  You can checkout my review of the BumpShox.

You can buy the DoorShox directly from the website if you want to stop your door dings.  The Valet DoorShox is $70 and Standard DoorShox is $120 which might sound expensive until you get a body shop estimate.  You can also order the Standard DoorShox and Valet DoorShox from Amazon if you feel more comfortable.

 

5 Tips for Preparing for Winter Wonderland Driving

winter driving
Winter Driving

Winter is can be a dangerous time for American driver and winter driving can be hazardous.  Drivers in parts of the country that get snow should be well-prepared for conditions over the next couple months and your vehicles must be prepared too.  You are likely to experiences infamous black ice, all-encompassing whiteouts and blizzards so why not prepare now? Brave the winter with the following five essential tips for safe, accident-free driving:

#1 Survival Kit, Assemble!

It is recommend that you gather essential supplies in your trunk, so that if you're ever stranded, you'll be able to survive Bear Grylls-style. Pack the essentials into a duffel bag for ample space. Begin assembling your survivor kit with spare prescription medicine, high-calorie food (perhaps any of the now defunct Hostess products), bottled water, a first aid kit, extra clothes, thick blankets and an assortment of tools to make Tim Taylor proud. It's also wise to bring jumper cables, a shovel and a bag of kitty litter or sand for traction when you might be able to get yourself out of trouble without the aid of a tow truck.

#2 Winterize Your Car

It is a good idea to have a mechanic check your car's fuel, ignition, cooling and exhaust systems every year. Fluid levels and batteries should be checked; and belts, brakes, wipers and hoses should be in good condition.  If you are not sure you can afford all the maintenance at once, it's a good idea to spread out the costs or learn to do some DIY maintenance.  Slippery winter conditions mean you'll need good dependable tires with adequate tread for good traction in snow. Snow tires a good option if you live in an area with harsh winters.  Michelin tires are the best you can buy since they provide great performance in all driving conditions, including wet winter weather, and last a long time.

#3 Slow Ridem

There's never a better time to drive defensively than winter. Slow down—you shouldn't be going as fast as you do in the summertime—and be extra-careful going over or under bridges and overpasses. Allow extra space between yourself and the car in front of you, in case you need to make a sudden stop. Inspect your tires before you leave to make sure they're inflated and wearing evenly. Make sure you're familiar with the skills to recover from a skid—if you start skidding, gently steer your car in the direction of the car's rear. Keep an eye out for disabled vehicles on the side of the road, never pass snowplows and, above all else, wear your seat belt—click it or ticket.

#4 The Man with a Plan

If you're planning to make a trip during the winter, make sure someone knows where you're going (and your route); check weather conditions before you leave. Most state patrol or highway department websites offer up-to-the-minute information on road conditions. Television and radio stations, including weather band radio, also provide current and reliable weather forecasts. Before you leave, double-check that you've got everything you need in your survival kit. Check around the circumference of your car before you depart, and every time you stop, ensure that your tires and other equipment are still in good condition. Take frequent breaks at rest stops or gas stations to prevent exhaustion and fatigue, and pull over to the nearest shelter if a storm becomes overwhelming. Don't allow your gas tank to drop too low before refilling; fill that sucker up frequently.

#5 Stuck in the Snow & Nowhere to Go

When you're stuck in feet of snow or some other winter-related wretchedness has wrecked your car, turn on your blinkers and stay put in the driver's seat; you don't want to run the risk of being hit by passing traffic. Use the supplies in your emergency kit, stay warm and periodically check your exhaust pipe—if it's clogged with snow and ice, you could pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you're hopelessly stranded with nary a cell phone signal, you'll be forced to flag down another vehicle or walk to the nearest service station for assistance.

Experts, including law enforcement, agree that the key to safe winter driving is twofold: advance planning and awareness. Start your preparations now, pay attention to weather conditions and you can overcome cranky Old Man Winter.

Win an iPhone 5 at Salvo Auto Parts!

Win an iPhone 5!

Want to win a brand new iPhone 5?  Salvo Auto Parts is giving away one iPhone 5 to a very lucky customer.  All you have to do is visit one of their 10 Baltimore area auto part stores, including their brand new Perry Hall location, and enter by leaving your name, email, phone number, and zip code.  I don't think it costs anything to enter the iPhone 5 contest and you can winterize your car while you are at Salvo.  The contest ends on December 15th, 2012 so if you want to win the iPhone 5 you better hurry because I assume a lot of people will be heading over to various Salvo Auto Parts locations to enter this contest.

Dont’ Buy Trico Flex Wiper Blades!

The other day I went to the auto parts store to pick-up some Trico Flex Wiper Blades I had purchased online for my Mom's Chrysler van.  (I usually do this to save time and hassle.)  I assumed spending money on the frameless wipers, like the Trico Flex Wiper Blades, would be a good investment.  However, when I went to install one of the Trico Flex wipers on one side of the van, I noticed that it wouldn't fit.  I thought for a minute I was doing something wrong and starting fuss with the wiper arm and the wiper blade.  This is when I noticed what the problem was.

The Trico Flex has the wiper attachment mechanism on one side of the wiper blade instead of being embedded in the into it the body, like most wipers.   This makes the Trice Flex line of wiper blades not usable for a lot of vehicles like my Mom's van.  Talking with the girl at the auto parts store only confirmed this.  She told me when I returned the wiper blades, “Yeah, I need to exchange a lot of those because they won't fit on customers vehicles.”  I returned the Tricos and got another frameless wiper for the other side.  It was kind of ridiculous and a waste of my time.  Wish I had taken a picture before I returned the blades so people could see what I am talking about.

Some stupid Trico engineer probably thought this was a smart move.  I am fairly sure he/she has never actually every installed wiper blades on a car though or they would have realized this serious design flaw.  Bottom line Don't But Trico Flex wiper blades and save yourself hassle.

I recommend Bosch Icon frameless wipers and have them installed on my Honda Accord.  They are usually expensive, but worth the cost and investment since they last for quite a long time.  The set on my Accord have been installed for a year without a problem.

 

John Moschetto, aka Gypsy Jack, has Passed Away

yamaha r1
Gypsy Jack's Yamaha R1

Some of you might know John Moschetto, aka Gypsy Jack, who I have mentioned a few times on this blog.  I am sad to announce that John Moschetto passed away a few weeks ago on the morning of Saturday October 27th while riding on the way to one his favorite local car events, Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee.  I am not sure of the all the details but it seems Jack got into a collision with a Toyota 4Runner at the intersection of Shawan Road and Beaver Dam Road.

The Baltimore County police crash team is still investigating the accident, although early reports suggest that Moschetto lost control of his motorcycle and crossed the center line, heading into oncoming traffic. Moschetto was declared dead at the scene, according to police.

Reported the online newspaper, the Hunt Valley Patch.  You can also read the original Patch story (with a quite a lot of comments) here.

What's surprising to me is that Jack was always a careful rider and had never been in a motorcycle accident in the 40+ years he was riding.  (He was however struck on the back of the head while riding his bicycle.) He was very enthusiastic and passionate about safe riding techniques.  He would never ride in bad weather or unsafe conditions and avoided them most of the time.  In my opinion he gave sportbike riders a good name.  I would have liked to learn to ride from Jack and he was going to help me get my Yamaha Virago running and rideable.  Now, very regrettable, I won't have the chance or opportunity to learn to ride from him.

Jack was someone who was very enthusiastic and passionate about anything to do with wheels and it really showed.  He could talk your ear off about the latest MotoGP race and was an avid fan.  As most know he loved customizing his beautiful motorcycles to perfection and riding. Jack was a great photographer too and allowed me to use some of his Hunt Valley Cars and Coffee photos for this blog.  He also had quite a toy collection and used to compete with RC cars.

You can still visit Jack's website, Gypsy Jack Racing, and visit his Examiner page to read some of the motorcycle articles he wrote there.  He never liked writing for Examiner much but he clearly was passionate about writing.  I encouraged him to start his own blog so he could showcase his motorcycle and toy projects.  I wrote a short post about him awhile ago on this blog and shared a few pictures   He wanted me to write other posts about him and his motorcycles and I sadly won't be able to.

Life is short and when accidents like this occur it is just reminder we should be happy of the time we have on earth.  If you were a friend, neighbor, or family member of Jack, please a leave a comment below and share an experience or memory you have of him.

 

yamaha r6 aprilia
Yamaha R6 Aprilia Mille R

My Singing Dogs make TV Debut on “Anderson”

singing dogs
Central Park, after taping Anderson

Yesterday Sierra, Cody, my Mom and I appeared on  Anderson Cooper's new daytime talk show, Anderson, on national TV!  It was quite amazing to see ourselves on TV with Anderson Cooper.  It was sort of surreal, “Was that real?”

Then I flashed back to when we actually went up to New York City for the taping and remembered talking with Anderson Cooper.  That was real!

When you see yourself on national TV though, you realize a lot of people will see this!  My immediate thoughts when I saw myself on TV were, “Is that really me?”  You tend to have an outer image of what you think you look like.  When you see a picture of yourself you are not crazy about you rationalize, “Oh well, nobody will see this!”

I was pleased with how the whole segment turned out.  You are kind of afraid that maybe you did something odd or stupid, and did not realize it.  Then it will be shown on TV!  I thought my playing was good, and Sierra's singing was wonderful.  It looked like Cody was going to sing, but I guess he wasn't in the mood.  He had such a stoic and proud look when Sierra was singing.  He's got a great voice as well, but maybe he just wanted Sierra to have the spotlight.

At least I was happy I able to keep my composure.  I was also happy that the dogs behaved and that they looked very nice on TV.  The baths definitely helped!

When the segment aired Cody watched intently like he usually does when dogs are on TV.  However,  this time he was watching himself.  Sierra did something pretty hilarious.  When she heard herself on TV, she vocalized softly while lying down on the bed through the entire song.  It was great!

If you missed the Anderson segment yesterday, don't worry.  It has already been posted on the Anderson website.  Click here, to watch it.  The segment did not show our full Auld Lang Syne video.  Check out the SingingSierra Youtube Channel for additional videos.

In Baltimore it was on NBC at 2pm, but other people told me it was on Fox and CBS.  People also wrote emails saying the show aired at 9am and 10am in some parts of the country.  I don't know how TV works these days!

I hope this leads to more opportunities for us.  I have consulted with Sierra and Cody and they would like to use their musical gifts to help animals in need.

Please visit National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR), if you want to learn more about English Shepherds.  Maybe you would even like to adopt one to love and cherish.