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Motoring Hints and Tips

Advice on driving conditions, and general motoring problems such as faulty lights, windshields, doors, and more.

Keeping awake when driving. Want to keep awake and alert when driving, drive in your bare feet, it will help -- Sphere 

Keep awake when driving #2. Never drive when sleepy; find a safe place to park up and snooze for half an hour. Set the alarm on your mobile if you have to. A quick nap can save your life -- Sharon Luther

Gas tank temporary repair If you ever get a leak from a cracked gas tank on your vehicle, the temporary solution is to scrape a bar of soap on the crack till it seals. Gas does not dissolve soap, but water will definitely dissolve it! So like I said, this is only a temporary solution!!! But it did get me home from a long trip on a dirt road! -- “Vince Cayouette”

Radiator leaks. If your radiator springs a leak, stop in at McDonald's (or other restaurant) and pick up several little packets (5 or 6 packets or about one tablespoon) of black pepper. The pepper absorbs the water in the radiator and swells up. The pepper will then clog up the hole in the radiator. This repair will give you enough time to get to the garage. In one case that I know of, the pepper lasted for over 5 years. Joseph Fortunato -

Gasoline Fires. If you smell gas coming from beneath your car, never check under it with an ordinary strobe light. If any gas falls on the lightbulb, it could explode and cause a serious fire. Use a light with a protective surface instead. (Such as a plastic transparent cover).—“Adrian Mole”

Motorcycles.  Paint on roadways as at intersection turn lanes especially are slippery when stopping or starting. ~~ rosebuds02

Motorcycling Tip. If you use a battery charger when your bike is in long term storage, don't forget to check the fluid level in it every 2 weeks or so. The water will evaporate very slowly, and it needs to be replaced occasionally to keep the battery in top shape. -- Diesel Dan = Dan Jacobs 

Can't get rid of Dry White Polish in those small places around the bumper & windows with a cloth? Then cut the bristles down on a new 1" paint brush until they are just firm, now try it!. Also keep another full 1" brush in the glove box for when your waiting to pick the wife or kids up & dust the dash (or is it dash the dust?). -- Mike Parry. Chester UK."Mike Parry"

Bugs Carry a bottle of Pledge polish with you on trips. Spray it on all the parts of the car exposed to bug smashing. this wont' keep the bugs off but it will make them easier to remove. --  (Bob Peckham)

Car Cleaning Tip  Here's my tip: Use WD40 to make black plastic car bumpers black again.  The WD40 also removes any traces of car polish which may be on the bumpers. -- Uncle Angus "Angus Davidson"

Clean your Hands. After working on your car you can clean your hands with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and sugar -- Simon Spicer

Clean your Hands. Use olive oil or other cooking oil to clean hands dirtied by engine oil -- Jean Edmunds.

Don't Burn Your Hand. When topping up a car water level never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Never add cold water to an overheated engine also, as you can crack the radiator. -- David Stokes

Radiators. If your radiator springs a leak, stick a bit of chewed chewing gum over the hole to plug it up until you get to the garage. - Anon.


Light Clusters. To make the rear light cluster on your old car look like new rub down with "00" wet&dry then spray with clear lacquer, they stand out if you are selling the car it could get you the best price for a little investment -- jean watson  

Lights. When I smashed my rear light, I found that using some red plastic from a carrier bag covered it pretty well, until I could get around to fixing it. -- Annie

Lights: If your lamp does not light properly this is most likely due to either the bulb or fuse failing, so check them both and then replace the faulty part. If the indicator light is flashing irregularly this is most likely due to bulb failure or relay failure. Check and replace. If the main/dip beam does not light this is probably due to part failure of the unit. Check this out. -- Norton Hunters, USA

Indicator Light. If one of your indicator lights goes, a good emergency replacement is your fog-light bulb. -- H R Winterton, Florida.


Frozen Locks. There are a few ways that I've solved this problem. Either heat up your key with a flame before trying the lock several times. Be careful not to break the key though - - J Forbes Smith, Canada.

Frozen Locks. Try using a hot water bottle if the lock is frozen solid.  My husband has been known to wipe the inside of the windscreen with  the hot water bottle inside a towel -- essie2000


Windscreen wipers. If both windscreen wipers stop working at the same time, this is most likely due to the fuse going. Check the fuse box, and replace any faulty fuses. - Victor Jobs

Before long journeys do all the usual checks and make sure that you clean the windscreen very carefully.  You can reduce driver fatigue by a great deal simply by making sure that you have good visibility -- Christian Kauffman   Berlin  Germany

Icy windscreens can be scraped using a creditcard if no ice scraper is to hand. – Essy Edmunds

A cup of vodka and a couple of drops of  washing up liquid in your car's water bottle can help prevent icing of the windscreen in winter -- Simon Spicer  Milton Keynes  England

Methylated Spirits (methyl alcohol) is good in your windscreen wash bottle as well, and cheaper. Never use antifreeze in it, as it damages the car paintwork. - - S Edmunds.

Regarding haze and general dirty windscreens. The cheapest and quickest solution is to clean with toothpaste. To clear the haze - or buff up the screen it may take a little longer and more applications, but the results I can guarantee -- English Bob, Brighton, England

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