the old adage that "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is"
comes the news that regular, proper care and maintenance are what really keep
vehicles going into the high six-figure mileage ranges. Miracle cures, magic fairy
dust, mystery polymers and the like are all fine and good for infomercials, but
most likely won't do much good for your vehicle.|
We all know somebody "wink,
wink" with an older, high-mileage vehicle that just keeps on running year
after year---The secret is that there is no real secret to getting a vehicle to
last a long time. The difference is maintenance. Regular fluid checks and an almost
pious dedication to scheduled lubrication will keep the powertrain going strong.
What kind of oil, brake fluid, and grease used is just as important as when it
is changed. The best oil in the world will do your engine no good if you never
change it. Cleaning and protecting the finishes of the vehicle inside and out
will keep things looking good. Paint, plastic, leather, and fabric need help to
survive the constant assault of sun and elements. Utilize both of these plans
together and you, like your Crazy Uncle Fred, will enjoy happy motoring for a
good, long time.
your car ready for the street after a loooooong winter.
Change Oil, Oil filter, check air filter and replace it if necessary
battery and either add fuel or drain and add depending on if you used a fuel stabilizer.
Start the engine. Let your car run for 20 minutes in order to warm up. Look for
any warning lights on your dashboard. Also, check the brake pedal to make sure
it feels normal. The brakes could respond noisily after storage if rust accumulated
on your car's brake rotors. This brake noise is normal and should go away quickly.
tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a qualified
Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced
by a qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
the oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual. (Properly dispose of used
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
the condition of tires, including the spare. Always check tire pressure when the
tires are cold.
Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs.
Monoxide can Kill|
use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or
charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially
enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow
carbon monoxide to come indoors.
carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside
sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors
or by an open window or door.
for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel
arrive to assist you.
and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method
for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Dont try to get moving in a hurry.
And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow
down on icy roads. If possible, dont stop going up a hill. Theres
nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia
going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.|
have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread,
according to The Tire Rack. (New passenger-car tires usually have 10/32-inch of
tread.) Ultrahigh-performance "summer" tires have little or no grip
in snow. Even "all-season" tires don't necessarily have great snow traction:
Some do, some don't. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow,
use snow tires (sometimes called "winter tires" by tiremakers). They
have a "snowflake on the mountain" symbol on the sidewall, meaning they
meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction. |
a winter survival kit in your car. |
Have a shovel, windshield scraper and
small broom, flashlight with extra batteries, battery powered radio, water, snack
food including energy bars, raisins and mini candy bars, matches and small candles,
extra hats, socks and mittens, First aid kit with pocket knife, Necessary medications,
blankets or sleeping bag, tow chain or rope, road salt, sand, or cat litter for
traction, booster cables, emergency flares and reflectors, fluorescent distress
flag and whistle to attract attention, Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter.
facilities typically require proof of vehicle registration. They may also
require proof of insurance, since individual property is not covered by the facility's
insurance. Most facilities expect that repairing or extensive maintenance of vehicles
will be done elsewhere. When vehicles will be stored indoors over long periods
of time, check fuel lines and gaskets, and lay down cardboard or mats to prevent
damage to the unit's floor and to watch for wet spots so you know where the leak
is coming from.|
buyer should always ask for the repair and maintenance records of the
vehicle. Sometimes, the paperwork is legitimately not available, particularly
on an older car; however, in such a case, the buyer must realize that making a
purchase on a car with an unknown service history is a bit like gambling. Records
usually show any "Achilles heel" on the car that the potential
buyer may need to consider in a future budget.|
purchasing a classic car, a buyer should be knowledgeable about the particular
model he or she wishes to purchase. When all the available options are known,
a buyer is then able to make a qualified appraisal of the authenticity of the
vehicle in question, and make an educated purchase. |
classic cars are no longer being manufactured, it is obvious very difficult
to find their parts. When a car owner does find a part, it may not always be appropriate
for their cars or may come at a very expensive price. Even if they do manage to
buy the right piece, they have to exert even more effort to look for people who
actually know how to install the parts. The best places to find parts are from
an old Mechanics shop, On-Line Ads or by using classic car forums and/or
club web sites.|
Use compressed air from a small, portable compressor is an easy
way to blow dust and dirt out of heating and air-conditioning duct work. The trick
is to aim the high-pressure air at the walls of the ducts behind the vent grilles,
where dust and dirt stick and cause musty smells.
the carpets and seats if they're looking bad. Sometimes dirty upholstery can
lead to bad smells, because things get trapped in the fibers. Make your own carpet
cleaner by pouring 1/4 cup bleach-free grease cutting dish soap and 1/4 cup of
white vinegar into a spray bottle and filling it up the rest of the way with hot
water. Spray the carpet with the solution and scrub it with a clean nylon brush
dipped in hot water to make it foamy. Use a wet/dry vac to vacuum up the foam;
leave the windows down for the car to air out while everything dries. |
taking your baby out of storage, start the engine|
your car run for 20 minutes in order to warm up. Look for any warning lights on
your dashboard. Also, check the brake pedal to make sure it feels normal. The
brakes could respond noisily after storage if rust accumulated on your car's brake
rotors. This brake noise is normal and should go away quickly.
the car in (hopefully indoor) your storage area. If you are storing the car
in an area with an earth or gravel floor, lay a big piece of plastic down first,
then drive the car onto that. The plastic sheet will provide a vapor barrier and
help keep the car from rusting. Or, for the best combination of floor protection
and car protection, use one of our Oil Absorbing Mats. |
A simple method of keeping your sand paper organized. Go to
your local office supply store and purchase an expandable file (accordion file).
Most are made of cardboard, but the one I like is made from plastic. It should
last a little longer. Add labels where appropriate and put your sand paper into
each slot as required. It's easy to carry around and keeps it flat.
is made of organic compounds that change over time. What was once a substance
that, when mixed with oxygen, provided power for an internal combustion engine,
instead becomes a substance that can form a gummy residue or take on a varnish-like
quality that can clog up fuel lines. However, if you know that you have gasoline
that will not be used for at least 2 months, you can preserve it by adding fuel
stabilizer. This will not only preserve the gasoline, but it will also help prevent
damage occurring to your fuel system from degraded gasoline.|
can't allow any critters that make their way into your storage area to make
your classic its home for the Winter! Seal up any drafty doors or windows, and
place some rodent control devices throughout the area. Remember, mice run straight
lines along wall edges, so a few well placed traps around the perimeter of your
classic will help deter any unwelcome guests. We've all heard the horror stories
of chewed wiring and a dead mouse in the vent system! I'll usually cover the exhaust
tips with a thick sweat sock to help protect the chrome finish and some steel
wool to stop rodent access to the exhaust pipe.|
tire dressings make tires look great, they can accelerate deterioration with
foreign materials that can decrease the effectiveness of tire compounds that resist
ozone cracking or weather checking.|
Any tire that is more than 5 years old
should be carefully inspected for cracking and probably be replaced, even if it
has acceptable thread left.
Stains and Freshening
your basic everyday carpet refreshing, sprinkle a little clove, cinnamon, and
baking soda around the carpet, allow to sit a few minutes, then vacuum the area.
general stains, mix 3 quarts HOT water, 1 cup vinegar, and 2 teaspoons castile
soap. Dab mixture onto stain and gently massage the area with your fingertips
(use rubber gloves if you prefer). Once the stain has been removed, rinse with
water, blot with a clean cloth, and allow to dry. Vacuum the entire area, and
if stain shows up again, you can repeat as necessary.
to clean bird droppings
droppings are very acidic and abrasive. The best way to clean the bird droppings
off is to first soak them with water (few drops of soap, if available, will also
help) for a few minutes and then just spray them off. The stains left from bird
droppings can be buffed off with the fine polishing compound and then covered
with car wax. If birds target your car regularly it might be a good idea to keep
a spray bottle with water in your car, so you can wash the bird droppings off
before they cause stains.
your car bad on gas? |
By checking and maintaing your tire pressure you can
see gains of 10% better fuel mileage and extends the life of your tires.
Baby Wipes are good for quick clean-up of spills, especially on vinyl
Woolite mixed 6:1 with water makes a great, inexpensive interior cleaner that's
also safe for leather
Follow-up leather cleaning with a leather conditioner - there are several good
ones on the market; I prefer Zaino's, but check your local auto parts store; you
can't go wrong with just about anything from Meguiars
radiator and gas caps Tight fitting caps on the radiator and gas tank
are important. Radiator caps can corrode and deteriorate, so its a good
idea to replace yours as often as you flush the cooling system.
battery and plugs Make sure battery posts and connections are clean.
Spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles.
the interior Its easy to use your car or truck as a storage area
for all kinds of things (including useless junk and garbage), especially in the
cold months when you dont feel like cleaning your car in the freezing cold.
Take the time to de-clutter your car. Its worth it.
and fill cooling system
This is cheap insurance against engine failure. Experts recommend flushing
every 2 years for most vehicles.
overall cleanliness of your engine is the best preventive maintenance you can
perform on your car. A clean engine runs cooler and is much less likely to cause
premature failure of other parts. It's also easier to work on. Regular routine
replacement of all filters, lubricants, coolant and the other parts noted here
is critical. Use the mileage guidelines shown as your benchmark. Sensing and mechanical
tolerances have become so tight even slight variations can create drastic performance
changes. Know your car's systems and particular requirements before starting any
project. Do not attempt to fix what you don't understand. Remember that some improvements
may not take effect right away if your car's computer is designed to learn and
adjust. The computer may need to see various parameters before making any permanent
can use dishwashing soap, it does not "strip" wax off cars. Many use
Liquid Ivory exclusively on all their cars. Several national champions, 40 year
old original paint, and daily drivers. The act of washing with ANY product will
take a little bit of your wax off. That is what it's designed to do! Wax is supposed
to slowly wear off to keep dirt from embedding in your paint. That is why Carnuba
is such a great product. Every time you wipe, wash, rinse etc your car, you strip
wax. It's going to happen no matter what you use.|
are lots of polishing products on the shelves these days. Unfortunately, not all
the companies making these products speak the same language. Polish and a polishing
compound may not be the same thing. Some may say they are fine for all paint,
or new paint or faded paint. Some are liquid, some are wax some are waterless.
Rubbing compounds come in liquid or paste. Liquid is easier to apply, but you
wont get as much compound for the money. Stop! Read the label. If you cant
tell if the polish has abrasives or not, then dont buy it. Find the right
polish that will be right for your car. Weather youre using an abrasive
hand-applied polishing compound on severely faded paint of a nonabrasive polish
on clearcoat, work in the shade or in a garage. Apply the polish to a small area
and use a supplied applicator or a piece of terrycloth. Follow the package directions.
Some use water, some dont. If you are using an abrasive compound, you will
see removed paint on your applicator.|
when you store your beauty for a long winter, make sure the tire pressure is at
the manufacturers specification. Since your car/truck is going to sit for
a long time, use jack stands to prevent flat spots on the tires. Also be sure
to check all of the vehicle's fluids including: brake fluid, radiator level, power
steering and transmission. We also recommended changing the oil and filter. Finally,
do a thorough visual inspection of the car to make sure there are no signs of
premature wear. Pull the tires and check the brakes and rubber flex lines.
your inspection is over, make note of the items you want to work on during the
winter! The idea of winter in Minnesota is not to store the car/truck,
consider it natures way of giving you time to do a thorough maintenance on your
ride for safety.
the wet thumb
you top off your tires at a service station, check to see if theres moisture
coming from the air pump. Simply depress the pin inside the inflator valve with
your thumbnail. If your thumb gets wet, advise the station manager that his tanks
need to be drained and go to a different station. Moisture, trapped inside a tire,
can cause pressure variations and corrode rims.
the paint. Give the vehicle a good washing before it's put away for the winter
to remove any road salt or grunge, and be sure to dry it thoroughly, too. Then
apply a protective coat of wax. Finally, slip on a breathable cloth car cover.
(Plastic covers will trap condensation and provide a fertile breeding ground for
a couple of mothballs in the trunk, the interior, and the engine compartment.
Hopefully this will dissuade little furry creatures from building nests. A quality
car cover will also help keep the animal kingdom out of your car. An even better
solution is to cocoon the car and cover in a Car Pocket. If the car is being stored
indoors, crack the windows about 3/8".|
automatic transmission fluid and filter after the first 5,000 miles (8,000 km)
and after every 25,000 miles (40,000 km) or two years thereafter, or as recommended
in your owners manual. If you use your vehicle for towing, change the fluid
and filter every year. For manual transmissions, change the lubricant (motor oil
or gear oil, depending on the car) after the first 5,000 miles and after every
50,000 (80,000 km) thereafter. Use synthetic motor oil or gear lube for longer
transmission life unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise.
if your cars sunroof and windows are tightly shut. Then grab your hose and
sprayjust lightlyaround the edges of the sunroof, windows, and rear
deck lid. Stay alert and observe if thered be weather
stripping leaks. If you see some, better patch or replace the weather stripping
right away. Though you could always avoid spraying on or near the leaking areas,
its always better to be preventive and safe than pissed and sorry when something
untoward happens. |
up with a lower-octane gasoline. Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline
that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling
up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel
won't boost your car's fuel economy or performance in the least, so skip it.
you're not sure what grade of fuel works best for your car, open up your owner's
manual and take a look. As long as your engine doesn't knock or ping when you
fuel up with regular unleaded, you're good to drive on this much cheaper gas.
Passing on pricey premium gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
bad Weatherstripping Immediately
your weatherstripping is letting rainwater leak into the interior of your car,
take a look at it and decide if you can repair it or if it needs to be replaced.
Small leaks can be handled with brush-on seam sealers. Resecure loose sections,
not otherwise damaged, with trim adhesive. Torn sections may be repaired with
special caulking available at auto parts stores. You may also be able to extend
the life of worn-but-intact sections by inserting foam rods, available at automotive
stores, into the hollow section of the weatherstripping. If you decide to replace
entire sections of gasket, dont simply buy generic stuff such as youd
use around the house. Buy a product that matches your cars original weatherstripping
its available in a wide variety of profiles from dealerships and
automotive mail-order catalogues.
My Car Stinks
Use a soft cleaning cloth to wipe every plastic, wood,
glass, and metallic surface inside the car. If you want to use anything other
than warm water, rely on mild detergent as it will be safe for most surfaces,
and glass cleaner for glass. For leather seats, use an appropriate leather cleaner.
Alternatively, you can ask for a suitable interior car cleaner at your automobile
store. If it's a really hot day, leave the doors and windows open to let the car
cool down first or it'll be hot and unpleasant as well as super odorous!
forget to clean the back or trunk (boot) of the car as well.
The odor could
be coming from anywhere. If there still is an issue, check the driver and passenger...
Rising Gas Prices|
Not only do regular tune-ups prevent unwanted breakdowns,
they also help you save money on gas. Some mechanics estimate that a poorly tuned
engine can use up to 50 percent more gas than one that is running well. As gas
is by no means cheap these days, why would you want to fill up your engine twice
as often if you could have prevented it?
Never apply wax onto surfaces that cannot be easily buffed.|
B. Ideal waxing
temperature is between 55F - 85F.
C. Always apply paste wax in thin coats.
D. Soft terry cotton makes perfect polishing cloths.
E. Do not apply wax in
direct sun (unless you are using ICE(r) Synthetic Liquid or Paste Polish) on dark
finishes, this makes polish and wax removal difficult.
F. Only wax a recently
A radio antenna will slide
up and down easier if a coat of wax is applied occasionally. Wax paper works great
for this job. Rub the wax paper up and down the antenna, the wax from the paper
will coat the antenna.
a business card (or file card with your name on it) down the window slot in case
you ever need to prove ownership.
your car trunk with a plastic rug protector to protect the carpeting. It will
make clean up easier if dirty or greasy objects are placed in the trunk.
rust by keeping the underside of your car clean also. Place a lawn sprinkler under
your car and turn on full blast. Move occasionally so it will reach all areas.
This is a good way to remove all salt and road grime.
how to make your own Winter Weather Survival Kit:
- 3 pound coffee can
Pliers or something to hold a can to melt snow in
1 candle 2" diameter (place on the 3 pound coffee can to protect the car
from the hot wax)
1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors)
3 pieces of bright cloth 2" wide x 36" long (tie to antenna or door
Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc.
(mixed into melted snow)
1 small package of peanuts (provides protein) &
fruit-flavored candy (orange slices, jelly beans, etc)
1 pair of athletic
socks (cotton) and 1 pair of glove liners (cotton)
1 warm winter hat for each
person in the car
2 packages of book matches
1 sun shield blanket or 2
large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat)
1 pen light
and batteries (keep separate)
gas prices keep going higher. So too is the volume of advertising for "gas-saving"
products, designed to appeal to consumers looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency.
Although there are practical steps car owners can take to increase gas mileage,
the Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be wary of gas-saving claims for
automotive devices or oil and gas additives. While some of the gas-saving products
have been proven to work, the savings are small, at best. What's more, you could
end up with serious engine problems or a voided manufacturer warranty by adding
after-market devices to your engine. The Environmental Protection Agency has evaluated
or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product
that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some "gas-saving"
products may damage a car's engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.
Some of these products include Air Bleed Devices, Vapor Bleed Devices, Liquid
Injection, Fuel Line Devices, Mixture Enhancers, Internal Engine Modifications
Remove excess weight from the trunk. An extra 100 pounds can reduce
a typical car's fuel economy by up to two percent. Properly maintain your car.
Keep the engine tuned, tires inflated and aligned, change the oil on schedule,
and check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing clogged filters can increase
gas mileage up to 10 percent. Avoid rough roads whenever possible. Dirt or gravel
can rob you of up to 30 percent of your gas mileage.
Leather from drying out and cracking
cars seats are durable and don't require a lot of maintenance. After a few years,
however, the seats can become soiled. Use a leather cleaner to remove dirt and
stains.Then apply a leather protectant formulated for pigmented or top-coated
grain leather (the leather used for most leather car upholstery). Protectants
will resist stains and make the upholstery easier to clean in the future. Choose
a protectant that includes conditioners to keep your leather supple.
forget the little things you can do to keep your car cool. Park in the shade whenever
possible, consider buying a sun shade for the windshield to reflect light if the
vehicle must be parked in direct sunlight, and leave the windows cracked so hot
air can escape.|
sure the Brake and Clutch master cylinders are full of brake fluid. Brake fluid
can absorb water very quickly. By reducing the exposed surface area of the fluid,
the water absorption can be reduced. If you can, bleed the brake and clutch systems.
It is recommended that you do this on an annual basis anyway, to purge the system
of old and possibly contaminated brake fluid. |
with Care Everyday
car considerate shouldn't stop after the break-in. Drive with care every day and
your car will reward you with longer intervals without repair.
- Do not race your car's
engine during start-up. This is a quick way to add years of wear to your engine,
especially if it's cold outside.
slowly when you begin your drive. The most wear to the engine and drive train
occurs in the first ten to twenty minutes of operation.
the engine by letting it idle in the driveway is not a smart idea. The engine
doesn't operate at its peak temperature, resulting in incomplete fuel combustion,
soot deposits on cylinder walls, oil contamination, and ultimately damaged components.
- Put less strain
on your engine and automatic transmission by shifting to neutral at red lights.
Otherwise, the engine is still working to push the car even while it's stopped.
- Avoid driving
at high speeds and accelerating quickly, especially when it's very hot or very
cold outside. Such driving behavior will result in more frequent repairs.
the life of your tires with careful driving. Observe posted speed limits. Avoid
fast starts, stops, and turns. Avoid potholes and objects on the road. Don't run
over curbs or hit the tire against the curb when parking. And, of course, don't
turning your steering wheel, don't hold it in an extreme right or left position
for more than a few seconds. Doing so can damage the power-steering pump.
your short driving trips. Most of the wear and tear -- as well as the pollution
your car generates -- takes place in the first few minutes of driving. Doing several
errands at once, during low traffic hours if possible, will keep your engine happier
Bright Sun Tips
The sun can be brutal on cars. Make sure you treat yours before the dog days of
summer set in.
The roof, trunk lid, and hood need the most attention on the
outside of your car.
- Make sure you wax your car before the temperature soars too high.
and other plastic, rubber, or vinyl parts may become faded from the sun.
- Use a protectant to help prevent this type of damage.
- Leather seats should
be treated with a conditioner to help prevent cracking.
- Park undercover
as much as possible to avoid direct sunlight.
- The greatest cause of summer
breakdowns is overheating, so be sure the cooling system is flushed and refilled.
- Check the vehicle's main fluids: engine oil, radiator coolant, brake, window
washer, transmission, and power steering fluids to make sure they're filled and
ready for hot days.
- Check tire pressure. The manual will give recommended
tire pressures for different speeds and loads. Maintaining correct air pressure
will improve fuel economy.
- Have a qualified technician check the air conditioning
system or you may be sorry when the weather heats up.
- Replace the air, fuel,
PCV, and other filters as recommended, especially if driving conditions are dusty.
Vacuum in hard to reach places if you get yourself a length of hose pipe. Your
hose pipe is probably long enough that you can spare 20", all you need to
do is place one end of the hose between thumb and fore-finger and cup your hand
over the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner. This narrow extension not only enables
you to get into those hard to reach areas down the side of the centre console,
but it actually has more suck.|
2) Use baby wipes on car dashboards,
they clean like new and leave an anti-static layer.
3) For detail cleaning
on the dashboard, the best thing to use is a soft paintbrush. It gets into all
4) If you have ink stains on the leather, you can remove
it with cuticle remover -- not nail polish remover! Just put some on the stain
and let it set in anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight and then wipe it off.
5) A big old soft sock makes a perfect hand mitt for buffing the wax on
6) When your windshield starts blurring when you turn the
wipers on, dampen a cloth or rag with some full-strength white vinegar and run
it down the full length of each blade once or twice.
7) To help restore
a license plate that is beginning to rust, spray it with WD-40 and wipe with a
clean rag. This will remove light surface rust and will also help prevent more
rust from forming.
8) Freshen up - To rid of stale odors from the ventilation
ducts, try spraying odor eliminator into the system's air intake, which is usually
located at the base of the windshield. Then run the air conditioner full blast
for at least 10 minutes.
9) Battery Cleaner (Removes built-up acid)
Baking soda and Water Sprinkle baking soda onto battery terminals. Spray with
water to dampen. Let set for about one hour. Sponge off with water. Air dry.
10) Engine Degreaser: ¼ cup washing soda and 1 gallon warm water
pour on engine areas that need degreasing. Rinse thoroughly. Excess should not
be stored -- discard all leftovers.
The top 5 reasons you
may want to consider changing your oil more frequently if:
You drive like a knucklehead: jackrabbit starts, heavy acceleration or high-speed
4) You live where the climate is extremely hot or cold (Duh,
3) You often drive on dirt roads
2) Your engine
is old and burns oil
1) You frequently carry heavy loads (several mothers-in-law
or other cargo)
To keep your headlights clear, wipe them with car wax. The water repellents
in the wax will work to keep the slush and salt from accumulating on the headlights.|
2. Ice-proof your windows by spraying them with a vinegar mixture at night.
Use 3 parts vinegar to one part water. If there is already ice on the windows,
spray with the mixture to melt it off.
3. Prevent your car doors from
sticking by spraying the rubber seals around the doors with cooking spray
and rubbing it in with a paper towel. This will prevent the water from melting
into the rubber therefore it wont freeze at night.
4. Use shaving cream
to prevent your windows from fogging. Spray some on the inside of your
windows then wipe off with paper towels. Apparently, shaving cream contains some
of the same ingredients as commercial defoggers.
5. If your windshield
wipers are leaving streaks or squeaking, wipe them with a cloth saturated
in alcohol or ammonia. The build up of grease and grime can be cut by these two
solvents. It restores wipers to near perfect clarity.
6. De-ice a lock
with hand sanitizer gel. It contains alcohol which is the main ingredient in commercial
de-icers. Put the sanitizer on the key and the lock. The gel must contain at least
60% alcohol or it wont work. The same holds true for sanitizing the hands, anything
less than 60% and you're wasting your money.
7. Stuck in the snow?
use your floor mat. Turn off the car, put the rubber side of the mat under the
spinning tire. Turn the car back on, step on the gas and it'll give you the grip
you need to get moving again.
Don't fill up if you
see the tanker
If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks
at your local gas station, come back another day or go to a different station.
As the station's underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up
sediment. Sediment in your gas can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing
poor performance and possibly necessitating repairs.
the Moisture out
Slip a plastic bag over the exhaust tip(s) and snap a
rubber band around it to keep it in place. Do the same to the air cleaner inlet.
This will help keep moisture out of the engine.
the Critters out
Place a couple of mothballs in the trunk, the interior,
and the engine compartment. Hopefully this will dissuade little furry creatures
from building nests. A quality car cover will also help keep the animal kingdom
out of your car. An even better solution is to cocoon the car and cover in a Car
Pocket. If the car is being stored indoors, crack the
windows about 3/8".
your Rear End
Finally, if possible, rotate the drive axles a few turns
once a month. This will help to keep the differential gears and transmission mainshaft
and countershaft coated with oil.
with care everyday
- Do not race your car's engine during start-up. This is a quick way to add years
of wear to your engine, especially if it's cold outside.
car considerate shouldn't stop after the break-in. Drive with care every day and
your car will reward you with longer intervals without repair.
- Accelerate slowly
when you begin your drive.The most wear to the engine and drive train occurs in
the first ten to twenty minutes of operation.
- Warming the engine by letting
it idle in the driveway is not a smart idea. The engine doesn't operate at its
peak temperature, resulting in incomplete fuel combustion, soot deposits on cylinder
walls, oil contamination, and ultimately damaged components.
- Put less strain
on your engine and automatic transmission by shifting to neutral at red lights.
Otherwise, the engine is still working to push the car even while it's stopped.
- Avoid driving at high speeds and accelerating quickly, especially when
it's very hot or very cold outside. Such driving behavior will result in more
- Extend the life of your tires with careful driving. Observe
posted speed limits. Avoid fast starts, stops, and turns. Avoid potholes and objects
on the road. Don't run over curbs or hit the tire against the curb when parking.
And, of course, don't burn rubber.
- When turning your steering wheel, don't
hold it in an extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds. Doing
so can damage the power-steering pump.
- Consolidate your short driving trips.
Most of the wear and tear -- as well as the pollution your car generates -- takes
place in the first few minutes of driving. Doing several errands at once, during
low traffic hours if possible, will keep your engine happier longer.
Keep From Nicking Those Newly Painted Car Doors
Reassembly of a restoration project always involves patience and attention
to detail. One of the most difficult tasks to accomplish is replacing car doors
without scratching or damaging the fresh painted surfaces. The two best tools
for making this job easier are: masking tape and a floor jack.
attempting to mount your doors, gently adhere masking tape to the outside edges
of the doorjamb area on the body. This will help prevent the door's sharp edges
from getting nicked or scraping the paint off the jamb edges. The tape can be
removed as soon as the door is mounted in place.
it's time for the floor jack. Car doors are quite heavy and bulky, so it is a
big mistake to try holding one in space while aligning to the hinges. Even with
a helper holding one end of the door, this job almost always ends up with damage.
It's just too hard to keep the door aligned while fighting with its weight. Here's
a better way.
a scrap piece of 2x4 and wrap it with a towel. Place the piece on your floor jack
and raise the jack to the approximate bottom height of the door. Lay the door's
flat bottom onto the wrapped piece of wood, taking the time to balance it. Now
all you have to do is keep the door from falling off, which is easily done with
the jack such that you can roll the front of the door up to the hinges and then
adjust the height until the door can be pushed into place. You will find this
very easy to do because there is no physical effort on your part. This will allow
you to be patient.
Preserve your car during
you are not going to use your car for more than a month, store it properly to
prevent unnecessary damage and repairs upon your return.
Fill the gas tank
to help prevent condensation from accumulating in the gas tank. Add a fuel stabilizer
and drive the car around a bit to distribute the additive to engine parts, Wash
and wax the car thoroughly to protect the finish, Place a vapor barrier on your
garage floor. A 4-mil polyethylene drop cloth will do, Disengage the parking brake
to help avoid brake corrosion, Put the car on jack stands to take the weight of
the vehicle off the wheels and tires, Disconnect and remove the battery to keep
it from draining. Place the battery on a trickle type charger. Or periodically
drain the battery, using a small light bulb, and then re-charge it with a low-volt
charger, Plug the tailpipe with a rag to prevent moist air from infiltrating into
Be patient during the
bought your dream car and now you want to make it last as long as possible in
top condition. Here are some things to remember as you pull it out of the dealer's
During the break-in period, typically the first 1,000 miles (1,600 km),
keep your speed under 55 mph (88 kpm) or to the speed recommended by your car's
Avoid heavy loads on the drive train, such as towing trailers,
and loading the roof rack or trunk with heavy construction materials.
allow your new car to idle for long periods -- this is good advice for the life
of your car, but especially during break-in. The oil pressure generated by doing
so may not be sending oil to every part of your engine.
Use only light to
medium acceleration, keeping the engine rpms below 3,000 for the first few hours
up your Key Chain |
your car key share a chain with a dozen or more other keys? That's a pretty heavy
load hanging off the car key when it's in the ignition. The weight, combined with
bouncing while you drive, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and eventually
lead to ignition switch failure. To add years of service to your ignition switch,
purchase a lightweight key chain that allows you to separate your ignition key
from the others. Drive with only the ignition key in your ignition. If your ignition
key "sticks" when you try to turn on the car, it's a warning that your
ignition switch is about to fail. Replace it before you get stranded.
Upholstery Cleaners on soiled seats
same upholstery cleaners you use at home can be used on your car's upholstery.
Use them sparingly, however, to avoid saturating the fabric. Use a clean cloth
to wipe away the foam. On velour seats, brush the fibers gently to avoid matting
them and to preserve the original texture of the fabric.
Track of Flaws
you are painting a panel, door or whole car, you often find yourself seeing flaws
in the surface. While those flaws are on your mind as you find them, they are
easy to lose sight of later. Eventually you forget where some of them are and
only see them after spraying your finish.
find that there is one sure way to "remember" those flaws. We've used
it for many years and it's never failed to help us take care of defects without
losing them. It's also about as cheap a solution as can be: chalk.
right; just keep a stick of chalk (any color) in your hand as you inspect the
body of a car or just a single panel. When you find a flaw simply circle it with
chalk. Later, when you come back to fix all the defects you can wipe the chalk
away as you go, or wait until you wet-sand the surface.
doesn't mar any finish and doesn't chemically react with undercoats or top finishes.
Unlike other methods (bits of masking tape, dabs of white-out, post-its) that
might leave a blush in the paint, chalk just goes away during surface preparation.
Struggle With That Hose! |
putting on a new radiator hose can be a monumental task. Stretching and pushing
the hose end over a water pump bib or radiator outlet can take all the energy
you can muster, not to mention result in skinned knuckles. There's got to be a
better way, right?
there is, so bear in mind that rubber needs two conditions to allow it to flex
and stretch: temperature and lubrication. Cold rubber doesn't stretch very well,
so keep the hose indoors overnight before you attempt to put it on the fitting.
Alternatively you can heat it (carefully!) with a heat gun or just put the end
in your pocket for a while.
is essential to get a hose to slip over a connection. The best materials to use
are silicon lubricant, soapy water or Armor All. Just wet down the inner surface
of the hose and push away, being careful not to bend or otherwise damage delicate
copper, aluminum or plastic hose fittings.
use petroleum-based grease or oil. It might react with the rubber eventually and
Don't Just Pull That
all too often to those of us painting our cars: we mask freshly painted areas
of a hood, trunk lid, door, etc., to prevent overspray while painting the other
surfaces and then find the tape pulls off some of the paint that it was stuck
we should have used special masking tapes that are designed for such applications,
but there wasn't any on hand. We took the risk and paid the consequences alright,
but isn't there some way to get that "normal" masking tape off without
damaging the nice finish?
there is, and it's just a few feet away from you. It's a heat gun - or hair blower
if you don't have a heat gun. All you need to do to remove masking is to gently
(GENTLY!) heat the tape as you pull it away. The adhesive will soften enough to
prevent pulling the paint off, leaving just a little film that can be cleaned
off with a mild solvent or waxing.
technique is great for removing tape that's been on surfaces for a long time,
too. We've tried it on tape that was wrapped around some parts that had been stored
for over 5 years and it came right off!
Scratch Those Fenders!
have the same problem everyone else does: trying not to scratch the fender while
leaning over the engine bay. We've got commercial fender protectors, of course,
but they sit folded up in the garage and over time get impregnated with dirt and
grit. Also, we tend to forget to pull them out when a "simple" job needs
to be performed.
why we think there's a better way to go about protecting the fenders. The answer
for us is binder clips (spring-type paper clips)! Yes, these little black spring
clips are terrific for use in protecting your fenders - or anywhere else for that
of a fender protector we use an old blanket or bedspread. We fold it over and
lay it on the fender, clipping it to the flange around the hood opening area using
the binder clips. It's quick and easy and offers the advantage of being able to
shake the dust and dirt out of the cloth, or even washing it when it's really
Whitewall Tire Trick
had an unusual problem with a set of new whitewall tires. Once the tires were
mounted we cleaned off the blue soapy coating that's always applied to them for
protection. Underneath the coating we found that the whitewalls weren't very bright
white, but rather a dingy yellow-brown color as if they were dirty.
started a cleaning process that frustrated us for quite a while. First we scrubbed
the whitewalls with Dobie pads and spray cleaner and got nowhere. There was no
improvement, so next we got out the SOS pads and scrubbed away. That too yielded
no improvement, so we started to assume that the discoloration was all the way
through the whitewall.
address this situation we tried cleaning areas of one whitewall with solvents.
First we tried PrepSol and then lacquer thinner. We also tried to scrub the areas
with steel wool and solvent, once again to no avail. We were running out of ideas
and resigning ourselves to having dingy whitewalls and decided to clean up all
the stuff and go away.
before leaving we thought that maybe it would be worth sanding the outer layer
of white to see if the color was penetrating all the way into the rubber. We then
tested a small area by sanding with 150-grit wet/dry paper and, much to our surprise,
a rubbery brown material started sanding away, revealing a much whiter layer.
We sanded some more and found that the whitewall was, well, white!
got a bucket of water and more sandpaper and set out to sand all four tires. One
hour later we had sanded off the dingy layer and had four sparkling white tires!
What the material was and why it wouldn't come off with steel wool or solvents
is beyond us, but now the tires look great and clean up with the more conventional
Those Darn Metal Shavings!
you have one of those strong, right-angled welding magnets you've run across the
bane of their existence: metal shavings. These magnets - and to a lesser extent,
any magnets kept in the workshop - are very good at attracting piles of sharp,
dirty and difficult-to-remove metal shavings. What to do?
tried wiping the shavings off and in the process learned the importance of using
work gloves. This technique works, but the gloves get filthy and the shavings
tend to cut and shred the material. Blowing the shavings off with compressed air
works too, but that just scatters the shavings around your garage.
yet, why not wrap the magnet in plastic wrap? A couple layers of plastic wrap
will last quite a while and when the shavings get piled up the entire wrap can
be peeled off and discarded. An alternative to this technique is to use a ziplock
bag for the same purpose. Either way, these little tricks make life a bit easier.
of us use respirators that utilize chemical cartridges to purify the air coming
in. These cartridges get saturated with contaminants after a while and have to
be discarded, but anyone who uses a respirator already knows that.
don't know that leaving a respirator out on the counter or hung on a hook causes
the cartridge to become saturated. Air moves in and around the cartridge and,
over time, a perfectly good cartridge becomes unusable. That's why replacement
cartridges are kept in sealed containers.
find that the best way to prevent premature cartridge failure is to keep the respirator
in a large ziplock freezer bag. These bags are inexpensive and do a very good
job of sealing the respirator from outside air and other chemical contaminants.
It also keeps the respirator free from dust while it sits around the workshop.
small parts for your classic car project
dismantling your classic car it's a good idea to store small parts in plastic
bags, and label them to make things easier when it comes time for re-assembly.
we write our labels directly on the bag with a felt-tipped pen. However after
an extended time, moving parts around causes the labels to wear off. A safer idea
is to write your label on an index card and put it in the bag with the part.