Useful Car Hacks
GreatFlorida Insurance wants to equip you with solutions for common headaches that occur to Florida drivers. The following are valuable life hacks for your car.
Cleaning the bugs from your car
Every spring and fall Floridians will find their front bumper plastered with love bugs. Bird droppings and bugs can cause damage to your vehicle’s paint job. The sooner you clean them off the easier it is to remove them. Instinct says to use lots of pressure to scrub out the mess, but overly aggressive cleaning can damage your paint job. After cleaning the area with soap and water, try a microfiber cloth and WD-40 or a vehicle spray wax product.
Florida based car care supplier, Autogeek, suggests trying a bar of detailing clay and clay lubricant. Begin by spraying the lubricant then rubbing the clay bar back and forth to remove stubborn matter. After removing the bugs, protect your car with a quality wax or paint sealant so when bugs hit your car, they do not stick as easily.
Stuck in the sand or mud
This is a common dilemma especially in Florida, where we have an abundance of sand and mud. One off wheel turn and you can find yourself stuck. Consumer Reports has suggestions on how to remedy the situation. Switch your vehicle to low wheel drive if possible. Straighten out your tires and lightly hit the gas, moving forward then reversing to create a rocking motion. If your wheels spin, stop, this will only dig you deeper. Also, try digging a path for your wheels. Line the paths with small stones, twigs, beach towels or car mats for traction.
If this doesn’t work, try releasing air from your tires. Use a tire pressure gauge to help your release pressure to no less than 10 pounds. Once you are on solid ground reinflate the tires. If you are stuck in mud, this method could require you to jack up your car, but a tow truck is your best bet.
Hot temperatures, stop and go traffic and long drives make this a high probable occurrence in Florida. As your car warns you the engine is overheating, turn off the AC and turn on the heater to draw hot air away from your engine. Make sure to roll down the windows so you can breathe. Find a place to pull over, preferably a gas station if possible. Turn the vehicle off and pop the hood once any steam has cleared so it can begin to cool down. You cannot do anything until the engine is cooled off. Do not touch the radiator cap until the car is cooled, it can cause serious burns. Once the engine has cooled down, unscrew the radiator cap using a cloth or napkin. Check your coolant levels and refill it with antifreeze, if none is available, use water as a temporary fix until you get to your destination. If you notice the temperature increasing again, repeat this process until you reach your endpoint. Chances are, you have a leak and need a professional to inspect the car.
“Roadside assistance is available through your car insurance,” says Ellsworth Buck Vice President of Great Florida Insurance. “It is one of those protections you are grateful to have in place when you need it.” Make sure to always have your insurance card in your vehicle or the information available on your cell phone.