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When it comes to adapting what we have on hand to deal with a mechanical issue or inconvenience, there are a few household items we can employ for quick auto fixes besides duct tape. Your Fort Collins auto repair shop probably does not use hand sanitizer to de-ice a frozen car lock, but who knows.

Clean your Engine

When having your engine serviced, it is much easier, and saves a lot of time, if it is clean. Your auto technician will do this, but if you want to shine up the engine in your vehicle before servicing, or just because you like keeping it clean, it’s an easy job with plain old soap and water. That is correct: no special cleaners, chemicals or solvents will do a much better job than a bucket of warm suds.

Cover all the sensitive areas (electrical parts, battery, air intake, and distributor) with plastic bags, then fill a bucket with warm water and dishwasher soap. Scrub and rinse the engine with a soft cloth or rag. Have at it, and shine away. When finished, you can use all those bags to collect your dirty cleaning rags, and dispose of the whole mess.

Remove Built Up Debris From Headlights

Another item on your car that is easily cleansed is foggy headlights & lamps. Oxidation and dirt build up a grimy cover on those beams over time, diminishing the ability of the bulb within the light or headlamp to shine in all its full radiance. Grab a clean dry cloth, some water, and toothpaste. Generously squeeze that toothpaste all over your headlights, then buff it in with a clean dry cloth. Toothpaste with small bits of abrasive will grind down the debris on the headlamp, removing it. When finished, rinse out your cloth with cool water and rinse away the toothpaste and debris that was on your headlights. Not only will your beams shine brighter, your car won’t need to make a visit to the dentist for a while.

While you’re at it, how about cleaning your windshield with a razor blade? Dead bugs, sap, and other sticky debris can adhere like glue to our windshields. When washing fluid is not sufficient, pull out a razor blade. It makes an excellent small scraper for that yellow hardened bit of bug matter, or can be used on sap slashes. A razor blade is very efficient for cleaning small areas of sticky hardened goo off any exterior glass windshield. Just don’t cut yourself, and be careful to dispose of the blade so it’s not a hazard when you are finished.

These simple auto hacks will do a quality job maintaining the cleanliness of your vehicle, which, as your auto technician can tell you, will contribute to it’s mechanical soundness. We have a few more Fort Collins auto repair tricks up our sleeve to share with you when it comes to quick hacks:

TheEgyptian
Key Chain CC Photo Courtesy of TheEgyptian

When it comes to keys, there are a few tricks we can tell you about. First,

Use a staple remover on tough key rings. Simply use a staple remover to prop open the key ring as you slide the key on or off, or add gadgets, like a mini flashlight to your key ring.

We have all had to deal with difficult-to-open key rings. However, don’t pile too much weight on your key ring.

Lighten your keychain to protect your ignition.

A heavy keychain can weigh down your ignition switch, causing unnecessary wear and tear. Keep your keychain and it’s attaching accessories on the light side to protect your car’s ignition. And, if you follow all of the GM recalls, one of them has to do with a faulty ignition switch. They advised keeping your key car key solo until you could get the car into your Fort Collins auto repair shop for some recall repairs.

De-ice your locks with hand sanitizer. It’s certainly not winter at the moment, but it will be back, we promise. When your key lock ices up and freezes, grab the hand sanitizer out of your glove box or carry bag, and squirt a little waterless hand sanitizer on your key. The alcohol in the sanitizer will melt the ice.

Remove dents with dry ice. The extreme cold of dry ice can actually help pop out dents. Remember to always handle dry ice with gloves on, as dry ice can hurt your skin pretty badly. Simply gently press it to the dent repeatedly to smooth it out. If you are dealing with a large dent, your better off just going to your auto technician and getting some body work done. For small dents, however, dry ice should do the trick.

Fix scratches with nail polish. Clear nail polish helps to fill in scratches in a pinch. It is a good temporary cover up, helping your cars exposed metal  avoid rust.

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