Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: A girl's guide to car winterization

Saturday was a beyond gorgeous day. I ran to my sister's house twice because I completely forgot to get what I went out for. I was on a run for provisions like fresh veggies, Tylenol and Motrin. However, I forgot the Tylenol and Motrin for my nephew Leland who was sporting a lovely case of H1N1 at the ripe age of 5 1/2 months. He's on the mend, but did spike 104 F. So, after I came back from doing the victory lap, I decided that it warmed enough to wash and wax the car before the winter weather kicks in.

Winter weather here makes cars look really funky, inside and out. I decided to do one last hoorah. I wanted to be certain that everything had the once over and we were good.

Folks, I spent about 3 1/2 hours accomplishing that goal.

Now grant you, I did not by any stretch of the imagination do a professional job, but I'm happy with the outcome. Here's what I did in my attempt to winterize my ride in probably more of a female fashion:

1. Washed the RAV from top to bottom, even getting all of the brake dust off of the rims. They shine now.
2. Waxed the RAV from top to bottom, including the roof rails. Salt is yucky on the paint. A little extra protection doesn't hurt.
3. Washed the windows inside and out, including the windshield and moon roof. Dirty windows are rather difficult to see out of. That's not so safe.
4. Washed the inside, including but not limited to the dash, interior side of window glass, doors from top to bottom, spraying the heavy duty mat at the driver's seat and K-'s seat, all the cooks and nannies in the PRNDL and the kind of gross cup holders. I wasn't in the mood to deal with Armor All. A bad job with Armor All can be spotted from a parking lot away. I just didn't have the dedication.
5. Swept the entire truck, having chased many soft and rotting grapes, cracker bits, and crayons in a variety of states of being.
6. Had K- help in the unveiling of the backseat from all of the reading books, coloring books, dolls and miscellaneous "must keep" garbage that amassed in her corner of my mode of transportation.
7. Restocked the storm food. Many packages of crackers in a variety of flavors are now stowed away in the console, awaiting consumption on days where we are forever stuck in massive traffic because one flake on the road makes 70 % of the population of NE Ohio twitch to near convulsions. And for the record, I LOVE! to drive in the snow. It also doesn't hurt that I have a 4WD. Hubs does, too.
8. Refilled the Purell dispenser on my driver's side door. Germs are everywhere people and ATM machines and gas pumps are the worst! Ick!
9. Made certain that I have lip goo and intensive hand cream easily accessible. After all, what else am I supposed to do on an otherwise dry highway while there are three flakes causing a major back-up? May as well moisturize!
10. Checked the condition of all my wiper blades. I found that my rear wiper blade had split and is beginning to rip. Since it is famous for freezing to the glass and I forget that until I've tried to make it go a few times, I decided that I shall replace it and only allow it to go when the de-icer has actually melted all of the winter gunk off of my back window.
11. While trying to find the size for the rear wiper blade, I learned that the side mirror de-icing functions when the de-icing button is pushed for the back window. Good to know. I knew that it worked (on accident), but didn't know how it happened! I also learned that the store has a master book with the wiper blades to tell you what size you need. Also good to know. The book was wrong, though. It also didn't state that I needed the blade only and not the arm thingy. Hubs took the wiper blade back.
12. I checked and refilled the windshield washer fluid. That is probably one of my biggest pet peeves when driving. Nothing is worse than having the windshield constantly sprayed with road salt and not being able to remove it. Driving blindly is not something that I care to do.
13. Speaking of, I purchased canopy straps to latch the bottle of windshield wiper fluid to the hooks in the back of my truck. Having the bottle roll around back, from side to side, is a little nerve wracking. Thwamp to the left! Thwamp to the right! I was able to hook the bottle in a few different places. There is a grocery sack hook (again, I found that out when reading the book to see wiper size) and another hook that is probably to just latch things down. Having tied the bottle down in two places has kept it in its place. Hooray!
14. I touched up the stone chip hunks in the paint. Our RAV was delivered with a few stone chips in the hood and the settlement that I made with the dealership was to give us a stone guard and a paint pen. Both are rather handy to have. (They drove the RAV in from Dubois, PA and knew that we were in a crunch for time, as opposed to bringing it by car hauler. They would have repainted the front half of the truck, but stone chips will happen. As it was, 4 months later the RAV was stoned by a weed eater, 1/2 the truck was painted twice in a month, as well as having to have the passenger window of the driver's side replaced. We can live with a few stone chips having been repaired. Besides, we know that if we put the dealership to that much work, a boulder would have fallen out of the sky as we drove off the lot and would have totaled the front end. Believe me, stone chips are fine. Remember that black cloud? It hovers over us often.)
15. I found a better home for my proof of insurance card.
16. I double checked that the blanket is in the back.
17. I double checked that I have a little pocket knife in the car, to cut the seat belt strapping if we should ever get trapped.
18. I also have a pair of scissors. I forgot about them, but it's good to remember that they are there. You never know when you need them.
19. I double checked the location of my pressure gauge. Remember? Me and tires? 'Nuff said.
20. We have a box of tissues near K-'s booster in the backseat and a spare in the cargo net in back. Winter noses run.

The tail end of my car winterization list is:
- Go to Toyota to have them repair the CD player, my seat belt latch that I slammed the door on, broke a piece off and now the latch hangs all the way to the floor which makes reaching it very hard, and I'll be returning the blasted tire cover AGAIN to have them see why it discontinues fitting after being taken off only once.
- Go to a Goodyear Service Center, tell them I realize that they are probably going to try to sell me new tires, but I'll be thrilled with a free tire rotation, please.
- Check to make sure that the shake flash light is in the glove box.
- Add a first aid kit.
- Add a few personal sized bottles of water. Though they will freeze, they can be thawed quickly with the very warm heating system that Toyota is so kind to provide.
- Add an extra hat and pair of gloves each for K- and me. I'll put a hat in for Hubs, but usually he isn't with us.
- I'd like to have a Life hammer to break the windows out if needed. I think of the ladies that drowned this week when they accidentally drove into the lake. Intense pressure builds and you are unable to unroll your windows while underwater. I know of a friend's sister that died this very way.
- Add a felt eraser. I've read that this is an excellent way to remove fogginess from your windows.

So, I'll admit that this started as my Monday post, but became my Wednesday post. Have a great Wednesday!

Smiles in my day:
- The Christmas tree display that was fighting me all day like a two year old in a rolling tantrum, actually decided to submit to my decorating abilities and cooperate. Unfortunately, I'm still behind on my decorating schedule. Fortunately, I was able to take the gorgeous merchandise I had no place for other than relegating it to a sad sack display from the ceiling into a fantastic pink, burgundy, black and white tree. It sounds wrong, but it is so right! :)! Success after yesterday made me smile. Don't worry, the pictures of the trees that I create at work will be on the blog for all to see on December 14 for the Christmas Tour.
- I was able to work enough extra hours to make up for the day I missed last week. Never mind that the extra hours combined as 2 1/2 hours on Thursday, 2 1/2 hours on Monday and 3 hours today. Hey, whatever combination it takes to make that paycheck whole again. Happily, I feel much, much better.
- K-, her teacher and her class waving to me through the window this morning. I always wait outside of her window to see her arrive at class. We both wave and get on with our day.


Rach said...

When I lived in B'burg we had to winterize our vehicles. Now, notsomuch. It just doesn't get wintery here. :sigh: I do so miss winter.

Rona's Home Page said...

Since living on the West coast since 1994 I haven't had to worry about winterizing the car.
Great tips.