How to Clean a Yellow Headlight Lens

Quick fix to clean headlights with WD40 or toothpaste

Using WD40 or toothpaste will work to clean your lenses and is very quick and simple. This method only requires you to rub the plastic lens with a cloth to remove the dull or frosted look. This will provide a clear surface, which will improve your vision at night.

However, cleaning headlights with wd40 or toothpaste is a temporary fix and will not last long. But, if you are heading out on a trip or trading your car in, then this may be the quick fix you’re looking for,

Restoration Kits

The second method is to use a restoration kit. For example, 3M has a kit you can buy that comes with the sandpaper and polish to restore your headlamps.

This method will cost more and require more effort. The kit comes with sandpaper to remove the oxidation of the plastic lens. Once removed, then the plastic lens is polished back to a clean and clear lens. This will provide you with a clear light to provide better night vision for a longer time. Although in time, the plastic with dull out again.

Restore Headlights Using 2K Clear Coat

The third method is to use a 2k clear coat. This method also requires sanding, but instead of polishing the plastic, you will apply adhesion promoter and clear coat to the surface. This method may take a little more work, but this is a permanent fix to repairing your headlights. If you don’t have a spray gun, then there is a 2k clear coat available in a spray can.

If you are planning to keep your car for years, then this is the best method to use.

Why Is Headlight Restoration Important?

When you see and drive your car every day, it may become difficult to realize how bad your headlights have become. Night after night they are slowly becoming dimmer due to the plastic becoming yellowed, frosted, or hazed looking.

Just like changing the oil and keeping the tires inflated to the correct pressure, your headlamps lens should me maintained as well.

Not realizing they have started restricting the light to shine through properly at night or procrastinating to restore your them could lead to a preventable accident when driving at night.

In fact, I was talking to a body shop owner yesterday telling me he has an all time high of deer hit accidents. You may not think this is a big deal, but a big percentage of these cars are being totaled. Yes, a deer hit does a lot more damage to newer cars than you may thing. Not that all of these deer hits are due to foggy headlights, but we need to do everything we can to drive safe and prevent these type of accidents. Cleaning headlights with wd40 or toothpaste is a small price to pay to prevent an accident.

I Don’t Have Time To Restore My Lights

There are a lot of do it yourself enthusiasts out there who love to do everything they can to maintain their car. They take pride and enjoy doing this type of work. However, there are other people who are too busy or just don’t want to take the time to work on their car.

You are the people who may have your oils changed and car washed for you. That is perfectly alright because there are businesses out there depending on you to keep them in business. If you don’t have the time for light restoration, then look for a business who can provide you with this service. Many dealerships, details shops, and collision repair shops would be glad to help you out with this service. This may cost you more, but it will free up your time to do the things more important to you.

Does Your Car Engine Backfire?

Does your vehicle engine run ok?

Or does it cut-out on you sometimes when your are going to visit your in-laws?

Does it *spit* and *sputter* and *backfire*, then start running ok, again?

Symptoms of this nature can be several things.

o You could have a sparkplug wire shorting out.

o You could have an electrical wire shorting out.

o You may have some water in the fuel tank.

Let’s take the most common of these three mentioned.

Over the years you cannot keep they fuel tank full at all times.

With a fuel tank half full, the upper part can cause condensation.

This condensation will slowly build up and run down into the bottom of the tank.

When you start to pass another vehicle you call upon the fuel pump to give me more gasoline.

The fuel pump starts working overtime and picks up more fuel, then the water goes into the line along with the gasoline.

The fuel filter catches this water and since water is heavier than gasoline, it drops to the bottom of the filter.

After awhile though, you come up behind me, and I’m not driving quite as fast as you would like to go, so you floorboard it and go around me.

What happens when you floorboard it?

Right, you are asking for more fuel.

With the filter partially full of condensation, water, some of it gets picked up into the fuel line and goes to the carburetor or injector.

“Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, Pow!”

Purr, purr, purr.

See what happens?

You can solve this problem, most of the time, by changing the fuel filter two or three times a year.

Now, if you have just filled up at the pump, and your car starts acting this way, you may have to take the fuel tank off and clean it out.

Or, pay someone else to do it!

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Knowledgeable on various auto parts.

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

Get The Best Auto Repair Services: Important Features To Consider

DIY Car Repairs: Are You Prepared For It?

A DIY approach for car repairs can definitely save your money, but only if you have the essential skills and tools to do the repairs on your own. If you don’t have any idea about vehicle repair and maintenance then you can end up costing a lot of money. It’s advisable to look for certified mechanics who can fix the problems on your car quickly.

When dealing with vehicle repairs, it’s very essential to get the repair and servicing done by an experienced professional. It’s very hard to trust any mechanic or repair shop with your car. If you have a classy and luxurious car, you should always look for a specialist who can assure quality services.

How To Find The Best Auto Body Shop?

Check The Online Review Websites

Before you decide to take your car to the nearest auto shop, you should first check the online review of the body shops in your area. There are many review websites where you can check the feedback from the old or existing customers about the repair station. It will help you to make the right choice.

Get The Opinion Of Your Co-Workers

The very first thing is to make a list of the top five garages or repair stations in your area. The best way to find the car garage is through referrals or recommendations from your friends or family. You may also check online to find the local repair shops or garages operating in your area.

Make A List Of The Top Five Auto Shops

Once you have made a list of the top five repair stations in your area, you should check their ratings and reviews online. There are many good review websites which offer genuine reviews of the garages or auto body shops.

It’s very important to speak with the old customers before choosing the garage. If the old customers are not happy with the services of the auto shop, you should look for some other option.

The Final Tip

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, these auto repair shops can do the best job. You can also hire them for your expensive car models. They have certified mechanics who can do all the necessary repairs for your car.

Make sure that the mechanics are ASE certified. Keep your eyes and ears open to choose the best auto repair shop

Used Radiator Vs New Aftermarket Radiator

If your radiator has more holes than a slab of Swiss cheese and left you high and dry, then it’s time for a replacement. If you’re on a tight budget you might be considering a used radiator or an aftermarket radiator, but which is a better choice?

Obviously buying used can have a huge cost benefit. Unless you have a rare or high-end luxury or sports car, a salvage yard special will be between $25 and $50. Not bad compared to the cost of a new cooling system from your local dealer.

The problem with buying used is that you have no idea what condition the unit is in. Appearance is not a good indicator and you have no way to do a pressure test. So, what do you do?

If you must buy used, be sure to do a thorough visual inspection. That means you need to look inside and out. Inspect for internal corrosion and damage to the cooling fins and hose connections.

To get a good look inside you will need a flashlight, so be sure to take one to the salvage yard with you. Look for excessive scaling and corrosion. If it does not look clean, then it was not well maintained.

Check the joins, too. Look where the cooling coil connects with the tanks. If you find an accumulation of sediment or mineral deposits from external corrosion, this is a pretty good indicator of poor condition.

Look for repairs. If you see big blobs of “cold weld” cement like J-B WELD, the unit has been patched and should be avoided.

If it’s an aluminum system check for corrosion and epoxy around the tank joins. Aluminum radiators need special coolant. If it’s not used they will corrode rapidly and begin springing pin leaks. Also, a common failure with aluminum cores is separation from the plastic tank. The common repair is epoxy cement. Stay clear if you see these obvious repairs.

Before you scour the salvage yards, consider aftermarket. For just a little more money you can get a high quality, aftermarket replacement unit with a warranty. The average price for an aftermarket radiator in 2011 is $120 shipped.

Most aftermarket components are exact, original equipment (OE) specification. In many cases, the manufactures provide the parts to the car manufacturer. In other cases, the components are “multi-fit,” which means it is the correct capacity and size for your vehicle, but it will have mounting hardware or attachment points for a range of fitments.

CSF, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufactures and specializes in multi-fit radiators. According to CSF, they provide the overall best value. All of their products meet or exceed original equipment engineering specifications. Their manufacturing plants meet ISO 9000 standards and provide parts to OE manufacturers. They make over 1,000 different models that fit 2,001 vehicle fitment applications. If that wasn’t enough, they offer an industry leading warranty. Simply put, you cannot buy a used radiator with the same quality or assurance of performance.

If used is your only choice, be sure to inspect thoroughly. For complete confidence, invest in a quality aftermarket radiator.

Finding Your Auto Repair Shop

Every household in urban and suburban cities own at least one automobile. They are an important part of the family. With time, automobiles have become advanced and complex technological beings. It is not as easy to maintain them at home as it used to be. With the advancement in computers and engine systems, it is critical that an expert with ample experience and training get involved. This is also because the consumers lead a very fast life. Therefore, it is important to identify a trusted and reliable auto repair shop for your vehicle needs.

Before looking at how to find a resourceful auto shop for vehicle repairs and maintenance, let us understand the difference between these two terms. Maintenance items are shared with the owner at the time of purchase. These are to be checked as part of preventive maintenance at regular intervals. Repairs deal more with a problem that has to be fixed. Both go hand in hand. If you have a good auto repair shop who can do the maintenance check well, then the need for car repairs will reduce. Scheduled maintenance can also be done at your dealership.

A key thing to remember is to find a suitable auto repair shop as soon as you get a car. Do not wait for the need to arise. This will give you less time to choose a shop. If you already have a trusted mechanic, then stick to that shop. An internet hunt can let you know the auto repair shops in your area with reviews and customer responses. Try to avoid choosing a place that is too far away and becomes inconvenient during emergencies. Another option is to do this old style. Talk to friends, family and even directly to different mechanics.

Look for an auto repair shop that suits your car brand. Many shops today have a brand or model of vehicle they specialize in. Use this information to narrow down the shops that will work for you. Once you decide on a shop, ask for two important things –

  1. Ask them about guarantees and warranties they offer. See if the options are making sense to you as a consumer.
  2. This is important, ask for the shop’s certification. The auto repair shop should be certified and have relevant authorization.

The final thing that you can do is to try out two to three auto repair shops for maintenance. A car is a long-term asset. Therefore, invest time in finding the best auto repair shop for your car.

Auto Body Work Done the Right Way

Auto Body Work Done the Right Way

Cars are everywhere. This means that thousands of accidents happen around the world daily. When you have an accident, of course the first priority is to ensure that everyone is OK. Eventually you will need to take care of the damage done to you car. Heading to an auto body repair shop can be an unpleasant experience with the industry constantly fighting speculation of poor quality work, overcharging for work done and dishonesty. Knowing when your car has had auto body work done the right way is crucial. Here is what you need to look for.

Research Online

The internet is a great place to get information on anything and everything. A quick browse of car related forums can enable you to find out what you should expect. Posting a photo to a forum of the damage that needs to be repaired will see you receiving estimates from people who love anything and everything to do with auto-body work repairs.

Word of Mouth

It is old school, but people still do talk to their friends (or post on social media sites). Asking your local friends both online and offline, which auto body repair shops they recommend is a great way to started. At worst you will find out the body shops you want to avoid, you may get an earful about good and bad experiences they have had.

Consider the State of the Business

Price is always a consideration when getting auto body work completed. It is not something that you shop for regularly, so knowing what to expect price wise is tough to gauge. Two key influencers on price are shop format and location. In prime locations, prices are higher as a result of rental costs. In terms of shop format, if there is no admin staff or large overhead the costs will be lower.

Shop Around

There is no shortage of auto body repair shops in your area. There is no harm in getting quotes from at least three locations; most body shops provide you a quote for free. When shops realize that you are willing to shop around, you may be surprised how competitive they can get. Remember, the highest bidder may not be the best to go with simply because of pricing, and the lowest bidder may not have the man power to get the job done on your schedule.

Ask Questions

Going in with your wallet open ready to fork out whatever is required is a bad idea. Asking questions is good. You’re the buyer, putting them under pressure will quickly let you know whether you can trust them or not. Top three questions to ask:

– Does you service have a warranty?

– Are you able to provide references I can call?

– How long will my car be in service for?

Dealing with auto body repair shops can be frustrating. However taking your time and really considering the above points can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Ultimately, you can do all the research you want (a good idea), however your intuition should never be doubted. If someone has a great price but something smells fishy, move onto the next shop. On the other hand, if someone has a price you feel is high but insists you will not find cheaper, ignore him and find out for yourself. Good luck shopping for the auto-body repair shop that fits your expectations.

Finding the Ideal Repair Facility for Your Vehicle

No matter what kind of car you drive, chances are, you will eventually need to have it repaired. Some cars are a little more difficult to repair, due to the complexity and the equipment needed to properly service them. Unfortunately, not all repair shops are created equal. It used to be, most garages could perform most repairs, on most cars. Now that electronics are found on almost every square inch of the car, only the shops that specialize in particular brands can truly offer the same level of expertise as the dealer.

Finding the right shop for you and your car is important, not only for your regular service intervals, but also to have a trusted place to go, should an actual problem arise. Having an established relationship with a shop can help facilitate the repair process and put your mind at ease. Returning to the same shop for repair, that also services your vehicle, means the techs are familiar with your car and usually know your wants and expectations.

So where do you find such a shop, that's local to you? There are many locator services on the internet, that can help you find those "specialty" shops you seek. Here are a few that I know of:

1) Extremewrench.com You can search for shops in general in a given zip code or you can narrow it down by vehicle brand, such as BMW or Mercedes. This site gives ratings, lets you see what conveniences they offer was well as any affiliations (like BIMRS, a trusted BMW community).

2) Saabshops.com A listing of Saab specialty shops by state.

3) Bimmershops.com A listing of BMW shops by state.

4) FourRingsRepair.com This is a listing of independent Audi repair shops by state.

5) Lexusshops.com This is a listing of independent Lexus repair shops.

These are just a few, you can typically GOOGLE keywords like "Mercedes shop locator" and similar sites will show up.

Once you find a shop near you, make sure you look at pictures. See what the shop looks like, what other kinds of cars they have there, read any reviews or comments and definitely, if they have a website, check it out! Here is an example of a BMW shop's website: BMW Repair There are a few key things you will want to look for. First, looking through the pictures, are there other BMW's in the shop? Just because somebody says they work on them, does not mean they really do. Its good to see other cars like yours in the shop. Also, see if there is any mention of what kind of tools they use. For a BMW, either a GT1, ISTA or Autologic is a must. If the shop does not use one of these three, they are not fixing BMWs. Shops that don't have the proper tooling usually do the "easy" and "money making" repairs and then refer you to the dealer for everything else. A properly equipped shop can handle all aspects of your repair, preventing you from having to make a trip to the dealer, which can cost you more money and eat up more of your time.

All About Windshield Repairs

When it comes to the safety or durability of a vehicle, the windshield is the last thing to pop into the minds of people. However, this ignorance might lead you into forking out hundreds of dollars’ worth of money. Even slight damage or a windshield scratch can end up costing you very much. Needless to say, it is also a very important part that needs to be taken care of for the proper functioning of the vehicle.

Why Windshields Are Important To The Vehicle?

The windshield of the car has a major role in the safety and also affects the power of the firewall, thus preventing the foreign objects from gaining entry into the passenger compartment as well as the passengers from being freed. They make up to about 30% of roof strength in a rollover accident. A windshield that is installed properly can also aid the airbag in employing accurately.

This is why there arises a need for windshield crack repair and auto glass repair amongst the other services. For the proper management and wear and tear of your vehicle, you need to contact a repair center that has an experience of many years in the field.

Windshield Repair

For the creation of a stronger piece of material, the windshield is made up of laminate that is clear safety and two sheets of glass. The windshield is placed between these two materials in such a way that it appears to be sandwiched between both of them. This is because it is meant for the purpose of protecting one from the bugs, dust, and rocks at the same time whilst preventing the roof of the car from crushing in case if the vehicle rolls over. These days it has become easy to acquire windshield replacements at your fingertips.

Windshields can be easily damaged by tree branches plus rocks and pebbles if one is driving fast off the road. For avoiding scenarios like these you should refrain from driving the vehicle rashly and drive while taking extra care. Windshields are also one part out of the framework of the vehicle structurally. When you have a windshield that is cracked, the chances of an accident being caused or windshield being shattered are doubled.

Windshield Cracks

In case of serious windshield cracks, you can drive over to the repairs or contact a local-auto glass replacement in the neighborhood. Within a matter of minutes, the technicians will arrive at your service. Take for example, if an iron pipe is responsible for shattering the windshield to pieces, then during this period safe driving is illegal.

Auto Glass Repairs

Auto glass repair shops provide both repairs as well as replacements. The reason as to why the service auto glass repair shops shouldn’t repair cracks more than the size of one-half dollar is that the cracks are very simple to spread in a short amount of time after we are done with the repairing process.

Windshield Chip Repairs

The best thing you can do is to get a windshield repair done the earliest you can in case of damage of the windshield. If you want to see the windshield chip clearer then you should go for the windshield chip repair, it depends upon how soon you get it done. You can also look for ‘windshield repair near me’ and ‘auto glass replacement near me’ to learn more about the services offered by the skilled technicians in your respective state/city.

How to Convince a Big Box Store to Allow You to Host a Classic Car Show in the Parking Lot

Have you ever thought of hosting a classic car show in your town? Did you know it can be an excellent fundraiser in a way to raise money for your nonprofit group? It’s true, but what you’ll need is a very big parking lot, one that’s well maintained, and one where you can rope off a rather large section. You will also need lots of parking for all the people who come to visit, and wish to take pictures with their digital cameras, smart phones, and iPhones.The other day, I was talking to a lady who used to put on classic car shows for a living. She and her husband had hosted some local car shows which were annual events and fundraisers for various nonprofit groups in our town. Although she was retired, and no longer does this, she had hosted a number of very large car shows not only here, but even in other states. As we got to talking, she reminded me of all the car shows I’ve been to in my life.You see, before retirement one of my companies had franchised mobile detailing trailers in many states, and we had contracts with major car dealerships to do all of their used cars and new car detailing. One way we used to market was to go to car shows and hand out flyers. We would even give money to the nonprofit group to allow us to come to their car show in our khaki shorts and collard logoed shirts. In fact, we had even helped car clubs find locations to have their classic car shows, just so we could also use it as a way to do our marketing.After a while we got very good at convincing managers of big box stores to allow us to host a classic car show in their parking lot. Most of them were not too keen on the idea, due to the insurance issues, liability, and the issues of cleaning up all the trash when it was done. What we found out was that we could put together a quick sales letter, and schedule a meeting to talk with the big box store manager ensuring them that we would pick up all the trash, and give them a certificate of insurance for the event, with their company as additional insured.Interestingly enough, those managers generally had a form for us to fill out, and take to our local insurance agent, to make it all official and have it faxed back. What we also found out is as we got closer to the event, the big box store manager would even help us with publicity, such as putting an insert in the newspaper because it also served his company.Remember, a big box store manager wants things to run smoothly, and they want to be satisfied there won’t be any liability issues, or debris in the parking lot that they have to pay to clean up later. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.