The 5 GREATEST Automotive DIY Tricks!

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Introduction: The 5 GREATEST Automotive DIY Tricks!

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Welcome back to another tricks article

Step 1: LET PHYSICS DO THE WORK FOR YOU

Tire change season is right around the corner, why not do it yourself?! Here’s a cool trick that’ll save your back. Instead of lifting your wheel like this, grab yourself a long pry bar or even a piece of 2x4 with a couple of shims under and let physics do the work for you, this trick works best with bigger, heavier wheels of course but works just as well for small ones too.

Step 2: GAS ARROW

I bet you anything this happened to you once and you wished you knew the answer, check it out! In your dashboard there’s a small arrow next to your gas light indicator that points on which side your gas trap is, yep it’s been there the whole time.

Step 3: CLEAN YOUR WHEELS

If you’re an automotive clean freak like me, here’s one for you. Instead of using expensive products to clean your wheels, use VIM with bleach, it’ll get those white walls looking brand new and will save you a ton of money in the long run!

Step 4: CURE RUST

Rust is inevitable, but here’s an inexpensive way that’ll slow down the process considerably. Get yourself some mechanic’s grease and put a blob of it on the area that’s affected, it’ll isolate the problem temporarily till you get it fixed.

Step 5: BETTER BE SAFE THAN SORRY

As a last trick, whenever you change your windshield wipers, don’t discard the old ones, keep them and store them under your seat or in your trunk, in the event that one breaks off, you’ll have a spare one with you and you won’t be stuck with a wiper arms scratching your windshield

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    43 Discussions

    I would stay away from any cleaner that uses bleach. That will damage the finish on wheels and cause rust.

    7 replies

    I do it all the time, never have I seen rust. Maybe on steelies?

    Household bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite, NaOCl) is very alkaline and can etch or destroy the clearcoat on most alloy wheels. It breaks down into salt which can begin to oxidize the unprotected metal. It also dries out paint and can de-color any pigments. While a fully diluted solution can be used on protected (waxed) paint, I still prefer using car shampoo instead. It should be ph neutral and free of harsh chemicals.

    Aluminium is always protected by an alumine layer instantaneously produced when aluminium gets in contact with oxygen. I've never seen al oxyded by bleach.

    I would be more concerned with the bleach leaching the oils from the rubber itself causing it to prematurely dry-rot. similar to why its recommended to keep tires of prolonged direct contact with concrete.

    You are right, but I am guessing that if it's only once or twice a season, it shouldn't affect the oils in the tires that much ;)

    It hazes into a dull silver color. You can buff it out but that removes the clear coat. The big issue is using a chlorinated cleaner on a painted surface. Most alloy wheels are painted with pigments or a clear coat over polished metal. This paint should not be cleaned with chlorine.

    I put a old set of spark plug wires on top of my spare tire in my trunk when I changed them, came in handy when I had one to go bad while working in the NC mountains for a day. I bought a new set after I got home.

    1 reply

    Regular car wheels presented little problem even for my youth-deficient body. The 20" rims on my SUV, however, presented a difficulty, even the summer tires on aluminum rims. The meatier snow tires on steel rims were definitely a back-breaker. This is a good solution. Without lifing the vehicle so high, I used a big prybar to accomplish the same result.

    1 reply

    A spade or shovel works a treat for this job. The thin edge is easy to get under the wheel. I use it all the time on my Jeep wheels which are too heavy to lift.

    1 reply

    Back when the earth was still cooking and I got my first job as A gas pump jockey my boss bought A new 1965 International Scout. Every spring and winter he would put it on the lift and pressure wash the undercarriage. After it dried he would use an old paint sprayer to coat the undercarriage with Phillips 66 MM or Unique oil. These oils were non detergent grade and would resist washing off in the rain. He did this for the entire 16 year's I worked for him and after I worked for him as well. Eventually he sold this vehicle to A friend of mine who continued with this treatment but instead of non detergent oil A product called LPS 3 was substituted. LPS 3 has A wax base and sticks tenaciously!

    This truck is no garage queen! It was purchased as A service truck for car starting and snow plowing and while my friend has removed the battery bank used for car starting, the snow plow remains and is used every winter at his home in central Minnesota. The body is in near perfect condition but the original red paint is faded to A pink color!

    While my former boss and my friend have the luxury of using an auto hoist and A grease pit to undercoat their vehicles you can do it while laying on your back. Not fun but possible!!

    1 reply

    Good story! I used to get some cans of the same type of oil and spray the underside too ;)

    Where in the U.S. can I get some Vim cream cleaner with bleach?

    1 reply

    Vim cream cleaner would be hard to come by in the U.S., but a comparable product would be Soft Scrub. The original Vim is a scouring powder much like the U.S. product, Ajax.