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Tips & More > Car Care

Keep it running right.

Keep it clean as a whistle.

Here's the place you'll learn how to keep your vehicle looking,

and running, like a million bucks.

 

 

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Detailing/cleaning your car:

 

 

 

CAR WASHING TIPSDid you know that dish washing liquid is bad for your car? More car washing tips.

 

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TIPS ON USING AUTOMATIC CAR WASHES: But let's face it, how many of us like to clean our own cars? There are some of you out there, and professional psychological help is available for you, but most of us would rather run our car through a car wash and give it a quick vacuum and window wipe (or take it to a detailer to get done). This article makes suggestions about using automatic car washes.

 

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WASHING YOUR WHEELS AND PAINT: It is recommended that you wash your wheels and then your paint. Here is a video from AutoBlog showing you how to do both.

 

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MORE WHEEL CLEANING DETAILS: AutoBlog has a great video series that shows you how to properly detail your car. Here is one on cleaning your wheels the right way, as well as how to make it easier the next time.

 

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KEEP YOUR SENSORS CLEAN: Did you know that dirt, snow, and ice can affect the operation of your car's advanced safety features. Back-up camera, back-up sensors, surround-view cameras, blind-spot detection, etc all rely on those associated cameras and sensors. Be sure to keep them clean for proper operation.

 

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3 CAR WASHING COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID: Autoblog gives 3 things to avoid when washing your car. #3 is do not use a sponge - it spreads ditrt and scratches your paint. #2 is don't use dishwashing soap - it can actually strip the wax off of your car (and other reasons). #3 is don't use the same towel for the whole car - don't mix wheel and paint towels (but it goes much further than that). They also provide helpful tips on what to do instead.

 

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TIPS FOR CLEANING YOUR INTERIORAnd interior cleaning tips (don't forget to clean the trunk!)

 

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CLEANING INTERIOR SPILLS AND ODORS THAT GO WITH THEM: Cars.com has a great article on cleaning interior spills and the odors that can come with them if not cleaned up quiclkly. While they blame the kids, I've had adult friends make messes in my car, too. The first great tip they offer is having an easy-to-clean surface, and we at Fred Beans Hyundai offer a great interior treatment to help with that.

 

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DETAIL TOOLS IF YOU ARE HARDCORE ABOUT CLEANING YOUR CAR: Some of these like compressed air gun and foam cannon may require a decent investment and aren't for everyone but the grates for a rinse bucket and various types of microfiber cleaning towels are something all of us can use. So if you clean your car yourself, give this a view and decide what is relevant for you.

 

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CLEANING YOUR CLOTH SEATS: Your cloth seats will get dirty. While I prefer to opt for the interior treatment, and pay someone to clean my interior a few times per year, you may be more of a do-it-yourselfer. If so, this video gives you tips on how to clean your cloth seats.

 

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HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN A BLACK CAR: Have a black car and want to avoid adding scratches and other minor cosmetic issues when cleaning the car (or if you have a different color car and are OCD)? Then be sure to follow these steps when cleaning your car. My favorite tips here include using a Grit Guard and avoiding car washes with brushes. And, yes, I have a black car (my fourth black car in a row).

 

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WHEN AND HOW TO CLAY YOUR PAINT: This helpful video from Autoblog explains what a clay bar is as well as when and how to use it. If your paint no longer feels silky smooth, give this video a look.

 

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WAXING FREQUENCY: Cars.com recommends that you wax your car every 3-4 months, and keep it cleaned weekly, if you want to keep the exterior looking good. There are a lot of environmental enemies to your car's finish that leaving it parked outside at home or work, or simply driving it, will expose your car to: bird droppings, bugs, road salt, tree sap, industrial fallout, acid rain, etc. Or, as you likely heard me pitch when you bought your car, you can do what I do and opt for a protective paint sealant to be applied to your car.

 

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THE RIGHT WAY TO CLEAN YOUR WINDSHIELD: If you really want a clean windshield for best visibility, then this video will show you the best way to do it.

 

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THE RIGHT WAY TO CLEAN THE INSIDE OF YOUR WINDSHIELDUgh! Cleaning the inside of your windshield can be no fun at all! How do you clean it to avoid the haze and streaks that are so common? This video covers just that.

 

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HOW TO CLEAN ALL OF YOUR CAR'S GLASS: Nope. It isn't any fun at all. But if you want clean, streak-free glass to look out of, here's what it takes.

 

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PROPERLY APPLYING TIRE DRESSING: Here in this video AutoBlog tells us how to properly dress tires to avoid tire sling. It tells the right kind of tire dressing to use as well as a handy tip to apply it to the inside of the tire wells to help reduce dirt from sticking to them.

 

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PAINT HAZARDS: There are a seemingly infinite number of things that can damage your car's paint. While this article deals with many of the most common ones, it occurs to me that an automotive paint sealant we use at Fred Beans Hyundai offers warranted protection against many of these including bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, and,though not mentioned specifically in this article, acid rain. I opt for our paint protection on all of my leases; perhaps it is something you may want to consider, too.

 

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HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN YOUR STEERING WHEEL: Ever think about how dirty your steering wheel gets? Yeah, me either. But it is the thing we touch the most in our car so just think how dirty it gets. It needs proper cleaning maybe even moreso than the rest of your car. AutoBlog shows us how to do just that in this video.

 

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CLEANING OUT PET FUR: Do you have a dog that likes to ride along with you in the car? Do you have a hairy back and like to ride shirtless? Either way here is a handy little video to show you how to clean out the fur from your car.

 

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HOW TO REMOVE STICKERSSo that band you love sold out and released a crap record to try to sell more downloads. Or maybe that politian you voted for lost or do what politicians tend to do and turned his/her back on the promises he/she made while running for office. Either way those stickers on your windows and paint have to go. This video shows ho to do it right. Pay close attention to what to do when stickers are on painted plastic pieces on your car, or are on the inside back window, as those two places are tricky.

 

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HOW TO REMOVE SALT STAINS FROM YOUR FLOOR MATSWhen the snow and ice are finally over, it's time to clean the salt stains off the floor mats and carpets. Vinegar to the rescue!

 

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HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CAR'S HEADLINER: Cleaning your car's headliner can be tricky business. Do it wrong and you can damage your headliner or cause it to sag. This video shows you how to do it right.

 

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Maintaining your car:

 

 

 

ACTIONS THAT CAN KILL YOUR CARYou like your car. You have even given your car a name (like Bertrum, as one of my customers named her Sonata). You wouldn't want to hurt Bertrum. Yet some of these practices can turn you into an automotive killer.

 

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PROPER MAINTENANCE TO AVOID BREAKDOWNS: AAA estimates that more than half of their roadside assistance calls could have been avoided with proper maintenance. Two of their top recommendations are be sure to have your battery tested regularly, and be sure to check your tire pressures and tread regularly. These two tips, by the way, are things that Fred Beans Hyundai does with every oil change.

 

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MAKING YOUR CAR LAST 200,000 MILESThis article covers more than car care but it has to do with how to make your car last over 200,000 miles. One item on the list: follow the factory recommended maintenance sc: hedule (and I know we don't want to hear it, but even Consumer Reports points out that it likely means the severe driving schedule). (link requires subscription)

 

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HOW TO REPLACE YOUR WIPERS: This Cars.com article gives a few tips and explains how to replace the most common type of wiper blades.

 

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HOW TO TELL WHEN YOU NEED AN ALIGNMENTDo you know how to tell when your car needs an alignment? For us Pennsylvania residents, given the state of our roads, the answer might feel like "my car always needs an alignment". Here is a good article that can help you figure out if you need an alignment or not.

 

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BRAKE NOISE: How you can tell when your brake noise needs attention.

 

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BRAKE FLUID CAN GO BAD: Did you know that brake fluid can go bad? This happens when moisture seeps into the braking system. Cars.com tells us more about it and what to look for.

 

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FUNNY NOISES: If your car is making a funny noise and you don't know what it is, then it is probably a good idea to get it checked out. But if it is making one of these funny noises then there may be nothing funny about it.

 

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BATTERY: Your car needs its battery to start. Yet so many people fail to get their battery checked regularly. And that could lead to a dead battery, which always seems to happen at the worst time. Checking your battery is just one of the many services provided when you come in for an oil change service at Fred Beans Hyundai. See this article to learn how to avoid a dead battery.

 

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HOW TO JUMP START A DEAD BATTERY: Speaking of your car's battery, if it goes dead, do you know how to properly jump start it? Having the cables in your car is the first step, but hooking them up correctly is very important to avoid damage or injury. So be sure to follow these steps.
 
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IN-CABIN AIR FILTER: While they help to filter out dirt, dust, and allergens from entering your car through the heater / air conditioner, did you know that a dirty in-cabin air filter can disrupt the airflow of your heater / air conditioner? So if your windshield defogger or AC isn't working as it once was, this could be the culprit. It can also cause funky odors inside the car. Be sure to follow the recommended interval for replacement in your owner's manual.

 

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DO THOSE DRIPS ON THE GROUND UNDER YOUR CAR SPELL TROUBLE?: Here is a pretty decent video telling you how to diagnose what fluid may be driping from your car if you see a leak.

 

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WARNING LIGHT TRANSLATOR: Many manufacturers use differing warning lights to indicate the same trouble, so these lights may look a little different on your car. However, this is a pretty good guide as to what that warning light on your dash is telling you. For those with an active Blue Link or Genesis Connected Services account, simply press the "b" button and say "service link" at the prompt if you have a warning light on you are unsure about.
 
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TRANSLATING EXHAUST SMOKE:  Has your exhaust recently taken up the nasty habit of smoking? Find out what the color of the smoke coming out your tailpipe is telling you.
 
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CAR NEGLECT / LONELY CARS: I am frequently surprised by how many people I sell cars to that don't put many miles on their cars. Other people have cars that are collector cars that don't get driven much. Whatever your reason for leaving your car all alone for long periods at a time, make sure to give it some exercise a couple times each month, Those aren't drips of oil on the garage floor, they are the tears of neglect.

 

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Tires:

 

 

 

HOW TO TELL IF YOU NEED NEW TIRES: This article from AutoGuide tells us how we know if we need to replace our tires. It's more than just if they are worn out. There are a few other things to be aware of as well.

 

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ALL-WEATHER TIRES (NOT ALL-SEASON) MAY PROVIDE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE IN THIS AREA: There is a new classification of tire, "all weather", which is different than "all season". All season tires are stil very limited in winter use. But if you want a tire that can be used all year and even provide better winter capability than your typical all season tire, then all weather tires might be right for you.

 

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TIRE BUYING GUIDE: Here is a handy video full of good information about how to pick out a replacement tire for your car, and how to maintain your tires. I like the tip about using a digital tire gage instead of a stick style.

 

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RECOMMENDED WET WEATHER TIRES: In this article, AutoGuide recommends 3 highly rated wet weather all-season tires. Two are pricy but they also have a budget-minded recommendation.

 

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CAN YOU REPLACE JUST ONE TIRE?: Here is a great article explaining when it is okay to replace just one tire, when you need to replace two or even all four, and offers great explanations on why in each case.

 

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HANDY TIRE INFLATOR FOR THE HOME: This tool looks awesome! Set the pressure you want to inflate to and it turns off at that pressure. Yes, please!

 

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SPARE TIRES: While AAA reported that about 35% of new cars sold last year did not come with a spare tire, that means that about 65% did. Many cars equipped with a spare tire come with a "space saver", or "donut", spare tire. How far can you drive your car on one of these space saver tires? Not far, and not as fast. Read this article to learn more.

 

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Winter Driving / Winter Tires:

 

 

 

PREP YOUR CAR FOR WINTER: Consumer Reports has some great tips for car care and safety. It is a lot easier to prepare your car for winter while it is still a reasonable temperature and there is no snow on the ground, than to run into a dead battery in 6 inches of snow in sub-freezing temperatures or find that you can't steer and stop in the freezing slop.

 

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Miscellaneous:

 

 

 
SHOULD YOU USE PREMIUM FUEL?: Every Hyundai will run on regular fuel. Only the Genesis, Genesis Coupe, and Equus recommend premium fuel, and that mainly to get the peak available horsepower out of them. All other Hyundai models recommend regular fuel, and that is what you should be using, The link in the paragraph header explains why.

 

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10 BAD HABITS THAT HURT YOUR CAR: This article from Autoblog has some good and helpful tips to prolong your car's life and reduce your maintenance costs. Among the most helpful are to use your parking brake to save on transmission wear (which I didn't know) and the suggestion to use engine braking more than your brakes when going down a long and/or steep hill.

 

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TOP TIER GASOLINE: Is there a difference for your engine between the different brands of fuel out there? Consumer Reports explains in a study run by AAA that the answer is yes. See what brands of gasoline may be best for your engine.

 

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YOUR CAR IS NOT A SUBMARINE: DON'T EVER DO THIS!!! I am not sure if this driver did any damage to their car or not as a Lamborghini is a mid-engined vehicle so I am unsure where the air intake is. But almost all of you reading this are driving a front-engined vehicle with an air intake at the front of the car. And usually that air intake isn't several feet off the ground. In reality your engine runs on air. The fuel is just there to ignite that air. But if you pull water in through the air intake, you have an excellent chance of damaging your engine.

 

While on the topic, it is also dangerous to try to drive through a flooded area. Your car may partially float meaning you can get carried somewhere you don't want to go, especially if there is moving water. Not to mention water can enter your car, which is obviously dangerous if that water level gets too high.

 

Bottom line: do not drive through a flooded area.

 

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5 THINGS TO AVOID WHEN DRIVING A TURBO ENGINE: For the most part, turbo charged Hyundai and Genesis models are driven normally by most people. So these tips are usually nothing to worry about. But if you drive a Hyundai turbo in a more performance-oriented way, these tips can come in handy when you do. Or if you drive a manual transmission turbo or like to shift your automatic turbo with the Shiftronic feature, then these tips can come in handy. One note: all Hyundai turbos will run on regular fuel but using premium can help eke out a few more horsepower on some models like the Genesis Coupe turbo. So you do not need to follow the tip about premium fuel if you are driving a Hyundai or Genesis with a turbo unless getting those extra few horsepower is important. With all of this in mind, giving this video a look if you have any vehicle with a turbo can't hurt.

 

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5 HABITS THAT HURT A DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION: More Hyundais are using a dual clutch automated transmissions in order to achieve better efficiency. Examples include the 2015-2017 Sonata Eco, Hyundai Veloster, 2016-2017 Hyundai Tucson, and upcoming 2017 Elantra Sport. But since these are basically automated manual transmissions, there are a few habits to avoid with them.

 

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5 HABITS THAT HURT A MANUAL TRANSMISSION: Oops! While I don't own a manual transmission car any more, I think I do 4 of these 5 bad habits that hurt a manual transmission car. Be sure to give this video a watch if you drive a manual transmission.

 

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Copyright 2015 Tim Bergey
The views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of my employer.
Images copyright John Barclay, Hyundai.
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