Top Tips Index

Cleaning Tips

General Tips

Winter Tips

Cleaning tips

  1. Polish car in this order:
    1. Black trim
    2. Paint work
    3. Glass
    4. The black trim is first as you can then easily wipe off the polish if you get any on it by mistake.
  2. If you have managed to get some of the polish on to the black trim because you like to do things in a different order, or because it was already on there, then use a toothbrush (preferably one nobody will miss) and this should brush it off
  3. If the trim has faded, or there is still some polish that refuses to come out, then use some black shoe polish with a shoe brush on the offending trim. Leave it to dry as normal then buff it off.
  4. Once a year, or more often if you so wish, remove the alloy wheels and thoroughly clean them with some alloy wheel cleaner (Wonder Wheels for example). Once they are clean then wax the wheels, inside and out, with a good quality hard wax (Green Turtle wax for example) and buff off. The wheels should now be a lot easier to clean when they become dirty.
  5. Clean the alloy wheels every week with a bucket of warm water and a brush or a sponge. You should only need to use an alloy wheel cleaner once or twice a year.
  6. Cleaning the engine bay can be a nightmare, but get hold of some AutoGlym Motorcycle Cleaner and the job is a lot easier. Also get some AutoGlym Vinyl & rubber car and spray this liberally over the engine after using the cleaner.

General tips

  1. When replacing wiper blades, always use a well known brand (Bosch for example) and don't bother with changing just the rubbers on their own. The whole blade should be changed as the flexibility decreases with age as well. Before you put them on to the car, clean the rubber with some glass cleaner, as the rubber blades are covered with a chalky substance during manufacture.
  2. Always use a genuine style oil filter (VW/MAN/Knect) as they all have the necessary non-return valve and filter screens necessary for the correct functioning of your engine.
  3. If you have a hydraulic tappet engine (about 1986>) then monitor the oil level closely as then engines prefer the oil level to be between the upper mark and about 3/4 down the dip stick. If your tappets are noisier than normal then the oil level might be getting towards half way down the dip stick. Time to top it up.
  4. If you still have a small black expansion tank cap, then it would be advisable to change it for a newer blue one. The old ones have two valves on the under side of them, whereas the new blue ones only have one. There are problems with the black ones and they have been superseded by the blue ones. If in doubt change it. They are only about £4 each.
  5. When buying a second hand car, make sure you get an MOT done before you part with your money, especially if the car is CAT equipped. This £30 may save you £100's if you find the cat is dead!

Winter Tips

  1. When the weather is frosty and wet, remember to switch off your wipers BEFORE you switch off the ignition, so that you know they are off, so that when you come back to your car with a frozen windscreen, the wipers do not overload/rip when you start the car up.
  2. If you have rear calipers and the weather is frosty and wet, leave the handbrake off and put the car into first gear (if you are not parked on a slope that is !), so that the handbrake does not freeze on while you have left the car parked.