10 Tips For Getting Your Car Ready For Warm Weather Driving

10 Tips For Getting Your Car Ready For Warm Weather Driving

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The first warm weekend of the season traditionally triggers a symphony of cleaning products, vacuums and garden hoses.
But while you might be in a hurry to put a shine on your vehicle, it’s equally important to make sure it’s ready for the warm weather on the inside as well as the outside.

“The most critical areas to check after the harsh winter months are engine fluids, radiator hoses, belts, tires and brakes,” says Pat Goss, host of PBS’ “MotorWeek” and Washington Post automotive columnist. “Adequately preparing these key areas of the car before the weather warms up will not only keep you safe while driving, they’ll help prevent costly repairs.”

After battling months of snow, sleet and icy roads, your vehicle is undoubtedly in need of some serious care. To make your spring trouble-free, follow this 10-point checklist for safety, dependability and fuel economy.

1. Remove your winter tires and rotate all-season radials-If you have winter tires, it’s time to store them away. If you don’t have winter tires, it’s equally important to have all-season tires rotated or switched out for new ones.

2. Brake check-After a blistering winter, be sure to check your brakes. Warning signs include excessive grinding, squealing, screeching or chatter.

3. Wiper blades check-Wipers work hard over the winter months, wiping away dirt and debris on your windshield. Replace them in the spring before a shower makes it difficult to see.

4. Clean the underbody-In addition to washing the exterior, be sure to spray the underbody of your vehicle and underneath the rear and front bumpers to rinse away any salt build-up, which can lead to erosion and rusting. Use a high-pressure sprayer or garden hose for best results.

5. Apply a protectant-Any vinyl surface, such as the seats and the steering wheel, is susceptible to cracking, sun damage, and fading-so be sure to apply a protectant at the beginning of the season and touch-up regularly.

6. Change your oil-Give some thought to the kind of motor oil you have in your engine. Fully synthetic oils, such as Mobil 1, are specifically designed to protect your engine in hot weather, while optimizing your engine’s efficiency and reducing oil consumption. (For more information about Mobil 1, go to www.mobiloil.com.)

7. Check all fluids-In the winter months, fluids are easily depleted as your engine works harder in the colder weather. Make sure to check, top off or replace all fluids, including brake, transmission, coolant, power steering and windshield washer fluid.

8. Pressure test-Assess the pressure of the cooling system, and examine belts and hoses for wear or deterioration.

9. Interior clean-up-Vacuum and be sure to throw away any unwanted garbage that has hibernated under your seats over the winter. Now is also the time to store your winter car mats in the garage.

10. Wash your car-All vehicles regardless of the finish (clear coat, acrylic, enamel, etc.) require regular washing throughout the year. To preserve your car’s shine and protect the surface, wax your vehicle once it has dried completely.

“The warm weather is here-so be sure to follow these simple tips to ensure vehicle dependability in the warm months ahead,” says Goss. “By taking care of your vehicle, it will more likely take care of you. And it will do it for a lot less money.”

7 Tips To Help You Select Your Custom Car Cover

7 Tips To Help You Select Your Custom Car Cover

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You lovingly wash and wax your vehicle on most sunny weekends, spending time detailing every single blotch, nick, scrape, or other damaging mark on your car’s exterior. Part of the deal with owning any vehicle is making certain that it looks its best week in and week out. Still, you may not be doing all that you can to protect the finish. Other enemies including bird excrement, acid rain, and even harmful UV rays can thwart the best efforts of even the most diligent car owner. Fortunately, there is one automotive accessory that can help keep your car clean, provided you use it when your car is parked for an extended length of time. What am I talking about? Car covers! Read on for seven helpful tips to help you choose the right cover for your truck, van, SUV, or car.

When shopping for a custom car cover you must give consideration to what it does besides simply covering your car. Among some important points to know:

Will the car cover protect from damaging UV rays? If you live in an area of intense sunshine, such as Arizona, you need a car cover that offers the maximum protection from the sun.

Is the material durable? Does it breath? Will it tear if loaded down with snow or ice?

Will the car cover resist or completely repel rain?

Can the product survive weather extremes, i.e. intense heat or severe cold?

Will the car cover resist dust? Some car covers prevent even the finest dust from accumulating, dust that can mar your garaged car too.

Does the car cover come with multiple layers to protect from small insults? This is important feature to have if you leave your car in a public area. In addition, selecting a car cover that comes with side mirror pockets is a wise choice to ensure that your car receives the snuggest fit.

Finally, you will want to know if there is a lengthy guarantee offered, what colors are available, and what the return policies are, if any, of the cover that you select.

Most premium car covers allow you for them to be cleaned right in your washing machine. By selecting cold to warm water, regular bleach-free laundry detergent, and drying it on your dryer’s permanent press cycle, you can make the dirtiest car cover clean in no time. Of course, make certain that you adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications for the proper care of your car cover.

Orgs And Services For Vintage Buick And Chevrolet Enthusiasts

Orgs And Services For Vintage Buick And Chevrolet Enthusiasts

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Buick and Chevrolet, two of the world’s most famous automobile brands, have a huge following worldwide not only for their modern, sleek models but also for their vintage collectible models. As a matter of fact, there are clubs and organizations formed solely for passionate collectors of noteworthy authentic Chevrolet and Buick models with historical value. Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, with chapters in states like Portland and Washington, publishes its own magazine called Generator and Distributor with articles on how to care for vintage models, specifically automobiles manufactured in early 1900s up to the 1980s. VCCA members have the privilege to contribute personal stories and tips regarding Chevys. Another great thing about being a member of organizations such as VCCA is that one has the opportunity to keep in touch with other vintage car fanatics around the country as well. If a person is a self-proclaimed Buick and Chevrolet fanatic but he doesn’t own even one model, he can still join VCCA because the organization doesn’t limit itself to automobile owners.

On the other hand, Buick vintage collectors can join Buick Club of America which constantly organizes car shows and tours. BCA members can gain access to their informative forums discussing the specifics of pre-war and post-war models as well as useful tips for preserving and polishing earlier models. Buick and Chevrolet models manufactured before the World War II, mostly made of nickel and brass, naturally require meticulous care to keep up with the modern times. In fact, BCA has a sub-organization to specifically deal with restoring and caring for pre-war Buicks. A member of pre-war Buick division posted a message in the discussion forum saying earlier models of Buick, which are much slower than modern models, should be improved in order to participate in BCA tours.

Just how exactly can earlier Buick and Chevrolet models be upgraded? Well, car enthusiasts can turn to companies offering automobile restoration. For instance, 10th Street Auto Body Specialties boasts of doing an incredible job of re-working ’34 Chevy, ’35 Ford Woodie Hot Rod, ’63 Nova SS Convertible and ’56 Chevy Hot Rod Truck. One can visit their website for step-by-step guide on how they transform these old models. Demopolis Paint and Body Shop, on the other hand, entertain antique car restorations. Their finished products include 1966 Ford Mustang and 1988 Cavalier. Likewise, Ace Auto Restorations supply antique car collectors with high-quality car parts, from chrome plating to upholstery. With so many choices available, vintage Buick and Chevrolet enthusiasts should no longer have a hard time improving the interiors and exteriors of their antique automobiles.

Antique Cars: How to Choose the Perfect Color

Antique Cars: How to Choose the Perfect Color

Antique cars, often referred to as classic cars, are usually prized possessions of their owners. After all of mechanical work has been done to restore them to perfect working conditions, painting is usually the last step in the process.

Just because it’s the last step, however, does not mean that it’s the least important step. In fact, the painting of antique cars is quite possibly the most important undertaking of the restoration process. For, it is what gets noticed first.

Following are some handy tips to following when painting prized possessions like classic cars.

3 Ideas for Choosing the Perfect Color for Your Antique Car

This is a personal choice but should be done with care, especially if you have restored your antique car for the purpose of selling it. Just like choosing paint colors for your home, there are some definite do’s and don’ts.

Choose mainstream car colors: Black, red, white, navy blue, cream, gray, etc. These are considered traditional colors that never go out of style. They’re not trendy and are unlikely to turn off buyers like, for instance, lime green.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on a color, try one of the following to get some ideas:

(i) Go with the original color of the car: This is an easy option that is “saleable” as well. For example, your ad could read, “Lovingly restored antique car, right down to the original color.” Classic car buyers tend to like vehicles that have as much of the original look and feel of the car as possible, including the color.

(ii) Peruse classic car magazines: Again, just like home décor magazines, these provide a multitude of color ideas – quite possibly colors you never would have considered.

(iii) Ask other classic car enthusiasts: It’s always a good idea to get broad a range of opinion from those who share the antique car passion.

You can employ one or all of these tactics. While paint is not permanent, it’s not something you want to make a mistake on simply because it can be changed. Getting the color right the first time means you can sell – or start to enjoy – the car that much sooner.

The above color-choosing ideas are meant for those who wish to sell an antique car. If the car is for your personal use, then choose whatever your heart desires.

Antique Cars: How to Choose a Professional Paint Shop

Now that you’ve spent time choosing the perfect color, it’s time to choose someone to do the job. Following is some advice on choosing the right shop.

Make sure that the paint shop you choose has been in business for a while. This is important because it means they will have all of the necessary tools and equ8ipment to get the job done right.

Antique cars are prized possessions that owners want to protect from dust, grime, rust, wear and tear. A reputable paint shop will be able to give you information on the different types of paint finishes you can use to protect against all of this.

Automotive Tools For Your Home Garage

Automotive Tools For Your Home Garage

You can save hundreds of dollars on garage fees every year by carrying out minor servicing and maintenance jobs on your car yourself.
Armed with a selection of widely available automotive tools, a garage manual for your car, and enough time and patience to get a job done properly, pretty much anyone can carry out the routine tasks needed to keep your car on the road and running smoothly.

One of the most satisfying aspects of carrying out maintenance tasks on your vehicle – aside from saving money on expensive garage bills – is that you are able to get an understanding of how the car works, and the more you understand about the vehicle, the easier it is to put things right in the event of a breakdown.

Any home garage requires a good selection of automotive tools to carry out work on a car. Some vehicles from certain manufacturers have non standard machining and sizes used throughout their construction, and you will need to get automotive specialty tools designed for the purpose of working on that particular car from a motor store. No home workshop is complete without a trolley jack and axle stands to allow you to get under the car and do things like oil changes and exhaust checks.

For most small jobs, such as changing the oil or replacing filters, changing the spark plugs and brake pads on your vehicle, general tools such as a wrench and a screwdriver are all that is required, and these are widely available in most hardware stores. It is a good idea to keep your automotive tools separate from other tools you may have, because if you begin a job and then discover that the tool you want to use is missing, it can cause major headaches.

Twenty years ago, cars were much simpler to maintain and understand than they are today. Computerised engine management systems and adjustable fuel injectors are now commonplace, and special automotive diagnostic tools are required in order to make adjustments to the engine timing and fuel air mix, whereas in the past, these jobs could be done quite simply.

Areas of the car that almost anyone can handle the regular maintenance of are the interior and exterior panels. Simple scratches and dents to the bodywork are easy to repair using a soft mallet for panel beating and abrasive paper, spray paint and filler for paintwork repairs.

If your car is well used, the interior is likely to start to look tired and dated and in need of a little tender loving care. Thankfully, there are many automotive upholstery tools available to help you to tidy up the interior of the car and bring it back to its sparkling best. You can repair small tears and burns on the seats by darning them or applying a repair patch over the affected area. The trim of the car can be brought back to life with a good buffing using a polisher, while using specialist tools it is possible to repair the carpets or even replace them.

Of course there is much more to owning and maintaining a car than just tightening nuts and sewing up split seams, and you may find that you want to add non-stock parts such as a more efficient air filter or new exhaust to improve performance, and once you understand the basics of automotive maintenance, upgrades and tuning will become more accessible, saving you even more money in the long term.

Doing small jobs yourself can save you plenty of money on garage bills, and having the right automotive tools to get the jobs done is an excellent idea that will save you time and effort in the long run. However, one of the most important things for any mechanic to know is when to pass over a job to an expert, and rather than potentially do more damage than good, to get a qualified mechanic to carry out work on a car.

Automotive Painting

Automotive Painting

A car with an excellent paint job is one of life’s true joys. It’s like being the kid with the best bike in the neighbourhood or the biggest piece of birthday cake. Whether you drive a ’47 Eldorado, a ’66 Beetle or an ’07 fortwo, a great paint job will take your vehicle from ho-hum to headturner.

Actually creating a great automotive paint job takes skill and finesse. Automotive painting is one of the most arduous and painstaking tasks in crafting an automobile. It can also be one of the most costly. If you are on a budget, there are options for you. Some paint shops can deliver a good paint job for a fair price. Your other option is to take on the task yourself. If the paint job is a success, you’ll have even more to brag about: a hot set of wheels AND a “do it yourself” tale to tell.

Achieving a great paint job is a step-by-step process. You simply can’t rush automotive painting. Follow the basic steps of preparation, primer application, blocking, final paint coat and detail application. This can seem like a daunting task for any beginner, but the entire job can be completed in just a few days.

Before you begin, check with local bylaws and regulations regarding the use of spray paint in homes and enclosed areas. The last thing you need is a legal holdup delaying your painting job.

Cleaning the car is your next crucial step. The car must be spotlessly clean and free of dirt. Use detergents to clean the car top to bottom, and then follow up with grease removers. After the car has been cleaned, it’s time to begin sanding. An air sander (preferably a dual-action sander) should be used to remove the old paint from the car. This kind of sander will not cause body damage because it removes paint without digging like other sanders and grinders. Every trace of paint must be removed to create a perfect palette for your new paint job. Automotive detailing tape or even duct tape can be used to cover and protect other parts of the car, including plastic moldings and windows. In addition to removing the old paint, all traces of rust have to be sanded off. Rust will spread if ignored or untreated, and the last thing you want is body rot happening beneath your spiffy new paint. You can repair minor body flaws on the car’s surface using fillers. Shape the compound with care using a sanding board, then follow up with a glazing compound. This step will help to ensure a smooth-as-glass finish on your ride.

After the whole car has been initially cleaned, then sanded, a final cleaning takes place and the vehicle is ready to be masked. In this step, every part of the car that shouldn’t be touched by paint is covered and protected. Remember, you will be using high-grade automotive paint that doesn’t wash off with water. Cover your windows, every light and reflector, all window rubbers, all chrome, tires, wheels, door handles, wipers.. take a good look and what needs to be masked. If you don’t want even the tiniest bit of over spray on it, cover it up! The tools and materials needed for masking are available at automotive supply warehouses and hardware stores.

Priming is an essential step to providing a good foundation for your new paint. A flawless prime coat will help you to achieve a perfect paint job. Valspar epoxy is a good primer choice, combining dependable filling capabilities with minimal shrinking. After the primer has been applied, a second coat in a contrasting colour should be applied on top of the first layer. This will serve as a sanding guide. The primer should be sanded to a smooth finish, but don’t sand too vigorously or you could actually damage the body of the car. When the priming is complete, a sealer is applied and a final sanding takes place.

Finishing off
In finishing off the automotive painting, it is essential to achieve uniform colour. The spray gun should be held ten to twelve inches away from the body to avoid streaks and runs. This is necessary when applying the basecoat, final coat and clear coat.

Regardless of the type of car you drive, a new paint job can turn it into a real showstopper. Automotive painting can be a time consuming task, but you can do it if you take it step by step. The creative energy will be good for your soul, and the compliments you receive will be great for your confidence.

Inseparable Car and Vacuum

Inseparable Car and Vacuum

In 2001, the vacuum cleaner celebrated its 100th birthday. It was in the year 1901 when British engineer H. Cecil Booth patented a cleaning machine that incorporated a vacuum to remove dirt. His machine was a huge one. Named “Puffing Billy”, this vacuum machine was horse-drawn and used a gasoline engine to provide the power needed generate suction. Booth’s idea was great, but because of the sheer size and inconvenience his machine brings, he never gained a great amount of success with it.

But, since Booth’s time, the face, shape, size, design and engineering of the vacuum cleaning machine have changed tremendously. The basic idea is still there but due to the changing fashions, the development of science and advances in technology, vacuum cleaners have evolved to be a revolutionary invention that altered forever the way people clean. Today “Puffing Billy” would be put to shame by vacuum cleaners that are ten times smaller yet many times more powerful. From houses to cars, vacuum cleaners have become very practical pieces of tools in the battle against dirt.

Just like your house, your car needs and deserves the same level of attention and care. Leaving your car dirty would totally ruin your vehicle. Dust and other particles can cause scratches on the paint and can damage your car’s upholstery. Also, especially with newer car models, heavy dust can cause damage to the computer and electronic devices usually found behind the dashboard. Garbage also piles up fast. Before you even realize, your back seat’s floor resembles a dumpster.

In cleaning your car, your first step would be to vacuum the interior. From the start you will need a strong, reliable vacuum cleaner to do the job right. “Puffing Billy” would hardly be adequate for even this type of job. You’ll need the power of modern day vacuum cleaners.

Present day car vacuum cleaners are equipped with powerful machines that can easily remove dust from your car interior. With various attachments, you will also be able to reach those tight cracks and corners like the areas around the car seats, behind the dashboard, and near the sides of the trunk.

For cars, both the portable vacuum cleaners and the upright units are at your disposal. The portable ones can be very convenient. These are good for both dry and wet operations. The rechargeable battery is also a plus especially with some portable models that can be charged using the cigarette lighter of your car. Upright cleaners, on the other hand, have at their disposal hoses and on-board tools that will allow a thorough clean up in a matter of minutes. These add-ons would extend and flex into gaps that ordinary nozzles or tools can’t go.

Dash Kits Installation

Dash Kits Installation

Car dash kit installation had been a process which was done manually in before days. But now it has been well automated, and even an ordinary layman can install the dash kit in his car using the simple step-by-step instructions for installation.

Each car company provides the customer with a step-by-step installation guide and if at any moment the customer feels hanged up or feels the need of an assistance the customer care center can be called up for further assistance regarding the installation process.

Some of the care instructions to be taken before the installation process are: the red plastic on the back of each piece should not be peeled off at the initial point; the filament of each piece has to be checked properly in the kit by fixing it to the dash and checking it. If any of the kit does not match do not continue with the process, just stop the process and the local distributor has to be contacted immediately for further installation. Utmost care should be taken to avoid direct skin contact while installing or any sort of prolonged exposure with any chemical agent which is given in the installation kit. These are the tips on safeguards to be maintained before installing the kit. In the same way there are some tips to be followed during the process too; such as alcohol should not be applied to dash the trim pieces which are not over layered. The adhesive promoter has to be applied wisely, as it gets dried very quickly. So, it has to be applied as son as possible through the whole dash area once the adhesive promoter is been opened.

While installing the dash kit people have their own preferences. So, the companies give a vast and best choice on this regard. The customer can choose the color and the wood based on the color on the interior present. Likely, if a car interior is in a dark color to have a perfect blend a dark colored kit can be chosen and the same way for a light colored interior car a light colored kit can be chosen. The best choices will be offered by the company who deals in the kit itself. The best combination on colors can be chosen from the catalogues provided in the showrooms.

While installing the kit, the customer either can take the help of the dealer or can install himself as it is an easy to do process. Some useful tips have to be read carefully and implemented, before and while installing the kit. Dash kit installation is just an easy go process as the company who deals with it itself provides a complete step-by-step guide on the installation process and in any case of trouble or trouble shooting the customer care centre of the company can be contacted for further assistance. A wide range of color combinations and appealing looks are provided as people concentrate more on their dash boards and on their appealing and unique looks.

Quick Tips For Improving The Look Of Your Car

Quick Tips For Improving The Look Of Your Car

Sometimes it really is what’s on the outside that counts.
That’s the opinion of many of today’s car owners who say they’re always on the lookout for ways to make their autos look better.

While many drivers turn to high-tech fixes, accessories and add-ons to change the look of their ride, many forget a simple-and inexpensive-step: waxing. Waxing helps protect a vehicle’s paint by minimizing the effects of wear and tear. But perhaps just as important, it can breathe new life into a faded paint job-helping your car look its best.

A thorough waxing can take less than 30 minutes-especially if you follow a few tips from the experts:

• Always wash the car thoroughly to remove surface dirt that can scratch the paint while waxing.

• Minor scratches and swirl marks caused by snow brushes, tree branches or improper care can be removed with a scratch and swirl remover.

• Apply wax evenly in a circular motion and always remove wax with a clean cloth.

Wax On, Wax Off

You may be surprised at just how far wax has come over the years. For instance, new Turtle Wax Ice looks more like baby oil than traditional car wax. It was designed to clean, shine and protect all exterior surfaces of a car, including plastic and rubber trim, without leaving residue.

“The paint on today’s cars has come a long way, but that exterior finish still needs to be cared for on a regular basis,” said Michael Schultz, head of the Turtle Wax Shine Center. “We developed the new Ice formula to provide better care for diverse exterior surfaces.”

For those who prefer to stick with traditional waxing methods, the original Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell and Platinum Series are used around the world.

Automotive Detailing: How to Clean Automotive Upholstery

Automotive Detailing: How to Clean Automotive Upholstery

Clean Interior
Source: Flickr

Maintaining or restoring the “looks-like-new” condition of their automobiles is a consuming interest for most car owners. Most owners are interested in preserving their investment, and in enjoying the full use of their vehicle as long as possible. Other owners are interested in restoring a vehicle to the best condition possible in order to sell it or get a good trade-in value. Still others are attempting to restore a vehicle as a hobby, joining the many proud owners of classic and antique vehicles. These consumers want quality automotive cleaning products that will enable them to refurbish their autos quickly, with as little effort as possible. One particular problem, especially with older vehicles, is how to clean automotive upholstery. Is it different from furniture upholstery? Can the upholstery be cleaned in place or must it be removed? Is it necessary to use products that are uniquely for these interior automotive fabrics?

Even new vehicles can become soiled. A misplaced cup of coffee, a forgotten and melted crayon, a wad of gum tracked into the car on the driver’s shoe, or a sick puppy can present a daunting cleaning problem. If the problem was neglected when it was fresh, or if it was only partially cleaned and then allowed to age with the car, it may be extremely difficult to remove. It is always best to deal with stains immediately.

By and large, the same product that will clean a leather or vinyl chair should work on a leather or vinyl car interior. Automotive carpeting should respond to the same techniques as household carpet, depending on the fibers used. The same can be said for fabric upholstery. Therefore, the first step in cleaning your car’s interior is to determine what it is made of.

Second, try to determine what may have created the stain. This step may be difficult if the stain has been there for a while or if you have just acquired the car. Spilled cola and grease may leave stains that are similar in color, but they would respond best to different types of spot removers. It is important to choose the correct automotive cleaning products for the job or stain.

Unusual stains should be dealt with first, before an attempt is made to clean and refresh the entire interior surface. Gum or other, similar, sticky substances need careful handling. There are products available now that will freeze them in place, changing their chemical composition, and thus allowing for easy removal by scraping them away.

Other messes, like the above mentioned crayon, also need special handling. Crayon is wax based, but also has pigment. Its removal may need two steps and two entirely different products, depending on how badly it has melted into the fabric. A product specially formulated for crayon removal is a good first step.
Sugar-based food and drink spills on fabric, even old ones, can be removed with a good spot remover. This step should be followed by a thorough steam cleaning. If these stains are on the stitching of vinyl or leather, they may respond to the spot cleaner alone. Grease-based stains should respond to being blotted with a good degreaser, such as Formula 21 Grease Stain Remover.

Once all the unique stains have been dealt with appropriately, give the interior a thorough, all-over cleaning, depending on the upholstery type. Leather and vinyl can be cleaned with a specially formulated product such as Fuller Vinyl and Leather Cleaner. Built-up grime on older seats may also respond to washing with a good degreasing product such as Fulsol All-Purpose Degreaser. Fabric seats and carpets should be able to handle a thorough steam cleaning. Care should be taken to not get the fabric too wet. Because the upholstery and carpet cannot be removed to dry, work slowly in small areas, and only dampen the surface enough to remove the soil. Leaving the doors and or windows open for a while after the cleaning is complete may also hasten the trying time. Check with the manufacturer before treating or steam-cleaning antique fabrics.

With a little pre-planning and care, and with the right automotive detailing products, you can become an expert in how to clean automotive upholstery.