Definitive Shopping Guide

If you have larger than normal feet, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be to find shoes that fit. Manufacturers are more interested in creating shoes in common sizes so that they can get the biggest return possible. In the past, this meant that people with larger feet were reduced to shopping at specialty stores for styles made from companies that only made big shoes and not other sizes. The selection was often limited, and the styles not as fashionable as the shoes on the high street. Luckily there are more options available today for people with big feet. Here is the definitive shopping guide for finding stylish shoes that fit your feet.

Styles
Today most major manufacturers create shoes in a range of sizes, from very tiny sizes up to the large sizes that fit big feet. One style that always comes in all sizes are trainers. There are a great range of different types of trainers you will be able to find in your size, from high-tech athletic trainers to the colourful, street trainers that look good with jeans. Dress shoes are a bit harder to find in big sizes, especially larger sized heels for women. When shopping around, remember to look for you size but also keep in mind the width of the shoe. Some companies create large sizes but don’t take into account the extra width of your foot, so you could end up with a shoe that pinches the sides of your feet.

Where to Shop
It used to be that people with large feet could only find good fitting shoes at “big and tall” stores. These shops are still around and are a good option for people who have feet that are both wide and long and therefore really hard to fit. However, you won’t find contemporary, fashionable shoes at these stores. To get shoes that are more on trend with the season, you could consider looking at department stores and asking about larger sizes. Most big stores will stock at least a few big sizes in each style to have on hand. The final and best option is to shop around online. You can go to online shops, auction sites and websites that offer overstocked shoes from various stores to find great deals on stylish shoes.

Buying Shoes
When you decide to shop online, make sure you have the right size. Different countries have different sizing charts, so it’s important to check that you are purchasing your shoes in the right country and corresponding size. Sizes also tend to vary slightly among different manufacturers. In order to get the exact right fit, it is a good idea to visit the manufacturer’s website to take a look at their specific sizing chart. Once you start looking around online, you’ll be amazed at just how large the selection of shoes is that will fit your feet.

The Benefits of Having a Shopping

Today, with economic challenges that do not seem to end, it is hard not be critical and careful with the purchases that we make, whether it is a bar of soap, a new pair of jeans, or a ticket for two to Hawaii. There is no room for an impulsive shopper here in the 21st century, unless you have a reservoir of cash for “emergencies”, when you have swiped your credit card a little too often. Thus, having a shopping guide is important to help you stay on track with what you should buy and what you should not.

The benefits of having a shopping guide can be broken down into three parts. First, it can help you feel like you are making a well-informed consumer decision. Unlike a product recommendation or a review, a shopping guide works like a map that helps you navigate your way in the complicated consumer’s world. If you need to look for a baking oven to replace your old one, a guide about the best baking ovens on the market can help you receive more value for your money. Also, by having a guide that you can refer to when buying clothes, you have a resource that can help you find establishments that offers their merchandise at great prices.

The second benefit of a shopping guide is that it lets you know where to go when looking for a certain item or to avail a particular service. For instance, if you have a shopping guide of the mall that you are visiting, you will know exactly where the home appliances are, or on what floor apparel for women is located. It saves you from possibly getting lost inside a mall, or looking for a particular store that does not exist in that particular outlet. Most guides are available at mall entrances, especially if it is new. It can also be downloaded and printed for free if the mall happens to have a website.

Third, a guide helps you get rid of distractions, allowing you to focus on the item that you want to buy. Most guides are not only packed with navigational details, but also product reviews and recommendations that can help you make informed decisions. It is for this reason that shopping guides are produced in thick brochures and pamphlets; they are packed with useful information for the stressed-out shopper.
Aside from a guide that you can bring with you, such as those printed in brochures and pamphlets, there are also many websites that can function as shopping guides for the dazed online shopper. Make sure that, when referring to online guides, the website that you are browsing through is an authority in the industry. Verify its list of contributors and writers to guarantee peace of mind.

Green Shopping Guide

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I was a school teacher. I lived and worked overseas. I had many great adventures, but looking back two decades later, I can see that what I most enjoyed about those years was the lifestyle I had as a young mom in my neighborhood in Adelaide, South Australia. We enjoyed the best of a modern Western life without some of the “excesses” of 21st century life in the United States-not too much driving, not too much “stuff”, not too much debt…You get the picture. I had a cute little car which was fuel efficient. I had a cute little house and lovely English style garden. I shopped in my neighborhood, because, believe it or not, there wasn’t a supermarket or mall within 5 miles of the neighborhood where I lived.

What I loved most about how my money was spent in those days was that it mainly supported local people and products. My food came from small, family-owned fruit and veggie shops, butcher shops, and bakeries. All of my fruit and vegetables were grown locally and sold in the shops in my local “high street” or in the year-round farmers’ market. Many things I take for granted today like my washer and dryer, my living room furniture and my office equipment were far more expensive in Adelaide than they were in Seattle, for instance. But, we purchased from local merchants, bought quality to last and often recycled and shared. For months when my neighbor had a new baby, we shared the expense of a diaper service and we shared the use of my new washing machine. When another neighbor moved to a new job in another state, we bought their antique dining table and chairs to furnish our cottage’s kitchen dining area.

So, why am I telling you this story of a past life in another country?

Because–I think we have forgotten that we have the power to shape our lives with the choices we make and how we spend our money. I suppose we think we have to give up things we find “necessary” to save our environment, when really we might find that new choices result in pleasant gains.

At the heart of many of our environmental challenges today are the things we Americans buy and discard every day. Our economy is seemingly stronger the more we buy and the faster we replace things. Living a more environmentally aware lifestyle affects all aspects of our lives, but none more dramatically than our shopping habits.

There are many ways to turn your buying behavior into a force that supports environmentally friendly businesses and practices:

Choose the shop around the corner:

More and more, we’re hearing that carbon dioxide emissions from our cars are polluting the earth and contributing enormous quantities of greenhouse gases to the growing climate change problem. To reduce your carbon footprint, choose to shop close to home. Need some new candles? Check out the local artisan’s workshop. Looking for some fresh veggies? Look into your community’s farmers’ markets. You get the idea.

BYOB:

By that, we mean “bring your own bag” when you’re heading for the store. Whether you’re in the market for groceries or a new pair of pants, try to remember to take your reusable shopping bag with you. This cuts down on the annoying “paper or plastic?” questions and will mean fewer resource-intensive bags entering your community where they either need to be discarded in a landfill or burned in an incinerator.

Choose eco-friendly products:

Regardless of what you’re putting in your bag, whether it’s a new printer for your computer or some binders for your children’s new school year, there’s likely a more eco-friendly option available. Wondering what to look for? Here are few characteristics of earth-mindful options:

  • Look for second-hand or used items. These products require no new resources except the gas it takes you to get to the store. Furniture, clothing, kitchen items, and even electronics can often be purchased this way.
  • Search for items made with recycled materials. The most obvious option is recycled-content paper, but more and more there are products made of recycled products. Soda bottles can be made into fleece for clothing, tires can be turned into playground equipment, milk jugs can be turned into shingles for your roof, yogurt containers are made into toothbrushes and razors, and old barn wood can be transformed into one-of-a-kind tables and chairs.
  • Check out alternative materials. If you can’t find something that’s once-used like those that are second-hand or made of recycled materials, look for options made with eco-friendly materials. This can mean many things, but here are a few principles to keep in mind: Materials grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers mean less harm to water and soil, so go for organic fruits, vegetables, and cotton products. Any resource that’s renewable is more sustainable than non-renewable options. Metals, plastics, and other petroleum by-products are not ultimately renewable (not to mention they’re production is incredibly polluting). Bamboo, hemp, sea grass, and jute, to name a few, are incredibly fast growing plants that can be used to construct furniture and rugs, clothing and bedding, and much more. Opting for the item made with fewer chemicals is always a good choice, too. It means it’ll be less harmful for you and the earth. So if you’re debating between stain-resistant shirts and those without, go for the more natural, less-treated option. Look for low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) products, natural cleaning products, and so on.

Choose “kid safe” and “pet safe” household products.

Opting for the item made with fewer harmful or potentially harmful ingredients is not only earth-friendly, but also “kid safe” and “pet safe”. Look for household products without the following common but harmful chemicals as ingredients: Naphthalene, kerosene, formaldehyde, phenol, cresol, lye, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, petroleum distillates, benzene, ammonia, paradichlorobenzene, sodium hydroxide, butyl cellosolve, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid.

Look for concentrated products:

Every bottle of laundry detergent and household cleaner that contains more water than active ingredients cost fuel and human labor to ship to a store near you. Purchase your household products as concentrates and add the water at home.

Look for water- and energy-saving devices:

Choosing products that reduce your consumption of water and energy will not only save you money, they reduce your overall earthly-impact. So go for bathroom and kitchen fixtures and appliances that conserve, opt for electronics that run more efficiently, and upgrade things like light bulbs and faucet aerators to keep your home running on less. A good bet for many of these products are ENERGY STAR rated options since they save significant quantities of both of these resources.

Reduce overall consumption:

Perhaps the most important change you can make in your shopping habits is to buy less. When you’re in the store trying to decide between two great books, or contemplating whether you want green or white sheets, evaluate whether you really need the item in question. Are there ways you can reuse something at home for that purpose? Perhaps you can share a lawnmower with your neighbor, or take books out of the library instead of buying new. There are lots of ways to enjoy the better things in life without taking something new home.

Shopping Guide

Have you noticed the size of green peppers these days? As a matter of fact, when you walk through the produce aisle you may be impressed with how the fruits and vegetables appear shiny, colorful and larger than life. But did you know that unless you specifically purchase food labeled organic most of the food in the produce aisle (and other aisles as well) has been genetically modified?

Also called recombinant DNA technology, this practice changes the core genetic make-up of the organism. This genetic manipulation gives scientists the ability to create any trait they desire — natural of unnatural. Food marketers have decided tomatoes should be sweeter, peppers larger, and fruit blemish-free. And scientists have met their specifications. If it’s not perfect, food marketers assume, or more precisely, dictate, that we don’t (or shouldn’t) want it. But GM food is far from perfect.

Simply put, GM foods are foods that are grown from seeds whose DNA is genetically altered. An example of gene alteration is the insertion of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) into the seed.

These Biopesticides are touted as being less harmful than chemical pesticides because they are biologically based (being viruses, bacteria, pheromones, natural plant compounds, etc.) in contrast to synthetic chemicals But a pesticide in which the active ingredient is a virus, fungus or bacterium, or a natural product derived from a plant source may well be far from benign – despite its ‘natural’ origins.

Why? In short, the danger lies not in the origins of these pesticides, but from the ramifications of their use. Bts result in increased herbicide usage and resultant herbicide resistance; “super weeds;” traces left behind on and in food crops; genetic contamination of non-GM crops which hurt organic and conventional farmers; and damage to surrounding wildlife.

In addition, Bts combine with our own gut bacteria gene; ingesting food treated with Bts gives birth to a dangerous pesticide in the human body.

What is the role of agribusiness in all of this – certainly not an altruist one? The giant corporation Monsanto is at the forefront of the problem. Monsanto is the largest producer of hybrid or GM seeds. Monsanto is now patenting seeds which restrict the farmer from the use of any seed other than theirs. Farmers have actually been sued by Monsanto for doing otherwise.

GM technology crept its way through the door many years ago when the government mandated the FDA to promote biotechnology. The man that was appointed to lead the charge was actually a former Monsanto attorney!

Unfortunately, there was very little, if any, testing for the safety of GM foods. The FDA claimed it was not aware of any information showing that GM crops were different from non-GM crops and therefore didn’t require testing. Because of an eventual lawsuit, 44,000 internal FDA documents that were made public proved that this was an outright lie.

There was an overwhelming consensus among the FDA’s own scientists that the GM foods were indeed different and could give rise to hard to detect allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. Could that explain the sudden rise in food allergies, food sensitivities and digestive problems?

GM food is not just in the produce aisle either. 75% of all processed food contains GM ingredients. Corn and soy are the largest GM crops, and corn and soy is in just about everything. (As always, read the ingredients — you’ll see for yourself.)

The list of GM products is long and getting longer. The USDA decided that GM foods do not need to be labeled for the US consumer (you and me). However, most other countries will not import food from the US unless it is clearly labeled GM or not.

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know by now just how far the foods in our grocery aisles have diverged from the essential qualities we should have a right to expect — real, natural, healthy, and nutritious.

A Non-GMO Shopping Guide:

Pay attention to those hard to read little stickers on fruits and vegetables. They contain a series of digits that are your key to identifying whether produce is conventionally grown or organic, and, furthermore, if it’s genetically modified (GM).

Translation:

• A four-digit number indicates conventionally grown.
• A five-digit number beginning with 9 — it’s organic.
• A five-digit number beginning with 8 — its GM.

Nearly all of the following foods are GM so do your best to avoid them:

• Soy
• Corn
• Cottonseed
• Canola
• Processed food, period.

Creating a healthy diet is your responsibility — unless the USDA makes some changes, foods will not be clearly labeled as GM anytime soon.

Plastic Containers Shopping Guide

Almost every household has plastic containers. They could be used for storing foods or other smaller items to promote organization in the house. However, do you know that some plastics are not really recyclable than the others? Do you use plastic containers that are safe for living? Check out the shopping guide below before you decide to buy plastic containers.

First of all, you need to know the different types of plastic. Plastics are put into categories based on their resin identification code. If you buy something made of plastic, you usually can see this resin identification code on the bottom of the plastic container. It normally comes with a recycling triangle logo that indicates a number in the middle. This number is the one you should be paying attention for.

Number 1 means Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET/PETE). You find this kind of plastic in plastic bottles or disposable soft drinks. When you buy one of those, make sure you dispose it after the first time use. PET is hard to clean and it absorbs and keeps bacteria and flavors.

Number 2 means High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). You can find it in jugs and liquid detergent bottles. HDPE doesn’t transmit known chemicals to your food and normally the municipal recycling program accepts it.

Number 3 means Polyvinyl Chloride (V or PVC). It can normally be found in plumbing pipes, cooking oil bottles and meat wrap. PVC contains phthalates – a sort of softeners – that mess up with hormonal development. Avoid this number 3 in your plastic container if you want to use it to store food.

Number 4 means Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). Found in grocery bags and cling wraps, this plastic is safe and recyclable. However, there are perhaps less recycling companies that want to take containers made of LDPE.

Number 5 means Polypropylene (PP) as normally found in yoghurt cups and cloudy bottles. This type of plastic is safe and recyclable. But like LDPE, it is not an item most favored by recycling companies to manage.

Number 6 means Polystyrene (PS). If you buy a take-out coffee, you are most likely served with cups made of PS. It is not a recommended plastic type for your containers as it could leach styrene – suspected as carcinogen on human – into the food stored.

Number 7 means other types of plastic resins that are not mentioned above, mostly invented post 1987. It includes Polycarbonate (PC), Polylactide (PLA) and BPA-Free plastics. PLA is fine to use for food-based containers as it is the type of plastic that is made from renewable resources with high starch content like potatoes and sugar canes. It is unrecyclable but since it is made from plants, these plastics can be composted. On the other hand, PC and BPA-Free plastics should stay avoided. Polycarbonate is the only plastic made with Bisphenol A, a substance that has been linked to various health problems like heart disease and obesity.

Leather Recliner Shopping Guide

Do you own a recliner at home? If you don’t have one at home, maybe it is time to get one for better seating and relaxation.

Buying a recliner is not a easy task, although you may not spend as much time as buying a vehicle , it still requires certain amount of efforts to make a good decision. The first thing you need to consider is to make sure the style of the chair matches the style of your room. Narrow down your searches by asking yourself what kind of style are you looking for? The next thing you want to do is to determine how much you are willing to spend. Generally, you can find recliner ranges from $99 to $2000. Make up your mind whether you are looking for a recliner that costs around $300 or a luxury recliner that costs more than $1000. Ask yourself.

The last thing you may want to consider is how much space you have in your room for the recliner. If it’s too close to the wall, for example, a chair that reclines all the way back would not be practical. Make sure you measure the space before going to the store, so that the salesperson can measure the distance needed to recline all the way and relax.

The last but not the least thing to ask is who is going to use the recliner most often? Are you buying the recliner for yourself or buying it for your mom and dad? Make sure you bring the person to the place and let them try it. Keep this in mind, different people simply have different preferences and a recliner that you love may disliked by other people.

A Shopping Guide

To many, there is nothing more exhilarating than the thrill of driving down the open road with the top down, hair blowing in the wind, listening to the sheer roar of engine power. With the increasing popularity of convertibles, many manufacturers have adapted some of their basic sedans and now offer them with a convertible option. The biggest problem that this poses is making the convertible safe to drive, without the strength of the roof struts etc, especially if involved in roll-over accidents, when the roof plays an important part in the rigidity of the body.

Many manufacturers have embraced the problem and come up with innovative safety ideas, including using stronger materials in the body and floor to absorb more of the shock if there is an accident. Some are manufactured with an extra strong frame around the windshield which acts as a kind of safety roll bar. A rear fitted roll bar is also sometimes evident to help protect passengers in the rear of the car.

Many convertibles have extremely innovative and stylish designs with state of the art retractable hard tops, or alternatively can be purchased with traditional soft cloth top versions. What could be more convenient or classy than to turn your cozy sedan into a sporty convertible at the push of a single button? Long gone are the days when it took an entire team an age to struggle to put the roof up just as the rain started, many times the shower had passed by the time you have achieved your mission.

If you are in the market for a new convertible, it is worth doing your homework and checking out the latest designs and safety techniques used. A good shopping guide is to use the Internet, all of this information is available on manufacturers own websites, and whether you are buying a new or a used convertible, you will still find lots of invaluable information to help you make your final decision.

Whether you fancy driving around in a converted Volkswagen Beetle, or you feel that a Mustang is more your style, there is sure to be something which perfectly fits with you and your budget. There really is nothing nicer than to drive around on a beautiful sunny day with the wind in your hair and the air rushing across your face. The whole driving experience just gets a whole heap better.

Laptops Shopping Guide

The decision to buy a new laptop comes with numerous challenges. Technology is always advancing and a machine that might seem dazzling one year can be become obsolete within a few years.

In addition, with the high number of laptops been released into the market, picking one can prove to be an uphill task. A laptop is a prized possession and precisely for this reason, laptops shopping guide can be quite helpful when shopping for one.

1. Mac or a PC

The first thing you need to do is decide whether to buy a Mac or a PC. Both models are good for different things. For instance, a Mac is a smart choice if you want to edit videos, use Photoshop or run simulations while a PC is ideal if you want a computer that is gaming friendly and easy to work with.

2. Touchscreen or Traditional Screen

The decision on whether to buy a traditional or touchscreen laptop can pose numerous challenges. Touchscreens were recently introduced in the market and they have user friendly features.

However, for majority of users not accustomed to touch manipulation, this might not be a smart idea. The price of touchscreen laptops is also higher compared to that of a traditional screen. Your choice should be based on the kind of budget you have and the ease with which you can use the laptop.

3. Convertible or Non-convertible

Decide whether to settle for a convertible or non-convertible laptop. Convertible laptops are ideal for those who want to buy touchscreen laptops as it makes it easy to operate.

Non-convertible laptops on the other hand have a keyboard that cannot be detached easily. Note that currently, convertible laptops are more trendy and in high demand. However, you should settle for one that strikes your fancy.

4. New or Refurbished

Your budget plays an important role in determining whether you settle for a brand new or refurbished laptop. Refurbished laptops are cheaper compared to new ones and they have a limited warranty.

5. Types

Laptops are created differently and you need to find one that meets your needs. You are supposed to look at the computing power, price, entertainment capability and mobility of the laptop before making your purchase.

Some of the laptop options you have to choose from include Ultrabooks, Notebooks, Business laptops, gaming laptops and desktop replacements. Each of these laptops has special features and it is advisable to weigh them all first before making your investment.

Shopping Guide to Help With Weight Loss

One of the hardest parts of the diet plan for a person with Type 2 diabetes, is knowing just what foods to buy. For years you have known exactly how to shop for your groceries… you didn’t even need to make a shopping list. So you had no idea you would need to look at relearning your shopping skills; that you would need a shopping guide!

All of a sudden you are hearing about low-glycemic (low-GI) foods, and being told to read food labels. You had no idea how many processed and high-glycemic carbohydrates are found in what you thought were innocent foods.

It is usually a good idea to:

  • shop for groceries after you have eaten either a snack or a meal… every little step helps you to chose the “right” foods
  • plan your meals a week ahead
  • make a shopping list and only buy what is on your list

Type 2 diabetics are advised to eat carbohydrates following the low-GI scale. Foods on the low-GI scale offer you wholesome and delicious foods that are readily available and highly satisfying. Low-GI foods generally fit into several categories:

  • fruit and vegetables
  • dairy
  • grains

Grocery Stores:

1. Buy most of your foods from the outside aisles: Grocery stores are usually laid out with certain items that are safe for people with Type 2 diabetes… fresh produce (fruit and vegetables), dairy products, meat and grains… in the outside isles. You will usually find refined foods such as crackers, cookies, cereals, etc., in the inside aisles.

2. Buy low fat protein: Choose chicken or turkey rather than high fat meats such as beef and pork. Skinless, white chicken and turkey breasts are ideal… they contain less calories. Ground turkey is a good substitute for recipes that call for ground beef.

3. Be wary of frozen foods: Frozen foods can be misleading… sometimes packages are marked “lite” and “reduced calorie”… this can be confusing. You will often find these foods contain a high amount of sugar and sodium. Of course, there are some healthy frozen foods… vegetables that are frozen fresh (in other words they have no added sauces), are ideal.

4. Watch out for marketing traps: Remember that food companies are very clever at promoting their products:

  • lite or light does not always mean low fat or low sugar
  • sugar free… this often means sucrose free or contains no table sugar. Other sugars to look for include maltose, fructose, corn syrup and honey. These can even be found in diabetic cookies
  • cholesterol free… a cookie label may say it’s cholesterol free. This means there are no animal fats used in the processing but it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy choice
  • a certain percentage fat-free… when a product claims to be a certain percentage fat-free its referring to the product’s total weight, not the percentage of fat calories per serving
  • dietetic… this means that one or more ingredients have been altered in some fashion. It does not mean there is a reduction in calories

Knowing some of the marketing traps to watch out for will help you choose foods to help you lose weight and have lower blood sugar levels.

Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?

Car Shopping Guide

When hunting for a used car it is a good idea to bring along a car shopping guide or checklist so you can avoid purchasing a lemon. A good checklist will help you catch any problems that the vehicle has so you can determine if you really want to purchase it. If you do decide to purchase the vehicle having a list will help you get the best price possible. Here is a simple lexicon that will assist in finding a Used Cars Coventry that’s right for you.

The first place to look before starting the vehicle is under the hood. You will want to check to make sure there is no oil on the engine. Oil on an engine indicates a leak somewhere. Pull the dipstick and make sure the engine oil is at a good level. A low oil level indicates that the vehicle may burn oil. Check the coolant reservoir. The ideal fluid level while the car is cold is in between the hot and cold lines marked on the reservoir. There may be a coolant leak if the level is too low. You should also check the engine compartment for any other stains or wet areas that indicate leaks for other systems such as power steering and brakes.

Once you have finished examining the engine and engine compartment you will want to start the vehicle. If you notice any blue smoke coming from the exhaust the engine burns oil. Lots of white smoke is a tell-tale sign that the engine’s head gasket is blown. Listen to the engine to make sure there are no weird noises. A good engine does not knock, sputter, bang, or pop, and squealing noise is a belt slipping. Make sure all of the lights work. These include headlights (low and high beams), brake lights, reverse lights, license plate lights, and turn signals. Press firmly on the brake and hold pressure. If you can put your foot to the floor this is a bad sign. Look at the gauges and make sure they all work. After this make sure the car is in park or neutral with the emergency brake engaged, its time to look under the Ford Focus Personal Contract Hire.

While under the car look for any leaks from the brake, gas, and transmission lines. A quick way to check is to look at the ground for any stains or wetness. Check the frame for rust holes or any alterations. Spotting a frame that has had damage repaired is easy. Just look to see if there are any unusually clean areas, or areas that have lots of extra scratches and scrapes. Once you are finished examining the undercarriage of the vehicle check the tires.

Measure the tire pressure to make sure the tires are inflated to the proper psi. Make sure all the tires are the same size and brand. Take a look at the tire’s tread wear. If it’s uneven this indicates that the vehicle’s alignment is off. If a tire is bald or metal is sticking out of it the tire will need to be replaced immediately. While in the front move the tires left and right with your hands. If the tires aren’t tight a tie-rod end is your most likely suspect. Once you’re done with the tires get back in the car and check the temperature gauge. You want to make sure the car isn’t overheating. If the temperature is low or within normal operating range, it’s time for a test drive.

Before you move the car test the transmission. This can be accomplished by switching the car between gears. You don’t want to hear any clunking noises. It should shift smoothly without making the car jolt. While driving you should pay attention to see if the transmission slips or shifts hard. If the vehicle has a standard transmission you can test the clutch by putting the car in 3rd gear, releasing the emergency brake, and letting the clutch out slowly. If the vehicle stalls rapidly that’s good, if not then your clutch is slipping. Throughout the drive listen for any grinding during shifting. Then you will want to test the brakes to see if you feel any vibrations, hear any sounds, and if the vehicle pulls to any one side. You will also want to do some hard braking to test the anti-lock brake systems. A rapidly pulsing brake pedal is good. If the car skids you may have problems. You should check to see if the car is in alignment. While driving allow the car to go where it wants to. If it veers to the left or right the car is out of alignment. Turn on the heat to make sure it works. If you smell coolant there is a heater core problem. Also, check the air conditioning to see if it needs to be recharged. During your trip keep an eye on your gauges to see if any of them are not at normal operating levels.