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Car Tips from Bobby Likis
Schedule 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 Friday's jobs.

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-stripping.

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, click here.

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