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September 2013 - Helpful Car Maintenance Tips

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Signs It’s Time for an Oil Change

It is recommended that you change oil after every 3,000 miles or after six months. This will protect the car from operational fatigue due to infrequent long drives or more frequent shorter drives. When you are driving a car, several things might affect how it runs including stop-and-go traffic, prolonged driving in freeway speeds, and dust among others. These take a toll on engine oil and warrant that the oil be changed as frequently as possible.

Tips on Caring for Your Car


It is becoming more expensive to travel by personal car with each passing day. This is because of the state of the economy and increase in prices that you have no control over such as fuel, insurance, and repairs. There are some things that you can do to preserve the value of your car and make it last longer without unnecessary expenses. These are some tips that can help you to make your car last longer and run better.

How to Change a Tire


Nobody is safe from the occasional flat tire and when this happens, you should be equipped with the tools and knowledge required to remedy the situation. You might have a roadside assistance service at your beck and call but it is still important for you to know how to change your tire. Manufacturers have made it very easy to change tires in modern cars. You should also make sure that the tires are okay before setting out on a long journey. There are several things that you should check but that is a lesson for another time.

How to Maintain Leather Car Seats


Caring for a car does not only entail washing, polishing, and waxing it a lot; it also involves taking care of the interior. If your car has leather seats, you should be glad because leather is very long-lasting. However, it might age too quickly if you do not keep it in good condition. Maintaining leather is quite easy and there are many products that you can use to keep it as good as new.

How to Fix a Scratch

How to Fix a Scratch

Chips, scratches, and other minor damages to your car are inevitable no matter how careful you are. You can repair these to become almost or completely invisible. To repaint the whole car after it has been defaced might cost you a lot of money and painting a single panel can make it look different from other parts of the car. Since none of these are suitable for scratches, let us see the other options that are available to you.

The first thing that you should do is to figure out the extent of the damage. A car usually has several layers of paint and other coatings. If a scratch is thin and looks white, it is most likely shallow and can therefore be easily repaired. However, if you can see metal through the scratch, it has likely reached the metal part of the panel. If you want to repair the car yourself, you should find a place that is away from wind and sunlight. The temperature should be within the 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit range and relative humidity about 60%.

The next step is to find out exactly which color and shade you should use to repaint the car. There are usually many variations of the same color that manufacturers use for their cars every year so you must find out your car’s specific color and tone. The car should have a factory paint code which should be in the doorsill or under the hood. Without this code, finding an exact match for your car’s color would be very difficult.

Not all scratches need to be painted over. For example scratches that only affect the clear coat of the car’s paint do not warrant a new paintjob. These scratches can be polished out with abrasive compound. When you use compound, you will inevitably peel off some of the clear coat so you should be careful to work on as little an area as possible. After you are done, you should clean the area in order to remove all unused compound.

If you want to repaint the area, you should clean it properly in order to remove any dirt. You should mask the adjacent area with tape. After this you should polish the area that has a scratch and buff it and inspect if the scratch is still visible. If it is still visible, get paint that matches the color of the scratched area. Sand the scratched area until you reach the deepest part of the scratch and clean it properly. Apply a layer of primer to improve adhesion. After the primer has dried, apply the paint and try to minimize the overlap with the already painted surface. Let it dry overnight.

After the paint dries, wet-sand the painted area with sandpaper until the area becomes smooth. Be careful not to remove too much paint and stop often to check the progress. Use compound to give the painted area a glossy finish. If there are shallow spots, you should paint over the scratch again until it is level. Polish it with compound and do not wax the car for at least one month to allow any solvents to completely dry up.

Tips on Maintaining Your Car during summertime


Regardless of fuel prices or any other curveballs the economy might throw at people, it is hard for them to ignore travel during summer – the lure of sunny skies and warm weather is often too hard to resist. In order to make sure that you drive around as much as you want, you have to keep your car in good health. The following are some tips that can help you to keep your car running fine during summer.