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32 votes
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Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

tl;dr: How much did you pay for that shirt? How often do you wash it? Why would you bother? Shirts just get dirty anyway. Can't you get another shirt? Are there any benefits of washing the ...
Bob Cross's user avatar
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32 votes
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How to get rid of a decal on the rear window?

The most effective thing I've found for this is heat. Warm the sticker with a hair dryer. When it gets warmed to a certain point it will easily pull away without leaving residue. One word of ...
Steve Matthews's user avatar
24 votes

How to get rid of a decal on the rear window?

On glass, heat would probably work well as mentioned, but I've worked at a car dealership for years, and always removed stickers and window paint with a simple straight razor blade and windex. The ...
sǝɯɐſ's user avatar
  • 341
23 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

The reason many people wash their car every week is to keep it looking nice and from the good old days of bad paint and no rust protection. These days, paints are significantly better and stand up ...
RemarkLima's user avatar
17 votes
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Cleaning brake fluid (general tips)

Standard automotive brake fluid (DOT 3,4 and 5.1) are made from polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG is soluble in water, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, benzene, and dichloromethane, and is insoluble in ...
Fred Wilson's user avatar
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17 votes
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Avoiding the grease, dirt and oil from getting onto the skin and under the nails?

Gloves. Do not use latex gloves, they break easily. Use nitrile gloves instead, they are mechanically much more resistant. Even better: Use nitrile gloves under ordinary work gloves. The ordinary ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 8,448
15 votes
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Why has white powder formed on metal parts after cleaning with degreaser and what can I do about it?

Believe it or not, that is corrosion. You are correct in your assumption that the Valve Cover is certainly cast aluminum. Aluminum can be damaged by many de-greasers that are too aggressive. This ...
Jeep Cherokee Rescue Society's user avatar
13 votes
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Can I use washing up liquid to wash my car?

Using dish washing liquid on your auto paint will strip off any of the good "stuff" which is on there, such as waxes and or oils. This leaves it unprotected. If you use stuff specifically ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
11 votes
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What clean, non-sticky lubricant can I use for door hinges?

Great question. My preference is silicone spray, as you suggested. I'm pretty sure this one is the one I usually get for this kind of job. Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks this is a ...
anonymous2's user avatar
  • 5,225
11 votes

How to get rid of a decal on the rear window?

Acetone and isopropyl rubbing alcohol (90% and higher) are very effective at dissolving glue without affecting glass. It will affect any other plastic layer on the window so you should check for any ...
Jerome.DS's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes

What's the easiest way to remove chewing gum from a medium-pile floor mat?

Ahh.. The Horror of chewing gum on the carpet. The best way by far is to use ICE or any cooling substance like liquid nitrogen if you are a geek but mainly ICE. Fill a bag with ice cubes and rub ...
Shobin P's user avatar
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9 votes
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Battery acid clean up

Yes, the liquid and vapors are harmful. Use plastic gloves and face-shield while handling the battery and cleanup. Open the doors and allow the car to air out a little vacate some of the fumes before ...
CharlieRB's user avatar
  • 9,015
8 votes
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Cleaning mud from motorcycle radiator

I use a garden weed sprayer, its less powerful than a high pressure washer yet can have its jet aimed in a small area. Additionally you can fill it with hot water which will help loosen the mud. ...
Mauro's user avatar
  • 2,655
8 votes
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How to Make a Homebrew Engine Degreaser Spray?

You will generally want to look for something that is a solvent, or is solvent-based. A good homebrew 'degreaser' would be using washing soda (sodium carbonate) diluted in water. You can make washing ...
JaceAce's user avatar
  • 456
8 votes

What clean, non-sticky lubricant can I use for door hinges?

My weapon of choice for such a job is something like WD-40's White Lithium Grease: (source: wd40specialist.com)
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.1k
8 votes
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What is the best DIY approach to keeping brake dust off your rims?

The easiest way I'm aware of is to change your brake material to ceramic. While there is still dust, it's about 90% less apparent than is metallic or organic friction compounds (in most cases). As ...
Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2's user avatar
8 votes

Cigarette in the ac vent

Any damage done to the car (likely, none) will have already been done. What you will have, however, is a car that will smell like theres a cigarette in the vent when the AC or heating is on. You'll ...
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 8,712
7 votes

Can I use washing up liquid to wash my car?

I would never do this for a regular wash. However, there is one time when you might want to use dish soap to wash the car: when you're getting ready to do a really good waxing. While the dish soap ...
Bob Cross's user avatar
  • 24.4k
7 votes

Can I use washing up liquid to wash my car?

The problem with using dish soap on your car is that it tends to wash away any wax that might be on the surface. Wax not only makes the car shine - it also protects the paint to a degree. So, will ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 13.2k
7 votes

Do I really need to wash the outside of my car?

I work from home, so my car stays in the garage for long periods of time. It doesn't get much mud or salt spray, and after it's washed, it looks pretty fresh for a month or two. It's often 6-months ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

Cleaning and Shining Black, Under Hood Rubber and Plastic Parts

If your climate is anything like where I'm based, the picture shown is a part that is dirty mainly due to fine dust. I would advise against using any sort of chemical product without removing that ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.1k
7 votes
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What is powder coating and how do you do it?

Simply speaking, a colored plastic powder is applied to the parts with an airgun. The parts are then heated until the powder melts and forms a smooth (up to high glossy) surface. Once cooled down, you ...
sweber's user avatar
  • 7,057
7 votes

How to protect floor mats?

Tailored floor mats are available for most popular cars in various materials including rubber and carper / velour style. The beauty of these mats is that they can be removed and cleaned / washed ...
Steve Matthews's user avatar
7 votes

Cleaning toddler accident from car

For the cleaning, you have a few options: carpet cleaners: there are products sold to clean carpets and upholstery. Some are liquid based, some are foam based (you spray them on), and there are even ...
tlhIngan's user avatar
  • 12.2k
6 votes
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Cut and Polish: Looking for help on how to do my car

tl;dr: if you are new to cut and polishes, I would recommend starting with mild cleaner wax by hand. From looking at your pictures, you don't have major paint damage. More importantly, I don't think ...
Bob Cross's user avatar
  • 24.4k
6 votes

How to restore and care for leather?

The post is not so much direct techniques as those will vary by type of roof and upholstery, age, and condition. Automobile upholstery falls under two basic types that being either true leather or a ...
spicetraders's user avatar
  • 1,533
6 votes
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Safely washing engine bay of Ford Focus

My view on cleaning engines is that they are probably designed to get wet. At least wet in reasonable ways – rain while the hood is open, splashes from puddles, water that makes it through the ...
dlu's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
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Washing a vehicle in the hot sun?

My understanding just based from experience is it means its easier to clean because water doesn't evaporate in 10 seconds and leave those dirty residue spots on the car. Its easiest to wash just ...
Steve Oakes's user avatar
  • 1,096
6 votes

Cigarette in the ac vent

You need to get it out or your car will smell like a lucky strike forever! Fortunately, it's dead easy to remove the side air vents on a fiesta, they are easily popped out using a plastic body tool. ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 16.9k

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