Why is Car Maintenance Important?

Why is Car Maintenance Important?

It’s great to drive a car–when you’re coasting down the interstate almost beating the speed limit. Or just cruising down country roads while your favorite music blares from the speakers.

Cool, right?

What’s not too cool and easy is the maintenance your car needs periodically. It can be a pain, and it can be expensive. But you cannot avoid it. Well… you can, actually. But if you neglect maintenance, sooner or later, you’ll suffer.

Why is Car Maintenance Important?

Long before you see and feel the tell-tale signs of a car going wrong, you need to know that as a driver and car owner, you need to keep your car road-worthy.

broken-car-vehicle-vintage-large

A car is an investment.

No, it’s not like a stock or a mutual fund. But it’s an investment that will help you do your job and move you from Point A to Point B. Sure, the value of your car will depreciate and go down over time. But if you take good care of it, it can pay dividends for your career, and even your personal life. It can enrich your relationships as you go to different places. For some people who are down on their luck, a car can even be their shelter, albeit temporarily.

Take good care of your car, and it will take you places; literally and metaphorically.

Keep your car running smoothly.

By following the prescribed maintenance for your car, you will ensure that it runs smoothly most of the time. There will be that occasional flat tire; you may scrape it at a pole or with another car, but by taking care of its exterior, interior, and its engine, the chance of your car dying on you becomes smaller.

Ever heard of Murphy’s Law: what could go wrong will go wrong… and usually at the worst possible moment? Badly maintained cars tend to conk out at the worst possible moment–when you got an examination coming up, or you need to go to your job interview, or there are some other deadline you need to deal with.

Regular maintenance will help you avoid those situations.

Save money.

The most common excuse for people missing out on their regular car maintenance is that they don’t have the money to pay for it. And that they are better off driving their car if it’s still fine. Their motto is “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Here’s the bad news. It may be more expensive if you wait to repair your car when it breaks down. Check out the following table from Bankrate.com on the true cost of not maintaining your car.

cost of foregoing car maintenance

By regularly maintaining your car, you are actually preventing it from breaking down. You will end up saving money on costs associated on a car that breaks down.

Save time.

Of course, you also save time if you regularly maintain your car. You save yourself from the hassle of having to skip a working day because your car conked out on the way to the office. Not just that, if a car breaks down, it will take more time to fix it.

 

Are you still asking whether car maintenance is important?

Being a driver isn’t only about having your hands on the steering wheel, being cool while driving and cruising on the streets. You gotta make sure that your ride lasts for a long time. While your car isn’t the measure of your worth, the way you take care of it reflects on you.

30 Must Have Car Accessories

30 Must Have Car Accessories

Owning a car isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B, it’s an extension of your personality. It can even feel like a temporary home while you’re driving. If you want your driving to be comfy and hassle-free, consider getting several accessories.

30 must have car accessories

30 Must Have Car Accessories:

Most of the accessories we chose below are less than $100, but if not, we indicate how much they cost. You probably don’t need every single one of them, but over time, you can build up the accessories you use and get all of them.

Jump Starter

For those times when your car won’t start because of battery problems. This is particularly useful during the cold season, and for older cars that may have weak batteries. Older cars also don’t automatically turn off your headlights when you turn the engine off.

The good thing is, a lot of jump starters now have additional accessories that will let you include other accessories listed below. Saving money and getting extra perks is always good!

Check out our list of the best jump starters here.

600peakamps

Dashboard Camera

You may be a careful driver, but not every driver on the road is careful. To help you capture what happens in an accident, get a dashboard camera. You can even have fun with it and record the beautiful landscape that you pass by if you have a long drive. Check out our page on the Best Dash cam reviews here.

auto-vox D1 dash cam

Blind Spot Mirrors

You ever looked at your side mirror and thought that there was no car beside you, then when you started to turn to the side, you hear a loud honk?

Every mirror has a blind spot. That could lead to accidents if you do not double check. A lot of newer car models now address that with side mirrors that let you see cars beside you. If your car doesn’t have that feature, then it’s best to invest on blind spot mirrors. Best thing is, they cost less than $5 on Amazon.

Hydraulic Jack

Whether your car is new or beat up, sooner or later, you will experience having a flat tire. To change it, you’ll need a hydraulic jack. Better have one in your car because asking for help from strangers would not be easy, and it would cost a lot to call roadside assistance (unless, of course your insurance covers it).

The LiftMaster Hydraulic jack costs $30 from Amazon.

When you got one of these jacks, practice removing and putting one of the wheels of your car so you won’t be spending an hour just trying to figure out where to put the jack and how to remove and put a tire onto your car.

Car Tool Set

Your hydraulic jack would be useless unless you have the tools needed for your car. You may also want to keep these tools for minor repairs you feel comfortable doing yourself. These tools aren’t very expensive either. The Apollo 56-piece Auto Tool Kit costs about $20 on Amazon.

 

Digital Tire Gauge

One winter while on a long drive towards home, I noticed the Check Tire light come on. We needed to stop at a gas station to check the tires. The problem is, the Shell station we stopped at only had the analog tire gauge–you know the one that has a stick that pops up with some lines and numbers on it.

It wasn’t what I needed. So I had to drive around some more to finally fill up air at a station equipped with a digital tire gauge.

A tire gauge can help keep the correct air pressure on your tires. It’s not difficult to use either. You just plug it into the tire’s air pin and it would measure the pressure. Adjust as needed. The Tekton Digital Tire Gauge costs less than $10 on Amazon.

Smartphone Car Mount

I sometimes wonder how anybody could drive without GPS these days. Even if you know the route from your home to the office, you still need to check the traffic. If traffic is heavy, you’d probably go through an alternate route.

It’s also tedious to hold your phone in one hand while holding on to the steering wheel with the other hand. If you’re driving a manual transmission car, then that is virtually impossible!

Better get a car mount for your smartphone. I personally recommend the Sunnest 3-in-1 Car Mount, which has a suction that works really great! It costs about $11 on Amazon.

Tissue Box Holder

One way or another, you’re bound to spill coffee, soda, or some other liquid on your car. Or if you’re in a relationship and some heart to heart talk gets out of hand, it would be great to easily reach out for Kleenex.

The Wanpool strap holder for Kleenex would work best. You can put the tissue box on your sun visor, on the headrest of your car, or even on top of the box between the driver and the passenger seat. The Wanpool strap holder costs about $12 on Amazon.

USB charger

No matter how powerful your smartphone is, it will still lose battery juice. Especially if you use it heavily for GPS navigation. I seriously hope you’re not texting or checking Facebook while driving, because you’re just inviting accident to happen. Being able to charge your phone while you’re driving will help you keep up with calls, text messages, and emails as soon as you arrive at your destination.

Fast charging USB car chargers are now available like the Quick Charge 3.0 Anker USB car charger. It’s a little more expensive than your usual USB car charger, though. It costs about $30, but totally worth it.

Jumper Cable

It’s good to have a jump starter in your car, for those moments that it won’t start. But it would also be great if you had a jumper cable, so that when the jump starter is discharged, or if it doesn’t work, there is still a way for you to get your car started. I was once at Goodwill and a stranger asked me for help to get his car started. Thankfully he had a jump starter with him. So within 5 minutes, his car started and he was off.

The 16-foot Cartman Jumper Cable costs about $20.

First Aid Kit

No matter the season, you should have a first aid kit in your car. If you hurt yourself while out and about, or if you meet a minor accident, it is important to have something that can treat minor wound and bruises. And it’s not just for you, you can also help others in case they need help.

This 121-piece first aid kit from AAA costs about $24.

Car Air Purifier and Ionizer

Different cities have different air quality. But if your sense of smell is sensitive and you are prone to allergy, get a plug in car air purifier and ionizer. It can also work wonders in getting rid of second hand smoke if you allow smoking inside your car. If you tried everything just to get rid of smoke smell, and there are still traces of it left, this might be the answer to your problem.

The EcoBreeze Car Air Purifier costs $20.

Smart Driving Assistant

Did you ever have the Check Engine Light come on and you had no idea what it was about? The Smart Driving Assistant will help you figure these things out. Some issues on your car are best left to the professionals, but there are small things and tweaks you can do to troubleshoot your car and get it into shape.

The Smart Driving Assistant is not cheap, but it can help you save money on gas and maintenance because there’s an extra set of electronic eyes monitoring the car for you. It also comes with an app for your iPhone or Android device. The app provides information on gas prices and mechanics. It also monitors your trips and your driving habits for these trips (including hard brakes, sudden acceleration, and speeding). It will calculate how much gas you consumed for your driving tips.

The Smart Driving Assistant costs about $180.

Trunk Organizer

Your trunk and even the interior of your car could easily become disorganized, cluttered, and messy. Bottles of different types of car spray, books, tools, and other things could contribute to the mess.

Contain the mess. Get a trunk organizer. The Road Pal trunk organizer costs about $20.

Cooler

In any season, a cooler is good to have in your car. During the summer, you can put some ice pack to cool your water, soda, or any liquid. They say it’s dangerous to drink from a plastic bottle if it sat in your hot car for an extended period. You can even get a travel cooler that you can plug in to your car. That’s like having a personal fridge inside your car!

The Wagan travel cooler with 10.5 liters capacity costs $68 while the Black & Decker brand costs $72.

Fix a Flat

If you need a quick solution if you ever find yourself with a flat tire, then Fix-a-Flat should come in handy. It can get you going within a few minutes. This can seal punctured areas for up to 3/16 inch in diameter. That’s a pretty big area it can fix for you. Fix a Flat costs less than $5 on Amazon.

Just a fair warning, though. Several reviews on the web say that this product could fix your tire so you could use it one last time. It may mean that you’ll need to buy a new tire after. But still, that might be cheaper compared to having to call and pay for roadside assistance and towing.

 

Seatbelt Cutter Window breaker tool

You may not be James Bond, but if you ever find yourself in a situation where you can’t get yourself out of your seatbelt and you badly need to get out of the car, a seatbelt cutter and window breaker tool will come in handy.

Accidents do happen, and sometimes, when you are in a serious one, your mind may become hazy, or the car is starting to catch fire, being able to reach for a tool to help you get out of the car will be make a big difference.

Keep one or two of this in an easy-to-reach location near the driver’s seat, and another one at the back seats. This two-pack IPOW car safety anti-skid hammer and seatbelt cutter costs about $12.

 

Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit

This roadside assistance kit may cover some important accessories and tools covered in this post. It may contain jumper cables, first aid kit, a multi-purpose tool, tire gauge, whistle, flashlight, emergency warning triangle, and a whole lot more. You can choose to have different tools, but the important thing is to cover the basics you’ll need in case of an emergency.

This 76-piece roadside assistance kit from AAA costs about $60.

Neck Pillow

For long drives, you may strain your lower back and your neck by sitting still for several hours at the time. Help your neck handle the load through a neck support pillow. It costs less than $15 for a pair.

Car Vacuum

You will spill things onto your car–tobacco, coffee, chips and pieces of food–you better have a car vacuum handy to deal with all these without needing a trip for a car wash. It can also be handy in looking for small items such as earrings, coins, and pieces of paper that get lost inside your car.

Car vacuums’ price ranges from $14 for the basic ones to about $100 for the branded and pricey ones. Having one that costs about $20 should be enough.

Litter Basket

To prevent the need to vacuum your car frequently, provide a litter basket or bin to gather wrappers and litter, and to minimize the mess inside your car. A litter basket for the car costs about $15. If you don’t want to shell out the money for this, you can be creative by getting a small crate from your garage and lining it with a plastic bag. The result will be the same.

 

Blanket

This will probably cost 0 dollars since you can get a blanket from your bedroom and designate it as a car blanket. This will be more important during the winter with the possibility of getting stuck somewhere cold. But it also doesn’t hurt to keep one in your car year-long. During the summer, it could be used as a mat when you go to the park, the lake, or any place where you need to sit down on the ground.

 

Type A Rearview Mirror

To ensure safety while driving, you should be able to see the cars and the road behind you. A Type A rearview mirror will help maximize your field of view. You can also choose to get one that functions as a dashcam, which will record what happens behind you. If somebody bumps you from behind, you will be able to see and keep a record of it.

A regular Type A rearview mirror costs between $15-$20 while one that functions as a dashcam costs between $150 – $300. Although, you may be able to see ones on sale for about $70.

Headlight Restoration Kit

Over time, your headlight might mist and become cloudy. That won’t be a problem if you drive your car mainly during the day. But during the winter when night time comes early, a cloudy headlight lens will reduce your visibility, and may become a safety hazard for you and anyone who rides with you.

A headlight restoration kit costs about $20.

Steering Wheel desk

This is more of a luxury and optional accessory for your car. Who knows, maybe for Uber or Lyft drivers, this may be a necessity. If you find yourself waiting in your car a lot of time, having a steering wheel desk can help you work on your spreadsheets, documents, and other tasks on your laptop or tablet. Doing that while driving is unsafe and will probably get you in trouble.

A steering wheel desk is not very expensive: it costs less than $15.

Fire Extinguisher

In some countries, the government actually requires cars to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Come to think of it, that is a good idea! A lot of accidents happen in the United States, and some of the cars involved in this actually catch fire, leading to fatalities and injuries that are easily preventable. If you had a fire extinguisher in your car, you can prevent fire in your car, and if you’re feeling like a good samaritan, you can also help other people by stopping and putting fires that start.

A 2.5-pound fire extinguisher costs about $20. Make sure that the product you buy is approved by the Coast Guard and by the DOT.

 

 

Parking Sensors

Newer car models already have built-in parking sensors. But for older cars, backing up into the wall of a parking garage may prove to be a challenge. If you’re not careful, you just might back up into the wall and cause some damage on your bumper. Or worse, if you try to do parallel parking, which by the way is a big challenge to a lot of drivers, you may end up damaging someone else’s car.

Get a parking sensor that will help you know if you are dangerously close to the wall or to another car. A parking sensor costs about $20 but you may need help in getting it installed.

Solar-powered Vent

This is very useful during the summer to help keep your car cool. Read this guide on more tips to keep your car cool during the summer. Since this vent is powered by solar energy, you won’t need to shell out more money for batteries. It costs about $10.

Snack Pack

If you have a cooler inside your car, put a snack pack there for those times that you get stuck in your car because of traffic, accidents, and if you just want to make sure you don’t get hungry while driving for a long time. Energy bars, nuts, and other snacks that could last a long time should be perfect.

Some Ropes

Having ropes inside your car can come in handy in case of emergencies. There are different types of ropes you can put in your trunk. A tow rope (which costs about $15 for the one with a 10,000-lb capacity), some bungee ropes for securing luggage, or anything you need to carry on the roof of your car; it may also be handy for those bigger items that will leave your trunk open while carrying them.

A multi-purpose durable rope for your car such as the one below costs about $25.

 

Final Words

Let me be clear, you don’t need every single tool and accessory we mentioned in this article. Besides, it would be too expensive to buy them all at once. Just assess the kind of driving you do daily, and look at the potential emergencies you may experience on the roads you frequently travel on.

Of course, if you’re traveling cross-country, or do a summer road trip, you’ll need to look at more things than are included in the list above. If you’re traveling with your family, safety is your number one concern.

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car

How Long Does it Take to Wax a Car

You can go to an auto detailing shop and have them apply wax to your car, watch TV, read a book, or browse Facebook, and then wait until they tell you it’s done!

Piece of cake!

Some people though want to do things on their car by themselves. It’s a bit cheaper, as long as you don’t damage anything. There’s a learning curve to all things related to car maintenance and detailing. It won’t be perfect at first. Heck, it may even be a botched job, but over time, as you learn to do it right, you’ll save time and money. You’ll even have a better appreciation of your car.

If you have a white car and you want to apply wax to your car, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to take care of a white car.

I know, what you busy people want to ask: How long does it take to wax a car?

how long does it take to wax a car
image: Castlo T Lauren via Flickr

The answer is: it depends on several factors.

How thorough do you want to be? What kind of wax are you using? Do you want to include the time it takes to wash your car and prepare it for waxing? How about claying the car? Will you be using a machine? Or will you apply it by hand?

The time estimate also depends on the size of your car, and your fitness and stamina. I mean, you could probably wash your car and then wax it within 3 hours if you can do it real fast!

We looked at the forums, blogs, and any other places online where people who wax their own cars made their confessions. Here’s a sampling of what we found:

  • For a Honda Civic (or car of a similar size) claying takes about 1 hour; 1 hour to wax it. The whole process could take about 5 hours.
  • For a full blown multi-step detailing process, it could easily take about 8 hours or more.

If a friend or a family member helps you with the process, you could potentially reduce the time in half. But if he or she botches the job, then you will end up doing it for double the time.

Detailing experts would actually tell you that waxing, itself, is a quick process. Preparing the car for waxing: now that takes time!

But waxing your car is an important part of taking care of its exterior. And doing it right will take as long as doing it haphazardly. You might as well do it right, be thorough, and make sure to do a good job.

How to Take Care of White Car

How to Take Care of White Car

People choose the color of their car based on different factors: their favorite colors, their mood that day when they went at car dealerships, or maybe the color of the car was dictated by the price of the most affordable car.

In this article, we’ll give you some solid tips on how to take care of white car, but before that, let’s explore some of the reasons why people choose a white car, some of the challenges of owning a white care, and then what you can do to help make your white car look clean and nice!

No matter the reason, white cars are the most sold worldwide! There’s a reason for that.

It ranks within the top three car colors for ease of maintenance. You would expect a white car to be a dust, dirt, and grime magnet like a white shirt or a white piece of paper. But no. Actually, it can hide dirt and grime pretty well.

White, as a color, also makes a car look larger. Contrast that with black, which tends to make a car look slim. (That’s the same principle in fashion.) White does not absorb a lot of heat, and helps cool your car on hot summer days.

And if you go deeper, white is a minimalist color, and to be be honest, it can be quite boring. But if you’re the practical type of person who doesn’t want to spend lots of time and money detailing your car, then white is almost perfect!

White Car Maintenance Challenges

how to take care of white car
Image: Charlie via Flickr

Make no mistake, though, white car can also be tough to maintain.

If it rains, or if you pass by roads with puddles and mud, make no mistake about it–your white car will show the grime kicked up by your tires. In fact, it is the car color that will show the most hard-hitting grime.

If a bird poops on your car, or if you parked under a tree and the sap falls on your car, they will show like pimples on a teenager’s face.

Scratches will also be very noticeable. If you don’t take care of your car’s exterior regularly, it can be the focal point for dirt and rust. It will be very noticeable!

Because a white car can conceal dirt and grime well, it can make you lazy!

Don’t be that guy or gal who shows up at the office parking with the dirtiest white car. It’s not a very good sight and it will reflect on you.

Over time, white paint will turn yellow and chalky because of oxidation and the impact of the sun. That’s why you really need to protect your car paint with the right care and products.

How to Take Care of White Car

First off, have your car washed thoroughly. After having it washed, get the following products, which you will need for the upcoming steps.

Products you’ll need:

The Chemical Guys created a YouTube video that helps you keep your white car clean.

We have distilled the tips they gave in text format below, with annotation and screenshots to help you follow along more easily.

Inspect your car closely.

A white car receives as much contamination as any other car–they are just more difficult to spot. So after washing it thoroughly, check every panel of the body for swirls, and dirt that need to be dealt with. It would be better to park in a shade, or inside your garage. If you do it inside your garage, having a work light will help you spot those areaes more easily. When you’re a newbie, it may be more difficult to do this, but as you get more practice, you’ll soon learn how to spot those dirt.

Pick the dirt off your car surface.

Once you identified the dirt you need to remove from your car, get a Waterless Wash & Wax solution. The Chemical guys (in the video above) recommend the EcoSmart RU brand, but you can also go to Amazon.com and buy the Meguiar’s. Same solution, different brand names.

  • Spray your car’s coat with this Waterless Wash & Wax solution. Tip: Don’t make it drip.
  • Give it about 15 seconds to agitate the dirt.
  • Get the microfiber towel and wipe it off in one direction. As you wipe it, give it a slight roll of your hand to prevent dirt from building up at the area where your wiping motion ends.
  • After doing this for the whole car, let it haze it up and then buff it off to help the wax shine.

Clay your white car.

The Ecowash will not remove all contaminants from the car’s coat. That is where claying comes in. Get the clay and prepare for some rubbing action.

  • Don’t forget to spray the spot you want to clay with a clay luber. If you use the clay by itself, you may end up scratching and damaging the coat.
  • Use just a third of the clay bar. Knead the clay into a small disc. Then rub the clay into the car: up and down, left and right.
  • When your clay gets dirty, just knead it again, and reuse it. This claying process prepares your car for waxing, which is the next step in the process.

Apply a protective coating.

This step will apply a protective layer on your car. It’s like a second skin or a force field if you will. You can use the Chemical Guy’s SS6 Protective Coating. But you can also check out other products.

  • Make sure that your car is cool to the touch. That means, it shouldn’t have been running for a long time. Probably best to do this in the morning, or in a shade or garage somewhere.
  • Spray the SS6 into the applicator. Then apply it in a single motion, panel by panel.
  • Buff it off with your microfiber towel.

Apply White Wax

If you want long-lasting protection for your car, apply a white wax. If you followed all the steps above and have used the SS6, applying a good white wax can provide protection to your car for as much as 2 years! If you use wax by itself, it will protect your car for 6 months.

By applying wax, you will also bring out the brightness of your car’s white coat. Here’s how to do it:

  • Apply the thinnest coat possible. Use your applicator pad and apply wax panel by panel.
  • After applying wax to the whole car, cure for 20 minutes. That’s how long it will take for the wax to dry and bond with the paint work.
  • Buff it off to reveal the bright white color.

If you want to see this in action, watch the following video.

A white car sounds like easy to maintain. And that’s half true. All cars are subject to the same contaminants and dirt. That is not an excuse for you to let go of regular cleaning of your car. But if you take care off it periodically, you will protect the coat of your white car, prevent dirt and rust, and keep your car for a long time!

How to Take Care of Car Paint

How to Take Care of Car Paint

For most car drivers, “judging a book by its cover” means judging a car by its paint. Don’t neglect the outward look of your car! Here’s how to take care of car paint.

how to take care of car paint
Image credit: flippinyank

Like many things that are worth doing, maintaining your car paint requires some time investment. You can do it yourself if you have time. But if you are busy and have some cash to spare, then just take it to a car wash and detailing company.

Here are several tips on how to take care of car paint.

Washing your car.

Depending on your location and how you use your car, you may need to have a carwash at least two times a month. For areas that are near the sea, in polluted cities, or if you just go near lots of trees, bugs, grime, and dirt, once a week (or more) may be ideal.

Washing your car will remove dirt and grime and prevent the accumulation of corrosive dirt that could lead to corrosion and rusting of your car’s body. Rust is not a pretty sight. Besides, it can slowly eat away at your car until it starts falling apart.

Choose a proper wax for polishing

Consider getting a wax for your car. Since your car is brand spanking, shiny, new, a wax could help protect the paint. Choose a wax that is compatible with your car’s color. You can apply the wax manually by yourself. But for best results, consider getting it to a professional detailing shop who may have the powertools that could polish your car to perfection.

You may need to reapply wax every few months. But make sure not to overuse such products because they may reduce the shine of your car’s color. So use such products only after you have verified its compatibility and know how to use it.

Paint Conditioners

Paint conditioners can provide a good amount of protection after you have bought a new car or recently did a paint job. Avoid using abrasive paint conditioners as they can pull the shine off your car body. Make sure to use paint conditioners that will provide protection against abrasion. Spray them over your car in small amounts. Don’t hesitate to take an expert help if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing.

Use Proper Cleaning Materials

Avoid scratching the exterior of the vehicle by using soft terry clothes. Use the right materials with care. You will not want any scratches on the surface of your car, especially if it is brand spanking new.Be sure to follow the instructions properly, or you could cause more harm than not.

Undercoating

To ensure the longevity of your car paint, you can do more than just following the previous tips. As your car gets old, its outer metal can become vulnerable to oxidization. If you have repainted your car but its metal has become fragile then the shiny new color of your car will remain of no use as the exterior will start to get damaged. Thus, it is extremely important to undercoat your car and making it rust proof. This will provide a better and long lasting protection to the surface of the exterior of your vehicle as well as help you preserve the paint, especially in humid parts of the world.

Fix Scratches Immediately

Scratches are an ordinary part of owning a car. Sometimes they could be caused by your recklessness or minor mistake. Or some dumbass driver grazes your car. Either way, scratches can mar your car’s beauty. But it’s not just about the look of your car, you need to fix scratches immediately so they don’t become the starting point of rust.

You can use touch up paint to cover the scratch and then you can use a rubbing compound to make the surface look smooth. But the same procedure cannot be followed if the scratch is a deeper one. A scratch on the surface of the paint is easily recoverable but if the metal of the car is greatly exposed, it will be a good idea to look for a professional help. They will sand off the nearby paints and repaint that part after applying a layer of primer.

Before buying any products from the market to keep the paint of your car intact, you should check the type of products you need and the type of paint that has been used for better compatibility and longevity. Once the selection of products has been done, you can follow the above tips to keep the new paint of your car spotless and lively.

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

How to Clean Rubber Car Mats

Rubber mats can be the dirtiest part of your car. They absorb dirt and grime from your shoes. When kids (or grownups, too) drop milk, chocolate, chips, or any other food stuff, gravity will pull them towards the waiting arms of your mats!

And when you step on dog’s poo, or any other animal’s, then that yucky stuff will be there in your mats. If you don’t clean it up right away, you probably deserve to have the worst smell in your car!

You can get a new rubber car mat by buying on an auto parts store or via Amazon for about $20. But if you want to save some bucks, you should consider washing and reusing them. Unlike a carpet mat, rubber is durable and can last longer. Here’s how to clean rubber car mats in a few, easy steps.

how to clean rubber car mats

Take your rubber mats out of the car. Shake ’em and clap ’em together like a bird’s wings to loosen small food items that must have been stuck. Pebbles, dust, and dirt could also come off just by your shaking.

Rinse the rubber mat with water. Use a high-pressure hose to remove stubborn dirt that have clung to the mat since the last time you cleaned it up (or maybe since you bought it and put it in your car!) If you’re at a DIY car wash, consider washing the rubber mats alongside your car with the high pressure hose and brush.

Use your preferred cleaning solution. If you have several bucks to spare, consider getting this Complete Car Care Kit from Meguiar’s. Make sure that the solution you choose is mild enough for rubber.

Get a tire brush or anything with long and stiff bristles. Spray your rubber mat with the cleaning solution and scrub the dirt out of the mat until you’ve covered every nook and cranny of the ridges of your mat. You may need to do it for a few minutes just to get at all the dirt.

Blast the rubber mat once more with the high pressure hose to remove the dirt and the cleaning solution. Please, DON’T DRY YOUR MATS IN THE SUN unless you want your mats to fade and crack, and well, make their way to the dumpster more quickly.

Instead, dry it with a microfiber towel. If it’s a breezy day, you can also dry them in the shade. Do not put them back into the car until they are completely dry. Otherwise, you’re just inviting molds and rust in the floor of your car.

This is simply the best way to clean rubber car mats! It’s simple, effective, and will not cost you an arm and a leg.

Don’t use rubber or vinyl protectant or anything that contains silicone for repelling water. They tend to make the rubber slippery. When you’re driving, you don’t want your foot slipping under the wheel. It’s just unsafe.

Remember to clean your rubber mats and your car floor regularly. No matter the season, it’s always a good idea to keep the interior of your car clean and smelling good!

How to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer

How to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer

With Spring and Summer coming earlier than usual, we better get used to really hot temperatures! With temperatures ranging from 80-100°F in the heat of summer, you should expect your car to feel like an oven. If you’re not a dough, then that is not a nice place to be in. Here’s how to keep your car cool in the summer.

how to keep your car cool in the summer

As you park and before leaving your car…

Park in a garage or under the shade.

If you have a garage, by all means, park there. It will protect your car from the elements, and you avoid entering a furnace on a hot summer day. If your office provides covered parking, go there and park.

If you live in an apartment complex or you don’t have a garage, you don’t really have a choice but to park outside and leave your car exposed to the elements.

But you can be smart about it. Choose a shaded area, whether behind a building or under the shade. You should also be mindful of where the East and the West are–because if you park in a shaded area in the morning, your car might be exposed to the sun in the afternoon. It’s better to have your car exposed to the sun in the morning, and shaded in the afternoon, which will help cool the car before you go home.

Be careful where you park, though. If you park under a tree, and the branches are flimsy and weak, it might fall on your car, and you will have more troubles worse than a hot car.

Image: davidd
Image: davidd

Cover your car with a sunshade or a window visor.

sunshadeA sunshade could help deflect sunlight and heat from your car. It cannot keep away all the heat, but it can help keep your car cooler. You should also consider putting a sunshade in the rear window, too.

Get the Shade-It Windshield sunshade. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, it is a reliable sunshade that can fit in your car door’s small compartment area when folded.

You can also get the Enovoe sunshade for the passenger windows, which are specially useful if you have kids or passengers in the car.

Cover your dashboard.

You can go to Amazon and order a dashboard cover. When you buy, make sure to check if it fits your car year and model. This dashboard cover will help you avoid touching vinyl surfaces, which can become really hot if left under the heat of the sun. The dash cover will also protect your dashboard from fading and cracking because of the heat during the summer, or cold during the winter.

dashboard cover

Use a hand towel to cover your steering wheel.

One of the things you probably hate as much as I do is to touch a really hot steering wheel. And even if you blast the A/C in full, it takes some time before the steering wheel cools down. If you cover it with a hand towel, the towel will get really hot, but your hands won’t burn.

Leave a small opening in your windows.

Do not roll the windows all the way down. That would be a big invitation for thieves to come and get all your valuables. Leaving a small opening in your windows will provide ventilation, which will keep air flowing through your car. This way, it won’t trap the heat, and your car will be cooler.

Make sure, however, that the small opening in your window is really small–and will not provide space for even a thin arm.

solar powered car ventUse a solar-powered car vent.

If you live in a place with really high temperatures, having a solar-powered car vent will prevent heat from building up inside your car. You can use this car vent as with a small opening in the windows. This kind of product usually costs only about $20. Totally worth the investment!

The Audew Solar Power Car Vent can work well if your car is under direct sunlight. If you park in the shade, this device might not work very well.

Throw blankets over your seats.

Keeping a blanket in your car is a must during the winter. But it could also be a good idea to keep one during the summer, especially for cars with leather or vinyl seats. To keep these kinds of car seats cool, cover them with blankets. Yes, the blanket will be hot, but the seats will not be as hot.

As you enter your car, before you leave…

Let out some of the heat before you enter the car.

Image: Brett Levin
Image: Brett Levin

Unless your car is a getaway car and you’re being chased by the bad guys, it wouldn’t hurt to wait for a few minutes before entering your car. Just leave the door open before entering.

If you left a small opening in your windows, or if you use a solar-powered car vent, allowing some of the heat to leave your car shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. You might even avoid sweating a lot before starting the car engine.

Tweak the settings of your AC and vent.

Don’t set your AC on recirculation. Instead, allow fresh air to come in when you enter the car. The former will just make the hot air inside move around your car. Wait for about 5-10 minutes before turning it to recirculation.

Remember that cold air drops and hot air rises. It’s so tempting to direct the cool air of your AC towards you, but directing the AC or fresh air through the bottom vents will help push away the hot air through your windows or sunroof. Leave some of your windows or sunroof open so the hot air can escape.

Put ice packs near your blowing dash vents.

If you want to save time cooling your car, put some ice packs in front of your blowing dash vents. It will even increase the speed of driving away all the hot air trapped inside your car.

More Tips to Keep Car Cool During the Summer

Invest on window tint.

Reducing the amount of sunlight that enter your car will help keep it cool. But before you do this, research the laws of your state and community. You wouldn’t want to get window tinting that will lead to a ticket from an officer.

Consider buying a cooling car seat.

It’s a pain to sit on a really hot car seat! Sometimes, it feels like your butt is being roasted!

Newer car models feature seats that can be warmed during the winter. If you have an older car or if this is not an option with your car, look for your options. A search on Amazon will lead you to look at the following popular, reasonably priced cooling car seats:

 

Summers just seem to keep getting hotter. Thanks to available gadgets and technologies, we have tools available for us to keep our cars cool in the summer.

Always remember to stay hydrated and safe during the dry and hot summer months!