How to Safely Remove Snow and Ice From Your Car

SnowClearning

Worst-case-scenario: You just brought home a new SRT Viper and parked it in your driveway to ensure the neighbors got a drool-eliciting look at your ride — made all the more dazzling by that Stryker Red Tinted Pearl paint job for which you forked over an extra $14,600. As karma for your vehicular vanity would have it, a nasty snowstorm hits that night, and by the time you wake up, there's 4 inches of snow covering your $178,000 supercar. You have to get this thing cleared off ASAP — after all, your neighbors will be leaving for work soon and won't be able to tell what's underneath all that snow.

How to Store Your Car for Winter

First, do not pull out your handcrafted corn-straw broom and start sweeping away or you'll quickly find that your college-tuition-priced paint job doesn't have quite the same effect with brush strokes etched into it. The same goes for nylon brushes and especially shovels. The recommended tool for this precarious job is a foam brush. A popular one is the SnoBrum, which has a nonabrasive, freeze-resistant molded polyethylene foam head with a recessed hard-plastic plate to prevent contact with the vehicle's surface; it has a steel telescoping handle that extends up to 46 inches for maximum reach.

By Matt Schmitz | February 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

How to Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

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Replacing wiper blades can be intimidating to the uninitiated. The swiping arms of plastic connectors, rubber and metal may seem like a riddle with steps only Indiana Jones can unlock, but it's actually an easy task on many newer cars. Some auto parts stores offer complimentary installation when you buy wipers there. Even so, it's easy enough to consider doing it yourself if you found a sweet deal online or bought wipers elsewhere.

Newer cars favor an easy-to-replace hook-style wiper arm where the blade simply slides over a metal hook and clips into place. Replacing the blades on a hook-style arm is the process we'll detail since they're so common. We'd be lying if we said all wipers were the same or this easy to replace. A variety of arms and mounts have been used over the years. The stubborn ones with pins and unique latches can churn up rage so deep that the new wipers may turn into boomerangs before they're ever installed.

Even blades using the same mounting style doesn't guarantee every wiper blade will come off the same way, so check your owner's manual for guidance.

By Joe Bruzek | January 6, 2014 | Comments (5)

How to Restore Your Vehicle's Headlights

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Cars get old and if you're part of the vast majority of Americans who own a set of wheels at least 11 years old, we're pretty sure those front headlights could use a makeover. Clean headlights not only make your vehicle look like new, but they allow for safe and unobstructed travel by clearly illuminating the road ahead.

Haze, fog, smear, whatever you want to call it, there are easy ways to get rid of that plastic oxidation that fogs up your vehicle's headlights after years and miles of driving.

By Robby DeGraff | December 3, 2013 | Comments (21)

How to Store Your Car for Winter

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From washing and waxing to detailing the interior, people baby their cars in all sorts of ways. But it's equally important to take care of your car before you put it into storage. Here are a few tips to make sure your car is ready to go when you are.

By Robby DeGraff | October 30, 2013 | Comments (4)

How to Remove A Sticker From Your Car

Remove a Sticker

Stickers on cars can symbolize just about anything under the sun. They can show support for a certain political candidate, identify you as a proud parent of an honor student or the fact that you just love that one special dog breed. Others are required by local laws, like city stickers. Some even come attached to your new car straight from the dealer.

But political campaigns and straight A's end at some point, and those city stickers need to be replaced every year.

While removing stickers isn't as easy as putting them on, we have some advice that should make the job a little less sticky.

By Robby DeGraff | April 29, 2013 | Comments (20)

How to Remove Salt Stains From Your Floor Mats

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Spring is almost here and for many car owners that means saying goodbye to snow, slush and street salt.

All three of those elements can wind up inside your car no matter how careful you are during winter driving. Your car's floor mats and carpet end up being victims of this wintery mess, and oftentimes it can be a pain to clean the aftermath. Thankfully, when it comes to cleaning salt-crusted carpet and floor mats there's a remedy that's inexpensive and easy to follow. We're also fans of buying winter floor mats that are less arduous to clean, but inevitably those are often forgotten until the first snow of the year has already left a stain or two.

By Robby DeGraff | March 4, 2013 | Comments (9)

What to Keep in Your Glove Box

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The glove box can be a useful treasure chest in cars, housing everything from important papers and receipts to tire gauges and extra fuses. It's a safe, easy-to-access place for crucial items, and almost every car has one. Even the best of us are sometimes guilty of littering our glove boxes with unnecessary items like CDs or cosmetics.

Don't let yourself go down that path. Rather, be prepared and consider the following things to keep on hand.

By Robby DeGraff | December 18, 2012 | Comments (7)

How to: Get Rid of Tree Sap on Your Car

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I like to keep my car clean, all the time, and nothing is more frustrating than finding drops of sticky sap all over your car's windows or paint. My cherished Rally Red 2001 Chevrolet Camaro stands out like a matador in a bull arena filled with pine trees, and I frequently have to remove sap during my weekly car wash.

Sap will not immediately damage a car's paint, but it should not be ignored. After some time, the sap can etch through the paint's clear coat, leading to discoloring and staining.

"The concentration of sap generally varies, so it is difficult to say what the short-term effects would be, but it will certainly cause paint damage if left untreated for a longer period of time," says Leonard Raykinsteen, a paint material engineer at Nissan. "If sap is detected on a vehicle's paint finish, it should be removed in a timely manner. How soon? I don't think anyone can truly define it because it depends on the concentration of the sap as well as the weather conditions. Generally, when it is hot, the effects of tree sap are accelerated."

For years, I've had great results by following the steps below, yet I reached out to our friends at West Loop Auto for a few more tips and tricks on how to properly remove tree sap from your vehicle:

By Robby DeGraff | November 20, 2012 | Comments (34)

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