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Garage tips, cleaning, emergency repairs etc.


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GARAGE TIPS

 

If you want to
remove the dealer advert graphics from your 4 x 4 spare wheel
cover then it can be easily done by using a small steam cleaner such
as steam buggy or polti steamer, leaving it looking brand new and
plain.

Ed
Bramley

WARNING – This
apparently works on plastic covers but as there are different materials
and graphics involved it is advisable to test on a hidden area first to
ensure there are no adverse effect..  I cannot guarantee results –
this is undertaken at your own risk.

 

It is important to use good quality tyres on
caravans but using 8 ply tyres instead of the usual 6 ply can give extra piece of mind.
  It is not the tread which wears but the side walls and this is usually caused by
deterioration either by mistreatment or age.  Taking the wheels off the van and
supporting on axle stands for the winter can also prolong tyre life.

Thanks to Mike Cook for this
advice

 

To remove tar from your car, take
baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and add enough water to make a paste, then rub on
tar.  Works great!

Sent
in by Theresa Hamilton – thanks.

 

Use baby wipes on car dashboards,
they clean like new and leave an anti-static layer.

Contribution from David Barns.

 

To remove surface rust from chrome bumpers and
for those people who have them on the overrider, crumple up some aluminium foil into a
ball, dip it in water and rub on the rust area, rinse with clean water.  This does
not work on pitted rust areas.

Thanks
to Krystal G for this one.

 

Another method of cleaning chrome is a little household ammonia in
water.  Rinse and dry the chrome well afterwards to polish it up.  This also
removes grease and insect marks.  On really stubborn marks use a little neat ammonia
on a damp cloth.

If you don’t have ammonia paraffin or
toothpaste on a damp cloth are quite good substitutes.

 

One way to free rusted nuts and bolts,
particularly on aluminium parts, is to pour on a small amount of fizzy cola drink.  
The acids and carbon dioxide in the drink will help to eat away the corrosion and release
the hold on the threads.  Wait until dry before trying again to move the nut.

Cola is is ideal for loosening jammed parts but ensure it is cleaned off
properly as it can cause corrosion.

 

Clean windscreens with a cloth dipped in a bucket of warm water
containing a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar.  Polish with a clean, dry cloth.
  Smears can be removed with a cloth moistened with methylated spirits.

 

Don’t be tempted to use washing-up (dishwashing)
liquid to wash your car.  They can contain salt which corrodes metal.
 

Cat litter can be used for absorbing oil spills in garages etc.
  Dilute any spills with paint thinner or white spirit, sprinkle with cat litter and
sweep up when the liquid has been absorbed.

 

Never work on your car in a closed garage with
the engine running.  The carbon monoxide fumes from the exhaust can kill.
 

Never wear loose clothing, ties, jewellery and keep long hair tied
back when working over a running engine.  It is amazing how quickly accidents can
happen.

 

If you get stuck in snow or on ice, don’t spin
the wheels as this will melt the frozen surface making the problem worse. 

Place gravel, an old sack, or twigs, etc. under the front of the driving
wheels, select second gear and let the clutch in slowly with minimum acceleration.

 

If you have trouble starting your car due to dampness on winter
mornings, try using a hair dryer (no, not to get to work on but to dry out the engine!)

You could also lay a piece of old blanket or carpet under the bonnet, over
the engine but you must remember to remove it before driving off as
it could go up in flames with disastrous consequences
.  If you use this method
it is best to leave the bonnet (hood) slightly open with the material hanging out to
remind you to remove it.

 

Broken fan belts on some cars can be replaced in
an emergency with tights (pantihose) or stockings.  Simply put it around the pulleys
on the engine and fan (leaving out the dynamo is easiest).  This will allow you to
travel further but the battery will not be charging.  The belt must be replaced
quickly

This was also
sent in by Paul Pilbeam.

 

To stop a radiator leak in an emergency, place a piece of chewing
gum over the hole.  If the hole is in a hose you can wrap with insulating tape,
elastoplast or even sellotape to get you a little further.

Alternatively
cracking open an egg and putting into the boiling radiator will seal the hole on a short
term basis.

Sent in by Paul Pilbeam

(Be careful when opening a hot radiator though!)

 

Those
are good, but I have an even better solution: PLAIN BREAD…….
  Years ago, a rock damaged the radiator in my car while I
was enroute from Vancouver to Calgary Canada, the great Rocky
Mountains.  It was about 9 pm on a Sunday night, at one of the
highest mountain passes, with a blizzard headed in my direction. 
This was a recipe for disaster.  I pulled into a gas station to
find it closed.  I had no idea what to do till I went into a
restaurant attached to the gas station (it was closed as well, but a
couple staff members where still there).  I told them my
problem, and they gave me a piece of bread.  Simply press the
bread onto the radiator, and you’re done.  The flour plugs
the hole, and the bread toasts from the heat, and will stay there
indefinitely.  Worked like a charm.  I was able to drive
the next 600 miles home, and missed the blizzard.  (The drove
the car for a good 6 months with the bread in the radiator, because
I was young and broke and couldn’t afford a new radiator…. I
wouldn’t recommend waiting that long, but it still worked).


Steve
Gould

If windscreen wipers stop working and you happen
to have a potato handy!!!!  cut the potato in half and rub the face up and down the
windscreen in front of the driver.  For a short time, this prevents the pattern of
drops which is impossible to see through.  Repeat the process if travelling further.

Small paint brushes or toothbrushes can be used
to clean the crevices on dashboards.

Thanks Krystal G.

If you get a hole in your petrol
tank you can fix the problem by sealing the hole with soap (carbolic is the best). 
This can last up to three days.

Contributed by Paul
Pilbeam.


The
best hint I’ve ever had was touring Australia in an old Cortina. A bar
of soap was in the glove box and in the end I found out why – the
petrol tank had rotted to leave pinprick holes in it. Cure was to rub
soap over the outside of the tank. All the time it didn’t rain, the
petrol wouldn’t go past the soap barrier because it couldn’t dissolve
the soap. Once it did rain, the water dissolved the soap and the leaks
returned.


Sent
in by Matt Wickes

I
have received an additional comment regarding this tip from

Chas
who explains that while this may work on a car with
carburettors, it will probably not work on fuel injected cars as the
fuel in the tank is usually pressurised.

 

To check the accuracy of a car speedometer in the UK, ask a passenger to use their watch to count the number of seconds between the emergency phones on a motorway, assuming they are a mile apart. With that figure divide it into 3600 ( the number of seconds in an hour) and the result is the real miles per hour. 

Example a car at a constant speed of 60 mph will take 60 seconds. 70 mph – 51.5 seconds. 65 mph – 55 seconds. So a car at 30 mph will take 120 seconds but don’t try this speed on the motorway! It even works on trains if you can spot the mile posts. 

Even works on model trains if you know the number of feet around the layout – say 70 feet multiplied by 87 (the accurate scale is 1:87 – not the UK 1:76) = 6090. If a model train takes 120 seconds to compete a circuit, it is doing a scale 50.7 mph.

Peter Jones

 

 

 

 

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