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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tips to Cleaning Your Car

For many vehicle owners the task of washing a car by hand is therapeutic and an act of pride. Many owners take great pride in the appearance of their vehicles, which in-turn may extend the lifespan of their vehicle. By washing a vehicle frequently it maintains the new-car finish for a longer period of time. While washing a vehicle may seem like a simple task, vacuum, wash with soap and rinse it off, it’s best to start from the inside and work your way out. The following are some tips so that you don’t accidentally scratch or ruin the finish of your vehicle.

Interior

Be sure to give your carpets and upholstery a good vacuuming to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. If you want to clean the carpets more aggressively, you can scrub them with a stiff brush (but don’t scrub too hard, because it could damage the carpet) then give the carpet one final vacuum.

Before you start wiping the interior of your vehicle, it’s important to do a patch test of cleaners first to ensure that your vehicle’s interior doesn’t react poorly to the cleaners that you will be using. Start off by wiping a little bit of the product in a difficult to see spot and wait to see if there is a reaction. If nothing happens, then that is a safe indicator that your cleaners are good and you may begin cleaning the interior of your vehicle. It’s important to note that you should only be using a cleaner that is approved for your car’s interior.

The interior of the vehicle builds up dust very quickly, especially in the heating and air conditioning systems and in the air ducts. By simply using an air compressor, you can blow out all the dust and debris from the ducts, which will allow your vehicle to smell fresh and keep the dust down for a longer period of time.

When cleaning the dashboard of your vehicle, be sure to use a damp cloth and a diluted cleaner. It’s important to clean the rest of the interior of the vehicle including the doors, seat belts and the headrests. If there is a residual smell in your vehicle after you clean it, spray Febreze, vinegar diluted with water or a commercial deodorizing product.

Exterior

Be sure not to wash your vehicle when the body of the car is hot, or if your vehicle was in direct sunlight for a long period of time.  The more hot the body of the vehicle is, the faster the soap and water will dry up, which will make the process of cleaning the vehicle more difficult and a higher chance of spots

  • The exterior of your vehicle should begin at the top of the vehicle and work your way down.
  • Do not use dish soap to clean your vehicle as it can remove wax coatings and make your car more susceptible to scratches and blemishes. Do use a proper car wash soap.
  • If possible, your vehicle should be washed by hand. Yes, it does take longer to do than going through an automatic car wash, but car washes tend to leave patches of dirt on the vehicle. If washing your vehicle at home, be sure to use a soft sponge or cleaning mitt. By washing your vehicle yourself, you can ensure that your vehicle is free from any spots.
  • Before washing your vehicle with soap, be sure to pre-soak the car. This will help loosen any dirt left on your vehicle.
  • If your sponge is dirty,rinse it really well before dipping it again into the soapy bucket of water.
  • When cleaning the tires of your vehicle, use a separate cloth or sponge in combination with a non-acid base cleaner and degreaser on your wheels.
  • If you still see dirty spots on your vehicle after you finish cleaning it, spot clean it using a cleaner or using your fingers if that helps.
  • Your almost done! Now is the time to clean the exterior windows using an ammonia-free glass cleaner. A microfiber cloth should be used to buff the windows. Don’t forget to roll the windows down a bit so the top of the windows can be cleaned as well.
  • Lastly, it’s time to wax your vehicle. Over a period of time, the original wax application from your vehicle will wear off. Wax is crucial to protect your vehicle from bumps and scratches, stains and the sun. You should either use a liquid or paste wax and apply two coats for a professional finish. You should wax your vehicle every season for optimal protection.

How to properly dry your vehicle

Be sure your vehicle does not air dry as this will leave water marks. It is best to hand dry your vehicle after you finish rinsing it.

After all of your hard work, your vehicle is now beautiful and shiny and ready to be shown off. If you discover dents or bumps on your vehicle while washing it, bring it to Boyd Autobody & Glass. We’re here to repair your vehicle and get you back on your way as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Five Tips for Fall Car Care Month

Why not take a little time to be car care aware and make sure your vehicle is ready for the harsh winter weather ahead? Taking a few simple steps now can save you the headaches and cost of an emergency breakdown later, says the Car Care Council.

 Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, the Car Care Council recommends five proactive steps to make sure your car is ready for winter driving.

  1. Battery – Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  2. Heater, Defrosters and Wiper Blades – Check that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is also a great time to check your air filters. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, be sure to also check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.
  3. Tires – Check the tires, including the tire pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  4. Brakes – Have the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  5. Free personalized schedule and email reminder service – Signing up for the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle now and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.

“Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Time to Change Your Vehicle’s Cabin Air Filter

Before winter sets in is a good time to check your cabin air filter, after it’s been working hard all spring, summer and fall. Cabin air filters clean the incoming air and remove allergens, and according to the Car Care Council, should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual.

The cabin air filter helps trap pollen, bacteria, dust and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs and other debris from entering the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow in the HVAC system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems, important for staying comfortable this winter. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.

Most filters are accessible through an access panel in the HVAC housing, which may be under the hood or in the interior of the car. An automotive service technician can help locate the cabin filter and replace it according to the vehicle’s owner manual. Some filters require basic hand tools to remove and install the replacement filter; others just require your hands. Filters should not be cleaned and reinstalled; instead, they should be replaced.

“Many people don’t even know they have a cabin air filter in their vehicle and most others aren’t aware of the health benefits of changing it,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Checking the cabin air filter is a simple preventive maintenance step that goes a long way toward protecting passengers, as well as the vehicle’s HVAC system.”

7 Signs Your Brakes Need to be Inspected

During Brake Safety Awareness Month in August, the Car Care Council reminds motorists that routine brake inspections are essential to safe driving and maintaining your vehicle.

“When it comes to vehicle safety, the brake system is at the top of the list, so have your brakes checked by an auto service professional at least once a year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Knowing the key warning signs that your brakes may need maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road.”

The Car Care Council recommends that motorists watch for seven signs that their brakes need to be inspected:

  1. Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
  2. Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
  3. Low Pedal:brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.
  4. Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
  5. Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
  6. Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.
  7. Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.

Brakes are a normal wear item on any vehicle and they will eventually need to be replaced. Factors that can affect brake wear include driving habits, operating conditions, vehicle type and the quality of the brake lining material.

Using the Car Care Council’s free personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you remember to have your brakes inspected and take better care of your vehicle. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.