Archive for June, 2018
Immersion in water can wreak havoc with a car, especially an engine, electrical system, and interior. If your car has been immersed in water more than halfway up its wheels, follow these ten steps to assess and address the damage.
1. Do Not Attempt to Start the Car!
It’s tempting to turn the key and see if the car still works, but if there is water in the engine, attempting to start it could damage it beyond repair. I’ve outlined a few basic checks below, but if in doubt, its best to have the car towed to a mechanic.
2. Determine How Deep the Car Was Submerged
Mud and debris usually leave a waterline on the car, inside as well as out. If the water didn’t rise above the bottom of the doors, your car will probably be fine. Most insurance companies will consider the car totaled (damaged beyond economically-reasonable repair) if water reaches the bottom of the dashboard.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Flood damage is generally covered by comprehensive (fire and theft) insurance, so even if you don’t have collision coverage, you may be covered for repairs or replacement. Your car insurance company will probably be flooded (sorry) with claims, so it’s a good idea to start the process early. (More about floods and car insurance)
4. Start Drying the Interior
If water got inside the car, mold will grow quickly. Start by opening the doors and windows and putting towels on the floor to soak up water, but you should plan on replacing anything that got wet, including carpets, floor mats, door panels, seat padding, and upholstery. Remember, these repairs are likely to be covered by your comprehensive insurance.
5. Check the Oil and the Air Cleaner
If you see droplets of water on the dipstick or the level of the oil is high, or if the air filter has water in it, do not attempt to start the engine. Have it towed to a mechanic to have the water cleared and the fluids changed. (Hard-core do-it-your self can try changing the oil then removing the spark plugs and cranking the engine to blow out the water, but we still recommend leaving this to a mechanic.)
6. Check All the Other Fluids
Fuel systems on late-model cars are usually sealed, but older cars may need to have their fuel systems drained. Brake, clutch, power steering and coolant reservoirs should be checked for contamination.
7. Check All of the Electrical Systems
If the engine looks OK to start, check everything electrical: Headlights, turn signals, air conditioning, stereo, power locks, windows and seats, even the interior lights. If you note anything even slightly amiss — including the way the car runs or the transmission shifts — that could be a sign of electrical trouble. Take the car to a mechanic, and remember that the damage may be covered by insurance.
8. Check Around the Wheels and Tires
Before attempting to move the car, look for debris lodged around the wheels, brakes, and underbody. (Set the parking brake before crawling around the wheels!)
9. If in Doubt, Push to Have the Car Totaled
A flood-damaged car can experience problems months or even years after the event. If your car is a borderline case, consider pushing your insurance company to declare the car a total loss. Replacing it will cost money, but you may save yourself from some major (and expensive) headaches down the road.
10. Beware of Flood-Damaged Replacements
Many cars that are totaled due to flooding are simply cleaned up and re-sold. Before buying a used car, have the title checked; words like “salvage” and “flood damage” are giant red flags. Get a comprehensive history on the car — if the car has been moved from another state and re-titled (especially a state that has been subject to flooding just before the title change), the seller may be trying to hide flood damage.
Common concerns when cleaning car upholstery
A common misconception when cleaning any kind of upholstery is that the more water used, the better the result. This could not be further from the truth as more water doesn’t necessarily mean more effective stain removal. Moisture is extremely bad for the fabric, and can damage the fabric as well as leave the interior of the car with a dump or musty smell. Another point to note is to avoid getting water on any metal portion of the seat such as zippers. This can lead to rust, and more stains to deal with in the future. With these two important points in mind, below is how to use home remedies to clean your car upholstery.
Removing smells from car interior
It is common for car upholstery to absorb stains and odors over time. Before starting any kind of cleaning on the car seats, the first step is to deal with the smell.
Removing smells from car interior can be done in 5 easy steps:
STEP 1: Fill two bowls with white vinegar.
STEP 2: Place one bowl on the dashboard of the car and the other on the back seat the night before cleaning.
STEP 3: Close all the windows and doors and leave the bowls over-night. The white vinegar should effectively absorb all the odors from the car.
STEP 4: Remove the bowls of vinegar in the morning and leave the car doors and windows open for as long as it takes for the smell of vinegar to completely disappear.
STEP 5 (optional): The last step is to vacuum clean your car upholstery thoroughly and take stock of the stains that need to be dealt with as the car is airing out.
Getting rid of stains on car upholstery
Before starting the stain removal process, you’ll need to prepare the following two homemade cleaning solutions:
For the first part of the cleaning you’ll need:
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 1 cup of warm water
Mix together the baking soda and water and you’re ready for the second part.
For the second part of the cleaning process you’ll need:
- Warm water
- A few squirts of dish detergent and a
- ¼ cup of vinegar in
- A spray bottle
Mix the warm water, the few squirts of dish detergent and the ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well and leave for 5 minutes to set.
And now we’re ready to start cleaning the car upholstery:
STEP 1: Use a toothbrush to gently apply the baking soda and water solution to any stains that you might have on the upholstery and leave the solution for 30 minutes to penetrate the stains (This is by the way a great cleaning procedure for stubborn stains including ketchup and coffee stains among others)
STEP 2: After the half hour, use a clean dry towel to blot the stains with the baking soda and water. Be careful to absorb as much liquid as possible before commencing the next step in the car upholstery cleaning process.
STEP 3: Use the detergent, water and vinegar mixture to spray the upholstery starting with the front seats and working your way to the back.
STEP 4: After spraying the seats, use a stiff-bristled brush to gently work in the solution.
STEP 5: Leave the mixture to sit for 15 minutes on the seats, and then use dry towels to absorb excess moisture.
STEP 6: The last step is to air out the car to get rid of any smells. You may want to leave all the car doors and windows open for the rest of the day or until all the cleaning smell is gone.
Other alternative car upholstery cleaning solutions
Baby wipes: These work surprisingly well when cleaning car upholstery. You don’t necessarily need soap and water to clean your car seats. Baby wipes are a great alternative, and should get most stains out. They don’t contain abrasive chemicals, which is especially great for the environment and safe for people with small children and adults with sensitive skin or allergies.
Dry cleaning cloths: Dry cleaning cloths such as Dryel are also great for cleaning car upholstery. They are easily accessible, and are effective car upholstery cleaners. – An additional bonus for using Dryel or other brands of dry cleaning cloths is that they leave the car smelling great.
Club Soda: Club soda is also another great stain remover worth considering. This works especially well for vomit stains on car upholstery. Club soda is cheap and easily accessible, and offers a thorough cleaning job at a fraction of the price. A mixture of baking soda and water also works great as an alternative for cleaning car upholstery and getting rid of stubborn stains.
Clear ammonia: A mixture of clear ammonia and water can be used to brighten the color of the carpets. Over time, the color of the carpets may begin to fade. This mixture can help restore the color, and have the car carpets looking great even after many years of service.
A Few Things to Keep In Mind
When it comes to keeping your tire pressure right, there are a few things to consider
- Always set your tires to the pressure specified in your vehicle’s owner manual or tire information placard.
- Always check and adjust your tire pressure before driving.
- Temperature differences affect your tire pressure. Cold, winter weather may cause your pressure to drop, while warm, summer weather may cause your pressure to increase. Although you should check your tire pressure periodically as part of good vehicle maintenance, it is exceptionally important to check it when the season changes.
- Always check your tires with a good quality tire pressure gauge. Many vehicles come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Generally, this system will alert you if your tires are losing air or are below the recommended pressure. We recommend keeping a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment—even if you have a TPMS built into your vehicle. This will ensure you are getting a consistent reading each time rather than using multiple gauges at different gas or service stations. If you suspect your TPMS system is malfunctioning, we offer TPMS service package designed to fix the faulty component.
Overinflated tires are rigid and stiff, causing the tire’s contact patch (the amount of rubber that meets the road) to be reduced. That leads to a “harder” ride as well as uneven tread wear. The most common type of uneven tread wear due to overinflation is referred to as “center wear.” Exactly what it sounds like, the center of the tire will be smooth and worn down while there will be more tread on the sides of the tire. Due to the rigidity of an overinflated tire, it can be more easily damaged by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road.
Underinflated tires do not hold their shape and are flatter to the ground. Therefore, more of the tire comes in contact with the road, causing the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. That is referred to as “shoulder wear.” There will be a strip of normal tread down the center of the tire, while the shoulders of the tire will be smooth and worn down. Underinflated tires are more flexible when they roll, leading to increased rolling resistance and therefore a decrease in fuel economy.
Source: Pep Boys