Tag Archives: car care

Rain drops

Rainy Day…Smear?

When was the last time you had your wiper blades changed?  If you are like most people, checking and replacing wiper blades doesn’t rank very high on the priority list.  That makes a lot of sense, since we don’t typically use them on a daily basis…but it can be pretty frustrating to turn them on and see streaks across the windshield.

According to a study conducted by the Car Care Council, 1 in 5 vehicles on the road have deficient wiper blades or washing systems.  That doesn’t sound so bad, right?  According to information gathered at statista.com, there were approximately 254 million registered vehicles on the road (in the U.S.) in 2012, and if only 1 out of 5 is deficient, then around 50.8 million drivers may be visually impaired when driving at night or in precipitous weather conditions.

What can you do to avoid being part of the 20% problem?  For starters, you can keep your windshield and side windows clean.  Use the courtesy squeegees provided at most gas stations each time you refuel your vehicle.  In addition to using the squeegee, check and replace wiper blades that are cracked, split or leaving streaks.

According to the experts at RainX, “Wiper blades should be replaced [at a minimum] every year” as part of a routine, preventative maintenance schedule.  At Axleboy, we realize that drivers make critical decisions nearly every moment they are on the road, and those decisions are based primarily on visibility.  Our top concern is keeping you on the road, and a good set of wipers can go a long way to helping you make the safest driving decisions.

Rain Drops on Windshield

RainX Wipers

Axleboy now carries a full line of the premium RainX Latitude windshield wiper blades.

Sources:

www.carcare.orgwww.rainx.comwww.statistica.com

What to do About Bird Poo

Do you ever have days where you feel like the cards are just stacked against you- where nothing seems to go the way you planned?  And then, to top things off, a flock of birds turns your clean car into a public latrine.

Hey, we’ve all been down that road once or twice…and while parking under the shade tree may seem like a good idea at first, bird droppings all over the hood will make anyone think twice about parking in the shade.

My grandfather took a lot of pride in his ride and made a religious habit of hand-washing and waxing his cars every Saturday afternoon.  Whenever we were out driving, if bird scat exploded on either the windshield or hood, he would pull over to the nearest service station and clean off the mess…all the while cursing under his breath about how bird poo was packed with acid that could eat right down to the metal.

Is bird poo really so corrosive?  Maybe not, according to a study by UK based Autoglym.  They claim that the real culprit is paint, which softens in the sun allowing the poo, or any other goop, to be absorbed into the finish.   Whatever the case may be- acid poo or liquefied paint- if you love your car and that brand new look, even the smallest droppings can put a damper on your mood.

To help minimize damage from bird droppings Axleboy suggests:

–  Clean off the affected area as early as possible.  Some folks (like my grandpa) may rush to the nearest gas station with the free squeegee and window cleaner.  Others might find it more convenient to keep a spray bottle in the trunk.  Whatever your preference is, removing the poop sooner rather than later will always do less damage.

–  If the droppings are fresh, use plenty of water and a moist towelette or washcloth to carefully remove the entire deposit

–  For those crusty, baked-on turds, placing them under a moist cloth for 10 minutes should help soften things up enough that it can be cleaned with ease.

–  Use plenty of moisture.  When it comes to cleaning bird droppings off your car, more moisture is always better.  Why?  Did you know that many birds use small bits of gravel to help with digestion?  Well, according to the bird scientists they do, and those tiny stones ultimately end up in the doo doo.  Rather that scratching your clear-coat with poop grit, get as much as you can off with water or some other car-safe cleaner.

 

We may never be able to stop birds from plastering our cars, but there’s no reason to let them leave a permanent mark.  As Smokey the Bird says, “Only you can prevent paint damage!”  Let’s just hope that pigs never do learn to fly.

Myth Behind the “Maintenance-Free” Cars

Are you “Car Care Aware?”  April is national preventative maintenance month and Axleboy Automotive is challenging you to take a hand in being proactive toward maintaining your automobile.  The first step toward cultivating a proactive mindset is to dispel the false notion behind the maintenance free car.

“Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the marketing and sales tactics of dealerships,” says Scott Carline, president and owner, Axleboy Automotive.  “Consider this: What motivation does a car salesman have to sell a ‘maintenance-free’ car?  The answer is all too clear.  Car dealerships know that if drivers don’t take appropriate care of their cars, they will eventually have to purchase a new one.”

At Axleboy, we know that if you really want a car to last 100, 200 or even 300 thousand miles it must have regular preventative maintenance both at the shop and at home.  While opening up the hood may seem daunting to some, there are plenty of things that every-day car owners can watch for.

The Car Care Council and most vehicle operations manuals recommend that, on top of routine mechanical service, car owners *regularly perform the following 10-point check of their vehicle:

 

  1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  2. Check the hoses and belts to make sure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or showing signs of excessive wear.
  3. Check the battery and replace if necessary. Make sure the connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
  4. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
  5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay.
  6. Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
  7. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.
  8. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.
  9. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
  10. Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

*Regularly is a very broad term that, in the case of this article, is used to mean “at least once per month.”

 

Schedule your appointment at Axleboy today by calling (636) 939-5337 or clicking below.