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Author Topic: Useful Tips for various Things  (Read 6869 times)
felipe
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« on: November 11, 2015, 09:54:52 AM »

I have been asked to set up a new thread that will have member´s ideas on how to ´fix´some things easily. Such as the one posted about yellow staining on headlights.

This thread will remain a sticky. BUT..... PLEASE do not post stupid ideas that are meaningless or make fun of anything that a member may suggest. If that happens the post will be removed.

It could develop into a valuable time and moneysaving thread for all of us.
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« on: November 11, 2015, 09:54:52 AM »

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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 22:13:41 PM »

If your car's headlights are made of plastic and have turned a straw-yellow in colour then please read this for a cheap and very effective answer that restores the headlight to something like new.
Supermarkets sell a crème (crema) cleaner, commonly used in kitchens. It is called, CIF. It only costs a couple Euros for a large bottle and will clean you headlights easily. Another answer is to use toothpaste (not gel), but that is very abrasive and can leave deep scratches, so I do not recommend it! Apply neat CIF with a soft cloth, working in rotating circles until clean. Then rinse off with water and dry. Simplezzzzz.


...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 16:44:18 PM by Author » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 22:13:41 PM »

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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 16:30:12 PM »

Another great idea! And one I have already posted on other threads but reckon this is as good a place as any to inform people of what's handy.

A dead car battery - an age old problem that affects us all - especially during the winter months.
The active chemical, Tetrasodium EDTA, will recover any lead-acid battery with sulphated plates. As a petrol-head (vehicle-enthusiast) I used it on my old British (BSA, Triumph, Villiers, etc) bikes in years past and know that it works. It basically fragments the sulphate layers on the cell plates, where the broken residue falls to the bottom of the cell. And as the sulphates have insulating properties the substance will not short-out the plates. What is left are clean lead plates and the battery works like new.

There is an additional problem, however, if the battery failure is due to physical damage there is no cure for that, other than replacement.

I learned about this subject while studying chemistry with the Open University and found it absolutely fascinating. There's lots more too.
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 16:30:12 PM »

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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 16:35:49 PM »

And yet another idea. During the winter months we can expect rain and dirty roads. Our car's headlights' efficiency can be reduced by muck and debris. An answer is to cut a potato and rub the juice onto the headlight itself. The juice basically contains starch as well as other chemicals, and when combined they create a barrier for dirt to adhere to. The potato juice can also be used on a windscreen should a failure of the wipers take place. Rain-water and all kinds of muck will simply wash-off - for a while, leaving a clear view of the road ahead. So there you have it. Stuff a potato into your car's toolbox - just in case. And if you don't need it you can always make chips or bake it later on.
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 16:42:56 PM »

Here I go again. Should you live in an area where frost and ice prevail during the winter months you'll probably know all about frosted windscreens, etc. Brrrrr.

All you need to do is pour neat alcohol into your windscreen washer-bottle. It also means your screen-wash will not freeze too. A windscreen, back & front, will be clear in a short time and you'll be off.

Methylated spirits, or the 99% alcohol you can buy in any pharmacy, will do this trick. But please don't use Whisky. I'm sure it would work... but what a waste! Give it to me instead and I'll get you some Meth's.
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 16:42:56 PM »

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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 16:53:56 PM »

Cd's & DVD's. They get scratched and dirty, but cleaning is something that is almost clinical.

To begin with, a disk needs to be cleaned from the middle outwards. The reason for this is because the tracks follow a circular route and should you add scratches into or onto those routes you will only compound the problem.
Grease can be removed with washing up liquid. Use it neat, but remember to use a soft, clean cloth, working from the middle outwards. Rinse under clean water and dry from the centre outwards.
Scratches can be removed too, and I've repeatedly done this myself. Use toothpaste on a cloth. Once again, work from the middle outwards.
Working from the middle outwards is most important.
If you consider the disk as similar to an old vinyl LP you will understand the tracks follow a circular path. This path must be maintained, hence cleaning by cutting across them at right angles.

So there you have it. Damaged disks can be recovered, although the severity of the damage could be so brutal as to prevent repair.
I've been there, but 99% of my efforts have been successful.
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2015, 16:58:40 PM »

My final one today, the 11th November.
If you have a rusted bolt, nut or whatever, and you cannot get it undone without breaking it, here's a suggestion.

Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, and leaving a rusted piece of hardware in the stuff overnight should help to clean it up.
Have you ever noticed how your teeth feel after drinking the cola? How they feel as if something has stripped them clean? Well, now you know.
Oh, it may only work with the original cola, but the jury is still out on that one. Zero might actually be ZERO... effect.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2015, 17:16:57 PM »

If you use a screwdriver or spanners - especially open-ended, you will know that sometimes you could do with something to hold a screw on a driver's tip or a nut in a spanner's jaw.
Here's the answer.
When you're not using your tools leave a magnet attached to them. The magnetic flux will transfer a residual attraction into the metal, almost like a memory.
So when you need it to keep a screw or a nut in place it should.
Easy answers to annoying problems.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2015, 17:16:57 PM »

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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 17:19:55 PM »

Use vinegar and water to clean your windows (house, car, etc). Then wipe off with newspaper.
Never mind buying the expensive stuff on sale everywhere because this does it best. It's cheap, very simple and extremely effective.
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 17:19:55 PM »

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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2015, 17:23:53 PM »

Cleaning your kettle. With a calcium residue coating your kettle's element its efficiency will be reduced and will take longer to boil.
Slice a lemon, placing the pieces into your kettle with some warm water, although just enough to cover the affected element. Leave it overnight and empty in the morning.
It may take several attempts to clean it thoroughly, all dependant on the severity of the coating, but it will clean.
The lemon contains edible citric acid and it will work.
Cheap and very effective.
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2015, 17:47:21 PM »

Oh yeah, another good suggestion.

Having just carried out my own oil & filter change on my car today (knowing the oil quality, etc) I thought I should mention the following idea.

It may sound sort of suspicious and untrusting to some, but I write with experience and knowledge on this subject matter.

Before you put your car into any garage you should consider getting yourself an indelible marker-pen and placing a small marker that only you know and recognise on certain items.
Spark-plugs, oil-filter, belts and anything else you deem might be replaced. Even wiper-blades.
I've been there and been ripped-off.

There are many good and honest garages around... but as always there are some who aint!

I have owned lots of new cars in my time and paid a King's ransom for the servicing, only to later discover the items that should have been replaced weren't.

Gearbox oil is a good one. How would you know? Engine oil, check the colour and level, remembering to mark the filter for checking after the event.

I once owned an Alpha Romeo from new, and as with every new car you need to have it serviced by the garage or your warranty goes out the window. My Alpha had its gearbox oil replaced at a great cost. But when I did a service myself in later years I was only too well aware the oil had never been changed. And that goes with a whole lot of stuff too.

As an experienced multi-skilled engineer I guess I'm a garage's worst nightmare. I can not only do my own repairs, adjustments, etc, (I bought a complete diagnostic setup off Ebay - for instance), but can see through the attempts to persuade many to part good, hard-earned cash for unnecessary work. But then again, if you're loaded who gives... ? But it's a thought.

I've self repaired my car's ABS, a none-starting car (that was a real bitch to cure), and almost every kind of mechanical/electrical/electronic problem you might imagine. At present I drive an elderly Renault ( I like older cars ) and that company needs to revise its systems and designs. And then again the Frogs did construct the Maginot Line! I wonder if Renault had a hand in that? lol I bet they did!

I've got my old jalopy purring like a kitten, with a bit of extra zoom-zoom, but it took a while. I do recommend Toyota though. That will be my next one, having previously owned a 1999 RAV4 that took me across red-hot deserts, river-beds, mountains and you wouldn't believe it. I did substantially upgrade it for the job and it worked admirably.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 18:06:36 PM by Ammonite » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2015, 17:47:21 PM »

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