Routine Maintenance Trips (30/60/90K inspections) to your
service shop on Fridays. Most shops perform the bulk of their
heavy repair work (stemming from cars that break during weekends)
Monday through Thursday. Technicians begin to slow down, spend
more time, are more thorough, and pay more attention to detail on
When your car
won't act up for your mechanic the way it does when you drive it,
don't hand your keys to the person at the service desk or try to
tell him or her what you think is wrong with it. That's their job!
Take a technician for a ride (you drive) and when your vehicle
acts up; stop; then ask the technician to drive until (s)he
experiences the same problem. Now you are both on the same page
and you've cut your diagnostic fee significantly!
Always ask for a written repair
estimate. Depending on the nature of repair this may cost you
some up-front money but for proper diagnosis will be well worth
it. This accomplishes several things. First, it allows you to
better understand line-item charges so that you can ask better
questions. It also forces service shops to put on paper exactly
what they propose to fix your vehicle. Afterwards, should you have
similar problems it will be much easier to distinguish those
repairs from any previous ones. It's to your advantage to know
that today's sophisticated cars often generate similar symptoms
with totally different causes.
Wash your vehicle weekly.
Thoroughly rinse the car to remove excess dirt and/or sand. Start
at the top, then tackle the front & back, saving the lower half
for last. NEVER use dishwashing soap unless you're doing an annual
Wax the car's body every 6 months.
Use a wax that's easy to put on…and take off. Remember that the
more often you wax your car, the easier it is to do.
Clean interior with a soft towel and leather cleaner. Buff dry
with a soft cloth. Don't scrub or you'll remove the color layer.
Use leather conditioner weekly.
Look for one that actually smells like leather!
Clean the windshield with 'Bon Ami' or
'Soft Scrub' and a damp sponge until water sheets off.
Clean wiper blades with a paper
towel soaked in isopropyl alcohol.
Clean tires and wheels with proper soap
and water. Clear-coat wheel damage will occur if strong (or
wrong) soap chemicals are used. Read the label! Use tire dressing,
which will make the next cleaning much easier.
Clean engine using Dawn liquid
dishwashing soap. Run engine for 2 minutes before washing so
that heat will evaporate the water.
Shorten a small 2-inch wide paint brush
to 1½ inches long, cut at an angle, and use this to remove wax
and/or debris from body crevices and/or rubber/plastic areas.
Cover the vehicle with the proper car
cover. Covers must shield against UV rays, water, bird droppings,
etc., but they must also breathe or moisture will be trapped.
For more tips from Bobby on National Radio Tours,