Saturday, 23 April 2011

Dent Removal on the Cheap - Macgyver Style

Ever had a big dent from someone leaning on your car or doing something stupid and causing a big dent? I had this problem a few years ago on my old 1994 Toyota Corolla. I didn't have auto insurance, had way to much debt and I was too cheap to get it repaired by a proper workshop. Since I still wanted to woo the ladies,  I "borrowed" the IT guy's compressed air can, got my room mates hair dryer and followed a similar technique to the following you tube clip, to get my car back to its former glory.

Method :

1. Heat up the dented area with the hair dryer for at least a minute on a high setting, Usually your paint can withstand the heat from the hair dryer. This should get the metal soft for the next bit.

2. Now turn the compressed air can upside down and spray the area of the dent from the center outwards in a circular motion. You should hear a pop and hopefully the dent will be restored to its former glory.

This worked for me however I tried it on a friends car who had a dent with a crease in it. This didn't work. Also smaller dents don't work either.

This method works on large shallow dents, anything smaller than a baseball or shallower that 1/4" wont pop so easily. It is the ratio of metal thickness to surface area that is critical and also what's behind the dent as insulation material or stiffeners may also stop this working.  So try this method and if it doesn't work get your insurance to cover it or take it to a cheap PDR place and get them to knock it out. 

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Keeping Cool this Summer

With summer hitting the US soon lets look at different methods of cooling when thinking about cost of running.

Using Air conditioning does burn more gas, especially when driving in the city. Fuel consumption can go up by approximately 10%.  

However it has been also noted that air conditioning saves on gas because it removes air drag caused from the open windows. This usually occurs when driving at speeds greater then 45 mph / 72 kmh. It can loose fuel efficiency by as much as 10%.

So a good rule of thumb to follow is when the car is moving at a rate of 45 mph / 72 kmh or slower, driving with the windows down is definitely the better option for fuel efficiency. That means that for trips to the grocery store, post offices, and visiting ma and pa, drive with the windows down. When town driving, leave the windows open, when highway or higher speeds driving, the AC is definitely the way to go. 

Some other tips to help keep you cool this summer:
- Use the fan on the highest setting when to quickly cool the car down.
- Park in a garage or shaded area.
- Use windshield shades to help keep it cool
 - Leave windows open (if in a safe area)
 - When using air condition, recycle inside area as it should be cooler then outside.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

TIP : DIY Rain-x

Have you ever seen people driving in heavy rain down the freeway without thier windows on. If you have chances they are using Rain-x You know how good it is. You can drive in the rain and the water will just bead off without needing to use your windscreen wipers.

However it cost quite a bit for small little bottle.

To get a similar impact you can wax your windshield with Canauba Wax and then buff it off to leave a thin layer on your windscreen. Then add a spoonfull or two of dish washing liquid to the washerfluid.
You will get improved vision, quicker less noisy, windshield wipers. (less friction & wear).

The wax will not last for ever but you will notice the difference at once. 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the easiest and cost effective method to maximise the efficiency of your vehicle. Use the wrong pressure and you will burn your fuel alot more faster then necessary.

Look at your car manual to see what is the recommended tyre pressure. I always add a few more extra psi's. But watch out because too much will cause a centre wear in faster then the rest of the tyre which will cost even more for you if you have to replace your tyre.  Never inflate above 40 psi or 280 kPa

Check your tyres at least once a month and before any long trip.  It should also be check when the type is 'cold' as pressure increases as the tyre becomes hot.

You can find pressure gauges at any service station or you can buy a small compressor for home.

While your at it you might as well check your spare tyre too.

Welcome - Start our Engines for Savings.

Welcome to the first post in what I plan to be many posts on how we can save money on our automobiles. As times are getting tougher and fuel prices are going up. I'm going to go through different ways that you can save money on your car.

I'm a student who is always looking at ways to save money and over the last few years i've done lots of research which i'm more then happy to share with you all so you too can get out on the road without it burning a hole in your wallet.

Over the next few posts i'll cover different methods that can be used to gain savings on your car, and cover also new things in the automotive world. Some are innovations that hopefully will save us money in the future. We will cover topics from DIY tips, simple money saving things you can do, look at different ways to maximise your insurance claims, maybe even get away with paying those parking fines or DUI. We will cover all parts of the spectrum as long as it can save us all money.