A Radio Guru

Austin Butler

I founded Factory Radio Parts in 2015 after witnessing firsthand the service gap created between auto dealerships and their customers when it comes specifically to the car radio. Starting in 2014, most car radios began to act as the “command center” of the entire vehicle. In some cars having a faulty radio will disable the entire vehicle! I understand the importance of proper maintenance for these highly used devices from my four years in the Air Force. Maintaining $100K HUMVEE tactical radios in some of the harshest conditions will make you realize how important the maintenance aspect is to any mission when communications are the vital tool keeping our troops safe in combat. I brought this same training and military mentality to FRP to provide civilian customers with a trusted “one stop shop” for replacement radio parts, accessories, and information. The impact providing these repair products and information sharing has had with customers who have been left in the dark continues to amaze me every day. We are literally saving customers thousands of dollars for simple solutions! I hope to continue to help bridging the gap with a future FRP APP and adding repair and programming services not found at local dealerships. The potential is limitless.

AB

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How Clean Battery Corrosion And Extend Your Vehicles Battery Life

Austin Butler
When is the last time you checked the charge on your battery or even cleaned it? Maintaining your vehicles battery life is a crucial investment and can result in you never being stranded somewhere. In this article, we are going to go over how to avoid battery corrosion and how to clean it. Also some other tips to maintain your batteries longevity.

Keep your battery clean

Check your battery frequently and make sure that it is free of dirt and corrosion. It is important to keep your vehicles battery clean from dirt because it can cause your battery to short circuit and eventually go flat. 
What does battery corrosion look like? Check the image below! 

 

What causes battery corrosion?

Corrosion on the terminals is due to hydrogen gas being released from the acid in the battery. It mixes with other things in the atmosphere under the hood and produces the corrosion you see on the terminals. Generally, if the corrosion is occurring on the negative terminal, your system is probably undercharging. If on the positive side, it is probably overcharging. Most often it will be seen on the negative side because the battery is usually in an undercharged situation. 

How to clean the corrosion?

You will need to thoroughly clean the corrosion from off the posts. You can use baking soda and water solution to help in this endeavor. Ensure you have eye protection, clothes which you don't care if it possibly gets ruined (acid can do nasty things), and some type of gloves (nitrile gloves work great). Clean the area using the solution and a brush. It doesn't have to be a steel bristle one, just one which is stiff enough to remove the gunk. You will have to remove the battery cables to get them completely clean (sorry about the radio channel presets!). Finish your clean up with a good dose of water to flush the area of any residual corrosion. If you don't, it can eat away the paint in the nearby areas.

When done cleaning, to help slow down the corrosion process, coat the terminals with grease (high pressure grease or wheel bearing grease works as good as anything). It doesn't have to be a lot, but ensure total coverage of the metal at the terminals. Cover the outside of the terminals after you have put the cables back onto your battery. You can also purchase a aerosol spray coating which you can purchase from your local parts store. Your main objective is to keep the lead, escaped hydrogen gas, and oxygen from mixing which forms the corrosion you see after a period of time. Over time the grease will break down and corrosion may start, so regular cleaning and reapplication is a must. If you do this about every six months, you should be in good shape.

Some other tips to maintain your vehicles battery life!

  • Avoid short trips in your vehicle(s) because short trips will not give your battery a sufficient amount of time to recharge the battery. 
  • Avoid leaving the car unused for long amounts of time. Acid-based batteries ‘self-discharge’ over time. This effect is more severe if the car is left unused for long periods.
  • Be cautious of extreme temperatures. There are very few things that can undergo extreme temperatures and a battery is not one of them! In the summers, the heat evaporates water from the cell leaving. In the winter, the consequential effects build up on this. To avoid this, try to always park in the shade during the hot summer days. Also another tip is to try not to keep accessories like head lights on during the ignition process, this puts excessive strain on the battery and is more harmful during the winter. 

We hope these tips can help you maintain your batteries longevity, please feel free to leave a comment if you have any other tips to mention that we forgot! 

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2020 Toyota Tacoma Highlights and Specs

Austin Butler
The legendary Toyota Tacoma has gotten even better for 2020! The popular pickup truck is not only the best selling mid-sized pickup truck on market but is now has one of the best radios with the updated Entune 3.0. The 2020 Tacoma doesn't bring a lot of changes from the current track. Just like the 2019, it is powered by the same 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or 3.5-liter V6 engine with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Are the small improvements to the 2020 worth it? Check out our specs and let us know what you think.

"The 2020 Toyota Tacoma and 2019 Toyota Tacoma will fit the bill in six grades – SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and TRD Pro – that can be tailored to fit your lifestyle with Access and Double Cab platforms. To make the 2020 Toyota Tacoma stand out from its predecessor, Toyota designers have added trim-specific grille and wheel designs, updated Toyota Entune™ 3.0 technology and innovative technology geared towards off-road adventures."

Exterior

Besides the changes to the headlights and grill, there isn't that much to talk about. These changes are minor changes, they can change the way that one can view the vehicle. Here below are the changes to the exterior:
  • New Headlight and Grille
  • Chrome Highlights In Taillight Housing
  • Sequential LED Headlights
  • LED Fog Lamps and Bed Lamp
  • Army Green Shade on TRD Pro Trim

Interior

One of the best additions of the Toyota Tacoma is the bigger touchscreen and Entune update. Almost every trim of the 2020 Tacoma will come standard with a new 8-inch touchscreen. It includes a new multimedia system that is compatible with Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa. The screen is notably larger with more hard buttons instead of the virtual controls found in the previous truck. Only the base Tacoma SR trim receives an upgraded 7-inch screen instead of the larger 8-inch. Here are the changes to the interior:
  • Bigger touchscreen
  • 10-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat
  • Supports Apple Car Play And Amazon Alexa
  • Toyota Safety Sense P Standard On All Trims
  • Keyless Ignition System
  • Surround-View Camera System

Drivetrain

Besides changing the exterior and interior, Toyota didn't change much under the hood. Actually all the specs are the same under the hood to the 2019, this may be the Toyota Tacoma's biggest flaw. Here are the specs:
  • 2.7-Liter, Naturally-Aspirated Engine
  • 3.5-Liter, V-6 Unit
  • Packs 278 Horses And 265 Pound-Feet Of Torque
  • Six-Speed Manual Available
  • Towing Capacity Up To 6,800 Pounds
  • New 16-Inch Alloys
  • Re-Tuned Shocks And Rear Springs

What do we think?

Are the changes to the exterior and interior worth getting the 2020 Tacoma over the 2019? YES! 

We love the updated Toyota Tacoma! With it’s updated interior and exterior features, it’s sure to be a great addition or upgrade for any truck lover. With the integration of apple car play and android auto for an enhanced daily commute and exterior LED lighting features the all new 2020 Toyota Tacoma is sure to turn heads!

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What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

Austin Butler
If you have ever driven a car before then you know that your vehicle is probably trying to communicate something to you. So what should you do? No you don’t have to pull over immediately but it is important that you take precautions, because you could end up damaging expensive components in your vehicle!

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How to Replace a Headlight Bulb (Tips and Tricks)

Austin Butler
Cant see that deer in your headlights?! One or both of your headlight bulbs may be burned out. Headlight or headlamp bulbs are easy to replace, usually only requiring you to remove a few clips to access the bulb. We are going to show you some tips and tricks when replacing your headlight bulbs.

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Why Everyone Should Get A Dash Cam

Austin Butler14 comments

Have you ever been in a car crash? If so, then you know how difficult it can be to prove whose fault it was. I mean it wasn’t yours, right? Well, how are you going to prove it? Today, it is extremely affordable to own a dash cam to record HD video of the front and rear of your car or truck while you are driving. If you are a parent and have a teenager, this gives you more reason to buy a dash cam! How do you know where your teenager is going or if it was their fault during the crash? 

What if you don't live in a big city or where there’s heavy traffic? There are plenty of other reasons why you should own a dash cam! In this article, we are going to go over the importance of a dash cam and also give you some global road crash statistics!

What is a dash cam? 

Basically, dash cams are cameras equipped at the front and sometimes rear of your vehicle, and they have the ability to record video continuously. Some dash cams feature multiple recording modes, as well as a built-in GPS system that show vehicle speed and location.

No matter how careful you are while driving, if other drivers are not paying attention, there is still the possibility of getting involved in an accident, and in the event of an accident you may be deemed at fault, if there is no proof to show otherwise, or the accident could be considered 50/50 by the insurance company. However, with a dash cam installed, the footage ensures that the right party is able to be assigned responsibility.

Annual Global Road Crash Statistics

According to the Association For Safe International Road Travel:

  • Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
  • An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.
  • More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
  • Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and accounts for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
  • Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.
  • Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads, on average over 1,000 a day.
  • Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.
  • Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries from 1-2% of their annual GDP.
  • Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.
  • Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

 

 

Annual United States Road Statistics

According to the Association For Safe International Road Travel:

  • Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year
  • An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
  • Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
  • Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
  • Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year or an average of $820 per person
  • Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death of healthy U.S. citizens traveling abroad

 

Why should you get a dash cam?

1. You Have First-Hand Evidence Of A Car Accident

  • Provides irrefutable video evidence and acts as a silent witness in the event of an accident
  • Provides protection from hit-and-run and theft
  • Provides GPS tracking with vehicle speed (if equipped)
  • Reduces the time to settle a claim by the court or by the insurance company
  • Has been proven to improve a driver's driving behavior
  • Provides employers with security that employees are following company rules when driving fleet vehicles

2. Dash Cams Promote Safe Driving

Accidents happen, no matter how careful a driver may be. In the event of an accident you may be deemed at fault without proof to show otherwise, and as mentioned earlier, the accident could be considered 50/50 by the insurance company. However, with a dash cam installed, the footage ensures that the right party is able to be assigned responsibility.

3. Dash Cams Protects You 24/7

Leaving your vehicle parked in unknown areas in a city can be unsettling. With a hard wiring kit such as the Power Magic Pro, parking mode can be activated, allowing your dash cam to record video when the car is parked, and can also turn it off when movement is detected, with the aid of its motion detectors.

Cases such as hit-and-runs, vandalism, and theft tend to happen when the vehicle is left unattended. With a dash cam recording the entire incident, you will have irrefutable proof of the event.

4. Dash Cams Can Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

When equipped with a dash cam, details including speed, driving behavior, and even GPS location are captured. This can be used by insurance companies to for proper investigations into the cause of some accidents, thereby reducing or eliminating your liability in the event of an accident. Some insurance companies even offer discounts to drivers willing to install monitoring devices, which can ultimately lower your insurance premium.

5. The Dash Cam Is Perfect For Driving Instructors And Worried Parents

Are you worried that your child may take your car for a ride, even though you have repeatedly forbidden him/her to do so? Do you own a taxi company and you suspect that your drivers may use several extra miles in personal interest, or perhaps you have a company of any kind and you want to limit the fuel consumption, yet extra miles keep adding up without any apparent reason? If that is the case, then the dashboard camera is certainly the best solution for you.

On the other hand, buying a dash cam is also perfect if you constantly lend your car to your friends or relatives, or you want to see what happens whenever you drop your vehicle off at the local mechanic. Your car may be one of your most valuable assets, and it is perfectly normal to be concerned about it and its integrity.

Most of the modern dash cameras come with GPS devices that are embedded in them, therefore in addition to recording every single detail that takes place both inside the car and outside of it, the dash cam will also record the driving speed as well as the different street routes.

What to do if you get into a minor accident?

  1. Move to a safe area (if you can) ...
  2. Stop your vehicle and get out. ...
  3. Check on others involved. ...
  4. Call the police to the scene. ...
  5. Gather info. ... 
  6. Document the scene. ... (DASH CAM)
  7. File your insurance claim.

    Where to get Dash Cams?

    Monitoring your vehicle throughout the day is a pretty important task, and you shouldn't leave it to just any product... Here are our recommendations for the best dash cams, both single- and dual-camera dash cams!

    Here are our favorite dash cams! Just click below to shop the best dash cams:

    Buy Jeep Wrangler Dash Cam

    Buy Jado D820 Dual Lens Rear View Mirror Dash Camera Kit 

    Buy G30 2.5" In Vehicle DVR Dash Camera Recorder

    Buy YI Smart WIFI Active Recording 165 Degree Car and Truck Dash Camera Kit

    To Sum It Up

    As you can see, a dashboard camera is a great investment, especially since it is very cost-effective and has a very straightforward design that typically consists of a microphone and a fixed-lens digital camera. These simple cameras can be installed on the dashboard or the windshield of your car within seconds, thanks to their suction cup or double-sided adhesive.

    There are a wide array of dash cameras to choose from, from the low-end ones that only cost several tens of dollars to high-end, state of the art cameras that come with a color display, time and date stamps, two lenses as well as a color display. The choice is entirely yours, depending on your budget, needs, and preferences!

    "One radio at a time"

    -FRP Team


    Keywords: Dash cam, best dash cam

    Sources: 
    “8 Strong Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying A Dash Cam.” SecurityBros, securitybros.com/8-strong-reasons-why-should-you-consider-buying-a-dash-cam/.
    “Road Safety Facts.” ASIRT, www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/.
    “What Is a Dash Cam? Why Get One?” BlackboxMyCar, BlackboxMyCar, www.blackboxmycar.com/pages/what-is-a-dash-cam.

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    8 Last Minute Gifts For Valentines Day

    Austin Butler14 comments
    One of the hardest things you will have to do this February is getting him or her something for Valentine's day. Instead of treating him/her to candy and flowers, get them something they will see every day, something meaningful; a gift for their vehicle. 

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    Fast and Reliable Car Radio Touch Screen Repair Services

    Austin Butler
    Dealerships charge their customers thousands of dollars to REPLACE radios instead of the more cost effective alternative: REPAIR!

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    Diesel and Gasoline: What's the difference?

    Austin Butler21 comments

    If you’re looking to get a new vehicle one of the first things that you should look at is the type of fuel that you want your vehicle to run on. Vehicles these days run on two types of fuel: either diesel or gasoline. You can find both types of fuel at any gas station that you go to, though some may have special pumps just for diesel while others may just lack a diesel hook-up altogether. It’s all dependent on the gas station. At a glance, these two might look similar but they are actually quite different.

    The price difference between these two fuel types is also a big factor. While diesel fuel is often seen as being the more expensive, gasoline can also get up in price such as when gas prices are affected by international trade. 

    Diesel

    Though minute there are differences between diesel and gasoline fuel. Diesel fuel is what is called a slow burner fuel. It is called this because it has a much slower burn time than gasoline and requires a lot of oxygen to cause a reaction. Most, if not all, diesel engines will need a compression ratio of 20:1 to make the air hot enough so that it will ignite.  Any unburnt diesel fuel is pushed out of the engine, which causes the black smoke look that is often associated with diesel engines. 

    Diesel fuel is also self-lubricating. This means that as the fuel burns it will lubricate the parts that it runs through, making it harder for them to stick together and cause fewer issues in the large tanks. This is vital for the types of vehicles that diesel engines are often found in, such as big trucks or heavy machinery. At roughly -20 to -30 degrees diesel fuel will coagulate and turn into a gel, whereas gasoline does not suffer from ‘freezing’. 

    Jet fuel is a type of diesel, as it burns slow like diesel but it is safer as it does not explode.

    Gasoline

    Gasoline is more refined than diesel, being comprised of multiple carbon molecules that range in size. When combusted the gasoline is combined with clean air, which in turn make a vapor that is used to help ignite the gasoline and bring power to the vehicle. While this is happening the much large molecules are harder to burn, so it is estimated that only about 80% of fuel is burned the first time. Because of how the fuel burns this is the reason that gasoline engines are predominately found in vehicles that have small engines and need small horse-powers.

    Unlike diesel, gasoline is not self-lubricating, which causes the metal parts to rub together. That is why you see people opt for using the higher grade, more expensive gasoline in their cars, especially if they are going on a long trip. This will minimize the wear on a vehicle while you travel. Gasoline will also evaporate quickly, while diesel will not. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Gas or Diesel Better For Towing?

    Most truck enthusiasts will tell you the diesel is better than its gasoline counterpart when it comes to towing. The engines get better gas mileage, last longer and usually can tow more. Diesel Engines have a lot of low-end torque and can pull heavy loads up extreme grades with confidence.

    Are Diesel Trucks More Reliable than Gas Engine Trucks?

    Diesel engines “in general” are simply made to last longer because the engines require more robust parts to deal with the high-compression ratios and high cylinder pressure within the engine.

    Which Trucks Have A Better Resale? Gas or Diesel.

    In general, a diesel equipt truck will have a better resale. That said, you also have to take into account diesel trucks cost more starting out.

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    How To Pack A Winter Car Emergency Kit

    Austin Butler22 comments
    Packing a winter emergency kit for your automobile is the single most important thing you can do for your car and for your personal safety. Having a box full of winter supplies in your trunk can make all the difference when something goes wrong while traveling on a cold winter day.

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