5-Point Checklist for Test Driving a Vehicle

Don’t worry, because a five point turn is not on the checklist of things to do when test-driving a vehicle. Buying a new or used vehicle can be stressful for people because everyone wants the best possible car of their choice, in the best possible condition, and all within their seemingly-unrealistic budget. This, unfortunately, narrows the list a bit, however, there are smart ways to test out a vehicle in order to ensure you are at least buying a quality asset that is safe and suits your driving needs.

Continue reading to learn five things to look for when you are test driving a car or truck, so that you may better negotiate a deal and make better purchasing decisions.

1. Exterior Appearance

The first place you want to inspect is the exterior of the car or truck. How’s the condition of the paint? Is it shipped, scraped, or faded? What about the condition of the body? Are there dents and scratches on the bumper, fender, or doors? Are there cracks in the windshield? All of these aspects can be used against a seller in the negotiations to get a fairer price.

2. Interior Appearance and Amenities

Next, open the doors and take a look inside. Are the doors squeaky or difficult to open? Do they feel heavy or loose? What about the interior fabric? Is it in good condition? Are there stains, burn holes, ripped carpet, or other similar damages? Is the roof fabric loose and droopy? Are the dashboards in good condition? Is there a spare tire and jack?

3. Under the Hood

Always look is under the hood of the vehicle. Check to see that the engine bay is clean and damage-free. Next, look at the condition of the battery, see that all the proper caps are in place, and inquire whether or not it takes premium or unleaded fuel. Overall, use your common sense to inspect everything under the hood with a glance, and decide if it looks legitimate. If you have concerns about what you see, then you might want to have the vehicle inspected by a licensed mechanic before making any negotiations with the seller.

4. Drivability

Now it’s time to actually see how the car drives. See how the steering wheel turns. Does it pull to the left or right? Take note of how the car feels in drive mode. Is it a smooth ride? Does it feel bumpy? Are the brakes squeaky? Does it take a long time to come to a complete stop? Does the car feel heavy or out of line? All of this can be identifiers of common vehicular maintenance and repair issues. Again, these faults can be used as a negotiations tactic when deciding on a final price.

5. Interior Features

Before getting out of the vehicle and ending your test drive, be sure to check all the amenities and features inside and see that they all work properly. Check the automatic windows, radio, navigation, air vents, sun roof, mirrors, lights, and more. Also take note of the number of cup holders, storage, seating, and more to match these features with the ones on your wish-list.

How to Clean Upholstery in Your Vehicle

When you look at your older car’s interior, it more than likely does not look as good as it did the day you bought it. It is not at all uncommon for the interior to get soiled over the years with normal use. Learning how to clean upholstery yourself is not all that difficult and can save you some money.

These upholstery cleaning tips are for cloth interiors only and not leather. We use shampoo to clean cloth interior. We have options when it comes to the cleaning solution we use. You can buy super clean or purple power degreaser at any local auto parts house. This works really well on carpet and cloth seats for removing stains. You can also use dawn dish washing liquid which we all know is great at fighting grease. Find a five gallon bucket or anything that will hold two or three gallons of water. Fill the bucket with water and add just a little of the cleaner, if using purple cleaner just add a few capfuls until the water slightly changes color. With dish soap maybe a tablespoon or so. We do not want a lot of foam and soap we have to get out of the cloth. It is always a good idea to test a little spot in an inconspicuous area before we start. Just use a white cloth and wet with cleaner and rub a little in to see if the color is rubbing off on your towel. If so stop now and call a professional for advice on cleaning this type of material.

Items needed to shampoo your cars interior yourself are a wet/dry vac, a scrub brush, and a few towels. Just do small areas at a time to get the best results, except for the seats, wet the entire seat to ensure there is no streaking. Then you can work smaller areas of the seat after it is all wet with shampoo. Use a hand towel to wet it down with shampoo, then scrub gently with a brush and vacuum it really well to remove as much water as possible. You can repeat wetting bad areas and vacuuming it out until you see no more dirt coming up. When you have it vacuumed as good as possible use a dry towel to rub the entire seat down which removes more dirt and more water to help dry times. We do the same process with each seat and the carpet.

Drying the interior as quickly as possible is essential when you are all done shampooing. If not dried in a reasonable time it will get musty, similar to leaving wet clothes in the washer too long. If it is sunny out leave the windows down and make sure the car is in the sun. Place a fan blowing in a window of the car to keep the air moving and speed dry time. If it isn’t sunny out, you can roll the windows up to about 2 inches down and turn the heater on high. If you have a small fan that oscillates, put it in the car wherever you can get it to stay safely and turn it on high. Do not leave it unattended for very long and keep checking the carpet and seats to see if their dry. If you have a garage where you can leave the windows down all night and a fan blowing, this would be the ideal thing to do.

During the drying stage, you may notice some dirt resurfacing. When being shown how to clean car upholstery that has had cola spills in it, you will see exactly what I am talking about. You can just take a dry towel and rub these areas as they dry and it will pick it up. There is no doubt this is a long tiring process when learning how to clean upholstery. There is a lot of bending and scrubbing involved. This is why a lot of people choose to take their cars to a local detail shop and have the interior steam cleaned. Although, if you want to save money and learn how to do it yourself, this is one way to do it and get great results.

The Benefits of Putting Floor Liners To Your Vehicle

Wondering how you can keep the dirt and grime off of your vehicle’s flooring? Putting on floor liners is a great investment to help keep off any substance that will damage the interior floor carpet. This is also a nice addition for your vehicle to keep it in tip-top condition, which helps in retaining its resale value.

You’ll see different floor liner types and brands in the market such as Weathertech, Husky liners, and more. Before you buy one, you have to know the difference between each type and how it would fit onto your vehicle.

Floor coverage

You probably stumbled upon the terms universal and direct fit. Get to know the difference between these terms to see how it will fit onto your vehicle’s interior flooring.

Floor liners designed to precisely fit onto specific vehicles are called direct fit or custom fit. It is not the same as stock floor mats that came with your vehicle.

Custom fit floor mats provides a great coverage on the foot wells since it is created to surround edge-to-edge and fit securely onto the floor. It’s not a one-size fits all because it is designed with grooves and raised edges around the perimeters to trap liquid, dirt and other substances that can ruin your vehicle’s floor carpet.

Depending on the brand and style, it may come in either single or a 2-piece design. Other floor liners for trucks are constructed with one-piece setup that will fit the shifter booth.

How it’s made

Floor liners are made using high quality materials like heavy-duty rubber, pliable vinyl or thermoplastic. There are two types such as all-weather floor mats or the regular ones which is mostly seen on universal mats. Both floor mats are easy to install and easy to clean by just wiping or by giving a quick rinse to remove spillage or sticky substances.

The regular carpet floor mats comes in various designs and colors that will not only keep the floor from any damaging substances, but also add flair on the interior. It is softer and flexible compared to all-weather mats. Some brands have designed their mats with channels, ridges, and deep pockets. However, if you want an extreme protection to the vehicle’s interior flooring, an all-weather floor liner is what you need.

Mud, snow, dirt, and other substances which can damage your floor is no match to all-weather mats. It is designed using high-quality and rigid materials to ensure its durability. It is designed with grooves and raised edges to contain dirt, liquid and other matter that can ruin the vehicle’s floor board. It also has a nibbed backing to keep it in place no matter if passengers or pets may move around. It decreases the chance of floor friction on your vehicle’s interior carpet. It is thicker and heavier compared to the regular floor mats to further shield the flooring against harmful elements.

Benefits of floor liners

Installing floor liners to your interior is a good investment to retain the resale value of your vehicle. Get to know more benefits you can get from this automotive part:

  • Shields the floorboards against any substances that may harm the appearance and value of your vehicle
  • Prevents sticky liquids such as soda, coffee, and other snacks from spilling onto the vehicle’s carpet floor and lead to permanent damage to it
  • Trap dust, dirt, road salt, grime, and other particles
  • Keep off water, snow, mud and other things that got stuck on your shoe before it gets around into your vehicle’s carpet flooring
  • Prevents foot friction that cause rips and premature wear on the carpet
  • Can withstand different weather conditions and gives a year-round protection for the flooring

Car Floor Mats Materials – Which Material Do I Need For My Vehicle?

Automotive Floor Mats are the first line of defense for your car, truck or SUV’s precious factory flooring. That presents floor mats with the tough task of being able to withstand varying levels of abuse on a regular basis whilst providing an additional level of comfort and complimenting the vehicles interior aesthetic.

Vehicle manufacturers have attempted to solve the unique problems floor mats face by creating a multitude of material types, each aimed at providing adequate protection for a vehicle’s intended use.

Aftermarket carpet and floor mat manufacturers offer products using materials and colors designed to match the OEMs whilst offering improvements upon the originals.

What Original Materials Are Available?

Cutpile

– Cut Pile is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge cut pile, it contains 14 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Cut Pile has been an original material in most domestic vehicles since around 1974.

– Cut Pile material can have Mass backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material. It’s a great sound and heat barrier and increases the overall appearance of the carpet after installation.

– Cut Pile material width is 78 inches.

Loop

– Loop material is composed of 100% 6,6 Nylon yarn called Raylon

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Loop contains 20 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Loop material was originally used in vehicles that were manufactured before 1974.

– Loop material can have Mass backing. Loop material width is 78 inches.

Nylon

– Nylon is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Nylon contains 12 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Nylon material was originally used in the late 1960 model Fords.

– Nylon material is available with our optional Mass backing.

– Nylon material width is 78 inches.

Truvette

– Truvette is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 5/64 gauge, Truvette contains 14 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Truvette material was introduced in the early 1990s for Corvettes.

– Truvette material can have Mass backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material.

– Truvette material width is 78 inches.

Daytona

– Daytona weave carpet is composed of Cotton, Nylon, and Rayon yarn.

– Daytona contains 27.5 ounces of yarn per square yard and is a loop style carpet.

– Daytona weave carpet was introduced around 1954 for GM vehicles.

– Foam backing only, Daytona cannot be molded or Mass backed. It is hand cut and sewn with the utmost quality control.

– Daytona material width is 54 inches

Tuxedo

– Tuxedo is composed of Nylon and Olefin filament yarns.

– Tufted to a 1/8 gauge, Tuxedo contains 23 ounces of yarn per square yard.

– Tuxedo material can have Mass backing.

– Tuxedo material width is 52 inches.

Gros Point

– Gros Point material is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Gros Point contains 31.5 ounces of yarn per square yard and is a fine loop style carpet.

– Gros Point was developed for the early model classic muscle and full size passenger cars build in the 1950s and 1960s.

– Foam backing only, Gros Point cannot be molded or Mass backed. It is hand cut and sewn with the utmost quality control.

– Gros Point material width is 54 inches

What Are The Aftermarket Options?

Essex

– Available as an optional upgrade for the majority of our ACC Floor Mats

– Essex is composed of 100% Nylon yarn.

– Tufted to a 1/10 gauge cut pile, Essex contains 22.5 ounces of yarn per square yard giving it a luxurious and plush look and feel.

– Essex has been available as an aftermarket material choice since the late 2000’s. It is a premium, modern version of the Cut Pile material. It can be specified for almost any model vehicle.

– Essex material can have Mass Backing. Mass backing is an approximately 45mil thick EVA material. It’s a great sound and heat barrier and increases the overall look of the carpet after installation.

– Essex material width is 78 inches.