7 Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

We rely on our vehicles to get us where we need to be. This means long hours on the road and lots of wear and tear on out vehicles – so by rights, auto repair services must be a part of our anticipated expenses. However, these vehicle repairs don’t have to a constant part of life. There are a number of proactive things we can do to keep the time spent at the mechanic’s shop to a minimum.

If you have never considered being proactive about auto maintenance, then now is the time to do so. Better yet, you don’t have to be an auto repair service specialist or have a huge garage full of tools to do these simple tasks. Rather, just some basic knowledge and tools will suffice. Let’s get started.

Tips for Minimizing Auto Repairs

1. Read the manual. Your vehicle manual will tell you things like how often to change the oil, what to watch for in how your engine is running and many other useful facts. Knowing and following them will save you a great deal of aggravation.

2. As soon as your engine light comes on, take it in for a diagnostic check. Taking care of small problems will prevent larger more costly ones.

3. Change the oil, add water, maintain the anti-freeze and keep up with any other liquids that need to be added to the car. This will keep its performance better and minimize risk of damage to other parts of the vehicle.

4. Keep your tires at the correct weight and amount of air. This information will be listed in your owner’s manual. Also, be sure to get them rotated as recommended. Failing to do any of this can result in a blowout.

5. Pay attention when you drive. Watch out for items on the road that can damage the wheels, or kick up into the workings of your vehicle.

6. Get your transmission serviced. Talk to the people who change the oil to find out how often this is recommended for your particular vehicle.

7. If you notice unusual sounds being made by your vehicle while you are driving, or if it seems to be shaking unnecessarily, take it in for a checkup. It’s always best to be told it is nothing to stress over than to ignore the sounds/shaking and find out there was serious problem or repair that could have been prevented.

When you take the time to maintain your vehicles, then you can minimize the time and money spent on auto repair services. To learn additional ways to get more out of your particular vehicle(s) talk to a local auto repair service team today.

Vehicle Detailing Tips

Like many automobile enthusiasts, you probably find yourself wishing you could keep that bright, showroom shine all the time. The problem is, most people do not have the spare time to spend hours each week on their vehicle, and even more people do not have or do not want to spend the money for a detailing company to do the work for them.

The fact of the matter is, there are a handful of secrets, tips, and tricks that can make detailing easier, less time consuming, and longer lasting. You really do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on those 5-hour step-by-step kits you find in stores. With the right knowledge and a few basic items, you can have a professional looking detail job for a fraction of the cost and very little time commitment.

1. The Clay Bar

Clay bars have been a long-time secret employed by almost every detail shop in existence. In fact, it has been such a well-kept secret, that commercial, consumer-level detailing clay had not even seen the shelves until around 2003. This is, for sure, going to be one of your best tools when it comes to detailing your vehicle.

The trick to a solid, long-term detail job is applying polish and wax on the cleanest possible surface. When you wash your car with soap and water, you will notice that, after drying, you can rub your hand across the seemingly clean surface and feel tiny bumps. These are minor bits of road gunk and other imperfections, and that is where clay comes in – to remove this debris.

Detailing clay is used with a spray-on lubricant (usually silicon-based) and rubbed across the surface of the vehicle. The clay will pick up all the little bits of grime that normal washing leaves behind, and also strip away any remaining wax on the vehicle.

2. Multiple Polishes

Most detailing kits come with a single hand-applicable polish. A trick that many detailing shops use is to apply polish at more than one level, in multiple coats.

You will need to select the level of polish right for you, based on the condition of your vehicle. Typical use consists of using a medium-heavy polish that cuts into the clear coat fairly aggressively, and then a second coat with a very light polish to remove even the smallest scratches and marks.

3. Electric Polisher

The biggest, most effective tip in detailing your vehicle is to use an electric polisher. This step alone will greatly reduce the amount of time and arm work required to get the job done. One coat of polish by hand will generally take an experienced detailer about one hour, whereas using an electric polisher, that same coat can be applied in 15 minutes.

Many people never look into using a polisher because of fear of damaging their cars finish. That would be a valid concern with older style rotary buffers, but in the highly technological world of today, it is no longer a concern. Random orbital polishers are very gentle on paint, and can be used by a complete novice safely.

Look into applying these three tips, and your own car detailing can be easier, faster, and can last longer.

Car Detailing Tips: How to Keep Your Tyres Looking Good

Keeping your tyres looking good as new is all in the way you drive and how you clean that part of your car. People will notice dirty wheels and it can give the car a bad look. Car detailing starts with keeping your tyres clean and amazing.

Treading on the tyres can easily be worn away when you are driving. You can minimise the amount of damage you do by driving correctly. Sudden braking and spinning can wear away the tread detail very quickly. Only apply sudden braking if safety calls for it. Always start applying the brakes when you are about five to ten meters away from the car in front of you. Spinning can be prevented by releasing the clutch as you apply fuel to the engine.

Did you know that there is a practical way to get your tyres to be glossy? This is known as dressing or protectant. Many car dealers will apply this substance on the tyres to give the car a glossier and more attractive appearance. It also protects the rubber from the UV lights of the sun and the toxic air pollution that degrades the quality rubber surface. The dressing or protectant also adds a layer to prevent any oil or dirt from sticking onto your tyre. This chemical isn’t greasy so it won’t cause you to spin on the road. Rather it is more of a non-stick surface that can grip onto the gravel or tar road.

Sunlight has the harsh ability to age and damage the rubber on the tyres. Over time you will start experiencing the tyres to be brittle and it can break with the slightest hit. However, you can avoid this from happening.

When cleaning your tyres you need to use a cloth, a high pressure hose and the cleaning detergent of your choice. You always start with hosing down the tyres to remove any dirt, oil or residue. This shouldn’t take long and will make the cleaning process easier. After you have hosed the dirt away you can apply the wheel detergent. To remove oil from the wheels you will require than just water so a wheel detergent would be ideal. Next, you can use brushes that can clean the treads and crevices. The cloth will absorb any water that was on the rim and leave it looking clean and sparkly.

Status is a big part of society so doing a bit of cleaning and shining can give you that little boost. Tyres are important when you are a driver. They allow you to move forward and to climb an incline without over-using your throttle. So keep them clean and in good condition.

Tips For Finding Clients For an Auto Detailing Business

Finding new clients for your detailing business is an ongoing process. Having business cards and fliers is the first thing you will want to have on hand when you are getting started. Asking your friends to hand them out to people they know with high end cars will begin to get the word out.

Most cities have business networking groups that meet once a week. These groups will have one person from any given industry allowed in the group. Find one with no membership fees or as low as possible. You will most likely want to find one that does a breakfast meeting rather than a lunch meeting so as not to interfere with your schedule. These other industry professionals will most likely try out your service and if they are happy with you they will enjoy sending you a lot of referrals. This method is capable of building up a list of Realtors, Lawyers, and other successful industry leaders who need your service.

Golf and Country clubs may allow you to come on the weekends and offer your service to their memberships. Many times you will not have to share any of the money you earn, as they are just happy to offer a service to keep the members happy.

Professional office complexes are great for finding high end cars that you would want as clients. Walk through the lot and place a business card on the drivers side window in between the weatherstrip and the glass. Even if the car is clean they may call you the next time it is dirty.

You can go into these offices if you are clean and not sweaty for the purpose of speaking to the front desk receptionist and asking if you could leave a flier that explains the services you offer. They may have to get approval from an office manager first but it is possible that they will want to have you come out on a set day of the week and provide multiple cars for you to detail at one time. It is to your benefit to do as many cars as you can at one location in order to limit the time spent on the road in between jobs.

Just being out and doing work will cause people to stop and want to inquire about your service. Always have some cards ready to hand out and ask them for a phone number you can contact them at when you are not working. You want to let them know that as a client of yours their car will get priority service too and that you cannot lose focus on the car you are currently doing at the moment. This way you won’t get into any long conversations while the soap is drying and making your job harder after they have left.

Auto Detailing Tips and Tricks of the Trade

When it comes to cleaning your car there are those who believe only they can do the job right. Others simply don’t want to entrust their vehicle to an outside company. Alternatively, some people simply want to thoroughly understand the detailing process before entering into an agreement. Whatever the reason, here we will review the entire detailing process including various tips and tricks picked up from the professionals who make auto detailing their business.

The interior of the car is usually the biggest part of any detailing project. Professionals usually remove the seats in order to gain full access to the interior carpet, side panels and other crevices. Floor mats should also be removed and cleaned separately using cleansers designed to clean the plastic and carpet combination without harming them. Windows should initially be lowered a bit in order to clean them right up to and including the edge. Once the top edge is cleaned and dried the window can be rolled up and cleaned the rest of the way. It’s important to remember that not all cleaners are formulated the same and window cleaners can sometimes fog plastic. For side panels and other plastic covers use a nonabrasive plastic cleanser and be sure it is thoroughly rinsed and dried. The carpet should be cleaned thoroughly as well and any stains should be removed with the help of carpet cleaning techniques often used within the home. Many stains don’t stand a chance against simple home ingredients such as vinegar or soapy water and these home remedies have been used for generations. Always be sure to spot test an inconspicuous area of the carpet to ensure the fibers won’t react badly to whatever method you choose. Once the inside has been cleaned, rinsed and dried be sure to replace seats, taking special care to re-secure them and reconnect any wires that assist in automatic seat positioning.

The engine bay of your car is another area auto detailers spend a great deal on time on. De-greasers will remove any soot, grease or residue from the interior top of your hood. These chemicals are strong and protective gloves should always be worn when working with them. Drape wet towels along all exposed areas where there’s a chance that chemicals may drip in order to preserve paint work. Any areas which hold computer boards or sensitive electronic equipment should be treated separately and should never be cleaned with any sort of cleanser. Simply wipe them clean with a clean cloth and do not touch the circuitry directly.

The exterior of the car is usually saved for last as it requires a great deal of attention and time. The front bumper, wheel wells, side step areas and back bumper should all be cleaned separately and any chrome should be polished. The entire car should be washed, waxed and examined for debris. Many car detailing companies include a the use of a special putty which picks up debris and dirt often missed by conventional cleaning. This kind of cleaning putty or clay can be found through wholesalers servicing the auto industry or through high end auto shops.

Professional auto detailing companies offer an exhaustive range of services performed by highly trained staff members in order to ensure a full and proper cleaning. The cost of auto detailing not only covers the specialized chemicals and equipment used but also the knowledge and experience of the staff. While many car owners may feel that only they can clean their cars properly, the fact of the matter is auto detailers have been working at honing their skills and perfecting their craft for many years. If you have any reservations about hiring a professional check out local car clubs and user reviews online to find the best service for the best price.