Place baking soda refrigerator packages in the interior and trunk
- To keep insects and vermin out of the car, put a plastic bag over
the air cleaner/air inlet and exhaust pipe(s). You also can cover
these with aluminum foil and tape securely. Place mothballs in the
tailpipe and around the outside of the car, or insert steel wool
in the tailpipe.
- Place the vehicle on jack stands. This step avoids tire flat spots
and adds longevity to the suspension because it is not supporting
the vehicle's weight during storage.
- For your battery, take one of the following actions: Unhook the
battery by removing the negative cable first and store it separately
- never on a concrete floor and preferably where it will not freeze;
or leave the battery in the car and put a battery tender on it,
if there is power available. That way if you want to start it a
few times in the winter you don't have to put the battery in and
- Close all of the windows.
- If the vehicle will be exposed to freezing temperatures, be certain
no personal items that may freeze or burst are left in the vehicle.
you put the car away, make sure you spend time cleaning out the
storage area. In the case of a garage, sweep the floor, to make
sure you get rid of any traces of dust, dirt and animals, insects
or rodents, as the latter often like to make classic cars their
home during winter. It's also preferable to store the car in a place
where it will remain relatively undisturbed during the winter months-someplace
where the door isn't being constantly opened and closed and daily
driven cars aren't regularly being parked in the same location.
The latter is particularly bad, because if said vehicles are used
in the snow and slush, parking them in the garage overnight, leaves
excessive amounts of salt and moisture behind, which provide the
ideal environment for things to start rusting.
Even if the car is parked in garage with a concrete or laminated
floor, a good idea is to place plastic sheeting, or at the very
least, old carpet on the floor, over the area where your classic
will be stored. This will reduce the risk of moisture rising from
the floor, which can cause rusting on the car's underbelly, exhaust,
suspension, brake and driveline components. If you can afford it,
a drive-on car cocoon that completely encases the car and zips up
like a tent is a very good idea, as it makes for a dry, virtually
moisture free sealed chamber while the car is in storage. To prevent
further moisture and critters from making in-roads, make sure you
fill the ends of the tailpipes with oily rags, or preferably, steel
Storing your Car
Select a dry, dark location for storage - preferably with limited
access. Concrete flooring is best at keeping away moisture. If you
must store your car on a dirt floor, place a plastic barrier under
the vehicle, and place carpet pieces or plywood under the tires.
Give the vehicle a good wash/wax. Putting on and removing a vehicle
cover will lead to unwanted scratches if the car is dirty.
Fill the fuel tank (preferably with premium) and add fuel stabilizer.
Be sure to run the vehicle to move fuel stabilizer into the carburetor,
fuel rails, injectors, etc. The fuller the tank, the less room there
will be for air, which carries moisture that can lead to fuel contamination
and possibly rust within the tank.
Change the oil and filter right before putting away the vehicle.
The clean oil will reduce the risk of harmful
contaminants working away at your engine during hibernation - and
you'll be ready to go in spring.
Check the antifreeze.
Add air to the tires.
If you're storing your car offsite, some insurance companies require
you to report the address of the offsite
location. Check with your insurer to determine your policy's requirements.
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
2) Charge battery and either add fuel or drain and add depending
on if you used a fuel stabilizer.
3) 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
tightness and condition of belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked
by a qualified auto technician.
Have a marginally operating air conditioner system serviced by a
qualified technician to reduce the likelihood of more costly repairs.
Change the oil and oil filter as specified in owner's manual. (Properly
dispose of used oil.)
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended.
Check 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
carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your
home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating
carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location
outdoors or by an open window or door.
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
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
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
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.
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
mixed 6:1 with water makes a great, inexpensive interior cleaner
that's also safe for leather
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
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
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 setting
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
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 rust.)
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Don't 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
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 washed surface.
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.
Drop a business
card (or file card with your name on it) down the window slot
in case you ever need to prove ownership.
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.
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 handle)
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 and more.
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.
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.
car considerate shouldn't stop after the break-in. Drive with
care every day and your car will reward you with longer intervals
- 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
slowly when you begin your drive. The most wear to the engine
and drive train occurs in the first ten to twenty minutes of
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 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
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
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.
- Dashboards 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
- 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 the grooves.
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 your car.
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
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.
5 reasons you may want to consider changing your oil more frequently
You drive like a knucklehead: jackrabbit starts, heavy acceleration
or high-speed driving
4) You live where the climate is extremely hot or cold
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Accelerate slowly when you begin your drive.The most wear to the
engine and drive train occurs in the first ten to twenty minutes
- 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 frequent repairs.
- 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
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.
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.
Now 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
Take 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 one
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.
your car during long-term storage
you are not going to use your car for more than a month, store
it properly to prevent unnecessary damage and repairs upon your
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 it.
during the break-in period
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 lot:
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 manufacturer.
Avoid heavy loads on the drive train, such as towing trailers,
and loading the roof rack or trunk with heavy construction materials.
Do not 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 of driving.
up your Key Chain
Does 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.
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
We 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.
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.
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?
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.
petroleum-based grease or oil. It might react with the rubber
eventually and cause failure.
Pull That Tape!
happens 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 to. Ouch!
Yes, 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?
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.
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
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.
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 matter.
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 dirty.
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.
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
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.
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!
We 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 methods.
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?
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.
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.
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
We 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.