Your steering wheel is one of the most-used parts of your car, but it’s also usually one of the least-cleaned. Leather steering wheels have natural pores and crevices that can easily collect dirt, grime, oil, food residue, and who knows what else, especially in the areas where you typically grip the wheel.
The good news is that cleaning a steering wheel is quick and easy.
The first step is to remove any loose dirt and grime. You can pick up a good leather cleaner at many stores or through Amazon (Meguiar’s is a popular leather cleaner). Spray a small amount of the product on a cloth – we recommend spraying it on the cloth rather than directly on the wheel, since this helps prevent overspray from reaching your instrument cluster. And it’s best to use a microfiber towel rather than terrycloth, which can spread lint all over the place.
Gently wipe the wheel, making sure you don’t rub too hard-you’ll be surprised at how much dirt comes off! Then use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess cleaner and dry the wheel with a dry microfiber towel.
The second very important step is to protect your cleaned steering wheel by replenishing the oils with a good conditioner that will help keep the leather soft, flexible, and durable. Apply the product and allow the oils to be absorbed, then simply rub it down with a clean towel to remove any excess.
Over time, hoses can weaken and if they’re not replaced, they can cause the engine to overheat. This is especially important with summer coming along.
In a recent survey, about 10% of vehicles inspected had a hose that needed replacing. Yet in most cases, the owners were totally unaware of the condition of these parts.
When the weather heats up, the last thing you want is one of your car hoses to break down causing an overheated engine and leaving you stranded. We’ll walk you through this easy monthly maintenance check you can do yourself.
Most hoses fail from the inside out. Rubber hoses, which are actually made of neoprene or other synthetic materials, can deteriorate with age and exposure to heat. Tiny cracks develop in the rubber, which eventually cause the hose to split, blister, or leak. Oil on the outside of the coolant hose can also accelerate the breakdown of the hose material. This type of deterioration can usually be seen on the outside.
When you check your hoses, you should first make sure the engine is cold to avoid any chance of burning yourself. The easiest way to check the condition of a hose is to squeeze it. It should feel firm but flexible. Worn hoses often feel squishy. Look for any signs of:
1. Softness and swelling
2. Hardening and cracks
3. Chafing and heat damage
Hoses are a relatively inexpensive part to replace, but the damage caused by a bad hose can lead to a very costly repair.
If you have questions about your vehicle’s hoses, or want to schedule a service appointment, please call us at (866) 300-4805.
How Often Should You Change Your Antifreeze/Coolant?
I was speaking with our Shop Foreman, Robert Isbell, the other day as he was working on a customer vehicle. I Inquired as to what was wrong with the vehicle. He stated that the thermostat stuck and as a result the vehicle overheated and had to be towed in. He further explained that the thermostat is a mechanism that opens and closes many times during the time the engine is running to maintain proper engine temperature. If it sticks closed it prevents the coolant from circulating through the engine, it overheats and suddenly your stranded, worse, you might do major engine damage. I asked why the thermostat would stick. He stated that when the engine coolant is not maintained properly, it becomes dirty and sticky and deposits form on the plunger of the thermostat and as a result, one day it sticks closed and doesn’t open again. Result? Stranded. Don’t know about you, but just the sound of the word ‘stranded’, is bothersome. So I thought this might be a good subject to begin our monthly ‘Service Tips’ with.
For “ordinary” antifreeze, Honda recommends coolant changes every two years or 30,000 miles. On newer Honda’s ( 2006 and Up) the on-baord diagnostics will let you know via the “Maintenance Minder”. Some say it’s not a bad idea to change the coolant every year for maximum corrosion protection. Continue reading →