Category Archives: Car Care Tips

Keep your Car Wipers Working in the Rain!

Since the monsoons are on the brink of arrival, it becomes even more important for you to ensure that your vehicle is in good shape to overcome all possible hindrances that may arise like slippery roads, visibility issues, dirty interiors etc. One part that seems to play second fiddle always in terms of importance is your pair of car wipers which play a huge role in giving you good sight during rains. You definitely do not want to be blind in the middle of a busy road with a torrential downpour!

Ideally, your wiper blades must be replaced at least once in every six months or as soon as you happen to notice a difference in your driving visibility. If your wiper blades no longer make proper contact with your windshield surface, they may begin to squeak, chatter or streak thereby also reducing your driving visibility, which could be precarious in rains. So what do you check for or how do you know there is a problem with your wipers?

Car Wiper Maintenance Tips
Car Wiper Maintenance Tips

THINGS TO INSPECT ON WIPERS:

  • Any Metal Corrosion especially at all joints and claws

  • Any visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in your rubber squeegee’s edge

  • Check for a broken frame or detachment of frame arms at the joints or the connection points

  • Check that the squeegee is secure in your wiper frame

  • Check the squeegee wiping edge for any rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making firm contact with the windshield and reducing the wiping quality

  • Flex the rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it is still flexible enough. Aged squeegee parts will have some difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and therefore create streaks

  • You could tug the wipers lightly to ensure that the wiper blade has been securely installed on your wiper arm.

Having learnt this, we present to you some of the most common issues your wipers face:

MOST COMMON CAR WIPERS PROBLEMS

Wearing: This occurs with an extensive use and when your rubber edges are rounded instead of being squared.

Splitting: This is caused when the sun’s UV rays penetrate the rubber squeegee. This causes it to breakdown and then separates from the frame.

Streaking: This occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, then harden and cracks. This could also be caused by some tree sap, road tar and other possible foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.

Skipping:  This occurs when your blade develops a curvature due to lack of use. For example, if your car is left in the parked position for an extended length of time.

And now, we would like to present to our guide which contains the best tips to maintain your wipers from all issues:

SIMPLE TIPS TO KEEPING CAR WIPERS MAINTAINED

  1. The first tip is to clean your windshield every time you go to fill your gas tank

  2. You could gently wipe the rubber squeegee of your wiper with a piece of damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or grease

  3. Remember to never use your windshield wipers to try to de-ice your windshield. You could instead either use an ice scraper or probably use your defroster to melt the frost

  4. Check the wiper area for any leaks in the washer fluid tank and tubes

  5. Check for any clogged spray nozzles

  6. Regularly replace your wiper blades

  7. It would be wise to treat your windshield with some water repellent

  8. Check your washer fluid pump for any issues. 

Bottom line is that visibility is an undeniable fundamental to safe driving. Even though most drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away the rain and sleet, many drivers wait to replace them until they need them the most. But you can’t afford to slip up. So remember to maintain your car wiper blades regularly. This can maximise your visibility, efficiency and reliability and also remember to insert your wiper blades into your weekly maintenance program!

We hope this write-up helped in assisting you. We wish you happy journeys!

Good Driving Habits To Save Fuel

Spending all your hundreds in fuel every week? That can be exasperating, especially with today’s cost of living! But don’t worry, we know how it feels. We also know however that these fuel problems of yours occur only because you may not be taking care of some basic driving habits that will ensure you do not need to spend too much and save fuel. This is where we can help you in our little way to cut down your fuel expenses by giving you those habits and some simple tips that can be followed easily:

Good Driving Habits To Save Fuel
Good Driving Habits To Save Fuel

11 TIPS TO SAVE FUEL

  1. Sensible driving is suggested

Aggressive driving always wastes gas. It can most of the times lower your gas mileage by almost 30% at highway speeds and by around 5% around town. Moreover, sensible driving is also going to prove safer for you and your passengers, so you may save more than just your fuel money!

Certain driver feedback devices could also help you drive more efficiently. Some recent studies suggest that they could help an average driver improve their fuel economy and that those using them to save fuel can improve gas mileage by good margins.

  1. Avoid speeding at all

Speeding is another major factor for fuel usage. While each car reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds or range of speeds, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds of above 50 mph.

So each increased speed range above can cause extra cost per unit or speed number, thereby doubling your expenses. Needless to say, maintaining the speed limit is also safer for everybody.

  1. Avoid Cargo on your car ceiling

Hauling any cargo on your roof increases the aerodynamic drag or wind resistance of your car and significantly lowers the fuel economy.

A large, blunt roof-top cargo box, for example, can reduce fuel economy by around 10% in city driving. Also, rear-mount cargo boxes or trays can reduce fuel economy by much lesser- around only 2% in city driving but which is also low in fuel save.

If you ever need to use an external cargo container, removing it when it’s not going to be in use will definitely save fuel and money.

  1. Remove all excess weight

It is recommended to avoid keeping any unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially the heavy ones. An extra few kilos in your vehicle could reduce your efficiency by about 1%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight which is relative to the vehicle’s weight and that affects smaller vehicles more than the larger ones.

  1. No Excessive Idling

Idling could use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel ever hour, depending on your engine size and your air conditioner (AC) use. So it is better to turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked or at long signals. Remember that it only takes about 10 seconds worth of your fuel to restart your vehicle.

  1. Make use of cruise control

A very useful feature, cruise control can be used on the highway to help you maintain a constant speed and angle. This will in turn tremendously avoid any deviations and thereby save gas, reducing your expenses.

  1. Hard Pedaling to be avoided

Don’t be a stamp driver. Putting the “pedal to the metal force” will waste gas immensely because the harder you will accelerate, the more fuel will get wasted. So, press the accelerator pedal gently. A good rule for optimal fuel-efficient driving is to take five seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to say 15 miles per hour from the stop point. For a manual transmission, you better use a moderate throttle position and shift it between 2000 and 2500 rpm.

  1. Keep your car steady.

Dips in your speed combined with spurts and jerks of acceleration could increase your fuel use by up to 20 percent easily. So keep your ride at an even angle and in constant and stable manoeuvres.

  1. Always be alert

Keep your vehicle’s momentum stable by planning all your manoeuvres ahead of time. Always pay attention to the road ahead and anticipate the movements of the pedestrians and other drivers, while keeping a safe distance from the car in front of yours. This will definitely save you gas and keep you safe as well on the road.

  1. Brake gently and smoothly

Avoid sudden slamming on the brakes. Sometimes, it may be that to avoid an accident, you have no choice. But in any regular driving situations, coasting towards a stop sign or red light would help you conserve fuel and save money. It does not prove only to be a fuel-efficient driving habit but is also easier on your tires and brakes, which helps you save money on even maintenance and repair costs.

  1. Take care of your tires

Aside from exercising all these above-given fuel efficient driving techniques, another major contributor to fuel saving is keeping your tires properly inflated and cared for. Following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and routine will also help you save money on gas.

Thus, these are some of the habits that you could train yourself to follow to ensure you cut down on your fuel budget big time! You do not want to be able to reach a restaurant and then not be able to pay for your food! So, with the hope that you found this article useful, we sign off with wishing you the best of rides and a happy saving week!

How to Clean out Car Air Vents | Car AC Sanitation

Sat in your ride and didn’t get the welcome from your AC as expected? Happens a lot! In fact, it’s not just the smell that should be a cause for worry. It’s the health aspect too, which is more important. The germs and bacteria in your AC ducts can affect your breathing system if it targets your sensitive areas. So, it’s important you be more considerate about the air you breathe in your car – here’s where knowing about Car AC Sanitation comes into play.

Most often, this nasty smell that greets you is due to mildew that it is a surprisingly common problem.  Generally, this is caused by running your air conditioning only on re-circulate mode and not blowing the fan for a minute or two after turning off your AC and then shutting off the engine.

How to Clean out Car Air Vents - Car AC Sanitation
How to Clean out Car Air Vents – Car AC Sanitation

During any journey, when your A/C is in full operation, its evaporator core will develop frost as a natural by-product of its regulatory function. Thus, when you turn your vehicle off, it will melt, and any minimum amount of standing water could be an inviting place for any mildew or fungus to accumulate. Thus, the cause of the smell you get is a fungus, mould, and/or some bacteria living in your vehicle’s regulatory climate control system.

Elements like mildew can easily thrive in quite a few areas of your car’s AC system, but you’ll always find that it’s particularly fond of the evaporator core and the car condenser. That is why they always congregate in the evaporator core or somewhere near the condenser in your A/C unit. Clearly, these critters move into those areas because it’s a very moist enclosed space and while some of the cars have a bigger problem with this than most others, it’s unarguably very common. It can also be that if you smell gas every time you turn on the auto air conditioner, there may be a leak somewhere. As soon as you turn on the conditioner, the gas smell gets sucked into fresh air that your air conditioner is taking, thereby causing that odour.

Another potential cause may be that your cabin filters need to be changed. Your cabin filter actually does the same job as your air filter that is under the hood, but it is responsible for filtering the air that enters into the cabin. In time, the filter becomes puffed up with dirt, dust, and even pollen. Due to this, mould and mildew can grow here as well. For your convenience, the cabin filters can be found behind your glove box, but it will take a considerable amount of tear-down to remove and then replace them.

One way to treat this can be to use products that could be sprayed into the system to remove the mildew and thereby neutralise the odour emanating. These particular products come as an aerosol spray and they need to be sprayed into all the air intake vents in the cowl area of the vehicle. Remember that it is a bit of a work to take the cowling apart but it could be done if you are properly and mechanically inclined.

Apart from this, another reason for bad smell is also heated up rubber and plastic stocked up in the unit, though this will be only when your AC is on for a long time.

Here we present some very simple tips to check, maintain and ensure sanitation and proper functioning of your air conditioning system:

SIMPLE STEPS TO CAR AC SANITATION

BASIC STEPS TO FOLLOW

[1] For keeping a balance, you must switch between fresh air and re-circulated air to help your system dry out the interior of your car’s air conditioning system

[2] Additionally, you should always try to run the fan without the AC on for a minimum two minutes before turning off your engine

[3] You could also spray a disinfectant through the fresh that air intakes under the hood and use a foaming system cleaner. These you could ask a professional to do, for proper treatment.

CLEANING YOUR AC

[1] Taking it Apart

The first step you should carry out is to effectively dismantle your air conditioner properly, giving you greater access to your vehicle’s inner workings and allowing you to remove out whatever dirt and debris that may have accumulated. Remove all hoses, evaporators, condensers or any of the air conditioning parts that are there.

[2] Flush it Out

Next, you could flush out the debris by using an aerosol air conditioning flush. With this, flush out each individual piece of the system, letting the dirt and debris come out from one end. Now, wipe each of the pieces down with a clean cloth.

[3] Search the Ducts

The next step for you is to investigate the ducts which will look like large tubes that stemming from the zig-zag tubes of the evaporator. Remember, you’re looking for any leaks. During this investigation, if you spot any holes or leaks, you can use some duct tape to patch things up to avoid any mishaps.

[4] Remove the Accumulator

Now, remove the accumulator which will be shaped like a coffee can. It is responsible for sifting out debris and condensation in your engine from the air as it prepares to get into your vehicle. However, this filtration system often gets bogged down over time and is also likely to be the cause of all the dust and debris build-up. So, it will definitely need to be replaced.

[5] Replace the Accumulator

Now that you have found out the cause, it is best to replace your accumulator. Make sure that you have the one that matches your vehicle make and model, for convenience. Once you get it, installation should be fairly easy. You just have to bolt it like the old one was bolted, and then properly re-attach all the hoses and the other connecting parts.

If you really think that you cannot follow these steps, it’s best to simply take your vehicle in for professional servicing because cleaning your vehicle’s air conditioning system is certainly not something to neglect as it is a great way to protect your engine, maximize your fuel efficiency and most importantly remove foul odors if needed! If you think that this guide helped you in any way, please do follow our blog for more tips on various topics of your convenience! With this, we wish you the best of days and a happy riding week!

Related Links:

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Car Essentials – Important things you should have in your Car

They say your car turns out to be your second home. True enough! What with air conditioning and comfortable seating, just a little planning can ensure that you make your car something more special than just a machine. However, luxury tends to get seconded to safety and resourcefulness at times. This is why we recommend that while you may decide about the luxurious items you want to adorn your car with, we would like to help you with a list of all those car essentials that you would find most useful and important to have in the car at all times:

30 Important Things to have in your car:

  • Supplies for Tire Change

The most basic items on our list must always be a spare tire, a tire iron, a lug wrench, a tire jack and some WD-40 for convenience. If you’ve already got these essentials on hand, then you’ve got actually everything you need to change a tire should one go bad or flat.

  • Sealant for Tires

This item can be really useful as a shot of tire sealants like the Fix-A-Flat or the Slime or even other good branded ones can patch any leaky tire immediately, making it a very handy item for your car.

  • A set of jumper cables

A dead battery always takes you by surprise. Well, guess what? We found a way for you not to be too surprised! Get yourselves a set of jumper cables that always prove priceless for such disturbances.

  • Your owner’s manual

You would have seen that one book that came with your car that you never bothered to look at? Yes, that’s the one. We suggest you always keep it in your glove compartment because you never know when it might come in handy for you. However useless it may look, it might just save the day for you!

  • Pressure gauge for tires

It’s no big discovery that your tires need regular airing. But to give it at the right pressure, we present to you a small discovery- the pressure gauge. When you stop at a gas station for filling the air, you don’t want to find out that you added too much air or too less. These pressure gauges help in regulating the air pressure, making life easy for you. Might consider having one, wouldn’t you?

  • Rolls of Duct tape

These rolls will prove immensely useful for everything from temporary auto repairs to even roadside first aid. Duct tape is an unsaid need in every vehicle.

  • Extra Fuel

It may not be probably wise to keep a full gas can with yourself for fuel deficiencies. This is given that it’s a highly flammable spill risk and that you don’t want to fumigate your trunk.  But gas cans prove to be a boon if you run out of gas midway and need to refuel from a nearby gas station.

  • Wiper fluid for Windscreen

There is nothing worse than driving across the city in rains or winds with passing semi trucks and heavy duty vehicles constantly kicking road slush up onto your windshield only to find that you’re out of cleaning fluid. Always recommended to have fluid to keep your windscreen clean and neat for your vision and your car’s shine!

  • A Pair of work Gloves

You might want to save your hands while you’re wrestling with all the lug nuts, tire irons and hot engine parts and anything else you’re better off rather not touching with your bare hands.  Keep a pair of gloves ready in your compartment for your use.

  • Seat belt cutter and window breaker

In the case of emergencies, you do not want to be stuck in your seatbelt or find that your window does not open for some reason. Ensure to have a seat belt cutter in your dashboard and a window breaker near your handbrake so that you can use these to eject fast.

  • Maps

Even though we have something called GPS today, there may be many of us who do not find it really comfortable to stare at a digital screen or who prefer a more traditional way. For us, we suggest proper geographically accurate maps ensure you reach your destination safely and in time.

  • Phone charger

Keeping a phone charger in your car is one of the best decisions you could make, especially for long drives. And given that you may have to run the GPS and Pandora the whole way, you would find it convenient to just plug your phone in. That way, you can use WhatsApp whenever you stop for a while, without worrying about your phone’s charge.

  • Packets of Paper towels

For your quick cleanups, paper towels are just the thing. They prove useful for you to wipe bugs off of your windshields or wipe off grape jelly of little faces and fingers and all the usual stuff.

  • Face Wipe Tissues

If you’re driving and the heat gets to you, you do not want to fall asleep on the wheel. Use these wet face wipes to get refreshed and feel cool. You could keep a travel pack in your glove-box.

  • A Notebook and pen

A simple notebook is always valuable for jotting down directions when you’re lost or for storing your contact and insurance info after a minor fender bender. When necessary, you could even note the license plate number of the guy who cut across you and went all road-rash on you.

  • Umbrella

We all hate that one moment while running from the car to the door which spoils everything during rains. Although it proves awesome at that moment, an umbrella also makes a very handy sunshade.

  • A roll of quarters

This you need for all kinds of purposes from parking to change for tolls to air stations etc. This is another implied item for your car.

  • Plastic grocery bags

While all the reusable totes are great for posting all your stuff, you wouldn’t want a carsick passenger to puke into any one of them. Get some proper big sized bags for such situations. These are also great for cleaning out your car on the go. You could just fill up the bag and toss it into a dumpster. You can also stuff your muddy shoes into these bags instead of staining your home floor.

  • Blanket

Right from have wet and muddy passengers and pets to having a habit of sleeping in the car even in winters, blankets are the simplest solutions for your car. This ideal car blanket can be buried in your dashboard somewhere for you to pull out if you need to cover something up.

  • First aid kit

The first aid kit is perhaps the most crucial thing to have in your ride because you never know when you’re going to need it. Injuries and mishaps happen so suddenly that you really can’t afford to play with its chances, especially as lives may be at stake. So always keep a kit ready to use!

  • Matches or another fire starter 

There are times on the highway when you may need to wait out a period while your technician is on the way. A couple of matches are useful for starting a small flame so that you can have some heat in winters or some light for convenience.

  • Energy bars or MREs (the instant food that heat up with just water)

Perhaps the one best food solution for tiredness and glucose, choco-bars and energy toffees give much-needed impetus to your body for the long ride.

  • Fire extinguisher

Heaven forbids that your engine should ever catch fire, or that a campfire should ever jump its boundaries. But you need to be prepared for every risk in a journey. And don’t worry! You don’t need to get those huge ones that hang in schools and theatres! You get lightweight portable ones too that you can keep in your car.

  • A Flashlight or a mini-lantern

It is irritating to have to change a tire in the dark or lose your wedding ring under the seat! Here is where your flashlight will save the day. Batteries also in lights can lose their juice over time making them useless too. Thus, we recommend that you get a crank-style light that wouldn’t need them

  • Multi-tool

With car issues, you never really know what tool you’re going to need and when. As observed, a multi-tool covers all your bases on the most common stuff and issues and is loads more space-efficient than any bulky toolbox. So get yourself one of these good ones and save the headache of burdening yourselves with lagging bags.

  • Emergency food

Food is one thing that can get to us while on a car trip and emergency, more than anything else. If you should get stranded or lost, it’s a good idea to keep a few non-perishable calorie dense food items in the car like energy bars, granola bars, dried fruit or MREs to give you the boost for your journey.

  • Water bottles

A couple of water bottles can literally save your life when you’re stranded someplace and facing dehydration. But make sure that the bottles are sturdy enough to withstand both the extreme heat and extreme freezing conditions.

  • Weather radio

On a gloomy day, there’s nothing but static on the car radio, your beloved smartphone is getting no service, and those clouds looming large over there on the horizon look like they might be a thing to worry about. It is time to fire up your weather radio to see what the meteorological department has to say about it. It may be argued that you may be in the age of 4G and instant news, but if you are in the wilderness where technology means nothing, a weather radio is useful.

  • Reflective triangles

Consider that you’re already having a bad day and you’re pulled off onto the shoulder while driving. To help prevent matters from getting any worse, so make sure that night drivers can see you. Reflective triangles can help you in this.

  • Chewable Mint

Not many people know this but some chewable mint is actually more useful than as a time pass technique on a car journey. Any small leak or tear can be covered by this rubber like mint or toffee. All you have to do is chew it well and apply it after carefully cleaning the leaking surface with a dry cloth to avoid it getting off easily.

All these items prove to be extremely useful in some way or the other for you, in need. Thus, with this list, we hope you take our advice and stack your car up with all these essentials. Happy and safe riding!