The other day I went to the auto parts store to pick-up some Trico Flex Wiper Blades I had purchased online for my Mom's Chrysler van. (I usually do this to save time and hassle.) I assumed spending money on the frameless wipers, like the Trico Flex Wiper Blades, would be a good investment. However, when I went to install one of the Trico Flex wipers on one side of the van, I noticed that it wouldn't fit. I thought for a minute I was doing something wrong and starting fuss with the wiper arm and the wiper blade. This is when I noticed what the problem was.
The Trico Flex has the wiper attachment mechanism on one side of the wiper blade instead of being embedded in the into it the body, like most wipers. This makes the Trice Flex line of wiper blades not usable for a lot of vehicles like my Mom's van. Talking with the girl at the auto parts store only confirmed this. She told me when I returned the wiper blades, “Yeah, I need to exchange a lot of those because they won't fit on customers vehicles.” I returned the Tricos and got another frameless wiper for the other side. It was kind of ridiculous and a waste of my time. Wish I had taken a picture before I returned the blades so people could see what I am talking about.
Some stupid Trico engineer probably thought this was a smart move. I am fairly sure he/she has never actually every installed wiper blades on a car though or they would have realized this serious design flaw. Bottom line Don't But Trico Flex wiper blades and save yourself hassle.
I recommend Bosch Icon frameless wipers and have them installed on my Honda Accord. They are usually expensive, but worth the cost and investment since they last for quite a long time. The set on my Accord have been installed for a year without a problem.
With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, bearing down upon the entire Eastern seaboard and many states getting slammed by heavy rain and wind, I am sure lots of people are wondering what they could have done to prepare for a hurricane better. An important consideration is that your vehicle can be damaged easily during hurricanes, it's important to try to do all you can to protect this valuable asset.
I recommend parking your car as close to your house as possible and in the driveway. The reason is if a lot of home insurance policies will cover damage to a vehicle from trees or debris if it close to a house. This varies on what type of policy you have though. If you have a garage, carport, or some other structure you can park your can that would be the most ideal place to park it. That is certainly not guarantee but is a safe bet.
Obviously though your car is not the only consideration for preparing for a hurricane during hurricane season. Here are some tips to get hurricane ready;
Food: Make sure to have enough food for your whole family. This includes any pets you might have in your family. We have dry dog food and canned dog food that will last our dogs, Cody and Sierra, awhile.
Water: You also need to have clean drinking water too. It is recommend to have 1 gallon of clean water per day. If you are not sure if you have enough, at least have a teapot and heat source so that you can boil and sanitize drinking water if necessary.
First Aid: It’s always good to have a First Aid Kit in case of an emergency. You never know when you might need it. I recommend having hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting wounds), bandages and gauze, cloth tape, needles, gloves, ointment, and a blanket. It is also a good idea to have a first aid booklet handy as well.
Medications: Make sure to get any medications for your family filled before you need to hunker down at your house or go to a shelter.
Emergency Contacts: Keep an emergency contact list. This includes, relatives, doctors, veterinarians,(if you have pets), or friends. Make sure to know about the nearest nearest shelter if you need to evacute your area due to flooding. If you have pets, be sure to find a pet-friendly shelter.
Rain Gear, Towels, & Clothes: Try not to go outside if you can help it, but it's always good to have a poncho and rain gear in case you do. It's a good idea to have as much clean clothes as you can too.
Cash: Cash, and I mean the real green stuff, is good to have in case power is going to be out for awhile.
Flashlights, Batteries, and Candles: It’s good to have flashlights and batteries if you are going to be without power for a long time. I would also recommend having short stubby candles since they are less likely to tip over and cause a fire. Matches are a good idea to have too!
Full Tank of Gas: If gas stations don’t have power, they can’t sell gas. It’s a good idea to fill up your car’s gas tank if you need to go somewhere with your family.
You should also consider having a spare flashlight with batteries, blanket, and first aid kit in your car if you need to venture out. It's best to not drive during a hurricane, and you have been told not to, you shouldn't.
I hope these tips will help you prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, or any other hurricane in the future. If you have any recommendations, tips, or advice about hurricane preparedness you would like to add, please leave a comment below.
It has been awhile since you have cleaned your car. I understand cleaning your vehicle is low on your To-Do list. When you finally do get around to cleaning your car though, you immediately notice you have black and dirty wheels. Don't you just hate that? Makes the car look a bit tired and old. You try to clean the front wheels of all that caked-on brake dust, to no avail. Man, that stuff is really on there! How do you get it off?
What you need to do is get some wheel cleaner that will help loosen that dirt and grime off those wheels, such as Griot's Garage Heavy Duty Wheel Cleaner. This product helps get off all that dirty and ugly brake dust off your cars wheels.
I got this wheel cleaner and it only took me a few minutes and a old car washing brush to use it. Click on my pictures below and see the before and after.
Oh, yeah! Clean wheels make the car look a lot better, right? You can see how dirty the front wheels were compared to the back. That is because the front of the car experiences 70% of the braking force, therefore releasing more brake dust onto those wheels.
A few nice shots of the Griot's Garage Heavy Duty Wheel Spray Cleaner worked extremely well to get off the annoying brake dust. Now our Toyota Camry looks and feels better. So don't forgot to pick-up a bottle of wheel cleaner next time you want to do a really good job cleaning your car.
One nice spring day when you are washing your car you decide, “Hey, why don't I give it a wax too!” While you are waxing the car, you are a bit too enthusiastic with the wax and cloth… and you get it on your plastic and rubber trim. Whatever, you will just be more careful. As you continue waxing it is hard to control all the wax and make sure it doesn't get on the plastic and rubber. When you are done waxing, letting it dry, then buffing it out, your car looks great. Then you say, “Hey, what is that white gunk on my trim?” It is tried wax!
What are you to do? You try washing it off with soap and water. Doesn't work that well, right? I know, because I tried it.
The car care experts over at Griot's Garage have a good solution for this problem, Dried-On Wax Remover. It removes dried wax, that you might otherwise not be able to get off your car. How does it work? Pretty well actually. I had some dried wax on my Honda Accord that was bothering me for a couple months. Click on my pictures below to see the before and after.
It can be hard to see from pictures how well car cleaning products work, but I think you can tell the Dried-On Wax Remover is a good solution to getting that pesky dried-on wax off your car.
What the pictures I took did not show, was that some wax that was really on there took several applications to get off. There was some residue still on there, so I used Meguiar's Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer to give my car's trim extra pop and mask any remaining wax residue. I noticed the bottle said that you might need to use a toothbrush to scrub off the really tough dried wax. I have not had been willing to try this yet, but I am fairly sure if you did scrub the residue remover in with a toothbrush it would work. It worked well enough without it.
Overall, Griot's Garage Dried-On Wax Remover definitely works at getting the pesky dried wax off your car's trim, for the most part. It is a good solution to a common car waxing problem.
With the unusually warm weather in January, I felt a bit odd posting a list of tips for winterizing your car. Now that there is actually snow on the ground in Baltimore, and it is cold, it makes more sense posting this list. No sense in posting a list in the Spring!
“Adam's 7 Tips for Winterizing Your Car.”
Hey, Your Car is Dirty: This is something that is a good idea to do before it gets cold and there is snow on the ground. (Ok, maybe I should have posted this earlier.) It's good to clean your car of all the road grime and dirt, because during the winter cars tend to attract more dirt. Clean the interior of the car as well. If you don't have rubber floormats, I would consider buying them as it will help keep your car's interior cleaner. Most people don't clean their cars during the winter, so that is why I suggest this.
Ohh, My Battery Is Dead: It is a very good idea to get your battery checked or take a look yourself. Low temperatures make it hard for the chemical reactions inside your battery to operate normally, meaning it has reduced power to get your car started. Most auto parts stores do Free battery checks using specialized testers, and they can usually test your whole electrical system too. If you have had trouble starting your car in the past due to the battery going dead or it has given you problems, you probably should just get a new battery. If it is more than 3-4 years old, replace it.
Get Rid Of That Battery Corrosion: Even if your battery is not that old, servicing it might be a good idea. By that I mean making sure there is no corrosion on the terminals or cables. If you are comfortable cleaning the terminals and battery, it is a good idea to do that yourself. (Remember undo the negative cable first, then the positive cable.) A quick way to get all the corrosion off is to pour warm water on top of the battery, which quickly washes away all that white sulfate deposit. You can then take wire brush and clean the terminals and cables, ensuring you battery has a good connection.
Can You See The Light?: Having a Headlight or Taillight bulb out is an easy thing to miss. Hey, I understand! Since the days are shorter and the nights longer in winter, it is good to make sure they are functioning properly. Turn on your cars lights and walk around to make sure all are in working order. Don't forgot to check those blinkers too! If any are out or very dim, replace it. Then you don't need to worry about it later.
Keep Your Coolant: You want to make sure you have a 50:50 mix of anti-freeze and water inside your radiator. If there isn’t enough anti-freeze in the mix, it could potentially freeze in the cold weather. How do you know if you have a 50/50 coolant or anti-freeze mixture? There are test strips and special tools to test the mixture and pH level of coolant. I rarely see many shops using them, but you can buy them at auto parts stores. You might want to consider doing a coolant flush if you have never done it, or if it has been 4+ years since you have flushed your coolant. Don't forgot to also check your hoses. If they are bulging hard, brittle, deformed, squishy, or have hairline cracks, replace the hose.
Is Your Tread Dead?: When is the last time you checked you tire pressure? Mmm… better check it, since tires lose about 1psi for every 10 degree change in temperature. You gas mileage will improve and your car will handle better. Also make sure you have adequate tread and your tires are not worn-out. If you live in climate that gets heavy snow, switching to snow tires for the winter might not be bad idea.
Can You See the Road?:Wipers are very easy to overlook, but very important for inclement weather. Check your wipers are not streaking or has rubber falling off. If they are old and aren't doing the job, replace them. I recommend Bosch frame-less wipers, which last longer and work better. I have Bosch wipers installed on my Honda Accord. Remember to also make sure you have washer fluid.
I hope you enjoyed Adam's Auto Advice tips! If you have a suggestion or comment about winterizing your vehicle leave a comment below. Keep warm this winter and please drive safely. You never know what's on the road, so be prepared.