When to Repair or Replace Your Windshield


It’s happened to us all: the painful sound of something solid – a rock or bits of debris – whacking your windshield. If you’ve had your car for a while and your windshield is immaculate, consider yourself lucky.

The windshield of your car ensures your safety while driving, but it is also prone to chips and cracks. So what should you do when it’s on the receiving end of a rock?

Repairing a small windshield chip
Repairing windshield chips can stop cracks from spreading and avoid the high cost of replacing the windshield.

Also, repairing your windshield allows you to keep the original quality glass and original factory seal and is a fraction of the replacement cost. Prices vary from shop to shop, but a chip repair costs around $50 on average.

There’s no need for immediate worry if the chip is small; it’s probably repairable without replacing the entire windshield. Generally speaking, if you can cover the entire chip with a quarter, you won’t need to replace your windshield.

If the chip can be repaired, it’s best to do the repair as soon as possible.

Your first step is to get an estimate from a glass repair shop. Next, call your insurance company to see if the repair is covered under your insurance policy. Typically, if you have full comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, the repair will be covered. However, each company has its own policy, so it’s worth the call to find out.

When you take your vehicle to a glass repair shop – or, in many cases, the auto glass company will come to your home or office – the repair worker will “fill” most of the chip. This process is relatively simple, and most chips can be repaired in half an hour or less. It may still leave a visible flaw, but it will be much less noticeable. Moreover, the repair provides a strong bond that prevents further cracks


How to Detail a Car

Car detailing isn’t something you need to do that often. You might roll up your sleeves once a year to perform a top-notch cleaning – sweeping, scrubbing, wiping every nook and cranny – on your car. The level of clean you need? It’s really whatever you prefer. Here’s a helpful guide to get you started.

Man detailing the interior of a car

Before you begin

The difference between an “OK” and an “incredible” result is tied to the tools you use and the time you spend on the job. It helps to use specialized car detailing products for specific tasks. For instance, toothbrushes come in handy for small areas that are harder to clean, like vents and grilles. Cotton swabs are useful in these spots, too.

Also, try to use name brand products to play it safe, but be certain to read the labels. Even name brand products aren’t suitable for all paint finishes. If the product does not list that it’s safe for clear coat finishes, it’s probably not. And keep in mind that this likely won’t be a five-minute commitment; a high-quality car detailing job can take between four and eight hours.

Step 1: Getting the hard-to-reach placesWork on the interior first. Use compressed air in a can to blow dirt out from the tiny crevices. Save exterior cleaning for later. By taking this approach, you’ll prevent all the dirt you brush out from undoing exterior detailing efforts.

Step 2: Working from the top downCloth headliners present a problem since they’re glued to the roof. Removing marks and stains can be tough, but it’s important to remember that headliners shouldn’t get wet. Use a microfiber cloth and an upholstery cleaner designed for use on velour or suede.

Brush the entire headliner lightly with a dry part of the cloth. Then, apply cleaner to the cloth – not directly to the headliner – and continue to gently brush everything. For stubborn spots, wet only one corner of the cloth with cleaner, brush lightly and dry off with the rest of the cloth.


Car Scratch Removal Made Easy

Today’s two-part urethane paints consist of a clear coat on top of the color coat. While this system preserves the color by protecting against UV rays and provides a brighter shine, it can also get scratched fairly easily. Just rubbing your rag on a dusty surface, or having grit in the cloth itself, can leave fine lines and swirls.

Hand buffing out a scratch on the side of a car

Visible lines

If polishing and waxing isn’t producing the smooth finish you’d like to see on your vehicle, but you can’t feel the scratches with your fingernail, then a simple liquid scratch remover might do the trick. Note, however, that not all car scratches are the same. Some marks may be due to rubbing against a bumper from a car or shopping cart. The material coming into contact with your finish might be softer, and simply leaving behind a bit of material on top of the paint.

If that’s the case, it may come off easily with a spray for removing tar, bugs and adhesives. Be sure to use a product specifically designed for marks on paint, as acetone or types of solvents might damage the paint. If the mark is still there after using the spray cleaner, try using a soft-grade rubbing compound (it’s easy to penetrate the clear coat, so don’t overdo it). You’ll need to use a polishing compound to remove any fine scratches left by the rubbing compound, and then finish the job by sealing the surface with a good car wax.

Medium-depth scratches that you can feel with your fingernail require a more aggressive method of repair than simply using rubbing and polishing compounds. Bad scratches that penetrate to the color coat can require touch-up paint and possibly professional care.

Smooth operator

Liquid scratch remover being rubbed on a car scratch

For the medium-depth scratches, use a car scratch remover kit. The system is fairly easy to use, requiring three separate steps and a common household drill. As with the rubbing compound mentioned above, less is more. The idea is to take off a very thin layer of the clear coat, but still leave enough on to protect the paint. And you’ll need to protect the finish with a good wax or synthetic polish to bring back the shine.

Scratch removal tips

  1. If buffing, polishing or using a rubbing compound doesn’t get scratches out, a more intensive approach could work, especially if the scratches don’t penetrate to the color coat. Evaluate the depth of the scratch by running your fingernail over it. If you can feel the scratch but your fingernail doesn’t catch, you can probably repair the damage.
  2. After washing the damaged area with soap and water, spray water on both the finish and the abrasive pad.
  3. Even though a 3,000-grit pad can feel soft, still only rub gently on the scratch until a bit of foam appears. After about 10 seconds of rubbing, wipe off the slurry with a wet paper towel to see if the scratch has disappeared. Don’t overdo it, as the clear coat is not thick.
  4. The area being rubbed will dull slightly, depending on the angle of the light. The following steps will eliminate this discoloration.
  5. Insert the buffing wheel into a standard household drill. Note: A variable-speed trigger makes it easier to control the speed of the buffing wheel, as it’s important not to let it heat up.
  6. To prevent splattering, smear the compound around by hand before starting the drill.
  7. Apply only light to medium pressure (enough to slightly compress the pad at a flat angle), operating the drill at slow to moderate speeds. Overlap the area slightly until the compound begins to dry, applying progressively lighter pressure.
  8. Remove any residue with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Make sure there’s no dirt on your towels, or you’ll just make things worse.
  9. Switch out the pads (they can be rinsed for reuse) and apply the remover to a clean pad. Scratch remover is typically thinner than the compound, so use care when squeezing it out or you’ll have too much on the pad.
  10. Again, first smear the liquid without turning on the drill to minimize splatter.
  11. Using a light speed setting, polish the compounded area, overlapping it slightly.
  12. Buff the area with another clean microfiber towel until the finish matches the surrounding paint. Look at the area from various angles to ensure that all the scratches and compound have been removed. Repeat the previous step if needed. Protect with a polish or wax as a final step.

Can Brake Fluid Go Bad?

The short answer is yes!

CARS.COM — Can brake fluid go bad? Indeed it can, and you might not be able to tell if it has just by looking.


Most cars have see-through reservoirs for brake fluid under the hood so that owners can check at a glance to make sure it’s at the proper level. That, however, tells you nothing about the condition of the fluid.

Brake fluid absorbs water over time, particularly in areas with high humidity, when moisture seeps through rubber hoses and seals. Water reduces the boiling point of brake fluid, and in situations that put high demands on your brakes — such as mountain driving, towing or making repeated hard stops — the fluid can become so hot that it impairs stopping ability or causes temporary loss of braking power.








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Dashboard Warning Signs


Dash lights are nothing new, but the messages are. The following list of warning lights are the most common lights used by auto manufacturers. Not all warning lights are universal. Always refer to your owner’s manual when you’re not 100% sure what the light indicates.

Benefits of Waxing Your Car


Why should you bother waxing your car? After all, you’ve got a million projects on your “to do list.” Waxing may seem like little more than a vanity auto body project. The truth is that waxing can lead to a variety of benefits, some of which can positively impact your car’s performance and even your safety. Here are 5 reasons to get started:

1. Protect your car against scratches.
Whether you own or lease your vehicle, you must contend with scratches, dents, dings, and other types of wear and tear. Waxing can’t prevent this damage entirely. But it can do a better job than most primers and paints. A clear wax coat will seal in the paint and provide a shield against bird doo, exhaust, UV light, sand and grit.

2. Protect the paint.
When you wash an un-waxed car, the grit and grime can scrape against the paint (or primer) and further degrade the surface. Wax creates a barrier between the paint and the outside world.

3. Reduce the cost of repairs and refinishing.
If you lease, the dealership will want to inspect your vehicle at the end of the lease period. If there’s substantial damage – including discoloration, scratches, or paint issues – the costs will come out of your pocket.

4. Take better care of your car to become a better driver.
Some research suggests that owners who drive neater cars drive safer. The theory makes sense. If you’re excited to drive – that is, if you keep your car clean of debris and wash and vacuum regularly – you’ll be more likely to take other actions to keep your car running well. For instance, you might be more likely to change your fluids on time, per the manufacturer’s recommendations. You might keep your windshield cleaner… and thus be able to see the road more clearly, etc. By investing in good car care, you indirectly invest in your own safety.

  1. Thanks to modern synthetic formulations, it’s easy to apply a good, even coat of wax.
    Waxing your car is no longer a whole Sunday afternoon job. In fact, with modern technologies, you can apply a durable coat of wax rapidly. Depending on your car use, you may only need to wax 2-4 times a year.