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Old 24th April 2007, 01:31   #1
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Default Quick Fixes - Top Gear - Apr issue

Some innovative (and maybe known) fixes to common car issues. Taken from the April issue of Top Gear. This is brief list of the article.

1. Spare Key - Keep a spare key either in your wallet or hang it round your neck like a pendent.

2. If you need to fill fuel from a can, you can take an empty water bottle, cut off the end and use the top as a funnel to pour the fuel. ......(I think it may actually make sense to get the fuel IN the empty bottle in the first place!!!)

3. Toothpaste is great for removing dull marks, smears and small scratches on the windscreen. Use a soft cloth to apply and toothpaste and spread it with light circular motions, and rinse off. The mild abrasive will clean the windscreen.

4. WD40 is effective for removing road tar that gets thrown on the car's lower panels.

5. As an alternative to the expensive and often strong smelling car freshners, an unwrapped bar of your favourite bathing soap placed under the seat will keep your car smelling fresh.

6. If something starts squeaking or needs lubrication when you are on the road, you can use the engine dip stick to apply small quantities of oil to hard to reach places. Just remember to clean the dipstick before replacing back into the engine.

7. (Replicated word for word.... experts...is this possible???) There are times when the drive belts (a/c, fan, etc) start to slip around the pulley and make a squeaking sound. This could be because they have become too hard or are nearing the end of their useful lives. If you just can't drive with those irritating squeaks, open the bonnet and empty the contents of your favourite soft drink over the belt. The sugary liquid will make the belt sticky and stop it from slipping for a while. But make sure the engine is switched off when you do this, or your soft drink will be all over you. And ensure you replace or adjust the belt before you replenish your stock of soft drinks.

8. The yellow cloth or cheaper cloths used to clean the car usually scratch the paint and also leave the car stained with watermarks, as the cloth is too thin to be really absorbant. Instead use your old bathing towel. If it has been well used, it will be soft and absorbant.

9. In case of tyre punctures on a soft or rough surface, use a 12" x 12" one inch thick plank as a base on which to place the jack. You can even nail or stick rubber matting on both sides of the plank to increase the grip available to the jack.

10. Wiper blades can become dull and unevenly worn after some time. They then leave streaks of water and marks on the windscreen. To make wiper blades smooth and even again, simply wet sand them with 400 or higher grade sand or polish paper. Not only will the life of the blades be extended, but the windscreen will be cleaner too.

11. If you do lots of driving on the highway, especially in the monsoons, you will have surely suffered due to a windscreen coated with muck and the stubborn oily deposits that gets discharged from the thoughsands of diesel burning trucks you follow of pass. Event he best of windscreen washer fluids find it difficult to clear the glass of this sticky and oily layer. You can aid their cause by adding a cap full of Vodka to the windscreen washer bottle. Gin or any other white liquor will also do, as the spirit within them is a good cleaning solvent for oily and sticky substances.

12. Another good method of cleaning a windscreen smeared with dift and muck is to use a newspaper. splat the windscreen with water and wipe it dry with newspaper. Newsprint happily absorbs the oil deposits left behind by diesel fumes and helps clean up the windscreen and improve visibility.

13. Black moulded bumpers, side moulding, etc often turn grey thanks to the strong sunlight we experience in India. Ther are of cause many colour restoration products that have shown up in the market, but your humble shoe polish , the liquid type with the appicator on top, works well. Wash and dry the bumper and then apply the shoe polish liberally and let it dry. Wipe off the excess with a cloth and you will be amazed at how well the polish works. Best of all, it is cheap and also lasts long.

14. For emergency repair of punctured tubeless tyres, have the tyre taken off the wheel by a regular puncture shop guy, and have the object responsible for the puncture removed. Then all he has to do is cut off the fixed rubber nozzle or tyre valve for inflating fixed on the wheel and slip in the tube and inflate it like it is done on regular tube tyres. Your tubeless tyre will now run with a tube as long as you want it to.

Last edited by DriverR : 24th April 2007 at 01:32. Reason: Spelling change
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Old 24th April 2007, 02:25   #2
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Good piece of info..Wil surely try the windscreen thingy.

Niki
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Old 24th April 2007, 13:00   #3
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great article

My windscreen has lots of scratches, will try the toothpaste thing. Will see if there is some difference.

Is there anything else to remove the scratches from the windscreen??
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Old 24th April 2007, 15:29   #4
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awsome! thanks a tonne man! i will have to try out the toothpaste thingy someday.
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Old 24th April 2007, 16:38   #5
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Most welcome guys although I cannot take credit (or brickbats) for the article. Hope most if not all works out well. I'm gonna be trying the shoe polish thing on my friends's Black Wagon R's bumper. He has been moaning about some recent scratches.
Btw, the newspaper trick is an old and tested household tip. I regularly use newspaper to clean my house mirrors and showcase glass. Very effective. Never though of using it for the car windscreen though. Will start it now.
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Old 24th April 2007, 19:46   #6
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Good one DriverR.Nice tips and thanks much.
Quote:
I'm gonna be trying the shoe polish thing on my friends's Black Wagon R's bumper. He has been moaning about some recent scratches.
Actually works, and this was the secret to keep our old Alto's bumper gleaming all the while for good 3 years.
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Old 24th April 2007, 20:19   #7
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Very good quick fix tips.
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Old 25th April 2007, 10:22   #8
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Rubbing tobacco leaves on the windshield makes it water proof -- I mean, the water will not stick in patches to the glass. I got this tip from a highway taxi driver, so must be true.
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Old 25th April 2007, 11:52   #9
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I Have heard about the tobacco trick too, dont know if it really works...
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Old 25th April 2007, 12:41   #10
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Yeah that article in top gear was really cool.. I really want to try the toothpaste thing, but cant think of a taking a car that smells of toothpaste around!! that would be quite crazy .


But I would advice some caution in posting the entire contents as it may lead to copyright issues.
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Old 25th April 2007, 14:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvish View Post
But I would advice some caution in posting the entire contents as it may lead to copyright issues.
Man, I had no time to type the full article (I was half-asleep!), which is why I typed the gist/essence of the points in the article, except for 2 of the points.
Infact there was other tips like always carry a tow rope and 2 other general tips which I did not add, as they were general advice and not quick fixes.

But point noted for the future! Thanks man.

Btw, just out of curiosity, as I have clearly acknowledged the source as being taken from Top Gear, I don't think there is a copyright issue, or is there? AFAIK, as long as the source data is mentioned and acknowledged, there should not be any copyright issue.
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Old 25th April 2007, 16:52   #12
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they've lost it by making a statement about putting a tube into a tubeless tyre dude coz maybe its a good repair option but it affects the heat dissipation from the tyre,so short term is ok...
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Old 26th August 2008, 02:48   #13
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Sorry for re-opening a 1.5 year old thread, but wanted a clarification about the last point since IMHO wouldn't using a tube in a tubeless tyre dramatically increase the chances of tyre faliure ?

Moreover getting a tyre taken off the rim by a roadside puncturewallah is the worst thing one can do to a tyre bead, especially when the same tyre can be reapired without taking it off the rim with a simple tubelees repair kit. Most companies recommend getting the tyres taken off the rims only via the help of special machines meant for the same to avoid any damage to the tyre bead.
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Old 26th August 2008, 03:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revvedup View Post
Sorry for re-opening a 1.5 year old thread, but wanted a clarification about the last point since IMHO wouldn't using a tube in a tubeless tyre dramatically increase the chances of tyre faliure ?

Moreover getting a tyre taken off the rim by a roadside puncturewallah is the worst thing one can do to a tyre bead, especially when the same tyre can be reapired without taking it off the rim with a simple tubelees repair kit. Most companies recommend getting the tyres taken off the rims only via the help of special machines meant for the same to avoid any damage to the tyre bead.
Yes but it depends on the damage to the tyre. When the tyre is damaged beyond repair then only you should use tube inserting option else the tubeless repair is teh best option.
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Old 26th August 2008, 17:15   #15
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Quote:
4. For emergency repair of punctured tubeless tyres, have the tyre taken off the wheel by a regular puncture shop guy, and have the object responsible for the puncture removed. Then all he has to do is cut off the fixed rubber nozzle or tyre valve for inflating fixed on the wheel and slip in the tube and inflate it like it is done on regular tube tyres. Your tubeless tyre will now run with a tube as long as you want it to.
This is dangerous. Best thing would be to carry a tubeless repair kit. Provided you can find an air pump or carry your own, it is so easy to repair the tyre and yu need not remove the wheel
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