4 Useful Car Detailing Tips

Car detailing is an essential process to clean and restore the interior and exterior of the car. This type of work is a deep, top-to-bottom clean that leaves the car looking like new. It can even include removing wheels or other parts to reach the otherwise unreachable parts like the brake components, arch liners, and suspension. Here are a few simple car detailing tips to leave the interior and exterior of the vehicle looking like new:

Leather upholstery

Cleaning the leather upholstery as soon as a spill or mark is left behind can significantly increase the likelihood of a complete cleanup. If any marks like dye transfers from clothing, ink, or lipstick are left for 24 hours or more, the stain can easily set in permanently. There are plenty of purpose-made leather-cleaning kits in the market that can be left in the car to help with the timely cleanup.

Air vents

Brush out the air vents at regular intervals. The vents are a great dust magnet and easy to clean using the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. But, if the brush attachment isn’t small enough to collect all the dust, a simple artist’s brush can be used to collect any dust that is left behind.

Deep-clean

Give the carpet and upholstery a deep-clean. A high-quality carpet cleaning machine can quickly lift the deep dirt that has been left to build up over time. Most of the cleaners will spray a cleaning solution to help leave the carpet looking like new while also sucking up the grime and dirt. The hardware to deep-clean the vehicle is widely available to rent for a day or two, or buy outright, which will likely be the most cost-effective option in the long-term.

However, for the carpet that is too ingrained with dirt, the best option is simply to have it replaced with new. It is relatively easy to buy the replacement carpet to match a specific make and model of car.

Squeaky doors

Car doors with an annoying squeak can quickly be rectified with a few squirts of WD-40 or a similar lubricant. Once the doors are moving freely, add a small amount of motor oil or lithium grease to keep away the squeaky noise and avoid issues with corrosion. Also, it is worth inspecting other parts of the vehicle, such as the door latches for the early signs of corrosion. A quick squirt of the silicone spray can help to maintain the condition of these parts.

Totaled Car or Not – 5 Tips so Your Carrier Declares a Total Loss

Your totaled car is sitting in the backyard when you get a

telephone call from your insurance adjuster. They will fix your car! In many

occasions this is good news, but when your car is nearly destroyed, and the

insurance company wants to patch it together and give it back to you, then

you’ve got a problem.

Think about it. The car will never be the same. If you want

to trade it in or sell it, you will probably have to take a substantial

reduction in price to be able to get rid of it. You also need to consider the

safety aspect of the car. Will your car ever be as safe as it was before the

impact?

In most accidents, cars can be fixed with no major

problems, but when you have a totaled car (or you are almost there) and the

insurance company will repair it and return it to you, you can be faced with an

uphill battle.

Insurance adjusters decide if you have a totaled car or a

fixable car. They need to first determine the value of the car and then

determine if the repair estimate is less than 70, 80, or even 90% of the car’s

value. So how do you protect yourself? Here are five simple tips.

Tip # 1: Ask for the repair estimate. Getting the

repair estimate will show you what the insurance company thinks is wrong with

your car. Review the estimate. Make sure the car will be painted and that all

the necessary parts to fix it are accounted for. If you do not know mechanics

that well, take that estimate to another shop and ask them to review it. You

will be surprised when other shops will tell you that your car should not be

repaired.

Tip # 2: Make sure you have the insurance company

account for all the cost associated with fixing the car before they start

working in your car. Have them account for all the parts and the shipping cost.

Make sure that the parts they are buying are actually in inventory. In many

cases, insurance adjusters price a part, but cannot find it. This will make you

wait longer and they would have to pay for more rental.

Tip # 3: Ask for a “tear down” so you know that

there is not a totaled car but a car that can be properly fixed. When insurance

adjusters and body shops write estimates, the do not get under the damaged

parts. They only look and estimate the damage that is visible. A tear down is

the process of taking off all the damage parts and looking to see if the parts

below are also damaged. More often than not, hidden damage will appear, and this

will make the estimate of damages higher and taking you closer to a totaled car.

Insurance companies do not want to pay for this tear down.

But if you insist, they will pay for it. This is a good idea anyway for two

reasons. The tear down will most likely than not increase the repair estimate.

You will also know if the integrity of the frame and chassis were compromised in

the impact.

There is no question that the body shop can put the car

back together. The question is if a fixed totaled car will be safe to be on the

road. Make sure some one looks at the mechanical and structural integrity of the

car.

Tip # 4: Use the rental expense to your advantage.

If your totaled car is going to get repaired, then it is likely that it will

take 20 to 30 days before your vehicle again. That is only counting body work

and paint and that all parts are on hand at the time the mechanics start

working. It will take longer if you have mechanical problems.

The insurance company will be looking at a rental bill that

could be over $1,000, depending on the limits of your policy. We have seen

rental bills of $2,000. If you have a totaled car, then the insurance company

will only have to pay up to three days of rental (sometime less, depending on

your state). They will be saving significantly if they do declare a total loss.

Tip # 5: Research your state law for

diminished or diminution of value claims. If you are making a claim against

your own insurance company, some states will allow you to ask for the difference

between what the car was worth before the accident, and what it worth after it

is repaired. Many states do not allow for first party claims like this one.

However, the restrictions only apply to first party claims. If you are making

this claim against the insurance company of the person that hit you, then the

claim will be allowed. Also, if you are making a uninsured property damage claim

against your own carrier. The claim will be allowed.

Click here for more tips on how to handle a totaled car claim.

Shopping for Auto Parts for Auto Repairs

Every brand of auto part has a difference which makes shopping for auto parts difficult if you don’t know what you are looking. By following the tips below you will be able to find a good part for your vehicle without paying a lot of money.

Two similar products are original equipment manufactured or OEM and original equipment supplied or OES parts. Original equipment or OE of course is a generic term that refers to what brand came with the car originally. Auto manufacturers typically manufacture only the sheet metal components and then assemble the rest of the car from the purchased components.

Part of the qualifications for ISO certification is to have multiple OES brands. For certain types of parts car manufacturers must have secondary sourcing so that supply problems will not result in a halt of the manufacturer’s production. This way if one supplier stops providing parts then another company can provide substitution for warranty replacement or repairs.

One lower cost alternative that many choose is aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts are basically a copy of the original OE part. However, these parts have a major disadvantage which is an inferior product that may cost you more in avoidable repairs if you would have just gone with the more expensive part. However, many of the large merchandise stores you find on every street corner only carry aftermarket products. This is the only way may companies can complete with dealer prices for parts. So it typically all comes down to whether you want cheaper price or higher quality parts.

Roof Rack Installation Tips and Tricks

Cars can be fitted with roof racks to make them more versatile in terms of transporting different types of luggage and other equipment. These attachments are quite essential if you are needing to carry around equipment for projects, sports, and others. However, it is important to understand the different varieties of these devices for cars and how they work. Finding out what you need is a very important part. Cars mostly have different roof dimensions, which bumps the “one-size fits all” solution off the list.

On figuring out what you need, you should consider the type of things that you intend to transport. There are racks that are made to hold specific object i.e. bikes and kayaks. These examples pretty much give you an idea of what you should be looking for. Once you have this sorted out, it’s time to move on to taking measurements. Are roof racks easy to install? Yes, they are quite easy to install. But, this only comes into play when you use aftermarket or universal roof rack types. Permanent ones are not the easiest to install as they need every ounce of rigidity they could get. Mostly, permanent roof racks are used for commercial vehicles rather than cars used for the daily commute.

Can you install roof racks yourself? These devices do differ a lot. Differences can be found with the type of objects they are intended to carry. Another is the design elements and differences in functionality brought by differing brands. How do roof racks attach? In a nutshell, you can DIY the installation of these racks, provided that they are universal or you are using the stock rails on your car. You could also have a professional do it for you, but of course, you would have to pay for this option. But, the costs are the only caveat in this option. If you are uncertain about the installation process or if you’re just not confident you can professional service is your best choice.

How to install roof racks

There are specific procedures for installation for the different types of roofs. If you are installing a roof rack on a naked roof, you would need a foot pack, crossbars, and a fit kit to make a roof rack system from scratch. Fit kits are normally custom-made and are very durable.

Installing racks on factory mount are also easy. The metal or plastic covers can be popped off simply with the use of a hand tool. After the caps have been taken out, the threaded holes will be accessible for the installation of the rack.

Installing a bike roof rack is done in the same way. The bike rack is separate from your car’s roof rack, this means you’ll have two racks stacked on top of the other. You should also invest in a proper lock to hold the bikes in place while traveling.

The ones used for holding kayaks in place are a little more complicated to install though. It requires a lot of attention particularly, the type of car being used, the number of kayaks to be carried, and the type of roof your car has. These come with a variety of accessories that may differ per brand. You will need to do a little research to get everything right.

Auto Repair for Beginners

As a new owner of a vehicle, you must know about auto repair. This way, when your car breaks down, you what you have to do. Many automobile manufacturers and auto parts dealers provide their customers with tips on how to do basic auto repairs.

It is important that you familiarize yourself first with the parts and systems that make up your automobile. Knowledge about how these parts and systems work, and what their optimal performance levels help you master simple auto repair techniques. If you are aware of how your car functions, you will not have a hard time identifying where a strange sound is coming from and what part of your vehicle is affected.

By knowing the basics, you can perform simple troubleshooting procedures when your car breaks down, instead of sending it to a mechanic right away. You will not have to spend massive amounts of money just to hire a professional for a simple job you can do yourself, such as adjusting a few loose screws or cooling an overheating radiator.

As a beginner in auto repair, you must realize the importance of owning a basic service tool kit. This usually contains wrenches, screws and a jack. If your car stalls on the road, you will most likely need such tools to start it up again. Tools make auto repairs easier because they allow you to troubleshoot hard-to-reach areas.

If you want to learn more about auto repairs for beginners, you can try asking your favorite mechanic for some pointers. You can also try searching the World Wide Web for tips on auto repair. Through a search engine, you can access a wealth of information. Aside from research, you also have the option of signing up for short courses on auto repair.