Battling Foggy Windows

031_fogwindshield_v2Cold mornings are notorious for creating foggy windows. During the winter dirty streaks form on the windshield from mittens attempting to give relief to the squinting driver, but instead leave behind more debris that attracts and adheres the accumulation of fog. Summer is also frustrating when the moisture settles on the outside of the windshield just out of the drivers reach.

Thankfully there’s a solution for foggy windshields that works.

WINTER SOLUTION

The key is making sure the dew point is never reached inside of your car. The dew point is that magic moment when, based on humidity and barometric pressure, water vapor in the air cools to the point that it clings in the form of droplets. In other words, the moisture in the air clumps together and forms a drop of water.

When driving to grandma’s house for the winter holidays, people love to crank the heat in their car so they can take off their jackets and sing songs, which create the ideal circumstances for foggy windows. Let’s look at the science of it.

The warm moist exhaling breath from those singing is pushed into the car. The heat in the car is turned down to compensate for the hot air and everyone moving to the beat. In the meantime, the windshield is being beaten from the outside by chilly winds and cold snowflakes, creating a perimeter of colder air around its inside surface. The cold windshield chills the moist interior air, which clumps together and adheres to the windshield in the form of fog.

The driver now has two choices: bring dryer air into the car to reduce the moisture; or, heat up the windshield to evaporate the fog.

DRY AIR can be vented into the car by shifting from recirculating air to outside air at a push of a button. The dryer air will automatically absorb some of the moisture, albeit slowly.

DEFROSTING the windshield applies heat to the glass and evaporates the moisture. Once the temperature of the glass pushes the cold to the outside of the windshield, moisture will only be able to accumulate outside of the car, which is easily wiped away by windshield wipers. Turning on the AC at the same time will speed the drying results.

SUMMER SOLUTION

During air conditioning season many people crank the cold air inside the car. After some time the windshield gets cold enough that it forms a cool barrier on both sides of the glass. On humid days, the cold glass reduces the humidity down to the dew point and collects the moisture in the form of fog on the outside of the windshield.

RUNNING WIPERBLADES is the easiest and fastest way to remove the fog, as the blades collect all the moisture and send it to the side of the glass. Unfortunately, the remaining windshield that’s not reached by the blades continues to build up fog until the droplets get big enough for water drops to run down the windshield.

RAISING THE AIRCONDITIONING TEMPERATURE to something a little warmer will slow the glass from reaching the dew point. For even faster results, turning off the air conditioner and opening the windows for a time will cause all of the fog to evaporate within minutes.

The fastest way to correct for fog is to make sure the dew point isn’t reached inside of the car during the winter and on the outside during the summer.

Copyright © 2016 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Sunnyboy’s Sniffer Test

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Sunnyboy’s Secrets—Case #2499 Strange Envelope

adventureswithsunnyboyThere was something different in the air—a feeling, a sense of curiosity and enough humidity to make mechanics sweat. It was the perfect day for Sunnyboy to test the metal of the men who repaired cars under the high quality banner of Hi-Tech.

John had no idea that the team mascot was working a program designed to inspire his mechanics to a higher level of performance. He might have noticed if time allowed him to turn his chair around to see Sunnyboy’s ears perked up.

Sunnyboy laid still with his eyes closed and his ears trained on every sound coming from the garage. Today’s test was to see who’d step up to help the team. It was time to reward whoever humbled themself for the team’s benefit.

In the break room was a tall garbage can of wrappers, old crunched up tin foil, empty drink bottles and colorful gooky stuff that looked like residual garbage from too many lunches ago. The can was so full that a dirty paper plate with a two-day-old white cream sauce slipped onto the floor face down with a plop.

Sunnyboy’s ears heard the messy sound and he cringed with the hair on the back of his neck furling up. He knew his desire to have all the guys willing to pick up a mess, but he knew it might take a startling moment to capture their attention from a busy schedule of cars—but it was important.

When no one was looking the night before, a set of paws traversed the garage into the break room. The garbage bag was removed, an envelope dropped into the bottom of the can, and the garbage replaced as if nothing had happened. And so, today Sunnyboy waited for the right moment.

The dog’s ears perked again. He heard Ryan walk into the break room. His athletic shoes moved toward the can, shuffled around and then left. He had missed an opportunity to help the team.

Next, the sound of Jim’s feet shuffled over to the can. The pause suggested that he looked at his watch to determine if he could take time to help out, but he suddenly ran into bay three realizing he was behind schedule.

Sunnyboy’s head lifted with a grin on the side of his face, as he heard Sal’s feet stop in front of the can. The lid lifted up and the sound of the plastic bag being removed brought a full smile to Sunnyboy.

“Yeah! All right!” shouted Sal as he removed bonus cash from the strange envelope at the bottom of the garbage can.

Sunnyboy was happy that he was able to reward the mechanic who humbly took a moment to empty the garbage can for the rest of the team.

Copyright © 2016 Hi-Tech Automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Helping Keep Your Car Safe this Winter

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The Invisible Tire Leak

Getting ready to jump in your car and finding a tire with little air at an inopportune time is frustrating. Taking it to the auto repair shop and having them search for a puncture leak and not finding it is even more frustrating, especially if they’ve already tested the rim for leaks and found none.

The worst tire leak occurs at the slowest rate—slower than any consumer detection devices can capture. It’s the marginal leak that occurs from the cracked wall of the tire that faces the undercarriage of the car. Seldom seen, the hints are obvious to the specialist, but incomprehensible to the driver. The bad news is that the cracked sidewall is ready to turn into a blowout at any moment.

This type of cracking is known as dry rot. The most common cause is improper storage or infrequent use. Dry rot occurs when the oils in the rubber begin to evaporate. The chemical bonds breakdown, are lifted off the tire from a nearby heat source and leave a dry tire behind. An additional cause is low inflation of the tire.

Cars that sit in the sun or in balmy climates deteriorate even faster. The only way to store a car for long periods of time without speeding the dry rot is to store it in a climate-controlled garage, keep the tires inflated at manufacturer’s specs, park the tires over wood boards, and check the tire pressure monthly.

There are some who suggest that dry rot can be fixed if caught early enough, but the only guaranteed safe solution is to replace the tires. While some dry rot tires might last a few months with local driving, it is extremely hazardous on the highway. Once the cracks reach the cords of the tire, the heat generated from a long drive is sufficient to cause the rubber to expand and the tires to break apart while driving—a deadly consequence.

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Sunnyboy’s Repair Secrets—Case #2173

027_case2173Over his tenure at Hi-Tech, Sunnyboy developed a nose for various car issues. His knowledge gained from working with John, a 45-year mechanic, has also helped him develop a sixth sense for troubleshooting. Recently Sunnyboy worked case #2173, solving a terrible problem for our customer.

It was a rainy day that kept most people inside hoping for sunshine. The cool fall breeze whistled as the shop front door opened. Sunnyboy’s head lifted. He knew it was a dame in trouble. Not that her perfume gave her away, but he picked up on the smell of transmission fluid that permeated her car from a leak. The smell had clung to her clothes, tipping off the smart canine.

He bounced up from his bed located under the counter behind John and hustled to the gate. With a quick wag of his tail, the woman approached.

“Hey, Sunnyboy,” she said in a soft, high pitched voice. “Can you help me figure out what’s wrong with my car.”

The dog jumped around and barked two sharp yips and a woof.

“He said your transmission fluid is leaking and needs to be checked,” commented John with confidence.

“Transmission fluid?” she questioned. “Is that the red stuff I saw under my car?”

Sunnyboy barked once at an ear piercing volume.

“Sunnyboy just confirmed it,” stated John in a matter of fact fashion.

“Well then Sunnyboy, do you think you can fix it for me?” the woman asked the dog as she patted his head.

Sunnyboy nodded his head, turned to head into the garage and barked twice.

Corey, a well rounded and technically savvy mechanic, immediately ran into the parking lot, hopped into the woman’s SUV and pulled it into the shop.

Sunnyboy gave a glance and a wink to the woman who quietly took a seat in the waiting area.

John made small talk with her as the team in the garage congregated at the car.

“Woof, Rough!” barked Sunnyboy.

Jim, the lead mechanic, immediately pulled out a flashlight, while Corey raised the lift overhead. The light flashed across the transmission fluid lines until Jim spotted the leak.

“The leak is at the crimp of the metal and rubber lines. We’ll need to replace the entire run,” said Jim.

Corey jumped on the phone. “This is Hi-Tech. We need an oem line for a GMC SUV. Thanks.”

Sunnyboy barked.

“I’ve got it Sunny,” said Jim as he pulled the old line. “Hey, replacing the full line was the right call. This one has several cracks ready to give way.”

Sunnyboy nodded and headed back up front.

“We’ll know in a couple minutes what’s required on your transmission,” said John to the professional woman reading the magazine with Sunnyboy’s picture on the cover.

Just then the door swung open and Sunnyboy walked over to John.

“What’s it look like big dog?” asked John.

“Woof, woof, arf,” stated Sunnyboy without concern.

John turned to his customer with an update.

“Okay, ma’am, you’ll need a full transmission line replaced. We’ve ordered the product and should have your car ready within two hours,” said John. “And, the best part is that my records show you had a line problem that we fixed 23 months ago, which means this one is fully covered under our two year warranty at no cost to you.”

“Thank you, John. I knew Sunnyboy would see to my car’s care,” said the woman as she stood. “Can I get a ride back to work?”

“Certainly,” John said.

Sunnyboy yanked his bed on an angle like a recliner and then closed his eyes. He was always able to take perfectly timed naps as needed. A couple hours later he jumped up and ran into the garage.

Corey was pulling the SUV out of the bay.

“Just finished, Sunnyboy,” said Jim. “It went as expected.”

“Woof, arf, bowwow,” said Sunnyboy.

“Just doing what you asked for,” said Jim.

Sunnyboy headed into the office. Moments later Jim zipped up his coat as he left the garage. “I’m dropping off the GMC SUV,” he shouted.

“Already to go. The paperwork is in the vehicle,” John shouted back.

Twenty minutes later Sunnyboy barked. John turned to the computer and pulled up the Yelp site. He grabbed the microphone for the intercom and made an announcement.

“Congratulations guys, we’ve just got another five star rating!”

Sunnyboy walked over to the door with pride bursting through his chest. He was pleased that his team was quick and effective. And, he couldn’t help but notice that the sun was peaking through the dissipating clouds, so he turned to John and gave him a nod.

John turned to the intercom mic with a smile on his face. “We need a dog walker up front.”

Sunnyboy nodded his head. It was time for a little, but well deserved break. After all, case #2173 was effective and generated another five star rating.

Copyright © 2016 Hi-Tech automotive Specialists, Inc.
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Maintenance Schedule Infographic

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