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    Thread: Car Care - Tips and Tricks

    1. #21

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      Nithin's Avatar
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      Leather Care

      Ask a few automotive consumers what single thing most characterize luxury in a car and the first answer is likely to be "leather upholstery," even though leather can be had in cars with nameplates that are much more associated with low price and thrifty transportation than those we more commonly think of as luxury models. All that leather is nice in the showroom, but many car owners are at a complete loss when it comes to caring for it.

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      The Fact

      Leather has undergone a huge transformation since Babe Ruth grabbed a ball glove or Buffalo Bill threw a leg over a saddle. The tanning processes of the old days were found to be quite environmentally unsound, so new leather preparation techniques had to be developed. As it turns out, what most of us think of as that "leather smell" is not really the leather itself, but was the residue of the old tanning processes; when the processes changed for environmental reasons the smell went away, so the scientists had to find a way to artificially re-introduce that familiar, friendly smell of leather.

      Another point that few people know is that virtually all automotive leather is finished with a kind of opaque "paint" that leaves a more-or-less impermeable surface on top. Thus, it cannot be "restored" by rubbing some kind of "oil" into it, for the simple reason that the stuff you're trying to rub into it cannot get past the painted surface. What might work on a baseball glove or saddle will most definitely not work on the seats in your car.

      Keep it Clean

      The absolute best thing you can do for automotive leather upholstery is actually quite simple: Keep it clean. When the leather gets dirty, that dirt is in small particles that collect on the surface. Every time you open your car door and slide into and across the seat, your backside is grinding those tiny dirt particles into the leather finish. Think of your backside as a sanding block, the dirt as the sandpaper. Grind it enough and you'll grind the finish off, then you'll have cracks, then more dirt will have places to hide, and you're on the downhill side of a vicious cycle of destruction.

      Use a vacuum to remove dust buildup; a crevice tool will help get into those tight areas around seams and so forth. For cleaning you can use any of several good leather cleaners on the market; just follow the manufacturer's directions. Or, you can use a soft cloth or sponge—make sure they're clean before you start, with lukewarm water and a moderate amount of some very mild soap. Be careful not to rub too harshly, or you'll just be grinding the wet dirt particles into the leather finish. Remember, you're trying to get the dirt off the leather, not rub it in. When you're done, make certain you get all the soap residue off the leather by wiping softly with a slightly damp and clean cloth.

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      Conditional Care

      It is also beneficial to keep the leather protected from the elements, primarily heat. In the summer, parking in the shade as much as possible, or using one of those windshield sunscreens, will keep the sun's heat and UV rays from drying out the leather, which can cause it to become brittle and crack. A visit to your local auto parts store will also acquaint you with a variety of leather protestants and conditioners. As always, follow the manufacturers' recommendations.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    2. #22

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      Expiry of Car Care Products

      The expiry date of the car care products are usually marked some 12-24 months from the date of manufacture. But, I noticed that most of the products available are already some 6 month old. So the effective life of these products are much less and I have quite a few of these expired products lying with me, most of them only about half used. What do I do with those? I mean, after the expiry, does the effectiveness of the product reduce or does it have a negative effect on the vehicle?

    3. #23

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      Quote Originally Posted by jaguar View Post
      The expiry date of the car care products are usually marked some 12-24 months from the date of manufacture. But, I noticed that most of the products available are already some 6 month old. So the effective life of these products are much less and I have quite a few of these expired products lying with me, most of them only about half used. What do I do with those? I mean, after the expiry, does the effectiveness of the product reduce or does it have a negative effect on the vehicle?
      Depends on the type of products.
      Will be able to give more info if the products are mentioned.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    4. #24
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      I seem to have missed this thread. fantastic info mate. thanks.
      www.codereddy.wordpress.com

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      Why 5 mins of Idling?

      2 mins is more than enough.

    6. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pop-up Blocker View Post
      Why 5 mins of Idling?

      2 mins is more than enough.
      Feb 1997 Bajaj KB125 RTZ 49K km
      Mar 2003 Tata Indica V2 LSi 130K km
      Jan 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 148K km

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      Quote Originally Posted by hrag View Post
      I also read somewhere, Unnecessary Idling is BAD for the engine. I didn't find much sense in that though.

    8. #28

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      How to clean the engine bay

      I usually leave the cleaning of the engine bay to the A.S.S. at the time of service. But, it gets pretty dirty b/w 2 service intervals. Any pointers on what to keep in mind when cleaning? I suppose, wiping with a wet cloth should be better than spraying it with water.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nithin N View Post
      Depends on the type of products.
      Will be able to give more info if the products are mentioned.
      Will PM you the details when I get some free time.

    9. #29

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      Top five car care myths

      When it's time for car care, many of us try to get by on conventional wisdom. However, if we're not careful, this can sometimes lead to damage as many of the well-meaning “tips” going around out there are nothing but myths. Here, in a nutshell, are the top five car care myths, debunked.

      1. Save money and trouble – Just use laundry/dish washing/body shampoo to wash your car.

      No way, Jose! The strong grease-cutting powers of these detergents will be too harsh on your car, stripping the protective layers of its wax and paint finish. When it comes to washing your car - whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it, make sure that you use nothing less than a proper pH-balanced car wash product. This will have the cleansers and conditioners necessary to maintain the look and protective qualities of your car's finish.
      2. Polishing and Waxing ? – Same to same.

      Polishing and waxing are two separate processes, one aimed at boosting appearance and the other at providing a layer of defense. Polishing will give you a gorgeous glossy finish - but removes a microscopic layer of paint off the car, to get that brilliant shine. Waxing coats your car with a layer of waxes, polymers, resins, and silicones. So, waxing itself will not make your car look shiny, but waxing after a polish will protect your car's paint finish and keep that polished look lasting longer.

      Waxing
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      Polishing
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      3. Car manufacturers have evolved so much that I can “cheat” on my scheduled servicing.

      Scheduled servicing play a major role in keeping your car running efficiently. Even if your car is super advanced and high-tech, slacking off on your servicing can cause your engine to emit up to 50 percent more pollutants than it would otherwise, and also use (waste!) up to 50 percent more petrol. You don't want that! Instead, keep your auto running happily and healthily with the proper servicing, oils and lubricants.

      4. There’s a fuel saving gadget that’s promising to boost my mileage by X percent.

      Yes, with all the talk about fuel prices and all of us being conscious about our wallet, “new inventions” that save money have become very popular. These little gadgets promise to improve fuel economy and performance, but often you have to get a tune-up when you install them. So - the difference in your car's performance is often due to that. Just think - car manufacturers are spending millions of ringgit on car design to make cars more aerodynamic and efficient. If there were a cheap way to do it, they would have jumped on it and incorporated it into the car design.
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      5. I should inflate my tyres according to the pressure indicated on the side of the tyres.

      The figure that you see on the tyre sidewall is actually its MAXIMUM inflation pressure. What you want to follow instead is the RECOMMENDED inflation figure given in your car manual. This is different for each car, so don't stinge on finding out what the best inflation figure is for your car.


      Source : Petronas
      Last edited by Nithin; 21st Mar 2011 at 00:31.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    10. #30
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      ^^^ something I've tried to educate many people, but some of 'em never get it. Some people even overinflate radials to look like normal tires and I've seen a guy wash his optra with a Vim bar to remove tar.

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