Saturday, May 16, 2009

good motoring
Let your car sparkle
H.Kishie Singh

Chandigarh has imposed a ban on washing cars and watering lawns in the morning hours. The result is dirty cars running around the City Beautiful. To clean the windscreen is a simple matter. Pull the windscreen washer lever. The cleaning fluid is splashed. Switch on the wipers, and you have a clean windscreen. This is very important for city driving.

For the interior rearview mirror to be fully functional, the rear windscreen must also be clean. It is understandable why a ban on washing cars has been imposed. Your cleaner turns on the garden pipe and sprays the car for 15-20 minutes. In doing so, he wastes several litres of water. There is a big difference in washing a car and cleaning a car. A car can be cleaned with only a couple of litres of water.

All you need is half a bucket of water and a clean soft cloth. I favour the dhoti, which can be bought easily at any hardware store. It is soft cloth and is an absorbent. Start the cleaning operation by sprinkling water on the glass area. Sprinkling, not pouring. Wipe and clean with a soft cloth. In five minutes the glass area would be sparkling.

Next, sprinkle the bonnet and again wipe clean. The sides of the car do not get too dirty, maybe behind the front wheels only. One mug of water is sufficient to clear the splashes behind the wheels. The dhoti will be dirty. Rinse it out and wipe the whole car. You should have a second dhoti, dry and clean. Dry wipe the entire car, starting, of course, with the glass area. With a couple of litres of water, you have a clean car.

Start learning to save and conserve water. It is only a matter of time before water becomes as scarce and expensive as oil. While over-seeing this operation, look under the bonnet. Is the windshield water reservoir full? It should be. It will help you clear the windscreen. You could add some ammonia-based glass cleaner like Colin. Add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar. Vinegar helps cut grease. There is sure to be some on your windscreen.

Vinegar also keeps flies from settling. Flies leave their tiny droppings on the glass and chrome, which make your car dirty. There was little rain last winter. So you may not have used the wipers for some time. Chances are the rubber has hardened, and this may scratch the glass. Change the wiper blades, and you will be ready for the monsoons.

Happy motoring.