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How To Clean Your Car - It's All In The Details!

Top Hacks To Clean Your Car Inside & Out

Does your car feel old and tired? The upholstery appears a little tattered, and the formerly gleaming windows are now…well, not so shiny. Sure, you could pay someone to clean your car—or save money by cleaning it yourself.

You can use these tried and true cleaning hacks to get your car clean, both inside and out. After researching we found some great websites that go into great detail. Be sure to visit them for more great tips

How to Clean and Restore Car Headlights

After a few years of usage, the plastic in car headlights oxidizes, causing them to become hazy and yellowish. That film can cause you not to see as well when driving at night. You can use this headlight restoration technique to clean and restore your headlights.

According to Family Handyman there is an easy 4 step process that will restore your headlights

Step 1 - Wash and Sand Horizontally

  • Wash the cloudy headlight with warm soapy water.

  • Rinse with plenty of clear water, then let it dry.

  • Then mask the area around the lens so you don't scratch the paint.

  • Soak the sheets of sandpaper in water, then start with the grit that suits your situation.

Sand in one direction.

With sandpaper, the higher the number, the finer the grit. If the headlight is just dull or yellowed, start with the 1,500 grit and work up to the 2,500 grit. If there are light scratches, start with the 1,000-grit paper.

Step 2 - Rinse and Sand Vertically

Rinse and change direction with the next grit. Keep doing this until you're finished with the 2,500-grit paper.

Step 3 - Buff the Lens with Polish

  • Wash the headlight with plenty of clear, cool water and dry.

  • Wet one corner of the flannel cloth with the polishing compound.

  • Using firm pressure, polish the headlight in a circular pattern until it becomes smooth and clear.

Step 4 - Polish the Lens

  • Allow the polish to dry, then use the clean end of the cloth to buff off any polish residue.

  • Repeat the polishing process.

  • Depending on the damage to the headlamp, small areas may still appear foggy. Try re-polishing only those spots with a polishing compound. Buff the area again and inspect. The lens should look perfectly clear!

  • To keep foggy headlights clear, wash often with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or sponge, flush with plenty of water and dry.

Never clean clear plastic with wax, polish or any chemical that's not formulated for the task. And that is how to clean headlights yourself!

Credit: Family Handyman

 

How To Clean Your Car Windows Streak Free

The key to getting your car windows clean and streak free is all about the tools and techniques you use. The great news is that it's not difficult to do, and once you learn how, you'll be able to get your car windows looking amazing in no time.

  1. Use a clean, soft microfiber cloth or towel to avoid scratches.

  2. When using a cleaning solution, make sure work in small sections

  3. Start at the top and work your way down

  4. Use a quality glass cleaner

  5. Wipe in a circular motion

  6. Use a second clean microfiber cloth to dry

  7. Polish with a third clean microfiber cloth

How To Clean The Dashboard

The best things to clean your car dashboard according to DetailCentralAve are.

  • Vacuum with Attachment

  • Soft Microfiber Cloth

  • Water and Mild Soap

  • Toothbrush or Soft Paint Brush

  • Polish

To begin, use your vacuum with brush attachments to vacuum the dash. Attempt to pick up any dust or debris on the dash.

Next, take a soft microfiber cloth, dipped in water, to wipe down your dash. If the interior of your car is particularly grimy, fill a bowl with warm water and mild soap. Use this to wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, hand brake, and interior plastic of your vehicle.

Likely, it will be difficult to clean in the small crevices and vents. Use a toothbrush, soft paintbrush, or designated dash brush to gently remove dirt. Be careful so you don’t scratch the delicate parts of your car.

Once your dash is clean and dry – you can use another dry microfiber cloth to rub down the dash if needed – you can add shine by polishing it. You can pick up a wide variety of polishes at automotive parts stores. Pick the polish of your choice and put a small amount onto a clean and dry cloth, then rub the cloth over the dash. Repeat until the entire dashboard is polished. You can polish the center console as well. If there is excess polish when you’ve finished, remove with a dry cloth.

Credit: DetailCentralAve

How To Remove Dead Bugs From Your Car's Exterior

The paint on your car's exterior is delicate. When you drive, bugs hit your car and can leave behind stains or etchings in the paint. You may not notice them right away, but over time these can become more visible and difficult to remove.

To remove dead bugs from your car's exterior, start by washing the area with soap and water. Then, using a soft cloth or sponge, gently scrub the affected area in a circular motion. If the stain is still visible, you can try using a mild abrasive cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Be sure to test any cleaner on an inconspicuous area of your car's exterior first to avoid damaging the paint.

Once you've removed the dead bug stains, be sure to wash and wax your car regularly to protect the paint and keep your car looking its best.



Can I Trade My Car With A Cracked Windshield

Yes but...... Should You Have It Repaired First?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to trade in your car with a cracked windshield. The first is the state in which you live. Some states require insurance companies to replace your windshield if it is cracked, while others will only repair it.

Obviously if your insurance company is going to replace it, that will not cost you anything out of pocket and will help maintain the value of your car. Anytime you trade in your car the dealer is going to evaluate it and give you a lower offer if there are any significant problems. So a cracked windshield would definitely affect how much money you get for your car.

It's always better to repair a cracked windshield as soon as possible. Not only will it help maintain the value of your car, but it's also much safer to drive with a windshield that is not cracked. In order for the dealer to resell your car, they will need to get the windshield repaired anyway.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy, then it will likely cover the replacement of your windshield if it needs to be replaced. However, if you only have liability coverage, then you will be responsible for the entire cost of replacing your windshield.

If you have a chipped windshield, don't panic. It can be repaired, but you need to take action quickly. The longer the chip remains unrepaired, the more likely it is to spread and require a full replacement.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Evaluate the chip. If it is smaller than a quarter, it can probably be repaired. If it is larger, or if it cracks when you tap it with your finger, you will need to replace the windshield.

  • Find a reputable glass repair shop. Be sure to get recommendations from friends or family members, and check online reviews.

  • Make an appointment for the repair. The sooner the better, as the chip is more likely to spread if it is not repaired quickly.

The Different Types of Windshield Chips and their Repairs

There are several things that cause your windshield to chip. The most common are small rocks or other objects that hit your windshield while driving. These types of chips are usually no more than 1/4 inch in diameter and can be repaired easily.

Another type of chip is caused by hailstones. These chips are usually much larger, up to an inch in diameter, and can be much more difficult to repair.

The last type of chip is called a crack. Cracks can be caused by any of the above, but are usually much longer, sometimes running the entire length of your windshield. Cracks can be very difficult to repair and often require replacement.

Not only driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous, but it is also illegal in most states. Some states require insurance companies to replace your windshield if it is cracked, while others will only repair it.

There are a few different ways to repair a chipped windshield. The first, and most common, is to use a resin or epoxy to fill the chip. This method is quick and easy, but does not always give the best results. The second way is to use a glass patch. This method is more time consuming, but will usually give a better result.

Are You Ready For A New Ride?

You've just spent the past few years of your life paying on your car. Now you're ready for a new one, but the thought of starting the process over again can feel overwhelming

You're not alone. A lot of people feel the same thing when they're ready to trade-in or sell their car. Don't worry we're here to make the process of trading in your car easy and stress-free. We'll help you figure out what your car is worth, and we'll handle all the paperwork for you. Plus, we have a wide variety of inventory to choose from and very competitive prices.

Call us today or fill out our online form to get started. We can't wait to help you find your next car!



Stuck On The Side Of The Road - You're Not Alone

Emergency Roadside Kits - A Friend When You Need One

We've all been there before. You're driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly you get a flat tire. Or your engine starts making strange noises. Whatever the problem is, it's a pain - and it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time.

That's where emergency roadside kits come in. A good roadside kit can help you get out of a bind, no matter what kind of trouble you find yourself in. Whether you're on a road trip or just driving to work, it's important to have all of the supplies you need in case of an emergency.

It's not just you who will benefit from an emergency roadside kit. if you ever have to help another driver who is stranded, you'll be glad you have a kit to lend them. They will appreciate the fact that you were prepared and able to help them in their time of need.

What should you include in your emergency roadside kit?

  • Flashlight, flares, and reflective triangles will help other motorists see your car

  • A first aid kit is an essential part of any emergency roadside kit. Be sure to include items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. Check for expiration dates on your supplies periodically.

  • Jumper cables. One of the best options is a self contained jump box that doesn't require another car. They typically contain charging cables for phones and other small electronics, too.

  • A tire inflator can help if you have a flat tire. You may also want to include a small can of fix-a-flat.

  • A quart of oil and a gallon of coolant will help if your car starts to overheat

  • Tools like a screwdriver, pliers, and a wrench will come in handy if you need to make minor repairs

  • A blanket. Although you would think this would only be necessary in the winter, a blanket can actually be helpful all year round. If you have a breakdown at night, the blanket will keep you warm until help arrives. Also hypothermia can set in quickly, even on a warm day.

  • Small umbrella. In case you get stranded in the rain, an umbrella will help keep you dry

Emergency roadside kits can be a lifesaver when you find yourself in an emergency on the road. They are perfect for any vehicle, whether it's your own car or someone else who needs help and is stranded by the side of the highway.

Every situation is different, so you'll need to use your best judgment when deciding what to include in your roadside kit. But these items are a good place to start. With a little bit of preparation, you'll be ready for whatever the road throws your way.

Got stuck on the side of the road one too many times? Well, you're certainly not alone. In fact, research shows that 1 in every 4 drivers will experience a car breakdown at some point this year.

Thinking About Trading Your Car?

We have a wide selection of cars, trucks and SUVs to choose from. If you're not sure what you're looking for, our team of experts can help. We'll work with you to find the perfect car for your needs and budget.

Old Car Technology That's Now Considered Standard

Car Technology Advancements That Make Life Easier For Drivers

Are you old enough to remember when air conditioning and powered windows were optional car features? How about when you had to manually unlock your doors? If you are, then you've seen firsthand how far car technology has come in just a few decades.

Nowadays, we can't imagine owning a vehicle without them. In fact, new cars are loaded with all sorts of tech gadgets and creature comforts that make the driving experience more enjoyable. Here are just a few of the car tech advancements that have made life easier for drivers.

Automatic Climate Control

Curbside Classic

"Cadillac released Comfort Control, the world’s first fully automatic climate control system in 1964. This system is an amazing accomplishment and a reminder of how GM and Cadillac really once were the standard of the world"

If you wanted that type of luxury you had to pay a pretty penny for it. Nowadays, you can find automatic climate control in even the most basic of cars. This feature keeps the temperature at a preset level, so you don't have to adjust it every time the weather changes.

Cruise Control

Another oldie but goodie is Cruise Control. Great for long road trips when you don't want to wear your foot out by constantly pressing the gas pedal. It also helps you save on gas. Just set your desired speed and the car will maintain a consistent speed, as long as you keep your foot off the brake.

Wikipedia

"Modern cruise control (also known as a speedostat or tempomat) was invented in 1948 by the blind inventor and mechanical engineer Ralph Teetor.[4][5] He came up with the idea due to being frustrated by his driver's habit of speeding up and slowing down as he talked."

Heated and Cooled Seats

Another comfort feature that has become standard in many new cars are heated and cooled seats. This is a welcome addition for those who live in climates with extreme temperatures. Heated seats warm you up on cold days, while cooled seats keep you cool on hot days.

Backup Cameras

Did you know that backup cameras originated in 1956? Although backup cameras have been around for years they started to become more popular in the early 2000s.

Backup cameras are a lifesaver, literally. They help you avoid accidents by giving you a clear view of what's behind you when you're in reverse.

Wikipedia

"1956 Buick Centurion concept car, presented in January 1956 at the General Motors Motorama. The vehicle had a rear-mounted television camera that sent images to a TV screen in the dashboard in place of the rear-view mirror."

If you've ever tried to parallel park in a tight spot without one then you know what a pain it can be. a backup camera can be a lifesaver.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 - The Day Backup Cameras Became Standard

Car And Driver

"If you’re shopping for a new vehicle and it doesn’t have a backup camera or the feature costs extra, then it was built before Tuesday, May 1st, 2018. That’s when the safety device became standard on all vehicles made for the American market."

Although backup cameras have been around for years they started to become more popular in the early 2000s.

Keyless Entry and Start

Just like other car technology , keyless entry and start has been around for a while but it's only recently that it has become standard in new cars. This feature allows you to unlock and start your car without ever having to take your keys out of your pocket.

What Car Technology Is Next To Become A Standard Option?

Here are some other options that are starting to move their way from the luxury category into the mainstream. The average car buyer may not be able to afford all of these features right now, but eventually, they may become standard.

1. Automatic braking

2. Lane departure warning

3. Blind spot monitoring

4. Park assist systems

5. Adaptive cruise control

6. Heads-up displays

One of the most popular car technology trends is the inclusion of hands-free capabilities, such as Bluetooth and voice-activated controls. This allows drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while still being able to control.

Do you have a car with outdated technology?

It might be time to trade it in. You deserve the latest technology in your car – and we can help make that happen. We have a huge selection of cars to choose from, and we’ll make sure the process is easy for you.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Steps Our Dealership Is Taking to Keep Our Team & Customers Healthy
The safety and health of our employees and customers is always a top priority. We want you to be aware of the actions our dealership is taking as the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) becomes a bigger point of discussion in our daily lives.
At our dealership, we are:
1. Fully sanitizing and wiping down each vehicle on the lot and that comes in for service.
2. Deep cleaning common areas used by employees and customers.
3. Providing additional hand sanitizing stations and wipes for customers and employees.
4. Instructing employees not to come in if they feel sick or experience any symptoms.
5. Offering home delivery and vehicle pick up options.
Keeping our community healthy is important to us. We appreciate everyone's flexibility during this time, and we look forward to continuing to provide the level of service you have come to expect from our team.
disclaimer: *Available within a specific radius from Sterling Imports. Appointment is required. See dealer for more details.

How to Change Your Oil

How To Change Your Oil

An Easy DIY Project That Saves Money


Why change your own oil?

One of the cornerstones of do-it-yourself car maintenance jobs is the home oil change. It's a simple process that requires few tools, and it's a sure way to save some money while you avoid the hassle of sitting in a dull waiting room somewhere reading outdated magazines.

More than anything, the basic oil change is a great way to connect with your vehicle and take some control over its maintenance. The time you spend under the hood and under the car affords you an excellent opportunity to look around and see if anything else needs attention.

Our video shows the process in action:



Money Saved: Between $25 and $75

Time Required: One hour the first time out; 30 minutes on average


Tools Required:

  • Wrench to remove drain plug (box end or socket)
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil drain pan
  • Funnel
  • Latex gloves
  • Jack and jack stands or ramps (optional, depends on ground clearance)

Materials Required: 

  • Oil
  • Oil filter
  • Replacement drain plug washer (depending on application)


Dan Edmunds, Director Of Vehicle Testing (Original source can be found @ edmunds.com)

3 Reasons Why BHPH Is Important

Original source cited here: Auto Influence.com

3 Reasons Why a Buy Here Pay Here Dealership is Important To You

Instead of hopping on the “bash the buy here, pay here” bandwagon, take a step back for an objective look at how helpful Buy Here Pay Here dealerships really can be. Maybe you had a bad experience at one, or maybe you know someone who did. Regardless, it’s important to set aside the archaic mindset which is convinced that BHPH dealerships are out there to get you. Instead, try to embrace just how important these dealerships might be to you or someone you know. If you have tried securing an auto loan at a bank or other dealership but have been denied because of your credit, a BHPH dealership is your last hope — and exist to help get you into a reliable vehicle and back on your feet. Plus, if your credit score is so bad that you keep getting denied left and right, it’s probably one of the only ways to get it back on track. Finally, the weekly and bi-weekly payments required will promote good financial habits and decrease your chance of credit trouble in the future.

If you look at the dealership from this last resort perspective then you might realize just how important they are to you — the consumer with bad credit.

It’s Your Last Resort

If you are looking for a car loan, your first instinct will either be to go to your average dealership, bank, or credit union. Let’s start with the dealership, since these places aren’t a guarantee when it comes to getting a car. Instead, you need to have a stable job, decent income, and a good credit score and credit report. If you are missing any of these three things, then chances are you won’t get financing at the dealership.

Next stop is your bank or credit union. Banks are much tougher when it comes getting approved for an auto loan compared to dealerships and credit unions, but it’s worth a shot. Unlike the dealership, your bank will most likely have all the information they need to determine if you are eligible for an auto loan. So if they see your poor income, spotty employment record, and bad credit score, you’ll most likely get shot down again.

A credit union is much more flexible with loans, so you might think of heading over there next. But, you need to be a member in order to have a better shot at getting approved for an auto loan. Sign up, and ask what they can do about getting you an auto loan. Although credit unions can be more flexible than a bank or average dealership, that doesn’t mean they are just going to hand you a freebie. If you don’t have your financial habits on track, chances are they won’t be able to give you a loan either.

Why is it such a big deal for these places to give you a loan, you might ask? Because it’s a big risk for them to lend a loan to somebody with bad credit or no credit. They might see your credit history and poor score (or lack of credit score) and think you won’t be responsible enough or otherwise able to make loan payments on time; if at all. When it boils down to it, they just aren’t willing to take on someone with bad or no credit.

And this is why a buy here pay here dealership is your last resort when faced with this type of situation. Their whole purpose is to finance consumers with bad credit or no credit because they have the capability and knowledge when it comes to dealing with those types of consumers. They are able to provide financing because of in-house car loans, which means they are the only ones at risk of financial loss if you default on your loan. Ultimately, they are there to help you which is why they are willing to put themselves at financial risk.

It might be a bit of a hassle making weekly or bi-weekly cash payments at the BHPH dealership, but there is an upside to that — as you’ll see soon…

Chances Are, You’ll Finally Get Your Credit Score Back on Track

Not only is a car loan from a BHPH dealership your only shot of getting back on the road again, but it’s probably one of the only ways — or the only way — to reestablish your credit score. How? Because, even though BHPH dealerships are independently financing you, they are still loaning you a car. The car is still registered and in their system, which means they need to report what happens with it. In turn, they need to report your name for legal purposes, along with your loan progress to the credit bureaus. Loans of any kind can be a great way to build up your credit score, provided you are making on-time payments — and a bad credit car loan from a BHPH dealership is no different.

One of their goals is completely separate from providing you with a car, and it’s to get your credit score back on track. That’s why they report your loan progress to the credit bureaus because they know doing so will help build up your credit score again.

If you build up your credit score (and reputation with the BHPH dealership) that means you will be able to eventually move up to a better car and auto loan in the future.

Weekly Or Bi-Weekly Payments Promote Good Financial Habits

In order to pay off your loan, and start repairing your credit score, you will be required to make either weekly or bi-weekly payments at a BHPH dealership. This isn’t the only way that BHPH dealerships differ from other lenders, either. Chances are you’ll be physically going to the dealership in order to hand them cash. Like I said before, this might be an inconvenience on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but it has another advantage apart from rebuilding your credit score.

It encourages good financial habits. If you are required to drive to the dealership once or twice a week, and you know that they can repossess your only mode of transportation, you will be motivated to make those payments. Since car loans aren’t paid off overnight, doing this over time will help build stable financial habits.

After you’ve made some progress rebuilding your credit, and when it comes time for you to get a new car loan, you’ll have demonstrated some rigorous financial responsibility, which will make that once a month (or bi-weekly if you so choose) payment a walk in the park by comparison. Getting to that point is all because of the BHPH dealership. So, if you or a friend has bad or no credit and are afraid of BHPH dealerships because of what you’ve heard; just remember their reputations have evolved and most of them are motivated to help.

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