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by Rudy Hiebert

Maintenance - Clean Car Care

A clean car reflects its owner. It’s much like the shoes, belt and watch worn by someone who is aware of what it takes to give good impressions. If the car sounds great and has a loud sound system but little to brag about when it comes to the shine or cleanliness, then all your friends and passengers may get rides with someone else.

A trip to town for some of these items to sharpen up the car could cost you more than necessary. Leather cleaners, protectant and polishes’ quality have to be considered before buying them. Sure they may be less expensive but will they perform and protect.

Do you remember the last time you sat in a new car and was over whelmed by the clean new leather and vinyl sent? It was more than just the raw but freshly appointed interior. These materials have a unique treatment applied to them to make them resist common use. Some manufactures are able to copy that aroma and apply it to their show room displayed cars. It’s a hard scent to resist. Memories have made it just such class and people want to repeat it so it’s hard to turn down the salesman after he approaches.

You can apply just such class to your car soon after you bring it home from the dealer. If you’ve ordered it from the web it should have arrived in less than a week. Read the labels for instructions of your leather cleaner and protectant. Notice what materials it is designed to clean. Also be aware of the time it needs to dry before you apply the protectant. This final stage will protect the seats and other areas from elements like ultra violet rays causing heat, moisture, stains of all sorts, and make it slick and smooth as baby’s tush.

Some areas that need your attention and are usually overlooked are door and trunk rubber gaskets. Have you noticed that many used cars that have not been detailed by dealers, still have the used door gaskets on them and they’re not in very good shape? Applying a coat of superior cleaner and protectant will keep them soft and pliable. When the cold frost makes contact and attempts to adhere to the inside of the door, they will tear. Holes in the rubbers are often the result of such neglect.

Lubricating the door hinges and door handles is a good idea. Some moving parts may need a silicone type lubricant because the parts are non-metal rubbing against metal. This can be done on any sunny week-end after a car wash in the driveway. If you are not fortunate to own a driveway and live in an apartment, a waterless wash may be your last resort. These products are best used when the dirt is not over whelming from a skiing trip. In this case, a wash at a car wash will be ideal. When you’ve got more time the next day, try using it to give it a touch up clean and shine all in one step.

Moving away from cleaning, and it’s good to give yourself a break anyway, check under the hood for other fluids like antifreeze. This is another one of my favorite topics to remind people to maintain. Keeping also this component’s level up to maximum can be just as important as the oil. Just the quantity may not be enough though. If it is polluted with enemy acids and weak test level, it will important to change it. There are two types of antifreeze. The most common but most deadly is ethylene glycol. When pouring this into your radiator, be careful not spill any. If you do, any living thing like yours or your neighbor’s pets will experience an excruciatingly painful death. If you’ve heard of Propylene Glycol, this is what is a superior option with its higher quality and non-toxicity characteristics.

A clean engine, inside and out pays dividends. Common petroleum engine and drive train lubricants are incapable of keeping your engine clean and running to its optimum because of what it consists of, hydrocarbons of one kind or another. At this point I propose the only 100% synthetic engine lubricant manufactured by Amsoil Inc. that has licensed some of if products with API and exceeds all API specifications in all categories. Oil and air filtration technology enables superior filtration that keeps the engine lubricant cleaner longer. Oil analysis samples can be sent into the lab. Where a sample, from a larger than fourteen quarts engine, is being analyzed, the returned chart will show whether or not it is still serviceable.

Spraying the spark plugs and distributor, if you have one with Amsoil’s Silicone Spray creates a barrier between the electrical components and ground.

The windshield washer fluid is another item of necessity. Manufacturers of these products have designed a summer version to clean your bug splattered glass. If you’ve used this during the summer and have neglected to replace it with a winter formula, you may get a surprise when your first squirt on a frosty morning in October turns into ice and you can’t see where you’re going.

A windshield maintenance product that you may want to investigate is a “Rain Shield” that is applied onto a perfectly clean window. Applying two coats makes it almost impossible for the even the dew to stay on the glass. This makes driving in the rain much more enjoyable, if it gives such a thing. You will find that the wipers do not have to wipe nearly as often as this application sends the drops of water on their way because of the almost zero resistance to adhere it to the glass.

The amount of work and quality car care requires is no small matter. Clean car care will be more enjoyable if you can share this responsibility with a friend or significant person. It’s better to share it with him or her than with your banker or repossession specialist.

Rudy Hiebert
Amsoil Inc. Dealer

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