The windows of your car take a beating from dirt, bugs, bird droppings and other debris. But with a few simple techniques and a little know-how, you can make even the dirtiest windows sparkle. Here’s a list of helpful glass cleaning tips to get your windows brilliantly clean – and without leaving behind streaks, scratches, residue or lint.1. The first step is to choose an auto glass cleaner. Make sure your glass cleaner does NOT contain ammonia, alcohol or any ingredient that could produce toxic fumes. Beyond the obvious health concerns of inhaling these fumes, consider the impact your automotive cleaning products have on the environment. There are car care products on the market that are 100% biodegradable, non-toxic and recyclable that have the same great cleaning power as traditional cleaning products.2. Any product containing ammonia is a definite no-no when it comes to auto detailing. Ammonia and ammonia fumes cause plastic, rubber, vinyl and leather to dry out, and will damage any tint your windows may have. Do your homework and you won’t end up destroying your vehicle’s interior while you’re trying to clean it!3. The type of towel you choose to clean your windows with can make all the difference. Choose a high-quality, glass cleaning microfiber towel of at least 300 GSM. Microfiber towels can hold up to eight times their weight in water, are lint-free and will not cause scratches. An electrostatic charge causes dirt and debris to be lifted up and away from the surface, rather than dragged across it. Old t-shirts, towels, socks and newspaper are not the best choice when cleaning your car’s glass, and will likely cause scratches, streaks and missed spots.4. If you are cleaning the entire interior of your car, save your windows and rear-view mirror for last to avoid getting stray spray from other cleaning products on your freshly cleaned glass. You can also avoid stray spray by spraying your window cleaner (and other applicable interior auto detailing products) onto the microfiber towel – not directly on the surface.5. Another factor to keep in mind is the motion you buff with your microfiber towel. While a circular motion may appear to be actively buffing away any streaks from your windows, a straight back-and-forth and then up-and-down motion will ensure that the entire surface has been cleaned and wiped down thoroughly.6. Remember when cleaning your windows or mirrors to use one towel (or one side of a towel) to wipe the surface clean, and a second to buff the surface to a residue-free shine. Not only do you need two clean towel surfaces per swipe, but per window. The last thing you want to do is spread the dirt and dead bugs that you wiped off of your windshield onto the next window you clean. Make sure you have enough clean towels to avoid contaminating one window with the last one’s mess.7. Avoid cleaning your vehicle’s windows in direct sunlight or very hot conditions, if possible. This is especially important if you are using a window cleaner containing harsh chemicals. When the liquid evaporates, the fumes left behind could easily be inhaled, posing a serious health risk. Even with non-toxic window cleaners, evaporation can also mean a spotty residue before your towel even hits the glass.8. The easiest place to overlook when cleaning your vehicle’s windows is the small edging area at the top of the window. Often, this area is especially dirty from build up in the rubber lip. Be sure you roll each window down several inches to clean this area on both the interior and exterior of the glass.9. Ever get a build up on the edges of your windshield wipers that causes blurry areas on your windshield? Wipe down your blades with a damp cloth and a bit of white vinegar. The vinegar will remove the debris that’s stuck on the blades and allow them to make full contact with the windshield again. If after a wipe down, your windshield wipers haven’t improved any, you may be due for a new pair. And don’t forget to clean out your wiper cowl once in a while! The wiper cowl is the area at the base of the windshield where your wipers lay when not in use. Keeping this area free of grime will greatly reduce the amount of debris on your wipers.
Have you heard of the latest craze to get the best gas mileage from your car or truck, its called “Hypermilling”? To be a hypermiller involves the use of any tip or trick, (and sometimes even a complete change in driving style) to squeeze every last MPG out of your vehicle. And not surprisingly with the ever increasing gas prices, it’s catching on in a big way.Hypermillers have certainly been the subject of discussion in car and driver forums across the internet, and they have had a fair amount of publicity in the media. So is this Hypermilling a new idea to get gas mileage improvements, or is it just a re-hash of all the old tricks for saving on gas we have all heard before.Well it seems that a lot of these tips go way back to the 40s and 50s when gas was in short supply and being rationed due to the effects of a world war. Some of those tips and techniques that were tried back then are now standard ways to make gas mileage improvements and have become well established, and a lot of these tips are now just common sense.For instance a heavy car that is loaded down with excess weight is going to use more gas than one that is running lighter. With the minimum amount of weight being carried around in the form of useless baggage the gas mileage improvements can be considerable. Even by removing things that you will not need on a daily basis such as a heavy bag of golf clubs from your trunk could save you a few cents a gallon.If your car has cruise control then use it, as this is another way to improve your fuel economy. A 2005 study carried out by the Automotive Website Edmunds.com showed that using cruise control at highway speeds could give you on average a fuel economy saving of 7%.If you are a fast driver or one that accelerates quickly and then has to break just as quickly then you are going to use a lot more gas than a driver who is a steady Eddie. Keep to the speed limit, accelerate and break smoothly and don’t rev your engine while stationary (at red lights etc) just letting it idle as it should will save you gas.Keeping your car well maintained and in a good running condition will also give you good gas mileage improvements. Have your car serviced at the recommended intervals as an engine that is running in tip top condition will use far less fuel than one that is coughing and spluttering just because it is in need of a simple inexpensive tune up.Other thing are just a matter of common sense, things like making sure that your tires are properly inflated will not only save you gas, but will also give you a safer ride, as under inflated tires are a safety hazard.These are just some of the tips and tricks that you should be using to be a hypermiller and get the best gas mileage from your car, added together they will give you some definite fuel savings.