Car Care In Warm Climates

If you’ve ever lived in Texas, you know how much havoc the heat can wreak on your vehicles. The hot summer sun down in Texas, over 100 degrees for days and days straight, can fade, crack, chip and just plain demolish a paint job. It can go through a vehicle with the windows up and warp a dashboard and anything else inside the vehicle. It can cause the insides of a car to work so hard that it can barely keep up during the hottest part of the day.

Most people don’t even generally go out from 2-6 pm during the summer in south Texas if they can help it. So you can imagine that I know a thing or two about car maintenance and care during the summertime, wherever you may live. You’re dealing with the sun, and you’re dealing with a time of the year in which people do quite a bit of driving. Do you plan on driving during a summer vacation? Your car needs to be ready for a trip like that remember.

As mentioned, that summer sun can warp a dashboard and melt other things inside your vehicle. The temperature inside a vehicle without the windows rolled down a little bit is going to be much hotter than the temperature outside the vehicle. That being said, you need one of those visors that people put up against the windshield to protect the dashboard and the inside of the car. Some people choose not to keep their windows rolled down a bit because of security, but it’s not much of a choice when you live in south Texas.

Remember that the hot sun can also mess with your tires. Tire pressure specifically is what you need to pay attention to, but you also need to make sure your tires are in great condition, for withstanding the sun and also those summer road trips. Even if you’re not driving and taking some long vacation, you’re surely going to enjoy some shorter summer road trips. That’s what summer is all about.

Some people live in a climate where the cold winter weather is the biggest culprit. In that case, people living in these climates would take the summer as a welcome break. They could work on things they can’t do during the winter so easily, like winterizing their car and preparing for the next season. Whether it’s cold winter weather or hot summer weather, weather in general definitely plays a part in auto maintenance responsibilities.

One thing you also might want to think about when it comes to summertime car maintenance is changing the air filter for your vehicle. This is another tip that is especially helpful for the people that live in cold harsh winter climates. During the winter, the air filters are overworked, and they might be clogged. Changing them out is a step for summertime maintenance if you live in the north.

Usually when you think of storms, do you think of the winter or another season. Summer is also a season of storms, and that means you need a good pair of windshield wipers. They are worn out from the winter if you live in a location that is used to snow anyway. Summertime is a great time to take care of routine maintenance like putting new windshield wipers on your vehicle. The last thing you want to happen is to be caught in a storm without windshield wipers that can keep you seeing the road.

You also want to pay attention to the air conditioning system for your car. If something seems off, you should take it in before the heat really starts to hit. What might be a good idea too is to just decide to have the vehicle air conditioning system checked out prior to the summer season.

Clean the battery, don’t pump gas during the heat of the day, get your oil change early instead of procrastinating and work on getting the best gas mileage in the summer sun. Summer may seem like a hard season to deal with, but who would trade those summer road trips in for anything? Other seasons have their own car maintenance tips, but these are things you should do for your vehicle when summertime is approaching.

 

Repair Shops

5 Factors Worth Considering When Choosing A Vehicle Repair Shop

Selecting the ideal vehicle repair shop for your car can be quite a task. This is due to the frequent changes that take place in the auto repair business. More hi-tech vehicles are evolving on a daily basis hence requiring auto repair facilities to keep upgrading their repair equipment as well as train their technicians. Outlined are tips on how to choose the best vehicle repair shop for your car.
1. Always start shopping for a repair shop before you need one
It is not easy to make an intelligent decision when your vehicle breaks down, and you need someone who will repair it as quick as possible since it transports your kids to school and your only means to work. For you to make the best choice when it comes to a vehicle repair shop, you need to be in a position to evaluate all your facts and options calmly. Emergencies can result in an emotional environment that can hinder the right kind of decisive action.
2. Inquire what professional automotive repair associations a vehicle repair shop belongs to
A vehicle repair shop that belongs to any professional automotive repair association clearly means that that shop has met all the standards required. These standards include having the right equipment that is approved by the state, qualified technicians, information systems among other membership requirements. Some of these associations even go an extra mile of calling latest customers just to ensure that they received high-quality services. So you can be sure that a vehicle repair shop that belongs to an association will offer you the best services.
3. Always visit the vehicle repair shop you are interested in advance
Ensure that you visit the shop that you settle for in advance. This will help you decide if you want to entrust them with your car. You can even ask some of the customers why they prefer that particular shop. If you happen to get answers like, “They fixed my car right the very first time I came here”, “They do the right job at a fair price”, “They kindly deal with my concerns and questions whenever they arise”, “They explain exactly what the problem is and what options I have”. Then you may have found yourself an ideal vehicle repair shop. While still at the facility you can consider looking at any certifications displayed or ask to see their qualifications.
4. The equipment available
It is essential for you to consider the kind of the equipment available in a vehicle repair shop. Ensure that the shop has state approved equipment such as digital volt-ohm meters, lab scopes, online computer systems like Alldata, Mitchell-On-Demand or CAS, hand-held computer scanner as well as other diagnosis software. Never be afraid to ask if the shop has all these equipment. These tools and systems are ideal when it comes to repairing hi-tech vehicles.
5. Price
Price in most cases can be one of the main determining factors when it comes to selecting an ideal vehicle repair shop, it advisable for you to select a shop that will not strain your budget limit. When it comes to price, do not just focus on the overall cost, make sure you are also conversant with the prices of the vehicle parts they use for repairing.

Maintenance Tips

Even though your car depreciates in value, it is an investment and the better you care for it, the more likely it is to retain it’s value. Follow these tips to ensure that your car stays in the best condition:

1. The Car Wash

It may seem a little obvious, but cleaning your car regularly will keep it looking new for longer. While it is optimal to have it professionally valeted, you can achieve the same results without causing any damage to the exterior and interior.

NEVER use abrasive cleaners, detergents or chemicals to clean any part of your car. Always use a soft cloth and ensure that the car is dried to prevent rust from setting in, (especially if you live in wet or humid climate). Use car polish and cleaners on the inside of the car after vacuuming and dusting.

Waxing after a wash prevents UV damage and minimal scratches from occurring on the surface of the car. It is advisable to wax after every wash. You should clean your car every week.

2. Fuel, Oil, Water And Tire Pressure

Don’t let your car run out of gas, oil or water. This will not only affect the performance of the vehicle but could cause long-term damage. Check your oil and water every time you fill up and ensure that the tire pressure is correct. Incorrect tire pressure will affect the suspension of the car and could make it dangerous to drive. Don’t forget to check your battery water too.

3. Service

Just like any mechanical engine, your car needs a regular service to ensure that it runs optimally and to replace any parts that may have succumbed to regular wear and tear. You will receive a service book with your car that will let you know how often it should be serviced.

During the service, the oil will be changed, old brakes and suspension replaced (if necessary) as well as spark plugs, fan belt, cam belt and other parts checked or replaced. You will be informed of any other repairs that may be necessary to prevent damage to the vehicle or that could lead to a breakdown.

It is recommended to take your car to a service provider that is accredited to deal with your make and model of vehicle. This will ensure that only original parts are used and that all parts meet with the required safety and quality standards approved by the manufacturer. Secondhand or non-original parts could cause damage to the car.

Tire replacement will not form part of your regular service. You will need to have these replaced when the tread wears thin or of any cracks or malformations appear. Make sure that the new tires are properly aligned and balanced for optimal driving performance and to avoid damage to other integral parts of the vehicle.

4. Repairs

In the same way, that it is advisable to only use an accredited service provider, you should only use an approved auto repair shop, should your car breakdown for any reason. Once again, the use of new and original parts are important, and you will have more assurance that the repairs will be performed correctly.

You can contact the manufacturer or the dealership where you purchased the car to recommend a repair shop near you. Be aware that not using accredited service providers or mechanics could invalidate your warranty or your motor plan that is designed to pay for the regular servicing and maintenance of your vehicle.

5. Dents, Scratches And Windscreen Cracks

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that some dents and scratches will appear on the bodywork of your car over time. It is best to have these seen to as soon as possible to prevent the damage from spreading, especially in the case of scratches that could lead to rust. Use an accredited body repair shop to match up the paint work.

Be aware that a panel beater may advise that an entire section of the car be replaced rather than repairing it. If a crack appears in your windscreen or any other windows in the car, it is essential to have it seen to immediately. In most cases, the damage can be repaired without having to replace the entire screen.

Auto Detailing

Nowadays, it is more convenient actually to have a car than transporting. Especially if your work needs you to travel and transport to other places in the day, it would be difficult not to own one. You would not need to wait in line or wait for other passengers before leaving, or have to pass a route regardless if it has a slow traffic or not. So if you own one, then it is advisable for you to go through an Auto Valeting.

WHAT IS IT?

Auto Valeting is a process of not just simply washing your automobile, but it also polishes and wax your automobile’s exterior and cleans the engine and the interiors to make it look and perform as good as new. The Good thing is, you can do this on your own.

PROCESS

a. Engine

Degreaser, tapes and plastic bags should be ready. Cover all the electrical openings, sensors and all the things that can be damaged when water enters. You can do it by using plastic bags and taping it around to secure it. Heat up the engine for a little while to let the grease loosen a bit. Apply engine degreaser. If there are tight gripped soil on some other parts, you can brush them. After using the degreaser, rinse it with a water hose but be aware of the pressure it puts out. You can wipe the wet parts after with towel and by heating the engine for a bit at the same time.

b. Interior

Carpets are the dirtiest part of the interior because it catches all the dirt you bring inside. But the good thing is that you can detach it from the car which makes it easy to clean. If you have a plastic or a rubber carpet, it should be easier to clean by scrubbing it with a stiff brush, but if you have upholstery carpets, a stiff brush is not enough. You will have to use an air compressor to blow off the dirt a little. This will ease your brushing.

The air compressor is a handy thing because you can use this also for blowing off dust from all over the interior, especially for those parts where dust get stuck like the vent grilles. It causes the unwanted smell inside. The dust will be collected and removed by the vacuum cleaner. Do not worry because the interior leather is made to last a long time. It means it avoids the dust and dirt from getting stuck permanently. That is why regular vacuuming is enough for maintenance.

c. Exterior

Citrus-based cleaners are advisable for pre-washing. They will loosen the dirt more. You wouldn’t have to worry for brushing harder. Hand washing is still the best way to wash the exterior. It lets you know your car better, part by part, detail by detail. But remember never to use a sponge for cleaning the outside. A little sharp dust particle that is capable of scratching could get stuck on a sponge without you knowing. So when you scrub the sponge to other parts of the exterior, you are risking that part to a thin scratching. Even if it is just thin, it is still a scratch. You still would not want that. Wash mitts are the most advisable to use for that matter. Have a bucket of water with a wax-safe and PH-balanced shampoo.

Clay Bar Treatment is an advisable process also. Have a rounded clay bar and flatten it a bit, it should spread from one-half to three-fourths of your fingers size. Tap it all over the exterior. Surface should now be smooth.

Re-wash and then do the polishing and waxing. Polishing fixes paint imperfections but do not worry; it will not harm your paint. It will make the surface shine like a showroom shine. Oscillating buffers are recommended if you are doing it yourself for it protects the paint unlike what the professionals use, a rotating polishing machine because it harms the paint when not used properly.

Non-acid cleaners should be used for spraying to the tiles and then a high pressured water to rinse off the dirt and grease. It is also better if you know how to remove the wheels so you can clean off the grease and dirt from the unreachable space.

Lastly, wax the exterior. Waxing protects the polished paint. It is better not to use silicon based waxes so that it will not be easily removed by exposure to sunlight.

Car Care and Maintenance

Car Care & Maintenance Steps – Take These Matters Seriously

Is that car engine knocking? Unless the engine is knocking or the car won’t start, many people don’t pay enough attention to their vehicles. People not only neglect car maintenance but they neglect car cleanliness as well, which can lead to further deterioration of the vehicle. Mashed macaroni and cheese, dirty diapers and mud all over the place as you take off down the road, not a car in the world about car maintenance and cleanliness.

Okay, so not everyone is going to have a vehicle with those problems, this was recently described to me by my mother who said my niece’s truck was this bad and worse. There were some huge messes in the truck as the cleaned it out, and who knows when it last had an oil change. My mom helped her clean her truck, and it’s a nice truck, especially now.

As mentioned, an oil change is one of the major steps you need to take regarding car maintenance and care. My mom realized she needed an oil change when she had taken a trip from Texas to South Carolina and back. Failure to get an oil change can result in all kinds of complications including oil leaks and engine trouble. Trust me, I know because I had a vehicle that was ignored and stalled out on the Interstate. It was the only time in my life that I hitchhiked on the Interstate. It was right before cellphones were carried around regularly by everyone.

So get your oil changes. What else is important when it comes to vehicle maintenance? You should always check for fluids underneath your vehicle. The easiest place to watch for this is of course where you park your car at home. Pay attention to any fluids you see when you pull out of the driveway, and you need to look occasionally underneath the vehicle as well to make sure that everything looks right.

Not only do you need to be thinking about that oil change, but you need to be aware of the oil level in your car, too. You can tell a lot just by checking the engine oil. You want to make sure first of all that you don’t have an oil leak.

Pay attention to that check engine button. Yes, sometimes it can be nothing, but when maintenance is required, it’s required. That doesn’t mean you let it go for months and months until the problem all the sudden presents itself that is much bigger than the original one. Pay attention to your car’s exhaust as well because it should always be clear, no smoke, especially no black smoke.

The oil isn’t the only vehicle fluid you need to be checking when performing maintenance on your vehicle. You also need to check the power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid levels. These are all things you need to familiarize yourself with doing and remember that each car is going to look different under the hood.

Have you ever heard a car with a fan belt problem? It sounds very distinctive. It could be just that the fan belt has slipped, or it could be that it needs to be replaced. Either way, when you hear that sound, get it fixed right away. Pay attention to your transmission and drive your car respectfully. Of course, you also need to keep an eye on the battery and know when you need a new one and how to go about handling that.

When those windshield wipers aren’t working properly, have them changed out. It’s a good idea if you know how to do this. This will make it a much easier situation to deal with, as you can just buy what you need and replace them at your convenience. Do you know how to change your headlights and taillights when they go out?

I’ve had a run-in with almost every situation I’ve talked about in this article, and that should tell you something. It tells me that the average driver is likely to run into most of these situations. That is why it’s so important to handle car maintenance and care the right way, taking every precaution and not skipping any important details.