AntifreezeRemember antifreeze is a deadly poison. It’s sweet taste unfortunately attracts animals. If they lick it, they may become seriously or fatally ill. Please remember to pick up any spills you see.
Cooling SystemTo prevent your engine from freezing in the winter you want your cooling system to be in good condition. Maintenance includes inspecting all hoses and their clamps to prevent any leaks. Take a look at the water pump and fanbelt for any looseness or wear. Check the radiator for any corrosion, rust or leaks. Then clean the radiator fins of any debris.
Remember to replace the coolant mixture every other year and check it for strength more frequently. Inexpensive flushing-tee kits are available at autoparts and department stores.
Windshield Washer SolutionWinter can be a messy time with much road spray on your windshield, thereby seriously hampering visibility. Remember to weekly, check your windshield washer reservoir to make sure you have enough fluid for future trips.
Temporary Glass RepairTo temporarily fix a crack in a windowpane, apply some clear shellac along the break-line. This will weatherproof the glass and prevent further cracking. You still need to replace the glass, but this gives you a little time to shop for it.
Windshield Wiper BladesGoing to be cool again, bring your wiper blades inside for the night. No waiting in the morning for them to defrost-just attach and GO!
Vehicle Lumber RackIf you have to carry lumber or something rough on top of your car, have a couple of foam pipe insulation pieces available. The foam pipes will protect the luggage rack.
Spring CheckupRough winter driving, (e.g. hitting potholes, snowbanks, etc.), can knock your headlights aim out of their proper alignment. Think about having them checked out when doing a spring tune-up/ inspection on your vehicle.
Snow DrivingIf you are driving a rear wheeldrive vehicle adding some weight in the trunk will provide added traction in the upcoming icy weather. A bag of kitty litter, sand or cement will do the trick! However, if you have front wheel drive, then you want to keep any heavy objects out of the back of your vehicle. They will reduce your traction, rather than improve it!
Pothole AlertNow is the time of year to keep your eyes alert for that big hole in the road, yes, potholes! Driving in these holes is not good for your car. If you have bad shock absorbers, you could possibly lose control of your car. SO BEWARE!
Car HosesHigh temperatures are often the cause of engine hoses cracking and breaking. When your car engine is cold, check the hoses. They should be resilient under pressure, but not soft! Look for any crimps, brittle edges or swollen lumps. For trouble-free driving you should replace suspect hoses NOW!
Oil ChangesWith summer almost upon us, its time to switch to a heavier grade motor oil at your next oil change. The heavier grade oil protects the engine better during hot weather driving. You can also check your owner’s manual for specific seasonal recommendations.
Car CareThe most important task for an automatic vehicle is to maintain the proper level of transmission fluid. Low levels cause hard shifting and speed up the wear of internal parts. If you see any reddish stains where you park, jack up the car and inspect the gaskets and transmission case for any leaks. Sometimes just tightening the bolts in a crisscross pattern will stop the leak. If it’s coming from a seal, then time to call the mechanic!
How Not To Lose Your Gas CapTired of losing your gas tank cap? If you have a screw on the cap you can attach some fishing wire to the screw on the filler tube and the cap , just unloosen screws and retighten.
Do-It-Yourselfer ToolsWhat should the do-it -yourselfer have in the garage for automobile repairs and maintenance?
Depending on your vehicle, you will need a set of combination wrenches ranging from 3/8in. to 1in. or 6mm. to 19mm. It would also be good to have a 3/8in. socket wrench set (or mm.), including the same range of sizes. Allen or hex wrenches ranging from 2mm. to 12mm.,(or .05in. to .25in.) are also essential.
Other items could be a tire-pressure gauge, a 12-volt test light, jumper cables for your battery, small wire brush, oil-filter wrench, funnels, jack stands and an offset ratchet screwdriver.
Trunk tool kitHint for the trunk, keep a small tool kit on hand at all times such as small hand pump, adjustable wrench, screw driver with multi-tips, knife with variety of blades, plus ten ft. of electrical wire. Among other things you can charge a battery with it from a friends car. You connect it to both batteries and let the car run for at least twenty minutes, then start the car.
Thanks to Ed Vatcher for this hint. Posted 2/27/99.
Get Rid of Oil Stains on Garage Floors
- For fresh stains use kitty litter, grind in with your foot and let set for a couple hours to absorb the oil.
- For older oil stains try scraping off what you can from the surface with a putty knife. Next try paint thinner which breaks down and dissolves the stain. Wipe up with a disposable cloth. If needed, make a poultice of crushed kitty litter mixed with paint thinner. The sponge effect of the poultice will draw out the oil. Leave on for several hours.
Spring: Car Wash and WaxWarm outside? Time to give the car a good washing and waxing? Spray a strong stream of water underneath the car and wheel wells to flush away any road salt left behind. Touch up any paint chips and then apply a quality wax.
Car Locks in the WinterTo prevent your car locks from freezing, when washing your car this winter cover the keyholes with masking tape beforehand to keep the water out. Also, by operating the button or lever a few times, this may help the area from freezing.
If you do end up locked out of your vehicle, use an aerosol de-icer with a narrow tube to reach in between the door and car body to reach the latch. Good luck!
ATV SafetyRemember a few safety tips when on an all-terrain vehicle. Try to buy a 4-wheel ATV they have better records for being safe. As a rider, wear a helmet, eye protection, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, gloves and boots. Don’t give rides! Stay off paved roads and if under 16, the ATV should be under 90cc.
Hibernation of SnowblowerTime to finally put away the snowblower for the year! Remember to drain the fuel tank, and run the engine to use up any remaining gas in the fuel line. Or instead, just add some Stabil.
Visor CoverSave your old sweatshirt sleeve, (with the cuff attached), to use as a cover on your car visor. The cover will hold all sorts of small items, sunglasses, tapes, and pens! So if you never know where to place all those things-give the visor a try!
Blacktop/Patching the DrivewayBlacktop(asphalt) driveways require maintenance because the asphalt tends to lose oils from constant exposure to the sunlight, causing it to dry out and crack. Therefore, a yearly patching or sealing will add years to your driveway, and keep it looking great!
If you are living in a northern climate you might want to check out a heavy-duty sealer.
Distress Signals on the HighwayTie a white cloth to your vehicle’s antenna or door handle and raise your hood. Try to remain calm and conserve your energy while you are waiting.
Distress Signals on the WaterYou have a few options-use red flares, or an orange smoke signal . Use a signal mirror, or an upside down national flag, or try continuous foghorn blasts. If you have a radiotelephone use channel 16 for “Mayday” announcements.
Distress Signals At NightSOS with a flashlight,(3 long, 3 short signals) to an airplane. If you know Morse code you can send and receive messages.
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