Convertible Top Care

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While, convertible tops look great when a car is new, without proper care they won’t look nice for long. Material like fabric, clear plastic and vinyl are far more delicate and vulnerable to the elements than painted surfaces. Sunshine can be especially damaging. Here are some tips on to keep your convertible top looking like new.

You should thoroughly clean your convertible top at least twice a year, but more frequently if the car is parked outside. Make sure that you use a cleaning product that is specifically designed for convertible tops and, if possible, bio-degradable. Do not use detergents or powders that contain chlorine-based bleaching agents. These cleaners can remove essential oils in vinyl tops that are essential in protecting the vinyl against the sun’s UV rays.

Before you even wet the top, try to move the car out of the direct sunlight and make sure the top is cool. Once the top is wet, spray a light coating of top cleaner evenly across the top and gently work the cleaner using a soft sponge to remove dirt. Once the top is cleaned, rinse of the cleaner while brushing a using lots of water. You want to continue to until the water runs clear.

Now, you don’t need to use a top cleaner every time you wash your car. Usually you can keep it clean with water. But if it is dirty, just use a pH neutral car wash and make sure that you rinse it thoroughly.

When you are cleaning the window, you do not want to use ordinary glass cleaners if the window is plastic. They can cause damage to the plastic. You want to use cleaners and polishes that are specifically designed for plastic windows. They will remove minor scratches and dirt while helping to prevent the plastic from discoloring.

After the top has been cleaned, use a top protectant to preserve the color and texture of the top material. This will prevent fading and cracking, and help repel dirt, grease and oil. Should you get bird dropping on your top, remove them immediately. They are very acidic and can quickly damage tops.

Once the top is thoroughly cleaned, you want to let it dry before folding it down to prevent mold and mildew.

Here are a few extra tips to make your convertible top last:
  • If possible, park your convertible in a garage or carport. If not, then use a high quality, breathable car cover.
  • To prevent creasing and scratching plastic windows, place a soft towel or baby blanket over the plastic rear window before folding down the top.
  • Use a lint roller to remove dust and lint from the top and clean the plastic window without scratching.

 


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Preparing Your Car for Hurricane Season
  • Maintenance
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Registration
  • Insurance papers
  • Extended Warranty contract, if applicable

The registration, title, and insurance papers are essential to your vehicle. But, so are the warranty documents. If a mechanical breakdown were to happen while you were on the road or away from your home, you will may need you factory warranty or extended warranty documents along with your maintenance records in order to obtain repairs that may be needed. Also, the warranty documentation will have the number to roadside assistance if needed.

If you have more than one vehicle and you decided to leave one at home, then your vehicle needs to stored correctly. Usually, an enclosed garage would be the first option. But if you do not have one, it is best to park your vehicle away from trees and low lying areas. Most damage from a hurricane is caused by wind and flooding. So, if a garage is not an option, find the highest point in your yard, that is away from trees and park your vehicle there.

Hurricane season is a time to prepare. When preparing for an upcoming storm and/or for evacuation don’t forget about your vehicle. Make sure that it has all it is up to date on maintenance, that you have all documentation regarding your vehicle, and if it is staying behind, make sure that it is stored correctly. Doing this can give you one less thing to worry about during a very stressful time.

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Fuel Myths Debunked

Since the dawn of the gas powered vehicle, there have been myths about fueling your vehicle. They range from what type of fuel to how much gas to put in your vehicle. With gas prices continually on the rise, why would you want to spend more money than you have to? The average price for regular gas in the Savannah, GA area is $3.30 a gallon while high octane fuel, or premium gas, is $3.77 a gallon.

So, what about the myths? Is there any truth to them or are the just that, myths? Vaden Automotive Group in Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas care about informing our community on what is the truth and what is hearsay. Following is a list, put together by Cars.com, of their favorite fuel myths and the truth behind them.

Using premium gas will enhance my car's performance

Putting premium gas in your vehicle is not going to make your vehicle perform better. There are are instances where you should consider using premium in your car, but nowadays, most vehicles can adjust the engine’s performance in a majority of conditions. Some people may report a pinging or knocking sound if they do not use premium. Typically, modern knock sensors will detect a pinging noise before you hear it. Basically, if your vehicle’s manufacturer does not recommend the use of high octane fuel, then you’re safe saving some money by using regular gas.

It's better to fill up in the morning or at night because you'll get more fuel.

The reasoning behind this myth is that when the fuel is cooler it is denser and a denser fuel will pack more energy in the same amount of space. While density may change with the temperature, the fuel is stored in underground tanks that maintain a temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. So, no matter the weather outside, the fuel temperature will remain the same.

It's OK to top off your gas tank after the nozzle automatically shuts off.

We all know people who are guilty of this one. While you may feel like you are getting more gas, you may not be. The extra fuel may just be rerouted into the station’s storage tanks. Also, you may potentially harm your vehicle’s evaporative control system. The system is designed to re-burn vapors, not liquid gasoline. If you overfill your tank, these vapors will get pushed out of your gas tank and can cause damage.   

Not fully pressing the gas nozzle will make you pay for gas you don't get.

This is a new one and lives up to it’s title as a myth. Gas dispensers use volumetric measures that gauge whether they are pumping fuel slow or fast. It is not an on/off nozzle that can only tell when the fuel is being pumped out at maximum speed. So whether or not you press the nozzle half way, it can still measure how much fuel is being pumped and charge you accordingly.  

Using the wrong octane fuel will void my warranty.

This one may have some truth to it. Some automakers claim that by using regular gas, you can do damage to your vehicle’s engine. This is why you should always read your owner’s manual. It may seem daunting, but there is some really useful information in there. Will you void your warranty if you use regular gas one time? No. Many automakers that require a higher octane fuel acknowledge that regular fuel can be used in an emergency, but premium fuel should be used on a regular basis.

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Best Driving Tips for New Drivers

When your teenager finally gets behind the wheel of a car, their main concern is driving without the supervision of an adult. As a parent, your main concern is their safety on the road. It is important for your teen to know that with the freedom of driving also comes significant responsibility. Here are some basic driving tips that parents and new drivers should keep in mind.

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

Many drivers, new and old, have trouble following this simple suggestion. Before you even leave the driveway, check and adjust your mirrors, seat, and anything else you may have to before taking off. Doing these steps before you even leave the driveway will prevent you from having to make these adjustments while driving, which can easily take your eyes off of the road and create a dangerous situation.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off

Like oil and water, texting and driving do not mix. Studies have shown that driving while trying to send out a text message is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Do everyone a favor and turn your phone off or on silent. Turning it off or putting it in silent will help you to avoid distractions from incoming calls or messages. If you should  need to use your phone in an emergency situation, pull over first.  Not only is talking on the phone while driving distracting,  in some states, it is illegal and a ticketable offense.

Wear Your Seat belt

Wearing a seat belt has been scientifically proven to help prevent injury in an accident. Plus, not wearing your seat belt is a ticketable offense in 49 states. Save yourself the hassle and just wear your seat belt- it could save your life.

Obey the Speed Limit

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. It’s no wonder that speeding is a major cause of traffic crashes. Plus, more drivers are convicted of speeding than any other offense. Always obey the posted speed limit and slow down in rain, fog, snow and ice.

Stay in Your Lane

Drifting into the other lane can cause several problems. You could run into another car, cause an accident by cutting another person off, or even backup traffic. Make sure you pay close attention to what lane you are driving in and cars in other lanes to avoid these issues. Also, be sure to check your blind spots before you switch lanes.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your destination safely. You’ll be safe and save money on traffic tickets and car insurance.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared for a roadside emergency. Have a well stocked emergency kit in your car at all times. You should also make sure that you have an inflated spare tire and jack, and know how to safely change a flat.

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