Clean the Interior
Keeping the interior of the vehicle clean is one of the best ways to spruce up used cars. Pull everything out from the inside and the trunk, and vacuum the carpeting and seats thoroughly. Don’t forget to catch the corners, crevices, and anywhere else that dirt can collect. Remove the cup holders and wipe down the hard surfaces. Use an antibacterial cleaner to disinfect the steering wheel, handles, and all buttons, including the radio. Take some time to remove any stains on the upholstery using some upholstery cleaner.
Clean the Engine
A clean engine makes cars run more efficiently and look much nicer. Every month, wipe off any build-up with a shop towel. Spray a degreasing agent on the cloth and carefully wipe the outside of the engine. It is also possible to power wash the engine, but be careful not to get water into other elements under the hood.
Clean the Door Wells
Door wells are not an area that often comes to mind when sprucing up a vehicle. It is, however, the first part that people see when opening the door. This area can get very messy and unattractive. Grime and dirt can build up quickly, so take some time to clean it out. Spray the door wells with all purpose cleaner. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then wipe them down with a dry cloth.
Clean the Headlights
Over time, the headlight covers can become very foggy, making used cars look less attractive. A yellow film builds up on the headlights and prevents the lights from working as well. There are a few options to fix this problem. Professionals can refinish the lights using a specialized technique and professional products. Replacing them is also an option if they are in especially bad condition. There are also headlight cleaning kits available for the owner to clean them.
Some collision repair services try to use genuine parts in all their restoration work. These pieces are what originally came in the vehicle. Typically, they come in a box with the carmaker’s logo, so you know it is a genuine part.
When it comes to cost, genuine parts are among the most expensive types you can buy for your vehicle. For this reason, it is best to only use these items if they are still under warranty and you don’t have to pay any out of pocket expense.
Despite popular belief, choosing to go with something other than manufacturer parts will not void any remaining warranty. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,” it is illegal for any manufacturer to void the warranty solely based on the type of part you choose to use. The act also allows you to have the work completed anywhere, even at home, without voiding the warranty.
Original Equipment Manufacturer
During your collision repair, you may choose to have Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts installed. While not a genuine piece, it is the exact same as what came in your vehicle because it was created by the same company who built the part for the car company. The difference is it doesn’t have the car company’s logo on the box.
Like genuine, OEM can be more expensive than aftermarket. However, it will cost less than genuine. It is a good way to save a little money and get the same part that was originally in your vehicle.
Aftermarket pieces are quite common. They look and work in the same manner as the originals. The big difference is a company other than the manufacturer builds it. The structure is designed to fit and perform just as well as the original.
In some cases, aftermarket designs outperform their more expensive counterparts. This is because these companies analyze why the products fail in the first place. Once they know what the underlying problem is, they can make theirs without these flaws. In some cases, it may be as simple as the material was not made to last, and the aftermarket builder chooses something a bit more robust.
In the event that the part is not under warranty or your insurance company is not as concerned about what replacement type is used, you may want to settle for an aftermarket product.
Avoid Running low on Gas/Petrol
This seems like a fairly obvious point, but it is surprising how often this is overlooked during the course of our daily activities; we may be too hurried or busy to check the fuel gauge slowly depleting. In order to avoid this make a schedule of when you’ll get the fuel refilled. Every three days should do it, or every Wednesday and Saturday (you get the idea). Or you can mark a point on the gauge, beneath which you do not allow the needle to go, if it’s near that marked point get it filled. Or if you run out very frequently it’s suggested that keep 5 gallons of fuel in your garage just in case.
While at a gas station waiting as your car gets refueled, instead of checking social media, check your car for any signs of trouble. Not all of us are car enthusiasts and we may not know what to look for but there are a few basic things which anyone can look out for. Check your tires first of all, how is the tread? Do any of the tires look lower than the others? If you can’t arrange a tire pressure cause then simply use your foot to press down and get a feel for the tire pressure – you’ll know when it’s below normal. Next check for signs of debris beneath your car – if you see anything hanging on the underside that’s usually a bad sign.
It’s a good idea to get your car a tune up every once in a while. For newer models a full checkup is recommended every 5000 – 6000 km, for cars older than one is recommended for every 3k km. It’s also a good thing to learn how to change a tire – our dependence on machines may cause us to overlook such simple and useful skills but it can be a lifesaver. While we’re on the topic of changing tires it’s always a good idea to keep a spare tire in your trunk – every car usually does but it’s good to check. And finally there is a list of tools that should always be in your car’s trunk: Jumper Cables, Screw Driver, Lug Wrench, Jack, Jack Stand, Small Hammer and a multipurpose wrench. These tools will help you get of many a jam.
- Cooking Spray – Grab some cooking spray from your kitchen and simply spray it on the inside rubber seals of the car doors and rub it in with a paper or soft cloth towel to prevent the doors from icing shut or sticking when it is icy at the outdoors.
- Coconut Oil And Cupcake Mould – On the dashboard and cup holders of your car, you can apply some coconut oil. It not only prevents dust from settling again, but it also provides a little shine. You can keep a silicone cupcake mould inside each holder to prevent the cup holders from getting dirty again. So, whenever they become dirty all you have to do is rinse them out.
- Big Cereal Containers – Place your big cereal container with a recycled bag. The best thing about doing this is that while it is closed, everything stays safe inside even if it falls over. Another great thing is that when the recycled bag gets dirty you can wash it inside the container.
- Coffee Creamer Containers – Old coffee creamer containers fit neatly in the backseat cup holders. They allow for snacks to be given a few at a time and are an excellent choice for snacks. Your car’s backseat will stays clean and your kids can reach them easily.
- Lint Rollers – Lint rollers are important to keep in your car as it is something which can be used effectively for a quick roll over in the backseat of your car before you go for grocery shopping to get rid of your pet dog’s hair or you can brush your suit jacket before visiting your office as a final touch-up.
- Water And Vinegar – A mixture of one part of water and three parts of vinegar helps to keep your car windows free from ice. You should keep the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it every night when you park the car. Next morning you’ll see that your car windows are ice free while your neighbours are scraping ice from their vehicles.
- Recycled Bags – Place them over your headrests in the seat, so they will provide extra storing space which you can use for grocery and other things as well.
Tyres are referred to as “feathered” when the tread is smooth on one side and sharp on another. This is usually a sign of poor toe alignment. This strain of tread wear means the inside or outside of the tread is significantly more worn than the center of the tread. As its name implies, positive or negative camber causes this type of wear.
Heel and toe wear happens when one side of your tread blocks wears down more quickly than the other in a circumferential direction. Causes of heel and toe wear can include rear toe error, and soft tyre tread compounds. Tread block squirm can be common on some all-season tyres. Lack of regular tyre rotation can also be a cause. Over inflation wear or excessive wear at the center tread area is characteristic of excessive inflation pressure. Over inflation wear also includes high inflation pressure and lack of regular tyre rotation.
The rear tyres of trucks equipped with rigid rear axles may exhibit similar wear, which can be minimized by routine tyre rotation. When you run your hand over the tread, it will look and feel like saw teeth when viewed from the side. When you experience any of these unusual wear patterns, you should have a wheel technician check the alignment. While tyre wear prevention is a good reason to keep your wheel alignment in check, the consequences of misalignment can also play out in overall performance. A car that pulls more towards the one side or steers erratically probably has an alignment problem. To begin balancing the tyres, a wheel technician will mount them on the correct rims and adjust the pressure to optimal inflation. Then each tyre goes on the center bore of a balancing machine. The machine spins the tyre at a high speed to measure the wheel and tyre combination imbalance. It signals how much weight the wheel technician should add to balance the tyre and the areas where the required weight is needed.
Change the oil
You have probably heard this a million times before, but this particular point ears repeating, especially if you live in a climate with harsh winter conditions. Oil designed for cold weather use cannot provide proper lubrication in hot weather because it thins out too much. Replace the oil with the grade recommended for summer use, and don’t forget to replace the filter as well.
If your wallet can stand the extra strain, replace the oil with fully synthetic oil, even if it is not specifically recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Synthetic oil remains stable under a wider range of temperatures than regular mineral oil, with the added bonus that it provides almost twice the lubrication of mineral oil, which is good for any engine, and especially older, high mileage engines.
Replace the engine coolant
You have no doubt heard this a million times before as well, but proper auto maintenance requires that the engine coolant be replaced at least once a year. Apart from lowering the boiling point of water, the correct concentration of anti-freeze also prevents the corrosion of aluminum engine parts and components, which can cause serious issues, including engine failure.
Internal corrosion can open up leak paths through which coolant can be lost either to the outside of the engine, or into cylinders where it interferes with the combustion process. Coolant can also leak into the engine oil, with potentially disastrous results if the problem is not caught and resolved in time.
However, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the amount of anti-freeze to add to the cooling system. Too much is as bad as too little; too much anti-freeze actually lowers the boiling point of water, meaning that your engine can overheat even though you have just replaced the coolant.
Check the battery
Hot, humid conditions kill more car batteries than even the coldest winters, so cut down on unexpected auto maintenance and maintenance costs by ensuring that your battery is up to the demands of summer conditions. Even marginally defective batteries can cause all manner of electrical issues, such as sporadic or unexpected trouble with alarm/security/anti-theft systems, low fuel pressure, difficult starting, or even rough idling, and/or rough running- among others.
Have the battery tested at a specialist battery dealer, and check that it can deliver the required cranking amps. Replace the battery if there is even the slightest doubt about its condition.
Remove road salt
If you live in an area where the roads are treated with salt during winter, be sure to have all salt deposits removed from the wheel wells and other places where slush tends to collect. Salt is highly corrosive, and not removing it will definitely cause rust and corrosion to set in. Once corrosion sets in, it may be impossible to stop or remove, so be sure to have all traces of salt removed as soon as the weather improves.
Check tires and tire pressures
Proper auto maintenance includes checking the condition and inflation of all tires, including the spare wheel. Tire pressure is as important as tire tread depth, so as soon as the weather improves, adjust the pressure in the tires to allow for heat expansion. High ambient temperatures and hot road surfaces can cause the air in a tire to expand, which can increase the pressure inside the tire by as much as 15% or more.
Never rely on the tire pressure monitoring system to warn you of under inflated tires. These systems are notoriously inaccurate, and a tire can be under inflated by as much as 25% before an alarm or warning light is triggered. Use a good quality digital tire pressure gauge to check your tire pressures at least once a week to maintain tire pressures at the recommended level.
Check the A/C system
In some climates, proper auto maintenance involves ensuring that the air conditioning system is fully functional, so avoid the rush and have your A/C system checked out before summer really sets in. Listen out for any unusual noises, sounds, or odors coming from the system, and have all faults repaired before a minor issue becomes a huge problem.
The best way to maintain an air conditioning system is to use it- even in the depths of winter. This not only keeps all the moving parts in the compressor lubricated, but it also largely prevents micro organisms from establishing colonies in the system’s ducting. So if you have not used the A/C system during the past winter and it now gives of an odor that smells like something had died in it, you have an unwelcome growth of bacteria, mold, and/or fungi in the system.
Remove the colony (and its odor) by spraying an approved disinfectant into the system, or have it done, because if you don’t, the smell could get so bad that it might become impossible to remove it from the car. Worse though, not treating this problem could cause serious respiratory problems in children, elderly persons, and/or persons with compromised immune systems.
Read Your Car Manual
Think about a time when you bought something you had to put together. What would have happened if you didn’t read the instructions? Whatever you purchased wouldn’t function properly, and it’ll most likely come crashing down. Reading your car manual will help you determine what needs to be done, how, and when to do it. For example, how often does your vehicle need a transmission flush? Keeping track with these things will help prevent a big, expensive car repair from popping up. Remember, prevention is essential to keeping your vehicle driving smoothly.
Have a Car Budget
Most people have a budget for emergency expenses, and a car repair is usually lumped in there somewhere. However, having a separate car budget will save you from the headache of having to choose between a new refrigerator or a new alternator. Cars get bumps, bruises, and everything in between. Having a budget that is specifically for vehicle maintenance will help you fix your car without breaking the bank.
Find Quality Technicians
Think of your car repair shop as a doctor’s office. You’re taking your vehicle there to be observed, diagnosed, and treated. Just like a doctor, you are entrusting someone else to repair what is broken, and that’s not an easy task. Whether you are having routine maintenance completed or fixing a significant car repair, it is important to find highly-trained technicians. Sometimes having competitive prices isn’t good enough. You want to make sure that you find a place that’s priority is maintaining honesty and integrity with its customers. When choosing a repair shop, do your homework and find someone that’s going to care about your car as much as you do.
Think Before Choosing
The most vital issue to recollect is that you just ought to never choose a car mechanic on an impulse. Those who choose their mechanic without thinking typically land up regretting the choice, as they get charged with extremely high costs and have to get services which is not close to skilled.
That is why it is vital to search for an expert as soon as you get a new car, even if your vehicle does not need any repairs at that point of time. By doing this, if your car would ever need any repair works, you may apprehend specifically wherever you are going to take your car, so you do not need to choose a car mechanic on an impulse and end up regretting the decision.
Cleanliness At The Mechanic Shop
Most people assume that every mechanic shop is dirty, filthy, unorganized place, however this might not be true. Though, most garages might appear to possess a thin layer of dirt or grease on everything, but that is a bit expected.
However, there is no excuse for a mechanic to have an unorganized garage. They must be aware where all of their tools are so they can get them instantly, also the elements that they need. They ought to even have a clean place for people who are expecting their vehicle to get repaired in a short period of time. If the car mechanic’s garage is filthy, unorganized, and uses old tools, you’ll need to consider visiting some other more professional garage.
At the point when searching for auto body repair shop where do you begin your journey to discover quality? The primary thing you might want to see is an auto repair they have done recently, or permit you to, have a walk around their shop. By taking a look at autos getting repaired, you can tell the level of service provided at that garage.
First of all, when taking a look at a completed auto body repair, what would it be a good idea for us to pay consideration on? Take as much time as needed, given your eyes a chance to look over the work done, do you find anything that instantly hop out, is the color coordination acceptable? Everything needs to look normal and untouched.
After that take a look at how it was concealed. Are there any indications of paint on the rubber lines, fabric or around the trims etc? Look down and see the boards and panels, a great auto body repair ought to be level and have no indications of swells or ripples. In the event that it’s not level it’s not done appropriately.
An experienced auto repair professional ought to utilize a sanding block at all times. Investigate the paint work, to search for any fine scratches or small pin openings. These are known as mapping out, and if they’re present then the job hasn’t been done properly.
You should also take a look at the general composition of the paint work, does everything match? An expert auto body repair professional will try his/her best to coordinate the texture of the spray work as good as a new one. This should be made possible by altering the spray pressure or changing the blend of the paint, yes, it’s a bit difficult job to do, but keep in mind that low quality repairs will affect the resale cost of your auto.
When it comes to changing the oil in one’s car, the first thing needed is to consult the owner’s manual to find the type of filter and how many quarts of oil are needed. Other items are a good drain pan, and funnel. These can be purchased at the auto parts store. It’s a good idea to have a basic set of tools. An extra tool that makes oil changes easier, in my opinion, is an oil filter wrench (specialty tool). I use a socket and ratchet set when I change oil. I’ve also known people who would use an adjustable wrench. I don’t consider this a good idea because you can slip off of the drain plug and damage the flats.
At the auto parts store, you can look up the type of filter required for your car. I would recommend buying the oil in a five quart container so you can pour your used oil into it after the new oil is poured into your car’s engine.
Once you’ve got your supplies and tools, it’s time to get under the car. You might not fit and you’ll have to jack the car up. One other good investment would be ramps. I always save a big piece of cardboard to lay on when I’m under a car. I have a creeper too, but it sets to high for some cars I’ve worked on. Start your car and let the engine idle for about 5 minutes. That way the oil is warm and will drain much easier.
Crawl under your car and make sure the drain plug, you’ll be removing, is on the engine pan. Some new cars have a transmission drain plug. Have your tools with you when you get under the car, and select the proper socket to use. It may be metric or standard. Make sure to have your drain pan close by when you remove the plug. When the oil from the plug hole is down to a few drips, re-install the plug. Locate the engine oil filter. If you’re not sure what it looks like, take the new one out of the box. Some filters are easy to get to, to change, others are not. Use an oil filter wrench, if you have one, and turn the filter counter-clockwise to remove it. Make sure the drain pan is under the filter, if possible, to catch the oil spilling out. Next wipe some oil on the seal of the oil filter and install it, turning it clockwise until it’s tight, then turn it 3/4 of a turn more, this insures it won’t leak.