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What is Good Mileage for a Used Car

What is Good Mileage for a Used Car

So you’ve decided to purchase a used car instead of a brand new one. 

Not a bad decision. 

However, you do need to consider a lot of things — one of those being car mileage. 

What is good mileage for a used car?

Well, we’re going to answer that question and more for you here. This way, you’ll know if the deal you’re getting is a good one. 

Shall we begin?

What is a Car Mileage?

What is Good Mileage for a Used Car
Source: canva.com

For those of you that aren’t car-savvy, you might not know what car mileage even is. This is why we’ll give you a brief explanation. 

Simply put, car mileage is the unit used to measure the total distance a car has traveled since the time it was purchased. It’s used to determine the value at which your car can be resold, as well as its depreciation, condition, and potential risks – among others. 

Why Is Car Mileage Important? 

Car mileage plays a huge role in determining a car’s reselling price. Mileage can give you a pretty good idea of the current condition a vehicle’s components are in. 

For example, wear and tear are often more evident in cars with higher mileage. So, the lower the mileage, the more value the car retains. 

Now, there will be a few cases where mileage might not be the most accurate reference to determine a vehicle’s condition. Getting a certified and reliable mechanic to assess the vehicle can save you from buying a vehicle at a much higher price than it should be. 

What is Good Mileage for a Used Car? 

Okay, now let’s get to the main question. 

What is good mileage for a used car?

According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average person drives around 14, 263 miles per year. That’s around 1,200 miles per month and about 39 miles per day. 

Considering those numbers, we can say that a good mileage on a 4-year-old car is around 57,000 to 60,000 miles. 

It’s worth noting that this average will vary between drivers. Those who use their cars often for long-distance journeys might rack up more miles more quickly. 

So you need to know how to calculate to know if it is good mileage. 

How to Calculate Car Mileage

Calculating car mileage is simple.

You take the average miles you travel each year and multiply that by the time that’s passed between now and the time the car was brought home from the dealership. 

So for example, if a car has traveled an average of 12,000 miles per year and is about 5 years old by the time you buy it, then a good mileage would be around 50,000 miles. 

Picking up on the same example. If the average miles per year is 12,000 and the car is 5 years old, anything way above 50,000 miles is not a good mileage number. 

Should You Rely on Mileage When Buying a Used Car? 

While mileage can certainly help determine a car’s value and condition, it shouldn’t be the only factor that you consider. The best way to ensure you drive home a good used car is to choose one that’s been properly maintained by its previous owners. 

To see if the car you’ve been eyeing has been well-taken care of over the past years, you can check the following documents: 

  • Car accident reports
  • Service or repair records
  • Maintenance records
  • Number of previous owners
  • Title history

If these documents show that the vehicle has received all the recommended maintenance and repairs it needs, then it’s more likely to last you a long time, regardless of its mileage. 

Should You Buy a Car With High Mileage?

The great thing about cars nowadays is that they’re made to last much longer than the cars existing over 15 years ago. In fact, according to surveys, the average car in the US is about 11 to 12 years old with mileage averages of around 132,000 to 144,000 miles. 

Generally, buying a car with a high mileage shouldn’t pose any problem. In fact, it can save you thousands of dollars. A more important thing to look at when buying a used car is the number of previous owners it’s had. 

If a car has had one or two owners before you and has around 100,000 miles on its odometer, chances are the vehicle is still in peak running condition and will last you a long while. 

However, if the car you’re eyeing has had three to four owners before you with high mileage, it might be wise to look somewhere else. 

Beware of Odometer Fraud

The odometer is the tool used to measure a car’s mileage. In some cases, shady sellers may tamper with the vehicle odometer to make it seem like the vehicle has traveled fewer miles than it actually has. This is often referred to as “busting miles” or “clocking.” 

While there’s no single way to identify when an odometer has been tampered with, you can still avoid fraud by hiring a professional mechanic to check the vehicle for you. 

Be wary of scratch marks or fingerprints on the odometer, as this may mean the previous owner has done something to alter the settings. On top of that, keep an eye out for misalignment in the odometer display. 

Misalignment could mean an error in the reinstallation of the odometer OR it could also mean the system had been altered by the seller.

Final Thoughts

So what is good mileage for a used car?

Well, you will have to make the calculation yourself. 

That said, a car’s mileage is not the most important thing to look out for. A car can still be in peak condition even with high mileage. 

Some more important factors to consider are the number of previous owners the vehicle has had and the condition in which it runs in.

Make sure to examine maintenance and repair records to see if the vehicle you want to buy has had proper care and attendance. 

Additionally, beware of units that have noticeably been tampered with. To avoid fraud, bring a trusted mechanic when buying a used car and ask them to examine the vehicle before you finalize your purchase.  

Happy buying!

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

Nothing beats sitting in a newly-polished leather car seat. It’s comfortable and sleek – and it makes you look all sorts of cool to your friends and family. 

Unfortunately, leather car seats are prone to cracking and fading without the right care and maintenance. It’s also much more susceptible to everyday wear and tear – not to mention sun damage. 

To prevent this from happening, you must clean and polish your leather seats regularly

And this is why, today, we’re going to show you how to clean leather car seats the proper way. 

Plus, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning leather seats. 

So without further ado, let’s begin!

The 4 Steps to Cleaning Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Leather Car Seats
Source: canva.com

These are the 4 steps to clean your leather car seats:

  1. Remove loose dirt and debris
  2. Apply a leather cleaner or home remedy
  3. Wipe down the seats
  4. Polish the leather car seats

Let’s go through these steps in detail.

Step #1: Remove Loose Dirt and Debris

The first thing you want to do is remove loose dirt and debris from your leather car seats. This includes food crumbs, soil, lint, dust, and any other particle.

A quick way to get this done is to use a vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, a soft brush and a handheld dustpan should do the trick. 

But why is this step important?

This is because rubbing abrasive particles into the leather finish can damage it. Dirt, crumbs, and sand are all grainy particles that can easily dig into your leather cushions — destroying the surface. 

Step #2: Apply a Leather Cleaner or Home Remedy

So you got rid of all the loose dirt. Now it’s time to clean the leather surface of, say, sweat, odor, grease, or whatnot. 

The best way to do this is to use a leather cleaner or your own home remedy. 

It’s important to use a cleaner that’s recommended by your car manufacturer. Some cleaners might have ingredients that are too harsh for your leather seats to handle. 

Once you have the right leather cleaner, apply it liberally to your car seat. If you notice any stains or hardened dirt, use a product with a higher concentration to make it easier to remove. 

You can also make a home remedy. Although keep in mind that this might not be as effective as a leather cleaner/conditioner. 

A good home remedy is 5 parts water and 1 part Castile soap or mild liquid dishwashing soap. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe your leather seats with the solution. Just remember to avoid saturating the leather as too much water is not good.  

Step #3: Wipe Down Your Leather Car Seats

After applying the cleaner (or your home remedy) to your leather car seats, gently wipe it down with a clean, dry microfiber towel. This will remove the dirt, oils, and grime that have accumulated on the chair over time. 

Make sure to use small, smooth circles when wiping your leather car seats. Large, straight strokes might cause damage to the leather finish, leaving small scratches on your seats. 

If you notice any stains or hardened dirt left behind, simply apply more leather seat cleaner to the affected area and gently scrub the dirt out with the microfiber towel. 

Once you’ve gone over all the parts of the leather car seats, take another piece of clean microfiber cloth and use that to remove any excess product.

Step #4: Polish the Leather Car Seats

The last step in the process is to polish your leather seats. Doing this will help restore its glossy, beautiful sheen. 

To polish, you can use a manufacturer-approved leather conditioner. You can also use household supplies. The best mixture is a ratio of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil. 

Leaving this on for an extra 10 to 15 minutes will protect your leather car seats from cracking and fading. 

Not only that, but this will also allow the softening and hydrating agents to penetrate the leather surface, resulting in a shinier and more sleek-looking exterior. 

And just like that, you have clean leather car seats. 

FAQs 

Let’s answer some of the most common questions about how to clean leather car seats. 

Can you use rubbing alcohol to clean leather car seats? 

Using rubbing alcohol or even nail polish remover to clean stains and hardened dirt from leather car seats is OK. Just be sure to control the amount of product you use during cleaning. 

To get started, use a cotton swab and dip it in some alcohol or nail polish remover solution. Wipe your leather car seats with the cotton swab gently using a circular motion. 

You can mix the alcohol with warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap for a deeper clean. Once done, wipe everything down with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Can you use baking soda to clean leather car seats?

Yes, baking soda is one of the best ways to remove stains, oils, and debris from leather seats. 

Mix baking soda with some water until it becomes a smooth paste. Dab a few drops of the paste to the stained area and wait a few moments before wiping it away with a clean microfiber cloth. 

Beware, though, as baking soda can be harsh on leather if left too long. A minute or two should be enough to get that nasty stain out. If you leave it on your car seat any longer, the seat might end up with some nasty discolored patches on your car seat. 

Can you use Windex to clean leather car seats?

No. Windex has ingredients that can be harsh on the leather. It can cause damage and discoloration.

It’s best to get an appropriate leather seat cleaner if you’re cleaning your car seats. Save that bottle of Windex for your car windows. 

Job Well Done!

So that was how to clean leather car seats. 

As you can see, the cleaning process isn’t the quickest. However, if you want to make sure that your leather car seats stay clean, polished, and brand-new, you should clean them regularly.

Not only that, but you should clean it properly, too. And with this guide, you now know how to do that. 

What are you waiting for?

Now is the time to clean your leather car seats!

How Long is a Car Seat Good For?

How Long is a Car Seat Good For

Are you planning to use an old car seat for your child?

Why not, right? It seems perfectly fine – the shape is not deformed, there are no tears visible, and it still has plush linings.

Well, dear parents, for car seats, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to use.

Instead, you have to check how old your car seat is to know whether or not it’s safe for your child to use. 

Which then leads to our main question, “How long is a car seat good for?”

We’re going to answer that question here. Plus, we’ll also look into where to find a car seat’s expiry date, common signs car seats are no longer safe, how to prolong a car seat, and much more. 

You’ll know everything you need to know about car seats here. 

So let’s dive right in!

How Long Do Car Seats Last?

How Long is a Car Seat Good For
Source: canva.com

On average, car seats last around 6 to 10 years. 

Now, the lifespan depends on several factors, such as the brand you’re using, the amount of usage, and the condition of the seat as your child gets older.

To make it easier for you, we’ve listed down the top car seat manufacturers/brands and how long they last: 

  • Evenflo: 8 to 10 years, depending on the seat selected
  • Graco: 7 to 10 years, depending on the seat selected
  • Chico: 6 years
  • Recaro: 6 years
  • Britax: 6 to 10 years, depending on the seat selected
  • Nuna: 6 to 7 years, depending on the seat selected

Where Can I Find the Car Seat’s Expiry Date?

Didn’t find the brand of your car seat on the list above?

That’s alright! You can search for the expiry date or manufacturing date yourself. 

Most brands have a tag attached to the seat’s plastic shell. You’ll find the expiry date here. 

If not, you can try flipping the seat over for any informational markings on the base.

Still can’t find the expiry date on the seat? 

You can go to the brand’s website or call their customer support. 

Now, some brands place both the manufacturing and expiry dates, complete with the year, month, and day. Others just indicate the number of years you can use them.

How Do You Know If Your Car Seat is No Longer Safe to Use?

Expiry dates are not the only information telling us parents that we need to replace our car seats.

Here are 4 common signs to watch out for:

  • Small cracks appear on the seat base
  • Signs of rust
  • The harness, straps, and seatbelt are more elastic
  • Other parts of the car seat appear weaker and beginning to break

A loose strap means it can’t keep your child securely in place. Cracks on the base mean it is not sturdy enough to bear your child’s weight.

Once you see any of these things, your car seat is no longer in the best condition to keep your child safe. 

You may try to call customer support to ask for a replacement of the part already breaking. Or, you can replace the entire seat altogether.

Is There a Way to Prolong the Use of My Car Seat?

It’s advisable to follow the expiry date of your car seat. But, if you can extend your car seat’s life to, let’s say, 7 years rather than 6 years, that would be great!

Here are some ways to keep your car seat in good condition:

  • Try to minimize the car seat’s exposure to the sun. If you can consistently park in your garage or covered areas, that would be better!
  • Clean your car seat regularly. If there are food and drink spills, don’t wait for days before you clean them up.
  • Store it properly. Make sure the seat is planted on its base, and no other heavy items are on top of it.

Why Do Car Seats Have Expiry Dates?

There are several factors why car seats have expiry dates. These are:

  • Wear and tear
  • Innovations and new standards
  • Replacement parts

Let’s look at them one by one. 

Wear and Tear

A car seat is one of the most used baby equipment. And naturally, the more you use something, the more it’ll be worn out.

Aside from the frequency of usage, car seats get exposed to different conditions that affect the quality. It can get more brittle and softer if it’s always exposed to the sun. This is true especially from late mornings to lunchtime, when it is the hottest.

Innovations and New Standards

As time progresses, manufacturers find better materials and add more features that can guarantee better safety. If your car seat is old, it is most likely missing these new developments.

Plus, some states have regulations or policies on car seats for children. If these change, then your seat might no longer fit their qualifications.

Replacement Parts

Over time, brands release new models. In turn, they stop manufacturing old car seats and its parts.

If you see damage on your old car seat, it will be harder to find replacement parts for it. It can cost you both time and money to bring your seat back to good condition. 

And these are just some of the reasons why car seats have expiry dates. As you can see, it isn’t just a ploy to make you spend more on car seats. 

Conclusion

So how long is a car seat good for?

Depending on the manufacturer, it can still take a good 6 to 10 years before it expires. Plus, you may be able to extend its lifespan if you take good care of it. 

However, never cling on to a car seat for too long. If you do, you may be putting your child in danger — no parent ever wants that. 

All that said, always make sure that you are aware of your car seat’s expiration date. 

Don’t know the expiry date?

You can look for it in the car seat itself, check the brand’s website, or call customer service. 

How to Refinance a Car – A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Refinance a Car - A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you looking to refinance your car?

In other words, are you looking to replace your auto loan with a new one?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to refinance a car. 

And sure, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario, but we will give you all the important details you need to know about. 

So are you ready to begin?

Let’s begin!

The 4 Steps to Refinance Your Car

How to Refinance a Car
Source: canva.com

If your financial situation has changed or you just want better car loan terms, you may want to refinance your car. 

But you might be thinking, “What a hassle!”

However, you can refinance your car in 4 simple steps. These are: 

  1. Collect all the necessary documents 
  2. Pick a refinance lender
  3. Apply for an auto refinance loan
  4. Pay off your old loan

Let’s go through these steps in detail. 

Step 1: Collect All the Necessary Documents

To refinance your car, you need documents showing the following:

  • Personal information
  • Proof of income or employment
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Current loan information
  • Current car information

Personal information

Refinance lenders will ask for a form of identification, such as a driver’s license, your Social Security number, previous addresses, and monthly mortgage or rent payments. 

Proof of income or employment

You must let the lenders know that you can repay your loan. In that case, presenting a pay stub or tax return is needed. In some cases, lenders might also ask about your employment history.

Proof of auto insurance

Lenders don’t want to get in trouble for you. This is why they will need your auto insurance card or at least other proof of insurance. 

Current loan information

If you want better offers, then showing your current loan information is a wise idea. 

Here is what you can show to your lender: 

  • Current monthly payment
  • Remaining balance
  • Loan term or the remaining period left in repaying the loan
  • The interest rate

Side note: it’s important to check if your original loan contract has no prepayment penalties. The prepayment penalty is a fee you’ll get if you pay off your loan early.

If you cannot find your contract, your current lender’s customer service can help you with the information needed. They can even email you a copy of the contract.

Current car information

Lenders are also looking for information about your vehicle. 

So make sure you provide information about the car’s make, model, mileage, and vehicle identification number (VIN). 

Click here if you want to know where to find the VIN on a car. 

Step 2: Pick a Refinance Lender

When looking for a refinance lender, it’s best to look into several ones. This way, you can check and compare the costs, interest rates, loan terms, and other policies. 

Some loans qualify for an autopay discount. This can help lower your interest rate while allowing you to be consistent with your payment. 

On the other hand, you may want to opt for a longer loan term with a lower monthly payment. But you’ll also end up having to pay more interest.

Ultimately, knowing what you want and doing some research will guide you into getting the best lender that fits your specific needs. 

Step 3: Apply for an Auto Refinance Loan

Once you have found your lender, it’s now time to apply for an auto refinance loan. 

For that, submit all the necessary documents (see above) and any other document your new lender asks for. You will also need to submit your credit score for review. 

If your loan is approved, the lender will provide information on the new loan’s terms and conditions. Make sure you read it carefully before you sign. 

It’s also a good idea to keep a copy of the new record, which tracks the minimum monthly payments and when the payment is due.

Step 4: Pay Off Your Old Loan 

Usually, your new lender will take care of paying your old loan in full. 

If that’s the case, always check with your previous lender if the old loan is already paid in full. You don’t want to stop paying them only to find out it isn’t fully paid yet. 

Sometimes, you are given the money to pay your old loan yourself. So make sure you pay it off right away so you can focus on paying your new loan. 

FAQs

Before we go, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about refinancing a car loan. 

Can I refinance my car loan?

You have to make sure you can refinance your car loan. 

How?

First, check if your current loan has a prepayment penalty. If so, then refinancing may not be an option. 

When you refinance a car loan, you may need to pay an additional fee when you register your vehicle. Check how much the fee is and if you can afford it. 

Also if your car is old, there may be some restrictions. Some lenders won’t allow you to refinance your car that is more than 8 years old or has exceeded 100,000 miles.

When is the right time to refinance a car loan?

This depends on different factors. You can check if interest rates have dropped since taking out your original auto loan. Even a small percentage drop can help you save more on your current loan.

What if the loan balance is higher than my vehicle’s market value?

In this case, you will have a hard time getting your new loan approved. But some lenders may allow you to transfer your current loan’s outstanding balance into your new loan. However, this will add to your overall debt.

Should I check my credit first before taking a new loan?

Yes, you have to check your credit first to see where it’s at. 

Good credit will give you a lower interest rate. Opposite to that, bad credit means getting lower interest rates may be difficult. 

Even worse, a lender can decline your request for a loan altogether. 

Conclusion

So that is how to refinance a car. 

As you can see, it isn’t difficult at all. 

You just need to make sure that your original loan doesn’t have prepayment penalties, you have a decent credit score, you have a good contract with your new lender, and you can provide all the necessary documents. 

Good luck!

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Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Have trouble locating the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your vehicle? 

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’ll be showing you where the VIN number on a car is. Plus, we’ll also mention what a VIN is, the components of a VIN, and much more. 

You’ll know everything you need to know about VINs. 

So shall we? 

Where Do I Find the VIN on My Vehicle?

Finding the VIN on your vehicle can be a bit hassle. This is because it is placed in several locations.  

Let’s look at all the locations it can be found. 

Driver’s side dashboard

Usually, your vehicle’s VIN can be found on the driver’s side of the dashboard. More specifically, at the very corner, where the dashboard meets the windshield. 

The VIN is fixed to a metal plate. Anyone can read it from outside of your vehicle.

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Source: www.vinfreecheck.com

Driver’s side door jamb

You can also find the VIN at the door jamb on the driver’s side. Open the door and locate it beside the seatbelt sling. 

Driver side door jam

Source: www.vehicleidentificationnumber.com

In front of the engine block

Some vehicles have their VINs on the engine. Open the hood and locate the VIN in front of the engine block. 

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Source: www.ls1lt1.com

In front of the car frame

Another place you can find your vehicle’s VIN is in front of the car frame. It is near the container that holds the windshield washer fluid. 

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Source: www.wikihow.com

Rear-wheel well

If not there, you can check the rear wheel on the driver’s side. The VIN is located above the tire and inside the wheel well. 

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Source: www.wikihow.com

Underneath the spare tire

If there’s a spare tire in your vehicle’s trunk, you may also locate the VIN there. You have to remove the spare tire to be able to see if the VIN is written in that area. 

underneath spare tire vin number

Source: www.wikihow.com

Your insurance card

Other than the different locations in your vehicle, you can also find the VIN on your insurance card.

So if you can’t bother looking around, it’s best to check your insurance card. 

Insurance card

Source: www.yourmechanic.com

What is a VIN?

So now you know where to find the VIN on your vehicle. 

However, what exactly is a VIN?

In 1954, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required all road vehicles to have standardized vehicle identification numbers (VIN).

This VIN is the identifying code for a certain vehicle. No two vehicles have the same VIN.

Why is it Important to Know My Vehicle’s VIN?

The VIN is essential as it can be used to track registrations, warranties, recalls, as well as theft, and insurance coverage.

Say, you bought a used vehicle. And you want to verify if the vehicle is legitimate. 

Well, the VIN can indicate if the car you purchased is stolen or unsafe to drive. On a side note, the VIN can also help authorities recover stolen vehicles.

What’s more, the VIN makes it easier to get car parts specific to your vehicle’s model. 

And yes, it can help in your vehicle’s identity protection. 

As you can see, there are so many reasons why it’s important to know your vehicle’s VIN. 

What are the Components of a VIN?

A VIN consists of 17 characters, all in numerical digits and capital letters. These will help you find the car’s unique features, specifications, and manufacturer. 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) originally issued the VIN in 1979 and 1980. Today, there are many variations of the ISO standards that were adopted by the European Union and the United States.

Standard1234567891011121314151617
ISO 3779World manufacturer identifier (WMI)Vehicle descriptor sectionVehicle identifier section
European Union (more than 500 vehicles/year)WMIIndication of “the general characteristics of the vehicle”“clear identification of a particular vehicle”
European Union (500 or fewer vehicles/year)WMI9“the general characteristics of the vehicle”“clear identification of a particular vehicle”
North America (more than 2,000 vehicles/year)WMIVehicle attributesCheck digitModel yearPlant codeSequential number
North America (2,000 or fewer vehicles/year)WMI9Vehicle attributesCheck digitModel yearPlant codeManufacturer identifierSequential number

To give you a clearer picture, here is a sample of a VIN in North America with more than 2,000 vehicles per year:

Where is the VIN Number on a Car

Source: www.dmv.org

FAQs

Still got some questions about VINs? Then let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?

Since 1981, all VINs are 17 characters long. So if your vehicle has less, you might want to double-check if your VIN is correct and verified. 

Also, your vehicle might have been manufactured and registered before 1981 if the VIN is less than 17 characters. VINs before 1981 were usually 11 to 17 characters long. 

How can I get the manufacture date from my VIN?

The VIN doesn’t indicate the vehicle’s manufacture date. It can only tell in what sequence a vehicle was manufactured.

Can my VIN decode a specific trim level?

No. The VIN can’t indicate the vehicle’s particular trim level.

Does the VIN give you information about a vehicle?

The VIN can only tell the engine size and other components. Information about a vehicle’s stereos, type of leather, sunroofs, and other options can’t be found in a VIN.

How can I verify my VIN?

You can match the VIN with your vehicle’s original registration form. You can check if the year, model, make, and vehicle color matches your vehicle.

Can I check my warranty with a VIN?

Providing your VIN to your dealership can help check the vehicle’s warranty. The dealership will provide you with what is covered in the warranty.

Do VINs expire?

No. VINs do not expire.

If I’m buying a used vehicle, should I ask for the vehicle’s VIN?

Yes. Make sure the used vehicle you’re buying has a clean history. With a VIN, you can check if it was stolen, has a history of damages, or if the warranty is still covered.

Conclusion

Where is the VIN number on a car?

To recap, you can find it:

  • On the dashboard
  • On the door jamb
  • On the engine block
  • On the car frame
  • On the rear wheel well
  • Underneath the spare tire
  • On your insurance card 

So if you need to check out your VIN, for whatever reason, you now know where to find it. 

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How To Get Smoke Smell Out of the Car

How To Get Smoke Smell Out of the Car

It only takes a few minutes before you finish one cigarette stick. But the smoke smell stays in your car for a longer time than that. 

Or, what if you drive with your windows opened and the surrounding smoke enters in and sticks. 

Whatever the case, you’ll want to get rid of the smell. 

But how do you get the smoke smell out of the car?

We’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll talk about quick fixes and long-term solutions for removing the smoke stench in your upholstery, carpet, and other parts of the car. 

So are you ready?

Let’s dive in!

5 Quick Fixes to Remove the Smoke Smell In Your Car

How To Get Smoke Smell Out of the Car
Source: canva.com

In a hurry to get rid of the smoke smell?

Then here are 5 quick fixes to do just that:

  • Remove the source
  • Air your car out
  • Vacuum your carpets and upholstery 
  • Use baking soda
  • Leave a bowl of coffee grounds

Let’s look at each of these in detail. 

1. Remove the Source

If you want to reduce the smell of smoke, then you simply need to remove the source. 

So say you’re smoking cigarettes. Well, maybe it’s best to stop using them inside your car. 

Also, if you have ashtrays or littered cigarettes in your car, remove all of them, too. And if you’re going to use the ashtray again, make sure to wipe it off with a disinfectant and air dry it outside your car. 

Feel free to use a scented disinfectant to reduce the odor that is stuck on it. 

2. Air Your Car Out

Another great way to remove smoke smells from your car is to give it proper air circulation. 

Here are a few ways to air your car out:

  • Roll down the windows and open your car doors during a breezy day
  • Drive around your area with the windows down (just make sure no smoke enters)

If smoke has been inside the car for a long time, this step might not be enough to fully remove the odor from your upholstery and carpets. Because of that, we usually make this a preliminary step to other odor-removing methods. 

3. Vacuum Your Carpets and Upholstery

Another quick way to get rid of the odor is to use a vacuum. By vacuuming your car, you get rid of the small particles that may have settled in your upholstery or carpet. 

Use a smaller vacuum head so that you can reach the nooks and crannies. Make sure to vacuum even the area underneath and at the back of the seats. 

To fully remove the particles from the seats, use one hand to hold the vacuum and the other to press down the seat. This way, particles that have settled deep into it will be lifted. 

If your car seats are made of leather, avoid using a vacuum. Instead, you can use a cleaner specifically made for the type of leather your car has. 

If you’re unsure if you have the right product, test the cleaner in a small hidden patch of leather to see if it damages the material. Once you’re sure that the leather isn’t damaged, use the cleaner on all other leather surfaces and let it air dry after. 

Once the particles are removed and the seats cleaned, the smoke smell will most likely be gone, too. 

4. Use Baking Soda

Here’s another solution that involves the ever-reliable baking soda. 

Baking soda is known to remove stains and odors. And the best part about it is that it’s such a common household item. 

To use baking soda, simply sprinkle a small amount over your seats and your carpets. Leave it for a few hours and then use a vacuum to remove it. 

The way this works is that the baking soda will absorb all the smoke smells. 

5. Leave a Bowl of Coffee Grounds

Got some coffee grounds? Here’s one way of using them — a neutralizer for odors. 

Put a bowl of coffee grounds in your car to help neutralize the smoke smell. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which is an odorless gas that absorbs smells, especially cigarette smoke. 

How to Deep Clean Your Car to Remove Smoke Smells

Do none of the 5 quick fixes work?

Then this already calls for deep cleaning. 

For that, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar and water solution
  • Spray bottle
  • All-purpose disinfectant

Follow these steps to deep clean your car to remove smoke smells:

  • Remove all the loose garbage and debris from your carpet and seats. Remove the ashtray and wipe the debris off. Spray it with a disinfectant and air dry. 
  • Remove the carpets and use a vacuum to remove stubborn debris and particles. With a vinegar and water solution, spray the solution on your carpets. Let it dry outside. 
  • Use a vacuum to remove particles from your upholstery and any crevice of the car. Don’t forget to do the same for the dashboard, floors, and sides of the car. 
  • Sprinkle baking soda on top of your upholstery. You can also use a vinegar and water solution instead. And just like the carpets, leave these on the upholstery for a few hours. 
  • Replace the air filter. You’ll be surprised at how much dirt and grime gets stuck on the filter. To do this, remove what’s inside the glove box then remove the glove box off its hinges. You can remove the air filter from here and replace it with a new one. 
  • Wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, doors, and seatbelt with a disinfectant. Make sure that you’re using an all-purpose disinfectant that is safe to use on your car. Let it air dry. 
  • After a few hours, vacuum the baking soda off the seats. Return the carpet once they’re dry. 

And there you have it! That’s how you can deep clean your car to remove smoke odors. 

As you’ll notice, it’s a lot similar to the quick fixes. However, the deep cleaning process is a more comprehensive way of removing odors by using several quick fixes at once. 

Conclusion

Does your car annoyingly smell of smoke?

Then try out one of the 5 quick fixes we mentioned here. 

If that does not work, then maybe it’s time to deep clean it. 

We hope that this article has helped you greatly!

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies

Need to clean your car seats?

Want to do it yourself to save on the cost?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to clean car seats with household supplies. Yes, most of the things you’ll need can be found in your home. 

Plus, we’re going to show you how to clean different car seat materials. And also, we’ll share some cleaning hacks from the pros. 

There’s something for everyone here.

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Supplies
Source: canva.com

Leather seats improve the interior of any car. 

However, leather needs a special kind of care to keep it in great condition.

And it’s so important to use the right materials and cleaning method. If you don’t, then you might see your leather car seats cracking sooner rather than later. 

Here’s what you’ll need to clean leather car seats:

  • Microfiber cloth or towel (best to have 3 on hand)
  • Leather cleaner, mild leather soap, or a homemade solution using one part white vinegar and two parts linseed oil
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum

Here are the steps to cleaning your leather car seats:

  1. Secure the cleaning materials listed above. If unsure of the solutions suitable for your car seat, it’s best to ask for assistance in the hardware store.
  1. Grab your vehicle’s manual and see if there’s a list of dos and don’ts for seat cleaning.
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and in between the crevices. Use the smaller attachments and nozzles to suck in dirt from the sides of the seats.
  1. Spray your leather cleaning solution on the microfiber cloth and wipe the seats clean.
  1. If there is caked in dirt, spray the solution onto the seats directly. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping off. If your car uses perforated leather (those with holes), spray the solution on the brush instead. Scrub lightly until you no longer see grime coming off the leather.
  1. To dry, get another clean and unused microfiber towel and wipe the surface.

There! As easy as that!

How to Clean Vinyl Car Seats

If you have vinyl car seats, then you’re in luck. 

Sure, it might not be the most visually appealing, but it’s the easiest to clean and maintain. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth or towels (again, best to have 3)
  • Mild cleaning soap or a homemade solution using warm water and a cap of laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft-bristled interior brush
  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda

Here are the steps to cleaning your vinyl car seats: 

  1. Grab your cleaning supplies. For the homemade solution, we recommend transferring it to a spray bottle.
  1. Create a baking soda paste for darker stains. Mix a small amount of baking soda, a few drops of water, and half a cap of liquid detergent. Make sure it creates a thick and paste-like texture that’s not diluted.
  1. Check your vehicle’s manual for cleaning precautions. 
  1. Plug your vacuum and remove all dirt and particles seeping through and between the crevices. 
  1. Spray your cleaning solution on different sections of the car seats and immediately scrub using your soft-bristled brush.
  1. Once done, get a damp towel to wipe off the residue and grime.
  1. Still seeing stubborn stains and spots? Get your baking soda paste and apply it on top of the surface. Leave it there for 3 minutes to absorb.
  1. Gently scrub off the baking soda paste. Only brush on the stained area so that it won’t spread. 
  1. Reach for your dry and unused microfiber towel to wipe off all the solutions and dirt.

And tada! You now have clean vinyl car seats 

How to Clean Cloth Car Seats

Cloth seats are the easiest materials to get stains. 

So if your car has cloth seats, it’s best to clean them regularly. You don’t want to prolong the stain, too, as it’ll be harder to remove. 

Here’s what you’ll need for cloth car seats:

  1. 3 microfiber cloths or towels 
  2. Mild cleaning soap or upholstery solution
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Soft-bristled interior brush
  5. Oxygen-based bleach
  6. Vacuum

These are the steps to cleaning cloth car seats:

  1. Start by vacuuming the car seats. Since cloth is the most absorbent, push down the vacuum nozzle, so it captures dirt found deeper into the seat.
  1. Unlike other types of car seats, you need to pre-treat the stains you see on cloth, whether it’s ink, food, drink, or mud. Pour the upholstery solution on the stains and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  1. For stains where another bright color is transferred to your seat, it’s time to bring out the bleach, specifically an oxygen-based bleach. Bleach is generally a harsh solution, so grab an oxygen-based one from the grocery. Pour a small amount of bleach into a spray bottle and dilute with water. Spray the bleach solution onto your car seat and let it seep for an hour.
  1. When 15 minutes or the hour is up, brush the area using a soft-bristled brush or scrubber.
  1. Next up is to spray the upholstery solution on the surface of the seats. You don’t have to shower it with the solution. Just keep it damp.
  1. Start scrubbing from top to bottom until you see no more dirty water dripping from the seat. You can also scrub this off with clean water.
  1. Now that is done, you just need to wipe off the excess moisture and dirt with a microfiber cloth.
  1. Keep your doors open for the seats to air-dry.

As we said, it’s best to clean stains right away. This way, it’ll be a lot easier to remove. 

Tips to Clean Car Seats Faster

We know. Who has 2 to 3 hours to spare cleaning their car seats?

To help you cut down the time, we’re going to share these fast car seat cleaning tips from professional cleaners. 

Tip 1: Clean from Top to Bottom

The last thing you want is to keep dirt going back to the already clean areas. So in that case, vacuum and scrub from top to bottom and collect all remaining grime at the bottom of the seat.

Tip 2: Change your brush and micro-fiber towel as needed

Only you can tell how dirty these towels become while cleaning. If you see that it needs replacing or hosing with water, then go ahead! 

Don’t skimp on cleaning your towels. You don’t want dirt to accumulate on the bristles and get transferred back to your seats.

Tip 3: Invest in your upholstery and mild cleaners

Choose the most recommended solutions in the groceries or the hardware stores. This way, you don’t have to keep spraying the liquid on your car and towels as you clean. 

Remember, more sprays don’t necessarily mean better removal of dirt, stains, and grime. It’s the solution that matters most. 

Conclusion

It’s so important to keep your car seats clean. 

Thankfully, you can get the job done with a few household supplies. 

So whether you have a leather, vinyl, or cloth car seat, make sure you clean it the proper way. And don’t forget to use the right materials.

What are you waiting for?

If you see your car seat needs cleaning, get started right away! You already know how to clean car seats with household supplies. 

And, as we said, the materials you need are most likely already with you. 

Happy cleaning!

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost?

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost

A car wrap is perfect for those who want to keep their cars protected from chips and scratches without compromising the look and style.

But…

Is it within your budget?

Here, we’re going to talk about how much does a car wrap cost. We’re going to give you the factors that determine the cost, as well as the standard cost you can expect. 

On top of that, we’ll also talk about whether or not you really need a car wrap. 

So let’s get started right away! 

Factors that Determine the Cost of a Car Wrap

car wrap
Source: canva.com

To determine the cost, there are several factors that need to be considered. 

Let’s look at these now. 

The make and model of your car will be a determining factor in the overall cost of a car wrap. The more complex the design, the more difficult it will be to finish the task. This means extra working hours and above-average expertise. 

Your desired vinyl finish also contributes to the final cost. A gloss, matte, or satin finish all differ in price. 

For example, matte finish vinyl wraps are more popular as it gives a classy, sophisticated look to any car, but they may cost a bit more than the other types of finishes.

The parts that you want to be covered are going to be a point for consideration as well. Of course, covering your entire car will cost higher. If you’re doing just partial coverage, you might be able to save up a little. 

Upgrades such as applying a specialty vinyl, wheel wrapping, or design customization may also incur additional costs to a car wrap service.

Lastly, as this process is labor-intensive, the pricing for a car wrap is often influenced by the service provider’s technical skills and expertise. It may be cheaper to hire a newbie, but an experienced professional might be a better choice if quality is your priority.

Standard Cost of Wrapping a Car

As you probably guessed by now, there is no one set price for car wraps. 

But don’t worry.

We’re here to give you a rough estimate of the cost. 

The standard cost for a car wrap made of heavy-duty vinyl material sits around $5 to $15 per square foot. If you add the installation cost, which is around $5 per square foot, that will mean $20 per square foot at most.

To give you an idea, here are the average baseline costs of having a professional apply a wrap to specific types of vehicles:

  • Compact cars or coupes – starts around $2,000
  • Family sedan – about $3,000
  • Compact crossovers and larger coupes – start around $3,50
  • Full-size SUVs – about $4,000
  • Luxury sports cars – start around $5,000 and can go as high as $10,000
  • Trucks – from 1,500 up to $5,000.

Meanwhile, here are the basic prices for the vinyl types: 

  • A vinyl matte costs around $2 to $3.50 per square foot.
  • A standard gloss vinyl material cost ranges from $2 to $3 per square foot.
  • A Carbon fiber wrap costs around $4 to $9 per square foot.
  • A custom chrome wrap’s base price is around $8 per square foot.

All things considered, an average full car wrap can range from $2,500 to $8,000.

Will DIY Car Wrap Cost Less?

To be sure, doing it yourself will allow you to save A LOT on installation costs. 

However, you could end up buying the materials at a higher price. Plus, you’ll have to spend on the different tools that you’ll need to apply the wrap. 

And that’s not yet a guarantee it will turn out great. 

Nevertheless, we’d say that it’s still cheaper. 

With an average car requiring around 250 square feet of vinyl to cover its entire surface, standard DIY car wrap sums up to only about $500 to $750 in vinyl costs. 

Do we recommend it?

If you have what it takes to wrap your car yourself, then why not?

Do You Really Need A Car Wrap?

Yes, car wraps are expensive. 

But it can also be worth the investment. 

So before you take the plunge, consider if you really need one. 

Here are some things you can think about. 

Why consider a car wrap?

If you want a chrome-like finish or a highly stylized color scheme that’s not available in the factory, you’re in the right direction. A car wrap is perhaps the most ideal way to achieve this. Even if your car is on a lease, it will be easy to remove the wrap once your lease is up.

How’s your car’s condition?

Although wrapping a car is supposed to improve the appearance of an old car, it won’t cover up for a badly beaten vehicle. The paint and the surface of your car must still be in good condition to get a desirable outcome.

Have you considered painting your car instead?

Depending on the quality, a paint-over might be a cheaper option for you. A car wrap gives you a variety of creative designs to choose from. However, there are times when the make of your car will make it more difficult for a customized wrap.

Where do you intend to drive your car?

Maintaining the wrap on your car is not going to be easy if you live in a place where it’s constantly snowing or has a hot climate. Exposure to elements will shorten the lifespan of this investment. So better consider that as well.

Conclusion

How much does a car wrap cost?

Well, it can go from $2,500 all the way up to $8,000. 

It is expensive as wrapping a car is a process that requires intensive labor, as well as creative and technical skills. It is also time-consuming. 

If you want to go cheaper, you can do it yourself. However, you need to be confident that you will make it look great. 

If not, then just go for the professionals if you really need a car wrap. 

So that was it. 

Our guide on the cost of car wraps. 

If this article was helpful, don’t forget to check out our website for more car tips! 

How To Safely Jump Start Your Car

How To Jump Start Your Car

Inevitably, it will happen to you – and never at a convenient time. You need to go somewhere, you get in your car, hit the ignition, and nothing happens – not even a click. Sadly, you’re the victim of a dead battery. If you’re in luck, either you had the foresight to keep jumper cables in your trunk, or you’ll find someone who has a set. So now you can turn a potential headache into a minor annoyance. Jump start your car and be on your way. Just be sure to do it safely. Here’s how:

Step 1

First, open your hood and check the condition of your battery. Look over the casing to make sure there are no cracks. Protecting your fingers from either grime or battery acid, use a piece of paper to lightly wriggle each battery post to make sure they have not broken loose. If one or both terminals is heavily corroded, use a cloth to wipe the corrosion away. [If you are at home, it would be a good idea to clean corrosion away. You can do this with a wire brush and a solution of baking soda and water. Pour the solution over the terminal and brush away the corrosion. Then use clean towels to wipe the top of the battery and the terminals dry. This will ensure a good connection when you jump start your car.]

Step 2

Next, check your jumper cables. If there is any corrosion on the clamps, clean them in the same way as you did your terminals. Now, check the polarity of your cables. Most cables designate positive (+) with a red handle and negative (-) with a black handle. When you make your connections, you will want to be sure that these match up properly. Note: Some older cars – particularly British cars – are positive ground. So long as you keep the polarities correct, this does not matter.

Step 3

Now it is time to make your connections. Position the boosting car close to the car with the dead battery. Do not let them touch. Turn off the ignition and all accessories for both cars. This is the step where you must take the most caution, because there is potential for sparks to ignite flammable gases. So you do not want any active electrical circuits. It is a good idea, if you have one, to lay a towel over your battery to “absorb” any gases the battery may emit. But make sure no loose ends come near any moving parts.

Step 4

Next, set the parking brake in both cars and place both in either park (P) for an automatic transmission, or neutral (N) for a manual transmission. Now attach the jumper cables. Be careful to not let the ends of the jumper cables come into contact with one another while making your connections. At the very least, you will get a “shocking” surprise; at the worst, you could damage a battery. Follow this sequence:

1. Connect the positive cable clip (red) to the dead battery’s positive terminal.
2. Connect the other positive cable (red) to the boost car’s positive terminal.
3. Connect the negative cable clip (black) to the battery’s negative terminal.
4. Finally – and this is important – do not make your final connection on the negative terminal of the dead battery. Instead, attach this clip to a bare piece of metal – a bolt or a strut – of that car. This is your ground – or earth – connection.

Note: As referenced earlier, some cars are positive ground. In this case, connect negative to negative, attach one cable to the boosting car’s positive terminal, and then ground the other positive cable to bare metal on the receiving car.

Step 5

Start the engine of the boost car and let it run for a couple of minutes to charge the dead battery. [Some car manufacturers advise you to not run the engine of the boosting car because, if a connection is broken, you could damage the electronics in one or both cars. Check your owner’s manual to see if they warn against this.] One way to see if the dead battery is charging is to turn on the dome light in the receiving car. If it lights, then the battery is getting sufficiently charged.

Step 6

Try starting the car with the dead battery. If it does not start, rev the engine of the boost car, let it run for a minute or two, and try again. Once your engine starts, let it idle for a few minutes to charge the battery. Then disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order to which you connected them. Again, be careful to not touch the ends of the jumper cables to anything while you do this.

That’s it! You’ve turned a major headache into a minor inconvenience. Now you can go on with your day.