Unfortunately, it's still cold outside...
...and while the wind whips and the snow continues to fall here in the Northeast, we know (or hope) Spring is right around the corner.
And if you're anything like us the return of spring also marks the reemergence of your garage-kept Mustang, or the new convertible, or the soft-top (or no top) for the Jeep Wrangler. Once you're done washing, waxing, and polishing, there's a few more things you can do to keep your car driving, looking, and feeling like the apple of your eye -- just in time for spring.
So, without further ado, here's five quick steps to help you knock the dust off of your special vehicle:
1. Taking your car from the driveway to the racetrack -- Customizable Tire Decals
Now: this can go very wrong, very quickly. Just like a tattoo, don't get your latest girlfriend's name permanently adhered to your car tires: otherwise it'll be stuck there for their entire life.
A super-quick fix that adds a whole lot to the overall look of your vehicle, customizable decals may be created from either text or an image file. The decals are then heated and adhered (the permanent variety), or they are peeled and stuck (the semi-permanent variety). The cost is very reasonable and it's quite easy to get professional-looking results. A little accent goes a long way in this case while they serve little purpose aside from looking cool, we're certain there's no need for any further reasoning.
2. The Ultimate Horsepower Helper Octane Boosters
Octane is a measurement of the rate at which fuel burns. Octane levels are visible on every gas pump you've likely come across: 87 (regular), 89 (mid-grade), and 93 (premium). While high-octane fuels are used to eliminate knocking, they are also used to boost performance characteristics in sport vehicles.
Whether you're detonating " or not an Octane booster may give your vehicle some extra pep in its step (basically a shot of wheat grass for your car). Increasing the flammability of your gasoline may allow your engine to work more efficiently and quickly --use regularly and you might just have the hottest and fastest summer of your life!
3. Absorbent pads and Fuller's Earth
Alright, so they aren't necessarily for your car, but if you're going to be opening that garage door up to the neighborhood, you had better keep it looking pristine.
Working on your own car at home has some major benefits, but there are definitely some downsides. Keeping the garage clean is an absolute necessity while the familiar smell of your grandfather's workshop is something you may desire achieve, it will ideally be best to keep things clean and oil-free: especially if you plan on using your garage for anything more than automotive work.
Absorbent pads and Fuller's Earth are some of the most useful tools in maintaining a safe, eco-friendly, home garage. The hyper-absorbency of the products allows them to mop up anything from a single drop to several quarts of oil. Don't skip out on these they're cheap, and they are handy in and out of the garage.
4. For the area that no one ever sees: Undercoating
Many people believe undercoating is only to be used prior to winter: this is never the case. As high humidity and hot temperatures can contribute to the rate at which rust formation occurs, a fresh spray of undercoating takes only a few minutes and may keep your car protected all spring and summer long and beyond.
Of course, this depends highly on the undercoating in question. While rubberized undercoatings are cheap and simple, they may sometimes contribute to rust formation by trapping in moisture and air so be on the lookout for those. The dried film may feel hard and durable, but it's prone to cracking. One crack can lead to a quickly-progressing rust problem.
Your best bet is to go with wax-based undercoatings which adhere to metal surfaces and never becomes brittle. The formula is tacky and malleable while this seems strange for an undercoating product, it allows the film to self-heal and block the spread of rust formation. While to date there exists only one brand of wax-based undercoating in an aerosol can (shop here by the can, or the case), there are many industrial-strength coatings that can be pumped and sprayed. These types are commonly used on fleet vehicles that need to be treated regularly.
5. Tread Wearily The Customizable Floor Mat
Yet again, the internet provides us with the option to customize something we never thought we'd be able to better yet, they print these hot items and send them directly to your home. Best of all, however: a custom set of two costs only $50.
Key here is choosing a really high-quality image, photo, or logo. The general consensus seems to be that the coloring is very accurate and the detail is high. It's not much, but you can really make a statement when somebody takes a step in your vehicle. Our suggestion? Go a bit brighter than the typical black for a change of pace but never go white: otherwise you'll have a lot of washing to do.
Click here to Customize floor mats with your own photo.
Now you're all set to take on the spring.