car tuning

29 Jul 2011

How to remove stone chips.

Keeping your motor in good condition should be at the top of your list. A well looked after car will fetch a much higher price when it becomes time to sell it. In fact resale values can fetch a premium hike of as much as 10 or 20% when the car has been detailed and kept in excellent condition throughout its life. So we will look at how to repair stone chips.

The most obvious area to care for is the paint work. It seems that there are a plethora of problems and issues determined to ruin your paintwork. Even cleaning a automobile if not done right can cause scratches and swirls to appear. Those circular swirls in your paint are nearly always caused during cleaning. The round motion people use in cleaning is the only thing that can cause round swirls. If the paint is very swirly you should use a cutting polish to remove these but this is best done after cleaning and ideally you should use a random action polisher as it is very time consuming to do by hand.

Firstly to keep the car in good condition you should wash the car on a weekly basis, this prevents the grime and dirt from eating into the paint work. You should use a lamb’s wool wash mitt as this keeps scratchy grit away from the paint instead of allowing it to scratch the paintwork as is the case with a sponge. Use plenty of water too and rinse the automobile off before you even begin to loosen the dirt. There are some really good foaming sprays that can be used to lift the dirt from the paintwork.

Cleaning the alloys is very important as the brake dust and road salts can eat into the paint causing it to bubble and crack and corroding the wheel beneath. Be careful with some off the shelf wheel cleaning products as these can be very harsh and are little more than acid. Leaving these on the alloys and not rinsing off is just asking for trouble.

In winter time a lot of areas put salt on the roads and this is extremely detrimental to paintwork and wheels so regular cleaning in the winter months is of vital importance.

You will notice stone chips appearing in the automobiles paintwork and over time these will just build up. Eventually the deeper stone chips will corrode and start to rust. So stone chips are best treated sooner rather than later.

First clean out the damaged area motorefully with a fibreglass tipped pen, knife or very fine wire brush. If there is any rust it will need to be removed immediatly and treated with a rust inhibitor.

Then with a touch up pen build up the paint in layers to just below the surface of the existing paint. Then touch up with a clear lacquer coating so this is just proud of the surface. Leave about 1 hours drying time between each coat.

Finally with a fine grade of wet and dry sandpaper on a small sanding block, rubber, piece of chalk or similar sand the area so it is flat and matches the surrounding paintwork of your car. On most motors with solid paints you can get a near invisible repair done, on some metallic’s the best you can hope for is a close match. Even pro body shops will struggle to get a perfect paint match.

Then use a cutting paste on the area, usually labelled polish to blend the repaired new paint in with the slightly faded automobile paint around the area.

When you've finished cleaning and repairing your motor it is worth applying a good wax coating to protect the paintwork. Beware of bird guano as this will eat through your paint and MUST be removed immediately.

Beware of claims of paint protection waxes that last for years. These invariably need to be topped up every 6 months or so with a "care product" and even the best waxes typically only last for 6 months. On modern paint we suggest using a sealant rather than a wax and these are sometimes called synthetic waxes.

8 Jun 2011

Online MPG calculator

With rising petrol prices we note that lots of our visitors like to keep track of their fuel costs and fuel economy.

This is why we originally supplied our mpg calculator and it is proving to be more popular than ever before.

Adjustments and refinements to our mpg calculator have seen many new features added. In addition to tracking your last 4 fill ups and mpg to allow you to see trends (which is now a selectable feature rather than automatic due to a silly EU directive on cookies), you can see what your annual fuel cost is.

The cost per mile proves useful to people who are couriers and need to charge a cost per mile basis and a few have emailed us thanks as they would have been running at a net loss without this information.

You can alter the annual mileage to give an approximate annual fuel cost.

We have also updated our fuel saving tips on this page allowing you to get more miles out of every gallon of fuel you use.
There are also a few other new MPG related calculators including one that gives the annual fuel cost of 2 cars from MPG and price of fuel allowing you to make an informed choice on your new car purchases.

We nearly bought a diesel because of the extra MPG but the extra fuel cost didn't add up to a saving overall so we stuck with a petrol with a lower purchase price and lower running costs.

It's amazing that most people pay around £2000 per year for fuel and still don't think of it as being a major part of their budget.
The more fuel we all save the lower the demand and this will help keep down prices and if you are believing the hype save the planet!

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