How To Properly Repair Scratches To Your Car

We all have received them on our cars; rock chips, door dings, bumper scrapes, etc They can come from a rock thrown up from a truck on the highway, or its as easy as a parking lot ding from someone in a hurry or even an errant grocery cart. Most of these are unavoidable. They can happen even if you park far away from stores and regardless of the measures you take to protect your car. Not only do they detract from your cars beauty, but they can also make your car susceptible to rust and the environment. Here is how to fix these paint chips, nicks and deep scratches and protect your car from rust.

Its not worth going to a auto paint and body store for chips and scratches. They will charge 10 times more for repairs you can easily do yourself. The first step is to locate the chips and scratches and see how deep they are. If they do not go all the way through the paint you can buff them out. Using a cloth terry towel apply a small amount of scratch remover or cleaner wax. Rub in a circular motion over the chip or scratch and buff when dry. If this removes the chip or scratch after a couple of applications, great, then just follow with a good wax or polish. If you see white primer or metal in the nick or scratch scratch remover or cleaner wax will not work well.

Some cars have paint that is lacquer based and others have paint that is enamel based. The following tip works wonders on cars with lacquer based paint only. Get a clean rag and apply a small amount of lacquer thinner to it. Take this and rub lightly on and around the scratch, nick or chip. The lacquer thinner will actually start to move the paint around and cover the affected spot. This even works on larger scrapes. This treatment is not recommended on cars with custom paint jobs and may not work on all cars with lacquer based paints.

For those with enamel paint or scratches and chips where the above treatment did not work, then you have to touch up the blemish in your paint. First, you need to get the paint code so you can correctly match the paint for your car. This is located inside your door jam or on some Hondas inside the glove box. Take this paint code to your dealer and get a small bottle of touch up paint. The touch up paint will come in a small bottle with a brush applicator. Instead of using the brush, as it will apply too broadly and make your touch up of the chip or scratch really stand out, we recommend using a toothpick for better paint placement.

First clean the area of the chip or scratch. Then follow the directions on the touch up paint bottle. Usually it is mix thoroughly for 5 minutes (metallic paints may require more agitation). Then using the toothpick place the paint directly in the chip or scratch. When done allow to dry for several days before waxing or polishing (some cars have a clear cote which you would then apply in the same fashion to the affected area). By touching up the paint you have sealed the area from the environment and greatly reduced the chances of rust setting in and affecting your sheet metal. Rust is like cancer for your car and very difficult to stop once it starts, so it is better to be proactive and prevent it with proper car care and treatment and quickly identifying and repairing paint chips, nicks and scratches.

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David Maillie specializes in car care. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more information, tips, safety and money saving products for your auto please visit

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Bourdais Wins Race! Tracy Wins Fight???

Bourdais captured his fifth race of the season at San Jose in convincing fashion followed by da Matta and Wilson. Although Speedy, Destructive, Dangerous, Does not finish, (pick one) Dan Clark worked his way to second and appeared to be the equal of Bourdais before his day ended in a mechanical failure.

The Tagliani Tracy altercation started when PT, in a run of after missing a turn, turned around and roared back onto the track clipping Tag putting both cars out of the race.

Tag marched into pit lane on the hunt for PT and when the two got together the heated debate deteriorated into fist a cuffs. Tag had wisely left his helmet on resulting in a badly swollen hand for PT.

The three day event attendance was reported at 155,394.

WickerBill sez;

Kneifel did a great job of fixing the track especially smoothing out the Lola Launch at Push Rod Hollow which last year took a huge toll on the cars. The track is still too narrow in places!

We actually made it to lap three before a caution this time an improvement but still annoying! Champ Car, more improvement is needed.

Will the Tag - PT show continue, perhaps they will sell a few tickets……perhaps!

6 Steps To Making e85 Ethanol At Home

Step One: . . . The Conversion Process

We have to break down carbohydrate sugars, such as the starch from corn. Create it into "Mash". Grind or crush the feedstock (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc...). Then dilute and add an enzyme (alpha amylase) to turn the mixture into a liquid. Once liquified a second enzyme is added(glucoamylase) to convert the starch into sugar. (If the source is mainly sugar, i.e...rotten fruit, molasses, etc..., the conversion step can be skipped.

Step Two: . . . Fermentation

Add yeast and make it into a beer (wine) type solution.

Step Three: . . . Distillation

The beer (wine) type solution needs to be run through a still to extract the alcohol from the solution.

Step Four: . . . Filtration

The ethanol now needs to be filtered to get rid of excess organic volatiles.

Step Five: . . . Dehydration

The ethanol needs to be "dried". After the distillation process there will be a certain amount of water in the ethanol you have just created - this can be dried running the ethanol through Zeolite a readily available product for drying ethanol.

Step Six: . . . Ethanol Into e85

Now simply convert the pure ethanol into e85 by adding 15% unleaded gasoline to your ethanol. e85 is nothing more than 85% ethanol mixed with 15% gasoline.

Frederick Musser is the owner of e85 Tips. A site dedicated to informing the world about e85 and it's benefits.

For more information on e85 please visit

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Making E85
Is a Hybrid Car For You?
BioDiesel Conversion
BioDiesel Process
Take a Ride In a Hybrid Car
Hybrid Tax Credit
Pursuit of Hybrid Synergy
Electric Hybrid Aptera
Hybid Cars, Whats the Big Deal?

Little? Yellow? Different.


Not all small cars have to be sad. The British International Motorshow reveals some gas-sippers that'll make you trade in your Silverado.

This year’s British International Motorshow was filled with all things little. Which beckons the question: with $3.30 for gas in L.A. right now, how long before something very, very small – if not necessarily yellow – is going to start sounding good? The answer is ‘never’. Truly little cars, like the Smart Fortwo, which is coming to the States next year, are never going to appeal as long as you’re still driving next to Excursions on the freeway. This thing can be parked sideways and has been around in Europe since 2000. It’s also a lot more comfortable than it looks.

But small cars aren’t just for large numbers of clowns. Some cars that go easy on sucking up the go juice without making you look like a loser immigrant were also shown off at limey carfest '06.

Let’s leave out the engine and suspension bits for the moment. These cars are faster than you’ll need and handle great, enough said. Look at them.

I’ve always made fun of Volvos. I’ve been known to point out that people that buy them are afraid of life. But the new Mini/GTI/Audi-killer is just so decent looking, It's hard to talk crap. The C30 is due out in September and, hopefully, you won't have to be an architect or a chiropractor to afford one. While most Volvos look like they were built to shelter you from the spooky world of motorized transportation, this one looks pretty good and comfortable. It’ll be starting out (in the UK, anyway – where I read the press release) with a ‘1.6-litre petrol, gov'na’ and going to a five cylinder with a turbo – at some point later.

The Alfa Romeo’s not coming to the States, but you can import one. C'mon, do it. It looks great and has a fast-enough 2.2L engine.(you can get bigger ones, but we’re trying to avoid that – remember?).

There's nothing that's small, that looks like this, that isn't a Spyker or something. You'd look past the comfort of a Tahoe to purchase one. Yes, it's an Alfa and will break - but why can't Chevy make something that even comes close?

Hybrid trucks are stupid, by the way.

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NEW Panoz DP01

Photos Courtesy of CCWS

WickerBill Sez;

Gelles Racing is moving up to Champ Car announcing last night at the unveiling that they were first to place an order for the new livery.

Low Interest Or Rebate?

As Summer is heating up, so are incentives to drive car sales. The question always is, do I take the low interest incentive or the rebate? It is an either or situation and usually the dealership will figure which way will be most benificial to the customer, but take a proactive approach and decide for yourself to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. First, you must find out what type of interest rate you can get if you take the rebate. You can apply at a reputable finance company online to find out. You can fill out a short form with the type of car you are looking at to find the rate you will receive. Now that you know the rate you will receive, check and see what the low interest incentive is and the rebate on the auto you are looking at. You can get this from the dealership or you can go to the respective manufacturers website (ie After you have this info., use a payment calculator and see which way is more benificial. Something to consider, if you trade often, take the rebate! This will make your payoff less when you go to trade as most interest charges will be deducted when a payoff is figured. Bottom line, take some preperation before going to the dealership. If you are unsure, have the dealership figure both ways for you and analyze the results. Ask the Salesman for their opinion, most have nothing to gain by giving you advice on rebates versus low interest unless they get paid on the back end, meaning they get paid on finance income, which most do not.

Wilson Captures First 06 Win

Justin Wilson blew by Bourdais to win the second Edmondton Race Sunday. The race attended by 69,921 fans, bringing the 3 day total to 171,391, saw Wilson take charge late in the race as Bourdais suffered with an ill handling car.

Bourdais finished second ahead of a not so healthy third place Almendinger who drove the entire race with flu like symptoms. Bourdais unable to track down Wilson attempted to settle for the fastest lap by waiting near the end to use the remainder of his PTP and set fastest lap. He failed by .022 seconds.

Next weekend San Jose and the unveiling of the new DP07, will it Champ Car orange?

WickerBill Sez;

The first lap was again marred by the usual carnage even though this time there were fewer cars involved we still had to endure the wrath of yellow before we could watch the race! Attention CCWS do something please!

GMC Acadia & Buick Enclave

GM is following other auto makers and joining the crossover market with the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and the Saturn Outlook. The GMC has a rugged look while the Buick Enclave takes on the sleek Buick styleing that has made them so popular. The GMC version will be replacing the Envoy XL and will have available 8 passenger seating. GM finally wised up and created 3 unique looking vehicles if they stay close to concept. It is very difficult when you have the GMC and Buick lines on the same lot and you have 2 identical vehicles with different badgeing. It is even more difficult to explain the $3000 price difference! Stay True to Concept GM!

That'll Buff Right Out:

Rolls-Royce demands Insurance Details from Photographer

The curves, the engines, the luxury – no – what attracts the most attention at a supercar show is the sound of metal hitting metal. Especially when the metal on the receiving end costs – wait for it - € 4.5million. A park’n’sell for rich people in the hyper-exclusive Hurlingham Private Club, in south-west London was interrupted by a metallic thud as a photographer thwacked the Rolls Royce EX101 Concept with the metallic pole which held, ironically-enough, a velvet rope to protect the precious, almost-$10million Rolls.

The EX101 was created as a design exercise to showcase all that a Rolls could be. The coupe’s body is crafted out of carbon fiber and aluminum with lines that recall the super-coupes of yesteryear, the kind the movie stars used to drive. Its doors open backwards so that are “rear-hinged” (suicided), so that “The driver and passengers step in rather than fall in backwards, as demanded in a conventional two-door coupé.”

However, as a London photographer found out Rolls Royce doesn’t take kindly to people crossing their rope. A high-ranking German from Rolls’ BMW overlord quickly confronted the apologetic snapper to teach her a thing or two about respect.

Click here to listen to Basic Transportation’s exclusive recording of exactly how that went!

The file is crackly and distorted, but treat yourself to angry German man’s assertion that the car costs “four and a half million euros”. He questions the photographer why she climbed over the barrier. Between apologising, profusely, the photog (who you really can’t hear) explains that she just wanted to get a shot of the inside. “I didn’t want to hurt the car, I just wanted a picture.”

The recording ends, exquisitely, with the German Rolls Royce guy asking the lowly, freelance photographer if she has insurance.

Very sorry for not having a picture of the tiny, marble-size ding right next to the red RR on the side.

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The Health of US Open Wheel Racing Mid 2006

Let’s take a look at open wheel racing in US after the IRL Nashville and CCWS Toronto events. The information I have gathered is post 7-16-06 and accurate to the extent that the web sites I checked out have correctly reported it. Even if it is only partially correct the picture is not good!

IRL cars with blank or owner related side pods.

Vision 2
Panther 1

IRL cars with genuine side pod sponsors.

Penske Marlboro 2
Gnassi Target 2
AGR Seven Eleven 1
AGR Jim Beam 1
Rahal Letterman Argent 2
Rahal Letterman Ethanol 1
Fernandez Delphi 1
Fernandez Super Aguri Panasonic 1
Dryer Rienbold Escort 1
Foyt ABC Supply 1

CCWS cars with blank or owner related side pods.

Newman Hass 1
Forsythe 2
Rusport 1

CCWS cars with genuine side pod sponsors.

Newman Hass McDonalds 1
PKV Bell Micro 1
PKV Gulfstream 1
Rusport CDW 1
Mi-Jack Mi-Jack 1
Mi-Jack Tide 1
Walker Aussie Vinyards 2
Coyne Sonnys BBQ 1
Coyne Media Mall 1
Rocketsports Flexovit 1

Using the raw numbers sponsorship in the IRL is better by a count of 15 to 11 for CCWS. Some on the IRL list, like Ethanol, Delphi (Bankrupt) and NYSE, are arguably suspect and their return for 07 could be in doubt but still leave the IRL in the raw numbers lead.

Even if the 2 Forsythe and 2 CTE sponsorships are counted there are still 2 empty side pods at CCWS. The CCWS list reads like a “who is” list with many of the sponsors not recognizable by the casual fan. It’s safe to say many of these sponsors could bolt at any time.

I have found information for purses for both series and found them similar, except for Indy, with a slight edge going to the IRL at 1M per event compared to 900K CCWS.

We can assume the sanctioning fees are not vastly different at 1.5 to 2M per event.

The IRL probably has the edge with TV revenues even without Indy.

The IRL is putting 18 cars on the grid down at least two from last year. CCWS is taking, in one case 16, otherwise 17 to 18 cars to the grid down 1 from last year. If the series owners didn’t have entries the IRL would only grid 16 and CCWS 12.

It would seem that the IRL is the healthier of the two but perhaps a better analogy would be that their cancer is not a far advanced as CCWS. Neither series is a picture of health!

I have a difficult time seeing any of this as growth!

How will it all end? We can only guess, perhaps 07 will help to clarify the situation. One thing is for sure, no matter how much cost is taken out - Honda’s discounted engines, CCWS new cheaper chassis - if the sponsor thing doesn’t turn around there will be nothing left to merge.

Make Time To Buy A Car

Everyone that comes in seems to be in a rush. First, I know they are terrified of car dealerships, but believe me salemen dont bite! We are there to help you make an informed decision. Dont come car shopping when you know you have a doctors appointment in 30 minutes. Get an idea on the internet of the type of car you wish to buy and then take the time to drive and get to know the auto a little better. Do not rush into a sale. When I say this, I do not mean take 3 months to buy a car. I mean take a few hours to go over the car, dont look at one and say that is what I want. I myself, will not sell you a car without a test drive, but there are many sales people that will throw you in the car, slam, bam, thank you maam! Find a reputable dealer, find someone who has purchased there and had a good experience, get the same salesman they used. Be loyal to a salesman! Dont talk to one salesman today and then use another tomorrow on the same lot. We work on straight commission. Thanks.

Car Wash Tips

Just a car tip to keep your car looking good. Be cautious of these brush type car washes that may leave scratches to your paint. You can pay a little extra and get a hand car wash that your clear coat surface will love.
When letting someone detail your auto, make sure they do not use a buffing device on your dark colored car. If you have a tan, white, or light colored car it will probably be fine, but dark colored cars show swirl marks when a electric buffer is used. If this is a reputable detail shop they have ways to keep from having swirl marks on your paint, but bring this up before you are sorry. Also be careful when using these shine products for your dash. I will not name any names, but there are some popular ones that will take the dye off your dash when rubbed on. Use a mild cleaning agent such as soap and water instead. I have had people bring a brand new car back to me saying the dash is peeling, warranties will not cover this when you used these shineing products. Car Buying Tips

Auto Trade

Just a quick note for those who like to trade their car often. DONT! I have a lady that has tradeitis, she has traded 4 times in the last year. Each time I try to tell her to wait and pay her balance down some before she trades, but she will not listen and will not have it any other way but to trade. She called me yesterday and guess what, she is ready to trade again! This may sound like a good problem for a car salesman, but she owes too much to trade now. Trading cars too often will also lower your credit score. Credit scores are boosted most when you have owned and payed well on the car for 12 consecutive months. When you buy an auto, try makeing sure it is a car that you will be happy with for an extended length of time.

Used Car Prices and how they are determined!
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Car Donation

What a True act of kindness. My customer had a 98 Pontiac Grand Am that was still in nice condition, well taken care of, ran great that was only worth $1000. The middle aged couple said, "Instead of giving us $1000 for the car, we want to donate the car to the next person that cannot get approved for a car." I was just totally taken back with this comment because I am so used to getting "I know its worth more than that" response. They said that when they first married, a dealership gave them a car that was donated by a customer. They were in a position to return the favor and they did. I believe that everyone at the dealership was touched by this random act. They did not want recognition, they did not want to deduct it on taxes, they were touched by the donation they received and wanted to pass it on. This is not really a car buying tip to save you money, but had to tell the story. Try doing something kind for your fellow man today, cant afford to donate your car, start out with a friendly smile, its free, and will go just as far!

Used Car Prices and how they are determined!

1 Allmendinger, 2 Allmendinger, 3 Allmendinger, Four?

Even pigeons dinning on the back stretch couldn’t deter AJ from another victory Sunday. Allmendinger had to swerve to avoid contact with pigeons on the backstretch on his way to a third straight series victory at Toronto.

Team mate Paul Tracy was second following AJ’s lead and barely missing the pigeons, a sign that Tracy’s luck has surely changed for the better.

This 1-2 Forsythe finish was the first for the team since Mid Ohio when Tracy and Carpentier did it in 03.

Bourdais finshed third leaving him with a scant 23 point lead over Allmendinger in the title chase.

Can AJ pull off a fourth at Edmonton?

WickerBill sez;

Seems like only yesterday we were all wondering if Bourdais was going to run the table as he had everything going his way. Now we are left wondering if AJ will overwhelm the rest of the field this year.
The attendance has not yet been announced except to say that it was up from last year. - Hmmm how much?

Chrysler Promotion

Chrysler is have a special promotion to get rid of any left over 2006 models on their lots. They are offering Employee Pricing to the public with 0% financing and a 30 day return. Be cautious of anything that sounds too good to be true. A 30 day return of a new vehicle is a first for any car company, but read the fine print first.
"On 2006 model year vehicles only. See participating dealer for details. Customer responsible for all taxes, 5% MSRP restocking fee, .50 per mile driven, and all financing and insurance charges. Retail sales only when financed though Chrysler Financial. One return per customer. Vehicle must be returned to selling dealer in good condition within 30 days. Trade-ins are not eligible."
If you return a car within 30 days, you may have fees up to thousands of dollars. Many dealers are not disclosing this properly if not asked specifically!


Honda Civic Prototype

Honda is finally trying to get eye appeal design behind their cars. Honda has the image of a more reliable car, now they want the look to go along with it. The Honda Civic prototype will accomplish all of that, if they keep the look similar to the prototype. This is a sweet looking car that will turn the heads of all buyers, not just the younger buyer that the Civic is designed for.

Bad Credit Car Tips

If you know you do not have the best of credit, there are a few things to remember. Do not go with the intention of buying the most expensive car. Realize that you have to start somewhere, get an affordable car and work your way up, after re-establishing your credit. When you are serious about buying a car, take a few things that will ensure there are no mistakes in your approval process. Take a check stub so that the correct income will be used. I have been told on many occasions that someone makes $40,000 a year, gets approved, and the check stub verifies $22000 a year. Save yourself some time, bring a check stub with you. Also, bring a phone bill, electric bill, for proof of residence. Have at least 7 references with names, phone #s, and addresses. Have proof of insurance, drivers license, and discharge letters for those who may have filed bankruptcy, title to trade, etc. If you have your proper documentation up front, there is a very good chance you will get approved and be riding the same day.

New Dodge Challenger

I have to say, I am not a big dodge man, but the Challenger has everyone turning their heads. The specs that I have seen show the Challenger with a 6.1 liter Hemi V8 with 425 horse power at 6000 rpm and 420 lb-ft torque at 4800 rpm. It showes an impressive 0-60 in 4.5 sec. I wish GM would have taken the retro look with the GTO!

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