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Pollen Season: Some Do’s And Dont’s When Caring For Your Car

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Most people look forward to spring with the flowers blooming and the smell of fresh cut grass. But if you’re one of the 50 million people who suffer from seasonal allergies, it can be a challenging experience. Pollen grain is one of the most common substances that can trigger an allergic response in humans. As a fine powder, pollen ends up airborne and can land just about anywhere—including on and inside your vehicle. While you may clean your home’s air ducts to reduce the effects of a pollen invasion, don’t forget your car. Here are just a few ways that you can care for your vehicle this spring and prevent pollen from taking over.

Don’t Put Off Pre-Pollen Car Care

Just before spring arrives, it’s time to start prepping your car for pollen. Flower and tree pollen are prevalent in the spring. While the dust buildup of green or pink on your car may seem harmless enough, it can cause more harm than good. The acidity within the pollen grain can lead to premature oxidation and stain the paint on your car. Visiting a Mr. Clean Car Wash for an exterior detailing, including a polish and synthetic wax will help reduce the likelihood of pollen oxidation and prolong the appearance of your vehicle’s paint. The pros will then add a triple shine protectant to your vehicle. This helps to resist future pollen buildup and ward off permanent stains caused from pollen.

Do Leave Pollen Removal To The Pros

On a windy day, pollen can accumulate on your vehicle even if you washed it just a few hours prior. This can be frustrating, especially if you’ve just had it cleaned. Removing it safely is likely your primary concern. Don’t forget to take your car to the pros to ensure a complete, professional wash. A great professional place will offer you a wash package that includes an under body wash and rust inhibitor-soft cloth wash to help eliminate pollen that is hiding in the crevices of your vehicle and underneath. For example, Mr. Clean Car Wash offers a 96-hour rewash to help make each visit cost effective during the busy pollen season.

Do Keep It Clean Inside

If you suffer from allergies, you may not be protected from the effects of allergic rhinitis or eye irritation caused by pollen while you’re inside your car. Pollen particles can easily reach inside your vehicle through the ventilation system or if you leave your window down accidentally. Cleaning or replacing the cabin filters in your car and having your ventilation system disinfected can cut down significantly on the allergic effects of pollen. An interior detail is one way to get a grip on pollen buildup.

Don’t Forget To Check Under The Hood

If your vehicle is clean from top to bottom, you’ve got a head start on fighting back at pollen. But don’t forget what’s being affected under the hood of your car. Here are some things you want to have checked when you are looking underneath the hood:

  • An air filter inspection and replacement if necessary
  • Fuel filter replacement
  • Cleaning your fuel injection system
  • Emission testing

All of these components should be addressed, especially during pollen season to make sure your vehicle’s engine isn’t being affected by high pollen counts.

Start enjoying long spring and summer drives again. Take your vehicle worries away and keep pollen at bay by visiting a Mr. Clean Car Wash today!

Pristine Pistons: How an Oil Change Can Keep Your Car Engine’s Pistons Running Smoothly

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Even the most conscientious car owners don’t always give as much thought as they should to what happens under the hood of their car. Under the hood is where the car engine does its job. If all of those moving parts aren’t clean and well-maintained, some or all of them could lock up or become damaged. One of those parts is the piston.

What Is a Piston, and What Does It Do?

Let’s start at the beginning. At the most basic level, a combustion engine requires fuel, pressure, and a spark. Pistons work in conjunction with cylinders to provide those elements. When pistons rise, pressure is created in the cylinder. The cylinder contains a vapor composed of air and fuel. When a cylinder is at its highest point, a spark from the spark plug ignites the fuel/air mixture. This reaction sends the piston down at a high rate of speed. Other components then transfer that energy to the wheels.

OK…What Does That Have to Do With an Oil Change?

Oil lubricates a car engine’s moving parts. Think of oil as a coating that protects skin from chafing. In addition, oil draws heat away from a car’s working parts. This is important as a car’s engine can get extremely hot. It also helps prevent buildup from varnish and carbons. When it comes to pistons, oil keeps the pistons from getting scratched during their movement through the cylinders. Eventually, scratches can cause the pistons to lock up — which can result in an engine that doesn’t work and a car that doesn’t drive. Even if things never go that far, sludge and residue can hinder the piston’s movement. This can keep the car engine from operating at maximum efficiency.

What Do I Need to Do toTakeCare of My Car Engine’s Pistons?

Get regular oil changes at the intervals recommended by your manufacturer. In addition, make sure to choose synthetic oil. Synthetic oil has a lot of benefits that natural oil does not. First, it’s created in a lab. That means it can be tweaked to serve different purposes (as opposed to using natural oil). Manufacturers engineer synthetic oil to last longer and to be slicker than natural oil— which means it does a better job of reducing friction.

Your car’s paint and finish are important, but what happens under the hood is important, too. Next time you treat your car to a spa day at Mr. Clean Car Wash, ask about an oil change using synthetic oil.

What Is a 15 Point Inspection Oil Change?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Much like a human body, cars need to be kept in healthy, tip-top shape in order to run like they should. Oftentimes, a break down can be prevented if the car is properly maintained. This maintenance includes checking fluid levels or adding air to tires. How do you know what to check and when? What should a car owner look for when inspecting? Easy. Follow the 15 point inspection (that comes complimentary with every oil change at Mr. Clean Car Wash):

  1. Change the Oil: Changing the oil in a vehicle is crucial to the health and longevity of the engine. Regularly changing the oil can keep a car running smoothly for much longer—not to mention it can give a car greater resale value.
  2. Change the Oil Filter: The oil filter in a vehicle should be changed every time the oil is changed. Failure to change the oil filter can have lasting negative effects on a car. That’s why a new one should be installed every time.
  3. Lubricate Chassis: No one likes a squeaky car. Lubricating chassis helps keep a car’s joints working exactly the way they should be.
  4. Check the Air Filter: Having a clean air filter can not only help the vehicle, but can also be safer for the passengers as well. Clean air filters can keep those in the car from getting sick. Air filters can help keep air cool or hot when needed.
  5. Check Breathers: Pipes on a vehicle need to breath. Sometimes the valves need to be cleaned to get rid of oil and other buildup. Mr. Clean Car Wash checks the breathers to make sure everything is functioning properly.
  6. Check PCV Valve: The PCV valve is crucial. Checking to make sure the PCV valve works properly can help you catch major problems before they occur.
  7. Check Wiper Blades: Streaks and poorly functioning wiper blades can make all the difference when it comes to getting home safely on a rainy day. Checking the blades helps to ensure the safety and security of those in the car.
  8. Check and Fill Coolant: Coolant helps to keep the engine from overheating. It also helps to protect the engine overall. Making sure the fluid is at the proper level helps keep the engine running smoothly.
  9. Check and Fill Transmission Fluid: Transmission fluid acts as the lubricant for all of the moving parts in the transmission. Low fluid can cause unnecessary friction. Unnecessary friction can cause costly problems.

10. Check & Fill Differential Fluid: The differential in a car helps to transfer the power of the transmission to the wheels. The fluid helps to cool the car and keep it running properly.

11. Check the Brake Fluid Level: Brake problems are dangerous and costly. Keeping the fluid filled to the right level helps keep the brakes working. This also helps keep everyone in the vehicle safe.

12. Check & Fill Steering Fluid: This fluid helps to keep steering smooth and easy.

13. Check & Fill Windshield Fluid: No one likes getting stuck with pesky streaks on their window. Let Mr. Clean Car Wash top off the windshield washer fluid so those streaks are never a problem.

14. Check Inflation of Tires: Tire pressure is key to great gas mileage, so checking on tire inflation is always a good thing.

15. Check & Fill Battery: The fluid in a car battery can evaporate overtime, so checking the fluid level can help save a car owner from a breakdown.

While the term “Car Wash” may be in their title, Mr. Clean Car Wash does more than just wash cars. Mr. Clean Car Wash is a one stop shop. Check out all of Mr. Clean Car Wash’s oil change services, including their 15 point inspection.

Mr. Clean Car Wash’s 60k Service: Transmission Fluid Changes and Why They’re Important

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

A car wash is a car wash is a car wash…right? Well, no. At least not when it comes to Mr. Clean Car Washes. In addition to washing and detailing services, Mr. Clean Car Wash offers a number of maintenance services, including a 60K service that includes a transmission fluid exchange.

What is transmission fluid?

A car’s transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels. Transmission fluid makes sure that transfer of power happens smoothly, without transmission parts hanging up on each other or overheating.

Why does transmission fluid need to be changed?

Over time, transmission fluid builds up residue, like gum and varnish. That residue builds up on the transmission components, causing them to move sluggishly or to lock up completely. That makes shifting gears difficult, if not impossible. Eventually, it can cause the transmission to burn out, resulting in a costly repair. A transmission fluid exchange minimizes that problem by replacing the old, dirty transmission fluid with new clean fluid while flushing the system to remove residue.

How often does that need to happen?

Each manufacturer has its own recommendation that you can find that in your owner’s manual. As a general rule, however, the first transmission fluid exchange should be at no later than 60,000 miles. That’s why it’s included in Mr. Clean Car Wash’s 60K service.

Can’t I do that myself?

A transmission fluid exchange isn’t a recommended DIY job. While it’s possible to drain the transmission fluid at home, it takes special equipment to flush the system. Without a flush, the accumulated residue just lingers in the system, waiting to contaminate the new transmission fluid.

A transmission fluid exchange is a relatively fast service that can add years to the life of your car and avoid a transmission replacement (which can drain your bank account in a hurry). Visit your closest Mr. Clean Car Wash today to learn more about the 60K service and what it includes.

Treat Your Towels with Respect

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Once upon a time, people getting ready to do a home car wash just grabbed the nearest old t-shirt. Today there are several options that could be more preferential to the user. One thing they all have is in common is they require some TLC, especially when it comes to washing and drying. Here are a few tips for keeping carwashing towels in top shape:

  • Do wash them before the first use to get rid of any factory residue.
  • Do use different towels for different jobs. Have separate towels for interior use, exterior use, and dirty jobs like the wheels and exhaust.
  • Do listen to mom and sort before washing. Washing all of three sets of towels at the same time spreads contaminants and defeats the purpose of having different towels for different jobs.
  • Don’t use fabric softener. Fabric softener reduces absorbency.
  • Don’t use bleach or products with bleach alternatives. Bleach breaks down the microfibers, causing them to produce lint.
  • Don’t rely on ordinary laundry detergent. This is where microfiber towels show their downside: While they’re absorbing all of that water, they’re also absorbing dirt, grease, grime, and whatever other contaminants with which they come in contact.
  • Do clean the lint trap before putting towels in the dryer.

If that sounds like more work than actually washing or detailing the car, let Mr. Clean Car Wash handle the hassle for you. All Mr. Clean Car Washes clean their towels thoroughly, carefully, and in a way that protects the environment. Stop by today to take advantage of the latest promotions.

Photo Credit: BigStock

Top Winterization Services Your Car

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Everyone has heard the old cliché that, if March comes in like a lamb, it leaves like a lion. This year, that cliché could apply to winter in general. The season may have started out mild, but Old Man Winter has finally settled in, wreaking havoc all across the map. For those who put off winterizing their cars because it didn’t seem necessary, it’s not too late to do it now. Here are the most important winterization steps in making sure a car is ready for the elements.

Get a checkup.

During frigid weather, it’s more important than ever for a car to be in good condition. For one thing, winter weather can exacerbate existing problems. And, even if winter weather isn’t the cause of a breakdown, no one wants to be stuck by the side of the road in dangerously cold temperatures. At a minimum, a winter checkup should include the following:

  • Coolant: Make sure the car’s coolant is the proper mixture for cold weather and is at the optimum level.
  • Battery: Extreme temperatures can kill a battery. Check the battery for cracks, leaks, loose terminals, and corrosion. If the car has been slow to start, take it somewhere that can check the battery’s charge.
  • Oil: Cold weather affects oil’s viscosity, which is a measure of how thick it is and how easily it flows. When the weather is cold, many cars need thinner oil (like 5W-30 instead of 10W-30). Check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Fuel Delivery: Clean fuel injectors, throttle plate and a new fuel filter will help prevent drivability issues in the winter weather.
  • Safety: Check all exterior light bulbs to be sure they are working; replace your wiper blades and ensure you have plenty of washer fluid that is for freezing conditions.
  • Tires: Inspect the car’s tires. Most people don’t think about tires until they have a flat. That’s a dangerous habit, especially during the winter. The tread is all that’s protecting the car from sliding on slick surfaces. If the tread is worn down too low, the tires should be replaced. If the tires are worn unevenly, alignment and rotation can even things out. Even if the tread is fine, it’s important to check the pressure in tires. Tires lose one to two pounds of pressure for every 10-degree temperature drop. If the tires are below the manufacturer’s recommendations, it’s time to top them off.

 

Treat the car to a spa day.

It may seem counterintuitive to worry about things like exterior details when winter is still causing mischief, but that’s exactly what cars need. Important treatments include:

  • Wash and wax: A good, fresh coat of wax will protect the car’s finish from things like salt, corrosion and the contaminants found in snow and rain. And a dirty car is a very poor surface for wax, so a professional wash is an important first step.
  • Headlights: Consider headlight restoration. It’s a quick process that can remove all of the nicks and scratches that build up in headlight covers. Those imperfections can make headlights seem dim, and restoration can bring back full visibility. In addition, make sure that all bulbs are working, including brake lights and turn signals.
  • Winterize the Engine: Be sure to get all services that will keep your car running in the cold such as a coolant exchange, transmission fluid exchange, fuel filters, fuel injector cleaning etc.

Be prepared.

Being stranded is never fun, but, in the winter, it can be dangerous. Severe winter storms, for example, can make it impossible for searchers to look for stranded motorists. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared to spend a couple of days in the car if disaster strikes. An emergency kit should include the following items at a minimum:

  • Flares
  • Blankets
  • Snow boots
  • A radio
  • Heavy outerwear
  • Gloves and a hat for all passengers
  • A flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Drinkable water
  • High-energy snacks like protein bars
  • A flag or some other bright item to alert searchers to your presence
  • A shovel
  • A window scraper
  • A cell phone charger or external battery
  • Booster cables
  • A basic tool kit
  • Emergency repair items like water, antifreeze, oil, and tire repair
  • Waterproof matches
  • First aid kit

This winter, protect both your investment in your car and your own health and safety by being ready for whatever winter throws your way. Mr. Clean Car Wash is ready to take care of everything except that emergency kit (that one is on you). Visit today to get 50% off a full-service wash with a V.I.P. Club membership, or look online for other great promotions.

Why Wax in Winter

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Every season is a great time to keep a vehicle protected. However, the winter months are especially harsh. Whether your winter climate produces mild or severe winter conditions—it’s important to provide your vehicle with extra protection during this season. Waxing your car can help provide the vehicle with that extra layer of protection.

Many car owners do not realize that while snow, sleet, and other winter precipitation may look clean— precipitation can actually make a car dirtier. Precipitation mixed with acidity found in dirt and other minerals on the vehicle can cause rust. That rust can deteriorate the protective clear coating that covers a vehicle’s paint. It can also do damage to the metal frame.

Waxing helps your protect your car because wax acts as a barrier between your car and water. In addition, wax helps provide your car’s paint with another layer of defense from the elements. In addition, gravel and salt used to combat ice on the roads can cause dents and scratches on a vehicle’s exterior. Tires and other cars can kick up the excess particles onto the paint. Wax helps to shield the paint and body from scratches, so when these elements come into contact with a car in the winter—the car is more likely to be less damaged.

Besides scratches, salt combined with precipitation can create unwanted grime that leaves a vehicle looking gray and dull. That combination can actually cause more significant damage if a vehicle is not properly waxed. Furthermore, this damage could reduce value for resale in the future.

So when is the best time to wax a vehicle for winter? The sooner the better. The best time is before any precipitation hits—as wax can be a vehicle’s greatest ally against significant damage and costly repairs.

Don’t let winter weather cost you more than expected. Make sure to head to Mr. Clean Car Wash for a wax detail service—and be prepared for whatever winter brings.

How a Full Service Car Wash Protects Against Rust

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

A full service car wash does more than just keep a vehicle dirt free.

It is true that a car wash can give a vehicle a quick facelift. However, a full service car wash can also help keep a car ‘healthy’ over time. Rust is a chemical compound that can cause corrosion to a vehicle if not properly handled. Rust occurs when three things are present: iron, oxygen and water. When water hits iron, it breaks the iron down into two parts: water and oxygen. The free formed oxygen then dissolves into the iron—causing what is known as rust. Rust is a substance that can be extremely harmful to a car, both internally and externally.

Anywhere iron and water are present, rust can be present. A vehicle’s paint is supposed to help protect it from UV damage, scratches, and other cosmetic issues. However, if a vehicle is dirty, the elements that combine with dirt can wear down the protective covering, making it vulnerable to rust. Rust is harmful because it can cause important functions of a vehicle to break down slowly. Rust can also make a car look old and worn. Finally, it can damage a vehicle’s frame and engine—and potentially cause costly repairs. That’s where the importance of applying a rust inhibitor becomes evident. Another dangerous component of rust is how fast it develops. If rust is not removed and the car is not taken care of, rust can rapidly increase across the vehicle. That’s where the importance of a car wash as well as the application of a rust inhibitor (both on and under your car) becomes evident.

A full service car wash can help to reduce the risk of rust on exterior surfaces as it can properly remove key elements that lead to rust. The car wash can also help renew the protective coating on the paint. As previously noted, the underbody of your car is not exempt of the threat of rust. It is equally susceptible to rust and needs protection as well. Having a professional apply an Under Body Rust inhibitor (a sealant applied to the clean underside of a vehicle) helps to reduce costly damage to the frame, drive train, engine and other important parts of a car’s mechanics.

Mr. Clean Car Wash includes Underbody Rust Inhibitor in their Signature Shine Full Service Car Wash package. Don’t let rust impact the longevity of a vehicle. Come to Mr. Clean Car Wash for a full service wash and Under Body Rust inhibitor application. Right now get $5 off a Signature Shine and protect against further damage.

How Acid Rain Damages Cars

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

How Acid Rain Damages Cars

What is acid rain?

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States defines acid rain as a “broad term referring to a mixture of wet and dry [deposited material] from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.”

Anything water-based that comes from the sky can be classified as acid rain. This includes dew, rain, and snow. Most, or all, of these weather elements settle on cars, and can cause major problems when it comes to a vehicle’s exterior. The acidity in the water can cause the paint and even the metal to weaken over time.

How does acid rain impact a vehicle?

According to the EPA, damage is caused when the acid material is left behind on a car’s surface after water evaporates. The acidic compound combined with other elements (such as sunlight) can be strong enough to eat away the paint.

The New York Times cites that vehicles with a clear coat are more vulnerable to the damage acid rain causes. The finish, used since the early 1990’s, is mirror-like and can highlight defects. According to research conducted by the EPA, there will be “irregularly shaped, permanently etched areas” on a car’s surface if it has been impacted by acid rain. The organization suggests that the best way to prevent this damage from happening is to make sure vehicles are washed frequently. Furthermore, hand drying the car or completely covering a vehicle when precipitation is in the forecast is also suggested.

How can a car owner prevent damage?

Getting a regular car wash can help reduce the amount of acidic material left on the vehicle. If the car is already clean, there will be nothing left behind to further damage the body of the vehicle when water evaporates. A professional car wash not only keeps a car clean and protected, but also helps to prevent damage acid rain can create.

Read more about how Mr. Clean Car Wash can protect a vehicle on the inside and out. Also, look for savings on the Mr. Clean Car Was Signature Shine.

Clean Car Wash Towels Are the Secrets to Success

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Clean car wash towels can be what makes or breaks a car wash. Dirt and grime from one part of the car can easily be transferred to another area, causing scratches or unsightly smudges. Smudges can be fixed, but the scratches may be permanent.

The best solution to this issue is to use clean towels. Every time. Car owners should have one stack of towels for interior use and another stack for exterior use. They should always remember to keep them separated. A color-coded system may be the most effective way to avoid costly mistakes.

Interior towels can pick up sand particles, crumbs, liquid spills, and sandy slush. Depending on the geographic location, and time of year, these towels can also expose salty residues from the roads. Exterior towels often pick up sand and salt, but also reveal air pollutants, as well as bird and insect droppings. In addition, exterior towels come in contact with waxes and sealants. These products, while desired for the paint job, can transfer unwanted smudges or shine to the interior of the car, making it difficult to remove later. Proper attention is essential.

The act of washing and drying towels is no different. It may be easier to dump all the towels into one machine, load the soap, and press start. In reality, this may transfer residues from one type of cloth to another. Laundry detergent can only do so much. The rest depends on the care taken to separate exterior towels from interior towels, and indeed materials such as terrycloth from microfiber, too.

Terrycloth usually creates lint when washed and dried. This lint will stick to microfiber material and create uneven surfaces. High heat is also detrimental to microfiber. The fibers will melt, stick to one another, and block proper absorption.

Suffice it to say, cars travel through some messy situations, and they can pick up grime quickly. They can also transport germs and bacteria, especially when in urban areas. Using a clean towel for your car makes sense—just like using a clean towel for yourself after you shower makes sense. Scratches, grime, and missed residues are much less likely to detract from shine if clean car wash towels are separated by their intended type of application. Matte finishes on cars are also making waves. These finishes are different from the clear top coat on most cars, and they can be damaged very easily. Microfiber towels are the safest cloth to use.

Proper care and attention will ensure a clean car without the damage. Mr. Clean Car Wash’s car washes get the clean you need without the hassle. Visit the nearest location today, and don’t forget your coupons!

Image Source: Flickr