Deodorizing your HVAC system
Consumer Tip #10: From June-bugs to love-bugs, when you hit one or more of these insects head-on, it creates more than a mess on the front bumper. It can really jam-up your wallet, as well.
1) Car cosmetics: Leaving the organic matter on your vehicle’s paint for too long can have irreversible consequences. The corrosive “bug-gut” nature of most insects overpowers the paint’s protective clear coat, causing permanent pitting of the surface. Pick-up a bug-removal sponge from your local auto parts store. This specialty item is non-abrasive and will remove the debris without damaging painted surfaces. While you are there, pick-up a bottle of carwash solution - never use dishwashing soap – and can of polish. (We will tell you when to apply, in a minute.)
2) If cosmetic damage ruining your resale value wasn’t enough, there are the mechanical repercussions, as well. If not addressed, the air conditioning condenser and radiator can fail due the dead-swarm effects. Just like the vehicle’s paint, the components’ metallurgy is very susceptible to anything foreign on its surfaces. The “bug-juice” will infect the surfaces, causing rot. Therefore, premature replacement of these expensive – and, necessary – items. On some vehicles, the insects can work their way into the air filter from the fresh-air-intake tube (located behind the front bumper). If you cannot gain access to check, have your ASE Blue Seal Shop take a quick look, ASAP.
So, how does the bug debris get into these components? Through the grill, of course! That mesh-material on the nose of the car or truck is there to allow ram-air to enter the air conditioning condenser-radiator area – cooling the components. Unfortunately, it is an inlet for flying debris and bugs, too.
3) Before the part breakdown caused by decaying bug-guts, there is another issue your vehicle may experience: overheating. Those sticky, crunched-up insects can lodge themselves into the air conditioning condenser and radiator cooling fins preventing the parts from displacing heat. Therefore, the air coming through the vehicle’s dash vents may not be as cool as before impact; vehicle’s engine may run a little warmer than specs. The fix? After removing the bug fest off the paint, pop the hood and spray-down the air condenser-radiator area (directly behind the nose of the front bumper) to remove residual carcasses. You may have to hose down the area multiple times.
4) Don't forget the wipers! It’s going to be hard not to wipe away the swarm, while driving. But with each sweep, the rubber blades are being damaged. So, if you got to clean the windshield, do so only when needed. And, while you are washing the vehicle from its bug encounter, don’t forget to clean those same blades that made it possible to see through the mess.
Now it’s time to talk about the bottle of wax you purchased at the auto parts store. After the vehicle has been cleaned, dried, apply a generous amount to the bumper, hood and rally mirrors. Most of all, don’t forget to protect the painted surface above the windshield! So, next time your vehicle goes into battle with summertime bugs, it will have a coat of armor protecting your investment.
How to avoid a "flood-car"
Consumer Tip #9: I always recommend that my customers check their tire condition every gas fill-up by turning the wheels away from the pump and look at the tire tread. If it is not evenly worn across the entire tread, call your ASE Blue Seal shop or dealership for an alignment check. If you are not sure, drop by the shop so they can do a quick, visual evaluation of the tread. This inspection can be performed in the parking lot.
Remember: Misaligned tires wastes gasoline. Wasted gasoline is money out of your pocket.
Consumer Tip #2: Your engine is a fine-tuned machine. There are dozens and dozens of sensors and actuators that keep it running at peak efficiency. When one of these components sees that something isn‘t running right, it will illuminate the service engine soon/check engine light on your dash.
If the vehicle is running poorly, stop immediately in the safest place. Call your shop, call a tow truck.
But, if the vehicle is running ok without a noticeable problem, call your ASE Blue Seal shop as soon as possible for an appointment to have it properly analyzed.
Consumer Tip #12: And don‘t let your next door neighbor work on your vehicle in the driveway -- especially diagnosing and replacing brake parts. The basic brake components of 30-40 years ago do not compare to today‘s braking system. There are certain specifications that must be measured before brake parts are replaced. Another thing, if your friend needs to replace a hydraulic component, the brake fluid system must be bled of air bubbles (which occur when the liquid-filled system is opened up to replace parts). There are special tools, computers needed to properly expel the air molecules out of the system. Times have changed
Must Have, Emergency Roadside Items
Nothing is worse that being stuck on the side of the highway. But, in most cases, the below items -- placed in an old duffle bag or box -- can get you back on the road to holiday fun!
Remember: If you are uncomfortable - or, not experienced - performing a repair, STOP! Call for help, instead!
Can of fix-a-flat
Battery jump box
Small tool kit (screwdrivers, pliers, etc.)
Clear, plastic tarp
External, cell phone backup battery
Bottle water and sealed snacks
Tips on buying a Rental Car
Car Care Consumer Tips Here!
Tire purchase options
Consumer Tip #3: The vehicle's air conditioning cools the passenger cabin of the vehicle. The vehicle's coolant system helps to maintain your vehicle‘s engine temperature. It‘s that simple. When it is hot outside, you turn on your car‘s air conditioning to cool off. Your air conditioning is comprised of many components. Generally, there is no maintenance needed. When your car gets older, sometimes it may not keep you as cool, as when new. Your ASE-certified technician can quickly check the temperature of the air coming out of the dashboard vents by using an infrared gun. Again, ask if there is a charge for this service – like my shop, most ASE Blue Seal shops do not charge. They will know if the temperature is within a reasonable range to keep you cool. The fix may be as simple as adjusting the dash controls.