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.

The Importance of Cleanliness in the Machine Shop

Many people do not realize the importance of making sure the shop is always clean. After a good while, things begin to pile up and then there almost seems no point in cleaning up. However, if cleanliness is maintained from the very start, then it is easy to clean up from a job. Cleanliness involves much more than the floors. This would include the machines, accessories for the machines and seemingly insignificant areas such as the offices and bathrooms.

So, why should the shop always be clean? First, you will save a lot of money with your tools. Tools always operate a little bit better if they are clean and greased properly. Over a period of time, a build-up of dust and particles can bring a drill press to its knees. Particles and dust can cause a drill press or a lathe to overheat to the point that the motor will simply burn up. But, not just with the machines themselves, the accessories for the machines have to be cleaned as well. The perfect example of an accessory that needs maintenance is the step drill bit. The step drill bit, especially when used on wood, can become clogged up with particles that have seared or welded onto the bit itself. This makes the bit to be extremely inaccurate and causes the bit to dull and burn up. Many people will clean the floors of the shop and they also have clean bathrooms, but it is important not to forget the seemingly insignificant pieces that need a little tender loving care.

Another forgotten accessory is the annular cutter. This marvel of ingenuity can cut a hole so precise in a pipe or really anything. The problem is that the flutes on the side become clogged with particles and debris from the material being drilled. It is extremely important to clean these flutes as good as you can. It is recommended to use a cleaning agent of some kind that will not leave a scum or film on the tool. Many tools can be burned up or lose accuracy when cleaned over and over with a soap that leaves a scum.

Some have tried certain products, but the one that works the best for cleaning drill bits, such as the annular cutter and the step drill bit, is an automotive brake parts cleaner. This cleaner is very powerful and has the potential to cause damage to your skin and eyes, so do be careful with its use. First, just spray a little of this cleaner on your part and then quickly wipe the debris off with a clean rag. It is important not to let this cleaner sit on the tool for a long period of time, as this may cause a form of erosion on the tool itself.

So, the next time it comes to clean up the shop, make sure that everything is cleaned, because if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you. You will not be buying these little items over and over again. This may not save you a lot of time right now, but it certainly will pay off in the future.

Truck Bed Mats – Dent Stoppers

Truck bed mats are one answer to protect your trucks from life shortening damage. Pickup trucks were made for hauling. Unless you are very careful though, quickly a shiny new bed can look like a rust bucket. Scratches and scrapes from just casual use will start the rusty trail if the paint is scraped down to bare metal. And a work truck that’s used hard can quickly pick up big dents and dings that lead to an early grave. So what’s the answer? Can you really use your truck and still keep it looking good?

One choice to protect your bed is a spray on bed liner. That may be the number one choice now for a number of reasons. The bed liners are attractive, tough and permanent protection for your bed. But maybe you don’t want a permanent coating or maybe you choose something with more padding or less money. Maybe you want some protection for that expensive spray on liner. That would be protection for the protection!

In many cases a bed mat may be a great choice to protect your bed or even to cover up existing damage. Bed mats come in a variety of types and variations. Your main material choices are carpet and rubber. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Carpet Liners

Carpet is an especially good choice if your truck sports a tonneau cover or a topper shell. Most carpet liners are weatherproof, but a wet liner can hold moisture on the bed and start damage to the bed. However, some new carpet covers are made of closed cell foam like life preservers and dry very fast. A carpet covering is a non-skid surface and that may be just what your hauling requires. Plus carpet is cushion for knees if your loading or hauling calls for some crawling around on the truck bed. Also carpeting is perfect for cushioning big, messy hauling jobs.

With these mats you may choose a reversible cover. For really messy, rough hauling some mats have two usable sides. Sometimes one side is carpet and the other rubber. These dual side mats are just the thing for real work trucks that need tough non-skid protection.

On the other extreme, pick a custom made carpet lining that covers bottom and sides of the bed with luxury carpet. You wouldn’t want a luxury carpet liner for messy loads but for more casual hauling and recreational use. Many of these liners are installed with velcro so the liners are easy to remove and clean.

Rubber Liners

For really nasty or rough hauling, rubber mats are virtually indestructible. These mats are also weatherproof, unbreakable and shock absorbing. Rubber mats can take severe bashing with little or no damage. Plus you get some road noise muffling with the bed protection.

You may want a trim to fit universal mat. That will be your cheapest choice. A custom fit rubber mat is probably made for your truck too. Another option is to get a multi-piece liner just for your truck that includes a rubber floor mat plus snap in side pieces to cover the whole bed.

Whatever your choice, truck bed mats are an important option to protect the value of your old or new truck.