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Archive for January, 2014

Five Things That Can Ruin Your Car’s Paint Job

Friday, January 17th, 2014

A car is not a cheap expense, so it makes sense to take extra precautions and measures to help protect it from top to bottom. Getting tune-ups and having your tires rotated or changes or two common ways to maintain your car, but what about the paint? A car with damaged paint looks bad, no matter how new it is. There are a lot of different things that can ruin the paint on your car quite easily. The information that follows discusses five things and some preventative methods.

Construction Dust

Many people avoid parking directly by construction sites because of the accidental mishaps that may result in severe damage to a car. Unfortunately, concrete dust can travel a bit and wind up peppered all over your car. The dust can dull the shine of your clear coat. If you find that your car has been exposed, take it to a self-service car wash and spray it off. Never try to wipe it off. The dust is abrasive and will scratch the paint.

Bug Goo and Bird Droppings

Squished bugs are common. Unless your car is enclosed in a bubble, you will have dead bug goo on your car. Bird droppings are the same way. It seems as though birds target shiny paint. Although they are unsightly and gross, there is another reason to wash these byproducts of nature off your paint. They are both acidic and will eat through the paint.

Automotive Fluids

The fluids we use to keep our car running can be damaging to pain. Known culprits include gasoline, battery acid, and brake fluid. These fluids, even when promptly cleaned up, can stain or strip your car’s paint. Take care with tune-ups. If you have professionals handling the maintenance, make sure they use proper protective measures such as using automotive drop cloths on the front fenders.

Road Hazards

Nearly everyone knows that debris kicked up from other vehicles can cause damage, but there are other hazards on the road. In winter, colder regions use a salt mix to prevent freezing on the roads. Allowing the salt to remain on your car causes paint damage. Even standard every day dirt is a problem. Dirt granules are like sandpaper. If the surface is even slightly rubbed, the dirt will scratch the paint.

The best way to protect your car’s paint is by washing and waxing it often, and whenever it is exposed to damaging things. Always rinse with plain water first. Use car wash soap whenever possible. Dish liquid without bleach or baby shampoo are good alternatives. Do not allow water to air dry because this can cause damage too. Always towel dry your car with soft, clean towels.

Need a Tucson auto repair specialist? Look no further than Automotive Recalibration in Tucson.

What’s My Car Leaking?

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Walking outside and seeing wet spots on the driveway beneath your car can be a frustrating, if not outright alarming, experience. Here a few indicators to help identify some common types of fluid leaks:

Leaking water generally is not a serious concern. More often than not, water beneath the engine is simply condensation resulting from use of the air conditioner in hot weather. Water is a potential concern if it is pooling in large amounts. The temperature gauge is the corresponding gauge to watch.

Engine coolant is usually bright green, although it can be orange or pink. It generally feels a little greasy, and smells sweet. Coolant leaks can occur for numerous reasons. Even a small drip is worth getting checked out. Take a look at the radiator, heater hoses, and engine plugs and watch the temperature gauge. A coolant leak means there is a risk of the engine overheating.

Transmission Fluid:
This fluid tends to be red to dark red, depending on whether it’s old or new. It will generally feel oily. Manuel cars seldom have transmissions fluid. This is another cue to head to a auto repair specialist as soon as possible. Since this fluid lubricates the transmission as the car shifts gears, losing too much fluid means grinding gears and potentially ruining the transmission.

New oil will be clear to translucent yellow, old oil will be dark brown or even black. Similar to gasoline, oil has an unmistakable scent. Keep in mind there’s a big difference between oil seepage in high mileage cars and an actual leak. A leak can be a big problem unchecked. If oil levels drop too low, the engine’s heat and lack of lubricant could cause it to seize.

Brake Fluid:
This fluid ranges from almost clear to slightly yellow and is thicker, almost like syrup. Do not drive a car leaking brake fluid, instead get it towed.

Leaks aren’t the knee-jerk event they can feel like. Usually they do not reflect a serious issue, but rather the simple need for a visit to the trusted Tucson auto repair specialists at Automotive Recalibration. It is simply a cue to get a tune-up.