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Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

There may come a time when you would need to have your car stored for a long span of time. This could be when you have to go away for college, work overseas, or go on a long vacation. Whatever the reason is, you have to put your car in a storage that has a good condition. If you just leave your car outside or in a garage for months without any sort of maintenance, you may return to a vehicle that won’t start, has ruined tires, damaged engine, and even a rat’s nest under the hood.

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To avoid such to befall on your beloved property, here are some important things to do as recommended by car repair companies in Singapore before storing your car for the long haul. These necessary steps will preserve the life of your vehicle to ensure that it still works when you return.

Prep the Vehicle

The cleaner your car, the better—and that goes beyond just wash and wax. It’s highly recommended to have your car professionally cleaned by a car maintenance shop to avoid leaving marks and issues that can inflict permanent damage on your car’s components. Bird dropping and water stains are some of the most common things that can leave permanent marks on your car’s finishing. Likewise, clean the wheels and undersides of the fenders to remove grease, tar, and mud, if you are not able to, seek out car repair services in Singapore for the service. A coat of wax is recommended for added protection of your car’s finishing.

Keep It Indoors

An indoor garage is the best place to keep your car. This protects it from potentially harmful elements and keeps it at a stable temperature. If you don’t have a closed garage, consider renting a storage facility to keep your vehicle. If there’s no other choice but to leave your car outdoors, get a sturdy car cover that will keep your car clean and dry at all times.

Replace Engine Oil

You can skip this if you are only storing your car for a couple of weeks. But if your vehicle will be on stand-by for more than a month, consider having the oil changed before storing it. Car manufacturers in Singapore recommend not leaving used oil in the engine for extended periods of time as it contains contaminants that can potentially damage the engine.

Top Off the Tank

Fill up the tank if you need to store your car for a month or more. This prevents the accumulation of moisture in the tank and keeps the seals well lubricated. In addition, consider asking your car servicing professional for a fuel stabilizer. This prevents the build-up of ethanol, protect the engine from rust and varnish, and keeps the fuel from deteriorating for up to a year.

Skip Using the Brakes

It is usually a good idea to use the brakes to keep the car from moving, but car repair experts do not recommend this when leaving the car in storage for long periods of time. When brake pads are in contact with the rotors for too long, they might fuse. Instead, use a wheel chock to keep the car in its place.

Keep the Battery Charged

Car batteries gradually lose its life when the car is left unused for a long span of time. To avoid this from happening to your vehicle, ask a friend or a family member to take your car to a 15-minute drive every two weeks. It will maintain the battery’s life, help the components warm-up, and keep the car engine properly lubricated. It’s also ideal to use air-conditioner during every drive to ensure fresh quality of air. If you can’t ask someone to maintain your car, at least disconnect the negative battery cable or purchase a trickle charger, which connects your battery to a wall outlet to keep it from discharging.

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Inflate the Tires

Make sure that the vehicle’s tires are well-inflated, following the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If a car is left on standby for months, flat spotting may happen as the weight of the car presses down on the tires. Your best bet is to let someone drive your car for at least 15 minutes every couple of days to keep the wheel’s pressure and maintain its operating temperature. If this seems impossible, consider taking all the wheels off and placing your vehicle on jack stands.

Keep Rodents Away

A garage is a dry and warm place ideal for storing your car, but it’s also an ideal environment for rodents and pests. Plus, there are so many spots in your car for rodents to hide and plenty of stuff for them to munch on. To avoid infestation in your car, cover every gap where critters could enter, such as an air intake or the exhaust pipe. Then, scatter moth balls along the perimeter of your car. The smell of mothballs is said to keep rodents away.

Getting Back On the Road

After a long break, here’s a list of the things to do before driving your vehicle again.

• Check for any signs of rodents, such as chewed hoses, belts, and wires. If you covered some areas, remove them first before starting the engine.
• If you have disconnected the battery connectors, make sure to reconnect it.
• Check the pressure of the tires, and have them inflated to the required specification.
• Check the rubbers of the windshield wipers to see if they are cracked.
• Check the brake system. There may be rusting in the rotors, which should disappear after a quick drive. If it doesn’t, take it to a car repair company for check-up.
• Check the fluids to ensure there are no leakages and that they are at the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
• Give your car a thorough wash to get rid of accumulated dirt and stains.
• Bring your car to a car servicing shop for a thorough check-up before going on long drives.

These are the essential steps to take when storing your car. Now, you can travel, work overseas, or do whatever you want, knowing that when you come home, you’ll be ready to hit the road again.

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Break the Ice: Natural Ways to Start a Conversation with Someone

Ever felt butterflies in your tummy, in a bad way, as soon as you see someone you want to talk with? Perhaps so bad you gave up on speaking with them, or messed up everything you were supposed to say? Well, worry not since we’ve listed down five easy ways on how to start a conversation with anyone, anywhere.

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  1. Comment on topics that are currently common to both of you.

Whether it’s the room, the food, the occasion or the weather, talking about topics that are common to both you and the other party at the moment is one of the simplest ways to start a conversation. Just ensure to keep your comments on the positive side because the first time you meet another person isn’t the perfect time to complain about certain things.

  1. Ask questions that aren’t answerable with one word.

“What’s been keeping you busy these days?” is a good example for this type of questions. It’s also a good question, since it allows the other person to choose the focus of their answer. Another good variant to this question is, “What have you been working on these days?” It’s also a useful question to use if you ought to know what the other person does for a living, but forgot.

  1. Prepare a follow-up question after you’re initial question.

If you do ask a question answerable by a single word, make sure to supply it with a follow-up question. For instance, an interesting follow-up question for the classic “Where do you live?” would be, “What do you think your life would be like if you still lived in that place?” Not only will you keep your conversation going, you’ll also learn more about the other person.

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  1. Ask some getting-to-know-you questions.

“What Internet site do you browse regularly?” “What magazines and newspapers do you subscribe to?” Asking such questions often reveal both your hidden passions, which can be useful for having a great conversation.

  1. React to what the other person says.

Make your conversations better by reacting to what the other person said. If he or she makes a joke, try to laugh even if it’s not that funny. If he or she offers a surprising information, react with surprise. By doing this, you get to start a conversation with another person, and you also get to assure that what he or she’s saying is interesting and insightful.

Starting a conversation with a stranger can be really stressful, but by putting these tips to work, you’ll definitely be able to converse with another person more naturally and easily.

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A Three-Step Guide for Handling Intrusive Questions

Even if you consider your life as an open book, it’s perfectly normal to feel defensive, exasperated, stressed, and even angry when you’re blindsided with intrusive comments and questions. But have no fear: We’ve listed down a few strategies on how to handle awkward and difficult conversational moments with grace, while keeping the details of your personal life private.

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  1. Redirect the Conversation

Whether it’s with your relatives or friends, conversations often take a turn to dissecting the female body – specifically talking about a woman’s weight or size. But there’s no need for you to go along with this kind of chitchat if you don’t want to. All you’ve got to do is to simply redirect the focus of your talk, say asking how his or her child is, or casually talking about the latest episode of your favourite TV series. If the other person keeps treading along the same line, continue deflecting towards neutral topics.

Remember, you don’t have to participate in conversations that make you feel exposed and unarmed. You have the right to politely change the subject of your talk whenever you like.

  1. Make Great Use of Silence

Other than redirecting your conversation, using silence on certain moments of your talk is also a good way to signal the other party that you’re uncomfortable discussing a particular topic. Not only will this hint the other person that you’re uncomfortable with his or her questions, it’ll also keep you from feeling the strong urge to fill in the gaps of the questions and answers of other people regarding some aspects in your life. In fact, it may even help you carve out the space you need to process some major life changes.

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  1. Set Your Boundaries

Boundaries: You own them and more importantly, you’re allowed to honour and protect them. So when touchy topics arise – whether it’s related with faith, sex, money, politics, or relationships – a few key phrases like ‘That’s a little personal, can we talk about something else?’ and ‘I’d rather not talk about that, but I appreciate your concern,’ might go a long way.

Most people aren’t intentionally prying on your personal life, and will back off after knowing that they’ve crossed the line. So it’s up to your to use those lines. Remember that you aren’t offending anyone because you’re just looking out for yourself, and you know all too well when a conversation brings more harm than good to your emotional and mental state.

Working with these steps may be a bit uncomfortable and tough at first, but it’ll be worth it to feel empowered when facing nosy questions upfront.

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Camping Safety Tips

There were 23 students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who were camping at Stong Mountain on December 28, 2013. The mountain is famous for its scenic view. The joyous camping trip was turned into an unfortunate event when a 23 year old male student fell and died. It was reported that he slipped and died at around 7pm of December 28.

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Trekking, camping and other outdoor activities are sought-after pastimes. There are many people who prefer outdoor activities but they should be aware that they are prone to accidents. One small mistake can create a lasting impact. A simple trip or slide can cause death. With this, it is important that you know safety tips when you are outdoor. If you are camping, you can consider the following tips:

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  • Plan: Do not be too adventurous by going out there without any plans. It is always best to plan ahead like the date of your trip and the place or spot you want.
  • Gear Up: You have to prepare your gears before starting your camping trip. Do not forget to pack your first aid kit and your field guides. When you pack, remember the basic rule of travelling: travel light.
  • Familiarize Your Environment: It is better if you have a guide. Unless you’ve been there a thousand times, you do not need one. If you have spare time, you can start small excursions. This is to condition the body.
  • Prepare Food and Water: When you are there, you should make sure that your water and food are clean. Do not just eat or drink anything. Remember that you are far from hospitals and clinics.
  • Learn How to Start a Fire: Learning to start a fire is a valuable skill. Starting a fire is not just for camping or mountaineering because you can use it every day.

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Objections Against Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison is blocked or banned here in Singapore for the simple and obvious reason – it encourages blatant disregard of values and morality. For people who are not familiar of Ashley Madison, this is an online dating website that encourages married people to have an extra marital affair and commit adultery. The MDA (Media Development Authority) finally announced that it has obstructed public access to the said website. Previous reports confirm the launching of the website will push through soon but it seems that it will not.

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The government mean well but there are others who protested because of the blocking of the website. There are groups that think that this is a simple form of curbing their freedom. Whatever point of view you are coming from, it is important that you pay attention to the benefits of the ban. One of its benefits is fulfilling your role as a good parent or in other words, good parenting. Good parenting means:

Influencing Your Child’s Behaviour

You cannot influence or create a positive impact in the life of your kids if you have an adulterous relationship. When you discipline your child, it will always go back to your shortcomings. As a parent, it is your responsibility to raise good children.

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Being a Role Model

You cannot be a role model if you know deep down inside that you’ve done something terrible. Your children need a strong role model that can influence them of good behaviour. Remember that you are the basis of how your children acts and reacts. Do not give the impression that it is okay to be adulterous as long as you are happy.

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If you are thinking about your partner and children, you will understand where the government is coming from. If you forget about adultery and focus more on being a good parent and partner, things will be better and easier on your part.  

Keeping Your Child Safe

Parents should be cautious not to leave their child alone because it may cause his/her life. There was an incident here in Singapore where a mother left her 7 year old son alone in their flat to take her daughter to her class. Since her daughter’s class is near their flat, she did not worry about her son. She planned to go home instantly but she was crushed when she found out that her son had fallen to the window and immediately died.

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This is a tragedy but may this serve a lesson for all mothers and parents out there. Children are naturally curious and they do not heed danger until they feel the pain and discomfort. Keeping them safe always is challenging but it should be undertaken. Here are some ways you can consider to keep your child safe:

1. Do not leave them unsupervised

As mentioned earlier, the accident happened because there was no one to watch over the boy. As a parent, this is a big mistake. Even if your child is in deep sleep, do not be too confident to leave him/her. If you have to do something, ask a relative to watch over for an hour or so.

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2. Keep away matches and other sharp objects

Children are fascinated with fire and sharp objects. You should keep away the matches and sharp objects from their reach. Your knives and scissors should be stored properly. Beware of the toys that you give. If there are small parts, they will chew it.

3. Be alert, especially for recalled toys

There are toy companies that specifically recall their toys because of health hazards. There are toys that contain lead so it would be beneficial if you are aware. Tune in to news advisory so you will know which toys contain lead.

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