Get to Know the Cooper Car Company

The Cooper Car Company is car manufacturer based out of the United Kingdom and is known for their high-quality automobiles. Its history dates to the 1940s and has become a staple in British culture. They started out as being known for their race cars, but they also produce cars for consumers. Here’s more information about this company:

History of the Cooper Car Company

The Cooper Car Company was founded by Charles Cooper and his son John in 1947. John Cooper and his friend Eric Brandon began building racing cars in Charles Cooper’s garage in England in 1946. The first cars built by the Coopers were single-seat 500-cc Formula Three racing cars.

They were powered by a JAP motorcycle engine. Because supplies following World War II were in short supply, prototypes of the car were made by joining together two old Flat Topolini front-ends. The engine would be located behind the driver for practical reasons, but John Cooper said that would lead to the Coopers becoming an automotive legend.

The Coopers would lead the way in what would become the dominant arrangement for racing cars. This car would be called the Cooper 500 and would do well during the first postwar races. Eric Brandon would, in fact, win the 500 Race at Gransden Lodge Airfield. This would create a demand from other racing drivers for the car. During the 1940s and 1950s, Cooper would build up to 300 single and twin-cylinder cars.

They would dominate the F3 category, winning 64 of 78 major races from 1951 – 1954. In 1952, the front-engine Formula Two Cooper Bristol was introduced. After the death of Charles Cooper, his son sold the Cooper Formula One team to the Chipstead Motor Group in 1965, but he would continue to co-direct the F1 team before it closed in 1969. In 1969, they could not find sponsorship for the new Cosworth DFV-powered car, which marked the beginning of the end for the company.

Racing Cooper Cars

In 1957, Jack Brabham, an Australian racing driver took sixth place at the Monaco Grand Prix in a rear-engined Formula 1 Cooper. In 1958, Stirling Moss won the Argentine Grand Prix in Rob Walker’s privately entered Cooper. Maurice Trintignant would accomplish the same at the next race in Monaco.

The racing world was beginning to take notice of Cooper Cars and the rear-engine revolution began. In 1959, Brabham and the Cooper Cars team would be the first to win the Formula One World Championship in a rear-engine racing car. The 1969 Monaco Grand Prix would be the last race entered by the Cooper Cars Company.

The Mini Cooper

The Mini Cooper was introduced in 1961. The idea was conceived by John Cooper as a development of the Alec Issigonis-designed British Motor Corporation Mini. The Mini Cooper could win the Monte Carlo Rally three times. Production of the Mini would cease in 1971. Production would begin again in 1990 and cease in 2000. Since 2000, the Mini marque has been owned by BMW. They have created a series of small cars including: the Mini Hatch, the Mini Coupe, and the Mini Roadster.

The Cooper Car Company was built on a passion for cars as well as racing. Even though now owned by BMW, the name Cooper lives on in the Mini Cooper.

When to Change Your Tires

It’s important to know when your car’s tires should be changed. The condition of your tires impacts the overall safety of your car. No matter how good a driver you are, your tires need to be in good condition to perform well. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of tires and when it’s time to change them.

Why Change Your Tires?

Tires in good condition do a better job than tires that are damaged or getting old. If the tread is worn, for example, your tires can’t do their job effectively. It doesn’t matter how well you drive or how fast you think you can hit the brakes – your tires need to be in their best shape at all times. Tires support vehicle load, absorb road shocks, and change and maintain direction on the road.

Check Tire Tread

As mentioned, tire tread is important. Tires need tread for better traction in wet conditions. The grooves help to maneuver water away from the surface of the tires when the road is wet. If water cannot be siphoned away from the tires, this can lead to loss of control of the vehicle and even hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is when the tires lose contact with the road and glide across the water. The tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch. An easy way to check the tread is to insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see his head, the tread is less than 2/32 and you need to replace your tires.

How Much Wear and Tear?

Wear and tear on your tires can not only affect their performance, but can also signal other issues with your car. Normal wear and tear will affect all four tires. If you notice wear and tear on just one or two, this may be the result of improper wheel alignment, faulty suspension, or under or over-inflated tires. The cause of uneven tire wear should be explored and the worn tires replaced.

Check the Age of Your Tires

Even if your tires look good, it’s a good idea to change them when they get older. Car manufacturers typically recommend replacing them every six years while tire manufacturers say every ten years is acceptable. Check what your specific car manufacturer says about when to replace the tires. Don’t wait until you notice something wrong before changing them just to save a bit of time. You put yourself and others on the road at risk by doing this.

How to Keep Tires in Good Condition

Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles to promote even wear. It’s a good idea to make sure the tires are inflated properly. Check them on a regular basis (monthly is recommended) and refer to the tire manufacturer’s guidelines to know the air pressure they recommend. This is also a good time to look for any other irregularities on the tires.

Knowing when to change your tires is a crucial part of keeping your car safe. When your tires are in good condition, you will have better control over the car.

Is Your Car Ready for Spring?

Now that winter is over, you will probably enjoy driving more often. Before you do, you’ll want to get your car ready for spring. Winter can cause a lot of wear and tear on your car, so before you head out on the road, you’ll want to make sure your car is in its best condition.

Clean Your Car

If you live in an area where winters are harsh, your car is probably in need of a thorough washing. Give the exterior a good wash and then give it an inspection to see if there are any paint chips that need to be covered. Now that your car is clean, it’s also a good time to give it a wax. This protects the paint finish and will make future washing easier. Take this time to clean the interior of your car by wiping down surfaces, removing any trash, and giving the upholstery and floors a vacuum.

Replace Worn Parts

Getting your car ready for spring is the perfect time to check your windshield wipers to see if they need replacing. During a winter of rain and snow they probably got a lot of use, which may have worn them out. It’s a good idea to replace them every six to twelve months in general, but there’s a couple of signs they should be changed now.

If the windshield wipers aren’t working efficiently, they will leave spots and streaks. This is a good indication you should change them. If you bend the rubber of the wipers and they are no longer flexible, it’s time for a change. This is also a good time to change air filters. If the filters get a lot of use throughout the year, you want to change them often so they remain efficient at doing their job. Make sure the air conditioning system is working as well.

Check the Tires

The condition of the tires impacts the safety of your car. If the tread is showing signs of wear, it might be time to replace the tires. The tread on your tires should never be below 1/16 of an inch. Uneven wear on tires is a sign that the car isn’t in alignment, so you’ll want to have this checked out and corrected. Also check each tire’s inflation to make sure they’re at the correct level. Any signs of bulging and blistering on tires should be checked out as both can lead to a blowout.

Change the oil and Check the Fluids

Changing the oil in your car should be done each season or every 3,000 miles. When you change the oil, you can also check and top up other fluids such as wiper fluid, anti-freeze, brake fluid, steering fluid, and transmission fluid. Getting these done at the same time will make it easier to keep track for your records.

Getting your car ready for spring should be a regular part of your car maintenance routine. During winter your car deals with a lot: road salt, cold weather, and wet and snowy conditions. Show your car a little extra care to start spring right.

What to Know About Headlight Maintenance

Your headlights are an important safety feature on your car. They not only help you to see better while you’re driving, but they help other drivers and pedestrians see you. You might think that as long as the bulbs aren’t burned out you have nothing to worry about, but there are other factors to consider when it comes to your headlights. Here you will learn what you need to watch for to keep them in good condition as well as maintenance involved in keeping them at their best.

Keep Your Headlights Clean

Your headlight covers will become coated with dirt and grime during regular driving conditions and even more so if you drive through an area that is dusty or stormy. To keep your headlights clean and shining as bright as possible, make it a habit to routinely wipe them down.

Even if you don’t wash your car often, wiping down your headlights on a regular basis is a good idea. Dirt and dust will not only lessen the brightness of your headlights but may also cause a glare, which will make it more difficult to see. If your headlight covers don’t look better after a good clean, you may want to consider replacing them.

Replace the Bulbs

Different types of headlight bulbs will burn out at different rates. An LED bulb may last up to 30,000 hours. Halogen lights are found in most cars and are the ones with the shortest lifespan of 500 – 1,000 hours. Obviously the less you drive and use the headlights, the longer they will last. It’s a good idea to know what kind of bulbs your headlights use and their approximate lifespan. If you notice any of the bulbs becoming dull, it’s a good idea to replace it.

Don’t wait until you’re on the road and it burns out completely. It’s a good idea to replace the bulbs them in pairs or all four at the same time. This will make sure they are the same brightness, which is important for safety. You don’t want one bright bulb while the rest are dim.

Check Alignment

Headlight alignment might not be something you’ve thought about before, but it’s an important part of headlight maintenance. Headlights are made to beam their lights in the same direction. The lamps can become displaced during an accident (even a minor one) and when driving over potholes and other uneven roads.

You can check if the lights are misaligned by shining the lights on a wall or garage door. If one light is higher than the other, you likely have an alignment issue that should be checked and repaired by a mechanic. Misaligned headlights can cause visibility issues, which of course becomes a safety issue.

Headlights are important for nighttime driving, but are just as crucial during gloomy days and when it’s raining or stormy. Keeping your headlights in their best condition means improved safety for you and everyone else. Be sure to add headlight maintenance to your regular car maintenance routine.

Decorate Your Car for Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious and cultural celebration that takes place on March 17th, the day traditionally associated with Saint Patrick’s death. You probably associate this holiday with the color green, leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold. If you’re interested in decorating your car for Saint Patrick’s Day (and maybe bring you some luck), here are some ideas to get you started.

Use Temporary Paint

There are temporary paints that are safe to use on cars. Duplicolor Car Art Paint is one of the trusted paints that can help you decorate your car for Saint Patrick’s Day. Consider writing “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day” on the side of your car on green paint. You can also paint green shamrocks around your car. These types of paints are made for just this purpose so they will wash off with soap and water, but will also withstand rain and wind. If you’re ready to get creative, using paints to decorate your car is a good choice.

Consider a Car Costume

You’ve likely seen car costumes for Christmas, but did you know they’re also available for Saint Patrick’s Day? This costume consists of a green leprechaun hat to go on your vehicle’s front bumper and two green shamrocks to stick out of the two front doors. If you’re looking to make your car festive for the holiday, but you’re not much of an artist or are short on time, a car costume is the perfect choice. Other fun car accessories you may find for Saint Patrick’s Day include license plate frames and bumper stickers.

Try Window Clings

Window clings are another option if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to decorate your car for Saint Patrick’s Day. Make sure to apply window clings to a clean window or plastic surface of your vehicle. The benefit of using window clings is that you can get a variety of designs and images to suit your preferences. Take special care to not place these in your line of vision.

Use the Roof Rack

If your vehicle has a roof rack, you can decorate it for Saint Patrick’s Day as well. Consider wrapping green streamers or ribbons around it. Make sure they aren’t so long that they will cause issues for you or other drivers on the road and secure them well so they won’t come undone while you’re driving. If you have an antenna on your vehicle you can attach some green ribbons to it. You can also attach green balloons to the roof rack either lying flat or slightly raised. This is a fun option if you’re going to be in a Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

Decorating your car for Saint Patrick’s Day can be a lot of fun and a great way to show your holiday spirit. Just make sure anything you put on car is attached securely for your safety as well as everyone else’s. A party supply store is the perfect place to stock up on your Saint Patrick’s Day decor.

Is Something Wrong with Your Struts?

Struts are part of a car or truck’s suspension, which is the system of parts that connects the wheels to the rest of the car. The job of the struts is to keep the vehicle balanced and absorb impacts from potholes, bumps, and general unevenness in the road. Here’s what you need to know about struts, signs they need replacing, and why it’s important to replace them

What Are Struts?

Struts are composed of two main parts: a spring and a shock absorber. The spring is usually a coil spring, which supports the weight of the vehicle and absorbs the impact of bumps. The shock absorber also helps to support the vehicle’s weight, but its main job is to dampen vibrations. The shock absorber is located either above, below, or down the middle of the soil spring. Despite the name, the shock absorber doesn’t absorb bumps directly. That’s the job of the coil spring. Because a strut is weight-bearing, it has to be stronger than a regular shock absorber. Struts are what help to keep your vehicle on the ground.

Is Something Wrong?

When your vehicle’s struts wear out, your car’s handling and turning ability will be affected. An indication something is wrong with your struts is if your car tips to one side and feels wobbly when turning. The car will noticeably bounce around when the struts are worn out. If your car bottoms out (dips close to the ground or touches the ground) after hitting a bump, you need new struts. Tire wear, especially uneven tire wear, is a warning something is wrong with your struts. Tire cupping is what causes this wear.

A tell-tale sign that tire cupping is occurring is that your rear tires will sound like a dribbling basketball when you drive. Bad struts can also affect the quality of your braking. If you are in a situation where you need to brake quickly and your struts are worn, this will cause your vehicle to nose-dive. If your vehicle seems unstable in windy conditions, such as when a large truck passes by, this could be a sign your struts aren’t providing adequate stability to your vehicle.

Replacing Struts

Recommendations about when to replace struts varies depending on who you ask, but between 60,000 to 100,000 miles is average. If you have regular maintenance done on your car, your struts can be checked and replaced when the first signs of wear and tear are noticed. If you’re not someone who has your car regularly maintained, it’s a good idea to be aware of the signs something is wrong with your struts. Struts play an important role in not only the handling, stability, and stopping distance of your car, but safety as well.

Struts are one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to maintenance because wear happens gradually and drivers often adjust the way they drive to compensate. It’s important to know the signs of struts wear as failing to replace them when needed can lead to more costly repairs.

How Often Should You Get an Oil Change?

When thinking about your next oil change, you may consider a popular rule of thumb such as every three months or when you hit a certain number of miles. You may not have considered whether these are accurate because everyone seems to use them. You may even skip an oil change here and there without thinking much about it. Here you will learn the importance of getting your oil changed and how often you should really be doing it.

Why Get an Oil Change?

Vehicle engines have a lot of moving parts and these parts need oil to keep them moving smoothly and without overheating. As oil is used, it becomes dirty. These impurities cause the oil to be less effective over time and if not changed, this can lead to engine trouble and even cause it to break down as the oil will not lubricate the engine parts as well and or absorb heat as well.

What Affects Oil Consumption and Impurities?

Your driving style can cause you to go through oil more quickly or more slowly. The more quickly you use up oil, the sooner you will need an oil change. When engine speed increases, for example, the amount of exhaust is increased and more oil is used. Your car’s engine design also plays into oil consumption. The amount of oil that can enter the engine depends on the clearance space between parts.

Recently made cars have engines with less clearance space, which means less oil will be consumed. Every time the piston reaches the top, a certain amount of oil will be used. Oil becomes dirty over time as it does burn a little along the cylinder walls. The impurities you see in the oil come from small pieces of metal that wear off the moving parts. The oil filter keeps a lot of the impurities from circulating back through the engine, but as impurities build up, it will be more difficult to do.

How Often to Get an Oil Change?

When you began driving, you were probably told that you should change you oil every 3,000 miles or every three months. Checking your oil on a regular basis, such as once a month during a routine trip to the gas station to fill up your gas tank, is a good way to know for sure if it needs to be changed. You’ll be able to see its darkened color and impurities.

You will also want to check car owner’s manual because it’s specific to your car and will be a better gauge than a general estimate. Use the oil that’s recommended for your car. While every 3,000 miles is generally a good rule for changing your oil, if it needs it sooner knowing for sure is better than guessing or putting it off too long.

Making sure to change your oil on a regular basis will help keep your car’s engine in its best running condition.

Pros and Cons of Doing Your Own Car Maintenance

2017 Soul Turbo

Are you wondering if you should do your own car maintenance or is it better to trust it to a skilled mechanic? Depending on the repairs needed, doing your own car maintenance can be easy or difficult. Experience comes in handy when doing your own car maintenance, but you will gain that as you do more of it. Here are the pros and cons of doing your own car maintenance:

Advantages of Doing Your Own Car Maintenance

The biggest advantage to doing your own car maintenance it probably the amount of money you’ll save. Parts and labor will both cost you if you go to a mechanic. If you do the work yourself, you will save money on labor and possibly parts as well if the mechanic marks them up. You can even purchase used parts to do your repairs, which mechanics won’t do.

If you need to buy a tool here and there, it still won’t cost as much as having someone else do the repairs and you’ll have the tools for years to come to use for future repairs. Starting small when doing your own car maintenance will help you to gain confidence and skills.

Types of maintenance that are easy to learn are good ones to begin with. This can include things such as: oil changes, topping up fluids, changing filters and spark plugs, and rotating tires. The tools you can begin with are also basic ones that you’ll be able to use for various projects. These include: wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, and jacks to name a few. Learning the skills associated with car maintenance will also help you if you ever need to change a flat tire or do other small repairs while on the road.

Risks of Doing Your Own Car Maintenance

When you’re new to doing car maintenance, it might take up some of your time. This is normal when you’re first learning, so you’ll want to set aside time, such as a weekend, when you know you’ll be free. It’s important to know what you’re doing before you make any repairs to your car. You need to read about it, watch videos online if possible, and make sure you have the tools and parts necessary.

Failing to do this could result in more damage being done to your car. This could lead to breakdowns, accidents, and more money and time being spent to have all the damage repaired. In some cases, doing your own repairs may void the manufacturer’s warranty or other warranty associated with your car.

Be aware of this before you begin doing your own maintenance. Some maintenance and repairs that you should leave to the professionals include: airbag replacement, snapped coil springs, transmission repair, and brake repair. For safety reasons, it’s better to let someone who knows what they are doing handle these.

Doing your own car maintenance has both pros and cons. You may decide to do regular maintenance such as oil changes yourself while leaving other jobs up to the professionals. Starting small is the way to go when it comes to car maintenance. You can build your skills and confidence to do more.