Field & Stream Online Editors

Tip #1: Replacing Hydraulic Struts
When worn hydraulic struts lose their ability to hold open vehicle hoods, trunk lids, and truck cap windows, a pair of locking pliers comes in handy. Simply snap the pliers on the telescoping portion of the strut shaft, thus preventing it from retracting. Keep a pair of locking pliers handy in your vehicle toolbox.

Tip #2: Adjust Side Mirrors
When towing a trailer, adjust your vehicle’s side mirrors so that you can see the trailer wheels while you’re driving. This mirror position will allow you to check your trailer tires and lights, and will show a good view of any vehicles that may be passing you or approaching in a passing lane.

Tip #3: Backing Up
When you’re backing up a two-wheeled boat or camping trailer, you will find it easier if you follow this simple advice: Grasp your steering wheel at the bottom, and watch the trailer in your mirrors. As you back up slowly, move your steering hand in the same direction as you want the trailer to go. If you can’t see the back of the trailer, have someone spot for you, pointing out the direction in which you need the trailer to move.

Tip #4: Don’t use Overdrive
When towing a trailer do not use overdrive. Towing in overdrive can cause the transmission fluid to overheat and break down into a fluid so thin it can leak out through the transmission seals. Overheated transmission fluid is the primary cause of towing-related transmission failure.

Tip #5: Braking on Gravel Roads
It’s extremely important not to swerve when braking for a sudden obstacle. Do all your braking in a straight line, take your foot off the brake pedal, then turn.

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