8 Ways to Ruin Your Car

A car is a major investment. That’s why the Towne Lake’s Carwash team takes such care with every detail of interior and exterior car upkeep. Unfortunately, automobile instruction manuals are longer than War and Peace, and most vehicle owners don’t have the time to read them. Here are 8 ways you may be ruining your car without knowing it.

Top 8 Ways to Ruin Your Car

  1. Ignoring the parking brake. Even on fairly level ground, parking without the parking brake puts stress on your transmission. Save yourself from replacing the parking pawl by remembering to engage the parking brake whenever you park on an incline.
  2. Riding the brakes, especially downhill, wears out your parking pads. Instead, alternate between firmly pressing the brake and letting up.
  3. shifting gearsShifting in motion. Shifting gears before your car comes to a complete stop wreaks havoc on suspension and transmission.
  4. Leaving everything on. Your car works the hardest when it’s warming up. Put less stress on the engine by turning off the radio, A/C, and other accessories.
  5. Not changing your oil can cut the life expectancy of your car in half (not to mention decreasing its performance).
  6. Ignoring warning signs. It’s easy to hear strange car sounds as dollars draining out of your bank account, but the truth is, the longer you put off car maintenance, the more it will cost you.
  7. Driving on empty. Many experts recommend keeping at least a quarter tank at all times.
  8. Not washing the car. Not only does skipping carwashes make your car look grimy, it can lead to buildup of rust and contaminants that damage vital car functions.

Regular carwashes and waxes can extend the life of your vehicle and keep auto resale value high. Visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for your seasonal auto detail before the temperatures drop.

Gear Shift Image Source

Does My Car Need Waxing?

With the current threat of fall leaves and the harshness of winter on the horizon, it’s time for a refresher course on the importance of auto waxing. Newly manufactured cars have more glitz, gleam, and built-in protection than older models, but that doesn’t mean waxing isn’t necessary. Protect your car from dirt, debris, and contaminates with regular auto waxes.

Does My Car Need Waxing?

handheld car polisherIs it time to swing by Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for an auto wax? Here are a few easy tests to know if your car needs waxing.

  • Water beading. After a rainfall, does water bead on the surface of your car? If so, your wax is still doing its job. If the water creates large, wet sheets instead, it’s time for a fresh coat of wax.
  • The squeak test. Use this test on a dry, clean car. Fold a terrycloth cotton towel until you have a thick pad. Press it firmly against the car’s surface and twist it back and forth. If the car squeaks, it’s time for a wax.
  • Watch the clock. How long has it been since your last wax? If it’s been longer than 3 months, it’s time for a fresh coat.

How to Extend a Car Wax

Want to make a car wax last longer? For a better looking and better protected automobile, follow these car care tips.

  • Move. Okay, okay. Not going to happen. But hot and humid climates erode auto wax more quickly than cooler climates. Protect your car by parking under a shaded awning or in the garage.
  • Speaking of parking in the garage, it also limits your vehicle’s exposure to debris and contaminates, thus extending the life of your wax.
  • Always clean your car thoroughly before applying fresh wax. Waxing a dirty car traps contaminates against the paint, dulling the surface over time.

For the best auto wash and wax, make an appointment at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

Auto Polish Image from FreeDigitalPhotos

Keep Kids Safe on the Streets

There’s no scarier moment than handing your teen driver the keys for their first solo trip. Watching your kids drive off into the unknown, hoping you’ve taught them enough to keep them safe on the road. Luckily for parents, there are excellent resources available to help teach kids safe driving techniques. Make sure your kids are prepared by taking part in Teen Driver Safety week.

Teen Driver Stats

  • Teen drivers face an increased risk of accident during the first month of getting a license
  • More teen males die in auto crashes than teen females (2 of every 3)
  • 41% of fatal crashes involving teen drivers resulted from intoxication
  • 23% of teens admit to riding with an impaired driver
  • Being awake for 18+ hours has the same effect as a .08% BAC
  • For 16-17 year old drivers, the risk of crashing increases with each additional passenger
  • Over half of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing seatbelts

Teen Driving Safety Checklist

Keep kids safe on the roads. Teach teens safe driving habits, and provide a good example when you’re behind the wheel. These are the top 5 safety tips for teen drivers.

  • teen driver checking mirrorsNo phones. In the state of Georgia, it’s illegal for teen drivers to talk on the phone. It’s illegal for any driver to text while behind the wheel. Teach teens to leave the phone in the glove box, and don’t tempt them by calling to check in before they get home.
  • No passengers. Driving with passengers significantly increases the likelihood of a crash for teen drivers.
  • No speeding. Not only is it dangerous, it limits a driver’s ability to react in unexpected situations.
  • No alcohol. Driving while impaired accounts for 41% of fatal crashes involving teens.
  • Buckle up. Seat belts save lives.

For more information on driving safety and car upkeep, visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

Teen Driver Image from Flickr

How to Keep Your Car Clean

Regular carwashes keep vehicles spiffed, shined, and protected from the elements. But sometimes folks don’t have the opportunity to visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail as frequently as they’d like. If you have a job interview, date, or parent-teacher meeting and want your vehicle to impress, here are 4 quick tips for cleaning between carwashes.

How to Clean a Car Between Washes

  1. tire washSpit shine the exterior. Wipe down obviously dirty surfaces on the exterior of the car. This typically includes headlights, windshields, and curves on the paint where rain spots and dirt are clearly visible. And don’t forget the rear bumper! Use a gentle cleaning solution and microfiber cloth for between carwash touch ups.
  2. Pick up. Nothing looks junkier than mail tossed haphazardly on the dashboard. Take a few minutes to clean out old coffee cups, work papers, and kids toys abandoned on the seats. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can transform the appearance of your automobile.
  3. Shake out the floor mats. We track a lot of debris into our cars: mud, grass, and bits of dried leaves, to name a few. Luckily there’s a two minute solution to the messy floor problem: shake out the floor mats. Don’t have any? Visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for your bimonthly carwash and stock up on all-weather vinyl floor mats while you wait.
  4. Shine the tires. It’s amazing what a difference a little polish can make. Dress your car to impress by cleaning the wheels and spraying a shine agent on the tires. Your car will go from “dingy” to “distinguished” in no time flat.

To keep your car in top shape, wash and wax at least once a month. Schedule your carwash online at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

Tire Image from FreeDigitalPhotos

The Cleaner the Car, the Quicker the Sale

car keysNo matter what you’re selling, nobody wants that lived-in look. Real estate agents spend weeks staging homes before putting them on the market, updating everything from the wall color to the overflowing storage compartments. Why should your car be any different? Whether you’re trading it in or selling it yourself, follow these cleaning tips to help sell your car.

Clean Your Car Before a Sale

  1. Move your stuff. You’d be amazed at how many people trade in their cars, only to remember the iPod they left in the pocket behind the driver’s seat. Set aside a few hours to clean out your car once you’ve decided to sell. It helps to have a fresh set of eyes, so ask a friend to help. They may catch the clutter that’s been there so long, it looks like part of the upholstery.
  2. Deodorize the interior. You may not believe it, but if you’ve had your vehicle for any length of time, it smells. Most of us are so used to the faint odor of our cars, we don’t notice the scent of puppy, soccer cleats, or smoke. But potential buyers will. Before selling your car, remove odors from the upholstery, carpets, and A/C filters.
  3. Schedule an auto detail. Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail has years of experience giving cars the individual attention they need. Our experienced technicians will clean your car from top to bottom, ridding the interior of grime, polishing the wheels and rims, and restoring that new car shine.

Selling your car? Schedule a detailing appointment online for a convenient, all inclusive Woodstock carwash.

Keys Image from FreeDigitalPhotos

What to Do When Your Windshield Cracks

Low visibility is a serious driving hazard, regardless of the cause. Drivers typically experience reduced visibility due to dirty windshields, condensation, or external factors like poor road lighting. But if you’ve recently come into contact with gravel or debris, it may be a cracked windshield that impedes your view. Here’s what to do if you windshield cracks while you’re driving.

What to Do about a Cracked Windshield

  • cracked windshieldPull over as soon as possible to assess the damage.
  • Cracks shorter than twelve inches and chips smaller than a quarter can usually be repaired without replacing the windshield.
  • If the crack is smaller than a quarter, it should be safe to drive to a repair shop. If the damage is larger than a quarter, the integrity of your windshield is likely jeopardized.
  • Before pulling back onto the road, make sure the chip does not limit visibility.
  • Make a repair appointment as soon as possible. Cracked windshields may warrant a traffic citation.

Prevent the Crack from Spreading

If you have to wait a few days before your repair appointment, here’s how to keep a cracked windshield from getting worse:

  • Keep it clean. Dirt can infiltrate cracked glass, making it more difficult to repair. Tape over the crack or chip to prevent contaminates from weakening the glass further.
  • Think before you park. Direct sunlight or extreme heat fluctuations will weaken the windshield, causing the crack to worsen. If possible, park in the garage.
  • Avoid creating extra pressure by closing doors gently. If you park in the garage, leave the windows cracked to avoid pressure buildup.
  • Wait before your next carwash. Water can slip into a cracked windshield, creating greater damage. Wait until after your repair to visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for your bi-weekly wash.

Dealing with a dirty windshield? Visit your Woodstock carwash to remove dirt, leaf residue, bird droppings, and bug splatter from your windshield.

Cracked Windshield Image Source

Sayonara, Stink!

The last thing anyone wants is to jump into the cab of a car that stinks to high heaven. But after a full season of sweating it out in the Georgia heat, many drivers are dealing with dirty smelling cars. Remove odors from your car with these tips from Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

How to Remove Odors from Cars

  1. soccer cleatsRemove the source of the stink. Sneakers under the seat? Mildewing towels in the trunk? Old food or cigarette butts in the cup holders? Whatever’s causing your car to smell, get rid of the evidence before eradicating the odor. Otherwise it’ll just come back a few days later.
  2. Vacuum. Fibers often trap odors, leaving your seats, carpets, and even air conditioner filters smelling foul long after you’ve tossed the source of the stink. Vacuum the car interior to remove lingering odors from your car. For heavy-duty smells, brush the fabric before vacuuming to release minuscule debris from the fibers.
  3. Don’t forget the trunk. After all, it’s home to sweaty sports uniforms, forgotten groceries, and who knows what else. Chances are the trunk is a major source of car stink.
  4. To absorb bad smells, sprinkle baking soda on the site of recent spills. Leave it for a few hours, then wipe it (and the odor) away. Still smell something rank? Grab a few pieces of charcoal from the grill. Set them on a disposable rag and let them sit in the car for several hours. The porous charcoal should absorb the smells. Then it’s as easy as wrapping up the pieces and tossing them in the trash.
  5. Visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail. Some odors are too persistent for easy home remedies. Get a full interior auto wash at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail to remove stubborn odors from your car’s upholstery.

Ready for a fresh take on driving? Book an interior wash or full auto detail with our online appointment scheduler.

Soccer Cleats Image from Flickr

Everything You Need to Know about Auto Detailing

carwash - sports carA car is a major investment, but many car owners are cavalier about upkeep. A bi-monthly carwash does wonders for keeping a car in excellent condition, but carwashes alone are not enough. If you’re not sure how, when, or why to detail your car, don’t worry. We have all the info you need right here.

Why Should I Detail My Car?

Detailing doesn’t just buff out scratches and wash away dirt. It creates a barrier between your car and the elements. Regularly cleaning, conditioning, and treating your vehicle protects it from UV damage, discoloration, peeling or cracking, dullness, and damages from contaminates or road debris. In the long run, a semi-annual auto detail is more cost effective than repairing the damage your car may meet on the road.

How Often Should I Detail My Car?

How often your car requires cleaning depends on a number of factors: where you park it, how often you drive it, and what damaging elements it regularly meets. Homeowners who park their cars in the garage and drive infrequently can get away with waxing the car once a season, while drivers who park in the sun and commute in heavy traffic should wash and wax their car at least once a month. Don’t apply a protective sealant yourself. Sealants are best left to the pros.

What Service Does My Car Need?

Inspect your car once a week, looking for scratches, swirls, and dull spots. It’s easier to see damage when in the sunlight, so park outside for your inspection. Pay special attention to the paint, headlights, wipers, windows, and wheels. If you notice damage, make an appointment at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail. The faster you get it fixed, the easier (and cheaper) each auto detail will be.

Not sure what kind of auto wash you need? Ask the professionals at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for an assessment. 

Protect Your Car from Leaf Damage

With football season underway, it’s impossible to forget that fall is pretty much here. Before you know it you’ll be packing up your swimsuits and spending the weekends at Wolverines games and backyard tailgates. One thing everyone loves about fall is the changing leaves. But the beauty that entices drivers to hit the road each autumn also makes cars a real mess. Protect your car from leaf damage with these fall auto care tips.

How Much Damage Can One Leaf Do?

driving fall roadsA lot. Leaves can block vents, plug drains, limit visibility, create slick driving surfaces, and lead to lasting damage of car paint. When leaves stick to a car, they often trap dirt and moisture against the surface. When left in the hot sun, the acidity of leaves will also damage a car’s finish. This erodes wax and protective sealants before rusting the paint itself. It’s also common for leaves to get sucked into the evaporator drain for the AC, slowly decaying until they clog the system and spill water on your floor mats.

How to Prevent Auto Leaf Damage

When removing leaves from your car, it’s important to remember that what you see isn’t always what you get. When you rely on high-speed winds to whip leaves off your car on the highway, you’re missing the layer of detritus left behind. Follow these tips to limit leaf damage:

  • Wash and wax your car regularly, especially just before changes in the season
  • Remove leaves from your car as soon as possible
  • Keep spot cleaner in your car to remove the film of dirt and acid
  • If possible, park in the garage
  • If you park outside, stay away from trees

Want to meet fall head on? Visit Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for a fall auto detail.

Fall Driving Image Source

Did Your Car Get Buffed this Summer?

car waxerWith the threat of fall leaves imminent and the harshness of winter on the horizon, it’s time for a refresher course on the importance of auto waxing. Newly manufactured cars have more glitz, gleam, and built-in protection than older models, but that doesn’t mean waxing isn’t crucial. Protect your car from dirt, debris, and contaminates with regular auto waxes.

Does My Car Need Waxing?

Is it time to swing by Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail for an auto wax? Here are a few easy tests to know if your car needs waxing.

  • Water beading. After a rainfall, does water bead on the surface of your car? If so, your wax is still doing its job. If the water creates large, wet sheets instead, it’s time for a fresh coat of wax.
  • The squeak test. Use this test on a dry, clean car. Fold a terrycloth cotton towel until you have a thick pad. Press it firmly against the car’s surface and twist it back and forth. If the car squeaks, it’s time for a wax.
  • Watch the clock. How long has it been since your last wax? If it’s been longer than 3 months, it’s time for a fresh coat.

How to Extend a Car Wax

Want to make a car wax last longer? For a better looking and better protected automobile, follow these car care tips.

  • Move. Okay, okay. Not going to happen. But hot and humid climates erode auto wax more quickly than cooler climates. Protect your car by parking under a shaded awning or in the garage.
  • Speaking of parking in the garage, it also limits your vehicle’s exposure to debris and contaminates, thus extending the life of your wax.
  • Always clean your car thoroughly before applying fresh wax. Waxing a dirty car traps contaminates against the paint, dulling the paint over time. For the best auto wash and wax, make an appointment at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail.

Buffer Image from FreeDigitalPhotos