Posts tagged " car maintenance tips "

How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

January 10th, 2021 Posted by Autobody shop, Blog, tips No Comment yet

Deciding how often you should wash your car is dependent upon a lot of factors including the time of year, where you live, how often you drive, and so on. For instance, if it’s the dead of winter and you live somewhere with heavy amounts of snow, you’ll need to wash it more often than you will in the summer due to road salt. If you reside on the coast, snow won’t be much of a concern, but you’ll want to pay attention to how the salty ocean air affects the look of your vehicle. If you happen to live in a heavily-wooded area, you’ll be constantly dealing with pollen, leaves, tree sap, dirt, and bird droppings.

When pressed for an answer, most experts would tell you can’t go wrong washing your vehicle every 10 to 14 days under normal circumstances. More often than that (assuming it’s not getting extremely dirty in the interim) might be considered a bit overkill. But really, the best thing you can do to maintain your vehicle’s showroom look–and this isn’t complicated–is to just wash it whenever it looks like it needs to be washed. It’s as simple as that.

And speaking of washing your vehicle, did you know that regularly washing your car can actually help maintain its value in the long run? For instance, if you’re a buyer, you’ll certainly want your new car to look great from the outside. Fading paint or rust spots can be a good inclination that a vehicle’s owner has been less than meticulous about cleaning their vehicle. And if they’re not keeping up on maintaining the vehicle’s exterior, it’s often safe to assume that regular maintenance tasks and upkeep might have fallen by the wayside as well. In this case, it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.

Is It Bad to Wash Your Car Too Often?

Assuming you’re using the proper washing techniques and equipment–or going to a reputable automatic wash that won’t damage your car–there’s nothing wrong with washing your car as much as you want.

While some might view the act as a bit excessive, if you have the means and desire to grab the hose and sponges every day, then by all means have at it!

Will Salt Damage My Vehicle’s Paint?

Yes, it will. If you live in a region that gets a lot of ice and snow in the winter, you’re surely used to seeing the plows and salt trucks working diligently to keep the roads clear and safe when winter storms are in the forecast. Unfortunately, this salt and sand mixture will almost always mix with the moisture in the air and become adhered to your vehicle. And while it won’t happen overnight, that grimy substance will, if left untouched long enough, eat away at your vehicle’s paint job. So as soon as the storms have passed and the roads are back to normal, you’ll want to get that gunk washed off.

Should I Hand Wash or Use An Automatic Wash?

While running through the automatic machine is definitely more convenient for washing the mud and sludge away, it might not be the best choice when it comes to maintaining the longevity of your vehicle’s paint job. If you must use an automatic wash, try to find a touchless option as opposed to the kind with the giant, spinning or swinging brushes. With as much grime as these brushes see in a given day, they probably won’t be the cleanest or gentlest on your vehicle’s exterior. Touchless washes that spray sudsy soap and water at your vehicle are a better choice, but still not ideal as the jets can just scrape your vehicle’s gunk across its surface. And remember, if the vehicle in front of you in line is absolutely caked in mud or grime, give up your spot and come back later (all that gunk has got to go somewhere). As far as the coin or paid options go, the do-it-yourself stalls are certainly your best bet, but still nothing beats a good old fashioned wash by hand. Just remember to always wash your towels, sponges, and mits and keep them stored where they won’t get dirty before their next use.

There are many good tools and cleaning solutions on the market that can keep your car’s finish looking great and lasting a long time. Your local hardware, auto parts, or department store should have plenty of options to choose from. Your vehicle is a big investment and it’s in your best interest to do all you can to preserve it for as long as you can.

How To Jump Start Your Car Properly

July 10th, 2020 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

Yes, Macks Auto Body is a body paint and repair company (with a new collision repair location in Chesapeake!), but we love cars and the people who drive them, so we like to provide tips to help keep your driving experience positive and enjoyable.

So your car won’t start? A number of issues can cause this problem, including a defective starter or bad solenoid (the magnetic extender arm that engages the starter gear to the large flywheel gear in the engine). It may also be that you just need to clean your battery terminals, which we’ll cover in another article soon.

Is it the battery?

If you turn the ignition key, and your car is either not making a sound, or you hear a clicking sound but the starter motor isn’t turning over, the problem could be a dead battery. The first thing to try is jump starting the car with booster cables or a charger pack. Batteries contain acid, so it’s a good idea to wear eye protection.

Before you jump start the vehicle

  • Take off any loose clothing before working under the hood, as it can get caught on moving parts.
  • Keep smoking materials and open flames away from the engine.
  • If you see leaks, heavy corrosion or other damage to the battery, DON’T attempt to jump start it. Seek professional help. A damaged vehicle battery is dangerous.
  • Keep tools and other metal objects away from the battery terminals. An electrical short from the positive (usually red) terminal to the negative terminal—or any part of the car’s metal frame—will throw sparks and may cause damage or injury.
  • Turn off the headlights on the dead vehicle, turn off any electronic devices and remove the key from the ignition.
  • Confirm that your vehicle is negative-ground versus positive-ground by making sure the cable from your negative battery terminal is connected to the car frame. (Very few cars are positive ground. Check your user manual, if you’re uncertain.)

How to jump-start the vehicle

  • Park the assist vehicle close enough to your car for the leads to reach both batteries.
  • Open both hoods and connect one of the red (positive) leads to the positive terminal on the assist vehicle battery.
  • Connect the other red lead to the red terminal on the dead battery.
  • Connect the black (negative) lead to the negative terminal on the working battery.
  • Connect the other black lead to a metal point on your car’s engine or its metal mounts (a bolt or bracket) away from the dead battery.
  • Make sure the leads are clear of any moving parts on both engines.
  • Start the engine of the assist vehicle.
  • Wait five minutes, then try to start your vehicle. If it doesn’t catch, it hasn’t charged enough yet, so wait another five minutes and keep trying every five minutes.
  • Once your vehicle is running, keep it running.
  • Remove the jumper cables in the reverse order of how you attached them. Make sure they don’t touch each other or any metal parts.
  • Drive your vehicle or keep it idling for at least 30 minutes to further charge the battery. It’s best to get to a destination where you can further address problems, should the car not start again on its own.
  • If jumping doesn’t start your vehicle—uh-oh—you have a bigger problem. Time to call your mechanic.
  • If the car starts, but dies again while you’re driving it, you may have a bad alternator (which charges the battery when the engine is turning).

Hope that helps!

And I hope you’ll give us a call when you need help with collision repair in Chesapeake and Greater Hampton Roads.