Category Archives: Tool Chest

Chip Repair for Cars and Trucks – the 2 P’s

Paint chips take a real toll on a car. No matter how careful you are, your car is bound to get a chip from a wayward shopping cart, a door ding, or gravel flying low across the car.  It seems that modern paint is not only expensive but more subject to chips, as many new car makers seem to skimp on the thickness of their paints. But chip repair is easy to do.

To get a quality DIY repair you need to focus on two P’s – Preparation and Paint.  Without sufficient attention to these two prime areas, your chip repair will be less than successful.

Paint Chip Preparation

First, you should evaluate the paint chip or scratch and see what is involved. Did the scratch go all the way to bare metal or is the body piece even made with metal?  If your fingernail can catch on the chip or scratch you have some prep work to do.  Depending on the severity you need to take super fine sandpaper (1000-1500 grit wet) and sand those edges so they are smooth. This will make the paint easier to apply and blend in with the original paint. 

A good quality car wash should be applied around the affected areas. That should remove any surface contaminants. Be sure and remove all existing waxes or sealants by using some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove any car chemicals on the chip area.

Let the area dry and get it in good lighting so you can see what you are doing

Paint for Paint Chip RepairAutomotiveTouchup-Products

You need to make sure that your new paint will match the existing paint. If your car has never been repainted and you bought it new, you should have the listing of what the color and the paint code (a string of letters and numbers) is. If not, look inside of your glove box and see if the information is printed there. As a last resort, your dealership should be able to help you out.

If the car has been re-painted hopefully the painter can tell you the paint code that he “used”. But even if armed with a code, there is no guarantee that he mixed it right. A different vendor or batch of paint can still have differences.

Now you have several choices where you can get your paint. A regular auto paint supply shop could mix up a quantity but they may have a large minimum amount for an order. Plus remember these guys are more apt to make paint up in large volumes, so when you ask for a small 2-ounce bottle of paint they may lack the precise dispensers for such a small quantity. One drop too much may make a huge difference in the final look.

I would suggest that you get your paint from AutomotiveTouchUp. They are a national company that specializes in the rapid shipment of consumer-friendly amounts. They also have advice on their website if you want to review the repair process. With the paint in hand, it is now time to do the touch-up.

Paint Chip Repair

Think small, very small. Rather than apply a large glob of paint your aim is to sneak up on the repair by applying small amounts and let it dry before applying a second level.  The first attempt should get a good portion of the chip covered with each additional layer building up to the final effort.AutomotiveTouchup-Webpage

Let the paint thoroughly dry. At this point, you would apply a clear coat if applicable.  Let dry again and then use a small amount of rubbing compound to get that paint to shine.  Let dry some more. Frankly, for a small job, the paint is not going to emit a lot of fumes (gassing) and you could apply a small amount of wax. If you spray can’d a large panel you will want to let the paint cure for at least one month before applying any wax or sealant.  If you can smell “new” paint still, don’t wax.

With a little time and effort, you can get a great chip repair. Remember the two P’s and take your time. Use quality paint and tools and you will be surprised at the results.

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NAPA Deal 10-10-20 Only Save 25% Maybe Get $20 Back

Today, Saturday 10-10-20 NAPA is having a 25% off sale on nearly everything, both in their stores or at NAPAonline.com  Great chance to stock up on needed supplies

But wait there’s more NAPA savings

We’re big fans of the NAPA gold filters. So you could stock up with the 25% off NAPA sale. But buy the triple crown of NAPA filters aand you can get a $20 debit card as a rebate.

The “triple crown” of filters is buying an oil, air and cabin filter.  Easy to change out and generally the air and cabin should be swapped out every two years.

Sorry for the short notice but at least the rebate on the three filters is good through the end of October!

WD-40 Specialist Goes Blue and Yellow

We all probably have at least one WD-40 product sitting near the tool box. Hard to beat their “Multi-Use” “spray for penetrating some stubborn rust or silencing that obnoxious squeak. The company has actually documented over two thousand uses for that one product. The WD-40 cans for their consumer products sport the characteristic blue and yellow shades along with a red cap or top.Gel-Lube-New-Look-Graphic

Charity cars from SEMA

That color scheme is also utilized when WD-40 has crafted one of their many display cars for SEMA and other venues. These vehicles are always so distinctive and end up being auctioned off for good charity causes. Hard to beat the look and colors.

WD-40 Specialist Products

But did you know that WD-40 also had a “specialist” or professional lineup.  The specialist products offer superior, heavy duty performance with Specialist Gel Lube, Silicone, White Lithium Grease, WD-40 Specialist Penetrant with a Flexible Straw, Contact Cleaner and Dry Lube, among the twenty plus products in the lineup. I absolutely love their electrical contact cleaner and their no drip lubes.Specialist-Family-of-Products

But the professional lineup had a different black and yellow color scheme with a yellow cap.  So folks seeking out the familiar WD-40 lineup often failed to spot the WD-40 on the seller’s shelf.  Let’s admit it there are a ton of products that stores offer, but really can they beat the WD-40 brand for performance and reliability?

WD-40 Goes Blue and Yellow

So the folks at WD-40 decided to make it easier for consumers to find the WD-40 stuff. They are converting the packaging for the Specialist products to reflect the familiar yellow and blue colorings with a red top/cap/squeeze trigger. That way the WD-40 colors will always stick out. As your favorite store replaces their inventory the blue and yellow colors will show up.

Personally, we were surprised to learn that WD-40 offered so many products under their Specialist line.  WD-40 is so convinced that the Specialist line is the best, they offer a money back guarantee. How can you beat that? But now it will be easier to locate the San Diego, California based brand at your favorite store. Plus it will be easier to find near your tool box, unless it is also blue and yellow!

What’s your favorite WD-40 product?

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Smart Straw from WD-40 Helps Habitat for Humanity

Admit it. We’ve all done it. After using a can of WD-40 spray to loosen a rusty nut you misplaced the small red straw. Oh you thought you taped it back to the blue and yellow can. Or maybe you slid a rubber band on the can to hold it but somehow it disappeared. Heck I’ve even kept a few spares after the can is used up! WD40’s Smart Straw solved that issue.

Smart Straw

Well WD-40 solved that issue when they came out with the Smart Straw can. The straw is a permanent part of the can and just flips up when needed. So no more misplaced red straws. Another great solution from WD-40.WD-40 Smart Straw can

Habitat for Humanity Donation

But if you need another reason to try out this innovative product, Lowe’s and WD-40 have hammered a partnership to help out Habitat for Humanity International. Through April 30, 2020 when you buy a 12 ounce can of WD-40 with the Smart Straw at Lowe’s, the folks at San Diego, CA based WD-40 will donate 50 cents to Habitat for Humanity. That’s pretty generous of the people at the Blue and Yellow can and they maxed out their donation at $50,000.WD-40 Smart Straw extended

The folks at Habitat for Humanity are out there in your neighborhoods helping to make a new home a reality for everybody. So now you can grab a can of WD-40 (you know you need an extra can right?) and help out a wonderful cause at the same time while shopping at Lowe’s.

Smart Straw and Habitat for Humanity

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Pod Light from Mychanic Lights the Way

MYCHANIC’s Rechargeable Pod Light Hits the SpotMychanic Pod Light in Use

For us, a work light needs to fulfill three needs. The light needs to be a blazing, bright white to light up the intended area. As “some” of us age, those puny D cell flashlights with a simple filament bulb just don’t do the trick. Next, it has to easily direct the light to the intended target. Nothing is more frustrating while trying to loosen some stubborn bolts, than to have the light start to slip away like a Western sunset. Finally the battery needs to last while we are working on our project, which always seems to take longer than expected. Fortunately the Rechargeable Pod Light from MYCHANIC met all those needs and then some!Mychanic Pod Light View

Rechargeable Pod Light

We previously checked out MYCHANIC’s Blade Light, so we were anxious to check out their latest offering. The Rechargeable Pod Light is a two piece light system; consisting of a spherical ball with a flat face housing the LED light. It mates to a magnetic rubberized base so the light can swivel and be directed to where you need the light. Of course it comes with a small AC charger when the time comes to recharge the lithium ion battery.

Two intense modes for Pod Light

The Rechargeable Pod Light has two light modes; full intensity and a battery conserving, low power mode. The light source is a state of the art, LED Chip on Board (COB). Instead of singular LED points of light that you might be familiar with, the COB enabled light creates a larger field of light and in this case a brighter white along the Kelvin scale. You literally cannot look directly into the light source. Despite the light strength, the Li-ion battery is rated at 4.5 hours at full intensity and over 9 hours at the dimmer setting.  That’s enough time for most work days!Mychanic Pod Light Floor

Pod Light Specs

Like all the MYCHANIC items, they splash some Kelly Green on the Rechargeable Pod Light so it is easy to see on a cluttered workspace. The rubberized base allows you to place the item on a vehicle without fear of scratching the paint. Plus the light sphere has a nice ruggedized feel to it and is made with ABS plastic, to help absorb the bumps and drops most work lights will suffer. The MYCHANIC light comes with a one year warranty. Although the packaging indicates the light puts out 300 lumens, recent testing came back showing it is rated for 400 lumens according to the company.

The magnetic field in the base is strong enough to securely hold the Rechargeable Pod Light. We were even able to attach it to just a fiberglass hood’s metal latch and it held on just fine. We appreciate the company including the cable and charger for the Rechargeable Pod Light, so no need to track down an obscure cable or charger to keep the Rechargeable Pod Light at full strength. Perhaps the best advantage to the Rechargeable Pod Light is the low profile. Measuring at four inches (including the base) the light easily can fit where you need it including under some low slung suspensions.Mychanic Pod Light Suspension 2

Mychanic Lineup of Great Tools  Includes the Pod Light

Check out the entire lineup of awesome tools and lights at www.mychanic.com and you’ll find some great tools to make your workday go by faster and easier. The Rechargeable Pod Light offers a great work light in a small, compact package that will often come in handy.  We also loved their mechanics stool.

Some photos courtesy of MYCHANIC.

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Mychanic Pod Light

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MYCHANIC SK2 Stool 7 Wonderful Things We Love

The MYCHANIC SK2 stool is the perfect accompaniment for anyone working around cars or in a shop. This padded rolling seat will become a vital shop tool for one and all, showcasing a variety of perfectly designed ideas in a Kelly Green stool. Let’s count the top seven ways that this SK2 shop stool excels!sidekick18

MYCHANIC SK2 Stool

First off the SK2 stool is adjustable in height from 17” to 20” with a total of three seat heights. For our 6’1” frame, the full up 20” seat height was perfect. Remove four nuts and bolts and find the perfect height that suits you.

Second, we love the 3” urethane casters that roll right over the deep expansion cracks in our concrete floor. No more getting caught and having the stool fall over!sidekick21

Third, the stool has a green holster on the side to hold any gun like device. Great for holding a drill or impact gun. So nice to have a place to securely hold these bulky tools.

Fourth, the bottom drawer can securely hold the tools that you most often are using on your job. No more trying to find that wrench or socket scattered around the shop floor.sidekick22

Fifth, the tool caddy which rests on the top of the tool drawer has subtle indentations to hold it securely in place but you can easily pull it out to retrieve the tools. And that comfy handle also has a slot to hold a tablet or phone. So not only can you easily answer phone calls while working away, it’s easy to review your favorite repair video or on line shop manual while plugging away late at night.

MYCHANIC SK2 Kelly Green

Sixth, did I mention the folks at MYCHANIC used their Kelly Green coloring here on the rolling shop stool? It makes it easy to stand out and be visible when hunting around for your gear.

Seventh, the two sides of this rolling masterpiece have pockets (or bins) to hold critical pieces you might want ready access to. Great place to hold the nuts and bolts as you assemble or disassemble items.sidekick19

 

The rolling SK2 stool is rated for 350 pounds, so go ahead and squat away on this rolling tool box. It will hold all you behemoths!  The metal is powder coated to help keep it clean and rust free, allowing for years of easy ownership. It comes with a sweet two year warranty, but seriously it is hard to imagine this thing wearing out

 

We were given the SK2 to check out and gave it a whirl in the shop. We’ve been impressed with the design behind all the MYCHANIC products, like their Blade Multi Light. Check out their full lineup and you will be too. But be warned once you try out their tools, you’ll be sold and want more!

 

**Editorial content is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone.

Nonsense All Purpose Cleaner from Chemical Guys

            Car owners realize that keeping their car clean is important but sometimes life gets in the way. Before you know it, a car interior can get grungy. But it is amazing how simple it can be to bring a car’s interior back to prime looks. A useful all purpose cleaner is Nonsense from Chemical Guys.Bottle of Nonsense All Purpose Cleaner

Nonsense

            I have been a huge fan and user of Nonsense ever since the main guy behind Chemical Guys recommended it to me. It comes full strength and I usually get great results diluted to a 10:1 ratio. Nonsense pulls up the grime, leaves no sticky residue and doesn’t engulf the air with perfume odors. We love that it just does the job and gets great results.

Nonsense to the Test

            These seats on a 2007 Toyota Camry are a soft fabric, but the light gray coloring will attract dirt quickly. I was wondering if the dirt was ground in too much, so I did a test strip first. A simple spray of the cloth, followed by a brisk scrubbing with a hand held brush and the results showed up! Dirty Car Seat Half Cleaned with Nonsense

A few more minutes of scrubbing and the whole car seat came back to new. I especially like the fact that the cloth maintained the original feel and shape with no soapy residue left behind.Cleaned with Nonsense Close Up

Nonsense from Chemical Guys

            Nonsense is part of a complete set of boutique car detailing products offered by Chemical Guys. You can also get it at their franchised retail stores- Detail Garage. It works on a variety of stains and never lets me down. For a super tough stain you could amp up the dilution level but 10:1 seems to be the perfect stain removal solution for me. Try some and let us know what you think!Cleaned with Nonsense Extreme Close Up of Cloth

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Detailing Rig from MYCHANIC A Rolling Masterpiece

Wow!  The first thing we recognized when checking out this MYCHANIC  Detailing Rig is just how well designed it is. This is not just another one size first most water bucket but a purpose built detailer’s dream.DSCN1163

MYCHANIC

The MYCHANIC brand is an up and coming brand that is making a name for itself with well designed and professional grade materials. This detailing rig is no exception. Dressed out in their iconic Irish Green hue, this detailing rig is eye catching and handy. When offered a chance to try out this detailing rig, we jumped at the offer! They are based in Tennessee and we first met them at the AAPEX show in Las Vegas, NV last year.

Detailing Rig

The box arrived with the partially assembled detailing rig heavily padded and carefully wrapped. Order this and the FedEx man won’t be delivering a banged up, damaged product. When a company puts this much thought into how to package and ship it, you know this is a company you’ll like seeing more of.DSCN5519

This rig is made of powder coated heavy gauge metal pieces that were easy to assemble. It helps if you follow the instructions, but it was easy to assemble.

Detailing Rig Design

This detailing rig comes with FIVE heavy duty urethane casters with roller bearings. The fifth caster on the one end makes it that much harder for it tip over.  Again, well engineered!  DSCN1170

The bucket comes with a removable perforated bottom grid.  You’ve probably seen endless variations on this guard, but the purpose is to let the dirt and grime that accumulates in the water bucket, settle below the grid and not in your bucket water. Many serious detailers use a two bucket method to further reduce the dirt accumulation in your wash water, but again this shows MYCHANIC’s attention to detail. The bucket rim includes two sets of cutouts to hang your favorite detailing product from.DSCN1160

Detailing Rig Components

The metal tray is a great place to store a few rags or tools while detailing your car.  The side beverage holder is a great place to plop a drink, cuz’ we all know detailing is hard work.DSCN1159 The padded seat is form fitting and provides for a comfortable pad for your aching butt. Best news is the seat pad is easily detachable, so it can serve as a kneeling pad or you could even plop your rear end even lower to the ground.DSCN1166

The detailing rig is a good height and will put you up along the belt line of the car if you need to do some serious work along the sides of the car. Plus with the bucket it is a great tool for general car washing duties.

Useful Detailing Rig

Of course this rig is not just reserved only for detailing duties. It would be a great overall mechanic seat when working on brakes, front end and other car parts. It is heavy duty and will stand up to some serious work duty.  You can check out the seat here or look over their entire product lineup. They are good folks with some great ideas.DSCN1172

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Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

It seems every year at the SEMA Show that more vendors pop up offering a headlight restoration product.  From a few companies that offered a slew of detailing gear and compounds, now anybody with a selling spot had a miracle liquid cleaner for those pesky glazed over headlights.Headlight Before

Headlight history

Ever since the car manufacturers dropped using glass headlights, (anybody remember the sealed round H-4’s ?), which was initiated in 1983; the movement to plastic lenses has also created a market to repair the glazed, cloudy lenses. Originally many just paid their mechanic to swap in a new lens but that option gets more and more expensive. So now companies offer up various cleaners to restore the lens to like new condition.

Headlight restoration

Some sites will recommend toothpaste or even bug repellant to clean lenses but honestly these are short term fixes that mask the issue. Most legitimate cleaners work by smoothing out the rough surface and then polishing the plastic back to new.  If the surface has really degraded, the repair process might need to actually start with sandpaper to get in all the deep crevices.

Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

We had the chance to try out the Headlight Restorer and Protectant liquid from Chemical Guys, a leader in the boutique car detailing business.  These guys (no pun intended) know their stuff and I was impressed with the outcome.  Our test car was a 2010 Camry whose lenses have been exposed to some intense Arizona heat.  The directions call for spreading 3 – 6 dots of Headlight Restorer and Protectant over a microfiber towel or applicator pad, then scrubbing the hazy headlight lens vigorously until the polish turns clear and finally wipe off residue with a clean microfiber towel and inspect work. Repeat as necessary.Cleaner on a microfiber

The protectant part of this product is equally important because after cleaning and polishing the lens, the sun is still going to beat down on that plastic.  That means you need some sort of UV resistant layer to help prolong the squeaky clean look. Chemical Guys uses sealant technology to preserve that look and keep the sun at bay.

We were impressed with the ease of use, no need for an electrical buffer, and the look is darn right impressive.  We’ll keep an eye on the lenses and see how they hold up over the next few months, so subscribes to this blog and see how the product holds up in Arizona’s brutal heat.Headlight After

PS  Technically these electrical components are headlamps, and the light they emit are headlights but I don’t know anybody who calls them headlamps. Do you?

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Chenille Wash Mitts from Chemical Guys

Chenille Wash Mitts from Chemical GuysChenille Car Wash Mitt

Well it might not be earth shattering in the overall scope of car care, having a great wash mitt is certainly a big help. There are proponents of various wash devices, everything from the old school baby diaper to large spore sponges and microfiber towels. But this chenille wash mitt is a perfect fit.

A wash mitt is designed to go over your hand and allows you to deliver sudsy water to your car’s sheet metal. A mitt is definitely not a plastic scrubby or the back side of a squeegee. Mitts are primarily designed to bring the soap water to the car.

Chenille Wash Mitt

Chemical Guys, a boutique car detailing supplier, has a bright neon green chenille wash mitt made from microfiber. This chenille car wash mitt from Chemical Guys is packed with plush “noodles” to help hold a ton of soapy water when cleaning your ride. This allows for a scratch free way to wash your vehicle in record time. The mitt is made from a 70/30 blend of microfiber and is super plush. The mitt has an elastic cuff to make sure it stays put on your hand. The lime green color will help you easily find it amongst your cleaning supplies. I was amazed how much water this mitt can hold, you truly have to try it out yourselves.Chenille Car Wash Mitt Cuff

You can always clean the microfiber mitt with hot water and soap and allow to dry. Of course since it is microfiber NEVER use a softener sheet or liquid!

Two Bucket Car Wash Method

I generally tout the two bucket method for car washing. Fill up one bucket with soapy water and the other can be tap water. Put your chenille car wash mitt in the soapy water and starting at the top of the car, starting letting that soapy water wash away the dirt. If you find a stubborn spot a little persuasion with the mitt will remove most contaminants. Take your now dirty mitt and rinse thoroughly in the clear tap water bucket. This allows the trapped dirt to go into that bucket instead of mixing into the soapy water. Now take your rinsed out mitt and dunk it into the soapy water and repeat. You now have mastered the two bucket method of car washing. Congratulations.Chenille Car Wash Mitt Noodle

The Chenille Car Wash mitt is a great offering from Chemical Guys and should be in every detailer’s arsenal. Now go wash your car!

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