Washing Your Car to Protect Your Investment!

When is the last time that you gave your car a bath? The last time you scrubbed its tires, shined its windows, and waxed its paint? Unless you are already dedicated to a regular car wash routine it has probably been awhile. Neglecting to wash your car is understandable—life gets in the way of so many chores that really should get done—but it’s not acceptable if you want to maintain your car as well as possible. Washing your car, when done regularly, doesn’t have to take a long time and will keep the paint and other exterior finishes of the vehicle like new!

Many people, though, don’t really understand how to wash their car. Sure, they get out a sponge and some soap, throw it all in a bucket, suds it up and hose it down, but there are so many ways in which this can go wrong. By following these steps, you can quickly and effectively wash your car without leaving behind dirt, gunk, scratches, or dull paint.

1. Purchase your car cleaning supplies. Many auto departments offer kits that come complete with everything you need, which is a great way to get started. Make sure that you have car soap, window cleaner, wax, and interior cleaner available. Additionally, you will want a medium size bucket and a soft sponge that has no plastic or other materials on it, as these other components can cause scrapes and scratches in your paint. Don’t forget to put aside some lint-free towels, though any kind of specialty drying cloth is preferable.

2. Put clean water into the bucket and add some car soap. Then hose the first section of the car down before applying the soap. Always work in sections, as you do not want the water or soap to dry before you can get back around to it.

3. Softly scrub the section with the sponge, being sure to get all dirt and debris off of the car. Take special care to wash beneath detailing that can trap dirt underneath it, as these spots can be easy to miss. After you are done hose all of the soap off of the vehicle and repeat on the next section.

4. Work your way around the car section by section. Don’t forget to scrub the tires, too.

5. Once the entire car is clean go ahead and rinse it down one more time before drying. Drying is a bit tricky, since you want to do it as fast as you can to avoid water spots.

6. Once everything is dry move on to waxing. You only need to wax the car once per month or so, depending upon the product that you use and the environment in which you live. Follow the directions on the wax’s label, as different brands require different techniques.

Maintaining a clean car is about more than just looking good as you drive down the highway, it’s about taking care of an investment and ensuring that you get the most out of your vehicle. By following these steps you will be well on your way to taking great care of your car’s exterior!

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Saving Money at the Carwash

If you enjoy having your car washed every two weeks or so, you might not realize how much this amount adds up over the course of one year. You might even be sending close to $500 annually just to have your car cleaned. Well it’s great to have a spotless car, it’s even better to have an extra $400 in your pocket. Here are a few tips that will allow you to save on your next trip to the carwash:

• Take some time. Let’s face it, there is really no need for you to go to the car wash every two weeks, unless your job is to take your car through mud pits on a daily basis. Try going every month instead of every two weeks, plus this will give you an extra incentive to keep your car cleaned by your own means.

• Cheap vs. Expensive. It’s okay to get the least expensive package, after all the basic clean-up job is all you should need. Sometimes there is just one extra incentive in the “gold” package compared to that of the “bronze,” and is one extra upgrade really worth $10? Probably not, instead do the “extra” incentive yourself. For example, if the gold package cleans or dresses your tires, just do it yourself when you get home.

• Tip wisely. Yes, tipping people for excellent service is great and sometimes really warranted, but don’t over tip. Car wash attendants usually get paid a standard amount that is above minimum wage and tips are just an extra incentive for them. Try to stay between 10 to 15 percent for tips, which can save you a couple hundred dollars when all is said and done at the end of the year.

• Still take care of your car. Just because you’re getting your car cleaned doesn’t mean you can treat it poorly the rest of the time. If you want to save money then hold on to your car for a long time instead of buying a new one every couple of years. You can feel good about this decision when you treat your car like the investment it is.

• Cover your car. If you can’t park in a garage or other sheltered space, cover your car. This will save on trips to the car wash and protects your car from harmful weather conditions, including rain, snow and sun damage. A cover can protect your car’s paint by shielding it from dents and scratches.

• Walk those extra steps. When parking in a public lot, park far away from other cars. Yes, you’ll have to walk an extra minute or two, but isn’t it worth it? Your car is less likely to be dented from close parking accidents and door slams. Additionally, parking farther away will probably put you out of the way of trees and other natural landmarks that could cause your car to be lined with dirt, debris and bird waste.

Taking these few precautionary steps will help you save on the amount of money you spend at the car wash and still keep your car relatively clean. Remember, you can treat your car to a wash every once in a while, but cutting back will save you some serious dough.

Find the best deal on the auto insurance coverage you need. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, visit us today for money-saving tips. Compare auto insurance quotes online from respected insurance companies at AutoInsuranceRatesDirect.com.

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How to Choose the Right Engine Lubricant for an Oil Change

When you set out to purchase motor lubricant for your car, you may be overwhelmed at the variety that is on the shelves today. Each type of engine lubricant has a different purpose. In order to choose the right kind for your car, you need to first understand what engine additives are, what viscosity ratings are and what the classification codes are.

Oil additives: Account for about 25% of the price of engine lubricants. Additives are responsible for keeping the engine of the car cool, free from corrosion and clean.

Viscosity ratings: Is what is used to identify engine lubricants. The viscosity tells you how well it flows. There are single viscosity and multi-viscosity on the market. Basically, the lower that the number is, the thinner the oil is and easier it flows. For instance, 10W40 is classified as multi viscosity because of the 10W and the 40. The 10W tells you how well it flows at lower temperatures during the winter months. The number 40 tells you how well it flows when the temperatures are warmer. Your car’s owner manual will tell you what viscosity your vehicle needs for an oil change.

Classification codes: each container of oil has a symbol located on the label that indicates that it has met the standard as well as fuel economy requirements that are set by the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee.

Synthetic: there are some people that believe that synthetic means that they can go longer between oil changes. This however has not been proven. Synthetic will however, allowed your engine parts to last longer because there will be less wear on the parts. Also, synthetic can allow the engine to run at higher temperatures.

When choosing the right type of lubricant for an oil change, there are some things to take into consideration. If the brand you have been using in your car is working just fine with no problems, then there is really no reason to change that brand. Check your vehicles owners’ manual to see what type of oil it recommends for your vehicle. If you use something other than what is recommended, it may invalidate your warranty. Where you live can also determine what type you should use. The year of your vehicle can also determine the type that should be used. If you drive an older vehicle that you have been using single digit weight oil most of the time, it more than likely has some engine sludge. The reason for this is that some single weights do not contain detergent.

Another thing to take into consideration is how much your vehicle is driven. If you rack up a lot of miles over several years and you use 30 or even weight, at some point multi weight will not be thick enough to keep the old engine parts lubricated. Worn engine parts become smaller over time because of wearing down. This will leave wider spaces in between them. In order to make sure that the oil is able to fill the gaps, you need to use heavier single weight for your oil changes.

Oil change coupons Denver help your car in the high altitude. Find out more by visiting http://www.meineke-denver.com.

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When is it Time to Get an Oil Change?

There are several different types of oil that you can use in your car including synthetics, blends, or straight mineral oil. Depending on which type of oil you opt for, the answer will often dictate how often you need to change your car’s oil.

Each type of oil offers different advantages and disadvantages. Fully synthetic oils offer good fuel economy savings, and can enhance your overall engine performance. Synthetic oil is also good if you live in a colder climate because it quickly circulates through your engine and is good to start up and go in freezing temperatures.

Semi synthetics, or blends, offer good protection within ten minutes or so of running your car as the oil circulates through your engine. Blends are better at reducing the wear and tear on your engine and don’t need to be changed as often as other types of oil do.

Mineral oil is one of the highest maintenance oils you can use for your vehicle, since it requires constant changing and upkeep and only offers minimum protection to your engine.

Whichever type of oil you ultimately select for your car will depend on your own personal preference, but the majority of car owners likely fall somewhere in the middle with a synthetic blend of car oil.

The main purpose of oil for your car is to reduce friction and heat buildup in your engine by keeping everything running smoothly. If you neglect your oil change needs, the results will be a car that is running on dirty and old oil. This will lead to your engine seizing up due to the buildup of gunk that is not able to circulate appropriately.

There’s no excuse to ignore an oil change. Even if you don’t have the tools or the time to do it yourself, there is a mechanic on virtually every corner, no matter where you live, with the ability to maintain your vehicle for you. Don’t let your engine seize up because you’ve neglected the most basic car maintenance requirement.

And while you’re at it, make sure you change the oil filters on your car every time you have an oil change. Your filters can stop working effectively when they are dirty, which is why it’s important to change them frequently.

And don’t add clean oil to dirty oil, other than in emergencies, because your levels are running low. Adding clean oil to dirty oil just keeps dirt circulating through your engine, which can lead to potential problems, including gunk buildup and engine seizure. Take care of your car and it will take care of you.

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5 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Car Look Great



America is home to some of the world’s biggest car fanatics. But you don’t have to be a fanatic to like the feeling of driving a clean, classy car. Old or new, big or small, coupe or convertible, keeping your car looking good will definitely improve the look, feel and even the value.
Basic, regular car care tasks such as washing, waxing and polishing simply make sense. Beyond that, there are a number of simple, low-cost and effective ways to keep your auto looking its best. Here are 5 inexpensive ways to make your car look great:
1. Remove paint blemishes, scratches, oxidation marks and other imperfections from your car’s finish. If you do this regularly, and before your “wash and polish” regime, you can go a long way in restoring a classic “showroom” shine. Various light- to medium-duty rubbing compounds are both easy to use and safe for most common car finishes.
2. Leave the dish soap in the kitchen. Dish soap contains detergents and other harsh chemicals that dull the paint, “cloud” the finish and even cause long-term damage. Special “car wash” soaps are made to safely remove dirt and grime without stripping the protective waxes and other compounds that give your finish its “shine.” In fact, if you don’t have any mild car soap and don’t want to drive to the auto store to get some, it’s better simply to wash your car with plain water.
3. Get your car some cost-effective protection. Assuming your overall paint job is still in decent shape, you need to protect it from the elements before you can work on making it shine. There are various “one-step” cleaning products that include wax, and a single application can remove water spots and even fine scratches. The included wax will then provide the protection your finish needs.
4. Metal and trim attract attention, so they need to be in good shape, too. Any broken trim pieces should be replaced, and special metal cleaners and polish should be used to maximize the appearance of these decorative elements. This includes the antenna, wire or alloy wheels, chrome on bumpers or trim, and the license plate frames, too.
5. Don’t forget the plastic and rubber parts of the auto. Even a dried out and bent-up window molding can make your car look old and decrepit. All of the window seals, the plastic (if any) on bumpers, the black rubber/plastic design elements and, of course, your tires should also be treated with conditioner. There are specialty products that will not only lubricate and restore the plastic and rubber parts of you car, but will also restore the deep, rich black color. You can use these products on the outside components, as well as on your interior.
It doesn’t much money at all to keep a car looking decent, and just a few bucks invested in some conditioners and cleaners will help you make your car even more attractive. It is wise to treat car care as an ongoing responsibility, rather than some special and occasional event. Wash your car regularly, treat the different materials (metal, rubber, plastic) in the appropriate ways and invest enough time to do it all well.
A sharp, attractive auto, like any other art or design, is in the eye of the beholder. There are, however, some universal benchmarks for cleanliness and automotive beauty, and there are no shortcuts. You will have to get wet and expend some elbow grease, or pay someone else to do it. Of course, if you are interested in the “inexpensive” part of this approach, your savings would be lost as soon as you hired someone. If you do the deeds yourself, you will not only save your money but have the satisfaction of a job well done – and a cool ride, too!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-improvement-articles/5-inexpensive-ways-to-make-your-car-look-great-645970.html

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Mat Depot is a leader in quality floor mats and car mats online.  Quality engineering and affordable pricing make Mat Dept the best choice for your automotive, home and office needs.  Visit them today for more information.



How to Detail Your Car


Komaka Wilson

Some say that Guido da Vigevano built the first car in 1335 that used a windmill type assembly to drive a set of gears to turn the wheels. I would say that if that is the case, that he probably was also the first one to clean a car. Now the car wash/detailing industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Although why would you want to spend you hard earned money on having some one else detail your car? When you could do it yourself, and make sure it is completed correctly and the way you want. Besides I know a lot of car enthusiast out there who would really prefer to detail their cars themselves.

After years of experience and talking with some of the best product/technical representatives around today, I have compiled a how to guide for car owners that want to do there own work. This guide is intended for all car enthusiasts on all levels. Maybe you are new to car detailing or you are just looking for some new ‘tricks’ to give you the advantage at your next car show. Either way I hope that this guide helps you on your journey.

First off detailing is hard work and time consuming. No matter what your reason for wanting to detail your car from wanting to attend a car show to selling your vehicle detailing will be well worth your time and effort. Now there are products out there that say that it will cut your time in half, and that you only need to do it once a year. However, several professional detailers I talked with said that many of the new cheaper products are indeed too good to be true and can damage paint jobs. This is why I suggest staying away from low quality products and sticking with the known products. There is nothing that works as well as hard work and some elbow grease. I will make some suggestions as I continue through the guide, but if you have a product you really like, go ahead and use it.

Detail Kits are available at www.mpcustoms.com

Before you get started you will need:

Paper towels, rags, and chamois. Old t-shirts work well, and if you can find any old ‘clean’ cloth diaper use them because they make excellent rags for polishing the finish and are great for windows.
Brushes. You\’ll need a few different varieties and sizes to get into the hard to reach areas. An old toothbrush works well, and several cotton swabs.
Wash bucket. Make sure it is clean, and you may want to keep is as your car washing bucket only. This may help prevent getting unwanted dirt and chemicals in a bucket you use to clean your car with.
Wash mitts and or a good quality sponge.
Bug removal sponge
Power Washer or a good hose nozzle with different head types. Power Washers are getting pretty reasonably priced now and you can pick them up at any hardware store.
Shop Vacuum or equivalent.
Orbital Buffer. Again these are getting pretty reasonably priced.

Now where to begin? Most professionals I talk to suggest starting on the interior first, so the dust and dirt you brush out won\’t settle on a cleaned exterior. Remove any floor mats and give the carpeting and upholstery a good vacuuming. Move the seats forward and backward to get all the dirt including in the tracks, and door jams. You should also use one of your harder bristled brushes to get any dirt out from the cracks; it is also good for stirring up the carpet matt so you can get most of the junk out of the carpet.

Now if you have any stubborn stains in the upholstery or carpet this is the time to deal with them. Use an all purpose cleaner to get the stubborn stains out. Saturate the stain with cleaner, working it in with a damp sponge. Let it sit awhile and then blot it out with a dry towel. Make sure to read the direction on the cleaner for specific precautions. You can also use a window cleaner sprayed on a rag to get the headliner clean. Don\’t forget the trunk/hatchback areas as well.

You can repair burns and holes in your carpet by cutting out the area with a razor blade. Then cut a similar size piece from a hidden spot, such as underneath the seat, and cement it in place using a water resistant adhesive. Blend in the repair by brushing the repaired piece with the old. You can also go to a carpet outlet and can buy a carpet sample for pretty reasonable price that could match the carpet of the car. If your carpet is still looking bad you can shampoo it to get any remaining dirt and grease out. You can usually rent these machines at a carpet store or even you local grocery/retail chain. Start with the carpets on the driver\’s side then the seats; this keeps the water to a minimum. Move around the whole car until you\’re done. Again make sure you read any precautions from the manufacturer.

Now move on to the interiors hard surfaces, clean them with a damp cloth and a mild all-purpose cleaner. If you have leather upholstery, dress the surfaces with a leather conditioner; spray it on a rag for tight areas. Never use a vinyl product on leather. Worn or torn areas of vinyl can be repaired using kits made for this purpose. Repairs are made with a patch that lets you match the color and grain of your upholstery. Worn areas of leather can be touched up with dyes or a high grade shoe polish.

Now for one of the harder parts the dash. First you can blast any dust away with a can of compressed air. Clean air vent grilles with cotton swabs and brighten them up by misting on some spray on rubber dressing. Spray any dress up cleaner on a soft towel and then apply it to the rest of the dash, be careful around the instrument panel.

Then move on to the windows. If you are like me, then you hate cleaning windows for the fear of streaks. Some pointers in this area are to don\’t spray directly on the window, but onto a rag. Have a dry cloth ready to wipe it dry. You can even use newspaper to wipe it dry, the abrasiveness acts like a polish and it won\’t leave any streaks. Also make sure you rinse your hands off before cleaning your windows, this will help remove any unwanted dressing. If you have aftermarket window tint film, it may be degraded by cleaners that contain ammonia or vinegar. Factory tinting is in the glass and is not affected by these cleaners.

Now it\’s time to move to the exterior of your car, well kind of, detailing your engine. First you will need to cover any sensitive equipment such as electrical components. Try using a heavy duty aluminum foil for this step. If you use a home pressure washer for this, be careful, you can blow water in areas that weren\’t meant to get wet. I prefer using a regular garden home for this step. After you have sealed everything off, spray a heavy duty degreaser on to the cool temperature engine. Again read any warnings or precautions on the degreaser. Use a pointy brush to get any stubborn deposits. Then spray down with your hose, making sure you get all of the degreaser off.

Once you\’re satisfied, start up the motor and let it run for a while with the hood down. Then remove the foil and use a rag sprayed with the degreaser and wipe down any parts covered. Now you can wipe everything down with a rubber dressing or shining product. However, do not spray or wipe down your belts, and make sure you read any precautions on the product.

Were finally on to the part about actually washing your car. Make sure that you are using a clean wash mitt or sponge, and that your bucket is free of dirt and contaminates. Work in the shade and make sure the surface is cool. Make sure that you are using a good car wash, and don\’t use dish washing detergents. The dish washing detergent damages the finish, stripping it of vital oils causing it to dry out.

Presoak the car first making sure you get rid of any of the big dirt. Also remove any bug and tar items time using tar & bug remover with a sponge. Move on to the rims, since rims collect brake dust and road debris. Use a wheel cleaner that is made for your type of rims such as being clear coated or not. Don\’t overlook the under side of the vehicle, and the gas cap lid as well. Now start at the top of your vehicle and move your way down. Make sure that you get all areas, and rinse often. To do a final rinse, remove the spray head from the hose and flood the finish. The water will tend to run off in sheets, minimizing spotting. When drying the vehicle off, you can use a chamois to get the bulk of the water, but finish it off with soft towels.

When you\’re done washing and the car is mostly dry, apply your rubber dressings to the tires, bumpers and any plastic parts you want to shine. This gives the car to finish drying and you can then look for missed areas or water runs.

Most people stop here and say they are done, if they even get to this point. They over look one of the most important steps in detailing and preserving a vehicle, and that is waxing. Now the market is full of different types of waxing products, but how many of them actually work? Most of the average cheap waxes contain a very small portion of wax in them, and use petroleum instead. Products that are like this do very little in preserving and waxing the paint, if anything they just waste your time and money. Also be aware of the spray on wax with water. These waxes might give some protection for a day or two, but nothing like the protection of a carnauba wax.

Before you wax you need to get rid of any oxidation you may have. Typically, you will not have to do this every time. Oxidation depends on how much you wax, when you wax, how much sun the car is exposed to, and other weather conditions. Oxidation can usually be removed with a clear coat compound. For standard finishes you can step up to polishing compound, which is mild but still too harsh for clear coats. If you do use these products, you must seal the paint after.

If you decided to use a compound for oxidation, then you must seal the paint. You can buy a glaze/sealer to do this. Most sealers or glazers you apply by wiping on. Then use soft towels to remove it after it has hazed over.

Now you are ready to wax. Make sure you are using a good wax, preferably one with high amounts of carnauba wax in it. Again, start at the top of your vehicle and do small sections as you work your way down. Don\’t let it sit more than 5-8 minutes before removing, and two thin coats of this is much better than one thick coat. Also apply it with a side to side motion instead of circular to prevent swirls. Be sure to include door jambs, and the areas beneath door hinges and behind bumpers. Minor blemishes may be neutralized by wrapping a cotton cloth around your index finger and burnishing the polish into the finish.

If you machine-buff the polish/wax to a high luster, go with an orbital rather than a rotary model, which would be more likely to burn the paint. The rotary buffer is much faster than orbital but in the wrong hands can easily damage paint. Treat the plastic chrome as if it were a painted surface and protect it with a light coat of wax. Try and not get any on the black rubberized parts. If you do, spray it with a mist and wipe product and wipe it down with a terry cloth towel. If that doesn\’t work a professional detailer gave this as a suggestion: Microwave some peanut butter and apply it to the stain with a soft toothbrush. Peanut butter\’s oils dissolve the wax and its abrasive enough to lift the stain. If you get a polish/wax residue around emblems or in crevices, break out the cotton swabs and toothbrushes. After removing it all go around and remove any excess from the cracks and emblems using a brush and towel. Cloth diapers are excellent for buffing up a shine.

Here\’s a tip: break the car down into equal sections. Apply the prep/sealer/wax to one section at a time before moving on to the next. This let\’s you concentrate your efforts on small areas at a time.

Also keep a good car duster around for getting the dust that some products leave behind.

Plus remember to protect your cars finish from the elements as much as possible. This means storing the car in a garage, covered area, or with a good quality car cover. A car that is constantly exposed to sunlight and other environmental hazards will deteriorate quicker and require significantly more cosmetic maintenance.

We hope that you found the information helpful.

For the best selection and lowest prices, shop with a reputable dealer such as Moose Pak LLC at http://www.MPCustoms.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/cars-articles/how-to-detail-your-car-449703.html

About the Author

Komaka Wilson had been in the automotive accessory and detail business for over 15 years.

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Winter Car Care And Safety

When approaching the winter season you really do need to ensure that your car is fully prepared and as safe as it can be. Whilst there are some obvious checks, there are also some other points that you need to consider to ensure that your car and all of its occupants are as safe as they can be over the winter months. The purpose of this article is to ensure that you take all the precautions that you can.

Servicing. Prevention is always the better option rather than cure, so you should start with the best method of ensuring your safety that is available; ensuring that your car is serviced. This will make sure that you have the right oil levels and will reduce the chances of your car breaking down or worse still colliding with another car. Winter is the worst time to break down, and the wet or icy conditions that often prevail mean that your breaks need to be in their best possible condition to allow you to stop safely in the wet. A service will also ensure that your lights are working so that you are visible to all other drivers when it is dark.

Tyres. It is also vital that your tyres are given a thorough examination to ensure that their tread levels are even and that there they will still plenty grip the road well when you need to brake sharply. Often if your car tracking is not aligned properly your tyres might wear unevenly which again can lead to them losing grip. You should also look for any chunks of tyre missing which might have happened if you have driven into a kerb or just through wear and tear. These might lead to a blow-out, which if happens at speed can be very dangerous to your own car and others around you.

You should also refer to your car manual and ensure that the car pressures are all at the right levels. This ensures that they operate at their optimum capacity and again will reduce the chance of an accident.

Windscreen Wipers And Washers. Ensure that your windscreen wipers are clean and that when they clear the window they do not leave any smears in your line of sight. In the darker and wetter conditions of the winter this can make a substantial difference to the safety of your driving.

Specialist Winter Car Care Equipment. During the winter months there are certain items of additional equipment that you should also carry in the car with you. These are items that may keep you safe if you break down, or help you to recover an accident situation if you are first on the scene.

These items should include:

A fully inflated and safe spare wheel and tyre; De-icing equipment such as a windscreen scraper and windscreen spray; A torch; A towrope; A first aid kit.

Summary. Ensuring that your car is well prepared for the winter gives you the maximum opportunity of avoiding or reducing the risk of injury after a car accident. If you have found this article useful, please pass it on to your friends and family to keep them safe also.


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