Category Archives for "Car Care Tips"

How Wheel Locks Work to Keep Your Vehicle Safe

Investing in a good vehicle is an expensive undertaking. It would really break your heart if it happens that somebody steals it. NHTSA estimates that over 750,000 drivers fall victim to vehicle crime each year and the loss amounted to $6 billion and $5 billion in the year 2015 and 2016 respectively.

There are many ways to keep your vehicle safe, and even though car thieves are coming up with smart ways of stealing, it is those that have little to no security measures that are easily stolen. Careless mistakes like leaving your keys in the ignition or valuables in plain view, and driving without locking the doors or with windows down can prove costly.

Anti-theft devices

Carjacking also does happen, but there are many anti-theft devices that will help you keep your vehicle safe. They include steering wheel locks, tire wheel locks, kill switches, electronic tracking systems, and baby monitor among others.

The theft of wheels, tires, and rims especially those that are high-end and attract a good price is common. Yet much of it go unreported.

Experienced thieves who work in groups can leave your car on blocks in under 10 minutes whether they are jacking it up or using a tow track to elevate it. One of the most effective ways to prevent this is by using the best car wheel locks which make lug nuts extremely difficult to remove.

How wheel locks work to keep your vehicle safe

Before you install the wheel lock lug nuts, you need to remove the existing lug nuts first. Start by removing the hubcap using a lug wrench if it is present. It will enable you to access the log nuts.

After this, you need to check the lug nuts if they require any special tool for their removal. If not, you need to loosen all of them using a lug wrench before jacking it up for replacement with wheel lock lug nuts.

Just like lug nuts, you will need to install wheel locks correctly to avoid them getting loose with time. For this, you will need to install using the right torque and torque wrench. You also need to place the wheel locks securely on the bolt. So that you do not round the keys off. The danger of not doing this is having a hard time when you will be removing the bolt.

Wheel locks use a specific key which comes with the set for installing and removing them. This is because they only operate in a specific pattern. This simply means that you need to be careful not to misplace your wheel lock key. This is because you will need it when removing the locks in the future.

When removing the wheel locks, insert the key into the same socket that you use to remove other lug nuts. Then, use the socket wrench to remove the wheel lock lug nuts.

Types of wheel locks

Every wheel style has its own different wheel lock and you can only remove them using a specific key. A wheel lock set consist of four to five lug nuts together with a device used to remove the lugs.

There are different types of wheel locks depending on their design and materials that they are made of. They include locking lug-nuts that have rough interior design but smooth exterior surface. This makes it extremely hard to open without a key or even break it with a wrench.

There are the spline drives where lug-nuts are fitted into smaller lug holes with a closed-end design and more gripping power.

Car manufacturers sell alloy wheel locks. They are characterized by a solid alloy material finish and a special socket. There is also the clamp wheel lock that is placed around the wheel and the rims so that the vehicle cannot move unless the clamp is removed.

As the number of tires, wheel and rim thefts increase, it is important that you use wheel locks to keep your vehicle safe and have peace of mind every time you park your car.

How NOT to Clean Your Silver Car

What is the correct procedure for cleaning your silver car? This is a question that many people hardly cam answer and even those who do hardly follow it. Depending on the color of your car, you may have realized that there are those that show or hide dirt more than others.

On the other hand, most people fail to get that superbly polished, wet-look car finish after they clean their silver cars.

So, is it true that silver is a difficult color when it comes to getting its shininess pop out? Actually, you should not expect to get a deep glossy reflection on bright colored cars like silver compared to darker colors. But it is possible to achieve that deep and shiny look of a shimmer metallic pool of paint.

If you want to give a stunning look to your silver car, the following is how NOT to clean it.

Start washing without pre-cleaning your silver car

Pre-cleaning of your silver car is a step that is overly overlooked although it should be the first step especially when it is heavily soiled. It involves removing mud, grime, thick dust and other stubborn coarse stains that stick to your car exterior and tires.

While silver color is good at hiding dirt, contamination can be far more visible since it is a lighter color. This initial decontamination can be done using with products like traffic film, snow foams, degreasers, removers and dissolvers at a car wash station or using a high-pressure cleaner.

Using just any cleaning product

Using the wrong cleaning products can do any car more harm than good. This usually happens during quick car washes. For instance, a chrome wheel cleaner will not work well on an aluminum wheel since it is too acidic and will definitely ruin it.

Using a dish cleaner instead of a car washing soap will also damage the paint and even strip the wax away. Whether it is a decontaminant, detergent, wax, detailer or polish, ensure that you use quality products only. This can be verified by reading the label before buying them.

As for your silver car, you can find cleaning products that are mostly suited to it like the best wax for silver vehicle, best detergent and so forth.

Using the wrong washing processes

There are many things that you can get wrong during the actual cleaning process. One of them is cleaning your silver car in direct sunlight. The effect of this is that your car paint will wear off and more seriously, the soapy water will dry off so quickly such that you will not have time to rinse it properly.

Another mistake is using a single bucket full of water for washing/rinsing your silver car. The problem with this is that your car will not get a thorough rinse since the soap not be washed off. When cleaning your car, do not do it haphazardly but thoroughly from top to bottom not forgetting the tires.

Using the same cloth for everything

Many people make the mistake of using one cloth for different purposes. This problem even gets worse when the cloth that is being used is an old drying towel. Apart from creating scratches on your car, using a cloth repeatedly for different purposes even if it is the best car duster will transfer the residues from an earlier cleaning product.

Applying too many rounds of wax

Do you think that applying too many rounds of wax will make your silver car shiny more? Definitely NO.  Two rounds are enough to bring back the luster and shine without wasting your time, effort and money.

Claying and not polishing it afterward

Claying your silver car is good. You can use a clay bar, decontamination towel or any other surface scrubbing product. But doing so without any plans to polish it properly will not go down well. This is because however careful you might clay it, you will definitely inflict some marks that will need to be removed afterwards through enhanced paintwork.

Your silver car may not produce the deep, glossy-mirror like the finish of the dark colored cars. But with proper cleaning, polishing and protection, you can achieve the satisfaction of having it shine on the road.

5 Tips to Reducing Carbon Buildup in Your Car

As fuel burns, waste byproducts deposit themselves on the engine’s intake manifold and exhaust system, which includes the catalytic converter. Having such carbon buildup seriously restricts the engine’s airflow, causing obvious problems.

What are the symptoms of carbon buildup?

Some symptoms of carbon build up in your car include:

  • Engine not running smoothly
  • Vibration or shaking of the engine
  • Car surging or jerking at stops
  • The check engine light comes on
  • Cold start misfires
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Failed emissions test

If carbon build up is affecting your engine, a mechanic will manually remove the gunk out. Fortunately, you can use the methods below to reduce carbon buildup in your car and reduce the number of visits you make to the mechanic’s shop.

Regular Maintenance

carbon buildup

Checking vital components whenever you take your car in for service will help catch carbon build-up before it becomes a significant problem.  One place to start is ensuring that spark plugs are inspected to reduce the amount of unburned fuel in the combustion chamber.

In addition, make use of the manufacturer’s specified oil and oil change intervals.

As a rule of thumb, you should do a full synthetic oil change at least after every 5,000 miles. Regular changing of the oils allows your car’s intake valves to perform at optimum levels. Most importantly, make sure that regular maintenance includes cleaning of the fuel injector to help improve its spraying capacity.

Regularly Clean Your Catalytic Converter

Your car’s catalytic converter is tasked with one job – that of cleaning up the exhaust gases coming from your engine before they are directed out through the exhaust pipe. The converter uses small amounts of catalyst material like platinum, palladium or rhodium to clean exhaust gases through a chemical reaction.

The catalytic converter fails when stuff that should not go into it does. These particles may come from various sources like oil or coolant leak in the engine and even using the wrong oil. If your car is misfiring for some reason, plenty of unburned fuel ends up in the catalytic converter, making it useless.

In extreme cases, or if you ignore the problem, the substrate (the converter’s core) can break down and block the exhaust system. The result is loss of power and a serious increase in average fuel consumption.

Fortunately, you can use the best catalytic converter cleaner to break down the carbon deposits in the system. Not only does the liquid help in cleaning the catalytic converter, but also the car’s entire fuel system.

Floor It

Most vehicles redline at more than 6,000 Revolutions per Minute; however, everyday driving will not see you crest even half of that. Drivetrains are programmed to reduce engine revolutions for efficiency and while higher RPM burn fuel faster and increase strain, it’s a good idea to let your car run through its RPM range – occasionally.

Flooring it helps remove carbon deposits likely to foul valves, intake manifold, and the exhaust system. This will result in increased catalytic converter efficiency. However, only do this once your engine is warmed up and you are in a safe, wide-open lot or freeway. While you will waste some gas, you will also help your engine last longer.

Update Your Car’s Engine Management Software

The latest software versions may reduce carbon deposits by reducing the amount of time valves are exposed to conditions likely to cause carbon buildup. Such systems do this by adjusting the timing of valves and sparks.

However, you will not find a TSB stating that re-flashing your ECM will help correct any carbon buildup issues. Actually, most regular updates may never even indicate that the problem exists. The best way to see if your car has the latest software version is by checking the OEM’s website.

Occasionally Run Car on High-Octane Gasoline

The car’s engine design, including combustion ratio and operating temperature, is related to octane rating. Octane rating applies to the engine itself, not the gasoline. It represents the minimum octane level the engine requires for proper operation. The octane rating you find on gasoline is the measure of its anti-ping or anti-knock properties.

A car that has been running for a long time may require a higher-octane gasoline every four to six years. This is because carbon deposits in the cylinders raise the engine’s combustion ration, raising its octane rating. Also, premium gas has other additives like detergents and other solvents that will help keep your carburetor and the fuel system clean.


Reducing carbon buildup is possible, as long as you implement the methods above. Your car will surely run smoothly and much more fuel-efficiently for a long time, once you have reduced the carbon build up.