Almost everyone’s life revolves in or around their car. You need it to get to work, to see your friends and family, drop the kids off at school and to complete many other errands throughout the day. The big issue is that we don’t always take the best care of our mighty steed! So what are some quick and easy steps to keep your vehicle looking and feeling good?
Here you go:
Step 1: Freshen up your scent!
That new car smell is one of the best things you can step into. The only problem is that over time, like your favorite black t-shirt, it begins to fade. Well instead of letting everyday odors take over, make your own favorite scent the talk of every car ride! To do this, all you’ll need is a wooden clothespin and a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing. After dropping that oil onto the front of your clothespin, clip it on any vent and let the air flow do the rest!
Step 2: Wax on, wax off!
Seeing streaks when your wipers are on? A quick way to clear those away is by running a cloth or wipe containing alcohol to clean off any gunk left over from cleaning off grime or pesky bugs you may have accumulated on the road. Now you have a clear windscreen and full steam ahead!
Step 3: Shine on…with clear headlights!
Are your headlights getting foggy? Not only is it extremely important to have a clear view when driving after dusk, it also gives your vehicle a nice look during the day. An easy way to keep your headlights clean and give you the right amount of light is…toothpaste! That’s right! Not only used for keeping your pearly whites gleaming, it can also clear away that grime that’s making your headlights foggy. Use a toothbrush to apply (preferably not the one you use on your teeth) and after covering the whole surface, use a bit of water and an old rag to wipe away. Voilà! Your evening drives will be clearer and safer!
There are plenty of ways to keep your vehicle in great shape without spending a pretty penny. Taking a little time to care for it means it’ll take great care of you all year round.
Sometimes the need for speed hits, and I just want to watch a movie that is totally about cars. If you’ve ever felt the same way, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite car-themed movies to help you get your fix! Check it out:
1. Cars: I’m sure I don’t even need to explain this one—it’s a classic. But for those of you who haven’t seen Cars, just know that it’s got all the creativity and fun of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and other great Pixar movies, but with an awesome car theme that any kid (or adult) can enjoy!
2. Gone in 60 Seconds: This movie from 2000 has an exciting plot wherein a retired car thief is forced back into the business to save his brother’s life. Sure, the storyline is a little far-fetched, but isn’t that why we love movies? You’ll get sucked into this thriller for sure!
3. Fast and the Furious: Another awesome action car movie! Seeing this one is a no-brainer because of Paul Walker (naturally), but also because the cars and illegal street racing will draw you in and keep you coming back for all the furiously fun sequels.
4. The Love Bug: This old-school Disney movie is about as charming as a car movie can get. In this movie, Herbie “The Love Bug” is a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of his own. He becomes a lovable character that really seems to come to life, without any talking at all! His owner is a race car driver who comes to be a champion while behind the wheel of Herbie—an unusual pair to say the least.
5. Drive: Ryan Gosling—enough said. In this movie, Gosling plays a man of many trades: garage mechanic, Hollywood stuntman, and getaway driver. Though he’s trying to get away from a sketchy history, he gets into trouble when he falls for his married neighbor. You’ll have to watch the rest to see how it turns out!
If you have a gorgeous cherry red or sleek black paint job, the smallest scratch can be a huge eyesore. Instead of taking your vehicle in for an expensive detailing and/or paint repair job, consider doing it at home! The cost is significantly less, and it only takes a small amount of time.
The first step is to find your paint color. Make sure you test the paint on a metal can or piece of metal to test out the color. When you’re sure you have the matching tone, it’s time to start working. Find a good work space with low humidity and away from direct sunlight.
Prepare the spot you’re going to paint and the area around it. Wash and disinfect the spot with grease remover. If there is rust, make sure you get it removed or it could ruin the paint job. Once it’s clean, apply primer. Let it dry overnight where it won’t be touched or ruined.
Apply very thin layers of paint and let it dry between sessions. After the paint has been applied and you’re satisfied with the tone, add a clear coat on top of it. You should apply three of four coats of this with about 10-20 minutes of drying time between them.
Wait a few days and then apply a rubbing compound to smooth out the nick. Wait at least 30 days before having your car waxed or detailed to ensure the paint has completely set!
Summer is here, and that (hopefully) means vacations and road trips galore! However, car trouble can kill those adventures pretty quickly. Although your vehicle needs regular maintenance year-round, driving long distances in high temperatures requires extra preparation. Before you ice up the cooler and throw your suitcases in the trunk, follow these tips to make sure your ride is road-ready:
Tires – Don’t wait until one of them goes flat… inspect them before hitting the road. Check your tread using the good ‘ole penny trick. Put a penny in the tread and roll it around. If you can see Lincoln’s eyebrow, you definitley need new tires. Also, make sure they are inflated to the correct levels. The pressure number should be listed in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can explode, which is not the “bomb” vacation you probably had in mind.
Air Conditioner – Do I even need to explain?! You’ll be breaking a literal sweat if this bad boy isn’t firing on full power. Even if you think it’s working, it’s best to take your car to a local shop for a routine check. You’ll be amazed at the difference just replacing the air filter can make!
Oil – Are you due for an oil change? Check your oil levels and the date you’re due before you embark. If you’re close to the manufacturer-recommended interval listed in your manual, go ahead and change it. Isn’t that better than having your engine light come on during the homestretch of a 26-hour drive? You should also consider opting for a synthetic motor oil, as it performs better for long distances and hot weather.
Sweltering temperatures can be brutal for your vehicle, but these tips can help cool things down:
- Many people don’t think to roll their car windows down AND have the air running at the same time. I get it—it seems like a waste. However, when you do both within the first few minutes of driving your car, the hot air is forced out faster, allowing cooler air to circulate. In a matter of minutes, the internal air of the vehicle should match the outside temperature, making things a lot more bearable for everyone!
- We all know how HOT the steering wheel can get in the summer months. Here’s a trick: Turn the wheel 180 degrees before getting out of the car. That way, the side you normally touch is in the shade and staying cool until you’re ready to drive again.
- Stash a few dryer sheets under the seats! Hot temperatures can make for smelly adventures… A little extra deodorization will make a huge difference.
- Regularly check your tires! Tires are more prone to blowouts in the summer because drivers are often on scorching roads for longer periods of time. Under-inflated tires are most at risk, since the lack of air pressure puts the tires’ materials under increased strain… but overinflated ones are more likely to hydroplane in a summer rainstorm. Stay ahead of your tread!
- Hot temperatures and low coolant levels increase the risk of your engine overheating and your AC working overtime. If you see signs of an overheated engine—temperature gauge rising, warning lights, steam under the hood, etc.—pull over to a safe place, turn off the engine, and wait at least half an hour for it to fully cool down before opening the hood. If your coolant levels are low, topping off the tank should do the trick… but if the tank is empty, you might have a leak and will need backup!
- Spending time in the sun is just as bad for your car as it is for you, as sun damage can cause paint and interiors to fade. To prevent this, park in a garage whenever possible and invest in a sunshade. Also, you can just as easily get burned through a car window as you can on a tropical beach. Wear sunscreen while you’re driving if you anticipate being in the sun!