Archives for August 2017

Clean Wheels The Cheap Way

Dollar General Wheel CleanerDirty WheelClean WheelColby bought another car to hold him over until he can afford a new car. It’s a nice car that needed a little TLC, but it’s a good driver and will serve the purpose for now. The previous owners obviously weren’t in to detailing their car that much, probably a simple drive through the automatic wash from time to time. Giving the car a good wash made a world of difference, but the wheels were baked with brake dust. Prices for wheel cleaners vary, ALOT! Some are as cheap as 7 dollars and some are as expensive as 21 dollars. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try a cheap method just to see if we really needed to spend a lot of money to clean the wheels. A quick trip to the Dollar Store (the yellow ones), $3.50 for the Dollar General brand of wheel cleaner and the test began. It states on the front that you just spray it on, then hose it off. But I knew right away that this wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t even scrape the brake dust off with my fingernail, this stuff was baked on! But for the sake of argument, I did what it said. I applied the cleaner to the wheel, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then hosed it off. Yeah, it took a bunch of the loose stuff off and the wheel did look better, but there was still plenty of baked brake dust left behind. So, I did it again. Soaked the wheel with the cleaner, let it sit for a couple of minutes, but before I hosed it off, I took a small wheel cleaning brush (in the pic) and scrubbed the wheel lightly. That’s when the brake dust melted away. Just needed minimal elbow grease. Repeated the process on the other wheels and now they look so much better. So, how does this compare with the 21 dollar wheel cleaner? I don’t know, I’d never spend 21 dollars for wheel cleaner. But it does prove that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good results. The whole process of cleaning all of the wheels took about 15 minutes.

Mabel Oil Change (repost)

Ready For Oil ChangeDirty EngineOil UsedOil Change KitClean EngineToday was the day for Mabel to get her oil changed. There’s always a huge argument about which kind of oil to use in these old cars, but we won’t get into a debate about that, I’ll just let you know what I use and what works for me. I always start with getting the car as level as possible, running the engine long enough to get the old oil nice and warm so it’ll drain easily. I remove the oil drain plate (10mm) and let the oil drain into the oil catcher. I’ll let the oil drain for at least 30 minutes or so. This is also a good opportunity to tidy up the bottom of the engine, removing any oil and dirt from the cooling fins. I also like to give the oil drain plate a fresh coat of paint, just to make it look nice. Oil changing kits are readily available and pretty cheap. Most will come with new copper washers, gaskets and a oil strainer. If you’re re-using your oil strainer, just clean it good with a degreaser and make sure there isn’t any sludge in it. I usually use the strainer twice before replacing it with a new one. When you put your oil drain plate back on, make sure you use the correct washers and have the gaskets in the correct place. Do not over tighten the nuts that hold the plate in place. Just hand tighten them. My engine requires 2.65 quarts of oil, your engine probably requires the same amount. I use 2.15 quarts of Rotella T 15w-40 and .5 of the STP oil additive. I use the oil additive for its zinc content. Your air cooled engine will love this combination!