Category Archives: Car Maintenance

Sun Protection: Stylish Covers Never Fade Away

 

 

If you live in a hot, sunny climate, you know the need to wear sunscreen. What about your vehicle? The hot sun not only heats up your vehicle’s interior, but it can fade the upholstery. Custom seat covers from CalTrend are the perfect solution. They are attractive yet rugged, come in a variety of styles and colors, and they can keep your upholstery looking new for years to come.

DuraPlus

CalTrend’s DuraPlus seat covers are designed for busy families, outdoor lovers and work-truck owners. They provide a customized fit for SUVs and trucks, and the canvas-like fabric is tough. It resists UV rays, mildew and scuffs. In fact, DuraPlus itself is fade-resistant, so while it protects your original upholstery from losing its good looks, it will continue to look great for a long time. DuraPlus, however, is only one of a large collection of versatile fabrics designed to fit into any lifestyle.

Waterproof and Water-Resistant Cover Choices

Sunny weather means an increase in outdoor activities. Great for families, outdoor enthusiasts and lovers of water sports (think surfing), CalTrend’s waterproof and water-resistant covers shrug off mildew and stains and look good doing it. The choices include:

  • NeoSupreme – Made from a fabric similar to that used to construct wetsuits. Repels water and resists UV rays.
  • Neoprene – Sporty but attractive fabric with thick foam cushioning. Resists water, UV rays, mildew, stains and fading.

Fun yet Sturdy Cover Choices

Interests, activities and tastes as are individual as every person, so CalTrend makes many different fabric textures and patterns so that you can love the way your vehicle looks while you protect the original upholstery from fading.

  • Pet Print – Tough, stylish fabric that stands up to claws while keeping everyone—animal and human—comfortable.
  • Retro Camo – Rugged, canvas-like fabric in a trendy retro print. Resistant to UV rays, water and mildew.

CalTrend’s seat covers let you stylishly protect your upholstery from the sun. Contact us to begin your custom order for quality seat covers today.

Find The Perfect Paint For Your Classic Car

 

Description: How to find the best paint match for your classic car. Using the knowledge of fellow enthusiasts and seeking expert help from colour services companies.

Tackling the problems of finding an accurate colour match for older cars

A key part of renovating a classic car is repainting it in its original colour. This can be a very difficult part of the process for older cars where the exact colour ‘name’ as given by the manufacturer is unknown, or the appearance of the original colour has deteriorated over time. Fortunately, specialist help and advanced colour matching techniques are at hand.

Defining ‘classic’ in classic cars

A classic car can mean different things depending on who you talk to. In the USA there are more specific definitions as many states have their particular taxation criteria based on age, but here in the UK it’s less clear cut; this article sheds some light on it.

As it will likely be an older car, the original paint may have long since faded and maybe even been covered up in a totally different shade in an ill-advised respray undertaken some time previously.

So how to find out what paint colour should be used?

Owners’ clubs

If there’s an owners’ club or some type of community – quite likely these days with the advent of social media and online forums covering specific interests – this is a worthwhile first port of call. A photo of the car posted in the relevant forum or social media platform may reveal very quickly what colour you should be looking for.

It it’s less obvious, maybe a certain shade of blue as opposed to a bright colour like yellow or orange, you may have to arrange for someone to physically examine the car’s paintwork. This could be a worthwhile step if you’re fully committed to getting the best restoration possible for your classic car project.

Paint codes

Your car may have the paint code somewhere on the bodywork or maybe on one of the door jams. Somewhat confusingly the code may not bear any relation to the colour; for example ‘brown’ may not have the letter ‘B’ anywhere in it, but if you can find the code this makes for a good starting point.

Finding it could be a challenge; again owners’ clubs and other knowledgable people on forums may be able to help for your make or maybe the dealership (if it’s a marque still operating) may be able to help you find the paint code.

Armed with this information, you can go to a paint specialist to get an accurate colour match. Some have an online database of paint codes for cars and what colours they relate to.

Specialist colour matching

To find an exact colour match may require more specific and specialist help; even when the colour has been identified there can be variations amongst the same shades. This is sometimes down to weathering and fading over the years, and the fact manufacturers have tended to use different paint suppliers who inevitably may provide different variations on the same basic shade.

Specialist technical equipment such as a spectrophotometer is used by some colour services companies; this machine measures colour electronically and can produce very accurate colour matching results. This can help enormously if you haven’t got a paint code.

In order to enable the colour company to determine your paint colour this way, you’d need to provide a sample such as a fuel filler cap, flap or other reasonably sized area. Further information would be important such as the manufacturer, model, year of manufacture and a general description of what colour the car should be.

You can usually send the item to be analysed in via courier and they’ll return it once they’ve analysed it and prepared matching paint for you.

If you’re only looking to paint some of the car it’s vital that the sample comes from the area that you’ll be painting. If, for example, you supply the fuel filler cap but you’re actually painting a couple of panels on the other side you may not get an exact match.

Detective work

Sometimes a very old car that requires major renovation may be in such a poor state that even identifying what shade beyond a vague ‘possibly blue or maybe green’ is almost impossible. In these cases, a visit to view the car from a colour expert may be required.

They may have to carefully remove layers of colour to ascertain what the original would have been, and research colours of the time from the specific manufacturer of the particular model you own.

Use the experts

Things have come a long way since body repairers ordered some paint and mixed it in the hope it would provide a colour match. Using the specialist help discussed above you stand a very good chance of finding the paint to do your classic car justice.

 

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Why the Auto Industry Uses Air Blowers

Commercial air blower’s use in the auto industry is extremely important to help maintain the health of auto technician workers. There are many hazards in the auto industry workplaces, these workers need to take precautions in several ways.  If they ingest, inhale, or absorb many substances they work around their health can be put at serious risk. Many times they need to wear protective clothing, depending where in the auto industry they are employed. In every part, each employee needs to take precaution in handling things. It is most important to take extreme caution of what they are breathing in. Air movers can help clear away any hazardous fumes that are in the same areas as these workers.

All Auto Shops Could Benefit from Air Blowers

The number one source of hazardous fumes is exhaust fumes and engine emissions. On top on these fumes, there are other noxious fumes and chemicals in the air that need to be cleared away. Auto industries are known to weld, sand, cut, and prime which all leave small but harmful particles floating in the air. Auto body shops use paint and paint thinners which have fumes that can be potentially hazardous. When commercial air blowers are used in the auto industry in conjunction with air scrubbers, air not only get cleared away but cleaned also.

The air blower will clear away all the fumes, odors, and dust in the air, while the air scrubber removes hazardous particles and chemicals floating in the air. With the two of them working together, auto industry technicians have a much healthier working environment to breathe in.

Commercial air blowers are needed everywhere in the auto industry to help maintain healthier air for the workers. Without their use, workers would be continually getting sick from fumes, possibly even pass out while on the job. Contact Aer Industries for wholesale and bulk packages on air blower for auto shops.

Revealed: The Common Causes Of Poor Engine Performance

As a car owner, you expect your pride and joy to work without fail whenever you need to go for a drive.

The sad truth is that, in some cases, engine problems can hamper the driving experience. And, in the worst case scenarios, we find ourselves stuck on the side of the road with a broken down car!

Is your vehicle’s engine performance a bit sluggish at the moment? Does it feel like your car is about to stall at random times? If the answer to both questions is yes, this blog post is for you! Today, you will learn about the likely causes of poor engine performance.

 

Lack of servicing

As a car owner, you are responsible for ensuring your vehicle gets maintained. Sure, we have annual MOT tests here in the UK to check the roadworthiness of vehicles. But, you also need to get your car serviced according to its maintenance intervals.

Are you driving around in a car whose engine has worn oil and dirty spark plugs? You’ll doubtless know about it if that’s the case! Even a simple oil change can make your powerplant perform better.

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Wrong grade or incorrect type of fuel

There are plenty of choices at filling stations for the fuel to put in your car. Sometimes using a different grade or brand of fuel can hamper an engine’s performance.

One common cause of sluggish motoring could also be down to the wrong type of fuel! In other words, putting diesel in a petrol car or vice-versa.

 

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If you think that you or someone else has done that, you need to do two things. The first thing is to stop driving! Second, call a company that specialises in wrong fuel recovery. They can pump out the fuel from your car and put the correct type in there.

Whatever you do, don’t keep driving a car that’s using the wrong fuel. It could soon cause all kinds of expensive damage to your vehicle’s fuel system!

Leaking vacuum hoses

You know those black rubber hoses that connect to your engine’s intake manifold? They are your vacuum hoses. It’s crucial they aren’t worn or damaged in any way. Your car’s engine needs the right amount of air to perform well. If there are massive fluctuations, your pride and joy will cough and splutter!

A quick visual inspection is all that’s needed to find out which hoses might need changing. You can either get replacements from your dealer, or from a motor factors near you.

Blocked fuel injectors

If your car has done more than 100,000 miles, it’s likely your fuel injectors won’t be up to scratch. Each fuel injector has a fine mist that gets “injected” into the combustion chamber. If there isn’t enough fuel entering each cylinder, the spark plug can’t do its job of igniting it.

There are two ways to fix that problem. The first and cheapest method is to use a fuel system additive. The Redex and Wynns brands are most popular. Of course, you could also use Super Unleaded if you drive a petrol car. That’s because they usually contain those extra additives needed to clean your fuel system.

The second option involves a trip to the garage. They will need to remove your injectors and get them cleaned through the use of ultrasonics. Expect to pay a few hundred pounds for this job.

Thanks for reading today’s article!

 

Save Money on Car Maintenance

Owning a car can be expensive. Running a car is often even more expensive. But a car can be a vital part of your life once you have one. For this reason, it is important that you make sure you look after it. If you look after your car then it will look after you in return.

Now, of course, all cars need maintenance. It’s part and parcel of owning a car. But maintenance costs can be pricey. So it’s important to try to find ways of cutting costs. This is easier said than done at times. But there are a several ways in which you can do this Here are three.

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Regular Checks

By having regular checks, you will cut down on your long-term maintenance costs. Getting the vehicle checked often will ensure that it remains roadworthy. But it will also uncover any potential problems. This allows you to prevent issues from developing as soon as possible. As a result, you cut down on the need for major repairs.

Giving your car a general check over will still cost money but it will be a small amount. If you don’t check it often then the car may develop problems. If left unchecked the problems could become serious. Then you’re looking at a lot of money rather than just a small amount.

This is a preventative measure rather than a cure. By monitoring the state of your vehicle on a regular basis, you prevent the need for major work. This cuts down on your expenditure and means your car is well looked after.

Spare Parts

Another great way to save money on car maintenance is to get ahold of parts yourself. If you have basic knowledge of cars, there are some things you may be able to do yourself. There’s no point in taking your car to a garage to get it monitored and repaired when you can do it yourself. For one thing, it will cost a great deal more in a garage than it would to do your own work.

Make sure you know what you’re doing though. Or at least enlist the help of a friend or family member who does. The last thing you want to do is rush in when you don’t know what you’re doing. This could lead to more serious issues that will need experts and cost a lot to fix.

You can find used parts at low cost online. Companies like North West Car Parts are the perfect place to find spare used parts for your car. These are readily obtainable and often inexpensive. So if you know what you’re doing you should take this route to cut down on costs.

Check Weather

Another way that you can save money on car maintenance is to check the weather before you go out. This is a free and easy way of cutting down on the expenditure of your car. It’s also something that you can prepare for each day and even days in advance.

You need to consider how the weather will affect the roads and in turn your vehicle. If it is snowing or icy then there is more chance of your car taking a battering. It will have to contend with the elements and treacherous roads. The wheels may get damaged. You may also find that the cold causes havoc with your cars engine and startup capabilities.

Make sure you are sensible about the type of weather you go out in. Also, make sure that you don’t take your car out too much when the weather is bad. If you can get to places by other means then you should.

An Incredible Guide on How to Fix a Scratch on Your Car

A devastating thing, having a scratch on your car can be damaging to the overall look of your car. You might feel as though there is nothing you can do about this scratch, though in thinking this way you’d be wrong. In fact, there are some steps that you can take right now, in order to fix a scratched car, making it, so you can restore your car to its former glory.

Understand the Scratch

More often than not, in order to deal with a scratch properly, you must first get some detailed information about the scratch.You will want to take a good look at the scratch, in order to find out if it is a scratch or maybe just a mark. If your car is in fact, affected by scratch, then you will need to figure out just how deep the scratch is. Knowing these intricate details, will help for you to restore your car to factory condition, even if it is a used car from coopermini.co.uk.

Prep the Scratch Area

To fix the scratch properly, you will need to prepare the area where the scratch is. Preparing the area, means you must clean it, making sure that there is no dirt or grime present. Make an attempt not to use any harsh chemicals whilst you are cleaning the scratch as these have the potential to make it difficult to fix the scratch.

Once you have cleaned the relevant area, the next step you need to take is to sand down the affected area. It is key that you use the right kind of sandpaper for this as not doing so could cause damage to the surrounding area, around the scratch.

After you have sanded down the relevant area, you will then need to think about polishing it down. In order to polish it down, you must use a specialised tool. It might be a bit expensive to buy this tool for a one-off use so it could be helpful to see if you’re local hardware store offers a buffer pad for short term hire.

Final Touches

Once you’ve done the steps suggested above, it can help to give the area a quick wash, and clean of any debris that might be present. Be sure to dry the area you’ve just washed, using a soft, non abrasive cloth.

After washing and drying, you must then wax the area you’ve been restoring.  You must use a high quality wax, in order to ensure that the affected area is as it once was, in its original state. Consider asking your local mechanic, what brands are best when trying to fix a scratch.

As Good as New?

Though it can be a horrific to see a scratch on your car, there is no need for concern, as there is, in fact, a way to recover. Those unsure of how to do this will find that the process is not that hard, once they’re aware of the steps. Fixing a scratch is, in fact, very easy, and if you make an effort to follow a proven scratch repair process, it won’t be long before your car, looks as if it did when it first left the showroom floor.

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Keep Your Car In Tip-Top Shape By Performing These Weekly Checks

Many people rely on their cars for commuting to work and back on a daily basis, and also for social and domestic purposes such as visiting friends and family, going shopping or even driving off to the other end of the country for a holiday!

It is always gut-wrenching to learn that you have to pay for expensive repair bills on your car. But did you know that, on many occasions, the costs incurred for car repairs could easily have been avoided had certain measures been taken to prevent these problems from happening?

Photo Credit: ** RCB ** (via Flickr)

Today’s guide will show you how to keep your car in tip-top condition so that you don’t have to cry every time a mechanic approaches you with a long list of things that need replacing on your car!

Tyres

These rubber and circular items that are wrapped around your wheels are what stops you from sliding your car around in wet or snowy weather. Each week, you should inspect them and check the following:

  • Make sure there are no rips or tears in the sidewalls or parts of the tyres that make contact with the road;
  • All tyres should be correctly inflated as per the car manufacturer’s recommended specifications;
  • All tyres should have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm (the legal minimum) although I would advise replacing your tyres if they reach a tread depth of 3mm.

I know that tyres can be expensive depending on the make, model and size you need, but if you search online there are plenty of sources for cheaper car tyres as long as you are willing to spend some time doing research.

Brakes

Some alloy wheels have spokes that let you see through them and onto the brake discs and pads in the background. If your brakes look worn, or you hear a constant screeching noise whenever you brake, get them checked by a mechanic or car service centre immediately!

You should also check that your handbrake does not have a lot of play and that it goes up by no more than 6 “clicks.”

Exhaust

If you hear any rattling noises coming from your car’s exhaust system, it is likely that one or more components (such as the exhaust silencers or manifold) might be corroded and need replacement.

Your local tyre fitting centre will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Sometimes the rattling might be down to something as simple as a worn exhaust hanger bush.

Vital fluids

Regardless of whether your car has a petrol or diesel engine, there are certain engine fluids that are vital to the well-being of your car’s power plant.

Oil ensures that all internal engine components are properly lubricated, especially metallic items that come into contact with each other.

Coolant helps to cool your engine down and runs through various passageways inside of the engine. Coolant also travels through a heat exchanger called a radiator.

Power steering systems and automatic transmissions use power steering fluid to lubricate internal components; much, in the same way, as engine oil does with engines.

These vital fluids must stay within the recommended values. If you find that you have to keep topping them up, it usually means you have a leak somewhere which needs investigation.

Which Basic Maintenance Jobs Should You Perform On Your New VW Polo?

If you’ve just spent some cash on a brand new Volkswagen Polo, you’ll want to limit the amount of other costs you incur. This is just one of the reasons why you need to learn how to do lots of different basic maintenance tasks yourself. While you might want to pay for official VW garages to do all the work for you, this is usually very expensive, and could result in you being without a set of wheels for a few days. With that in mind, today I will take some time out of my busy schedule to bring your attention to some of the things you really should be doing yourself at home. Don’t worry, none of them are complicated, and I’m not going into much detail here. However, I will try to provide links to sites where you can find step-by-step guides.

How do I know so much about this subject? Well, I got sick and tired of laying out hundreds of pounds just to find the mechanics had changed a few window wipers, and so I started doing some research of my own. I found there to be many simple jobs I could do myself, and so I want to help you out too. So, whether you’re renting a model from www.listers.co.uk, or even if you have actually paid for one outright, you should definitely read through the advice below.

Changing The Battery

Depending on which model you own, the battery could be in a slightly different place. However, on most Polo models, it’s smack bang in the middle of the engine. Just lift the bonnet, and you should see it straight away. So, if yours appears to be flat, find yourself a guide on how to change a car battery, and get started immediately.

Changing A Tyre

You obviously need a decent amount of strength to change a car tyre, and so if some of you can’t do this, that’s understandable. While you should have a jack in your boot that will lift one side of the vehicle, it still requires you to exert a heavy force. Of course, there are lots of guides online detailing how to change a tyre, so as long as you have enough muscle, you should never need to call out a breakdown service or visit your local garage.

Changing The Bulbs

Most mechanics will charge you around £40 in labor to change the bulbs in your light, but as these can be bought for only a small amount, doing it yourself if definitely sensible. Again, depending on with edition of the VW Polo you’ve just invested in, this should be done accordingly. Luckily, there is lots of information online, and you can even buy a manual if you’re unsure as to how to go about this.

Well folks, so long as you perform these simple maintenance jobs yourself, you should be able to save hundreds, if not thousands of pounds every single year. There’s no need to thank me; it’s a pleasure to be of service.

Thanks for reading!

Which Basic Maintenance Jobs Should You Perform On Your New VW Polo

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Top Tips For Reviving Your Car’s Seats And Carpets

When cars are brand new, the interior is typically in immaculate condition; after all, they will have only had a few miles on the clock (delivery miles) before being handed over to the customer. But as the years go on, the seats, carpet and other parts of the car’s interior can start to get worn and tatty.

If your car is a few years old and it looks like it has seen better days, especially if you own one or more pet dogs, you might have resigned yourself to the fact that there is nothing much you can do about it now. But actually, you’d be surprised to know that there is plenty you can do to make your car’s interior look just like how it was when it was brand new! Here’s how:

Vacuuming

The first thing you need to do is to give your carpets, seats and other interior trim a good vacuum. I would recommend using a powerful vacuum cleaner, as it will be easier for it to suck up any stubborn dirt.

If you have pet dogs and your carpet and seats are full of dog hair, you should use the vacuum cleaner’s small brush attachment to basically scrub the hair away. Be warned, though, that this can be a very long and laborious process if your car’s interior is full of dog hair!

There are certain vacuum cleaners on the market that you can buy specifically for vacuuming up dog hair, but in my opinion they aren’t particularly any better than standard vacuum cleaners – and both types of cleaner will still require an equal amount of elbow grease!

Be sure to vacuum all accessible parts of your car’s interior, such as the carpets in the cabin and boot, the seats (and underneath them), door pockets, the car’s dashboard and its centre console.

Stain removal

Most cars typically have black or dark grey carpets so it can sometimes be hard to spot any stains without properly scrutinising every surface. There are some cars that have cream-coloured interiors, and whilst these make it easy to spot any stains, they can also be difficult to keep clean as they will show up virtually any stain easily!

When it comes to stain removal, you can use upholstery cleaner for any fabric seats and door trim. Some upholstery cleaners are also marketed as being useful for cleaning carpets too, but I would recommend getting a specialist carpet cleaning spray (usually the ones in spray cans with brush attachments work the best).

One useful piece of advice from BMW specialists Big Motoring World West Malling is that, for areas with deep stains, you might need to clean them several times in succession before the stains disappear. These are usually problem stains such as oil or coffee, especially on cream-coloured carpets and trim!

Dashboard

Although there are some dashboard cleaning solutions that you can buy, I would simply use a soft cotton cloth dipped in very warm to hot water. Dashboard trim is usually made of plastic, and some cleaners can discolour the plastic so it’s better (and cheaper) to just use water.

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Surprising Factors That Can Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums

Car insurance is, unfortunately, one of those necessary evils when it comes to keeping your car on the road legally. Without it, you will end up in a lot of hot water from a legal point of view, and in the United Kingdom you need to drive a car with at least third party insurance cover, even if you are just driving your car down the road and back.

It’s no secret that some people seem to get car insurance cheaper than others, and it’s generally accepted that cars in higher insurance groups tend to cost more to insure than cheaper ones.

But did you know that there are some other lesser-known factors that can contribute to high insurance costs? Here is the lowdown on some of those factors which you probably never even knew contribute to how cheap or expensive your car insurance premiums are!

Age of the car

Most people know that the age of the driver will contribute to the risk factor when obtaining car insurance quotes; after all, drivers between the age of 17 and 25 are a considerably higher risk than drivers than are older than 25 years of age.

However, the age of your car can also affect how much you get quoted! If your car is brand new, for example, your car will cost significantly more to insure than another model of identical specification that is say 5 years old.

If you ever have a car accident and your insurance company come out to assess the damage, they will generally have to decide whether your car should be written off, or whether they should repair the damage.

According to Sandles car supermarket, it’s actually cheaper for an insurance company to write off a car, believe it or not, than it is for them to repair it, and so if you have an older car they are more likely to write it off for a certain value (usually not the value of the car at the time, I might add).

Type of insurance

Common sense would dictate that third party or third party fire and theft insurance would be cheaper than fully comprehensive. Yet a gotcha that catches out a lot of motorists is that fully comprehensive insurance is actually cheaper than the other two options!

Apparently this is because of the increasing number of younger drivers requesting third party insurance cover, and so insurance companies have decided to increase the amount it costs to insure a car with third party cover!

Average mileage

Most people just choose an average mileage of 10,000 or 12,000 miles per year when obtaining insurance quotes, yet if you know you only do say 4,000 miles a year you should be selecting this option instead!

You will generally get lower insurance quotes with lower mileage because the theory is if you spend less time behind the wheel, you are less likely to be involved in some kind of collision and have to make a claim on your policy.

 

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Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver (via Flickr)