Can My Car Floor Mats Cause Me to Crash?

With the recent recalls, there has been a lot of discussion regarding floor mats. These inconspicuous accessories to every automobile on the planet have rarely been the focus of intense discussion. Indeed, most of the time the only way a floor mat is mentioned is if it is dirty or particularly funny/interesting.

But, since the slew of accidents and even fatalities, the spotlight has been rightfully shined on these potential hazards.

How is a floor mat dangerous?

The danger of floor mats don’t come from anything mechanical, but more in their ability to stay in place. If a mat were to slide forward when a driver is actively engaged in using the accelerator and brake pedals, it could cause an unwanted increase or decrease in speed.

Some instances of floor mat disruption involve the brakes. If a mat bunches up underneath a brake it could hamper the drivers ability to depress the pedal. When braking, a person only has a small window to react properly and this kind of distraction has been known to delay reaction long enough to cause accidents.

The other major way mats can be dangerous is causing a sticking effect of the accelerator. Sometimes the mat gets flipped on top of the pedal, other times its gripping nature causes the pedal to stay depressed. In both scenarios the driver does not get the reduction in acceleration when they release the pedal, which can cause distraction and problems when trying to brake in time.

What kind of floor mats are dangerous?

The most dangerous floor mats are after market models that do not properly fit the mold of your vehicle. It is the driver’s responsibility when purchasing an after market mat to make sure it fits, and ideally, works well with any hooks or stabilizing elements your car features.

Also dangerous are mats that are explicitly recalled from companies. These are mats that do not work well with safety measures put in place, or simply do not have enough safety measures to begin with.

Are there any solutions to mat problems?

If you are worried about mat safety, the first and best thing you can do is simply remove the mat. Your car floor may get dirty, but it is much better than suffering a crash.

Continue to err on the side of safety until you can find a model that secures tightly to your vehicle, and ideally has retaining hooks to keep it in place.

Hire a Sports Car to Enjoy The Thrill Of Driving One

It is a cherished dream for most people to drive a superb sports car and enjoy the thrill and pleasure of it. Hire a sports car if you want to experience the excitement of driving at the speed of wind and feel it rushing through your hair. To cruise the roads in a brilliant sports car is one of the most exhilarating experiences of most people that probably cannot be described in words. Let us discuss the reasons you would want to hire these sophisticated and superior quality cars over and over again:

  • One of the most significant reasons for hiring these cars is that hiring as opposed to purchasing can save you thousands of pounds. Moreover, hiring saves you all the worries and hassles of taking care of the maintenance fees, considering the enormous amounts of expenditures involved in the maintenance and servicing of sports cars. When you hire these cars, the rental company takes complete care of all the maintenance charges.
  • Sports cars are highly comfortable and luxurious, and give you the experience of the most gentle and smooth journey even when you are driving at the highest speeds.
  • The sophistication and magnificence of these cars is undeniable and cannot be compared with anything else. They allow you to make the most superior and posh entry to whatever event you are planning to attend. Driving a fast car ensures that you get all the attention wherever you go.
  • No matter what the occasion is, fast cars can serve the purpose of reaching you to your destination in the most luxurious and extravagant style. Whether you want to make an impression on your clients while attending an important business meeting or want to take someone special out, these high-end cars are your ultimate choice. They are also ideal for various corporate events and red carpet functions.
  • In a sports car you can travel from one destination to another at thrilling, breathtaking speeds. If you are driving a fast car, you can reach your destination in a remarkably lesser time than in other normal vehicles. In addition, you can travel in the most classy and stylish manner, which cannot be experienced with other cars.

If you want to hire a classic car, there are numerous rental services available. However, it is important that you choose the most reliable rental company in order to avoid future disappointments. Let us discuss some of the significant aspects you need to consider while choosing a rental service:

Reputation: It is important that you check the reputation of the rental service before getting into any kind of business with them. They should have the reputation of providing great cars and excellent services to their customers.

Insurance: One of the most important aspects that you need to consider is that the cars they give you on rent are appropriately insured. This is extremely important to ensure that you don’t have to worry about any possible injuries or damages that the car might suffer while you are driving it.

Chauffeur: It is preferable to choose a rental service that can provide you the facility of a chauffeur in case you don’t want to self-drive the car.

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.

Growing Your Auto Detailing Business With a Thermax CP3, CP5 or DV12

The auto detailing business is a phenomenal growth industry that thrives on repeat business and referrals. To assure you gain repeat business and referrals you need to do the best job possible. Dirt, grime and smells all need to be removed with perfection. A powerful industrial steam cleaner can truly assist in assuring that you produce the best possible detailing experience possible. Steamers have many advantages compared to traditional extractors by allowing the detailer to sanitize more efficiently and reach areas that the traditional method can’t. There are many manufacturers beginning to produce specialized auto steamers for detailers, though one of the most experienced is Thermax.

Thermax has primarily three industrial steam cleaning machines. The Thermax CP3, CP5 and CP12 (also called the DV12) are the three main steamers. Each of these machines has kits available for either contractors to use for homes and offices or an auto detailing kit. The Thermax steamers perform hygienic cleaning by reaching heating temperature over 135 degrees. These high temperatures allow for greater assistance in properly disinfecting, removing odors and in loosening built on grime. The CP5 and DV12 units actually reach temperature over 175 degrees. The pressure in each of these machines is also extremely powerful.

The CP3 has a PSI of 60, while the other two models have pressure of 100 PSI. The high PSI pressure will allow enough power of steam to reach into those tougher area’s like between seats, dashboards, cup holders and all crevices to remove any dirt or spills. The Thermax models allow for the addition of solution for those looking for the added benefit of fresher and brighter feel. Each of the units has a two stage vacuum motor for rapid water recovery and quicker drying times. The CP3 unit has a 3 gallon recovery tank, CP5 5 gallon tank and the DV12 has a 12 gallon recovery tank. Lastly each units attachments have long hosing to allow for less movement of the unit.

Thermax did not hold back when designing each of these units. The quality and design of these commercial steamers are worth the investment as the performance is superior. Thermax feels so confident in the quality that they offer a 3 year warranty on each machine. Auto detailing is a competitive business that requires superior performance for longevity in the crowded market. The Thermax steamers are quality machines that an auto detailer or carpet cleaner can feel confident using while differentiating themselves with the future of cleaning.

Car Valeting Beginners Guide

Ever just wished there was a way to get your vehicle back into the same condition it had been the day it left the dealer? Car valeting is definitely the only way to keep your vehicle looking as good as it can. The fact is, valeting can actually help make your car look better than it did the day it was driven from the dealer’s lot. Here’s how to get started.

Exactly What Does Car Valeting Include?

For a complete car valet, you’ll need to get started with the exterior by washing, polishing and waxing the surface, then cleaning up your wheels and tyres. When you have finished the surface, you’ll move onto the car’s engine, flooring, pads, cleaning the glass and plastic, getting rid of any kind of spills and smells while taking good care of any leather upholstery.

Cleaning

We start by washing the outside of the car. You will need to make sure you have a good soft wash mitt to shampoo your car. Always pick a woolen wash mitt where possible. The woolen wash mitt can help you avoid any scuffs to the exterior. The wool will also keep more water enabling you to shampoo your vehicle more effectively.

One important note is to wash your car by using a two-bucket technique. Bucket one will have a shampoo and water solution and bucket two will just hold water to rinse. Buckets guards are extremely useful. Dirt moves through them at the bottom of both buckets. This can stop you from moving the dirt back to your car while cleaning.

Purchase a good vehicle shampoo. Although you can save some money with “bargain brands”, they lack the overall performance and defense paid for by top end products.

Microfibre or even PVA towels are best in relation to drying your car. It is best to finish the wash by rinsing your car with a good jet mist nozzle.

Polishing

To get rid of any minute imperfections that your car’s paint may contain, we use polish. Polish does not harm the end result. Preferably, you want to have a fine polish, as it will offer a sleek, wet look once you’re done. You may polish by hand, or you can make use of a buffer to do the task. Bear in mind, if you’re working with a buffer you’ll need to apply the polish on a slow setting applying overlapping actions.

Waxing

In order to finalise the finish, you’ll use a wax. It helps keep the “recently polished” look to your car’s paint. A top quality artificial wax can be used although the best results are with natural waxes, such as carnauba. Do not wax your head and tail lights since this will cause a glare.

Your Wheels and Tyres

Valeting your wheels and tyres should not be overlooked. Ensure you clean them properly with shampoo and water, but you will need it double the strength. Use a hard brush to take away as much dirt as you can. Tyre dressing will be used to finish the process.

The Engine

Cleaning your engine will require that you’ve got a quality engine degreaser, as well as a way of protecting vital devices and components during the process. Use a product to protect the engine after you have finished degreasing.

The Interior

You’ll need some extra things for the vehicle’s interior. A wet/dry vacuum is vital, along with vacuum attachments to enable you to clean inside tiny areas. You’ll also need carpet shampoo to clean the dirt from the carpets and mats.

Cleaning the car’s interior includes a few steps. If you start with the windows, you’ll need to clean them using a glass cleaner and then buff them using a towel. Most of the different surfaces in your vehicle will have specific cleaners intended for them, like the plastic as well as vinyl.

Any stains in your car must be removed using a neutral cleaning soap combined with water. You can use a scrub brush and even a putty knife in a few instances to help.

Finally, if you have leather covers, you will need to clean it correctly. You can pick up some great leather cleaners and particular brushes for the job.