Some Tips to Quit Smoking

It is such a foul habit. It smells, burns holes in your clothes and furniture. Today’s cigarettes are stronger and more dangerous than the fifty’s and sixties. There are more chemicals in them than ever before. How can you stop? I know people who have smoked all their lives from their teens up to their sixties. How did they stop?

Smoking used to be “cool.” Especially for women. They had long beautiful cigarette holders they would put the cigarette in and there you go. They would hold out their arm and put up the little finger and they were considered lovely. Not so today. I haven’t seen a holder around in years.

Let’s stop smoking now you say. How easy it is for someone who has never smoked or who has quit smoking. Get real. It’s just not that easy. Once you start it’s extremely hard to stop. The longer you have smoked the harder it is to quit. Stop pouring money into these manufactures of cigarettes. Stop believing their ads. Enough is enough.

It will be probably the hardest thing you have ever done. There are many ways to stop. Some take pills. Zaban is one. I don’t really think that one works to well. Then there is Chantix. That one scares me more than smoking. Too many side effects for my comfort. The best way to quit is to quit. Stop, throw them away. Sure. Easy for people to say. It’s easier said than done.

When you decide to stop smoking try few tips I found might work. Mind of matter helps. Out of sight, out of mind. Throw away everything the pertains to smoking. Wash everything, clothes, and walls, get your carpets clean. Try and get all the smoke smell out. Walk outside for a little while and then walk back inside. How nice everything smells.

Being hypnotized helps some, others it’s a waste of money. I have known a few people that it worked on. Others lit up a cigarette after walking out of the room. Pretend you have no money for cigarettes. Don’t give in to temptation. If you think you need a puff, do something else. Walk away from the craving. Walk, run, swim, and read. You get the idea.

Try not to over eat. That is a bad habit replacing another bad habit. If you must eat, be sure to eat the good things for you. Eat your vegetables as mom used to say. Smoking becomes just a habit. Not really enjoying the pleasure of the smoke. You must try to break that habit.

When you do succeed in stop smoking you will feel better, look better and smell better. It’s so hard to stop, but if you really want to you can. Without a cigarette think of all the time you have on your hands. What you can do is limitless.

I wish you all the luck in the world if you decide to stop. You know the dangers. Let’s try to stop, one person at a time. The worst smokers in the world are reformed ones. They will tell you if you didn’t smoke bad things will not happen to you. You’ve heard it all. Quit for yourself not other people. Then it just might work.

Dash Repair – How to Fix a Cracked Padded Dash

Weather change is here and the cracked padded dashes are rolling in. With every weather change I get the phone calls. “My dash is cracked and what can be done to fix it.”

Due to the exposer to old mother nature, these materials become dried out and crack over time leaving you with a crack in your dash. Left unattended this small crack can and will get larger.

There are measures that can be taken to prevent the dash from getting cracked in the first place. Now I know your dash is already cracked and your wanting to know how to fix it, but this will prevent further cracks and keep your car cooler and looking nicer, and well…. for further reference.

One way to prevent this is to use a sunshade. This will not only protect your automotive dash from the sun but also keep your vehicle cooler keeping the plastic pieces cooler and less likely to warp and then crack.

Another way to prevent the materials from drying on your dash is to condition them with a good vinyl conditioner-protectant. Now I know I’ve always said to not put the slimy stuff on your interior pieces and parts … But if your vehicle is exposed to the sun on a constant basis, then I would recommend you use a vinyl conditioner. Now I’m not going to say that any old vinyl conditioner will work, because it won’t. Tire shine is not vinyl conditioner! This is probably one of the biggest mistakes made, and I do a lot of repair because of it. Tire shine contains solvents, which as you know from previous articles, it doesn’t mix well with the water based dyes being used on today’s cars. What it does is lifts the dye from the surface, causing it to peel. So no tire shine…What I recommend to my customers is a product made from a leather conditioning producer that I feel from some of the research I’ve done is safe and should work very well, it’s made by Lexol and it’s called Vinylex. Designed by the guys that really know their stuff when it comes to interior conditioning and protecting.

The last and final tip to keeping your automotive interior, including your dash, looking it’s best and lasting longer is window tint. Now in some states you need to be careful with the tinting laws to make sure you don’t get it too dark, plus you need to think of your safety too. I have tint on our family Tahoe and I kinda wish I would have gone a little lighter, at night it’s really hard to see, my Tahoe stays nice and cool, but it’s a pain in the butt at night. I have to roll the window down sometimes just to see. So keep it light and you will be impressed with the results, plus it looks cool.

Now on with the fix for that crack in your dash.

Depending on where the crack is and how big it is will depend on how to fix it and how expensive the repair will be. If the crack is bigger then 2″-3″ and curled up on the edges, the repair will probably not look that great. There is a limit to the size of crack that can be repaired, too big and it probably won’t hold and will look like crap. If the crack is too big, replace the dash pad, don’t try to fix it. Another thing is location, if the crack is up close to the windshield then it’s almost impossible to do a repair without removing the windshield, which can be costly. So with that said you be the judge.

The first thing I do before I start any repair is to mix my color, this insures that at least the color will be right.

Next I inspect the crack in the dash, if the edges are curled up then you will need to trim that off with a razor blade or Xacto knife. The goal here is to get the area as level as you can. Now when doing so cut at a 45 degree angle and don’t bring the ends to a point, what I mean by this is trim all the way around the crack rounding off the ends of the crack, this will insure that the crack will stop and not crack further after your repair.

Of course your next step is prepping the repair area, use your prep solution with a scotch brite pad and clean the area thoroughly. You might need to clean the entire dash depending on where and how large the crack is.

Now it’s time to determine what fix you going to use.

If the crack is smaller then an 1/2″ I usually grab the super glue and do a super glue repair. I do this by spreading the glue in the crack then sanding it smooth with a 240 grit sandpaper, texture with your water based spray grain, then dye.

But there are times when your vinyl repair compound will need to be used, after all this is vinyl. The low cure usually works best because high heat tends to warp the repair area. This is where your patience comes in when doing your repairs. Thin layers of compound work best, curing and dying between coats until the area is level and smooth. You can texture while layering your compound with your grain pads. One little trick I use to help level the repair when using a grain pad is a little rubber squeegee about 3″x5″, it’s what body shops use to squeegee the water off the painted surface when they wet sand. This little thing works great, when you use your hand to imprint your grain into your repair, your hand kinda molds around the area and doesn’t leave a level area but with the rubber squeegee it gives you a little more backing when you go to imprint. Now graining your repair can be tricky, the low cure compound doesn’t grain that well, but if all else fails make sure the repair is level, this is your best hide. If that is achieved then texture with your spray grain.

One last trick up my sleeve is the use of a great product from Urethane Supply Co. This is a two part epoxy like substance that is specifically designed for padded dashes and the name says it all, Padded Dash Filler.

This stuff is the bomb, when it comes to dash repair. Mixes like Bondo and is even applied like bondo, but its flexible. It’s just what the doctor ordered when it comes to dash repair. If the crack is larger then 1″ this is the stuff to use.

Now this product will require you to trim the area and then sand around the area about 1″ to 2″ out with a heavier grit sandpaper like a 180 grit, this gives it something to bite too. Trim down into the foam a little to, so that you make like a little groove for the compound to lay in.

Mix your compound on a small piece of tile, I like using small tile pieces, they clean up easily and are easier to hold when mixing and applying. Now when you get the product they send you the red catalyst, try the blue, it seems to set up a little quicker. The blue you can get at any automotive parts shop. But the red works just as good just takes it a little longer, time is money in my business.

Apply your compound liberally over the repair area, don’t worry about getting your first coat really smooth, all you need is to get it covered, you’ll be sanding it smooth later. Let it set up for a while, depending on the weather will depend on how long this stuff takes. You can speed it up a little with a heat gun but don’t melt it just give it a little boost.

Once hardened start sanding, I usually start with a 180 grit to knock off the big chunks then progressively move my way up to a finer grit like 240 and then to 400.

One coat won’t be sufficient, I promise, this is another layer thing. Sanding between coats. Each coat you apply you will need to make smoother. Again what your trying to achieve is a smooth level repair.

After all is smooth and level, grain with a spray grain then dye.

As far as texture goes, I use two types of spray grain. One is a water based spray grain and the other is Sems Texture Coat. In fact the Sems Texture Coat almost matches the some of the Pontiac dashes to a tee. Now the Sems Texture coat is a solvent based, but I haven’t had a problem with it peeling up against the water based dyes on the dash, so kudos to Sems.

One other trick I have found with the the Sems Texture Coat is after sprayed if you let it flash out a little but not dry completely, you can take your grain pad and imprint your grain into the texture coat, pretty cool huh.

Dash repair is an art and a craft, just like all automotive interior repairs. If the steps are followed right and patience is used in your repairs you success will be good.

Hope this helps in your dash repair adventure. One thing to always keep in mind is to keep your repair as level as possible, this is your best hide.

5 Monsoon Car Care Tips We All Should Know

Monsoons are around the corner and will bring relief from the long torrid summers throughout the country. As nice the notion of rains is after the sweltering heat of June, the fact remains that a monsoon brings the great amount of chaos in a day to day life. Heavy downpours bring flooding, traffic jams, water logging and take a huge toll our beloved cars. They have to endure many problems such as acid rains, rust smelly interiors and bring a lot of headaches to car enthusiasts like us. But don’t worry, here are some simple yet important tips that you can follow to keep your car in mint condition during the rains.

1) Exteriors:

Taking care of the body of the car is essential in the monsoons as the rain is mildly acidic in nature and has an adverse affect on the car’s paint and underbody. You can avoid it by using a good quality wax or a polish regularly during the season. The polish forms a thin coat on the painted surface and does not let water stick to it. A good quality polish will also ensure that rain water does not affect the car paint. An underbody anti- rust treatment is also recommended once every two to three years. It generally does not cost much and has excellent long-term benefits.

2) Interiors:

the rainy season brings in a lot of odours in the cars, be it due to moisture or wet carpets or otherwise. Invest in getting the car thoroughly cleaned up before the rainy season to get rid of all the dirt and grime which may bring those foul smells in the cabin. You may also invest in a good deodorizer or perfume so as to enjoy a pleasant drive every time you go for a drive.

3) Clean windscreen:

People usually have their windscreen wipers in bad shape. Rubber hardens over time, which significantly reduces the wiper’s effectiveness. Besides the hazy view out when it’s raining, a bad wiper will leave permanent scratches on your expensive windscreen. Change them whenever you feel they are getting hard.

4) Electricals & Lighting:

make sure to check all the loose or weak electrical connections, patch them up. Make sure external wires are insulated. Ensure that the head lights and tail lights are working properly as during rains, visibility is poor, not only for you but also for the traffic behind you. Check all the lights as it is advisable to keep your parking light and brake light on while driving.

5) Tyres & Brakes:

one of the most important aspect in keeping you safe through the wet roads is the tyres. Tyres with less than 2mm of tread are prone to aquaplaning. It occurs when the tyre cannot squeeze out the water between the road and itself, and hence glides over a thin layer of water like a surfboard. This lack of contact between the road surface and the tyres could result in loose of control over the car, resulting in a serious accident. Always maintain the manufacturer-recommended tyre pressure, as this ensures the maximum contact area between your tyres and the road thus maximising the grip levels.

Brakes are another important component of your safety. Drum type breaks are especially affected by humid weather and wet roads, resulting in ineffective braking and skidding. If your brakes do get damp while wading through water-logged road. try to get out quickly and once out, hold down the brake pedal and accelerate slowly to dry out the brake pads, thereby enhancing their efficiency. If the problem persists, get it checked at a garage.

Nissan R31 Skyline Is A Japanese Collectible

Aside from Japan, R31 Nissan Skylines were produced in Australia in the late 1980s to circumvent the stringent import laws of the country at that time. Available locally in sedan and wagon body styles, these Aussie Skylines were powered by the RB30 engine, which is Nissan-speak for an inline-6, normally aspirated engine with a 3-liter displacement. Horsepower for this engine type was rated at 155.

At this point, there is little hope for getting a mint condition vehicle when you buy a used Nissan Skyline R31. These cars would be three decades old or more and would interest enthusiasts more for their historical value than any other reason. Modifying the RB30 by installing a twin cam head and turbo system can see horsepower boosted to more than 450, but the cost would be prohibitive, with the engine losing longevity in the reliability department. But some people still want to buy a used Nissan Skyline R31 for various reasons, so here is a list of things to look for.

1. Rust is any car’s enemy, more so with older cars. In the R31, rust-prone areas include the roof area near the windscreen, door sills and frames (specially at the bottom), the tail light areas and beneath the rear spoilers. Empty the trunk of the car and look for evidence of rust there. While you’re at the rear of the car, check the tail lights and their housings for cracks. 30-year old plastic tends to fade and become brittle. It’s also fairly common for water to leak inside the headlights and tail lights.

2. Inside the car, check the dash lights when you start the car. Check that the gauges and other instruments work. Operate the switch gear to see if the circuits they’re connected to still work. These include the aircon vents, door locks, the rear window defogger and roof and door lights. Check the general condition of the interior. Are the seats firmly anchored? Are the bottoms still supportive? Although it’s not a known issue, it’s also a good idea to check under the carpet to inspect the floorpan for rust.

3. Broken exhaust manifold studs are a known issue with the RB30 engine, as well as a slightly ticking sound from the top of the engine. These are caused by the lifters and are not a cause for concern, unless it’s unusually loud. As with any engine, check the sides and bottom of the engine for excessive leaks. A clean or wiped underside engine sump or tray is a warning sign. The engine coolant should also be free of rust, or worse, evidence of oil. If the car has an automatic, the oil there should be clean and be free of metallic particles. A common component that fails is the crank angle sensor plug due to corrosion in the plug area. Short of a teardown, a very good indicator of an engine’s condition is to conduct a pressure test. All cylinders should test within a few psi of each other.

To be sure, a person who intends to buy a used Nissan Skyline R31 will find some issues with cars these old. It is up to the person who wants to own this classic Japanese car to decide if what he finds is enough to purchase the car or not.