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9 Secrets for Keeping Your Car Healthy

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1. Lower Your Resistance
The rear gate on your Dodge truck may just seem like another “door” to keep things in the cargo area, but when raised, that same gate can create substantial wind drag on the vehicle and have detrimental impact on fuel efficiency. Unless you regularly carry heavy loads that you can’t adequately secure in the bed, consider replacing the gate with a cargo net that allows air to flow through it, lowering wind resistance. Another possibility would be to drive with your gate down, but check your local traffic laws to ensure that is permissible.

2. What a Drag
Another note on wind drag- consider keeping your windows rolled down when you’re moving at lower speeds versus turning on your air conditioning. AC causes your car to consume more fuel, because it borrows power from the engine, which in turn needs to compensate to generate more power to achieve your desired speed. However, if you’re driving at higher speeds like those on a highway, you may be better off rolling up your windows. At high speeds open windows can catch the passing air and put wind resistance on the vehicle that can be far more fuel robbing than what you might consume using AC. This wind drag phenomenon is particularly pronounced when driving a Jaguar convertible.

3. Power Steering Good. Overpower Steering Bad
Save your power steering system from undue stress. When turning the steering wheel, be careful to not hold it in an extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds. Doing so can put tremendous strain on the power steering pump and damage it.

4. Terminal Soft Drink
Battery terminals corroded? Grab a carbonated soft drink or mix some baking soda with water and apply it to the terminals. The mixture will eat away the corrosion and improve the electrical connection. Be sure to rinse the terminals with plain water once the cleaning solution does the job to your satisfaction. When you’re finished cleaning, apply petroleum jelly (i.e., Vaseline) to the battery posts for better contact.

5. The Fabric of Your Life
Any cloths you use on your car should be made of 100% cotton and should be washed in the washing machine using only detergent. Do not use any fabric softener and dry them in the drier, but do not use any kind of dryer anti-static towel. Those items contain coatings that can transfer to the cloth and cause streaks on your car’s finish.  

6. Soaking Up Stench
Have an unusually stubborn smell in your car? Try this. Take a bowl of barbecue grill charcoal (the kind without lighter fluid in it) and let it sit in your vehicle for a few days. Charcoal has the ability to absorb odors, and this simple solution will often “soak up” much of the intruding smell, just as baking soda can in your refrigerator.

7. What it’s Cracked Up to Be, Needn’t Be
If you get a chip, starburst or small crack in your windshield from a stone or other flying debris, get the fracture repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Delaying the fix can cause the crack to spread and eventually make it necessary for you to buy a new windshield. The good news is that chip repairs are fairly inexpensive to have done, and many insurance companies will fully pay for the work to be done so they don’t later have to pay for a whole windshield.

8. Low Down Won’t Slow Down
Did you know that the lower the driver sits relative to the road, the faster it will feel like you’re going? Likewise, drivers who sit up higher, like those in SUVs, feel like they are going slower. Unfortunately these higher vehicles, like Jeep Cherokees, are more prone to roll. So if you drive something that sits higher up, consider lowering your seat and you’ll likely end up driving at safer speeds.

9. Perfect Mats Matter
Floor mats are designed to protect the carpeting in your vehicle, but factory mats are usually made with a carpeted surface too and will eventually stain and look ugly. For extra protection, consider purchasing floor mats that protect your factory mats. While that may seem redundant, good “over mats” will protect the original look and beauty of your vehicle’s interior. We like clear protective mats for cars, or black, heavy-duty mats for trucks, but it’s really a matter of personal taste. Note: The best “over-mats” will be those that are the identical size and shape of your vehicle’s factory mats.  Not only are proper fitting mats safer than mats that don’t perfectly conform to your vehicle’s floor, they’re easy to clean and naturally look a whole lot better too. (This is where our American-made, perfectly precise ExactMats come into play!)

We use love these tips to help keep our cars on the right track. Getting ExactMats has also been one of the best things that we’ve done for the largest possession in our lives. We hope that these tips were helpful and will improve you and your car’s journey together!

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