Summer Fun!

I know you’re all as tired as I am of hearing “The Top 10 Summer Maintenance Tips”, so I won’t bore you with the obvious: get your oil changed, check your tires, fill up all your fluids, check the AC,  blah, blah, blah. Sure this is all important but a simple Google search will get you anything you need to know.

My tips are a little different, ones that you never hear.

Here it is: Go stand in front of the car and assess how dirty it is.
Now open the door and look inside, while in there have a good sniff.

Many of my customers bring their cars here and they are truly disgusting. We always wonder if their houses are as dirty as they keep their cars but I find that there is really no correlation. People just don’t take the kind of care with their vehicle’s as they do with their homes, but why not? It should be just the opposite if you think about it. Many more people see their cars than their homes but they just don’t look at it like that. When we point out how dirty the car is most people have a million excuses, “oh we just went on a long trip” , “oh, I’ve been so busy”, “oh the guys in  parking lot did it” (somehow there’s always an “OH” in front of it).

The dirtiest car I’ve ever seen was one in which the owner was a smoker. Now many cars come in with full ashtrays, interior windows covered with a sheen of nicotine and an overwhelming stench of cigarettes, but this one was a real gem. The steering column, dashboard, front seat, floor, center console and parts of the passenger area were COVERED in ashes. I’m not even exaggerating, it was insane. There wasn’t an inch that wasn’t covered in ashes, except of course I think the ashtray may have been empty (that just sounded good but or course it was filled with butts). Not one of us wanted to drive the car inside and we had to have a game of rock, paper, scissors to determine the unlucky one who had to get in it. When the customer returned, I couldn’t even say anything to her because at that level it just seemed clinical and pointless.

I just test drove a car and as soon as I got into it, without looking in the back seat I knew there was going to be a baby seat. It had that “a baby chewed a biscuit and spit it out” smell. You know that odor. I did harass the owner when she got back because she just got the car last week. “Let’s try to keep it clean for a month or two at least!”

So do it folks, go take a close look at your vehicle and see what other people are seeing and smelling, in a lot of cases it just ain’t pretty. Get out those cleaners or just take it to the car wash, even in NYC it’s cheap to get that done. Do us all a favor and start the season right!



About dontgetwrenched

Elayne Kling, was the owner of a downtown Manhattan auto repair shop for 25 years and recently in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Elayne knows the particular ins and outs of the auto repair world and keeps up her blog because people will always need help navigating the potential pitfalls of that world. Due to the crazy NYC real estate market she has since closed down her shop and started a new business called Projects Unlimited Inc., helping other small businesses.
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