Monthly Archives: April 2016

Protect Your Car in the Summer

It’s finally spring, and here at Backyard Buddy, we know that means it’s time to get your car out of the garage and go for a cruise. That doesn’t mean you can be totally carefree, however. Even if you would never let your classic vehicle see a salty road in the winter, there are still things to worry about in the spring and summer.

The first thing that everyone worries about is the hot sun beating down on their paint, and for good reason. Your paint takes the brunt of the summer’s abuse, from the sun beating down on it and potentially causing it to fade, to gritty dust acting like sandpaper wherever someone or something rubs up against it (if the neighbor’s kids are writing “wash me” on your window, you should probably take their advice). Luckily, a good coating of wax can help lock in your car’s color, protect it from damaging UV rays, and give the dust something other than your clearcoat or paint to grind off. In most places (unless you live in Arizona or Alaska), waxing once in the spring and once in the fall will give your car year-round protection. For those of you with a delicate custom or vintage original paintjob, investing in a covered parking space or even a car cover is probably worth it.

Another common worry is the greenhouse hotbox that is a nice classic vinyl or leather interior parked in the hot sun. Not only can this lead to a toasted butt and legs seemingly burnt to the seat, but it can cause fading and dry out of your interior. As above, the most obvious way to avoid damaging your interior is to park in the shade and leave your windows cracked, but there are some other tricks too. One of those giant folding windshield panels can go a long way to keeping your interior cool and out of the damaging light of the sun. Even though they may not look great, seat covers or even some blankets thrown over the upholstery can stop almost all sun damage. You should be doing this anyway, but summer heat makes it all the more critical to use a high quality leather conditioner on your leather upholstery. You can also help stop plastic and vinyl from fading with a protecting conditioner like Armor All and its many competitors. Another tip- a hot car can combine with dust and organic compounds in your upholstery to form a nasty film that is very hard to remove, so keep your interior a little cleaner than you otherwise might.

Our friends over at WeatherTech, makers of some of the finest floor mats you can buy (and made in the USA to boot) have a full line of car care supplies to prepare your paint and interior for summer, from leather conditioner to custom-made car covers.

Even though it’s in the shade, don’t forget to pay attention to under your hood. Your cooling system is also an obvious worry on hot summer days, and while we’re sure you’ve already done this, or at least thought about it, maybe take a break to look at your radiator and make sure it’s got the correct coolant and level. While you’re at it, check all your fluids, because your engine has a much harder time cooling off on a summer day, which can turn low levels of engine oil or transmission fluid into a disaster.

Everyone worries about their battery in the winter, and while a cold morning can be murder on your battery’s ability to crank your engine, the hot days of summer are a battery’s true enemy. Especially in older style batteries, heat can cause the battery’s fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure while it recharges off your alternator. This summer, if your battery is feeling a bit weak when you start, be sure to top it off (if you’ve got a true classic battery) or replace it before it leaves you stranded.

If you’re like most of us at Backyard Buddy, summer also means that your garage has gone from a (somewhat) tidy place to park and work to a jumbled mess of cars, lawn mowers, garden supplies, bikes, hoses, toys, and Lord knows what else. Just a reminder that we’ve got lifts that can help keep your car in your garage and out of the sun, with a rock-solid design that makes it safe to store bikes, mowers, and all of the summer’s jumble under your vehicle.

Give us a call at (800) 837-9353 from 8:00 to 4:30 EST any weekday to learn more about how we can help you keep your car off the ground.

Your Guide to American-Made Products Online

We proudly proclaim that Backyard Buddy is an American company, using American steel and American workers.

For years, you also know we’ve been helping to promote other companies that can also stake that claim.  Given the state of our economy and the high unemployment rates, it’s crucial that we all make a conscious effort to search out American-made products.  We want every American to know that they have the power to fix the economy, provide jobs for themselves and their neighbors, and to increase the quality of the products they buy.  Vote with your wallets and purchase high quality, American-made products – Be American, Buy American!  There are many online resources for shopping “Made in the USA” products so we’ve gathered a few here for you to peruse:

Made in America Store

This is an excellent source for a huge assortment of merchandise, including clothing and accessories; groceries; toys and games; hardware; stationery; and outdoor, home and pet products.  The site offers free shipping on orders $100 and over.  And be sure to check out there amazing “American dream,” comeback story – “The Beginning, The Crisis, The Opportunity, and the Future.”

This site is all about “Gettin’ America Back in Business” by asking Americans to commit again to buying products from our neighbors.  There are 24 product categories, and it’s easy to search alphabetically for the nearly 1,300 businesses listed under company bios, with a link to each of those sites.  Mark Reasbeck, founder and patriot, said it is his hope that the site “will link consumers and manufacturers arm-in-arm across the country.”
This site was created to provide consumers with an easy to use and highly accessible means of finding products made in America, which strives to “help keep good jobs here.”  Want to keep your dollars in your home state?  This site also features American-made product directory by state, so you can support your closet neighbors.   (We’re happy to plug that Backyard Buddy is listed on this site.)

Made In USA!
This website is a product search engine and database for those looking for products made in the United States.  Companies can add their “Made in the USA” listing for free.   The MadeInUSA! organization behind the site is dedicated to bringing jobs and prosperity back to the United States of America.

Toys Made in America
Here’s a fun site – for the kid in you!   In all seriousness, this site was launched in 2007 (after so many China-made toys were recalled) to provide a listing of safer, American-made toys and products.   There’s a variety of merchandise, listed alphabetically and by toy companies.