Category Archives: car maintenance

12 Tips to Protect Car Paint & Keep it Shiny

Car paint care and protection tips from GoBumpr. Protect car paint from chips and from sun damage. Read on to know new car paint tips & keep your car shiny!

It feels good driving past cars on the roads with various eyes admiring your coat and colour, doesn’t it? No better sight than a gleaming paint finish on a ride! Now, though this may be a professional job by your makers and your car expert, don’t write off your contribution to that amazing shine. A regular maintenance habit to protect car paint may prove healthy at getting added turning eyes.

Several complaints of cars getting chipped and damaged by sun-effects arise today. This is mostly because of deficiency on part of the owner to give minimal time and efforts to their car for its maintenance. All it takes is to get few well-guided tips to protect your coat and shine for which, you can depend on us freely. We bring for your convenience some ideas which don’t require much of your time and that can be followed easily.

Here are some useful tips to protect the paint of your car:

[1] Make sure to use a car cover

Use a car cover and park under a shade
Use a car cover and park under a shade

It is the most basic thing you can begin with for protecting the paint on your car. While parking in an open area or on the street, it is better to do so with the car cover. Your car and its paint will be protected from alien elements set out to destroy your car’s finish. Even if you are parking in a garage and not using the car for a long period, it is advisable to put the car cover on, so that dust and contaminants do not settle on the car, which affects the car’s paint.

[2] A regular car wash proves immensely helpful

It is important that you wash your car thoroughly on a weekly basis. Using a car shampoo and washing the tires, exteriors, interiors, windshield and window glass area also is essential. If there are bird droppings on the car, clean them immediately with water. Do not use household detergents to wash your car. They are acidic in nature and will cause more harm to the paint.

[3] Do not think drying is unnecessary

A major portion of people chooses to avoid drying the car using a proper technique. A lot of people assume that the car will dry naturally, but that’s exactly where the paint will get damaged. Not drying the car will leave water spots that will make your hard work go waste. A microfiber towel may be used or a weave drying towel that would absorb the water and dry the car.

[4] Use a clay bar for cleansing

Using a clay bar, you can get rid of the unseen particles that are stuck in the paint of your car. These bars are most effective in removing even the smallest of the unnecessary particles that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. A clay bar application on the paint of the car needs to be followed by a waxing generally to sustain the cleanliness.

[5] Regularly wax your ride

Remember that a good wax will easily last 10 months that will protect the paint of your car from external disturbances like scratches, dust, redundant, contaminants etc. However, to be on a safer side, apply a coat of wax once in every six months on your car to ensure cleanliness and smoothness. Applying wax also offers other benefits like significant increase in the efficiency of fuel due to less drag. Application of wax has been tried and tested and will certainly not go wrong.

[6] Use paint protection films

A new introduction in protecting your paint is a paint protection film that is a clear film which is applied to the body of your car for protection. Much similar to the ones applies on glass areas, the film will offer protection from any elements rising from the road and so on. Although a little expensive, the film will run for close to 5 years, which is almost a lifetime of most cars. The film can also be applied only on certain areas like the front and rear bumpers if need be.

[7] Clear coats may be utilised

Mostly, new cars come with a clear coat over the paint surface to keep the car protected and glossy, away from external elements. This clear coat offers a more professional finish to the car as well. Any minor issues can also be taken care of if your car has a clear coat. It must be kept in mind that clear coats are quite sensitive to scratches and succumb to oxidation and still not a substitute for wax. It needs to have a wax job to protect the shine of the car.

[8] Try out Vinyl Wraps

Not only do these wraps offer a new colour for your car in different shades, they also get the job done at half the cost while protecting the original paint of the car. They work as a shield for the original paint and protect from dullness. Vinyl wraps are also thick enough to go through small scratches and injuries inflicted on the car. Removing them also is equally easy and the glue that is left does not damage the car at all. So even years, your paint job will still look new on the car.

[9] Protect from brake and gas related risks

Although brake fluid and gas are on the inside of the car, they may come in contact with your car’s paint coat which can cause it to peel off. While filling your car with gas, avoid spillage on the paintwork of your car. If however, some spills onto the paint of the car, make sure to immediately wash it off. Brake fluid is also extremely dangerous to your car’s paint, so take extra precaution when topping it up.

[10] Avoid rough surface driving

Small stones or rocks on the roads can cause a lot of damage to your car’s paint.  This can be caused by them constantly hitting the surface of your vehicle. This is almost inevitable, but you can prevent this by driving more carefully on un-surfaced roads and surfaces that have recently been redone.

[11] Use smooth material to clean your car

Scratches can also be caused by dirty clothes or sponges that you use to clean your car. There might be dirt or stones in them and rubbing it across your car’s paint can cause chips, scratches and other damage which can be avoided.

[12] Choose convenient parking spaces

Through your weekly routine, try to find covered or sheltered parking whenever possible. This can protect your car’s paint and also the headlights and the rubber trims. This will help reduce some of the damage from the UV rays, heat and nuisance wrought by nature, including bugs and bird droppings that really give a bad appearance to your car.

These are some valuable tips that you could use to ensure that you don’t keep regretting that you bought a car you cannot care for. Each of these tips can be implemented pretty easily. With this helpful deed, we hope to take your leave having satisfied ourselves that you would find this yet another priceless guide to maintaining your automobile. Have a shiny ride!

What isn’t covered in Car Manufacturer’s Warranty?

What isn't covered in Car Manufacturer's Warranty
What isn’t covered in Car Manufacturer’s Warranty

Comprehensive list of what’s covered & what’s not covered in the car manufacturer’s warranty. Read on to understand the nuances!

It’s not a surprise that while purchasing your own sleek car at a showroom, the first nervous glance you cast invariably goes towards the price list, to decide whether you can breathe easy or not even as your companions admire the automobile calling to you. And when you can, and have bought the car, the only other thing you are interested in is a warranty offered by the manufacturer to protect any damages or deficiencies that may taint your hard-earned vehicle.  

And while you go through the various plans put in front of you by the manufacturer, the most important question that seeps into your mind is what the extent of coverage of each warranty plan will really be. For that very reason, we bring to you a detailed explanation of different warranties and their coverage.

Now, while it is true that factors such as age, conditions, events and handling will affect a warranty, coverage in a manufacturer’s warranty will primarily be influenced by the type of warranty that you choose to opt. Some of the well-known warranties in brief are:

  • Bumper-to-bumper Warranty
    bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components
    Bumper-to-Bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components

    The most common warranty offered by any manufacturer is the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes. Bumper-to-bumper warranty usually ends faster than Power-train.

  • Power-train Warranty
    Power train Warranty covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts
    Power train Warranty covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts

    This type of a warranty typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like your driveshaft and constant velocity joints. In some cases, manufacturers also add seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. In spite of its usefulness, power-train warranties don’t generally cover regular maintenance like engine tune-ups and tire rotations.

Two more common additional elements to a warranty are as below:

  1. Extended-length warranty: When you buy a new car, most dealerships will offer to sell you a supplementary contract that extends beyond the standard powertrain and bumper-to-bumper policies.

  2. Roadside assistance: Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or power-train warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

So the policy you prefer decides the initial coverage of your warranty with regards to different parts. Now, for a clear picture of coverage, we think it would be better if we went part by part, to see how each part and its coverage is influenced by various factors. But before that here is a short list of parts that generally is not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty:

  • Brake linings and disc pads
  • Clutch release bearings
  • Clutch pressure plates and centre plates
  • Tires
  • Wiper blades (wiper rubbers have no warranty owing to their conditions of use)
  • Seat and backrest covers
  • Floor coverings
  • Spark plugs
  • Batteries for key fobs and alarms
  • Light bulbs
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Adjustments to doors, flaps, boot lids, bonnets, sunroof
  • Brake adjustment
  • Clutch adjustment
  • Headlight adjustment
  • Steering geometry adjustments
  • Wheel balancing

  COMMON PARTS INVOLVING WARRANTY:

  1. Tires: Like replacement tires, new-car tires are covered by their manufacturers, and not of the car. Depending on the type of tire, most warranties have a year or mileage limit, whichever comes first. Generally, tires are eligible for warranty replacement if the tread-wear indicators become visible. That doesn’t always mean a free set of tires as our mentality demands; most tire-makers prorate the new tire cost based on premature wear, meaning you’ll only get reimbursed for the remainder of how long the tire should have lasted. Make sure to have your tires rotated regularly, as improper rotation, inflation or balancing can make your warranty void. Unless a special policy has been purchased, basic tire warranties don’t cover punctures or collision damage. If your tires are wearing prematurely, it may indicate a problem with your steering or suspension that needs to be corrected under warranty, but the tire wear itself is not covered. 
  2. Rusted parts: Rust coverage includes body panels that have rusted through age and obsoleteness. Perforation of your parts happens due to multiple reasons. There are some warranty policies that generally last up to six years and have no mileage limits. Needless to say, they only cover complete perforation of your parts, which is a relatively rare occurrence with today’s rust-proofing technologies. Most policies don’t provide coverage for -rust caused by rock chips, hail or acid rain. 
  3. Emission Controllers: Nowadays, emission controllers like oxygen sensors and catalytic converters are available to everybody. And for these, two types of warranties exist: one is a performance warranty that requires automakers to repair or adjust emissions controls for at least two years if the car fails an emissions test and the other is a design and defect warranty that covers them for at least two years or 24,000 miles if emissions control fails independently of a test. Major components like catalytic converters and engine control modules are covered for performance and defects for up-to eight years.

  4. Factory accessories: Factory accessories include everything from a fancy audio system to an engine modification from a manufacturer’s performance wing. Most automakers cover accessories for up to three years or the remainder of the Bumper-to-Bumper warranty, whichever is shorter. Be sure to check out all the specifics; modifying the accessories after they’ve been installed can waste your coverage.

  5. Batteries: If it’s not covered in the bumper-to-bumper policy, a car’s conventional battery sometimes may get its own warranty. Battery warranties usually range from two to three years; they cover defective batteries on a prorated basis, so you’ll be compensated only for the remaining battery life you lost. Battery warranties rarely cover maintenance or misuse. Or be sure you are on the safer side!

  6. Seat belts and airbags: A lot of carmakers include seat belts and airbags with power-train or bumper-to-bumper warranties. Others make separate provisions, and the warranties sometimes carry no expiration date. Seat belts are generally covered for operating usability only, so don’t expect a replacement for discoloration or some other cosmetic defect!

  7. Third-party components: Sometimes equipment made by other companies, like a DVD player or wireless headphones for backseat passengers, carries a dedicated warranty from its manufacturer, and not from the car manufacturer. Pay attention to these: They are likely to be shorter than the bumper-to-bumper warranty for the car.

  8. Wearable components: Wearable components include your drive belt, brake pads, brake rotors, clutch material (in manual transmissions), and fluids. These are mostly not covered by your warranty.

  9. Maintenance of parts: Fluid maintenance, filter replacements, and other wearable part replacement is your responsibility as a vehicle owner and will not be taken up by the manufacturer.

  10. Adjustments: Generally, adjustments of parts are not covered under warranty past 1 year. If adjustments are required such as a wheel alignment or door adjustment, it must be completed within a year. This is because outside forces usually necessitate adjustments, not manufacturer defects.

  11. Audio equipment: Like any consumer product, car audio equipment usually comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. But unlike most consumer products, car audio equipment has to be installed in a vehicle for it to work. Some manufacturers protect themselves from damage caused by improper installation by extending the warranty only if their products are installed by an authorised dealer. That way they can be assured — and you can, too — that the products will perform the way they are intended.A defective or broken car audio component has to be taken out of the vehicle before it can be replaced or sent back to a manufacturer for repair. A potential bummer is that in some cases, the customer has to pay to have the equipment taken out and put back into the car by the dealer.

Although some speciality shops and big box stores will eat the labour cost and not bill the customer if the product is still under warranty, others would charge their usual rates to take out the component and put it back in again. But it’s rare for high-quality car audio equipment to break or malfunction.

These are some of the common parts where warranty coverage is scrutinised. While you are looking for a policy that covers as many sections of your ride as possible, don’t forget that every policy is negotiable up to a certain point where your preferences and the manufacturer’s meet. Always make sure that you go through all the terms and conditions given in the policy, even though it may seem a tiresome formality for that simple check will avoid many a problem.

With this suggestion and the hope that you go in for a great car warranty policy that satisfies you, we sign off hoping that our article gave you valuable insights on warranty coverage!

What Are Some Car Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips? Car AC Not Working Reasons?

What Are Some Car Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips? Car AC Not Working Reasons?

Car AC Maintenance Tips
Car AC Maintenance Tips

Indian summers are hot enough to melt the tar off the roads. Sitting in a tin can on four wheels, with the car AC blowing hot air, is akin to undergoing Spanish bull torture!

Car ACs are not just for cooling the cabin inside but serve several other functions as well. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep it in pristine working condition to avoid any untimely breakdowns and mishaps.

The Car Cooling Mechanism

The car air cooling system has several components working together to keep it running. It involves:

  • A compressor
  • An evaporator
  • Hoses, and
  • Belts

All these parts are vulnerable to abrasions and susceptible to developing faults and leaks. To avoid the car AC air not cold enough, the owner should keep the car and its AC timely and properly maintained. The car manual has specific instructions detailing the AC maintenance.

Car AC Stopped Blowing Cold Air

If you are sweating inside the car cabin in spite of turning the car AC on full, barring any severe medical conditions, it is the car air conditioning that needs a full check-up!

It is not an easy process, but you yourself can try to diagnose the problem first. In case that doesn’t work, a professional car technician or mechanic would have to be consulted.

First Things First

Your safety is paramount. Therefore, before you start inspecting your car, please wear the safety gear.

Protect yourself by wearing the safety gloves and glasses and keeping your body parts and loose clothing from getting caught in mobile car parts.

The Temperature Indicator

If the temperature inside the cabin is rising and it is not due to your heightened emotions, check the car AC.

Stop the car on the side of the road, not blocking the ongoing traffic, and look for:

  • the air cooler on the radiator or condenser –  are they working while the car AC is on?
  • Some sort of blockage due to dust, leaves, or insects that are stopping the air from reaching the radiator?
  • If the cabin’s air filter is clogged?

In case it’s available, check the AC system for the air pressure employing the manifold gauge kit. Consult the car manual, as it has all the relevant details regarding the low and high-pressure limits.

Car Compressor

In case the car AC is blowing warm air, the compressor should be checked first.

The car’s AC and its fans should be turned to max capacity, and the clutch should be supported by the compressor. In case the clutch is unable to stay on for long, that means it may be running low on refrigerant.

Then use the voltmeter to examine the voltage received by the compressor. In case the voltage is ideal, then the issue might be with the clutch.

In case the voltage is 0, the cycling switch might have broken, might have blown a fuse, or the air conditioning might not have sufficient refrigerant pressure.

The Leaks In The Car’s Air Cooling System

If the car AC just stopped working, the problem might be some sort of a leak. It is not an uncommon problem, which arises due to low pressure.

There is a UV-AC leak identification kit that can help you identify the source of the leakage.

The leaks could be because of any of the following reasons:

  • Caps and screws are not tightly secured.
  • Compressor’s hose manifold
  • The o-ring and front seal of the load switches that are there behind the compressor
  • Space where the pipes are fitted
  • The Schrader Hydrant or Valves
  • Miniscule cavities in the radiator
  • The evaporator’s drainage system

Read the instructions on the package carefully before inserting the dye. Also, this test will be nullified if the compressor is not moving and the cooling mechanism is set on low.

Maintaining The Car’s AC

Maintaining The Car’s AC
Maintaining The Car’s AC

To save yourself from encountering problems like car AC won’t turn off, there are certain key points that the car owner and driver need to keep in mind.

To ensure the longevity of the car’s cooling system, one should:

  • Irrespective of the weather, turn the AC on for minimum 10 minutes once every week. Set the AC to its minimum temperature and maximum fan speeds. This would help in maintaining the gas pressure for the compressor
  • Switch it on defrost settings for minimum 5 minutes. This can help keep the car fresh by cleaning out excess moisture that in turns prevent any mildew
  • Use the ACs during cooler months too. This would help in dislodging humidity inside the car cabin and improve visibility by removing the fog on the windshield
  • Change the oil and gas of the car’s cooling arrangement every two years
  • Get the car periodically serviced. Pay special attention to the AC before the advent of hot weather
  • On an open road, it is advisable to keep the AC on ‘flow through’ and not ‘recirculate’ mode. This is to prevent the spreading of CO2 in the cabinFor a healthy and safe driving, the owners should keep a close check on their car’s AC system.

Switched Fuels In Your Vehicle?

petrol in a diesel car engine
Switched Fuels In Your Vehicle? Did you fill up petrol in a diesel car & drove it! This mixing up can happen to petrol car owners too. Do you know what it does to your car engine?

Have you ever been unlucky enough to have your car filled in with the wrong fuel by a careless attendant? Were you careless enough to do get your diesel tank loaded with petrol in full volume?

Or are you simply curious as to what happens if you put diesel into a petrol car? Well, read on to find out what really happens and maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to undo your crimes.

Diesel In A Petrol Engine

With so many people switching to petrol cars as of late, it might so have happened that one petrol pump worker, while absent-mindedly talking on the phone, put diesel in petrol car by mistake. Well, undoing what’s done is a hard task, but all’s not lost.

What Happens In The Engine

First up, it should be understood that petrol and diesel are different kinds of fuel, with two different types of engines circling it. In engineering jargon, these are classified as SI (spark ignition) and CI (compression ignition) engines. For the sake of brevity, we’ll not delve deeper into what’s what but roughly, SI engines are to be paired with petrol and CI for diesel.

When diesel is poured into a petrol engine, well, nothing happens. Diesel is a fuel too thick even to start burning in an SI (spark ignition) engine. The only thing exploding will be your brain because of your anger. However, things are not so safe the other way around.

Repairing The Damage

If you’d happened to catch that frustration monger while in action, take it easy. If your tank contains less than two litres of diesel, simply top the rest up with petrol. Your car should run fine, though the mileage might take a beating. The worst thing that can happen is minor damage to your engine.

More than two litres and the whole process gets extremely infuriating. But all’s not lost. There are companies dedicated to such cases where people put diesel in petrol car by mistake.

Now, if you’ve mistakenly started the engine, or realised that the engine’s been running on diesel for quite a while now, stop immediately. Just because diesel isn’t combustible in petrol engine doesn’t mean you are out of danger. Diesel is still a highly flammable liquid, capable of bursting into flames any second.

Knowing When You’re On Diesel

If you were oblivious to the fact that you had diesel in your tank, these signs would tell you whether you’re on diesel/a diesel-petrol mixture in your tank.

  • The engine doesn’t start at all. This happens when your tank is filled with diesel for more than half of it.
  • Your exhaust pipe exudes thick black smoke. Your car is mostly running on a petrol-diesel mixture, which is extremely detrimental to your engine.
  • Engine starts misfiring. This happens while trying to start your car with the wrong fuel in it. Loud knocking sound is an indicator that your engine is misfiring.

 

Petrol In A Diesel Engine

A thousand times worse than having diesel in your petrol car is doing it the other way around. Let me give it to you plain and straight – having petrol in a diesel engine as the majority of your fuel will cause an explosion.

Petrol is a lighter in nature and is readily combustible; small amounts of heat generated in a CI engine will simply ignite the fuel. The explosion produced is big enough to dismantle your engine, or simply blow up your whole car to bits.

The incompatibility of engines does not matter here. The intrinsic nature of a CI engine is to have heat omnipresent within the engine; heat from one drive will be a component in the combustion process of the next drive. This is why older cars take some time to heat the engine up before taking off.

Once in contact with the slightest amount of heat, petrol goes berserk, so make sure you keep your eyes wide open to prevent disasters of such explosive nature.

Repairing The Damage

I cannot stress this point enough-DO NOT START YOUR CAR AT ANY COST.

Just in case the magnitude of your mistake wasn’t so colossal, your car might run. A running car is no assurance that your car won’t explode into pieces later on. If you’re already driving, stop immediately.

Now, if you’re of restless and a dare devilish nature, a small amount of petrol in a diesel car might just be offset with topping it up with diesel, though again, we’re not promising you won’t lose your car. We certainly recommend decontamination for even the slightest levels of petrol in your engine.

When the quantity of petrol is noticeably high, that is, more than five litres of petrol, even God’s grace won’t help you in your will drive it. Manually push your car to the side and wait for the fuel recovery companies to take over.

Knowing When You’re On Petrol

If you’ve ever filled petrol in a diesel car by mistake and drove it, chances are you’re already dead. In the off-chance that you’re alive, these on-the-road tips might be useful.

  • When there’s petrol in your engine, your vehicle will become considerably difficult to start. Make sure to take extra precautions so that you don’t attribute this failure to start to something else.
  • A car running on fuel with petrol in a conspicuous quantity will deliver thick black smoke through the exhaust pipe. This is because your car is running on a mixture of diesel and petrol, with diesel in the majority. This is not just bad for your engine; it might ruin It to the point of no return.
  • Engine starts making loud noises under load. If you’re a diesel vehicle owner, treat these three signs with the highest amount of cautionary actions they deserve. Your life is too important to let lethargy make you ignore/delay in reacting to these threats.